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Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Refurbished iPad 4 and iPad Mini Offered At A Discount

Refurbished iPad 4 and iPad Mini Offered At A Discount
iPad Mini
(Image Credit: http://www.apple.com)
Discounts were made available for refurbished iPad 4 and iPad Mini through the online store of Apple. These discounts range from around fifteen percent up to seventeen percent.

This will allow would-be iPad owners to acquire the latest models of the device albeit a refurbished version at a lower price than the brand-new version. The discounts are available for all variations of the refurbished models of the tablet offering of Apple.

The 16GB Wi-Fi-only model of the iPad Mini has a price tag of around $279. This is lower by 15 percent compared to the usual price tag of the device. On the other hand, the 32GB iPad Mini is sold at around $359 or a discount of around 16 percent. The 64GB iPad Mini is priced at around $439, which is lower by 17 percent compared to the usual price of the device.

The 16GB Wi-Fi-only model of the iPad 4 is priced at around $419, while the 32GB model has a price tag of $499. Both price tags are lower by 16 percent compared to the standard price of the device. On the other hand, the 64GB model is sold at around $579 or a discount of around 17 percent.


All of the refurbished products of Apple are tested and fully certified by the company. They come with a new battery along with a new outer shell. All refurbished units of the iPad 4 and the iPad Mini carry a warranty of one year.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Numerous Color Options For Low-Priced iPhone and iPhone 5S Hinted

iPhone 5S
iPhone 5S
(Image Credit: http://www.pcmag.com)
Apple-focused Macotakara revealed that the supposed iPhone 5S and the low-priced iPhone will be available in a number of color options including green and gold.

Since Apple has not given any confirmation on the two new models of the iPhone, the report will remain in the realm of speculations. However, a number of reports have emerged on the possible appearance and features of the two devices.

The low-priced iPhone will reportedly feature a plastic casing, instead of aluminum and may be available in blue, white, green, pink and yellow-orange. There may be other color options for the device, including white, gray, gold orange, and navy. The price range of the device will reportedly be from $350 up to $400.

On the other hand, the reported iPhone 5S will also have a number of color options aside from the typical white and black variants. The report revealed that users may be able to choose from a green or a gold variant of the device. The iPhone 5S will also have similar features as the iPhone 5 and will feature a dual-LED flash for its camera.

Despite the absence of any confirmation from Apple, the fact that the latest model of the iPod Touch is already available in a number of color options, it is possible that the company will do the same thing for the upcoming models of the iPhone.

Trial production of the low-priced iPhone will reportedly start by next month although a number of reports have indicated that it may not be available in the market earlier than next year. On the other hand, earlier reports indicated that the iPhone 5S will be released by the company by July.


No statements were issued by Apple in connection to the reported low-priced iPhone or the iPhone 5S.

Recognizing Faces With Google Glass

Google Glass
Google Glass
(Image Credit: http://www.google.com)
Ever had a problem connecting names to faces? Well, this may not be a problem anymore with Google Glass as a startup based in San Francisco is reportedly working on a face-recognition application programming interface.

Lambda Labs will reportedly make the Google Glass Face Recognition API available soon to developers. This was revealed by the co-founder of the company, Stephen Balaban. The open-source Face API of the company was released by the company last year and it is already being used by developers and large companies.

The application for the augmented-reality eyewear will be based on this API. The app will allow users to identify faces of people in a crowd. It will also store information of the people that users encounter every day. Aside from being able to recognize other people using the app, it will also show users the people whom they have similar interests.

It remains uncertain whether the app will occur in real time or it will record the faces through Google Glass before it searches a remote server. And with questions on privacy, it remains uncertain if the app will be allowed by the online search giant. Balaban said that this is the first face-recognition API for the device, which means it remains uncertain if Google will allow its use on the eyewear.


However, a representative from the company revealed that any facial-recognition applications will not be available through the app store of the company. Product Management Director Steve Lee had indicated that the company will not allow such applications into the app store unless solid privacy protections are set.

Monday, May 27, 2013

Lighter iPad May Be In The Works

iPad 4
iPad 4
(Image Credit: http://www.apple.com)
The fifth-generation iPad may be lighter compared to the previous model of the device.

Taiwan-based Digitimes reported that the upcoming model of the iPad will enter production by July. It will reportedly be leaner compared to the previous models. It will also be 25 percent lighter compared to the iPad 4. Information about the device was also released by NPD DisplaySearch last April.

