Roku recently updated its app for iOS devices. The latest 1.1.0 adds a standard remote with D pad buttons and shortcuts for Netflix, Pandora and Crackle. Device discovery for set up and loading time of Home has been updated. An optional swipe-base remote is also available and a shortcut for switching accounts. Of course, access by iPhone is still an option.
The Digital Advertising Alliance is composed of more than 400 Internet companies that are supporting a do-not-track button for browsers. Complete implementation will take place by the end of the year and is already in IE, Firefox and Safari, with Google planning to update its own in Chrome.
This is not a definitive end-all as users will still have to endure customized ads, some market research and law enforcement snooping. And note that every time you push that Like button on Facebook, Big Brother is watching.
The Ceton InfiniTV can turns your PC into a media center. Available in both USB and PCI models, it can replace a more costly TiVo. After installing the CableCard tuner, it's like having 4 HD tuners plugged into your computer. Not only can you still receive all of your HD and premium channels from your cable company, there is no extra monthly fee involved. The InfiniTV is compatible with every Windows 7 version except Basic.
Turn your iPad/iPhone/touch into a karaoke machine with Soulo. It has a microphone and software that displays the words. The kit comes with a few preloaded tunes and hundreds can be downloaded from the Soulo store for $.99 each. Amateur fanatics can make a video of the experience to share with others. Choose between the regular kit with a wired microphone with pitch correction for $69.00 or a wireless version with receiver for $99.00. Look for them to release a mic with enhanced audio capability later this year.
Beginning in mid-March, New York City residents can watch network shows without a DVR, set top box or additional cables with Aereo's plan. The broadcast TV provider has connected network stations to the Interweb so you don't have to. Up to 20 sources are available on your TV, tablet, smartphone or existing box. Like any DVR, you can record shows for later viewing. The service is $12.00 monthly but the advantage is that you get glorious HD viewing without the mess.
Parents concerned with their kids meeting strangers online have an alternative to the usual channels with Kidsocial. The system works by friendship codes that can be given to real-world friends. Parents of those who are younger than 13 are automatically notified with when a connection is made. Chatting, posting images and video, and game playing is encouraged. Because codes can be also given by texting, monitoring is probably still a good thing.
Energy Sistem's Radio & TV 120 can stream from over 15,000 Internet Radio channels and 2,000 TV stations. It can store up to 2,000 tunes or up to 16 hours of video. Almost every audio/video file type is supported and it can transfer data and charge via USB. The radio/player has a 2.4" screen and displays a favorites list, and audio can be matched with speakers or 3.5mm headphones. Add a MicroSDHC card for 16GB additional storage.
It seems that although Lego puts out new collections frequently, there seems to be a good deal of Harry Potter and Star Wars, so we were pleased to see the CUUSOO website, a Japanese partner now in beta where fans of the building blocks can propose their own designs and actually help complete the finished product. The Minecraft Micro world is the third idea to come from the site and has four cubic vignettes, and characters Steve and a Creeper. Below the surface are mines and hidden resources.
The set should be out for the public by summer and can be pre-ordered now. If you have any ideas, head over to the site or vote on others projects. It takes 10,000 votes to be considered and the idea person gets 1% of the profits.
USB charging just doesn't get any simpler than this. The RCA Wall Plate attaches by simply covering your existing outlet. Available in almond or white, it is rapid, full speed charging for two smartphones or one tablet. It certainly is inexpensive enough to get for both home and office and because it is plug and play, it can be easily transferred to other outlets.
Don't you love it when Amazon broadcasts their latest coup on its front page? They recently announced that they have acquired content from Viacom, parent company of MTV, Nickelodeon, Comedy Central, TV Land, and VH1. That adds up to 2,000 new titles to their Prime Instant Video service. Given their previous deals with some of the major networks and film companies, they now boast over 15,000 selections.
TRENDnet CCTV warns that 7 models of their surveillance cameras can be hacked. It was found that one blogger bragged that he simply typed an IP address with 15 digits in his browser. Not only would this be disconcerting to the system owner, it is easy to see how potential thieves would love to get in on this action. Trendnet suggests that if you own an IP cam purchased April 2010 or later, that you patch your system with a firmware update.
