Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Windows XP SP3 now available

Attention XP'ers -- your wildest fantasies are coming to fruition. Word on the street is that Service Pack 3 is now available for download all over the World Wide Web. When we say "all over" what we really mean is via Windows Update and the Microsoft Download Center, though we doubt it will stay in one place for too long. Apparently, the new pack offers 1,100 hotfixes and patches, so maybe your obscure, cheapo soundcard will now function in stereo.


While DXG has few aspirations to taste or quality, they sure know how to price this stuff. The new DXG-569V HD cam can shoot 1280 x 720 video at 30 fps, captures 5 megapixel stills and sports a 3-inch foldout LCD, all for the bargain basement price of $169. Naturally, that video quality probably won't be putting RED ONE out of a job, and you'll need to supply your own SD card to make the magic happen, but if that doesn't dissuade you, you can swipe one from a Radio Shack shelf in silver or black as of today.


This unlocked Blackberry 9000 was spotted on eBay just before the auction mysteriously ended. The seller says the phone is unlocked and will "Not be released until August 2007" -- we'll guess he / she is a little unclear as to what year it is. However, said seller promises that this particular unlocked phone is actually in stock now and ready to ship for the lucky winner. Listed features (according to this auction) include: 3G, Edge, WiFi, and Bluetooth, as we've seen elsewhere. There's no telling how legit this is, and the seller clearly pulled the auction for some unknown reason, but there do seem to be at least a few of these floating around. Peep the pictures in the gallery below for some photographic evidence.


Just when you though HANNSpree's idiotic and pointless LCD stylings couldn't be topped, here comes HANNSpree to do it again. The company just launched a 15-inch "Starlight Blue" display in the UK, comprised of some of the worst sci-fi-inspired curves known to man, in conjunction with a bit of pretty princess glitter to complete the atrocious effect. Should you happen to accidentally bring this XGA display home for the £99 ($197 US) asking price, we recommend a burning with fire.


Ugh, it's springtime again. So in addition to the pools of human secretions warming into an olfactory howdy-do on city sidewalks, we get these, the pink laptops. The pink XPS M1530 and M1330 now official. Check the late-nite Dell Infomercial after the break; Ron Popeil Productions must be so proud.


Four months is just too long to go without an all new ReadyNAS, so we suppose that's why Netgear is kicking out an all new 6-bay unit (6TB RNDP6610; 3TB RNDP6310; 1.5TB RNDP6350) for those obsessed with storage. The box can handle up to 6TB of HDD space and features an Intel Core 2 Duo processor, 1GB of DDR2 RAM (up to 4GB supported), 128MB of embedded flash for the OS, a pair of gigabit Ethernet ports, three USB 2.0 sockets and support for RAID 0/1/5/6 and Auto-Expandable X-RAID2. As expected, Windows / Mac / Linux clients can all tap in, and the unit streams all sorts of media on the side. Of course, acquiring the industry's first 6-bay small-form-factor NAS drive won't come cheap, with the ReadyNAS Pro starting at around two large.


Go on, admit it -- your day in the early 90s was never complete without reaching down in public and giving those Pumps a solid squeeze. In all honesty, we can't say that Ki-Seung Lee's Airboard is quite on that level, but it's certainly got the potential to be. This laptop stand was designed to reside in your lap or on your hotel room table and give each individual user the ability to elevate it as he / she sees fit. Of course, the usefulness would really take a hit if this thing takes five minutes to get good and inflated, but we could certainly see this becoming ergonomist-approved should it ever hit retail.


Last time the Gibson Robot Guitar it was in the hands of Yngwie Malmsteen, who was laying down gorgeous, undulating waves of pure classical-metal fever. The first version of the self-tuning Les Paul was a rather limited edition, but now Gibson is sharing the wealth by introducing two more widely available models. The guitar-maker will issue the original iteration of the axe, but it will now be joined by Gibson's other familiar face, the SG. Both models will apparently be available in a funky, purple-metallic finish (which we suspect only Prince could truly love), and will go on sale for a "limited time" -- though Gibson hasn't said what the cutoff will be. So, if you've got $3,999 for the Les Paul, or $3,599 for the SG, now might be the time to buy.


