Nokia Knocks Apple Over Grip Issues

Apple has gotten a lot of flak over the iPhone 4 reception issues. Nokia is taking full advantage, with an official blog post detailing the multiple ways you can hold your Nokia phones.

Do you prefer “the cup” or “the balance”

“The key function on any Nokia device is its ability to make phone calls. After all, that’s why we know them universally as mobile phones (or smart phones, feature phones or mobile computers – though the same grip styles work for those, too),” says the blog post by JBC. “One of the main things we’ve found about the one billion plus Nokia devices that are in use today is that when making a phone call, people generally tend to hold their phone like… well, like a phone. Providing a wide range of methods and grips for people to hold their phones, without interfering with the antennae, has been an essential feature of every device Nokia has built.”

“Of course, feel free to ignore all of the above because realistically, you’re free to hold your Nokia device any way you like. And you won’t suffer any signal loss. Cool, huh?” concludes the post.

Source: Conversations.Nokia.com

Hulu Expanding To PS3, Other Consoles

It seems the rumors about Hulu on consoles are coming true. According to a Hulu posting about the Hulu Plus subscription service, a PS3 service is promised soon, while Xbox 360 compatibility is expected in 2011. The service will be more immediately available on PC, Mac, iPhone and iPad, certain Internet-connected TVs and Blu-ray players.

Wii compatibility is also on the table, if a recent survey is any indication. It would put Hulu in direct competition with Netflix, which already offers Netflix Watch Instantly on PS3, Wii and Xbox 360.

Source: Hulu Blog

Google May Be Launching Facebook Competitor

Given Facebook’s massive base of hundreds of millions of users worldwide, it would take an investment by a massive web company to rival that. It may come soon, if a tweet by the founder of Digg.com Kevin Rose, is any indication.

“Huge rumor: Google to launch Facebook competitor very soon ‘Google Me,’ very credible source,” wrote Kevin Rose.

Between Google Profiles, Buzz and Latitudes, the company has already put together the ground work for personal pages, status updates and location sharing. “Latitude has 3 million users reportedly (per Google), but Buzz may be all but dead,” said Greg Sterling, contributing editor to Search Engine Land. “[But] a merger of Latitude and Buzz would be interesting and potentially useful.

This is in addition to online communication and collaboration tool Google Wave, but none of the above mentioned features have the mindshare of Facebook. “Google Buzz has not made the mark Google hoped it would,” said PCMag.com editor-in-chief Lance Ulanoff. “And Wave is exciting, but still far too esoteric for most people. In other words, Google has yet to get it right on the social-interaction side. I expect it will keep trying — because it can — until it does.”

“What Google and everyone else has to remember is that Facebook was not an overnight success,” said Ulanoff.  “It took years to get here and it s still on the rise. I doubt Google Buzz will ever challenge Facebook.”

“You know, I’m not sure that Google should try to take on Facebook,” Harry McCracken, the founder of tech site Technologizer.com. “The fact that Buzz got off to such a rocky start shows that people don’t necessarily want their relationship with Google to be a foundation for social networking.”

“So far, Google’s failed to have a hit in the social-networking space, swinging and largely missing with both Orkut and Buzz,” noted Search Engine Land’s editor in chief Danny Sullivan. “It’s unclear whether a third, new service (or a renamed Buzz) will do that much better.”

Source: FoxNews

Halo 4 Considered By Bungie Before Halo: Reach

Bungie’s latest (and last) game in the Halo franchise, Halo: Reach, is a prequel to the events of the first Halo: Combat Evolved. It wasn’t always set up to be that way, however, and Bungie considered a game following up on the events of Halo 3.

“Even before the idea to build a game based around Reach came about, a lot of other concepts were explored, up to and including a proper Halo 4, where Master Chief was going to wake up from cryo-sleep and we were going to tell that story,” said Bungie community director Brian Jarrard. “It just wasn’t as interesting to the team to just pick up where that left off and all the baggage that came with it.”

Halo: Reach, which will detail the events that will lead up to the Covenant pursuing the USNC Pillar of Autumn, will not see Master Chief factor in at all. “I think it was a little bit liberating. Hearing the guys talk about working through the trilogy and the obligation of keeping the themes moving forward and tying them up systematically,” described Jarrard. “And ODST was also kinda nice ’cause they could do something different, something separate, and it’s totally self-contained. I definitely think that, for Reach, a lot of the same attitude carried over. We don’t want to open up a whole bunch of doors that we’re not going to close. By the end of this, it’s all going to come to a nice, neat finish, and if people want to then go play the Halo trilogy, I think they’ll have a better understanding of what’s going on, but it’s not required at all.”

