Who knew that roll-up musical instruments would be so popular? Even more surprising is that virtual percussion seems to be a particularly hot area: Just a few days after we ran an item on the "Portable Electric Drum Set," for example, Everything USB has found yet another roll-away set. The "USB Drum Kit" has two fewer pads, but they're positioned to more closely resemble a real-life setup. No matter what, either either version is better than the mouse pad drums.
We got the tip today about a brand new service called Bubble Guru. Its goal is simple: to give your blog or Web site visitors a short pop-up video message that runs and closes without any user interaction required. You can also record and send message to friends via e-mail. For viewers, there's no escape--the talking bubble will follow them as they scroll down the page.
The service is by no means a full-fledged video blogging tool; it falls into a strange subcategory between video messaging and a pop-up advertisement. It's also a little early in development, offering no way to save and track the messages you've created. For now the service is free, but a paid subscription version is on the way for about $10 a month.
We thought long and hard about the usefulness of this for the casual user. In truth, video embedding services from YouTube or Viddler is much more user friendly. Users can turn those videos on and off at their discretion and pass any interesting ones along to a friend. That, however, isn't the point of Bubble Guru. This service is all about grabbing your attention, which it does very well. We've embedded one for you: to see what it looks like, click "read more" below.… Read more
In addition to unveiling its new UpStage phone Sprint announced today that it would lower over-the-air downloads from the Sprint Music Store from $2.50 per track to just $0.99. The new price will apply to all songs from the store and will go into effect in early April, the same time the UpStage formally hits stores (Sprint did not announce an official day). And yes, that wireless download includes a simultaneous download to your PC. The price drop is more than welcome, and we think it's no coincidence that it puts the carrier's music store on … Read more
Sprint kicked off CTIA 2007 today by unveiling the Samsung UpStage, the first U.S. version of the cell phone with the split personality, the Samsung Ultra Music. In an event designed to, ahem, upstage the competition, Sprint said the UpStage (aka the Samsung SPH-M620) would go on sale for $149 with a two-year contract, scheduled for the first week of April. The UpStage features a unique and innovative dual-sided design that successfully integrates a cell phone and an MP3 player into one device. It has its quirks to be sure but on the whole it's a sleek, satisfying … Read more
Technology has allowed more amateur guitarists to take their instruments on the road, from guitars to keyboards. Yet the possibility of an easily mobile set of drums has been confined largely to the likes of the "Finger Drum Mousepad."
But percussion lovers can take heart now that the "Portable Electric Drum Set" is here. Similar to roll-up pianos that have been on the market for awhile, this virtual instrument is built into a 20-inch rubber mat that can be rolled away anytime, anywhere. Tokyomango says the eight-drum set even has "preset tunes and rhythms to … Read more
Steekr is a new online storage service with automated backup software for both Windows and Mac. Users get a gigabyte to store whatever they want. Steekr is a sibling product to SteekUp, parent company Agematis' business-centric backup service that gives customers 100GB with a paid subscription. The new service is designed for casual users who want to automate file backups or move large files between locations without optical media.
The software installation is needed only for people who want to automate file backups. If you want to stick to the Web, you can still back up anything you want with … Read more
Yahoo hasn't officially announced its Brickhouse program dedicated to launching innovative new products, but word has leaked that it has hired a start-up veteran to head up the program.
Salim Ismail, chairman of Confabb.com, a directory of conferences, and co-founder of PubSub, confirms on his blog on Thursday that he's joining Yahoo.
"At Yahoo, I'll be running the Brickhouse, the program spearheaded and created by Caterina Fake, inside Bradley Horowitz's Advanced Development Division," that is launching products like Yahoo Pipes, an interactive feed aggregator, he writes.
"While I've gotten used to … Read more
CircleUp, the RSVP-like service that launched at Demo 2007 a few months ago, has announced a partnership with e7 Sports, a management service for small sports teams. CircleUp will be added to the list of tools coaches can use to elicit responses from a bevy of parents and players about things such as uniform sizing and carpools. It's the mailing list re-done, this time with a centralized way to see other people's responses.
If you find yourself trudging through massive e-mail threads and having to hit reply-all, CircleUp would likely be more helpful. The service provides some simple … Read more
The "USB Illuminated Roll-Up Keyboard" from USB Geek does just that, made from flexible silicone with a "sapphire blue" electroluminescent coating. Resistant to water and dust, it even coming in a choice of two colors--white and pink--for a mere $27, according to Technabob.
We think this is pretty nifty as is, but someone is bound to ask this question (so we will first): When will there be … Read more