December 14, 2005

Wireless review: T-Mobile HotSpots

As published on CNET.com:
"If you're a Windows user with a taste for Starbucks lattes, you'll love T-Mobile's slick, safe, and easy-to-use HotSpot service, although you'll pay a premium to use it. With about 6,400 locations in the United States--many of them in Starbucks cafes--plus a sleek (but Windows-only) connection utility, nationwide WPA and 802.1x protection, and free 24/7 phone support, T-Mobile HotSpot caters to serious mobile warriors who need solid, no-fuss Wi-Fi on the road. That said, T-Mobile's monthly rates are a bit pricey, and it has fewer U.S. and international access points than Boingo Wireless."
Used with permission from CNET Networks, Inc. Copyright 2005.

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December 10, 2005

Feature: Ultimate party gadgets

As published in Rave*SQ:
"Hoping to up the ante with your holiday celebration? Make an impression with the latest and greatest party gear. These eye-popping, ear-tickling and ache-relieving gadgets will turn your year-end event into a treat for the senses."
Used with permission from Soul City Publications, Inc. Copyright 2005.

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December 01, 2005

Home video review: Sony RDR-HX715

As published on CNET.com:
"Sony's RDR-HX715 has more features than any competing hard disk/DVD recorder to date, although it's still missing a couple of our favorites. In addition to its 160GB hard drive, quad-format DVD deck (which burns dual-layer DVD+R discs) and TV Guide onscreen programming guide, the RDR-HX715 is one of the first of its kind with an all-digital HDMI output, which upscales standard-definition video and DVDs to 720p or 1080i resolutions. It's a mouthwatering package but not without its drawbacks: the TV Guide EPG service, while free, doesn't work with all cable carriers, and the deck's HDMI jack is more of a convenience than a performance enhancer. Finally, the $700 price tag seems awfully steep considering what you get. "
Used with permission from CNET Networks, Inc. Copyright 2005.

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November 09, 2005

Gaming review: Kyocera K500 Gamepad

As published on CNET.com:
"Although many come with games, cell phones aren't considered to be hard-core gaming devices. Beyond a small display, a cell phone's controls are designed for dialing and not for maneuvering shapes into place while playing Tetris. Yet Kyocera is aiming to change the latter hurdle with the Kyocera K500 Gamepad. The K500--at $30, designed with help from gaming-PC maker Alienware--looks just like a typical game controller, except you snap in your Kyocera Slider Sonic or Slider Remix phone and blast away with the thumb-friendlier buttons. Unfortunately, the sloppy movement pad made us sitting ducks for our virtual enemies, and the odd positioning controls didn't do us any favors. "
Used with permission from CNET Networks, Inc. Copyright 2005.

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November 08, 2005

News story: The new terrorist menace -- taking pictures

As published in Mobile magazine:
"Consider yourself a suspicious character? The police might think so if you're snapping away with your camera. In the wake of the 'war on terror' and the sweeping Patriot Act, more and more photojournalists, artists, and even amateur shutterbugs with their camera phones are being approached by law enforcement officers, questioned, and in some cases threatened with arrest for taking pictures of buildings, bridges, potholes, or anything else that might be deemed a potential terrorist target."
Used with permission from Mobile magazine. Copyright 2005.

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November 07, 2005

Feature: The ultimate tech luxuries

As published on CNET.com:
"Looking to turn your home into the Taj Mahal of tech? We've scoured CNET and the rest of the Web for the most luxurious gadgets, from TVs and A/V receivers to hot-rod gaming desktops and a seaworthy sports car that even international playboys would love. Warm up your credit card and prepare to indulge in these unique gifts."
Used with permission from CNET Networks, Inc. Copyright 2005.

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November 03, 2005

Wireless review: Kyocera Slider Sonic

As published on CNET.com:
"Virgin Mobile puts a multimedia spin on its phone lineup with the sleek but ultimately disappointing Kyocera Slider Sonic. Armed with a VGA camera, a video recorder, an above-average music player, and a 32MB TransFlash card, the lightweight Slider Sonic--easily Virgin's most powerful handset to date--gets off to a strong start but stumbles with its subpar photo resolution, lack of Bluetooth connectivity, crippled TransFlash and USB features, and stiff sliding action. Virgin Mobile customers who crave music on their phones might enjoy the Slider Sonic, but pay-as-you-go chatters who want a cutting-edge multimedia phone might be better off jumping to a powerhouse such as ESPN Mobile's upcoming EV-DO-enabled Sanyo MVP. It's also costly as Virgin Mobile phones go, with a price tag of $249."
Used with permission from CNET Networks, Inc. Copyright 2005.

