Tiffany's Holiday Gift Guide
November 22, 2011 5:42 PM
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ASUS Transformer Prime Tablet
Star Wars 4 GB USB Drives
Jurassic Park: The Game
The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword
Assassin's Creed: Revelations
JewelPUMP insulin pump
I can see my breath when I go outside, I’ve had to scrape ice off of my car windows and I’ve cleared snow off of my front porch. This can only mean one thing – it’s that time of year again. It’s also time to list my favorite tech gadgets and games that I’ve been keeping an eye on this year and hope to play with come December 25.
ASUS Transformer Prime Tablet
When Amazon announced its Kindle Fire tablet in late September for $199, I was sure that that would be the tablet at the top of my Christmas list. The modest $199 price tag for features like a 7-inch IPS display, a 1 GHz Texas Instruments OMAP 4 dual-core processor, 8 GB of internal storage, 512 MB memory and a unique version of Android’s 2.3 Gingerbread operating system seemed pretty decent, but after looking at the Transformer Prime, I’ve decided to go for a full-featured tablet. Mainly, I need a camera and a microphone because I have family all over the globe and two of my close friends moved across the country, so Skype has become an essential part of catching up with one another. Kindle Fire lacks both a camera and a microphone.
ASUS Transformer Prime
also has some impressive specs compared to the likes of other Android-powered tablets and the iPad 2. It offers a 10-inch screen, NVIDIA Tegra 3 quad-core processor, 8 MP rear camera with a f/2.4 lens and back-illuminated sensor along with a 1.2 MP front-facing camera, 12-hour battery life, and Android’s 3.2 Honeycomb mobile operating system (which will be updated to Ice Cream Sandwich in early December).
$499 for 32 GB / $599 for 64 GB (
For those of you who don’t feel like dropping $500 to $600 on a tablet, Best Buy will offer the
ASUS Eee Pad Transformer for $250
on Black Friday.
ASUS Transformer Prime Keyboard Dock
The ASUS Transformer Prime Keyboard Dock adds a USB 2.0 port, a full-size Secure Digital slot and increases the battery life to 18 hours. I like the idea of transforming my tablet into a laptop if needed, since typing a message or document on a tablet screen can be a pain.
Star Wars 4 GB USB Drive
These aren’t brand new, and of course you could buy a plain 4 GB USB drive for much cheaper, but these are pretty awesome and are perfect presents for the "Star Wars" fans in your life. The available characters that I’ve seen are Storm Troopers, Darth Vader, Yoda, and Boba Fett. I’m partial to Yoda, but wouldn’t mind collecting them all.
Starting at $27.99 (
Jurassic Park: The Game (Xbox 360)
"Jurassic Park" is one of my favorite movies of all time, so of course I want to check this out. The game launched November 15.
The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword (Wii)
Who doesn’t love "The Legend of Zelda?" I’ve been playing it since the NES version, and hope to find it under my tree Christmas morning. It will be released November 20.
Assassin's Creed: Revelations (Xbox 360)
I can see most of my winter being spent jumping between this game and "Skyrim" (which I already bought last Friday and spent my entire weekend playing). It was released November 15.
Nikon Coolpix S6200
Nikon announced the COOLPIX S6200 back in late August. It offers a 10x optical zoom, a pixel count of 16.0-million pixels, motion detection, flash control, special effects, filter effects, a battery life of 250 shots, NIKKOR lens 4.5-45.0mm (angle of view equivalent to that of 25-250mm lens in 35mm format), and a small, sleek body.
I’m not looking for a high-end camera, but I’m also not looking for anything cheap. The price is reasonable for what I’ll be using it for, which will mainly be trips, family get-togethers, and occasional videos.
For those of you who didn’t know, I’m a type 1 diabetic. I’ve been using insulin pens for my daily injections for a while now, but love reading about all the technological advances in diabetic medical devices. Right now, I’m waiting for the JewelPUMP to hit the U.S. The JewelPUMP is an insulin pump made by Debiotech, which is a developer of medical devices from Lausanne, Switzerland. It’s a small, disposable patch pump that can carry up to 400 units of insulin. It’s much more comfortable and discreet than most pumps, and uses a futuristic microfluidic MEMS (Micro-Electro-Mechanical System) that puts all the “brains” on one small chip.
Here’s what’s really cool about the pump: it does not require a separate controller unit. Instead, an Android-powered cell phone can be used to control the pump. A controller app with a bolus wizard and correction wizard are available right on your Android phone, and a secret PIN is required to access it. Once the app is opened via the correct PIN, the phone goes into “Pump Mode” and you can no longer send or receive calls/texts/emails. You must exit Pump Mode to get back to your other phone features.
I’ve placed this particular device under the “Potential Gift” category because it is currently undergoing FDA approval before it can be released in the U.S. It was predicted that it would be approved by mid-2011, then new reports indicated late 2011. I’m not sure if it will be available by Christmas, and I certainly wouldn’t expect my family members to pay for what I assume will be an expensive piece of equipment as my Christmas present, but it would definitely be a helpful Christmas present from myself. If any of you are diabetic or know someone who is, this is definitely worth looking into at some point in the future, if not the holiday season.
I hope you all have an enjoyable holiday season with your loved ones.
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RE: Android for medical device?!
11/23/2011 10:14:27 AM
It is a little sketchy, but it's the direction that most devices seem to be going in.
Honestly I'd be more afraid of the increased integration of WiFi and Internet into things like vehicles. The idea of being able to do things like start your car, monitor your speed, fuel usage and levels and whatever else over the internet is cool, but if they ever implemented it poorly and create an attack vector into the ECU that would be a huge risk.
RE: Android for medical device?!
11/23/2011 12:16:28 PM
People have thought I sounded like a Luddite in the past for saying it, but I still think Admiral Adama had the right idea. Connect as few important hardware systems to an open network as possible, and limit the connection for as short a time as possible. Diabetic pumps, vehicle ECU's and water station control systems can't be hacked when they can't be found from a teenagers computer in Russia or China.
Hardware vendors before have talked about a new sort of LAN that basically encompasses an area around your body where ever you go, probably centered on a mobile phone. Sounds like a good idea, except the mobile phone part and its legs-wide-open connection to the internet. An unconnected device or more secured device, at least, would be better.
"If you look at the last five years, if you look at what major innovations have occurred in computing technology, every single one of them came from AMD. Not a single innovation came from Intel." -- AMD CEO Hector Ruiz in 2007
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