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Archive for the ‘Gadgets’ Category

Playstation 3 vs X-Box 360: The Game

Penny Arcade offers an interesting comment on the Sony PS3 / X-Box 360 battle this morning: “The game which sits above the ones we play – historically almost naval, in its pace – is more fascinating than ever, this time around.”

Showtime at Apple

Here’s a quick rundown of what’s been announced by Apple this afternoon:

  • iPod beefed up to feature 30Gb and 80Gb models.
  • iPod Nano gets new, uglier, mini-style design. Presumably, as Grid212 mentioned, because of the problem the original had with scratches. It’s also been bumped up to 2Gb, 4Gb and 8Gb models and has a brighter screen.
  • iPod Shuffle gets smaller and restyled to match the new Nano.
  • iTunes 7: Movie downloads, Cover Flow (flip through your DVD and CD covers), updated interface and Automatic Album Art (which sounds rather scarily Big Brother: “As long as you have an iTunes Store account, iTunes will automatically fetch available album art for any CD you imported to iTunes.”).
  • Downloadable games for iPod like Tetris, Pac-Man and Bejeweled.
  • Movie downloads. Still 4:3, though a slightly higher (but still small) 640×480 resolution. It also, predictably, seems to be Disney content right now.

They also announced that they’re working on a sleek looking set-top box tentatively named iTV (no relation, I assume, and, pending a lawsuit from ITV, I am certain it will change) which transmits video from iTunes to TV.

Countdown to Apple “Showtime”

Countdown to Apple “Showtime”: Blog212 sifts through the last minute rumours and speculation over Apple’s forthcoming announcements. Call me cynical but I reckon it’ll just be iTunes 7 with “enhanced” video downloads.

iPod 2.0

I’ve just picked up my new 60Gb iPod (nee “iPod Photo”). I have a 40Gb generation 4 iPod already but as it’s over a year old now, rapidly filling itself up with music, podcasts and data… oh, and because I’m a gadget geek… I decided to upgrade.

I’m pretty impressed with it so far though I can’t help but notice that every time Apple release a new iPod they bundle less and less stuff with it. Only one USB cable and no firewire means I can’t leave one plugged into my computer at home attached to the dock, and carry one around with me. An extra one will set me back £15. Talking of docks: they don’t include one of these anymore, so that’s another £25 spend. Oh, and unlike the iPod Photo, the new iPod doesn’t come with an AV cable; that’ll be £15 to you.

I could go on about how cack the headphones are (this time they’re not even getting unwrapped!) and how anyone with any sense should just go out and get a pair of Sony MDR-EX71SL (unless you have the cash for some Etymotics!) relatively inexpensive for the quality of sound they produce. They sit right inside your ear so do take some getting used to.

Anyway, my point is that the £299 price tag isn’t really £299 at all, but rather £339. £354 if you want to display your photos on TV.

I’m now waiting for the wireless version of this guy, the “Mighty Mouse”. I love the look of it, but I just refuse to go back to using a wired mouse; this isn’t 1999!

Looking for answers in all the wrong places

I’ve just spent the morning trying to fix problems which should have been very easy to fix… but weren’t because I was simply looking in the wrong places for the answer!

Firstly, I attempted to collect my email. Thunderbird fired up fine, as usual, but just stopped at “Connecting to…” I thought the problem was my mail server but no, I could connect via IMAP and webmail just fine. Turns out the problem is Norton… again. Now, aside from being a hideous resource hog, Norton Internet Security is a lovely little app that runs in the background where you let it do its thing and forget about it. Of course, because it’s forgotten about it’s the absolute last place you (well, I, at least!) forget to look.

Secondly, I thought I’d have a play with OrangeTV, Orange’s new app (currently for the Nokia 6680) which streams “TV” to your UMTS/3G mobile. Now, I had a play with this a few days ago but couldn’t get any sound to accompany the video. Figuring it was just a network problem, and because I hadn’t used it before, I didn’t think too much of it.

This morning I gave it another go; again no sound.

When I first received this new handset I found the warning tones a little bit too loud for my liking and, as Nokia still don’t have the option of reducing the warning tone volume independently, I’d turned them off. Strangely, the developers of the OrangeTV app have chosen to disable the audio if the warning tone is turned off in the selected profile. Very odd.

Anyway, I’ve just wasted half a day sorting those out. Now I’ve wasted further time writing about it. :)