Alright iPhone fans, we know that the Palm Pre has been getting all the attention lately in the “awesome touchscreen phone” department, but relax. Apple has just sent out notice to all of us press-types that they are going to be presenting iPhone OS 3.0 for the first time on March 17th. That’s right, in five days you will get an “advance preview” of what Apple has been working on for the next version of the iPhone operating system, as well as a look at the new version of the SDK, which will (or should) give developers better ways to integrate their apps into the OS.
Rating: *** 1/2*
When I first heard that artist Tony Daniel would be doing the writing chores for the DC mega miniseries “Batman: Battle for the Cowl,” I groaned. I groaned because I felt that a inexperienced writer like Daniel should not be given the task of writing this major miniseries. I already had it in my head that this series was going to be a let down - boy was I wrong. The first issue of “Batman: Battle for the Cowl” is an absolute winner. I know its cliche, but from the first page to the last, this issue delivered in a big way for me.
As any reader of my previous blogs on Batman, you know that I have not been happy with what Grant Morrison has been doing on “Batman” - particularly the recent “RIP” storyline. I felt the story was a big let down and by no means lived up to the hype DC was giving it. After reading this issue, I wish DC would give the job of writing “Batman” to Daniel, but unfortunately Morrison will be returning to the title after this series is over.
Since Batman’s “death” in “Final Crisis,” we have seen Gotham City slip deeper and deeper into chaos. This issue reveals that Nightwing has now become the leader of The Network which brings together all of the heroes who are allies of Batman or who have operated in Gotham in the past. Daniel also brings in Knight and Squire from Morrison’s Batmen of all Nations storyline. The reintroduction of the Batmen of all Nations is one of the few things that I’ve liked about Morrison’s run. I particularly like Knight and Squire and I would love to see a miniseries focusing on them set in the UK.
Daniel continues what Denny O’Neil started in his recent storyline of Nightwing refusing to take on the mantle of the Batman and being insecure about even thinking about doing so as he feels he’s not worthy to even step in his shoes. I’m assuming that’s something the editors of Batman want as a theme in the Bat-books right now. I’m not crazy with that direction as I feel Dick should be a hell of a lot more confident and sure of himself and want to take on the roll to honor his surrogate father.
This morning Apple unveiled a brand new, re-imagined iPod shuffle. The new shuffle hits you with 4GB of storage space, which equates to about a 1,000 song capacity, and is half the size of the previous generation iPod shuffle, which in and of itself was pretty freaking small. Another new feature is VoiceOver, which is basically a text-to-speech technology built into the shuffle. Since there is no screen, sometimes it’s hard to know what’s playing. With VoiceOver, you press a button and the shuffle will tell you the name of the song and artist, as well as the name of the playlist, if applicable. VoiceOver is available in the following languages: English, Czech, Dutch, French, German, Greek, Italian, Japanese, Mandarin Chinese, Polish, Portuguese, Spanish, Swedish and Turkish.
The downside? For some reason Apple thought it best to move all the controls on the shuffle to the headphone cable. You simple cannot control the iPod shuffle from the actual device. This immediately limits the number of headphones available, because even if you own a pair of fantastic $150 headphones, if those headphones don’t have controls, you are screwed and left with the crap Apple headphones that ship with the device.
Since its trailer debuted with “The Dark Knight” we have all been waiting patiently for the big screen adaptation of the greatest graphic novel of all time. So, does it live up to its hype? When I first read Watchmen over the summer before my junior year of high school, I thought it was very cinematic and would translate well into a film. Obviously edits would have to be made, but still in the right hands it would be good. Zack Snyder is the right hand. Snyder’s adaptation is extremely faithful to the source material, some might say too faithful at times. Some scenes are lifted directly from the comic book, while others, though faithful, have some modifications. But I’ll get to those later.
We were able to spend some quality time with the latest dual slider Windows Mobile smartphone from AT&T, that being the Pantech Matrix Pro. If you are unfamiliar with dual slider phones, what this means is that if you slide the phone vertically, you get a number pad—but if you turn it horizontally and slide up, you get a QWERTY keyboard. Very slick. The Pantech Matrix Pro runs Windows Mobile 6.1, and is Video Share capable, which means you can beam video to and from the phone to other handsets, a feature that we think is the hotness, along with turn-by-turn navigation via aGPS. We will be doing more with the Matrix Pro, but for now, we’ve put together a nice Pantech Matrix Pro unboxing gallery, featuring 31 images of the new smartphone.
