Maybe I've been staying in the wrong kind of places, but until now, I've never stayed in a hotel room that would let me use my MP3 player of choice for background music and to wake up in the morning. Not in downtown San Jose, not in Las Vegas--I had to come to the outskirts of D.C. to find a hotel room with an iHome radio that included not only an iPod dock, but also a 1/8th" input for any other player of choice. Instead of waking up to NPR or a local classical music … Read more
For that reason alone, this self-contained garden from the unfortunately named Smeg piqued our interest. No ordinary terrarium, the Smeg Home Garden is a mini-greenhouse that features three micro-climates that can be controlled by the remote, according to OhGizmo. The system can determine the levels of light, humidity, and temperature.
Australian Jonathan Oxer is a techie by trade, but he doesn't leave that side of himself at the office. In fact, he's turned his entire domestic life into a proof of concept of software-controllable electronic gadgetry, from his home's Ethernet-enabled, Second Life-compatible mailbox to the RFID chip in his arm.
Read the story, and the accompanying Q&A with Oxer, in Computerworld Australia: "Ohm Sweet Ohm: Outgoing Linux Australia president's hot-wired home"
Monday's announcement that Starbucks will end its Wi-Fi partnership with T-Mobile had some HotSpot subscribers worried. After all, Starbucks locations are a significant source of T-Mobile HotSpots. One of the key attractions of T-Mobile's HotSpot @Home service is the ubiquity of such HotSpots (HotSpot @Home is a service that lets T-Mobile subscribers make unlimited phone calls via Wi-Fi).
However, according to a T-Mobile news release, existing HotSpot customers will not be impacted by the switch for at least another five years. AT&T Wi-Fi operations have yet to begin, and even after the transition, customers can take … Read more
Good news for Zune owners: Buy.com has the Zune Home AV Kit for $19.99, a pretty sweet deal considering that big-box stores like Circuit City still sell it for the $99.99 list price.
The kit lets you connect your Zune (1st- and 2nd-gen models alike) to your TV or receiver, then control it from your couch via the included remote. That means you can listen to your Zune music library on your kick-ass stereo or watch videos on your big-screen TV (at a resolution of just 640x480, alas). The AC-powered Zune dock also charges your Zune, and … Read more
If your typical high-end home theater with rows of plush seats, velvet wallpaper, and popcorn machines offers Cadillac levels of performance and luxury, then Jeremy Kipnis' $6 million ultimate home theater is more like a fire-breathing Ferrari 599 GTB Fiorano, the fastest production Ferrari ever built.
This home theater is all about aggressively advancing the state of the art of picture and sound presentation. Yes, it's comfortable and beautiful, but its prime directive is a quest for the very best. Nothing, and I mean nothing, is overlooked. Kipnis won't settle for second best. … Read more
Now you can put a big, impressive-looking tome about the Age of Enlightenment on your bookshelf without having to wade through any Descartes or Voltaire.
Dutch design studio Studiomeiboom has come up with The Enlightenment, a lamp that poses as a book on the 18th century intellectual movement, but really just enlightens your room and not your brain.
The $130 lamp is made of white Plexiglas, with "The Enlightenment" etched onto its spine and cover. It's about 9 inches tall, 6 inches wide, and 3 inches deep, and comes with a 9-watt energy-saving light.
Studiomeiboom says 10 … Read more
With HD DVD looking more and more like it's on the ropes, it would seem like the ideal time to commit to Blu-ray--right? Not so fast. There are at least five reasons to stick with your good old-fashioned DVD player--at least for the next few months. (And, as always, there are some key caveats and insider secrets for those who can't resist pullling the trigger as soon as possible.)
1. Nearly all current Blu-ray players are obsolete: The Blu-ray standard is still evolving. Most models currently available use the original Profile 1.0 standard, while some newer models … Read more
Do you think valve amps have a place in today's home cinema systems? If not, look away now, because Philips is about to annoy you.
Its MCD908 micro hi-fi is an affordable blend of DVD upscaling, DivX playback, and potentially decent speakers. It claims to be an audiophile system, in part as a result of using a valve-based preamp, and while this is of course fairly gimmicky these days, its combination of neodymium ribbon tweeters, silk dome tweeters, and a whopping great woofer in each 150W speaker rather makes up for it.
For 239 pounds (about $472), this extremely … Read more