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Warner Bros. intros ‘Inside the Script’ eBook series, gives film buffs a deeper look

Tuesday, May 1st, 2012

Warner Bros. intros 'Inside the Script' eBook series, gives film buffs a deeper look

From time to time, we see movie studio Warner Bros. bring forth ways to give its oldies-but-goodies a longer life span. On this occasion, Warner’s launching a novel eBook series titled “Inside the Script.” The new release will give movie buffs a deeper look into a handful of the studio’s films, which will include tidbits such as complete shooting scripts, deets about the flick’s development and other “rare” goods. At launch, Warner will offer classics like Casablanca, Ben-Hur, An American in Paris and North by Northwest — all available now on iBooks, Kindle and B&N’s NOOK for $10 each. Those eager to flip through the antique pages can head to the source below, where you’ll be able to grab the version best suited for your device.

Continue reading Warner Bros. intros ‘Inside the Script’ eBook series, gives film buffs a deeper look

Warner Bros. intros ‘Inside the Script’ eBook series, gives film buffs a deeper look originally appeared on Engadget on Tue, 01 May 2012 23:28:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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PSA: Nook Tablet can be repartitioned in-store, Android app adds comic support

Wednesday, March 14th, 2012

Did you take umbrage with Barnes & Noble’s efforts to hoard all your Nook Tablet storage for its own content? Well, the book seller has made good on its promise to reassign a portion of your 16GB hard drive, opening up 8GB for personal content and leaving 5.5GB for Nook Shop content. As we said before, you’ll need to physically take your Nook Tablet to the bricks and mortar outlets to get the storage tweak. Readers that decided to go for other Android-laced tablets have also been gifted with a Nook app update, adding support for comics and related graphical literature — just make sure that the slab is running Android 2.2 or higher.

PSA: Nook Tablet can be repartitioned in-store, Android app adds comic support originally appeared on Engadget on Wed, 14 Mar 2012 11:56:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Apple’s ‘iPad mini’ may be even more mini than you thought

Tuesday, March 6th, 2012

A new report suggests Apple’s upcoming “iPad mini” will be even smaller than earlier rumors suggested. Venturebeat is one of a number of sites that recently reported Apple’s upcoming next-generation iPad will be named “iPad HD.” The pixel-count certainly justifies the moniker — Apple’s new tablet will supposedly feature a high-definition 2,048 x 1,536-pixel display — and the rumors started with a leaked parts list that surfaced last week. The site also claims that Apple’s often rumored iPad mini, which is expected to launch some time in the second half this year, will feature a 7.1-inch display rather than a 7.85-inch display as we’ve heard numerous times in the past. Read on for more.

A 7.1-inch display would pit Apple’s tiny tablet against the likes of Amazon’s Kindle Fire and Barnes & Noble’s Nook Tablet, and it would also be exactly the size Apple co-founder Steve Jobs said Apple would never touch.

“One naturally thinks that a 7-inch screen would offer 70 percent of the benefits of a 10-inch screen,” Jobs said in 2010 on an earnings call. “Unfortunately, this is far from the truth. The reason we won’t make a 7-inch tablet isn’t because we don’t want to hit a lower price point, it’s because we think the screen is too small to express the software.”

This wouldn’t be the first time Apple launched a device with features it had previously criticized, however. There are numerous examples of Apple backtracking over the years, but the most famous is perhaps Apple’s insistance that the iPhone didn’t need to support third-party apps and that web apps were the answer. Fast-forward to March 2012, and Apple just announced that its App Store has now served more than 25 billion downloads.

Apple’s “iPad mini” will reportedly launch in the third quarter ahead of Apple’s next-generation iPhone, which is expected to launch this fall.

