The historians once pontificated that we'd all be cruising about in flying cars right around the year 2000, and while that whole Y2K fiasco threw us a tad behind schedule, it looks like the future may actually still be upon us. Parajet, the same company responsible for that downright unnerving personal flying machine we peeked back in '05, has now placed its long-awaited SkyCar up for pre-order. Said vehicle has evolved quite dramatically over the years, but now that dollars (er, pounds) are being dropped on it, we have to assume that the design is near final. The vehicle is completely street legal and can accelerate to 62mph in just 4.2 seconds, thus making it the world's first "usable, road-legal flying car." If you're champing at the bit to be the first on your block with one, you can drop £10,000 ($16,381) now and pay the remaining £50,000 ($81,905) just before it ships in "late 2010." Of course, we're not making any promises about it actually shipping, but that's a risk you'll have to take.

There's certainly no shortage of company's working to make electronics of all sorts more energy efficient, but NEC and Rohm Co now say that they're on the verge of a breakthrough that could change things in a big way, and we could possibly see it in "practical use" by the end of this year. As Tech-On! reports, both companies are hard at work on integrated circuits that consume no power at all when they're in standby mode, and turn themselves on only when power is needed. That's apparently possible by making the entire chip nonvolatile, as opposed to many current chips that only use nonvolatile merged memory. According to NEC, that'll let them "cut dissipation for digital consumer electronics in the standby mode to just a few percent of what it is now," and at no expense of convenience. While NEC isn't making any promises for the near future just yet, Rohm says that it'll begin shipping its first custom ICs in the second half of this year, and that the first products using them could start showing up by the end of 2009.

After giving AMD the first crack, Gateway is issuing its second bona fide netbook with an Intel Inside® sticker instead. The LT2000 is a 10.1-inch machine with a list of specifications that any avid netbook follower could spout off in their sleep. For everyone else, here goes: a 1.6GHz Atom N270 CPU, LED-backlit 1,024 x 600 resolution display, 1GB of DDR2 memory, 160GB 5400RPM hard drive, GMA950 graphics set, a card reader, built-in webcam, twin stereo speakers, a trio of USB 2.0 sockets, three-cell battery and a chassis that tips the scales at 2.62 pounds. Gateway's making these available as we speak for $299.99, with the LT2001u receiving a NightSky Black coating and the LT2021u arriving with a Cherry Red outfit. The full release is after the break.

While the global economic crisis has swept aside a number of early innovators in mobile technology, Light Blue Optics finds itself flush with cash this morning. Having secured $15 million in funding, the UK outfit now plans to have its laser-based pico projection engine to OEMs by the end of the year; a move that should result in a tiny retail projector sometime in the first half of 2010. Why should you care? Well, unlike all those LED-based pico projectors now saturating the market, laser-based projectors offer more vivid colors and the ability to auto-focus that mobile image as it's moved about. Even better, LBO has touch-enabled the system allowing users to interact with the projected display. A second generation engine about the size of a sugar cube will ultimately allow the technology to be embedded in mobile devices like cellphones as we're already seeing with LED-based engines. Since the supplied image above totally misrepresents the first generation device, we've embedded a video of the tech, first published in March, after the break. Skip to the 3-minute mark if you want to avoid the pitch.

The Dynabook UX / NB200 netbook has only been out for a few months now, but already Toshiba's looking to score a few more buyers with two new hues. Originally launched in white, brown and black, Tosh has decided to queue up a pair of fresher, brighter colors for those looking for something a bit different. Now, you can expect the lappie to start making the rounds in "silky pink" and "blue," though we get the feeling these will hit the UK first. Head on down to the read link for a hands-on gallery, but don't expect any exciting new hardware -- it's still the same ole 1.6GHz Atom, 1GB of RAM and 160GB hard drive that we're so painfully used to seeing.

Palm's webOS has never been a platform to stir the interest of the casual gamer. While there are many advantages to being built around HTML, JavaScript, and CSS, those tools don't excite game developers who need direct access to advanced graphics hardware to render animations smoothly. Unfortunately, as described by Craig A. Hunter, a self proclaimed "pretty dedicated iPhone developer" who's been poking around the WebOS SDK, Palm does not provide the environment to develop serious games or the kind of sophisticated apps users now expect from their handhelds. Chief among his concerns is lack of OpenGL access despite the hardware supporting it. Palm also limits devs to a 4Hz sampling of raw accelerometer data, far short of the 20Hz minimum required for games utilizing tilt control. In his summation:
With such amazing software capabilities flourishing on the iPhone, Palm can't afford to wait a year while they make the transition from web apps to native apps in their SDK. Palm might have had a chance against the 2007 Apple SDK, but not the 2009 version. Not even close. With this limitation, webOS will not be taken seriously by consumers who place importance on games or sophisticated third party apps.
Of course Palm, now with its deep Apple roots isn't blind to the issue. In fact, the kids at PreCentral have uncovered a Palm job listing from June 29th seeking Game Frameworks Engineers who will "design, implement, debug, and optimize frameworks for game development." So while the beta release of the webOS SDK might be limited, we'll key on the word beta for now. Remember, Super Monkey Ball wasn't built in a day -- it took a bit more than 365 of them before being offered after the launch of the original iPhone.