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


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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Texting Doesn’t Make Your Kids Dumb, Text Bands Do

Screen shot 2012-07-23 at 11.27.55 AM

I’m not one of those people who thinks that texting and tweeting is ruining children’s ability to communicate. Texting and tweeting are the future of communication, so if kids are learning to keep it concise or feel more comfortable sending a text to their crush than making a call, I’m all for it. That’s not to say that this communication should be at the expense of all personal real-life interaction, but it doesn’t mean that the kids themselves are becoming dumb because they can keep a tweet under 140 characters.

The technology companies are providing kids for this communication, on the other hand, is certainly becoming dumb. Take these Text Bands, for example. Hallmark thinks that they can lure kids into typing 10-character messages with the help of three buttons in a situation where messages can only be sent by a fist-bump or high-five.

These are $15 wristbands, meaning that all the specs, including wireless, are severely limited. That means that transmissions only work if the two bands are within a foot of each other. Past that, kids have to scroll through each letter of the alphabet using a three-button menu until they’ve filled out their message, with 10 characters max.

The issue is that most kids have evolved far beyond this type of gimmicky product. I’m sure a few of them will realize that Text Bands may be good for telling a friend a secret in a crowd, but so is a cell phone text. Two-year olds sit down with an iPad and understand it almost immediately. Small children can usually figure out how to make a phone call or open up an app if you hand them your phone, even if they can’t read.

So to think that a kid, even a small one, would be satisfied with this is a joke. Text Bands are a toy and nothing more, and in a world where kids are getting cell phones and smartphones at relatively young ages, there is really no place for something so cheap and useless.

In any case, the Text Bands are available at Hallmark stores today starting at $14.99.

Hallmark Cards, Inc. has helped people connect with one another and give voice to their feelings.

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The 16GB Nexus 7 Is Sold Out On The Google Play Store


Hope you got your 16GB Nexus 7 already. Google is no longer taking orders for the $249 model. It’s sold out. The product page on Google Play now sports a “coming soon” message and an input field for buyers to leave their email to be notified when the 16GB model is available again. The $199 8GB is still available with a shipping estimate of 3-5 days.

Citing sources close to Google, the Guardian reports that “the search giant seriously underestimated the demand for the 16GB version of its 7in Nexus 7 tablet.” Orders placed through last week will be fulfilled, but due to insufficient stock, Google is no longer taking orders for the model. There’s no word when the model be available again.

By all accounts the Nexus 7 is an impressive tablet with an even more impressive price. It outshines the Kindle Fire in nearly every regard with a better screen, improved performance, and a better user interface. Google has a winner with the Nexus 7, which is confirmed by the short supply.

The Nexus 7 is Google’s first entry into the tablet race. While the tablet is built by Asus, it carries Google branding. In fact, as far as I can see, the Asus name is nowhere to be found on either the Nexus 7’s product page or minisite.

A so-called iPad mini is rumored to hit the market later this year. With a rumored price of $249, the smaller iPad would likely steal some of the Nexus 7’s hype. Amazon is also rumored to release a revamped 7-inch Kindle Fire alongside a larger model that will directly take on the iPad. But as it sits right now, the Nexus 7 is the hottest small tablet available — but good luck getting one.

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AOL Launches PLAY By AOL For The Kindle Fire


Kindle Fire owners take note: Aol, TechCrunch’s not-so-evil overlord, has a new app for you. Aol just released a retooled version of PLAY By Aol specifically for the Kindle Fire. This reskinned app is optimized for the Fire’s 7-inch 600×1024 screen. Everything from the layout to the iconography to the cover art was redone to look as good as possible on the Fire.

Like the other versions of PLAY, this music app puts the device’s on-board MP3 collection into an immersion environment. While it features a media player, the entire app is built to provide an experience not traditionally found in a simple player including social features and the ability to share songs on Twitter, Facebook, and the PLAY network. Plus, PLAY features a SHOUTcast player with access to 55,000+ stations.

Spiritual guru and AOL Mobile First Senior Director Sol Lipman said in a released statement today, “The Kindle Fire can’t get much more awesome, but somehow we made beautiful babies together with PLAY. It’s the best social music experience on the Fire, and I say that because I’m only mostly unbiased. Look, just stop reading and go try it.”

