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Showing posts from March 9, 2011

Foursquare 3.0 Adds Explore, Revamped Leaderboard, And New Deals

Foursquare has just revealed details on its revamped 3.0 version due out late tonight. The popular location-based app allows people to share information on the places they’ve been via check-ins and encourages them to do so by turning it into a game of attaining badges and titles based on frequency of check-ins. The updated version adds several new new features including check-in recommendations, revamped leaderboard, and new deals for businesses.


A new ‘Explore’ tab has been added that will help you discover new places nearby. It will recommend locations based on your search patterns, the places you’ve visited, the places your friends have visited, your loyalty to your favorite places, and the general categories you gravitate towards among various other factors.

A revamped leaderboard now shows a 7-day barometer of you and your friends. Check-ins will now trigger dozens of different actions including discovering new places, trying new restaurants, and visiting new cities.…

Two Mystery LG Phones Slated For CTIA E-Tech Awards

CTIA’s website has listed the finalists for its E-Tech awards and two unannounced LG phones made the list. No information about the mysterious phones was given out, but rumors are that they will be on the T-Mobile network. The other finalists for the awards are the Motorola Atrix, HTC Thunderbolt, and the LG Revolution.


One of the possible identities for the unknown LG phones is the G2X, which is a version of the LG Optimus 2X that is rumored to be T-Mobile’s new phone. The other phone could be the 3D Optimus that was shown at the MWC in Barcelona recently. CTIA organizers sure know how to get people excited with mysterious phones and the upcoming Samsung tablet announcements.
CTIA is held in Orlando, Florida and will run from March 22-24 at the Orange County Convention Center. It’s one the world’s largest trade shows for mobile devices like phones and tablets. The show will draw 1,000 companies and have 40,000 professionals from 125 countries to descend upon Orla…

Google Chrome 10 Complete With Faster Speed and Flash Sandbox

Google has just officially released the stable version of Chrome 10. This version brings the Crankshaft JavaScript engine and is two thirds faster than Chrome 9. Hundreds of bugs are fixed and several security vulnerabilities are addressed including added protection from Flash crashes and security holes through sandboxing.


Chrome 10 has a new settings interface that shows up as a tabbed page instead of a pop-up menu. It makes it easier for you to search for the settings page you need and even allows you to share the page link if you are trying to troubleshoot for someone remotely. It also allows for easier password syncing between Chrome browsers.
This new version is available for download now for Linux, Mac, and Windows PC. Chrome updates from Google can be expected almost every six weeks.

MSI offers up new R6950 Twin Frozr III Power Edition video card

MSI has whipped out a new version of the AMD Radeon HD 6950 video card that uses a new and custom cooling solution to allow the card to run faster with better overclocks that other cards using the GPU. The new card is called the R6950 Twin Frozr III Power Edition. That fancy cooling solution promises a 21% improvement in performance.


The dual fan cooling solution uses fans with MSI exclusive Propeller Blade technology that delivers 21% more airflow than conventional fan blade designs. The fans help the GPU to stay 11-degrees cooler than the reference cooling solution on the card and the noise output is less than the reference design at the same time. The card is made for overclocking for ultimate performance.
MSI uses Triple over-Voltage with a 6+2 phase power delivery system with up to 21% more performance than the reference design. The card has 2GB of GDDR5 RAM and all the features of normal HD 6950 video cards as well. MSI also uses special caps that are handpicked to p…

Samsung teases Galaxy Tab 8.9, its ultra-slim iPad 2 rival

Samsung continues its thinly-veiled tablet teasing ahead of the third slate’s official reveal later this month, now outing a close-up of the tablet’s rear edge and headphone socket. Believed to be the Galaxy Tab 8.9, an 8.9-inch version slotting in-between the original 7-inch Galaxy Tab and the larger Galaxy Tab 10.1, the new image shows what appears to be an impressively slim device.

