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Samsung Galaxy S4 pre-orders open tomorrow at Sprint, and T-Mobile on April 24th

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Mobile Devices, Tablets & Phones | Posted: Apr 17, 2013 5:34 pm

Yesterday we saw AT&T begin taking pre-orders on Samsung's long anticipated Galaxy S4, and tomorrow Sprint will follow suit ahead of its April 27th release. T-Mobile also confirmed that it will begin taking pre-orders for the S4 on April 24th.



T-Mobile customers will be able to purchase the Galaxy S4 for an upfront cost of $149 with 24 monthly payments of $20 when tied to the company's new Simple Choice Plan, which starts at $50 a month. AT&T is offering the device for $199 with a new two year contract.




Sprint customers can pick up the device for $249.99 with a new two year contract, but will receive a $100 credit which brings the price more in-line with T-Mobile's price range. I am still stuck deciding between Samsung's Galaxy S4 and HTC's aluminum unibody One.

Continue reading 'Samsung Galaxy S4 pre-orders open tomorrow at Sprint, and T-Mobile on April 24th' (full post)

New micro lithium-ion battery technology could shrink your phone by 30%, and recharge in minutes

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Science, Space & Robotics | Posted: Apr 17, 2013 4:39 pm

Recent research at the University of Illinois has led to a breakthrough in lithium-ion battery technology. Researchers have developed a lithium-ion micro-battery that leaves all of its competition in the dust in both size and recharge rate.




A team headed up by professor William P. King has devised a new fast-charging cathode using 3D micro-structure, which resulted in an anode of similar design. When paired up, the result is a unit that is being touted as the most powerful battery in the world.


The new Li-ion micro-battery bucks current trends and avoids the usual tradeoff between longevity and power and has a footprint of just a couple of millimeters. This will ultimately lead to batteries for mobile devices that are 30 percent smaller, could broadcast radio signals 30 percent farther and could recharge in minutes compared to hours.

Intel CEO alludes to upcoming massive price drop on Windows 8 devices

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: Apr 17, 2013 4:02 pm

During Intel's first quarter earnings call, Intel CEO Paul Otellini said that Windows 8 touch devices including laptops will see a massive price drop in the coming months when the company releases its new quad-core Bay Trail chip. He said that new innovative designs will allow future touch devices to sink into the $200 price range.




"If you look at touch-enabled Intel-based notebooks that are ultra-thin using [Bay Trail] processors. Those prices are going to be down to as low as $200... Bay Trail is going to be a great product in that segment of the market and enable stunning performance relative to what the competition can bring."


Being billed as the most powerful Atom processor ever, Bay Trail is a complete redesign of the Atom micro architecture and is said to bring Atom chips closer to the performance levels of mainstream Intel processors.

Continue reading 'Intel CEO alludes to upcoming massive price drop on Windows 8 devices' (full post)

HP set to release Slate 7 in the UK on May 1st for just 129 pounds

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Mobile Devices, Tablets & Phones | Posted: Apr 17, 2013 3:28 pm

After several websites released rumors that HP's Slate 7 UK launch would be delayed until June, the company has just released an official UK launch date of May 1st. This date is in line with HP's original scheduled launch date which puts all rumors of delays to rest.




The Slate 7 features a 1024x600 display, 1GB of RAM, and is powered by a dual-core Arm Cortex A9 processor. Running Android 4.2 Jelly Bean, the Slate 7 will retail for 129 pounds, but after VAT, the cost will be much closer to 200 pounds.


There is still no word on when the US will see a Slate 7 launch, but with other more powerful 7-inch Android tablets at a better price point already being available, does it really matter?

The Pirate Bay founder Gottfrid Svartholm indicted on hacking charges

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Hacking & Security | Posted: Apr 17, 2013 2:48 pm

Gottfrid Svartholm, one of the co-founders of everyone's favorite torrent website The Pirate Bay, has been indicted on charges of hacking along with three others. Svartholm is said to be the mastermind behind a series of cyber intrusions into Nordea Bank and the Swedish federal tax agency.




In a statement, prosecutor Henrik Olin had the following to say:


"A large amount of data from companies and agencies was taken during the hack, including a large amount of personal data, such as personal identity numbers of people with protected identities."


These charges come completely independent of a recent sentence of one year in prison that was passed down to Svartholm after a series of shady happenings where Cambodian authorities managed to deport him back to Sweden. These new charges carry a much longer sentence than just one year.

