Archive for the Tech/Science Stuff Category

The Apple iPad 2 Is Reportedly On The Way

2 cameras? Higher resolution screen?? USB port???

While the Apple iPad is the #1 tech gift on every gadget geek’s Xmas list this year it’s already time to start thinking about the iPad 2. According to a new report from a very reputable Taiwanese newspaper (the same newspaper that correctly reported that the iPad would be a touchscreen tablet before anyone else), Apple is planning to release the second generation iPad in the first quarter of 2011. According to the paper, the iPad 2 will feature two cameras (one front-facing, one in the back) with the ability for FaceTime video chat, an updated higher resolution touchscreen and … a USB port! At this point, we prolly should take all of this info with a huge grain of salt … but the newspaper making these claims have been right before, they very well may be right again:

Rumors continue to swirl over Apple’s next generation iPad, and one reliable Taiwanese newspaper says the new device will be out in the first quarter of 2011, complete with video calling, two cameras, new display and touch technology, and a USB port to connect easily to other devices. The Chinese-language Economic Daily News financial newspaper, which was among the first to correctly report that Apple was making a tablet when other news sources said it would be a netbook, on Friday reported that the new iPad 2 will go into production this month and will be on sale early next year. The same newspaper in August reported that the device would have a 7-inch touchscreen. Taiwanese newspapers sometimes win scoops on new electronics products because Taiwanese companies are involved in every aspect of electronics production, from components to final assembly. For example, the Economic Daily says that Largan Precision will supply camera lenses for the new iPad, while Hon Hai Precision Industry, which operates under the trade name, Foxconn, will be responsible for final assembly. The August report from the Economic Daily said Chimei Innolux will supply 7-inch LCD touchscreens, which use the same IPS (in-plane switching) technology found in the original iPad, for the new device. The companies named in the Economic Daily report declined to comment. Contract manufacturers and component makers normally do not reveal what products they’re working on because failure to maintain secrecy can cause them to lose business.

Now THIS sounds like an iPad that I would like to own. I tried out the iPad when it came out earlier this year and after a few days testing it out, I determined that it really wasn’t the mobile computing device for me. I would be very interested in having an iPad with camera functionality, yes, but what really gets me is the reported USB port. I would LOVE to carry my important docs on a Flash Drive and be able to access them on a “computer” as small as the iPad. I’m not really getting too excited just yet because none of this news has been confirmed … but if the iPad 2 does get a USB port, chances are that I will be shelling out for an iPad 2. What do y’all think? If you’re hoping for an iPad this Xmas … would you rather hold out and wait for the rumored iPad 2 due out early next year?

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Hasbro Will Bring 3D To The iPhone

A View-Master for the iGeneration

Hasbro, the fine makers of countless toys, have announced that they will be releasing a 3D viewer that will work with the Apple iPhone in much the same way as the classic View-Master did for kids growing up in the past 60 years. Here is our first look at Hasbro‘s my 3D device and some deets about what we can expect from this fun new toy:

Hasbro Inc. is betting that iPod and iPhone users want 3-D viewing on the go. The nation’s second-largest toy maker is set to unveil to investors on Tuesday a handheld device called My3D that attaches to the two Apple Inc. devices. It promises three-dimensional content that offers a 360-degree experience in gaming, virtual travel experiences and entertainment content. It’s aimed at both children and adults. The device, which resembles a pair of binoculars with a slot in which users insert their iPod or iPhone, will be priced at $30. It will be available starting next spring at stores where Apple’s iPhones and iPod Touches are available. Shoppers can then visit Apple’s App store, which will allow shoppers to browse for additional My 3D content. Content varies in price; some apps will be free. Hasbro said it was guided by Apple during development and believes there’s nothing available that matches the quality and 3-D experience on the iPhone or iPod Touch.

As a HUGE fan of View-Master, I am really excited about this new device. It really sounds like the my 3D will work very much like the classic View-Master does:


The aging old fogey in me is always a bit worried that kids growing up in this new technological age will not get to enjoy some of the best toys that have ever existed. View-Master is one of those toys that I really love and wish kids still played with. At the very least, this my 3D device looks like a great marriage of the must-have technology of today with the classic fun of old timey toys. Any View-Master fans in the hiz? If not, would any of y’all be interested in buying a gadget like this for your iPhone?

