If you're thinking about summer, but hate sunshine and exercise, we've got you covered (automated lawn mower). If your kid sunburns easily and can't remember to lather on that extra application of sunscreen, we've got you covered (UV-detecting skin stickers). If what you really need this summer is a way to enjoy the air conditioning, we've got you covered there, too (Nintendo). If you like grilling out, don't like mosquitoes, have a swimming pool, avoid cleaning it... you guessed it: We've got you covered! Our wide-ranging collection of summer-specific gadgets will convince you … Read more
Unless Apple announces a pre-order plan prior to launch, the iPhone will apparently follow in the footsteps of the Playstation 3, Xbox 360 and other must-have gadgets that spawned long lines (hopefully with no rioting) as hopefuls amass at AT&T stores and Apple retail outlets to snag initial inventory. Here are a few tips for getting your best chance at a first-day buy:
Prepare to wait in line Some stores are taking waiting lists (see below), but most are sticking to the official policy of first come, first serve. Several AT&T/Cingular locations we spoke with … Read more
We previously published a series of tips for getting out your current cell phone contract -- without paying exorbitant termination fees -- and migrating to the (apparently) required 2-year contract with AT&T/Cingular required for iPhone purchase These pointers included roaming outside your network's coverage (more on this below), negotiating (good luck), and schlepping the contract off on a friend or family member (ugh).
Of these tactics, the most commonly successful is the first one mentioned: use loads of minutes while your phone is in "roaming mode" (utilizing another provider's network, which your provider … Read more
When June 29th comes around and the swarms descend upon AT&T/Cingular and Apple retail outlets, many users will be shocked to discover that their current Cingular wireless contracts are not eligible for the standard iPhone pricing (US$499 for the 4GB model or US$599 for the 8GB model), or may not be able to purchase the iPhone at all.
First of all, as separately noted, there will be no upgrade discount for the iPhone that brings the cost of the device below the aforementioned prices. Second, as we previously noted, Apple has now explicitly stated the … Read more
Though there are rumors that a 3G-capable iPhone is in the works, all official indications are that the initial iteration of the device will make use of "2.5G" (affectionately known as "EDGE" in ATT&T/Cingular's world). Also, it should be noted that (assuming Apple has not secretly placed HSDPA-capable chips in the iPhone) the capability to access Cingular's 3G HSDPA infrastructure is not one that can be added to the iPhone via a software update; access -- at least for already released devices -- requires capable built-in hardware, such as this … Read more
If you thought that LG's move into portable GPS devices was as much as the saturated market could take, think again. Car audio manufacturer Harman Kardon, famed more for bass and treble than lat and long, has its sights set on those customers not already served by the likes of Garmin, TomTom, Sony, Pioneer, Lowrance, and Navman. We got our hands on Harman's Guide + Play GPS-500 portable navigation device this week: in addition to wayfaring duties, it can handle digital audio and video playback via its 2GB of internal memory or its 4GB mini-SD card slot. Check out … Read more
2view is a neat little tool that lets you add Flickr-like notes to any photo online. If you're unfamiliar with Flickr's note system, a) you should read our Newbie's Guide, and b) you're really missing out on some fun to be had with photos that are shared online. Flickr's Notes feature lets users add their two cents to a picture, and mark certain things of interest with a very specifically placed caption. It's the Web equivalent of a sharpie marker, although a little less permanent.
To use 2view, just plug in any old … Read more
Flickr is a popular photo-sharing and hosting service with advanced and powerful features. It supports an active and engaged community where people share and explore each other's photos. You can share and host hundreds of your own pictures on Flickr without paying a dime. There's also a pro service that gets you unlimited storage and sharing for about $2 a month, making it one of the cheapest hosting sites around (more on that later).
Flickr was created by a small Canadian development team in 2002 before being acquired by Yahoo a year later. Many other photo sites (including Yahoo Photos) are easier to use, but none offer Flickr's interesting features or its cohesive community of enthusiasts.
Adding your photos to Flickr
First step: Get your photos into the service. Flickr has a few options to get photos from your camera into your account, the easiest one being a little uploader app you can install on your PC or Mac (there's also a Linux version.) When it's installed on a PC, you can right-click on any photo and send it straight to Flickr. You also can use this uploader to create albums (Flickr calls albums sets) for your pictures. You can install software that lets you publish from any folder in Windows XP, without the need to use the uploading program. If you're using a Mac, there's also a plug-in for iPhoto.
If you're not keen on downloading a piece of software, Flickr lets you upload six individual photos at a time. This might work for some weekend shots, but if you've got more than 20 shots it's worth trying out the batch uploader. We recommend using the downloader software, or if you've got Yahoo's Widgets Engine installed, the latest version comes with a widget that doubles as a photo viewer and uploading tool.
Continue reading to learn how to tag and organize photos, add notes, geotag, create albums, find out if you need a premium membership, and our list of Flickr users worth checking out.
The release of Apple TV is imminent--the first hands-on review has appeared, pre-orders have already begun shipping, and it should be popping up in Apple Stores by the end of the week. It's fair to say that Apple's first living room entertainment device is going to cause some major waves in the industry. At the same time, though, it's neither the first nor only product of its kind. Plenty of others--known as digital media adapters or network media devices--are capable of streaming digital media from networked PCs. And iTunes isn't the only show in town when it comes to digitally delivering premium movies and TV shows. So, as the Apple TV rocket leaves the launchpad, we thought it only fair to present a look at the alternatives.… Read more
If you're not using Twitter yet, you may feel as if you've missed out. Twitter has not only tipped the tuna, but by some estimations, it has already jumped the shark. Don't be put off by its excessive popularity with SXSW geeks or by the whining of Twitter haters who missed the fun. Twitter is an interesting and practical real-time messaging system for groups and friends. It's just not completely obvious how to get into the "club." So, here's a newbie's guide to this new platform. We don't cover every feature of Twitter, but this should help get you started.
What is Twitter?
Twitter is an online service that enables you to broadcast short messages to your friends or "followers." It also lets you specify which Twitter users you want to follow so you can read their messages in one place.
Twitter is designed to work on a mobile phone as well as on a computer. All Twitter messages are limited to 140 characters, so each message can be sent as a single SMS alert. You can't say much in 140 characters. That's part of Twitter's charm.
Twitter is useful for close-knit groups (although there also are some fairly large mobs on Twitter). If you follow your friends, and they follow each other, you can quickly communicate group-related items, such as "I'm going to the pub on Fourth Street, come on along." Twitter is conceptually similar to Dodgeball but is simpler to use.
If you enter items into Twitter, they can be private, so only friends you've authorized can see them. Items can also be made public, which means anyone who knows your Twitter ID can read and subscribe to them.
Twitter is free.
Continue reading to learn how to get started, hook up your mobile, send your first "Tweet," follow friends, and direct Twitter. We also show you some advanced features and Twitterers worth following.