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HTC Unveils a Pair of Windows Phones to Compete with Nokia

posted Friday Sep 21, 2012 by Scott Ertz

HTC Unveils a Pair of Windows Phones to Compete with Nokia

Not to be outdone by Nokia's Windows Phones, HTC has unveiled a pair of handsets that can truly compete in the growing anti-Android movement. Like Nokia, the handsets come in high- and mid-grade varieties, and, as the WinPho 8 handsets seem to be going, they are very colorful.

The high-end handset, the Windows Phone 8X, has all of the features you have come to expect from HTC. It has a 4.3" screen, 1.5GHz dual-core processor, 16GB and storage and an 8MP camera. The list of features that sets this phone apart from the rest of the Windows Phone 8 field so far is just as long. First, the handset has got an ultra-wide front camera lens, allowing for larger photo area without having to get the phone farther away. It's perfect for those self-shots, like those looking up Facebook pictures. The handset also incorporates a variety of colors, similar to the Nokias, but not the same palette. In fact, the colors that have been chosen, again matching the OS color scheme, really make these handsets pop in a great way.

Also, not to be outdone by Nokia partnering with Monster for new headphones, they have included Beats Audio for the first time. If you have handled a device with Beats Audio included, such as the HP TouchPad or HTC Sensation, you know how incredible the sound is. Since those early devices, the quality of the implementation has improved, ensuring deep sounds stay deep.

Does the 8X seem too big of a phone, or maybe the unannounced price is too high? Hit the break to find out about the smaller, 8S, and to see pictures of the handsets.

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Ping: And It's Done

posted Thursday Sep 20, 2012 by Nicholas DiMeo

Ping: And It's Done

If you would have asked me before today if Apple's Ping service was still around, I would have laughed and told you "no." After their awful attempt at a social platform had severe amounts of spam and malicious code plaguing it since it debuted two years ago, I was in shock when I heard it was still around and people were still using it. However, the sheep will always need to be milked, so I suppose it isn't too surprising.

At any rate, shortly after E3 we were told Apple would finally be killing off what life Ping had left, however they did not say when. Luckily, that question was answered this week as Apple announced it is ending the social service on September 30th. Last month, CEO Tim Cook even said,

We tried Ping, and I think the customer voted and said 'This isn't something that I want to put a lot of energy into.'

Well, there you have it then. Remnants of Ping have already escaped from the Internet and all that is left is a Ping link on the iTunes client that tells you it's going away in just a few days. Facebook Music never worked on the platform, your privacy (or lack thereof) was worse than whatever Zuckerberg could possibly come up with on his worse day and, let's just be honest here, Apple isn't a very "social" company anyway. Actually Zuckerberg now is going to be working with Apple and Facebook will insert its way into every asset of the new iTunes software, analyzing each note of every song you have in your library to tell the world of your infatuation with Selena Gomez. You will now also be able to use the Facebook "like" and "share" options for each song in the iTunes catalog.

Is anyone sad that they won't be able to use their favorite iTunes feature anymore? Nobody? Yeah, we kind of had the same sentiment. So Ping is done. Perhaps this is the beginning? I guess it's off to Spotify we go, where you can be social and listen to music without the fruit looking over your shoulder. It's okay, play that latest song by the Jonas Brothers.

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Sony Introduces an Even Slimmer PS3 Available for the Holidays

posted Wednesday Sep 19, 2012 by Nicholas DiMeo

Sony Introduces an Even Slimmer PS3 Available for the Holidays

Holiday season is right around the corner, and you know what that means: new consoles! For Sony, however, it appears that they've taken a slightly different approach to the term new. If you recall, a few months back we saw a new generation of PS3s appear under the codename "Orbis." Now, while some might have thought this would be for the next-generation of Sony console, most believed it was a slimmer, sleeker, sexier version of the bulky PlayStation 3. Not to be outdone by Nintendo, today Sony officially went on record to announce this new console just in time for your Black Friday shopping.

What will the new PS3s cost you and what great flavors will the new Sony product come in? The details await you after the break.

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Valve Brings Steam to the Living Room with a Big Picture Idea

posted Sunday Sep 16, 2012 by Nicholas DiMeo

Valve Brings Steam to the Living Room with a Big Picture Idea

Aside from making gamers wait for the elusive Episode 3 and purposely poking at us with Black Mesa Source, Valve always has something interesting up their innovative sleeve. After rumors of the Steam Box turned into the company denying us any announcement at E3 (aside from CS:GO), the gaming community was left wondering what would be next for Valve.

This week, Valve's mission of becoming a literal household name started to come to life as they launched the beta edition of "Big Picture" mode for Steam. Now currently offering more than just games, the Big Picture interface moves the Steam platform off the PC and into living rooms everywhere. Looking similar to the attractiveness of the Xbox 360 dashboard, large, bold fonts with rectangular tiles will fill your HDTV, allowing users to view the new interface away from your computer chair. Navigating the new Steam user interface is now done with a game controller instead of a mouse and keyboard, using triggers - like on the 360 controller - to move from tab to tab. It kind of looks like a hybrid of a PS3 and Xbox 360 controller, except made by Logitech.

Of course, the built-in browser still exists too, so you don't ever have to leave Steam to surf the web. Valve calls it the world's first first-person web browser.

Browse your way across the internet with reticle-based navigation, tabbed browsing, and your favorites saved to the cloud, all just a button press away.

For more on the Big Picture version of Steam, including images of a very interesting on-screen keyboard, get with us after the break.

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How Twitter Made LinkedIn the Place for Industry Links

posted Saturday Sep 15, 2012 by Scott Ertz

How Twitter Made LinkedIn the Place for Industry Links

You may have noticed that over the past few months that the number of #hashtags on the LinkedIn news feed has gone down markedly. This is because Twitter has, like many times in the past, revoked LinkedIn's ability to read users' Twitter posts and repost to LinkedIn. Because of this, more people are sharing directly to LinkedIn instead of letting their tweets get reposted. As always, they said they want to "provide the core Twitter user experience through a consistent set of products and tools." What that means is we don't want to help a competitor.

What Twitter did not realize was that the end result would be a lower usage of Twitter to share news, and a higher direct usage of LinkedIn. Now, while this sounds bad in sheer numbers, which it is, that is the the part that hurts Twitter. The loss of a large volume of tweets would not be unwelcome, either by Twitter or users, but only if those tweets are about your breakfast or where in your house you are. Unfortunately for Twitter, those are not the ones disappearing.

Instead, users are still posting about the toilet, but have stopped sharing industry links. This is what that means to Twitter: lost revenue. Hit the break to find out how.

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HP Smartphones Down, But Not Out

posted Saturday Sep 15, 2012 by Scott Ertz

HP Smartphones Down, But Not Out

HP's relationship is a long and complicated one, dating back about a decade. Originally HP combined their popular iPaq line of PDAs with GSM and CDMA brought about the first HP Windows Mobile devices. While good devices, they didn't stand a chance against RIM's BlackBerry, Palm's extensive line of handsets and even UTStarcom/HTC's PPC series of Windows Mobile devices. Though they kept it up from 2004 until 2009, there was never any real success to warrant it.

In 2010, HP purchased Palm, starting a second generation of HP-branded smartphones, this time running the ill-fated webOS. The disastrous exploits of the HP Palm merger are well documented in this article, so we won't go into it now. Suffice it to say, it didn't go well, and it looked like HP was done with phones for good.

This week, HP CEO Meg Whitman told Fox Business that they will once again have a smartphone because they "have to." For more on her announcement and some possible details about the phone, hit the break.

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