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Peace The Spork Out, Sony Walkman

The 30+ year old portable casssette stereo will soon be no more :(

Very sad news for tech geeks to pass along today … Sony has announced that it will no longer produce their iconic Walkman portable cassette stereos after the current batch of gadgets sells out. Despite the fact that the Apple iPod has pretty much become THE standard in portable music players in recent years, the Sony Walkman will forever remain, IMHO, the most important portable music player of all time. I gotta say … I’m really sad to see the Walkman die :(

After more than 30 years of producing its Walkman portable cassette players, Sony said it’s ending sales of the Walkman. The final batch was produced in Japan in April, and no more will be produced as soon as the current run is sold out. Just over 200 million cassette Walkman players have been sold over the years since being first introduced in 1979. Sony will continue to make and sell CD- and MiniDisc-based Walkmans, as well as its latest flash-based devices. Cloned but Sony-branded Walkmans will continue to be made by Chinese makers in Asia and the Middle East. The Walkman is widely credited with pioneering the concept of personal, portable audio beyond the radio. It helped spur on the cassette as a popular format and also maintained interest in albums. Interest only began to fade in the 1990s when the Discman took over, and saw a more definite end when the iPod was in sight.

It makes sense that Sony would discontinue production of their portable cassette players, especially since cassettes will very soon be extinct themselves … but … this is still really sad news. I remember when I got my first Sony Walkman back in the mid-80s … man, I loved that thing so much. My favorite memories include me riding around the block on my bike with my Sony Walkman strapped to my waist as I listened to Madonna, Prince, Stacey Q, Lisa Lisa and Cult Jam … man, those were the good ol’ days. The Sony Walkman was just as popular at the time as the Apple iPod is today … but, alas, it’s natural that the old has to make way for the new. At least Sony is keeping the “Walkman” name alive with it’s CD and MP3 players but, in all honesty, they aren’t true Walkman devices. I’ll miss the real Sony Walkman … especially since it feels like a part of my childhood has just died :(

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The iPhone Is Finally Coming To Verizon Wireless

According to the 'Wall Street Journal'

Hold on to your hats iPhone fans & AT&T Wireless haters … cuz The Wall Street Journal has got some news that might be of interest to you. According to a new report from the WSJ, Apple has allegedly worked out a deal with Verizon to begin producing CDMA iPhones for their company which are said to be scheduled for sale sometime next year … read on:

Apple Inc. plans to begin mass producing a new iPhone by the end of 2010 that would allow Verizon Wireless to sell the smartphone early next year, said people briefed by Apple. The new iPhone would be similar in design to the iPhone 4 currently sold by AT&T Inc. but would be based on an alternative wireless technology called CDMA used by Verizon, these people said. The phone, for which Qualcomm Inc. is providing a key chip, is expected to be released in the first quarter of next year, according to the same people. An Apple CDMA iPhone would spell the end of the exclusive U.S. arrangement with Apple that AT&T has had since 2007, when the original iPhone debuted. Separately, Apple is also developing a new iPhone model, said people briefed on the matter. One person familiar with the new iPhone plan said the fifth-generation iPhone will be a different form factor from those that are currently available. It was unclear how soon that version will be available to Verizon.

Naturally, neither company will go on the record for comment … and even tho these Verizon/iPhone rumors tend to pop up every other day, I think the fact that the Wall Street Journal decided to go to press with this story gives this latest rumor much more credence then other rumors. If this turns out to be true, I would bet very good money that a huge surge of disgruntled AT&T customers would make a great exodus to Verizon. To be honest, I might be among the great exodii. You will note, however, that the article makes mention of an iPhone 5 … which, I am presuming, may go to AT&T first … which would keep everyone happy. Despite AT&T‘s loss of iPhone exclusivity, I can see how Apple might appease them by offering them first dibs on new generation technology. Brilliant all around and Apple reaps all the bounty. I guess we won’t be able to count on any of this being true until we hear something official from either Apple or Verizon but … this sounds very hopeful. Stay tuned … we should be hearing something concrete very soon now that this report is out in the wild.

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Is This What The New iPod Nano Looks Like?

All screen, no controls?

Apple is expected to announce the release of a new generation of iPods in September but it appears that news of the new iPod Nano has already made its way to the Internets. Much like the first photos of the iPhone 4 did months before it was officially announced, new photos that claim to be of the new incarnation of the iPod Nano have made their way to the web, behold:

