Monday, October 20, 2008

Make Your iPod Talk to You

Free Apple iPod Nano

Free Apple iPod Nano

9 Things You Didn't Know You Could Do With Microsoft Outlook

Free Microsoft Outook 2007

1. Open Calendar, Contacts, or Task List in a separate window
Tired of clicking on the navigation buttons every time you want to switch between your Inbox and Calendar? Right-click on any of the Navigation buttons and choose Open in a New Window, and you can keep your Calendar or Contacts open in windows of their own. They'll stay open while you deal with messages; simply use Alt-Tab to navigate between the windows.

2. Display multiple dates in the Calendar
You can display multiple, noncontiguous dates in the Calendar by going to the monthly calendar display in the upper left of the Calendar window and Ctrl-clicking on the dates you want to view. Each date you Ctrl-click will appear as a column in the main Calendar display. You can also display any continuous range of dates by dragging the mouse over a series of dates on the monthly calendar.

3. Customize the flag and category icons
You probably already use the flag icon in the Inbox message list to remind you of messages that you'll need to look at in the future, or the category icon to help organize your mail. (The flag icon appears at the far right of each entry in Outlook's message list; the category icon is the rounded square just to the left of the flag icon.) You can specify which color flag or which color category will appear by default when you click on those icons. Simply right-click on any flag or category icon, choose Set Quick Click…, and select the category or flag that you want to use as the default.

4. Use shorthand abbreviations for dates and time
Outlook's Calendar understands both plain English text and terse abbreviations in its Start Time and End Time fields. For example, instead of typing a date, simply type "next Tue" or "next month" and the Calendar will insert the correct date. ("Next month" becomes the date one month from today.) In the time field, you can enter "now" or an abbreviated time like "4p," which Outlook will expand to "4:00 p.m." The same plain text shorthand also works in the Scheduling window, which means that you go to the Appointment Recurrence dialog and enter "next Thursday" as the Start time, and Outlook will specify the right date.

5. Modify Outlook's menus
Do you want the commands you use most often to appear at the top of Outlook's menus? Just choose Tools Customize, then the Commands tab, and click Rearrange Commands... In the dialog that opens you can move menu items up and down in the list, delete items you don't use, and add ones that you want. You can also save time by specifying "accelerator keys" that will launch a menu item when you type a single letter while that menu is open. To change or create an accelerator key for a menu item, click Modify Selection in the Rearrange Commands dialog, and insert an ampersand (&) immediately before the letter in the menu item that you've chosen to serve as the accelerator key.

6. Add holidays to your Outlook calendar
If your company observes religious holidays, or observes the same holidays honored in a head office in another country, you can add those holidays to the Outlook calendar. Use Tools Options; on the Preferences tab, click Calendar Options…, then click Add Holidays…, and place check marks next to the national or religious holidays you want marked in your calendar.

7. Insert calendar data into your e-mail
If your e-mail account is on a Microsoft Exchange server and you're writing to someone else who uses the same Exchange server, you can insert data from your calendar into an e-mail. In the message-editing window, go to the Message ribbon (selected by default), choose Calendar from the Include group, and specify the time period and level of detail that you want to include. This option isn't available if your account is on a POP or IMAP server.

8. Add a contact from an e-mail message
To add the sender of an e-mail message to your Contacts, go to the message itself (not the entry in the message list), right-click on the sender's name, and choose Add to Outlook Contacts.

9. Get rid of unwanted add-ins
Keep Outlook 2007 sleek and fast by removing add-ins that other software installs with asking your permission. Go to Tools Trust Center… then click on Add-ins, find the Manage: item at the foot of the window, make sure that COM Add-ins is the current item, and click on Go…. From the COM Add-ins dialog you can disable an item by clearing its check box, or remove it entirely by clicking Remove.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Top 10 Digital Photo Frames

Free Philips Digital Photo Frame

Today there are over 30 vendors selling these framed digital wonders, offering standard features like built-in memory, Wi-Fi, and video playback. The good news is that there are a handful of truly innovative digital photo frames out there. No matter your tastes (or your recipients'), here's our list of the 10 coolest digital photo frames to get you in the picture.

1. LG DP889
All-in-one devices are hot-ticket items, like this digital photo frame that displays photos and lets you watch DVDs, for example. The LG DP889 sports an 8-inch, 16:9 widescreen with built-in memory to display up to 250 photos in a slideshow. What's different about this frame is that you can bring it with you on your travels to watch DVDs, thanks to the integrated DVD player.

2. Pandigital Kitchen Technology Center
Spice up your kitchen with Pandigital's super-cool Kitchen Technology Center (KTC). This combo frame lets you not only display scrolling digital photos in your kitchen, but you can also watch TV (thanks to the 1280-by-720 HD-ready resolution) and access preloaded recipes on its 15-inch LCD screen.

3. Tao Electronics Digital Photo Penholder
For the working professional, Tao Electronics's Digital Photo Penholder ($80) is a great gift. It consists of a digital photo frame with a 3.5-inch TFT LCD and a handy pen and holder. The frame offers 128MB of internal memory (there's no memory card reader) and measures 5 by 4 by 2 (HWD) inches.

