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CNET Tech Review
HTC busts a RhymeThis week on the CNET Tech Review: Facebook reveals the Timeline and other features; count down Apple's Top 5 flops; on the set of "Person Of Interest", and the HTC Rhyme is pretty in plum.
-This week on the CNET Tech Review, Facebook launched its new features and ruffle some feathers. HTC thinks its time for the plum colored Rhyme, a look at Apple's biggest flops and a site that offers to manage your social life for you. It's all coming up right now. Hi everyone, I'm Molly Wood and welcome to the CNET Tech Review where we collect our hottest videos of the week and tell you what's good and what's bad in the world of tech plus we offer our own unique tech wisdom in the form of the bottom line. Let's start with the good. We'll get to my to my Facebook gripes that have been here, but first HTC's long rumored Bliss handset made its debut in New York this week and it's actually called the Rhyme and not the bliss. We sent Bridget Carey, the newest member of the CNET TV family to get the scope on this decidedly female friendly phone. Hi, I'm Bridget Carey with CNET TV here with your first look at the HTC Rhyme. I'm at the launch event here in New York and they didn't exactly say this was for women, but you're kind of get that vibe because it comes in purple and has lot of accessories like the one I'm holding right here. You might be wondering what is this dangling thing. It's called the charm. So, you plug it in and you let it stick out purse and it lights up when you have missed call or someone is calling you or you have a text message. It also comes with a docking station that kind of reminds you like an alarm clock. You can put it by your bed and it also comes with headsets. Now, as you can see, the headsets are flat rubber, so it's supposed to not tangled as easy way because we all just hate when that happens. Sold separately are also some other match and accessories like the plum colored Bluetooth headset or a speaker visor for car and also a workout arm band. So, the phone itself has a nice feminine feel. The specs inside aren't too bad. It comes with 2 cameras with 5-megapixel on the back and another one on the front for video chatting. It's 3.7-inch screen, 1 gigahertz processor and has 4 gigs of memory, internal 8 gigs and a separate SD card. Now, as far as the interface goes, you're gonna notice there are slightly different tweaks in this HTC sense like the ability to just, you know, quickly get glance at your latest mail or messages without having to go all the way into the program, and the camera itself has a few other tweaks like being able to take 5 shots at once in 2.5 seconds. So, ladies if having some accessories tickles your fancy, it's gonna be available on September 29th at Verizon for 199 and that includes the 3 accessories like the charm, the charging dock and the matching earphones. For CNET TV, I'm Bridget Carey. -Thanks Bridget and welcome aboard, and yes, let's just actually say that they rhyme has really aimed at women. Well, women and friends. Honestly, I hope HTC was nice enough to give him one for free. The new fall TV season is full swing with the whole slew of new shows hitting the airwaves. One such show is the new CBS series person of interest, which imagines the world where no one is safe from prying eyes of government surveillance kind of like Facebook. Brian Cooley visited the person of interest set to find out just how close the show might be to real life. -The eyes that never sleep, in streets, on buildings and ATMs. 50 million video cameras silently rolling on our every move, capturing our location and when we were there. 4 billions hours a week recorded typically and monitored live possibly, and all of it at the core of a new CBS drama. The CBS show, Person of Interest, revolves around this concept of a machine that can hear, see, and therefore, know just about anything about any of us. Who's doing what with that information, that's part of a mystery. -You have a decision to make. -She can give you another number. -The leads on our show are doing work that they're uncertain or they feel ethically uncertain about and yet compelled to pursue it. -Most of them are just ordinary people like her. -A thousand, 2000, 5000 different images simultaneously. This machine can see all at once. It's almost-- -Uh huh. -like, you know, [unk] say, the Big Guy. -Even if you think you can get through the day without being caught on video, your cellphone can sell you out. 83% of American adults now carry one. 35% are smartphone with advanced integration into their daily lives. -The public wanted to be protected. They just didn't wanna know how they were being protected. -The government has been actively trying to build exactly the sort of database and technology that we talked about in the pilot that we feature in the show for at least 10 years. -So, when they finally got a system that worked, they kept it secret. -So, while Person of Interest envisions a specific machine, in fact, we already live with one. -Thanks. -The connectable dots of many forms of everyday surveillance that are perhaps even more powerful than what Finch and Reese work with. -I know, I'm fine. -Really gives you something to think about, doesn't it? We'll have more From Cooley's visit to the set later in the show. If that piece scared you into giving up your smartphone, it doesn't mean you have to stop taking photos and sharing them with your friends. Here's Joshua Goldman with the new point-and-shoot camera from Samsung that has plenty of social networking features built right inside. -Hey, there. I'm Joshua Goldman with CNET and this is a look at the Samsung SH100. So, it's probably no surprise that smartphones are killing some of the sales of lower-end point-and-shoot with all the apps and instant upload and there's just no way to compete with that. However, this app $200 SH100 is a solid attempt. For starters, it has built-in