Google Chrome OS On The Cr-48 Will Eventually Be On Tablets

This afternoon I received another update from the folks at Google, which involved tweaks for their Google Chrome OS currently running on the Cr-48 I am beta testing. During the past 14 weeks that I have been testing the notebook computer, Google has improved the performance and stability of the OS on the Cr-48 notebook computer. One of the main issues that has been resolved is the speed of the Wi-Fi connection, which originally had been very slow. With each of the subsequent updates this is now a non-issue.

What is interesting about the Cr-48 is that it does not rely on traditional hardware. The Google Chrome OS Cr-28 notebook does not have a hard disk like the traditional laptops use for storing of information. Instead the notebook is designed using a browser GUI and storage of everything that is created is stored in the cloud. Some consumers gave been very vocal in their lack of confidence on allowing Google to store their stuff. Google in the mean time has continued the Chrome OS project which has gathered support by some major computer companies with a tentative release date of June, 2011.

Up until today, Google seemed to have a direction in their Chrome OS and Android OS. Google Chrome OS would be used on netbooks and Android would be used on tablet computers. There are some in the technology industry who questioned the wisdom of supporting two competing operating systems. I felt that each of the two operating systems served different hardware and devices.

So today when news broke that Google is working on a Chrome OS version for the tablet computer, this changed my thinking and previous assumptions. It now appears that Google will be using Google Chrome OS on tablet computers. So where does that leave Android? I am not sure.

Maybe there is room for both Android and Chrome.

What do you think?

Comments welcome.

Source – CNet

Consumer Reports Says Apple iPad 2 Is Still The One To Beat – But For How Long?

Yesterday while in the waiting room at my dentist’s office, I perused an older copy of Consumer Reports in which it evaluated the original Apple iPad. In the April 2010 issue, there was very little competition to compare the original Apple iPad against, so the review was a forgone conclusion that this tablet was the best available. But that was then and this is now.

This year Apple iPad is facing some stiffer competition from Motorola and its Xoom tablet, Samsung and its Galaxy tablet, and a slew of others heading to the marketplace. In recent weeks I have read many critical articles listing a host of features that the newest tablet from Apple doesn’t include (think 4G as an example), that seems to portray the iPad 2 as a real loser.

Just when it looks like we should all throw away our iPads, one rational voice appears on the horizon and puts the focus back where the focus should be. What tablet is still the industry leader? According to the folks at Consumer Reports it is still the Apple iPad, but this time it is the newest model, version 2. Consumer Reports tested the Apple iPad (original), the Apple iPad 2, Motorola Xoom, Samsung Galaxy, and a tablet from Viewsonic.

The company compared tablets taking a look at color, brightness, and noting how much glare the screens produced. In addition the tablets were tested for viewing angles to see how each performed and ease of use. One thing that separates these tablets from the pack was battery life. The new Apple iPad 2 lasted for over 12 hours of use on a video feed test.

The results are that Consumers Reports found that the Apple iPad 2 that comes with both Wi-Fi and 3G [32G] garnered the best rating of excellent in almost every category in which it was tested. But what was really surprising is that the first generation of the Apple iPad priced at $580 compared equally with the newer Motorola Xoom, which has a price tag of nearly $800.

So while some would have us believe that the competition is catching up to Apple, the real world results seem to differ from that opinion.

Source – BGR

 

What The Samsung Keylogger Fiasco Should Teach Us All

I was one the people who was duped by a story about how Samsung was installing a keylogger on its new laptop computers. The incident was originally reported by a ‘security expert’ who posted his alleged findings on the Internet in which many of us bloggers took his claim as being gospel. As we ranted and raved about how Samsung had crossed over the line, little did we know that this was not the case and it was actually a false-positive by VIPRE security software.

The ‘security expert’ in question, Mohamed Hassan, holds many degrees including the initials MSIA, CISSP, and CISA, and is with the Norwich University Center for Advanced Computing and Digital Forensics. Yet he relied on a security product and the results as provided by the software, without properly investigating the matter further and before providing his results. What was also disturbing was his report of a conversation with a Samsung employee who allegedly confirmed that a keylogger was being placed on its laptop computers.

