Let it be known that we New Yorkers take our “going green” seriously. The newly arrived Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree—like its holiday arch-rival the New Year’s Eve Ball—is replacing its incandescent bulbs with energy-friendly LED lights, 30,000 of them to be exact. This means the 84-foot tall Norway Spruce’s electricity consumption will be reduced from 3,510 to 1,297 kilowatt hours per day (the savings equals the monthly consumption of a 2000-square-foot home). Plus, when the tree is taken down in January, it will become lumber for houses built by Habitat for Humanity (take that New Years Ball!). If you’re in New York this holiday season, pay this tree the props it deserves by visiting between 5:30 am and 11:30 pm.
Read More | CNN
All told, about 58 million bargain hunters rose before dawn to check out Black Friday. Welcome to Cyber Monday, another effort to get the moola out of your pocket and into online retailers when shoppers go back to work. Researches say that 61 million will shop online from their cubicles, which is 18 percent higher than last year, to avoid holiday rage.
To guard against online identity theft, watch for mass e-mails complaining there are problems with your order, use a credit rather than debit card, and check for site security (the site should read “https,” with that extra “s” for security.) Finally, if you use sites like Amazon, Shopzilla, BizRate, and NexTag, don’t automatically assume you will obtain a secure and safe purchase.
Read More | ABC
Obviously, we can never get enough of DIY photo applications and this seasonal one is no exception. ElfYourself was available last year from OfficeMax and now ScroogeYourself has been added. Do yourself, your family, your friends, your co-workers, or anyone else you think needs memorializing. It’s fairly simple. You just use a head shot, make a couple of adjustments, and the site will do the work and save it for you. What do you think about the pair of these guys? We call it some serious attitude!
Read More | OfficeMax
Canon has revealed its latest compact photo printer. The SELPHY ES2 is basic white on the outside, but inside has a few new capabilities. It comes with 16 templates for postcard-size images, nine clip art stamps, and imaging effects. The printer will make 2 x 3 and 4 x 6-inch photos in both color and black and white. The SELPHY is available at a price of $199.99, just in time for you to create your own Christmas cards if you plan on sitting on Santa’s lap at the mall.
Read More | U.S.A. Canon
The next installment in the popular Sony franchise God of War, subtitled Chains of Olympus and a prequel to the original God of War, will be debuting on the PSP March 4, 2008. The news may be a little disappointing for some hoping to add the flagship first party title to Sony’s handheld this Christmas, but Sony has also announced that it will be putting out a demo at the end of this month. When the game’s official website launched back in April, Sony included the opportunity for North American gamers to sign up for a special UMD-based demo version prior to the game’s release.
The limited edition demo will include part of a playable level plus extra goodies including behind-the-scenes footage. A copy of the demo without the extras will be released later this year.
Read More | GameSpot
It never fails. The day after school starts, companies inundate us with Christmas presents and ideas. So our first contribution to commercialism has to be this Santa Slide Show. The 1.5-inch color LCD lets you show off at least 50 images on your
Holiday Tree or on its included stand. Photos can be easily downloaded with its software and USB cable. The ornament requires 2 AAA batteries (not included) and is available for $34.95 at firstStreet. Purchase two and get a $10.00 discount. That way, there can be two tacky displays for showing off the family photos.
Read More | ubergizmo
Despite being much harder to find throughout the year in retail outlets than the competitor’s next-gen console hardware, Nintendo‘s Wii may not see much improvement in availability until sometime in 2008. Nintendo originally planned to expand their production in June but were forced to delay their expansion plans due to tight supply of certain components coming from Taiwan-based suppliers.
Wii units are certainly far more available than they were shortly after launch but that may be related to the comparatively lighter demand; with the 2007 holiday season fast approaching and key titles like Metroid Prime 3, Super Mario Galaxy and Super Smash Bros. Brawl expected before Christmas, this could mean another tough Christmas on shoppers with Wii systems high on their lists.
Still, Nintendo has not backed down on projections made in April of this year and in a statement to GameSpot said, “Nintendo has no revisions to announce to its most recent shipment forecasts at this time.” They originally predicted that they would sell 14 million Wiis this fiscal year.
If you are a videophile and want a neat device you can use to watch video on the go, without breaking the bank, you may want to consider the Toshiba Gigabeat MES30VX. This Gigabeat packs 30 GB of hard drive space into a package that is a bit smaller and lighter than the standard iPod. While the screen is only 320x240 resolution, the colors, tone, and lighting are spot on. The Gigabeat MES30VX screen is the man when it comes to accurate video representation. Of course, it does all the usual stuff as well, that being playing digital audio (it’s Urge compatible) and the like. Even better though, it’s compatible with TiVo To Go out of the box, as well as the Vongo video service, which means you have your video hook-up here as well - the total package.
It’s that time of year again, and Gear Live is here to help you make the purchase to geek out those you love. Oh, and we will have everyone on your list covered, from the spouse, to the kids, to the parents, to the person you are forced to buy a gift for because you just know they will be buying you one. We have collected some of the better items we have seen over the past year, along with a few new ones, in putting this years guide together. We will add to it every day, until we get through the holidays. If you have any ideas, feel free to either let us know or even submit your own article.