Backtalk 02/04/2010

Feb. 3, 2010
Loop Pointer In-Air Mouse lets you control on-screen activities on your computer or TV

Get in the loop
How would you like to control on-screen activities on your computer or TV while sitting, standing, reclining, or moving around a room? The Loop Pointer In-Air Mouse lets you do just that. Developed by Hillcrest Laboratories, Rockville, Md., the wireless mouse lets those with a PC or Mac hooked up to their TV control an on-screen cursor with a flick of the wrist.

The ergonomic design of the Loop features just four buttons and a scroll wheel. The pointer works with any computer’s USB 2.0 port and requires no extra software or drivers. The wireless connection works across large rooms and through closed cabinet doors. It’s range is about 33 ft and two AA batteries power the unit.

The Loop incorporates Hillcrest’s Freespace technology, an RF-based remote technology that eliminates line-of-sight requirements. An internal gyro tracks hand movements, which are then reflected on the screen. Freespace technology is used in a wide range of applications including pointing remote controls, hybrid 2D/3D mice, and motion-sensing game controllers.

With the Loop, users can access video sites like Hulu, YouTube, and Fancast; watch movies from Amazon Video on Demand and Netflix; control applications like Windows Media Center and iTunes; watch videos downloaded directly to your computer; and view your own videos and photos.

Are you ready to rumble?
With the support of Oshkosh Defense, a div. of Oshkosh Corp., Oshkosh, Wis., the Armed Forces Foundation (AFF), is sponsoring the “Rumble With a Cause” sweepstakes. Now through April 15, donations raised from the sweepstakes will support active and retired members of the U.S Military and their families. Contestants will have the chance to win one of two custom-painted Harley-Davidson Fat Boy motorcycles, donated by Oshkosh Defense. Participants enter either the sweepstakes for the Marine Corps-themed “Semper Fidelis Salute” or Army-themed “American Soldier Salute” motorcycle. No donation or purchase is necessary, and winners must meet eligibility requirements.

AFF helps wounded warriors, as well as active-duty, retired personnel, Guard, Reserve Components, and their families through a variety of programs.

Upcoming events in conjunction with the sweepstakes include:

* Feb. 7–9 — NDIA Tactical Wheeled Vehicle Conference, Monterey, Calif.
* Feb. 24–26 — AUSA Winter, Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
* March 3 — Armed Forces Foundation Gala, Washington, D.C.
* March 26-28 — Texas National Guard State Conference, Austin, Tex.
Contestants will receive one entry for each $10 donation made up to a total of $200 or 20 entries. Enter or donate online at or at one of the events.

A little humor
An astronaut in space was asked by a reporter, “How do you feel?” “How would you feel,” the astronaut replied, “if you were stuck here, on top of 20,000 parts each one supplied by the lowest bidder?”

Where does bad light end up?
In a prism.

Why do transistors tend to live longer than resistors?
Most likely it is due to their active lifestyles.

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