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Old 03-19-2013, 04:59 AM
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Default Microsoft, Android, Samsung, HTC, Google and more rumors and chat

Samsung Preparing Wristwatch as It Races Apple for Sales

By Jungah Lee - Mar 19, 2013 1:46 AM ET
Bloomberg - Business, Financial & Economic News, Stock Quotes

Samsung Electronics Co. (005930) is developing a wristwatch as Asia’s biggest technology company races against Apple Inc. (AAPL) to create a new industry of wearable devices that perform similar tasks as smartphones.

“We’ve been preparing the watch product for so long,” Lee Young Hee, executive vice president of Samsung’s mobile business, said during an interview in Seoul. “We are working very hard to get ready for it. We are preparing products for the future, and the watch is definitely one of them.”



A man using a mobile phone as he walks past a Samsung Electronics Co. advertisement displayed at the company's Seocho office building in Seoul, South Korea. Photographer: SeongJoon Cho/Bloomberg

Lee had no comment on what features the watch may have, how much it would cost and when it would go on sale. The Suwon, South Korea-based company already plans to release three high- end smartphones this year -- including the Galaxy S4 unveiled last week and one using the Tizen operating system -- as it competes with Apple for customers in a slowing global market.

Samsung’s disclosure comes after people familiar with Apple’s plans said last month the U.S. company has about 100 product designers working on a wristwatch-like device that may perform similar functions to the iPhone and iPad. The global watch industry will generate more than $60 billion in sales this year, and the first companies to sell devices that multitask could lock customers into their platform, boosting sales of phones, tablets and TVs.

“The race is on to redesign the mobile phone into something that you wear,” said Marshal Cohen, an analyst at NPD Group in Port Washington, New York. “We’re going to see formidable competition coming from many different directions -- from device makers, accessory makers, even fashion designers.”

Smartphone Saturation

Samsung and Apple are looking for new product lines as the $358 billion global market for handsets approaches saturation. Growth is projected to slow to 9.8 percent in 2017 from 27 percent this year, according to data compiled by Bloomberg Industries. Apple’s sales growth last quarter was the slowest in more than two years, and Samsung in January warned of slowing demand.

“The issue here is who will first commercialize it so consumers can use it meaningfully,” Samsung’s Lee said.

Samsung became the world’s largest smartphone maker last year, overtaking Apple. Samsung had 29 percent of global smartphone unit shipments in the fourth quarter, compared with 21 percent for Apple, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Price Advantage

Apple seeks to introduce its wristwatch device as soon as this year, said one of the people familiar, who asked not to be identified because the plans aren’t public.

The features under consideration by the Cupertino, California-based company include letting users make calls, see the identity of incoming callers and check map coordinates, one of the people said. It would also house a pedometer for counting steps and sensors for monitoring health-related data, such as heart rates, this person said.

The global watch industry will generate more than $60 billion in sales in 2013, said Citigroup Inc. analyst Oliver Chen.

Samsung may be able to undercut Apple on price because the Korean company makes its own displays and chips, said Will Stofega, program director at International Data Corp. in Framingham, Massachusetts. Samsung also is the world’s largest maker of TVs and memory chips.

Pricing wristwatch-like devices under $200 will be one of the keys for developers, said Laurence Balter, chief investment strategist at Oracle Investment Research in Fox Island, Washington. He estimated that one-quarter of existing users of Samsung smartphones and tablets would be interested in using a watch-like device.

“This is a new category that Apple is trailblazing that will see competition from Samsung,” he said. “If I were Apple, I’d strategically price the watch as low as possible to bring as many as possible into the ecosystem. Samsung is going to be there for many years to come and try to cut them off.”

Samsung Preparing Wristwatch as It Races Apple for Sales - Bloomberg
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Old 03-20-2013, 06:02 AM
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Samsung to unveil Galaxy Note3 to AT&T


By Kim Yoo-chul
The Korea Times
3/20/2013




Galaxy Note2Samsung Electronics plans to unveil its new Galaxy Note ― the Galaxy Note3 ― to AT&T, one of its most important clients in the United States, this week, according to sources and a local supplier, Monday.

''Samsung will release a mock-up of the Note3 during a senior-level meeting with AT&T this week in Suwon, on the outskirts of Seoul, where the firm’s technology complex is located,’’ said an executive at Samsung’s main parts supplier by telephone.

AT&T is the second-largest mobile carrier in the United States and is one of the major vendors for Samsung’s devices. The meeting will be held behind closed doors.

A mock-up shows just what the Note3 will look like in design without actual technology. The executive said the Galaxy Note3 will have a 5.9-inch display using an organic light-emitting diode (OLED) for full high-definition (HD) viewing quality.

However, the decision as to whether the firm will use a bendable display has yet to be reached.

The executive, who asked not to be identified, said senior executives of AT&T including its chief marketing officer will discuss marketing strategies with high-ranking Samsung executives ahead of the launch of the Note3.

''Samsung’s senior marketing executive Lee Don-joo will discuss with them regarding how AT&T will promote the Note3,’’ said the executive.

He added that after the company announced its Galaxy S4 smartphone last week in New York, it now plans to unveil the Note3 in August at the IFA trade fair to be held in Berlin, Germany, at the earliest.

Given the popularity of its Note2, there was little doubt of it coming out with another generation of the device with improved specifications. Now that the Note2 has been selling like "hot cakes,’’ the launch timing of the latest phablet is definitely building consumer anticipation. Phablet is a word combining phone and tablet.

"The Note3 should be the most-advanced phablet because it is going to use Samsung’s in-house octa-core processor and support Long-Term Evolution (LTE) technology, including the addition of various features, though discussions are still under way regarding what they should be,’’ said a source.

A 6.3-inch phablet is also in the works with the company expected to introduce the model in the first half of this year. The 6.3-inch phablet will be a budget model not a flagship one in line with its strategy to expand product lineups.

"Samsung will use OLED technology of its flagship models as OLED technology is much better in viewing quality and energy consumption. In budget models, the company is expected to use picture quality-advanced liquid crystal display (LCD) panels as part of its two-track approach,’’ said the source.


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Old 03-22-2013, 04:51 AM
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Google is working on a smart watch, too

March 21, 2013 11:24 pm by Tim Bradshaw
Financial Times



At the South by Southwest Interactive festival, the annual geek gathering in Austin, Texas, a new Google gadget was the talk of the town – literally. Google’s “talking shoes” crammed a tiny computer, sensors, speakers and a Bluetooth wireless controller into a pair of Adidas that shout at their wearer when they aren’t moving around enough.

Google’s latest venture into wearable technology was more an attention-seeking gimmick than a serious new venture. But with the search giant ploughing significant resources into Google Glass, it’s another indication that Google is serious about moving from the digital to the physical – plans that seem to include a smart watch, too.

