On February 16th fellow CNET blogger Robert Vamosi wrote an item headlined "With improvements, e-voting could be good, says researcher." I think that e-voting is a very bad thing and that no "improvements" will ever convert it to a good thing. But I'm not an expert on the subject, so I asked Rebecca Mercuri, a specialist in computer security and electronic voting, if she would like to respond to the claim made by the "researcher" in question. Mercuri has appeared many times on the Personal Computer Show to discuss electronic voting, which is … Read more
It's the next logical step, we suppose, in the guitar mania that's sweeping our culture: an electric guitar case that doubles as an iPod speaker dock. The "Gator Lightweight Electric Guitar Case" has two built-in battery-powered speakers and a clear pouch on the side to hold a media player, according to Red Ferret. For those who really must have keep their guitars at the ready this much, however, it might be worth considering a model that folds away for easier stowing.
Valentine's Day saw a sweet gadget arrive at Webware HQ: The Chumby. It's a little touch-screen Web appliance that can display a changing lineup of personalized widgets for you: Clocks, photo galleries, Twitter feeds, and so on.
The Chumby gets its data over Wi-Fi, and you control what widgets it displays on the Chumby.com site. Setup is a snap (unless your Wi-Fi access point requires a Web-based log-in, in which case forget it), and the site makes choosing widgets easy.
I quickly set up my Chumby at home to display the time, local weather forecast, the minutes … Read more
New headphones are my No. 1 recommendation to anyone who wants to get the most out of their new MP3 player. (Except, of course, for those who decided to go with the Sony NWZ-A810 series or the Zune 80.) Straight up: Those janky, plastic buds that came with your player aren't doing you any favors. First off, they're not terribly comfortable, and they don't fit most users securely--for me, there are few things more annoying than having to constantly shove a hard piece of plastic into my ear. Then of course there's the sound-quality issue...hollow, … Read more
AppleInsider has uncovered a patent filing from Apple (located here) that's a cross between what we've known as an "enhanced podcast" and the step-by-step driving directions found on the maps application that is on the iPhone and iPod touch.
In short, the design specified in the patent would let users grab driving directions (presumably from Google) and have them combined with voice activated commands that would advance the directions forward. The data would be packaged in the form of a Podcast that could be downloaded and put on the player like any other audio file.
The … Read more
The Snap Instant Communicator is one of the weirdest little gizmos I've seen in a while. It's a push-to-talk intercom system that runs on a PC and it only works when the Snap hardware console--which is just a few buttons, a speaker, and a microphone--is plugged in to it.
The console has eight labeled lights for the people you talk to the most. Once you add other Snap users into your account and label their spots on your device, all you have to do is press the button next to a name, and if the other party accepts … Read more
If you read CD or LP credits you've probably seen "Mastered by Greg Calbi" a bunch of times, but don't have a clue exactly what Calbi and other mastering engineers do. I don't blame you--it's a mystery to most music lovers. When I heard that Calbi was going to cut some LP masters I made arrangements to drop by Sterling Sound and watch the master masterer at work. He's mastered thousands of records--everybody from Bob Dylan to Talking Heads to The Roots, to the High School Musical soundtrack, and one of my favorite … Read more
Updated at 6:30 a.m. PST with additional details and at 7:30 a.m. with comments from Apple.
Apple doubled the capacity of the iPhone and the iPod Touch on Tuesday for an additional $100.
The iPhone once again comes in two capacities: 8GB for $399 and now 16GB for $499. Apple sold 8GB and 4GB varieties on iPhone Day, but it discontinued the 4GB model after it cut the price of the 8GB model to $399. Something like 90 percent of all early iPhone buyers opted for the 8GB version.
Apple thinks that there's still room … Read more
Demo is trying to green itself and is even considering a green-only event for start-ups in the future. This time, though, there are two companies that hope to use tech to evoke environmental change.
Green Plug makes universal plugs for consumer electronics. Taking a duffel bag full of tangled cords and power adapters and dumping them on the Demo presentation stage, founder and Chief Executive Frank Paniagua declared, "The power model is broken, and we have to fix it." (See CNET's First Look video.)
His solution is Green Plug, a three-port DC hub that will recognize any … Read more
Tag is a new gadget for children that does all the work of a teacher: it gives phonics lessons, sounds out works, sings songs, and most importantly, keeps track of the student's progress.
The pen-like device is from the same company that made the LeapPad, San Francisco Bay Area-based LeapFrog.
The demo of the Tag Reading System garnered the most buzz in the morning session here at Demo 08 in Palm Desert, Calif. Using the same technology found in its current product FlyFusion, which is aimed at 8- to 13-year-olds, the Tag gadget is aimed at teaching reading to … Read more