Tons of Skype fans were left in the dark after a software issue took out Skype's "supernodes," which work as routers for voice, video, and instant messages calls between users. As of last night, Skype is reportedly back to 90% capacity, and hopefully all of you are back to Skyping for the holiday.
Skype CEO Terry Bates has announced that compensation vouchers are going to be issued to both subscribers as well as Pay As You Go and Pre-Pay customers. Subscribers will receive a free one week extension on their subscription, while Pay As You Go and Pre-Pay customers will receive a voucher good for around 30 moniutes of free landline calling. Bates stated in a blog post, "I realize that it's difficult to compensate you for not being able to talk to or see your friends, family, or colleagues, but we're planning to offer Skype Credit vouchers to all of our loyal paying customers to thank you for your continued support."
I may be stretching a bit calling this mobile news, but it was too good not to share. A 20 year old man was arrested after walking into a restaurant and demanding money from the staff. He was waving what some believed to be a gun in the air while threatening the kitchen help. The weapon in question? An iPhone.
He wasn't ready for the retaliation as the kitchen staff grabbed their knives and set themselves to face off with the assailant. The suspect gave himself up, and according to reports "became apologetic and told the cooks he was only kidding and that he needed money for his child." The restaurant, obviously feeling some holiday spirit, refused to press charges but the man was arrested anyways on charges of attempted robbery and interfering with an officer. The moral of the story? Don't bring an iPhone to a knife fight.
The latest news around the Skype rumor campfire is that they have been saying that a "series of video-related announcements" are coming at CES in a couple of weeks. Could this be the video calling feature that nearly everyone's been waiting for?
Engadget received word from Skype already on how to make video calls on the iPhone, so it looks like the official leakfest is in full force. There's no official word out the for those of us with Android, Symbian, or anything else non-iOS related, so we'll have to wait and see. Skype's full-fledged domination of video calling from nearly any platform could be complte with a full release on all major mobile operating systems.
Santa's run has already begun for those on the other side of the world from the U.S. and Google has teamed up with NORAD (North American Aerospace Defence Command) to keep up with his present giving and cookie and milk gobbling trip.
By checking out noradsanta.org (m.noradsanta.org for you on mobile browsers), you can check out which cities have already had their visit from Santa, where he's headed next, and check out "Santa Cam" videos to learn more about those locations. A Google Earth plugin is also available for those of you who prefer to view the trip from that aspect. Keep track of Jolly old St. Nick at the Source Link.
Netbooks already seem to be dying off as a category with the soaring growth the tiny machines were experiencing slowing and many consumers flocking to tablets today. Despite the slowing sales for netbooks, there are still new machines coming to market today. A new rig from Acer has leaked called the Aspire One 522 and it looks pretty cool.
The machine has a 10-inch screen and runs an AMD processor under the hood. The machine is based on the AMD C-50 Ontario APU, which is a dual-core part. The TDP is 9W for the machine, which should mean decent battery life. The 10.1-inch screen has a resolution of 1280 x 720 and the GPU inside is an AMD Radeon HD 6250.
The other features of the machine include 2GB of RAM, Windows 7 Starter, 500GB of storage, a HD webcam, WiFi, Bluetooth, and a 6-cell battery. The little rig won't be great for listening to music with the onboard sound system; it doesn't even have stereo speakers. The price is said to be about $425.
I don't think of computers at all when I hear the BenQ name. I think more of the displays and projectors that I have seen from the company. BenQ along with everyone else and their dog is set to toss an Android tablet onto the market early in 2011 with its offering called the R100. A few pics of the device have surfaced and it looks to be pretty cool.
The R100 has a 10.1-inch screen that offers 1024 x 600 resolution and it runs the Android OS. The processor is an ARM unit made by Samsung running at 833MHz. The tablet naturally hopes to compete directly with the iPad, which will be a big task. Android tablets are expected to grab a lot of the tablet market over the next few years though.
Other features of the R100 include 8GB of internal storage, an SD card slot for expansion, mini-USB and HDMI ports, and a 3.5mm headphone jack. The device also has Bluetooth and WiFi. The dimensions of the tablet are 15mm thick and it measures 119mm x 244mm and weighs 720g. Pricing for the device is unknown and exactly what version of Android will be used isn't mentioned.
I have never had a job where I had to give lots of presentations, but I did have a job once where I had to sit through a lot of them. It sucked. I really hated it when the presenter couldn't figure out how to work the remote and we ended up waiting while they tied to figure it out. You may be familiar with the Arctic Cooling company from their line of fans and other cooling products.
Arctic Cooling has unveiled a new device called the Presenter 1 Wireless Presenter that might be of interest if you are a person that has to give presentations a lot. The device looks like a remote control for your TV more than a computer accessory to me. It has a single round dial that controls the functions of your presentation.
The dial has buttons for escape, darken screen, play, previous/next slide, and for volume. The device also has a red laser pointer built in as well. It connects to your computer using an included USB dongle and it uses 2.4GHz technology. Power for the adapter is from three AAA batteries. You can pick one up now for $31.90.
It's Christmastime, and we have teamed up with our friends at SteelSeries to give away an awesome stocking stuffer to one lucky fan. Just check out and like SteelSeries on Facebook and post a link to your favorite SteelSeries review on TweakTown in the contest post to get entered to win a SteelSeries Xai Laser mouse. Don't forget to like TweakTown on Facebook as well!
If you just can't wait for the contest to end to get your hands on this awesome mouse, SteelSeries is running an awesome special on the Xai for folks in the U.S. and Canada. The Xai's price has been slashed from $89.99 to $49.99 with the promo code BLNG12 at the SteelSeries web shop. Merry Christmas from your friends at TweakTown and SteelSeries!
Any fan of music games will know the Harmonix name. This is the company that is behind the cool Rock Band franchise that has branched out from consoles and ended up on portable devices and more. You would think with the success of the Rock Band franchise Harmonix would be something that owner Viacom would want to keep a hold of.
You would be wrong. Viacom has announced that it has sold Harmonix off. Viacom has sold Harmonix to Harmonix-SBE Holdings LLC, which is an affiliate of Columbus Nova LLC. Columbus Nova LLS is an investment firm.
Harmonix apparently intends to continue supporting games it has on the market already. With MTV as part of the Viacom family, I wonder if the sale will affect the ability to get musicians to provide songs for the game.
With today being Christmas Eve you might think shopping has pretty much ended, you would be wrong. There are still hoards of people out there that wait until the last minute and then hit the malls. If you are expecting to get a gift card or gadget from Best Buy and it happens to not work or not be the one you wanted Best Buy will be opening early on December 26.
The store will open at 7AM so you can return, exchange, or blow that Christmas loot Santa left in your stocking. Best Buy will be offering some good deals that day too. You can get an HP AMD Turion notebook with 3GB of RAM and 320GB of storage for $399.99. If you got a bunch of home theater gear an all the remotes are making your head swim, you can get a deal on a cool universal remote too.
Best Buy will have the Harmony One from Logitech for $159.99, which is $90 off. That is one of the best remotes on the market. If you got a new iPhone 4 you can save 50% on some cases and certain Blu-ray movies will be offered for $12.99. Merry Christmas!