4. GE 27956FE1 DECT 6.0 Photo Phone
The GE 27956FE1 DECT 6.0 Photo Phone dons a 7-inch LCD screen and supports SD, xD, and MS memory cards for viewing your photos. Its 1.9-GHz cordless phone lets you make calls and see the person who's calling with its nifty picture caller ID.

5. Mustek PF-i700
If everything you own must have some sort of iPod integration, then Mustek's PF-i700 is right up your audio alley. With its 7-inch screen and remote control, you can enjoy video, music, and photo playback right from the built-in iPod dock. It even charges your iPod's battery.

6. Falcon DigiFrame Fridge Magnet
The refrigerator is like a scrapbook: It displays a family's photos for all to see. But there comes a time when you run out of magnets and space to hang your precious memories. That's why the Falcon DigiFrame Fridge Magnet is a perfect choice. It scrolls through up to 66 photos or can also be paused on one of your favorites—all on its 2.4-inch TFT LCD.

7. Ality Pixxa + Pictura Mirror PC017M
Similar to the mirrored finish on the LG Shine phone, the Pixxa + Pictura Mirror PC017M from Ality features a mirror that disappears to reveal this wall-mountable digital photo frame's touch-screen interface. That means it's great for hanging up in the hallway or near the front door, so you can check yourself in the mirror before you leave the house.

8. Picwing 7-inch Digital Photo Frame
The Picwing 7-inch Digital Photo Frame ($249) is Wi-Fi-enabled, so you can sync your Picwing albums to it whenever you please. Instead of using a memory card to access your photos on the frame, you manage your photos on All you have to do is setup an e-mail for your album. Then, you can e-mail photos to friends and family, and they'll be able to view them on their frames.

9. Pandigital 7-inch Collage Multi-Frame
A collage of digital photo frames would get expensive. That's why Pandigital designed the 7-inch Collage Multi-Frame, which is a blend of print and digital photos. The collage consists of one 7-inch digital photo frame with a 16-in-1 card reader and 128MB of internal memory, as well as three traditional photo frames for displaying printed photos of your choice.

10. Smartparts 32-inch Digital Picture Frame
For the person who has to have the biggest of everything, the Smartparts 32-inch Digital Picture Frame ($760) will certainly take the cake. This wall-mountable, behemoth frame has a high-def widescreen with built-in speakers and is compatible with all popular memory cards.

Free Philips Digital Photo Frame


How to customize Windows Vista

Free Windows Vista

How to customize your Windows Vista cursor

How to customize your Windows Vista logon

Improve your Windows Vista sidebar

Free Windows Vista

Thursday, October 16, 2008

5 reasons why it's hard to pick a cellphone

Get a free T-Mobile G1 Google Phone

When people ask me what cell phone I carry, I mumble. I equivocate. I hide. In part, that's because I don't want my personal choices to look like some sort of official PC Magazine endorsement. But it's also because, like most Americans, I'm trapped in a series of two-year contracts and paying more than I'd like to for less service than I want.

My contract just came up for renewal, and it's time to buy a new phone—but I can't. I just can't decide. I've pinpointed five problems that are making my choice difficult, and I think you'll be able to relate. Want to suggest an answer for me? Tell me on our discussion boards.

1. Two years is a long time, and carriers don't hold up their end of that bargain. I'm about to slap down a two-year commitment. That should be a two-way deal: If this was any other business deal, I'd ask for a detailed plan of what my investment will get me over the next two years, including product roadmaps, network buildouts, and possible mergers or divestitures. Of course, that's not going to happen. Mobile phone companies merge without warning, hide their product plans, and take their customers, once they're on the hook, for granted. (Any former Nextel or Blue AT&T customers will be nodding ruefully here.) That makes it hard to commit.

2. Too few people today talk about voice quality. I'm shopping for a family plan, and one of my family members is even pickier than I am about voice quality. Now, this is one of those situations where I'm in a much better position than the average consumer. I can tell you that the Nokia 6263 sounds tinny and the Nokia 5310 has a bit of hiss, because I try dozens of phones. But if you go into a mobile-phone store and talk to the salespeople about voice quality, you'll get a lot of blank stares. There's still an infuriating insistence that although phones may have different cameras, screens, music players or whatever, they all sound the same when making calls. That's flat-out wrong. Anyone with half a brain knows it's wrong, and it has to stop.

3. Deals are still phrased in terms of devices, not monthly costs. If there's one lesson to learn from the subprime mortgage crisis, it's that monthly payments matter to your personal finances. A lot. And when you're locked into a contract, your personal circumstances might change but your monthly payments won't. So one of my top priorities is to lower my monthly payments. (Paying more per month is not an option right now.) Wireless companies are deaf to this. They'll make a million deals for free phones (a one-time cost), but there are very few deals for lowering the payments you'll be saddled with well into 2010.

