Archive for Oct 25, 2006

Finally, someone talking sense about Zune WiFi

If you’ve been following the ups and downs of Microsoft’s WiFi-enabled Zune PMP then you might be as jaded with the whole thing as I am.  So far, Microsoft seem to be determined to lock-down tracks with a three-plays-and-you’re-out DRM model that pretty much takes everyone’s current concept of music sharing and spanks it into crapness. 

The Zune team could do far, far worse than to read Jim Thompson’s column over at TechBlog.  He outlines a system where, rather than users actively sending individual files between their friends, the Zune instead becomes both a mobile music server and a new-sounds “hunter gatherer”.  Zune owners establish a list of their own personal shares – still within the Microsoft DRM, of course – and the availability of these is broadcast wherever there is another Zune in range.  Got a spare moment?  Whip out your Zune and see if there’s anyone sharing anything you like the sound of.  Or alternatively, set your Zune to “gather” and get home each day with a sackful of new music to tempt you, that the PMP has downloaded automatically.

I agree with Jim, now that could actually turn the chubby PMP into an iPod-killer.

How should Zune sharing work? [TechBlog]

Sony launches new portable CD player; few care

With all the furore over Sony’s exploding batteries, much-delayed and expensive PS3, aggressive hunting-down of import favourite, does this pretty boring portable CD player indicate that they’ve regressed to some sort of mid-nineties quivering state?  Unlikely, but should you be in the market for an mp3-compatible CD Walkman that comes in lovely shiny silver, weighs 210g and is 32.7mm thick, I guess that means the D-NE241 is for you.

Everyone else will probably be content with their mp3 players, that don’t need Sony’s fancy G-Protection system to stop them from skipping when moved.

Sony [via Akihabara News]

OpenPandora frees personalised music from the browser

Master of all that is Mobile Tech, jk, flags up OpenPandora, a standalone version of the popular streaming music site Pandora.  Taking feedback from listeners as to whether or not they like the current track, Pandora generates a personalised playlist that grows more and more individualised to your own musical tastes.  Now OpenPandora minimises the software to a tray icon, complete with keyboard shortcuts, mini player and integration with, Xfire and Microsoft Messenger.

Windows only, the software is donationware, so if you enjoy it you really should consider funding its development.

OpenPandora [via jkontherun]

Google Launches Custom Search Engine Tool

This takes the DIY trend to a whole new level. With the release of a new feature called Google Co-op, the power to create personalized search engines that address specific topics, search only certain sites and match the style of your blog or webpage is here. I tried creating my own “tech & gadget” search engine this morning, and through using the idiot-proof wizard to supply keywords and preferred website information, my search queries cleary yielded more accurate results. Though not quite as exciting as the Google Maps for Mobiles update earlier this month, Google Co-op has a ridiculous variety of applications and will be a great tool for the tech-savvy and everday user alike.

                     Create Your Own Search Engine

More screenshots and word from the Google developers after the jump… (more…)

MacBook Pro Joins the Mile High Club

After overhearing many a new Apple user gripe about their battery dying out on that red-eye to L.A., I would think that the release of their airline power adapter for Macbook and Macbook Pro would have garnered more fanfare. Perhaps its that, for $59, the new adapter neither actually charges your notebook nor works in a car. Plus, you have to check with your airline to ensure they have compatible ports before you fly. Another overly-priced, under-convenient product from Apple- and not even IGo has the solution to this one.

Read the over-excited press release after the jump…


Gorenje Smart Table has a cold heart

I’m all for convergence.  Phone and GPS?  Yes please.  Watch with built-in TV and hairdryer?  Gimme gimme gimme.  Table and refrigerator?  Um, okay?  Smart-furniture designers Gorenje have obviously decided that warm drinks are the scourge of dinnertimes, hence a table that has a cooled centre compartment that rises at the touch of a (remote control) button. 


Available Summer 2007, each table is bespoke and can be made in a variety of materials – glass, wood, stone, maybe even cheese. 

