If your head's spinning from the buckets of chip splooge that's shot out over the past couple days, we don't blame you. There's been a new mobile chip launched or announced by every major player in the biz (Intel, AMD, Nvidia and Via), so no wonder it's all sticky and running together. Don't worry, here's a quick guide to what matters, who makes it, and what kind of stuff you'll see it in.
Tagged With nano
Via's next-gen Isaiah processors that they're hoping will break them into the mainstream market just got all official, going by the more consumer-friendly Nano moniker. When we talked with Via about them last week, they said that Isaiah-based processors will deliver 4x the performance of their current C7 chips (which power the OQO and Cloudbook) at the same power envelope. The press release touts the chips' ability to playback Blu-ray and run Crysis—that might be true, but we have the feeling you won't exactly want to in the latter case. Available to manufacturers now, you should start seeing Nano-powered wares in the fall. The low-power-but-decent-performance chip space is definitely getting a mite crowded.
A new study has found that carbon nanotubes—if inhaled—could be as dangerous as asbestos. This is not only problematic for a future of semiconductors that would like to exploit the technology, but the goods already on the market now that use nanotubes in composite mixtures, like baseball bats and tennis rackets.
We've shown you lots of weird and wonderful gizmos that DIY electronics fans have made using the powerful Arduino board, and now there's a new option: the Nano. It's not very much bigger than a stick of gum, and comes with full USB support and almost the same functionality as the bigger Diecimila board: immediately I start to think of the potential uses that makers will put this to. Its diminutive size means it'll fit in more pocketable devices, I suspect. Available in June for US$44.95.
I love when life imitates art. A few weeks after a South Park episode where indignant Canadians go on strike and are rewarded with Bennigan's coupons, indignant Canadian iPod owners go to court and win roughly the equivalent of a meal at Bennigan's: $44. Why? Because the 1G, 2G and 3G iPods that were supposed to have battery life of up to 8 hours instead delivered a paltry 3 hours, according to two separate rulings in Canadian court. Still up for settlement: the lawsuit by the Canadian gentleman who discovered that his 8GB nano only has 7.45GB of storage. He wants $220, but he'll take $92.
Those nano-silver socks you've been using to soak up the rank of your athlete's foot—not only are they leaching poisons into fish habitats every time you wash them, their effects on your own blood stream could be just as bad but the EPA's not doing anything about it. Fed up by government inaction, a consumer safety group is now suing the EPA for failing to regulate nanomaterials.
Sunflowers? Nope. Actually, they're silicon oxide nanowires grown in gallium and gold catalysts — and they're only several microns in length. The photo, by Chinese University of Hong Kong professor S.K. Hark, is part of the Materials Research Society's semi-annual celebration of the most artistic and eye catching images found during the study of nanomaterials. Some choice picks after the jump.
Your feet? They smell like a baboon's butthole. Especially at the gym. So, the brilliant dudes at places like Nike and Adidas have started lining their socks with nano-bits of silver to fight microbials and the intense funk radiating from your tootsies. It works (woohoo), but every time you wash them, some of the particles inevitably come loose from the sock and flush down the drain, ultimately winding up in local waterways. Where they poison fishies. To death. Not cool. In conclusion, have less stinky feet, thanks.
The Sansa Fuze, which we heard word of earlier, has just turned up at Amazon. The listing confirms the PMP will have a 1.9" screen, voice recording function (that works via the built-in microphone), microSD/microSDHC slot and will offer support for MP3, WMA and MPEG-4 encoded content. Retailing at US$99 for a 4GB edition, the internal battery will squeeze out 24 hours of audio playback and 5 hours of video on a single charge. Checkout some more shots of the PMP below. galleryPost('safgi', 3, '');
iTunes will offer private developer pages, which will host app stores for a select audience only; e.g. specialized for universities etc. Some of the pages have already been opened to those select individuals with audio and video content on offer. One such example is the Education First Educational Tours site the above picture was taken from. The site hosts an interesting, teeny-weeny image showing an iPod/iPhone hybrid type device, which seems to have a home button built in to the dock connector. What is it? We cannot say, but with all the fuss it is generating on the tubes, we thought we'd let you take a peek. Jump for a shot of the original page.