Aol released the Android and iOS versions of PLAY last summer. Since then the app has been downloaded 1 million times. The Kindle Fire version is the first edition of the app made specifically for a larger screen.

The app costs $.99 on the Amazon App Store or there is an ad-supported version available as well.

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Research: Samsung Has Sold 10M Galaxy S3′s, But ‘iPhone 5′ Still The Most-Wanted Phone

iphone 5 demand changewave

You know a brand is doing something right when people go a little crazy for its products even before they’ve been announced. A new survey out from 451 Research/ChangeWave on consumer smartphone sentiment found that Apple’s iPhone 5 — whatever that may turn out to be — is seeing an “unprecedented” wave of advance demand — higher than any other iPhone model has had before, with 14 percent of respondents saying they were “very likely” to buy the iPhone 5. In contrast, the S3 from Samsung, got a 2 percent “very likely” response from users planning to buy a smartphone in the next 90 days. The news comes one day after Samsung noted it has passed 10 million in Galaxy S3 devices in the two months since launch in other markets.

Apple is likely to launch a new smartphone later this year, the 451/ChangeWave researchers note, and that will put it in a perfect position to take advantage of what they believe will be a high-water mark for smartphone purchases. Samsung will also reap some benefits, it notes, although that will be proportionate to weaker demand for its brand. The rest of the competitive lineup may not fare so well.

“Overall smartphone sales should spike to an all-time high this fall, and of course Apple is going to be the number one beneficiary,” notes Dr. Paul Carton, 451 / ChangeWave’s VP of Research. “But besides Apple, and to a lesser degree Samsung, no other manufacturer is likely to benefit from this coming wave of demand.”

Among those other results, overall demand for Nokia is now at 2 percent, up one point from March. Demand for Motorola is now at 4 percent overall, down two percentage points since March. And HTC and RIM were unchanged, respectively at 3 percent and 2 percent — with the latter “all-time low” for RIM.

ChangeWave’s survey canvassed opinion from 4,042 mainly North American buyers in June 2012. In addition to finding that 14 percent of consumers said they were “very likely” to buy an iPhone 5, a further 17 percent said they were “somewhat likely to buy it in the future. As a point of comparison, when the same questions were asked about the iPhone 4s before it launched, 10 percent said they were very likely; and 11.5 percent said they were somewhat likely to buy it. And that’s for a device that is now “considered the most successful smart phone release in history,” Carton notes. The numbers for those “unlikely” to buy the device also went down:

What’s interesting is that ChangeWave doesn’t take into account that before the iPhone 4S launched, many thought it would be the fabled iPhone 5 — when in reality it physically looked exactly the same as the iPhone 4, and had much of the same functionality — with one notable exception being the addition of the Siri voice assistant. So what we may be seeing here is an increased, pent-up demand from people who have actually held off from buying the iPhone 4S in anticipation of a major update and upgrade.

But that’s not to say that Samsung is not doing very well, too. ChangeWave notes that in fact it has been seeing a four-fold surge in demand for Samsung since March — at a time when Android competitors like HTC and Motorola have been more challenged.

ChangeWave puts Samsung’s recent rise down to positive reactions to the S3, which features a bigger screen, more processing power, a better camera and 4G capabilities.

That popularity was spelled out yesterday by Shin Jong-kyun, president of Samsung’s information technology and mobile communication division, who yesterday told reporters that the S3 had passed the 10-million sales mark since launching at the beginning of June. The Yonhap news agency, which quoted Shin, worked this out to sales of 190,000 daily, with sales potentially reaching 40 million by the end of the year.

Still, even with that momentum, it’s not registering at the same level of hype as Apple’s iPhone 5, as evidenced by these two comparative charts that measure “advance” demand for both devices.

A key difference here, which should be noted, is that while Apple has yet to any anything official on its next iPhone, the Samsung Galaxy S3 was launched months ago, and so people who are being canvassed would have already known more about what the device had (or didn’t have) when responding — even if the phone had yet to hit the market. In the case of the iPhone 5, ChangeWave says that it presented respondents with a description of “probable” features for the device.

Those included a larger screen, better camera, new OS and 4G capability.

Both the Galaxy S3 and the iPhone 5 will likely be sold at the same price points — currently the S3 goes for $199 for the 16GB model on a two-year contract.

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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