How times have changed. At the height of the dot-com boom, one of the early symbols of egregious excess was Herman Miller's "Aeron" uber-chair, which often sold for more than $1,000 apiece. Although it still sells those chairs--which apparently haven't come down in price--the specialty furniture maker is now touting a very different kind of product that's far less visible. In fact, its effects are completely invisible.
With two announcements that didn't receive any of the hype normally associated with the iPhone, Apple may have actually made good on its promise that the iPhone will be revolutionary. Much more revolutionary than pretty looks, a touch screen, a wide-screen iPod, or even visual voice mail.
So revolutionary, in fact, that it may have an impact on much more than just the mobile-phone industry. And they seemed so relatively unimportant at first glimpse...
The two smartest announcements in iPhone prehistory
1. A version of Apple's Safari browser has been released for Windows. (Download here.)
2. The "third-party iPhone apps" Steve Jobs alluded to weeks ago would be Web-based applications, not apps that run natively on the iPhone.
The second of these announcements sounded like a cop-out at first. After all, when Jobs mentioned opening the iPhone up to third-party applications, everyone got the impression he meant they'd actually run on the iPhone, not on a browser.
But here's why it looks so smart after a closer look.
We were only kidding (sort of) when speculating recently about USB drives becoming a niche market for designer jewelers, but we think it's actually come true. The reason: Where previous versions basically added some bling finishes to what otherwise seemed to be plain old USB keys, they're function is now being incorporating into the design.
The latest example comes from Italian designer Roberto Coin, a white gold bauble encrusted with diamonds. But more than just sticking the stones on the case, like some lesser Swarovski item, the "Sparkling Memory" allows the working USB portion to swivel … Read more
While Asahi's beer-pouring Robocco BeerBot debuted last year, it has been a difficult item to track down--especially in the States. Online retailer CScout has come to the rescue and is now selling "slightly used" Robocco BeerBots for $799 (plus $94 shipping). While it's a bargain compared to the $1,500 Beer-Launching Fridge, $900 is still a healthy chunk of change for an adorable can opener. To be fair, you'll also receive two custom glass mugs and a plastic floor protector (those Colt 45 tallboys might get messy).
I feel compelled to mention that this is … Read more
Steve Jobs's final "One Last Thing" announcement at the WWDC keynote today had to do with the iPhone. Instead of announcing a third-party developer kit like many thought he would, he encouraged the use of Web 2.0 and AJAX applications to be run entirely from the Safari browser (Which coincides nicely with the other announcement of a Windows version of Safari). Apple even demonstrated something called Apple Directory, a Safari Web application that lets you look up business contact cards. There's also a Google application that pulls up map and satellite imagery when a street … Read more
Yahoo Research Berkeley has released prototype mobile phone software called Zurfer that gives people a look at Flickr that's tailored to their particular location.
The software, which requires a "beefy smart phone," shows photos taken recently in a mobile phone user's vicinity, an example of a so-called location-aware service. The software uses Yahoo's ZoneTag technology to infer location from the cell phone tower to which a user's phone is connected.
Zurfer also lets members perform more traditional Flickr tasks, including seeing contacts' new photos, searching for Flickr photos and accessing a Flickr account. All … Read more
At Apple's Worldwide Developers Conference in San Francisco, developers and press gather to get details on the upcoming Leopard operating system and possible tidbits on iPhone development.
Check back here for live updates (in reverse chronological order) from CEO Steve Jobs' keynote speech, which began at 10 a.m. PDT. Intel CEO Paul Otellini, Id Software CTO John Carmack and Scott Forstall, Apple's VP of iPhone software, have joined Jobs onstage.
11:25--Jobs appears to be wrapping up, pitching the developers on the sessions available to them this week. He exits stage right to U2's Beautiful Day, … Read more
Sure, there are plenty of products to keep computers from overheating, but what about the people who use them? We're talking specifically about those familiar gamers who are known for giving their deodorants a run for their money.
To combat overactive sweat glands, Thermaltake has developed some accessories for the hardcore pwner that are designed to blend in with other gaming equipment, unlike a portable fan from K-mart. To wit: The "Anti-Perspiration Wrist Pad" (this is the actual name on the logo).
Although it could easily be mistaken for a set of speakers, as Newlaunches notes, this … Read more
HP sent us a prototype system to play with, decked out with LG's new hybrid Blu-ray/HD DVD drive. We still don't know what it will cost to add the drive to an HP system (although the standalone drive will cost $1,199, according to PC World), but we can talk about how it works.
First, let's be clear that this is a prototype system. We first reported that HP would offer this drive on May 9 on its online configurator, but right now, none of its desktops has the option available.
The drive itself, LG's … Read more
As it turns out, Homer doesn't have a monopoly on yellow game boxes. Nintendo has answered the doughnut meister with a special edition of its own in the same color, albeit a portable one.
A limited number of DS Lites will be available in a glossy "Pikachu yellow" with a matching stylus and the prototypical Pokemon rodent's face etched in the lid's corner. It goes for $139, but Akihabara News says there are a few small catches: It's being sold at the Japanese Pokemon Center and, even then, only through a lottery. Good luck … Read more