This morning at a press conference from the Morgan Library, Amazon finally announced the long-awaited Kindle 2 e-book reader. The updated version will cost $359, and sports quite a few worthy improvements. First, it is much thinner than the original Kindle at just .36-inches thin. Yes, that is just about as thin as a #2 pencil, and thinner than an iPhone. It also sports 7 times more storage than the original, which means it can hold over 1,500 books. Battery life is 25% longer as well, which means you should be able to go a couple of weeks between charges.
When it comes to actually, you know, reading, the display is what matters. Luckily, Amazon improved that as well, as the new display can display 16 shades of gray, which results in clearer text and crisper images. By far, though, we think the biggest feature is the one they are calling Read to Me. It is a text-to-speech feature that lets the Kindle read any book, magazine, blog, or newspaper out loud to you. Kind of cool.
As we said, the new Kindle will sell for $359, and it starts shipping on February 24th. They are sold on a first come, first served basis, but if you are a Kindle 1 owner and order before midnight PST on February 10th, you will receive first priority. You can order one now at the Kindle 2 product page on Amazon.
When Apple announced the new iLife ‘09 suite during the MacWorld 2009 Keynote last month, we were immediately intrigued by the seemingly powerful features included in iPhoto and iMovie. If you happened to catch it, you know what I am talking about. Faces and Places in iPhoto had the ability to change the way we use the program, and image stabilization in iMovie would be amazing for any amateur videographer or video hobbyist. We couldn’t wait to get our hands on the software, and now that we have been able to give it a good few days of playing with, we are ready to report back with our thoughts. Should you purchase iLife ‘09 for $79? Hit the jump for our thoughts.
Alright, let’s be honest. For all the gentlemen who spend their time reading Gear Live, it’s easy to get so distracted by all the gadgety goodness that seems to be all around us, that you may very well overlook important events. If you didn’t know, Barack Obama is now President, and Valentine’s Day is just 12 days away. Now, if that strikes fear into your heart because you just spent all your available cash on an iPhone, take a deep breathe. You see, we’ve got you covered.
We are giving away five $70 ProFlowers gift certificates to five Gear Live readers. That’s enough for you to pick out something nice for your wife / girlfriend / mother / sister / teacher / friend / confidant / self. Obviously, the gift certificate can be used for anything available from ProFlowers, so if that means you send yourself $70 in chocolate to make yourself feel better about your current situation, so be it.
Anyhow, here’s how to enter to win one of the five gift certificates. All you need to do is on over to our ProFlowers Contest forum thread, and let us know about either your best or worst Valentine’s Day memory. Once you do that, you are in the contest.
Oh, you want the opportunity for bonus entries? Fine. You can get one additional entry into the contest by letting people know about it on Twitter. Something as simple as:
“Gear Live is giving away five $70 ProFlowers gift certificates http://1wu.qlnk.net/”
Then just come back here and leave us a link to that Twitter update in the comments.
Now, the rules. The contest starts now, and ends at 11:59 PM PST on February 8th. We will then choose five random winners, and send them each their coupon codes so they can place their orders. The flowers can only be sent to addresses within the United States.
Now, if you can’t wait, or just would rather make a purchase right now, we’ve also been able to get a fantastic deal from ProFlowers. Here’s a coupon for 20% off any ProFlowers order + a free vase.
Read More | ProFlowers
What’s the latest on the iPhone Flash rumors? It looks like work is being done, but that finding a solution is proving to be tough, as evidenced by Adobe’s Shantanu Narayen:
“It’s a hard technical challenge, and that’s part of the reason Apple and Adobe are collaborating,” Narayen told Bloomberg Television at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. “The ball is in our court. The onus is on us to deliver.”
Did you get that? Apple and Adobe are working together to come up with a suitable Flash derivative for the iPhone. So while there’s no set date or anything, we can at least rest assured that it’s coming. iPhone Hulu, anyone?
Read More | Bloomberg
Now that we’re over the holiday hump (i.e. every game imaginable being released at the same time, oh god, why do you do this to me), a lot of sites and publications have been putting together lists of games to look forward to in the new year. Me? Nuh-uh. I don’t have the cash for that. Fallout and Dead Space alone have depleted my gaming funds for a while (not to mention a certain 360 dying enough times for me to wish ill on its relatives), and if you’re like me, you want a cheap alternative until your funds recover. Hell, even if you don’t need it, you can’t pass up a quality gaming experience on the cheap, but being a penny-pinching bastard like myself tends to help heal those imaginary wounds. So, I’ve decided to put together a list of a few old-but-still-awesome games that you can get for slightly less than the cost of a night with your mom, though they’ll probably last far longer.
You may want to note that some of these games are older and may stutter and wobble and spurt blood if you’re running more than Windows XP, so you may want to check your compatibility before you plunk down the green to have them downloaded to your inferior operating system, muahaha. Hit the jump for the rundown.
