Glow Rings

Glow Rings are keychains which sport a small glass vial that houses phosphor and tritium. Radiation from the tritium makes the phosphor glow in one of five different colors without using batteries or bulbs. I haven’t found any US distributors yet.

New Barebones Multimedia System

MSI Computer, maker of computer components and barebones systems, has announced a new system specifically for the home entertainment server market – the MEGA (MSI Entertainment Gaming Appliance). The case sports an innovative built-in display that shows MP3 information or other features much like a home stereo, and has a button layout that appears to make using the system as a media server simpler. The internal componants support either AMD or Intel P4 chips, and include integrated AGP 8x display hardware, and USB 2.0, firewire ports, and S-video out. Accessories include TV tuner, FM radio, wireless remote and keyboard, etc. as well as your choice of DVD/CDRW drives and hard drives (all BYO). Price is not known at this point, but units are expected this summer.

Macromedia Moves Off the Grid

Macromedia has announced Macromedia Central, a tool for creating and viewing Macromedia Flash content without the need for an internet connection or browser.

Most Flash content is integrated into a website, and must be viewed through a browser with the Macromedia Flash plug-in. But Macromedia seems to want to extend its tool for creating and delivering multimedia content such as games and animations beyond just active ‘net browsing. The new features will provide users with more offline content and allow developers to specifically develop for an “occasionally connected” community.

The mention of “Centrino technology” (read WiFi) in the press release for Macromedia Central suggests that desktop flash applications will be able to store data for later updating from or to the web, and possibly even interact with other computers via WiFi connection not over the Internet i.e flash-based h2h gaming, chat, etc. Release of Macromedia Central is expected this summer.

Two Wristphones That Actually Exist

Several times over the last two years or more various cell phone manufacturers have announced “wrist-phones,” leading just about every journalist, myself included, to make inane Dick Tracy references. Finally, two of these phones appear headed to market; the DoCoMo Wristomo (pictured top left) and the Samsung wrist phone. The DoCoMo phone, which reportedly is already on shelves in Japan, has a unique design that folds around the wrist like a bracelet, but unfolds to allow the wearer use it like a regular phone. It has a full keypad, eight-line mono display, and has internet access. It operates on the PHS system in Japan, which is a short-range, low-power, and low(er) speed connection than GSM.

In contrast, the Samsung phone (pictured bottom right) is a GSM phone for use in Europe and other parts of the world with 800/1900 networks. It does not have a keyboard, though it does have a color Organic Light Emitting Diode (OLED) display — one of the first devices to make use of the low-power color alternative to TFT. The phone does not have a keypad, but supports voice dialing and Bluetooth, which means that it can be dialed from a PDA or BT headset. It has GPRS capability too, which means that other BT devices could use the phone to access the Internet at high speeds. While the preferred way to use the phone will probably be through headset, the phone reportedly includes a speaker-phone function, so no headset is needed. With a talk-time of just an hour and a half, and a standby time of “up to” 80 hours, the phone will definitely be a niche product. The Samsung will reportedly be available in Europe in Q3 2003. Both phone are expected to retail for about $1000.

For more pics, click “read more.”

motorized LCD

One currently popular casemod is to add a small color LCD display to the front of a PC case. Now, one casemodder has come up with a creative way to have an LCD display and still have the use of his floppy drive. He has motorized the display to move up and down like a motorized car window.

New Palm Zire?

PalmInfocenter is reporting that a new version of the low-end Palm Zire is rumored to be on its way to store shelves. The “Zire 71” reportedly runs Palm OS 5, the same as the Tungsten T models, and will have a hi-res color screen and included 640×480 camera. Price is expected to be between $250 and $300. Check out PalmInfocenter for pics and more specs.

Boingo Ground Floor Opportunity

Boingo, developer of WiFI networks for public access, has put together a HotSpot in a Box package that allows anyone with broadband access to set themselves up as a Boingo affiliate. For just $700, you get a Colubris CN3000 router/firewall that supports up to 100 simultaneous users, software and marketing materials. Every time someone logs in to your Boingo network, you get $1, and there’s a bonus $20 for every customer you sign up. For those with a little tech savvy, this offers a turnkey opportunity to set up a big WiFi network for you and your neighbors that could bring in a good income, assuming you live in a densly populated area. The cost to end-users is $50/mo. for unlimited use, but only $25/mo. for 10 days of use.