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Friday, September 28, 2012

Walmart to stop selling Amazon's Kindle line of readers and tablets

Walmart to stop selling Amazon's Kindle line of readers and tabletsIt's a lonely world when you've no storefronts to call your own. Shortly after Target decided it best to halt the sales of Amazon's Kindle products, it's being reported that Walmart is following suit. A quote obtained by Reuters suggests that Wally World's bigwigs won't be carrying Amazon tablets and e-readers "beyond the existing inventory and purchase commitments." And yes, that includes "all Kindle models current and recently announced." No actual reasoning was given beyond the conventional company line, but one has to wonder if Walmart isn't somehow considering getting into some of the businesses that it was previously helping Amazon push.
It's also taken a plunge with Vudu, as it's offering an in-store disc-to-digital UltraViolet conversion as well. You might say that Walmart would never, ever start hawking its own e-readers, but crazier things have happened -- Best Buy has an entire brand devoted to in-house goods, and Amazon itself has expanded from an online storefront for laundry detergent and bestselling novels to a bona fide hardware mainstay.

Via Engadget

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Lytro increases distribution to other countries


Lytro, creator of the world’s first consumer light field camera, has announced that it will expand distribution to both US and international customers. In October, the Lytro light field camera will be available through United States retailers and at the new CityTarget stores in Chicago, downtown Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle and Westwood, Calif. The Lytro camera will also be available through international retail partners in Australia, Canada, Hong Kong and Singapore. The camera was previously available only on
Lytro has also recently announced availability for Windows OS, added accessories and is now generally available for customers.
“Since introducing the Lytro camera just six months ago, nearly 400,000 light field pictures have been shared on We are excited to take this picture revolution one step further by making Lytro available to more photographers in the US and around the world,” said Charles Chi, CEO of Lytro.

Samsung is 'likely to add' the iPhone 5 to its Apple lawsuit

Shocker Samsung is 'likely to add' the iPhone 5 to its Apple lawsuit
After emitting an appropriate number of yawns and groans, staff at the federal court in San Jose have accepted a document from Samsung's lawyers stating that the manufacturer "anticipates" adding the iPhone 5 to its list of ongoing patent grievances against Apple. Samsung did acknowledge that it needs to "analyze the device" before being certain of its devilry, but it also clearly remains undeterred by that separate billion dollar verdict in Apple's favor. According to the Wall Street Journal, Samsung's latest challenge -- if it goes ahead -- is not expected to affect sales of the new iPhone.

Via Engadget

Monday, September 24, 2012

iOS 6 becomes 15 percent of Apple mobile device traffic within 24 hours

iOS 6 becomes 15 percent of Apple mobile device traffic within 24 hours
There's been some trepidation among Apple device users over the upgrade to iOS 6 given that it takesaway some components while adding others. You wouldn't guess it from the initial upgrade rate, however. Both ChartBoost and Chitika have determined that about 15 percent of iOS data traffic was already coming from Apple's latest release within its first 24 hours of availability -- not bad, considering that it took Android 4.0 roughly eight months to reach a similar ratio and iOS 5 about five days to hit 20 percent. ChartBoost adds that iPhone owners were the quickest to upgrade, which is only logical when the iPhone 4S gets the most new features. The contrast between Android and iOS was entirely expected, knowing Apple's limited hardware pool and reduced carrier oversight. We're more interested in the differences between iOS versions: they suggest that whatever advantages people see in iOS 6, as well as a widespread over-the-air update system, have been enough to spur on many early adopters.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Pressure-sensing PC technology knows when you're busy, blocks notifications accordingly

Pressure-sensing PC technology knows when you're busy, blocks notifications accordingly
We know better than most that when you're working to a deadline, constant pop-ups, notifications and pings can be a real pain. Our frustrations might soon become a thing of the past, however, with some help from boffins at the Graduate University for Advanced Studies in Japan. They are working on technology which monitors keyboard pressure and silences those distractions until it deems you're not busy, showing over 80 percent accuracy during volunteer testing. Understanding that quiet time is also appreciated for other tasks, they plan to use similar techniques to spot when you're staring intently at that report or -- more importantly -- attending to a beverage. It's still early days for the project, but if the stress-saving tech ever spawns a product, we'll take two please.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

ITC says Apple didn't violate four Samsung patents with iPad, iPhone

ITC says Apple didn't violate Samsung patents
This just hasn't been Samsung's summer. On top of Apple winning its earliest civil lawsuit against Samsung, the International Trade Commission has just handed out an initial determination that Apple didn't violate any of four Samsung patents (including two reportedly standards-essential examples) by offering the iPad and iPhone. While Judge James Gildea didn't publicly outline why Apple was in the clear, he added that Samsung lacks a domestic business that uses the patents -- important when it's trying to claim economic harm in the US. The verdict still gives Samsung at least four months' room to breathe while the ITC reviews the decision, but it's hard to see Samsung enjoying the reduced offensive strength when it's already on the defensive in American courtrooms.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Office 13 upgrade program this fall

Office 2013 upgrade guarantee will begin in about a month's time -- specifically on October 19. If this is correct, users purchasing Office 2010 between that date and the end of the covered period (which my same contact said is April 30, 2013) will get some kind of guaranteed upgrade to Office 2013 once it is generally available.