Wi-Fi that can be used for quickly connecting to a hotspot for wireless uploads to Facebook or sending off in an e-mail. The Wi-Fi can also be used to back up photos to a PC or connect to smartphones for uses of remote viewfinder. All you have to do for that is just download an app that are available for Samsung Galaxy devices and the iPhone 4. Support for other Android devices is in works. Anyway, you just open the app and you can use it to connect the SH100 to your device and use it to control the camera. The camera is also loaded with photo and movie filters and some simple editing tools and the 3-inch touchscreen on back makes using them pretty easy plus you can drag-and-drop icons around just like you would on a smartphone. Now, photo quality isn't much better than you get from a smartphone particularly low light shots but for sharing online, they look very good and you do get a 26 millimeter wide-angled lens with the 5x zoom and you really don't get that with the phone. Basically, with this camera, you get a lot of the same benefits of your smartphone's camera but with the better lens, faster performance, and more comfortable shooting. I'm Joshua Goldman and that's the Samsung SH100. -I do miss having an optical zoom on my camera phone, but I'm not sure I missed enough to start carrying both the phone and the camera again. While we're on the topic of social networking, is anyone else feeling overwhelmed trying to manage all of your alert settings or missing post that you should have seen. If so, Sharon Vaknin has yet another service to sign up for, but this one aims to help you manage all the rest. - -What if you can get a text message every time when posting apartment listing on Craigslist or maybe you would like to automatically backup Facebook photos to you Dropbox. I'm Sharon Vaknin for CNET.com here to show you how to use a web app called If This Then That, which lets automate task for web services like Facebook, Dropbox, Twitter, Flicker, and more. If This Then That or If as they like to call it is based on the simple logic of its name. If this happens one services, then do that on another services. Here's how it works. Head to ifttt.com and there's some new account information and once you confirm your e-mail address, you will see the dashboard. To start things up, click create a task. On the next page, click this and you will see a couple dozen web services, more being added, but If This Then That added of the most popular ones first. Also, you will need to activate most of the channels before you can use them, but only the first time around. So, as an example, today I'll make to that whenever I favored a tweet, the article from that tweet will be added to Instapaper, which is really useful for me since I get a lot of news from twitter, but can't always read right away. To do that, first, I'm going to select twitter. If you haven't activated it yet, you will need to do so now. So, now you're presented with many triggers. For this, I'll select new favorite tweet, then create trigger. To select an action channel, click that. I'm going to select Instapaper, then read later for the action. If This Then That peels this section out for you. So, just create action, give your task a name, and then click create. Now, whenever I favor to tweet, it will be added to my Instapaper account. You can create hundreds of combinations for task, but if you go to the recipe section, you will see that many people have already created many useful ones for you. Just filter by service and when you find the task you want, click the arrow, then create task to enable it. I personally like that the site uses text message actions notifying you via SMS about anything from a new post on Craigslist to your brand new how blog on cnet.com. Clear on with the task and recipes and let me know, which useful ones you find by tweeting me or leaving a comment on my Facebook page. For CNET, I'm Sharon Vaknin and I'll see you on the interwebs. -Great, now I can set it up to call my phone every time I get a new GMail message. I'm sure that one would be annoying at all. Information overload match. Well, you work out all of your trigger combos. I'm going to take a break, but stick around. There's a lot more tech review coming up right after this. Welcome back to the CNET Tech Review, our weekly video digest of all things good and bad we've seen here at CNET TV. Continuing on in the good, let's check back in with Brian Cooley on the set of Person of Interest for some behind the scene secrets and wether the machine might really exist. -I'm Brian Cooley from CNET.com. We're on location in Prospect Park in Brooklyn with Richard J. Lewis, the producing director of Person of Interest that you see this fall series. Richard, as we're watching this take place and people have to detect a certain discomfort between the characters, the technology, the technology that they are using, that's a key part of what the whole energy is in this show isn't it? -I think it is, I mean, I think there's a real kind of mystery around not only Reese and Finch, the 2 lead characters of the show, but the technology that is instituted to uncover or surveil all the people New York City. -A wireless and camera and you can keep an eye on them from anywhere. -We call it the machine and the machine can detect a violent act that is about to happen to a victim or perpetrator. Finch gets a social security number and basically he knows which person the person of interest is going to be that person of the week. -You have a decision to make. -She can give you another number. -Where is the machine? -You know, it's funny. I asked you on a [unk] where the machine was and he said, I don't know, maybe in [unk] maybe not. We don't know that's part of the mystery. That's part of the-- The idea around the show is that there's a lot of enigmatic stuff. -We live in 1984, just like, you know, 28 years later. -You just came little late. -We're all being looked at. We're all being