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30Dec/110

Android Overload: HTC Releases Source Code For EVO Design 4G, Officially Unlocks Bootloader for HTC Vivid and More

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Hello, everyone! Since the next time I’ll be seeing you it will be 2012, I just wanted to say — Happy New Years! You’ve managed to find yourself in the last Android Overload of 2011. This is the place you can always turn to when you want to catch up on everything Android/mobile related. We like to stash all of the news that didn’t make it onto our front page here for you guys to take one last look at. So have a look around and if you find something interesting, leave your thoughts in the comments. Have a fun and safe weekend!

  • HTC Vivid’s bootloader officially unlocked at HTCdev.com.
  • All EA games in Amazon Appstore only 99 cents. [Droidgamers]
  • HTC releases kernel source for EVO Design 4G. [AndroidPolice]
  • Google never made good on promises of Android controlled light bulbs. [TechCrunch]
  • Court orders Apple to change appeal in patent case against Samsung. [Electronista]


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30Dec/110

Top 20 Best Games From The Android Market in 2011

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Looking back at 2011, there were some ups (Nvidia) there were some downs (LG) but when it  comes to the Android Market — business is booming. 2011 was perhaps the best year yet in Android gaming (thanks mostly in part to iOS ports) and I just wanted to take a brief moment and go over a few of the best Android games from throughout the year. This is in now way a comprehensive list, in fact, you’ll notice I left out a few “big name” titles like Angry Birds, Shadowgun, Modern Combat and GTA 3. Those are not only well known but also, very easy to find in the Android Market’s “top free” and “top paid” lists.

The games featured in this post are just a few of my personal top picks (in no particular order) that you may have overlooked. These games hold a special place in my robot heart and have depleted my battery on more than one occasion. I’m also hoping that you’ll share a few of your own faves from 2011 in the comments as well. Let’s get to it!

Sprinkle

We were the first site in the world to bring you news on Sprinkle and have been following it closely since we caught glimpse of it at E3 earlier this year. The game has come a long way since then, adding even more personality to genre that could always use more of it — puzzlers. And this isn’t your typical puzzler either. Sprinkle has the player use water based physics to complete missions and executes it wonderfully. Everything about this game is near perfect, from the sounds, animations, physics, design. It’s pretty much got it all. If there wasn’t so many other great Android games this year, this would have easily been my top pick.

[Market Link]

Battleheart

Battleheart is another gem in the Market featuring real-time RPG gameplay. While it looks great on my phone, I was almost floored at how amazing this game looked on a tablet. Colorful graphics, deep gameplay amazing character design. I can’t think of any other games in the Android Market that have been able to recreate this kind of gameplay and if they could, it wouldn’t look this good. There are few games I can honestly say I’ve played for hours on end, through all hours of the night but this is definitely one of them. If you even remotely like the RPG genre, don’t even think twice. Download immediately.

[Market Link]

Windup Knight

Wind-up Knight is actually pretty new to the Android Market. The game takes the “runner” style gameplay and mixes it up by mixing amazing — almost hand-painted — 3D graphics and adding a touch of RPG elements to give it some depth. It’s executed quite well and where I normally stay away from the “runner” genre, Wind-up Knight was a joy to play. Definitely for those who like a challenge with a difficulty that can be near frustrating at times.

[Market Link]

Super Stickman Golf

Little known fact about me — I hate golf. Don’t hold it against me but it’s seriously one of the most boring sports in the history of… sportsdom. That’s why I was so surprised I actually LOVED Super Stickman Golf after spending some time with it. Okay — so SSG shares more in common with miniature golf than actual golf but that’s why it’s so fun. Adjust your angle, adjust your power and try to get the ball in the hole. Sounds so easy, right? Well, it’s not. Just play it and see for yourself.

[Market Link]

Field Runners

Ah, the “tower defense” genre. It’s been done a million times before and 3x’s that in the Android Market. But where most TD’s fall into the mundane or been-there-done-that category, Fieldrunners shines thanks to amazing graphics with colorful character/weapon designs and the sheer amount of chaos that goes on during gameplay. If you so much as kinda like tower defense games, you’re going to go ape-crazy over Fieldrunners.

