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Category: Gadgets (1-10 of 63)

CES: Ultrabooks? 4K TVs? Ice Cream Sandwich? The 5 biggest trends to look out for at the mega trade show

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Las Vegas is about to become gearhead Nirvana once again.

The annual International Consumer Electronics Show opens tomorrow for 140,000 tech enthusiasts hoping to get a first glimpse at the latest cutting-edge computers, tablets, smartphones, gaming consoles, TVs, and cameras. With 1.7 million square feet of Las Vegas Convention Center space to cover, you can expect that the only sins coming out of Sin City until CES wraps up on Friday will be the unrealistic expectations fostered by the 2,700 vendors setting up shop. It’s a testament to the size and enduring power of the 45-year-old trade show that Spike will be devoting four hours of its Tuesday lineup, starting at 1:00 p.m. ET, to updates from the floor with host Eliza Dushku. Other celebrities expected to attend CES this year include 50 Cent and Justin Bieber, in addition to TV workout guru Jillian Michaels, who represents a growing trend connecting the tech and fitness worlds.

The relevance of CES may be on the wane. Many smartphone manufacturers are holding on to their most anticipated gear until February’s Mobile World Congress. And as usual, Apple won’t be in attendance. Nor will Amazon, Google, or Facebook, which run their own events throughout the year. And Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, who’ll be giving the keynote address tonight, has announced that this will be the last year his company will attend as well. CES, though, is still the event that introduced the VCR to the world in 1970, the Nintendo Entertainment System in 1985, the TiVo in 1999, and Blu-ray in 2003. So count it out at your own peril.

Here are five of the biggest trends we expect to see at this year’s show. READ FULL STORY

This year's must-have Christmas toy in the U.K.? An inflatable, battery-powered Dalek you can actually sit in!!! Dear Santa...

Last Christmas, my nieces gave me what at that time seemed like the best present a Doctor Who fan like myself could ever receive. That’s right, I’m talking about an inflatable Dalek! In fact, the sucker has been sitting outside my office door all year, prompting envious remarks from my co-workers like “What is that ugly thing?” and “Seriously, are you, like, 12?” and “This is definitely represents a massive fire hazard.”

READ FULL STORY

E3 2011: Nintendo unveils new console! But will it recapture hardcore gamers?

Just as the internet rumor mill predicted a couple of months ago, Japanese gaming giant Nintendo revealed its follow-up to the remarkably successful Wii home console Tuesday morning at their E3 conference at the Nokia Theatre in downtown Los Angeles. Its name? Wii U. Let the pronoun wordplay marinate in your mind for a sec. Yeah, I’m not sure if I like the name either. But it’s the Big N’s way of building off a console that’s attracted millions of people who were traditionally apathetic toward video games, like septuagenarian school principals. Wii titles top the list of best-selling games of all time, and the system’s Grandma-accessible, motion-sensing gameplay has left Microsoft’s Xbox 360 and Sony’s PlayStation 3 kissing Mario’s brown, Goomba-bopping clogs, at least in terms of sales numbers. So, what went down at Nintendo’s presser, and what did we learn about their new hardware? READ FULL STORY

'Groovy!': Check out the trailer for the new 'Evil Dead' video game iPhone and iPad app

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They say evil comes in many forms. And so does the Evil Dead! Since Bruce Campbell‘s Ash and his pals made the mistake of heading out to the woods in Sam Raimi’s original 1981 horror classic, the movie has inspired sequels, comics, a notoriously generous number of DVD editions, and even a musical. Now Raimi’s Ghost House Pictures company has partnered with Trigger Apps to produce an Evil Dead shooter game for the iPhone and the iPad. The gore-drenched, boomstick-featuring, Deadite slaughterthon goes on sale today and you can check out the not-for-kids trailer below.

Take a look and tell us what you think. READ FULL STORY

'MLB 2K11' Perfect Game winner nabbed $1 million, and he's not even a baseball fan!

Ready to feel inadequate? This year’s $1 million winner of the second annual MLB 2K11 Perfect Game Challenge isn’t even that into baseball, but still took home the big prize.

“I had to do a lot of research,” 25-year-old winner Brian Kingrey of Hammond, La. told EW. “I had to look up batting averages of the players and everything. Luckily, the game is very consistent with the batting averages of real-life players.”

The baseball tenderfoot’s diligent research paid off, because he pitched his way to a perfect game and, ultimately, to the grand prize. Kingrey and his wife, both music teachers, are using the cash to buy a new fridge. “We just got into our new house and everything, and we were using this mini dorm fridge the whole time.”