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November 02, 2005

Wireless review: Boingo Wireless

As published on CNET.com:
"With its top-notch connection utilities, impressive number of U.S. and international locations, and cheap monthly rates, Boingo Wireless's impeccable WISP (wireless Internet service provider) credentials are tough to beat. While we wish Boingo had hourly rates, 24/7 phone support, and across-the-board 802.1x capabilities, this worldwide WISP takes the cake with its best-of-class Windows connection client, free VPN service, and low, no-contract rates."
Used with permission from CNET Networks, Inc. Copyright 2005.

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October 27, 2005

Software review: Xcelsius XL

As published in Computer Shopper:
"Creating glossy Microsoft Excel charts for your presentations is all well and good, but your static charts and graphs won't help much if your boss wants to play 'What if?' with the projected fourth-quarter sales. XCelsius XL ($195 for the Standard version, $495 for the Professional) lets you do just that, allowing you to add sliders, checkboxes, clickable maps, and guages to your charts and graphs for tweaking the numbers and creating alternate scenarios on the fly."
Used with permission from Computer Shopper. Copyright 2005.

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News story: Nanotech inching toward LCD reality

As published in Mobile magazine:
"Sick of hearing how nanotechnology -- that much talked about yet impenetrably arcane field of microscience -- is going to change the face of technology as we know it, someday, maybe? Before you write off all things nano as so much science fiction, meet our new friend, the nanotube: a teeny, tiny particle that's about to bear some eye-popping fruit."
Used with permission from Mobile magazine. Copyright 2005.

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October 26, 2005

Wireless review: BlackBerry 7100g

As published on CNET.com:
"Research in Motion's slim, lightweight 7100 series makes its way to Cingular Wireless with the arrival of the RIM BlackBerry 7100g. Nearly identical to T-Mobile's BlackBerry 7100t, this new addition to the 7100 family boasts the same quasi-QWERTY keypad, the ability to sync with corporate servers and POP/Web e-mail clients, and a refreshingly compact form factor. That said, the reasonably priced 7100g ($299; $199 with a two-year service plan) comes saddled with some of the same limitations: Bluetooth that's restricted to headsets only, no onboard chat client, and a keypad that can be tricky to master. However, those who want on-the-go access to their e-mail without being weighted down by a hefty device will likely warm to the RIM BlackBerry 7100g--as long as they're willing to deal with the keypad's learning curve."
Used with permission from CNET Networks, Inc. Copyright 2005.

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October 24, 2005

Wireless review: Nextel Motorola i355

As published on CNET.com:
"Looking to crawl around a quarry, climb Mount Everest, or weave your way though the jungle? Here's a phone that's ready to tag along. The rugged, ready-for-anything Nextel Motorola i355 may be bulky and heavy, but it won't have any trouble surviving the elements. This GPS-enabled handset boasts Nextel's Direct Connect and Group Connect functionality, a decent color screen, and a speakerphone, plus a rubberized plastic shell that resists rain, dust, and heat--and even survives drops onto a hard surface."
Used with permission from CNET Networks, Inc. Copyright 2005.

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October 21, 2005

Home video review: Sony RDR-VX515

As published on CNET.com:
"Chronic tape collectors looking to archive their epic-length VHS cassettes to DVD will rejoice with the arrival of Sony's RDR-VX515 ($400 list), the first VHS-DVD combo recorder we've seen that supports double-layer blank DVDs. Each DVD+R double-layer disc is capable of storing 4 hours of video in SP mode and as much as 16 hours in the lowest-quality SEP mode. This quad-format (DVD+R/+RW/-R/-RW) deck boasts solid editing options and easy-to-use menus, but it also has its share of shortcomings. The most surprising is the deck's middling VHS-to-DVD dubbing quality, which falls short of less expensive competing decks, including the Panasonic DMR-ES30V or the Lite-On LVC-9006. Neither of those can do double-layer, however, so if you're looking to dub your extralong VHS tapes to disc, the Sony RDR-VX515 is the only game in town."
Used with permission from CNET Networks, Inc. Copyright 2005.

