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Dick Tracy it’s not August 26, 2007

Posted by reverseengineer in Accessories, iPods.
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Now we’ve seen everything. In a effort to squeeze every last drop of revenue from a fading product, manufacturers are thinking up all sorts of last-minute gimmicks to make a sale. See the neoprene iPod shuffle Watch Style Case from USB Fever. Comes in the usual colors, and gives you access to all the controls and ports of the player even while it’s in the case.

I just wonder how inconvenient it would be to have the earphone cable dangling from your wrist to your ears, in the way of nearly everything. In fact, I wonder about the wisdom of creating such a wearable casing for something that’s eminently wearable by itself via the built-in-clip. You can attach it to nearly everything on you, from a baseball cap, headband, shirt pocket, hem, collar or sleeve, or even your darned earlobe, so why would you need this thing? Attach it to your shirt cuff if that’s what all you want done.

But hey, different strokes for different folks, right? Shipping is free worldwide from USB Fever when you order it for US$10. Get ’em while they’re, uh, hot.

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iPhone add-on: an Audi August 17, 2007

Posted by reverseengineer in Accessories, iPhone.
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If you’ve got the funds for it, accessorize your iPhone with an Audi.

Audi has announced that it will be supporting the iPhone in the Audi Music Interface system in their A5, A6, A8 and Q7 line of cars in the United States. These models will allow iPhone users to make calls (or reject them) totally hands-free, and check signal strength and scan through their iPhone directory from the Audi’s dashboard via a Bluetooth connection.

All the other usual iPod functions from the iPhone will likewise be available through the same interface system. Audi UK is looking to follow suit, as soon as the iPhone becomes available there sometime in December.

Another reason to get an Audi.

Pod in the hood August 11, 2007

Posted by reverseengineer in Accessories, iPods.
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Wassup? Apparently, this: a UK-based company has made a line of hooded sweatshirts, not for you but – for your iPod.

Odd but true, these iPod hoodies from ipodhoodies.com (what else?) are for your full-sized, nano or mini, and come plain or with artwork. Shuffle owners are SOL for now.

They are available online at this site, and go for US$20 to US$27.

For those cold days, or days when you just want your iPod to look cool.

Didyaknow… August 4, 2007

Posted by reverseengineer in Accessories, Tips.
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…that you can use that ittybitty white remote control that came with your Mac to run your Keynote presentation?

I certainly didn’t. In fact I almost never use the darn thing because I’m always within arm’s reach of the Mac and the remote’s practically useless to me. But I do give presentations now and then using Keynote and that simple, obvious thing never occurred to me. (Then again I’m not the sort to pore through a manual in detail because I have the common geek arrogance that I don’t need to.)

Pressing play starts the presentation, forward and back moves you through the slides, and up and down controls the volume. Holding down play sends the Mac to sleep.

Check out the video on the Apple Small Business Quick Tip of The Week here.

Iron Man is made by Timex August 3, 2007

Posted by reverseengineer in Accessories, iPhone, iPods.
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No, silly. Not the Tony Stark one. The Ironman iControl workout watch, built with iPod-like controls around the bezel, and connecting wirelessly via a dongle to control your iPod or your iPhone. Built in cooperation with Apple, the watch includes a dongle that connects to your iPod/iPhone’s universal connector (which means shuffles are SOL). The watch comes in different colors, including pink, orange and green, although we think black would the color of choice.

It has a bit of a problem, though: there are no controls for fast forwarding or rewinding, which is a bummer. What it does have are all of the features of the regular Timex Ironman workout watches, which include lap timing and memory, storing training logs and the like. It’s also water-resistant for up to 100 meters, which I’m sad to say outperforms any current model iPod or iPhone, so if you happen to fall down a deep well, your timepiece keeps tickin’, but your iPod…

The Times Ironman iControl watch retails for US$125, and would make a nice no-occasion gift for your friendly neighborhood Mac Doodler.

Nike + iPod wins an award July 21, 2007

Posted by reverseengineer in Accessories, Apple Inc., Awards, Milestones.
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Nike and Apple‘s partnership for the Nike + iPod Sport Kit has won the 2007 Consumer Products Bronze International Design Excellence Award (IDEA), which is a set of awards honoring the best in, er, design.

This year it’s the only Apple product in the honor roll. More from the IDEA site.

