A once-unthinkable combo: a picture frame that hides a router

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You know those dolls with the crocheted skirt your grandmother had on the back of the toilet, combining home decor with hiding the spare roll? Now D-Link hides a network router inside a digital picture frame.

The D-Link Xtreme N DIR-685 includes an 802.11n Wi-Fi router, an FTP server, network attached storage (how much, D-Link doesn't say), SharePort technology for sharing USB printers and scanners -- and a 3.2-inch LCD monitor that displays pictures, live streaming video and other Internet content, the weather, and network performance statistics and gauges.

And hey, like so many other products we've seen this week, it's even good for the environment. It recognizes port activity and cable length and adjusts power usage accordingly, consolidates functions to a single device, and uses the idle mode to turn off power to the LCD screen. A wide local area network (WLAN) scheduler can turn off the router's Wi-Fi module at a preset time, and the power adapter complies with Energy Star 3.0 specifications.

The company doesn't say how much it will cost or when it will be available.

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