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TweakTown News Posts - Page 2299

Corning's Gorilla Glass president James Clappin says flexible phones at least three years away

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Mobile Devices, Tablets & Phones | Posted: Mar 1, 2013 7:30 pm

Corning, the company behind the uber scratch-resistant Gorilla Glass used in many smartphones, has said that it does not think that any smartphone manufacturers will be able to make use of flexible glass any time soon.




Corning knows a thing or two about flexible glass as it has been hard at work on a project called Willow, which is in fact a flexible glass that can be rolled up like a newspaper. While the technology exists, and we have seen prototypes, the glass giant thinks that most smartphone manufactures are just not ready to take full advantage of the technology at this stage.


"People are not accustomed to glass you roll up," said Corning president James Clappin, after an event marking the opening an $800 million factory for liquid-crystal-display glass. "The ability of people to take it and use it to make a product is limited." That does not mean that we will not see Willow make an appearance for three years, Corning expects to see it in things like solar panels soon.

Google CFO says current Motorola phones lack the 'WOW' factor of other Android phones

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Mobile Devices, Tablets & Phones | Posted: Mar 1, 2013 6:24 pm

Patrick Pichette, Google's CFO and Senior VP, has admitted that Motorola's current Android smartphone offerings are less than stellar and lack the "wow" factor of competing brands.




In an interview at the Morgan Stanley Technology Conference in New York City, Pichette said that when Google purchased Motorola's mobility division, it inherited an 18-month supply pipeline that it has been unable to alter. He said that consumers are still over five months away from seeing a truly Google inspired smartphone released from Motorola.


Rumors are circling that the first "Googlerola" phone we'll see will be dubbed the Motorola X Phone and will most likely include "game-changing" features that up the bar for all of the competition. As a two-generation Motorola Android phone owner, I really hope they come up with something mind blowing.

BlackBerry Z10 gets its first update - fixes battery life, low light photography and performance for 3rd party apps

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Mobile Devices, Tablets & Phones | Posted: Mar 1, 2013 5:17 pm

Software and firmware updates are something we all have grown accustomed to over the last decade. Now BlackBerry Z10 owners are getting to experience their first updates on the new BlackBerry 10 mobile operating system.




Update version was released this morning and pushed out as an over-the-air (OTA) update. The update fixes issues with battery life, and features 60+ optimizations that help extend the battery even further. Developers will also see better performance from their apps as the update includes some tweaks to make everything run better.


Finally, the team at BlackBerry has made some significant improvements on how well the image sensor processes low light photos. The photos are brighter, more vibrant and sharper than previously seen. The update is roughly 150MB and is available on some carriers now, with a worldwide roll out taking place over the next few weeks.

Google+ increases accessibility by adding new sign language app to hangouts

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Social Networking | Posted: Mar 1, 2013 4:22 pm

Google released two new accessibility features this week to its social network Google+ as part of its ongoing effort to allow disabled users more usability of its Hang Out feature.




The new Sign Language Interpreter app allows deaf or hard of hearing users to include their own interpreter inside a hangout. The interpreter's image will be shown in the top right corner of a Hangout window, and will automatically become the main image in the hangout whenever he or she speaks for a deaf user.


Also released is an updated set of keyboard shortcuts for better accessibility for those who might not be able to use the mouse during a hangout. Disabled users can mute their microphones by typing the Ctrl+D command on PC or Command+D on a Mac. To begin a chat, they can type Ctrl+B on PC or Command+B for Mac. A full list of shortcuts is accessible by typing "?" during a hangout in the chat window.

RumorTT: Next-gen Sony Xperia smartphone could be coming this summer, maybe running Firefox OS

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Mobile Devices, Tablets & Phones | Posted: Mar 1, 2013 3:19 pm

Things move fast in the world of flagship smartphones. How fast you say? Well if a recent leak is any indication, pretty fast. Tech Radar is reporting on some leaked specifications of a next-gen Sony Xperia handset that could release as early as this summer.




With Sony's Xperia Z not even two months old, it appears that a new Xperia is nearing launch. Code named C670X (the Xperia Z was C660X), the new phone packs quite a punch and would actually out perform the Xperia Z.


The leak says that the new device will sport a full HD 4.8-inch display, 1.8GHz quad core processor, 2GB of RAM and 32GB of storage. The camera is said to be in the 13MP class and will most likely consist of sub 1.5 micron pixels. No word on the OS at the moment but if recent events are any indication, it could be running FireFox OS.

Continue reading 'RumorTT: Next-gen Sony Xperia smartphone could be coming this summer, maybe running Firefox OS' (full post)

New Zealand High Court reverses decision to let Dotcom's legal team see full evidence against him

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: Mar 1, 2013 2:31 pm

In what can only be described as a weird turn of events, the New Zealand High Court has overturned a previous ruling that granted Kim Dotcom's legal team full access to all the evidence against their client before his extradition hearing later this year.




