Wednesday, June 23, 2010

June 23rd 2010

There was little about the mighty Droid X that we hadn't already known -- but for what it's worth, Verizon and Motorola have teamed up today to expose everything we want to know about the next Android beast for Big Red. The 4.3-inch 854 x 480 handset features Android 2.1 with an all-new UI skin, a TI OMAP3630 processor galloping along at 1GHz, HDMI out, 8 megapixel camera with dual LED flash and 720p video capture, and 8GB of onboard storage with expansion of up to 32GB (you get a 16GB card in the box) all stuffed in a package 9.9mm thick. Software wise, you've also got an integrated mobile hotspot with support for up to 5 devices connected over WiFi, DLNA support, and a legit multitouch keyboard with Swype built-in. It won't launch with Froyo, but that'll come later in the Summer as an upgrade along with Flash 10.1 support; the phone will be available on July 15 for $199.99 on contract after rebate, while the mobile hotspot service will run $20 extra a month with a 2GB cap and 5 cent per MB overage (data consumed on the phone itself is unlimited). Mirroring AT&T's move with the iPhone 4, all Verizon customers with upgrade dates in 2010 will be pulled up so they're eligible for the Droid X as soon as it's available. Follow the break for the full press release.

Friday, June 11, 2010

June 11th 2010

Well, everyone welcome back! Alot has happened this week in technology, here is the short and sweet. Some amazing things are happening in technology, at least in the mobile part anyway!Haha! Cell phone are becoming the largest consumer market, and have officially out performed other technologies, like HDTV, and Computers! What does this all say about mobile? That we Americans are happy to pay big money for small and powerful devices! Hope you enjoy! Thanks...
Packard Bell's launched a refresh of its Dot line -- at least internationally -- with the 10.1-inch S4. The company's thinned it down considerably here, and stuffed an Intel Atom N450 Pine Trail CPU, GMA 3150 graphics, up to 2GB of RAM, and an up to 250GB hard drive. Other than that it's got 802.11b/g/n WiFi, an up to 6-cell battery, and comes with Windows 7 Home Starter edition pre-installed. There's another image below -- one that shows off the fashionable design elements a little better -- plus a quick demo video. No pricing information yet.

Despite Steve Jobs's ethical reservations, it's clear that people want Flash on their iPads (or at the very least, developers want to find ways put it there). Recently we saw Smokescreen, a browser plug-in that pulls apart SWF binaries and reassembles them into something Apple-friendly. Taking a slightly different tack, the kids at the Artefact Group have been working on a service called Flash In A Pinch. Right now, it's but a proof-of-concept, but it's a pretty sweet concept at that: Flash is rendered on Artefact's servers, which streams the images to the user's Safari browser. By placing a Javascript layer on top of the content, the user's touch interactions can be sent back to the server, making the whole megillah fully interactive. At present, the whole affair is a little too slow to use, and as of yet there is no sound, but all in all it's a great start. Video after the break. Hit the source link for more technical details (and yet more videos)

As promised, Adobe has now released an update to Flash that fixes the critical vulnerability discovered earlier this month that could allow your computer to be remotely hijacked. The update naturally covers Windows, Mac and Linux users (and even Solaris, for that matter), and is recommended for anyone running Flash Player or earlier -- the update will also, of course, bump you up to Flash 10.1 if you haven't made the jump already. Adobe AIR users are also advised to upgrade to the latest version released today but, as reported earlier, Adobe Acrobat and Reader users will still have to wait a bit for their fix -- while they're also affected by the vulnerability, they won't be getting an update until the end of the month.
Not sure if you knew, but today marks the launch of ESPN's first dedicated 3D channel, predictably titled ESPN 3D. For now, the channel will only be active whenever 3D sporting events are being aired, starting with a full 25 FIFA World Cup matches from the Republic of South Africa. It's a pretty monumental launch for the world leader in broadcast sports, and it's obviously taking a pretty big leap with only a smattering of 3D sets available and an obviously limited amount of content at its disposal. That said, there's hardly a better way to enjoy 3D content than to see sports in the third dimension, which makes the appeal of this new station that much stronger. We're here live at the company's kickoff event in Bristol, Connecticut, and we'll be bringing you lots of coverage from behind the scenes.
One important piece that has yet to be revealed to the public is exactly how this material is getting from the field to the consumer, with Comcast, DirecTV and AT&T (U-verse) signed on from day one. During our shooting for The Engadget Show (don't worry -- we'll be cutting it up and getting it live as soon as possible!) we were able to stop by ESPN's 3D Master Control room, a box no larger than the average American kitchen but infinitely important in the grand scheme of things. Amazingly enough, the room pictured in the gallery below didn't exist six weeks ago, and in an insanely short period of time ESPN has managed to create a control room that sucks feeds in from all over the world, adds graphics (along with a specialized ESPN 3D "bug"), ensures that everything is aligned properly and then pipes it out to the aforesaid carriers.

