9/16/2012 7:00:00 AM
Alt-week peels back the covers on some of the more curious sci-tech stories from the last seven days.
Sometimes we wonder, what would we have ended up doing if we didn't spend our time trawling the web for the week's best alternative tech stories? We could have been paleontologists, novelists, engineers, or if we were really lucky, worked for Google. Instead, here we are bringing you some of the more colorful tech-tales from the last seven days, which we're really not complaining about. That said though, at least on this occasion, we got to taste a bit of all the above. This is alt-week.Permalink | | Email this | Comments
9/15/2012 6:03:00 AM
If you were interested in any of Sony's most recent camera revelations, it is now time to ready up that wallet of yours because Amazon's set to start taking orders pretty shortly. At this very moment, the trio's listed as "temporarily out of stock," but this is presumably due to the retailer being in the middle of stocking shelves with the latest and greatest shooters from the Japanese electronics outfit. Still, you can take your pick between that flagship Alpha A99, the mirrorless NEX-6 or the full-frame Cyber-shot RX1 and order one now, though they're not due to ship until October, November and December, respectively. As expected, both the A99 and RX1 are priced at around $2,800, while the NEX-6 carries a smaller $848 tag -- this, of course, being for the body-only flavors. All the links you need are down below, so make sure to bookmark 'em if you're interested in making one of these your own.
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9/16/2012 8:55:00 PM
Today's business jargon gem: TAM, Total Addressable Market. AMD feels that Windows 8 comes with plenty of the stuff, so it sees no commercial need to make its forthcoming tablet chip -- codenamed Hondo -- play nice with Android as well. Speaking to The Inquirer, corporate VP Steve Belt said it was a "conscious decision" not to go after compatibility with Google's OS, because AMD doesn't want to spread itself into "other markets." What could this mean for us tablet-buyers? No dual-booting Windows / Android magic on AMD devices, for one thing, which is perhaps a shame now that ASUS has shown off the combo's potential. On the other hand, Belt made it clear that Hondo will support Linux, which -- for now, at least -- is more than can be said of Intel's rival low-power silicon, Clover Trail.
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9/16/2012 11:00:00 AM
Unsurprisingly, Apple left us in the dark regarding some specifics of the iPhone 5 upon its release. Thankfully, the good folks over at Anandtech have done a bit of digging into those numbers you see bordering Apple's Apple A6 SoC, definitively figuring out that Cupertino's latest phone packs in a total 1GB of Samsung-sourced memory. The site clocks the DRAM inside at 1,066Mhz, noting that it's comprised of "two 512MB dies in a dual-channel LPDDR2 package with 32 bits per channel." Further, Anandtech lists the the speed of the iPhone 5's memory at 8,528MB/sec -- an ample 33 percent boost over the 6,400MB/sec rating for the RAM in the iPhone 4S, but well below the 12,800 MB/sec needed to drive the new iPad's bandwidth-hungry screen resolution.
Beyond that, the site believes that the A6 is Apple's first truly in-house creation, as it's using math units too new to be found in a ARM Cortex-A9 architecture (like the A5 or A5X) but reportedly isn't a match for the soon-to-be-released Cortex-A15. If true, the implication is significant -- it suggests Apple is taking the more aggressive path of a chip designer like Qualcomm and custom-tailoring large parts of its processor designs to get the speed it wants on a more exacting schedule. That's a quick summation of the details; hit up the source links below if you want the explanation in full geek speak.
