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Thermaltake Level 10 GT case polishes up a classic, available now for $280

The Thermaltake Level 10, arguably the sweetest-looking enclosure to ever hit the mass market, has managed to find a chassis worthy of being called its successor in the shape of the behemoth you see standing before you, the Level 10 GT. It softens the aggressively modular aesthetic of the original, but in exchange delivers a more performance-focused design, replete with three 200mm fans, air filters everywhere you look, a neat little window so you can peek inside your full-sized tower of doom, and enough space to fit the very largest of modern graphics cards. Thermaltake is asking for $280 on its online store and you can order one up today.

Feature Highlights

Unmatched Cable Management – While many cases on the market claim to have cable management, it simply means those cases have enough room on the opposite side of the case to “hide” the excess cables. With Level 10 GT, users will be amazed at how well the cable management system works. Instead of hiding the cables, users can properly separate cables and channel them through the grooves strategically placed on the back of the case. When adding graphic card or hard drives, users will no longer need to untangle the power cables that had been “hidden” away. All hard drives’ power connectors are pre-wired eliminating the need for rerouting. Not only does a properly cable managed computer perform better through improved airflow, but also makes the system neater.

Convertible Top-Vent 240mm Water-Cooling Design – With the popularity of performance water-cooling solution for PC, Level 10 GT features a removable top meshed panel with included true 200mm exhaust fan. Should the user wish to integrate 120mm or even 240mm water-cooling, the fan can be easily removed and the water-cooling radiator can be quickly installed. The removable top also enables easy cleaning of the dust build-up on the fan or mesh.

Hinged Side-Panel Door with Plug&Play Fan Power – For power users who frequently upgrades graphic cards, memories or simply performing maintenances, the hinged side-panel door design eliminates the hassle of having to awkwardly sliding the side-panel off. In addition, the side-mounted oversized 200mm intake fan’s power connector automatically disconnects itself without any user intervention.

Hot-swappable Hard Drive Caddies – Want to add additional hard drive to boost your overall storage capacity? Need to take the hard drive out to move large amount of data? With Level 10 GT’s true hot-swappable hard drive caddies, user is able to quickly remove the hard drive without having to open up the computer systems and unscrewing it from the hard drive cage. And thanks to Level 10 GT’s embedded hot-swap backplane, user can remove the storage hard drive without having to shut-down the system. The hard drive caddies also provide native support for all 3.5″ and 2.5″ SSD. The hot-swappable hard drive caddy design opens up a whole new world of possibilities where power user can enjoy running multiple operating systems simply by swapping the system hard drive to cloning numerous hard drives at any given time.

Massive Airflow & Quiet by Design – Building a high-performance gaming rig is not simply putting together the best graphic card(s), CPU, memories or hard drives / SSDs. What’s more important is ensuring all the critical components are properly cooled. Being the industry-leading brand in PC thermal management, Thermaltake incorporated not one or two, but rather three true 200mm fans into the Level 10 GT. An additional 140mm TurboFan is also embedded into the back of the case. Each of the 200mm fans can be controlled via the ColorShift control on the top of chassis. ColorShift enables user to take full control over the color LEDs on each fans to match the gaming or working environment. Fan speed control acts as a turbo boost control which users may increase the fan speed to properly exhaust heat build-up during gaming session or to lower the fan speed while working or simply browsing the web.

In addition to the features highlighted, Level 10 GT comes standard with every premium features a PC enthusiast or hardcore gamer would want. High-speed data transfer can be achieved with two SuperSpeed USB 3.0 ports on top as well as an eSATA port. Four additional USB 2.0 ports are located on the front bezel. Each intake fans comes with dedicated filter system and can be easily removed for cleaning without having to open the system. Locking systems for both hinged side-panel door and hot-swappable hard drive caddies are embedded to prevent theft when the system is brought to LAN events or public areas. Eight PCI slots to support NVIDIA SLI or AMD CrossFireX multi-graphic card setups. Fully black-powdered interior is perfect for anyone wishing to showcase the impressive components.

Buy the case from Thermaltake here:

Source: Engadget / Thermaltake

Greenp0ison Untethered Jailbreak iOS 4.2.1

The greenp0ison jailbreak for iOS 4.2.1 got a Windows release over the weekend, and the influx of new jailbreakers put a strain on top app sources.

