A browser release leaks early, a possible major coup for the Sony Reader, and are Android tablets about to get cheaper – again? And now, the news!
Firefox 6 Leaks Early: Code for the upgrade was available for those who knew to look for it on Mozilla's FTP server days before the official release, and reviews were being posted around the Net before it made its offical debut on Tuesday. (The general consensus: Not really a major upgrade, though some changes may be significant for some users). Earth to programmers: Be careful where you stash that pre-release data. Nowadays, almost everything is fair game.
Tablet Vendors Cut Prices to Trim Inventory?: Reports are circulating that Android tabs may get another price downgrade before the end of the year, lowering the price of the average tablet to $300 – which means that Android slates will finally be cheaper than the iPad. We will then see whether consumers choose The One That Was There First over The One That's Less Expensive. Another reason why it may be a good idea to finally start developing those Android tablet apps. But if you're going to use an Android tab, be careful what you download, because . . .
Android Malware Masquerading as Google+ App: It can capture data such as instant messages, GPS, location and call logs and forward them to a location where cybercriminals can get at them. Just be very careful where you download from, as this app seems to be popping up in non-Google-sanctified locations.
Did Google Just Turn Motorola Into the New Super TiVo?: Motorola doesn't just make phones, they make set-top TV recorders – which just might be the salvation of the much-maligned Google TV. This could end up being a new twist in the streaming wars – as if those wars weren't twisty enough already.
Sony Cuts PS3 Prices By $50: As part of its overall efforts to recover from the Sonypocalypse, prices for the devices will now range from $249 to $349. (Granted, they're also staying competitive with the other consoles, as the Wii and Xbox also had price drops). Furthermore, there's reports of them releasing a $99 version of the PSP without Wifi in Europe – we'll see if it makes its way over to this side of the pond. Needless to say, this inches the PS3 into affordable-to-your-average-gamer territory, so it may put the device in the hands of people outside Sony's traditional hardcore gamer audience.
Sony May Bundle Harry Potter E-Books With Readers: Sony's kind of been the also-ran in the Kindle vs. Nook wars, but they may have a big ace in the hole now: reports say that the next generation of Sony readers, due in October, will come with the entire Harry Potter series pre-installed – prior to the general release of the E-books. Sony hasn't officially confirmed this yet, but I would be very surprised if it didn't happen – and it could lead to a lot of people picking up this device – especially hardcore Potter fans who have been happy with their print books, thank you. One more format to worry about, self-published authors!
New Nook Color Coming?: The current version of the reader has been placed on sale, which is leading to speculation that an upgrade is on the way. Just speculation right now, but one of the real takeaways is how cheap the things are going for now – they've shown up on Buy.com for under $200. And may we remind you that the thing is a full-blown Android tablet? (A low end one, but still). The Nook Color isn't just a major salvo in the E-reader wars, it's a huge blow on the tablet front as well.
Japanese Government Company Will Export Anime Overseas: All Nippon Entertainment Works is being established by Innovation Network Corporation of Japan (INCJ), a joint investment fund between the Japanese government and the private sector. It will have offices in Japan and Hollywood, and one of its stated goals: To get the West to adapt Japanese entertainment into mainstream movies. This could get very interesting – not only may this be yet another case of cutting out the middleman (see Kodansha USA and the Western streaming initiatives by Nico Nico Douga), but it could result in a flood of Japanese TV shows and films being adapted into Western entertainment. Stay tuned (especially since the Los Angeles office very well might have some job opportunities available!)
QUESTION OF THE DAY: Will price cuts eventually allow Android tablets to overtake the iPad in market share? – Bonnie