The demand for everything iPod is so high that even an iPod accessory was outselling Microsoft's new MP3 media player on Amazon.com. Microsoft's new Zune media player, despite heavy marketing, came in only at No. 75 on Amazon's list of 100 best-selling electronics this week. The Zune was trailing many iPod accessories such as Apple's $29.99 iPod USB power adapter, at No. 65.
But in the time since CBS Marketwatch first reported this story on Monday, the Zune has managed to gain some ground on the iPod charger. Amazon updates their sales ranks hourly but when I last checked this morning the score was 59 to 73 with the Zune in the lead. Apple fanboys will probably be disapointed to hear that the Zune is now outselling iPod chargers but some things just take time, effort, and money. Microsoft has at least one of those.
"Apple is dominating digital music in a way that they've never owned a category. And what's funny is that I can't really understand why the Mac never had the same kind of runaway success. The limitations of the iPod are similar to those of the Mac, its closed architecture, cheap clone knock-offs, everything. But for some reason, Windows bowled over Apple, while the iPod continues to get more popular by the day. It's a little wonder."
I wonder if Bill Gates knows that a power cord was beating the latest "iPod Killer" from Microsoft.
Like sunbathing naked outdoors? Who doesn't (especially Europeans). Just keep in mind that one day a satellite might fly by and capture your naked body for the good of posterity. Services like Google Maps and Google Earth have made satellite photography accessible to anyone with an Internet connection. This topless sunbather became an overnight Internet sensation, but she's not alone. Apparently the Hague is overrun with naked and semi-naked Dutch people.
10) This picture got a lot of people hot under the collar. Many people think she's on her front, but personally I remain unconvinced.
09) Very close to the original topless sunbather, this one is definitely female, I think. It looks like she's lying on her front, and she does appear to have some kind of top on, so keep your hair on people!
08) Just six doors down, here's a half-naked Dutch, person. Wearing a sarong perhaps?
07) This ones been widely discussed on other sites, but I personally reckon this is a guy, wearing shorts. Phew!
06) This person thinks they have privacy on this rooftop (haven't they seen Enemy of the State?) and they're definitely topless! (Sex unknown of course, but topless nevertheless.)
05) Outside a cafe on the beach (presumably before it opened that day), we find someone sitting calmly in a chair, blissfully unaware the whole world can now see them in their birthday suit.
04) The previous nudist may have also been unaware that just on the other side of the building, there was another person sunning themselves - flat on their back and completely in the altogether! Does anyone know someone that works in this cafe by the way?
03) Again on the beach, here's a couple of naked people who think they can hide behind a beach wind wall! Don't they know there is no escape?
02) Hiding away behind some bushes is no escape either. Mind you, I wish that person would keep their legs together. Yeuch!
01) Well, do you know of a better picture? I'm sure there's loads more brilliant ones yet to be found. So fire up Google Earth and start searching! Enjoy.
Need a reason to pull your records out of storage? A company called ION has created a USB turntable called the iTTUSB. The company claims that this is the world's first USB turntable.
The iTTUSB allows you to convert your old vinyl collection directly to CD or MP3 with the included recording software (Mac/PC) and is a must have for people who don't want to deal with clumsy adapters or mismatched audio formats.
The iTTUSB comes with Audacity, a recording application that works with both PCs and Macs, as well a trial version of Bias Soundsoap 2 to clean and restore vinyl recordings.
As an alternative, the turntable also works with any other software that supports USB audio input sound cards. Once connected, the turntable transfers both 33-1/3 rpm albums and 45 rpm singles to digital formats in mere minutes.
The iTTUSB is great for all those obscure releases that never made it to CD.
Ever wanted to laser-etch some labels onto DVDs you've burned, but wanted to do it on your Mac ? Now you can.
