← Previous Story Over 50.000 votes in the first week of WORLD FEMALE PLAYER 2014 Next Story → Latvia wins Riga Council Cup 2014 Dagur Sigurdssonfinn lemkegermanyQatar 2015 Germany facing a real troubles before the 2015 World Championship in Qatar. German head-coach Dagur Sigurdsson will have to make his plan without Finn Lemke, a 22 years-old left back who broke his hand in the last match of the 2014 for his TBV Lemgo against MT Melsungen. Lemke will be out for at least two months. The things became even worst with the information that another option on the left back position, Sven-Sören Christophersen, also won’t be able to join the team due finger’s injury.Sigurdsson will start preparation on the second day of January with 17 players. Balingen’s left back Fabian Bohm got a late call for the national team.Germany will play two matches on Iceland on 4 and 5 January, while Porsche Arena is already sold out for the clash with Czech Republic on 9 January. A day later, two teams will meet in Mannheim once again, what will be the last test before trip to Doha, where on 15 January starts WCh 2015.Goalies: Carsten Lichtlein (VfL Gummersbach/ab 2. Januar), Silvio Heinevetter (Füchse Berlin), Andreas Wolff (HSG Wetzlar)Left wings: Uwe Gensheimer (Rhein-Neckar Löwen), Matthias Musche (SC Magdeburg)Left backs: Paul Drux (Füchse Berlin), Stefan Kneer (Rhein-Neckar Löwen), Fabian Böhm (HBW Balingen-Weilstetten)Playmakers: Martin Strobel (HBW Balingen-Weilstetten)Right backs: Steffen Weinhold (THW Kiel), Michael Müller (MT Melsungen), Jens Schöngarth (TuS N-Lübbecke)Right wings: Patrick Groetzki (Rhein-Neckar Löwen), Johannes Sellin (MT Melsungen)Line players: Patrick Wiencek (THW Kiel), Hendrik Pekeler (TBV Lemgo), Erik Schmidt (TSG Ludwigshafen-Friesenheim)
← Previous Story Kielce “did” job in Montpellier – THW Kiel win the “biggest derby”! Next Story → Women’s EHF CL 1/4 finals: Gyor against Vardar – Viborg VS Buducnost After the first matches of the VELUX EHF Champions League TOP 16 phase, the placement among TOP scorers remained the same. FC Barca gunner Kiril Lazarov netted eight goals to mantain advantage ahead of last year’s “golden ball” winner Momir Ilic and “flying Russian” Timur Dibirov.TOP 10:1. Lazarov Kiril (MKD) 84 FC Barcelona (ESP)2. Ilic Momir (SRB) 76 MKB-MVM Veszprém (HUN)3. Dibirov Timur (RUS) 74 HC Vardar (MKD)4. Hansen Mikkel (DEN) 72 Paris Saint-Germain Handball (FRA)5. Gajic Dragan (SLO) 65 Montpellier Agglomeration HB (FRA)6. Bielecki Karol (POL) 62 KS Vive Tauron Kielce (POL)Dereven Alexander (RUS) 62 Chekhovskie Medvedi (RUS)8. Balogh Zsolt (HUN) 60 MOL-Pick Szeged (HUN)Spellerberg Bo Dybdal (DEN) 60 KIF Kolding Kobenhavn (DEN)10. Mogensen Thomas (DEN) 59 SG Flensburg-Handewitt (GER)Zhitnikov Dmitry (RUS) 59 Chekhovskie Medvedi (RUS)
← Previous Story ASOBAL: BM Ademar Leon stay in race with FC Barcelona Lassa Next Story → VRANJES BEAT MACHULLA: Veszprem win derby over Flensburg The Norwegian national team player, Kristian Bjornsen, has extended his contract with HSG Wetzlar until summer of 2021.The 28-year-old Norwegian right wing Kristian Bjørnsen, who won the silver medal with the national team at the IHF World Championship 2017 in France, came to Wetzlar in summer 2016 from the Swedish champions IFK Kristianstad. He won the sixth place at DKB Bundesliga with his team in previous season. This is the best results ever for HSG Wetzlar. HSG WetzlarKristian Bjornsen
HC Meshkov BrestPetar Djordjić Dissapointment with home defeat against HBC Nantes 24:32 in the first match of the VELUX EHF Champions League TOP 16 isn’t the only bad news for HC Meshkov Brest fans.One of the best players in current season, Petar Djordjic, broke his hand and won’t be able to help his team-mates in the next three or four weeks. This probably means that 28-years old left back won’t be able to help his team at SEHA Gazprom League Final4 which will be held in Skopje between April 13 and 15.Meshkov Brest will face home team, RK Vardar Skopje, at semi-final of the event. ← Previous Story VIDEO: We all cried on Saturday, but his tears are special Next Story → EHF CUP: Granollers and Chambery book quarter-final places