Although the fifth-generation iPad will still feature the 2048 by 1536 Retina Display, it will use thinner glass. This is made possible with the use of a new touch sensor technology. Its backlight gear will also be more compact compared to the ones used on the previous models.

Last April, NPD DisplaySearch revealed that the LED backlight of the upcoming model of the iPad will be smaller, which will make a slimmer iPad possible.  The increased efficiency of the LEDs will make the display perform more efficiently. It may also be possible for the device to use a touch sensor that is film-based.

The third and fourth models of the iPad were actually thicker and heavier compared to the iPad 2. The big backlight assembly contributed to this added thickness and heft on the device.


Digitimes also revealed that by September the deliveries of the fifth-generation iPad will increase to around three million units. 

Apple iWatch May Not Be Launched Until Next Year

iPod Nano with Watch Strap
iPod Nano with Watch Strap
(Image Credit: http://www.slashgear.com)
The so-called iWatch may not be introduced by Apple earlier than the latter part of 2014.

Ming-Chi Kuo of KGI Securities made this revelation through a note to investors. He also pointed at the lack of resources required in the development of a variant of the iOS for the device as one of the issues facing the production of the device. The company is currently working on overhauling the software.

Kuo also indicated that additional research for the components of wearable devices is needed to make such devices feasible in the market. This will result to the delay in the production of the watch-like device of Apple.  The company may also use a screen display size of around two inches. It will also feature biometric security, which is made possible after the company acquired AuthenTec for $356 million.

Reports of the supposed iWatch initially emerged in February, which indicated that the tech giant was taking the production of wristwatch-like products into consideration. Another report also indicated that around 100 people were reportedly assigned by Apple to work on the device. New patents filed by Apple also hinted at the possibility that Apple will work on such a device.

Kuo has been accurate in a number of previous reports on Apple products including the plans of the company for a Retina MacBook Pro and the white iPhone 4. He was also accurate with his statement on the details of the iPad and the iPod.


Statements from Apple CEO Tim Cook last month also supported the statement of Kuo that the reported iWatch may not see the light of day until next year.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Samsung Galaxy S4 Active Images Emerge

Samsung Galaxy S4 Active
Samsung Galaxy S4 Active
(Image Credit: http://www.gsmarena.com)
Extreme sports enthusiasts may want to hold off from purchasing the latest flagship smartphone of Samsung after leaked images of the Samsung Galaxy S4 Active emerged recently over the net. This particular model of the smartphone is basically a rugged version of the recently released Galaxy S4.

Earlier reports revealed that the upcoming model will be resistant to water and dust. This is good news for lovers of extreme sports since they can tweet while they run the rapids without having to worry about their smartphone. The leaked images of the upcoming smartphone were acquired by GSMArena.

The Samsung Galaxy S4 Active will feature a 1.9 GHz quad-core ARM processor, screen display resolution of 1920 by 1080, and an Adreno GPU. Although reports have also indicated that the rear camera of the upcoming smartphone will have a lower resolution, it is still adequate enough for any smartphone camera buff. The upcoming smartphone will have an eight megapixel rear-facing camera, which is lower than the thirteen megapixel camera of the standard Galaxy S4.

The rugged version of the flagship smartphone will also have a metallic shell, which contrasts the fondness of the South Korean manufacturer for hard plastic.


The upcoming device was reportedly showcased in Croatia although its release into the market remains uncertain for the moment. Industry watchers cannot wait for the availability of the Samsung Galaxy S4 Active in the market and put it on a number of tests.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Will Apple Launch A New MacBook Air?

MacBook Air
MacBook Air
(Image Credit: apple.com)

Industry watchers are anticipating the release of a new MacBook Air of Apple. The indicators that point to the coming of the new model are the shrinking supply of the 13.3-inch model of the slim Apple laptop. Only Best Buy has the device on its inventory, while the supply of all the other authorized outlets of the tech giant is reportedly getting smaller.

A reduction in the supply of an Apple product is normally a sign of a new version of that particular product.

However, it remains uncertain if a new MacBook Air will indeed be released by the company. It is expected that the upcoming device will feature the next-generation Haswell processor of Intel. The processor will be launched by June, prior to the Worldwide Developers Conference of Apple. This may give some indication of things to come.

