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Archive | April, 2011

Should we make gamer’s information portable?

With the recent (and ongoing, now in its 9th consecutive day) Sony PSN outage, some gamers are discussing (seriously or not) to jump ships and move to XBOX 360 and its XBOX Live network which, at least for know is alive and kicking. Most of this talk is just pure frustration and I am sure less than one percent of the PSN users are thinking seriously to completely migrate. After all, if you are an avid online gamer, you have your trophies, achievements, friends and networks, levels played, characters, etc. Even for local gaming, some of this data is still useful, especially the saved progress.

Now comes the big question: What if this information would somewhat be portable between several systems and networks? Obviously there are many games available on at least two on the main platforms (XBOX 360 and Sony PS3). Wii is out of the question for now due to the Read More…

Deal of the Day – Logitech Revue at Amazon on sale for $229 shipped

Not sure how long the deal will last, but I noticed that Amazon has Logitech Revue on sale for the rather low price of $229 shipped (you’ll need to add it to cart to see the discounted price, from $299, no coupons necessary). You might love or hate the devices but it is probably the lowest price ever (considering that Amazon doesn’t charge sales tax in most of the states) and it will probably get Android Market sometime next month (to be announced during Google I/O 2011 conference in May) if various rumors around the web are right.

We reviewed the Google TV hardware (from Sony) a while ago and since then, the Netflix client got better and Google added several new streaming clients as well. However, everything will really explode immediately after Android Market will become available.

One particular aspect that no other media streamer has is the HDMI pass-trough. You can basically connect the Revue between your set top box and TV and use it in parallel while watching TV. Several streaming web clients supported included Amazon Video on Demand, Netflix, YouTube (the big screen experience),  Pandora, Twitter, CNBC and a full functioning Chrome Web Browser plus full size wireless keyboard / touchpad.

ZAGGmate iPad 2 Review – Logitech Keyboard Case by ZAGG for iPad 2

Introduction:

I bought an iPad 2 a couple of weeks ago (technically I bought it more than a month ago but it took Apple almost a month to ship it!). I commute daily by train and, since iPad 2 doesn’t have a keyboard, I wasn’t able to do to much work on it so it did not replace my notebook. (By the way, if you think you can use iPad 2 – and any other tablet for that matter for serious work using only the on-screen keyboard, you are either wrong or much luckier than I am). I don’t want to carry more than one device with me so I start looking around to see what external Bluetooth keyboards are available. One of the options was the ZAGGmate for iPad 2 with Bluetooth, this time manufactured by Logitech. Not cheap at $99 but by now you should be used with the price of iPad accessories, and also the of any accessory manufactured by Logitech. Having used Logitech before, including my beloved Harmony universal remote, I decided to go ahead and see how it works.

ZAGGmate iPad 2 Review – Unpacking:

Zagg shipped the keyboard fast enough and in a much more efficient package than I expected. Good work Zagg, I used to Read More…

Confirmed: Hulu Plus on XBOX 360 on April 29

We knew it was coming and with PSN down for the foreseeable future, the other game console in the living room to stream Hulu Plus is…XBOX 360. The price will be the same $7.99 / month, you’ll also get a promotion for a week of viewing pleasure and to give you an early taste of movie watching and, while the service will be available only for Live Gold members, everybody (in US) will be able to watch it until May 6, even the free Silver accounts (thanks to a sponsorship by Jack Link’s Beef Jerky 🙂 ).

The new Hulu Plus for XBOX 360 will support Kinect so if you are into waving a la Minority Report, you got your wish fulfilled. Also, similar to Netflix, voice control and navigation for Hulu Plus should be available as well.

Now, considering the long history of XBOX 360 April updates, it makes sense to expect a new firmware to also arrive tomorrow.

Check after the break for Microsoft’s Press Release

Read More…

Hulu compensates for PSN outage

If you were curious about what’s in it for you for not being able to access Sony PlayStation Network (PSN) and related services for the past week, Hulu is the first to react issuing $2 credits for one week of downtime. Here is the full e-mail: (Note: I received my credit already)

Dear ***,

Unfortunately, due to the outage on PlayStation® Network, Hulu Plus subscribers cannot currently access the application on the PS3™. We understand this is frustrating, and we are looking forward to Sony restoring access to the application as soon as possible. In the meantime, we’d like to offer you a 1-week credit toward your Hulu Plus subscription. In order to automatically redeem your credit, please click here (customized link removed) at any time Read More…

Kindle with Special Offers shipping right now

Remember the ad supported Kindle 3 we announced a while ago? Amazon is eager to have it in your hands so it is shipping right now, for $114, a $25 discount from the regular price. Fortunately Amazon was smart enough to keep the ads out of the content so they’ll only be displayed when your device enters in standby or when a screensaver is displayed. Kindle with Special Offers won’t only display advertisements but also special deals and offers from Amazon store.

