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Sony's Post-Valentine's Day Present: Vita Due out February 22nd 2012

posted Sunday Oct 23, 2011 by Jon Wurm

Sony's Post-Valentine's Day Present: Vita Due out February 22nd 2012

The PS Vita first came to our attention in January of this year when it became known that Sony was working on its next generation portable (NGP) device that hopefully wouldn't not be a PSP re-hash... again. We got a glimpse of what we could expect the hardware to be but were left in the dark as to whether Sony would actually improve the device besides beefing up the hardware or not.

Five months later, at E3 2011, the Vita came to light and everyone's speculation was surprisingly put to rest by a very good Sony keynote. This is something they desperately needed after extensive PSN outages in April that went unresolved until May 14th after Geo Hotz tweeted a major PSN security flaw. Their keynote was also an extension of the Welcome Back for Sony's handheld gaming devices that had been floundering for years. The key changes that will give the Vita a fighting chance are the addition of a new Android-like operating system that has replaced the old XCrossMediaBar, the PSN functionality that is incorporated with Vita and addition of touch-controls, which were demonstrated through an Uncharted: Golden Abyss demo.

Sadly, a few months after the great news, Sony broke some bad news to the U.S. and Europe about when they could get these devices in their pants. Hit the break to find out more.

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Google Reader's Makeover

posted Friday Oct 21, 2011 by Scott Ertz

Google Reader's Makeover

Over the past few months, Google has been incredibly active. The company has had comical auction bids, several rounds of product closures, as well as a visual redesign of current products and launches of new products. This has all been since co-founder Larry Page's return to the company in an attempt to make Google profitable and relevant again.

The latest Google product to fall victim to the redesigned interface is Google Reader. This one won't just be a refresh to make it look like the rest of Google - there will be a lot of features removed, and some new ones added. On the list of things going is: friends, Reader sharing and favoriting (starring). You also will not be able to share subscriptions with friends (partially because friends are going away). All of these features will be replaced by integrations of the Google + brands; the +1 button and Google+ social networking.

How does Google plan to handle the inevitable objections? Hit the break ot find out.

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Samsung and Hitachi are Getting Out of Hard Drives

posted Friday Oct 21, 2011 by Scott Ertz

Samsung and Hitachi are Getting Out of Hard Drives

We all know that the era of hard drives is coming to an end, replaced by the quicker, more power-efficient solid state drives. Between a technology shift and a number of conspiracies and scandals, Samsung and Hitachi have decided to close up shop on their hard drive businesses and sell them off to the competition.

The problem here is that the competition is few and far between. In fact, as of right now, there are only 4 companies manufacturing hard drives: Hitachi, Samsung, Western Digital and Seagate. Because of this, Western Digital has agreed to purchase Hitachi's business for $4.3 billion and Seagate will pickup Samsung's business for $1.375 billion. Clearly the, now, big 2 believe there is still enough of a market to shell out a combined $5.675 billion to lock-in the industry.

Why would they spend the money instead of just letting these guys fail? Hit the break to find out.

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HDTV is So Last MacWorld

posted Friday Oct 21, 2011 by Scott Ertz

HDTV is So Last MacWorld

Isn't your new HDTV exciting? All of those 1920 pixels of amazingness makes watching television and movies fun again, right? Well, I have some news for you that you should NOT tell to your TV. The ITU Study Group on Broadcasting Service has announced that thye have come to an agreement on most of the specs on what Ultra High Definition Television (UHDTV) will be.

In case you haven't been following the UHDTV discussions, UHDTV is the equivalent of a 33 megapixel photo. When compared to current HDTV, which is the equivalent of a 2 megapixel photo, the picture will have more than 16 times the precision. The added pixels will make for higher clarity, for sure, but will also make the possibility of high-quality glasses-free 3D video a reality, since 3D requires more pixels than standard video. It should also allow for wider viewing angles.

When can we expect to see this in action and when will it be widely accepted? Hit the break to find out.

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Bizarro Siri Released for Bizarro iPhone (Iris for Android)

posted Friday Oct 21, 2011 by Scott Ertz

Bizarro Siri Released for Bizarro iPhone (Iris for Android)

I would imagine that by now everyone has heard about Apple's iPhone 4s, and its acquired voice command software, Siri. Siri has been such a hit that Android developer Dextra has released a new app for Android entitled Iris. The company obviously has a great sense of humor because the name is an anagram, which stands for Intelligent Rival Imitation of Siri and is, itself, Siri spelled backwards.

All of the fun being poked at Apple aside, the software itself is a lot more fun than Siri. While Iris may not be as productive, she certainly can hold a conversation like no other artificial intelligence, Smarter Child included. Rather than trying to schedule an alarm when you say something, Iris will respond with appropriate conversational responses. For example, "How much wood could a woodchuck chuck" results in "A woodchuck could chuck as much wood as a woodchuck could chuck obviously." Even her response to "Who are you" is met with a joke about Siri.

Sure, using voice to do calculations between cities and such is fun, it is definitely not the productive, useful system that Siri is. If you have an Android phone and enjoyed interacting with Smarter Child and his friends on AIM, give this app a try. If you're looking for something to be productive, however, you might want to look elsewhere.

If you do try it out, let us know your favorite conversation in the comments section.

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Zynga Thinks It Would Do Better with Facebook as 'Just Friends'

posted Sunday Oct 16, 2011 by Nicholas DiMeo

Zynga Thinks It Would Do Better with Facebook as 'Just Friends'

From their announcement of a possible IPO a couple of months ago to looking for a new suitor, Zynga has been trying to expand from being just the "Facebook game company." This week, the company decided to officially say that it will be transitioning into a self-sustained machine that will no longer be tied as strongly to Facebook as it was before. Instead, Zynga will start to sell its line of games straight to online or mobile platform users.

With an IPO that could make the company worth $20 billion, Zynga is looking to directly impact the 230+ million monthly users who play their games on Facebook. We have more on Zynga's "it's not you, it's me" attitude after the break.

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