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CES Tidbits 215

Various newsbits from the Consumer Electronics Show: Verizon promises cell phone TV; USB flash drives get more useful; Transmeta promises a fanless media center device, sometime; things you can stick on your iPod; and a tech site offers a photographic overview of day 0 of the convention.
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CES Tidbits

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  • Cell phone TV (Score:5, Insightful)

    by nizo ( 81281 ) * on Friday January 07, 2005 @04:58PM (#11291043) Homepage Journal
    Great, now people can not only talk on the phone, but also watch tv on their cell phone while they drive.
  • by stratjakt ( 596332 ) on Friday January 07, 2005 @05:10PM (#11291175) Journal
    Of course, if you don't already have an iPod, it would seem an Archos box would make the wiser investment, since you can basically do what you want with it, rather than be limited to certain "allowed" formats.

    You can get a portable DVD player designed for kids for about 100 bucks, though. We got our youngest one for christmas. It's not a sexy geek device, the battery is an old NiCad and weighs a ton, and only lasts 4 hours or so. But it works great, and it reads DVD-Rs and VCDs.

    80 bucks for the player and pennies per blank disc, and you stay just as sane on a long car trip as with the 500 dollar iPod + 300 dollar "peripheral" (just guessing at what they'd charge, but that sounds right for what is essentially a self-contained media player and usb host, minus the hard drive).
  • by buckhead_buddy ( 186384 ) on Friday January 07, 2005 @05:19PM (#11291256)
    If you take the worlds of television, telecom, games and music, and then remove content, you wind up with the consumer electronics show. Despite what you may be assuming, I think the inteligence level goes up quite a bit once content is removed. I envision telecom devices having fascinating conversations with my sister in Uganda rather than listening to telemarketers. I recall television products replaying some of my favorite cancelled shows rather than endless hours of mind-numbing nonsense.

    I find it a bit disheartening that so much of the success of these products will depend on the success or failure of the content. Finally, when I heard Conan's lame double entendres about flacid penises (as in the Microsoft intro) that shook me out of my interest in what was presented at this convention. More and more I'm coming to the conclusion that products that allow the common man to produce content are far more interesting, revolutionary, and important than the evolutionary products shown at the Consumer Electronics Show to allow you to consume the content of others. The products at CES that catch my eye are ones that allow me to create or enojy the creations of others, unfortunately I think I'll see more of that sort of thing at NAB in April than I've seen at CES so far.

    Please, tell me that I'm wrong and point out some great consumptive and productive tech that's made its debut.

  • by Ironsides ( 739422 ) on Friday January 07, 2005 @05:26PM (#11291326) Homepage Journal
    Main reason it probably died was due to the body being completely incompatible with previous lenses. Go spend 5K (or more in most cases )on lenses and then tell me you want a body that is incompatible with them.

    The image stabilization in teh body, however, if it is compatible with current lenses WILL SELL. Especially to people that can't afford the current auto stabilizing lenses. (like me) Best bet for that is to license it to Nikon and Cannon for theirs and they will make a bloody mint.
  • by EnronHaliburton2004 ( 815366 ) on Friday January 07, 2005 @05:27PM (#11291343) Homepage Journal
    My wife and I have been talking about getting a pair of portable DVD players for the kids - or, as I call it, "sanity preservers" so during the 10-12 hour drive to Grandma's house, Dad doesn't kill them after the 6000th "Are we there yet? I'm bored!"

    My kid is still a baby, so I haven't experienced the "Are we there yet?" years too much. And I'm not trying to be preachy-- I just want to know what other parents do with their kids.

    You and I survived these long car rides with books, games, puppets, imagination and long period of staring out the window (a great time for day dreaming and thinking, and I still do it). We didn't have this constant stream of stimulation being pushed at us, and we survived fine.

    Are you sure you want to push your kids (and you and your wife) for 10-12 hours? How about getting a hotel somewhere in the middle there. You all need more rest then that, and the drive would be more leasurely-- you could even drive for a few hours, take a break and see some of the sights and get some exercise, and then drive again. You'll also drive much more safer...

    Dvd or not, 10-12 hours in a car can't be good for you or your kids.
  • by EXTomar ( 78739 ) on Friday January 07, 2005 @05:34PM (#11291403)
    I don't care how "nifty" it is but from an IT point of view having any "hot-plug" device used on a computer in the enterprise automatically running things an unvalidated source (the hot-plug device itself) is a security risk. Where did the USB device come from? What does the USB device really do? If a user can't answer some simple questions about this they sure aren't added it to a machine on the network. I will not allow users pluging strange PCI cards into their machines that aren't quite sure what they do. Why should I allow USB to do the same thing?!?

    Why are these guys pushing to make this "standard"?? Thanks for more tracking and security headaches guys for the sake of "convience".
  • by Anubis350 ( 772791 ) on Friday January 07, 2005 @05:41PM (#11291459)
    put in UT2004 disc, run the install on linux script (its an executable, just click on it), play game.....

    if you need 3d drivers and you're using an nvidia card (which you should if you're using linux) d/l nvidia's drivers, stop X, install, follow instructions to modify your X config, restart X (even easier than windows, don't even need to restart your machine and all instructions are available from nvidia website in great detail).

    I don't know why I even try, feeding trolls is so tiresome......
  • Re:Amateur look (Score:3, Insightful)

    by introverted ( 675306 ) on Friday January 07, 2005 @05:55PM (#11291641)
    Is it just me, or do the display tables look very amateurish?

    It's not clearly stated in the article, but my guess is that the photos were taken at the "Pepcom Digital Experience" pre-CES event. Those are just the tables you'll find at any hotel, complete with an inexpensive (but durable) tablecloth and decorative table skirt.

    But why are you taking note of tables in the photos? The very first page after the introduction includes a genuine "Booth Babe" [] and surely she's more interesting than any silly table. :-)

  • Re:U3 (Score:3, Insightful)

    by IWorkForMorons ( 679120 ) on Friday January 07, 2005 @06:11PM (#11291829) Journal
    It's worse then that. How long do you think it will take before this is the only method of software distribution available? It's got all of the features vendors like...none of this "just copy the software" any more. Don't have the USB drive? Lose it somewhere? Well then you don't have the software anymore. Looks like you'll have to buy a new one. And speaking about "Thumb Kiddies"...think of the new and exciting viruses you'll pick up from pirated drives. Plus all the ones you'll pick up off the net and spread around with you as you travel.

    Yeah, this is a little tinhat-ish, but you never know...
  • by darc ( 532156 ) on Friday January 07, 2005 @07:20PM (#11292541) Journal
    Which any programmer is capable of doing. Following instructions is beyond the capability of most users, because well, they don't read the directions. When was the last time you read the manual that came with any product?

    Right now, most consumers expect to be able to install the software without reading any of the dialog boxes and just hitting 'next' like mad. Making this more difficult isn't a matter of them not being able to do this, but rather that they lack the drive to actually do it. Changing 3 lines of a text file is pretty archaic and reminds me of CONFIG.SYS and the DOS days.

    Comon, we can do better than that.

If you think nobody cares if you're alive, try missing a couple of car payments. -- Earl Wilson