Gadgets

Remainders — Stuff We Didn't Post (And Why)

Apple Patent Describes iPod UI “Pushed” to Other Devices…Philips Announces Very Pretty Pro LCD Line…NYTimes Columnist Proposes Boycott of “Pro-Communist China” Bing…Ooma Adds New Handsets and International Plan…

Apple Patent Describes iPod UI “Pushed” to Other Devices
An Apple patent filed in May 2008 describes a way of pushing whatever UI Apple wants to non-Apple hardware, for consistency’s sake. That non-Apple hardware could include car stereos or something like the Chumby One (which has iPod functionality but with a lookalike UI). It’s a nice idea for Apple, but could be tricky given the myriad of different hardware they might want to take advantage. What if the hardware has a resistive touchscreen, or a shitty processor? Might it just be better to use a custom interface for iPod integration? Regardless, it’s in Remainders because it’s not really that unexpected or interesting in its implications. [MacRumors]

Philips Announces Very Pretty Pro LCD Line
Philips’ new high-end LCD line looks pretty fantastic, with two important caveats. First, let’s drool a little: The two models (102cm and 117cm) have a 5,000,000:1 contrast ratio, 1ms response time, five HDMI ports (not sure why you’d need that many, but whatever) and a 200Hz refresh rate, with a nice brushed-aluminium look. Now, the caveats. First, they’re UK only, and second, they’re prohibitively expensive at about $US3000 and $US4100, respectively. Still, drool-worthy. [Engadget]

NYTimes Columnist Proposes Boycott of “Pro-Communist China” Bing
NY Times columnist Nicholas Kristof has proposed a boycott of Microsoft’s Bing search engine due to its supposed pro–Chinese government censorship of search terms like “Dalai Lama” and “Tiananmen” when searched in simplified Chinese characters. In English and other non-Chinese languages, the results you’d expect from “Tiananmen” show up, but in Chinese, apparently it returns sanitised results (no massacre, in that case). Since I’m not really sure how to type simplified Chinese characters on an all-Amurrican MacBook Pro keyboard, I haven’t tested it myself — but if true, it’s a little underhanded on Microsoft’s part, although certainly paling in comparison to, you know, the Chinese government. What’s odd is that Google’s Chinese search also returns censored results, but “to a much lesser extent”, so I guess it’s OK. Weird stuff. [TechFlash]

Ooma Adds New Handsets and International Plan
Internet phone company Ooma began shipping its new Telo handset as well as offering a very cheap international calling plan (500 minutes for $US5 per month). Ooma, for those who don’t know (I assume this includes everyone) varies from other VoIP services like Vonage by cutting out the monthly fees, instead packing them into a fairly expensive set-top box at $US250. So this international plan requiring a monthly fee is a big deal for them, but it winds up in Remainders because I honestly had not even heard of Ooma until this morning. Oops. [Electronista]

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