24 October 2004


I picked up the November issue of Wired in the airport on my way back from Las Vegas on Friday. It had a multi-page ad that presented around 20 gadgets with feeble semi-reviews. It was a cheap blur of ad and content (where's their ombudsman? do they even have one?), but it contained a couple of cool gadgets. Let's have a look, shall we?

The first was a useless luxury item that I can't help but want for my car: the Garmin Quest GPS navigation unit. The price is down to $642 for this sexy little piece of gadgetry.

Garmin Quest

Completely useless, but man can I get lost sometimes while driving around. Although, I probably just need to find an SD GPS card for my phone along with street mapping software.

The next little item was a little more useful, but still a luxury. Orb is advertised as a service that gives you full streaming media access from your phone. You can watch TV (?!?), listen to Internet radio, or listen to your home MP3s from any Web enabled phone.

OK. The reality is (obviously) a little less cool. To watch TV, you must have a tuner card in your home PC and the only supported remote hardware is a laptop connected to a network. The only supported OS is Windows XP Media Edition (although they look like they might support more in the future). To use the service, you install the Orb software on your home PC, and it streams content over the Internet.


It's still possibly a cool thing. I've always wanted full, streaming access of my MP3s from anywhere. Radio from the Ether is a snapshot of a few CDs, playing in a fixed loop. If I could, I'd like to let myself or anyone listen to anything. Orb might solve that, but for $9.99 a month I'm not sure it's worth it. In my recent entry on the Google Desktop Search, I wanted personal utilities that were available from any machine without having to install them. Similarly, I'd like media access from any machine. I guess I need to get off my ass and do some coding during this sabbatical.

[ posted by sstrader on 24 October 2004 at 7:03:01 PM in Science & Technology ]