Cooliris gets local file support, Linux version

Photo and video enhancer Cooliris (download) has launched an updated version of its browser add-on that brings new features including support for viewing local media, file specific metadata, and a Facebook photo viewer that shows user name tags. It's also available--for the first time, to Linux users.

A few weeks ago I met with Shashi Seth, Cooliris' chief revenue officer, and Austin Shoemaker who is the company's CTO to talk about the release, which they say has addressed some of the top requests from their users. The biggest being the capability to view local photos and videos from their computer's hard drive inside of Cooliris' 3D media wall, which users on all three platforms can now do.

This basically turns your browser into an ad-hoc media center, something Shoemaker says has been created to be a unified experience across multiple platforms. For instance, if you're on a Mac, it links up with iPhoto, and if you're on a PC, it organizes your "my pictures" folder by album. Either way, you see your stuff without telling the service where to go to find it.

But what about Web content you ask? It's also been given a boost--literally. The new version has a visual effects engine that take better advantage of users' graphics hardware. For Mac users the tool is using OpenGL, and on Windows it's Direct 3D. Seth says it runs lean enough that most hardware from the last five years or so should have no problems with it. In my brief testing I ran it on a 3- year-old PC with barely a hiccup, however it's noticeably smoother on my other machine with a beefier graphics card.

Additionally, the tool now displays a much broader selection of metadata from selected sites. When viewing photos from Picasa Web Albums and Google Image search, or videos from YouTube, it now shows things like view count, user ratings, exposure, aperture, and resolution. This unfortunately… Read more

Mouse doubles as hand dryer, triples as seizure inducer

You're so funny, Japan. When I said someone should come up with a mouse that addresses the worldwide hyperhidrosis epidemic, I was joking. I didn't mean you should actually make one with a built-in fan.

Aside from the weird fan inside that keeps your hand cool, this Japan-only mouse, sold by the folks at eSupply for approximately $21, also comes with a remote to type in messages that blink to life underneath the vents while you're not using it. Because that's exactly what Japan needs: more blinking lights.

The mouse is pretty small, so it can … Read more

Laptop too hot? Logitech's got a couple of new cooling options

Laptop cooling devices generally fall into two categories -- plastic stands with little fans inside and plastic stands without little fans inside (we checked out several examples in our laptop cooling device roundup).

Logitech has managed to hit both categories with its announcement of two new laptop coolers on March 18.

The Logitech Cooling Pad N100 is a gently waving riser, with a fan pointed up through its slotted top. The air intake is from the rear edge, to reduce the chance of blocked airflow, and it can draw power from your laptop via a USB cord.

The Logitech Notebook … Read more

Shuttle unveils powerful, liquid-cooled, compact PC for gamers

If you're a hard-core gamer who hates monster computer boxes, Shuttle, the maker of custom built small form-factor PCs, now offers another choice.

The company unveiled on Friday its newest liquid-cooled SDXi Carbon Extreme gaming solution.

The SDXi Carbon features a cream-of-the-crop quad-core Intel Core2 Extreme QX9770 processor, dual-slot Nvidia GeForce GTX 280 graphics card, and up to 16GB of high-speed DDR2 memory.

With these specifications, the box is designed to deliver the best possible experience for the most demanding applications and games.

Normally, this kind of powerhouse will generate a ton of heat and noise. This is why … Read more

Valentine's Day downloads

With Valentines day just a couple of days away, why not get in to the spirit? We put together a collection of screensavers and Valentine's Day themed downloads to get you in the mood for the most romantic of holidays. Hopefully, it will also act as a reminder to those who might forget. Ahem.

Some of these downloads are paid and others are free, but any one you choose will certainly put you in the spirit of Valentine's Day.

Cool EasyCard lets you create Valentine's cards (or any type of greeting) with your own photos and the … Read more

Note to Microsoft: "Cool" can't be faked (nor should you try)

Microsoft, for all its billions of dollars of profits each quarter, is not very cool. The company has become the cardigan-wearing frumpy uncle that dozes in an overstuffed leather armchair. He has nothing to prove. He's made it. probes Microsoft's latest attempt at coolness - a Softswear-created clothing campaign in partnership with rapper Common - and finds it wanting.

Microsoft is often its own worst enemy when trying to snag the attention of young people. The most recent example is Softwear by Microsoft. These are '80s retro t-shirts that say "DOS" or have a … Read more

Cool Earth Solar eyes rural power with balloons

Cool Earth Solar has one of those radical green-tech ideas that may actually make a real commercial impact.

In the next two weeks, the company plans to start testing a prototype solar plant built around rows of reflective balloons hung on poles. The solar balloons, which are eight feet in diameter, look something like a tube for sledding or laying around the pool, but each one can generate 1 kilowatt of electricity.

It's a design that combines cheap building materials, notably plastics, with expensive high-efficiency solar cells. Light goes through the side of the balloon facing the sun, is … Read more

Intel unveils new cooling tech for ultrathin laptops

Updated on October 24 at 10:20 a.m. with corrected image of Intel laminar jet technology.

Intel wants a laptop to live up to its name.

A computer that sits comfortably, coolly on your lap. The world's largest chipmaker expects a crush of ultrathin laptops from PC makers in 2009 and unveiled cooling technology this week to make sure these svelte air-flow constrained designs stay cool.

To date, cooling technology has focused on keeping the internal components from getting too hot but not the outside of the computer, according to Mooly Eden, general manager of Intel's Mobile … Read more

'Intelligent Heat' knows your hands better than you do

If you're reading this while rubbing your hands together and blowing hot breath into them (remember, the wider your mouth when you blow, the warmer the heat), well you should probably turn on the radiator or put on some gloves. If you already have gloves on and are still rubbing your hands together, keep reading.

Aevex announced on Monday that its Intelligent Heat technology can now be found in winter gloves from Mountain Hardwear and Outdoor Research. Not to be confused with the Cooling Glove (not sure why you would be, but I just wanted to get that link … Read more

Intel: Data centers could use some fresh air

Fresh air could save millions in data center cooling costs, Intel has claimed, after a successful experiment in the New Mexico desert.

Replacing air conditioning by piping in outside air saved power costs, with no appreciable increase in server failure rates, Intel concluded in a research paper (PDF). Despite a lot of dust and major temperature changes--both long considered undesirable in data centers--the equipment wasn't affected, Intel said.

"Servers...were subjected to considerable variation in temperature and humidity, as well as poor air quality; however, there was no significant increase in server failures," the paper said. "… Read more