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Star Wars Blu-ray

We know a ton of Star Wars fans have been waiting for confirmation of when the series would be available for purchase on Blu-ray, and we finally have a date that's set in stone. You'll be able to pick up Star Wars: The Complete Saga, Star Wars: Original Trilogy, and Star Wars: Prequel Trilogy on September 16, 2011. In an interesting move, this is a Friday. Movie releases tend to fall on Tuesdays, but we're guessing that there are people hardcore enough to camp out for this thing and take time off work to tear through it, so having the weekend to do so is an added bonus.

You can pre-order the Star Wars Blu-ray set from Amazon at a significant discount:

May the Force be with you.


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Xbox 360 system update preview

Microsoft is looking for "multiple thousands" of Xbox Live members to test a new Xbox 360 disc format; in exchange, Microsoft will send you a free copy of the best-selling Halo: Reach and other branded freebies.

"We are conducting an open call for US based participants for a public preview to help us prepare for an updated Xbox 360 disc format," Major Nelson, the gamertag for Microsoft Xbox Live's programming director Larry Hryb, announced on his blog.

"We're looking for multiple thousands of participants, so your chances of making it in are good," he wrote.


iphone 3d

The new Nintendo 3DS promises to be a success not only because it actually works well and does indeed provide a 3D image without any glasses or aid whatsoever, but because it takes amusing 3D photos and is just fun to play with.

When all is said and done, the Nintendo 3DS may actually accomplish what Fuji has been promoting and what many 3D hobbyists have tried: popularizing 3D photography for everyday use.

And, yes, we know that it's a gimmick. But it's a cool gimmick.

After taking a few 3D pictures of just about anything, you'll find that they are so compelling that it is hard to express the odd joy you get from them. This is the key to the eventual success of home 3D. It has always failed in the past, because it was somebody else's 3D. It was never personal.

Photography itself never flourished as a hobby when the cameras were the big bulky clunkers utilized by Matthew Brady and others. Think about this. Photography was nothing new during the Civil War in the 1860's, but all the photos were done by a limited number of pros. You have to wonder what the Civil War would have been like if everyone had a cell phone camera like we do today.

Then Kodak produced the Brownie and gave photography to everyman. Next thing you knew, photography became the number one hobby in the world. 3D is following that same pattern. It's just odd that a game company, Nintendo, is the Kodak and the 3DS is the Brownie.

Click to continue reading Will the Nintendo 3DS pave the way for a 3D iPhone?


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Nintendo 3DS teardown

Nintendo 3DS teardowns from two research firms show that the Japanese gaming giant spent roughly $100 on raw materials and basic manufacturing for its 3D hand held gaming system; consumers must spend $250.

UBM TechInsights took apart the 3DS and estimated $101 worth of materials and manufacturing labor inside. The single biggest change was in the type of memory Nintendo used, it said.

According to Allan Yogasingam, technical marketing manager at UBM TechInsights, Nintendo embedded a proprietary Fujitsu memory chip called FC (Fast Cycle) RAM with 120MB worth of storage. That's an upgrade from previous DS devices in many ways, but as the recent earthquake shows, it bears its own supply chain risks.

FC RAM boasts DDR 3-like speeds, but consumes less power. It is also cheaper, easier to manufacture, and has a smaller footprint resembling lower-powered DDR. But despite performance improvements, the recent earthquake shows that opting for one supplier could be a "potentially dangerous move," Yogasingam said. An unexpected incident at the plant could delay production, for starters. Most consumer electronic makers will source a single component from a pool of suppliers.

Click to continue reading Nintendo 3DS costs just $100 to make teardown reveals


Video site Vimeo on Tuesday unveiled its official iPhone app, which will allow users to create and edit videos, watch existing ones, share with friends, and more.

"We've packed all the best parts of Vimeo into one app! Now you can upload, edit, manage and watch your videos right from your iPhone," Vimeo said. "Need some inspiration? Watch great videos based on your personal preferences or our curated channels."

