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Samsung Goes Invisible and Off The Grid

posted Thursday Mar 10, 2011 by Scott Ertz

Samsung Goes Invisible and Off The Grid

Samsung displayed an interesting prototype product at CeBit in Germany this week - a transparent LCD screen. As if that wasn't enough, the device can run entirely independent of the power grid. It is capable of running entirely off of the power generated from its internal solar panels.

Now, these features sound cool but not terribly useful, right? Well, here is why it is a big deal. First, let's talk about the fact that the screen is transparent. This particular product will probably never serve a huge role in an average home, but it does open up some cool capabilities outside. First, imagine if part of the windshield of your car was an LCD-based heads-up display. You could see reverse cameras, speed, direction and other vehicle information right in your windshield - no need to look away. It also gives us the ability to write obscene messages to the moron driver in front of you.

The screen could also be used in stores or banks as part of the display security. Imagine if, while looking at a display of expensive watches you could see information about the product right in front of them. Or the ability to display a bank's promotions next to the teller while waiting for your money. There are so many possibilities here.

For details about the power possibilities and to see a short video, hit the break.

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Fractal Design Breaks Into the US Market

posted Wednesday Mar 9, 2011 by Nicholas DiMeo

Fractal Design Breaks Into the US Market

If you were able to catch our CES 2011 coverage, you saw that we were very excited about a Swedish computer case company that was looking to emerge themselves into the American market, Fractal Design. We were able to talk to many of the important people of the company, including the founder, Hannes Wallin, who was even willing to talk on camera about his products, goals and projections for the company in 2011 (video after the break). One of those goals was to make Fractal Design products available to the US without having to order them from Canada.

Well, let that dream become a reality as this week, Fractal Design has announced a deal with Newegg, one of the leading PC component retailers with 13 million registered users, that will allow US computer users to purchase the award-winning Define R3 and Define XL Silent PC series cases.

For more on Fractal Design picking up their first US reseller, hit the break.

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Microsoft Tired Of Internet Explorer 6 Longevity

posted Sunday Mar 6, 2011 by Jon Wurm

Microsoft Tired Of Internet Explorer 6 Longevity

This isn't the first we've heard Microsoft grumbling about IE6, which is at least just as annoying to them as it is developers. There's nothing like designing a website for IE8 when up to 34% of your audience might sill be viewing it with IE6. It is also annoying when companies cling to IE6 for fear of their enterprise applications not working properly. I do recognize that the UI is much brighter and more user friendly with IE8 but that's still no reason to cling to the darkness with IE6.

Microsoft is on the offensive to rid the world of IE6, find out how you can help by hitting the break.

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Gmail Back in Beta

posted Sunday Mar 6, 2011 by Scott Ertz

Gmail Back in Beta

Do you remember when Google first launched Gmail and EVERYONE had to have one? Well, many of those people experienced another of Google's failures when 150,000 Gmail accounts were reset to new. All of these people started their day signing into their Gmail accounts to find only the "Welcome to Gmail" message. Years of emails, Gtalk chat logs, contacts and anything else stored in their accounts - gone.

While Google was working on solving the problem, a spokesperson said, "Affected users will be temporarily unable to sign in while we repair their accounts." I guess if all of your content is gone it doesn't matter if you cannot access your information. During the process, Google kept its users updated via its App Status Dashboard. One of the initial statuses said,

Our team is continuing to investigate this issue. We will provide an update by February 28, 2011 8:36:00 AM UTC with more information about this problem. Thank you for your patience.

Not that anyone really has patience for Google's disasters anymore, but at least we all expect them. The good news is, as of March 3, the new status says,

The problem with Google Mail should be resolved. We apologize for the inconvenience and thank you for your patience and continued support. Please rest assured that system reliability is a top priority at Google, and we are making continuous improvements to make our systems better.

Apparently someone at Google made a tape backup before the system failed.

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Nintendogs Not Enough Security, 3DS Hacked

posted Sunday Mar 6, 2011 by Jon Wurm

<i>Nintendogs</i> Not Enough Security, 3DS Hacked

There's not a whole lot so say here that isn't already in the title but it only took about 4 hours for the R4i team to hack the 3DS after launch. You can't play pirated 3DS games on the device yet but you can play Gameboy Color and original DS games so things are starting off pretty well but you can expect Nintendo to push out a firmware update that will set R4i back temporarily. They did offer up an explanation about their accomplishment on their YouTube channel,

Let me just clear things up. This is not a 3DS flashcart. It is the R4 used on DSi. It is not possible to play 3DS games from it. You can't use your current DS flashcart (no matter what brand) on it. The R4 team has managed to hack the 3DS in order to make it run. Nintendo has made a "whitelist", built into the 3DS. It's a list that contains the names of all games that can be played on the 3DS, and guess what; the R4 is not on that list. These guys have modified this list, making it possible to run their flashcart. Therefore, YOU can not do this, unless you hack the system yourself. Expect Nintendo to release a firmware update to block the R4 cards once again.

Check out a video of the hack in action by hitting the break.

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Amazon Instant Video Becomes Part of Amazon Prime

posted Sunday Mar 6, 2011 by Nicholas DiMeo

Amazon Instant Video Becomes Part of Amazon Prime

Media analysts are very strange people. In a market where competition drives creativity and uniqueness, they are quick to downplay certain companies yet promote others as revolutionary and breakthrough before they even launch, or better yet, when they weren't doing too well and relaunch. Spotify is an example of the former and the new and improved Amazon Prime is an example of the latter.

Prime was a service where you could buy pretty much any and everything with free two day shipping to anywhere in the US. We're talking things from soup cans to nuts and bolts, and it included a lot of the Amazon.com inventory. All of this was available to any interested consumer for an annual rate of $79 per year, similar to Sam's Club or Costco's membership packages.

Amazon Prime is now looking to enter into the video streaming market at a time where Netflix is doing more and more good for themselves and Hulu can't seem to catch a break. The relaunched Prime service is looking to go right after Netflix with over 5,000 shows and movies for its customers. Also, the added video streaming options won't cost existing Prime members any more money, which means the price of the service is $20 cheaper than the lowest Netflix plan.

For more on the story, follow the break.

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