2003 ELECTRONICA-RADIO HOLIDAY GUIDE
Cool, cutting edge tech gifts for the geek in everyone
The TAPWAVE ZODIAC is a Palm PDA/mp3 player/personal video player/3D gamer. This sucker is SWEET. It has a 3.8" diagonal hi-res screen, fantastic stereo sound via headphone jack or onboard stereo speakers, built-in joystick and firing buttons, long rechargeable battery life of up to 10 hours. Comes with 2 Secure Digital storage slots for up 1gig of additional storage and up to 128 MB on board. And with compression technology as it is today, you can store an entire film (in divx or mp4) on 256MB SD card! Gaming can be done via electronic software download or by Sd or MMC card purchase.
$399.00 for 128 MB model.
Returning from last year's list, the iPod will soon have more storage capacity than the Library of Congress. Who can listen to 10,000 songs in your pocket anyway? Who cares. The iPod is cool. The iPod is also now available for both MAC and PC, which means it's a gift for everyone.
$299 for 10 GB (2,500 songs), $399 for 20 GB (5,000 songs) and $499 for 40 GB (10,000 songs).
iTunes. The first legit mp3 downloading service. And you can burn to a CD. And now that it's out for Windows users, iTunes controls a hefty 80+% of the mp3 download market. And they offer GIFT CERTIFICATES, so now you can give the gift of music to your favorite music downloader!
Single downloads for .99, $9.95 for an entire album
The Digital Video Recorder is one of those technologies which you can't remember what your life was like before you had it. The ability to pause live TV, skip commercials, one touch recording of programming? What's not to love? And when you can watch a 3 hour football game in 45 minutes, a DVR is E-Rs must have gift for the holidays. How else are you going to catch up on all the Bowl games on New Year's Day?
TIVO as low as $199 (plus monthly or lifetime fee). REPLAYTV $499 with lifetime subscription included.
HAUPPAGE MEDIA MVP
The Hauppauge MediaMVP (MVP standing for Music, Videos, and Pictures) can stream MP3, MPEG-1, MPEG-2, JPEG, GIF, as well as music playlists from MusicMatch, Winamp, and Windows Media. And can do it to your TV.
ARCHOS AV380 PERSONAL VIDEO RECORDER
A Serious contender for the title of iPod killer. Why? Because it plays movies and mp3s. The ARCHOS VIDEO AV380 combines a modular MPEG-4 video player (80GB hard drive) and recorder(1), MP3 music player and recorder, digital camera and camcorder(2), digital photo wallet, and data storage in a compact device that fits in the palm of your hand.
SONY DCR-IP1 MICROMV HANDYCAM
The DCR-IP1 MicroMV Handycam from Sony is not so remarkable with respect to features as it is to its size. The MicroMV Handycam provides you the basics: digital zoom, MPEG1 compressed audio/video, power/supply & charger, S-Video connection, iLINK interface, Memory Stick Duo/Memory Stick PRO storage format (comes with 8MB Memory Stick DUO media), MovieShaker video editing software, and A/V and USB cables. The camera also takes still images. Nothing ground-breaking here, but for the fact that this camera weighs about 8 oz. and is slightly larger than a deck of cards. You can slip this baby into your pocket and have access to instant video. $1,199.99 at http://www.sonystyle.com
SONY DSC-P10 CYBER-SHOT
The DSC-P10 Cyber-shot is a smart little point and shoot camera from Sony. Reminding me of the Canon Elph in size, but slightly lighter in weight, the DSC-P10 boasts a whopping 5.0 megapixel resolution. My soon-to-be mother-in-law has one of these and it is pretty slick. Little sound files alert you to certain functions of the camera, for example, you will hear the sound of a more traditional shutter when the picture is taken. The DSC-P10 also has a stutter flash to help reduce red-eye. All the pictures taken this Thanksgiving were free of "demon eye" images. Downloading is a snap with a USB 2.0 interface, and comes with a 32MB Sony SmartStick. One of the really cool things about this camera is its ability to record short MPEG movies. And if you forget where you were when you took a picture, no worries - the DSC-P10 allows one to make a voice recording for individual images so that you can leave yourself a memo about a particular picture.