Microsoft officials have not shared public guidance as to Office 2013's planned release-to-manufacturing (RTM) or general availability dates.

The Office 2010 tech guarantee upgrade program was free. It's unknown whether the Office 2013 one will be, as well. If Office follows Windows' lead, it may not be. Microsoft announced it will be charging those who purchase Windows 7 PCs between June 2 and January 31, 2013, $14.99 to obtain an upgrade to Windows 8 Pro once it is generally available. The Windows Vista upgrade program before this was free.

The chart above shows some of the differences between Office 365 Home Premium and these more traditional Office 2013 releases. Office 365 Home Premium can be installed on up to five PCs and/or Macs and is licensed to a user as a one-year subscription, which will need to be renewed to continue usage. The more traditional Office 2013 SKUs can be installed on only one Windows PC with a non-transferrable license. (The Office for University and Mac Home & Student users will have the option to upgrade to Office 365 Home Premium only.)

Friday, September 14, 2012

Eric Schmidt: “There Are Now 1.3 Million Android Device Activations Per Day”

Bam! Eric Schmidt just dropped bombshell number during the opening of Motorola’s “On Display” event. Giving context to the sheer size of Android’s growing ecosystem stated that there are now 1.3M Android devices activated each and every day. He added why Google needed Moto Mobility, “We have to play in this ecosystem. We have to be competitive and state of the art.”
Android is growing at a rapid pace. Last December there were 700k devices activated each day. Then, earlier this summer, that number was at 900k. One month later in late July it hit 1M. Now, in early September, there are 1.3M devices activated every single day.
Schmidt later added that there are close to 500 million Android devices worldwide right now. As comScore noted the other day, that’a factor of at least two or three times greater than the competitor.
Out of the 1.3M Android activations, 70k are just tablets, something that Schmidt acknowledged Google was late to embrace.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Updates to iPhone 5

iPhone 5
iPhone 5 vs iPhone 4S what's changed
iPhone 4S

Price (on contract) $199 16GB, $299 32GB, $399 64GB $199 16GB, $299 32GB, $399 64GB
Processor Apple A6 Dual-core Apple A5
Memory 1GB (tbc) 1GB (tbc)
Display 4-inch IPS 1,136 x 640 3.5-inch IPS 960 x 640
Pixel Density 326 ppi 326 ppi
Storage 16GB / 32GB / 64GB 16GB / 32GB / 64GB
Primary camera 8 megapixel AF with flash and f/2.4 aperture
8 megapixel AF with flash and f/2.4 aperture
Secondary camera 1.2 megapixel at 30fps VGA at 30fps
Video recording 1080p at 30fps 1080p at 30fps
Cellular/ GSM Model A1428: GSM / LTE
CDMA Model A1429: CDMA / LTE
GSM Model A1429: GSM / LTE
Hybrid GSM / CDMA "World Phone"
WiFi Dual-band 802.11 a/b/g/n 802.11 b/g/n
Bluetooth 4.0 4.0
Orientation Accelerometer, digital compass, gyroscope Accelerometer, digital compass, gyroscope
FaceTime WiFi and Cellular WiFi-only (iOS 5)
SIM standard nanoSIM microSIM
Battery life Up to 8 hours talk time on 3G
Up to 8 hours data on 3G
Up to 8 hours data on LTE
Up to 10 hours data on WiFi
Up to 40 hours audio
Up to 10 hours video
Up to 225 hours on standby
Up to 8 hours talk time on
Up to 14 hours talk time on 2G
Up to 6 hours data on 3G
Up to 9 hours data on WiFi
Up to 40 hours audio
Up to 10 hours video
Up to 200 hours on standby
Weight 112 grams / 3.9 oz 140 grams / 4.9 oz
Dimensions 123.8 x 58.6 x 7.6mm 115.2 x 58.6 x 9.3mm
Colors Black and Slate / White and Silver Black / White

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Chrome Comes Pre-Installed On New Motorola Android Devices