The biggest brand today in the wearable technology market is not a technology company at all. Nike’s Fuelband is the best-known wrist-based gadget, in a market still dominated by start-ups such as Fitbit, Kickstarter projects such as the Pebble and no-brand Chinese suppliers on the Alibaba marketplace.

The launch of smart watches by tech giants Apple, Samsung and Google would jumpstart the wearables market – and it seems that each of them intends to do so. Apple is widely rumoured to be working on an ‘iWatch’ and a Samsung executive said this week that it has “been preparing the watch product for so long”.

Now, Silicon Valley’s rumour mill suggests that Google, too, has such a device in the works.



While Glass is being created in its X Lab, home to experimental “moonshot” projects such as the self-driving car, Google’s smart watch is being developed by its Android unit, according to a person briefed on the project, to act as an extension to the smartphones using that operating system. The project is separate from Samsung’s efforts, the source said, although there is no indication of when it might launch.

A Google patent application for a wearable computer filed in 2011 and approved last year lends credence to the rumours. The filing describes a “smart watch” with a dual-screened “flip-up display”, “tactile user interface” and onboard camera.

A Google spokeswoman declined to comment on any plans for the smart watch market. Not every patent becomes a product. But Google’s filing neatly makes the case for smart watches more generally:
“A variety of portable user devices provide wireless network connectivity. Various features of a device often require a user to access the device at inconvenient times to perform a desired function. As a result, a user may simply not employ the device to its full capabilities.”
Now that most smartphones offer wireless connectivity, voice control and other hands-free technologies, extending them to watches and other devices becomes easier.

Both Google Now, which uses web search history, location data and other inputs to make helpful suggestions without users having to type into a search box, and Siri, Apple’s virtual personal assistant, could easily fit into a smart watch’s smaller screen.

However, battery life is likely to be the wearable devices’ greatest challenge – for the smartphones they connect to as well as the watches themselves.

As smartphones become so ubiquitous as to be close to commoditisation, Samsung, Google and Apple are all looking to the wrist, as well as the pocket, for their next innovations in personal communications.

Google is working on a smart watch, too | Tech blog
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Old 03-24-2013, 05:23 AM
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LG joins the smart watch sweepstakes


By Stan Schroeder, Mashable
updated 12:10 PM EDT, Fri March 22, 2013


LG already makes the GD910 watch, with a touchscreen, video calling an MP3 player and voice recognition technology.

(CNN) -- After Apple, Samsung and Google, another company is now rumored to be building a smart watch: South Korea's electronics giant LG.

According to Korea Times, citing a source familiar with the matter, LG is building both a smart watch and a product similar to Google Glass.

"The company has spared no efforts to invest in products that it believes are must-haves to stay ahead technology wise in the market, whatever the situation may be," the source said.

Of course, details about the devices are lacking, which means we now have not one but four "upcoming" smart watches, and absolutely nothing is known about any of them.

It's possible these companies consider the smart watch the next big thing. Remember some of these companies, namely LG, have built a phone-watch hybrid (pictured above) before.

However, we're more inclined to believe that nowadays, no major consumer electronics manufacturer wants to be left behind on a new product category, even while we're still deep in rumor territory.

LG joins the smart watch sweepstakes - CNN.com
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Old 03-29-2013, 10:18 AM
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Facebook is – finally – unveiling the Facebook Phone April 4

By Francis Bea — March 29, 2013
Digital Trends



Mark Zuckerberg has done a good job, thanks to the help of his PR team, of brushing off Facebook Phone rumors to a point that we in the media just haven’t given up on. But lo and behold, Facebook has sent out invitations to a press event on April 4 to “Come See Our New Home On Android.” Speculation says we can expect to see an Android OS tweaked to Facebook’s liking on an HTC handset.

Deny as Facebook may, the social network stole away key Apple iOS developers and just about every “Facebook insider” can’t keep their mouths shut. And at the same time, looking at Facebook’s recent releases should more than hint it’s going all-in on mobile: Poke, Facebook Messenger, and the Instagram acquisition. This upcoming announcement likely has something to do with Facebook pushing its Web app to the wayside and forcing developers to access Facebook through their mobile devices to concentrate on its mobile products. The Facebook’s future hinges on mobile, and clearly we’re about to see to what extent.

Recent reports have pretty much figured out what the phone will look like. 9to5Google’s sources say it will feature a beveled design with rounded edges, something of a nod to Apple’s iPhone, and that there will be a Facebook home button. The last feature shouldn’t be news to you if you’ve ever seen previous (failed) smartphone collaborations with HTC and Nokia. Earlier “Facebook phones” like the HTC ChaCha and Nokia Asha 205 both had a prominent Facebook home button. The size of the display is rumored to be 4.3 inches.

The phone is suggested to run a 1.5Gz processor, 1GB of ram, 16GB of storage, along with a 5 megapixel rear camera and 1.6 megapixel camera on the front. according to UnwiredView.

Hardware is likely an afterthought of the Facebook phone, however. What Facebook wants to do with this device is sell is the experience and solidify itself as a lifestyle brand.

It also gives Facebook an unprecedented amount of access to even more of our data and user habits. It has access to your calendar, contacts, what time you’re most active on your phone (maybe to ping you with alerts), location, along with mounds and mounds of other data. This is information that Facebook has been trying to get us to provide – but with the phone, it wouldn’t have to try. It would already have it all.

This resurrects the digital age old question of how willing we are to let Facebook into our lives. The social network is no stranger to privacy concerns, and handing over all our mobile data is asking quite a lot. The device’s success will hinge on what Facebook can offer us in return.

Read more: Facebook is - finally - unveiling the Facebook Phone April 4 | Digital Trends
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Old 04-03-2013, 04:39 AM
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HTC First, AKA the Facebook Phone, leaked ahead of special event

By Andy Boxall — April 3, 2013
Technology News, Product Reviews and App Reviews | Digital Trends




The saga of the Facebook Phone looks set to come to an end this week, and as the event gets closer so more details on what the social network will announce emerges. We’ve heard a little about the software already, and now it’s time for more about the phone. The image you see above has been leaked through the Twitter account @evleaks, and as you can see features a phone called the HTC First, which is believed to be the retail name of the Myst/Opera.

If this is the Facebook Phone, which isn’t known for sure at this stage, and it shares the same specifications as those leaked for the HTC Myst, then the screen will measure 4.3-inches and have a 720p resolution, while a dual-core processor will power the device. A 5-megapixel camera has also been rumored, but the star of the show – hopefully, at least – will be the Facebook Home software built over the top of Android 4.1 Jelly Bean.



HTC has long been associated with the Facebook phone project, but this is the first time we’ve seen a rendered picture of the phone it’ll supposedly be releasing. The rendered image combined with the relatively basic specification suggests the First will be priced very competitively. A subsequent leak showing the HTC First in a variety of colors – red, white and a fetching sky blue – backs up the theory HTC intends to promote the device to younger Facebook users.

