Microsoft is gearing up for the launch of its next tablet, the Surface Pro, on Feb. 9.
The Surface Pro comes in two variations, one with 64 GB of storage and one with 128 GB of storage. But as The Verge points out, the amount of free space users actually get is far less.
The 64 GB model will only have about 23 GB of free space, The Verge confirmed with Microsoft. The 128 GB model will have about 83 GB of free space.
Here’s the problem.
Microsoft is marketing the Surface Pro as an alternative to a traditional laptop. It may look like a regular tablet, but the Surface Pro has all the same guts and specs as many regular laptops crammed inside. The Surface Pro also has the full version of Windows 8, meaning it can run older Windows apps designed for Windows 7.
Much like the “specialists” in Apple’s stores, it’s the job of these Chrome specialists to get shoppers to understand what exactly a Chromebook is, and why they should buy it over another laptop.
The Chromebook is a Web-powered laptop running Google’s Chrome operating system. It requires an Internet connection to power most of its applications, such as Gmail.
We got in touch with Google to confirm that it’s hiring specialists. Here’s what we heard back:
As you’ll have seen from our announcement last week, 100 Best Buy stores around the U.S. are now selling Chromebooks. With our partners, we have hired and trained staff for these Chrome Zones in U.S. Best Buy stores.
Google wouldn’t tell us how many specialists they’ve hired, but given the number of stores Google is selling Chromebooks in, it does appear to be in the hundreds.
LTE data on the new iPad can get expensive, but at least Verizon’s cutting you a break and including tethering in the price of your iPad data plan. Otherwise, it would be a $20 charge for tethering, along with an extra 2GB of data.
We’ve reached out to AT&T to see if it’ll include tethering gratis, but right now it seems like it’s not going to happen. Which, when combined with the $15 for 250MB lowest-tier plan compared to the $20 for 1GB, that looks a little bleak, but you do get an extra GB at the $30 tier. So AT&T still makes sense if you only want ~3GB of data and don’t care about tethering.
I’d just point out, though, that if you’re looking for an LTE hotspot option, it might make more sense to just get an LTE MiFi and use that for your phone, tablet, and laptop. That way you don’t have to lug out the tablet if you need mobile internet on your laptop or phone. The battery life isn’t as good as an iPad, but it was good enough to keep Gizmodo running at CES this year. Just something to think about! [GottaBeMobile]
Update: Here’s AT&T’s official comment: “We are working with Apple to enable this feature in the future, but we currently do not offer it.”
If Kenneth G. Lieberthal were anything but a China expert at the Brookings institution, his travelling-in-China security procedures would read like the product of a paranoid mind that watched too many spy movies as a kid:
He leaves his cellphone and laptop at home and instead brings “loaner” devices, which he erases before he leaves the United States and wipes clean the minute he returns. In China, he disables Bluetooth and Wi-Fi, never lets his phone out of his sight and, in meetings, not only turns off his phone but also removes the battery, for fear his microphone could be turned on remotely. He connects to the Internet only through an encrypted, password-protected channel, and copies and pastes his password from a USB thumb drive. He never types in a password directly, because, he said, “the Chinese are very good at installing key-logging software on your laptop.”
Talk about overkill, right? Well he’s not alone. The Times reports that these seemingly paranoid precautions are par for the course for just about anyone with valuable information including government officials, researchers, and even normal businessmen who do business in China.
But what about the rest of us? I may not have any valuable state secrets or research that needs protecting but that doesn’t mean I want the Chinese government snooping on my internetting when I visit my grandparents (especially when the consequences can be so severe). In the past, I’ve relied on a combination of VPNs, TOR, and password-protecting everything I can, but now it sounds like even that isn’t enough. Or maybe it’s totally overkill given my general unimportance in the grand scheme of things. Dear readers, I ask you, how much security is enough when it comes to the average person on vacation? [NY Times]
Whether you’re looking for a way to catch the big game this weekend when you’re away from your living room, or you just like to catch live television when you’re trapped somewhere without either cable or a television, you have plenty of options to help you catch a broadcast on your mobile phone or your computer. Here’s a look at five of the best ways to tune in when you’re on the go.
Earlier in the week we asked how you tune into live television that you’re subscribed to on your mobile device or when you’re not in front of the big screen. You responded, and now we’re back to take a look at the top five, based on your nominations.
Photo by IK’s World Trip.
When you need to stream audio or video around the house, to your mobile device, or across the globe when you’re away from home, Orb can certainly deliver. We mentioned Orb several times, and it’s still a great way to stream your media from your computer to other devices in your home, or, if you’re willing to pay for an Orb appliance to connect to your cable box or HTPC, stream live TV or recorded TV to any other device on or off of your home network. Orb supports video up to 720p, and gives you the flexibility to watch live sports, prime time TV shows, or anything else that’s currently airing in your living room on your mobile phone, tablet, or laptop over Wi-Fi, 3G, or 4G when you can’t be in the living room to enjoy it. Pricing varies depending on whether you need hardware (between $79-$99 for the set-top box) to connect to your TV and home network, or you already have a TV tuner in your HTPC (the Orb Live and Orb Caster software are both free, but the mobile apps are $9.99.)
