The year 2010 may still officially be some months away, but that's not stopping security vendors from releasing major 2010 software upgrades to their antivirus apps and security suites. Just this week, Check Point Software released ZoneAlarm Internet Security 2010 and ZoneAlarm Extreme Security. What's the difference? The former is a complete suite with the familiar ZoneAlarm firewall, plus antivirus, antispyware, and parental controls. It costs $50. The latter lays on extra padding with Web browsing protection, antiphishing technology, and backup and system tune-up tools. It costs $70 for the complete set. How did the apps do? Read … Read more
Good thing the lightbulb-shaped Watt Time alarm clock (Watt Time, geddit?!) isn't made of glass or it could pose a hazard when annoyed sleepers roll over to smack the snooze button located on the top of the socket.
Instead, the gizmo is constructed of high-gloss, hard plastic that illuminates the bright blue LED time display. If you don't like waking to sound, you can set the bulb to light up when it's time to crawl out of bed.
While the Watt Time features a sleek, simple design (all set buttons sit discretely on the back of the … Read more
You've got to love designer Jongchul Kim's quirky take on the Cuckoo Clock. Aptly named the Bungee Clock, this features a little "man" that announces the hour, thens leap out his window--about 24 times a day, poor fella--in what must seem to him like an endless Groundhog Day.
As a value-add, this comes with a tiny camera below to act as a security eye. It's all still a concept, but hopefully when this clock does reach the mainstream, there'll be an option to customize a minifig version of yourself in place of the jumper. … Read more
Extra Clock is a basic clock utility with a few extra features. It doesn't do much, but the features it offers do function well.
All of the program's options are accessed with a slide-out menu in the System Tray. The appearance of the clock can be customized to some extent; users can choose between analog and digital (or both), and can optionally have the clock show the date. The clock itself is very basic, with the bare minimum of what it takes to constitute a clock: in the case of the analog clock, a circle with numbers and … Read more
SwizzTool is a handy utility that includes a variety tools that users may find helpful in the course of normal computer use. Although not all of the features are intuitive, overall we found the program to be useful.
SwizzTool's interface is basic and not entirely obvious, at least not in the beginning. The program is accessed by right-clicking on its icon in the System Tray, which novice users may not realize at first. The program's features are accessed with a slide-out menu, and although most are fairly self-explanatory, there's no Help file for users who need assistance. … Read more
Speaking Clock Deluxe is a customizable clock that can alert users to the time in a variety of ways. The clock's various features and simple interface make it an appealing choice.
The program's interface is fairly intuitive, although some features that seemed like they would be accessible in the Settings menu could actually only be accessed by right-clicking on the program in the system tray. No matter; that's about as complicated as the program got. Although there were some aspects of the text-to-speech features that weren't intuitive, the built-in Help file explained everything clearly. The interface … Read more
Wi-Fi radios would seem to be a perfect bedside companion, but surprisingly few of them are designed to work as an alarm clock.
The Acoustic Research ARIR200 is one of few that is designed to (at least try to) wake you up in the morning, with a big snooze button on top and easy access to the alarm via buttons on the top. In addition, the ARIR200 is packed with many features not seen even on more expensive radios, including the ability to record stations to its internal memory, Slacker streaming, and weather updates--all for a very reasonable street price … Read more
Here is a huge win for the Pre, that bottom notification bar that I mentioned previously? Well not only is it handy to access, but for items that you only need to see pop up, and do not need to "click through" to read, a simple left to right swipe with your finger across the notification itself sends it away.
This is useful for all kinds of things, short text messages, repeated IM conversations, e-mails that I want to ignore. More recently, I figured out that I could set alarms using the clock application. The only downside seemed … Read more
Heavy sleepers rejoice. iLuv will soon be shipping an iPod clock radio that features not only dual-audio alarms but a "unique" vibrating bed shaking accessory that it claims will "wake even the deepest of sleepers."
The official name of the product is the iLuv iMM153 Desktop Dual Alarm Clock with Bed Shaker for iPod. It comes in four colors (black, blue, white, and pink) and will be shipping in July with an MSRP of $59.99. (More info here).
Personally, I'm waiting for the Desktop Dual Alarm Clock with Cattle Prod, but I guess this … Read more
Virtual Stopwatch attempts to be the most diverse time-keeping device you computer has ever seen. With an amazing array of options, it certainly reaches for that goal, but most users will probably find it overly-complicated.
The program appears to users as a small rectangular box with red digital numbers representing hours, minutes, seconds, and hundredths of seconds on a black background. Below the stopwatch are buttons for starting and resetting, along with a lap counter. Each button should be intuitive for anyone who has used a stopwatch, virtual or physical. Virtual Stopwatch's simplistic design takes a nosedive once users … Read more