editorials

Quit Complaining: Our Entertainment Opportunities Are Better Than Ever

Quit Complaining: Our Entertainment Opportunities Are Better Than Ever

For generations, we have spent our days and nights in the living room being entertained.

Once upon a time, we had books to read. Then, we were able to turn on a radio and hear some music and shows. Televisions launched to provide us with even more enjoyment. And now, we have computers, tablets, and smartphones that afford us even more opportunities to sit back, relax, and allow entertainment to wash over us.

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She Gets the Furniture, I’m Keeping Fringe

She Gets the Furniture, I’m Keeping Fringe

When we were married, my ex-wife and I had a rule. No watching mutual TV shows without the other. After years together, raising a toddler, managing a strict budget, television shows became an easy, reliable escape for the two of us. We didn’t watch exorbitant amounts of television. Usually less than an hour a night. But we did not have much time to spare every night, so that hour of TV time was something we both nurtured.

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Is Dual-Touch the Future of Phones and Tablets?

Is Dual-Touch the Future of Phones and Tablets?

If one touchscreen is good, how great must two be? Tapping into the same part of the brain that screams how geekily-cool Star Trek tablet props are, the allure of a double-display smartphone or computer isn't new, but neither has it been done right. That's not stopped various new attempts, however, Acer's twin-14-inch Iconia Touchbook notebook for one, or the imminent Sprint Kyocera Echo phone for another. Double-vision each may offer, but the manufacturers responsible are still showing serious myopia in how they're delivering on the twin-touch dream.

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Why You Should Spend More on a TV and Less on Everything Else

Why You Should Spend More on a TV and Less on Everything Else

Over the past year, I’ve been slowly but surely upgrading the equipment in my living room. I’ve decided that I spend enough time there to justify getting a new television, a new surround sound set-up, and all the devices I can pack into the room to enhance my entertainment experience.

Recently, someone asked me what I’ve learned during the upgrade. They wanted to know what I would have done differently and which decision I made that I believed was best.

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Fear, Uncertainty, Doubt: Rubin’s Android Fudge

Fear, Uncertainty, Doubt: Rubin’s Android Fudge

"I think I'm having a Gene Amdahl moment" Andy Rubin opened his Android openness piece with, referring to the ex-IBM engineer's notorious "fear, uncertainty and doubt" quote that has matured into a catch-all term shorthand for using disinformation to build doubt around your competitors. To be fair there's plenty of confusion to go around: claims attributed to OHA partners that Google was prioritizing only those who would kow-tow to its UI demands, attempting to block devices that switched out its own search for that of Microsoft's Bing, and limiting code access to a cabal of favorites.

Serious allegations when you've built your platform on the promise of open access and flexibility. As we pointed out last week, there are several good reasons why Google would benefit from clamping down - at least a little - in the name of anti-fragmentation, but Rubin is keen to validate Android's free-spirited ethos. Nonetheless, there are holes where we'd like to see facts.

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For a gadget reviewer, I’m rubbish at advice

For a gadget reviewer, I’m rubbish at advice

There's an awful moment after I tell someone what I do for a living when you can see the cogs churning behind their eyes. "Oh," they say, nodding in a way that suggests they've suddenly realized they don't have to spend five quid on a gadget magazine, "I need a new phone/laptop/tablet/washer-dryer actually… what do you recommend?"

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Cutting the Cords

Cutting the Cords

When I suggested to my ex-wife that I might rent a storage space to house some of the stuff I wanted to take with me, she voiced concern.

“That’s how the hoarders always start out.”

Neither of us watches the hoarder TV shows that have cropped up, but she’s seen enough Oprah to have an idea of how the problem begins. At first I started to protest.

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How Google can save Google TV

How Google can save Google TV

Google's projects seem to inevitably fall into one of two camps: either they're runaway successes, like Gmail or Chrome, or dismal failures, like Wave. Teetering on the edge right now is Google TV, the company's push for the living room which launched with a bang last year, maintained just enough momentum to reach the holidays, and then fell well short of the CES 2011 splash we'd expected. Call it a reboot, call it a refresh or call it a desperate resuscitation, Google TV is in dire need of some retuning.

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Movie Review: Source Code

Movie Review: Source Code

"Source Code" is not just good science fiction, it's also a good movie. This has been a solid season for movies with sci-fi-like concepts that did not rely heavily on special effects. "The Adjustment Bureau" was a solid film. "Limitless" may not have been as bright as its main character, but it was a fun ride throughout, and even if I wanted to complain about the Hollywood ending, I have to admit that sometimes it's nice to see the good guys win. I'm not going to tell you who wins in "Source Code," but needless to say, if you've seen the previews and the commercials, you've only started to unravel the layers of this movie.

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Forget apps, Apple’s core iPad 2 experience needs to grow up

Forget apps, Apple’s core iPad 2 experience needs to grow up

Shiny shiny, shiny Apple iPad; whiplash tablet in the dark. Forgive the Velvet Underground, but sometimes it really does feel like being a masochist would make the iOS user experience easier to stomach. Yes, Apple's App Store may be the most bulging around, offering hundreds of thousands to titles whether you want to turn your iPad 2 into a recording studio, games machine or digital recipe book. Problem is, there's still no way to turn the iPad into a proper, multi-user, family tablet.

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