It wasn't that long ago that Sony, Panasonic, Samsung, and Onkyo were locked in a fierce competition in the home theater in a box (HTIB) market. Every year I'd report about the latest advances in their systems in my CNET reviews. These days, fewer people want to deal with all of the wires and setup requirements of a five-speaker, subwoofer, receiver, and Blu-ray player based system. Skinny sound bars that sit under a TV are now more popular than HTIB systems. Most sound bars are 2.0- or 2.1-channel stereo systems, though some promise a "virtual&… Read more
For better or worse, IE10 is one of those Windows 8 apps with a split personality--part Metro and part desktop. Microsoft dubs it a "Metro style enabled desktop browser," which means that technically it's a single app that offers two different "experiences."
That sounds cool in theory. But in reality, bouncing back and forth between the Metro browser and the desktop browser can be clumsy and jarring. Both flavors do share the same history list, but otherwise there's a lack of consistency and standardization between the two.
I like the design of the Metro … Read more
Google isn't playing around with Google Play.
A little more than two weeks after introducing the new source for movies, apps, music, and e-books, the Web giant has added Google Play to its black navigation bar, prominently sandwiching it between Maps and YouTube. And to make sure the new addition doesn't escape users' attention, Google has highlighted the new button with a bright red "NEW" tag alongside.
The new store, essentially a rebranded Android Market combined with Google Music and Google eBookstore, was unveiled earlier this month. Perhaps a tacit admission that Google's approach to … Read more
Could Microsoft unveil the Windows 8 Release Candidate as soon as early June? At least one report says yes.
Blogging site WinUnleaked.tk seems certain of that, spilling the beans over the weekend that "we know the Release Candidate of Windows 8 will be shared with the public between the end of May to the beginning of June." Apparently receiving the intel from an unnamed source, the site notes that the RC will sport at least a few changes from the current beta.
Modifications are in store for the Charms bar, the desktop version of Internet Explorer 10, … Read more
Think of it as Microsoft's version of a good-news, bad-news joke. The good news: Its upcoming IE10 browser for Windows 8 will come in two flavors--one a streamlined, "Metro-style" program designed to resemble a smartphone or tablet app, the other a more standard desktop browser.
The bad news? Microsoft's upcoming IE10 browser for Windows 8 will come in two flavors--one a streamlined, "Metro-style" program designed to resemble a smartphone or tablet app, the other a more standard desktop browser.
In other words, everyone who wants to use IE10 will have to choose which flavor … Read more
Numbers for iOS works well for creating spreadsheets and organizing data while away from your desktop, with a multitude of useful tools and a smart interface design to make your spreadsheet work easier. On the iPhone the app works admirably, but the smaller screen size makes it a bit less easy to use than the iPad version.
The app comes with a Getting Started file that walks you through everything from basic spreadsheet use to more-complicated features using an intuitive tabbed interface. As you learn the various features, the Getting Started file directs you to try them on your own … Read more
Forget any other uses for LEDs; the only place they really need to be is in the bar.
LEDs are everywhere. They are used in everything from remote controls to giant wall displays and televisions. The little lights are a ubiquitous part of everyday life: signs tell us where to go, clocks tell us what time it is, control panels let us know the state of our devices. Lately, they have been showing up in everything from DLP projectors to streetlights.
The first LEDs in practical use had very little light output and would be often found in alphanumerical displays … Read more
Smart Address Bar is a free Web browser add-on that turns your address bar into a search tool. "My address bar is already a search tool," you say? Ours too, but we were a little surprised to find that Smart Address Bar made actual improvements. We tried Smart Address Bar for Firefox in Firefox 9x. While we were trying it, Firefox 10 came out, but Smart Address Bar handled the update fine.
As with other Firefox add-ons, activating Smart Address Bar requires restarting Firefox, which is easy enough to do without losing any open pages. Smart Address Bar'… Read more
Smart Address Bar for Internet Explorer adds as-you-type searching to IE's toolbar. It saves time by presenting results immediately, and it helps you find things you might not have found if you used the default method. Of course, IE lets users choose whether or not to enable searching from the address bar, and the default search engine is Microsoft's Bing. Smart Address Bar replaces Bing as the address bar search tool, though you can still search Bing from the Web interface. You can activate and deactivate it from the IE add-ons manager, as well as access the developer'… Read more
Before, you could click on the Videos link in the menu bar of Google's home page to search for a video across multiple video services. Now, the YouTube link takes you directly to, you guessed it, YouTube. The Videos link was removed from Google's home page, but it still exists on the search results page.
To search across multiple video services, enter your search term and then from the search results page, you'll find the Videos link in the left-hand column. It will then display videos from multiple sources, including but not limited to YouTube. And if … Read more