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Gadgets, Gizmos, and Games for Geeks

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.”

Nintendo NES Controller Alarm Clock

Nintendo NES Controller Alarm Clock
The folks over at ThinkGeek have just started carrying this fun little Japanese import. It’s a portable alarm clock that’s shaped like case from the classic Nintendo NES joypad. Looks like they went with the color scheme from the Japanese original Famicom system though.

Xbox 360 November Dashboard Update Details

Xbox 360 November Dashboard Update Details
The folks over at MaxConsole got their hands on these exclusive preview screenshots of the upcoming dashboard update for Microsoft’s Xbox 360 console. Of note are a new, cleaner look for the Xbox Live Arcade, a better organized Live Marketplace and most importantly, a link to the “Launchpad,” where you’ll be able to play demos and XNA homebrew games if you’re signed up for the XNA Game Studio program.

Ambilight Knock-Off for Your Pc

Ambilight Knock-Off for Your Pc
Philips Ambilight technology is said to improve perceived contrast and reduce eyestrain. Well now you can try a similar technology on your PC’s monitor. Smartbytes’ Ambient Reality Effects is a compact device designed to mount to the back of your monitor and produce colored background light on your surrounding walls.

Sony Playstation 3 Delayed Til March 2007 in Europe

Sony Playstation 3 Delayed Til March 2007 in Europe
The headline says it all. According to Sony’s European website the PS3 has been delayed until March 2007 in the PAL territories of Europe, Russia, Middle East, Africa and Australasia. Launch date remains November 17, 2006 for North America and Japan, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see that date slip given Sony’s recent track record.

Apple Releases New 24-Inch iMac

Apple Releases New 24-Inch iMac
With no advance hoopla, Apple has quietly announced the new 24-inch iMac today. The new model features a substantial widescreen display running at 1900×1200 resolution, a 2.16 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor, a 250 GB hard drive, and 1 GB of RAM for $1999.00.

Your Musical Selection Really Stinks.

Your Musical Selection Really Stinks.
What’s that smell? Could it be Fergie’s ‘Humps’ or Justin’s ‘Sexyback’? Well now you can have a myriad of musically derived fragrances in your home thanks to this wacky new device. TokyoFM’s new USB powered system mixes six perfumes to automatically change fragance based on the music and artist currently playing on their radio station.

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