The CrunchPad is dead

The CrunchPad is no more.Less than a month after claiming the CrunchPad was “steamrolling” toward production, Michael Arrington has pronounced his web tablet dead. Apparently there was a serious fallout with the manufacturer. Serious as in the manufacturer is going to try to sell the device itself. Without Arrington. Potentially under the CrunchPad moniker.

This is about as spectacular as device wars get. You can imagine Arrington is pissed, and bound to be throwing around any lawsuit he can think up. He writes this about the email he received from Fusion Garage, the company set to manufacture the web tablet.

Bizarrely, we were being notified that we were no longer involved with the project. Our project. Chandra said that based on pressure from his shareholders he had decided to move forward and sell the device directly through Fusion Garage, without our involvement.

Err, what? This is the equivalent of Foxconn, who build the iPhone, notifiying Apple a couple of days before launch that they’d be moving ahead and selling the iPhone directly without any involvement from Apple.

The rest of Arrington’s post on the subject is appropriately distressed. I’m still amazed Fusion Garage would try to pull this off, particularly two days before the product was set for a public launch. For more detail on the drama, head over to to TechCrunch and offer Arrington your condolences.

Source: TechCrunch

Best of Black Friday

Black Friday deals.I’ve never been the type to get up ass-early the day after Thanksgiving, but there are some undeniably great deals out there that could make be worth it were I ever not sleeping off my vitamin T. I’ve scoured all the ads this year to find my personal favorite deals in the hope that it will help some of you last minute planners.

Amazon’s got the Blackberry Bold 9700 (Bold 2 for those of you keeping track) for $149.99 on new contracts, but you can do better. Wirefly has the same phone on AT&T for FREE with new activations and just $29.99 for existing customers. It’s a perfect deal for your favorite Blackberry fan (and probably yourself if you’re so inclined).

According to blackfriday.info’s many, many ad leaks, Office Depot has a Seagate 1.5TB external drive for $99.99. There are cheaper deals for smaller drives out there but, dollar for dollar, this will get you one of the best storage deals available. As someone who recently had to restore a machine from a backup drive, I’d highly recommend this option. It’s also great if you know someone working with large amounts of audio and video.

Dell’s working a little Black Friday love this year, my favorite being the 23″ Full HD (I’m assuming that means 1080p) widescreen monitor w/webcam for $219. Gamers would love this thing, whether it’s for a PC or, if they’re really desperate, that brand new Xbox 360 bundle they picked up. At 23″ it’s plenty big enough for extended MW2 sessions, especially in a dorm room.

If you’re in the market for a new computer, check out the Acer Aspire One at Office Max. It’s 10.1″ with 1GB of RAM, a 160GB HD, and Windows XP – all for $149.99. That’s about as cheap as you’ll get for a ten-incher, which is as small as I can go before my hands cramp up.

Black Friday just wouldn’t be complete without a trip to Best Buy. The house of blue and yellow has the Nikon D3000DX bundle for $499.99. It’s a 10.2 Megapixel DSLR with a 10-55mm VR lens just a penny under the $500 mark. It’s 10% off list for most retailers, and as low as anyone wants to go for a DSLR this season.

There you have my favorites. There are plenty of sites where you can find the rest of the deals if you don’t get the paper. I’d recommend checking out www.blackfriday.info. Now, go get some rest. You’ll need it for the maddening crowd.

App Review: Best of Cycle World

best-of-cw-appI’ve got another app review for you today, this time from Cycle World (which is published under Hachette Filipacchi Media along with Car and Driver). The app, appropriately named “Best of Cycle World,” can be picked up from the App Store for free.

Before installing the app I read a few users reviews complaining about the update schedule and limited content. I would wholeheartedly agree if the app was billed as digital magazine, but it’s not. It’s a companion to a subscription magazine and should be considered as such. Bearing that in mind, I think the app is a great way to carry CW content in your pocket.

The app works like a content-rich RSS feed for the magazine’s best articles. It’s a simple list that links to individual articles, all of which have a picture gallery. While the content is decent, a few simple updates could improve the app. I’d recommend a system by which the reader can see what’s been read and what hasn’t. Also, adding a picture count (1 of 8, etc.) to the galleries would be a small improvement.

