Real Networks has announced a new version of their RealPlayer today that will be available as a PC-only public Beta in June. The player allows users to download and organize nearly all embedded internet video content (Flash, WMV, QuickTime) including content from popular video sites like YouTube, Comedy Central, and of course, CNET. The player was demonstrated for me and actually looks pretty impressive. The new video download feature integrates fairly elegantly into your Web browser (yes, it works on Firefox). It works by temporarily displaying a small, fairly unobtrusive download tab in the right top corner of any video … Read more
As CrunchGear observes, LG's newly patented appliance would most assuredly sound better than the loud drone of a laundry cycle, whether it's on spin or rinse. The best part of all? The prospect of the RIAA going after neighborhood Laundromats.
It's probably not generally known to the allergy-free public, but we pollen sufferers have been known to stay in our cars for temporary relief. Why? Because it's as close to a controlled air system as we can get, next to a plastic bubble. So it's actually not so weird that a major automaker has created what it calls an allergy-free model, especially at the height of hay fever season.
Speaking of convergence, the last place we thought we'd see a combo trend is the mouse and phone. That hardware mashup had initially been confined to some smaller brands like Taiwan-based Genius, whose mad scientists have produced such unholy marriages as combo camera-speakers.
But now Sony has come up with its own mouse phone (phone mouse?) for the Japanese market, an optical rodent that can be opened up for use as a Skype handset or propped up to become a VoIP speakerphone, according to Technabob. The Genius model still has one more function--it triples as an instant-message device--but Sony … Read more
The "Pop-Up TV-Liquor Cabinet" goes from an innocuous-looking cylinder to a mini-sports bar in seconds, kind of like a Transformer for booze hounds. It even beats the combo fridge-bar, at least in terms of proximity from the tube. BornRich says there's also a hand-carved cabinet from the Yucatan for those with a more traditional decor to consider, but it doesn't appear to include a TV … Read more
In effort to broaden its thinking about terrorist attacks, the Department of Homeland Security is tapping into the thinking of a group of science fiction authors called Sigma, according to USA Today.
"We need to look everywhere for ideas, and science fiction writers clearly inform the debate," said department spokesman Christopher Kelly.
Science fiction authors are often prone to flights of extreme fancy, but they can be good prognosticators. Indeed, in the novel Footfall, by Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle, the government assembles a group of science fiction writers to seek their counsel about an alien invasion. Pournelle … Read more
Fast on the heels of the ThinkPad T61 and ThinkPad R61, Lenovo has announced six more laptops to make the switch to the new Centrino. First up, ultraportable ThinkPads: The new X61 Tablet and X61s include low-voltage Core 2 Duo L7300 and L7500 processors, while the X61 runs on normal-voltage Core 2 Duo T7100 and up. All three new models are built on the Centrino Pro platform, which means an 800MHz front-side bus, integrated Intel X3100 graphics, and 802.11n Wi-Fi, plus Intel Turbo Memory (code-named Robson) and Intel's Active Management Technology for remote maintenance tasks.
Also new with … Read more
CARLSBAD, Calif.--Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates and Apple CEO Steve Jobs took the stage at the D5 conference Wednesday night for a rare joint appearance.
I'm in an overflow room with a half-dozen other reporters, many of whom flew to San Diego to watch the main event on TV from a room several hundred yards from the ballroom.
The keynote kicked off with a 1983 video of a young Jobs hosting the "Macintosh software dating game" with three software CEOs--Gates, Mitch Kapor of Lotus and Fred Gibbons.
In the video, a young Gates in a blue polo … Read more
George Lucas is onstage at D5, with his video game guy. He's talking about building game characters that the player can "buy in to."
First up, the water effects in Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End. If you want to make a maelstrom a mile wide, Lucas has your guys.
Next up, a preview of the game, Star Wars: The Force Unleashed. One of the concepts is to "amp up" the Force--allowing players and characters to do much more Force-y things than we've seen in the Star Wars movies. For example: picking … Read more
During the interview with Walt Mossberg at D5, Steve Jobs apparently let slip (according to the transcript from Gizmodo and Engadget), that even though the Apple iPhone won't start out of the gate with support for third-party applications, Apple is open to it and is working on making that possible later this year. Both transcripts imply that Jobs was concerned about security issues, which is what presumably was holding up the process. The lack of third-party support was one of the biggest complaints about the iPhone when it was first announced earlier this year, so if Apple actually makes … Read more