Friday, September 02, 2011

Kindle Tablet Details Leaked

TechCrunch has the scoop on the coming very soon Kindle Tablet from Amazon.  Here’s the rumored details:

  • Runs Franken-Android.  Supposedly a “forked” version of Android custom to Amazon.
  • 7 Inch Tablet
  • Form Factor much like the Blackberry Playbook
  • $250 – same price as Barnes & Noble Nook Color
  • Amazon-Centric – the “forked” version of android has this tablet focused on media and more specifically Amazon’s media.
  • Storage will be 6GB
  • Wi-Fi Only
  • No camera

For more, read the TechCrunch article.  I’m expecting to see the tablet in the next month or so hopefully with a Kindle update including library borrowing support!

Microsoft: Media Center Will be Part of Windows 8


Microsoft addressed the growing doubt about the survival of Media Center in their Windows Operating System today with a blog article.  In the article Microsoft confirmed that Media Center would in fact be part of Windows 8 – with some caveats.

Media Center Lives On

Microsoft’s Steven Sinofsky says in the article:

“I want to reassure customers that Media Center will definitely be part of Windows 8.”

No Media Center in Pre-Release Builds

He goes on to say that while they do plan to include Media Center in the new version of their flagship operating system, interestingly it will not be in the early pre-release builds:

“Media Center will not be part of the first pre-release builds. …. These are engineering decisions as well as business decisions.”

Probably No Changes to Media Center in Windows 8

He left the door open for how Media Center might be packaged with the Operating System – so it could be handled as it was in Windows 7 or it could be separated in some way.  I read no mention of any improvements or additions to the Media Center look, feel, or functionality and the fact they will not include it in the early releases leads me to believe it will remain largely unchanged from the version we now have with Windows 7.

HTPC’s Still tiny Niche Market

Another interesting tidbit in the article was about actual usage of Media Center.  here’s a quote that confirms what we already know – Media Center as all HTPC products still serve a small, niche market:

Our opt-in usage telemetry shows that in July, Windows Media Center was launched by 6% of Windows 7 users globally with the heaviest usage in Russia, Mexico, and Brazil (frequency and time). However, most people are just looking around; only one quarter (25% of 6%) of these people used it for more than 10 minutes per session (individual averages), and in 59% of Media Center sessions (by these 6% of users) we see almost no activity (less than a minute or two of usage).

Continuing to tell us a little more about usage, he goes on to say that of the functions used in Media Center, TV was used most often followed by streaming content and finally DVD and CD.  These numbers pale in comparison to Media Player which was used by 66% of Windows users in July.  If I was consulting for Microsoft, I would advise them to break out Media Center from the OS as a low-cost add-on for the operating system.  Market it as a “premium” product that is valued something beyond MS Paint.   Microsoft had been alluding to the possibility that Media Center would be dropped based on “The Future of the Living Room” focused on XBox and Bing.  So this confirmation of Media Centers survival will bring a sigh of relief to many.

So I see this as some bad news – no notable, new improvements to Media Center, but good news – Media Center survives.  And in this day and age of dwindling HTPC’s in the world, survival probably sounds pretty good to those HTPC enthusiasts in the world.

Read the complete article, Building Windows 8 at MSDN Blogs

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

SiliconDust HD Homerun PRIME - Review on MissingRemote

By: Clift

Andy (babgvant) has reviewed the Silicondust HD Homerun PRIME on He notes that "Its unique capabilities including explicit network support, advanced tuner sharing and excellent form factor position the PRIME for success in the Digital Cable Tuner market."

The PRIME has been made compatible with SageDCT, the link that connects CableCARD tuner devices to SageTV. As a testament to the developer community that continues to support SageTV even after their acquisition by Google earlier this year, Andy sates in his review:

"On the PRIME’s product page SiliconDust explicitly calls out Copy-Freely support for the device in MythTV, but SageTV is understandably not listed because DCTs are not officially supported by the company and unlikely now that it is owned by Google with future development as a standalone product in question. Fortunately, they provide a way for third-parties to enable otherwise unsupported capture devices, so SageDCT was recently updated to recognize and interact with the PRIME, bringing its capabilities to the SageTV platform."

