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Bluetooth 4.0 finally rolls low energy tech into a shipping standard

December 18th, 2009 admin No comments

Bluetooth low energy and its predecessors (think Wibree) have been in the pipe for ages now, but we might actually see this tech take off en masse for the first time now that the Bluetooth SIG has officially added it into a release: 4.0. While Bluetooth 3.0 was all about high energy with the introduction of WiFi transfer, 4.0 takes things down a notch by certifying single-mode low energy devices in addition to dual-mode devices that incorporate both the low energy side of the spec plus either 2.1+EDR or 3.0. In a nutshell, the technology should bring a number of new categories and form factors of wireless devices into the fold since 1Mbps Bluetooth low energy can operate on coin cells — the kinds you find in wristwatches, calculators, and remote controls — and the SIG’s pulling no punches by saying that “with today’s announcement the race is on for product designers to be the first to market.” Nokia pioneered Wibree, so you can bet they’ll be among the frontrunners — bring it, guys.

Bluetooth 4.0 finally rolls low energy tech into a shipping standard originally appeared on Engadget on Thu, 17 Dec 2009 21:23:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Sprint’s HTC Hero and Samsung Moment on track to get Android 2.1, not 2.0

December 18th, 2009 admin No comments

So Sprint’s backtracking on its promise to deliver Android 2.0 to its Hero and Moment in the first half of next year, but it’s backtracking in an awesome way for a change of pace — they’ll actually be getting 2.1. That makes tons of sense considering that the leaked Hero builds have all been on 2.1 and 2.0 will be all but obsolete by the time HTC gets around to releasing anything — so yeah, we probably could’ve predicted this anyway, but now it’s official. Unfortunately that 1H 2010 window hasn’t been reigned in at all, but here’s hoping this is a case where they under-promise and over-deliver.

Sprint’s HTC Hero and Samsung Moment on track to get Android 2.1, not 2.0 originally appeared on Engadget on Thu, 17 Dec 2009 20:29:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Switched On: The camcorder strikes back

December 18th, 2009 admin No comments

Ross Rubin (@rossrubin) contributes Switched On, a column about consumer technology.

As it often does at its product introductions, Apple took a subtle swipe at the Flip camcorder when it introduced the video camera-equipped iPod nano this fall. The sales volumes of the iPod nano even caused some to proclaim Apple’s revision of the most popular iPod to be a Flip-killer. The inexpensive Flip camcorder has long proven tenacious, however, fending off competition from major brands such as Sony and Kodak, as well as value players like Aiptek and DXG — not to mention nearly every digital camera and cellphone that can shoot video. Besides, the iPod nano has outsold the Flip camcorder many times over; why would Apple care about such incremental competition?

One answer is that the developers of the Flip camcorder (now the Pure Digital division of Cisco) aren’t just hawking a cheap digital geegaw. Even before Pure Digital sold its first “disposable” camcorder, the company understood ecosystems. Back then, that involved installing processing equipment at retailers such as CVS, as the company’s business model relied on getting consumers to develop prints and create DVDs in stores. Since those days, the utilitarian application it originally shipped for transferring videos to PCs has given way to FlipShare , which is clearly designed to be the equivalent of iTunes for video. And more recently, it introduced Flipshare.com to provide its own spin on organizing and sharing videos online, including to devices beyond the PC.

Continue reading Switched On: The camcorder strikes back

Switched On: The camcorder strikes back originally appeared on Engadget on Thu, 17 Dec 2009 19:40:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Samsung Bada UI unveiled in beautiful stills, reason for existing still blurry

December 18th, 2009 admin No comments

We hate to harsh on a new phone platform — what could be more exciting, after all, than a whole new take on handset software? — but we’re pretty confused by Samsung’s Bada. Still, these leaked screenshots fill us with some hope: it looks fairly pretty, and quite a bit more intuitive than the standard Samsung UI. It also seems to be an odd visual mashup of Android and Symbian, but in a good sort of way, and we look forward to the sort of democratization of touchphones it seems to represent. There, that wasn’t very harsh-ey at all! Now check out the developer-oriented video after the break to let a new wave of confusion wash over you.

Continue reading Samsung Bada UI unveiled in beautiful stills, reason for existing still blurry

Samsung Bada UI unveiled in beautiful stills, reason for existing still blurry originally appeared on Engadget on Thu, 17 Dec 2009 19:08:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Sony staying conservative with Reader device, aware of current tablet mania

December 18th, 2009 admin No comments

Sony’s Sir Howard Stringer played the tease at today’s Reader content partnership presser, stating that while Sony could make the device into a multimedia tablet, it would rather wait and see if consumers warm up to current devices. Stringer’s watching if people find the form factor “comfortable and helpful” before Sony starts “plowing on a thousand apps” or building a “Vaio Reader.” We don’t really know how much e-reader acceptance points to the demand for color multimedia tablets, but in regards to the (non-existant, ever-present) Apple Tablet, Stringer says “we’re all working on variations of the same thing.” Hopefully we’ll figure out what exactly he means by that before we grow old and start reading books or something horrible like that.

Sony staying conservative with Reader device, aware of current tablet mania originally appeared on Engadget on Thu, 17 Dec 2009 18:33:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Microsoft updating Zune HD Twitter to stop censoring tweets

December 18th, 2009 admin No comments

Microsoft definitely copped some of Apple’s lame App Store antics with its tweet-censoring Zune HD Twitter app, so now it’s time for the infuriatingly vague PR-speak backtracking — Redmond just pinged us to say it’s “identified the issue” with the Twitter app and that a naughty words-enabling update is coming “as soon as possible.” That’s a pretty lame response, considering the “issue” is that the app is coded to actively censor tweets — not exactly an “oops” moment, you know?