Laser engraving is the practice of using lasers to engrave, etch, or mark an object. The technique can be very technical and complex, and often a computer system is used to drive the movements of the laser head. Despite this complexity, very precise and clean engravings can be achieved at a high rate. The technique does not involve tool bits which contact the engraving surface and wear out. This is considered an advantage over alternative engraving technologies where bit heads have to be replaced regularly.
Standard cast acrylic plastic, acrylic plastic sheet, and other cast resins generally laser very well. A commonly engraved award is a cast acrylic shape designed to be lasered from the back side. Styrene (as in compact disc cases) and many of the thermoform plastics will tend to melt around the edge of the engraving spot. The result is usually "soft" and has no "etch" contrast. The surface may actually deform or "ripple" at the lip areas. In some applications this is acceptable; for example date markings on 2-litre soda bottles does not need to be sharp.
For signage and faceplates, etc., special laser-engraving plastics were developed. These incorporate silicate or other materials which conduct excess heat away from the material before it can deform. Outer laminates of this material vaporize easily to expose different colored material below.
Other plastics may be successfully engraved, but orderly experimentation on a sample piece is recommended. Bakelite is said to be easily laser-engraved; some hard engineering plastics work well. Expanded plastics, foams and vinyls however are generally candidates for routing rather than laser engraving. Urethane and silicone plastics usually don't work well-- unless it is a formulation filled with cellulose, stone or some other stable insulator material.
Klipsch's snazzy new iPod speaker, the Klipsch iGroove, has a couple of tricks yet to appear on other brands' compact power speaker systems. First off, it comes with a pair of two-way speakers (woofer and tweeter), whereas most iPod-inspired alternatives rely on a single, small woofer per channel. Within the Klipsch iGroove's compact dimensions, Klipsch engineers installed a stereo pair of 2.5-inch woofers and 1-inch horn-loaded tweeters that focus the treble sound up toward the listening position. A set of volume up/down buttons and an on/off switch are the unit's only controls. The Klipsch iGroove is available in both matte-silver finish and high-gloss black, called the Klipsch iGroove HG.
The Klipsch iGroove comes with a handy mini-remote that adjusts the volume and your iPod's play/pause functions, as well as changes tracks on your playlists. Like the Bose SoundDock, the Klipsch iGroove can accept any iPod with a dock connector. Full-size iPods, including the video-enabled fifth-generation iPod, fit snugly, thanks to an adjustable backrest. An adapter is included for older iPod Mini models, and Klipsch has begun bundling adapters for the iPod Nano as well. If you bought the early versions of the Klipsch iGroove that lack the Nano adapter, just call Klipsch's customer support, who'll ship one to you for free. Don't own an iPod?
No problem--other similar-size MP3 players can use the included J-Cup cradle and loop the provided cable into the headphone jack. In fact, you can plug anything with a headphone or line-out jack into the Klipsch iGroove, even if it doesn't fit the cradle. The speaker runs off the included AC power supply and charges docked iPods as well.
We started our evaluations in earnest with some Simon and Garfunkel's tunes, and the Klipsch iGroove sounded pleasantly natural. Their soaring vocals, the guitars, and the band on the Bridge over Troubled Water album sounded great. The Klipsch iGroove is just 15 inches wide, so stereo separation isn't its strong suit. In small bedrooms or kitchens, the Klipsch iGroove will play reasonably loud, but it's not exactly a party animal. That said, considering its modest dimensions, the Klipsch iGroove generates surprisingly satisfying bass without exaggerated boominess or thickening.
We noted that some tunes elicited a mild buzzing sound between our iPod and the Klipsch iGroove. Most of the time, we were unaware of the noise--it happened on only a limited range of bass notes. After adjusting the Klipsch iGroove's backrest, the buzz disappeared, and the bass noticeably improved. In other words, make sure the iPod has a solid connection with the Klipsch iGroove's dock.