Last last week, Chronic Dev Team hacker Joshua Hill announced the release of greenp0ison RC5, the long-awaited untethered jailbreak for Apple’s iOS 4.2.1, which was released for iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad in November of last year. Hill indicated that the release of a Windows version of the Mac-only jailbreak was imminent, and his team delivered on that promise Saturday evening.

The jailbreak is functionally identical to previous greenp0ison versions. You plug in your iDevice, close iTunes and fire up the software. You then follow on-screen instructions which tell you to press the device’s Home and Sleep buttons in a specific time and sequence combination. The jailbreaker takes over from there, spitting reams of scary-looking code onto the screen before rebooting to a freshly jailbroken iThing. Installing Cydia is the next step, accomplished easily enough with the jailbreak-provided Loader app. It was here, however, that jailbreakers ran into problems over the weekend.

Cydia was running slower than usual yesterday and into today, with intermittent access to several of the app store’s most popular “sources.” Put simply, Cydia “sources” are where the content that you download comes from. Two of the app’s default sources in particular — apt.modmyi.com and BigBoss — were coming back with error messages indicating they were non-functional. Since many of the apps available from those sources must be paid for, you can start to see where this might be a problem.

It seems that the influx of fresh jailbreakers may have been the root of the issues. The ModMyI twitter feed offered the following update: “To rephrase the last tweet – TON of traffic coming from the new jailbreak. We can patch, not “fix” – repo will be hit and miss today.” So fear not, brave jailbreakers. Especially you first-timers who don’t necessarily understand what’s going on. Things are wonky right now because of the newly released, highly anticipated jailbreak… and it’s all your fault.

REMEMBER: Start with a newly restored version of 4.2.1 (via iTunes) before Jailbreaking.

Greenp0ison can be found here:

Alternatively,
Mirror 1
Mirror 2

Chinese hackers infiltrate five energy firms: study

Hackers working in China broke into the computer systems of five multinational oil and gas companies to steal bidding plans and other critical proprietary information, the computer security firm McAfee Inc. said in a new report.

The report, which named the attacks Night Dragon, declined to identify the five known companies that had been hacked and said that another seven or so had also been broken into but could not be identified.

“It … speaks to quite a sad state of our critical infrastructure security. These were not sophisticated attacks … yet they were very successful in achieving their goals,” said Dmitri Alperovitch, McAfee’s vice president for threat research.

The hackers got into the computers in one of two ways, either through their public websites or through infected emails sent to company executives.

During the at least two years — and up to four years — the hackers had access to the computer networks, they focused on financial documents related to oil and gas field exploration and bidding contracts, said Alperovitch.

They also copied proprietary industrial processes.

“That information is tremendously sensitive and would be worth a huge amount of money to competitors,” said Alperovitch.

The hack was traced back to China via a server leasing company in Shandong Province that hosted the malware, another term for malicious software, and to Beijing IP addresses that were active from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Beijing time.

McAfee’s report did not identify who was behind the hacking.

“We have no evidence that this is government sponsored in any way,” said Alperovitch.

McAfee provided the data to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, which did not respond to requests for comment.

“This is normal business practice in China. It’s not always state sponsored. And they do it to each other,” said Jim Lewis, a cyber expert with the Center for Strategic and International Studies think tank.

Asked if Beijing normally agreed to arrest hackers, Lewis responded: “It’s not impossible, but it hasn’t happened very often.”

Western governments and companies have long been concerned about corporate espionage based in China.

“We are aware of these types of threats, but we can’t comment specifically about what’s in the Night Dragon report,” said FBI spokeswoman Jenny Shearer.

Washington believes that hacking attacks on Google Inc that briefly prompted the company to pull out of China were orchestrated by two members of the country’s ruling body, according to U.S. diplomatic cables released by Wikileaks.

The French government is looking into a possible Chinese role in spying on carmaker Renault SA’s and Nissan’s electric vehicle program.

In 2007, a Chinese student working at car parts maker Valeo was sentenced to prison for obtaining confidential documents from the automaker. A French tribunal stopped short of an industrial espionage verdict, instead finding that she had “abused trust.”

Source: Reuters / Yahoo!

HP hits tablet market with TouchPad

US computer powerhouse Hewlett-Packard on Wednesday unveiled a TouchPad tablet computer as its entry in a booming market dominated by Apple’s iPad.

HP senior vice president Jon Rubinstein, who was part of the Apple team that brought the world the iPod, unveiled the TouchPad to applause in a pavilion on the San Francisco shoreline within sight of the Golden Gate Bridge.