Will Facebook reveal the HTC First alongside its Facebook Home software this Thursday? Don’t forget, CEO Mark Zuckerberg has repeatedly said the company isn’t interested in hardware, so it may decide to leave the phone’s reveal to HTC and concentrate on its software during the event. Facebook’s gathering starts at 10am PT on April 4 at its California headquarters, and we’ll bring you all the news as it happens.

Read more: HTC First, the Facebook Phone, leaked | Digital Trends
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Old 04-05-2013, 04:25 AM
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HTC First: The ‘Facebook Phone’ with Facebook Home

Shawn Ingram — 04/04/2013
Gotta Be Mobile


At the end of its press event to announce Facebook Home the social network announced the first phone to ship with Home is the new HTC First on AT&T.

The HTC First looks a lot like an iPhone 4, except that it comes in more colors and it has a couple extra buttons. The phone uses a 4.3-inch 720p display to display photos (and eventually ads) from the Cover Feed of Facebook home. Below the home screen are a circular home button, a back button and a horizontal line which will likely function as the menu button.

As the first phone with Facebook Home, the HTC First will come to AT&T the same day Facebook Home arrives in the Google Play Store, April 12. Pre-orders for the phone are available now, and it will cost $99.99 on a two-year contract.

The HTC First Will come to AT&T on April 12 for $99.99.

The HTC First will come in four colors: black, white, red and pale blue. Each phone is black from the front, however, the color only applies to the side and back casing of the phone.

The new phone will run Android 4.1 Jelly Bean, and is the first phone to ship with Instagram preloaded. There’s no word on if HTC’s Sense apps will make it into the phone, or if there’s an option to launch into a traditional Android homescreen instead of Cover Feed.

Inside the HTC First uses a Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 processor, making it a decidedly mid-range Android phone. The phone will also have radios for AT&T’s 4G LTE and 3G networks inside. There aren’t many other details about the phone. For now specs like the amount of storage space and the size of the camera are a mystery.

Facebook Home will also come to other devices including HTC’s flagship HTC One, last year’s HTC One X, Samsung Galaxy S4, Samsung Galaxy S3 and the Samsung Galaxy Note 2. The feature may come to other phones over time.

Facebook also announced partnerships with Samsung, Sony, Huawei, ZTE, Lenovo, Alcatel, Qualcomm, EE and Orange to produce phones with Facebook Home pre-installed.

HTC First: The 'Facebook Phone' with Facebook Home
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Old 04-06-2013, 04:33 AM
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Say ‘mortified!’ Google Glass will turn strangers into your personal paparazzi

By Rob Enderle — April 6, 2013
Digital Trends


Celebrities have been hounded by paparazzi photographers for decades, long before the Internet existed as a platform to splash their photos across. Even after Princess Diana was killed in a car chase fleeing from photographers in 1997, nothing really changed; celebrities make a ton of money off their fame, and we likely feel our access to their private moments is part of their penance. We love to see celebrities behaving badly, much to their likely embarrassment.

However, we may be getting our own taste of privacy invasion as hardware like Google Glass increasingly puts us on camera over the next several years.

Cameras, cameras, everywhere

Smartphones have already made us accustomed to the idea of a camera in everyone’s pocket, but this isn’t the only place cameras are appearing. Increasingly, we are putting them on our dashes, and we got a taste of the incredible videos they can generate when some of them made it to the Web when that meteor crashed in Russia. Thing is, if you search for crazy Russian drivers (I’ve become addicted to these videos), you’ll discover there is a lot of other dubious activity, too. You can find folks driving drunk, running through traffic, riding motorcycles unsafely, and generally doing many of the things I did as a kid that my parents never knew about.

With facial recognition improving, the likelihood this will eventually track back to you at some future point is very, very good.

Imagine these things strapped in every car around you. Now there’s video of you driving aggressively, giving some guy the one-fingered salute with both hands after being cut off, screaming out the window at some old lady who is having trouble keeping her car in her lane.

And it shows up on the Web. And with facial recognition improving, the likelihood this will eventually track back to you at some future point is very, very good. Now imagine this coming up in a job interview, during a college entrance review, in conversation with your parents, wife, kids, or boss. Just think how much fun that conversation will be. Just as you’re lecturing your kids on being responsible, they go and find a video of you being very irresponsible at their age, or maybe on the drive to work that very day.

How much fun is that conversation going to be?

From Looxcie to Google Glass

That’s just the possibilities of dash-mounted cameras. What about when we start putting cameras on everyone’s head? We got a taste of this a few years back when a company called Looxcie (pronounced Look See) started selling a Bluetooth headset with a built-in camera. It costs about $130 for the standard-definition unit. A wearer can either stream everything they see (and promptly blow out their data plan) or just tap a button after seeing something interesting, which puts just the last 30 seconds up on the Web.

Now you put these things on the heads of kids and adults with poor impulse control, and imagine the fun they will have at your expense when you are in the bathroom, have been partying a bit too hard, or are having a bit of a road-rage moment. Think of the fun other kids will have taking candid video shots of your kids and putting them on the Web. If you thought sexting was scary and very damaging to kids, this technology will take those experiences to a whole new level.

Want to tell a religious, sexual, or ethnic joke? Think how funny your black, Asian, Jewish, or female boss, relative, minister, or neighbor will think that joke is when they see it out of context on YouTube, or in an email sent by a rival. Google Glass, which will effectively put us all on camera, will provide a level of transparency into our home and out in public life that is unprecedented.

Living in a fishbowl

We already live in a time when what we do may be captured on video cameras in phones, on buildings, or in cars. Cameras have already started to appear on heads, and they aren’t that easy to see. Once Google Glass ships in volume, your ability to do anything in private may be a thing of the past, because the camera on your head will likely capture what someone else’s camera won’t. Think of how you use a urinal if you are a man, or the faces you make when putting on or fixing your makeup if you are a woman, and how wonderful it would be to see either on the Web.

Privacy laws are running about a decade behind technology, and Google has a horrid record with regard to privacy. The end result is that we all need to be more aware of the cameras around us. We also might start getting in the habit of taking off our glasses and looking for cameras around us – in particular when we go to the bathroom, drink, or have meetings we want to remain confidential. In the end, though, we’ll have to start thinking a lot more about behaving better, because increasingly, our bad behavior is going to be coming back to haunt us.

Even if our indiscretions aren’t exposed immediately, improvements to Google and Facebook facial-recognition functions may make them show up on your record years later. I’ll bet we all have a bit more sympathy for celebrities and their paparazzi problems when that happens.

Say
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Old 04-08-2013, 04:56 AM
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Galaxy Mega 5.8 specifications confirmed




SamMobile just received the first specifications of Samsung’s upcoming Galaxy Mega device, the Galaxy Mega 5.8.