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October 05, 2005

PVP review: Archos Gmini 402

As published on CNET.com:
"Archos makes a great personal video player (PVP) even better with the Gmini 402, an impressive update--if not a wholesale revision--to last year's top-notch Gmini400. Just like its predecessor, the 402 ($330) packs in plenty of features, such as video and MP3/WMA playback, photo storage and image viewing, voice and in-line recording, and gaming via the popular Mophun engine. But this time, we also get support for Windows Media Player syncing, including DRM-protected music and video. However, the 402 isn't without its problems: It's saddled with poor viewing angles on its otherwise gorgeous 2.2-inch LCD, so-so battery life, less-than-stellar volume, and lack of direct video recording, but considering the Gmini is nearly small enough to fit in a jeans pocket, we're still duly impressed."
Used with permission from CNET Networks, Inc. Copyright 2005.

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September 27, 2005

Wireless review: Fellowes Earglove BlueVoice Bluetooth headset

As published on CNET.com:
"The Fellowes Earglove BlueVoice Bluetooth headset is the result of a curious partnership between Fellowes and Body Glove (yes, the wetsuit company). But unlikely as the partnership may be, the result is an attractive headset that feels light and comfortable on the ear despite its bulky size. It's so user-friendly that even novice Bluetooth chatters will have little trouble managing calls and dialing numbers, thanks to the well-designed controls. At $80, the BlueVoice is reasonably priced compared with other Bluetooth headsets on the market."
Used with permission from CNET Networks, Inc. Copyright 2005.

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September 21, 2005

Home video review: Philips DVDR600VR

As published on CNET.com:
"Philips's latest DVD/VHS recorder proves that you can't judge an A/V component by its cover. This deck's slick, mirrored faceplate and silver accents bring a certain amount of style to the homely ranks of VHS decks for the first time in years, but we found plenty of ugliness under its surface. Plagued by arcane, tough-to-understand menus, a mediocre feature set, and some of the poorest-quality VHS-to-DVD dubs we've seen, the underwhelming Philips DVDR600VR falls well short of the competition. Yes, it has a component-video input and decent DVD-editing options, and it costs about the same as competing decks. But unless you absolutely must record a component-video source or you really like the look, we recommend choosing another option."
Used with permission from CNET Networks, Inc. Copyright 2005.

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September 20, 2005

Wireless review: Motorola i850

As published on CNET.com:
"Marking only its second camera phone to date, Nextel's stylish Motorola i850 flip phone feels as heavy as a brick but also packs in all the goodies that Nextel subscribers have come to expect, including Direct Connect walkie-talkie service, built-in GPS, and a speakerphone. In addition to all the Nextel regulars, the Motorola i850 ups the ante with a brilliant, razor-sharp internal display and improved navigation controls. The i850's low-wattage VGA camera might not compare to the latest powerhouse camera phones offered by other manufacturers, but business-minded push-to-talk users will appreciate the phone's no-nonsense features and sturdy, reassuring bulk. That said, at $400 (or $200 with a two-year service plan), the i850 ranks as one of Nextel's pricier phones."
Used with permission from CNET Networks, Inc. Copyright 2005.

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Feature: How to rip a CD as MP3s

As published on CNET.com:
"Ripping the tracks on your music CDs into MP3 files is easier than ever, thanks to the latest music managers and jukeboxes. That said, there are a few settings to tweak to ensure your new files are named properly, stored in the proper directory, and sound their very best. Use this tutorial to guide you through the steps of ripping MP3s. Choose either Windows Media Player or iTunes, depending on your personal preference. "
Used with permission from CNET Networks, Inc. Copyright 2005.

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September 06, 2005

First take: Google Desktop 2.0

As published on CNET.com:
"The speedy, dynamic Google Desktop 2.0 (beta) makes it clear that Google is out for nothing less than dominion over your desktop. The test edition of this new tool expands upon Google Desktop Search, with live, as-you-type searching (à la Apple's Spotlight) and the eye-catching Sidebar, a clever combination of 1997-era PointCast channels and Apple's new Dashboard that delivers news, information, and tools to your fingertips."
Used with permission from CNET Networks, Inc. Copyright 2005.

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August 30, 2005

Wireless review: Nokia 6682

As published on CNET.com:
"With the EDGE-enabled Nokia 6682, the folks in Finland have unleashed one of their most stylish and powerful smart phones to date. Armed with a 1.3-megapixel camera, full Bluetooth capabilities, and a sweet music player, the Nokia 6682 will have phone fanatics and on-the-go shutterbugs green-eyed with envy. That said, this tempting handset suffers from Nokia's characteristically bulky design, a tough-on-the-fingers keypad, and a camera that's a tad shy of state of the art. This Cingular phone comes with a steep $550 price tag, but it should be cheaper with service."
Used with permission from CNET Networks, Inc. Copyright 2005.

