One of the most affordable ways to add a bit of brainpower to your lights and appliances is to smarten up the sockets you're plugging them into. We've already seen products like the Belkin WeMo Switch do exactly this, providing you with remote control over device power, along with a few other functions. I suppose it was only a matter of time before we saw this approach applied to the common household power strip.
Great audio can be expensive, but Ben Carter's ambitious Kickstarter project aims to make a serious dent in the price of quality turntables. A $150 pledge secures an Orbit belt-drive turntable, fitted with an Ortofon phono cartridge. As I write this blog, and just a few days after the Kickstarter project was launched, Carter has already passed the halfway mark to reaching his $60,000 goal!
I spoke with Carter on Thursday; he has a background in marketing and consulting, and Bob Hertig is handling the engineering for the project. Orbits will be manufactured by U-Turn Audio in the … Read more
When Hewlett-Packard's WebOS tablet debuts next week it won't have nearly the number of apps as its competitors. But the company thinks it can use that to its advantage. That's where WebOS Pivot comes in.
HP introduced the feature of its HP App Catalog today for the first time. Pivot is essentially a magazine, published every month, with its app store. It will highlight featured applications, interesting developers, and popular apps.
Pivot will have articles and photos from "journalists and photographers affiliated with leading publications," and guest columns from "notable" writers, according to the company's release. All of the content will be about, you guessed it, apps. The content will be tailored by geographic region where HP devices are available and published in English, French, German, and Spanish.
Several questions probably pop to mind. Like, what does HP know about content publishing? But even more importantly, why go through all the trouble with a monthly publication for apps? … Read more
These days, IT knowledge isn't just good to have, but apparently a must-have even for pre-schoolers. So, instead of spending money on a laptop-like toy with a tiny LCD screen this holiday season, why not get a real child-proof Netbook that will last the kid through his destructive years?
The PeeWee Pivot 2.0--a follow-up to the PeeWee Pivot Laptop Tablet--is a convertible laptop running on the previous-generation Atom N450 1.66GHz processor and integrated graphics chip. While $599 is pretty expensive for these specifications (considering a similar Netbook retails for about $300 these days), what sets the PeeWee Pivot 2.0 apart are its ruggedized features, 10.1-inch resistive touch screen and prebundled education software.
It even comes with a spill-resistant keyboard and accelerometer for auto screen rotation. This minilaptop was tested to survive drops up to 1.6 feet, which should help keep it ticking in the hands of most children. … Read more
The Microsoft Office 2010 beta was released Wednesday, and though there aren't many major changes from the Technical Preview from July, there are some new features and enhancements worthy of note. This post will focus on the changes to the beta, but if you want a larger overview of new features across all the applications, check out our rundown of the Microsoft Office 2010 Technical Preview.
Outlook is the cornerstone of many companies' communications and daily schedules, and as such received a lot of enhancements in Office 2010. In the beta version, Microsoft has added even more ways to connect with coworkers and contacts. The new Outlook Social Connector is an added information pane that gives you more info about everyday contacts. Once set up, you'll be able to view pictures of contacts (even in large cc lists), previous conversations, attachments shared, meetings attended, and much more. Though not complete in the beta, Microsoft says the Outlook Social Connector will soon be able to connect with social Web sites like Facebook and Twitter, so you can follow status updates and more all in one location.
The Office 2010 Technical Preview introduced the Back Stage view, an enhanced File menu (accessed from the Office Icon tab) that lets you manage your documents, set permissions, and share your projects with colleagues. In the beta version Microsoft has decided to return to calling it the File menu, but with all the functionality and flexibility of Back Stage. They also have made it possible to access all the other tabs in the Ribbon, which were previously inaccessible in the Technical Preview, so you can get to the information you want quickly without the added step of exiting Back Stage.… Read more
It's mobile or bust for cable operators that seem to be trying anything and everything to get into the wireless market.
One of the biggest shifts over the next decade in the cable market is likely to be a move toward wireless services. As cable operators face stiff competition from phone companies, cable operators large and small are looking for ways to take their services mobile.
Brian Roberts, CEO of Comcast, the largest cable operator in the U.S., talked up his company's investment in a new joint venture to blanket the country with 4G, or fourth-generation, wireless … Read more
Zoho continues its quest to build the most comprehensive online productivity suite, adding support for macros and pivot tables in its spreadsheet, Zoho Sheet.
The new version includes support for Visual Basic (VB), the scripting language used for Microsoft Excel for macros, said Raju Vegesna, Zoho's chief evangelist. Zoho built its VB engine independent from any Microsoft code, he noted.
"This means your existing macros will now work in Zoho Sheet. This makes Zoho Sheet the first online spreadsheet to understand macros. Even OpenOffice doesn't understand VB macros," Vegesna said in a note about the new … Read more
Comcast said Wednesday it has changed its mind on a joint wireless communication venture with Sprint-Nextel, according to a Reuters report.
The service, called Pivot, was begun as a partnership between the cable giant, Sprint, Time Warner, Cox Communications, and Advanced/Newhouse Communications in 2006. It offered a package of services, including TV, broadband, and both a landline and wireless phone service.
"We decided to discontinue the service because the product required a lot of operational complexities, so we decided it wasn't the approach we wanted for the long term," said a Comcast spokesperson.
Well, that's … Read more