$449.95 after $50 rebate at http://www.sonystyle.com
PLEXTOR PX-708A MULTI-FORMAT DVD BURNER
Become a patriot in the media revolution and get yourself the Plextor PX-708A multi-format burner. It writes 8x DVD+R and 4x DVD-R, rewrites 4x DVD+RW and 2x DVD-RW, and reads 12x DVD-ROM. While you're sticking it to the MPAA, stick it to RIAA as well. The PX-708A also supports 40x CD-R, 24X CD-RW, and reads 40x CD-ROM. The drive creates a 4.7 GB DVD disc in about 8 minutes. While other manufacturers such as Pioneer and TDK offer other formats, including DVD-RAM, the Plextor name is synonymous with quality and reliability. Plextor is a favorite of mine, and it will be a favorite of yours, too. The PX-708A is an internal drive ($249.95 at Plextor.com); the PX-708UF is an external drive with Firewire/USB available in 12 colors but does not appear to be available at the time of writing.
JAMES BOND STEALTH CAMERA
Literally screaming "stocking stuffer," the OFFICIAL James Bond Stealth Camera gives shutterbugs a "license to thrill." Features include High Resolution Digital memory holding up to 150 pictures @ 640 x 480, or 310 pictures @ 320 x 240 resolution. A "Surveillance Mode" for recording images at preset time intervals for up to 19 days, and video Clip Recording with Sound of up to 30 seconds in duration. Zippo-Style metal case. USB Plug-n-Play for easy use
PC & Mac Compatible $99.99
Cue Bond Theme.
VIEWSONIC 21.3" LCD
Free up some deskspace and gain real-estate on your virtual desktop with ViewSonic's 21.3" LCD display panel. The panel boasts a thin edge, so that when you configure multiple panels together, there is little impedence with your view of the full desktop. Unlike most other manufacturers, ViewSonic offers a display stand which will hold all your monitors in different configurations. I personally like the three-panel configuration. I used to use the 19" panel at work, and I can attest to the quality of the display, its clean simple design, and its reliability. As far as resolution goes, it is top-notch. Controls are easy to use, and installation is a snap. You won't be disappointed with this panel. $1438.29 at Amazon.com.
LOGITECH CORDLESS MX DUO
Cut the cord to the technological aspect of your life. No, I'm not talking about your landline. I'm talking about your mouse and keyboard. I have been using a cordless keyboard/mouse combination for almost three years. Aside from the "cool" factor, I love the fact that there are no more wires running off the back of my desk. Logitech's latest entry in the cordless I/O segment is the MX Duo. Sporting a very sleek and sexy design, the ergonomic MX700 mouse is not only rechargeable, but extremely repsonsive with its optical reader. The mouse also features several programmable buttons to quickly dispatch repetitive tasks. The Elite keyboard features several programmable shortcut buttons to provide easy access to frequently used programs, and sports an aerodynamic design for easy throwing when your best friend frags you in the last moment to win the latest match of Unreal Tournament. Although this particular model does not come in a split-keyboard model, the ease of setup, reliability, and quality that comes with the Logitech name more than make up for this oversight. $99.95 for the combo, $69.95 for the MX700 only at Logitech.com's online store.
more to follow.
Saturday, November 29, 2003
2003 ELECTRONICA-RADIO HOLIDAY GUIDE
Thursday, November 27, 2003
HAPPY TURKEY DAY!
iTUNES ALL CRACKED UP
Jon Lech Johansen, 19, of Norway has hacked his way around Apple's MPEG-4 protection scheme for iTunes music. You may remember him as the guy who cracked the MPAA's DeCSS protection algorithm for DVDs. His latest accomplishment legally plays the music in Quicktime, while a program running in parallel captures unlocked data, producing a perfectly identical copy. He has made the program available as open-source freeware. His feat underscores the problem with digital copyright measures - as soon as someone comes up with a new protection algorithm, the hackers come right back to beat it.
