802.11n, Format War, and Dr. Who

Man, this place is nice . Welcome to the first installment of the new, improved Gadgetbox blog. Those of you who’ve been following our antics thus far know the drill: Gadgetbox brings you the latest in gizmos, gadgets, gear, games, and other and sundry technological developments beginning with the letter ‘G.’ Looking for the latest on the Gopher protocol? We have you covered .

This being our inaugural entry authored from Gadgetbox’s new mountaintop lair, I thought we’d take a roundup of the latest developments in three of our most popular topics: wireless networking, the Next-Generation Optical Format War, and, of course, Time Lords .

The “ayes” have it for Draft 2.0 of 802.11n

I tell you, the IEEE really puts the “working” in “working group.” They’ve been plugging away on the latest update to the 802.11 wireless networking for quite some time now—so long, in fact, that they had to take a break when Napoleon rampaged through Europe.

But progress is being made. The group recently approved Draft 2.0 of the specification. And unlike previous votes, the 75 percent threshold of votes needed was easily achieved this time. Maybe we can finally put all that wrangling and fighting behind us. The good news is that the Wi-Fi Alliance trade group will now start certifying gear sold as Draft 2.0-compliant. Since Draft 2.0 is expected to be fully compatible with the final version of ‘N,’ any gear you buy with that approval should last for the long haul.

All is not quite finished with the 802.11n process, though. There still remain the hurdles of Draft 3.0 and the final version, expected in 2008 and 2009 respectively. Oh good: just in time for us to make contact.

Half Blu-Ray, half HD-DVD—all internal drive

LG made quite a stir at CES this year with their hybrid HD-DVD/Blu-Ray set-top player. Perhaps peace and harmony could still be achieved in this seemingly incessant battle between Oceania and Eurasia.

Unsatisfied with merely bringing peace to the set-top market, LG has fired a second shot across the bows of the warring factions by announcing a hybrid internal recorder, the GGW-H10N. If that tongue twister doesn’t quite do it for you, then perhaps you’ll find the moniker “Super Multi Blue” more melodious to your ears.

The Super Multi Blue will read and write CDs, DVDs, and Blu-Ray discs, and features a Serial ATA connection. While they are bragging about HD-DVD compatibility, it is worth noting that the GGW-H10N will only play HD-DVDs, not record them. However, it will allow Blu-Ray recording at 4x, which means you can burn a 25GB Blu-Ray disc in under 25 minutes.

While there’s no official price released yet, expectations are that the drive will be sold for less than $1200 (the price of LG’s hybrid set-top player), this May. [ via Engadget ]

Good shot, Jansen

What would the first new Gadgetbox column be without a reference to everybody’s favorite time traveler, the Doctor? I’ll tell you this: it certainly wouldn’t be Gadgetbox.

So, what do you get when you cross a Doctor Who fetish with arcade games and a man with too much time on his hands? A homebuilt TARDIS arcade machine, naturally . Simon Jansen, the same crazy fellow that brought you Star Wars re-enacted in ASCII has apparently filled the rest of his spare time by concocting a replica of the Doctor’s TARDIS, which also functions as a fully working arcade machine.

Should you have the same kind of temporal freedom that Simon has, you can follow along and build your very own. You’ll only need some plywood, an old Linux machine to install with MAME, and—repeat after me— way too much time on your hands . Me? I’m waiting for Simon to get the TARDIS fully functional. I’ll head back to Napoleonic Europe and speed the 802.11n process along. [via Gizmodo ]

That’s it for the Gadgetbox this week. We’ll be back with more new gadgets and gear next week, so keep your eyes on this space. Should you be some sort of RSS junkie, you can also subscribe to our feed over on the left sidebar there. Just click where you see “XML feed” and play along at home.

Shop Tech Products at Amazon