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Is the Kindle Fire Truly an iPad Competitor?

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Amazon’s Kindle Fire was officially released yesterday (November 15th) and pre-orders started shipping out on the 14th. I was tempted to buy one, but decided to wait and see what people’s initial thoughts of it were.

When it was first announced, some were saying it was definitely going to be a competitor for the iPad because of its features and the $199 price point. But is it really? Can it compare to the Apple iPad?

Here are a few early reviews:

Kindle Fire, a Grown-Up E-Reader With Tablet Spark – [WSJ] “To be clear, the Kindle Fire is much less capable and versatile than the entry-level $499 iPad 2….But the Fire has some big things going for it.”

Kindle Fire Review: New Tablet Sacrifices To Get Under $200 – [Huffington Post] “So the Fire does justice to fiction and movies, but the iPad does better in almost every way, particularly in the selection of apps, which is about 50 times greater than the Fire’s.”

Amazon Kindle Fire review – [Engadget] “When stacked up against other popular tablets, the Fire can’t compete. Its performance is a occasionally sluggish, its interface often clunky, its storage too slight, its functionality a bit restricted and its 7-inch screen too limiting if you were hoping to convert all your paper magazine subscriptions into the digital ones. Other, bigger tablets do it better — usually at two or three times the cost.”

Kindle Fire review: Yes, it’s that good – [MSNBC] “So while we’re on the subject of iPad, let’s have the talk. No, the Kindle Fire is not anywhere close to being the precision machine that the iPad 2 is. There are no cameras and no microphone. The Fire’s screen is half the size of the iPad’s, and the Fire’s battery life isn’t as good, yet the Fire is still a hair thicker. The Fire interface, while seductively simple, lacks the nuances — the futuristic animations and fades — that keep Apple on top. ”

Kindle Fire Review: The iPad Finally Has Serious Competition – [Gizmodo] “The Kindle Fire is stuck between e-ink minimalism and gleaming iPad decadence. That could either make it the goofy middle child in the tablet family, or a singular wunderkind. But the Fire will not be overlooked. Apple: Be afraid.”

Amazon Kindle Fire, iPad’s First True Competitor [REVIEW] – [Mashable] “The $199 Amazon Kindle Fire is a worthy device. It’s not an iPad slayer, but it could be the first tablet to ably stand atop Mount Tabulous (or at least on a rock ledge just a few dozen feet lower) with Apple’s industry-dominating slab computer.”

After reading through dozens of reviews, some says it’s definitely an Apple iPad competitor and some say it’s no where close. Interesting.

Did you purchase the Kindle Fire? If so, let us know what your thoughts on it are.

It also should be noted that today is the release of Barnes and Noble’s new NOOK tablet, which is pricier than the Kindle Fire at $249.

New Research Shows Tablet Owners Love Their Tablets

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It’s no secret that Tablets are making a huge impact on society and technology use in general. A new study from GfK MRI’s iPanel proves that fact.

The use of the Tablet is changing how much consumers use video game consoles, read books and newspapers, as well as how often they use computers. Here’s a chart which shows what activities are done less as a result of owning a tablet.

As you can see, 59% of Tablet owners say they use a video game console or handheld device less often, 44% of Tablet owners say they read printed books less often and 42% say they read hard copy newspapers less often.

Thankfully it doesn’t seem to be having too much of an effect on activities like going to the movies, playing sports or hanging out with friends and family.

“The fact that a majority of game-playing Tablet owners report using a video game console or a handheld video game less often as a result of owning a Tablet does not necessarily mean they are playing video games less often,” said Risa Becker, VP, Research at GfK MRI.  “But it does suggest that Tablet owners are moving their gaming from other devices to the Tablet.”

For those of you who own a Tablet, what activities do you notice yourself doing less of? Also, do you ever write up blog posts from your Tablet?

Smartphone and Tablet Use to Surpass PCs by 2015

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With the ever growing popularity of tablets, and smartphones getting smarter by the minute, it’s no surprise what a new study has found.

According to new data from International Data Corporation (IDC), more users will access the internet through mobile devices than through PCs or other wireline devices by 2015. Smartphones are outselling the simple cell phone and tablet sales are exploding, as are the development of them.

The new study says that internet access through PCs will first stagnate and then slowly decline over the next few years.

Here are a few interesting pieces of information the New Media Market Model found:

  • Worldwide, the total number of Internet user will grow from 2 billion in 2010 to 2.7 billion in 2015, when 40% of the world’s population will have access to its vast resources.
  • Global B2C ecommerce spending will grow from $708 billion in 2010 to $1,285 billion in 2015 at a CAGR of 12.7%.
  • Worldwide online advertising will increase from $70 billion in 2010 to $138 billion in 2015, with its share of total advertising across all media growing from 11.9% to 17.8%.

