Archive for January 7th, 2008

Mitsubishi’s 65-inch laser TV prototype spotted

Posted by Ry on Jan 07 2008 | Technology

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There's pretty much exactly zero info on how this thing works yet -- or even how well it works, the unveiling is in a few minutes -- but the photos below do indeed depict Mitsubishi's newfangled laser TV, and we thought you might like to have a look. As you can see, there's a bit of depth to the profile of this display, so we're thinking there's a DLP-ish tech going on inside, but your guess is truly as good as ours at this point.

Gallery: Mitsubishi's 65-inch laser TV prototype spotted

 

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Glamorous Cat Wigs [Glamorous Cat Wigs]

Posted by Ry on Jan 07 2008 | Technology

case2.jpgDoes your cat have a hair problem? Thinning, balding, greying hair? We'll then, we have the product for you. Kitty Wigs. Yes, thats right, Kitty Wigs, the only wigs for your feline companions. With models ranging from pink passion, bashful blonde, silver fox, and electric blue, your cat will be the talk of the town. The Kitty Wig is only $50.00, in stock and shipping this week, so order soon before supplies run out. And if that isn't enough, those who buy in the next 10 minutes will get an "attractive" round metal wig case, for all your storage and transportation needs. But wait, there's more! We will also be throwing in a "mouse with rattle"; the only toy you need to gain your pussy's attention. So please, order now, operators are standing by. [Kitty Wigs via Gizmodo Japan]
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Guitar Hero portable turntable controller

Posted by Ry on Jan 07 2008 | Technology

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Check out this sweet, sweet Guitar Hero mod by one Aaron Skillman, who whipped up a portable turntable controller in his garage one weekend. Instead of using the strum bar, you hit notes by scratching forward or backward. Since this baby is portable you can tote your alt instrument over to a friend's place and turn co-op Guitar Hero into Rock Band lite. Video after the break.

[Via CNET]

Continue reading Guitar Hero portable turntable controller

 

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HD DVD Really Dead Now: Paramount Following Warner to Blu-ray-Only Party [Rumor]

Posted by Ry on Jan 07 2008 | Technology

ParamountGate.JPGFinancial Times is reporting that Paramount has a clause in its HD DVD exclusivity contract allowing them to bail from the sinking HD DVD ship if Warner defected to Blu-ray, and they are "poised" to do so. Warner's switch already put 70 percent of Hollywood's output on Blu-ray—Paramount rolling Blu-ray too would promptly and undoubtfully close the books on HD DVD's future in Hollywood. [Financial Times]

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Lose the Blocked Startup Programs Dialog [Annoyances]

Posted by Ry on Jan 07 2008 | Uncategorized

disable-sys-config.pngIf you've taken control of your startup applications with the Windows stalwart, msconfig, you may have stumbled onto a new annoyance in Vista. When you block a program's startup with msconfig, Vista displays a "Windows has blocked some startup programs" message whenever you restart the computer. The How-To Geek weblog details how to disable the annoying pop-up with a simple tweaking of the System Configuration Utility. Just right-click the blocked programs system tray icon, choose Run blocked program -> System Configuration Utility, and then tick the "Don't show this message..." checkbox. Annoyance solved.

Stop the Annoying "Windows Has Blocked Some Startup Programs" Balloon [the How-To Geek]


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Bear Stearns CEO Forced Out By Angry Shareholders, Common Sense [Departures]

Posted by Ry on Jan 07 2008 | Consumer Interest

laterceoguy.jpgBear Stearns CEO James Cayne is expected to step down as CEO due to pressure by pissed off shareholders , reports the Wall Street Journal.

James Cayne, the chairman and chief executive of Bear Stearns Cos., under fire from shareholders since the Wall Street firm was badly burned by the downturn in the mortgage market, is stepping down as CEO, say people familiar with the matter. ... Bear Stearns's stock has lost more than half its value in the past year, and some directors had been privately discussing Mr. Cayne's departure. They had been hoping that he would take the initiative and resign, but didn't want to pressure him, given his long service to the firm, say people familiar with their thinking.