IS THIS THE PLAYSTATION 3?
THE GIZ seems to think so.
Wednesday, November 26, 2003
COMING FRIDAY - ELECTRONICA-RADIO'S 2003 HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE!
IT'S WEDNESDAY, DO YOU KNOW WHERE YOUR TURKEY IS?
MESSAGE HEARD LOUD AND CLEAR
Barely a few days after iPod's Dirty Secret hit the internet, Apple seems to have gotten the message regarding the iPod battery sitch. Now they are offering iPod battery replacement for an affordable "C" note.
Dontcha just love the power of the internet? Now if we could only get Stevie to understand that the word "care" means in AppleCare.
Already voted one of E-Rs Year End best, the Archos AV320 just keeps getting better with a camera attachment which turns the personal video player into a digital camcorder! The AVCam can store up to 40,000 3.3-megapixel photos and record up to 80 hours of MPEG-4 video.
$199.95 for the AVCam attachment, $599 for the AV320
Meanwhile, here's something fun to try over the holiday weekend: KITE AERIAL PHOTOGRAPHY.
A VIDEOGAME OF ONE
The US Army has released the MAC and LINUX versions of AMERICA'S ARMY: SPECIAL FORCES, a video game which focuses on the war on terrorism.
Now you can log on, travel to far distant lands, meet strange and interesting people ... and kill them.
COMING SOON TO A HANDHELD NEAR YOU
The latest iPod killer contender is the Linux powered Avias MEC Station Deluxe. It plays DivX, MPEG1, MPEG2 and MPEG4 video, as well as MP3 audio. It's 6.4" TFT 16:9 Color Screen (that's WIDESCREEN baby!) comes with either with a 20GB or 40GB Hard Drive, and both a USB2.0 and a Firewire interface.
No price yet or delivery date, but it looks pretty sweet. And it begs the question ... what is APPLE waiting for?
Utah Senator and Entertainment Industry Lackey Orrin Hatch wants to give the RIAA and the MPAA a permanent ANTI-TRUST exemption.
Considering Hollywood's spending habits on behalf of the distinquished gentleman from Utah, I'd say it's "money well spent."
Jeez, Orrin, why not give them diplomatic immunity while you're at it?
HAPPY THANKSGIVING FROM ALL OF US AT ELECTRONICA-RADIO
Tuesday, November 25, 2003
As the name suggests, this virus is a backdoor Trojan Horse that arrives in your mailbox as an attachment called private.zip. Click here for more information.
This is a worm that attempts to spread itself through the Kazaa and ICQ file-sharing networks. Click here for more information.
Intel announced their smallest chip yet, based on a 65-nanometer fabrication process. Although the chip will not be available to the public until around 2005, the advance provides continued impetus for Moore's Law which states that chip speeds double roughly every two years. For Intel, the advance means more efficient manufacturing; for the consumer, faster processors and memory.
PUSHERS, BEWARE OF... ROBOT?
Engineers at Georgia Tech have developed a machine that can "smell" drugs. While it has certain advantages over dogs, don't look for it to replace canines any time soon. After all, canines can catch a frisbee... could Aibo have a future as a Robo-Cop?
COMING FRIDAY - ELECTRONICA-RADIO'S 2003 HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE!
IF IT'S TUESDAY, THIS MUST BE CYBERSPACE
DUDE, YOUR GETTING TECH SUPPORT!
After the cacaphony of complaints, Dell is moving some of their tech support back home (which is a sure sign that they are) ... seems the notion of customer service got lost in the translation.
"We felt a little noise and angst from our customers, and we decided to make some changes" said Gary Cotshott, vice president of Dell's services division.
WILL THAT BE THE RIGHT HAND OR FOREHEAD?
Applied Digital Solutions wants to put an RFID chip under your skin so you don't have to carry an ATM card. An eternity in hell is thrown in at no extra charge.
