May 31 2010

Apple Sells Two Millionth iPad

Wow. The iPad has turned out to be way more successful than I expected it to be. Apple has announced today that it has sold its two millionth iPad. Keep in mind that this milestone comes less than a month after the sale of the one millionth iPad and less than sixty days after the initial release of the iPad on April 3.

The iPad was released internationally and, according to Steve Jobs in a press release, “customers around the world are experiencing the magic of iPad, and seem to be loving it as much as we do.”

Apple has also announced that the App Store now has over 5,000 native iPad apps and over 200,000 apps total. Though Apple has not revealed specific sale figures for each of the iPad models or the number of iPads sold in specific countries, avid Apple watchers are hoping for such statistics at the Worldwide Developers Conference, coming up next month.

Via PC World, image via Apple.

May 31 2010

Russian Search Engine Challenges Google

Google is the premier search engine today, the search engine that other competing search engine companies dream of dethroning. So far, that has not happened yet, but Google is facing a formidable competitor: a Russian search engine called Yandex.

Though many Americans may not have heard of Yandex, it is extremely popular in Russia. Founded in 1997, it is the search engine of choice for many Russians and is actually quite good—for searching the Runet (Russian Internet), it rivals Google.ru, the Russian version of Google. Yandex launched its international, English-language version on May 19 at Yandex.com.

The international version of Yandex is also very good. It may even rival Google: its results are relevant and accurate. It is certainly better than Microsoft’s Bing (which, in all honesty, I have not found to be all that bad). Google originally took off because it had the best results of any search engine, but over the years it has deteriorated. Could Yandex be the next big thing? Only time will tell.

Via the Belfast Telegraph, image via Yandex.

May 31 2010

Netbooks Vs. Tablets

For computer users who want a small, portable device, there exist two options: netbooks and tablets. But how does one decide between the two devices? According to technology analyst Tim Bajarin, the main difference lies in what he calls content consumption vs. content creation. The terms are self-explanatory: content consumption is looking at and absorbing others’ content, while content creation is the making of content oneself.

Content creation takes up 25 percent of the time people spend on computers. The other three quarters of the time is spent consuming content. This distinction is important to make because netbooks (and laptops) are good for content creation, but tablets are good for content consumption.

Ultimately, a user must assess his or her own needs when deciding between a netbook or a tablet. If someone already owns a laptop, a tablet can be a nice supplement for content consumption. Indeed, tablets are optimized for content consumption, much more so than laptops or netbooks. But for users who need to create a lot of content, a netbook is probably a better choice than a tablet.

Via PC Magazine.

May 30 2010

Samsung to Release New NB30 Pro Netbook, Four New Laptops

Samsung has recently announced that in a few days, they will be releasing a new netbook, as well as four business-based laptops.

Samsung’s newest netbook, the NB30 Pro, is based on the NB30 model that was released earlier this year.  It’ll feature a 10.1″ screen, be equipped with a 1.66GHz Intel Atom N450 processor, 2 GB of DDR2 RAM, and a 160 GB hard drive.  The NB30 Pro will also have 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi, three USB 2.0 ports, a 0.3 megapixel webcam, and the Windows 7 Professional OS.  Battery life on this baby isn’t bad at all — 6.5 hours — but it’s not the best available either; some netbook batteries last up to 10 or 12 hours.

Samsung’s four new business-based laptops are part of the P80 Premium and P30 Essential series.  The P80 Premium series will feature two new laptops, the 14″ P480 and the 15.6″ P580.  Both of these laptops will be equipped with a 2.26GHz Intel Core i5-450M processor, up to 4 GB of DDR3 RAM, and up to 320 GB of storage space (5400rpm).  The laptops will also have Intel GMA HD graphics, 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi, high definition audio, four USB 2.0 ports, a 0.3 megapixel webcam, and a pair of 1.5W speakers.  Battery life for the P480 laptop will be roughly 4.3 hours while that for the P580 laptop will be roughly 4.4 hours.

The P30 Essential series will feature two new laptops as well, the 14″ P430 and the 15.6″ P530.  Both laptops will be equipped wiht a 2.13GHz Intel Core i3-330M processor, up to 3 GB of DDR3 RAM, and up to 250 GB of storage.  Other features of these laptops include Intel GMA HD graphics, 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi, three USB 2.0 ports, a 0.3 megapixel webcam, and a pair of 1.5W speakers.

Since all these laptops are geared towards business use, they will (by default) come with the Windows 7 Professional operating system.  No information regarding pricing of these netbooks or laptops is yet available, but we’ll keep you posted when he we hear more news.

Via TechTree.

May 29 2010

Rumor: Amazon to Introduce Thinner Kindle

According to two people familiar with Amazon’s plans, the company is planning to introduce a new, thinner Kindle this August. The new Kindle will mostly likely be in response to traditional competitors of Kindle, like e-readers made by Sony and Barnes & Noble, not the iPad, which is a recent introduction.

