Tuesday, 7 January 2014

The Digital Reader

The Digital Reader

Here’s Why You Should Ignore Most Technology Rumors

Posted: 07 Jan 2014 07:50 AM PST

Rumors have an established place in blogging’s 24 hour tabloid news cycle, but from here on out rumors are going to be few and far between on this blog. Here’s why.

Chris Rawson, writing over at TUAW, recently posted the results of an exhaustive analysis of one of his competitors. He looked at all of the rumors and speculation posted by 9to5Mac in 2013 checked to see just how many rumors turned out to be true and how many were elaborate fictions. His results are surprising on several levels:

The tl;dr summary of 9to5 Mac’s 2013 track record:

  • 73 rumor articles turned out to be true, and 30 of those were derived from their original sources
  • 91 rumor articles turned out to be either partially or entirely inaccurate, or else completely unverifiable

In 2013, 9to5 Mac posted a total of 164 articles that were either purely rumors or else speculative posts based on rumors. This was lower than I expected, accounting for only about 8.4 percent of all articles on their site.

In 2013, 9to5 Mac posted a total of 164 articles that were either purely rumors or else speculative posts based on rumors. This was lower than I expected, accounting for only about 8.4 percent of all articles on their site.

9to5 Mac posted an impressively high 73 rumor articles that turned out to be entirely true, and this included all of the articles derived from their own original sources-a truly impressive and commendable 30 articles in total. 9to5 Mac absolutely does have someone inside Apple (probably several someones) feeding them accurate information.

I had always known that a lot of the rumors being reported would turn out to be bogus, but I never expected to find out that a respected blog like 9to5Mac would have such a dismal accuracy rate. You could flip a coin and have a better chance of being right than 9to5Mac.

And that’s not all. Chris went on to look at the source for the fictitious rumors, and it should probably come as no surprise that many of the false rumors came from Digitimes or industry analysts that are simply making wild guesses. He also noted that:

Analysis of 9to5 Mac’s record over 2013 provided some interesting insights into the state of Apple rumors as a whole. Predictably, the farther away we are from the date of an Apple event, the less likely a rumor is to be proven true. Photos of hardware, deep dives into software, and leaks derived from original sources almost always bear fruit; re-blogging of analyst speculation and the latest tripe from Digitimes and other “supply chain sources” almost never does. And despite claims that Ming-Chi Kuo is a “typically accurate” Apple analyst, his track record in 2013 is almost the same as 9to5 Mac’s; in other words, approximately half of Kuo’s predictions ultimately turn out to be either partially or substantially incorrect.

I’ve always had a rule that I don’t believe any Apple rumor until I saw something substantial – like the photos, diagrams, or software analysis mentioned above. Now I can see I was right all along to have that rule; my only mistake was to not use it to decide whether to post a rumor.

Starting today I plan to do just that. If there’s no solid evidence behind the rumor, I plan to ignore it. This will limit me to only writing stories like the one in July in which the CEO of Pegatron said that the plastic iPhone did exist but it wouldn’t be cheap. That story was supported by several independent hardware leaks, and it ultimately turned out to be completely true.

I might still get tripped up by elaborate ruses like the early iPad Mini dummies (they were initially leaked as the real thing) or by rumors along the lines of TechCrunch claiming that the Nook Touch would get email, but this should still increase my accuracy considerably.

P.S. I also promise to cut out the idle speculation which I have occasionally posted over the past few months.  Said posts might be fun to write, but they are about as irresponsible as the nonsense spouted by some industry analysts.

The post Here’s Why You Should Ignore Most Technology Rumors appeared first on The Digital Reader.

Hands On With E-Fun’s New Tablets and $99 Smartwatch

Posted: 07 Jan 2014 06:04 AM PST

E-Fun ise-fun ces 2014 2 the only US budget tablet maker who launched their first device in 2010 and is still around 3 years later (it helps that they are owned by a Chinese OEM), and they were going strong at the Pepcom show last night.

They had their new smartwatch on display, and they were also showing off a new dual-core 7″ tablet and a new quad-core iPad mini clone. Oh, they didn’t call it a clone but it sure as heck looked like one.

The new Nextbook 8 was thin and featured a 7.85″ screen (1024 x 768). It comes with 8GB of storage, a microSD card slot, and more ports and sensors than you would expect for a tablet this cheap. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for the 2 cameras (VGA and 2MP).