SEHA Final 4 is getting closer with only 10 days left until the start of spectacle. We would like to inform you that one half of Jane Sandanski hall’s capacity has been sold out, so far.Also, we would like to announce that the tickets for SEHA – Gazprom League Final 4 which will be held in Skopje from 13th until 15th of April, are now available for online purchase.You can buy tickets online on ticketplus.mk. These type of tickets are daily tickets, which include both matches played on a selected day of the Final 4.The package tickets which were sold in ticket office in Sports center Jane Sandanski are closed from now.Hurry up, reserve your seat and experience handball on Final 4! ← Previous Story Draw for EHF Cup quarter-finals – Six teams, three places for Final4 in Magdeburg Next Story → EHF Cup 1/4 finals: Fuchse Berlin against RK Nexe for the Final4
All passengers and crew are safe and are being looking after in the terminal. We are now working to minimise the delay and sourcing another aircraft to get our holidaymakers to Tenerife as quickly as possible.Read: American Airlines flight makes emergency landing at Shannon Airport > THOMAS COOK FLIGHT TCX2038 made an emergency landing at around 10am this morning at Dublin Airport.The Manchester to Tenerife flight, with around 323 passengers and crew on board, diverted to Dublin after the captain became aware of a technical issue and requested a priority landing.“The plane landed after smoke was seen in the cabin,” a spokesperson for the DAA said.The aircraft was met by airport services as is standard procedures in such cases, but no action was required by them.A spokesperson for Thomas Cook Airlines said:
Updated 22.50pmGARDAÍ ARE SEEKING the public’s help in tracing the whereabouts of a Waterford man last seen in Galway.James Ryan (39), from Waterford and with an address at Gort Leinn, Old Monivea Road, Galway, was last seen on the evening of Tuesday 22 October 2013 in Claregalway, County Galway.At the time, he was driving his car, a gold-coloured Nissan Almera hatchback with the registration number 04W382.James is described as being 5’ 10” in height, approximately 12st, of medium build, with short black hair.He was last seen wearing a dark-coloured jacket, light-coloured shirt, blue jeans and dark brown shoes.Anyone with information is asked to contact Gaillimh Garda Station on 091 538000, the Garda Confidential Line 1800 666111 or any Garda Station.
“It did take me by surprise a little bit. It was always in the back of my head that something like that could happen, but it wasn’t until spring this year that something just clicked that felt right – my whole world just changed right there and then.“Of course I still fancy girls, but right now I’m dating a guy and I couldn’t be happier.”Watch Daley’s message in full here.YouTube credit: Tom DaleyO’Brien smashes Michelle Smith’s 18-year-old Irish 100m butterfly recordHere are 10 of the best sporting images of the week OLYMPIC DIVING BRONZE medallist Tom Daley published a heartfelt video message on YouTube this morning.The 19-year-old speaks at length of his ‘rollercoaster’ last few years before moving on to his private life and revealing he is currently dating a man.“I’ve never really had a serious relationship to talk about,” Daley said in his personal video blog.“Come spring this year my life changed massively when I met someone who makes me feel so happy, so safe and everything just feels great. And, well, that someone is a guy.
