In case you didn’t attend the iPad 2 announcement yesterday, Apple has made the video of the event available for viewing. So if you have an hour and 13 minutes you can watch Steve Jobs, Scott Forstall, and the rest of the team run through yesterday’s event. It’ll be a lot quicker to run through our post or even a live blog, but if you want every detail and every bit of nuance without any editorializing or interpretation, then the video feed is the way to go. Keep in mind that while photographs were allowed at the event yesterday video was not, so this is your chance to see the live action as well as the videos that were played during the presentation.Stream or download it from iTunes, it’s the one at the top: Apple Special Event, March 2011.
If Rovio‘s intention to ensure Angry Birds is available to play anywhere and everywhere wasn’t clear to you before today, then news of a Facebook version in development should remove any remaining doubt.A page has appeared on Facebook announcing that Angry Birds is coming to the social network, and that you can be one of the first to hear when it goes live by clicking the Facebook Like button.While the game has the potential to be as big as Zynga games on Facebook, Rovio clearly wants Angry Birds to be synonymous with gameplay on all platforms. After topping the charts in the App Store, the game is now available on Android Market, the Mac App Store, Intel AppUp, and is heading to Windows Phone 7 this spring as well as Xbox 360 and PS3. If you’ve hacked your Kinect it’s also possible to play the game using motion control.Mikael Hed, boss of Rovio, has stated that Angry Birds on Facebook will bring new elements to the game due to its social nature. For example, we can expect the pigs to feature more prominently in this version.For the moment there is no release date stated for Angry Birds on Facebook. Fans of the game do have something to look forward to, though, as Angry Birds Rio is set to launch on March 22 offering up 45 new levels.Read more at All Facebook and DevelopMatthew’s OpinionWith a Facebook version released I think Rovio has achieved its goal of offering Angry Birds to everyone, everywhere. I am actually a little surprised it has been announced last due to the potential for hundreds of millions of people to play it and generate revenue for the company. Maybe Rovio was using the Android release as an experiment to see how offering the game for free with ads worked out before following a similar path on the social network.Zynga is already generating healthy returns through Facebook games, and it started out on the social network with no previous success. Rovio is coming to Facebook with a hit on its hands meaning it’s pretty much guaranteed Angry Birds will be a huge success. After all, there are many people out there who have yet to play the game due to a lack of iOS or Android device. Putting it on Facebook means all you need is a PC to play.
Back in September, a mysterious and snazzy BlackBerry Bold Touch 9900 remix popped up in China. Now it’s looking a whole lot more official than it once was, with the strikingly similar BlackBerry P9981 unveiled by RIM and the folks who crafted it, Porsche Design.Gone is the plastic front bezel, replaced with a shined-up stainless steel face. Like the 9980, the P9981 sports the crosshair-emblazoned optical trackpad instead of the button-style one featured on most BlackBerry phones. The back of the P9981 eschews the carbon fiber-look plastic for a tooled black leather wrapping. There’s even an exclusive theme applied to the BB7 OS.The Bold Touch 9900 was easily RIM’s best-looking phone to date, and the Porsche Design P9981 is a snazzy upgrade. Under the hood, the hardware is the same: a 1.2GHz processor, 768MB RAM, 8GB of internal storage, 5MP rear shooter, 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth 2.1.But as is the case with most of RIM’s recent announcements — like the fact that BBM and email have now been dropped from PlayBook OS2 (which itself has been delayed) — the P9981 news has a sad trombone soundtrack.It’s projected to sell for around $2,000, will be produced in extremely limited numbers, and they’ll only be available from Porsche Design stores. So while Android and Windows Phone manufacturers continue to up their collective game and make sexier designs the norm, RIM has made sure the P9981 is an unattainable purchase for the Average Joe.But hey, at least RIM is setting aside an exclusive range of PINs that will allow P9981 owners to identify each other. Somehow I doubt it’ll be that hard to spot one…More at Tbreak and Engadget
If you’re an iOS user, you probably give your home button (and your thumb) a grueling workout on a daily basis. Every time you want to use multitasking to switch apps, you have to double-tap the lone physical button on the device’s front face. Apple has implemented multitasking gestures for the iPad, but has done no such thing for the iPhone or iPod touch. You can rack another one up for the jailbreak community, as it has released a new app that allows you to multitask on the iPhone with single-finger gestures.Zephyr is the creation of Cydia developer chpwn, and the premise is simple: swipe up from the bottom of the screen to bring up the app-switcher (normally activated with a double tap of the home button), and swipe left to right to switch back and forth between recent apps.Apple has likely opted out of iPhone and iPod touch multitasking gestures due to the small size of the screen. How many gestures can you implement on a 3.5-inch display? Zephyr, however, makes a strong case against that argument. The left to right swipe lets you start the gesture from the bezel, which frees up a bit extra room. As you can see in the video below, both gestures are simple, intuitive, and exactly the kind of function that Apple will wish it released first:In fact the tweak fits so naturally into iOS that this could be another jailbreak feature that Apple steals and uses for itself. We’ve seen this previously with iOS functions like multitasking (it closely resembles an old Cydia app called Circuitious), notification banners (a spitting image for Peter Hajas’s MobileNotifier), and Wi-Fi Sync (Apple didn’t even bother changing the name of that one). Of course, as the Zephyr gesture tweak borrows heavily from the iPad’s multitasking gestures, it wouldn’t be as blatant a move for Apple to “borrow” it.Zephyr is a free tweak, and can be found by searching for it in Cydia on a jailbroken iPhone or iPod touch. You can refer to our guide to jailbreak your device on iOS 5.0.1.via Chpwn
