For our last Crave of 2011, Bonnie and Donald revisit the '80s with a retro Walkman case, bad Apple fashions, and a look at Crave photo submissions that have been Instagrammed into blurry, oversaturated works of art.
And whether it's by ground or by sea, Crave has the latest high-tech methods for risking your life in pursuit of fun. In Geek News, Lego goes LOTR, and Batman goes Lego.
Bonnie's back, just in time to witness a barrage of futuristic concept videos.
We get Samsung's take on the transparent tablet of the future. Also, Toyota's vision of a self-driving psychedelic car from a frightening nightmarescape where the middle-aged are given the "Logan's Run" treatment. We revisit the fashion predictions of 1939 and watch as flying robots construct foam towers. In Geek News, Eric recounts his obsession with MST3K and the latest RiffTrax RiffPlayer, makes amends with Dr. Who fans, and shows us the creepier side of Batman.
The future may not be bright, but it will require shades if you want to be able to view your computer monitor and avoid a fight with Rowdy Roddy Piper. Little Printer puts the Internet back onto paper, while invoked computing concepts put the Internet inside a pizza box. Eric and Donald meet up with the Keepon Pro, and Neil deGrasse Tyson predicts the end of the West Coast.
Chances are, there's someone on your holiday gift list asking for a tablet. The simplest solution, of course, is to buy that person an Apple iPad 2. It's our highest-rated tablet, and anyone who's ungrateful to receive one should (in my humble opinion) have his or her head examined.
But if an iPad's out of the question financially or you're shopping for someone who thinks of gingerbread as an Android OS rather than a tasty holiday treat, then there are some other tablet options to consider.
Tablets are done. The future is tables. Unfortunately, it's the same future where giant teddy bears punch you in your sleep and adorable pugs are transformed into bloodthirsty monsters. This week, Bonnie Cha joins Donald and Eric to talk all about this topsy-turvy dystopia and provides the invaluable function of translating Eric's obscure '80s film references for the rest of us. In Geek News, Eric channels the dark heart of Bane.
Donald and Eric discuss the latest innovations in head-mounted technology, including animatronic cat heads.
Also, the future has your organic-honey needs taken care of, and Eric runs through Geek News highlights, including the 3D technology behind "The Hobbit" and a Victoria's Secret nod to comic book geeks.
Writing CNET's official review of the Kindle Fire was probably the toughest assignment I've had all year. This is a tablet that wears its price tag like a bulletproof vest. The standby criticisms don't work. Holding it up to an iPad, I may as well be comparing a Vespa to a Mercedes.
That isn't to say that the Kindle Fire couldn't have flopped. I've seen my share of cheap tablets before and I haven't flinched at flunking them. Nine times out of 10, it's the screen that ruins things. On a tablet, the screen is the foundation of the entire experience. It's the window to the software; it's the substance of the navigation; it's the keyboard; it's the game controller.
Fortunately, Amazon didn't cheap out on the screen, though (spoiler alert!) I was surprised that it only supports two-finger multitouch. My three-finger Fruit Ninja technique was ruined. … Read more
Donald takes a break from his at-desk Occupy Wall Street protest to rant about the cellular monopoly and the disruptive potential of Republic Wireless.
And while we are fine with robot slugs that can rescue us from toxic rubble, we have to draw the line at robotic seeing-eye dogs. I mean, c'mon, there's no replacing man's best friend. Also, hipster 35mm film fetishists get a new way to spend $99, and Eric goes all Geek News on the latest Zelda game.
After September's Kindle Fire announcement from Amazon.com, it was only a matter of time before rival bookseller Barnes & Noble retaliated with a new e-book-friendly tablet.
Update, November 18 at 1:12 p.m. PT: CNET's rated reviews of the Amazon Kindle Fire and Barnes & Noble Nook Tablet are now available. The following text has been updated to reflect the observations made in these reviews.
Bearing a striking resemblance to Barnes & Noble's previous effort (the Nook Color--which remains on the market at $199), the Nook Tablet outguns the Kindle Fire in a few key specs.
The most notable differences are the amount of system RAM (1GB on the Nook Tablet, versus 512MB on the Kindle Fire); the amount of integrated storage (16GB versus 8GB on the Kindle Fire); and the inclusion of microSD memory expansion on the Nook Tablet.
Unfortunately, the improved specs of the Nook Tablet come at a $50 premium over the $199 Kindle Fire. Then, there are the details that are not easily broken down on a spec sheet. Once you get past the silicon, these tablets are essentially windows into different storefronts and services. When you add up all the e-books, apps, music, games, and videos, there's no question that Amazon has more of its own content offerings to dive into. Its cloud technology infrastructure also happens to be one of the most robust systems in the industry, and its tablet reaps the rewards in terms of improved Web-browsing performance, media lockers like Cloud Player, and Cloud Drive file backup.
The other big advantage--or, some would say, caveat--to the Kindle Fire is Amazon Prime. In addition to free two-day shipping for most of Amazon's physical product offerings, Prime offers members access to a growing library of Netflix-style on-demand streaming movies and TV shows (a subset of Amazon's full catalog), plus the option to borrow some e-books for free. Of course, all of that "free" stuff comes at a price: $79 per year. Many find it to be the retail deal of a lifetime, but--like Xbox Live on Microsoft's game console--it does mean you need to factor in a yearly premium to fully unlock the value of Amazon's tablet. … Read more