The Tombox Is A Beautiful Retro Speaker Stuffed With Modern Conveniences

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It can be argued that today’s modern electronics lack the soul found in older devices. There was a time that a radio felt nearly alive thanks to its glowing inner tubes and wooden casing. But now, with printed circuit boards and mass produced plastic casings, electronics feel dead, disposable and down right stiff.


Tombox speakers are a bit different. Using repurposed vintage electronics, these speakers combine the warm feeling of older electronics with features of a modern kit — think steampunk without the gaudy nonsense.


There are a 10 models in this company’s collection, each with a 3.5mm input. The best looking model, the tombox 145 (top), is already sold. Since these are one-off products, they’re gone when they’re gone. The tombox 144 (below) is another good bet. Or, if you need something larger, the company also sells large floor models complete with casters and a large leather strap for wheeling it around a room.


Prices are bit rough with models starting out at 190 EUR. Worse yet, it’s rather difficult to give this company your money as the buy button links to an email account. But never mind those trivial features, these radios and large speakers restore my faith in design by ironically rehashing older designs.



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24.9M Tablets Sold In Q2, With Apple’s Share Of That Now Over 68%, Says Strategy Analytics

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One of the strong points in Apple’s quarterly earnings report yesterday was sales of the iPad. Globally, they were up 52% by revenue and 84% by unit sales, respectively to $9 billion and 17 million. In some new figures out today, Strategy Analytics notes that this translates to an increase in overall tablet market share for the company: Apple now controls 68.3% of the market, compared to 62% in Q2 a year ago, in an overall tablet market that saw shipments of 24.9 million units. So much for analyst predictions: here’s one (of several) that had forecast a decline in Apple’s market share.


So why the reversal? It looks like the competition that many had been expecting to give Apple a run for its money has failed to materialize. But while Apple’s market share is the best it’s been in years, Strategy Analytics also cautions that overall the market has also witnessed its slowest growth rate since the first iPad launched in Q2 2010, a result of a slowdown in the global economy, it says.


Microsoft, which will be releasing a new tablet-friendly OS in the form of Windows 8 later this year, has lost nearly 3% market share, according to figures from Strategy Analytics.


Collectively, all of the others (that would be PlayBook, primarily) have lost 3.5%.


And Android, meanwhile, has grown the number of units it has sold to 7.3 million compared to 4.4 million in 2011; but in the wider tablet market, that has only kept its market share level at 29.3%.


“Despite high expectations for companies like Amazon, Samsung, Acer and Asus, the Android community has yet to make a serious dent in Apple’s dominance of the tablet market,” said analyst Neil Mawston. “Unspectacular hardware designs, limited uptake of cellular models and a modest number of tablet-optimized services have been among some of the main reasons for Android’s mixed performance so far.” Whether a more comprehensive global rollout from Amazon, and the launch of more models, will turn that around remains to be seen.


In fact, Apple’s iPad share is not only going up; it’s the best it’s been in years — since Q3 2010, according to Peter King, a director at the analyst firm. The 24.9 million units sold works out to growth of 67% compared to the 14.9 million units shipped a year ago.




Started by Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, and Ronald Wayne, Apple has expanded from computers to consumer electronics over the last 30 years, officially changing their name from Apple Computer, Inc. to Apple, Inc. in January 2007. Among the key offerings from Apple’s product line are: Pro line laptops (MacBook Pro) and desktops (Mac Pro), consumer line laptops (MacBook Air) and desktops (iMac), servers (Xserve), Apple TV, the Mac OS X and Mac OS X Server operating systems, the iPod, the…


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The Droid X360 Is The Standard-Bearer For Counterfeit Chinese Products

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Follow me here. The Droid X360 has the mind of Android, a body of a Vita, and branding of Verizon’s Android phones and Microsoft’s gaming system. Plus, the thing ships with 9 different emulators, allowing the owner to play games from Nintendo 64, Sony PlayStation, Game Boy Advance, Game boy Color, NES/FC, SNES, SEGA Mega Drive and SEGA Game Gear. The only way it could infringe on more trademarks would be if there was a Mercedes-Benz logo on the backside.


A 1.5Ghz CPU powers the Android 4.0.4 install. There’s a 5-inch display up front, dual cameras, HDMI-out and a microSD card slot. The best part, at least to me, is the sad-looking 8GB sticker on the bottom of the device.


Never mind that the device is essentially bursting with trademark infringements, the device seems to run rather well. And, as a PS Vita owner myself, I appreciate the form factor. No word on pricing but there really isn’t any reason to buy it. Just download an emulator to your smartphone and enjoy a little Kirby on the go.


