If you are looking for a good new gadget site, Gadget Advisor maybe the place you are looking for. The site is fairly new, but they are only covering new product releases, and some of the more interesting and useful news items, which gives them a best of the best like quality when it comes to software, hardware and the latest tech news. The only thing I would suggest would be to include more of their research on their articles, maybe include some comparison charts, or data, to round out their coverage.
Some pages that are definitely worth checking out:
I found the page top extensions for Firefox great and will definitely check out some of them, such as Oldbar, for those of us who don’t like the “AwesomeBar”.
Evaluating an online backup service is a good article to check, while they don’t go into detail about each service, they do you give specific reasons as to why each service is worth checking.
This is a sponsored review.
Walmart is pushing sales on the iPod’s they have in stock so right now you can Save with iPod Value Bundles at Walmart.com. Check out all of the iPod bundles below.
Here are some great deals for this weekend from J&R.com.
Everybody got some nice new toys for Christmas, right? A new MP3 player, like an iPod Nano, or a Zune, a new phone, PDA, any number of small electronic gadgets that will need protection from scratches and scrapes. If this is not your first gadget, cell phone, or iPod, then you know how quickly you can get scratches on it. If you carry them around in your pockets with your keys, it’s not a question of if, it is a question of when it will get scratched up. So, how do you protect them? The Invisible Shield from the Shieldzone.com.
I’ll admit, this is my first shield of any kind for any of our gadgets, but I can’t imagine there could be a better one, unless, someone has one you can just spray and it dries instantly. The Invisible Shield, all of them, operate the same way. The Invisible Shield is made from a film originally created by the military to protect the leading edges of helicopter blades from wear and tear while traveling hundreds of miles per hour, so it is tough. All you have to do is watch any of the scratch test videos below to see that. People scratched the heck out of their gadgets to test the shield, and not one scratch has shown up. It is really easy to apply because it comes with a liquid you spray on the shield first, and since it starts out wet, you can move it around to hit the exact spot. You squeegee it off with the plastic squeegee they send, and that is it. I don’t remember seeing any big bubbles on mine at all, and I installed it on three devices, I do have one tiny bubble on my Sony Kitana phone, but that was because I didn’t spray enough of the liquid on it and couldn’t slide it around. So take note: Make sure you coat the film very well so it is easy to adjust.
I covered my iPaq with a shield, my Kitana phone and my iPod Nano, and all three devices work great. On the iPaq, I just installed the screen shield, I have a case I carry it in. On my Kitana, I did the front and back, the kit included shields for the sides, but I did not install those, and the Nano was covered totally, as it rides in my pockets, sometimes with my keys and needs the most protection. The phone already had some scratches, so I’m not going to include any pictures of it, but I have to say, I love the way it feels now. It feels so much better than the phone itself, and, when I lay it on my console in my truck, it doesn’t slide off anymore when I hit the brake! Bonus! I will post a pic of the iPaq and the iPod tomorrow evening, as soon as I replace my digital camera that was stolen on my last flight out of town.
I am not doing any installation videos because I found one from Mobility Today that is perfect. It shows you step by step how to install it, about a 10 or 15 minute process, and you do have to wait 24 hours for it to settle and dry. The video is here. You will notice once installed there looks like there are ridges in the Invisible Shield, but that is just some kind of reflection, and it only occurs at extreme angles, and not head on, so it does not interfere with the video at all and you cannot feel them. A video below demonstrates this so you can see it is only a minor issue.
They have Invisible Shields for about all of the electronic gadgets available, Car Electronics, Cell Phones, Digital Camera LCDs, Dive Computers, Gaming Systems, GPS, Heart Rate Monitors, iPod Accessories, iPods, Laptops, Mac Mini, MP3 Players, Multimedia Viewers, PDAs, Portable DVD Players, Satellite Radios, Smartphones, Watches and more, and you can even get custom made Shields.
Here is the best video I have found to demonstrate the scratch test on your gadget with an Invisible Shield, click here. It makes sure you can see the surface by making it glare a little, so you can see if there are any scratches or not. This truly is a great product, I am preparing to order one for my 1st generation iPod, my wife’s phone, and I might get one for my laptop, I bet it will make if “feel” a lot better. I am also going to try out their Applesauce Polish on my son’s first generation black iPod Nano, the ones that scratched when breathed on them, it is supposed to bring back the shine and remove the scratches, and if that works well, I’ll slap an Invisible Shield on it as well. Try one out for yourself today from the Invisible Shield, and I bet you buy one for every gadget you have.
Oh, I almost forgot, they have a lifetime guarantee, if it ever scratches or peels off they will replace it. If you have to send your gadget back in for service, simply peel the film off and send it back to them, and they will send you a replacement shield free of charge. Beat that! It is a piece of cake to remove, you simply grab a corner and peel it off like a sticker.
Here are the special video game bundles from Wal Mart.
Here are the top selling video games and bundles from Wal Mart.
Latest video game releases from Wal Mart.
