Stan Horaczek

    Stan Horaczek

  • Dell knew about "dozens" of burned laptops two years before recall?

    We know you've all been following closely as Dell investigates the case of their exploding laptop, so you'll probably be interested to hear about a report claiming that Dell knew dozens of their laptops had sustained extensive heat damageat least two years before initiating any kind of recall. The source, who is claimed to be someone "close to the company," has said that Dell execs were provided with documents and photographs in 2003 and 2004 showing lappies described as "burned," "melted" and even "scorched." Of course we can't vouch for the legitimacy of the source's information, but if it's true, the danger that could be involved makes "dozens" sound like a lot, even compared to the millions Dell sells every year.

  • Sega Saturn controller hacked to work with Xbox 360

    If you've got a flair for retro gaming, or you just hate the design of the Xbox 360 controller, you'll be interested in this clever adapter project that give your old Sega Saturn pad, which is revered by fans of 2D fighters, the ability to control your brand new 360 games. The job required a gutted wireless 360 controller – that's right, it's wireless – a few common electronic components and about 2.5 months of work. From the video provided in the thread, it looks to function solidly, avoiding expected problems like the nightmarish button lag that could've rendered the whole thing completely useless. We know not many of you are going to be rushing to your workshops to try this, but every 360 mod we see gives us a little more hope that the hack (and accompanying tutorial) we've all been waiting for is coming sooner than later. But, until then, you'll have to watch out for this guy and his new rig on Xbox Live Arcade -- unless you have one of these on your coffee table.

  • Tesla's electric roadster is lean, mean and very green

    Last night a host of fancy society-types, car buffs and our good friends from AutoBlog got a unique chance to check out Tesla's electric sports car. The zero-emissions whip (it's so green it doesn't even have a tailpipe) will get about 250 miles on a single charge, and reaches speeds of about 130-miles per hour, with a 0-60 time hovering around a pretty impressive 4-seconds. Stop driving it long enough to peek under the hood and you'll find a 3-phase, 4-pole AC induction motor and a Power Electronics Module at the heart of this slick ride. Don't run out to the car dealership yet, as these babies aren't hitting the streets until mid-2007, and when they do, they'll run you somewhere between $80,000 and $120,000. It sounds like a lot, we know, but just think of the looks you'll get as you drive by at 124-mph, completely silently. Plus, it'll be a great place to install your new Bluetooth-enabled head unit. Check the source link for a lot more pictures and even video from the big unveling.

  • Sony's MEX-BT5000 car stereo with Bluetooth

    Being the mass transit junkies that we are, we don't spend a lot of time in cars, flying or otherwise, but we know many of you hit the highways each day, so we're presenting to you Sony's new Bluetooth-enabled head unit. The MEX-BT5000 acts as a hands free kit for any Bluetooth phone (although we're sure they'd prefer if it was one of their own), giving you access to up to 50 of your contacts and six of your speed dial entries through its "high resolution" screen and integrated noise-reducing micophone.Once you're done risking everyone's life talking on the phone, fire up your Bluetooth-equipped DAP -- or just stick in a CD -- and you can stream high-fidelity audio throughout your ride, while checking out on-screen track info and navigating your music with the wireless remote. Sure, this isn't the first time we've seen most of these features jammed into a head unit, and at $400, it's still not the cheapest, but we thought it might help hold you over until the CD-ripping 2007 Infinity G35 starts showing up on sketchy used car lots.

  • Go Pro's Digital Hero waterproof wrist camera

    When given your choice of aquatic wrist-wear this summer, why opt for the nerdy-but-possibly-lifesaving SenTAG, when Go Pro's Digital Hero shock-proof polycarbonate sport wrist camera is so much more interesting? Sure, it's gigantic and unwieldy, but it weighs less than 3-ounces and is waterproof up to a depth of 30-feet. Plus, it goes around your wrist! What else could you want? Specs? Oh, right. With 32MB of internal memory, you can expect to get VGA photos and QVGA videos, with the latter giving a frame-rate less like Step Into Liquid and more like an old movie of Babe Ruth running the bases. We admit, it doesn't quite live up to legitimate underwater cams like Pentax's Optio WPi, but for $80, including the necessary AAA battery, what can you expect? Just think of the totally rad footage you'll get when you combine it with your Tony Hawk helmet cam.[Via Travelizmo]

