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The Palm Pre, Google Chrome 2.0 Pre-Beta

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This news is not a press conference summary, but after this, i will watch some more press conferences, so don't worry. I don't know which ones i'm going to watch yet though.

"Palm unveiled the Palm Pre handheld during its press conference at CES 2009." It has the new Web OS and is a touchscreen slider phone. It will be available in the first half of 2009. The Palm Pre will have a 3.1 inch screen, slide-out QWERTY keyboard, 3-megapixel camera, LED flash, GPS, Bluetooth, 8GB of space, Wi-Fi and a MicroSD slot. G4TV says that "this is, by far, the best-looking handheld Palm has released in a very long time." I don't know much about the new Web OS, so i will be pulling this information directly from G4tv's article. "Web OS has a feature called Synergy, which synchronizes contacts and calendars from multiple sources." It sounds like good news from Palm and they may be busting the gates open with this one. This phone may cause the Palm to get more fanbase, so that's always good. I hope to see more of Palm and this OS in the future.

Last, but not least, Google has released a new Pre-Beta to their browser, Google Chrome. It has a whole bunch of new features, such as: a new version of WebKit (most likely faster than before), AutoComplete, SafeBrowsing, an update to the V8 Javascript engine, a new network code and it also has a bunch of other features. If you are interested, you can view the link below, to read more information, regarding this Google Chrome 2.0 Pre-Beta.

The Palm Pre (and picture): http://www.g4tv.com/thefeed/blog/post/692277/Palm_Unveils_The_Palm_Pre_And_Web_OS_At_CES_2009.html?utm_source=g4tv&utm_medium=rssfeeds&utm_campaign=TheFeed
Google Chrome 2.0 Pre-Beta: http://googlesystem.blogspot.com/2009/01/google-chrome-20-pre-beta.html

CES: Microsoft Press Conference

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So, here it is, the lengthy 80-minute press conference from Microsoft at CES 2009.

Gary Shapiro, who is the head of CES takes the stage first. He talks about the show and that it was a "tough 2008." He mentions a couple of keynoters. He introduces Steve Ballmer and he mentioned that he scored an 800/800 on the math part of the SAT's. Impressive. They show a quick video about some Windows products, before Ballmer comes.

Steve Ballmer finally takes the stage. He mentions that Bill Gates used to do Microsoft's keynotes at events like CES, but he is now devoting his time to help people around the world, especially in Africa. Ballmer and the crowd applaud for Gates and his efforts. He talks about our digital lives and that they will only continue to get richer even in the midst of the current recession. Ballmer mentions the 3 different screens that everyone uses everyday: the PC, phone and the TV. He tells us that only a billion people in the world have a PC. This leaves 5 billion other people without a PC and this is why they are trying to make things more affordable. Ballmer says that the TV has been the center of family entertainment and that we should expect the TV to be more "sophisticaed and connected." In the future, the PC and the TV's different worlds will combine and that their current boundary will "dissolve," since they are going to be more connected. He plays a video featuring a bunch of products using Windows: Samsung X360, Dell Studio Hybrid, Toshiba Portege  R600, Minew S10, Acer Aspire 8930g, Sony Vaio TT, Asus U6V Bamboo, Lenovo IdeaPad Y650, Toshiba Qosimo X305, HP Touchsmart PC, Lenovo ThinkPad W700ds, HP Firebird with Voodoo DNA, Sony Xperia X1, HTC Touch HD (!!), Samsung Omnia and the HTC Touch Pro (see above picture). All of these aforementioned products have either Windows Mobile, Windows Live or Windows Vista pre-installed. Steve talks about Windows 7 and that it is putting in all the right ingredients, reliability and speed into it to get it right. He officially announces that MSDN and TechNet customers can now download the Windows 7 beta for free and that on Friday, it will be available to everyone else. Ballmer also had another 3 announcements. One was that Windows Live Essentials now had a worldwide availabiility. The other 2 announcements could've been summed up into 1, but he split it up. There were 2 partnerships: 1 with Facebook and the other with Dell. The partnership with Dell is that they are now going to pre-install Windows Live Essentials on their PC's. In 2008, 11 different Windows Mobile-running phones sold over 1 million units. He then introduces Charlotte Jones.

