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Archive: September 2007

Digital Life: They'll Let Anybody In Here

NEW YORK--At every other trade show I've covered, the general public is not admitted. Here at Digital Life, $15, or $12 if you're a student or a senior, gets you in. Paying any sum of money to spend a beautiful Friday cooped up inside a convention center hall looking at...

By Rob Pegoraro | September 28, 2007; 3:51 PM ET | Comments (9)

Robot Invasion Escalates

NEW YORK--Burlington, Mass.-based robot manufacturer iRobot demonstrated a couple of new gadgets yesterday afternoon. iRobot CEO Colin Angle holds the ConnectR robot after demonstrating the device. (Rob Pegoraro) One, the Looj, falls into the same category of household helper as its Roomba vacuum and Scooba floor washer (here's my review...

By Rob Pegoraro | September 28, 2007; 8:57 AM ET | Comments (24)

PCs Gone Wild

NEW YORK--One of the most interesting parts of the personal-computing business involves building systems for gamers. People who play fast-paced action games all the time may very well be the industry's dream customers: They value performance above all else and they're willing to pay for it. But they can also...

By Rob Pegoraro | September 27, 2007; 1:43 PM ET | Comments (0)

A Day (Two, Actually) In a Digital Life

NEW YORK--I took the train up yesterday afternoon to check out the Digital Life show at the Javits Center here. It should be the usual grab bag of computing and consumer electronics gear--but at this show, they also sell tickets to the general public. It will be interesting to see...

By Rob Pegoraro | September 27, 2007; 11:26 AM ET | Comments (0)

Amazon's MP3 Store

The MP3-download store from Amazon.com that I wrote about in May is now ready to take your money, the company announced this morning. Any venture by Amazon into digital music downloads would be a big deal in the music business, but this one is also DRM-free--every track is sold as...

By Rob Pegoraro | September 25, 2007; 10:05 AM ET | Comments (0)

Wilting Muni WiFi

Remember that glowing column I wrote about the prospects of city-wide wireless networks? It's looking a little ahead of its time--which is to say that "ahead of its time" could be my new synonym for "wrong." Since that piece ran in April, the Internet provider behind most of the largest...

By Rob Pegoraro | September 24, 2007; 11:06 AM ET | Comments (13)

Internet Explorer 6 Support Ends Here

Every now and then, I'll get an e-mail from a reader describing a problem they're having with the Web. Often, this problem turns out to be related to their choice--or lack of choice--in browsers: They're still running Microsoft's Internet Explorer 6, one of the least secure and least useful browsers...

By Rob Pegoraro | September 21, 2007; 11:17 AM ET | Comments (40)

Is Your iPod Feeling Old Today?

When I went shopping for an iPod nano last November, I thought at the time that it would be a mistake to go for the top-of-the-line, 8-gigabyte model--why spend the extra money on a device with such high odds of being replaced by a newer model within a year? It...

By Rob Pegoraro | September 20, 2007; 8:36 AM ET | Comments (0)

Google Unwraps Presentations

Not even a week after I reviewed Google's word processor and spreadsheet, the company launched a presentation program that gives it a full set of Web-based productivity tools. The news came out in a blog posting Monday night, followed soon after by an e-mail from Google's public-relations department. (Note to...

By Rob Pegoraro | September 19, 2007; 10:29 AM ET | Comments (0)

Debating the Future of Music

I spent most of Monday in an auditorium at George Washington University, attending the Future of Music Coalition's annual policy summit. This gathering is meant to give musicians--as opposed to the recording industry at large--a chance to mull over the state of the business. Because life isn't always too kind...

By Rob Pegoraro | September 18, 2007; 10:07 AM ET | Comments (0)

Shedding Some Light on Silverlight

Does the world need yet another way to embed animations and videos in Web pages? Yes, says Microsoft, which released the 1.0 version of a browser plug-in called Silverlight earlier this month. You could have easily missed out on the news, since Microsoft refrained from making much of a fuss...

