Earlier this month, we reported that DirecTV had dropped over two dozen Viacom cable channels thanks to an ongoing dispute over licensing fees. Popular channels like Nickelodeon, Comedy Central and MTV went dark while the two companies tried to work out an agreement on fees. Earlier this week, the groups announced a formal agreement, and 26 channels have been returned. Says Viacom: “Viacom is extremely pleased to bring its programming back to DirecTV subscribers, and thanks everyone affected by the disrupting for their patience and understanding during this challenging period.” Allegedly, DirecTV will pay out $600 million per year for access to the channels, which is an increase of over 20 percent from the previous deal. Additionally, with the new deal, DirecTV subscribers will be able to watch Viacom content via “tablets, laptops, handhelds and other personal devices” using the DirecTV Everywhere platform. DirecTV has 19 million subscribers and is the largest satellite TV provider in the nation.
At long last – just like how true love can stand the test of time, so too, do hardcore fans of the Asus Eee Transformer (TF101) have the kind of patience to wait for the long promised Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich update. Having seen delays for not once but several times already in the past, we are pleased to announce that Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich is now available for the Eee Pad Transformer. Too bad Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich is currently the desert of the day for folks living in Taiwan, although Asus did promise that it will arrive in other regions in due time. here is what Asus says about the situation below.
Dear valued ASUS fans,
ASUS prides itself on delivering the best products to end-users, which means that we not only aim to deliver innovative products but also to continue improving the out of box experience throughout their life cycle with regular firmware updates.
Many of our Eee Pad Transformer TF101 users have waited patiently for the promised Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich update and we are delighted to announce that the first wave of FOTA updates for TF101 firmware v.22.214.171.124 started today in Taiwan. The update will FOTA in other regions soon after.
Although we will announce several new innovations at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona next week, we take great pride in delivering on-going enhancements and support for products that are well into their life cycle.
Thank you once again for your valued support!
Related articles:Asus EeePad Transformer TF101 gets Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich fixAsus Eee Pad Slider SL101 gets Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich OTA updateASUS Transformer TF101 to get fix for ICS bugs
The problem with buying gadgets is that they’re bound to be obsolete at some point. but, as Laptop Mag’s Avram Piltch explains, that point is way sooner for some things than others. Here are 10 gadgets you should avoid like the plague right now, however tempting they might seem:
They say patience is a virtue, but like temperance and chastity, it’s not much fun. Unfortunately, if you want to reach a state of true techstasy, you may need to repress your desire to buy a new gadget today and wait for the next version to come out.
To be fair, sometimes now is the best time to buy a particular device and sometimes you drop your phone into a public toilet and have to replace it right away. but when you buy that 3G phone a month before its hot new 4G replacement comes out, you might as well buy an “I’m with stupid” t-shirt for your friends to wear when you go out together.
Here are 10 products you’d be a fool to buy today.
if you have your heart set on purchasing a new iPhone, don’t do it yet. every rumor points to the arrival of a much-improved product arriving by fall. we don’t know what exact specs the iPhone 5 will have. we don’t even know if it’ll be called the iPhone 5 (my money’s on “the Brand Spanking new iPhone”), but we can be pretty certain it will have 4G LTE, a faster processor, a better camera, and a larger and sharper screen.
While four or five months may seem like a long time to wait, most iPhone owners are on two year phone contracts that usually won’t allow them to upgrade until after 20 months. do you really want to spend 2013 being known as the loser who has to “take a grenade” with Siri’s older, slower moving sister while your friends cozy up to the new model?
Let’s face the facts. if you want to buy a Windows 7 tablet, you’re either a multitouch masochist or a sadistic CTO, looking to pinch-zoom in on employee suffering. Though Windows 7 runs all the applications you could ever want, its touch-unfriendly interface makes it really difficult to use with adult-sized fingers. ever try tapping the X widget to close a window? You’ll need to stick your index finger in a pencil sharpener first, so you can make sure it’s thin enough.
