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2009 In Gadgets, Gadget Freaks Picks For 2009, Part 2

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Here at gadget freaks we didn’t think we’d put ourself up to enough humiliation with the first bunch of ‘predictions’.

Here are some more…

Netbooks with 3G connection capabilities will become popular items.

It all started with the Asus Eeee. Suddenly there was a sub US$100 laptop available that you could take anywhere that would give you net access.

asus ee pc

The launch of the computer wasn’t a revelation in itself… lesser known computer brands had been doing OEM work and putting out their own machines for a while.

And the connection methods most were using (through 3G GSM connections) had been done for a while by mobile professionals who had a cell phone and extra credits on their data plans to get rid of.

Now people have realized that notebook computers don’t have to come from a brand name supplier and they are actually seeking out cheaper models.

tux

More people are using Linux now, thanks Tux.

As a result there is going to be an explosion of 3G netbooks this year. Especially since the rise of Linux has reduced dependency on punishment-happy Microsoft.

WiFi standard 802.11N will finally be released

While Wifi has been gaining popularity like nobody’s business the technology has been less quick to develop.

Manufacturers have been making devices to the G standard since 2003 and have been looking for an improvement.

Signs are good that 2009 will see the release of the WLAN 802.11N standard, with the standards group releasing and signing off on drafts all the way through last year.

Improvements people think the new standard will make include the end of interference from devices like microwaves and a wider reception from more aerials.

We’ll start to see large capacity solid state drive computers

In 2007 and 2008 we saw prices for flash storage fall like the value of Motorola shares. The result…. lots of USB storage and external storage devices that could store the contents of your computer and have room for seconds selling at very reasonable prices.

There are now a number of solid state drives available for the inside of computers and prices for these, while high, are definitely coming down.

Toshiba recently lifted the bar by releasing a 512GB solid state drive. With no word on price yet it would be a fair guess that it wouldn’t leave too much room on your gold card.

512gb-ssd

Toshiba’s new line of massive solid state drives (source Ubergizmo)

But this year will still be the year that you see some laptops and netbooks emerge with SSD drives in the place of traditional hard drives.

There will be an increasing acceptance for green gadgets and environmentally friendly electronics.

The electronic world will go even greener in 2009.

No we’re not talking about the occasional solar powered calculator or torch this will be a stronger shift towards things currently known as green gadgets.

There can be no doubts there have been leaps and bounds in solar technology with solar panels turning up on everything from bags to the windows of buildings.

solar chargers like this Portable Solar Battery/Charger In Tough Clamshell Case are almost becoming a must have item for business travellers.

In fact a solar charger and solar battery for cell phones and smaller gadgets has gone from being a rarity to being rather common place and the number of devices that use solar power or solar energy to keep going has increased tenfold.

Solar lights are even turning up in gardens at Christmas now.

Gadgets powered by other forms of alternative energy, like dynamo-powered gadgets, and electronic appliances made with other materials, like the wooden cell phone and iPod re-encased in wood, are turning up.

People are looking for these devices too and you can bet that many solar lights and clean green gadgets will be appearing on many people’s wish list for at least the next year.

The 10 Most Memorable gadgets In Asia In 2008

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While it may not be the most astounding gadget on the market (Polaroid have been doing the same thing for years) This ad for a recently released digital Japanese camera, will change the way you look at Polaroid pictures from now on.

2008 has almost drawn to a close and its time for the world as a collective whole to draw breath gather its thoughts and throw out those lists of changes in the year that made people sit up and take notice.

While the first half of the year could have been called a Mac(intosh) attack (first there was the Macbook Air, then the 3G iPhone) and the second half of the year was the approaching ecopocalypse there was still other news and gadgets out there that caught people’s attention.

Here are our picks of memorable gadgets to come out of Asia for 2008…

Asus Eee Netbooks

It could be their size, their price or the fact that, for a while, the makers of Eee laptop line put the Linux operating system on their laptops above windows and OSX but you didn’t have far to come accross a release about this Taiwanese company this year.

asus-eee-pc-1002ha-netbook

The latest entry onto the market were two models which made everything thinner and added a 3G modem in the November release of the Eee PC S101, Eee PC 1002H captured almost as much attention as the start of the year.

