The Onion Radio News has been the most highly regarded broadcast news source in the world since visionary Onion publisher T.Herman Zweibel made the bold move in 1922 to shut down the popular Onion Telegraph News and focus on the then embryonic medium of radio. From day one Zweibel intended to employ this new technology for the public good, and for the first two years he devoted much of his airtime to denouncing silent film actress Louise Brooks.
Overnight, Zweibel’s vitriolic attacks gained sufficient listenership to attract wealthy sponsors like Campbell’s Liquid Beef and Spotto potato detergent. The financial success of the Onion Radio News led Zweibel to hire professional “pronouncers,” as they were called then, who were charged with the important task of reading items from the printed version of The Onion to fill time between Zweibel’s marathon anti-flapper rants.
In 1947, a polyp the size of a Concord grape on Zweibel’s vocal cords forced him to stop his nightly rants, allowing the Onion Radio News to finally become one of the first 24-hour news outlets.
Today the Onion Radio News, anchored by Doyle Redland, continues to inspire and inform millions of listeners around the world and has become the living embodiment of the power of the spoken news word.
SEATTLE—In order to avoid capture by the visiting Minnesota Twins Thursday, Mariners center fielder Franklin Gutierrez bit down on his team-issued cyanide capsule during a run down between second and third base. “When you’re surrounded by defenders on both sides with no escape in sight, team protocol is to self-terminate,” said Mariners third base coach Jeff Datz, adding that running outside the baseline is never an option. “Frankie conducted himself bravely. He attempted to advance to the far base, turned back to see if the near base was attainable, assessed the situation, and realized he was out of options. That’s when I smelled the bitter almonds and I knew he was gone.” When asked what information Gutierrez possessed that made suicide his only option, Datz chuckled humorlessly and lit a cigarette, saying, “There’s a lot you don’t know about the Seattle Mariners.”
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Disney Raises Theme Park Admission
The Walt Disney Company announced the cost of a one-day pass to Disneyland had risen from $76 to $80, the second price increase in a year. What do you think?
At $80, they’re sure to attract a better class of family.
Hopefully that’ll finally keep that Make-a-Wish riffraff to a minimum.
Oh my God! I have $80 left in my checking account and I only have one more day to live. What are the odds?
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LAKEWOOD, NJ—Tired of being led in circles by a shrewd and elusive local litterer, detective Alex Lavin attempted to penetrate the thought process of his arch-nemesis on Wednesday “to find out what makes him tick,” sources reported. “He knows I’m hot on his trail, yet he loves the excitement of the chase,” Lavin pondered aloud as he surveyed aluminum cans strewn along the median of Route 9. “A plastic bottle, a pack of Camels, a Pringles canister—is he just toying with me?” Later, arriving home to find a still-warm Charleston Chew wrapper on his doorstep, Lavin reportedly peered up and down the block for the shadowy figure he knew wouldn’t be there, chuckled softly to himself, and muttered, “Ooh, this guy’s good.”
Dear The Onion,
My brother Cliffy owns a driving school. Sometimes he even teaches cops how to drive fast. No shit.
NEW YORK—Yankees captain Derek Jeter hit a seeing-eye wormburner through the left side of the infield for his 2,994th career hit Monday, leaving him just six toppers down the third-base line, Texas Leaguers, or check-swing humpback liners short of 3,000 hits. “These last six chop singles off home plate and difficult-to-field slow rollers to shortstop are going to be hardest for him,” said manager Joe Girardi, who wouldn’t rule out Jeter grounding a ball off the lip of the infield grass and taking a bad hop off the second baseman’s shoulder as a possible route to 3,000. “Derek just needs a couple of swinging bunts and a few official scorers to mistakenly give him a hit on what is clearly an error, and he’ll join the immortals that hung around just long enough to reach this tremendous milestone.” When asked if he would take grounding the ball off the pitcher’s back foot and the pitcher not being able to find it on the field as his 3,000th hit, Jeter answered, “Yes. God, anything.”
The 3D aspect isn’t what should attract you to the HTC Evo 3D, though. It should be about what it offers as a smartphone, and fortunately there’s a lot here to like here, including the addition of a dual-core processor and the latest software. The Evo 3D is running Android 2.3 Gingerbread along with the latest version of HTC Sense, which offers a new lock screen and enhanced widgets, among other things. You can read more about the Sense user interface in our review of the HTC Sensation 4G.
