A MoMA store gift idea for the wine enthusiast in your family could be this wine glass inside a bottle by Claudio Colucci. The carafe is hand blown so that a … Read more
Sometimes we pick gadgets for our kitchens because we really need them, and sometimes (at least in my case) we're intrigued by a gadget just because it looks cool. The latter case inspires several of the items that end up as posts here at Appliances and Kitchen Gadgets, the latest addition coming from the MoMA design store. This pretty stainless steel bar plays the matching game perfectly with some of the top-end stainless appliances that are ever-so-popular in sparkly new kitchens.
Apparently, it ends up being a practical addition to boot. This "soap" bar is meant to … Read more
My greatest literary love has always been for books that teach me something I don't know. At this point, most books that fit this description are the types of nonfiction books on the Times best seller lists, but some of my favorite all-time books came from the Klutz series.
The Klutz series of books consisted of instruction manuals that were attached to the fun toys the manuals described how to use. A cat's cradle picture book came with a set of fancy strings, a how-to yo-yo set came with a brand new yo-yo, and one of my personal … Read more
I grew up loving to take my toys apart to discover how they worked. I ended up later majoring in a field of study that put me in a machine shop several times a week, giving me a formal setting for undertaking this kind of hands-on work. Somewhere along the way, I developed a love for cooking and an appreciation for food, something that diverged from the hobbies in which several of my friends were involved (restoring cars, carpentry, computer rebuilding, you get the picture).
It's not very often that I come across a kitchen gadget that appeals to … Read more
If there's a place that's more of a sensory overload than Las Vegas, it's Tokyo, which makes it a perfect place to host what many say is the best consumer electronics show in the world: the Combined Exhibition of Advanced Technologies, or Ceatec, for short.
It's that time of year again, after IFA in Berlin and before the madness of the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, when Ceatec gets its turn on the world's technology stage.
It's a huge show: just less than 206,000 people showed up to see the 895 companies show off their wares last year. The 2008 confab, which runs from Tuesday to Friday in Chiba, Japan, just outside Tokyo, promises to be even bigger.
While Ceatec offers a glimpse into the future of gadgetry, it's also a parade of practical products. Some tech exhibits can be merely a glance at what a company's R&D department is toying around with in a basement laboratory, with no practical application in sight. However, it's very likely that Asian and European consumers will see them in stores sooner than those in the United States.
From the standpoint of a manufacturer or marketer, this show can be kind of dramatic. It's often the last tryout before products get cut from a company's portfolio. Although many products shown are made especially for the Asian or European markets, it's also a final test in another way.
"The reception these products get at Ceatec will help decide if they will enter the U.S. market," according to Richard Doherty, a consumer electronics market researcher at The Envisioneering Group. Doherty hunts the halls every year at Ceatec looking for the best upcoming technology.
But just like at CES, not everything is designed to become an actual product. Both big and small names in electronics come to Ceatec to display a large portfolio of products so that investors, journalists, potential partners, and retailers can take a look.
While some of the products will already be in development, others are just strategic deterrents, designed to throw competitors offtrack from where a company's real product road map is going.
But Ceatec is probably a better show for consumers and gadget hounds, since much of what will be in a company's booth isn't so far from sitting on a store shelf. For example, according to Doherty, 60 percent of the products shown by electronics giant Samsung at CES this past January will become actual products by year's end.
"At the Japan show, more like 9 out of 10 products will make it to market within the year," he said.
And for the stuff that does make the cut, it will sometimes take two to five years before it appears on this side of the Pacific. … Read more
While unit sales of mobile handsets are growing, as Ars Technica reports, the leading mobile operating system, Symbian, is on the decline. Perhaps it's time for Symbian to accelerate its plans to open source the operating system?Symbian's dominance in the smartphone space has been taking a hit lately at the expense of other platforms, including Windows Mobile, the iPhone, and open-source alternatives that reduce licensing costs and offer more flexibility. Symbian's business model and development strategy were out of step with the direction in which the industry was collectively moving....
Motorola quietly released a series of new Linux-based mobile phones this week. There's been a lot of noise around Symbian moving to open source and Google's Linux-based Android mobile platform, but both open-source Symbian and Android are still just press releases and talk.
Motorola's new ROKR line, however, is available now. You don't have to wait to buy a Linux-based phone. You can start calling with one today.
Who is behind these phones? The LiMo Foundation, which has been releasing a slew of new handsets and signing up new partners. By the time that Symbian and … Read more
Seven new mobile phones have passed the LiMo Foundation's certification process, and the group has a few new members to welcome aboard.
The new phones, from Motorola, Panasonic, and NEC, are the latest to ship with Release 1 of the LiMo Platform, a Linux-based operating system for mobile phones developed by a consortium of wireless carriers, handset makers, and others. Panasonic and NEC's phones will be available in Japan through NTT DoCoMo.
We're about to see what full-blown competition for the future of the computing industry looks like when multiple players get a shot to make an impact.
The next great operating systems wars are about to be fought, as traditional computing companies collide with teams representing the mobile phone industry. Nokia's decision Tuesday to unify, then open-source, the Symbian operating system for smartphones clarifies how today's most-widely used handset operating system will evolve to match the open-source initiatives headed by Google and the LiMo Foundation and competition from companies like Microsoft, Research in Motion, and Apple.
Forget RIM … Read more
Good things come in pairs--and NTT DoCoMo does just that at CommunicAsia in Singapore.
We spotted one of its phones, the P906i, running Ridge Racer 7 and the otakus' favorite, Gundam, in full 3D glory. What surprised us was that each game has a maximum file size of only 1MB, yet the graphics and frame rate were smooth and comparable to handheld gaming consoles.
A representative from the Japanese company told us the phone has two processors inside, much like many newer PCs. However, instead of working together, these two chips function independently. One will handle the device's primary … Read more