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Friday, August 31, 2012

Kindle Fire out of stock

Amazon has  just announced that the Kindle Fire has joined the Kindle Touch on the out-of-stock list, presumably forever, a week before the company's mysterious product announcement. Jeff Bezos has teased that the company's got an "exciting roadmap" ahead, which we'd expect to include at least one touchscreen e-reader and a vastly revamped 7-inch tablet, designed to better compete with Google'ssimilarly sized budget offering.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Microsoft reveals new logo after 25 years


Microsoft reveals new logo, proves that it's still okay to be square
Remember that time Microsoft teased what most sane humans thought were new logos? That was right around two years ago, but the branding you see above is no mistake -- that's the new Microsoft logo, landing just months after Windows 8's new flag and merely weeks before the aforesaid operating system takes the planet by storm. Astoundingly, it has been a full quarter-century since Microsoft gave itself a new logo, and while we're sure pundits will jump all over it just because "dealing with change is hard," there's no doubt that the outfit's new face is bold in its simplicity. Care to learn more? There's a happy-go-lucky video waiting just after the break.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Apple wins patent war against Samsung


The federal court jury in the patent infringement lawsuit between Apple and Samsung has presented its verdict after deliberating for just for 21 hours and 37 minutes following the three week trial. This particular case started with Apple's lawsuit last April and now the jury's decision is that Samsung did infringe on Apple's '381 bounceback patent with all 21 of its products in question. For the '915 patent on pinch-and-zoom, the jury ruled all but three of the devices listed infringed, and more damningly, found that Samsung executives either knew or should have known their products infringed on the listed patents. The jury has also found against Samsung when it comes to Apple's contours on the back of the iPhone and its home screen GUI. The Galaxy Tab, was found not to have infringed upon Apple's iPad design patents. The bad news for Samsung continued however, as the jury decided that not only did it willfully infringe on five of the seven Apple patents, but also upheld their validity when it came to utility, design and trade dress.
The amount of the damages against Samsung is in: $1,051,855,000.00. That's less than half of the $2.5 billion it was seeking, but still more than enough to put an exclamation point on this victory for the team from Cupertino. The jury also ruled that Apple did not infringe upon Samsung's patents with the iPhone 3G and 3GS, and has awarded it zero dollars in damage. It's not quite over yet, as the jury has been called back to go over two inconsistencies with its form, where it apparently awarded two million in damages for the Galaxy Tab 10.1 4G LTE that it had already found not to infringe. 

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Evercool Shark case fan


EVERCOOL developed a premium exquisite shark fan grills design; it provides superior airflow efficiency and heat-distribution while operating.
It achieves superb quietness and outstanding aerodynamic efficiency at the same level specifications. Silent Shark Fan is the best fan choice for users seeking for perfect balance with first class cooling efficiency without adding unwanted noise.
 The features :
Fan with sawtooth-shaped vanes creates high air pressure and provides great cooling performance.
• Shark gills-shaped wind guides generate an outstanding vortex airflow.
• Two functions for silent / overclocking and speed control make it convenient and affordable.
• Anti-vibration rubber nail design for a quiet operation.
• Unique Ever Lubricate bearing for long-time use.




Friday, August 24, 2012

Georgia Tech develops self-charging battery that marches to the owner's beat


Georgia Tech develops selfcharging battery with laws of physics still intact
One of the last times we saw the concept of a self-recharging battery, it was part of a high-minded Nokia patent whose ideas still haven't seen the light of day. Researchers at Georgia Tech are more inclined to put theory into practice. Starting from a regular lithium-ion coin battery, the team has replaced the usual divider between electrodes with a polyvinylidene difluoride film whose piezoelectric nature produces a charging action inside that gap through just a little pressure, with no outside voltage required to make the magic happen. The developers have even thumbed their noses at skeptics by very literally walking the walk -- slipping the test battery under a shoe sole gives it a proper dose of energy with every footstep. At this stage, the challenge mostly involves ramping up the maximum power through upgrades such as more squeezable piezoelectrics. Georgia Tech hasn't progressed so far as to have production plans in mind; it's nonetheless close enough that we could see future forms of wearable computing that rarely need an electrical pick-me-up.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Harvard researches invent new storage techniques


