I guess you could say that SpongeBob Squarepants is about as close as the U.S. gets to having the equivalent of Japan's Hello Kitty, in the sense that you can plaster its frighteningly cute face onto anything and it's more or less a guaranteed hit. (Full disclosure: I used to keep my pet goldfish in a SpongeBob aquarium. And that was, um, in college.)
The U.K.-based EMI Group continues its campaign to provide its digital music library free of DRM restrictions: it just announced that it has licensed the entire catalog to PassAlong Networks, which operates the StoreBlocks music retail technology used in online stores like F.Y.E. and BreakthruRadio.
The songs will be sold in MP3 format at a 320 kilobit rate--more than typical digital music bitrates of 128 to 192kb, and more than the 256kb premium songs offered by Apple's iTunes Store--but pricing has not yet been determined.
The Financial Times reported Tuesday that Apple is poised to announce a deal in which it will sell iTunes store tracks through social-networking site Bebo. At first, it appears that this applies only to Bebo's 8.8 million users in the U.K. and Ireland, where the service is most popular, but the story hinted that it may expand to the rest of Bebo's 33 million-strong user base if successful.
According to the Financial Times article, any band or artist with a Bebo profile--there are approximately 500,000 of them--that's already part of the iTunes catalog will … Read more
I've just finished reviewing this Hercules Mobile DJ product, and I must say that for $99, it's actually pretty fun. Still, the package design is hilariously bad. It's like someone dropped some bad acid right before opening up Photoshop.
The Hercules Mobile DJ MP3 is nowhere near a professional-quality digital DJ solution, but at this price, it's not meant to be. It's meant for the stoned pyromaniac teenagers pictured on the box. The package comes with a wireless iPod-white DJ interface, a USB wireless receiver that connects to your computer, and MP3 DJ software that … Read more
With two announcements that didn't receive any of the hype normally associated with the iPhone, Apple may have actually made good on its promise that the iPhone will be revolutionary. Much more revolutionary than pretty looks, a touch screen, a wide-screen iPod, or even visual voice mail.
So revolutionary, in fact, that it may have an impact on much more than just the mobile-phone industry. And they seemed so relatively unimportant at first glimpse...
The two smartest announcements in iPhone prehistory
1. A version of Apple's Safari browser has been released for Windows. (Download here.)
2. The "third-party iPhone apps" Steve Jobs alluded to weeks ago would be Web-based applications, not apps that run natively on the iPhone.
The second of these announcements sounded like a cop-out at first. After all, when Jobs mentioned opening the iPhone up to third-party applications, everyone got the impression he meant they'd actually run on the iPhone, not on a browser.
But here's why it looks so smart after a closer look.
Today we have some pictures of a bad, bad MP3 player. So bad our editors gave it a 2.3 rating. Poor thing. It looks so sleek and spacey. We also have pics of a gigantic wide-screen PVP with built-in DVR capabilities, as well as a slide show of a good entry-level car stereo. And we have two slide shows on the Canon PowerShot S5 IS. One shows its features and design, and the other presents some image samples. Check them all out below.
It is a rare day indeed that we come across a piece of … Read more
It's a good thing teenagers are attracted to ironic fashion statements like a moth to light. MusicMarker, purveyor of the too-adorable Tamagotchi-like MusicMarker song-identifying keychain fob, will soon be selling their product at America's one-stop solution for disenchanted suburban youth--Hot Topic.
The MusicMarker helps people identify songs they hear by recording a short audio clip into its memory and then uploading that data to the MusicMarker Web site when it gets plugged into a computer USB port. The data then gets analyzed and (ideally) reveals the song information and where to buy it. A number of people … Read more
We've just wrapped up our review of the BlueRaven MediaMate 7000 PVP over on CNET Reviews. The thing is gigantic! If you're in the market for a wide-screen PVP with built-in DVR capabilities, but the Archos players are out of reach, the MediaMate might be an acceptable alternative. It's bulky, and could really use a higher screen resolution--but it'll get the job done. Here's our slide show.
Actually, what we have here are some photos of the not particularly horrible-looking Coby MP-C7082. However, we all know that looks can be deceiving.
It is a rare day indeed that we come across a piece of technology that so utterly fails at its intended purpose, but American electronics manufacturer Coby has managed to produce just such a device. Prepare to witness the astounding, the fearsome, the horrifying Coby MP-C7082. (Try not to stare...too much.)
For years we'd been hearing that suits were on their way back to the office, but we'd begun to suspect that it was just the work of some industrious (and increasingly nervous) marketing execs at Brooks Brothers and other purveyors of traditional attire. Yet pinstripes may see a revival of sorts thanks to consumer technology, where fashion follows function, at least where clothing is concerned.