Motorola S9 Review: Stereo Bluetooth Headset pt 2 (Score 72%)

This is the second part of the review. Yesterday we introduced the Motorola S9 review of the wireless headphones and covered the remote media controls.

Motorola s9 Bluetooth headphone ReviewUse as a phone headset
Pressing the call button when you’re listening to music automatically pauses the track and any voice-dialling commands that you utter are passed over to the handset, dialling the number, if configured.

Continue reading Motorola S9 Review: Stereo Bluetooth Headset pt 2 (Score 72%)

Motorola S9 Review: Stereo Bluetooth Headset

Motorola s9 Bluetooth headphone ReviewWe’ve been using the S9 stereo bluetooth headset from Motorola for quite a long time now.

The concept behind them is intriguing – being able to enjoy music without having to deal with the wires that normally get caught up between headphones and the music player – but they’re more than that. You can step backwards and forwards through the tracks and make and receive phone calls.

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Harmony 785 Advanced Universal Remote: Review (87%)

Review (87%)It’s great having a living room stuffed full of the latest gadgets, but with just about every gizmo coming with its own easily-lost remote control, parlour games of “hunt the ruddy remote” and “where’s the chuffing battery gone?!” have become commonplace in some homes.
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Traktor Scratch Grandmaster Flash Signature Edition

Grandmaster Flash Edition Of Traktor ScratchGrandmaster Flash, godfather of scratching has been brought in to tell the world how great he thinks Traktor Scratch is.

For those of you who aren’t aware, it’s a system that lets you control you digital music files using vinyl, giving you all of the function of decks, with the flexibility of a huge digitised music collection.
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Wiinstrument: Wii Drumming On Mac: Video & Podcast

Wiinstrument: Wii Druming On Mac: Video and PodcastWe’ve all see Wii-motes being used for all sort of strange purposes, well this one is useful.

A bunch of students at University of Potsdam, Germany have written a programme that lets you use your Wiimote and nunchuck to trigger sounds, such as drums and cymbals on a Mac. It’s not just drums that can be triggered, but any MIDI sound.

The accelerometer in the Wii-mote senses how hard the drums are being played, varying the loudness and harshness of the sound. It’s wire-free as it uses Bluetooth to connect.
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Smokin’: Xbox 360 Wireless Racing Wheel Get Microsoft Fix

Smokin': Microsoft To Fix Xbox 360 wireless Racing WheelAfter some reports of problems with “smoking” when mains power units have been attached to Microsoft’s Xbox 360 wireless Racing Wheels, they decided to fix, or in their language “retrofit,” them.

Their use of language really is spectacular, beyond “retrofit,” they also say that the “AC-DC power supply is used to energize the Wheel.” Energize! What’s this? Star Trek?
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X-pointer Bigs Up The Bling Factor

X-pointer Bigs Up The Bling FactorIf you’re finding that your PowerPoint presentations are lacking a little bling and pizzazz, then you might want to consider investing in the gold plated X-pointer to dazzle your audience.

The (frankly hideous) piece of shiny tut functions as a remote control, a wireless mouse, a laser pointer and a portable storage device, and comes coated with an 18k gold finish.
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One For All Kameleon 8 Universal Remote Control Review (50%)

One For All Kameleon 8 Universal Remote Control ReviewAfter growing tired of endless beer-fuelled, late night rummages around the house for a mountain of easily-lost remote controls, we thought we’d check out an all-in-one controller.

Wooed by its sci-fi looks, we decided to give the ONE FOR ALL Kameleon URC8308 Remote Control a run, a 50 quid number with the ability to boss up to eight devices as well as optionally control lighting systems too.

Opening up the package, the first impressions are good: the Tron-like electro-luminescent buttons are bright and the shiny, curved chrome finish was already starting to make our room look scruffy and outdated.

One For All Kameleon 8 Universal Remote Control Review

Smell the silver

Taking the thing to hand, a few doubts began to surface. The remote has a strange curved back with the bulge offset to one side, making it a little hard to grip, and the chrome finish makes it something of a slippery number to keep a grip on.

There’s no denying that the space age screen sure lights up mighty purdy, but it’s made of some weird vinyl-like material that feels horrible to the touch.

After a few Saturday night TV sessions we could imagine the vinyl being covered in bits of pizza and sticky beer residue that would be tough to clean off around the edges where the material ‘folds’ into the casing. Not very Star Trek.

