Minta Plays

More or less about new technology, science and innovations. With digressions

Archive for September 2009

Camera You Can Call With

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Mobile phone s equipped with small cameras aren’t anything new. But with its new gadget Samsung goes one step froward. At least when the perception of gadget is considered. Looking at SCH W880 its hard to decide, what it is – is it a camera? Or is it a phone? Well, for me, with its 3x optical zoom lens and dedicated shutter button it looks more like small, pocket-size digital camera. SCH-W880 is the second Samsung’s mobile ith 12 mpx camera (the first one was the Pixon). New gadget ot only takes pictures but also shots HD videos (30 fps) which you can play on the 3,3 AMOLED screen. Price remains unknown.

Samsung SCH W880

Samsung SCH W880

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Written by Malgosia Minta

September 28, 2009 at 8:00 pm

Two Billions Hit!

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As it was in Sesame Street I should start” Today post is sponsoed by the number 2 billions”. that is the number of iPhone and iPod Touch applications downloaded from the AppStore so far. As Apple has announced, today in AppStore shelves you can find more than 85 thousands of applications (more than 21 K of them are games). The possible number of customers counts for 50 millions – that is how many iPhones and iPod Touch devices have been sold. And for dessert – 125 K – that is how many developers have joined the iPhone Developers Program.

A ofercie sklepu AppStore jest ponad 85 tysięcy pozycji

There is more than 85K applications in AppStore to choose form

Once someone has counted that many application downloaded to iPhone are being used only once – in the day of downloading. On the second hand there are some apps – sometimes ridiculously simple – that are becoming a real bestseller (for example the Koi Pond App – a virtual aquarium with some gold fish in  it) and are visible on bestseller lists for many weeks.  But virtually I think that you can find in AppStore everything – there is something for gamers, for Sudoku fans, for gourmand, cooks, painters, photography amateurs etc.
I won’t discover America saying that AppStore has been as strong success factor for iPhone as the iTunes and iTuens Store have been for iPods. Without the service the same device wouldn’t become such a hit and wouldn’t gained so much interest among users. Today, when Apple is announcing the 2 billion sale figure, other giants like Nokia, Google Palm or windows – or having own application markets – must feel a bit sad and being pretty far behind.

AppStore
AppStore

A ofercie sklepu AppStore jest ponad 85 tysięcy pozycji
A ofercie sklepu AppStore jest ponad 85 tysięcy pozycji

Ktoś kiedyś policzył, że większość aplikacji na iPhone’a jest uruchamianych tylko raz – w dniu pobrania . A potem leży odłogiem w pamięci urządzenia. Z drugiej strony często wręcz śmiesznie proste programy stają się bestsellerami i tygodniami nie schodzą z list przebojów AppStore’a (np. Koi Pond, czyli wirtualne jeziorko ze złotymi rybkami).

W praktyce chyba każdy – zapalony gracz, miłośnik audiobooków, amator fotografii, smakosz, fan fitnessu czy mistrz sudoku – znajdzie tu coś dla siebie. Tak jak iTunes Store zadecydowało (między innymi) o sukcesie iPodów, tak AppStore ucznił z apple’owskiej komórki sprzedażowy hit. Choć wszyscy liczący producenci starają się nadgonić Apple’a i otwierają własne markety z programami (Android Market, sklep Nokii, Palma czy Winowsa) to chyba wszyscy muszą mieć dzisiaj niezbyt wesołe miny i czuć się nieco z tyłu.

AppStore
AppStore

Written by Malgosia Minta

September 28, 2009 at 2:17 pm

Posted in gizmos

Tagged with , , , , , ,

Headphones that feel you

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Headphones and music you can put in your pocket and listen when being in subway or bus is a great invention. You can isolate from the crowd and make your own musical bubble of privacy. But sometimes it happens then when you listen to latest Kings of Leon album suddenly someone is calling You on your mobile. And now the race starts – one hand is diving into the bag, second is trying to take out the headphone from your ear, free your neck from the cord to prevent suffocating, hold glasses sitting on your scalp, press the green sign on mobile to pick up the conversation and “stop” button on your iPod or whatever. Uh-uh. A bit to much, don’t you think?
Having done that acrobatics few times in my life I here announce that the new headphones from SonyEricsson are really something nice. Smart. Nice. Under the top-secret and totally un-sexy name of MH907 you’ll find the first headphones that can sense you and what you want from them. To listen to the music or pick up the phone just put the plug in your ear to activate the voice. To stop the music or conversation just take the plugs out. Easy? Totally!
Watch the movie to get the idea of the invention. (PS. IMHO the animation is really nice)