Jon Fingas contributed to this post.Permalink | | Email this | Comments
Apple, carrier stores open at 8AM on September 21st for iPhone 5 sales, early pre-order tallies are 'incredible'
9/15/2012 6:23:00 AM
Apple regularly likes to kickstart major launches with early retail openings, and it's just confirmed that the natural order of things is intact: both its own stores as well as those for AT&T, Sprint and Verizon will open at 8AM local time on September 21st to take iPhone 5 sales from anyone who missed out on the pre-order rush. As for how well those pre-orders have gone so far? Apple's statement on the subject doesn't give us concrete numbers at this stage, but it certainly hints at an upbeat outlook:
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9/16/2012 10:27:00 AM
We know you've got questions, and if you're brave enough to ask the world for answers, here's the outlet to do so. This week's Ask Engadget inquiry is coming to us from Ben, who needs a stylish way to carry around his electronics haul. If you're looking to send in an inquiry of your own, drop us a line at ask [at] engadget [dawt] com.
This week, we're revisiting a topic from January 2010, but given how much has changed since then, it's well worth keeping it up to date. We've heard good things about the Timbuk2 Commute Messenger that we gave away as part of our Back to School sweepstake, but your humble narrator is still toting around a cumbersome (and less useful) Lowepro Fastpack 250, which the TSA doesn't take kindly to. Still, that's why we'll open this up the floor and find out what you're all rocking when it comes time for that gadget-laden cross-country jaunt.Permalink | | Email this | Comments
9/16/2012 1:13:00 AM
Now that Ceton has pushed its Companion mobile apps for Windows Media Center out the door, our attention returns to the hardware we got a look at during CES. A blog post from the company indicates the Echo extender has passed FCC and CE certifications, with alpha tests under way. If you're not in position to borrow a unit from the home of an employee, your next opportunity to obtain one will come when the beta starts. The 1,000 applicants accepted should receive ordering information around the end of this month before hardware ships on October, which, if there are no delays, could mean general availability as soon as November. Still waiting for word on that slick six tuner Q DVR? So are we, but an update, along with final specs for the Echo version 1, are promised at the end of the month.Permalink | | Email this | Comments
9/15/2012 4:56:00 PM
The Cox TV Connect for iPad app that brings live TV streaming to the tablet while customers are at home has received another update that gives it some capabilities outside the house. While that doesn't include the aforementioned TV viewing, version 1.1.2 integrates remote DVR scheduling (previously left to the company's Mobile Connect phone apps) and allows access to the app and recently updated grid guide when the user is away from home. You'll still need to have the proper TV and internet packages from Cox to make it all go, but there's no additional charge for the app that's available at the source link below.Permalink | | Email this | Comments
9/16/2012 7:57:00 AM
With the proliferation of Ultrabooks, laptops are shipping with fewer ports and smaller screens. One of the benficiaries of the streamlined designs is DisplayLink, whose technology can turn a single USB port into a bevy of connections. At IDF 2012, the company showed off new gear from several vendors, including EVGA, HP, Lenovo and Targus. First, there's a handsome little puck from EVGA, called the UV Plus+39, that plugs into your laptop's USB 2 or 3.0 socket to grant you HDMI and DVI output at up to 2048 x 1152 resolution for $85. Next up, Lenovo's self-explanatory USB 3.0 to DVI adapter that supports the same max resolution as the Plus+39 for $80. Lastly, a pair of docks from Targus and HP. HP's 3005pr USB 3.0 Port Replicator turns your laptop's USB 3.0 port into four USB 2.0, two USB 3.0, one HDMI, DisplayPort, and RJ-45 jacks, plus audio in and out connections for a mere $150. Targus' $250 USB 3.0 SuperSpeed Dual Video Docking Station has similar connectivity to HP's solution, but swaps DisplayPort for DVI and adds the ability to charge 90W laptops using its included array of power adapters. Having trouble deciding which one's for you? Perhaps our photos in the gallery below will help you decide.
Gallery: DisplayLink at IDF 2012
Myriam Joire contributed to this report.
Filed under: PeripheralsPermalink | | Email this | Comments
9/17/2012 3:30:00 AM
Yes yes y'all, you know what time it is. Gimme 5 in this edition of the Engadget Mobile Podcast.