You can pick up the Pantech Matrix Pro now for $179.99 with two-year contract. We’ve got all the specs for you, after the break.
Read More | Pantech Matrix Pro unboxing gallery
Gallery: Pantech Matrix Pro unboxing gallery
In this first episode, Monica goes in for a pre-op consultation, and meets with the folks over at LASIK Plus. During the visit, we captured just about every question about LASIK and laser vision correction surgery that we could, and we bring you all the common questions that most people have about LASIK, in great detail. We also show you some of the pre-op procedures that are done in order to determine if a candidate qualifies for vision correction, and ask about other alternatives for those who don’t.
That’s it for this first episode - if you are someone considering LASIK, or just wanted to know more about it, this is the video to watch. In our next episode, we give you a look at the actual procedure, as we take our cameras into the operating room. Be prepared.
We knew that Amazon was planning on bringing their Kindle e-books to other devices, but we didn’t think it would happen this soon. This evening, Kindle for iPhone was released on the App Store, available for free. In a nutshell, you are able to associate your iPhone or iPod touch with your Amazon account, and can then buy Kindle book content and have it sent to your phone for reading. Kindle for iPhone is also compatible with the Whispersync service, which allows you to continue reading any Kindle content from where you left off, no matter which device you are reading on. That means you can start reading on your iPhone, stop, then power on your Kindle and continue from the same page you left off on. Very nice.
If you are a Kindle or Kindle 2 owner, and you’ve purchased books for those devices, when you download Kindle for iPhone you’ll have an Archived Items category that will list all your purchased books, which you can access immediately. In using the app, we found that it works extremely well—not as well as a Kindle, mind you, but as an extra way to read the e-books (or as a way to save yourself the $359 Kindle price tag,) the app shines. Go ahead and hit the App Store to grab Kindle for iPhone.
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Yup, even more Apple update news for you guys today, as it would be irresponsible of us not to inform you of the spec bumps to the iMac line. Like all the other Apple computer products, the iMac picks up a Mini DisplayPort with this revision, but that’s not all. Prices are looking good, with a 20-inch model starting at $1,199, and the 24-inch model starting at a price of $1,499. There is only one 20-inch model, which hits you with a 2.66GHz Core 2 Duo processor, 2GB RAM, 320GB hard drive space, and a GeForce 9400M graphics chip. The baseline 24-inch model includes the same processor, but 4GB RAM and a 640GB hard drive. You can move up from there if you want a 2.93Ghz, or 3.06 GHz, processor. You can pick up a new iMac now.
Read More | Apple iMac
Continuing with all the Apple desktop releases today, the company has announced a newly-redesigned Nehalem-based Mac Pro. The price starts at $2,499, which gets you a 2.66GHz quad-core Intel Xeon 3500, 3GB RAM, and a 640GB hard drive. If an 8-core system is more your thing, you can grab a Mac Pro with two 2.26GHz quad-core Nehalems, with 6GB RAM, for $3,299. The Nehalem chips support HyperThreading, so you get double the amount of virtual cores as you do real cores, and they support triple RAM data rate. As in customary with all the new Apple computers, the new Mac Pro sports a Mini DisplayPort, which means it is usable with the LED Cinema Display.
The new Mac Pro is available now.
Read More | Mac Pro
We know, you Mac mini fans out there have been waiting a long time for something—anything—from Apple, as it pertained to an update of the platform. That day has come, as the early 2009 Mac mini was added to the Apple desktop lineup this morning. Not too much has changed, but what you should know is that the new model sports five USB ports, a FireWire 800 port, the new mini DisplayPort, and a miniDVI port as well. Yup, that means you can use thing with your dual monitor setup. There are two models, both of which offer a 2.0GHz Core 2 Duo processor, and 8x SuperDrive, and NVIDIA GeForce 9400M graphics chipset. The $599 base model nets you 1GB of RAM and 120GB of hard drive space. If you are feeling a bit more adventurous, the $799 model hits you with 2GB RAM and a 320GB hard drive. We’ve got an image of the ports for you, after the jump.
The new Mac mini is available for purchase now.
Read More | Apple Mac mini
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