Tech-Rewind Volume 2

Here is this week’s Tech Rewind!

1. Netflix Streaming Services Available To All Wii’s Now

Back in January, some Netflix subscribers were able to test Netflix streaming on their Wii. It is now available for everyone. If you have requested the disc already, it should be arriving this week. If you have not requested the disc, simply log into your Netflix account and go here. The disc will arrive in a red envelope just like any other DVD you get from Netflix, but you keep this one. For the Wii to be able to stream Netflix movies and television shows, you have to first put the Netflix DVD in your Wii. You will then have access to Netflix’s online content. This is definitely a good move for Netflix to expand their market. Wii owners should be happy as well now that this is available considering PS3 and Xbox 360 owners have always had the ability to stream Netflix content.

2. Google Docs Now Has A Drawing Editor, Real-Time Collaboration, and Speed Update

Google Docs have implemented the following changes this week:

  • Google Docs document editor has been updated so up to 50 collaborators can work on document at a time and see character-by-character changes in real time. There is also now a ruler with tab stops, floating images, spell check as you type, and a new commenting system.
  • Spreadsheets work faster now. They have had the following features added: new cell auto complete feature, the ability to drag-and-drop columns, and a formula editing bar.
  • There is a chat screen so all collaborators can be in 1 chat discussing the document(s) being created or edited.
  • Google also introduced a new Drawing editor where up to 50 collaborators can draw and download images and then the ability to copy and paste them into other Google Docs or they can be published to the web. Images created with the Drawing editor can be downloaded in the common standard formats (PNG, JPG, SVG, and PDF).

Google Docs isn’t quite Microsoft Office yet, but it is improving and being updated consistently. The fact that all of these applications are available in your browser instead of having to purchase other software and install it on every machine you are using is a great benefit. This is especially useful when you are working from multiple machines or you have multiple people working on a document together. You don’t have to email files to yourself or transport them on portable media like a thumb drive. All the documents are stored in Googles Cloud. I recommend giving Google Docs a try if you work on documents and spreadsheets in multiple locations or if you have multiple collaborators working on the same document or spreadsheet.

3. Confirmed: Barnes and Noble Nook will be in Best Buy stores on April 18th

Last week in Tech-Rewind Volume 1, it was rumored, but now it has been confirmed that the Nook will be in Best Buy stores on April 18th. Online ordering is available now for the product as well as a list of accessories. If this would have been done before the iPad was launched, maybe around Christmas time, I think Barnes and Noble would have sold twice the number of units. Mothers Day and Fathers Day is coming up though, so for those kids that can’t afford to buy mom or dad an iPad, this could be an alternative. Also Target is supposed to be getting the Kindle at the end of April. Both the Nook and Kindle are $259. If one would drop their price to $199 or less, I think which ever company did that would dominate on sales.

4. 4th Generation iPhone Announcement Could Come In June

This is completely speculative, but Apple has booked the Yerba Buena Center for Arts on June 22nd. The 3G iPhone was announced June 9th 2 years ago, and the 3GS iPhone was announced June 8th of last year. So if Apple is following suit, this should be the iPhone 4th Gen. Announcement. Apple has had a very busy year with the iPad, new Mac Book Pros, iPhone OS 4, and now possibly the next generation of iPhones. Keep an eye on or for more information as it is released.

5. iPad Global Rollout Delayed

The iPad was set to be rolled out globally at the end of April, but that has been pushed back to the end of May due to the high demand of United States consumers. Apple released this statement:

“Although we have delivered more than 500,000 iPads during its first week, demand is far higher than we predicted and will likely continue to exceed our supply over the next several weeks as more people see and touch an iPad. We have also taken a large number of pre-orders for iPad 3G models for delivery by the end of April.

Faced with this surprisingly strong US demand, we have made the difficult decision to postpone the international launch of iPad by one month, until the end of May. We will announce international pricing and begin taking online pre-orders on Monday, May 10. We know that many international customers waiting to buy an iPad will be disappointed by this news, but we hope they will be pleased to learn the reason-the iPad is a runaway success in the US thus far.”

