Sunday, February 28, 2010

Microsoft Employee Shows Off Prototype Windows Phone 7 Series Smartphone From LG [Windowsphone7]

Aaron Woodman, the director of consumer experiences for Microsoft's mobile division, was a guest on today's Engadget Show, and he had a nice surprise for everyone: a prototype of LG's Windows Phone 7 Series phone.

There's not a whole lot in the way of details—it's a slider that's a bit thicker than the iPhone, it has a 5MP camera, and sports six hardware buttons—but it's still exciting to see the new operating system on a branded device for the first time.

Woodman wouldn't confirm nor deny if Windows Phone 7 Series would support Mac OS, only mentioning that it was a topic the team was currently discussing. Hey, at least the notion hasn't been shut down out of hand, so we'll take this as a no news is good news type of thing for now.

Head over to Engadget for more pictures and a quick video clip of the LG phone in the round.
[Gizmodo via Engadget]

The Blade That Would Make Helicopters Almost Silent [Helicopters]

Helicopters make a lot of noise because of a physical phenomenon called blade-vortex interaction. Eurocopter engineers have developed a new kind of rotor blade that attenuates this problem. It's called Blue Edge, and—as you can hear—it works beautifully:

The new blade shape is combined with another technology called Blue Pulse, which adds three flaps to the edge of the rotor blades. These flaps move up and down at 15 to 40 times per second, using piezoelectric motors that also help to reduce the blade-vortex interaction.
[Gizmodo via Autopia]

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Billionaire's secret rocket project details revealed [Spacecrafts]

Billionaire's secret rocket project details revealed
Amazon's multi-billionaire founder Jeff Bezos is the moneybags behind the secret rocket project known as Blue Origin. Lately, there's been more information leaking out about New Shepard, Blue Origin's first full-sized spacecraft designed to lift humans into space. The spaceship will carry three or more astronauts, taking off and landing vertically just like in old science fiction movies.

That pic you see above is Blue Origin's first rocket, called Goddard, which a company rep says is 'not necessarily what the operational New Shepard vehicle looks like.' One of the goals of the project is to take space tourists 75 miles above the earth, letting them float around for three minutes in microgravity before the spaceship returns to Earth, constantly in a vertical position. When it gets close to the earth's surface the engines will restart, hopefully lowering the craft gently back to terra firma.

Bezos's rocket scientists aren't talking about the schedule of test flights, or when New Shepherd will be ready for its maiden flight. These guys must be doing something right — they just received $3.7 million from NASA to develop an astronaut escape system. This is the kind of private space innovation we need, now that NASA's human spaceflight program will soon grind to a halt.

Watch these video clips of Goddard's first flight in 2006 — looks more like a jetpack than a Saturn V

[DVICE via]

Engineers Solve 80-Year Old Puzzle to Make Computer Modeling 100,000 Times Faster [Science]

A quantum physics breakthrough that can predict the kinetic energy of electrons in simple metals—and semiconductors—will enable computers to simulate the behavior of new materials up to 100,000 times faster than they currently can. That's huge.

Princeton engineer Emily Carter led the project, which took an equation by Llewellyn Hilleth Thomas and Enrico Fermi that calculates how many electrons are distributed in a theoretical gas with evenly distributed electrons and figured out how to apply it to real, imperfect materials:
'The equation scientists were using before was inefficient and consumed huge amounts of computing power, so we were limited to modeling only a few hundred atoms of a perfect material,' said Emily Carter, Princeton engineer who led the project.

'Important properties are actually determined by the flaws, but to understand those you need to look at thousands or tens of thousands of atoms so the defects are included. Using this new equation, we've been able to model up to a million atoms, so we get closer to the real properties of a substance.'
The results of that effort mean that principles of quantum mechanics, previously limited to small bits of matierals, can now be applied on a large scale. Modeling, then, for anything from fuel-efficient cars to electronic devices, will happen exponentially faster than it does today. Innovation just got an upgrade.
[Gizmodo via Princeton via PopSci]

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Form Autofill with Details in Latest Chromium Build [Features]

As of my last Chromium update I got a chance to select whether I want or not to use the Form Filling feature. It includes address details and credit card details as can be seen in the image below:

More addresses and cards can be added as well.