It certainly looks as though the 8.9-inch tab could be the thinnest of Samsung’s line to-date. The depth only looks a little greater than a regular headphone jack, which would potentially put it on a far stronger footing against the new iPad 2. Samsung has already admired Apple’s new slate for its slender build; could they also have something waiting in the wings that’s similarly thin?
We’ll have to wait until March 22 to find out, as that’s when Samsung has promised to whip off the wraps and reveal the 8.9-inch gadget in all its glory. We’re expecting Android 3.0 Honeycomb along with a dual-core…

BlackBerry PlayBook gets 7digital MP3 download store

RIM has inked a deal with digital music provider 7digital for a Music Store on the BlackBerry PlayBook tablet. The app will see over 13m MP3s available for on-device purchase on the QNX slate, when it launches in the US and Canada later this year, as part of RIM’s attempt to take on iTunes and the iPad 2.


The MP3s 7digital offers are DRM-free – the company also offers tracks online using Microsoft DRM, but they don’t appear to be included in the PlayBook range – which means they’ll be easier to move around between devices than, say, tracks purchased from iTunes. There’s no sign of video downloads, however, which RIM will need if it’s to compete fully with Apple.
The PlayBook has a 7-inch screen and is expected to be launched as early as April 10 according to recent leaks. It will initially be available as a WiFi-only model, with a WiMAX version for Sprint following later in 2011.
Press Release:
7digital and RIM Strike a Chord with Music Store on the BlackBerry PlayBook
7digit…

Groupon coming to cash registers as coupons get technical

Groupon is in talks with electronic payment hardware provider Verifone over integrating easier coupon redemption into its systems. According to Groupon president Rob Solomon, speaking to Businessweek, Verifone is among a number of companies the group purchase site is holding discussions with, and may involve the addition of a dedicated Groupon button to cash registers so that businesses could more easily deal with shoppers using the discounts.

“We are in an evaluation mode” Solomon suggested, claiming smaller retailers had been overwhelmed with Groupon interest from customers and needed an easier way to process the coupons. A trial is expected to roll out, though no timescale for its launch has been given.
It’s not the only non-traditional payment method Verifone is looking to. The company announced last week that it was adding NFC support to all upcoming hardware, a major step in enabling tap-payments from smartphones and NFC-enabled credit and debit cards.

Android game trounces iOS for in-app purchases and ad appeal

Android’s “smaller pond” for developers has led to big rewards for some developers, able to convert greater user interest into more in-app payments. Computerworld reports on Spacetime Studios, the team behind Pocket Legends – a 3D MMO available on both Android and iOS – and which has “just been blown away” by Android users’ involvement with the game, according to CEO Gary Gattis.


According to Gattis, Android users click in-game adverts around three times more than iOS users, and – even more importantly – make purchases based on those advert clicks twice as often. Spacetime as a result decided to “throw all of our marketing dollars onto Android.”
Android users play Pocket Legends three times more than Apple users, and daily downloads are more than twice the amount as well. In-app purchases – which Google is yet to offer an official mechanism for – currently generate 30- to 50-percent more revenue on the open-source platform as well.

Logitech Surround Sound Speakers Z906 pack 500W of THX-certified audio

Logitech has outed its latest 5.1 speaker system, the Logitech Surround Sound Speakers Z906, complete with THX certification and onboard 5.1 digital decoding. The multibox setup packs a 500W RMS amp pushing five 67W channels to the surround speakers and a further 165W to the subwoofer.


Inputs include two digital optical ports, a single digital coax, six channels of direct analog, RCA and a 3.5mm stereo socket. Up to six devices can be hooked up at a single time, and there’s a bundled infrared remote to control the whole thing.
Each of the surround speakers can be wall mounted, for a more discrete installation, and the control box is stackable so that you can slot it in with your cable tuner and Blu-ray deck. Pricing is set to be $349.99 when the 5.1 system goes on sale imminently.

Trending Topics Verizon iPhone 4 Review MacBook Pro refresh Apple iPad 2 4G Galaxy Tablet Center webOS on every HP PC from 2012, as firm seeks its “lost soul”

“HP has lost its soul” CEO Leo Apotheker has admitted, continuing the new exec’s self-flagellatory tour as he attempts to make the lumbering PC manufacturer more competitive. After confessing that HP innovation “takes too long to get to market” last month, Apotheker told Businessweek that he would look to webOS to refresh the company’s PCs. As of 2012, every HP PC shipped “will include the ability to run webOS in addition to Windows.”