We liked the Klipsch iGroove, but it's nowhere as impressive as the company's three-piece iPod speaker system, the Klipsch iFi Speaker System for iPod . That set features a hunky 8-inch, 200-watt, powered subwoofer and a set of Klipsch's superb two-way, RSX-3 satellite speakers. It takes up a lot more space than the Klipsch iGroove, but it's far and away the best iPod speaker on the market.
You will probably either sympathize or laugh at this latest story coming from the console gaming community. According to last Saturday's Wall Street Journal (subscription required), gamers are finding that the new Nintendo Wii can be a real pain in the neck... back, shoulder, elbow, wrist, etc.
In case you are unfamiliar with the Nintendo Wii, the controller it comes with is a wireless, motion-sensitive wand-like device. Gamers wave the controller around in the air and depending on which type of game you are playing, the controller can be anything from a sword, gun, tennis racket, or even a steering wheel. However, since the console debuted in mid-November, Nintendo Wii owners are complaining of aching backs, sore shoulders, and even something now called "Wii elbow."
Here are a couple quotes from the WSJ article from Nintendo Wii owners:
Blaine Stuart of Rochester, New York, mistakenly whacked his fiancee, Shelly Haefele, while playing tennis and also accidentally hit his dog while bowling despite the message Nintendo flashes up on the screen before each game which says: "Make sure there are no people or objects around you that you might bump into while playing."
Ryan Mercer, a customs broker in Indianapolis, lifts weights several times a week. But that hasn't helped much with the Wii. After playing the boxing game for an hour and a half, his arms, shoulders and torso were aching. "I was soaking wet with sweat, head to toe -- I had to go take a shower," he says. And the next morning? "I had trouble putting my shirt on," says the 21-year-old avid gamer.
So what do the doctors think about all this? Lana Kang, an orthopedic hand surgeon, had this piece of advice, "It's just like athletic play.... Stretch out and be sure to take care of any injuries afterwards."
With the rate of obese children skyrocketing worldwide, you'd think people would be congratulating Nintendo for combining gaming and exercise, not complaining. Oh well. Grab another Big Mac and wait for the next generation of gaming consoles to come out. Maybe they'll feature 'mind control ' so you don't even have to lift a finger to play.
The new Bose Triport IE headphones are guaranteed to give you excellent quality and real sound as one would wish for but generally at the cost of wearing bulky and flashy headgear. But there are the times when in-ear headphones are more welcome for many reasons. Thankfully, Bose have come out with its Tri-Port in-ear headphones. The issue of different ear sizes is settled with these headphones coming with 3 different sized end plugs. These plugs are tender to feel and use, being made of soft silicone. Now experiencing good quality music from iPods , DVD players and other music systems with small and sleek headphones, can make listening to music a completely new blissful (and lighter) experience.
A new standard for in-ear headphones
Bose research and engineering are at the core of the remarkable performance of Bose in-ear headphones. They incorporate our proprietary TriPort® acoustic headphone structure, for example, for greater low-frequency output from a small headphone. This technology helps create more balanced, lifelike sound. You hear your music with more range, realism and clarity than commonly found with conventional earbuds.
Better sound, better fit
Bose in-ear headphones are designed to remain comfortable and stable in your ears for hours. Many people have experienced the discomfort and instability of traditional earbuds, especially after long periods of listening. But Bose engineers developed innovative, soft silicone tips shaped to rest gently and securely in the outer bowl of your ear.
Removable S, M and L tips are included, so you can adjust the size for a more accurate fit. The washable tips are color coded to make it easier to distinguish among them. You may find using a different size tip for each ear the most comfortable and secure option.
Better on the go
Bose in-ear headphones are engineered specifically for portable audio devices like MP3 players, and CD and DVD players. They come with a small carrying case that protects the headphones when not in use. The sleek, black case also helps keep the cable organized and tangle free.
Have a habit of messing up or getting yourself in a jam when cooking Thanksgiving dinner (US)? When things go wrong in the kitchen, sometimes you probably feel like running down to the closest restaurant for some professional advice. Physically busting into a restaurant kitchen may be a little extreme, but thanks to a few websites like ChefsLine.com and Chefs.com, experienced chefs are connecting with home cooks via email and instant-messaging.
