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iTunes 9 not good for Palm Pre… again

Posted in Palm by Darrin Olson on September 10th, 2009

iTunes 9 kills access for Palm Pre SyncIt appears that with the recent release of iTunes 9, Apple has once again cut-off direct access for the Palm Pre’s iTunes support. We had seen it before with the release. It shouldn’t be too big of a surprise to Palm owners however, since Apple said the connectivity wouldn’t last long and they’ve thwarted Palm’s access in the past with iTunes iTunes 8.2.1.

It’s easy to see arguments on both sides of this issue, as frustrating as it might be for Palm owners. On one side Apple would like iTunes users to use Apple products to connect directly to iTunes, such as iPods or iPhones. But, they also have been a proponent of non-DRM music and are essentially making it difficult for other devices to get access to the music through their application.

New iPod nano with camera, FM, VoiceOver and more!

Posted in iPod Nano by Darrin Olson on September 9th, 2009

iPod Nano with camera, FM tuner, mic, fitnessIt looks like Jobs and Apple have saved the best for last today as usual with the announcement of the new, updated 5th generation iPod nano. The new and improved nano has a host of new features including a not just a camera but a video camera, Genius mixes, FM radio with Live Pause, Voice Over and a Fitness pedometer that works with Nike.

Even with the tight-lipped Apple team we had heard the rumors that a camera was coming to the iPod and today it is finally here. Apple has implanted a video camera into the iPod nano that can record in either landscape or potrait and can record audio along with it so we’re not making silent movies here. You can then play back the video instantly and hear the audio through a built in speaker! It even comes with 15 cool-looking special effects that can be applied to the video such as Thermal, Mirror, X Ray and more.

Apple iPod Touch gets lower price, more capacity

Posted in iPod Touch by Darrin Olson on September 9th, 2009

Apple iPod Touch price dropThe folks at Apple are making a number of announcements today and they keep getting better as we go. One of the latest is a drop in price for the iPod touch. The 8GB model, previously at $249, has been dropped to what Apple is calling a “magic” price point at $199.

They are offering the 32GB iPod touch for $299 doubling the storage, and they’ve added a 64GB capacity touch for $399. Nothing else has really changed with this device (no camera), but it will be able to run OpenGL 2.0, housing the same CPU as the iPhone 3GS.

iTunes 9 brings new look, LP’s and sharing of everything!

Posted in iTunes by Darrin Olson on September 9th, 2009

Apple iTunes 9In part of today’s announcements from Steve Jobs and Apple at the “It’s Only Rock and Roll” event, they’ve announced the latest version of iTunes – iTunes 9.

This new version (at first glance) most notably has a a new look to it, making navigation a little easier and get around (provided you aren’t too used to the old version). They’ve also added a way to preview from anywhere in the store instead of having to find the right place.

iTunes LP is something something new with iTunes version 9, bringing back some of the features we used to enjoy with LP’s that have been lost with online music, such as lyrics, notes, video, photos and apperently some other things that were not mentioned up front. Genius mixes are another enhanced feature in this new version, playing automatically generated …

Facebook Now Available for Android

Posted in Android by Darrin Olson on September 8th, 2009

Facebook now available for Google AndroidFor those of you who have been patiently waiting, Android has finally joined the ranks of handsets with a mobile version of Facebook available. Through some recently released information on Facebook’s “Facebook for Android” page, the app appears to have a fairly comprehensive set of features.

Android users can post status updates, view news feeds, friends’ walls and user info. Facebook for Android can also share photos from the phone and also can look up 125 friends’ phone numbers from the home screen, all from the home screen.

T-Mobile and Orange plan merger in UK

Posted in News by Darrin Olson on September 8th, 2009

T-Mobile and Orange plan UK mergerDeutsche Telekom’s T-Mobile and France Telcom’s Orange have announced Tuesday that they plan to merge the two mobile phone carriers, making them the largest carrier in the U.K. once combined. Currently T-Mobile and Orange are the 3rd and 4th largest mobile operations in Britain behind O2 and Vodafone. The merger would launch the combined companies into the number one spot with 28.4 million mobile phone users and a 37 percent market share, leaving O2 trailing with 27 percent and Vodafone 3rd with 25 percent of the mobile market in Britain.

The merger involves plans to maintain their own distinct brands for the first year and a half and then agree on one common brand which could be one of the two existing or something completely new. The two companies will also start streamlining their operations by eliminating overlapping administration, retail stores and base stations with lay-offs likely in the near future.

Microsoft loses $290 million in Word patent case

Posted in News by Darrin Olson on August 13th, 2009

Microsoft loses patent suit for WordA U.S. district court judge in Texas ruled against Microsoft on Wednesday in a law suit over a patent infringement in the companies software product Word. The ruling takes affect in 60 days and would ban sales of Microsoft Word versions 2003 and 2007. It also hits the software giant with a $290 million fine in damages.

These versions of the Word product contain particular use of XML which infringes on a patent filed by i4i Ltd, a small firm in Canada. Microsoft states that they plan to appeal the patent citing that they “do not infringe” and that the i4i patent is not valid. Microsoft also has a new version of Word coming out next year as part of their Office 2010 suite, which does not contain the infringing XML component. Microsoft could also simply remove the particular XML portion of the existing Word applications to comply with the court ruling for future sales.

Sungale 8-inch WiFi Digital Photo Frame Review

Posted in Review by Darrin Olson on August 12th, 2009

Sungale ID800WT 8 inch Digital Photo FrameThe folks from Sungale gave us a chance to check out their recently released 8″ touchscreen, WiFi digital photo frame and while we were initially excited by seeing the features we felt the actual implementation fell a little short of our expectations.