4. Why can't I find out how much I'm going to pay? Amazing but true: Even once you find a monthly payment you're comfortable with, it's almost impossible to figure out exactly how much you're going to pay. That's because a mysterious amount of "taxes and fees" are added to every wireless bill, and so far, the salespeople have refused to tell me how much the charges are. Yes. They're telling me that I will be on the hook for some amount that is larger than what they're charging, but not by how much.

5. Trade-offs between carriers are still too sharply defined. I've been a Verizon customer for nine years, but I'm sick of being beholden to the claustrophobic insularity of Verizon. I run across a lot of GSM phones in my travels, and I'd love to be able to use them. Sticking with Verizon is like being what a Mac user was in the mid-1990s: It's a great niche, but you're out of the global mainstream. I'd also like to access the Web from my phone. (Yes, you heard me, I don't have a data plan.) On the other hand, I also need to lower my bills—and get solid voice quality.

I've celebrated the vibrant competition between wireless carriers in the past, but when you're shopping, it can be really annoying. The trade-offs are sharp. T-Mobile has great rates and offers GSM, but it doesn't have a single really good 3G phone to provide rich, 3G voice quality. Calls sound great on Verizon, but you're locked into Verizon's offbeat ecosystem. AT&T is expensive and has problems where I live. Sprint is cheap, but its ecosystem is just as closed as Verizon's.

Microsoft Office Has a Free Rival?

Get a Free Microsoft Office 2007 Full Version, now released in its long-awaited 3.0 version, is a free, open-source replacement for Microsoft Office—and the first and only application suite that can be seriously considered to be a substitute for the massive power and flexibility of Microsoft's suite. used to look clunky and work slowly, but the 3.0 version, which I tested in its final Release Candidate version (RC4), is sleek and fast.

It still retains the essential look and feel of Microsoft Office 2003 and earlier versions, instead of imitating the new ribbon interface of Office 2007, but that's a plus for many users who want as much continuity as possible when switching to a new application. doesn't include all of Office's features, but it adds some conveniences that Office can't provide, such as built-in PDF export and a single interface for opening and editing word-processing documents, HTML files, worksheets, presentations, and drawings.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Blu-ray Recorders will be available in early 2009?

Get a free Panasonic Blu-ray Disc Player

One of the more frequent e-mails we receive is, when are Blu-ray recorders coming out? Blu-ray recorders have been available in Japan for quite some time now, but we haven't seen any manufacturer planning to offer a recorder in the U.S. However, HD Guru recently blogged about the CEATEC trade show in Japan, and we noticed this little nugget buried in the middle:
"Panasonic will be introducing a freestanding Blu-ray recorder/player in the US during the first half of 2009. (BTW, Blu-ray recorder prices have really dropped in Japan. I spotted a Sharp Blu-ray recorder at Yodobashi camera for around $800 S)."
That's news to us. In fact, we met with Panasonic engineers recently, and when we brought up Blu-ray recorders they had no news for the U.S. market. Although we do get plenty of reader e-mail concerning Blu-ray recorders, there's plenty of reasons to believe they won't be popular in the U.S. First up is the high price. An $800 recorder might be a big price drop, but it's still much more than standalone Blu-ray players, which most consumers already consider too expensive. Secondly, HD DVRs are relatively cheap and convenient, especially when you consider that a blank 25GB BD-R Disc costs about $8-$10.

Lastly, we'll be interested to see exactly what you'll be able to record with a Blu-ray recorder. We're assuming people would be most interested in recording premium content from networks such as HBO, but we'd be surprised if content providers didn't start using copyright protection to make that impossible. Meanwhile, remember that anything you record off of most network and cable channels will be chock full of onscreen ads and snipes--hardly the sort of version we'd want to archive to our permanent collection. So while there's certainly a limited market for Blu-ray recorders, it will be interesting to see if they're able to expand beyond that niche audience.

Get a free Panasonic Blu-ray Disc Player

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

New Apple laptops have glass trackpads and Nvidia chips

Apple touched up its line of laptop computers Tuesday with a minimal nod to the economic turmoil that might push consumers to be more frugal this holiday shopping season. Apple avoided a major price cut to the Macintosh line, though it did lower its least expensive computer, the basic MacBook, by $100 to $999.
For the updated MacBook and MacBook Pro machines, Apple crammed more high-end features into thinner laptop casings, and made those developments slightly easier on the wallet.

In an event at Apple's headquarters Tuesday, Steve Jobs, Apple's co-founder and CEO, highlighted the new laptops' larger glass "multitouch" trackpad, which, like the iPhone, understands multi-finger gestures for spinning and zooming.

Jobs also said Apple switched from Intel Corp. to Nvidia Corp. as the supplier of the laptops' graphics chips. Jobs said the change speeds up processing-intensive activities — playing popular 3-D video games, for example — as much as six-fold.

The redesigned laptops are lighter than existing machines, and Apple touted a construction "breakthrough" in the way the casings are cut and tooled from aluminum, without a stronger skeleton fused to the insides.

At the lowest end of the redesigned laptops, a MacBook will cost $1,299, while the most expensive MacBook Pro, which comes with two graphics chips from Nvidia for extra fast graphics processing, costs $2,499.

