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Keepin' it real fake, part LXXXIX: V503 apes old school Archos

Archos' AV420 hit the market quite some time ago, but that apparently didn't stop the Nanjing Panda Information Industry Company from trying to sneak one by us. The HDD-based V503 claims to feature a 3.6-inch LCD, rechargeable battery pack, FM tuner, USB 2.0 connectivity and support for DivX, AVI, MP3, WMA and VCD formats. Additionally, users can load in a 1.8-inch hard drive and take advantage of the AV output, integrated microphone and text viewer. Per usual, there's no price listed, but considering that this thing just looks old fashioned, we'd advise on passing, anyway.

[Via PMPToday, thanks Brian B.]

Xbox 360 Arcade finds a shelf in the wild

Well, would you look at that. A Target store in Haverhill, MA has one of those Xbox 360 Arcade getups we've heard a thing or two about lately. If our eyes don't deceive us, that blurry pricetag is showing off a $280 pricetag, which isn't too surprising no matter how exciting a $250 tag would've been. Who knows how much more evidence it's going to take for Microsoft to finally fess up to this one, but we're enjoying the spy shots while they last. There's another pic after the break.

[Thanks, Paul A.]

Continue reading Xbox 360 Arcade finds a shelf in the wild

Cross MP3 Player keeps the faith

Make no mistake, this isn't the first time a religious symbol has been integrated into a digital audio player, but unlike the iBelieve, this thing is actually, you know, real. Destined to be sold in bulk quantities to youth groups everywhere, the Cross MP3 Player is hardly designed by coincidence, and comes with 4GB of internal memory, a two-color LCD, built-in speaker, FM tuner, integrated mic, seven equalizer modes and a multi-language menu for those overseas mission trips. Fightin' the good fight will only cost you $48.14, but you can whittle that down even more by purchasing these things by the hundreds. Check out a couple more shots after the jump.

[Via CNET]

Continue reading Cross MP3 Player keeps the faith

1979 Buick Riviera gets pimped, Atari-style

Predating the carputer by easily two decades (not counting KITT, of course), this '79 Buick Riviera would have clearly elevated you to alpha status in your elementary school. Featuring what appears to be a Sears Atari 2600 clone and a 13-inch CRT with a custom fake-ice RIVIERA logo, there's no wonder Kevin, the owner, says this whip is his "absolute pride and joy." Check a couple more shots after the break.

[Via CarDomain Blog]

Continue reading 1979 Buick Riviera gets pimped, Atari-style

IBM rolls out "Mainframe Gas Gauge" for servers

Continuing its push into greener computing, IBM today announced the launch of its so-called "Mainframe Gas Gauge," which promises to let its server customers monitor their exact energy consumption in real time. What's more, IBM also announced that it'll begin publishing typical energy consumption figures for its z9 mainframe systems, following a recent EPA report that advised server makers to do just that. That data will be collected from some 1,000 servers around the world (a process that actually began in May), each of which employ sensors to monitor actual energy and cooling statistics, giving IBM enough info to determine the average watts per hour consumed and the total watts per unit. Individual server users will also get weekly reports on their machines' energy consumption in addition to the real time data, and they'll be able to make use of a new "Power Estimator Tool" to help them determine the most efficient means of expanding their server farms.

[Via Slashdot]

High school study shows love for Apple, P2P music sharing

In today's episode of "no surprises here," we look at a recent study published by Piper Jaffray & Company which attempts to take an intimate look inside the minds of high schoolers across the US. As you'd probably expect, none of the results were all that shocking. When asked about MP3 players, some 82-percent of those that already owned some form of DAP stated that it was an iPod, which was slightly up from last fall. Additionally, 64-percent of those surveyed admitted to downloading music illegally, which may actually be an (ever-so-slightly) positive figure considering that the percentage actually dropped from 72-percent in 2006. As for the iPhone, just 3-percent of students claimed that they owned one, but nearly 10-percent stated that they were looking to pick one up "within the next six months."

[Via CNET, image courtesy of MSN]

A veritable gaggle of AT&T rumors (hint: red iPhone?)

This here supposed AT&T inventory sheet that fell into our laps today reads like an indecisive power user's wish list -- the Prada's great, the Z9's okay if you're into that sort of thing, and the K850a finally moves AT&T into high-end camera territory. But what's this, a red iPhone? Seriously? Catch up on all the haps over at Engadget Mobile!