I'm still using the LastPass plugin as autofill service but will sure try out Chromium's soon. Currently it is saved locally and not in the cloud so won't have it handy at different locations you're using the browser. 

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

MSI Introducing First Ever 24-Inch 3D All-In-One PC Next Week [All-in-ones]

MSI made some all-in-one noise at CES with the AE2420, and they're stepping it up again for next week's CeBIT 2010 show in Germany. There, they'll introduce the world's first large screen all-in-one PC capable of handling 1080p 3D media.

The 3D AIO will have a 24-inch 120Hz LED display, 1080p resolution, and will be paired with 3D shutter glasses. Other than that, details are scarce—there's no word even on what processor it'll use, other than that it'll be "powerful." But by making the announcement this early, MSI gets ahead of the eventual crush of 3D all-in-one announcements that'll no doubt build throughout the year.

The multitouch, Core i3/i5/i7 AE2420 and AE2280 AIOs will also be on display at CeBIT, as will MSI's business-oriented, eco-friendly AP1920/AE1920 all-in-ones. But no matter how many other models they bring, all eyes are going to be the 3D PC. At least, as many as they brought 3D glasses for.

DARPA planning to test Mach 6 hyperplane in April [DARPA]

This rather unconvincing video shows a current project of DARPA’s, in which a jet is accelerated first by regular propulsion, then ramjets, then scramjets — eventually pushing the vehicle to a ridiculous mach 6. That’s somewhere around 1700-2000 meters per second, or ~4000MPH. That’s if they can keep the thing from breaking apart. Wikipedia tells us that “while very short suborbital scramjet test flights have been performed, no flown scramjet has ever been designed to survive a flight test.” That’s not very promising.

I say unconvincing because first of all, they don’t make mach 6 look very exciting. Also, the people watching look bored. And the patriotic music pretty much overwhelms the narration. If this is the same amount of care they’re planning on putting into this hypersonic craft, that thing is going to break up before they get it on the runway.

The idea is that these things could carry 12000 pounds of payload over huge distances extremely quickly. Like across the Pacific in two hours. I mean, that’s obviously the application of a fast airplane. But I wonder if they’ve considered that if they just load this sucker up with ball bearings or something and drop them out, they’ve essentially created a flying railgun. Scrap metal hitting a target at 4000MPH? Yeah, possibly destructive.

Anyway, the video is years old but it’s news because they’re planning a test flight for April. The landing site is actually just a place in the ocean they’re going to let it crash, so I don’t think we’ll be seeing these things overhead any time soon. But it’s good to keep abreast of developments like this in case you see one; otherwise you might think it’s a UFO.

Monday, February 22, 2010

SanDisk shipping 64GB SD card [SD]

To those with HD camcorders that record to SD cards, prepare to rejoice. SanDisk has announced it is now shipping its new line of SD media cards, the Ultra SDXC, complete with 64 gigabytes of storage capacity. The new XC line of SD cards, which is said to be able to grow to 2 TB — yes, terabytes — of storage, boasts a 15 MB/sec throughput rate and can store up to 9 hours of HD video. SanDisk’s SDXC cards are based on the SD 3.0 specifications for maximum compatibility, and use the exFAT file system. Canon has already publicly said that all of its future VIXIA camcorders and PowerShot cameras will be compatible with the newer, more potent XC cards. We have SanDisk’s official press release queued up for you after the break.
[BGR via PocketLint]

Aava Mobile’s Reference Design for OEM/ODMs [Superphone]

AAVA Mobile, a startup comprised of 'engineering wizards', was in Barcelona last week to show off their reference design for OEMs and ODMs. This unnamed device, based on Intel's Moorestown processor is being touted as the first fully open mobile device.

