Author Archives: Jason Ward
Microsoft’s Controversial Windows 8 OS Is Gaining Ground–Fast
Windows 8, whether you love it or hate it, is a success. After recently announcing that the dramatically redesigned OS has already sold more than 100 million copies, Microsoft has gone something on the offensive in various blog posts, defending their design choices and their ongoing work to adapt the OS to consumer needs. But now there’s something new to crow about, and the only surprise is that there hasn’t yet been a press release: the Windows 8 App Store is now home to more than 70,000 apps. You read that right, folks: in 7 months of market availability, Windows 8 has 5 times as many apps in its marketplace as Apple’s OSX has, and it launched over 2 years ago. Head on past the break for the full details.
Lumia 928 Elevates Verizon’s Windows Phone 8 Offerings
It’s been a long time coming, but Nokia is finally bringing a high end smartphone to Verizon. That’s right, folks: the much-rumored, often hoped-for Nokia Lumia 928 is official and it’s coming to Verizon in just a few days. On May 16th the doors open and, for just $99, Verizon customers will be able to get their hands on Nokia’s latest.
The big question is, of course, what makes this thing so special, and why do we care about what might be just a mild revamp of a 6 month old AT&T phone, the Lumia 920? Head on past the jump for the straight skinny and find out!
Iron Man 3 Shows The Dark Knight How To Rise Better
I suppose it was only a matter of time before someone decided they could do a better job of telling a superhero story about the consequences of hubris or just plain bad decisions than Christopher Nolan did with his much-maligned final chapter of the Dark Knight saga, but I have to admit that I never imagined it would happen in the form of an Iron Man sequel written and directed by Shane Black. Nevertheless, here we are, and because I hate leaving people waiting until the last 30 seconds of the broadcast for an actual verdict, let’s just lay it out right here: not only is Iron Man 3 the best of the Iron Man movies, but it’s probably one of the best realized superhero movies to date. And yes, it’s better than The Dark Knight Rises. I’ll tell you all the reasons why after the break–and don’t worry, I’ll keep it spoiler-free.
Spaceship Two: First Commercial Space Penetration Will Be By a Virgin. Ironic?
Of course I had to be in a class when Virgin Galactic finally cranked up the engine on their long-awaited Spaceship Two. I’ll comfort myself with the fact that after having waited this many years to get to see something like this happening, an extra couple of hours won’t make much difference. Suffice to say, I’m stoked, but what do you think? Check out the video below and share your thoughts after the break!
Heroes Withered and Died, But Will Microsoft Resurrect It?
Heroes is one of those shows with which I have a love/hate relationship. On the one hand, the first season was a spectacular piece of genre fiction that successfully (well, mostly) wove together numerous plot threads, developed a fairly diverse cast of characters, and lead audiences to become intimately familiar with both a couple of memorable heroes and a very memorable villain. On the other hand, past the first season, the show wandered aimlessly, almost as if it had been bludgeoned half to death and could no longer navigate successfully. After limping across the finish line, I honestly never expected to hear another word about it–but according to TV Line, we may be getting more Heroes after all. Read on to get the lowdown and share your thoughts!
Surface Pro Battery Doesn’t Have to End at 4 Hours
I’m working on a Surface Pro right now in preparation for our upcoming review, but this little piece can’t wait. One of the chief complaints I’ve seen leveled at the device as I’ve perused other reviews is in the battery performance of the device. In most cases, reviewers, evidently unable to distinguish between an ARM based tablet and one running a full-blown laptop processor, have decried the battery life as horrible. While it’s fair to say that it’s not up to par with an ARM based SoC (what is?) in that area, it also doesn’t have to be as terrible as people claim. No, Microsoft’s Surface Pro has the ability to do a little better, and all it takes is a bit of tweaking on your part (tweaking, I’ll add, that Microsoft should have done at the factory). As I type this, I’ve been using it off the outlet for 6 hours, 24 minutes, and I have 15% battery life remaining. Head on past the jump for what I did, and how I’m getting an average of 6 hours depending on how I’m working.
Today was the official launch date of Microsoft’s much-anticipated Surface Pro, the tablet device they famously announced in the summer of 2012. The device, supposed to bridge the gap between tablets and ultrabook laptops offering, if not a perfect amalgamation of the two, at least a superb blending of capabilities. From the various reviews, it sounds like the device more or less gets there, and a few days ago my fiancée and I managed to get some hands on time with the devices at Microsoft’s store in South Coast Plaza, Orange County, CA. We’d gone in hopes of getting a reservation card, announced a few days before. Kelley is an artist, and as such Surface represents probably the best value in tablet and computer on the market, thanks to its integrated Wacom digitizer that supports 1024 levels of pressure sensitivity. After playing with the device in store that day, she knew it was worth getting as a worthy upgrade to her aging Tablet PC. She’d tried for a time with the iPad (which we finally got rid of awhile back), but that device simply isn’t up to the task. So we asked for a reservation card, but were told that they were already gone. Subsequently the employee said not to worry because “we’ll have hundreds, you won’t need a reservation,” so we left the store with no worries.
Then this morning arrived, and as we got ready to head to the store, I perused the news and came across a startling article: Surface Pro sells out immediately. What the hell happened?
Nvidia’s sees your Quad Core Graphics and says “Yeah? Here’s 68 more, bitches!”
So you thought your new Nexus 10 or iPad 4 was the all-singing, all-dancing crap of the world, right? That your dual core tablet or smartphone, or A6-this, Exynos-that was the end-all, be-all of hot shit? Well, Nvidia’s just dropped a brick in your lap, and it’s called the Tegra 4 mobile processor. It makes your iPad 4 look like a joke. It strangles your Nexus 7, 10 or otherwise, and it does it all with a song in its low-energy core, a swanky games console wrapped around its shoulders and a sure bet that 2013′s mobile phones and tablets are going to take a big, fiery dump on everything you just got for Christmas. Follow me past the break for specs and thoughts on Nvidia’s new groundbreaking Tegra 4 processor!
I received an interesting email this morning, with a message from Intuit regarding their Quickbooks GoPayment app support for Windows Phone. Normally this isn’t something I’d bother blogging about, but this is something that goes well outside the normal email for a service provider to send to its customers. The long and short of it is this: Intuit is actively encouraging users to abandon the Windows Phone platform in favor of Android and iOS. Yes, you read that correctly. In spite of the very new launch of Windows Phone 8, which offers more than adequate support for everything an Intuit app and card reader could possibly need, the company has not only pulled its existing Windows Phone 7 app from the store but is actually telling users to leave the platform for competing OS’s. This kind of behavior from a major app vendor is unusual and, quite frankly, unacceptable, but hopefully it’ll mean that Square, PayPal or one of the other processing merchants will step up to the plate and address the market that Intuit apparently doesn’t care to.
For the full details, plus a workaround, and where you can write to complain, hit the break!
Star Trek Into Darkess Brings Trek Back In Name Only, it Seems
Well that was fast. Hot on the heels of Paramount’s new Star Trek Into Darkness poster (which is relatively cool, in a Dark Knight Rises sort of way), they’ve gone and released the next wave of hype for the new sequel, a big, noisy teaser.
So how’s it look? Well…not like a Star Trek movie, that’s for sure. It looks more like Michael Bay and Darth Vader kidnapped the Enterprise and went joyriding. Apparently something explodes, the Enterprise crashes, something else explodes, Kirk grins sheepishly, yet another thing explodes, Uhura gets sad, something’s swallowed by hot lava, Pike does something in his wheelchair, and…then something else explodes.
I hope the movie is better than the trailer makes it out to be, but I suppose only time will tell.