? All Tech Radio Episode 319
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  • If you want the one-sentence of the Kindle Fire, here it is: Great for the price, but it's no iPad. That's the general consensus from reviewers publishing their takes on Amazon's super-cheap tablet Monday morning. The Fire has its faults: no hardware volume button, a somewhat awkward display ratio and a screen with a glare that makes it a bit difficult for actually reading. On the other hand, that screen displays rich colors and clear text, and the tablet also has access to a huge amount of content from Amazon's digital storefronts. Plus, you may remember, it costs $200. The Washington Post columnist Joshua Topolsky likes the Fire's access to content and its software. But he said that there are certainly kinks that should be worked out -- such as lags during scrolling and an innovative browser, Silk, that doesn't quite live up to demos.
  • Sony has been working on a new kind of TV set to sell. Although Sony has lost money the last several years in its TV set division, Sony has been working on a strategy that they refuse to discuss. Their number one goal for the past five years has been of figure out how to compete with Apple, and soon they will reveal this strategy. Our educated guess is that they will do what Apple is currentl;y trying to do with Apple TV; create a TV set that interacts wirelessly with tablets and smart phones, and allows apps to run on the TV set itself.
  • If you're looking for a way to burn out your corneas faster than ageing will do, you can buy the Nintendo 3DS gaming system. Nintendo has lowered the price from $250 to just $170 in the last two weeks, and it's outselling all other DS models. During the beta test of the product there were 9,000 cases out of 43,000 beta testers that had nausea, headaches, eye strains and vision loss. If you value your vision or your children's then don't buy it. Simply stopping playing the games didn't stop the vision loss progression.
  • The Ultrabooks are coming! As previously discussed the first Ultrabooks are coming out before Christmas. They have specs outlined by the processor inventor of the Ultrabook category, Intel. These new breed of laptops with have full blown keyboards, 5 hours battery life, are less than an inch thick, have boot times of a mere three seconds based on a flash drive instead of a normal hard drive, and will be cloud oriented. That means there will be very little storage on board, but will link to cloud based storage services. These will be mostly business devices that cost from $1,000- $1,300. Although many will run on Linux or Android, the best models are expected next year when Windows 8 comes out.
  • Apple has pushed out the latest version of its media player and management software -- iTunes 10.5.1.The subscription service will set you back $25 per year and enables you to access your entire music collection in the cloud. The latest version of iOS has seen Apple expressing a greater interest than ever before in life in the cloud and this foray means that it will now be possible for those willing to stump up the annual fee to access their music collection from any internet connected device without the need for manually copying of files.However, Apple's cloud servers are failing to meet demand, with widespread reports iTunes Match isn't available
  • Ilya Zhitomirskiy, one of the co-founders of Facebook-alternative Diaspora, died Saturday night at the age of 22. A spokesman for the San Francisco medical examiner's office confirmed the death of Zhitomirskiy to FoxNews.com, originally reported Sunday by popular tech news blog TechCrunch. He was unable to confirm reports that the young man committed suicide. The New York University graduate was struggling to launch his social network Diaspora -- an open-source social network Zhitomirskiy started building with classmates Dan Grippi, Maxwell Salzberg and Raphael Sofaer early last year. Their goal was to provide an idealistic Facebook alternative with an emphasis on user control and privacy.
  • Server vendors on Monday came out in support of Advanced Micro Devices' latest Opteron 6200 server chips, which advance chip technology to new highs with 16 processor cores. Top server makers Hewlett-Packard, Dell and IBM are refreshing server lines with the new Opteron chips, which include between four and 16 cores. Code-named Interlagos, the new chips are 25 percent to 30 percent faster than their predecessors, the 12-core Opteron 6100 chips. A larger number of cores on AMD's chips could bring servers more performance on specific applications while cutting power consumption, said Dan Olds, principal analyst at Gabriel Consulting Group.
  • Despite news to the contrary, it appears that all four big music labels here in the USA will be onboard with Google's new Music store, that is if screenshots that've appeared just this morning via TechnoDroidVE are to be believed. What you're about to see here is a set of what appear to be screenshots of Google Music or Google's Music Store, whatever it'll end up being called, it appearing very much to be a continuation of what Google has in place with its Android Market, complete with a wide selection of artists on all four giant music labels rather than missing Sony and Warner What's most important in these screenshots is the fact that, first, the track prices are very comparable to iTunes. Two: that it appears that there's a wide range of artists on board including such big names as Green Day and Shakira.You'll also see a Free Song of the Day program in place alongside gobs of information on the bands and tracks included.
  • Google is extending phone support for Google Apps for Business customers to cover all issues affecting core services. "Customers of all industries, of all shapes and sizes, are all moving to the cloud," said Singh. Previously, Google offered 24 x 7 phone support, but only for critical issues. The core services, as Google defines them, are Gmail, Calendar, Groups, Docs, Sites, and Video. Google will continue to maintain its online help services. A company spokesperson declined to provide details about how or where Google is running its call centers. Singh said that Google Apps is now used by 4 million businesses and 40 million people, with 5,000 more businesses joining daily. The many individuals and small businesses using the free version of Google Apps do not have access to phone support.
  • If you still have a first-generation iPod Nano, now is your chance to trade it in for one that won't overheat. Apple is providing replacements for that model due to some problems it found in the six-year-old devices. Though Apple says it's "very rare," and only affects this particular model, the company does make a point of advising first-gen iPod Nano owners to stop using the device and follow the process for ordering a free replacement unit. You should get that about six weeks after Apple receives your iPod Nano. Personalized Nanos don't come back with the original inscriptions, unfortunately. You'll get a clean one. Also, be sure to back up any data you have on your device before sending it off.

email from listeners:

  • Julie from Portland asks "Should I get the Kindle or the Fire for reading books?"