The reference design has support for both Linux-based Moblin 2.1 as well as Android. The list of hardware specs reminds us of some of today's superphones with features like dual microphones, HD video capability, and 3D graphics and sound. There's a 2 megapixel, frontfacing video-conferencing camera and a 5 megapixel (8MP optional) camera with LED flash to add to its cool factor.

We've definitely seen uglier handsets than this AAVA Mobile unit. Hopefully someone picks this design up and runs with it. There's always room for another Android player!Even though it does look a tad like the iPhone, we're fans of the copper finish found in the renders. You'll see in the video at the end where the working model has a slightly different look.

  • Intel Atom ‘Moorestown’ Processor
  • 864x480 3.8' TFT Capacitive Touch Screen
  • GSM/EDGE quad band, WCDMA triple-band (Band I, II and V)
  • 2 Mbps up-link and 7.2 Mbps down-link
  • WiFi, Bluetooth, GPS, USB
  • Ambient light sensor, Proximity sensor, 3D compass, Accelerometer
  • Haptic feedback, microSD
  • 2 megapixel Videoconferencing camera
  • 5 megapixel (optional 8 megapixel) and LED flash
  • FM Radio,
  • MicStereo (echo and background noise cancellation)
  • Stereo Speakers
We found a page on the AAVA Mobile site that breaks down the future of smart phones as seen through the eyes of their developers. While some of the stuff is already on its way to being commonplace, it's interesting to see just where they think our phones could be before long.


Thursday, February 18, 2010

Beceem announces the BCS500, a new WiMAX/LTE multi-mode chipset


Well known WiMAX Chipset manufacturer Beceem announced this week that it is developing a dual 4G chip that offers both WiMAX and LTE connectivity at downlink speeds up to 150 Mbps. The new BCS500 multi-mode chip will seamlessly handoff a connection between WiMAX and LTE and supports the latest revision of both standards. The chip could be a boon to both hardware manufacturers and MVNOs who can now design hardware and sell connectivity solutions that utilize both 4G networks. A dual 4G device also enables drop dead easy global roaming as a customer on an LTE network in the U.S. can utilize a WiMAX network while visiting Russia. Just in time for the commercialization of LTE in the United States, the Beceem BCS500 is expected to be sampled to customers in Q4 2010 and available for mass production in Q2 2011.

Artificial Foot Recycles Energy With Every Step [Bionic]

Researchers at the University of Michigan have created a prosthesis that makes walking much easier on amputees than current options. The trick: an artificial foot that recycles the kinetic energy generated by walking.

The device works by mimicking the natural push-off of a human ankle, using a microprocessor to control the device and capture the energy normally dissipated by the leg:
In tests on subjects walking with an artificially-impaired ankle, a conventional prosthesis reduced ankle push-off work and increased net metabolic energy expenditure by 23% compared to normal walking. Energy recycling restored ankle push-off to normal and reduced the net metabolic energy penalty to 14%.
That means less cumbersome dragging of an artificial limb and a more natural walking sensation. It also only requires a small battery to operate, running off of less than one watt of power.

It's just a prototype for now, but assuming the current round of testing goes well, there's no reason not to expect a commercial application in the not too distant future.
[Gizmodo via PLoS ONE via Inhabitat]

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

The Swiss Army SIM: SK Telecom Squeezes Storage, CPU and Android OS Onto One Card [Android]

This magic SIM card from SK Telecom is a long way off from being commercially viable. But so help me, when someone stuffs this much information into a single SIM, I'm going to stand up and take notice.

Packed into this protoype are a processor, memory, 1GB flash storage, and Android OS. That's enough to keep your entire mobile world into one SIM, making switching phones the simplest thing in the world. You could also use it to easily switch off information between your handset and your netbook.

