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Google wants to replicate the success of the Nexus 7 tablet, but in smartphone form

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Mobile Devices, Tablets & Phones | Posted: Oct 5, 2012 11:29 am

The cheap $199 Nexus 7 tablet from ASUS and Google was a huge success - I rated it very well and still use it as my everyday tablet. But it looks like Google wants to hit the homerun again, but with a smartphone this time.

 

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Sources have told DigiTimes that Google are working with manufacturers "to launch smartphones based on its Nexus 7 platform". DigiTimes reports that Google are letting OEMs have more free rein on design and hardware specifications as long as they "are based on its latest native Android system".

 

I really hope we see this happen, and I have no doubt that we will. I expect a launch in early-2013 of the next iteration of Android, which should be Android 4.2 Key Lime Pie, on a Nexus handset. Bring it on.

Sony halts Xperia tablet sales, water resistance defect has been found

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Mobile Devices, Tablets & Phones | Posted: Oct 5, 2012 10:23 am

Sony have had to remove their Xperia Tablet S from sale, after the Japanese company found a waterproofing defect in their tablet. The problem refers to the water resistant properties of the tablet, which hit Japanese shelves on September 15.

 

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The company are offering inspections and repairs all free of charge of course, with some of the affected slates making their way overseas, you need not worry - Sony will replace those, too.

 

This isn't good news for Sony, as they're really struggling in the smart device market, as well as having various issues with pretty much every other market they have products in. This lead to the company announcing back in April that they would be culling 10,000 employees.

 

Have you got an Xperia Tablet S? If so, how does this news affect you? Will you want it replaced, or are you the kind of person who wouldn't worry too much about water resistance?

Facebook VP of Communications exits the social network

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: Oct 5, 2012 9:32 am

Facebook have lost a big one today, with their Vice President of Global Communications, Joe Lockhart, set to depart the social networking site. His departure is sudden, as he only joined the social network 15 months ago, in July 2011.

 

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Lockhart is most famously known for his work within the White House, where he was the Communications Secretary for President Bill Clinton, during the last half of his second term as President.

 

Lockhart's departure from Facebook stems from the soon to be ex-VP of Comms not wanting to move to California full-time, and stay on the east coast, where he has continued to live while working with the social network.

 

The departure of Lockhart couldn't come at a worse time, with their issues post-IPO, and they've only just announced their one billion monthly active user mark, too.

Ustream gets updated for 7-inch tablets, includes better streaming abilities

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Apps | Posted: Oct 5, 2012 8:33 am

Ustream has been updated for Android, where the new version of the app (v2.0.3) now includes better support for 7-inch tablets, such as the ASUS Nexus 7.

 

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On top of the support for more 7-inch tablets, it also includes a bunch of streaming improvements as well as the usual bug fixes and other miscellaneous improvements.

 

You can grab the new Ustream app directly from the Google Play store. I'm about to download it on my Nexus 7 and check it out.

Researchers design algorithms that could see lithium-ion batteries charge twice as quick as they do now

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Science, Space & Robotics | Posted: Oct 5, 2012 7:30 am

I'll take this technology yesterday, thanks - researchers out of the University of California San Diego are working on new algorithms that would see a reduction of 50% in charging times for lithium-ion-based batteries.

 

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Not only that, but we would be seeing cells run more efficiently, and could also slice production costs by 25%. Instead of tracking battery behavior and health with traditional methods of monitoring current and voltage, the team's mathematical estimate where lithium ions are within cells for more precise data.

 

With this new info in hand, the team were able to more precisely gauge battery longevity and control charging efficiency. The team were awarded $460,000 from the Department of Energy's ARPA-E research arm, where they'll use the new injection of cash to help develop the technology, as well as technology with automotive firm Bosch and battery manufacturer Cobasys, who both received the remainder of the $9.6 million grant.

NVIDIA's Green Light program - are we seeing the beginning of the end of overclocking GPUs?

