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Sony and HTC win battle in patent troll war, prevails in lawsuit filed by WiLAN

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: Jul 16, 2013 9:33 pm

Score another one for the good guys. Today, HTC and Sony both claimed a major victory in the patent wars when a federal jury ruled that neither company infringed on any of the four patents that WiLAN had sued them over. Other lawsuit victors include Alcatel-Lucent and Ericsson.

 

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Alcatel-Lucent managed to beat three wireless base station claims, while Sony and HTC also had to face a fourth claim involving handset technology. Both companies said that they believed that WiLAN was greatly over exaggerating the scope of its patent while Alcatel-Lucent stated that it believed the company was stretching the boundaries of its patents.

 

WiLAN is pretty much considered to be nothing more than a patent troll and has been fighting lawsuits similar to this for many years including one in which Intel reportedly agreed to pay a large settlement on. WiLAN said that it was disappointed by the decision and that it still has pending litigation against Time Warner, Comcast, and others with similar claims of patent infringement.

Huawei unveils MediaPad 7 Youth, a 7-inch Android tablet with phone functionality

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Mobile Devices, Tablets & Phones | Posted: Jul 16, 2013 9:04 pm

Today, Huawei officially unveiled is 7-inch MediaPad 7 Youth Tablet, a device we first saw last month in an SEC filing. The MediaPad 7 Youth is not your average run-of-the-mill 7-inch Android tablet, though, as it features a full HD 7-inch display and includes phone functionality.

 

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The 7-inch Media Pad 7 Youth sports an all aluminum unibody that weighs just 350 grams and measures in at 9.9 mm thick. While this is slightly heavier than Google's Nexus 7, we would imagine that it is also sturdier. With the included 7-inch 1080p display that features a 10-point touchscreen and a 1.6GHz processor, this new tablet should perform quite well.

 

At the moment, RAM and internal storage is unknown as is which version of Bluetooth and if there will be more than just a Wi-Fi only model. Huawei has confirmed that the tablet will be running a 4,100 mAh battery which should last users an entire day on a full charge. The MediaPad 7 Youth will launch in Russia, China, Asia-Pacific, the Middle East, and Europe during the third quarter of 2013.

Sony takes a step back on video DRM, makes it easier to re-download content

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Gaming Consoles | Posted: Jul 16, 2013 8:03 pm

This morning, we're getting word that Sony has taken a few steps back on its DRM policies regarding downloaded video content on the PlayStation 3. The company has now made it much easier for people to download and re-download shows they paid for in the past. Additionally, consumers can now download their purchased video content from any PlayStation 3 device.

 

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"If you purchase a copy, the video or TV show download will be available infinitely and can be transferred to other enabled devices," reads the announcement on Sony's Video Unlimited website "Movie rentals are available for viewing up to 30 days after purchase and can be viewed multiple times within 24 hours on the same device."

 

I see this as another big step forward in the movement to abolish harsh DRM policies that do more to hurt the industry than they do to help it. Sony has really been stepping up lately and looking out for the consumer more so than the content provider. This really is a refreshing attitude over other companies such as Microsoft, Apple, and Verizon.

The Apex has been unleashed by SteelSeries, claims to be the world's fastest gaming keyboard

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Peripherals | Posted: Jul 16, 2013 7:01 pm

SteelSeries is known for their high-quality professional grade gaming peripherals, and their latest product fails to disappoint in any way possible. The new SteelSeries Apex Gaming Keyboard is comprised of what I can only describe as sheer beauty. It's no secret that I love backlit keys as well as RGB LEDs, and the new Apex combines both to bring a keyboard landscape unlike any other.

 

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The SteelSeries Apex Gaming Keyboard goes beyond just choosing from 16.8 million color options, it features SteelSeries Active-Zone illumination, a visual support tool that allows the user to independently customize colors - up to 8 levels of illumination intensity in each of its 5 zones - with up to 4 different customizable layers per zone.