  • The CAVS IPS-11G turns your iPod into a karaoke machine

    When someone walks into your house and sees a full-fledged karaoke machine -- or worse, the karaoke muzzle -- he or she will be immediately bombarded by mental images of you doing your best Steve Perry impression. Now you can mask your potentially embarrassing obsession though, by choosing the CAVS IPS-11G iPod Karaoke dock. It looks just like your average third-party iPod cradle, but hiding behind its unassuming shell is support for MPEGs, AVIs, MP3s and slideshows, which when coupled with the two built-in microphone jacks and an A/V cable, can make for hours of ear-offending fun. The dock can accept just about any version of the iPod, which is used purely for storage, as well as USB drives and external HDDs, giving you access to all your media (Journey songs included) through menus on your TV screen. Just think, one day you could be making millions selling your karaoke tracks as ringtones. Or not.

  • Logitech's "high definition" QuickCam Ultra Vision

    While the iSight built into your new Macbook (or any laptop-integrated webcam for that matter) might meet your day-to-day needs, Logitech is hoping that their new QuickCam Ultra Vision can significantly raise the production value on your next YouTube masterpiece. For $129, you get a mostly glass lens -- there are still a few plastic elements in there, just less than usual -- that'll open all the way up to f/1.6, making acceptable results possible even in darkness that would turn normal cams into digital noise-filled nightmares. The press release also boasts "high definition" capability from its wide format, interpolation-free 1.3-megapixel sensor, but skimps on the hard resolution numbers, with the product page only making mention of its capability to do "live video up to 640 x 480" at 30fps. (That doesn't sound very HD to us.) Other amenities include a 4-megapixel (there's the interpolation) still camera, USB 2.0 connectivity, RightSound microphone, a heap of cheesy effects and the RightLight 2 metering system, which promises "twice the image clarity of conventional webcams." If you still feel your cinematic needs aren't being met, you can check out the rest of the updated QuickCam line, including the Orbit MP, Fusion, Pro 5000 and the Communicate STX, all which received minor spec bumps. These all should be available by the end of August, so you still have a little time to clean your room before exposing it to the world -- or at least your Skype contacts. [Via Tech Digest]

  • Make your Robosapien into a Flamosapien

    We're not entirely sure it jibes with the guide to robot ethics, but there's no denying that the flamethrower add-on is one of the most impressive Robosapien hacks we've ever seen. The folks at Evosapien.com must've sensed our enthusiasm, because they posted a step-by-step tutorial showing how the potentially home destroying bot was built. Because of the incredible risk involved, we don't recommend anyone actually build their own, but we encourage you to read along as a barbecue lighter and some cheap electronic parts transform an otherwise friendly robot into the ultimate enemy of eyebrows. Just hope some overzealous enthusiast doesn't teach his Lego brained bot to read internet tutorials, as that could be very bad for humankind as we know it.

  • Virgin's Digital Starter Pack: The DAP for noobs

    We know that not everyone shares our need to obsess over every MP3 player to hit the shelves, but anyone who has ever set foot in an electronics store can probably recognize Virgin's Digital Starter Pack as a novelty. Features on the included 256MB player look sparse, consisting of a tiny screen with color-changing backlight, a voice recorder, and the seemingly useless ability to mess with the playback speed of your music. The £30 ($52) package also comes with a booklet explaining how to get started and a coupon code for five "free" song downloads from Virgin's own online music store, but unless you're insistent upon donating to Sir Richard Branson's hot air balloon fund, you'd probably be much better off dropping the same amount of dough on Napster's 1GB player . It might not have a backlight that changes color, but it will hold a lot more than 60 songs and won't get you laughed at by the gadget snobs.[Via Shiny Shiny]

  • Rehab center for video game addicts opens in Amsterdam

    If you're worried your World of Warcraft habit might be getting a little out of hand, you might think about checking yourself into the Wild Horses Center in Amsterdam. Their video game rehab program, which was started by addiction specialists Smith and Jones, is designed to help you replace the excitement of the fantasy world with real world experiences such as therapy sessions and group interaction. The 16th century town house, in which the patients reside, has no access to gaming of any kind, making it the perfect place to take in the non-polygonal sights the real world has to offer. Unlike the novelty cellphone addiction program being implemented at a Chicago Hotel, Wild Horses is staffed with certified psychologists and addiction specialists that can offer legitimate help to those unwilling to leave their games to have a social life or even use the bathroom. With impressive next-generation consoles like the Wii and the PS3 promising an even more engrossing gaming experience in the near future, we can't help but think this kind of facility might start popping up in other parts of the world as well. Since there probably isn't one in your area yet, we suggest you follow these instructions for making your own game addiction patch. First, tear off two pieces of duct tape. Second, place one piece of the duct tape over the A/V inputs on your TV and the other over the ASDW keys on your keyboard. Then go outside already, would you?

