With the release of two discs on January 25, Bright Eyes turned this edition of Gear Live Playlist into singer-songwriter central. We also look at recent releases by Minnesota songster Mason Jennings and Martha Vineyard’s Willy Mason. Finally, for the collection essential, Van Morrison’s “Astral Weeks” - one of the most soulful and beautiful albums ever recorded. Next time, I promise we’ll get a little more testosterone in the Playlist, but for now sit back and embrace your sensitive side.
Apparently Google has hired the top programmer of Firefox, leading people to believe that Google is indeed planning on developing its own web browser. Ben Goodger announced on his blog that he made the move to Google. He plans to continue working on Firefox in the same role he has now. Still don’t believe they are developing a web browser? Do a WhoIs on gbrowser.com. Yep, registered to Google, Inc. Keep an eye out because if it’s true, this might be another nice alternative to IE.
Read More | ZDNet
The largely untapped genre of online movie distribution may soon find a home. Napster CEO Chris Gorog announced that Napster, the online music retailer, is considering adding movies to their list of available media. While downloading movies for a fee is nothing new, it is a genre that has yet to take off. The proliferation of broadband solutions, however, may make downloading movies easier than ever before. There is no word yet on whether the movies will be rentals or if you can keep them forever on your machine. Also in question is the format and quality of the movies, as well as if you will have the ability to record and burn them to a DVD. I don’t know how they plan to implement this, but I would reccomend an excellent business model to help combat the existence of online piracy. Not many people would pay too much for something they can already get for free.
Read More | Silicon.com
Nintendo’s newest handheld console has been hard to find in retail stores lately, and is just getting back to the point where you can find it at any local electronics store - but why should you when you can get it for free? This week we are giving away a brand new Nintendo DS to one lucky Gear Live reader. What do you have to do to be eligible? Simply register for the site if you haven’t done so already, and leave us a comment telling us what your first Nintendo handheld console was and which game you spent the most man hours on. We will take the best ones, and choose a random winner. As always, big ups to PrizeCube for sponsoring our weekly contests. As always, this is open only to those who reside in the USA.
eXeem™ is a brand new Peer-To-Peer program, which is based on the BitTorrent idea. eXeem™ eliminates the need for trackers as nodes in the program will be taking their role. eXeem™ also features easy publication of files to the network as well as a rating and comments system. eXeem™ contains NO SPYWARE. eXeem™ is free and is ad-supported. eXeem™ is currently still in its beta testing phase, which means that the network might not be completely stable yet. You are still very welcome to give eXeem™ a try and see how it is different from other Peer-To-Peer programs.
Give it a download, and let us know what you think in the comments.
Read More | eXeem
We’ve seen some really nice leather products from the folks over at Vaja Corp. Their Vaja cases have proven to be a very successful solution for folks looking to protect their cell phones, mp3 players, and PDA’s. What sets them apart is that they make your gear look cool while offering great protection and accessibility in the process. Their customers are treated to some quality leather grain, and even a bit of customization for their cases.
We got a chance to chat with Federico Fiocchini (Vaja Marketing Manager) & Michaël MASSAT (Director Innovacases) regarding this unique product line:
Gear Live: Can you tell us a little bit about each of your functions at Vaja Corp?
Frederico: I am marketing manager of Vaja Corp (Buenos Aires - Argentina). I am in charge of communication and all resellers (worldwide).
Michaël: I am in charge of Innovacases (Soon Vaja Europe, based in Saint-Tropez - France). I work on marketing and communication (the promotion of Vaja brand in Europe) on our website, magazines, radios & webzines. In addition, my job is to find the best partners in Europe (resellers). Innovacases allows us to avoid the problem of custom duties, VAT and improve delivery time (for European customers). We stock best-seller cases to improve our service. At the moment, we are working on a Vaja Europe website that will propose many languages and avoid a lot of problems due to shipping.
I think it is safe to say that we have all received less than stellar directions from services like MapQuest, MapBlast, and all the others. Well, check out the latest faux pas from MSN MapPoint. Instead of going in a stright line from point A to point B, why not travel though a couple of countries and make an almost complete circle en route to your destination? All the cool kids are doing it.
Linksys has recently released their SRX enabled router and PC card line. What is unique about the Linksys WRT54GX router is that it supports 802.11g and 802.11b connections, and throws in SRX (Speed and Range eXpansion) technology which provides a speed boost which is up to 8 times faster than standard 802.11g connections with 3 times the range. What’s even better, you can mix 802.11b, 802.11g, and SRX devices all on the same network and they will all connect at their maximum respective speeds since the router has individual antennas for each speed.
Mozilla Firefox has jumped to nearly 5% market share, according to online measurement company WebSideStory, while Microsoft’s Internet Explorer has dropped to just below 93%. MSIE has dropped 4% in market share since June, most of which can be attributed to the Department of Homeland Security’s endorsement of alternative browsers to prevent spyware as well as vigorous promotion by satisfied Firefox users. While MSIE maintains a high percentage of users, its obvious that many are switching. There are some who believe that as Firefox gains market share, hackers will begin to find exploits in its code, which will be the true test of Firefox’s open source nature.
Looking at Gear Live’s visitor statistics, back in June less than 2% of our visitors entered using a Firefox browser. Today, we have an average of 65% of readers using Internet Explorer, and a nice 26% using Firefox.
Read More | CNET
Sony, Philips, Matsushita and Samsung have decided to work together to produce a system to manage digital music and video in order to put an end to piracy, or at least make it harder. These companies have finally realized that there are too many companies with their own brand for digital music. This leads to consumers not being able to play songs they purchased legally on their own MP3 player. Hopefully more companies will join in on this venture to fully embrace one digital music standard. After all, who wants to buy a new portable music player just so they can play one album they bought at so and so’s online store?
Read More | BBC News