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Prototypes Tablet Video

TechCrunch Tablet Updatex2: Prototype B

CrunchPad Prototype B

Although I wrote about prototype B almost two weeks ago, Michael Arrington finally decided to post about the new prototype which includes much more information than my post did.

They are now calling it the CrunchPad internally but that may not be the official name when it launches. The goal was to build a touchscreen tablet for $200 but they now say that $299 is much more realistic. The device plays Flash video “flawlessly.”

Back when I wrote about Prototype B we knew that it had a 12″ touchscreen but we didn’t know that it had a 4:3 aspect ratio (yuck, 16:9 or 16:10 would be worlds better for video playback) with a resolution of 1024 x 768. The processor they use is a Via Nano processor which performs very similarly to an Intel Atom processor and it also features 1GB of RAM and a 4GB flash drive.

The device has Wifi (of course), an accelerometer (which I find to be incredibly useless since the aspect ratio while on its side would be 768 x 1024, incredibly thin to say the least), a built in webcam, and a 4 cell battery.

The price estimate they have for manufacturing this device is just over $200 (probably the $222 that I claimed in the last post). This price estimate does include a much better display, which they will hopefully use since the resolution and aspect ratio isn’t ideal.

The current design (in my opinion) is fairly ugly but the final product will probably be thinner (they say they made it twice as thick as it really needed to be just in case there were heat issues or a problem with its sturdiness. The current hardware weighs 3 pounds.

The hardware is running a full install of Ubuntu Linux with a custom Webkit browser, but most of the software development to date has gone towards drivers and the virtual keyboard (which looks incredibly primitive so far).

The device looks really good so far but what worries me is that the few things that they have done that I don’t like (such as the accelerometer, the terrible display, and the weird virtual keyboard) either won’t change or will get worse. Obviously they are going into this with the best of intentions but I hope that the guys they have working on it know what they are doing.

TechCrunch Tablet Update: Prototype B.

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Linked List Microsoft Office

First Office 14 screenshots

Office 14 Apps

I’m not posting all of the leaked screenshots from Office 14, basically because I don’t know if anyone cares about anything but Excel and Word.

Leaked: First Office 14 screenshots.

Word 14

Excel 14

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Cell Phones Google Linked List Mobile Rumor Video

T-Mobile (HTC) G2 Spied on Video?

Google G1 successor spied in video? • Register Hardware.

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Apple Application Linked List

iLife’09 Went Gold Master On January 15th, Begins Shipping Monday

iLife '09

9 to 5 Mac got a tip supposedly from Apple themselves letting them know that iLife’09 has gone Gold Master. This means that those of you who pre-ordered may have your items shipped on Monday.

iLife ’09 hit Golden Master yesterday – Out for print today | 9 to 5 Mac.

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Google Linked List

Google Closes Many Services

Google will discontinue support for uploads to Google Video, they aren’t going to delete any content just no longer allow users to upload content.

Google is also going to stop active development on Google Notebook. They are no longer going to be adding new features and will not be offering it to new users anymore.

Jaiku is no longer going to be actively developed.

Google Catalogs, Dodgeball, and Mapshup Editor will be closed.

Google Closes Many Services.

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Cell Phones Linked List Mobile Rumor

Best Buy to be Palm Pre’s exclusive retailer

Palm Pre

We received news from a credible source that BestBuy Mobile will be getting an exclusive deal with Sprint for the Palm Pre release. For 60 days the number one consumer electronics retailer will be the only place where you can get your hands on the Palm Pre, besides Sprint of course.

Best Buy to be Palm Pre’s exclusive retailer | WebOS Arena.

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Apple Application Browser iPhone iPod

Apple Approves 3rd Party Web Browsers for App Store

Apple has slowing been loosening the restrictions on developers, first they started allowing apps with toilet humor and now they have begun approving web browsing applications to the App Store.

It is possible that Apple has separate internal approval queues depending on the category of application, we’ve seen this same type of grouping happen with the toilet humor apps and now we are seeing it with these web browsers.

Apple has until just recently declined web browser because they offer duplicate functionality to what the iPhone already offers.

This potentially opens the door for bigger browsers such as Opera or Firefox to develop versions for the iPhone, inevitably making browsing web pages on the iPhone better for the end user.

Apple Allows 3rd Party Web Browsers into App Store – Mac Rumors.

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Hard Drives Linked List Storage

Western Digital to Release 2TB Hard Drive

2TB WD Caviar Green

Western Digital will soon be releasing a Caviar Green Series drive that features 2TB of storage. The drive has 32MB of cach, an 8.9ms seek time, and will spin at 5400-7200RPM. The retail price is speculated to be around $230.

Western Digital to Launch 2TB Hard Drive This Week – Expreview.com.

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Linked List Media

CBS Tries to Out-Hulu Hulu with TV.com

As was expected, CBS is revamping TV.com to be a video-viewing destination. The well-URLed site, which six months ago started featuring Hulu content, has added CBS shows, and Monday is announcing deals for shows from MGM, Sony, PBS, Endemol USA and Showtime, according to reports tonight.

CBS Tries to Out-Hulu Hulu with TV.com « NewTeeVee.

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Cell Phones Mobile

Palm May be Readying webOS Based Centro

I wouln’t be surprised if Palm was to release a Centro 2 with webOS. I have had a weird feeling that Palm might end up screwing this opportunity and diversifying this platform too early in the game would really do it.

Obviously this is still just a rumor but Palm has made many mistakes in the past and although many of the people who have been working on webOS have come from other (more succesful companies) Palm is still Palm and doing something stupid like this isn’t out of the realm of possabilities.

The only way I could see a Centro based on webOS in the very near future working would be if Palm could figure out a way to make the 3rd party apps work the same way and easily while changing the size of the display. And, who knows, with the operating systems built in ability to resize applications when notifications appear they might actually be able to pull it off.

But, would they really want to. An obviously lower margin webOS based device would steal some consumers awa from the Pre and make Palm less money while forcing them to split their focus between (essentially) two flaship phones and may end up hurting the platform in the long run.

Palm certainly is doing some big things but one misstep could spell disaster for the companies hopes of becoming a dominant player again. I personally would like to see them succeed, if only to help bring out the best in the competition.

Electronista | Palm readying webOS-based Centro?.

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Cell Phones Linked List Mobile

Palm Pre to be Priced at $149-$199 with 2 Year Contract

Palm Pre

The earlier quoted $399 price for Palm Pre was actually for a handset without contract on Sprint. And it is only one of the possible price points Palm is contemplating. Another one is $499 for a phone without contract. So when Palm Pre starts shipping on Sprint in summer of 2009, the actual pricing should be either $399/$149 or $499/$199 for no-contract/2-year contract Pre. However, the final decision will be based on the competitive landscape, when the next gen iPhone and Storm devices will make their appearances around that time.

The pricing seems very logical to me and the fact that they would want to wait on pricing based on what RIM and Apple are going to do makes me think Palm really wants to fix what they have broken.

Palm Pre Sprint’s pricing update and sales volumes » Unwired View.

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Linked List Media

Samsung unveils P3 touch-screen MP3 player

Samsung P3

Samsung spilled the beans on the new P3 MP3 player at the company’s CES 2009 press conference. As an update to Samsung’s popular P2, the P3 shares many of its predecessor’s features, including a 3-inch WQVGA touch screen, DNSe sound enhancement, audio and video playback, photo viewer, FM radio, voice recording, and Bluetooth capabilities such as phone pairing and stereo audio streaming.

Samsung unveils P3 touch-screen MP3 player | Crave – CNET.