Australia to get monster-sized Huawei Ascend Mate Android smartphone next week

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Mobile Devices, Tablets & Phones | Posted: Apr 17, 2013 2:29 pm

Next week Australia will see Huawei release a phone only rivaled in size by Samsung's Galaxy Note series of so-called phablets. The Ascend Mate is a 6.1-inch Android based smartphone that can only be described as a hand full of phone.




Featuring a 6.1-inch 720p IPS+ display, 1GB of RAM and 8GB of storage, the phone will be powered by Huawei's own quad-core 1.5GHz processor. A monstrous 4050mAh battery and an 8 megapixel camera round out the phone/tablet mutation. Huawei has skinned Android Jelly Bean 4.1 with a custom launcher dubbed "Emotion UI", which appears to make use of so called "Me Widget."




The standard Android app folder is ditched in favor of placing all your apps on the home screen similar to how Apple handles multiple apps. Australian consumers will be able to purchase the device next Monday for $429 AUD through Harvey Norman, which also includes a Boost starter pack, that runs on Telstra's phone network.

Western Digital unveils SmartWare Pro, automates your backups to Dropbox and external storage

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Storage | Posted: Apr 17, 2013 11:31 am

Western Digital has today made backups of your precious data even easier by unveiling their WD SmartWare Pro app. The backup app automatically backs up file changes to a local drive when it happens, and it can schedule backups to the drive and a Dropbox account.




You can be even more cautious, and backup the Dropbox account to the external HDD. The nifty backup app isn't limited to WD-branded drives, so any external storage will do. You'll spend $30 on a three-computer SmartWare Pro license, which isn't too bad for your data backup needs.

Apple employees looking to jump ship, many are sending resumes out to startups

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: Apr 17, 2013 10:32 am

According to a couple of venture capitalists, Apple's reputation is beginning to change and their employees aren't willing to stick around. One investor said: "More generally there is a growing level of dissatisfaction among Apple executives and employees, and a greater willingness to explore leaving".




Another VC told Business Insider that his firm has seen a big uptick in resumes coming in from current Apple employees. Business Insider's source spoke with some of these job-seekers, where they said that the startups are paying more, and that "Apple culture has started to change with the new leadership on top".


A month ago, top Apple reporter and analyst John Gruber of Daring Fireball said that retention has become "the single biggest problem that Apple faces, and almost nobody is talking about it". He added:


I think if there's going to be a problem coming up with big new things I think it's more likely a draining of really bright engineering and design talent at the rank and file level.

Continue reading 'Apple employees looking to jump ship, many are sending resumes out to startups' (full post)

Microsoft comes to an agreement with Hon Hai over Microsoft's patents for Android and Chrome devices

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: Apr 17, 2013 9:33 am

Microsoft holds patents that are hurting other companies making products based on Android and Chrome, but now Foxconn's parent company, Hon Hai, has licensed Microsoft's patents for Google's operating systems.




Hon Hai makes many Apple products, and between their many subsidiaries, they are responsible for the manufacturing of 40% of consumer electronic devices in the world. The deal they struck with Microsoft will see them enjoy the licenses of patents for phones, tablets and TVs and will see Microsoft receive royalty payments.

Intel's next-gen 9-series chipset will support Serial ATA Express natively

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Motherboards | Posted: Apr 17, 2013 9:31 am

We haven't even had our hands grace the next-gen CPU that is Haswell yet, but Intel are already talking about their chipset destined for 2014 - Intel's 9-series chipsets.




These chipsets will support Serial ATA Express, which is based on the PCI Express protocol and will pave the way for some seriously high-bandwidth storage devices. Intel's 9-series chipsets will include core-logic sets such as Z97 and H97, and will support SATA Express by default. There will also be an all-new Intel device protection technology with boot guard built into the chipset, enhancing the security against low-level malware attacks on the upcoming next-gen platform.






What can we expect from SATA Express on Intel's 9-series motherboards? Well, we should see a cost-effective means to deliver interface speeds between 8Gb/s and 16Gb/s compared to the 6Gb/s maximum that the SATA III specification allows now. The specification will define new device and motherboard connects that will support both the current SATA devices, and the new SATA Express devices.

Continue reading 'Intel's next-gen 9-series chipset will support Serial ATA Express natively' (full post)