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Archive for December 22nd, 2009

BlackBerry services down in North America yet again?

December 22nd, 2009 admin No comments

1Look, BlackBerrys are always supposed to do a few things well: 1) grab your email in real time off an Exchange server; 2) make you look important; and 3) work. It seems, though, that we’re working on our third major North American outage here in less than a month, with reports flowing in that users connected to BIS are having trouble with Messenger, web browsing, and apps that consume data (though email is inexplicably unaffected). Anyone out there seeing problems?

[Thanks to everyone who sent this in]

BlackBerry services down in North America yet again? originally appeared on Engadget on Tue, 22 Dec 2009 16:35:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Verizon Samsung Omnia II impressions

December 22nd, 2009 admin No comments

When the Omnia II first appeared on our radar, two things caught our attention: TouchWiz 2.0 and Windows Mobile 6.5. To be honest, neither of these items really piqued our interest: we knew what to expect from WinMo and had serious reservations about Samsung’s latest and greatest UI. That said, we were more than willing to suspend judgement until we saw her in action. With bullet points that include a 3.7-inch AMOLED display, 800MHz processor, and 8GB storage (before you even get to your microSD card), one could honestly hold out hope for a pretty decent product. Did the handset make for a satisfying, well-rounded smartphone? Or did it just find new ways of repeating the same old errors? You’ll have to read on to find out.

Continue reading Verizon Samsung Omnia II impressions

Verizon Samsung Omnia II impressions originally appeared on Engadget on Tue, 22 Dec 2009 16:15:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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OLPC shows off absurdly thin XO-3 concept tablet for 2012

December 22nd, 2009 admin No comments

Still have a bit of faith left for the OLPC project? Good, you’re gonna need it: designer Yves Behar has unveiled his latest concept design for the now-aiming-for-$75 vision, and it’s all screen. Keeping with the newfound trend toward tablets, the XO-3 is an 8.5 x 11 touchscreen, coupled with a little folding ring in the corner for grip and a camera in the back. To keep things minimal the plan is to use Palm Pre-style induction charging, and less than a watt of power to keep an “8 gigaherz [sic]” (800MHz?) processor and a Pixel Qi screen powered. At half the thickness of an iPhone, this vision is obviously banking heavily on presumed technology advances by 2012 (the projected release date), but it’s not too hard to see somebody making this form factor happen by then-ish. Nick Neg isn’t all hubris, however: “Sure, if I were a commercial entity coming to you for investment, and I’d made the projections I had in the past, you wouldn’t invest again, but we’re not a commercial operation. If we only achieve half of what we’re setting out to do, it could have very big consequences.”

[Thanks to everyone who sent this in]

OLPC shows off absurdly thin XO-3 concept tablet for 2012 originally appeared on Engadget on Tue, 22 Dec 2009 15:40:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Brando begins deluge of anonymous USB 3.0 hard drive enclosures

December 22nd, 2009 admin No comments

Hey Brando! You’re awesome for being your usual self — $49 isn’t too bad for this next-gen product (also the first USB 3.0 hard drive enclosure sans drive we’ve seen), and it doesn’t burn our eyes either. Now, maybe those drive manufacturers can start sorting out those extortionate SSD prices? We’ve seen the numbers and not even the 7200rpm hard drives have made it over half the theoretical speed of USB 2.0, let alone reaching ten times that on 3.0. Still, there’s no harm in making the early jump — it is backward compatible after all, and if you don’t mind paying for juice you can’t use, who are we to stop you?

Brando begins deluge of anonymous USB 3.0 hard drive enclosures originally appeared on Engadget on Tue, 22 Dec 2009 15:16:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Art Lebedev introduces ‘Fleximus’ camera concept

December 22nd, 2009 admin No comments
Well, it looks like Art Lebedev has more than the rather ingenious Transparentius concept in store for us today — it’s also introduced this so-called Fleximus concept for a flexible digital camera. Not exactly anything new there, per se, but Art Lebedev seems to be pitching this one specifically to photographers, not just folks that want to peek in hard-to-see places. To that end, the Fleximus comes equipped with a proper viewfinder on one end of camera, which can also be detached and replaced with a 3-inch LCD module (check it out after the break). Of course, this is still just a concept so there’s nothing in the way of specs, but you can get an exhaustive look at the design process at the link below.

Continue reading Art Lebedev introduces ‘Fleximus’ camera concept

Art Lebedev introduces ‘Fleximus’ camera concept originally appeared on Engadget on Tue, 22 Dec 2009 14:43:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

Permalink Electronista  |  sourceArt Lebedev  | Email this | Comments

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Hello Kitty gets another 12.1 meowgapixel camera to celebrate her 35th anniversary

December 22nd, 2009 admin No comments

Can you believe that Hello Kitty’s turning 35? She sure does look great for her age! Surprisingly this is not the first 12.1 megapixeled Casio digicam we’ve seen outed to commemorate this most special of occasions — but it certainly comes in some of the hottest pinks we’ve seen thus far. This limited edition, Korea-only Casio EX-Z90 boasts all the same features as the regular one — 3X optical zoom, auto-detect and “Intelligent” autofocus — plus those megapixels we already mentioned. Really, the biggest selling point here is the blinged up branding, and we’d assume that makes it worth the KRW 350,000 (around $300) price tag.

