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The Geekcast #329 – Letterpress Review


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The Geekcast

Aaron Crocco

Long Island, NY

Description: The Geekcast is a technology show hosted by all-around tech guy Aaron Crocco, featuring news, how-tos, hacks & more. Cohosted by gamer Gozer, The Geekcast is the best tech resource.

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The Geekcast #329 – Letterpress Review

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Nexus 4 and Nexus 10 now on sale through US Play Store

Google has started accepting orders for the Nexus 10 in the Play Store. Shoppers in the UK eager to pick up the stock Android phone can choose from 8GB or 16GB variants, priced at £239 and £279 respectively, while those in Australia will be paying A$349 for 8GB and A$399 for 16GB. Anyone in the UK more interested in Samsung’s tablet, meanwhile, will pay £319 for the 16GB model and £389 for the 32GB version, while Australians will be paying A$469 or A$569. Several stores across Europe are also live — including France, Germany, and Spain — with the 8GB/16GB Nexus 4 priced at €299/€349, and the 16GB/32GB Nexus 10 costing €399/€499. The devices aren’t up in the US Play Store just yet, but when they do go live, customers will be paying $299/$349 for the 8GB/16GB Nexus 4, and $399/$499 for the 16GB/32GB Nexus 10.

Interestingly, Google is also offering a bumper case for the Nexus 4 not unlike what was created for the iPhone 4. Just like Apple’s offering, the case is designed to slip around the edge of the handset, but provides no protection for the glass back.

Update: The Play Store has been sluggish since orders first began, no doubt due to sheer demand, and now it looks like some models of the Nexus 4 and Nexus 10 are no longer available to buy.

Update 2: The Nexus 4 has completely sold out in the UK, as has the 32GB Nexus 10, but the 16GB version of the tablet is still available. As for the US? We’re told that the Play Store will go live with the devices at 9AM PT/12PM ET.

Update 3: The US Play Store is now live with the Nexus 4 and Nexus 10 slightly ahead of schedule.

Update 4: And just like that, the Nexus 4 has sold out, with both capacities reverting to “Coming soon” status. The Nexus 10, meanwhile, is still up for grabs.

Update 5: Google has posted an update on the situation, stating that “There’s been so much interest for the Nexus lineup that we’ve sold out of some of our initial stock in a few countries!” The company says that it expects to add more inventory in the coming weeks. However, we were able to order a 16GB Nexus 4 through the Google Play Store just moments ago, so if you’re anxious to get your hands on the latest Android flagship phone, it might be worth checking out the site throughout the day.

Windows head Steven Sinofsky leaves Microsoft

Steven Sinofsky, the Microsoft executive in charge of Windows, has left the company. Julie Larson-Green is to assume control of Windows software and hardware engineering, and CFO Tami Reller will be in charge of the Windows business. The changes are effective immediately, and no reason was given for Sinofsky’s departure. He had the following to say in a statement:

“It is impossible to count the blessings I have received over my years at Microsoft. I am humbled by the professionalism and generosity of everyone I have had the good fortune to work with at this awesome company.”

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, meanwhile, said “I am grateful for the many years of work that Steven has contributed to the company.” Sinofsky had a reputation as a brilliant yet controversial leader who could be difficult to work with, despite a strong record of shipping products on time. After working with Microsoft Office, he took control of Windows 7 following the troubled Vista launch and continued this role through last month’s Windows 8 launch. His official title was President of the Windows Division.

The Verge has seen Steve Ballmer’s letter to Microsoft employees on the departure. On Sinofsky, the CEO had the following to say:

“As we enter this new era, and with the successful launch of Windows 8 and Surface behind us, Steven Sinofsky has decided to leave the company. Steven joined Microsoft in 1989 as a software development engineer and has contributed to the company in many ways from his work as a technical advisor to Bill Gates, to leading the evolution of the Microsoft Office business, to his direction and successful leadership of Windows and Windows Live as well as Surface.”

Julie Larson-Green has been at Microsoft since 1993 and was responsible for program management, user interface design, and research on Windows 7 and 8. Her new role will encompass “all future Windows product development in addition to future hardware opportunities,” and Ballmer described her as “the best possible person for this job.” Just two weeks after the Windows 8 launch, however, the real question is why now is the time for Sinofsky to go.

Update: Sources inside Microsoft have given The Verge more details on Sinofsky’s departure. We’re hearing that the executive shake-up wasn’t based on any issues with Windows 8 or the Surface launch, but personality clashes within the ranks.

Sprint adds 9 new LTE cities to its to-do list

The carrier says it’s beginning work on delivering LTE to nine more markets, including the Twin Cities.

Sprint is building out its 4G LTE network little by little, today listing 9 more markets to get LTE treatment.
The areas are:

  • Minneapolis/St. Paul, Minn.
  • Fort Smith, Ark.
  • Ardmore, Okla.
  • Oakland/Fremont/Hayward, Calif.
  • Eau Claire, Wis.
  • Key West, Fla.
  • Bloomington, Ind.
  • Michigan City/La Porte, Ind.
  • McAllen/Edinburg/Mission, Texas

Minnesota’s Twin Cities center is the largest of the bunch, with several key traffic areas also accounted for. Speaking from local experience, the San Francisco Bay Area cities of Oakland, Fremont, and Hayward are significant, high-population coverage areas, though Sprint has skipped the much more populous cities of San Francisco and San Jose.
LTE is still some weeks to months off, though customers in those areas may start seeing LTE speeds before the official launch.