An updated MacBook Air, the ultra-thin portable notebook that does not have a CD or DVD drive on board, is $1,799. The new machines can be ordered online Tuesday and are expected to reach Apple's retail stores on Wednesday.

Top 5 Most popular gadgets

These are the gadgets that online searchers are craving:

To get these gadgets for free follow the links:

Free Apple iPhone
Free Panasonic Viera
Free Samsung Instinct
Free Apple Nano

Funny cellphone commercial

Get a free Apple iPhone

Get a free T-Mobile G1 Google Phone

Get a free Apple iPhone

Get a free T-Mobile G1 Google Phone

Monday, October 13, 2008

How to Buy a Blutooth Headset

Get a Free Aliph Jawbone 2 Blutooth Headset

Driving and talking on a cell phone can be dangerous (and often illegal). Using a Bluetooth headset while driving is one way to go. Bluetooth is a wireless technology that allows different electronics to work together.

Step 1
Identify if your cell phone has Bluetooth technology; you can check the manual or the phone's settings. If it does, you can use a Bluetooth headset. If it doesn't, you will have to use a wired headset or buy a Bluetooth adapter.

Step 2
Although you can buy Bluetooth headsets online, go to an electronics store to find one that's most comfortable. If you wear glasses, try on the headset with and without your glasses.

Step 3
Once you find one that's comfortable, try using the different controls. Some come with one-touch answer and end-call functions--this is particularly helpful when you're driving. The fewer buttons you have to press, the less distracted you will be. Other features to consider are on/off, battery length and volume control.

Step 4
Finally, make sure the headset you have chosen is compatible with your cell phone. Most Bluetooth headsets are backward-compatible, which mean they will work with any cell phone that has Bluetooth. If you're not sure, ask a sales associate at the store.

Get a Free Aliph Jawbone 2 Blutooth Headset

How to Avoid Red-Eye While Taking Digital Pictures

Red-eye occurs when light from the built-in flash of a camera bounces off the subject's retinas and reflects back to the camera lens. Along the way, the light takes on the tint of the blood vessels in the eye, which causes the eyes to appear to be glowing red in the picture. Below are some tactical tips to help you to avoid red-eye in your digital pictures.

Step 1
When inside, turn on as many lights as possible. With the additional light, The persons eyes will constrict a little, so less flash will be reflected back to the lens. Most cameras also adjust flash output based on the ambient room lighting, so the brighter the room, the weaker the flash needs to be.

Step 2
If you're shooting indoors , position the person next to a window. The light coming in through the window will have the same effect as turning on additional room lights.

Step 3
Change the camera settings to red-eye reduction mode. With red-eye reduction mode on, the camera fires a short, preflash in advance of the main flash. The idea is the same as turning on lots of lights, the eyes constrict in response to the preflash so that when the main flash fires, less light is reflected from the eyes. Remember, that it's called red-eye reduction and not red-eye prevention mode for a reason: That short preflash can do only so much, so you may still wind up with some red-eye areas. Be sure to tell people to expect two bursts of light. or, they will think that the preflash is the real flash and assume that the picture was taken. Some cameras actually fire three lights for each shot. The third , which the camera sends out when you depress the shutter button halfway, helps the camera's autofocusing mechanism pinpoint the subject-to-camera distance.

Step 4
Consider posing people so that they're not looking directly into the camera. A profile shot can be as captivating as a regular image. You can also ask people to look to one side or slightly up or down. Since the flash light won't be heading straight for the eyes, red-eye reflections will be minimized.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Is Microsoft buying RIM?

Funny story -- we pretty much heard this exact same rumor floating around last August, but given the current economic situation, we're inclined to believe this one a good bit more. A recent Reuters report is pointing out that RIM (like practically every other company right about now) is ripe for the picking, and any outfit with a serious load of cash reserves could get themselves quite a bargain. Given that the Redmond mega-corp has shown interest before (and clearly has plenty of Greenbacks), we were particularly interested in Canaccord Adams analyst Peter Misek's quote: "I'm fairly certain [Microsoft] has a standing offer to buy [RIM] at $50 a share." If you'll recall, RIM's stock sat at $148 per share just four months ago, and now, it's hovering around $60. As expected, Microsoft had no comment on the report, but don't be surprised to see something go down if Wall Street keeps hemorrhaging.

Awesome iTunes Remote Application for Android

Get your free T-Mobile G1 Phone

One of our favorite apps for the iPhone is the iTunes remote, so we're thrilled to see one for Android. Jeff Sharkey says that he reverse engineered the remote protocol from the iPhone and touch and used it to create an iTunes remote for Android. As you can see in the video, it looks amazing and works perfectly in the Android emulator, just like Apple's (in the real thing, you won't actually have to enter the IP address or pairing code).

Android iTunes Remote Control from Jeffrey Sharkey on Vimeo.

