Movies, Music, Video Games, Social Networks and Lifestyle News And Reviews

Product reviews and news of digital entertainment products and services in movies, music, video games, game streaming, social networks and lifestyle products.

It's said that a fool and his money are soon parted (just ask Nokia), but is Microsoft being foolish spending over a billion dollars to acquire Yammer, essentially a private social network for the enterprise? Time will tell, and while nothing has been officially announced yet by either Microsoft or Yammer, The Wall Street Journal heard from "a person familiar with the matter" that it's a done deal. Assuming this goes through, one can only wonder what Microsoft is thinking. One scenario WSJ thought of is adding more social features to Microsoft Office, even though SharePoint provides some of the same features as Yammer would. "Yammer is a secure, private social network for your company," Yammer... Read more...
Life is good for Mark Zuckerberg, the main face and primary co-founder of Facebook, the largest social networking site on the planet. Zuckerberg celebrated his 28th birthday on Monday, became a billionaire when Facebook became a publicly traded company on Friday, and then a day later tied the knot with Priscilla Chan, his sweetheart of almost 10 years. According to an Associated Press report, Zuckerberg and Chan were wed at his home in Palo Alto, California, in front of less than 100 guests who had no idea they were attending a wedding. Instead, they had gathered at Zuckerberg's home to celebrate Chan's graduation from the University of California, San Francisco School of Medicine. She studied... Read more...
Patents seemingly make the world go 'round, particularly in the technology space these days. Android, iOS, Samsung, Google, AOL, Microsoft -- hardly a day goes by without someone's patent portfolio making the (positive or negative) news. Today, Microsoft and Facebook are the ones in the spotlight, announcing an agreement under which Microsoft will assign to Facebook the right to purchase a portion of the patent portfolio it recently agreed to acquire from AOL Inc. Those hundreds of patents were purchased in a bulk buy for around $1 billion from AOL, and now Facebook has agreed to pay for the portion it wants for $550 million in cash. There were rumors that Facebook put in a bid a while back for... Read more...
One of the things we’ll try (and probably fail) to explain fully to future generations is how ubiquitous and powerful Facebook was at this point in time and yet how so many people just didn’t fully understand how it worked. Case in point: the Baltimore Sun reports that Maryland will become the first state to pass a law banning employers from asking prospective and current employees for their login credentials for the likes of Facebook and Twitter. Pending Governor Martin O’Malley’s signature, Facebook will be, as it were, on the books. This is a law that shouldn’t have to be passed. The idea that it’s even remotely acceptable to demand someone’s username... Read more...
One of Merriam-Webster's definitions for the word obscene is "so excessive as to be offensive." By that definition, Maingear sent us an obscenely spec'd SHIFT Super Stock X79 system packed to the hilt with so much decadent hardware that even the one percenters would feel guilty owning it, right up until the moment they pushed the power button and remembered exactly why it's so fun to be filthy rich. As configured, this thing costs $7,570, and that's after deducting $100 as part of Maingear's 'Spring Savings' promotion and before tacking on another $100 or so for shipping. It's not a configuration most of us will ever own -- it's more than half the price of a 5-door Kia Rio, for crying out loud... Read more...
While in the process of reviewing the ASRock Vision 3D home theater PC a few months back, I became entrenched in all things 3DTV. At the time, I had already been building up a new home theater around a Samsung 3D TV and the opportunity coincidentally arose to evaluate a 3D-capable device, so I jumped at the chance. With that ASRock HTPC and some support from NVIDIA and Cyberlink, I was able to check out 3D photos, 3D Blu-Rays, 3D TV, and of course 3D games. Throughout the review process, I had been using the Samsung active-shutter glasses included with my TV. While I found them to be decent, I felt that their overall quality seemed to be a slight step down from the glasses included in the NVIDIA... Read more...
Many enthusiasts generally prefer to roll their own rigs, but when it comes to notebooks, the notion of building a system from scratch becomes less practical and appealing. Things tend to get expensive, your build options aren't as robust as they are with desktops, and working in tight quarters will test your patience. That's where system builders come in, and you have three primary types to choose from: large OEMs like Dell and HP, smaller integrators and resellers that specialize in bang-for-buck setups, and custom gaming boutiques like Maingear, that prefer to push the pedal to the metal in order to differentiate. We recently had a chance to meet with Maingear in person and tour the company's... Read more...