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E Ink revenues nose dive 60% in January

Wednesday, February 8th, 2012

E Ink, the popular company that provides paper-look gray-scale displays for eReaders, reported consolidated revenues of $48.02 million in January, down 63.6% from the same month last year and 11% sequentially. The growing popularity of media tablets with full-color displays likely played a big role in the decline — sales of Amazon’s Kindle Fire and Barnes & Noble’s Nook Tablet are thought to be eating into the companies’ respective dedicated eReader businesses to an extent. Even though E Ink’s revenue took a nose dive in January, the company said that it expects to post revenues of $1.35 billion this year, up 5% from 2011.

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Barnes & Noble’s next Nook said to launch this spring

Monday, January 30th, 2012

Barnes & Noble’s fifth-generation “e-reading device” will reportedly launch this coming spring. Mentioned in passing within a New York Times profile of the struggling bookseller, it is unclear if the device in question will be a new media tablet or a standard eReader. With Barnes & Noble’s current-generation color tablet having just been announced this past November, however, a refresh of the company’s E Ink-equipped Nook Touch in the spring seems more likely. Barnes & Noble first unveiled the Nook Touch — then referred to as the “all-new Nook” — at a press conference in New York last spring. The device has since been upgraded with an improved display and a battery that lasts up to two months on a single charge, but the design of the eBook reader remained unchanged. The lightweight ergonomic case and soft-touch rubber feel on the Nook Touch make it our preference over Amazon’s E Ink eReader, so we hope the company’s fifth-generation model doesn’t stray far from the current design.

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Barnes & Noble To Launch a New Nook This Spring [Nook]

Monday, January 30th, 2012

Barnes & Noble Nook Color update brings Netflix, other Nook Tablet features

Tuesday, December 13th, 2011

Barnes & Noble’s previous-generation Nook slate is getting an update beginning today that will add a number of features from the new Nook Tablet to the device. “Among the new features, NOOK Color v1.4.1 now offers access to streaming popular movies and TV shows through Netflix, comics and graphic novels, new PagePerfect NOOK Books, reading NOOK Books in portrait and landscape modes, and many other enhancements through-out the device,” Barnes & Noble said. Version 1.4.1 of the company’s Android-based operating system is available immediately as a manual update on Barnes & Noble’s website and it will automatically be downloaded to devices over Wi-Fi beginning some time this week. Barnes & Noble’s full change log follows below.

The NOOK Color Ver 1.4.1 update contains new features and enhancements, including:

  • Access to popular movies and TV shows streamed through Netflix
  • NOOK Comics™ including the largest collection of Marvel graphic novels – with vivid colors & rich images, the action nearly jumps off the page. Your issues always in perfect condition to enjoy again & again.
  • PagePerfect™ NOOK Books™ – a whole new category of NOOK Books carefully crafted to keep the precision and beauty of their stunning print versions. Zoom in on pictures, and fluidly scroll through pages of beautiful cookbooks, art books, and more.
  • Over 100 enhancements, including reading NOOK Books in portrait and landscape modes, direct look-up of words in the built-in dictionary, increased font size selection, and more.

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Windows 8 may be too late for tablets, Forrester says

Tuesday, November 29th, 2011

The media had a positive response when Microsoft unveiled Windows 8 earlier this year, and consumers seemed to have a high level of interest in seeing Microsoft’s unique Metro UI on tablets. A preliminary study confirmed that the initial response to Windows 8 tablets on social networking sites was certainly positive; 63% of relevant Twitter posts analyzed after Microsoft’s announcement said that Windows 8 looked more compelling than Apple’s iOS platform. According to market research firm Forrester, however, Windows 8 might be too little, too late. Read on for more.

“On tablets, Windows 8 is going to be very late to the party,” Forrester analyst JP Gownder wrote on a company blog. The analyst continued, “[Windows 8 on tablets is] (at best) a fifth-mover after iPad, Android tablets like the Samsung Galaxy Tab, HP’s now-defunct webOS tablet, and the BlackBerry PlayBook tablet. While Windows’ product strategists can learn from these products, other players have come a long way in executing and refining their products — Apple, Samsung, and others have already launched second-generation products and will likely be into their third generation by the time Windows 8 launches.”