Coming this fall, Windows 8 offers a very touch-friendly Metro UI and a host of touch-friendly apps on top of it. Even better, Windows 8 will run on ARM-based tablets, allowing for thinner, lighter and longer-lasting designs. a slew of new convertible notebooks that run Windows 8 will arrive in fall too. I can’t wait for the Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga, which bends its hinge back 180 degrees to become a slate. Even Kanye West would sit in his seat long enough to wait for Windows 8.
the first generation of Ultrabooks — a new category of uberthin, fast-booting notebooks — arrived last fall with prominent entries from all the PC vendors. However, though notebooks like the ASUS Zenbook UX31 and Toshiba Portege Z835 have a lot going for them, a new generation of much-improved Ultrabooks will arrive this summer. these notebooks will sport Intel’s faster, more efficient 3rd generation Core Series processors (aka Ivy Bridge), and many will offer higher-resolution displays.
A couple of models stand out to us. the ASUS ZenBook Prime will offer a generous 1920 x 1080 screen that will let you watch HD movies at their native resolution, while viewing more of your favorite web pages and documents without scrolling. Meanwhile, the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon could be the ultimate productivity notebook when it launches this summer. it will pack a gorgeous 14-inch, 1600 x 900 matte display into a .75-inch thick chassis that weighs just 3 pounds. Plus, you’ll get the industry’s best keyboard.
Sprint likes to call itself “the now Network,” but it really should be named “the Promise Network,” because right now all it is selling is the promise of 4G LTE at some point in the future. the carrier recently announced that it is dumping its mediocre 4G WiMAX network in favor of LTE on new handsets. That’s the right move long-term, but it leaves current Sprint customers in a bind.
The company is selling 4G LTE phones such as the Samsung Galaxy Nexus and LG Viper 4G LTE, but they’ll only get a 3G signal until Sprint launches its new network. the carrier plans to roll out LTE this summer to just six cities — Atlanta, Baltimore, Dallas, Houston, Kansas City and San Antonio — with no ETA for other cities apart from 123 million people covered by the end of the year. Even if you live in one of the designated six markets, there’s no guarantee that Sprint’s implementation of LTE will be as fast as AT&T and Verizon’s; we just don’t know.
Whether you are already a Sprint customer or are just thinking of becoming one, you should wait to see how quickly the company’s version of LTE is coming to your area and whether it actually lives up to the hype. You don’t want to buy that Evo 4G LTE today, only to be stuck with 2007-era 3G speeds while your friends on Verizon and AT&T are cruising along at 4G.
if you have your heart set on an Apple MacBook Pro, tell your heart to go on without one for just a little longer. everyone expects Apple to announce a new lineup of MacBook Pros in June and these new notebooks will reportedly weigh less, feature high-resolution “Retina” displays and provide USB 3.0 ports in addition to running Ivy Bridge CPUs. these notebooks will also be running Apple’s new OS X Mountain Lion software, which brings more iPad-like functionality to Macs along with stronger security.
Unless a pack of rabid Windows fanboys breaks into your house and smashes your current MacBook Pro with a Metro-UI styled hammer, you can hold on for another few weeks. the Retina display, which should show more content on the screen at once, is reason enough to wait.
Apple enthusiasts don’t have anything to wait for when it comes to tablets. the “new” iPad just came out in March and has an incredible, high-res screen paired with a powerful processor. However, if you want to consider an Android tablet, now is not the time to buy.
Though we’ve seen some speedy quad-core tablets like the ASUS Eee Pad Transformer Prime, we’re still waiting for Android tablet makers to come out with screens that have higher than 1280 x 800 resolution. both ASUS and Acer have announced 1920 x 1200 tablets, but neither one has hit the market yet. if you plunk down $500 on a tablet now, you’ll feel silly when the new HD models arrive within the next couple of months.
