White iPhone 4: early DIY edition

Sorry, we couldn't wait -- having spent 11 hours on the streets waiting for the iPhone 4, it's only natural to give our precious new toy some extra special care. With the help of iFixit's teardown guide, we decided to take the plunge with our steaming hot Chinese delivery -- a white front cover (with a shiny proximity sensor area above the earpiece), a white back cover (with "XXXXX" marked as the model number, ergo a prototype), and a Retina Display unit. Alas, there weren't any white buttons in stock at the time, but let's pretend this black-and-white combo is the new cool. Read on to find out how the surgery went.

Replacing the back cover is hardly a challenge -- just remove the two screws at the bottom and then slide the cover up, but to get to the front cover you'll need to take out most of the components. We'll be honest with you: dissecting a brand new toy isn't exactly the most pleasant experience in the world. Even with a brilliant teardown guide, there'll always be somewhere that requires super delicate fiddling. For instance, we struggled with removing the battery and the front cover due to some nasty double-sided tape, so we had to poke around extra carefully to avoid any damage. At one point, we spent about 20 minutes wondering why the logic board wouldn't go back in, only to realize that a well-disguised screw was in the way. Other than that, we'd say this was a pretty straightforward mod (so long as you keep track of all your screws, of course).

Once fitted, we were saddened to find out that our white covers weren't complete -- the front one's missing an earpiece grill, whereas the back cover lacks a lens cover and a LED diffuser. We did consider cannibalizing the original black covers, but the small parts needed were strongly glued on. Ah well, considering the mod's in full working order (discounting the infamous antenna issue), we'll make do with this and avoid touching the lens. Now, where do we sign up for eBay?


Apple responds to iPhone 4 reception issues: you're holding the phone the wrong way!?

So, we just spoke with Apple and got the straight dirt on the reception issues that have been plaguing users today... and it's a little surprising. In essence, Apple cops to the fact there are
reception issues with the new iPhone -- namely, that if you cover the bottom-left corner of the phone and bridge the gap between the notch there with your naked flesh, you could see some signal degradation. Yes, you read that right: it's not a software or production issue, simply a matter of the physical location of your hand in regards to the phone's antenna. The company's suggested fix? Move your hand position, or get a case which covers that part of the phone, thus breaking contact. As you can see in the email above which just arrived in our tip box, this is a sentiment which runs pretty high at the company. Here's the official statement:
Gripping any mobile phone will result in some attenuation of its antenna performance, with certain places being worse than others depending on the placement of the antennas. This is a fact of life for every wireless phone. If you ever experience this on your iPhone 4, avoid gripping it in the lower left corner in a way that covers both sides of the black strip in the metal band, or simply use one of many available cases.
We know what you're thinking, and we're thinking it too: this sounds crazy. Essentially, Apple is saying that the problem is how you hold your phone, and that the solution is to change that habit, or buy one of their cases. Admittedly, this isn't a problem that exists only for the iPhone 4 -- we've seen reports of the same behavior on previous generations (the 3G and 3GS), and there is a running thread about this problem with the Nexus One.

While it is definitely true that interference is an unavoidable problem, we can't help feeling like this is really a bit of bad design. If the only answer is to move your hand, why didn't Apple just move the antenna position? What we can say without question is that in our testing of the phone, we had improved reception and fewer dropped calls than we experienced with the last generation, and we never noticed this issue. Additionally, when using a bumper we can't recreate the signal loss. So, now we have an answer... all we're wondering is whether or not the company will start handing out bumpers pro-bono to those who are experiencing problems. It certainly seems like the right thing to do.

Update: To add a little perspective, check out a video from 2008 after the break showing the same issue with the now-ancient iPhone 3G.

BlackBerry 9800 fully exposed!


Windows 7 hits 150 million licenses: that's seven copies a second!

If Steve Ballmer's still pumped eight months later, there's a good reason -- Windows 7 has reportedly sold its 150 millionth copy, just two months after crossing the 100 million mark. If you run the numbers -- and we have -- that translates to roughly seven licenses sold per second since launch, a very convenient number for Microsoft to tout in their marketing communications from here on out. Perhaps execs can celebrate with a nice Windows 7 Whopper, topped with a fresh .dll pickle.