Well, this one's come a bit out of left field, but it looks like Chrome OS could be set to get a pretty big new addition: a remote desktop feature dubbed "Chromoting" (at least for now). That word comes courtesy of an apparently authentic message from Google software engineer Gary Kačmarčík posted on a Chrome OS mailing list, which goes on to explain that the feature would let you run "legacy PC applications" right in the browser, and that it would be "something like" Microsoft's Remote Desktop Connection. No more details than that, unfortunately, nor is there any indication that the feature will actually be included in the initial release of Chrome OS that's launching this fall, with Kačmarčík only going so far as to say that Google is "adding new capabilities all the time."

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

June 8th 2010

Big news is here in the Technology arena. Well big to some, and nothing to others. Lets start with the HTC EVO 4G: This amazing phone sold out in ALL U.S. Stores, and Online! This has been rated one of the biggest launch dates for a smartphone, well in some time. Since the lack luster shelf removal of the Palm Pre, the HTC EVO 4G is making one mean recovery for the retailer SPRINT!
For all you MAC users, the company Seagate has a storage solution for you. If you have the loot $199 (1TB)$299 (2TB) This new drive offers you firewire 800, and USB 2.0. Comes in a pretty aluminum brushed finish, to match your current desk estate.
iPad Pulse App has been removed from the Apple Store! In the recent D8 event it was praised, and went from a must have to not available. Due to part of New York Times compplaints of copyright issues. I think its funny Apple a Media retailer gets nailed for copyright infringement, but hates illegal music downloading, that's a parody!
Well if you concerned about finding more information about the BP Oil Spill, well BP and Google have come up with a simple solution. BP has bought the keywords "Oil Spill"! I suppose since they at BP can't clean the mess up, they can inform you of their lack of current appeal.
iPhone Users here is some info. that will or can concern you. Thinking about upgrading to 4G? Looking to get that higher capacity Storage? Look to spend $200 to $300 to upgrade, or $600 to $700 to get a new phone! To drop your current contract and move up to Verizon will cost AT&T customers over $350. The HTC Incredible is priced more competitive, and has newer capacities, and larger screen. But in the end its your wallet, and coverage that makes the choice, right!
Direc TV software went well, not so well! Those of you who have taken onto the commercials and bought into Direct TV are sure to have been disappointed with the HD DVR service. Due to service has a big bug, it don't work! You will have to reset the machine not once, but twice. The customer service line will not be a quick solution either, can you feel the apologies coming? Should have gotten or kept cable, uh!
Microsoft Windows 7 Phone update is finally here, for those of you who thought a Android based phone wasn't for you. The screen text should improve via a update, as well a a more responsive phone. Windows on a phone? What are you people thinking?
Asus Eee Tablet will soon arrive in Japan, and later in the U.S. It will feature the average specifications of today's modern Netbooks, but way more than a iPad! 1.66Ghz Atom / 250GB Hard Drive / 6 USB 2.0 Ports / 5 in 1 Card Reader / 15.6" screen! Also a full function of Windows 7 Home edition! To top the cake you can even elect to purchase the optional touchscreen option, how much extra thou. Eee on the move.
Gamer Folks out there, and Music junkies alike will or shuld be happy to hear of a new release of DJ Hero 2! Offering two platforms, the standard, and party edition. The standard will come in standard black as the original, and the Party Edition will come in dual decks, in white. They have now added a Microphone! $99 to $149 depending on your flavor of choice.
Rolling Stone Magazine June 10th 2010 edition, was very upsetting to me, right from the cover! I know Russel Brand is a popular man, and all. But do we really need to see him spread on the cover like butter on bread? This was nasty, in my opinion. I suppose we should be proud he did have pants on, barely right! I don't care anything about seeing his lower area at all, not to mention is nasty curlies! In short it was disturbing, gross, and uncalled for.
Till the next post all be well, and happy. Wish us luck tonight in our softball game, should be a rough one. Wilson Farms vs Harkins Roofing. Dreading Thursday night as well Harkins Roofing vs Wam Bam Sam, wish us luck, we need it, really! Thanks all!

