Peter Rojas

    Peter Rojas

  • It's good to be back

    You may have seen the announcement earlier today that AOL is acquiring gdgt and that Ryan Block and I are going to be rejoining the company. A lot of you may have no idea who I am, but I'm the guy who created Engadget and for a while there was the only person who wrote for it. When we left Engadget in 2008 to start gdgt we left on exceptionally good terms. AOL even invested in our new company. But even though the relationship has been good all these years, I never honestly expected we'd have the chance to return, and I can say that it feels good to be part of the family again. I'm insanely proud of the work that Tim Stevens and the Engadget team have done to grow the site into a tech news powerhouse that it is today. The Engadget of 2013 far exceeds anything I could have hoped for it when it launched back in 2004.

  • So how are you liking Ubuntu 7.10?

    It's been almost a week since Ubuntu 7.10 was unleashed on the world, and to be honest, we're totally loving the Gutsy Gibbon over here at Engadget HQ. It's the Ubuntu we've been waiting for, nearly every element of the OS has been improved. Installation was a breeze, and pretty much everything is slicker, more stable, and easier to use than before. There's really no reason not to load it up on an old PC and try it out, just make sure you enable Advanced Desktop Effects and install a new theme (there are tons of them out there).We're curious to hear how everyone else is liking it. Let us know in the comments if you've tried it out yet, and if you have, how it's been going.

  • No guy in a coma, no missed iPhone launch, no kidding

    Didn't think we'd have to bother debunking something this obviously satirical, but about a zillion people have tipped us today with a link to a post on iPhone Savior about "Geoff Evila," who reportedly went into a coma in early June, causing him to miss the iPhone launch he had been so eagerly awaiting. He awoke from the coma four months later, and supposedly his close friend "Steve Denots" convinced the local Apple store in Chandler, Arizona to help recreate launch day for him so Geoff could experience what he'd missed. Sounds totally plausible, like the kind of filler you see every night on local TV news, right? Yeah, well besides all the obvious markers that this is a joke -- "Evila" is "Alive" spelled backwards, and the author's name, "Earl Sorel" is an anagram of "Real Loser" -- the pic accompanying the post was actually taken on launch day at the Apple store in Dallas. Yeah, it's definitely been slow around here today.[Via Digg]

  • The SanDisk Sansa View returns

    So you might remember that earlier this year SanDisk introduced, and then somewhat abruptly cancelled, the Sansa View, a new widescreen flash-based portable media player. At the time they said they wanted to "re-scope the product" and "develop a PMP that will meet the needs of the market." Well, the result is the all-new Sansa View, a completely different device that seems more like a proper successor to SanDisk's much-loved Sansa e200 series than a follow-up to the product we played with at CES back in January.The result is a smaller player that less video-centric, but does improve on the e200 series in lots of important ways. They've upped storage to 16GB (there's also an 8GB version coming out), made it thinner (it's about 8.8mm at its thinnest), added better video codec support (it handles MPEG4, WMV, and h.264), increased the screen size and resolution (to 2.4-inches and 320 x 240 pixels, respectively), eliminated that dedicated voice recorder button which we were always accidentally pressing (yes, we should have disabled it in the preferences), and replaced the sub-par music control buttons with a clickable scroll wheel (which we're hoping is as good as the one on the Sansa Connect). There's also an FM tuner, integrated digital voice recorder, a microSD memory card slot that can handle microSDHC cards up to 8GB in size, support for playback of MP3, WMA, and WAV audio files, and enough battery life for playback of at least 30 hours of audio and 6 hours of video. Should be out sometime early next month, with the 8GB model retailing for $149.99 and the 16GB model going for an extra fifty bucks. Click on for a gallery of high-res images.%Gallery-7157%

  • Live-action Robotech movie in the works

    Not sure if he'd be playing Rick Hunter, Roy Fokker, or even (gasp!) Breetai, but according to the Hollywood Reporter, Tobey Maguire is going to produce, and possibly star in, a live-action movie based on the Robotech TV series which pretty became the entire focus of my life when I was in 5th grade. (You seriously don't want to know how much of my spare time I devoted to tracking down even the most mundane details about the SDF-1, Veritech fighters, the Invid, and protoculture -- or to futilely trying to find a long-rumored VBF-1A Beta fighter to go with the die-cast plastic VAF-6 Alpha fighter I'd bought). Anyone who got into the show in the mid-Eighties will tell you that Robotech had a level of depth and realism well beyond that of any other animated series on US television at the time, which isn't at all surprising considering its Japanese origins (Robotech is credited with helping introduce anime to American audiences). Anyway, hopefully Tobey won't dumb things down like Michael Bay did with the Transformers movie. It was tough enough discovering a few years later that the entire show was actually three entirely different Japanese anime series awkwardly grafted together so that they'd have enough episodes for syndication in the US market -- turning Robotech into yet another mindless action fest might just be too much to take.