00:01:00 - iPhone 5 officially announced with 4-inch display, A6 CPU and LTE for $199 on September 21st
Hear the podcast
9/16/2012 5:45:00 AM
From the No, We Promise It's Not 2007 department: there is a new iPhone and a new Wii. Listen to us talk about them between catching up with your favorite songs from artists like Gwen Stefani, Fergie, and Akon.
02:36 - iPhone 5 hands-on!
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9/17/2012 1:00:00 PM
Fujifilm has been making some really handsome, retro-styled shooters lately, and the latest is the XF1. It's a compact camera that's 4.2 inches wide, 2.4 inches across and a scant 1.2 inches deep, and comes covered in either black, red or tan faux leather. There's a 2/3 inch 12-megapixel sensor inside with a retractable, manual zoom, 25-100mm f/1.8 - f/4.9 lens that's optically stabilized. You turn the thing on by twisting and pulling out the lens (like its elder brother, the X10), and you can shoot 1080p 30fps video using the 3-inch 460,000 dot LCD on the back. The XF1's ISO range is 100 - 12,800 and it's got a pop-up flash for shooting in poorly lit locales. Additionally, the camera has a jog dial with a full manual setting, six buttons dedicated to primary functions and a separate, programmable key to tailor the UX to your liking. The XF1 goes on sale for $500 next month, though should you be unable to wait that long, head on over to Cologne, Germany and you can see one in person at Photokina later this week.
Gallery: Fujifilm XF1 press shots
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9/17/2012 11:24:00 AM
If Panasonic didn't have attention from movie producers before, it just might as of this week. Joining the quickly developing tradition of camera makers producing elaborate short movies as technology demos, the company has let cinematographer Philip Bloom wield (and tease) a "brand new G camera" to record Genesis, a fast-paced mini-drama showing a man's race to meet his love before it's too late. While Bloom can't talk much about the hardware in question until the 17th, he's allowed to confirm that the upcoming Micro Four Thirds body relies on a "superb" 72Mbps All-I codec for video -- letting it capture a sprint through the streets without the compression artifacts of the AVCHD format used by most mirrorless cameras. Panasonic's upcoming shooter also touts "much improved" results in the dark, Bloom says. It all sounds very tempting, especially if it turns out that Panasonic's inadvertent leaks are for the same camera we see in action here. The full movie is available after the break, and Bloom has the behind-the-scenes details at the source link.
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9/17/2012 8:07:00 AM
Google has been aggressive about keeping Google Apps owners on the same (web) page. The company's cloud platform typically won't acknowledge any browser more than one version out of date, and it's about to put that rapid upgrade strategy to the test by dropping support for Internet Explorer 8. On November 15th, shortly after IE10 arrives in sync with Windows 8, Google will leave IE8 web app users to fend for themselves -- and, by extension, Windows XP users without an alternative browser. While the cutoff doesn't amount to a full-fledged block, Google Apps users still stuck in 2009 will be reminded that they're on their own until they upgrade. Is it the end of the world for web apps on older PCs? No, but it's clear that their days are numbered.Permalink | | Email this | Comments
9/15/2012 8:21:00 PM
What we wouldn't give to have access to Google's treasure trove of human wonderings. Every day millions of folk tell the search giant exactly what they are thinking about, without even realizing it. It's not all take take take, though, as Mountain View has just released some data letting us all know what we and our (geographical) neighbors did this summer. By compiling popular search terms used in Google Maps between May and September, we can see that, while Canadians and the Spanish were looking for the beach, Britons were more partial to a game of Squash, or a trip around Trafalgar Square. Back home, Death Valley, Redwood and Yosemite National Parks were earning the most interest, while Paintball was the top activity -- but we're hoping the two are unrelated. Want to see how the Dutch like to unwind, or how Indians like to cool off? Jump on the
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Google Senior VP of Mobile: Aliyun OS 'under no requirement to be compatible', but it won't get help from Android ecosystem alliance
9/16/2012 11:02:00 PM
Andy Rubin has added another response to Alibaba's Aliyun OS, after Google's insistence that Acer put the launch of its new smartphone on pause. He focuses (again) on the Open Handset Alliance (OHA), which OEMs agree to when they work with the platform, promising to keep Android a happy (and relatively compatible) platform. Amazon dodges any similar issues with its Kindle Fire tablets, because it didn't sign up to the same alliance. Rubin says that because Aliyun uses Android's framework and tools -- as well as housing some suspect Android apps (and pirated Google programs) within its own App Store -- the mobile OS "takes advantage of all the hard work that's gone into that platform by the OHA." Google's looking to protect how Android behaves as a whole, and the senior VP suggests that if Alibaba's new OS wanted "to benefit from the Android ecosystem" then they could make the move across to full compatibility. We're still waiting to hear what Acer (and Alibaba) plan to do next.