Sam Mobile
4/8/2013


The Galaxy Mega codename GT-I9152 will be a high-end DUOS smartphone with a 5.8” qHD (960×540) TFT display. Samsung will give the Galaxy Mega 5.8 a 8 megapixel back camera and a 2 megapixel front camera. The processor would be a dual-core clocked at 1.4 GHz with 1.5 GB of RAM. Of course Bluetooth 4.0, Wi-Fi 80211 a/b/g/n and A-GPS are on the device too.

Galaxy Mega 5.8 will have a 2600 mAh battery and the dimensions would be 164×83.8×9.7mm. The Galaxy Mega 5.8 will run on Android 4.1.2 / 4.2.2 Jelly Bean and Samsung will use their own Nature UX interface on it.

Samsung’s latest high-end DUOS device the Galaxy Grand DUOS has a 5.0” display with a resolution of 480×800 this device has a dual-core processor clocked on 1.2 GHz. You can read the review of the Galaxy Grand DUOS by SamMobile this month!

* photo Korean Samsung Galaxy Player

Galaxy Mega 5.8 specifications confirmed | SamMobile
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Old 04-10-2013, 11:07 AM
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Microsoft's next Xbox will take over your TV, interact with your cable box
The fight for the living room continues


By Tom Warren on April 10, 2013
The Verge



Microsoft is investing in TV in a big way with its next Xbox console as part of a fight for the living room. Multiple sources familiar with the company's Xbox plans have revealed to The Verge that Microsoft will introduce a feature that lets its next-generation console take over a TV and set-top box in a similar way to Google TV. We understand that the next Xbox will require an online connection to use the entertainment services, allowing them to be always-on for streaming and access to TV signals.

The functionality will work by taking a cable box signal and passing it through to the Xbox via HDMI, allowing Microsoft's console to overlay a UI and features on top of an existing TV channel or set-top box. We're told that this is a key part of the next-generation Xbox and that it will go a step further than Google's TV implementation thanks to Microsoft's partnerships with content providers. Extended support for various cable services will be rolled out gradually, but the basic functionality will be available at launch.

Coupled with this TV functionality, Microsoft's next-generation Kinect sensor will also play a role in the company's TV focus. The Verge has learned that the next Kinect will detect multiple people simultaneously, including the ability to detect eye movement to pause content when a viewer turns their head away from a TV. Microsoft is said to be using these capabilities as part of its UI and features for its TV plans.

Microsoft recently announced its plans to sell its Mediaroom IPTV business to Ericsson. The sale moves Microsoft away from supporting and helping build out software that's used in over 22 million set-top boxes worldwide. It's also part of an effort by Microsoft to focus fully on its Xbox console for entertainment apps and TV services. We're told that the company is still planning to introduce its own low-cost "Xbox TV" set-top box, but that this will likely debut early next year rather than alongside the next-generation console.

Microsoft is currently planning an Xbox event for May where we expect the company to detail parts of its next-generation Xbox. A spokesperson for Microsoft refused to comment on this story.

Exclusive: Microsoft's next Xbox will take over your TV, interact with your cable box | The Verge
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Old 04-11-2013, 04:37 AM
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Microsoft Plans 7-Inch Tablet



By LORRAINE LUK, SHIRA OVIDE and EVA DOU
The Wall Street Journal


The personal-computer business is at a crossroads, and Microsoft Corp. MSFT +2.21% isn't sitting still.

The software giant is developing a new lineup of its Surface tablets, including a 7-inch version expected to go into mass production later this year, said people familiar with the company's plans.

Microsoft's tablet ambitions, combined with planned price breaks for its flagship software and updates in coming months to its Windows operating software, paint the picture of a company trying to move more quickly than ever to counter urgent threats to its $75 billion software empire.

One person familiar with Microsoft's product plans said the 7-inch tablets weren't part of the company's strategy last year, but Microsoft executives realized they needed a response to the rapidly growing popularity of smaller tablets like Google Inc.'s GOOG +1.59% 7-inch Nexus, which was announced last summer, and the 7.9-inch iPad Mini introduced by Apple Inc. AAPL +2.00% last October.

Half of the tablet computers shipped in the fourth quarter were smaller than 8 inches, according to research firm IDC.

Microsoft declined to comment.

Microsoft's expanding tablet ambitions comes as sales of desktop and laptop computers are sinking, hurting the company's traditional area of strength. Research firms Gartner Inc. IT +5.73% and IDC on Wednesday said sales of PCs fell by double-digit percentages in the first three months of 2013 compared with a year earlier.

The figures show last October's debut of Windows 8—Microsoft's latest operating software designed to work on touch-screen devices like tablets and on conventional computers controlled by keyboards and mice—hasn't revived sales of personal computers and may be accelerating the decline. IDC blamed consumer confusion about Windows 8 for some of the steep drop in PC sales.

In tablets, Windows 8 also hasn't budged Microsoft's negligible market share as Google's Android and Apple dominate the fast-growing tablet market. So far, Microsoft and its hardware partners haven't pushed Windows 8-powered gadgets smaller than 10-inches—meaning they have missed out on the mini-tablet boom.

Microsoft executives have conceded publicly that consumers want less expensive touch-screen devices than Microsoft and its allies have been able to sell them. To make Windows 8 computing devices more appealing, they are urging a wider variety of touch-screen computers and tablets at a broader range of prices.

Last year, Microsoft made its first foray into homegrown computing devices with its Surface tablet, and company executives have said more devices are in the works, as it makes a shift from a software maker to what Chief Executive Steve Ballmer has called a "devices and services" company.

One culmination of the new strategy for Microsoft is what it calls "Blue"--frequently updated versions of its products including Windows. Microsoft is likely to talk more about Blue starting this summer, including new devices powered by Windows.

The Wall Street Journal previously reported that Microsoft also is planning price breaks for its Windows and Office software as part of a strategy to spur lower-cost touch-screen devices enabled by its Windows software.

Microsoft also is continuing to test its own smartphone, although it isn't clear whether it will bring such a device to market, component suppliers said.

Microsoft Plans 7-Inch Tablet - WSJ.com
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Old 04-18-2013, 05:35 AM
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Google Reveals Glass Tech Specs, Releases MyGlass Android App

Advertisements are officially banned from the device.


by Matt Clark
April 16, 2013
IGN


Can you feel it? Can you feel the coming days where seeing a person with a pair of Google Glass on their head in the wild could be a somewhat common occurrence? While only a select handful of developers and contest winners are just now getting their hands on Google's wearable computing project, details continue to emerge. As mentioned by PC Mag, Google has posted technical specs for the device on Tuesday.



Most of the tech specs listed are items previously announced by Google: bone conduction for audio, Bluetooth connectivity, etc. But on the new side of things, the built-in camera in Glass will take 5MP photos, in addition to 720p video. The device will charge via a Micro USB cable, but Google provides a decidedly Vulcan warning to using a third-party option.