Chrome - Android Apps on Google Play
Motorola just revealed that its new phones today will come with Chrome pre-installed. Traditionally, Android phones have come with different browsers, but never Google’s own, which officially came out on Google Play after an extended beta. At this event, Motorola CEO Dennis Woodside said they’d be the first devices with Chrome pre-installed, but the Nexus 7 also has that distinction.
Still, these will be the first phones with Chrome pre-installed, which is especially noteworthy because Google is now the parent company of Motorola Mobility, and people are wondering if that will result in a more native experience. Woodside also took a jab at Apple during the presentation, noting that both Google Maps and YouTube would come pre-installed, which they generally are on Android phones, but which they won’t be on Apple’s next iPhone as per the latest beta releases of iOS 6.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Amazon updates it's line of Kindle

Amazon is excited to introduce the fifth generation Kindle e-readers: Kindle Paperwhite is the most advanced e-reader ever constructed with 62% more pixels and 25% increased contrast, a patented built-in front light for reading in all lighting conditions, up to 8 weeks of battery life, and a thin and light design for just$119; Kindle Paperwhite Wi-Fi + 3G — never pay for or hunt for a Wi-Fi hotspot with the all-new top-of-the-line Kindle e-reader with free 3G wireless for just $179; and the new latest generation Kindle, the lightest and smallest Kindle, now with new, improved fonts, faster page turns and an even more unbelievable price: $69

Most Advanced E-Reader Display, 62% More Pixels, 25% More Contrast
Kindle Paperwhite’s display is the most advanced e-reader display ever constructed. Featuring a 212 ppi display, Kindle Paperwhite has 62% more pixels, making text in books and periodicals crisp and clear at any size. Images are sharper, richer and show even more detail. Kindle Paperwhite’s screen has 25% higher contrast — the blacks are blacker, and the whites are whiter.

Innovative Built-In Light
Backlit LCD displays direct light up through the display into the user’s eyes. Kindle Paperwhite’s patented front-lit display guides light underneath an anti-glare layer and down toward the display, away from the reader’s eyes. This means a reader can read for hours without eye fatigue or strain. The screen brightness is easily adjusted for reading in any light. The Paperwhite display provides an unparalleled experience in the dark and in direct sunlight.

Breakthrough Battery Life
Kindle Paperwhite’s built-in front light is designed to be used at all times — both in daylight and in a dark room — for the clearest, crispest reading experience. In order to use the light at all times, Kindle Paperwhite requires exceptional power management to maintain the battery life that customers love about Kindle. Amazon’s light guide technology precisely diffuses the light across the screen and only requires four LEDs to light the entire screen (unlike LCD screens which can use up to 50 LEDs). The light guide is so efficient that Kindle Paperwhite has a remarkable 8 weeks of battery life, even with the light on at all times.

Free 3G
Kindle’s free 3G connection means customers never have to hunt for or pay for a Wi-Fi hotspot — they simply download and read books anytime, anywhere in over 100 countries around the world. Amazon pays for the 3G connection on Kindle Paperwhite Wi-Fi + 3G, so customers pay no monthly fees and sign no annual contracts.

Built-In Wi-Fi
Kindle Paperwhite comes with built-in Wi-Fi, letting readers discover new content at home or on the road. Kindle owners also enjoy free Wi-Fi access at AT&T hotspots across the US.

New Touch Technology
Kindle Paperwhite’s new capacitive touch technology is uniquely integrated into the Paperwhite display, allowing for a thinner form factor for Kindle Paperwhite and even better touch accuracy.

Slim and Sleek Design
At just over a third of an inch thin and weighing 7.5 ounces, Kindle Paperwhite is thinner than a magazine and weighs less than a typical paperback. The bezel height between the side of the device and the display itself is 77% thinner.

Hand-Tuned Fonts
Every font on Kindle Paperwhite is hand-tuned for maximum readability. The Amazon typography team worked at the pixel level to ensure consistency of stroke thickness and shape profiles across all individual glyphs, aligning each size to the specific grid of the new Paperwhite display. This allows for unprecedented sharpness of fonts. Kindle Paperwhite’s higher resolution display also allows for new elegant typeface options, such as Baskerville and Palatino, which use thin stems that would not render well on any lower resolution display.

Time to Read
Time to Read is a new feature for Kindle Paperwhite that helps readers know the amount of time it will take them to finish a chapter or a book. This feature is smart — it personalizes the time for each customer based on their reading speed and is constantly updated as the reader’s speed and habits change. With Time to Read, it’s never been easier to decide when to start a new chapter or finish the chapter you’re reading.

Explore the “Bones of a Book” with X-Ray
With a single tap, readers can see all passages across a book that mention ideas, fictional characters, historical figures, places or topics that interest them, as well as more detailed descriptions from Wikipedia and Shelfari, Amazon’s community-powered encyclopedia for book lovers. Amazon built X-Ray using its expertise in language processing and machine learning, access to significant storage and computing resources with Amazon S3 and EC2, and a deep library of book and character information.

