Video Converter Uber App

The fine blokes over at the Inquirer are all gushy about Super, a Windows GUI that’s been laid over ffmpeg, the popular command-like graphics converter program. Other popular command-line conversion apps are bundled under the Super GUI, too. As the INQ sums it up:

“The result is described, pardon the redundancy, as ‘A simple GUI to ffmpeg, mencoder, mplayer, x264, mppenc, ffmpeg2theora & the theora/vorbis RealProducer plugIn.’

“Translated to English, this means you can convert back and forth between AVI, WMV, ASF, Realvideo, Quicktime, OGG Theora, -even the latest video file formats like .3gp used on mobile phones from Nokia/NEC/Siemens/Sony Ericsson etc. All this is done with just a few clicks, as the GUI launches the requested open sauce in the background. And everything for free, to boot.”

Mouse with RSI-Relieving Prompts

A Dutch repetitive motion scientist has invented a computer mouse that prompts you (by buzzing) to give it a rest (your hand, that is). The mouse keeps track of what you’re doing (resting your hand on the mouse, moving it, clicking, scrolling), and when you’re not moving (for 10 seconds), it prompts you to remove your hand and relax it. The Hoverstop Sym 8-3 is US$68 at ThinkGeek.

[Via CNet News]

This Cell Phone Will Self-Destruct In…

DailyTech has a piece about a fascinating phone recycling technology that Nokia has developed for “deconstructing” old phones. Normally, when phones are reclaimed, it takes several minutes to take a phone apart to recycle its components. This tech would do it, hands-off, in two seconds, using heat. The technology to enable this uses Shape-Memory Alloy. Application of high heat (between 60-150C) causes the SMA to “actuate” and release the parts. Nokia insists this wouldn’t lead to cell phones that reduce themselves to a pile o’ parts in a hot car.

Microsoft: So “Multicore,” Dood!

This made me…ah… LOL (as the kids used to say back when MS was “razor-like”) :

“Not to be outdone by today’s news of Intel’s release of Core 2 Duo and Core 2 Extreme, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer drew a mental picture for analysts attending today’s all-day financial session. Gone were the “focus,” “laser-like focus” and, from one point in history, “razor-like focus” used to describe the company when Windows Vista looked like a done deal. Instead, Ballmer said, try to think of Microsoft as a company that does many things, that’s involved in several aspects of consumers’ lives…you could call it a “multicore” company.”

Read the rest of the piece on TG Daily.

Wanna Beta Test Future Slingboxes?

The folks at Sling Media are looking for beta testers for future products. Saith the Veep (Jeremy Toeman):

“We will use this as an ongoing program, and will pull people from the pool as needed. So you could hear from us next week, next month, or next year, depending on our needs at the time.”

Here’s where you sign up.

[Via Zatz Not Funny]

Is the Black Holes Theory Wrong?

New Scientist has a fascinating piece about a controversial theory at odds with the idea of black holes. This alternative theory recently got a boost, thanks to some observations during a rare cosmological coincidence, conditions which allowed scientists to probe deeper into a quasar than ever before. What they found was very different than what has been previously theorized (namely a black hole at its center).

Read what they found here.

Netflix Screens Warriors; Invites Mayhem

I just got a note from Netflix that they’ll be putting on an outdoor screening of the crapclassic Warriors on August 2nd at the Asser Levy Amphitheater in Coney Island, Brooklyn. Yeah, I’m looking forward to the trip home after that show….

Check out Netflix Roadshow to see if some outdoor screenings are coming to your locale this summer.

Suunto Expands Fitness, GPS Watch Line

The new T series watches (which include the T1, T3, and T4) ditch Suunto’s usual on-board features of digital compass, thermometer, altimeter, and barometer in favor of a heart-rate monitor and calorimeter. The higher-end T3 and T4 watches are also compatible with “pods” that extend the functionality of the watch. Available pods include pedometer, cyclometer and GPS, as well as the PC Pod that allows transfer of stats to the PC for training analysis. Best guess sets these to retail for US$149 for the basic T1, $199 for the T3 and $299 for the T4. Pod prices unknown, but bundles like the “Marathon” and “Multisport” include watch and Pod together for a reduced price. Release “Fall 2006.”

The already-released T6 is also compatible with the new pods, and retains the internal compass, thermometer, and altimeter/barometer — if you’re the kind of person who needs to know everything.

Tesla Motors Roadster

It sounds like one of Firesign Theater’s many wacky car companies (Aleister Crowley’s Used Cars, Medieval Motors, Jailbird Motors), but apparently, Tesla Motors is real and planning on selling this all-electric roadster. Here are some stats (claimed by the makers):

* 100% Electric
* 0 to 60 in 4 seconds
* 135mpg equivalent
* 250 miles per charge
* About 1 cent/mile

This is the car company that Elon Musk of PayPal, Sergey Brin of eBay, Larry Page of Google, and Jeff Skoll (formerly of eBay) are behind, making it the first Silicon Valley car company. And true to its computer tech roots, this car runs on 6,831 rechargeable lithium-ion batteries, the same type used in your laptop. Crazy. Read Joshua Davis’s piece from Wired on the company.

Thanks, Ron!