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Feed Techdirt: NBC Direct: Why Designing Consumer Entertainment Services By Committee Is A Dumb (techdirt.com)

Even as NBC is working with Fox on their "Hulu" online video effort, the company, which has shown a stunning lack of understanding of the trends and economics it faces, has launched its NBC Direct video download offering that is noteworthy only for the amount of scorn being heaped upon it from almost every reviewer out there. It appears to have made every single mistake in the book. Limited only to Windows users with IE, draconian DRM, bizarre policies that make the content expire quickly and, of course, clunky software that's difficult to set up and use. Excellent work. Perhaps if NBC spent a little less time worrying about poor corn farmers and a little more on actually providing a product that people wanted, it would get somewhere. Instead, it seems pretty clear that Jeff Nolan is exactly right in describing what happened here. NBC Direct was designed by committee. A bunch of different groups had their say and wanted to make sure this or that "feature" (i.e., "restriction") got added, so as not to interfere with some other plan. None of those people were concerned about the overall product or (gasp!) the customer experience. So what you get is a totally unusable (and, really, who would want to?) service that was a total waste of time and effort by NBC. And, this is the company that's blaming Apple for destroying the entertainment business? Compare NBC's approach to how Apple designs its products, with a strict focus on how it will be used by the consumer. For all the blame NBC is throwing at Apple, it might want to take a look at itself first.

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Feed Engadget: Garmin's GPSMAP 5x15 and 4x10 units do GPS up large (engadget.com)

Filed under: Displays, GPS

With these two screens it's more about potential than actual application: Garmin built these GPSMAP displays to tie in to the "Garmin Marine Network" and provide a large display to show GPS, radar, autopilot, weather, sonar and other miscellaneous boating info on an easy to read screen. The GPSMAP 5015 and 5215 (pictured) feature a 15-inch XGA touchscreen, while the 4010 and 4210 sport a 10.4-inch SVGA screen with a keypad and a set of soft keys for using all your onboard gizmos. Unfortunately, none of this will do you much good out of the water, but we've had it with these 7-inch nav units the industry keeps foisting upon us -- we're ready to do it up boat style.

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Office Depot Featured Gadget: Xbox 360 Platinum System Packs the power to bring games to life!

Media (Apple)

Submission + - Zune 1 vs Zune 2 vs iPod (daniusoft.com)

Bruce writes: "Zune is an iPod killer? How does Microsoft Zune player stack up against Apple's latest video iPods? According to iPod's and Zune's comparison, let's compare them side by side."

Feed Engadget: UC Irvine researchers tout first nano-scale radio (engadget.com)

Filed under: Misc. Gadgets

A pair of researchers at UC Irvine look to be out to make a name for themselves in the increasingly-crowded field of nanotechnology, with them now announcing that they've developed the first nano-scale radio. While the entire setup obviously isn't nano-sized (as you can see above), the demodulator portion of it most definitely is, measuring thousands of time smaller than a human hair. Despite that diminutive size, the demodulator apparently has no trouble translating AM radio waves into sound using nothing more than carbon nanotubes, as you can see and hear for yourself in the video available via the Extreme Tech article linked below.

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Office Depot Featured Gadget: Xbox 360 Platinum System Packs the power to bring games to life!


Submission + - Long-lived Mars rovers to keep on roving (computerworld.com.au)

An anonymous reader writes: They've dealt with software glitches, a damaged and useless front wheel, and fierce dust storms that cut their electrical power production. Still, the two NASA Mars rovers continue to explore the Red Planet and beam back scientific data... possibly through to 2009 with a recently announced project extension. So far, NASA said, Spirit has driven 4.51 miles and sent back more than 102,000 photos of its exploration, while Opportunity has driven about 7.19 miles and sent back more than 94,000 images.

Feed Engadget: Compulab's EM-X270 brings DIY to smartphones (engadget.com)

Filed under: Cellphones

Compulab may start a trend in the do-it-yourself world with its introduction of a fully functional -- less screen -- handheld computer. Starting at $122 you get the basic module running an Intel Xscale CPU up to 520 MHz with either Linux or Windows CE and for a bit more cake can add cellular radio, WiFi, Bluetooth, GPS, camera, or VGA touchscreen to your handset. Of course, you'll need to design yourself a nice housing as they don't seem to carry any, but hey, that's half of the DIY fun right there. Good luck with those projects, and if you make something cool send us your pics.

[Via Redferret]

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Office Depot Featured Gadget: Xbox 360 Platinum System Packs the power to bring games to life!

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