Saturday, June 5, 2010

1st Generation iPad Final Thoughts

1st this iPad discussion is becoming a nasty debate. Let us clear up some thoughts about this new category by Apple. Yes it looks like nothing more than a iPod Touch or iPhone, just bigger! Keep in mind this device was not and is not a Multi-Task device. You can't do 2 things or more at same time. It has NO USB, NO SD Card slot, and NO Camera. I think its safe to say it doesn't even compete with todays newest netbooks, not even the older model netbooks. This device is geared toward media consumption, even thou the storage capacity is very lacking. A ipod classic has more storage capacity than this iPad. Every PC or for the matter Netbook will do more than this over-priced and non-functional device, for over 90% of us out their. Will Apple learn from the mistakes of the lack of functions in the next model? Im sure most of Apples biggest focus group for this gadget is one of the two or both groups. 1 the Apple Fanboys, and Teenagers. I dont see a person even consider electing to use this as a primary computing device, not functional enough with the shortcomings it currently has. Here is a way to look at this. Most current netbooks are offering 160 or 250 GB storage capacity, almost all Netbooks have a Webcam. All Netbooks have USB port, 2 if not 3! Every netbook we have reviewed had a SD Card Slot. Not even the cheapest PC on the market has a skinny 64GB storage capacity! NONE! The screen on the iPad is even smaller than all current netbooks. For the price of the average iPad you can get a mid range and functional PC, that does more, much more. I don't see what all the hype about this gadget is. I call it a gadget, because it is not a computer in my opinion. I personally don't see why Apple people keep supporting Mr. Jobs ignorant ego. The fact that he doesn't like Adobe Flash means nobody should in his opinion, and the lack of support on Apple products. I hope that more people will become PC People and support the reason why PC is over 85% of the market for a reason! Now if you are looking for a pretty and functionless device with a Apple Logo on the back a iPad is perfect for you, especially if you love overpaying for uselessness. This will be my last post regarding the iPad 1st Generation. I think it is clear how I feel about the iPad and Apple in General. I do love, and Use the iPod, that's it. Have a great rest of the weekend to all. Please don't buy a iPad. Also be aware of current Piracy Actions, I'm so serious to all you P2P Users, its getting risky, and dangerous!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Steve Jobs at D8

