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Tech

Even the mighty Google is feeling the effects of the economic downturn. CNet reports that the company is cutting 100 recruiters. Laszlo Bock, Google's vice president of people operations, blogged:

"Given the state of the economy, we recognized that we needed fewer people focused on hiring. Our first step to address this was to wind down almost all our contracts with external contractors and vendors providing recruiting services for Google. However, after much consideration, we have with great regret decided that we need to go further and reduce the overall size of our recruiting organization by approximately 100 positions."

In related news, the company is shutting down or limiting resources for a large number of projects. Included in the mix are Google Video, Google Notebook, Dodgeball, and Jaiku.

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Have you heard of Whopper Sacrifice?  It's a Facebook application from Burger King that offers you a free Whopper if you delete 10 friends from your friends list. Sadly, burger-lovers, it is no more.

Facebook said the application, which notifies people when you de-friend them, runs contrary to their privacy policy. It's Facebook's policy to keep friend sacrifices private. Whereas Burger King's policy's spreads their advertising-application to as many people as possible, using its notifications that users have been de-listed.

Here's the official word from Facebook:

We encourage creativity from developers and brands using Facebook Platform, but we also must ensure that applications follow users’ expectations of privacy. This application facilitated activity that ran counter to user privacy by notifying people when a user removes a friend. We have reached out to the developer with suggested solutions. In the meantime, we are taking the necessary steps to assure the trust users have established on Facebook is maintained.

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Philips' New 21:9 Cinema TV

TylerColfax
Posted January 15, 2009 - By TylerColfax

We missed it at CES, because it wasn't there, but the new Philips 21:9 aspect ratio TV is just what the cinephile ordered. There are many aspect ratios by which film and video can be displayed. Standard Defintion TV is typically 4:3, while HD TV is 16:9, and cinema-style films are 21:9. Some folks who purchased a new widescreen television have still found black bars on their Blu-ray movies, some of which have maintained their original aspect ratio.

At the end of the day, this 56" darling is a little ridiculous and ahead of itself when you consider that a 4:3 image of, say your favorite G4 show, would have an obscene amount of black space on either side. I, however, would seriously consider making this purchase if it meant I could watch two equally sized 4:3 images at once, with a pair of wireless headphones that separated the audio from each channel for each ear. Overkill? Or the future of media consumption?

We browse the Internet with multiple tabs and IMs and all kinds of crazy multi-tasking going on. Apart from the inevitable seizures, why shouldn't we be able to consume TV like that?

"TV, mute left channel." I hate commercials.

Source

Tags: Products, Style, Tech, TV

United Airlines has announced that it will be offering Aircell's Gogo inflight WiFi Internet service on its "p.s." flights in the second half of 2009. The company's 13 Boeing 757 p.s. planes cover the JFK to LAX, and JFK to SFO routes. The service will cost $12.95 for the entire flight. Aircell is already partnered with American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, Air Canada, and Virgin America. In a recent press release, Aircell CEO Jack Blumenstein said:

"Passengers love Gogo Inflight Internet service and the freedom it gives them to be productive, connected and entertained.  Forward-thinking airlines like United are putting the power of Gogo in their passengers' hands and reaping the revenue and customer loyalty benefits that it brings."

United is my airline of choice and I take p.s. flights when I visit my parents, so I'm absolutely thrilled by this news. It's also disappointing that Internet service is limited to p.s. flights. While I've mostly happy with United -- because of its generous Mileage Plus benefits -- it's still something of a joke compared to many Asian and European airlines.

Are you guys down with inflight Internet? Or do you dread the thought of the passenger next to you streaming Mark Gormley's greatest hits? What would you do with inflight WiFi (aside from reading TheFeed)?

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Tags: Tech

Palm Pre Exclusive To Best Buy For 60 Days?

r_pad
Posted January 15, 2009 - By r_pad

There's a strong rumor that Palm's upcoming Pre mobile phone (I still hate the name) will be a Best Buy exclusive when it launches in America. According to WebOS Arena:

"We received news from a credible source that BestBuy Mobile will be getting an exclusive deal with Sprint for the Palm Pre release. For 60 days the number one consumer electronics retailer will be the only place where you can get your hands on the Palm Pre, besides Sprint of course." 

