Snow room with got girl
Had enough of the heat? How about sitting in a snowy room where it is 10 degrees below zero? Now that is what I call relaxing. As stupid as this concept sounds, the "Snow Room" exists, and it was recently showcased in a Hotel Equipment Fair in Turkey. Plus, it will go on sale to all luxury hotels and spas starting this year.

The Snow Room was developed by MNK—a company that has made a name for themselves developing saunas. While the idea does seem strange, it appears that hot/cold therapy is common in northern European countries.

Read more on "Ice Sauna Goes to 10 Below Zero in Snow room- Causes Shrinkage"!
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Cyberstorm wargamesYou've got to give the Pentagon credit for imagining every possible threat scenario in its latest wargame, dubbed "Cyber Storm," but the plotline this time around is pretty wild.

Starting with an electronic attack on the Port Authority of New Jersey, major new networks and bloggers spread "believable but misleading" information without revealing their sources -- all while hundreds of people on the "no-fly" list stream into airports, DC's Metro trains shut down, air traffic control towers in Philly and Chicago are disrupted, and mysterious liquids are found on the tube in London.

Read more on "Pentagon's "Cyber Storm" war game simulates blogger leaks, train disorder -- wait, blogger leaks?"!
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Asus eeepc true reviewsWe've had the Asus Eee PC $399 4GB model in my house since launch. And while you can't argue with the system's unbeatable size/performance/price ratio, users should know that once the honeymoon euphoria of the cheap ultraportable wears off, they're going to deal with some persistent issues that very well may be deal breakers.

You know the 7-inch screen size will be small—but really, it's too small for extended use. Seeing my wife working on the laptop, I watch as the screen gradually moves closer and closer to her face, until she's basically wearing the computer like video goggles. A 10-inch screen model sounds like the sweet spot, and more what you've envisioned as ideal.

The system is, quite simply, not stable to work on. It freezes up frequently when just going through the system's dashboard—even without multitasking in progress. And launching OpenOffice apps can be a hit or miss process, too. Sure, the system is easy enough to reboot (and speedy in this regard as well), but the OS just never feels stable.

My guess is that bugs and performance issues stem from a hardware problem (maybe that stick 512MB isn't enough after all) and an unpolished OS (Asus' custom Linux system could use a few patches for sure). But, most certainly, the 512MB of RAM isn't enough given the inefficiency of the OS's memory management. Asus, where are our updates? We're still running software version 1.0. This must be the least-patched OS in history.

The biggest annoyance, by far, has to be the system's subpar Wi-Fi. If nothing else, the Eee is meant to be a web-surfing machine, the perfect companion to your overpriced espresso drink. But it has a ton of difficulty finding hotspots. Expect to retry detection several times before a list of local networks appears. That might not sound all that tedious, but losing five minutes plus when connecting to the internet—frequently—gets real old real fast in the year 2008.

And these problems even occur with your own saved networks. For some reason the Eee doesn't like to remember security keys. Users eventually become smart enough to paste the code somewhere in their documents, but really, should we have to?

I'm not sure that the Eee is a "don't buy." But more and more every day, I'm wishing that we'd invested the $400 elsewhere (a new smartphone, for instance). Initial reviews accepted the system's shortcomings partially because everyone loved that golden price/performance/size ratio and partially, even tacitly, because many expected bugs to be ironed out in due course.

Maybe more RAM would improve the experience, but at this point I'm fearing the investment. Maybe loading Ubuntu will solve the OS problems—I plan on doing just that this weekend—but most users won't deal with that hassle. At this point our love affair is over and we realize that the Asus Eee PC, as important as it may be for the market, is a glorious "miss" in its current state.

Read more on "Asus Eee PC Long-Term Review (Verdict: Honeymoon Officially Over)"!
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Remove vista- Banner imageYes, this is an actual computer shop sign. In addition to offering the "We remove Vista, We install XP" service, they also repair notebooks.

