9-year-old UK girl plays dead in front of Google Street View car

Shane McGlaun | Current Affairs | Aug 13, 2010 2:06 PM CDT

I will never understand what gets people so riled up about the Street View car rolling through their neighborhoods. In Europe, we have seen mobs block the car from entering their neighborhoods. I would like the Street View car to come down my road so I could prank it like this little girl from the UK did.

She was outside playing and spied the car coming. She decided to go all out and play dead. She took the acting job seriously and didn't just lay there; she kicked off her shoes so it looked like someone ran her over and knocked her out of her shoes. It's actually pretty funny, I don't think my 9-year-old son would have even noticed a car with a giant camera on top rolling down our street. That is unless said car was selling ice cream.

I have to wonder how long the image will stay up, I am sure some morons out there thought it was a pic of a real dead kid laying there and the Street View car just drove on by. Now that I think about it, a Street View car has already driven past all manner of dealings from a dog taking a poop to drug dealers and even a van on fire. Maybe thinking it would roll past a dead kid isn't that out of the realm of possibility.

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Pentax adds four new colors to its already bright K-x DSLR line

Shane McGlaun | | Aug 13, 2010 1:08 PM CDT

Good old Pentax has been pushing that K-x entry-level DSLR camera for a while now. When the thing started to get long in the tooth a replacement didn't come. Pentax decided to appeal to customers with bright colors rather than new features. Apparently, that tactic is working since four new colors have been added to the K-x line.

One of the colors will appeal to women with a pink hue usually only found in your medicine cabinet. Pentax also offers new beige, chocolate brown, and olive green versions of the camera. All of the new color cams are the same price as the other models already on the market at $649. For that much green you get a whole camera kit.

The lens included is a DA L 18-55mm unit good for about three times optical zoom. If you want more zoom and can live with plain black, you can get a kit for a mere $50 more at $699.95 that includes the basic 18-55mm lens and a 50-200mm lens as well. That better zoom lens will get you closer to the action. I'm not a fan of most of the colors Pentax offers, but the white camera still reminds me of a Stormtrooper.

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RadioShack to pedal Samsung Galaxy S from three carriers

Shane McGlaun | Mobile Devices | Aug 13, 2010 11:04 AM CDT

RadioShack has been around for as long as I can remember. In fact, one of my first computers came from RadioShack. The electronics seller has all manner of stuff and back in the day, it was one of the go to locations for buying tech. As bigger electronics firms like Best Buy came around the need to go into RadioShack has waned for most of us.

The company is turning itself around though an attempting to bring more folks into stores by offering phone sales from just about every carrier there is. The latest device The Shack is offering is the Samsung Galaxy S. you can choose the smartphone from three different carriers. You can get the Samsung Epic for Sprint, the Vibrant for T-Mobile, and the Captivate for AT&T.

All three of those handsets share the exact same features, but have different extras. The Captivate on AT&T is the most expensive at $199.99 with a $20 instant credit for accessories. The best deal is probably the $149.99 T-Mobile Vibrant with a free copy of Avatar and The Sims 3 video game. Buy the Vibrant and you get a $50 RadioShack gift card by mail to boot. I guess there is nothing for Sprint, it probably can't afford any extras right now.

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ASUS set to launch Eee Tablet with Linux in October

Cameron Wilmot | Mobile Devices | Aug 13, 2010 10:45 AM CDT

According to a report by Dan Nystedt of IDG News, ASUS is set to launch its anticipated Eee Tablet device in October for around $300 USD. The report claimed that this is a rough price and the final price will vary from region to region.

It was thought by many that the device from ASUS would use Google's Android operating system, but instead it will use a special flavored Linux distribution developed by ASUS. The device will feature an 8-inch touchscreen using a normal LCD display without being backlit. It is said to be able to support 64 shades of gray with a 1024 x 768 resolution. As well as being an e-reading device along with note taking abilities aimed at students, the device can connect to the Internet and surf thanks its built-in web browser via a wireless connection.

The report also claimed that the Eee Tablet may renamed to "Eee Note" to avoid confusion in the market. Since the Eee Tablet is more of an e-reader than anything else, it may not be a bad move by the Taiwanese company.

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Centrelink and Medicare make efforts to do away with queues

Steve Dougherty | Networking | Aug 13, 2010 6:45 AM CDT

Following a demonstration at the CeBIT Sydney 2010 technology show a short while back, both CENTRELINK and Medicare are going to start using electronic handheld devices at their entrances to access customers' information.

This is for the most part in efforts to do away with the messy queues seen in these places daily. The device can tap into a mass of information that will determine what's required before the customer takes a seat (as opposed to going into a queue).

Human Services ICT infrastructure deputy secretary John Wadeson says "Queues are bad news. What we're aiming for is a scenario where people will be met at the door by someone with a handheld device and there'll be a brief interchange to find out what's required.

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Shuttle introduces its latest small PC, the XS35 nettop

Cameron Wilmot | Computer Systems | Aug 13, 2010 5:40 AM CDT

Shuttle has just unveiled its newest small PC called the XS35. Shuttle was incredibly famous back in the day for its small form factor systems and cases that sold like hot cakes. The fad wore off somewhat and now the Taiwanese company has a larger range of products more than just its XPC range of small computers.