The new Kindle will not have a color screen or touchscreen capabilities. It will have a black and white screen with sharper contrast to make e-books look more like printed books. Amazon hopes to eventually make an e-reader with a color screen.

The Kindle and its competitor, the Nook made by Barnes & Noble, both sell for $259. Sony’s e-reader, which has a touchscreen, sells for $199. The iPad starts at $499. According to a research firm, about 6 million e-readers will be sold this year, which is twice the amount sold last year.

Amazon bought a company earlier this year that specializes in touchscreen technology, so a touchscreen e-reader with a color display could be a feasible future product for Amazon.

Via BusinessWeek, image via Amazon.

May 29 2010

Search Your Mac With Spotlight Commands

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The Mac operating system comes with a built-in search tool called Spotlight (Microsoft users, don’t even bother arguing with me: Spotlight is way better than what you’ve got on Windows). Spotlight is quick and easy to use.

But there comes a time when searching your Mac becomes difficult because of the sheer volume of files accumulated. If you want to search for an mp3 file with the word “love” in it, simply with Spotlight for the word “love” will probably not yield the results you want—the search will return every file on your computer containing the word “love.”

Like a search engine, Spotlight allows for special parameters and excluding words to be set. To find an mp3 file with the word “love,” you could type the following into Spotlight: love kind:mp3. That search will return the desired result: all mp3 files containing the word “love.” Like on a search engine, you can exclude files by using a minus sign and, of course, combine parameters.

Via CNET, image via Apple.

May 28 2010

New Version of Linux for Netbooks Released

The Linux Foundation released a new version of its open-source OS, MeeGo, this week. MeeGo is for netbooks with Intel Atom processors.

MeeGo v1.0 is more for developers than regular users. It is comprised of Intel’s Moblin and Nokia’s Maemo operating systems. It has applications for email, calendars, recently used files, and social networking updates, among other things. It also has support for multiple languages.

MeeGo has been tested on Atom netbooks from Asus, Dell, Acer, Lenovo, and HP. People have generally liked MeeGo, though some have reported problems with getting its WiFi to work properly.

Before MeeGo, many versions of Linux were either for desktops or smartphones. The director of the Linux Foundation said that he thinks the foundation should focus on developing a platform that can be used on a wide variety of devices. Intel and Nokia have said they can see MeeGo being used on more devices beyond netbooks.

Via InformationWeek, image via MeeGo.

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May 28 2010

Motorola May Introduce Android Tablet

Motorola may be in the process of designing a tablet that will run Google’s Android operating system, says a company executive. The executive was answering questions at a conference when the subject came up. He also revealed that Motorola is focusing heavily on Android. The potential device, according to the executive, would be about 7 to 10 inches and would be intended to supplement a user’s TV experience.

This rumor has come about at the same time as another rumor concerning Android devices made by Motorola. Motorola is allegedly working on two new high-end Droid phones that will be released sometime in July with Verizon as their carrier. There has been speculation that one of the phones has already been seen by the public in the form of a prototype found in a gym earlier this week.

Either way, this summer looks to be very interesting in terms of Android devices.

Via PC World, image via PC World.

May 27 2010

Marvell To Create $100 Tablet

Marvell Technologies has announced today that it will partner with the One Laptop Per Child foundation to create a $100 tablet, named the XO-3. The foundation achieved great success with the XO-1 laptop computer for children in developing countries.

More details about the XO-3 have emerged. It will have a power rating of 1 watt per hour, a multilingual, multitouch screen keyboard, WiFi, high quality video, and Flash 10 Internet. It will be based on an ARM processor, most likely the Marvell Armada 610, and run Google’s Android OS.

According to OLPC founder Nicholas Negroponte, the XO-3 will eventually have an adaptable screen to allow for viewing in either sunlight or inside. The tablet will allegedly be 10.8 millimeters thick, which rivals the iPad.

The tablet is planned to be shown at the Consumer Electronics Show in January of 2011.

Via CNET, image via OLPC.

May 27 2010

Predictions for Apple’s WWDC

Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference is quickly approaching and, as usual, the tech blogosphere abounds with rumors about what Apple will introduce this year. Last year, Wired accurately predicted some major introductions Apple made at WWDC and it has predictions again for this year. Only time will tell if the predictions prove to be accurate.

It’s safe to assume that Apple will introduce its next major iPhone at WWDC. Thanks to some careless Apple employees, the public knows the next iPhone looks like, but we don’t know what it actually can do, as none of the prototypes found were shown doing anything. The 4G iPhone is going to have a front-facing camera, which could be its single major feature.

iPhone OS 4 will also probably be announced. It’s been talked about already, but will probably will be explained in detail at WWDC. From what has already been revealed about the next iPhone OS, it sounds like it will be amazing.