Source: MTV

Peter Jackson In Talks To Direct Hobbit

Inside sources are indicating that Peter Jackson is signing on to direct the two Hobbit movies. The final agreement is reportedly being negotiated with Warner Bros, New Line, and MGM. Guillermo del Toro recently removed himself from the directorial duties of the Hobbit movies, which are set to be filmed back-to-back.

“Despite Jackson camp denials that directing was a consideration, there were signs for cautious optimism from the moment del Toro bowed out. More recently, there have been major clues,” writes Mike Fleming. “While several directors have angled for the job — the most recent rumors focused on David Yates and Jackson’s District 9 protege Neill Blomkamp — no offer was ever made. I think that’s because Jackson was figuring out if he wanted to direct two more films, and finish the saga he started with The Lord of the Rings. And then once he decided, Kamins had to make it possible. It became more evident this week: he, Fran Walsh and Philippa Boyens scheduled a trip to London the week of July 4, followed by a trip to Los Angeles the following week. They will meet the most impressive actors who’ve been put on tape by casting directors. Jackson, Walsh and Boyens wrote the scripts with del Toro, and they did the original trilogy together. But if they intended for someone else to direct, they would have made sure the filmmaker was part of the casting process.”

“Jackson is the natural person to take over, given that he directed the original Lord of the Rings trilogy and his intimate involvement with the Hobbit project. The two Hobbit movies are set to release December 2012 and December 2013.”

“Numerous directors wanted the job, but hiring a star on Jackson’s level would have been difficult. Raimi, who is working on the Warner Bros/Legendary vidgame adaptation Warcraft and the Disney film The Great and Powerful Oz, was busy and would likely not return to a project for which he’d gotten passed over. Most of the other star directors like Alfonso Cuaron, Chris Nolan, Spielberg or Bryan Singer are busy on their own projects. In addition, it would be difficult to pay them properly, because of the amount of first dollar gross already committed to Jackson, the Tolkien estate, rights holder Saul Zaentz and Harvey Weinstein, who held the 5 percent gross stake he had in the original trilogy. That’s when Michael Eisner refused his request for Miramax to make the films with Jackson, and Weinstein gave the filmmaker a short window to find another home for the project. That window was almost closed when New Line founder Bob Shaye said yes to three films. Jackson will have his deal sweetened, but he’s already completely invested in the process and there are built-in efficiencies. The films will use the soundstages and visual effects facilities that Jackson built with proceeds from the LOTR proceeds.”

Source: Deadline

iPhone 4 Might Get Firmware Update To Improve Signal Quality

By now, enough words have been written about the iPhone 4 reception issues to fill several books. It’s been acknowledged that the iPhone 4, like every other cell phone, has sensitive areas and Steve Jobs said, “Just avoid holding it in this way.”

However, 3G Microcell users have better reception, raising questions over whether it’s totally hardware related. The theory is that the hand placement could disrupt the signal, not allowing the iPhone 4 to recognize the connection through the fluctuations.

The firmware fix wouldn’t necessarily remove the hardware-based variations in signal quality, just allow iPhones to work better with them, writes David Murphy. “We’ll all see come next week the proposed launch that’s been floated around for the iOS 4.0.1 update.”

Source: PC Mag

Apple Sees 1.7 Million iPhone 4 Sales

Apple today revealed that the first three days since the launch of the iPhone 4 through Saturday, June 26 have seen 1.7 million in sales from the major regions of U.S., U.K., Japan, France and Germany. Comparatively, the 3GS model sold 1 million during its first weekend.

“This is the most successful product launch in Apple’s history,” said Steve Jobs, Apple’s CEO. “Even so, we apologize to those customers who were turned away because we did not have enough supply.”

Sony Looking For More PS2 HD Conversions

The God of War Collection sold very well for a remake, and Sony has already announced the The Sly Collection, bundling the PS2 Sly Cooper trilogy together. Indeed, Sony is looking into converting more of their PS2 titles on to the PS3.

“Santa Monica Studios had the brilliant idea to upgrade and improve God of War for PS3 with the God of War Collection that we released last year,” SCE’s President of Worldwide Studios Shuhei Yoshida said. “There were a lot of positive reactions from consumers in doing that, and now we get a lot of suggestions for types of packs they’d like to see.”

“So we are looking to continue to do these HD conversions,” he added.

Source: IGN