Archive for day September 29th, 2011

Kobo Vox Android Tablet Leaks On Retailer Website

kobo vox

It looks like Amazon and Barnes & Noble aren’t the only ones who want to get into the LCD e-reader scene. Kobo, who like them has a 6-inch touchable e-ink reader, must have felt left out of the 7″ LCD device race, and apparently is releasing the Vox to fill that gap.

We actually heard about the Vox in an FCC filing a couple weeks ago, but held off on posting because there wasn’t much to say. But today the device was listed briefly on Canadian retailer Future Shop’s website, where a number of specs were revealed — though we should take them all with a grain of salt.

The few details revealed include an industry-standard 1024×600 7″ LCD, 8GB of internal storage, an a Micro SD slot. The battery is said to last six hours, and a number of Kobo-esque features are built in, like Pulse, Reading Life, and syncing content with other devices that have Kobo’s reading app installed on them.

It also “supports open standards and even keeps an archive of all the books you’ve downloaded,” the meaning of which isn’t quite clear. The “Vox” (Latin for “voice”) may refer to the ability to “connect highlighted words to audio.” In Future Shop’s specs, several e-book types are supported but not images or video, which I’m certain is a mistake, as graphic novels are mentioned in the product description.

It’s ever-so-slightly larger than the Kindle Fire, but at 400g, a tiny bit lighter as well. The price was $250 in Canadian dollars, though that may change. The Digital Reader claims to have a picture of an early version of the device, in case you’re curious.



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Devin Coldewey

September 29th

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Steve Jobs tried to end Apple’s patent war with Samsung in 2010

Steve Jobs made contact with Samsung in an effort to resolve a patent argument last year, Bloomberg reported on Thursday. However, Jobs did not participate in the discussions that eventually took place and deteriorated, Apple’s patent attorney Richard Lutton explained during a hearing in an Australian court. “Samsung is an important supplier with whom we have a deep relationship” Lutton said while being questioned by a Samsung lawyer. “We wanted to give them a chance to do the right thing.” Samsung and Apple are locked up in multiple patent battles around the globe. Samsung’s German arm has been banned from selling the Galaxy Tab 10.1 tablet, its Australian branch cannot sell the device until a judge rules whether or not it is infringing on Apple’s patents, and lawsuits are ongoing in the United States and Japan. Apple has accused Samsung of creating “copycat devices,” and has targeted Samsung’s Galaxy S family of smartphones, the Galaxy Tab, the Galaxy Tab 10.1 and various other products in the United States.

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Todd Haselton

September 29th

Apple

Chrome’s About to Knock Firefox to Third Place [Factoid]

Internet Explorer, the old, fat, mad king of the online kingdom still reigns uncontested. But beneath him, a power struggle between Chrome and Firefox, the latter of which has clung to the number two spot. But that's about to change. More »


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Sam Biddle

September 29th

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Larry Ellison of Oracle Calls Autonomy CEO Lying Liar [Oracle]

Unless companies are suing each other over patents, you can expect a level of disconnected PR speak when companies talk on the record about each other. Unless you disrespect Oracle, then it's on. More »


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Roberto Baldwin

September 29th

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Foxconn’s $12 billion Brazil iPad plant ‘in doubt’

Foxconn’s plans to build a $12 billion factory in Brazil dedicated to producing iPads is “in doubt,” government officials in Brazil told Reuters. Reportedly, negotiations have stalled because both sides have yet to reach an agreement on tax breaks for Foxconn. Additionally, Brazil may not be able to populate the factory with enough skilled laborers. Worse still, Brazil has been tasked with building infrastructure for the 2014 World Cup followed by the Olympics two years later. Skeptics argue Brazil will not be able to finish all of the construction required for the two major sporting events and create Foxconn’s proposed “intelligent city” outside of Sao Paulo. Read on for more.

