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03.31.2009

Freecom ToughDrive Sport external hard drive doesn't mind being manhandled

Posted by kanchana    Category: devices | peripherals | portable media
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03.31.2009

Is the Conficker worm an April Fool's joke?

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It's not at all clear whether the much-talked-about Conficker worm will really bring those of us who use Windows to our knees, as if we didn't have trouble enough. See, for example, Brian Krebs, CNET News, and dozens of other PC pundits that turn up in a search of Google News.

But there seems to be a bit of consensus that something will be unleashed from unwittingly networked Windows computers on April Fool's Day, April 1. Which is almost upon us, so listen up. You don't want to be April Fooled, do you?

One of the best protections against Windows mischief is to read Brain Livingston's swell newsletter, Windows Secrets. It's free, but you can also upgrade to the paid version for a modest contribution. Just out, a special free update on how to deal with Conficker.

Posted by Tam    Category: computers
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03.31.2009

Give your laptop a new image for not too much money

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You might not be able to afford a new laptop but that doesn't mean you can't at least look like you have a new computer. If you want to make yours a little bit funkier, you could do a lot worse than the great decals range by Etsy seller michellechristina.

The bubbles decal above costs $16.50 including shipping, and comes in 18 vibrant colors as well as a more monochrome look. And don't let the picture put you off: PC users can buy them, too.

Via Geeksugar.

Image ⓒ Michelle Christina.

Posted by Diane    Category: novelty
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03.30.2009

Hold up your mobile device with the MobileRiser

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Geek.com's Brian Osborne says he wishes he'd thought of the MobileRiser first. You can't beat a simple product that satisfies a need--especially when it costs only $4.95.

Posted by Tam    Category: accessories | cell phones | devices | portable media
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03.30.2009

iPhone 3.0 OS brings much-need update and offers glimpse of the future

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Last week, Apple announced the impending arrival of iPhone 3.0 software, an update to the iPhone OS to be released this summer (along with, probably, a third-generation iPhone).

So what's exciting about the 3.0 OS? Believe it or not, one of the most talked-about features added is the ability to cut/copy/paste - functions that were noticeably absent from the iPhone but available on competitor products like the Blackberry.

But beyond cut/copy/paste, OS 3.0 also offers a search function, expanded MMS abilities, peer-to-peer Bluetooth between iPhones and nearby iPod Touches, and what could be really significant for many people: hardware APIs that might let people use an iPhone to check blood glucose or blood pressure levels, for example, and transmit the info to a parent or doctor.

Also, some guy supposedly figured out how to get his iPhone 3.0 to tether to his laptop, providing an Internet connection, but he promptly forgot how. Oops. Stay tuned - I'm sure it won't be long til someone else figures it out.

Posted by Shelley    Category: cell phones | portable media | software
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03.30.2009

Digital Photo Album lets you take your pictures with you

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Given the myriad options available for digital photo display/storage, I wonder why anyone would want to use a device such as the Digital Photo Album only to show off their digital photos. And little else.

The Digital Photo Album single-mindedly performs just one function – that of being a portable digital album. It has a 7-inch screen and can be directly connected (via USB) to a digital camera, USB drive, external hard drive, or any other USB device to transfer photos to its 4GB internal memory. There is also an option to directly insert and read SD cards, and the internal memory of the album itself is expandable up to 20GB. The device runs on a rechargeable battery that gives 3 hours of continuous playback.

Sadly, there is no option for displaying videos, and neither is there any web connectivity. Which is why it happens to be the “Digital Photo Album” and is not to be confused with its smarter cousin – the “Digital Photo Frame.” Definitely only for the un-geeky among us who also happen to possess around $260 to squander.

Via Chip Chick.

Posted by kanchana    Category: devices | home | portable media
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03.29.2009

Demy, the digital recipe reader, wants to be your cookbook

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I'm not sure this is a solution to the recipe-wrangling problem, and since it will cost $299, I'm not likely to find out. If you do, please report on the Demy, claimed to be the first and only kitchen-safe recipe reader. Not quite clear what that means, except wipeable.

Room for up to 2500 recipes, and sync-worthy with your account at keyingredient.com. Not available until May, but you can pre-order from Amazon.

I dunno about you, but my treasured recipes are mostly not online. They're either scribbled on scraps of paper or in elderly grease-stained cookbooks with collapsed bindings. So I'm wondering, could I download favorite cookbooks into a Kindle instead? And then just be very, very careful with the grease?

Posted by Tam    Category: devices | eat/drink | home | misc gadgets
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03.28.2009

Tesla S Sedan revealed

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Tesla Motors made a splash a few years ago when they introduced the Roadster, a $100,000 sports car. Not only was it beautiful, but it also ran on electricity and was really fast - not a common combination for EV cars. Since the rollout of the Roadster, they've sold only 250 of them, but anticipation has been building for a less expensive sedan version.

The Tesla S was unveiled yesterday in California, and wow is it beautiful. Hitting the market in 2011 - they're taking reservations now - the S is a seven-seater (!) that can go 300 miles between charges, go 0-60 in less than 6 seconds, and make you the envy of the town - for about $50,000.

It's pricey, sure, but not a lot more than a Lexus SUV hybrid which still runs on gas and holds 5 people. Can't wait to see these in production!

Posted by Shelley    Category: cars
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03.28.2009

Goodbye, newspapers. Hello, GlobalPost

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There's nothing like beginning the day in a comfy chair with good coffee and a good newspaper. But finding a decent morning paper that's actually made of paper is increasingly possible only in a few fortunate places.

What's more, paper papers are shrinking even in those places. My beloved Washington Post, for example, is abandoning its separate business section and folding some business news into its main news section. That's bound to mean not only fewer business articles but less newsprint news overall. Even newspaper lovers like me will be getting all our news online before long.

Enter GlobalPost, the first serious grown-up news organization to appear in a very long time. It employs dozens of experienced journalists around the world and is filled with free news and features that usually are comparable in quality to those put out by major established news organizations. It also has a unique business model, which you can read about here and here.

GlobalPost, invented and run by real journalists, explains itself this way:

Continue reading "Goodbye, newspapers. Hello, GlobalPost"

Posted by Tam    Category: culture | current affairs | on the web
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03.27.2009

iWonder Surf enables parental controlled browsing on iPhone, iPod touch

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Parental control has spread its claws e-verywhere and it is no surprise that the iPhone too, hasn’t been spared. An application called the iWonder Surf can now be installed on your iPhone and iPod touch to monitor and control your child’s surfing activities.

This software, based on the Safari web browser, gives you the complete details about your child’s web visits – the date/time, the specific websites that were visited and even what they were looking at on a particular website. Once you track what your child’s surfing, you can decide on how to filter sites, to allow all traffic or to totally block the device from any location – even without having physical access to the device itself. How is that possible? Every installation of the software is assigned a unique email and password combination which can be used to login to the iWonder Surf website to remotely manage all the devices associated with your account. Simple enough. Though parenting to perfection always gets that much more complicated, in my personal opinion.

iWonder Surf is available at $15 from the App Store.

Via Yahoo! Tech.

Posted by kanchana    Category: cell phones | on the web | software
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