Wolverton: Amazon’s new Kindle Fire can compete against Apple’s iPad

San Jose Mercury News tech columnist Troy Wolverton today delivered this column on Amazon’s newly-introduced Kindle Fire tablet, which he says may be the first “worthy competitor” to Apple’s iPad.

Apple, of course, has the big advantage of creating a market for tablet computers like the iPad and being able to deliver a product to its fiercely loyal fan base. Other companies, like Hewlett-Packard, have tried to break into the tablet business but have not been able to knock the iPad from its perch. Hewlett-Packard, of course, made the bewildering decision to cancel its TouchPad tablet this summer, mere weeks after entering the marketplace.

Amazon seems to have been
paying attention to the failings of other iPad competitors. Unlike
previous tablets, the Kindle Fire is not trying to be an iPad clone.
It’s got a much smaller screen than the iPad. It has a much smaller
amount of storage space. It doesn’t have any cameras, so you can’t use
it to take pictures or do video chats. And it only connects the Internet
via WiFi, not the cell phone networks.

But those differences
help make the Kindle Fire distinct — and allow Amazon to offer it for a
much lower price. At $200, the Kindle Fire is in a completely different
league than the iPad and the iPad knock-offs. That price is even $50
cheaper than Barnes & Noble’s Nook Color, a similar device that’s
marketed as an eBook reader. It’s a price that, in these tough economic
times, is going to be a lot more accessible to mainstream consumers.

The San Jose Mercury news is the Inland Valley Daily Bulletin and Sun’s sister newspaper.

Mercury News: Apple to update location tracking file

I like to post links to coverage from the San Jose Mercury News, The Sun and Daily Bulletin’s sister paper in the heart of the Silicon Valley.

Merc staffer Troy Wolverton reports today that Apple’s new iOS update will make changes to the location tracking software that allowed iPhones and iPads to track users’ whereabouts.

An excerpt:

The iOS update seeks to address many of the issues with the location file identified by the  researchers. According to Apple, the update will limit the amount of data kept in the location file, will prevent iTunes from backing up the file to users’ computers and  will delete all information in the file when users  turn off location services.


However, the update doesn’t necessarily address  all issues with the file. Apple has said previously  that it will continue to store 7 days worth of  location data in the file even after the update.  Forensics researchers, who have said that they have been using the location data stored file in  criminal and other legal investigations, said that  even that amount of data would still be useful in  their work.

EA Games on Sale

Step right up, get your EA Games for $.99 for your iPhone, Ipod touch and the iPad. In time for Valentines Day, EA Games announced that they’ll drop the price of nearly 30 games games for 48 hours, starting on February 7. Now, I know it’s the 8th but hey, you’ve got a 10 hours from the time this goes up. So…..hurry, hurry, hurry!!!

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Game titles are listed after the jump.
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Blackberry PlayBook

Blackberry is taking on the Apple iPad with their new Blackberry PlayBook a sleek 7″ LCD Tablet with a multi-touch 1024×600 screen. The PlayBook runs 1Ghz dual-core processor with 1GB ram.

Check out the specs from BlackBerry after the jump

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Ultra portable, super convenient

0.4″

Height Width Depth Weight

5.1″ / 130mm 7.6″ / 194mm 0.4″ / 10mm 0.9 lbs / 400g


Best-in-class media

3 MP high-definition forward-facing camera 5 MP high-definition rear-facing camera

Codec support for superior media playback, creation and video calling

1080p HD video; H.264, MPEG4, WMV HDMI video output Micro USB and Micro HDMI ports


Video-conferencing

Crystal clear HD display Rich stereo sound Dual HD video cameras


Built for business

Out-of-the-box compatibility with BlackBerry Enterprise Server

Seamless pairing for a secure window into your BlackBerry smartphone

Corporate data access Secure and manageable


BlackBerry Tablet OS

Powerful, user-friendly QNX technology: It’s what the World Wide Web runs on

Multi-processing for true multitasking


Rich application ecosystem

Rapid development environment Reliable BlackBerry Tablet OS, powered by QNX technology

Supports POSIX OS, SMP, Open GL, BlackBerry 6, WebKit, Adobe Flash, Java and Adobe Mobile AIR

7″ LCD display, 1024 x 600 screen resolution Multi-touch capacitive screen


Professional grade performance

Full computing power in a tablet format 1 GHz dual-core processor 1 GB RAM Symmetric multi-processing


Web without limits

Games, media, apps and everything the real Internet offers Full Adobe Flash 10.1 enabled Built-in support for HTML 5 No-compromise rendering of text, graphics and video


High-speed connections

3G network access using your BlackBerry smartphone as a modem 4G network access available on BlackBerry 4G PlayBookTM tablet Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n Bluetooth 2.1+EDR


Amplified BlackBerry experience

Wirelessly connect to your BlackBerry smartphonefor real time access to:

Email, calendar, address book, task list and BBMT

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Publishing is dead? Think again.

Is publishing going to die out with the rise of the iPad and every other mobile screen that allows for books to be stored as 1s and 0s? Not by a longshot if Dorling Kindersley Books has anything to say about it.

Created by the UK branch of DK, this is a clever presentation that was made for a sales conference but had proven to be so popular, it was posted in the wild for the world to see. It clocks in at roughly two and a half minutes, but it’s worth watching for a clever difference in perspective.

The Apple iPad

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(photo: Kimberly White/Reuters)

Apple’s newest gizmo was officially revealed today to a select audience of technophiles setting Wednesday’s slice of the ‘net alive with buzz that ranged between giddy excitement to murmurs of meh.

Called the iPad, it has quite a few people buzzing about how it will do everything from saving print media to providing the missing link between laptops and iPhones. It will even wage war against e-book readers, like Amazon’s Kindle, with the iBook interface that will show you a virtual bookshelf filled with your downloaded library making it as easily accessible. Its starting price is set at $499 and will be out in two months.

A few iPhone developers are already eying the increased real-estate and power that its 9.7″ screen, 1Ghz processor, and starting 16GB of space that it will offer potential creations.

While some were impressed with its fashionable look and touted features combining the function of an iPhone and a laptop, others weren’t as wowed, regarding it as simply a bigger iPhone with its lack of multitasking and its ties to AT&T. Only time will tell whether or not it makes as big a splash, but one thing is still certain: when Apple speaks, everyone is still listening.