Archive for the ‘Gadgets’ Category

Apple has just introduced today the brand new iPod Shuffle model.

The world’s smallest music player is offering 4GB of storage (approximately 1000 songs) for your music.


The next/previous and volume controls have been moved to the right earbud cord!
There are 3 buttons on the cord: volume-up, volume-down, main button.
Using the main button:
You can play/pause with a single click. Double-click to move to the next track, and triple-click for the previous track.
On the iPod Shuffle body you can find the shuffle/play in order/turn off button, and the 3.5 mm headphone jack.


The amazing new feature is the VoiceOver functionality.
Since there is no display on the iPod Shuffle to view the track info, the VoiceOver is talking to you, reading both the title and the artist of each song!
You just have to press and hold the main button.
Moreover with the aid of the VoiceOver, you can listen to your playlist names, and easily select one of them.

iPod Shuffle can be operated and synced via iTunes.

VoiceOver is also multilingual (iTunes detects the song language), here is a quick list of the supported languages: English, Chinese, Czech, Dutch, French, German, Greek, Italian, Japanese, Polish, Portuguese, Spanish, Swedish, Turkish.

The built-in rechargeable lithium polymer battery lasts about 10 hours when fully charged.

Currently the iPod Shuffle is coming in two colors (silver and black), and costs $79.00.

Well done Apple, yet another cool and innovative gadget!

Official product page

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Gmail Tasks is a pretty handy feature, which has just become even better.

You can now access Gmail Tasks directly from your mobile by pointing your browser to http://gmail.com/tasks.

Your mobile browser needs to be XHTML compliant, have cookies enabled, and the network must allow secure SSL traffic.

Needless to say that iPhone and Android users will have an even more enjoyable Tasks experience.

Here is a video showing Tasks in iPhone:

If you would like to add Gmail Tasks in your iGoogle page, then simply click here.

Official Announcement

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On the last day of 2008, the 30GB Zune media players (released in 2006) were “frozen”.

Zune owners of the specific model, estimated to be about 1 million, could not boot their device.

So what was  the cause of this “glitch” ?
It was the fact that 2008 was a leap year, and therefore had an extra day.

Zune’s software had a serious coding bug, not allowing it to work properly until the first day of the next year, 2009.

A moderator over at the ZuneBoards forums, has exposed the exact buggy source code:

year = ORIGINYEAR; /* = 1980 */

while (days > 365)
    if (IsLeapYear(year))
        if (days > 366)
            days -= 366;
            year += 1;
        days -= 365;
        year += 1;

If you are able to “read” code, you will immediately find out that at the last day of 2008, which is the 366th day, the firmware will not be able to get out of the while loop. This endless loop caused the Zune freeze.
Zune was able to boot again, when the year days were less or equal to 365, and that was exactly on the next day, 1-1-2009.

This must be one of the most entertaining bugs ever, and a good example of inadequate software testing.

Well, at least Microsoft has 4 years left to fix the bug, until the next leap year!

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My old DVD-R started dying last month, although it was able to burn DVDs, it couldn’t read any of them! Needless to say that the DVDs were playing fine on other devices.

Therefore this week I ordered online a new DVD-R, Sony DRU-190S.
This is my first optical device which has a SATA interface. It’s quite cool to get rid of the old IDE cables.

The max write speed for DVD+R, DVD-R disks is 20x. I didn’t go for a 22x drive, as I never burn on the maximum speed.

You can find the complete specs here.

I have installed it and it is working perfectly fine, burnt about 5-10 DVDs so far without any problems.

Here is some unboxing photos:

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Nokia N78 – Unboxing Photos

Last week I got my new smartphone, Nokia N78.

A mini review will be coming soon.

Meanwhile here are some unboxing photos:

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Yesterday I have been browsing the Web, and all of a sudden my old PSU was burned out.
It was an Antec 450W unit, and it was working silently for 3-4 years (almost always-on). I have never had any problems with it.

I immediately went online, from the laptop, to some Greek e-shops to get a glimpse of what’s hot in the PSU market.
And what I liked best was the CoolerMaster Real Power M series.

The letter M stands for “Modular”, as M series are offering a modularized cable design to eliminate clutter and improve airflow inside the chassis. Thus, depending on the number of your devices, you can attach accordingly the required cables on the PSU.

The unit has a 120mm silent fan, over current/voltage/temperature/load protections, and comes with a 5-year warranty! Unit’s design is pretty slick, black-colored, without any LEDs.

A good friend of mine recently purchased the M620 model, and he was more than satisfied with it, so without any hesitation, I got the M520 model today from a local store for 68€.

I have chosen the 520W model, as my desktop doesn’t have that many devices, plus I want to save some power since it is always-on.

Installation was pretty easy, and thank God no other devices were harmed by the old PSU (cheers Antec!).

Here you can see some unboxing photos:

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Top 5 CES 2008 videos

These are my favorite videos from CES 2008 so far.

1. Alienware wide curved display

Imagine playing your favorite computer game on that display! On the video you can watch a short demo of Crysis.

2. Sony 82” display

Gee, and I thought a 40” display is big enough…

3. LG watch mobile phone

Watch and mobile phone, 2 in 1. Looks cool, and the functionality reminds me of the watch that “Knight Rider” was using to call Kit!

4. Guitar Wizard

Learn how to play a guitar with this fantastic software.

5. Bill Gates – Last day at Microsoft

You’ve never seen Bill Gates like that before!

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I have just read on Engadget that the iPod Touch 1.1.1 has been unlocked. Screenshots are showing  additional installed applications, like iPhone’s mail, Google Maps and other 3rd party applications.

It really makes you wonder why Apple did not release some of these great iPhone features in the first place.

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iPod Touch photos and review

I have just seen a nice review and some photos about the iPod Touch on the PC Magazine.

It looks awesome!

Wish it had FM radio support.

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iPod Touch

I don’t usually blog about gadgets, but iPod Touch really caught my eye today.

iPod Touch reminds of iPhone in terms of the touch screen size, the multi-touch interface and the browsing capabilities.

What got me excited was the Wi-Fi web browsing that iPod Touch offers, as well as the whole iPhone-like interface.

You can pre-order the iPod Touch through Apple’s online store.
Shippings start on the 28th of September.

The price is $299 for the 8 GB edition, and $399 for the 16 GB edition.

Probably models with higher capacity will appear in the near future.

What concerns me is the battery life while browsing.
According to the specs, the audio playback time is up to 22 hours, and the video is up to 5 hours.
The fast charge-time (80%) is about 1.5 hours, while a full-charge is about 3 hours.

Anyway, looking forward for user reviews.

I am really into buying iPod Touch, especially if iPhone is way too expensive or not available on my favorite Greek mobile network.

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