The XS35 is a nettop style system that looks rather neat and is able to be mounted to the back of your monitor using the VESA mount system. The design was inspired by a starry night concept with air vent holes on the side of the system that are supposed to resemble the night sky. It comes with an Intel dual-core Atom D510 processor installed and next generation NVIDIA ION graphics on the more expensive model. If you opt for the cheaper version, it just comes with Intel graphics.

Besides that, squeezed inside the tiny system is also a slim style DVD optical drive, five USB 2.0 ports, a 4-in-1 card reader as well as a D-sub and HDMI connector. At this stage there are no details available on price or availability. If the price is right, it could be a good little system.

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iBand Aid fixes your iPhone 4 signal issues for €4.95

Cameron Wilmot | Mobile Devices | Aug 13, 2010 5:13 AM CDT

I always thought that the iPhone 4 signal issues were overstated and people getting their knickers in a knot over something that can be fixed rather easily. Many people use a phone case or cover anyway and that alone makes the problem go away. In fact, reporters in countries outside of the United States such as Australia are claiming that they are seeing little to no signal issues with the iPhone 4. Could it be a shonky network in the USA?

Anyway, a few websites have popped up since the issue arose and a new contender is iBand Aid who is selling the Antenn-aid for iPhone 4, which is simply a vinyl sticker for your iPhone 4. They claim when it is placed over the lower left corner of your phone it should improve signal performance.

You can pick up a single kit that comes with seven stickers for €4.95 and €1.95€ for worldwide shipping - that is about $9 USD all up. Of course, you could just take a random human band aid lying around the house and cut it to size and it wouldn't cost you a thing. But, I guess you do get a choice of several colors and they are already cut to the right size for you. Has anyone actually tried a band aid they have had laying around? Let us know!

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Armor rugged X10gx tablet is aimed at mobile workers

Shane McGlaun | Laptops | Aug 12, 2010 2:06 PM CDT

Field workers that don't have a desk to sit at most of the time would have a hard time using a normal rugged laptop of netbook. Without somewhere to sit the notebook or netbook, typing would be impossible. This type of worker often uses a tablet because input can be made with one hand and these tablets have to be rugged to survive the inevitable drops.

A company called Armor has announced a new tablet computer for this type of use called the Armor X10gx tablet PC. The machine has a 10.4-inch 1024 x 768 transreflective LCD that can be reading direct sunlight. The machine stores to a 64GB SSD by default but has options for an 80GB SSD or a 160GB SSD. The machine also has an SD/SDHC card slot.

The standard RAM in the tablet is 2GB and it can be expanded to 4GB. The CPU used in the machine is an Intel Core 2 Duo 1.2GHz SU9300 unit. The screen supports pen and touch input and a pen only input is available. The OS is Windows 7 Ultimate and the machine meets military specs for ruggedness. Other features include Gobi mobile broadband, WiFi, Bluetooth, removable storage, and hot swappable batteries.

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Rumor has AMD launching new Phenom CPUs on September 21

Shane McGlaun | CPUs, Chipsets & SoCs | Aug 12, 2010 1:06 PM CDT

I think most computer enthusiasts will agree that if you want the best raw performance you go with Intel CPUs for the most part and if you want to save lots of money and can live with a bit less performance you go with AMD. AMD has some nice CPUs like its newer Phenom X6 that launched not too long ago. The CPU maker is set to add some new parts to its Phenom line according to X-bit Labs.

According to X-Bit, the coming out party for the new AMD CPUs will be held on September 21 and the launch will include three new AMD CPUs. The publication cites a source familiar with the plans of the chipmaker with the news. The source also offered up some tidbits on what the three new parts will be.

The best of the trio is expected to be the Phenom II X6 1075T running at 3GHz and selling in the$230 to $240 range. The other part will be the 3.5GHz Phenom II X4 970, which will step into the throne as the fastest quad core the company offers. A couple cheap parts in the $100 range are also mentioned that should drive prices for some of the lower performing CPUs into the under $100 range. The new $100 range CPUs include the Phenom II X2 560 and the Athlon II X4 645.

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Logitech drops new MK520 wireless desktop on market

Shane McGlaun | Peripherals | Aug 12, 2010 12:08 PM CDT

We can be honest with each other and say that many of the wireless products on the market aren't that great, especially for gaming. I have tried to use a normal wireless mouse and keyboard to play games like COD and others before and ended up with ghosting that was bad enough I expected to see Casper pop up on screen. There are some wireless rodents on the market for gamers, but most of the wireless gear is still aimed at the general computer user.

Logitech has debuted a nice looking new wireless desktop for the general computer user called the Logitech Wireless Combo MK520. The wireless desktop includes a full-size wireless mouse and keyboard. That keyboard has all the one-touch media controls that you need to control your content and a full number pad as well.

The keyboard has keys that use the Logitech Incurve design to make it easier for your fingers to glide from one key to the other, making typing easier n adore comfortable. The full-size mouse is an ambidextrous design with a scroll wheel and soft rubber grips on the side. Logitech is mum on sensitivity, but you can expect in the 800 dpi range. The mouse uses a laser promising accurate tracking on anything other than glass or a mirror. Official pricing is unknown and the MK520 should ship soon and it uses the Logitech unifying receiver for connectivity..

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