Gownder adds that recent market entrants such as Amazon’s Kindle Fire and Barnes & Noble’s Nook Tablet further hurt Microsoft’s chances by altering consumer expectations and lowering price points.

“These market dynamics are rapidly altering consumers’ attitudes and needs. Most significantly, consumers’ interest in Windows tablets is plummeting,” the analyst wrote. “In Q1 2011, Windows was by far the top choice of consumers — while no touch-first Windows tablets existed, 46% of U.S. consumers yearned for one. By Q3 2011, that picture had changed dramatically: Windows was no longer No. 1 in choice preference, and interest among consumers dropped to 25%. Microsoft has missed the peak of consumer desire for a product they haven’t yet released.”

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Switched On: Between a Nook and a hard place

Sunday, November 20th, 2011

Each week Ross Rubin contributes Switched On, a column about consumer technology.

In the 1988 comedy Coming to America, a blatant McDonald’s rip-off named McDowell’s draws the legal ire of the empire built by Ray Kroc. In explaining his pathetic defense that includes noting that McDowell’s uses golden arcs instead of golden arches, the eatery’s manager notes that while both the Big Mac and his Big Mick both include the 1970s jingle-immortalized ingredients of two all-beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles and onions, the McDowell’s flagship burger bun has, in fact, no sesame seeds.

This state of differentiation isn’t a far cry from what characterized some of the earliest 10-inch Honeycomb devices — a few fractions of an inch of thickness, a higher-quality display, a full-sized USB port, an hour or two of running time and some bundled apps constituted how many of the tablets asserted their competitiveness. Of course, there was the ASUS Transformer Prime with its keyboard add-on and its follow up, the Eee Pad Slider, which finally brought an integrated one. But whether it’s been from a lack of of options for manufacturers or disadvantages of the overall Honeycomb approach, larger Android tablets have made limited inroads versus the similarly sized iPad and are now going after it more aggressively on price.

Continue reading Switched On: Between a Nook and a hard place

Switched On: Between a Nook and a hard place originally appeared on Engadget on Sun, 20 Nov 2011 17:35:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Netflix launches new tablet UI for Android; iPad version coming in a few weeks

Tuesday, November 15th, 2011

Netflix, compelled by the increasing number of Android tablets now flooding the market, announced a brand new user interface for tablets on Tuesday. The company explained that the revamped UI now displays twice as many movie and TV titles, with larger cover art, and that users can easily swipe through titles to find additional content. The changes are all welcome, since we found the old UI was a bit sluggish while searching for something to watch. “In the last 12 months we have seen a threefold increase in how long Netflix members are watching on their tablets,” Netflix chief product officer Neil Hunt said, noting the company wanted to introduce the redesigned UI in time for the expected influx of new users from the Amazon Kindle Fire and Barnes & Noble’s Nook Tablet. The update is free and is available in the Android Market now. Netflix said the update will be available for iPad users “in a few weeks.” The full press release follows after the break.

Netflix Unveils New Experience on Android Tablets

New Tablet Interface Improves Discovery of TV Shows and Movies

LOS GATOS, Calif., Nov. 15, 2011 /PRNewswire/ — Coinciding with the first shipments of the Amazon Kindle Fire and Barnes & Noble NOOK Tablet™, Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ:NFLX) today unveiled a new interface for Android-powered tablets that makes browsing and instantly watching unlimited TV shows and movies streaming from Netflix better than ever.

The redesigned Netflix experience is much more immersive and provides more focus on the growing Netflix catalog by displaying twice as many titles than the previous interface. In addition, through optimization for touch-enabled tablets, Netflix members can swipe through multiple rows of titles with larger artwork. As a result, it is now much easier to discover and instantly watch movies and TV shows on Android tablets.