Magic wand remote

If you’re bored of the same old TV remote, why not ditch it for this magic wand remote. Use flicks of your wrist to change the channel and big sweeping moves to record your favourite TV show. The wand will learn up to 13 commands from your old remote and you can choose which moves control each command, making your remote un-hijackable! It will also work on your Sky box, stereo or any other infra-red device.


GREEN SLIM Projectors: Larger Dimension, Greener Operation, and Longer Lifespan!

Gamers out there can expect more fun with the introduction of the newest from Casio – the GREEN SLIM projectors. This new projector line-up offers optimum brightness and images of better quality. Whatever game you’re into, it will help you get the most out of your gaming experience. What’s with these new Casio projectors?

  1. They’re mercury-free. Instead of the usual mercury lamp used in traditional projectors, the GREEN SLIM employs laser and hybrid light source. This new light source is beneficial in two ways. First, it’s greener to use compare to traditional light sources. Second, it has a longer lifespan. The light source can last up to 20,000 hours, 10 times the lifespan of traditional projectors.
  2. They’re very easy to use. The projectors are very portable because they only weigh five pounds and are very slim, so you can bring them anywhere with you. They’re also easy to adjust, thanks to their powered zoom lens. And lastly, they can be turned on and off quickly.
  3. They’re of higher quality. The projectors produce powerful images with vivid colors. They also work within the dimensions of most rooms. Plus, they have an auto keystone feature that adjusts the images when they appear distorted because of the projector’s position.

The GREEN SLIM projectors were on display in the Electronic Entertainment Expo at the Los Angeles Convention Center. They come in different models that you can easily choose from. With their slim characteristics and their advanced technology, you can bring your gaming experience to a higher level. Casio offers other Casio super slim projectors at Amazon, all designed for high-quality images.


Adobe announces Adobe Flash Player 10.1 for mobile platforms

Adobe has finally taken the step to introduce Adobe Flash Player 10.1 to their mobile platform partners. This was specially redesigned from the ground up and not based off a previous version, delivering new performance and mobile specific features. In other words, Flash Player 10.1 is the first release which is touted to offer the full Web experience across desktops and mobile devices. Mobile users can now take advantage of the millions of sites that offer rich applications and content within the browser such as games, animations, rich Internet applications (RIAs), data presentations and visualizations, ecommerce, music, video and audio among others.

Adobe hopes that Flash Player 10.1 will see over three million Flash designers and developers team up to unleash their creativity on the world of smart phones, tablets, netbooks, televisions and other consumer electronics devices. Currently, it is one of the top free apps on Android Market, and will also be made available as a final production release for smart phones and tablets once users make the jump to the Android 2.2 “FroYo” update – of course, this depends a whole lot on various carriers elsewhere since many carriers haven’t yet made the jump, with most Android devices still stuck on version 2.1 at the moment. At least we know the Dell Streak, Google Nexus One, HTC Evo, HTC Desire, HTC Incredible, DROID by Motorola, Motorola Milestone, Samsung Galaxy S and others will support Flash Player 10.1, and it will also work on BlackBerry, webOS, future versions of Windows Phone, LiMo, MeeGo and Symbian OS-powered devices as well in the form of over-the-air downloads or being pre-installed in the months to come.

As for the desktop version of Flash Player 10.1 for Windows, Mac OS and Linux, you can always check it out here. Depending on the device and the device manufacturer, the upgrade mechanism will be different.

Facebook Like Button becomes stamp

It’s a tricky thing being a Facebook addict, sometimes the outside world is just a little too bland. Thankfully one addict finally found a way to help you cope when you’re not able to log in. Just pick up one of these rubber stamps and you’ll be able to like things in a true Facebook fashion. Never again will you have to live your real life in a non-cyber way.

This was a design made by Nation, who have actually created it and are now enjoying using the stamp on everything possible. However, they aren’t actually mentioning if their little design studio will be finding a way to disperse the stamps to the public. You could always contact their studio to see if they have any further information though.


Iron Man 2 USB Flash Drives

Iron Man 2 USB Flash Drives

Do you intend to wear on your sleeves your actual love for the Iron Man 2 movie that was recently shown in theaters? If you do, then here’s another chance for you to buy one of the most incredibly designed USB flash drives since the Steampunk USB.

