Verizon's launching its LTE network on Sunday, the FCC is proposing a plan for Net neutrality tomorrow, and Google is about to take over the world EVEN MORE with its e-book venture (we're sure the EU is going to love that). Also, that deafening silence you hear on Twitter is the sound of a bunch of celebrities playing dead to raise money for AIDS. New meme: celebrity zombie impersonator accounts! Get yours today! --MollySubscribe: iTunes (MP3) | iTunes (320x180) | iTunes (640x360) | RSS (MP3) | RSS (320x180) | RSS (640x360)… Read more
We don't always do special blog posts announcing that a certain product has received a CNET Editors' Choice Award, but in the case of our two new winners--the Amazon Kindle and the Barnes & Noble Nook Color--we're taking a moment to explain our decision for a couple for reasons.
For starters, in the case of the third-generation Amazon Kindle, the product has already been out a few months. So why award it an Editors' Choice now? Well, we had been leaning for a long while toward stamping it with an "EC," but upon hearing rumors that … Read more
The Internet is profoundly underwhelmed by Apple's announcement that the Beatles catalog will now be available on iTunes. The more germane question, really: where the heck is iOS 4.2? Also, turns out the Kinect (unlike Apple's Beatle announcement) is a runaway hit. Schmidt's not worried about Facebook Messages, and also, the Internet wants to stop the TSA's airport junk-groping. --MollySubscribe: iTunes (MP3) | iTunes (320x180) | iTunes (640x360) | RSS (MP3) | RSS (320x180) | RSS (640x360)… Read more
Barnes & Noble announced today that its new "reader's tablet," the $250 touch-screen Nook Color, has begun shipping slightly ahead of schedule to customers who preordered the device. Some may even receive their units as early as today.
As for us, well, we picked up a review unit the other day at the company's headquarters in New York and put it through its paces over the last few days. While we still think Barnes & Noble has some work to do with adding more apps, all in all, the Nook Color is a very capable e-reader … Read more
E-book readers that use e-ink are getting a splash of color, courtesy of a new e-paper technology.
Display maker E Ink announced today the release of its new color e-paper, called E Ink Triton, which will offer e-book makers a way to add color to their e-ink devices. The new technology will make its debut with a color e-book reader set to be released in China next March by Chinese e-reader vendor Hanvon, an E Ink representative told CNET.
"E Ink Triton marks a major milestone in the e-book revolution," Hanvon's Chairman Liu Yingjian said in a statement. "E Ink has the right technology, manufacturing capability, and know-how to transition Hanvon's product vision into reality. With E Ink Triton technology, Hanvon is enabled to release the world's first [e-ink-reliant] color e-book reader today."
The new e-paper is being geared to show off a variety of applications and content, including charts, graphs, maps, photos, comics and, of course, advertisements. Screens using the new Triton e-ink can display thousands of colors, as well as 16 levels of gray scale, according to E Ink. The text and color graphics are also designed to be fully viewable in direct sunlight and are maintained on the screen, even when the device power is turned off.
E Ink is touting the speed of its new electronic paper, claiming that displays made with Triton can perform up to 20 percent faster than ones made with older e-ink technology.… Read more
After Barnes & Noble unveiled its Nook Color e-reader recently, I got a few e-mails from folks asking me what I thought Amazon.com was up to and whether Jeff Bezos had some sort of color device up his sleeve. I'd written an article a few months back about a possible Amazon Android tablet and they wanted to know whether they should opt for the Nook Color or wait for an Amazon tablet. Did I know if a Kindle Color was coming soon?
Well, for starters, I don't think we'll see a color e-reader from Amazon this year--or probably anytime soon. I think Amazon really sees the iPad as its color e-reader of the moment. A lot of people are using the Kindle app on the iPad (and iPhone), even though Apple has iBooks. Of course, Barnes & Noble also has a Nook app for the iPad, and Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Kobo want their customers to know they can tap into one of these platforms from a variety of devices and share e-books across those devices. I can't tell you what percentage of iPad owners are using the Kindle app to shop for e-books, but I'd guess it's a fairly large number, judging from my informal poll of colleagues and friends and my own use (I rarely use iBooks and have both Kindle and Nook accounts).
