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LG to debut first WebOS powered SmartTV at CES 2014

By: Charles Gantt | More News: HT & Movies | Posted: Dec 30, 2013 11:32 pm

Earlier this year when LG announced that it would be purchasing WebOS, the mobile phone operating system developed by Palm, everyone wondered why LG would do such a thing. Many eyebrows were raised at the thought that LG might dump Android for WebOS, while others speculated that the company would turn it into something for the company's SmartTV division.

 

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Today it appears that the latter has became true, and LG will debut its first WebOS powered SmartTV at CES 2014. With this announcement, it appears that WebOS may actually have a chance to thrive after all, despite its years of off and on again development. With companies like Samsung and Google developing operating systems designed to make our TVs more connected, it appears that we may see a race to the top in 2014.

Gaming PC company MSI unveils its 2014 CES lineup

By: Michael Hatamoto | More News: Laptops | Posted: Dec 30, 2013 11:19 pm

During the 2014 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas next month, computer manufacturer MSI will unveil new gaming notebooks, workstations, touchscreen laptops, tablets, and a new All-in-One (AIO) gaming system.

 

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"MSI's 2014 lineup of notebooks, tablets and AIOs embodies our commitment to delivering exceptional performance, constant innovation and magnificent style," said Andy Tung, MSI Pan America Region VP of Sales, in a press statement. "From the world's thinnest gaming notebook to the first gaming AIO and powerful workstations, 2014 will be a year filled with outstanding products."

 

MSI and other companies are expected to also show off - or announce - motherboard/GPU and motherboard/CPU aimed towards gamers. The lure of a gaming AIO, at a time when the niche market struggles, could jump-start to the industry moving forward. The Taiwanese-based company is well known for its gaming products, and that will be a major driving force for MSI in 2014.

Super Talent unveils new USB 3.0 Express Motile USB on-the-go drive

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Storage | Posted: Dec 30, 2013 9:47 pm

Today Super Talent unveiled a new USB 3.0 on-the-go drive designed for Android users who frequently need to transfer files between their mobile devices and PCs. The new USB 3.0 Express Motile features a USB B connector as well as a micro-USB connector and fits in any Android device that utilizes the micro-USB connector.

 

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The new USB 3.0 Express Motile is available in capacities from 8GB up to 64GB, and can reach read speeds up to 67MB/s and write speeds up to 24MB/s. Super Talent says the drive is backwards compatible with USB 2.0 and USB 1.1 No information on pricing or availability was giving at the time of this writing.

Camera makers suffer continued backlash

By: Michael Hatamoto | More News: Cameras | Posted: Dec 30, 2013 9:00 pm

Japanese camera makers that dominated the industry for much of the late-1980s and most of the 1990s are now struggling to keep up in an increasingly competitive market. Shoppers choosing connectivity over picture quality is helping not only cannibalize the entry-level camera market, but the mirrorless cameras that fit before digital SLR cameras also have struggled as of late.

 

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Smartphones are seeing increasing saturation in developed markets and in developing nations, so camera manufacturers will have a continued battle on their hands. Unless they want to follow the same path as Kodak, which was driven into obscurity, then they will have to continue to pack in social media-optimized features while also increasing the megapixels. It's hard to imagine there is speculation that Nikon, Canon and Sony will be the only Japanese companies able to withstand the current industry trends, as each company makes higher-end, specialized cameras and recording devices.

The SilkRoad saga continues as new admin goes AWOL

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Internet & Websites | Posted: Dec 30, 2013 8:23 pm

It seems like the drama is never ending at the infamous online drug marketplace known as SilkRoad. Over the weekend, Silkroad's new Admin Dread Pirate Roberts (AKA DPR. Not to be confused with the original SilkRoad DPR) signed off from the site with a post informing users that he would release information concerning the arrest of several SilkRoad employees.

 

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The post was made on Saturday and nothing else has been heard from DPR since. Another site admin who goes by the name DefCon says that DPR has entered exile and his whereabouts are unknown. DefCon says that DPR took the sites key used to unlock its Bitcoin storage with him. This means that none of the bitcoins the site held in escrow can be released until DPR's return. DefCon says that SilkRoad users should not worry too much as DPR will return and the digital currency will be returned.

Samsung unveils 8Gb LPDDR4 mobile DRAM, could lead to 4GB smartphones

By: Charles Gantt | More News: RAM | Posted: Dec 30, 2013 6:45 pm

Mobile memory technology has taken a major leap forward with today's announcement of 8-gigabit low-profile double-data-rate 4 (LPDDR4) mobile DRAM chips from Samsung. The new DRAM chips offer the ability to pack 1GB on a single die, which will most likely lead to many upcoming next-gen smartphones featuring 4GB of RAM.