But there is something more important than the original report itself. It is the ability of the Internet to potentially destroy the reputation of a company before the allegations are actually proved. No matter how many apologies nor how many retractions are posted, the image for Samsung has been tarnished.

So why were we so eager to believe the worst about a major corporation and distrustful of its motives? In our defense we consumers have very little confidence in corporations, since they are ruled by greed. It is disgraceful that a company like G.E. can pay no federal taxes and have the audacity to have its CEO report on TV that G.E. had a couple of bad years, so this is why it owed no taxes. What a crock.

We have also become anesthetized by our local, state, and federal leaders who we can no longer trust to provide us the truth and are suspect to what their real motives are. No longer do these people represent the interest of the people but put themselves before the common good. So how can any of us not feel distrustful of big corporations, our representatives, or the shenanigans of Wall Street?

So while I do not like being duped and believe that Mr. Hassan should have investigated more thoroughly the case against Samsung before providing his results, I also believe he felt his warning was justified. Unfortunately he relied on a single security software to substantiate his claim which provided a false-positive to the presence of a keylogger.

Hopefully this will teach us all to be more cautious in our reports and wait until the allegations are properly investigated.

What do you think?

Comments welcome.

Source – networkworld

Can The Chrome OS Notebook Computers Compete Against The Tablets On Pricing?

This morning I read with interest some reports that my fellow bloggers have been reporting as to the cost of the new Google Chrome OS computers. They have also spoken about the limited companies that are in the process of manufacturing new notebooks which will be using the Google Chrome OS. In addition, since the names Sony and Samsung have alleged to be the only two companies that will be making the new netbooks, one comment stated that there is some kind of a conspiracy going on, in light of the Samsung keylogger allegations.

Another article I read states that they believe the new Google Chrome netbooks are going to be pricey. They state that prices between $200 to $600 are very expensive for a netbook that requires the Internet to work. Which made me start to think can Google Chrome OS netbooks compete against tablet computers?

First of all the introduction of Google Chrome OS notebooks is not limited to Sony and Samsung only. Acer and Asus are also shipping Chrome OS netbooks and HP, along with Dell, are evaluating their position on whether to ship netbooks with the new OS as well.

Pricing. We heard the same song when Apple first announced the pricing for its iPad priced from $499 to $829. People moan that the price was overly expensive and no one would buy what they called a toy. But Apple sold 15 million units since the introduction of the tablet in April 2010. Predictions are that Apple could sell another 25 million of its iPad 2 tablets this year alone.

These same naysayers were also critical of the Apple iPad because it only allowed you to surf the Web, email, and play games. It was just an expensive toy for those who could afford it, and the masses would not want nor need such a device. Let’s face it: why spend $500 on a tablet when you could buy a full-blown laptop?

The same is now being said about Google’s attempt with the Chrome OS. It is going to be expensive and you need an Internet connection to do anything. True facts. But the Cr-48 comes with both Wi-Fi and 3G connection to the Verizon network. So I can use the notebook anywhere I go. I also visit hot spots frequently and so far have not had an issue connecting anywhere.

Is it going to be expensive? I would say no more expensive than an iPhone, Android phone, or other device that connects to the Internet via 3G, 4G, or whatever G is available. Is it going to be more expensive than an Apple iPad? I don’t believe so. Without a crystal ball it is going to be difficult to ascertain the real cost of a Google Chrome OS notebook until we learn if it will be subsidized by AT&T or Verizon.

So will the Google Chrome OS netbooks be popular and accepted by the masses as a must have device? It all depends. The Cr-48 beta computer I have works very well. Since the recent updates during the past few months, issues that once plagued the little wannabe laptop have vanished. One of the most annoying was the Wi-Fi connection and the slow speeds I had encountered. This has been fixed and the netbook is very fast and is on par with my grownup Toshiba laptop computer.

I believe that those of us who need a real keyboard, who spend a great deal of their time on the Internet, who wish to use the notebook as a real computer without looking to play games with it, may enjoy using the notebook with the Chrome OS. We will find out in the next six months or so if the masses with the cash will flock to the netbooks or not.

Everything right now is just smoke and mirrors with no one really knowing how the public will accept or reject the notebooks.