While the hacker group LulzSec was active it caused a number of sites to go dark including Mastercard and the CIA, they shared confidential documents from the Arizona state police, and stole user account details from a number of services including the Brink game servers.The group has now disbanded, but that was not the end of it. The authorities were determined to take action and ended up arresting member Ryan Cleary in June last year. The 19-year-old managed to get bail, but on the prerequisite that he not use the Internet, obey a curfew, and wear an electronic tag. He couldn’t even use a computer without the Ethernet ports and wireless were first disabled, and a smartphone and games consoles also offered a way to get online so they were no go devices.But it seems Cleary didn’t really care about the court’s demands and he went ahead and hooked up the web anyway. The problem is, the person he chose to speak to online was the leader of LulzSec: Hector “Sabu” Monsegur. That might have gone unnoticed if Monsegur wasn’t an informant for the FBI.Cleary was found out and arrested again on March 5 before being escorted back to jail for breaking his bail conditions. He will remain there until being brought before a judge sometime in May. I find it unlikely they’ll trust him to stay offline again, so any bail will come with even more strict conditions, that’s assuming his lawyer ever manages to get the option on the table.via The Register
When you take into consideration the resources, manpower, and active attention to detail necessary to bring a regular PC game online for multiplayer, you expect there to be some hiccups for a game that is extraordinary. During the open beta weekend for Diablo III, there was no shortage of trouble actually getting online to play the game. It was free, and everyone wanted to play, so it made sense that the game would struggle. Plus, the teams at Blizzard used that weekend to determine how many people would fit on a single server, and the logistics involved in making sure those servers were accessible for launch day.When the UK servers went online today, it was reported that over 200,000 players attempted to login during the first 30 minutes. According to Blizzard, that’s 100,000 less than were online concurrently during the open beta. At 12:01 PDT, the US servers opened their gates to receive the onslaught of eager Diablo III players. For many, however, it seems that the most difficult boss they have encountered so far has been the login screen.Many users, myself included, were presented with a handful of error codes and were completely unable to login to the game at all. After 20 minutes of attempting to gain access, I was presented with the hero creation screen, but was unable to create a hero or move forward in any way. After several hero creation attempts, the game crashed and I was forced to start the login process over again.A quick glance at my social networks revealed that I was far from the only one. Angry tweets about error 37 and error 3006 filled Twitter and Google+, and it seemed that very few users were able to login at all. The Blizzard customer service Twitter account was hard at work doing as much damage control as possible. The only real advice that could be given was to wait awhile and try again. In some cases, it was recommended that your router and modem be power cycled, which in all likelihood was just an addition to the stall tactic. Finally, as though a switch had been thrown, it seemed like some users were able to access the game.In fact, a switch had been thrown. The Diablo Twitter account explains that all of the Blizzard related websites had been temporarily brought offline so that more users could access the game. For nearly two hours all of the Blizzard websites and their forums remained offline. Once the volume of users had slowed, the sites were brought back online.While traffic may have gone down a bit, as soon as I logged out of Diablo III I found myself unable to log back in. The familiar 3006 error rearing its ugly head once again. As of right now, Blizzard is still recommending patience, with no active plan to fix these issues in the near term. Once the early rush of the game subsides, and a more even flow of traffic is created, these kinds of issues won’t really exist.As of right now, Blizzard has announced that their customer support lines will remain open 24/7 to help anyone who has any problems, as well as their Battle.net forums and social network accounts.If and when you do get in to play, be very careful as a game-breaking bug has been discovered. If you played the beta, you’ll be very familiar with the first part of Act I. Your first real NPC companion, the Templar, allows you to exchange weapons and armor with him to make him more useful. If you equip the Templar with a shield, you are immediately booted from the game, and unable to log back in. Unfortunately, there is no fix for this until Blizzard offers a patch for the game, so sit tight if this has happened to you.Hopefully, by the end of the Diablo III launch day here in the US, Blizzard will have worked out these kinks and it will be smooth sailing in the Burning Hells.
