Extreme Video Chatting on the BlackBerry PlayBook!

At an event like BlackBerry World we’re used to seeing lots of BlackBerry users walking around with their heads down in the CrackBerry prayer position as they type and text away on their keyboards. But at tonight’s BB World opening reception party, I just couldn’t help but hit record on the ‘ole CrackBerry camera when this guy walked past me holding his BlackBerry PlayBook out in front of him as he walked and talked and video chatted with his family back home. Now that’s hardcore. Gotta love it!

Oh, and it turned out he was a CrackBerry fan. Watch the video for a chuckle!!

CrackBerry.com‘s feed sponsored by ShopCrackBerry.com. Extreme Video Chatting on the BlackBerry PlayBook!

Watch as a DIY 8-bit computer comes together, learn something in the process

Watch as a DIY 8-bit computer comes together, learn something in the process

We’ve actually already seen one completely home-built 8-bit computer but, while Jake Eisenmann wasn’t afraid to show off his creation, Kyle Hovey is actually inviting us along for the ride. The project started up last week when Hovey gathered his first batch of parts and a pair of books and started designing a simple 8-bit computer based on the SAP-1 architecture (SAP stands for Simple as Possible). The transistor-transistor logic (TTL) design is slowly coming together and every step of the process is being documented by Hovey on his blog so that others may follow along and learn from his experience (and, most likely, his mistakes as well). For more details on this rather impressive project, and to monitor its progress, check out the source.

Watch as a DIY 8-bit computer comes together, learn something in the process originally appeared on Engadget on Mon, 30 Apr 2012 23:02:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Jawbone Big Jambox review (video)

Jawbone Big Jambox review

It was back in February when we first caught wind a beefier version of Jawbone’s Jambox, thanks to some less-than-stealthy ninjas at the FCC. Today it’s officially here. Dubbed Big Jambox, this 0 Bluetooth speakerphone and “smartspeaker” is unsurprisingly a supersized — yet still portable — version of the new-age micro-boombox that the won us over back in 2010. Naturally, there have been some tweaks to go along with the bigger footprint, but all the core features including Jawbone’s MyTalk apps and noise-canceling know-how are in tow. Now that we’ve used it extensively for a few days, we’re ready to answer some questions you might have. Does it follow the old adage that bigger is better? How will it fit into your lifestyle compared to the Jambox? And most importantly, is it worth the asking price?

Continue reading Jawbone Big Jambox review (video)

Jawbone Big Jambox review (video) originally appeared on Engadget on Tue, 01 May 2012 00:01:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Jawbone unleashes Big Jambox, beefs up its Bluetooth ‘smartspeaker’ lineup

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We’ve had a shimmer in our eye for Jawbone’s 0 Jambox, the itty bitty Bluetooth ‘smartspeaker,’ ever since it was released back in late 2010. So, imagine our delight now that the company has just stepped things up to a larger level with its new 0 Big Jambox. Measuring at well over double the size of the original, the 2.7-pound speaker is still very similar in design, featuring the familiar perforated metal grill designs by Yves Behar. The larger footprint helps it to be more functionally capable than its smaller brethren, yet it’s still small enough to carry in one hand. On top, the unit sports playback controls in addition to the requisite volume and talk buttons, while on the side you’ll find a USB connection, power input 3.5mm jack, Bluetooth-pairing button and a power button.

To pump out the jams, the Big Jambox features and airtight enclosure loaded with a duo of active neodymium drivers and opposing dual-passive bass radiators to handle all the wub wub you can throw at it. A 2,600mAh rechargeable battery will afford you about roughly 15 hours of totally wireless listening time, but — as is the case with the OG model — you still can’t share that juice with your other gadgets. On a better note, Android users can take advantage of the Big Jambox’s exclusive Companion app, which allows the unit to do tricks such as syncing up with your G-cal. Lastly, like the Jambox, the Big Jambox also features MyTalk voice prompts / app compatiblity, along with Live Audio to give your sound an immersive “3D” feel. the unit Curious to find out more? We were able to spend a full weekend with the new gizmo, and you can catch our full review by clicking here.

Jawbone unleashes Big Jambox, beefs up its Bluetooth ‘smartspeaker’ lineup originally appeared on Engadget on Tue, 01 May 2012 00:01:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Change the Marketplace Settings on Windows Phone 7

With the large number of ways Android users can modify their Marketplace Settings, it was only a matter of time before Windows Phone 7 users figured out a way to similarly unlock their Marketplace and download applications they wouldn’t typically be able to download. In addition to the region restrictions we’ve seen tackled on the Play Store, WP7 devices face an additional problem, as their Marketplace changes depending on what OEM they have. Well, not anymore.

