Archive for the ‘Rumors’ Category

Better late than never? Sony rumored to finally have “Playstation Phone” in the works.

  • March 4, 2010 1:09 pm

Better late than never they say? But is there a point at which you can be too late? Sony seems to be testing that very belief. Sitting here and gazing into the 2010 calendar — almost three years after the original iPhone — Sony is just now getting into the mobile phone biz. I say just getting into because frankly, let’s be honest — SonyEricsson sucks. Their phones suck. That’s why no one has gotten excited in them for years. The one recent glimmer of hope was the Xperia X10, but that was quickly dashed when all the Android 1.6 talk began floating around amid the current Android 2.x wave we see swirling around us.

New reports from the WSJ have Sony finally getting their act together with an “uber phone” of their own. A Playstation Phone has been tossed back and forth numerous times in the last several years though nothing has materialized. Why Sony didn’t play off of the PSP sooner is beyond any rational guess I can understand. Regardless, this new phone/device from Sony will supposedly “blur the line between a netbook, an e-reader and a PlayStation Portable”.

It’s a tough claim to backup and an even tougher claim to succeed with. But I hold out hope that Sony can wow me, and us again. Think a PSP phone would be everything it’s been rumored to be?

AlleyInsider > WSJ

HTC HD2 not getting WinPhone 7 upgrade after all?

  • March 1, 2010 7:53 am

The hands down best WinMo phone out there is the HTC HD2. With it’s massive screen and blazing fast 1GHz Snapdragon processor means even lowly WinMo 6.x runs like a dream (most of the time). With Windows Phone 7 on the map now however, the HD2 has lost some luster, especially considering the hardware that’s in the pipeline that will showcase WinPhone 7. And then, rumors of a WinPhone 7 upgrade for the HD2 made it’s rounds to the relief of many HD2 owners, solidifying at least a few more months of relevance. New rumors however are stripping the good outlook for HD2 owners, with that claimed WinPhone 7 upgrade now on the chopping block due to a lack of correct hardware buttons.

You see, all new WinPhone 7 phones will feature at least these three hardware buttons: Home, Back and Search for fully make use of WinPhone 7. The HD2 meanwhile features Call, Home, Start, Back and End/Power buttons which obviously isn’t going to fly too well with the new requirements for WinPhone7. So is the HD2 now on the outs with Microsoft’s latest and greatest mobile OS? Looks like we’ll have to wait until Microsoft reveals more of the hardware requirements and actual hardware units before we can make a final call. For legions of HD2 fans however, I sure hope they can upgrade. The HD2 is a beautiful piece of gadgetry. Being stuck on WinMo 6.x when WinPhone 7 is leaps and bounds better is a huge slap in the face.

HD2 owners: If it comes to be that you have no future with WinPhone 7, will you upgrade or move to another platform?

Slashgear > WMPowerUser

BlackBerry slider details leaked. [Rumor]

  • February 26, 2010 10:14 am

Yes, another rumor. But what kind of gadget loving, human eschewing geeks would we be if we didn’t thrive on such things. Carry on. The BlackBerry slider has been an on again off again rumor that has stretched over several years, though failed to materialize into anything tangible. The leaked image above and accompanying symphony of letters paints a different picture in the near future.

According to a few Gizmodo ninjas, this so called BlackBerry slider will be a portrait oriented device and come to market featuring OS 6.0 and “100%” support for 802.11n WiFi. Unfortunately, it’s already outdated in my book with the now outdated display resolution of 360 x 480. Hopefully RIM corrects this if it is in fact a real device being proposed for sale.

For the touchscreen hopefuls, no mention has been made yet, but, given how long RIM has also been rumored to be tinkering with touchscreen + QWERTY combos, I wouldn’t rule it out just yet. As far as carrier support, the rumor for now is GSM/HSPA. So that’s a big NO CDMA support initially.

Sounds pretty exciting on paper, though I’m hesitant to get all excited for something that has a slim chance (for now) of making it to market. How are you fairing?

Gizmodo

Nokia to bring Ovi Maps to other platforms, support the competition?

  • February 25, 2010 8:15 am

*Time to get the salt shakers out ladies and gents.

Have a certain “thing” for Ovi Maps but absolutely despise the overpriced (or rather average) nature of their higher end smartphone lineup? There may just be hope for you yet if Greig Williams, Nokia’s General Manager for South East Europe has his way. In response to a question lobbed by german site “Die Presse” as to whether Ovi Maps would expand to other platforms or not, Mr. Williams simply replied: “That will be the next step”. Score!