COLM KEAVENEY FIRST knew Micheál Martin when he was president of the Union of Students in Ireland and the Fianna Fáil TD was an opposition health spokesperson in the mid-90s, but it was not until nearly two decades later that the two really bonded.In the halls of Leinster House on Budget Day in December 2012, Keaveney’s and Martin’s paths crossed as they considered the ramifications of another tough budget.For Keaveney he was on the brink of a big decision as he would later vote against the social welfare measures of the Budget, losing the Labour whip and gradually descending down the path out of the party altogether.In October, whilst languishing on the independent benches, where he had little to no speaking time, Keaveney and Martin’s paths crossed again. Keaveney’s decision to join Fianna Fáil is likely to create some difficulties locally in Galway East, but he insists he has the “height of regard” for Michael Kitt, his new constituency colleague.However, Galway West TD Éamon Ó Cuív said that Keaveney would face a challenge convincing the local organisation in Galway.“I think he’ll get on fine. The biggest challenge is always with the local organisation, nationally I don’t think he will be a problem. There’s a bit of bedding-down always,” he told TheJournal.ie. “At the last Budget, I met him on the stairs and it was like déjà vu. We were talking about it and that led to a process,” Keaveney told TheJournal.ie last night.“I had clearly been monitoring and observing [Fianna Fáil], I am passionate about mental health and disabilities. I had seen what was taking place on the ground. I had been working with people like Éamon Ó Cuív and Michael Kitt, working on a campaign to resist bed closures in mental health in our areas.”Cordial though he may have been with those Fianna Fáil TDs, there is little doubt Keaveney ripped into the former party of government in the Dáil as recently as last year.‘Mistakes were made’But for Keaveney the past is the past: “There is no doubt about it that mistakes were made in the past, but there’s also no doubt that Micheál Martin apologised for those mistakes.“I am witnessing a humility, a recognition, that creates a distinction about the type of politics that’s emerging in Fianna Fáil, that makes them stand out from the other parties.” Ó Cuív added that he welcomed anyone who joined Fianna Fáil and said that he personally gets on “pretty well” with Keaveney.Open to othersFor his part Micheál Martin, who looked particularly happy on the plinth yesterday, said that if any other TD or Senator want to join Fianna Fáil they are welcome to make an application.He said that each application “will be judged on its merits” but confirmed that there have been no other applications from Oireachtas members to join the party.“Clearly there has to be some degree of conformity and understanding and agreement on key issues and myself and Colm had those discussions,” Martin said at Leinster House.“So, you know, we’re open for people to join the party. There is a process by which that happens, people apply and then we discuss the merits and demerits of each case as it happens. But we haven’t had any other applications.”Keaveney admits a lack of finance ultimately prevented him from running in the European elections next year as an independent.He now faces a similarly difficult task in convincing his constituents that even though many of them elected him because he wasn’t Fianna Fáil, he is now worthy of their vote because he is.Keaveney: Fianna Fáil is a party that has learned from the mistakes of the pastRead: ‘It must be a sign of his own desperation’: Here’s what Labour thinks of Keaveney’s FF switch
EVERY WEEKDAY EVENING, TheJournal.ie brings you the five stories you need to know before you head out the door.1. #GOING GOING GONE: The chief executive of the Central Remedial Clinic Brian Conlon has resigned following the controversy over fundraising money being used to pay salary top-ups of senior staff. In a statement, Conlon said he hoped the CRC will now start afresh with a clean slate.2. #JOBSWATCH: Some good news on the jobs front: the University of Limerick is to create 290 full-time jobs in a major new expansion, while two multinational companies are creating 68 news jobs in Dublin and Cork.3. #STAND-OFF: Gardaí have given the all-clear following an incident in which a man threatened to jump off the roof of a building in Dublin city centre after a stabbing in a nearby hostel. Train service have now resumed after being suspended, and commuters have been advised to expect delays.4. #NARCOLEPSY: The HSE has said it will not withdraw support offered to sufferers of narcolepsy who have taken a case against the State for its use of the swine flu vaccine, after a letter was sent to families telling them their medical expenses would no longer be reimbursed.5. #MANDELA: The BBC received more than 850 complaints from viewers after it interrupted a repeat of Mrs Brown’s Boys on BBC1 to bring news of the death of Nelson Mandela last Thursday, The Guardian reports.