Adapting the adaptor July 21, 2007

Posted by reverseengineer in Accessories, Notebooks, Updates & Patches.
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Engadget reports that the MacBook Pro‘s big-ass 85 watt MagSafe power adapter has been redesigned to be smaller and lighter and approximating the size of previous power bricks of older models. Same price too – US$80. Not immediately available though. Maybe in about a month. Nice to know.

And so the tackiness begins… July 1, 2007

Posted by reverseengineer in Accessories, iPhone, Lifestyle.
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The following morning after its release, hundreds of thousands of bleary-eyed new iPhone owners who spent most of the night tinkering with their new toys (or trying to activate them) woke up to a whole new post-iPhone-release world where new variations on old accessories have sprung up overnight like mushrooms, and whole new species of money-wasting add-ons that may or may not be useful have appeared on the net.

Check out for example the website of a company called iStyles to check out their gallery of 76 new iPhone skins priced at US$7 each. The pink one pictured above is particularly fetching to some iPhone demographic that includes jailbird Paris Hilton, I suppose. (Why someone would obliterate the visual goodness of movies or iPhoto albums on the screen with a gaudy pink floral pattern is beyond me.) Or check out the hand-carved wooden iPhone cases called iWood (of course) from Miniot. (Don’t know how this would help the iPhone’s longevity, since according to reports it runs pretty hot. Or how hard it would be to flick through your coverflow albums with a splinter in your finger.)

Apple’s released a special logo that will appear on certified and authorized third-party accessories, so you’d know you’re buying kosher gear, but I doubt that we’d see this on most of the accessories at your neighborhood geek mart. Apple has also said that most existing iPod accessories that utilize the standard 30-pin connector will in all likelihood work with the iPhone, although it’s your call; if it messes anything up, you’re on your own. That’s a bit of good news at least.

Elsewhere, parasitic ride-on businesses are in full gear – like the normally erudite and entertaining David Pogue of the New York Times is showing his creepy-quick entrepreneurial acumen in announcing next month’s release of his book iPhone: The Missing Manual. (Preview here.) Also, the massive domain land grab is still in full steam, with every permutation and combination of every word in the English language coupled with “iPhone” has been bought and promptly squatted on.

Welcome to our brave new world.

iPod skin for life June 26, 2007

Posted by reverseengineer in Accessories, iPods, New Stuff.
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About time someone thought of this.

A company from the U.K. called easyishop has come up with the perfect solution for people who’d gladly graft iPod earphones to their ears to connect to the iPod they’ve had transplanted into their chests: a line of silicone iPod skins with a built-in battery backup.

The iLuv line incorporates the battery into the skin, and extends power for up to 42 hours of use. Wowza. It allows access to all the controls, and the best part is you can sync with your Mac and charge it all without removing the silicone skin. So there would theoretically be no reason to ever remove this protector other than to clean it and the iPod, and it would ostensibly extend your iPod’s life beyond its battery’s ability to hold a charge, which is always cool.

It comes in black or white and comes with a USB charger. All this goodness would set you back about US$90.

The only thing that could top this is if they made a similar thing for the iPhone.

iMarks and iSpencer June 24, 2007

Posted by reverseengineer in Accessories, iPods, Lifestyle.
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I don’t really know what is so hard about pulling the iPod out of a pocket and changing tracks using the touch wheel, but manufacturers, developers and designers keep looking for alternatives to this apparently difficult task.

The latest to succumb is British retailer Marks & Spencer with their new iPod business suit, a classic black pinstripe, two-button, modern-cut wool and Lycra design, for the executive too busy to reach into his breast pocket to adjust the volume of his new Joss Stone track. Or should it be Abba?

Built into the left lapel is a five-button controller using Elektex fabric, a high-tech material developed by the Eleksen Group, and why it’s particularly high-tech is not immediately clear. A connector is sewn into the pocket for the iPod, and the wires are hidden in the lining. It costs about P8.5K for the jacket and about P5.5K for the pants, which together could get you a nice video iPod instead.

The important thing to note is that they still haven’t solved the main problem of providing a method to switch albums and playlists with the system; it’s still limited to the usual Volume Up/Down, FWD/REV, and ON/OFF. You’d still have to yank the iPod out of your pocket to do anything more complicated.

Still, nice suit. You’d need, what, maybe two or three to last you through the whole work week?