Charlotte Jones introduces the new Windows 7 first. Jones is actually the first female to actually present something at a press conference at this year's CES, i think. She shows off some new Windows 7 features. They aren't entirely new, but new to the modern Vista user. She shows that in the bottom right corner, you can use the "Aero Peek" feature to see through all of your open windows. She shows the split screen-window feature thing, pinning windows onto the taskbar. She also shows the crowd "jumplists." This is where you can click on an application on the taskbar and it will give you a couple of different options, in just a single-click. I don't know how else to explain that, without a demonstration. She shows a new feature called "Homegroup" to setup a network at home. Windows 7 will have touchscreen's in mind and is "in it's DNA." This is so that it is easier for their partners to create touch-screen based programs. She encourages the crowd to go and check out Windows 7 and touch-screens at their booths after the press conference. She mentions the new browser for the mobile phone and Internet Explorer 8 (and it's integrated language translator, still a fail browser). She shows a Silverlight slideshow of pictures from Windows Live, with a click of a button. She shows new features in Windows Live Mail and Windows Live Messenger. Messenger now has a Windows Video user tile where you can record a 4-second dynamic display picture. With this new feature, you can also create emoticons, so that when you make a smiley face, your display picture will show your video clip that may include your own smiley face. This is recorded by your webcam. She shows us her smiley face, sad face and a wink-y face. She even throws in a kiss emoticon (Yay!). The crowd went nuts. After she exits the stage, a band comes on stage, known as Tripod.

They sing a fairly comical song, regarding games. I've never heard of them, but yeah... After they finished, Robbie Bach took the stage.

Bach mentions connected entertainment. There will be a new Microsoft Sync for Ford vehicles. The Zune was successful in 2008, expanding Zune's network to 2 million. Windows Media Center's users also increased to 10 million. There is a 250% increase in Microsoft's MediaRoom. He mentions a feature called MediaRoom Anytime, which is kind of like video on demand, i guess. Finally, some Xbox news. Xbox had a spectacular year and also the best year ever in terms of sales. The 360 sold 28 million units worldwide. The Xbox live users increased to 17 million members, which was a 70% growth from 2007. He pushes this further and mentions that in the last 3 months, they added 3 million new members. He talks about the future, 2009. He mentions that Halo sold 25 million copies and that the average Halo player played an average of 150 hours (which is not a lot, in my book). Anyways, in 2009, there will be 2 new Halo releases: Halo Wars, which is a Real-Time Strategy that will be released on February 28, with a demo coming out on February 5. The other Halo release this year will be Halo 3: ODST, which is like the original Halo series and it will be released in Fall, with a bunch of new features. He backtracks to Xbox live again and mentions that after launching the New Xbox Experience, their growth has expanded. In the Spring, Xbox Live will be launching PrimeTime, to create scheduled programs and events. He shows a demo of 1 vs 100, which is a winner-take-all question and answer game. He shows Netflix and mentions that you can control your queue of Netflix movies with your mobile phone. They will be launching Kodu, a game creator that reminds me of LittleBigPlanet. A 12-year old girl by the name of Sparrow, comes on stage and shows the crowd how to design a game on Kodu. She beats Robbie at a game, that seemed to be easier for her to win. Sparrow exits the stage and, soon after, Robbie Bach says his thanks and also exits the stage

Steve Ballmer mentions that displays will be everywhere and will be cheaper / affordable. All the other devices will become a single-platform. He invites Janet Galore with him on stage.

Janet Galore (the second female now) shows us a couple of prototypes. One being a touchscreen tablet-like gadget. She shows off a simulation of different parts and all different systems of our bodies. When she finishes with that, she moves on to the Surface Computer, which is incredible. I have actually seen these protoypes on Youtube. It was an amazing display and even involved the interactivity of a phone, the 'tablet-like gadget' from earlier and even a model of the brain. After that, she fashioned a very flexible protoype display, which was less than a mm thick. This was also amazing and i'm excited to see what our future has in store for us.

Steve Ballmer shows up on stage again and mentions that he is optimistic about the future. He says his goodbyes.

Tripod does another song. This one was fairly un-entertaining. That concludes the long, but informative press conference from Microsoft at this year's CES.

