As reported by WSJ.com, the Facebook phone is real and HTC will be its OEM.  The device, currently operating under the code name “Buffy” is said to run on enhanced version of Android customized by Facebook in order to best integrate its services as well as support HTML5.  The device is still a long way from hitting shelves with estimates ranging from 12 – 18 months.

Read the full article with more information on the handset on AllthingsD

Advertisements

For the first time, Disney is looking to launch a multimillion dollar franchise character via the small screen.  The strategy behind the “Where’s My Water,” a game that launched on September 22nd,  was to invest in a mobile game prior to green lighting a theatrical release based on the character Swampy, a subterranean sewer living gator. .  In a business where animated films can often take up to 5 years  and cost millions to produce, putting a  few hundred thousand dollars out there to gauge interest and build a fan base is a much less risky proposition.

Considering the app is one of the top ranking paid apps at 99 cents and displaced the record-setting “Angry Birds” game from the No. 1 spot for three weeks according to Bloomberg.  It appears the strategy is working.

The concept of the game is simple.  Swampy, an alligator who lives in the sewer is desperately in need of a bath.  Players slide their fingers across their iPhone (or iPad) screens digging through dirt to guide water into the gator’s tub while at the same time dodging toxic waste and collecting rubber duckies as prizes.

The time of year for pop-up stores is upon us and in the world of technology geeks, the WIRED store is a much-anticipated event.  This year, Conde Nast has taken over the space formerly occupied by the ESPN Zone in Times Square a much larger space than last year in SoHo.

This year, WIRED partnered with emerging social media app SONAR to enhance the experience.   When visitors check in via the Sonar app, they’re given a brief survey that pairs you with one of  WiredInsider‘s Tumblr personalities thatcurated the store this year including; The Adventure Capitalist, Culturazzi, Digital Gentlemen, Gastronaut, It Girl, and The Smarter Upstarter.  .You can then view personalized WIRED store recommendations.

While my personal guide may have been the “Gastronaut.” here are some of the things that caught my attention regardless of recommendations.  These are in no particular order.

1. Digitech IPB-10 Digital Pedal Board:  $499.95

2. ETRE 5 Point Gloves $64.90

3. ATARI 2600 in 24K Gold  $6,650

4. USB Typewriter $699.00

5.  Acousticom Sound Egg  $2,525

Check out the press release and website where all of the above products and more are available for purchase

.

Millions of people are listening to digital  music via sites like Spotify and Pandor. These sites have strong followings for a number of reasons one of which being  the concept of  “passive discovery” or the ability to  stumble on new content based on artist or genre searches.

Amsterdam-based startup, Shuffler.fm is putting a new spin on that discovery process by aggregating music directly from blogs like Pitchfork, TheMusic.FM, and Stereogum in their  The service  allows listeners to play continuous mixes by genre..  In addition, music blogs can create their own dedicated pages that include a “play this blog” button.

While this may be nothing ground-breaking in the space,  Shuffle.fm’s slick new tablet interface offers users a great way to discover new artists (and music blogs for that matter) with some contextual relevance.  At the very least, it’s a refreshing change from the algorithm-based model we’ve become accustomed to thus far.

Shuffler.fm is currently available in the iTunes store and their pitch from SXSW’11 can be viewed here

Nest,  now being dubbed by TIME as the iPod of thermostats is an emerging product that learns from your behavior and adjusts home temperatures accordingly.  The device also has motion sensors that help tell the system whether you’re home or not essentially saving you energy.

Want one for the holiday season?  You may be out of luck.  According to the compnay, they’ve   sold out of pre-orders due to overwhelming demand.

Learn more on their website http://www.nest.com

Movember 2011 campaign http://www.us.movember.com

Movember is upon us and this year, the Prostate Cancer Foundation Livestrong and the Movember Foundation have partnered once again to host a dedicated online hub dedicated to the movemet.  For those unfamiliar, Movember is the month in which men are encouraged to let their facial hair grow free from ridicule. The more lavish the better.   The site includes a community page, Flickr stream, events (including Movember Gala’s in a number of cities).

Reminds me of last Movember when I sat next to Tom Selleck stacheless…devastating.

Some other participating sponsors include Fosters, the Art of the Shave (no surprise there)