Shower radio smackdown

It occurred to me this week that gadgets are really what separates us from every other species on the planet. I mean, think about it: ever seen a dolphin with an iPod? An elephant playing Wii? I don’t think so. Admittedly, I once saw a kitten with a cordless drill—but it was adorable .

Now, I’m not some sort of speciesist : I don’t think this makes us better than chimpanzees and three-toed sloths. It’s really just a shame that they can’t benefit from this week’s gizmos: a low priced HD DVR, yet another ingenious bread-warming device, and the next stage of shower radio evolution.

TiVo pushing play on low cost HD unit

The mobs that formed before the release of the TiVo Series 3 (the first from the company to support HD content) were no laughing matter. Have you ever seen a crowd of strung out HD junkies? It ain’t pretty. While they may have been somewhat mollified when the unit finally came out, many looked askance at the $800 price tag.

Since then, some of the mob has formed a reunion tour to demand a lower priced HD unit. In May CEO Tom Rogers said that one was on the way; the community dubbed the mythical beast the “Series 3 Lite.” This week, specifications for the budget unit leaked from a variety of online shopping sites, suggesting that perhaps a launch is imminent.

So what exactly are we talking about? The “Lite” (potentially the “TiVo HD”) will, like its big brother, be able to display up to 1080p content, feature two tuners, and the usual mess of inputs, including HD. Of course, the baby in the family doesn’t get all the best stuff: the Lite loses the external OLED display, comes with the standard TiVo remote instead of the Deluxe model, and, perhaps most importantly, comes with only a 160GB hard drive, as opposed to the Series 3’s 250GB drive (that’s a loss of about 10 hours of HD content). There’s no confirmation of whether storage on the Lite will be externally expandable, as it is on the Series 3.

But what you’re really waiting for is the price point, which word has it is just $299. There’s a lot to like about the Lite, and that’s a reasonable cost for it: they’re bound to attract a number of people who wouldn’t think about shelling out the $500 extra for the full Series 3. Sounds like another win for TiVo to rewind and watch over and over again.

[via Ars Technica ]

30 seconds to toast, people

Seems to me it’s been a while since we’ve discussed the most important food group here at Gadgetbox. No it’s not vegetables or fruits, like those self-styled “doctors” might tell you: it’s toast . Pure and simple heated bread. Think about it: it’s got a crunchy exterior, and—when properly prepared—a delicious hot, soft interior. But how to achieve perfection in carbohydrate form?

Appliance maker Krups has popped out an 800-watt, sub-7 lbs. stainless steel beauty of a toaster. We’re talking 8 toasting settings, including defrost and bagels, a mid-cycle cancel function, and cool touch side walls (kid safe!). But best of all, they’ve fitted the model with an LCD screen that will tell you exactly when your toast will be ready. Has it really taken us until the 21st century to achieve something so simple, so elegant?

This fantastic machine will set you back $60, it’s true, but for a lifetime supply of the perfect toast, that’s a small price to pay. You’ll know what I’m talking about once you’ve built your first House of Toast. Remember: Toast. It’s not just for breakfast anymore.

[via Oh Gizmo! ]

Your current shower radio will be deleted

Pitiful humans, with your AM/FM radios. Your wireless audio device requires upgrading , and we have just the way to do it. We shall make it waterproof, for use in your cleansing rituals, and we shall make part of it glow blue .

Erm, but we Cybermen, as it turns out, are just a wee bit strapped for cash, so if you wouldn’t mind giving us about $30, that’d be great . Thanks. Look, there’s no place to really keep money when you’re this advanced , alright? We’ve upgraded beyond pockets .

Oh, and also, you’ll need three AAA batteries. Those’ll cost extra. No complaining, or we’ll send you to Cyberia. Just a little Cyberman humor, there, pathetic fleshling—you’ll laugh if you know what’s good for you.

[via Gizmodo ]

Well, that wraps up this week’s episode of Gadgetbox. Now, I don’t want to give away next week’s gizmo, but I will say this: TARDIS-shaped toaster with USB ports. Eh? Eh? See you then.

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