Archive for December, 2010
After the last two epic Star Wars prequel reviews, you know what you’re getting into: an at-length breakdown of everything that went wrong with Episode III. Watch it before you go out tonight so you can be the one who’s seen it. Because that’s cool, or something? Why would I recommend that?
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Earlier this year, we asked how you’d change Palm’s Pre Plus and Pixi Plus, both of which were launched with webOS 1.x. Needless to say, a lot can happen in three calendar quarters. Since, HP has swallowed Palm up, and webOS 2.0 has hit the wilds of our wondrous planet. The Pre 2 wasn’t exactly the most enthralling device to launch the OS on, but it is what it is. And now, we’re curious to know how you’d overhaul it if given the seat that Mark Hurd once resided in. Have you grown annoyed by any specific thing within webOS 2.0? Would you have tweaked the distribution process? Are you satisfied with developer participation? Would you alter certain things knowing that a nondescript webOS tablet was on the horizon? Go ahead and spend your last moments of 2010 in comments below — who knows what the next year holds for this gem of a mobile OS.
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The State Ministry of Industry in China has “outlawed” VoIP calling, suggesting workers use good old China telecom for their important calls out into the Capitalist wilds. According to a report, the ministry suggested that 30 million current users are using “illegal VoIP operators” and they have been given a number to call to report use of VoIP in their neighborhoods.
Generally this looks more like a power play by China Telecom and the other carriers to maintain its user base than any real concern over legality. However, it’s fairly obvious that VoIP is harder to police than POTS but considering the official Chinese carriers offer VoIP of their own, it’s pretty hard to swallow the security angle.
According to a post that’s just gone live on Boxee’s blog, users of the Boxee Box won’t see VUDU or Netflix content on their TVs until January. We know, the wait will be painful. According to the Boxee team, VUDU offerings should hit the platform as soon as next week, but Netflix won’t be made available until the end of the month. The company claims that both services are up and running in its offices, but more time was needed to “test each application to make sure they are ready for launch.” It’s nice to know where we stand, though it would have been even nicer to get more frequent updates on the status of these apps, instead of a last-minute blog post on New Year’s Eve.
Still, the post has equal touches of hopefulness for the bright future Boxee sees for home entertainment, and acknowledgment of the massive challenges the startup faces in the coming year. In their words: “As we get ready for the New Year tomorrow and CES next week, it’s clear that in 2011 we will be competing with companies that spend more feeding their employees that we have to pay ours. We’re confident though that our small team will continue to push the envelop of what people expect from their TVs.” Here at Engadget, we’re eager to see how it all plays out, but we’re definitely rooting for underdogs like Boxee who have pioneered so much of what the world is just waking up to. 2011 is going to be a crazy year!
The Olympus E-PL2 is due to hit retailers soon, and we’re starting to see pictures of the accessories that will be available. Sure, there’s the standard fisheye, macro, and wide angle lenses; but what other camera has lights on flexible arms?
Olympus is also coming out with some specialized lights intended for macro photography. These lights are powered off the hot shoe (that mount on top of the camera where you put your flash), and mounted on two flexible arms, allowing you to light your subject using just the camera. No word on when the lights will hit stores, or how much they’ll cost. Props to Olympus for coming up with this clever lighting solution.
We’re not exactly sure of the cause of this fancy new issue affecting Apple’s super cool iPhone line of cellphones, but apparently you’ve got trouble come 1/1/2011. According to an explosive stream of frustration-filled tweets on the Twitter microblogging service, when the clock strikes midnight, one off alarms will cease to sing out. The issue sounds eerily similar to recent Daylight Savings Time trouble we witnessed back in November, although we saw both repeating alarm and single alarm failures, respectively.
So how can you fix this potentially life-ruining problem? Well until Apple patches its OS — and it’s currently unclear if this is just iOS 4.2.1 or earlier versions as well — you can simply create a recurring alarm at the time you need to be woken up, and then disable it once your dreams are completely ruined. We’re taking a deeper look into the issue and have contacted Apple — if we get more news, you guys will be the first to know. In the meantime, feel free to commiserate in comments, and… happy new year?
[Thanks to everyone who sent this in]
There are rumors going around right now that Sony is going to make a play for IMAX. Since IMAX is a major (so to speak) venue for 3D films, it makes some sense, and the sale would put Sony in control of a large amount of high-profile theaters around the country. How does that sound to you? Not so good? Yeah, same here.
Actually, I doubt it would make too much difference; it’s not like Sony theaters would fail to show movies you wanted to see. The deal would be a good one for IMAX, with the offer rumored to be $ 40/share and the company currently valued at around $ 26/share. It’s all unconfirmed, but it would make some sense. Sony likes to put itself in positions of power in the distribution structure, and the “last mile” of having control over IMAX would be a coup for them.
Over the past two weeks we’ve been incorporating a lightweight flexible technology into our workflow. Usually, of course, just about everything we write is routed through a processor, operating system and application and immediately reflected on an LCD using some multitasking user interface. However, we have been seeking a way to organize to-do lists on a separate display so that they are not lost in the course of a day’s work or taking up undue screen real estate. As it happens, we were invited to an exclusive press event extolling the latest version of paper.
Paper is a thin, foldable substance that can accommodate a wide array of styli to produce words and graphics. The catch is that, much like printer cartridges, these styli must be refilled with ink or replaced. But there is a wide ecosystem of these devices that are broadly available.
The developers of paper have really put a lot of forethought into a wide array of uses. The tool has almost no learning curve and data entry is so simple that young children will have no problems mastering its basics. Paper yields high contrast when used with the appropriate ink and consumes no power. And, simply put, there is no display on the market that can fold as flexibly as paper, allowing us to slip a small sheet imperceptibly into a shirt pocket or wallet.
Continue reading Reserve Power: Paper 2010, The Inkgadget Review
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Lots of companies are getting in the flexible display R&D, but few have actually shown anything but prototypes. That’s not likely to change at CES this year, but we may see a few new items; Samsung is now showing off a 4.5″ AMOLED display that’s both flexible and transparent. Nice!
It’s different from the other screens they’ve shown off, and of course it’s not e-ink like some of the ones we’ve seen. Whether the flexibility would remain once you’d added a CPU and touch-sensitive panel is of course hard to say, but I’m liking where things are going.