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LG unveils Optimus Vu, LG's smartphone/tablet mashup

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Mobile Devices, Tablets & Phones | Posted: Feb 20, 2012 10:23 am

Samsung have been-there-done-that with the Galaxy Note, but now it's LG's turn to try and capture the hearts, minds, souls and most importantly, wallets of the U.S. market, and across the world.




Previous leaks have pegged the device as having a 5-inch screen, which is correct. On top of this, now wait for it, it has a weird aspect ratio, which is 4:3. Yes, 4:3. It sports a 1024x768-pixel screen, with a color-rich IPS display which is said to improve text reading, LG claim.


The design shares similarities with Samsung's aforementioned Galaxy Note, but this Optimus Vu slides in at just 8.5mm (0.33-inch) thick. Inside, we'll have a 1.5GHz dual-core processor, an 8-megapixel rear-facing camera backed up by a 1.3-megapixel front-facer, Android 2.3 skinned LG-style, which brings it closer to the Optimus LTE.


All versions will feature 32GB of built-in storage, as well as a 2,080mAh battery. DLNA media sharing, HDMI video, and Wi-Fi Direct will all be there, but only South Korea will get T-DMB over-the-air TV tuning.


LG were quick to the mark announcing Optimus Vu will begin shipping to Korea by early-March, with no details on it hopping the pond, yet.

Microsoft reveals new logo for Windows 8

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: Feb 20, 2012 9:21 am

The Windows Team Blog, and more specifically, Principal Director of User Experience for Windows, Sam Moreau, have unveiled the new redesigned logo for Windows 8. Before we get into it, check it out below:


First impressions? Personally? I love it. It looks much more professional and "now", and would look great on a new Windows 8-based device (such as the tablets, or Ultrabooks ready to hit this year). Microsoft put the call out to a few agencies to work with them on the project of redesigning their logo and ended up with Pentagram.




Pentagram were called into the conference room over at the Microsoft campus, where a meeting with Paula Scher, Michael Beirut and Daniel Weil of Pentagram attended, as well as a few designers and marketing leaders from Windows and across Microsoft. The team of people spent an entire day sharing some of the Metro style design philosophy; the Windows brand history and values as well as graphic design and technology industry trends.

Continue reading 'Microsoft reveals new logo for Windows 8' (full post)

Samsung spins off display business, calls it Samsung Display, will begin rolling screens out on April 1

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: HT & Movies | Posted: Feb 20, 2012 8:26 am

In an interesting move, Samsung have just confirmed rumors that were floating through the industry over the past few days or so that they were going to be spinning out their core LCD business. This is now true and the new group will be renamed to Samsung Display, and given $667.3 million worth of working capital to begin, as long as it passes approval on April 1.




The decision comes after Samsung have had trouble with their traditional computer monitor and TV division, but on the flip side, have enjoyed great success with their OLED-based panels. The OLED-based panels are successful in great products such as the company's Galaxy Note, and new OLED TV lineup set to debut this year. You know, the one that I want 3 of.


Apple are set to feel this move, as they rely on Samsung for display manufacturing work. We won't know the full effects of this until it begins to roll through the industry. One thing Samsung have confirmed with this news is that the OLED division is staying with Samsung, and not moving over to the newly-formed Samsung Display.

Qualcomm shows off Snapdragon S4's camera

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Mobile Devices, Tablets & Phones | Posted: Feb 20, 2012 7:21 am

Mobile World Congress 2012 is just over a week away, and Qualcomm are out of the gate with a tease of their Snapdragon S4 SoC which is the world's first mobile processor built on the 28nm process, as well as the first to integrate 4G LTE which is made possible as Qualcomm's chips are custom-designed from the ground up using an ARM instruction set.



Some details on the smaller things found in the S4 have now been revealed by the company, such as the S4's camera, more specifically, the Image Signal Processor (ISP). The ISP sports advanced features that will allow any smartphone or tablet powered by Qualcomm's Snapdragon S4 to double as a high-end digital camera.


With the S4 chip, any device can shoot up to 20-megapixel stills, or 1080p @ 30fps video capture. Up to three cameras could be placed on the device, with the third capable of taking 3D shots. The S4's ISP also includes Qualcomm's proprietary 3A camera technology (Autofocus, Auto Exposure and Auto White Balance), which enables practical camera applications such as blink detection, smile degree, and gaze estimation.




Gesture control is popular these days, with popular tech like Xbox Kinect boasting gesture-based controls. S4 can take advantage of this, too. By gesturing toward the device, waving your hand, moving your body or nodding your head, you can control a game or app from an S4-powered device.

Intel's Ivy Bridge Core i5 3570K Engineering Sample goes through some testing, impressive results

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: CPU, APU & Chipsets | Posted: Feb 20, 2012 6:23 am

Intel Engineering Samples, back in my Celeron 300A days, those things were the thing to have. You were pretty hectic to own one of those bad boys and these days, with the likes of eBay's and mainstream (and more accepted) overclocking, it's not as cool, but it still gets my nerd juices flowing.




The latest ES sample comes in the form of Intel's Ivy Bridge-based Core i5-3570K. Henry posted two CPU pictures on the Expreview forums, where we can see the Core i5-3570K is pretty similar to the Core i5-2500K, but it's process has been shrunk to 22nm, clock speeds are up and TDP is down. We have clock speeds of 3.4GHz, and just a 77W TDP.