We hit you with our Mophie Juice Pack 3G review a couple of months ago, and even did a Juice Pack 3G video. Since then, we’ve continued enjoying how free we feel with the Juice Pack powering our iPhone 3G while we are out and about. Worries of a dead battery have all but disappeared, and that’s with Push mail, calendars, and contacts running.
Now we want one of you to be able to share in that experience, which is why we are giving away a Mophie Juice Pack to one Gear Live reader. Since it’s an iPhone accessory, we figured we would center the competition around that. Here are the rules:
Here’s how to enter to win:
- If you don’t have one already, sign up for a Gear Live account
- If you don’t have one already, sign up for a Twitter account
- Add the Gear Live Twitter account to your follow list
- On Twitter, post a tweet about out contest and link to this page. In the tweet, include the phrase “#gearlive”.
- Once that is done, leave a comment here in this post with a direct link back to your Tweet, and also let us know what your favorite iPhone app is. Be sure you are signed in to your Gear Live account before you leave the comment.
Here’s an example of an appropriate Twitter entry:
“Entering to win a Mophie Juice Pack 3G from #gearlive http://jvu.qlnk.net/”
Now, as to the actual contest dates. The contest starts today, January 28th. You have until 11:59 PM PST on February 4th to enter your comments here on this post. We will then announce our winner, chosen randomly out of all valid entrants and bonus points, on February 5th. Good luck to all, and remember, this contest is only open to residents of the United States and Canada.
We’ve been getting quite a few emails today asking about the camera that Malia Obama was using during Barack Obama’s inaugural address, so we figured a post was in order. Malia was taking images and/or recording video on her Kodak EasyShare M893 IS 8.1MP digital camera. It looks like she was sporting the purple version, but it is also available in red, black, and silver. You can grab one for just over $100 at Amazon.
We’re still curious if we’ll get to see any of the shots and footage that Malia scored from the amazing seats she had.
We are gonna go out on a limb and say this is likely the best gaming deal you’ll see today. Over at Amazon, they are selling the 1-year Xbox Live Gold subscription at just $29.97. That’s a little over $20 off the standard price of $50 that most of us pay on a yearly basis to stay connected to the Xbox Live golden world, or in other words, a full 40% off. If you are nearing the end of your subscription, you’ll wanna grab one, certainly. Heck, I’m gonna pick up a few just so I can stay stocked up. At $30, why not?
Interestingly enough, this isn’t the first sale of its kind, as Buy.com was also pulling a similar stunt last week. Could we be seeing the beginnings of an Xbox Live Gold price drop? Maybe?
Read More | Amazon
We’ve been seeing a bunch of interest in our coverage of the Beats by Dr. Dre line of headphones, and rightfully so, we think. It’s the headphone we rock when we travel somewhere, and we even recommend them if you are looking for a new pair of over-ears. In this episode, we wanted to give you a look at some of the other super-rare and limited edition versions of the Beats Studio headphones. We’ve got a pair of the standard black set, but in this video we give you a look at the white Ron Herman Beats, the red LeBron James Beats, and the ultra-rare pink Charles Hamilton Beats. Definitely not anything you should plan on getting your hands on, but nice to see that the Beats are being positioned as a collectors item in a way. If you are into music videos, you’ll likely have seem them in over a dozen different ones over the past few months.
Look out for more exclusive versions in the future, we can’t imagine that this is the end of it.
The saga of health of Steve Jobs and the rumors surrounding his condition are back, as the Apple CEO had just announced that he will be taking a six-month leave of absence from his post at the helm of Apple. COO Tim Cook will handle day-to-day operations at the company while Jobs is gone. All this, after Steve handed the MacWorld keynote slot to Phil Schiller, and even went on to post that his health was under control. In a note to Apple, Steve Jobs made it known that he had just learned that his health issues are a little more “complex” than first diagnosed.
You can find that letter below - we just hope that Steve gets back to good health quickly, and actually does return to his usual role as Apple CEO. However, something tells us that he may not be back. Of course, we hope we are wrong.
I am sure all of you saw my letter last week sharing something very personal with the Apple community. Unfortunately, the curiosity over my personal health continues to be a distraction not only for me and my family, but everyone else at Apple as well. In addition, during the past week I have learned that my
health-related issues are more complex than I originally thought.
In order to take myself out of the limelight and focus on my health, and to allow everyone at Apple to focus on delivering extraordinary products, I have decided to take a medical leave of absence until the end of June.
I have asked Tim Cook to be responsible for Apple’s day to day operations, and I know he and the rest of the executive management team will do a great job. As CEO, I plan to remain involved in major strategic decisions while I am out. Our board of directors fully supports this plan.
I look forward to seeing all of you this summer.
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