Though not a ball player, Kingrey’s been a lifelong gamer. Between playing video games, guitar, piano and a variety of woodwinds, Kingrey’s dexterous fingers likely aided in analog stick-aiming finesse. The player Kingrey used in his pitching pursuits? None other than Roy Halladay of the Phillies, who pitched a real-life perfect game in 2010.

I’m trying to think of a way I can one-up Kingrey at his own game. Would you ever enter a contest in something that was relatively foreign to you? Textile arts have never been my bailiwick–perhaps the American Quilter’s Society will starting hold a million dollar challenge?

Have no fear, humans! Skynet can't even pitch strikes.

Reports of humanity’s imminent demise may have been greatly exaggerated. While the Internet has been swarming with humans playfully speculating that Skynet, the malevolent computer that steamrolled humanity in the Terminator mythology, was about to go online, an actual robot was poised to take over the American pastime. In Philadelphia this afternoon, the University of Pennsylvania’s PhillieBot was slated to toss out the ceremonial first pitch before the Phillies game against the Brewers. I was expecting a 120 miles per hour fastball that would rip a hole through the catcher’s mitt, hand, and face, but instead, the clattering collection of caliginous junk bounced a 40 miles per hour meatball into the dirt. WALL*E would’ve more intimidating! The fans actually booed.

I think we’re safe for today, mankind.

Read more:
‘Jeopardy’ man vs. machine draws record ratings

R.I.P. Microsoft Zune. We'll always have the memories...

Congratulations, Zune owners: Your Zune is now an antique. Microsoft Corp., will stop introducing new versions of the Zune music and video player “because of tepid demand.”

Didn’t everybody have a either a close encounter or a near-miss with a Zune at one time or another? Your roommate got one from work and never opened it. Maybe you got one once from like a stupid auction or something and never opened it.

I dated a Zune guy a few times. It’s not WHY I didn’t want to see him anymore, but it definitely didn’t help. I could never keep a straight face when asking about his Zune, and I did this often — not really to make a point, but because it amused me. “How’s your Zune doing?” I would say, again and again, over the grisly burgers and tepid draft beers that defined my post-grad school dead zone of late summer 2007.

What a bitch. I deserve no one.

What are your fondest memories of the Microsoft Zune?

Annie on Twitter

Got Glue? We do!

As any reader of this site knows, being fluent in pop culture has its own rewards. But those Type A sorts among you will be excited to hear that Entertainment Weekly has partnered with GetGlue to actually reward you for checking out the recommendations in our weekly Must List. READ FULL STORY

CES preview: Bring on the tablets and smartphones

consumer-electronicsImage Credit: Sean Gallup/Getty ImagesOoh, tech nerds, gird your loins: the Consumer Electrics Show kicks off this week, and with it, a shiny parade of fantasy gadgets that will tease and tempt us. Sadly, few of these marvels will ever trickle into the normal consumer’s hands, but it’s nice to dream. This year’s big draw? Tablets.

Last year’s CES was flooded with e-readers, and in the subsequent months, we saw tons of non-Kindle e-readers enter the marketplace. This year, tablets will be taking center stage. The elusive Windows tablet will probably make another appearance, but I’m more intrigued by all the Honeycomb-based options. Yes, you can love both iPads and their Android competitors.

CES showcases tons of super-high-end, mega-expensive, for-Bruce-Wayne-only types of gadgets (a TV screen … the size of a house!), and those are always fun to ogle. But some of us need day-to-day gadgets, and this year’s crop of fancy smartphones — especially HTC models on Verizon’s schmancy 4G network — look particularly promising.

What gadgets and gizmos are you looking forward to, PopWatchers? Are you still jonesing for more 3-D TVs? Or are your sights set on smart dashboards for your car?

Sony unveils its iTunes competitor

sony-unlimited-musicSony launched Music Unlimited today, a streaming service the company is positioning as a competitor to iTunes. The subscription-based program allows members to stream from a 6 million-song catalog to Sony devices, including PS3, Vaio computers, and web-enabled TV and Blu-ray players — but not mobile devices yet. Music Unlimited debuted in the United Kingdom and Ireland today, and it set to roll out in other countries, including the United States, in the coming months.

On the one hand, yay for the cloud. More cloud-based options are a good thing, and that’s one of the lingering issues with iTunes. On other hand, though, the big innovation — one that no one has been able to tap yet — would be mobile streaming from the cloud.

As far as streaming music through my PS3 goes, I guess that’d be cool? But I can’t see myself paying for it, especially on a monthly subscription basis.

But maybe you would, PopWatchers. Do you think Music Unlimited could topple iTunes? [Variety, WSJ, CNET]

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