"He thought about it, and the board thought about it, and they agreed it was time to pass the baton," says one person familiar with the deliberations.

At least one major shareholder has been calling for Cayne's head, said the WSJ. Mr. Cayne will join the former CEOs of Citibank, Merrill Lynch & Co., UBS, and H&R Block on the list of casualties attributed to the subprime meltdown. The Wikipedia entry on Mr. Cayne claims that he is a world class bridge player and suggests that he enjoys smoking marijuana. We wish him luck in his future endeavors.

Cayne to Step Down As Bear Stearns CEO [Wall Street Journal]
(Photo:AP Photo/HO/Bear Stearns Cos. Inc.)


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Hands-on with the WiBrain B1 UMPC

Posted by Ry on Jan 07 2008 | Technology

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While the crew at Engadget is a little divided over whether the VIA-based WiBrain B1 UMPC is really handsome or really fugly, we did jump at the chance to get our paws all over it. The little device actually feels really good in your hands, though its awkward keyboard would definitely take some getting used to. We did feel right at home with the touchscreen, however, which was amazingly sharp, clear, and pretty darn high-res. Take a look at the gallery below (which includes some size comparisons) and see for yourself. Side note: the VIA rep who was showing the device off says these have launched in the US, but we haven't confirmed that yet.


 

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Hands-on with SanDisk Sansa View

Posted by Ry on Jan 07 2008 | Technology

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We already saw the Sansa View get unboxed, but there's just something special about catching a gadget up under the hot, hot lights here in Vegas. Pictured below is a gaggle of shots of the aforementioned media player, but you'll have to settle for images of the 16GB iteration. 'Course, the folks at the booth swore up and down that the just-announced (and curiously absent) 32-gigger looks exactly the same, so yeah, you shouldn't be missing out on anything.

 

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Sony BMG skips DRM for Platinum MusicPass MP3 gift cards

Posted by Ry on Jan 07 2008 | Technology

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Sony BMG Music Entertainment just announced Platinum MusicPass, retail gift cards which can be traded in for digital music, delivered to you in "high-quality" - and notably DRM-free - MP3 files. No word on precisely what bitrate constitutes high-quality, but for $12.99 (or $19.99 for a couple special edition albums) you can pick up a card from a local retailer, scratch the back, enter the pin number on MusicPass.com and download the MP3s (and sometimes bonus material). Is it perhaps inadvisable to require consumers to leave the internet, go to a store to purchase a MusicPass card, only to return home to the internet to download the DRM-free track? Hey, we're not business majors here and - judging by the initial album offerings - we're not their target demographic either. Celine Dion and Kenny Chesney, really?

 

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Everybody Panic: DVD Sales Down For The First Time Ever [Disposable Income]

Posted by Ry on Jan 07 2008 | Consumer Interest

thatsalotofdvds.jpgDVD sales slipped for the first time since the format was introduced in 1997, says USAToday.

Consumers spent $16 billion buying DVDs, about $600 million less than in 2006. But rentals matched last year's total of $7.5 billion.Hollywood shipped 1.7 billion discs -- about 30 million more than in 2006 -- a sign that DVD remains strong, Smith says. "There is a natural progression to lower price points due to the maturing market," she says. "But there are still titles -- big blockbuster releases, collector sets and, mostly, TV DVD compilations -- that are generating high price points."

The average selling price of a DVD dropped 0.5% to $14.63.

Despite the downturn in DVD sales, the $23.7 billion total spending on home video dwarfs Hollywood's $9.6 billion box-office total for 2007.

Could this mean that the market has absorbed all the $170 Miami Vice Complete Series boxsets it can handle? The horror.

DVD feels first sting of slipping sales [USAToday]
(Photo:feverblue)


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