- AgfaPhoto rolls out rugged, waterproof DV-600uw camera
- Bug-powered LED Clock
- Birdfeed Twitter Client for iPhone Features Caching for Offline Browsing [Twitter]
- Birdfeed: Finally, An iPhone Twitter Client To Match Tweetie’s Speed And Simplicity
- Amateur Move: Journalist Interrupts President Obama With Quacking Duck Ringtone [Ringtones]
- Sungale WiFi Widget photo frame gets a hands-on
- YouTube To Broadly Release Call-To-Action Overlays, Allows Linking Off-Site
- Sony now including "Green Dam" filtering software on PCs sold in China
- Costco Has the Lowest Prices on Windows 7 Upgrades [Dealzmodo]
- Cooler Master Offers the Smallest 95W Laptop Adapter You Can Get [Peripherals]
Posted: 29 Jun 2009 09:31 PM PDT
AgfaPhoto’s new DV-600uw rugged camera may not be quite as stylish as Pentax’s latest ruggedized offering, but it looks like it has it beat where it counts, with it able to handle submersion in water up to 33 feet deep (compared to the Pentax’s 16 feet), and hold up to the usual drops, dust, and dirt for good measure. Unfortunately, things are a bit less impressive when it comes to the core camera specs, with this one packing just 6-megapixels, no optical zoom, and a plain old VGA movie mode instead of 720p — not to mention just one choice of color.
If that extra ruggedness makes the difference for you, however, you can pick this one up right now for $199.
Filed under: Digital Cameras
AgfaPhoto rolls out rugged, waterproof DV-600uw camera originally appeared on Engadget on Mon, 29 Jun 2009 23:31:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.
Posted: 29 Jun 2009 09:21 PM PDT
We have covered a lot of clocks in the past. Some of them are solar powered, some run on water, but this is the first time that I have ever seen bug power.
That's right, someone has actually invented a carnivorous alarm clock that works like a Venus Fly Trap. It works with a conveyor belt of flypaper that takes a captured fly and drops them into a microbial fuel cell. This dead bug is digested by bacteria, then there is a chemical change that can somehow power the clock.
I'm surprised that I haven't heard about bug power before, as roach motels could be turned into batteries and hanging flypaper could be turned into chandeliers. Right now, I am living in a place that is full of flies, and I could use a device like this.
In all honesty, why stop with bugs? Apparently it is the protein that the bug-powered clock wants, and so I guess all animals could be used for electric power. Imagine eating a KFC bucket and throwing the bones in the protein power generator.
I can't help but think that this is reminiscent of a Star Trek episode where the Enterprise lands on a planet that feeds off everything living aboard the ship. Yeah, I'm often disturbed at the thought that human beings could be the next fossil fuels.
Cool Gift Idea: Digital Picture Frames, check out our reviews.
[ Bug-powered LED Clock copyright by Coolest Gadgets ]
Posted: 29 Jun 2009 08:30 PM PDT
Birdfeed, a challenger to the throne of iPhone Twitter clients currently held by Tweetie, might have the edge in some ways. It caches Tweets, so you can read your feeds even without wireless coverage, and looks super slick to boot.
The big draw is caching, but Birdfeed will also bookmark your place in a long feed so you can pop right back in later without having to scroll forever, as well as changing direct messages to a separate SMS-style section.
We’re sure some people will like and some people will dislike the latter feature, but we think it’s a smart idea.
Birdfeed does cost more than Tweetie, at $5 to Tweetie’s $3. It doesn’t seem like much, but we imagine that could discourage a lot of potential buyers, since Tweetie is sort of the standard and of course works very well.
Originally posted here:
Posted: 29 Jun 2009 07:51 PM PDT
If you own an iPhone, chances are you have at least one Twitter client on it. And while everyday seems to bring new ones into the App Store, at the end of the day, Tweetie always seems to be the one that I go back to. TwitterFon, Twitterriffic and most recently, TweetDeck, all are worthy challengers, but I find each of them lacking in some regard. Usually, it's either speed or simplicity. Tweetie seems to be a perfect combination of the two. But a new app, Birdfeed, may be a little more perfect.
When you first boot it up, you may think Birdfeed looks a little sparse. But there's a lot behind this simple design, it's just tucked away, so as not to clutter the main experience, as so many apps do. The main Birdfeed screen consists of your Twitter timeline, a button to load newer tweets, a button to compose a tweet, and a button to your account — that's it. Clicking on any tweet in your timeline will load it on its own screen and from there you can easily see that person's profile, reply to that tweet, favorite it or forward it (retweet it, post a link to it, or mail a link to it).