This hi-tech cooking assistance fills a growing need that has boomed recently due to the popularity of hobby cooking. Food TV shows and web sites are inspiring more and more people to try their hand in the kitchen. The only problem is... the average person doesn't really know how to cook anymore.
So the next time you are wondering how to cook a frozen turkey in one afternoon or why your flourless cake never cooked all the way through, professional help might be just one IM away. But before you start chatting with chefs online, you might want to brush up on your chatroom and IM lingo.
The Pronto Pro TSU7000 universal remote control goes well beyond the borders of your imagination. The device features an incorporated TFT display with touch screen technology that allows users to control their TVs, DVD players, satellite receivers, stereo systems, and more. The screen offers the best readability on the market, and its 64,000 colors allow users to be as creative as they want to be. Unlike most remote controls, which are limited to a certain number of components and/or functions, the ProntoPro's unparalleled design combines the benefits of a dynamic digital user interface with direct access buttons. It's easy to add, delete, and label new buttons or menus, letting users customize the remote according to individual needs and tastes. Users can also set up, change, and personalize the user interface with any number of components.
In combination with the ProntoProEdit software package (with a free download at www.pronto.philips.com), users can create state-of-the-art configurations. The device offers a 32 MB memory capacity, which is big enough to implement any type of user interface with custom button colors, channel icons, and background colors.
The ProntoPro can control virtually any infrared (IR) device and comes with pre-installed codes for more than 800 brands. It can also learn new brands and even grow in functionality as your system changes to accommodate new components. Plus, with IR/RF compatibility, the device can control infrared devices in cabinets or other rooms with the simple addition of an RF extender.
Single solution for any device and brand
Extensive universal infrared code database
Learns any infrared code from another remote by simply pointing at the device
Future-proof, upgradeable software
Radio frequency for devices not in line of sight via RF extender
Fully customizable user interface
PC software helps design your remote's functions
Creates macros that perform multiple commands with 1 button
64,000-color TFT LCD screen for extensive graphical capabilities
32 MB of memory enables creation of large custom configuration files
Ergonomic design with 1-hand operation
Keys assignable to the most frequently used functions
Large 3.8-inch LCD touch screen display
Compatible with Windows 98 SE, Me, 2000, and XP
The ProntoPro Next Generation provides the opportunity to go beyond the borders of imagination. The incorporated TFT display technology guarantees the best readability on the market, and 64K colors allow you to stretch your creative imagination to the maximum! Includes ProntoPro NG control panel, NiMH rechargeable battery pack, CD-ROM with ProntoProEdit NG PC-software, USB cable for PC- connection, User guide. * Extended Memory : 32 MB * Large LCD Touchscreen Display : 3.8" 64K TFT Color Large, High Resolution LCD Display with bright backlight for convenient operation with easy-to-use touch screen. * Fully-Customizable Learning Remote Control Remote controls are typically limited to a certain number of components and/or functions - not this one. ProntoPro NG s unparalleled design combines the benefits of a dynamic, digital user interface with direct access buttons. It s easy to add, delete, and label new buttons or menus. This allows maximum customization according to individual needs and tastes. It s easy to set up, change, and personalize the user interface with any number of components. In combination with the strong ProntoProEdit NG software package (a free download at pronto.philips.com), you can create state-of-the-art configurations.The unit s memory capacity-32 MB gives the freedom to implement any type of user interface with customized button colors, channel icons and background.
I guess the Internet video battle between QuickTime, RealPlayer and Windows Media is over. Who won... none of the above. Sites like MySpace and YouTube have made Flash the standard flavor of video on the Internet. Even Microsoft has thrown in the towel. Their news website, MSNBC.com switched over to Flash in October.