So before anyone throws out the Google netbooks along with the bath water, here are a few ideas you may wish to ponder:

Google has made a huge dent in the cell phone market with its Android OS. Some people are not huge Microsoft fans and will move to another OS if they feel it will meet their needs. Though some are reluctant to accept the fact that a notebook connected to the Internet that uses the cloud to store stuff is going to be the future; eventually this will be the case. When this will happen is anyone’s guess.

When Microsoft has faced stiff competition in the past, it used its big bucks to squash the competition. But this time it is facing a company that also has a huge amount of cash. Microsoft is ignoring the Google Chrome OS as a non-threat — just another Linux version without support and that cloud computing is just a play thing.

We will see.

Comments welcome.

Source – techie,com.ph

Do All Samsung Laptops Come With A Keylogger Installed By The Company?

Samsung has learned that the report of their computers have a keylogger installed are false. The company states that the security software VIPER actually gave a false-positive and actually tagged a Microsoft program called Microsoft Live Application as the culprit in the keylogger accusation.

As far as accusations go, this one against Samsung could damage the company’s reputation beyond repair. The accusation is that one person has purchased two different Samsung laptop computers and both had keyloggers installed on them. In the first instance a consumer, while setting up his new Samsung laptop, installed a paid commercial security software on his new system. During the first scan the security program found two instances of a keylogger called StarLogger. The keylogger software was located in c:windowsSL diretory.

What is most disturbing about StarLogger software is that it records every keystroke on the computer — including computers that are password protected. The software can then call home with all of the details it has collected for any of your personal information. This personal information could include all of your emails such as your address book, any document you create on the system, the Web pages you visit, any usernames or passwords you use, and possibly even more.

It does get better. The person who owned the infected computer developed display issues and returned the unit to the store he bought it from. He opted to get a more expensive Samsung laptop and guess what? The same keylogger in the same directory was found on the second Samsung laptop.

It gets even better. According to the article, Samsung representative admits the company has been including the keylogger software to monitor performance of the machine. The information collected also shows how the computer is being used.

Wow! I find this very hard to believe. I think that Samsung has dug itself a huge hole that it may not be able to dig out of. Consumers are going to avoid any Samsung computer if they suspect that the system is being monitored — no matter what the reason.

What do you think?

Comments welcome.

Source – networkworld

Reader Question – What Is The Best Straight Talk Phone?

I received a question from reader ReelNauti, who asked:

Ron,
In your opinion, what is the best Straight Talk phone out there?

I gave the question some thought and I decided to break down my answer into two parts. Straight Talk offers services from both AT&T and Verizon. Since the phones available work only with one of the services and not both, this needs to be taken into consideration before buying a Straight Talk phone. The second consideration is which one of the services works best where you live and work. If you haven’t used AT&T or Verizon before, I would ask your family, friends, and co-workers which service they use and how they like the average signal strength in your area. I would also want to know if they experience dropped calls and, more important, how often are the calls dropped.

Once you have decided which service works best where you live or work, you can now take a look at the phones that Straight Talk offers.

For the Verizon service I personally like the Samsung R355C because I find it easy to text with. Others state that they enjoy using the Samsung R451C with the hidden keyboard. My neighbor has the LG 220C that he uses just for phone calls, since he does not send text messages. He like the flip design that he can keep in his pocket and the keys don’t get pressed accidentally.

For the AT&T service you have two smartphone options. Either the Nokia E71 Smart Phone or the Nokia 6790 Smart Phone. Be aware that both of these phones require the $45 unlimited plans.

So how do I answer the question posed by reader ReelNauti?

First, talk to those who use either AT&T and Verizon where you live. Second, I recommend going to your local Walmart and taking a look at the phones offered by Straight Talk.  See which phone, for the service you wish to use, meets your needs. Third, which phone feels good in your hand? This, to me, is very important since, if the phone doesn’t feel right in your hand, you will be disappointed no matter what others say.

Comments welcome.

Source – Straight Talk

Source – Walmart

Samsung’s Slider Tablet Combo Notebook (Say That Three Times Fast!)

