If you're a parent with small children, you likely know that birthdays are a much bigger deal than they were when you were growing up. No more simple cake and pinata affairs; now it's inflatable jumpies, jugglers, puppet shows, goodie bags, and maybe even a pony or two. So the idea of a giant inflatable boombox may not be so crazy as it sounds (or looks).
Editors' note: Since the publication of this story, a battery-powered DTV converter box has been released, the Winegard RCDT09A. While we'd still hold off on buying a new portable TV this year--it's better to wait for portable TVs with new digital tuners--older analog portable TVs can be used with the RCDT09A if they have a composite or RF input. For more information, read our full review of the Winegard RCDT09A.
Portable TVs can be great for camping or in case of emergency, but you're probably going to be getting ripped off if you buy one in 2008. That's because almost all portable TVs use standard analog TV signals, and those signals are going to get turned off on February 17, 2009. And even though these TVs are just about obsolete, you can still buy them at places like Target, Wal-mart Stores, and Amazon. Some of the pages have warnings about the impending DTV transition, but some of them don't.
While it is possible that someone will come out with a battery-powered DTV converter--which could work with a portable TV that has inputs--we wouldn't hold our breath. The FCC's DTV FAQ page already explicitly says, "it is not anticipated that battery powered digital-to-analog converter boxes will be produced,"… Read more
Even at the ripe old age of 26, MTV is still determined to make its way into your home one way or another: It may just not be on a television set. Instead, the network is literally leaving its stamp on various forms of electronics and computing gear by co-branding designs.
Recently, for example, it partnered with HP to sponsor a global design competition for an "Artist Edition" of the Pavilion laptop. And it's latest offering is a limited-edition "multi-room box" produced in collaboration with U.K.-based Sky TV, which had already been coming … Read more
Voicemail - Dark Zombie Preparedness Day!
Judge to RIAA: You can’t sue over songs ‘made available’ via P2P http://www.news.com/8301-13578_3-9908353-38.html
eBay’s power sell: Skype to Google? http://www.news.com/8301-13577_3-9908959-36.html
Amazon launches … Read more
The DTV transition is less than a year away and as of January 1, 2008, Americans have been eligible to sign up for a $40 coupon to help purchase DTV converter boxes needed to receive new digital TV signals. While your instincts may tell you to sign up as quickly as possible, there's a strong argument to be made to hold off for a little while. Here's why:
1. The coupon expires in three months If you carefully read you the FAQ on the government's Web site, the program clearly states that the $40 coupons expire three months after they're shipped. That's unfortunate because we're guessing many people don't think much of it, and are just trying to sign up before they forget. Now you're forced into getting whatever DTV boxes that are currently on the market, even though...
2. Better, cheaper boxes are coming… Read more
It used to be that if you wanted to get a good look at microscopic bits of matter, you had to have to use, well, a microscope. You'd smoosh a drop of liquid between two small glass plates, slip them under the lens, and then fiddle with the focus until the mitochondria -- hopefully -- came into view. At least, that's how it was in my high school biology class way back when (and never mind those film strips).
Things are different if you're a scientific researcher at a 21st-century institution of higher learning. Take the Tufts … Read more
Microsoft has been tight-lipped about the "Albany" product that it has just started testing, but ZDNet blogger Mary Jo Foley hears it might be a consumer bundle that includes Windows Live OneCare, Office Live Workspace, and Office Home and Student Edition.
The product, which apparently also goes by the name "ValueBox" may be an attempt to beef up the consumer version of Office amid stepped-up competition from Google Docs and other free and online competitors.
It strikes me, though, that Microsoft may be looking at ways to protect the Home and Student version of Office, a … Read more
Virtualization technology lets apps--even entire servers--coexist with localized software, for example, your computer's operating system. Virtualization's value to consumers and businesses is in producing fast, resource-saving experiences that boost productivity for businesses and consumers. Four newly launched companies using this technology share their products at Thursday's Under the Radar Conference, hosted at Microsoft's Mountain View, Calif., office.
First up is DeviceVM's Splashtop, a virtual operating system that hopes to break the cycle of long computer boot-up times by producing the Splashtop desktop a few seconds after the BIOS screen blinks on. You can access the … Read more
Dropbox is a promising new tool for online storage, file sync, and sharing. The cross-platform system plug-in gives you a shared drop box where you can dump files and access them from multiple computers just like you would on the home machine. It also keeps track of any changes to the files, which can be rolled back to previous versions that have been archived on the service's cloud storage.
I gave it a brief spin this afternoon on one computer and it works as advertised. I had no problem dumping a bunch of files, then accessing them through the Web interface. The photo album feature has been especially well implemented, as the system will automatically group together a folder of photos and categorize them into albums using the metadata. There are other nice touches too, such as visual notifiers to let you know when a file is syncing up with the server, as well as Growl system messages on the Mac version to let you know when a change is made to your drop box.
If you're away from your home machine you can still access all your files through the Web interface. There's also a file uploader that lets you add files up to 25MB if you want to save a file from a guest computer without having to install any software.
The service is in private beta with plans to open up later this year. We've got a little less than 100 invites to give away to Webware readers. Just sign up and enter "Webware" as the invite code. (Update: Invites are now gone. We're working on getting some more). Beta accounts offer up 5GB of storage with no limitations on how many computers you can have linked up. When the service opens up later this year, the free accounts will be limited at 1GB, so get 'em while they're hot. Another screen of the interface after the break.
[found on Digg]
I'm big on places to store a lot of files, and Web storage newcomer ADrive seems up to the challenge. The host serves up a whopping 50GB of storage for free, with the only bandwidth limitations being in the size of the files you can upload, which are capped at a reasonable 2GB. The free "beta" accounts are supplemented with ads (hence the AD in the name), which show up on the top and bottom of your file explorer.