It was probably a painful decision for Redmond to admit defeat, but they were losing eyeballs and ad revenue on a daily basis. If you wanted to watch video on MSNBC.com's site, you had to be using Internet Explorer on a PC. But as the Macintosh user base grew (thanks to the iPod) and more and more people started using the FireFox web browser, Microsoft saw their audience start to shrink. Microsoft had to finally face the fact that they needed a cross-platform video player that worked with other web browsers.
Charlie Tillinghast, president and publisher of MSNBC.com, had this to say in a company email "We have been pushing for a player that works on Mac and Firefox for a long time and are eager to see it launch... Some people assume that Microsoft, and by extension MSNBC, are anti-Mac, but it should be noted that Microsoft makes an outstanding version of Office for the Mac, including the Entourage email system. I purchased a new iMac in anticipation of this release and we have several in use at MSNBC itself."
Has this happened to you before? You like an artist and buy a few tracks from their album on iTunes. Then you realize that you really like the artist and want to buy the rest of the album. But if you buy each remaining song on the album separately, it costs more than if you just buy the entire album all at once. And many times, several tracks on the disc as well as the PDF booklet are only available if you purchase the entire album at once (iTunes calls them Album Only offerings).
I've run into this dilemma a few times before. Sometimes I'll want to buy the entire album but won't just because I don't want to waste the money.
Apparently I'm not alone when it comes to this problem. If recent reports are true, Apple is supposedly going to credit iTunes users who purchase individual tracks before buying the entire album. For example, let's say you bought two tracks from the new live Foo Fighters album for $0.99 each and the album is priced at $9.99. If you decided to buy the album later, Apple would charge you something like $8.01 instead and credit you for the tracks you already own.
Why would Apple do this? Why not? Something as simple as this might be the deciding factor between you just buying 1 or 2 songs or the entire album on iTunes. And if you decide to buy the entire album, then everybody wins. You save some money and get the music you want. The record companies sell more albums (something they are struggling to do because everyone just buys singles now). And Apple makes a bigger commission.
It's a great idea. I'm surprised Apple hasn't done this in the iTunes Music Store since day one.
As the online social networking phenomenon continues to grow, more and more competitors are trying to get into the market. There has been a lot of talk about Microsoft's new Wallop, but is it really worth leaving MySpace for this new social network?
Unlike MySpace, Wallop is an invitation only social network. Meaning you must be invited by another user to join. Upon joining, Wallop will ask for your credit card information. This is because of Wallop's "mods." For MySpace, all modifications to your profile are done using HTML code. The HTML may be written by the end user, or taken from the internet and as a result, is free. The pages on Wallop are more like Power Point pages, which do not use HTML code to change the look. To change your look on Wallop, you have to purchase these "mods" for about $0.50 - $1.00 a piece. An easy way for Microsoft to make more money, but is Wallop targeting the same demographic as MySpace?
The answer is no. Wallop is meant to be an adult social networking community. The concept is a good one but will adult users migrate from a free social networking community like Myspace to a pay version? More and more adults are using Myspace to keep in touch with family and friends and also to advertise their businesses. The network is huge mainly because of its ability to personalize your page with free and widely available HTML. Wallop is cleaner and easier to navigate but profiles are not searchable (yet) and you must pay to personalize your page.
With the addition of Wallop to the social networking community, adults now have a place to go where it is targeted strictly for adults. However, it appears that Myspace has provided a place for 14-35 year olds to go without having to enter a credit card number, and pulling those adults away from a free and open service to a pay service is going to be a challenge.
Is Wallop a "MySpace killer" for Microsoft? Not a chance. Is Wallop worth a try? Only if you like tinkering around.
According to Microsoft, Windows Vista contains hundreds of new features including advanced speech recognition software. Vista's speech recognition software can be "trained" to understand a user's voice, activate commands in any Windows application, and to enable voice dictation. It also supports multiple languages. Sounds great right? Well maybe not. What until you see this video of Vista's speech recognition in action.
