It was a rainy morning, more like an April downpour really but this was July, as I avoided the puddles on my way to check out the new products from Tefal, Krups and Rowenta under the banner of Beyond Innovation 2008.
Situated in , within a stone's throw of Oxford Street and
Bond Street, the Music Room is one of those locations that are often used by companies
to show off their wares to the press and trade customers. My previous visit had been to
check out new products from Sony Ericsson and now I was faced with various household gadgets
bearing the , Krups and Rowenta brands.
This software is designed to work out if your PC (or stick drive) is under threat. Itís job is to stop malicious software from getting to anything that your stick or drive is trying to protect.
So what I am looking at is two different anti virus programs from the same maker. Drive Sentry and Drive Sentry Go Anywhere. The first sits on your PC and the second resides on your stick drive so you can safely insert it into another PC which may or may not be infected by a virus or three. I have used both the full PC package and the stick drive version. My problem is that unless you get a virus you will never know if the products work.
Storing your digital images in a box could save you a great deal of disk space.
Digital photographs do have a tendency to be rather large in size. You only have to look at the ever increasing megapixel ratings of the latest cameras, and even the new crop of mobile phones, to see the reason for the demands that digital photos put on certain activities. Digital images can quickly devour storage space and are hardly the sleekest when it comes to being sent via the Web even for those of us with access to a fast Broadband connection.
Bringing back memories of the games played in my younger days, a new offering from URSE Games contains plenty of high speed action.
Take a distinct flavour of the old Wild West, throw in some unusual, some might say gruesome elements, and then mix them with a modern computer game. The result is CowBall, a game from URSE Games, developed by a team led by Sergey Kuzmichev and Juriy Aliev who were responsible for titles such as Gem Ball and Nuclear Ball. As already mentioned, CowBall is set in the Wild West of cowboys and Red Indians.
While many digital cameras can equal or even better the 10MP image size of this FinePix S8100 I cannot think of any that come up to the 18x optical zoom that it offers.
click to enlarge It is 10.5x9x7.5cm when off in your hand or hanging round your neck however when fully zoomed you need to add another 6cm to the 9cm width. It weights a tad under 500 grams. It comes with a 68 page Basic Manual and while this does very little to explain all the 'bells and whistles' it will get even the novice going.
PowerPoint is not the only method of delivering a message. Software from Reallusion allows you to put words into the mouth of an animated head.
Getting your message across to your targeted audience can be difficult as the best of times. It does help if you are able to apply a certain amount of pizzazz to the actual presentation of your message. One method of achieving this pizzazz, or audience-appealing gloss, could be through the use of a program entitled Crazy Talk from Reallusion. Now up to version 5, Crazy Talk Pro is face puppet animation software with a number of new and enhanced features.
Flip is not an expletive but rather a nice handheld camcorder that costs less than £100. The most important points are that the quality is superb and it is extremely easy to use and transfer or watch the output.
click to enlarge The Flip Video Ultra is 10.5x5.5x3cm and weights only 140grams. It comes in four colours, mine is a creamy white with orange sides. It is powered by two 'AA' batteries (supplied) and it's internal memory can record an hours action. It comes with a drawstring bag and a wrist strap. There is a folded card for the instructions and delving in the box will find the leads to connect the Flip Video to your TV.
Two forms of storage memory. The first from Dane Elec that looks exactly like a casino chip and the second from San Disc a Micro SD card reader. Both these items fit directly into a USB port.
Poker Mate USB Drive It is 4cm across and .5cm thick. It is red and white with 12 alternate sections the six white ones are plastic and the red ones rubber. This gives a distinct feel in the fingers. There are various capacities available, mine was 1GB and this is clearly written on both sides of the chip.
Surprisingly, as the chosen location was known as The Music Room, Sony Ericsson did not include any new models in its Walkman range.
It doesn't seem all that long ago since I last reported on the latest announcements from Sony Ericsson. Actually it was just over four months ago - doesn't time seem to fly by or maybe it is as a result of the onward drive to pump out new handsets and accessories by mobile phone companies. This time Sony Ericsson's product announcements cover new handsets, modems, headsets, gaming and a photographic competition.
With the MFU (multi function unit) or AIO (all in one) taking up little more space than a scanner and providing the functionality of three or four products then the scanner needs to do extra things to consider a stand alone product. There are units that read vast numbers of textual pages at 16 or 20 PPM. Here it can read slides and transparencies.
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First the all important dimensions it is 44cm long, 26cm wide and 9cm tall. It is a very dark grey in colour and has the power input and USB close together on the back and the on/off switch on the right side. There are four buttons on the front edge but everything can be managed from within Windows.
