After being pressured by their user base, MvixUSA, the distributor of the Mvix MX-760HD Wireless Media Center, has obtained the source code to the firmware from the Korean manufacturer, Unicorn Network Total Solution, and made it available for download on their website. The firmware is based on the uClinux kernel. This is reminiscent of the fight that the community had to go through with GamePark Holdings, Inc. to have them release the source to the GP2X.
The folks at RoboCommunity are running the next article in their 'Evolution' series on the development of the WowWee robots. This time, they are featuring the Robopet. There are a slew of pretty interesting pictures. Always interesting to see how these things get started, and to remember that even the most complicated thing starts off as a simple model (the first pic looks like a stick insect!) that evolves from there.
CNET News has a thoughtful piece on how the Democrats sweep of both House and Senate might have an effect on legislation involving matters of a technical nature. For example, many Democrats favor limiting electronic surveillance by the government. Other high-profile issues include Net neutrality, copyright, and digital piracy.
RoboCommunity has a pictorial history on the ideas and prototypes that went into the development of WowWee's Robosapien V2. This is a behind the scenes look at the evolution of the consumer toy robot with pictures ranging from paper sketches, to working prototypes, and the final design.
Recently, SlingCommunity had a preview of the upcoming SlingPlayer for Mac as noted here. Now, they also have a a very detailed review of the very latest Sling Player for Mac with a lot of screenshots. From the article: "This first version of SlingPlayer for Mac is a very good first step in Sling Media's venture into software on a platform other than Windows. Yes it needs a little polish, but for now it should satisfy plenty of pent up demand from the Mac community, as well as open up a whole new market of users (and very loyal ones at that) to Sling Media. Hopefully, everyone will agree it was worth the wait."
Are you a Robosapien who is down on his luck? Have you been abandoned, left without replacement batteries, laying in a garbage dump somewhere? Now there's hope: the Robosapien Foundation.
This humorous, well-designed, professional-looking website has a couple of funny videos, and has a 'mission' of ensuring that Robosapiens are given a fair chance just like the rest of us! The homeless Robosapien numbers may well grow with newer models being released all the time.
The folks over at SlingCommunity are running an interview with Brian Jaquet of Sling Media. They get the scoop on the upcoming and long overdue SlingPlayer for Mac OSX. There is a text transcript as well as a video version of the interview.
Turns out that lots of people don't know what a Slingbox or a Sling Player is. Luckily, the same site (SlingCommunity.com) with the interview has tons of articles on the Sling products, hooking them up, troubleshooting, news, etc.
Wired is running an article on the criminal links that Gizmondo and its executives had with Sweden's mafia, the backstory on Gizmondo's quick rise and fall, Eriksson's spectacular Malibu car crash in a rare leased Ferrari Enzo, and his eventual demise that left him in an LA jail facing a 14 year sentence. If you're into graphic novels, you may want to see the artwork that goes along with this article in the print version of Wired, Oct 2006.
October is shaping up to be a big month for private rocket launches when the X Prize Cup is held. Then later this year, SpaceX tries to re-launch their Falcon 1 rocket. Also in the fray is the Spaceship Company which hopes to launch a tourist 'spaceplane' by 2008. Technology Review argues that this will end up being a watershed year for private spacecraft.
Armor Holdings Inc. plans to start selling their "liquid armor" next year. From the Business Week article: "it's a mix of polyethylene glycol, a polymer found in laxatives and other consumer products, and nanobits of silica, or purified sand. Together they produce a "sheer-thickening liquid" that stiffens instantly into a shield when hit hard by an object. It reverts to its liquid state just as fast when the energy from the projectile dissipates."
Perhaps we may beat our oil addiction yet. A start-up based in Silicon Valley, Tesla Motors, is about to start selling its new car on a small scale soon. Oh yes, the car. It's all electric, goes from 0 to 60 in 4 seconds, and runs for 200 miles between recharges. Only 1 little problem - the price tag: $100k. In fairness, their first vehicle is a roadster and they have plans for cheaper sedans in the not too distant future.
You don't have a phone with a web browser yet, but you sure do have a cell phone, and wished that you could somehow figure out if you're getting the best price on something when you're out shopping? Well, your wish has just come true. A new service called Frucall has just launched. Just call the toll-free # (1-888-Do-Frucall) and punch in the barcode of the item. Yep, it's free; registration is optional, although registering ties your cell phone to your account and allows you to keep bookmarks, take voice notes, maintain a search history. Now if only my cell phone contained a barcode reader...
"Stupidity, like virtue, is its own reward" -- William E. Davidsen