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Monday, December 31, 2012

Pearson to invest in Nook Media


Pearson buys a small stake in Nook Media, wants a fast track for educational ebooks
Publishers often want to work closely with e-book outlets -- possibly a little too closely -- but it's rare that they involve themselves directly. Pearson is taking that uncommon step by making a 5 percent, $89.5 million investment in Nook Media, the joint venture between Barnes & Noble and Microsoft. Some of the reasoning won't be made public until Barnes & Noble provides holiday sales results on January 3rd, but Pearson is clear that it's furthering its online education plans: it wants Nook Media's distribution skills to make a "seamless and effective experience for students."

Friday, December 28, 2012

Motorola hires on Samsung's marketing exec Brian Wallace


Google has pulled away one of Samsung's top people. Motorola has just hired Samsung's marketing executive for the same job at Motorola. Brian Wallace has been behind some of Samsung's marketing ploys that have paid off handsomely for the company. Take, for example, the advertisement embedded below:


Visible Measures says that the ad above was the most popular tech ad of the year. Motorola and Google are likely hoping he will do the same thing for the company, marketing Google's Nexus line of devices and their upcoming X Phone. Before joining Samsung a year ago, he worked at RIM for more than a decade.

motorola_hires_on_samsung_s_marketing_exec_brian_wallace

Read more at http://www.tweaktown.com/news/27436/motorola_hires_on_samsung_s_marketing_exec_brian_wallace/index.html#VIew1bZmgzcwOCYg.99 

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Acer to debut $99 Android tablet


A leak picked up by SlashGear is showing an Acer Iconia tablet that will be reportedly on sale for less than $100. The tablet, if released at that price, would undercut most every other Android tablet currently available and would beat Google to the punch for a sub-$100 Nexus tablet.

leakedtt_acer_to_debut_99_android_tablet_would_beat_google_to_the_punch

If the leaked renders are anything to go on, it looks like a pretty slick tablet, though it won't be featuring quite the hardware that more expensive models do. The model is reportedly a 7-inch tablet going by the name Acer Iconia B1. It will likely see its release at either CES 2013 or MWC 2013.

The processor is said to be a Mediatek dual-core coupled with 512MB of RAM. This isn't as powerful as the Nexus 7's quad-core, but would still provide decent performance. 8GB of internal storage will be present, with the option of adding a MicroSD for more capacity. The operating system is said to be Android 4.1.2 Jelly Bean.

Read more at http://www.tweaktown.com/news/27407/leakedtt_acer_to_debut_99_android_tablet_would_beat_google_to_the_punch/index.html#CDB42VRtggBA2e24.99 

Monday, December 24, 2012

Bone-induction bluetooth headset


DNP AfterShokz to debut 'world's first' boneconducting Bluez headphones at CES 2013
At first glance, you might think the guy in the photo above is wearing his sunglasses backwards. However, he's actually getting hiz groove on with the AfterShokz Bluez, a pair of Bluetooth headphones that transmits audio using bone conduction. We'veseen the technology before, but never on stereo wireless headsets. Instead of vibrating your eardrums, the Bluez use transducer pads that sit on your cheekbones to send audio directly to your ears. As such, the headphones have an "open-ear" design, presumably to let you hear your surroundings while listening to tunez. If this zoundz intriguing, you can pre-order them for $100 (despite their $129 retail price) from the company's website, or just wait until January when they will make their official debut at CES 2013.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Samsung Galaxy IV to have own launch event


The whole world is waiting on the Galaxy S IV, which should really put a few more dents in the not-so-invincible iPhone 5We're hearing about bendable, unbreakable screens - but it looks like "flexible screens are still a while off" according to The Verge's sources.

rumortt_samsung_galaxy_s_iv_won_t_be_announced_at_ces_or_mwc_would_have_its_own_launch_event

Something else The Verge found out was that the Galaxy S IV won't be unveiled early next year at CES in Las Vegas, nor will it be unveiled at MWC 2013, either. The Galaxy S IV will be unveiled in May with its own event, like the Galaxy S III did this past May.

