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 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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Apple's iPhone 5 will arrive with a free Lightning to 30-pin adapter (update: Apple officially says no it won't)
9/15/2012 4:11:00 AM
If you were miffed at having to pay $29 to adapt your existing iPhone accessories to the iPhone 5's newfangled Lightning connector, fear not: Apple will throw in the first adapter, gratis. Extras will still run the aforementioned sum, which Cupertino has justified by saying the units will include chips to enable features like analog and USB audio along with syncing and charging. There's also a $39 cable version available, but neither format will let you output HDMI or VGA video -- there's more (as yet unpriced) adapters coming for that.
Update: Well, the plot thickens. We're now hearing reports that the above wording is a mistake, and that the adapter isn't included after all. The information comes via a reader of The Next Web, who advises Apple sales support informed them it was an error. Of course, we're reaching out to get the final word on the matter. However, that won't be much consolation to those who made a purchase based on incorrect info.
Update 2: The above wording is now nowhere to be found on Apple's site, suggesting that it was indeed an error. We'll keep you posted if we hear anything more.
Update 3: Well, we've just received word from Apple confirming that the iPhone 5 will not ship with a 30-pin to Lightning adapter, which is a bit of a bummer. But, it does come with a Lightning to USB adapter, so if your current accessories have a USB port, all hope is not lost. Sadly, the specific iPod out functionality found in BMWs and Minis is not supported. The full comment is below.
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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
9/15/2012 4:40:00 AM
Allegations of misleading advertising practices among Canada's big telecom companies has been a recurring subject for some time, and it's now been brought to the fore once again in the form of a multi-million dollar lawsuit. The country's Competition Bureau announced today that, after a five-month investigation, it has decided to sue all three carriers and the industry group that represents them over ads that promote so-called premium texting services. In addition to demanding that such ads stop, the government agency is seeking full customer refunds for any charges incurred and a $10 million penalty from each carrier, plus an additional $1 million from the Canadian Wireless Telecommunications Association. For its part, the CWTA has unsurprisingly taken issue with the lawsuit, saying in a statement that it reached out to the Bureau last year to discuss the issue, and that its actions today "could disrupt the text message services, such as severe weather alerts, charitable donations, flight status updates or sports scores, on which millions of Canadian consumers depend." You can find that full statement, and the Competition Bureau's announcement of the lawsuit, at the links below.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
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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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Google Glass shows how Diane von Furstenberg is living, what it's like at New York Fashion Week (video)
9/15/2012 2:39:00 AM
Project Glass has already given adrenaline junkies a POV view of a skydiver's freefall, and now Google's giving fashionistas a similar rush with a new film about New York Fashion Week. It was shot entirely with Glass by various folks at the DVB show, including Diane von Furstenberg herself, who also provided the video's narration. Looking for a pre-show pep talk from one of the fashion industry's true titans and some behind the scenes footage of runway beauties? Perhaps you just wanna know what it's like to stroll the catwalk and be bathed in the flashbulbs of hundreds of paparazzi? Your bliss awaits in the four minute clip after the break.
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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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9/15/2012 4:16:00 AM
If there is one thing you can't say about Google's mapping team, it's that they are a lazy bunch. Update after update puts paid to any of that kinda talk, and again, here's another example -- navigation for Android is now available in nine more countries. It's the Middle East and North Africa that get the attention this time, with Jordan, Egypt, Lebanon, Qatar, Algeria, Bahrain, Kuwait, UAE and Saudia Arabia all getting the update. The service comes complete with Arabic voice search as well as "search along route" for routes to near-by POIs that won't take you the long way round. You'll need Android 4.0 or above if you want in on the action, but it's available now for those that do.Permalink | | Email this | Comments
9/15/2012 1:47:00 AM
Google's had one foot in the web privacy door for a while, offering Chrome users the Keep My Opt-Outs extension in its browser's Web Store since 2011. Still, Firefox, Internet Explorer and Safari already offer a Do Not Track option directly in their browser settings. Mountain View is now working to close that gap by bringing that same privacy configuration to Chrome. Do Not Track will let users opt out of tracking cookies and targeted advertising (from ad networks that comply with the standard, that is), and is currently live on Chrome's developer channel. The option will reportedly be baked into the stable version of the browser by the end of the year.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
9/15/2012 3:25:00 AM
Brad Pelo is suddenly in charge of a major Nintendo initiative for the Japanese company's next big console, the Wii U, despite not being an employee at Nintendo. Instead, Pelo is CEO of i.TV -- a "social television and second screen technology company" that's worked with everyone from Entertainment Weekly to Engadget parent company AOL -- and he's the man responsible for Nintendo TVii.
At least he's the man responsible for the company providing the software behind Nintendo TVii (the guy behind the guy, if you will). And his company brings more to the bargaining table than just software -- existing relationships with cable providers and TiVO in the US bolster what i.TV offers Nintendo in a major way. "For Nintendo TVii, there is a mutual benefit in existing relationships we have. Like TiVO for example -- we were the first to bring TiVO to the mobile platform. There's also the benefit of tests that we have done over the years with the cable companies, based on components of our platform," Pelo told Engadget.
But how did this all come about? He said it wasn't long after Nintendo's original Wii U E3 reveal. "The genesis of the experience you're seeing here was really when the Wii U was announced, and it was clear that this is the ideal second screen," Pelo explained. "Ideal," in Pelo's eyes, means a closed system with a "dedicated second screen." In so many words, while he acknowledges that tablets offered by other manufacturers are technically superior, they don't offer the same whole-system approach that Nintendo's Wii U is offering. "You might not think of it as the ideal hardware compared to an iPad if I really had a dedicated second screen. But it is in the living room, and it's persistent. It doesn't even really work outside of the living room -- it's attached to the main viewing service in the home," he explained, referencing the Wii U's tablet-style controller.
