from USA

New "Transformer" computer from Compaq

Unveiled in May, Compaq's new line of Evo products are not the computers you grew up with. Specifically designed to break out of the "beige box" syndrome, Randal Martin, Compaq's Director of Design, sought to differentiate the products through innovative design.

Several concept products, code named "Dual Worlds" are hybrid devices, and represent possible future generations of Compaq access devices. The Evo portable computer integrates the best features of a laptop and a desktop, transforming itself from a sleek portable unit into a futuristic desktop, including a flat panel display and wireless keyboard and mouse.

Incorporating input from customers throughout the design process helped Mr. Martin push the product development schedule along faster than had been done in the past, and represents a break from the traditional development process.

As profit margins in the computer industry grow ever thinner, companies are going to have to compete with more than prices in order to retain and grow their customer base, something Compaq seems to be taking to heart.

Converting a PC from a laptop to desktop is a neat trick. Now, if only it could turn into a rocket scooter, we'd REALLY be onto something!

Whew! Was that the dog or is my phone leaking?"

The hunt for a nickel cadmium battery replacement got a fresh scent early this month when Motorola announced that they have developed a methane gas powered fuel cell to keep their cell phone batteries charged for up to a month of phone calls.

By combining the separate charging devices of the current battery into one cohesive unit, the researchers were able to create a battery not much larger than the current models: about 2 inches wide, 4 inches long, half-inch thick. Predictions have dells, laptops and other personal digital tools powered for long trips by this technology by the year 2010.

Gives us a whole lotta ideas for renewable energy sources. I mean, after a night of burritos and beers, ol' buddy Core jr. over here could provide enough gas to power the entire network. If only there were a way to harness the haunches.

"EVilla" E-outta here

Last month, Sony discontinued and initiated a massive recall of their ugly-audrey internet station idea, the "eVilla" network and minicomputer.

This was one of the worst product ideas we had seen in a long time. When it first came out, core jr. carried the news item around to show to people as an example of bad product development.

Not only was the machine itself a weak impersonation of some kind of pc all-in-one-componentry, but Sony had felt the need to isolate their users in eVilla bad place, where they could basically only interface within their network.

Turns out it was so bad in fact, that Sony is BUYING BACK THE MACHINES FROM CUSTOMERS! - They are refunding the cost of the monthly ISP customers were forced to sign up for and have even set up an 800 number to call and they will come and pick the thing up, probably along with profuse apologies and a pizza!

You know it means instant cult collector item status for those babies! Get one now, to sell on ebay later!

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