The Nextbox 3.0 is now available from Rogers. The new offering is the only PVR hardware advertised on their website, so Rogers seems to be ready to roll this out in a big way. New features include: records up to 240 hours of HD programming plus an extra 150 hours with PVR extender (Nextbox 2.0 had a maximum of 225 hours with the extender); records up to 8 HD shows at the same time (Nextbox 2.0 and most of it competitors can only record 2); three minute fast forward skip tool; increased speed of channel changes with no lag time; and caller ID on your TV. You can purchase the Nextbox 3.0 outright for $507.49 (or rent to own for $17.76 per month); if you prefer to rent it the cost is $25.32 per month. For those of you interested, the Nextbox 3.0 is a Cisco 9865 Digital Video Recorder.
Publicity starting popping all over on the first week of August and now the first reviews are in from Rogers customers. Most of the initial comments at Digital Home appear positive. There does not appear to be many changes made to the Programming Guide but people seem pleased with improvements in the reaction time of the guide and channel surfing in general. The ability to record 8 shows at the same time is also a hit with everyone. There is some disagreement with Rogers claims that it is capable of recording 240 of HD programming, most people are reporting about 100-120 hours. You would expect an improvement from the Nextbox 2.0 since this new model has a 1 TB hard drive, double that of the previous box. Improvements to the recording time may be expected if Rogers upgrades recording formats.
Most agree that it is a significant improvement on the Nextbox 2.0 so do you plan on making the switch?
Update: Well the 12th Doctor will be Peter Capaldi. Not a stranger to the Doctor Who world, he played Caecilius in the episode “The Fires of Pompeii” with David Tennant. He also appeared on the third season of the spin-off show Torchwood. Matt Smith, the current Doctor, will leave the show after the November 23, 50th Anniversary episode with the new Doctor being introduced in this year’s Christmas Special.
Despite the fact that the next season of Doctor Who is not expected to debut until the fall, BBC is set to announce the identity of the next Doctor on August 4. They will make it official during a 30 minute programme “Doctor Who Live: The Next Doctor” which will air worldwide. In Canada you can watch the announcement being made live on Space at 2:00 pm EST. In the US it will air on BBC America. According to information on the TV guide, the programme will feature former cast members, celebrity fans and Matt Smith who will reflect on his time as the Doctor.
Up until now Microsoft’s Office Suite has only been available on iOS but that has just changed with its release to the Google Play store today. The mobile version has document creation and edit modes for Word, Excel and PowerPoint and allows you to store documents on the device itself or online using SkyDrive. As with the iOS version, you require a subscription of Office 365 to be able to access this mobile app. Although Office 365 is currently only available in the US it is expected that it will be opened up to Canadian users soon.
Source: Mobile Syrup, Boy Genius Report, Engadget
Update: The Nexus 7 is now up for pre-order at Best Buy and Future Shop with it being available on July 30 in limited quantities.
Source: Mobile Syrup
Although it was only expected “in the coming weeks” in Canada it seems that Google’s Nexus 7 will actually be available on July 31 according to a leaked Staples flyer. This new Nexus, which will be loaded with Android 4.3, has: a 7” full HD (1920 x 1200) display, a 1.5 Ghz Qualcomm Quad Core Snapdragon Processor, 2 GB of RAM, 5 MP rear / 1.2 MP front cameras and dual rear mounted speakers. The flyer only mentions the 16 GB model which it will be selling for $249, $20 more than the US price.
Source: Mobile Syrup
If you are a frequent flyer at Apple’s iTunes store you may want to head down to Future Shop before Sunday July 28 to pick up a discounted iTunes gift card. All Apple gift cards of $50 or more are 20% off, these can be used to purchase everything from music, movies, TV shows, books to Apps on Mac App Store.
Source: iPhone in Canada
Update: As of 12:30 pm (EST) on July 26, Canonical has raised $6,579,671. The company has since added new categories of rewards based on your contribution level. It has 27 days left to reach its goal of $32 million.
Today Canonical, the company behind Ubuntu, announced a $32 million fund raising campaign on Indiegogo to get its device, the Edge, to market by May 2014. As a special introductory perk, those who contribute $600 before July 23 at 16:00 BST will get their very own Edge, the company is expected to be selling it for $830 at the time of release next year. See the Indieogo Campaign home for the various perks that you will get as a contributor. The device will have a 4.5 inch 720 p screen, with a quad core CPU, 4 GB of RAM, an incredible 128 GB of storage, 8MP rear / 2 MP front facing camera and stereo speakers. In terms of connectivity, the Edge will likely have a LTE radio, dual band WiFi, Bluetooth 4.0 and NFC. True to its word of trying to merge the desktop and mobile operating systems, the phone will be capable of running Ubuntu or Android and will turn into a PC when docked with an external monitor. The Edge will only be developed if Canonical reaches its goal of $32 million by August 21, as of July 22 at 12:30 pm (EST), it was at $240,000 so it is well on its way. If the goal is not reached the company says that it will continue to pursue its strategy of developing and bringing to market a more basic Ubuntu smartphone.
Sources: Engadget, The Verge and Indiegogo
While most rural towns in Canada have to get by with only minimal internet speeds, Olds, a small Alberta town took the “bull” by the horns and brought ultra fast internet speeds to its community itself. It not only built its own fibre optic network, but when it encountered commercial ISP’s that were reluctant to offer their services on a network they had not installed themselves, the town purchased the necessary equipment and started its own ISP. The project did not come cheap, it cost about $13 to $14 million to bring the service to the town of 8,500 people, it was financed through grants from the Alberta government and a loan from the town of Olds. It is expected that 100% of the town’s residents and businesses will have access to the network by 2014. The cost of the gigabit service will vary from $57 to $90 per month. As a comparison, high speed access of 175 to 250 megabits per second, offered by Bell and Rogers typically costs about $115 to $226 per month. Similar ultra fast internet access presently being piloted by Google in the US costs about $70 per month. Having affordable, high speed access to the internet is expected to encourage new businesses to set up in the small town as well help to expand programs at the local college. There is certainly a lesson to be learned by other under serviced areas within Canada, if the big commercial ISP’s don’t want to provide the access that you want, you should just build it yourself.
Source: CBC News