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Winning Digital Designs Took Only 15 Minutes to Create

Earlier this month, New York City hosted the Cut & Paste Global Championship, the culmination of a series of digital design competitions held around the world. Designers from 16 cities contended for the grand prizes in 2-D, 3-D, and motion design, in 15-minute battles pitting their creativity and skill against the clock. Switched photographer Matthew McMullen Smith was there, and managed to...

Classic Computer Keyboards Revisited

Okay, this is our last post from that Vintage Computer Festival, we promise, but we thought there was something kind of beautiful about all those retro keyboards we saw, especially after seeing them through the lens of Matthew McMullen Smith's camera. Take a look at the gallery below and let us know if you agree. (We call first dibs on the all-turquoise and PET computer keyboards!) ...

Retro Logos From the Early Days of Computing

Last week, we showed you the biggest exhibitions we saw at the Vintage Computer Festival East 2009. Still, we also became mildly obsessed with all the logos we saw on those retro PCs. So, we asked our photographer, Matthew McMullen Smith, to shoot some close-ups of as many retro logos (and vintage fonts) as he could find on the various restored computers that were on display. If you're a ret...

Vintage Computers Get the 'Classic Car' Treatment at VCF East 6.0

We trekked down to the New Jersey shore a couple of weeks ago to attend the Vintage Computer Festival East 6.0, an annual gathering of serious computer enthusiasts who prepare and exhibit working, restored computers from '50s, '60s, '70s and very early '80s ("essentially nothing later than a 186," says festival organizer Evan Koblentz). The festival is run by the Mid-Atlantic Retro Computing Ho...

Phone Booths of the World, Past and Present

In this era of mobile phones, super-light netbooks, Twitter, and Skype, the reliable old phone booth has really gone the way of the dodo (or at least seems as though it's about to). When was the last time you actually used (or found) a working public phone, for example? Well, some of us have been around long enough to remember the days when we all really did rely on public phones to make our away-...

Switched Splurge: McIntosh 60th Anniversary Audio System

At the risk of sounding like a crabby old man, let's just say that you kids -- with your little white iPod headphones and cheapie home theater systems -- have no idea what you're missing. And as for MP3s, oh, don't even get us started mister (or missie). Okay, you can find top-notch audio gear with some amazing new capabilities these days. Yet even over forty years ago, audio engineers had alrea...

10 'Green' Gadgets We Like

Well, it's Earth Day again today and the whole globe seems to be a little more eco-conscious this year. (We think it might have something to do with last year's spike in energy prices, so let's hope it lasts.) Of course, the gadget world is well aware of its dependence on electricity (and the sometimes toxic materials that end up at the dump when this stuff gets tossed), which is why the stream o...

21 Places to Go When You're Sick of Facebook

Remember the days before MySpace, Facebook, and the like, when online social networking was considered kind of odd? Now that everyone from kindergartners to grandmas have online profiles, these Web sites are officially part of our reality. Obviously, MySpace and Facebook aren't for everyone, so where can you go for your online mingling? As it turns out, there are Web communities that cater to ...

'Street Fighter IV' Launch Party Celebrate's Games 20th Anniversary

The launch of a new 'Street Fighter' game is no small occurrence. 'Street Fighter 2' is arguably the single most beloved video game of all time, and yet sequels have been a very rare thing, appearing only about once a decade (the last one, 'Street Fighter 3,' came out in 1997). The fourth game has finally hit the streets, and represents the first time the franchise has hit the third dimension, ...

Creepiest Ads on the Web

There's a scene in 'Minority Report' in which Tom Cruise's character enters a mall and the ads personalize themselves to him as he walks by. What was then only science fiction is now closer to reality, says a recent AP story, as a growing number of display screens are being equipped with small cameras and face recognition technology (the same kind used increasingly in handheld digicams), provid...

Is Microsoft Killing Off 'Flight Simulator?'

Rumor has it that one of the victims of Microsoft's first major layoffs will be the company's long running 'Microsoft Flight Simulator' series. The venerable flight sim has been in constant development since 1982, making it Microsoft's oldest property. But word from gaming site Gamasutra is that many of the jobs being cut are at the ACES game studio, home of the flight simulation series. We're...

25 Rules of Tech Etiquette

A solid 10-plus years into the mainstream use of cellphones, e-mail, texting and IM, and a half-decade into the phenomena of social-networking sites, we're still astounded on a daily basis at the unbelievably clumsy way some people communicate. While most of us have a pretty good idea how to behave in a civilized way in public, when it comes to electronic means of communication, an astounding ...

25 Coolest Laptop Covers

These days, laptops have become much like cars -- we take them everywhere, and if you have the same model as someone else, it's hard to tell them apart without looking inside. As a result, we all know that special someone whose solution is customizing their laptop with bumper stickers. Maybe it's an Obama sticker placed over the Apple logo on their MacBook, or maybe the top of their Dell looks ...

Top Holiday eCards for Last-Minute Greetings

If you're one of those holiday-card-sending types and you haven't sent anything out yet, you'd better hurry. Luckily, you no longer have to worry about the U.S. Postal Service actually delivering your mail on time, since plenty of instantly sendable, online e-cards are now available for you to choose from. Click through the gallery below to see the 12 we liked best: Some are humorous, some are...

Five Things to Consider Before Buying an HDTV

Share So you want to buy an HDTV? Well, if you're lucky enough to have the cash, then we have some good news. Faced with a glut of unsold televisions, manufacturers and retailers are slashing prices of TVs to previously unheard of levels. This means you can get a perfectly decent flat-panel -- that's right, the sexy thin kind -- for less than $1,000. Of course, more money will still get you thin...