How to best recycle electronics is a problem I've had to deal with more than a few times at CNET. I have to be honest, during busy work cycles, the garbage bin has looked very appealing as an easy out when an obsolete laptop or graphics card needs discarding.
Luckily for me, and my relatively weak will, more companies are starting to provide support for consumers that want to dispose of their old electronics with a clear conscience. On Thursday, Panasonic announced that it is creating a nationwide program designed to provide consumers "convenient and easy" recycling … Read more
There's a new smartphone from LG called the Cookie. It has a little more juice than the Palm Centro. But Natali doesn't like juice in her cookies. But that doesn't mean she doesn't like this smart phone. We also cover the new mobile browsers and Apple's attack ads against Microsoft.
Listen now: Download today's podcastEPISODE 834
Mozilla launches mobile browser http://virgintech.blogspot.com/2008/10/mozilla-for-mobile-fennec.html http://arstechnica.com/news.ars/post/20081020-hands-on-fennec-alpha-1-puts-firefox-on-your-handheld.html
Opera launches mobile version 9.5 for Symbian http://www.intomobile.com/2008/10/20/opera-mobile-95-beta-now-available-for-symbian-uiq3-too.html… Read more
We've been hard on standalone Blu-ray players from the start. At first, they were astronomically priced, while HD DVD was able to deliver much of the same performance for less. Then HD DVD dropped out, but the PlayStation 3 was able to offer great Blu-ray playback, plus media streaming and high-def gaming for the same price or less than standalones. And lately we've seen some standalone Blu-ray players priced significantly less than the PS3, like the Insignia NS-BRDVD and Philips BD7200, but their image quality performance isn't quite as good as we'd like.
The Panasonic DMP-BD35 … Read more
When Panasonic announced its first interchangeable-lens camera, the Lumix DMC-G1, it said the camera would cost less than $800. Today it's official: $799.95 with the 14-45mm f3.5-5.6 (28-90mm equivalent) lens.
That price puts it in direct competition with inexpensive dSLR models like the Nikon D60 and Canon Rebel XS; it's a bit smaller compared to those, but lacks an optical viewfinder, which is a significant disadvantage. And it's significantly more expensive than more compact, fixed-lens enthusiast competitors like Panasonic's own LX3 and the Canon PowerShot G10. As yet, performance is a big unknown.… Read more
Panasonic has announced limited availability of two Tru2way plasma TVs. The two plasma flat-panels, the 42-inch TH-42PZ80Q and the 50-inch TH-50PZ80Q, become the first products available to consumers that are Tru2way compatible, making good on Panasonic's pledge to have the debut products in stores by year's end.
Tru2way is a new technology that allows full interactive ("two-way") access to digital TV and HDTV cable systems without the need for a standalone cable box. That's an improvement on the earlier CableCard technology, which couldn't be used to access interactive services (such as pay-per-view and video-on-demand) via third-party devices such as the TiVo HD DVR.
The Panasonic Tru2way models will be priced at $1,600 and $2,300 for the 42-inch and 50-inch model, respectively. Compared with their non-Tru2way predecessors, the TH-42PZ80U and TH-50PZ80U, it looks as if the new technology will cost consumers a premium of $500 to $670.
For now, distribution will be limited to the Denver and Chicago areas, where the cable systems have been certified to be Tru2way-ready. That area should widen as more cable operators around the country add the capability. Additional manufacturers--including Sony, Samsung, and RCA--are planning to release Tru2way products in 2009 and beyond.
So my prediction that we don't see (Tru2way TVs) until sometime in 2009 was dead wrong. But, to my mind, the technology still needs to address three key points before it's truly ready for the mass market: … Read more
One of the more frequent e-mails we receive is, when are Blu-ray recorders coming out? Blu-ray recorders have been available in Japan for quite some time now, but we haven't seen any manufacturer planning to offer a recorder in the U.S. However, HD Guru recently blogged about the CEATEC trade show in Japan, and we noticed this little nugget buried in the middle:
"Panasonic will be introducing a freestanding Blu-ray recorder/player in the US during the first half of 2009. (BTW, Blu-ray recorder prices have really dropped in Japan. I spotted a Sharp Blu-ray recorder at … Read more
At first glance, Panasonic's Free Angle HDMI cables look to be the perfect solution for HD connections in tight spaces. The cables--available in lengths of 1.5 and 3 meters--are so named because the HDMI plugs on each side can rotate up to 180 degrees. That means you can fold the plug down to a 90-degree angle with the cable (as shown), allowing it to fit into spaces as tight as 1.2 inches--ideal for wall-mounted TVs, for instance.
The cables worked just as well as standard HDMI cables in a quick and impromptu test. The only problem, then, … Read more