FreeArc Portable review

FreeArc Portable is the fully portable version of FreeArc, which is possibly the fastest and most powerful compression tool available, free or not. FreeArc uses a variety of fast algorithms and automatic switching by file type to achieve impressive speeds, and it squeezes many file types smaller than other tools of its type. It's widely compatible with other compression software and file types. FreeArc Portable's performance is essentially identical to the installed version, but without having to be installed or uninstalled: Just delete the program file to remove FreeArc Portable from your Windows PC. It can run from … Read more

Bulky Ora-S AR eyewear more goggly than Googley (hands-on)

LAS VEGAS -- It's hard not to gasp when laying eyes on the ridiculously enormous Ora-S AR eyewear smartglasses. But in this early stage of smart spec development, looks take a back seat to demonstrating functionality. In this case, Optinvent, the company behind the Ora-S, is focused on augmented reality.

Sure, the Wi-Fi, GPS, and Bluetooth-capable smartglasses will display notifications, directions, and all the rest, but what really gets Optinvent going is the software developer kit that is designed to engender more AR apps. For instance, the Ora-S will launch with the Wikitude augmented reality browser.

The company also … Read more

Kobo Arc 10 HD tablet packs a ton of features for readers and weighs like it

The Kobo Arc 10 HD could be a tablet worthy of replacing your bookshelf, if the damn thing didn't feel like holding a bookshelf itself. The 10-inch slate includes useful e-book-centric software that will appease avid readers seeking an Android experience, but its brute force design misses the mark with an uncomfortably heavy and thick build.

It houses a fast Tegra 4 processor, super-sharp screen, and despite its corpulent build, the matte faceted back is actually pleasing to the touch. Its inclusion of a nearly pure version of Android 4.2.2 is only enhanced by Kobo's useful … Read more

Nintendo 2DS handheld targets new crowd

CNET Update needs a bigger pocket:

In this episode of Update:

- Spend $50 less on Nintendo's Wii U Deluxe when a new bundle comes out for $300 on September 20.

- See if there's an appetite for the cheaper Nintendo 2DS portable system -- which happens to be less portable than the 3DS. (The Internets have not been kind.)

- Save $100 on the unlocked Nexus 4 smartphone, now starting at $200. (Don't be surprised if a Nexus 5 crops up later this year.)

- Read up on the new Kindle challengers from Kobo, the e-ink AuraRead more

The Kobo Arc tablet is the less discerning man's Nexus 7

As the latest in a now long line of 7-inch tablets to hit the market with a sub-$200 price, the Kobo Arc attempts to set itself apart in two specific ways. The first is its folderlike interface called Tapestries that allows you to organize apps, articles, pictures, and other content into customizable nodes. The second is the ever-present Discover Ribbon, which, based on what you're currently looking at, constantly offers recommendations at the bottom of the home screen.

Unfortunately, these features do little to make the case for a tablet that otherwise offers less storage than the competition … Read more

Amazon lights a new Fire under iPad

Thursday's tech news roundup has a glow about it:

Amazon unveiled several new Kindles on Thursday. Here's the quick breakdown with links to the full first-take reviews:

• The new Kindle Fire HD comes in three flavors. There's a 7-inch model with 16 GB of memory for $199, and it ships Sept. 14. Coming out late November is a larger 8.9-inch model with 16GB of memory, selling for $299. If you want double that memory and the option for 4G LTE wireless, that'll cost $499 -- the same as a new iPad. • That 4G LTE wireless
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Evouni's leather Arc Cover an iPad case that contorts

TAIPEI, Taiwan--Evouni's leather Arc Cover might seem like a normal iPad case, but there's more than meets the eye.

The flexible leather lets you roll and shape the case according to how you want the device to be propped up. There are just so many ways to contort the case that we've decided a video would do the job better. So don't blink, or you'll miss something. … Read more

Sexy, six-legged robot Hexy wants to get friendly

You'd be surprised at the number of people who crave spider-like robots.

Boston-based ArcBotics is gathering funds for its Hexy kit robot, billed as a low-cost, completely open-source critter that is easy to program.

It has six legs instead of eight, but Hexy can walk, dance, bang some keyboard keys, and do whatever else you can imagine.

It comes with a few installed moves, too. It's so cool, it even plays electric guitar. … Read more

Grab it with FoxArc Screen Capture

There's nothing wrong with the Snipping Tool, the screen-capture tool that comes with most versions of Windows, but there's always room for another tool in the toolbox, especially when it's compact and has something extra. FoxArc Screen Capture takes a snapshot of your entire desktop, a window, or a selected region, as well as capturing Print Screen images, and saves them in a variety of common formats as well as few less familiar ones such as TIFF, PCX, and PMN.

Screen Capture's small, rectangular interface has just four buttons: Get Region, Get Window, Get Desktop, and … Read more

Sony to issue Ice Cream Sandwich to 2011 Xperia line soon

Sony today announced that it plans to begin issuing Android 4.0 updates to its 2011 Xperia smartphones beginning in mid-April.

The first models expected to see Ice Cream Sandwich will be the Xperia Arc S, Xperia Neo V, and Xperia Ray. These updates should take around four to six weeks to complete and will depend on the various markets and carriers.

Jumping ahead to May and early June, Sony expects to deploy Android 4.0 to the remaining models, including the Xperia Arc, Xperia Play, Xperia Neo, and Xperia Active. Sony's new Xperia S won't be upgraded … Read more