Another question that will be raised in connection to the next version of the slim laptop of Apple is whether it will use the Retina Display that is used in a number of devices of the company. Although using the high-definition display may be expected, it may raise the cost of producing the device, let alone affecting the battery life of the device.

If Apple aims to maintain a notable battery life for the device while using the Retina Display, it may have to sacrifice its slim design. But with the way technology is advancing, Apple may have another ace hidden somewhere up its sleeve.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

The Night’s Watch Official Game Of Thrones Timepiece Coming


The Night’s Watch
The Night’s Watch
(Image Credit: http://www.cnet.com)
Game of Thrones fans will have something to cheer about with the upcoming release of a limited edition official “Game of Thrones” timepiece, The Night’s Watch.

HBO and Ulysse Nardin, a high-end Swiss watch manufacturer, will produce the device, which is based on the durable Black Sea diving chronograph.  The timepiece may not appear to come from the show itself since black is the dominant color and it features an aquatic pattern dial reminiscent of the Black Sea chronograph. The numerical markers, power reserve, hands, and sub-dials have a red-colored design.

The Night’s Watch is described by Ulysse Nardin as a perfect combination of elegance and athleticism. Its black and red elements provide the somber mood of the sacred order. This is quiet ironic for fans of the show due to the removal of a character form the so-called sacred order for a particular color choice.

The elements of the show on the timepiece are rather understated particularly with the placement of the logo of the show at the back. It also features a pair of ceramic links at the rubber strap of the watch that shows the phrase “The Night’s Watch” engrave on it. The phrase “I am the sword in darkness” can also be found above it.

The vulcanized rubber coating is also featured on the timepiece that comes with a sapphire crystal. It is also water resistant up to around 655 feet. Since it is a limited edition timepiece, only twenty-five timepieces will be manufactured witch each one costing around $10,500 each. “The Night’s Watch” timepiece will be available through the HBO store and the Cellini Jewelers in New York.

Monday, May 20, 2013

New Canon Super-Telephoto Lens Available For Pre-Orders

New Canon Super-Telephoto Lens
New Canon Super-Telephoto Lens
(Image Credit: http://www.cnet.com)

Sports and wildlife photographers will have mixed feelings with the upcoming release of a new Canon super-telephoto lens from Canon that has an integrated 1.4x telephoto extender.

Photographers will likely shout for joy once the upcoming 200-400 mm lens enters the market. That is, until they see the price tag. The new super-telephoto lens will set back photographers by $11,799.

The integrated extender of the lens can be activated through a simple flip of a lever, which makes the lens easier to use. It is also designed for the optics of the lens since it is already integrated into the new Canon super-telephoto lens itself. This is not quite true for ordinary extenders that are attached into a camera.

Despite the prohibitive price, it appears that the demand for the new Canon super-telephoto lens is high. The pre-order page of Amazon revealed that the supply of the product is limited. The online retail company is expecting that it may not be able to comply with all of the orders of their clients in the initial allocation of the product.

The lens was initially announced over two years ago, and Canon wanted to release it last year.

The lens weighs around 8.3 pounds and is 14.4 inches long, without the lens hood.

It has twenty-five lens elements, which include some composed of fluorite as well as ultra-low dispersion glass. When the extender is engaged, it will increase the lens elements to thirty-three. Glare and reflection are also reduced due to the SubWavelength Structure Coating and the Super Spectra Coating technology of Canon.

The product is also weather-sealed and features an image stabilization feature that allows photographers to shoot four stops slower compared to their typical shooting situations. For stationary subjects, photographers can shoot at 1/60 sec instead of 1/1000 sec without any camera shake. However, it should be noted that the shake reduction statement is an optimistic view of the manufacturer of the new Canon super-telephoto lens.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Firefox OS-Powered Smartphones Offered To Programmers

Firefox OS-Powered Smartphone
Firefox OS-Powered Smartphone
(Image Credit: http://www.pcworld.com)

It seems Mozilla is getting serious with the Firefox OS-powered smartphones as it is reportedly offering a developer phone to programmers who will make apps for the Firefox Marketplace.

Havi Hoffman of Mozilla posted recently that the company are willing to make the apps that on the Marketplace if the programmers have a great idea for an app and can create it. The company will also provide a Firefox OS Developer Preview device to the programmers, which they can use to develop the app. The Firefox OS is expected to be formally launched by summer.