  • Falcon Northwest's Core 2 Extreme Mach V reviewed

    Intel fanboys will be delighted -- and AMD should be a little worried -- to know that the fine folks at PC Mag have nothing but positive things to say about Falcon Northwest's new Core 2 Extreme (formerly named "Conroe") toting Mach V. The specs are impressive all around, including two 10,000RPM 150GB SATA drives in a RAID 0 configuration, 2GB RAM and two ATI X1900 3D cards, but the real news here is how much of an improvement they saw over the older, AMD-based systems. Many of PC Mag's old benchmark records were crushed, with the Mach V suffering its only defeat at the hands of one of Polywell's quad SLI machines in the Doom 3 test. If that wasn't impressive enough, the addition of a liquid-cooling system also helps this gaming rig run cooler and much quieter than previous versions. As you probably could have guessed, all that performance doesn't come cheap, so you'll have to decide for yourself whether or not a fancy paintjob and the ability to run your favorite PC games at 2,560 x 1,600 is worth the $7,000 price. But hey, at least it's not $10,000.

  • RFID Passports coming to the US in August

    It has been a long and extremely troubled road for the ePassport here in the US, but it looks like they'll finally start hitting carry on bags of non-diplomats late next month. The new RFID tag-toting documents will store all of your personal data, including name, address, nationality, a picture, a digitized fingerprint and just about every other thing crooks would need to take your identity for a joyride. The government is insisting that they've taken the necessary precautions to prevent data "skimming," but that can be a lot trickier than it sounds. Just ask the Dutch. Ultimately, the technology could go either way, acting as an effective method of cross-checking people across a vast security network as they move from country to country, or evolving into an omnipresent grid of surveillance that will spread viruses and confine us all to our homes lest we feel the wrath of cyber criminals or high-tech fascists. So let us know how it turns out, we'll be in the basement with our RFID-blocking wallet and tin foil hat.

  • Sim2 releases three new HD projectors

    We don't mind checking out a business-oriented projector once in a while, but we'd much rather spend our time with high-end HD models like the three Sim2 has announced at this year's UK CEDIA expo. The D35 Domino sports a 1280 x 720 resolution and a 3200:1 contrast ratio for £2999 ($5248), while the mid-range Grand Cinema HT305E, which adds increased light output and a shiny "gun-metal body, runs £4,999 ($8748). Both come equipped with HDMI inputs and Sim2's Alpha Path light engine, but the star of the group is the 1080p HT3000. With a 1920 x 1200 resolution, a 7-segment color wheel and a pair of HDMI inputs, this long-throw hotness will set you back £11,999 ($20998), which is about the same price as 2100 trips to the multiplex. We know it sounds like a lot, but just think of how good it'll look with your new NXT speaker-screen.[Via Shiny Shiny]

  • d-Media's G4 portable GPS/DAP

    As portable GPS devices are doing more and costing less, fewer people are stopping at unknown gas stations for directions and more GPS companies are beefing up their product lines. Taiwan-based company d-Media has released an upgrade to their older G3 model, predictably named the G4, which we'll probably never see here in the US. That said, the new unit boasts a 4-inch 480 x 272 TFT touch screen, IR remote, microSD expansion slot, voice recorder and Bluetooth. Not wanting to fall behind the media-obsessed times, they 've also crammed in support for MP4 video, MP3 audio and digital photos your passengers can enjoy when the unit isn't giving you directions in one of its 16 compatible languages. According to the product page, all that plus features like e-compass and G sensor, which help keep those directions coming even when a tunnel takes you out of satellite range, make this a device you "can't take your eye off." Wait, doesn't this thing go on your dashboard?

  • Fujitsu's C1410 laptop for business travelers on a budget

    Apparently Fujitsu understands that not all business travelers have burgeoning corporate expense accounts ready and willing to absorb the cost of the latest $3,000 ultra-portable business machine. Their new C1410 notebook offers up a Core Duo processor, a 15.4-inch XGA display, up to 2GB of DDR2 RAM, WiFi, and Bluetooth 2.0 and up to 100GB of storage, with basic configurations starting at just $1,199. We understand that carrying around a 6.6-pound machine (.1-pound lighter than Lenovo's widely praised and oft-copied ThinkPad Z61m) might be out of the question for some airport rats, but those willing to deal with the extra weight can also enjoy the 11-hours of battery life Fujitsu promises with the addition of an extra cell in a modular bay. Just make sure you get a laptop backpack with some extra padding in the straps to make the arduous walk from tarmac to taxi a little easier.

