Archive | November 22, 2010

Nook Firmware 1.5 is out, adds categories, sync and security and search in My Documents side loaded content!

Folks, the long awaited Nook Firmware 1.5 is out and it brings out a plethora of fixes and enhancements that makes your device faster and smarter. You can download it here and install it manually if you are not prompted to update yet. Just download the file on the root of the Nook drive when connected to the PC via USB and restart your Nook. What is new?

  • Faster page turns – now the page turning speed is significant, not quite Kindle 3 speed but noticeable faster than before
  • Improved search
  • You can now synchronize your reading over multiple devices. Start reading on one (for ex. iPad, and you can continue reading on your Nook, iPhone, etc)
  • Category support – called My Shelves – available both in B & N Library (purchased content) and My Documents (side loaded content)
  • Security – you can now password protect both your Nook (something like the BIOS password for the PC) and your store access (so nobody can buy books from your Nook)
  • Search in My Documents and side loaded content – I installed Nook Firmware 1.5 and although is not advertised by Barnes and Noble, searching books by Title or Author works now for side loaded content. In book word search works as well.

You can read out full Nook review here.

iPad 2 to launch in April 2011

Apple iPad 2nd generation should come a year after the first one, sometime around April 2011. At least this is what the analysts are saying… and, judging by the well known Apple update cycle for iPhones, it doesn’t require any economical training to come with this kind of predictions.

However, sometimes, if a prediction comes from famous analysts or from an unusual large number of them, it can raise expectations and public disappointment if they are not fulfilled, and at that point a prediction can be the driving engine working toward its own self fulfillment.

This time, Brian Marshall of Gleacher & Co, a Wall Street analyst believes that Apple iPad 2 might be launched around the same time a new CDMA iPhone is also released which can make it compatible with Verizon network.

While no significant changes are expected (let’s also remember that big hardware changes are coming from Apple every two years instead of every year), the new iPad 2 might feature dual cameras, similar to the current iPhone 4 and, FaceTime functionality. It is obviously to early to speculate about price and other features, but you can certainly count on us to review it when it will be available.

via ComputerWorld

Amazon Price Check App for iPhone lets you check Amazon prices by scanning bar-codes – Review

Amazon just released an amazing application for iPhone, just in time for the holidays and the never ending hunt for bargains – Amazon Price Check. What it does? It lets you scan the bar code from a product or even take a full picture of a product and displays the Amazon price for it (a lot lower in most cases, as you could imagine). The application is free, available now so there is absolutely no reason not to use it if you want to save any money during the holiday shopping season. Download yours here or just search for “Amazon Price Check” in Apple’s app store.

Of course, Amazon didn’t release this application for free just out of goodness of their hearts. Once you established Amazon has a better price for the product you want to buy toy can add it to your cart directly from the app and buy it immediately (no taxes, free shipping, etc). And, if the Best Buy blue uniformed employee are approaching you because you keep taking picture, just run away in fear :D.

I tried the application with several random products I had available. To be honest, while I expected the bar code scanner to work well, I didn’t expect just taking a picture of the product would also work.

To my surprise, it does!  However, bar-code scanning only works on iPhone 3GS or 4 with iOS 4.0 or higher. The rest of the functions work fine on other models though.

Check the following pictures for details. Read More…

Panasonic Viera Cast devices get VUDU

You know, there are several stages through which a family of products goes since the first member is released on the market: the first devices are appealing only to the technology enthusiasts, they are slow, ugly, bulky and expensive. Then, they become cheaper and cheaper, svelte, faster and more visually appealing while heading to mass adoption while eventually they become standard, cheap and more important, their feature set gets standardized and become a commodity. While not necessary into the last stage, media streamers in 2010 are certainly on their way to a successful mass adoption, most of them implementing the full set of popular online services as YouTube, Netflix, Hulu Plus, Pandora, VUDU, etc. Speaking of VUDU, if you own or plan to buy a Viera Cast capable Blu-ray player from Panasonic, and you like VUDU, you are in luck because all their Blu-ray players will get firmware updates which will bring VUDU compatibility. The product list? DMP-BDT350, DMP-BDT300, DMP-BDT100, DMP-BD85, DMP-BD65 and DMP-B500.

In case you don’t already know, VUDU has the largest HD movie library accessible online for streaming (over 4000) in 1080p resolution and 7.1 surround sound, with prices per movie starting as low as $2 to rent.

Check after the break for Panasonic full press release.

Read More…

Netflix streaming only plan is here for $7.99

Just in time for the holidays, you can start gifting Netflix memberships because the new streaming only plan from Netflix is here and priced at $7.99.

The new price is just a dollar below the current one disc at a time plan (which gets a dollar more expensive to $9.99). The new price puts Netflix on the same level (at least price wise) with Hulu Plus, although in my opinion there is no really competition between the two streaming services: Netflix has both much more content and no ads, which makes the choice easier.

Also, Netflix is available on many more media streaming boxes than Hulu many of them under $99 like Roku, WD TV Live Plus, Apple TV, Google TV, iPhone, iPad and soon to come on the best media streamer around, Boxee Box.

Currently, you can have 6 Netflix streaming devices per one account and you can also stream on several of them at the same time (if you have the bandwidth). With the new streaming only plan and raising prices on the other disc enabled plans, it is obvious now where Netflix priorities are and we can only agree 🙂

via Netflix