Unfortunately, there will not be a Verizon iPhone, at least not at this WWDC. We’ll have to wait longer for that. And Steve Ballmer will not be at WWDC, contrary to a rumor that circulated the Internet today.

Via Wired.com, image via Wired.com.

May 27 2010

Apple Releases iPad in Europe

Starting on Friday, the iPad will be turned loose to countries other than the United States. Apple is releasing it in the United Kingdom, France, Italy, Spain, Switzerland, and Germany on Friday and in Austria, Belgium, Ireland, Luxembourg, and the Netherlands sometime in July. Major European carriers that will offer service for the iPad have already announced their data plans.

A researcher with Gartner Inc. has said that the iPad is extremely unique and is in a category of its own when it comes to mobile products. Though other companies are planning to manufacture tablets, at this point the iPad really does not have a rival. Gartner has forecasted that the iPad will count for the majority of sales of touchscreen tablet products this year.

In the UK, computer retailer DSG has exclusive rights to sell the iPad for sixty days. In France, there is no one chain of stores with exclusivity.

Via The Wall Street Journal, image via Apple.

May 26 2010

New Sleek Netbooks For Show

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In a far away land, also known as Cannes, France, some new Acer netbooks were recently unveiled for the public. Acer already is packing heat with the release of Apsire One 532g, powered by the Ion 2, but is bringing another two HD netbooks into the fray. The two new devices are the Acer Aspire One 521 and Gateway LT22. Both of them share some nifty upgrades, such as 1.2GHz AMD V105 processors and ATI Mobility Radeon HD 4225 graphics. The graphics capabilities of these netbooks is going to be critical for their success on the market, as they can handle some light to medium gaming without noticeable difficulty. The battery life of both is still not entirely known however.

One particularly distinguishing feature of these netbooks is that they HDMI ports. This clever little feature will give these netbooks a home in any multi-media home entertainment system.

Via engadget, image via engadget.

May 26 2010

Apple Controls 70% of US Music Downloads

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Apple’s iTunes music store controls a very large share of the US music market, according to NPD group, a market research firm. The iTunes store now has a 70 percent share share of music downloads, up one percentage point from 2009. The market share of Amazon’s download service, AmazonMP3, grew 4 percentage points and is currently at 12 percent.

This data will probably be of interest to antitrust regulators who are rumored to be in the early stages of an investigation against Apple. Apple allegedly pressured music companies to pull support for an Amazon promotion called “MP3 Daily Deal.” According to unnamed sources, a complaint from Amazon has sparked the inquiry.

According to an NPD analyst, however, Apple deserves its dominance in music downloads. “Apple came [into the digital download business] and did it right,” he said.

Overall, Apple’s iTunes counts for 28 percent of all music purchases, including both CDs and digital files.

Via Computerworld.

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May 26 2010

Apple Overtakes Microsoft

As of Wednesday afternoon, Apple has overtaken Microsoft as most valuable technology company. At the close of trading, Apple was valued at nearly $223 billion compared with Microsoft’s $219 billion.

The rankings could of course change, but for now, Apple is ahead, which is not surprising due to the company’s recent success due to the iPhone and the iPad. Apple’s share price has risen dramatically over the past year to $244. Microsoft’s has also risen, but not as dramatically: a year ago, its shares closed at $20, today they closed at $25.

Microsoft and Apple have had a rivalry for years. Microsoft was the dominant company for a long time but it appears now that the tables have turned. The iPod and iPhone have helped facilitate Apple’s rise as a true technology giant that has become a lot more successful than Microsoft. As Apple has grown, it has faced problems and criticism for its policies.

Via The Wall Street Journal.

May 26 2010

Lenovo IdeaPad S10-3t Netbook Tablet Priced at $399

Remember that Lenovo IdeaPad S10-3t convertible netbook tablet we mentioned about a month ago?  These netbooks were originally priced at $599 per unit on the Lenovo website, but now with a discount and a coupon, you can get your very own for $399, excluding taxes but including shipping.

The 10.1″ Lenovo IdeaPad S10-3t features the standard netbook specs — an Intel Atom N450 processor, 1 GB of RAM, and a 160 hard drive, not to mention 802.11n Wi-Fi and Windows 7 Starter.  The base model comes with a four-cell battery, but you can buy a spare six-cell battery for an extra $49.

If you’re interested in buying the Lenovo IdeaPad S10-3t today, the coupon code that should be entered at checkout is USPS4F524.  Happy shopping!

Via CNet.

May 26 2010

Netbooks Sales Take a Pounding from Apple iPad and Cheap Laptops

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According to a recent survey done by Retrevo, a consumer electronics website, netbook sales aren’t doing so hot, mostly because of competition from the Apple iPad and cheaply-priced laptops.  The study surveyed more than 1,000 U.S. consumers.