Of course, it also means that losing your phone would come with its own additional host of problems. Though by the time this would actually be available, it's likely that all your most important stuff would be in the cloud anyway.

I'm looking at you, AT&T SIM in my phone. I'm looking at you with equal parts pity and regret.

[Gizmodo via PC World via Engadget]

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

All the Smartphone OSes: A Beginners' Guide [Smartphones]

All the Smartphone OSes: A Beginners' Guide [Smartphones]: "

Windows Phone Series 7 is here, and it's like nothing we've seen from Microsoft—or anyone else—before. But how does it measure up? And where does every other smartphone OS stand?

If you want to skip the gallery format, click here.

iPhone OS 3.x

The third major release of the iPhone's software, and the second since the platform got its App Store, iPhone OS 3.x has succeeded on the strength of simplicity, intuitiveness and a tremendous selection of applications. It serves as the basis for the OS that will ship with the new Apple iPad.

Available: June 2009

Open Source/Free: No

Multiple Handset Manufacturers: No

Multitasking: No

Multitouch Interface: Yes

Browser/Engine: Safari/WebKit

Video Recording: Yes

Upgrades: Sync/Patcher

Syncing Software: Yes

App Store Size: 100k+

App Sideloading: No

Jailbreaking/rooting: Yes

Flash Support: No

Android 2.x

In just over a year, Google's Linux-based Android OS has gone from a rough-edged software experiment to a smartphone powerhouse, running atop some of the most powerful hardware available. Version 2.1 is the software platform for Google's own first phone, the Nexus One. Android phones vary in both hardware configurations and software versions, but are generally increasing in popularity.

Available: October '09

Open Source/Free: Yes/Yes

Multiple Handset Manufacturers: Yes

Multitasking: Yes

Multitouch Interface: Yes

Browser/Engine: Chrome/WebKit

Video Recording: Yes

Upgrades: Over the Air

Syncing Software: No

App Store Size: 20k+

App Sideloading: Yes

Jailbreaking/rooting: Yes

Flash Support: Within six months

Palm webOS 1.x

Palm's webOS represented a complete reboot for the company, whose aging Palm OS found itself outpaced by more modern, finger-friendly offerings from Apple and Google. At the core of the OS is a novel multitasking system, with which users can cycles through apps, or 'cards.' Another webOS selling point is the deep integration of social networking directly into the OS, and an emphasis on messaging.

Available: June '09

Open Source/Free: No/No

Multiple Handset Manufacturers: No

Multitasking: Yes

Multitouch Interface: Yes

Browser/Engine: webOS/WebKit

Video Recording: Coming soon

Upgrades: Over the Air

Syncing Software: No

App Store Size: 1400+

App Sideloading: No

Jailbreaking/rooting: Yes

Flash Support: Within six months

BlackBerry OS 5

RIM is known for issuing frequent updates for its mobile OSes, but they are minimal, and at heart, BlackBerry OS 5 is deeply similar to its early, decade-old predecessors. BlackBerry OS is inclined towards messaging—its inboxes feature prominently—with web browsing and apps as secondary focuses. RIM's recent success with the consumer (as opposed to enterprise) market shows they've taken pains to improve the usability and aesthetics of the OS, though its corporate roots still show through.

Available: November '09

Open Source/Free: No/No

Multiple Handset Manufacturers: No

Multitasking: Yes

Multitouch Interface: No

Browser/Engine: BlackBerry/Proprietary (WebKit forthcoming)

Video Recording: Yes

Upgrades: Sync/patcher/over the air

Syncing Software: Yes

App Store Size: 3k+

App Sideloading: Yes

Jailbreaking/rooting: No

Flash Support: Within six months

Windows Mobile 6.5.x

Windows Mobile 6.5 is the last predecessor to Windows Phone 7 Series, and it will coexist with WP7 for the foreseeable future, as a bridge for corporate customers. Its basic design and codebase harks back to the early 2000s, and while it featured multitasking, copy and paste and a significant number of 3rd party apps well before the iPhone or Android did, WinMo failed to keep up with its competitors. Even with version 6.5, which added new, finger-friendly interface elements and an app marketplace, success was not to be. Despite its successor's seemingly related name, this is the end of the road for the WinMo OS.

