Hitachi Starboard FX 77 Duo white board gets demoed on video

Hitachi's StarBoard FX 77 Duo multi-touch white board seemed impressive enough when the company announced it late last year, but if you've been waiting to see one in action before you transported your classroom into the future, Hitachi has now got you covered with a couple of demonstration videos. In this case, Hitachi has paired the rig up with its CP-A100 short-throw projector for maximum showoffiness, although it seems you can use it with any projector of your choosing. That, of course, also means that there's no electronics in the board itself, with the necessary cameras and other electronics contained in the sensor bar at the top -- which, as our presenter helpfully informs us, could come in handy if you want to drill a hole through it. Head on past the break for the full show.

Dell Studio Hybrid gets reviewed, does alright

Now that Dell's Studio Hybrid has gone on sale for the adoring public, you're probably trying to talk yourself into buying one. Not so fast, buckaroo. According to a review just posted by PC Magazine, this mini PC is probably only right for a certain sect of folks. On the upside, the unit arrives practically devoid of bloatware, which is astonishing and wonderful in its own right. Still, the Penryn T8100 CPU jammed within wasn't a top performer, so those looking for lighting fast performance will likely be disappointed. Furthermore, the lack of expansion options and weak integrated graphics were also frowned upon, but we wouldn't expect anything different given the design. In the end, critics deemed it a great buy for style-conscience consumers, but it couldn't help but mention that there "are more-powerful and more-expandable choices out there if you're less concerned about design."

Navigon 2150 Max now shipping in the UK

Navigon's 2150 Max isn't revolutionary in terms of design nor specifications, but it does feature a rather delicious list of features for just £229.99 ($458). All-too-trusting UK motorists can look forward to a 4.3-inch display, pre-loaded maps of 39 countries, built-in Bluetooth, text-to-speech and support for live traffic information. Oh, and in case our header was unclear, it's shipping this very moment in time.

Microsoft multi-touch Sphere surfaces in Redmond

There it is, right on cue Microsoft's Surface has gone spherical over at Microsoft Research. Rumored since March, the prototype relies upon an infrared system to detect hands, fingers, and objects as well as an internal (not external like Surface) projection system developed by Global Imagination (and customized by Microsoft) to deliver its multi-touch UI. At the moment, Microsoft is demonstrating photo manipulation, a spinning globe, 360-degree video, and a simple Pong-like game, the latter giving us a taste of future gaming possibilities. Sphere is expected to make its first public appearance Tuesday at Microsoft's Faculty Summit in Redmond. Ultimately, it will appear in public spaces like lobbies as part of a larger ecosystem of Surface gear. The prototype UI looks a bit jumpy compared to its tabletop cousin -- hit the read link to see for yourself.

AMD SB750 Update.. 9600BE...Sort of...

We are working on a final update to our first look at the new AMD SB750 Southbridge and Advanced Clock Calibration technology. Based upon requests, we are currently testing the 9600BE, 9550, and 8750 processors to provide an indication of overclock results based on older B2 processors and current non-BE units. In preliminary testing, we can already state that the Black Edition processors show the greatest promise when it comes to overclocking.

Also, we do not have any further technical information on exactly how ACC works. We have had several discussions with AMD but nothing concrete to report so far. There are some valid theories about what AMD is doing behind the big curtain, but nothing substantiated yet. Throwing caution to the wind, I would say inter-register fine tuning is occurring along with some other pipeline and clock optimizations. But I could be completely wrong (would not be the first or last time) if AMD ever opens the curtain for us to take a peek inside.

Foxconn has provided a new BIOS update tonight for the A79A-S motherboard that allows us to switch off the TLB fix as our preliminary results with the 9600BE have been a bit strange. Also, we have production release RAID 5 drivers to test in order to answer a few storage performance questions and we will take a quick look at 8GB memory clocking on this board in our update.

