Wednesday, September 07, 2011

Steam Trading Now Available To All Valve Users

Less than a month after the beta was announced Valve Software officially began offering the new Steam Trading service to all Steam users via Team Fortress 2, Spiral Knights and Portal 2.

"The addition of Steam Trading is the latest example of how Steam continues to evolve with new features and functions developed based upon feedback," said Jason Holtman, director of business development. "We look forward to seeing how gamers and developers have fun and move this functionality forward."

For more information about trading via Steam, check out the FAQ here.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Sony Tablets Making Their Debut In September

Sony has confirmed a solid release window of (sometime in) September for the new Sony S1 Android tablet, and most likely the new S2 dual screen device.



The Sony Tablet S features a 9.4-inch 1280×800 touch display a NVIDIA Tegra 2 CPU processor, Sony Tablet S allows consumers to enjoy the web and their favourite content and applications on its large high-resolution screen. Weighing in at just about 590 grams, it has a unique asymmetric design (curvy form factor) which purportedly allows for hours of comfortable use.

The Sony Tablet S runs on the latest version of Android – version 3.1. This model features front and rear facing cameras that allow for video recording and capturing still images. The device also supports USB (micro A/B) interface and SD card for transferring files and data.


The Sony Tablet S comes complete with a full suite of Sony’s network entertainment services.

  • Sony Entertainment Network Services: Video Unlimited is your ticket to the latest releases from every major movie studio to rent or own. A partial service will be available at launch with full service available in October.

  • PlayStation Certified: Sony Tablet S is the first PlayStation Certified tablet providing out-of-the-box gaming with included favorites Crash Bandicoot and Pinball Heroes. Consumers can also download more classic PSone and PSP game titles online.

  • Reader Store: Access bestsellers, new releases, classics, magazines, comics and more from more than 2 million titles at Reader Store by Sony. The Sony Tablet S’s intuitive reading interface is ideal for on-the-go reading, allowing book lovers to set bookmarks, make highlights and adjust font sizes as they read. A free eBook download is included with the purchase of the device.

  • Personal Space: This free service allows consumers to easily share pictures and videos captured on the Sony Tablet S. Consumers can access albums that were previously uploaded from other devices.

Cross Device Functionality

One rather interesting feature of this device is it's built in compatibility with several of Sony's products including TVs, Blu-ray Disc players and home theater receivers.

The Sony Tablet S allows consumer to “throw” personal pictures and video to DLNA compatible televisions such as BRAVIA with the touch of a button. Users can also throw music to wireless speakers such as Sony’s Homeshare. The Sony Tablet S is equipped with infrared technology and can act as a remote control for multiple home entertainment components such as TVs, Blu-ray Disc players, receivers and more at once. The Sony Tablet S is also compatible with “Media Remote” allowing consumers to control Sony devices, including BRAVIA televisions, through Wi-Fi.


The tablet is available for pre-sale today with the option of a 16 GB and 32 GB model for $499 and $599, respectively – you can find them both in the official Sony store.

Via: Sony Press Release

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

TouchPad Hunters Check Your Inbox For 25% Off At HPDirect.Com

For those of you that are still holding out hopes of bagging a $99 HP TouchPad and have recently signed-up for updates from HP the company has sent out a coupon good for 25% off all printers, ink, HP accessories, and PCs starting at or above $599.

So check your inbox you should see an email with a unique coupon code. The code is one time use and valid through the end of the day tomorrow, Wednesday, August 31, 2011.

Here are the full details listed in the message:
Dear Customer,

Thank you for your interest in the HP TouchPad and webOS. The overwhelming demand for this product in recent days has made it difficult to fulfill your request at the present time, and we are working to make more available as soon as possible. While we do not yet have specific details, we know it will be at least a few weeks before we have a limited quantity available again. We will keep you informed as we have more specifics that we can communicate, and we encourage you to join the conversation here for the latest information.

In light of this and other recent HP news, we want you to know that we remain committed to you. We will continue to honor our warranties now and in the future. We will continue delivering products that make a difference in your life and we will continue to provide the best possible service to you every day.

We are grateful for your patience and loyalty and to show our gratitude, we are offering you an exclusive one-time opportunity to save an additional amount on all of our products, valid through the end of the day tomorrow, Wednesday, August 31, 2011. You'll save 25% off all printers, ink, HP accessories, and PCs starting at or above $599. To take advantage of this offer, use your unique coupon code ,removed at checkout, and for more information on the details of this offer, please look at the bottom of this email.

