Minibyte »

  • And another…

    April 1, 2011 @ 10:00 am | by Ciara O'Brien

    You know how it is. You’re standing at the microwave, defrosting som food, nuking a ready meal or whatever, and what’s missing? That’s right, gaming.

    So over to PopCap, which this morning (and there’s the clue) sent out an email heralding the Christmas launch of its PlayWave microwave, which will allow you to play games (Bejewelled etc) while you cook.

    How? A fully functional touchscreen built into the microwave door and a wireless internet connection. So you get “full power” and “defrost” settings alongside the “playtime” setting, which will allegedly cook the food according to your game performance.

    Sadly, the bathroom version – the Play-n-Poop – won’t even get a prototype until 2012. Probably announced on April 1st too.

  • The week that…

    February 4, 2011 @ 11:48 am | by Ciara O'Brien

    …Facebook Places became active for Irish users. Another way to stalk and be stalked by your nearest and dearest (3,000+) social network ‘friends’. As if there weren’t enough.

    …Google opened a web store for its Android market. It’s still not quite there yet though, is it?

    …a row broke out between Google and Microsoft over search results on Bing. If you can’t play nicely, kids, don’t play at all.

    …Intel found a flaw in its new chips that could cost it up to $1 billion in missed sales and costs to put it right.

  • The week that….

    January 21, 2011 @ 11:22 am | by Ciara O'Brien

    Google announced it was replacing existing chief executive Eric Schmidt with its co-founder Larry Page. Schmidt will become executive chairman of the firm. A form of executive musical chairs.

    Apple chief executive Steve Jobs said he was taking some time off . Tim Cook will take over the day to day running of the tech company while Jobs is on medical leave. Investors worry what will happen without him. The rest of us just wait for Macworld and listen to the increasingly noisy iPad 2 rumour mill.

    Nintendo finally revealed the launch date for its 3DS, plus a line-up of games. March 25th for Europe, the 27th for the US.  Trying to work up enthusiasm for this. At €270, it’s a bit of a struggle.

    Facebook unveiled a new mobile version of its site that can be used on regular phones. Now you have no excuse for ignoring your aunt’s friend’s daughter’s best friend when she sends you a friend request.

  • CES: Dunking your phone

    January 13, 2011 @ 10:19 pm | by Ciara O'Brien

    Ever felt the need to take your iPhone for a dip? I may be surgically attached to my phone, but I don’t think even I would go this far. Besides the fact that I don’t really swim (I drown better) it’s putting a lot of trust in some plastic and seals.

    There are practical aspects to the DryCase, of course. Now you can take your delicate electronics to the beach, out fishing or skiing without worrying that it will get wet. And we all know water means death to electronics.

    Still, it also removes a cast iron excuse for being out of contact. Your choice.

  • CES: Avatar for Kinect

    January 7, 2011 @ 5:44 pm | by Ciara O'Brien

    Microsoft unveiled the latest function for Kinect – an avatar that mimics how your face moves. Not impressed? Take a look at the video.

    YouTube Preview Image

    Avatar Kinect is a chat function that tracks your facial expressions, how your mouth moves, even if you raise your eyebrows. It will be interesting to see how this works for everyone else, and where else Kinect will go.

    Avatar Kinect is a free service for Xbox Live Gold members, and is coming this spring.

  • And the countdown begins.

    December 2, 2010 @ 12:05 am | by Ciara O'Brien

    I have an aversion to anything to do with Christmas before December is officially here, unless I’m forced. Every year it gets earlier, and this year has been particularly bad. Spotting Christmas merchandise in shops in September nearly finished me off.

    But if you do any of your shopping online, chances are you’re already some way into your Christmas list. If not, here’s some sites that could help your gift hunt.


  • Tech tools: Kinect for Xbox

    November 12, 2010 @ 11:37 am | by Ciara O'Brien

    Last night I found myself trying to teach a virtual pet how to sit, play dead and roll over. If you haven’t seen any of the ads for Kinect yet, this involves rolling on the floor in front of a camera that is the latest controller for the Xbox.

    Dignified it is not.


  • Tech Tools: GPS Goggles

    @ 11:25 am | by Ciara O'Brien

    Traversing ski slopes can be tricky. However, Zeal’s latest set of ski goggles makes it easier to stay on the right track. They make look almost like an average pair of ski goggles, but Transcend GPS glasses have a built-in GPS which displays information on a mini LCD screen in the goggle.

    The major benefit of this is that you won’t have to mess about with handheld GPS systems. The information includes location, temperature, altitude and distance covered, along with a vertical odometer and stopwatch.

    If you want to keep track of your stats, a USB connection allows you to hook the device up to a PC or Mac and download the data to analyse it.

    The rechargeable battery will give you about seven hours of power – plenty of slope time. The goggles are also available with polarised lenses, and polarised and photochromatic/ transitioning lenses.

  • Tech Tools: Star Wars USB sticks

    September 27, 2010 @ 5:23 pm | by Ciara O'Brien

    I can’t tell you how excited these make me. Probably far more than they should considering I’m supposed to be 1) sensible and 2) a grown-up.

    But anyway. In the event that I was neither, I’d currently be coveting one of these USB sticks. Star Wars-themed Storm Trooper USB sticks. The lids are customised to look like helmets. The alternative is the character’s hair.


  • App of the week: Micoach goes mobile

    August 11, 2010 @ 4:15 pm | by Ciara O'Brien

    Another fitness application has launched for mobiles, but it’s not just limited to iPhones. The Adidas Micoach app is available for the iPhone, but can also be downloaded to Blackberry devices.


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