The Portal

December 23, 2008

Sprint this week started making available in stores the first 3G/4G dual-mode device, which operates on both the Sprint 3G and 4G networks. Sprint launched its 4G service in Baltimore in September and plans to launch in other markets across the country next year. With 4G, downloads of a song might take several seconds or a movie less than an hour while outside or moving through the city - three to five times faster than 3G networks. The device is priced at $149.99 with a two-year contract, after a $50 mail-in rebate. For more information, visit

On the Web:

* So, you fancy yourself a singer, eh ... alone, in your car, with the windows up, when no one's looking. Well, now you can test your pipes against Martina McBride and Elvis Presley in private, and if you like what you hear, you can share it with your friends via e-mail. As a promotion for its Elvis Presley Christmas Duets album, Sony BMG Music Entertainment has created a Web site that allows you to record "Blue Christmas" as a duet with Presley, singing McBride's part from the album.The site,, provides a phone number and access code so you can belt out your lines over the phone. If you're pleased with the recording, you can send it in a Christmas e-card. Or, if you discover you sound more like Alvin and the Chipmunks than Presley and McBride, you can send the album version of the song instead.The whole thing is free. Since its launch Dec. 5, the site has drawn 30,000 people from nine countries. It's scheduled to end sometime in January.

* has a gift idea for hard-to-shop-for people that can be customized to match how annoying or crazy a person is.

The gift ideas can be adjusted on a sliding scale based on how much you want to spend anywhere between "a little bit" and "more than last year."

For example, for the uncle with all the conspiracy theories, a T-shirt that says "One Nation Under Surveillance" ($28.99) and a bright yellow bag that screams, "Uncle Sam is Watching You!" ($25).

The gifts are mostly of the mug-and-shirt variety, since the site is affiliated with, which makes customized gear. Even so, the site is pretty funny.

* On You Tube, check out Domino Day 2008 - The New World Record ( We had no idea we could be seriously entertained watching dominoes tip over. But when they're collapsing pyramids and tumbling giant slabs, with small details added at the last second by domino-placers dangling on cables, it's fascinating. A team that failed at the 10th annual Domino Day still broke the record, with 4,345,027 dominoes tipped over.

From staff and wire reports

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