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The Nook HD and HD+ got a great update late last night (via Engadget), as Barnes & Noble finally moved away from its closed and system-specific app and media ecosystem. The two Android tablets now offer Google Play, and new devices will ship with the app pre-loaded, while existing owners can get it via a software update over-the-air or via direct download.
Other changes with this update include the introduction of some stock Android apps, including Gmail, Maps and Chrome (which replaces the Nook’s existing web browser as the default option). Essentially, Barnes & Noble is turning the Nook HD line into a very cheap Android tablet play, and not in the limited way it was doing so before.
Where once the Nook brand was a reader first, with Android-powered full-color readers with some tablet functionality, now it looks like we’ll see Barnes & Noble embrace the tablet identity much more fully. Another sign that the book seller is banking on tablets as a much broader attempt at reaching customers is the fact that the Nook Tablet and Color don’t get the Play update, meaning we could see those left behind in terms of future hardware updates.
John took a look at the updated Nook HD+, and found it impressive, especially at $269, or a full $60 cheaper than the cheapest iPad (16GB Wi-Fi iPad mini). The problem, though, was summed up in John’s conclusion: the Nook HD+ is a great upgrade as a reader, but not necessarily a real tablet competitor. Opening up the broader Android software market place and its selection of tablet apps definitely helps to change that.
The Nook line could be the key to Barnes & Noble’s future, but right now it’s also a weight hanging around its neck, as slow sales of the Simple Touch e-reader prompted a fire sale to help move more HD+ inventory, and the Nook division lost cash in the most recent fiscal quarter. There’s still an opportunity for a cheap Android tablet to capture the hearts and minds of consumers, however, and Nook is now in a better position to capitalize on that now that its ecosystem wall has come down.
Do you guys have any Green Day? Really? Yeah, like the early Knitting Factory stuff. Not this Dookie garbage. Yeah, I liked them before they sold out. What about Neutral Milk Hotel? Is the new album any good? Yeah, I know, dude. What’s the Avery Island junk? Serious bummer after Aeroplane.
What else you got? Staples is selling Cube 3D Printers for $1,299? Seriously? That is total bull. I remember when I used to see 3D printers in like hackerspaces down in Alphabet City and now they sold out like that? Damn. People do anything for money.
I mean that’s totally stupid. Real fans are all totally into 3D printing but when you get it all corporate you lose so much cred, you know? Like how the Pixies sold out and like imploded. I know. Makerbot would never sell their stuff at Best Buy. Who’s going to buy one? Some stockbroker jerk in a suit? Those dudes are legit punk.
But man, I’m telling you: 3D printing is totally over. I saw the first Shapeways stuff come off the line back in 2007 when they played the Netherlands and I was totally there when the guys at Form Labs launched the Form:One on stage at CBGB. For these guys to totally sell out is absolute garbage. Man, what’s next? Is Oasis going to write a song about PLA? Is Staples going to sell 3D printers next to those big jugs of pretzels? So dumb.
Whatever. Put on “Dry the Rain.” Maybe we can move some of these CDs out of here to make room for our corporate shill BS 3D printer. Jeeze.
Original post: Staples Is Now Selling 3D Printers
To use text messaging and navigation on Google Glass, users currently have to pair it with an Android phone and install the Glass companion app on their phones. This will change very soon, however, one of the Google representatives in its New York office told me when I picked up my own unit yesterday afternoon. Glass, the Google employee told me, will soon be able to handle these features independent of the device the user has paired it to (and maybe even independent of the Glass companion app).
While Glass will happily work with any iPhone over Bluetooth or use any Wi-Fi connection to get online, iPhone users are currently unable to get turn-by-turn directions through Glass – one of its killer features. Those direction are pretty useful while you are navigating a new city and they do show off the power of location-based apps on Glass, but the software will currently balk if you ask it to give you directions while it’s connected to an iPhone.
In this context, it’s worth noting that one of the myths surrounding Glass is that it is independently connected to the Internet. That’s not true, however. Instead, Glass users need to have a tethering plan for their phones to connect Glass to the Internet. In the eyes of your wireless provider, Glass is just another device that uses your phone’s personal hotspot feature. This means Glass shouldn’t have to depend on any application that runs on your phone, so the original restriction of making navigation and SMS dependent on the companion app was always a bit odd.