That integration will see webOS working alongside, rather than replacing, Windows however. HP has promised full integration of the two platforms, in a move that Apotheker believes will pull in more developers to the smartphone and tablet OS, and hopefully help the company differentiate its computers, printers and mobile devices.
Also on the agenda is pulling out promising developments from smaller groups and teams in HP, and helping to commercialise them. “You don’t mandate innovation,” he suggests, “people need to be a little more empowered …

Trending Topics Verizon iPhone 4 Review MacBook Pro refresh Apple iPad 2 4G Galaxy Tablet Center AKG K830BT and K840KL wireless headphones hedge bets with Bluetooth and Kleer

Audio specialists AKG has revealed its latest duo of headphones, the Bluetooth-toting AKG K830BT and the Kleer-enabled AKG K840KL. Each offering a different flavor of wireless, the two sets of on-ear cans use the company’s 3D-Axis2 folding headband design.


AKG is positioning the Bluetooth set as the more flexible everyday option, while the Kleer set are targeted at audiophiles. The K830BT headphones promise up to 8hrs battery life, have an integrated microphone for hands-free use, and controls for track playback, volume and call/end.
The K840KL, meanwhile, lack the microphone and only have volume controls, but do offer up to two weeks of battery life, up to 65ft range and CD-quality sound with uncompressed 16-bit, 44.1kHz audio reproduction. Both are available now, priced at $249 for the Bluetooth set and $299 for the Kleer set.
Press Release:
AKG Unveils New Wireless Headphones: AKG® K 830 BT and AKG® K 840 KL On-Ears
New Headphones Utilize Bluetooth® and Kleer® Wireless Techno…

iOS 5.0 and MobileMe refresh event in early April?

With iOS 5.0 failing to make its debut at Apple’s iPad 2 event last week, we’re wondering when the company might preview the next significant update in its mobile platform. According to German site Macerkopf, that will be at the start of April; their source claims iOS 5.0 and the refreshed MobileMe will both get their official launch next month.

That’s certainly no great stretch, given Apple previously teased iOS 4.0 in early April 2010. The MobileMe update has also been well rumored over the past few months, with Apple expected to add cloud storage for digital media along with some more social-network focused functionality.
Google, meanwhile, is expected to bring the latest version of Android to Google I/O on May 10 2011, so an Apple tease ahead of that would potentially leave the open-source OS playing catch-up. Among the improvements to iOS 5.0, it’s rumored Apple will rework notifications.

MSI offers up new R6950 Twin Frozr III Power Edition video card

MSI has whipped out a new version of the AMD Radeon HD 6950 video card that uses a new and custom cooling solution to allow the card to run faster with better overclocks that other cards using the GPU. The new card is called the R6950 Twin Frozr III Power Edition. That fancy cooling solution promises a 21% improvement in performance.

The dual fan cooling solution uses fans with MSI exclusive Propeller Blade technology that delivers 21% more airflow than conventional fan blade designs. The fans help the GPU to stay 11-degrees cooler than the reference cooling solution on the card and the noise output is less than the reference design at the same time. The card is made for overclocking for ultimate performance.
MSI uses Triple over-Voltage with a 6+2 phase power delivery system with up to 21% more performance than the reference design. The card has 2GB of GDDR5 RAM and all the features of normal HD 6950 video cards as well. MSI also uses special caps that are handpicked to p…

64GB iPhone 4 prototype caught on video

A 64GB iPhone 4 prototype has apparently been spotted in Hong Kong, suggesting Apple is at least considering – or has considered – versions of the fourth-gen smartphone with greater capacity. Currently only 16GB and 32GB versions of the iPhone 4 are on sale; however, MIC Gadget found a grey market vendor who claims a “small quantity” of 64GB devices leaked from Foxconn’s Shenzhen facility.
Video demo after the cut

