Apps are the next big thing in car tech; New York wants to crack down on how truckers use GPS; why run-flat tires suck so damned much; the search for the perfect iPod Touch rig in your car; and a ride in the BMW 650i Convertible.Subscribe with iTunes (audio) Subscribe with iTunes (video) Subscribe with RSS (audio) Subscribe with RSS (video) Episode 140 Show notes
For the last two decades, RAID (redundant array of inexpensive disks) controllers have ruled the storage world. RAID has been required for data protection in disk arrays. RAID schemes (RAID 0,1,6 10, etc.) reside on RAID controllers baked into disk arrays with many billions sold to date. But perhaps more important from the standpoint of making money, the RAID controller has also delivered differentiated value for storage vendors. Data copy and migration, snap shot, deduplication, and the list of controller-based functions goes on--all have been loaded on to the RAID controller.
It's becoming increasingly clear that the … Read more
A single platform to download individual applications across multiple operating systems. What's not to love? Adobe Air (which stands for Adobe Integrated Runtime) is a sleek runtime platform that installs and runs an application on Windows, Mac, and Linux computers. You'll need it to download applications built using Air. Since developers need only make one version of the app for all three computing platforms, they can spend more quality time creating their product.
Or so the theory goes. As a runtime and delivery mechanism, Air won't determine how well the app fulfills its purpose, but programs built … Read more
First off, let me say I've always wanted to make things move with my mind--at least, some small amount of levitation, like, say, lifting a car through the air like Yoda lifted Luke Skywalker's X-Wing. "Star Wars" has played no small part in that fantasy. Oh, wait, did I say fantasy?
Mattel is releasing a toy this holiday that actually lets people raise and lower things with their mind. Well, make that one thing: a blue foam ball.
Obviously, when Mattel reps called CNET asking for a meeting, we quickly ushered them in. We'd heard about this product at CES and in other applications in the past, including the Swedish Mindball (no, we're not making that up). But Mattel's desire to bring this to the masses is admirable, and as we were soon to find out, bizarre. Look above to see the somewhat embarrassing video if you have any doubts.
Like something dropped in out of a late-'70s science fiction movie, Mindflex comes in two parts: a stark white-and-blue plastic obstacle course for a series of small foam balls, and a strange wireless headset/headband. The parts were unloaded from a shopping bag here at our CNET Labs, and quickly assembled. The obstacle course looks almost like a future version of the old kinetic board game, Mouse Trap. Except, as we said, this one's mind-controlled.
Mattel's representatives showed how Mindflex worked with a demonstration before throwing me into amateur mind control, raising and lowering the blue ball through a series of plastic hoops and tunnels.
Mindflex announces the start of challenges (with a straight-from-Epcot robotic female voice), and then players can register their successful moves by pressing buttons on the front of the machine. A large knob turns the motorized fan around the circular track, carrying the ball around the mini-course.
The brain control part comes in when raising and lowering the ball (activating and deactivating the fan), which is all triggered via what the headset is reading from my little brain. To be specific, the control is done digitally: the headband senses concentration and relaxation, and raises and lowers the ball accordingly. Then, it was my turn. … Read more
Hot off the heels of the company's Wand accessory release for the Nintendo Wii, video game accessory manufacturer Nyko debuted three new products at this year's E3 convention.
The Zoom Case for Nintendo DSi is certainly the most interesting DSi accessory we've seen yet, boasting an 8X zoom lens attachment. The protective case is textured for a better grip on the system and the zoom lens itself can be detached and transported in a case of its own. Good thing for that or this accessory would have removed the "portable" feature of the DSi.
For those PSP owners not choosing to upgrade to the new PSP Go, the Charge Flex Grip will provide your handheld (the PSP-2000 or the 3000) with an improved grip as well as up to 1.5 times more play with an embedded rechargeable battery. More high-res photos await!… Read more
Adobe Systems released on Monday beta versions of three programming projects for producing online applications that run in its Flash Player, software that's widely used but also under competitive threat from other Web technologies.
First is a beta version of Flash Catalyst, a programming tool that's meant for the designer crowd rather than the coding crowd. Catalyst lets designers create a Flash application's user interface in Adobe's Photoshop and Illustrator applications, import the files, attach a variety of actions to user interface elements, then produce the Flash application for production or for handing off to more … Read more
It's refreshing to come across a program that has a smart, straightforward design, and combines it with good performance. FlexTk Express is such a program and is one of the best file managers we've seen in a while. And to top it all off, it's free.
The user interface uses stylish command buttons at the top of the window that lets you search, organize, sync, classify, and clean up files as needed. You're greeted with a view of your hard disks, including the amount of free and used space for each. We were able to use … Read more
Facing a glut of ethanol and few buyers, Growth Energy, an organization that represents several ethanol producers, petitioned the Environmental Protection Agency to increase the amount of ethanol that can be blended into gasoline, according to an article U.S. News and World Report.
The current blending limit is 10 percent, and ethanol advocates are asking the EPA to allow blends up to 15 percent. The EPA has 270 days to respond to the request.
But automakers are pushing back, arguing that further study is needed to understand how engines will perform at a higher blend. High concentrations of ethanol … Read more