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Thursday, 3 Nov 2005

4GB Of Storage For Your PSP

As I am the owner of a PSP, by proxy through my son, I'm always looking for ways to tweak the device without actually causing any certain harm to it. Afterall, it's a very expensive "toy" and if I mess it up, my son will never forgive me.

But, after checking out (and somewhat happilly) purchasing the new Media Manager from Sony, I thought, wouldn't it be great if I actually had enough space to store an MPG of 4GB or more on my PSP so that my son could watch an entire movie on it? I went searching around, and found what I was looking to find: a DATEL (MAX) 4GB hard disk and battery for the PSP.

At a steep $200 for the device, it adds some interesting functionality to the PSP that wasn't there before. The addtional bulk that it adds to your PSP will give you longer battery life and the ability to slide microdrives and Compact Flash cards into it. So, you can purchase less expensive versions of memory for your PSP and you'll still be able to use them to store game saves and other cool stuff. You'll need to format the cards on your PC and then drop them into the Datel device, but they'll work great.

Oh, and what about drives LARGER than 4GB? Well, according to my source, anything above 4GB doesn't seem to work nice. At least, a 6GB drive won't. I've seen a post by a user that got a 5GB drive to work. Maybe that's the limit?

At any rate, this add-on makes your PSP a little chunky, but it definitely gives you some good hand grips for holding on while you're watching movies and playing games for those long plane and car trips with the kids!

Via: [lik-sang]

Wednesday, 2 Nov 2005

Drive-By Mix: Meandering The New Stuff

I was reviewing a number of different things for some posts today, but I thought I'd do them all in one, just to save some time and space. Here goes!

1. Microsoft Live: Um... guys, what are you doin? It seems like Microsoft is trying to integrate the power of it's great new plug-ins, and what is currently MSN. It's becoming more of a "Yahoo-a-like" but not exactly. I'll be curious to see what "Office Live" does, as I think there is greater benefit there.

2. Sony's Media Manager: Great idea! It's just a terrible shame that they decided to convert the formats of the files so that they are "friendly" with the PSP. I like the idea of being able to move my stuff to the PSP (which is actually my son's but he never plays with it, so I'm going to steal it!). Of course, I'd be lost without a laptop and EVDO. But I've been watching the grumblings and kudos of the many other bloggers out there. I'm going to have to lean on the side of caution with this one, as I am not sure if this is great to kind of a pain. We'll see... [UPDATE]: So, is it me, or why doesn't the Media Manager (which boasts the ability to transfer RSS feeds to the PSP) transfer feed text to the PSP? Why can I only transfer Podcasts and VideoCasts? What the heck is with that? I found MioPlanet's Media Box to help transfer actual feeds to the PSP. Am I missing something? Bizzare!

3. Laser Pool Cue: 'nuff said.

More to come!

ePrompter Makes Email Easy To Review

The other day, I was interested in finding a cool little piece of FREE software that would let me check a whole bunch of email accounts that I have. I hate having so many, but sometimes you need them so that you can separate each of the functions you do in your life. I'm sure you folks know what I mean...

What I found, through a quick Google search (is there any other?), is ePrompter. This little gem not only lets you check your POP3 accounts, but it also gives you access to checking Hotmail, GMail, Yahoo Mail, Altavista mail (does that still exist?), and all kinds of other stuff.

You don't just get the quick check that says "you have 1 email in your account." You get to review either the headers, or the entire email in your box. You can even do quick deletes of the entire group of what's in your mailbox. ...and one other feature that made me really happy: You can REPLY to email and even keep an address book.

A nifty Wizard gets you setup really quick, after the quick install, and a nice little tray icon that can alternate between each of the color-coded email accounts will show up to show you how many messages you have without getting in your face.

All in all, a great little utility that I don't think I'll live without going forward... and I should make a donation to the guy!

You can make Paypal donations to the author and find it here:

Tuesday, 1 Nov 2005

Visteon Electronic Manufacturer Making USB For Cars

It was recently reported how some auto manufacturers are putting USB ports in their cars. Companies such as Volkswagen (in the Golf and Toureg) were getting USB ports put in their latest vehicles.

It's apparently becoming a huge trend since you can buy a cheap 1GB drive and put up to 500 songs on it. The best part is, you don't even have to switch them out to listen to different stuff!

Electronics manfacturer Visteon Corp, a company devoted to making electronic car parts (and formerly a Ford company) that also makes aftermarket accessories has announced plans to work with car makers in order to get their USB solutions installed 18-20 months ahead of the competition.