Microsoft press conference video: http://wm.istreamplanet.com/customers/ms/750_ms_ces_090107.asx
Windows logo: http://www.smashingmagazine.com/2007/07/20/developers-alarm-200-hotkeys-to-boost-your-productivity/
HTC Touch Pro picture: http://www.itechnews.net/tag/htc-touch/
Windows 7 picture: http://eideard.wordpress.com/2008/10/14/
Xbox Live Logo: http://www.theaveragegamer.com/tag/xbox-live/
Surface computer picture: http://www.ubergizmo.com/15/archives/2007/05/microsoft_surface_computer_set_to_wow.html

Entertaining Religion Class

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Before i do my blog about Microsoft's press conference at CES 2009, i am going to talk about my religion class today. I was about 15 minutes late and at first, we were copying down a note. After some discussion, my teacher split us up into about 5 groups. The groups were split up and we were given 'cookies.' There was a group of: 7 (with 2 cookies), 5 (with 4 cookies), 4 (with 6 cookies), 3 (with 12 cookies) and, my group of, 2 (with 96 cookies). I was in the group of 2 with another member of my class, Gordon Pun. We were the "moderator's" of the game. The object of this little game was that the other groups would come to us and try to persuade us to give them some cookies. The teacher explained to me and Gordon that we could do whatever we want them to do, since we were, sort of, like dictators. We could make them run around the class doing something silly, if they really wanted the cookies. The object of the game was to try to have the most cookies in the end.

The game started and the group of 3 came up to us and we told them that if they wanted 5 cookies each, they would all have to put a quarter on the floor and push it, with their nose, across the classroom. They refused to do it, so we told them to go away. The group of 4 came up to us and mentioned that their 'country' is burning down and that they needed cookies to feed the homeless. We gave in and we were going to give them 6 cookies, but then, one of their group members said, "Come on, just give us 10." So, me and Gordon decided to give them 4 cookies instead, since they were pushing their luck. The group of 5 came up to us and mentioned that they only had 4 cookies and there was one of them with no food, so we gave them one cookie. The big group of 7 came up to us and we told them that if they wanted 10 cookies, they would have to make a dance / cheer for us. So, they went back to their seats and developed a cheer. The first group of 3 came back to us and after a lengthy conversation, one of them finally agreed to push the quarter, the length of the classroom with their nose for a mere 5 cookies. So, Rishi did it and the whole class was laughing. It was all for fun and games though, not in a bad manner. When Rishi finished, he went to stand up and celebrate. As he was going to stand up, he hit his head on the TV / VCR in the corner of the room and the class laughed even harder than before. As the game was about to end, the group of 7, showed us their cheer and we handed them their 10 cookies.

After the game, our teacher mentioned that this related to the note we copied at the beginning of class. Why? Because 20% of the world's population owns 82% of the world's currency, in this case, this was our group, using cookies. Furthermore, she explained that we must share what we have, and such. That was definitely the most fun i've ever had in a Religion class. Anyways, let's get back to the good old Microsoft press conference.

CES here i come.

Cookie picture: http://memyselfandhi.wordpress.com/2008/06/25/breaking-news-death-thoughts-eating-cookies/

CES: Sony Press Conference

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This is going to be my last blog post of the night. It is going to be Sony's press conference, which i am extremely excited for. Hopefully, they will take a couple of cheap shots at Microsoft's Xbox 360.

So, the introduction starts off pretty entertaining. So far, it looks to be the most interesting to me. They start off with a Jeopardy-like theme. They are celebrating Jeopardy's 25th anniversary. I don't know why, but they must have a reason. The speaker mentions that "Sony is an entertainment powerhouse." He plays Sony Bravia's new commercial, which introduces the world's first MotionFlow 240Hz technology for TV's. He introduces a lot of people that work for Sony. He finally introduces Stan Glasgow. He starts off by summarizing the sales from last year and talks about his struggle, last year, to remain optimistic. He is going to talk about 2 primary areas: in-home and out-of-home. He is going to start with the out-of-home lineup.

