Archive for the ‘ gadgets ’ Category

Let the eBook wars begin

Some details and pictures have leaked in Gizmodo.

Amazon has a reader. Sony has a reader and soon Barnes and Noble will have their own. The B&N device seems to overcome the shortcomings of the other two such as the inability to read under bright light and the difficulties of extended reading on a screen even though it’s been designed to look like paper.

This device seems like it will put up a good fight with the other two. Add to the fact that B&N has retail stores out there far more than Sony Style stores to sell these readers to the masses.

Now if only everyone could agree on a common format so we can buy books from anywhere we want or even support any files we put into it, then that would be an eBook dream. It’s still quite far away for me to think of giving up my dead tree books. But with all the competition heating up someone is bound to listen to the masses and finally bring out the reader that we all could live with.

The Kindle has books will now ship international

In case you haven’t heard, the Kindle will dropping prices to $259 and will now be available to international customers for purchase on October 19. Or is it really international?

Logging into the Amazon website will greet you with a special message from Jeff Bezos announcing the price reduction of the Kindle from $299 to $259 and the introduction of an international edition for $279.

I was so excited about the announcement and checked about the availability of the device in my part of the world and I came upon this. I wonder why they couldn’t price the device the same. Then I remembered that Sprint provides the US Whispernet coverage while AT & T will provide the international coverage. Technically the wireless capability of the two is vastly different from one another which results in the difference in price. I just wish they could source out both parts to be equally priced and offer it at the same price. I know it’s just twenty dollars but that’s a lot of money nowadays.

Moving on, Amazon seems a bit vague about the capability and network coverage in my area in their “helpful” guide to the international Kindle.

Assuming it’s still the same device as the current Kindle aside from the hardware of the whispernet, these devices are locked to specific carriers and not user servicable. Meaning if you do buy it for your region outside the US you cannot remove the AT & T sim card I’ll assume to place in your local provider. Which means the cost of sending the book over whispernet to you in an international location will cost the user an additional $1.99.

Is the $1.99 worth it for the Kindle? Well it depends on how many books do you intend on buying? There’s the issue of sales tax, duties and whatnot that greedy governments like the Philippines charge. Yes they tax books here and there was this whole fight about it. It turned out that the tax exemption for books only applied to the large bookstores and not the individual buyer of let’s say Amazon. To top it off, they will make you go through the arduous of filling out the forms and sending the forms to the appropriate government instutution just to get you tax refund.

So yes, in my opinion the $1.99 is worth paying just to avoid the troubles when claiming your books, you’ll have the instant gratification of having the book in minutes from almost anywhere, and to keep the government paws off your hard earned money when buying books that you want.

I love what the Kindle offers and I’m currently enjoying that through my iPod via the Kindle app from the iTunes App Store. I currently have five books on it and it has served me well. Sure the screen is a bit tiny for reading but it does the job for me at the moment.

Will I get the Kindle? Yes. But not until the price goes to $199 for the international edition. I think that is the sweet spot for many in buying the Kindle. Unless everyone is waiting for Apple to jump into the fray with their own tablet next year, then that’s something else entirely.

Goodbye Morgan, you will be missed

WebbAlert – Your Daily Tech Roundup

Posted on, Morgan Webb of Tech TV/ G4/ XPlay/ cover girl and gamer announced on her website that she will no longer continue with Webb Alert, the almost daily tech podcast. Also one of the few I listen to.

I looked forward to the Webbalert podcast to provide me with some tech news and such. I even remember her being a guest on Tekzilla on how she made the podcast.

I also found it amazing on how she made her podcast even while on the road while she went to the Tokyo Game Show among others.

It’s good in a way that she’s doing a lot more for G4 and X-Play being it’s top gaming show. But on the other hand, is it because she doesn’t have any sponsors for her show anymore. But at least she’s not off the air completely. I sure do hope that she will not forget this endeavor and in the future may decide to revive Webbalert.

Now all we have to follow is X-Play and G4. I wonder if we can follow her on twitter…

Other uses for your iPod Touch

iPod touch M110 sniper rifle: another reason to fear the Cult of Apple – Engadget

Posted over in Engadget, the iPod Touch was loaded with software that will help you with your marksmanship. Just fill in the blanks to know the changes that wind, weather and distance will make to your shots and fire away.

