I just spent two weeks in London and Paris with no computer, phone, or MP3 player. I didn't want to bring a laptop lest I be tempted to work. I was scared to bring my iPhone because of possible horrendous roaming charges and I got three different answers from AT&T about whether Wi-Fi access would be free. (Memo to AT&T: please come up with a single answer and train your phone support people to give it.) I don't have a European-U.S. electrical adapter to recharge any of my gadgets anyway.
Even so, I … Read more
Guitar Hero World Tour and Rock Band II are the two most wanted games for the 2008 holiday season for 8- to 17-year-old boys and girls, according to a holiday gift survey by gaming retailer Game Crazy (conducted by Weekly Reader Research). These are followed closely by Mario Kart and Dance Dance Revolution Hottest Party II.
I'm having a hard time swallowing these results, mostly because these all seem too "family friendly." Game Crazy, after all, is owned by Hollywood Entertainment and could lose customers if the results were more "adult." The participants consisted of 965 qualifying respondents (owning at least one video gaming system), made up of 488 boys and 477 girls aged 8-17. The only difference between the genders: the boys want Star Wars: The Force Unleashed, while the girls don't.
With several shooter sequels coming this fall, including Gears of War 2 and Far Cry 2, and the massive global conflict fun of Tom Clancy's EndWar, where's all the blood and guts and destruction in these games? Surely kids still want to shoot and blow stuff up, right?
A more complete breakdown of the survey results are as follows:… Read more
Is it too early to look forward to holiday price drops while you wait to buy a new HDTV? Not if you're in the market for a no-name model, according to DealNews.com. The site predicts that plasma TV prices on Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving that kicks off the holiday buying spree, will fall to as low as $499 for a 42-inch model and $699 for a 50-incher. Meanwhile a $149 Blu-ray player may be in the offing, again from a no-name brand, along with $10 Blu-ray discs.
The upcoming DTV transition will help contribute to the price drops, according to the article, and as usual, plasma is less-expensive than LCD on an inch-for-inch basis. "LCD prices will remain higher than plasma, but they'll still dip considerably, with generic 42-inch 720p LCD HDTVs going for $599. Additionally, look for name-brand 46-inch or 47-inch 1080p LCD HDTVs to hit $799, and larger 52-inch 1080p HDTVs to drop to $1,199."
--Picking and planning--TravelMusehttp://news.cnet.com/8301-17939_109-9962541-2.htmlFarecasthttp://news.cnet.com/8301-17939_109-9921811-2.htmlPriceline.comTrippit, BrightKite, DopplrGoogleWikiTravelhttp://wikitravel.org/en/Main_PageTripSayhttp://news.cnet.com/8301-17939_109-9977210-2.htmlPlanetEyehttp://news.cnet.com/8301-17939_109-9975242-2.htmlAirBed & Breakfasthttp://news.cnet.com/8301-17939_109-9957126-2.html--Taking the trip--Yelp, OpenTable, Chow, TripAdvisorOffbeat Guideshttp://news.cnet.com/8301-17939_109-9956255-2.htmlBeerMenushttp://news.cnet.com/8301-17939_109-9927958-2.htmlPlazes - maps of your tripSmall GPS … Read more
Do the halls of malls give you a case of the jingle hells? You could kick back for a 20-minute break from rampant consumerism to learn more about the toxic mess it makes of the planet.
Fun, right? Actually, it is with The Story of Stuff. It's a short, friendly movie covering the ABCs of consumer culture. The sky may be falling, but we can prop it up, the film suggests.
You gotta love flash memory for MP3 players right now: it's dirt cheap. I'm in the midst of reviewing the Insignia Pilot, Best Buy's latest portable media device, and I discovered that the company's Web site is selling the 8GB version for just $150--that's a pretty freakin' sweet deal, if you ask me. The player features built-in stereo Bluetooth, an SD card expansion slot for adding more memory, an FM radio, recording features, dual headphone jacks, Rhapsody DNA integration, Windows and Mac compatibility...not to mention compatibility with MP3, WMA, WMA Lossless, WMA DRM, … Read more
It's that time of year in the U.S. when frenzied Christmas shoppers flood the malls, winter storms wreak havoc throughout the country, and singles fret about finding the perfect date for New Year's Eve.
Like you, the staffers at CNET Download.com aren't immune to our own year-end holiday distractions, but we hope to lighten your seasonal load with helpful gift ideas, winter desktop treats, and do-it-yourself tech projects perfect for family gatherings.
First off, there's only one week left until Christmas, but whatever you do, don't panic! If you've got someone on … Read more
In the lane, snow is definitely glistening. 'Tis the time of the year to make your PC look like a snow globe, or at least that's what my Great-Uncle Boomer used to say. (At least it's true for those of us in the Northern Hemisphere.)
It's fine to add a little pizazz to your desktop with a seasonal screensavers, but be warned: Some of the holiday screensavers are oozing with cheese...and not the good kind. Those disco-dancing snowmen will haunt your dreams!
To avoid your computer (and you) looking like a corn dog in a cubicle … Read more
Evite added mobile capabilities yesterday to speed up the party-planning process. Its QuickVite features let you send invitations in one step from an e-mail account or mobile phone, and handle RSVPs the same way. Of course, you can also juggle the details at Evite.com.
This could help to make managing a party less exhausting. Even picking a design for an online invitation can waste time, especially for a last-minute get together. For instance, Evite offers 57 templates for cocktail parties alone, not to mention options for dozens of events from anniversaries to weddings.
The painless sign-up process requires adding … Read more