Whispersync for Voice
All Kindles use Amazon’s popular Whispersync technology to automatically synchronize a customer’s Kindle library, including last page read, bookmarks, notes and highlights, across the widest range of devices and platforms. Now, Amazon is extending Whispersync to professionally narrated audiobooks — customers can start reading a book on their Kindle, and seamlessly switch to listening to their corresponding Whispersync for Voice-enabled audiobook from Audible on their phone or tablet, picking up exactly where they left off. With Whispersync for Voice, customers can continue enjoying books during commutes or any other time their eyes are busy. Whispersync for Voice is a solution for the millions of Amazon customers who want to spend more time with their favorite books. Customers can listen to their Audible audiobooks on Kindle Fire, iPhone, Android phones and Windows Phones.

Beautiful Leather Covers with Auto Wake and Sleep
Covers for Kindle Paperwhite feature a premium textured leather exterior and a subtle woven nylon interior to provide the lightest and thinnest form of protection. The integrated magnetic clasp ensures the cover remains securely closed while in a backpack, purse, or briefcase. The cover automatically wakes Kindle Paperwhite upon opening and puts it to sleep when closed, making it easy to dive right back into the book.

Latest Generation Kindle — Small, Light and Now Even Faster — only $69
Introducing the new, latest generation Kindle — the smallest, lightest and most affordable Kindle ever is now even better, with new improved fonts, 15% faster page turns and a new, unbelievably low price: just $69. In addition, the new Kindle now supports children’s books and comics, and includes new parental controls. Weighing just 5.98 ounces, Kindle is small and light enough to fit easily in a pocket and take everywhere, and still features the same 6-inch electronic ink display that reads like real paper. At just$69, the new Kindle is the perfect entry Kindle for young and adult readers alike.

Sunday, September 09, 2012

Windows 7 market share surpasses Windows XP

Windows 7 has finally overtaken Windows XP altogether, according to the latest market share data from Net Applications. August 2012 also happens to be the first month that Apple’s total Mac OS market share is above that of Windows Vista’s. Another year or two, and Mac OS will likely surpass Windows XP too.
As Windows XP’s market share dipped last month, so did the overall Windows slice: between July and August, it fell 0.24 percentage points (from 92.01 percent to 91.77 percent). At the same time, Mac OS gained 0.16 percentage points (from 6.97 percent to 7.13 percent) and Linux gained 0.08 percentage points (from 1.02 percent to 1.10 percent).
In the same time period, Windows 7 gained 0.51 percentage points (from 42.21 percent to 42.72 percent). Windows Vista meanwhile slipped 0.45 percentage points (from 6.60 percent to 6.15 percent) and Windows XP fell 0.34 percentage points (from 42.86 percent to 42.52 percent).
os market share august 20121 520x344 Windows 7 finally overtakes Windows XP in market share, Mac OS X overtakes Windows Vista
At the end of April 2011, Windows 7 passed the 25 percent mark. Now it’s on its way to passing the 50 percent mark, although by then Windows 8 will already be available (it ships October 26).
Some are predicting that Windows 7 will become the new Windows XP. The implication is that the majority of Windows users will stick to the second latest version, as they did before: Windows 7 will be to Windows 8 as Windows XP was to Windows Vista. To fight this trend, Microsoft is offering Windows 8 at a mere $39.99.
Microsoft is also doing everything it can to get its users off Windows XP. On April 14, 2009, Microsoft retired Mainstream Support for XP, and with it, support for IE6. The company is not planning to retire Extended Support for the operating system until April 8, 2014.

Thursday, September 06, 2012

Apple's new earphones?

Next Apple earbuds get potential sighting in Vietnam, may fix an iconic design video
The pack-in earbuds for iPhones and iPods have been among the most recognizable of technology symbols for more than a decade... just not for their technical merits. They're notorious for slipping out of wearers' ears and having a mediocre sound next to just about anything else you can buy. If Tinhte's own discovery in Vietnam is authentic, Apple might be breaking with another one of its longstanding traditions this year by redesigning those earpieces for the better. Gone are the usual buds that only vaguely aim towards your ear canals. Instead, what's on show has oval tips very loosely resembling those of the Klipsch Image S4 II, and slots in at an angle to fit more directly into the canals -- not to mention more comfortably, based on early tests. We can't guarantee that these headphones are more than just the products of an ambitious third-party manufacturer, but Tinhte has had a good track record for snaggingpre-release Apple gear, and that "Designed by Apple in California Assembled in Vietnam" lettering would reduce the possibilities to either a good KIRF or the real thing. One way or the other, we could know the truth soon enough.

Via Engagdet

Tuesday, September 04, 2012

LCD with E-Ink

E Ink dual screen mobile
Smartphones will soon have more than one screen, with a low powered ebook reader on the rear. This is what E Ink has exclusively told us in a quiet meeting room at the IFA trade show in Berlin.
Via Stuff