Available: October '09

Open Source/Free: No/Licensed

Multiple Handset Manufacturers: Yes

Multitasking: Yes

Multitouch Interface: No

Browser/Engine: Internet Explorer/Trident

Video Recording: Yes

Upgrades: Sync/Patcher

Syncing Software: Yes

App Store Size: Under 500

App Sideloading: Yes

Jailbreaking/rooting: No

Flash Support: Yes

Windows Phone 7 Series

Windows Phone 7 Series is a total revamping of Microsoft's mobile strategy, drawing more on design philosophy of the Zune HD than of Windows Mobile. The interface is designed primarily for touch input, and eschews icon grids and menus for a series of paneled hubs. The unreleased OS features deep integration with Xbox and Zune services, as well as a completely new app store.

Available: Holiday '10

Open Source/Free: No/No

Multiple Handset Manufacturers: Yes

Multitasking: No, probably! (With possible exceptions.)

Multitouch Interface: Yes

Browser/Engine: Internet Explorer/Trident

Video Recording: Yes

Upgrades: TBD

Syncing Software: Media

App Store Size: TBD

App Sideloading: TBD (Unlikely)

Jailbreaking/rooting: TBD

Flash Support: TBD (Probable)


An Accelerometer 1,000x More Sensitive Than the iPhone's [Sensor]

HP has developed an inertial accelerometer that's so sensitive, it can detect a change in the position of its center chip of less than one-billionth the width of a human hair.

The sensor is part of HP's unfortunately named CeNSE (Central Nervous System for the Earth) program, whose aim is to build a 'planetwide network' of tiny sensors to measure anything and everything about the environment. It's the first prototype in the CeNSE project, and it's safe to say they're starting off on the right foot:
Hartwell's device is sensitive enough to 'feel' a heartbeat. The source of that sensitivity is a 5mm-square, three-layer silicon chip. A portion of the center wafer is suspended between the two outer wafers by flexible silicon beams. When the chip moves, the suspended center lags behind due to its inertia. A measurement of that relative motion is used to calculate the speed, direction and distance the chip has moved.
While the larger CeNSE project may have environmentalist overtones, the first practical application is going to be from oil behemoth Shell. They'd like to use the sensors to detect pockets of oil, allowing them to drill more efficiently. Eventually, HP hopes to move to "city-level" projects that digitally capture what the five senses do—and in some cases, what they can't. And when they finally stuff that sucker in a Wiimote, Super Smash Bros. will never be the same.
[Gizmodo via HP via Fast Company]

OmniVision's 5-Megapixel Sensor Shoots RAW on Cellphones [Sensors]

This is OmniVision's newest 1/4-inch, 5 megapixel RAW sensor. It's tiny, has low light sensitivity, captures 720p video at 60 fps or 1080p at 30 fps, and shoots in RAW. The best part? It could be in cellphones soon.

Now if only phones had lenses which would truly take advantage of sensors like this.

[Gizmod via PR Newswire via Engadget]

Color e-reader uses butterfly-based technology to save power [Displays]

Oh, biomimetic desigin. Is there anything you can’t do? Well, at any rate, you’re doing this, which is cool enough for now. Qualcomm is putting out a new display technology they call “Mirasol,” which uses reflective bits of color to display an image, much like the way the iridescent scales on butterfly wings do. They claim it draws even less power than e-ink, which is really saying something.

The little prototype they use to demonstrate it is… just that: little. I wonder if that’s just a choice they made, or if the display technology is actually limited to smaller sizes due to some technical quirk. Who knows? It’s brand new at the moment and I’m sure we’ll be hearing more soon, so let’s not think too hard about it.

