Tag Archives: Toys

We have the Sony Ericsson Xperia Play

We have the Sony Ericsson Xperia Play

We have the Sony Ericsson Xperia Play

Josh P. Miller/CNET)

We’ve seen the Sony Ericsson Xperia Play before at Mobile World Congress and have managed to play a game or two on it ourselves during the Game Developers Conference in San Francisco. Now, we finally have our hands on the Verizon version of the phone that will be making it to stores on May 26–preorders started on May 19.

There are few differences between the Xperia Play headed for Verizon and the one that’s currently for sale internationally. The main difference is that the Verizon version comes with a few Verizon apps like VZ Navigator and My Verizon Mobile. Verizon is also really pushing its V Cast App store as an alternative to the
Android Market; you can access the games portion of the V Cast store directly from the gaming interface.

Though we have yet to delve deeply into the Xperia Play, we have to admit first impressions are pretty good. The phone ships with the latest Android firmware, Gingerbread 2.3, and we’re happy to report that the interface is pretty vanilla–you won’t see any fancy Timescape skins here. Sure, Verizon did add a few of its own aforementioned apps and Sony took the liberty of changing the default wallpaper, but the experience is pretty close to pure Android.

But enough about the phone–what sets the Xperia Play apart are the physical controls for gaming. You get the familiar directional pad on the left and the
PlayStation controllers on the right. The Select and Start keys are siloed away on the bottom right. In their former position are two round touch-sensitive circles that essentially replace the device’s analog controls. PlayStation fans might be disappointed with the lack of real analog joysticks, but Sony did have to keep the handset as slim as possible–it’s quite thick and bulky as it is.

The Xperia Play comes with six preloaded games: Madden NFL 11, Bruce Lee Dragon Warrior, Asphalt 6: Adrenaline, Star Battalion, The Sims 3, and Crash Bandicoot. We’re not sure if Sony plans on releasing more PlayStation classics for the phone. Some of the other games available for download from the V Cast App store are Dungeon Defenders, Assassins Creed, Need for Speed, Guitar Hero, and Gun Bros. The device is “PlayStation-certified” but it is not a part of Sony’s PlayStation Network, which might be a good thing.

We’ll put the phone through its paces more during the weekend and have the review for you next week. In the meantime, is there anything you would want to know about the Xperia Play? Let us know in the comments!

Sony Ericsson Xperia Play first look (photos)

Article source: http://reviews.cnet.com/8301-19736_7-20064885-251.html?part=rss&tag=feed&subj=Crave

LaCie unveils Windows Server-based 5-bay NAS

The new 5-bay 5big Storage Server from LaCie

The new 5-bay 5big Storage Server from LaCie


It’s been a while since I last had opportunity to take on a Windows Server-based NAS server, such as the Acer Aspire EasyStore or HP’s MediaSmart series. And now when Microsoft fanboys are starting to worry that the company has abandoned the NAS server market, LaCie has announced its first network storage server that’s based on an NAS-specific operating system (OS) from the software giant, the 5big Storage Server.

The new NAS server is powered by Microsoft’s Windows Storage Server 2008 R2 Standard operating system, which was introduced in October 2010 and is based on Windows Server 2008 R2, while offering similar features to its NAS-specific Windows Home Server OS. Windows Storage Server 2008 R2 is not to be confused with the version 2 release of Windows Home Server, code-named Vail, which is still under development.

The 5big Storage Server comes with 3 USB ports, 1 eSATA port, and 2 Gigabit Ethernet ports.

The 5big Storage Server comes with 3 USB ports, 1 eSATA port, and 2 Gigabit Ethernet ports.


If all these OS names give you a headache, note that that’s not an intended feature of a Windows Server-based NAS server. In a nutshell, Windows Storage Server 2008 R2 is superior to the current version of Windows Home Server in that it offers support for RAID configurations and iSCSI, which allows a portion of the network storage to be used by a computer as if it were a local drive. And these are two features that you’ll find available in the new LaCie 5big Storage Server.