Those devices are described as “engineered prototypes” and the vendor suggested that they’re an indication that Apple is about to boost the storage on offer. The prototype apparently matches previously leaked handsets, down to the absence of model and capacity labelling, not having engraved volume buttons, and the missing silver ring around the rear camera lens.
Apple offers 64GB iPod touch and iPad models, but not iPhone 4. With flash memory prices generally moving down, it seems entirely possible that a capacity upgrade could be added without boosting the cost of…

Pioneer VSX-1021 AV Receiver supports Apple AirPlay

Pioneer has unveiled the first in a new series of AV receivers that will support Apple AirPlay. The new receiver is the VSX-1021 and it sells for a surprisingly low price of $549.99. The receiver supports 7.1-channel sound and the big feature is certainly the support for Air Play. The receiver can receive music streamed from iTunes and play it on you home theater system and it can connect too your network with integrated Ethernet support.


The receiver also has an optional WiFi receiver for wireless connectivity. The receiver is also designed to work with the iPad, iPhone, and iPod as well with an included USB video cable for the device so no dock is needed. The Apple gadgets will also charge while they are docked. The system allows you to listen to music from your iPhone and view the album art on your TV and it can steam other content from your device like YouTube and more.
The Apple gear can also be used as a remote control for the receiver with an app that is available f…

Leaked Software Roadmap Shows BIS 4.1 and BlackBerry 7 Are Coming!

There's nothing better than leaked BlackBerry info on a Saturday! These new 2011 BlackBerry Software Roadmap slides (more below) show off some interesting details. Most of it is pretty basic and what you'd expect - updates to apps including Facebook, Twitter, Ticketmaster, Social Feeds, App World, BlackBerry News, etc.. Ugrades to BIS are also coming.
The most exciting item listed on the Roadmap above of course is the one coming last in the year, and that is BlackBerry 7 core integration. Though no other information is provided, you almost *have to assume* BlackBerry 7 would be the jump from the traditional BlackBerry Operating System we know and love (and occassionally hate on) to the QNX-based operating system that is used to power the BlackBerry PlayBook's BlackBerry Tablet OS. It makes sense RIM would go with a branding jump from 6 to 7 for a BIG OS change like that in BlackBerry Smartphones (especially considering we're about to see the move from Blac…

Asus working on a quad-core tablet with 3D display

Asus, which unveiled three Android Honeycomb tablets earlier this year, intends to introduce at least one new tablet with a 3D display. Hi-tech.mail.ru had a chat with Asus’ CEO Jerry Chen, who unveiled some of the company’s plans for 2011. As mentioned above, the Taiwanese company wants to introduce a 3D tablet that will use a quad-core processor – most probably made by Nvidia. Like LG’s Optimus Pad (the first tablet with a 3D screen), Asus’ upcoming device should run Android. There’s no word on the launch date of the Asus 3D tablet, but it will probably be out towards the end of the year. (this is not the 3D tablet, it’s just the Asus EeePad MeMo) As for smartphones, it’s said that the company will have only Android-based ones this year. So maybe the Windows Phone 7-based E600 was cancelled? Since it wasn’t announced at MWC 2011, this may be the case indeed. You can check out the full interview with Jerry Chen here at Hi-tech (automatic translation from Russian).

Elfoid: Humanoid mobile phone

Elfoid -- a REAL android phone Robotics researchers from Osaka University have teamed up with NTT Docomo and Qualcomm to develop a handheld humanoid phone that brings a new dimension to mobile communications. A prototype of the device -- called "Elfoid P1" -- was unveiled at a presentation in Tokyo on March 3. The Elfoid phone is a miniature version of the Telenoid R1 robot developed last year by a research team led by Osaka University professor Hiroshi Ishiguro. The current prototype measures 20 centimeters (8 in) long, is covered in a soft fleshy urethane skin, and has the same genderless and ageless appearance as the Telenoid. The control buttons are embedded in the chest, which glows green when the Elfoid is in use.
Dr. Ishiguro with Telenoid and Elfoid [Photo by: eSeL.at] Like the full-sized Telenoid robot, the Elfoid handset is designed to add an element of realism to long-distance communication by recreating the physical presence of a remote user.
[Photo: Ars …

