Archive for February, 2010

RIM demos new WebKit-based BlackBerry browser at MWC — it’s fast!

We weren’t expecting much out of RIM’s presser here at MWC this morning, but the company managed to bust out one surprise — a demo of the company’s new WebKit-based BlackBerry browser. We’re assuming this is what came out of that Torch Mobile acquisition, and the early build shown off on-screen looks pretty solid, rendering quickly and scoring a full 100/100 on the Acid3 test. Unfortunately, there’s no word on when BlackBerry users will actually be able to get their hands on this, but rest assured we’re digging for more info.

Office Camouflage

A Brief History of Pretty Much Everything

Google Buzz Explained

Google today announced a new service, Google Buzz, that automatically brings social networking into Gmail and the rest of the Google-sphere. Whether or not you’re big on social networking sites like Twitter or Facebook, Buzz offers a somewhat new and intriguing approach.

What’s Buzz All About?

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Canon’s new Rebel T2i shoots 18 megapixel stills, ups the video options

We’d heard inklings, but Canon’s brand new Rebel T2i (also known as the EOS 550D outside the US) is newly official and oh-so-desirable. The camera takes quite a few features from Canon’s EOS 7D, including an almost identical sensor, the selectable frame rates, and the stereo mic jack. There’s also a new widescreen LCD and button layout to differentiate it from its T1i sibling — which will stick around on the market to pick up the poorer Canon lovers among us. The shooter can capture 18.7 megapixel stills at 3.7 fps, with better, 7D-style light metering and an expanded ISO range of 100 to 6400. Video is even more thrilling, with the addition of 30 / 25 / 24 fps 1080p (the T1i was limited to a silly 20 fps at that resolution), along with 720p at 50 / 60 fps and VGA at similar rates. The camera can also do an ultra-zoomed “movie crop” function that actually does the cropping on the CMOS sensor to provide about 7x of additional zoom without losing quality in SD. The T2i will hit retail in March for $800, with a EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS lens kit at $900.

Hit Read More to see the Press Release. Read more

ExoPC tablet opens up for the world to see

It was just a week ago that the $599 8.9-inch ExoPC tablet came into our lives, but now we’ve been lucky enough to receive some shots of its internals. If tablet or netbook organs are your thing there’s plenty to see in the gallery below, including some photos of the fan, what appears to be a Ene memory card controller, and an open Mini PCI-Express slot. The Intel Atom N270 CPU, 945 Express chipset and 2GB of RAM are blurry, but ExoPC has been nice enough to confirm those specs for us. Though there’s not much in terms of the externals here, it looks to be a solidly built tablet, and it does appear to have a free SIM slot on its edge. We’re itching to see some more pics of the final multitouch units, including the finger-friendly ExoPC UI Layer which will run on top of its Windows 7 Premium, but in the meantime we’ve got the gallery below.

Rumored Windows Phone 7 details surface ahead of MWC launch: Zune-like UI, no multitasking

We’ve had a pretty clear indication that Microsoft would have plenty to say about Windows Mobile 7 at MWC this month, and it looks like we now have the first significant batch of rumored details ahead of the presumed launch. While nothing is close to being confirmed just yet, PPCGeeks has received what it describes as some “truly amazing information” about what’s now apparently known as Windows Phone 7, and it certainly paints an interesting picture. According to the site, Windows Phone 7 will sport an interface that’s “very similar” to the Zune HD, along with a complete revamp of the start screen, and a UI (codenamed METRO) that’s described as “very clean,” “soulful,” and “alive.” Perhaps just as notably, the OS supposedly won’t support multitasking, with applications instead simply pausing themselves when in the background (there will be support for push notifications, though). Also missing is Flash support (at least initially), as well as NETCF backwards compatibility for older applications, although there are apparently “high hopes” for porting NETCF to the new platform eventually.

On the upside, the OS is said to have full Xbox gaming integration (including gamertags, avatars and, yes, achievements), full Zune integration, full support for social networking, and a try before you buy system in the Marketplace. What we apparently won’t be seeing at MWC, however, is any Windows Phone 7 hardware, as the announcement is said to focus solely on the user interface. According to PPCGeeks, however, Microsoft is confident that the first hardware will be ready by September of this year. Hit up the link below for the complete rundown.

Update: MobileTechWorld looks to have also received the same batch of rumors, and has revealed a few more, including word that the browsing experience is currently “better / faster” than the iPhone 3G, and that Microsoft is “aiming towards” the 3GS. They also say that while there will be no Microsoft-made device, the company will have tighter control of the manufacturing process, which promises to simplify things for everyone involved and allow for over-the-air updates.

Motorola hops in the tub with Megan Fox during the Super Bowl

Just in case you missed the Devour’s televised debut in the third quarter of the Super Bowl, Motorola and the internet at large have gone ahead and posted it online, along with some bonus footage (spoiler: no bonus Megan Fox scenes). Jury’s still out on if it’ll assuage any Motoblur disdain. Commercial after the break, extra scenes via the source link — your move, Stephen.

Google’s Superbowl ad will make you cry a little bit

Admit it: you’re crying a little bit now, aren’t you?

Now, here’s the thing: this ad, from Google’s “Search Stories” YouTube channel, is from back in November, but John Battelle says he’s got a source telling him that ‘Parisian Love’ is the one that will air tomorrow night, during the third quarter of the SuperBowl. Either way, Google’s Eric Schmidt tweeted that he couldn’t wait to watch tomorrow, in addition to something about “hell freezing over.” So… that’s the first good reason we’ve heard to tune in. You with us?

sourceSearch Stories

Congress Asks NBC Why Hulu Blocked Boxee

Boxee and Hulu have had a contentious history, with Hulu several times blocking its content from working with the Boxee social media software. NBC Universal CEO Jeff Zucker once told All Things D he didn’t want Hulu content on Boxee because they were committed to keeping the former “an online experience.”

Today during the Congressional hearing to investigate Comcast’s proposed acquisition of NBCU (you can watch the full length video of the hearing below), Representative Rick Boucher asked Zucker flat out about the company’s exclusion of Boxee users from accessing Hulu content. Zucker’s reponse:

“This was a decision made by the Hulu management to, uh, what Boxee was doing was illegally taking the content that was on Hulu without any business deal. And, you know, all, all the, we have several distributors, actually many distributors of the Hulu content that we have legal distribution deals with so we don’t preclude distribution deals. What we preclude are those who illegally take that content.”

In a blog post, Boxee CEO Avner Ronen responds to Zucker’s claims of illegal content access. He explains that the workaround that currently allows Boxee users to watch Hulu shows is to simply use a web browser for access. Just like Firefox or Chrome users can watch Hulu content, so can Boxee users: “We don’t ‘take’ the video. We don’t copy it. We don’t put ads on top of it. The video and the ads play like they do on other browsers or on Hulu Desktop. And it certainly is legal to do so.”

Considering neither Mozilla nor Google (nor Microsoft or other browser makers) have distribution deals with Hulu, it’s hard not to concede that Boxee has a valid point. What do you think: should Congress intervene to prevent a company like Hulu from blocking access to particular web TV companies, be it Boxee or otherwise?