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Home video review: Pioneer DVR-533H-S

As published on CNET.com:
"Pioneer gets just about everything right with the DVR-533H-S. Despite being no larger than most DVD players, this sleek hard drive/DVD recorder ($499 list) has a feature set longer than the marquee at a 24-screen megaplex. The main attraction is a premiere for the category: dual-layer compatibility, which allows the deck to record to DVD-R DL media that holds nearly twice as much video (8.5GB) as a standard DVD-R disc. The Pioneer DVR-533H-S packs in numerous other essentials, including TV Guide's free electronic programming guide, easy-to-use menus, 30-second skip, high-speed video dubbing, impressive editing options, and a FireWire input--the list goes on. Although its like-priced competitors include highly rated decks such as the Panasonic DMR-EH50 and the TiVo-powered Humax DRT800, this Pioneer's combination of features, thoughtful design, and overall value--it costs a bit less the Panasonic and doesn't require a monthly fee as the Humax does--make it the best DVD recorder we've tested so far."
Used with permission from CNET Networks, Inc. Copyright 2005.

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August 18, 2005

Wireless review: Sony Ericsson K750i

As published on CNET.com:
"Sony Ericsson's new K750i is a triple threat: it's a multimedia powerhouse, it takes amazing pictures, and it boasts top-notch wireless connectivity. The compact candy bar-style cell phone not only has an impressive MP3 and video player as well as an FM radio, it also packs in a 2-megapixel camera (only the second we've seen in the United States), fully enabled Bluetooth, an infrared port, a 64MB Memory Stick Duo card, slick animated menus, and excellent personalization options. Were it not for the Sony Ericsson's hard-to-use keypad, we wouldn't hesitate to give the K750i our Editors' Choice award. This unlocked GSM cell phone comes with a steep $630 price tag, but the cost is bound to fall once a U.S. carrier puts the K750i in its lineup."
Used with permission from CNET Networks, Inc. Copyright 2005.

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August 11, 2005

MP3 player review: Archos Gmini XS 100

As published on CNET.com:
"Watch your back, iPod Mini--the Gmini XS 100 is nipping at your heels. Archos's new svelte, eye-catching music player is like a smaller, lighter version of Apple's colorful and popular portable. While the 3GB Gmini XS 100 ($170) doesn't come packed with extras such as an FM tuner and line-in or voice recording, it boasts an intuitive interface, great music-management features, compatibility with subscription-based music, and excellent sound quality. Music lovers looking for an alternative to the iPod Mini should give the XS 100 a serious listen."
Used with permission from CNET Networks, Inc. Copyright 2005.

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July 28, 2005

Wireless review: Motorola E815

As published on CNET.com:
"Verizon has pulled out all the stops with its latest V Cast handset. The handsome, clamshell-style Motorola E815 not only supports Verizon's high-speed EV-DO network but also packs in a 1.3-megapixel camera, Bluetooth connectivity, a TransFlash card for extra memory, an MP3 player, and even a speakerphone. Like other Verizon 3G phones we've tested, the E815 is a bit on the bulky side, and we're peeved that Verizon continues to disable Bluetooth file transfers. That said, this probably is Verizon's best V Cast phone yet. If you want to jump on the 3G bandwagon and you live in Verizon's EV-DO coverage area, the E815 is a tempting choice."
Used with permission from CNET Networks, Inc. Copyright 2005.

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July 21, 2005

Media player review: Cowon iAudio X5

As published on CNET.com:
"Take one look at the Cowon iAudio X5's feature list and you might peg it as an iPod killer. On paper, the 30GB, iPod-size X5 ($350; also available at 20GB for $300) has everything that Apple's ice-white wonder does--including music playback, a photo viewer, and on-the-fly playlists--then it piles on video playback, an FM radio, voice and line-in recording, and even the ability to read and save images directly from a digital camera without an adapter. Sounds like a no-brainer, right? Unfortunately, the X5 suffers from poor music browsing, some odd design choices, and a half-baked photo viewer"
Used with permission from CNET Networks, Inc. Copyright 2005.

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July 20, 2005

Wireless review: Samsung MM-A800

As published on CNET.com:
"Sprint's snazzy new slider phone boasts the first 2-megapixel camera in the United States and a host of multimedia goodies, but it's stuck on yesterday's data network. The Samsung MM-A800 will impress shutterbugs and A/V lovers with its big, beautiful display, its top-notch camera and video recorder, MP3 playback, streaming audio and video support, 3D gaming, and even a business card reader. But the bulky handset won't work on Sprint's newly arrived 3G network, which means you'll be stuck with the slower, 2.5G 1xRTT network, even as the carrier's speedy EV-DO service begins its nationwide rollout. Plus, the handset lacks Bluetooth and IR connectivity, not to mention a speakerphone. "
Used with permission from CNET Networks, Inc. Copyright 2005.