[Market Link]

Great Little War Game

Great Little War Game really hits an itch I couldn’t scratch in Android — turn based strategy gameplay. While Great Little War Game definitely wont be for everyone, it does a top notch job of taking the essence of Nintendo’s Advanced Wars and spicing it up with gorgeous HD 3D graphics. I was actually surprised at how amazing this game looked. You will be too.

[Market Link]

Death Worm

DEATH WORM. How many games can you say you’ve played that allow you to take control of a huge…. no-eyed monster, hell bent on destruction? Exactly. And that’s what makes Death Worm so unique. Brings back memories of popping quarters in Rampage at my local arcade. Graphics look phenomenal (even on tablets). Music and sound effects add to the ambiance. Gameplay is simple and challenging at the same time. Death Worm has all the makings of a killer title. Oh yeah, and you get to destroy everything. Such a deviously good time.

[Market Link]

Dragon Hunter

Dragon Hunter is another gem from the Market. The first thing that caught my eye was it’s unique art-style that was more than inspired by a PSP game called Patapon. And while Dragon Hunter is nowhere near as complex, there’s still a whole lotta fun to be had. Gameplay involves taking control of a cross bow and blotting out the sky with arrows as you attempt to take down the horde of dragons approaching. Best played in small, intense spurts (TWSS).

[Market Link]

Apparatus

Apparatus has you build complex structures using the most basic parts with one objective — get the ball to the goal. Sounds easy right? Wrong. You are so, so wrong. If you have one ounce of “derp” in your body, you’re probably not going to have too much fun with Apparatus. And I’m not knocking you. In fact, I’m right there with you. Sometimes it’s hard to tell if Apparatus is fun or torture. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve thrown my phone in frustrating while playing this game. But every time, it had nothing to do with the game and everything to do with my own mental shortcomings. And yet like some sick pervert, I always come back…

[Market Link]

Blood and Glory (NR)

Blood and Glory? Should be called Blood and Gory. I keed, I keed… Blood and Glory is a graphically impressive hack n’ slash inspired by the iOS hit, Infinity Blade. Gameplay is largely similar, involving onscreen gestures to slash, parry and dodge enemy attacks. If you’re looking for a Infinity Blade on Android — this is about as good as it’s going to get. And that’s pretty good.

[Market Link]

Grabatron

Grabatron reminds me a lot of Death Worm. In fact, I’ve even pieced together the two stories in my own dark, twisted mind. Like Death Worm, the object of the game is destruction and to have a good time doin’ it. It’s the execution that’s a little bit different. Instead of moving underground, you’re in the air controlling a flying UFO using nothing but controls. The UFO’s only weapon is a giant claw that you use to rain terror on humanity by picking up cars, tossing them, snatchin’ yo people up, grabbing cows for food — whatever. Grabatron is out of this world.

[Market Link]

Jelly Defense

As someone who isn’t the biggest “tower defense” fan, you know something is up when another one makes my list for best of 2011. Jelly Defense takes the tired tower defense genre and adds a whole new spin on it by introducing…. jelly like creatures, replacing the typical turrets/missiles. And it looks great. I mean, really you have to see this game in action to really appreciate how clean and crisp these graphics are. Further adding to the unique look of the game is the colorful wacky little jelly creatures that stand out amidst a drab black and white background. I don’t know how but it just works.

[Market Link]

Muffin Knight

Muffin Knight is an action/shooter/platformer from Angry Mob Games. The fun “fairy tale” setting and colorful visuals make this easy on the eyes but where the game truly shines is in its cross platform gameplay. Muffin Knight if one of the few games in the Market that allow you to battle with a friend in multiplayer regardless of their device or OS. Have a friend with an iPhone? No problem! iPad? Show them who’s OS truly reigns supreme by destroying them, hardcore Muffin Knight style.

