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February 27 2014

February 18 2014

July 03 2013

The Man Who Invented the Computer Mouse Has Died
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Douglas Engelbart, the man who invented the computer mouse and helped develop many of the basic computing technologies we now take for granted, has died. He was 88.

The news appears to have first been announced via a tweet from the Computer History Museum in Mountain View, Calif. SRI International, where Engelbart did much of his work and which represents the Douglas Engelbart Institute, confirmed Engelbart's death to Mashable.

It was just announced that Computer History Museum 2005 Fellow, Doug Engelbart passed away early this morning...http://t.co/OqRWSXUuOR

— Computer History (@ComputerHistory) July 3, 2013 Read more...

More about Mouse, Obituary, Tech, Apps Software, and Doug Engelbart

September 03 2012

January 30 2011

December 23 2010

HOW TO: Build the Ultimate Home Theater

Mashable 10 Logo

This post is part of the Mashable 10, Mashable’s gift guide of the 10 hottest gadgets that our editors think should be on everyone’s wish lists this holiday season. If you were lucky enough to receive one of those gifts, our handy quick start guides should get you up and running. To view the entire gift guide, click here.

There you are, sitting pretty with your new home theater gear you got for the holidays. It’s looking good, isn’t it? Want to improve it even more?

Here’s a checklist of the nine essential ingredients you’ll need for the ultimate home theater. You might already have many of these items, or different brands or models you’d recommend. Did we leave something out? We’d like to hear from you — let us know about it in the comments.


1. Big Screen


Let’s start with the centerpiece of your home theater: a big screen, and the bigger the better. That 55-inch Vizio XVT3SV HDTV we recommended will do nicely, but if your viewing room is large, you might want to go to 65 inches. My favorite? The Panasonic TC-P65S2 plasma display, 65 inches of crisp goodness that delivers the blackest of blacks, super contrast ratio and ultra-sharp 1080p video. The best part is its price. I found it for less than $1800 including shipping, about the best value in HDTV you can get right now.


2. Network Connection



It might be a pain to run Ethernet cables to your TV-watching area, but the speed and reliability of hardwired connectivity is hard to beat. Short of that, at least get yourself one of the latest wireless N routers. I’d recommend our pick for the holiday season, the $150 Netgear WNDR3700, the best I’ve ever tested.


3. Universal Remote


It’s been around for ages (read: one year), but your best bet is still the $200 Logitech Harmony One, or its more expensive brandmate, the $400 Logitech Harmony 900 that controls components through walls or cabinets using radio frequency (RF). The easiest remotes in the world to use (albeit not so easy to program), you touch the icon for your desired activity, such as Watch TV, Watch Blu-ray, or Watch TiVo. It couldn’t be easier with their colorful touchscreens. My only complaint? They’re both a bit slow to react.


4. Netflix Subscription


Netflix just rolled out its cheapest plan yet, an all-streaming $7.99-per-month deal that lets you use the company’s Watch Instantly library until the cows come home. It’s unlimited, but you’ll run out of movies you want to watch fairly quickly, especially if you’re a film buff. If that happens, go for the “one DVD out at-a-time” subscription where you can have one Blu-ray disc plus unlimited instant watching for $11.99 per month. Even though the prices just went up, it’s still worth it.


5. Blu-ray Player


Speaking of Blu-ray, these have almost become a commodity, so pick one that’s on sale, and then you’ll have access to the prettiest, cleanest video available today. I’d recommend the Samsung BDC6500, available for $157 if you look hard enough. Enjoy Blu-ray while it’s still hot/lukewarm, because I think its days are numbered as downloading and streaming video becomes more practical.


6. Roku XD|S


The Roku XD|S gives you a lot of streaming video for your $100. Its centerpiece is Netflix Watch Instantly, but you can also grab Amazon videos and lots of other channels, as well as my music favorite, Pandora. If $100 is too rich for you, go a notch down to the midrange Roku box, the $80 HD XR, which recently got a firmware update that lets it play 1080p video, but sacrifices the dual-band Wireless N Wi-Fi.


7. New Graphics Card for Your Old Computer


Here’s a novel idea: Forgo all those set-top boxes from Roku and Boxee, and drag that old three-year-old desktop PC out of the basement. I recommend at least a dual-core processor, but the key here is to swap out the graphics card, and for $50, I’d recommend this Sapphire ATI Radeon HD 4550 with its HDMI port that connects to your HDTV. With a proper computer, you can watch Netflix, Hulu, downloaded 1080p videos — anything you want from the Internet. And I mean the whole Internet, regardless of the vagaries of television networks and their restrictive practices.


8. Wireless Keyboard and Mouse


If you heed my computer/graphics card suggestion, you’ll need a way to control it, and there’s no better home theater keyboard than the Logitech K800 Wireless Illuminated Keyboard. It looks a lot like that Logitech Solar Keyboard we reviewed last month, but the $80 Logitech K800 has backlit keys for that darkened home-theater environment, exquisite design, and its batteries last a long, long time. For a mouse, I’d also recommend any of the Logitech wireless mice, with the new Performance Mouse MX with its Darkfield laser tracking leading the way.