The IGP featured on the Core i5-3570K is Intel HD Graphics 4000, which is stamped into the K-series of processors, as well as some Ivy Bridge processors. HD Graphics reportedly sports 16 EUs, whereas the current HD Graphics 3000-series has 12 EUs.


Expreview's article on it goes into some incredible detail with some benchmarks with the 4000-series vs. the 3000-series, but an overall test featuring 3DMark Vantage, Left 4 Dead 2, Street Fighter IV, Starcraft 2, DiRT 3 and Far Cry 2 see the 4000-series come out on top to the tune of 67.25-percent faster. This is not bad, not bad at all, considering it's integrated graphics.

Call of Duty Vita confirmed, PlayStation Vita could change things up

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Gaming | Posted: Feb 20, 2012 5:29 am

According to Sony's Senior Vice President of PlayStation Brand Marketing, Guy Longworth, we should expect a Call of Duty title for the PlayStation Vita. Longworth didn't go into much detail regarding the game, saying only "we're still working on it".




Activision haven't confirmed whether the game will be a sequel within the COD franchise, a brand new experience, or even the development team behind it. We should expect the usual late-October to mid-November release schedule, as with the previous Call of Duty games since they began launching in 2003.


Just an hour ago we talked about Call of Duty: Black Ops 2, and now we have a Vita-exclusive title? Could Call of Duty be making a comeback? Entire new engine built from the ground-up? Or am I just day dreaming here?

Next Call of Duty to be Black Ops 2, more evidence surfaces

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Gaming | Posted: Feb 20, 2012 4:21 am

The Internet has done it once again and has pieced together a puzzle of sorts. It's all in relation to a man called Hugo Beyer, who has worked on some big games over the years, including Beatles Rock Band, Anno 1404 and the unreleased Doom 4, and Aliens: Colonial Marines at a variety of game studios such as Terminal Reality, and Liquid Development.




According to his LinkedIn page he's working at Nerve Software, as an Artist, and has listed as his projects "Call of Duty: Black Ops 2" as well as "TBA project". Nerve has previously completed contract work for Activision, including the Treyarch-developed James Bond title, Quantum of Solace, as well as the original Call of Duty: Black Ops.


This information is much more concrete and what helps the situation is Beyer has since taken down his LinkedIn page, where the information was found. Both Activision and Nerve Software have yet to respond to this news.

Battlefield 3 gets some more gameplay balancing soon

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Gaming | Posted: Feb 20, 2012 3:21 am

Alan Kertz, Core Gameplay Designer at DICE, has let the world know that the Battlefield 3 team has been working on some gameplay tweaks. It was then talked about by the Symthic forum, where the data was combed through.




The new tweaks might not all make it in, but you can bet your bottom dollar at least some of them will. Once the members of Symthic unleashed their view of the data, Alan Kertz then confirmed this via Twitter, where he said:


yes symthic has authentic update info, your feedback on these preliminary changes will be hugely valuable for a future update.


Check out the gameplay balances here.

RumorTT: Amazon working on Kindle Fire 2, set to light the tablet market on fire in Q2

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Mobile Devices, Tablets & Phones | Posted: Feb 20, 2012 2:20 am

It is currently being rumored that Amazon will launch the next-generation Kindle Fire 2, which should be another 10-inch tablet. It's being reported from supply chains are shipping sample parts next month, with mass production to start in May or June.




If this is true, we could expect a launch shortly after, and it would be good timing considering the iPad 3 should be here by then. In a bid to reduce manufacturing costs, Amazon are said to be hand-selecting and approving components for the Kindle Fire 2.


For the first Kindle Fire, it was said that Quanta did this decision making, but now it seems Amazon will make these decisions, which leads most to believe Amazon could want to select better pricing through negotiation, supplier price fixing, or finding equally-made components, but at a better pricing. They could also use their selling history of the original, and successful, Kindle Fire to help negotiate said deals.

Optus acquires Vivid Wireless, is now set to unleash 4G network

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Networking | Posted: Feb 20, 2012 1:44 am

Optus have just announced they've acquired Vivid Wireless for a tidy little sum of $230 million, with full intent on using Vivid's existing spectrum to boost its 4G network using LTE-TDD. The full announcement is below:




Optus today announced that it has entered into a conditional agreement to acquire Vividwireless Group Limited (which operates under the vividwireless and unwired brands) from Seven Group Holdings (SGH), for an expected cash consideration of A$230 million.


- Through the acquisition, Optus will also gain access to up to 98MHz of spectrum in the 2.3GHz band, a band already used by some of the world's leading operators to provide 4G services.


- Optus plans to use this spectrum to build a new 4G network using LTE-TDD technology.


- This new network will deliver wireless broadband to households and businesses in metropolitan Australia with typical download speeds ranging from 25Mbps to 87Mbps - twice as fast as existing competitive 4G services. It will be integrated with Optus' 1800MHz 4G network, which will be launched in Newcastle and the Hunter region of New South Wales in April 2012.


So, Optus, you'll be delivering 4G services "twice as fast as existing competitive 4G services", such as those with Telstra? We'll see just how fast your 4G download speeds are when you deliver it. I could almost put money on it not beating Telstra. But, here we have it, folks. 4G is coming from Optus.

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