Google's 2013 I/O swag giveaway: Less is more

For Google, less is more.

That's the case with the tech giant's latest giveaway at its annual developers conference, which at face value might seem less generous than years past, though that turns out not to be the case when you do the math.

This year's haul: a Chromebook Pixel with LTE, the company's top of the line Chromebook, which sports a very high pixel density screen. Google sells it for $1,449 on its online store, though gave it away to all 6,000 I/O attendees.

All told, that adds up to $8,694,… Read more

Apple commemorates 'Decade of iTunes' Store with swag

Apple's iTunes Store doesn't actually turn 10 years old until April 28, but Apple seems keen on getting the party started a little early.

In honor of the occasion, the company has sent journalists a digital keepsake of sorts: 100 handpicked songs and a physical copy of the digital timeline it put up on iTunes yesterday.

The package even comes with a thank you note from iTunes and iCloud chief Eddy Cue:

When Apple introduced the iTunes Store on April 28, 2003, we thought if consumers had a great, legal way to download music they would embrace it … Read more

Crave giveaway: CNET swag that's worth a brag

Congrats to Michael F. of Titusville, Fla., for winning an iKit NuCharge case and battery pack for the iPhone 5 in last week's giveaway. How much do you love CNET? This week's prize lets you count the ways.

The winner gets a CNET tote, a CNET GelaSkin for the iPad, a CNET T-shirt, two CNET notepads, and some CNET stickers. That's a whole lot of CNET!

Normally this swagtastic bundle would run you about $65, but you have the chance to get it for free. How do you go about doing that? Like this: … Read more

Google I/O giveaways: $5.5 million buys a lot of buzz

"It's Christmas in June," someone told me as we waited in the gadget line at the Google I/O conference on Wednesday. Every year at the conference, Google "gives" attendees hardware that runs Google software and services. This giveaway program isn't cheap for Google. But it is worth it.

Let's look at the numbers.

This year, the haul for attendees includes four pieces of Google hardware, with a total retail value of $1,176:

The goods Retail price Nexus 7 tablet $199 Nexus Q $299 Galaxy Nexus phone    $349 Chromebox $… Read more

SwagBucks Android app pays rewards for watching videos

Late last year I sung the praises of cash-rebate sites, which pay you back for making online purchases you were going to make anyway.

SwagBucks gives you prizes for doing stuff you already do, like searching the Web, playing games, taking polls, and watching videos.

It may sound a little scammy, but the site's legit: in the past couple years I've redeemed bucks for things like Amazon and iTunes gift cards. The challenge, of course, lies in earning enough bucks for a decent prize.

You now have one more tool in your arsenal: SwagBucks TV Mobile, a new Android appRead more

Unboxing the D9 conference swag bag

PALOS VERDES, Calif.--I'm here at the ultra-luxe D9 conference (officially D: All Things Digital). The roster of speakers at this conference includes Google Chairman Eric Schmidt, Disney CEO Robert Iger, and DARPA Director Regina Dugan. Not to mention the pitchmen, like Microsoft Windows President Steven Sinofsky, who will be demoing Windows 8.

Yet they all line up for the overstuffed swag bag, literally a duffel filled with gizmos, gadgets, and strange goblets. It's a D conference tradition and this year is no exception. Check it out:

Update! The D9 hoodie has a pentagram printed inside it, with pictures of All Things D writers arrayed around it, and Walt Mossberg in the middle. There's a Latin phrase underneath: "Desisto inaniloquum et adtentus." Google Translate gives an unsatisfactory translation, but a co-worker scholar reads it as, "I cease blabbering and pay attention." If you think it's something different, let the world know in comments.

Obviously the inscription is a reference to Kara Swisher's interrogation of Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg at a previous D conference. In it, Zuckerberg worked up such a sweat he had to remove his own hoodie, revealing Facebook symbology printed in the inside.

Related link • D9 complete coverageRead more

Google surprises GDC attendees with free notebooks

SAN FRANCISCO--As is often the case during most large conferences, swagis given out to attendees. This year's Game Developers Conference was no exception, though those who managed to sit in on one of Google's two sessions on Chrome ended up walking out with something more than a free GDC tote bag--they got a laptop.

Following the sessions, Google handed developers blue cards saying they could exchange it at the end of the day for a "surprise gift from Google." What that ended up being was a Cr-48, the reference design hardware that houses Chrome OS, … Read more

D8: The conference bag

RANCHO PALOS VERDES, Calif.--While the biggest question on the minds of D8 attendees is what Steve Jobs will say later tonight, perhaps the second biggest question for some was what would be inside this year's goody bag.

The bad news is that this year's bag is less chock full than in past years, which saw goodies ranging from Guitar Hero III to Flip cameras and more. This year's biggest tech item is an Insignia-brand electronic child locator tucked among the usual assortment of books, pens, notepads, and the shirt that, without directly saying so, says "… Read more

Get an early taste of Dragon Age (for free)

One of the holiday season games we're most bullish on is Dragon Age: Origins. While this nerd-tastic tale of dragons and elves and guys wearing chainmail armor isn't for everyone (or even usually our cup of tea), the large chunks of the game we've played have had a mainstream Lord of the Rings epic action movie vibe, rather than rolling a 20-sided die in your parents' basement. Plus, it's one of the only big budget games in recent years developed first for PC gaming, and then ported to living room consoles, rather than the other way … Read more

Inside the D7 swag bag

CARLSBAD, Calif.--It's often the first question people want to answer after arriving at the D: All Things Digital event--What's in the goodie bag?

Alas, there was no Palm Pre inside the blue Samsonite duffel bag. But there was plenty to appeal to the gadget-loving executives. The smallest box contained perhaps the biggest deal--instructions on how to claim one of Plastic Logic's e-readers, a highly touted rival to Amazon's Kindle.

The other big piece of hardware was also in a small package--a Flip Mino HD video camera (identical to the one I had already purchased to … Read more