Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Carnegie Mellon's "Crusher" military bot getting $14 million upgrade

Carnegie Mellon's so-called "Crusher" unmanned military vehicle already had quite a bit going for it in its previous incarnation, but it now looks to set to expand its robotized arsenal even further, courtesy of a $14.4 million grant from the Army. According to the university's National Robotics Engineering Center, the updated bot will make use of the "latest suspension, vehicle frame, and hybrid-electric drive technologies to improve upon its predecessor's performance" while also promising to, somewhat ominously, "push the envelope for autonomous and semi-autonomous operation." That the NREC says, should allow the bot to begin working alongside troops in five or ten years, with it initially confined to convoy roles before it puts its autonomous skills to use in "tactical" missions.

[Via CNET Military Tech]


The 20GB+ Eee PC mod

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8GB of flash storage is currently the best you can hope for in a standard (though imported) Eee PC. However, if you're industrious and determined enough, you can marry your 4GB Eee with a $150 (or so) 16GB Corsair Flash Voyager drive for a full 20GB of storage. That's exactly what Johnx did over at eeeuser.com. He even integrated Bluetooth like we've seen before. Best of all though, the new NAND and Bluetooth radio are not soldered to the system. Rather, they are fitted to a pair of newly installed, internal USB ports slung off the miniPCIe connector. Thus, the system can be upgraded at any time. All hail Johnx... king of the Eees!

[Thanks, chainofcommand02]


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Hama PhotoPlayer 1080i digital picture viewer

Hey there Ansel Adams -- we know you're shooting all your news pictures in an ultra-detailed, millions-of-megapixels format. Unfortunately for you, it's hard to show off your breathtaking work to friends and family. Well, a company called Hama hopes to change all that with its PhotoPlayer 1080i, a curious device that serves one basic function: it allows you to view your photos on an HD television. Basically, the little contraption is a 35-in-1 card reader which also outputs images (via component hookups) to your favorite 1080i-equipped display. The PhotoPlayer comes with a tiny remote for flipping through your majestic vision, and also includes a USB jack (for hard drives and the like), so you can go for a really, really long haul during your presentations. We can hear the "oohs" and "ahhs" already. Available now, no word on price.

[Via PhotographyBLOG]


Monday, December 03, 2007

Comcast CEO sees 160Mbps internet in 2008

Remember that blisteringly fast channel bonding modem Comcast showed off earlier this year? Turns out that the firm's CEO is apparently aiming to roll out internet services that can reach up to 160Mbps down / 120Mbps up sometime in 2008. As in, next year. In a recent interview with Fortune, Brian Roberts stated that service based on DOCSIS 3.0 technology would start "rolling out" sometime in 2008, and casually noted that it should provide "more than enough bandwidth to do multiplayer online gaming." Additionally, Cable Digital News explains that the firm has plans to cover some 20-percent of its footprint with the uber-quick service before 2009, and while we're left to guess what areas will be covered, we'd bet locales fetching FiOS could entertain some competition. Granted, we've still got aways to go before we can go toe-to-toe with a certain Swede, but we'll take any progress we can get.

[Via ArsTechnica, image courtesy of AFP / BBC]
Read - Fortune interviews Comcast CEO Brian Roberts
Read - Comcast closes in on 100Mbit/s


Sunday, December 02, 2007

Blackberry 9000 Specs Leaked, Faster Than iPhone in More Ways than One [Rumor]

bb9xxx-1.jpgBoy Genius Report may have gotten their hands on early specs of the upcoming touch-interface BlackBerry 9000. And according to their sources, the (iPhonesque?) 9000 has two hardware advantages over the iPhone. First, it features a 624MHz Intel XScale PXA270 processor that just edges out the iPhone's 620MHz ARM 1173 processor (on paper). Second, the 9000 will introduce speedy HSDPA to the line (a welcomed 3G first for the BlackBerrys). Here are the rest of the specs:

- 480 x 320 resolution screen - 1GB onboard memory - GPS, WiFi, HSDPA - Maybe a 3.2MP camera - Maybe dropping in Q1 or Q2 of 2008
Looking good, but can anyone get over a loss of button-driven QWERTY? [ bgr]