[Market Link]

Pollushot

Pollushot is another hidden gem for Android and even when looking at screenshots or the description it’s easy to overlook this one in the Market. I’ve always had a sweet spot for shooters and that’s probably the closest genre you can compare this to. What’s funny, is Pollushot actually features a story of sorts where you take control of a slingshot ship to rid the world of polluters destroying the planet. Unlike shooters where you mindlessly fire an unlimited amount of ammunition at anything that moves, Pollushot has you aim precisely, flinging balls at enemy’s weak spots in order to advance. If you enjoy the shooters of yore, do yourself a favor and download Pollushot immediately.

[Market Link]

Majesty: Fantasy Kingdom

Majesty is an interesting take on the RTS genre bringing almost fully automated characters normally controlled by the user — wizards, archers, knights — allowing the player manage the rest of the kingdom. This means you cannot simply select some knights to go out and do battle but must allow them to live their lives where at most, you can entice them to do your bidding through bribery. Somehow, it just all works and that’s the best part of Majesty. As a long time fan of 2D hand-drawn sprites, Majesty looks amazing on Android devices. There’s a free version in Market so no need to feel apprehensive about downloading. Oh — HeroCraft also released the Northern Expansion pack a few days ago so there’s more than enough Majesty to keep you playing for hours.

[Market Link]

Where’s My Water?

One look at the developer of Where’s My Water? and you’re probably thinking, “Disney? What are we, 5?” Well, hold it right there stranger. Don’t let Where’s My Water’s looks fool you. Yes, it look a little childish (some call that “fun”) but this is one of the best puzzlers the Android Market has to offer. The premise of the game seems simple enough — get the water to the goal. But exactly how you manage to do that is the hard part. You must dig channels underground and watch as obstacles and challenges muddy things up a bit. Like puzzlers? Like fun? You’ll love Where’s My Water.

[Market Link]

Xenowar

Back in the day there was this little game called X-Com. No game has ever come close to replicating it and I never dreamed I’d see anything come remotely close to delivering that same feel and definitely not in the Android Market. Thankfully, I came across Xenowar, a sci-fi, turn-based, strategy game very much in the vein of X-Com and make no mistake, the developers are intentionally trying to recreate that same magic found long ago. And they do a pretty darn good job. The graphics, while drastically different from the original comic book style, manage to give Xenowar its own identity with a unique, almost 8-bit polygonal style complete with matching sound effects. Not exactly the X-Com faithful port I’ve been dreaming about but still very good in its own right.

[Market Link]

Puzzle Quest 2

Puzzle Quest 1 did the unthinkable when they combined RPG elements into a Bejeweled style puzzle game and somehow made it work. Puzzle Quest 2 brings that same tried and true formula but with more everything. Better graphics, greater depth, more characters classes, epic story line and the like. Whether you’re a fan of puzzle games or RPG’s, Puzzle Quest will rock your socks. Fan of both? Oh man, forget about it. Download this yesterday! If you hurry, PQ2 is actually 40% off until January 2nd in the Android Market. Great deal!

[Market Link]

iBlast Moki

iBlast Moki crept under my radar for quite some time. Generally speaking, when I see a game that’s $3 with no free version, I just keep on walking but with iBlast Mokie, the cuteness got me. I mean, really. Just look at those little faces. The game is definitely hands down one of the better looking puzzle games in the Android Market but it’s in the gameplay where the game truly shines. I’ll try to explain it the best I can. Object of the game is to get the balls (Moki) into the hole. Sounds easy enough but it’s tricky. You must use bombs to project the Moki through the air and using timed blasts — to the very second — must orchestrate a carefully timed symphony of explosions to get those little suckers to the goal. The game features a neat rewind function that allows you to control the flow of time and figure out how to better time your blasts. Needless to say… I had a blast with iBlast Moki (you knew it was coming).

[Market Link]

Intertia

Inertia hit the Android Market not too long ago and after checking back with it today, was surprised at how few downloads it had. Part sci-fi platformer and part puzzler, Inertia’s tight controls and unique gameplay caught me off guard. Typically, I don’t fair too well with onscreen d-pads and buttons but Inertia makes you feel like a gaming god when you successfully complete a challenge. Inertia will challenge your wits, your reflexes, rack your brain and everything else in between. Inertia is even more accessible thanks to both Lite and paid version in the Market with a super HD version for all you tablet junkies as well.

