Since most people wearing Bluetooth headsets already look like they're talking to themselves, it won't seem that much odder when they start talking to their actual headsets.
They'll now be able to do that (and get something out of it) with BlueAnt Wireless' new V1. The device, which the company calls the first voice-controlled Bluetooth headset, lets users sidestep the buttons and instead control functionality with phrases like "pair me," "call home," "call favorite," "call Goog-411," and "accept or ignore call."
But this is no passive Bluetooth … Read more
It's true, despite only having six slots, this upcoming Universal Media Reader from Belkin is capable of reading 56 different memory cards. No adapters are necessary either, so no hunting for that full-size SD adapter for a miniSD or microSD card.
The Reader will be available in black or white models and each includes 1-foot and 5-foot USB cables making travel a little easier. Graphics on the faceplate mean even illiterate, nontechie types will be able to use it simply by matching the card in their hand to the picture on front. And when it's not in use … Read more
Heading back to school means two things: getting back on a regular sleep schedule, and going shopping.
And consumer electronics retailers have always been particularly grateful during the season in between the Super Bowl and Black Friday for the spike in money spent at their stores during July and August every year.
Typical spending this time of year is on a computer, but as the U.S. becomes more and more saturated with PCs, the back-to-school retail boon for retailers is expected to be more modest this year than in years past.
This year there should be a 25-percent increase … Read more
A couple months back I attempted to test two 30-inch displays--the Samsung SyncMaster 305T and the Gateway XHD3000 Extreme HD-- at the same time using CNET Labs' current distribution amplifier (DA), the Extron Electronics D2 DA4 DVI D2 DA4 DVI. This device allows up to four displays to simultaneously view the same video signal from one system. For years we've used this device to not only speed up testing, but to do accurate direct comparisons as well. Unfortunately the native resolution for the aforementioned 30-inchers is 2,560x1,600, and the maximum resolution the Extron supports is only 1,920x1,200. So, without a means to test them simultaneously at their native resolutions I was stuck in a bind. I could have tested them one at a time, but since our testing--which includes DisplayMate--has a high level of subjectivity to it, it's always best to do direct simultaneous comparisons, instead of testing one display today and then waiting a couple days to test the next. Testing them simultaneously allows you to see the exact differences between the displays.
So I delayed the testing and the review for a few weeks. In the meantime I got in touch with a colleague at DisplayMate, Ray Soneira. He put me in contact with a company called Kramer. Kramer manufactures a number of distribution amplifiers including the Kramer VM-2DVI. This particular DA is Dual Link compatible and supports each 30-inch display's 2560x1600 resolution. So now I could test both 30-inch displays simultaneously at their native resolutions in DisplayMate and in our current games test, World of Warcraft. However whenever I attempted to run either our Kill Bill Vol. 1 DVD or our Swordfish BD on both displays at the same time, the DRM gods reared their ugly heads and denied me salvation. So when testing how each display handles disc-based movies, I was forced to evaluate each display one at a time. The Kramer VM-2DVI is not advanced enough to circumvent DRM tomfoolery, unfortunately. That said, we're still very pleased that the VM-2DVI allowed us to do the bulk of our testing as fairly and accurately as possible.
The issue of not being able to view certain disc-based movies simultaneously on two or more displays may not be an issue for long, as CNET Labs is considering moving away from using movies--and even games-- to evaluate the quality of a display. The reason being that video images generally move too quickly to do a picture quality comparison, whereas static images such as high-quality photos can be studied as long as necessary in order to examine their quality. No decision has been made as yet, though, but look for more on this in a future Inside CNET Labs post.… Read more
A start-up called Ozmo Devices is taking on the popular short-range wireless technology Bluetooth with a new flavor of Wi-Fi.
On Monday, the Bay Area start-up, which has raised $12.5 million since 2005, officially introduced a new low-powered Wi-Fi chip and software that will allow device makers to connect accessories like headsets, computer mice, speakers, and keyboards to laptops, mobile phones, and other consumer electronics using Wi-Fi.
For laptop and device manufacturers, using Ozmo's software means not having to include a separate Bluetooth radio in these devices to connect peripherals. With the Ozmo software installed on their devices, … Read more
A computer peripheral maker filed suit against Apple and CBS on Tuesday, claiming the companies are infringing on its trademark for the "Mighty Mouse" device.
Maryland-based Man & Machine says it was selling its chemical-resistant and waterproof mouse to hospitals a year before Apple sold its single-button mouse of the same name.
CBS owns the rights to the Mighty Mouse cartoon and licensed the use of the name to Apple. The network was named in the lawsuit because Man & Machine says it doesn't have the right to license the name. Both Man & Machine and CBS … Read more
With spring just around the corner, it's time to clean up your workspace. To help you clean up your clutter, Brother is releasing two multifunction printers: the MFC-7440N ($249) and the MFC-7840W ($299). Both are significant upgrades to their predecessors, with the MFC-7840W living up to its prefix multifunction name.
The MFC-7840W is the standout product here, it includes all the features you would expect from a high end all-in-one printer, such as a speedy 23 page per minute output, 2400x600 dots per inch resolution, and a 35 sheet auto feeder. We're excited to take a look at … Read more
Here's one prediction for 2008 that we dearly hope does not come true: goth as the big tech fashion trend. We wish the recent spate of dark products were only Halloween novelties, but the fact that we're only in the first month of the year does not bode well.
In the last week alone, Akihabara News has highlighted a full desktop complement consisting of a macabre keyboard, mouse, and mousepad. That followed a cobra-wrapped Webcam and a pair of skull speakers that made their disturbing debut only a few days earlier.
In retrospect, the most telling sign of … Read more