  • Palm kills the Foleo dead

    We are seriously not going to take credit for this, but holy crap, Palm just cancelled the Foleo, just like we asked them to! Palm CEO Ed Colligan just posted a message to the company's official blog stating that they've decided to cancel the Foleo mobile companion "in its current configuration" in order to "focus all of our energies on delivering out next generation platform and the first smartphones that will bring this platform to market." In a way we're sort of disappointed that we'll never at least get to play with one and put it through its paces, but it's definitely the right move -- Palm needs to focus on one thing right now, and that's coming out with a category-killing smartphone. Not that they're giving up on the idea for good; Ed says that they'll do a "Foleo II" based on the new mobile platform they're already developing for their next generation of smartphones

  • Dear Palm: It's time for an intervention

    Dear Palm,Man, what a crazy year, right? We know things haven't really been going your way lately, but we want you to know that we haven't given up on you, even though it might seem like the only smartphone anyone wants to talk about these days is the iPhone. It can be hard to remember right now, but you used to be a company we looked to for innovation. You guys got handhelds right when everyone else, including Apple, was struggling to figure it out. And it was the little things that made those early Palm Pilots great -- you could tell that someone had gone to a lot of trouble to think about what made for a great mobile experience, like how many (or rather, few) steps it took to perform common tasks. The problem is that lately we haven't seen anything too impressive out of you guys. Sure, over the past few years the Treo has emerged as a cornerstone of the smartphone market, but you've let the platform stagnate while nearly everyone (especially Microsoft and HTC, Symbian and Nokia, RIM, and Apple) has steadily improved their offerings. So we've thrown together a few ideas for how Palm can get back in the game and (hopefully) come out with a phone that people can care about. (And we're not talking about the Centro / Gandolf.) Read on.

  • Fake Engadget store goes to China, gets downsized

    No way, this ain't right. If you're going to bite our name and set up a brand new fake Engadget store in Guangdong, China, at least do it right and rent a whole freaking shop, ok? At this point you're really just embarrassing yourselves.P.S. - Carl, we've already fired everyone involved with this fiasco.

  • Live from Apple's summer Mac product press conference

    8:51AM (all times in PST): Well, we're here... And we're a bit early. Not too many folks waiting around; we'll let you know as they start admitting. 9:27AM: Plenty of people here now, the usual suspects -- gadgetrati VIPs and, well, little old us. Admission in about 15 minutes!9:36AM: Consensus of experts polled: "New iMacs, definitely." "It's a slam dunk." Well, there you have it, proof positive.9:38AM: Okay, we're headed in! ...but only to wait some more inside. Follow the rest of our coverage after the break...

  • The Engadget Interview: Jocelyn Vigreux, President of TomTom USA

    GPS is becoming ever more prevalent in our lives -- the cost of a handheld unit has plummeted in recent years, more and more cellphones are coming with GPS built-in, and millions and millions of new cars ship with integrated nav units. So it seemed like a good time to sit down with Jocelyn Vigreux, the president of TomTom USA. He chatted with us about the company's recently-introduced MapShare feature, the new TomTom GO 720, and whether or not standalone GPS devices have a future. Thanks for taking the time to speak with me this afternoon. Tell me about MapShare. Well, MapShare is a technology that TomTom is introducing that allows TomTom users to dynamically change map attributes directly on their device. There are five or six things that you can do right now. One is to offer block-by-block traffic directions for a given street; it's also possible to reverse traffic direction for a given street., change the name of a street, edit POI's by changing their position, changing their names, or changing a phone number. This is something that's looking at navigation from just a step ahead. It's kind of Navigation 2.0. It is really empowering to users to create better maps. The second part of this, which brings all the power to this feature, is being able to not only share this with the community of TomTom users out there -- so I will be sharing my changes, I will be sharing what I have done on my device -- but I'll also be able to take advantage of what the rest of the community all around the world has done.

  • Federico Rojas: The father of the father of Engadget

    I've never written much about my personal life in the three years, three months, and two weeks since I started Engadget, but for this Father's Day I wanted to talk about the person who inspired my love of technology: my father Federico Rojas, who passed away very unexpectedly this past Wednesday. My father wasn't a exactly a geek -- he was just a physician whose interests ranged far beyond medicine -- but he was most definitely a classic early adopter when it came to anything related to electronics, and I remember being in awe as a young boy whenever he'd bring home his latest discovery. Whether it was an 8-bit computer, an HDTV, a Laser Disc player (and then a DVD player), a surround sound system, etc, while I was growing up he was always consistently ahead of the curve and constantly wowing me with whatever new toy he was installing.