Apple can play coy all it wants, but many industry insiders believe that the Cupertino company plans to launch its own TV later this year. There’s no question that the Apple TV will have deep iTunes integration, a gorgeous screen (Apple is known for that) and some kind of Siri-based voice control.
When it comes to launching new Smart TVs, Apple won’t be alone. LG recently showed off its G2 Smart TV, which uses the Google TV 2.0 interface, supports voice commands and comes with a gesture-controlled “Magic” remote. Lenovo just began shipping its Android 4.0- powered K55 Smart TV in China and it may come here at some point as well. if you wait, the additional competition from these new products will force down prices on existing Smart TVs as well.
More: What Are Smart TVs?
the Nokia Lumia 900 has a gorgeous design and the HTC Titan II has an awesome 16-MP camera. However, when it comes to specs, apps and basic multitasking, Windows Phones still lag behind their Android and iPhone counterparts.
With Windows Phone 8 due out this fall, Microsoft could finally start to close the feature gap with Apple and Google. According to some reports, the new mobile operating system will support higher resolution screens, dual-core CPUs, NFC payments and apps that can control other apps, a necessity for true multitasking.
Microsoft has issued some conflicting statements about whether current Windows Phones would get an OS upgrade so I wouldn’t count on the Lumia you buy today running Windows 8 tomorrow. if you’re attracted to Windows Phone, delay your purchase until fall. Otherwise, you’ll be living with a single-core, low-res handset for two years.
there are several great eReader options on the market right now, from the tablet-like Amazon Kindle Fire to the E Ink-powered Nook Simple Touch. However, as strong as the eReader offerings are today, they’re about to get much better. Barnes & Noble just released its Simple Touch with GlowLight and rumor has it that Amazon is set to release its own backlit E Ink-based Kindle this summer.
However, backlit E Ink is just the tip of this innovative ice berg. Expect Amazon to launch the second-generation Kindle Fire 2 this fall, complete with higher-res screen options and possibly larger form factors like 8.9 inches. Flush with investment money from Microsoft and not content to stand still, Barnes & Noble is sure to release a new Nook Tablet sometime later this year as well. We’d expect the next Nook to also have a higher resolution than 1024 x 600.
There’s also a persistent rumor that Amazon will release Kindles using color E Ink later this year. we just reviewed the color E Ink-powered Ectaco Jetbook Color so the technology is already out there. How bad would you feel if you bought an old-school grayscale Kindle today, only to see one with a backlight or a color screen come out within a few months?
More: eReader Guide
Research in Motion, the company that makes Blackberry phones, seems to be stuck in a time warp, offering phones that have the best specs of 2009, including single-core 800-MHz CPUs, tiny 2.4-inch screens and an outmoded BlackBerry 7 OS. Fortunately, most people aren’t foolish enough to buy phones that you’d expect to find in the bargain bin at a garage sale rather than the shelf at a Verizon store.
RIM seems to understand the problem too as it plans to release an entirely new line of phones running its new BlackBerry 10 OS later this year. the new touch-friendly BlackBerry London phone, complete with a bigger screen and faster processor than we’ve seen on a BlackBerry before, should arrive by fall. if you must have a BlackBerry, this is the one to wait for.
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Laptopmag.com brings you in-depth reviews of the hottest mobile products, the latest tech news, helpful how-to advice, and expert analysis of the latest tech trends.
A lot of people are willing to overpay to snap up the latest, greatest tech gadgets. Be a little patient and stick to what you really need to nab the best deals.
(MONEY Magazine) — Don’t rush out to buy the newest gadget. Patience pays off with lower prices.
Time it right. Want a TV? look just before the Super Bowl. In the market for a digital camera? new models are out early in the year. Notebook computers are often discounted in late summer for back-to-school shoppers.