[Thanks Jimmy]Permalink | | Email this | Comments
Google wants 'better compatibility' for Android, Alibaba says 'Aliyun is separate,' Acer takes the brunt of it
9/15/2012 7:26:00 PM
On Thursday, we starting hearing claims that Google had strong-armed Acer out of launching its A800 CloudMobile in China with the Aliyun operating system. We reached out to the search giant for its response, but they declined to comment. Over the last 24 hours, though, Google has attempted to explain its stance, but at the same time has potentially created some confusion about how open Android really is. Below is the initial statement received by Marketing Land:
This is clearly outlining Google's intention to prevent forked Android spin-offs from diluting the platform and the user experience. Fair enough. The trouble seems to be, however, defining when something is Android compatible, rather than its own separate (albeit Android-based) operating system. Amazon's Kindle Fire will instantly spring to mind. The new tablets run on Ice Cream Sandwich, but are fenced-off from the official Play store and other Google offerings. As you can imagine, the debate has started to get a little heated, we go into it in more detail past the break.Permalink | | Email this | Comments
9/17/2012 10:53:00 AM
Rap singer, philanthropist, actor and high-end sound designer, truly Curtis Jackson is the Aristotle of our day. Of course, it's his latter profession that brings him to the coveted pages of How Would You Change, as we delve into his SMS Audio Sync by 50 wireless headphones. When our in-house audio maven strapped them to his head, he found that $400 price tag to be a little steep given how messy the overall experience was -- with features like "Thumpp" bass boost only available when connected via dongle and other features absent unless you buy more accessories. Our reviewer hoped that Version 2.0 would iron out all of those creases, but how about you? What suggestions would you like to send to the venerable 50 Cent about how he can improve these high-end cans?Permalink | | Email this | Comments
9/15/2012 8:58:00 AM
In a move that should please the hard of hearing and anyone trying to watch a video quietly sans-headphones, the Hulu Plus, HBO Go and Max Go apps for iOS devices have all recently been updated with support for closed captions. The portable apps for HBO and Cinemax got their refresh yesterday along some unspecified enhancements and bug fixes. For Hulu Plus, the update to version 2.6 not only brings a subtitle toggle for English and other languages, where available (on iOS 4.3 and higher), but also sharing via Twitter, Facebook and email, a 10 second rewind button and the usual unspecified other tweaks. Due to its market share Netflix has gotten most of the pressure when it comes to offering captions, but its good to see other streaming options getting on board as well. All the apps are free, even though the services aren't, hit the source links below to grab the latest versions.Permalink | | Email this | Comments
9/16/2012 4:33:00 PM
Times change, this is an indisputable truth. But nothing reminds us of this fact as well as a landmark statistic. If there was ever any doubt about the shift towards of mobile computing, then let this be it: personal computers no longer account for the majority of demand for DRAM chips. With 49 percent of all new memory still headed for PCs, it's hardly time to book the hearse for desk- and laptops just yet, but the statistic from IHS iSuppli remind us of the increasing market share that mobiles and tablets are taking. In fact, even though total DRAM shipments for PCs continues to rise, it's estimated that the total share will slip another 6 percent, to 42.8, between Q2 this year and the end of 2013. Of course, this is good news if you have a vested interest in both, not so good if you don't.Permalink | | Email this | Comments
9/16/2012 10:00:00 PM
Each week our friends at Inhabitat recap the week's most interesting green developments and clean tech news for us -- it's the Week in Green.
