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Apple’s in-App Sales Policy — an Intimidation Tactic?

There was so much drama and upheaval in the eBook, magazine, and subscription services on iOS yesterday as Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and others caved to Apple’s demands that they either get a 30% cut of in-app sales or all links to external purchasing systems be removed, that it is easy to assume that all this comes down to one word – GREED. But what if it comes down to one different word. What if instead of this being all…


How Can Apple Improve iBooks without Ruining Other eBook Stores?

Something very fishy is going on at Apple. It looks like they’re taking in-app purchasing very seriously, and are enforcing what has been rumored for months: eBookstores can no longer link to their respective stores in Safari in any way, even for account sign-ups. Kobo was forced to change over, as did NOOKkids; Google Books has gone entirely MIA from iOS. Plus, the Wall Street Journal has removed all links and in-app sales options. If book sales are not through…


The Ballad of an Android Fan…

I’ve talked before about my Motorola Droid. We’ve had a love/hate relationship over the last 18 months or so, but all good things must come to an end. Ours has a specific end date, as I am up for a new phone on August 12th. Unfortunately, none of the Android offerings on Verizon have me terribly excited, and in fact, I’m questioning whether an Android phone is my next step. It started when I headed to Verizon Wireless’s site to…


Dual-Boot Your Nook Color the Easy Way

Maybe you’ve heard here on Gear Diary that the NOOKcolor makes an excellent Android tablet. If you’re feeling confined by the stock operating system on the nook, even with its new app offerings, there’s always the option of trying a full Android 2.3 (Gingerbread) installation. However, this requires not only a bit of time and patience but a level of comfort with creating either a bootable SD card or <gulp> reflashing the internal NOOK memory. If you go with plan…


Random Cool Video: Watch Family Guy ‘Its a Trap’ for FREE!

Over the last several years Family Guy has taken on the original Star Wars trilogy, with Blue Harvest and Something, Something Dark Side. Last December they released the final entry ‘It’s A Trap’ on DVD and Blu-Ray, and on May 22nd the show aired as the finale for the 9th season of Family Guy. The episode is once again a humorous retelling of Return of the Jedi using series characters in place of the original actors, but keeping the personalities…


GD Quickie: Netflix? More Like NetHOG!

Have you ever wondered where all of that internet bandwidth is going? Apparently the answer is Netflix, according to a recent study by sandvine reported at TechCrunch. Here are some details: Netflix video streaming is now the single largest source of peak downstream Internet traffic in the U.S., according to a new report by Sandvine. The streaming video service now accounts for 29.7 percent of peak downstream traffic, up from 21 percent last fall. That puts Netflix above HTTP websites…


Hulu+ Arrives on XBOX Live Today! Hooray or Meh?

Hulu+ is available on your Mac or PC, your set top box such as the Roku we have (but alas not Apple TV), your iPhone or iPad, and your Playstation 3. With the computer devices you can use the ‘standard version’ for free but gain much greater access to programming with the $7.99 monthly fee. On other systems you need to have a ‘Hulu+’ account to access anything – though you can get a trial account on most systems. Now…


Desktop PC Review: Hewlett Packard HP Compaq 6000 Pro All-in-One

Recently I have reviewed the Hewlett-Packard (HP) Elitebook 8440w Mobile Workstation and the Elitebook 2540p, laptops with powerful Core i7 processors, solid graphics systems, a business focus, and a price tag higher than what a typical family would want to pay. So when I had the opportunity to look at an all-in-one system with a list price just over $1000, I was thrilled to get the opportunity – but a little concerned about what I might think about the lower-priced…


Review: Warpia StreamHD Streams Video from Your PC to the Big(ger) Screen

The modern computer is an amazing thing. It is a work device, a communication device, a jukebox, and a video machine. I don’t know about you, but I probably watch just as many shows through either iTunes or Hulu or Netflix as I do on my HDTV these days. Yes, a huge amount of video entertainment comes through our computers now. The real challenge is getting that video, and the accompanying audio, seamlessly pushed over to a large television for…


Amazon Adds Unlimited Free Streaming for Prime Members

I joined Amazon Prime last year by way of a free one-month trial and somewhat reluctantly paid the $79 annual fee, but by the end of the year the service had easily paid for itself in terms of greatly reduced shipping costs, no minimum to qualify for free shipping, priority treatment and so on. At the same time, my wife bought me a Roku XDS for Christmas and my family has greatly enjoyed the simplified access to Hulu+, Netflix and…