  • Announcing some changes at the top

    It's with great happiness that I'm able to announce the promotion of Ryan Block to editor-in-chief of Engadget, and my transition to editorial director of the site. It's a move which is long overdue and one which reflects Ryan's enormous contribution and dedication to Engadget, as well as the fact that I'm spending a significant portion of my time on a number of outside projects (right now I'm praying that HGTV never decides to air the second season of I Want That! Tech Toys).Tricking Ryan into writing for Engadget was probably the smartest thing I've ever done, and I'm incredibly excited and proud to see him take on this new role. Please join me in congratulating him!

  • VIA intros NanoBook Ultra Mobile Device - $600 ultraportable laptop

    Uh, Palm, the Foleo just got shown up. VIA just announced the NanoBook Ultra Mobile Device, a reference design for a new ultraportable laptop which just happens to be lighter and smaller than the Foleo -- and which will supposedly retail for just $600. The NanoBook runs on either Windows XP or Vista, weighs less than 850g (1.87 pounds), and sports a 1.2GHz VIA C7-M processor, up to 1GB of RAM, a 30GB hard drive, a 7-inch WVGA display, 802.11g WiFi, Bluetooth (they don't specify which kind), DVI-out, a slot next to the screen where you can pop in a GPS, VoIP, or WWAN module (the module in the pic above is some world clock thing), and up to five hours of battery life. Packard Bell has already signed on to use the reference design as the basis for the EasyNote XS, which is due out in Europe later this year; VIA tells us that at least one other OEM is on-board, but they weren't ready to announce who it was yet.

  • Apple execs admit to iPhone anxiety

    The hype over the iPhone is almost deafening right now, but there's an article in today's New York Times today that captures a rare moment of self-doubt from Apple regarding the impending launch:"The anticipation, which is intense even by Jobsian standards, has led to some quiet, behind-the-scenes anxiety at Apple. Some Apple executives worry privately that expectations for the one-button phones may be too high and that first-generation buyers will end up disappointed."They're right to be a bit nervous. We don't doubt that the iPhone will sell like crazy when it first comes out and be hard to find in stores for months, but it's rare for anything this highly anticipated to completely live up to everyone's expectations. The iPhone's on pretty much the most massive pedestal that any gadget has ever been on, and if there are any issues with it -- like with its touchscreen, battery life, call quality, or software stability -- you can expect the backlash to be severe.

  • SanDisk puts Sansa View on ice

    Just got official word from SanDisk that they're putting the Sansa View on ice, at least for the time being. A rep we spoke with told us that SanDisk has, "decided to re-scope the product, so we'll not be bringing it to market this year." Apparently they're still committed to the portable media player market, but that, "the market is changing fast and furious and we want to shift our efforts to develop a PMP that will meet the needs of the market versus pushing out the wrong product. So we're taking another look." It's disappointing that we won't be seeing their take on a widescreen flash-based portable video player, but we'll give 'em points for at least being upfront about the sitch -- and for realizing that it's better not to release a product at all than to release one that offers a sub-standard experience. Usually when an electronics company kills a product before launch like this they just try and pretend like it never existed in the first place and hope that nobody notices that it never came out.

  • Dell laying off 10% of its workforce

    It's no secret that Dell's been struggling lately -- after years as the alpha dog of the PC market they've recently slipped to number two behind arch-rival HP -- and now today they're officially tightening the corporate belt with announcement that they're planning to layoff nearly ten percent of the company's workforce. The BBC doesn't get specific about where they'll be trimming jobs, but anyone who's been in Dell Hell better pray that the cuts don't come from tech support and customer service.[Thanks, Chay and Nimro]

  • AT&T planning IPTV for Apple TV in 2008?

    Maybe this shouldn't come as that much of a surprise, but when AT&T execs talk about having a long and close relationship with Apple, they're not just planning on putting out future iPhones. A well-connected source tells us that AT&T and Apple are working on adding IPTV capabilities to the Apple TV beginning sometime next year. (A launch window hasn't yet been determined, our source says that plans are still being worked out.) We're guessing that it'll be something like AT&T's U-verse TV service, but it's still way too early to say whether this would be a blown-out offering a full package of channels aimed at replacing your current cable/satellite service, a more limited selection of on-demand programming, or whether it'd even be available to non-AT&T subscribers.

