This year still has several weeks left on the calendar, but it's not too early to look back at the past 10 months and evaluate how we've progressed on the consumer tech front. Rather than look at the best products of the year, however, I decided to focus on the ones that were the most cutting-edge. As such, I've looked back at everything we've covered this year, and I've done my best to winnow down the list and come up with 10 products I think are at the cusp of... something. They may not be fully baked, and they may be overpriced, but they're at the forefront of their respective categories. Of course, I've surely missed some worthy products, so feel free to agree or disagree and add your own selections in the comments section below. … Read more
Another one bites the dust: Uber.com, a fledgling blog platform that was backed by Discovery Communications and Universal Music Group, shut its doors Friday. The reason? The investors pulled out.
"We have some bad news," a message on the Los Angeles-based company's home page read. "The crisis in the economy has claimed Uber as its latest victim. Our investors have decided to stop supporting Uber and we have closed the doors."
Uber had been co-founded by former Friendster CEO and NBC Entertainment president Scott Sassa, and had completed a $7.6 million series B venture round this spring … Read more
It takes a true Japanophile or fashion dork to love this watch and wear it. Made by Japan's Seahope, this timepiece screams "tourist souvenir" and "geek alert," and not in a very flattering way, either. However, if you've ever been on the Yamanote Line during rush hour and can't get enough of the sights, sounds, and body crush at Tokyo's busiest underground rail, the Yamanote Line Watch offers four choices. These replicate the electronic bulletin boards at Shinjuku, Ikebukuro, Ebisu, and Shinagawa stations.
Note the key word "replicate." That reads … Read more
A would-be social network called Wallop has shut its doors, according to a message on the home page.
"Thank you for being part of the Wallop beta social-networking site," the message reads. "We really appreciate your feedback and support. The beta period will end on September 18th, 2008--after that date, you will no longer be able to access your account."
But Wallop wasn't just another tale of crushed Silicon Valley dreams. The site, which once aimed to compete with the likes of MySpace, had backing from none other than Microsoft.
Microsoft hadn't invested in … Read more
Social.fm, a music site that was known as Mercora until last year, has officially folded.
"We regret to inform you and apologize for this inconvenience, but Social.fm will be shutting down the system on July 31st, 2008," a message on the site read.
The shutdown was first reported by GigaOM.
Despite having raised $5 million in venture funding from Norwest Venture Partners and signing a deal with Microsoft, Social.fm never found its niche. It originally started out as a peer-to-peer Web radio and music search site, and CEO Srivats Sampath once made the dubious claim … Read more
‘High Heeler’ helps prevent klutzy moments http://news.cnet.com/8301-17938_105-9995864-1.html
High heels turn more comfy–in a snap http://news.cnet.com/8301-17938_105-9995767-1.html
Are your shoes ringing, or is it just your feet barking? http://news.cnet.com/8301-17938_105-9977342-1.html
Super-light Nike Flywire shoes to make Olympic debut http://news.cnet.com/8301-17938_105-9998061-1.html … Read more
PodTech, a video podcast network that had taken over $7 million in venture funding, has been sold--and the price may have been a downright embarrassing $500,000.
The news was reported this week by Eric Eldon at VentureBeat, but Valleywag's Jackson West was floating the rumor with less detail last week. And Fake Steve Jobs jumped the gun a little bit by declaring the company dead last October.
The buyer is the Los Angeles-based ViewPartner, a "communications technology company" that seems to only produce Google results about the fact that it bought PodTech. And while no financial … Read more
In the year 2154, no one will want to wear wristwatches anymore. They'll probably be out of fashion or too bulky for our hands. The in thing will be the nail watch, known as the TX54. Well, that's what Timex and design site Core77 think will be the future, according to the global design competition Timex 2154: The Future of Time." The two held the contest to mark the watch maker's 150th anniversary.
TX54, the runner-up in the event, is a concept watch by three Americans designers: Napoleon Merana, Steffen Schubert, and David Takacs. The nail … Read more
Programming note: As of Friday, July 11, 2008, Defense in Depth will now only carry my weekly column plus additional commentary on the state of computer security. My security news blogs will instead appear under the CNET News Security banner going forward. And my CNET News Security Bites podcasts can be found at here. All of these can be subscribed to via RSS.
While security researcher Dan Kaminsky still won't comment on the specific nature of a flaw within the Domain Name System--for fear that criminal hackers might exploit it before the worldwide network of name servers worldwide … Read more
We're not sure how wise it would be to entrust a $14.99 gadget with one's health, but that's the goal of the "Heart Rate Sanitarian Watch" from Giz Fever. To use the "Heart Frequency Check," according to the product description, one need only press a finger to one of the wristwatch's sensors; the same is true of the indelicately named "Fat Check" function. There's also an alarm to keep you from falling asleep on the treadmill.