Android-based console newbie OUYA announced today via Twitter that they’re now accepting Bitcoin for console purchases. No word yet on using the Bitcoin digital currency for game purchases, but it’s probably safe to assume that such is not far behind.
NAS devices have come a long way in the past several years. What used to be a bunch of hard drives plugged into a motherboard with an Ethernet NIC and a power port, running a stripped down Linux kernel with a few fileshare services running has expanded to these comparative monstrosities with connectivity galore: USB ports, eSATA ports, multiple NICs, and now HDMI. A NAS isn’t so much a NAS any longer: it’s a multimedia computer not just suited for the office closet, but for the living room, as well. The QNAP TS-469L, combined with QTS 4.0.1, wants to be in your living room. It wants to be your multimedia machine, storing the things you want to see on your television, be those things cast from your laptop, HTPC, or streaming device, or shown directly from the device itself. In this review, we’ll go into light depth on many of the features of the QNAP TS-469L, but also QTS 4.0.1, as this is the first QNAP product review we’ve done since the overhauled firmware was released several weeks ago.
Behold, the day of days has arrived: Kickstarted darling Ouya, the Android-powered video game console, is available to the public. It sold out on Amazon in just a few hours and I’ll bet that other retailers are finding their stocks a little low, too. I backed Ouya on Kickstarter shortly before the close of the nearly $8.6M funding round last summer, and I received my backer unit a couple of weeks ago. I’ve had some time to play several of the games and poke around the device a bit.
In this modern area of wireless networking, the market is flooded with devices with advanced feature sets, sometimes not performing as well as others. This trade-off can be frustrating. Sometimes, the basic features are all one really needs in a WiFi router, and the Rosewill T600N fills that gap. It’s an 802.11a/b/g/n router that can do 300 Mbps per frequency and even features standard replaceable antennas for its 2.4 GHz radio. ThinkComputers takes a look at this sub $60 unit that frequently can be found online for under $50!
In terms of getting a network connection from one point to another in a way that most folk consider neat and orderly, some ways are easier than others. Running Ethernet or coaxial cable can be messy for existing structures, and sometimes there’s a reason not to use WiFi. When those two standard options are out, the next one to consider is Powerline networking. Powerline is oft-forgotten, because most folk reach for a better WiFi router when they need it. The 500 Mbps RPLC-500 Kit from Rosewill is a new contender in this space. It offers a smaller wall wart adapter than some of its competitors’ offerings and great power saving features. Its plug-and-play operation lets users get up and running in no time.
There was a time when a wireless router did little more than, well, route. It took bits from the airwaves and put them on a wire, destined for the Internet or perhaps the local network. As the technology matured, product designers started adding things. At first, it was software like firewalls, quality of service controls, and port tunneling and forwarding controls. Then came the advanced things such as VPN and jffs-based file storage – sufficient for a small, static HTML site stored on a cordoned-off part of the router’s unused flash ROM. Then came the hardware changes, most relevant to this review being the advent of USB ports. This opened a whole new world of possibilities, generally USB Mass Storage devices and printers. Then Western Digital joined the fray. It added a hard drive to the router. Thus, we have the My Net N900 Central, a 450Mbps x2 high-end wireless router ready act not only as a shuffler of bits, but also as a storer of bits; a router and simple NAS all in one compact device.
Ferrari has teamed with Logic3 to offer a series of headphones, earbuds, and an Apple device speaker dock decked out in classy Ferrari styling. From a mid-range unit in the mid 100s range, all the way up to the flagship R300 noise-canceling series at $299, Logic3 and Ferrari have a great line of audio listening devices prepped for consumer enjoyment.
We stopped by the Crucial meeting rooms to get a look at the newest DRAM and SSD products from the consumer brand of Micron. DDR4 is imminent, with its expected densities of up to 32GB and power consumption of just 1V driving high usage, high battery life devices in late 2013 with mainstream adoption in 2014 and 2015. On the SSD side, we take a look at an amazing 1 TB-class SSD at a price point of just $600, as well as new 512GB SSDs in mSATA and m.2 form factors.
We bumped into Nectar’s Ken Lazarus while walking past the Brookstone booth, completely out of happenstance. In doing so, we stumbled upon one of the neatest tools we have yet encountered at CES 2013: the Nectar fuel cell mobile charger. Through the use of a special chip fabricated by Intel and a butane fuel pack, the Nectar charger can supply 10-20 full charges of a smartphone. This enables not only intraday charging, but days or even weeks away from electricity. The Nectar will retail at Brookstone for $299 with $10 fuel cells, which are one-time use but have recyclable casing.
Long have the days past since the CRT light guns that we used to dominate Zombies in games like House of Dead 2 on the Dreamcast. Unless you’re a user of either Kinect for XBox 360 or Move for PS3 you don’t know the joys of pointing a ‘gun’ at your TV and fragging some enemies. G-Mate took the opportunity to fill a void that has long needed filled by developing a console gun that does not use visual detection but instead uses a gyroscope that translates the movements to your screen. The MAG II Gun Controller is a giant leap in fully functional interaction with console FPS’s. Take a look at the video to see one of the coolest console products at CES.
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