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Auto-Lift Iron For Absent-Minded Sartorialists 20th Jan 2010

Auto-Lift Iron For Absent-Minded Sartorialists

The Auto-Lift iron from Italian appliance-monger Ariete will stop you burning that tell-tale mark into your dress-shirt yet again. As soon as you let go of the handle, the steam-iron will lift up and away from the delicate clothing beneath to prevent charring. When you grab it again, micro-capacitive sensors in the handle will detect your clammy digits and lower the iron for continued pressing.

As the wonderfully good-looking members of the Wired.com team can attest after my recent visit to the San Francisco nerve-center, I never iron anything, preferring a lazy, rumpled understatement instead of any actual pride in my appearance.

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Space Bar, A ‘Garage For Your Keyboard’ 19th Jan 2010

Space Bar, A ‘Garage For Your Keyboard’

Quirky’s Space Bar is a “a garage for your keyboard”. The shelf sits on your desk providing a refuge for your keyboard and six front-facing USB ports along with it.

Like other Quirky designs, the Space Bar was conceived and developed by the site’s community, and will hit the production line as soon as 590 units are pre-sold.

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Airstash: A Teeny-Tiny Wi-Fi Router and Card Reader 13th Jan 2010

Airstash: A Teeny-Tiny Wi-Fi Router and Card Reader

By day, the Airstash is a common, ordinary USB card reader. But by night, it dons the mantle of wireless connectivity, taking to the streets and sharing pictures an images in an ad-hoc, daredevil manner.

The Airstash looks much like a regular card reader, with a USB plug on one end and an SD card-shaped hole in the other. In between you can find a tiny, battery powered 802.11 b/g Wi-Fi router.

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Up Close and Personal With the Pixel Qi Display 9th Jan 2010

Up Close and Personal With the Pixel Qi Display

Pixel Qi’s low-power displays that can switch between color LCD screens and e-reader-like black-and-white displays was labeled vaporware in 2009.

But the company silenced its critics by offering some hands-on time at the Consumer Electronics Show with the screens that are already in production.

“We are going mainstream in 2010 in millions of units and we are leading with netbooks,” says Mary Lou Jepsen, founder of Pixel Qi.

Conventional LCD screens offer bright, glossy images but consume too much power.

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Plastic Logic Aims New Que E-Reader at Business Users 6th Jan 2010

Plastic Logic Aims New Que E-Reader at Business Users

LAS VEGAS — After months of offering tantalizing bits of information, Plastic Logic has finally launched its new e-reader Que.

The Que proReader has an 8.5 x 11-inch touchscreen display and the ability to handle a range of documents such as Microsoft Word files, PowerPoint presentations, Excel spreadsheets, digital books, PDFs, magazines and newspapers.

It can also synchronize with Microsoft Outlook to display e-mails and calendar.

“E-readers today are reading devices for the casual reader,” says Richard Archuleta, chief executive of Plastic Logic.

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Hands-On: Twin Screens Pack Potential in eDGe Netbook, E-Reader Combo 5th Jan 2010

Hands-On: Twin Screens Pack Potential in eDGe Netbook, E-Reader Combo

LAS VEGAS — The enTourage eDGe is an unusual device. With two screens that fold together like a book, the eDGe promises to be an electronic book reader and a netbook at the same time so users can switch from reading on the black-and-white E Ink screen to the adjacent LCD screen to send e-mails, browse and watch videos.

The eDGe, which was announced in October, made its debut Tuesday at a preview event for the Consumer Electronics Show here.

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Boxee Beta Is a Web Video Streamer’s Dream 30th Dec 2009

Boxee Beta Is a Web Video Streamer’s Dream

Boxee’s media player software app promises to free us all from stinky, trashy preprogrammed television by bringing web video’s hassle-free, on-demand, click-to-watch experience onto our HDTVs.

The somewhat clunky alpha release of Boxee’s software has been around since the beginning of the year, but the company took a big step forward with its public debut of the amped-up beta version in early December.

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Apple Bought iSlate.com — Perhaps for a Tablet? 27th Dec 2009

Apple Bought iSlate.com — Perhaps for a Tablet?

Clever online sleuthing over the weekend led to the discovery of iSlate.com, a domain Apple purchased in 2007. Could the company’s rumored tablet device be called the iSlate?

Wired’s friend Arnold Kim of MacRumors sniffed out the domain-name registrant history, which revealed Apple as the owner of iSlate.com as of 2007. The website is currently inactive, but Kim speculates Apple could be reserving the domain for a tablet product, which is rumored for a January 2010 announcement.

The “Whois” record of iSlate.com provides solid evidence that Apple bought the domain in 2007 and subsequently transferred the address to MarkMonitor.com, a registrar that handles domain registrations for several companies, including Apple. The purpose of the move is presumably to help obscure products prior to release.

That said, it’s still inconclusive that iSlate will be the name of an Apple touchscreen tablet.

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MSI Wind Features New Pine Trail Atom Processor 21st Dec 2009

MSI Wind Features New Pine Trail Atom Processor

MSI’s new Wind netbook is as up-to-the-minute as it gets. The Windows 7 (starter) machine is the first to be powered by Intel’s latest Atom processor, the N450, better known as the Pine Trail.

The netbook’s hardware is familiar, with a 250GB hard drive, 1GB RAM, a six-cell battery and MSI’s upgraded keyboard and larger trackpad. But the $330 machine has the advantage of Intel’s new lower-power, higher efficiency chipset which squeezes everything together. The Pineview CPU (1.66GHz) is a system-on-a-chip and now includes the graphics processor (GMA3150) and the memory controller.

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Stanza v2.0: The iPhone’s Best E-Reader Just Got Better 17th Dec 2009

Stanza v2.0: The iPhone’s Best E-Reader Just Got Better

Stanza, the iPhone e-book reader so good that Amazon bought it, has just released v2.0, and it improves on 1.x in almost every way.

Stanza was the first good e-book reading application for the iPhone, and this release keeps it at the top of the bunch. At first glance, the new feature list looks short, but when you start to poke around you discover that the polish that has been applied to the app makes every part easier to use. First, the official list:

Tabbed navigation

This simply adds a row of buttons along the top of catalog and settings screens to help find you way around. It doesn’t apply when reading, nor should it.

Copy to Clipboard in Annotation View

This single line hides a revamped annotation engine. Sure, now you can copy chunks of text, but you can also zoom pictures, share your notes (or the copied text) via Twitter or e-mail (or Facebook, if you have to), and easily define words via online dictionary.

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