- Sphero shipments delayed due to high demand, won’t be here-o until JanuaryOur hearts were aflutter with anticipation when the Sphero went up for pre-order last month, but that excitement has since been supplanted by a big knot of disappointment, because the smartphone-controlled robotic ball won’t be hitting the market until after the holiday season. In a letter published yesterday, Orbotix CEO Paul Berberian attributed his company’s setback to a fundamental economic quandary. “Demand has been greater than expected and our production capabilities are slower than we planned,” Berberian wrote. “What that means is only a handful of orders are going to be fulfilled before the holidays and the majority of orders will be fulfilled in January.” Writing on behalf of the manufacturer, Berberian went on to accept full blame for the delay, with rather admirable honesty: “We simply underestimated the number of units we’d need to make and, more importantly, we miscalculated how long it would take to bring up the production line.” To make up for it, Orbotix is offering free expedited shipping to all customers who pre-ordered the device in time for the holidays, along with a free Sphero t-shirt.
Sphero shipments delayed due to high demand, won’t be here-o until January originally appeared on Engadget on Fri, 09 Dec 2011 17:17:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.
- Programmable robots coming to Korean stores, will assimilate your Android phone
South Korea loves its robots. While the country prepares them to teach the kids and guard its prisons, smartphone-compatible models are now propping up shelves in hobbyist shops. Dongbu Robot (previously Dasarobot) is launching several new products for wannabe bot engineers, but it’s the Google OS-compatible HOVIS kits that caught our eye. While we already know Android-powered bots can make a mean cocktail, these kits will get new features programmed to them through a phone’s Bluetooth and WiFi connections. The basic wheeled model can be upgraded to fully-fledged legs, while Dongbu Robot is working alongside the country’s SK Telecom network to offer speech recognition as the first software add-on, with plans for education and home security all in the pipeline. The price of sowing the seeds of the Robopocalypse? Around $620 for the starter model. Sound like too much? Well, there’s always Romo.Programmable robots coming to Korean stores, will assimilate your Android phone originally appeared on Engadget on Fri, 09 Dec 2011 16:50:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.
- Acer will stop making cheap crap, but keep selling netbooks. Discuss.
Here’s a bit of a head-scratcher: Acer has said it will stand by its man, which in this case is the netbook, but CEO J.T. Wang also recently told Dow Jones that his company will stop making “cheap and unprofitable products.” So, which is it? Will the manufacturer keep churning out the low cost (and even lower specced) machines that it managed to sell 1.7 million of last quarter? Or will it stop “[blindly] pursuing market share” with affordable, but poorly made crap? Wang specifically said that Ultrabooks would become the company’s “key growth driver next year” and hopefully return Acer to profitability. If that fails, we’re sure there’s plenty of room for some of its pastel wares over at the Home Shopping Network.
Acer will stop making cheap crap, but keep selling netbooks. Discuss. originally appeared on Engadget on Fri, 09 Dec 2011 16:27:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.
- Deezer announces ambitious global rollout, ignores US and Japan
Deezer added a few notches to its music streaming belt yesterday, with the announcement of its long awaited rollout to (nearly) every corner of the globe. The launch, confirmed at Le Web in Paris yesterday, has already brought the service to both Ireland and the Netherlands, with plans to expand across Europe by the end of this month. Users in Canada and Latin America can expect to receive the French service by the end of January, Australia and Africa should see it by the end of February, and everyone else by the middle of next year. Conspicuously absent from that list are the US and Japanese markets, both of which have been passed over “due to market saturation and low growth forecasts,” as well as the fact that the two countries comprise “only” 25 percent of worldwide music consumption. Le sigh.
Deezer announces ambitious global rollout, ignores US and Japan originally appeared on Engadget on Fri, 09 Dec 2011 16:04:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.
- Listen to the Engadget Mobile Podcast, live at 5PM ET!The Engadget Mobile Podcast is one week older. Episode 116 is upon us, and Myriam Joire, Brad Molen and Joseph Volpe are ready to unleash cellular vibes directly into your live broadcast and / or recorded podcast. Join us at 5PM ET today, and feel free to tweet usany comments or questions you might have from this week’s news!December 9, 2011 5:00 PM EST
Listen to the Engadget Mobile Podcast, live at 5PM ET! originally appeared on Engadget on Fri, 09 Dec 2011 15:45:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.
