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Sony quits e-book business, will team up with Kobo

By: Michael Hatamoto | More News: Mobile Devices, Tablets & Phones | Posted: Feb 7, 2014 4:36 am

Sony will shutter its Reader e-bookstore, and will transition customers to the Kobo online library and store, with Reader and Xperia tablet and smartphone users needing to make the move.




The shuttered Sony store was made up of 4 million e-books, magazines, newspapers, mangas, and kids content available to customers.


"Kobo is the ideal solution for our customers and will deliver a robust and comprehensive user experience," said Ken Orii, Sony VP of Digital Reading, in a press statement. "Like Sony, they are committed to those most passionate about reading and share our vision to use open formats so people can easily read anytime and anywhere."


This isn't necessarily surprising news from Sony, as the electronics giant is currently restructuring to try and cut costs. Also, the traditional e-reader market has slowed down due to the drop in price of the tablet market, adding to growing list of issues facing e-reader supporters.

3D movies drive up all ticket prices, general interest declining

By: Michael Hatamoto | More News: 3D | Posted: Feb 7, 2014 3:25 am

There will be 28 3D movie releases in 2014, which is a continued slide in overall releases with consumers showing less interest in the pricier movie experience. A recent industry analyst believes 3D movies will capture just 39 percent of box office revenue in 2014, which would be the lowest ratio sales comparison in more than five years.




A recent Harris Poll study found that 69 percent of American movie goers believe 3D is only so movie studios and theaters can charge more for movie tickets.


For the past few years, there was interest from movie theaters want more expensive 2D films, with 3D movie prices lowering slightly, to generate new interest. However, that technique wisely wasn't rolled out, though 3D movie box office sales figures still disappoint.

Paramount's 'Noah' film will be 3D, but not in the United States

By: Michael Hatamoto | More News: 3D | Posted: Feb 7, 2014 2:10 am

Paramount Pictures will release a 3D version of "Noah," but it will not be available in the United States, as the studio hopes to generate added revenue in 65 foreign markets.




"Noah" won't be available in 3D for U.S., U.K., Australian and French markets, with the audience expected to embrace "the combination of the pedigree of the director and the cast and the dramatic elements of the story," The Hollywood Reporter learned.


Although 3D technology has piqued interest in movie goers and consumers, they are still rather unwilling to pay even more for 3D in the theater - and don't trust 3D HDTVs at home quite yet. It will be revealing to see which movies are released in 3D while at the theater and which geographic markets are targeted.

Titanfall beta drawing major interest from excited PC gamers

By: Michael Hatamoto | More News: Gaming | Posted: Feb 7, 2014 2:10 am

Respawn Entertainment isn't spilling the beans on how to get in on the Titanfall closed beta, only saying that details will be publicly shared in the near future. Beta testers will need to receive an access code before testing the game, and isn't solely for gamers that pre-ordered Titanfall.




Titanfall will be available on the PC and Microsoft Xbox One game console in the immediate future. It's unknown when Respawn will begin the beta, though it's rumored to start on Friday, February 14.


Expect the game to be released on March 11 in the United States, and days later for the rest of the world.


Gamers might purchase a few different games that seem appealing, but Titanfall is one of the more anticipated PC titles of 2014. Publisher Electronic Arts needs the Titanfall game launch to go smoothly, as a few of its recent high-profile game launches had issues and frustrated gamers.

Continue reading 'Titanfall beta drawing major interest from excited PC gamers' (full post)

Ricoh's new WG-4 and WG-20 Cameras are both rugged and waterproof

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Cameras | Posted: Feb 7, 2014 1:18 am

When you combine the rise of digital cameras with the boom in social media, and then cross the two with an increase in popularity of outdoor activities, you develop a need for a way to take photos in any environment, no matter how demanding it may be. Ricoh thinks that it may have solved this issue with its new WG-4 and WG-20 ruggedized, waterproof digital cameras.




The WG-4 comes in two varieties; one with GPS, and One without GPS. Both models feature a 16-megapixel CMOS sensor with an ISO range up to 6400, and an aperture of f/2.0 combine for excellent low-light performance. A zoom range of 25mm up to 100mm ensure that you always get the shot no matter if you need to shoot something wide or tight. The WG-4 series featres 29 shooting modes, which includes 16 scene presets, as well as full HD video recording. A rear 3-inch LCD is available as well to help in composing the perfect shot.


The WG20 features a lesser 14-megapixel camera, and only 5X zoom, but has a digital microscope feature with five LED lights for extreme close up macro shots. A 2.7-inch rear LCD is present and video recording at 720p is on board. All three cameras are waterproof to 45-feet for up to two hours, 32-feet for the WG-20, as well as being dust-proof, shock-resistant, able to survive crushing weight of up to 220-pounds, and resistant to temperatures as low as 14f.

Final Fantasy VI arrives on iOS a month after coming to Android

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Apps | Posted: Feb 7, 2014 12:22 am

Last month we saw Square Enix launch Final Fantasy VI onto the Android platform, and were promised that the game would arrive on iOS soon. Today that day has come. Final Fantasy VI was released to the Apple App Store for download on iPhone and iPad. The game is sure to be met with great fanfare as the Final Fantasy series has a following unlike no other dating all the way back to the original NES system.




