Chumby has been around for some time now, and the team behind it are keeping their promise to release updated features for the squidgy touchscreen companion. The latest is support for Pandora radio, the streaming online music service that creates custom 'stations' based on your favorite tracks. Pandora on Chumby allows you to log into you account, listen to existing stations and create new ones, with playback through the integrated speakers.
Beanbag-like internet appliance and general squishy WiFi companion chumby will soon be able to do more than alert you to the weather and bring you the latest 3G iPhone news courtesy of your RSS feeds. In a deal with Canadian games studio Albino Blacksheep, who specialise in Flash animation and gaming, chumby owners will be able to play selected titles from the studio using the touchscreen and accelerometer tilt-sensor interface. Rotating, shaking and prodding chumby will allow gamers to navigate through tunnels, chase a ball and even direct missiles.
For those of you that don’t know about the Chumby, or forget what it does, it was basically a personal assistant that was portable. You could get the weather on it, RSS feeds, all sorts of other good stuff as well.
I'm not quite sure how she engineered it - feminine wiles, I'll bet - but Julie Strietelmeier over at The Gadgeteer managed to get onto the very, very exclusive list of pre-release buyers of the endearing Chumby alarm-clock-cum-web-appliance, and she's been busy reviewing the little fella. In case you've forgotten, the Chumby is a compact touchscreen and Freescale processor with a couple of USB ports and a WiFi 'g' connection; in its most basic mode it works as an alarm clock, but delve deeper and you can use it for all sorts of real-time information. Think something like Ambient Devices range of wireless info-devices, only using WiFi.
On a typical night, the contents of my bedside table generally amounts to a glass of water, an alarm-clock, my cellphone and the various meds I'm forced to take lest the demons inside reek their havoc on my loved ones. Well, it turns out that I could replace at least the alarm-clock with this adorable Chumby.
"What's a Chumby?" I hear you mutter, your mouth full of figs and bile. Well, a Chumby is an open-source computer-cum-clock designed to run tiny Flash widgets, pulling down information from the internet through its built-in wifi connection. Based around a 266 MHz CPU with 32MB SDRAM and 64MB Flash RAM, there are a variety of programs that can display anything from flickr photos to rss feeds on the 320 x 240 3-inch touchscreen. Internet radio is catered for with 2W speakers, so that you can be roused each day to the strains of obscure Bolivian harmonica-jazz, and there're two USB ports should the overwhelming need for expansion come upon you.
An incoming end to exemptions for jailbreaking in the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) has prompted protests from influential gadget-hack enthusiasts, asking the Library of Congress to make permanent the right to modify devices you own. Andrew "bunnie" Huang - who wrote Hacking the Xbox: An Introduction to Reverse Engineering after identifying the encryption key on the original Microsoft console in 2002, and who currently leads the hardware development at chumby - has leant his weight to the Jailbreaking Is Not A Crime campaign, with over 4,000 signatures from users who believe it should be up to them to decide what's fair use of their tech toys.
This week the folks at Panasonic have revealed one tablet and named a second, the first being the Toughpad A1, a 10.1-inch Android 3.2 Honeycomb tablet with a processor from no less than Marvell, the most elusive chipmaker of all. Of course Marvell has appeared in mobile devices before, but the last time we spoke about them in regards to a mobile device was in the Vizio Tablet, then before that was a Chinese smartphone and on the Chumby 8. Here we see Marvell sitting inside the tablet with a 1.2GHz dual-core processor, this aside 1GB of RAM, 16GB of storage, and a microSD card slot for expansion up to 32GB more.
It's been some time since Sony had a tablet on the market. Times have changed since the VAIO UX's day, though, and where once tablets were niche devices, now they're making headway into our living rooms. The Sony Tablet S is the first model of the company's new strategy, packing Android Honeycomb into a hardware design that's a little more interesting than many rivals have managed. Late to the game against the iPad, though, has the Tablet S' tardiness undermined its potential? Check out the full SlashGear review after the cut.
Back in March, I mentioned that a new TiVo HDTV wearing the Insignia Best Buy store brand logo was in testing. Since then we haven't heard much about the TV until now. ZatzNotFunny has landed some photos of the packaging of the TV and that box has given away some of the details on the set and it sounds interesting. The TV is expected to hit Best Buy stores any day now for people to purchase.
The two new Android 3.1 Honeycomb tablets aren't Archos' only new products to use Google's open-source OS; the company also has the somewhat more unusual Archos 35 Home Connect and the companion Smart Home Phone, a chumby-style internet radio and a DECT cordless home phone. Announced last week, we rolled up our sleeves and had a fondle of them today.