Internal AT&T Memo Indicates Groundbreaking iPhone 3G Feature: MMS

via Boy Genius Report by Zach Epstein on 6/26/08

Check this out. New reports are coming in that a very interesting memo is currently circulating internally at AT&T. Said memo reportedly lists a variety of features that will supposedly be included on the upcoming iPhone 3G. Among them is an exciting new service that – get this – allows you to send SMS-like messages that include multimedia attachments. Imagine! The service, cleverly named Multimedia Messaging Service (MMS) supposedly allows users to attach one or more image, audio file or even video and deliver the message along with text. The recipient of the message will then see and / or hear the multimedia on his or her mobile. Nutty. None of this is confirmed as of yet, but how sweet would it be if a mobile phone had functionality like this?! Oh Apple, you’ve done it again! Next thing you know we’ll find out that Apple has figured out a way to copy text from one place and paste it to another. Ok, that’s just crazy talk.

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Nokia 7510

via NaviGadget by Dave Rubert on 6/28/08

Nokia 7510 Supernova is a new flip phone from Nokia with a push-to-open side key. The new Nokia 7510 comes in four different with fancy names such as ‘storm blue’, ‘red’, ’emerald green’ and ‘espresso brown’ and features equally fancy light effects.

It has a 2MP camera with NIPS, LED flash, 4x digital zoom, and a large 2.2 inch QVGA display. Other features include an FM radio, MP3 player, and access to Nokia Maps 1.2 to navigate with free mapping, routing and local search, support of A-GPS.

The Nokia 7510 Supernova is quite affordable at 180 EUR and will be available in the fourth quarter of 2008.

Wall-E Review: One of the Best Sci-Fi Movies in Years, Disguised as a Cartoon

via Gizmodo by Adam Frucci on 6/27/08

Wall-E might be the most sympathetic, lovable robot ever created on film. While R2-D2 was hilarious and endearing, he had the benefit of C3PO to translate for him and a cast of human characters to carry the weight of the story. At the end of the day, R2-D2 was simply comic relief, but his descendant, whose voice was also created by Ben Burtt, is so full of humanity that you feel like your heart might just burst. Simply put, Wall-E is a masterpiece.

The first 40 minutes or so of Wall-E are almost completely without dialogue. Instead, the story is told visually, as we see Wall-E, the abandoned garbage bot, puttering around a staggeringly rendered post-apocalyptic Earth. He goes around doing his job, as he has for the past 700 years, compacting trash into cubes and stacking them into immense towers. On the side, he collects remnants of humanity to keep for his own amusement. Zippo lighters, Rubik’s Cubes, Christmas lights: these are what Wall-E surrounds himself with. Because he’s so alone (except for a little cockroach), these dirty, abandoned objects are his companions, his contact with humanity.

He watches Hello, Dolly! on an iPod that he somehow hooked up to a VCR, emulating the dancing and learning about love. (That’s not the only Apple reference in the movie: he makes the classic Mac bootup sound when he turns on, and his love interest EVE was designed by Jonathan Ive). When you see Wall-E try to imitate the dancing using a hub cap he collected just for that purpose, you know that this is more than a piece of machinery. Proving Pixar’s raison d’etre, this little silent robot has more humanity in him than most movie characters played by actual humans.

Immediately, we realize this isn’t your typical kiddie cartoon. No pop culture jokes? No instantly-recognizable celebrity voices? A decimated, humanless landscape full of towers of garbage and decrepit buildings? A lonely robot trying to learn about love and humanity through centuries of its trash? This looks more like a beautiful, haunting sci-fi movie than a children’s movie, because that’s exactly what it is.

Wall-E features loving nods to everything from Brave New World to 2001 to Star Wars without ever feeling derivative. Instead, it builds on them, making what has the potential to be an almost relentlessly bleak world into one full of complete joy and levity. It always has that undercurrent of melancholy just under the surface, as we never really forget that humanity has utterly destroyed the planet and turned itself into a race of pudgy, helpless babies, but heart of the story is Wall-E and his longing for love.

And isn’t that the sign of great science fiction? While on the surface it’s a movie about robots and spaceships set centuries in the future, deep down it’s about humanity and its place on Earth and in the universe. It uses its out-of-this-world settings and characters as a lens to reflect our own world back at us, showing us both the beauty and the ugliness of our existence through the eyes of a guileless, trash-compacting robot.

In a movie season that’s overpopulated with tired superhero movies, remakes and sequels, it’s incredibly refreshing to see a movie that stands on its own as a completely new and unique creation. It’s safe to say you’ve never seen anything like Wall-E, and you might not see anything like it again. Go. Go see it as soon as you can.

10 Gadgets For Air-Conditioned Summer Survival

via Gizmodo by Sean Fallon on 6/20/08

For many of us, the first day of summer starts just before midnight tonight. That means it is time to start thinking about how to beat the heat when the temperatures soar and the air conditioning unit in your home or office inevitably breaks down. In this scenario, survival means being prepared for anything. The following summertime gadgets will ensure that you have all of your bases covered.