Here are the latest batch of rollbacks on video games from Wal Mart.
Here are the latest video games added to the clearance rack at Wal Mart.
Here are tons of video games from Overstock.com.
Just finished looking at a lot of posts talking about a major announcement at some function in Redmond, at Microsoft headquarters. iLounge is reporting that they are announcing a new Zune, and none of the other sites that posted about it, Engadget, CrunchGear, Gizmodo, and Cliczune, among others, had anything else to add. I guess we will see tomorrow.
A writer over at Zune Scene says he got the drop on a Microsoft employee working in the Zune department, and once he found out he worked on the Zune, he started pumping him for information. The latest version of the Zune will have a bigger hard drive, but it will be thinner, he also told him about the smaller, flash based player, like the iPod Shuffle, it will be 3 inches by 1 1/4 inches by 1 1/4 inches, will be video capable, with the screen covering about 755 of the front, and it will have wifi!
Zune 2.0 and a smaller flash based Zune will be sold this year. He would not tell me the marketing names but referred to them as the big one and little one. The hard drive version looks like the generation 1 Zune, but is thinner. It has a larger hard drive and still uses the double shot. The flash based player he said is about “3 by 1 1/4 by 1/4 inches” in size. It is video capable and he said the screen covers about 75% of the front, similar to the hard drive Zune. The flash player has WiFi and also uses a double shot. We discussed colors, he said there were several but did not disclose them. He had some interesting points about the clamshells saying that they can’t be opened easily like the current Zune. Both devices have completed the design phase, although some last minute minor tweaks to the hardware will occur. When I asked about memory capacity he said “you have to beat the competition you know” he also said the flash memory fills the smaller device from top to bottom. Surprisingly he gave some hard numbers: 2.4 million next gen Zunes will be fabricated prior the 2007 holiday season. About 2/3 of them are the smaller flash units. ” A new building is currently under construction in Dao Min China, next to the one that makes the XBOX 360″ he said. In Zune Scene’s opinion, based on that statement, it appears the Zune 2.0 will not be another Toshiba Gigabeat based device. Source: Zune 2.0 and Flash Zune Details Leaked
Pretty cool, wonder if the Microsoft employee has read the blog yet?
And they mention it in the release, just so you know. The Yahoo Musci Blog announced the release of the Sandisk Sansa Connect, the Wifi enabled MP3 player that will free you from your USB cables, at least until you need to charge it. You can listen to personalized radio, share music over Yahoo Messenger, view photos from Flickr and download music. They are offering unlimited downloads from Yahoo Music Unlimited for only $12 dollars a month, but I see no mention if they are cutting a similar deal of DRM less MP3′s from EMI.
For me personally, the SanDisk Connect has put me in a completely different mode of portable music listening and discovery. I didn?t even connect mine to a computer for a week. I fired it up, started listening to personalized LAUNCHcast, and as songs I loved would play I?d grab the whole album. Then it was time to leave the house so I walked out the door and into the car, connected it to the line-in, and backed out of the driveway. The device elegantly said, ?um, lost the connection to Wifi, dude?, so I flipped over into ?My Library? and hit ?Shuffle All? to start listening to the many songs I?d downloaded. Then when I got home the device was smart enough to wake up, realize there was Wifi available again, and restart my downloads. Simple and genius management of limited connectivity. Source: Wifi-Enabled SanDisk Sansa Connect Features Yahoo! Music Unlimited, LAUNCHcast, Messenger, and Flickr
This device becomes part of your entire music setup, when you update songs on your Sansa Connect, you add your music to your Music Jukebox as well, when you create a playlist in the Jukebox, they show up on your Sansa, when you rate songs on the device it affects your Launchcasts you listen to on the web.
I’m not buying any more MP3 players, with three different iPods, a Zune and various generic MP3 players, I don’t think that me or my kids needs another, but if someone wants to send me one for review, I’d sure like to try one out. Maybe someone should send one to Microsoft so they can see what their wireless should look like.
Lots more sites are posting stuff about the Sansa Connect; here is a little rundown of some of the other coverage.
A New Wireless Player
Hopes to Challenge iPod A new wireless MP3 player called the Sansa Connect — the result of a three-way collaboration among Yahoo, MP3 player and storage device maker SanDisk Corp. and technology start-up Zing Systems Inc. — hit store shelves on Friday. The $250 device, crafted to work closely with Yahoo’s Internet music and other online services, has a novel twist: It’s designed to download music from the Internet wirelessly when the user isn’t necessarily near a personal computer and wants to get fresh batches of songs.
Yahoo/Sansa?s Music Player Foray: 100M iPods too Late? If I am Sandisk – #2 at 9% in digital music players – or Yahoo! – #2 in search with 30% market share – I?d look for an iPod killer/Google killer respectively, and seeing how the iPhone will rightfully or wrongfully get much buzz upon launch this year, I?d make sure I?d have plans to turn this into a phone/PDA/web browser pretty soon. Who knows, maybe that?s already in the works.
