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Facebook joins forces with Twitter

In a move that can only be described as rather familiar, Facebook has announced (rather silently) that their users will soon be able to update their Twitter feeds directly from within their Facebook profile. Remember when MySpace opened its doors to Facebook? This isn’t exactly like that, but think about it: acknowledging the fact that a vast amount of Facebook users can’t live without their Twitter? That’s a pretty big deal. Now we get to see how long it takes for Google to react.

It’s not exactly fully a new concept for Facebook to be updating Twitter feeds, and also not the first time the group has officially allowed such a thing to happen. You can use your Facebook page as an RSS feed and link it through any number of third party feed-readers that can then push updates to Twitter. That’s quite old. More recently there’s been a page update (seen above) that allows you to send updates to a Twitter feed from your Facebook Pages. This is “Pages”, I must remind you, separate from your Facebook “Profile” which is yours personally while a Page can represent just about anything or anybody.

Facebook’s September 2011 update of its Subscribe for Public Figures document added a little something that Emil Protalinski discovered. There’s a number 14 on that page which is titled “Can I update my Twitter followers from Facebook?” which has several numbers after it, the second of which reads:

Link your profile or Page to your Twitter account. Once you link your accounts, your Twitter account will be updated every time you post a public update to Facebook. Note: Only posts whose privacy you set to Public using your inline controls are eligible for this…

And that’s all that matters. Since the Page business is already in full working order, we must expect the Profile bit to be coming up rather quick. In the past we’ve seen several of the aforementioned feed-reading apps being blocked from cross-posting to Twitter, now we’re seeing this. What does this say about Facebook’s future? Twitter, I think we can safely say, is in a good position at this moment.

Note also that there’s a Facebook developer convention on the 22nd of September, this being the one you all know and love, the one called F8 (“fate”). We’re expecting this and other news to pop up there as well in earnest. Also check out how Facebook might be launching a music service at this year’s F8 as well. Exciting!

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Facebook joins forces with Twitter is written by Chris Burns & originally posted on SlashGear.
© 2005 - 2011, SlashGear. All right reserved.

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Why the Windows 8 Tablet Market will dodge the iPad

Just this past week we learned for the first time, or rather confirmed for the first time, that Windows 8 would be made to work not only on devices so large as servers carrying massive amounts of data, but devices so small as a tablet PC. We got the chance to take a look at an early iteration of a Windows 8 tablet as provided by Samsung and we got a taste of what it would mean to be working in a fully optimized Windows-based tablet environment. What I’m seeing here is not simply another contender in the already well-dominated by Apple tablet market. I’m seeing a whole new door being opened up for operating systems to thrive in the keyboard-less touch-display world.

Lets start by taking a swipe at that hardware: what does it mean to be using a Series 7 Samsung Slate, the one we’re seeing in the review posted in the first paragraph of this column, here out in the wild? We saw this device working with Samsung’s Central Station monitor in NYC just a couple days ago. This was done by plugging a USB dongle into the device, tapping one or two “OK” buttons, and poof! Instant mirroring to the bigger monitor.

This works with Android tablets as well, and works with any sort of device with a full-sized USB port. The iPad will not work with this setup. As with most things on the iPad, Apple must first provide an approved cord and port before this situation will work. That said, Apple does have a lovely splitter cord out there that allows you to both plug into the wall for power and plug into any TV with an HDMI cord. Still wired, but definitely HD.

Next we must speak a bit on what the difference between 7 and 8 is. One number makes all the difference when it comes to optimizing an operating system for a tablet. Have a look at an analysis by Robert Breza which suggests that Windows 8 tablets will capture a 15% tablet market share by 2014. That’s far from crushing the iPad, but considering that the Windows 7 tablet market is all but nonexistent, this is certainly significant. Then there’s Flash – reports have it that Windows 8 will focus on HTML5 instead of “legacy” Flash, this riding right alongside news that Adobe will soon be bringing Flash to iOS – Adobe responded by saying that they expected the desktop version of Windows 8 will support Flash just fine and that they’re not worried about a future with no Windows 8 tablet-based Flash.

Next, consider the brand power of the Xbox. Microsoft has already been speaking about Xbox LIVE on Windows 8 and it wouldn’t be absurd to think that these W8 tablets will soon work well with Xbox devices, as gamepads, as controllers for media, whatever you can imagine. Xbox games will also more than likely be able to be played in one way or another on Windows 8 tablets, certainly scoreboards and the same interactivity offered with Xbox LIVE on Windows Phone.