Harvard stores 704TB in a gram of DNA, may have us shopping for organicallygrown storage video
Early research has had DNA making circuits and little factories. We haven't really seen DNA used as a storage medium, however, and it's evident we've been missing out. A Harvard team led by George Church, Sriram Kosuri and Yuan Gao can stuff 96 bits into a DNA strand by treating each base (A, C, G, T) as though it's a binary value. The genetic sequence is then synthesized by a microfluidic chip that matches up that sequence with its position in a relevant data set, even when all the DNA strands are out of order. The technique doesn't sound like much on its own, but the microscopic size amounts to a gigantic amount of information at a scale we can see: about 704TB of data fits into a cubic millimeter, or more than you'd get out of a few hundred hard drives. Caveats? The processing time is currently too slow for time-sensitive content, and cells with living DNA would destroy the strands too quickly to make them viable for anything more than just transfers. 

Monday, August 20, 2012

Warner Music Group says streaming services now account for 25 percent of digital revenue


We've been seeing plenty of evidence that streaming music services like Spotify, Pandora and Rdio are pulling in more folks than ever, and we now also have a good idea of how that growth is affecting the bottom lines of music labels. In its third quarter earnings report, Warner Music Group revealed that streaming services now account for a full 25 percent of the digital revenue for its recorded music group. As AllThingsD reports, that translates to 8 percent of Warner Music's total revenue for the quarter, or about $54 million in all. What's more, that growth in streaming appears to be a net plus for the company all around, as it's apparently not cutting into traditional sales of digital music (at least, not yet), and is also bigger than the decrease in sales of physical media.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Motorola brings new patent suit against Apple


Motorola RAZR and iPhone 4S
We hope you didn't think that Motorola would fight a purely defensive patent war against Apple afterGoogle's acquisition closed. Just days before a final ruling on its initial complaints, the RAZR maker has filed another dispute with the International Trade Commission that accuses Apple of violating patents through some iOS devices and Macs. Exact details of the dispute are under wraps for now; Motorola, as you'd imagine, only contends that it has no choice after Apple's "unwillingness to work out a license." While Apple hasn't said anything about the subject, we already know how much it disagrees with Motorola's previous licensing strategy -- it's unlikely Apple will just roll over, no matter what's at stake.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Apple dominates tablet market in China


iPad estimated cornering nearly 73% of Chinese tablet market
We're used to seeing tablet market share illustrated on the world stage. China, however, has usually been untouched. Analysys International has taken a crack at decoding the market and has bucked a few expectations in the process: according to its estimates, the iPad's lead is even larger in China than it is worldwide. About 72.7 percent of all tablets sold in the country during the second quarter were Apple-flavored, while homegrown hero Lenovo was a distant second at 8.4 percent. Everyone else had to contend with less than four percent and reflected the more diverse Chinese technology sphere -- relative heavyweights like Acer, ASUS and Samsung had to hob-nob with brands that have little recognition elsewhere, such as Eben and Teclast.
The researchers credit Apple's lead, a 7.8-point gain, to a combination of the new iPad and a price-cutiPad 2. We'd add that Analysys' figures might not tell the whole story, though: China is well-known for itsthriving shanzhai market, where legions of KIRFs and very small (usually Android-based) brands likely slip under an analyst group's radar. That said, it's still an illustration of how Apple's influence in tablets is a distinct reversal of its much smaller smartphone share, even in a nation that's a hotbed of Android activity.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Apple and Samsung controls 55% of smartphone market


NPD
According to NPD DisplaySearch, Apple and Samsung control more than half of the American smartphone market. The second-quarter figures reveal that while contract phone sales are flatter than month-old soda, those for pre-paid handsets have shot up by 91 percent compared to the same quarter last year. The upswing is credited to last year's flagship handsets falling down the price ladder, snaring lower-income customers who were unable to afford to be early adopters. Cornering that element of the market has helped the battling duo increase their sales by 43 percent, leaving the rest of the technology pantheon scraping around for crumbs. Speaking of which, HTC is a distant third, having 15 percent of the market, while Motorola (12 percent) and LG (six percent) round out the top five.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Chrome has a third of the web browser market


Google Chrome claims onethird of global browser share, according to StatCounter
Google's Senior Vice President of Chrome & Apps Sundar Pichai confirmed to the crowd back at D10that Chrome browser use was soaring -- particularly in the consumer space -- and StatCounter's latestdata most definitely backs that up. The newest report, ending July 2012, shows the Chrome creeping up to 33.8 percent worldwide from 32.8 percent in June. Internet Explorer is sitting at 32 percent, while Firefox is seen slipping a bit to 23.7 percent; meanwhile, Apple's Safari picks up the Participation Award with 7.1 percent. As The Next Web points out, it's also worth nothing that Chrome is doing particularly well in Europe, South America and Asia, while IE is still charging in the UK, US and Down Under. Granted, StatCounter is hardly the end-all when it comes to browser usage; that said, it's definitely useful to get a general idea of which browsers are moving in which direction, and it's certainly astonishing to see a piece of software that didn't exist four years ago already claiming such a significant piece of the pie.

