Sony has come a long way since the release of the NW-MS11 Network Walkman. One of the company's first flash-based MP3 players, the NW-MS11 didn't even play MP3s and was crippled by copy-protection woes and painfully slow transcoding, but even back then, Walkmans were a model of sleek design and excellent sound quality. The S-Series Walkman is a prime example of the reason Sony was the original king of portable music devices. The flash player, which comes in 4GB ($149.99) and 8GB ($179.99) models, is sleek, compact, easy to use, and packed with features. Plus, it … Read more
CNET Tech Editor Matt Fitzgerald joins us on today's show to shoot the film with us on a flurry of random stories from around the Internet, including George Takeiiiiiii's marriage, the inevitable death of TRL, the new POS Dragonball Z movie, the final word in iPhone updates, and more!
The morning starts off with a few crank calls (do I smell a new recurring segment?) that ends with us being forever banned from picking up a CNET telephone. Oh well, phones are overrated anyway. Anyway, I know we all bitch about iPhones incessantly on the show (especially Jeff "Hatin' on Fools" Bakalar), but most of our former qualms are solved by the newest firmware upgrade to end all firmware upgrades, version 2.1! If you have an iPhone, 3G or Edge, do yourself a favor and install the upgrade. Battery life is increased, phone crashes and dropped calls are nonexistent, and no more text lags! After three tries, Apple finally got it right. Now, if only they enabled cut/paste, SMS forwarding, and picture messaging....baby steps, Mr. Jobs, baby steps.EPISODE 185 Download today's podcast … Read more
The Chevy Volt was the centerpiece of General Motors' centennial celebration on Tuesday with executives heralding the electric car as the first step in the reinvention of the automobile.
GM Chairman Rick Wagoner introduced the plug-in hybrid car in Detroit, showing a production version with a different look than the concept car rolled out in January 2007.
The company also released photos and a number of technical details, including a projected top speed of 100 mph and two in-car touch-screen controls. The five-door sedan, which GM calls an extended-range electric vehicle, is scheduled to be available for purchase in the … Read more
General Motors at its centennial celebration in Detroit on Tuesday is expected to showcase the Chevy Volt, a plug-in hybrid electric car that carries the heavy expectations of reversing GM's slide and slashing consumers' fuel use.
Buzz around the Volt picked up last week when photos of the production car were captured, showing a less sporty look than the original concept car. But what are the environmental and cost benefits of the Volt?
The Volt will be able to run 40 miles on lithium-ion batteries and get a range of 400 miles from an internal combustion engine that charges … Read more
QNAP Systems announced on Thursday its QGet Utility application for Mac. The software, which used to be available only to PC users, allows for managing the Download Station features of its Turbo NAS series from a computer.
The Download Station is a function of QNAP's Linux-embedded Turbo NAS which supports BitTorrent, FTP, and HTTP downloads. This lets users download directly onto the NAS drive without having to leave a computer running, thereby saving energy. Generally, you can access a NAS's Web interface to manage the downloads; however, it's more convenient to do this via a desktop application. … Read more
The first sign of fall in CNET's San Francisco office isn't the turning of leaves--it's the ever-increasing waves of new product announcements. MP3 players in particular start cropping up in late summer, perhaps in an attempt to get a jump on Apple's typical September iPod announcement.
Creative got an early start with its new Zen players a couple of weeks ago, and now Sony is joining the fray. Today, the company announced a rev to its Walkman line of MP3 players in the form of the B-Series, E-Series, and S-Series.
The S-Series represents the top of the line and is arguably the most exciting of the bunch. This new Walkman, which is available in a gunmetal black finish, comes with the integrated noise-canceling capability found on the Sony NWZ-S710.
A pair of complementing, high-end earphones are included in the package, along with an accessory cable that allows the player to be used as a standalone noise-canceling module for use with other audio devices--a unique feature that's ideal for use with in-flight entertainment systems.
Sony has also added support for WMV video (including DRM files from the likes of Amazon Unbox), an FM tuner, and a separate podcast menu item for easier management of the content. In addition, the S Series is the first Walkman to feature a customizable interface that includes a variety of themes and the ability to set personal photos as wallpaper.
Perhaps the coolest feature, however, is the SensMe Channels function, which is a "smart" DJ that uses an algorithm to analyze songs in order to create custom playlists (up to 11) based on each track's speed, mood, and rhythm. Other features include a 2-inch color screen and a rated battery life of 40 hours for audio. The S Series, which is available in 4GB and 8GB capacities for $149.95 and $179.95 (respectively), is expected to hit online shelves in the next three to four weeks. … Read more
Update with Dunnington and Core i7 photos, text.
The latest and greatest silicon and derivative products is what the Intel Developer Forum is all about. Moorestown, Tolapai, and Canmore are just a few of the chips detailed at IDF this week, while UrbanMax, new netbooks, and the first laptops based on the quad-core mobile processor were among showcased products.
Intel Chairman Barrett brought out Carnegie Mellon University's Johnny Chung Lee, who demonstrated how cheap, off-the-shelf technology--in this case a makeshift whiteboard--can go a long way. "To be interesting today, technology has to be the fastest, the best, the brightest, the lightest, but here you can see if you sacrifice a little bit of capability and performance for dramatic savings in cost, you can have a pretty dramatic impact," Chung said.
One of the more novel devices demonstrated was the 10-inch Intel UrbanMax a computer that can switch between a laptop and tablet. This by itself isn't groundbreaking because tablet PCs from Hewlett-Packard and Toshiba already do this. The novelty is the size and design: it is smaller than an ultraportable--like the Toshiba Portege--yet is designed like an oversize mobile Internet device such as Compal JAX 10. When configured as a tablet, the keyboard is hidden but can morph into a laptop by sliding out the keyboard, which tilts the screen.
An Intel official demonstrating the device said that "UrbanMax is an innovation platform from Intel. This is a product-ready concept." UrbanMax uses "Montevina" Centrino 2 small form-factor (SSF) silicon. SSF chip packaging is used in the MacBook Air and results in lower voltage and smaller size than typical Intel low-power mobile processors.
It is interesting to note that major PC makers have adopted Intel concept designs in the past. Last year, Intel offered a ultra-thin laptop concept design that was eventually adopted by HP for its Voodoo Envy 133 notebook. … Read more
Kodak just announced a new entry-level model in its Easyshare P-Series line of digital photo frames. The news here is that at $79.95 the P520 is pretty inexpensive. But as one might expect from a sub $80 frame, it's on the small side at 5 inches.
This model, like the 7-inch P720 has touch-sensitive buttons on the border of the frame. The press release says, "With the touch sensitive Quick Touch Border, and with its unique scrolling feature, you can easily navigate through your images by simply sliding your finger across the frame border." Sexy stuff. … Read more
DisplayLink--which makes technology that allows multiple monitors to be connected to one computer through USB--announced this week that it's now optimized its technology for the Intel 4 Series Express Chipset Family for desktops and notebooks.
Previous systems with integrated graphics were only able to connect one additional display. Now via DisplayLink and with these new Intel-specific optimizations, users with PCs based on the Intel 4 Series Express Chipset Family can easily connect to up to four monitors at once without the need to buy additional graphics cards. In addition, users who run four monitors on the Intel chipset … Read more