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November 2005

November 23, 2005
Rugged MP3 Player A Solid Idea

Sharp plans to ship November 26 two ruggedized mobile music players that can survive being dropped from 1.4 meters.

The Sharp MP-S200 (512MB) and MP-S300 (1GB) players' electronics are protected against damage with what the Japanese news site Interactive describes as a "honeycomb protection structure."

The gadget looks like an ordinary music player jammed into a rock-climber's carabiner, which not only adds protection, but gives it a macho look and enables users to hook it into a belt.

Each player feature FM tuners and transmitters (for playing wirelessly over a car stereo), direct encoding, MP3 and WMA DRM support, is powered by a single AAA battery and comes in silver, red, blue and black.

Sharp has not announced pricing.

Posted by Mike Elgan at 01:57 PM | Permalink | Comments

November 23, 2005
AOL Keeps The Video Rolling

America Online has pushed further into online video by investing in Brightcove, a startup that hopes to build a business out of distributing video on the Web. Besides joining e-commerce giant IAC/InterActiveCorp and others in investing more than $16 million in the Cambridge, Mass., company, AOL has also signed an agreement to give Brightcove customers the option of showing their video on the AOL network.

. . . Full Story: "AOL Keeps The Video Rolling"

Posted by Antone Gonsalves at 09:53 AM | Permalink | Comments

November 22, 2005
Peter Jackson Re-Creates 1933 King Kong Scene

Movie director Peter Jackson, most famous for his Lord of the Rings trilogy and soon to be most famous for his spectacular King Kong remake, has spearheaded a project to re-create at least one awesome scene missing from the 1933 original King Kong.

When test screening the original movie in San Bernadino, Calif., in 1933, one scene terrified the audience so much that the movie's director, Ernest Cooper, cut it the film.

The original scene has now been lost forever. But Jackson assembled a team of filmmakers and artists and, using original stop-motion techniques and old film equipment, have re-created the scene based on still photos, storyboards and the original script. The re-created scene has been seamlessly inserted back into the movie.

The full 1933 movie -- with the re-created scene -- was released to stores yesterday This DVD version also includes frames cut from the original movie, and has been digitally restored to remove scratches, skips and dirt on the film version. This is the first time any version of the 1933 King Kong has been officially released on DVD.

Posted by Mike Elgan at 01:39 PM | Permalink | Comments

November 22, 2005
The Internet Flunks Teaching

Backed by lots of lobbying by the high-tech industry, the federal government has spent billions of dollars over the last half-dozen years bringing Internet access to schools. Unfortunately, no one bothered to find out first whether the Web would make kids any smarter. Well, now we know. It doesn't.

. . . Full Story: "The Internet Flunks Teaching"

Posted by Antone Gonsalves at 01:49 AM | Permalink | Comments

November 21, 2005
Google's Book Search: Best of Times, Worst of Times For Libraries

College professors complain about the current generation of copy-and-paste students. Raised online, impatient with card catalogs and paper indices, these students use Google to do research papers, finding even obscure references and far-flung sources in seconds.

Unfortunately, their results -- and their final papers -- tend to be heavily slanted toward the knowledge and opinion in magazines, on Web sites and other resources that were first to put their offerings online. Knowledge not digitized and posted is more often than not ignored by students these days.

Books? Ha -- if didn't happen to publish an excerpt, it used to be off the table for most college students.

. . . Full Story: "Google's Book Search: Best of Times, Worst of Times For Libraries"

Posted by Mike Elgan at 12:02 PM | Permalink | Comments

November 21, 2005
Google Base Could Kill Local Papers

Many people theorized that the new Google Base service could pose a threat to eBay. But the real victims will be hundreds or thousands of local newspapers, which depend on classified ads for big chunks of revenue. Without that revenue, many could go bankrupt.

. . . Full Story: "Google Base Could Kill Local Papers"

Posted by Preston Gralla at 09:10 AM | Permalink | Comments

November 10, 2005
External iPod Battery Powers 200 Hours

A $199 product called the iCel 205 Portable Power Supply gives you up to 200 hours of iPod listening enjoyment. It also comes in cheaper and less capable variants.

