Early beta units for RIM's highly anticipated PlayBook tablet have hit a few lucky hands recently, and it looks like the biggest gripe seems to be about battery life. While RIM advertises the tablet to have "comparable" battery life to competitors such as the claimed 10 hours for the iPad, testers like Kaufman Bros. analyst Shaw Wu are stating that the battery is lasting only "a few hours."
RIM has been quick to dismiss these claims, stating that the early test units do not come with any sort of power management. A statement from the company said that "any testing or observation of battery life to date by anyone outside of RIM would have been performed using pre-beta units that were built without power management implemented. RIM is on track with its schedule to optimize the BlackBerry PlayBook's battery life and looks forward to providing customers with a professional grade tablet that offers superior performance with comparable battery life." Looks like we'll have to wait for the final version to know for sure in May 2011.
It's no secret that online shopping is becoming more and more popular, especially during the holiday season where people (like me) prefer doing their Christmas shopping from home instead of battling traffic and crowds at the mall. The U.S. saw a significant increase in online holiday spending, reaching a new record of $30.81 billion for the first 56 days of November to December.
This was a 13% increase over last year, with the week before Christmas netting $2.45 billion and a 17% increase all by itself. Computer hardware, which includes items like tablets, e-readers, and laptops in well, saw a healthy 23 percent increase over 2009 and even books and magazines came in second on the list with a 22 percent increase in sales. All in all, it was a good time to be an online retailer.
Sandy Bridge is going to be one of the big stories at CES 2011, and LucidLogix has awaked from their slumber in a big way. The company's virtualization software could serve up the ability to make AMD and NVIDIA videos cards play nicely together in multicard setups on the Sandy Bridge platform.
With support for DirectX11 and only requiring the ability to "connect the display screen directly to the motherboard's Sandy Bridge display output," hopefully this becomes an easy way to tinker with both the red and green side in the same rig. The 'Virtu' software is expected to hit beta and become available sometime next month.
I don't listen to the radio much in my home because there aren't that many stations in my area and the ones we have tend to play music I don't like. In the car, I listen to CDs and digital tracks mostly. If you have the same issue and you don't want to move your CDs in and out of the car one of the internet radio devices from Grace Digital Audio would be perfect. The company will be unveiling three new devices at CES next week that all have color screens.
One of the devices is the Solo Touch that is a compact tuner with a big 4.3-inch touchscreen color display. The device also ships with a remote control and has an Ethernet connection in addition to the WiFi connectivity built-in. It also has headphone port and RCA outputs with a MSRP of $249.99. The Bravado X is a WiFi enabled tablet top radio with a 2.7-inch color screen.
It packs stereo speakers, RCA inputs and outputs, USB port, and a headphone port. It will sell for $179.99. The final new device is called the Mondo with a 3.5-inch screen and full alarm clock functionality. The device has snooze and a remote control. It sports WiFi, Ethernet port, RCA outputs, and a USB connection. The MSRP is $169.99. Exactly when the three new products will be available to purchase is unknown.
eReaders have been around for a long time now, but they really only caught the attention of a lot of people after the Amazon Kindle debuted a few years ago. The Kindle went on to great success and is the best selling item ever for Amazon, which is saying a lot. Barnes & Noble was one of the booksellers that decided to follow Amazon into the eReader market with its line of Nook readers.
Barnes & Nobel has now announced that the Nook line of eReaders are the best selling items it has ever had in its store or online. That best selling title spans the entire 40-year history of the company. Barnes & Noble offers up no specifics on just how many Nooks have sold overall. However, it did note that on Christmas Day alone almost a million NookBooks sold.
I was born too late to be part of the golden age of space flight. The first thing I remember about space was the Challenger disaster when I was in grade school. I think it was cool that with the tech of the era we were able to put men on the moon. If you are a fan of auctions and the golden age of space flight, you can get your hands on some really cool space related items, if you have the loot.
The coolest item in the auction in my book is the little American flag that went to the moon on Apollo 11. The flag is mounted on a special card and has autographs by Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin, and Michael Collins. The card is autographed by Armstrong to a sports shop owner from Texas named Rooster Andrews.
Apparently, Rooster was an astronaut pal. You can also get yourself an autographed 60's Playboy centerfold pic that orbited the Earth if that is more your style. There are all sorts of items in the auction including some really old freeze-dried food.
If you are an early adopter of the iPad, you have a device that came with no 3G service and many of these folks are looking for devices that will get them online using a mobile network. If you are a user that happens to be in one of the 4G service areas that Clear operates that fast WiMax network might have looked really good combined with the company's iPhone/iPad/touch specific iSpot hotspot device.
A few weeks back you could get the thing for only $20 as a holiday special. That special apparently helped Clear to clear out their stock of the iSpot devices. A Clear rep on the official Clear forums has told users that the device has been discontinued. Apparently, you can still find the iSpot in some retail stores, but after that stock is gone, there will be no more offered.
Clear has apparently held some of them back to serve as warranty replacement in the event a user has issues with one under warranty. The iSpot would only work with iOS devices and some users had issues getting it to work period. This may be one of the big reason the item is no more. If you already own an iSpot device, the Clear rep said the service would continue to be supported.
If you have followed the saga of WikiLeaks at all you are probably familiar with the hacker group going by the name Anonymous that tried to lend support to the WikiLeaks cause by launching DDoS attacks against the websites of major companies that stopped supporting the site and cut off services. Anonymous launched DDoS attacks against Visa.com, PayPal.com, and Mastercard.com.
The attacks were able to force a few of the websites offline, but no user data was lost or accessed by the hackers. The FBI and authorizes around the world are looking for the people behind the attacks and have raided some ISPs here in the US in the search for clues.
The FBI raided Tailor Made Services in Dallas and seized a pair of HDDs to search for evidence. The raid happened after German police found a link to the company in an investigation in Germany. The FBI also raided Hurricane Electric in California for HDDs as well. Authorities are seeking details on the IRC servers used to coordinate the attacks.
Yet another 12 months has flown by since 2010 kicked in and we're looking down the barrel of another fresh and eventful year. Over the past 12 months we've seen TweakTown continue to grow in all areas with a heavy focus on further diversifying our content and how it is presented.
But of course, without you, our loyal readers, we wouldn't be much at all. So we would like to quickly take the time to thank you all for putting a bit of time aside each day or week to check out what's happening in the computer world through the eyes of the team at TweakTown.
On behalf of all of us here at TT, we wish you a fantastic New Year and hope you enjoy the rest of your holiday break with your new goodies, time spent with loved ones, or whatever else it is that has helped put more smiles on your face this holiday season.
We hope you've enjoyed what TweakTown has had to offer you over the past 12 months and we look forward to bringing you all another year's worth of new and exciting coverage throughout 2011, beginning with the highlights of CES as it fires up early into the new year!
Time to bring on 2011 with a BANG - Happy New Year folks!!
DICE had put a goal on their new Vietnam pack for Bad Company 2 when released. That a new map would be opened up when 69 million team actions had been completed.
Xbox 360 combatants are on around 36 million team actions, PlayStation 3 battlefielders are on 27 million while PC - have pushed past 69 million and now have the map unlocked to play!