Hulu Gets Disney

Disney and Hulu: Together at last.All I can think is, what took so long? Of course, the deal has been in discussion for some time now, and I’m glad to see it came through. I’m not a huge TV watcher, but when I do, I like it to be streaming high-quality video. That’s the obvious benefit for both viewer and network in this deal. And if that iPhone app goes through, even better. For my severely Lost-addicted friends, this is huge news (maybe we can finally get a beer on Wednesdays?).

So why hasn’t CBS converted? A spokesperson recently gave us a lot of word vomit concerning CBS rights management and profitability in multi-platform blah blah blah blah. Seriously, get with it. Hulu is now the third-most-watched video site on the net, just behind Google (including YouTube) and Myspace. I would really like to see the CBS online viewing numbers, particularly after Hulu’s launch. Now people can catch everything they want in one place. Why bother with a slow CBS server when Hulu can stream anything else almost instantly? Did I mention CBS videos look like trash? I feel a strongly worded letter coming on. Now if they just had a show I cared to watch. I like you, Jay Mohr, but your show isn’t funny.

AMD “Black” CPU for $69

AMD.The AMD Black Edition CPUs have long been the choice of the budget conscious gamer. Historically they’ve offered a decent processor with some overclocking potential just a bit under Intel prices. Today the struggling CPU manufacturer let loose the AMD X2 7850 Black Edition, a rock solid processor that slides well under the competition at just $69.

Early reports suggest the chip is a good buy. Overclocking is a little tough, but it is possible to push the 7850 up to 1.5x normal operating standards. The processor should make it even easier to build that sub-$500 Crysis machine.

Zune Phone’s a No Go, No?

Zune Phone is Bust.Plenty of rumors have been flying this week concerning Microsoft’s hushed “Project Pink” and the advent of a Microsoft/Verizon iPhone rival project. Of course, all of this came on the heels of even more whispers that Apple and Verizon were in discussions for two new iPhone devices, an “iPhone Lite” and a beefier version that could support HD video playback and so forth. Would Microsoft really enter the mobile manufacturing market to compete, though? And would the product be so iPhone-like as to be a Zunephone (I think we know how the iPod/Zune war ended)?

A Microsoft spokesperson stepped into the fray to set everyone straight…ish. “Microsoft is not going into the phone hardware business. Microsoft is not building a Zune-specific phone.” There you have it, clear as a first-gen iPod screen. Of course, we can gleen plenty of info from a statement like this. If Microsoft won’t make the phone, you can bet your earbuds someone else will. No Zune-specific phone? That’s probably for the best. Windows Mobile is about providing business functionality on a hand-held device. Why turn it into anything less? So Zune will be sitting shotgun on this one. I can think of worse things.

Source: Engadget

Can the Wiimote Change the World?

The world-changing Wiimote.I’ve been looking for an excuse to write about the crazy things people do with a Wiimote for a while now and a recent Ubergizmo post finally tipped the scales. Ubergizmo reports that a team of scientists are working to make the Wiimote usable for radiologists, allowing doctors to flip through patient files and images with gestures instead of the tried-and-sometimes-limiting keyboard and mouse. Personally, I imagine it to be something like the computer from Minority Report, wherein Tom Cruise sends images and video clips flying off screen, pulling others in to be resized, viewed from alternate angles, and relit to solve futuristic crimes.

All of that for $30? With a little programming knowledge, yes. The Wiimote IR camera is remarkably advanced, despite its low cost. Researcher Johnny Chung Lee (pictured in the video below) has devoted loads of time and research into getting the most out of Nintendo’s controller, and he’s made his discoveries public. Armed with a Wiimote and a few infrared dots, Lee has created a digital whiteboard, a multi-point touchscreen, and even a 3D environment capable of sensing a user’s movements and adjusting accordingly.

With researchers like Lee, Wiimote hacks are becoming increasingly complex and remaining completely free, allowing users and researchers to build off the wacky things accomplished with incredibly low-cost hardware. To see Lee’s work in action, check out the video below. The clip comes from TED, a website you should absolutely be watching.

Palm Pre Could Cost $150

Can the Palm Pre Deliver?The Palm Pre is supposed to be many things to many people. The iPhone Killer. Palm’s Only Hope. The Best Smartphone Out There. The Crushing Response to Capacitive Keyboards. Whatever the Pre means to you, you might be lucky enough to get it cheap.

Analysts at Credit Suisse believe Sprint network’s smartphone could retail for as low as $150. Sprint and Palm have both stated that the Pre would be priced competitively, and $150 just might be low enough to steal the would-be iPhone converts looking for any network but AT&T. The phone will need to be more than cheap, though. Plenty of people a predicting Palm’s demise by 2010, in which case that $150 sounds like 150 reasons not to buy.

Sneak Peak: Windows 7

Gizmodo has a peak into Windows 7 and so far, I like what I see:

Windows 7

Stream Your Library Over the Internet With Windows Media Player

This is hot—it’d be hotter if it was easier to set up. Windows Media Player’s Remote Media Sharing will let you access your media library from anywhere over the internet. You need a Windows Live ID that you associate with your Windows 7 user account using a tool you have to download. (This could grow to include other “online identities,” like Facebook I’m guessing, but I wouldn’t hold your breath for your Gmail account.) You also need the same version of Windows Media Player running on both computers. After everything’s all associamated, then your home library you wanna stream from should show up just like a local library under the “Other Libraries” section in the side navigation pane. Can’t do this in iTunes, buddy.