Watch Redbox make its move for video dominance later this year as it teams with Verizon to offer "Project Zoetrope." Redbox provides the DVDs and Blu-ray discs, streaming and downloadable content and Verizon will be offering "affordable" rental service. This move shows the video company to be even more aggressive as it recently purchased 10,000 Blockbuster-branded kiosks and additional DVDs from NCR for $100 million.
The wait is about over for anyone who pre-ordered the First Edition Bundle of the PlayStation Vita, shipping Feb. 15 (with official launch next week.) Included is a 4GB memory card, a carrying case and the game Little Deviants. Near, a location-based service, has been developed and pre-installed so that gamers can meet up with friends or find out what they are doing. An AR Play game and cards allow users access to augmented reality game and downloadables. Adapter and USB charger also come with the WiFi portable gaming system.
Harman Kardon always spells classic design, and their Soundsticks III is no exception. In fact they are part of MOMA's permanent collection. The 3-piece, 2.1 channel sound system is transparent and shows off its 10W amp with four 1" transducers, and 20W amp with 6" low-frequency transducer. Compatible with all devices with a stereo mini-jack, it comes with a power cord and audio cables.
Instead of just reading the cereal box, General Mills marketing manager Mark Addicks says there will soon be lots of QR codes to interact with on the backs of them via smartphone. Last June, GM got more than 40,000 scans and 6,000 texts with its Crunchy Nut Cheerios promotion. There will also be apps and augmented reality similar to that used on a box of Corn Pops in 2010 and an entire website devoted to the promotion.
JVC doesn't want to simply replace your clock radio, they want you to have an entire new nightstand. The N-BX3 iPhone/iPod Speaker Dock is made of wood with a glass top. At a size of 500 x 300 x 110mm and available in black or white, features include an FM tuner and SRS StudioSound for HD at a price of ¥400,000 (~$520.00.)
Now that the alliance of Netflix and Starz is ending by the end of the month, its president Chris Albrecht has said that they plan to offer alternatives to capture the Interweb market like an app for watching their programming on smartphones, tablets and other devices. He hinted at the idea of offering the channel online for a fee, thereby bypassing cable and satellite. This does not sound like such a stretch as that does seem to be the market of the future. We're just sayin'....
Even before the Super Bowl had begun, about 12 million viewers tuned in to Honda's extended version of its CR-V crossover spot with Matthew Broderick reprising his Ferris Bueler role. The Seinfeld-Leno ad had about the same amount viewing the its Acura NSX supercar. Other ads made it online before airing, but we kind of missed all the secrecy. Catch all the spots here that you just have to see again.
There was quite a lot of pre-SB hype around Madonna, including a press conference where she promised no wardrobe malfunctions and did a mini-salsa. ESPN's Kate Fagan wrote an amusing play-by-play of the event. We expect many hoped she would mess up slightly during half time, like hockey fans waiting for the gloves to come off.
WarpiaTV streams HD 1080p from PC to TV wirelessly via plug-and-play USB. The package consists of a motion controller that with 7 functions, including mouse and keyboard with an onscreen curser. When pointed at your TV, there is a range of 50 feet, with or without wall. The StreamHD VE has a 30 ft. range for playback of digital video and access to sites like Facebook and Twitter. Even better, your PC/laptop will still function while streaming.
Sony's latest Walkman E Series, due out in Japan this month, is thinner than ever at 9.1 mm and weighs a mere 37g. It has a 1.4" color LCD Display, 30 hours per charge and a 98% noise cancelling option. Both have FM tuners, equalization, clear bass and stereo, and DSEE. The 2GB NW-E060, that comes with earbuds, lists for ¥9,000 (~$117.00) while the 4GB NW-E060K has a plug-in speaker at ¥11,000 (~$143.00.)
January was a relatively uneventful month, including this milder winter that makes us wonder if the snow will soon come down bigtime. Catch up with our Round Up if you missed any of our wondrous posts.
Can't get enough of Bond, James Bond? In honor of its 50th anniversary, MGM and Twentieth Century Fox are releasing an impressive Bond 50 box set that includes all 22 films in HD, 9 of them available in Blu-ray for the first time. About 130 hours of bonus content is included in the package as well as an hour of new material. All that you need after that is a few shaken martinis to enjoy a movie marathon.