But it's the button that takes you back to your account that leads you to all of the tools you're accustomed to on many Twitter clients. There's a "Mentions" area, a "Direct Messages" area, and a "Favorites" area. You can also view your profile, your tweets, perform a search, or jump to a specific user. On a user's profile page within Birdfeed, there are also some cool tools. At the bottom, you'll find a "Services" button. Clicking on that pops up a menu which allows you to automatically scan that user using DoesFollow (a service that tells you if a user is following you on Twitter), Follow Cost (which tells you how annoying a user is to follow based on number of tweets), Favrd (which tracks interesting things on Twitter), and Twitter.com (to show you their actual profile on Twitter).
Another couple nice features that Birdfeed highlights is the threading of direct messages in a way that looks like the SMS (and one day, MMS) messages area on the iPhone. And the app bookmarks where you last updated your Twitter timeline, so that when you load the app again, you don't have to scroll through past tweets to remember what you haven't seen. And yes, there is multiple account support.
Birdfeed has really whittled down its Twitter client to just the essentials. But it does so in a way that makes perfect sense. As the developers put it on their site, "We're as proud of the things we left out as we are of the things we put in." As someone who is a huge fan of keeping things simple, I wholly approve that message. But as great as the simplistic look of Birdfeed may be, it's the speed that is arguably even better.
Whereas an app like Twitterriffic can often take in excess of 10 seconds to load up with you tweets, Tweetie typically takes about 3 seconds. But I've found Birdfeed is able to boot up and load new tweets in about one second. The reason for this is that the app does local caching. And not only does this allow it to load faster, it also allows you to view tweets even when you're not connected to the Internet. I just put my iPhone in Airplane Mode and web back through over several hours worth of tweets, seamlessly.
So, are there any downsides to Birdfeed? Yes. The biggest one for many users will be its price: $4.99. While many users opt for clients that are free (TwitterFon's free version is a nice option), Tweetie sets its price at $2.99. But System of Touch (yes, from the Tears For Fears song), the team behind Birdfeed that consists of Buzz Andersen and Neven Mrgan, have plenty of experience developing for the desktop side of things, and consider a Twitter iPhone client much more of a challenge than a desktop version. As such, they note in a blog post that, "because we put a lot of sweat into producing a polished, Apple-caliber application, we feel Birdfeed is worth $4.99." Fair enough.
Another downside is that the all-important "Mentions" or "@replies" are not just one-click away on Birdfeed like they are on Tweetie. Instead, they are two clicks away (back to the main screen, and then into Mentions). But, Birdfeed features an indicator (next to your name on the button to go to the main screen) to let you know if there is a new mention or direct message for you to view.
Another feature I'm not thrilled with is that it uses chat bubbles as the default view for the timeline. While I think these bubbles are fine for Direct Messages, they take up too much space in the main screen, where I prefer to see as many tweets as possible without having to scroll. Tweetie gives you an option to have a straight-forward block-style look, Birdfeed does not.
Birdfeed has only been available for one day, so it's too early to declare it the new de-facto iPhone Twitter client. But I will say that it's closer than any other app has ever been to dethroning Tweetie, in my mind. It's so good that I've already moved it onto my first page of apps on the iPhone, just to make sure it gets a fair shake against Tweetie. We'll see what I'm still using in a week, but I suspect is may just be Birdfeed.
You can find Birdfeed in the App Store for $4.99 here.
Crunch Network: CrunchBoard because it's time for you to find a new Job2.0
Posted: 29 Jun 2009 07:30 PM PDT
As someone with a proudly stupid ringtone (”Gonna Make You Sweat”), I’m okay with being embarrassed when it invariably goes off in public. But then, I’m not a White House reporter who interrupts the President with loud digital quacking.
As if Obama wasn’t already the coolest guy this side of John Shaft, I love the way he reacts to the incredibly rude and thoughtless reporter’s ridiculous ringtone. “Whose…whose duck is back there?” It’s no mean feat to slap down that kind of interruption in the middle of a speech about tolerance and gay rights. [via Crunchgear]
Here is the original post:
Posted: 29 Jun 2009 07:20 PM PDT
Sungale’s recently unleashed a WiFi-enabled, widget-having digital photo frame — the ID800WT — and the fine folks over at Zatz Not Funny have taken it for a little spin. The 800 x 600 resolution touchscreen boasts 512 MB of internal storage, and widgets for weather, news, Picasa, YouTube, Gmail, and Internet radio.
