Bonnie Cha

This week in Crave: The watch-out-for-that-bear edition

Too busy searching your couch for spare change for the $1,300 Resident Evil 6 “Premium Edition” to keep up with Crave this week? It’s a cool bundle, for sure, but here’s another awesome bundle that you can have for absolutely free! That’s right, it’s another collection of our favorite stories from Crave.

CC Greg Hume/Wikipedia)

&#149 This is why you should never text and walk!

&#149 If this feel-good story about a 9-year-old boy and his homemade cardboard arcade doesn’t make you smile, you have a heart of stone.

&#149 Goodbye Canadian penny, hello glow-in-the-dark quarter!

&#149 If anyone gives you grief for playing too many video games, tell them you’re studying art.

&#149 Imagine trying to tap out the Konam… [Read more]

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Watch now: Texting man ambushed by bear

What’s your dream Apple product?

What would your dream Apple product look like?


Once again, the tech world is abuzz (well, haters aside maybe) with talk of a new Apple product that could debut in the next eight months.

French designer Philippe Starck, whose portfolio includes hotels, restaurants, and even toothbrushes, revealed today to France Info radio that he’s working with the Cupertino, Calif.-based company to create a “revolutionary” new product.

Of course, he didn’t provide any additional details on what that product might be, citing Apple’s “religious cult of secrecy,” but Starck did say he met with the late Steve Jobs once a month for seven years to collaborate on the project and talk about “all things interesting.” The designer added that he continues to travel to California to meet with Jobs’ widow Laurene Powell.

Now, we wouldn’t fault anyone for thinking this product might be the … [Read more]

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iPhone 5 rumor roundup

Friday Poll: Are smart watches finally ready for prime time?

Sarah Tew/CNET)

Smart watches are not a new concept.

In June 2003, Microsoft announced its grand plan to bring the Internet to wristwatches using its Smart Personal Objects Technology. The company partnered with various watchmakers, including Citizen, Fossil, and Suunto, to create timepieces that allowed you to check messages and calendar appointments, as well as weather, news, stock prices, and sports scores, all from your wrist.

While novel and interesting, the watches never took off, and in April 2008, Microsoft decided to pull the plug on the smart-watch business. But were those watches really a bad idea or simply a case of an idea being ahead of its time?

It may be the latter, as smart watches seem to be making a comeback. Just this week, Sony’s SmartWatch went on sale for $150. The timepiece allows you to connect to any Android-powered phone via Bluetooth; displays your text messages, e-mails, and social updates; and lets you manage phone calls and music.

Also making news this week is t… [Read more]

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Crave giveaway: VooMote One


Congratulations to Richard H. of Winston Salem, N.C., for winning the Samsung Galaxy S II, Epic 4G Touch (Sprint) in last week’s giveaway! We have another phone-related prize for you this week, and this one will help you organize all the gadgets around your house.

We are giving away the’s VooMote One for the iPhone and iPod Touch. The accessory and complementary app turn your mobile device into a universal remote for your TV, DVD player, stereo, and other home electronics. The app offers a number of features, including the capability to organize devices by room and One View, which displays multiple remotes on one screen.

Normally, the VooMote One would cost you $99.99, but here’s your chance to get it for free. How? Well, there are a few rules, so please read carefully. There will be a test.

  • Register as a CNET user. Go to the top of this page and hit the Join CNET link to start the registration process. If you’re already registered, there’s no need to register again.
  • Leave a comment below. You can leave whatever comment you want. If it’s funny or insightful, it won’t help you win, but we’re trying to have fun here, so anything entertaining is appreciated.
  • Leave only one comment. You may enter for this specific giveaway only once. If you enter more than one comment, you will be automatically disqualified.
  • The winner will be chosen randomly. The winn… [Read more]

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Awesome 9-year-old’s cardboard arcade gets flashmobbed

A proud Caine Monroy and his cardboard arcade.

Video screenshot by Bonnie Cha/CNET)

Remember on the first day of grade school when your teachers would ask you to come up to the front of the room and tell your classmates what you did during your summer vacation? Inevitably, there would be tales of frolicking at the beach, camping at national parks, and other cool activities, but we think 9-year-old Caine Monroy just might have the greatest story of all.

A big fan of arcades, Monroy spent his summer creating his own arcade (called Caine’s Arcade, naturally) at his dad’s auto parts store in east Los Angeles. Using cardboard boxes and the power of imagination, he built true classics like pop-a-shot, mini soccer, and even a claw machine using an S hook and some yarn.

