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Tuesday System Collection

Today is a great day to buy a new piece of hardware.  Right now, the price-to-performance curve is very good and there are a lot of good systems to choose from.  This applies to more mobile products like laptops and Ultrabooks as well as full-on desktop systems.  If you're a gamer, something like the XMG P303 Pro Gaming Laptop at HardwareHeaven may get you excited.  This beast is only a 13.3" unit, but packs in a lot of hardware - including a Haswell CPU and a GTX 765M graphics card.

Also on the mobile gaming front is the PC Specialist Vortex IV X780 Gaming Notebook at eTeknix.  As the name implies, this unit has a GeForce GTX 780M inside and is powered by a Quad-Core Haswell 4700MQ.  This is crazy powerful and will probably outrun many of your desktop systems.  It also comes with support for BluRay as well as a pair of storage drives and a mere 16GB of DDR3.

Not to be outdone with the graphics is the EUROCOM Racer 3.0 over at HardwareHeaven.  This beast is also crazy fast and is a good choice for the European market for sure.

On the "professional" side of things we take a peek at the OcUK Professional W540 UltraNote 14" LED Ultrabook at eTeknix.  This is a nice looking machine that will fit in nicely in just about any laptop bag and would work great just about anywhere.  I still prefer gaming on a desktop, like the CyberPower PC Zeus EVO Lightning at NinjaLane.  This is a decent rig that I wouldn't mind showing off at any LAN party.

Google Play Vending Machines

It appears that Google is taking things to the next level with vending machines for Google Play Apps - in Tokyo.  I have no idea why the world gets Google Play cards and stuff like this while in Canada, we get a big cup of "Shut the Heck Up" and we have to deal with other parts of the world getting the Android love.  I know that in Canada, many smartphone users are in the Android camp and while a vending machine may not make much sense here, a Play Card would.

The company has announced three dedicated Google Play machines that will sell 18 different gaming titles which are a mix of free-to-play and paid-for titles. To use the machines, you'll need a smartphone running Android 4.0 and NFC -- and that's about it. You rest the phone on the tray below the screen, and NFC pairing takes care of the rest. We put the machine to the test with our LG G2 on hand, and had no troubles choosing and downloading a free game through the machine.

Source: Engadget

Google Sets Up For Ads In Gmail for Android

In a move that had to come sooner or later, it appears that the latest APK for GMail has some bits of code that allow for advertisements in your mobile inbox.  While I've really enjoyed having a mail client on my phone that doesn't have ads, I guess it had to happen sooner or later.  Advertising is big business, and mobile GMail is huge.  I may actually look for another email client though that doesn't have ads - and am willing to pay a one-time fee to get one.

If you remember, Gmail on the web contains multiple ads along with the new format that looks like email messages in the Promotions folder. I'm not sure exactly what kind of ads we're going to get here - whether it'll be just the ones that look like emails or more generic ones - but here are multiple references to ads that I've found during the teardown. You be the judge.

Source: AndroidPolice

Mobile Device Review Roundup

The line certainly has blurred between computer hardware and gadgets.  There was a time that you would have got laughed off the block for trying to browse the web or do simple and meaningful non-voice communication on a mobile device.  Times have changed and so have devices.  There are some great devices on the market today and HardwareHeaven looks at the HTC One Red (Android) as well as the very large 6.3-in Samsung Galaxy Mega.  They also play with the dark side as they look at both the iPhone 5C as well as the big dog - the iPhone 5S.

MegaTechNews looks at a couple of devices as well and they also play both sides - but one of the teams is pretty lonely.  They look at the Samsung Galaxy Note 8.0 Tablet and then try and get a few things done with the Nokia Lumia 521 Windows Phone 8.  The Lumia 521 is a pretty entry-level device, but it's not the worst thing ever.

HardwareSecrets wraps up our mobile edition with the Samsung ATIV S Windows Phone 8.  Let's hope that it does't offer up a nice pretty BSOD during testing.

 

WTU Episode #230 - iOS 7 & Paid Yelp Reviews Making People Sick

We have just posted up Episode #230 of Weekly Tech Update.  In this episode we are discussing iOS 7 makes people sick ? literally, leaving Microsoft makes Steve Ballmer cry and for $10 you can get a good Yelp review. Those stories and more...  Below are the show notes.
 

Download Episode #230
Show Notes
Subscribe to the feed.
Subscribe in iTunes!
Subscribe in Zune Marketplace!

Instant Messaging Update

Those who use the instant messaging app called “Line” will be happy with the release of a new version of the app. The new version now includes support for video calls, so you and your friends can communicate face to face, more or less. This will be available over Wi-Fi and 3G networks too!

According to Line, the video call function is available on iPhone, Android, Windows and Mac, allowing users to make free peer to peer video calls between supported devices. Line clarifies that video calls will be supported over both Wi-Fi and 3G networks and that customers can also switch between video and voice anytime during the call.

Source: NDTV

 

October Kickoff Videogames

As we kick off October here this week, we have a list of the games that will mark the first full month of fall.  I've got to admit that I might be a bit more excited for the BF4 beta than most of these games, but if you're a NBA fan, you'll be happy on most of the popular platforms.  Enjoy!

PC
  • Agarest: Generations of War (download - $20)
  • Air Conflicts: Vietnam (download - $30)
  • Arma Tactics (download - $8.99)
  • Espana 1936 (download)
  • F1 2013 (download)
  • Flashback (download - $10)
  • Little Trus Man (download - $5)
  • NBA 2K14
 
360
  • Extinction Agenda EX (XBLA - $15)
  • NBA 2K14
 
PS3
  • Flashback (PSN - $10)
  • NBA 2K14
  • Rain (download - $30)
  • Skydive: Proximity Flight (PSN - $20)
 
PSV
  • Atelier Meruru: The Apprentice of Arland (PSN)
  • Die!Die!Die! (PSN)
 
3DS
  • Etrian Odyssey Untold: The Millennium Girl
  • Rune Factory 4

 

Source: ShackNews

Apple Sickness

There is a new sickness in the electronic world; Apple sickness. The cause behind it is simple, IOS’s parallax and zoom features have the right kind of movement to cause, headaches, nausea, motion-sickness and vertigo. Sickening news for apple users.

“Apple's iPhone and iPad owners have been taking to the company's forums over the past week to complain about iOS 7's new parallax and zoom features. Many of the folks in the forum said that they've experienced motion sickness, vertigo, nausea, and headaches due to the motion on-screen.”

Source: CNET

Ballmer Thanks Microsoft Amid Tears

Now this is a bit of a heartwarming story as Steve Ballmer (who we've openly mocked on WTU) thanked Microsoft and praised them in a very heartfelt farewell address.  While it's true that Steve is not officially headed for retirement just yet, this kind of makes you think that he won't be showing up to work for a while.  Steve's career at Microsoft was not heralded by groundbreaking success, but he is still an icon that is now going away.  Good riddance or good luck!  Please sound off in the forum.

Intel to Challenge Google Glass

In a move over the weekend that surprised a lot of people following the tech news, Intel has dropped a "significant" amount of cash onto the doorstep of Recon Instruments.  Recon makes wearable heads-up-displays for sports and this is a huge boost to them as they have been working on a Google Glass competitor and early prototypes and information show that it will be a lot cheaper than the expensive Google Glass product.  With a big infusion of funds, this is great news for consumers as we will have more decent (hopefully) options for wearable tech.

The investment will help fund Recon's product development, marketing and global sales expansion, the Canadian company said in a statement.  Recon will also "benefit from Intel Capital's expertise in manufacturing, operations and technology," according to the company.

Source: CNET

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