Read more at http://www.tweaktown.com/news/27277/rumortt_samsung_galaxy_s_iv_won_t_be_announced_at_ces_or_mwc_would_have_its_own_launch_event/index.html#I5F1Qsc1PkosJIIQ.99 

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Next iPad mini to have Retina display


Rumor is that the next iPad mini will feature a Retina display. DigiTimes is reporting that the next iPad mini update will be mainly focused on increasing its screen resolution. They cite the source as Taiwan-based backlighting industry sources. These same sources also say that the next 9.7-inch iPad will use one LED bar instead of two for the backlighting.

rumortt_next_ipad_mini_to_feature_retina_display

If the iPad mini moves to a Retina display, it would likely feature a 2058 x 1536 screen, which would put it at 326ppi. It will likely see the application of Apple's current Retina display technology as that would be the cheapest for Apple to implement.

The sources also note that the 9.7-inch iPad will be switching to a single LED light bar for backlighting, with the overall effect of the change being a lighter device.

Read more at http://www.tweaktown.com/news/27299/rumortt_next_ipad_mini_to_feature_retina_display/index.html#oHeuz5oJdKebJi6r.99 

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

With so many providers of IP-related telephoney products, the ability to distinguish oneself from the market is to provide a whole bundle of solutions for the customer so that he does not have to shop around just to find companies to solve his problem.

The company that I am reviewing today is voip montrĂ©al. They sell a range of products which definitely includes high-end IP phone and virtualisation. They also provide enterprise solutions, hosting and mobile solutions. 

What makes things better is that they have videos that teach you how to use the product on their website. This would allow customers to see if the product suits their needs and if they like the user interface of their solutions. 

Try them out.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Google fights accidental clicks on mobile ads by making people confirm they clicked

Google has updated the way the ads work, so now if you click near the border of the ad, it will ask you to click again to confirm. This reduces false clickthroughs, reducing the amount advertisers have to pay.

google_fights_accidental_clicks_on_mobile_ads_by_making_people_confirm_they_clicked

Another benefit of removing false clicks is that the mobile ads see higher conversion rates, which make the ad pay-off for the advertiser more. This means Google can then charge more for the ad, which offsets the decline in revenue by charging for fewer clicks. The new confirmation will be in all in-app image banner ads.

"This is only the beginning. As devices continue to converge there will be new challenges in the fight against what many have called the 'fat finger' problem. But implementing confirmed clicks is an important step that we think will benefit users, advertisers, publishers, and the mobile ecosystem overall, and we'll continue to look for ways to improve mobile ads for everyone."

Read more at http://www.tweaktown.com/news/27301/google_fights_accidental_clicks_on_mobile_ads_by_making_people_confirm_they_clicked/index.html#TQGw8OpgLZUiC1jj.99 

Friday, December 14, 2012

IBM manufactures light-based 'nanophotonic' chips to let the terabytes flow


IBM manufactures lightbased 'nanophotonic' chips to let the terrabytes flow
IBM's taken a large step toward computer chips that use photons instead of electrons by manufacturing the first 90nm silicon-based optical processing modules. It did so using the CMOS nanophotonics technology we first saw back in 2010, creating tranceivers capable of 25Gbps transfer speeds. By multiplexing a large number of those streams to a single fibre, "terrabytes of data" per second could flow between distant computer systems," according to IBM. The 90 nanometer light circuits should allow data-hungry servers or supercomputers to scale up rapidly in speed "for the next decade, and at the desired low cost," according to the researchers. It's now primed for commercial development, meaning we could see an end to bottlenecks in systems "a few centimeters or a few kilometers" apart from each other. Check the PR for the detailed technical skinny.

Via Engadget

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

LG sells 10 million Optimus L-Series phones

 


LG sells 10 million Optimus LSeries phones, claims a small dose of humility
Although the Optimus G and its Nexus 4 cousin are clearly the darlings of LG's mobile lineup, that isn't precluding the Korean company from crowing about a milestone for its more pedestrian Optimus L-Series smartphones. The company has officially passed 10 million sales of L-Series phones spread across the entire line, ranging from the tiny L3 through to the extra-large L9. LG only makes a partial attempt at keeping itself grounded, though. While it's quick to acknowledge that 10 million is a "modest" amount in the light of grander achievements, it directly credits the figure to rejecting rivals' tendencies to put "all their eggs into a one-size-fits-all phone" -- a not-so-subtle potshot at a certain competitor's approach to budget models. Whether or not that's valid criticism, we'd say a little braggadocio could be justified when most low-cost smartphones rarely get this kind of recognition.