With Windows 8‘s release less than two months away all the PC manufacturers are finishing up preparations on their newest machines. The release of a new OS version is a prime time for consumers to buy a PC and manufacturers are more tan happy to sell them one, outfitted with all the features that go hand-in-hand with that update. In the case of Windows 8 those features range from a new Windows logo on the keyboard, to touch/gesture readiness, and extreme mobile-friendliness. This also includes the newest gear from Intel/AMD, features like Thunderbolt on high-end models, and designs that account for Intel’s ultrabook standard as well as the burgeoning post-PC era.Today HP announced two new laptops and one updated one in their prosumer lines (Envy and Spectre). Going from the least exciting to the most, there is the Envy TouchSmart Ultrabook 4 (the update), the Spectre XT TouchSmart Ultrabook (the high-end model), and the Envy x2 (the hybrid computer).The Envy TouchSmart Ultrabook 4 is an updated version of HP’s existing Envy 4 ultrabook. This new model adds a touchscreen and Windows 8, and will be a few dollars more than the existing model. There is no official price yet, but it should go for around $800 and be a reasonably solid thin-and-light system. It will pack a 14-inch, 1366×768 display, 8 hours of battery life, and optional AMD discrete graphics. The machine will be 23mm thick (barely in the ultrabook range) and 4.77 pounds.HP’s higher end, just-announced laptop is the Spectre XT TouchSmart Ultrabook. It’s the same weight as the Envy 4 but it’s a 15.6-inch computer and is just 17.9mm thick, making this HP’s MacBook Pro%displayPrice% at %seller% competitor. It has a 15.6-inch IPS multitouch LCD, Thunderbolt (in addition to USB 3.0), HDMI, ethernet, and has optional 128GB or 256GB SSDs. This system will start at $1399.The most unique of HP’s new prosumer offerings is the Envy x2 hybrid computer. This is a sort of like the Lenovo IdeaPad U1 in that it’s essentially a tablet with a removable keyboard, but the x2 has an Intel processor and only runs Windows (no Android). The x2’s features an 11.6-inch, Atom-powered (Clover Trail) tablet that connects to a keyboard dock with a quick, clean motion. The keyboard is essentially a USB hub with a built-in battery which is about equal to the size of the one in the tablet. So separate them and you have a Windows 8 tablet, combine the two and you have a touchscreen laptop with a full-sized keyboard and twice the battery life. The system has 64GB of flash storage, microSD expandability, and a few nice perks, including NFC, Beats audio, and an IPS panel.Keen observers might note that the Envy x2 is essentially a netbook with a removable keyboard but it’s a sensible offering for HP to make, even if it never captures a large part of the market. With an expected total weight of about 2.5 pounds it’s quite portable for a laptop and Windows 8 should run well on Clover Trail, so it will be a functional computer despite its small size.There is no pricing information for the Envy X2 yet, but HP says it’ll be out before the holidays. The other systems will be available in the same time frame, likely some time in December.HP20120808872HP20120808872HP20120808871HP ENVY x2HP ENVY TouchSmart Ultrabook 4_left facingHP ENVY TouchSmart Ultrabook 4 – Win8 screenHP ENVY TouchSmart Sleekbook 4_left facing
On October 9 everyone looked on as Felix Baumgartner attempted to set a few world records by free falling from a height of 120,000 feet. But his journey to the edge of space was thwarted before it even began due to the weather conditions. The record attempt was postponed and we were left waiting.Yesterday, October 14, Baumgartner and his team tried again, and this time everything went to plan.Baumgartner ascended to a height of 39 kilometers, or 128,100 feet, aboard a capsule attached to a 55-story tall balloon that is thinner than a typical plastic bag. Once he jumped it took just 10 minutes for him to make the journey back to the Earth’s surface, but in so doing he reached a maximum velocity of 1,342km.h, which is Mach 1.24.The jump was not without problems. Just before leaving the platform Baumgartner discovered the heater in his visor was not working so it steamed up. That could have stopped the jump, but he decided to go