Events have just kicked off at the D8 Conference with Apple CEO Steve Jobs taking the stage for a conversation with All Things Digital producers Walt Mossberg and Kara Swisher.
After an introduction from Rupert Murdoch commenting on how content creators and technology companies are "finally getting along," the trio took the stage to shed light on some of the most salient issues the company faces today.
Jobs had much to say about the current slate of hot topics, from the company's ongoing tussle with Adobe over Flash content on the web, the Foxconn suicides, the iAd mobile ad platform, the iPad's role in saving journalism and potential replacing the personal computer, and more.
We've shared an overview of the discussion below.
Apple vs. Adobe, aka HTML5 vs. Flash
Jobs framed the Apple vs. Adobe debate as being primarily about picking one's battles.
"Apple is a company that doesn't have the most resources of everybody in the world. The way we have succeeded is by choosing which horses to ride very carefully."
He said that in the drive to make truly great products as opposed to merely OK ones, sometimes you can't tackle absolutely everything; "we didn't start off to have a war with Flash. We just made a technical decision."
With Flash in particular, the Apple CEO portrayed the technology as having "had its day," and that since technology tends to go in cycles, "we look for tech that has a future and is headed up."
He said that Flash on the web "is waning" and "HTML5 is on the rise." Jobs also pointed to Apple being the first company to drop an optical drive with the MacBook Air and the first to drop the floppy disk in the iMac, and "people called us crazy."
Flash on smartphones has long been promised and very slow to deliver (something our own Christina Warren wrote about recently).
Jobs said, "We told Adobe to show us something better, and they never did. It wasn't until we shipped the iPad that Adobe started to raise a stink about it."
He went on to say Apple's decision not to put Flash on the iPhone platform didn't seem at the time like "it was a matter for the press," but that he "got tired of Adobe trashing us" -- which prompted the famed letter about Flash no longer being necessary.
The lost next-generation iPhone
The technosphere was whipped into a frenzy in late April when the next-generation iPhone was "lost" in a bar and sold to gadget blog Gizmodo.
When asked, Jobs mentioned the ongoing DA investigation into the occurrence and said, "to make a wireless product, there is no way to do it totally in the lab. So Apple has some out there. There is a debate of whether it was left in a bar or stolen out of his bag."
He went on to mention a few more details in the case and even make a light-hearted joke about the whole brouhaha: "The person who took the phone plugged it into his roommate's computer. And this guy was trying to destroy evidence, and his roommate called the police. So this is a story that's amazing -- it's got theft, it's got buying stolen property, it's got extortion, I'm sure there's some sex in there. [audience laughs] The whole thing is very colorful... I don't know how it will end up."
Foxconn suicides
On the matter of the recent spate of suicides at Foxconn, the Chinese company that manufactures electronic devices for Apple and several other major consumer electronics brands, Jobs said the company was very concerned about the issue.
"We are on top of this. We look at everything at these companies. I can tell you a few things that we know. Foxconn is not a sweatshop. It's a factory -- but my gosh, they have restaurants and movie theaters. But they've had some suicides and attempted suicides, and they have 400,000 people there. The rate is under what the U.S. rate is, but it's still troubling. We're trying to understand right now before we try to go in with a solution."
Is Apple in a platform war with Microsoft, Google?
Next Walt and Kara wanted to know how Jobs sees Apple's business: is it a platform war between the other two giants in the space, Microsoft and Google (Google)?
Jobs responded that he didn't see it that way: "We never saw ourselves in a platform war with Mircorosft, and maybe that's why we lost [audience laughs]." He said that the company instead concerned itself with "how to build a better product."
Walt pressed the issue to ask what had changed in the relationship between Apple and Google: "They decided to compete with us... so they are. They started competing with us and it got more and more serious. We didn't go into the search business!"
Walt mentions the Siri acquisition as being a potential inroads into search, but Jobs says that purchase was about artificial intelligence, not search: "They're not a search company. They're an AI company. We have no plans to go into the search business. We don't care about it -- other people do it well."
When asked what he thought of Chrome OS, Jobs responded, "Chrome (Chrome) is not really baked yet." He mentioned that it's based on WebKit, "work we did at Apple." He says every modern browser is based on WebKit including offerings from Nokia, Palm, Android (Android), and RIM. "We've created a real competitor to IE."
Will the iPhone ever leave AT&T?