9. Surround Sound


Don’t forget about the sound. You might not be able to hear the difference between 5.1 and 7.1 surround, but you will be able to hear the difference between surround sound and stereo. Books have been written about which components will give you the best sound, so ask a local audiophile. Here’s a great place to start looking for speakers, and check this out for some astute home theater receiver tips.


More Tech Resources from Mashable:


- 4 Predictions for Connected Devices in 2011
- HOW TO: Get Started With Your New Roku Player
- HOW TO: Get Started With Your New Wi-Fi Router
- 5 Unusual Ways to Use Dropbox You Might Not Have Thought Of
- 5 Predictions for Game Mechanics in 2011

More About: ATI Radeon, blu-ray, gadgets, home theater, List, Lists, Logitech Keyboard, mashable 10, mashable 10 quick start, mouse, netflix, netgear, roku, samsung, Sapphire, speakers, Surround, tech

For more Tech coverage:


December 19 2010

Razer Naga Molten Special Edition Could Be the Ultimate Gaming Mouse [PICS]


Look out hardcore gamers — the Razer Naga Molten Edition Gaming Mouse is almost here.

You’re probably already familiar with the Razer Naga Expert MMO Gaming Mouse released a year ago, but I’ll bet you haven’t seen it in its latest Molten Edition livery, glowing like a cinder from hell, emitting a deep red glow that’s certain to psych out even your boldest opponents.

If you’re not familiar with the Naga series, this $80 mouse is one of the finest, most precise mice I’ve ever laid a hand on. It’s thick and thin in just the right places, and its scroll wheel gives you just the right amount of resistance and feels butter-smooth. Its left and right mouse buttons have the perfect click-feel, and its silky surface welcomes even the sweatiest palm.

But that’s the same form factor as the current Naga mouse with its blue backlighting. This Razer Naga Molten Edition aims for the scary red look, and you can’t tell it from the pictures, but that molten lava-looking midsection glows as if it’s a breathing beast, its light fading up and down like it’s alive. While it looks hot as a two-dollar pistol, it feels cool to the touch.

Enough about its appearance, what about its functions? In addition to its two extra thumb buttons on the top left, notice the 12 macro keys right where your thumb resides, programmable to the nth degree. Figure out what you want to have them do, and then record your actions, complete with pauses. Nothing new there, except it just works exceptionally well. If that’s not enough, download its custom interface add-ons or integrated in-game support for MMO games such as World of Warcraft, Warhammer Online: Age of Reckoning, and City of Heroes.

Why would you spend $80 on a mouse? In this case, a good reason is because the Razor Naga delivers precisely what its maker says it will: ergonomic form, maximum comfort, and the ultimate customizability. Bravo, Razer. Available January 5, 2011.


Razer Naga Molten Special Edition





Razer Naga Molten Special Edition





Razer Naga Molten Special Edition





Razer Naga Molten Special Edition





Razer Naga Molten Special Edition





Razer Naga Molten Special Edition





Razer Naga M Configuration Screen




More About: gaming, Macros, mice, MMO, mouse, Naga, Razer Naga Molten Special Edition Mouse, video games, WoW

For more Tech coverage:


December 01 2010

5 Stylish Computer Mice for the Design Aficionado


As a companion to the list of stylish keyboards we recently brought you, we’ve turned our attention to another vital PC peripheral: the humble computer mouse.

Whether you’re a Mac or a PC, you don’t have to put up with a boring, bland input device. A stylish mouse can easily add a touch of design chic to your computing setup, and in some cases even offer improved ergonomics.

So take a look at the five seriously stylish options we’ve highlighted and let us know in the comments below just what it is that pushes your buttons as far as mouse design goes.


1. Microsoft Arc Mouse


The wireless Arc mouse is designed for portability — it folds down to 60% of its full size — without losing any functionality of a desktop mouse. Aesthetically, it’s gorgeously sleek and curvy and there are some decent features too. The ambidextrous Arc boasts six month’s battery life, four programmable buttons and a tidy snap-in transceiver.

Cost: $49.95


2. Hippus Handshoe Mouse


The Handshoe mouse is said to fit your hand “like a glove,” with ergonomics the reason behind that curvaceous design. Available in small, medium and large, wireless and wired, and in different colors, the mouse’s hand-friendliness is the cherry on top, as far as desirability goes.

Cost: From $99


3. Apple Magic Mouse


Apple’s Magic Mouse brings multi-touch goodness in a seamless, low-profile shell. The input device’s touch controls include the ability to move in any direction with the swipe of a finger and to scroll with two, while the entire mouse is one clickable button. It’s said to be much more intuitive (once you get the hang of it!) than being restricted to buttons and a scroll wheel.

