Here's a cool little product that I can't wait to try out: The Pogoplug. It's a simple and releatively cheap box that plugs into an external hard drive (or flash drive) via USB, and also into you home's Internet connection. Then it puts the hard drive on the Web as well as on your local network. Any computer in your home can access it as a shared drive, and people outside can also connect to it over the Web. It sounds like a very quick and simple way to put a whole bunch of files online … Read more
In 2008, LG's BD300 set itself apart from other Blu-ray players by becoming the first one to include compatibility with the Netflix's "Watch Instantly" streaming service. Unfortunately, the uniqueness of the feature was short-lived: within weeks, Netflix support was added to the Xbox 360, TiVo HD DVRs, and a pair of rival Blu-ray decks from Samsung. Now, LG's back with its second take on the Blu-ray/Netflix player, the BD370, which will also include the ability to stream online content from CinemaNow (pay-per-view) and YouTube (free).
Aside from those two new online content providers, the … Read more
Hewlett-Packard announced Monday that it is upgrading its MediaSmart server lineup with new, more powerful hardware and, more importantly, with software support for Macs and improved over-the-Net streaming of users' media files. (A software update will allow users of existing MediaSmart boxes to access some of the new features.) Also Monday, 9to5Mac speculated that one of the Macworld announcements in January will be an expanded Time Capsule product with similar features.
Currently, HP's MediaSmart servers, running Microsoft's Windows Home Server software, cannot serve as backup platforms for Macs running the Time Machine backup software, and data stored on … Read more
I'm a big View-Master collector, but even I never sat back and wondered aloud, "When will they come up with a Webcam that does 3D?" Then arrives the Minoru 3D Webcam.
The Minoru has two discrete lenses spaced at roughly human eye distance, but unlike a View-Master reel, it doesn't deliver two discrete images, rather it mixes both together into a blurry-looking mess that requires the goofy two-color glasses that have kept 3D on the launch pad since Day 1.
More encouragingly, you don't need a special Web platform or software for viewing: standard video … Read more
A month after wowing attendees of the TechCrunch50 conference with its personal motion sensor and associated online service that tracks your physical activity, fitness gadget company Fitbit has raised a modest early-stage funding round.
The company has closed a $2 million round led by True Ventures, with additional money from SoftTech VC and "a group of angel investors," according to the company's statement.
The cool little product is still not available. The company site projects a December or January shipment of the first units. The funding will help kick-start the manufacturing process.
AppleTV has a rich history of getting hacked for the sake of adding extra utility. Contained within its small confines is a reasonably powerful computer that's capable of running Mac OS X (albeit slowly). The problem is that despite this power, the system software is tied to iTunes and its sister store for movies, music, and TV shows. This hinders it from competing with devices like mini-PCs and game machines that offer a huge variety of media playback, including DVDs and Blu-ray movies.
The inventor of the T9 keyboard technology for numeric keypads, Cliff Kushler, is back in the game with a new alphanumeric entry technology for today's devices: touch-screen laptops and smartphones. His new technology, Swype, is quite simple to use, although beneath the user interface there's a lot going on.
Swype works with an on-screen QWERTY keyboard like you have on the tablet version of Windows and on the iPhone. But instead of tapping letters out, you press your finger or stylus on the first letter, then, without lifting it, move it to the remaining letters in the word. … Read more
But with Intel's new low-power and low-cost Atom CPU, the prices for these machines are coming down to almost reasonable levels. And many vendors, realizing that no standard mouse-and-keyboard-based UI is … Read more
At the Intel Developer Forum on Tuesday, I skipped out of the sessions on CPU thermal management and USB sideband optimization and headed into a session where Bran Ferren, co-founder of Applied Minds and former president of Disney Imagineering, was giving an interesting talk at a somewhat more metaphysical level.
His thesis: "Storytelling is how ideas become permanent." He believes that the Internet is taking off (present tense, not past) because the technology is getting good enough now for storytelling. Since we process so much information visually, Ferren believes that new technologies for visualization are what makes the … Read more
At the Intel Developer Forum, Clarion launched the production version of ClarionMind, a portable GPS device with full Internet connectivity that runs on Linux. Clarion showed off a concept of the device at last January's CES. The full product launch reveals a device that looks similar to current GPS devices, featuring a 4.8-inch 800x480-pixel touch screen. And, like some current GPS devices, the ClarionMind offers media playback and Bluetooth for hands-free calling.
What sets it apart is Wi-Fi and software for various Internet applications, including a Web browser and e-mail. It includes viewers for YouTube, Google Maps, MySpace, … Read more