Here's what the shop owner has to say:
What was the demand for the service? "We had a lot of people coming in and asking about it," Kaplan said. "Of all the signs we put up there the last two years, at least, we probably got the most response out of that one. A lot of people coming in."

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Sony unleashes holographic demoThis is how you bust out a hologram -- unlike the mind-numbingly boring virtual Prince Charles we heard about the other day, Sony's invaded Tokyo Bay with a water-and-laser sea monster. The apparition is part of the promotion for a movie called "Water Horse: Legend of the Deep," but even with a title like that, we'll definitely check it out on import DVD when it arrives Stateside just to provide more incentive for stunts like this. Check out the Youtube video.

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Cloud front with rocking bedThe Private Cloud is a patented rocking bed by German designer Manuel Kloker. They don't tell the price, but it is real. You buy it.

Cloud front with rocking bed demo
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Sea interrupted internet servicesInternet services have been disrupted throughout the country on Thursday following a major international cable breakdown in the Mediterranean sea.

Nearly, 50-60% capacity remained down in the country following the damage of SEA-ME-We 3 and SEA-ME-WE 4 cables that connects Mumbai to East Coast of the USA and the UK.

"The repair will take another 15-20 days," Internet Service Providers Association of India (ISPAI) President Rajesh Chharia said.

Some service providers affected by the breakdown include FLAGTEL of ADAG Reliance and Delhi's internet ISP Spectranet and Bangalore's ISP Karturi Network, he said.

Several cables were damaged when some ships had to anchor in Egypt's Alexandria region due to bad weather conditions. It has impacted internet connectivity in India.

The connections were severed on Wednesday afternoon, Chharia added.

"Majority of the firms are trying to restore their connections through the Pacific Region, which is increasing the latency period (time taken to connect two servers)," he added.

Chharia said the Bombay Stock Exchange was unlikely to be impacted as it is connected through the VPN.

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In this Fifth Gear segment, Jason Plato and Tiff Needell pit the BMW M3 and Mercedes C63 AMG against each other at Silverstone.

The latest round of the battle between BMW and Mercedes has resulted in the release of the new M3 and C63 AMG cars. Both are very fast and represent great value for true German performance. The Merc may have more power under the hood but BMW's track expertise and lighter weight puts them on even ground.

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PX-3600 gaming console picsWe're pretty certain middle schoolers across the world have sketched this exact console 10,000 times, but that still doesn't make it right.

Via- [Engadget]
Read more on "The PX-3600 gaming console: Part CVIII. Keepin' it real fake"!
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Garmin nuvifone GSM HSDPA smartphone demoToday, Garmin whipped out the nuvifone, a full-fledged GSM HSDPA smartphone built on its own operating system with GPS navigation at its core—but e-mail and web browsing close to its heart, and a camera built in too. No pricing or carrier announcement has been made yet, though its likeliest compatible network is AT&T given the technology. (When T-Mobile launches HSDPA, it too will be suitable, and possibly more attractive than AT&T.)

Garmin nuvifone smartphone profile demoFeatures include:
  • Google local search
  • Garmin Online services - traffic, weather, fuel prices, hotel discounts, etc.
  • nuvi-like navigation on the road or in pedestrian mode
  • Email, text, IM functions
  • Camera, video camera, MP3 and MPEG4/AAC
search map with Garmin nuvifone smartphoneGarmin is promising to deliver it in the 3rd quarter, and says that while the PND market isn't dying, the cellphone is clearly a ripe opportunity. Only one problem, as quipster and NPD analyst Ross Rubin pointed out: "Hello and Welcome to nuvifone!" Damn, now I'll never get that voice out of my head. Have a look at more pics.

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After bleeding red for months, Sony's games division finally turned a profit last quarter. Sony sold 4.9 million PS3s last quarter after slashing console prices, boosting game titles, and cutting production costs internally.

Sony GamesOf course, we're sure Wii shortages aren't hurting Sony's bottom line either. Sony did lower its annual sales goal of PS3s from 11 million to 9.5 million (citing a slow start) while increasing PSP projections to 13 million from 10 million as originally expected.