Get your free T-Mobile G1 Phone


Thursday, October 9, 2008

Top 10 must-have gadgets

This month's stars include the new Logitech Squeezebox Boom and the Nintendo DS Lite. What else is hot on our most recent Must-Have Gadgets list? A stellar flat-panel TV, a sexy Bluetooth headset, and an extreme LCD monitor. Rather than trying to compare gadgets across multiple categories, we present them in alphabetical order because, when you get right down to it, we think they're all must-haves.

1. Aliph Jawbone 2
Despite its quirks, the Aliph Jawbone 2 is quite possibly the ultimate Bluetooth headset in terms of design and sound quality. The Aliph Jawbone 2 is a fashionable Bluetooth headset with a comfortable fit and an array of noise-canceling and voice-enhancement technologies that result in amazing sound quality.
Read Review
Get it for free here!

2. Apple iPhone 3G
The iPhone 3G delivers on its promises by adding critical features and sharper call quality. The iTunes App Store is pretty amazing, and the 3G support is more than welcome. Critical features still are missing, and the battery depletes quickly under heavy use, but the iPhone 3G is a big improvement over the original model.
Read Review
Get it for free here!

3. Apple iPod Touch
The iPod Touch is a beautiful product, inside and out, but prepare yourself for sticker shock. The Apple iPod Touch has a large, video-worthy screen, a cutting-edge interface, and Wi-Fi Internet, e-mail, and music download capabilities.
Read Review
Get it for free here!

4. Canon PowerShot SD850 IS
The Canon PowerShot SD 850 IS has just about everything you'd want in a point-and-shoot. Great performance and image quality; solid image stabilization; face detection.
Get a similar camera for free here!

5. Gateway XHD3000 Monitor
Although it costs more than competing 30-inch LCDs, the Gateway XHD3000 goes a long way toward justifying its high price with a long list of features and outstanding performance.
Get a similar monitor for free here!

6. Logitech Harmony One
While it's missing an RF option, Logitech's Harmony One is one of the best--if not the best--universal remote we've ever tested.
Get a similar remote for free here!

7. Logitech Squeezebox Boom
The Logitech Squeezebox Boom is the best all-in-one tabletop Wi-Fi radio we've seen to date. Wi-Fi radio with built-in speakers; compact form factor and bright, easy-to-read screen; supports Wi-Fi and Ethernet home networks; and compatible with virtually all non-DRM audio file formats.
Read review here
Get a similar one for free here!

8. Nikon D3 Camera
Nikon's flagship dSLR packs a full-frame 12-megapixel sensor and is a highly versatile imaging powerhouse that lets photographers create images previously impossible to capture.
Get a similar camera for free here!

9. Nintendo DS Lite
With a slick new design, brighter screens, and a growing library of fun and innovative games, the Nintendo DS Lite is an impressive improvement over the original DS.
Get a similar DS for free here!

10. Panasonic Viera TH-50PZ800U
With the accuracy of its THX mode and great black-level performance, the Panasonic TH-50PZ800U is one of the best-performing HDTVs available.
Get a similar TV for free here!


Picture of Apple's Supposed New Laptops Surface

Get a free Macbook Pro

Oh Apple -- release some new laptops so this madness can end. The forums at MacRumors are abuzz over a Taiwanese site that's showing off pictures of what appears to be a very close cousin of that MacBook Pro-esque casing we saw earlier. This isn't the same model, surely, but it does bear a striking similarity in both design and materials -- and after lots of deliberation and comparisons, we're fairly sure this isn't the Air either (the hinge ends in a totally different spot in relation to the keys).

That machined quality we noted in the earlier post is present, though as we said previously, the sides of these housings do look like separate pieces. Regardless, if any of this is even remotely true (and not another Photoshop from someone's mother's basement), Apple is indeed taking its laptops in an Air direction, which isn't surprising -- but signs of these being the end-result of new manufacturing process? The jury's still way out. One more pic after the break of that controversial side piece.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Design of Samsung Sway SCH-U650 Could Use a Few Tweaks

Get a Free Verizon Wireless Gift Card here

Product Summary

The good: The Samsung Sway SCH-U650 has a sleek design, great call and photo quality, and a solid midrange feature set.

The bad: The Samsung Sway SCH-U650 lacks a thumb grip for opening its slider. Its controls are flush and it uses a proprietary headset connection.

The bottom line: Its design could use a few tweaks, but the Samsung Sway SCH-U650 offers satisfying performance and a functional feature set.

It's clear that Samsung loves two things: slim slider phones and midrange camera phones with a flip design. Indeed, we've seen a deluge of such models over the last few years, with the latest in the slider camp being the Samsung SCH-U650 for Verizon Wireless. Also called the Sway, (why, we're not quite sure), the SCH-U650 has a tried-and-true Samsung design. It's thin, silver, and attractive, but it wouldn't stand out in the cell phone crowd. Features are solidly midrange and call quality was satisfying, if a little harsh. It debuts October 15 on for $69.99 with a two-year contract and a mail-in rebate.

Get a Free Verizon Wireless Gift Card here


Potential iPhone bug Discovered by 12 year old?

Get a Free Apple iPhone 3G here

A 12-year-old who uses his iPhone mostly for texting with his girlfriend has discovered what looks like a new vulnerability with the device.

