Archive | June, 2011

Roku 2 media Streamer close to release

If you haven’t heard of Roku up to this point, they hold the title for the first dedicated Netflix capable media streamer in the world. As weird as it might sound, back in the day not every media streamer was Netflix capable :D. Now, of course we live in different times, and Netflix is the largest movie streaming company in the world so Netflix streaming clients can be found everywhere, from stand-alone media streamer boxes to connected Blu-ray players and connected TVs, smartphones, tablets, you name it.

Roku obviously didn’t stop with Netflix, their boxes have the most streaming channels available in any media streamer box (see here our Roku review). The new version of this loaded box found its way to FCC and is currently in beta testing, so that means you’ll soon be able to find it in stores. FCC website lists three new models – 3000X, 3050X, and 3100X. Hardware wise, the new boxes are even smaller than the current version (44.65mm x 44.65mm) and built around a Broadcom 2835 SOC. The good news, they now feature a MicroSD Read More…

Amazon Associates – Notice of Contract Termination Due to Potential New California Law‏

Update: And here it goes:

Hello,

Unfortunately, Governor Brown has signed into law the bill that we emailed you about earlier today. As a result of this, contracts with all California residents participating in the Amazon Associates Program are terminated effective today, June 29, 2011. Those California residents will no longer receive advertising fees for sales referred to Amazon.comEndless.comMYHABIT.COM or SmallParts.com. Please be assured that all qualifying advertising fees earned before today will be processed and paid in full in accordance with the regular payment schedule. Read More…

Google Analytics and Webmaster Tools get +1 reporting

Google improved their Webmaster Central reporting tool by adding +1 reporting. By now, if you are a webmaster, you are surely familiar with the +1 button used to get a sense of quality of a post / site. What we didn’t have until today was a way to quantify the impact that +1 actions by visitors will have on your ranking. Wait no more, just log-in into your Google Webmaster Central and you’ll find out how many posts were +1, data about the search impact and audience (unique users, etc). Read More…

ViewSonic VFD1027w-11 10.2″ 1024 x 600 Digital Photo Frame Review

Introduction

I wanted to buy a photo frame for my parents in law with the following characteristics: reasonably cheap, large good quality screen, easy to use and, very important, capable to accept 220V power input because they are living in Europe. I wasn’t interested in any fancy features, no video / music, just basic photo slideshow and eventually remote control. I shopped around for a while and I found a product that met all my requirements – the ViewSonic VFD1027w-11 10.2″ 1024 x 600 Digital Photo Frame. I bought it, tested it and here is the review. Read More…

Deal of the Day – $0.01 – Motorola Atrix 4G AT&T Android Smartphone at Amazon

If you are on the market for a nice smartphone, Amazon has this Motorola Atrix 4G AT&T Android Smartphone for only $0.01 with free shipping. You’ll need activation (a new line for example) or a new 2-year AT&T agreement.

This phone was already successfully rooted so even with AT&T you won’t have any issues in installing the Android Market / Amazon Android App Store / side load apk and use it any way you want it. This phone is a beast in terms of performance with a very high resolution screen (960 x 540), 1 GB RAM and dual core 1GHz CPU.

Here are the Motorola Atrix 4G technical specs:

  • 4″ qHD at 960 x 540 16M color capacitive touchscreen
  • Tegra 2 chipset
  • Dual-core 1GHz ARM A9, Bluetooth 2.1 w/ A2DP, A-GPS
  • 5MP camera capable of recording 720p
  • HSDPA 850/1900/2100, Android 2.2
  • 1GB RAM
  • 16 GB internal memory, microSD expansion (up to 32 GB)
  • Google maps
  • HDMI audio/video output
  • up to 9 hours of talk time
  • AT&T 3G MicroCell Review – 2011

    Introduction

    I am a long time AT&T subscriber, not because I particularly love the company, but because in my area, the competition sucks even more in terms of signal strength and coverage. While AT&T’s signal is relatively decent outside the house, inside the strenght is atrocious, my iPhone 4 gets only 1 line and 50% of the time the call is dropped. I called AT&T many times to complain to no avail. You can imagine my surprise when I got a letter from AT&T a couple of weeks ago stating that they are having a promotion for a free 3G Microcell and I immediately jumped in the car and drove to my local AT&T store to get one. One our later, my new gadget was unpacked, installed and activated. I did use it for almost three weeks now and the conclusions are described in this AT&T 3G MicroCell Review. Read More…