While Glass has a built-in compass, it doesn’t have its own GPS receiver and depends on the phone to provide it with location data. It looks like this was just a function of the beta state of Glass, however, and that we can expect it to soon be fully functional, no matter the device it uses to connect to the Internet.
I have a Stinky under my desk right now. Much to my surprise, the controller earned a place in my life. I reviewed the unit several weeks ago and doubted it was more than a novelty. But it’s still there and I’m starting to really enjoy using it.
The controller gets your foot into the gaming action. It’s a large, four-way controller. It’s not complicated. I have mine set to throw a grenade when I press forward and to crouch when pressing down. There are left and right commands as well if you’re more coordinated than me.
The Montreal, Canada-based company was looking for $75,000 on Kickstarter. They just hit that goal with $79,562 pledged. Over 440 units were pre-ordered.
Kickstarter is the perfect venue for an item like the Stinky. Before online crowdfunding went mainstream in 2012, a startup would have to raise crazy cash to fill a warehouse with their items with the hope they will sell. At best the startup would ink a deal with Best Buy or RadioShack. At worst the founders would drain the life savings of their friends and families.
But no more! Now, thanks to Kickstarter, Indiegogo and the rest of the Internet, startups can hedge their future on a successful video and viral marketing. The future!
Today Wander is launching a mobile app called Days, which aims to change the way you think of photo-sharing on every basic level.
To start, Days asks you to stop thinking of the moments that are “share-worthy.” On Days, every moment is share-worthy, because the idea is to share the normal, everyday routine of your life. The idea is that people can consume your whole day through photos, as opposed to picking up on little snippets throughout the day.
So as you go through the world snapping photos, Days automatically documents the time and puts them into the “Tuesday” gallery, or whatever day it might be.
Days also isn’t about taking beautiful pictures. It’s about taking a lot of them.
See, founder Jeremy Fisher believes there’s a huge disconnect between the best moments of people’s days and their Instagram feeds. He also feels that it takes far too long to share a single moment when you’re worried about making it visually appealing, as filters and captions pull you out of the moment.
On Days, you aren’t supposed to worry about how beautiful the picture is, but rather that you’ve documented as much of your day as possible.
But here’s the real zinger — nothing on Days is shared in real time. I know, right? Mind. Blown.
“I think people thought real-time was going to be a bigger deal than it actually is,” says Jeremy Fisher of most social and sharing services. “For things like friend-finders it’s a different story, but when you’re photo-sharing, real-time doesn’t actually make a difference.”
In fact, Wander studied Instagram photos tagged with #latergram (signifying that they were shared after the time they were taken) and found that these photos have the same level of engagement from other users as photos shared in the moment. For this reason, Days shows you a countdown clock within the app to the time you can share your day, starting at 5am each morning to ensure that party-goers late night photos don’t show up in the beginning of their Day.
Fisher explained that their beta testers don’t seem to be bothered by the fact that they’re catching up with their friends a day later. In fact, he said sometimes seeing someone’s daily story through pictures feels more real and meaningful than any narrative they might tell you when you ask the classic question: “How was your day?”
To keep your picture-snapping quick, and keep users in the moment, Days has implemented some restrictions.
One is that you must snap the pictures within the app, as you cannot import from the camera roll. The reason for this is that Days doesn’t want photoshopped, filtered, or edited photos on the service. They want you to feel like a photojournalist capturing each of the minute, but powerful, moments of your day.
Photos taken within Days are still saved to your camera roll, so you can share them through other social networks later if you feel the need.
Wander also picked up on the fact that users normally snap more than one picture of a certain event. This is to ensure you have multiple options for each instance.
But Wander doesn’t want you filling up your day with a bunch of throwaways and then having to go back and edit them out. So, to solve this problem, Wander turns all photos taken within ten seconds of each other into a gif. You have the option to go in and split the gif, delete one or two pics, or leave it the same.
Users can also add captions to all their photos after the fact, and go through and delete photos that they don’t want included in their Day. After that, you can share within the internal follow-model network, or push to your other social networks like Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, etc.
But what about Wander?
Well, Wander is the umbrella brand behind a lot of lifestyle products the company is working on. Since Wander is focused on travel, and recording your experiences to be lived by others, Days has been released as a counterpart to that.
The app is available now in the App Store.