The unnamed boy, son of blogger Karl Kraft, turns on the passcode lock and disables SMS Preview in order to prevent his parents from seeing any messages, Kraft wrote on his blog.
Those settings block the display of incoming text messages and show an alert saying "New Text Message" if an SMS comes through while the phone is locked. However, if the phone is set to emergency call mode the incoming text messages are previewed.

"Thus all I need to do to intercept the messages from his girlfriend is to place the phone in emergency mode and wait 30 seconds for the next sickly sweet message," Kraft writes. Apple representatives did not return e-mails seeking comment.

A different security hole related to password-protected iPhones was discovered in August, and last month a researcher disclosed that the iPhone captures all the activities of a user in order to enable the cool fading applications effect.

Google Employees Get Android Phone Earlier?

Most of us will have to wait until October 22--or later, given that T-Mobile sold out--but if you have the right connections, you can get an Android phone now.

Google co-founder Larry Page flashed his Android phone briefly in a meeting two weeks ago with reporters, but they're trickling farther down the ranks at the Internet giant, too.

I snapped this shot of one Google employee surfing with his Android phone while waiting for his chief executive, Eric Schimdt, to talk about energy at a San Francisco speech last week.

Android is the Linux-based open-source operating system Google created in partnership with several other companies. T-Mobile is selling the first Android-powered phones, the G1, but other manufacturers are expected to join in 2009.

Are You Getting the New Blackberry Storm?

Get a Free $500 Verizon Wireless Gift Card to get the new Blackberry Storm

Tuesday night, Research In Motion and Verizon Wireless officially introduced the first touch-screen BlackBerry to the world: the RIM BlackBerry Storm.

The Storm features a touch-sensitive display that's unlike that on any other touch-screen smartphone available today, thanks to RIM's own twist. There are plenty of other highlights as well, including dual-mode functionality, support for Verizon's EV-DO Rev. A, integrated GPS, BlackBerry OS 4.7, and more.

Now, before you run out to the nearest Verizon store, we've got some bad news. Unfortunately, you won't be able to get your hands on the BlackBerry Storm quite yet. A specific release date and pricing were not announced, but Verizon said the Storm would be out by the holiday season with "competitive" pricing. Obviously, we're not fans (and we're guessing you're not either) of such vague answers, especially in light of the RIM BlackBerry Bold delay.

Obviously, the touch screen is the biggest highlight of the BlackBerry Storm, but as we mentioned earlier, it's unlike any other touch-screen smartphone we've seen so far, including the Apple iPhone, T-Mobile G1, and Samsung Omnia.

Rather than provide haptic feedback (or none at all), RIM developed something completely new called ClickThrough, which consists of a suspension system that lies beneath the display, so that when you go to select an application or enter text, you actually push the screen down like you would any other tactile button. It was responsive and I was pleasantly surprised at how easy and accurate it was to compose messages and notes.

In terms of text extry, the BlackBerry Storm features a SureType keyboard when the smartphone is in portrait mode and then switches to a full QWERTY keyboard in landscape mode. The Storm has a built-in accelerometer so it will automatically rotate the screen depending on if the phone is held vertically or horizontally (left- and right-hand support included). The letter/number keys also glow blue when you're typing.

The quality of the display is slightly better than the RIM BlackBerry Bold's. The Storm features a 3.25-inch diagonal display with a 480x360 pixel resolution and support for 65,000 colors, where as the Bold has a half-VGA, 480x320 pixel display. The handset measures 4.4 inches tall by 2.4 inches wide by 0.5 inch deep and weighs 5.6 ounces. It's equipped with a 3.5mm headphone jack, has four shortcut keys (Talk and End, Back, and BlackBerry menu), and a microSD slot behind the back cover, among other things.

Don't be fooled; the RIM BlackBerry Storm is more than just a pretty face. As far as phone features, the Storm, like the RIM BlackBerry 8830 World Edition, offers dual-mode functionality. This means the phone switches automatically between CDMA and GSM networks to offer seamless international roaming--all while keeping the same phone number. (Note that the phone does not support domestic GSM bands, and a SIM card is included in the box.) It also works on Verizon's EV-DO Rev. A network as well as Europe's 2100MHz UMTS/HSDPA band. There's a full HTML Web browser (no Flash), and the Storm will also support Verizon's V Cast Music and Mobile TV services, though not immediately at launch.

Other wireless options include Bluetooth 2.0 with support for stereo Bluetooth headsets and dial-up networking and GPS but no Wi-Fi. BlackBerry Maps is onboard if you want text-based turn-by-turn directions, but for more advanced navigation features, such as voice prompts, you'll be forced to use Verizon's VZ Navigator service.

