The Flip was never my favorite pocket camcorder. That's partly because it was the darling of everyone else and also because I found more powerful options elsewhere, like the Kodak Zi6 (and then Zi8). Both offer HD video capture, a microphone-in jack and removable media. Flip didn't offer any of that; the Flip team always told me that those features would likely confuse consumers who just wanted to capture video.
Now I realize they were right. In fact more right than any of us had imagined.
A day after Cisco unceremoniously dumped its $590 million purchase in favor of a pure business strategy, Flip owners and even the Flip CEO are busy licking their wounds and wondering exactly what happened. I'll tell you what happened: A device came along that made video capture and sharing even easier than the Flip—end of story.
Flip's demise has to be one of the most spectacular flameouts in recent tech history. When I met with Flip last year (just prior to the launch of the ill-fated Flip SlideHD), Flip had marketshare numbers that looked not only unbeatable, but unstoppable. According to Cisco executives:
- Flip sales grew by 300 percent between 2008 and 2009.
- Flip led the category throughout the 2009 holiday buying season.
- Flip sold more units than Sony, Canon, Kodak, and JVC combined.
- Flip cameras were number nine out of Amazon's top 10 selling products.
- The "Shoot and Share market" grew over 35 percent in 2009 and and Flip's share of that? A whopping 93 percent.
- On CNN's popular iReport user-generated news section, 70 percent of the user-gen video was shot with a Flip.
This was the success story to beat all success stories. And while I complained even then that Cisco wasn't innovating enough with the Flip brand—I wanted a microphone jack and was begging for them to be the first to offer optical zoom—I could not argue with its success.
The Cisco Valet wireless router is next in our 2010 Holiday Gift Guide, and we're giving away three of these home hotspots to your readers, but more on that below. First, the basics - we're recommending the Valet because, quite simply, it's simple. Cisco has made setting up an 802.11n network in the home super easy, with automatic security, guest access, parental controls, and more. This takes away the guesswork, which means less time for you to spend playing tech support specialist when your family and friends have network issues. See? It's like a gift to yourself as well! They typically sell for $99, but Amazon has them for $64.99, which is a killer deal.
Okay, now on to the details of the giveaway. We've got three Cisco Valet routers to give away, but as we said, they are meant to be simple. You set them up, and you are done. We know our readers are a bit more techie than that, so we've upped the ante a bit. Each winner will receive two Cisco routers - one Cisco Valet, and one Cisco Linksys E2000 Advanced 802.11n router! That way, you can keep the feature-packed Linksys for yourself, and give the Valet to a tech-challenged loved one as a gift.
- Follow the Gear Live Twitter account
- On Twitter, post this tweet about our contest: “Hey @gearlive hook me up with that Cisco Valet! http://gear.lv/cisco-holiday” (Click here to tweet this now)
That's it! Do that, and you are entered. However, this time we're giving our bonus entries. All you have to do is head to the Gear Live Facebook page and Like us, then leave a comment on our wall. That gets you a second entry. The contest will run through Friday December 17th, and is open to US residents. A winner will be chosen randomly from all eligible entrants.
Newegg‘s got a deal on the Linksys WRT54GL 802.11b/g router for $49.95, selling it for $30 less than retail from now through June 15. This is a router that is a dream for DIYers, as it works great with a lot of different custom firmware packages, making it easy to set up your own VPN, Samba, and FTP servers. It can also boost existing wireless signals, act as a Radius server, and more. Take a look at the Linksys WRT54GL on Newegg, and use promo code ROUTER685 to get the savings.
As always, you can find all sorts of Newegg promo codes and deals on our forums.
Read More | Newegg: Linksys WRT54GL
Linksys’ WRT54G2 G Router is an access point for Wireless-G (802.11g at 54Mbps) and -B (802.11b at 11Mbps.) It is also a built-in 4-port full-duplex 10/100 switch to connect PCs, hubs, and gadgets by Ethernet and a router for high-speed cable or DSL connection. At a size of 8 x 6.3 x 1.4 and a weight of 9.9 oz, it carries a price of about $50.00 online, depending on where you shop.
Read More | c/net