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More Wii News

Apparently Wii-motes flying out of peoples' hands and damaging expensive TVs has become a big enough problem that Panasonic announced that some of its new plasma TVs will be strong enough to sustain a blow from a Wii projectile. We imagine that could come in handy for beer cans tossed at ball games too.

Speaking of the Wii-mote, of you haven't been one of the millions of people to watch Johnny Lee's Wii-mote hacks on Youtube and you want to see some clever engineering from a certified wiz kid then check out this video.  read more »

 

Best Place to Buy a Wii

Friends have asked us what's the best way to buy a hard-to-find Nintendo Wii. A quick poll of some expert gamers and shoppers including our own Robb Lewis revealed these tips. Craig Eastman of Gamepro Magazine fame, said it's all about timing a visit to a retailer like Target or Sears so you're there when the shipment comes in. If you're nice to the clerk in the games department, maybe he or she will tip you off. Norman Fong, techbargains deal wizard says, "Gotta get the Sunday ad on Saturday, see who's  read more »

 

Is It Time To Buy a Blu-ray Player?

Toshiba has thrown in the towel and it looks like Blu-ray will be the one and only high definition DVD format for the time being. Is it time to buy a Blu-ray player? Maybe not. 

The Blu-ray group has been a little behind on approving the Profiles that provide features like picture in picture commentaries, and intenet connectivity. Since the features haven't in place on the players the studios haven't been including them in the discs. To make matters worse it hasn't been possible to upgrade firmware on older players. All that should change but it should take another couple  read more »

 

Going Handsfree - It's the Law

Five states have passed laws making it illegal to hold a cell phone while talking on it in a car. The California law takes effect July 1, 2008 and will cost drivers $20 for the first offense.

Personally I haven't found an ideal alternative to holding my phone up to my ear. Aliph's Jawbone has the best repution for sound quality and noise reduction but there are universal complaints about the fit on your ear. At CES this year Jawbone ran a promotion that offered a free Jawbone with a trade-in of any bluetoo  read more »

 

HD DVD on the Ropes After Warner Announcement

The HD DVD camp is reeling from the Warner Brothers announcement to distribute Blu-ray only discs as of June 2008, . Warner is one of the largest DVD producers and could significantly change the balance in the Blu-ray vs. HD DVD format war. In reaction, the HD DVD group cancelled a big press event at CES. To make matters worse rumors have Apple's new Macbooks sporting Blu-ray DVD drives. This has got to have the Microsoft camp riled up and huddling with Toshiba to plan a counter attack. On the other hand I think it was Bill Gates who said this will probably be the last physical media format  read more »

 

Retrevo Gang Headed For Las Vegas

 CES is about to get underway in Las Vegas on January 7, 2008. Last year HDTV displays were the hot items but Apple stole the show with the introduction of the iPhone. The boys must have made a deal this year because the "rumored" new Macbooks built around Intel's new 45 nm Penryn processor will not be revealed until well after CES ends.

Speaking of Penryn, we expect to see many laptop announcements at the show from manufacturers including Sony, Fujitsu, Aser, Dell, and more. Penryn offers a faster front side bus and lower power requirements. We'll be looking for LE  read more »

 

MEMC Could Be Next Hot HDTV Feature



This year, the hot new feature in HDTV just might be "motion control motion enhancement," or MEMC. MEMC chips can help reduce blurring in fast-action programming like sports. This has been a differentiation between Plasma TVs and LCD TVs. Plasma TVs have had fewer problems handling fast moving subjects than LCD TVs.  LCD TVs have countered with faster refresh rates (120 Hz) and faster pixel response times (8 ms. and lower).

MEMC promises to narrow the gap further. MEMC has been used for some time in the compression and decompression (CODEC) schemes but is  read more »

 

GPS Windshield Mounts Are Illegal in California

I see more and more cars here in the Bay Area with all kinds of devices hanging off the insides of windshields. I just learned that this is actually illegal in California and Minnesota (I'm pretty sure). Some people think there might be an exception for GPS devices but the California code makes it pretty clear there are only a few exceptions for things you can attach to the windshiled like toll tranceivers behind the mirror and stickers in the corners.

 

The Best Webcam I've Ever Owned

My daughter relocated to Austin, Tx recently. She had a webcam, I didn't. After a little research on Retrevo  which indicated that Logitech had the edge over Creative I headed over to Fry's. We have the good fortune (or bad) of having a Fry's five minutes from Retrevo World Headquaters in Sunnyvale , CA . I decided to splurge on the high-end Logitech QuickCam Pro 9000  and boy am I glad I did. Webcams have come a long way in the last few years. Th  read more »

 

Kindle Fans Flame

A week later and lines are being drawn on Kindle. I still want one and think it's a revolutionary product albeit 1.0. Professional critics like John Dvork on TWIT had nothing good to say about it. Michael Arrington on a techcrunch video gave it 2 out 10, up from an earlier 0 out of 10. Robert Scoble has an impassioned critique on his site where he says the designers should be  read more »