The BlackBerry Storm will run the latest BlackBerry OS (version 4.7), so you finally get an updated interface while still getting support for multiple e-mail accounts (BlackBerry Enterprise, Microsoft Exchange, Lotus Notes, POP3, IMAP4, and more) with wireless synchronization. In addition to an attachment viewer, you can also do some light editing on Microsoft Word and PowerPoint files. There's 128MB of flash memory and 1GB of onboard memory, which is all supplemented by the microSD/SDHC expansion slot (supports up to 16GB cards).
Though the BlackBerry is historically known more as a business device, RIM and Verizon hope to attract more consumers with the BlackBerry Storm and it comes with a number of multimedia capabilities. The media player can handle various music and video formats, including MP3, AAC, WMA, WMV, MPEG4, and H.264. The included Media Sync software will also help you synchronize your iTunes files with your BlackBerry. The Storm is equipped with a 3.2-megapixel camera with video recording, auto focus, and flash.
(Credit: RIM)

Finally, it will come preloaded with instant-messaging clients (Yahoo, Windows Live, AOL, and ICQ) and a number of social-networking apps, including Facebook, MySpace, and Flickr. You'll also be able to download more programs over the air through the new BlackBerry App Center.

OK, obviously, the RIM BlackBerry Storm has a lot to offer. The touch screen alone already has people drooling and clamoring over the device, and then you add the laundry list of features, and you're looking at a recipe for success. But will it actually deliver? Well, it's a hard to say, having only had about half an hour of hands-on time with the smartphone.

Overall, I was impressed--nice design, feature rich. Again, the ClickThrough touch screen takes some getting used to, and I wonder how it will hold up over months of use. Performance wise, the device seemed snappy, but I also caught a couple of bugs. For example, the camera activated while trying to perform some function in e-mail. However, I know it wasn't a final product, so I won't hold that against RIM. Music and video playback were pretty impressive as well.

There's enough appeal there for consumers, mobile professionals, and new and old BlackBerry users, but I think price will play a huge factor. Verizon has to be careful not to cross that fine line between what's reasonable and what puts the device out of range. What do you guys have think? What are the BlackBerry Storm's hits and misses? Do you want one? How much are you willing to pay?

Get a Free $500 Verizon Wireless Gift Card to get the new Blackberry Storm


Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Is the Apple iPod a Fad Whose Days are Numbered?

Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak this week likened the iPod to a fad whose days are number while lamenting the limitations of the iPhone 3G, for which he'd like to write certain applications but can't due to restrictions.

"The iPod has sort of lived a long life at number one," he told The Telegraph in an exclusive interview. "Things like that, if you look back to transistor radios and Walkmans, they kind of die out after a while." Woz, who retired from the daily grind at Apple more than 20 years ago, says the media players are approaching a saturation point where "everyone has got one or two or three." It gets to the point, he adds, where they "get real cheap," become omnipresent, and don't sell as well as a result.

He also spoke out about the direction Apple has chose for the iPhone, specifically the limitations the company has imposed on developers, which, in his opinion, stifle innovation. "Consumers aren't getting all they want when companies are very proprietary and lock their products down," he said, arguing in favor of Google's open approach to the Android platform that offers developers more freedom. "I would like to write some more powerful apps than what you're allowed."

"I would like to have the users influence the next generation," he said. "With a religion you're not allowed to challenge anything. I want our customers to challenge us."Woz, who is consider naming his child Zowoz "because it's a palindrome," offhandedly remarked that Apple's next big thing could be an "iWatch," claiming that nobody, including chief executive Steve Jobs, really has the foresight into the next blockbuster gadget.

Here is your chance to get free iPods:

Apple iPod Classic

Apple iPod Nano

Apple iPod Touch


Laptop Buying Tips

Bear these thoughts in mind when buying and using notebook PCs.

1. Consider the travel weight. Compare travel weights, not system weights.

2. Don't get hung up on small weight differences. What really counts is the total weight of the bag you sling over your shoulder. But notebook bags weigh 2 to 5 pounds and all your other stuff (power adapter, cell phone, music player, paper documents, and paperback novel) adds 2 to (gulp) 10 pounds.

3. Why 3.5-pound subnotebooks weigh more than 5-pound thin-and-lights? Consider how you normally travel. If you need the optical drive more than occasionally, your real walking weight will be 3.5 pounds for the notebook, plus an additional pound for the modular slice that contains the optical drive.

4. Small notebook, smaller battery. Manufacturers sometimes keep weight down on subnotebooks by shipping with three- to four-cell batteries that are good for just 2 to 3 hours of power.

5. Bigger equals more rugged. A small system with tightly integrated components is somewhat more likely to break in a fall than a bulkier unit where there's room for extra bracing.

6. Midlife battery crisis. Batteries don't last forever. One way to lengthen your battery life span is to charge it up fully, unplug, let the battery run down and then recharge again.

7. Think about the extended warranty. An extended warranty is a moneymaker for the seller. For individual buyers, there is the comfort of knowing that if the notebook breaks, especially early in life, the store may just hand you a new one.

8. Think twice about hi-res. Higher resolution is generally better, except when you try to read the fonts.

9. Make sure you know the difference between a transflective (glossy) screen versus a matted (anti-glare) screen. A transflective screen is better suited for movies, photos, and video editing but produces more glare.