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Gallery: Nintendo TVii press shots
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
9/15/2012 2:27:00 AM
When we suggested it would be a good idea to stay up late (or wake up early) to guarantee a launch day iPhone 5, we meant it. Those bent on pre-ordering through the Apple Store saw the company's online portal exhaust itself within an hour of the 3:01AM availability -- faster than the iPhone 4 and 4S, and no doubt crushing the hopes of North Americans who value their sleep. Individual US carriers weren't quite so quick to sell out, although they weren't far behind. AT&T is now quoting two to three weeks for any new orders, and Verizon doesn't see any new orders on their way until September 26th. Only Sprint is left taking pre-orders with the expectation that they'll arrive next Friday, and it's certain that the supply situation won't get better in the near future. We're curious to see just how many iPhones sell before the weekend is out, or even the day; given the briskness of pre-orders for the iPhone 4S last year, we wouldn't be surprised to see some braggadocio from Apple or the carriers by the time Monday rolls around.Permalink | | Email this | Comments
9/15/2012 4:06:00 AM
This just hasn't been Samsung's summer. On top of Apple winning its earliest civil lawsuit against Samsung, the International Trade Commission has just handed out an initial determination that Apple didn't violate any of four Samsung patents (including two reportedly standards-essential examples) by offering the iPad and iPhone. While Judge James Gildea didn't publicly outline why Apple was in the clear, he added that Samsung lacks a domestic business that uses the patents -- important when it's trying to claim economic harm in the US. The verdict still gives Samsung at least four months' room to breathe while the ITC reviews the decision, but it's hard to see Samsung enjoying the reduced offensive strength when it's already on the defensive in American courtrooms.Permalink | | Email this | Comments
9/15/2012 5:04:00 AM
Well, we know there's an LG event right around the corner and, if we were the betting type, we'd put our money on the flagship Optimus G making its stateside debut. Perhaps the biggest clue to what the company has up its sleeve is that the quad-core Snapdragon S4-powered handset just made its video debut. The sleek 4.7 inch handset is staring in its own commercial, currently posted on YouTube, that will be airing in the manufacturer's homeland shortly after launch. The brief clip doesn't tell us anything we didn't already know, but we can't find any reason complain about a few extra peeks at it before release. Check out the video after the break.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
9/15/2012 2:11:00 AM
If you're building or upgrading a budget gaming rig, it'll be hard to ignore the GeForce GTX 650 and 660. Whether or not NVIDIA's new chipsets are worth the glance is another matter, and early reviews suggest that a sale depends on just which market you're in. The GTX 660, by far the darling of the review crowd, competes solidly against the Radeon HD 7850 by outrunning AMD's hardware in most situations while undercutting on the official price. Only a few have taken a look at the lower-end GTX 650, but it's not as much of a clear-cut purchasing decision -- the entry-level video often slots in between the performance of the Radeon HD 7750 and 7770 without the price edge of its bigger brother. Either card is much better value for the money than the GT 640, however, and looks to be a meaningful upgrade if you're trading up from equivalent prior-generation gear.
Read - AnandTech (GTX 660)
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
9/15/2012 3:44:00 AM
We know better than most that when you're working to a deadline, constant pop-ups, notifications and pings can be a real pain. Our frustrations might soon become a thing of the past, however, with some help from boffins at the
[Image Credit: Getty Images / Jean Louis Batt]Permalink | | Email this | Comments
9/15/2012 3:02:00 AM
Sure, you can certainly snag one of those shiny new Amazon slates straight from the source, but if that famed, speedy shipping isn't your style, then a trip to the nearest Staples would be recommended. The "That Was Easy" retailer announced earlier it's now inviting all parties interested in picking up an all-new, 7-inch Kindle Fire HD, a revamped Kindle Fire or that $69 Kindle to visit its brick-and-mortar stores -- where, starting today, folks will be able to buy any of the aforementioned devices. While these Kindles can be found listed on the Staples website (see below), the company didn't mention whether it actually plans to sell them online -- perhaps they're just there in case you're in need of a little bit of guidance.
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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.
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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.
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
9/15/2012 4:43:00 AM
Verizon has never totally been on the Google Wallet bandwagon. First, Big Red refused to support the mobile payment system, citing its dependance upon proprietary hardware. Months later, some folks managed to gain access through the Play Store, but it looks like that the VZW GNex is, once again, Wallet-free. Word on the web has it that those Nexus owners are now, upon opening the app, greeted by a message saying that their version of Google Wallet is no longer supported, and that they need to update the app. Problem is, the Play Store is telling folks that their devices are no longer supported. We've confirmed the issue ourselves, but we don't know if this a temporary problem, or if it's a permanent move. We've reached out to both Google and Verizon for comment, and we'll let you know as soon as we hear back.
Update: Verizon responded to our requests, but declined to add any new comment on the matter. Instead, VZW reiterated its previous statement that "Verizon doesn't block applications. Google Wallet is different from other widely-available m-commerce services. Google Wallet does not simply access the operating system and basic hardware of our phones like thousands of other applications. Instead, in order to work as architected by Google, Google Wallet needs to be integrated into a new, secure and proprietary hardware element in our phones."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.
Filed under: MiscPermalink | | Email this | Comments
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