Via Engadget

Monday, December 10, 2012

Foxconn to expand in the States


Apple CEO Tim Cook caused quite a stir when he announced that at least some Macs would soon be made in the US, and it looks like one of the world's biggest device manufacturers is now set to follow suit. As Bloomberg reports, Foxconn is planning to expand its operations in the US to fulfill what it sees as a growing demand for more Made in the USA products. While not providing many details beyond that, Foxconn spokesperson Louis Woo said in an interview with Bloombergthat "supply chain is one of the big challenges for US expansion," adding that "any manufacturing we take back to the US needs to leverage high-value engineering talent there in comparison to the low-cost labor of China." Of course, while the timing of the news is a bit coincidental, there's no indication yet that Foxconn will be working with Apple on its US manufacturing plans, nor is there any word on any other clients it's lined up.

Friday, December 07, 2012

Apple's iPad domination begins to fade, iPad share is at its lowest point since 2010


There was a time when the iPhone and iPad were the absolute undeniable champions of the industry - breaking records on quarterly shipments, and market share in their respective fields - smartphones and tablets. The iPad pretty much created the tablet market on its own, and has enjoyed complete dominance since its launch.

apple_s_ipad_domination_begins_to_fade_ipad_share_is_at_its_lowest_point_since_2010

Well, Apple may still lead the tablet market in terms of their share of the pie - but this number has dropped to its lowest point since the original, first-generation iPad launched in 2010. In ABI's latest estimate report, Apple's share of the worldwide tablet market dropped to just 55% in Q3 2012 - a 14% sequential decline.

Google's Android-based tablets are the main cause of this, which comes as a surprise to no one. Apple did just introduce the 7.85-inch iPad mini, but is it too late for them to claw back some of that lost market share? A quarter or so from now should tell, and we should have even more proof in the next few quarters as Apple start shipping, and selling more of their smaller slates. ABI analyst, Jeff Orr, isn't too sure on whether the iPad mini will help their market share numbers:

With the introduction of a smaller, lower-cost iPad mini, Apple has acknowledged Android's beachhead of 7-inch-class tablets, though at the same time, it has failed to deliver a knock-out punch through innovation, pricing, and availability during the most critical selling period of the year. As the OS of choice for the majority of device OEMs, we expect the Android ecosystem to continue growing in numbers - new manufacturers, better device choices for reaching more markets, and more developers finding value from apps and content.

Read more at http://www.tweaktown.com/news/27004/apple_s_ipad_domination_begins_to_fade_ipad_share_is_at_its_lowest_point_since_2010/index.html#uQg1tiDkgO2QXyDg.99 

Wednesday, December 05, 2012

Intel to update Celeron, Pentium chips to Ivy Bridge by early 2013 Read more at http://www.tweaktown.com/news/27021/intel_to_update_celeron_pentium_chips_to_ivy_bridge_by_early_2013/index.html#p01ZOEUE6JLT93Gs.99


Intel's budget line of CPUs has remained based upon the older Sandy Bridge architecture, even though Ivy Bridge has been out for over half a year now. Reports have now surfaced that these low-end CPUs will be updated to the 22nm Ivy Bridge architecture by early 2013, even as Haswell gets close to making an appearance.

intel_to_update_celeron_pentium_chips_to_ivy_bridge_by_early_2013

The current Pentium G870, G645, and G645T will cease to be produced as Intel makes room in their line up for the Pentium G2130, G2020, and G2020T. Similarly, the Celeron G555, G550, and G550T will be phased out in favor of the new G1620, G1610, and G1610T processors.

Intel is also planning on shipping dual-core mobile Ivy Bridge chips in Q1 of 2013. Haswell is widely expected to make its debut in Q3 of 2013.

