Archive for February, 2011

Sony to ban players who hack or play pirated games on PS3

Posted in PS3 by Conner Flynn on February 17th, 2011

I thought this was already the case, but I guess not. Sony has released a statement on their official PlayStation blog, stating that anyone who hacks the PlayStation 3 or runs unauthorized or pirated software will be permanently banned from the PlayStation Network and also won’t be able to use Qriocity services through the PlayStation 3.

Seems like they have had enough of people abusing their product. It likely won’t deter hackers who will just work harder to circumvent any measures they put in place.

PayByPhone parking hits South Miami

Posted in Automotive by Conner Flynn on February 17th, 2011

Those who live in South Miami have some good news. Verrus PayByPhone and the City of South Miami have just announced the launch of PayByPhone parking. So instead of having to pay with change to deal with parking machines, you can just use your cellphone to pay and make sure you don’t get a ticket for a parking violation.

Just head over to paybyphone.com and sign up or call 1-888-950-PARK when parking. Parking time about to expire? No problem. The service can send you a text a few minutes before it expires so you’ll know if you need to top off your parking fee.

Pantech Vega S Smartphone for Korea

Posted in Mobile Phones by Conner Flynn on February 17th, 2011

Pantech is well known for it’s budget phones, but recently they’ve started making high-end Android handsets, and their latest will be released in Korea. It goes by the name Vega S IM-A730S and the phone features a 1.2GHz Snapdragon CPU, DDR2 RAM, a 4″ (800 x 480) touchscreen, Android 2.2, support for HD video playback and HSPA+ capabilities.

We don’t have any word on pricing yet or if it will be coming to the U.S., but if you live in Korea you will be able to purchase it at the end of this month.

Intel ad teases black MacBook

Posted in MacBook by Conner Flynn on February 17th, 2011

Could Apple be ready to add MacBook Pro notebooks in a black color? We don’t have any official word on this happening, but Intel’s latest advertisement promoting the 2nd generation of Intel Core processors shows a black notebook that looks like Apple’s MacBook in black.

Apple has offered earlier versions of its MacBook in black, so it’s certainly possible. But who knows. This is just an ad and Intel can take some liberties if they like. It sure makes you wonder though.

iPhone 4 explodes and burns someone’s hand

Posted in iPhone by Conner Flynn on February 17th, 2011

We’ve heard many tales of exploding devices over the years. Some seem to be a clear hoax, while others are plausible. Now someone is claiming that an iPhone 4 blew up on them. The story goes like this. The user noticed that the phone became extremely hot while his wife was holding it, the battery of the phone had swollen, dislodging the back panel and catching on fire.

His wife then dropped the phone on a table where it left some burn marks. It also burned the user’s hand and set off the fire alarm. The owner says that he went to the Apple store to get a replacement, but it isn’t clear what happened next.

Redbox planning subscription streaming movie service

Posted in movies by Reuben Drake on February 17th, 2011

President of Redbox, Mitch Lowe told analysts that its upcoming online movie service would be subscription-based like Netflix and Hulu Plus instead of charging for each movie like others including iTunes, Zune or Amazon.

Users would pay a monthly fee to stream to devices and access discs at kiosks. Redbox will have a partner in the service and the Seattle Times is thinking that it is Walmart Vudu and Amazon. So if you are a Redbox fan, this is good news.

Borders files for bankruptcy

Posted in News by Conner Flynn on February 16th, 2011

It’s official, Borders, the second largest bookstore chain the U.S., has filed for bankruptcy. The company will continue to operate while it restructures, but it will be just a shadow of it’s former self. It has to close around 200 of its stores, about 30 percent. After that, it might need to close another 75.

Though the company hasn’t produced its own e-book reader, it has partnered with Kobo to sell its device, and it has established its own e-book store that is used by various e-reader apps for smartphones and tablets. We don’t know yet if the bankruptcy will affect those or not.

Tandars Interactive Pet charges via USB

Posted in Toys by Conner Flynn on February 16th, 2011

Remember how popular Furby was? Well, that was then and this is now. This critter has the potential to be the next hot toy for kids. Tandars’ new Interactive Pet monkey is cute and cuddly, with realistic movements and will interact with children and even other Tandars.

They feature sensors that change their mood depending on how you play with them. For instance, when it needs more battery power it will say “ah jee baz nam nam”. Then your kid can then pull the USB cap off of the end of its tail and plug it right into a computer. Sounds weird, but your kids will probably love it.

