My attempt at the top 10 gadgets of the decade

When I read Engadget’s “Ten Gadgets that Defined the Decade“, I was amazed by some of their choices. I could easily think of a few gadgets that changed the way we use technology, but weren’t listed. While I agreed with a couple of items on their list, like the iPhone, I couldn’t help writing my own top 10 of the most influential gadgets of the last ten years. Here are my candidates in random order.
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WD TV Live first impressions

WD TV LiveBack in the days when the first DVD players were introduced, I was employed by Europe’s biggest audio-visual facilitator. So naturally, we dove right in, and I even worked on the menus for a few major movie releases. I remember being blown away by how hours of great image quality could fit onto such a small disc. But recently, those same discs have started to really annoy me. They scratch, they’re easy to misplace and they take up a lot of space if you’ve got many. That’s why I’d been looking at the latest generation of network media players. I got one this weekend for the person in my household who has the most DVDs, my six year old daughter :).
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Conceptronic’s YUIXX: truly all-in-on?

YUIXX media playerEarlier this week, Conceptronic, the people behind the highly acclaimed CFULLHDMA media streamer announced a new media box called YUIXX. Yikes? Not at all. It seems like this product might well bridge the gap between media streamers and full-fledged media center PCs. Judging from the specs, this thing will play back any type of file or stream you throw at it, either from the optional internal hard drive or through your network. In full HD. But what really sets it apart is that it can also record TV from one or two DVB-T tuners.
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Open letter to the Movie Industry

50gb Blu-Ray disc

Dear Movie Industry,

I love movies. I go to the cinema nearly every week, buy and watch lots of DVDs and occasionally catch a flick on TV. I also love high definition video, and now that the ‘format war’ is finally settled I’m looking into buying a Blu-Ray disc player. My problem is however that I own hundreds of movies on ‘standard resolution’ DVDs. I’m afraid these will look poor by comparison, and will eventually have to be replaced.
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Upscaling DVD players, what’s the point?

Kaleidescape 1080p upscaling DVD player

As an old school web designer, I consider myself to have a firm grasp of what pixels are all about. Back in the early 1990′s I used to optimize the hell out of tiny graphics, manually editing colour palettes and using things like Floyd-Steinberg dithering. Maybe this is why I don’t understand the hype about upscaling DVD players like this one.
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Ziggo support

Ziggo

Ziggo is a new cable company here in The Netherlands, that was formed when three major television providers (including mine) recently merged. They introduced their new philosophy in what is probably the worst-recieved TV commercial of the year, so they rubbed me the wrong way even before I had to contact their support desk today. If it wasn’t already clear, this is going to be one of my ‘incompetent companies’ posts…
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