Archive | July, 2010

Engadget, one of the leading tech blogs classified temporarily as malware by Google

If you did some some late night (or early morning) tech browsing on Saturday, July 31th 2010, you might have had the surprise to find your favorite tech blog identified as malware by Google as containing elements from the site bin.clearspring.com (which is also classified as malware). The blog I am talking about is the popular Engadget. While the hiccup lasted only around an hour or so, it is certainly embarrassing, although I am curious on which side the fault is…I would not surprised to find out it is on Google’s site since they once identified their own search results as malware :D.

Well, time to go to bed now, we’ll probably find out more in the morning. Read after the break for the full screenshot.

Update: Works fine now!

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$150 7″ Augen Gentouch Android Tablet appears at Walmart

Another day, another competitor in the oh so crowded world of tablets and eReaders. This time, it sells at Walmart for $149, store only for now. I don’t understand what is with these weird distribution channels – Pandigital Novel 7 to sell at Bed Bath & Beyond, Augen Gentouch at Walmart…Anyway, the good news is that the new tablet is based on Android 2.1 so you can tinker with it if you want, and install additional applications. The bad news is that the touchscreen is resistive technology and as a result, it sucks. I was able to play a little bit at the local KMart store and this are some quick thoughts: Text is hard to input via the on-screen keyboard, and the screen is non-responsive, pretty much like the Pandigital Novel 7 is. So, from this point of view, it is a good thing Augen includes a stylus in the package, but it feels like 2005. The Gentouch also comes with Android Market (Pandigital Novel 7 doesn’t), but I wasn’t able to test it in the store. Skype and Google Maps are also included, together with several others. During the short time I had, I wasn’t able to turn on the portrait mode, not sure if this is because I just couldn’t figure out how or they will add the feature in a future firmware release. All in all, the same feeling I had for the Pandigital Novel 7 – firmware not fully baked and cheap. If you want to use it as an eReader, you better get the new Amazon Kindle 3 that has a version including 3G for life. If you like tinkering, it is a nice little Android machine and you’ll probably be OK. Expect a lot of firmware fixes soon.

Check after the break for technical specs.

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Kindle App for iPhone and iPad updated, gets dictionary and Wikipedia

The Kindle App for iPhone and iPad is now at the version 2.2 and the new functionality includes a dictionary with  250,000 entries and definitions, search inside the book on your iPad is now possible and Google and Wikipedia words look-up (although unfortunately not as integrated as we would like – you’ll need to exit the app  to use either Google or Wikipedia. Also new and very important for this version is the inclusion of fast app switching and other bug fixes specific for iOS 4.0. And, of course it is free.

WordPress 3.0.1 is out, mostly bug fixing

In what is intended to be mostly a maintenance release, WordPress releases WordPress 3.0.1. This release fixes about 54 issues found in version 3.0 and increases WordPress overall stability and security. If you are curious enough to read the detailed list of fixes, visit WordPress trac. You can start the update process directly from Dashboard and it literally will take only seconds. I just updated this website and everything seems to work without any hiccups. Don’t forget to back-up your WordPress database before upgrading though.

Amazon releases a new Kindle eBook reader – 3rd generation is here

In a move expected by everybody, especially since the new generation of electronic paper with improved contrast was released, Amazon launched their new Kindle that takes advantage of it: The new Kindle 3rd generation is smaller, lighter and faster than the current generation and comes in two colors, white and graphite (like the new DX). The release date is August 27, I pre-ordered it so expect a review as soon as I have the unit in my hands.

Like the Nook 3G and Wifi, Amazon has the new Kindle in two versions as well: WiFi only to be sold for $139 and the 3G+WiFi version for the same price as the current model, $189. the screen size is 6″ exactly as Nook and current Kindle (although I would like a 7″ version – one can hope). The exact difference is 20% shorter refresh time, 15% lower weight and about 21% smaller than the current unit as well. A really good news is that the internal memory is 4GB now versus 2GB current version (although still no SD or microSD slot)  and extended battery life (that is if the battery won’t be completely depleted overnight by indexing your books – yep, it happened to me). And yes, of course, better contrast due to the new generation of electronic paper. Who needs a Pandigital Novel 7 anymore?