In regards to our 9600BE testing to date, our results have been unusual to say the least. We easily took our CPU up to 3.1GHz on the Foxconn board, but we have not noticed any dramatic differences with ACC enabled. As we approached the 3.1GHz range, our voltage requirements were 1.4825V with ACC enabled and 1.525V without it enabled. However, no differences in core clock speeds were noted on this 790FX/SB750 equipped board at these voltage settings. It was not until we installed this CPU in our 790FX/SB600 board that we noticed a true clock speed difference as our CPU sample would not go above 2.8GHz with 1.525V on the core. We found it strange that ACC did not really affect our core clocks as it had on our B3 processors. So, either the SB750 chipset provided a boost (not likely, but who knows at this point) or it's the board/BIOS combination from Foxconn. We are still testing on other 790FX/SB600 boards to discover any differences, but so far it appears this CPU is hitting a 2.8GHz wall on the Gigabyte, MSI, and DFI boards.

We decided to do one more test and that was to increase CPU core voltage to a maximum 1.575V (does that void the warranty?, editor - probably so) on the Foxconn board and see where that would take us with this CPU. With ACC disabled we hit 3.2GHz and thought that would be our limit based on earlier results. After some fine tuning of the cores with ACC enabled, we hit 3.33GHz as shown in the screenshot below. We would never run at this voltage on a 24/7 basis, but with the help of some serious cooling assistance from our CoolIT Systems Freezone Elite, we ended up with a platform that has been stable looping various tests for the past couple of days. That said, with the TLB fix enabled, performance has not been good so we are looking forward to what the results will be with the fix disabled.

We finally get our first 1GHz overclock on a Phenom but wish it did not take so many volts. Additional images are in the gallery.

Philips Wireless Internet Cam Concept Would Be Creepy, Crawly Desktop Addition

This wireless Philips concept by Flynn Product Design certainly freshens up the traditionally bulbous webcam design, and it's the first of its kind that I can say genuinely frightens me (just a little). And while those three creepy little legs do make the cam look like a desktop arachnid, they also serve a functional purpose. Thanks to a ball and socket joint connecting the legs and body, this spider-like cam can be positioned into a variety of unconventional positions.

Sony's 16.4-inch VAIO FW laptop gets previewed

Maybe it's the 16.4-inch panel, or maybe it's the built-in Blu-ray drive. Whatever it is, Sony's VAIO FW has garnered quite a bit of attention. Just a fortnight after getting (extra) official, this nimble monster made its way into the loving arms of NotebookReview, where critics couldn't resist giving us a sneak peek before penning the fleshed-out review. We'll just get it out there -- initial impressions are really positive. Fit, finish and build quality were all deemed "excellent," and the overall design was dubbed "beautiful." Performance seemed to be above par during limited testing, though the screen is apt to be one of those love it or hate it ordeals. Check out the read link if for nothing more than a couple more shots.

Samsung intros two new Q1 Ultra UMPCs: one with Vista Business, one with HSDPA

The next-generation Q1 Ultra may be due next year, but Sammy's trying to squeeze every bit of life it can out of the current iteration with two new flavors. Announced today, the Q1U-CMXP boasts an integrated HSDPA 3G cellular modem, while the Q1UP-V is a Q1 Ultra Premium featuring Vista Business. As for the former, it includes just about every connectivity option you could wish for: 802.11b/g WiFi, Bluetooth 2.0+EDR, Ethernet and a WWAN modem that connects to the AT&T Broadband Connect network; outside of the one new feature, however, the specifications are the same as the standard Q1 Ultra XP model that was launched in May of 2007. Both newcomers (if you can call 'em that) are available as we speak for $1,499 and $1,449 in order of mention.

Brando's Solar Mini Clip Fan ruins your shot at picking up friends

Unless you're strolling through Disneyland (or Dollywood, we suppose), we can't imagine anyone not giving you an awkward stare when you approach them with this on. Brando has triumphed once more by offering up the Solar Mini Clip Fan, which does a remarkable job of explaining itself. For those who can't understand what's going on here, it goes like this: clip on the fan, get out in the sun, experience a mild breeze on your brow and enjoy the solitariness. Obliterate your shot at being the life of the party for just a Hamilton.

xTablet T8700 left alone in a pool with stranger, does indeed work under water

Poor xTablet. First it's used as a hammer and now it's submerged under water by an accented man in a wetsuit. In the latest test of the xTablet T8700, the guys over at RuggedPCReview swam gingerly with the machine all the while tapping away at its screen, amazed that it continued to work, submerged and "without bubbles." The Jacque Cousteau-like narration had us hoping that a shark (or even a furtive sea turtle) would come along to make things a bit more exciting, but all we saw was some creepy whispering, scuba gear, and uncomfortable silence. We mean no harm to the diver, we just felt as though something really, really bad was about to happen. Video after the break.

