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CNET Tech Review
Touch me, Steve JobsThis week on the CNET Tech Review, all the news on Apple's new iPods; Netflix comes to the iPhone; get off the couch with PlayStation Move; and how to resurrect your waterlogged phone.
-This week on the CNET Tech Review, Apple announces new iPods--again, Netflix movies come to the iPhone, Volvo helps prevent pedestrian collisions, and how to save a cellphone that's been dropped in the drink. It's all coming up right now. Hi, everyone. I'm Molly Wood and welcome to the CNET Tech Review where we collect our hottest videos of the week and tell you what's good and what's bad in the world of tech and offer some unique tech wisdom in the form of the bottom line. Let's start with the good. This week, Apple held its annual music event here in San Francisco, and this time around, it was less about big surprises and more about fine tuning existing product lines. Steve Jobs was there to walk us through all the upgrades and now here's Jeff Bakalar to break it all down. -It's Wednesday, September 2nd, 2010. I'm Jeff Bakalar and it's time to get loaded. Apple updated its line of iPod music players in a pretty significant way. The iPod Shuffle thankfully got its buttons back. The iPod Nano, by far, received the biggest change, dropping the iconic click wheel for a tiny 3 cm X 3 cm multitouch display. The iPod Touch now comes with the high resolution Retina Display from the iPhone 4, a front facing camera for FaceTime calls, and HD recording on the rear. The iPod Classic remains unchanged from last year's model at 160 gigabytes. The new iPods are available for preorder now and ship next week. Steve Jobs also announced new updates to iOS. Starting next week, iOS 4.1 will fix the proximity sensor issues but also allows for HDR photography. That means the iPhone 4 will now take 3 images in rapid succession at various exposures to pull in detail from highlights and shadows. iOS 4.1 also brings along Game Center which is Apple's gaming social network along with iTunes' Ping which is Apple's new social network for music sharing and discovery. That functionality is also built into iTunes 10. The company also previewed iOS 4.2 which will be released in November for the iPad, bringing multitasking, folders, and, finally, wireless printing to the iPad. Apple's one last thing moment was a drastically different Apple TV. Previously, Apple TV allowed users to store movies and music in the device's hard drive but the new hardware does away with all of that. Instead, now, it's a streaming-centric device which can play movies, TV shows, and music streamed over your home network. It can also stream Netflix titles. In addition, you can now rent movies for $4.99 or TV shows for just 99 cents. The new Apple TV will retail for only $99. Those are your headlines for today. I'm Jeff Bakalar for CNET.com and you've just been loaded. -For more of our coverage of Steve Jobs' announcement and first looks of all the new iPods, head over to CNETTV.com. Of course, the first thing most people do, or should do, when they get a new iPod is throw out those white earbuds that come with it. So, if you've still got some money to burn, these new Diddybeats in-ear headphones might make a stylish, although pricey, replacement. -And the scheme and stylish of your phone's Monster may not have a corner on the market but there's no denying that its Beats by Dr. Dre brand is among the more fashionable lines currently available. Unsurprisingly, the Diddybeats, a collaboration with Sean "Diddy" Combs, are no exception. True to form, the rapper/producer was closely involved in the design process of these earphones. Evidence is clear in the details. The earpieces in particular stand out--wrapped in leatherette and accented in shiny silver. Diddy also had a hand in choosing the color options which are black, white, and a rather nauseating pale pink. The cable, which descends from each earbud and terminates here in a reinforced gold-plated L plug, is the flat ribbon style that the Beats brand is becoming known for. Features are not sparse either. The Diddybeats feature Monster's Control Talk inline remote and mic for the iPod and iPhones, and the package includes a carrying case and an impressive array of ear tips. I'm also pleased to report that these earphones offer nicely balanced audio playback with good clarity and a bass response that is sufficient but not overpowering. At $150, they're not exactly a steal but they are a solid buy for those with varied listening taste. I'm Jasmine France for CNET and this has been a first look at the Diddybeats headphones. -I don't know, Jasmine. I kind of think I could pull off those pink ones. Do you have an extra pair of them lying around? You know where to find me. But maybe you don't want