Staples Begins Selling Apple Products (Again)

Today Apple accessories are now being sold on the Staples website.  It is also believed that Apple’s products will soon be on sale in brick and mortar locations.

When you visit Staples.com you can choose products from iPad Accessories, Mac Accessories, iPod accessories, and of course, iPhone accessories.  The Apple TV is also available from Staples.

This will be a return to selling Apple products, for the office supply chain.  Back in the 90’s I can remember my local Staples selling the consumer Macintosh line and classic Mac OS upgrade kits.

LG Acquires webOS, Assets and Employees

You have *got* to be kidding me!

“LG announced at this week’s Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain, that it has purchased HP’s webOS Global Business Unit. The deal reportedly includes all of the patents, employees, and source code associated with the operating system originally developed by Palm.”

webOS.  Now under new management.  (Again.)  So who knows what the fate of webOS Community Edition, Open webOS, and Gram will be.

HP Announces the Slate 7 Consumer Tablet

BARCELONA, Spain, Feb. 24, 2013 — HP today announced the HP Slate7, an affordable Android Jelly Bean consumer tablet that provides customers with easy access to Google Mobile services.

With a 7-inch diagonal screen and weighing 13 ounces, the HP Slate7 is an ideal trusted personal companion, featuring a stainless-steel frame and soft black paint in gray or red on the back. It also is the industry’s first tablet to offer embedded Beats Audio, for the best-sounding, richest audio experience available on a tablet.

The HP Slate7 delivers the Google experience with services like Google Now, Google Search, Gmail, YouTube, Google Drive and Google+ Hangouts for multiperson video chat as well as access to apps and digital content through Google Play.

“To address the growing interest in tablets among consumers and businesses alike, HP will offer a range of form factors and leverage an array of operating systems,” said Alberto Torres, senior vice president, Mobility Global Business Unit, HP. “Our new HP Slate7 on Android represents a compelling entry point for consumer tablets, while our ground-breaking, business-ready HP ElitePad on Windows® 8 is ideal for enterprises and governments. Both deliver the service and support people expect from HP.”

The HP Slate7 joins the recently introduced HP Chromebook as part of HP’s push to offer access to the Google experience.

For $169 dollars, I’d buy one to play with, but the real question I have is: will it run Open webOS?

Read more on the HP Slate 7 website.

