The Taiwanese company today is officially introducing its "PR200 Crystal Collection," a luxury laptop most notable for its pearl-white finish and 120 crystals encircling the MSI logo. This blanco edition appears to complete the entire spectrum for MSI, which debuted a black version more than a year ago before going through various other colors and finishes. Inside, it features a 12.1-inch display, an Intel Core … Read more
Getting legal clearance for samples and covers can be a real problem. For samples, if the copyright owner of the sampled song discovers you've used it without permission, they can sue to receive a portion of the proceeds--even if the sample's unrecognizable. Even getting permission doesn't always save you, as the Beastie Boys discovered. An article in a recent issue of SSA explores the issue in detail and concurs with Beck's assessement in 2005 that the legal issues with sampling will basically kill the practice in mainstream commercial music.
Covers generally require permission from the publisher, … Read more
Despite the unfortunate juxtaposition of the two campaigns, Sony can hardly be singled out for the superficial marketing ploy of its "Red Collection." February is barely a week away, and companies will be coming out in droves to peddle their wares as Valentine gifts. (Apple announced its own entry with a new Nano, albeit pink instead of red.)
Sony's offering is a $1,000 package that comprises … Read more
I got the rundown on CollectiveX's new 2.0 product, Groupsites, yesterday. It's a customizable workgroup and social network site, and it's got some nice features. There's a lot on the service that's quite good. I would have no problem recommending Groupsites to someone who wants to build a professional or a social site. I don't think the service will bite or frustrate its users. But it might not excite too many people, either.
The big selling point of today's version 2.0 launch is that login credentials can work across its sites. Say you're a member of a professional group for work, a social club, and a parents' group. With Groupsites, you only have to log on once to get access to all the sites. Moreover, you only have to create your profile once, and if you like, you can create both business and social profiles, and select which one you want to use on each site you're a member of.
The service offers the groups themselves some nice features: Forums, a group calendar, a file library (although with limited storage), an email broadcast manager, and an activity log not unlike the Facebook mini-feed. Groupsite navigation is simple and clear. And there are some clever touches. For example, when users are setting up their professional profiles, the system can automatically write a bio based upon questions that they answer.
As a business tool (which it was originally designed for), the service is solid, if basic. There's no wiki and no open API to build custom apps. The API is 30 days out, CEO Clarence Wooten told me. In the meantime, you can put custom elements on pages, Myspace style.
The service will be compared to Ning (review), which is fair. Ning is a great tool for building mini social nets, and it's being used for both personal and professional groups. Wooten says Groupsites could also be called a "build your own Facebook," but until the Groupsites user base grows quite a bit, that's more aspirational than accurate. The service can also be compared to Microsoft SharePoint, Yahoo Groups, and Google Groups.
I like Groupsites, but its free service isn't radically better than its competitors. Business users looking to control access and branding, though, might want to seriously consider it. You can redirect custom domains to Groupsites, and for reasonable fees, you can strip out the default ads and skin the site to look just the way you like.
What I hope you will agree on is the new look for the Top 5. The CNET video labs worked day and night to pop out a cleaner, more refreshing presentation for the list. Tell us what you think about that, too. So here are the easy steps for expression your outrage/agreement at my top 5 and its new look.
Step One: Watch the Top … Read more
Mother's Day alert! While not categorically perceived as die-hard techies, moms can be quick to pick up new tech tricks when it suits their interests. Check out this collection of mom-friendly downloads sure to make your mom forgive all of those forgotten Mother's Days of the past.
For cross-stitch crazy matriarchs, check out this handy stitch-pattern designer and creator. If your mom is of the green-thumbed variety, she'll love this garden planner. And for the budget-conscious, save money by giving your mom this virtual desktop flower bouquet.
Flickr was created by a small Canadian development team in 2002 before being acquired by Yahoo a year later. Many other photo sites (including Yahoo Photos) are easier to use, but none offer Flickr's interesting features or its cohesive community of enthusiasts.
Adding your photos to Flickr
First step: Get your photos into the service. Flickr has a few options to get photos from your camera into your account, the easiest one being a little uploader app you can install on your PC or Mac (there's also a Linux version.) When it's installed on a PC, you can right-click on any photo and send it straight to Flickr. You also can use this uploader to create albums (Flickr calls albums sets) for your pictures. You can install software that lets you publish from any folder in Windows XP, without the need to use the uploading program. If you're using a Mac, there's also a plug-in for iPhoto.
If you're not keen on downloading a piece of software, Flickr lets you upload six individual photos at a time. This might work for some weekend shots, but if you've got more than 20 shots it's worth trying out the batch uploader. We recommend using the downloader software, or if you've got Yahoo's Widgets Engine installed, the latest version comes with a widget that doubles as a photo viewer and uploading tool.
Continue reading to learn how to tag and organize photos, add notes, geotag, create albums, find out if you need a premium membership, and our list of Flickr users worth checking out.
It must be nice to own a phone from Vertu, maker of handsets for the rich and famous. For one thing, you have to be able to afford one. (A Signature Standard platinum model lists for for $31,850.) Second, you may need connections just to track it down, as only hundreds of models are made in particular lines.
Now Vertu has finished the last of its "Racetrack Legends" series, completing the set with the "Monaco" and "Nurburgring" editions, in yellow and titanium gray, respectively. Like others in the line--limited to 1,000 phones … Read more