Digital Summer at Millennium Hotel, London

Wow! Just got back from a fantastic tech-filled evening – Even though there was torrential rain tipping it down outside, inside the Millennium Hotel in Grosvenor Square, ’twas Digital Summer! I went along with pals Ant Davis, whatleydude, and Rob Hinchcliffe.  There was much fun stuff:Belkin Rockstar   Mental Music Mayhem

Take this from Belkin (not out yet) called the Rockstar. Connect up to five headphones, and your iPod or other MP3 player, to start sharing. Or, add another portable device to mix songs and listen together.  Imagine if you had 2 people with wildly differing tastes playing their music through this at the same time…. Hmmm, mixing two music sources on the fly will sound a little interesting. 

Come to think of it, I bet it sounds a bit like my train home from London, there’s always a couple of mobile phones blaring out diametrically opposed musical genres.  I confess to finding that  strangely comforting, perhaps as I now associate the sound of “mash-up” to being less than 18 minutes from my house.  

Right, Next Up:

These are the W5000 headphones from Audio Technica, not sure if they’re available in the UK yet.  Yes, of course they sound fantastic.  The outer part of the earphones is made of Striped Ebony, there are stand-alone cushioned rests for the top of your head that make them feel incredibly light on, in fact, I can’t help thinking that these cans are perfectly suited to your hardcore hi-fi fanatic… and if that’s you, the specs are here for those gorgeous gory details.

Finally for this post:

Are you looking at my bird?


Well, the parrot went on the record saying that it enjoyed listening back to itself with the LS-10 voice recorder from Olympus.  Parrots need voice recorders so they can practice in their cages when no-one’s listening.  Why else are they so good at mimicking?  Rather amusingly, I remember a (probably apocryphal) story about a friend’s parrot who only said rude words.

I’ve now realised that the story was in fact not real – it was a joke told to me a while ago.  D’oh! If I had this voice recorder (which has stereo recording capability and records high-quality straight to PCM (Wav) ), I’d have been able to listen back to myself, know for certain that the parrot story is a naughty joke with a punchline I cannot bring myself to reproduce, and delete this entire paragraph (if you get my drift…).  Actually this is a great looking device close-up, and I love the clever placement of the microphones, ensuring that if you are a net-caster, you can stick this in the room and get a satisfactory spacing between conversationalists, as well as some easy buttons and a friendly interface.  Stay tuned, as I’m going to test it in the field.


There are other products I want to share with you, but I’ve got to take pictures so  you can see them properly – I’m thinking of the iskin range of mac accessories and the v-moda iphone-friendly earphones. 

Digital Summer was great – there was a friendly vibe about the place, and great chocolate mousse, which is always a winner as far as I’m concerned.  I had a fantastic time, and it’s great to see innovative stuff from companies that could just play it safe, but choose not to.  


Brenthaven Antics

And on to the next gadgety item – I got it last week, and it was good.  


This is the Eclipse Sleeve I – part of the Brenthaven range of laptop sleeves specialising in portable computer protection.  Ah, the stuff tech dreams are made of, a comfortable, low-impact journey from A to B, perhaps along with some nice even current, and the odd dusting.

I hulked my heavy but sexy Rizeon PC all over Las Vegas in January, and [prior to that] bashed seven bells out of my Vaio.  I remember, with some trauma, one time, just before going on air, my vaio leapt off the table in an impressive attempt to escape live TV.  As the camera crew and co-presenter looked on in horror, I remembered how important it was to back stuff up in that ohnosecond – so an item that claims to help protect my laptop is definitely worth further examination.

I’ve been waiting a long time for something interesting to appear in the cushioned laptop bag category.  The inside is a bit like memory foam, and there’s a separate bit for papers, although I found it difficult getting my power adapter into the case as well, perhaps because this is the slimline model. 

Happily, this foamy, friendly small bag [would that be a baguette?] fits my macbook as well, and nestles into my larger backpack for easy transportation (you can see that in the final pic).  

Now I do have new-age tendencies, and I certainly have a terrible leaning towards puns – so it was doubly gratifying to hear that the company behind the bag are committed to reducing their effect on the environment, as well as reducing the dents and grazes on my lappy.  I therefore applaud their choice of the name Zero Impact for the range.

Have a look here for some footage of their cases being chucked out of trucks.