My dream for over a year is to eat a tortilla, chicken and so many other types of food.“I would imagine and dream a lot about my family — my mother and my father,” he said. Alvarenga said he was not married but has a daughter named Fatima.His parents feared he had been killed.“Thank God he is alive. We are overjoyed… I just want him here with us,” his mother Maria Julia Alvarenga told CNN in his homeland of El Salvador, whose government says it is working with Mexico to bring him home.My heart would tell me that my son was not dead but I wondered about it so often that I had started to lose faith.Pushed body overboardAlvarenga said he set out on a one-day fishing expedition in late December 2012 with a teenager named Xiguel, when they became lost in their 24-foot fibreglass boat.“We had just finished a day of shark fishing when the motor died,” he said. “I wasn’t worried at first but I couldn’t get a radio signal, and meanwhile there was a wind that pushed us further out.”Alvarenga gets off the ship in Majuro (AP Photo/Marshall Island Journal) The 37-year-old’s mood darkened as he described how the boy, who he says was aged 15-18, died four months into their voyage, unable to survive on a diet of raw bird flesh, turtle blood and his own urine.“He couldn’t keep the raw food down and he kept vomiting,” Alvarenga said. “I tried to get him to hold his nose and eat but he kept vomiting.”He said the teenager died of starvation and he pushed his body into the ocean. “What else could I do?”Alvarenga said he tried to keep track of time as the sun moved across the sky but weeks and months eventually blurred.The Ebon Atoll in the Marshall Islands where Alvarenga washed up on Thursday. (Image: Google Maps) Every so often he would hear something bump the boat. Invariably it was a sea turtle.“I was able to reach over the side of the boat and grab them,” he said.I caught many turtles over the course of my drift.Drank own urineStarting out the trip with fishing gear, he also caught fish, and learned to stand still in the rocking boat until sea birds came close enough for him to grasp.“The hardest thing I had to do to survive was to drink my own urine,” he said.This was during a period when “for three months it didn’t rain”. When it did, he used the hull of his boat to store water.Alvarenga described his joy at making landfall at Ebon Atoll, saying he spotted a house and crawled up the beach towards it.“I went towards it and began yelling for help,” he said. Two Marshallese came out and helped the stranger, who was clad only in a ragged pair of underpants, by giving him coconut juice.The stockily built Alvarenga looked in remarkably good physical shape when he arrived in the Marshalls capital Majuro five days later aboard a police patrol boat.Sporting a bushy beard and with his hair bleached a ginger colour by the sun, he was helped down the gangplank by a male nurse but he did not appear to have chapped lips, blistered skin or other signs of severe exposure.“He looked better than one would expect,” US ambassador Thomas Armbruster said on Monday after acting as an interpreter for the Marshallese authorities.However, extraordinary feats of survival are not uncommon in the Pacific. Three Mexicans washed up in the Marshalls in 2006 after nine months adrift.- © AFP, 2014Read: Castaway survived 16 months adrift at sea by eating turtles > Read: “I feel bad”: Castaway arrives home after year adrift at sea > A CASTAWAY WHO says he survived 13 months adrift in the Pacific said today that he thought about suicide but was sustained by dreams of eating his favourite food — tortillas — and reuniting with his family.Fisherman Jose Salvador Alvarenga also described being forced to dump the body of his teenage companion overboard when he starved to death, but said his own strong religious faith helped as he drifted some 12,500 kilometres from Mexico to the Marshall Islands.“I didn’t want to die of starvation,” he said through a Spanish interpreter at Majuro Hospital, where he is recuperating after being found disoriented last Thursday at a remote coral atoll.“There were times I would think about killing myself. But I was scared to do it,” he added, raising his arm, pointing to heaven and declaring: “God! Faith!”Alvarenga said he would dream of eating all his favourite foods.“But then I woke up and all I see is the sun, sky and the sea,” he said.
