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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.

LG sees slump in sales of its G2 smartphone, blames the Nexus 5

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: Dec 28, 2013 1:32 pm

LG's superstar G2 smartphone may be the current speed king, but it hasn't sold well for the South Korean company. According to DigiTimes' sources, it is because of the Nexus 5 that the G2 didn't sell too well.

 

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LG manufactured the Nexus 5 for Google, which seems to have cannibalized its G2 sales, with DigiTimes' sources stating: "The release of the G2 was too close to the launch of the Nexus 5, which affected sales momentum of LG's own flagship model." The South Korean giant had expected to sell 10 million of its G2 smartphones, but only managed to sell just over two million units for the year.

 

I actually pointed this out in my review of the G2, where I said: "The Nexus 5 is one of the best specced devices on the market, at an absolute competitor-crushing price of just $349, and this in turn creates a huge problem for LG. Which phone do you buy? The utterly ridiculously priced Nexus 5? Or the G2, which is double the price?"

Steam Holiday Sales for today include Assassin's Creed: Black Flag

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Gaming | Posted: Dec 28, 2013 6:28 am

Today's specials in the Steam Holiday Sales include some big titles, such as Hitman: Absolution for 80% off, dropping its original $24.99 price to just $4.99, and Resident Evil 6 has 70% off, dropping it from $39.99 to $11.99.

 

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You can grab Portal 2 for just $4.99, which is down from $19.99 or 75% off. Some large games are discounted, with Assassin's Creed: Black Flag having 25% off, dropping its $69.95 price to $52.46 and Call of Duty: Black Ops II down 50%, from $89.99 to $44.99.

Users more worried about identity theft than privacy

By: Michael Hatamoto | More News: Privacy & Rights | Posted: Dec 28, 2013 5:35 am

Despite fallout from former IT specialist Edward Snowden, it appears more U.S. voters are interested in security over privacy-related issues. Seventy-five percent of users are worried about personal information theft over 54 percent of those users worried about browsing history being tracked.

 

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"By wide margins this survey clearly shows that ID theft has touched the majority of consumers in some way, and that hacking is more worrisome to consumers than tracking, and that voters want the government to more aggressively go after cyber criminals," said Ed Black, CCIA President and CEO, in a statement. "Safeguarding users online must become a higher priority for companies and also for the regulators and policymakers charged with protecting consumers."

 

Even though security is more thought about by U.S. citizens, privacy concerns have caused a major backlash against the National Security Agency (NSA), other US federal branches, and a handful of major corporations.

Vdio closes down after just eight months of service

By: Michael Hatamoto | More News: Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: Dec 28, 2013 4:35 am

The Vdio streaming service was largely aimed towards Rdio subscribers interested in select TV shows and movies, which were available for rental or purchase.

 

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The beta video service was promoted in the United States and United Kingdom, but couldn't gain traction on rival products. From the Vdio website: "Despite our efforts, we were not able to deliver the differentiated customer experience we had hoped for. We want to thank all customers who have tried our service, and we have given gift cards to all those who have purchased content or have unused rental content."

 

The product first launched for Rdio subscribers, and opened up to the general public in June. There was nothing truly remarkable about the service, as it had a small amount of content and could only be shown via Web browsers or on the Apple iPad. It never posed a threat to Netflix, Amazon, or more established and diverse competitors.

Watch Dogs' engine was originally built for a racing title

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Gaming | Posted: Dec 28, 2013 3:34 am

If you've seen any of the previous videos of Watch Dogs, you'll know it's one gorgeous looking game - but did you know the engine behind it was originally made for a driving game?

 

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Ubisoft North America President, Laurent Detoc, talked with IGN, where he said: "They were working on a driving engine, working on something. We had the Driver license. This was years ago. Then we were thinking, 'no, this is not the way we want to go with a driving game,' so we canceled that and restarted. It's not like Watch Dogs started as Watch Dogs. The Watch Dogs project was initially another game."

 

Detoc also said that parts of the engine for the previous title, were then spun into Watch Dogs once the team reshuffled and added a new creative director to the project. The developer then began working on another driving game, so that project was cancelled. Detoc added: "What happens is that a game gets canceled, and then you take pieces of that game to make a new one. We could have had another driving engine from another team in another place, and then it would have been used by the Watch Dogs team."

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