The Kota Triceratops is a robotic playmate much like the Pleo robotic dinosaur. Debuting at the annual Toy Fair in New York, Kota measures at over 40 inches tall, has movement sensors in eleven key areas on his body, and can react to touch by moving his head, tail, mouth, or horns. Although Kota requires six D batteries to keep him up and running, Kota is a fairly large robot–big enough even for young children to ride upon (as the happy child below illustrates). Simply press a button, and your child can ride Kota to adventurous music. The Kota will retail for approximately $300 in the fall of 2008. For more information, click here.
Nokia has just launched Medeo- an ad supported entertainment portal that hopes to keep Nokia users entertained and happy. Nokia users can access Medeo at www.nokia.mobi. Medeo will feature “everything from red carpet news, interviews with your favorite TV and movie stars, [to] film trailers, fashion and music.” The best part of all of this? Medeo is absolutely free for its users; it’s paid for by ads. And good news: Medo is available immediately for all Nokia Nseries and Eseries devices. There’s not much content up yet on the Medeo site, but Nokia will surely increase the amount of offerings over time.
Want nifty iPhone ringtones but don’t want to pay another 99 cents for the ringtone download, when you already own the song? Well, read on, my friend, read on. This works for up to iTunes 7.4.1.
The previous method was:
1. Create your ringtone, and save as an AAC.
2. Rename AAC as a .M4R track.
3. Double-click to play.
Now, for the iTunes 7.4.1 update:
1. Rename the .M4R track as a M4A.
That’s all you have to do! Then you can upload it onto your iPhone for happy ring-tone use… until Apple updates iTunes again, that is, and tries to force you to spend money on unnecessary things.
Canon’s HV20 HDV is a high-def camcorder with a 2.96 megapixel CMOS image sensor, 10x optical zoom, DIGIC DV II image processor, Super-Range Optical Image Stabilization, 24p Cinema Mode, a 2.7 inch screen and HDMI ports. Trusted Reviews writes that “After a slow start with HDV, Canon is back on the form it had when the market was predominated by DV. Not only does the company now produce the best professional HDV camcorder currently available, the HX-A1, it has the most successfully realised HDV model for serious consumers as well. The HV20 may not have every feature the semi-professional might want, but it has the most important ones on offer, with excellent image quality to match.”
CNET writes “Despite our handful of gripes, the HV20 will likely be a big seller for Canon. We wouldn’t be surprised if it’s among the top-selling nonbudget camcorders this year, especially if retailers drop the price to less than $1,000. The HV20’s stunning high-definition video and comfortable operation make it a great choice for nonprofessional, HD-happy videographers.”
CamcorderInfo reports ” The Canon HV20 is that rare camcorder that bursts onto the scene, and sets a new standard in its niche. This is not a perfect camcorder by any means, but it has an intelligently assembled set of features that make it a viable tool for professionals, as well as a stellar point-and-shooter for enthusiasts stepping up to HDV. The camcorder’s physical handling is just mediocre, and most people will find the top-end cams from Sony, Panasonic, and JVC rest more comfortably in their hand. Some basic controls are awkwardly placed, and the zoom rocker feels like a first draft that somehow made it into production. The HV20’s manual control suite is also far from the most robust, or independently adjustable on the market. Unlike Canon, the aforementioned manufacturers offer independent iris and shutter speed control on their HD cams, and Panasonic adds gain control to the mix.
What the Canon has that these other contenders do not is a manual control suite and interface that was designed from the ground up with the shooter in mind. A handful of key image controls are always quickly accessible in any Recording Program mode, including: focus via the dial; exposure, audio levels, End Search, iris (Av mode) and shutter speed (Tv mode) via the joystick; and white balance, Recording Program settings, and Image Effects at the top level of the menu. The HV20 adds Focus Assist at the touch of a button, which combines peaking and magnification, and makes manually focusing an HD image (on a 2.7” screen!) feasible. Once you’ve learned your way around the control interface, you’ll find controlling your image is nearly as fast as on a full-bore prosumer cam. You’re operating in a confined space on the HV20, and options are more limited, but the important features are eminently usable. Sony seems to have missed the forest for the trees by equipping the HC7 with great handling – and a terrific feature set that’s a pain in the neck to actually use.”
Motorola’s ROKR E2 is the successor to the E1, obviously, and has seemingly much improved over the dismal E1.
While the ROKR E1 was all hype, the E2 seems to have some substance. Indeed, MobileBurn reviewed one unit, and came away “very happy”. The ROKR E2 candy bar phone has GSM/EDGE, Motorola’s JUIX (Java/Linux), new tabbed menus,a 2 inch TFT screen, a 1.3 megapixel camera, WMA/MP3/AAC support, and external memory SD expansion (up to 2 GB). The E2 has quicker loading times, an improved address book, dropped iTunes in favour of more multimedia options, and the music sounded “excellent”. The phone comes with a 3.5 mm headphone jack, and music can be played while other functions are performed. Overall, the phone is “highly recommended.” The ROKR E2 is available through various online retailers.