Microsoft Printing Dress

Microsoft researcher Asta Roseway shows off the Printing Dress. (Click to enlarge.)

(Credit: Microsoft)

No one ever accused Bill Gates of being a fashion plate, but the company he founded may be developing a new reputation for haute couture.

The Printing Dress is the creation of Asta Roseway from Microsoft Research and Sheridan Martin Small from the company's Xbox division. It's an exploration of wearable technology that also doubles as something you might actually look good wearing. Imagine that.

The material is black and white rice paper, but this is no origami project. Laser-cut buttons that look like old typewriter keys are sewn into the dress. A laptop, four circuit boards, and a projector round out the technology.

The Printing Dress is designed to project what you're putting out on the Internet. Tweets become fashion statements as words flit across the skirt. This sort of wearable technology is not recommended for members of Congress with itchy Twitter fingers.

Roseway sees this kind of clothing as a step toward social accountability for your online actions. It could conceivably help reduce the flame war phenomenon that comes from people hiding behind anonymity and pare down the number of controversial tweets offhandedly tossed out by celebrities. Online words become a lot more real when you have to display them to everyone within eyesight.

The prototype dress is not actually wearable yet, but it's still one of the more compelling products to come out of Microsoft recently. Who knew a technology behemoth could look so good?

This video features an interview with Asta Roseway for wearable technology blog Electricfoxy.

Electricfoxy talks with Asta Roseway at Microsoft Research from Electricfoxy on Vimeo.

A high-end NAS server from QNAP.

A high-end NAS server from QNAP.

(Credit: Josh Miller/CNET)

QNAP, the maker of robust NAS servers such as the TS-412 Turbo NAS server, announced today that it will release the version V3.5 NAS management software for its Turbo NAS series in mid-August. This new version will fully support OS X Lion so Mac users can once again use existing Linux-based NAS servers for Time Machine.

This makes QNAP the second NAS maker to announce its continued support for Mac OS X. Last month, Synology also announced the downloadable beta version of its Diskstation Management software, a similar update.

QNAP says, in addition to the support for Lion, the new version will also boast loads of new features, such as a new antivirus protocol that detects and quarantines malware in the data stored on the server, and LDAP, aka support for sending alerts via Windows Live instant messenger.

The company says that the new firmware version will be available for free and will be compatible with all of QNAP's current NAS servers. Aside from the common support for Mac OS X Lion, some of the new features will be available only to its select servers, however.

The Hercules will offer a 4.5-inch display and 8-megapixel camera.

(Credit: TmoNews)

New images emerged over the weekend that confirm the Samsung Hercules as T-Mobile's take on the Galaxy S II. While the full specifications have yet to be uncovered, a TmoNews source suggests that the Hercules has a 4.5-inch display, which would make it larger than the smarpthones that other U.S. carriers are expected to deliver this fall.

We'll have to wait until an official announcement to be certain, but at this point we're looking at a Super AMOLED Plus resolution screen, a selection of pre-loaded apps like TeleNav GPS and Netflix, and a device that Android 2.3 with Samsung's TouchWiz UI. What's more, a picture of the back side of the handset confirms an 8-megapixel camera with a possiblr 1080p HD video.

For data, the SGH-T989 Hercules should be T-Mobile's first smartphone capable of supporting the carrier's HSPA+ network with download speeds of 42Mbps. Granted, that figure is theoretical, but it is considerably faster than anything currently offered by the wireless provider.

The first sighting of the Hercules product name came back in May when a leaked T-Mobile roadmap showed a smartphone with NFC support, 16GB of ROM, and 1GB of RAM for a September 26 release. Indeed, the timing lines up well with earlier reports of Verizon releasing their Galaxy S II in August followed by other carriers.

(Credit: sells all manner of fashionable tech-cessories, including USB turntables, LEGO Wii controllers, and the best-selling iPlunger phone stand. But the latest addition to the Web store is more than just eye-candy--it's a pair of earbud headphones made to look and smell like classic Gummi Bears.

Offered in blue, pink, and green flavors, the Scented Gummi Bear Earbuds feature stereo sound, a 4-foot cable and a standard 3.5mm plug at the end.

We don't expect the $18 headphones to challenge our favorite earbuds, but we're sure they're at least worth a couple puzzled looks on the subway.

More pictures of the Scented Gummi Bear Earbuds by Fred Flare after the jump.


(Source: Technabob)

Admire the lines. Sigh at the sheer, breathtaking Frenchness that oozes from every pore. Marvel that, now, finally, holding an iPad will be nothing more than wearing H&M.

For famed designer of beautiful, expensive, and possibly quite useless things, Pierre Cardin, is releasing an iPad rival.

Of course, I'm serious. It's Monday.

The Pierre Cardin PC-7006 Tablet PC (which really could do with a better name) represents the true triumph of form over function. It boasts a tagline that expresses everything one could hope for: "Stay Connected In Style With The UK's First Designer Tablet."

