Thursday, April 30, 2009

HP Offers Atom-Based Budget Media Sever: LX195
In what was very likely an "oops" moment, online retailer eCOST.com listed a brand-new version of Hewlett-Packard's MediaSmart Server line, the budget-minded LX195, before HP ever publicly acknowledged the product's existence. Rumors and unsubstantiated photos of the LX195 have been appearing online these last few weeks, but yesterday’s premature product announcement from eCOST.com was the first real-world indication of the product's imminent appearance...

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Metered Broadband Pricing Coming Soon
One of the key messages that members of the American Cable Association (ACA) are trying to get out is that we will definitely see metered bandwidth pricing at some point in the near future. ACA members are meeting this week outside of Washington, D.C., and they want us all to know that consumption-based billing for broadband usage will be a necessity in order for them to maintain infrastructures that can handle the growth of bandwidth-hogging high-definition (HD) video distribution...

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Time Magazine's Top 100 Poll Hacked For the Lulz
In what some might consider the most visible Internet-based prank to date, frequenters of the 4chan image-based bulletin board site's "/b/ - Random" imageboard claim to have rigged Time Magazine's Top 100 online poll, so as to render 4chan's founder, "moot," the winner. And even though some fairly convincing circumstantial evidence points to a hack of epic proportions, Time Magazine is accepting the poll's results as official, and has declared moot as the "new owner of the title World's Most Influential Person...

Monday, April 27, 2009

Techliciousness Blog:
The Best-Laid Schemes of Tech Reviewers Often Go Awry

My apologies to Robert Burns for butchering a line from his poem, To A Mouse, On Turning Her Up In Her Nest With The Plough, but the line really does convey quite well the unexpected frustrations I frequently encounter as a reviewer of technology products. All too often, when I get a brand-new product in to test and review, the product doesn't quite behave as expected. I suppose that this is par for the course when you are constantly working with brand-new products that often utilize cutting-edge technologies; but even after doing this for almost 20 years (and you thought my profile picture was in black and white? No, after doing this for so long, I really am that ashen-faced and my hair really is that gray), I still manage to get surprised whenever a newly-minted tech product misbehaves...
Flip Ultra Pocket Camcorder Now in HD
Small, point-and-shoot video cameras have become increasingly popular recently, not just for their small form-factor and ease of use, but also because of their relatively low price tag. Perhaps no line of products exudes the aesthetic of these palm-sized camcorders more than that of Pure Digital Technologies' Flip Video pocket camcorders. Despite the popularity of the Flip Video cameras and the bevy of copycat products from rival manufacturers, Pure Digital Technologies chose to do a stealth launch of it latest camcorder, the Flip Ultra HD...

Friday, April 24, 2009

Tomorrow's Computers Might Talk In Their Sleep
With the increased focus on managing energy costs and reducing human impact on the environment in the form of carbon emissions, we're being encouraged now more than ever to turn our PCs off or let them sleep when they are not in use. The problem is, our digital lives are increasingly dependent on maintaining active network connections for communications, information dissemination, file sharing, and other similar activities that are not possible when a system is off or asleep. As a result, many leave their computers running around the clock, even though the systems remain idle most of that time, consuming needless power...

Thursday, April 23, 2009

PBS Launches Online Streaming Video Portal
The Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) is a little late to the game, but it has just launched an official online video portal where users can watch streaming video from a wide selection of PBS shows. Not that PBS hasn't offered some of its shows online before this, such as NOVA, but this marks the first time that PBS has consolidated a significant selection of its current and past shows into one place, accessible online to anyone with a broadband Internet connection--much as many of the major commercial networks have already done, such as Fox or ABC...

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Warner Offers HD-DVD to Blu-ray Title Upgrades
Early adopters get to sample new products and technologies long before everybody else. But the price they pay for the opportunity and the bragging rights is often spending a lot more money than if they had only waited longer, potentially problematic hardware that hasn't had all the bugs worked out yet, and (in a worst-case-scenario) sometimes investing in a technology that has a very short shelf life...
Techliciousness Blog:
So Long, AT&T CallVantage, I Will Miss You

A dirty little secret for anyone who ever called me on my home phone or for anyone that I called from my home phone, is that my home phone is actually not a landline--nor has it been for a few years now. My home phone is actually VoIP-based--through AT&T CallVantage. I had the opportunity to test all of the major consumer VoIP services when they first started rolling out in the early to mid 2000's, and I found that AT&T CallVantage had the best mix of performance and features. It wasn't the cheapest--but it was still a lot less expensive than traditional landline-based local and long-distance phone service. I was nevertheless impressed, and I chose to eschew my landline for an AT&T CallVantage VoIP line...

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Review: Nanovision Mimo 7" LCD Monitors
DisplayLink support has been showing up in a growing collection of display products, such as monitors, projectors, docking stations, and adapters (such as DVI-to-USB adapters). One of the display types that DisplayLink folks have been talking about for a while now, are small, 7-inch LCD panels--similar in size and shape to a digital photo frame. Such a small-format display could potentially meet the needs of those who seek the extra screen real-estate, but who either can't afford to buy another full-sized monitor or perhaps don't have the room for one. These 7-inch displays could also be the perfect accessory for those who constantly monitor stock or news feeds, or for those who like to keep their IM clients or social-networking feeds close at hand, but not necessarily taking center stage...
Review: Free sites help you manage your money
These personal financial management sites will help you manage your finances, set a budget and get out of debt...
Now that you've finally filed your 2008 taxes, how about starting out on a new foot and getting your finances organized? Next year when tax time rolls around, you could be sitting pretty while others sort through shoeboxes full of receipts. There is no shortage of places to go to seek financial wisdom on how best to manage your money, but many people find that the best and least-expensive approach is to manage it themselves...
Sharp's New Netbook Has a Touch-Screen Trackpad
If you thought the Lenovo ThinkPad W700ds laptop was an impressive design win with its secondary, slide-out display, then you ain't seen nothing yet... Today, Sharp has announced the latest addition to its Mebius line of portables--the Mebius PC-NJ70A netbook--which features a trackpad that also happens to function as a 4-inch multi-touch-capable LCD-based display...

