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May 2005

Wednesday 11 May

  • Archos Gmini XS 100 3GB MP3 Player (13:49) - Archos have announced their new 3GB MP3 player: the Gmini XS 100. The Gmini XS 100 has a 3GB hard drive in a package comparable in size to the ipod mini: 3.6" x 1.7" x 0.5” and 2.8oz, and is very competitively pticed at $179. Other features of the Gmini XS 100 are 4 colors (blue, pink, black, and silver), USB 2.0, support for MP3 WMA and WAVEm 1.5" greyscale 128 x 128 LCD, and 14hr battery life. If you are looking for an inexpensive MP3 player but need more space than a flash based player this could be a good choice. (more from Archos)...

Tuesday 10 May

  • Xbox 360 Leaks (13:57) - Lots of leaks concerning the Xbox 360 and Gaming Horizon has summarized them well: 16:9 HD Game Play 3 USB 2.0 Ports Support for 4 Wireless Controllers Detachable 20GB Hard-drive Wi-Fi Ready 3 PowerPC CPUs at 3.2GHz 500 Mhz ATI GPU 512 MB GDDR3 Ram (lots more at Gaming Horizon)...

Monday 9 May

  • Gateway 6GB MP3 Photo Jukebox (13:36) - Gateway have tried firing a shot across the bows of apple and the ipod mini by launching the Gateway 6GB MP3 Photo Jukebox, unfortunately the shot appears to have misfired. Technically the Photo Jukebox is nice with a 6gb hard drive, 1.6" 128 x 128 pixel color LCD, USB 2.0, sync with Microsoft Media Player 10, and 8 to 10 hr battery life, all in a 3.8 x 2.3 x 0.7 inch 3.4oz $249 package. Visually though the Photo Jukebox just doesn't do it for me, the screen is to small to see anything and the controls look fiddly. Gateway should have stuck with the all metal look of their 4GB model. (more at Gateway)...
  • Creative Muvo Mix (iPod Shuffle Competitor) (13:26) - Creative have come out with a competitor to the iPod Shuffle, trying to grab some of the shuffles reported 50+% market share of the flash MP3 market. The Muvo Mix comes in 4 flavors: 64MB, 128MB, 256MB, and 512MB, is 2.87" x 1.38" x 0.63" and weighs 1.39oz....

Sunday 8 May

  • Xbox 360 First Photo (13:31) - Engadget has scored a coup with the first photo of the Xbox 360, apprently taken by someone with a cameraphone at the Xbox 360 Revealed launch party in Los Angeles. Looks vaguely mac-like to us. (via Engadget)...
  • PalmOne LifeDrive on Amazon (13:24) - The PalmOne LifeDrive has shwon up on amazon with the following description: The LifeDrive mobile manager from palmOne is the perfect companion for your digital lifestyle. With a 4 GB hard drive, extra-sharp high-resolution color display and built-in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth support, you can easily manage, access and share your documents and media files. Includes email support, plus MP3 player and photo viewer.Drag and drop thousands of files from your PC. LifeDrive Manager does the synchronizing for you, preserving your PC's directory structure and ensuring you always have the most recent versions of your documents safely with you. You can store and access years of email, thousands of documents, presentations and photos, hundreds of songs and hours of video... The non-volatile memory keeps your information safe.Stay connected via your mobile phone or at public Wi-Fi hotspots. Access your POP, IMAP and Exchange email accounts and browse the web. Or,...

Saturday 7 May

  • Intel Pentium Extreme Edition 840 Dual Core Processor (13:15) - Tech Report has reviewed the first dual-core processor from Intel: the Intel Pentium Extreme Edition 840 Dual Core Processor. The 840 is Intel's current flagship desktop processor featuring a pair of Prescott 3.2GHz Pentium 4 cores each with 1MB of L2 cache, and buying one will hit your wallet for a hefty $999. Is it worth that major moolah?, the answer is yes if you need speed and your applications support threading, but try running older non-threading applications and you will be left in the dust compared to a good Athlon 64. (Full Review at Tech Report)...

