Three visits by a Time Warner Cable of NYC technician and two trips to NYC from Virginia by Velocity Micro's Chris Morley, and today I finally brought up a Vista-based CableCard signal on a Velocity Micro CineMagix Grand Theater system. I actually have two CableCards working, each plugged into its own ATI TV Wonder Digital Cable Tuner PCI card. That means I can watch digital cable on one channel and record another at the same time with full, TiVo-style automation through the Vista Media Center-based channel guide software. Throw in the Blu-ray drive, an Nvidia GeForce 8800 GTS graphics … Read more
Are you willing to pay $28 for a light bulb?
No? Well, how about this light bulb?
The mind-boggling Lamp/Lamp isn't actually a lamp. It's a cleverly designed 30-watt bulb with two sets of screw threads.
Screw one end into an outlet, and it creates the optical illusion you see in the photo to the left. Turn it on, and watch as houseguests do triple-takes.
Designer Hironao Tsuboi is the brains behind the Lamp/Lamp. If you like it, you'll probably appreciate the other home products Tsuboi designed for 100per.com.
Tsuboi's other designs include … Read more
It's the digital equivalent of the first few cracks in the Berlin Wall: soon EMI will be offering the bulk of its music catalog free of DRM restrictions. Steve Jobs was on hand at the press conference to enthusiastically endorse the idea--he did, famously, suggest as much in an open letter just a few short weeks ago. But is Apple simply fashioning its own hangman's noose? If the other major record companies follow suit, the one big advantage of the entire Apple "digital ecosystem"--iTunes, the iPod, and Apple TV--essentially becomes null and void. Jobs says Apple's superior design will keep the company's software and hardware at the top of the must-have list for digital media. For the iPod, maybe--but for the just-launched Apple TV, the answer isn't as straightforward. … Read more
Want the house of your dreams? Soon, it may be possible to design it on your computer and have it delivered to you in customized, Lego-like pieces.
That's the idea behind a collaboration between Bell Travers Willson Architects and Facit. The concept was showcased at the 1:1 Making the Digital House exhibition at The Architecture Foundation in London.
Using 3D modeling programs, an entire home or building can be designed on a computer. All the dimensions and screw-hole placements for the building materials are then relayed to a Computer Numerical Control (CNC) machine that cuts out the customized … Read more
Our cell phones have long provided a huge choice of ring-tones. And the old-fashioned clock radio threatened to wake you up to some blathering radio jock giving the weather or interviewing a traffic cop. Now you can get some morning tones for nature's best singers.
It's the Songbird Serenade Clock. And in keeping with the Internet era of consumer choice, you can pick from a selection of different songcards including over 200 species of North Americna birds. Northern Cardinal? Western Meadowlark? Quarrelling Mallards? Your choice.
As you may recall, Mike didn't really like the LED handbag that he blogged a few weeks ago, comparing it to The Blob. I think it bears more of a resemblance to a jellyfish, but that's beside the point.
Yes, the LED handbag was pretty ugly, but illuminated cloth objects don't have to be. I just found out about LumiGram, a French site that sells fabric commodities like bags, tank tops, and yes, tablecloths that are equipped with plastic optical fibers woven alongside the regular threads. They're powered by (allegedly) discreet batteries and are hand-washable.
The … Read more
If you have a mean landlord who doesn't let you paint anything in your house or apartment, this could be a solution to your lack-of-color woes. The Morpheus Ambient Lighting Modules use really, really, really, really high-end LEDs to mix a combination of red, green, and blue light. Then it projects it on white walls--sorry, I'm not sure how it would be distorted by that lovely eggshell or alabaster color you've got in your living room.
It'll cost you the Brit equivalent of $167.
At long last, it looks like Apple TV is available for purchase. The Apple Web site on Tuesday morning listed the set-top box as available for shipment in three to five business days.
Calls to New York- and San Francisco-area Apple stores confirmed that the box, which is meant to deliver content between a TV and a PC, is so far only available online. A San Francisco Apple store employee said they expect to have Apple TV "any day now."
What would it take to flood sound into every inch of a 7,500-square-foot home? Try 49 speakers and $30,000.
That's how Marge and Chuck Dushek did it with their Midwestern home, where "even the steam shower and walk-in closet have their own speakers," according to Electronic House. "There are absolutely no dead zones in this house," Ken Walker of Sound Design Systems says.
Top-grade Sonance speakers were built into walls and ceilings of the great room, master bedroom and an area adjacent to the kitchen. Alas, compromises had to be made in the … Read more
Want to add some pizzazz to your Google personalized home page? This week Google is offering six themes that people can use to decorate their page. Google typically prefers simple, clean, text-only pages for its sites, with the notable exception being the doodle on its main search page. With this announcement Google is recognizing that some people might want to add some some color to their personalized home pages.
The themes include a beach, a cityscape, a Japanese tea house, the four seasons, the sky, and a bus stop. They will change dynamically, depending on the time of day and … Read more