listened to. Every transaction we make, every time we get on the subway, when we use the easy pass to go offer a bridge -Uh huh. -we're being tracked, we're being tracked globally by satellites. We're being tracked all over the map. In lower Manhattan, there're at least 4000 surveillance cameras. They can see 360. They can actually rotate on axis. They can pan. They can tilt, and they can think; techniques of facial recognition, looking an iris, looking at stride. The other way they think is basically by discerning what an object is, and the computer is programmed to understand certain shapes and it becomes pretty interest. -It becomes little nerving. Let's use the real. -I think it's a very scary part of where we-- I have to agree with you. It's provocative material. It's scary and it's stuff that's happening to us right now. Then you hack into their cellphone. -In fact, it's interesting to note that even if your cellphone is off, they authorities can tap in to the microphone in the cellphone and her conversation in the vicinity. That's one of the most eery things in this show. -Uh huh. -is how the cellphone becomes this eavesdropping device without really any apparent effort. This is not some sort of a room. This is not some sterile technology environment. We're hearing the normal real world, the street in New York. It's where they are sending that information because they are sending the information to banks of servers that go on forever and ever. It's like a huge kind of I, like a giant insect eye in which you see a thousand, 2000, 5000 different images simultaneously. This machine can see all at once, you know, -Uh huh. -It's almost like, you know, there is say the big guy. -Action. -They're watching your monitor here Richard and things look like film, but I know you're not shooting with film cameras. -We're using an areal [unk] which has a very interesting film grain look. We're able to kind of color time and get proper exposure and looks, various looks. -And you're doing that. It sounds like you're in real time where most of us hacks. We will do that imposed in some final cut thing. -On the flat. Right now what's really interesting about using digital medium is being able to control it on the spot, and that's what we're doing. We have a number of different types of cameras that we used as, you know, the world has all these different surveillance cameras. We have our own set of them. -This is your big camera. This is the pro camera, but you're using a bunch of basically surveillance cameras for show about surveillance? -Right. We wanna separate the 2 looks. We wanna make sure that people know it's surveillance and we've downgraded that imaging. We've missed with it and screw with it. This is our HD POV and it is a fantastic camera. See this lens right here. It's essentially equivalent to about an 8 mm fish eye lens. -Really wide. -Really wide. Sometimes I'll take it and I'll put it in the corner of an elevator or we put in on an ATM machine or we put it, you know, in a phone booth. It's a really important tool that we used all the time. -I found him and somebody else found him first. -You're blending looks in the production today. I don't think was necessarily the case in most productions up until fairly recently because there wasn't an array of video looks or languages, was there? -No. -I mean I think filmmakers like Oliver Stone and Martyn See, in the past, they have blended these looks, Tony Scott, you know, they have used Super 8 Footage, used video footage, used 16 and 35 and I think now that language is coming into television and, you know, we're hoping to be sort of new in doing that. -I've been talking to Richard J. Lewis, producing director of Person of Interest, new CBS series that airs 9 p.m. eastern on Thursday night 8 o'clock central. I'm Brian Cooley from CNET.com. -I hope Michael Emerson really is one of the good guys this time, but we fall in for that one before, haven't we? Alright, now let's see what we find in the bad. In light of recent success stories like the iPhone, the iPad, even the Mac itself, it's easy to forget that Apple has also had its share of failures over the years. So, for all you Apple haters out there, feel free gloat as Cooley counts down this week's top 5. -Apple's had so many hits in the last 15 years or so. It really seems cheap and small in pity to run down their duds. But boy is it fun! I'm Brian Cooley with Top 5 Apple Flops. Ranking these is real subjective, so I went the way you would. Let's rank them by how much you can I get for it on eBay. Here we go. The number 5 Apple flop is the The Newton OS Message Pads. This is gonna raise hackles since descendants iPhone and iPad are now Apple's business. But Apple made like 6 models of the message pad and Motorola made some and Sharp took a whack out on them. Nobody could get it right. It was a slow motion disaster. I recall when these were new and they were scorned everywhere. And didn't they have Newton stores too? What a mess. Price-wise, these don't fetch a lot 30 to 50 bucks for one on eBay. Number 4, the Mac G4 Cube. We'd never seen a computer like this and it's short time in production keeps it that way. This silent, fanless monolith with a toaster slot on top for CDs was real different, but thanks to that odd shape. You couldn't really put any expansion cards in it back at a time when you actually cared about such things. And it was pricey, about 200 bucks more than a conventionally shaped Mac that had similar performance. Oh, and the cases often cracked, which is really annoying on a machine you pay top dollar for its looks. They made about 150,000 of these, so they aren't really hard to find on eBay and they seem to fetch about 100-200 bucks. Number 3 was the Pippin. Remember this one? It was produced with Bandai of Japan, and rolled out in 1996 as a game console with a lite version of System 7 on it as its OS. It was gutless, there was damn nothing to run on it in terms of titles and the price was 600 bucks, about 850 in today's dollars. 