Stories by Greg Knauss

Dial I for IP


SAN FRANCISCO (09/28/2000) - Pity the telephone, the thick-skulled Neanderthal of the digital world. It plods along on its own isolated branch of the evolutionary tree, without an Ethernet jack or an IP address to call its own. But VoIP, or Voice over Internet Protocol, is about to change all that. VoIP devices such as those from E-tel Corp. (www.e-telcorp.com), IPStarPhone (www.ipstarphone.com), and Super Phone (www.super-phone.com) transform your voice into Internet-compatible data that can be shuttled to any standards-compliant device on the planet -- all without phone-company fees or analog circuitry. VoIP phones require a high-bandwidth connection, but that primitive chunk of plastic on your desk is finally ready to step into the modern world..

I Shall Call It Mini-Me

SAN FRANCISCO (07/27/2000) - Shrink an iMac's size by a factor of 15 and its
functionality by a factor of a few thousand, and what do you have? Idea Nuova's
(212/643-0680) Super Computer, where Super is defined as "LED" and Computer is
defined as "clock." With a multiyear countdown timer and the inability to run
OS X, the US$16 Super Computer comes in blue and orange shades just different
enough to avoid a call from Apple Computer Inc.'s lawyers.

Blame It On Rio

SAN FRANCISCO (07/27/2000) - The next generation of portable cool has arrived.
Excessively sleek, the Rio 600 from S3 Inc. (800/468-5846,
http://www.riohome.com) is how MP3 players would look if Starfleet got into the
consumer electronics business. All gently sloping curves and soothing colors,
the 600 inspires pure aesthetic lust in even the most sedate starship captain.
It plays the MP3 and Windows media formats, and you can upgrade to support
future formats. You can also boost memory to 372MB. Unfortunately, the US$170
Rio 600 ships with an anemic 32MB of memory, enough for an hour of
Klingon-quality sound or a measly half-hour of tunes fit for human ears. Looks,
brains, play-time: two out of three ain't bad.

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