HP mulling lower cost Mini-Note laptop

It was inevitable, was it not? With the success of HP's 2133 Mini-Note, it was pretty obvious that the outfit would be working up a second edition, and according to Jerel Chong, HP Australia's Market Development Manager for Notebook PCs, it's already "looking at a similar device but at a lower cost." Reportedly, the lower cost low-cost laptop will be ready for budget-conscience consumers sometime before 2009, though we have no idea what corners will be cut in order to hack down the price. Mr. Chong did mention that the cheaper edition would be less "durable," but considering that we never viewed the original as a Toughbook replacement, we're not so sure what he's really getting at. Nevertheless, those looking seriously at the more business-minded 2133 may want to hold off, but good luck suppressing that insatiable desire to be instantly gratified.

Robot dragonfly gets outfitted with camera, plans to record uprising from every possible angle

The folks at the Technical University of Delft have already done their part for the robot cause by building a dragonfly-type bot, dubbed the DelFly Micro, with a wingspan of just four inches, but they've now gone one step further and strapped a tiny camera onto it. What's more, they've also developed some image recognition software that promises to let the bot recognize objects, which could potentially let it locate individuals in a disaster area, or sneak up behind you when you least suspect it. Of course, the researchers aren't satisifed with things just yet, and they're promising to make an even smaller DelFly Nano bot that'd have a two-inch wingspan and weigh just a single gram. Until then, you can check out the current model in action in the video after the break.

Western Digital intros 2.5-inch 10,000RPM VelociRaptor HDD

Western Digital has been flaunting its VelociRaptor for some time now, but the drive you've been slamming into towers is now available for low-power, high-performance blade server applications. The 2.5-inch, 10,000RPM enterprise SATA drive (WD3000BLFS) is specially designed to fit snugly within 1U and 2U rack servers, and aside from consuming 35% less power than the previous Raptor drive, this one is available with up to 300GB of capacity. You'll also find 16MB of cache and a 1.4 million mean time before failure rating, though you won't be able to procure one until later this month for an undisclosed price.

Photonic breakthrough could mean 60x faster internet speeds

Every so often, we get wind of some new "breakthrough" from a few guys / gals in a lab that promises to simply revolutionize the web. A team from the University of Sydney is the latest bunch to do so, claiming that a piece of scratched glass (or a Photonic Integrated Circuit, if we're being proper) could enable internet speeds 60 times faster than "current Australian networks." Essentially, the "circuit uses the scratch as a guide or a switching path for information," and the resulting product is "photonic technology that has terabit per second capacity." Call us when you folks get everything ironed out -- we'll be over at Sigbritt Löthberg's house.

OSU researcher developing GPS-like system for moon-bound astronauts

GPS on the moon may seem a bit far-fetched... that is, until you remember the US military's plans to launch a WiFi router into space. The same Ohio State University researcher who developed software for the Mars rovers Spirit and Opportunity is now developing a GPS-like system that would enable astronauts to navigate terrain as if they were simply routing themselves through a plot of land on Earth. Because of the moon's location (we're simplifying things here), Ron Li is having to create a similar system (read: not bona fide GPS) that relies on "signals from a set of sensors including lunar beacons, stereo cameras, and orbital imaging devices" in order to provide navigational output. Everyone involved is hoping to have it operational by 2020 (the next planned trip to the moon), but the team will be stuck testing in the Mojave Desert. Bummer.

You can read the original article

Pioneer issues firmware update for screwy AVIC F-Series navigators

Just over a month after the internet got all fired up about the problematic AVIC F-Series navigators, Pioneer has come to the rescue (we hope, anyway) with a free firmware update. Aimed specifically at the US-based AVIC-F90BT, AVIC-F900BT and AVIC-F700BT, the update will reportedly "improve overall system performance and resolve certain software issues." The outfit also notes that the AVIC-F500BT doesn't need the upgrade, and even if your unit has been a-okay thus far, it still recommends applying the software. Take ten minutes or so and see what the latest firmware has to offer, and be sure to let us know if all (or some) of the kinks have indeed been ironed out.

