Archive for Jul 5, 2006

Universal Planning Cheap CDs to Combat iTunes

Universal Planning Cheap CDs to Combat iTunes

Well isn't this amusing? Universal Music Group is apparently working on low-cost, no-extras-included CDs in order to match the price at which iTunes currently sells music. The new discs will retail for around £7, or $12.84, and will feature a simple cardboard sleeve and no booklet. Problem is, $12.84 is hardly a discount for a CD, especially when you consider the lack of plastic case and booklet. Albums on iTunes can be had for as little as $9.99 (though newer albums are sometimes priced higher). The final straw in this "ingenius" plan is that these "discounted" CDs are only for older releases; newer discs won't be available this way. Sorry guys, but you're going to have to try something else.

[via Reg Hardware]

A USB Lamp….With Fish!

A USB Lamp….With Fish!

Yes, you read that correctly. This incredibly odd device is a USB-powered LED lamp, with a built-in fake aquarium. The aquarium can be lit in three different colors, either in a one-color mode or in a color-cycling mode, but the internal aquarium plant's color must be selected at purchase time (you can get the lamp in either blue, green, or orange). So, the next time you need a really unique desk lamp, give this bad boy a try; not only will the fake fish inspire conversations with the ladies, but you can use the 17 LEDs to blind would-be intruders and/or pesky roommates.

Product Page [via Everything USB]

Kama Connect Makes Data Transfers Easier

Kama Connect Makes Data Transfers Easier

If you've ever been in a situation where you needed to transfer files from one hard drive to another, you know how difficult and annoying it can be. Thanks to the Scythe Corporation, this irritation may never rear its head again. Their Kama Connect USB converter allows users to connect PATA, SATA, or optical devices together in order to transfer files between the two device. Power connectors from the computer are used to power the optical and PATA drives, while the device comes with an AC adapter for SATA drives. The best part is the price; the device only costs $29.90 direct from Scythe. So, if you work on computers a lot, this is a must-have device; migrating files has never been easier.

Scythe Kama Connect Page [via Fareastgizmos.com]

Dell XCS Concept PC

Dell XCS Concept PC

Holy odd-looking gadget, Batman! Certainly one of the oddest PC concepts ever, the Dell XCS attempts to simplify the inner workings of computers to make life easier for those who aren't technically-inclined. Rather than a standard set of drives and cards connected to a motherboard via a series of cables and wires, the XCS instead features a series of modular components, which would then snap together to form the computer. Again, this is only a conceptual design, but a computer like this could have wide-reaching effects throughout the industry. Let's see if we actually get to see one in the wild.

Yanko Design Dell XCS Page [via Gizmodo]

Digital Cube Shows Off BMP-1430

Digital Cube Shows Off BMP-1430

Portable media players are all the rage these days, for no matter where people go, nothing can fill spare time like a couple of random Family Guy episodes. With this information in mind, Digital Cube, a PMP manufacturer out of Korea, has taken the wrappings off the BMP-1430, which will be sold through Bluedot. A nifty little device, the BMP-1430 features a 4.3-inch screen @ 480x272, a 30 GB hard drive, and a 3.1"x5.2"x1" frame. The BMP-1430 supports MPEG-1, 2, and 4 as well as XviD, WMV7, 8, and 9, MP3, WMA, and OGG, meaning that you'll be hard-pressed to find media that this thing can't handle.

SlingBox Price Cut to $149.99

SlingBox Price Cut to $149.99

Hot on the heels of our story this morning about the HAVA Video Streamer set top box, it appears that Best Buy has begun selling the Sling Media SlingBox for $149.99 starting today. The device normally retails for $199.99, and while this doesn't appear to be a Sling Media-initiated drop, why would Best Buy want rid of these devices so badly? Is it possible that we could be seeing a new SlingBox debuting soon? Or is it just a sale that Best Buy felt was a good idea for this week? Only time will tell...