Now available in the iTunes App store so no jail breaking is required.

iTunes goes DRM free

The Price Of Going DRM-Free: Apple’s Hidden $1.8 Billion Music Tax

Yes that’s right! Free your music! No more DRM on all songs on the iTunes Store. It’s taken them a while to get there though. Amazon was among the first to sell DRM free songs and it has now arrived at the iTunes store with a cost.

It will cost each user ¢30 a song to “remove” the DRM. It’s actually downloading the DRM one and overwriting the old DRMed version. According to Tech Crunch, it will cost users $1.8 Billion to do where the math is based on the number of songs sold multplied by .30 and thus we have the = music lable tax to set their music free.

Too bad. The tax will still wont save the music industry.

So what did we get right?

Now that the curtain has closed on the (last) Apple keynote to grace Macworld what did I get right?

  • New iWork 09
  • 17 inch unibody Mac Book Pro

That’s it. Sadly no netbook for mac fans. iLife 09 I missed (dang those two go hand in hand) no new iMacs and Mac Minis ot that Nano iPhone or a version 3 of the iPhone software either.

Even if I were Steve Jobs, I wouldn’t wake up on a cold morning just to tell the world all this. But it’s still a satisfying array.

I’m trying out iWork 09 right now and I must say I’m about to drop the Office suite alltogether now. Numbers has greatly improved. It can now handle my office spreadsheet of over 20,000 entries. I definitely like this version now.

Macworld 2009 Predictions

As the mac world breathes (intended pun) a sigh of relief that Steve Jobs isn’t dying as evidenced by his letter to the public, he has spoken that everyone should have fun and fun we shall have.

Macworld bingo!

Everyone has their own take on what will come out at Apple’s (last) Macworld and these are some of mine.

  • New iWork 09, cloud options will be a mobile me add on, more collaborative engines (see enterprise) will have additional features linked to OS X Server 10.6
  • Short demo of Snow Leopard
  • Updated iMacs and Mac Minis probably even Mac Pros with the new display ports.
  • Another iPhone/ iPod Touch software update v.3 paid update for Touch users (where’s the love?)
  • 17 inch unibody mac (actually it’s expected since it’s the only portable that hasn’t been upgraded)

I don’t think that they’ll release a net book even though I’m secretly harboring for one. They obviously love the Air despite it’s limitations, namely price. But if Phil Schiller will walk on stage with one, then I will definitely be in heaven. Even if it will be priced in the $600 I will be the first in line to get one.

Best Buy buys Napster for $121 Million

Best Buy Puzzles With Napster Acquisition

Just a day before the Wall Street meltdown, electronics retailer Best Buy acquires beleaguered online music company, Napster for $121 million.

Napster was originally the hotbed of peer to peer music sharing which got sued to death by the record labels ushering in the music industry into the digital age. A current era which they are still powerless to resist. Apple came into the picture by offering the iTunes Music store and 99¢ a song which they willingly gave thinking that Apple can never make this work where they have failed. Apparently they were wrong.

Fast forward years later, Napster was revived as a legal music store in an attempt to make its once “music stealers” into “music buyers” apparently didn’t pan out. iTunes holds 70% of the online music business as well as the music players that play them. Amazon is also in the mix with their DRM-free music and even more following suit.

What does Best Buy hope to make with this acquisition? Napster as a brand is not synonymous with “online music store”, Apple has done a very good job of doing that. It would have been better for Best Buy to have created their own music store instead of getting a “has been” brand with losses since its inception and a bad reputation for once being the center of all pirated music in the internet.

At the end of the day, it’s their money.

NBC returns to the iTunes Store

Apple – Hot News – All

The events reach full circle with NBC returning to the iTunes store. Consumers win, everybody wins!

It doesn’t make any sense for any owner of a product to limit the sale to just a few stores with not that many customers. It was only inevitable that they return to the Apple store.

Now everybody is happy.

LOL moment of the week

Apple: Apple and AT&T Sued for Selling Too Many iPhone 3Gs

An iPhone customer was unhappy about the performance of his iPhone and therefore sued Apple and AT&T. Not about the service, but about the possibility that they knowlingly sold “too many” iPhones which eventually led to the poor 3G reception.

Hmm… and? This is crazy! If that’s the case, we should’ve sued all those dial-up ISPs back when we couldn’t get connected because of the busy line. Sue every other service that experiences these “issues” for over selling. Now if these issues were rampant like across the entire country, that’s another issue. But if it’s just happening to one person, get a life and move on. Stand in line like everyone else.