Tegra 2 CPU and GPU benchmarks, Motorola Atrix 4G vs LG Optimus 2X

The first dual-core Android phone has finally hit the market and more are on the way. NVIDIA promised big performance gains with their Tegra 2 system-on-a-chip (SoC), so we put two of their superphones through a series of benchmarks to see how they stacked up. Check out the results after the jump and then download the benchmarks to see how your Android phone compares. The test lineup We have a lot of phones laying around the A&M Labs, but we just went with six models for this round of testing. Devices we tested include both the Tegra 2 phones that are currently available (Atrix 4G and Optimus 2X), both phones with Android 2.3 (Nexus S and Nexus One), the T-Mobile G2, and the popular Motorola Droid. Each device was given a clean reboot before testing and they are all running unmodified, stock versions of Android. An active WiFi connection was turned on to simulate real-world experience. Neocore AboutNeocore is an OpenGL-ES 1.1 graphics performance benchmark for Androi…

iPad May Be Magical. Apps Aren’t. Here’s Why.

It has been nearly a year since I first came in close contact with the original iPad. It blew my mind, and since then, it has become a daily accompaniment. I create content on my MacBook Air, but I spend a lot of time consuming content and media on the device. In fact, if I had to guess, I use my iPad as much as I use my notebook computer. Steve Jobs called it magical. Fast-forward to today, and I (and about 15 million others) agree. Wednesday, Jobs announced the newer version of the iPad. It’s lighter, thinner, has more curves, and it’s definitely beefier. What’s more, it has many new capabilities: cameras and gyroscope for example. In other words, it’s more magical. However, if iPad, the device, is more magical, the applications (apps) for the device are anything but. For nearly a year, I’ve been waiting (and waiting) for experiences befitting the device and its hardware capabilities. Sure, there’s Flipboard, but as the saying goes, one swallow don’t make a summer. And same g…

Micromax X290 Price in India 2,449/- Rupees

Micromax X290 is a very impressive dual sim cellphone, its dual sim connectivity enables one to connect two GSM sims at once. With a 1.3 megapixel camera, FM radio, expandable memory (up to 2GB) and bluetooth connectivity the Micromax X290 is a great cellphone which costs less than 2500 rupees in India. For a basic daily use it’s a very good phone. Micromax has established itself as a cellphone brand which has made common man the king, Micromax was one of the first cellphone brands to introduce cheap qwerty cellphones of the likes of Micromax Q1, Micromax Q2+ and Micromax Q3 Ezpad. Other than that Micromax was successful in providing the first cheap Android OS cellphone, The Micromax Andro A60. Micromax has been very consistent and dynamic with there products and strategies and has captured the market well. We hope to see more and better cellphones from the Micromax stable. Key Features of Micromax X290: Camera: 1.3 Mega Pixels.Dual SIM: Yes(GSM, GSM).Price: Rs. 2,449.Fm: Yes, FM Radi…

Amazon Android Appstore to extend to other mobile platforms

It has emerged that Amazon Appstore, a new third-party application marketplace from retail giant Amazon, is to be made available on a variety of different mobile operating systems, extending beyond Google’s Android platform shortly after launch. Aaron Rubenson, Category Leader for the Amazon Appstore, spoke to Mobile-Device, answering questions about what Amazon is planning to do with its alternative app marketplace and offering insights into what countries will be first to see it launch. When asked about the platforms that would support Amazon Appstore, Rubenson said: Our goal is to provide a vast selection to customers from multiple operating systems. Although the store will feature Android apps at launch, we will evaluate opportunities to expand our selection on an ongoing basis.
The Amazon leader also indicated that the Appstore would launch initially in the US, rolling out to other regions shortly after. Rubenson’s words were that the Android Appstore “will launch soon”, …