[Market Link]

Alright, folks. So that just about wraps it up for my top gaming picks of 2011. Surprising to say, it’s actually been a pretty great year for Android gaming. We’re starting to see a shift into more powerful dual and quad-core devices which means not only better looking games but more full featured ones as well. Sony and Nintendo better watch out cuz Andy is coming! It’s only going to get better in 2012 and I’ll be there every step of the way bringing you as many gems as I can dig up from the Market until my phone is bursting at its seams. Happy New Year, everyone!


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30Dec/110

ASUS Transformer Prime 32GB Now Available At Office Depot

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The ASUS Transformer Prime is still a hot ticket item even after the holiday season. If you don’t feel like paying the inflated $700+ prices on Amazon you could always opt for Office Depot who has the elusive tablet currently in stock. Unfortunately, only the 32GB version is available so those looking to load up their entire HD movie collection on the 64 gig’er will have to go elsewhere. Oh yeah, and if you use coupon code: 856155942 they’ll even throw in a free digital camera. Happy new year!

Thanks, Lee!

[Office Depot]


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30Dec/110

HP ENVY 15 Hands on and unboxing

The ENVY series of laptops has defined HP’s high end for the last few years, and the trend continues with the newly remodeled ENVY 15. The high-powered series has become popular in the PC crowd thanks to lower and lower prices for some very respectable hardware. The last time we took a look at the ENVY series was the ENVY 17 3D nearly a year ago, and it left us quite impressed. HP sent over the ENVY 15 for us to check out, and initial observations are promising.

The first thing you’ll notice when handling the ENVY 15 is its heft: a largely metal construction makes for a big, heavy unit, even for the relatively mainstream 15-inch screen size. That weight isn’t wasted, however. The premium feel of the ENVY line is present in full force, with minimal seams and laser etching everywhere. The front of the laptop is bare, save for stereo Beats speakers. On the right you’ll find the SD card slot, Kensington lock port, a single USB port, Display Port, full-sized HDMI, a stylish Beats manual analog volume controller, an Ethernet port and the power jack. Switch to the left side and you get the optical drive, two more USB ports, a pair of headphone ports and a microphone in jack.

Lift the matte black lid and you’re greeted with the standard ENVY interior, plus a few surprises. The keyboard steps inside the body via a stylish red ring that matches the Beats audio dial, a nice tough that adds just enough flair to set it apart from the Macbook line (which, let’s face it, early ENVY models aped pretty shamelessly.) Black backlit chicklet keys are comfortable, if not as springy as the ones found on Lenovo’s ThinkPads. The power button, volume dial and a mute switch are the only extra controls on the unit.

The screen is gorgeous, thanks to both HP’s Radiance LED display. A full 1920×1080 resolution is a treat on a 15-inch panel, though the standard base model has only the more common 1366×768 resolution. A relatively thin bezel combined with edge-to-edge plastic (not glass) makes for a well-defined if glossy viewing experience. Flip the laptop over and you’ll see minimum legalese and just one access point for the battery, which HP figures good for 9 hours. The body is considerably thicker than the same-sized Macbook Pro, but not to an extreme degree.

Previous ENVY models had trouble with the Apple-style clickable touchpad. For the most part these seem to be resolved, thanks in part to a small rubber strip that give a separation of the main navigation area and the “buttons”. Two-finger scrolling is unfortunately still iffy – I’ve yet to see a PC notebook that nails the multitouch gestures as well as a Macbook. More’s the pity. The analog volume dial emblazoned with the Beats logo is a nice touch, and allows for quick, tactile changes in sound.

