Optimus Maximus Keyboard Makes Me Wish I Was Richie Rich


Art Lebedev Studio, headed by Artemy Lebedev has come with a masterpiece. Or is it? Titled “Optimus Maximus” it’s a high end keyboard with 133 tiny OLED display keys. Now coming to the part where I wish I was Richie Rich. This keyboard costs a whopping $1,600. A bomb. Did someone say that it is the costliest keyboard on the face of the Earth? More on that later.

The trick here is each key can be individually programmed to display different tasks, like playing tiny movies, HTML codes, or your favorite websites. Let me break that down into common speak. There is a screen in each key that displays the function currently assigned to it. Each of its keys is a display which can dynamically change to adapt to the keyboard layout in use or to show the function of the key.

According to the company website, Optimus Maximus’s customizable layout allows convenient use of any language—Cyrillic, Ancient Greek, Georgian, Arabic, Quenya, hiragana, etc.—as well as of any other character sets: notes, numerals, special symbols, HTML codes, math functions and so on to infinity.

Optimus Configurator software allows programming every button to reproduce a sequence of symbols and editing the image separately for each layout.

Most of the reviews I came across on the internet criticized the keyboard for inordinately high CPU usage, slow response time, and buggy configuration software. Another grouse is that after plugging the keyboard to the USB port, one has to slog, programming the keys. The only talking points of this keyboard are that it lets you see the shortcuts visually and the level of customization it offers.

One can individually configure what each key does when it is depressed. Currently scripts, commands and few other functions can be programmed. The keys can display whatever you want it to display according to the guys at Gizmodo. They say that apart from static images, one can also play back a movie on one of the keys Wow. Is it Alien Technology?

Source: Art Lebedev Studio, Gizmodo, Wired.com


Lets Cha Cha Cha……

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A person sitting in front of a computer connected to internet has the entire gamut of search engines available with just a click of a button to seek out the information he seeks. Now picture the same person with a high end mobile phone featuring GPRS. Again the power of search is at the tip of his fingers. Now I picture myself holding a sub $25 cell phone wondering how am I going to find the nearest available gas station or a convenience store. I do not have the luxury of a computer connected to internet nor do I have a high end cell phone that can connect to the net. So am I stuck, helpless, looking for the nearest telephone booth to look up the places?

Well if it wasn’t for the ChaCha, the answer would be yes. ChaCha is a free mobile search service that allows you to get answers to any question you might have, right on your mobile device. You can ask about weather, stocks, directions, restaurants, shops, products… and all your questions are answered by real people.

One can get restaurant recommendations on the go, last night’s baseball score, and even the average weight of an elephant! All one has to do is Call 1-800-2-ChaCha or text 242242 with your question. Your question will be sent to a ChaCha Guide who will research the question and send you a text back with your answer.

ChaCha is a free service currently available only in the U.S. Normal text or voice charges from the carrier apply and this service is available 24/7.

ChaCha has been voted as the best consumer mobile application “Best Application” at the CTIA Wireless 2008. It has also won first prize at the “My Search is Better than Your Search” competition at the Search Engine Strategies conference held in Manhattan and ranked the No. 1 Alternative Search Engine. ChaCha was also named “Top Ten” by Dow Jones’ VentureWire out of 70 presenters at “Web Ventures.”

Source: ChaCha, The Wall Street Journal

Run Multiple Instances Of Yahoo Messenger

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I have different Yahoo! Messenger ID’s. After logging into one ID, when I tried to log into another ID, I could not do that.

So what one can do is: To get multiple instances of Yahoo! Messenger running at the same time, follow this –

Download and run the ym8multi.reg file from this ZIP archive

For uninstall, download and run the ym8multi_unist.reg file from this ZIP archive

Now isn’t this great.

I just loved this patch…. 🙂

Hydrogen Bikes Anyone?

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Continuing with the environment friendly initiatives on which I have been posting, this is a gem. The article is from BikeSite.com. Though I have not been able to determine the date, it’s still a must read for all those enthusiasts who have been waiting for and environment friendly bike to come along.

Intelligent Energy, British based company has developed a bike titled ENV. It stands for Emissions Neutral Vehicle. Intelligent Energy has partnered with Seymourpowell which has been working on this fuel cell technology for over 10 years to come up with this eco-friendly bike. The motorbike is powered by hydrogen cells. It has a top speed of 50 mph and a fuel range of 100 miles. The bike hardly makes any noise and is estimated to cost £3000 on the market. The cost might come down with the sops from the government. The design of the bike may not be to everybody’s tastes according to the website.

Sadly, I could not find any pictures of this bike and further information was also scarce.

One can read the full article at Bike Site at the following link or clicking on the post’s title: http://www.bikesite.co.uk/articles-21/75.htm

Cyclone Power To Ensure Our Planet Remains Green

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Society of Automotive Engineering (SAE) World Congress in Detroit, touted as one of the premier conferences of automotive engineers, executives and suppliers in the world saw some innovative ideas and concepts being showcased and discussed. One of them piqued my interest and I started digging for more information.

Cyclone Power Technologies Inc. has developed what it calls a Cyclone Engine. It is described as an environmentally friendly and highly efficient external combustion, heat-regenerative engine. It’s a water-lubricated external combustion engine that uses steam to power automobiles, lawn mowers and stationary generators. The company claims that the engine is capable of running on any liquid or gaseous fuel, including ethanol, bio-diesel and propane.