"While there are thousands of Micro USB chargers out there, Glass is designed and tested with the included charger in mind," reads the post. "Use it and preserve long and prosperous Glass use."

Glass will feature 16GB of Flash storage, 12GB of which is usable and synced to the cloud. The battery is intended to last through a day of "typical use," assuming you're not recording too much video. As far as the resolution of the little display in Glass, Google provided a somewhat awkward answer using relative terms.
"[The] high resolution display is the equivalent of a 25 inch high definition screen from eight feet away."
Mashable notes there is little left to the imagination in the Google Mirror API, with Google outright banning ads in Glass apps. More interestingly, Google has apparently also forbid developers from charging for Glass apps, which makes one wonder how this entire affair is going to be monetized. The company also released a series of videos aimed at developers.

Google Mirror API: Guidelines - YouTube

Earlier on Tuesday, Google officially launched the MyGlass companion app to the Google Play store. Even if you don't have your very own pair of Glass yet, you can still check out the interface on your Android device.

Google Reveals Glass Tech Specs, Releases MyGlass Android App - IGN
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Old 04-23-2013, 05:03 AM
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The world’s first Firefox OS phones, the Keon and Peak, now available to pre-order with Geeksphone

By Andy Boxall — April 23, 2013
digitaltrends




It’s not just major hardware manufacturers who’re supporting Mozilla’s Firefox OS, as little-known Spanish startup Geeksphone is also producing a pair of devices running the new operating system. Not only that, but Geeksphone has beaten everyone else to market too, as the Keon and Peak are now available to pre-order through the company. Fair enough, they’re listed as, “developer previews,” so they won’t be appearing on the shelves of very many networks, but if you’ve been waiting to try out Firefox OS, now is your chance.

Anyone who signed up with Geeksphone to be alerted of when they could buy a device will have received an email this morning, saying the online store is now open; however our own attempts to get through the order process has been scuppered by failed logins, problematic page loads and more. It certainly appears demand is there for these early Firefox phones.

So what’s on offer? The Keon (pictured above) is the basic model, equipped with a 3.5-inch touchscreen, a 1GHz processor, 4GB of internal storage memory and a 3-megapixel camera. It’s priced at 100 euros plus sales tax. The Peak is a slightly more advanced, as it has a 4.3-inch touchscreen, a 1.2GHz processor, an 8-megapixel camera, and a video call camera. It costs slightly more than the Keon, at 150 euros plus the sales tax. Geeksphone also has its hardware priced in dollars, and you’ll need to pay $143 for the Keon and $235 for the Peak.

Sounds like a bargain, right? Not so fast, as shipping and tax will add at least 90 euros/$90 to each order. The trouble is, Geeksphone has the market to itself at the moment, as even though Sony has put out a developer ROM of Firefox OS for the Xperia E, it doesn’t have any connectivity options, so it’s useless as a phone. If you don’t mind the cost, and have the patience to wait for the online store to stop misbehaving, you can order your Geeksphone here.

Read more: First Firefox OS phones available from Geeksphone | Digital Trends
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Old 04-29-2013, 04:56 AM
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Samsung Galaxy S4 review

How do you upgrade the best-selling Android phone of all time?

The Verge
By David Pierce on April 24, 2013




Years ago, people either bought an iPhone or “a Droid." Verizon’s marketing power, those insane robot ads, and maybe that just-close-enough naming convention made the carrier's Android phones virtually synonymous with their operating system.

But now I hear people every day saying "Oh, is that the new Galaxy?" or "I don't really want an iPhone. I think I'm going to get a Galaxy." Thanks to its high quality and wide availability, not to mention Samsung's sheer brute-forcing marketing effort, the Galaxy S III became the face of the Android universe. It has sold tens of millions of units, and helped Android take huge marketshare away from the iPhone. Now Samsung's back with that device’s successor, the Galaxy S4. The new handset changes little from the GS III, but it adds a lot — a bigger screen, and a laundry list of software tweaks and features. It's a variation on a theme, a safe tweak to a strategy that’s worked impossibly well for Samsung.

But the landscape has changed since the Galaxy S III came out, and good cameras, big and beautiful screens, and fast performance now come virtually standard. The Galaxy S4 comes into a fiercely competitive market, with great phones on all sides and a particularly strong showing from the HTC One — is it enough of an improvement to keep Samsung atop the Android heap? I've had one for a week or so, and I have a few thoughts on the subject.

Rest of Story: Samsung Galaxy S4 review | The Verge
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Old 05-01-2013, 04:54 AM
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Google I/O 2013 Rumor Roundup: Nexus 5, X Phone, Android 5.0, Android 4.3, New Nexus 7, Nexus 11

Adrian Diaconescu | April 30, 2013 |
The Droid Guy


Say, what do you think was 2012’s biggest tech event? What do you mean CES? No, it wasn’t! And Samsung’s Unpacked events revealing the Galaxy S3 and Galaxy Note 2 weren’t either. Instead, it was Google’s I/O conference.

Just think about it. Google introduced the Nexus 7 during the conference, as well as Android 4.1 Jelly Bean and Project Glass. Right, and the Nexus Q too, but boy, was that a flop.



Regardless, Google I/O 2012 should remain a historical event in Android’s evolution, as it brought us the first real iPad challenger, but also the most stable and beautiful version of our favorite mobile OS.

As you can imagine, expectations are riding high as to whether or not Google can follow on the 2012 I/O with a similarly spectacular event this year. Naturally, every piece of hardware or software to be revealed during the conference is for now covered in mystery, but we have more than a few hints.

The rumor mill has been grinding for more than half a year already, with at least four Android devices in the mix for an I/O intro, plus a new version of Android. It’s highly unlikely though that Google will be making more than two or three big announcements between May 15 and 17, so let’s round up the usual suspects and see which ones are more likely to be the stars of the show.

Nexus 5

Only five months have passed since Nexus 4’s release, out of which at least a couple have been crippled by limited supply, but an N5 unveiling is definitely in the cards for this May.
The latest word around the block is the new Nexus phone has been “delayed”, but can we really be sure after so many rumors, speculations and “leaks” in the first few months of 2013? No, we cannot.



But if the N5 is to come so soon, does that mean it won’t step things up too much compared with its predecessor? Not necessarily. For one thing, the new handheld might not be manufactured by LG, but instead HTC. In which case chances are the Taiwanese have been working at the thing for more than six months.

As for the N5’s spec sheet, different sources have been telling us different things, but the surest bets are a quad-core Snapdragon 800 CPU, 2 or 3 GB of RAM, 4G LTE speeds, a 16 MP camera and a monster 3,300 mAh battery.
Chances for an I/O unveiling: 50%

X Phone

After popping up in an AnTuTu benchmark, the mythical Motorola X Phone seemed like a sure I/O bet, but the same tipster that claimed the N5 has been delayed said the X is not coming very soon either.