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July 14, 2005

Wireless feature: The what, why, and how of prepaid cell phones

As published on CNET.com:
"Prepaid cell phone plans used to be sketchy alternatives for those with less than stellar credit ratings, but not anymore. They can be ideal for anyone who's had enough of restrictive two-year contracts, scary overage fees, or micromanagement of cell phone minutes. Likewise, while they used to be more expensive than traditional plans, prepaid costs have begun to fall, and the plans have become just another way to break into the cell phone game. As the popularity of prepaid has skyrocketed, even the big brand-name carriers have jumped onto the bandwagon."
Used with permission from CNET Networks, Inc. Copyright 2005.

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June 21, 2005

Home video review: Pioneer DVR-233-S

As published on CNET.com:
"Pioneer's entry-level DVD recorder is relatively easy to use, and the price is right, but other budget decks give you more bang for the buck. In its favor, the Pioneer DVR-233-S ($199 list) boasts respectable recording quality, simple onscreen menus, and a nicely designed remote. On the other hand, its feature list falls well short of the competition's, with sparse editing features, a lack of FireWire or S-Video front-panel inputs, and an inability to play MP3s or JPEG slide shows."
Used with permission from CNET Networks, Inc. Copyright 2005.

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June 10, 2005

OS news: Magneto Revealed!

As published in Mobile:
"For months, the rumor mill was buzzing about Magneto -- and no, we don't mean the plot of the new X-Men movie. Magneto was the code name for the latest version of Windows Mobile, the eagerly awarited update to Microsoft's mobile OS that was -- until recently -- the source of feverous web-based speculation."
Used with permission from Mobile magazine. Copyright 2005.

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June 09, 2005

Web hosting review: Tripod

As published on CNET.com:
"Even the greenest of Web newbies could build a multipage site in minutes using Tripod, the Lycos-owned Web host that boasts an arsenal of easy-as-pie building tools. Beginners willing to shell out a few dollars a month will enjoy dozens of simple Web-building wizards, a full-featured blogging tool, and excellent online tutorials. Unfortunately, Tripod splashes large ads and pop-ups on its free Web sites, and experienced users will bemoan the stingy dollar-to-megabyte ratios, lack of advanced features, and weak support options."
Used with permission from CNET Networks, Inc. Copyright 2005.

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Home audio review: Roxio The Boom Box

As published on CNET.com:
"Roxio's affordable The Boom Box suite comes packed with tools that will thrill iTunes newcomers and digital audio newbies in general. There's nothing in this reasonably priced $50 suite that experienced Mac buffs haven't seen before, but those curious about yet intimidated by the prospect of copying their vinyl and cassettes to MP3, improving their shuffles, or dipping into the white-hot world of podcasting will get a kick out of The Boom Box's quintet of easy-to-use utilities. That said, audiophiles looking for advanced features will be better served by meatier standalone tools, and Roxio's anemic support options will rankle users in need of help. "
Used with permission from CNET Networks, Inc. Copyright 2005.

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June 08, 2005

Home video review: Lite-On LVW-5045

As published on CNET.com:
"Lite-On's first hard-disk/DVD recorder costs less than just about any comparable product on the market--close to $300 online. Competitors such as the Panasonic DMR-EH50 and the TiVo-driven models from Humax cost more and, in some cases, deliver inferior features. The Lite-On LVW-5045 also boasts a refreshingly simple interface, and its speedy dubbing makes it a snap to archive your favorite recordings to DVD. So what's the catch? Aside from the deck's pedestrian styling and lack of a few important DVR-like features, the LVW-5045's tendency to introduce lip-sync problems into long recordings will keep most users away."
Used with permission from CNET Networks, Inc. Copyright 2005.

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Web hosting review: Yahoo GeoCities and Small Business

As published on CNET.com:
"We're hard-pressed to find a flaw with Yahoo's impressive range of Web-hosting choices, ranging from its novice-friendly GeoCities service (perfect for beginners looking to build their own hobby or personal sites) to its enticing buffet of small-business offerings. With its array of tools, novice-friendly wizards, business-minded extras, solid support options, and reasonable prices (monthly rates start at $5 for 5GB of Web storage and top out at $40 for a whopping 200GB), Yahoo ranks as one of the most compelling hosts for Web sites big and small. Unfortunately, if you choose to go the free route, you'll have to put up with paid advertising on your finished site."
Used with permission from CNET Networks, Inc. Copyright 2005.