The folks at NVIDIA have been forthcoming now about Kal-El running on Windows 8 tablets, this bringing the already popular on Android (and PCs, of course), processor company to another platform set to compete with Apple. Like Apple, if I may be so bold, NVIDIA offers a set (miniature in comparison, but still,) of apps that work only on its hardware. You can find more information on the NVIDIA Tegra Zone by heading to our Tegra Zone hands-on post and know the truth about some of the most powerful games on Android tablets. That said, note that the vast majority of Android tablets with dual-core processors are running NVIDIA, read 2011 The Year of NVIDIA dominating Android Superphones and tablets for more information. In addition, NVIDIA is offering a full support program for developers similar to what they’ve got in place for Android at the moment.

On the first night that Windows 8 was available for download, a supposed 500,000 downloads were recorded. Apple does not release information on such numbers, but we expect that since iOS updates are now pushed to devices, the numbers are quite generous. Meanwhile we should also consider the following fact for long-term evolution of the platform: Windows 8 supports all apps that have worked in the past for Windows 7. This means, for example, your Windows 8 tablet will be able to run Photoshop without a problem. That said, the Apple App Store has always been in a better position than competitors in regards to app piracy, while PC apps have been pirated rampantly for quite a few years now.

You’ve got to check out a column at this point by Chris Davies entitled Windows 8 proves there’s more to tablets than iPad. There you’ll see a whole different perspective on how the tablet market may be unfolding.

The first Windows 8 PC was given out for free to 5,000 developers at Microsoft BUILD, this giving the platform a boost in regards to app development, or so they would hope. If you’ll take a look at the analysis column your humble narrator wrote on the day of release, Windows 8, Microsoft’s Great Touch-based Hope, you’ll see that I do have some big confidence in that the platform will perform at least well enough to send Windows into an upward trend in consumers. You can also see our Windows 8 Complete Guide for all the information you might need on the OS as a whole.

Now will the Windows 8 tablet ecosystem have a chance at knocking the iPad out of its tablet-dominant position? I really don’t think that the iPad has dominance over the tablet market – it’s not a tablet! Apple will never tell you that they’ve got a tablet for sale, they’ve got an iPad for sale. As Chris Davies will tell you, not everyone loves the iPad and, believe it or not, some people purchase tablet computers just so they can run Android, even if they have to hack them to get it. US retailer Best Buy is taking tablets seriously with a massive floor setting – Android clearly dominates the floor with sheer numbers.

If the Windows 8 tablet is able to carve out another niche the way the iPad has, it will sell well. The reason the iPad sells well is that people don’t go shopping for a tablet, they go shopping for an iPad. If people realize they can get a tablet version of their PC running Windows and they see this as the easier choice before re-learning another OS, iOS or Android (or maybe even BlackBerry), Microsoft will have a winner on their hands.

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Why the Windows 8 Tablet Market will dodge the iPad is written by Chris Burns & originally posted on SlashGear.
© 2005 - 2011, SlashGear. All right reserved.

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Samsung T27A950 Monitor / TV Hands-on [Video]

Also simply known as the TA950, this Samsung full HD and 3D capable monitor can and will act as your do-it-all monitor and small-room TV, for real. We got the chance to take a look at this lovely piece of equipment at Pepcom this past week during their 2011 Holiday Spectacular – a lovely event with delicious amounts of similar opportunities from all ends of the tech spectrum. What we’ve got here is a 27-inch BLU LED ultra clear panel with a resolution of 1,920 x 1,080 pixels – let me stop you right there and let you know that this is big, it’s bright, it’s fantastic, and you’re going to get your eyes ripped out of their sockets by the clarity. Let’s just put that out there and see what happens.

This device also works with a DNIe + 3D HyperReal Engine and has a panel frame rate of 120Hz, a brightness of 300cd/m2, and one heck of a lot of viewing angles. It sits on a unique right-side hinge as you can see, providing you with an industrial design unlike basically anything you’ve owned before. This is a unique monitor, suffice to say, and Samsung lets us know that it’s a flagship product of theirs, so you can bet you’ll be getting all the support you need out of it should the need arise. You can use it in 2D or 3D modes, you’ve got jacks galore in the back including connections to your computer monitor, TV box, and anything that’s got an HDMI cable, and you’ll get a few sets of 3D glasses with it, right out of the box, with option to purchase a whole lot more for cheap!