While a multifunction device can cover a range of eventualities, sometimes you just need the scanner element.
The popularity of multi-function, or all-in-one, devices has resulted in a drop in the number of standalone scanners available in the market. Rarely does a standalone scanner cross my desk but this is one of those occasions with the arrival of the Fujistu ScanSnap S300 product. However this is not a flatbed model but a page or document scanner.
Role playing takes centre stage as you enter a star system with three worlds and an invading alien force.
Developed by Sonic Team, Phantasy Star Universe is set in the Gurhal Star System that originally formed the game playing arena for Phantasy Star Online. Bringing together the ability to choose between single player game and online network action, Phantasy Star Universe belongs to the Japanese RPG genre. Now available on the White label, Phantasy Star Universe has been rated at 12+ and forms part of the Avanquest Software Publishing product portfolio.
With camera phone resolution improving it will soon be a phone camera. This unit has a three mega pixel offering and a good quality image would just about be printable at A4 without pixelization.
This phone is small enough to sit in the palm of an adult, in it's closed state it is 10x5x1.5cm push the screen upwards and reveal another 4cm that hides the keypad. It is matt black (it also comes in a rather smart black box) with a silver/grey stripe round the edge and the only immediately obvious control is a silvered wheel on the back left edge. Look closely in good light and several other buttons become visible on the edges. The top has entry point for a micro SD card.
Some mobile phones cry out to be picked up and used. While the Nokia N82 does not fall into this category, it is not too unpleasant on the eye.
click to enlarge Adopting a chunky candy-bar style, this Nokia N82 3G Smartphone dimensions are 112 x 502 x 17.3mm. It has a silver fascia with a large screen that gives a 38 x 50mm viewing area. The screen can display 16.7 million colours producing a clear display in various lighting conditions and had the capabiloity to smoothly change between portrait and landscape mode depending upon which way round you hold the handset.
With summer holidays just around the corner what will you do with all the digital snaps you take? This digital frame is perfect to keep the memories of sun and sand alive.
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The Falcon Fridge Magnet 'Digiframe' £29.99 from
I Want One of Those I was sorting out some boxes recently and came across a collection of
old photos. I managed to waste a delicious hour or two being transported back
to lovely holidays and numerous Birthday parties. Since I started to use a
digital camera I just don't look at the photos much.
The title says dual radio in this case itís FM and Internet but it is also an MP3 player a Media Server and an Alarm Clock. The Internet part can be either Ethernet or Wireless connectivity.
All the time the Sagem MyDual Radio700 is powered up even without a station selected the front screen will display a small top line of year, date and day with a large (four time the size) bottom line showing the time in 24 hour format. It is 20x10x14cm maximum, the right side is the larger being circular and the single speaker with a fine silver/grey mesh the rest of the unit is grey. The display is 7.3x3.
After looking at Sat Navís that have all the bells and whistles itís quite refreshing to review a unit that has one aim to get you from A to B. Some extras are missing but some things you might think of as extras are included at a reasonable price.
Intended for use in the car (the only charger provided is the one for a cigar lighter) a standard mini USB to USB will charge it in less than four hours. I always test it on trains and or buses as well as in a car. Unless you are a passenger you cannot really look at the screen of the unit and while travelling in a bus or train gives you that opportunity.
From the lofty heights of Londonís Millbank Tower, Toshiba revealed a new processor and some notebook models.
When one door closes, another opens or perhaps not keeping all your eggs in one basket might be a more appropriate slant on circumstances. Whichever view you opt for, the result is probably the same. With the death knell of HD DVD still echoing through the retail and consumer areas, Toshiba has announced the Toshiba Quad Core HD processor.
This is the second camera I have seen from the launch earlier this year (see article on 23-01-08). This on is from the ĎGí range and is an 8MP offering with 4x zoom face detection, image stabilization and in camera red eye removal and panoramic stitching.
click to enlarge The G2 from General Electric (GE) is available in silver, black and red measuring 10.5x6x2cm, these are both minimum and maximum dimensions as the Aspheric glass lens uses a periscope type zoom where the zooming all takes place inside the unit. The lens and flash are level with each other and in my tests this produced less than brilliant flash results when images taken were a little further away.
Let your computer take the strain as it monitors Internet radio stations for your favourite music tracks.
Many more years ago than I care to admit, I would often record music direct from a radio using a reel-to-reel tape recorder for my own listening pleasure. Today you can be more selective as you automate the process using software and your hard disk storage capacity. Up until very recently I thought that a 43-character serial number was one of the longest I had encountered and rather excessive.