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skooba-proporta-ipod-cases

Skooba, venerable maker of Checkpoint-friendly laptop bags and other sturdy computer cases (and CES CtrStg sponsor), has started selling Proporta-brand cases for portable gear as of today. Normally I wouldn’t bother reporting on reseller news, even a US exclusive, but 1. I like Skooba, and 2. Proporta has some nice-looking stuff. I’ve found it oddly difficult to find nice cases for some of my gadgets, so any new supplier is welcome.

The full Proporta line-up includes everything from drawstring, to leather, to neoprene, and outfits itsy bitsy devices like the iPod Shuffle (all versions) all the way up to 10″ netbooks and full-size laptops. I had hoped the netbook cases would include include handles (I’m ready to replace my fashionable-but-rapidly-soiled Golla bag freebie), but like most on the market, they’re only netbook sleeves with no easy carrying attachment. On the other hand, the Proporta selection of iPod and other MP3 player cases is quite impressive. Fashion and function are both well represented.

No word on how wide a range of products Skooba will sell from the Proporta line (iPod cases now, but more products coming soon), but Skooba did send us a coupon for our readers if you want to do some shopping. You can get 15% off any Proporta items through the end of May. Use discount code PROPORTA.

The TiVo Schwag Giveaway

Dave Zatz —  May 16, 2009

tivo-ball

I realize I’ve been a bit critical of TiVo lately and they’ve got a fine, new retail competitor in Moxi. But we want TiVo fans to know ZNF still has love for you. This TiVo schwag prize package I’ve collected over the last couple months consists of a window cling 3-pack for your car(s), a deck of Comcast TiVo playing cards, and a basketball with TiVo logos (bring your own pump). Entering the contest is as easy as it gets, simply leave a comment. (US residents in the lower 48 only, please.) We’ll choose the winner at random in a few days.

hava-gold1

What we’ve got here is a new Hava Gold ($100) placeshifter up for grabs. The Slingbox-esque device broadcasts your home television content from DVR or other set-top box to just about anywhere. Unlike a Sling, Hava also enables multicasting within the home, supports remote control IR learning, and offers free mobile software clients (Windows Mobile, Symbian S60, Nokia N810). Of course, Hava provides the requisite Windows software and it looks like OS X support is under development. At CES, the Hava team announced an upcoming video sharing portal and demo-ed an iPhone client.

Entering the giveaway is as easy as it gets, simply leave a comment. (US residents in the lower 48 only, please.) We’ll choose the winner at random in a few days.

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The MagicJack Giveaway

Dave Zatz —  February 13, 2009

magicjack

I take on review gear with the best of intentions, but frequently find myself short on time or just plain distracted. And for that I apologize to the magicJack folks who provided me a device at the CTIA show nearly a year ago. So, before any more time passes, I figured the best thing to do is get this unit out to someone who will appreciate it.

MagicJack is a small USB doohickey, which works with both Windows and OS X, that allows you to make unlimited calls to the US and Canada. You’ll also be issued a phone number, with an area code of your choosing, to receive calls. A typical/traditional phone can be plugged directly into the magicJack (get it? magic jack) or the software can be used Skype-like with a headset. $40 gets you magicJack and a year of service; additional years of connectivity run $20/each. (Of course, this particular unit will cost one lucky ZNF reader nothing.) The company seems to be on a tear – the PC Mag Editors’ Choice has moved over 2 million units. Although, not without experiencing some growing pains.

Entering the giveaway is as easy as it gets, simply leave a comment. (US residents in the lower 48 only, please.) We’ll choose the winner at random in a few days.

It’s not the latest. Nor is it the greatest. But if you’re on the market for a budget NAS, $40 is hard to beat. (Shipping looks to run about $8 – $15.) This refurb Buffalo LinkStation Live incorporates a single 320GB drive and is supported by a 90 day warranty. Assuming the unit is similar to an earlier version I owned back in 2005, the Linkstation is powered by Linux, great for tweakability, and supports a variety of media serving and networking options out of the box. (Though, hopefully with a quieter fan.) At the very least, you’ll be able to use this networked drive as part of a backup strategy and/or to centralize an iTunes collection. Once you’ve picked up the LinkStation Live, head on over to Buffalo Tech’s support site for the latest device firmware and desktop utilities. Thanks for the tip, Jon!