“TouchPad is more than just a pretty face,” Rubinstein said as he caressed one on stage. “The TouchPad is all about you; how you work, play, and connect with the things you value most.”

TouchPad will be the first tablet in a family of products based on a webOS software platform Palm began building from the ground up about five years ago.

HP last year bought Palm in a $1.2-billion deal in what analysts believe was a move to get its hands on the platform that could make it a player in the fast-growing market for smartphones and tablet computers.

“No one has come close to replicating our webOS experience,” said Rubinstein, who was chief executive of Palm when it was acquired by HP.

TouchPad weighs about 1.5 pounds (0.7 kilograms) and has a 9.7-inch (24.6 centimeter) display — the same weight and screen size as the iPad.

The tablet is built with a Qualcomm processor that is “screaming fast,” according to Rubinstein. HP did not disclose the price.

TouchPad software is crafted for easy multi-tasking and supports Adobe Flash software commonly used in online video. The tablet also features a camera for video calling.

The iPad does not run Flash or have a camera.

“This product has a chance to beat RIM (BlackBerry maker Research In Motion) and any individual Android tablet, but not Apple,” Forrester Research analyst Sarah Rotman Epps said of the TouchPad. “Consumers will consider the TouchPad, and then buy an iPad.”

The TouchPad is likely to win over application developers because it should be relatively easy to convert software crafted for iPads and HP will allow freedom when it comes to making money from “apps,” the analyst added.

Forrester predicted that more than 24 million tablets, most of them iPads, will be sold in the United States this year.

TouchPad launch partners will include digital magazine publishers such as Time Inc. and electronic book giant Amazon.

“We are making this a great platform for reading books by partnering with Amazon on Kindle software,” Rubinstein said.

WebOS strengths included multi-tasking capabilities that allow for someone to pause while reading an e-book to take a video call, search out a Web page and print wirelessly to an HP printer.

“All other tablets seem limited in what they can do and when they can do it, but with the TouchPad you can do it all at the same time,” said DreamWorks film studio chief executive Jeffrey Katzenberg.

DreamWorks has worked closely with HP on collaboration and animation systems and gear for a decade.

HP plans to use its global resources to back the TouchPad along with an entire webOS “ecosystem” consisting of soon-to-be-released Veer and Pre 3 smartphones and a line of personal computers built on the platform.

HP declined to provide more details regarding whether its personal computers would be running expressly on webOS in a direct challenge to machines based on the Windows operating systems made by longtime partner Microsoft.

The California-based computer titan is putting “meaningful talent and significant resources” into webOS, according to Todd Bradley, executive vice president of the personal systems group at HP.

HP estimated that the market for gadgets linked to the Internet is $160 billion and “growing fast.”

Source: Yahoo! / AFP

Microsoft patches Windows, IE

Microsoft today issued three “critical” security bulletins as part of its monthly Patch Tuesday program. Together with nine other alerts, which the company rated as “important,” the bulletins address 22 vulnerabilities spanning Microsoft products from Windows and Internet Explorer to Office and Internet Information Services.

On the top of the list is MS11-003, which is a cumulative update for Internet Explorer that resolves four vulnerabilities. Included is a fix for the nasty CSS bug outlined in Security Advisory 2488013, a bug that could give attackers control of people’s computers.

In a podcast about the patches, Jerry Bryant, the group manager of response communications for Microsoft’s Trustworthy Computing Group, downplayed the scope of the CSS issue, saying that the company had seen only limited, targeted attacks focused on this vulnerability. To drive that point home, the company has released telemetry of how that vulnerability stacks up against an already-patched vulnerability in the Windows Shell, to explain why a fix was not made available outside the company’s normal release cycle.

“While our first priority is to protect customers from issues like these, we also look to minimize disruption that issues like out-of-band releases can bring,” Bryant said.

The second critical item included in the list of patches is the thumbnail image attack vulnerability, which is being addressed in MS11-006. This fixes the security hole in Microsoft’s Windows Graphics Rendering Engine that could let attackers gain control of users’ computers by having them load a specially formatted image. The problem affects Windows XP, Server 2003, Windows Vista, and Windows Server 2008, but not Windows 7 or Windows Server 2008 R2, the company said.

“We have not seen any attacks against this vulnerability, but proof of concept code is available to attackers, so we recommend customers put this at the top of their priority list,” Bryant said.

