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. Spirit Gay and Lesbian Singles (http://www.spiritgayandlesbiansingles.com): Frustrated because you haven't found your springtime love? Well, try this route; not only is the membership free (my favorite price), but you'll find photo personals, astrology charts and even games (like Truth Serum).
2. Guyshop (http://www.guyshop.com): Looking for something to wear? You could do worse than to take a gander at this site, where you can choose from a variety of designers and choose items ranging from tailored denim to hair care products. (Note: There's a similar site for women called Girlshop [www.girlshop.com].)
3. Gay Men & Women - Belly Worship (http://www.bellyworship.com): If you're all about the gut, this site's for you. You'll find hundreds of pictures of all types of bellies (from tattooed to six-pack to beer to grrrl). There are also movies at this site and, trust me, they're not G-rated. (They're more like G-string.)
4. Tyson Beckford Picture Gallery (www.fortunecity.com/campus/business/369/tyson.html): I know there are some of you who could look at this guy for days ... and now you can! Stare at more than 40 images of the supermodel in various poses and in various amounts of clothing.
5. Jean Grae: X Woman (pulse.towerrecords.com/contentStory.asp: You may have heard of this female MC who specializes in battle rhymes, but she has released one of the most lauded CDs in recent memory (Attack of the Attacking Things). You can also check out an interview with her at urbansmarts.com/interviews/jeangrae1.htm, where she discusses, among other things, her next CD (Involuntary Inebriation).
I'm at firstname.lastname@example.org .