IT'S NOT JUST FOR POCKET PROTECTORS ANYMORE
31 percent of Americans like the hi-tech lifestyle.
INKHA ... DINKA ... DINK
King's College London has a new receptionist - say hello to INKHA your digital robotic assistant.
And she can't file sexual harrassment suits either.
Meanwhile - it checks your mail, turns on the TV and dances with your kids.
This week, Yahoo debuts it's HOLIDAY SHOPPING GUIDE. Ours comes Friday.
COMING SOON TO A PC NEAR YOU
SBC YAHOO DSL wants you to download movies.
IPOD'S DIRTY SECRET
Not if, but WHEN the iPod battery goes bad, it'll probably be cheaper to buy a new iPod. $255 plus delivery charges to replace the ipod battery! SURPRISE!
Oh, and first generation iPods won't work with Windows, too.
JACK'O SAYS HE DIDN'T DO IT
Not the Jack'o you're thinking.
ANOTHER GREAT MOD OF THE WEEK:
7" In-Dash Car Computer!
Touchscreen in-dash computer includes: an mp3, divx player,and gps!
YOUR TAX DOLLARS AT WORK: WHAT ARE WORDS FOR?
The L.A. County Board of Supervisors has decreed that we aren't to use the terms "slave" and "master" anymore, which should prove fun for the computer industry.
Meanwhile, potholes abound.
Monday, November 24, 2003
COMING FRIDAY - ELECTRONICA-RADIO'S 2003 HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE!
With tools like Google's Toolbar able to block them, think popup ads are going the way of the do-do? Don't count on it. As MSN Tech says, "Companies behind the pop-ups are signing up brand-name advertisers, winning court battles and rolling in cash."
IT'S GOING, GOING ... IT'S, GONE!
Check out Scientific America's tech of hitting home runs.
NEW ZOO REVUE, COMING RIGHT AT YOU
This year, COMDEX has a Robotic Petting Zoo.
ADVERTISING ON A BUDGET
Can afford a big budget ad with Britney? Thought Equity can help with recycled print and media ads. "We're finding a market of people with $5,000 to $8,000 (budgets) that nobody wants to take on," Schaff said.
IV in `04
Intel has set a target date of 2004 for the 4 GHz Pentium 4. (via Leoville)
Question - what happens when intel releases the Pentium 5? Does it become PENTIUM SQUARED?
SPAM, WONDERFUL SPAM
The House has passed the DO NOT SPAM LIST legislation - 392-5 (I love it when politicians suffer as much as the people, all of a sudden, they can find a way to be bi-partisan), the Senate is sure to pass it this week, and "W" has said he'll sign it. But will it do any good?
Meanwhile, a silicon valley programmer is facing five years in the big house for "spam rage." Seems he threatened a Canadian spammer with Anthrax - which the Department of Homeland Security takes a very dim view of.
MOD OF THE WEEK: FINDING STEVE-O
What to do with that obsolete G4 Cube.
Starting today, federal laws take effect that allow individuals to "port" their cell phone and land line numbers from their existing carrier to a different cellular service provider. So, if you'd like to cut the cord on your land line and go completely cellular, you can do so without having to lose your number and go through all the hassle of changing your number. Same if you already have a cell number and want to change from, say, Sprint to Verizon.
FROM JAPAN, WITH LOVE
Many of the electronics that are just now available at your local electronics were probably released in Japan at least 6 months ago. If you just can't wait to have that brand new, next-generation Sony VAIO laptop, then go check out Dynamism.com. They order their hardware from Japan, load the US version of Windows, and even provide support!
SHOW SOME PDA
If you are thinking about upgrading your PDA, or perhaps you are looking to buy one as a gift for someone this holiday season, you have a lot from which to choose. Fortunately, CNET has a holiday shopping guide to help you out. Santa, if you're reading, I have an eye on the HP iPaq 4150...
UPDATE: JAMES PICK? THE TAPWAVE ZODIAC - This sucker is SUWEET!