The third critical item that’s being patched is the OpenType Compact Font exploit as part of MS11-007. That particular vulnerability requires end users to load what Microsoft classifies as a “maliciously crafted” font. Bryant explained that the issue had privately been disclosed to the company, and that it was rated a 2 in the Exploitability Index, since Microsoft does not believe a reliable exploit code will show up within the next 30 days.

One tier Lower on the company’s deployment priority index (which is how Microsoft dictates to customers the order in which to deploy patches to machines) is the fix to the zero-day vulnerability with the FTP services in IIS 7.0 and 7.5. It too has a rating of 2 in the Exploitability Index, and it makes up part of MS11-004.

Along with those critical and important updates, Microsoft is changing its Autorun functionality when users plug in USB thumb drives. The company is disabling Autorun from USB thumb drives in versions of Windows that are older than Windows 7, which already has such a security feature. That’s going out to users as an AutoUpdate in Windows Update.

As mentioned in previous coverage about this month’s batch of updates, Microsoft has not offered up more details on long-term fixes for the MHTML vulnerability that cropped up last month and affects Internet Explorer. But according to Jim Walter, the manager of McAfee Threat Intelligence Service, the MHTML problem is smaller than most.

“The scope and impact of the MHTML vulnerability is relatively limited compared to other recent zero-day code execution vulnerabilities,” Walter said in a statement. “Based on the information that is currently available, we are aware that successful exploitation could lead to the running of arbitrary scripts, as well as the disclosure of sensitive information.”

Source: CNET

Google Bets $20,000 You Can’t Hack Chrome

HP TippingPoint on Wednesday announced the dates for its Pwn2Own hacking competition — March 9-11 in Vancouver — and that Google has augmented the contest’s $105,000 cash award fund with an additional $20,000 for anyone who can compromise the Chrome browser.

Other Web browsers available to potential hackers at the contest will include the latest release candidates of Apple’s Safari, Microsoft’s Internet Explorer, and Mozilla’s Firefox, running on 64-bit systems under either Windows 7 or Mac OS X Snow Leopard.

The laptops used will be either a Sony Vaio, an Alienware m11x, or an Apple MacBook Air 13″. For a successful hack of Firefox, Internet Explorer, or Safari, the hacker will win the laptop used and a $15,000 cash prize, along with some other benefits.

If Chrome is hacked — and this requires escaping the Chrome sandbox using vulnerabilities only in Google-written code — the competitor will win $20,000 and a Google CR-48 Chrome OS netbook. Perhaps because of the unfinished state of Chrome OS, competitors will not have the option of trying to break into Chrome on a Chrome OS netbook.

Mobile devices will be the other major target. Competitors will have the option of trying to hack into a Dell Venue Pro running Windows 7, an iPhone 4 running iOS, a Blackberry Torch 9800 running Blackberry 6 OS, or Nexus S running Android.

In addition, competitors this year will be able to attack cell phone baseband processors, which send and receive signals from cell towers. This has been an area of active security research, in part due to the availability of software called OpenBTS, which allows users to set up their own cell tower with some relatively inexpensive computer equipment.

As with the browser attacks, Pwn2Own competitors who execute a successful mobile device attack win the device itself and $15,000. Those who think they have the right stuff can register for the contest until February 15.

Awards of this sort appear to be helpful in promoting the controlled release of vulnerabilities. Three months ago, Google expanded its bug bounty program through which it pays $500 to $3,133.70 for previously undiscovered software flaws. Launched in January 2010 to reward those reporting Chrome bugs, the program was expanded to cover the company’s Web sites in November.

Google paid out about $14,000 in bounties in January.

Source: InformationWeek

HP to offer refund for PCs with flawed Intel chip

HP, the world’s largest PC vendor, said customers can return their PC and either “choose a comparable product” or receive a refund.

Intel said Monday it had found a defect in chips used with its new Sandy Bridge line of processors. The company said the defect was discovered after it shipped more than 100,000 of the chips to computer makers.

In a statement on Wednesday, HP said the chip flaw affects only a small fraction of PCs sold or ordered since January 9, when the Intel technology became available commercially.

HP said certain consumer desktops and laptops were affected, along with one commercial desktop PC model sold to small-business customers in the Europe-Middle East-Africa market.

HP said it stopped making PCs with the flawed Intel chips on Monday, and put a hold on product shipments.

Dell Inc, the No. 2 PC maker, said on Tuesday that four Dell products on the market were affected: XPS 8300, the Vostro 460, the Alienware M17x R.3 and the Alienware Aurora R.3.