Hello Kitty gets another 12.1 meowgapixel camera to celebrate her 35th anniversary originally appeared on Engadget on Tue, 22 Dec 2009 14:11:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

Permalink Popgadget  |  sourceAving  | Email this | Comments

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Microsoft loses patent appeal; Word and Office to be barred from sale starting January 11

December 22nd, 2009 admin No comments

It’s getting closer and closer to check-writing time for Steve Ballmer, as the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit has just upheld a decision that would see Microsoft Word and Office banned from sale starting January 11. If you’ll recall, Microsoft lost a patent infringement suit against XML specialists i4i back in May when it was found that Word’s handling of .xml, .docx, and .docm files infringed upon i4i’s patented XML handling algorithms, but the injunction against further Word sales was put on hold pending the results of this appeal. Now that Microsoft has lost once again, we’d expect either another appeal and request for the injunction to be stayed, this time to the Supreme Court, or for a settlement between these two that would end this whole mess right now. We’ll see what happens — stay tuned.

P.S.- Just to be clear on this, i4i isn’t a patent troll — it’s a a 30 person database design company that shipped one of the first XML plugins for Office and was actually responsible for revamping the entire USPTO database around XML to make it compatible with Word back in 2000. What’s more, the patents involved here don’t cover XML itself, but rather the specific algorithms used to read and write custom XML — so OpenOffice users can breathe easy, as i4i has said the suite doesn’t infringe. Existing Office users should also be fine, as only future sales of Word are affected by the ruling, not any already-sold products.

Engadget: Helping you flame with accuracy.

Update: Microsoft says it’s moving quickly to prepare versions of Office 2007 and Word 2007 that don’t have the “little-used” XML features for sale by January 11, and that the Office 2010 betas use a different algorithm that doesn’t infringe i4i’s patent. It’s also considering an appeal, so we’ll see what happens there.

Microsoft loses patent appeal; Word and Office to be barred from sale starting January 11 originally appeared on Engadget on Tue, 22 Dec 2009 13:35:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Modder mods new fangled wireless keyboard to look like old timey one

December 22nd, 2009 admin No comments
Before you laugh awkwardly at the weird sense of nostalgia this keyboard dredges up in your mind, let us introduce you to its wonders. Apparently modded by a Dutch man or woman courageous enough to admit that (like us) they prefer the pretty much extinct, giant, tactile-as-all-get out keyboards to newer, more streamlined models, this mod takes away the only gripe we ever had with such peripherals — namely, their wiredness. The enterprising DIYer’s taken a Logitech wireless Wii keyboard apart, mapping all the key codes along the way, thrown in a little basic soldering, wedged everything into the old keyboard and voila! Pretty magical, right? Well, okay — not really, but still — we sort of dig it. There’s a before shot after the break, and hit the source link for the poorly machine translated how-to.

Continue reading Modder mods new fangled wireless keyboard to look like old timey one

Modder mods new fangled wireless keyboard to look like old timey one originally appeared on Engadget on Tue, 22 Dec 2009 13:23:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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USB Hourglass flips itself, generating random numbers in the process

December 22nd, 2009 admin No comments
This is such a bizarre combination of the old and the new that at least a few of our geekiest readers are sure to get a kick out of it. The USB Hourglass is essentially an egg timer equipped with an optical beam for keeping an eye on sand levels and a rotating mechanism for flipping the thing when all the sand has landed at the bottom. But that ain’t all! The observed light levels are sent to a host PC (via USB, which also supplies power) where any of your favorite open source tools can use it to generate random numbers. The rest of this — “entropy,” “random” versus “pseudorandom” number generators, etc. — is simply a little beyond us this morning, although we’re sure that this will produce a lively and intelligent discussion in the comments (where many a lively and intelligent discussion has taken place over the years). Just make sure you peep the video after the break first — it’s a blast.

Continue reading USB Hourglass flips itself, generating random numbers in the process

USB Hourglass flips itself, generating random numbers in the process originally appeared on Engadget on Tue, 22 Dec 2009 12:52:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

Permalink Hack-A-Day  |  sourceUSB Hourglass  | Email this | Comments

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Kim Kardashian’s Carl’s Jr Ad: Salad In Bed, Bubble Bath (VIDEO)

December 22nd, 2009 admin No comments

Kim Kardashian is the latest Carl’s Jr. spokesmodel to gorge on fast food in a state of semi-undress for the burger chain. This time the marketing device is salad porn.

“I’m such a neat freak,” Kim says while enjoying a sexy picnic in bed. “Everything’s gotta be clean, crisp and tasty.” She eats dripping bites of salad with her hands as the camera closes in on her lips and cleavage.

“And while the best things in life are messy, it’s fun to get clean,” she says as she sinks into a bubble bath, still picking at the salad.

Previously Padma Lakshmi, Audrina Patridge and Paris Hilton have starred in the campaign. Whose ad is the hottest?

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