Voice features include a speakerphone, conference calling, voice dialing, video calling via Qik, and text and multimedia messaging. In addition to Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, and GPS, the Evo 3D is 4G-capable and can handle simultaneous voice and data over 4G. The smartphone can also be used as a mobile hot spot for an additional $29.99 per month, and there is no data cap. Finally, we appreciate the fact that the Evo 3D offers a way to toggle between 3G and 4G in order to save battery life.
The handset comes preloaded with a number of apps and services, some useful, some not so useful. Among the more helpful apps are the Polaris Office suite, Kobo Reader for e-books, and a dock mode that displays the time, weather, upcoming appointments, and your social network feed on one screen. More apps are available in the Android Market, which now has a catalog of about 200,000 titles.
Though apps generally don’t take up a lot of space, be aware that like the HTC Sensation 4G, the Evo 3D doesn’t offer much internal storage. It has 4GB of internal memory but only 1GB of that is available to the user, and you can’t uninstall the preloaded apps. You can move them, as well as any downloaded apps, to the preinstalled 8GB microSD card, but if you plan on loading up your phone with apps, music, and video, you might want to upgrade to a higher-capacity card. The phone’s expansion slot can support up to 32GB.
We already talked a bit about the 3D photo quality, but how’s the regular 2D camera? Pretty impressive, actually. The camera offers a broad set of editing tools, including a sliding scale for adjusting exposure, contrast, saturation, and sharpness. Even without customizing the settings, picture quality was bright and sharp. The built-in dual LED flash helped photos taken dimly lit rooms look vibrant and crisp. The camera can also capture 1080p HD video in 2D (720p in 3D), and video quality was also good.
We tested the dual-band HTC Evo 3D in New York using Sprint service and call quality was OK. We had no problems hearing our callers, and we didn’t notice any type of voice distortion or garbled sounds. However, there was a constant hissing in the background; it was faint enough that we could still carry on conversation, but it was noticeable. Unfortunately, our callers didn’t have the best experience. Some said we sounded muffled, while others noted tinny sound quality.
HTC Evo 3D call quality sample
Speakerphone quality was another mixed bag. The sound was generally clear, but the audio cut in and out a couple of times, and at the highest setting there was just enough volume to hear callers in a noisier environment. Meanwhile, callers said we sounded far away and there was some hollowness to the audio. We paired the smartphone with the Logitech Mobile Traveller Bluetooth headset and the Motorola S9 Bluetooth Active Headphones and had no problems making calls or listening to music. We also made a video call using the Qik client over Wi-Fi. The audio came through just fine, but the video was choppy and occasionally froze on us.
We didn’t experience any dropped calls during our testing period, and we were able to get 4G coverage in most parts of Manhattan. However, it did drop to 3G a few times, particularly around midtown. Sprint’s 4G network provided good data speeds. Using Ookla’s Speedtest.net app to measure speeds, we averaged 9.02Mbps down and 0.92Mbps up. CNET’s full site loaded in 13 seconds, while the mobile sites for CNN and ESPN came up in 4 seconds and 5 seconds, respectively. High-quality 2D YouTube clips buffered within seconds and played back continuously. There were some hiccups with 3D videos as they stopped and started in a few spots, and streaming content from Sprint TV looked pretty murky.
Armed with Qualcomm’s new 1.2GHz dual-core processor and 1GB of RAM, the Evo 3D easily handled any task we threw at it. General navigation was speedy. Apps launched as soon as we tapped them, and we were able to switch between tasks with minimal delay. Aside from the 3D screen issue we mentioned earlier, the only other uh-oh moment we had during our review period was that after we connected to the smartphone to our PC to transfer some media files, the phone spontaneously rebooted itself. However, this only happened once in our testing.
The HTC Evo 3D ships with a bigger 1,730mAh lithium ion battery than the Evo 4G and has a rated talk time of 6 hours. Though we’re still conducting our battery drain tests, we’ve already noticed better battery life in day-to-day use. Starting with a full charge in the morning and with moderate to heavy use (including playing 3D games and video), we were able to go a full day, sometimes early into the next day, before needing to recharge. As soon as we complete testing, we will update this section with our battery talk time results. According to FCC radiation tests, the Evo 3D has a digital SAR rating of 0.885W/kg and a Hearing Aid Compatibility Rating of M4/T3.
