In our very first episode (or 143rd, depending on how you're counting), we host a quick tour of the CNET Labs, take an iPad speed-typing test, and perform some live 2D vs. 3D laptop benchmarks.
In the tech world we're always talking up hot new products, but this is the first time we've gotten to report on a new product that actually is Hot--as in, that's its name.
Yes, Dyson's new bladeless heater fan is simply called Dyson Hot and it uses the company's Air Multiplier technology to push a steady stream of warm air into a room, heating it to temperatures of up to 99 degrees. … Read more
I am an NFL fan, and I don't have cable. For those reasons alone, I was incredibly excited about this year's addition of DirecTV's NFL Sunday Ticket to the PlayStation 3. Like MLB and NHL streaming apps before it, Sunday Ticket is an extension of DirecTV's NFL game-streaming package, which has already been available on the PC, mobile phones, the iPad, and Android tablets. The PS3, however, is the first gaming console to gain NFL game-streaming capability.
It sounds great, but be aware of the caveats. First, Sunday Ticket costs $340 to activate for one season. That's $90 more than the cost of a PlayStation 3. Second, Sunday Ticket does not work for all games: In fact, it's only for 1 and 4 ET Sunday games outside of one's local broadcast market (hence, "Sunday" ticket). Sunday Night Football, Monday Night Football, and Thursday night games won't play. As a Jets fan, I'd still need to watch games via over-the-air broadcast, as I normally do.
That's standard knowledge to anyone who's already used NFL Sunday Ticket, but it's useful disambiguation for newcomers, particularly cable cord-cutters hoping that Sunday Ticket will be a catch-all solution. It isn't, entirely, especially since ESPN and NFL Network are cable-only. For those, you'll either need cable TV or a local sports bar and some beer money. However, I was curious and extremely excited to see if DirecTV's PS3 app could vault the NFL to a new level of access for the cable-free.… Read more
BERLIN--OK, perhaps the headline is a bit of an exaggeration--I've seen companies give away hundreds of $1,000 SLRs at conferences. But I have to hand it to Samsung today at the IFA trade show here.
To show off that it's entering the flash memory card market in the United States, the company created a customized miniature aluminum suitcase. Inside was a foam pad holding an SD card and a MicroSD card. Here's a video showing it all:
The company presumably selected the design to impart a sense of ruggedness: the cards are billed as shockproof and … Read more
BERLIN--With so many models available, it's hard to stand out in the Android smartphone market these days. But Samsung found a way today with the Galaxy Note.
First, this Gingerbread device has a Super AMOLED screen that's 5.3 inches diagonally--enough to bump almost into the tiny tablet range. Second, it's got a stylus that lets people take notes, annotate screenshots, and draw. Samsung announced the Galaxy Note today at the IFA electronics show here.
Dell's Streak was a similarly sized Android phone that was largely a dud in the marketplace, but Samsung thinks it knows consumer desires. I tried the device today and came away more impressed than I thought I'd be. The Galaxy Note has a nice screen, a fast dual-core processor, and works as an ordinary smartphone. I don't think it'll be a mainstream hit, but a certain niche might enjoy it. … Read more
I woke up at 8 a.m., bleary-eyed. I realized something was wrong. It hit me: I forgot to watch "Curb Your Enthusiasm" last night. New episodes tend to post instantaneously, or at least a half hour after the start of broadcast. How could I have missed it? I started to plan when I'd watch.
Suddenly, I realized, I'd become TV Man again.
I've spent a summer trying out HBO Go, the iPad/Android/iOS/browser streaming-video app HBO launched at the end of April. While I bemoaned its limited availability for most people, I was able to get a trial code to look at the service--something I couldn't have done otherwise in NY, even if I still subscribed to cable (which I don't). Meanwhile, I'm still watching Netflix as my go-to general streaming service, although I'm considering a drop in my plan from two DVDs and streaming down to no discs at all.
Both HBO Go and Netflix represent two ends of a new world of streaming-video content that's simultaneously exciting and repelling customers. They tackle the issue from two different angles: Netflix is a standalone subscription service, an alternative to standard TV. HBO Go is a service that requires being part of an HBO-inclusive cable package in order to use; it's supplemental to standard cable as we know it.
At this point, neither one is perfect, but each can learn from the other. And I hope they do, because The New Television, as I like to call it, is something I love. I just don't want it to get muddied along the way.… Read more
The Nintendo 3DS has been desperate for new ways to dangle extra features that differentiate it from the long-standing and more affordable Nintendo DS. Netflix, which launched today as a downloadable app on the Nintendo 3DS eShop, is one of the biggest. Despite any gripes we may or may not have about Netflix as a service, it's still one of the best libraries of streaming content around, especially for kid entertainment.
While Nintendo often has a reputation for being a bit behind the curve on cutting-edge tech, Netflix on the 3DS marks the first time that a gaming handheld has gotten outfitted with Netflix streaming.
The app is free, but requires a Netflix streaming subscription to connect to. There's no log-in page when the application is launched; instead, you're given a code to activate on Netflix's Web site. For a kid-driven device like the 3DS, that type of clean connection method makes sense.
Even though Netflix doesn't support 3D content, the interface has a little gloss of 3D added to it: movie titles and text windows seem to float at slightly different depth layers on the top screen. Otherwise, the interface mirrors what you'd find the PS3/Wii versions of Netflix, but spread across two screens. Your instant queue and other recommendation lists show up in browsable rows of movie thumbnails on the 3DS' lower screen. Considering the screen resolution, the whole affair looks surprisingly crisp. … Read more
After months of delays, Spotify is now available in the United States. CNET's Donald Bell is taking an in-depth look at the online streaming service, but that doesn't mean the rest of us don't have a few things to say about it.
As with tastes in music, we're all coming from different viewpoints: I live in a nice little town outside of London and have been using Spotify for about a year; Rafe Needleman is our start-up guru; Dan Ackerman and Lori Grunin offer their takes as music fans who happen to be experts on PCs … Read more
I thought I could refuse Amazon's Cloud Player. I guess I was wrong.
Amazon unveiled official browser support on the iPad for Cloud Player. For me, and for many others, that's huge news. Previously, iOS devices hadn't been working too smoothly with Amazon's Cloud Player music-storage service. The newly updated Safari Web app isn't surprising, but it does work as advertised. iPad owners, you can officially rejoice.
Albums, playlists, and songs load up just like they would on a normal computer browser. Even better, the song list can be scrolled through with a single finger swipe. Songs play smoothly, and track-skipping and other controls work as expected. The best part, though, is that the Web app works well outside the browser in multitasking, too. … Read more
The iPad doesn't need any gaming help, in one sense: iOS games are thousandfold and selling like hotcakes, making Apple's tablet an already-rich platform for games of all sorts. Still, I (and many others) have had a dream: what if you could add a Bluetooth controller and play real, PC/console-quality games on the iPad? Would that be a game-changer?
Check out the above video and the hands-on gallery below, and decide for yourself.
Short answer: Yes, it could be, especially if those said games weren't even stored on the device itself. OnLive, which we've written about many times, is a cloud-based gaming service that streams remotely stored PC games, while the local user controls the game via keyboard or controller. It sounds like magic, but OnLive actually works, creating a valid option for laptop owners who have underpowered Netbooks, or via last year's TV-connected MicroConsole, a console alternative. Games are saved in the cloud, and titles can be played via subscription or individual purchase license.
Now, here's the long answer.… Read more