Audi releases e-bike: puts rest of industry on notice

Manufacturer’s new electric bike includes modern-day features, reaches ridiculous speeds

Let’s be honest: most e-bikes are novelty items – they’re cool to point out, look at, and maybe every now and then, hope a ride on, but no one really sees them as functional. Audi is looking to change all of that with its brand new e-bike Wörthersee prototype.

Audi ebike

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Mozilla’s Boot2Gecko, a Completely Web-Based Operating System for Smartphones

A Whole New Breed of Smartphones

An awesome project from Mozilla is finally seeing some well-deserved press. They have spent substantial energy building an entirely web-based operating system called Boot2Gecko (B2G). Essentially, the operating system is built using the standard web technologies HTML5, CSS, and Javascript.

B2G’s main focus is to alleviate the need for excessively powerful smartphone hardware, and allow for simple, optimized web technology to power the phone. While they do still use a Linux kernel, and libusb, etc to handle hardware/software communications, they claim you are literally “booting to the web”, rather than a traditional operating system.

The great news about B2G is that, unlike iOS (but very similar to Android) it is completely open-source. Any developer can jump on board the project and help. Mozilla claims it will work as a replacement OS on many popular Android-native smartphones. APIs are available for developers to extend the functionality, but the project is still very much in an infant stage, and likely won’t be ready for primetime for several months.

This is not a completely novel idea, as Palm tried hard to push their WebOS for Palm Pre as a completely HTML/CSS/Javascript driven operating system, but it truly has not seen the exponential adoption rates that iOS and Android have.

What’s your take on the future of smartphones, their operating systems, and open vs. closed platforms?

Smartphone Takeover: How To Stand Out.

A Nielsen survey released last week discovered a true fact: smartphone adoption is growing at a rate faster than ever.

“While overall smartphone penetration stood at 48 percent in January, those in the 24-34 age group showed the greatest proportion of smartphone ownership, with 66 percent saying they had a smartphone. In the same age group, 8 of 10 of those that had gotten a new device in the last three months chose a smartphone. Among those who chose a device in the last three months, more than half of those under 65 had chosen a smartphone.”

So now what? As these numbers continue to rise, especially as children, tweens, and teenagers adopt smartphones, how will these products stand out from one another? As of now, there is the holy grail, the iPhone, which will likely continue to have its day ruling the market. The question now is this: what does it take to dethrone the iPhone?

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Apple and OS X — Mountain Lion, and The Uncertain Future

Apple has been changing a lot lately. And I’m not sure if it’s for better or for worse.

I’m not talking about Jobs’ passing, nor the wild success of the iOS platform, or Apple’s quantum expansion of the tablet and smartphone markets. I’m talking about the roots that allowed all of these new innovations to occur in the first place…Mac OS X (or as Apple has recently “re-dubbed” it, OS X).

Growing up using and repairing Apple hardware, I saw every small change made to their hardware and software line. They introduced new hardware lines, such as the G3/G4/G5 Towers, MacBooks, iPod and even the long-forgotten Apple Printers and Speakers. They also created so many innovative pieces of software it boggles the mind.

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BB2 Bluetooth Speakers Shipping NOW!

BB2 Bluetooth Speaker

“I ain’t gotta wear a wire…”

That’s pretty much the name of the game with the new release of the BB2 Bluetooth speakers.  This is the freshest thing to come out of the lab since we built our teleporting machine.  The BB2 has been hyped-up for quite a while now, but now we want to show you that there is some raw substance behind this new silver embossed ultra steezy anagram print packaging.

For starters, we put a lot of our attention on  the firmware platform that would make Bluetooth easy to use.  When you pull up the BB2 on your mobile device, it will be identified as ‘BoomBot2’.   The first time you sync it you will have to enter a keycode (0-0-0-0).  Once your speaker is paired, you will be able to play music instantly.  Doing so with your Mac OS is pretty similar although remember to set the speaker as the primary audio device once connected.  The next time you turn your speaker on, your device should automatically detect it and be ready to play.

For the first firmware release, we have configured the BB2 in a way that automatically shuts down the music whenever you answer a phone call.  Once you hang up the phone, the music will resume.

Once you are paired, you can control the volume on your device AND on the unit itself.  It’s usually easy to just max out your device output and then fine-tune the volume on the BB2.  This way you can leave that phone in your pocket, keep a banger playlist going, and make your volume mods as your circumstance sees fit.

BB2 Bluetooth Speaker

In the picture above you can see the BB2 hooked up to a mixer.  In this setup, the BB2 is paired with an iPhone 4.  It is acting as a hub to stream music into the Mixer, which ultimately ends up bumpin’ on two Mackie 450s.  This setup is sweet because it allows you to integrate wireless technology into much bigger systems, while still allowing you to have control from anywhere in your ultra swanky studio loft.  The BB2 still includes the male-to-male retractable audio cable so you can easily hook it up to most stereos or even on the auxiliary jack in your car.

Bluetooth speaker

The BB2 features some hardware improvements.  One of the common points of failure on the BB1 was tweaked audio jacks that ultimately created a weak connection.  On the BB2, you can still run a wire directly into it, and we’ve created a reinforced audio jack to help make the device more resilient than ever before.  The design is very similar to what you see on the iPhone 4 audio jack.

You can order a BB2 off BoomBotix.com