Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Apple to Run iPod Touch Ad...Made By a Teen Fanboy

Arn over at Macrumors points out this cool story of an iPod Touch ad being run by Apple. The thing is, it was made by Nick Haley, an 18-year old student, inspired by "Music Is My Hot, Hot Sex" by CSS. Nick was flown in to the LA offices of TBWA/Chiat/Day to do a HD version of the spot. UPDATE: Apparently this was in a Zune ad first. [NYT via Macrumors]


Software Radios Boost Crappy Cellphone Reception Cheap and Easy

cell_tower.jpgMid-Tex Cellular systems out of De Leon, Texas is currently running both GSM and CDMA network using a software-based radio system on nine of of their cellular towers. Because the Vanu, Inc. designed software can be upgraded easily, there is no need for costly new hardware when supporting new or incompatible networks. If this technology is widely adopted, cellphone carriers will be able to upgrade and adjust to new standards more cheaply and users will see bigger, better, and possibly cheaper coverage.

Currently, Vanu is looking to expand their business outside of Texas with 200 towers set to go up in Alaska. They have also announced a prototype of a "femtocell" device —a base station of sorts for a single house or office. The plan is to use the device with the 700-MHz spectrum band that is coming up for auction from the FCC in January 2008. [Wired]


Monday, November 19, 2007

SiCortex intros SC072 Catapult -- 72 processor cluster for $15000

Off hand, we can't think of how we'd truly utilize the horsepower generated by a 72-processor cluster shoved into a "whisper-quiet, low-power deskside cabinet," but we'd happily draw up a plan if forced. SiCortex -- the same folks who delivered the bicycle-powered supercomputer -- has introduced its new SO072 Catapult, which features a standard Linux environment, 48GB of RAM and a trio of (optional) PCIExpress slots. This aptly categorized high performance computer (HPC) sucks down less than 200-watts of power, sports a pair of gigabit Ethernet ports and has room for six internal hard drives. Reportedly, each of the 12 SC072 nodes is a multi-core chip with six CPU cores, and while $15,000 may seem steep for your average tower, we'd say this is a pretty good value considering the hardware.

[Via Gadgetopia]


Nanotube batteries could power printed electronics

We've seen some interesting nanotech power concepts in the past, but researchers at UCLA have gone back to basics and developed a printable nanotech version of a traditional battery they say could power other printed, flexible nanotech devices. The batteries, which are less than a millimeter thin, feature the same zinc-carbon makeup as traditional rechargables, but are made by depositing thin layers of zinc and manganese oxide over a layer of nanotubes. Sadly, tech isn't producing usable amounts of power yet, but lead scientist George Gruner says the simplicity of the underlying tech should make it easy to solve that problem. Damn straight -- we're not giving up till we get a pair of electric underpants to call our own.

[Image courtesy of CNano]


Gigabyte reveals M704 UMPC

Call us crazy, but Gigabyte's new M704 looks awfully familiar to the U60, but we'll give the nod to this bugger in the style department. Freshened up with a sleeker, sexier motif, the firm's latest UMPC packs a 1.2GHz VIA Esther ULV C7 processor, a VX-700 chipset, seven-inch 1,024 x 600 LED-backlit touchscreen, your choice of 40GB / 60GB hard drives, a multicard reader, twin USB 2.0 ports and a VGA output. On top of all that, you'll also find 802.11b/g WiFi, a Li-ion battery good for around three hours, a slide out QWERTY keyboard and a 1.3-megapixel CMOS camera. As expected, Gigabyte hasn't bothered to tell us when or where we'll find this machine on sale, and yeah, the price is still a mystery, too.

[Via I4U News]