The new Kindle Firerange was barely out of the oven before Amazon drew flak for its plans to include Special Offers on the lock screen for US models. In plainer language, the tablets ship with ads built-in -- and unlike e-paper Kindles, there's no option to pay for an ad-free variant from the start. But don't cancel your pre-order just yet. Amazon's support has since confirmed to an Engadget reader that the option to remove the ads will be "announced soon." Although full details aren't forthcoming, we wouldn't be surprised if history repeats and owners have to pay a fee to cover the lost ad subsidies. You can see the relevant snippet of Amazon's response e-mail, in all its tenuous grasp of English, after the break.
In a career filled with many clutch throws from the baseball mound, former Boston Red Sox ace Curt Schilling's main calling card was a gutsy post-season performance made even more memorable by a blood-soaked sock. It was a pitch made by Schilling outside of Major League Baseball, however, that would prove to be his most daring one yet.
In 2010, Schilling convinced Rhode Island officials to give his video game company, 38 Studios, a $75 million loan guarantee. A self-professed fan of massively multiplayer online role-playing games (MMORPG), Schilling's dream was to create a worthy competitor to Blizzard's MMORPG juggernaut, World of Warcraft. In 2006, Schilling started Green Monster Games, which was later renamed 38 Studios. Luring the company away from Massachusetts was supposed to bring in more than 400 jobs and serve as the linchpin for launching a new tech-based industry in Rhode Island. Instead, the state's taxpayers found themselves left at the table with a multimillion-dollar tab.
Well, that's a mouthful of a headline. Going a bit more in-depth, a new professional solution from Sony allows broadcasters to capture side-by-side 4K video at, say, a sporting event, then use a standard camera zoom device to select small portions of each feed for 720p or 1080i output. On the receiving end, you'll see a live image that looks indistinguishable from something you'd capture with a moving camera, with a few extra benefits to boot. Sony demonstrated the system using feeds from an F65 4K camera earlier this year at NAB, but was only able to present a simulation at that point, with pre-recorded output cropped from larger-format footage.
Now, as we saw today at IBC in Amsterdam, the technique works in realtime, so an adjustable smaller portion of the video is pumped out seamlessly and instantaneously. The 4K video can also be recorded at full resolution simultaneously, letting you change the framing long after an event takes place. Sony only had the demo configured to pull live video from the left portion of the feed, but eventually the entire capture will be enabled, giving producers access to an entire football field, as you'll see in the hands-on video after the break. We wouldn't expect this solution to replace human camera operators anytime soon, but it's certainly a viable method for adding angles and placing a bit more control in the hands of production teams, even after the fact.
Remember that image sent recently by an anonymous tipster showing two versions of the Nokia Lumia 822 nestled comfortably within Verizon's device management system? Turns out there is something cooking between the Finnish phone maker and Big Red after all. The Wall Street Journal reports that Verizon has confirmed plans involving a Nokia Corp. tie-up, with sources familiar with the deal saying that the companies have been in talks since the spring. Just exactly what it is they're working on, however, still remains a mystery. Apparently, Verizon and Nokia are playing their cards close to the vest and refusing to disclose specific details about a potential deal. Still, the betting money is on some sort of tie-up involving Nokia's Lumia line. The Windows 8 handsets have seen a deluge of news this month, mostly involving the new 920 and 820 models. Whatever Nokia's got planned, several analysts also said the company needs to act fast. With Samsung's popular Galaxy S III already out and Apple's new iPhone expected to launch soon, Nokia's new phones are expected to see some tough competition.
In Insert Coin, we look at an exciting new tech project that requires funding before it can hit production. If you'd like to pitch a project, pleasesend us a tipwith "Insert Coin" as the subject line.
Parent with a smartphone? If your kids are old enough to fiddle with a touchscreen, you've probably had your handset nicked. It can be a problem -- you need that phone, for calls, emails and Engadget, but your little scamp just can't get enough of Angry Birds. What do you do? Trust, says PlayMG, but verify. The old phrase ties closely to the core philosophy of the MG -- a device the firm is developing specifically for kids who want to play Android games, but are too young for a smartphone. We met with the company's Taylor Cavanah to get a first hand look at the device and its parental control system.