Friday, January 23, 2009

SoundBulb: The New Lightbulb/Speaker System?

Lately, in sound innovation contests, there has been several lightbulb/speakers appearing. One such object is the SoundBulb by Yanko Design. These speakers, looking like lightbulbs, are completely wireless. They connect to the tv through a Bluetooth connection. The speakers can also work together with the light, giving the option of creating different levels of illumination depending on the sound given off. A cool idea, but many are still wondering whether or not the heat from the light will damage the sound wirings from inside the bulb. And if not that, then perhaps the high level of sound may be too great for the glass. The quality of the sound is also another concern. Will the quality be really good like Sony's or Bose's? Or would it be just like a regular stereo? Then again, this invention is still in the developmental stages and when it will be available, if being sold at all, is still unclear.

Monday, January 19, 2009 is quite a handy tool when figuring out how fast one's computer is at downloading and uploading content. To use the program, only a few simple steps are required. First of all is going to from there, just click which city is nearest you, and wait for the program to do all the work. In a matter of seconds, it'll show you what your download speed and upload speeds are. For example, my download speed is 946 kbps, or kilobits per second, and my upload speed is 539 kbps. If you have the time, the less-than-a-minute program is very much worth just knowing how fast your computer is at downloading and uploading content.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Coming Soon: Invisibility Cloaks??

Scientists from Duke University had originally make a very primitive invisibility cloak that still resembelled nothing like one. But now, those scientists have improved on this concept, and currently the cloak which is placed over a 'bump' on top of a flat mirror surface, hides the bump quiet well, though still far from perfect. What once was a bump, clear as day, now appears as if it was never there, replaced by a mirage-like effect. This effect is similar to what one might see hovering above the road or pavement on a hot day. "The new device can cloak a much wider spectrum of waves--nearly limitless--and will scale far more easily to infrared and visible light. The approach we used should help us expand and improve our abilities to cloak different types of waves,"says David R. Smith, who is a professor of electrical and computer engineering at the university, and also one of the senior members of the research team. The cloak is made of a light-bending composite material that guides electromagnetic waves around the object being covered, and reconnects them on the other side. The most recent cloak made is 20 inches by 4 inches and under an inch high. For now this 'invisibility cloak' may be extremely primitive but considering how fast technology is evolving, a real invisibility cloak may be only a few years away. A picture of the most recent cloak with the bump is shown on the right.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Top Ten Apps for Your BlackBerry

A BlackBerry is plenty useful, as everyone already knows, but here are ten applications which makes the BlackBerry truly useful.

1. Viigo - a full-featured RSS feed reader, allowing you to stay on top of your favorite feeds and news.
2. Vlingo - a program in which you can use only your voice to run Internet searches, launch applications, compose emails and even send text messages. It's also quite accurate so there's no need to double check.
3. Google Mobile - This allows you to access almost, if not all of Google's mobile-friendly services on one page.
4. BBNotePad - a memo pad with three text sizes, and can be saved to be opened on a computer.
5. GridMagic Community Edition - Like Microsoft Excel and a complex calculator put together! It can also be emailed as an Excel xls. document
6. Opera Mini - a limited view of Opera which has amazing speed, caching, and bookmark features, the ability to see pages as one would on a computer, and to be able to zoom in or out of that as well.
7. Mobipocket Reader - an e-book reading program, allowing you to read books from your BlackBerry with a variety of titles.
8. iSkoot - a program allowing you to send and recieve Skype calls, telephone calls from your Blackberry. Sound quality is good and allows you to text instead, if you choose to. Application is free and theres no extra charge on non-Skype calls.
9. TwitterBerry - Twitter for your BlackBerry if you're ever away from your computer.
10. WebMessenger - Allows you to chat on the most popular IM networks. You create one 'master' account and from that you can log into which ever IM network or account you already have. AOL, Google, ICQ, Jabber, MSN, Skype or Yahoo is already supported by WebMessenger.

This list was found as a tweet at
For a more in-depth look at the details of the list click here or go to

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Somali Pirates Steal Fertilizer, Leaves Oil Tanker

Two days ago on New Year's Day, the pirates in Somali who have been in the spotlight quite often recently, attacked two ships. One was a cargo ship containing 6000 tons of fertilizer and the other an oil tanker. They successfully hijacked the fertilizer-carrying cargo ship. As for the oil tanker, when two of the pirate's smaller sized speed boats, one carrying seven people, began their attack by firing at the tanker, the captain put the tanker on maximum speed and began to avoid pirates using evasive maneuvers, as crew members sent out an SOS message. 15 nautical miles away, a Malaysian frigate received the message and within minutes a light military helicopter arrived and the pirates ceased their attack. The crew of the oil tanker must've had a very happy and lucky start for the New Years, a worried start for those involved in the captured fertilizer ship, a series of headaches soon to come for negotiators to free the hostages, and an exceedingly frustrating start for the pirate boss who was probably planning for a celebration with all the oil he would've had.