Sony's fiscal year ends in March. Overall, Sony's profits rose 25% for the quarter.

Read more on "Sony's game division finally turns a profit -- sells 4.9M PS3s in Q3"!
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Hd dvd- Winner of 2008 raceGartner, the fat lady of research firms, is singing HD DVD's swan song this morning. Hiroyuki Shimizu, Principal Research Analyst in Japan, says in Gartner's Semiconductor DQ Monday Report that, "Gartner believes that Toshiba's price-cutting may prolong HD DVD's life a little, but the limited line-up of film titles will inflict fatal damage on the format." He goes on to call the recent price cuts "useless resistance" in avoiding the inevitable. What's that, you coyly ask? According to Shimizu, "Gartner expects that, by the end of 2008, Blu-ray will be the winning format in the consumer market, and the war will be over."

With 5 of the 7 major studios now backing Blu-ray exclusively, Gartner's certainty on the subject doesn't appear to be much of a stretch.

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Arkanoid game demoIn Arkanoid, "the player controls the "Vaus", a space vessel that acts as the game's "paddle" which prevents a ball from falling from the playing field, attempting to bounce it against a number of bricks."

The ball striking a brick causes the brick to disappear. When all the bricks are gone, the player goes to the next level, where another pattern of bricks appear. There are a number of variations (bricks that have to be hit multiple times, flying enemy ships, etc.) and power-up capsules to enhance the Vaus, but the gameplay remains the same.

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Lego brick 50 yearsThe LEGO brick turns 50 at exactly 1:58 p.m. today, January 28, 2008. This timeline shows these 50 years of building frenzy by happy kids and kids-at-heart, all the milestones from the LEGOLAND themed sets to TECHNIC and MINDSTORMS NXT, as well as all kinds of weird curiosities about the most famous stud-and-tube couple system in the world. Jump to zoom in and tell us what was your first LEGO in the comments.

It all first started in 1947, when LEGO bought their first plastic injection machine. The brick was not invented then but took final form in 1958, when the shape of the stud-and-tube brick was patented. Since then, LEGO sets have been going through dozens of iterations, from the younger version, DUPLO, to the most sophisticated LEGO TECHNIC and LEGO MINDSTORMS NXT sets, going through all the different themes of LEGOLAND and, of course, the most successful line of all times according to LEGO, LEGO Star Wars.

LEGO brick curiosities:

• There are about 62 LEGO bricks for every one of the world's 6 billion inhabitants.
• Children around the world spend 5 billion hours a year playing with LEGO bricks.
• More than 400 million people around the world have played with LEGO bricks.
• LEGO bricks are available in 53 different colors.
• 19 billion LEGO elements are produced every year.
• 2.16 million LEGO elements are molded every hour, or 36,000 per minute.
• More than 400 billion LEGO bricks have been produced since 1949.
• Two eight-stud LEGO bricks of the same color can be combined in 24 different ways.
• Three eight-stud bricks can be combined in 1,060 ways.
• There are more than 915 million combinations possible for six 2 x 4 LEGO bricks of the same color.
• 7 LEGO sets are sold by retailers every second around the world.
• The LEGO bricks sold in one year would circle the world 5 times.
• 40 billion LEGO bricks stacked on top of one another would connect the earth with the moon.
• LEGO bricks are so much more than just toys. They are used in classrooms from preschool to university level to teach everything from math, language skills and science to engineering and technology principles.
• The LEGO brick has inspired generations of innovators, like Jonathan Gay, inventor of Flash.
• World-renowned author Douglas Coupland believes the LEGO brick represents a "language in itself."
• A January 2008 Google search produces 57.6 million references to LEGO bricks.
• There are 55,600 LEGO videos on YouTube.
• Google co-founders, Larry Page and Sergey Brin, used LEGO bricks to build the external low-cost and expandable casing for 10 4GB hard disks when they were busy developing the Google search engine (today, they have reportedly been used in Google's college graduate recruiting exercises to test potential candidate's creative horsepower).

