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Apparently more than two million people downloaded the Firefox 2.0 browser in the first 24 hours after it was officially released. But if you're not one of them, you're probably wondering whether it's worth getting. Plenty of people on the Web have an opinion, so here's ten that we found most informative. Note, most are aimed at people who are already using a previous version of Firefox.

1. 'Firefox 2.0 is a solid improvement' at Linux.com. "It's not a drastic change from the 1.5 series, but Firefox 2.0 bring enough improvements to make the upgrade worthwhile."

2. 'Mozilla Ships Firefox 2.0... It's a Dud' at Windows IT Pro. "it's a woefully minor improvement over Firefox 1.5 that suffers from various incompatibility problems, especially with themes and other add-ons. I wouldn't recommend this new version, to be honest."

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The fellas at Boing Boing are wondering if anybody knows what this robot vehicle sighted in Japan is exactly. Apparently it can climb curbs and stairs, and navigate crowds, so well that the occupant seemed relatively blasé about his robot howdah. (Though the crowd was not so sanguine and often nearly stopped him by pressing around gawking.) Seen in Tokyo by the Yoyogi park entrance - the 'bridge of freaks' according to the report - this past weekend. [GT]

Cool robot vehicle transports man around Tokyo

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Instead of the same old rubberized black power cable, the Power Aware Cord pulses brighter and brighter as you draw more electricity.  Developed by Anton Gustafsson and Magnus Gyllenswärd for STATIC!, the idea is to draw attention to not only how much power you're using (in hope you'll consume less) but also that simply by seeing the electricity flow, you'll become more aware of your overall relationship with your gadgets.  (The next step is not taking them to couples counselling; they already go without you.)  [GT]

Power Aware Cord [via Fosfor]

Related stories at Hippyshopper: ethical consumerism: Evesham Carbon Free PC | Tumi LE Powerpack Backpack gives twice | Clinton gives out Solio chargers

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Here's another scanning solution for those of you who like using good old pen and paper for taking your notes and drawing diagrams, but would like an immediate way of capturing them digitally for later editing on your PC.

The DigiMemo A402 is a special pen and board that will capture everything you write in ink in its memory for later transfer to your PC via USB.

It has a built-in 32MB memory which can hold 160 pages of information, and can also use an optional CF card to store up to 999 pages. Its low power consumption allows it to last for over 100 hours of continuous use. Pages can be easily added and deleted on the device. The accompanying software allows viewing, editing and organisation of pages, plus optional handwriting recognition to translate your scribbles into plain text.

Utilizing the electromagnetic technology, it lets you put any ordinary papers on the pad and use the inking pen to write directly on papers. Even the thickness of papers laid on the pad is 12mm; your handwritten notes can still be captured and stored in the memory of DigiMemo.

It costs just £110 from Selwyn Electronnics. Batteries, pens and paper is available from normal stationery stores.

Selwyn Electronics web page

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OK, so organising your business cards (you have business cards, right?) isn't the most exciting thing ever, but is necessary and a perfect excuse for a piece of technology to help.

Mini desktop scanners aren't particularly new but version 8 of the CardScan Executive, released last week, is compact and versatile.

It features a sleekly designed desktop scanner with contemporary styling and silver finish. It makes colour scans of business cards in three seconds, and synchronises with Outlook/Outlook Express as well as ACT!, Lotus Notes, GoldMine, PDAs and smart phones.

It comes with CardScan software that can consolidate contact data using drag-and-drop and import, eliminate duplicate records, categorise contacts in multiple ways, and keep data synchronised across devices.

CardScan Executive costs £199. There's also a CardScan Personal version that scans in monochrome (£139)

CardScan web site

So, Darth Vader... he's the baddest bad guy in the galaxy eh? How about this video that lifts the lid on his childishness? They never told you that about the dark side did they?

One Minute Preview: Navman N Series

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We wrote about the launch of the new N Series of Navman GPS products here a little while ago. And to celebrate the launch, they took me on a trip round London Town to discover all the best bits of these new devices, and particular the built-in cameras for using their Navpix tecnology. Check out the Navman website here for information on stockists. And make sure you watch to the end - you'll be rewarded by some random sighting of a man with an eye patch.