Read - "Deep red" iPhone
Read - Sony Ericsson Z750a, K850a
Read - LG Prada, Samsung BlackJack II, Motorola Z9

Futuristic headband knows when you've had too much PC

For those who just can't call it quits, a team of researchers at Tufts University has developed a head adornment which can determine when you've been overly stressed, bored or simply numb to the world around you when using your computer. The crew is studying functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS) technology, which "uses light to monitor brain blood flow as a proxy for workload stress a user may experience when performing an increasingly difficult task." The band itself utilizes "laser diodes to send near-infrared light through the forehead at a relatively shallow depth," after which it can purportedly judge how intense one's workload is (or isn't). 'Course, we'd guess the most of us wouldn't need a machine to tell us that, eh?

[Via InformationWeek]

Sony Reader PRS-505 (second gen) hands-on: we're in love

Look, the new Sony Reader PRS-505 isn't perfect -- it's only the first device among the second generation (ok, technically third generation) of e-ink based eBook readers. But it really does remind us of the early MP3 players back in the late 90s: maybe the content isn't as readily accessible as we might like, but the hardware is starting to come into its own (we have a feeling 3rd generation will be prime time), and damned if we don't want to start using this thing for all our bookwormish purposes post-haste. Improvements and niceties in the PRS-505 over the last-gen Reader PRS-500 include:
  • Numerous display improvements, including:
    • Significantly faster refresh rate. It's still not instant, but it's definitely at or near the short threshold of a real paper page turn, which is a VAST improvement from the ~1 second refresh of the PRS-500.
    • The ghosting is largely (but not entirely) gone.
    • Contrast also seems improved (but could definitely use a lot more work).
    • Grayscale has gone from 4 shades to 8.
  • Did we mention how much the un-Sony-like mass-storage mode warmed our jaded (and occasionally Mac-using) hearts? Just place your (compatible) files anywhere on the MSC drive, the reader will find and index them.
  • Internal memory has increased from 64MB to 192MB. (The SD slot isn't SDHC, though.)
  • It's far thinner and flatter -- now 0.3-inches at its thinnest, compared to the 0.5-inch thick 500.
  • The physical design seems far simpler and consolidated, with a lot fewer buttons / slots etc. on the edges (actually, none), with everything important on the top and bottom of the unit.
  • Moving the page forward / back buttons to the right side, away from the spine of the cover. (Those buttons are also a little better laid out, and more clearly identified.)
  • The 1-10 buttons have been moved from the bottom up to the side, next to their corresponding numbered menu options. (Essentially, where these buttons belong.)
  • Startup is near instantaneous from "off" (standby); you can also easily skip pages with the 1-10 buttons.
  • Leather binding has subtle magnetic clasps that provide a little stickiness when closed.
Yeah, the $300 price still is a lot, especially considering the content selection isn't anywhere near as expansive or cheap as your local Borders (or Amazon, for that matter), but we're far happier with things on the hardware side this time around. Be sure to check out all the photos; now you'll have to excuse us as we take the afternoon off to catch up on some offline reading.

Gallery: Sony Reader PRS-505 (second gen) hands-on: we're in love

PS3 firmware update coming to boost Blu-ray functionality

Details are admittedly scant on this one, but after Don Eklund, executive VP of advanced technologies for Sony Pictures Home Entertainment, got done praising the growth of high-definition movies at HDTV DisplaySearch, he also mentioned that the PlayStation 3 was due a firmware update. More specifically, he noted that the PS3 "is expected to soon offer a firmware upgrade to boost its Blu-ray interactivity functionality," but unfortunately, he failed to elaborate. One could hope that the update would bring along at least some of the niceties waiting in Profile 1.1, but until we get clarification (or are surprised by the actual release), we'll leave the speculating to you.

[Via HighDefDigest]

Will you help Engadget energize education (and pwn the Blogger Challenge leaderboard)?

First off, we want to express both our gratitude for and amazement at the overwhelming reaction to our charity drive so far; we're humbled that so many of you have chosen to give back to our public schools by providing crucial technology to children in some of the neediest of districts. Since the challenge began last week, 36 of us (including several Engadget editors who put our money where our mouth is) have joined in to contribute over $4,800 towards nearly two dozen projects around the country, which together will fund supplies utilized by some 682 students.

