HP TouchPad Features

HP unveiled its tablet – TouchPad last week. So, what is new and different in this one when there are so many other tablets available in the market? One thing for sure that is different about the TouchPad is its OS. It is not Android, not Windows and of course it can’t be iOS. HP is using its own WebOS 3.0 which we got to see on the Palm-Pre and the Pixi smart devices.

The features of the TouchPad include a 9.7 inches touchscreen with a dual core processor, a 1.3 megapixel camera on the front, a 16 or 32 GB memory and Wi-Fi. As of now, we do not know which carrier would be marketing the TouchPad. Some other multitasking features include a dedicated notifications bar, resizable keyboard, social photos and a JustType feature which is similar to Apple’s universal search bar on its iDevices.

We will have to wait and see how the Palm tablet fares when compared to their smartphones.

Can HP Do An Apple With Its TouchPad?

HP’s new tablet – TouchPad which runs on WebOS 3.0 was unveiled at the Mobile World Congress at Barcelona this week and the tablet actually looks very impressive when compared to most of its contemporaries. The TouchPad which is going to be made available this summer has to face a tough competition from both Android based tablets and the iPad 2. Though a bold move to introduce a new OS amidst the iOS and Android (taking into account that Nokia has also joined hands with Microsoft abandoning its own Symbian), this strategy might work for HP in the long run if not the near future. Analysts who got a look at the TouchPad are actually amazed at the user interface (UI) and the framework that the tablet possesses.

If all should go well for HP with regards to its WebOS, it should be able to replicate what Apple had done in the markets. Way to go, though.

HP TouchPad Unveiled

HP has also joined the tablet race or fight now. HP, yesterday has unveiled its tablet TouchPad. Looks like the world’s largest technology company did not want to be left behind in the race. The TouchPad which is going to hit the market this Summer will be competing with Apple’s much awaited iPad 2 and a few other Android based tablets. The point to be noted here is that HP would not be running its tablet on Google’s Android but on WebOS 3.0 which was made famous by Palm. At a time when Nokia is looking to abandon it’s own OS Symbian and embrace Android or MS, this can be considered a bold gamble by HP.

The price of the tablet though was not specified at the launch yesterday. But, the tablet is going to measure 9.7 inches, weighs 1.5 pounds and runs on Qualcomm Inc. chips.

Spotify USA Launch Confirmed

European readers must be well aware of Spotify – a service that offers free ad-supported music streaming service in their geography. The company is learned to have been working on ways to expand their reach and be available outside Europe in places like United States for a long time. That has now become a reality now with the signing of a partnership between Spotify and Sony Music that will give the former access to all of Sony’s catalog of music in the United States. The terms of the deal are said to be pretty similar to what the company has in place in Europe.

Spotify is now expected to woo more labels and sign deals with them before they can finally launch in the American market. The negotiations are expected to consume a significant chunk of time in 2011. Nevertheless, once this is done, Spotify will finally be available for those of you in USA.

@Mac Email Accounts To Be Disabled?

It has been quite a while since Apple moved their customers from @mac.com to @me.com email addresses. However until now, customers were able to send emails from both the @mac.com and @me.com email addresses. But that could cease to exist soon as some MobileMe customers have discovered.

According to one customer, users who have set their MobileMe account after updating to iOS 4.2 may not be able to send emails via the @mac.com address. While users can still sync their @mac.com account details via iTunes, push email no longer appears to be working. Commenting on these changes, an Apple MobileMe support staff has noted,

“your address will be automatically replaced by @me.com. But if someone send you a message to @mac.com you will be able to get the message same if your iPhone is setting up with @me.com”

There is still no word on when the @mac email address shall be turned off completely. We are still awaiting an official response in this regard.

Netflix ‘Add To DVD Queue’ Feature Removed

Popular DVD rental and movie streaming service Netflix today announced that they were removing the ability to let users add movies to DVD queue from their streaming devices. In a blog post on the company website, Jamie Odell, director of Product Management at Netflix wrote,

“We’re removing the “Add to DVD Queue” option from streaming devices. We’re doing this so we can concentrate on offering you the titles that are available to watch instantly. Further, providing the option to add a DVD to your Queue from a streaming device complicates the instant watching experience and ties up resources that are better used to improve the overall streaming functionality.”