an iPod at all. You are still allowed to use other players, you know. No, really. And, actually, if you're interested, it's hard to go wrong with the Sansa Fuze+. Just ask Donald Bell. -Hey, I'm Donald Bell and today we're taking a first look at the Sansa Fuze+. This is a new portable media player from SanDisk available in five colors and three capacities--4, 8, and 16 gigabytes. Priced to fly out the doors at $79, $89, and $119. Like the original Sansa Fuze from 2008, the Fuze+ handles music, videos, photos, radio, podcasts, voice recording, and microSD memory card media. The screen is bigger now--2.5 inches up from 2. The navigation is handled using a capacitive touch control now instead of the click wheel, and the connection to your computer is now handled by a generic micro USB cable instead of the proprietary connection on the old version. There's also a headphone jack on the bottom, volume control on the side, and a power button at the top. Aside from the cosmetic differences, there's also a lot of welcome changes happening under the hood. The Fuze+ is now one of the first Sansa players to supported unprotected AAC audio which is a huge deal if you've been getting your music through the iTunes store. You also get support for MP3, FLAC, Ogg, WAV, WMA, Audible, and subscription music files so all the bases are covered. Another bit of good news for those looking for an inexpensive MP3 player that will work with an iTunes library is its support for H.264 or MPEG-4 videos. You also get WMV compatibility and SanDisk provides free software that will optimize videos and photos for the Fuze including any videos captured using a Flip camera. I feel the audio quality is decent here for the price but you're not gonna get an extensive suite of EQ or sound enhancement settings like a Sony or a Samsung player. A pair of earbuds come included as well as a pouch and a USB cable. The bottom line, if you're on a budget or if you're looking for a no-frills media player that will work with most of the unprotected content from an iTunes library, the Sansa Fuze+ is a solid value. The design won't turn any heads but, for as little as $80, you really can't go wrong. That's the SanDisk Sansa Fuze+. For CNET.com, I'm Donald Bell. -So, if you vow to never give in to the pressure of the big Apple machine, there is still hope for you. I just hope that you don't mind if I keep using my iPad, 'cause Angry Birds... As Jeff mentioned earlier, the new Apple TV will be enhanced to allow Netflix streaming. iPhone users won't be left out in the cold, though. There's finally a Netflix app for them, too. -Oh, I totally wanna see this movie. Hey there and welcome to Tap That App. I'm Jessica Dolcourt and this is the show where we cover the hottest apps in the mobile space. This week, we wanted to show off the brand new Netflix app for iPhone and iPod Touch. If you think you've spotted it before, you're not wrong. It used to only be available on iPad but now you can find it for the smaller version of Apple's iDevices. Best yet, it's absolutely free. Now, the Netflix app is a pretty awesome way for you to stream content from anywhere you are. There's the home screen that throws out quirky category suggestions for movies you might like to watch like feel good comedies or dark dramas based on real life. If that's not exactly your cup of tea, you can also browse for flix and shows by more typical genres like action and foreign. The app shows you all the details like the rating, the synopsis, and the list of episodes if it's a TV show. In addition, you can add content to your Instant Queue or just play the video on the fly. The direct line to your Instant Queue is actually pretty awesome because it means that you can stream those movies and videos on demand directly to your iPhone or iPod Touch. Video quality was excellent on the iPhone 4 we've got right here without any bugs or breakups, but that's only when you're within a strong network range. You can slightly adjust the screen's dimensions while the video plays and there's a handy button to take you back 30 seconds if you miss a part. So, what happens if you have to stop the show midway? That's no problem at all. Netflix actually keeps track of your place and lets you pick up where you left off from the top of the home screen. In addition, it will prompt you to resume the video after you've closed the app and then reopen it. All of this makes Netflix for iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad an exciting competitor to Hulu Plus, especially if you're already a Netflix subscriber. Subscriptions start at about $9 a month or you can sign up from the web or from the app for a free 30-day trial. So there's your look at Netflix' very tap-worthy streaming app. If you've got any suggestions for other apps we should look