The app's video editor allows users to: capture video with focus control and grid alignment; combine, edit, and trim videos; add transitions, titles, and effects; add music and recordings; control volume levels; and save videos to camera roll or upload directly to Vimeo.

Footage can be uploaded to Vimeo in standard or high-definition, and the app allows users to pause uploads, replace videos, and edit details.


Samsung Verizon 4G LTE hotspot

The first dedicated 4G LTE hotspot device is now available, as Samsung has released their 4G unit for Verizon Wireless. The hotspot will let you tether up to five devices over Wi-Fi, and in our 4G testing, if you're in an area with good coverage, you can see download speeds of up to 18 Mbps, and upload speeds of up to 10 Mbps. The devices will sell for $100 after $50 mail-in rebate (yeah, they still do those...) along with a two-year contract. Montly pricing starts at $50 for 5GB of data.


Amazon Cloud Player

Amazon unveiled its new cloud-based music service today, which will provide users with up to 5GB of free, online music storage.

The company is offering Amazon Cloud Drive, Amazon Cloud Player for Web, and Amazon Cloud Player for Android, all of which will let users upload their music collections to the cloud and access those songs on Android phones and tablets, as well as the PC and Mac.

No word on an iOS version, but Amazon recently launched an Amazon Appstore, so it's focus at the moment is likely on the Google-owned platform.

Amazon will provide users with 5GB of free storage. Those who purchase an album via Amazon's MP3 store will get 20GB of free storage for one year; albums purchased via Amazon MP3 are automatically added to Amazon's cloud service and do not count against a user's storage quota. Additional storage plans start at $20 per year, Amazon said.

Users can upload songs in AAC or MP3 formats, and can select certain songs, artists, or albums, or just upload the entire music library.

"The launch of Cloud Drive, Cloud Player for Web and Cloud Player for Android eliminates the need for constant software updates as well as the use of thumb drives and cables to move and manage music," Bill Carr, vice president of Movies and Music at Amazon, said in a statement.

Click to continue reading Amazon Cloud Player streams your music to your computer and Android device


SwiperIf you've been following the internets all week, you've heard about the alleged fraudster, Rob Granito, who's been passing off the artwork of others as his own and enhancing his credits to brag about work he hasn't done.

Rich Johnston at Bleeding Cool broke the story just before Rob showed up at Megacon to sell his alleged "work." When confronted by angry fans and artists, Rob naturally had a few alleged excuses. We've compiled the best ones below:

10. "I'm not swiping. I'm swipering."

9. "I worked at the DC Comics in my head."

8. "I'm no different than those French cartoonists like Manet and Money."

7. "Who's the internet and why is she angry at me?"


WWDC 2011

Apple has anounced that its annual Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) will run from June 6 to June 10 in San Francisco, with a focus on iOS and Mac OS.

"At this year's conference we are going to unveil the future of iOS and Mac OS," Philip Schiller, Apple's senior vice president of Worldwide Product Marketing, said in a statement. "If you are an iOS or Mac OS X software developer, this is the event that you do not want to miss."

Apple promised demonstrations of the new kinds of apps that developers can build using Apple's frameworks and more than 100 technical sessions presented by Apple engineers. Mobile app developers can "explore the latest innovations and capabilities of iOS" while Mac developers "will see and learn how to develop world-class Mac OS X Lion applications using its latest technologies and capabilities," Apple said.

Click to continue reading Apple’s WWDC 2011 a lock for June 6-10


Sprint reject att tmobile merger

Sprint on Monday formally objected to the merger of AT&T and T-Mobile, and called on the government to reject the deal because it would harm competition in the wireless space.

"Sprint urges the United States government to block this anti-competitive acquisition," Vonya McCann, senior vice president of government affairs at Sprint, said in a statement. "This transaction will harm consumers and harm competition at a time when this country can least afford it."

AT&T surprised the tech community last Sunday when it announced plans to acquire T-Mobile for $39 billion. AT&T argued that the purchase will help stop the spectrum crunch and spur the companies's deployment of 4G service.

Click to continue reading Sprint requests government to reject AT&T purchase of T-Mobile


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