anyway. Once falling he didn’t manage to achieve his delta position (arms back and his head down), instead he was seen tumbling, but managed to eventually bring it under control.With his jump completed, Baumgartner has broken a number, but not all the records he was expected to. If the initial readings hold up under scrutiny Baumgartner set a new world record for the highest ever jump (128,100 feet), fastest ever free fall (1,342km/h), becomes the first human to break the sound barrier, and also achieved the highest manned balloon flight. The record he didn’t get, and which Joe Kittinger gets to keep, is the longest free fall. Baumgartner managed a free fall of 4 minutes and 19 seconds, where as Kittinger fell for 4 minutes and 29 seconds.The planning and training that went into this operation started back in 2005 when Baumgartner started talking about breaking Kittinger’s records. But there’s also a lot of tech that was required to both get Baumgartner up so high as well as bringing him safely back down to Earth. Our sister site ExtremeTech has an in-depth analysis of the tech behind the jump if you’re interested.More at BBC News
Amazon’s Prime subscription for $79 a year is a very tempting proposition, mainly because of the free two-day shipping that gets applied to all your orders. However, Amazon isn’t happy just to save you money with fast, free shipping, it is now quite willing to pay its Prime customers in return for accepting a slower shipping method.That’s right, if you don’t mind waiting a week to get your order, and you’re a Prime customer, Amazon may credit your account as a way of saying thanks. By selecting the No-Rush Shipping option you may get rewarded with either Amazon Instant Video Store or MP3 Store credit in amounts between $1-$3 per order.There’s no guarantee you’ll get an account credit, but it’s worth a try if you don’t need your order immediately. For example, when you’re ordering Christmas presents over the next couple of weeks.No-Rush Shipping is a clever move from Amazon, as it offers yet another reason to order all your stuff from them. It also costs very little to do as the reward is credit for a services Amazon already offers and wants to promote so customers use them more.How do other e-tailers compete with what is effectively paying your customers not to deliver quickly? They can’t unless they match the offer or beat it, which no one is likely to do. Most can’t compete as they don’t have the equivalent video and music stores to offer credit for.How long this credit for slower shipping lasts depends on how popular it becomes. If it’s too popular Amazon can at least scale back how many credits it hands out as they aren’t guaranteeing everyone will get one anyway, but chanes are, this becomes a permanent addition to the delivery options.via Business Insider
Not too long ago, we got word that the PlayStation 4 would release to the world starting in North America on November 15 of this year, giving everyone a little bit of time to secure a console for the coming holidays. We knew the Xbox One would release sometime in November, but we didn’t know whether it would land before or after the PS4. Today, Microsoft officially announced that the Xbox One would release one week after the PS4, on November 22.The console will launch in 13 markets initially, which include the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, Austria, Brazil, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Mexico, New Zealand, Spain. Though the console has sold out of pre-orders, Microsoft has made some new launch consoles available. This announcement follows the news that Microsoft has bumped the Xbox One’s CPU by around 10% in power, from 1.6GHz to 1.75GHz. Not too long ago, Microsoft also gave the console’s GPU a modest boost in power — 53MHz — from 800MHz to 853MHz.The November 22 date holds importance for Microsoft and Xbox fans alike, as the Xbox 360 was released on that very day (in the United States and Canada) back in 2005. It’s a little jarring when you realize that was eight years ago, and the PS3 and Xbox 360 almost lived up to that desired 10-year cycle both Sony and Microsoft claimed they would.The Xbox One will retail for $499 — one of the only aspects of the console that Microsoft has not yet changed since the initial, disastrous reveal.