Put your ears in control – MH907

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SonyEricsson Motion Activated Headphones MH907

SonyEricsson Motion Activated Headphones MH907

Written by Malgosia Minta

September 21, 2009 at 2:16 pm

Posted in gizmos

Chocoholism

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Czekoladowy Wieczór z LG

It is said that diamonds are girls’ best friends. But IMHO chocolate works as good as shiny stones when it comes to low-mood moments. Chocolate can really cheer you up. Especially the semi-bitter chocolate, with roasted almonds. Or the new Chocolate mobile phone from LG.

When I’ve seen the pictures of the BL40 for the first time I had mixed feelings about it. In one hand the phone with its shiny blackness and ascetic form looked really nice and was intriguing with it’s longish screen. But in the other hand that large, 4′ screen made me wonder if the thing is ergonomic and comfortable to use. Today, having played with it I must admit that those worries were unnecessary. The thing, despite strange proportions really suits ones hand and You can easily use it’s touch screen with your thumb. The 4″ LCD touch-screen is able to recognize gestures. This works for example when you want to enlarge pictures or if you want to create a “gesture shortcut” to your favorite function or other menu item. Must say that the touchscreen here is quite responsive, which is nice.
Talking about menu and UI, the one used in BL40 is the same UI you will find in the LG Arena phone. It is called the Cubicle and works as it is named. Particular items from menu are placed on the walls of 3D cube that you can rotate with your finger. If you’re not so keen on special UI effects, you can choose to watch menu in more list-like style (you will see the particular walls of the cube instead the whole 3D form).
Of course, Bl40 has all multimedia functions and additions you’d expect to find in a modern phone – camera (5 megapixel resolution; nice thing is a camera mode for taking pictures of text or notes), radio, music and video player, navigation (LG works here with the Navi Expert).
But what makes this phone different is its design – sleek, original yet simple and ascetic. The bad part of the story is the price though – 1999 PLN. For good sweet you must pay, as it seems.

Nearly half less would cost you the smaller bro of BL40 – LG BL20. This phone has a slider form and has no touchscreen, but a touch panel placed below the display and a keyboard hidden underneath.  Beside the different form, inside you’ll find the same things as in BL40.

LG "Chocolate" BL40
LG “Chocolate” BL40

Written by Malgosia Minta

September 17, 2009 at 9:27 pm

Posted in gizmos

Tagged with , , , , ,

Netbook from the Catwalk

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OK, it’s not a big secret that I am quite girly about gadgets. Of course, they mus be functional, user friendly and reasonably equipped but they also must be pretty. And I admit that sometimes that last factor can be most important. For example – when it comes to the new HP MiniNote 1000, designed by Vivienne Tam. The new “digital clutch” has been presented during the Mercedes Benz Fashion Week in Bryant Park last weekend.

New HP MiniNote by Vivienne Tam

New HP MiniNote by Vivienne Tam

As you probably remember this is the second product of HP created by Tam. The previous one was red and painted in floral-like patterns. I have opportunity to play with it for some time and it was quite nice experience.

HP MiniNote by Vivienne Tam (1st Generation)

HP MiniNote by Vivienne Tam (1st Generation)

The new edition of girly MiniNote is golden and instead of flowers you will find nice butterflies on the cover. Tam has proved that there is no need  to use huge amounts of pink/red and flowers to make some gadget attractive to women . IMHO the new design is really good, more calm and delicate than the previous vibrant and energetic proposition.
Although the specs of the computer haven’t been revealed yet, you should expect a typical netbook stuff and Intel Atom inside.

