Archive | March 8, 2011

Google Chrome 10 arrives, faster and with Flash sandbox

The Google Chrome 10 final is here and it brings a bunch of fixes / features and performance improvements to multiple OS including Linux, Windows and MAC. The worthiest are a new Crankshaft JavaScript engine that boost the JavaScript speed with a whooping 66%, a new settings interface and, my favorite, paste and search or paste and go, a fast way to use only one click to search / navigate to the phrase or url in the clipboard.

If you frequently use password protected websites (and who doesn’t) Google Chrome comes now with a method to synchronize those passwords between multiple computers, a nifty (albeit scary) feature.

The last addition worth mentioning is an improved sandboxing feature for Adobe Flash, destined to protect you against “the bad guys” and their malicious websites, feature that will be available if you are using Windows Vista or higher.

Check after the break for a couple of videos illustrating the new enhancements. Read More…

Deal of the Day – Jamo S606 HCS 3 5.0 floor-standing speaker system – $400 shipped

Today’s deal of the day is the highly rated Jamo S606 5.0 floorstanding speaker system for only $400 shipped. Total weight is over 132 pounds so you’ll certainly save a lot on shipping in the process.

The system includes one center speaker model Jamo S 60 CEN, two bookshelves speakers model Jamo S 602 and two S 606 floorstanding speakers. All the reviews I read praised their looks so I couldn’t stop and bought a full set myself. Review to follow!

Technical specifications for the floorstanding speakers (also support optional bi-wiring):

System Type 3-way bassreflex
Woofer (mm/in) 203 / 8
Midrange (mm/in) 2 x 127 / 5
Tweeter (mm/in) 25 / 1
Power (W, long/short term) 130 / 210
Sensitivity (dB, 2.8V/1m) 89
Frequency Range (Hz) 42 – 20,000
Impedance (Ohm) 6
Weight (kg/lb) 24.1 / 53.1
Product dimensions (mm/in, HxWxD) 1080 x 190 x 345 / 42.5 x 7.5 x 13.6
Overall dimensions (mm/in, HxWxD) 1110 x 260 x 345 / 43.7 x 10.2 x 13.6

Check after the break for high resolution photo gallery. Read More…

Android Froyo Xtreamer PVR specs leaked, to ship later this year

It wasn’t yet officially announced but its photo / specifications leaked in a recent CeBIT document…Xtreamer works on a PVR based on a Sigma Designs SMP8656 chip for exceptional 3D graphics, dual tuners and Android Froyo 2.2. If this will really ship, it will provide REAL competition to Boxee Box, WD TV Live Plus and such boxes and maybe we’ll finally see our dream come true: A media streamer box to rule them all. The most worthy mentioning features are USB 3.0, Web Browser, MKV, h264 and many other video codecs (up to 1080p of course) and various internet streaming clients through additional Android applications. Yes, they won us on their side forever with “additional Android applications”.

Among other goodies labeled “coming soon”, the document also mentions Xtreamer SyncX, a two bay backup unit featuring Web Server, ftp, NAS, MySQL, free DDNs, Gigabit LAN and Print Server functionality.

Check after the break for full Xtreamer PVR technical specification. Read More…

MyGica A680B Review – USB QAM and ATSC HDTV TV Tuner


If you want to receive clear QAM or over the air ATSC 8VSB TV channels with your computer, the cheapest solution I could find was a small USB stick produced by MyGica (actually based on the drivers, the tuner is produced generically somewhere in China and MyGica is packaging / branding / selling it in North America). I was initially skeptical to its quality, especially considering the very low price (under $30 shipped) but I bought one anyway and I will review it so you can make an informed decision.

Unpacking:

MyGica A680 comes packaged in a small box containing the USB stick itself, an infrared remote control (compatible with Windows Media Center), a mini antenna, a mini RF to F connector converter and the software CD containing the driver and a somewhat old software, Total Media 3.5. Read More…

WESTERN DIGITAL BOUGHT HITACHI GLOBAL STORAGE TECHNOLOGIES

Western Digital, the giant storage company got even bigger with its latest addition: Hitachi hard-drive (and as a whole Hitachi Global Storage Technologies) unit. The price of the deal? 4.3 billion, from which 2.5 billion in cash and the rest of it in WD common shares.

The deal is extremely important and will shape  the future storage market at all levels. The company won’t change its name (we kinda like Western Digital) and its headquarters will also remain in Irvine, CA. What we all hope from the deal is, obviously larger and faster hard drives but, even more important (at least for me), better and better media streamer boxes…and bring that Hulu Plus to WD TV Live Plus as fast as possible.

via WDC

SiliconDust HDHomeRun HDHR3 Review – Dual ATSC/QAM Network TV Tuner



When you are looking to get DVR functionality for your home, you have several options: Get a cable box, a satellite box, a TIVO or build your own. If you are reading this review, you are probably thinking about building your own and we’ll gladly lend you a hand.

One of the most popular tuners for the last couple of years are coming from a company called SiliconDust. They are the manufacturer for the wildly successful line of network connected TV tuners called HDHomeRun. The main selling point compared with let’s say a PCI-E capture card is the capability to share it over the home network between several computers at the same time. Just plug-it in on your switch and it should be available to any computer on your network. What is even better, several units can be added to increase the available units pool, they are automatically allocated on demand to the computers on your network and it is fully compatible with a large number of DVR / media packages available on Windows, Linux and MAC machines and, also compatible with XBOX 360 when used as an extender to Windows Media Center.

HDHomeRun is now at Revision 3 codename HDHR3 and it is smaller, lighter and even cheaper, all while Read More…