Hoffman added that once the Firefox OS-powered smartphones become available in the market, the programmers will have the chance of being the first ones to post their apps on the Firefox Marketplace. A number of users in selected markets will be looking for apps that they can use on their smartphones. These apps may include games, utilities, tools, entertainment, sports and other apps.

Since the apps for the Firefox OS are browser-based, they are expected to load websites that are specially designed for mobile devices. This will allow the OS of Mozilla to start strong since it can already load a number of popular websites.

The challenge that programmers will face is how to create an app that is suitable for devices that have limited hardware capabilities. The company is also aiming to ensure that these apps will work on these devices. The first FirefoxOS-powered smartphones were intended to be promoted in developing markets, where the price tag is an important consideration when consumers acquire a smartphone.

The first-generation phones using the Firefox OS were unveiled by Mozilla during the Mobile World Congress last February. They became available in the recently through Geeksphone. Sony, LG, ZTE, and Alcatel are expected to released their own models of a Firefox OS-powered smartphone, although the launch schedule for these devices remains uncertain for the moment.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Files Of 3D-Printed Gun Available On The Pirate Bay

3D-Printed Gun
3D-Printed Gun
(Image Credit: http://www.cnet.com)

The files of the 3D-printed gun, the Liberator, were removed from Defcad, the file-sharing site of Defense Distributed, following an order by the State Department. Defense Distributed is the group established by Coy Wilson, who was able to successfully test-fire the weapon.

Wilson was not surprised by the move of the State Department although he thought that the site was allowed to post the files under exemptions of the International Traffic in Arms Regulations for dissemination in a public domain. But it appears that another site is more than willing to host the blueprints for the weapon, The Pirate Bay.

Although the files were removed from Defcad, they were posted within one day on the network of The Pirate Bay. The peer-to-peer network has a number of versions of the files for the first 3D-printed gun. Some files were already uploaded before the demand of the State Department came out.

In addition to the action by the State Department, Democratic Senator Leland Yee introduced a bill in the state of California that effectively prohibited similar weapons. Last year, US Representative Steve Israel introduced a bill that increased restrictions on these weapons.

Despite the increasing need to limit gun ownership across the different branches of the government, some sectors think that apprehensions on 3D-printed guns are exaggerated. Although these weapons are not easy to detect and basically anyone can make it, it still requires a specialized, high-end printer before any 3D-printed gun can be made.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

High-End Firefox OS-Powered Smartphones In The Pipeline

Firefox OS-Powered Smartphone
Firefox OS-Powered Smartphone
(Image Credit: http://www.pcworld.com)

Not too long ago a report revealed the availability of Firefox OS-powered smartphones. These smartphones are budget models and were mainly marketed in developing markets such as Brazil. However, a Mozilla executive revealed that a high-end device may be released by Sony using the OS.

Mozilla mobile devices senior vice president Li Gong revealed that the company is discussing with Sony on the type of device that the company may release into the market. The Firefox OS is aiming to enter a market that is currently being dominated by the Android of Google and iOS of Apple. The company initially released budget smartphones with the Keon and the Peak, which were available through Geeksphone.

Despite using low-end devices as its entry into the smartphone market, Mozilla is reportedly working with other companies in the hope of offering high-end Firefox OS-powered smartphones. Gong revealed that the company aims to enter the high-end market although it may take time to put up an ecosystem.

He also revealed that a number of manufacturers are already developing their own Firefox OS-powered smartphones. These manufacturers include Alcatel, Huawei, LG, Sony and ZTE.  There are also eighteen telecom operators that have indicated their interest in using the OS.

Gong also indicated that the company is taking a pure approach for its OS. It is not limited to being an open source program but it also goes through an open process.

The Android is being promoted by Google as open-source software. However, it does not allow manufacturers and mobile service providers any inside information on its development and its unreleased versions. The Android can be modified by the partners of the company after the OS is released into the market.

Despite these pronouncements, industry watchers are skeptical on the impact of Firefox OS-powered smartphones in the mobile market. Its late entry into the market and the presence of similar open-source OS are some of the obstacles that Mozilla will have to deal with in the market.