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May 25, 2005

Wireless news: U Owe Me $ 4 SMS

As published on Mobile:
"If you think your daily dose of e-mail spam is annoying, just imagine if your ISP charged you for each piece of junk mail in your inbox. Because that's exactly what's happening with unwaned text messages you get on your mobile phone."
Used with permission from Mobile magazine. Copyright 2005.

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May 24, 2005

Home video review: Lite-On LVC-9006

As published on CNET.com:
"Boasting excellent recording quality and easy operation, Lite-On's VHS/DVD combo recorder is a perfect choice for beginners looking to turn their VHS tapes into DVDs. The LVC-9006's friendly menus take you step by step through the deck's playback and recording functions, its stellar VHS-to-DVD dubs are among the best we've seen, and it records to all four major DVD formats. While it won't automatically create thumbnailed chapter menus à la the GoVideo VR2940, we'd still heartily recommend the affordable Lite-On LVC-9006 ($299 list) for novices who want to burn their aging tape collections to disc. Experts may bemoan the recorder's skimpy editing features and its lack of a front-panel S-Video input, but these are our only knocks on this otherwise extremely satisfying combo deck."
Used with permission from CNET Networks, Inc. Copyright 2005.

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Tech news: Battery Ram

As published on Mobile:
"If car gas guages were as accurate as the battery guage on your notebook, the side of the road would be littered with frustrated drivers who couldn't understand why their tank plummeted from half-full to empty in a matter of minutes. It turns out that current battery guages are guessing more than you think when they're measuring your devices' remaining power. Texas Instruments hopes to change that with its new 'intelligent' battery-management system."
Used with permission from Mobile magazine. Copyright 2005.

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May 18, 2005

Wireless review: Nextel Motorola i265

As published on CNET.com:
"You wouldn't mistake the Nextel i265 for another carrier's phone. With a hefty form factor, it is prototypically Nextel--it may not be flashy and glamorous, but it's tough."
Used with permission from CNET Networks, Inc. Copyright 2005.

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May 12, 2005

Home video review: Panasonic DMR-EH50

As published on CNET.com:
"Panasonic's 2005 HDD/DVD recorder boasts excellent recording quality and a comprehensive set of features, but its free electronic programming guide (EPG) still suffered a few glitches in our tests. The sleek DMR-EH50 ($449 list) delivers crystal-clear recordings, particularly in the four-hour LP mode, and hassle-free dubbing and editing from the 100GB hard drive to DVD. That's all well and good, but most people are also used to their cable or satellite company's EPG or the one inside TiVo-based decks such as those from Humax, all of which perform more reliably than TV Guide. "
Used with permission from CNET Networks, Inc. Copyright 2005.

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May 09, 2005

Feature: Searching beyond Google and Yahoo

As published on CNET.com:
"Search is a hot topic, and the latest generation of search engines is finding new ways to scour the Net for images, multimedia, news and--lest we forget--Web pages. We took a fresh look at Google, Yahoo, and seven of their closest competitors, focusing on their interfaces, features, and functionality. While Google and Yahoo still trump their rivals in terms of overall search, we found that almost every player in our competition brought something unique to the table."
Used with permission from CNET Networks, Inc. Copyright 2005.

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April 28, 2005

Home video review: Panasonic DMR-ES10S

As published on CNET.com:
"Panasonic's new entry-level DVD recorder sets a new low for name-brand recorder pricing: it's available for only $200 (list) and even less online. The Panasonic DMR-ES10 delivers sharp recordings even in its four-hour EP mode, while its compatibility with DVD-RAM discs give you plenty of hard drive-type features, including chasing playback. Unfortunately, its skimpy editing options for non-RAM discs make for tedious navigations once it's time to watch your recordings. If you're all about video quality, the DMR-ES10 merits a close look, but anyone who wants to edit or insert chapter stops would be better served by another deck, such as the feature-packed (and now bargain-priced) Philips DVDR80."
Used with permission from CNET Networks, Inc. Copyright 2005.

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April 19, 2005

Wireless review: Sanyo MM-5600

As published on CNET.com:
"Assuming the mantle of Sprint's top-of-the-line multimedia phone, the pricey Sanyo MM-5600 enters the fray with a truckload of features, including a 1.3-megapixel camera, a video recorder, a media player that streams video clips and plays MP3s, and a 16MB Mini SD card. That said, this bulky 2.5G flip phone lacks Bluetooth and infrared connectivity, and Sprint's 1xRTT network can't handle streaming video the way that Verizon's 3G EV-DO service can."
Used with permission from CNET Networks, Inc. Copyright 2005.

