What the PS3 Price Cut Means For Consumers

by Jonathan | Aug 22, 2009 at 9:00 am | gaming, technology

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Sony has announced that it will be releasing a new Slim version of it’s PS3 for $299 this September. But where does this price cut put it with the competition. If we are to talk price then we must take into account the yet to be announced price shuffling of Microsoft’s.

The current PS3 now sells for $299 (80 gig), $299 (120 gig slim) and $399 (160 gig). There have been talks for a 240 gig slim model which could replace the current 160 gig.

It is well know that Microsoft is planning on cutting out the Xbox Pro for the well equipped Xbox Elite model while keeping the lower price. This puts the Xbox Arcade at $179 and the Elite at $299.

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Palm Releases 3 New Apps

by Jonathan | Aug 15, 2009 at 11:29 am | technology

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Palm updated their App Catalog yesterday with three new applications. They include Blackout, Spades and Echo for Palm Desktop. Blackout is a simple game were you try and turn all the lights out in a grid. When you select a light the adjacent non diagonal lights change states. The graphics are simple but effective however the concept can get frustrating if you do not have a strategy. Spades is what it imply, the card game Spades. You can play with a computer partner, by your self, in mirror mode or suicide mode. The game plays exactly how you would expect it to and works well. The final app is called Echo for the Palm Desktop. This app syncs you address book and data book with the Palm Desktop software. The sync can happen over your local wifi adding to the convince. Echo is a 7 day trial and the full version is $29.99.

Worlds First Digital Projector Camera

by Jonathan | Aug 4, 2009 at 2:15 pm | photography, technology

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Nikon has just unveiled its new S1000pj camera, the first of its kind to have a built in projector. Imagine you have just come back from a vacation and you want to show your photographs off to your friends and family. Normally you have a few options, you can offload the images to a laptop, hook the camera up to a TV / monitor or have everyone huddle behind the small screen of your camera. Well now Nikon wants to add a fourth option. With the S1000pj you can turn on the mini projector built right into the camera and show off your images or video on the closest wall. Nikon says the projected image can be as large as 40 inches.

Is this the next big thing to hit compact digital cameras or is Nikon just taking a shot in the dark? Is this how Nikon will differ themselves from other companies like Canon and Fuji? I wonder if other companies are hard at work right now coming up with their own version of the projector camera. Whether it is a big hit or not I do believe that this is a feature that not many people saw coming. I also think we will not know how people will use or react to having the projector until it is in the reviewers hands for a few weeks. Nikon is hedging its bets by not making the camera  just a one hit projector wonder. It has all the good stats of an excellent camera, 12.1 megapixels from a 1/2.3″ CCD, 5x image stabilizing zoom lens and 2.7″ LCD screen. Check out the video after the break.

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Palm adds two new apps for the Pre

by Jonathan | Jul 29, 2009 at 8:51 am | technology

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Late last night Palm released two new apps for their catalog. Nothing earth shattering but could this be the beginning of the flood? Palm released their SDK to the public not to long ago and we have endured weeks of no new application additions. The WebOS homebrew community has been hard at work developing a bunch of new apps. These apps give a good look into what developers are working on for the official catalog. You can find out more about homebrew apps on the PreCentral.net forums.

The two new apps are called OpenTable and Fliq Bookmarks. OpenTable allows you to book reservations at popular restaurants close to your location. Fliq Bookmarks works in conjunction with The Missing Sync and moves your Safari bookmarks from you Mac to your Pre. Available now and on the App Catalog.

I have noticed that when I open the App Catalog on the Pre it takes a minute or two to load up and fill in the apps. I would hope that Palm is trying to beef up their back-end network before they release the flood gates. When you have more apps in the catalog, more people will be hitting their network and the longer it will take for people to load the App Catalog.

Ooma unboxed (photo set)

by Jonathan | Jul 24, 2009 at 9:00 am | photography, technology

I recently have switched from normal phone / DSL to Cable Internet / VOIP. The VOIP solution I choose was ooma (or Ooma I am not really sure). Ooma is a free VOIP phone service provider. You only pay for the initial hardware and as long as you have an internet connection you will have phone service. I have to say that I was very surprised with this product. My first reaction to unboxing the devices was the build quality of the product. The design of the product and the box it came in has a very Apple like feel. It was very easy to setup and sits between my router and cable modem. More of a review coming after I get some time with the devices. For now here is the unboxing photo set. Enjoy.

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Xbox Live Update coming August 11th

by Jonathan | Jul 21, 2009 at 2:58 pm | gaming, technology

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Microsoft announced today that they will be releasing the latest Xbox 360 dashboard update on August 11th. If you follow Major Nelson from the xbox live community you may have heard that Microsoft is looking to making the dashboard run quicker with less lag. Sometimes when viewing my friends list or when trying to add someone to a party there is a long wait time while the console “thinks”. There are no release notes about the speed up of the dashboard it self so I do not know if it will be included in this update or in the next update slated for later in the fall.