“In the last 12 months we have seen a threefold increase in how long Netflix members are watching on their tablets,” said Neil Hunt, chief product officer at Netflix. “We’re happy to debut a new user experience coinciding with the release of the next generation of devices from industry leaders. The new Netflix interface offers a significant improvement in browsing and searching for TV shows and movies to instantly watch.”

Netflix members can enjoy Netflix on their tablets by installing the latest version of the Netflix app, available as a free download in the Android Market™ and respective application download stores for other Android-powered tablets such as the Kindle Fire and NOOK Tablet. The new tablet experience should be available for members with iPads in a few weeks.

Netflix offers convenience and value with a broad selection of Hollywood, international and local movies and TV series. Netflix has revolutionized entertainment by giving people a choice to enjoy what they want to watch, when they want to watch it, and for a low monthly price over a wide-range of Internet-connected devices.

More details on the devices that support Netflix are available at: http://www.netflix.com/NetflixReadyDevices

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Comics on the Kindle Fire and Nook Tablet hands-on (video)

Monday, November 14th, 2011
Way back in 2000, cartoonist turned comics theorist Scott McCloud discussed infinite canvas in his book Reinventing Comics. The concept, simply put, is that electronic mediums afford artists an infinite space on which to create their work. Cartoonists should, therefore, take advantage of this new found freedom. Of course, old media companies don’t operate that way, and for the past decade or so, the quest has revolved around finding the most ideal way to repurpose existing comics formats for new devices. The clunky interaction and relative lack of portability made PCs less than ideal methods for this consumption. On the flip side, smartphones are just too small for anything but a panel-by-panel reading. Devoted e-readers, meanwhile, didn’t do much better, thanks to slow rendering grayscale e-ink screens.

The iPad hit the sweet spot, with its portable form factor and large, vivid display. The charge was led by Comixology, through its devoted app and market and apps designed for the industry’s largest publishers, Marvel and DC. Reading comics on a device was finally easy enough to convince many physical media devotees make the leap to the digital realm. There are still some roadblocks, however: for one thing, there’s that whole $500 starting price. If your primary objective in picking up a tablet is reading comics, that’s certainly enough to dissuade all but the richiest of riches.

Continue reading Comics on the Kindle Fire and Nook Tablet hands-on (video)

Comics on the Kindle Fire and Nook Tablet hands-on (video) originally appeared on Engadget on Mon, 14 Nov 2011 16:08:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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We’ll be reporting live from Barnes & Noble’s Nook tablet event tomorrow at 10AM

Monday, November 7th, 2011

Barnes & Noble is holding a press conference on Monday morning where the company is expected to unveil a new color eBook reader that will go head-to-head with Amazon’s upcoming Kindle Fire tablet. According to a recent report, the slate in question will be Barnes & Noble’s Nook Color 2 and it will feature a 7-inch 1024 x 600-pixel display, 16GB of storage, 1GB of RAM and a dual-core 1.2GHz TI OMAP 4 processor. Rumors also suggest the tablet will be priced at $249, $50 more than the hotly anticipated Amazon Kindle Fire, but nothing is confirmed until Barnes & Noble executives take the stage on Monday morning.

Bookmark this link, which will go live shortly before the event begins tomorrow morning, and make sure to head there for our live coverage of Barnes & Noble’s press conference! Coverage will begin just before 10:00 a.m. EST / 7:00 a.m. PST.

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We’ll be reporting live from Barnes & Nobile’s Nook tablet event tomorrow at 10AM

Sunday, November 6th, 2011

Barnes & Noble is holding a press conference on Monday morning where the company is expected to unveil a new color eBook reader that will go head-to-head with Amazon’s upcoming Kindle Fire tablet. According to a recent report, the slate in question will be Barnes & Noble’s Nook Color 2 and it will feature a 7-inch 1024 x 600-pixel display, 16GB of storage, 1GB of RAM and a dual-core 1.2GHz TI OMAP 4 processor. Rumors also suggest the tablet will be priced at $249, $50 more than the hotly anticipated Amazon Kindle Fire, but nothing is confirmed until Barnes & Noble executives take the stage on Monday morning.