Our ENVY 15 came with Windows 7 Home Premium, in the 64-bit flavor to take advantage of 6GB of DDR3 RAM. Combined with a 2.4Ghz Intel Core i5 processor, a speedy traditional 500GB 7200 RPM hard drive and a 1GB AMD Radeon 7690M, this laptop should fly through high-end applications and the latest games – we’ll be sure to put it through its paces. Looking through the included software, I’m happy to see full versions of Adobe Photoshop Elements 9 and Premiere Elements 9, useful tools for any would-be media dabbler. I’m less pleased to see the predictable inclusion of Microsoft Office trial versions, as well as HP and Bing-branded bloatware. It’s by no means the worst that I’ve seen, but a clean Windows experience is always preferable. There are no OS discs included in the package to allow for manual re-installation.

As for the packaging itself, it’s the high-quality stuff we’ve seen on previous ENVY models. The laptop itself gets a free cloth baggie/shammy (necessary, considering how fast that black top accrues fingerprints) and another baggie for the large 3-prong AC adapter. The standard documentation and a few marketing flyers round out the extras. As configure this ENVY 15 would cost $1249, with the base model starting at $1099.

Take a look for yourself in our unboxing video below:

We’ll be going over the HP ENVY 15 for our in-depth review later this week.

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HP ENVY 15 Hands on and unboxing is written by Michael Crider & originally posted on SlashGear.
© 2005 - 2011, SlashGear. All right reserved.


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30Dec/110

Time to Upgrade My Parents

Mom . . . Dad . . . we need to talk. And by “we,” I mean I’m going to talk, and you’re just going to agree with everything I say and follow my advice forevermore. And by “talk” I mean I’m going to write a public column on SlashGear, and hopefully you won’t really read it, because you’ve always taken my sardonic humor as just a little too mean. Anyway, I love you both, but it’s time to have a technology intervention. I’m going to keep this simple and easy. But if something doesn’t change, I just don’t know if I can provide the kind of technology support you need anymore.

I know more than anyone else you know

I know, I didn’t get a degree in Computer Science. You have no idea where I learned all of this stuff, and I could hardly explain it either. Mostly, it comes from making a lot of mistakes, and then begging smart, vicious people to help me. I know I can sound exasperated walking you through tech problems, but if I’ve never told you to RTFM and compared you to Hitler, trust me it could be much worse. That said, before you ask anyone else for advice about anything, ask me.

"Stop asking these people for help. They are only making it worse"

I know more about technology than any retail employee you will encounter anywhere. I know more than the folks at the Verizon store. I know more than the folks at Best Buy. I know more than half of the people at the cable company; anybody not issued a crimper is beneath my technical knowledge. Stop asking these people for help. They are only making it worse.

I know the guy at Verizon offered to help sync all your contacts from your old SIM card, but I might have a better way. And no more signing contract agreements without getting a nice phone subsidy coming your way. I know you bought your computer at Best Buy, but this isn’t a car dealership. Those folks probably know less about your gear than any other type of repair shop you’ll encounter.

When your cable company tells you there is no problem with your Internet service, then suggests you stop by to pick up a newer, more expensive router with wireless built in, call me first. I may know a trick or two.

Never delete anything

My father works in an office with a ton of files. Actual paper files with little color-coded letter stickers on them, all arranged neatly in a set of large filing cabinets. Every few years, they get to throw away the deactivated files, which is a huge process, but it reclaims space. Paper systems are more efficient with a good waste disposal system. But this doesn’t translate to computers.

At some point, early on, a computer geek told my father that his computer was running slowly because he was out of memory. I’m guessing his hard drive was 99% full at the time, which can actually cause problems. Today, he’s using a couple gigs of half-terabyte storage system. He also has a 500GB backup drive. He throws things away like his computer is Noah’s Ark and he’s got to save space or lose the dinosaurs forever.

"At the end of every conversation, he deletes Skype"

I went looking for Skype on his machine this past week, and all I found was an alias, a shortcut. This shortcut opened a Skype installer. No app, just the installer. I asked about it. Turns out, at the end of every conversation, he deletes Skype. Tosses it in the trash. Then, when he wants to chat again, he goes to Skype.com and downloads the newest app. When he can remember his login information, he can then make calls.