While Shuttle's KPC most certainly wasn't aimed at the enthusiast in the crowd, its newest XPC definitely is. The XPC G5 6801M gets going with an AMD Athlon 64 X2 4200+ processor, 2GB of DDR2 RAM, a 320GB hard drive, LG's GGC-H20L Blu-ray / HD DVD combo drive, ATI's 256MB HD 3450 graphics card, a DVB-T tuner, 25-in-1 multicard reader and 7.1-channel audio output. Moreover, you'll find gigabit Ethernet, FireWire, a slew of USB / eSATA ports, DVI / VGA out (DVI-HDMI adapter thrown in) and a bundled remote to make your life even easier. If you're digging where this is going, you can latch on to one of these boxes for €1,091 ($1,727), and if you've turned a cold shoulder to HD DVD, a BD-only unit can be had for €167 ($264) less.


Stuff.tv is kicking back in Nike's HQ at the moment and claims to have official word about Nike's future plans with Apple. They say that the Nike+ system will "definitely" extend beyond the iPod nano to support the relatively bulky iPhone and iPod touch. Interestingly, it will leap-frog the proprietary RF link between the shoe module and nano adapter to take advantage of WiFi and eventually 3G. This of course leads to all kinds of speculation with regard to Apple's "lifestyle companion" patent we showed you last month. 3G support would presumably allow for real-time coaching and uploads of your training activity through the Nike Plus website. So let's see... cellphone (check), iPod (check), Internet device (check), handheld gaming (almost), and now a Nike lifestyle companion (could be).


We were sold on (and slightly terrified of) the Sarcos XOS exoskeleton from the moment we first saw it show off its superhuman capabilities on video late last year, but if you just can't get enough of it you'll definitely want to hit up the ever-dependable Popular Science, which has now totally blown things out with the full story behind the suit, complete with some great new pics of it. As if that wasn't enough, the piece also includes some tidbits about some of Sarcos' future plans, including word that the Army plans to begin field-testing the XOS by 2009, and that the company intends to kick off a new research program this summer tasked with developing a new generator that'll be capable of powering the suit for "hours at a time." Of course, there's plenty more in the six-page feature that we're unable to sum up here.


When you're playing Samurai Shodown on your virtual Neo Geo, you need more than that rinky-dink controller to immerse you in a world of arcade magic. When you need to reach for a controller than can match up to your memories, you need the Neo Geo Stick 2. That's right, this fully Wii-compatible controller can send you hurtling back through time to a happier day when your only concerns were cruising in your IROC-Z, shredding to Winger, and making sure you had enough quarters in your pocket to play Fatal Fury. Ready to do the time warp? $59.90 gets you through the door.


For some, tossing around phrases like "live preview" and "flip-out swivel screen" would be enough to sell Sony's Alpha A350, but we know you're more discerning than that, right? Right. Truth be told, Sony's feature-packed Alpha only turned out okay -- not great -- during a review session with the folks over at CNET. Still, the unit did offer a sturdy feel, a fantastically useful LCD monitor and satisfactory color / dynamic range. Unfortunately, the extra $200 or so you pay for 14-megapixels (over 10MP on the A300) wasn't deemed worthwhile, as the extra processing "exacted a performance toll" in real-world use. The bottom line? These critics felt the Rebel XSi would be a better bet if you're just looking for a nice resolution bump, but for the vast majority of folks, you're likely better off snagging the A300 and putting your leftover dough towards a decent piece of glass.


After hacking away on Art Lebedev's utterly gorgeous Optimus Maximus for a few days, we came away both awed and disappointed. For as beautiful and functional as this beast is, we still felt that actually typing on it -- you know, its primary purpose -- left a lot to be desired. Still, it's hard to deny the ingenuity in the OLED-stuffed 'board, but with such a lofty price tag and even loftier expectations, we can't imagine all of the lucky early adopters being a hundred percent satisfied. For those that laid out for this exquisite piece of kit, how on Earth could revision two be better? Want a few more keys to play around with? Could it stand to lose some of that clicky tactility? Or will it really only be worth the coin once it bags your lunch, irons your shirt and chauffeurs you to work? Do tell.