Everyone has always wondered about all the cool swag we computer journalists get at these invite-only press parties. Well, now you know -- we get HABANERO SAUCE! This was an exclusive parting gift for those of us that got there early, as there were only 50 of these. I got some tortilla chips and chili with their names on these!
As this was the "Holiday Spectacular", even though this was the middle of September, everyone was decked out in Christmas garb. This very nice PR flack is passing out Red and Green Christmas beads. What I want to know is, where are the Blue and White Hanukkah beads?
This is a pre-production model of the Canon EOS 50D, the latest and greatest DSLR. 15.1 megapixels, yowza. With just the body itself in the $1400 range, you'd better have a thick wallet this holiday season if you want the ultimate in Canon Digital SLRs.
The real reason us bloggers go to these parties is for all the free booze. Most of us could care less about the products themselves. After making a bee-line for the bar and taking in a few scotches, most of us are too tanked to take notes or have a meaningful discussion with a product rep anyway.
Here's one of SONY's top of the line integrated Hi-Def multimedia PCs. This one has a huge 1080P display with integrated Blu-Ray drive. This one runs Vista, but I'd love to load Linux on it and run a few virtual machines on it for doing serious systems admin tasks and software testing.
The eyefi is a SD card with an integrated Wi-Fi transceiver, so your digital camera can transmit photos directly to a laptop or a PC with a Wi-Fi connection.
This turtle-shaped device that resembles a child's remote control toy is actually a robotic telepresence webcam with integrated Wi-Fi. This means from across the world, you can use this thing to patrol your house or give guided tours of buildings. I could do some pretty twisted stuff with this thing.
The Nyko Intercooler is an essential accessory for those of you addicted to your XBOXes and PS3s. Its an integrated thermal protection system that knows when your prized $400 set-top game system is overheating. Considering that most of the failures of these machines can be attributed to improper ventilation and heat dissipation problems, $25 isn't a lot of money to spend on protecting your favorite toy.
Buffalo has been one of the premier manufacturers for PC accessories for over two decades. This "Shinobi" miniature USB drive which will be released for the holidays has a 60GB capacity and fits in the palm of a small lady's hand.
Cucku Backup is a product who's time has come -- a free critical data backup service that uses the spare hard drive space on your other "peer" PCs, such as those of your friends and other family members. Cucku, which uses the Skype network, currently only runs in Windows now as its build in .NET 2.0 but a Mac version is expected soon.
The folks over at ScanCafe are providing an extremely valuable service -- send your negatives, slides or photos to them, and they will scan in as well as restore all your source material using real human eyeballs and photo retouching tools, not computer algorithms. They price their service at around 24 cents per scan. You can preview their work after they are done and only pay for the scans you want.
POWER TOOLS! YES! Black and Decker has some cool tools for 2009, and they are designed to be user-friendlier, with large selector knobs with picture icons that indicate function. Sort of like those old Fisher-Price toys from the 70's that made farm animal sounds when you selected the right picture and pulled the string.
This may have not have been the sexiest table at the show but it definitely was one of the coolest products being shown, an automobile/marine night vision system. The FLIR is an option on Mercedes-Benz cars for about $2700 but you can have one installed in your vehicle for around $3000-$3500.
The Cat Genie is a true toilet system for your cat, which uses running water and can flush the waste thru your regular toilet tank. No litter is actually used, its a gravel with a litter consistency that constantly gets washed by the unit. The cost? Around $350. I know some stinky cat houses and apartments that could really use one of these things.
3M is the premier manufacturer of polarized privacy filters for notebook computers. Now you can have the same protection from snoopy onlookers for your mobile device as well. The product is expected to sell for $10, and acts as a screen protector as well. To install, simply cut to fit with a scissor and peel off the adhesive backing.