This past January, the trendsetting International Consumer Electronics Show took place in Las Vegas. As you can probably guess, the items this year were faster, smaller and smarter than ever. Almost 100,000 of the general public and 5,000 journalists attended. What they saw was a wide variety of items such as Internet-connected DVD players, personal digital assistants (PDAs) with cameras and even a one-eyed robot. Some of the most interesting devices were:
1. Toshiba DVD-RAM RD-X2 Recorder: This $1,000 beauty allows you to burn DVDs or record TV programs to an 80-gigabyte hard drive, edit out commercials and then burn them to a DVD.
2. Hitachi Multimedia Communicator Pocket PC: A Sprint PCS exclusive, this item is the first Windows-powered PDA/phone hybrid with a built-in keyboard, digital camera and Intel 400MHz Xscale processor. It's expected to sell for about $500.
3. The Fossil SPOT Watch: As you might guess, this is no ordinary timepiece. Based on Smart Personal Objects Technology (SPOT), it features PDA functionality and Microsoft-based data services that let you send news, stock quotes and instant messages to someone else's wrist. Fossil may add e-mailing capabilities soon. Estimated at $200.
4. Sony CLIE PEG-NZ90: This PDA has a built-in two-megapixel camera with flash, digital zoom and manual-exposure adjustments. When this comes out, get ready to empty your wallets; it's going to cost about $800.
5. Digital Innovations Neuros: Not only does this baby play and record FM, but it also allows you to tag radio songs for automatic identification and broadcasts your stored MP3s to any FM radio. Feel free to choose between a flash version and a larger hard drive version ... or buy at a discount.
6. Sonicblue GoVideo D2730 DVD Player: This is actually one of the first home network-compatible, progressive-scan DVD players. It has a PC card slot in back and comes with an Ethernet card so you can plug it into your home network and access JPEG files, MP3 files, and MPEG movies stored in a computer. Even if you're a wireless user, you can use this device; just replace the Ethernet card with a wireless one. This player costs about $250.
7. Evolution Robotics ER2 Robot: This automaton can wheel itself into the bedroom of a sleeping child (or girlfriend) and transmit autio and video. The machine can be sent on other errands as well and can even read books and play music from a CD when you show it the disc's cover. A stripped-down version of the item sells for $499 at Evolution Robotics.
Sources: Netscape.com; CNet.com .
Sites of the Month:
1. The Marcelo Gomes Homepage (www.mgomes.com/): The Brazilian ballet dancer, recently profiled in The Advocate, thankfully has his own site. Not only can you gaze upon photos of the tall, handsome lad but you can also read his biography and peruse the latest news about him.
2. PhoneSpell (http://www.phonespell.org): If you want to give people a unique way of remembering your phone number (besides scrawling it on the bathroom wall), try this site. Simply enter your number and you can choose from the available words and phrases it spells. For example, (555) 429-4475 becomes '555-gay-girl.' Cool, huh?
3. Belly Worship (http://www.bellyworship.com): If you're all about the gut, this is for you. Hundreds of pictures of all types of bellies (from tattooed to six-pack to beer to grrrl).
4. Notable Latin Gays/Lesbians/Transsexuals (http://www-lib.usc.edu/~retter/latpnotables.html): The site's title says it all. You'll find a comprehensive list of lavender Latinos, including writer Luis Zapata and actor Wilson Cruz.
I'm at firstname.lastname@example.org .