HTC Bravo to be Branded as ‘Desire’, Announced Tomorrow [Sense UI]

Gorgeous, isn't it? We've been saying for a while now that the HTC Bravo appears to be the nearly identical twin to the Nexus One, save for Sense UI and some minor adjustments. On paper, the two handsets nearly mirror each other. If the rumors are true, we'll be hearing officially from HTC on this device tomorrow at Mobile World Congress. In the time we've been waiting for the news to come down from high, the on-board memory received a boost. We're talking 576 RAM and 512MB ROM!

The guys over at Madaco were able to get their hands on the full list of specs, but we've taken the liberty of pasting those we thinking most people care about.
  • 1 GHz Processor
  • Android 2.1 with HTC Sense
  • Memory - ROM: 512 MB, RAM: 576 MB
  • Display - 3.7-inch 480X800 WVGA AMOLED Screen
  • Quad-band GSM/GPRS/EDGE: 850/900/1800/1900 MHz
  • Optical Trackball
  • GPS, Proximity sensor, Ambient light sensor, G-Sensor, Digital compass
  • Bluetooth 2.1, Wi-Fi, 3.5 mm stereo audio jack
  • 5 megapixel color camera with auto focus and flashlight
  • Battery - 1400 mAh
These are exactly the kinds of phones we expect from handset makers if they want to play in the upper echelon. What do you guys think? All the makings of a Nexus One, plus Sense!

Huawei Unveils 4 Android Handsets and an Internet Device

Chinese handset maker Huawei is in Barcelona and it's not to see what the competition is up to. They've just pulled the curtain back on 4 brand new Android handsets, the U8300, U8100, U8110, and the U8800. In addition to that, they've also announced a SmaKit S7. Let's take a quick look at each of them, shall we?


The U8300 is targeted at the youth market, integrates social networking tools like Facebook and Twitter, features a QWERTY keypad, and is designed to allow for chatting and texting in comfort. Look for the u8300 in three 'bright' colors - green, yellow and purple.


Up next, the U8100 and U8110, are the same phone on the inside. The outside however might appeal to different segments (read boys versus girls). These are considered entry-level handsets although we don't have a complete list of specs. What we do know is that they both have 2.8-inch QVGA touchscreens, a 0.3 mega pixel camera in the front and a 3.2 mega pixel camera in the rear. Both of these models are expected in Europe at some point in Q2 of this year.


The high-end handset,the U8800 runs Android 2.1, offers support for HSPA+ (14 Mb/s download), a 3.8-inch screen and more. With the right network and ideal situations, this phone can download a 400Mb feature-length movie file in under a half minute. As far as carriers, price, or availability go, we're still waiting to hear more.


Huawei is also introducing their first Android-based Internet Device, the SmaKit S7. Featuring a 7-inch wide screen (800x480 resolution), it's designed to support 'information-sharing across screens to present the same content simultaneously on computers, mobile phones and TV screens'. A screen this size makes it easy to read emails, tweet, and stay connected to friends and family. The SmaKit S7 can also be connected to home gateway, TV, and of course, Android handset.

Be sure to check back with us as we fill in the blanks with the hardware specs and various Android builds for each phone!

Monday, February 15, 2010

Sony Ericsson makes the X10 mini, X10 mini pro and Vivaz Pro official

Sony Ericsson set the stage for MWC by announcing three new handsets in a press event held on the day before the launch of the international mobile phone conference. Sony rolled out two new compact Android handsets based upon the design of the Sony Ericsson Xperia X10 and one Symbian-powered handset phone that is the big brother to the previously announced Vivaz. The X10 mini and X10 mini pro are similarly spec’d handsets with the X10 Mini Pro sporting a slide-out QWERTY keyboard. The Vivaz Pro is a slightly modified version of the Vivaz and offers a QWERTY keyboard, a touchscreen interface and the Symbian S60th 5th edition operating system. All three handsets are expected to launch in Q2 2010 in select markets. Hit the jump for the full rundown of specs.