The shopping site Decide.com can help you time your purchase based on a pricing-history algorithm and other factors. If nothing else, wait until December — tech prices are generally lowest then as retailers try to entice holiday shoppers, says Michael Paulson, vice president of product and marketing for Decide.
Don’t fear refurbished. Used tech on eBay or Craigslist could be a bargain — or a bummer. Refurbished goods, however, come from the manufacturer or an authorized dealer and have been repaired, if needed, and certified. They also often have warranties.
And don’t forget about last year’s model: There’s often little difference between the new version and the old except the price.
Stick to the basics. A dedicated computer-graphics card (about $100) isn’t essential unless you’re doing heavy photo editing or playing videogames, says Melissa Perenson, a senior editor at PCWorld.
For the typical user, one terabyte of storage is plenty. you can save about $100 on Blu-ray players by skipping the models that offer dual HDMI ports and 3-D support.
Go with solid brands. "Buying a brand that has a history of defects doesn’t mean that you will get a faulty product, but it increases risk," says Ross Rubin, principal analyst at NPD Connected Intelligence.
Alienware, Apple, and Asus were recently tops in buyer satisfaction in PCMag.com’s Readers’ choice Awards.
What you don’t know. The iPhone 4S smartphone has 8 million pixels.
That’s comparable to many $70 point-and-shoot cameras. It can record video as well as a $100 pocket videocamera and, paired with cheap wireless speakers, is a decent home stereo.
So while the phone’s not cheap at $300 (plus a two-year contract), it looks like a bargain if it can replace several other devices.
4 Expert picks
Mike Prospero, reviews editor at Laptop magazine, picks these best deals on notebooks.
HP Pavilion G6X ($479) The processor on this stylish 15-inch notebook offers plenty of pep for everyday tasks such as web surfing, e-mailing, and writing documents. It also has a large keyboard. If you don’t mind a refurbished model, you can get an even better deal.
Lenovo Thinkpad Edge E420 ($489) this small-business notebook has one of the best keyboards around and top-notch security features usually found only in more expensive machines.
Melissa J. Perenson, senior editor at PCWorld, picks these best deals on tablets.
Apple iPad2 ($399) you can pick up the 16GB model for $100 less than the newest iPad — not bad for a tablet that still has the widest supporting system of optimized apps and accessories around.
Kindle Fire ($199) Amazon’s seven-inch Kindle fire hits a sweet-spot price and has better apps than the Barnes & Noble Nook Tablet. plus you get access to Amazon’s huge selection of books, music, and videos.
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First Published: April 24, 2012: 6:03 AM ET
Select Motorola Xoom owners are now getting a lick at Ice Cream Sandwich.
Ice Cream Sandwich is finally providing some flavor to Motorola Xoomtablets.
A Motorola representative confirmed to CNET today that the company has deployed the Ice Cream Sandwich update, akaAndroid 4.0, to a small number of Xoom users for testing. the company has promised to confirm additional details when the upgrade is more broadly available, added the rep.
Motorola initially seems to have teased the update, without specifically mentioning ICS, in the following e-mail sent to select Xoom owners yesterday, according to tech blogging site AndroidCentral:
Thanks for your patience as we’ve waited for this project to begin. Because we are dealing with a Google Experience Device (GED) we have less insight to timing than we would usually have. however, I’m happy to announce that we will start the update this evening. Because it was delayed a few days, we will also have additional time to test; we will let it run through the weekend.
For now, only a few thousand select Xoom Wi-Fi owners will receive the update as part of the initial and private test, explained fellow blogging site Talk Android. but if all goes well, Motorola said, it will deploy ICS to users of its tablet en masse.
Motorola’s decision to light a fire under Ice Cream Sandwich follows a move by Asus to update its Transformer Prime to the latest edition of Android. Earlier this month, Asus announced that it would send out ICS to Prime users as of yesterday.
A representative for Asus told CNET that the ICS update for the Transformer Prime rolled out to the U.S. and Taiwan Tuesday night, ahead of schedule. but the update for the original Transformer tablet will roll out in early February for both countries.