Sincerely,

hpdirect.com

Valid for HP Direct (hpdirect.com) internet and call center purchases only. Coupon valid while supplies last. Any unused portion will be forfeited. Each coupon code is limited to one usage per customer; one coupon code per checkout. Offer void where prohibited, taxed or restricted by law. Non-transferable. Not valid retroactively on previously purchased items. Not valid for any resale activity as defined by HP Direct. Coupons may not be used to purchase gift cards. May not be permitted with certain bundle offers. Products and support acquired by Customer under these Terms are solely for Customer's personal use and not for immediate resale or sub-licensing. Valid on: all printers, ink, toner, paper, HP branded accessories and all the following PCs: g7-1150us, dv6-6126nr, HP Pavilion dv6-3230us, dm4-2050us, dv6-6140us, dm4-2070us, HP Pavilion dv6-3240us, HP Pavilion dv7-4277nr, HP Pavilion dv6-3250us, dv6-6150us, dv7-6175us, HP Pavilion dv6-6091nr NB PC, dv6-6170us, dv7-6195us, dv6-6190us, p7-1020, AiO 200-5250, s5-1060, HPE h8-1010, HPE h8-1020, TS 610-1130f, HPE h8-1032, TS 610-1030f, TS 610-1150f, HPE h8-1041, TS 610-1190f, G7T, DV4T, DM4T, DM4X, DV6T, DV7T, DV6T SELECT EDITION, DV6T QUAD, DV7T QUAD, p7qe, s5xt, h8m, h8t, h8z, h8xt, h8qe, h8 select edition, Omni 100t, Omni 200t, Omni 200xt, Omni 200 Quad, 310z, 610z, 610t, 610xt, 610 Quad, Envy 14, Envy 14 Beats, Envy 17, Envy 17 3D. Not valid on: Friends and Family program, HP Academy and Employee purchase programs, HP Employee Purchase Program, Refurbished products. Not valid on purchases from HP download store (hp.digitalriver.com). Offer not combinable with Instant Rebates. For complete coupon conditions, see "Coupon Information" in the "Customer Service" section at www.hpdirect.com.




Monday, August 29, 2011

HP TouchPad Owners An Android Dual Boot Option Is Inevitable

The HP TouchPad may not have been all that popular at its original price tag of $499. However once HP announced they were discontinuing the product and dropped the price to $99 they sold like hot cakes. Following the fire sale of the TouchPads geeks everywhere snatched them. After all they are a very capable device.

The ability to grab a very cheap very capable tablet has the Android developer community buzzing with talk of porting its favorite OS to the devices. We love webOS but lets face it Android offers much more potential and who knows where HP and webOS are headed!



Enter the folks over at the CyanogenMod team. They've been working feverishly to port Android to the TouchPad. CyanogenMod has shared a video of its early efforts, which you can see above as well as a statement posted over at RootzWiki.

This build is currently in Alpha stage which means its just on the basics. In fact what you see is just the first boot but the goal is to deliver a firmware that allows dual-booting both webOS and an Android 2.3.X based version of CyanogenMod.

So if its so fresh why unveil it now? CyanogenMod said the move was a "blatant publicity stunt" intended to help it track down more TouchPads. The team said it needs at least four TouchPads because "we have talented and experienced developers who cannot contribute effectively due to a lack of hardware," CyanogenMod said.

If you do decide to donate, however, don't bug the Cyanogen team about when they will deliver a fully Android-ized TouchPad. They have no specific ETA in mind, and no they don't plan to share the code until its fully compiled.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Samsung And Android Dealt Major Blow As Apple Wins Ban In Germany

Both Google's Android operating system and electronics giant Samsung have been dealt a major blow today as Samsung has been banned from selling its Galaxy Tab tablet computers in Germany until at least 9 September following a successful injunction claim by Apple.

A German court handed down the temporary decision stating it it would deliver its full ruling on Sept 9th which just happens to be two days after the end of Germany's IFA Electronics Show.

Apple had been seeking a full European ban on the import and sale of the Samsung Galaxy Tab based on claims that the Galaxy Tab and several other Samsung products too closely match those of Apple's. The court is unlikely to expand the ban beyond Germany to other European Union countries but the ruling may open the door for further action and set a bad legal precedent that could hurt not only Samsung but other Android based devices as well.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

5 Steps To Get Your HP TouchPad Running Again

Previously we covered HP TouchPad charging issues today we are going to give you some tips on how to recover a frozen device.

If your TouchPad isn't working the way you think it should, has stopped responding or perhaps just behaving in a odd manner these 5 tips should help.

  1. Throw all applications off the top of the screen.
  2. Do a reboot, turn your TouchPad completely off and the on again
  3. Trigger a restart (more on this later)
  4. Top off the battery, sounds odd I know but it helps
  5. Your last ditch effort, tether your TouchPad to your computer and do a reinstall of webOS

The first two steps seem pretty obvious and the reasons you'd try them would be just as obvious. Shutting down applications could free up memory or other related issues. Completely shutting down your tablet frees up all your memory and reinitializes some of your services.

Triggering a restart is a bit different, in order to do this you need to press and hold the power button and then press and hold the center (home) button for at least 15seconds. This is best done if the screen isn't responding or if the device isn't powering on. Think of it as a hard reset button, that shuts everything down and forces a hard restart.