The psychology behind all of this is fascinating. Is this a better practice, or worse? Is the waste of time balanced by having the latest version of the app? Why am I not getting through to him on how much storage he has?

I’ve told him he has enough storage to hold the entire works of Shakespeare, Encyclopedia Britannica, and every book he’s ever read, with room for a few hundred more copies of each. He has enough room to hold every DVD in his library, if he wanted to rip them all. His photo library is not taking up a tenth of his storage space, so there’s no need to delete any photo he might find in the least bit pleasing.

But he still deletes. He doesn’t just delete email, he deletes the email app. He doesn’t just clean up his bookmarks, he tosses the browser. Forget about throwing out the baby with the bathwater. He throws out the baby and the bathwater, then gets a vasectomy to make sure this sort of thing never happens again.

Never install anything

What really gets to me is that even though he deletes everything needlessly, he’s still chocked full of garbage. His Web browser, which is somehow completely up to date, miracle of miracles, is bogged down by multiple toolbars. He’s got weather apps and widgets clogging up his status bar. Every time I move a folder, Norton double checks to tell me everything’s copacetic.

Here’s how this happens: a pop-up appears asking my parents to install something, and they do. Pop-ups look a lot like system notifications to them. It’s all just messages from the computer, so they trust and click. That’s how the browser gets updated. That’s also how they are running on so much bloat. They try to open a file, but it uses a weird file extension, so the computer offers them new software to download. They do it. During the installation of one piece of software, they see confusing offers and end up saying yes to others.

Then the system slows down. Must be because the memory is full, my father thinks. And he starts deleting with relish.

It’s time to upgrade . . . everything

My parents bought my toddler a kids tablet toy. It comes with some software installed, but as soon as you turn on the toy, before it offers you any software, it asks if you want to download more from the download store. That requires a PC connection. No problem, except that my parents bought their PC in 2006. Their software is out of date, and it cannot be upgraded.

When I used to sell computers, I used to tell people “Be happy with what it does right now, and it will always do those things. It just might not be able to do the new stuff down the road.”

"The desktop had a good 5 year run"

Well, we’ve gotten to the end of that road. The desktop had a good 5 year run, about what I expect from a desktop. It can’t run the newest systems. It can’t work properly with the newest mobile devices and peripherals. It can still work on the Web just fine, but it’s a bit underpowered for the high definition and fast streaming content my parents might enjoy watching.

While you’re at it, get a new cell phone. My father’s phone is a clamshell. It’s fairly new. Carriers still sell clamshells. But it’s time to upgrade. About once a month I get frantic messages from him. “Philip, we’ve been trying to reach you, but you haven’t been answering your phone. Please call us as soon as you get this message.”

I have 3 email accounts, including my corporate email. I have a Twitter account and a Facebook page, and I’m active on both. Even better, I am a huge Google Voice fan, and calling or texting that number makes at least 6 phones ring. So, why couldn’t he get a hold of me?

Old number. He was using a phone number I had back in 2004. I’m not sure how it ended up the only number he had for me in his phonebook. Neither is he. Nobody knows, but I blame the guy at the cell phone store who tried to “sync” his contacts through his SIM card.

My parents would not use any of the same features on a smartphone that I use. I use my phone for social networking and work tasks. They don’t use Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn (thank gawd). They probably don’t care about the star charts, the music stores, and the hundreds of games. But they would love some Fandango. And they would go crazy for the navigation and location-based features.

Dad: “Okay, I checked my tire pressure and it’s all good. So tonight you can take your mother’s car or you can take the Jag.”
PB: ” . . . ”
Dad: “Are you sure you want the Jag? It doesn’t have navigation. How will you know where you’re going?”
PB: “Shut up and give me the keys.”

Also, time to get a new digital camera. Nobody uses CF cards anymore, and a 2GB limit on storage is ridiculous. Plus, did you know even the cheapest cameras can now take video in high definition? And don’t get me started on geotagging. Heck, it might even be time to replace that old Kindle. E-ink screens have gotten even better since the first generation.