Both the mini X10 and mini X10 Pro include:
  • 600 MHz Qualcomm MSM7227 processor
  • 5 megapixel camera with autofocus and geotagging
  • 2.55 inch QVGA touchscreen display
  • aGPS
  • Google Maps
  • Wisepilot™ turn-by-turn navigation
  • Wi-Fi
  • Bluetooth
  • Full suite of Google services
  • 3.5mm audio jack
  • microSD expansion with 2GB card included in the retail package
  • Android 1.6 with Sony Ericsson Timescape
  • UMTS HSPA 900/2100, GSM GPRS/EDGE 850/900/1800/1900
  • UMTS HSPA :850/1900/2100, GSM GPRS/EDGE 850/900/1800/1900
  • X10 mini will be available in Pearl White, Black, Pink, Lime, Red and Silver
  • X10 mini pro will be available in Black and Red.


The Sony Vivaz Pro will feature
  • slide out QWERTY keyboard
  • 3.2 inch, 360 x 640 16:9 resolution touchscreen display
  • 720 MHz processor
  • 5.1 megapixel camera with 4x digital zoom, autofocus, face detection and geotagging
  • 720p HD recording
  • Video calling (main camera)
  • WebKit web browser
  • social networking support
  • A-GPS
  • Google Maps
  • Wisepilot turn-by-turn navigation
  • 3.5 mm audio jack
  • Bluetooth technology
  • DLNA Certified (photos and audio)
  • TV out (VGA resolution)
  • Wi-Fi
  • microSD with 8GB microSD in the package
  • Symbian S60 5th edition
  • UMTS HSPA 900/2100, GSM GPRS/EDGE 850/900/1800/1900
  • UMTS HSPA 850/1900/2100, GSM GPRS/EDGE 850/900/1800/1900
  • Available in Black and White
[BGR via Sony Ericsson X10 mini and X10 mini pro and Sony Vivaz pro]

Notion Ink Adam Tablet Caught On Video, Specs Finalized [Notion Ink]

We saw impressive renders of Notion Ink's Adam last week, along with some speculation, but today we're getting what's probably the best look yet at this ambitious play into the tablet space.
The following specs, to be unveiled officially at MWC, are listed as 'final' by the folks at Notion Ink. Take some of it with a grain of salt, as they are grossly incorrect about items like accelerometer and touchscreen (chart provided by Notion Ink):

The Technoholik video, filmed this weekend before the big reveal at MWC, follows here:

What you see in the video is essentially the final build. The camera position could move, and there was a screen cover removed because it was loose during the demo, but in the end this is the 1080p tablet Notion Ink will put up against the iPad (and the multitude of other tablets that arrive this year and beyond). Looks pretty sharp, especially in sunlight, although the trackpad location will definitely take some getting used to.

[Gizmodo via ADAM on Flickr, Technoholik]

BREAKING: AT&T and Others Announcing Rival to Apple App Store

Twelve of the world’s biggest phone networks – including AT&T, Orange and Telefonica – will announce their rival technology tomorrow to Apple’s App Store. The combined audience for the app platform will be 2 billion customers. Phone manufacturers Samsung, LG and Sony Ericsson are also part of the alliance.
The announcement is expected to take place at tomorrow’s Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, writes the Times, and will be good news for consumers. With the fragmentation of app stores from Apple, Android and others, many handsets and operators will now support a single standard of apps that work across multiple devices.
There’s no word if there will be a single app store, but a single standard for apps on devices from multiple networks is expected. It’s also unclear if the technology itself will be unveiled tomorrow — we may simply see a statement of intent.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Samsung to Debut I8520 "Halo: Android 2.1 AMOLED Phone Tomorrow [Samsung]

