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Gadgets, Gizmos, and Games for Geeks

Optoma Intros Least Expensive High Definition Dlp Projector

Optoma Intros Least Expensive High Definition Dlp Projector
At this week’s CEDIA show, Optoma unveiled a new projector capable of displaying widescreen 16:9 high definition 720p images for just $999 USD. The Optoma HD70 projector features a single 0.62-inch DarkChip2 DLP chipset from Texas Instruments.

Microsoft Zune User Interface Videos

Microsoft Zune User Interface Videos
Mobility Today posted some up close footage of the new Microsoft Zune media player in action today. Note the huge album art, and video playback is done in landscape mode to provide excellent widescreen movie viewing.
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Official Nintendo Wii Specifications

Official Nintendo Wii Specifications
Hot off Nintendo’s presses, we bring you the FINAL system specifications for the Wii video game console… Launch Date and MSRP: Nov. 19, 2006, in the Americas at an MSRP of $249.99. Color: White. Size: About 8.5 inches long, 6 inches wide and less than two inches thick (157mm x 215.4mm x 44mm).

More on the Wii Channel Menu

More on the Wii Channel Menu
Earlier today, we reported on the official launch announcement for the Nintendo Wii. More details have emerged on Nintendo’s interface which will be broken up into “Channels.” Below are Nintendo’s descriptions of the channels: Disc Channel: This channel allows users to play either Wii game discs or the entire library of Nintendo GameCube discs.

Microsoft Zune Officially Announced

Microsoft Zune Officially Announced
Hot on the heels of Apple’s iPod announcements, Microsoft has officially taken the wraps off of their Zune media player. As expected, the player can handle both audio and video playback on a 3″ LCD screen that can work in either portrait or landscape mode.

Official Wii Pricing and Release Date Announced

Official Wii Pricing and Release Date Announced
After much speculation, Nintendo has revealed that it’s anticipated Wii gaming console will be released in North America on November 19th, 2006 at a price of $249.99 USD. Additional Wii remote controllers will sell for $39.99 USD, “Nunchuk” attachements for $19.99 USD and a classic controller for $19.99 USD.

Microsoft Wireless Keyboards to Feature Backlighting

Microsoft Wireless Keyboards to Feature Backlighting
One of the great challenges of having an HTPC or Media Center PC as part of your home theater is finding a wireless keyboard that can actually be operated in a dimly-lit room. Microsoft seeks to change that with their Wireless Entertainment Desktop 8000 (not to be confused with Creative’s Keyboard with the same name), which is the first rechargeable wireless keyboard to feature backlighting.

Logitech Introduces Killer Remote Control

Logitech Introduces Killer Remote Control
At this week’s CEDIA show, Logitech showed it’s latest Harmony universal remote control, the Harmony 1000 Advanced Univeral Remote. The remote features a 3.5-inch programmable touchscreen, along with a variety of programmable, tactile buttons. The remote will control any device with an infrared receiver, and like other Harmony remotes, is set up through a simple web interface which contains discrete codes from over 175,000 devices.

Rumor Alert: Xbox 360 to Get Built-in HD-DVD in 2007?

Rumor Alert: Xbox 360 to Get Built-in HD-DVD in 2007?
The folks over at NewLaunches are reporting on a rumor out of Taiwan that the Xbox 360 may get a built in HD-DVD drive in 2007. Optical disc drive industry insiders say that Microsoft is working on a revision to the 360 that would embed the high-definition video player into a new version of the game console as early as the first half of 2007.

USB Cools Hot Buns

USB Cools Hot Buns
I couldn’t make this stuff up. Japanese gadget importer Audiocubes is selling this device which, when connected to your USB port, and placed under your rear end, cools off your seat. The Thanko USB Cool Cushion uses a USB powered fan to suck cool air in and pushes it out through small holes in the cushion and cool off your derriere.

Tivo Series 3 Ships

Tivo Series 3 Ships
Today, TiVo began selling its new Series 3 high definition recorder. The long-awaited Series 3 features a 250GB hard drive, enough to store about 32 hours of high-def content or about 300 hours of standard-def programming.

Apple’s Big News Day: Games, Movies, New iPods, New iTunes, Set Top Box

Apple’s Big News Day: Games, Movies, New iPods, New iTunes, Set Top Box
At today’s “It’s Showtime” event, Steve Jobs showed off a bunch of new iPod and iTunes features and products. Here’s the skinny on all the new stuff: Games for the iPod: To initially include: Bejeweled, Cubis 2, Mahjong, Mini golf, Pac-Man, Tetris, Texas Hold ‘Em, Vortex, and Zuma $4 per game from the iTunes store New iPod models: iPod Video 30gb – $249 iPod Video 80gb – $349 75% improvement to battery life and 60% brighter display with brightness control iPod Nano 8gb – $249 (various colors) iPod Nano 4gb – $199 (various colors, no black) iPod Nano 2gb – $149 (silver only) New colors, case design and up to 24 hour battery life for Nanos iPod Shuffle 1gb – $79 (smaller than ever, metal case instead of plastic, super tiny!)

Itunes Movie Store Getting Ready for Launch?

Itunes Movie Store Getting Ready for Launch?
The Apple iTunes music store is offline this morning, presumably as they get ready to go live with a new store featuring full movie downloads. It’s likely that the store will primarily feature movies only from Disney (including Walt Disney Pictures, Miramax, Pixar and Touchstone,) with some question about what studios will come on board in future.

Xbox 360 Laptop Mod (Awesome)

Xbox 360 Laptop Mod (Awesome)
Console modder extraordinaire, Ben Heck has completed his latest masterpiece, and Xbox 360 laptop. Ben’s “portable” has a beautiful aluminum case with a 17-inch widescreen LCD, built-in keyboard, Wi-Fi and USB ports on board. Dimensions are a “svelte” 16.75″ x 10.75″ x 2.8″, so it’s actually not much larger than a stock Xbox 360.

Nintendo Wii Preorders Begin

Nintendo Wii Preorders Begin
Games importer Lik-Sang has started accepting preorders for the much anticipated Nintendo Wii game console. It’s an odd reservation system, since no pricing or release date have yet been officially announced. Lik-Sang is not requiring a deposit on preorders until pricing is confirmed, so there’s a pretty low risk for you if you decide to reserve one through them.

Fm3 Buddha Machine: the Anti-iPod

Fm3 Buddha Machine: the Anti-iPod
One of my favorite places for fun and unique items on the web is the $25 Giant Robot Store. I just came across a fun gizmo on their site called the “FM3 Buddha Machine.” The Buddha Machine is said to be the “anti-ipod.”
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