Overall, can’t complain much about free content. If nothing else, it saves you the embarrassment of carrying a magazine into the bathroom while your girlfriend’s over. That is, if you still care about that sort of thing.

App Review: Car and Driver Buyer’s Guide

IMG_0710When I look at mobile apps for popular magazines I always look for the same thing: content. A lot of publishers skimp on content just to have a name in the App Store. Luckily, that’s starting to change, and Car and Driver’s Buyer’s Guide is part of a welcome shift toward content-rich apps. The Buyer’s Guide is a great companion for anyone shopping for a new car, and best of all it’s free.

The app is simple and straight-forward. You search for cars based on make and model, whereupon you can find reviews, photos, specs for every trim level, and a list of competitor’s vehicles to consider against your choice. The main page also has general categories like “Latest Reviewed,” and “Fuel Misers.” These are especially helpful if you’re just starting your search or are unsure where to look. In any case, there’s always plenty of information. Of the 20 or so cars I browsed through, I never left the app thinking they’d missed something.

The app also has a general advice section including articles like “How to Test Drive a Car,” and “What’s the Right New Vehicle for Me?” The articles are full-length and offer the same kind of advice you’d get from the magazine or any male relative over 40.

If I have one complaint about the app it’s that there are ads, but that’s the price you pay to get a free app. Otherwise, it’s a great tool for anyone in the market for a new vehicle.

Google Maps Navigation comes to Android 1.6

Google Maps Navigation at work.One of the most exciting parts of the Motorola Droid launch was the inclusion of Google Maps Navigation, a free turn-by-turn GPS system from Google. At first the feature was only compatible with phones running Android 2.0, which is only the Droid. Today Google announced that it would be moving the nav system down to Android 1.6, opening up the service to phones like the MyTouch 3G and G1.

I’d call this a big win for Android users. Until this update the hope was that some enterprising developer would hack the thing down to 1.6. This still leaves out the Motorola CLIQ and HTC Droid Eris, but hey, it’s better than the original situation. The 1.6 release also adds layers, allowing you to overlay information on the map, like Wikipedia articles on local points of interest and public transit lines. The one thing 1.6 is missing is the “navigate to” voice command, so you’ll have to enter everything by hand. Life’s tough, isn’t it?

New iPhone worm targets bank info

iPhone running SSH.Gone are the days of harmless iPhone worms rick-rolling you into fits of laughter. The newest breach uses the same trick as the Australian version, but instead of Rick Astley you get your bank information stolen. For now the virus is contained the Netherlands, where it targets Dutch customers of ING who log into the banking system using a jailbroken phone. You also have to have installed SSH without changing your default password.

Sophos mentions dramatically reduced battery life on WiFi connections because the worm generates so much network activity. If you notice anything out of the ordinary, you should probably restore to a known safe backup. You do have one of those, right?

Luckily preventative measures are simple. Just install Mobile Terminal using Cydia and change your password from the default “alpine” to something a bit more secure. Also let this serve as a reminder that your phone is a computer capable of granting outsiders access to very sensitive data. Don’t get careless.

Source: Gizmodo

Gadget Teaser’s 2009 Holiday Gift Guide: Part 2

Today marks the second installment in our 2009 Holiday Gift Guide. If you didn’t stop by yesterday, make sure you get a look at part one. If you need additional holiday advice (no, I won’t help with your in-laws) just leave a comment below.

Livio Radio for Pandora/NPRLivio Pandora Radio
The Livio Radio is a great choice for any audio lover you know. The original debuted with built-in Pandora support, allowing users to listen to Pandora in any room of the house. The little screen makes it easy to browse through your favorite stations and you still get your thumbs-up/thumbs-down buttons for encouraging/discouraging specific tracks.

Livio also added an NPR specific radio to its lineup this year, providing access to some 800 NPR stations over a wireless connection. The NPR radio just started shipping this week. You can get either model for $199.99 from the Livio website.

Also Consider: Logitech Squeezebox Radio

Able Planet Clear Harmony Noise-Canceling HeadphonesAble Planet Clear Harmony Headphones
I reviewed Able Planet’s Clear Harmony noise-canceling headphones earlier this year and fell in love. I’d even pick them over the Bose QuietComforts because you can play music even if your batteries die (no active noise-canceling if that happens, though). These things sound excellent, last forever on a pair of AAA batteries, and tuck away nicely into a hardshell case.