The guy giving the demo says the following into his microphone:
This is how Vista's speech recognition software translated it:
"Dear aunt, let's set so double the killer delete select all"
Of course the audience attending the live demo broke out into a fit of laughter. Wouldn't you? Jim Goldman from CNBC called the fiasco a "live product demonstration gone awry." He then went on to say the following, "Microsoft calls it voice recognition. But after today's major technical glitch, you and I might want to refer to it as voice wreckognition."
Windows Vista ships sometime in early 2007. Hopefully that will give Microsoft enough time to work out some more kinks.
Are you addicted to the Internet? How much time do you spend on your favorite websites everyday? If you are curious, a free Firefox extension called PageAddict can give you a summary of your daily online activity.
If you are already using the Firefox web browser, just install the PageAddict extension and surf the Internet like you normally would. When you want to see the results, just return to PageAddict.com. There you'll get the time spent at each site, percentages of overall time and the option to apply tags. You can even categorize different sites and restrict how much time you spend in each category per day (if you deem necessary).
PageAddict results are often surprising. Will you use the data to help make positive changes in your lifestyle? You can download PageAddict here.
While there has been much focus on the developing battle between Blu-Ray and HD DVD, it seems that both formats are underperforming with consumers in the early going. Thus far, only $30M has been spent by consumers on the new formats, $25M on hardware and $5M on software, as reported by Reuters.
Think Sony PSP games are overpriced? Us too. Here's a tutorial on how to download free homebrew games off the Internet and install them on your PSP.
In this tutorial we will be installing a homebrew game called SmashGpsp. If you are unfamiliar with this game, SmashGpsp is a lose PSP recreation of the popular Nintendo 64 game Super Smash Brothers by a very talented programmer named mATkEUpON.
Tutorial:Install Homebrew Games on Your Sony PSP This guide doesn't detail eboot loaders, which you'll need for some of the more complicated homebrew programs out there. This tutorial is a good first step if you want to get your feet wet in the world of PSP homebrew.
The Office is one of the best shows on network TV. It's clever, witty and very funny. But according to the Nielson ratings, The Office was a dud. The ratings were so bad that NBC almost cancelled it before the end of its first season. But since NBC owns and produces The Office, they had nothing to lose by posting it in the iTunes Store. At the very least, NBC thought they might make a little money on iTunes before canceling the show. But once episodes of The Office were available online, they became an iTunes overnight best seller. The Office had a huge fan base and the low Neilson ratings were basically just a lie.
Angela Bromstead, president of NBC Universal Television Studios, had this to say in Newsday:
"I'm not sure that we'd still have the show on the air" without the iTunes boost... The network had only ordered so many episodes, but when it went on iTunes and really started taking off, that gave us another way to see the true potential other than just Nielsen. It just kind of happened at a great time."
Personally I think the Nielson ratings are a total joke. They only put a few thousand viewing monitors in dumb people's houses. How is this an accurate sampling of US households? It's not. Think I'm wrong? Consider the following:
Why is COPS still on the air and getting good ratings 10+ years later?
Why were shows like Family Guy and Futurama cancelled for low ratings, only to be renewed after doing well on the Cartoon Network and DVD.
Why is wrestling now on the SciFi Channel?
Why did Fox cancel Firefly before the end of its first season? The show went on to be a best seller on iTunes as well as on DVD. It was also made into a major motion picture called Serenity.
The answer to all these questions: only dumb people have Nielson boxes and the networks don't have enough guts to ignore Nielson's lies. Also, ponder this little tidbit. Until recently, the Nielson boxes were NOT compatible with home TV systems that had a TiVo, satellite dish or digital cable box. That's a lot of people Nielson just decided to conveniently ignore.
If you are also a fan of The Office, just remember that the iTunes Store is responsible for keeping the show alive. Fans of the show voted with their wallets while dumb Nielson households were busy watching COPS reruns. Again.