Where other live TV streaming solutions offer complexity, Slingbox offers elegant simplicity. The Slingbox from Sling Media is a set-top box that connects to your TV and your cable or satellite receiver that makes it easy for you to effectively log in to your TV at home and watch live TV on your computer or mobile device as though you were sitting in front of your TV. You can change channels, browse TV listings, and even set your home DVR to record TV that you won’t make it home in time to watch. The Slingbox comes in two flavors, the Slingbox Solo and the Slingbox Pro-HD (which predictably supports HD and additional devices connected to it) and will set you back $179.99 to $299.99 (not including extended support options). You’ll also need to drop $29.99 for the SlingPlayer app to control your Slingbox from your smartphone or tablet, but the price buys you one of the most feature-rich and hassle-free live TV streaming solutions on the market.
Elgato’s EyeTV line of TV tuners and live TV software were, for a long time, the only option for Mac users who were looking for an easy way to use their Macs as TV tuners or HTPCs. They’re not the only options anymore, but they’re certainly one of the best, and if you plug a TV source in to an EyeTV and then the EyeTV into your Mac via USB, you want watch live TV right there on your computer screen. Combine an EyeTV tuner or DVR with the EyeTV app on your mobile device, and you can stream live or pre-recorded TV on your mobile device when you’re out of the house. The EyeTV app will set you back $4.99 in the iTunes App Store for any iOS device, and the tuners vary in price from $99 to $199 depending on whether you need a DTV tuner, a DTV and HD tuner, a tuner with a DVR inside, or a Wi-Fi enabled tuner that can wirelessly stream TV to other devices in your home.
The Vulkano Flow may not be one of the most well known set-top tuners on the market, but it’s definitely one of the most powerful. For $99.99, the Vulkano Flow is an easy to install and set up device that connects to your cable or satellite tuner, supports HD video, and your home network to allow you to wirelessly watch live TV on your iOS or Android device on your home network or when you’re away via 3G or 4G. You get complete control over your home TV, so you can switch channels, browse a built-in programming guide (that you don’t have to pay extra to view), and even connect to other video inputs like a DVR or HTPC and control that as well. Vulkano offers desktop players for Mac OS and Windows (Free), and mobile players for iOS, Android, and BlackBerry ($12.99.)
Hauppage is an old name in TV tuners, and the company is still going strong by offering a range of products to HTPC enthusiasts who want to build their own devices to stream, save, and watch live and recorded television and to people who would rather buy a set-top box to handle the streaming for them. Those of you who nominated the WinTV mentioned that you can easily install a WinTV tuner in your HTPC and download the WinTV application on your HTPC and iOS or Android device to stream TV from your HTPC to your device. Pricing varies depending on which tuner you’d like, whether you want HD video, and whether you want an internal or USB tuner to install at all or you’d just prefer a set-top box like the Hauppage Broadway ($199), but the WinTV Extend app you’ll need to stream from your Tuner will set you back $9.95, and the mobile apps are free (although they only support Wi-Fi.)
Now that you’ve seen the top five, it’s time to put them to an all out vote for the winner.
Honorable mentions this week go out to streaming TV sites like Justin.tv, which many of you said you use to stream your own TV shows to the web so you can catch them when you’re away from home, and to The NFL’s website, which many of you noted is indeed streaming the big game on their own. Finally, since we mentioned that the Department of Homeland Security had shut down FirstRowSports‘ primary domain, many of you made note of the fact that the site is still up and running on a different URL.
Have a favorite method that didn’t get the nominations needed to make the top five? Want to make a case for it, or for your favorite of the nominees above? Sound off in the comments below.
Sometimes common “street smarts” fail you. Like when you ask the guy who’s selling you drugs if he’s a cop. Or when you encrypt your hard drive and refuse to unlock it for prosecutors while citing the self-incriminating clause of the Fifth Amendment.
A federal court judge has just ruled that being forced to decrypt one’s hard drive during prosecution does not violate the defendants’s Fifth Amendment rights. The ruling stems from a case against Ramona Fricosu, who is charged with mortgage fraud. She has refused to decrypt the contents of her hard drive arguing that doing so would require her to essentially testify against herself.
Nuh-uh, said judge Robert Blackburn, citing an earlier ruling against one Sebastien Boucher. In that case, the courts decided that, while Boucher’s encryption password was certainly protected, the information on his drive could be considered evidence in the case and was therefore not subject to the same liberties.