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April 15, 2005

Home video review: Panasonic DMR-ES30V

As published on CNET.com:
"Panasonic's next-generation VHS/DVD-recorder combo raises the stakes dramatically in terms of recording quality, but a pretty picture isn't everything. Although the easy-to-use Panasonic DMR-ES30V ($350 list) delivers some of the best images we've seen yet from a VHS/DVD deck and supports the Tivo-like abilities of DVD-RAM discs, it won't add chapter stops to non-RAM discs--a deal breaker for anyone who wants to easily skip through the recorded DVDs they've made."
Used with permission from CNET Networks, Inc. Copyright 2005.

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March 30, 2005

Wireless review: Audiovox CDM-8940

As published on CNET.com:
"Verizon's exclusive club of third-generation (3G) EV-DO phones gets a new member with the Audiovox (now owned by UTStarcom) CDM-8940, a relatively compact yet nondescript flip phone that manages to pack in some admirable features. Inside is a 1.3-megapixel camera, an MP3 player, a 256MB Mini SD card, and support for Verizon's debuting V Cast service. Power users will miss Bluetooth and infrared connectivity, and budding photographers will be irked by Verizon's wrongheaded decision to disable phone-to-PC photo and video transfers via the Mini SD card, but overall, we were impressed with the handset."
Used with permission from CNET Networks, Inc. Copyright 2005.

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March 24, 2005

MP3 player review: SoniqCast Aireo 2 (20GB)

As published on CNET.com:
"The original Aireo may have been big and bulky for a 1.5GB MP3 player, but it had an ace up its sleeve: the ability to connect to Wi-Fi networks for music transfers. A year later, the thinner and lighter 20GB SoniqCast Aireo 2 has arrived, and its wireless capabilities still make a big impression. Judged purely as an MP3 player, however, the Aireo falters with its too-spare interface, limited playback options, touch-and-go Wi-Fi connectivity, and poor battery life. Early adopters will get a kick out of this mold-breaking device, but those looking for a more solid music player should stick with the iPod or any other top-rated MP3 player."
Used with permission from CNET Networks, Inc. Copyright 2005.

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March 14, 2005

Home video review: HDTV World (updated)

As published on CNET.com:
"After years of hype, HDTV is finally reaching the tipping point -- but enjoying it in your home will still take some doing. Many high-definition TV sets won't decode over-the-air HD signals without an external tuner. Cable and satellite providers don't carry all of the available networks. And while almost all network TV dramas and comedies are in HDTV, you might find that your favorite show (Scrubs, anyone?) is still stuck in standard-definition limbo. Read on to learn what equipment you'll need to get HDTV into your living room."
Used with permission from CNET Networks, Inc. Copyright 2005.

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March 08, 2005

MP3 player review: MPIO HD300 (20GB)

As published on CNET.com:
"A sleek, solid music player that bears a striking resemblance to the ubiquitous Apple iPod, the MPIO HD300 (20GB, $280 list) boasts a stylish design, clever navigation, an FM radio, and several recording options. Sounds good--except the iPod does almost all of it better. If you want FM radio and recording features on your portable player, you should give the MPIO HD300 a close look, but if you care only about playing tunes, head straight for an iPod."
Used with permission from CNET Networks, Inc. Copyright 2005.

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March 07, 2005

Wireless review: Motorola V265

As published on CNET.com:
"Equipped with a VGA camera, a dedicated speakerphone, and solid messaging capabilities, Motorola's latest midrange phone is a respectable addition to Verizon's handset lineup. While we weren't impressed with its dim internal display or its humdrum design, the V265 ($150 with a one-year contract, less with online rebates) boasts an average set of features in a small package."
Used with permission from CNET Networks, Inc. Copyright 2005.

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March 02, 2005

DVD recorder review: JVC DR-MV1S

As published on CNET.com:
"JVC's intriguing VCR/DVD combo recorder comes loaded with promise on paper and riddled with annoying quirks in person. The DR-MV1S ($500 list, $300 or less online) is the first deck of its kind with dual tuners for recording two shows at once, but not if you use a cable or satellite box. It plays VHS tapes in progressive-scan, but you must press a button on the deck itself to do so. It controls a cable or satellite box, but the controller isn't included. And it makes sharp recordings of VHS tapes but without chapter stops. While we admire this VCR/DVD combo's attempt to break the mold, it's saddled with far too many compromises. "
Used with permission from CNET Networks, Inc. Copyright 2005.

