Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Surface Pro tablet, new Surface accessories to land on Feb. 9

If you've been waiting to touch a Surface Pro tablet in the living, breathing, once-molten-magnesium flesh, you can finally mark a hard date on your calendar: The Windows 8 Pro version of Microsoft's tablet will go on sale Feb. 9 at Microsoft stores,, Staples and Best Buy in the U.S.

AMD revenue falls as financial struggles continue

Advanced Micro Devices' financial struggles continued in the fourth quarter, with revenue sinking 32 percent due to slow chip sales and charges tied to restructuring and inventory adjustments. AMD reported revenue of $1.16 billion for the quarter, down from $1.69 billion a year earlier. Analysts had been expecting revenue of $1.15 billion, according to a consensus estimate compiled by Thomson Reuters.

Intel will discontinue desktop motherboards following Haswell release

The decline in desktop PC sales is beginning to ripple throughout the industry, asIntel has revealed plans to wind down its desktop motherboard division over the next three years. According to AnandTech, the company will release boards that are based on the Haswell architecture before completely suspending development.

BlackBerry Enterprise Service 10 now up for download (video)

BlackBerry Enterprise Service 10 now up for download (video)
BlackBerry's just served up fresh tools to replace its Mobile Fusion brand and help businesses manage employee phones: BlackBerry Enterprise Service 10. BES 10, which is now available for download, not only supports the upcoming fleet of BB 10 phones and existing BlackBerry hardware, but Android and iOS devices as well.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Google announces Q4 2012 earnings: impressive revenues of $14.42 billion, excluding Motorola Home

Google announces Q4 2012 earnings impressive revenues of $1442 billion, excluding Motorola Home
Earnings season is swinging into high gear and today's big player is Google. The internet giant just announced its earnings for the fourth quarter of 2012, and unsurprisingly it's still raking in the dough. For the three month period ending December 31st, 2012 the company pulled in $14.42 billion in revenue -- a staggering 36 percent increase year-over-year.

White House unveils National Day of Civic Hacking to solve problems with open data

White House unveils National Day of Civic Hacking to solve problems with open data
Sure, the freshly announced National Day of Civic Hacking may sound like it'll occupy a single square on your calendar, but the White House wants folks to get together on June 1st and 2nd to solve problems with a bit of coding and info from Uncle Sam.

Kim Dotcom launches Mega file-sharing website a year after arrest on Megaupload piracy charges

Kim Dotcom, the founder of Megaupload, has launched a new file-sharing website a year after he was accused by US prosecutors of facilitating massive online piracy said to have cost the entertainment industry $500m (£315m).

The flamboyant 6’7”, 20-stone entrepreneur unveiled the new site, called Mega, at a lavish press conference and launch party in the grounds of his New Zealand mansion.

Tokyoflash Kisai Adjust watch tells time with triangles, in trippy colors (video)

Tokyoflash Kisai Adjust watch tells time with triangles, in trippy colors video
It almost goes without saying Tokyoflash watches aren't always very scrutable. The company's newly launched Kisai Adjust, however, is thankfully one of the more legible examples -- as the name suggests, it even goes out of its way to accommodate the wearer. The fan-designed timepiece uses LED-lit triangles to offer the time and date in any one of six colors, including a slightly mesmerizing "candy," with the option to display digits horizontally in those moments it's not on a wrist. It's USB-rechargeable, too, for those averse to wall outlets; expect about a month of dazzling (or confusing) friends between battery top-ups.

Monday, January 21, 2013

RIM Jumps After CEO Says Hardware Sale Possible: Toronto Mover

Research In Motion Ltd. (RIM) jumped as much as 8.6 percent after its chief executive officer said the BlackBerry handset maker is considering strategic options including a sale of its hardware production unit.

Atari files for bankruptcy, hopes to survive by selling off Pong and other assets

Atari files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy aims to sell assets including brand logos, gaming history
Atari Inc. has filed for bankruptcy protection, looking to separate from its not-so-profitable French owners and pitch for independent funding. In the process, theelder statesman of gaming has secured $5.25 million of debtor-in-possession financing and will aim to sell assets, including its famous logo (which is already licensed out) and games like PongAsteroid and Tempest, in the next 90 to 120 days. In the last few years, Atari Inc. has shifted its focus from traditional retail gaming to digital titles and licensing, with mobile platforms proving especially lucrative for the parent company, Atari SA. The gaming arm is aiming for a return to former glory and, it hopes, the chance to go another 40 years.