If you ask me, there’s no chance in hell both phones have been pushed back, but I think Google will be looking to intro just one of them at I/O. Which one remains to be seen…



In terms of specs and features, things are even more confusing for the X than for the N5. One thing seems certain nevertheless, and that’s this thing won’t exactly be a top of the line device to take on the giants of today.

Instead, it will likely be what the N4 was in late 2012 – a budget-conscious upper mid-ranger with a couple of flaws, but many more aces up its sleeve.

Chances for an I/O unveiling: 50%

Second-gen Nexus 7

By far the surest bet in terms of hardware launches at I/O, the second-gen Nexus 7 is likely to push the envelope a little further in terms of speed, display size, but also pricing. The most credible rumors so far paint the picture of a 7.8 or 7.9-inch new N7 with a Tegra 4 processor and likely a Full HD screen. Does that sound awesome or what?



Chances for an I/O unveiling: 75%


Nexus 11

This is more of a long shot, but, if a Nexus 5 is due out just six months after the N4’s release, why wouldn’t an N11 also come very soon after the N10? Still, chances are Samsung has other things to worry about at the moment, so even if an 11-inch Full HD Nexus tab with an octa-core processor is in the pipeline, it will probably not be introduced earlier than next fall.

Chances for an I/O unveiling: 20%

Upgraded 32 GB Nexus 4 with LTE

This sounds more like a back-up plan for Google if both the N5 and X Phone will fall through (which I don’t think is the case), but who knows, maybe such an underwhelming “new” handheld is in fact what’s coming.

What’s certain is Google will be disappointing a lot of Android geeks if the only phone debuting at this year’s I/O will be a modest rehash of a 2012 device.

Chances for an I/O unveiling: 30%

Android 5.0 Key Lime Pie

A near certainty until just last week, the debut of a whole new version of Android is now said to not happen until the fall. In all honesty though, 4.1 Jelly Bean was a major upgrade, despite the incremental look of its version number, so it would make sense for Google to take a little breather.



After all, 4.0 ICS was launched in December 2011 and JB came a mere eight months later. At the same time, Jelly Bean is the most praised Android version to date, so taking a little more time to work the kinks of the next big upgrade would probably be the wisest thing.

Chances for an I/O unveiling: 50%

Android 4.3 Jelly Bean


Obviously, if Google won’t bring Key Lime Pie to I/O, it will intro a new, slightly tweaked version of Jelly Bean and the other way around. Again, it would make sense for 4.3 to come instead of 5.0 for a number of reasons, including the Android distribution chart that still doesn’t look great for the newest versions of the OS.

Only over 15% of all Android devices run JB, close to 29% are on ICS and a whopping 44% remain stuck on Gingerbread, so maybe Google wants to limit fragmentation a little before throwing its hat in the ring with Android 5.0.

Chances for an I/O unveiling: 50%

Others

Besides the major releases and announcements, Google’s bosses are likely to take the San Francisco stage for a bunch of other more minor unveilings. A couple new Chromebooks could be introduced in May, as well as new versions of software products like Chrome, G Drive, Docs, Gmail and so on and so forth.

Though it won’t exactly be minor, I think a Glass announcement is in store too, likely the official announcement of the gizmo as a consumer product and maybe its slating for a commercial debut later this year.

That’s all I can think of for now, but keep in touch with us over the next couple of weeks and especially around May 15 to see exactly what surprises Google has been preparing.

Google I/O 2013 Rumor Roundup: Nexus 5, X Phone, Android 5.0, Android 4.3, New Nexus 7, Nexus 11 : The Droid Guy
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Old 05-02-2013, 04:40 AM
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Microsoft preparing second-generation Surface

Aaron Lee, Taipei; Joseph Tsai, DIGITIMES [Thursday 2 May 2013]

Microsoft is expected to announce second-generation Surface tablets at the company's Build Developer Conference, which will be hosted from June 26-28, according to sources from the upstream supply chain, adding that they have already shipped components for 1-1.5 million Intel-based units to the software giant since the end of 2012.

Since Microsoft only achieved sales of 1.5 million units for its first-generation Surface tablets (one million Surface RT and 500,000 Surface Pro), only half of its original expectations of 3-4 million units, the company is taking a cautious attitude over promotions for its second-generation models.

In addition to North America, Microsoft has also been expanding its market reach for Surface. The Surface RT is already available in Malaysia and will appear in Mexico at the end of May. The Surface RT will also become available in Korea and Thailand in June, while the Surface Pro will start selling in Australia and Austria in May and June for Korea, Malaysia, Russia, Singapore and Thailand.

Microsoft retained most of its component suppliers from the first-generation models for the second-generation ones with Pegatron Technology staying as the devices' manufacturer.

Chassis are supplied by Ju Teng, switching from China-based Chungnam Precision Casing; displays are supplied by Samsung Electronics and LG Display, glass Corning, batteries LG Chem, processors Intel and Nvidia, keyboards Chicony Electronics and Ko Ja (Cayman) and touch panels TPK and Youngfast, the sources noted. However, these component makers have all declined to comment about Surface shipments.

The sources also noted that the second-generation Surface devices reportedly will only feature a 7- to 9-inch displays to meet the rising demand for smaller tablet devices.


Microsoft is readying to announce second-generation Surface models
Photo: Michael Lee, Digitimes file photo

Microsoft preparing second-generation Surface
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Old 05-04-2013, 08:42 AM
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Google Glass Will Soon Also Let iPhone Users Access Navigation And Text Messages


Frederic Lardinois

posted 5/3.2013

techcrunch







To use text messaging and navigation on Google Glass, users currently have to pair it with an Android phone and install the Glass companion app on their phones. This will change very soon, however, one of the Google representatives in its New York office told me when I picked up my own unit yesterday afternoon. Glass, the Google employee told me, will soon be able to handle these features independent of the device the user has paired it to (and maybe even independent of the Glass companion app).

While Glass will happily work with any iPhone over Bluetooth or use any Wi-Fi connection to get online, iPhone users are currently unable to get turn-by-turn directions through Glass – one of its killer features. Those direction are pretty useful while you are navigating a new city and they do show off the power of location-based apps on Glass, but the software will currently balk if you ask it to give you directions while it’s connected to an iPhone.



In this context, it’s worth noting that one of the myths surrounding Glass is that it is independently connected to the Internet. That’s not true, however. Instead, Glass users need to have a tethering plan for their phones to connect Glass to the Internet. In the eyes of your wireless provider, Glass is just another device that uses your phone’s personal hotspot feature. This means Glass shouldn’t have to depend on any application that runs on your phone, so the original restriction of making navigation and SMS dependent on the companion app was always a bit odd.