Does this new data surprise you? For all of us who make our living online, a piece of that $138 billion of online advertising sounds nice doesn’t it?

Image: SXC

The Motorola Droid Bionic is #worththewait

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The people behind the Motorola Twitter page have been busy bees. It looks like they have ramped up a social media campaign where they are giving people a free Droid BIONIC saying it’s #worththewait.

Here are a few of their latest tweets.

@hockette We know it’s been awhile but we’re making it worth-your-while. DM your name & email to get your Droid BIONIC on us! #worththewait”

@_pleslie_ Bet you’ll be even more excited when we give you a Droid BIONIC on us! DM us your name and email for more details #worththewait”

@unc_carolinafan O yea, we’re serious! DM your name and email! #worththewait”

Motorola teased fans about the Droid Bionic launch by creating an app for fans to go on a scavenger hunt in hopes of winning one. The scavenger hunt started on September 4th and runs to the 7th, which makes some guess the Bionic will be released on the 8th. Participants have been running around the city snapping photos of laptops, tablets, HDTVs in hopes of winning “the smartphone that controls them all”.

They also launched their Facebook page, which looks pretty darn awesome, which confirmed a few of the specs which are: 1GB of RAM and 16GB of on-board memory, wireless connectivity to printers, Android 2.3.4 “Gingerbread,” and 1080p HD video recording.

And to think I *just* purchased a Samsung Fascinate through Verizon. I can’t wait to hear more about the Droid Bionic. Were any of our BlogWorld blog readers lucky enough to be contacted by Motorola for a free Bionic? Let us know!

The 7-Inch Amazon Kindle Tablet to Sell for $250

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According to a recent report, the Amazon tablet that is rumored to be releasing in October is real. One TechCrunch writer has seen it and played with it.

He said it’s simply being called the “Amazon Kindle”, has full color content, a 7-inch capacitive touch screen and will run Android.

As for the October release, MG Siegler said it will actually be released in November. He also mentioned that this new Amazon tablet is a big deal and has huge potential.

So, everyone wants to know – where are the pictures?! Sadly, he has none, but he does have a description.

So instead you’ll have to rely on my prose to draw a picture of the device in your head. Or you can just look at a BlackBerry PlayBook — because it looks very similar in terms of form-factor.

He goes on to talk about the touch screen capabilities, the 7-inch screen and of course the cost – which completely shocked me. Amazon will sell their tablet for only $250, making it more attainable for everyone.

Siegler goes into much more detail about the Amazon tablet, all which is very interesting. It does run Android, but no Android you and I have ever seen before. He says, “This is Android fully forked. My understanding is that the Kindle OS was built on top of some version of Android prior to 2.2.”

So tell us – will the Amazon Kindle Tablet make it on your Holiday wish list this year? I want to see pictures and hear more about the features before I send my letter off to Mr. Claus. I do have a feeling this tablet will be one heck of a big seller for Amazon.

Amazon’s New Site Designed Geared Towards Tablet Users

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You may have heard that Amazon is about to launch a brand new site design. Some are reporting it will happen this month, some say by October and others say the new design is “TBD”. Who knows when it will actually launch, but we do know that the new design is definitely geared towards tablet users.

Here’s a look at the old site design.

And the new site design seen here. (Click on the new design to enlarge.)

As you can see, the orange and blue bar at the top are gone and it overall has a cleaner look. Amazon wants the new design to make it easier for users to find things, which explains the eye-catching search bar at the top. The new design also highlights products like MP3s, Cloud Player, Kindle, Cloud Drive, Android apps, Instant Video and audio books.

All of these changes definitely point to tablet users don’t you think?

Rumor has it that Amazon will launch the new site design the same time as their reported Android-based tablet, which is supposed to be a major competitor for the Apple iPad.

After looking at the before and after photos, do you like the new Amazon site design?

Will the HP TouchPad Get a Chance at a Second Life?

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After the death of the HP TouchPad was announced, it seems all anyone is talking about these days in terms of tablets is, yes, the HP TouchPad.

The company lowered the price of the tablet from $500 to only $99 earlier this month and they went fast. So fast, they are almost impossible to find right now.

In an interview with Reuters, HP executive Todd Bradley said there is a chance the TouchPad could be resurrected.

Bradley said the company could resurrect HP’s short-lived TouchPad tablet computer, which was introduced on July 1 before being terminated only about six weeks later.