 

Additionally, the keyboard features unique enhancements to its layout which include low-profile keys, macro keys that are configured in rows for quick access, as well as multiple layers of customization in color and intensity. The keyboard is powered by the SteelSeries Engine which allows the keyboard to completely remap all of its 22 macro keys and offers users the ability to program up to four separate layers of the keyboard. This means that consumers now have up to 500 keys for instant control across multiple layouts, profiles, and commands that they choose for any game.

 

Priced at just $99.99, the Apex is available now at local retailers, online e-tailer's and gaming enthusiast centers near you. Below I have listed out the features list for the Apex Gaming Keyboard.

Continue reading 'The Apex has been unleashed by SteelSeries, claims to be the world's fastest gaming keyboard' (full post)

Griffin releases highly anticipated Power Dock 5, will charge and store up to 5 iOS devices at once

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Mobile Devices, Tablets & Phones | Posted: Jul 16, 2013 6:06 pm

Griffin Technology has announced today the launch of its highly anticipated PowerDock 5 iOS device charging stand. The company says that the PowerDock 5 is built to safely charge and store up to five iPads, iPhones or iPods at the same time from a single power source. This makes the new PowerDock 5 the ideal charging and storage solution for families, businesses, and schools who routinely use multiple iOS devices.

 

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The PowerDock 5 was designed with convenience and efficiency in mind while still being able to feature five charging bases that each push up to 10W of power per USB port. Each bay is large enough to accommodate iPads with even the largest of cases, including Griffin's own military-duty Survivor. What makes the PowerDock 5 so unique is its use of standard USB ports that allow you to use your own charging cable as well as the ones provided. In the event Apple decides to change his connector port again, the PoweDock 5 will still be able to charge your iOS devices.

 

"The PowerDock 5 is ideal for households and work environments that use multiple iOS devices," said James Finney, Category Manager of Griffin's power products. "It keeps users' device cables tucked away and organized, ready for use at any time." Griffin's PowerDock 5 is available from the company's online store for $99.99. For those interested in the key features I have posted a list below.

Continue reading 'Griffin releases highly anticipated Power Dock 5, will charge and store up to 5 iOS devices at once' (full post)

AT&T announces new "Next" service that lets customers upgrade phones similar to T-Mobile

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Mobile Devices, Tablets & Phones | Posted: Jul 16, 2013 5:09 pm

It appears that T-Mobile's "UnCarrier" strategy is pressuring rival wireless carriers into offering similar services of their own. In what has turned out to be a major plus for consumers, AT&T has announced today that it is launching a new initiative called AT&T Next which will allow customers the option to upgrade their device once every 12 months. The upgrade will come with no down payment, no activation fee, no upgrade fee, as well as no financing fees.

 

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This essentially allows AT&T customers to pick up a new device with no down payment and then make monthly payments on it for the next 12 months at which point they'll be able to upgrade to a new device again with no down payment. If the customer wishes to keep their existing device, an additional eight payments will be required, bringing the total payments up to 20 months.

 

Monthly payments fees range from $15 to $50 depending on the device. For example, a $200 entry-level Android phone might run $15 a month, while a $700 iPhone 5 would require the $50 a month fee. "With AT&T Next, customers can get the newest smartphone or tablet every year with no down payment. That's hard to beat, and it's an incredible value for customers who want the latest and greatest every year," said Ralph de la Vega, president and chief executive officer of AT&T Mobility.

Mad Catz unveils Killer Instinct Arcade FightStick Tournament Edition 2 for Xbox One

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Gaming Consoles | Posted: Jul 16, 2013 4:11 pm

This morning, Mad Catz announced a new addition of its Arcade FightStick Tournament Edition 2 controller for the Xbox One. Now featuring a fully licensed artwork skin from the game Killer Instinct, the Arcade FightStick Tournament Edition 2 has become even more intimidating for your opponents. Mad Catz says that the new controller will hit store shelves in time for the 2013 holiday season.