Blackberry App World store makes early switch to Blackberry World, but no music or video yet

Blackberry App World store makes early switch to Blackberry World, but no music or video yet
We're still a few days away from BB10's genuine debut, but RIM's decided to press on early with its app store changes. Starting with the webstore front (which is rolling out in the next 24 hours, depending on your territory) then moving on to thePlayBook and existing BlackBerry phones, the renamed BlackBerry World store will also offer up access to videos and music -- RIM reckons it'll be your "one-stop shop" for mobile entertainment, but those channels aren't live just yet. Test out the store's new offerings at the source link to the right.

Sony's Personal Content Station uses NFC for mobile backups, aims for April release in Japan

Sony's 'Personal Content Station' hard drive uses NFC for smartphone back ups
After briefly popping up at CES, Sony's Personal Content Station (aka the "LLS-201") has just been pegged with an April 30th release date in Japan -- that's a good month before it's set to reach the States. The $299, 1TB drive uses NFC for quick pairing with Android phones and tablets, followed by an app for managing the actual backups over WiFi.

ThinkPad T431s and X230s leak on Lenovo's site, mainly reveal design changes

ThinkPad T431s and X230s leak on Lenovo's site, mainly reveal design changes
Lenovo might not be ready to officially reveal the full 2013 ThinkPad range, but it's succeeded in sparking some early interest in the unannounced T431s and X230s by putting their manuals on its Chinese webpage. The documents don't tell us anything about what hardware will be found inside either machine, but as Laptop Reviewsnote, included diagrams do hint at what they might look like.

Samsung exec confirms 8-inch Galaxy Note coming to MWC

Samsung exec confirms 8inch Galaxy Note coming to MWC
The internet has been quietly discussing the possibility of an 8-inch Galaxy Note for a while now, but nothing appeared at CES. However, it might've just been waiting for the right event to make its entrance, and iNews24 is reporting that JK Shinhimself has confirmed the Galaxy Note 8 will debut at MWC.

Factory photo reveals rubber gloves, pink overalls, huge Sony device

Factory photo reveals rubber gloves, pink overalls, '644inch' Sony device
There's a million things this could be: a fake, a prototype, the spawn of some renegade lathe, we just don't know. What we can say is that the photo above was posted to the Chinese-language Digi-wo forum by someone who reckons it could be a component for a 6.44-inch, 1080p Sony phablet. The bezels on the side look slightly skinnier than those on the similarly sized 6.1-inch Huawei Ascend Mate -- although we might be imagining that, and in any case the Ascend Mate has the advantage of definitely being real.

Sony's Xperia Tablet Z announced: 1.5GHz quad-core, 10.1-inch 1,920 x 1,200 screen and 6.9mm thickness

Sony's Xperia Tablet Z announced 15GHz quadcore, 101inch 1,920 x 1,200 screen and 69mm thickness
Announced bright and early in Japan today is the Sony Xperia Tablet Z that we've been hearing about. As you'd expect, this 10.1-inch Android 4.1 tablet features the same design language as its smartphone counterpart, but it's what's inside that really sells this device: a Qualcomm 1.5GHz quad-core APQ8064 processor, 2GB RAM, 32GB storage, a 10.1-inch 1,920 x 1,200 screen (with Mobile Bravia Engine 2), an 8.1-megapixel Exmor R camera, NFC, LTE (MDM9215M radio), microSD expansion and Sony's very own "S-Force" virtual surround sound technology.

HTC M7 purportedly spied brandishing Sense 5.0

HTC M7 purportedly spied brandishing Sense 50
It's that special time again -- that time when Mobile World Congress looms, and HTC fans wonder what design philosophy they'll live with for the next year. We might have just been given a peek at their future. Android Police claims to have a photo and screenshots for the M7, a prototype HTC smartphone that previously only existed in a slightly sketchy 3D render. The design appears to take a handful of cues from the Droid DNA, although there's touches front and back (such as different front camera and rear flash positions) that suggest it's not a carbon copy. What may matter most is the software: the M7 appears to be running Sense 5.0, which could bring a stripped-back look while adding new widgets for at-a-glance news and tips.

Intel publishes 13 Linux benchmarks to help speed test distros

Intel publishes 13 Linux benchmarks to help speed test our distros
With the occasional exception, Intel has offered healthy Linux support in recent years. Proof positive may be a gift to the community this weekend: the chip designer's Open-Source Technology Center just gave Phoronix 13 miniature, OS-level Linux benchmarks that it had previously reserved for its own use.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Instagram For Video – Music, Meaning And Moments Succeed Where Others Fail

mobile video

Editor’s note: Peter Csathy is president and CEO of online video technology company Sorenson Media. He previously served as CEO of video chat company SightSpeed (acquired by Logitech) and as president and COO of online music pioneer Musicmatch (acquired by Yahoo!). Follow him on Twitter @pcsathy.
There is a burgeoning fascination around the topic of which startups will become the “Instagram for video.” Stories abound on the subject. I previously wrote about it for TechCrunch, but focused primarily on execution and getting the U/X “right” rather than identifying potential winners. While most articles do identify mobile video “contenders,” they also miss the mark, because they fail to focus on the fundamental differences between video and still-image content. These differences mean that virtually all current “public share”-focused video Instagram clones are dead on arrival out of the gates.

