Back in January 2010 we mentioned in a Nerd Blurbs how the Doomsday Clock, the metaphorical clock that looms over humanity with the threat of nuclear apocalypse had shifted back from five to six minutes. Well, looks like it’s been shifted back to five minutes, The Chicago Tribune reports here. Is this the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists riding the 2012 ‘End of the World’ train, or does proliferation and the Japan earthquake and subsequent nuclear disaster really warrant our being pressed closer (together, terrified, trembling and crying violently) with the doom of nuclear holocaust…oh, CES is on? Let’s look at some upcoming technologies instead of this bore-fest, huh?
CES 2012 in Full Swing
So the Consumer Electronic Show has hit Las Vegas, NV and companies are rolling out their wares and technological upgrades. TVs are slimmer, cars are gadget-ier, and tablets are…handle-ier? Here’s some of the highlights thus far.
The war between function and pricing wages on, as this Computer World article points out: Asus has announced but not set a release date for a new 7-in tablet that will run on a quad-core processor, Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich OS), and cost $250. That’s enough juice to run all your and your mother’s apps, methinks but will still run something slightly less than a gaming experience. It certainly leaves it with a leg up on Leader International’s single-core ARM processor 7-incher, though they’re hocking theirs at a much more diminished and easily accessible $180 and will also utilize Android 4.0. Neither of them hold a candle-power screen set to Razer’s Project Fiona though.
As Ars Technica mentions here, Project Fiona is a gaming powerhouse, boasting a 10.1″, 1280×800 display and capable of supporting Dolby 7.1 surround sound, this odd duck tablet has controllers pegged onto its side for native gaming controls. Running an Intel Core i7 processor on its insides, this tablet is designed to run PC games. No more Angry Birds for you, sir/madam – you can take your Level 80 Warlock from World of Warcraft with you (and the social disinterest that comes with it) wherever you may venture, be it the airport, school, or places of worship. We’re not judging you. Much.
Also on the docket is Sony getting into the market, with their Tablet S and Tablet P, the second being of interest because it’s foldable and features two 5.5″ touch-screens, so those with even more fleeting attention spans can do two different things at the same time. What was I talking about again? I had to take a pause to shuffle some music in my Spotify.
Nokia and Microsoft have partnered up to produce the Lumia 900, as LA Times bloggers were quick to tell us here, which will have a larger screen than its predecessor, Lumia 800, have a front-facing camera (UPGRADE!) and run on the Windows mobile OS and only on AT&T, so who cares really? Also on the table with AT&T is the HTC Titan II, which is of note because it has a 16 megapixel camera built in, which is kind of interesting except WHY? Why does anyone need that much photo resolution on their cell phone? Does sexting really require the ability to pick out missed areas in shaving?
Also of interest into massive amounts of resolution, though somewhat significantly less, is the Sony Xperia S, which features 12 mp resolution. Runs Android Gingerbread, with Sony promising of an update to 4.0 in the future. 1.5GHz dual-core Qualcomm Snapdragon MSM8260 processor with 1GB of RAM and a 4.3in HD screen with 1280×720 resolution. The big question, according to The Inquirer, is whether the phone will ship with the “Sony” brand or the “Sony Ericsson” brand, which seems to have some legal issue regarding it. You know it’s bad in the world when Sony feels it needs to sue itself – someone should take that into consideration for the Doomsday Clock.
Mobileburn covered quite well the Motorola RAZR Maxx and the issues it has. Yes, it has a 4.3-inch, qHD (540 x 960 pixel) Super AMOLED display and a 1.2GHz dual-core processorwith 1GB of RAM. Yes, it’s thicker than its predecessor (up to 8.99mm from the previous’ 7.1mm) but it’s because of an increased battery-life. It runs Android 2.3, but carrier Verizon claims it’ll be able to upgrade to 4.0 (noticing a theme here?). But as Michael Oryl (O RLY?) points out, thicker is not sexier unless we’re talking about genitalia – and even then, there are limits. And at $300 with a new two-year contract, you can probably keep this one in your own pants, Verizon.
Every year CES gets obsessed with something else by way of processing. Last year tablets were the big thing. Year before that: netbooks. This year we’ve got ultrabooks.
Ultrabook, as Wikipedia was nice enough to tell me:
” is an ultraportable laptop computer in a category defined by Intel. They feature reduced size and weight while retaining standard performance by utilizing low-power Intel CULV processors with integrated graphics, solid-state drives, and unibody chassis.“
Interesting. A bunch of people are making them. They’re thin, they’re powerful, and I lost interest after I read the first article about them. Seriously – where are the quantum-processors and the memristor-based devices? My patience are worn as thin as the Acer Aspire S5. Make one more thinner laptop and give it a cutesy encompassing-name, manufacturers, and I’ll show you just how ultraportable they are when I shove one up your ass.
This one gets a category all its own because there was a fair share of it at the showcase this year. Sure there’s some value to the Kivic One, which will wirelessly stream to virtually any screen; and remote control vehicles like the Wi.Spi Intruder and the Wi.Spi Helicopter and the Parrot AR.Drone 2.0, which can stream video and data to your smart-device. All of these have a creepy factor, but none to the scale of the Samsung WiFi Baby Monitor.
This bad-boy comes with a 1.3 megapixel camera (are you shitting me? Samsung, if we’re watching babies here, we’re gonna need 12mp at least: talk to Sony, huh?) with infrared ability, wifi connectivity, and motion-detectors. When something (read “baby”) moves, it can automatically start recording and upload the video to (password-protected) YouTube. The video can also be streamed directly to your laptop, tablet, smart-phone, or any other browser-capable device. Also features a two-way audio system, so you can talk to your child.
That’s exactly what baby needs, daddy’s disembodied voice emanating from a hockey puck with an eye built into it. With technology being hacked as often as it gets, is this the sort of information that disenfranchised Cheetos munchers need access to: to be able to see our children in the dark and speak to them, so that their first words are “Love me Captain Kirk, long time?” Samsung, the only thing worse than this would be if you could charge a credit card by putting it on a keyboard.
Oh God. That’s…why would you…? You know what, I don’t care anymore. I was going to do a section on the TVs. But they’re just thinner, and more app-y, and some are 3-d-ier, but you know what, game over. We’ll keep monitoring the event and reporting anything significant, but for now: we’re done.