Those of you using broadband may soon find yourself paying new universal service taxes similar to those you see on a standard phone bill. The decision of course would be made by Congress, who would have to change the Telecommunications Act of 1996. This is the bill which is responsible for the Universal Service Fund that we see on phone bills. The USF should continue to be “industry funded,” but the base of contributors should be expanded to “all providers of two-way communications, regardless of technology used, to ensure competitive neutrality,” a bipartisan coalition of rural legislators said in a June 28 letter to the U.S. House of Representatives Energy and Commerce Committee, which will be drafting the rewrites. This would also mean that companies providing services over broadband lines, like Vonage for example, would also be liable to pay into the fund.
Read More | CNet
Have you ever told a lie, just to end up getting caught later on? Most of us have, but if you find yourself in the position over and over you might be happy to know that the True Lies service can help you avoid slipping up. Angus Chan created the service, not to promote the art of lying, but to “lubricate relationships” and help you avoid the any embarrassment of being caught. The service reminds you of lies you told by using methods like email and SMS after you input the lies you told along with some other bits of information. Scandalous.
This week, the first self-playing digital audio book was announced. While it doesn’t seem like such a big deal, this is the first time that any kind of digital media has been sold with the player included. Findaway World has taken up the task of creating these digital audio products and the first product being marketed is the Playaway . The Playaway will be sold filled with high quality content from publishers and authors.
Playaway gives listeners the option of placing digital bookmarks and controlling the speed of a narrator’s voice, all while easily moving both forward and back through their audio selection. The player is packaged with earbuds, a lanyard and a AAA battery to allow consumers to listen as soon as they are ready, no more waiting on a download or for your PC to sync with your PDA. Because of its size, half the size of a deck of cards, Playaway is convenient for people of all walks of life.
Read More | GizMag
If you’re heading out to one of our nation’s many parks this holiday weekend, or just staying at home and enjoying the fireworks, odds are, you’re probably going to be grilling. If you’re searching for that perfect portable grill that can also serve as a great backyard grill, you’ve come to the right place. Living the high-tech lifestyle isn’t always about gadgets and games, sometimes it’s about getting back to basics and harnessing the most basic of the elements: fire.
Starting Sunday morning, Circuit City will be having a blowout sale on select Video Games for $9.99 each. The sale is much like the one they had last year where games were only $4.99, but it seems that they are a little more organized this year because many stores have already pulled the games off the floor to prevent people from buying them early. To see the game list check out the post in our forums. The madness starts on July 3.
Read More | Gear Live Forums
As I sit here typing a draft of this editorial on a crowded NYC subway, I can recall a simpler time when fighting for controllers was never an issue. This was a time when you’d be satisfied with “Wait until I get game over.” There was no such thing as LAN parties, no 4-port systems and no online capabilities. This was a time when we would count how many bits our system(s) was and how many our next one would be.
In spite, there are still some similarities now that still exist. We still love to play together with as many friends as possible and we still make a night out of it. We still think about the future systems and how they will impact our life (and salivate at pictures in magazines and websites). One thing is for certain, we love any type of co-op just as much as we like competition. Enter Gunstar Heroes – one of the most addictive co-op games to date. Venture with us to 1993, when Gunstar Heroes drove a couple of high school kids went crazy over fictitious guns and humorous surroundings.
I recently found myself on the market for a pair for my computer at work and thought I would share my experiences. After doing significant amounts of research I decided to settle on the Klipsch ProMedia Ultra 2.0 PC Speaker System as they got positive ratings and seemed to have a good bass response even given their lack of an actual subwoofer. I just received them and am quite impressed so far. They are ideal for people short on desk space who are looking for a great sounding set of speakers with no large subwoofer, or listen to music where excessive bass is not needed. Check out after the jump for my full initial impressions.
Using data from Alexa, senior analyst Gene Munster of Piper Jaffray announced that his findings where somewhat unsurprising when calculated out to a “web traffic report card” style examination of the top four legal music download sites. Apple’s iTunes got an “A” rating after a healthy 11% increase in web traffic and an 11% increase in reach. Napster came in second, also with an “A” rating.
“We believe that Apple.com is the clear winner in our second grade report on the audio download industry,” Munster concluded. “Apple has the highest web traffic rank (64) of the four and also has seen the most increase in web traffic rank and reach over the past 3 months.”
Do note that Alexa rankings do not include any Mac users - they are tabulated only from people using Internet Explorer with the Alexa Toolbar installed.
Read More | iPodLounge.com
Called the iVault, Griffin’s new case for the iPod Shuffle certainly looks nice. The aluminum exterior encases the iPod Shuffle while still allowing access to the dial, headphone jack and switch. The iVault will set you back about $20 and comes not only in aluminum but also in four anodized aluminum colours: Red, Blue, Green and Purple.
Sleek as it is sweet, Sonnet’s new Fusion 400 external drive enclosure looks like the next toy on my Christmas list. With four hot-swappable 3.5” drive bays, support for not only 3Gb/s drives but backwards compatibility with 1.5Gb/s drives, a small footprint, a sleek exterior and built in universal power supply, it certainly looks like it’s got some bite to back up the bark.
To quote SonnetTech.com:
Start out with a single drive for simple data storage and then add additional ones as the need arises, or fill the enclosure with four drives up to 500GB each to create a monster 2 terabyte striped RAID array for uncompressed HD video capture and editing—Fusion 400 is truly versatile.
Now THAT’S what I’m talkin’ ‘bout! Very nice. And, even better, the connection from the hot-swappable drives to the enclosure is cable-less, causing not only less mess but less degradation of signal, which may not mean much to the average data-storing customer but means everything to a video-editor or musician.
The Fusion 400 is the first in a new line, and works with Mac, Windows and Linux machines, as long as they’ve got a compatible SATA controller.