The third generation iPad is officially here, and fans all over the world braved the early morning today to wait in line and get their hands on the new tablet.

Line lengths varies around the world. More than 400 shoppers waited outside an Apple store in China, while more than 200 would-be owners stood in line outside an Apple store in Boston. Still others claimed to only have waited just 10 minutes, or not at all, for the clock to strike 8 am local time and the doors to open.

Even Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak waited in line to grab the new iPad. He didn’t have to, of course — the company habitually offers him any new device he wants. But as he explained to What’s Trending, he’s fond of the “real-world” experience that comes with owning a new device.

“More than anything else, it’s just sort of like it’s become a ritual, almost. Because I’ve done it so many times, I’m doing it again…I’d rather be in there and be genuine like the real people,” he said.

Clearly, both sleep and money were sacrificed in droves. But here’s the question: Is the third-generation iPad really worth the lines and the buzz?

Mashable‘s Christina Warren joined the crowds to survey the HD tablet herself. A “drool-worthy” display and an amazingly fast 4G LTE network are just some of the first impressions she noted for the new device.

The iPad’s sharp camera was another prominent feature. Comparing it side-by-side with the iPad 2, its superiority was undeniable.

So, what do you think of the new iPad? Was it worth the wait and the hype? Let us know in the comments.

BONUS: The View From the iPad Line [PICS]

The View From the iPad Line

Mashable reader Rafael Savino shows off the view from 2nd in line in Houston.

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Two of Hollywood’s biggest production companies want to give Netflix and Hulu a run for their money. Consumers should soon to able to download HD movies and shows directly onto their flash drives to view movies, bypassing traditional online streaming sites.

Warner Bros. Home Entertainment and Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment have teamed up with digital data companies SanDisk and Western Digital to create an easier, faster and organized way to store entertainment.

“Project Phenix” — yep, that’s how they spell it — will enable movie watchers to store purchased HD content on USB thumb drives. Since it’s on a portable device, you’ll be able to view content without an Internet connection on televisions, PCs, laptops, tablets and game consoles.

“[It] will allow consumers to easily access and store true HD digital content,” said Darcy Antonellis, President, Warner Bros. Technical Operations, in a press release.

SEE ALSO: Ridley Scott’s ‘Prometheus’ Teased in TEDTalk From the Future [VIDEO]
Full 1080p quality HD movies and TV shows, including newly released content, will be available for download, storage and backup on UltraViolet cloud-based storage.

The project took form under the new Secure Content Storage Association (SCSA). The group works to protect vulnerable files online. The association hopes to combat movie piracy by offering copy-protected content via cloud-based storage.

“The vision for this new product is to store, play and back up in the cloud personal and professional content,” said Mike Dunn, President, Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment. “The device renders content up to 10 times faster than over-the-top internet. We see Project Phenix as a key component of the emerging digital ecosystem.”

Movie watchers can access downloads online or offline in its true Hollywood form, says SCSA members. Watch the video above to find out more about this new way to see movies and T.V. shows at home.

Would you be interested in this movie innovation — carrying around HD movies and shows on a flash drive or portable hard drive? Let us know in the comments.

Image courtesy of Flickr, creativecommoners.

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The FBI shut down 3,000 GPS-based devices this week in a response to a court case ruling decided on Jan 23.

The U.S. Department of Justice is now dispatching officials to remove the devices, which were not authorized by warrant to be attached to vehicles.

In United States vs. Jones, the FBI stuck a tracking device under a car owned by Antoine Jones — a nightclub owner and operator — living in Maryland.

Officials started using visual and GPS surveillance after suspecting him of trafficking narcotics, according to Supreme Court documents.

Local officers physically watched over the nightclub, installed a camera outside of the building, wiretapped his cellular phone and attached a GPS device to his Jeep Grand Cherokee. A warrant was issued for the installation of the GPS device within the District of Columbia within 10 days.

However, the GPS was installed on the 11th day and outside the District of Columbia. Over a 28-day period, Jones’ vehicle was tracked.

Watch the video above to see how this decision affects you and what the FBI is doing now to revise GPS guidelines and policies.

Do you think the FBI should be allowed to track supposed criminals by using GPS technology without warrants? Let us know in the comments.

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A Chinese company likes the iPhone so much that they named a stove after the Apple brand.

This is the latest of many Chinese companies to sell fake Apple products, but perhaps the first documented pseudo-Apple home appliance. Apparently, the company sold portable gas stoves engraved with the Apple logo and “iphone” brand name. The misuse of Apple’s brand was discovered only after the single burner stoves were deemed unsafe and seized by Chinese police in Wuhan, according to the Chinese tech website M.I.C. Gadget.

Police found 681 stoves sporting Apple’s logo and brand in two warehouses. The stoves had the half eaten apple graphic and “iphone” printed in white on a green background just below the burner. Also, the fake Apple stove was labeled an “Apple China Limited.”

Several Chinese companies have been known for illegally using Apple’s brand names to profit. In 2011, 25 fake Chinese Apple stores — that looked nearly identical to real Apple stores — were shutdown. An American living in China discovered the stores and blogged about visiting a couple of them.

This year, Shenzhen Proview Technology company in China claimed ownership of the name “iPad” and ordered the removal of Apple iPads from Northern China stores. Apple could face a $38 million fine in China for using the name “iPad.”