Updated 7:30 a.m. PT and again at 1:45 p.m.with information from Asus and Motorola.
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Remember back in may when RIM made a big announcement that the BlackBerry PlayBook tablet would be getting angry Birds? well, that time has finally come. The original version of the angry Birds, angry Birds Seasons, and angry Birds Rio are now available in the BlackBerry App World for the PlayBook. The PlayBook just might be the last mobile platform to get the angry Birds franchise (seriously, even Nokia S40 phones have had it for some time now), and it doesn’t look like PlayBook owners are getting any break on the price in exchange for their patience, as each version of the app costs a hefty $4.99. If you own a PlayBook and have been jonesing for your angry Birds fix, head on over to the BlackBerry App World now and get to downloading.
source: BlackBerry App World, via: CrackBerry
Runecrafting is my personal favourite way to make a ton of gold in runescape. It’s not the most fun thing to do, but I find it the most effective. Once you can get to a decent level you can easily make over 100,000 gold per hour. but I’ll save the money making talk for the money making guides.
As a free member, your money making abilities are fairly limited. You can still make very decent cash with runecrafting, but not quite as much as if you were a member.
As a free member you can only craft up to body runes. if I was only a free member, then I would only bother to craft air runes, they fetch a decent amount and they are the most commonly used in attack spells.
Runecrafting is great for newbies and veterans alike, because of the money making potential and because you don’t need and skills to get started. Just a pick axe at first and some patience.
Runecrafting is such a slow skill to raise in Runescape. It is quite the money maker but it takes forever to get it higher. as with most skills, it’s possible to do it extremely quickly though.
First you need to get 50 runecrafting the old fashioned way. there are some tricks you can do like have multiple people bring you essences and you just stand at an altar but that was made more complicated by the trade limit. You can still do it if you have a ton of cash on you and pay people for every trip and tip them slightly so it’s worth their time.
Another technique to level your runecrafting skill quickly before 50 is to use a ring of dueling. this shortcut was a slight oversight by the makers of Runescape. go to the duel arena with it and then run to the extremely close fire altar and make your runes then use the ring again to teleport to castle wars, which lands you about 8 steps from the bank chest. You can dump the runes and get more essences there than teleport back to the duel arena and repeat the process over and over.
Once you finally do get to 50, you can do the biggest shortcut ever. go to the runecrafting guild which you can access via a purple portal on one of the upper floors of the wizard tower near Draynor. if there aren’t many people there, you’ll have to switch to the official Great Orb Project server. Once there’s a enough people, you can join a game. hopefully your team will win but either way, you’ll get some tokens at the end. if you’re lucky enough to have some of the other team members quit or disconnect or if they just plain suck, you’ll end up with A LOT of tokens.
Once you have a decent number of tokens (at least 1000) go talk to the wizard that trades them in for rewards. if you scroll down past the outfits and stuff, you’ll see a tablets section (as seen in the attached screenshot). these tablets teleport you directly to the related runecrafting altar with virtually no walking required! buy whatever tablets will either make you the most money per essence or get you the most experience, whichever your priority is. for example, medium level runecrafters can make 2x cosmic runes, making it much more of a money maker than nature runes
Once you’ve bought a lot of tablets, head to any bank and get some essences, pouches if you have them, the tiara for that altar, and a duel ring. Equip the ring so it doesn’t take up one space. You can still use it by right clicking on it on your equipment screen and clicking operate. Use the tablet to teleport to the altar and make the runes then use the duel ring to go to castle wars, which has a bank chest extremely close. Then use another tablet and repeat the whole process. I made 2000 cosmics in around a half hour this way! I made over 10,000 air runes pretty quickly too. It really does work and it’s a lot faster and less boring than normal runecrafting. You’ll be a Runescape millionaire with a high runecrafting level in no time!