By Rob Pegoraro | September 17, 2007; 8:33 AM ET | Comments (7)

Tech-PR Trinkets

One of the stranger customs in technology public relations is sending random tchotchkes to accompany a press release. The idea is to ensure that the news sticks in your mind, since the text of the release often fails to do that on its own. Take the contents of the plain...

By Rob Pegoraro | September 14, 2007; 9:33 AM ET | Comments (6)

A New Outlook on Office Software

There's a set way to review Microsoft Office competitors: Open up a bunch of Office files in the competing software to see if they look just like they did in Office, then create a set of files in the competitor and verify that they look identical in Office. Finally, verify...

By Rob Pegoraro | September 13, 2007; 11:37 AM ET | Comments (0)

A No-Paper Newspaper

Some coworkers and I were discussing The Future Of The Newspaper yesterday (a cheery topic--no, really), and one asked what sort of electronic device we might want to read "the paper" on. I mentioned the first thing to come to mind--the "Newspad" described in Arthur C. Clarke's 2001: A Space...

By Rob Pegoraro | September 12, 2007; 9:34 AM ET | Comments (21)

"URL" Considered Harmful

The subject of computing vocabulary seems a hot topic around here--Friday's posting about whether "USB flash drive" is the correct term has now drawn 65 comments, explaining what people in such locales as Argentina, England, Poland, Tanzania and a U.S. Army base in Iraq have called the things. So I'm...

By Rob Pegoraro | September 11, 2007; 10:04 AM ET | Comments (28)

Reprogram Your Run (or Ride)

If you're a runner or a cyclist in the D.C. area, your workouts are about to get a lot easier provided the weather forecast isn't lying: Tomorrow should bring an end to 90-degree heat, at least for this week. But while it's still the usual hazzymuggyscorching mess, you can benefit...

By Rob Pegoraro | September 10, 2007; 11:41 AM ET | Comments (11)

Computing Vocabulary: Those USB Flash Things

I'm going to take a break from that... phone pricing issue that everybody's buzzing about over at Post I.T., and which has even migrated to our op-ed page, in the form of Gene Robinson's fine essay. (Seriously: I'm so sick of it that I'm not even going to type the...

By Rob Pegoraro | September 7, 2007; 10:18 AM ET | Comments (80)

Digging Into Apple's News (Updated: A Refund For Early iPhone Adopters)

Given all the build-up to Apple's announcements yesterday--one blogger concluded his predictions with advice to "get your wallet ready. Dreams are about to come true."--I'm not sure that a few new iPods and a wireless version of the iTunes Store quite amount to front-page news. But looking at the new...

By Rob Pegoraro | September 6, 2007; 4:00 PM ET | Comments (0)

Weighed Down By Power Bricks

Today's column started germinating in my mind after the first day of the CES tech convention--a show that I arrived at without a power brick for my laptop. Until I spent two days scrounging for spare chargers, I hadn't realized the dimensions of this problem. I've always been annoyed by...

By Rob Pegoraro | September 6, 2007; 10:18 AM ET | Comments (0)

Palm's Foleo Folds

Remember that new, ultralight, Linux-based "mobile companion" laptop that Palm was going to introduce about now? Never mind. Yesterday, the beleaguered handheld manufacturer pulled the plug on the product. In a post on Palm's corporate blog, chief executive Ed Colligan said the Foleo wasn't working out as planned and would...

By Rob Pegoraro | September 5, 2007; 9:43 AM ET | Comments (7)

Vinyl to MP3, the Hard Way

One of the questions I get most often--but which I am least suited to answer--is "how do I copy my old records to my computer?" I started buying music at a time when the only viable choices were tapes and CDs; I don't think I've bought even five recordings on...

By Rob Pegoraro | September 4, 2007; 10:57 AM ET | Comments (0)

 

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