Apple dominated the news cycle this week with the debut of the iPhone 5, as the internet was buzzing with details about the lighter, thinner and faster new iPhone. But not everyone was thrilled with the news. A journalist in China spent 10 days undercover working at a Foxconn factory, detailing the grueling conditions workers undergo to produce the new gadget. Apple wasn't the only tech company in the news this week, though; Google got some time in the spotlight this week too, as the company's new augmented-reality glasses were trotted down the runway at New York Fashion Week. Continuing the trend of high-tech fashion, British designer Dominic Wilcox unveiled a GPS shoe that guides you home from anywhere in the world.
This week, a team of Finnish researchers did what we would have thought was impossible, building an electricity-free computer that's powered by water droplets. Israeli designer Nitsan Debbi cooked up a batch of working electronic products made of bread. A Boise-based tech company used 3D printing technology to produce a new working beak for an injured bald eagle. Artist Luzinterruptus fitted 10,000 books that had been discarded by public libraries with LED lights and covered the streets of Melbourne with them, and in an exciting development the much-anticipated Low Line underground park in NYC debuted a full-scale model of their incredible fiber-optic solar-concentrating technology in New York City's lower east side. And in a surprising development, a researcher in Switzerland discovered a special strain of fungus that can make an ordinary violin sing like a Stradivarius.Permalink | | Email this | Comments
9/17/2012 2:00:00 AM
Welcome to IRL, an ongoing feature where we talk about the gadgets, apps and toys we're using in real life and take a second look at products that already got the formal review treatment.
What a week. What a month! So far this September, Amazon, Nokia, Motorola and Apple have announced new products, and HTC is up next, with a press event scheduled for Wednesday. We'll let you speak for yourselves -- maybe you want more liveblogs -- but we here at Engadget keen to take a break from the hands-on posts and breaking news posts and talk shop about the products we already own. This week, Jason tests a rugged tablet sleeve, Don rates his Dell monitor and Darren makes the case for disposable AAs (and yes, he has a favorite brand).Permalink | | Email this | Comments
9/16/2012 3:16:00 AM
Windows 8 slates are riding a wave of 40 Xbox titles into an October launch, and now Microsoft has laid the foundation to deliver more games with a brand new studio focused on tablet development. The currently unnamed, London-based outfit will be headed by former Rare Production Director Lee Schuneman, who has shepherded Kinect Sports titles, the Xbox 360 Avatars, Fable: The Journey and the Xbox's Sky TV app to completion. Slabs running Redmond's latest OS won't see a project from the team for a while, however, as the studio is still looking for new hires and won't open its doors until November.Permalink | | Email this | Comments
9/15/2012 10:13:00 AM
Windows Phone 8 may not have a firm release date, but reports are flooding in that it's just been released to manufacturers (RTM) so they can work on their side of the equation: hardware production. According to LiveSino, pictures posted to Chinese social network Sina Weibo show members of the Windows Phone team signing a banner marking the milestone. In particular, Terry Myerson, Corporate Vice President of the Windows Phone Division, was caught penning his name alongside others. ZDNet's own sources corroborate that Ballmer and Co. have deemed the operating system fit to ship. With manufacturers seemingly taken care of, developers will be able to get their mitts on the WP8 software development kit in roughly two weeks.Permalink | | Email this | Comments
9/16/2012 9:00:00 AM
Not all mobile news is destined for the front page, but if you're like us and really want to know what's going on, then you've come to the right place. This past week, C Spire Wireless activated its first LTE networks and we discovered strong indication that Isis will leverage the GSMA's SIM-based NFC standard for its mobile payments system. These stories and more await after the break. So buy the ticket and take the ride as we explore the "best of the rest" for this week of September 10th, 2012.Permalink | | Email this | Comments