Gorenje [via Trendir]

Designer TV is “desirable even before you know what it’s used for”

Call me Lord Cynical from the planet of Scepticism, but Mario Bellini’s CUBOGLASS TV does look pretty much like a TV in a shiny glass box rather than a whimsical and attitude-shifting ironic art piece.   I guess art lets you neglect to mention certain traditionally important details, too, like the screen size. 


Sony’s Bravia range bolstered… by a cellphone

Now either this new DoCoMo Sony cellphone is a whole lot bigger than the typical Japanese handsets we’re used to envying, or despite its Bravia branding it’s a whole lot smaller than the company’s range of glorious TVs.  I’m thinking the latter, although the huge QVGA screen does use the same Reality MAX technology that’s stuffed into Sony HD offerings. 


IE Team say it with frosting – Firefox 2.0 Launches

Oi Microsoft!  I like cake too!  But did you send me any when I started blogging for SlashGear?  No you sodding well didn’t.  This is blatant Firefox-favouritism.


The sweet-toothed IE team over at Redmond were so pleased to see Mozilla launch Firefox 2.0 that they sent them a cake.  Cue the predictable jokes (was it poisoned? is it full of bugs?)  The news here, I suppose, is the launch and the fact that relations between the two companies are nowhere near as fraught as those between each browser’s fan-community, an ongoing feud that I suspect would require more than sugar to sweeten.

Fredericiana [via Valleywag]

Sprint Fires Up EV-DO Revision A and Announced the Novatel Wireless Ovation U720 USB Broadband Card

Sprint Fires Up EV-DO Revision A and Announced the Novatel Wireless Ovation U720 USB Broadband Card

Sprint subscribers living in or traveling to San Diego (you lucky dogs) will get a taste of the good life. Sprint just turned on the juice for its EV-DO Revision A. mobile broadband network today, blanketing San Diego with lots of high speed love. The new Sprint Power Vision network gets a real-life upload speed of 300 to 400 kbps and 450-800 kbps for download speeds. Sprint promised that 20 additional markets including LA, Washington, Las Vegas, and among others will get the same Rev A. love by the end of the year.

The other bit of good news is the announcement of the Novatel Wireless Ovation U720 USB EV-DO card! The new card will be available early November for a retail price of $249.99 or is available for as low as $49.99 with a two-year subscriber agreement and mail-in-rebate. Mac owner rejoice!

Service plans range from $39.99 per month for 40 MB to $79.99 per month for unlimited data usage. However, if you’re willing to sign a two-year Sprint subscriber agreement, the monthly cost drops to only $59.99. Unlike Verizon, you don’t even have to get a stinking voice plan if you don’t want to!
Sprint Launches Nation's First EV-DO Revision A Mobile Broadband Network [Thanks Amy!]

Rotating House chases the sun

Take a look out of the nearest window.  Like what you see?  If you’ve not been living in your current home long, or you’re blessed with a picturesque view, you might still get some pleasure and interest out of it.  Or maybe it’s all got a tad predictable.  Wouldn’t it be nice to be able to move your home around, change the view a bit?  Well, Australian engineer Luke Everingham thought that would be an excellent idea, and so set to work designing and building a rotating house four hours north of Sidney, NSW.


Pricing for Intel Quad Core CPUs

According to Digitimes, Intel’s Core 2 Quadro Extreme QX6700 quad core CPU will sell for $999 in 1000 unit lots when launched next month. This information they claim to have originated from sources at Taiwan motherboard manufacturers who are familiar with Intel’s latest roadmap. They also claim that the Core 2 Quad Q6600 processor will be available in Januaray 2007 at $851 US. On top of that, it is suggested that the quad core’s expensive price would render it low in popularity claiming only 3% of the Intel’s total desktop CPU shipments. The price may drop in the third quarter of 2007 when Intel is expected to launch its next-generation quad-cores, codenamed Yorkfield. Meanwhile, AMD is likely to follow suit with its own quad-core CPU.

Intel Quad Core CPU Prices Leaked [Via: I4U via Digitimes]

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