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Dave Speaks

Dave Zatz —  January 10, 2007

Yes, I’m still here in Vegas and have a decent amount of stuff to share! I was briefed on the Comcast-Motorola-TiVo box and Digeo’s upcoming boxes. Yahoo also has some interesting stuff in the works and of course there’s the Xbox 360 as IPTV ‘cable’ box news. It’s just a matter of finding some time to get it all together.

In the meantime you can listen to two podcasts I did. In fact, you’ll hear them before I will! Let me know if they’re any good, otherwise I’ll pass. ;)

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Working Hard at CES

Mari Silbey —  January 9, 2007

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I have to admit, working with Motorola does have its perks. Last night Carson Palmer made a surprise appearance at Motorola’s evening reception. We’re best buds now! I think I got a better deal than Dave. :)

As for the rest of CES, it seems oddly subdued this year. Not that there haven’t been important announcements, but a lot of the good stuff seems to be happening behind closed doors. That, plus a lot of focus is now shifting over to Macworld and the newly announced iPhone.

A few highlights from walking the CES landscape yesterday:

Ecosol PowerStick P1

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Despite the huge displays by a lot of big companies, some of the best things can be found in inconspicuous nooks and crannies. Here’s the Innovation award-winner Ecosol PowerStick P1. The company’s not even at the show, but the product was displayed in a case with a tiny placard. The PowerStick powers up via USB and then charges all your CE devices via various adapters. I could have used one of these yesterday, particularly for my Sony Cyber-shot.

Yahoo “Booth”

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I really liked Yahoo’s tent set up across from the central hall of the convention center. Good move on Yahoo’s part because once you’re in, there are no distractions from other companies waiting tantalizingly just across the hall. Yahoo also had some knowledgeable folks on hand. The company has an electronic program guide in the works with social networking features wrapped in. The woman demonstrating it actually referenced the opportunity to avoid dealing with middleware. Clearly an interactive-TV veteran. Continue Reading…

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Dave and Mari watch wheel well TV.

Showstoppers

Dave Zatz —  January 9, 2007
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The Showstoppers event was held last night (Wynn), where a variety of (mostly) smaller companies set up shop. Not much caught my eye, though I ran into the Engadget, Gizmodo, and CrunchGear teams. (That’s Peter Rojas above, with Randall Bennett handling film duties on the right.) The food wasn’t as good as Digital Experience the night before (Caesars) but they did project Florida’s Buckeye butt-kicking which I appreciated.

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TiVo was present and I chatted a bit (with a more lengthy chat to follow today) and played around in Mac TiVoToGo. Sounds like the Music Choice and Rhapsody deals are in their infancy, so I’m not sure what technology (if any) has been developed at this point.

I know there are some unhappy with the cost associated with Roxio Toast 8 Titanium… I wonder if it’s technically possible to separate the TiVo Transfer tool from the package. As you would expect, I didn’t get much from that line of questioning. ;) Let me remind folks that TiVoDecode Manager is free, community-developed software which performs TiVoToGo transfers and file conversions. However, Roxio’s software is showing up for as low as ~$50. Personally, I’d rather have the official software (which includes DVD authoring). Not to mention… I learned that some more functionality is on the way.

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Generally speaking, we try pretty hard to stay on topic here at ZNF… But this picture is just too funny and must be shared. Maybe the humidity didn’t agree with their hair, or maybe they just didn’t like Orlando — either way, I shot these out-of-character Maryland cheerleaders at the Champs Sports Bowl over the weekend. Fortunately, the Terrapins won despite this apparent negativity.

The ZNF Festivus Update

Dave Zatz —  December 22, 2006

Well, it’s getting to be that time of year — No, not the Festival of Lights… The Consumer Electronics Show (CES) is nearly upon us! However, being the holidays, Netgear has gifted me with an all-expense paid trip to Vegas plus $2k to blow on showgirls and gambling side trips to museums and the Hoover Dam. The deal is I blog the show for them. As I normally would. How sweet is that? I’m extremely flattered to have been chosen, beating out a variety of great bloggers/blogs such as Davis Freeberg’s Digital Connection and Doug Felteau’s Gizmos for Geeks. Now I can’t be sure what pushed me to the top, but when they wanted to chat I may have said something about my Vonage line being flaky and that it could be Linksys’s fault. ;)

So far, the Netgear folks have been super supportive. For example I said, “I’ll need your travel router and WiFi Skype phone to set up a proper blogger headquarters.” They said, “Done. And we’ll give you a laptop, printer, and shirt.” I assume I can keep that shirt. The details are still being worked out, but it looks like we’ll split content between my site and their’s since they probably don’t have time to get proper blogging software installed. Check out Ponyfish to build a custom RSS feed for the Netgear blog and I’ll put up relevant links as needed.

But wait, there’s more! If you call now, ZNF’s Mari Silbey will also join the party. Even though Mari may have lost her Wynn reservation, I’m psyched she’ll be covering the show too. We’ve scheduled a CES strategy meeting tomorrow AM at Starbucks, though we’ll probably get sidetracked talking about our new holiday gadgets.

In other ZNF news, I was a guest on the EngadgetHD Podcast last week. You can listen to me simultaneously praise and slam the Xbox Video Marketplace, conclude that HD-DVD and Blu-ray will coexist, and proclaim the vast majority of consumers will never see the difference between 1080p and 1080i.

Last, but not least I’ve been “blog spammed tagged” by Thomas Hawk. I’m supposed to divulge five things so you can learn a little more about the man behind the keyboard. Here goes…

  • wrestle.jpgCaptained the high school wrestling team
  • Dropped out of an educational psychology PhD program
  • Trained intelligence analysts
  • Ran three marathons (slowly)
  • Saved a lot of money by switching to GEICO

I tag Kevin Tofel, Jeremy Toeman, StarJewel, Om Malik, and Jason Calacanis.

In closing, I hope everyone has a wonderful holiday season! But no worries: Blogs don’t close and this blogger isn’t taking much of a hiatus — We’ve still got all sorts of stuff to cover before 2007.