 

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"E3 greeted us with a positive reaction to our Tournament Edition 2 FightStick and we're pleased that the controller will provide passionate fans of Killer Instinct with an even richer gaming experience," said Darren Richardson, the President and Chief Executive Officer of Mad Catz Interactive, Inc. "We earlier commented how the enhanced performance of the Xbox One opens up additional scope for innovation and believe that the Killer Instinct Tournament Edition 2 FightStick perfectly illustrates our commitment to the next generation of entertainment."

 

Mad Catz says that the Arcade FightStick Tournament Edition 2 is expected to be the first fighting game controller for the Xbox One. It will feature arcade-perfect controls that have been extensively designed with the professional gamer in mind. The company says that the Arcade FightStick Tournament Edition 2 has been designed with a philosophy that will offer greater levels of customization and quality to the end-user.

ORIGIN PC updates GENESIS line to feature AMD's new FX-9000 series CPUs

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Computer Systems | Posted: Jul 16, 2013 3:10 pm

This morning, ORIGIN PC announced that they have updated their award-winning GENESIS line of desktops to feature AMD's latest FX-9000 series CPUs. The GENESIS will now be available with either AMD's FX-9590 or FX-9370 CPUs. ORIGIN says that with the new FX-9000 series processors, their customers will be able to immerse themselves in the most advanced games like never before.

 

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Starting at just $1551, users would available to purchase an eight-core game-smashing monster that is clocked from the factory at up to 5 GHz. The GENESIS series includes a custom liquid cooled design and ships Windows 8 ready. ORIGIN says that users can customize their model with over 10,000 different building options. Additionally, ORIGIN offers lifetime 24/7 support for the best PC gaming experience.

Sony confirms September 9 launch date for SmartWatch 2

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Wearable Computing | Posted: Jul 16, 2013 2:02 pm

Originally thought to be slated for a July 15 launch, Sony has now confirmed that we will see its SmartWatch 2 released to the public on September 9, 2013. This launch date actually aligns closer with Sony's original plans for a September / October launch. This means that Sony will have beaten all the major manufacturers to the punch in releasing a next-generation SmartWatch.

 

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Sony says that the SmartWatch 2 has been completely redesigned from the ground up and is far more feature-rich than its predecessor. The new watch features a 1.6-inch LCD, Bluetooth 3.0, micro-USB charging port, and near field communication connectivity. This will allow the SmartWatch to quickly pair with other devices through just a single touch. If that weren't enough, the SmartWatch 2 is both dust and water resistant and carries an IP57 certification.

 

With Samsung's upcoming smartwatch rumored to still be months away from release, and recent developments that have put Apple back to seeing their iWatch released in late 2014, Sony could have a winner on their hands. At a pricing point of $150, which is far less than any high-end analog watch you will find on store shelves today, I think that this new offering from Sony will fly off the shelves.

RumorTT: Next-gen Kinect sensor costs nearly as much as the entire Xbox One to build

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Gaming Consoles | Posted: Jul 16, 2013 12:30 pm

The next-gen Kinect sensor that arrives with the Xbox One has had its own world of controversy lately, with all of the always-on, always-listening pieces we've been writing about for weeks now.

 

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But, news has broken from a Reddit "Ask Me Anything" (AmA) from a Microsoft employee who has said that the Kinect plays a large role in the Xbox One experience. The person said that Microsoft bundled the Kinect with all Xbox One consoles to make sure all developers and gamers had access to it for all games, not just specific ones.

 

He also added that Microsoft took a big risk with the new Kinect sensor, where he noted that it "costs almost as much as the console to make" and "the success of the Kinect carries much more weight." The high price of manufacturing the Kinect sensor could explain why Microsoft couldn't compete with the PlayStation 4's price of $399 - $100 cheaper than the Xbox One which will cost $499.

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