SanDisk and Yahoo, a Love Connect-ion? Back in September, it appeared as the Zing, a Flash-based Wi-Fi-enabled music player with the un-Zune-y ability to download tracks wirelessly from an Internet service. At CES, it was re-named Connect and announced as part of SanDisk’s successful Flash-player lineup. Now it’s shipping?4GB of internal flash memory, 2.2-in. TFT color screen and a microSD slot for expansion up to 8 gigs, for $250. Today’s news is that it comes with a bunch of Yahoo-related perks.
SanDisk and Yahoo! Music Partner on Unique Music Experience for Sansa Connect Wireless Internet MP3 Player This is the official press release. The Sansa Connect player is designed to work seamlessly with a wide range of popular music formats such as MP3 and Windows Media Audio (WMA) in both unprotected and protected files. While optimized to work wirelessly with Yahoo! Music Unlimited to Go, the player supports all Microsoft PlaysForSure subscription music via a PC connection.
The Zune release manager has just reported that the next firmware update for the Zune will be mid-March. The will take it to version 1.3. They are fixing at least three problems, the skipping, FM tuner power drain and are updating the synching.
We’re fixing the skipping problem that some users were experiencing, that is, content acquired from Zune Marketplace will no longer skip when played on the device.
Improved device and software reliability, when it comes to device detection, and improved sync’ing.
We?ve made some changes to the FM Tuner so it no longer drains the battery when in sleep mode. source: Zune Firmware Update 1.3 Coming Mid-March
One commenter stated he would like to see them get rid of the 3×3 rule, three days or three listens and then you can’t play an item that has been beamed to another Zune, because he can’t even keep podcasts given to him by their owner. An entirely reasonable request, by adding the DRM they are making it harder for people to pass around their own stuff to people, if someone wants to give away their songs, podcasts, etc, to someone for a review, etc, why should it go away after three days? Complete and utter crap, please keep your DRM off of MY digital media.
There has been some speculation that Microsoft was going to release a Zune Phone ever since Apple announced their new iPhone. Two articles today talked about Microsoft filing with the Federal Communications Commission, and that filing suggests the technology giant will likely add phone service to its line of hand-held media players, known as the Zune. The article on Marketwatch said it would be a wireless advice using OFDM.
In the filing, Microsoft describes a wireless device that utilizes OFDM, a technology that can be used to route digital TV and voice calls among devices. Versions of OFDM have been tested and deployed for mobile phone use by carriers including Sprint Nextel Corp. and closely-held Clearwire Corp.
Microsoft is part of a broad coalition of tech companies that has lobbied regulators for expanded wireless access to the Internet. Others in the coalition, which are mentioned in the filing as taking part in submitting the device for testing, include Google Inc., Hewlett-Packard Co. and Intel Corp.
The coalition has focused on encouraging the FCC to make unused wireless spectrum — originally allotted for things like digital TV — available for Internet communication. Source: Microsoft to submit wireless device for FCC testing
Talk has been it will be a VOIP, voice over IP, mobile phone, while the iPhone is a cell phone, or a smart phone. Microsoft has stated that it will be used for consumer broadband access and networking. There is some big speculation going on at Crunchgear, saying it will be using WiMax and taking the social nationwide.
The Zune Phone remedies this by allowing you to share music not via WiFi, but via WiMax, so that anyone on your friends list who is online can sample your music, and vice versa. By using the mobile WiMax network, you can be in New York and your friend can be in San Jose and you can send him that Shins song you like.
By taking the proximity limitations from an otherwise sound idea and reversing them macro-syle, Microsoft opens up the Zune experience to everyone, making the ecosystem reach from coast-to-coast. The Social, as they say, goes national. We love the idea, as it really frames the concept of portable social networking in a wide, wide light. Source: Zune Phone Confirmed! Launch Scenario! 4G WiMax Action! Rumors Off the WTF-o-Meter
Lots and lots of speculation. Bill was asked recently about a Zune phone and he said no, but they have submitted this to the FTC, and they have said it will offer broadband access and networking. Their source did say that this has been in development for awhile, but is just now being rolled into the Zune. Time will tell.
Added: Engadget has dug some more into the FTC filing and says this probably doesn’t have anything to do with the Zune Phone, though they say they know one is coming.
…but what passed through the FCC was a pre-approval application document that ran down a list of questions the FCC had for a CE “coalition” consisting of Microsoft, Dell, Google, HP, Intel, Philips, who are apparently in on some device together. (Strike one. You really think Microsoft’s gonna collaborate on the Zune phone? And with that many non-cell phone carrier companies?) From what we can tell, it’ll be wireless (duh) with DTV signal detection and transmission (i.e. cognitive radio), and BPSK, WPSK (and likely QAM) modulation and OFDM. Doesn’t mean a lot to most people, we know, but the FCC plainly asked the consortium to describe the product’s purpose… Source: Debunk: Microsoft files for Zune phone with FCC — probably not
But, they do say, they will know for sure when the filing actually hits the FTC in the near future.