42,000 or so were made. eBay prices top out around 400 bucks or so for really clean unit. Number 2 is the Twentieth Anniversary Mac. It was one of the first things Steve Jobs killed when he came back to the company and I suspect he did it standing inside a pentagram because this thing is so not him. Like all crap labelled executive, it's full of form over function. For 7,500 dollars, over 10,000 bucks in today's money, you'd get an all-in-one design, okay kind of cool, with a small 12-inch display and beyond that not much interesting. Oh, there was a Joey pouch disc tray in front and buttons on the front panel arranged for looks instead of works. The whole think came off like Sharper Image had a one night stand with Bang & Olufsen. And the twentieth anniversary Mac was star-crossed from the beginning. It launched in 1997, Apple's 21st year. That's said, you seem to be able to get about 700 bucks for a good complete one on eBay. Before I take you to the number one Apple flop ranked by eBay price, let's consider one so awful and unimportant. It doesn't even deserve a true spot on the list. That damned round USB puck mouse from the original iMac. Totally round so you never knew which way to point it, sized so only a raccoon can articulate it and just ugly, with that bad late 90's semi-translucent plastic with Jolly Rancher color accent. This thing was a mess. I found a basket of 20 of them for 35 bucks, overpriced. My number 1 Apple flop, Macintosh TV. I'd actually forgotten about this. This was the first black Mac. It was basically a Mac Performa that had a Sony Trinitron television bolted to it and a cable tuner inside. You could use it as a computer or switch to watching TV. But you couldn't watch TV in a window or anything cool like that. It made a mockery of the word 'integration'. About 10,000 were made, so there're a handful of them stinking up eBay any given day at around $800. Now, for the brighter side of life, don't miss my other companion video to this. Top 5 Steve Jobs' Greatest Hits. That's also available at top5.cnet.com. I'm Brian Cooley, thanks for watching. -To steal a phrase for Brian Tong, those are truly some bad Apples, although there is something about that little mackintosh TV. It's a little clanky but that black case pretty sleek. Alright, with that, let's move right along to this week's bottom line. Facebook rolled out yet another redesign this week and just like clockwork, the masses immediately talk to the site to complain about the changes and that was even before the F8 conference held yesterday where even bigger changes were announced. Take a look what the future holds in store for Facebook. -Hi Rafe Needleman from CNET here at the Facebook F8 Developers Conference where very polished Mark Zuckerberg just announced some important new changes in the way people share information and connect with friends. -We've been working on it all year and we're calling it time line. -This is very, very exciting for entrepreneur who's trying to build an audience and build up personalized web experience for their audience using the Facebook products. -First, there's a new view of what you're doing and what you've done on Facebook called the timeline. Now with this, everything you do from taking photos to cooking shows up in place in chronological order. Information will summarize automatically as you go further back in time and users can customize most aspects of the timeline to friends how they want to appear. -whether if you're endorsing a friend, posting a job, maybe you just changed jobs, or maybe you just got a promotion, things are important to you professionally that should go into this new Timeline in Facebook. Now, this is a Developers Conference and this new is big for Facebook developers. Now, they will able to get data into timeline automatically and without spamming user's profile pages every time someone say goes for a run listens to attractive music. -He has this nice running app that he's using to keep track of his runs and I think that's pretty cool. So, I'm just gonna hover over it and click, add the timeline and I'm gonna get this nice pop up and I can just click on it, add to my timeline. It's right on my timeline. -Most of these activities will appear in the new Facebook ticker, the live view of what people are doing in real time on Facebook. -6 of my friends are watching an episode of Glee on Hulu and I can just hover over that and click and watch it in a new social canvass app that Hulu has built and that another key point for users and especially for media services like Spotify and iHeartRadio and video sites like Netflix. -We think that the radio listening experience is inherently social that people love to talk to their friends about stuff. They like to go places. In the old days, it was the request line, it was the song dedications. Now, they are able to do that virtually by using Facebook. -You friends can see what you're doing immediately and pop up their windows to show the same show and watch it with you. -You have complete control over your timeline. What you show there, how you display it, and who can see it. -To share the media that you're viewing on Facebook with your friends in real time is rolling out the day. The timeline view is rolling out in beta today and to the general population in a few months. -It's the story of your life. You have all your stories, all your apps, and a new way to express who you are. -The bottom line this week, Facebook is your entire life. They have now collected everything you're ever done and made it easier to collect everything you ever will do everywhere you go. -Wow. -Hey, buy maybe seeing it all collected like that will freak us out and make us share less, yeah, not likely. Alright, that's it for this time everyone, but come back next week for an all new CNET Tech Review. Until then, there are tons of great videos available everyday at Cnettv.com and thank you for watching.