    MoviePass – Unlimited Movies for $50/month

    While still quite expensive, it might very well work for you. There is a new service in town that tries to capitalize on our wish for “all you can it” but applied this time to movies IN THEATER. If you have enough time on your hands and $50/month is not an issue,  MoviePass lets you watch everything you want. The standard subscription only lets you watch regular movies, every IMAX or 3D show is an additional $3 per movies. If $50 is too much or you don’t have enough time, the cheaper package gives you 4 movies / month for only $30 which is still a good deal in my opinion.

    The system doesn’t yet work nationwide with a private beta in San Francisco (where else?) at this point and more by the end of the summer. You can use a smartphone app to book your tickets and hopefully MoviePass will be successful enough to work with a theater near you.

    Right now, MoviePass is in a kind of “word of mouth” mode. You can sign for free and if you can convince 10 of your friends to also sign you’ll get earlier access and a chance for a free full year subscription.

    What do you think? Would you watch enough movies to make the monthly price work for you? Would you consider getting a year round subscription or only for a couple of month in the summer?

    via MoviePass

    LeapFrog LeapPad Explorer tablet for kids available for pre-order on 06/29

    Now that tablets are the most sought after gadgets ever, your kids should be able to enjoy one as well, or at least this is what LeapFrog is trying to convince you. Called LeapPad Explorer, the device is actually cute, comes with 2 GB memory, embedded camera, microphone and a 5-inch LCD touchscreen at 272×480 pixels. Over 100 games and learning apps available via downloads ($5) or game cartridges ($25) by the end of the year.

    All of these would be rather unimpressive if the tablet wouldn’t feature some social capabilities. However, Story Studio will unleash your children creativity teaching them animations of Disney beloved characters while the parents will be able to earn bragging rights by sharing the creations on Facebook.

    LeapPad Explorer can be pre-ordered starting tomorrow June 28 from LeapFrog store and will also be available in stores on Aug. 15.

    via LeapFrog

    MySpace slowly converts into EmptySpace, cuts 75% of the workforce

    Update: …and the buyer is…Digital ad network Specific Media. I guess MySpace users will see even more ads when Specific Media will try to squeeze the current audience for all it is worth money wise. Expect the number of users to drop rapidly as they run away in fear to escape the ad bombardment.

    If you don’t know yet how a failing company prepares itself to be sold, I’ll tell you: Getting skinnier. Rumors  have it that about 300 MySpace employees will get the axe tomorrow joining the other 340 that were fired earlier this year. This way, reduced to its bare-bones,  MySpace will get ready to be sold sometime this week although the potential buyer is still to be announced. There are several potential interested parts including Living Social, Buzzmedia and a couple of investors. The price might also indicate a fire-sale with some expectations at only $30 million, a far cry from the $580 million News Corp paid for the social site in 2005 and a drop in the ocean compared to Facebook current valuation of $70 billion.

    The is not clear what future if any the embattled company will have in the light of competition from the top social media monsters like Twitter and Facebook. Unlike Facebook, MySpace reported losses of $165 million only last quarters.

    Angry Birds for Nook Color gets free Mighty Eagle if you play in Barnes and Noble Stores

    It looks like Barnes and Noble is getting serious in their plans to support their own Android App Store for Nook Color and announces its first exclusive – a tweaked Angry Birds version for Nook Color that gives you goodies for playing it in B&N stores (and being connected to B&N WiFi network), making the first Angry Birds implementation to be location aware. Apparently, B&N tries to steal some of the Apple’s “magic” designating their own stores as a “Magic Place”.

    The first bonus to be given in the above “Magic Place” is a free Mighty Eagle with other in-game bonuses and content made available to returning visitors. It is obviously a clever marketing trick to get as many visitors as possible, considering the popularity of Rovio’s game. The deal between Rovio Read More…