Twelve South Introduces the MagicWand for Magic Trackpad and Wireless Keyboard

Twelve South makes some great Mac products. They make the Compass iPad stand and the BookBook iPad case, along with a host of other Mac accessories. Well today they are rolling out a new product that seamlessly connects Apple’s Magic Trackpad to the Apple Wireless Keyboard to create one, easy to use, accessory. Judie recently reviewed a somewhat similar item, the BulletTrain Express (she loves it!), but while that created an arrangement similar to what you will find on an…


Apple’s 30% Toll on App Store Content

Rumors have been rumbling since the Sony Reader app was rejected that Apple was planning on making changes to subscriptions and in-app purchases. Today, Apple fired the first shot across the bow with a press release making it clear that all subscription options must be offered as an option through iTunes (complete with a 30% cut to Apple). Engadget is reporting that Rhapsody has already weighed in with their response, and it’s a big fat no. According to Rhapsody, 30%…


Twitter Guest Stars on “Grey’s Anatomy”

It’s a bit shameful, but I still watch “Grey’s Anatomy”. It’s my soapy guilty pleasure! I settled in last night to catch up on last night’s episode, and was surprised to discover that surgeons using Twitter was a big part of the storyline! I won’t spoil it for you, but I will say that even when the jokes were predictable (like the Chief mistakenly saying he wanted to check out Dr. Bailey’s ‘tits’ not her ‘tweets’), it was a cute…


Jabra’s Lineup: an Overview and a Review of the Stone2

Football mania is in high gear, and it seems that Jabra’s Bluetooth headsets and speakerphones have recently become favorites of three NFL players – Jake Long, Brian Orakpo and Michael Griffin. As a recent press release notes, Whether they’re rocking out to tunes after practice, kicking back at night with video games, or passing the time watching Hulu or YouTube on the weekends, Jabra’s headsets and speakerphones offer wireless connectivity in-style – and with a 30 foot operating range. Jabra’s…


Boom Your Music and Bam! Your Mac’s Sound Will Be Awesome!

Just yesterday I was speaking with a friend who commented that she was continually surprised by the weak volume coming from most MacBooks. “Sure,” she said, “the sound isn’t all that great to begin with but what’s worse is that they just don’t get very loud.” Well that’s not longer an issue thanks to a small utility called Boom. As the product page explains, Boom is a simple volume booster that lets you boost the volume of your Mac and…


Review: MeeGo 1.1

It’s been a little while since Intel and Nokia came together to merge Moblin and Maemo together to create the MeeGo project.  Moblin started out as a project by Intel and the Linux Foundation to produce a Linux-based OS, interface and application stack for mobile internet devices.  In February of 2009, they merged with the Maemo project that was used by Nokia in the Nseries tablets like the N770, N800, N810 and the N900 smartphone.  Intel was nice enough to send me…


As 2010 Comes to an End We Ask: Was it a Good Year in Tech? And We Answer… Nope

As 2010 comes to an end we ask… Was it a good year in tech? And we answer… Nope Nope??? Nope! It was a great year in tech. That’s right. 2010 finally saw some of the key things we have been hoping for come to fruition. iPad Baby!! First and foremost 2010 gave us the iPad. The iPad wasn’t significant just because of what it did for Apple but because it finally showed that a tablet form factor can and…


Review: Solar System for iPad

A few months ago, I was lucky enough to get a review copy of the iPhone 4 version of The Elements, a book/media/textbook/app that describes and demonstrates the Periodic Table of the Elements (with pictures of examples that could be manipulated). I loved it. In fact, I ended up absorbed in it so much that it put me behind on other reviews, because I had to tell you all about it. Now the same development company, TouchPress (Get it? It’s…


Gear Gadget Review: Veebeam Set-Top Box Lets You Stream Content from Computer to TV

Imagine if you could simply tap a button and both the audio and the video loaded on your laptop or desktop could be sent to your large HDTV? Sure, Apple’s AirPlay has brought us partly there. In fact, just the other night I wanted to watch a movie I had rented on my iPad and decided to view it on my large Samsung TV instead. I started the movie on my iPad, tapped the AirPlay button and, within a few…


How ‘Just a Big iPod’ Changed Our Computing Lives!

For the second time in two days I was giving a technical talk: one at night in a public setting, the other to a project team at work. In both cases I needed to note some questions, discussions, take contact info and jot down some ‘to do’ tasks and follow ups. It was only when someone said something in each case that I even realized – all I brought with me was my iPad. It has been nearly 8 months…


Netflix Unveils $7.99 Stream-Only Plan, Raises Prices on All Others!

My family dropped our $15 Netflix plan early this spring due to lack of use, but when offered a free month to come back, we jumped at the lowest-priced plan. Since then, the only thing we got in the mail from Netflix was a Wii disk … and even that is of no use anymore! So when I heard that Netflix was bringing a ‘streaming only’ plan to the US, I knew I’d sign up immediately. Today that plan arrived,…