So for those lucky ones with Cable Providers that have copy freely channels, this is another great alternative.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

TV This Week-Premieres & Finales 8/28/2011

August comes to an end.  The week leading up to the U.S. Labor Day holiday is loaded with mostly reality series finales and premieres.  After Labor day though things slowly begin to heat up on the TV schedules.

This past week the GeekTonic 2011 Fall TV Season premieres guide highlight all the new shows and provide a detailed listing of all TV premieres for the Fall and early-winter TV season.  For now read on for the GeekTonic weekly TV update highlighting all the new premieres, finales and specials coming up this week.


              The MTV Video Music Awards returns Sunday on VH1 & MTV


NOTE: All Times are Listed for EST – TV schedules subject to change

Sunday, August 28

Tough Cookies (6:30pm on Food) Season 1 finale

George W. Bush: The 9/11 Interview (7pm on National Geographic) A special documentary/interview with the 43rd U.S. president sharing his recollection of the 9/11 attacks moment-by-moment.

2011 MTV Video Music Awards (9pm on MTV & VH1) Adel, Lady Gaga, Lil Wayne and others perform


Monday, August 29

Basketball Wives LA (8pm on VH1) New reality spinoff series

Crave (8:30pm on Food) New cooking/food series hosted by San Diego food critic Troy Johnson as he searches the earth for the perfect food.  First episode is “pizza”.

American Chopper: Senior vs. Junior (9pm on Discovery) Season 3 premiere

Ridiculousness (10pm on MTV) New reality series

Carfellas (10pm on Discovery) New reality series where reformed convict Mikey D. and his crew run Broadway Motors in Amityville.

Death Valley (10:30pm on MTV) New horror/comedy series

Cuff’d (11pm on MTV) New reality/crime series


Tuesday, August 30

Pretty Little Liars (8pm on ABC Family) Season 2 finale

Chopped Champions (10pm on Food) Season premiere

Big Sexy (10pm on TLC) New reality/fashion show with “shapely” young women

Quirky (10pm on Sundance) New technology/reality series that follows the team as they work on designing and fabricating a single product idea in each episode suggested by their online community.  I’ve purchased a few of the products created through this site and look forward to this one.


Wednesday, August 31

Royal Pains (9pm on ABC) Season 3 finale

Dark Matters (10pm on Science) New science series


Thursday, September 1

Degrassi (9pm on TeenNick) Season 11 finale


Friday, September 2

Family Game Night (7pm on Hub) Season 2 premiere

Man, Woman, Wild (9pm on Discovery) Season 2 premiere

Glastonbury 2011 (11pm on VH1) A concert special with U2, Coldplay and Beyonce’


Saturday, September 3

The High Low Project (8:30pm on HGTV) A new home improvement series where Sabrina Soto hosts and works to replaces high-budget items in a room with low-budget items that look expensive.

I Faked My Own Death (10pm on Discovery) A new biography/documentary series.  People who go “underground” & fake their own death


Sunday, September 4

Dinosaur Revolution (9pm on Discovery) A new animal/history series.  The series mixes history and storytelling in this 4-hour mini-series.  They use CGI and pretty good storytelling to make this more than just a documentary.  If you have any interest in the history of dinosaurs, check this one out.  Read more about this one at the Kansas City Star

All American Handyman (9pm on HGTV) Season 2 premiere

Border Wars (9pm pm on National Geographic) Season premiere

Las Vegas Jailhouse (10pm on TruTV) Season 4 premiere


Monday, September 5

The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills (9pm on Bravo) Season 2 premiere

The Glades (10pm on A&E) Season 2 finale


Tuesday, September 6

Flipping Out (9pm on Bravo) Season 5 finale

Take the Money and Run (9pm on ABC) Season 1 finale

Sons of Anarchy (10pm on FX) Season 4 premiere

The Rachel Zoe Project (10pm on Bravo) Season 4 premiere

Combat Hospital (10pm on ABC) Season 1 finale


Wednesday, September 7

Rescue Me (10pm on FX) Season 7 finale

Paranormal Witness (10pm on SyFy) New paranormal reality series.  Oh how I miss the real scifi channel.


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