Apple announces the iPad

Apple is hold a press announcement for it’s tablet device, called an iPad.

Streaming details at gdgt.

No price announced yet, but rumors say around a grand.

UpdateI posted more details over at the Urbin Report.

Apple really slammed the price down.  $499 for a 16 Gig WiFi model and $829 for 64 Gig with WiFi & 3G.

Downside: It’s a big iTouch.  No standard USB port, no SD slot and it’s locked to iTunes to load new content.

On the other hand, it’s a good Netbook replacement for around the house.  Surfing, basic email and a better screen to watch video on.  Apple finally came out with a keyboard, it’s not Bluetooth, but connects to a docking port.  A step in the right direction.

Since it’s a big iTouch, it runs all the iTouch/iPhone apps.  So you can ignore Apple’s iBooks store, load the Kindle app and buy books from Amazon.  Or you could load Stanza or Bookshelf and read your own DRM free e-books, like the ones you purchase from Baen Books.

Apple also announced a new SDK, so it will be interesting to see what new features the iPad has when people start digging into that.

Update: It appears that the iPad actually does have a webcam.

Using WiFi signals to charge your gadgets

I really like this device from RCA.  It taps WiFi signals and converts the signal to electricity.

The claim is, using only WiFi signals at CES, it was able to charge a BlackBerry from 30% to full in about 90 minutes.  The Airnergy Charger has a battery, so it can suck up power while you are getting your caffeine fix at Starbucks and use to charge your gadget later on.  RCA says that the Airnergy Charger will be available this summer for a mere $40, which is about half  the cost of the Mophie Charger I’m currently using.

Nerd Bling

OK,I admit that I’m using the title from the latest episode of TWiT. It just describes this product so well.

The Orb Bluetooth headset/ring. Not only is this trendy nerd jewelry, it has some nice tech included.  Bone conduction and Flexible Organic Light Emitting Device screen that allows you to look at a ring on your finger and see caller ID, voice to text info and more.

Yup, Nerd Bling.

Best tech rumor I’ve heard lately…

From what I’ve read, there was nothing really eye popping at CES this year.  Some cool stuff, but nothing to really thrill anyone.

Apple is having their own press announcement next month.  So of course, Apple tablet rumors have been running hot and heavy again.  I heard the name “iSlate” dropped several times.

My favorite rumor was on a recent episode of TWiT, where one pundit quoted his inside Apple source as saying that there will be a lot of Kindle’s on e-Bay after this announcement.

10 SciFi weapons in current use

By way of Wired, is this article on SciFi type weapons that exist today.

My favorites:

Just  to check up on how predictions have worked, here are some posts made to sci.military back in 1991 about the future of infantry battle systems.

Two new Android phones

AT&T is finally carrying an Android based phone, this one is made by Dell, and called the Mini 3. This phone has been selling overseas already, so the specs are pretty well known. 3.5-inch 640×360 display, Bluetooth, 3 megapixel auto-focus camera with flash, microSD, and GPS.   Two things catch my eye, no WiFi and and microSD support.  So that is the bad and good points right off the bat.  No WiFi was one of the major complaints about the Crackberry Storm.

The inclusion of a microSD slot is a big, big plus.  The lack of an additional memory source is the biggest strike against the iPhone hardware, IMNSHO.

The other new Android phone is Google’s own Nexus 1.  We’ll see how long that name lasts.  The estate of Philip K. Dick is already taking legal action against the name.  Otherwise, this is an impressive bit of hardware. It sports a one-gigahertz processor, a 3.7-inch display, a five-megapixel camera, light and proximity sensors, and dual microphones that allow for noise cancellation.  Woot! This phone also has a removable battery!  The serious road warrior can pack a spare for emergencies.  The phone itself only has 512 Meg of flash memory, but it comes with a 4 Gig microSD card.  The phone will support up to 32 Gig in that slot, so expansion is available.

You can buy an unlocked phone direct from Google fro $529.