Here’s the entire statement:

The recently released Twitter for Zune HD application has been abbreviating some explicit words in tweets when viewed on the device; however these explicit words do appear in their full text on the Twitter site or on any other Twitter client. We have identified the issue and are taking steps to update the application as soon as possible to ensure Twitter for Zune HD users are able to view tweets in their original state.

Flack silliness aside, it’s still the right step — let’s hope this update addresses the performance issues we noticed as well.

Microsoft updating Zune HD Twitter to stop censoring tweets originally appeared on Engadget on Thu, 17 Dec 2009 18:01:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Palm’s Ares SDK goes to public beta

December 18th, 2009 admin No comments

After a brief private testing period, Palm’s interesting Ares software development package has made its way into a public beta phase. Breaking tradition from Mojo — Palm’s other webOS SDK — the big news with Ares is that the dev environment is fully web-based with no additional tools needed for apps to get whipped into reality. Not only does that make getting started a breeze (theoretically, anyway), but Palm thinks that this is the way to bring mobile development to a whole new category of folks who may not come from traditional dev backgrounds — they want to pull in web geeks who’ve got the ideas and design experience but not necessarily the hardcore coding background that you’d normally need to take the next Air Hockey to production. Grab that sucker now and let us know what you come up with, alright? We’ll split the profits 60 / 40.

Palm’s Ares SDK goes to public beta originally appeared on Engadget on Thu, 17 Dec 2009 17:29:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Palm loses $85.4 million in latest reported quarter — hey, it’s an improvement

December 18th, 2009 admin No comments

We don’t know just how quickly Palm (or Elevation Partners, for that matter) thought it’d become profitable following the release of webOS, but it’s not there quite yet — the company is in the process of outing its earnings for the second quarter of fiscal year 2010 right now, and in a word, they’re still in the red. The good news is that it’s a marked improvement from last quarter — they’ve gone from a $164.5M GAAP net loss to an $85.4M one this time around. On a non-GAAP gross basis, they actually made $5.5M, which is up from $2.8M a quarter earlier. They’ve got $590 million in cash and other “short-term investments” on the book right now, which seems like it should be enough to keep the company going without a profit or additional cash infusion for at least a few additional quarters, but then again, burn rate is going to vary with just how much hardware and software R&D they’re doing and the kinds of carrier deals they’re scoring. We bet they’re looking forward to this Verizon business going down, eh?

Update: Palm’s specifically saying that they’re looking to grow carrier and geographic coverage right now — a good plan, if we say so ourselves.

Update 2: They’ve sold 784,000 phones in the quarter, which compares to 823,000 in the last — a 5 percent drop. That’s up 41 percent from the same quarter a year ago… but yeah, of course it’s going to be way up from the pre-webOS days.

Update 3: Over 800 apps in the catalog so far, once they graduate from the Early Access Program exclusivity, Palm foresees a “flood” of apps. No plans right now to change SDK strategy to a more native development environment.

Palm loses $85.4 million in latest reported quarter — hey, it’s an improvement originally appeared on Engadget on Thu, 17 Dec 2009 16:55:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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LaCie and Symwave announce 2Big USB 3.0 dual-drive RAID

December 18th, 2009 admin No comments

No monkeys time time, but LaCie has just announced new storage option that should get folks plenty excited on its own: a new dual-drive 2Big USB 3.0 RAID drive developed in partnership with Symwave. As you’ve no doubt been able to surmise by now, this thing is big and fast, with it able to support up to 4TB of storage, and provide a peak burst read transfer speed of 275MB/s thanks to a new dual SATA and RAID bridge controller developed by Symwave. Unfortunately, there’s still no indication of a price, and LaCie isn’t getting any more specific than “early 2010″ in terms of a release date. It is promising to show off the the drive at CES next month though, and hopefully offer a few more details about it as well.

LaCie and Symwave announce 2Big USB 3.0 dual-drive RAID originally appeared on Engadget on Thu, 17 Dec 2009 16:37:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Intel Core i3, mobile Core i5 processors coming January 7

December 18th, 2009 admin No comments
Intel’s Arrandale chips haven’t been the best-kept secret around, and today Chipzilla made ‘em official: the Core i3 and mobile Core i5 will launch on January 7, and we’d guess a bunch of new machines come along for the ride. Although the desktop Lynnfield Core i5 is a quad-core, both the new Core i3 and mobile Core i5 are dual-core — and in a first for Intel, both of the new chips have an integrated GPU core that’s being branded “Intel HD Graphics.” The new GPU is supposedly good enough for “high-end” HTPC use, but manufacturers can add switchable discrete GPUs, so don’t fret too much. Both Arrandale chips have Intel’s latest hyperthreading tech, and the mobile i5 also has the Turbo Boost core-overclocking feature found in the desktop i5 and i7, which redirects power to a single core to boost performance when needed.

We got to see a few Core i3 and i5 laptops and desktops in action at Intel’s pre-CES briefing today, although we didn’t get to run any tests. The mobile Core i5 systems on display were doing a fine job running Call of Duty 4, while the scaled-down Core i3 rigs were playing Blu-ray movies and World of Warcraft — not a bad demo, but we’ll let you know when we see some real numbers.

Intel Core i3, mobile Core i5 processors coming January 7 originally appeared on Engadget on Thu, 17 Dec 2009 16:10:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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