at, e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org. That's it for this show. I'm Jessica Dolcourt and keep on tapping. -Trust me, there really is no better way to enjoy "Dude, Where's My Car?" than on a 3-inch screen. Alright. It's time to take a break but we'll be back with more CNET Tech Review right after this. Welcome back to the CNET Tech Review, our weekly video digest of all things good and bad we've seen here at CNET. Continuing on with the good. When he's not filling in for Natalie on Loaded, Jeff Bakalar is also host of our pre-game podcast all about video games. So who better to try out Sony's entry into the motion control gaming race? Here's his first look at the Playstation Move. -Hey, what's up, everyone? I'm Jeff Bakalar for CNET.com. Today, we're taking a first look at the Playstation Move Bundle Starter Kit for Playstation 3. After first debuting the technology at E3 2009, Sony is finally ready to release the bundle. It's a hundred-dollar bundle and it comes with Playstation Eye which is the camera you're gonna need to use Playstation Move, the Playstation standard controller for move, and it also comes with a game, Sports Champions, which is a collection of six mini games that include disc golf, gladiator, archery, beach volleyball, bocce ball, and table tennis. Now, the standard Move controller comes with a rubber ball on top and this LED light inside can change color so that the Eye camera can follow your movement so if you have a blue ball, it won't clash with whatever your background is and this will change if it needs to. Now, we really like the way the Move controller feels. It feels really nice in your hand and it has all, or most, of the same buttons as a standard DualShock 3 controller. You've got the square, triangle, circle, and X button. On the back, you have a trigger button and on the sides are Select and Start. Now, obviously, the bundle comes with Sports Champions which is basically Sony's response to Wii Sports. Now, there's only six sports here but the games feel like they're more in depth, there's more production value. You can unlock things. There's a lot more to explore in these games. A little more than what's provided on the Wii Sports games. Now, this is what you're gonna get in the $100 bundle. There are other games coming out just for Playstation Move. We got to play a few like Kung Fu Rider which is a sort of wacky, Japanese-inspired game where you're riding down a hill in an office chair. It's a little strange but it's a lot of fun to play. There's also a game called Tumble which is basically Boom Blox if you've played it on the Wii. It's sort of like a Jenga game where you use the remote to control boxes on screen. Now, obviously, we're gonna have to compare Playstation Move to Wii MotionPlus because they basically give you the same sort of control environment. Obviously, Playstation 3 and Playstation Move are gonna provide the better graphics. There's really no comparison in that point, but in terms of actual motion control, we do think Playstation Move provides a slight bit of an edge when it comes to actual precise motion control accuracy just because the Playstation Move uses a camera whereas Wii and Wii MotionPlus does not. Now, obviously, we're really big fans of being able to use motion control in HD gaming. We've never been able to do that before, but we're just not sure this first initial launch of Playstation Move games is compelling enough to make that first purchase. As the games come out and they're more developed, we think there will be a better incentive to buy Playstation Move in the future. We also really enjoy the fact that you can use your motion controller to navigate through the cross media bar in the Playstation 3 menu system. For $30, you can get this navigation controller that has a D-pad and an analog stick plus L1 and L2 buttons on the back which is gonna be used for games where you're using a gun or some sort of environment where you have to have your character moving around on screen as well as being able to aim properly, and that will be available when Playstation Move launches which is September 19th. So that's gonna do it for our first look at Playstation Move. I'm Jeff Bakalar for CNET.com. Thanks for watching. -Okay. I admit it. Wii, Kinect for Xbox, Playstation Move, they all look fun, but what happened to the good old days when it was okay to play video games slumped on the sofa and covered in Cheetos dust? I mean, what's with all this standing up and moving around? And with that, actually, get ready for the bad, folks. Sometimes, bad things happen to good gadgets, like when your phone ends up at the bottom of the kitty pool or it's mistaken for a teething ring. Well, fear not, Sharon Vaknin is here with some suggestions for drying out a wet cellphone. -Whether it's in a