Samsung Announces the Galaxy Note 8.0

SEOUL, Korea February 24, 2013 – Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd, a global leader in digital media and digital convergence technologies, today announced the launch of the 8 inch tablet, the GALAXY Note 8.0; a new era of intelligent Note technology set to re-ignite the mid-size tablet category that Samsung established in 2010. Providing unrivalled multimedia performance within a compact one-hand-grip screen, the GALAXY Note 8.0 has the power and advanced technology to evolve the tablet experience and ensure you achieve new levels of efficient multi-tasking while benefitting from superb voice call functionality. Furthermore, the intelligent S Pen brings together the latest innovation and the ease of using a traditional pen and paper; creating a sophisticated mobile experience that will enhance life on the go.
“Back in 2010 the launch of the first Samsung GALAXY Tab with 7 inch screen opened a new chapter in the mobile industry. Now almost three years later, Samsung continues to evolve the sector that meets the demands of modern life.” said JK Shin, President of the IT & Mobile Communications Division at Samsung Electronics.
“The GALAXY Note 8.0 breaths fresh life into the category as it delivers the perfect fusion of portability and everyday productivity – the result is a pioneering, pocket-sized solution that enhances and enriches our everyday lives, whether at work or play,” added Shin.
At the core of the GALAXY Note 8.0’s innovative solutions are beneficial functions, including multi-window options to split the portable 8inch screen and allow optimal access to a number of live applications; a new generation of Samsung’s intelligent S Pen with advanced usability; access to a suite of S Note templates and tools that allow you to create, edit, manage and share everyday documents; the Samsung “reading mode” technology to enjoy e books with optimized resolution, video and voice calls. In addition, a suite of exciting new content and services are pre-loaded for users at no additional cost including, for the very first time on Samsung GALAXY tablet, the innovative Flipboard, and Awesome Note.
A smart diary for life on the go
Slim and compact enough to become the perfect on-the-go work and play companion, the GALAXY Note 8.0 brings powerful performance and functionality to support even the most demanding of lifestyles. Designed to store and manage your personal and professional data efficiently, the new era device gives users the perfect pocket-sized hands-on organizational tool. Practical S Note templates and S Planner feature help to manage everyday tasks, including meeting notes, to-do lists and even personal diary entries. All content can be entered and updated with the finest of detail thanks to the evolution of the intelligent Samsung S Pen. Enhanced precision is offered with Handwriting-to-Text conversion and advanced Productivity Tools that support formula and shape recognition are now available at the touch of your S Pen.
New content and services
GALAXY Note 8.0 is packed with pre-loaded content and apps specifically for the value maximizing, mass multimedia consumer. Upgraded Chat-On provides easy instant messaging and group chatting in multiple formats – images, video, voice, contacts – for simple, enjoyable communication. Awesome Note, an integrated application that is introduced in android tablet for the first time with NOTE 8.0, is capable of unlimited note-taking uses including Memo, Diary and Must-remember lists. With Flipboard, your news, social network and other feeds come together in one stylish, flippable format so you can enjoy all your news and life’s great moments in one place. Flipboard developed a customized version of its application exclusively for Samsung that allows users to take the S Pen’s hover feature and preview article headers beneath Flipboard’s main screen tiles. Finally, Smart Remote, gives you a universal remote control and electronic programming guide allowing you to manage TV and video watching seamlessly.
A new age of S Pen intelligence
Optimized to aid personalized creativity, the Samsung S Pen has evolved to increase everyday usability and enhance creation expression. Embedded within the tablet, the S Pen is an extension of the GALAXY Note 8.0. Removing the S Pen from the device will automatically launch innovative features such as Pen Detection that will suggest adapted menus that it thinks you’ll need and Page Buddy, a feature that will intuitively activate your most recently adapted S Note home screen. 
S Pen technology is now so advanced that it doesn’t even have to touch the screen. With Air View, the S Pen needs only to hover over the screen to see previews of videos, emails, photos and appointments on SPlanner without opening the file or application in full. S Pen Gesture allows images and content to be easily edited and cropped, whilst Paper Artist and Photo Note allow photos to be artistically personalized. 
In addition, for the very first time in GALAXY NOTE category, you can use S Pen to control the physical menu/back buttons on the device with WACOM technology. 
Maximizing mass multimedia consumption
Creative multi-tasking with the GALAXY Note 8.0 is effortless due to innovative Dual View feature, two multi window options that seamlessly allow you to facilitate multi-screen usage. Dual View’s split screen accommodates optimal operation of different apps, such as launching the S Note on the web browser screen and allowing content to be resized, dragged and dropped as required. 
Multi-tasking is extended to phone calls. Pop Up Note allows you to access S Note at any time to keep track of key actions and Pop Up Video ensures you can keep surfing the web whilst chatting – content windows can be easily resized by pinching to enlarge or reduce.
Perfect info-tainment partner
Packed with features to engage, entertain and excite, the GALAXY Note 8.0 supports your practical everyday needs. Reading Mode transforms the GALAXY Note 8.0 into an e-Book reader, provides the optimal reading conditions to ensure you can curl up and enjoy a good book. You can even turn it into a universal remote control with Smart Remote, to seamlessly manage TVs, set-up boxes, DVD & Blu-ray players.

You can read the full press release on the Samsung Mobile website.

This Is Why I Don’t Jailbreak iOS

“I want to be clear here: automated backups can be very bad news. If you restore your tweaks without going through Cydia, and an update breaks a single tweak, you won’t have a fun time attempting to find the incompatible package that crashes your phone at startup.”

[Via iDownloadBlog.com…]

Google Glass Promo Video

Google has uploaded a promo video of their Google Glass project to their YouTube channel.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v1uyQZNg2vE]

Ya, I’d defiantly get one of these!  I was sold at the GPS heads up feature.

NY Times Coverage of PlayStation 4 Announcement

This past Wednesday, Sony held an invitation only press event to announce their new PlayStation 4, that is expected to be released just in time for the 2013 holiday season.

