If you're grown tired of belonging to the cult of the white earbuds, there are plenty of options on the market that provide better sound, improved comfort, and more style. But if you really want your headphones to make you stand out from the crowd, nothing will do it better than some truly strange earphones. From cutesy to scary to flat-out over-the-top, you'll find something unusual in the roundup below.
Cleaning your office/desk is an annual preholiday ritual at CNET. It's amazing what you can collect in a year, and because I'm the polar opposite of a hoarder, I actually look forward to the task. Mostly I toss old press releases and outdated cables--I promise that I recycle everything that I can--but occasionally I'll find a museum-worthy gadget from another age.
Take for instance, the Nokia Fun Camera, which I found at the bottom of a box filled with old wired headsets.
Back before cameras made it into phones, they existed briefly inside attachable accessories. If memory serves, Sony Ericsson developed one of the such products, but Nokia jumped on the trend as well. And as Nokia usually does, it did so wholeheartedly. The orange and red Nokia Fun Camera, aka the PT-3, is shaped like a tear drop. You'll notice a few buttons, a circular display, and a detachable viewfinder. The camera lens and flash sit on the back side, and the whole thing comes on a lanyard for taking it on the go. And you thought wearing a Bluetooth headset around the neck was silly.
You can use the Fun Camera by itself, though you must connect it to a compatible phone or USB cable if you want to get pictures off the camera. Unfortunately, I wasn't able to perform a transfer by either method so I couldn't test the image quality. I haven't seen a USB cable that uses the old Nokia connection in years, and the only compatible phone I could find--a Nokia 2115i Shorty from Virgin Mobile--is missing its battery.
Still, I did connect the phone and the camera to see what would happen. The fit between the two devices is secure, even if it's a cumbersome arrangement and the plastic flap covering the camera's connecting pins gets in the way. The body feels relatively solid, it's lightweight (3.17 ounces), and it fits easily in a pocket. … Read more
Folks who get a kick out of funny Photoshopped pictures often think, "I'd like to do that!" Then they open their "lite" version of Photoshop and...twow, wipeout on the learning curve. Suddenly a quick, amusing stunt is an hours-long journey through Help files, Layers, and so on. For those who just want to fool around with a few snapshots, something smaller, lighter, and easier to use is called for. Magix Entertainment's FunPix Maker 1.0 is just the tool. It's free, for starters. It's easy to use. And it's fun. … Read more
When I first started rock climbing two years ago, I wanted to tell everyone about it. It was the first time in my life I looked forward to going to the gym, and I still do, which is probably why I am in even better shape than when I was a varsity swimmer in high school, which was in many ways a hellish hobby that I mostly dreaded.
The leaves may be turning and the clocks fallen back, but that doesn't mean good frozen treats have to go away. Especially frozen pops that are homemade. When you make them yourself, you can control exactly what goes in there, allowing you to make them as healthy (or not) as you desire. All you need is a mold of some sort, your favorite juice, and a freezer. Except now, you don't even need a freezer.
AsteroidRush is a basic arcade-style game in which users must destroy asteroids and other objects that threaten their spaceship. It's not very interesting, yet we found it somehow addicting in a totally mindless kind of way.
The program's interface is very simple. The player's spaceship is located in the middle of the screen and can spin around but not move from its spot. The spaceship is bombarded by asteroids (which look a lot like meatballs) and other unidentified objects from all directions. Users shoot at these threatening objects to protect themselves and earn points. Some objects confer … Read more
DreamQuest's Championship Five Hundred All-Stars is an impressive software package for learning and playing the popular card game Five Hundred. The program's professional layout and helpful extras make this a great place for experts and newcomers alike.
Championship Five Hundred All-Stars gets off to a fast start, thanks to an excellent interface that has a professional-quality layout and design and a genuinely helpful tutorial. This tutorial, an extension of the Help file, is an onscreen coach teaching the finer points of this complicated game, a race to 500 points by making bids and collecting cards to make a … Read more
Championship Cribbage for Windows offers a great way for newcomers to learn to play this classic card game or for experienced players to hone their skills. With challenging play and some helpful hints for novices, players at all skill levels can make great use of this game software.
The program felt pretty comfortable to us right away, since it features only a few command icons and has a professional-looking graphic design. The interface also provides a smart onscreen tutorial that lays out the strategy and rules of this game in a way that users can easily digest. You can choose … Read more
ABC Fun is a very basic program that helps young children learn to identify letters. There's not much to it, but it's easy and fun to use.
The program's interface consists of a large blank space in the middle with the letters of the alphabet down each side. Users either click on a letter with the mouse or touch the letter on the keyboard, and an object that starts with that letter appears in the middle of the screen. An excited-sounding woman's voice speaks along with it, saying, for example, "A is for apple!" … Read more
Goby is a new search engine designed to answer the age old question, "what is there to do for fun around here?"
Goby.com is designed specifically to help people find things to do in their leisure time ranging from hiking to biking to finding a good restaurant or bed and breakfast.
Goby CEO Mark Watkins talked with Larry Magid about why his search engine is a better fun finder than general search tools like Google and Bing.Subscribe now: iTunes (audio) | RSS (audio)