  • Want to write for Engadget?

    It's been a few months since our last casting call, so we're officially soliciting applications for a handful of open positions here at Engadget. If you live and breathe gadgets, this is your chance to get paid to write about them (seriously, this is a paying gig!). Professional writing experience isn't necessary (though it doesn't hurt); all we really care about is that you can write about gadgets with wit, concision, and authority.Right now we're looking to fill the following positions: European editor (full-time, must be based in Europe, preferably UK) East Coast editor (full-time, must be based on the East Coast, preferably NYC) Engadget HD / home theater editor (part time) Engadget Mobile contributing writer (part time) Intern (must be based in San Francisco or willing to commute) Here's what you need to send to apply: Three sample posts written in the Engadget style (make sure these are germane to the site you want to write for). These sample posts can be about whatever you want, but they should seem like they could have been written by one of our writers (but without all the typos and gross inaccuracies). We won't be using these on the site, we just want to get a sense of how well you write. A few words about yourself. If you're applying for Engadget, list three of your favorite gadgets of all time (and why). If you're applying for Engadget HD, list your three favorite HD-related products. If you're applying for Engadget Mobile, list your three favorite cellphones. Your contact info. How much time per week you can commit to blogging. Be realistic, okay? Oh, and no attachments or resumes. Please note that we will only review fully complete applications, and remember to put the name of the position you're applying for in the title of your email.To apply to Engadget, please send us an email at jobsATengadgetDOTcom. To apply to Engadget HD, please send us an email at jobsATengadgethdDOTcom. To apply to Engadget Mobile, please send an email to us at jobsATengadgetmobileDOTcom. We usually get a lot of applications, so please give us some time to look stuff over, cool? Sorry, but the sheer volume of applications makes it difficult to respond to everyone, but if we're interested we'll get in touch.

  • Installing a Vista CableCARD Media Center PC (part 1): Fiasco!

    How many people does it take to install a Vista CableCARD-enabled Media Center PC?The answer is six. Or at least it would be six if the installation had actually been successful.Here's the backstory: Just like a lot of you out there, we've been lusting after a CableCARD-enabled Media Center PC for years (or at least it seems like years). So ever since the first Vista betas became available we've been hassling Microsoft to hook us up with a CableCARD-enabled Media Center to test out. We figured at the very least we'd be able to get our hands on one right after Vista launched, but there were numerous delays because of CableLabs' requirement that they be able to certify every CableCARD-enabled device and some apparent technical issues with getting Digital Cable Tuners to work properly. [The funny thing is that from a technical standpoint getting a Media Center PC to handle digital cable isn't all that complicated; it's the cable industry's obsession with DRMing and locking down digital cable streams that messes everything up. And we got to see first-hand just how screwed up things can get when you make it more difficult than it needs to be for different components to work together.]Anyway, a few weeks ago we finally got the word that they were ready to send us a review unit – but that they wanted to fly a team of people out from Redmond (and bringing along a team of Time Warner Cable techs) to get us all set up. Normally we'd balk and just tell 'em what we tell everyone else – namely, that we're pretty damn good with gadgets and can set this stuff up ourselves – but the prospect of having a small army of people in our tiny NYC apartment just to set up one PC was too good to pass up.What follows is a minute-by-minute account of how what should have been a 15-minute install job turned into a multi-day fiasco that has yet to be resolved.

  • Engadget: 1, Fake Engadget store: 0

    Remember that fake Engadget store in Malaysia that stole our name and logo and then pretended they'd never heard of us when one of our readers dropped by and called them on it? Well, we have some good news: the bastards are out of business! Or at least they've stopped using our name! Not sure exactly what happened, but reader Kurt Low dropped by the Midvalley Megamall in Kuala Lumpur the other day and discovered that the "Engadget" store had been replaced by a new tech shop called "fixIT.com". (We thought that maybe they'd decided to rip off some other tech site, but a visit to fixit.com reveals only a placeholder for a site that doesn't exist yet.) Anyway, big ups to all our Malaysian readers for boycotting the "Engadget" store, looks like we won this round![Thanks, Kurt]UPDATE: A couple of people wrote in to point out that if you compare this new photo with some of the older ones for the Engadget store it looks like it's the same business -- "Pusat Komputer" -- and that as we suspected all they've done is changed the name of their store. Which is definitely all we really wanted in the first place.UPDATE 2: Argh, turns out that "Pusat Komputer" just means "computer store", so it doesn't necessarily mean that the people who own this new shop are the same people who opened the fake Engadget store. If anyone in Kuala Lumpur happens to visit the store, could you ask 'em what's up?