Barnes & Noble has been smart enough to price its "reader's" tablet at $249, which is pretty reasonable. However, while that's half the price of the entry-level iPad, the fact is that Apple is still going to sell a ton of iPads this holiday season and Amazon will be quite content to have those buyers download the Kindle app. After all, it's much easier to deal with software than hardware, and if you have the design geniuses at Apple serving up the hardware for you, it's a win-win. Next April, Apple will have a new iPad--presumably with a better screen--and despite Steve Jobs saying the company wasn't doing an iPad Mini, there's still the distinct possibility of a smaller iPad, perhaps with a 7-inch screen.
So if Amazon appears willing to let others do much of its hardware dirty work for it, what's the road map for Amazon-branded Kindle devices? … Read more
Imagine, if you will, that Tetris had a younger brother who was always getting into trouble. On this particular day, he managed to inject himself full of adrenaline, high-five Bejeweled, and ran off to start his own thing. This is Ponk.
The gameplay seems overwhelming at first: glowing orbs dropping with asteroid tails at a fairly steady rate. But once you get the hang of it, Ponk becomes a fascinatingly addictive challenge.
Unlike a lot of touch-screen games, Ponk requires a lot of touch. Players can move those little orbs all over the screen in order to create sets of … Read more
As most people know by now, Barnes & Noble is releasing a new Nook Color e-reader in a few weeks, and that e-reader's color screen is an LCD. As soon as the company announced that its new e-reader had an LCD and not some sort of more exotic screen technology, some readers cried foul. In fact, the first comment out of the gate on our Barnes & Noble unveils Nook Color post was about eyestrain.
"It's very neat-looking, and the price point seems aggressive enough to make an impact for sure. That being said, is eyestrain an issue? I thought the benefit of e-ink was a combination of ease of reading, outdoor or well-lit reading, and battery life..."
A little farther down, another commenter wrote: "LCD technology for an eReader is going backwards for me. It's not that reading on an LCD is so horrible for me, but rather reading on an e-Ink display is so much more pleasing to my eyes."
Other readers came down more favorably on the side of LCD, saying they stare at a computer screen all day and it doesn't bother them. However you look at it, though, the Nook Color hasn't even hit stores yet and the debate over eyestrain is already raging. We got some of this when the iPad came out, but the discussion is more amped up because Barnes & Noble is calling the Nook Color the "reader's tablet," whereas the iPad hasn't been marketed first and foremost as an e-reader.
When we asked William Lynch, Barnes & Noble's CEO, about the potential for eyestrain with Nook Color screen, he said the company had done extensive research on displays and discovered that eyestrain with LCDs was not the huge issue many people were making it out to be. Furthermore, the company is also using a high-resolution next-generation panel from LG that's backlit with LED.
Now, it's not that I don't take Mr. Lynch at his word, but I thought I'd put in a call to an impartial third-party who might be able to shed some light on the issue. So I dialed up my ophthalmologist, Dr. Mark Hornfeld, who has a practice in Manhattan. I said, hey, Mark (yes, I call him by his first name), do any of your patients talk about reading with the iPad, Nook, and Kindle? Are people concerned about eyestrain when using these new e-readers? What's the deal?… Read more
Justin is still sick, and Jeff is a runaway bride, so it's just Wilson today. Don't worry because it's not another "cheese stands alone" episode. Natali Del Conte and David Carnoy come in to save the day.
On today's show, we get a first-hand perspective on the new Barnes and Noble Nook Color from CNET Executive Editor David Carnoy. It might be the poor man's iPad, but David thinks it's a worthy competitor to the Amazon Kindle. Natali still prefers her iPad, and Wilson wonders whether consumers will choose the Nook Color or the iPod Touch.
After the break, we get to something sort of scary: Rachael Ray in 3D! That's right. For some people like Wilson, 3D is a mildly nauseating experience, but combined with the queen of faux bubbly's talk show, it might be vomit-inducing. We think the next innovation after 3D is going to be the return of Smell-O-Vision.
Finally, if you want your own copy of David Carnoy's "Knife Music," leave a comment, and we'll randomly choose a winner. Tune in tomorrow for the exciting conclusion to how Wilson makes it through another show alone.Episode 697 Subscribe in iTunes audio | Suscribe to iTunes (video) | Subscribe in RSS Audio | Subscribe in RSS Video… Read more