 

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Samsung says that the new LPDDR4 silicon offers improved efficiency which results in up to 40-percent less power consumption than previously seen. This is possible because the chips are designed to run at just 1.1 volts each. The chips are designed on a 20nm process, which shrinks the package small enough to fit 1GB onto a single chip. With Qualcomm releasing a 64-bit mobile processor next year, and Apple's 64-bit A7 already on the market we could see a major jump in the amount of RAM smartphones house in 2014 and 2015.

 

"This next-generation LPDDR4 DRAM will contribute significantly to faster growth of the global mobile DRAM market, which will soon comprise the largest share of the entire DRAM market," said Young-Hyun Jun, executive vice president, memory sales & marketing, Samsung Electronics. "We will continue introducing the most advanced mobile DRAM one step ahead of the rest of the industry so that global OEMs can launch innovative mobile devices with exceptional user convenience in the timeliest manner."

Google and Audi said to be developing next Android in car system

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Technology in Vehicles | Posted: Dec 30, 2013 5:13 pm

With in-vehicle technology growing at a faster pace than ever before, manufacturers are racing to beat each other to the next big thing. Audi is said to be teaming up with Google to develop the next-generation in-car system that will be based on Android and will control everything from vehicle information to entertainment and more.

 

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The new Android-based system is said to deliver similar functionality of smartphones or tablets, with emphasis on Audi's "Infotainment" initiative. The new system is said to heavily utilize voice commands, and will feature everything from voice controlled navigation, to radio station selection. Google and Audi will develop, improve and implement the in many models over the next five years, but no further details were released about which models will get the new system.

Nokia's Lumia 520 accounts for 30-percent of all Windows Phones

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Mobile Devices, Tablets & Phones | Posted: Dec 30, 2013 3:21 pm

Despite what companies like Apple wants to believe, a new report has been released that shows that many mobile customers want a cheaper smartphone. AdDuplex, a cross promotion marketing network has just released a report that states that Nokia's Lumia 520 and 521 now dominate the Windows Phone market with a 30-percent market share.

 

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This news comes just under a year after the Lumia 521 was released, and slightly before the Lumia 525 takes the role of flagship budget phone for Nokia. Just a few months ago, the 520/521 combo was said to account for only 23-percent of all Lumia smartphones on the market. Many industry analyst are predicting that as smartphones get more powerful, we will begin to see a shift towards mid-range and upper low-end models dominating as they will be more than powerful enough to handle most users day-to-day needs.

Ex-Lead Designer for HTC prosecuted in Taiwan for fraud and leaks

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: Dec 28, 2013 3:33 pm

HTC continues to get battered, with news breaking out in the last day or so that its ex-Lead Designer, Thomas Chien, prosecuted in Taiwan for fraud. The Taipei District Prosecutor's Office concluded its investigation on Chien, reporting that he leaked HTC's upcoming icon designs, and much more.

 

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He took the designs, showing them to his then-future business partners for a new company they were planning to form. The investigation also concluded that Chien's friends took around $1.12 million in the way of false expense claims, as well as rebates from a supplier. A quarter of this cash was found in Chien's Audi, with another taken from him on another occasion.

 

The prosecutors' allegations were not denied by most of Chien's friends, but Chien himself was in denial about most of what he was being accused of, and has the prosecutors recommending that the court place a big sentence on Chien for his "malignant" behavior.

Lenovo plans to carry momentum into the smartphone industry

By: Michael Hatamoto | More News: Mobile Devices, Tablets & Phones | Posted: Dec 28, 2013 2:34 pm

No. 1 PC manufacturer Lenovo will continue to battle Hewlett-Packard in the PC consumer market, and the company won't become stagnant by avoiding newer ventures. Lenovo plans to attack the smartphone market across the world in 2014, as the company has strong market presence in China.

 

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"I'll be very clear: Our aspiration is someday to be No. 1 in the mobile space," Lenovo executives told the media. Earlier in the year, there were rumors that Lenovo wanted to purchase the BlackBerry phone unit - but the deal never materialized, and BlackBerry is no longer for sale. The smartphone market is highly saturated in the United States, but Lenovo can gain market share in the US and across Europe if done properly.

 

Just a few years ago, many doubted Lenovo would be able to climb the sales charts in the PC market - and the Chinese electronics maker is spending more time researching server products for the enterprise.

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