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On Thursday night's show, O'Brien claimed that Apple and its team of engineering wizards was "getting a little cocky". Team Coco then proceeded to spoof the iPad's desktop, thinness, "a pair of cheap cameras," and how we Americans seem to take everything said with an accent and lend it more credence than it actually deserves.

O'Brien, whose humor is perhaps more warm-hearted than his late-night rivals, completely leaves Steve Jobs or a parody of Jobs out of the fake launch video, almost certainly because of Jobs' struggle with cancer. The omission allows the humor to fall where it should: on Apple's iconic status, and how the iPad 2 might be considered a bit more like an iPad 1.5.

Click to continue reading Conan O’Brien pokes fun at Apple’s iPad 2


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Take a look at the future of mobile virtual reality with the String Labs Augmented Reality Showcase app for the iPhone. This amazing new application is a tech demo from String Labs, celebrating the launch of their brand new augmented reality platform. Download the free app from the iTunes app store, and head over to the String Labs website to print out the five available image targets.

Choose from Pharaoh's Fury, Clayful, Scrawl, Proto, and Sneaker. When you launch the app, you can focus your rear camera on the image targets, and play with the games and utilities that show up in virtual reality. There are fun games, creative artistic drawings, and random virtual three eyed pets to play with. Check out our video, where we walk you through each one of the five image targets, and give you a taste of the technology. Take a look at the future of mobile virtual reality, and imagine all the possibilities.

What do you like about these new applications? Can you dream up an innovative way to use augmented reality? Share your idea's with us in the comments below. 

Read More | String Labs

On Wednesday Google opened a forum where site owners could solicit feedback on the changes. In less than 24 hours it has received 131 complaints, mostly from mom and pop websites whose traffic and search ranks plummeted as a result of the algorithm change.

Last Friday, Google altered its search algorithm to demote "low-quality" sites in its search results. The change was widely dubbed a "farmer update" because it targeted content-farming websites that aggregate unoriginal content.

At the time Google warned that around 12 percent of its search results would change following the "farmer update" last week. Google has previously said that it changes its algorithm 500 times a year, but rarely makes an announcement.


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Opera Mac App Store

Opera, the least popular of the full Web browsers, became the first non-native browser to be included in Apple's Mac App Store on Thursday. But as per Apple's tradition with rating browsers, it has been slapped with a 17+ rating.

To download Opera from the Mac App Store, users will be prompted to verify that he or she is at least 17 years old.

"I'm very concerned," Jan Standal, vice president of Desktop Products for Opera Software, joked in a statement. "Seventeen is very young, and I am not sure if, at that age, people are ready to use such an application. It's very fast, you know, and it has a lot of features. I think the download requirement should be at least 18."

When it comes to rating browsers, Apple treats the entire Internet as its content and thus always gives the highest rating to browsers, as apps in the App Store demonstrate.

Click to continue reading Mac App Store pins silly 17+ rating on Opera browser


iOS 4.3 gm 8f190

Apple has just made the final version of iOS 4.3 available to anyone with a developer account. You can grab the downloads for build 8F190 for iPhone 4 and 3GS, iPad, and iPod touch 3rd and 4th generation now. The iOS 4.3 SDK is also at GM status with build 10M2518, and you can grab that as well. All the rest of you, expect iOS 4.3 to launch alongside iPad 2 on March 11.


Nintendo 3DS teardown

The peeps over at iFixIt decided to import a Nintendo 3DS from Japan in order to give us a look at what it looks like on the inside, well in advance of the March 27th US launch date. Head on over to get a look inside of Nintendo's most ambitious handheld device to date.

Read More | iFixIt

Apple iPad 2

No, the Apple iPad 2 is not a game changer. Instead it simply, firmly establishes Apple once again as the front-runner in the tablet wars. Apple and chief executive Steve Jobs (who made an appearance and received a standing ovation) focused on all the right areas to ensure that the Apple iPad will remain the tablet you have to rule out before you buy any others.