Well, score if you love Ovi Maps. Truthfully, Ovi Maps does have something going for it. The maps are stored locally which means as long as your phone has real GPS, even the lack of a cell signal shouldn’t hamper your miniaturized navigation device. Other than that, besides UI differences there really isn’t too much of a difference between Ovi Maps, Google Maps/Navigation or any other mobile navigation software out there. (You can only instruct someone how to get from point A to point B in so many ways and styles)

The only question that remains now is will Nokia charge other platforms for Ovi Maps or will they keep it free? Free would be nice and actually warranted given the fact that Google Navigation is already free (and awesome) and going global as the months progress. A fee-based scheme will pretty spell failure from the start if mass adoption is what they’re gunnin’ for.

But it’s all rumor and heresy for now. My how I love a good rumor. Think it’ll pan out?

Engadget

Touchscreen based universal Xbox/Nintendo/Sony controller being developed by…Sony?

  • February 19, 2010 9:22 am

Video games are a wonderful thing. They increase your hand-eye coordination, entertain, and pass large amounts of time that seem to drag on forever. For most, the entertainment factor is the most important. Getting into the console gaming scene specifically, choosing what platform you want to use can at times be difficult. Do you want the eye candy and more hackability of the PS3, the expansive online gaming world of Xbox Live, or the get up and move nature of the Wii?

If you choose all three, dealing with the onslaught of controllers, adapters, and cables isn’t exactly the poster child for a great time. For cords, controllers are now coming wireless — problem solved. Adapters — well, you’re still stuck there. Though you can get switches to make moving back and forth between consoles as easy as the push of a button. Controllers however are a completely different beast.

When a new console is released, manufacturers spend millions of dollars and resources developing and designing these new controllers as they are literally the way you interact with the entire platform — clearly an import matter. But those different controllers can mean headaches for end users. For that, Sony may have a solution.

For now, this is pure rumor, but documents reportedly belonging to Sony show a universal game controller that would allow users to use the same controller on PS3, Xbox 360, and the Nintendo Wii. If the controller truly designed well, this could be a huge thing for the gaming world. I wouldn’t mind giving a universal controller a try if it didn’t make me curse it’s name five minutes after picking it up as so many previous attempts have. If they can concur that, they are well on their way. According to the patent:

“A game console controller includes a hand-holdable housing and a touch sensitive liquid crystal display (LCD) on the housing. The LCD is caused to present, depending on what type of game console a user has selected, a controller key layout for a first type of game console or a controller key layout for a second type of game console. A key layout includes plural keys selectable by a user to input commands to a game console.”

One potential roadblock I see however, is Microsoft and Nintendo either not getting on board with this universal controller idea or devising some sort of software patch that would “authenticate” peripherals and render non-official ones useless — much like Microsoft did with 3rd party memory cards. If that happens, consider it a kick in the pants to the gaming population and another appearance of greed making it’s dirty mark on the world.

Also a potential hurdle, the patent mentions the use of a touchscreen for a fair helping of the buttons. That’s cool and all, allowing the layout to be customized more than a physical layout could ever allow, but many hardcore gamers (and myself included) won’t be too keen on hours upon hours of buttonless mashing. There are some things touchscreens just don’t accomplish too well yet. Sometimes feeling the button is the very thing that makes it desirable.

The real question is simply: Would you use it, or would the more touchscreen based interface turn you off and do you think there’s any real weight behind this rumor?

**Bonus question: Sony, long known for their proprietary lifestyle, is now secretly developing a universal controller that plays well with the other kids on the block? Why the change of heart?

Gizmodo > GoRumors

Apple beginning to ban jailbreakers from the App Store? [Update]

  • February 15, 2010 7:32 am


**Update: After a solid 8 hours have gone buy, I haven’t seen anywhere else on the net where random jailbreakers have been banned from the App Store. It appears for now, Apple is targeting the hackers who find exploits in the iPhone OS and then release new versions of jailbreak software for the rest of us. Are end users safe? For now it looks like it. But if Apple is moving to block exploit seekers, trickling down to the common user could be a very real possibility.

I’m not exactly sure what Apple’s rationale is here. Sure they’re going to remove the source of a small number of app pirates’ tools, but the reality of the situation is that Apple should be thanking these people. The community will always find exploits and be one step ahead of any overbearing organization — period! Not to mention, denying an iPhone from iTunes and the App Store isn’t too much of a big deal anyway. If those pirates are as ruthless as Apple claims them to be, they’ll have no problem getting pirated apps by other means and then installing them onto their banned iPhones after the fact.

See kids, it’s a simple game of cat & mouse. Only in this case, the mouse will never be caught.