Other than that, according to LaCie the server offers the following additional features:

  • Data deduplication: Utilizing Microsoft’s Single Instance Storage (SIS), the 5big Storage Server can provide file-level deduplication, so duplicate files will only be stored once.

  • Off-site replication and collaboration: The 5big Storage Server incorporates Microsoft’s Distributed File System Replication (DFS-R) technology, allowing corporate administrators to complete off-site backups of their critical data. LaCie claims that NAS-to-NAS replication performance on the 5big Storage Server goes up to 112MBps. The DFS-R technology can also be used as a simple tool for off-site backups.

  • Mac compatibility: The 5big Storage Server supports both PC and
    Mac platforms and offers full support for Time Machine. LaCie claims that thanks to fast AFP performance the 5big Storage Server can complete a 320GB Time Machine backup in about 2 hours.

As for hardware, the 5big Storage Server features a 64-bit dual-core hyper-threading 1.6GHz Intel Atom processor and a dual Gigabit Ethernet port for link aggregation. The server has five drive bays, each of which can handle a Serial ATA (SATA) hard drive of up to 2TB, for a maximum total capacity of 10TB. It has three USB ports and one eSATA port for connecting additional storage to extend its internal storage or for local backup purposes.

The server is available now in 1TB, 5TB, and 10TB capacities that are expected to cost $1,199, $1599, and $1,999, respectively.

While the new server will make Microsoft fans rejoice, those who are serious about getting work done without having to remember OSes’ names should also check out the five-bay Synology DS1511+. Making up for the fact that it runs Linux, the Synology is more affordable, has a lot more features, offers very fast performance, and also supports hard drives that are larger than 2TB.

Article source: http://news.cnet.com/lacie-unveils-windows-server-based-5-bay-nas/8301-17938_105-20064460-1.html?part=rss&tag=feed&subj=Crave

Quad-core AMD laptop CPU allegedly leaked


According to Turkish website Donanimhaber, which has successful track record of finding component leaks, AMD plans to release quad-core laptop CPUs as early as June. The report specifically mentions a 1.9GHz A8-3530MX part.

A Google-translated version of the page (as seen on tech blogs Engadget and Electronista) says the new CPUs will integrate Radeon HD 6620G graphics and DirectX 11 support. AMD calls this combination of CPU and GPU an APU, or Accelerated Processing Unit.

AMD has been on something of a roll lately, with its low-cost Fusion E-350 CPU powering our favorite 11-inch ultraportables, such as the HP Pavilion dm1z, but it remains to be seen if the company can find a niche in amid mainstream-to-high-end laptops.

Article source: http://news.cnet.com/quad-core-amd-laptop-cpu-allegedly-leaked/8301-17938_105-20064463-1.html?part=rss&tag=feed&subj=Crave

Virgin Mobile’s $20 Broadband2Go plan gets you 500MB per month

Virgin Mobile Broadband2Go(Credit:
Virgin Mobile)

The Ovation MC760 USB device qualifies for the BroadBand2Go plan.

The $79.99 Ovation MC760 USB device qualifies for BroadBand2Go.

Virgin Mobile)

Virgin Mobile USA has expanded its affordable Broadband2Go plan to two more devices. Beginning today, a $20 monthly service gets you up to 500MB of data for the MiFi 2200 mobile hot spot ($124.99) and the Ovation MC760 USB stick ($79.99).

The two devices join the $79.99 ZTE Peel 3200, a sibling of the ZTE Peel for Sprint.

In addition to the $20 monthly plan, Virgin Mobile also offers a $10 limited-time option that gives you 10 days to burn through 100MB, and a $50 per month unlimited data plan that delivers 3G speeds for up to 2.5GB.

Beyond that 2.5GB limit, Virgin Mobile reserves the right to throttle speeds. The ZTE Peel is only eligible for the $20 Broadband2Go plan.

Article source: http://www.cnet.com/8301-17918_1-20064133-85.html?part=rss&tag=feed&subj=Crave

How to protect your Android on public Wi-Fi

ConnectBot creates a secure tunnel using SSH to protect your data while it’s in transit.