While Glass has a built-in compass, it doesn’t have its own GPS receiver and depends on the phone to provide it with location data. It looks like this was just a function of the beta state of Glass, however, and that we can expect it to soon be fully functional, no matter the device it uses to connect to the Internet.

Google Glass Will Soon Also Let iPhone Users Access Navigation And Text Messages | TechCrunch
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Old 05-07-2013, 05:15 AM
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Google I/O 2013 is coming, but what will it bring?

Posted: 07 May 2013, 03:48, by Ray S.
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There are a number of tech events each year that manage to get us super-excited, and Google's developer-centric I/O is one of them. Even though its audience is mainly comprised of web and application developers, the event has traditionally been used by Google as a stage to announce new products from. Last year, for example, saw the introduction of a new Android build, as well as not one, not two, but three new devices - the Galaxy Nexus, Nexus 7 and Nexus Q.

So, what's in store for us this year? Well, if we believe the rumors we're hearing, this year's Google I/O probably won't be as fruitful, but it'll still bring some new hardware and software. At first, we were hoping to see the long-anticipated Motorola X Phone, the 'hero' device that's supposed to bring Motorola back in business, but it later turned out that this is very unlikely to happen. What's more likely, though, would be to see a revamped Nexus 7 by Asus. We know, we know, but it could be worse, right? Besides, rumors are called 'rumors' for a reason! Because... you know, they may not be true.

We were having some pretty brave expectations for the software part of the announcement as well, but by the looks of it, Android 5 Key Lime Pie will not be man enough to make an appearance at the show. Instead, we're told that Google is to announce a new version of Jelly Bean, possibly Android 4.3. It's not yet known exactly what new features or improvements this new version is going to bring.

And that's pretty much it for now. Google I/O 2013 is going to kick off on May 15 and will continue until May 17. It's said that there will be just one keynote this time, which will probably take place on May 15. Whatever the case is, count on us to keep you in the loop!

Google I/O 2013 is coming, but what will it bring?
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Old 05-13-2013, 04:42 AM
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Move Over 4G LTE! Samsung Launching 5G in 2020

Chuong Nguyen — 05/12/2013
gottabemobile


While 4G LTE is getting all the rage right now with speeds ranging anywhere between 2 to 50 Mbps in the U.S., Samsung is already working on a 5G mobile broadband successor that could deliver up to 1 Gbps in speed tests.

What does this new 1 Gbps mean to users? First, it means that you can download an entire movie in less than a second. However, with great powers come great responsibilities as users will be able to do so much more with these faster speeds that they’ll need to be more mindful of the amount of data they consume, especially in an era of metered data plans.



Korean’s Yonhap news agency reported that “Samsung Electronics said it has successfully tested the platform using the 28 Gigahertz (GHz) waveband to transmit data at a speed of 1 Gbps, which earlier had been considered as a conundrum by global industry players.”

A total of 64 antennas were used to achieve this speed and overcome the obstacle to reach 1 Gbps speeds. And while the early Samsung test achieved 1 Gbps speeds, 5G can go up to tens of gigabits per second, a huge improvement over 4G LTE, which delivers speeds in the Mbps range.

Samsung’s testing is under ideal lab conditions, so real world speeds when 5G launches may vary. However, given that the speeds are still many times faster than 4G LTE speeds currently, this will give consumers something to look forward to if they can overcome data caps.

With 5G coming in around 2020, this means that we’ll at least have a few more years with current devices before we’re forced to upgrade if we want to take advantage of 5G speeds. 5G will require an investment on the carrier side to upgrade the infrastructure, towers, and equipment, and consumers will likely have to buy new phones that will be compatible with the 5G protocol.

Move Over 4G LTE! Samsung Launching 5G in 2020
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Old 05-15-2013, 04:55 AM
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Google Maps overhaul leaks ahead of I/O conference

By Jeff Blagdon on May 15, 2013





3
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It looks like Google is set to unveil a new version of Google Maps for the desktop at I/O this week. Droid-Life discovered a description on the revised service’s landing page that reveals what’s in store: a “tailored map for every search,” a new UI reminiscent of Google’s recent mobile apps, WebGL-powered overhead views borrowed from Google Earth, Flight Search integration, and the ability to compare multiple modes of transportation on the map itself.

Google also hints at Google-Now-like interactions such as your map suggesting restaurants you might enjoy on the way to your destination. While the site has since been pulled, it looks like Google will have a lot to show off during its Maps session at this week’s developer conference.

Google Maps overhaul leaks ahead of I/O conference | The Verge
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Old 05-16-2013, 04:50 AM
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Asia 'sources' chat up smaller Microsoft Surface tablet

More talk of a smaller Surface tablet is coming from Asia. The report claims an 8-inch class tablet.
by Brooke Crothers
May 15, 2013 11:21 PM PDT
CNET


A smaller Surface tablet seems likely.
(Credit: Microsoft)

We know a smaller Surface product is likely in the works. But exactly how small isn't clear.
Digitimes has chimed in again claiming, this time, Microsoft will launch an 8-inch Surface tablet in June, citing sources at component suppliers.

"Microsoft will launch an 8-inch Surface tablet in June and a 10.x-inch model as early as the third quarter of 2013," Digitimes said.

The display for the 8-inch model will be supplied by Samsung, according to the report.
This differs from what DisplaySearch told CNET earlier this month: a future Microsoft tablet is expected to sport a 7.5-inch display, according to Richard Shim, an analyst at the market researcher.

And that tablet isn't expected until later in the year, according to Shim.

There was another, earlier report from Digitimes, too, speculating that Microsoft would make an announcement at the Build Conference in June about smaller tablets.

No word on pricing though there have been rumors about $399 as a target.

Asia 'sources' chat up smaller Microsoft Surface tablet | Microsoft - CNET News
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Old 05-18-2013, 05:09 AM
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Microsoft to launch 8-inch Surface in June, say Taiwan makers

Max Wang, Taipei; Adam Hwang, DIGITIMES [Wednesday 15 May 2013]

Microsoft will launch an 8-inch Surface tablet in June and a 10.x-inch model as early as the third quarter of 2013, according to Taiwan-based supply chain makers.

The 8-inch Surface will use touch panels supplied by Samsung Electronics and Nvidia-developed processors, and Taiwan-based ODM Pegatron will be responsible for production, the sources said.

In consideration of clearing inventories of existing 10.6-inch Surface tablets, Microsoft will launch the 10.x-inch, possibly lower than 10.6-inch, Surface at the earliest in the third quarter, the sources indicated.

Microsoft expects initial monthly shipments of the two devices to reach one million units, implying that Microsoft is more optimistic about the sales performance of the two models than of existing models, the sources said.