From the New York Times’ Sony event coverage:

“The first new PlayStation in seven years was promoted by Sony as being like a “supercharged PC.” It has a souped-up eight-core processor to juggle more complex tasks simultaneously, enhanced graphics, the ability to play games even as they are being downloaded, and a new controller designed in tandem with a stereo camera that can sense the depth of the environment in front of it.”

While Sony did show off the new PS4 controller and some graphics demos, the new unit itself was not put out for display.

[Via NYTimes.com…]

We Now Return To Our Regularly Scheduled Release Schedule

With the iPhone 4S battery and Exchange Server recurring meeting bugs behind them, looks like Apple is trying to get back to the business of development of the next regular software upgrade of iOS 6.

Yesterday, developers were notified that iOS 6.1.3 beta 2 was available for testing.  As previously reported, this version is suppose to focus on Maps enhancements (for Japan only?), and will include a fix for the iOS lock screen bypass bug.

[Via BGR.com…]

Installing Palm’s Tasks App on Your TouchPad

Yesterday, Ryan St. Andrie, of webOSNation.com, posted an article on installing the webOS Tasks application from a Pre or Pixi smartphone on your TouchPad tablet.  Tasks, unbelievably, is an application that never made it into webOS 3.0.  You can read the full story over on webOSNation.com.

The steps outlined in the article work well enough.  I did run into some *minor* problems while packing up the Tasks app for installation on my TouchPad.  The first issue was how to deal with the .jar webOS Doctor file that contains the Tasks application that I wanted to install.  The second issue was where do a copy the Task application to once I got it on my TouchPad.

Issue 1: Working with the .jar webOS Doctor file

webOS Doctor files, shipped as Java .jar files, are essentially hard reset files that allow you to reset and reload a clean copy of webOS on your device.  The article calls for opening the .jar file with a PC compression utility like WinRAR.  I’ve used WinRAR before…on my PC.  As I said, I’m using a Mac now.

Without thinking, I loaded up Parallels, launched my Windows 7 virtual machine, and was off to the races as they say.  But what if you don’t have Paralles, VMware Fusion, or a copy of Windows hanging around?  The solution turns out to be very simple; rename the .jar file to .zip!  (I didn’t come up with that myself.  I found the solution here.  Thanks, cazlar!)  I did go back and test the rename-the-file trick and it does work.  Sweet!!

Also, once you get the .jar-now-a-.zip file open, here is the path you have to navigate to find the Tasks folder.  I am going to assume that you are using the unlocked Pre2 webOS 2.2.4 Doctor file.

webosdoctorp224pre2wr.jar > resources > webOS.tar > .\nova-cust-image-roadrunner.rootfs.tar.gz > .\usr > palm > applications > com.palm.app.tasks

Issue 2: Moving the Tasks app

Once you have installed the repackaged Tasks .IPK file on your TouchPad, you have to move it to the Linux partition for Palm’s built-in webOS applications because Tasks is a system application and not a third-party application.

If you are reading the webOSNations article carefully, you will know that you will need to move the Tasks app folder from the path:

/media/cryptofs/apps/usr/palm/applications/com.palm.tasks

to:

/usr/palm/applications/com.palm.tasks

The thing that tripped me up was the screen shot that was provided was of the first path, not the second.  Just be aware of that when you go to move the com.palm.tasks folder.

After rebooting my TouchPad, Tasks was up and running in the webOS smartphone emulator on my tablet!

The entire process took about an hour for me to complete.  Times will vary depending on how much software needs to be downloaded, updated, or installed on your Mac, PC, and TouchPad.

[Via webOSNation.com…]

Apple Releases iOS 6.1.2

Yesterday, Apple rolled out iOS 6.1.2.  This updated is intended to address the Microsoft Exchange bug that has been well documented.

Unlike previous iOS 6.1.x updates, iOS 6.1.2 is available for current model iPhone, iPad, iPad mini, and iPod touch models.

I’ve read conflicting reports on whether or not iOS 6.1.2 addresses the lock screen bypass bug. I’ll have to test to see if the issue was resolved after applying iOS 6.1.2.