Developed by the company’s President and CEO, Harry Schoell, the Cyclone Engine regenerates (or recycles) its heat, which allows it to run cleaner, cooler and more efficiently than traditional internal combustion engines. Charles J. Murray for Design News reports that according to Schoell, the engine doesn’t need a transmission, clutches, mufflers or catalytic converters. At the show, the company demonstrated a 100-hp version of the engine that weighed just 35 lbs. Schoell said the automotive version of the engine uses six cylinders.

The engine works by burning fuel in an external combustion chamber and sending its hot gases through three heat exchangers. The first of those three heat exchangers heats water to 1,100-1,200 deg F and raises the water’s pressure to 3,200 psi. The superheated water is subsequently injected into the cylinders where it expands by a factor of approximately 1,800, therefore generating rotary motion.

The engine is lubricated with de-ionized water instead of motor oil because it has no metal-to-metal bearings. Thus, it eliminates many subsystems like oil pumps, radiators, catalytic converters and fuel injectors. The Cyclone engines are expected to cost less to manufacture, operate and maintain and are highly scalable and sufficiently powerful for applications ranging from lawn equipment and small home generators, large stand-alone generators, to cars, trucks, buses, RVs, boats and ships, as well as earth moving equipment and locomotives.

Cyclone holds the U.S. patent, international patent applications, and exclusive commercial rights to the Cyclone Engine. But one sad thing is that no automaker has come forward to adopt this technology. Innovative technologies like these need outright support from major automakers that are now under pressure to make their technology green. Otherwise it would be an excellent opportunity lost to limit and prevent undue damage to our planet.

Source: Press Release, Design News

Yahoo Will Win If It Opens Up To Developers – Thats The Trend!

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Yahoo! has at last has opened up to third-party publishers and developers for its search service. This new developer platform, which is called SearchMonkey, uses data web standards and structured data to enhance the functionality, appearance and usefulness of search results.

Well looking by the recent trends from different companies, it’s the developers who have exponentially raised the profit by creating friendly, must have applications. First it was Facebook, then MySpace followed suit and now its Yahoo! – a bit late but it is worth it.
With this online tool, developers can build data services that can be used to present rich and useful search results. These data services can be constructed using structured data either from the Yahoo! Search index or from publicly available sources (such as APIs). Yahoo! is also throwing a SearchMonkey developers party on May 15 at Yahoo! Headquarters – Url’s Café, 701 First Ave, Sunnyvale, CA 94089. Here one will get insider scoop on SearchMonkey, live demos, documentation and one can meet product managers and engineers face-to-face and not to miss the beer that will be served. 🙂 (i am a tea totaler though)
Hmm….. some info on the platform now: The platform gives all Web site owners an opportunity to present more useful informatinon on the Yahoo! Search page as compared to what is presented on other search engines. Site owners will be able to provide all types of additional information about their site directly to Yahoo! Search. So instead of a simple title, abstract and URL rich info like ratings and reviews, images, deep links, and all kinds of other useful data can be customized.
Example from the YahooSearchBlog: For example, by sharing its database of restaurant reviews, location information and photos with Yahoo!, Yelp can develop a far more visually compelling and useful search result than was previously presented to users. Here is how it works: website owners like Yelp, WebMD, The New York Times, and anyone else can supply us with their data and our patented Machined Learned Ranking helps ensure these results are presented to users at the right time. Users benefit because their search results will have more useful information than they did before from websites they trust. And websites benefit through increased and higher quality traffic from Yahoo! Search. Here is an example of what it will look like:

This kind of information is amazing at the hands of the consumer. I have a strong feeling that developers will do the trick for Yahoo! too…. All one needs to do now is to wait and watch…..

Nokia N810 WiMAX Edition – A Must Buy, Must Have Phone

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Nokia’s N810, a Linux based is not a typical mobile phone. Its bundled with features which makes it in par with a mobile computer.

Yes and now this phone is also WiMax enabled to take advantage of new wide-area high-speed mobile WiMAX networks.

So you may ask me as to what the benefits are? Well the benefits of the device are in its Internet capabilities. WiMAX is effectively a cross between wifi and 3G, offering city-wide wireless broadband access without the need for a SIM card. WiMAX can be accessed from local hot spots.

A number of additional features further enhance the utility of the Nokia N810 WiMAX Edition. With built-in GPS, the Nokia N810 WiMAX Edition can easily transform itself into a fully featured personal navigation device, complete with real-time on-screen maps. An integrated media player and 2 GB of internal memory, expandable to a full 10 GB of memory with the addition of an optional microSD memory card, allows the Nokia N810 WiMAX Edition to store and play back a large library of music and video content. When not in range of a WiMAX network, the Nokia N810 WiMAX Edition can also access the Internet over Wi-Fi or via conventional cellular data networks by pairing to a compatible mobile phone via Bluetooth technology.

Also being introduced with the Nokia N810 WiMAX Edition is the newest Internet Tablet operating system. This new upgraded OS2008 introduces useful new features to the platform, including an enhanced e-mail client. The N810 supports a fixed 2.5GHz frequency and as it’s designed to work with the Sprint Nextel Xohm service is currently only available in the US.

The device should become available this summer, and although the exact pricing hasn’t been confirmed yet, it’s expected to be available for around $420.

Get your hands on one as soon as possible…

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