Cost: $69


4. Intelligent Design Titanium Mouse


This is about as high-end as computer peripherals come. With a price tag that could cover the cost of a computer itself, you’ve got to really value design to shell out out on this pricey peripheral. If you do, you’ll be getting a mouse made of grade one titanium with a neodymium scroll wheel. It is a thing of beauty — if you can stand to look at it after forking over that much cash.

Cost: 399 Euros (approx $527)


5. Eclipse Touchmouse


With a brushed aluminum finish, the industrial looking Eclipse Touchmouse adds an element of touch with a rectangular module on top that boasts four-way on-screen scrolling. In addition, the “quicktouch” tech lets you use shortcut commands (a combination of mouse button and movements) to carry out certain actions.

Cost: $47.99


BONUS: Logitech MX Air Mouse


This mouse offers 3D features in its operation with its dual purpose functionality as a remote control, or as Logitech phrases it, “in-air cursor control.” In addition to laser tracking for ordinary mouse movement, the MX Air Mouse offers motion control of your media and scroll touch functionality that is said to be “hyper-fast.”

Cost: $149.99


More Tech Resources from Mashable:


- 10 Comfortable Lap Desks for Cozy Computing
- 10 Cool and Unusual Laptop Sleeves [PICS]
- 5 Beautiful Keyboards to Spice Up Your Boring Desk
- 10 Cool Cable Management Solutions [PICS]
- Top 10 Geekiest Decorations for Your Home or Office [PICS]

More About: accessories, apple, computer mouse, gadgets, input devices, List, Lists, mice, microsoft, mouse, peripherals

For more Tech coverage:


September 26 2010

August 10 2010

Mashable Readers Choose the Mouse Over the Touchscreen


When you’re reading your email, surfing the web or updating your Facebook account, do you prefer the familiarity and accuracy of the mouse or the novelty and possibilities of a touchscreen?

That was the subject of our most recent Web Faceoff, our weekly series where we pit two competing apps or technologies against each other for your vote. In this edition, we asked you to choose between the touchscreen and the mouse.

And the winner…

…is the mouse! With 54.6% of the vote (830 votes), the mouse was able to squeak by the touchscreen’s 45.4% (689 votes). While the cursor and keyboard interface won the day, the competitive finish by the touchscreen makes us think more people are embracing the touchscreen. Could we be witnessing a revolution in computer interface technology?

Are we going to be using more touchscreens five years from now, or will we still rely on our mice to navigate our computers? Post your predictions in the comments.



Which interface do you prefer: Touchscreen or Mouse?online survey

More About: interface, ipad, mouse, touchscreen, web faceoff

For more Battles coverage:


August 03 2010

Interface Faceoff: Touchscreen vs. Mouse


The mouse has been a mainstay of the personal computer ever since the first GUI-enabled Apple Macintoshes hit store shelves. It’s how the vast majority of us interact with our computers every single day.

Yet of the many basic computing features that have evolved, the cursor interface really isn’t one of them. Point-and-click has mostly been the same since the mouse’s introduction in the 1960s.

The rise of the iPhone, iPad and Android devices have begun to alter how we interact with our computers, though. All of these devices use touchscreen interfaces out of necessity, but the result has been the birth of a wide variety of user interfaces that don’t require dragging a little arrow across a virtual desktop.

So for this week’s Web Faceoff, we wanted to poll you, the readers, on which interface you prefer: the touchscreen or the mouse/keyboard/cursor. We’re going to leave the Magic Trackpads out of this fight for today.

Cast your vote in the poll below by Friday, August 6 at 12:00 PM PT, then let us know why you voted the way you did in the comments.



Which interface do you prefer: Touchscreen or Mouse?online survey

More About: ipad, magic trackpad, mouse, touchscreen, trackpad, web faceoff

For more Battles coverage:


April 02 2010

One Step Closer to Minority Report: The Wireless Glove Mouse [VIDEO]

In the film Minority Report, Tom Cruise utilizes amazing technologies from the year 2054, including talking billboards, jetpacks, and most famously, augmented reality gloves that allowed him to interact with a computer interface without ever touching it. Needless to say, this very popular movie has spawned tons of technological inspiration.

Two students from MIT, Tony Hyun Kim and Nevada Sanchez, decided to go a step further, and the results are awesome to behold. For a class project last year, the two developed mouse gloves. By utilizing equipment that costs less than $100, they were able to create an interface where they could navigate, zoom, and manipulate a map, all by simply waving their hands through the air. Now they’ve made the gloves wireless, which you can see in action in the video below.

Of course the technology’s a little more complicated than that, but you get the idea. And while this is nowhere near Tom Cruise’s masterful manipulation of glove-based interfaces, it does make us believe that the technology of Minority Report is not that far away.

Here’s a video of the glove mouse in action, along with the famous scene from Minority Report that inspired it:



Minority Report Scene



[via Popular Science]

Tags: Augmented Reality, Glove, minority report, mouse, Mouse Glove, tech


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