Samsung Z720 shows up online

Oh sweet creator of cellphones, even though we can't read it for ourselves we're enamored with Gadgetim's shots of the Samsung Z720. To the untrained eye one might assume it's the Ultra Edition 13.5 or 12.9, but you'd be wrong if you said that it was the very same; we actually think this just means samsung needs to hire some new industrial designers, but if you think we're about to argue with a phone featuring GSM / UMTS / HSDPA, Bluetooth 2.0, a 2-inch QVGA display, and microSD slot, you've got us all wrong.


USRobotics announces new Skype base station, handset

Today, USRobotics announced its newest Skypified pair of products, the USR9630 Cordless Dual Phone and the USR9631 Accessory Handset. The dual phone, as the name implies, plugs into a USB port and a landline and can make and receive both Skype and traditional phone calls. The base station, which comes with one handset, goes for $120, and an additional handset will set you back $70, assuming of course you're a Windows user (sorry, Mac support is forthcoming).


Watch ads, download songs for free

Universal Music Group, the world's largest music company, has agreed to make its entire library of songs available for free Internet download as long as consumers watch advertisements while downloading tunes.

The experiment between Universal Music and New York-based SpiralFrog marks a significant shift for an industry that has long sought to force people to pay for music.

SpiralFrog will allow consumers to download any Universal Music song free of charge, as long as they watch one 90-second advertisement per song. Video downloads will require viewing a 120-second ad. Additionally, users must log on to the Web site once a month and watch additional ads to keep the tunes.

In return, users can listen to songs, ad-free, as many times as desired on a computer, portable music player or music-enabled cell phone.

The 90-second download is significantly longer than the 15 to 20 seconds it takes to download a ditty from iTunes, where songs cost 99 cents. SpiralFrog thinks that young consumers will be attracted to its slower-but-free model.