The concept behind the USB port is simple - plug in a USB flash drive and the head unit will believe that the folders on the drive are actually discs in the CD changer. Then it's as simple as picking a virtual disc and skipping through tracks with the standard controls. Expect to see Visteon's USB port in cars by February.

Via: [EverythingUSB]

Pharos Traveler GPS505 Hits The Streets

The latest release from Pharos is a GPS which features 512MB SD card, voice-nav, a 3.5 inch touchpad color display, Outlook Sync, traffic updates, and rechargeable batteries.

The thing that makes this GPS so cool is the fact that it's running Windows Mobile. The Pharos Traveler GPS series units also feature a super sensitive SiRFstarIII GPS receiver which prevents tall buildings from mangling your GPS signal; so you people who actually DRIVE in the city will be able to find your way - there are times when I wish I was a sales guy just so I could try this stuff out! But don't jump at it too quick, unless you're making some great commission being that sales guy, 'cause this bad boy will set you back $650.

I think that's a pretty high cost for a device, but it is kind of a PDA/GPS sort of thing, so maybe there's some justification. Though, I still think a $450 pricetag would have done them better.

Via: [Gizmodo]

A Dose Of Elegantly Simple Coffee

The Eva Solo Cafesolo Coffee Maker breaks down coffee to its basic combination of ground beans and hot water, a method that reduces the stress applied to the beans and creates an arguably fuller flavored cup of genuine coffee.

You simply mix the two in the heat-resistant glass carafe, stir it up, and place the drip-free filter in the mouth of the carafe. In just four minutes (faster than most people can find a clean cup in the morning) your coffee is ready, fresh from the carafe to your cup!

The coffee press has been re-styled!

Via: [ProductDose]

Microsoft Does A Re-Do On Its Photo Suite

It looks like Microsoft is banking on the dollars that will be spent during the upcoming holidays. They're getting ready for that thing that people do all of the time: Take pictures and video!

Today, November 1, 2005, Microsoft took the wraps off Digital Image Suite Plus, which bundles their photo editing and organization tool with Pinnacle Studio 10.0 - a fairly popular video editing application for creating home movies.

The suite also includes Photo Story 3.1, Microsoft's tool for adding music and narration to a slideshow in order to create what it calls a "photo show" for playback on a computer. You used to, and maybe still can, get this for free. Neat tool, really!

Pinnacle Studio version 10, offers the standard consumer video editing. Users can follow a three-step movie creation process, utilizing features for zooming and adding music and titles, alongside detailed tutorials. Pinnacle Studio individually retails for around $70, although a $20 rebate is available.

This seems to be Microsoft's answer to the very snazzy and poplular Apple iPhoto. Digital Image Suite 2006, also allows users create a photo library using keywords, flags and a "star rating" system (how familiar!), along with effects to pictures. RAW images from Canon and Nikon cameras are supported in the latest release.

Via: [BetaNews]

Powerline MP3 Streaming Made Simple

Check out the new Microlink dLAN Audio Adapter. This device uses powerline technology to stream music around your home by transferring the signal through electrical sockets and wiring system. MP3 playback at 192kbps stereo quality. Priced at about $161.00.

It's kind of like "audio X10." Of course, my X10 stuff will probably make a mess out of the sound and data transfers being done by this device... if not the other way around. I can just image the disco of lights I'd have going on while the music is streaming along. Hey, wait, that doesn't sound too bad!

Via: [Red Ferret Journal]

Verizon and SBC Own The Phones

On Monday, the FCC approved two of the latest mega-mergers that will shake up the telecom industry: Verizon's $8.45 billion joining with MCI, and then the big SBC $16 billion acquisition of AT&T. The U.S. government agency has been quoted as saying that consumers would benefit from both mergers.

Among the positives are the increased performance and reliability of what the government regulator called "complementary networks." The FCC also noted that both newly merged companies would remain U.S.-owned as another point in favor of the deals.

The FCC found that the concerns interest groups brought to the table, such as the two companies controlling a large portion of Internet access for Americans, were unfounded. As a strict stipulation, both SBC -- soon to be known as AT&T -- and Verizon must offer DSL access without the purchase of a phone line for two years after the agreement. Pricing caps must also be put into place on certain network services for the same period.

In addition, the two companies agreed to Internet neutrality rules to ensure that third parties could peer with them without paying exhorbanent fees, and prevent disagreements such as the one between Level 3 and Cogent earlier this month.

Both SBC and Verizon were satisified with Monday's decision.

Via: [betanews]