New cases and screen protectors from overseas manufacturers have provided more evidence that Apple this week will unveil a dramatically redesigned iPod nano with a significantly smaller form factor. The components are available for sale on Alibaba.com, a global online business-to-business trading platform. One seller, Jiangmen VIPO Electronic Technology Co., Ltd., is selling a screen protector claimed to fit Apple’s sixth-generation iPod nano. The accompanying render shows the device having a touch-like interface, with icons and graphics from the iPod touch. It also shows Wi-Fi connectivity, though the picture is clearly a render and likely a speculative mock-up on the part of the supplier. Another seller, Orient King, has external protective cases available in a variety of colors for the sixth-generation iPod nano. The cases show that the next-generation device will include Apple’s 30-pin dock connector, separately confirmed by AppleInsider last week. The case also shows four potential additional button spaces on the exterior of the device, perhaps for physical inputs for volume controls and hold/lock. In July, the same website sold parts claimed to be from the next-generation iPod touch. They showed a spot for a forward-facing camera, suggesting the next-generation device will support Apple’s FaceTime video chat functionality. Last week, AppleInsider reported that people familiar with the matter indicated that the size and shape of the next-generation iPod nano will be more akin to the iPod shuffle than the current-generation iPod nano. Even with this small size, however, it is expected to have a traditional iPod dock connector, allowing compatibility with the existing iPod accessory ecosystem. Also last week, separate third-party cases hinted at the form factor of the device. The new iPod nano is said to utilize a tiny 3cm-by-3cm display that was revealed in its bare form as unknown Apple-branded component earlier this summer. For comparison, the second-generation iPod nano had a screen that was about 3cm by 2.5cm. Apple is expected to introduce its new line of iPods at an event scheduled for this Wednesday. The keynote will begin at 10 a.m. Pacific, 1 p.m. Eastern.

Yeah, Apple appears to now have a really hard time keeping their secrets a secret. That being said, I kinda love when info like this leaks ‘cuz Apple keeps coming out with cool stuff. I love the look of this new iPod Nano if, in fact, it is the new iPod Nano. In the very near future, the iPhone will end up being this small … you just wait and see. As for this rumored new Nano … what do y’all think, are you impressed?

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I’m A ‘Disco-Dancing, Oscar Wilde-Reading, Streisand Ticket-Holding Friend Of Dorothy’

The TV Guide

Yesterday was a pretty damn fun day for me … after the FedEx man made my day early yesterday morning with the delivery of my shiny, new iPhone 4 (which allowed me to miss out on all of THIS fun), David and I enjoyed a really great night at the movies together. But, before we made our way out to the ArcLight Theater in Pasadena, CA, I got to chat for a bit with my BFF Sarah and her boyfriend Mark using the FaceTime video chat function of our new iPhone 4 phones:


It was so fun getting to see Sarah and Mark as we chatted (despite how unhappy I look in the screenshot above ;). Because Mark has yet to visit David me and me in LA, I was able to give him a short tour of our home using the FaceTime function. It worked seamlessly and flawlessly. I still want to use the phone for a few days before I write up my review but, thus far, I love the hell out of this phone.

After we all got to chat, David and I made the trek to Pasadena to see one of my fave movies ever on the big screen … for the first time since it originally showed in theaters back in 1995. I can’t even tell you how much I love Clueless:


I did my best to not recite the lines with the movie but … well, I kinda had to say my fave lines. I SO love how Clueless (and other movies from ’95) stand as such awesome time capsules from the mid-90′s. The clothes, the slang, the references … it’s just a great movie. David got a kick out of the shout out to Nine Inch Nails, I just loved seeing my fave film on the big screen again after so many years. I was so happy that they showed the actual film and not just a DVD (as some theaters do when they screen older movies). We had a blast.

Today … we are going to Disneyland! David and I have been talking about going back to Disney and we decided today would be the day. Not sure when we’re gettin’ down there but we are anxious to see the new World of Color show they got going on at California Adventure. Should be fun … wee!

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TV, iPhone Home

The TV Guide

Wee!! At last, my shiny beautiful new iPhone 4 arrived! I’ve been so preoccupied with my new toy that I’ve had a hard time focusing on anything else. But at last … the FedEx Santa Claus knocked on my door and delivered my new baby:


I’ve been spending way too much time playing with, setting up and outright marveling at this glorious piece of technological beauty. I’ll need to play with it and use it for a few days before I can write up a full review but my right-out-of-the-box first impression is — WOW! The screen, wait ’til you see the screen resolution … it will blow you away. I’m curious about the battery life so … stay tuned for my full remarks on the new iPhone 4.

Tonight, David and I will be trekking to the ArcLight Theater in Pasadena, CA to see a screening of the amazing 1995 film Clueless:


My close friends know that the ’95 films Clueless, Empire Records and The Craft have all had a profound impact on me … if you get those films, you get me. I’ve not seen any of these films in the theater since they were released in ’95 so I am very excited to see one of my fave films on the Big Screen again. So excited … about the phone and the movie. Today is going to be a really great day :D

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Upgrade Me

The TV Guide

Yesterday was a pretty quiet, stay in day for me … which was spent in large part in front of my MacBook Pro computer. I spent much of the day transferring my sizable iTunes library (290+ Gbs) from my PC to my Mac in order to sever my last ties to the world of PC computers. Oh … and I also spent some time upgrading my iPhone 3GS to the fancy new iPhone iOS4 software:


Let me assure you, the new iOS4 software upgrade is AMAZING! My phone feels like an entirely new device … the 100+ new functionality upgrades are just to die for. Folders … how in the hell did I survive for so long without having folders on my phone. David and I have been playing with the new iPhone software all day/night/morning long … so fun!!

