Mountek MT5000-C Review

The Mountek Universal CD Slot Car Mount puts your smartphone (or GPS) right where you need it, and away from your vents and windshield.

Mountek MT5000-C Universal CD Slot Car Mount

If you have a smartphone and drive a car, chances are you tried to use both together at some point, to varying degrees of success. This shouldn’t be a problem any more with the Mountek MT5000-C car mount ($19.95 + shipping from Amazon). It slides into the CD slot of your car and positions your phone in an ideal position, just above your audio deck and within arm’s reach at all times. See after the break for the full review.

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New iPad is “Resolutionary” – specs and comparison

New iPad 3 Resolutionary

Apple just released their latest and greatest version of the iPad at their March 7 event. Called the “new iPad” (not the “iPad 3″ as previously thought), it bumps up the display resolution to an astonishing 2048×1536 retina display (264ppi) in addition to improved color saturation. To put things in perspective, that’s more pixels than three 720p screens stacked together! Driving it all is a new dual-core A5X chip and quad-core graphics that, according to Apple, gives “4x the performance of Tegra 3″ (although Nvidia is challenging that claim). Gracing the tablet is a new 5MP autofocus, backside-illuminated sensor camera with 5-element lens, similar in technology to the iPhone 4s. Unfortunately, still no Siri. Apple has also added 4G LTE connectivity. All of the price points stay the same as before, while the iPad 2 gets a price drop to $399 / $529 for WiFi / 3G versions, respectively.

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Google to get serious with Siri; developing own “Assistant”

Apple Siri Google AssistantSoon we will have a Google Android voice that will have an answer to Apple’s Siri. Dubbed the Google “Assistant” (previously codenamed ‘Majel’), it is designed not only to compete with, but surpass Siri by giving developers access to build apps, websites and more that tap into its power, states TechCrunch. The project is headed by the Android team, with assistance from search engineer Amit Ainghal, and will be developed in three stages:

  1. Get the world’s knowledge into a format a computer can understand.
  2. Create a personalization layer — Experiments like Google +1 and Google+ are Google’s way of gathering data on precisely how people interact with content.
  3. Build a mobile, voice-centered “Do engine” (‘Assistant’) that’s less about returning search results and more about accomplishing real-life goals.

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FlyBoard Water Powered Jetpack lets you fly like Iron Man

Dolphin Water JetpackIf you’ve haven’t seen this before, then you’re in for a treat. It’s a water-powered jetpack that lets you hover like Iron Man 30 feet above the sea, or cut through the water like a dolphin. The water jetpack, or “dolphin jetpack” was created by professional jet-skier Franky Zapata and hooks up to any 100+ HP personal watercraft motor. And the hurt on your wallet? It will run you 4,900 euros, or about $6,400. Compared to your other option, the $100,000 Jetlev flyer, it’s quite the deal.

via SmartPlanet

Extreme Tech: The F-35 Helmet-Mounted Display System

F-35 Helmet Mounted Display SystemThe F-35 Lightning II, a fifth-generation stealth fighter aircraft from Lockheed Martin on track to replace Canada’s aging CF-18 fleet, has some serious tech on board. In addition to stealth capabilities and the world’s most powerful single jet engine, the F-35 strike fighter has an advanced, helmet-mounted display system (HMDS) that replaces the heads-up display (HUD) for the first time in the history of military airplanes. Being produced by Vision Systems International (VSI) and in ongoing development, here’s what we know so far about this extreme piece of tech, and how the technology will give F-35 pilots the edge:

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Google Street View a Peeping Tom, claims man caught urinating in public

Google Street View Urination PeeingXUFS9EXV2NJF

A man from France is suing Google because the 360° Street View camera snapped a candid of him peeing in his own back garden, and he became the laughing stock of the town.

The camera on the Street View car was mounted high enough to peer into his garden, catching an obvious, if slightly blurred, photo of him in mid flow. Fellow villagers instantly recognized him, and he became “an object of ridicule” in his small French town.

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Lytro Review Round-Up

Lytro specs and reviews of the first consumer light field camera that is turning heads and changing the way we look at photography.

The new Lytro camera, rather than bumping up the megapixels or sensor in a quest to capture more light, captures light fields that let you focus photos after you take them. If you’re wondering what this means, here’s a sample Lytro picture:

That’s some cool tech in the palm of your hand. The camera won the Last Gadget Standing award at CES 2012, beating out finalists including the Playstation Vita and Samsung Galaxy Note. But is the boxy camera worth shelling out $400, and ditching your point-and-shoot in the process?

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Are casual gamers done with social gaming giant Zynga?

Farmville Social GamingYou come home from work, hang up your jacket, sit at the computer and immediately load up FarmVille or Mob Wars. If this sounds like more like a blast from the past than your current routine, then you’re not alone. New research from IHS shows that the present state of Facebook social gaming is not all that rosy. For example, 2009 saw huge gains and by the end of 2010, about 50 percent of all active Facebook users played casual games. However, the absolute number of gamers stagnated as Facebook signups increased; and by the end of 2011, the proportion playing social games was dramatically cut in half, to 25 percent, while Zynga users dropped from 275 to 225 million over the same period. Zynga also had their recent $100M bid turned away by Game Closure, who have an advanced SDK allowing cross-platform, multiplayer HTML5 gaming.

So what caused the decline in popularity? Did we just get all farmed out, or move onto other sources of entertainment? Continue reading

Google expanding world domination with Seaview Great Barrier Reef

Google Ocean View Seaview Camera

The Great Barrier Reef, one of the seven natural wonders of the world, is going to get the Google Seaview, or Ocean View treatment. In partnership with Catlin Group and some of the best Coral Reef scientists, parts of the 2,300km long Great Barrier Reef “rarely visited by science” will be documented with brand new technology to depths of 100m. Three surveys will be done: shallow reef, deep-water, and mega-fauna (Tiger Sharks, Manta Rays, and Green Turtles). Emmy award-winning cinematographer / shark researcher Richard Fitzpatrick is also on board. This will add a must-see highlight to Google Ocean, which started in 2009 and covers basic Ocean bathymetry (ocean floors).

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Buffalo goes both ways with innovative USB hub

Buffalo bi-directional USB Hub

I’ve never liked messing around with standard USB plugs. I just came to this realization, thanks to Buffalo’s new USB hub. Rectangular, Type A plugs have been around since the advent of USB, and although ports have migrated since to the front of computers (and elsewhere) in an attempt to make our lives more convenient, I still try plugging them in twice; the wrong way and the right…always in that order.

Buffalo Kokuyo, the Japanese division of Buffalo Technology, have finally solved the riddle to this minor annoyance (and occasionally damaged ports). Their new USB hub lets you plug in your devices any way you damn well please, thank you very much. Continue reading