Read more at http://www.tweaktown.com/news/27021/intel_to_update_celeron_pentium_chips_to_ivy_bridge_by_early_2013/index.html#p01ZOEUE6JLT93Gs.99 

Monday, December 03, 2012

Google buys BufferBox, might give Amazon Locker a run for its money


Google buys BufferBox, might give Amazon Locker a run for its money
Google has just snapped up BufferBox, a Waterloo, Ontario-based startup that offers temporary lockers for online purchases much like the ones recently deployed by Amazon. Instead of 7-Elevens and RadioShacks however, the relatively young startup has only just started a deal to install parcel kiosks in Canada's Metrolinx GO Transit stations. The Mountain View company hopes to keep BufferBox alive through the acquisition, with plans for 100 kiosks in Greater Toronto and Hamilton in the next year. 

Friday, November 30, 2012

Apple's 'Spaceship' campus won't open until 2016, as the project faces delays


Apple's new 'Spaceship' campus was meant to open in 2015, but Apple have reportedly filed a new timetable with the City of Cupertino on November 14, adapting its development timetable. Apple have had delays that affect Cupertino's environmental impact report. This report monitors traffic, noise, air quality levels, and allows local residents to comment on its development.

apple_s_spaceship_campus_won_t_open_until_2016_as_the_project_faces_delays

This has caused Apple to push back the completion of the report from the expected late-2012 date, to June 2013. This could mean that Apple won't start work on the new HQ until 2014, pushing back the move-in date into 2016.

The new 'Spaceship' HQ boasts 2.8 million square feet of a research and development building, a 1000-seat corporate auditorium, a fitness center, central plant, parking and another 300,000 square-foot research facility. Apple hopes that the new campus will maximize efficiency and convenience to their employees, where it will provide a co-location of services and a consolidation of employees in a single distinctive office R&D building.

Apple also hopes to generate their own electricity needs on-site, which will reduce their reliance on outside power resources.

Read more at http://www.tweaktown.com/news/26890/apple_s_spaceship_campus_won_t_open_until_2016_as_the_project_faces_delays/index.html#15rC8kCm6JP4KeJy.99 

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Google's getting better at design quicker than Apple is getting better at web



Patrick Gibson posted up an interesting, and rather accurate, portrayal of Google and Apple. The biggest takeaway from the post is that Google is getting better at design, something they've been weak at, quicker than Apple is getting better at web services, something they have been weak at.

google_s_getting_better_at_design_quicker_than_apple_is_getting_better_at_web

Take a look at Apple's web fails:
  • Apple can't update its online store without taking it offline first.
  • A popular Game Center game was able to bring down the entire network.
  • Apple requires you to re-friend everyone on Game Center, Find my Friends, and Shared Photostreams.
  • Notes requires an email account to sync.
  • The iTunes and App Stores are still powered by WebObjects, a mostly dead framework written almost 20 years ago.
  • iMessage for Mac lives in an alternate dimension in which time has no ordered sequence.
  • Ping.

With each revision of Android, it's UI and polish gets closer and closer to that of Apple and iOS. With the latest version, it's really starting to approach the quality of Apple's design. Apple's mantra that everything "Just Works" is more true for Google's web services, and increasingly, its hardware and Android.

Gibson suggests that Apple buy Twitter, and it's a legitimate argument. He says that Apple would benefit from the web technology and scalability that Twitter has pioneered. "Not only does Twitter use some of the most advanced web technology, they invented it. They own scale." If Apple can't pick up the pace at which they improve web services, Google will very likely surpass Apple in terms of design and web capabilities.

Read more at http://www.tweaktown.com/news/26897/google_s_getting_better_at_design_quicker_than_apple_is_getting_better_at_web/index.html#6iul6UdwZOQS4cCh.99 

Monday, November 26, 2012

Most number of pictures shared on Instagram


Instaturkey Instagram hits alltime high, over 10 million pictures shared on #Thanksgiving Day
They say a picture is worth a thousand words -- and boy did Instragram's servers have a colossal amount of words to deal with yesterday. Via its blog, the Facebook-owned picture sharing service announced that, on Thanksgiving Day, more than 10 million holiday-related images were shared on the social network, which saw peak hour come in at around 12:00pm Pacific time with over 200 filter-packed (no filter, in some cases) images per second being Instagrammed. Moreover, Thanksgiving marked one of the app's most active days in its short history, with Instagram saying that yesterday "broke all records as we saw the number of shared photos more than double from the day before, making it our busiest day so far."

