Dan Brown's new digital novel outsells all physical books...The BlackBerry Tour's debilitating trackball problems...Photos show a comet "giving birth" to baby comets...Samsung Instinct HD to release this month?...
Reports indicate that there's a widespread problem with the BlackBerry Tour's trackball, being so recessed as to get clogged and require regular cleaning—something most BlackBerry owners don't (but should) know how to do. The smartphone, available on Sprint and Verizon, is according to one report seeing up to 50% returns, some for repair, for the issue. A Sprint representative said that the problem was not nearly that widespread, but also admitted that there is a problem and that it affects "early production models," presumably meaning the Tours coming off the production line have been fixed. Anybody here having issues with the Tour's trackball? [Electronista]
A leaked Sprint memo and a little slip-up at Best Buy have conspired to give us a fuller picture of the Samsung Instinct HD's launch window: It should be announced on September 26th and be available for sale on September 27th. For the latecomers, the Instinct HD packs a 3.2-inch touchscreen, HD video-out, Wi-Fi, visual voicemail and a 5MP camera. It's still a dumbphone, but it's an awfully impressive one. We'll have to wait until the 26th to find out if this is all true. [Boy Genius Report]
Bafflingly successful Ludlum-lite author Dan Brown's newest work, The Lost Symbol, has accomplished something pretty impressive: The ereader version has outsold not only the physical version, but also every other book, digital or physical, at Amazon. That would be pretty shocking if not for the fact that the physical book is only available for pre-order, while the digital version is actually for sale, so of course more people are buying, you know, an actual product. [Electronista]
After Comet 17P (AKA Holmes) exploded in an incredible burst of light, sending out a dust cloud larger than our sun, astronomers decided it was worth a closer look. They used a Laplacian filter, which apparently enhances hard-to-see debris within the mess of dust and ice, although when I tried to figure out what exactly a Laplacian filter is my head nearly exploded with calculations and math and numbers. I lost track of this explanation after about the third word. Anyway, that filter showed that the explosion actually formed several smaller comets, rocketing off at speeds nearing 280mph. Pretty cool stuff! [PopSci]