On Gear Live: Laptop Prices Got You Down? Here Are the Best Chromebooks

Mac mini Test Drive

Apple seems to be swinging for the fences with this one. They are offering anyone who is interested an extended trial of the Mac mini. One can only assume that they either want to move some stagnant product, or that this is a move to get a large amount of Mac computers into the hands of those who use Windows but are curious. Now, what is really going on here is that Apple is just extending the return period for the mini, as any Apple product can be returned within 14 days for a full refund. Nonetheless, here is how it works according to Apple:

  1. Purchase a new Mac mini from the Apple Store online. You can also get an Apple keyboard and mouse, such as our new Mighty Mouse.
  2. Set it up and start enjoying it.
  3. If you don’t love it, call us within 30 days of your order and we’ll arrange for you to return your system — including the Apple keyboard and mouse — for a full refund.

If you are interested, you have until Halloween 2005 to make your purchase, and it must be done online.


Read More | Apple Online Store


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Xbox 360 Motherboard

My brain can’t comprehend what I have just seen, as it was a surreal hardware lover’s paradise.  These images - in which the .zip file has been removed from the original host - are stunning.  They show all of the Xbox 360’s hardware as well as some great pictures of a few peripherals.  A wired USB controller isn’t looking so bad considering I could probably use it on my desktop PC.


Read More | SmartXX (mirrored picture site) via Joystiq


Zatch Bell Preview

This year at E3 we played a bunch of games, but one that hasn’t gotten much recognition is set to launch in October, that being Zatch Bell. Zatch Bell is an anime show in which there is a group of beings called Mamodos.  Mamodos are from another dimension and they have special powers which can only be activated by a human reading spells from a spell book.  They battle each other until one or the others spell book is destroyed. The last Mamodo standing after all the battles becomes Mamodo king. Zatch Bell is the main Mamodo character in the anime, and now Bandai is branching out and creating the game.  This is a fighting game which looks fairly decent, and plays nicely from what I gathered at E3. Read more for a good rundown of the game along with some screenshots.


Read More | Bandai Games


Latest Gear Live Videos

HydrabrushI used to be pretty impressed with my Sonicare Elite - it buzzed hypersonically and got my teeth squeaky clean and minty fresh every morning. Then a company called HydraBrush had to come out and make it possible for my morning oral hygiene process to be all that more complicated and “foolproof”. They have released a product called the HydraBrush Ultra that uses multiple motorized heads and tiny jets of water to clean all three tooth surfaces on both your upper and lower teeth simultaneously. Now don’t get me wrong - I always love innovation in technology, but when I watch the video for this I almost wonder if it’s a bit too complicated to be put in my mouth - after all, they only trusted it to a computer generated mouth for their demonstration! Available now for a mere $110.


Read More | HydraBrush (demonstration animation)


SOCOM PSP Beta

Well, it appears that the first official PSP Beta Test has begun. This time it’s for SOCOM Fireteam Bravo.  There isn’t much detail to give yet because the emails were just sent out tonight.  People who were part of the SOCOM II beta test seem to have gotten the emails first, than it was sent to other members of Sony’s G.A.P. (Gamer Advisory Panel). Once I get my beta disc, I’ll post some screenshots and impressions. Until then, read more for information about the game.


Read More | IGN


Pandora Radio

The Music Genome Project is behind this service.  It used to be an invitation only service, similar to Gmail, and its features that sound pretty impressive.  It uses an end-user rating system where you rate whether you like what is playing or not.

A new service allowing you to create your own radio station, shareable with friends, and made up with as many, custom-created and personalized music-channels as you like has made its public debut in the last few hours.

Basically, it’s like Yahoo! Launch, except extremely customizable and sharable.  This cool service costs $36 for a year or $12 for 3 months.


Read More | Pandora via Lockergnome


If you have never given the Opera web browser a spin, now is the perfect opportunity. In an effort to commemorate their 10 year anniversary, the folks at Opera are giving away the software for free for a full 24 hours. From 12 AM Tuesday, August 30 to 12 AM Wednesday, August 31 2005 (PDT), just drop an email to registerme@opera.com, and you will immediately recieve a response with a registration code. This removes the mandatory ad strip from the top of the Opera browser. Opera is an excellent tool t use when building a website, as it is fast and conforms to every standard out there.


Apple-Cingular The internet is abuzz with rumors and speculation. A number of iPod media sites have received an invitation to a special Apple event on September 7th with the tantalizing line “1,000 songs in your pocket changed everything. Here we go again.” included with each one. The Wall Street Journal is reporting that Apple has reached an agreement with Cingular to offer a Motorola cell phone capable of playing songs from the iTunes music store. With news like that from a reliable source like the WSJ, the iTunes phone (iPhone?) can’t be far off. Elsewhere speculation on a 2GB or 4GB iPod shuffle, possibly with a screen, will be launching at the same time. With a sassy line like “here we go again” Apple might even be dropping a video capable iPod line, thus completing their digital media trinity.


Read More | Wall Street Journal (Subscription required)


Free OperaOpera’s award winning browser (now in version 8.02) is free for one day to celebrate their 10th anniversary. From 12 AM Tuesday, August 30 to 12 AM Wednesday, August 31 2005 (PDT), you can send an email to registerme@opera.com to receive a free registration code for their professional quality and fully standards compliant browser - a $39 value. As a long time Opera fan I just have to say what a fantastic deal this is. Opera is the fastest, most stable browser I’ve ever used and with it’s consistent interface across Mac/Win/Linux/BSD/Solaris and great integrated feature set. Get your self on down to download.com and grab a copy - just do it before August is over or you will be out $39 for the pleasure.


Read More | Download.com


Atari Joystick Belt BuckleYou really have to hand it to the designers over at NESBuckle - they have just released a new version of the awesome NES belt buckle, and now they are bringing us an Atari counterpart. Although the Atari belt is a bit too phallic for my taste, it really does have some old school geek appeal. This fashion accessory is perfect for that geeky old school gamer in your life.


Read More | NESBuckle via Gizmodo


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