  • Authentic Ltd's ASS-60AK NXT SoundVu projection screen

    Remember when we saw one of NEC's laptops equipped with NXT's SoundVu, and we jokingly mentioned how we didn't think it could cut it in a home theater system? Well apparently Authentic Ltd. thinks otherwise, because they've just announced their, ahem, ASS-60AK front projection screen, that doubles as a display surface and a speaker. The screen, which vibrates at a rate undetectable to the human eye to create sound, is made of Teonex, a material specially designed to produce high frequencies other fabrics would absorb. The release suggests it can be used as a stand-alone speaker or as the center channel to your surround sound system, thus mimicking the acoustically transparent screens used in full-scale multiplexes. While it sounds great in theory (caugh), NXT technology has been hit or miss enough that you'd probably to hear what it actually sounds like before dropping more than $500 for your own.

  • Lightscribe to get color?

    Apparently, the staff at TGDaily were flipping through the user's manual for one of their Lightscribe-equipped drives when they stumbled across a rather oblique mention of an upcoming color version of the current monochrome technology. They did a little journalizing and eventually contacted an HP PR staff, who informed them that "Lightscribe color background CDs are expected to be available later this year." This could be referring to the different colored Lightscribe discs that have seen release here and there, but when it comes to truly color laser CD imaging, obviously no official announcements have been made yet. We wouldn't be entirely surprised if the launch so many a Lightscribe fans have been waiting for winds up being timed to coincide with the announcement of an HP HD DVD drive or two. For right now though, we'll be sticking to our analog CD and DVD labeler, or as you may know it by its other name: a Sharpie marker.

  • HP Pavilion DV6000 and DV9000 laptops

    The 15.4 and 17-inch iterations of HP's consumer-centric Pavilion line of laptops have gotten another update from two less-than jaw dropping, at least performance-wise, machines. Both the DV6000 and DV9000 come out of the box with an ExpressCard slot, Altec Lansing speakers, an optional webcam, a 5-in-1 media readers and your choice of an AMD Turion 64 X2 dual-core or a plain old AMD Sempron processor. The 7.8-pound DV9000 (replacing the DV8000) sports a 17-inch WXGA (yuck) or WSXGA screen, a dual hard disk configuration and NVIDIA GeForce Go 7600 graphics. The 6.5-pound DV6000 (replacing the DV5000) rocks a 15.4-inch WXGA screen, as well as the NVIDIA GeForce Go 7200 card, for a starting price around $850. Things get slightly more impressive on the outside, with same piano black, Zen rock garden-inspired design as the smaller DV2000. The DV6000 is available on HP's website right now for a starting price of $879, but you'll have to sit and meditate a little longer while they prepare the DV9000.  

  • Thomson's GPS 280 and 420 portable sat-navs

    Thomson (or if you're a Yank like us, RCA) has found its way into the handheld GPS market, and is poised to release two new models in the fall. The GPS 420 (pictured), which is designed primarily for in-car use, will drop (in Europe, of course) this September or October, loaded with a 4.2-inch 16:9 touch screen and carrying a €500 price tag. The pedestrian-oriented GPS 280 will boast a 2.8-inch screen that can be oriented horizontally or vertically, and should be available sometime in November for a semi-affordable €400. Other hard specs on these SiRFStarIII-based devices are few and far between, but judging by the picture in the source link we assume video (DMB anyone?) and audio playback will find their way into the mix as well. We'll keep you posted when we get more info, unless we get sidetracked daydreaming about Archos' upcoming antenna-packed GPS powerhouse. 

  • Pong clock unboxing, finally

    It seems like ages ago when we first laid our eyes on the nostalgic hotness that is the Pong clock, but now it has finally made its way into the greedy hands of the select few consumers who punked down for theirs, and there are pictures to prove it. The unboxing shows --as one might expect -- the unit as it goes from its packaging to the wall, where it looks incredibly small when compared to an iMac (the actual display is only 12 x 16cm). Another picture of a letter that accompanied the unit, certifies that at least one of the 400 units being produced has now been accounted for, so you better get your $240 order into designer Buro Vormkrijgers soon, if they're not already sold out. Oh, damn, they are. All the more reason to enjoy the unboxing, eh?