Poll Results: It’s the best solution on offer. (968) I don’t have an opinion. (867) I agree, it’s really unfair. (4263) RTÉ AIRED THE first of its three Euro elections debates last night — but not everyone’s happy about the format of the programmes (to say the least).With such a large number of hopefuls in each constituency, the national broadcaster’s decided that voters will be best served by having two separate panels.However, several independents have criticised the move — saying established candidates are being given an unfair advantage by being included in the first panel.What do you think? I agree, it’s really unfair.It’s the best solution on offer.I don’t have an opinion.Vote
THE PENALTY POINTS system needs to be overhauled to stop serial offenders from “escaping” sanctions, the Public Accounts Committee has heard.John O’Brien, the former head of the Garda Traffic Corps, told the committee that the current system is unsustainable for a number of reasons.“The worst offenders escape … all you have to do is ignore the system.”The retired Chief Superintendent said that once an offence goes to the summonses-issuing stage, “a very small percentage of summonses are served” and “even less are convicted”.He said only 14% of cases that went to court resulted in convictions so people had an 86% chance of escaping sanctions.A recent report into the quashing of penalty points carried out by Assistant Commissioner John O’Mahoney found that 52% of the summonses issued in respect of 178,500 cases in 2012 and 2013 were never served.In total, notices were terminated for 42,700 offences (5%) detected in 2011 and 2012.On Tuesday, acting Garda Commissioner Noirín O’Sullivan announced a raft of reforms of the fixed charge notice system, including that local gardaí could no longer overturn penalty points.Speed CamerasO’Brien noted that speed cameras had done a lot in helping reduce the number of road deaths, which dropped from 396 in 2006 to 190 in 2013.He said that Irish roads had “come a long way” over the years, noting that over 600 people were killed in road accidents in 1972, the worst year on record.O’Brien admitted these figures would “do little to comfort” people who have lost someone on our roads, but said it was important to note the progress that had been made.However, he questioned the fact that “eight or ten” Garda detection cameras accounted for about 24% of all speeding detections on Irish roads while 40 GoSafe cameras detected 22% of speeding. Source: Report on the Accounts of the Public Services 2012He also said that the GoSafe system is not “flexible” enough as people are becoming familiar with where the cameras are stationed and it is a “major exercise” to move them.PAC Chairman John McGuinness said that the cameras were “just a waste of a resource” if they could not be moved freely.O’Brien previously raised these and other issues in a report he compiled for the Garda Síochána Ombudsman in 2008, but said both GSOC and the Department of Justice ignored his recommendations.He added that the photos taken when a person is caught speeding should be used to identify people who are driving company cars and trying to avoid penalty points.GoSafeAn Garda Síochána’s speed camera operations were outsourced to GoSafe in November 2010 and became fully operational in March 2011.The cost of operating the GoSafe system was €0.2 million including VAT in 2010, €15.8 million in 2011 and €15.6 million in 2012. The estimated cost for 2013 is €16.6 million.Receipts collected in 2012 from fixed charge notices issued on foot of detections by the GoSafe safety cameras amounted to €4.6 million.As a result, there was a shortfall of €11 million relative to the cost of the service. An Garda Síochána made up for this through money made from penalty points issued in other ways such as Garda camera vans. Source: Report on the Accounts of the Public Services 2012GoSafe speed cameras record about 7,375 hours of driving in 727 locations across the country each month.In April, Assistant Garda Commissioner John Twomey of the Garda National Traffic Bureau told the Oireachtas Transport Committee that the average compliance in the monitored zones by speed cameras was above 90%.Related: Three ‘possible breaches’ identified in penalty points reportRead: Speed cameras record more than 7,000 hours of driving each monthRelated: Local gardaí can no longer overturn penalty points
(New Everton signing Romelu Lukaku pictured at a press conference)Jose Mourinho has revealed the reason why Romelu Lukaku was sold – he wasn’t willing to fight for a first-team place.Former British and Irish Lion Lee Byrne has been named as captain of Newport Gwent Dragons.West Ham United star Ravel Morrison has been charged with assaulting two women.Shane Long and David Meyler started, as Hull drew 0-0 with AS Trencín in the Europa League tonight.The best thing we sharedGAA players discuss their nightmares: Source: officialgaa/YouTubeOn the record “[Lee] does need me more than I need him. There’s a lot of big fights out there for me… But it’s still a big fight and one that I want to be involved in. It’s a big fight for Irish boxing. With Eddie talking about coming to the O2 in November, that’s definitely one of the fights he is looking at.”Matthew Macklin on the possibility of fighting Andy Lee.The fixture listDay Five of the Galway Races will be taking place.There’s a full round of Airtricity League games scheduled, including a top-of-the-table clash between Cork City and Dundalk.Michael Conlan, Michaela Walsh, Paddy Barnes and Alanna Audley-Murphy are all in semi-final action on Day Nine of the Commonwealth Games.The Irish Women’s rugby team face USA in their World Cup openerShowbiz, Baby!Johnny Murtagh was looking fairly slick at the Galway Races today. Source: Cathal Noonan/INPHO“I saw two foxes, a badger and a load of deer… The badger was incredible!”Sick of the Commonwealth Games? Here’s 5 sporting events that need to go away>Analysis: Does Jose Mourinho give young players enough of a chance?> NEED TO CATCH up? TheScore.ie brings you a round-up of today’s sports news… Source: Dan Sheridan/INPHO(Marie Louise Reilly and Lynne Cantwell of the Irish Women’s Rugby team pose for a pic)HomeJohn Gill, the Shamrock Rovers assistant boss, has expressed disgust at criticism aimed at Trevor Croly by RTÉ pundit Alan Cawley.Ex-Cork footballer Ian Jones is part of the backroom staff for the USA Women’s Rugby side that take on Ireland in the World Cup tomorrow.There were ugly scenes at last night’s Milk Cup event in Coleraine, as four players were sent off and another appeared to be kicked in the head.Ireland Women’s coach Philip Doyle named an experienced XV ahead of their upcoming World Cup clash with USA. Source: Cathal Noonan/INPHOTony McCoy and Thomas Edison triumphed in the Guinness Galway Hurdle at the Galway Races.Irish defender Richard Dunne has announced his retirement from international football.There are three changes in the Kildare football team to face Monaghan on Saturday night, while Cork are unchanged for their encounter with Mayo.AwayIt has emerged that Manchester United’s €945 million shirt sponsorship deal with Adidas could shrink significantly if the team fail to make the Champions League.