“The talks have been very difficult, and the project for a Brazilian iPad is in doubt,” one official told Reuters, noting that Foxconn has made “crazy demands,” in the country. “The negotiation is rather complex. The situation for structure, technology, energy, logistics, it’s all very complex,” Brazil’s Science and Technology Minister Aloizio Mercadante explained. Oddly, Mercadante also told press earlier this month that Foxconn was already prepared to begin production at a plan in Jundiaí, Brazil. “We’re dealing with a lot of issues, like the [Foxconn] trying to figure out how to do business in Brazil … and Brazil figuring out how to produce these complicated products,” another Brazilian official said. “Maybe we will end up starting with something smaller.”

Reports surfaced on September 26th that Apple was cutting iPad orders by 25% for the fourth quarter of this year, although there was also speculation the 25% cut was simply a shift from Hon Hai’s Chinese plants to Brazil-based factories.

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Todd Haselton

September 29th

Apple

Encyclopaedia Britannica Has an iPad App That’s Way Cheaper Yet More Expensive Than It Should Be [IPad Apps]

The Encyclopaedia Britannica, which is the most "scholarly of encyclopaedias" according to Wikipedia (heh), is about to release a new iPad app. It costs 2 bucks a month to subscribe to their knowledge base, which is cheaper than the $1400 for the print set but far, far more expensive than Wikipedia's freeeeeee. More »


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Casey Chan

September 29th

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Why You Should Worry About China’s First Space Station [Video]

China has successfully launched the Tiangong-1, its first space lab. It's the first of a series of small test stations, and the first step towards the country's goal of having a 60-ton space station in orbit by 2020. More »


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Jesus Diaz

September 29th

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NASA Is Going to Harpoon an Asteroid. Unless They Lasso It. No Really. [Space]

We're going to put someone on an asteroid by 2025. Crazy. But the gravity on asteroids is so weak that we won't stick to it. NASA plans to harpoon an asteroid like a giant space-whale. Now that's my kinda crazy! More »


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brent rose

September 29th

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Chef’s Feed for iPhone: Let the Best Chefs in the World Tell You What to Eat [IPhone Apps]

I'm growing so tired of Yelp that I hate myself every time I use it. But! It's hard to find another food recommendation app that's quite as comprehensive. Chef's Feed isn't as all-encompassing, but it one-ups every other food app by showing you the food that chefs—AWESOME CHEFS!—like and eat. More »


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Casey Chan

September 29th

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Sony To Stop Comping 3D Glasses For Theaters – Because Movie Tickets Aren’t Expensive Enough Already

cash

Sony, which provides many theaters with the projectors and hardware needed to display 3D cinema, has informed those theaters that starting this spring, it will no longer provide 3D glasses for free. From now on they’ll have to foot the cost themselves — and by “they” I mean “we,” because obviously the theaters aren’t going to voluntarily pick up this extra expense.

Most theaters use a passive 3D system (often RealD), since expensive active-LCD glasses aren’t really an option to deploy in bulk. The polarized glasses (not pictured, obviously) are cheaper, but still cost ~50 cents per moviegoer. Multiply that by the millions of people who might see any given 3D blockbuster-type movie, and you’re looking at quite a sum. Sony’s been footing that part of the bill, but has decided they’ve had enough of that. Their letter to exhibitors puts May 1st as the last day they’ll be providing glasses.

Theater owners will be angered (no one likes an extra few million in red ink) but I’m guessing Sony wouldn’t do this if it didn’t feel the balance of power was on their side right now. You may or may not like 3D, but it’s a part of the business right now and big 3D movies are likely the highest-margin showings a theater will have all year. They can’t afford to be the one theater in town that doesn’t do 3D, so they’ll pay.

Studios like Disney and Fox have also chipped in for glasses, and never implied that the comping program would last forever. Still, it seems like the life support is being pulled a little early, and, as always, the cost will be passed on to the consumer.



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Devin Coldewey

September 29th

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