As I predicted, Apple added not one, but two cameras. This makes perfect sense, though I was not particularly happy to hear an Apple exec say on stage that the iPad is perfectly suited for these cameras and FaceTime. Why couldn't the first-generation iPad, which I own, also have been considered perfect for at least one camera? Apple didn't say anything about the resolution on the cameras, though we know the rear one can capture 720P, more or less - the Apple definition for "High Definition." Please, no one tell Steve Jobs that someone on the iPad team sneaked by an accessory that outputs full 1080p from the device (more on that later).

Click to continue reading Apple iPad 2 hands-on


Mario Tail Logo
(Image courtesy of Destructoid.com)

According to the information from the Iwata keynote today at GDC 2011, there's a new Mario title on the way from the Galaxy team for the Nintendo 3DS. The placeholder logo has a tail attached, as pointed out by Iwata, claiming more will be revealed at E3 this year. According to him, the 3DS technology allowed Shigeru Miyamoto to address a fundamental problem with 3D location and platforming mechanics. I'd give more credit to Nintendo than to take the obvious route and link the logo imagery to the Tanooki suit, so expect a new game mechanic unique enough to warrant a logo slot.

Aditionally, it was announced that the 3D remaster of Zelda: Ocarina of Time will be hitting on June 7th. Along with 3D functionality, the game has recieved a graphical overhaul so it doesn't look quite as fugly as the N64 version. This will continue the Nintendo release strategy of using our childhoods to plaster their headquarters with money, and there's still plenty of time to hear more about the game before you decide to purchase it, so keep your eyes open for more coverage in the coming months.


3DS at GDC '11

 

During Nintendo magnate and happy papa Satoru Iwata's keynote at the GDC today, Linebacker-In-Chief Reggie Fils-Aime took the stage briefly to discuss some new functionality slated to arrive for the Nintendo 3DS. This includes:

  • Nintendo will be partnering with Netflix to bring streaming video to the 3DS. You'll be able to pick up watched videos on your home set if you're viewing on the go. No word yet on whether Netflix will begin offering 3D movies for the device, though I wouldn't be surprised if they do in the future.
  • 3D trailers for films such as the Green Lantern will be available for download and mobile viewing.
  • Nintendo will be offering a short-form video service where they curate content for your eyeballs, kind of like the top-level videos on services like Xbox Live. They know what is best for your viewing pleasure. Obey. Obeeeeey.
  • 3D video recording! This had been hinted at for a while by Iwata, but it has been confirmed during the talk. Record videos in 3D from your handheld, watch them right back on the screen. If you thought people uploading photos of their misshapen junk to Tiger Woods games was bad, steel yourself.
  • Nintendo will be partnering with AT&T to have 10,000 existing hotspots acting as hubs for the 3DS. You'll be able to grab content, connect with other players, browse, and access other online functionality for the 3DS through yonder hotspots. I am very confident in this, because anyone with an AT&T iPhone will tell you how much they absolutely love and appreciate the service.
  • New Shops: The 3DS will be allowing you to transfer your existing DSiWare titles to your new handheld, and will be offering 2 new shops: Virtual Console, where you can get old GameBoy Color, GameBoy Advance, Turbografx, and GameGear titles, and 3D Classics, where you can get similar titles newly remastered with 3D functionality. There will also be a game promotion channel for screenshots, trailers, etc.

The update in late May will allow you to transfer your DSiWare, get a web browser, and access the shops.


Word GirlSo far, so good. Following the loss of its Pixar titles, Boom! Kids has rebranded itself as Kaboom! and outlined a number of its upcoming titles in a series of tease posts on the internet in the past week or so.

The curent line-up will feature Word Girl, based on the PBS animated series (newsstand readers and iPad owners will love this), a new Roger Langridge series called Snarked, a Star Wars parody (always a good bet) called Space Warped (which is a translated French series that someone will go in and rework all the French-specific jokes to tap into US nerd culture.

Best of all is a new Peanuts project that had keyboards smoking as the legion of armchair detectives tried to guess what it was: New? Reprints? Ultimate Peanuts by Mark Millar, oh please, internet, tell me!

Turns out it’s a new adaptation of a new Peanuts animated movie called Happiness Is A Warm Blanket Charlie Brown, which Warners Home video will release this month.


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