There is another thing I would really like to see update on the Xbox and that is how it handles music. I listen to music streamed from a different computer on my network and the way  you navigate and select songs feels like it is from Window 3.1. My biggest problem with it is when you select a song or album to play and when you want to select a new song the system does not remember where you were in your library. You must navigate back from the beginning of the menus making song choosing a hassle. When I first got my Xbox I thought the ability to play my own music while I play or while the game is loading was one of the best features. It is to bad it has not received any attention in the NXE or recent updates.

Back on topic now. The update coming will include several great new features like better Netfllix integration, an Avatar props and awardables, Games on demand (why has this taken so long) and an improved party interface. If you didn’t know you can sign up to beta test the update much the same way you can beta test the new Power Pack 3 for WHS. Hit up the link here and sign in with your Windows Live account. Microsoft will get back with you later this week to let you know if you made it in.

A list of what is included in the update after the break.

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Windows Home Server Power Pack 3 Beta

by Jonathan | Jul 20, 2009 at 9:00 am | technology

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Microsoft released the first beta of the WHS Power Pack 3 last Thursday. The beta is pretty much wide open and available to everyone that signs up. I had no problem getting to the download page. You will need a Windows Live account and navigate to this page. Read the paragraphs for the join link and then continue to the download link on the left of the page.

The third power pack will bring several updates to integrate Windows 7 with WHS. Now the Home Server folders will be integrated into Windows 7 library. Enabling backup through Home Server will suppress the warning found in Windows 7. You can archive recorded TV shows straight to your Home Server in several different formats, including ones specifically for small devices. There are several other enhancements and bug fixes as well. If you have installed Windows 7 (I don’t know why you would not have) and you have a Home Server then definitely jump on the power pack 3 beta.

The install goes pretty quickly but does require one restart. There are three items to install. Windows Search 4, a hotfix for Search 4 and the PP3 beta.

Document info after the break.

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Palm Pre Unboxing

by Jonathan | Jun 12, 2009 at 11:07 pm | Featured, technology

I was unable to get a Palm Pre on launch day for reasons that are out of my control. Apparently Sprint as a very strict upgrade policy with new phones of this caliber. Even a long time subscriber like myself was unable to sway them into upgrading me early. Needless to say I still got my hands on a Palm Pre today and took some photos of the unboxing. Please check out the gallery after the break .

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Jumping into 64 bits

by Jonathan | May 28, 2009 at 10:47 pm | technology

Windows 7 Desktop

With Windows 7 RC1 released recently I thought it would be a great time to upgrade. If I am going to be on the bleeding edge I might as well go all out with the 64bit version.  I played around with the Windows 7 beta and loved the new look and feel. The new task bar took some time to get use too but overall I felt like it was a nice update. Microsoft will tell you that a bunch of code has been changed under the hood but it really goes unnoticed because the RC1 runs without a hitch. After installing on my main desktop machine I only had one crash for an unknown reason but what mac or pc has not had at least one kernel panic.

I did run into a few things I wanted to mention. I thought that everything I use daily had been released in a 64bit version.  In reality only a few very specific programs are 64bit right now.

  • IE 8 is 64bit but no flash support just yet.
  • Firefox is 64bit in beta, also no flash.
  • JAVA is now 64bit.
  • Photoshop CS4 is 64bit but I don’t believe any of the other Adobe apps are.
  • None of the Office apps are 64bit.

It seems like we are one generation away from the majority of developers having 64bit version of everyday software. This really doesn’t matter because Windows will run 32bit application just fine. With some help of out-of-sight visualization things run smoothly. These 32bit application will still be confined to normal 32bit rules such as only being able to access 2GBs of ram (without some help from the developer).

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Palm Pre Release Date

by Jonathan | May 19, 2009 at 12:45 pm | technology

Palm Pre

Looks like Palm is going to meet their first half of 2009 promise for releasing the Pre. Sprint just announced that the Pre will be release on June 6th, 2009.

I consider this to be the phone with the most potential to compete with Apple’s iPhone. When the iPhone was first release several companies were caught off guard. They pushed out their competing product to just have something in the same marketplace as Apple but frankly nothing has even come close to the popularity of the iPhone. If more time was spent looking at what makes the iPhone a massive hit those companies would realize that the software is where it’s at. Creating elegant phone shapes, adding a gps module or wifi capability means nothing if the user experience sucks. Palm has taken what it has learned from those companies before it and taken the interface to a new level. Will Palms WebOS be the next great phone operating system? I think the more important question is not what WebOS will bring or whether the Pre is going to be an iPhone killer but what does Palm have up it’s sleeve next.  Rumors of the Palm Eos, a smaller more Centro style phone, have already be around the internet. We all know that Palm is struggling and really needs a boost. Maybe Palm took the financial hit knowing they were developing the next great cellular device.

I will be in line at my local Sprint Store to pick one up on June 6th. Come back then to see unboxing photos and notes.