The only thing that may scare you off would be price, but for this kind of quality you should expect to spend a little cash. Get a deal at Tiger Direct for $249.99.

Also Consider: Bose Quiet Comfort

Playstation 3 SlimThe PS3 Slim
Personally, I’m not a Playstation guy. Never have been. Never will be. But I can’t think up a good reason you should follow suit. With the recent size reduction and price drop, the PS3 is looking as good as it’s ever likely to. With the recent release of Modern Warfare 2 and Uncharted 2 Sony’s lineup got a nice facelift as well.

Be sure you shop around for the bundles, though. Some of them are region specific, but Sony is so far behind in the console race that it’s offering crazy deals to get this system into your home. Most everything will run you $299 for the 120GB model.

Also Consider: Xbox 360 Elite Bundle

Samsung BD-P1600Samsung BD-P1600
This Blu-ray player is a nice little mashup for all your media needs. You obviously get BD Live support, but you can stream HD movies from Netflix and hook this thing up to your audio system for Pandora, too. And though price may have held Blu-ray back in times gone by, the P1600 is going for $149.99 as a part of Samsung’s Black Friday deals. Check the Samsung website for a list of retailers and other Samsung deals.

Also Consider: Roku Player

Wii Motion PlusNintendo Wii Motion Plus
So you’re staying away from Blu-ray this year and you don’t want the PS3 Slim? I’d call you crazy, but Wii Sports Resort and New Super Mario Bros. Wii are plenty to keep you busy through the holidays. Just don’t forget to pick up enough Wii Motion Plus dongles for everyone to play along (with the first title, anyway). The tiny attachment dramatically improves the Wii’s motion-sensing abilities, so your jumper from the elbow can be just as bad as your game in real life.

Get a single WMP from Amazon for $16.99 or pickup the Wii Sports Resort Bundle (WMP included) for $46.99.

Also Consider: Tiger Woods PGA Tour 2010 Bundle

That does it for this year’s holiday gift guide. Check back later in the week for a Black Friday Roundup including my favorite deals from the major retailers’ holiday ads. Happy Holidays from everyone at Gadget Teaser and Bullz-Eye to all of our readers and fans.

Gadget Teaser’s 2009 Holiday Gift Guide: Part 1

Flip MinoHDpure-digital-flip-mino-hd-custom
Pure Digital was kind enough to send me a MinoHD as part of its custom screen-printed series this year and I love it. For such a small camcorder it takes fantastic, 720p video and the thing couldn’t be easier to use. Flip also introduced customizable skins to the mix this year, so you can gift a Flip with the image of your choice, or use their design/pattern generators to make this a little extra special.

You can get the MinoHD in either 60min (4GB) or 120min (8GB) storage sizes for $199.99 or $229.99 respectively. Customization does not cost extra, so get something funky unless you want that classic industrial design.

Also Consider: Flip UltraHD

Joby GorillaMobilejoby-gorillamobile-tripod-flip
What’s a camcorder without a good tripod? No good at all, that’s what. Part of the problem with handheld camcorders is a lack of grippable parts for stability. Joby’s GorillaMobile can be bent around just about anything, including your wrist if you want to rig up a little wristmount system. Really, though, I like the GorillaMobile because it’s so small and versatile. It’s perfect for throwing in a bag to use at casual family functions and parties, keeping the 720p video on your new Flip nice and steady.

If you want something a little more substantial you could also consider the larger GorillaPod. Joby also makes a GorillaMobile specifically for the iPhone 3G/3GS and the GorillaTorch, a light sporting the same bendable legs. Check their official site for prices on each.

Also Consider: Vanguard VS41

Mophie Juice Pack Air1059_JPA-IP3G-BLK-8T
I tend to change my mind on iPhone cases all the time, but I always come back to the Mophie Juice Pack Air when I’m low on power. It minimally augments the size of the phone while providing an extra 60-80% battery life on the go. There are more powerful options out there, but they tend to be a little too bulky for my taste. Mophie’s Juice Pack, on the other hand, is a close fit without too many frills.