He took care to include such details as a ticket dispenser for each game (Monroy manually feeds the tickets through a slot from inside the box), a prize wall, and gift bags. Monroy even devised a brilliant security system to verify the validity of the monthly Fun Pass, which gets you 500 turns for just $2 (alternatively, you can pay $1 for two turns), so don’t even think about trying to cheat at Caine’s Arcade.

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This week in Crave: The live long-and-prosper edition

Embroiled in a war of words with a fellow Instagram user? Please guys, it’s just an app. Do yourself a favor. Step away from the keyboard, pour yourself a soft-serve beer, and relax with this week’s top stories from Crave.


&#149 OMG, is President Obama really a Vulcan?!

&#149 Speaking of which, this captain’s chair will let you sit long and prosper — as long as you’re under 120 pounds.

&#149 Dear Apple, it’s time to dump the iPod Touch. Sincerely, Donald Bell

&#149 Ashton Kutcher will play Steve Jobs in a new movie (whaaaat?), but who should play Woz? My vote is still Zach Galifianakis.

&#149 BioWare buckles to pressure, … [Read more]

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Crave giveaway: Samsung Galaxy S II, Epic 4G Touch (Sprint)

Sarah Tew/CNET)

Congrats to Dianna S. of West Sacramento, Calif., for winning the IoSafe Solo G3 in last week’s giveaway. The external hard drive should come in quite handy for backing up all her data, but this week’s prize will come in handy in case you need to call for back up.

Up for grabs is the Samsung Galaxy S II, Epic 4G Touch for Sprint. Aside from having the longest name in cell phone history, the Android smartphone offers a spacious and sharp 4.5-inch Super AMOLED Plus touch screen, a dual-core processor, and support for Sprint’s 4G WiMax network.

In addition, the handset features a front-facing 2-megapixel camera and a rear-facing 8-megapixel camera that takes excellent photos and can record 1080p HD video.

Normally, the Samsung Epic 4G Touch would retail for $499.99 off contract, but here’s your chance to get one for free. (Note: You will be responsible for signing up for your own voice and data plan.) How? Well, there are a few rules, so please read carefully. There will be a test.

Minecraft creator heading to space for new game

Markus Persson )

Who would have thought a Java-based game about creating a world out of 3D blocks would blow up like it did? But with more than 5 million copies sold and 25 million registered users, Minecraft is still going strong and spawning new ventures. Can its creator duplicate this kind of success? Well, we may soon find out because a new game is in the works.

Minecraft maker Markus “Notch” Persson revealed his plans for a new game, temporarily called “0x10c,” that has roots in hard-core science fiction. Still in early development, 0x10c is based on the idea that a group of humans were accidentally put into a deep sleep in 1988 and are now finding themselves waking up in the year 281 474 976 712 644 AD in a parallel universe that’s nearing extinction.

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As one of the survi… [Read more]

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Researchers mod computer to copycat human motions

Video screenshot by CNET)

Webcams and video-conferencing software like Skype have really enhanced the way we communicate with friends, family, and colleagues around the world. Even so, talking to a floating head on a computer screen can still feel pretty cold, and it doesn’t look like we’re going to get a teleportation device any time soon (le sigh). However, researchers at Stanford University are hoping to make that interaction a little more lifelike with a computer that can mimic human motions.

David Sirkin and Wendy Ju from Stanford’s Center for Design Research created a motorized flat-screen display that copycats various human motions like shrugging, nodding, and laughing. The team did so by adding motors to the Apple iMac G4 and then linking it to software that reads a person’s movements and instructs the G4’s moveable arm to perform one of nine motions.

These moves, which include nodding up and down for yes and moving side to side for no, as well as leaning in and out — all are controlled by the user via a Wii game controller. The team also added a robotic arm for extra effects, such as tapping on the table to get someone’s attention.

I like the idea in theory, though I have my doubts about how much more perso… [Read more]

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Condom-storing case protects you and your iPhone

I’m just going to put this out there. The Playa Case for the iPhone 4/4S just might be one of the dumbest things I’ve ever seen.

Created by Australian company Annex Products, the brainchild behind the Opena bottle opener case (which I’m totally onboard with, by the way), the Playa Case features a slide-out compartment where you can store — wait for it — condoms!

That’s right, no more rings on your wallet. Instead, you can now flirt worry-free with this classy and discreet rubber dispenser. Just imagine how impressed your lady friend will be when you slide open the Playa Case to reveal a selection of condoms as if you’re offering her a mint. You’re sure to get lucky in no time like Chris in the video below. Yeah, no.

But hey, as they say, “Don’t hate the playa, hate the game,” so if this sort of thing interests you, you can pick the Playa Case this summer for $29.95 in black, white, or pink. The accessory can hold up to two condoms, though I suppose you could store other things like business cards, cash, a clue?

[Read more]

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