Sony today announced an addition to their line of accessories for the Alpha digital cameras, the HVL-F58AM flash unit. A follow-up to the HVL-F56AM, the flash features Sony's new Quick Shift Bounce system, an innovative design where the flash head can pivot 90 degrees left or right on a horizontal axis (see photo). This lets the flash stay in the same orientation as the camera, even when the camera is held sideways for vertical shots such as portraits. You will now be able to make full use of the built-in bounce card even when the camera is rotated for … Read more
AM-DeadLink tames your unruly bookmarks with a set of tools designed to keep your bookmark list svelte, healthy, and in fighting form. Its interface is packed with options, but tool tips and a logical layout make it easy to follow. The length of the verification process depends on the size of your Favorites list, but the wait wasn't bad in our tests. You can sort results by any of the columns, which include name, status, URL, and folder categories. You also can delete entries one at a time or by the group.
The Backup option is a welcome safeguard … Read more
The "Oscars of the Internet," presented by a consortium of technology, media, and entertainment hotshots known as the International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences, announced their winners and honorees on Tuesday. This year's Webbys will be presented next month as part of Internet Week New York.
Colbert received the Person of the Year accolade for his reputation as a digital buccaneer of … Read more
In my previous blog posts titled "Disappointed with DirecTV" (part 1, part 2) I described the problems I've had getting my DirecTV equipment upgraded for compatibility with the company's new MPEG-4 satellite broadcasts.
Today, I'll be reviewing the centerpiece of this upgrade: DirecTV's HR21-700 digital video recorder (DVR).
Since there's a great summary of the features of this product in this PDF from dbstalk.com, I won't try to rehash all the details. But I do want to describe my experiences using this gizmo, and compare it directly to my older HR10-250 … Read more
Just when you though it was safe to walk around the graveyard at night, Michael Jackson's Thriller is back to remind us that's not such a good idea. It's about time we reflect on MJ's music (not his personal life) and celebrate the 25th anniversary of the biggest selling album of all time. Legacy Recordings just reissued the CD with shiny new packaging, a bonus DVD, and previously unreleased tracks, such as remixes by and/or with Kanye West, Will.i.am, Fergie, and Akon.
From Bill Gates' final CES hurrah to Yoko Ono and will.i.am, CES launched with a star-studded cast. See the full CNET CES slide show.
Sony just sent me the XDR-S3HD tabletop HD Radio to review. I'm not quite done with it yet--I'm still evaluating the sound quality and reception versus the Polk Audio i-Sonic--but it appears to be a perfectly capable HD Radio. The big advantage of the Sony is that it's the first name-brand tabletop HD Radio that's available for under $200. That edges out the earlier Sangean HDR-1 ($250), as well as the Boston Acoustics Recepter HD and Cambridge SoundWorks 820HD (both $300). (While the Radiosophy HD100 is available for a scant $99, the photos alone don't exactly inspire confidence). The relative advantages and disadvantages of the Sony versus those competing models will be covered in the full review later this week, but the bigger question I keep running into when reviewing these products is this: is the HD Radio format good enough to justify the purchase of a dedicated radio?
HD Radio's extra stations For me, the supposed increase in sound quality just isn't that much of a selling point--you're just hearing those same lame Clear Channel playlists, albeit on a digital rather than an analog band. But the multicast (or HD2) stations are a different story. They're substations that offer alternative programming that's unavailable on the analog dial. For instance, New York's WPLJ offers adult contemporary music on its main station (analog and digital), but has two multicast stations--95.5-2 and 95.5-3--that play '70s and '80s music only, respectively. And because the industry is trying to hook people on HD Radio, these HD2 stations--for the time being, anyway--often broadcast free of commercials.
OK, now we're getting somewhere: there's some exclusive content dispersed throughout the HD Radio dial, so maybe it's got some value after all. But then I remembered something. When Tivoli Audio announced its two new NetWorksGo Wi-Fi radios last June, CEO Tom DeVesto defended their lack of HD Radio reception by saying that it was essentially superfluous: most of the multicast HD2 stations would still be available, just via Internet streaming instead of over the air. So I decided to put DeVesto's claim to the test.
If it takes you longer to locate a particular browser bookmark than it does to search for that same Web page, it may be time to rev up AM-DeadLink. This nifty freeware utility for managing browser bookmarks becomes increasingly useful as your favorites list grows more congested.
With one button, AM-DeadLink produces a list of bookmarks on the browser you select, pointing out broken or unlisted links. Another button bumps problem bookmarks to the top of the list, saving you from hunting and pecking among the thickets of text. A button identified by an image of cloned human figures reveals any duplicate bookmarks that may have been tucked away in multiple subfolders. Unwanted links are easily disposed of with a click on the recycle bin. For a quick reminder of what leads to what, users can preview bookmark destinations within the app. Backing up the bookmark list serves as a more long-term reminder.… Read more
Remember before the Internet came along, when you could call a 900 telephone number to talk to "Santa Claus?" Dial Directions feels nostalgic like that. Being directionally challenged, I consider it a gift. You literally dial "DIRECTIONS" on your cell phone and get a turn-by-turn text message. The service is available in San Francisco, New York, and Los Angeles during beta testing. It did a pretty good job … Read more
Coolest Gadgets has posted another gadget for making things easier when the lights go out.
The Blackout Buddy for $30 from Ambient Weather is an AM/FM radio and LED light with clock that comes on when everything else goes out.
Like the lava lamp night-light, you keep it plugged into an electrical socket to stay charged. It then automatically comes on when the electricity turns off.
The Blackout Buddy can also be used as an alarm clock, and even has a headphone jack.