Thursday, August 09, 2012

Apple kicks Google out of iOS


Apple removed the YouTube app in the latest beta of iOS 6. confirming that the licensing deal it had with Google "has ended, but users can still use YouTube via the Safari web app." The company did affirm, however, that Google "is working" on another version -- presumably a standalone app that'll have to survive the same App Store approval process as Google DriveGmail for iOS and the rest of the bunch.
Interestingly, it was told that the YouTube app "would remain on iOS 5 and older," and that includes iPhone, iPod touch and iPad. Granted, the amount of iOS 5 users will dip dramatically in the months following iOS 6's release this fall, but it leaves open the question of compatibility -- will the forthcoming YouTube app for iOS 6 be installable on iOS 5 and older?
All things considered, it's probably a good thing for consumers. Yes, it's another play by Apple to distance itself from its biggest mobile OS rival (Maps, anyone?), but it also gives Google the chance to reimagine the YouTube app, and perhaps even design it to showcase a great mobile experience around the company's huge original content push. Apple wouldn't comment on the status of Google's new YouTube app, nor would it speak to whether or not it had even been submitted for approval, but we're guessing the clock watchers know that September 12th is drawing near.

Tuesday, August 07, 2012

ICS getting more popular


Ice Cream Sandwich takes a bite out of Gingerbread, represents 159 percent of Android devices
Two major updates later (three if you count the tablet-exclusive Honeycomb), and Gingerbread is finally starting to falter. According to Google's latest two week survey of devices accessing the Play store, Ice Cream Sandwich is on the rise, filling out 15.9-percent of the Android user base. That's a full five points ahead of Android 4.0's July score, and it's eating into the OS' other flavors: Gingerbread (Android 2.3) dropped by 3.4-percent, Froyo (Android 2.2) by 1.8 and Eclair (Android 2.1) by a meager half a percent. Google's latest confectionery update, Jelly Bean (Android 4.1), made an appearance as well, eking out a shy 0.8-percent of the market. 

Saturday, August 04, 2012

IDC: Samsung and Apple ship almost half of all smartphones, but Korean manufacturer maintains lead


IDC Apple and Samsung ship almost half of all smartphones, jockey for first and second place
IDC's latest figures offer some predictable reading. More phones are being sold than ever before; 406 million units were sold in Q2, against 401.8 million in the same period last year -- with a 42 percent increase in smartphone sales. The winners? Perennial court antagonists, Samsung and Apple, with the duo doubling their combined market share over the last two years. Samsung maintains its lead, reaching over 50 million phones sold -- and a new quarterly sales record -- while Apple saw a quarter-over-quarter decline, as buyers presumably wait for Cupertino's latest iteration, or go elsewhere. Nokia, meanwhile, had another "transitional" quarter, with sales of both Symbian and MeeGo devices shrinking, although its Windows Phones proved stronger. According to IDC's figures, Nokia and Microsoft's team-up handset sales have doubled since last quarter. HTC misses out on a top three spot, but its fortunes appear to have improved over the last two quarters, with the IDC pointing the finger at a more streamlined product range from the Taiwan manufacturer. ZTE continues to nip at its heels, reaching the top five thanks to strong entry-level smartphone sales in China, while continuing to inch onto US shores. If you're looking for a full breakdown of all phones sold, dumb and otherwise, read up at the source below.

Thursday, August 02, 2012

Apple buying fingerprint sensor maker AuthenTec for $356 million


Apple buying security firm AuthenTec for $356 million
Sure the financials announced this week weren't as exceptional as some we've seen from the company, but Apple's still clearly in a buying mood. The company's apparently doing a little security shopping, picking up AuthenTec for $356 million, according to the mobile and network security firm. AuthenTec's in the business of content and data protection, including things like fingerprint sensors and contactless payment. Seems Apple's looking to get into that business too. AuthenTec's already worked with a number of high profile hardware makers, such as Samsung, Lenovo, LG, Nokia and Motorola.