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Archive | May, 2011

Genius LuxeMate T810 Review – Wireless Media Center Keyboard / Remote

Today I’ll review a very interesting product – the LuxeMate T810 Media Cruiser – a wireless Media Center keyboard / remote control manufactured by Genius and designed to stay on your lap and offer all the functions required to control your Media Center based HTPC. To be honest, I searched for a long time for the ideal HTPC controller and before the LuxeMate I used (and still use) my Harmony 880 remote together with Logitech diNovo Mini. While I still use the Harmony remote, the diNovo Mini is just too small for a comfortable use and has some range issues, so I kept looking. I was able to obtain a LuxeMate T810 wireless keyboard which seemed like a good choice for the task at hand (completely control my HTPC in a fast and reliable way) and my experience with it is described in this review. For reference, all my tests were performed using Windows 7. Read More…

PSN/Qriocity services still down, Sony shows funny “See it before Netflix” ad which in the current context doesn’t quite work

PlayStation Network and Qriocity services are still down although Sony promised last month that everything will be up and running. It happens, maybe Sony’s server guys really need the weekend. The new official due date is by the end of this week. Meantime, I got my Sony e-mail offering identity theft protection via Debix’s AllClear ID Plus. But this is not the reason I started to write this little post. While playing in XrossMediaBar on my PS3 to see what else is new, I noticed an ad for “The Rite” movie with the following addition: See it before Netflix. I clicked on it too see what is all about and surprise! The following error message poped-up: “This service is currently Read More…

Deal of the Day – Plants vs. Zombies for free today at Amazon App Store for Android – works well on Nook Color

Today only, to celebrate the Plants vs. Zombies by PopCap launch for Android, the game is free at Amazon App Store for Android (regular price starting tomorrow – $2.99). I downloaded it (WiFi only due to size) and it works quite well on my CyanogenMod 7 Nook Color, with smooth animations and no speed issues . One of the most popular games of all times and, interestingly enough, not available yet at Google’s Android market, only at Amazon.

Amazon for students – Free Xbox 360 with a new PC

A while ago we announced a back to school promotion from Microsoft – buy a PC worth at least $699 and get a free XBOX 360 4GB edition. At that time, the offer was limited to Microsoft own stores and Best Buy. The good news is that Amazon decided to join the promotion and we know their prices compared with BestBuy, right? We also know that they don’t have taxes in most of the state so you’ll get more bang for your back.

You can read more about the promotion on Amazon’s website. The offer applies only to Amazon students but to join you just need an .edu e-mail, As an added bonus, you’ll also get Amazon Prime (two days shipping) for free.

The offer is available between May 25, 2011 and September 3, 2011 so you have plenty of time to take advantage of the free XBOX 360.

WatchESPN Live iPad version is here – quick review

Good news for sport lovers – WatchESPN app is now optimized for large screen, more specifically for iPad. the application is free and available right now in the app store. I downloaded in order to review it and fortunately it works with my cable provider, Times Warner.

UI:

The user interface is nice enough and polished, like most of the apps for iPad (it is good to know that good UI design practices are applied) and provides live viewing to all ESPN channels. The transition from portrait / landscape is also smooth and the layout works well.

Access: Read More…

Get your 3D glasses on – Mozilla, NVIDIA and YouTube bring 3D HTML5 video to the World Wide Web

If you are a fan of tri-dimensional television and wondered when you’ll ever have access to any 3D content in your browser, wait no longer, it is right here. Thanks to a partnership between Mozilla (browser technology), NVIDIA (hardware graphic accelerator) and YouTube (content) you’ll be able to watch YouTube videos in all their 3D splendor. Apparently, there are already thousands of 3D clips available on YouTube, just no way to play them yet, but YouTube is busy re-encoding them into their WebM format with 3D and they’ll play via Mozilla’s Firefox 4 HTML 5 player. You’ll also need a proper 3D supporting TV and NVIDIA 3D vision hardware to actually enjoy the 3D effect, with a package retailing for around $130.