10. You might want two power adapters. Then you can have one at home and one at the office.

Monday, October 6, 2008

5 Best MP3 players for audiobooks

Get your free MP3 player and listen to all your audiobooks:
Apple iPod Classic, Microsoft Zune, Creative Zen

MP3 players have quickly become the medium of choice for listening to audiobooks. There are four main features to consider when buying an audiobook-friendly MP3 player: file compatibility, battery life, storage capacity, and bookmarking.

To figure out which supported file types are important to you, think about where you'll be getting your audiobooks. Audible is one of the most popular formats for purchasing audiobooks online, and all of the players listed here are Audible-friendly.

Next, consider battery life. Audiobook fans typically listen in long stretches and you want to make sure your MP3 player can go the distance.

When you're thinking about storage capacity, consider that audiobooks average around 140MB--which can eat up memory in a hurry. For most users, 4GB to 8GB of space is adequate, but if you want to fit your entire music, video, and audiobook library onto one device, high-capacity players such as the iPod Classic and Zune 120 are the way to go.

Finally, there's bookmarking. All of the MP3 players shown here should automatically resume audiobook playback where you last left off, but some MP3 players (such as the Creative Zen) will allow you to manually set multiple bookmarks within an audiobook.

So the best MP3 players for audiobooks are:

1. Apple iPod Classic (120GB)

2. Microsoft Zune (120GB)

3. Creative Zen (16GB)

4. SanDisk Sansa Fuze (8GB)

5. SanDisk Sansa Clip (4GB)

Get your free MP3 player and listen to all your audiobooks:

Apple iPod Classic, Microsoft Zune, Creative Zen.

Source: Donald Bell

Friday, October 3, 2008

Top 5 Speaker Systems For iPod

Get a free Bose SoundDock Portable music package

Discussing about the top five speaker systems for iPods, one may get a varied range of products from the almost all the big names in the field of speakers. Names like Bose, Sony, Logitech, Altec Lansing, Boston Acoustic has come up with some of the best speaker systems for your iPod. These brands have produced some of the best quality speaker systems in the world. In this article we will be discussing about the best five speaker systems for iPods.

Bose Sound Dock. The Bose Sound Dock is quite an expensive set of speakers for the iPods. But these speaker systems are surely one of the best speakers in the world. The Bose Sound Dock is very simple and easy to set up and use. The speakers have quite attractive design. The sound quality of the speakers is very impressive than many other speaker systems. The Bose Sound Dock comes with remote controlled system so it becomes easier to operate. These speakers help to charge the iPod while it is docked. The Bose speaker system is a single piece speaker, which can easily change into a perfect stereo system for your bedroom.

Logitech mm50. The Logitech mm50 comes with a folding design, which is perfect for traveling. The speakers come with integrated rechargeable battery. The speaker system also include travel pouch and wall charger. The speakers are remote controlled so it becomes quite a user-friendly thing on the whole. You may carry the speakers along with your iPod. The Logitech mm50 have also a line in port for other players too. The speakers are quite affordable and have a good sound quality. Though it does not have a booming bass, but it has a good midrange, clear highs and decent lows.

The JBL On Stage II. The JBL On Stage II speakers for iPods have an UFO like shape. It has got a fantastic look and has a great sound quality. These speakers are definitely one of the top 5 speaker systems for iPods. The JBL On Stage II comes with four neodymium driver speaker systems, which gives out six watts per channel. The speaker system also comes with a remote.

Altec Lansing In Motion iM7. The Altec Lansing In Motion iM7 speaker systems are one of the best among the top 5 speaker systems for iPod. The designs are wonderful and these speakers have a high quality sound. It has got a seamless integration with the IPods.

Boston Acoustic i-DS2. The Boston Acoustic i-DS2 has got an incredible design, which makes the speaker system stand out from the rest. The speakers have a good sound quality and come with remote. The price is quite affordable too. On the whole these speakers can be included in the top 5 speaker systems for iPods for its overall performance.

Get a free Bose SoundDock Portable music package


Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Top 5 List on How to Pick The Right Motherboard

I decided to make a top five list on motherboards because, in building a computer, it’s the hardest component to pick. It’s pretty much the nervous system of the PC, so proper selection is crucial to ensure your new computer performs as well or better than expected. Anyway, on with the top five!

1. Make Sure you pick the right size motherboard for the case you have chosen to use. If you have a micro at ATX case then your motherboard cannot be an ATX. Larger cases sometimes allow you to have smaller motherboards. Check the specs on the case before you continue looking for a motherboard.

2. Count how many SATA or IDE connections are available. I learned the hard way — I bought a CD drive and a hard drive — both IDE — and I only had one IDE connection and six SATA connections on the board I bought. I had To send the hard drive back and get a SATA.

3. Price isn’t everything! a motherboard that costs $80 can just as easily run as well if not better than a motherboard that costs $1000. Check the specs for features you want and also that you don’t need. If you’re not a gamer, chances are you don’t need something like SLI.

4. Do your research! Check and see what other people are saying about the motherboard. Again, just because the motherboard is expensive doesn’t necessarily mean it’s a beacon of quality!

5. Never buy from a third party like a flea market, a friend, or a guy in a van.