Don’t buy anything that requires my help

"I don’t mind if people don’t take my tech advice"

By now, it might be obvious that I’m a prissy, pretentious schmuck. I can live with that. I don’t mind if people don’t take my tech advice. In fact, sometimes I even prefer it. I’d rather not take your late night phone calls complaining about your phone’s address book, or commiserate the second time you dropped your precious glass phone and the screen shattered again. But I’m happy to give my advice, and I promise to always take tech advice giving seriously. I won’t steer you wrong.

But when you go out and buy something tech related without asking me first, you’re on your own. Having trouble setting up that router? Good luck with that. Can’t figure out that cheap tablet you bought? Should have asked me first. Surprised your new device didn’t come with memory cards and requires a boatload of AA batteries every week just to function properly? I could have warned you, but you didn’t ask.

I’m a know-it-all, and I’m obnoxious, but I also get offended easily when people don’t respect my expertise, as it were. When I show up at my parents’ home and see some new gadget or piece of tech lying around, I feel like a cat who’s come home to a new puppy. I sniff around it disdainfully. I turn away from it and aim my backside in its general direction. I give off a vibe that says “What is THIS doing here? And why was I not consulted?”


Relevant Entries on SlashGear.com

Time to Upgrade My Parents is written by Philip Berne & originally posted on SlashGear.
© 2005 - 2011, SlashGear. All right reserved.


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30Dec/110

Skype offering free WiFi in NYC on New Year’s Eve

Following a recent promotion offering free WiFi in airports for holiday travelers, Skype is now offering free WiFi to revelers celebrating New Year’s Eve in New York City. If you’re heading to the Big Apple this year, you’ll be able to stay connected via free Skype WiFi starting at noon on December 31 and ending at noon on January 1.

Skype will be partnering with Towerstream, which operates a network that covers Time Square, West Village, East Village, South Village, Greenwich Village, NoHo, SoHo, Lowe East Side, Clinton, Chelsea, Union Square, Midtown, Midtown South, Murray Hill, Stuyvesant Park, and Turtle Bay.

To connect, make sure you have the latest Skype version installed on your Windows or Mac device. You can also use the Skype WiFi app on your iOS device. Follow the prompts and once you’re connected, you can make Skype video or voice calls, send emails, and surf the web. You can thank Skype by tweeting with the hashtag #freeskypewifi.

[via Skype Blog]


Relevant Entries on SlashGear.com

Skype offering free WiFi in NYC on New Year’s Eve is written by Rue Liu & originally posted on SlashGear.
© 2005 - 2011, SlashGear. All right reserved.


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30Dec/110

Acer Aspire One D270 arriving with Intel Cedar Trail

The Acer Aspire One D270 netbook sports Intel’s latest Cedar Trail based Atom processor and has already surfaced in the online product listings of some European retailers. The netbook will be one of the first to run on the Cedar Trail chip, of which also include a lineup of netbooks from ASUS and Samsung.

Acer’s Aspire One D270 netbook will be the successor to the D260 (pictured above) and will feature a 10.1-inch display running on a faster 1.6GHz Atom N2600 processor with 1GB of RAM and 320GB of hard drive storage. It will come with either a three-cell or six-cell battery, currently priced at 250 euros or $324 USD for the three-cell model and 269 euros or $348 USD for the six-cell variant. The netbook will likely come in an assortment of colors.

The D270′s N2600 processor is built on Intel’s Cedar Trail architecture with a dual 32nm core. It features Hyperthreading along with a 400MHz embedded graphics core. The next-gen Atom processor was originally slated to arrive in September, but GPU issues have delayed its arrival, pushing new Cedar Trail netbook past the holidays to launch in mid-January.

[via Notebook Italia]


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Acer Aspire One D270 arriving with Intel Cedar Trail is written by Rue Liu & originally posted on SlashGear.
© 2005 - 2011, SlashGear. All right reserved.