XDA Forum Member ken52787 has released an application that will switch the settings of the Zune Marketplace and provide WP7 owners with better and unrestricted access to any OEM- or carrier-specific applications. The app is pretty simple to use and install, and the prerequisites are pretty easy. Users require an unlocked WP7 device. Upon installing the application, the application needs to be made a trusted application. Once that’s done, users will have access to a number of features, including:

Change OEM marketplace – Included are Acer, Dell, Fujitsu, HTC, LG, Nokia, Samsung, and ZTE (although only HTC, LG, Nokia, and Samsung have accessible marketplaces)
Change MO marketplace – Included are AT&T, Orange, Sprint, and Verizon (I had a hard time finding other marketplaces. If you are on a carrier other than these, please send me your settings so I can include them, the program will automate this for you with your permission)
Change the maximum file size cap over 3g – Download larger apps and podcasts over 3G without needing a wifi connection
Lock the settings – Prevents your settings from reverting back in a day or two when the marketplace updates itself

This can and likely will solve a lot of issues for many users. The max file size over 3g will allow users to download what they want without needing a WiFi Hotspot, and users who’ve jumped ship to other carriers or OEMs now have access to their previous applications. In a world where things are slowly melting into one giant, compatible software pot, this app certainly does its part to help. It should be mentioned that this app is still in beta, so there may be a few bugs left to iron out. Otherwise, it’s still a fun app to try.

To get started, check out the original thread.



16GB 32GB or 64GB Playbook?

With the price of the Playbook being so reasonable, what do you folks out their recommend for a first time purchase? I would be using Playbook mainly for web browsing, email, text and basic office usage. Comments?

I also see there are some great bargains out there (especially with Best Buy and Amazon) for factory re-conditioned units. Has anyone had any negative experiences with the reconditioned units? I understand they don’t have the same warranty as the new units. Correct?

Biafra radio on air …..what is next?

Igbo pple shld not sit down and get slain……
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BlackBerry Music Gateway hands-on (video)

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The music streaming accessory market is immensely saturated, but RIM is hoping to add its own flavor with its latest version of the BlackBerry Music Gateway. We took a brief look at this year’s BlackBerry World in Orlando, and were impressed by both its size and ease of use. A tiny dongle no larger than the Bold 9900′s display, the device easily pairs up with any Bluetooth-enabled phone, tablet or music player and lets you push your tunes into a home or car stereo — provided it offers ports for RCA cables, that is. NFC is also added into the mix this time around, which means you can impress friends by simply tapping your BlackBerry to the Gateway to initiate the pairing sequence. While it’s not bringing anything drastically new to the table, its price tag makes it a tempting offer for anyone whose FM transmitter is picking up nothing but static in a densely populated city. If you fall into that category or are just looking for something to bedazzle close friends and relatives, don’t hesitate to check out our gallery below and video after the break.

Continue reading BlackBerry Music Gateway hands-on (video)

BlackBerry Music Gateway hands-on (video) originally appeared on Engadget on Mon, 30 Apr 2012 21:48:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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New paper strip test detects E. coli quickly, cheaply and simply

New paper strips detect Escherichia coli simply, cheaply and quickly

Nothing can put a dampener on a summer holiday like a coliform bacteria outbreak. But even worse than being told to keep out of the water in the event of an outbreak is not being told to keep out of the water in the event of an outbreak and ending up paying the price. Researchers at McMaster University have now developed a paper strip test that is cheap to produce, extremely portable, simple to use, and detects E. coli in water in 30 minutes…
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Aston Martin gets personal in Beijing

Aston Martin showed three 'Year of the Dragon' special editions in Beijing

While there were no totally new offerings from Aston Martin at Auto China 2012, the British luxury automaker took the opportunity to showcase its personalization capabilities by unveiling three “Year of the Dragon” special editions. The decked-out DBS Volante, Virage Coupe and V8 Vantage S Coupe on show in Beijing are part of the company’s “Dragon 88″ edition which will be limited to, you guessed it, 88 customized sports cars…
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Dealers wanting to sell Ford’s first all-electric car must Focus on the environment

Dealers wanting to sell Ford's first all-electric car must Focus on the environment

You can’t just sell the new 2012 Ford Focus Electric, you’ve got to embrace what it stands for, or at least that’s what Dearborn is telling its dealers. Per the company HQ, outfits hoping to offer the electric hatchback on their lots later this year must send sales staff through a special electric vehicle training program. What’s more, all dealerships carrying the electric Focus must install a minimum of two EV charging stations on their premises and enroll in Ford’s Go Green program. Go Green, which has been optional up to this point, looks to improve the sustainability and efficiency of shops, regardless of age. So far, 76 dealerships in California, New Jersey and New York (the initial launch markets) have stepped up to the plate and will be selling the EV. Ford’s hoping to capture the hearts and minds of those with electric personalities who haven’t already settled for on the competition from Nissan.

