Is Sony looking for a fresh start with its PlayStation Network?
The Register is reporting that Sony is testing out a redesigned PSN in some markets.
The report cites sources familiar with the new design who say Sony will "de-clutter" the PSN main screen in favor of "an aesthetic layout with logically marked sections and rolodex lists."
The sources say Sony is also tweaking the search function by adding a live search feature and a deals section to highlight content on sale; bringing in an "IMDB-style" movie database for movie purchases and rentals and a similar style database for games; and possibly ditching the traditional blue background for bolder color. … Read more
Hewlett-Packard Senior Vice President Jon Rubinstein attempted to cheer up his staff following some less-than-stellar TouchPad reviews by comparing them to initial complaints about Apple's desktop operating system, according to memo published today by PreCentral.
Rubinstein runs the Palm business unit, which produced the WebOS-based HP TouchPad that went on sale for the first time last week. Reviews were generally mixed--some complained that WebOS is too slow and that it doesn't have enough apps. CNET's own take on it is that it "would have made a great competitor for the original iPad, but its design, features, … Read more
On the eve of the launch of its TouchPad, Hewlett-Packard is signaling that it's ready to stir things up in the mobile-OS business.
Today, CEO Leo Apotheker told Bloomberg that HP has had discussions about licensing WebOS.
"We are talking to a number of companies," Apotheker said. "I can share with you that a number of companies have expressed interest. We are continuing our conversations."
Bloomberg says it's heard from unidentified sources that Samsung is one of those companies, but a Samsung spokesman denied that. HP did not elaborate on who potential partners could be.
HP has revamped the WebOS operating system it bought with Palm almost exactly a year ago and made it ready for tablets. Apotheker's comments today expand on earlier statements that he would entertain the idea of licensing WebOS to other players in the mobile-devices business. … Read more
Just two weeks after drastically reducing its expectations for Android tablet shipments comes word that Acer is drawing down its third-quarter 2011 forecast for the number of notebooks it will ship.
DigiTimes has sources among Acer's component suppliers, which tell the outlet that Acer will reduce its notebook shipment forecast from 6.4 million to 5.4 million units.
Most of the reduced models are Netbooks, according to the report. DigiTimes got Acer founder Stan Shih to comment, and he didn't deny the report. He did say Acer is still adjusting to a structural reorganization after parting ways with its former CEO and asked for patience among investors.
Acer's got a few issues right now. The Taiwanese PC maker has a backlog of notebooks in retail channels and has to clear those out before bringing in new models. That happened because Acer was a little too aggressive about shipping products to retailers, according to IDC PC analyst Jay Chou. … Read more
Maksim Ioffe was sitting around his San Francisco living room watching TV one day in 2009 when he noted how ridiculous it was that on his coffee table were no less than five remote controls. He thought to himself, "This has got to go."
But instead of replacing them all with yet another remote, he looked to something he already owned: his smartphone.
Fast forward to 2011, and that germ of an idea two years ago has spawned the Dijit Universal Remote App, which turns an iPhone--or iPod Touch, iPad, or soon an Android phone--into a remote control.
Ioffe is not alone in looking for ways to substitute the smartphone for a remote control. There's actually a whole crop of companies that are trying to break into what some are calling the "smart-remote" business by taking advantage of the device that one-third of all U.S. cell phone owners already have on hand.
There's no agreed-on standard just yet for how best to replace the ubiquitous multibuttoned plastic living room staple. Different approaches are being offered, from free apps that control individual devices, like just your TV or just your set-top box, to a hardware accessory paired with an accompanying app that lets you control both "dumb" devices that only take infrared input and "smart" or Internet-connected devices in your home entertainment setup.
The cost can vary depending on the solution, from free to about $100. The appeal is the convenience: you probably already own a smartphone. And then there's the vast potential that the smartphone, really a minicomputer, brings to the coffee table: a bright screen with rich graphics, the ability to customize onscreen buttons as you wish, and the power of the Web to help you discover new programming or filter for just the stuff you like.
Of course there will be home theater devotees who insist they just can't give up their fancy 80-button universal remote, but there are plenty of advantages that could prove tempting for others looking for a simple and decidedly 21st century solution. … Read more
When Hewlett-Packard's WebOS tablet debuts next week it won't have nearly the number of apps as its competitors. But the company thinks it can use that to its advantage. That's where WebOS Pivot comes in.
HP introduced the feature of its HP App Catalog today for the first time. Pivot is essentially a magazine, published every month, with its app store. It will highlight featured applications, interesting developers, and popular apps.
Pivot will have articles and photos from "journalists and photographers affiliated with leading publications," and guest columns from "notable" writers, according to the company's release. All of the content will be about, you guessed it, apps. The content will be tailored by geographic region where HP devices are available and published in English, French, German, and Spanish.
Several questions probably pop to mind. Like, what does HP know about content publishing? But even more importantly, why go through all the trouble with a monthly publication for apps? … Read more
Editors' note: The lens used in recording the video above makes the television appear smaller than it really is in relation to the presenter, Scott Stein. Scroll down to see a photo that more accurately presents the 92-inch size of the TV.
Does a 92-inch TV sound like overkill to you?
To many, it may. But for the company that makes it, Mitsubishi, it's pretty much the only way to distinguish itself among its competitors and try to stay in the TV business.
Today is the first time customers in the U.K. can walk into a store and buy Research In Motion's new tablet, the PlayBook. Turns out, not every wireless carrier in the country is enthusiastic about offering it to customers.
U.K. carrier O2 made waves today when it sent e-mails to customers who had previously inquired about the PlayBook saying it "would not be selling" RIM's tablet. The reason, O2 said, is "unfortunately there are some issues with the end to end customer experience," according to an e-mail seen by Engadget.