Update: I'm not entirely sure what happened with this, but the price is now $69.99 after rebate. I tried contacting TigerDirect to see why the original price disappeared so quickly, but did not get a reply. All prices that I post are accurate at the time I post them, but unfortunately sales sometimes end without warning, inventories sell out, and so on. My apologies for the confusion over this deal!
One wonders what would become of iHome if Apple suddenly stopped making products. Sometimes it seems to have created a cottage industry all by itself with an endless supply of i-accessories, from lamps to bike speakers.
Its latest offering is the iP99, yet another alarm-clock radio dock with stereo drivers, remote, adjustable snooze function, and high-contrast but dimmable LCD, according to iLounge. Yet perhaps its most notable feature is the claim that it will block TDMA frequency interference and noise from the phone itself, something that may be irritatingly familiar to those who have been in the vicinity of one … Read more
T-Mobile USA is late to the high-speed wireless party, but it's going low-cost to catch up.
While rivals such as AT&T, Verizon Wireless, and Sprint Nextel have been talking recently about building new 4G wireless networks, T-Mobile--which will begin offering 3G wireless service this summer--is leveraging cheap, unlicensed Wi-Fi technology to bring true broadband speed over wireless networks to some of its subscribers today.
There's no question Wi-Fi is far from perfect. Its use of unlicensed bandwidth can mean signal interference. And it's a short-range radio technology that will never be able to provide ubiquitous … Read more
Green-building company Agilewaves and a California school have flipped the switch on a computer display that's meant to give life to the school's eco-friendly features and enhance its science curriculum.
The prekindergarten-through-eighth-grade Nueva School in Hillsborough, Calif., has incorporated a number of green features, including a 30-kilowatt solar array and a "living roof" of plants that lessens water runoff and insulates.
Agilewaves makes Resource Monitor software, which can display how the building is performing as a whole. The idea is that creating a visual representation of the green building in action will drive changes in people'… Read more
Update: Information about the frame rate has been updated, see more below.
Today Flickr is introducing the single biggest change to its service since launching in 2004--video. The photo service is rolling out the capability to upload video clips of up to 150MB to its paying Pro members. Free members will still be able to view these clips, but will be unable to add their own, at least for the time being.
The company has taken a very different direction than I originally imagined by limiting user video clips to just 90 seconds. It's a far cry from the arms race of higher quality and unlimited length offered by services like Vimeo, Viddler, and even YouTube to a certain degree.
That's not to say videos will look poor and grainy, though. The system has been designed to scale any clip you can throw at it, including high-definition from high-end point-and-shoot cameras or your HD-capable camcorder. The frame rate also maintains 30 FPS, which is half the speed of video captured on most modern point and shoot digital cameras, but a step up from the 12 FPS that was available while I was testing the service over the weekend.
What Flickr is trying to do with these small clips is provide a place for people to post and share the little videos they're capturing on their digital cameras. The throwaway items that are still very watchable, but hardly worth spending the time to upload to a separate service. The company knows this move will turn many off to the new service, but as part of the Yahoo ecosystem there are important boundaries that dare not be crossed. In light of Yahoo Photos shutting down last year to make way for Flickr, the company seems to have recognized the importance of brand separation and seems intent on creating these artificial boundaries if only to keep people from being confused.
The folks at Flickr say the time limits were not a move forced from having to share company resources with Yahoo Video. Kakul Srivastava, director of product management at Flickr says Yahoo Video is all about giving people a place to create their own content channels and drop those large videos. Her vision for Flickr video is simply to popularize the longer version of photos--something they hope becomes an artistic medium, and that people simply get used to taking alongside their still photography.
So how do videos fit in with the photos? Quite well, actually. Glancing at someone's photo stream (now classified as a media stream), photos and videos sit side by side with no differentiation besides a small play button in the bottom corner of video thumbnails. Like photos, you can simply click on them to go to the page that contains all the usual things like user comments, tags, and metadata, or you can simply view the video in its thumbnail size right in the stream--complete with player controls. It's absolutely wonderful, albeit tiny.
The player is a modified version of the one found on Yahoo video with controls that fade away after a few seconds to reveal the full shot. Users can embed clips on third-party sites as they would anywhere else, and developers can pull in them in through the same data API that's helped integrate Flickr into all manner of third-party tools and services. Expect to see Flickr videos making their way to photo mashup and editing services in a few weeks--JumpCut excluded (for now at least).
Getting your videos on there in the first place is almost as easy as viewing them. Videos can be uploaded at the same time and the same way you're used to uploading your still photos. The Web uploader takes them just fine, and so does an updated version of the desktop software for PCs and Macs. Once your videos are on the service, you can't get them back to your hard drive, something I'm told will be coming later on.
Video on Flickr is off to a good start, but with the artificial time limitations, I find it to be unsuitable for most of the clips I take. For those I'd be better off uploading to a standalone video service with more generous time and file size limits. I can only imagine some of my less tech-savvy friends trying to upload a video that's slightly over the size or time limit and simply giving up. That said, power users and people who are intentionally shooting short-form video will find the service a joy.
In the future I expect Flickr to lift the size and length restrictions entirely. In my chat with Srivastava, she had alluded to as much. The company also plans to let free users upload videos later on when the platform matures.
Various specs can be found after the break. See also News.com photo guru Stephen Shankland's post on it.
A bog-roll holder with an iPod dock and speakers built-in was always going to be one of the most unusual instances of modern convergence. But although daft, it's sort of a useful idea, because most of us don't have speakers in our bathrooms. We do, however, have speakers in our bedrooms, which is why we're confused about whether a bedside lamp with an iPod dock and speakers built-in is anything but an epic fail.
Sure, home theater sound is synonymous with five, six, or seven speakers and a subwoofer. And sure, multichannel audio can sound great, and more and more of today's films rely on a room-filling surround experience to convey their full impact. But a lot of folks cringe at the very idea of dealing with a mess of wires and speakers filling their living rooms. Enter HT2.0, a concept I've been writing about for nearly ten years; stereo home theater really can sound amazing on films that don't rely on special effects. If you mostly watch dramas, comedies, … Read more
If retro is indeed the future, at least where design is concerned, then this item may be destined for immortality. The "Phonofone II" amplifier--excuse us, "sculptural audio console"--is a ceramic rendition of the gramophone done in iPod white, GeekSugar says. That's no coincidence, as it's been designed specifically for use with said media player (though we suspect it'll work with other MP3 devices as well).