Donald and Eric comment on RIM's dull vision of the future and are only slightly more enthusiastic about Microsoft's competing take on things. A Nokia researcher shows off a genuinely interesting vision of what flexible touch-screen devices might be able to accomplish. In Geek News, Eric confesses his love for Uncharted 3 and Harrison Ford's face.
Lots to talk about this week, including a gravity-defying quantum levitation skateboard, Lytro's revolutionary new camera, the future of Android skin, and a robot helper for man's best friend. Plus, Donald shows off the nerdiest way to feed your baby, Rafe protects you from phishing scams, and Eric has the latest from Blizzcon.
This week, Donald and Eric tackle some big tech ideas while fighting off a dark cloud of Nietzschean existentialism.
Microsoft demos shoulder-mounted touch-screen projectors, while Disney takes a decidedly low-tech route. We also look at a ball that can take 360-degree panoramic photos in one shot; advancements in harvesting energy from humans; the strength of your passwords; and a new spin on superhero teen shows.Subscribe in iTunes SD Video | Subscribe in RSS SD Video
Update: Samsung informs us that it has updated its pricing breakdown for the Series 7 all-in-one, and it will offer only two models, a $999 Core i3 model that is exclusive to Best Buy, and a widely available Core i5-based unit for $1,199.
We didn't know what to expect from Samsung when it told us it wanted to meet to show off its first U.S.-bound desktop, the Series 7 all-in-one. Toshiba, the other newest player in the U.S. desktop market, introduced its by-the-numbers DX1210 all-in-one earlier this year, so we dreaded another commodity play. We also think of Samsung in terms of its battle with Sony in the high-end TV market. That left open the possibility that Samsung might run its desktop against those of its familiar competitor, and come to market with something like the woefully overpriced Sony Vaio L Series 3D Edition.
Imagine our relief when the 23-inch Samsung Series 7 all-in-one turned out to be neither of those things.… Read more
Former laptop-exclusive Toshiba has introduced its second all-in-one desktop this year, debuting the 23-inch, touch-screen-equipped DX730. This new unit joins the 21.5-inch DX1210 which Toshiba introduced this past August.
Based on its specs, the $956.99 DX730 sounds like a competitive-enough all-in-one compared with other Windows-based touch-screen models in its price range. Toshiba offers a choice of second-generation Intel Core i5 and Core i7 CPUs, a 1TB hard drive, 4GB of RAM, and an HDMI input for connecting external media components. Toshiba also highlights the DX730's Onkyo-provided speakers, giving this system a point of comparison against HP's … Read more
Not unlike an artfully created but tiny-portioned appetizer leading into a flavorful and filling main course that remains stuck in the kitchen, my first hands-on experience with Windows 8 left me eager for what was coming but disappointed with what was set in front of me.
Microsoft lent out Windows 8 tablets to attendees at the end of the Build conference preview yesterday, surprisingly running an earlier version of the in-development operating system than the one that had been demonstrated as functional earlier in the day.
The operating system represents a major change for the company and its fans, as … Read more
If you like touch-screen cameras, keep reading. The Coolpix S100 is Nikon's top-of-the-line ultracompact featuring a large, 3.5-inch 820K-dot resolution OLED touch screen, likely the same one used on last year's S80, which was really quite beautiful. In fact, the whole design of the S100 seems to be unchanged.
What is new is a 16-megapixel BSI CMOS sensor and a 5x f3.9-4.8 28-140mm lens. With that new sensor comes all its advantages such as the potential for better low-light photos and video (kind of important for what's essentially a nightlife camera), faster shooting performance, … Read more
So it seems digital zoom is experiencing a bit of a revival after years of consumers being told not to use it. Panasonic has its Intelligent Resolution/Intelligent Zoom function, which extends the zoom ratio by about 1.3x while maintaining the picture quality. Sony's new By Pixel Super Resolution technology in its latest ultracompact, the Cyber-shot DSC-TX55, puts that ratio to shame.
Instead of just magnifying pixels or cropping in, Sony's Clear Image Zoom uses pixel creation and pattern matching when it "zooms" in. Sony claims this will maintain the image quality and keep the … Read more
Traditional PC vendors often make claims that a certain application or function is "easy enough for grandma," but Chalfont, Penn.-based Telikin seems to offer a more ground-up approach to broad usability with its 20-inch Elite and 18-inch Touch touch-screen all-in-ones. Forgoing Windows, these systems use a custom operating system designed to provide intuitive access to basic computing functions like Web browsing, video chats, and other typical light-duty media consumption and communication-oriented tasks.
Telikin doesn't offer many details on its Web site as to the technical underpinnings of its two all-in-ones. You'll find no mention of … Read more
Sony, you baffle me. I'm sitting down with an Xperia Play, the PlayStationesque Android phone released earlier this year. The one I had been awaiting, for a year, the so-called "PlayStation phone." CNET's already reviewed the Xperia Play, but I was sent the unit to play with a little for myself, at long last. After this year's E3, the Xperia Play sits in my hands like an afterthought. I'm underwhelmed, unexcited, bored. Partially, it's the software: a depressing suite of PlayStation 1 games and choppy frame rate Android titles. Partially, it's the hardware: the Xperia Play has its own buttons, the build quality is impressive, and the device feels good to hold, yet it lacks physical analog sticks.
Yet, what bothers me most of all, strangely, is the branding.Related links CNET's Xperia Play review Hands-on with PS Vita and its games This wasn't the PSP phone I was looking for
The Xperia Play doesn't say "PlayStation" anywhere on it. A small square with square, triangle, X and circle icons on the lower-left corner of the control pad are the only indication of any PlayStation relationship. "Sony Ericsson" and "Xperia" appear once each, and "Verizon" appears twice.
Even in the software menus or apps I could find, not once did the "PlayStation" word or logo appear. It's a branding white-out.
Does that matter?
Not really. But it's a critical statement. I can't help but be reminded of the MotoRokr E1 phone. The first phone to play well with iTunes, it predated the iPhone as a music phone by two years. However, the device lacked any clear Apple branding or iDevice labeling, or even a look that matched the iPod. The MotoRokr died a quiet death in the shadow of the iPod Nano, a precursor to all that happened after with the iPhone.
I wonder if the same story is inevitably true for the Xperia Play.… Read more