There were 49.2 million tablets shipped globally during the first quarter of 2013 and Apple shipped 19.5 million units for a market share of 39.6%, followed by Samsung with 8.8 million units, Asustek Computer 2.7 million units, Amazon 1.8 million and Microsoft 900,000 units, the sources cited IDC statistics as indicating.

Microsoft to launch 8-inch Surface in June, say Taiwan makers
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Old 05-21-2013, 04:10 PM
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Xbox One Announced

Xbox One Announced - IGN
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Old 05-22-2013, 04:44 AM
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Hands on: The new Kinect stares into your soul while the controller feels you up

By Ryan Fleming — May 21, 2013
digitaltrends


It might be overstating it to say the Xbox One will change the way we physically interact with games, but it’s no exaggeration to declare that it will fulfill the promise of the original Kinect.

When the gesture-free device was first introduced in 2010, it hinted at a sci-fi-like future, where we control everything through physical actions and do away with the traditional interface games have used for generations. The reality, though, was somewhat less impressive. The original Kinect ultimately sold 24 million units worldwide, but it was imprecise and the games that utilized it were primitive in many ways. The new Kinect, however, is incredible.

The new Kinect (at the moment, that’s how Microsoft refers to it), is to the original device what a smartphone is to a flip phone. It’s a huge technological leap.

The new 1080p cameras see three times the detail of the previous ones; what previously rendered just the rough outline of a person now track everything from the clothing you’re wearing to the expression on your face. They also operate more efficiently at close range while scanning a large area more efficiently. That means people with smaller areas to play in will benefit, as will people with room to play with several friends – the new Kinect can track up to six people at once. It can now judge movement on a whole new level – multiple levels, in fact.

Besides the standard body movement, the new Kinect will differentiate join movement, which translates to far more fluid motion on screen. It can even register individual digits on your hand, although probably not well enough to utilize this in gameplay.

You would expect a more precise degree of tracking from the next generation of Kinect, but that’s just the beginning. The Kinect can judge the stress on your muscles and interpret that information on screen. If your onscreen duplicate has red on his/her legs, it means you are putting weight on them. If you jump up in the air, the color turns green to show the lack of stress. All of this will help to make for better tracking of the body. This is impressive enough, but than there’s the matter of the new Kinect tracking your pulse rate.



It can get a fairly accurate reading of your heartbeat based on things like how flush your face is, how it moves under stress, and other indicators that would be unnoticeable to the naked eye. The Kinect can pick up those cues and show your pulse on the screen. Imagine if a survival horror game judged that you weren’t scared enough based on your pulse rate and then changed tactics because of that?

The Kinect’s camera also allows you to play in the dark thanks to infrared cameras. The IR camera can offer full resolution in pitch black (minus color) and, even if you turn on a flashlight, it recognize it and subtract that lighting.

Arguably, the coolest addition to the Kinect is the facial recognition software. If you and five others are in a game and begin to move around, the Kinect will track you by your face, and you won’t have to constantly reshuffle to be in the right place. That is a convenience though – the real revelation of the facial software is that it recognizes you when you turn it on and loads your personal profile. If you and your significant other both have personalized profiles, the new Kinect will recognize which one of you is ready to play.

The controller still has the same number of buttons and doesn’t add anything new like a screen – but it has undergone an incredibly detailed redesign.

The sound work on the Kinect has also been significantly improved. Thanks to countless hours of testing in an anechoic chamber located on Microsoft’s campus, a room that is within one of the main buildings, but also separate and suspended by springs in order to cancel all sound, the Kinect can isolate voices even as stereo from a game, or ambient sound blares.

Joining the Kinect is the redesigned Xbox controller. While the same basic shape and functionality remain – it still has the same number of buttons and doesn’t add anything new like a screen – it has undergone an incredibly detailed redesign.

Using 3D printing technology, Microsoft designers created well over 200 controller models to test on focus groups, and every detail, down to the placement of the screws, was analyzed. The most visible difference is the repositioning of the batteries, which does away with the bulky pack on the underside of the old controller and results in a bottom with less curve. Beyond that, the differences require closer examination.

The thumbsticks are a bit higher, and they are smaller as well. Each thumbstick has rubberized grip circling the top, and there is a smaller dead zone – the area where the thumbstick is in its resting position and there is no input command. The smaller dead zone increases the precision and allows for more degrees of movement.



The biggest change, however, comes from the haptic feedback. The current controllers have two haptic motors to give a sense of vibration. The new controllers have four, and they reach the triggers now as well. This difference is like going from stereo to multi-channel surround sound.

Imagine playing a racing game where you are drifting. The current rumble would simulate the movement, but the secondary rumble would simulate something like the tires catching on imperfections in the road. The difference is subtle, but impressive. The triggers themselves are also magnetic now, allowing more precision. That paired with the additional haptic feedback creates an assortment of new possibilities. The only downside is that the current controller is considered the best made by many gamers, due to its ergonomics. Changing the curves to create flat areas will take some getting used to, but it’s worth it.

There is still a lot we need to know about the Xbox One, from the games to the software to the details on the hardware. Again, it might be overstating it to suggest that it will change how we game, but it is no exaggeration to declare the Xbox One a huge leap forward in gaming hardware and technology.
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Old 06-12-2013, 04:57 AM
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Samsung officially announces Galaxy S4 Zoom with 16MP camera, 10x optical zoom Mobile

By Richard Lawler posted Jun 12th, 2013
engadget



Coming in just after a Russian site managed to review the device, Samsung has officially announced the Galaxy S4 Zoom. Combining a fully featured Android 4.2.2 Galaxy phone (basically a Galaxy S4 Mini) with a 16MP point-and-shoot, it brings a 10x optical zoom lens to bear -- the first phone to do so. On the phone side, it sports a 4.3-inch qHD display, 1.5GHz dual-core CPU, 1.5GB RAM, 8GB of internal storage (expandable via microSD slot) and a 1.9MP front facing camera. The camera includes optical image stabilization and a Xenon flash, along with a special "Zoom Ring." That ring surrounds the camera, and when twisted (even while on a call) it can launch in-call photo sharing, or go straight to other camera modes. Extra software features are also on hand to advantage of the combo device's capabilities including Photo Suggest that shows great pics taken by others in the area, Smart Mode auto settings and more.

President and CEO JK Shin is pleased by the union, calling it "truly the best of both worlds, without compromise," for people who want to capture high quality images and share them, but don't want to carry two devices. We're told it will arrive in the UK this summer but have not been able to confirm a pricetag, while its early Russian reviewers mentioned a July release and local pricing of around $618, converted. Intrigued, horrified, or just want to compare it to Nokia's latest efforts? A press release, pictures and detailed spec sheet await you below.

Update: Samsung has confirmed that the Galaxy S$ Zoom will come to the US too, at some point in Q3 this year.

Samsung officially announces Galaxy S4 Zoom with 16MP camera, 10x optical zoom
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