Tonight, a bunch of us manly guys are getting together to see The A-Team together for a bromantic orgy of testosterone … it should be fun. I hope YOUR Friday is going well … Happy Weekend!!

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Apple Announces The iPhone 4

Thinner iPhone offers video chat, multitasking, HD video recording & more!

A little over an hour ago, Apple CEO Steve Jobs gave the keynote speech at the Worldwide Developers Conference in San Francisco, CA to (among other things) announce the imminent release of the 4th generation iPhone. Altho we got to see what this new iPhone looks like WELL in advance of today’s official announcement, we did get to hear about all the amazing things this new device will offer. The iPhone 4 will be available in two colors (black and white), it will go on sale on June 24 (pre-orders begin June 15) and it will cost $199 for the 16gb model and $299 for the 32gb model:

Apple CEO Steve Jobs on Monday introduced the newest version of the company’s popular smartphone: iPhone 4. “We think it’s the biggest leap we’ve taken since the original iPhone,” Jobs told an enthusiastic audience at the company’s annual developers conference. “We’re really proud of it.” The phone comes in two colors — black and white — and will go on sale June 24 in the United States and four other countries. It will cost $199 for 16GB of storage and $299 for 32GB. Jobs said iPhone 4 will be “the thinnest smartphone on the planet” at 9.3 mm thick — 24 percent thinner than the iPhone 3GS, the company’s current model. The device will have a front-facing camera for video conferencing, and the camera on the back will have an LED flash, Jobs said. The phone will have a 5 megapixel camera with a backside illuminated sensor, which he said is fairly new to smartphones. The iPhone 4 will be redesigned with a glass back and metal around the sides. “Just gorgeous. And it’s really thin,” Steve Jobs said … Spotty Wi-Fi coverage inside the Moscone Center interrupted Jobs’ presentation several times. At one point he asked the audience to turn off their Wi-Fi base stations or he wouldn’t keep showing demos of the new phone … Jobs also announced three new iPhone entertainment apps: Karthik Bala, senior vice president at Activision, announced a new “Guitar Hero” app for the iPhone and iPod Touch, on sale today for $2.99. Mark Pincus, Zynga’s CEO, announced that FarmVille, the company’s wildly popular Facebook game, will have an iPhone app by the end of June. Jobs introduced Netflix CEO Reed Hastings, who said Netflix is launching a free app for the iPhone, which will be available this summer and will let users download and watch movies on the go. Jobs described the Apple App Store as “the most vibrant app community on the planet,” with more than 225,000 apps available. He also defended Apple’s mysterious app-approval process, saying that 15,000 apps are submitted to Apple each week and 95 percent of those are approved within seven days. Jobs praised HTML5, which some believe will be the next standard for computer language. “HTML5 is a fully open, uncontrolled platform that is forged and defined by widely respected standards bodies,” he said. Jobs began his remarks by praising the success of his company’s iPad tablet computer. According to Jobs, Apple has sold more than 2 million iPads since the device went on sale two months ago. The iPad will be in 19 countries by the end of July, he said. More than 35 million iPad apps have been downloaded, or 17 apps per iPad sold. The iPad also appears to be catching on as an electronic reading device. In 65 days, iPad users have downloaded 5 million books — about 2.5 books per iPad, Jobs said.

Because we knew that the new iPhone would have a front-facing camera, it was pretty certain that the phone would offer video chat capabilities … the new functionality is called Face Time. Jobs had already announced the release of the new iOS 4 operating system so, really, there were no big surprises (well, OK, the HD video recording and inclusion of iMovie was a nice surprise) … all we really needed to know was how much would the phone cost and when would it be released. After the jump, check out some of the official promo photos released of iPhone 4 to see what it will look like in both black and white … More »

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Apple Announces The iPad

Basically, it's a bigger iPhone

Engadget is providing a live blog feed from the Apple event taking place today where president Steve Jobs is announcing the release of the much-anticipated, much-ballyhooed and much-speculated about device we now know is called the iPad. Here are a few photos that give us our first look at this new device, which Apple hopes will revolutionize mobile computing:


Click HERE to follow along with Engadget‘s live blog from the event (which auto-refreshes every 30 seconds). When it’s all said and done, I’ll update this post with specifics.

After the jump, check out official photos of the iPad and read the deets about this “magical” new Apple deviceMore »

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