Best Buy Product Page [via jkOnTheRun]

Magnetic Floating Bed

Magnetic Floating Bed

Sign me up for one of these floating beds!  Be mindful that if the price of 1.2M euros alone doesn’t kill you, the electrical bills will.  I’m no expert in this area, but I’d speculate that it would take a hell of a lot of energy to levitate the bed.

Superconductivity is a phenomenon that can occur in certain materials at low temperatures, characterized by exactly zero electrical resistance and the exclusion of the interior magnetic field (also known as the Meissner effect).

BenQ Unveils Blu-ray Burner

BenQ Unveils Blu-ray Burner

Wow...that certainly makes a bit of an impression. BenQ's BW1000 external Blu-ray DVD burner, which sort ofresembles a black Nintendo Wii, will ship this August, so all you early-adopters don't need to look to internal ATAPI drives for your Blu-ray fix. The device will be able to burn BD-R discs at 2x as well as tripling as a standard DVD and CD-R/RW burner. Reportedly, the writer will also be able to write up to 50 GB of data, which means that the BW1000 should support dual-layer BD-R. Should you choose to purchase one, be prepared to shell out a good deal of cash; the BW1000 retails for $1,022. So choose wisely; it's either this or a new Macbook...

[via Gizmodo]

Surfing, USB-Style

Surfing, USB-Style

Surfer geeks all over the world rejoice; a product that finally allows you to indulge in both pastimes simultaneously. The Style Surfdive USB Flash Drive, available from Wal-Mart, is a surfboard-shaped 1 GB USB 2.0 Flash Memory drive that immediately lets everyone know how hard you like to hit the waves. While we wouldn't recommend using it to surf (it is a bit on the small side for that), the stylish design, low price ($32-$35 USD) and slim profile make this a must-have for any aquatic nerd.

Wal-Mart Product Page [via Chip Chick]

Microsoft Denies Internal HD-DVD for 360

Microsoft Denies Internal HD-DVD for 360

Oh well, it was a nice dream while it lasted. Microsoft has denied rumors that the company may start shipping a specialized version of its Xbox 360 console with - GASP! - an internal HD-DVD drive raather than the external drive they've been touting for months. This contradicts comments made by a Toshiba's General Manager of Information Systems, Mark Whittard, who had surmised that Microsoft would build the technology right into their machine to compete with the PS3 (which will come with a built-in Blu-ray drive).

HAVA Promises to Unseat Slingbox

HAVA Promises to Unseat Slingbox

Up to now, the Slingbox has been the reigning champ of TV retransmission, taking your programming from your cable or satellite setup and forwarding it to a computer or other device. Well, Snappy Multimedia is looking to make you forget about your Slingbox with their competing set top box, the HAVA Video Streamer. While it basically does everything the Slingbox can (it even has a weirder name), the HAVA has a number of extras that will make DVR enthusiasts salivate, including Wi-Fi access point capabilities, DVD-quality transmission, and the abilty to connect to a network via Wi-Fi 802.11a/g (802.11b doesn't have the necessary bandwidth for this technology; time to upgrade!) rather than Ethernet. Basically, this allows you to put the HAVA in a different room than your broadband connection without having to trip over networking cable. Oh, and did we mention that multiple users can watch TV via the HAVA at once? The IPTV wars are officially on.

Snappy Multimedia Product Page

Downgrade your PSP Firmware!

Downgrade your PSP Firmware!

Now why on earth would you want to downgrade your PSP's firmware and lose all the wonderful features that the new software brings? Well, for hacking and homebrewed games, of course! Hackers have devised and released a special PSP 2.5/2.6 downgrader, which will knock the PSP's firmware back to v1.5. Version 1.5 is far easier to hack than the newer firmwares have been, with several homebrewed applications supporting only this firmware. However, should you enter into this rather dangerous of exploits, be warned: doing this incorrectly runs the risk of ruining your expensive handheld investment...permanently. So let the user beware; but if homebrew is your thing, it might be worth the effort. If you went ahead and installed PSP Firmware 2.7, however, you'll have to wait for an updated downgrader to be released.
[via Kotaku]

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