Than being said, maybe to entice potential customers, the first offers to be publicized on the new Kindle are quite good, including $10 for $20 Amazon.com Gift Card and 50% off Roku Streaming Player (normally $99). If you are new to eReaders, you can study our full Kindle 3 review and also our Roku player review if you want to know what the future discount is about.

iPad 2 arrives in Japan, still no jailbreak, white iPhone 4 in US (finally)

Japan wasn’t part of the first wave of iPad 2 international availability for several reasons (component shortage, tsunami, etc) but now it looks like the Japanese will be able to buy them on Tuesday. Beside Japan, iPad 2 will also be available in other Asian countries like Korea, Singapore, Hong Kong and eight other.
That being said, more proof that iPad 2 is the most secure Apple device to date, it is still not jailbroken, a process that cannot come soon enough.

Switching to iPhone 4, specifically the white version that managed to elude us for more than a year, some good news here if you still care – iPad 4 white version will start selling also Thursday, April 28th in several stores including Apple’s own network, AT&T and Verizon. iPhone 4 white will also be launched internationally at the same time with US in 28 other countries.
…and I almost forgot, now that we are talking about Apple’s toys, check the free iPad app for today, Fishdom HD by Playrix. Quite good reviews…

Sony issues an update about PSN outage – client data compromised

Breaking news – Sony broke the silence and posted an alarming report: it looks that between April 17 and April 19 “certain PlayStation Network and Qriocity user account information was compromised in connection with an illegal and unauthorized intrusion into our network.” followed by the alarming:

“Although we are still investigating the details of this incident, we believe that an unauthorized person has obtained the following information that you provided: name, address (city, state, zip), country, email address, birthdate, PlayStation Network/Qriocity password and login, and handle/PSN online ID. It is also possible that your profile data, including purchase history and billing address (city, state, zip), and your PlayStation Network/Qriocity password security answers may have been obtained. If you have authorized a sub-account for your dependent, the same data with respect to your dependent may have been obtained. While there is no evidence at this time that credit card data was taken, we cannot rule out the possibility. If you have provided your credit card data through PlayStation Network or Qriocity, out of an abundance of caution we are advising you that your credit card number (excluding security code) and expiration date may have been obtained.”

Unfortunately there is nothing to be done at this point other than to be on watch for fishing e-mails, unauthorized purchases, etc. There is still no update about when the system will be back online, however with an external security team called to audit, you can expect Sony will need to make some changes to tighten up PSN’s security and that might take longer than just another week. However, waiting a week to announce that our credit cards might be compromised is borderline criminal.

Check the entire announcement from Sony. Believe me, it is no joke!

Asus Eee Pad Transformer (TF101) available on sale at Amazon for pre-order starting today

The long awaited Asus Eee Pad Transformer (TF101) was just officially released today, April 26! You can pre-order it at Amazon with no taxes and free shipping. The prices are: $399 for the 16gb, $499 for 32gb and $149 for the keyboard dock.

The tiny little beast is one of the coolest toys to be released this year and has the following technical specifications:

  • 10 fingers multi-touch support – eat that iPad 2!!!
  • 1.2 MP front, 5MP rear camera
  • NVIDIA® Tegra™ 2 1.0GHz dual-core CPU for excellent multitasking & 1080p video playback
  • Android 3.0 Honeycomb O.S. with Adobe® Flash® 10.2 support*2
  • Full QWERTY keyboard, touchpad input with Polaris® Office® for mobile productivity
  • 16*1 hours long battery life for all day computing with docking station
  • Brilliant IPS LED powered LCD panel with ultra-wide 178⁰ viewing angle made from scratch resistant and super tough glass
  • One year of Unlimited ASUS WebStorage, two USB ports, SD and Micro SD card readers for easy sharing & storage expendability
  • 3D stereo with max bass response with SRS premium sound
  • Sensors: G-Sensor, Light Sensor, Gyroscope, E-Compass, GPS
  • Dimensions / Weight: 271 x 171 x 12.98mm, 680g

Check after the break for photo gallery / video preview Read More…

Sony announces S1 and S2 Android Honeycomb tablets, ship in the fall

You didn’t expect Sony to stay too long out of the market where all the action is, right? And at this point, the hottest product in electronics and computers is the tablet, expected to sell in tens of millions this year. Since iOS is off limits for everyone beside Apple, the next best thing at this point (with Windows 8 not coming for another year) is Android Honeycomb, the first Android OS designed specifically for tablets.

Well, today, during a press conference in Tokyo, Sony dropped the bomb: They’ll launch two different tablet models this fall, a 9.4  inches S1 and 5.5 inches S2, this one featuring dual screen at 1,024 x 480 and a foldable design. No prices were announced and no detailed hardware specs but being Sony and all, you should expect to pay a premium for the brand.

Both tablets will be able to act as remote controls for the Bravia electronics line and also support DLNA for proper media playback with both WiFi and 3G/4G connectivity.

Now, the 9.4 inches S1 looks like every other tablet on the market including dual cameras, however, S2 looks interesting because it will fit in a purse, maybe even a large pocket. If it is thin enough and the middle hinges are less conspicuous, the two screens are as close to each other as possible, it might even look nice. Oh, and let’s hope Sony won’t lock them down, require proprietary storage and add their own intrusive UI to screw everything up.

Check after the break for a video featuring the two upcoming Sony tablets.

via Sony Read More…