LEINSTER HOUSE USHERS, who are responsible for keeping order in the Houses of the Oireachtas, are getting new bespoke, tailored uniforms.A tender on the Office of Government Procurement website states that the Oireachtas authorities are looking for “made to measure uniforms” for the men and women who roam the halls of Leinster House and regularly provide guided tours to visitors.The successful bidder will supply staff with a variety of clothing including belts, gloves, blouses, shirts, caps, socks, ties, tights and overcoats as part of “bespoke tailored made to measure uniforms”.The new uniforms are being purchased four years after some €215,000 was spent on clothing for ushers.At the time it was reported that those new uniforms would last employees for around three years.The Irish Times recently reported that ushers had expressed concern about the “deterioration of parliamentary ushers standard of dress” in a strongly-worded letter to superintendent Paul Conway.The complaint was contained in a letter expressing no confidence in management in a dispute over staffing arrangements and conditions.Read: The Dáil ‘tuck shop’ that cost €1.3 million to build and lasted five years is reopening (sort of)Read: Leinster House staff given jiu-jitsu training to deter angry intruders
While this week has seen the iPod touch finally get some decent competition on the horizon from both Samsung and Cowon, the iPad may also be about to get a serious competitor.HTC already puts up a good fight against the iPhone in the smartphone market, but a recent trademark filing suggests the company may finally be about to compete with the iPad too.The new trademark is for the “HTC Scribe” which is described as follows:Handheld wireless device, namely, a tablet computer Other than the name, and the fact it is classed as a tablet, we know nothing about this device. HTC may be close to actually unveiling it, in which case we should expect an announcement and hands-on time next week at CES. Otherwise we may be waiting until later in the year for any further news.Read more at BloombergMatthew’s OpinionI’m positive a lot of consumers out there are holding out for a HTC tablet running the latest version of Android. HTC’s smartphones have won a lot of fans, and the thought of a tablet of the same quality is going to get a lot of people excited.Apple does watch the competition and knows companies like HTC will eventually introduce an serious iPad competitor. This may be why the iPad 2 is rumored to be coming early in 2011. There’s no better way to fend off competitors than offering a better version of the tablet you are already selling millions of.A CES unveiling of a 10″ HTC tablet would be fantastic and really shake things up in a market that really only has one player at the moment.