Note also that this device can support internet connectedness through wi-fi and works with the Samsung suite of TV apps so that you’ll be rolling with the winning team through the future. YouTube 3D? I think so! Also listen in for tips on other streaming video groups you’ll be able to work with in your very near future. It may not quite be the behemoth that Samsung’s 55-inch UN55D8000 is (this is the gigantic television you’ll see in basically every Samsung exhibit from here through 2012, but check out our review of that ultra monster to get a fully immersive idea of what your TA950 is capable as far as Samsung Smart TV goes.

This look like the monitor / TV for you? Let us know how your purchase experience goes – it’s available right now wherever fine televisions and monitors are sold! Grab it! Also note that we’ve got a whole heck of a lot more hands-on videos up from the event we’re at here, just hit the [Pepcom Holiday Spectacular 2011 portal] and you’ll be well on your way!

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Samsung T27A950 Monitor / TV Hands-on [Video] is written by Chris Burns & originally posted on SlashGear.
© 2005 - 2011, SlashGear. All right reserved.

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Finally, a fully positive Viral Video

There’s a video out there this weekend, folks one called “Webcam 101 for Seniors”, one that if you haven’t already seen, you’re sure as heck about to. It features a couple of United States citizens by the names of Bruce and Esther Huffman who unknowingly captured themselves in a video attempting to make their computer’s webcam take a photo. While this at first may seem like any other “fail” sort of video that’d make those in the video feel embarrassed beyond belief, this complete accident is making the Huffman’s smile as well. It’s a joy for me to publish such a story, especially since this whole story started when the now senior Bruce Huffman was paid 5 cents to make his most impressive and professional monkey face when he was eight years old.

Strange, isn’t it, that such a reality has come to pass. It was barely science fiction when this couple of kids were first thinking about using a telephone, speaking now through video that, due to the awesome “viral” tradition of the internet, has seen thousands and millions of viewers in only a few days. “Why won’t it take a picture?” says Esther Huffman, attempting to make her and her husband’s computer activate a still-image function by mistake. It reminds your humble narrator of the slew of “falling asleep” videos on the tube, seeing something so candid and so very innocent being captured here in the tiniest of cams.

They use the opportunity, or Mr. Huffman does at least, to poke at his face and lament “I’m so sad, Esther, I’m so sad. Look at all the wrinkles up there, the cracks in my head – I could be Mrs Doubtfire.” Mrs. Huffman responds with a lovely giggle that, if I may be so bold, echoes through the few short loving years they’ve enjoyed one another – they only having been married, believe it or not, just 7 and a half years thus far, or so they tell their interviewers below. They continue to attempt taking a photo, and sure enough Mrs. Huffman does note that she’s done it before, good golly, but Mr. Huffman just isn’t sure “I don’t know dear – *BELCH* – pardon me”.

Mr. Huffman notes how pretty his wife’s hair is, how she aught to drop her dress a little bit, maybe that’d work, but “I don’t know what I’m recording, shucks,” notes Mrs. Huffman, “Maybe it just recorded us,” realizes Mr. Huffman.

Truly it did, Mr. Huffman, truly it did.

ABC affiliate KATU caught up with the couple just yesterday and asked them what they thought of the video being quite the sensation. As it happens, they’re pretty much alright with the whole thing.

“When I was 8 years old, my uncle paid me five cents if I’d make a monkey face and I’ve been working on it all these years. I never knew it’d make me famous. He’s up in heaven and he’d be amazed at what’s going on right here, right now.” – Bruce Huffman, Internet Sensation

The video itself was uploaded by their granddaughter who was also the one they were speaking about in the video, she having taught them the ways of the CPU. Well done, young lady! You’ve made quite a lot of people have a fabulous afternoon!

[via KATU]

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Finally, a fully positive Viral Video is written by Chris Burns & originally posted on SlashGear.
© 2005 - 2011, SlashGear. All right reserved.

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iPhone 5 will Officially Kill Off the Nintendo 3DS

Is it finally time to admit that portable 3D gaming just doesn’t work?

If you’ve been following the gaming business over the last year, you know that the Nintendo 3DS, which allows gamers to play titles in 3D without the need for special glasses, has faced a difficult market. In the second quarter of this year, Nintendo sold just 710,000 3DS units worldwide. Even worse, it could only get 110,000 units into homes in the U.S.

Last month, things looked a little better for the 3DS, thanks to the device’s $80 price cut to $169.99. According to Nintendo, it sold 235,000 3DS units during the period.