Topping off the battery seems like an odd idea. However sometimes the device will go into conservation mode if it thinks there isn't enough battery power and it won't power on. So charge it up for a few hours and try again.

The last step you'll want to take is forcing a re-install of WebOS. For this you'll need to tether your TouchPad to your computer, sign into your WebOS account at HPWebOS.Com/Account. From there you'll need to write down your product number and serial number. After that go to HPWebOS.Com/Rom and click the link to get WebOS Doctor. From there you enter your product and serial numbers and follow the prompts.

If you are still seeing problems you should probably call or contact HP and use their HP webOS Butler Service (866) 945-7256. Its free for the first 90days.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

You can Now See The Weather On Google Maps

In yet another step in the evolution process Google announced today that they are adding another great feature to Google Maps, a new layer for weather.


Weather conditions are provide via from weather.com and feature current temperatures as well as icons to denote sun, clouds, rain and so on. You can also see cloud coverage, thanks to the U.S. Naval Research Lab. And, if you look closely, you can also tell if it’s day or night around the world by sun and moon icons.

Clicking on the weather icon for a particular city will open an info window with detailed data like current humidity and wind conditions, as well as a forecast for the next four days.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Best Buy Tells HP "We Want The TouchPad Gone"

According to a report by AllThingsD BestBuy is so unhappy with their overstock of HP's TouchPad that it has told HP it is unwilling to pay for all the TouchPads taking up expensive space in its stores and warehouses, and wants HP to take them back.

According to the report an unnamed source has seen internal HP reports stating that Best Buy has taken delivery of 270,000 TouchPads and has so far managed to sell only 25,000, or less than 10 percent of the units in its inventory. These less than stellar sales numbers of the WebOS based tablet have prompted HP to slash prices on the tablet down to $399 and $499 or $100 off from its release pricing of $499 and $599.

Rich Doherty, head of the Envisioneering Group, stated that sales aren’t only failing to catch on at Best Buy, but also at other retailers, including Wal-Mart, Micro Center and Fry’s. He full expects that we may see the TouchPad bundled alongside HP computers in back-to-school sales or potentially even a further price cut.

My Thoughts:

Sadly had HP had a tablet out late last year or earlier this year before some of the better Android tabs made their way to the market they would have been in a better position. Now however, they put themselves in a really bad up hill climb.
For starters they put out a device that doesn't have the same polish as some of the other offerings. As I mentioned in our hands on review WebOS is great, and will only get better but the fit and finish of the device just isn't there.

Had HP listened to consumers complaints about some of the other devices on the market and followed up with a better device out of the gate they might have had a chance. Add to that the TouchPad is lacking many of the features like hdmi, usb and micro sd slots that are part of the exodus away from Apple and they built their own recipe for disaster.

I applaud HP for what they've done with WebOS I really had hoped the TP would have done better and given a better showing for the new system. The thing is is that most people want something they are familiar with or something that has a competing number of applications. Not something that is going to be limited over the next few years.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Sony Cuts $50 Off The PS3 Prices Drop To $249

Sony announced today that the company is discounting the price of the PlayStation 3 by $50 in North America and Europe, effective immediately.

Starting today the 160 GB PS3 and the 320GB PS3 will be available for $249 and $299, respectively. In addition, a limited edition inFAMOUS 2 bundle is now available at participating retailers across North America. The bundle retails for $299 and includes a 320 GB PlayStation 3, a copy of inFAMOUS 2 and a 30-day membership to PlayStation Plus.

"The new price will make the PS3 more accessible than ever before, so there’s never been a better time to join PlayStation Nation. We know that while future-proof technology is important to you, content is still king — that’s why we continue to focus on bringing you exclusive “must have” titles that are unmatched by anything else on the market. With games like Resistance 3, Ratchet & Clank: All 4 One and one of my personal favorites, Uncharted 3, all on the horizon, there’s a lot of great entertainment in store for you."

The new price is most likely designed to help spur sales of the PS3, which according to sales data provided by analyst group NPD, and released by Microsoft, has trailed behind the Xbox for 13 out of the last 14 months. This move may also help Sony recover some of the bad press and mounting costs associated with the company's infamous PlayStation Network hack. The company said the bill for that would top $140 million.

Apple Now Shipping OS X Lion On Thumb Drives

Starting today Apple has begun shipping thumb drives containing the latest version of their Mac OS X operating system, version 10.7 aka Lion. The drives which cost $69, more than double the price of the downloaded version.

Lion, which debuted July 20, is available as a download directly from Apple's Mac App Store and carries a $29.99 price tag for the digital download of approximately 3.7GB. The thumb drive allows users with no (or limited) internet connectivity to apply the same update. The downside, higher price aside, is that according to Apple, Macs upgraded to Lion with the USB drive cannot be restored in case of emergency using the usual recovery partition, but must re-use the thumb drive to reinstall the OS.

More information about the USB drive is available on Apple's online store.