Friday, November 23, 2012

Xbox celebrates ten years of Live


DNP Xbox celebrates ten years of Live, will give specialedition 360s to contest winners
It's hard to believe a whole decade has passed since the birth of Xbox Live, but here we are. From its roots as an online multiplayer service, Live has grown into a full-fledged entertainment platform bringing users Achievements and Gamerscores, customizable avatars, entertainment services and apps like Xbox Music and SmartGlass. As part of the celebration, you can head over to Xbox.com to try to win a limited edition Tenth Anniversary Xbox 360 and pick up a free copy of Wreckateer. You can also save 50 percent on a number of games that include Fruit Ninja Kinect, Full House Poker and Peggle. After you've entered the contest and downloaded a few games, go ahead and put in an extra hour of Halo 4today, because hey, that's the least you can do to celebrate a service that's given you ten years of joy.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Lytro to get Perspective Shift and Living Filters for more focus-shifting fun


Lytro has just announced a software update that expands upon the multidimensional elements of the little light-field point-and-shoot. The Lytro Desktop software will get two new features, dubbed Perspective Shift and Living Filters, both of which expand upon the device's focus-shifting capabilities. Perspective Shift lets you change the photo's center of perspective, while Living Filters are interactive image effects that range from cool to kooky. We had a chance to get an early look at these features, so join us after the break for our impressions and video of them in action.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

SteelSeries Flux Luxury Edition Review @CPR














CPR has just released a new review of the SteelSeries Flux Luxury Edition Review.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Amazon losing up to $1 billion a year in streaming video war


Netflix CEO claims Amazon losing up to $1 billion a year in streaming video war
Netflix isn't sinking, but it's certainly not the soaring brand it once was and has endured its fair share of struggles over the last several years. But, if you think Reed Hastings is shaking in his boots over encroaching competition you'd be wrong. The CEO says that Amazon will pose a legitimate threat to its streaming video dominance, but that day is still a long way off. He claims that the Kindle purveyor is losing between $500 million and $1 billion a year as it builds its empire and secures licensing rights. Of course, Hasting's comments during an interview with Dow Jones are largely speculative; based on the value of deals in which the two have competed directly. Then again, there seemed to be some implicit admission of the costs and struggles associated with competing in the subscription video sphere during its Q3 earnings report. The company lowered its forecast for the next quarter, saying it could lose as much as $490 million.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Baseline Modbook Pro gets updated


Baseline Modbook Pro gets its RAM, storage and touchscreen sensitivity doubled, stays at $3,500
The first batch of Modbook Pros have yet to make their way to owners, but the base model is already getting a spec bump. The Macbook come tablet will have its RAM boosted from 4GB to 8GB and its solid state drive roughly doubled in capacity to 120GB. As for the Wacom pen digitizer on the slab, a total of 1,024 pressure levels will make it twice as sensitive than previously planned. What's the cause for the sudden volley of upgrades? Turns out the folks at Modbook Inc. managed to get a sweeter deal on parts from manufacturers and had the financial wiggle room to include better hardware. One thing that hasn't changed on the Modbook Pro, however, is its price: the tablet will still withdraw $3,500 from pockets. Those who've already pre-ordered one of the devices will get the upgrades at no additional cost when the slates ship later this month.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