It was only a matter of time. Sony has decided to wake up and smell the coffee, revealing that it ended production of the ill-fated PSP Go handheld.The device was a smaller, sleeker version of the PSP with no UMD slot and a dedicated focus on digital download titles. At $250, it was more expensive than a regular PSP, the Wii, low-end Xbox 360s, and all DS models, and just $50 cheaper than a PS3.The announcement comes as Sony is no doubt shifting resources to the Next Generation Portable (NGP), which may or may not come out by the end of this year. Production of the much more popular PSP-3000 remains intact.Via InquirerMark Raby, BloggerAdChoices广告
It is probably important to start this off by admitting something; I have yet to be impressed by a 10-inch tablet. The whole idea to this ultraportable slab of mobile-amazing is that it’s supposed to be… well, ultraportable. I should be able to comfortably walk and be more productive then I am on my phone, and also satiate my seemingly unquenchable thirst for entertainment. As a Macbook Air owner–one who has spent more then his fair share of afternoons walking about in my house with the laptop crooked in one arm and handling children with the other–I feel like a tablet should be more portable than that. When I hold an iPad 2, Galaxy Tab 10.1, or Motoroal Xoom, I hold it in almost the same way I hold my Macbook Air. When I want to type on either of these devices, and I mean multiple paragraphs, I usually set them in a dock and grab a keyboard. I keep finding myself asking “What exactly is better about the tablet?” every time I catch myself going through more steps to accomplish something I could have done on my laptop.When Samsung released the Galaxy Tab I thought I was home free. The 7-inch size made walking around with it much easier, and offered much of the portability I was really looking for. Unfortunately, Samsung didn’t spend a whole lot of time optimizing the UI or making the tablet particularly thin, which made the device somewhat less appealing. I’ve waited, quite patiently in fact, for another manufacturer to step up to the plate. Apple had already laughed a the idea of an iPad Nano, HP’s Touchpad isn’t the right size, and the Playbook lacked so much in functionality it was unreal. Finally, HTC stepped up to the plate and decided to put all of these misconceptions away with their 7-inch Flyer.AdChoices广告“But it’s not running Honeycomb. How can it be better?”I have heard this a lot. To be honest, it’s real simple: HTC’s SenseUI optimized the user interface to take advantage of the new screen without completely alienating users with a whole new layout. Hand someone a Nexus S for an hour, and then hand them a Xoom. They won’t have a clue what’s going on. Now, hand someone a Sensation, and then hand them a Flyer, and the transition is so subtle that the switch is effortless. Android 3.0 was supposed to bring some real tablet-y UI goodness like fragments and highly interactive widgets. Guess what Sense for Tablets has?The left and the right sides of this UI are interactive both simultaneously and interdependently. In no way is Android 2.2, which is what the Flyer is built on, affected by not being built on Honeycomb. The reality is that a well built and well optimized app will work and look good on any device.Notifications and Settings were the next on the list. Honeycomb made notifications, quick settings access, and task switching “so much better”. What they did was put them on opposite sides of the screen from each other, so you have to reach all over the place to get to these things. Individually, the Honeycomb optimization is pretty cool, but their combined implementation seems to be change for the sake of change. The Flyer maintains the Android 2.2 “phone style” notification bar, which was good enough to be implemented on the iPad, and added to it a number of needed features.Right at my fingertips are quick settings, recent applications, and my notifications. When in Portrait mode, the notification bar switches to a tabbed interface, hiding the quick settings behind the tab. This solution is simple, familiar, and quite frankly better than the Honeycomb implementation.The final sticking point I hear when defending the Flyer is widgets. The Honeycomb interactive widgets are extremely cool. I’ve spent minuted flicking through YouTube videos on Honeycomb devices just because I liked how it works. However, many of the most successful interactive widgets I have enjoyed were, in fact, Sense widgets. On the Flyer, many of them are full screen panels of useful information, like the Calendar. These give me the option to glance quickly at a page and return to what I was doing, which was the original purpose of a widget to begin with.As you can see, using the Flyer in Landscape view allows you to see a 3D like view of the things to the screens on the left and right of you. Quickly flicking to the left or right shows off a carousel of your pages, allowing you to jump to one of your other pages very quickly. Plus, like a carousel you aren’t stopped when you reach the end of the pages, you are looped back to the first page. This navigation makes it very easy to grab quick information without a series of swipes in both directions, something not offered in Honeycomb.The PenOriginally, my impression of the HTC Scribe Pen was one of necessity. I even went so far as to comment that without it, you shouldn’t even bother getting one. After spending some time with it, however, I see that the way the pen interaction is (or isn’t, in most cases) integrated into the UX being only for pretty specific users. For me it’s great, since I take screenshots and like to doodle little horns and black eyes on pictures of my wife. The Flyer doesn’t include any kind of MS Paint like app to just simply doodle on, but instead seems to resign the capabilities of the Pen to basic note taking and