Netgear N300 DGN2200M Router now shipping

Posted in Netgear by Conner Flynn on February 16th, 2011

Netgear has announced that it is now shipping the N300 Wireless ADSL2+ modem router. The device is basically a DSL modem with an integrated 802.11n wireless WiFi router. The feature that you will appreciate the most is that it has failover if DSL goes down.

The failover function is thanks to a 3G USB modem that you can plug into an attached USB port. When DSL is out the 3G modem kicks on automatically and once the router detects that your DSL is back the 3G modem stops.

Two Way Communication to double Wi-Fi speeds

Posted in Wi-Fi by Conner Flynn on February 16th, 2011

Researchers at Stanford University have discovered a way to create two way communication over the same radio frequency. This is big news since it could lead to doubling Wi-Fi and mobile phone network speeds. That’s something we can all appreciate.

The new research makes us completely rethink how wireless networks can be designed. Unlike radio it has the ability to receive and transmit at the same time, so it can mimic the way humans screen out the sound of our own voices during a conversation. It uses two transmitters in the hardware at both ends of the conversation, with the two transmitters working in a similar way to noise-cancelling headphones.

SmartQ Ten Android Tablet

Posted in Tablet PC by Conner Flynn on February 16th, 2011

Another day, another tablet. SmartDevices has been busy showing off their latest Android tablet at this year’s Mobile World Congress. It’s called the SmartQ Ten. This tablet is packing a 9.7-inch 1024 x 768 touchscreen IPS display, a 720MHz ARM Cortex A9 processor, and a Mali 400 graphics card.

Some other features include 512MB RAM, 8GB of flash storage, GPS, WiFi, Bluetooth and it runs on Android 2.2 OS. Sadly we don’t have any word on pricing or a release date just yet.

Epson ES1000 Tabletop Projection Display

Posted in Projectors by Conner Flynn on February 16th, 2011

Epson has unveiled a new projection screen at MWC 2011 called the Epson ES1000. The tabletop projection display is designed to be light, small and travel friendly for those on the go.

The ES1000 can handle images of up to 50-inches diagonally, and they appear to be pretty clear and crisp, regardless of the projection size. Ease of setup is another bonus. The screen can be set up as quickly as thirty seconds, because it has a one piece design.

PC Waterbed will keep your notebook cool

Posted in Notebooks by Conner Flynn on February 16th, 2011

If waterbeds are good enough for humans, then why not our laptops? It should enjoy the same luxury. That’s what Thanko seems to think, since they are now offering the PC Waterbed, which is a cushion and a cooling unit for your notebook.

It will cost you $24 and I’m sure it’s all good until you puncture this thing and kill your notebook dead. It will be cool, just like you want, but dead. Is that worth $24? You decide.

Motorola Xoom gets official price: $799 unsubsidized on Verizon, $600 for WiFi-only

Posted in Tablet PC by Conner Flynn on February 16th, 2011

We now have official word on the Xoom’s pricing thanks to Motorola CEO Sanjay Jha. Reuters is reporting a price of $799 for the 32GB Honeycomb tablet when bought with 3G (which will be upgraded to 4G) from Verizon without subsidies, while a WiFi-only version will cost only $600.

That price is in line with the 32GB iPad, but the 3G Xoom is $70 more expensive than the Apple alternative. We don’t know when those models will be available, but rumor is that pre-orders or reservations could begin as early as tomorrow, with the tablet launching in full next Thursday.

Sony ‘S1′ PlayStation gaming tablet

Posted in Sony by Conner Flynn on February 16th, 2011

Looks like Sony has been working on a couple of tablets. Come on, you knew they had to get into the game eventually right? The first is a 9.4-inch Android 3.0 tablet known as the “S1″ (codename). Sony has been busy customizing Matias Duarte’s Honeycomb interface to its own specification. And Sony’s work is said to be cutting edge, created by an engineering team spanning Sony’s VAIO, Reader, PlayStation, and Sony Ericsson product groups.

Though the team is lead by the VAIO organization, it will probably launch without VAIO branding. It is also said that Sony’s custom-built transitions and UI elements have created a user experience that sometimes rivals and improves on the iPad’s. The tablet is 100 percent focused on Qriocity, Sony’s music, games, ebooks, and videos on demand service that’s just been launched in Europe.