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Published: Friday, 2/25/2011 - Updated: 3 years ago

Batman now can watch over your computer

NEW YORK TIMES NEWS SERVICE

Batman, who protects the streets of Gotham, now can protect your data.

Mimoco has added Batman to its line of Mimobots, the USB flash drives that look, well, flashy.

Mimobots combine pop culture with functionality: they hold 2GB to 16GB of data, and they look stylish sitting on a desk or plugged into a laptop.

As a bonus, the Mimobots, which cost from $20 to $60, come with preloaded character-specific content, including wallpaper, screen savers, avatars, and sound features.

Mimoco’s licensing deal with Warner Brothers includes Batman, Robin, the Joker, Catwoman, and a limited-edition Batman, clad in a vintage 1939 blackand-gray costume. Additional characters from DC Comics, including the Green Lantern, Superman, and the Flash, are expected soon.


Plastic film helps iPhone typists who lose their keys
For some, the lack of a physical keyboard is a deal-breaker when it comes to the iPhone. Their typing fingers head toward BlackBerry and Android models instead.

Hoping to appeal to those who like their iPhones but do not like typing on them, the 4iThumbs2, from 4iConcepts, places a thin plastic film above the keyboard; ridges on the screen define the area of each virtual key. When typing, the ridges help guide your finger into the correct location, rather than slip off to the left or right, which might otherwise result in a word like “hello” turning into “hellp.”

The $30 skin actually did make typing more accurate. But, unfortunately, the overlay didn’t stay flat on the phone; instead, it buckled up a bit in the center, which meant that each time you pressed a key, the overlay first got pressed against the phone’s screen, adding an unpleasant feel to the underlying hardware.

The company says the lack of flatness has mostly been solved in the actual production units, but “you will still have some raise on the panel,” said Gerald Rosengarten, the company’s director.


A prepaid phone that lets the music play on and on
Prepaid phones can be a great deal, but the stripped-down handsets often limit the apps and services.

Now Cricket, a provider of prepaid phones, is offering a phone with an unlimited music plan.

The phone, Samsung’s Suede, costs $200, and the service with unlimited voice, text, data and music is $55 a month.

The Suede is on the small side, light and easy to slip in a pocket. It has a large button with a musical note, intended to take you directly to the music service. There is no Wi-Fi, which would be a welcome addition as download speeds can be slow.

The phone can hold about 3,000 songs with the included 4-gigabyte storage card, or you can get 6,000 with an 8-gigabyte card.

Cricket backs up your library, so if your phone is lost you can recover your music on your replacement Cricket phone.



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