I don't consider myself a vinyl collector. Although most of my music is on vinyl--about 700 records, compared with less than 200 CDs and a smattering of digital-only files--I buy it because I like the sound, and pay little attention to original labels versus reissues, imports versus domestic, cover art, and all the other arcana that collectors concern themselves with. Still, like anybody else who haunts record shows, I've always hoped in the back of my mind that I'd stumble on the next Butcher Cover--that's the original cover of the Beatles album "Yesterday and … Read more
Editor's note: From now through the end of December, various Crave experts will be sharing their top five (mostly) tech-related wishes for the holiday season. See what we crave, and maybe you'll get some ideas!
1. Cheap storage. I've run out of room for all the photos, music, audio books, and videos I've amassed. I don't need to stream wirelessly or transfer data quickly. I just need a place to throw all those episodes of Spain...On the Road Again that I paid for so might as well keep. For my simple needs, the Western Digital My Book Edition (2TB) external 2-terabyte hard drive looks good. With Raid 0 and 1 support, I can set it up to mirror--use each terabyte to store my stuff in duplicate. Once I fill a terabyte, I can switch to using it as a straight 2-terabyte hard drive. It doesn't have Firewire, but a USB 2.0 connection is fine if it means getting 2 terabytes of storage for about $250.
2. Compact camera. I'm in the opposite boat as Dujmovic. I've been whooping it up with my Canon Rebel XT (literally running out of wall space for my large frame photos). Now I need to replace my elderly Canon PowerShot S100 Digital Elph (only 2.1 megapixels and a tiny 1.5-inch screen). I want a sleek ultracompact with at least 7 megapixels, a 3-inch screen, and video. I'd like the Nikon Coolpix S60, or the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-T70 or DSC-W130. If it's on sale, the 10-megapixel Sony Cyber-shot DSC-T700 that comes with 4GB of built-in storage and a cool brushed stainless look would be even better.
3. Donations to Room to Read. While I crave more room in my life for time to read books, others crave the books themselves. A former Microsoft executive left his Redmond life to do something about that. Room to Read is an education-focused charity that helps communities build libraries, schools, local language publishing firms for children's books, computer labs, and scholarship funds. You can choose which country and project you want your money to support.
According to Room to Read, 86 percent of your money goes straight to projects in need. The organization has also been a Motley Fool charity pick for its "long-term, sustainable goals, and transparent, sound finances." … Read more
Editor's note: From now through the end of December, various Crave contributors will be sharing their top five (mostly) tech-related wishes for the holiday season.
1. Either a BlackBerry Storm, Samsung Omnia, or Apple iPhone: After getting laughed at one time too many when whipping out my chunky Treo 700P, it's finally time to give in and get a new smartphone. Initially, as a long-time Verizon customer, I was torn between the BlackBerry Storm and the Samsung Omnia. After playing around with both, I wasn't convinced--the Storm's click screen seems like it would get annoying real quick, and the Omnia, despite the rave reviews, just felt sluggish to use, and the low screen resolution made it hard to read text in the Web browser.
Now, I'm also considering making the switch to AT&T and joining the iPhone masses, just on the strength of the interface and general ease-of-use. I use my phone primarily for Web surfing and AIM, not so much for calls, but even so, Verizon's good reputation for service in NYC (and AT&T's less-than-stellar rep) gives me pause. I'm still undecided, so let me know what you think...
2. Flip Video MinoHD: As a one-time film student, I still have the folding chair and tilted beret of a big-screen director in the back of my mind. To help kick off my alternate career as a documentarian in the mold of the Maysles Brothers or Werner Herzog, I'll start with this handheld HD mini-cam.
3. M-Audio Keystation 88: If you're a part-time musician like myself, figuring out how to squeeze the most music-making power out of your gear is always an important topic. There are as many combos of hardware and software, digital and analog equipment out there as there are music styles, but my personal preference is a PC-based ProTools setup. I currently use a Digidesign Mbox and ProTools LE 7.4, with Propellerhead's Reason software ReWired into it for keyboards and sequencing.
If that's all Greek to you, the point is, I've used a variety of different 49-, 61-, and 32-key USB controllers (essentially dummy devices that look like piano keyboards but have no onboard sounds and are used to control music software) over the years, but have never had a full-size 88-key controller. Since they're basically just plastic keys wired to a USB port, they're usually moderately priced, such as this $249 model from M-Audio. … Read more
Does a loved one suffer from infomania? Do you have an incorrigible number-cruncher on your gift list? Whether your favorite data-tracker is a runner or a gardener, here are five devices that could be a hit at home this year.
About the size of a thumb drive, this fitness and sleep tracker discretely clips to your clothes. At home, it auto-syncs with its base station and uploads information (such as how many calories you burned that day or how many hours you actually slept) to a website where you can track data for yourself, … Read more
One of my favorite companies from the TechCrunch 50 launch conference was GoodGuide (review), a slick database of safety and social responsibility data on consumer products. At launch, the service covered health, beauty, and cleaning products. Launching now (and as originally promised): coverage of toys, and the company's iPhone app.
Cutting to the chase: The GoodGuide database will tell you if that toy you're thinking of buying has lead in it. Based on that, I'm sold. And having that info available on the run, via the new free iPhone app, makes it that much more useful.
The … Read more
Economy in shambles? Cutting back on expenses? Then a Netbook might be just the thing you need to round out that holiday shopping list. After all, for around $500 (or less), you can give someone the gift of Internet access, e-mail, word processing, music playback, and even online video streaming -- Netbooks do all of these things fairly well.
In this video, we check out the pluses and minuses of the most important Netbooks to arrive since our last Netbook roundup, including the Dell Inspiron Mini 9, the Lenovo S10, the Samsung NC10, the HP Mini 1000, and the Asus … Read more
i.TV is an incredibly useful free app for anyone who loves watching movies and TV shows. It has a very simple interface, divided up into TV, movies, a global search function, and "My Media" (basically, favorites and a set of listings for browsing genres, TV channels, and your Netflix queue). With a few taps, you can find out what's currently playing on a particular TV channel (you pick the broadcast or cable provider), watch previews and check showtimes at your local theaters, add movies to your Netflix queue (including your instant watching queue), and even read … Read more
Apple has posted a new version of the iPhone user guide, which includes several additions related to iPhone OS 2.2. These include instructions on Google Street View usage and more.
Some excerpts:"If you're taking public transit, the overview screen shows each leg of the trip and the mode of transportation, including where you need to walk. The top of the screen shows the time of the bus or train at the first stop, the estimated arrival time, and the total fare. Tap to set your departure or arrival time, and to choose a schedule for the … Read more
On Monday i.TV, the movie and TV show listing service for the iPhone, pushed out a really neat update that marries the idea of its live content guide with services that can take advantage of it as a platform.
The first service to be introduced into the mix is Netflix. I.TV users who are also Netflix subscribers can manage their queue right from the application, as well as start Netflix searches from i.TV's own listings.
An example of how this might work is if you're perusing the latest movie listings. If you see a film … Read more
(Editor's note: We sent our survey questions to John Judge, Cynthia McKinney's press secretary, on August 21. We extended our deadline multiple times, and wrote to Judge last Thursday saying it was "too late" to make the deadline for the voter's guide, which we published at noon on Friday. After it was published, we finally received the below replies. A side note: The last question asked McKinney what her favorite tech gadget was, but she didn't answer the question, and Judge did not respond when we asked for a clarification.)
In the last few … Read more