Windows XP Mode
To encourage enterprise people to let loose and rock Windows 7, it runs a full-fledged Windows XP virtual environment using Microsoft’s Virtual PC. It requires an additional download (booo), but you won’t have to worry about your applications breaking like with Vista.

This is really good stuff and smart on Microsoft’s part. I have a feeling that Windows 7 is going to be much, much better than Vista is. I hope they’ve learned a lesson from Vista and won’t release such crap again in the future. Although it does seem to be a trademark of Microsoft to released good product followed by horrible product followed by good product again.

So now to the details. Streaming your home library from anywhere is awesome. Come to think of it, why hasn’t Apple or Microsoft done this sooner? There are applications out there that can do that now, but it will be nice to have it built into Media Player.

No matter what anyone tells you, adding XP mode is genius. XP is their most stable, most reliable, and most used operating system. Most business and corporations have not purchased Vista because pretty much nothing works on it. Now corporations can purchase Windows 7 and not worry if their employees be able to run the applications they need to do their jobs. This is great for the end user and even better for Microsoft as it should dramatically increase their Windows 7 sales.

Definitely some welcome changes from Microsoft. I can honestly say that I was never looking forward to Windows Vista. However, I am looking forward to Windows 7.

Hulu on the iPhone

Hulu iPhoneRumors have been going around about Hulu coming to the iPhone and I couldn’t be happier. If it’s possible to get similar quality videos to stream to my iPhone as they do on Hulu.com, then I’m all in. Supposedly Hulu is planning for it to work over WiFi and 3G. Streaming full length Family Guy, Daily Show, and Heroes over 3G? Hell yeah!

Of course there’s the issue of whether or not Apple will approve the app just like their hesitation to approve the Sling Player app but Silicon Alley Insider (the source for this story) has thoughts on that:

Why would Apple and AT&T approve this app, which will use up a lot of bandwidth and compete with Apple’s iTunes video store? Because it will help sell iPhones, iPod touches, and AT&T subscriptions. And that’s the whole point of the App Store. (And if we were Hulu, we’d offer Apple and/or AT&T an ad revenue-sharing deal, too.)

Let’s hope this app gets streamlined through Apple so we can all enjoy the free, limited commercial, beautiful quality, online TV and movie content of Hulu on our iPhones.

Sorry, Trees – Luddites Still Want to Print Books

The Blackwell Espresso Book Machine.As far as books are concerned, I’m a bit of a luddite. I don’t want a Kindle. I will likely never want a Kindle. I like the feel of books. I like having a shelf for my books. I like to mark up the pages with all sorts of stupid comments. And though I understand the eco-friendly features of ebook readers, I think recycled paper and alternative mediums (hemp, Family Guy fans?) can help assuage some of Mother Earth’s bruises.

Blackwell’s Espresso Book Machine throws digital media to the wind, opting to print hard copies of books from a database including 400,000 titles, right on the spot. The machine is designed around getting out-of-print books into the hands of readers, or keeping up with stock demands on hot sellers. The machine also allows users to come with a CD of their own work and have it printed a bound on the spot – not a bad deal for aspiring authors.

Source: Daily Mail

13-Year-Old Wins the Billionth App Package

App Store hits a billion downloads.Earlier this week Apple announced the download of its billionth app from the iPhone app store. The store has been an obvious success, hopefully at a level that continues to fuel innovation, and not just apps for taking out your frustration on a wailing baby.

To celebrate the milestone, Apple was offering a pretty sweet prize package for the billionth download. A 13-year-old from Connecticut won with his download of Bump, from Bump Technologies. The kid won a $10,000 iTunes gift card, a Time Capsule, A MacBook Pro, and an iPod Touch.

Source: CNet

Sweet Site of the Week – LogMeIn

Sometimes it’s hard to sift through the millions of websites out there to find the fun, unusual, creative, and especially, the useful ones. And word of mouth can only take you so far. Well, leave it to Gadget Teaser to give you a hand in your search. Once a week, we’ll highlight one of our favorite sites that not everyone knows about. I like to think that we here at Gadget Teaser are performing a public service for you… the avid gadget blog reader the general public.

LogMeIn

This week’s Sweet Site of the Week is: LogMeIn

LogMeIn is basically a tool that is used to remotely access a computer from anywhere. On the road and need to access your home or work PC, use LogMeIn. Got a client in another city, or even country, that requires local support, use LogMeIn. Got a conference call and would like to present a PowerPoint for everyone to see, use LogMeIn. I think you get my drift but in case you don’t, here’s what LogMeIn describes itself as:

Businesses and IT service providers use LogMeIn’s solutions to deliver remote end-user support and to access and manage computers and other Internet-enabled devices more effectively and efficiently. Consumers and mobile workers use our solutions to access computer resources remotely, thereby facilitating their mobility and increasing their productivity.

I use LogMeIn Free to remotely access my home PC while I’m at work or on the road. So all I had to do was install a small app on my home PC and then no matter where I am I can log into the LogMeIn website and access my home PC. That’s it. I use it to access my personal email, my personal bookmarks, and my personal files. Maximize the screen and you can’t tell the difference between your home monitor and the one you’re using remotely. And it’s so convenient. In case you were wondering, there is a version for the Mac and there is even a iPhone app you can use to remotely control your home PC as well.

So if you ever need to access anything from your home PC while at work or on the road, I suggest you use our Sweet Site of the Week, LogMeIn.