Mac Media Centre Remotes

Posted by:
Date: Wednesday, March 22nd, 2006, 08:00
Category: Accessory

mac-mini-remotes.jpgApple makes some nice Bluetooth gear but having a full-sized keyboard on your coffee table is just as bad. The new Front Row remote looks good but can’t control a TV tuner and if you’ve spent any time trying to control EyeTV you’ll know it needs a lot of buttons.
To make your Mac Mini into a true consumer Media Center, something like the ATI Remote Wonder (US$49, pictured) is ideal. Every single button is programmable meaning it can control any application and any option that has a keyboard shortcut. The only thing I’ve found lacking with this set up, is the ability to type in the occasional words while surfing or searching the iTunes Store / EyeTV guide.
This little beauty on the right, the Freedom mini Bluetooth Keyboard (£60, ~US$100, pictured), solves this perfectly. It’s not cheap but it is small enough to sit unobtrusively next to your other remotes and has a nice power save feature. Crazily it’s not advertised anywhere as being Mac compatible but it’s recognized by Mac OS X using the built in HID profile – no drivers needed. it works perfectly and all Apple shortcuts are available by pressing that (windows-esque) Start button by the space bar.
The only things missing from making this a killer remote would be a row of programmable keys along the top for controlling media apps & if that cool looking cursor pad (bottom left) could be used for controlling the mouse.
Anyone else have any good (or bad) experiences with media center remotes?
Contributed by: Ditch

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Building Buzz

Posted by:
Date: Wednesday, March 22nd, 2006, 08:38
Category: News

I thought the following might interest you and/or your readers and would appreciate a link if you consider it interesting enough…

Building Buzz
Apple has it. Google has it. Microsoft fails at it. Yahoo! sometimes does and sometimes doesn’t. What I am talking about is buzz and coolness.
It seems every time Apple or Google introduces a new product, the buzz is high. For example, Apple recently introduced a $350 speaker and, while the reaction was more tepid than it has been for other Apple products, no one seem to point that the emperor was looking very very naked. Yet, Microsoft keeps throwing out new products and few people seem to be very interested (no matter how Scoble tries to browbeat us into thinking of Microsoft as cool).
Similarly, today, Google introduced a finance section that mimicked much of what yahoo! finance has been doing for years. It has a couple of nice AJAX-based features but, all and all, it’s not enough of an improvement to be considered like something that could potentially dominate the tech news cycle. And yet, every major tech pub or mainstream publication has covered the release.

Read the rest of the article at tnl.net.
(Contributed by: Tristan Louis)

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