That being said, our work here is far from done. Team Engadget Energizes Education is currently in fourth place on the technology leaderboard (down from a peak of second) and still needs over $20,000 to meet its goal. So even if you think that there are better causes to give to, or you're cynical about so-called "skimming" of administrative fees (incidentally, DonorsChoose does give you the option to waive any overhead and allocate 100% of your gift towards the project), we're still hoping that you'll donate just a few dollars if only because you like what you read here every day. Think of it as an optional subscription fee that goes to a worthy cause instead of even more redundant gadgets for us. We have until October 31st to raise as much money as possible, so if you can find it in your heart to help out the littlest less-fortunate this holiday season (Halloween), we'd really consider it a personal thanks and a mitzvah as well.

Microsoft patent app shows off new user interface for mobiles

If you had any doubts about Microsoft's ability to innovate in the mobile user interface department, here's a new patent application to mull over. Titled "Extensible Filtered Lists for Mobile Device User Interface," the documentation spells out details for improving the way mobile users interact with the data on their devices. Apparently, the app concentrates on arranging information in "groups or lists," each of which can "include multiple items that provide access to data or tasks from multiple applications." Essentially, these customizable lists (more pictured after the break) would allow users to "quickly access relevant content such as commonly used data or tasks," and moreover, it was noted that the items could be "dynamically updated based upon changes in the underlying data or services provided by software applications." On the surface, the details all sound fairly attractive, but feel free to hit the read link for the full rundown.

Continue reading Microsoft patent app shows off new user interface for mobiles

Asus intros G2K, A7K, and F7K gaming laptops

It looks like gamers not wanting to be tied to their desks will soon have a few new options to consider from Asus, which is apparently set to release no less than three new gaming-minded laptops. At the head of the pack is the company's latest G2 model, the G2K, which boasts a 17.1 -inch 1440 x 900 display, along with a 2.0GHz Turion 64 X2 TL60 processor, 2GB RAM, a 200GB 7200 rpm hard drive, and ATI HD2600 graphics with 256MB of dedicated memory, among other fairly top-end features (not to mention the usual matching backpack and mouse). Further on down the line, the company's new A7K model boasts many of the same specs, with the exception of a slightly slower 1.8GHz Turion 64 X2 TL56 processor, while the F7K opts for a 1.9GHz Turion 64 X2 TL58 processor and ATI HD2400 graphics. No word on a price for any of them, but they're apparently all set to officially launch sometime this month.

[Via PC Launches]

IP Innovation sues Red Hat, Novell for patent infringement

Well, would you look at this. Not even a week after Steve Ballmer insinuated that Red Hat users owe Microsoft money for using its patents, IP Innovation has filed a lawsuit against the firm (along with Novell) in the accurately nicknamed "patent troll magnet state (that'd be Texas)." The firm, which also threw a lawsuit Apple's way earlier this year, is claiming that both entities have infringed on the very same patent. As if that weren't enough, Groklaw's digging found that the plaintiff is actually a subsidiary of Acacia, which just so happened to hire on two prior Microsoft execs in the months leading up to this filing. If you're interested in feeding your desire to conjure up some sensational conspiracy theory even further, feel free to grab your coffee and hit the read link.

[Via Digg, thanks Ziemowit P.]

Polar offers up RS800G3 multisport training system

Polar's RS800, which was originally introduced last September, is getting one-upped this fall by the RS800G3 multisport training system. Essentially, this acts as a GPS upgrade to the wristwatch, which "enables athletes to measure speed and distance for a variety of outdoor sports." The entire system now consists of the RS800 wrist unit, Wearlink W.I.N.D. heart rate transmitter, ProTrainer 5 software and the G3 GPS Sensor, and those who already plunked down for the watch last year can purchase the G3 GPS sensor separately. The sensor itself packs a SiRFstarIII chipset, is water resistant and can last around 15-hours on just a single AA battery. Price wise, athletes (or athletes to-be) can pick up the entire RS800G3 bundle for $499.95, while the standalone G3 will run you $139.95.

[Thanks, SK]

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