We've been doing a lot of end-of-the year lists here at CNET as our editors round up the most popular and best products in their categories. That's all great, but then someone said, "Hey, why don't we do a list that's a best-of-the-best list of all the lists combined?"
Well, that's what I was tasked with, but instead of calling it the "Best products of 2009" or the "Most popular products of 2009," I've come up with "The most notable products of 2009," which I like … Read more
We've already shared our picks for the best games of 2009, so now it's time to check out the other end of the spectrum: the worst games of the year.
Before you jump over to the slideshow, we want to preface our list with a few important details. Our worst-of compilation doesn't include just games; it highlights some of the most disappointing hardware and trends that surfaced in 2009 as well.
So with that knowledge absorbed, we invite you to check out our picks for the worst that 2009 had to offer in the world of video … Read more
Most consumer electronics require at least a couple of extra purchases for improving performance or extending their usefulness. Point-and-shoot cameras are no different, as manufacturers tend to cut out accessories to keep product costs as low as possible. Fortunately, most accessories for compact cameras are reasonably inexpensive, making post-purchase costs pretty small.
That said, here's a quick list of five essential items you'll want to consider picking up to get the most from your new digital camera.Batteries I admit that while I've told several people over the years to be safe and buy the camera manufacturer's rechargeable batteries, I've always bought cheap aftermarket batteries off of eBay for myself. Though I've never had a problem, I can't say you won't. Plus, there is a chance that using a third-party battery will void the camera warranty, so be sure to check the terms for your model.
Regardless of what you go with, you'll want to get at least one backup battery pack. If you're using a camera running on AA-size batteries, buy good ones designed for power-demanding electronics. Even better, buy some NiMH rechargeables and only use alkaline or lithium ion batteries when you need them.Case Point-and-shoot cameras don't come with cases anymore. That's a real shame considering that the large LCDs and shiny finishes used on current models are particularly scratch-prone. A nice simple slip case such as the M-Rock Milan is enough to keep a camera protected from scuffs while bouncing around in a handbag or backpack. If you want something with more protection and storage though, look for bags like the Kata DF-404 or Lowepro Apex 30 AW… Read more
Another year, another laundry list of video games. This year saw thousands of titles released, but only an elite few are worthy enough to be labeled as "year's best." It was undoubtedly another year of sequels, though a few new franchises do appear on our list.
Don't see your favorite video game of the year on our list? Let us know in the comments section.
Despite point-and-shoot camera manufacturers' best efforts to reduce the effects of hand shake--digitally, optically, and mechanically--as long as you're holding the camera there's a very good chance you'll end up with blurry shots. Add in softening caused by noise reduction at higher ISO sensitivities, and getting a sharp shot of moving subjects or in low-light conditions can be tricky. The disappearance of viewfinders from compact cameras doesn't help things either as it encourages you to extend your arms to use the LCD.
Taking the camera out of your hands and putting it on a tripod or other support is one of the best ways to improve your odds. However, when I suggest this to point-and-shoot users I typically get in response that it's not practical to carry a tripod and it kills the point of having a very portable camera. But the solution is easy: get a very portable mini tripod.
Below are five favorites ranging in size, price, and flexibility, and though they aren't all technically tripods, they'll certainly help keep your pocket camera still whether you're behind or in front of it.
In lieu of buying a support, there are free options for helping control hand shake. Look for a lamp post, wall, tree, or any solid vertical structure you can lean against for support. Don't fully extend your arms, but instead pull them into your body as closely as possible with your elbows tucked into your sides or rest on a ledge or wall. Also, even if your camera has a lot of zoom range and optical image stabilization, it's always better to move yourself closer to a subject if possible than using your zoom. Lastly, if you use a tripod or anything else that's stable to support your camera, be sure to shut off any in-camera image stabilization--in this case, more stabilization is not better. … Read more
The phrase "hybrid supercar" gets plenty of use these days as a variety of automotive start-ups combine electric motors and gas engines to get outstanding 0 to 60 mph times, usually combined with claims of world-beating range on a single tank of gas. And we get excited every time we run across a new one. That's why a news release from Kepler Motors spiked our adrenaline when we saw it in the Monday morning in-box.
Kepler developed the Motion, a concept hybrid to debut at the 2009 Dubai International Motor Show. What's interesting about this car … Read more
This year may have been a disaster economy-wise, but app-wise it was awesome.
I mean, consider just a sampling of what 2009 brought us: a wealth of GPS apps (most of them quite good), some way-cool barcode-scanning apps, voice-morphing, auto-tuning (still not sure what that is), and, lest we forget, bobble-head politicians--(OK, maybe that wasn't so much awesome as weird).
With that in mind, I've rounded up the 10 apps that made my year more fun, more productive, and just plain better. I'm not calling these the "best" apps of 2009; they're merely my favorites. (And I'm not including games, as I think that category deserves a list of its own--stay tuned for that.)
1. Dragon Dictation Barely a week old, this app does a shockingly good job turning dictated words into clipboard-ready text. Even more amazing: it's free.
2. How the Grinch Stole Christmas Another newcomer, "Grinch" brings Dr. Seuss to the iPhone in high style. Parents will love it as much as kids.
3. Kindle Anyone who knows me knows I love reading e-books on my iPhone, and the free Kindle app ties to Amazon's currently unmatched e-book store. A few taps and I'm reading free sample chapters or complete novels. (Note to Amazon: It's time to add bookstore browsing to the app.)
4. Public Radio App Though you can get most of the same functionality from the free NPR News, Public Radio App raises the bar with streaming-audio features like pause/rewind and a wake-up-to-public-radio alarm clock. Well worth $2.99.… Read more
I'm still running through notes I made when visiting the 52nd Annual International Auto Show here in my current residence of San Francisco, California regarding cars and topics to feature here in this blog. I'm still rolling-rolling-rolling like Limp Bizkit (did I spell that right?) and about to get all environmental with a video about one of the several hybrids I saw at the 2009 IAS, the 2010 Lexus RX450h.
The RX450h isn't Lexus's first foray into the mid-sized hybrid game and really it isn't all that different cosmetically from the outgoing RX400h. Likewise, based … Read more
Since I've amassed digital photos over the years, I've found it more pleasing to turn them into photo books instead of individual prints (plus, they make great gifts when you're running low on time). I've used Kodak Gallery, HP's Snapfish, and Apple's iPhoto to build and publish them with good results. Most recently, though, I've been using MyPublisher.
MyPublisher 4 is a stable, standalone application that is only 11MB, making it fast to download, and it takes no effort to install. Start it up and you're presented with your project options. Books … Read more