But as my fellow game-industry followers know all too well, 235,000 units sold in a single month just isn’t going to cut it for a portable device. If we look back in history, Nintendo’s other platforms, like the Game Boy and DS, were flying off store shelves for years. The 3DS, however, has not.

Unlike its predecessors, the 3DS is facing a slew of issues. For one, the 3D effect falls short for many folks, and after a while, it becomes more like a gimmick than an integral part of the gaming experience. What’s more, the 3DS’ lack of compelling games (which Nintendo says, will be addressed by the end of this year, thanks to Super Mario 3D Land), is holding it back.

"The 3DS is failing right now because smartphones and tablets offer compelling gaming experiences"

But I think it goes beyond that. The 3DS is failing right now, more than any other reason, because of smartphones and tablets offering compelling gaming experiences. And when the iPhone 5 launches in the next several weeks, you can expect it to officially kill off the 3DS.

Now, I say “kill off” to drive the point home, but I don’t believe that Nintendo will actually discontinue the portable for at least another year. For some odd reason, Nintendo believes that it can turn things around with the 3DS. And it strangely feels that consumers who have yet to show that they care about the device will suddenly have a change of heart.

Here’s a news flash for you, Nintendo: consumers do not and will not care about the 3DS. And the iPhone 5, which will likely come with improved components to help deliver even better gameplay to owners, will make that abundantly clear.

But it’s not just Apple. Game developers are also flocking to portable devices, and will have a close eye on the iPhone 5 when that device launches. Companies like Electronic Arts and other prominent developers are increasingly turning to mobile operating systems, like iOS and Android, to offer their titles. And as hard as it might try, Nintendo won’t be able to stop that.

So, when the iPhone 5 launches, I see even more troubled waters ahead for Nintendo. The device will receive an inordinate amount of attention, consumers around the globe will flock to stores to buy it, and in the process, they’ll download games. And when they start playing those games in-between surfing the Web and checking e-mail, they’ll quickly find that buying that 3DS just doesn’t make all that much sense.

Sorry, Nintendo, but if smartphones and tablets already on store shelves are killing the 3DS, the iPhone 5 might just be enough to put the final nail in the device’s coffin.

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iPhone 5 will Officially Kill Off the Nintendo 3DS is written by Don Reisinger & originally posted on SlashGear.
© 2005 - 2011, SlashGear. All right reserved.

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Logitech Wireless Boombox Hands-on [Video]

The folks at Logitech have been hitting the production mill pretty hard lately with some precision-targeted products that access the gadget collectors everyday needs, and their new Wireless Boombox is no exception. Alternately branded as the “Logitech Wireless Boombox for iPad”, this audio blaster has the ability to both input audio via Bluetooth or a simple 3.5 mm aux jack in the back – and yes, a cable to plug in here IS included in the package. We got the opportunity to take a look at this lovely device at the 2011 Pepcom Holiday Spectacular, an event in NYC with devices for us to get our hands-on to the max!

This device works with Bluetooth A2DP, which means it’ll work with essentially any sort of bluetooth-capable device you throw at it, including iPad 2, iPad, iPhone 3G and later, iPod Touch 2nd generation and later, basically every single Android device, BlackBerry device, Symbian device, whatever you’ve got, just so long as it’s Bluetooth capable. If you are using Bluetooth, you’ll be able to have the boombox and your music-holding device as far as 33 feet (10 meters) away from one another, their busy chatting staying in-tact inside that circle.


If your music-holding device doesn’t have Bluetooth, it’s likely got a 3.5 mm headphone jack in it, so you’ll be able to plug in anyway. Once you’re hooked up and the boombox is charged, you’ll have 6 hours of wireless audio blasting on your hands, no problem. You can also plug in with the included 6 foot long power supply cable if you want to blast beats forever, and of course you get a few user manuals in the box if you’re confused about any of these ultra-simple controls.

The speakers in this boombox include two 3-inch laser-tuned neodymium drivers for mid-range sounds, a couple of half-inch tweeters for high notes, and a total of four 2-inch radiators for deep bass thumping. This boombox will set you back $149.99 USD and is available starting this week from Logitech. You can also check out the rest of our awesome hands-on coverage from the events this past week in our [Pepcom Holiday Spectacular 2011 portal] Get to it!

Also check out our sister site Android Community’s review of the Logitech Wireless Gamepad F710 as it works with NVIDIA-powered tablets galore!

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Logitech Wireless Boombox Hands-on [Video] is written by Chris Burns & originally posted on SlashGear.
© 2005 - 2011, SlashGear. All right reserved.

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