Screenshot by Seth Rosenblatt/CNET)

Android phones and
tablets running version 2.3.3 and earlier suffer from a calendar and contact information vulnerability on public Wi-Fi networks, according to a new report. However, there are some concrete steps you can to protect yourself.

Here’s how it works. The vulnerability is in the ClientLogin Protocol API, which streamlines how the Google app talks to Google’s servers. Applications request access by sending an account name and password via secure connection, and the access is valid for up to two weeks. If the authentication is sent over unencrypted HTTP, an attacker could use network sniffing software to steal it over a legitimate public network, or spoof the network entirely using a commonly-named public network, such as “airport” or “library.” While this won’t work in Android 2.3.4 or above, including Honeycomb 3.0, that only covers 1 percent of in-use devices.

Of course, the safest solution is to avoid using public, unencrypted Wi-Fi networks by switching to mobile 3G and 4G networks whenever possible. That’s not always an option, especially for Wi-Fi-only tablet owners or those on tight data plans.

One legitimate if painstaking option is to disable syncing for the affected Google apps when connected via public Wi-Fi. The security risk affects apps that connect to the cloud by using a protocol called authToken, not HTTPS. The apps tested by the researchers who wrote the report revealing the vulnerability included Contacts, Calendar, and Picasa. Gmail is not vulnerable because it uses HTTPS.

However, this a cumbersome fix, as it requires going into each app before you connect and manually disable syncing during the time you’re on the particular public Wi-Fi. A much easier solution is to use an app. One of the best apps for secure communication is SSH Tunnel (download), which was designed for Android users stuck behind the Great Firewall of China. SSH Tunnel has some limitations: You must root your phone to use it, and the makers strongly advise people not in China look elsewhere for a secure tunneling app.

A better solution appears to be ConnectBot (download), which even offers a version from its Web site that supports pre-Cupcake versions of Android.

Users of third-party custom ROMs like CyanogenMod ought to check what security enhancements their installed ROM comes with. CyanogenMod, for example, has VPN support built-in and turned off. Cyanogen users can access it from the Settings menu, tap Wireless and Network Settings, then tap VPN Settings.

Given the fragmentation on Android devices, this is a severe security risk that is mitigated only by its limitation to specific apps and public networks. The ideal solution is for Google to release app fixes or Android updates as soon as possible, although the company has given no indication of what steps it plans to take, or when. As always when using public Wi-Fi networks, proceed with caution.

Article source: http://download.cnet.com/8301-2007_4-20063792-12.html?part=rss&tag=feed&subj=Crave

BenQ markets new affordable HD projectors to ‘high-rise’ dwellers

The BenQ W1200 is a full 1080P DLP projector that costs $1,499. The step-down W1100 can be had for $999.


BenQ has started shipping two new HD DLP “cinema” projectors, the W1100 and W1200, that it says are ideal for “high-rise” dwellers. We’re not exactly sure what makes them ideal for multidwelling (MDU) media rooms, but the projectors, which cost $1,199 and $1,499 respectively, do offer 1,080p resolution, a 12-lens optical system, and built-in dual 10-W speakers with SRS Wow HD sound technology.

The W1100 is a 2,000-lumens (brightness) projector with a 4,500:1 contrast ratio and a full 10-bit color processor. Meanwhile, the step-up W1200 is a 1,800-lumens model with a 5,000:1 contrast ratio, and the same 10-bit processing, but with Advanced Color Wheel Coating technology to boost color saturation.

We doubt those built-in speakers are going to cut it for serious home-theater buffs, but BenQ says, “MDU developers can now provide their residents with immersive sound right out of the box, without the additional expense of add-on sound systems.”

OK, we get it now. BenQ is targeting real-estate developers? Or the apartment-dwellers themselves? Hmmm. Maybe both?

In any case, both projectors are pretty affordable and BenQ’s running a special discount on the W1100. On the company’s site, it says there’s a $200 rebate with promo code W1100$$. We think that brings the price to $999. Try BenQ’s Web site for more info.

Article source: http://news.cnet.com/benq-markets-new-affordable-hd-projectors-to-high-rise-dwellers/8301-17938_105-20063718-1.html?part=rss&tag=feed&subj=Crave