HTC G1

Much of the buzz around the HTC G1 surrounded the Google Android operating software (which was actually being worked on by a US company called Android before Google bought the company in 2005 and worked them into the team) announced in November 2007.

However, Taiwanese company HTC, (better known beforehand for touch phones like the HTC touch and computers like the HTC Shift) was the first off the line when it came to making the hardware to go along with the software.

Many of the reviews of the HTC G1 have been mixed so far but signs are improving.

g1

According to Engadget T Mobile were so excited to get the G1 that they couldn’t even wait one day to give customers a taste of what was up for offer.

Chinavasion Projector Phone

2008 was very much the year for phones and the Chinavasion projector phone was another that grabbed the attention from a lot of people. This could have come from two places…

Pico projectors were just as much hot property as cell phones with companies vying to be the first to release a commercial pico projector and gadget blogs trying to guess when that would happen.

3M looked like it was going to be first in line to get the mass produced projector onto the market when Chinavasion did more than beat them to the post. It did a little web 2.0 mash up to create a cell phone/projector.

Mind you, given the current Chinavasion track record, perhaps it is not such a surprise.

Softbank 823SH Tiffany

Japan, famous for their love of cell phones, gadgets and anything strange.

So it should come as no surprise when a Japanese phone provider, Softbank Mobile went “ecopocalypse what ecopocalypse?” and put out a smart phone with a case made completely of silver and diamonds from New York jewelers ‘Tiffanies”

diamond-phone

The Softbank 823SH Tiffany has 537 diamonds, weighing 18.34 carats, encrusted in the case and cost around the 13 million yen mark (that’s 130,265 dollars to US dwellers). If you want one better get your skates on because according tothe company only 10 will be made initially.

Pyocotan’s Noriko San Goggles

While we’re on the topic of ‘aint Japan strange’ this piece of technology hit the interwebs around October. The length of time people spend commuting in Japan isn’t exactly anything new, neither is the fact that people go to sleep on commutes and miss their stop.

Japanese hacker, Pyocotan, came up with a new spin on the old-fashioned sign around the neck and the smell of cheap booze, Noriko-san googles which showed off the destination you were heading to… would people wake you up though?

Cassette MP3 Player

While launched by the company Chinavasion in late 2007 the Cassette MP3 player didn’t really capture the blogger’s attention until the start of the next year. Once people grabbed the idea they held onto it and for at least 12 months it was on somebody’s lips somewhere.

cassette MP3

Perhaps the success of this MP3 player was that it was cheap, cute and let people use equipment that might have been destined to be sold out of the boots of cars at flea markets and underneath motorway overamps.

Styson i Knock

Another cheap and cheerful gadget from the greater China area (OK Taiwan) is the i-Knock. This gadget would be handy for the ‘social networking set’ hooked to their Facebook pages and instant messaging services it knocks itself out (and plays a tune if you program it nicely) every time you get an instant message. The perfect place for any unused photos of the ex-girlfriend/ex-boyfriend

Hopefully the end of 2008 will herald the end of the i- movement. This vowel movement makes me want to punch babies.

i-knock

Samsung Touch Sight

While still in concept stage this would definitely have to be one of the coolest things to come out this year. The Touch Sight is a camera for the blind that takes a picture using braile and sound which owners can store and share with friends.

Chinavasion Super Cool Mobile Phone Wrist Watch

The cell phone watch idea has been for a long time, ever since a 1946 Dick Tracy strip at the very least, but it really didn’t hit the market until half-way through this year.

watch phone

This cool cell phone watch from Chinavasion was the start of a torrent of wrist phones and the wonderful realisation of the childhood dreams of many middle-aged men.

Tokyo Flash Watch

There hasn’t been too many months go by that one of these watches didn’t turn up in the gadget blogs.