He first mentions the X-Series OLED walkman with a 3 inch touchscreen, Wi-fi and noise cancellation. He tells the crowd about the popular [but delayed] Sony Xperia: X1. The Sony Ericsson w508 is reportedly customizable, with up to 8 colours. He introduces the Cybershot c510 phone, which has a 3.2 megapixel camera, face detection and 3G. So far, this has been a great presentation because his speech flows extremely well and there is a good balance between speech and visuals. He introduces a couple of digital photo frames. The DPF-X1000 + V1000. They will both feature a 10 inch SVGA resolution, widescreen LCD, 1-2GB memory and Bluetooth. You can even display it on your Bravia TV with an HDMI. He introduces 2 magnificent camcorders, the Handycam: HDR-520v and the HDR-CX100. First off, the HDR-CX100 will be HD-capable and have 8GB of space. The HDR-520v, on the other hand, is much more heavy on the specs. It will have a whopping 240GB of space, 101 hours of HD, 12 megapixel stills, GPS and Geotagging. Both of these camcorders will be available in March. He introduces new 'Webbie' HD cameras with pmb software, mpeg-4 for easy transfer, 5x optical zoom, 20x digital zoom, a 2.5 LCD that will have a rotation swivel of up to 270 degrees. This 'Webbie' will be available "tonight" [now] on sonystyle.com. So, what's been stirring up all of the controversy lately? The Vaio P-series, of course. It was finally and officially unveiled. He held one in his hand, as he listed the many specs. It will weigh a mere 1.4 pounds, sport an 8 inch screen, 3G-capabilities, has 802.11n wireless, Bluetooth, GPS (if you're in US or Canada, you won't even need an active internet connection), the Xross media bar, a webcam and all of this will fit in your purse or jacket pocket. You will be able to pre-order it tomorrow on sonystyle.com.

Phew, that was a lot of information, but luckily, i was able to get it all down, thanks to visuals. Stan will now talk about in-home products. He quickly mentions that the sales of Blu-ray grow 300% every year. He mentions, but doesn't go into detail about, the Playstation 3, Playstation: Home, Playstation Network and the Playstation Portable (PSP). He does, however, mention some news about the OLED TV's. A journalist mentioned that they are "the most coveted TV on the market." Sony OLED TV protoypes are just 0.9 mm thin (!!) with an 11 inch display. Furthermore, he mentions that there are upcoming 21 and 27 inch models with a 1,000,000:1 contrast ratio, super top emission technology (I don't know what that is) and, of course, fast response times. He mentions recycling their products. The "Eco" Bravia will reduce power consumption by 40% (just like everyone else) and will exceed energy star 3.0 requirements (which is also like everyone else). But, this is where Sony sets itself apart from it's competition. The Bravia's will have the technology called HCFL (Hot Cathode Fluorescent Lamp) (more about that in a later blog post), a light sensor, an eco switch, which will reduce your watt consumption to 0W in standby, and will have a presence sensor. The presence sensor will detect if anyone is moving in the room. If the TV detects that no one is moving in the room, the TV will be shut off. This is good for anyone that sleeps in front of the TV or when you leave the TV room and forget to turn it off. These Bravia's will be available in 3 sizes: 40, 46 and 52 inches. He talks about Bravia: Internet Video partnering with the likes of: Amazon, Youtube and Slacker, for streaming videos. Bravia: Internet Video will be integrated in the upcoming XBR9 Sony Bravia TV's that will also have the world's first MotionFlow 240Hz technology, accompanied by Bravia's Internet Widgets, with the help of Yahoo! The XBR9 will be available in the Spring-time.

Sir Howard will be presenting tomorrow morning's Sony keynote.

Stan Glasgow really sells their Sony products. I'm always against buying Sony products, except for the Playstation 3 because i feel that all of their products are overpriced (Don't get me wrong, the PS3 is still a bit too expensive). But, Stan is really persuasive and is really enthusiastic when he speaks. Samsung could learn a thing or two from this Sony press conference, so that they can improve for next year. Unfortunately, there were no talks of the Playstation 3 in this press conference. This was my favourite press conference of the day and i just loved the combination of the visuals and the speech.

Special thanks to G4 for all of the streaming and uploading of the press conference videos.

