2012: the year of Thunderbolt

Apple got an early start on outfitting its Mac computers with Intel’s Thunderbolt technology. Now, almost a year later, a rush of accessories at CES indicate this might be the year average users start to get some real benefit from having Thunderbolt on board.

Thunderbolt-equipped LaCie desktop drives hit the Apple Store

Slowly but surely, Thunderbolt accessories for Apple’s Mac computers are making their way to retail. On Tuesday Apple began selling the LaCie Little Big Disk in both 1 TB and 2 TB capacities with Thunderbolt connectivity. The drives retail for $399.95 and $499.95, respectively.

LaCie’s Rugged HD: It’s a Shame About That Remote

LaCinema_Rugged_HDI like the idea of viewing my PC-based content on my TV, but hate the idea of the complex set-up that’s so often required by the devices aimed at letting me embrace my inner couch potato. Which is why I like LaCie’s LaCinema Rugged HD, a portable hard drive that l can load up with my favorite content, then plug into my TV for easy viewing.

LaCie calls the LaCinema Rugged HD a “multimedia hard drive” — and, honestly, that’s the best way to describe it. It’s part storage device, as it’s a 500GB USB-powered hard drive that I can connect to my computer to back up my content. But it’s also part set-top box, as it connects to any HDTV (via HDMI or composite A/V) to play back audio and video files and display photos. In fact, the LaCinema Rugged HD is a lot like Iogear’s Portable Media Player, which I reviewed — and liked — earlier this year. But LaCie’s product features two very important upgrades: It supports HD content up to 1080p (the Iogear topped out at 720p), and it includes 500GB of storage (the Iogear drive was limited to 120GB).

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What’s In Your Bag, Darrell Etherington?

Truth is, because there are no IT departments for freelance web workers, there are as many unique gadget combinations as there are people doing the work. I love hearing all about someone’s kit, and hopefully sharing some of my own useful suggestions at the same time.

Now AT&T Is Offering An Unlimited Plan For $99

OK we’re not even done with the Verizon flat-rate phone plans news announcement and here comes Ma Bell with its own $99-a-month unlimited offer.

The plans will be available to new and existing wireless subscribers for $99.99 a month for unlimited U.S. calling on all devices with no domestic roaming or long distance charges. The plans can be combined with any current wireless data plan to give customers the ultimate in wireless freedom. The new plans, available Feb. 22

By the way, this unlimited plan is for voice only. No changes on data and SMS pricing, which still cost an arm and a leg. Hah! Why it was only yesterday that I was wondering how long it would take AT&T and T-Mobile to respond to Verizon’s plans. As someone just said, competition is a bitch ;-). Plan details are below the fold.
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