Digital audio is great--especially if you've got a multigigabyte music collection sitting on your computer or you subscribe to an "all you can eat" music service like Rhapsody. The problem, for a lot of people, is that they're stuck listening to all that great music on the tinny speakers of their computer--or perhaps patching the laptop into their living room stereo system. Dedicated audio streamers have helped somewhat, but they have tiny little screens, which--like docked iPods--aren't very useful if you're sitting on a sofa across the room. And the best solution to date--the excellent Sonos Digital Music System--costs a prohibitive $1,000. Enter Logitech's new Squeezebox Duet: the $400 network digital audio streamer employs a winning handheld remote with a brilliant color screen (not unlike an iPod) that lets you navigate your entire music collection--including some online services and the majority of free Internet radio stations--from the palm of your hand, even while you hear the music from the big speakers of your home stereo. … Read more
With 2008 under way, Power Downloader knew it was time to get back to work. His first order of business would be to sift through e-mails that had piled up over the holidays. After scanning through the messages from various contacts around the world, Power came upon an e-mail from Francois Foto, one of Power's most trusted contacts from France.
After wishing Power Downloader a happy new year, Francois Foto mentioned that one of his new year's resolutions was to use his vast photo library in a some sort of project. One idea he thought of was to … Read more
A small New York-based social media start-up called FindMeOn intends to send Google a letter asking that it change the name of its OpenSocial initiative, CNET News.com has learned. FindMeOn founded a project called OpenSN (Open Social Networking) in 2006, and according to founder and CEO Jonathan Vanasco, the similarity of its name to Google's newer project is getting in the way of business.
The company also has tentative plans for legal action.
FindMeOn, which develops technology to aggregate profile data from various social-networking sites, created OpenSN as a way to convert a profile from one social network … Read more
Like many companies, Netconcepts recently celebrated the holidays with a little staff get together and mystery gift exchange. There were the usual, but always popular gifts of coffee, tea, chocolates, and wine, as well as a very popular Atari console ... and as we did the "you can open one or steal one" gift rule, it certainly was the most fought over gift.
Unfortunately due to timing, Stephan wasn't able to make it as he was out visiting our friends in Seattle and participating in a great SEOmoz Whiteboard Friday otherwise he might have been torn between the Atari and the unique gift that follows and shows that even search geeks have a sense of humor (twisted as it may be).
Every search marketer has their bag of tricks and tools, but why settle for a bag when you can have a kit ... or more accurately, a box with built in carrying handle? And at $15 or less, the cost limit for our gift exchange, within range of even the budding search marketer.
What comes in a Search Marketer's Kit? I thought you'd never ask. Luckily, each item in the kit comes with its own identification tag.… Read more
Microsoft has been trying to work its way into the living room for some time. Now the company is trying to target the most easily wooed addresses: those belonging to its employees.
The Seattle Post-Intelligencer has an interesting write-up on how Microsoft is letting some of its workers try out elaborate digital living room set-ups to get a better sense of how its technology plays inside actual homes.
It's a start. But, of course, how Microsoft workers enjoy their own technology is often vastly different than how ordinary consumers do.
Microsoft also does plenty of field testing of its … Read more
It's been hinted at for months, but Sling Media has finally officially confirmed that a BlackBerry version of the company's SlingPlayer software is on deck. The software--which allows live TV to be streamed from any Slingbox model--is designed for broadband-enabled (3G wireless or Wi-Fi) BlackBerry smartphones. The software will cost the same one-time $30 fee as the similar versions already available for Windows Mobile, Palm, and Symbian phones. Sling will be demoing an early version of the software on the Pearl 8120 at CES next week, and the company hopes to have it ready for public release by … Read more
Sling Media has unveiled the Slingbox PRO-HD, the first version of its video place-shifting boxes designed to stream true high-definition video. The catch? Due to the massive bandwidth requirements, HD video can't be streamed over the Internet--just to other locations on a home network. Still, that means that PCs running the SlingPlayer software--or TVs attached to Sling's soon-to-be-reannounced SlingCatcher--should be able to view a high-def stream at up to 1080i resolution with 5.1 surround audio. (To date, some Slingbox models have been able to accept HD video, but the output stream was limited to DVD-level standard-definition resolution.) … Read more
A data import feature being tested by contact management site Plaxo hasn't gone over too well with social network Facebook.
At least one alpha tester of the new script has had his Facebook account disabled, due to an alleged terms-of-service violation that brings to light the sticky debate over just how "open" the social Web is--and ideally should be.
The controversy hit the Web when popular blogger and former Microsoft evangelist Robert Scoble--who once gained notoriety when he publicly complained that Facebook wouldn't allow his friends list to surpass 5,000 people--posted a blog entry that … Read more
HP likes to hedge its bets. In addition to a couple of big-screen flat-panel TVs with built-in Media Center Extenders, the company is now offering a set-top box as well. Like the MediaSmart TVs, the MediaSmart Receiver x280N has the ability to stream a wide variety of video (including MPEG-2, DivX, WMV, WMV-HD, and H.264/MP4 files), audio (MP3, WMA, WMA-Pro, WAV, AAC/m4a), and images (JPEG, BMP, GIF, and PNG photos) from networked PCs to your living room TV via its wired Ethernet or wireless 802.11a/b/g/n connections. Local media playback is also available via … Read more
HP has updated its MediaSmart TVs for the new year. On the surface, the new SL4282N (42-inch) and SL4782N (47-inch) are very similar to their 2007 counterparts: full 1080p resolution LCD flat-panels with 3 HDMI inputs, built-in high-def and analog tuners, and--the big differentiator--the ability to stream digital video, audio, and images via their built-in 802.11a/b/g/n wireless networking connections. But the big upgrade for 2008 is the inclusion of Media Center Extender functionality, which offers easy connectivity to PCs running most flavors of Vista. Prefer a non-HP TV, but want those same media features? HP's … Read more