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Video Cards | Posted: Oct 5, 2012 6:33 am

NVIDIA have pushed forward something called the Green Light program, which is a certification process that is designed to ensure that GPUs meet specific requirements, reports the Bright Side of News.

 

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The Green Light program requires vendors to send in their board designs to NVIDIA, where they wait for their approval from the GPU maker. NVIDIA will check that the design meets their noise, power, voltage and heat numbers - and if it meets them, the card is approved. If not, it is declined and they'll have to resubmit.

 

What happens if a partner doesn't submit their card for approval? Well, they can have their GPU warranty and BIOS support removed, or worse - they could have their allocation of GPUs from NVIDIA cut down, or stopped completely.

Continue reading 'NVIDIA's Green Light program - are we seeing the beginning of the end of overclocking GPUs?' (full post)

SimCity receives a 10-minute gameplay footage video

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

Don't get me started on how much time I wasted during my school years on SimCity. I remember we were one of the first schools in my state to receive a suite of computers, back in the day of the Pentium and CRTs, and mice with balls in them.

 

 

I played SimCity on those systems so much, and made my parents get SimCity 2000 which I played for countless hours - but there's a new, PC-exlcusive SimCity coming and boy does it look great. The video above is a 10-minute gameplay unveiling, where we can get the basic idea of how the game has changed, and just how much scope there is built in.

 

From building residential areas, to dumps, to casinos - SimCity has it all. It looks like a huge time-consuming city-building game, and I think it's going to appeal to a lot of people. SimCity will hit Windows and the Mac in February 2013.

Continue reading 'SimCity receives a 10-minute gameplay footage video' (full post)

Mozilla unleashes Firefox for Windows 8 preview

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Internet Browsers | Posted: Oct 5, 2012 4:30 am

With Windows 8 knocking at our door, Mozilla have unleashed a preview of Firefox for Windows 8, as you can see from the photo below, it is not looking too bad at all.

 

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This version is from the latest nightly build of Firefox for Windows 8, and is available for download right now if you'd like to try it out. This preview of Firefox for Windows 8 includes "a new Metro style Firefox Start page, support for Firefox Sync, Metro touch and swipe gestures, integration with Windows 8 'charms', and a simple but powerful Australis interface that is streamlined, modern, and beautiful."

 

Mozilla has touted this nightly version to be part of their "Elm" development branch, and will be auto-updated as their development of the browser goes on. We should see the usual improvements to the browser as time passes, but for now the preview is all we have.

Latest version of Google's Chrome browser enjoys over 85% adoption rate in one week

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Internet Browsers | Posted: Oct 5, 2012 3:36 am

Google's Chrome browser is popular, but just how popular are new versions? Well, according to Chitika Insights, Chrome 22 enjoyed usage of 22% within 24 hours of its release.

 

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To compare this to Chrome 21, which enjoyed 25% on its release. But, more users have been shifting over to Chrome 22, where within its first week since launch hit an 85% adoption rate. Chrome 21 took ten days to reach the same milestone.

 

It seems that more and more people are keeping up with the bleeding edge of Google's web browser, partly because it has become much easier to keep up to date, and not wiping your settings or messing around with bookmarks again makes it easier for the mainstream user to transition, without worrying about losing a bunch of important data.

Microsoft to update nearly all of their built-in Windows 8 apps

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Operating Systems | Posted: Oct 5, 2012 2:31 am

Windows 8 will be here in just over three weeks time, but the Redmond-based company have announced that they're updating most of the built-in Metro-style apps that come with Windows 8.

 

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This will include SkyDrive, Mail, Calendar, People, Photos, Bing, Maps, News, Weather, Travel, Video, Music, Games, and Finance. Bing's update will arrive tomorrow and will include better search results for local content, it will also include Bing rewards integration and the feature to use the file picker to "select an image from Bing to use on your lock screen or in your other apps".

 

The SkyDrive update will let users search within SkyDrive itself, with the ability to rename and move files and folders. The Mail update will receive improved IMAP support, as well as the ability to accept or decline invitations in e-mails.

 

You can get a complete idea of the Windows 8 apps updates here.

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