TazTag TazPad Android Tablet at CeBIT 2011

TazTag is going to showcase their latest Android tablet known as the TazPad at CeBIT 2011. The company claimed that, the new TazPad is the world’s first Android tablet with NFC on the market. It’s said that, the new TazPad will be an unique product on the market. The new TazTag TazPad Android tablet is bundled with some impressive features and specifications. This new NFC based Android tablet has a 7-inch touchscreen display with multitouch support, support Full HD, HDMI output for external connection, equipped with WiFi, Bluetooth, NFC, ZigBee, and so on. Just have a look on the below specs list to grab more information of the new TazTag TazPad Android tablet. TazTag TazPad Tablet SpecsClaimed to be the first NFC Android tablet7-inch touchscreen display with multitouch supportFull HD support and HDMI outputWiFi, Bluetooth, NFC, and ZigBeeCamera, GPS, and an accelerometerBiometric authentication optionRuns on Android OS (Version not specified)The new TazTag TazPad Android NFC t…

Olivetti OliPad, First Italian Tablet

Italian ICT services providerOlivetti announced the launch of the OliPad, a tablet PC device based on the Android OS. The Olivetti OliPad tablet will go on sale next Monday, March 7, 2011. As noted, this Olivetti tablet is first appearing in December 2010.
Newly Olivetti OliPad is equipped with 1GB of RAM, 16GB SSD, 10.1-inch touchscreen display with resolution of 1024 x 600 pixels and supports multitouch. OliPad Froyo tablet is sports Wi-Fi 802.11b/g/n, Bluetooth 2.1, 3G module, 1.3-megapixel camera, two USB ports, and HDMI connectors. Its weighs is about 780 g. The Olivetti OliPad will be available on sale in Italy for price of euro 399 (about $575).

Video: Finally played Need for Speed on the BlackBerry PlayBook

Browsing via BlackBerry? Click here to view video Yesterday at RIM’s BlackBerry PlayBook event in New York, I finally got a chance to play around with the BlackBerry PlayBook.  I was anxious to play Need for Speed, which comes preloaded on every PlayBook.  Ronen from BerryReview was nice enough to record my gameplay, along with some other multitasking distractions which included some video playing and shuffling through apps. The whole nice idea about the PlayBook is apps still running in the background when multitasking.  My issue was seeing Need for Speed still running in the background actively when switching to another window.  You could be in the middle of a race and want to switch to your BBM or email then by doing so, the game would still run and you’d lose. Boo.  Luckily, we found out you can customize multitasking how you want.  The game can automatically pause if you’d like when switching around.  That applies for video players as well.  Pretty cool!

MOBILE PHONE JUST GOT BETTER WITH ANDROID

Android has really done phones some-more multidimensional. And we see what this equates to when we know what Motorola’s newest offering-the Droid phone-does. Here’s the sampler of the functionalities which have Droid the “gotta have” item, as well as which have us wish to poke the universe for the giveaway droid offer:

1. It’s Got Voice

Android phones such as Motorola’s Droid supports Google Voice, generally grown for mobile phones. This focus lets we have effusive calls regulating your singular Google Voice series in as easy as the single hold of the right button. You can launch it from the contacts list in your phone menu. What’s more, this focus additionally gives we present entrance to your phone’s voicemail as well as SMS messaging upheld by Google Voice. And the many appropriate thing about it: it’s giveaway to install.

2. What’s Your Locale?

Local is an additional funny smart app which is during really utilitarian during the same time. It lets we spin your smartphone i…

Fabricate Yourself Kinect hack turns you into a 3D puzzle piece

We've been whittling our likeness into bars of soap for decades, but lucky for us someone's come up with a far easier way to render our flawless good looks in miniature. Following in a long line of inventive Kinect hacks, the folks at Interactive Fabrication have produced a program called Fabricate Yourself that enlists the machine to capture images of users and convert them into 3D printable files. The hack, which was presented at Tangible, Embedded and Embodied Interaction Conference in January, results in tiny 3D models that resemble Han Solo trapped in carbonite and sport jigsaw edges that can be used to make a grid of small, but accurate renderings. Fabricate Yourself is still in its infancy, and the resulting models are relatively short on detail, but we're no less excited by the possibilities -- just think of all the things we could monogram in the time it takes to produce one soapy statuette. Video after the jump.