We know what you’re thinking. 90 Seconds on The Verge is only 18 minutes old – why change up the format already? Well, it’s not your typical host. Coming to you live (in all the ways that aren’t live), we’ve got Paul “Mr. Offline” Miller giving you today’s top stories.
And there’s a lot to talk about here. New Tiny Wings. New hints of Amazon’s 4-to-5-inch smartphone. New barbs from Microsoft at Apple. New… indications that the Nexus 7 is shipping very, very soon. There’s just so much new — and better still, there’s Paul Miller!
Stories of the day:
- WSJ: Amazon smartphone in testing, may go into production this year
- Microsoft: Apple has it wrong, it’s a PC+ era
- ‘Tiny Wings 2′ is not a sequel, it’s a free update to the original
- Nexus 7:…
If you’ve been waiting… and waiting… and waiting some more for Ice Cream Sandwich to show up on the US variants of the Galaxy S II, it looks like the upgrade is ready to begin trickling in. T-Mobile is the first to announce an official date for its flavor of last year’s flagship device, with its version of the GSII rolling out on June 11th. Unfortunately, it’s not an OTA refresh as we’d prefer — you’ll have to surrender yourself to the will of Kies, but at least it’s going to be available. AT&T and Sprint, the move is now yours to make.
[Thanks to everyone who sent this in]
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Big East ChampionshipOne of the 3D early adopters and looking for something to watch? While there are many conference championships taking place in the run up to March Madness thisweek, ESPN #D’s cameras are set to catch all the action at the Big East Championship, meaning several games each day, leading up to the final game Saturday night. Last year it was Kemba Walker and UCONN lighting up the stage on their way to an NCAA Championship, now we’ll see which team makes a run in 2012.(All week, ESPN 3D)
Game of ThronesAssuming you haven’t been forced at gunpoint into piracy, the first season of HBO’s acclaimed series finally comes home on Blu-ray this month. Whether you’re just reliving your trip to the Seven Kingdoms of Westeros or visiting for the first time, if fantasy , intrigue and drama is your thing, this should be a good fit. Winter is coming.($ 34.99 on Amazon, March 6th)
Mass Effect 3The final chapter of Bioware’s epic trilogy finally arrives on Xbox 360 and PS3 this week. If you haven’t caught on to the series blend of action and RPG elements yet it may be too late, but for fans this final battle to protect the universe should be yet another incredible battle. Now featuring multiplayer, if you see a sudden dropoff in post count over the next few days then this game is probably the reason why.($ 59.99 on Amazon, March 6th)
Continue reading Must See HDTV (March 5th – 11th)
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9to5 Mac reports that Apple will drop its 10 percent restocking fees on January 11th. We’ve confirmed with our own sources that this is true. January 11th happens to be the day that Verizon will hold a mysterious event in New York City, presumably for the Verizon iPhone. While this certainly isn’t incontrovertible evidence that the Verizon event is actually more of an Apple event, this definitely adds some tinder to the flaming rumor mill. Then again, Apple could merely be following Best Buy’s lead, with the 1.11.11 date pure coincidence. Either way, we’re fans of open return policies for expensive products, so if you ask us, it’s more of a good thing.
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Someone’s found their way into an internal database and pulled out details on three Verizon phones — the Samsung Continuum, Samsung Zeal and Motorola Citrus, all of which will reportedly drop on the 11th of next month. We don’t have any reason to doubt that, as all three showed up on a recent rebate, but there’s more to these leaked screens than a release date. For instance, the Continuum will apparently sport a Swype virtual keyboard on top of a 3.4-inch Super AMOLED screen, to say nothing of that secondary display, and the Motorola Citrus explicitly doesn’t support tethering. The Samsung Zeal, meanwhile, isn’t a modern smartphone at all, but rather a dual-hinge device with “magic” e-ink keys that change from a standard dialer to a four-row QWERTY layout. Isn’t it nice to have all that sorted out?
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Remember when Nintendo said it’d release its release date for the 3DS autostereoscopic portable game system on the 29th of this month? We may already have the magic number — depending on how you interpret a few Japanese words. You see, a supposed video game accessory designer by the handle “nocchisan” recently tweeted that eleven Nintendo 3DS accessories will be released on November 11th, and asked his or her followers to kindly buy them up… while purportedly remarking that the 3DS itself will arrive at the same time. While the tweets in question can certainly be read that way, and it makes a certain amount of sense for accessories to appear at launch, our admittedly limited grasp of Japanese suggests an alternative translation: that it’s the accessories themselves (and not the 3DS) that will all arrive at the same time. There’s also the little matter of nocchisan himself, whose Twitter account has already disappeared — we have nothing actually connecting him to the accessory company except a link in his tweet.
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Samsung has a real chance of being a player in the tablet game. From what we’ve heard so far, their offering will be basically a larger version of the Galaxy S cell phone, called the Galaxy Tab. It will run Android, presumable 2.2, on a 7-inch screen. There might even be a phone function, something the iPad lacks.
A Reuters report published today echoes pretty much all of that but notes that Samsung is shooting for a Q3 release. Interestingly enough, shortly after that report hit, I got a fancy invite to some big Samsung event scheduled for August 11. Imagine that.
Notice that Tim Baxter, President of Samsung America is speaking and there will be an opportunity to “see new products.” It’s not that much of a stretch to think that the Samsung tablet will be announced at this event. That will give the press a couple of months to build-up the device before it launches at the beginning of the Christmas spending spree. It will also give developers some time to jump on the Android tablet bandwagon and tweak their apps for the device.
Or I could be totally wrong and Samsung will show off some random 3D TV or clock radio. We’ll find out on the 11th.
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