Archive for February, 2012

A penny for your tweet? Twitter selling old tweets

Twitter may soon feel of the heat from privacy advocates after it sold an archive of old tweets to a firm called DataShift. Allegedly DataShift is the first outside company to gain access to the old tweets after purchasing them for an undisclosed amount to analyze them for marketing purposes. Another 1,000 companies are on a waiting list through DataShift for the tweets.

Twitter selling old tweets

For those worried about unwanted eyes reading your tweets, DataShift claims in it will only analyze public tweets. Private accounts and deleted tweets will be off record. Datashift and other companies plan to use the tweets as a source to gain insight on brands, businesses, financial markets, news and public opinion from users.

Though Twitter doesn’t disclose its earnings, the bulk of its revenue stems from advertising. I’m eager to see how Twitter monetizes individual tweets if any more information is released.

Does knowing Twitter is selling your thoughts bother you? Or, are you surprised it hasn’t already happened?

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Apple to unveil iPad 3 next week

After much speculation, Apple announced today the highly anticipated iPad 3 will be unveiled March 7. Media outlets received invitations to a press conference to be held in San Francisco reading, “We have something for you to see. And touch.”

While little information has been leaked about the iPad 3, rumors include a better camera and a high-resolution screen. Other rumors suggest the popular iPhone 4s application, Siri, will be included with the iPad 3. I’m beginning to speculate the iPad 3 upgrades will be similar to that between the iPhone 4 and iPhone 4s. However, I wouldn’t put it past Apple to reveal a big surprise or two next week.

After the iPad 3’s release, expected to be mid-March, it will be interesting to see how it performs against other tablets on the market. The tablet line, which has set the bar for the market, needs to keep up the momentum or risk losing its share to other less-expensive tablets.

Check out the photo below for Apple’s media invite for the new iPad 3.

Apple's press invite


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Nokia announces newest smartphone with 41-megapixel camera

Nokia unveiled its latest smartphone, the PureView 808, at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.  With its 41-megapixel camera, the PureView 808 marks huge leap in smartphone camera technology. 

Although more megapixels doesn’t necessarily equate with better picture quality, it enables the photographer to do a lot more post-processing. Photos like those taken with a PureView can easily be cropped, zoomed or edited. Though storing such a large file will undoubtedly be an obstacle for PureView users. My guess is that Nokia will offer some type of cloud service where users can store their photos or at least have external memory cards available.

The Pureview 808 is expected to retail in European markets for €450 or around $600 when it launches in May. There is no set release date yet for the PureView in the United States.

Check out the pictures below the demo pictures by Nokia taken by the PureView. Is the camera photogs have been waiting for? Will you ditch your 8-megapixel iPhone 4s?

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Tech Review: Samsung Note

If the current mega-screen smart phones on the market aren’t flashy enough for you, AT&T recently launched the Samsung Note, ushering in the era of the ‘phablet.’ We were lucky enough to test of the Note to see if it’s truly the “next big thing” as its Super Bowl Ad claimed.

Samsung Note

 A cross between a smartphone and a tablet, the Note’s 5-inch screen is similar in shape and design as the Samsung Galaxy S II (see our review here). Its enormous screen is the largest HD screen display created at this point and comes with a S-Pen to prevent you from getting fingerprints all over this flashy screen. Let’s be real though, Samusung is not fooling anyone when trying to rename the stylus.

Samsung utilizes the S-Pen in some of its exclusive apps and features. If doodling is your thing, the Samsung Note may be for you. The Note’s screen is pressure sensitive, allowing users to make light and dark marks with the S-Pen. Check out our previous post for several applications for the S-Pen.

The Note is another mobile device that utilizes the 4G LTE network. Fast speeds, combined with the large screen size, makes the video streaming and web browsing pretty impressive. If you’re looking for a screen with a ‘wow’ factor, the Note has it with the vivid Super AMOLED screen.