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There are plenty of options for scanning content at your PC but the options become trickier when you're on the move and want to scan a number of pages into a machine-readable format.

Enter the DocuPen RC800, a handheld scanning pen that's as wide as an A4 piece of paper is, and claims to be able to scan an A4 page in full 24-bit colour in 4 seconds. Yes, I know it depends on how quickly you move it down the page, but having used late 90s handheld scanners, that is quite impressive - in fact it's faster than some flatbed scanners.

The RC800 has an electronic eye that runs nearly the whole length of its 8.9-inch body. Rollers above and below the RC800's scanning element make it easy to sweep smoothly from top to bottom while keeping the scanner parallel with the top edge of the page.

mslivebeta.jpgMicrosoft have been beta testing their Office Live suite of web hosting and business tools in the US for a while now, and whilst they're ready to shift to a fully working version on November 15th, other selected countries including Britain can take a peek when the beta starts to spread internationally on that date.

Office Live is a set of Internet-based services designed to meet the needs of small businesses who want an easy way to expand their web presence and gain access to collaborative business tools. It's supposed to help attract new customers, generate repeat business and easily manage their business online.

Over 160,000 small businesses in the US tested the service and provided valuable feedback. Presumably Microsoft will seek to do the same in the UK as well sa France, Germany and Japan, given that there are differences in how businesses operate in different countries.

nokian93mu.jpgVodafone have scored an exclusive for new purchasers of Nokia N93 multimedia computers. Nokia will launch the film Mission: Impossible 3 on 512MB memory cards on the same day the film is released on DVD, to be available for free as part of the Vodafone Nokia N93 sales package.

The film runs at 25 frames per second, and the N93 will give you full rewind, fast forward, stop and play capabilities plus stereo audio playable through the supplied stereo headset.

vodafone.pngFrom tomorrow, Vodafone UK is offering its customers a new Vodafone Family tariff that will allow groups of four or six people to make free calls at any time, providing they are all Vodafone customers.

£5 per month gives you free access to 3 other Vodafone customers, whilst £7 per month lets you call up to 5 others.

It's being aimed particularly at parents and children, hence the name, but can equally be used for any group that communicates a lot. Customers can be a part of up to three groups at any one time. Each individual call can last up to one hour.

Given the generally high price of mobile-to-mobile calling, this is a great plan for a select group of friends or family.

Vodafone Family

iskinclaro.jpgiSkin have launched their Claro case and Claro Slims for the iPod video. The Claro is constructed of a tough clear polycarbon that provides strong protection for your iPod video. They feature an anti-scratch ClaroCoat.

The slims are constructed of silicone and can be used on their own or together with the Claro for extra protection.

The Claro features a belt clip and integrated kick-stand, allowing the iPod to be viewed 'hands free'. They come in two multi-colour packs, Chill and Cruise, each containing 3 colours.

Chill includes Ebony (black), Ghost (glow-in-the-dark white to blue), and Sonic (blue). Cruise features Blush (pink), Blaze (red) and Prince (purple). Slims also come with matching CERLUEAN XLR earphones in matching colours.

Available now priced $39.99 for the Claro and $24.99 for the packs of skins.

Product page

iskinsilo.jpgiSkin, who make a range of iPod accessories, have just launched their SiLo iPod nano cases, available for both generations of player.

SiLo stands for what it's made of: "silicone inside, leather outside". It provides double protection for your precious nano, with leather-wrapped side guards and the silicone inner lining.

Extra interchangeable slims can be used to create a new look for the SiLo, which also provides even greater protection against shock and moisture. There's a range of colours including a white that glows blue in the dark. I thought I'd show off the pumpkin-coloured one (actually it's Sahara) to celebrate Hallowe'en.

The SiLo costs US$49.99 and is available now.

Product page

ipodshuffle.jpgIt's been talked about and ogled by Apple fans for some time, but this Friday's the day you can get your hands on the more compact second generation iPod shuffle.

It's nearly half the size of the original iPod shuffle, half a cubic inch in volume, and weighs just half an ounce. It has an aluminium design with built-in clip, and features 1GB of flash memory.