Mophie recently updated the line to include a soft-finish variety with the same power rating. It’s a nice addition, especially if you live in a humid climate like I do. You can get the Juice Pack Air in white, black, purple, or red for $79.95 from Mophie’s website.

Also Consider: Incase Power Slider 3G

Boa Nerve S/Lboa-nerve
I tried to make a conscious effort to recommend a bag other than the Boa Nerve from Booq but I just couldn’t do it. I’m in love with this messenger and I’m sure you know someone who would be, too. The Nerve comes in small and large sizes to accommodate different sized laptops. There’s a removable laptop sleeve, which is perfect for a quick trip to the coffee shop, and plenty of pockets should you be headed for a full day of work. One of the best features is the stability strap, which pulls bag snug against your back if you have to run for a train or take the fixed-gear for a spin.

Booq was having trouble keeping these in stock, but they’re available now and ship within 24 hours. You can get the Boa Nerve for $129.95 at the Booq website.

Also Consider: Timbuk2 Commute Slim

Barnes & Noble Nookbarnes-and-noble-nook
I hesitate to recommend this because I’m generally averse to ereaders. There are those among you who like these things, and you all probably know someone who wants one, so I’ll go against my best instincts for the sake of your friends. The Nook is best of the ereaders I’ve seen. Since no one, not even the major sites, have had a chance to review these it’s tough to say how that little color screen will pan out, but it seems like a decent idea. You also get the ability to lend your ebooks to your friends and share your own media between your computer and your iPhone.

One BIG caveat for this one: The Nook is completely sold out for shipments arriving during 2009. The next flight will land January 4th, so you could always give the gift of the late present, which can be pretty cool. Barnes & Noble wants $259 for this one.

Also Consider: Amazon Kindle

AeroPress Coffee/Espresso Makeraerobie-aero-press
Now that your loved ones will be spending all their hard-earned money on ebooks, they’ll need an inexpensive way to stay perky for those long reading sessions. The Aerobie AeroPress should be in every coffee lovers’ home, at least if they’re on a budget. It brews a decent cup of espresso and great Americano if you add a little water. Get a cheap frother and you can make your drink of choice in under two minutes and far cheaper than you’ll find at any cafe.

The press comes with a year’s supply of filters and everything you’ll need to make your perfect cuppa. The best part is the price, a mere $25.95 with free shipping from Amazon.

Also Consider: MyPressi TWIST

More good stuff to come in the Gadget Teaser 2009 Holiday Gift Guide tomorrow.

Xperia X10 to cost $879

Sony Xperia X10.Sony Ericsson’s Xperia X10, formerly code-named “Rachel,” is just way too hot for its own good. It’s a great looking phone, and running Android on a 1GHz Snapdragon processor puts internal beauty in-line with external. You’re going to pay a hefty price for the allure, though. According to the Wall Street Journal the phone will run $879 off contract. Yes, you read that correctly. $879.

If anything scares away American cell consumers it’s high sticker price. Anyone walking around a carrier’s showroom would practically vomit to see such a price, even after you’d explained the contract system in full detail. That’s probably why Sony Ericsson is looking for a carrier to partner with on this side of the pond. The company has never made much of an impact over here, mostly because of high prices.

Though the article didn’t mention, it seems plausible that the search for a carrier has delayed the phone’s release. The product page used to list a February launch. That’s gone now, back to TBA in the meantime.

Nook won’t be home for holidays

Barnes & Noble Nook.If you didn’t pre-order your Nook, you won’t be seeing a holiday arrival. Barnes & Noble announced today that it had sold through the initial order and wouldn’t have more before the holidays are out.

“While we increased production based on the high consumer interest, we’ve sold out of our initial Nook allotment available for delivery before the holidays,” said a company statement. It’s not a huge delay – any order placed from today forward will be filled on January 4th. Anyone who pre-orders up to that date will receive a holiday certificate. Sometimes those are the best gifts. Right when you thought the festivities were over there’s a package on your doorstep.

B&N announced the delay after Sony did the same for its “Daily Edition” ereader yesterday. Despite the high price of ebooks and still limited functionality, ereaders seem to be one of the hottest items on the world’s gift list. Amazon’s Kindle and Kindle DX are both in stock and ship immediately.

Source: Reuters