A few days ago, I had mentioned that one of the problems with the tablet computers, were that they were not equipped with a real QWERTY keyboard. Though Dell has a device with a flip screen that doubles as both a tablet and notebook, Samsung seems to have the right idea in design and function. Samsung will introduce in March of this year, a tablet computer with a slide out keyboard. The unit, pictured below, has just one small problem. It comes with Windows 7 installed, which has not received rave reviews when running on a tablet computer.

Some of the technical facts are:

As far as technical details are concerned, the 7 Series will be available in 32- or 64GB and Samsung is reporting expandable storage via a 4-in-1 memory card reader which sounds neat on paper but we’d like some more details. There’s also a HDMI port for sharing multimedia on HD TVs which is something we haven’t seen on a lot of tablets so far. Webcam on the front is standard but as far as we can tell there’s no back-facing cam.

The computer will also have an Intel Atom processor at 1.66GHz, but no mention how much RAM the unit will have, but my guess will be about 2 GB of RAM. Windows 7 needs at least that much to function at an acceptable performance rate.

Price for the unit will retail at about $699.

Comments welcome.

Source – Mobile Magazine

Apple iPad Appears Unstoppable – Can Anyone Catch Up?

Rumor has it that Apple is prepared to build an estimated 65 million iPads during 2011. Projected sales and estimates are that the company could sell somewhere between 45 to 48 million units next year. Microsoft is stating that they are in the process of developing a new Windows for tablets but no date has been given when the new software will become available. Google is in the process of developing the Google Chrome OS which is expected to be released in mid-2011.

Some are wondering if anyone can catch up to Apple and compete against their popular iPad tablet. In one recent article it states that:

Noting that “Microsoft has been working very hard at putting a square peg in a round hole,” Gartner analyst Michael Gartenberg, nonetheless, added that an unveiling of the Microsoft’s new software will give the company an opportunity to win over some of the over 100,000 people likely to attend the premier technology trade show.

However, commenting on Microsoft’s forthcoming introduction of news Windows software for tablets, Keith Goddard – CEO of Tulsa, Oklahoma-based investing firm, Capital Advisors – said: “By the time Microsoft gets it figured out everybody will already own an iPad. That train has left the station.”

Wow! Pretty strong words against Microsoft’s chances of catching up. But these words may ring true. Microsoft is struggling trying to catch up in the cell phone market as well. Consumers will pay a higher premium for a system that not only looks good but works well. Most of the time.

Apple folks would have us believe that Apple software and hardware is perfect, but this is not always the case. On Christmas day we learned a lesson while our daughter was making a video of the grandson opening up his Christmas presents using their 2 day old Apple iPod. It stopped working and we suspected the battery may have died so we put in on the charger. Nada. Nothing.

The middle daughter called with a holiday wish and knowing they are an Apple family [iPhones, iPods, iPad and Mac], I explained the problem. She said it happens all the time and just Google the iPod model and do a hard boot. I did what she suggested and the iPod sprang to life. :-)

So has the train left the station? Is Microsoft heading for extinction as they try to play catch up to Apple?

Share your thoughts.

Source – Top News

Source – The Mac Observer

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Straight Talk – Free Cell Phone or Free Bluetooth Offers

Reader hope asked a question this morning about playing games on any Straight Talk phone and while I was looking for an answer, I stumbled on what I believe is a great deal. Straight Talk is offering Free reconditioned phones with the purchase of either their $30 or $45 plan. These phones are not just the normal cheap ones that are being offered by other cell phone companies. Straight Talk is also including their r355c, which I own, that normally retails for about $100 new.

So is a reconditioned cell phone a deal or nor no deal? I have purchased reconditioned products in the past and I highly recommend these products for one simple reason. Usually these products are returned by a user who either dislikes the device or can not get the product to work properly. In the case of cell phones, it is usually that the user has spotty or no service available where they live. Originally Straight Talk used only Verizon enabled devices, which do not work in every location in the U.S., no matter what the cell phone companies would have us believe.

Straight Talk has expanded their services to include both AT&T and T-Mobile networks.

