Digital Gear: iPhone clone tries to whip up a storm

The BlackBerry Storm

The BlackBerry Storm

It's not a high-end camera with frills like manual focus and optical zoom, but it is simple to use. A no-nonsense interface allows you to press one button to shoot or play back video. It has a 1.5-inch LCD screen, weighs 3.3 ounces (93 grams) and comes with 4G bytes of storage.

Running on a lithium-ion rechargeable battery, the camera can shoot one hour of video at 1280-by-720 pixel HD resolution. That's a big improvement over its predecessor, the Flip Mino, which recorded at 640-by-480 resolution. It can only be recharged by plugging it into a computer's USB port, which may be its biggest drawback; it means you can't recharge the device unless you have access to a computer. The company plans to offer an AC adapter for recharging at some point in the future, a company spokeswoman said.

After connecting the Mino HD to a PC, videos can be easily e-mailed or uploaded to video sites like YouTube. The device works with both the Mac and Windows operating systems.

If the price seems acceptable and you're in need of a lightweight video camera, this may be the one for you. It can be bought directly from Pure Digital or from online retail sites like Amazon.com.

XO accessories, not from OLPC

OLPC's XO laptops went on sale at Amazon.com on November 17, and ILoveMyXo.com is now offering a complete travel pack of XO accessories. For US$75 it includes a USB light, a wireless optical mouse, a 2G-byte flash drive, a LAN adapter, a stylus and headphones. For an additional $10 the store will add a laptop bag, though XO laptops already have a handle. Most of the accessories are designed to match the XO's green scheme. About 5 percent of the proceeds from sales will be donated to OLPC, writes owner Brady Pierzchalski on the company's Web site.

ILoveMyXo also sells XO replacement parts, including batteries and keyboards. Another site, XOexplosion.com, also sells XO accessories and parts.

Enjoy opening those boxes

The plastic boxes that gadgets are wrapped in are often hard to open and can even lead to cuts and bruises if you're not careful. You can now ease that with Zibra's Open It cutting tool, which is designed to open hard plastic boxes. It's even got a screwdriver built in to boot. The US$12.99 device is available on Zibra's Web site and at Amazon.com for US$10.30.

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