9/15/2012 6:41:00 PM
Scratch one in the victory column for Nokia, as China Mobile -- the world's largest carrier -- has agreed to bring the Lumia 920 into its fold. A representative for Nokia revealed the news late this week, although just like every other handset with Windows Phone 8, pricing and availability remains up in the air. Beyond China Mobile's mind-boggling number of subscribers (hovering above 660 million), the deal is significant because of Nokia's limited willingness to support the network's TD-SCDMA infrastructure. While unconfirmed, we're hopeful to find the Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 MSM8960 at the heart of this variant, due to its support for both TD-SCDMA and TD-LTE. That said, because China is in no rush to adopt 4G, the MSM8260A remains a viable candidate. Regardless, perhaps Nokia will be able to turn a bit of a corner with this deal -- in more ways than one.Permalink | | Email this | Comments
9/16/2012 1:59:00 PM
NVIDIA's road into mobile may have just taken an unwanted (if temporary) detour. The company confirmed at week's end that its Mobile Business Unit's General Manager Mike Rayfield quietly left the company on August 24th to join another firm, although we don't know whether he's headed to a rival or in another direction altogether. NVIDIA also hasn't yet said who replaces Rayfield at the helm. No matter who takes his place, the departure is a significant blow to the crew in Santa Clara: the executive had been heading mobile development at NVIDIA since 2005, before anyone really knew the company was interested in the handheld space, and helped make the Tegra name synonymous with fast Android phones and tablets like the One X and Nexus 7. There's little doubt that more than a few competitors would like to have him onboard.Permalink | | Email this | Comments
9/15/2012 11:22:00 PM
Not sure how this slipped under our radar, but recently Oppo Mobile CEO Chen Mingyong teased that his upcoming flagship phone, the Find 5, will again feature a non-removable but "certainly big enough" battery (for the sake of anti-counterfeiting and, consequently, safety) as well as a 1080p, 441ppi display. That's right, 441ppi! We're finally getting a phone with a display that's impossibly sharper than the 326ppi on the latest iPhones (up to 4-inch, 1,136 x 640), the 331ppi on the Nokia Lumia 920 (4.5-inch, 1,280 x 768) or even the 342ppi on the Sony Xperia acro S and the Xiaomi Phone 2 (4.3-inch, 1,280 x 720).
Assuming Chen's talking about a 1,920 x 1,080 resolution, a quick calculation based on these two numbers would give us a 5-inch screen size, which matches what LG Display announced back in May. Taking into account that a reliable source of ours got to see HTC's 5-inch 6435LVW phablet recently, this would make the Find 5 unofficially the second device to receive the same full HD panel. Still, there's a significant difference inside these two phones: Chen had previously mentioned that the Find 5 will be joining the quad-core APQ8064 party, while the HTC device appears to sport the dual-core, LTE-enabled MSM8960. Speaking of which, the same source informed us that much like the Flyer, HTC's 6435LVW will also feature N-trig stylus technology. Will Oppo follow in the same footsteps? And will it bring back the slide-out keyboard à la Find X903 (pictured above)? Go on, Mr. Chen, tell us more.Permalink | | Email this | Comments
9/15/2012 11:40:00 AM
It's tough to get excited about phone cases -- really tough. But, we'll admit that PowerSkin's new Galaxy S III case did pique our interest a bit. It's not a revolutionary design that makes us rethink smartphone protection, but it does pack a number of nice features that definitely make it more interesting than your average silicone skin. Most notable is NFC integration, which means you wont have to take your GS III out of its case to make payments or tap and share data. Of course, like other PowerSkins, it also packs a backup battery (this one a 1,500 mAh pack) that lets you cruise through a day of heavy usage with little worry. That silicone shield should also help keep your precious handset safe in the event of an accidental drop or fall (just don't hit it with a hammer or anything). They're available now for $80 and, if you're curious, the official press release awaits you after the break.
