Author Archives: Michael Crider

Michael Crider writes primarily for Android Community and covers Windows for SlashGear. A native-born Texan, Michael's previous careers include graphic design, TV and movie blogging and technical writing. You can follow him on Twitter (@MichaelCrider ) and Google+ for geeky insights on sci-fi, detective noir and Big Band music.

As desktop PC sales decline, multiple monitor use is on the rise

As desktop PC sales decline, multiple monitor use is on the rise

Multiple monitor setups have long been an essential tool for computer power users and hardcore multitaskers, but it looks like the practice is rising significantly even as sales of traditional desktop PCs decline. The New York Times reports that while only 130 million desktop computers were sold in 2011, 179 million monitors were sold in the same period, with the 49 million unit discrepancy pointing towards a rapid expansion in multiple monitor use. Laptops aren't left out in the cold, since most include at least one monitor-out port, allowing for an almost instant dual-monitor setup.

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Windows 8 ARM version may still include a desktop mode

Windows 8 ARM version may still include a desktop mode

Excitement over the news that Windows 8 will be coming in an ARM-powered version for tablets and other low-power devices has been somewhat tempered by the idea that it will be hobbled, restricted to the pretty yet less powerful Metro user interface. Today Microsoft laid those fears to rest somewhat, implying via its MSDN blog that both the X86/x64 and ARM versions would get the old-school desktop mode, familiar to any heavy Windows user. That's great news for anyone who wants a full computing environment in a small package, not the mobile-style interface of the iPad and Android tablets.

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Tamron announces 24-70mm lens with image stabilization

Tamron announces 24-70mm lens with image stabilization

Tamron, budget alternative to the more expensive official lenses from the likes of Canon and Nikon, has a new baby they're showing off today. The 24-70mm F/2.8 zoom lens will compete with similar models from the official camera manufacturers, with one crucial distinction: it includes image stabilization technology, which no other manufacturer is offering at this size at present. Tamron's low-noise motor is also packed in under their "Ultrasonic Silent Drive" label. There's no word on pricing or availability for the "SP 24-70mm F/2.8 Di VC USD", but expect it to come in mounts for all the popular Digital SLRs out there.

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Microsoft kills the Start button in latest Windows 8 build

Microsoft kills the Start button in latest Windows 8 build

Microsoft hasn't been shy about the radical direction it's taking with the user interface design on Windows 8, but it looks like their latest change may be a big one. PCBeta reports that the latest build of Microsoft's next operating system does away with the ubiquitous "Start" button, which has graced Windows for almost twenty years. The functionality of the Start button remains, but as a limited "hotspot" in the lower-left corner by default, not unlike the Aero Peek feature in Windows 7. Even that functionality is only present in the classic or desktop mode, which drops the shiny new Metro tile interface for a more traditional windowed UI.

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US Cellular debuts LTE network with Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 and Galaxy S Aviator

US Cellular debuts LTE network with Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 and Galaxy S Aviator

Regional wireless carrier US cellular debuts its LTE network plans today, and while they're not the first provider in the US to get true 4G, they hope to grow their network quickly. To start there's four markets getting the upgrade: Milwaukee, Madison and Racine in Wisconsin, Des Moines, Cedar Rapids and Davenport in Iowa, Portland and Bangor, Maine, Wichita Falls, Texas, Lawton, Oklahoma and Greenville, North Carolina. Two devices will go on sale when the network goes live: the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 and the new Galaxy S Aviator, basically a retread of Verizon's DROID CHARGE.

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Blizzard’s BlizzCon benched for 2012

Blizzard’s BlizzCon benched for 2012

Every year since 2007, a teeming Hoarde of gamers perform Zerg rush on the Anaheim Convention center to attend BlizzCon, the convention specifically for mega-developer Blizzard. The World of Warcraft creators use the venue as a place to make their biggest yearly announcements directly to their most ardent of fans, creating a spectacle that's sort of like an extremely targeted E3. The 2011 BlizzCon in October went over well, but fans will have to wait a while for a repeat performance: Blizzard broke the news on its Battle.net website that the convention won't return until 2013.

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Nike+ FuelBand provides all-day exercise info

Nike+ FuelBand provides all-day exercise info

Apple wasn't the only company with a New York City announcement today: Nike stopped off in the Big apple to announce the Nike+ Fuel Band, with help from minor sports icons like Lance Armstrong, Kevin Durant and Carmelita Jeter. The FuelBand takes the Nike+ data collection engine and expands it to a full day's worth of activities, then combines it with a basic LED wristband for data reporting and interaction. Like previous versions of Nike+, the FuelBand can sync with an iPhone over Bluetooth or report straight back to your desktop computer via USB.

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Dreamcast classic Soul Calibur slices in to the iOS App Store

Dreamcast classic Soul Calibur slices in to the iOS App Store

"A tale of souls and swords, eternally retold" is getting another go-round, thanks to an updated iPhone, iPad and iPod version from Namco. Soul Calibur hit the App Store today for all current iOS models, and it seems to have kept its smooth and gorgeous 3D fighting engine intact. The classic brawler has been reformatted for the mobile platform with touch controls, but otherwise keeps the original's charm. The only downside is a relatively high entry fee: $11.99, including a 20% launch discount.

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HP Folio 13 Review

HP Folio 13 Review

Everyone has an laptop based on Intel's Ultrabook spec these days, and if they don't already, they showed it off at CES last week. Just being thin and light isn't enough to stand out in the crowd now, and HP knows that. To that end, they've produced the Folio 13, an Ultrabook that they're aiming at the business market. The 13-inch laptop still manages to come in at under a grand, so it's worth considering even if you don't spend most of your working hours between one terminal and another. How does the Folio 13 stack up to the rest of the Ultrabook competition? I spent the last week finding out.

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ASUS Rampage IV Formula and Gene hands-on

ASUS Rampage IV Formula and Gene hands-on

The desktop market is a little quiet as of late, but there will always be room for hardcore PC gamers, and those who are more than willing to relieve them of their excess cash. To that end, Asus showed off two new high-end motherboards in its Republic of Gamers line at CES 2012, both of which use Intel's X79 chipset. We got some hands-on time with the Rampage IV Formula and the Rampage IV Gene in a meeting with Asus, and came away impressed.

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Sony Google TV second generation hands-on

Sony Google TV second generation hands-on

Smart TVs were a running theme of CES this year, but the Google TV platform didn't get a lot of love. Aside from a chipset demonstration from Marvell and some lip service from LG, only Sony showed off real progress for the the Android-based integrated TV service. The second generation of Sony's Google TV hardware comes in integrated TV, Blu-ray and stand-alone models, and we took some time to check them out on the CES show floor.

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Sharp AQUOS Freestyle battery-powered HDTV is truly wireless

Sharp AQUOS Freestyle battery-powered HDTV is truly wireless

Normally when thinking about portable TVs, you think about tiny screens and bulky plastic - not so in the case of Sharp's AQUOS Freestyle line. All three televisions can display full 1080p video via a wireless base station, but the smallest - and in this case, the most interesting - can run even without a power cable. The 20-inch HDTV includes a built-in battery.

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