***Resume normal reading :)

Consider the proverbial s*** this close from hitting the fan…

Jailbreaking an iPhone or iPod Touch isn’t exactly rocket science. So what motivates someone to do such a thing? For most, it is Apple’s continuous stubbornness and asinine policies that artificially limit the iPhone platform by failing to include such basic tasks as background processes, tethering, bluetooth sharing, unlocks and so on. And end user who purchases a phone has every right to modify it as they see fit…right? Wrong. Because of the BS “non-circumvention clause” in the DMCA, something as simple and harmless as jailbreaking an iPhone could soon be illegal if Apple has their way.

With that said, Apple has been pushing for some time now to outlaw jailbreaking. Thankfully we have consumer watch groups such as the EFF who realize the gross affront this is to consumers. In regards to outlawing jailbreaking, talk from Cupertino has been relatively quiet for several months now on the whole issue after it peaked early last summer. However, new developments being highlighted by a few iPhone jailbreakers and jailbreak software developers are signaling a wave of change that isn’t in the consumers’ best interest.

Two more prominent iPhone developers in the jailbreak scene — “Sherif_Hashim” (responsible for finding recent 3.1.3 exploit) and “iH8sn0wday” (Sn0wbreeze) have reported that their respective email accounts tying them to the App Store have apparently been banned. When either user tries opening up the App Store, they’re met with a message stating:

“Your Apple ID was banned for security reasons”

Security reasons? It’s worth noting that the entire time Apple has been trying to outlaw jailbreaking, they’ve rationalized their stance with technologically retarded government officials by saying that piracy is a massive problem in the App Store and categorizing anyone and everyone who jailbreaks as app pirates. Being that the massive jailbreaking population is talked about daily in some form or another, when a technologically deficient person or group looks at the possible number of active jailbreaking users, the false guise of massive piracy seems like a legitimate issue.

But as we all know, if you looked at all jailbreakers and picked out the ones who pirate apps, the number would more than likely end up being quite low. As touched on at the beginning of the article, most people jailbreak for purely functional reasons (ie: background processes, unlock, and UI changes). Not to mention, the endless pursuit to stop pirates won’t work. For a perfect example of how not to handle pirates — look at the music industry.

If Apple is in fact starting to go around banning jailbreakers, their already busy law team is going to start living in their offices there at Apple HQ. Banning a massive chunk of the iPhone user base and labeling them pirates when all they’re doing is trying to is change the UI of their phone or god forbid, listen to last.fm and read an email at the same fucking time is one of the worst possible decisions ever.

But for now, we must stress this hasn’t been “confirmed” yet. So far, the only two people (that we know of) that have received this message are the two jailbreak devs noted above. If and when casual jailbreakers start getting banned, be sure that I’ll update this post and let all of you know.

In the meantime, is anyone else experiencing an App Store ban? Stay tuned…

**In closing, I’d like to cut down the arguement “if you don’t like it, don’t buy into it”. Just because you buy a particular device or service doesn’t give the provider of said product/service the right or legal grounds to prohibit you, the person who purchased it, from modifying your own property how you see fit. If you buy a good, you own it. If “you bought it, you support it” argument was applied to all things in life, it would be a sick, sad world to live in. Common sense has to come in at some point, does it not?

9to5 Mac
Softpedia
Redmond Pie

Electronic Frontier Foundation

Sony running thin on PS3′s due to super fantastic holiday and upcoming game lineup?

  • February 12, 2010 3:34 pm

Hearing the words “PS3″ and “shortage” together a few months ago would draw out a few chuckles from those in the room. While Sony would like us to think otherwise, since launch the PS3 hasn’t exactly been leading the market in console sales. Up until recently, that honor went to the Nintendo Wii. I never caught on to the Wii mania, but obviously many have.

Fast forward one year and here we sit looking at Wii’s stacking up on store shelves and the once stagnant PS3 now selling like hot cakes. So hot in fact that Sony is claiming a PS3 shortage is among us in the coming months due to the bangup holiday season they saw. A pretty jam packed upcoming game lineup would also do wonder for sales/wreak havoc on supply. Could the tables really have flipped that drastically?

For now I’m staying squarely seated in the middle of the debate as I haven’t seen or heard of any PS3 shortages. But if holiday sales were as good as Sony claims and the new upcoming titles such as “Heavy Rain” and “God of War 3″ have any hand in it, we could very well see Sony’s baby decline in availability.

What do you think? Is there an honest shortage impending or is Sony merely blowing smoke to create a false sense of urgency in picking up a PS3 -> which in turn nets them more sales and money?

Joystiq

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