Here are some of the models on sale for use on the Verizon network:

Samsung R335C + All You Need Plan includes a free Bluetooth headset

LG220C Reconditioned + All You Need Plan free phone

LG290C Reconditioned + All You Need Plan free phone

Samsung R355C Rec. + All You Need Plan free phone

Samsung R451C Recon. + All You Need Plan free phone

There is also one model on sale for use with the AT&T or T-Mobile network:

LG 620G Reconditioned + All You Need Plan free phone

I would recommend that if you are looking into the Straight Talk pre-paid plans, I would definitely consider buying one of these reconditioned phones. You can’t beat the price. Free!

Comments welcome.

Straight Talk web site – free phone offer

Would You Like To Be A Google Chrome OS Tester?

Today Google has announced that it is looking for people to join its pilot testing program and try out the Google Chrome OS. On the Web site there’s an application that anyone can fill out, and if you are selected, you will receive an unbranded notebook that will have the following features:

They do have 12.1 inch screens, full-sized keyboards and touch pads, integrated 3G from Verizon, eight hours of battery life and eight days of standby time. Chrome notebooks are designed to reach the web instantly, are easy to share among friends and family, and simply by logging in, all of your apps, bookmarks and other browser settings are there. Setting up a new machine takes less than a minute. And even at this early stage, we feel there is no consumer or business operating system that is more secure.

So I ventured over to the website and signed up. I have waited for the Google Chrome OS since the company announced the project. Being cautious as it is, it seems that Google wants user feedback before going public with the new OS. There are going to be a lot of folks who hope that Google fails, including the boys up in Redmond.

If Google Chrome OS is a success, this could be the start of what was described in the movie Casablanca as, ‘I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship.’

Google states that notebooks from Acer and Samsung will be available during the first half of next year running Chrome as the OS. Other companies will be following with their own Chrome notebooks later in the year.

I am ready for a Web-based notebook computer. Are you?

Comments welcome.

Source – Google Chrome Blog

Signup page is here

Acer Tablet Computers – A Real Challenge To Apple iPad?

Acer is introducing three new tablet computers two of which will be  powered by Google’s Android operating system. The new tablet computers will come in 7″ and 10.1″ models, with one model in the 10.1″ size being powered by Microsoft Windows operating system. The one question that everyone is asking is whether Acer can challenge Apple’s iPad tablet which currently commands 95% of the tablet market?

In a recent article it states that:

“This is a market that’s still not fully known, not fully satisfied,” said Jim Wong, Acer’s head of information technology products, at the event. The company expects 40 million to 50 million tablets will be sold worldwide next year, and Acer aims to take about 10 percent of the market, he said.

Acer joins a field dominated by Apple, which had a 95 percent share of the tablet market last quarter, according to Strategy Analytics. Samsung Electronics Co. recently released its Galaxy Tab and RIM plans to release its 7-inch BlackBerry PlayBook next quarter.

“It’s a wide-open market and an opportunity for Acer to make itself better known to a North American market,” said Roger Entner, head of telecom research at Nielsen Co.

Hedging Bets

Acer CEO Gianfranco Lanci may be trying to hedge his bets by releasing devices in different sizes. Apple CEO Steve Jobs said last month that devices like the PlayBook are “dead on arrival“ because they are too small to compete with the iPad, which has a 9.7-inch screen.

The two Android tablets will be available in April and the Microsoft device will go on sale in February. All three will offer Wi-Fi connectivity and allow users to surf the Internet using a 3G connection. Wong said the tablets would likely be in the previously stated range of $299 to $699.

Pricing for the new tablets should make them an attractive alternative to the Apple iPad. But will this be enough to take on Apple? It seems to me that Acer and others are going to have an uphill battle trying to dethrone the number one tablet. Apple has also announced a second model of their popular tablet computer, also to be introduced in April 2011.

The good news for us consumers is that as more tablet computers are introduced into the market place, prices are sure to drop. :-)

What do you think? Would you consider a tablet running Android or Windows over the popular Apple iPad?

Comments welcome.

Source – Bloomberg Businessweek

Best Buy Releases Its Black Friday Specials – HDTV Deals Available

I was wondering when Best Buy would release its Black Friday advertisement, since most of the other major retailers had previously released their sale brochures. So this morning I spotted the Best Buy ad and stopped to take a look. The first item I noticed was its Insignia [Best Buys in store brand], 42″ Plasma TV for $369.99.