Read more on "LEGO Brick 50 Years of Building Frenzy and Curiosities"!
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Skyfire browser for Windows Mobile demoThe Skyfire browser is set to finally bring PC-like browsing to your Windows Mobile device with crazy speeds and support for all manner of embedded content. Sure, there are ways to get Youtube and other mobile video content through proxy sites that convert on the go or with other 3rd-party applications, but this puppy does it all in one sweet and free package. Facebook and Myspace pages load up in no time, video plays in the browser, and all of this is accomplished with some server side magic on the part of the Skyfire server but is completely transparent to the user.

All flavors of Windows Mobile -- 5 and 6 for both touchscreen and not -- are supported with the roadmap hinting at Symbian support in the near future.
Read more on "Skyfire browser for Windows Mobile is game changing, does Flash"!
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Amazon mp3 music downloadIn perhaps the biggest threat to Apple's global dominance of digital music, Amazon just announced the international rollout of Amazon MP3. Right, the on-line storefront offering DRM-free music from all four major labels. That's 3.3 million songs (priced at $0.99 or less) from over 270k artists encoded in 256kbps MP3 files for playback on any PC, any Mac, and pretty much any portable device you might own. Sure, it's beta but so is that Gmail account you've been using for the past 4 years.

Unfortunately, the best that Amazon can commit to is "this year" which leaves plenty of time for the house of Apple to get their DRM shiznit together.

Read more on "Amazon MP3 store to spread DRM-free love global in 2008"!
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Robovie cameras crowd monitoringThis humanoid is apparently allowed to run amok at Universal Citywalk Osaka as the Advanced Telecommunications Research Institute tests out its ability to interpret signals from cameras, sensors and RFID readers and determine which patrons are thoroughly lost.

When it recognizes a stumped individual, it wheels over, confirms their state of confusion and politely offers directions to their destination of choice.

Read more on "Crowd-monitoring humanoid helps lost mall patrons"!
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Qtrax Music Free ServiceQtrax, a new P2P music sharing service. Here's the skinny: The service is free, completely. Qtrax offers an unlimited service. It is supported by the four major labels, as well as smaller, niche music groups, and that means it will have a start-up music library of over 25 million songs. That is about four times bigger than iTunes, and about 100% cheaper. Very, very soon.

Monday, in fact, is the day the service goes live, and we cannot hold our wee we're so excited. Initially, only Windows Vista and XP will be supported, but the Macboys and girls see some action on March 18th.

The system will work by tracking all downloads, royalties will then be issued accordingly. It isn't too clear how that revenue will be generated, but expect some anal advertising to bombard a PC near you if you do give it a whirl.

Read more on "Qtrax Promises Legal P2P Music Sharing Service, the Impossible"!
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New Devil May Cry 4 demoDevil May Cry 4 for the Xbox 360 / PS3 "present two separate difficulty levels for players to test their skills with."

For newcomers to the series, the Human setting should offer a challenge but help ease players into monster killing. For veterans of the franchise, however, the Devil Hunter setting should present more than enough of a challenge to your abilities.

Read more on "New Devil May Cry 4 (Xbox 360 / PS3) Gameplay Footage"!
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Rollable flex keyboardThere are plenty of outfits out there looking to snap up your loose change in exchange for a pre-built rollup keyboard, but if you just can't stand that 'board that came bundled in with your last pre-fab PC, we think there's a better alternative. Apparently, all you have to do is remove the inner membrane from an unwanted set of keys, make sure the control board is accurately reassembled onto said membrane and cut out letters in the font of your choosing to keep you on track when your touch typing skills begin to fade.

That's it -- an ├╝ber-painless, amazingly easy and absolutely inelegant method of crafting your own rollable keyboard.

Read more on "Rollable keyboard exudes simplicity"!
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If you enjoyed the original topless Wii video or the more recent, even hotter sequel, then you are probably the type to get a kick out of this semi-nude rendition of Samba de Amigo on the classic Sega Dreamcast.

Read more on "NSFW Video: Topless/Bottomless Dreamcast"!
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