Dealers wanting to sell Ford’s first all-electric car must Focus on the environment originally appeared on Engadget on Mon, 30 Apr 2012 21:17:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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BlackBerry Bridge updated to v2.0.0.30 – Fixes predictive text issues

BlackBerry Bridge

If you’re a BlackBerry PlayBook and smartphone owner you’ll be happy to hear that BlackBerry Bridge has just received an update to v2.0.0.30. The change log is short on this one listing only a fix for predictive text issues on PlayBook OS 2.0.1, but I know some of you out there have been anxiously waiting for this to be resolved. Now, as we all know, a Bridge update is usually followed close behind by a PlayBook OS update but whether or not that’s the case this time around, I guess time will tell.

The update should be available for most of you in BlackBerry App World, but if not you can try refreshing with ALT+R,S,T or just sit tight and wait for it to be pushed to your device.

More information/download BlackBerry Bridge

CrackBerry.com‘s feed sponsored by ShopCrackBerry.com. BlackBerry Bridge updated to v2.0.0.30 – Fixes predictive text issues

US Cellular, Alltel Wireless team up to launch ‘U Prepaid’ service in Walmart stores

US Cellular, Alltel Wireless team up to launch prepaid service in Walmart stores

Good ol’ Wally isn’t a stranger when it comes to offering prepaid wireless goods within its shops, and now the retail giant’s about to add yet another service to that carrier-packed inventory. Starting next month, US Cellular — in partnership with Alltel Wireless — will begin rolling out a new contract-free package dubbed “U Prepaid,” which, naturally, is set to be backed by both of the aforementioned carrier’s networks. The fresh U Prepaid deal will be making its way into “nearly” 500 Walmart stores across 18 US states, though there’s no mention of which ones specifically. That being said, US Cellular and Alltel did announce the four devices coming at launch, including Samsung’s Repp and Chrone along with the LG Attune / Exchange and Saber. In any case, now you know where to go if those recently announced plans from AT&T and Verizon aren’t keeping a smile on your face.

Continue reading US Cellular, Alltel Wireless team up to launch ‘U Prepaid’ service in Walmart stores

US Cellular, Alltel Wireless team up to launch ‘U Prepaid’ service in Walmart stores originally appeared on Engadget on Mon, 30 Apr 2012 20:32:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Free Premium Hosting for all Recognized Developers, Themers, and Contributors

Have you been on the hunt for fast, free, and reliable hosting for your development work and themes? If so, we don’t blame you. Ever since Mega Upload went down, it hasn’t exactly been easy. Now thanks to the fine folks at Dev-Host, this is no longer a problem.

Dev-Host offers free hosting for all, while delivering a number of advantages over its competitors such as no wait times, uncapped transfer speeds, and 40+ GB of storage. And the benefits don’t stop there.

Because Dev-Host realizes the valuable role that developers, themers, and contributors play; they would like to extend free premium memberships to all of our Recognized Developers, Recognized Themers, and Recognized Contributors. As a special perk in addition to premium membership, RDs, RTs, and RCs will be given a special badge showcasing their contributions, and their uploads will have no age limit.

If you’re a Recognized Themer or Recognized Contributor and would like to get in on the action, head over to the original thread. Recognized Developers should head over to the the stickied thread in the RD area.

Thank you all for your contributions to the site, and happy devving, contributing, and theming; and thank you to Dev-Host for making all of this possible!


Tons of hot new games coming to the BlackBerry PlayBook from Halfbrick, SEGA, and more!

Anders Jeppsson tweets about games

The excitement coming out of BlackBerry World 2012 is building. We know there are bound to be a lot of announcements, and already on the game front we’ve seen Laura Croft (FINALLY!) released today. Anders Jeppsson, Head of Gaming at Research in Motion, has revealed today on Twitter that we can expect a lot more in the near future. Some pretty big names in mobile gaming are getting set to launch popular titles such as Halfbrick with (one of my favorite games) Jetpack Joyride along with 4 others, SEGA with Sonic 4, Unity with Smashcops, GlitchSoft with Star Marine, and Fishlabs with Galaxy on Fire 2.

While there is no word on exactly when these games will all be released, it’s great to know that some big names are in the works. Which do you plan on picking up when they are ready? Let us know in the comments below. Make sure you follow @CrackBerry and the team for all the exciting announcements from BlackBerry World 2012 as more is sure to come over the next few days.

CrackBerry.com‘s feed sponsored by ShopCrackBerry.com. Tons of hot new games coming to the BlackBerry PlayBook from Halfbrick, SEGA, and more!