Not sure why this technology is not available in Chrome when, considering that Google owns YouTube one would expect to be displayed first, if only for the bragging factor. But is is OK, I love Mozilla and I can’t wait to play whatever is available through my HTPC.

via Mozilla Blog

Google Offers and Google Wallet (NFC) announced

While the rumors are spinning around a web for quite a while, today Google made official their newer services – Google Offers, an offer/deals system to fight the immensely popular Groupon , including the offer of the day coming to your e-mail account. The second announcement, integrated with the Google Offers for instant, reliable and efficient spending 😀 is Google Wallet, an NFC (Near Field Communication) based mobile payment system that comes supported by several heavy merchants (Toys ‘R Us, Walgreens, Macy’s) and two important financial institutions (Citibank and MasterCard). Basically, you’ll be able to pay using your smartphone, if it has NFC technology built-in. A Google pre-paid debit card will also be available and the first phone to officially support it will be Nexus S 4G by Google available from Sprint.

For those who don’t know, NFC is a modern method of very short distance RF communication (typically 4cm or about one and a half inch) designed for various transactions. What is interesting about it is that the initiator creates a low power RF field that powers the receiver, so you can scan a variety of non-powered tags (like price tags, business cards, etc) or exchange information with other active platforms (payments, contact info, etc). NFC in a way is compatible Read More…

64GB microSD(XC) cards are here thanks to KingMax

If you really want to brag about how much you carry in your pants, Kingmax has something for you – The first 64GB microSD card in the world, available in Class 6 speeds, manufactured using a new technology called 9 Stacked Die.

There is not yet know how expensive these little wonders will be, neither when they actually start shipping, although you can be sure you’ll have to pay a premium at the beginning, for the honor;However, what we DO know is that not many devices will be able to use it, since most of the eReaders / smartphones are still using microSD-HC standard limited at (only) 32GB. The class 6 speeds should enable 48Mbps (6MBytes / sec) transfer rates, enough for 1080p recording. The card is also compatible with the latest SD 3.0 standard. Check after the break for the technical specifications.

via Kingmax Read More…

Kindle 3 – 3G version with special offers announced for $164

While initially it didn’t seem like Amazon will launch the special offers Kindle for the 3G model, it just happened. The reason could be the pressure from the newly launched Kobo Touch eReader and Nook Simple Touch for $139, or Amazon is looking for a way to keep their profit margins throughout the year without actually cutting the internal price. The new Kindle 3 – 3G model with advertisements in the screensaver went on sale yesterday for a lower price – $164, a $25 cut from the original price.

The opinions might differ about whether $164 is still a good price considering the advertisements, but there are two aspects we need to emphasize: The ads are never showed while reading, only when the device is off or as a screensaver so they should not interfere with your activity. Also, the first batch of advertisements  was quite interesting – with Roku media streamers for 50% off only for the owners of the Kindle with special offers, although we don’t know if Amazon intentionally took some loses just to promote the awesomeness of their ads loaded eReader.  Read More…

Barnes & Noble announced Nook – The Simple Touch Reader

Just a day after Kobo announced their own version of touch enabled eReader, Barnes & Noble decided it is time to unwrap their new eReader device as well, and surprise, it also has touch screen capabilities (and at this point, Amazon HAS to come with something, either a new eReader or a tablet to stay in the game).

Hardware wise, Nook Touch has the exact same infrared touch technology announced by Kobo and surprises us with an incredible battery life (up to 2 month). The device is also much thinner and lighter than its predecessor – about 21% more compact (the keyboard is also on screen). The screen is also the same 6″ EInk Pearl found in both Kindle 3 and Kobo Touch released yesterday and at this point it is obvious that eReader hardware is heading toward commoditization with the main differentiation being the software layer and the store content and prices.

Like previous models, the new Nook Simple Touch is also based on Android, has 2GB of memory which can be expanded through the included microSD slot (up to an additional 32GB). The eReader includes WiFi support but no 3G. I assume B&N did their marketing research and realized that not that many people are actually using the 3G capability, although we wished they would have come with a 3G enabled model for those that actually would enjoy it.

You can pre-order now from B&N website for $139 and it will start shipping on June 10th. Nook Simple Touch will also sell at BestBuy, Staples, Walmart and other stores.

Head after the break for full technical specs. Keep in touch for our upcoming Nook Touch Review.

Read More…