More than 100 companies are strutting their stuff at the Demofall ’08 and TechCrunch50 conferences out on the West coast this week. At events like this, which involve dozens of beta demonstrations of new products in development, a lot of the items blend together into a white noise of over-hype, but a handful of this week’s debuts are intriguing. Let’s take a look at 10 of the neatest up-and-coming offerings that aren’t yet available—and the tools already available to you that replicate some of their eyebrow-raising tweaks. Photo by TechCrunch50-2008.
10. Rate Surfer
Not to sound like a doting parent here, but Rate Surfer is really a tool of last financial resort. Still, for those carrying balances between multiple credit cards, it can help you put more dollars toward getting back to financial freedom. You give the webapp access to your credit card accounts, and it monitors them for rate changes. If one card’s got a better rate than another, it suggests moving your balance over. It may not be the best situation to be in, but Rate Surfer is nothing if not an honest tool for those with a serious credit fix.
There are, of course, many, many tools for any system that let you take a commercial DVD and copy it, or put it on your hard drive for as-you-like viewing. Until now, however, no major media player has stepped forward with a consumer-level, legal software package. RealDVD aims to be exactly that—it keeps the DVD’s copy protection intact, and adds an iTunes-like layer of its own. At a $30 introductory price, it’s still paying a ransom to use your own possessions, but it might make an easy-to-use solution for legal-conscious parents or less-geeky friends.