NVIDIA's revenue hits a record amidst smartphone growth


NVIDIA's revenue hits a record $120 billion for Q3 powered by Tegra 3 tablets, Kepler GPUs
Just as it predicted, NVIDIA's earnings show revenue rose again in Q3, to a new record high of $1.20 billion, 15.3 percent higher than in Q2 up 12.9 percent from the same period last year. Its profits also grew accordingly, to $209.1 million, which should be no surprise thanks to its Tegra 3 chip's place at the heart of tablets including Google's Nexus 7 and Microsoft's Surface for Windows RT, with more arriving daily. The Consumer Products division that includes the Tegra family and other hardware had a 27.6 percent rise in revenue for the quarter. Despite predictions of a slumping PC market, its consumer GPU unit had revenue up 10 percent from last quarter as Kepler based products reached into lower price points and notebook revenue rose. Riding high, the company has decided to issue dividends to shareholders as well as extend its current stock repurchasing program. Hit the source links for the full breakdown, but so far NVIDIA's bets on the future of its chips in PCs and post-PC devices seem to be paying off.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Intel launches 8-core Itanium 9500


Intel launches Poulsonbased Itanium 9500, teases Xeon E7linked Kittson
Intel's Itanium processor launches are few and far between given that only so many need its specialized grunt, but that just makes any refresh so much larger -- and its new Itanium 9500 certainly exemplifies that kind of jump. The chip centers around much more up-to-date, 32-nanometer Poulson architecture that doubles the cores to eight, hikes the interconnect speeds and supports as much as 2TB of RAM for very (very, very) large tasks. With the help of an error-resistant buffer, Intel sees the 9500 being as much as 2.4 times faster as the Tukwila-era design it's replacing. The new Itanium also ramps the clock speeds to a relatively brisk 1.73GHz to 2.53GHz, although there will be definite costs for server builders wanting to move up: the shipping roster starts at $1,350 per chip in bulk and climbs to an eye-watering $4,650 for the fastest example.
Anyone worried that Poulson might be the end of the road for Intel's EPIC-based platform will also be glad to get a brief reminder that Itanium will soldier on. The next iteration, nicknamed Kittson, will be framed around a modular design that shares traces of silicon and the processor socket with the more familiar Xeon E7. Intel casts it as a pragmatic step that narrows its server-oriented processors down to a common motherboard and should be cheaper to make. It's likely that we'll have to be very patient for more details on Kittson knowing the long intervals between Itanium revamps, but fence-sitting IT pros may just be glad that they won't have to consider jumping ship for awhile yet.

Intel launches Poulsonbased Itanium 9500, teases Xeon E7linked Kittson
Intel's Itanium processor launches are few and far between given that only so many need its specialized grunt, but that just makes any refresh so much larger -- and its new Itanium 9500 certainly exemplifies that kind of jump. The chip centers around much more up-to-date, 32-nanometer Poulson architecture that doubles the cores to eight, hikes the interconnect speeds and supports as much as 2TB of RAM for very (very, very) large tasks. With the help of an error-resistant buffer, Intel sees the 9500 being as much as 2.4 times faster as the Tukwila-era design it's replacing. The new Itanium also ramps the clock speeds to a relatively brisk 1.73GHz to 2.53GHz, although there will be definite costs for server builders wanting to move up: the shipping roster starts at $1,350 per chip in bulk and climbs to an eye-watering $4,650 for the fastest example.
Anyone worried that Poulson might be the end of the road for Intel's EPIC-based platform will also be glad to get a brief reminder that Itanium will soldier on. The next iteration, nicknamed Kittson, will be framed around a modular design that shares traces of silicon and the processor socket with the more familiar Xeon E7. Intel casts it as a pragmatic step that narrows its server-oriented processors down to a common motherboard and should be cheaper to make. It's likely that we'll have to be very patient for more details on Kittson knowing the long intervals between Itanium revamps, but fence-sitting IT pros may just be glad that they won't have to consider jumping ship for awhile yet.


Friday, November 09, 2012

Android and Apple increases marketshare


ComScore shows US smartphone share leveling off, Android and iPhone continue their reigns
We're so used to constant flux in smartphone market share that it's a surprise when things don't move. Yet that's what we're facing today. ComScore found that the US smartphone field in September was virtually unchanged from where it was in August, even down to smaller players like Symbian and Windows Phone. Accordingly, Android still ruled the roost at 52.5 percent, while 34.3 percent were iPhone adopters. It's difficult to say whether or not the iPhone 5 had a tangible impact -- while Apple hadbanner sales in the last several days of September, we don't know to what extent that was offset by people holding off from buying an iPhone 4S.
Overall cellphone sales showed some of that more reassuring give and take. The positions remained the same, but the US was once again a painful market to be in for anyone that isn't Apple or Samsung. Apple crept up to within a stone's throw of toppling LG at 17.5 percent to its rival's 17.7, while Samsung's successful shift to smartphones helped it keep exactly 26 percent of the mobile sphere. We're most curious to see how October shakes out: between a full month of iPhone 5 sales and the Droid RAZR HD, we may learn that the calmness of September was just a momentary illusion.
ComScore shows US smartphone share leveling off, Android and iPhone continue their reigns

