If there is any country that tries to integrate Internet technology into just about anything they can, its gotta be Japan. Case in point, the i-Pot from Zojurushi Corp.. Not to be confused with the marijuana scented MP3 player, the i-Pot is simply a hot pot which monitors its own usage and posts these statistics to the Internet. The reasoning behind this is that since hot pots are a common household appliance in Japan, one that reports usage results to a web page can aid in determining when someone elderly isn’t doing too well. One can monitor how often the pot is refilled with water, how long it warms water, when it dispenses water, etc. If there are odd breaks in ones tea drinking routine, the i-Pot statistics page will make it known through its twice a day reporting mechanism.
Now this is cool. Dynamic Bicycles has developed a line of chainless bikes. All axles and gears are fully enclosed, which means no oil left prone to getting on your clothes - and without a chain, your clothes have nothing to get snagged on either. The main component here is Shimano’s internal gearing. This is pretty much the equivalent of an automatic car in the bicycle world. The company sells both mountain bikes and the more casual “hybrid” road bike. The bikes range in price from $549-749 USD. Not sure what I am so excited about though, as I never had a need to learn how to ride a bike growing up in New York City. Stop laughing.
Read More | Dynamic Bicycles
Current TV is the $70 million dollar cable channel that is seeking to appease 18-35 year old viewers who have short attention spans. Former United States Veep, Al Gore, unveiled Current TV this week in San Francisco saying that they have no intention of creating a Democratic channel, a liberal channel, or any other sort of political outlet. Gore said Current TV is empowering this generation of young people in their 20s to tell their stories through the dominant medium of our time.
Current TV will feature programming like Current Playlist for music, Current Gigs for jobs, Current Soul for religion and so on. Starting to see the point? The content segments are called “pods” and will range in length from 15 seconds to 5 minutes.
Gore also wants to tie the Internet and television together. One way of doing this is by paying a minimum of $250 for a 1-5 minute segment uploaded by Current TV viewers. This is a pretty cool idea, would we expect anything less from the inventor of the Internet? In a nutshell, Current TV wants to create the kind of TV you want to watch. You can upload segments through Current Studio where they will be screened by staff and possibly voted on over the Internet. They don’t want “fictional narratives” or “experimental films better suited to film fests than TV” either. I mean, how are they gonna sell advertising with that stuff showing?
In news that just boggles my mind, it appears that Microsoft may delay the next version of the Windows operating system, Longhorn, to 2007. Friends, that is two years away. Now, Windows XP was released in 2001, so you do the math. Now, Microsoft Windows users aren’t the only ones suffering in this situation. If Longhorn is pushed back by a few quarters, Microsoft partners are going to be left out in the cold yet again. Sales projections, which they have been counting on, will once again be thrown off. My goodness Bill, can’t you fix this? I guess we can expect even more features to be stripped from Longhorn. Yet another reason to make the switch I guess.
Read More | Yahoo! News
We knew this day was coming, but we somehow hoped there would be some way - somehow - that Voom would be able to hang on and become that Comeback Kid. Alas, the CableVision Board of Directors has voted to bring the floundering high definition service to an end. Hey, it was a good run. I was interested in Voom when I first got my HDTV, as it would be nice to take full advantage of such a setup. However, lack of standard Pay-Per-View options (gotta have WWE!), and too much “filler” content turned me off to the service. I imagine I wasn’t the only one.
Read More | Bloomberg
If you have been on the fence about giving up $100 large to Apple for a .Mac account, you may want to reconsider if you are constantly on the go and in need of wireless net access. Through June 29, 2005, if you sign up for a .Mac account, you will also receive a free 30 day trial of the T-Mobile Hotspot service. Not too bad when you consider that a month of Hotspot access would cost you $39.95 in the first place. Of course, more and more free hotspots seem to sprout up each day, but who am I to judge?
Read More | .Mac Member Benefits
We recently told you about the Macally SyncBoxII, the portable USB device that allows you to transfer data from one USB device to another. While it sounded intriguing, I needed to know if it would give us functionality that we don’t already have in some of our products. I made a few calls and got a few more details:
- If the USB device requires its own driver to operate, it will not work with the SyncBoxII. If it uses a built-in Microsoft driver, it will be compatible.
- The SyncBoxII will not recognize Mac formatted drives, nor will it recognize NTFS format. This one is all about FAT32.
- The SyncBoxII will fully support iPod-to-iPod transfers.
There you have it - many of you emailed asking if the product would actually allow two iPods to transfer/copy media back and forth to one another. It certainly will, now you can rest easy knowing you won’t have to use the iCopulate!
Just when we think they are doing some good in the tech world, they go and mess it up, as always. Best Buy customer Mike Bolesta simply wanted to purchase a car stereo. After being assured that a particular model would fit, he realized the Best Buy sales rep was incorrect (this sounds familiar). After being told the installation fee would be waived due to the error, he was able to get the correct stereo. When he got home, he received a call from Best Buy saying he needed to pay the fee. Upset about the horrible service he received, Mike decided to pay the $144 charge using only $2 bills. Now, there is no law against this. $2 bills are still legal tender here in the United States. He handed over 57 bills, and should have been able to be on his way. Instead, he was asked accusingly if they were real. Then they called the cops. I feel for ya Mike, it’s just unfortunate that I have heard stories like this in the past - and yours probably won’t be the last. Anyone else have a story of horrible customer service at an electronics retailer?
Read More | WorldNetDaily
We were able to mess around with the first product from JellyBarn, the very humorous FoolsJelly interface. For all of you that love to “caption this pic”, this site is for you. Basically, you can view any submissions from other users thus far - or you can create your own. The ones you create can be sent to friends by email, and you can also choose to place it on the FoolsJelly site into their gallery. Here are the features of FoolsJelly:
- Upload your own image for use in two optional postcards to send out via email. You can add text to the postcards in the following ways either by using the cartoon bubble quote, or the “inspiring” poster with a title and subtitle text.
- Reply to the postcard with your own text or by uploading your own image.
- Forward a postcard you received to another person.
- Add your postcard to the gallery and vote for it or other users’ postcards.
- View other users’ postcards via the gallery.
I definitely recommend everyone to check it out - its a nice interface, and can be used for humor or inspiration.
Read More | FoolsJelly
The Voice over IP market just got a little bit bigger. AOL has launched its VoIP service at a promotional rate of $29.99 a month for non-AOL users and $13.99 a month for AOL users. The service includes standard features found in most calling plans such as voicemail, 3-way calling, caller ID, call waiting and call forwarding. AOL’s new VoIP service also includes “advanced AOL features” such as AOL voicemail, AOL call alert and AOLbyPhone. The company is trying to offer competitive prices by bundling some its services with their VoIP package. What stands out in AOL’s package is that they provide enhanced 911 service, which delivers the caller’s address to dispatchers when in case of emergency. This is something other companies have not been able to implement or offer as an included service. AOL is promising to make VoIP easy to install and use just like the rest of its services so that mass-market consumers may take advantage of this technology.
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