Sony Press conference video: http://www.g4tv.com/ces2009/press_conf_detail.aspx?video_key=35869
Sony Cybershot C510 picture: http://www.cellphones.ca/news/post004647/
Sony Xperia X1 picture: http://www.engadget.com/2008/02/10/sonyericsson-xperia-x1-qwerty-with-windows-mobile/
Sony Bravia picture: http://www.engadget.com/2009/01/07/sony-brings-yahoo-widgets-to-1080p-zbr9-z-series-hdtvs/

CES: Samsung Press Conference

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Samsung, finally! I've been waiting for G4 to fix the link for a while now, but it's all good. I still love G4 and their Podcasts =).

David Steel is the MC for today. Although, another asian man took the stage first. I couldn't understand his name, but that doesn't matter. This guy gives a lot of background information on Samsung. I mean, a lot of background information. I'm just waiting for the products. His accent is reminding me of Russell Peter's: Red, White and Brown stand-up comedy. Anyways, he gives the stage to another person, Patrick Barry, Yahoo's Vice President.

He mentions that Samsung is a leader in consumer electronics. He does a lot of talking, just like the asian guy. He mentions a new UI (User Interface) for future Samsung products. It looks like Yahoo is working with Samsung here, obviously. The asian guy comes back and talks some more... These presentations definitely needs more visuals. Like LG, Samsung will also feature the new wireless-HD technology. A video starts to play. A beautifully-developed video, regarding a TV. There will be a unified UI that will be seen in digital camera's and camcorders. They show another video, regarding some touch-screen UI's. The asian guy talks about how eco-friendly they are now... I'm starting to lose focus, but apparently, it will get better during the last half of the conference, which is coming up soon. Another video starts to play. It's a video about different consumer's mentioning some positives about some Samsung products.

Looks like it's time to start showing their products. Here we go, this is what we've all been waiting for. There's only 15 minutes left in the press conference, so this better be jam-packed with products. The Samsung Luxia LED TV. The 8000, 7000 and 6000 models i talked about here. He mentions that the Luxia series is 40% more energy efficient than original LCD TV's. They are mercury-free and also lead-free, which is beneficial to the environment. The 7000-display is shown live. It has a beautiful display, it looks friggin' amazing. I can't wait until they show the 8000. The 7000 will have a web-based experience and therefore, will be powered by various Yahoo widgets. Samsung created their own wall-mounts because the normal 2-inch mounts make the TV looks 'fatter' than they appear. Their wall-mounts set your TV only 0.6 inches away from your wall and it makes it look like your TV is "hanging like a picture." Here's the LED-backlit 8000 coming up. It delivers 240Hz refresh rate, which is 4x the traditional rate, apparently. It eliminates blur and he also mentions that it is beautiful. I can agree with that.

The Series-8 (?) display is only an inch thick and is also highly energy effiecient, of course. For gamers, there are 3D monitors for a new 'gaming experience.' This guy talks too fast and i can't keep up with how much information he is spewing out. The BDP-4600 has BD-live support and a bunch of other features. Breaking news. It will eject a disc in a second!!! OMG, really? Yes, you heard that right, it will only take a mere second to eject your disc. Did he seriously have to mention that? He continues to give so much useful information right after each other, but i still can't keep up and i've already mentioned that. Anyways, he shows a camcorder with 64GB of space. It is called the HMX-H106, i believe. Before the conference is over, he also mentions the P3 mp3 player (above), which will be only 0.39 inches thick. Sorry, that i couldn't get down all of the specs, but if you saw the press conference, i think you'd understand. I think it was a very inefficient conference for a typical blogger that actually tried to type some of the specs out. I'm not the fastest typer out there, but i feel that i type faster than the average user. The Samsung press conference in the end, was the one i was looking forward to, but it seems that, so far, the LG presentation has been the most entertaining. LG had slides and Samsung just had way too much talking.

Samsung press conference: http://www.g4tv.com/ces2009/press_conf_detail.aspx?video_key=35866
Samsung P3 mp3 player picture: http://www.trustedreviews.com/mp3/news/2009/01/08/CES-2009--Samsung-Shows-Haptic-MP3-Player/p1
Samsung Logo picture: http://www.oyster.ie/About_Us/Oyster_Telecom/Oyster_Telecom.html
Samsung TV picture (8000, 7000 or 6000 model): http://www.tvsnob.com/archives/023837.php