communication.Since the pen’s usage is so limited, it would have made a lot more sense for it to have a home on, in, or near the tablet in some way. Since that’s not the case, I don’t see many people bringing the pen with them anywhere and just using it at home. Since replacing one is (another) $80, you aren’t likely to just keep it in your pocket or behind your ear for no good reason. So, is the pen cool? Yes, I love it. Is it completely necessary? Not at all. HTC would need to give you a convenient way to carry it and some more functionality in order for it to be useful to the majority of users.PerformanceDespite not being a dual core device, the Flyer handles itself very well when compared to dual core Honeycomb devices. With half the boot time of the LG G-Slate and a third of the Xoom’s boot, the tablet holds its own. Loading any app happens just as fast on the Flyer, and you can’t ask for a smoother navigation on a tablet. The Dual Core tablets are simply not generating anything more than what a well made, well optimized single core tablet is able to bring to the table right now.The battery life is great on this device as well. Being a 7-inch device it’s going to consume a lot less power than the larger tablets, but you’ve also got less space to fill with battery. I was able to get 14 hours of battery life in a day where I beat Plants vs Zombies from beginning to end and downloaded and watched a movie from HTC Watch, the movie rental and purchase market from HTC. I would tell you what its standby battery life is, but since I’m unable to keep my hands off of it, I can’t tell you. The specs sheet offers a ridiculous 1400 hour standby, which would be truly insane if it were true.Final ThoughtsThe HTC Flyer is the closest thing to a complete thought I have seen since tablets became a thing. The device combines power and performance with an all day battery and a thoroughly enjoyable user experience. There’s no messing with a whole new user experience, and all of the apps that I like so much on my Android phone not only work on the Flyer but actually look good. The Flyer may have a special power cable for changing at the correct voltage, but the tablet still charges via USB, something I have yet to see from the other major tablets.I see the Flyer as being a clear cut example of what happens when you sit back and watch the other guys make their mistakes before releasing a quality product. There will still be those who are simply not interested in a 7-inch tablet, no matter how good it is. the 10″ form factor is significant to them for enjoying movies and games.Knowing that HTC has plans for a 10-inch tablet in the not-so-distant future, my suggestion to the other players in the tablet game is to get it together before HTC comes in and dominates yet another market.flyer 3flyer 3flyer 2flyer 1Flyer 4IMG_2334IMG_2335IMG_2336IMG_2341IMG_2343IMG_2349IMG_2350
It looks like those rumors from earlier in the week ended up being true. Motorola’s delayed, redesigned Droid Bionic is officially hitting stores this September. In an earnings call yesterday Motorola CEO Sanjay Jha stated that the 4G dual-core handset will be landing the month after next and that it will be the first device on Verizon Wireless’ network with both dual-core power and LTE radio.On the call Jha also noted that Motorola had another 4G phone coming in 2011 and that the company was planning to release two more tablets, one of which would be 10 inches and another that was smaller. An upgraded Xoom tablet, complete with 4G connectivity, will be released in September as well. The Xoom release will come after months of delays, which were necessary for Motorola to tweak the 4G radio connection. It’s said that the same problem could have caused the delay to the Bionic as well.Previous rumors had the Droid Bionic slated for an August 4th release, a date that any number of prospective buyers came to expect. By further pushing back the phone (first from April and now to September) Motorola places its release date that much closer to when the iPhone 5 is expected to be released, and then closer to the carrier-sold Samsung Galaxy S II, which just had its pre-order page launched.The Bionic should still be the first to combine LTE and dual-core but other competitive phones will be hot on its heels.via Cnet
Christmas was a boom time for sales of tablet devices, and none more so than the iPad 2. But a group of thieves in Canada managed to upset a number of legitimate consumers come Christmas morning when they opened their iPad 2 packaging to find nothing but a bag of clay, in some cases even the charger had been replaced with clay.What the scammers had managed to do was purchase iPad 2s, remove the tablet, and then make up the weight and shape with clay. They also had the necessary tools and materials to professionally reseal the iPad 2 box so it looks as if it had never been opened. The stores accepted the tablets back as returns without further checks because they were sealed, and then proceeded to resell them to other customers.The affected retailers in Metro Vancouver include Future Shop, Best Buy, Walmart, and London Drugs. There’s also been a report that the same thing is happening in Victoria. In total somewhere between 10 and 20 iPads have been replaced with clay and successfully returned so far.The fraud has forced the retailers involved to change their returns policy. If you return a sealed iPad 2 to one of these stores, don’t be surprised if the seal is now broken by the sales assistant and the contents checked. It is, after all, the only way they can be sure the iPad 2 is still inside.Hopefully some of the stores can look back through security camera footage and identify the individuals making these purchases and returns. It may be they are known to local police and can easily be tracked down before trying this scam again at other locations.Read more at CTV, via The Verge