Smart Dust Radios?

If you don’t have Lab Notes, the newsletter from the UC Berkeley College of Engineering, on your radar, what the heck is wrong with you?! You *want* to subscribe to this thing. Not only is it chock full of bleeding-edge sci-tech “amp” but it’s also free, and it’s written by Street Tech founding pal David Pescovitz. What’s not to like?

The latest issue covers smart dust radios (cool!), quantum computing, greener chip fabs, and sensor networks from the Silk Road to the Dead Sea.

New Palm OS Phones From GroupSense

PalmInfocenter has new details and pics about two upcoming Palm OS phones from a Chinese company called GroupSense (?). One is a candy-bar style phone (we need a new term for that, btw, suggestions please under comments) which is pictured to the left. They run Palm OS 4.1 on a 33MHz chip, with 16 megs of RAM and no expansion slot. The phones operate on 900/1800 GSM. What’s remarkable is that the phone is so very small — with a screen of just 2.2″, its resolution is reported to be 160 x 240 with a virtual Graffitti area. The other phone from the same mfr is a flip phone with much the same specs. Go to for more specs and pics.

Island of Overlooked Software Continued

Well, maybe it’s not that overlooked, but what better software for inclusion on that list than TurboNote. sponsored by South Pacific Island Services? TurboNote is a very simple and basic program for creating virtual sticky-notes on your Desktop. You can create them easily, change the color, add and remove text as needed, save and delete, and have them remain “always on top”. There is even an option for sending them and receiving them over the ‘net, but I haven’t played with that much. While an increased functionality version called TurboNote+ is $25, the basic version is free. It’s much better than physical sticky-notes stuck to the sides of your monitor, especially since each note can be set to sound a user-selected alarm. Though a few added features like standard Windows min/max/close/menu buttons and the ability to file within folders would be appreciated, it’s a very handy piece of software that won’t leave you with a desk full of crumpled yellow scraps.

Open Node in a Bag

Really nifty article on Flakey.Info about turning an Apple Airport Wi-Fi base station into a multi-antenna system using a pigtail antenna and connector. The N-type connector on the pigtail can be used to mount an external antenna cable, an omni-directional antenna (shown), a “cantenna,” or a bi-quad antenna.

(Check out the nifty bi-quad, waterproofed by building it inside of a Tupperware container. I wonder how much of a sales boost Pringels and Tupperware are enjoying as a result of the community wireless movement? They’ve become staples of many a node.)

Can We Stop Already with the iProducts?

New from mac outfitter and peripheral manufacturer Griffn Technology is the iTrip — an FM transmitter designed specifically for iPods. Like usual FM transmitters, it broadcasts tunes from your iPod to any car or home stereo via the FM tuner. But because it’s specifically designed for the iPod, it has some advantages, such as drawing power directly from the iPod (no batteries needed) and the ability to control which frequency is used from the iPod’s menu. And of course, it doesn’t mar the good looks of the iPod design. $35.

iMac Envy Sated

If you’re a fan of the looks of the new iMac, but are stuck using a laptop for your day-to-day computing, you can now add some style and ease your ergos by putting your laptop on the Lapvantage Dome. It’s nothing more than a laptop stand, but it does lift your laptop up to eye level and allow for rotation and adjustment, all while looking pretty snazzy. Basic models are available for $50, but the deluxe rotating adjustable model costs $80. For that price, you’d think that it would have added a USB hub to make it easier to plug in the required external keyboard or mouse…

Akamai Ends Relationship With Al-Jazeera

“The Web site of Arab satellite news channel Al-Jazeera was refused assistance this week when it sought help from Akamai Technologies Inc. of Cambridge, Mass., in dealing with hacking attacks and massive interest from Web users.” –

Yet another example of blatant racism and the curtailing of freedom of the press in this country. Sure it’s not government oppression of the freedom of press — it’s private corporations making business decisions…isn’t it? Well a client search of Akamai turns up Voice of America as one of their clients, and I can’t help but think that some political pressure was brought to bear.

For those interested in helping Akamia make better business decisions, The New York Times and MTV are also media companies that make use of Akamai’s services. They might decide to remove Akamai as a business partner if they realized that freedom of the press didn’t matter to them. You can let your views be known by sending an email to Editor of NYT Digital Martin Nisenholtz at, or Viacom’s COO Mel Karmazin (parent company of MTV) at

Opinion post; views not necessarily reflected by management or others.

Agent Bristow is available

I don’t want to get too “People Magazine” here, but almost everyone in my geekosphere watches Alias. Jennifer Garner, star of the show and who delivered a powerhouse performance in Dude, Where’s my Car? has just separated from her husband, who belonged to one of those pansy tv series that had no violence or technology to speak of.

My guess is he found out who she really worked for and mysteriously disappeared.

Carmax and Honda Develop Super Salesman

Based on Honda’s Asimo robot, Carmax and Honda have developed a new version specifically for use in Carmax showrooms. The new version is much larger however – standing at roughly 44 feet tall. Because of its size, it is far less mobile but much more imposing. According to Thomas Folliard, V.P. of store operations; “We’re already seeing an effect from the new Asimo sales force — many potential shoppers are almost, to borrow a phrase, shocked and awed into buying a car. We’re also seeing a larger number of young fans of Japanimation who are coming in to see if they can buy it. The answer is no. Not yet. Maybe next year when we open “GundamMax.”