CES 2009: Sansa slotRadio – 1000 "hand-picked" songs, you'll hate 95% of em


I’m developing a bit of a love/hate relationship with Sandisk. They swing wildly from releasing great, innovative stuff, to wasting plastic on awful products. Unfortunately slotRadio falls into the latter category.

Sansa slotRadio is an MP3 player that comes with 1000 songs pre-loaded. It’s essentially a music player for people who’ve got absolutely no interest in what music playing, as long as there’s something in the background. The songs come on a Sandisk microSD card, but they’re tied to the card with DRM, so you can’t do anything else with them. If you work your way through the thousand, then you can buy 1,000 more for $40 (£26).

My advice? Save your cash and stick to Last.fm. In the meantime, go check out our other CES coverage here.

(via PC Mag)

Bomb-proof info-bins to hit London


Since the IRA’s bomb attacks in the 80s, there have been remarkably few bins around railway and tube stations in the UK – the fear being that terrorists might stick a bomb in one. Well, now bins are back. A company called Media Metrica has designed BIN 2.0. It’s bombproof, has recycling sections, and feature screens with news, travel, and weather info on them.

It’s been tested in the New Mexico desert over the past five years, and costs £15,000 to produce and £3,000 to install. It’s hoped that costs will be recouped by local businesses sponsoring a bin. In the event of an attack, the bins can be changed to display emergency information, directing people away from danger areas.

(via The Inquirer)

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Carbon Hero – track your carbon footprint on your phone, no guitars in sight


Carbon footprints are difficult. They’ve received a lot of attention in the press, and they’re firmly stamped (no pun intended) on the public psyche, but they’re not actually very accurate. Given the complexity of power generation in modern life, it’s something that’s incredibly difficult to calculate, and very easy to underestimate.

This device, the Carbon Hero, was designed by an art graduate named Andreas Zachariah. It tracks your phone signal, and if you’re moving at train-ish speed, on a train track, then it assumes you’re on a train, works out the distance you travel, and gives you a number for your carbon footprint. Simple, right? Well, there’s about a billion things wrong with the idea…

Hitachi unveils your future desk mate

EMIEW-2-office-robot.jpgMeet EMIEW 2. EMIEW stands for Excellent Mobility and Interactive Existence as Workmate, which is a nightmare for the poor thing to type in every morning when it logs onto the network, so EMIEW 2 it is.

EMIEW is an office worker robot, which was recently demonstrated at Hitachi’s Research Lab. It has the ability to (brace yourself) guide visitors…