However, Gong is optimistic about the entry of the operating system of Mozilla in the market. He indicated that some people thought it was a foolish decision to start the project. The company believes that need for a third OS is strong among business. This is the reason why the company continued with the project with the end-goal of release more Firefox OS-powered smartphones into the market.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Next iPhone May Be Released By September

iPhone
iPhone
(Image Credit: http://www.apple.com)

The next iPhone will reportedly be released into the market before the end of the year, and with the appearance of the iOS 7 in a number of web logs, it seems that it will only be a matter of time before the next model of the smartphone offering of Apple will enter the market.

However, a note from Morgan Stanley has upped the ante recently. According to the research note written by Katy Huberty, the production of several iPhone SKUs will start by June or July, and it will be launched by the company by September. This may give indications that there may be more than one new iPhone in the pipeline. The research note was dubbed as “Systems and PC Hardware Asia Trip Takeaways Part 1.”

Although reports about the next iPhone started to emerge some time ago, most of these reports were mainly focused on a single iPhone model or the iPhone 5S. It should also be noted that Huberty was in touch with suppliers in Asia, which will give the research note more weight over previous speculations about the upcoming device. The research note also gave the schedule on the upcoming launch of the device.

It can be recalled that an earlier report from a Japan-based industrial newspaper revealed that production of the display panels for the next iPhone will start by June at the Kameyama plant of Sharp.  Putting these earlier reports together may also add credence to the note released by Morgan Stanley in connection to the upcoming device.

The launch of the new models of the iPhone is also expected to correspond to the release of the iOS 7. The next iPhone is expected to feature a new processor and other internal components that may be an upgrade to the current model of the device.

Laser Weapon System Of Lockheed Tested

Laser Weapon
Laser Weapon
(Image Credit: http://www.cnet.com)

An earlier report revealed the plan of the US Navy in deploying a ship-based solid-state laser weapon at the Persian Gulf. Recently a series of tests were conducted by Lockheed using a new directed-energy system that was dubbed as ADAM or Area Defense Anti-Munitions system.

The ADAM weapon system was tested against targets similar to the Qassam rockets used by in Palestine. The system destroyed the targets at a distance of around 1.5 kilometers or just under a mile.

The laser system produces 10kw of power, which limits its range and makes it more suitable for use against targets with light armor. Although the range of the laser weapon is limited around two kilometers, Lockheed indicated that the system can effectively track targets over five kilometers away, even in cluttered visual situations.

The weapons system heats up the side of a projectile for a few seconds using a high-energy beam whenever it is used against a missile or a rocket. For science fiction enthusiasts, the ADAM system does not appear to be their idea of a laser weapon system. In fact it has a similar design as a generator that is often used by Army battalions for field operations.

However, the design is not on top of the priority list since laser weapon advocates are focusing on the cost-effectiveness of the entire system. Since it only requires electricity, it basically has an unlimited supply of “ammunition,” unless the battery runs out. The cost of the system is minimal compared to the conventional anti-missile system.

Strategic and Missile Defense Systems president Tory Bruno of Lockheed Martin Space Systems said the results of the test show the cost-effectiveness of the ADAM weapons system. It also offers a convenient directed-energy system that can be used against close-in threats in real-world situations.

With the release of the video, it appears that weapons developers are gradually showing the value of a laser weapon system to deal with any given real-world situation.


Sunday, May 12, 2013

Tumbler Batmobile Joins Europe Rally

Tumbler Batmobile
Tumbler Batmobile
(Image Credit: Team Galag)

The Tumbler Batmobile will be running the Gumball 3000 rally from Denmark all the way to Monaco. Yup, you read that right, the Tumbler Batmobile that came out in a couple of Batman movies, the same one that was stolen by Bane when he wanted to take over Gotham . . . Well, probably not the exact same one.

A team from Saudi Arabia has created a copy of the Tumbler for the 15th anniversary of the 3,000-mile rally. Even though a number of rather remarkable vehicles will come out for the rally that will start on May 19, the entry of the Team Galag of Saudi Arabia is the runaway favorite.

Parker Brothers Concept of Florida made the scale model of the Tumbler for the rally. The cost of building the vehicle is at around $1.5 million. According to the Web page of Team Galag, since the Gumball 3000 draws a number of expensive vehicles from around the world, they decided to use something original.

Tumbler Batmobile
Tumbler Batmobile
(Image Credit: Team Galag)
The Tumbler Batmobile entry of Team Galag has a total length of less than seventeen feet and a weight of around five thousand pounds. Under the hood is a 750 HP twin-turbo 3.8-liter V6 engine. It also features ceramic brakes. Despite its weight, the vehicle is still expected to attain a top speed of around 160 km/h.