. . . Full Story: "External iPod Battery Powers 200 Hours"

Posted by Mike Elgan at 02:38 PM | Permalink | Comments

November 10, 2005
EV-DO: Compelling At A Price

I'm in an overpriced hotel room in Chicago with a crappy ten-dollar wired connection, unable to send e-mail because Westin's lawyers were undoubtedly scared somebody might check in, pay $250 a night and send spam and the tech support guy in India said, I think, that the fix is to use Web mail. I'm in a bad mood. Then, Sprint's EV-DO PC Card arrived for me at the front desk. Problem solved, right?

. . . Full Story: "EV-DO: Compelling At A Price"

Posted by David Haskin at 08:15 AM | Permalink | Comments

November 09, 2005
Virtual Reality That's Real

Mention virtual reality, and people often think of video games. But the folks at Second Life are giving a new spin to the three-dimensional worlds of make believe.

. . . Full Story: "Virtual Reality That's Real"

Posted by Antone Gonsalves at 12:35 PM | Permalink | Comments

November 09, 2005
Initial Forum Reaction To iPod In 2001: It Won't Sell

Steve Jobs introduced the original 5-gigabyte iPod, which cost $400, in October of 2001. Sales of the device -- and the influence it has on the design of a wide range of consumer electronics and other products -- are now legendary.

But when the player was first announced, the Mac faithful were generally unimpressed. Here are some comments posted during and immediately after Jobs' announcement on the MacRumors forum. Enjoy!

"The Reality Distiortion Field is starting to warp Steve's mind if he thinks for one second that this thing is gonna take off."

"Great just what the world needs, another freaking MP3 player. Go Steve! Where's the Newton?!"

"I still can't believe this! All this hype for something so ridiculous! Who cares about an MP3 player? I want something new! I want them to think differently! Why oh why would they do this?! It's so wrong! It's so stupid!"

"I'd call it the Cube 2.0 as it wont sell, and be killed off in a short time...and it's not really functional."

"It has good features but forget about getting it for $399!!!! Never, who gets that thing is a very stupid person. Steve Jobs is under terrible consuling or is under too much pot. This propusal is not realistic at all. If Apple does something like this again is going down. This unit may work for an audio engeneer to record some conference or rock band on the field in place of buying a expensive DAT machine, that is the only real good market this machine is gonna have."

"This Christmas you will see mp3 players be commoditized. Meaning that the players from Korea will be way less expensive tha iPod. The real money is in DRM and distribution (ala Real Musicnet). If Apple were smart they would be focusing on high gross revenue from services rather than a playback device."

Posted by Mike Elgan at 09:31 AM | Permalink | Comments

November 08, 2005
Majority Of Teens Change Identity On Net

Nearly six out of ten teenagers hide or change their identities while online, according to a new study of wired young Canadians reported in today's Globe and Mail newspaper.

The reasons vary, but a majority has pretended to be someone else online in order to flirt, pretend to be older or of a different gender -- or to "act mean" without consequences.

Online identity experimentation is "normal adolescent behavior," according to Cathy Wing, director of education for Media Awareness Network, the non-profit group that conducted the study. But that "parents should be aware" of it.

The Internet provides so many opportunities for anonymity: Online e-mail accounts can be set up anonymously, as can instant messenger accounts. Social networking sites like Friendster and multiplayer games such as The Sims Online provide an easy forum for interacting with strangers without anyone knowing who you are.

The knowledge that a majority of teens lie about their identity online is important to know for teens, who may not be chatting with the person they think they're chatting with; and for parents, who need to incorporate this awareness into their lectures to kids on online ethics. In an environment where you can get away with anything, it's important for teenagers to develop their own internal moral compass.

Posted by Mike Elgan at 09:47 AM | Permalink | Comments

November 08, 2005
Of Greed, Delusion And Mobile Prices

An analyst said last week that Palm could sell its Windows Mobile Treo for $700. I suppose greed is good, or at least understandable, if you can get away with it, but I doubt that Palm or the cellcos selling 3G service will succeed.

. . . Full Story: "Of Greed, Delusion And Mobile Prices"

Posted by David Haskin at 08:38 AM | Permalink | Comments

November 07, 2005
Radical New Camera Phone Spotted In Wild

A radically small and thin Samsung camera phone -- literally about the size of a stack of five or six credit cards -- has been spotted in the wild. More than 30 pictures posted on the Italian Cellularmania show just how amazingly tiny this upcoming phone really is.