Video: ReWalk exoskeleton helps paraplegics walk

ARGO Medical Technologies' ReWalk has been out a few months now, but it's tough to really appreciate what this thing can do unless you see a patient utilize one on video. Hailed as a "quasi-robotic ambulation system," the wearable device was specifically created to assist those with lower-limb disabilities and give them back upright mobility. In the video waiting in the read link, one particular individual relies on the ReWalk to stand up and move about after being stricken to a wheelchair for 20 years -- no need to take our word for it, though, real live proof is but a click away.

Electric MINI hitting US streets in summer 2009

Not that electric MINIs are anything new, but unless you were willing to pay for all the mods yourself, procuring one wasn't exactly simple. Now, however, we're hearing that MINI itself will be bringing scads of these buggers to American streets in the summer of 2009. Yeah, like, one year from right now. MINI USA VP Jim McDowell was the source of said statement (so it's pretty much official, yeah?), though he didn't mention whether all of them would be reserved for California or if they would be available sold out nationwide. Hey MINI, we'd say you've got a hit on your hands.

British border guards recruit robots to root out stowaways

It looks like attempts to sneak across the border into Britain could soon become a battle of humans versus the machines, as the country's border guards have now recruited some robots normally used in warzones to help root out folks trying to smuggle themselves into the country. Developed by BAE Systems, the so-called "Hero" bots are equipped with searchlights and high-resolution video cameras that let it search the inside and undersides of vehicles, and they could potentially be outfitted with heartbeat detectors as well, or even sensors to detect chemical, biological, radiological or nuclear materials being smuggled into the country. While it's apparently only been tested in one location so far, the Border Agency seems to be all but sold on the bot, and it's now looking at rolling 'em out to other locations in the country. No word if they have any plans to employ BAE's spider bots, though.

Lenovo IdeaPad hands-on

We got to mess around with Lenovo's new IdeaPad lineup tonight -- those new ThinkPads were mysteriously absent, however -- and while we'd say Lenovo is playing it pretty safe at the moment, we still like what we see. The hinge design that first emerged in the U110 is now present in the whole line, and while the ThinkPad heritage has been hidden under mounds of glossy plastic, it's still fairly evident in the build quality of the laptops, and particularly in those well-loved keyboards. The new Y-series laptops are rather serious contenders in their respective categories, with the 15-inch Y530 matching up nicely to any mid-tier 15-incher from the Likes of Sony, HP or Dell, while the 17-inch Y730 offers an easily hot-swappable second drive bay, a switch for graphics card overclocking, a performance-oriented secondary display and function buttons, and secondary arrow keys for rocking that dastardly "The World's Hardest Game" -- though most gamers will be sticking with AWSD for the other relevant FPS niceties those keys offer. We'd say our biggest disappointment is the U330, which loses the U110's distinctive (and comfy) glossy-flush keyboard, and whose inclusion of a disc drive leaves it with none of the U110's strikingly small stature. Sure, 13.3-inches and switchable graphics are nice, but it really hardly stands out from the Y-series IdeaPads, which is no good considering the premium prices Lenovo expects for its U-series laptops.

Gallery: Lenovo IdeaPad hands-on

PlayStation video download service is live

The long delay until Sony launched its video download service (actually more like a few hours), is over. HD and SD rentals, and SD purchases from an assortment of movie studios is now available in the Playstation Store by selecting the video button at the top left. Need to know what's available in your region but aren't near your PS3? Check out the website for a list of what awaits.

Celio's REDFLY gets unboxed on video, doesn't remind us at all of the Foleo, seriously

Have you been dying to see Celio's REDFLY Mobile Companion unboxed on video? No? Well tough, because that's what you're about to get. In the video -- available for your viewing pleasure after the break -- you'll witness the petite, smartphone-tethering laptop get sprung from its cardboard and styrofoam prison and handled in glorious, low-res YouTube-vision. Can't stand the Foleo-like excitement any longer? We thought so. Read on, friends.