Wednesday, November 07, 2012

Microsoft testing homegrown handset designs


WSJ: Microsoft testing homegrown handset designs with suppliers, may not see mass production
Until very recently, Microsoft wasn't known for making hardware. Sure, it put out the occasional Zune, but most of the tech running Redmond's desktop and mobile operating systems traditionally comes from its partners -- the Surface being the exception, of course. According to the Wall Street Journal, Microsoft might consider making that exception a rule: some of the firm's part suppliers say that the company is experimenting with a smartphone design of its very own. Folks familiar with the matter say the device in question is between four and five inches, putting it in a sweet-spot that's larger than theiPhone 5, but not quite as daunting as a Samsung Galaxy Note II. Don't get too excited, however, sources aren't sure the if the device will go into mass production, and Microsoft is expectantly tight-lipped about the rumor. Still, we wouldn't scoff at a smartphone with a build quality to match the Surface -- though it might rub some of Redmond's hardware partners the wrong way.

Monday, November 05, 2012

Stanford researchers create 'world's first' all-carbon solar cell


Stanford researchers create 'world's first' all-carbon solar cell, do it on the cheap
Harnessing the awesome power of the Sun isn't just dependent on the efficiency of solar cells, but also on making them affordable. Current techniques aren't exactly cheap, but researchers from StanfordUniversity think they've made a bit of a breakthrough by producing a relatively inexpensive photovoltaic cell using nothing but carbon. We're sure other scientists might disagree with the 'world's first' claim, but those at Stanford think it's a matter of language, and that these other pretenders are "referring to just the active layer in the middle, not the electrodes." The team selected a trio of carbon types to use in their cell: a mixture of nanotubes and buckyballs make up the light-absorbing layer, whilegraphene is being utilized for the electrodes.
The carbon amalgam can be applied from solution using simple methods, meaning the flexible cells could be used to coat surfaces, although you won't be seeing it smeared over anything too soon. The prototype only touts a "laboratory efficiency of less than 1 percent," so it can't compete with traditional solar cellsjust yet. Also, it only absorbs a sliver of the light spectrum, but the researchers are looking to other forms of the wonder element which could increase that range. They are hoping that improving the structure of the cells will help to boost their efficiency, too. They might never generate the most energy, but the all-carbon cells can remain stable under extreme conditions, meaning they could find their calling in harsh environments where brawn is a little more important than status, or looks.

Sunday, November 04, 2012

Strategy Analytics claims Android reached 41 percent of tablets in Q3


Strategy Analytics claims Android is up to 41 percent of tablets in Q3, iPad may feel the heat
Three months can make all the difference, at least if you're drafting estimates at Strategy Analytics. Now that we know 14 million iPads shipped in the third quarter, the analyst group believes that Apple's tablet market share dropped from 68.3 percent in the spring to 56.7 percent in the summer. All of the shift is attributed to Android -- researchers think that shipments of Google-based tablets surged from 7.3 million to 10.2 million, handing the platform 41 percent of an increasingly crowded space. It's the "collective weight" of so many Android-reliant companies leaping into the market rather than any one of them pulling ahead, Strategy Analytics says. We wouldn't be shocked if a few Kindle Fire HD sales played a part.
More than a few wildcards still surround the figures and their long-term impact. First is that these are estimates, not concrete results: companies like Amazon steadfastly refuse to provide shipment numbers and leave most of the final tally beyond Apple to educated guesswork. It's also an understatement to say that the market will change dramatically before 2012 is over. Between Windows 8's launch, possibleNexus 7 upgrades and two new iPads, there are a lot of pieces moving on the chessboard.