They require special knowledge to work out, they use digital time if they don’t and they’re silver… it’s a wonder they weren’t first thought up in the 80’s

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December 9, 2008 at 2:13 pm

F1 2008 Round 6 Race Review. Monaco Grand Prix.

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Well race fans the Grand Prix of Monaco for 2008 must go down as one of the more interesting and dramatic races in recent memory. With an all Ferrari front row for the race it looked as though the Monaco drought may end for the Italian marque. However, rain began to fall as the cars sat on the grid with all teams switching to intermediate tyres. One team though tried to hang on just that little bit too long to see what the weather was going to do. That of course was Kimi Raikkonen’s team. They had not fully fitted their tyres within the regulatory ‘3 mins before the start of the warm-up lap’ and the Fin was hit with a drive through penalty. This was to be just the start of his troubles for the race. Without the aid of traction control and other banned driving aids this was going to be a race and a half, and we weren’t dissapointed here at Gadget Freaks at all!

Massa led off the start with Lewis Hamilton edging by Raikkonen with a great start, almost getting alongside Massa into the first corner. As rain began to fall the field miraculously managed to get around the opening lap  without incident, quite a feat at Monaco.

The order did not last long as incident after incident brought chaos and drama. Alonso was driving like he was in Nascar causing several collisions due to being over optimistic. Still it was nice to see some competitive overtaking on the street circuit! Lap 6 and Lewis Hamilton hits the armco barrier with his rear wheel destroying the tyre but nothing else. He was able to pit and hence change his race strategy. He rejoined the race in a good position and when on lap 16 Massa went off handing the lead to Robert Kubica, Lewis was looking good. 

 The conditions out on the circuit were treacherous as the number of front wing replacements would testify. Hamilton had found his way to the lead after the first round of pit stops and appeared to get some extra speed, leaving the rest in his wake ( or should that be spray? ) Kubica had passed Massa at the stops relegating the Brazilian to third with Adrian Sutil in the Force India car a brilliant fourth. Sutil was driving the race of his life and it looked as though the new team would not only get points but were perhaps in line for a podium finish. Sutil was racing the two Ferraris ! However, exiting the tunnel Raikkonen lost control under braking, his car weaving and skidding out of control smashing into the back of Sutil. Both cars sustained damage with Force India having to retire, much to the disdain of all watching. Raikkonen rejoined the race to finish in ninth place.

So at the checkered flag it was a jubilant Hamilton from Robert Kubica then Massa with Australian Mark Webber fourth, continuing his good run of points finishes this year. All in all it was a great race which saw Massa slip up again and Hamilton regaining the lead in the 2008 Championship. Raikkonen had a day to forget and was slammed in the press by former 2-time F1 Champ Niki Lauda who said, ” I cannot understand how the highest paid driver can have a race as stupid as that.”

After the excitement of the F1 Monaco race we here at Gadget Freaks are looking forward to the race of the year! The Moto GP Grand Prix of Italy at Mugello, June 1st 2008.

Schumi Debuts in German Superbike Championship.

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Well after all the rumours and speculation,  Formula One legend Michael Schumacher indeed made his debut in the German Superbike series. Somewhat of a mixed weekend for the 37 year old and his Honda CBR1000RR. After qualifying 39th fastest he finished race one in 28th at the flag posting times just 3 seconds of the pace of teamate and race winner Martin Bauer. Unfortunately, race two saw Schumi crash out while working his way through the pack.

                                      Schumacher gets a taste of the German tarmac

There has been quite a lot of talk about why Schumacher has chosen to take up bike racing. Even Bernie Ecclestone has commented in the press hinting that it is not really a good idea. However, hats of to him and we’ll certainly be watching his exploits here at Gadget Freaks.

Moto GP 2008 Round 5 Race Preview.

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Well Moto GP fans it’s on again. This weekend sees the Grand Prix of France at the historic Le Mans circuit. With 4 different winners from as many races so far this season, this Sunday looks set to be a cracking battle between Valentino Rossi, Dani Pedrosa, Casey Stoner and Jorge Lorenzo. And as usual we here at Gadget Freaks have preparations well under way for the big race! 