Vivienne Tam presenting her new "digital clutch"

Vivienne Tam presenting her new "digital clutch"

Written by Malgosia Minta

September 14, 2009 at 7:53 am

What Has Fallen from the Apple Tree

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It's only rock and roll, but we like it :-)

So we are after the long awaited Autumn Apple event. As it had happened before, some of the pre-event rumors have turned out to be true. And some not.
As it was expected (and really easy to deduct), whole event was about iPods.
It started with introduction of the new revamped iPod Touch, now holding memory as big as 64 GB and with new processor that handles games better. Apple is promoting Touch as a pocket gaming device, in the type of DS Lite or PSP. I have played on Touch of past generation in few games and I must admit that it was quite nice experience. The rumor that the new Touch will have a camera turned out to be missed.

The second on stage were Nanos. And those are now equipped with camera (640×480 pixels) which is able to record movies. Furthermore new Nanos have buil-in FM radio, pedometer (works with Nike+) and a bit bigger screen (2,2″ instead of 2″). And they are available in really nice, vibrant colours…Really, if I was to choose one, it would be a terribly hard to make a decision :-). Preferably I would like to have all of them – You know, to match with different shoes, bags, skirts and so on ;-). New Nanos will be available with memory of 8 or 16 GB.

IPod Nano

As it comes to Shuffles, those have now a special adapter which let you to use other, meaing non-Apple headphones. And they come in more colours: pink, green and blue beside the previous silver and black .

IPod Shuffle

In iPod Classics there is not much new – they have a bigger storage now (160 GB instead of 120 GB).

To complete the new iPods, the new iTunes 9  has been presented. The new thing in the Apple iTunes Store is a new format of albums (called iTunes LP), which holds not only music, but also lyrics, pictures and other multimedia stuff related to the band. The rumor thatthe Beatles will arrive to iTunes Store on 9/9/09 also turned out to be missed. But the Beatles’ fans shouldn’t be sad – yesterdey brought us the premiere of the whole big box of remastered Beatles’ albums and the new edition of RockBand,  starring Lennon & Co. characters.

But the biggest thing on yesterday’s event was the appearance of Steve Jobs himself. Still a bit to thin and weakly looking, but smiling as before. Get well Steve. We are waiting for more “and one more thing” here!

Steve Jobs we własnej osobie

Written by Malgosia Minta

September 10, 2009 at 8:30 am

Gizmo Day – Part 2

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So here is a short wrap-up of two press events that took place today  in Warsaw, organized by Lenovo and Asus-Garmin duo.

On the first one one could see and play with the new “All-in”One” computer – IdeaCenter A600. This thing is a hybrid of a regular desktop and a netbook – it has a big screen, optical drive, normal keyboard (desktop-alike) and it is dedicated mainly to play  multimedia (pictures, movies, TV)  and to use internet. whole computer stuff is hidden into the screen (IMHO it could be a bit bigger), so it won’t require to much space on your desk.  I think it is a fairly good offer for people who like the traditional form of desktop (big screen, big keyboard) but they won’t use computer to edit pictures in Photoshop, make CGI or play demanding games. The second thing from Lenovo which caught my eye was it’s new netbook IdeaPad S10-2 (should arrive to Poland in Autumn). Nice little thing is only 18 mm thick and weights 1,3 kg. It is equipped in Intel Atom N280 processor, 1 GB RAM, 160 GB hard drive, 3 USB, camera and stereo speakers. With 6-cell battery it suppose to work for 6 hours. And it comes in PINK! 😉 I just hiope that lenovo Poland will decide to sell those pinkies here as well.

0010 A600 Bedroom Females

Lenovo IdeaCenter A600

Lenovo IdeaCenter A600

Lenovo IdeaCenter A600

Lenovo IdeaPad S10-2

Lenovo IdeaPad S10-2

On the Asus-Garmin conference it was announced that their together-made mobiles – nuvifones will arrive to Poland in 2-3 weeks. My type is the M20, mainly because of its unlike-iPhone form factor. The Nuvifones should cost about 2,500 PLN (sadly).

Asus Garmin M20

Written by Malgosia Minta

September 9, 2009 at 1:30 pm