As expected, Jobs was pretty cagey on the subject of AT&T iPhone exclusivity. When asked how he thought AT&T was handling the network capacity for the Apple smartphone, he responded, "Pretty good actually. Remember, they're handling way more data traffic than all of their other competitors combined."
Nevertheless, he does at least admit that, "I do think they have some issues."
When asked if there would be advantages to having the iPhone on more than one network, Jobs said, "there might be," but also "you know I can't comment on that."
When Walt reminds him of earlier statements that Apple wasn't interested in making a phone in advance of the iPhone launch, Jobs says they changed their mind when they "found a way to sell the phone that we want to sell. We didn't think we could do it, but we did. We'd never been in this business, and AT&T took a big leap on us, and it's worked out really well. And we really changed the rules of the game."
iPad: "We didn't do what Microsoft did"
Jobs went on to relate that the iPad had a similar trajectory in that regard. He says that what he was really against was the handwriting-based system for input: "It's too slow. If you need a stylus you have already failed."
He notes that Microsoft's version of the Tablet PC had the battery life, weight, and expense of a PC. "But the minute you throw a stylus out, and you have the precision of a finger, you can't use a PC OS. You have to create it from scratch."
Walt then asks him why he built that operating system on a phone first instead of a tablet. Jobs then drops a reveal: "I'll tell you a secret. It started on a tablet first."
He had an idea of a multi-touch display you could type on, and six months later his team had a prototype display to show him. After handing it off to Apple user interface experts who "got the inertia rolling," Jobs realized, "My god, we can build a phone out of this," and shelved the tablet because at the time the phone was more important.
"When we got our wind back and thought we could do something else, took the tablet back off shelf."
Can the iPad save journalism?
Kara asks about the future of the tablet from here, and whether or not it can help save journalism and the businesses of newspapers and magazines.
Jobs came out strongly in favor of preserving journalism: "One of my beliefs very strongly is that any democracy depends on a free, healthy press." He notes that many seminal publications like the Wall Street Journal, New York Times and others "are in real trouble" and that he doesn't "want to see us descend into a nation of bloggers [ouch! -- Ed. note]. I think we need editorial now more than ever."
He sees the iPad as being potentially instrumental in getting "people to start paying for this hard-earned content." He says he believes "publishers should charge less than print. The biggest lesson Apple has learned is price it aggressively and go for volume."
The post-PC era: Will the tablet replace the PC?
Jobs gave an analogy about how the tablet form factor might indeed end up displacing the personal computer to a significant degree in the not-too-distant future: "When we were an agrarian nation, all cars were trucks. But as people moved more towards urban centers, people started to get into cars. I think PCs are going to be like trucks. Less people will need them. And this is going to make some people uneasy."
He goes on to admit it's not necessarily the iPad in particular that might play this role alone: "Is it the iPad, who knows?"
He also says the time frame for this displacement is unclear, whether one year or five or even ten.
Walt says the lack of a keyboard leads some to posit that the iPad isn't a great device for content creation. Jobs responds: "Why wouldn't they be? When I am going to write that 35-page analyst report I am going to want my bluetooth keyboard. That's one percent of the time."
He appeals to a more long-range view of the tablet as a form factor and how it may evolve to encompass a lot of the things we need our laptops and desktops for today: "The software will get more powerful. I think your vision would have to be pretty short to think these can't grow into machines that can do more things, like editing video, graphic arts, productivity. You can imagine all of these content creation on these kind of things."
He says "time takes care" of a lot of the issues that remain as barriers to using an iPad as more of a primary device.
iAd platform: "We're doing it for our developers"
When asked about Apple's entry into the mobile ad arena with the iAd platform, Jobs says, "We're going into the ad business because we want to help our developers make some money. We're not going to make much money in the ad business. We are doing it for our developers."
What does Jobs think about how Apple's competitors handle this currently? "We think their ad delivery system sucks!"
He says that in-app ads are extremely important in the mobile space because of user behavior on phones.
"People are using Apps way more than they are using search. If you want to make developers money, you put ads in the apps."
The way competitors currently handle this is to send users elsewhere, breaking the experience of being inside an app: "Today's in-app ads take you out of apps and into a browser and make the user find their way back. If you are playing a game you are probably not going to make it back to the same place. Wouldn't it be great if they didn't do that?"