“Tablet computing is a segment of the market that’s relevant, absolutely,” Bradley said.

He continued on saying “regardless of what happens, we’re the largest PC company in the world. We need everybody energized, and while this isn’t business as usual, we need people to go out and sell products every day.”

The biggest question right now is, will HP release any more TouchPads? Mark Budgell, HP’s PR Manager for Social Media Strategy, answered a few consumer questions in this blog post yesterday (August 29th).

In regards to the release of more TouchPads he said, “We will have more information available in the next few days about whether or not more will be available and if so, what the details will be about the situation.”

If HP does release more TouchPads, will you run out and purchase one? Some don’t see the point, while others want one as soon as they become available again.

Microsoft Launches a New Blog “Building Windows 8”

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Microsoft launched a new blog and Twitter account in an effort to open up the dialogue about the upcoming operating system Windows 8. The blog is called “Building Windows 8” or “B8”.

The first post was written yesterday, which explains the purpose and intent behind the blog. Windows President Steven Sinofsky wrote:

Our intent with this pre-release blog is to make sure that we have a reasonable degree of confidence in what we talk about, before we talk about it. Our top priority is the responsibility we feel to our customers and partners, to make sure we’re not stressing priorities, churning resource allocations, or causing strategic confusion among the tens of thousands of you who care deeply and have much invested in the evolution of Windows. Rather than generating traffic or building excitement, this blog is here to provide a two-way dialog about the complexities and tradeoffs of product development.

The team learned some valuable lessons while engineering Windows 7. They’ve took what they learned from that experience and have built on it for this new blog.

If you want notifications of when there is a new blog post, follow them on Twitter @BuildWindows8.

Here’s a sneak peek at the “Windows 8” user interface which was released back in June.

Do you think this new blog and open dialogue will get the results the Windows 8 team is wanting? And, will you help with your feedback as the team goes through this process of the engineering of Windows 8?

Apple’s App Store Now Has Over 100,000 iPad-Exclusive Applications

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The original iPad launched on April 23, 2010 and now, according to MacStories, the Apple App store has over 100,000 iPad-exclusive applications. That’s quite a milestone to reach!

Apple and third party developers have set a record with this number. It took them only 453 days to reach 100,000+ apps, which none of their rivals have been able to come close to. Why is Apple’s App store so popular and widely used? Mainly because it’s easy to use, regularly updated and contains a wide variety and large number of apps.

How did MacStories know about this number? It showed up through Apple’s App Store on his iPad, showing 100,161 available apps.

You may be wondering how long it took the iPhone to reach this number of apps. The app store launched on July 10, 2008 and reached this same milestone in 482 days.

What is next for Apple’s App Store? Well, 200,000 apps of course!

For all of you iPad users, what are your favorite iPad-exclusive apps and which ones do you use the most?

5 Tips I Learned From a Security Breach on My Blog

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I’m writing this post from an offline blog writer because my blog is being restored back to it’s most recent backup by my hosting company. My FTP password was compromised and someone went in and deleted my entire blog. Everything that they could delete, they did. Fortunately, my hosting company has a backup from 3 days before so I won’t lose everything.

Please learn from my experience and take a few precautions.

1. Backup many times. Don’t rely solely on your hosting company, although do check with them to be sure they do backup and how often. I also did a daily backup through WordPress, but I made one mistake. I have the backups saved in a folder in WordPress. That is gone now too. Have the backups emailed to you. Set up a separate email account just for your backups.

2. Change your FTP password often. I have never changed mine because if I did, I’d forget it. I will be changing mine more often now.

3. Delete FTP accounts you don’t need. I’m not sure how they got into my FTP. My main account that I use has a very secure password, although I never change it. But I didn’t realize that I had 15 other FTP accounts set up. Each time I set up a new email, a new FTP was created. I never thought to do anything with those. They were very old and probably didn’t have secure passwords. I deleted all of them.

4. Use an offline blog writer as another backup. I use Quamana on my Mac and Windows Live Writer on my PC. I don’t always write offline, but I go in weekly and sync the blog posts so I have another backup of my work. This is also helpful if you do not have Internet access and you want to work.

5. Use very secure passwords. Use a password that looks more like this, iue*#3]2Eki6 than like this, momblogger26. I know that the first password is harder to remember, but the second one is way too easy to figure out. You need to use a combination of letter, symbols, numbers and both small and capital letters. I do have mine all written down in a notebook and I also use Last Pass to store passwords online so I only have to remember one secure password to get into Last Pass.

These are 5 things I learned in the last few days after going through a security breach on my blog. What other tips do you have for making your blog secure?

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