One fifty-eighth of the size and much less than one fifty-eighth of the price of the real thing, these infrared remote-control Real Drive Nano Ferraris are so detailed they even have blinking turn lights. You can also race the officially-licensed three-inch Enzo, Testarossa, F430 and 512BB against each other as they all have different channels. Four little cars, see how they run in the short video.
It seems like an obvious move: Apple's little pink 8GB iPod nano ($279) comes out in time for Valentine's Day, and perhaps before most pink second-gen nanos have kicked the bucket. But there's a problem: if you're trying to impress your lady friend by buying her a nano that contributes money to some worthy cause, you're going to have to stick with the (PRODUCT) RED one, which fights against AIDS and tuberculosis in Africa and around the world. As pink as this nano is, there's no mention of an accompanying breast-cancer charity benefit, in an industry where pink gadgets usually mean precisely that. Let's get it going, Apple!
AppleTV may be full of neat new-fangled technology, but we're old school. That's why we prefer this AppleTVesque mod called the Nanoscope. Formerly a 35mm slide viewer, the device was repurposed through a bit of Dremel/cursing to fit an iPod Nano (because it happens to have a screen size not so different from 35mm film). Additionally, a speaker was crammed into the 70s era casing so that the whole family at least two people could enjoy a movie together. Hotness. We'll have to install green appliances to match while waiting for our videos to encode upside down.
Hey, I just discovered this the hard way: The Nike+iPod peripheral that tracks your distance doesn't let you play music on the new Nanos. Very annoying on top of the other issues we've had with this generational jump. First it was the coverflow interface lagging (which has thankfully been fixed) to problems with video out (which Apple is still sort of working out), to various screen issues. It seems like the new, more complicated iPods didn't seem to get enough quality assurance. And we don't understand why Apple could have nailed the new hardware but neglected so much on the software side of things. I hope this gets fixed soon.
The Gadget: Belkin Sport Armband Plus. It's Belkin's newest iPod armband for exercising (we tested with 3G Nano).
The Price: $29.99
The Verdict: We're quite happy after a week of use with the Sport Armband Plus. Constructed of a high quality, wet suitesque material, the band sticks well to your skin—but absolutely perfectly after a few minutes of working out.
A new nanoprinting technique has been developed by IBM, that they say could be scaled up to create mass-produced microchips. This picture of the sun - a copy of a 17th Century drawing by Robert Fludd - was made using the technique, out of tiny gold particles 60 billionths of a metre across. Surely they could have picked a more appropriate, or at least more interesting image?
Curious how your new iPod Nano can withstand Jack Bauer-like torture? PC World put the Nano through a series of tests to see if they could either break it and/or get it to tell them where Marwan is. Here are the results...
Test 1: The Key Scratch The Nano is put into a bag with keys, the bag is then tossed around a bit, resulting in a few scratches in the metal but with no damage to the screen. Next the intensity is increased. The bag of keys is rubbed on the Nano, resulting in some aluminium damage and click-wheel scratching, though no apparent damage to the back or the screen. Then, as if to prove a point, the PC World host keys the bastard - resulting in some serious scratches on the screen, body and psyche of the Nano.
Test 2: The Drop
Renaming the Apple's sixth generation of iPod the "iPod Classic" cemented the device into our cultural history. Beyond mere music or video device, Apple acknowledged that their once humble MP3 player had grown to cultural icon— just like Coca Cola.
But is the new iPod Classic really an improvement? Or are we just a bunch of sheep, following one another to the nearest Apple store because Something Better has arrived? Hit the jump for our Frankenreview: the final verdict on the iPod Classic because it's ten reviews in one.