Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Roku reveals first Netflix set-top-box, reviews flow in

Source: http://feeds.engadget.com/~r/weblogsinc/engadget/~3/294002573/

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Well, would you look at that? After a mildly uncomfortable wait, the very first Netflix set-top-box has landed (the Xbox 360 with plug-ins notwithstanding). Thanks to Roku, users can finally tap into (a portion of) the Netflix library without having to wait for physical discs to arrive -- and for just $99.99, no less (though unlimited access to online films still requires an $8.95 or higher monthly fee for the traditional service). Better still, the HDD-less Netflix Player can even utilize a wireless signal to pull in streams, though your miles may vary on actual performance. As for ports, you'll find HDMI, component, composite, Ethernet, S-Video and a Toslink optical audio jack. Initial reports are looking pretty positive from here (save for the glaring lack of HD support), but feel free to dig into the reviews below to get a better feel of what this box really has to offer.

Read - Roku Netflix Player officially introduced
Read - PCMag review (4 out of 5)
Read - CNET review (7.7 out of 10)
Read - Wired review ("...just shy of totally amazing.")
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Monday, May 19, 2008

Turn a Hallmark Music Card into a Cereal Box Speaker [How To]

Source: http://feeds.gawker.com/~r/lifehacker/full/~3/293036254/turn-a-hallmark-music-card-into-a-cereal-box-speaker

Instructables poster Justin Seiter didn't let a slightly cheesey but expensive Hallmark card with audio go to waste. Using a glue gun, a junky set of old headphones, electrical tape, a utility knife and a mini-cereal box, he created a speaker for his iPod (or any stereo-jack-accepting device). It might not power your home theater, but it gets stereo sound from the headphone wires and might make for a geek-pride spare speaker in a bedroom or bathroom. Hit the link for full instructions on piecing your childhood breakfast favorites and throwaway electronics into modern audio accessories.


Xziex makes water out of thin air, angers Harkonnens

Source: http://feeds.engadget.com/~r/weblogsinc/engadget/~3/293242224/

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We don't know what's going on here exactly, but we're fairly certain they need a load of these on Arrakis, ASAP. Sure, Muad'Dib may be able to summon sandworms and lead an army of Fremen into battle, but he can't make drinkable water out of thin air, can he? That's where the Xziex comes in. Basically, this intimidating "atmospheric water generator" siphons moisture out of the air and converts it into water -- delicious, clean, healthy water. It may not actually live up to the company's claim of "The Most Exciting Product Ever," but if it does what they say, it's a pretty amazing device. Honestly, the Xziex website does cause a little concern, with its calls for readers to "lock in" their "position," and excited passages about earning potential -- but hey, who can blame them for trying to make a buck?

[Via Gearlog]
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ASOCS unveils MP100 Multicomm processor -- add LTE or mobile WiMax via software update

Source: http://feeds.engadget.com/~r/weblogsinc/engadget/~3/293393773/

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Remember how the BlackBerry Thunder (RIM's rumored touchscreen device) was said to possibly come LTE-ready? An eye-brow raiser for sure since the US networks won't deploy LTE until 2010. Nevertheless, here's how it could be done. ASOCS and Fujitsu just announced what they are calling the "world's first wireless Multicomm processor." The system-on-chip can run up to three wireless air interfaces such as GSM/EDGE/GPRS, WiFi, HD Mobile Digital TV, and GPS concurrently. Better yet, device manufacturers "using ASOCS ModemX technology can ship a single-chip mainstream MultiComms baseband solution in parallel with LTE development and later add LTE as a low-risk software upgrade." Get that? LTE or pretty much any other wireless service added via software update. Hot damn!

[Via Thumb Report]
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New Arduino Nano: DIY Electronics in Gum-Sized Board [DIY]

Source: http://feeds.gawker.com/~r/gizmodo/full/~3/293396179/new-arduino-nano-diy-electronics-in-gum+sized-board

We've shown you lots of weird and wonderful gizmos that DIY electronics fans have made using the powerful Arduino board, and now there's a new option: the Nano. It's not very much bigger than a stick of gum, and comes with full USB support and almost the same functionality as the bigger Diecimila board: immediately I start to think of the potential uses that makers will put this to. Its diminutive size means it'll fit in more pocketable devices, I suspect. Available in June for $44.95. [Makezine via Crunchgear]


Sunday, May 18, 2008

FCC Filing Teases WiMAX Option for Future Apple MacBooks [Apple]

Source: http://feeds.gawker.com/~r/gizmodo/full/~3/292560437/fcc-filing-teases-wimax-option-for-future-apple-macbooks

A new FCC filing for an Intel 5350 WiFi/WiMAX combo card that fits into Mini PCI Express slots is probably the best evidence yet for future WiMAX functionality in Apple MacBooks, but it's still far from a confirmation. The bottom line is that with the new card, the WiMAX option officially exists for MacBooks, but as of yet there are no drivers written that would allow it to work with Apple's line of laptops. You could actually hack your laptop and plug the card in just fine as it is now, but without the drivers (which do exist for Windows), it's pretty useless. That said, the drivers—especially with Intel Macs—are a mere Leopard update or MacBook redesign away. [FCC Filing via ComputerWorld]


Planika Fires Lets You Stoke the Flames Without the Smoke [Yeah, Baby]

Source: http://feeds.gawker.com/~r/gizmodo/full/~3/292930918/planika-fires-lets-you-stoke-the-flames-without-the-smoke

Nothing screams impeccable taste like having a fireplace in the middle of your coffee table and now, thanks to Planika Fires, you can keep the flames roaring without worrying about smoke or soot. The company makes the magic happen using a proprietary liquid biofuel called Fanola, which burns completely smoke and smell free.

Fanola, the company says, is a biologically clean product which emits nothing but water vapor and CO2. Heating inserts ensure that the only thing burning in your shag pad, besides the fireplace, will be the flames of love. The fireplace technology comes in a variety of designs, so you can mix and match with every piece of Ikea furniture ever created.

Pricing info was not available, but can you really put a price on staying classy? [Planika Fires via greenupgrader]


HTC Touch Diamond unboxed, packaging worthy of the phone

Source: http://feeds.engadget.com/~r/weblogsinc/engadget/~3/291758675/

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Nothing new to report on the Touch Diamond's tech here, but wow, look how fun the box is! Of course, we know you're all waiting to see what they stuffed in the wedge-shaped package, and the answer is a charger, headset, USB cable, a manual or two, and the software. The charger appears to be a universal job with a swappable plug for travel, and the headset a typical example of an HTC pack-in -- albeit with a dash of fun and angular design. Hit the link for the pics.

[Thanks, SlashPhone]
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Salling's interactive window tech is interactive

Source: http://feeds.engadget.com/~r/weblogsinc/engadget/~3/292887929/

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We've seen all sorts hip-cool interactive window installations, usually comprised of a camera for a modicum of interactivity and a projector or a display for screening the results. The Salling store in Arhus, Denmark is taking things a bit further and making the window itself interactive. There's still a camera to sense motion, but instead of a display there's some fancy window tech that makes sections of the glass transparent or not based on where the person is standing. Sure, the idea of having to walk up to a window and wave your arms around to reveal what's behind it might seem a bit counter-intuitive, but at least it'll give the loiterers something to do. Video is after the break.

Continue reading Salling's interactive window tech is interactive

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