Archive for March, 2010

Zatz Not Funny: Netflix on Wii, video on the iPad, SlingPlayer mobile, TiVo Premiere

A periodic roundup of relevant news from our friends at Zatz Not Funny

First impressions of Netflix Wii video streaming

Dave Zatz: Marcus Penn took his brand spanking new Netflix Instant Streaming disc for a spin on the Wii… All in all, this seems like a decent upgrade for dual Wii/Netflix customers the low, low price of zero dollars.

Continue reading »

Nokia N97 – worth a second look?

We already took a pretty in-depth look at the Nokia N97, the handset maker’s then flagship and much anticipated touch screen phone.

We loved the form-factor, were less impressed with the UI of Symbian S60 5th edition and thought the keyboard could be better. But it never does any harm to get a second opinion, especially after a major software update or two.

That’s exactly what David Gilson gives us over at All About Symbian, a site that we’re big fans of (see side bar for others). And if you hadn’t noticed, David’s now a regular contributor to last100, so it goes without saying, he’s a source I trust.

Continue reading »

ThickButtons brings better typing to Android touch screens

Even though touch screen phones are more popular than ever, many people who enter a lot of text on their phone still prefer a physical keyboard (Ed. That’s me alright.) The need for tactile feedback is often cited as the reason. However, it’s likely that tactile feedback is preferred so that users know that they’re going to hit the correct letter, before they actually press it.

Which is why haptic feedback on touch screens doesn’t actually help typing speed as it comes far too late – it vibrates after you’ve hit the wrong key.

US start-up, ThickButtons, think they have the answer.

Continue reading »

3view set-top box – Freeview HD, PVR and Internet TV

Over at TechCrunch Europe I’ve written about 3view, a UK startup which is about to launch a new Internet-connected set-top box. The two headline features of the device are support for Freeview HD, the free-to-air terrestrial high definition service rolling out to British households this summer, and Sky Player, the satellite broadcaster’s IPTV service.

The 3view set-top features twin DVB-T2 HD tuners and a 500GB hard drive for PVR capability. Ethernet is used to connect the box to a broadband connection.

Continue reading »

Ubuntu One Music Store goes into public beta, Canonical calls for more testers

RhythmboxU1MusicStoreLast week, we reported on Canonical’s moves to incorporate a music store into Ubuntu. Ahead of Ubuntu’s April release of “Lucid Lynx”, Canonical have officially announced the public beta of their desktop music store.

The key to the music store’s infrastructure is Canonical’s cloud storage solution, “Ubuntu One”. Purchased MP3’s are initially sent from 7digital to the user’s Ubuntu One storage account, which are then synchronised to the user’s PC. Purchased tracks are only permitted to be re-downloaded three times from 7digital. Although, having the tracks stored within the Ubuntu cloud makes this limitation practically irrelevant.

Continue reading »

Hello iPad, surfing the web while watching telly up 35%

This one is from the bleeding obvious department but it’s noteworthy nonetheless.

The Nielsen Company’s latest Three Screen Report, which tracks consumption across TV, Internet and mobile phones, says that in the last quarter of 2009, Americans’ simultaneous use of the Internet while watching TV reached three and a half hours a month, up 35% from the previous quarter.

“Nearly 60% of TV viewers now use the Internet once a month while also watching TV”, notes the report.

Now I won’t regurgitate the other stats (see the table below) but I will point a finger at the likely culprits: Laptops, or more specifically Netbooks, and handheld devices such as the iPhone and other smartphones, and let’s not forget the iPod touch. Along with social networking sites (Facebook, Twitter etc.) giving rise to the virtual watercooler viewing experience.

The same ‘couch computing’ craze likely behind Apple’s decision to release a tablet computer, the iPad, now and in its particular form-factor.

Continue reading »

Once again Hulu can't tell the difference between a web browser and a web browser

Kylo-420x236It looks like they’ve done it again.

Hulu, the US-only video-on-demand service, has reportedly blocked Kylo, a newly released web browser, from accessing its site.

The crime? Being too damn TV-friendly. It’s a story reminiscent of the Hulu/Boxee fiasco.

As Dave Zatz described it: “Kylo is a custom Mozilla app designed for couch-based content consumption. Assuming you have a computer connected to your television.”

In other words, it’s basically a Mac/Windows web browser, just like any other, except it has a UI that’s somewhat designed for 10-foot operation in front of the telly.

That’s a no-go for Hulu it seems.

Continue reading »

Motorola unveils Android-powered landline phone, lacks Skype or Google's app store


At this year’s CeBit, Motorola showed off a cordless landline telephone running Google’s Android operating system, as reported by Engadget earlier this month. Known as the HS1001, the device is built by Binatone, and is expected to ship in the third quarter of this year with a price tag of $150. The hardware sports a 2.8″ touch screen and loud-speaker. And as you’d expect, the handset uses DECT technology, but surprisingly, it also has WiFi.

The phone won’t carry the Android market place, however, or even have Skype installed, though you’ll still be able to access email and browse the web just as with any other Android phone.

Continue reading »

Zatz Not Funny: Android set-top box, 3 iPad questions, Google headed to DISH

A periodic roundup of relevant news from our friends at Zatz Not Funny


Return of the Android set-top box

Dave Zatz: As it turns out, it does look like Google aims to conquer the television with a dedicated offering. And why wouldn’t they take their open source platform and ad serving business to a larger screen?

Continue reading »

OnLive streaming games readies US launch, vapourware accusations put to rest?

onlivePerhaps this will put the vapourware accusations to rest.

OnLive, the streaming games start-up, has announced that it will begin rolling out its subscription service ($14.95 per-month plus the cost of purchasing or renting the games themselves) to customers on the 17th of June 2010 to coincide with this year’s E3 gaming conference.

It will be a US-only offering, however, at least for the foreseeable future, restricted to “to early registrants throughout the 48 contiguous United States”. This is in-line with their beta test program which requires users to be within 1000 miles of one of OnLive’s data centres.

The idea behind OnLive is that rather than having a powerful games console in your home, OnLive handles all of the heavy duty computation and graphics rendering. Then, a video stream of the game is sent back to your screen, and your controller inputs are sent back to them, and so on.

Continue reading »