First off, let’s talk a little about clothing. Naturally, wearing the proper attire can make a huge difference on a hot day. Light colored clothing, shorts and flip flops are one way to do it—but if you are looking for something a little more advanced, I have a few examples here you should keep in mind:

USB “Air Conditioned” Shirt: Plugging this shirt into the USB drive of your computer will pull in cool air to your body using fans positioned on the lower part of the back. Available for $169. [Product Page and Link]

Nike PreCool Vest: This vest takes things a few steps further than the air-conditioned shirt when it comes to keeping your core temperature down. The innermost layer of the vest is filled with frozen water and it is insulated by an outermost layer of aluminum. Unfortunately, the vest is only available to Olympic athletes, so it looks like you will have to do one of two things to get your hands on one—undergo a complete physical transformation into a world class athlete, or be patient and hope that Nike releases it to the general public one day. [Link]

Insulated Evaporative Cooling Hat: Solar powered hats with fans are a dime a dozen, but if you really want to stay cool, this cap should do the trick. Just run it under a faucet and let the sun draw heat away from your head by slowly evaporating the water. Apparently, it can keep your head up to 30% cooler than the outside temperature—and a waterproof lining ensures that your head stays dry. And as anyone who has ever watched a survival show knows, you could always urinate on something like this if the going ever got rough. Available for $24.95. [Hammacher Schlemmer]

Sometimes basic air-conditioning just isn’t enough to stay comfortable in the heat. When indoors, these gadgets will keep you extra cool (or downright frigid):

Ice Sauna: If you have the means, the latest trend in many European countries is to install an ice sauna in your home. This particular sauna, dubbed the “Snow Room,” was developed by a company called MNK—and it can keep the temperature at a brisk 10 degrees below zero. But I must warn you—if you manage to lure a chick this hot into one of these things, keep in mind that penis frostbite will bring a party down real fast. [Link]

“Air Conditioned” Bed: If ice saunas are a little too extreme for your taste, you could always cool down at night with an “air-conditioned” bed. Using similar technology as the shirt mentioned earlier, this device will draw air in into the pad and circulate it under your body while you sleep. Available for $399. [Product Page via Link]

Luxury 18-headed shower: A cold shower is not just for sexual frustration—it can be a great way to escape the heat as well. This monster luxury shower is an 18-headed beast that will all but drown you in water. Plus it has a powerful floor nozzle that looks as though it will give you a cold water enema. Now that is refreshing! Too bad it will cost you $100,000 to install. [Tag Signature via Link]

When outdoors, a swimming pool is an ideal way to beat the heat. But not everyone is fortunate enough to have one at their disposal. Here are some alternatives:

Big Wave Trampoline: Pools are great, but what if I am looking for something a little deadlier? This 13-foot Big Wave Trampoline will keep you cool and give you that adrenaline rush you so desperately crave. Available for $11.95. [Super Fun Trampolines]

Universal Shower Diffuser: Staying hydrated is extremely important when it is hot outside, but sometimes you just feel like pouring that bottle over your head to cool off. This gadget fits on any standard PET bottle and restricts the flow of water so that it can be dispensed like a shower head. That means you can enjoy a quick soak and still have some water left over for drinking. Unfortunately, the dude in this image has the wrong idea. Available for around $50. [Made in Design via Link]

Finally, what you put on the inside is just as important as what you put on the outside when it comes to staying cool. And when I think of a hot day, two things generally come to mind: booze and ice cream.

Taisin Ice Sphere Mold: Perfect on-the-rocks-drinks require perfect ice—and this mold from a Japanese company named Taisin can help you achieve that feat by creating perfect ice spheres. When a chunk of ice is placed inside the press, the mold gradually closes around it as it melts. The result is a sphere that melts slowly in your drink—ensuring that it does not get watered down. The Taisin mold can produce 30-40 ice balls in an hour and it is available in 55, 65, 70 and 80mm sizes. [Taisin via Link]

The Scoop & Stack: By the looks of things, the Scoop & Stack can make quick work of getting ice cream out of a container. And the cylindrical shape means you can stack that sucker to the sky. Available for $14.95. [Wrapables]

Mid-Range Graphics Card Showdown: Nvidia 9800 GTX+ Slides Past ATI Radeon HD 4850

via Gizmodo by matt buchanan on 6/20/08

Poised and waiting for ATI’s latest graphics card to hit, Nvidia immediately fired off the 9800 GTX+, a nimbler version of its behemoth 9800 GTX, aggressively priced at $229 to put serious pressure on the $199 HD 4850. Benchmarks comparing the two weren’t available yesterday, but PC Perspective has ’em up now. In short, while the HD 4850 can mostly keep up with Nvidia’s older, regular 9800 GTX, the steroid-injected 9800 GTX+ has enough juice to edge it out in almost every single benchmark. The Radeon HD 4850 has about a month on the shelf to itself before the 9800 GTX+ hits though. Check out PC Perspective for more graphs and numbers than your brain wants to deal with on a Friday.

[PC Perspective via Engadget]

Lilypad floating metropolis isn’t the grim, mishmash future Waterworld promised

via DVICE by Kevin Hall on 6/16/08
Lilypad-the-floating-metropolis.jpg
Belgian designer Vincent Callebaut, the Lilypad’s creator, describes the city as a “floating ecopolis for climate refugees,” but it looks more like a resort than a shelter. Inspired by nature, it’s designed to house 50,000 people displaced from the effects of global warming and other ecological disasters, and be entirely self-sufficient so it doesn’t contribute to the problem. As a floating city, it can really pick and choose how it gets its energy since wind, solar and hydropower are all easily accessible, and all food and water could be grown or processed. The artificial yet natural landscape won’t have climate refugees feeling like they live on a junker from Waterworld, either.

It’s just about the most fashionable way to weather any ecological nightmare. While the Lilypad may never see the light of day, any zero-emission city design is certainly a step in the right direction.

Check out the gallery below for more views of the Lilypad floating metropolis.

Vincent Callebaut, via Inhabitat