One For All Kameleon 8 Universal Remote Control Review
As well as the ‘virtual’ buttons, the Kameleon comes with a central horizontal strip containing hardware buttons for volume up/down, TV channel up/down and a four way selector with a central ‘OK’ button, plus four slim coloured buttons at the bottom of the control for teletext functions.

The trouble is that these buttons take the form of small raised bits of shaped plastic which weren’t particularly pleasant to the touch and were hard to locate in the dark.


Looking through the multi-language instruction manual (one of opur pet hates), we found ourselves being dispatched promptly into head scratching mode, thanks to unhelpful descriptions and confusing menus.

Programming in our individual components was a hit and miss affair, requiring us to trawl through pages and pages of manufacturer’s remote codes and keep on inputting numbers until we found some that worked.

One For All Kameleon 8 Universal Remote Control ReviewThe Kameleon only managed to find one set of codes that immediately worked on our devices; there was nothing for our 3 year old AV Yamaha amp and it neither had codes for our new Humax PVR nor wanted to learn any either (the learning process involved us continually bashing a single button, but the remote kept quitting before it found anything for the PVR).

In desperation, we went to their website to see if we locate new set up codes for our devices – and what an unpleasant experience that turned out to be, with their support site being quite possibly one of the worst we’ve ever seen for a mainstream consumer goods manufacturer.

Not only does it look really awful (they’ve cocked up the style sheets), but it doesn’t even list their own Kameleon URC8308 remote control in the dropdown menu entitled, ‘Find your set up code’ and after wasting ten minutes aimlessly clicking around their site we were still none the wiser.

One For All Kameleon 8 Universal Remote Control ReviewBy this time we were beginning to harbour thoughts about how far we could throw the streamlined remote, but thought we’d drop One For All a line for help instead.

Sadly, more frustration was in store as we discovered that the ‘contact us’ link only took us straight back to the tech section with no means of actually contacting anyone.


Much as we loved the hover-boot looks and Tron-like lightshow, and much as we admire a company prepared to push the boat out in design terms, the reality of the Kameleon concept singularly failed to excite us.

As a multi remote controller it was unable to actually operate our devices and the lack of information on their support website was hugely disappointing.

One For All Kameleon 8 Universal Remote Control ReviewMoreover, we were reminded of the shortcomings of ‘virtual’ buttons versus real hardware buttons – groovy glowing buttons emerging from the darkness of a black remote may look the stuff of Spock, but ‘real’ buttons remain easier to use and more responsive to the touch (something that those dreaming of an iPhone might want to consider).

Perhaps others will have better luck than us, but this is one remote we wish had stayed lost at the back of the sofa.

Our verdict
Features: 70%
Ease of Use: 40%
Build Quality: 60%
Overall: 50%
Super-slick Kameleon promo site

The World’s Most Expensive Mouse Mat?

The World's Most Expensive Mouse Mat?Designed exclusively for idiots with more money than sense, the official Formula 1 carbon and leather mouse mat can now be bought online for just £260 ($489, €380)

Whereas most folks are happy to go along with some wafer thin promotional freebie or a tatty old mouse mat bought for a fiver, the Formula 1 mat is clearly designed for loaded types who go through life struggling to find a connection between common sense and value.

The ‘none-more-black’ mat has been hand-made in England exclusively for Formula 1 by specialist composite technicians who make Formula One monocoques.

I guess we must be a bit thick here because we had to look up what ‘monocoques’ meant. We can now, however, tell fellow ignoramuses that it means, “a type of vehicle design in which the body and chassis are in one piece”. So now you know.

The World's Most Expensive Mouse Mat?The blurb on the Formula 1 webpage insists that the carbon mouse mat was designed “using state of the art automotive 3D modelling software.”

We’re not entirely sure what 3D car design tools are needed to roll out a piece of flat material, but we can tell you that the mat is made of solid polished carbon fibre with an inlaid leather mouse area.

It looks like it might just be able to take the almighty stress of having an optical or ball-operated mouse rolling over its surface too, with the carbon being “cured to 120º C at 100 psi.” Thank heavens for that.

The World's Most Expensive Mouse Mat?(There is a rather better looking all-carbon version available for ‘just’ £250, but this won’t work with an optical mouse).

Just in case no-one’s noticed that you’re the owner of an outrageously overpriced mat – backed with the finest Italian black suede we’ll have you know – the thing is embossed in carbon with the F1 Formula 1 logo.

We bet that will impress the ladies. Not.

F1 store