Friday 6 May

  • PalmOne LifeDrive (13:02) - Looks like Brighthand got the scoop on the PalmOne LifeDrive, Palm's new high-end handheld that is the first handheld with a built-in hard drive (come on Microsoft: where are the Pocket PCs with this hardware??). The current rumored spec is as follows: 415Mhz Xscale processor, PalmOS Garnet, 32 or 64MB RAM, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, USB 2.0, SD card slot, 320 x 480 pixel display, and a 4GB Hitachi hard drive. The LifeDrive is expected to be 4.7 x 2.8 x 0.8 inches in size, will weigh in at 6.8oz, and will cost around $500. No word yet on the hit the battery life takes from the hard drive. (via Brighthand)...

Thursday 5 May

  • LG Plasma HDTV with DVR (12:46) - LG has introduced a couple of new plasma HDTVs with built in DVR (digital video recorders). While these look pretty we don't think this is a step in the right direction as there will always be problems with the cable and satellite providers trying to control everyone's TV experience. These TV work with the "industry standard" CableCARD, the same CableCARD system that nearly every US cable and satellite provider is ignoring. A perfect example of this is Time Warner Cable who have a webpage devoted to proving how limited CableCARD is and how you are better off with their set-top box. The main downside of CableCARD is that it is one-way only so you can't get Pay-Per-View or your cable companies program guide. Other downsides to these TVs are their cost ($15k for 60-inch and $8k for 50-inch) and small storage capacity (just 12 hrs of HDTV). We think...

Monday 2 May

  • Buffalo LinkTheater (10:08) - If you are looking to stream video, music, and photos from your PC to a TV and are concerned about some of the drawbacks of the Microsoft Media Center edition software with Media Center extenders then the Buffalo LinkTheater could be the answer: Unlike a Media Center Extender it supports all popular video formats including Xvid and DivX (allowing much smaller files sizes). Unlike a Media Center Extender you can stream HDTV (720p and 1080i). Unlike a Media Center Extender the LinkTheater has a built-in DVD player. The downside to this extra functionality is that the LinkTheater isn't designed to talk to a media center PC so you can't browse TV listings, watch live TV, or schedule recordings. (Buffalo Product Page)...
  • Power over Ethernet (09:54) - DSP Design has unveiled the first PC that is powered through a standard ethernet (CAT5) cable. The POET 6000 is less than an inch thick, silent, runs windows XP from a flash drive, has a touch screen, uses only 13w of power, and in our opinion would be perfect as a media center extender & web browser in your kitchen/bedroom etc. (more from DSP Design via BBC)...

Sunday 1 May

  • MacOS 10.4 Tiger Launched (09:40) - Apple really knows how to milk their fanatically loyal customer base with a $130 operating system upgrade every year. This year's release is MacOS X version 10.4, aka Tiger (Grrrowl), and the main things you get for your $130 are the following: Spotlight: basically a hard drive search application that is built in the OS to make it nice and fast. Dashboard: Lots of cure little widgets for your desktop RSS: The Safari web browser now supports RSS feeds Compatibility: Plays nicer with Windows PCs Is it worth the $130?, our verdict is nope, but if you're thinking of buying a mac make sure it comes with 10.4....
  • Knife-Proof Clothing (from Japan, of course) (09:13) - Madre offers a range of clothing that they claim is knife proof but still looks like normal clothes. The clothes are offered in various styles and colors and the range includes undershirts, sweatshirts, and coats, and you can even get it embroidered (who wants one with "go on , knife me, I dare ya!" on the back?). This superhuman ability to resist knife attacks doesn't come cheap: $800 for a sweatshirt, so wannabe superheroes and vigilantes had better start saving. (Madre, via I4U)...
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ShinyPlastic is brought to you by Search Network and operated by Mark:

Mark is a thirty-something guy living in New York who loves to own the latest tech gadgets but also loves a positive bank balance.

Mark visited gadget sites that list every upcoming gadget but dont let you buy them, and coupon sites that list great deals but don't tell you what is hot; hence Shiny Plastic, how to get the nice Shiny Plastic tech gadgets without ruining your credit.

Mark reviews every fun gadget that he buys, searches other technology sites for interesting items, and regularly searches all the online stores for the best deals.
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