The move marks another significant step for Netflix to transform into a purely movie streaming service. However, the removal of this feature has got a number of users unhappy who point out that it will be making it difficult for users to add movies – those that are not available for instant viewing – to their queue.

In any case, it doesn’t look like Netflix will be reverting the change anytime soon. If you were a fan of that feature, it looks like you must learn to live without it.

Spotify USA Launch Shortly?

Spotify – the massively popular European music streaming service is only days away from launching in the United States market. According to a report on the New York Post, the company will be signing a deal with Sony Music in the next few days that should pave the way for Spotify to start becoming accessible to the American customers.

Spotify operates on a freemium model that lets consumers access ad-supported music for free while also allowing them to pay $10 a month for ad-free access. This business model of giving music away for free has caused a lot of backlash from record companies who see this as a pill to failure in the long term.

While one music executive confirmed the imminent deals claiming, “Spotify is launching in the US, for sure. They’ve got the deals now“, an official statement from Spotify read,

“Negotiations are progressing well, but [we have] nothing to confirm at this stage.”

We hope it is only going to be days before we hear more positive developments on this front.

VUDU 3D Movie Streaming To Start Next Week

VUDU, the Wal-Mart owned internet based movie streaming service in United States will start running 3D movies starting next week. Announcing this on the sidelines of the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, the company has noted that the new portfolio of movies will be available on any of the 3D-supported television boxes without the need for any additional software.

The available screening resolutions will include SD (480p), HD (720p) and HDX  (1080p). The bandwidth requirements for 3D streaming are not too different from those for 2D streaming. Supported devices include HDTV from the likes of LG, Samsung, Mitsubishi, Philips, Toshiba in addition to Sony PlayStation 3, VIZIO and Boxee Box.

The VUDU press release does not give us any details about the new titles on offer. Also, details regarding the price are not available at the moment. We expect the company to make these revelations when they commence 3D streaming next week.

Wikipedia Fundraising Ends – Celebrates A Decade Of Existence

Wikipedia has just ended their month and a half long fundraising efforts. The website now has a massive ‘Thank You‘ banner noting that this was “shortest fundraiser” the organization has ever had.

Wikipedia Thank You

What’s more, 2011 is also the tenth year since Jimmy Wales started Wikipedia as a community project. The website is now the fifth most visited website on the internet and though its traffic rivals those from the likes of Google and Facebook, the not-for-profit group only has close to 50 people on its payroll.

Jimmy Wales has listed out some interesting statistics about the latest fundraiser

  • Over 500,000 donations to the Wikimedia Foundation.
  • Almost 130,000 donations to the local Wikimedia chapters world-wide.
  • Two of the largest fundraising days in Wikipedia history.
  • Average donation size: about $22.

Though Wikipedia may no longer be actively seeking donations from its website visitors, interested people may still make their donations by visiting this link.

Freelancer.com Acquires Webmaster Talk Forums

Freelancer.com, one of the biggest online platforms that lets developers connect with companies to build web based projects has announced that they are acquiring Webmaster Talk, a popular discussion board for webmasters.

In an email sent to Webmaster Talk members, Matt Barie, the founder and CEO of Freelancer has said,

“It’s never been an easier time to start a business. We want this to be the
go-to site for people looking to build successful things on the Internet, with
an active community of experts and seasoned entrepreneurs.

To reflect this, we are renaming Webmaster-talk to Tycoon Talk.

Above all, this is your community and we’re honored to be a part of it.
Most, if not all, of the existing forums will continue, albeit with some
rearrangement. We will also be extending the focus with some new
cutting-edge boards.”

The past year and a half has been pretty eventful year for Freelancer.com as the company rebranded itself from GetAFreelancer to Freelancer. The company recently announced the acquisition of LimeExchange that saw its overall membership grow to 2 million users.

It will be interesting to see how this new acquisition shapes the freelancer community that Matt Barie has built with his website.