This tablet is running Android 4.2 on a 1.6GHz quad-core CPU. I couldn’t get the name or model number for the CPU, but I would bet that it was made by Rockchip.

e-fun nextbook 8 ces 2014 1 e-fun nextbook 8 ces 2014 2 e-fun nextbook 8 ces 2014 3

You can expect to see the new Nextbook 8 some time this Spring with a retail of $129. Check out the back of the box for completes pecs.

This tablet was fun to play with and a delight to hold, so I think it’s well worth keeping an eye out for news of its release. Given the price and specs, this could be a great value.

The new Nextbook 7, on the other hand, isn’t nearly as impressive. This tablet came across as really just another 7″ Android tablet with a dual-core CPU. It has the same screen resolution, specs, and $99 price tag as many other 7″ tablets, so I’m not sure that this one’s worth noticing. And while it does outshine its competition with a VGA camera on the front and a 2MP camera on the rear, there’s no guarantee that the cameras are any good.

e-fun nextbook 7 ces 2014 1 e-fun nextbook 7 ces 2014 2 e-fun nextbook 7 ces 2014 3

Sure, the new Nextbook 7 was fun to hold it, but before buying it I would get confirmation on battery life and performance.

It too will ship this Spring. Retail will be $99.

And then there’s the new smartwatch. This beauty is about as “smart” as the other smartwatches on the market, which means it can’t do much without being paired with an Android smartphone (iPhone support is in the works). It runs Android 4.1 on a 1GHz CPU and has a 1.5″ LCD screen (240 x 240 resolution).

I found that screen rather difficult to photograph, and it wasn’t easy to see from most angles. But even so, the modified UI was easy to navigate; it only took me seconds to figure out how to scroll through the options.

It’s a fairly capable smartphone accessory. You can use it to control the camera on your smartphone, receive notifications and updates, play or pause music on your smartphone, and it can also act as a pedometer.

e-fin nextwatch smartwatch ces 2014 1 e-fin nextwatch smartwatch ces 2014 2 nextwatch_01[1]

This watch also has Bluetooth, a microphone, and a g-sensor. The estimated battery life is around 2 days, and if you turn everything off this watch should last 7 days.

The NextOne is expected to ship in the first half of this year with a $99 price tag.

via liliputing ( for one of the smartwatch photos)




The post Hands On With E-Fun’s New Tablets and $99 Smartwatch appeared first on The Digital Reader.

Hands on With Polaroid’s New Tablets – CES 2014

Posted: 07 Jan 2014 05:07 AM PST

Polaroidpolaroid tablets ces 2014 has been slapping their brand on OEM budget tablets for the past couple years, and they were back again this year with a several new models.

In addition to a new quad-core kids tablet which is due out later this year, Polaroid also showed off acouple models  their new line of Q tablets. These 3 tablets will be budget priced when they hit the market later this year and feature 1.6GHz quad-core CPUs, Android 4.4, and at least one camera (the Q8 and Q10 will have 2 cameras).

These tablets look much like your average budget tablet, but they are thinner than last year’s models and have a prettier design than most. In addition to the HDMI port, 8GB of storage, camera, microSD card slot, the tablets also have a pleasant rubberized shell with a stylish accent stripe across the back.

They were pretty zippy, though of course I didn’t have much time to play with them (and it was noisy at the trade show, too).

And as you can see in the photos, the tablets do have the front-facing speaker mentioned in the press release. I wasn’t able to confirm the quality, but simply having the speaker is a point in these tablet’s favor. I can’t tell you the number of tablets with muffled rear speakers I have used over the past few months; it’s one of my pet peeves.

polaroid q7 ces 2014 polaroid q7  2ces 2014 polaroid q8 1 ces 2014

The photos above include the Q7 and Q8; the Q10 was not there. These 2 tablets will retail for $129 and $179.

I also got a chance to play with the M9, a quad-core 4G-equipped tablet that Polaroid showed off last year which has yet to hit the market (or at least I cannot find it). At that time the M9 had a dual-core CPU, but I’m told it will have a quad-core CPU when it ships later this year (I would double check that before you buy one).

I couldn’t get any details on the connectivity or hardware specs for the M9, but I did get business cards and a promise of more details when the tablet ships. Even with the battery required to support the 4G chip, this was quite the thin tablet (even more so than the Q tablets). Unfortunately I couldn’t get details about the price, either.

polaroid q10 1 ces 2014 polaroid m9 2 ces 2014

The post Hands on With Polaroid’s New Tablets – CES 2014 appeared first on The Digital Reader.

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