The fastest RC cars in the world

Friday, September 08, 2006

Amazon opens the Unbox video store

From Arstechnica:
Amazon has taken the wraps off of Unbox, its new video store. As we previously reported, Unbox will sell both TV shows and movies, and the site will also offer a selection of video rentals. Prices are all over that map, but that was the point: Amazon wanted to let the content owners set their own prices, and for now that approach looks to have satiated more studios than Apple's more rigid model. To give you a feel for the pricing on Unbox, we found The Matrix available for $9.88, but movies can be found priced far south and north of this price point. Swordfish, for instance, is $7.36, while Adventures of Mary-Kate & Ashley: The Case of Thorn Mansion is $13.99. The Jennifer Aniston flick Rumor Has It weighs in at $19.62. Rental titles are available from $3.99 (and must be watched within 30 days of download, and within 24 hours of playtime starting). TV shows are priced at $1.99, as they are at Apple's iTMS.

Amazon's store does not offer "download-to-burn" functionality, so at this time there's no easy way to get these movies on your TV via a DVD player. This must-have feature is still lingering on the horizon, with recent attempts coming up more sizzle than steak. Will Apple deliver next Tuesday? We'll see.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Google News: Stories from the 1700s

From CNN:
Google Inc. (Charts) has added the ability to search through more than 200 years of historical newspaper archives alongside the latest contemporary information now available on Google News, the market-leading Web search firm said Tuesday.

"The goal of the service is to allow users to explore history as it unfolded," said Anurag Acharya, a top Google engineer who helped develop the news archive search.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Net Neutrality Wins More Senators

By Jason Lee Miller:

The Net Neutrality movement is gaining support among U.S. senators. At the close of the August recess, the coalition added four previously uncommitted legislators to the cause.

According to the website, that brings the tally to 26 senators in favor of the Snowe-Dorgan amendment to Senator Ted Stevens' sweeping telecom bill. There is ground left to make up, though, with half the Senate still uncertain.

The split is almost entirely according to party lines. All 14 of the senators who've made a stance against Net Neutrality are Republican. Of the 26 senators in favor, 24 are Democrat. Fifty-six are still uncommitted, and four straddle the fence.

The coalition reports that activists "took to the pavement" in 25 cities nationwide this week to deliver petitions to Senate members in their hometowns during recess. The outcry was enough to convince Mark Dayton (D-Minn.), Tom Harkin (D-Iowa), James Jeffords (I-Vt.) and Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) to pledge their support.

"We are extremely pleased that both of our New York Senators are pro Net Neutrality," said Jessica Findley, a freelance graphic designer from Brooklyn, who helped organize the New York City rally. In New York, 50,000 petitions were delivered to Schumer.

It is unknown if Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) was persuaded by the crowd outside her Detroit office, where David Pettit of the Public Interest Research Group made his appeal.

"Powerful telephone company lobbyists will tell you one of two things - both of which, of course, are false," said Petit. "First, they will tell you that the Stevens bill already preserves Net Neutrality. This is completely not true. Second, they might say ‘don't regulate the Internet. Let the market decide.' ... All we want to do is reinstate the Net Neutrality principles that guarantee that the Internet treats everyone fairly."

This week, petition delivery events were held at senators' offices in Baltimore; Boston; Charleston, W.Va.; Columbus, Ohio; Eau Claire, Wis.; Fayetteville, Ark Honolulu; Louisville, Ky.; Madison, Wis.; Milwaukee; Montpelier, Vt.; Orlando; Newark, N.J.; Portland, Maine; Providence, R.I.; Seattle; Spokane, Wash.; and Wilmington, Del.

SMC's WiFi Skype Phone

From Tomshardware:
So that leaves home-based users, high-schoolers and the college crowd. This group is going to think twice before plunking down $200 for what amounts to a cordless phone with short battery life, works only when the kids aren't sucking up all the Internet bandwidth with BitTorrent and depends on having clear 802.11b/g spectrum that gets harder to find every day.

No, I think a successful computer-less Skype device will have to do both voice and text and probably look more like a Danger Hiptop / T-Mobile Sidekick, or even an Ogo, but with voice added. But with no associated service plan to sell to keep the hardware price low, such a device would probably cost closer to $400, which pretty much kills that idea.

It's too bad, because the concept of a Skype Wi-Fi phone is so compelling. But like so many things in life, the realization—at least at this point—just doesn't match up to the anticipation.

Monday, September 04, 2006

Concepts at Pebble Beach 2006

Here is a quick wallpaper gallery of concepts, coachbuilds and new production models displayed on the putting green outside The Lodge at the Pebble Beach Golf Links. The Glickenhaus commissioned P4/5, the stubby Dodge Hornet, the Phantom look-alike Chrysler Imperial, the "Darth Vader GT" Maybach Exelero... all there, along with a handful of other concepts and a few near-production-ready models.