Gateway may be a shadow of its one-time self but apparently wants to prove that it still has some life as an independent company before formally being subsumed by Acer. Its "One" desktop--so-named because of its all-in-one form--follows the likes of Apple, Sony, HP and other manufacturers, including some overseas.
But Gateway's version isn't just a cheap copycat, sporting an attractive design of its own as well as specs that include a 2GHz Core 2 Duo chip, a 500GB hard drive, 3GB of memory, DVD burner and a 5-in-1 card reader for $1,800, according to … Read more
A few months ago, my co-worker Stephen Shankland took a look at a preproduction Ooma--the pay-once-and-you're-done phone service that's going on sale for real today. His experience setting up the Ooma hardware wasn't the best. I just got one of these gizmos myself and checked it out here at the CNET office. I found it to be pretty straightforward to get running, although my setup was much simpler than his. My take: This is a very cool, and very well-priced product. It's also technologically fascinating. It's not just a VOIP box.
I set up my Ooma by plugging it into the Ethernet in my office and to a spare telephone. That was the extent of it. After a few moments of blinking, the Ooma box settled down, and I was able to dial out straightaway. Inbound calls worked perfectly, too, to the number attached to my device. People I talked to said the calls were clear, and I didn't notice any lag on my calls (like you get with cell phones or bad VOIP).
Initially the Ooma setup instructions scared me. If you're installing it in your home, some of the connection diagrams are off-putting, especially installations for DSL customers. Ooma also wants to connect to your phone line. In fact, Ooma is being pitched as a great product for long-distance calling, not local calling, although its best payback is when you use it for everything. Ooma expects most users will keep their old phone line active for 911 calls. And it's the users that keep the old lines alive, and just let Ooma handle the long distance, that make the Ooma system work. That's where Ooma gets really interesting.
Here's why: Ooma uses a trick called "distributed termination" to run its system (read more on GigaOm). That means that when you call someone in another area code, the Ooma network routes your call over the Internet to the Ooma device of a user in that other area whose hardware is still connected to the landline. And then that box (the other user's) makes a local phone call out to the person you are trying to reach. Without a network of users connected to the phone network, Ooma's financial model doesn't work, as it has to pay for the calls itself. And this is why the company was so eager to give out Ooma devices to early adopters a while ago: It needed to build its network. CEO Andrew Frame assures me that this pilot program succeeded, and that the Ooma network is now fully operational and financially sound.
For years PC makers have tried to come up with a true all-in-one desktop, but more often than not their efforts look like a few components that have been glued together or presented in other impractical forms. There's at least one new model on the Korean market, however, that really does seem to live up to its billing.
The "All-In-One" computer from Seoul-based SBCORE appears to combine all its functions and features in one solid aluminum-finished block that houses CPU, screen and speakers, as well as Intel Core 2 Duo chips, up to 2GB of memory and … Read more
Have you recovered from the onslaught of new Canon cameras yet? Now that you have a shiny new camera, how about picking up a shiny new Canon printer to go with it? Because as many cameras an Canon released this week, they're not losing pace on the printers. The new offerings include three photo-oriented multifunctions, three office-oriented multifunctions, two single-function photo printers, and one portable photo lab. Whew! Ready for the rundown? Here we go...
If you're interested in a photo-oriented printer but still want the flexibility of being able to scan, copy, and fax, check out the … Read more
...Or at least, multiple armloads of printers. Lexmark announced six new printers today, both wired and wireless, but all inkjet. Lexmark has been at the forefront of offering wireless capability built-in, even on its low-cost, consumer oriented single-function printers like the Z1420. This new batch of printers includes four that offer wireless networking:
- X6570 Wireless All-in-One ($150): this unit prints, scans, copies, and faxes. It also offers memory card slots, a PictBridge enabled USB port, an automatic document feeder, an auto duplexer, and optional six-color printing. It lacks a graphical LCD however, offering just a text LCD.
- X7550 … Read more
Trillian's all-in-one instant messaging client made its name by offering chat-happy users a single account where they could connect with friends from all the major IM networks. While the popularity of some networks it supports has dwindled, Trillian has only improved.
As many a deafened parent of pre-teen kids will tell you, Disney's High School Musical is a force to be reckoned with. It has gone well beyond its TV-movie origins to become an international phenemenon, with live shows, DVDs, CDs and maddeningly repetitive pop tunes that are driving innumerable moms and dads to the brink of insanity.
All of which makes it a perfect storm, of course, for a major merchandizing blitz. Never one to shy away from a marketing challenge, Amazon is offering a "High School Musical Wii Bundle With Microphone" next month. But Gizmodo notes … Read more
I'm sitting on the exquisitely uncomfortable benches in the San Francisco Metreon, listening to companies at the New Tech Meetup give their pitches. Two of them we've covered recently: AdPerk and Truemors. The news about Truemors: a Facebook port is forthcoming. The other three companies are also worth some bits:
Blabberize is a freaky little product that makes Monty Python-like animated graphics of faces from photos you upload. Then you upload a recording of your (or someone else's) voice. It syncs the audio or recorded speech to the moving mouth. Good for a laugh. Likewise the pitch. … Read more
Canon announced three new additions to its printer lineup today--two home inkjet all-in-ones and one standalone photo printer. The two inkjets are part of the Pixma line: the Pixma MP470 and the Pixma MP210. The $100 MP470 offers 4,800x1,200 dpi color printing with 2pL droplets, 2,400x4,800 dpi scans, a 1.8-inch color LCD, and a USB 2.0 connection. Using its built-in memory card reader and PictBridge port, you can print photos without touching your PC. The PictBridge port also doubles as a USB port for the optional Bluetooth adapter that lets you print wirelessly. The … Read more