“We’re committed to addressing this with customers who have already purchased one of the four products,” the company said in a statement, without providing further details.

Source: Reuters / Yahoo!

Windows 8 coming soon, to a computer near you

Just as you were getting comfortable with Windows 7, it looks like Windows 8 is coming in the next two years. In a post celebrating the one-year anniversary of Windows 7 — the fastest selling OS in history — Microsoft’s Dutch Web site briefly mentioned the construction and release of its successor:

Microsoft is on course for the next version of Windows. But it will take about two years before ‘Windows 8’ on the market.” Winrumors.com grabbed and translated the post, and CNET took a screenshot of the text, which unsurprisingly disappeared shortly after the news stole headlines. Now Microsoft is back to being tight-lipped about Windows 8 and its expected release.

Reports from last year suggested Microsoft was building a 128-bit version of its OS, which could very likely be Windows 8. More recently, NetworkWorld acquired more than 15 confidential slide decks detailing possible additions, including body-sensing features similar to the Xbox Kinect, a desktop app store like Apple’s forthcoming Mac App Store, near-instant CPU booting, and a focus on powering tablets.

But most importantly, by the time Windows 8 supposedly drops, Microsoft is going to have Apple’s latest OS to contend with. Apple just gave a sneak peek of Mac OS X Lion — called a marriage of OS X and Apple’s mobile iOS — that includes some drool-inducing features like a desktop app store, advanced multitouch gestures, and more.

Source: Tech&Fun

John Carmack: Sony NGP a ‘generation beyond’ smartphones

id Software co-founder John Carmack said in the wake of the Sony NGP that the new console was in an entirely different class than smartphones for gaming. The hardware would be a “generation beyond” in performance even next to phones that shipped with performance similar to the quad-core processor and graphics that aren’t yet on any other device. Sony will have the advantage of low-level programming standards that will help any game run faster than it would if it had to use a higher level standard, like OpenGL.

The call-out suggests Sony has landed at least a temporary advantage against companies like Apple, HTC and Motorola. Quad-core phones are generally predicted to be ready by 2012, when the processors should be efficient enough to fit into devices smaller than the  NGP, but will usually have to talk to OpenGL and would have to show reduced detail or run at slower frame rates. Apple is predicted to be using processors and graphics using the same basic architectures as in the NGP this year, but they would be dual-core at most and would have half the theoretical performance.

Officially, Sony has said the NGP’s visual quality approaches that of a PS3, which no mobile devices can match so far. Many of the technology demos shown at the Tokyo PlayStation event on Thursday were ports of PS3 in-game cutscenes or sequences, like Metal Gear Solid 4, that could run nearly as well as on the much larger TV game system.

Carmack has often been a bellwether for mobile gaming and usually given credit to Apple for being the performance leader. The Wolfenstein and Quake developer’s experience in writing game code, especially graphics engines, has often led him to choose iOS over Android and other competing platforms when exploring handheld gaming. He has estimated that the iPad and iPhone 4 are faster than the Nintendo Wii and sometimes outperform the Xbox 360 despite theoretically being slower.

Source: Electronista

Qualcomm raises outlook as mobile chip sales jump

Qualcomm Inc (QCOM.O) raised its forecasts for second-quarter and 2011 revenue as sales of its chips for wireless devices accelerate in China and India, and its shares rose 6 percent.

The company, whose chips are used by mobile device makers including Apple (AAPL.O) and HTC (2498.TW), raised its forecast for fiscal 2011 revenue by $1.2 billion, far surpassing Wall Street’s estimate.

The San Diego-based company has said it expected to boost revenue and earnings per share by at least 10 percent a year over the next five years on the back of accelerating demand for chips in smartphones and tablet computers.

“Not only was their quarter much better than expected but guidance for next quarter is even better,” said Charter Equity Research analyst Ed Snyder. “All the suffering of a year ago has paid off in much bigger design wins, and now those are all coming to fruition.”

Qualcomm vies with the likes of Texas Instruments (TXN.N) and Nvidia (NVDA.O) in supplying chips for smartphones, tablets and other wireless devices, sales of which have boomed as consumers rapidly adopt mobile gadgets, sometimes in place of desktop.

Executives told analysts on a conference call that the company’s dual-core chip designs will begin to ramp up later in the fiscal first half of 2011 across “multiple manufacturers” and that mobile devices will increasingly use the latest LTE high-speed wireless technology.

