Archive | August, 2011

HP Touchpad gets CM7 Android 2.3.5 from CyanogenMod team – for real this time

Cool, my $99 HP Touchpad is set to become much more valuable. CyanogenMod team released a video showing CM7 working quite well on the HP TouchPad altough everything is still alfa level. Considering the speed of the porting, we expect some usable images to come soon, and at the lengendary CyanogenMod quality as well, exactly the way we enjoyed their work for quite some time on Nook Color.

In a letter to RootzWiki, the first website to announce an official effort for an Android port, CyanogenMod team expressed their intention to provide a multiboot solution as well as adding hardware acceleration to the package. No ETA was provided but I think the CyanogenMod accomplishments speak for themselves.

Barnes & Noble tries to fix the HP TouchPad PR disaster with a $20 gift card

If you were one among tens of thousands that placed an order on B&N website in the hope of buying a $99 HP TouchPad, the chance is high that your order was canceled but only after a rather long delay. For some, the hope of receiving their TouchPad from B&N stopped them to order everywhere else. As a result, everybody rushed to complain on various forums and created the worst PR nightmare B&N probably had to date. It is not only the fact that their ordering system allows so many orders after the stock is depleted  (the HP’s own website went through the same pain) but B&N’ delay in canceling the orders as well.

Not surprisingly, B&N tries to make nice with its customers and issued a $20 gift card for everybody affected. Is it enough? What is your opinion?

Dear …,

This past weekend, BN.com experienced a technical inventory error for the HP TouchPad combined with an unprecedented customer demand for its newly discounted price. Unfortunately, this generated more customer orders than we had inventory, resulting in our cancelling some customer orders, including yours, as we notified you earlier this week. If there was a pending authorization against your debit or credit card for the order, we have worked to quickly reverse that no later than today. You will not be charged for this order.

I want to take this opportunity to offer our sincere apology to you as a valued customer of BN.com. We care deeply about serving our customers, and in an expression of our commitment to you please accept the $20 Barnes & Noble eGift Card below for any inconvenience this may have caused.

The card can be used for any merchandise available at BN.com or in any of our bookstores.

We look forward to serving you again in the future.

Sincerely,
John Foley
President, BN.com

Google TV 2.0 Add-on for Android SDK out for preview, helps developers tweak their apps for the big screen

While we still don’t know when exactly our Google TV units will get some Honeycomb love, the developers are getting a hint of what is to come with the help of a new Google TV Add-on for Android SDK and hopefully TV optimized Android Apps will follow.

The new Add-on contains only a limited set of the new Google TV 2.0 features but fortunately the new TV interaction APIs are in (including TV channel line-up). Also in are the new UI guidelines for the 10-foot experience.

If you are a developer, you can download your Google TV add-on today. In time, maybe we can finally put that $99 Logitech Revue to good use. The beta Android OS 3.1 Honeycomb leaked some time ago and offered a preview of the Android Market and the new user experience.

via Android Developers Blog

Onkyo TX-NR809 Review – THX Certified 7.2-Channel Network A/V Receiver with 8 HDMI inputs

Introduction:

My beloved Pioneer Elite VSX-82TXS just lost a channel and anyway, it was time for a new receiver. I needed something with similar specs to the good old 82TXS but updated to the 2011 requirements (Internet connectivity, 3D support, etc). I prefer connected equipment when possible plus a bunch of HDMI inputs and, when Amazon had Onkyo TX-NR809 on sale I jumped on it. A couple of days later a large and heavy box found its way to my door and I played with its content for the last two weeks. The results are described in this Onkyo TX-NT809 Review.

Throughout the review I’ll make brief comments regarding how the new Onkyo TX-NR809 compares to my old Pioneer Elite VSX-82TXS. I think these two receivers belong to the same class and it should be interesting to see how the technology evolved in the last 5 years. Read More…

Hulu Plus comes to WD TV Live Plus and WD TV Live Hub – some games as well

For me, this is the best news for the entire  month of August. All my three WD TV Live Plus boxes got Hulu Plus through a firmware update, which is absolutely amazing. Now, I can sincerely say that WD TV Live Plus is by far the best media streamer box on the market with both excellent streaming support and local/network content as well. Here is our WD TV Live Plus Review (I’ll have to update it one of these days, soo many new features were added since our initial review). Among other services suported we need to mention Netflix (subtitles, etc), YouTube, CinemaNow, Facebook, Pandora, Weather, etc. Excellent support for 1080p MKV, FLAC, Windows Network Shares and DLNA, etc.

WD TV Live Hub got the new Hulu Plus client as well, but not the older WD TV Live model since it does not contain a DRM-ed chip.

With the latest firmware update, WD TV Live Plus jumps ahead Boxee Box in terms of support and features (at least in my opinion) for a much better price as well. You can find it for around $79 right now.

As part of the same firmware update (1.06.16_B) you can now find a gaming section as part of WD TV Live Plus Menu. As you can imagine, the games are nothing to write home about (Sudoku and several others) but since they are free, we can’t really complain that much.

via Hulu Blog