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30Dec/110

iPad 3 Retina Display photo leaked in Korean forum

The much rumored iPad 3 high resolution Retina Display may have turned up in a photo on a Korean forum. Not much was revealed in the way of details and the display wasn’t turned on. However, the photo tipped to MacRumors does reveal a subtle difference in its cable ribbon configuration that suggests support for powering a higher resolution display than what’s currently used on the iPad 2.

The photo shows what appears to be the iPad 2 display panel above with the new iPad 3 display panel below. Referencing a diagram of a disassembled iPad 2 screen by iFixit, MacRumors noted that the screen pictured above matched the diagram, which showed two brown wide ribbon cables that are used to transfer display data.

The difference with the screen pictured in the lower half of the photo is that it features three wide ribbon cables, which suggests that the extra one is needed to carry more data in order to power the high resolution 2048 x 1536 display. This resolution is four times the number of pixels in the current iPad 2 screen.


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iPad 3 Retina Display photo leaked in Korean forum is written by Rue Liu & originally posted on SlashGear.
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30Dec/110

Nokia Ace 900 Windows Phone for AT&T images surface

New images purported to be of the Nokia Ace 900 Windows Phone have accidentally been leaked via a Christmas card distributed by a Microsoft partner. According to PocketNow, there are several clues on the device that suggest it is actually the Nokia Ace 900 instead of the Nokia Lumia 800 despite the near identical design.

Although looking very similar, the device depicted in the greeting card features subtle differences including a visible front-facing camera and a camera button located a bit higher. The device also features an AT&T logo as well as a 4G logo, which falls in line with rumors that AT&T will be launching three new 4G LTE Windows Phones early next year, around the same time the Nokia Ace 900 is expected to debut.


Paul Thurrot
revealed that Microsoft has plans to launch the HTC Radiant and the Samsung Mandel Windows Phone devices on AT&T’s 4G LTE network early next year, with the Nokia Ace 900 to also support 4G LTE with possibly the new Tango update and to ship on March 18. The Nokia Lumia 710 is believed to be the first to ship in the US on T-Mobile with Tango onboard and is due in April.


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Nokia Ace 900 Windows Phone for AT&T images surface is written by Rue Liu & originally posted on SlashGear.
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30Dec/110

Siri for Android appears on market, just a shortcut at the moment

When the Apple iPhone 4S was introduced to the world, with it came a re-introduction of Siri, an until-then third-party app that used an above-average voice recognition system to do commands and actions – now the Android Market has “Siri for Android,” but it’s not quite what you might think. Instead of an “Official App” as it jokingly suggests that it is with its developer name, it’s just a shortcut to what all Android devices version 2.2 and forward have working on them natively: Google Voice Actions. Sadly you will not be able to ask this this “Siri” if it’ll be raining on your parade tomorrow.

Between 1,000 and 5,000 people have already downloaded this application, it just added this week in an effort to educate the masses on what Android has been capable of doing for over a year now. This app was not produced by Google (as far as we can tell,) but it’s certainly a good tool to inform those without knowledge of this basic function that it is, indeed, there for the picking. For those of you still trying to find that perfect Siri alternative on your Android complete with any form of speaking you wish. Meanwhile you’ll be using such gems as these to make everything happen:

Send email
Say “send email to [recipient] [subject]* [body]*”
e.g. “send email to Mike LeBeau How’s life in New York treating you? The weather’s beautiful here!”
_____

View a map
Say “map of [address/city]”
e.g. “map of San Francisco”
_____

Go to websites
Say “go to [website]
e.g. “go to Wikipedia”

Those of you wishing to get a whole lot closer to Siri on Android should check out some of the following alternatives: Iris which is of course Siri in reverse, Vlingo Virtual Assistant which is just about as close as you’re going to get to Siri at the moment, Skyvi (Siri for Android) whose title makes no qualms about which audience it’s going for, Speaktoit Assistant complete with strange cartoon companions, and Andy – Siri for Android which has a giant amount of good reviews for its ease in use and developing awesomeness. Let us know what you use, Android lovers, and if you’ve got a Siri alternative out there, tell it!

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Siri for Android appears on market, just a shortcut at the moment is written by Chris Burns & originally posted on SlashGear.
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