MasterCard opens EMV tech to US debit networks, hopes to spur adoption

After almost sixteen years of trying to encourage EMV adoption in the US, MasterCard has hit upon a potential reason why it's not catching on: its closed, proprietary standard. But that's changing today, with the financial giant announcing it's making some of its circuit card tech open to other US debit networks instead of waiting on them to come up with their own solution.

LG Optimus G sales hit 1 million worldwide Mobile

LG Optimus G sales hit 1 million worldwide
LG proved with the Optimus G that it can produce a smartphone that stacks up with the best of 'em, and according to the company's newly released sales figures, consumers are starting to take notice. As it stands, more than 1 million Optimus G's have been sold since the handset's September debut. While the figure pales in comparison to heavyweights like the Galaxy S III and iPhone 5, that's not too shabby for a phone that's only been available in North America since November.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Google suggests jewelry or a device as a next-gen password

Google thinks it might have found an answer to the vexing problem of forgotten or weak passwords: "physical" passwords, which might come in the form of a piece of jewelry such as a ring.
In a research paper, two of its engineers write that current strategies to prevent the hijacking of online accounts, including the two-step identity verification system, are insufficient, partly due to the constant threat of attacks that exploit new bugs.

Pantech Discover review: a budget phone has never looked so premium

Pantech Discover review premium never cost so little
Watch out, folks: Pantech is moving up the AT&T food chain. Once known in the US as little more than a budget brand, the Korean company is learning that it's possible to push out a device with premium components without increasing the going price (while choosing an outside-the-box design at the same time). The latest piece of evidence supporting this is the Discover, a $50 smartphone with enough trimmings to turn some heads. But will the phone set a new precedent for its pricing tier, or is it just blindly checking off items on a spec sheet to-do list? Follow us after the break and find out.

Pandora cranked out over 13 billion hours of music in 2012

Springing into the new year, internet radio heavyweightPandora has released some of its major statistics from 2012. The company states that 1.6 billion personalized radio stations were created and that it played over 13 billion hours of music. These hefty stats translate to the service's users listening to over one million different songs from more than 100,000 artists. Wrapping up last year's scorecard, around 10,000 artists reached about 250,000 unique listeners. While these numbers are impressive, we can't help but wonder how many audio commercials had to be endured so people could continue listening to countless hours of One Direction. In any case, we're sure it was worth it.

Sony's Xperia Z gets dissected by the FCC's curious scientists

While it's being wheeled through the FCC's underground Washington bunker, it's merely known as patient PY7PM-0280. It's only once it's been through the ordeal of being torn to pieces and put back together again that we can call it theSony Xperia Z. Given that the documents are now available, it's clear that the commission feels the collection of GSM, LTE and 802.11 a/b/g/n modems are safe enough to hold one to the side of your head. Even better, the snap-happy techno-vivisectionists also included a gallery of teardown pictures, letting us peek inside the guts of the smartphone -- which is good, because if we tried it ourselves, we'd probably void itswaterproof properties.

HDHomeRun Prime beta update for DLNA streaming is live

HDHomeRun Prime update to DLNA starts beta
Got your HDHomeRun Prime, your favorite DLNA client and an itch to watch some premium HD cable TV? Well, then it's time to head over to the beta forum, download the latest firmware then register as a tester. Those of you lucky enough to have a nice TV provider that doesn't lock everything down with Copy Once flags will be able to watch live TV on just about any DLNA playback device that supports MPEG2. Thosenot so lucky will need a PS3 or a 2012 Samsung HDTV, without which this little gem ain't going to do you much good.

A Thousand Dildos For The Military Wives

LAS VEGAS—RealTouch wants to bring teledildonics to Afghanistan. Company manager Scott Rinaldo, appearing at a CES party sponsored by porn firm Pink Visual, said he's working on distributing "a thousand dildos for the military wives"—in this case, Internet-connected sex toys that can let families thousands of miles apart get intimate.
I'm not sure if he's being skeezy or sweet here. Let me start with the technology. RealTouch is a slightly terrifying, synthetic orifice that lives in a plastic tube and connects to a computer. 

Google Wants to Kill Your Password

As our life increasingly moves to the cloud, the need for stronger passwords is more important than ever. But aside from avoiding easy-to-guess birthday/pet name passwords, what else can be done?
Google is now investigating alternatives to the password - like an USB-based card from Yubico that would sign you into your Google account when inserted into a device.
In a paper that will be published in IEEE Security & Privacy Magazine this month, Google vice president of security Eric Grosse and engineer Mayank Upadhyay explore the various ways that people might use passwords in the years to come.