Filed under: MobilePermalink | | Email this | Comments
9/17/2012 9:15:00 AM
Your smartphone and / or tablet is just begging for an update. From time to time, these mobile devices are blessed with maintenance refreshes, bug fixes, custom ROMs and anything in between, and so many of them are floating around that it's easy for a sizable chunk to get lost in the mix. To make sure they don't escape without notice, we've gathered every possible update, hack, and other miscellaneous tomfoolery we could find during the last week and crammed them into one convenient roundup. If you find something available for your device, please give us a shout at tips at engadget dawt com and let us know. Enjoy!Permalink | | Email this | Comments
9/17/2012 6:34:00 AM
In a world where IPv6 lives and IPv4 addresses are scarce, network providers must fight for survival... or at least, claim their IP blocks quickly. The RIPE NCC, the regional internet registry for Asia, Europe and the Middle East, warns that it's down to assigning its last set of 16.8 million IPv4 addresses as of this weekend. That sounds like a lot, but we'd do well to remember that the registry churned through about 5.2 million addresses in just the past two weeks. What's left won't be around for long, folks. To cut back on the number of Mad Max-style battles for dwindling resources, RIPE NCC is rationing out IPv4 for local registries in 1,024-address chunks -- and only to those who both have IPv6 assignments as well as proof of a need for IPv4. With just a bit more than half of the RIPE NCC's customers currently on IPv6, that could still trigger a shortfall among networks that haven't prepared for the internet protocol apocalypse. We'd advise that companies stock up on IPv6 supplies before launching the raiding parties.Permalink | | Email this | Comments
9/17/2012 5:00:00 AM
One sits far atop the Android smartphone heap while the other has recently stepped up its efforts to compete more aggressively by acquiring the stake of its decade-long joint venture partner. But at the recent IFA event, electronics giants Samsung and Sony both acknowledged the importance of their smartphone sub-brands by stretching them into new product categories. For Sony, its Xperia sub-brand hopped across to its tablet while Samsung brought the Galaxy brand to a connected camera. How these companies have stretched these brands reflects their relative position both in terms of where they've moved from and where they've moved to.
For Sony, the move of Xperia to another product category represents somewhat of a full circle (as does the return of the Sony brand to handsets itself). Part of the early playbook for Sony Ericsson was to bring established Sony Electronics brands -- notably Cyber-Shot and Walkman -- to phones focused on imaging and music in the heyday of the feature phone, which the joint venture clung to for too long. Xperia, in contrast, was the company's first "native" sub-brand meant to evoke "experience", of course. And while many in the line have been well-received, they never translated into a strong global market share for Sony Ericsson.Permalink | | Email this | Comments
9/15/2012 10:14:00 PM
Toyota had said its all-electric RAV4 would be ready to tour the California streets at some point "late summer," and with the warmest of seasons coming to an end, the Japanese company's declared September 24th as the date the SUV will go on sale. What's more, today's press release reveals the RAV4 EV boasts a brilliant 103-mile range and 78 MPGe (miles per gallon equivalent), which, as Autoblog points out, makes this the first non-Tesla-branded EV with an EPA rating of 100-plus miles. If all that is still not enough for you to shell out the $50,000 (not counting rebates and tax credits, of course), Toyota dealers are expected to offer a 36-month lease option for anyone in The Golden State who prefers a shorter-term commitment.
Filed under: TransportationPermalink | | Email this | Comments
9/15/2012 3:05:00 PM
Snagging international data service usually involves either special agreements or steep roaming costs. Not Uros and its new Goodspeed hotspot. The pocketable, 21Mbps HSPA+ router carries a staggering 10 SIM cards and simply uses a local SIM for whichever destination country you visit. The brute force strategy helps Uros offer a relatively low flat rate for 1GB of data per day, no matter where you are on the coverage map: while the Goodspeed itself costs €273 ($352), Uros asks just €5.90 ($8) a day for occasional visits and €9.90 ($13) a month for frequent fliers. It's a very sizable bargain for the jetset, even with a current scope limited to Finland, Germany, Italy, Switzerland and the UK. A number of "important" countries are due before Christmas, which could make Uros' hotspot a go-to choice for those who just can't stay settled in one place.