Toshiba's 9.5-mm thin laptop disk hits 400GB

Toshiba just bested its own 320GB hard drive with a 400GB offering in the same 9.5-mm height form factor favored by most thin laptops. That's as good as it gets unless you can track down Sammy's elusive 500GB Spinpoint M6. The MK4058GSX spins just 2 platters which means the disk sports an impressive 477Mbit/mm2 (308Gbpsi) areal density while consuming 20% less power (0.0015W/GB energy consumption efficiency) and 2dB less noise than its own 320GB predecessor. Rounding out the specs are a 12-ms average seek and 8MB cache. Toshiba also boosted the rest of its 9.5-mm, 2.5-inch, 3.0Gbps SATA disk lineup to 7,200rpm including the 320GB MK3254GSY. Mass production of the 400GB slab is expected to begin in September while the 7,200 HDDs will hit the market in August. No prices announced.

Chrysler to Offer WiFi in 2009 Vehicles

Safety advocates be damned! Chrysler is adding a new in-dash system called UConnect to all it’s 2009 models. This will bring Bluetooth, iPod integration, satellite TV and a mobile hotspot to your vehicle.

Passengers will be able to connect laptops, handhelds and even the web-connected Nintendo Wii. Chrysler is the leading seller of minivans, and I’m sure parents will really appreciate all this multimedia goodness. Keeping those little ones contented is far better than listening to, “Are we there yet?” over and over.

As of yet there is no mention of pricing, but expect to pay an annual or monthly fee.

Safety advocates will be up in arms. California has just started their new handsfree phone law, but there are no laws against playing Wii in the car. Expect other car companies to eagerly wait in the wings to see what the backlash will bring. I predict some law will be passed barring drivers from surfing the web, but adding multimedia capabilities to automobiles will only get more popular.

First Quality Pictures of the Asus Eee All-In-One Monitor

We got a blurry look at the upcoming all-in-one version of the Asus Eee PC Monitor back in early June, but these new images over at Laptop Mag provide our first real glimpse at what users can expect. Outside of what we already know, the images reveal that the Monitor will feature 4 USB ports, an Ethernet port, modem, audio ports for a mic and 2 audio outs. There will also be white and black versions. No further information has been released, so we still expect it to be released in 19 and 21-inch versions with a TV tuner for around $500. Check the full gallery at the source.

FineDigital gets official with speech-recognizing Bio GPS

FineDigital was showing off one iteration of a speech-recognizing GPS unit only last month, but it looks like it's already turned out a more refined version, complete with a spiffy new name. Now dubbed the FineDrive Bio, this one packs the usual 7-inch touchscreen, along with DMB mobile TV support, dual SD card slots for some added storage, and FineDigital's FineSR speech-recognition technology, which will supposedly recognize up to 450,000 words. Look for this one to hit Korea on July 7th in both 2GB and 4GB versions for 499,000 won and 549,000 won, respectively (or about $475 and $520).

Leaked Shots of Asus Eee 904 & 905 Laptops Show Half-Baked Idea

Shots of the rumored Asus Eee 904 and 905 leaked, and they look like we expected—big keyboard and a small screen with way too much plastic around it. (If the screen gets too large, they aren't allowed to use Windows XP.) There's also a 903 model in the shots, but it just looks like a slightly updated 900. I get what they're onto here: The small size of the EeePC is nice, but the keyboard on the 900 is still too tiny for my fat fingers. But honestly, how long before Asus just makes full-sized laptops? Oh that's right, they already do.

Honda's Walking Assist Device beginning medical testing

Honda's been busy showing off its Walking Assist Device at trade shows and whatnot for some time now, but it looks like it's now finally getting down to some actual trials of the contraption, with it set to begin some collaborative testing with the Shinseikai Medical Group at Kasumigaseki-Minami Hospital tomorrow. They will reportedly be using the device in rehabilitation training to help people learn to walk again, during which time the "compatibility and effectiveness" will be evaluated. In case you missed it, the Walking Assist Device uses some of the same technology that Honda originally developed for its ASIMO robot, including an array of sensors and motors that promise to keep the wearer upright and, eventually, give them a fighting chance against the machines.