Called the Samsung SGH-P300 phone, it sports a 1.3 megapixel camera, Bluetooth, and 90MB of flash memory and looks more like an old school calculator than a next-generation camera phone. (via Engadget)

Posted by Mike Elgan at 08:31 AM | Permalink | Comments

November 07, 2005
NY Law: Firewall Your WiFi Network Or Go To Jail

Is Big Brother about to come to the New York suburbs? A proposal in Westchester County would require that businesses and some home offices with wireless network install separate firewalled servers or face fines of up to $500.

. . . Full Story: "NY Law: Firewall Your WiFi Network Or Go To Jail"

Posted by Preston Gralla at 06:50 AM | Permalink | Comments

November 05, 2005
Three New Treo Models Expected Next Year

Forbes magazine reported yesterday that Verizon and possibly Sprint Nextel will begin to offer the Palm OS replacement for the Treo 650 in May. The new phone will feature an EVDO radio.

The article also said that Palm would ship low-end Treos costing about $200 each sometime next year, and that the $700 Windows Mobile version previously reported would be a higher-margin product for Palm.

A post on Engadget reported that a leaked analyst report said a thin 3G Treo without an externally visible antenna codenamed "Hollywood" is in the works. It also referenced a lower-end device called "Lowrider," which the blog suggested might be the $200 Treo mentioned by Forbes.

Posted by Mike Elgan at 02:13 PM | Permalink | Comments

November 04, 2005
Immerse Yourself In Quake 4 - Without Getting Blown Away

Enter the dark and violent world of Quake 4 -- if you dare. A site called VRWAY, which houses all kinds of really cool images displayed with QuickTime Virtual Reality (QTVR) panorama, has posted 15 high-resolution screens from the game.

QTVR lets you look around in 360 degrees, both vertically and horizontally. You're totally immersed in the screenshot. It's a great way to check out Quake without being killed by one of those giant ugly things.

The site also features other cool scenes, including photographs of the Grand Canyon, the Burning Man festival, and even Mars!

It's the next best thing to being there.

Posted by Mike Elgan at 10:14 AM | Permalink | Comments

November 03, 2005
Asian Cell Phone Hotness Comes To U.S.

For years, we poor, neglected Americans have had to sit on the sidelines with our old-and-busted cell phones while Japanese and Korean gadget enthusiasts always got access the new hotness. It has always seemed like the coolest and wildest phones were not available here.

Now, however, Samsung is throwing us a fricken bone. The company said this week that it planned to offer for sale in the U.S. its "dual QWERTY phone" poetically named the SGH-D307.

The clamshell phone opens either like an old-school Motorola or like a laptop. The keyboard is used either like a cell phone keypad or a laptop keyboard depending on which way you open it. Cool!

The phone features IM support (AIM, ICQ, Yahoo IM), high-speed data transfer and Bluetooth. It also features voice recognition and a speaker phone.

This is exactly the kind of phone that never made it to these shores. Thanks, Samsung! What's next?


Posted by Mike Elgan at 09:21 AM | Permalink | Comments

November 02, 2005
Windows Live Screenshots Leaked Online

Just one day after being unveiled, Microsoft's "Windows Live" site screenshots, as well as screenshots from the companion "Office Live" service, have been leaked and posted on web site, and other locations.

Posted by Mike Elgan at 08:29 PM | Permalink | Comments

November 02, 2005
An 'Ignition Key' For Your PC

Here's a great idea for security minded users. The I-O Data ToteBag is a USB flash storage device that doubles as a key to lock and unlock your laptop or desktop PC. The unit comes with special software that locks your system when it doesn't detect the ToteBag in a USB port. To unlock, just insert the ToteBag. It also functions as a normal flash storage device, and comes in 256MB, 512MB, and 1GB versions. (via Gizmodo)

Posted by Mike Elgan at 11:06 AM | Permalink | Comments

November 01, 2005
Electrify Your Digital Music

An innovative product called the MicroLink dLAN Audio system streams music from your PC throughout your house using the building's electrical system.

To use it, you plug a MicroLink dLAN Ethernet adapter to a PC on one end, and any wall socket in the house on the other. Then, anywhere in the house where you have some kind of speaker system, plug a stereo or even standalone speakers into any nearby wall outlet using the included gadget.

You can even extend music throughout the house by simply adding additional adaptors.

MicroLink dLAN Audio isn't new or technologically all that bleeding edge. But it's cool and useful. The big question is: Can you buy one that supports American electrical sockets in the U.S.? If YOU know, let ME know:

(via The Red Ferret Journal)

Posted by Mike Elgan at 12:42 PM | Permalink | Comments


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