Update: Uros has gotten in touch with us to clarify the pricing beyond what we've seen so far. The €9.90 fee covers account details and doesn't "yet" reflect data -- you'll still need to pay €5.90 per day . There's also a chance the rate could go up in future countries, although all the existing countries abide by that rate.Permalink | | Email this | Comments
9/15/2012 1:20:00 PM
We've seen a paradoxical trend among carriers determined to get users off their networks as often as possible -- they'd rather grant access to sea of public Wi-Fi than push their 3G or 4G networks a step too far. US Cellular isn't immune to peer pressure and has launched Wi-Fi Now, its own take on streamlining hotspot access. Android phones with the app lurking in the background will automatically latch on to the hotspots run by partners, no sign-in required, as well as factor in both the owner's home network and other hotspot accounts. Provided you're a customer, it's an easy decision to start a download from the source link and alleviate US Cellular's burden.Permalink | | Email this | Comments
9/15/2012 7:11:00 AM
A Holy Grail of gamer memorabilia is the Portal turret replica -- as much a tech toy as proof that you can sing "Want You Gone" from memory. It's already been coveted when made in small batches by fans, so you can imagine the hysteria when Valve Software itself posts a teaser video (found after the break) at its store's Facebook page showing what looks to be a near life-size, computer-linked version of Aperture Science's typical sentry from Portal 2, minus the laser targeting and live machine guns. After that, however, we're left to guess whether or not it's just a decoration for Valve's offices or a commercial product to buy alongside a Companion Cube plushie. We've asked Valve about providing more details in the near future and will let you know if the developer is any more talkative than its robot guards.Permalink | | Email this | Comments
9/16/2012 4:41:00 AM
Phablet lovers on Verizon may have reason to rejoice, because the carrier's variant of the Galaxy Note II may have been captured in the flesh. The white device is aesthetically identical to the version straight from Samsung's house, save for its questionable carrier-branding. While the back of the phone sports a seemingly legit "Verizon 4G LTE" logo along with its moniker, you'll notice a rather obnoxiously-planted "Verizon" logo on its home button -- perhaps a bit too ridiculous to be the real deal. That said, it's almost certain that the Note II will officially make it to Verizon, no matter if it's dressed like the photos above or not; this purported variant lines up nicely with screenshots leaked earlier this week showing AT&T and Verizon compatibility. Now, if only we could have further confirmation -- perhaps in the way of a second visit to the FCC in the near feature or some leaky memos.
[Thanks, Sean P.]Permalink | | Email this | Comments
9/16/2012 6:47:00 PM
We've seen Apple's North Carolina data center in various states of undress, but never before have we seen its associated solar farm looking so complete. That sure is a lot of solar panels. We're not all that surprised though, with the intense thirst for energy from the servers that it feeds. In fact, initial reports indicated that -- although impressive -- the solar farm would still only be supplying 60 percent of the sites requirements. No fear though, as the remaining 40 is said to come from other equally eco-friendly sources. We'd be happy with enough to keep our iPad permanently juiced.
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9/17/2012 1:05:00 AM
London has a rich history of underground radio stations, but what if we flipped that, and turned London's Underground into a radio? Well it'd look like this. The circuit-board radio project is a collaboration between Yuri Suzuki and Masahiko Shindo, and uses Harry Beck's iconic tube map design. Note the choice of BBC's White City for the tuner, and Hyde Park's Speaker's Corner for volume control -- plus a few other famous names changed for geeky in-joke fun. We love the attention to detail, we just hope it's not permanently tuned to Capital FM.
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