Your guide to what's hot, useful, and just plain fun
From Swiss Army knives to cell phones that take photos and play tunes, what is it about a device that can do a little bit of everything? The MWD-480 from Franklin Electronic Publishers includes five games and a world clock along with 274,000 word definitions. The MP3 player has 119 Mbytes of internal memory and a memory expansion slot. A USB cable transfers audio files from a PC.
Double The Comfort
The SwingArm-Dual from WorkRite Ergonomics lets workers mount on desk or wall two LCD monitors weighing up to 25 pounds. The monitors can be adjusted in any of five positions up to a height of 28-1/4 inches. The aluminum-cast unit has a clamp-and-pole design and each arm rotates 360 degrees, creating an extended range of 23 inches for easy focal-distance adjustment. Prices range from $673 to $693.
In time for Christmas, Panasonic will sell a 103-inch high-definition plasma TV for $70,000. Hardly a stocking stuffer, the display area is 89.3 inches wide by 50.2 inches high. The TH-103PZ600U features full HD pixel resolution of 1,920 horizontal by 1,080 vertical and a contrast ratio of 4,000:1.
Packing greater storage capacity into an available space applies to more than just memory cards. Furniture maker Anthro has designed the eNook, a wall-mounted cabinet that can hold a laptop, cell phones, PDAs, and digital cameras. A 30-inch-wide door flips down to act as a desktop. The $400 eNook can be customized with shelves and an eight-outlet power strip to charge gadgets. It even comes with a lock and vents on all four sides to keep what's inside cool.
Forget the homework, your dog just ate your cell phone! Oasys Mobile has something just for those moments--an online personal storage locker to keep your wallpaper, ring tones, and address book secure so you can replicate your online identity in case disaster strikes. A one-time $7.99 fee also covers a rate-and-recommend feature and a blog forum where you can post photos from your phone.
You're On Speaker
Besides its strong sound quality, thanks to wideband audio, what really distinguishes the Chat 50 speakerphone is that it works with Skype and other Internet phone calls, cell phones, even MP3 players. It's also the first speakerphone that allows Mac users to run Skype and iChat by voice command. Slightly larger than a deck of cards, the $179 Chat 50 USB Plus is very portable.
A high-definition entertainment system in your living room is passé. Here's a new way to impress the neighbors: a home theater for your backyard. The size of a small billboard, Brookstone's weatherproof Outdoor Home Theater Screen inflates to eight feet in four minutes. Two nylon ropes keep it stable, and a pair of speakers boost sound. One catch: The $1,000 price tag doesn't include a projector. Set it up at the end of the driveway for your own drive-in.
5 Top Federal Initiatives For 2015As InformationWeek Government readers were busy firming up their fiscal year 2015 budgets, we asked them to rate more than 30 IT initiatives in terms of importance and current leadership focus. No surprise, among more than 30 options, security is No. 1. After that, things get less predictable.
Join us for a roundup of the top stories on InformationWeek.com for the week of December 7, 2014. Be here for the show and for the incredible Friday Afternoon Conversation that runs beside the program!