- Federal domain seizure raises new concerns over online censorshipIt’s been a little more than a year since the US government began seizing domains of music blogs, torrent meta-trackers and sports streaming sites. The copyright infringement investigation, led by US Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE) authorities, quickly raised eyebrows among many free speech and civil rights advocates, fueling a handful of legal challenges. Few are more compelling, or frightening than a case involving Dajaz1.com. As TechDirtreports, the popular hip-hop blog has been at the epicenter of a sinuous and seemingly dystopian dispute with the feds — one that underscores the heightening controversy surrounding federal web regulation, and blurs the constitutional divide between free speech and intellectual property protection.Dajaz1 was initially seized under the 2008 Pro IP Act, on the strength of an affidavit that cited several published songs as evidence of copyright infringement. As it turns out, ,any of these songs were actually provided by their copyright holders themselves, but that didn’t stop the government from seizing the URL anyway, and plastering a warning all over its homepage. Typically, this kind of action would be the first phase of a two-step process. Once a property is seized, US law dictates that the government has 60 days to notify its owner, who can then choose to file a request for its return. If the suspect chooses to file this request within a 35-day window, the feds must then undertake a so-called forfeiture process within 90 days. Failure to do so would require the government to return the property to its rightful owner. But that’s not exactly how things played out in the case of Dajaz1. For more details on the saga, head past the break.
Federal domain seizure raises new concerns over online censorship originally appeared on Engadget on Fri, 09 Dec 2011 15:21:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.
- AMD updates A-Series APUs, gives laptop Llanos modest spec bumps
AMD released its A-Series APUs almost six months ago, and since then it’s seen Intel update the A-Series’ Sandy Bridge counterparts. So, it’s about time for the Llano laptop lineup to do the same, and the refresh has come in the form of seven spiffy new APUs. At the high end, there’s the quad-core A8-3550MX clocked at 2.0 GHz with Radeon HD 6620G graphics to supplant the older A8-3530MX chip. On the low end, the 1.9GHz dual core A4-3305M with Radeon HD 6480G graphics joins AMD’s A4-3300M. It’s a minor update all around, with most models seeing a 100MHz boost in turbo frequency over existing A-Series APUs. If you’re itching to dig a little deeper into all the fresh Fusion silicon, you’ll find what you’re looking for at the links below.
AMD updates A-Series APUs, gives laptop Llanos modest spec bumps originally appeared on Engadget on Fri, 09 Dec 2011 14:57:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.
- Renault debuts R-Link, an in-dash Android system with app market
Renault is taking app development to its lineup of vehicles with a new integrated system that’s based on Android. The product, known as R-Link, is essentially a seven-inch touchscreen computer that’s very much akin to CUE, an infotainment system that was recently announced by Cadillac at CTIA. Unlike CUE, however, Renault is opening its platform to independent developers and will host an app store, which it hopes will create a new source of revenue for the company. The French automaker plans to launch R-Link with nearly 50 apps, which will appear first in the Clio 4 and Zoe, and eventually spread across the Renault’s entire product range. Whether app developers simply choose to flood the marketplace with countless gas mileage and location-sharing apps is yet to be seen, although we have a great idea for one that shares contact details simply by “bumping” your car into the one in front of you. Hey, it’s a nice way to exchange insurance information, anyway. You’ll find the full PR after the break.
Renault debuts R-Link, an in-dash Android system with app market originally appeared on Engadget on Fri, 09 Dec 2011 14:38:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.
- AMD Radeon HD 6000 cards receive VESA DisplayPort 1.2 certification, merit badges
When the certifications come in, you wipe a tear from your eye and ponder how proud you are. On Thursday, the Video Electronics Standards Association announced that AMD’s Radeon HD 6000 series graphics cards, including the high-end Radeon HD 6990, are the first to receive DisplayPort Version 1.2 certification. That means the cards are rated to support DisplayPort’s 5.4Gbps HBR2 data link speed and also feature increased display resolution, color depths and refresh rates, plus improved support for Full HD 3D stereoscopic displays. For the multiple monitor die-hards, there’s also better support for multiple monitors connected to a single DisplayPort receptacle to make your lives easier. Full technical details are in the PR below, but it’s good to see a capable card series grow up a bit / become a man.
AMD Radeon HD 6000 cards receive VESA DisplayPort 1.2 certification, merit badges originally appeared on Engadget on Fri, 09 Dec 2011 14:17:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.