As much as I am impressed with Samsung Note, there is a part of me that finds its size a little ridiculous. The Note isn’t really pocket friendly and a little too big to navigate. I can’t imagine using it on a day-to-day basis, let alone taking the Note places other than the office and home.  Maybe the Note is trying too hard to be the flashiest on the market.

There is a lot to like about the Samsung Note. Its display and screen size combine with fast speeds is really impressive. By the same token, the screen size may have crossed the line as unnecessary. Though, there are plenty of people out there who wouldn’t mind hauling the Note around.

If you’re interested in the Note, you can pick one up at an AT&T store for $300 with a two-year contract.

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New apps for Note users

With the Samsung Note set to launch this weekend, AT&T is giving a preview of the applications for the “phablet, ” known by its brand name of Samsung Note. The hybrid of a tablet and smartphone, the Note’s exclusive applications utilize its S-Pen, otherwise known as a stylus. Here are a few applications that will make a splash with Note users:

  • Soonr Scribble—Make edits on any PDF or WordDoc with this application. Users can scribble notes in the margins or highlight important sections the save them to a secure cloud network.
  • ZenBrush—This application will give the S-Pen the same characteristics as a brush or pen. . The Note screen is pressure sensitive and so brush strokes will change based on how hard or light you press.
  • TouchRetouch—Just like Photoshop to go. Remove unwanted content from your photos easily.  Either “lasso” the object or “color” over it and hit the “play” button and watch the object disappear. 

Screenshot of SoonrScribble for Samsung Note

These applications are just a few The Note will have. Check out our review of Samsung’s Note coming soon.

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Samsung introduces element resistant smartphone

Samsung’s newest device, the Rugby, is up for grabs from AT&T starting March 4. The waterproof, dustproof  device is one that users will not have to worry about handling with care since it also withstands extreme temperatures. Rugby is good fit for any avid outdoors people or a typical college student.

Samsung Rubgy

While other mobiles have been coined as “splash proof,” Samsung’s Rugby can allegedly withstand being submerged for 30 minutes. Again, this is a great feature for campers and college students who are more prone to liquid mishaps with their phones. The Rugby also claims to be shock proof and can sustain accidental drops so there’s no need to buy bulky cases.

The Rugby may be pretty tough, but it still has the bells and whistles of a top-tier smartphone. Its 3.7-inch AMOLED screen will offer sharp graphics, and the integrated flashlight will probably come in handy whether you’re in the city or at a campsite. The Rugby will run on an Android platform, giving users access to a nearly an infinite number of applications.

If you’re in the market for a extremely durable phone, the Rugby is worth checking out. You can pick one for $99 with a two year contract.

We’re eager to get out hands on the Rugby to see if it is as tough as it claims to be. In the meantime, check out this video testing the Rugby’s durability.

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PlayStation releases newest handheld system

Handheld gaming devices have come a long way since the original Nintendo Gameboy.  Vita, released today by PlayStation, is the highly anticipated mobile gaming device that may just steal the spotlight from the slightly disappointing Nintendo3DS.

PlayStation Vita

The PSVita looks similar to many tablets flooding the market right now, though it still has the traditional PlayStation exterior buttons. Its 5-inch AMOLED screen offers pretty impressive graphics for gaming enthusiasts. However, with a sea of tablets and smartphones capable of running games and streaming videos, is a separate handheld mobile for gaming necessary?

The Vita comes with a slew of features that brings it just short of a smartphone. The basic version comes with an app store, web browser and gets you tapped into the PlayStation Network. Users can also opt for 3G coverage through AT&T.

PlayStation’s new Vita seems to be more of a niche product. Unless you consider yourself a serious gamer or PlayStation enthusiast that needs state-of-the-art graphics, a tablet or smartphone will probably cover all your mobile gaming needs.

What are your thoughts on the Vita? Will it revive the sluggish handheld gaming market? Are handheld gaming devices a thing of the past?

We’ll have a full review of the PSVita 3G coming soon. We’ll see if  the PSVita can change my mind about handheld mobile gaming devices.

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