The Retrevo survey asked consumers whether they are planning on buying an Apple iPad or a netbook.  An overwhelming 78 percent said they would choose an iPad while only 22 percent said they would choose a netbook.

The survey also asked consumers whether they held off on buying a netbook after they heard that the iPad would be released in a couple months.  70 percent of respondents said they would hold out, and 42.86 percent of these actually did end up buying an iPad, while 57.14 percent of these ended up purchasing a netbook.  30 percent of overall respondents did not hold out for the Apple iPad and originally moved forward with a netbook purchase.

The iPad has already sold more than one million units and there’s no doubt that iPad sales are still going strong.  Two of its major advantages includes portability and relatively long battery life.

Even though consumer data indicates that the Apple iPad and cheaply-priced laptops are crippling netbook sales, analysts say that in the near future at least, netbook sales will not be greatly effected due to price-to-value differences.  Guess we’ll have to wait and see how things really turn out.  Don’t worry, we’ll keep you posted.

Via PCWorld.

May 25 2010

Google Enthusiasts Must Wait Longer for Chrome

Google has brought us a variety of wonders and many of their innovations synergize perfectly together to create an altogether smooth experience. One thing people are anticipating greatly is the release of Google’s Chrome OS. The Chrome OS will be intended only for netbooks, as it is a simple browser-based operating system that doesn’t demand much processing power.  Companies such as Acer are working with Google to release netbooks with the OS as soon as possible, and it is rumored that they could be releasing one as soon as June. This rumor however was denied by Acer.

Google has a lot on their plate, as Android’s success is gaining momentum. Google will need to keep its focused balanced in order for both Chrome and Android to do their best. The key for Chrome will be the apps that it will have available for the users, thus Google is focusing on having an app store up and running.

It also must be noted that Computex is just around the bend and unfortunately one thing spectators should not expect to see is the Chrome OS.  It is likely then that consumers will just have to wait until the fall to see the Chrome OS.

Via Wired

May 25 2010

Apple Discontinues iPhone 3G

Apple has discontinued the 8 GB iPhone 3G (this was, until its discontinuation, the oldest iPhone sold by Apple, not the iPhone 3GS). The phone is no longer available for order on the Apple website.

This move is not really surprising because Apple is expected to introduce a new iPhone soon. Plus, the company was offering a pretty good discount on the iPhone 3G. Once the new iPhone is out, the iPhone 3GS will probably become discounted as well.

There are other signs that a new iPhone will be arriving shortly: Wal-Mart has lowered the price of the iPhone 3GS to $97 (just as a side note, the idea of Wal-Mart selling iPhones is wrong in so many different ways) and there have been reports that Apple is casting for a new iPhone commercial. Plus, there was that iPhone lost in a bar a little while back.

iPhone 3GS, your days may be limited.

Via CNET, image via Apple.

May 25 2010

Google Buys AdMob, Threatens Apple

Apple has been trying to break into mobile advertising recently and it seemed as if it would succeed in this endeavor due to iAd, a mobile ad service the company launched last month. However, Google is not going to give up its primacy in online advertising without a fight, as evidenced by a recent acquisition, AdMob Inc. With the purchase of this company, which was just recently cleared by regulators, Google will become the largest mobile advertising company.

Google’s acquisition of AdMob could make Android more attractive to advertisers who want to reach a large audience. This in turn could facilitate Android’s growth and even allow Android to surpass Apple by 2013. Though Apple is still a lot more widespread than Android, Android is increasing at a much faster rate and this incredible increase will allow it to pass Apple in the near future.

Both Apple and Google have declined to comment about the situation.

Via Business Week, image via AdMob.

May 25 2010

About 30% of Netbook Shoppers Go For iPad

Netbooks have been steadily doing better with sales since their introduction, yet data gathered by Retrevo.com reveals a dark cloud looming over the horizon. Retrevo conducted a Pulse Study that asked notebook, netbook, and iPad owners what products they thought of buying this past year and what they finally chose. The study also asked what which products consumers are looking at and leaning towards.

It appears that netbooks are feeling the heat from both laptops and the Apple iPad. According to the study, 30% of potential netbook buyers ended up going with the iPad instead. Of course some percent of this market was expected to be acquired, but nonetheless a third is a substantial share. This is part of the manifestation of Apple’s almost cult status. The scarier part is that as far as it goes for consumers deciding between an iPad and netbook for the future, almost 80% are leaning towards an iPad!

Notebooks are also appearing to regain some of their share of the market that they began to lose to netbooks. Retrevo’s data shows that for both past and future buys, netbooks are less appealing to consumers than notebooks.

Despite this competition, netbooks should still always have a place in the market. In second and third world countries, they serve as cheap primary computers. Back here in the US, they still come at an unbeatable price as alternatives.

Via Retrovo, image via Retrovo

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