Gadgets review: Virtual gadgets

Staff Writer
Columbus Alive

A device doesn't have to be hand-held in order to be a gadget. Playboy magazine and Amazon recently proved that point by launching a couple of virtual gadgets.

Imagine having access to every issue of Playboy, all the way back to that first issue in December 1953. We're talking about every interview, every article, every ad, every saucy cartoon and every Playmate photo.

If you read this column regularly, you may remember Playboy Cover to Cover - a 250 GB hard drive for $300. Earlier this month, Playboy began offering digital access to the same content at Access costs $8 per month, $60 per year or $100 for two years.

The digital magazine is supposedly tailored for the iPad. However, it displayed just fine on my Android-run Xoom, iPhone (though the pictures were awfully small) and PC (not all of the navigation worked properly without a touch screen).

Amazon's virtual gadget might be just as cool. Amazon is the first major music-seller to offer a cloud product, Amazon Cloud. You get a free year of 20 GB of storage space when you buy an album at; otherwise you can have 5 GB for free, then $1 per gigabyte of storage in increments of 20, 50, 100, 200, 500 or 1,000.

Basically, the music you buy from Amazon can go onto your personal media device or can be sent to Amazon's cloud drive. If you send it to the cloud, you can access those songs from any device that will play them, so long as you have an internet connection. You can also store photos, videos and documents on that same cloud drive.

While Amazon is first to this party, Google is already testing its own beta version. Rumors are also swirling about Apple entering the cloud game soon.

Killing Room makes twisted, fun app

I'm not a fan of slasher movies, but I have to admit that Killing Room is a free iPhone game app worth checking out. How to play: As blood runs down a wall, your task is to use a squeegee to scrape it back to its origin. If you can't keep up, your screen fills up with crimson liquid and you lose.