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.
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.
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.
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.
We know the PC industry is in a state of pain, but it looks like the largest chipmaker is hurting, too. Intel have just posted their latest earnings report, revealing that their quarterly profits for Q1 2013 are down 25% year-over-year.
For Q1 2013, Intel made $2.045 billion in profits, down from $2.738 billion last year. Intel CEO, Paul Otellini, said in a statement:
Amidst market softness, Intel performed well in the first quarter and I'm excited about what lies ahead for the company. We shipped our next-generation PC microprocessors, introduced a new family of products for micro-servers, and will ship our new tablet and smartphone microprocessors this quarter.
Facebook may have over one billion users, but how could they make more money from these users? The social network is reportedly set to roll out their own video-based advertising service, reports Ad Age.
A video ad on Facebook won't be cheap, where it might cost one million dollars for a 15-second spot. Quite an astronomical amount, but considering the amount of people you'd reach, it could just be worth it. Facebook are currently experimenting with four advertising slots, which could see the social network make around four million dollars in revenue, per day.
Facebook will do it well though, where they won't make you see the same video ads more than once per day, while simultaneously limiting the total delivery of ads to three per user, per day. How would these ads display to you? They could pop up as the 15-second ads, playing automatically and taking up a portion of your screen.
Beijing-based firm open position for a 'chief porn identification officer', offering $32k a year for the position
A Beijing-based third-party Internet security company called Anquan, are looking for a "chief porn identification officer", a position they posted on their Weibo account.
The company was started in 2010, with the goal to "combat bad information on the internet" and promote greater control of porn on the web. Anquan have big partners in Baidu and Tencent, as well as government agencies that regulate the Internet in China. Here's a translated version of the job post:
Job Location: Beijing
Android looks like its the OS of choice for malware developers, with mobile security vendor NQ finding that Android devices infected with malware grew exponentially last year alone.
NQ found that Android devices with malware infections grew from 10.8 million in 2011 to 32.8 million, meaning a triple of infections year-over-year. They also found that nearly 95% of malware detected in 2012 was designed specifically for Google's mobile OS, which means that Android is the main target for cybercriminals.
Most Android malware infections happen in China, India and Russia - so while this might seem like some frightening numbers at first, InfoWorld's Brian Katz does make us feel all a little better. Katz also writes that most mobile malware can be avoided if Android users "download apps only from known sources", such as the Google Play Store. My advice? Don't click ads, don't open suspicious links, don't join random or weird Facebook groups that want all of your info.
Google have finally unveiled the full specifications of their Glass tech, which is actually a bit better than what I thought we'd receive in the final consumer units.
We have the display first, which is a high-resolution display being the equivalent to a 25-inch high-definition screen eight feet away from your eyes. Camera-wise, we have a 5-megapixel camera for photos and 720p capture for video, there's some adjustable nosepads with a durable frame that fits any face. There's also two extra nosepads included.
We have a Bond Conduction Transducer for audio, Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g and Bluetooth for connectivity, 12GB of usable memory synced with Google cloud storage, 16GB of flash memory total. Battery life should be good, with Google quoting "one full day of typical use", which includes Hangouts and video recording which are more battery intensive.
Ouya developer James Coote ran the new 3DMark for Android benchmark on his Ouya game console, the video of which you can see embedded below. Interestingly enough, the Ouya is easily bested by current generation smartphones and even some previous generation smartphones.
In fact, the Ouya console is ranked 73 among all Android devices in Futuremark's database for the 3DMark Ice Storm benchmark. This doesn't exactly make me believe the Ouya will play host to graphically exciting games. The Samsung Galaxy S4 manages over double the score of the Ouya console.
This weak performance is likely the best the Ouya designers could manage while still staying within a $99 sticker price.