The deal, if it pans out, should give Palm and Sprint some major exposure. Best Buy would surely market the hell out of the phone and it would be showcased by the nation's top consumer-electronics retailer.

Does this rumor work for you? Would it be convenient for you try out the Pre in Best Buy before you make a purchasing decision? Or do live in a town that doesn't have a Best Buy?

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Tags: Tech

Up to now, Apple's App Store has housed extra applications for the iPhone and iPod Touch that are open to any developer, but a breakthrough occurred recently allowing for completely new browsers to be posted and purchased.

There are a few that have been put up so far, but a lot of users are hoping the big guys like Opera and Firefox will get their shot at the iPhone's little handheld computer phone. Right now though, you can download Incognito which leaves no browser history, Webmate, which uses the now-standard tabs for browsing, and Shaking Web that uses a complex algorithm with the accelerometer to reduce the movement a user's shaky hand.

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It has just been revealed that Apple CEO Steve Jobs will be taking a five-month leave of absence from his duties at Apple for health reasons.

The story is still developing, but Tim Cook, the company's chief operating officer, will be handling day-to-day operations during Steve's absence.

With reports of Steve Jobs' health causing drops in Apple stock price I expect this announcement will send Apple's stock way down when trading resumes tomorrow.

All of us here at G4TV.com wish you a speedy recovery, Steve. Get well.

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Pioneer has announced that it will stop making new Laserdisc players. And no, you haven't fallen into a time-warp and traveled back to 1997.

As the first home digital format, Laserdiscs were commercially launched back in 1978, and apparently built up a large enough fanbase in Japan to support Pioneer manufacturing new players until recently. Pioneer reportedly sold over 3.6 Million LD players in Japan from 1981 to 2002.

Although the format was soundly thrashed by VHS back in the 80s, I've always had a soft spot for laser discs; the huge discs remind me of record albums, and the format was many people's first exposure to digital media. Ever check out a Laserdisc?

Source 

Tags: Movies, Tech, TV

Unity4Life's Games|Shadow is a simple-to-install and use device that transforms your BlackBerry into a remote control for your PlayStation 3. Basically, you plug in a dongle and go to town with your CrackBerry and your PS3.

The Games|Shadow will be out in April and it retails for around $40, so you might be saying, "Doesn't a PS3 remote control only cost like 20 bucks?" And the answer is, yeah. It does. But the Shadow controller has a couple advantages over a standard remote. First, it uses your BlackBerry, so there's no need for another remote to clutter up your coffee table. Secondly, it allows you to type with the BlackBerry's keyboard. That's pretty rad, eh?

According to the demo video below, the device gives you "all the great buttons," including pause, which is my all-time favorite!

Source 

Barack Obama is days away from being sworn in as the forty-fourth president of the United States of America. While I'm sure he's anxious to start the gig, there's one thing he's going to miss: his precious BlackBerry . Although he told Barbara Walters that he was negotiating to keep his PDA, his efforts have been unsuccessful. In a recent interview withCNBC, Obama said, "I'm still clinging to my BlackBerry. They're going to pry it out of my hands." Unfortunately for the President-elect, run-of-the-mill BlackBerry phones are not secure enough for the classified information he'll be receiving in between Mark Gormley videos.

CNet outlines a few handsets that are secure. Both are products of the US Defense Department's "Secure Mobile Environment Portable Electronic Device" project...and both have taken severe beatings with the ugly stick.

The L-3 Communications Guardian (pictured right) might as well be called Fischer Price's My First PDA. The Guardian runs on variousGSM, CDMA, and Worldcell frequencies. Most importantly, local files are covered by an encryption scheme. Sure it's a rugged device, but I think Obama would be shocked going from the smooth experience of a BlackBerry to the jankiness that is Windows Mobile.

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Tags: Tech

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