Canon Elura 100 Selected as VidCam of the Year

The well-respected video camera review and information site has selected their favorite camera for 2006 and it’s the Canon Elura 100. I did a bunch of camera research this year to buy a camera for my son, for art school, and the Elura was the one we almost got.

It really does look like an amazing machine for the money (under US$400). We ended up deciding to go with the 3 CCD-equipped Panasonic PV-GS300. It was voted Miss Congeniality. Actually, it was voted CamInfo’s favorite in the under $600 class (you can actually get it for under $500). They think it was sort of unforgivable that Panasonic dropped the headphone jack (no headphone jack!), the focus ring, and some other features found on the previous model, and we agree. But it’s still a great camera and I’m not sorry we spent the extra dough.


How-To: Tweak Firefox 2.0

Okay, we’ll shut up about Firefox 2, AFTER we tell you to check out this great collection of tips and nifty tricks in the Firefox Tweak Guide on Lots of monkeying around, customizing, and optimizing possibilities for your new browser.


Cage Match: IE 7 vs. Firefox 2

Gizmodo does one of their awesome review mashups, this one on all of the reviews and comparison pieces on IE 7 and Firefox 2. As you can see from this graph, Firefox is the critic’s favorite.

And here’s one from the “Why I loath Windows with a passion bordering on rabies” File:

“…the most important new security feature in IE 7 — something called Protected Mode, which stops Web sites from changing your computer’s important files or settings — will work only in the new Vista version of Windows.”


Have You Seen This Picture?

Kevin Kelly has this pic on his Street Use site and sez:

“As far as I can tell this is not a put-on, or hoax, but a legitimate innovation born of desperation. And I believe others have discovered the same solution. (I’m always surprised more people don’t use some kind of hands-free contraption.) If you know more about this particular picture (forwarded to me by Alexander Rose) please email me.”

I have a vague memory that I’ve seen this image before and it was a joke. That phone looks like it’s not from the present century. Does anyone else recognize it? I can’t imagine it’s for real, but then, this posting on Street Use is:

This is some would-be street person’s way of reducing clutter on his desk: creating duct tape holders underneath it. It’s a slippery slope from here to rubberbanding a phone to your head.


How-To: Build a Tic-Tac Shake Light

How awesome is this, a relatively easy to build shake-to-charge flashlight that’s housed in a Tic-Tac box. Looks cool through the clear plastic case, too. Take that Altoids project box! Looks like you’re not the only breath mint packaging a geek could love!


More Firefox 2.0 Goodness!

TechCrunch runs down Mozilla’s Recommended Add-Ons and offers their two cents on each, and this week’s “Geek to Live” on Lifehacker offers some great tips on tweaking the FF config file. For instance:

“As a blogger and web mail user, it breaks my heart to recount how many times I’ve composed a long post or email message, then accidentally closed the tab or browser and lost all my work. No more! With Firefox 2, set the key to 3 to restore your browsing session – with form entries intact! – every time you start your browser or undo close tab after a wayward click. Note: By default, Firefox 2 automatically restores your session if your browser crashes – but this does it every time you restart your browser normally.”


Firefox 2.0 in Da Hizzouse. Fo Shizzle!

Firefox 2.0 is finally here. The real deal. Accept no substitutes. Here are some of the much-anticipated features:

* “Visual Refresh:” That means they made it purdier.

* Built-in Phishing protection: Warns against suspected forged Web pages. “You mean my bank doesn’t really want me to re-enter the names and passwords for all of my accounts and the SS#s of my entire family?”

* Enhanced search capabilities: The integrated search box on the browser will offer search term auto-completion as you type. So, for example, if someone is using your browser and starts to type in “butternut squash,” they’ll get a suggestion of “bubblebutt babes.” And you can’t imagine HOW That got in there!

* Improved tabbed browsing: Improved as in, Firefox will force people to see the brilliance of tabs over new windows by creating tabs by default, a tyranny we wholeheartedly endorse.

* Resuming your browsing session: We’ve been using, and loving, the SessionSaver Plug-in. This works like that, saving and restoring windows, tabs, text typed in forms, and even in-progress downloads from the last user session.

* Previewing and subscribing to Web feeds: Users can decide how to handle Web RSS feeds, either subscribing to them via a Web service or in a standalone reader, or adding them as Live Bookmarks. My Yahoo!, Bloglines and Google Reader come pre-loaded as Web service options, but users can add any Web service that handles RSS feeds.

*Inline spell checking: So now there’s no excuse, even if you have the grammatical prowess of Dan Quayle.

* Live Titles: Allows microsummaries of Web contents to appear as a sort of live bookmark with regularly updates. This will surely become another way of aggregating dynamic content.

*Improved Add-ons manager: Tweaks and improvements to the user interface for managing themes and extensions.

* Extended search plugin format: Search engine format now supports plugins written in Sherlock and OpenSearch and allows search engines to provide term suggestions. So “Bubblebutt Babes” can show up as a search suggestion in ALL of your search engine plugins. Not that this has *ever* happened to us. We’re just sayin’…

See the full feature list here.

Oh, and we think we forgot to mention last week that Internet Explorer 7 is out too. It has… ah who cares?


KOTOR2: The Armchair Director’s Cut

From Kotaku:

“The Sith Lords Restoration Project is an attempt by mod collective Team Gizka to create KOTOR2 as it was meant to be played.

[From the Project team:]
“We’re adding back in as much of the cut content as is possible. We are dedicated to forming a coherent story out of these sound clips and occasionally-ambiguous action descriptions, so unfortunately, we cannot include every single cool thing that was cut. But, we will still have plenty of coolness, including:

* The long-lost HK Droid Factory! (not the same as the Droid Planet M4-78)
* Several ways to murder Visas!
* A whole new group of people who want to kill you!
* Multiple endings! (no, really, actual endings)
* Various ways to be responsible for the deaths of all your party members!”


A Jacket Whose Style Grows on You

“Friends, Host and Parasites.” Sometimes it’s tough to tell ’em apart. Differentiation doesn’t come any easier in this amazing wearable bio-art project of the same name. Explains the designers :

“[It is] A jacket with a printed pattern that is almost seamless when not active and comes to live through the illumination of the different graphics that compose it. The pattern, like a parasite or a wine plant, grows on the structure of the body as time passes until it grows into a fully blooming visual organism. When the jacket is removed, the organism slowly dies out until it disappears completely.

“The printed organism is created using thermo-chromic inks and is electrically controlled through conductive wire threaded directly on the fabric of the jacket.”

[Via we-make-money-not-art]


Vintage TV Ads for Computers

One of the many cool things about YouTube is the amount of historical tech-related material that’s finding its way onto it, and how people are aggregating this material in useful, enlightening, and entertaining ways. This piece from PC World is a perfect example. They’ve assembled a bunch of computer TV ads, many from the early days of the computer revolution. Some of the ads you’ll recognize, others you won’t. It all forms an interesting snapshot of a now quaint and fondly-remembered (at least speaking for myself) time. There are ads going all the way up to the current PC guy/Mac guy ads. One fun addition is an allegedly never-before-seen second Apple “Switch” ad with Ellen Feiss, the stoner-esque teen who became a 15-minute celeb after her first spaceous performance. Mercifully absent is the “Dude, you’re getting a Dell” dude. But who can live without the Shatner VIC-20 commercial (shown above)? Priceless.