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Scosche boomCAN BT portable speaker launches in four colors

By: Shane McGlaun | More News: Audio, Sound & Speakers | Posted: Feb 21, 2014 3:31 pm

Scosche makes a wide array of audio devices, speakers, and accessories for smartphones. One of the last products we talked about from Scosche was a new wearable fitness device that was unveiled around CES 2014. Scosche is back today with a new Bluetooth speaker designed for music on the go.

 

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The speaker is called the boomCAN BT and it uses Bluetooth to connect to your smartphone or other device. It also has a 3.5mm input for devices that don't support Bluetooth. The 3.5mm cable is included and stored in the carry case for the speaker. Also tucked away inside that carry case is the USB cable needed to charge the internal battery.

 

Scosche says that the battery is good for 2 hours of playback per charge. That isn't a lot of run time, but you can't get a massive battery inside such a small device. The boomCAN BT is under 2.5-inches tall and 2-inches wide.

Continue reading 'Scosche boomCAN BT portable speaker launches in four colors' (full post)

VW Golf GTE plug-in hybrid rocks 201 hp and 258 lb-ft of torque

By: Shane McGlaun | More News: Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: Feb 21, 2014 2:58 pm

Typically, when you think about a plug-in hybrid car performance isn't something that comes to mind. The majority of hybrids on the market today are aimed at being green and sipping fuel with no thought of performance at all. Think Toyota Prius or Ford Fusion Hybrid. Volkswagen has unveiled a new plug-in hybrid that offers fuel efficiency and impressive performance.

 

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The Golf GTE isn't going to compete with a sports car, but it is certainly more exciting than a Prius. The GTE is a plug-in hybrid with a battery pack that can recharge from a wall outlet in only 3.5 hours. The car has a 1.4L 148 hp turbo direct-injected engine.

 

The car also has an electric motor producing 101hp. Combined the car has 201 hp and 258 lb-ft of torque. That equates to a top speed of 135 mph and a 0-62 mph time of 7.6 seconds. The car can also drive for 31 miles on electricity only and reach a top electric speed of 81 mph.

Continue reading 'VW Golf GTE plug-in hybrid rocks 201 hp and 258 lb-ft of torque' (full post)

Jolla Sailfish OS reaches version 1.0 with phones heading to Europe

By: Shane McGlaun | More News: Mobile Devices, Tablets & Phones | Posted: Feb 21, 2014 2:25 pm

Jolla has been working to bring a new smartphone and operating system to market for a while. The first Sailfish smartphone was benchmarked back in November 2013. Those phones hit Finnish carrier DNA at roughly the same time. Jolla is now talking about its plans for the future.

 

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Jolla says that Sailfish OS has reached version 1.0 and is now ready to ship globally. The operating system has been updated three times since it landed in Finland. Jolla will push out a fourth update for Sailfish in March.

 

"We're very excited to announce this. We've been working hard together with our user community to make the user experience of the Jolla smartphone and Sailfish OS effortless and distinct. We believe that Jolla now offers a truly viable option for all smartphone users. Naturally we are not stopping here, as we continue to provide monthly software updates to Jolla devices and Sailfish OS," says Marc Dillon, Co-Founder and COO of Jolla.

Continue reading 'Jolla Sailfish OS reaches version 1.0 with phones heading to Europe' (full post)

Google smacked with patent infringement suit over Google Earth

By: Shane McGlaun | More News: Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: Feb 21, 2014 1:46 pm

A company called ART+COM Innovationpool GmbH (ACI) has announced this week that it has filed a patent infringement suit against Google. The suit has to do with Google allegedly infringing on a patent that ACI holds. The patent in question is # RE44,550. The title of that patent is "Method and Device for Pictorial Representation of Space-related Data."

 

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ACI takes issue with how much Google Earth looks like its Terravision service. Terravision is the commercial implementation of the patent at the heart of the case. ACI says that Terravision was developed a decade before Google Earth.

 

Looking at the image here, it is clear that the Terravision service and Google Earth are very similar in how they look. ACI also says that it has issue with some of the executives at Google, particularly Michael Jones, CTO of Google Earth, and Brian McClendon, VP of engineering for Google Maps.

Continue reading 'Google smacked with patent infringement suit over Google Earth' (full post)

Samsung teases its Galaxy S5 will be wet, fit and alive

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Mobile Devices, Tablets & Phones | Posted: Feb 21, 2014 12:36 pm

We're counting down the hours for Mobile World Congress 2014 here at TweakTown, but so is Samsung, which just teased something quite strange about its upcoming flagship smartphone, the Galaxy S5.