The HDTV also comes with a 2 year warranty and has a refresh rate of 600MHz. The only downside is that the set is 720p, but for the price, seems like a very good deal.

Another HDTV deal was for a Panasonic Viera 50″ Plasma HDTV 1080p priced at $699.99. I also saw a Samsung 55″ LED on sale for $1499.99. How about a Toshiba Blu-ray player for $59.99?

You can take a look at additional sale items at the link below.

Comments welcome.

Source – BlackFriday.info

Looking For A Cheap 3D HDTV? Samsung 50″ for $989.99!

If not having the latest or greatest technology doesn’t bother you, Best Buy is offering a Samsung 50″ 3D HDTV for a low price of only $989.99. Why is this HDTV so inexpensive? First of all the set is in 720p. Second the TV uses Plasma technology instead of the newer LED technology. But if these two minor specifications don’t bother you, this TV may be right for you.

In addition the HDTV is described as:

What’s Included

    Samsung 50″ Class / 720p / 600Hz / 3D Plasma HDTV
    Tabletop stand
    Remote
    Owner’s manual

Product Features

Ultraslim design (2-3/4″ deep)

Ideal for wall mounting (with optional mounting kit, not included). VESA compatible 400mm x 400mm.

Check out the link below for more information.

Source – Best Buy

Samsung LED and 3D HDTVs – Opinion

My son-in-law owns a company by the name of Electronics Interior which he operates out of Shreveport, LA. Yesterday I had the opportunity to tag along with him as he and his crew installed two new Samsung 55″ HDTVs. He is an official Samsung distributor but he also handles Panasonic as well. I have been a fan of Panasonic Plasma TVs, which I felt has one of the better pictures on the market. However I recently read that the Plasma sets have been discontinued by Pioneer and Vizio.  Plasma sets use a lot of power and with the new energy efficiency standards in place by the state of California, companies are looking at more efficient HDTVs.

Yesterday I had a chance to view both a Samsung 55″ LED HDTV and a Samsung 55″ LED 3D HDTV. One word. Impressive.

The standard LED has a stunning picture. I must admit. I personally believe the picture is better than Plasma. The LED 3D also has an exceptional picture. The 3D effect was awesome. Though you must wear glasses to view 3D, and they are about $100 a pair, the picture is truly amazing. I was impressed with both HDTV sets. If you haven’t seen the picture quality of an LED set, you are missing a treat.

Comments welcome.

Straight Talk – Samsung R355C Cell Phone – Reviewed

First of all I wanted to thank everyone who provided me with information concerning Straight Talk and for their phone recommendations.

I did my homework and took the recommendation about buying a Straight Talk phone directly from Walmart. Some of you recommended using Walmart because of their liberal return policy and in the fact that some were skeptical of the customer service that Straight Talk provides.

Here is what I learned. I went to our local Walmart store and found that if I bought the Straight Talk Samsung R355C cell phone for $128.88, I had to purchase a separate $30 phone card, which brought the total cost to $158.88. The same package directly from Straight Talk was $159.99 with free shipping.

As I was viewing the Samsung phone, I looked down below the product description, and to my surprise they had both the phone and a $30 phone card for $128.88. I have linked the page below and I hope that it works for you, as it did for me. I also opted for home delivery which was free as well. The delivery was quick and took only two days via Fedex.

So here are some of my first thoughts about the phone and Straight Talk as well. This is based on only having the service and phone for four days.

The good points:

Activation was simple and uneventful. I completed everything online at the Straight Talk site. The phone is simple to use and setup, with easy to use menu’s. There is also a tutorial online at the Straight Talk site which walks you through every step you you need to complete any task. The cell screen is clear and easy to read. I also enjoy the voice command software that makes dialing a call easy by just saying the persons name you wish to call, ‘call John’ and confirm with a simple ‘yes’ command. Signal strength where I live is strong and better than the AT&T phone I replaced.

The not so good points:

The keys on the keyboard are small. Camera resolution could be better but is OK.

I’ll be using the phone for the next few weeks and report back my findings in a follow up review.

Comments welcome.

Walmart – Samsung R355C Cell Phone + $30 Phone Card