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Eric Schmidt-Backed Slice Reveals Revamped iOS And Android Apps

Chris Velazco is a mobile enthusiast and writer who studied English and Marketing at Rutgers University. Once upon a time, he was the news intern for MobileCrunch, and in between posts, he worked in wireless sales at Best Buy. After graduating, he returned to the new TechCrunch to as a full-time mobile writer. He counts advertising, running, musical theater,… ? Learn More

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Don’t let their recent quiet streak fool you — the team at Eric Schmidt-backed receipt aggregator/tracking service Slice have spent the last few months slaving away on revamped versions of their iOS and Android apps, and now that major update is ready for the purchase tracking masses.

With Slice 2.0, co-founder and CEO Scott Brady wanted to do more than just track packages and aggregate users’ purchase histories. Perhaps the most notable addition to the updated Slice mobile apps is a new personal analytics option called Thingerprint that breaks down how much users have spent on what kinds of products, with options to drill into specific purchase categories, item types, and merchants.

Naturally, most of my paycheck goes toward gadgets and other similarly shiny new things, so Slice’s Thingerprint has branded me a “Gadget Geek.” It may not be the most original addition to the mix — rivals Lemon and OneReceipt have taken a similar approach — but having a fairly comprehensive breakdown of your purchasing habits at your fingertips isn’t the sort of thing most users would turn their noses up at.

While the addition of personal analytics adds another dimension to the service, some of the updated bits were just about making Slice more accessible to particular use cases. During Slice’s early days for instance, the service could only connect to and scan Yahoo! And Gmail accounts for emailed receipts and tracking notifications.

Not so any more — Brady and his teamed fleshed out Slice 2.0 with support for iCloud, Hotmail, and AOL email accounts. Also featured prominently is the ability to manually add a new purchase to your Slice account by scanning the barcode off of a packing slip, though it should be noted that the Android version requires users to download a separate scanner app for that feature to work properly.

Some of the additions included in this most recent update may seem like no-brainers, but the process wasn’t always that straightforward. Brady confirmed to me that there was plenty of thoughtful testing and retesting before he and team signed off on the final updates.

“The focus groups give us ideas on where we like to take our capabilities,” he said “We rely pretty heavily on them, and before we go too far on any product we do plenty of testing and tweaking.”

For what it’s worth, his approach seems to be working so far. Since Slice’s launch in May 2011, the service has processed and tracked over 25 million purchases, and that number is sure to grow even larger if the company eventually gives in to their users’ demands.

“Behind additional email support, global availability is the second most requested feature,” Brady remarked. “Today we only support the U.S., but we’ve created a technology that can work throughout the rest of the world.”


Slice provides the simplest way to track and organize everything you buy online. Slice keeps shopping information organized and accessible. After signing up, the app automatically pulls information from electronic receipts within email and organizes it in one place for quick, easy reference – all while keeping personal information private and secure. With Slice, users can track packages automatically, save money with price drop alerts, access e-receipts and purchase details anytime and track your spending. It even processes electronic…

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Motorola & Sprint Preparing To Launch The LTE-Friendly, QWERTY-Packing Photon Q

Chris Velazco is a mobile enthusiast and writer who studied English and Marketing at Rutgers University. Once upon a time, he was the news intern for MobileCrunch, and in between posts, he worked in wireless sales at Best Buy. After graduating, he returned to the new TechCrunch to as a full-time mobile writer. He counts advertising, running, musical theater,… ? Learn More

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The folks at Sprint seem to be having a busy day so far — this morning saw (among other things) the release of the carrier’s latest quarterly financials, an announcement about new LTE markets, and the revelation that birds are keeping the company from lighting up “hundreds” of LTE sites.

If that wasn’t enough Sprint for you, now the carrier has announced the Motorola Photon Q, a new LTE-capable handset with a physical keyboard for all those customers who could stand to do a little future-proofing.

Putting the sizable five-row QWERTY keyboard — which looks as though it’s been transplanted directly from a DROID 4 — the rest of the spec sheet looks rather familiar Like the recently-released Atrix HD for AT&T (which, if you’ll pardon the aside, was quite a treat), the Photon Q sports a lightly-tweaked version of Android 4.0.4 Ice Cream Sandwich, 8GB of internal storage, and an 8-megapixel rear-facing camera. Sadly it sports a slightly smaller 4.3-inch qHD ColorBoost LCD than its 720p cousin on AT&T, but its support for NFC may help to take the sting out of the switch.

As usual, Motorola is playing its cards close to the metaphorical vest when it comes to the Photon Q’s chipset. The last time Motorola did that, it was to conceal the Atrix HD’s Snapdragon S4 MSM8960 SoC, so here’s hoping for another pleasant surprise. Also up in the air at this point is when exactly the device is going to be released; all Motorola and Sprint will say for now is that the hefty-looking device is “coming soon.” With any luck, you’ll have some sweet LTE access in your neck of the woods when the little guy launches, but I’d advise against holding your breath.

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