Cool Tech Reviews

Just Cool Tech

November 26, 2008

It’s already Black Friday at Amazon

Amazon is another online retailer that isn’t worrying about the traditional distinction that Black Friday is for brick and mortar stores – they are having their own Black Friday Sale online and as a matter of fact it has started already! Some tech bargains that I saw:

They are apparently rotating the deals, so it may well be worth checking in from time to time to see what is new.

Posted at 1:10 am. Filed under Amazon, Bargains, Black Friday, Brands, Companies, Digital Picture Frame, GPS, LCD TV, MP3 Player, Philips, Portable Audio, SanDisk, Sansa, Sharp, Television, TomTom

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June 27, 2008

Google releases Media Server

Google Media ServerYesterday, Google released the Google Media Server:

In the old days, we used to watch a simple device called a television. Nowadays, all the stuff worth watching and listening to tends to be stored on or accessed through a computer. To help remedy this, we are pleased to release the Google Media Server.

Google Media Server is a Windows application that aims to bridge the gap between Google and your TV. It uses Google Desktop technology such as Desktop gadgets for the administration tool and Google Desktop Search to locate media files. All you need is a PC running Google Desktop and a UPnP-enabled device (e.g. a PlayStation 3).

And then you can play all your PC media files (videos, music, and photos) on your TV as well as the unique features of displaying Picasa Web Albums and playing YouTube videos through your TV.

If you are having a hard time breaking the code, UPnP is the acronym for Universal Plug and Play and Google Media Server running on your PC is technically a UPnP AV MediaServer which can send audio-visual data to "UPnP media render hardware" (the UPnP-enabled device above) which also includes the Xbox 360, HP MediaSmart LCD televisions and various networked media players.

If you have one of the right gadgets you probably already know it, but this all seems rather needlessly complex:

Imagine a world where your computer, cellphone, games console, storage devices, media streamers and other hardware all play nicely together, so that, for example, music, photos and video can reach the television or Hi-Fi no matter where in the home it originates.

That world is one which the Digital Living Network Alliance (DLNA), an industry consortium backed by big name consumer electronics, computer and mobile device manufacturers such as HP, Microsoft, Nokia and Samsung, is aiming to create through support for the UPnP (Universal Plug ‘n’ Play) AV standard. For end consumers this means that any ‘DLNA certified’ device should, in theory, be able to share or access media on the same home network — a message that DLNA members have largely failed to communicate, which is especially sad considering that many people already own a number of compliant devices …

Someday, I suppose it will all work, but unless you have a Xbox 360 or a PS3 you’ll have to do your homework to get it all working.

Posted at 6:00 pm. Filed under Companies, Google, Internet, LCD TV, Music downloads, PS3, Television, UPnP, Video Downloads, Video Games, Xbox 360

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November 24, 2007

Wal-Mart’s perpetual Black Friday sale

Wal-Mart is famous for their instore Black Friday doorbusters, but you may not realize that they have a large online operation which has Black Friday specials as well. This year both online and instore had a calendar of special sales starting on Monday Nov. 19 and continuing through the end of the month. They will have Cyber Monday and Beyond Online Specials starting Monday the 26th and lasting through Nov. 30, but right now following the link takes you to the two day post Black Friday sale and here are some of the online bargains.

Plasma TV – Philips 50″ Plasma HDTV with Digital Tuner, 50PFP5332D for $1397.00 which is at least $100 less than anywhere else I have seen.  You can get free shipping by having them send it to a local Wal-Mart store and picking it up yourself.

Digital Camera – Kodak 7.1 MP EasyShare ZD710 Digital Camera w/ 10x Optical Zoom & Image Stabilization for $149.00.

There are a variety of LCD TVs as well. I’ll be interested to see what they come up with for Cyber Monday.

Posted at 12:54 pm. Filed under Bargains, Black Friday, Cyber Monday, Digital Cameras, LCD TV, Plasma TV, Television

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