This Kinect Patent is Terrifying, Wants to Charge You For License Violation

A patent filed by Microsoft last year, but only made public last week, wants to turn your Xbox 360′s Kinect into an instrument via which large companies can monitor your media usage and, if you’re found to be in violation of something, charge you for it.

And no, I am not making that up.

The patent application, titled “CONTENT DISTRIBUTION REGULATION BY VIEWING USER”, is a means of using Kinect to monitor not just what you’re watching (or listening to) on your Kinect, but more importantly, how many people.

Here’s the important part, straight from the application itself:

The technology, briefly described, is a content presentation system and method allowing content providers to regulate the presentation of content on a per-user-view basis. Content is distributed to consuming devices, such as televisions, set-top boxes and digital displays, with an associated license option on the number of individual consumers or viewers allowed to consume the content. The limitation may comprise a number of user views, a number of user views over time, a number of simultaneous user views, views tied to user identities, views limited to user age or any variation or combination thereof, all tied to the number of actual content consumers allowed to view the content. Consumers are presented with a content selection and a choice of licenses allowing consumption of the content. In one embodiment, a license manager on the consuming device or on a content providers system manages license usage and content consumption. The users consuming the content on a display device are monitored so that if the number of user-views licensed is exceeded, remedial action may be taken.

Kinect is never mentioned specifically, but seeing as a camera is going to need to track and identify people in the room, it can’t really be anything else.

Basically, when you buy or rent something like a movie, you’ll only be granted a “license” for a certain number of people to watch it. If Kinect detects more people in the room than you had a license for, it can stop the movie, and even charge you extra.

So if Microsoft has its way, you won’t just be renting movies any more. You’ll have to decide how many people are watching, and no doubt pay more. And if one extra person turns up to your movie night? So help you God, you are going to pay.


Geek This Week:

Aaron: Completed a new short story, Chrono Virus! Checking out Last Resort. Loving Doctor Who. Hallmark Delorean ornament. Tweetbot for Mac.

Gozer:  Halo 4 & Black Ops 2


The Geek’s Choice:


Featured Segment:  Letter Press for iOS

Find words, steal tiles, color the board! Letterpress is a fresh new word game for iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch. Play with your friends using Game Center! The perfect blend of fun and strategy. Download it for free on the App Store.


Feedback & Items of Note:

Hi Guys

I have been following all the news regarding the hurricane and sorry to hear about Alan’s
parents its always bad when it hits home like that.

On a lighter note I have been playing alot of games recently. Borderlands 2 was great and
is really good on co-op. I was nervous about Halo 4 as its always hard to follow a such
a great series but to me its almost my favorite Halo to date. Graphically amazing and the
gameplay is awesome. I have been working through Assassins Creed 3 and I am shocked -
its not that good. Story and graphics are good but suffers from numerous bugs and control
issues. On top of that calling in your assassins to back you up is not as simple or as good as
AC Brotherhood.

I have read many reviews and my wife along with many friends have played and complained
about the same things. Looking at reviews the lowest score I found was 8 out of 10. Seriously
a little high for a so so game and one that for XBOX anyway need a 26MB patch on day one.
Curious to what you guys think/listeners?

Love the show, all the best

-Cork, Ireland

Hey guys, its Rich from Chicago again. As parents ourselves, my wife and I find our Kindle Fire tablet and our Galaxy Nexus phones to be great to keep our kid occupied on long car trips or in dull waiting rooms. Thanks for featuring some apps for that on your show the other week. Here are a few more that we’ve found over the past few years of modern parenthood:

  1. Kid Mode by Zoodles – This one is free and works for Windows, Mac, Android phones/tablets and iOS devices. When launched, it locks kids from exiting the app and getting into things on your device that they shouldn’t. It has many educational games for younger kids included. You can also add standard apps, so that kids can open their favorite apps by themselves. It also goes back to Kid Mode when the kid hits Home. It keeps track of what your kids are doing with the app and sends you emails. There is a subscription you can pay for that adds more features like the entire book library and the ability to record books for your kid. One downside is that the unlock step is simple, and a kid of 4 or 5 would probably have no trouble exiting Kid Mode. Although, if your kid is well-behaved, it can help keep them from accidentally opening the browser after clicking an ad or something in a game.
  2. Monkey Preschool Lunchbox – This is a nice learning app for Android and iOS. I picked it up for free when it was the app of the day on the Amazon appstore, but it is well worth the buck or two.
  3. Drawing Pad – For Android and iOS. Another free app of the day find, but my kid uses it so often that it is worth the two dollars.

Love the show, keep up the great work!


Help victims of Hurricane Sandy:
Text: Red Cross to 90999
Donate to Island Harvest:



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