rainstorm, lounging at the pool, or even in the restroom, there are times when your phone is in danger of getting soaked. I'm Sharon Vaknin from CNET.com here with some tips on how to save a cellphone. Once you realize your phone got wet, it may be your instinct to hit the power button. Do not try to turn it on yet. Remember what happens if you drop a blow dryer in water? Water and electricity don't mix. Your device will quickly short circuit and you've earned yourself a paperweight. Another thing to avoid is, well, blow drying your device. Though it's true your device will dry out, you'll likely burn it in the process. Instead, the first thing you'll want to do is take out all removable parts, like a battery, SIM card or memory card, and pat everything dry. Then, you want to try to extract all of the remaining water. Extracting the water can be done in three ways. The most common method is the rice bag method. When cooking rice, the water is absorbed into the rice grains. So, let's apply that science to water in your phone. Simply take your phone, including all the parts you've removed, and put them in a bag of uncooked rice. Let it sit for 24 to 72 hours, depending on your anxiety levels. A lesser known way to dry your device is by using silica packets. They're those pouches of beads that come in most devices, purses, and, of course, man purses, or "murses." With this method, just take a Ziploc bag, fill it with silica packets and drop in your gadget. Like rice, silica absorbs moisture and your device should be liquid free in one to three days. Realistically, most of us don't have a stash of silica packets, but have no fear. They're readily available online. Order them quickly and keep a supply around for future water accidents. Now, these methods can work wonders, but if you want a more dedicated solution, try the BHEESTIE Bag. At first, we thought it looked like a gimmick so we tested it with an MP3 player we dropped in water. Lo and behold, it works. The airtight pouch is filled with moisture absorbing beads, so it acts a lot like rice or silica. Just pop your phone and its parts into the bag, wait 24 to 72 hours, and all the water will be extracted. At $20, it's not the cheapest solution but it definitely beats buying a replacement phone. Regardless of the method you choose, once you've waited the requisite 24 to 72 hours, just remove all the parts from the bag, put your gadget back together, and hit the power button. With any luck, you'll see the device power on as usual. If so, you've successfully rescued your device. And these methods should work for many of your devices, from phones to MP3 players and even digital cameras. Just remember, if you are forced to try one of these methods, manufacturers still have sneaky ways of telling if a device has been drenched. Chances are, you've voided your warranty, but at least your phone works again. And just a side note, if you find yourself soaking your phone or MP3 player over and over again, you might consider buying waterproof gadgets. For CNET.com, I'm Sharon Vaknin and I'll see you on the next how-to. -One extra tip for you there, don't try cooking that rice after you're done. It's not safe. CBS cares. And now it's time for this week's Bottom Line. For years, Volvos have been known for their safety which is probably why you used to see so many high school kids driving their parents' hand-me-down Volvo wagons. These days, Volvo continues to be at the forefront of vehicle safety as Brian Cooley found out at this recent demo. -Lots of cars emphasize safety these days. It sells. But no one does it like Volvo. They're a little nutty about it. Let's check out the latest example of their obsession, a car that keeps an eye on pedestrians in Check The Tech. We've shown you Volvo's City Safe before. It stops you before you run into something. Now, they'll keep you from running into someone, with a new tech called Pedestrian Detection with Full Auto Braking. Okay, the parts are there but I've encountered plenty of self parking systems that don't and lane drift detectors that can't. Let's see if Volvo got this fully baked. Now, how is this different from the objection detection though? Because I would think if it sees an object of any kind, it's going to stop. That would be city safety. -Right, and-- -But this is going further. -The object detection is a very simple technology. We use lasers. It's just looking for something metallic about the shape and size of a car. This is more complex because it uses a radar system. Once it detects that it's closing in on something, a camera takes a picture, processes it against-- -That's what's in the windshield here-- -Yep. Right up here. -We see a bunch of cameras there. -So the camera takes the picture, processes it against 10,000 stored images of humans and it tries to