The internets are abuzz with all sorts of great stuff this week. Let's take a look.
Gerry Conway is one of my favorite writers. I love his Marvel work on Spider-Man and countless others, his Atari Force for DC is an unsung gem, and, more importantly, I think his work as a writer-producer on Law & Order: Criminal Intent gave that show its best episodes. This project with him looks very interesting.
Great news. An old DC book that slipped under the radar is getting collected by Dark Horse. It’s Dan Jolley’s (and Leonard Kirk’s and Robin Riggs’) Bloodhound. Here’s a solid interview with Dan at Robot 6.
Mickey Mouse tries to kill himself, in 1930.
A Star Wars novel as caper with Han, Chewy and Lando? Here’s a very favorable review from Randy Johnson of Star Wars: Scoundrels by Timothy Zahn.
Fulton Innovation, known for its advancements in wireless power, is making yet another run at wireless power in 2013. What's in store this year: Using your tablet to wirelessly charge your smartphone. Fulton showed off its "two-way technology" at CES 2013, displaying a tablet that doubles as a wireless charing pad for other devices and Qi-compatible phones. Fulton demonstrated its two-way technology's flexibility with a printed poster of aDj console that is played by tapping elements of the poster to create sounds, all powered by its two-way tablet, as instead of powering lights it powers the speakers. The circuits of the poster are implemented in conductive inks that create the wireless power coil. Lastly, Fulton showed its multi-device power mat that allows multiple Qi-compatible devices to charge on a single surface.
Read More | The Verge
Maps for Windows Phone users is about to get a little better. According to Google, it is planning on fixing the issue preventing Windows Phone users from reaching the Google Maps website through Internet Explorer. The search giant had this to say:
"We periodically test Google Maps compatibility with mobile browsers to make sure we deliver the best experience for those users. In our last test, IE mobile still did not offer a good maps experience with no ability to pan or zoom and perform basic map functionality. As a result, we chose to continue to redirect IE mobile users to Google.com where they could at least make local searches. The Firefox mobile browser did offer a somewhat better user experience and that’s why there is no redirect for those users. Recent improvements to IE mobile and Google Maps now deliver a better experience and we are currently working to remove the redirect. We will continue to test Google Maps compatibility with other mobile browsers to ensure the best possible experience for users."
Google had previously stated that the outage was because its mobile Maps site wasn't designed with IE in mind.
Lenovo is dividing its internal operations to separately handle its mid and low-range products and the high-end products associated with the ThinkPad. This news comes from an internal email we were made aware of by Sina Tech, which states that in April the Lenovo Business Group will handle mid-range laptops, desktops, tablets and smart TVs, while the Think Business Group will handle high-end consumer products and produce enterprise machines. It was noted in the email by Lenovo CEO Yang Yuanqing, that Think is more suited to compete with Apple in the high-end market. Digitimes also reports on rumors suggesting Lenovo plans to arrange an in-house position for its notebook production within three to five years.
Read More | Sina Tech
Withings has announced its contender in the wearable fitness tracker battle with its Smart Activity Tracker at CES 2013. As seen in the image, the Smart Activity Tracker is small, similar to a Fitbit, and it nicely packs in Bluetooth 4.0 for low battery consumption. Throw it in a pocket or wear it on your belt or arm, and it'll track steps taken, flights of stairs climbed, calories burned, sleep quality, and running strides. Even cooler, unlike other similar devices, this one can measure your pulse when you press your finger against its built-in heart rate monitor. A small OLED display is on front to provide all of your stats at a glance, and the battery lasts about two weeks per charge, and uses micro USB for recharging. No pricing info is available for the Smart Activity Tracker just yet, but we'll let you know as soon as we know.
Read More | Withings Smart Activity Tracker
Canonical, makers of the open source Linux Ubuntu desktop OS, is in the process of turning Ubuntu into a mobile operating system and has sets its sights on a 2014 launch. The OS boasts an intuitive take on the lock screen, and uses gestures for navigating through the device. However, will this be enough to take on the juggernauts that iOS and Android have become? As of now, even with the power of Microsoft behind it, Windows Phone is still catering to a niche market, and RIM is still staggering to regain its footing as it revamps the BlackBerry operating system (formally QNX, now dubbed BlackBerry 10.) Will the Open Community come through and help propel Ubuntu's mobile OS?
Read More | Ubuntu
Apple posted a new TV ad showcasing a feature in iOS 6 dubbed "Do Not Disturb" on New Year's day. Coincidently, users have reported that the feature didn't work as it should on the on the 1st. Some have speculated that it was a bug similar to the Daylight Savings glitch that plagued some users during the time change a few years back, albeit this issue being a year change. Apple made a statement today on its support page regarding the problem, suggesting that users manually set it until said date as a temporary remedy. The timing is perfect, sarcasm! Catch the video after the click.
We've declared our love for Sonos multiple times here on Gear Live, which is why we're excited about the prospect of the company bringing its product line into home theater. An FCC filing reveals that Sonos has indeed submitted documents related to a soundbar with integrated Wi-Fi (like all other Sonos products) that should play nicely with the Sonos SUB that was released earlier this year. Perhaps we'll get a look at this one at CES next week, pretty please?
In what may be the most obvious Apple rumor in quite some time, the company is reportedly working on the next iPad with Retina display (5th generation), and will be taking design cues from the iPad mini. This means a thinner, lighter full-sized iPad with anodized aluminum backing and thinner side bezels. What isn't so obvious, though, is the timing of the rumor. When Apple released the 4th generation iPad just 7 months after the 3rd generation model, many wondered if it meant that the company would be moving to a semi-annual release schedule. We'll know for sure if the 5th gen tablet drops in March.
Peter David and I worked together oh-so-briefly back in the early '90s, but I was already a fan of his comic book work, his many novels, and his work writing about comics. He's been one of the good guys since day one.
Peter had a stroke over the holidays, and while he's recovering and being evaluated, please keep him in your thoughts and wish him well.
I'm sure progress will be posted at his website - it's crashed a couple of times from all the traffic, so just keep trying.
Get well soon, Peter.
(And if you know anyone who might be at risk for a stroke, check for the possible warning signs.)
[Artwork: Jim Starlin's Dreadstar, written by Peter David, and swiped from My Comic Shop]
Read More | Comics Beat