“In the second half of the (fiscal) year, and even the quarter we’re in, you’re seeing increased demand coming out of India and China,” Executive Vice President Steve Mollenkopf told Reuters.

The jump in Qualcomm’s fiscal 2011 forecast is based on expecting $650 million more from its chipset business and $550 million from its licensing, including the recent resolution of a licensing dispute.

TOOTH AND NAIL

The increasing popularity of smartphones using high-performance processors has helped boost average selling prices for Qualcomm’s products, although analysts warn that could slow as competition increases.

“Even though Qualcomm is an incumbent player, with this whole transition from (cell)phones to smartphones and new product categories, they’re still being very competitive,” said Roth Capital Partners analyst Arnab Chanda.

Verizon Wireless is set to start selling a new version of Apple’s popular iPhone 4 in early February that is expected to include a key chip made by Qualcomm.

Qualcomm faces fierce competition from smaller rival Nvidia in getting its processors into upcoming tablets running Google’s (GOOG.O) Android operating system.

Demonstrating its determination to become a major player in smartphones and tablet computers, Qualcomm this month said it would buy Atheros Communications Inc (ATHR.O), a major producer of chips used in WiFi, bluetooth and ethernet networking, for roughly $3.2 billion in cash.

Qualcomm expects revenue for the current, fiscal second quarter to rise to between $3.45 billion and $3.75 billion, above the $3.1 billion expected by analysts. It projected earnings per share of between 77 cents and 81 cents, also outpacing the Street’s target of 68 cents.

Qualcomm revenue rose to $3.35 billion in the December quarter, up 25 percent from the year-ago quarter. That was above analysts’ average estimate of $3.2 billion, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

It said fiscal 2011 revenue would be between $13.6 billion to $14.2 billion, surpassing Wall Street’s estimate of $12.8 billion.

It posted net income of $1.17 billion for the first quarter ended December 26, up 39 percent from a year earlier. Excluding items, Qualcomm earned 82 cents per share, up 32 percent year over last year.

Shares of the company rose to $55 after closing up 0.66 percent at $51.86 on the Nasdaq.

Source: Reuters / Yahoo!

Google has forked Android

The last thing I wanted to see was Android to split into two “official” versions. Well, guess what, for all intents and purposes that’s what’s happened. Ack!

It’s bad enough that Android has multiple current versions. Then, Xavier Ducrohet, Android SDK (Software Development Kit) Tech Lead, announced “Android 3.0 (Honeycomb) is a new version of the Android platform that is designed from the ground up for devices with larger screen sizes, particularly tablets.”

I asked multiple people at Google if they could expand on this news. None of this could.

So, I’ll spell out what I think is happening here. We’re seeing an Android fork. There will be one line for smartphones, the current Android 2.3, Gingerbread, line, and the forthcoming Android 3, Honeycomb, line.

According to Ducrohet, besides Android’s common features set—multitasking, notifications, and widgets—Honeycomb will have a new UI (user interface) framework for creating great apps for larger screen devices; high-performance 2D and 3D graphics using a built-in OpenGL (Open Graphics Library); support for multicore processors; rich multimedia; new Bluetooth APIs (application programming interfaces) and enterprise enhancements such as encrypted storage and password expiration. That’s all great, but really do we need to split Android into two parts to do this?

If you look at the Android Honeycomb highlights, it becomes even clearer that Honeycomb is going its own way. There is some good news for developers who don’t want to re-do their Android 2.x work for Honeycomb. As the Web page states, while “The new UI brings fresh paradigms for interaction, navigation, and customization and makes them available to all applications—even those built for earlier versions of the platform. Applications written for Android 3.0 are able to use an extended set of UI objects, powerful graphics, and media capabilities to engage users in new ways.”

There’s the rub. If you write apps. for Honeycomb and the coming flood of Android tablets, it sounds like you’re not going to be able to easily backport them to Android smartphones. Sure you could just write for Android 2.x, but your 2.x compliant applications won’t look half-as-good running on tablets. No developer who wants to make money is going to do that.

I like Honeycomb’s new features. They sound great. I just object to Google to turning Android into two separate but unequal platforms Sure, the hardware was never going to be the same, but did Google really need to make two platforms? Apple seems to be doing OK with iOS for everything from iPad Touch devices to iPad.

For Android developers the bottom line is going to mean more work because they’ll need to write two different versions of every single application. Like I said at the top: “Ack!”

Source: ZDNet