Thanks to its position as a memory chip manufacturer, SanDisk is a master at cost competing in the portable audio space, and although companies such as Creative Labs are now tagging at about the same level, SanDisk's initial aggressiveness earned it the No. 2 spot in sales (behind Apple, natch)--and a reputation for producing cheap MP3 players. The company's latest device, an ultracompact model dubbed the Sansa Clip, is no exception: The 1GB model comes in at a mere $40, while the 2GB is on offer for a no less reasonable $70. But don't let the … Read more
Being art lovers ourselves, we appreciate LaCie's attention to aesthetics in some of its latest products. After all, it's not easy to make a hard drive look like something that belongs ni a museum.
That's exactly what it did last week with the debut of its "Golden Disk," by French designer Ora-Ito. In our humble opinion, however, its second attempt isn't quite so successful: The "Little Disk" from designer Sam Hecht does sport a glossy finish but, aside from its removable cap, it looks pretty much like a dark-chocolate box.
The portable … Read more
According to a report yesterday in The Wall Street Journal, Yahoo's restructuring plan will likely involve significant cutbacks at Yahoo Music, including the shutdown of one or more of its subscription-based services.
In fact, it looks like Yahoo has already removed all links to its Yahoo Music Unlimited To Go service. The service, priced at $11.99 per month, allows users to transfer files to a compatible portable device. The service now can be found only by conducting a search, and I'm not sure if Yahoo is accepting new customers for it. That leaves Yahoo Music Unlimited, which … Read more
You may recognize the name Sansa View, but that's about all SanDisk's new video MP3 player has in common with the original View announced at CES. SanDisk essentially went back to the drawing board, which is why it's taken so long for the official View to surface. Rather than a screen-dominated PVP, you get an e200 with a sleeker design, a beefed-up (2.4-inch) screen, and a larger--but still thin--body (4.3 inches by 1.9 inches by 0.4 inch). It's a smart move, since more users are inclined toward compact players than dedicated PVPs. … Read more
Wednesday morning I visited the new Menlo Park, Calif., headquarters of Zonbu, makers of the low-cost, service-supported Linux computer I mentioned last month (here). I met with Zonbu CEO Grégoire Gentil, who gave me an overview of the company's business plan and a demo of the system. He also offered… Read more
(UPDATE: RealNetworks has filed an 8-K form with the SEC that contains some more details about Rhapsody America. Most notable: MTV is contributing a $230 million note to the deal, and RealNetworks will in exchange be required to spend that amount with MTV on advertising. The joint venture is between RealNetworks and MTV, with Verizon as a distribution partner.)
The 2007 Consumer Electronics Show must've held some awkward moments for Microsoft.
Though we have several machines here at Download.com running Windows Vista for testing purposes, I have to admit that I haven't yet made the switch at my workspace. Maybe it's because with Windows XP, I like the way things are set up; I like the look; and I can rest assured that all my favorite downloads are going to work without fail. I'm not saying Vista won't support my programs--and I'm sure I'll make the switch at some point--but for now I'm sticking with XP.
Even though XP is my choice for now, as a major-league software nerd, I still try to find ways to improve upon a good thing. Rather than leaving well-enough alone, I continually search CNET Downloads to see what programs I can find to make my OS run even more smoothly. A few downloads I've come across trim down existing applications, clean out system flaws, and keep the whole XP operating system running at optimal speed.… Read more
Samsung announced this week that it has begun producing a 64GB flash drive for notebook computers.
Although 32GB flash drives have been on the market for several months, most users need more storage, especially in Vista-based notebooks. I think the new 64GB drives will find a much larger market.
Samsung didn't announce a price for the new drive, but 32GB drives have been selling for around $500 as an upgrade for a few notebook models from Dell and other OEMs. The new drives will probably decline to that price over the next several months.
Meanwhile, of course, conventional hard … Read more
I admit I'm a digital pack rat. I have a directory of images on my local drive devoted to LOLcats. I have gigabytes of FLAC files from live concert recordings and MP3 files from music sites such as CNET Download.com Music.
I'm good at regularly backing up my information to DVD and moving some files permanently to backups, but my 160GB hard drive is usually pushing full capacity. To keep my machine running at a speed I like (and deserve!), I have to perform regular maintenance. While there are lots of ways to optimize your hard drive, my basic method requires only three steps.… Read more
For the most part, security technology procurement is a struggle as security budgets have always been low and remain under-funded.
Security executives have to justify purchases in terms of business risk--a daunting task for even the most skilled professionals. As the old saying in the security world goes, organizations don't want good security, they want good-enough security. Paying for anything more is often viewed as a waste.
In general, frugal security strategies remain but my colleagues and I at Enterprise Strategy Group see one particular area that bucks this trend--full disk encryption (FDE) for laptops. Many large organizations are … Read more