Hit after the break for the Amazon announcement. Read More…

Apple looks into slowness reports for iPhone 3G – iOS 4 mix

Do you still have an iPhone 3G? Did you upgrade it to iOS 4.0? Is it noticeable slower than before? If you answered affirmative to all of these questions, you are not alone. I experienced an obvious decrease in performance when I upgraded my 3G to iOS 4.0 but since I upgraded meantime to iPhone 4, I wasn’t extremely bothered about it. However, if you plan and have to use your 3G for a while, you probably have a reason to complain about its performance.

Since iOS 4 release, it looks like Apple has been bombarded by thousands of complaints about slow keyboard response time, frozen screens, and a shorter battery life. While a certain performance impact was to be expected from a major update on older hardware, it looks like the decrease in performance is higher than everybody expected affecting the “magic” iPhone experience negatively. So much, that Wall Street Journal confirmed that Apple is aware of the problem and will look into it. Whether will solve it is a completely different matter since the new OS might purely be to heavy for the older generation hardware.

$99 Western Digital 2 TB Caviar Green SATA WD20EARS

The first time 2TB are under $100 (with no taxes and free shipping) at Amazon.

Specs:

  • WD Caviar Green hard drives reduce power consumption by up to 40%
  • A fine-tuned balance of spin speed, transfer rate and caching algorithms designed to deliver both significant power savings
  • IntelliSeek – Calculates optimum seek speeds to lower power consumption, noise, and vibration.
  • 2TB capacity holds up to 400,000 digital photos, 500,000 MP3 files, and 240 hours of HD video.
  • 3 year limited warranty.

Yoda, C3PO and Vader Star Wars voices available for TomTom GPS devices video

TomTom has now available for download the famous voices of Yoda, Vader and C3PO to their GPS devices, only for geeks level 5 and up. Force not included!

Check after the break for some really cute video-clips from the “recording sessions”.

Yoda recording: Read More…

Bing sucks and Yahoo Japan agrees

Internet users are not the only ones to agree that Bing search just sucks! Although Yahoo! signed an agreement with Microsoft to have their search engine powered by Bing, Yahoo Japan which apparently has a certain degree of  control over its destiny has chosen a different venue: Google. You read right, Yahoo! Japan will use Google’s mighty search engine to power its results, and also to serve its ads, and that is probably worse (for Microsoft). At this point, we cannot stop wondering if this trend might continue in other countries as well, and how will Microsoft’s strategy will change. On the other side, we cannot help but agree with Yahoo! Japan’s decision: If you reached this site you probably did it using Google since after several month it is still not indexed by Bing (along with many other newer websites) while being indexed by Google from day one!

Just In: Read More…

Starcraft II – Wings of Liberty is out

Remember Zerg? The long awaited successor of the original Starcraft and one of the most played games in history – Starcraft II – Wings of Liberty is finally released and shipping around the planet. Featuring three unique races, new units and weapons, a story mode and a unique online multi-player mode with automatic match, the game is sure to please a crowd of avid fans. The single player campaign continues from here the Brood War ended. Let the battle begin and let us know what percentage from the Internet traffic is used today for this game ;).

The first version of Starcraft is number four on the highest grossing PC games list selling 11 million copies . The first three are The Sims, Sims 2 and World of Warcraft.

Starcraft II launch is not without problems though. Amazon is full of negative reviews due to the lack of LAN play (it supports Battle.net only), presumably due to Blizzard’s effort to defend against pirates. However, the users complain that the lack of LAN play stops them from playing in offline mode. Let’s hope Blizzard will bow under the pressure and issue a patch to re-enable the LAN mode.