(Credit: Screenshot: Chris Matyszczyk/CNET)

I know that many of you, because you're that way about fashion, will be wanting to know about the specs. Well, it's Android-powered. Yes, 2.2 Froyo. And it offers a 7-inch capacitive touch screen (800x480), built-in Wi-Fi connectivity, and a front-facing 1.3 mega-pixel camera. It even has 3G. Well, as long as you avail yourself of a designer dongle.

Then there's the beautiful, exquisite Pierre Cardin logo on that utterly fetching carry case.

You must be thinking by now that a machine such as this will cost you both arms, both legs, and an ear or two. But, no. This fine, timeless piece is retailing at just 275 British pounds. Which, if the markets hold steady for seven more minutes, might be around $450.

I know that Steve Jobs will, this morning, be quaking at the thought that someone has dared to compete with the iPad at the level of design.

I feel sure that he will rush into the arms of Prada and create a jointly designed, special-edition machine called the PradaPad.

That'll slay 'em on the runways.

Nitro Speeder Camaro

The Nitro Speeder Camaro doesn't look much like the real thing.

(Credit: Hot Wheels)

Joining its line of Stealth Rides from last year, Hot Wheels is launching a new line of tiny RC cars, the Nitro Speeders. These toy cars go up to 8.3 mph, which Hot Wheels says is equivalent to 600 mph in the cars' 1/87th scale. That speed will let the cars handle a vertical loop track.

Nitro Speeders will come in three models: a Mustang, a Camaro, and Ken Block's Fiesta rally car. But these models are not designed for authenticity, being approximations of the real cars.

Similar to the Stealth Rides, the Nitro Speeders store and charge up power in a compartment of their remote control units. The controls feature separate steering and forward/reverse switches.

Hot Wheels will make the Nitro Speeders available for $27.99 this fall.

The Roumrs ROV can carry up to 200 pounds of old explosives.

(Credit: Ordnance Reef )

Instead of human divers, the Army has used a robotic underwater vehicle to help recover and destroy more than 300 pounds of explosives found off Hawaii in an area that was a dumping ground for munitions after World War II.

Working from a barge, operators deployed the remotely operated underwater munitions recovery system (Roumrs) over Ordnance Reef, an area off the Waianae Coast of Oahu.

Equipped with lighting, scanning sonar, and video cameras, the off-the-shelf ROV has force-feedback manipulators that mimic hand and arm movements of its operator. It recovered 74 pieces of exploded ordnance and 2,300 small arms munitions, clearing most of the area, the Associated Press reported.

The device seems to be a modified Comanche ROV manufactured by Sub-Atlantic.

The recovered ordnance was treated in the energetic-hazards demilitarization system (EHDS), a heavy-duty oven that cooks the explosives until they degrade to non-hazardous materials. The resulting scrap metal, if deemed safe, can be recycled.

It has been decades since it was considered acceptable to dispose of unwanted ordnance in the sea, and some of the explosives could not be moved from the seabed due to heavy coral encrustation.

"Because we are concerned with damaging both the coral and the robotic equipment being used, we decided that if the robotics could not free the munitions after a few minutes, without risking damage to the coral, we would leave them in place," J.C. King of the Office of the Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Army for Environment, Safety and Occupational Health was quoted as saying by the Army.

The Army had previously tried to use divers to clear the reef. The experimental ROV effort was the first of its kind and brought together the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the University of Hawaii Department of Oceanography, and contractors such as Oceaneering International.

The Epson WorkForce 840 All-in-One Printer earned our CNET Editor's Choice Award earlier this year for its workhorse features and ample 7.8-inch touch display, but we hesitated to recommend it to photographers when it stumbled through our photo print speed test. Today Epson answers back with the Epson Artisan 837 and the Artisan 730--two new wireless, touch-screen-enabled printers for the amateur photographer.

Both Artisan printers feature print, scan, fax, and copy functionality with the added convenience of a top-loading, 30-page auto-document feeder for scanning stacks of prints, hands-free. You can also ditch your camera's USB cable in favor of the onboard media card slots. The printers also let you connect and print from any room in the house thanks to onboard Wi-Fi and Ethernet networking.

Perhaps the most significant hardware upgrade from previous iterations is the new midnight blue finish on the chassis, and the extended smart touch-panel display with an emerald backlight, instead of blue. Finally, the devices are also part of the Epson Connect family that let you print on the run with Epson's mobile print apps for iOS and Blackberry devices.

The Epson Artisan 837 ($300) and the Artisan 730 ($200) will be available in September through retail outlets and online, and look out for reviews of both coming to CNET soon.

Jeff's back in the studio after his vacation week, and any positive vibes floating around in the air are obliterated when he tells us about the things you can learn about people just from spending time at the beach.

Unsurprisingly, none of us plan to see "Rise of the Planet of the Apes," despite its 80-percent "fresh" rating on We're also ripping a page from the Obvious News section and talking about TV porn sales going down in recent years, and playing a handful of voicemails carefully chosen by Mr. Bakalar.

The 404 Digest for Episode 877

Ep. 877: Where you learn alot about people at the beach

Episode 877

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Originally posted at The 404 Podcast