Saturday, November 03, 2012

Amazon Q3 2012 earnings: $13.18 billion revenue, net loss of $274 million


Amazon announces Q3 2012 earnings
Amazon has just released its earnings for the third quarter of the year and it looks like it's slightly off analysts' expectations. The company reported $13.18 billion in revenue (a growth of 27 percent) and an operating loss of $28 million, with net income standing at a loss of $274 million. As Amazon notes, though, a chunk of that, some $169 million, comes from losses resulting from its investment in LivingSocial -- it says the figure is "primarily attributable to its impairment charge of certain assets, including goodwill." Expectedly, the company still isn't offering any specific numbers for device sales, noting only that the Kindle Fire HD is the number one selling product across Amazon worldwide, and that the next two bestselling products worldwide are the Kindle Paperwhite and the $69 Kindle. As for its outlook for the next quarter, the company is expecting net sales of between $20.25 billion and $22.75 billion, and operating income of anywhere from a loss of $490 million to a profit of $310 million. You can find the company's full breakdown of all the numbers at the link below.

Thursday, November 01, 2012

Video grabber


      365:32 - Television


      The notion of sitting in front of your tv for your favorite shows is an act of the past. With online video websites such as YouTube and Hulu and many networks offering live streaming, everyone has the ability to watch their favorite shows, games and movies on their computers and mobile devices in addition to their televisions. So which approch reigns supreme? Let's take a look at the pro's and con's of each.


      Live TV


      Television is the grandfather of entertainment and has the track record to prove it's success. From the mid 1900's when television started to air the news and then entertainment shows, television grew into a part of every day life. From live newscasts to primetime drama, watching television has become a social activity that people engage in that provides them with relevant information to communicate with others about.


      Live TV offers the perks of being able to view a program at the same run time as everyone else watching. This way, you can talk about the most recent episode of Modern Family with your friends or co-workers the next day.


      What happens if you miss your favorite show during it's air time? If you didn't DVR it, chances are you're not going to be able to watch that episode until the network posts it on their own website, which can take up to two week for them to do after the air date of the episode.


      For those with little patience and the desire to be up to speed with what's going on with their favorite fantasy lives, live TV is your best bet. It's worry free, you don't have to wait for anything (besides commercials) and you won't miss a beat.


      Streaming Video


      Streaming video allows you to watch an episode or game in real-time but with the convenience of watching wherever you have Internet access on your mobile device or computer. Streaming offers many perks, specifically convenience. The ability to watch a program virtually anywhere with Internet access is a spectacular feature to have.


      Imagine you're at your niece's tap dance recital on a Sunday afternoon during football season. While you should be at the recital supporting and paying attention to this special day in your niece's life, you really want to be watching what's happening in your favorite teams game. Having the ability to stream a game live, and putting your device on silent of course, offers the freedom of being able to watch from wherever you are.


      The quality of video on the other hand is reason enough to watch a show or game from your TV at home. It's often that you find when streaming live that the program is spotty and pixelated, which can sometimes be extremely frustrating. Another con is that when streaming a program, you're watching a slightly delayed picture.


      Online Video


      Online video has grown significantly in popularity in recent years. With websites like Hulu and YouTube leading the industry, consumers have the ability to watch practically whatever they want whenever they want from their computer or mobile device.


      Online video allows you to watch your favorite TV show at your own convenience with fewer commercials and the ability to fast forward, pause or rewind. Fewer commercials is enough of a reason for many viewers to make the switch from TV to online videos.


      The convenience of watching a show when you have time is a huge benefit as well since most people live hectic lives and have very little time to plant themselves in front of the TV for one to two hours every night. Additionally, you can watch a series of episodes rather than just a single episode at one time by watching videos online.


      Despite where you enjoy watching your favorite programs, each system provides a slew of pros. Whether you're always busy during weeknights, a homebody who always loves watching your shows in primetime or a sports fan with a hectic schedule, one of these ways of watching your favorite programs will surely fulfill your needs.


      Sandra Daiken is a freelance writer focusing on technology and video. She enjoys learning more about tools such as video grabber to broaden her expertise in the industry.