The reviewer didn’t find the widgets to be particularly awesome, in many respects — their implementation, for instance, made the Gmail app “nearly useless” because it displayed only a few lines at a time, and many had trouble connecting to the internet properly. It wasn’t all doom and gloom, however — they really liked the frame in theory, and thought that the company was shooting for the right idea — they just didn’t actually succeed. The frame will be available sometime in the coming month for about $165.
Filed under: Displays
Posted: 29 Jun 2009 06:25 PM PDT
Tomorrow, YouTube is going to release a very important addition to its suite of advertising products, and it has the potential to have a huge impact for politicians, brands, and charities alike. The funny thing is, you probably thought it was already out there.
The product's official name is the Call-To-Action Overlay, and it's about as straightforward as ads come: it's a semi-transparent pop-up that links viewers to any website you choose. For example, I could place an overlay on a TechCrunch video inviting users to visit the corresponding post we wrote about it. Yes, it's that simple.
It's hard to believe, but you've never been able to do this on YouTube before now. If you ever wanted to drive users watching your YouTube video to another site, you'd have to include it as a link in the summary at the right-hand side of the page, which most people ignore anyway. Users can include links in annotations, but only to other YouTube videos. Think back to President Obama's landmark election campaign, which was helped in no small part by his YouTube presence. If he ever wanted to direct visitors to one of his campaign homepages, he'd have to ask visitors to enter his site's URL manually. That's a pretty major hurdle to overcome. This gets rid of it.
So why has YouTube taken so long to implement such an obvious feature? The answer likely boils down to the fact that this is effectively driving traffic away from YouTube, which isn't an ideal situation for a site that thrives on views. This is probably a somewhat scary step for the video giant, but it's taking some initiatives to negate any possible downsides. You can only place these customized overlays on a video that you've entered into YouTube's CPC Promoted Videos program. You don't have to pay anything extra for the Call-To-Action overlay, but you do have to be a paying YouTube advertiser.
The feature has been in testing with select partners and non-profits for some time, and the results have been extremely positive. Last March, the organization charity:water managed to raise $10,000 in a single day by including an overlay on one of its videos. A handful of politicians have also been trying it out, using it to entice voters to sign their petitions. It's worked well enough that politicians who haven't had access to the feature are clamoring for it.
At this point the potential uses for the links are fairly obvious. Brands can link their commercials back to the products they're selling. Publishers (like us) can link back to relevant articles. And politicians can link back to their campaign homepages or petitions. But there's almost certainly some other kind of creative use for the new ads waiting to be tapped, just as YouTube's annotations were used to create choose-your-own-adventure video journeys.
Crunch Network: MobileCrunch Mobile Gadgets and Applications, Delivered Daily.
Posted: 29 Jun 2009 06:21 PM PDT
Well, there was some evidence earlier this month that some piracy issues in China’s mandated “Green Dam” content-filtering software could cause PC exports to the country to be stalled, but it looks like Sony has now gone ahead and included the software on its PCs regardless, albeit with a few major caveats. According to the document above (included with a VAIO PC sold in the country, and translated by RConversation’s Rebecca MacKinnon), Sony says that it is including the software “in accordance with government requirements,” but that it “cannot guarantee the authenticity, legality, or compatibility of the software’s content, function, service or any other feature.”
It’s also apparently only including the program on the hard drive and providing installation instructions, rather than providing it completely pre-installed itself. Still no word from any of the other major PC manufacturers, it seems, but you can be sure this won’t be the last word on the matter.
[Via TG Daily]
Sony now including “Green Dam” filtering software on PCs sold in China originally appeared on Engadget on Mon, 29 Jun 2009 20:21:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.
Posted: 29 Jun 2009 06:00 PM PDT
It’s a small savings (just $5), but if you shop at Costco anyway, they look to have the best price on Windows 7 upgrades that we’ve seen yet.
As we reported earlier, retail pricing puts the Windows 7 Home Premium upgrade at $50 with the Windows 7 Professional upgrade costing $100. Costco will give you $5 savings on each, putting Home Premium at $45 and Pro at $95. That’s a 10% savings on Home Premium and a 5% savings on Pro…or about enough to take a healthy bite out of sales tax. [Costco Thanks Brian!]
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Posted: 29 Jun 2009 05:40 PM PDT
Measuring just 2.9 x 0.7 x 5.7, the SNA 95 includes practicalities beyond its 9 bundled tips that are compatible with most major brands of laptops (though it doesn’t appear that Macbooks are supported). The Cooler Master system also includes a cable management system, slick cool LED indicators and a USB port for whatever else might need charging.
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