Crave giveaway: Philips Fidelio SoundRing wireless speaker

Editor's note: Since CNET comments were disabled for several days due to site maintenance, we have extended the deadline for this giveaway to 12 p.m. ET on Friday, March 14, 2014.

Congratulations to Kenneth T. of Coldwater, Mich., for winning an amplified HDTV antenna from Winegard in last week's giveaway. This week's prize will have you going 'round in circles -- in a good way.

We're offering up a Philips Fidelio SoundRing DS3881W portable wireless AirPlay speaker, which, as the name suggests, features a circular design. And a striking one at that.

AirPlay, in case you need a refresher, is a wireless-streaming feature found on the iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch, or any Mac or Windows PC running iTunes. The SoundRing offers what Philips calls a "360-degree surround-sound effect," and in his CNET review, David Carnoy reports that it exudes "superior sound." … Read more

'Star Trek'-inspired ring boldly goes where no jewelry has gone before

Pittsburgh-based jewelry designer Paul Michael Bierker of Paul Michael Design created a ring worthy of any captain of someone's heart.

The "Boldly Going Somewhere" ring, for sale on Etsy for $595 plus shipping, is available in a choice of metals and gems, including white gold with color-enhanced blue diamonds and white diamond galaxy; white gold with topaz and white diamond galaxy; sterling silver with blue topaz and cubic zarconia; or platinum with blue color-enhanced diamonds and white diamond galaxy.

"My rings are about passion," Bierker told Crave. "Love and knowing what your love cares about are key to the symbolism of your relationship. If your significant other loves R2-D2, 'Star Trek,' art deco design, or anything else, why not get them what they want? In my studio, we are custom; we base our designs on what people want." … Read more

A photo tour of Hobbiton

You get to the Shire long before you get to the Shire. You pass through Rohan, too. That's the beauty of northern New Zealand. Leave Auckland, and with the right set of eyes, you're transported to Middle Earth.

A few hours south is the tiny town of Matamata, home to Hobbiton. Originally just a set and slated to be torn down after filming, it got turned into a tourist attraction. When they rebuilt it for the Hobbit movies, they built it to last.

Now you can tour it all, looking as good (or better) than it did during filming of the movies. If you can't make the trek to New Zealand, here's a huge photo tour of the whole place.

Read more

If 'Doctor Who,' 'Breaking Bad' were Little Golden Books

Little Golden Books have been a staple of childhood since they were introduced in 1942, and part of the charm is how little they've changed. "The Little Red Hen" is still toting the same old shovel and planting her wheat. An exhibit at Gallery Nucleus in Alhambra, Calif., is taking a more updated approach to the classic children's literature series.

The "Little Golden Tales" show runs through February 9 and features a whole host of artists presenting their interpretations and tributes. Of special interest to the geek crowd are covers for "Doctor Who," "Breaking Bad," "Lord of the Rings," and "Star Wars" books, complete with the shiny gold book spine edge.… Read more

iRing controls iPhone, iPad music apps via hand gestures

iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch owners who use music apps can control them now through a ring on their finger.

Launching this quarter at a price of $25, the iRing responds to the gestures of your hand to perform specific tasks on an iOS device. Nestled on your finger, the double-sided ring talks to your device's camera, which reads your various gestures. You simply move your hand up and down, left and right, or twist it around to control the action.

Created by IK Multimedia, the iRing supports the company's music apps, including GrooveMaker and VocaLive. As such, … Read more

Six apps that make holiday shopping a snap

CNET Update is on the hunt:

Don't get bogged down by the dozens of junk coupon apps that are hard to navigate with ads too small to read. As a deal huntress, I can vouch for a few that actually help manage the mall madness:

A barcode-scanning app is essential to making sure you're getting the best deal. I like RedLaser (owned by Ebay), and ShopSavvy. Once you scan a product's barcode, both apps show what it costs at other stores and online. Many big-box retailers offer a price-match guarantee at the register when you show that … Read more

Watch a volcanic eruption form a new island south of Japan

The Pacific "ring of fire" is living up to its name this week in the sea south of Japan, where volcanic eruptions have been raising up -- or rather laying down -- a brand-new island.

The Japanese coast guard reports that the infant isle is about 660 feet in diameter and located about 620 miles south of Tokyo. In the video below, you see ash, smoke, steam, and rocks bursting forth from a crater and performing a little lava-based construction in the process -- eat your heart out, pumice fans!… Read more

Amazon signs exclusive deal for movies from indie studio

Amazon has another lineup of movies exclusively available for its Prime subscribers.

In a new distribution deal announced Thursday, the retail giant has brought movies from independent film studio A24 to its Instant Video collection. Though obviously not as well known as the major studios, A24 is behind such movies as "Spring Breakers," a film directed by Harmony Korine and starring James Franco, and "The Bling Ring," directed by Sofia Coppola and starring Emma Watson of "Harry Potter" fame.

The agreement will see all current and upcoming A24 movies appear on Amazon Instant Prime … Read more

Solving puzzles with Lego Tolkien characters is surprisingly fun

Lego The Lord of the Rings brings the epic adventure from the movie trilogy into the world of Lego games. Like many of the Lego movie tie-in games, it's faithful to the over-arching storyline while adding tons of puzzle solving, cute characters, and a sense of humor.

The game covers the "The Lord of the Rings" original trilogy, including "The Fellowship of the Ring," "The Two Towers," and "The Return of the King," and you'll get several of the iconic locations and most memorable scenes as they played out in … Read more

One app to rule them all: Lego Lord of the Rings for iOS

I can't say enough good things about TT Games' Lego series, which have brought everything from Batman to Harry Potter to "Star Wars" to life in glorious brick form.

And last year's Lego Lord of the Rings was among the best yet, an epic and thoroughly entertaining game version of the entire three-movie series. Of course, you needed a PC or game console to play it.

Not anymore: Lego Lord of the Rings is now available for iOS.… Read more