TiVo comes to Canada

TiVo, the popular U.S. television-recording device, is finally arriving in Canada in early December.

The TiVo set-top device, which allows viewers to record shows and skip commercials, will be available across Canada — except in Quebec — through Best Buy, Future Shop, The Brick and London Drug stores for $199. Device owners also need to subscribe to the TiVo service, which has a monthly subscription price of $12.95, with discounts available on long-term contracts.

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What is SDV?

SDV stands for Switched Digital Video, a scheme where not all TV channels are broadcast out from the cable headend to the homes that it serves all of the time.

What does this mean for the Series 3 and Tivo HD?

At the current time, the Series 3 and Tivo HD is not able to communicate upstream to the cable headend, so it cannot send the request for channels that are assigned to SDV. Users of the S3 and THD will not be able to watch or record any of these channels. TiVo is working on a work around.

Which channels will be converted to SDV?

Traditional methods send every channel to everyone, and if no one on your headend is watching that channel the bandwidth is effectively wasted.

Is this likely to change anytime soon?

The NCTA and TiVo announced that a dongle will be available in the first half of 2008 that will enable the TiVo to work with SDV channels. It will be a USB device that connects to a USB port on the TiVo and then plugs into the cable TV cable.

What about FIOS?

Right now, because of the fact that FIOS uses fiber optic cable to your house, FIOS has no need to deploy SDV – they have all the bandwidth that they need.

Where is SDV located right now?
SDV deployments are changing very rapidly, but according to a recent article in the WSJ (reg required) and a few reports from members, here are the markets that have at least one SDV channel.

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Ground Surf

Designed by Ratleads, Paris-based company, GroundSurf is a three-wheeled board that you ride on the streets, is powered by an electric motor and has its speed controlled through a Bluetooth enabled cellular phone. So it’s an electric skateboard, right?

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Via BlueTomorrow

for more info visit

PLEO robo-dino

PLEO the robo-dino was designed to emulate the appearance and behavior of a week-old baby Camarasaurus. It was designed by Caleb Chung, the co-creator of the Furby, and manufactured by Ugobe.

Indeed it’s promising but can it really replace your cat/dog pet?

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iRobot Roomba Model 4220

The loyal and faithful iRobot Roomba Discovery SE – Model 4220 will clean your house without ever asking for anything but a plug and maybe a little backup if it runs into the cat. Roomba senses and finds dirt. Once dirtier areas are detected, Roomba automatically increases the intensity and focus of its cleaning.

It’s generally not Woot’s policy to link to outside sites, just like it’s not the iRobot Roomba Discovery SE – Model 4220’s policy to leave any dirt behind. It has two Virtual Walls that can be programmed to keep your Roomba out of off-limit areas. Roomba has the built-in intelligence to automatically return to its self-charging home base when its battery is low or it has completed a cleaning cycle. This means your Roomba will always be charged and ready for its next cleaning mission. Not bad for a household appliance ayt?

robot news

NASA’s Spirit and Opportunity have gotten a two year funding extension to continue their mission across Mars. MedGadget are keeping us up to date on robots in the medical field including the NeuroArm robot that performs MRI-guided neurosurgery, and the zero-gravity surgical robot software developed by SRI. Woot continues to appeal to robot lovers everywhere by offering Wowwee Roboquads for $50. South Korea to Build Robot Theme Parks by 2013 according to MSNBC.

Dell’s 3008WFP

Although Samsung was the first to release the world’s first DisplayPort, Dell’s New 30-Inch 3008WFP is making a great seen succeeding the 3007WFP. After 9 months of improving the flaws; flaws in terms of limited resolutions and features, Dell is making sure that its next-gen part will meet every geek’s needs.. Dell looked hard at all the faults of the 3007WFP and 3007WFP-HC and is now ready with its successor, after some nine months of development. This monitor comes with two dual-link DVI connectors, thus hardware testers will be able to hook up two testbeds via DVI, and one testbed via analogue D-SUB connection. This is
only the beginning, since this baby also comes
Dell’s 3007WFP with Component, S-VHS, Composite in, USB upstream connector (for 4-port USB hub and 9-in-2 card reader). Dell’s 3008WFP packs the DisplayPort input with its visual-cortex-pleasing 2560×1600 resolution support and 10.8Gbps data rate.
No word on any other improvements, but with that many inputs, we’re pretty certain you can find something to plug into this thing and be glad but not contented…

Connector overview: 3 and 4 are speaker outputs (HDMI), 5 is D-SUB, 6 Component input, 7 is DisplayPort, 8 HDMI, 9 are DVI-D’s, 10/11 TV in