Buried at the bottom of Samsung's MWC press kit was mention of an I8520 'Halo' phone. Sporting Android 2.1, a 3.7-inch Super AMOLED screen, and 720p video (to name a few), the phone will be officially revealed tomorrow.
The phone will also support an 8 MP camera, with flash; DivX/Xvid playback; Bluetooth 2.1; 802.11b/g/n WiFi; GPS; and 16GB storage.
There's a 'Specialized Projector UI' feature in there too, but indications are it's probably just TouchWiz. The European release date period is Q3 2010, with no word on a U.S. release date at this time.
[Gizmodo via Samsung via Engadget]

Samsung Waves Hello To Wave S8500 Smartphone With Bada OS and SUPER AMOLED Screen [Samsung]

It was hardly a well-kept secret by any stretch of the imagination, but at MWC Samsung's Wave S8500 has raised its head. It's running the new Bada OS, and has one of those 3.3-inch SUPER AMOLED screens we saw before.
The SUPER AMOLED screen is a 3.3-inch capacitive job, with an 800 x 480 resolution—not shabby, to say the least. The larger 3.5-inch display of the iPhone for example has 480 x 320 pixels. Anyway, it's also the first phone to have Bluetooth 3.0, as rumored yesterday, using the 802.11 protocol for transferring data at around 24Mbps. Speedy-fast, you could say.
A 1Ghz processor and 2GB of memory has been popped into the typical-looking Samsung exterior, along with a 5.0-megapixel camera (with autofocus and flash), capable of shooting video at 720p. Wi-Fi, GPS and HSDPA connectivity round it off.
Going back to the Bada OS, this was first unveiled in November but now we know that it's compatible with Samsung's TouchWiz 3.0 interface (a step up from the 2.0 Plus, which was seen on the leaked Monte last week).
It'll be out in April, and while I've never particularly been impressed by a Samsung phone before (far from it, in fact), the Wave does have some interesting specs—like that AMOLED display. Wait and hear our verdict when we get hands-on with it, because as you know...things don't always turn out like the marketer boasts.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Samsung: Yep, we’re working on a Chrome OS netbook [Chrome OS]

In not-too-surprising, yet good-to-know-for-sure news, it seems that Samsung is indeed working on a netbook designed around Chrome OS. Now, what exactly that comprises I can’t tell you — my guess is they’re really just getting a cheap netbook ready to go with whatever Google announces when Chrome OS hits prime time. Or maybe they’ll use one of those neat (useless) transparent ones?
The specs are nothing crazy: 3G, 2GB of RAM to start, 64GB or more of SSD storage, probably a 10.1″ screen, and a nice long battery life. The chipset and processor weren’t disclosed, but the source is suggesting a 1.5GHz Snapdragon. I wonder about that — I wouldn’t be surprised if there are some curveballs in there. Dual Snapdragons, for instance, or a dedicated GPU like the iPad. It’s actually very similar to this speculative post here, except without a price, which makes it much easier to swallow.
Guess we’ll find out… not soon. It’s not clear when they’ll be making the real announcement, and at any rate we’ll probably hear from Google first.
[CrunchGear via Tom's Hardware]

Friday, February 12, 2010

Motorola Splits Into Two Companies, But That Just Means They'll Be More Streamlined And Focused [Motorola]

Just as Motorola was getting its act together and releasing brilliant hardware after years of, well, dirge, they're now splitting down the middle into two independent companies—on one side the phone division, the other, wireless networking. Don't glare at your Droid and vow to never put more money into Motorola, because the split is actually a good thing.
It'll make them more streamlined and focused, with equal attention being placed on each side—though the handset and set-top box side will own the name and license it to the dustier wireless networking and radio systems unit. Sounds fair, considering we only care about the mobile division anyway, but apparently they're both raking in around the same amount in sales (approximately $11 billion last year each).
Honestly, I never thought I'd see the day when I could write about Moto's corporate struggles and actually be able to put a positive spin on it, but it does sound like the right decision has been made up above.
[Gizmodo via NY Times]