Watch the video above to see what the stove looks like. If Apple were to start making home appliances, would you buy them? What features would you want the stove to have? Sound off in the comments below.

Thumbnail photo courtesy of M.I.C. Gadget.

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What do you do when you want Marty McFly’s hoverboard from Back to the Future so badly you can almost feel yourself floating around on it? You do what French artist Nils Guadagnin did: build one yourself.

As you can see in the video above, Guadagnin created a life-sized floating replica, using a couple of electromagnets along with a laser guidance system. That tech allows the board to lift off the ground just like the “real” thing. Never mind that it can only lift 5 pounds so far — Guadagnin calls it a “work in progress.”

Until you can pick up one of these hoverboards at the local sporting goods store, Mattel will be more than happy to sell you a scale replica of Marty McFly’s hoverboard, up for pre-order in a matter of weeks.

What would our world be like if antigravity technology were cheap enough to install in a kid’s skateboard?

[via YouTube]

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Have you ever wondered about how Google handles paid directories? Well, Matt Cutts answers the question “Are paid directories held to the same standards as paid links?” from the famous Blind Five Year Old and I personally liked what Matt had to say. Before you decide to pay to be in an online directory or […]

Follow SEJ on Twitter @sejournal

Matt explains this newer feature and tells you about all the options you have with Fetch as Googlebot. Follow SEJ on Twitter @sejournal

Follow SEJ on Twitter @sejournal

A team of Swiss astronauts and university professors are working to create a robot spacecraft called CleanSpace One, which will grab inactive satellite parts from space and bring them back to Earth.

About 700 active satellites are in orbit around Earth, sending us weather, phone, television and GPS signals. But they are in constant danger of smashing into old inactive satellites.

“It has become essential to be aware of the existence of this debris and the risks that are run by its proliferation,” says Claude Nicollier, an astronaut and professor at the École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne.

A 2009 collision between American Satellite Iridium with an inactive Russian satellite caused $55 million worth of damage. The accident also left 2,000 additional pieces of debris in space.

Thousands of satellites have launched since Sputnik‘s 1957 pioneering voyage into space. Over 16,000 pieces of broken and inactive satellites have collected in orbit causing a risk of collisions.

SEE ALSO: NASA Wants To Send Astronauts To Mars Within 20 Years in New Deep Space Vehicle

Before CleanSpace One is ready for space, there are technological hurdles to overcome. One being the machine’s ability to come within range of an object in space, to be close enough to capture it. Another hurdle is developing robotic arms that can “grab” the item. After being captured, the debris will be taken by the robot spacecraft back into the Earth’s atmosphere, where both will disintegrate upon re-entry.

Although space junk has been proposed as a serious threat to NASA equipment and personnel, this is currently a university-funded project and not a full-fledged multi-million dollar development, EPFL members say.

The maiden voyage will cost about $11 million, which the EFPL space team is hoping to raise over three to five years. Considering insurance premiums for satellites already go for about $20 billion, companies may be prompted to donate to the cause so insurance premiums don’t increase if the problem gets worse.

Thumbnail image courtesy of EPFL.

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Doctors can now save lives and office space with the latest cloud-based technology that will let them view live medical endoscope scans (medical images of internal organs) on their Apple iPads.

Current endoscopic images are generally viewed on bulky video monitors plugged into the wall. The new wireless endoscopy tools created by Envisioner called Endosync will mobilize doctors and maybe help them better diagnose illnesses in patients.

Here’s how it works: A wireless endoscopy transmitter hooks up to a traditional endoscopic camera that goes inside a person’s body. It transfers live video footage of internal organs through an encrypted Wi-Fi network to an iPad app called eGoPad. Doctors can view the footage live on their iPads and make audio notes.

SEE ALSO: 5 Useful iPad Apps for Doctors, Patients and Med Students

The technology is in its final stages of development and should be released in March.

What do you think of Endosync’s innovative medical technologies? Tells us in the comments below.

Image courtesy of Envisionier Medical Technologies, Inc.

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No one is sure what Google has up its sleeve, but it could be something you’ll have at home in years to come.

Google applied for a Federal Communications Commission experimental license to test an unnamed prototype entertainment device in its employees’ homes. The company says the device will connect to home electronics through wireless Internet and Bluetooth.

The main reason for the testing is to see if the device works properly and to “reveal real world engineering issues and reliability of networks,” the company said in its application. Google says the device is still in early stages of development and will be modified after reviewing test results from the 252 devices Google would like to place into employee homes in New York; Cambridge, Mass.; Los Angeles and Mountain View, Calif.

Google asked to test the devices from Jan. 17 to July 17.

SEE ALSO: FCC Grants Google Access To “Super Wi-Fi” Broadband Spectrum

“From this testing we hope to modify the design in order to maximize product robustness and user experience,” the application — submitted by Richard Whitt, Google’s director and managing counsel for Telecom and Media — says. “Utilizing the requested number of units will allow testing of real world network performance and its impact on applications running on the device, so that any problems can be discovered and addressed promptly.”

Little has been disclosed about the what the device actually is, but GigaOM and tech bloggers are wondering if it could be related to Android@Home — Google’s technology to control light switches, alarm clocks and other home appliances through Android devices — or wearable Google Goggles.

Watch the video to learn more. What do you think Google is testing?

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