Something I predict we will see are avid eBayers auctioning off iPads at a higher price to make a profit for themselves hoping international customers wanting an iPad bad enough will pay extra to get one in their hands now.

6. Israel Bans U.S. iPads For Now

The folks in Israel won’t be able to purchase a U.S. iPad. The government has banned the U.S. versions of the iPad. According to a report in Israel newspaper Haaretz, the country’s Communications Ministry has decided to “block the import of iPads to Israel.” If you attempt to go through customs with a U.S. iPad, your iPad will be confiscated and you will be charged a fee for custom officials to hold on to your iPad until the ban lifts. The reason they are banning the device is due to the limited testing that has been done on the device. They are also concerned the Wi-Fi abilities of the device. One concern is the ability to bypass cell phone companies and make calls and the other concern is that it could interfere with their own wireless networks. They have asked iDigital, Apple’s Israel distributor, for details on how the iPad works. But until they are happy, no U.S. iPads will be allowed in the country.

Seriously?! Wow this has to be the lamest thing I have heard…with all the problems the world has right now, they fear the Apple iPad.

7. Nintendo’s New Portable Gaming Device Called The 3DS Will Be At E3 In June

This portable hand held platform will offer games in 3D with no glasses needed. You will be able to play DS and DSi games on the new 3DS. It will have 2 screens like its predecessors, but it will be used in conjunction as 1 giant screen. It will include 2 cameras just like the DSi. There are rumors that the resolution of the screen could reach 720p, also it may have a 3G sim in it for over-the-air downloads.

Nintendo seems to release game consoles that are a hit at first, but the hype dies down eventually and they get tossed in the closet a year later, end up on eBay, or traded in at Game Stop for money off of a PS3 or Xbox 360. These portable gaming systems seem targeted more towards a younger consumer than the adult gamer. E3 Expo is the world’s premiere trade show for computer and video games and related products. E3 starts on June 15th and ends on the 17th at the Los Angeles Convention Center.

Now for a couple off beat tech stories to wrap this edition up….

8. Milk Man Crying Over Spilled Milk

Well he’s not crying over spilled milk, but he is blaming Google Street View for someone breaking into his garage and stealing his mountain bike. Gordan Rayner from the UK states that the Google Street View camera took a picture of his garage while it was opened showing the world his mountain bike was there, and that it was targeted because the thief saw it on Google Street View.

Wow, is this guy serious??? First off, if his garage is opened, I am sure people drive and walk past his drive way every day and would see the contents of his garage. Next, what would a thief expect to find in a garage….usually bicycles, lawn maintenance equipment, and tools. If someone wanted to break in a garage shopping for a bicycle, I am sure they are not going to use Google Street View as a resource. I think this guy just wants the attention, and to probably sue Google over privacy or something. This is the first incident ever reported involving Google Street View and security in the 20 countries that Google Street View is used. Google will blur out images of people or houses on request.

9. Gamers In South Korea Have A Midnight Curfew

The government has now started disabling internet connections for 6 hours a night for underage gamers. It does not block all access, just a list of 19 specific games. The block will last either from midnight to 6am, 1am to 7am or 2am to 8am. Also if a minor is caught playing an online game for more than 6 hours straight during the day, your connection will be throttled.

It is sad when the government has to step in when simple parenting should be in place. Of course the South Korea government is pretty controlling anyway, but this shouldn’t even be an issue. In a lot of the popular MMORPGs, there are people who play countless hours of the day (and night) making virtual money or leveling virtual characters and sell them on websites. A majority of these players are usually overseas in places such as South Korea. When players “farm” gold and other virtual loot in MMORPG’s, it definitely messes up the in-game economy. I wonder: Is it really the kids staying up all night playing or is it really their parents?

10. Other Tech Stories I Wrote This Week

Palm Throws In The Towel

Recap: The Folks At Twitter Have Been Busy This Week

Souped Up Mac Book Pros are Here!

That does it for this week’s edition of Tech-Rewind. If you like what you are reading, please follow me on Facebook or Twitter. I write other tech stories throughout the week for NewsBlaze and notify my followers when they are published. Until next week, thanks for reading!