The Hurt Locker

The company that produced "The Hurt Locker" sued thousands of so-far unidentified people it says illegally downloaded the Oscar-winning war movie, in one of the most direct efforts by the movie business to clamp down on the kind of digital piracy that has plagued the recorded-music industry.
The lawsuit, filed Monday in U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C., by Voltage Pictures LLC, seeks damages and an injunction against 5,000 people it claims used an anonymous file-sharing protocol called BitTorrent to distribute copies of the movie, in some cases months before its release in U.S. theaters.
A critical success and the winner of the best-picture Oscar for 2009, "The Hurt Locker" nonetheless did poorly in theaters, taking in just $16.4 million domestically.
Though the movie business has not engaged in the kind of mass lawsuits that the music industry once used, digital piracy is a major concern.
In an email, a spokeswoman for the Motion Picture Association of America said: "The MPAA and our member companies have absolutely nothing to do with these lawsuits."
A spokeswoman for the studio that distributed "The Hurt Locker," Summit Entertainment, had no comment. Lawyers for Voltage Pictures did not respond to email or telephone messages.
The movie business has generally focused on creating viable, legal ways for audiences to get movies. The studios also have sought the cooperation of Internet service providers in keeping pirated movies off their networks.
Eric Garland, chief executive of BigChampagne LLC, which tracks file-sharing activity, said in a recent interview: "The digital entertainment marketplace is overwhelmingly a pirate market."
Unlike earlier lawsuit campaigns by the music industry, which involved the coordinated efforts of numerous record labels and their trade organization, the "Hurt Locker" suit appears to be a unilateral effort by the film's producers, without the involvement of the Hollywood studios or their trade body.
Suing individuals for file sharing blew up into a public-relations nightmare for the Recording Industry Association of America. That trade organization in 2003 launched a massive legal campaign against tens of thousands of people alleged to have distributed music illegally online. After growing numbers of sympathetic defendants were identified—very young children, old people who said they didn't own computers, even a dead person—the music industry eventually abandoned the campaign. Some record executives maintained that the lawsuits had a deterrent effect.
The process of suing people for downloading can be complicated and costly. After the relatively straightforward task of recording the Internet protocol, or IP, address of each person offering a piece of media, the plaintiff must learn who that numerical address belongs to, generally by sending a subpoena to the Internet service provider associated with it.

Limewire In Court

U.S. District Judge Kimba Wood apparently goofed by suggesting that a prominent pro-technology attorney acted improperly in dealings with the firm that oversees LimeWire.
Two weeks ago, Wood granted summary judgment in favor of the Recording Industry Association of America in the trade group's copyright case against Lime Group, parent of file-sharing service Lime Wire, maker of the LimeWire software. While Wood's decision generated enormous interest from file sharers, as it likely means the end of LimeWire, according to legal experts, Wood's written decision stirred controversy in legal circles by including a short note about lawyer Fred von Lohmann, a well-known champion of technology companies and Internet users.
Wood wrote that some of the executives from Lime Wire gave sealed testimony that von Lohmann, senior staff attorney for advocacy group the Electronic Frontier Foundation, advised them to "purge incriminating information about LimeWire users' activities." Many of von Lohmann's critics from the pro-copyright side said it appeared Wood was calling out von Lohmann for offering Lime Wire execs a primer on how to break the law and get away with it.
But on Tuesday, Wood amended her decision after receiving a written request to do so last week by Cindy Cohn, EFF's legal director. In Wood's amended decision, there is no explanation about what she meant with the phrase "purge incriminating information" or why she removed it.
"We believe the materials in the record do not support the inclusion of the phrase 'to purge incriminating information,'" Cohn wrote in her request to Wood for a modification. "As you may imagine, Mr. von Lohmann and EFF are concerned that his professional reputation has been put at risk."
Calls to von Lohmann on Friday were not immediately returned.
Wood's rewrite won't come as a surprise to von Lohmann's colleagues and supporters, many of them lawyers who also tend to defend file-sharing companies and Internet services accused of copyright violations. Some of them said last week that von Lohmann, perhaps best known for being part of the legal team that defended file-sharing service Grokster in the landmark case, MGM Studios vs. Grokster , is a smart, respected and ethical attorney.