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February 28, 2005

Wireless review: Verizon V Cast

As published on CNET.com:
"After a long wait, Verizon's ballyhooed V Cast service has finally arrived in the United States, following the rollout of the carrier's high-speed EV-DO (third generation, or 3G) network. In other words, you now can get on-demand video and lightning-fast data transfers, provided you have a 3G-enabled Verizon cell phone. While V Cast falls well short of TV-quality video, and the one- to five-minute clips lean toward the cheesy side, there's more than enough eye candy to keep you busy while you're waiting at the dentist's office or killing time at the airport."
Used with permission from CNET Networks, Inc. Copyright 2005.

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February 23, 2005

DVD recorder review: Sony RDR-VX500

As published on CNET.com:
"Sony's easy-to-use VCR/DVD combo recorder does a fine job of transferring VHS tapes to DVD--but that's just the beginning. The RDR-VX500 boasts excellent video quality and, compared to other models such as the Panasonic DMR-E75VS, offers a few extra features, such as a FireWire input for making pristine recordings from a digital camcorder. True, it costs significantly more than most combo units, but its ability to record to four recordable formats (DVD-R/-RW and DVD+R/RW) may be worth the extra dough for compatibility-conscious duplicators."
Used with permission from CNET Networks, Inc. Copyright 2005.

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February 22, 2005

Wireless feature: CNET's quick guide to 3G cell phone service

As published on CNET.com:
"For the past few years, cellular carriers and handset manufacturers have talked a lot about third-generation (3G) services for mobile phones. Despite all the talk, however, the companies haven't done a particularly good job of explaining what it all means. To many customers, the real meaning of 3G has been lost among promises of amazing features and zippy data speeds--promises that haven't lived up to reality. It's only in 2005 after years of delays that we're finally seeing the services come in any widespread form to the United States. But the question remains: What exactly is 3G?"
Used with permission from CNET Networks, Inc. Copyright 2005.

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February 07, 2005

DVD recorder review: Pioneer DVR-520H

As published on CNET.com:
"Pioneer's slim and trim DVD recorder/hard disk combo might be missing an electronic programming guide, but its powerful archiving features and beginner-friendly menus help make up for the lost ground. The DVR-520H ($599 list, but available for $500 or less online) boasts an 80GB hard drive, an intuitive design, and a host of cool HDD-to-DVD (and vice versa) copying and archiving features. While some users will bemoan the lack of a component-video input or a 2.5-hour recording mode, others who don't mind en EPG-less recorder should give the DVR-520H a serious look."
Used with permission from CNET Networks, Inc. Copyright 2005.

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January 25, 2005

MP3 review: Jens of Sweden MP-400

As published on CNET.com:
"Jens of Sweden (JOS) burst onto the MP3 scene in 2003 with no fanfare and a stable of tiny, envy-enducing flash players. Now the company has upped the ante with the gorgeous MP-400 in 256MB, 512MB, and 1GB versions. While we admire the bright, head-turning OLED display and the snazzy design, we were frustrated by its hard-to-use controls and so-so recording capabilities. Music lovers with patience and no need to record will warm to the bite-size MP-400, but audiophiles looking to record from another audio source should try elsewhere."
Used with permission from CNET Networks, Inc. Copyright 2005.

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January 13, 2005

DVD recorder review: Philips HDRW720

As published on CNET.com:
"On paper, Philips's new DVR-DVD recorder looks like the ideal combination. Boasting a 120GB hard drive, the slick-looking HDRW720 pauses and rewinds live video and archives your shows to DVD+R/+RW. Unfortunately, the deck comes saddled with some crippling limitations, including an electronic programming guide (EPG) that won't work with digital cable or satellite receivers, needlessly arcane onscreen menus, and the inability to record directly to DVD."
Used with permission from CNET Networks, Inc. Copyright 2005.

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Wireless feature: Shut Up and Drive

As published in Mobile PC:
"The next time you flip open your cell phone while you’re behind the wheel, hoping to squeeze in a quick call on your trip to the supermarket, consider this: Blotto drunks might be doing a better job of driving than you are. A new wave of studies suggests that cell phone users who talk and drive are so distracted by their conversations that they’re missing highway exits, blowing through traffic signals, and rear-ending their fellow road warriors. In fact, according to the latest research, you might be a better driver when you’re legally intoxicated than when you’re on a cell phone."
Used with permission from Future Network USA. Copyright 2005.

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