To hell with Instagram. Seriously. It's not that we don't understand the appeal of the photo filter standard bearer, it's just that it lacks a cleverness and visceral quality that InstaCRT has in spades. See, rather than simply recreate retro effect with some software trickery, InstaCRT actually uses the aging titular tech to achieve its goals. The concept, while clever, is actually pretty simple: you take a photo on your iPhone using the InstaCRT app, it's then uploaded to the developer where all the magic happens. Your image is displayed on a tiny 1-inch CRT (harvested from an old-school VHS camcorder) in the company's office, a picture of your photo is then taken with a fancy DSLR, and the resulting image is sent back to you. The results are monochrome, loaded with scanlines and just slightly distorted -- offering a sense of physicality that other photo filter apps just can't match. However, as clever as the concept is, it's equally innefficient and, as more people start using the app, the wait between snapping a pic and getting the finished product back, gets longer and longer. (We had to wait almost four minutes for the image above.) Still, we can't help but fall in love with InstaCRT... at least until the next photo filter app hits the market. Don't miss the video after the break, and hit up the source link to buy it now for $1.99 and see how fast we can crash the developer's servers.
After introducing video on-demand streaming for mobile devices on the iPad early last year and iPhone last May, Comcast has finally extended the courtesy to Android users as well. Unlike its iOS counterpart however, on Android there's a separate Xfinity TV Player (simply labeled "Player" in the launcher) app from the Xfinity TV remote control app. It's a free download from Google Play for devices running Android 2.3 or higher and when we checked it out just now it was smooth but plain looking, although it a native tablet interface at launch is a nice touch. Beyond the usual VOD selections (including HBO Go and more) there's also support for Comcast's Streampix subscription service within the app as it promised back in February. One odd quirk noted by Android Police is that on rooted devices the app apparently requests root permissions, but still works if they are denied (could be worse). There aren't many other details available yet, if you want to try it out grab your Comcast account info and hit the source link to give it a shot.
Cisco had grand plans for a Cius tablet on every fast-paced executive's desk, but those dreams appear to have been dashed not long after getting off the ground. Senior VP OJ Winge says the company will "no longer invest" in the design, leaving the already rather creaky Android 2.2-based, 7-inch tablet to an eternal slumber outside of occasional specialized orders. It's not hard to see what hastened the Cius to its early demise, as Winge pins it on companies and customers encouraging a BYOD (bring your own device) strategy that likely brought more than a few iPads and beefier Android tablets into the space Cisco wanted to occupy. Before existing Cius owners start videoconferencing with themselves out of sheer despondence, though, there's a silver lining: the company now expects to take the Cius' firmware all the way from Android 2.2 to 4.0 in one fell swoop near the end of the summer. You may not be living Cisco's 2010-era vision, but at least you'll have Chrome for Android.
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If you're like Charles Mangin, you love your iPad or Android tablet, but wish it was a little more Wacom-esque. But why wait for hardware manufacturers to bring the styli to you? Mangin has concocted the PressurePen, a pressure-sensitive stylus that plugs into a tablet's audio jack. The peripheral sends a tone to the tablet based on how far the tip of the pen is pushed in. The tone affects the thickness of the pen stroke, helping you alternate the sizes of lines more naturally than on a standard tablet.
Mangin is shooting for $10,000 over on his Kickstarter page, with a little under a week and around $4,000 left to go. Those who pledge $60 or more will get a PressurePen to call their own. Mangin will also be open sourcing the plans for the pen, so those with access to a 3D printer will be able to make their own shell at home. Video of a PressurePen prototype in action after the break.
Since its IPO earlier this month, Facebook has wasted no time in expanding its empire -- it's already purchased the Karma mobile gifting service and launched a standalone camera app -- and talk about the social network's next steps doesn't seem to be quieting down. The latest rumor, from Pocket Lint, says Facebook is looking to buy the Opera browser as part of its larger effort to compete against Google, Mozilla and other internet mammoths. According to a source at Opera Software who spoke with Pocket Lint, the company is shopping around for potential buyers and has even imposed a hiring freeze. While it's not too hard to believe that Facebook is readying its horse to enter the browser race, this rumor is just that: a rumor. But given the social network's tendency to whip out new features at warp speed, we should have something more solid than speculation soon -- if the Opera purchase story has any legs, that is.