see, is this a human. It's only if it's human that it will stop for the pedestrian. -So how does it tell if it's human? I mean, just the shape? -It's the signature so head, neck, shoulders, legs, torso. Even the movement so it's all of that. Humans are more than 80% water so it's actually harder for us to get it to stop for a dummy than it is to get it to stop for you or I or a real person. -Oh. -Because the water in our bodies-- -So the radar is able to check up on some of the composition of a human being? -Yes. -Okay, so that's what's going on also. -And we're still obviously always advancing the technology for right now because of the angle of the radar and the camera, it can only detect something down to 32 inches. -Okay. -So it's looking specifically, again, hopefully, someone that small would be with a parent that it would pick up. -Oh, that it would pick up. -Uh huh. -Right, okay. Notice that pedestrian detection is built on software using a couple of existing car tech trends--radar and visual cameras. In addition to this car's windshield cams, there's also a wall eye cam on the front for wide angle creeping, one under each side view mirror looking back for things in your blind spot, and the fairly common one on the rear that is almost pedestrian these days, but the S60 offers a close up view for real fine work when backing up. We haven't seen that before. Alright. So it's supposed to just roll on here and the idea is we're in city traffic, doing a few miles an hour, I'm sitting here chatting to you. I'm texting. God knows I never do that. I'm looking out the window there. Here's this guy stepping off the curb and look at that. I never touched the brakes and Rob is still standing. I've got the brakes, I felt that on really hard. The pedal was really moving. -Uh huh. -I heard a grinding sound. What happened on here on the dash? -Yes. That is a strip of LED lights and an audible warning that come on about a second and a half before it's gonna brake for you so it's giving you, again, always a chance to engage. Wake up, wake up, you're driving, stop texting. -I like how it got really close to him when it stopped, as if I'm not just going to stop but I'm gonna also teach you a good lesson. Is this something you have to switch on? Is it always on? -Pedestrian detection is always on and if you think that we're saving human lives and intervening and preventing fatalities, you can see why you'd always want it on. -Yeah, why would you even turn it off? -Right. -And what insurance company would really want you to be able to, to be honest. Do you guys know anything about the insurance discounts that come from these innovations? -No, I haven't heard anything about that quite yet and I think part of the reason is 'cause the vehicle is actually land and will start being available to pick up at your local dealership in September, so we'll probably hear more about that then. -This works up to what speed? -Twenty-two miles per hour. -Alright, so-- Oh, there it goes. Works every time. -Well, and we have found that 75% of accidents happen at low speeds, under 20 miles per hour, so, you know, we are really looking to avoid the majority of accidents and then going forward, hopefully prevent all accidents. -I'll give it to Volvo. The technology does seem to just plain work, over and over and over. Of the roughly 37,000 traffic deaths in the US each year, about 12% or 4400 are pedestrians. Technology like this could make a big dent in that number but not until it's available more widely than on a single $40,000 semi-elite Swedish sedan. Okay. This guy's very happy about pedestrian detection but will consumers be? I mean, Volvo's kind of mixing a funny message here--naughty and super safe. Those are kinda odd bedfellows. This car has to succeed as a great road car which they tell us it is with a pretty hot motor under the hood and some great suspension tech and all of that, we shall see when one comes into the CNET garage. But in the meantime, pricing on this will be around $37,000 base, September 2010 in showrooms but this pedestrian technology we're showing you is part of a tech package on top of that, but this is a case of Volvo trying to hang on to their roots, and they do safety tech very well, but also moving to something a little more salacious. -The Bottom Line this week, safety first, everyone. The upside of this technology is that lives will be saved. The downside, everyone will have to drive Volvos for it to make a difference and they are expensive. The S60 is pretty hot, though. Alright, folks. That's our show. Join us next week when we'll have our first look reviews on the iPod Touch and a whole lot more. Until then, there are tons of great videos available everyday at CNETtv.com and, hey, enjoy your Labor Day weekend. See you next time and thank you for watching.