Among Sprint’s touch-screen smartphones, the HTC Evo 3D sits high on the list, if not at the top of the list. HTC and Sprint improved the Evo in areas that matter the most, including speed and battery life, while keeping some of the qualities we loved about the original Evo, such as a premium design. These features are what make the Evo 3D worthwhile; the fact that it happens to do 3D too is just an added bonus.
As far as hardware features are concerned, the EVO View 4G’s most impressive spec is its 4G network compatibility. Assuming you have Sprint’s 4G coverage in your area, the Evo View 4G offers an incredible range of ways to stay connected and pull down content quickly. Other specs, such as a 1.5GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon processor with 1GB of RAM, Bluetooth 3.0, and 802.11n Wi-Fi, are par for the course these days.
The Evo View 4G uses a 1.3-megapixel front camera (same as the Galaxy Tab) and a 5-megapixel camera on the back. By comparison, the Tab’s rear camera is limited by a 3-megapixel sensor, but has the advantage of an integrated flash. If you ask us, cameras on tablets always feel a bit awkward, and tend to only come in handy for video chat. The Evo View 4G does come with Qik’s two-way video chat software preinstalled, but doesn’t include the video-enabled version of Google Talk found in Honeycomb.
Aside from HTC’s unique take on the Android interface and Sprint’s 4G network speeds, the Evo View further differentiates itself with its Magic Pen or HTC Scribe technology (provided by N-trig). Using a combination of screen sensors and digital pen technology, the HTC Evo View 4G can be used to scribble detailed notes, highlight text, make annotations, sign digital documents, and create intricate, multicolored drawings. For a limited time, Sprint is including the digital pen with the Evo View 4G. If you lose it, though, a replacement will set you back $80.
There’s a lot to be said about the pen’s usefulness, but it also introduces an extra layer of complexity that not everyone will appreciate. For example, you can’t actually operate the tablet with the pen. When you tap the pen on the screen, it inexplicably snaps a screenshot of whatever you’re viewing and allows you to mark it up with virtual ink. Any navigation, page scrolling, or app launching still requires your fingers, which leads to a back-and-forth dance between fingers and pen. Put the pen down, and it rolls right off the table. Put the pen in your pocket, and its clipless design is likely to tumble to the floor if you reach down to pick something up. If this were a $2 pen, we wouldn’t complain so much–but again, these pens are $80 each.
The HTC Evo View 4G is undeniably fun to use. The interface is fast and responsive. HTC Sense puts an emphasis on connecting with your friends and social networks. Google’s excellent core apps are included, such as Gmail, Calendar, Gallery, Maps, Latitude, Navigation, Places, Talk, and, of course, Marketplace. The onscreen multitouch keyboard is excellent and easy to type on using your thumbs in both landscape and portrait orientation. Apps (including the camera) launch within seconds. The Web browser is lean and powerful, with an impressive selection of advanced settings that can be adjusted. All in all, it’s everything you’d hope for from a first-class HTC smartphone.
Unfortunately, we can’t help but feel that the tablet-as-giant-smartphone concept already wore out its welcome in 2010, with the launch of products like the Dell Streak and Samsung Galaxy Tab. It’s a given now that consumers already own a smartphone and expect a tablet to offer something different beyond a bigger screen. The closest the HTC Evo View 4G comes to achieving this is the inclusion of the Scribe technology, but we’re not convinced that’s a feature most people are looking for, and as a selling point it’s hampered by the confusion over the pen’s limited-time-only inclusion and prohibitively expensive replacement price.
That said, as the rich man’s Galaxy Tab, the HTC Evo View 4G has plenty to brag about. The 1,024×600-pixel-resolution LCD panel quality is beautiful and offers excellent viewing angles and brightness. Image and video capture quality are adequate, though not exceptional. And if you’ve been looking for a tablet with sophisticated tools for note taking and document annotation, the Evo View 4G’s Scribe technology is the best game in town.
Battery life is rated around 8 hours, which is typical for its size and capabilities. Of course, when you switch on the tablet’s 4G network connection, the battery life is going to take a hit. CNET Labs will update this review with our own battery drain results once testing is complete.
The HTC Evo View 4G is a beautiful little tablet that resembles HTC’s celebrated line of Android smartphones. Unfortunately, the Evo View 4G is still a 7-inch Gingerbread tablet living in an increasingly 10-inch, Honeycomb world. HTC may eventually be able to carve out a niche for the 7-inch pen-enabled tablet, but Sprint’s choice to go with two-year contracts and pricey data plans isn’t going to help matters.