FP 1 & 2- Pedrosa clocked the fastest combined times on Friday with Casey Stoner less than five-hundreths of a second behind. Yamaha veteran Colin Edwards was a further eleven thousandths of a second behind. Ever so close behind this trio was ‘Iron Man’ , Jorge Lorenzo. Although still injured from his Shanghai crash, the rookie is right amongst it but reportedly had to be stretchered back to his motorhome from the pit garage after taking a tumble in the session. Australian, Chris Vermeulin set the fifth fastest time and will be looking for a good result after taking the win at this circuit in 2007.

                      ‘Iron Man’ Jorge Lorenzo looks relaxed with his MP3 shades.

FP 3 – The Saturday morning session saw Colin Edwards set the fastest time on the latter stages. Valentino Rossi was second fastest followed by Dani Pedrosa. Casey Stoner was the early pace setter but finished fourth for the session. Poor Jorge Lorenzo had a rather short session crashing early and was required to visit the Clinica Mobile for precautionary checks. Let’s hope he can settle himself for qualifying later today. He registered the 13th fastest time, a sitiuation he will be very eager to improve.

                                                         Jorge Lorenzo crashes in FP3

In other motorcycle racing news it has been confirmed that 7 time World Formula One Champion, Michael Schumacher will compete in The German Superbike Championship. It is said that Schumi will pilot a 190 HP Honda CBR 100RR in the series. Way to go!

                                    Guess Who? Michael Schumacher on his CBR1000RR

Gadget News and Reviews: Pleo Destroyed At Maker Faire 2008

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We here at Gadget Freaks were shocked and appalled this week when we heard of the vicious and wanton destruction of an innocent and defenseless Pleo at Maker Faire 2008.  

Makers of Pleo, Ugobe have distanced themselves from the stunt and have stated they had absolutely nothing to do with this despicable act. Ugobe reps at the fair said they were, “shocked and appalled” at this act which was perpetrated by a so-called ComBot known as Vicious Verdict.

 

                                                        How Could Anyone Harm This?????

We here at Gadget Freaks had a sinking feeling when we heard this news and and were truly sickened when we viewed actual video footage of the incident. Funny how human nature works. We know it’s a robot but because Pleo is cute and a baby but somehow our protective instincts kick in as if it were a living animal. More as news comes to hand!

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May 10, 2008 at 10:11 am

Gadget Freaks Gadget Regurge !

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Isn’t it really annoying when you sit down for your favourite sitcom and it’s as if they’ve run out of ideas and you get a  regurgative ‘ walk down memory lane’ type show. You know like on Seinfeld when they sit around and Jerry says,” Hey remember the time Elaine and Peterman……….” And 30 minutes of cliche ridden segways follows to hightlights from past episodes!  I think you get the idea. Almost as bad as the retro nostalgic trend to remake movies of the classic 60’s TV shows like Get Smart and The Thunderbirds!

Anyway despair not! Today here at Gadget Freaks we thought we’d take a look at some of the more interesting gadgets we’ve reviewed to celebrate our 3 month anniversary here on WordPress.

Retro and nosltalgic in itself, this USB powered mini-fridge is just the ticket now that summer is well on its way. Styled on a 1950’s refrigerator, it has hot and cold controls and is just perfect for cooling a can on a hot day whilst watching Moto GP or something just as cool.

 

Staying on a retro theme, we really loved this MP 3 cassette player. Shaped like and old tape it is in fact an MP 3 gadget you can actually use in and old cassette player. Roll out all those 70’s hits and impress your younger friends who may have never seen such a thing!

 

Ah and who could forget our post and review on the 2008 Ducati Desmosedici GP 8 Moto GP bike. With its V4 Fourstroke 799cc motor pumping out 200+ horsepower weighing 148(dry) kg and hitting a top speed in excess of 310 kmh it surely is the ultimate gadget.

 

 

Anyway that’s it for our walk down memory lane. If you missed any of our past posts take your own retro read of our gizmo & gadgets reviews and race previews. Stay tuned for new any interesting gadgets and news right here on WordPress!