Paul's home theater oozes with style and it's packed with gear, including Martin Logan Electrostatic speakers, a TiVo Series 3, and a seven terabyte media server. To see all the pictures of Paul's home theater, check out the full slide show.
One of our favorite features at CNET is Show Us Yours: Living room, where we highlight user-submitted home theaters and give advice. We're consistently blown away by some of the setups users send us--some of our all-time favorites include an LCD and home theater PC hidden inside a bookcase, crazy wooden speaker shells and a "man cave" outfitted with a urinal for game days.
Lately the steady stream of submissions have dwindled to just a trickle, so we're hoping to stir up some submissions from Crave readers out there. You don't need to have anything as elaborate as a hidden TV in a bookcase--we love getting submissions from enthusiasts who do a great job on a budget. Here's an overview of what you need in your submission:
CNET Show Us Yours submission guidelinesBasic personal information, like your name, the city you live in, and favorite DVD, Blu-ray, or HD DVD disc. At least five images of your home theater, plus a head shot of yourself. Images need to be in horizontal (landscape) format, and each photo should be less than 5MB. We strongly recommend sending more than five images, with plenty of closeups of your gear and wide-angle shots. When e-mailing, keep in mind each e-mail can only be 5MB large, but feel free to send multiple e-mails. For each photo you submit, write a few sentences about it. Why do you like that piece of gear? Why did you set up the room like this? What do you like most about your setup? Let us know why your home theater is special. A list of your gear with the model numbers and manufacturer names. Written acknowledgment that you're willing to have your profile featured online.
That's it. Just send that information to ShowUsYours@cnet.com and if you make the cut, we'll feature your home theater and provide some pointers. For some additional inspiration, check out some of the best photos from Show Us Yours after the jump:… Read more
Del.icio.us, the hugely popular social bookmarking service, has finally unveiled its new look. It's the biggest visual change the site's had since its launch in 2003, and the result of nearly a year's worth of work. Besides a face-lift, the service has undergone several enhancements, both in how you browse new links and search through them. Of course, this new site isn't open to everyone. In classic Web 2.0 form, access is limited to a select few in the form of a beta preview the Del.icio.us team is using for feedback before rolling out the changes to everyone.
The site first announced its intentions of a massive re-design in early February, and just a few months back noted some fun statistics about their usability testing lab, which had apparently used more than 2,000 Post-it Notes to organize observations about the re-design. This may not sound too impressive, which is why I'd recommend taking a look at this picture, which gives me headache just to look at.
The first thing you'll notice about the new Del.icio.us is that the name has forgone its dots to simply be known as "Delicious." Besides making it easier for newbies to pronounce, it's also a departure from its roots of a small, independent Web site who was one of the first to pioneer the gloriously cheesy domain name hack, a practice that's even led to a startup that figures them out for you. The other thing you'll notice is that there's more emphasis on tags, and tagging in general, as they've been given a much more prevalent look and presence throughout the site.
The real change, however, is in search and navigation, which have both been streamlined and made faster. The old Delicious search was a tad on the sluggish side, whereas the new search is noticeably faster. The results have also been improved to show you who was the first to save it as a bookmark, along with pushing the tags out to the side in case you feel like drilling down by genre. The navigation now features drop-down menus to let you quickly drill down to various parts of the site, skipping an extra page view or two.
When it comes to actually creating new bookmarks on the Delicious site, the process is like Miss South Carolina: pretty but slow. Despite the advances in page design, you still have to navigate through two separate pages to add a new link via URL. I prefer the newer trend of opening up a lightbox pop-up to let me enter in information, and then getting shot back to the page I was viewing before. There's a handy bookmarklet to add whatever page you're visiting, which is actually the fastest way to add new content to the site short of clicking a site-integrated "add to Delicious" button, but the current system is still prohibitive for batch link uploading.… Read more
I'm at the San Francisco New Tech Meetup tonight, immersed in Web 2.0 startupville. Tonight's lineup of pitches:
Conduit. A utility for making toolbars to go with your blog or site. We recently covered the tool's new capability that lets the user swap between different toolbars they've installed. The concept is interesting: It lets site publishers put their sites into toolbars. I didn't expect users to take up this idea, but the company's executives report strong growth and more than 12 million users.
Featured on this week's Real Deal podcast: Synchronizing two computers. If you want to know how to keep yourself sane if you regularly use more than one PC, tune into this show for a rundown of my tips on how to keep files, bookmarks, and e-mail synchronized over the Web.
Products mentioned:FolderShare LogMeIn SimplifyMedia Orb FoxMarks Del.icio.us Google Docs and Spreadsheets.
If you want to join the ongoing discussion, come on over to the Real Deal forums.
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There's a new widget from the team at Amung.us: A mapping plug-in, maps.amung.us, that you can add to your site to show you where your site's visitors are coming from, updated in real time. At first it looks to be more fun than useful, but underneath the widget, Amung.us collects interesting stats. You need only to click through from the widget to check them out.
Federal regulators late on Thursday slapped three wireless firms, including No. 3 operator Sprint Nextel, with a total of $2.83 million in fines for not meeting a long-passed deadline for equipping subscribers with enhanced 911 service.
The Federal Communications Commission had set a December 31, 2005 date by which all mobile carriers had to ensure that 95 percent of their subscribers had location-sensitive handsets--that is, those that allow emergency responders to pinpoint a caller's location upon connection to the 911 switchboard.
Sprint Nextel and large regional operators Alltel Corp. and U.S. Cellular Corp. "failed to meet … Read more
I've been reading blogs since before the term "blog" came into popular use. Pioneers of the format such as Jerry Pournelle (jerrypournelle.com) and Robert Bruce Thompson (ttgnet.com) just called their sites "day books" or "journals," terms carried over from the world of paper and pen.
As a reader, all I really cared about was… Read more
AuditoriumA is a thoroughly ancient idea wrapped in a modern interface. The site is a collection of links (with commentary), hand-chosen by the site's editors and with the occasional help of the audience. It's the fanciest link-blog I've seen, and the stories are of high quality. At least it appears so to me--and it also appears that founder Tony Mars and I have similar tastes in content.
There will be a paid version of AuditoriumA when it is released later this year.
But as much as I like the content on the site, I question the business … Read more
A new site named fooWHO grabbed my attention earlier today. It pitches itself as a delivery service for links and stories that are "just for you." The site bases this presumption off of a rather lengthy personality test that you fill out at your leisure, consisting of questions in a dozen different categories, ranging from arts and entertainment all the way to your taste in automobiles and their transmissions. The remainder of the service is very similar to Reddit, with a front page of popular stories and a pool of submitted links that can be rated up or … Read more