Monday, April 20, 2009

FBI Uses Spyware to Capture Cyber Criminals
It doesn't carry quite the same weight as the Warren Commission report and it might even contain more redactions than the Nixon tape transcripts, but recently-released FBI documents obtained by Wired News via the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) prove that the FBI has been using its own version of spyware for years to catch cyber-criminals. The spyware goes by the moniker, "Computer and Internet Protocol Address Verifier" (CIPAV), and has apparently has been in use by the FBI since at least 2004...

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Study States Spam Contributes to Global Warming
We knew that spam e-mails drained our time, resources, and productivity, but apparently spam is also contributing to global warming. Security-technology company, McAfee, and the technology-research company, ICF International, have just released a joint study that claims that the 62 trillion spam e-mails sent in 2008 generated approximately 33 terawatt hours (TWh) of energy per year..

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Ambidextrous SideWinder X3 Budget Gaming Mouse
Microsoft has just announced its new SideWinder X3 gaming mouse, which marks Microsoft's first SideWinder mouse that can be used by both right and left-handed gamers. Not only is the mouse ambidextrous, but it also comes in at the relatively inexpensive price of $39.95, which should make gamers on a budget very happy...

Monday, April 13, 2009

Twitter Hit With Four Worms Over Weekend
Just when you thought it was safe to tweet again, another Twitter worm has reared its ugly head. In case you were busy hunting for Easter eggs or biting the heads off chocolate bunnies this weekend, and didn't have a chance to tweet or read other folks' tweets on Twitter, the micro-blogging social-networking site was hit with no less than four different worms over the course of the last 48 hours or so...

Friday, April 10, 2009

Apple Soon to Hit 1 Billion App Store Downloads
If there is any doubt as to the popularity of iPhone Apps, then the fact that Apple is about to mark the one-billionth iPhone App download should put any potential skepticism to rest. At the moment, Apple estimates that over 929-million apps have been downloaded since the App Store first launched less than a year ago, on July 10, 2008. This means that from the beginning of the App Store's launch until now, an average of about 3.39-million apps per day have been downloaded...

Thursday, April 9, 2009

New Conficker Worm Variant Spotted
We had all been warned: April 1 was the day that the infamous DOWNAD/Conficker worm was supposed to activate and do its dastardly deeds, whatever they might be. The day came and went without a whimper of Conficker-initiated destruction, although that didn't stop countless media outlets from reporting on it (HotHardware included). Conficker did generate 50,000 domain names and began contacting the domains--as predicted--but no damage was done to infected systems, at least as far as researchers could tell. Other than that, Conficker stayed relatively quiet... That is, until this last Tuesday night...

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

The iriver P7 PMP Transcodes Video For You
This last January, iriver made quite a splash when it showed off its 2009 lineup of portable multimedia players (PMPs) at CES. Tech journalists swamped the iriver booth like a fast-moving school of fish, trying to get a closer look at the prototype models that were on display--especially the P7, which is the flagship of the line. Pricing and availability were still unknown, leaving us high-and-dry, waiting for the wave of products to eventually stream into stores...

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Segway and GM Unveil a Two-Person Urban Vehicle
Just because General Motors (GM) might be hurting from the recession, does not mean that the company still can't invest in R&D and pursue future technologies. The company's latest endeavor, however, is a bit of a departure from its popular SUVs and other gas-guzzling vehicles. GM is partnering with none other than Segway to develop an electric-powered, two-wheeled, two seat, urban transportation device...

Monday, April 6, 2009

Brando HDD Dock Adds USB Hub and Stereo Speakers
Chances are that just about any type of USB peripheral you could possibly image--and perhaps even a few that defy description (such as a USB Ferris Wheel Phone Stand?!?)--are already being made by the wacky creative brains at Brando Workshop. Some of their products are not the most practical, while others are designed to serve useful needs. Today, Brando Workshop announced two new USB-based products: The USB Illuminated Bamboo Mini Fountain and the SATA HDD Dock Station Combo Stereo Speaker + Hub...

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Workers Are More Productive When Surfing the Web
In today's uncertain economic climate, many are looking over their shoulders, wondering if they're next on the list to get sacked as their employers continue to downsize. So not only are workers typically on their best behavior at work these days, but they're also looking for an edge that can make them even more productive, and therefore that much more valuable and seemingly irreplaceable. In a stroke of utter irony, a researcher from the University of Melbourne in Australia is claiming that workers' productivity can be improved by engaging in a behavior that many thought could actually get them fired: slacking off on the Internet during work hours...

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Zer01 to Offer $70 Unlimited Voice and Data Plan
Zer01 Communications is a new mobile phone service provider that promises to offer a nationwide unlimited voice and data plan for $69.95 per month (including taxes and fees), with no contracts and using unlocked phones. These are truly unlimited plans, without any qualifying quotation marks around the word "unlimited"--you won't find any data caps here. The reason why Zer01 can do this is that the company is taking a very different and innovative approach with its new service that actually bypasses the traditional "carrier circuit-switched channels," and instead sends "voice communications through a VoIP system and onto a virtual private network that accesses the Internet...