 

 

In a new video, the South Korean giant teases some strange words, such as "fit," "wet," "outdoor," and "alive". We know that the new flagship smartphone from Samsung will be more fitness-centric, just like the Galaxy S4 was, but it looks like we should expect it to be waterproof, too. Samsung also flashes the words "focus" and "selfie", which could see some nifty camera features on the Galaxy S5 when it arrives.

Continue reading 'Samsung teases its Galaxy S5 will be wet, fit and alive' (full post)

Catch fire when The Hunger Games sequel comes to Blu-ray next month

By: Ben Gourlay | More News: Celebrities & Entertainment | Posted: Feb 21, 2014 10:32 am

Roadshow Home Entertainment in Australia has set a March 19th release for the second film in the Jennifer Lawrence lead book adaptation of the The Hunger Games franchise; Catching Fire which will hit retail stores in three different versions.

 

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Standard retailers will carry a one disc Blu-ray edition which features a Director's audio commentary, featurettes and deleted scenes, and a DVD version with an audio commentary and deleted scenes only. Both versions will also come equipped with an UltraViolet digital copy code.

 

However, die-hard fans will likely be keener for the two disc Blu-ray edition being released exclusively to JB Hi-Fi which which will feature an additional disc of bonus features, including a full length, in-depth behind the scenes documentary over two hours in length, in addition to the extra features found on the standard release.

Continue reading 'Catch fire when The Hunger Games sequel comes to Blu-ray next month' (full post)

Netflix streaming quality suffers, damn you, House of Cards!

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: HT & Movies | Posted: Feb 21, 2014 10:17 am

Netflix streaming quality has gone downhill with multiple huge ISPs over the recent months, but why is this happening? It's because behind closed doors, there is a fight over who will pick up the bill for the traffic Netflix customers are causing ISPs.

 

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The Wall Street Journal is reporting from sources that "within the past four to six months, Netflix traffic through Cogent's connections to one major broadband provider has at least quadrupled" thanks to Netflix rolling out its new Super HD streaming service. This new high-def service has seen ISPs demand more money from the streaming outfit, money that will be used to help ISPs speed up their networks to meet the increased demand.

 

Netflix on the other hand, "wants broadband companies to hook up to its new video-distribution network without paying them fees for carrying its traffic". The situation will only get worse if things aren't fixed up, with House of Cards' second season launching last week, and Orange is the New Black's second season to reach us in just a few months time.

China Mobile adds 14 million subscribers in January, thanks to iPhone

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: Feb 21, 2014 9:26 am

China Mobile added a huge number of new high-speed data subscribers in January, with over 14 million new customers joining the world's largest wireless carrier. This is mostly thanks to the iPhone, which China Mobile started selling on January 17.

 

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The 14 million new high-speed data subscribers represents a 7.4% growth for the first month of 2014, with the competition - China Unicorn, seeing an additional 3.2% customers for the month. China Mobile was unable to offer the iPhone until late-2013, but it was locked to 3G on the network's TD-SCDMA technology. Now that it has unleashed its TD-LTE 4G network, things are looking up for the world's largest wireless carrier.

Google working on an app that would make using public Wi-Fi a breeze

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Apps | Posted: Feb 21, 2014 8:23 am

Don't you just hate it when you are out somewhere and you want to connect to a public Wi-Fi network, but you need the login details and all that? It can get annoying when you need your e-mail or Facebook fix.

 

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Well, it looks like the folks over at Google might have a fix for that, in the form of a new app that would "automatically authenticate and connect to its free hotspots inside Starbucks stores or wherever they are available". Google has started this already, moving itself into Starbucks franchises across the United States, replacing AT&T as the official Wi-Fi partner.

 

Still, logging into a Google hotspot still requires authentication. This new app that Google is working on, would retain your Google account information, logging you in automatically as soon as your phone is near the hotspot. We might not see the app released, ever, but it would be nice of Google to maybe bake this into the next release of Android.

Might be time for Microsoft to offer official Xbox One price cuts

By: Michael Hatamoto | More News: Gaming Consoles | Posted: Feb 21, 2014 7:36 am

The Microsoft Xbox One next-generation game console is getting hammered by the Sony PlayStation 4, and it's possible an official price cut could be coming soon. Both e-tailers and brick and mortar stores already are offering discounted prices or strong incentives to try and woo consumers to purchase the struggling Microsoft console.

 

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If customers purchase the Xbox One from WalMart, the large box retailer will throw in one free game with the transaction. Meanwhile, Target is now offering up a gift card worth the same amount as one free game title for customers looking to make other purchases.

 

It's a shame to see the Xbox One struggle so early, and it's going to take games such as Titanfall and other high-profile titles to help boost sales. Microsoft officials recently said it doesn't plan to launch cheaper models, or officially cut prices at the moment, though that obviously could change quickly.

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