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My Take

Patapon: I normally can’t stand rhythm games, but this one is a ton of fun.

iPhone SDK: Finally! Looks great to me, but I am not happy about the ‘no background apps’ policy. I’d like 3rd party chat apps and feed readers to be able to alert me from the background. Hopefully, background capabilities are coming.

OS X Leopard’s “Alex” voice: Text to speech is normally pretty crappy. I’m glad Apple invested in a voice that speaks clearly, even if it does require 700MB of disk space!! I’m working on a simple OS X app that connects to Google Reader and reads articles aloud.

Jericho: Canceled AGAIN? Really? At least there’s still Torchwood, Doctor Who, Lost, BSG and Smallville (major spoilers in this week’s promo – be careful).

Arduino: I’m having a lot of fun with mine. An Arduino plus a series of BlinkMs is a great combination.

MacBook Air: I’ve had mine for 2 months and I love it. The combination of mobility, screen size and performance it provides makes it much more useful than the notebooks, umpcs, pdas and internet tablets I’ve used in the past. Meanwhile, the flexibility, usability and safety provided by OS X gives this machine a huge advantage over similar Windows-based laptops. It’s my main computer, now.

WaterField’s Racer-X Laptop Case: The Racer-X is perfect for me. Not too big, not too small. It stays upright do to a solid rectangular bottom, which is really nice – it makes it a little heavier but it’s worth knowing it’s not going to tip over. The Air is in a zippered into a lightly padded, secure pocket. The other zippered pocket is big enough to hold the charger, my cradlepoint PHS, a usb hub, a medium sized ora book or my Kindle, a tiny usb HD (for backups and extra storage) and some other misc stuff. It’s small enough that I have to think about what I want to keep in it, but not so small that I have to leave anything important behind. I bought the black version with leather handles. The build quality is terrific and I can see it lasting for a LONG time.

New Rolly Video

Diginfo has a new video of the Sony Rolly (due later this month). I’m still shocked that noone has built a homebrew version of the Rolly, yet, with Lego Mindstorms.

Sony Rolly Announced

$350 US, available only in Japan (9/29/07).

Engadget’s notes here. Videos here. Original post and commercial here. Update: Akihabara News has a hands on video.

1GB of audio storage and can stream from bluetooth devices which support A2DP. Clever UI – hold the Rolly vertically, twist the top wheel to change the song. Twist the bottom wheel to change the volume. Moves, spins, moves its flippers to the music. Can be choreographed.

It does not seem to be programmable. However, if it can be controlled at a very granular level in real time via bluetooth, it may not need to be in order to be a basic robotics platform. Time will tell.

When I first read about the Rolly, I started pricing out how to builid something comparable using a Nintendo DS, a Palm TX or a Nokia Internet Tablet as the guts. All seem doable, for less than the cost of the Rolly (if you already have one of those devices), but they will be bigger, uglier and less durable than the Rolly. Still, a solution based on one of those devices would be much more programmable and would have a wifi connection.

Sony Rolly

The wait has just begun. We saw the first (viral) video of it last week.

The wait is almost over. Word has it that there is a Rolly release party in Japan on the 10th.

So what is it? A Wii for music? The new (tiny) Aibo platform? I’ll try to remain objective, but I’m loving it. The speaker caps controlled by solenoids (or servos or electromagnets), the speakers, the rgb strips, the dual independent wheels and the potential for robot choreography are all pretty slick.

Sony Rolly

Updated: New, full length commercial. Switched the embedded video.

Thanks, everyone, for pointing me to the Rolly. Yes, you are right. It will be impossible for me to resist purchasing a Rolly. Let’s hope it’s hackable!

Engadget, Engadget, Engadget Again, and Wikipedia.