“Boogie Board” and “Improv” debut, both named by Igor

We named a new consumer product company “Improv Electronics”. We also named Improv’s first product, “Boogie Board“, which went on sale last week.

Via Gizmodo:

If you thought a boogie board was a salt-water vessel that lets you skim the waves, think again. Improv Electronics’ Boogie Board is a pressure-sensitive tablet that uses a watch battery for power. It’s like a digital blackboard!

The Reflex LCD doesn’t need any power to keep the scribbles and drawings on the screen, with the watch battery only being put into use when the screen is erased. The watch battery will last for 50,000 erases, which makes the $29.97 board cost 15 times less for each erase than a normal sheet of paper. It’s ideal for kids, or perhaps artists who care about the long-term saving associated with the Boogie Board.

Gogo launches, named by Igor, Mossberg reviews

Via The Wall Street Journal, July 19, 2008:

…On these Internet-equipped planes, any passenger with a Wi-Fi enabled laptop — or a cellphone with Wi-Fi — will be able to do almost everything he or she could do online at home or at the office. That includes surfing the Web, using email, having instant-messenger text chats, downloading and uploading files, and streaming video and audio.

In fact, I did all these things a few days ago on a test flight using the new system, called Gogo. During the flight from San Francisco to Denver, on a small test jet, I could operate online as if I were sitting at my desk, or in a Starbucks. I used Dell (DELL) and Apple (AAPL) laptops, a BlackBerry (RIMM), a Windows Mobile phone and an iPhone to perform all the most common online tasks, while soaring over majestic mountains and glorious national parks.

I sent and received emails on Microsoft (MSFT) Outlook and Apple Mail, including messages with hefty attachments. I conducted IM chats on AOL (TWX) Instant Messenger and Google (GOOG) Talk. Using all the major Web browsers, I called up dozens of Web sites, and watched video clips on Hulu and YouTube. I downloaded photos, songs, PDF files and Microsoft Office documents. I used all the Internet functions on the iPhone, and on the Wi-Fi-equipped BlackBerry and Windows Mobile phone…

…The companies say Gogo is safe and won’t interfere with the plane’s operation. It is government-approved, and pilots can shut the system off should they deem it necessary.

Gogo has some limitations. The service plans to allocate its capacity so that low-bandwidth activities like Web surfing and email take priority over high-bandwidth ones like streaming video. That means you may find video to be slow and halting.

And Gogo is a North American, land-based service only. It won’t work over the oceans and, for now, it won’t work on other continents.

But for U.S. travelers who want to stay connected in the air, Gogo does the job.

Full article.