By reading through the features included in the picture frame we found that the designer was going for much more than just a picture frame, and we liked the direction they were heading. After all the list of functionality includes utilizing the WiFi connection to view weather, YouTube videos, Picasa photos, news, Gmail and internet radio. And of course you can view your photos as a slideshow on the device, but that’s the easy part, right? And this is all accessed through a touchscreen which for the most part usually makes this pretty intuitive and easy to navigate.

Google Caffeine Web Search Asks for Public Tests

Posted in Google,News by Darrin Olson on August 11th, 2009

Google Caffeine SearchOn Monday Google unveiled what they are calling a “next-generation infrastructure” for their web search, and they are asking the public to give it a try. The “secret” project has been underway for months according to a recent post on the Google Indexing blog, and is almost complete. According to the post, the new system “…will let us push the envelope on size, indexing speed, accuracy, comprehensiveness and other dimensions”.

Google has codenamed the new underlying search indexing “caffeine”, and is looking for the general public to give it a try and provide feedback in the way of differences between the new and old. The new indexing can be tried out at http://www2.sandbox.google.com/, where you can do a search and see if you can tell any difference in the results. According to the blog post from Google, they are only looking for feedback in differences at this time.

Sporting Seven Displays with HP’s USB Graphics Adapter

Posted in Review by Darrin Olson on August 2nd, 2009

HP USB Graphics Adapter background image across multiple monitorsRunning multiple monitors on a single computer is just plain cool. At least it is for us here at the ‘Brick, and the more the better. So, when we heard about HP’s USB graphics adapters which allow you to connect multiple monitors via USB, we had to try it out. HP says a single computer can run as many as six of them and we wanted to see just how well.

We ran our testing with some pretty standard equipment. We used an HP ultra-slim desktop PC running Windows Vista with 2GB of RAM and an Intel Core 2 Duo processor, along with six average 19″ displays and a single 20″ display. And of course six USB Graphics adapters (actually we had seven adapters but we’ll …

Judge overturns conviction in MySpace suicide case

Posted in News by Darrin Olson on July 3rd, 2009

Lori Drew acquitted by judge in MySpace suicide caseA federal judge in Los Angeles overturned a guilty verdict on Thursday against Lori Drew, a participant in a cyberbullying hoax against a 13-year-old girl who later committed suicide.

According to U.S. District Judge George Wu, the federal case against Drew revolved around the idea that violating the terms of service for MySpace was the equivalent of computer hacking, which “…leaves it up to a website owner to determine what is a crime”. Wu threw out the case against Drew of three misdemeanor accounts of accessing computers without authorization, despite a conviction by the jury. A guilty ruling in the case could have potentially made a criminal of anyone that enters false information when registering on any website.

Lori Drew, 50, was accused of participating in a MySpace …

Apple warns of overheating iPhones

Posted in iPhone,News by Darrin Olson on July 3rd, 2009

Apple iPhone 3GS overheat warningAmidst rumors of overheating iPhones since shortly after the iPhone 3GS was launched, Apple has finally released the first acknowledgment that there might really be an issue with the iPhone regarding excessive temperatures. Various sites on the internet have posted reports of problems with the iPhone due to excessive heat such as shortened battery life, shut downs and even discoloration of the device itself. Now Apple has officially issued a warning about operating and storing the iPhone 3G and iPhone 3GS in places with too much heat.

Apple suggests to only operate the iPhone 3G and 3GS in temperatures between 32º to 95º F (0º and 35º C) and to only store the device between temps of -4º to 113º F (-20º and 45º C). Using or storing the iPhone in temperatures beyond this range can cause the device to stop charging (which could explain a shortened battery life), a dimmer display or a weak signal.

Photonic Disrupter Laser Review

Posted in Review by Darrin Olson on June 29th, 2009

Photonic Disrupter Laser From Wicked LasersWe’ve seen some pretty cool lasers come across our desks in the past so it’s always refreshing to see a unique twist like what we have with the Photonic Disrupter. The folks at Wicked Lasers have taken an already powerful 100mW laser and modded it into non-lethal, “Threat Assessment Laser Illuminator”, (TALI for short) weapon.

The main feature that makes the Photonic Disrupter different from other 100mW lasers is its adjustable lens, allowing you to create a broad or very focused non-lethal beam of green light. The intent of the laser is for military and law enforcement use in dark or low-light situations, allowing the wielder of the light to temporarily blind and overwhelm the senses of the other person.

SKYlaser Power Adjustable Laser Review

Posted in Review by Darrin Olson on June 16th, 2009

SKYlaser adjustable power laserThe guys over at SKYlaser gave us the opportunity recently to check out there version of a 150mW green laser pointer with a unique adjustable power feature. We’ve reviewed a number of types of lasers and laser pointers here on the ‘Brick but this is the first we’ve gotten our hands on one that has this type of adjustable power.

The nice thing about getting a powerful laser of this caliber is just that; it’s powerful. This laser has enough oomph to put a green dot on something from pretty much as far away as you can see, and that’s during the day. At night it makes a seemingly unending saber-like beam of green laser light visible for miles.

Microsoft addresses record 31 issues for patch Tuesday

Posted in Microsoft by Darrin Olson on June 10th, 2009

Microsoft releases 31 updates for Tuesday security patchesIn this weeks version of “Patch Tuesday” from Microsoft, the released security bulletin addressed a record count of 31 vulnerabilities across versions of Windows and Microsoft Office.

Of the updates a number of them were rated as “critical” and dealt with an issue of remote code execution through specifically designed web pages that were viewed through Internet Explorer versions 6, 7 and 8. This vulnerability, before the fix, would allow strangers to take control of the PC remotely through executing code in the browser.