Here at SlashGear we've generally given pretty short shrift to VOIP handsets: all too often they miss the point of their very purpose, to take internet calling out of the realm of the geeky and into the hands of the general public. Common errors include requiring a USB connection to an attached PC rather than a standalone ethernet hookup, or using WiFi but only supporting unsecured networks which usually means hotspots such as found in Starbucks and elsewhere won't let you log on. So when Philips asked us to try out their VOIP841, a combination DECT and Skype phone, it seemed only fair to not warn them of our harsh standards and instead see how well the sleek black handset lived up to some high expectations.
I'm all for choice, in fact some people know me as "Mister Choice" seeing as I'm so open to suggestion (please note, this is a lie), but sometimes a gadget comes along that leaves you wondering exactly who will ever buy it. Pioneer's PD-D9 is one such lump, being as it is not only a CD player but - drumroll, please - an SACD player too.
I've got a pretty decent pair of headphones that I use when I feel like zoning out into my own little world while listening to my music very loudly. Yes, I'll probably be deaf by the age of 35, but I've come to terms with that. The worst thing about my headphones is that they only have a 3-foot cord. If my PC didn't have a connector on the front for them, I'm pretty sure I wouldn't be able to use them. What I wouldn't give for a really nice pair of wireless headphones such as the new ones from Philips.
So, as a reminder, there is a government mandate that analog television signals are to cease as of a February 2009. That means that all of the wireless spectrum that was previously allotted to this purpose will become open for business if you will.
Well, almost as soon as that mandate was made, just about all of the major players in the technology world grouped up and formed the White Spaces Coalition. The companies that are included are as follows: Microsoft, Google, Dell, HP, Intel, Philips, and Earthlink.
I'm not going to make the obvious "borrowing of industrial design" comment, but Philips partially-unveiled answer to the AppleTV looks to be sticking a little too closely to established media streamer form for my liking. Inside the brushed-aluminium box is a 40GB hard-drive, while you can plug in larger hard-drives round the back, as well HDMI, optical audio and a WiFi connection hidden inside.