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Nov 072011

It seems like not a day passes in the digital media universe without a big-brand jumping on the tablet train with a huge announcement, launch event or upgrade.

This morning it was the turn of the struggling U.S. bookstore chain Barnes & Noble to make a song and dance about its new Nook Tablet.

Nook Tablet is Barnes & Noble’s first entertainment-centric tablet offering. The company’s previous tablet, the Nook Color launched in October 2010, was positioned as a Reader’s tablet.

Nook Tablet

Nook Tablet Features

Running the Android 2.3 Gingerbread software, the 7-inch dual-core processor Nook Tablet with 1GB RAM costs $249 and will be available for purchase on November 17 (just two-days after rival Amazon’s $199 Kindle Fire tablet).

Unlike the iPad and like the Kindle Fire, the Nook Tablet is WiFi only. No 3G version for mobile connectivity.

There’s no camera in the Nook Tablet.

Barnes & Noble is promising that Nook Tablet’s battery will provide 11.5 hours of reading or 9 hours of video without recharging and with wireless off.

Weighing 14.1 ounce, the Nook Tablet supports Flash and packs 16GB internal storage with the option to add another 32GB via microSD card. There’s free Nook Cloud storage as well like with the Kindle Fire and the iPad.

Nook Tablet display is 1024 X 600 (169 pixels per inch) and users can play audio on the built-in mono speaker.

Some members of the media who played with the Nook Tablet at the launch event in New York City were awed by the display.

There is a 3.5 mm stereo headphone jack but headphones are not included in the kit. So, figure another $25-$30 for a stereo headphone.

Built-in apps for the Nook Tablet include Netflix, Hulu Plus, Pandora internet radio, Chess, Crossword, Sudoku, Media Gallery, NOOK Friends and e-mail.


Despite the flurry of tablet launches by a bevy of companies including Motorola, RIM/Blackberry, Acer, Asus, HP, Toshiba and Samsung, no one has been able to make a dent in the Apple iPad citadel.

Customers have mostly flocked to the iPad (starting price of $499 for the 16GB version) leaving the other players scrambling to survive and forcing them to slash prices with no avail.

Whether Barnes & Noble can survive the iPad tsunami that has laid waste other tablet vendors remains to be seen.

You can pre-order the Nook Tablet today.

Along with the launch of the Nook Tablet, Barnes & Noble today cut prices of its older products – Nook Color is now $199 and the Nook Simple Touch costs $99.

Related Posts:
Amazon Guns for iPad with $199 Kindle Fire Table

Nov 072011

Why do we even continue to pen reviews of these delicious foreign movies?

If the mission is to enlighten the Indian rabble, that’s a Sisyphean labor, a hopeless exercise in futility.

How many pearls must you fling before you realize Indian swine are not likely to get too excited over anything that has even the faintest whiff of class!

But not one to easily concede defeat, we persist Sisyphus-like in our labors.

Delicious Comedy

This evening, we poured ourselves a large shot of vodka, added some Izze sparkling pomegranate juice and plonked down to watch the award-winning 2010 French film The Names of Love (Le Nom des gens).

Directed by Michel Leclerc, based on the story by Leclerc and Baya Kasmi and featuring French actors Sara Forestier and Jacques Gamblin, the movie turned out to be a delicious comedy.

A hilarious political romantic comedy, to be precise.

We’ve never been fond of the political Right, seeing in them nothing more than a gang of corporate thugs, racists and greedy SOBs and in their followers a bunch of ignorant baboons.

In our mind, only sick SOBs would stand on the wrong side of politics and life by aligning with the Right.

So, we were greatly heartened to see that the heroine of this film Baya Benmahmoud (Sara Forestier) strongly against all that the Right, or Fascists as she terms them, stands for.

French comedies, unlike the crass American or hopelessly crude and unfunny Bollywood comedies, are subtle and depend not merely on the acting but rely a lot on the crackling, sparkling writing to regale us.

And The Names of Love certainly doesn’t disappoint on the writing side.

Besides the unusual story, The Names of Love is unconventional in other ways too.

For instance, it has the principal characters telling part of their parents stories as grownups alongside their young parents.

Changing a Right-Wing Nut

Easier said than done, when it comes to changing a right-wing drone.

You see, if the Right-wingers are not monsters, then you can be sure they’re blithering idiots being led up the garden path (like the Tea Party zombies in America).

But our heroine Baya has her unique brand of course correction for these Right-wing souls – It’s called sleeping with the enemy.

As Baya describes her rather unusual modus operandi to her genuine love Arthur Martin (Jacques Gamblin):

When you sleep with the fascist, there’s a moment when he’s receptive. Then you say lot of things to his subconscious mind, like with hypnotism.

To describe the circumstances and consequences of her behavior as hilarious would be to understate things.

Arthur and Baya are a study in contrasts.

One, a straight arrow working as a veterinarian. The other, a completely uninhibited soul who has no proper job.

One who sleeps on the first date. And the other, chronically uncomfortable with the opposite sex, never sleeps on the first date.

As often happens in life, these completely opposite souls find themselves deeply, passionately attracted to each other despite ahem some serious complications.

Both Jacques Gamblin and Sara Forestier deliver powerful performances.

To describe Sara Forestier as a superb actress would be an egregious act of understatement.

Mistress of a thousand expressions, the French actress is a volcano of energy, vitality and talent.

Not particularly beautiful, say like a Juliette Binoche, and endowed with a bust smaller than we’d feel comfortable handling, nevertheless she’s likely to light up movie screens for the next four or five decades.

No surprise then that Sara Forestier was honored with the César Award for Best Actress at the 36th César Awards ceremony in February this year.

Merely one in a long line of awards that the SI Gods prophesy for the 25-year-old actress. César Awards are France’s national film awards.

By the way, the movie also won a Césarfor Best Writing.

The Names of Love is a lively, delightful movie that all serious movie buffs must watch.

Your favorite blog strongly recommends The Names of Love (Le Nom des gens).

Oh yeah, the movie has plenty of nudity including full front and back. Now that should set all ye priapic mongrels drooling. ;)

The Names of Love is available on DVD at Netflix with English subtitles.