SSDs vs. hard drives vs. hybrids: Which storage tech is right for you?

In times past, choosing the best PC storage option required merely selecting the highest-capacity hard drive one could afford. If only life were still so simple! The fairly recent rise of solid-state drives and hybrid drives (which mix standard hard drives with solid-state memory) have significantly altered the storage landscape, creating a cornucopia of confusing options for the everyday consumer.

Chrome 25 extends encrypted search to everyone, not just signed-in users

Chrome users with something to hide have heretofore been required to sign in to Google to keep their omnibox searches hidden from prying eyes -- but today's Chrome 25 beta update changes that. Now all searches are automatically encrypted, whether you're signed in or not. It's certainly not the first browser to implement such a security feature -- Firefox 14 switched to HTTPS for all searches last year -- but it's a welcome change all the same. With web voice recognition and security whitelists on the docket as well, the latest version of Chrome is setting up to be quite the must-have, especially for those who want to keep their Justin Bieber search results to themselves.

Kim Dotcom's Mega Launches Saturday With 50GB of Free Storage

Kim Dotcom Mega
Kim Dotcom this week provided "early-access users" a sneak peek at his new file-sharing service,Mega, which will open to the public tomorow.
According to TechCrunch's Ingrid Lunden, who got a first look at Mega, the site resembles a simplified version of Dropbox, with a folder to hold files, plus an inbox and contacts tab. Those looking for more than 50GB of free storage will be able to select from three paid tiers — €9.99 ($13.29), €19.99 ($26.59), and €29.99 ($39.90) per month for the respective 500GB storage/1 terabyte bandwidth, 2GB/4TB, and 4GB/8TB.

Wind Mobile to lose CEO, come under Egyptian telco's wing

We're only a few days into 2013, but that's not stopping Canada's Wind Mobile -- the Great White North's fourth largest carrier -- from announcing big changes for the year ahead. The firm just struck a deal with Egypt's Orascom that'll see the foreign telco gain control of the company through a stock deal and have Wind's founder and CEO, Anthony Lacavera, step down from his post. Barring hiccups in regulatory smell tests, the pact is expected to be rubber-stamped by the end of the year. As for Lacavera, he'll stay onboard as honorary chair and will spearhead a new effort dubbed Globalive Capital to invest in budding technology, telecom and media companies.

Metamaterial camera needs no lens, could herald cheaper imaging tech Alt

Metamaterials are proving to be quite useful for toying with the electromagnetic spectrum, whether for technology previously thought to be the stuff of science fiction, or for boring real-world applications. Engineers at Duke Universityhave come up something that falls more into the latter category: a metamaterial imaging sensor that doesn't require a lens to generate a picture.

Facebook for Android update touts speedier photo viewing, ability to send voice messages Mobile

Facebook for Android update touts speedier photo viewing, ability to send voice messages
While the recently announced Graph Search has taken most Facebook-related headlines of late, let's not forget Zuckerberg himself said that mobile applications are undoubtedly one of the company's main focus areas.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Samsung posts Jelly Bean update for Galaxy Note 10.1 and Galaxy Tab 2 in the US

Americans who picked up a Samsung tablet in 2012 may have a surprise this weekend: the company has confirmed that it's rolling out its promised Android 4.1 Jelly Bean update to US, Wi-Fi only versions of the Galaxy Note 10.1 and both Galaxy Tab 2 sizes.

Kodak-branded S1 Micro Four Thirds camera teased for Q3 launch

Kodakbranded S1 Micro Four Thirds camera teased for Q3 launch
Kodak may have had a miserable time of it recently, but there's still hope for those who want a digital camera bearing its hallowed name. JK Imaging, which bought the Kodak brand for its own range of shooters, is announcing the S1 -- a Micro Four Thirds camera that's destined to launch in Q3 of this year. We don't know much about the hardware at this point, except that it'll have built-in WiFi and that it's hinted to carry a Sony-made CMOS. Let's just hope JK Imaging turns out to be a worthy partner.
[Image Credit: PC Online]

Line VoIP and instant messaging app reaches 100 million global users in 19 months

Line VoIP and instant messenger app reaches 100 million global users in 19 months

The likes of WhatsApp and Skype might still dominate the west, but Line continues to soak up new users in Asia and across the world. Since October 2012, the ever-expanding messaging app has managed to add just shy of 30 million new users -- the biggest jump in new users yet. The total includes iPhone, Android, Blackberry,Windows Phone and feature phone iterations, with Line now claiming the app top spot in 41 app stores worldwide. And to celebrate the milestone? It's made a charming video (embedded after the break) with a handful of its adorable characters.
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