“I find and conclude that the Fifth Amendment is not implicated by requiring production of the unencrypted contents of the Toshiba Satellite M305 laptop computer,” Blackburn wrote in his opinion today. He also cited the All Writs Act, a 1789 statute, could be invoked as well to force Fricosu’s compliance.
Friscosu has until February 21 to comply or face contempt of court charges. Geez, it’s getting to the point that your secrets are better left on microfilm in pumpkin patches rather than on your hard drive. [CNet via The Verge]
The survey was prompted by the news that a generation of “cord-nevers” and “cord-cutters” is forming — young people who don’t want to pay for cable TV because their laptops and mobile devices provide plenty of free video.
By late Friday, 910 votes had been cast and the result was overwhelming:
- One third of you (307) said you had already given up pay TV and were not going back.
- Only 94 voters said they paid for basic cable.
- Another 103 owned up to buying premium TV service.
- Those low numbers were equalled by the 95 voters who said they could not ever imagine watching regular TV again.
Here are the full results:
(The live poll is still open, incidentally.) Obviously, the poll is biased: It’s a self-selecting audience of people who are already getting their news from the web.
Meet the “cord-haters”
Having said that, it indicates that “cord-nevers” may not be the TV industry’s main problem. Rather, judging by the comment boards underneath both the poll and the original story about the death of TV, it is the “cord-haters”: People who actively despise traditional television with its clutter of irrelevant advertising and brainless programming. They are overjoyed that the web now offers an alternative way to watch shows and movies at a fraction of the cost.
The Credit Suisse report identified new technology as the culprit that is now eating TV’s business. But as far as B.I. readers are concerned, it’s not just about the ease of watching movies on an iPad. Rather, it’s that they find TV to be of such low quality that they just don’t want to watch any more of it. Only now has new technology allowed them to watch shows and movies without all of TV’s baggage, such as paying for 500 channels when you really only watch about 10.
Steven: The thing I hate about TV is you only watch a couple stations 99% of the time, but you pay for 150+ stations.
dargoola: This year I cut most of the digital premium channels with on demand add-ons because I never have time to watch them.
There’s a core Of TV channels I watch but it’s shrinking. I’m getting more of my news from the Internet, i blog a lot, and spend more time socially on the net. But TV is still it for the pure pleasure of vegging out and being entertained.
realchuck: I’ve stopped paying some 5 years ago. I installed a ‘seedbox’ with a friendly 3rd-world country hosting provider and just leech torrents (automatically). It costs me some $50 per month including unlimited traffic. So I get TV-shows on the next day, auto-downloaded, and any blu-ray movie – also on the next day. I don’t have to respect any delays imposed by the assholes in the industry.
flubber: TV will fail because of the parent companies and advertisers. How many infomercials do we need?
How many times do they need to cut to commercial during a football game? Quite frankly I do not watch a lot of TV anymore because the amount of real content being aired is a joke and the amount of commercials is just downright insulting. I download everything or watch it on the net.
Dean Wormer: The traditional TV folks are stuck. But they think this is about Netflix, Hulu etc. It’s not. Their product stinks. It’s been this way for years and its getting worse. Hulu is just methadone to get you off the crack pipe.
Krissy: Let us be real here, most regular network TV on now is pure unadulterated shite.
iWonder: Cable isn’t what it used to be. I had cable primarily for channels like Discovery, Science and History but now it seems those networks are being overrun by the same trash programming that took over the big networks a decade ago. Cable isn’t worth it now, 150+ channels and nothing worth watching, that’s why I’m done with it.
jasno: I abandoned broadcast TV because of the incessant commercials. Even on the discovery channel it’s too much. Worse, the commercials are pretty much never for anything that I might possibly buy. For example, I am never going to buy a Chevy Silverado pickup, or any truck, but I have been subjected to about 97,391 commercials for pickup trucks.
Some readers defended TV, saying it still played a useful role in their lives:
rusty syringe: Gave it up for awhile but came back this year. Direct TV’s free Sunday Ticket offer was to good to pass up.
Frank Castle: I’ve tried all the streaming services and the image quality is crap. With Comcast I have a crystal clear 1080 signal with Dolby digital sound. I have no desire to gather everyone around the laptop to view a show. All these services also are geared to the solo viewer. What do you do when Mom wants to watch HGTV, I’m watching a game, the kids have on disney channel. Your telling me running all those sevices seperately is going to be cheaper then another cable connection?
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Dr. Augustine Fou is Digital Consigliere to marketing executives, advising them on digital strategy and Unified Marketing(tm). Dr Fou has over 17 years of in-the-trenches, hands-on experience, which enables him to provide objective, in-depth assessments of their current marketing programs and recommendations for improving business impact and ROI using digital insights.
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