The Iron Man 2 ISB flash drive is a fully sculpted 3D drive that comes in different sizes and capacity. They are available in 4GB, 8GB and 16GB capacities. The only thing I am waiting for is to know whether these USB flash drives will light up once you plugged them into your USB port.

You can get the 4GB version for about $34.99, the 8GB for $44.99 and the 16GB for about $59.99.

Iron Man 2 USB Flash Drives

Camcorder Lets You Shoot Home Videos in 3-D

A new camcorder lets consumers play James Cameron at home by creating their own 3-D videos.

Hammacher Schlemmer has started selling what it claims is the first camcorder to shoot 3-D video and let users see the resulting content on the device’s screen, without the need for any special glasses.

With help from a 4-GB SD card, the $600 camcorder can store up to four hours of video or 2,000 3-D still images.

Don’t expect high-quality video though. The camcorder’s two lenses have to work with a 3-megapixel image sensor.

The videos are recorded in 640 x 480 pixel resolution as AVI files. The camcorder can also take standard 2-D movies and pictures.

With the success of films such as Avatar and Up, the 3-D format has made a big comeback this year. Major TV makers including Sony, Panasonic and Mitsubishi are offering large-screen 3-D TVs, even as broadcasters such as ESPN and Discovery prepare 3-D programming.

But it’s amateur content that could be the real catalyst for 3-D’s popularity. Already, some DIYers are rigging cameras and using software tricks to produce 3-D short films, postcards and home videos. Maker Faire had a section this year showcasing 3-D photographs and video from amateurs and professionals.

YouTube started offering a 3-D display option for videos on the site last July.

To create a 3-D image, you need to connect two cameras together, so each shoots the same scene from a slightly different perspective. Software helps synchronize the two sets of images. With some help from 3-D glasses, the brain can be tricked into perceiving depth in these images. There are also ways to offer 3-D–capable small screens that don’t require viewing glasses.

So far, DIYers have hooked together standard Canon cameras, iPod Nanos and Flip camcorders to create a home-brewed 3-D camera.

Consumer-electronics companies are now trying to step in to offer off-the-shelf gadgets. Last year, Fuji released the first 3-D point-and-shoot digital camera, a $600 gadget that, for now, is largely available only in Japan. Earlier this week, Nintendo announced the 3DS portable that allows you to take 3-D photos and play 3-D games with it.

Hammacher Schlemmer’s 3-D camcorder doesn’t require glasses to watch 3-D videos. It includes a media player with a 7-inch screen, speakers and a headphone jack that can display the 3-D content off the device’s storage card.

The battery life of the camcorder, though, seems disappointing. It offers just two hours of operation from a six-hour charge.

Hypospray from Star Trek is real, but with lasers!

Nothing I like reporting more than reporting on tech from science-fiction that becomes science fact. Especially when it comes to Star Trek, the original series.

Sure the original series just looks bad if you watch it now, and we still haven’t got most of that technology. Sure, most of our cellular phones look like James T. Kirk’s communicator, but as far as hypodermics are concerned, there are still needles. Not like Dr. McCoy’s spray vaccinations that we would like to see being used today.

Until now, at least. In fact, this particular needle-less hypos use phasers! Actually, it doesn’t, but it it does use lasers. These lasers bore holes so tiny that you won’t even feel it go through the skin and cure your diseases.

This is the painless epidermal system, other wise abbreviated to PLEASE. Yes, it isn’t a perfect acronym, but hey, do we need one? After all, wouldn’t injections without needles please everyone?

After all, I remember taking my newborn daughter to a routine checkup, and it was like a stab-fest.

Best of all, there isn’t that weird spraying sound that comes from using those Star Trek hyposprays. Yep, apparently the use of lasers means that there is no noise.

I wonder if you can give the hypospray injections through uniforms. It never made sense how they could do that.


iPhone 3GS vs iPhone 4 – which to choose?

Apple recently announced the new and long awaited for new iPhone 4 but also at the same time a new 8GB more affordable version of iPhone 3GS (which to be fair is still an excellent phone!).

If you’re a newcomer to the iPhone and is considering the latest iPhone 4 as your first when it becomes available on June 24th, here’s a nice and quick comparison of which suits your needs best. Hope this helps anyone struggling to choose which to splash your cash on!