September 19, 2007

The reviews are out and everybody is lovin’ the new iPod Nano. And as you know, Apple doesn’t do a lot of discounting, so these deals don’t come along that often. Vann’s is offering up the Apple 8GB iPod Video Nano Silver for $193.99 with free 3 day shipping. That’s only slightly lower than Apple’s price, but hey, we’ll take it. You know all the details: 8GB Flash Drive / Holds 2,000 Songs, 7,000 Photos, 8 Hours Video, 2″ LCD With Blue-White LED Backlight, 1.74 Ounces, blah, blah, blah.
Not getting a strong enough signal from your wireless network or maybe having trouble ‘borrowing’ a signal from your neighbor? Have I got a product for you. The new Wi-Fire from hField Technology is a USB device that enables you to better access wireless signals and secures a better connection. It is basically a directional antenna that uses some sort of proprietary software to enhance regular old WiFi signals. hField claims that you can get up to 3x the range over your internal wireless adapter from up to 1000 feet away. That’s quite a claim, but what is more remarkable is that the boys over at Macenstein reviewed it and actually found it got 5x the range! How often do you see test results that actually exceed the manufacturer’s claims? Here’s a link to the review. The Wi-Fire is available on Windows XP or on Mac OS X for $79! That’s a sweet deal.
Looking like a cross between the Guggenheim in Bilbao and the T-1000 from Terminator 2, the new Golden Disk from LaCie is a real looker. Designed by renowned artist Ora-Ïto, the Golden Disk looks more like a box of mercury than a hard drive. In this day and age when peripherals have moved out of the home office and into our living areas, it’s refreshing to have something nice to look at. But don’t be fooled by its beauty, the USB 2.0 Golden Disk packs a hearty 500GB, is both PC & Mac compatible and ships with LaCie’s ‘1-Click’ Backup Software for easy backups (Windows & Mac). Here’s a few juicy pics.
Here at the Hit List I’ve been telling you about standby or vampire power for quite a while now. It’s the concept of electric power consumed by electronic appliances while in standby mode. It’s a big deal. Some appliances such as a DVD player might use 75% as much power when off as when on, and the average desktop computer sucks down 35 watts when in standby! That’s a lot of juice. Up till now, most solutions consist of an intelligent power strip that cuts the juice when the appliances are shut off, so I was excited to see a new distributed solution. The GreenSwitch consists of a single, master switch that can be flicked to cut the power to all your power-sucking appliances. It is a fairly simple concept. When the master switch is turned off, it sends a wireless signal to the GreenSwitch slave components including the wall plugs, light switches and thermostat and shuts them down. Afraid of a complete blackout? No worries, GreenSwitch can be overridden. All the light switches act independently and can be operated normally after GreenSwitch has turned them off. In addition, the consumer chooses which switches and wall receptacles will be part of the system, so other electronics that need constant power would not be added. Sweet. The video is quite informative, but my apologies for the strange sound effects and the poorly dressed Ed Begley.
I told you it was coming. Just had to be patient. The boys and girls over at the iPhone Dev Team have just released AnySIM, a nice and nifty graphical iPhone SIM unlock tool based on their earlier version of iUnlock. Now you can buy that new iPhone and run it on any network you would like. You simply download it via EDGE or WiFi and run it. This new automatic method has simplified the procedure, needing only 3-5 minutes to execute the whole process. It’s as simple as that. Best of all, it’s free.…

After schlepping around my brick of a 20G iPod for a couple of years, it’s been a joy to downsize to the new Nano. The picture quality is so sharp that after about a minute, you forget you’re watching on such a miniscule screen. Five stars, in my book!