Bookmark this link, which will go live shortly before the event begins tomorrow morning, and make sure to head there for our live coverage of Barnes & Noble’s press conference! Coverage coverage will begin just before 10:00 a.m. EST / 7:00 a.m. PST.

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Microsoft lawyer defends Android licensing strategy

Tuesday, November 1st, 2011

Speaking with The San Francisco Chronicle recently, the deputy general counsel of Microsoft’s intellectual property group, Horacio Gutiérrez, discussed his company’s decisions to chase down other firms for Android-licensing agreements and the current state of patent wars. Gutiérrez doesn’t think Microsoft should be viewed as a “patent troll” for its recent agreements with Samsung, HTC, ViewSonic and Acer (among others) and its ongoing lawsuit with Foxconn and Barnes & Noble over the Nook. He also does not think the current patent system is broken. “Every time there are these technologies that are really disruptive, there are patent cases,” Guitiérrez explained. “Licensing is not some nefarious thing that people should be worried about. Licensing is, in fact, the solution to the patent problem that people are reactive so negatively about.” Read on for more.

Guitiérrez says that Microsoft invented a number of functions used in Android, including the “ability to synchronize the content that you have in your phone with the information in the server of your company or in your computer at home,” and the “efficiency of operating systems” as a whole. “I think the most important part here is that a lot of the innovation that is happening today is really happening in the software space,” Gutiérrez noted. “So the question of whether software should be patentable is, in a sense, the same as asking whether a significant part of the technological innovation happening nowadays should receive patent protection.” The San Francisco Chronicle’s full interview can be found via the read link below.

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UK book seller Waterstone’s to enter the e-reader race

Saturday, September 10th, 2011
Waterstone's

Waterstone’s isn’t exactly the biggest name in book sales (at least not stateside), but it knows that to survive in this market it’s gonna have to get on the e-book train. The British company’s managing director, James Daunt, told Radio 4 that it planned to enter the market with both an electronic book store and an actual reader by spring of 2012. Mr. Daunt claimed he was inspired by the success of the Nook, and the challenge it posed to Amazon’s Kindle, to finally take a stab at ushering the UK chain into the 21st century. Of course, while we hate to harsh his buzz, Waterstone’s has already been offering e-books and e-readers since 2008 through a partnership with Sony with only minimal market impact. And we’ve already seen one major book seller (one twice the size of Waterstone’s) fall flat on its face as it tried to enter the digital age. But still, we wish Daunt and his company the best of luck.

[Image credit: Chrisloader]

UK book seller Waterstone’s to enter the e-reader race originally appeared on Engadget on Sat, 10 Sep 2011 03:47:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Barnes & Noble Nook Color 2 to launch this month

Friday, September 2nd, 2011

The successor to the Barnes & Noble Nook Color will launch this month, DigiTimes reported on Friday. There is no mention if the Nook Color 2 will run Android, as the original did, although we hope Barnes & Noble considers using the more tablet-friendly Android 3.1 (Honeycomb) operating system this time around instead of a the Froyo build, which was designed for use on smartphones. Inventec and Pegatron will assemble the eReaders and supply as many as 2-3 million devices by the end of this year, the report says. TPK Holding will provide the 7-inch color touchscreen panels. DigiTimes also said that the Nook Color 2 E Ink will supply “e-paper backplanes,” which suggests there will be a new E Ink component to the Nook Color 2, although it is unclear what its role will be at this point. Barnes & Noble most recently released its “All New Nook,” a gray-scale device that we favored among all other eReaders. The Nook Color 2 could face stiff competition from Amazon’s new Android-powered tablet, which is also expected to launch this fall.

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