Its battery will run for up to 12 hours, and play up to 240 of your songs in shuffle mode or order. Of course it synchronises with iTunes - we'll leave that to you to decide if that's a good thing or not. It works on both PC and Mac with USB 2 port.

It costs £55 in the UK, with the option of free laser engraving.

Product page

Japanese chilli sauce-shaped MP3 player

It's always refreshing to see a portable music player than doesn't look like an iPod, but I can't say shaping them like everyday houehold items is the way to go, as is the case with this chilli sauce-shaped MP3 player.

As you'd expect, this is only in Japan, but expect the idea to travel fast. This particular model is based on a small container of shichimi Japanese chilli sauce, which stands at just 2.6-inch tall. It's got a 128MB capacity and plays both WMA and MP3 files, with an integrated headphone cable integrated into the neckstrap.

It retails in Japan for ¥8800 (around £40). I'll have one shaped like a can of Guinness please.

Via Engadget

A recording studio that fits into your pocket

Bored of the rat race? Fancy a career as a rock star? You've got to start somewhere - and over at Brandish, they've dug up a gadget that could record that breakthroguh track - and it's small enough to fit into your pocket.

The Boss Micro BR is a four-track studio that's the size of an iPod. So when you're filled with inspiration, just whip it out, lay down a track, then sit back and enjoy your genius. And if it turns out to be rubbish, play someone else;s genius - yes, it's an MP3 player too.

Find out more about this and pass some time with some great man-friendly articles and features at Brandish.

Virgin Mobile adds ITN News to its mobile TV service

Virgin Mobile's recently-launched mobile TV service has got a new channel - ITN News, a 24 hour news service covering current affairs, news and entertainment, designed specifically for mobile handsets.

ITN News adds to the channels already available on Virgin Mobile’s Lobster 700TV, including BBC One, ITV1, Channel 4 and E4 and now ITN News, along with over 50 DAB digital radio stations. The handset is available from Virgin stores, Carphone Warehouse, WH Smiths or online from the Virgin Mobile site. The TV phone and service is free to customers on a contract of £25 a month or more, for the life of their contract.

Alternatively, it's available on pre-pay for £199, with the TV service free for an initial three-month period, followed by a charge of £5 a month. As it's through DAB, make sure you have a reception in your area before you buy.

Virgin Mobile website

Tesco introduces low-cost PC software into stores

As we highlighted earlier this month, Tesco has launched a new range of PC software, developed by the shopping giant in association with Formjet, with the aim of rivalling big boys Microsoft, Symantec and McAfee.

Six titles have been released. Tesco Complete Office (£19.97) is an office suite not a million miles away from Microsoft, with the ability to edit existing Word, Excel and Access files with Tesco Write, Tesco Spreadsheet, Tesco Database and Tesco Presentation. Tesco Internet Security (£19.97) offers protection from viruses, spyware, hackers and phishing, with free updates for a year.

Cellboost - instant power on the go

I've seen a number of these power-boosting items recently, but the Cellboost looks to be the smallest (so easiest to carry round) - of them all.

Like the other devices, Cellboost is designed to give you that extra power when you need it - when your charge has died at a crucial time. There's no cables or sockets needed, just plug in the disposable Cellboost and get around one hour of talk or 60 hours standby for a mobile or around eight hours of music for an iPod. In fact, it's like an extra battery - so you can use your gadget whilst charging it up.

And if you're worried about the environment, it's mercury free and can be safely disposed of with normal household waste. Available now, prices are around £4.99 for a Cellboost for mobile phone, £5.99 for a Cellboost for Treo and Blackberry and £6.99 for a Cellboost for iPod.

Cellboost website

Fatman's egg-shaped Fatboy speakers

You might well remember Fatman from the iTube - the valve amp for your iPod. Well, they're back with something just as eyecatching, but a little less quirky - the Fatboy speakers.

Despite being fairly compact (30cm x 20cm x 34cm), they're not portable speakers for your iPod - these are designed for use as part of a top-end hi-fi system or as a monitor for professional recording studio applications, with an output of 35 watts per channel. And the egg-shaped enclosures aren't just there to look good, they also prevent resonance and standing waves, with the speakers also offering good volume dispersion and time-delay compensation.

They're available now, you can pick them up for around £499 a pair.

Fatman website

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