Final Fantasy VI on iOS and Android is part of a recent string of re-releases from the series onto mobile platforms. While some have not done well as others, FFVI should do quite well as it is considered one of the better games of the series. Unfortunately, at $15.99 the game does cost more than many are willing to spend on a game where many of its competitors are either free or cost less than a dollar. If you would like to check the game out, head over to the App Store and Google Play links below.

Google's next tablet could be of HTC origin if rumors are correct

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Mobile Devices, Tablets & Phones | Posted: Feb 6, 2014 11:10 pm

It's no secret that Google likes to partner with established mobile device manufacturers to produce its Nexus line of devices, and rumors have began surfacing that HTC may have just partnered with Google to manufacture the next Nexus tablet for the Mountain View-based company. This could mean that ASUS will no longer be making the Nexus 7 tablet or that Samsung is off the list for the next Nexus 10, at the moment not much is known about the deal.




Website is reporting that HTC has won the contract to manufacturer a "high-end" Nexus-branded tablet, and that it will lie within the 7-inch to 10-inch range. It's still unknown exactly what the report means by "high-end" but personally, I am hoping for something built on the same design features of the HTC One. If I could buy a 7-inch tablet with the alloy chassis featured on the HTC One, I would be standing in line on day one. So if anyone from HTC is out there listening to what I am saying, please bring a HTC One Tab to market with pure Android and a Nexus label!

Pyle introduces Bluetooth heart rate monitor and watch

By: Michael Hatamoto | More News: Wearable Computing | Posted: Feb 6, 2014 10:30 pm

Pyle Audio, best known for its car, home and competition audio equipment, recently released its Bluetooth Heart Rate Monitor and Watch (PSBTHR70) for consumers trying to lead a healthier lifestyle. The device can store 10 workouts or 100 lap records, easily transfer workout data to smartphones and Bluetooth-enabled devices, and will include overall distance covered.




Google Android and Apple iOS users can send workout data to services such as MapMyRun, RunKeeper or WahooFitness automatically. The Pyle Bluetooth Heart Rate Monitor and Watch is available now for $69.99 MSRP, available in blue, black, green or pink.


"We've long been providing customers with high-quality home, pro and car audio products," said Abe Brach, Pyle Audio Vice President, in a press statement. "It was the natural next step to bring our decades of experience with personal technology products to the health and fitness market. During any workout either on land or in water the Bluetooth Heart Rate Monitor and Watch is a must have."


Casual fitness wearables will see increased growth in 2014, because the technology is becoming easier to use, while the overall price tag drops.

Apacer unveils new sleek and stylish AS710 Portable SSD

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Storage | Posted: Feb 6, 2014 10:14 pm

External hard drives are one of the most convenient devices a person on the go can have, but they are quite fragile when it comes to falls from desk, rough handling, and frequent trips to and from inside a full backpack. With the recent drop in SSD prices, more companies are forgoing the external spinner and opting for something more solid.




Today Apacer launched its new AS710, a portable SSD that is designed to be carried with you where ever you may go. The company said that the AS710 is the first external SSD that is equipped with both a SATA III interface as well as USB 3.0 connectivity, which provides unparalleled speeds. Real-world testing shows that the SATA III interface is capable of sequential read speeds up to 550MB/s and sequential write speeds of 530MB/s. The external drive itself can reach speeds of 380MB/s and 420MB/sec through a USB 3.0 connection. This means that it takes less than 15 seconds to copy a 5GB video file over to the drive when using USB 3.0.


The Apacer AS710 is available at a capacity of 128GB and measures in at just 7mm thick. Its stylish exterior housing is comprised of aluminum with a black finish and machined edges for a very sleek look. The device features 30G anti-vibration protection as well as 3000G anti-shock protection. The SSD itself supports Microsoft Windows-To-Go,which allows one to store the start-up system from his/her Windows 8 Enterprise install directly onto the SSD. Additionally the drive boasts built-in advanced wear leveling and Error Correction Code (ECC) functions and supports Win7 Trim command, ensuring enhanced reliability of data transmission and longer service life for higher stability of data storage.

Continue reading 'Apacer unveils new sleek and stylish AS710 Portable SSD' (full post)

HTC says it will release a smartwatch by the end of 2014

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Wearable Computing | Posted: Feb 6, 2014 9:21 pm

During a recent interview with Bloomberg, HTC's chairwoman, Cher Wang, said that the company is working on a smartwatch to bring to market in 2014, and that work on the device has been slowed from issues with its battery as well as display problems. She did go on to say that HTC will launch a smartwatch by the holiday season if everything works out from here.




"Many years ago we started looking at smart watches and wearables, but we believe that we really have to solve the battery problems and the LCD light problems. These are customer-centric problems," said Wang. She went on to echo HTC CEO in saying that the device needed to fill a specific need to be welcomed into day to day life, otherwise it would be yet another novelty gimmick. I think that HTC is doing this the right way and that taking the development process slowly will allow for a better end product and not just something that does the same stuff our smartphones and Bluetooth headsets already do.