The initial ruling came from Judge David Harvey, who had to step down earlier this year, after making impartial comments relating to the case. This lead to the prosecution filing an appeal which was granted this morning. The new ruling was that since this was an extradition trial, and not a criminal trial, it did not merit the same considerations with regards to evidence.


Dotcom's team plans on taking its case to the New Zealand Supreme Court in an effort to settle this matter once and for all. The team is seeking to see all the evidence in the case in order to judge if any illegal measures were taken by the US and New Zealand governments in Dotcom's arrest. The team says that illegal warrants as well as illegal surveillance was carried out for months beforehand.

AMD looking to get back into the game with Temash APU mobile chips, and Turbo Dock tech

By: Cameron Wilmot | More News: Mobile Devices, Tablets & Phones | Posted: Mar 1, 2013 2:06 pm

MWC 2013 - MWC 2013 is finished for another year, but we aren't quite done with our coverage just yet.



Johannes Knapp, our correspondent at the show, visited the AMD booth and met with Chris from AMD, who showed off four different AMD Temash APU-based systems on video for us.


There was a mix of quad-core and dual-core Temash based systems. One of the quad-core designed systems from Wistron was running a game called Torchlight II at 1080p with smooth performance. Right next to this system AMD had an Intel based device on display showing "what the other guys" can do. AMD claims with the power of Radeon graphics inside, it can obviously do better.


What was quite interesting from the video was AMD Turbo Dock. The idea is for hybrid devices when they can be a tablet or dock into a base unit. The base unit includes cooling which pushes air up and inside the tablet. This enables AMD to automatically overclock the CPU and GPU when the device is connected to the dock.

Continue reading 'AMD looking to get back into the game with Temash APU mobile chips, and Turbo Dock tech' (full post)

SpaceTT: Watch SpaceX launch next rocket to ISS live at 9:30am US Eastern time (this morning)

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Science, Space & Robotics | Posted: Mar 1, 2013 1:31 pm

It's that time again folks - Science Friday is here, and today's post is coming a little early thanks to SpaceX. At 10:10am EST, Elon Musk's successful space flight company will be launching its next Falcon 9 rocket and Dragon capsule on its way to the International Space Station and we can all watch it live!




Beginning at 9:30am EST, SpaceX will begin streaming live from the launch pad located at NASA's Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. The Dragon capsule is scheduled to dock with the ISS on March 2nd and is filled with about 1,200 pounds of supplies including materials for about 160 new experiments.


When it returns to Earth three weeks later, on March 25th, it will be carrying about 2,300 pounds of spent cargo, trash and completed experiments. If everything goes as planned, this will be SpaceX's third successful trip to the ISS. For the true space geeks out there, each Falcon 9 rocket weighs 735,000 pounds, generates a thrust of 1,320,000 foot-pounds and cost roughly $133 million each mission.

ReportTT: FCC will be investigating cell phone unlocking ban

By: Trace Hagan | More News: Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: Mar 1, 2013 6:02 am

Earlier this year, the Library of Congress made it illegal to unlock cell phones. Previously, this had been specifically exempted from Digital Millennium Copyright Act, much like the specific exemption for jailbreaking smartphones. Interestingly enough, it was decided that jailbreaking tablets is illegal.




According to TechCrunch, who spoke to FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski, the FCC will be investigating the matter of smartphone unlocking because the "ban raises competition concerns; it raises innovation concerns." He added, "It's something that we will look at it at the FCC to see if we can and should enable consumers to use unlocked phones."


Obviously, most consumers believe that they should be able to unlock their devices, though the carriers have their own arguments about why unlocking should be illegal. They subsidize the purchase of the phone so that it is cheaper to start with, but they earn back the money over the life of the contract. This is also the reason they have early termination fees.


What do you think about the legality of unlocking phones?

Microsoft makes Surface RT and Surface Pro available in Japan, UK, others

By: Trace Hagan | More News: Mobile Devices, Tablets & Phones | Posted: Mar 1, 2013 5:02 am

The Microsoft Surface Pro and Surface RT will be available in more countries. Microsoft has expanded the list of countries in which the Surface Pro and RT are available, confirming earlier leaks that this would be happening. Microsoft has confirmed that they are committed to meeting demand in the current markets.




The following new markets are being added for the Surface Pro: Australia, China, France, Germany, Hong Kong, New Zealand and the United Kingdom. The following new markets are being added for the Surface RT: Japan, Mexico, New Zealand, Russia, Singapore and Taiwan.