When MSI unveiled the new GT680R gaming laptop at CES this year, the company touted it as one of the "fastest, most powerful gaming notebooks in the world." As one of the first laptops to take advantage of Intel's Sandy Bridge processor, this laptop definitely packs plenty of power. Under the hood, you'll find NVIDIA GeForce GTX 460M graphics with 1.5GB of video memory, 8GB of DDR3 system memory, and two 500GB 7,200rpm hard drives. The GT680R isn't MSI's only new notebook to offer a Sandy Bridge processor. Like MSI's other products based on the second generation Core processors, the GT680R offers USB 3.0 connectivity as well as the MSI Turbo Drive Engine for easy, one-touch overclocking. This... Read more...
Microsoft took the wraps off of two new mobile phones designed for social network users. Known as the KIN One and KIN Two, the new phones are the result of a partnership with Verizon Wireless, Vodafone, and Sharp. “Working closely with our partners, we saw an opportunity to design a mobile experience just for this social generation — a phone that makes it easy to share your life moment to moment,” said Robbie Bach, president of the Entertainment and Devices Division at Microsoft. “We built KIN for people who live to be connected, share, express and relate to their friends and family. This social generation wants and needs more from their phone. KIN is the one place to get the stuff you care about... Read more...
When you think iPhone GPS, you probably think TomTom. That's likely because Apple themselves endorsed TomTom's app and cradle, but that one isn't widely viewed as the most superior option. Navigon is a lesser known navigation company, but the outfit's MobileNavigator app is easily one of the nicer choices when looking to route from your iPhone.Unlike most rivals out there, Navigon's software works with the original iPhone when coupled with a GPS receiver, so no one in left out (in theory). It obviously works better with the iPhone 3G or iPhone 3GS, and if you have been waiting for the right time to ditch your standalone GPS system and go all-iPhone, maybe this is the chance. The newest version... Read more...
We’ve seen plenty of gaming notebooks that are meant to dazzle potential customers with outrageous designs, ultra high-resolution displays, twin GPUs, and quad-core processors. The MSI GT627-216US isn’t such a notebook. Instead, the GT627-216US takes a more subdued approach to offer budget-minded gamers a powerful machine at an affordable price.Although the MSI GT627-216US may take a budget-minded approach, it doesn’t skimp on what’s important to gamers, namely the graphics card. The NVIDIA GeForce 9800M GS at the heart of this notebook helps it to produce more than respectable scores in many gaming benchmarks. In addition, the GT627-216US has an Intel Core 2 Duo P8400 processor and... Read more...
You know, Mark Cuban has an excellent point: Twitter may not have a business model just yet, but it can no longer say that no one's making money from it. Over the weekend, the eccentric and outspoken Dallas Mavericks owners (not to mention a media mogul in his free time) decided to lash out once more against NBA referees. Not that lashing out is anything new for Cuban, as he's been fined around $1.5 million in total and suspended from three games -- and that was from his 14 previous fines!Shortly after a 103-101 defeat by the Denver Nuggets, Mark fired up Twitter, logged on and penned the following: "How do they not call a tech on JR Smith for coming off the bench to taunt our player on the ground... Read more...
As I'm sure you're all well aware, Hollywood has a long history of producing sub-par (way sub-par) movies based on popular video game franchises.  With a few rare exceptions, just about every movie based on a video game, from Super Mario Brothers to Doom, has stunk on multiple different levels.  We'll give Mortal Kombat a pass because Bridget Wilson was in tights practically the whole movie, and a Resident Evil sort of worked, but you get the point. From the looks of the Max Payne trailer that was just posted today, however, it appears Hollywood may actually get this one right.  And I really hope they do because, well, Max Payne rules.  From the first moment I... Read more...
YouTube may rule supreme in the melded world of online video and social networking, but Microsoft has a new trick up its sleeve that it hopes might steal some eyeballs away from the competition. Launching today in 20 countries and 12 languages is Microsoft's Messenger TV service, integrating online video directly into Microsoft's Live Messenger application. "Watching online video is no longer about one person in front of their computer, it's now a social experience. Users can now share a selection of free content and watch it at the same time as their friends through Messenger TV."Microsoft has partnered with a number of popular content providers, such as MTV, Sony BMG Music Entertainment, National... Read more...
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