Although no prize is given for the “winner” of the Gumball 3000, the entry of Team Galag may have already won something even before the rally has started, which is the admiration of vehicle enthusiasts.

The rally starts at Copenhagen, Denmark and finishes at Monte Carlo, Monaco. So if you are in the neighborhood, it may be your chance to get to see the Tumbler Batmobile in action . . . minus the villains and the Dark Knight.

Traffic Logs Show iOS 7 Prior To Launch

iOS 7
iOS 7

Reports on the upcoming release of the next iPhone have resulted to speculations on the upcoming introduction of the iOS 7 in the market.

The reported emergence of the next mobile OS of Apple in web traffic logs recently has increased the anticipation for its launch in the coming month. This was revealed by a startup company that enhances websites to make them touch-friendly for smartphones and tablets. According to Onswipe, nearly 25 percent of visitors to the websites using its technology were supposedly using the soon-to-be-available software.

Another website, Macrumors, also reported an increase in the number of visitors using devices with the iOS 7. But industry watchers indicated that it is normal for an increase in activity for unreleased software offerings of Apple. It can be recalled that prior to the release of the OS X 10.7 Lion and 10.8 Mountain Lion, traffic logs saw an increase in their activity months before they were officially launched.

Apple is very secretive when it comes to the activities of the company and safeguards are also implemented when they use external resources. According to former Internet Technologies engineering director Don Melton, the company would change the way the software would identify itself when it taps into external web servers.

Reports have emerged hinting at the possibility that the iOS 7 may have a different appearance compared to the previous versions of the mobile OS, which has basically remained the same since it was initially released by Apple in 2007.

Last month the company revealed plans of introducing the next versions of the mobile OS and the OS X during the annual developers’ conference of Apple. With the upcoming release of the iOS 7 of Apple, the introduction of the next model of the iPhone may not be far behind.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Production Of Next iPhone Display To Start Soon


iPhone 5S
iPhone 5S
(Image Credit: http://www.pcmag.com)
The production of the display for the next iPhone has already started according to a report from a major industrial newspaper in Japan.

The Nikkan Kogyo Shimbun revealed that the even though the Kameyame factory of Sharp was not operating at full capacity, full operations will start with the production of the display of the upcoming version of the iPhone of Apple, which will reportedly be dubbed as the iPhone 5S.

The specifications of the next iPhone will reportedly be similar to the present model of the device, the report added. Reports on the delay of the release of the iPhone 5S have emerged, which resulted to serious warnings from analysts indicating the need to release the device within the third quarter of this year.

The latest report may appear to confirm this. In addition to Sharp, LG Display as well as Japan Display will help in the production of the display panel. Japan Display is a combination of Hitachi Display, Sony Mobile Display and Toshiba Mobile Display. No information was available on when the two other companies will start producing the display panel for the next iPhone or the iPhone 5S.

Anticipation is high for the upcoming release of the iPhone 5S, which is expected to happen together with the release of the iOS 7. Earlier reports have already indicated that the next iPhone will feature a better processor compared to the current model of the device.

Windows Blue Update To Be Released Within The Year

Windows Blue
Windows Blue
(Image Credit: http://www.pcworld.com)

The update for the Windows 8 OS, which was dubbed as Windows Blue, is set to be released by before the end of the year. The upcoming OS will be able to support numerous screen displays, form factors, and offers more options for consumers and business users.

Microsoft CFO and CMO Tami Reller revealed that the update allows the company to react to the feedback from customers that the company took note of since the Windows RT and Windows 8 OS were unveiled. Last year, Microsoft delivered ARM-based Windows RT and Intel-based Windows 8 OS devices. The Windows Blue update follows some unfavorable reactions from users on the operating system, which has not stopped the decline in the sales of PCs.

PC deliveries in the first quarter went down by 13.9 percent compared to the same period last year. The wide acceptance of other devices has contributed to the failure of the Windows 8 OS from stopping the decline in PC sales.

No details were provided by Reller on the features of the Windows Blue update.

However, it should also be noted that sales of the Windows 8 license have surpassed the 100 million unit level within ix months after it was released. The figure includes the sales of the devices using the OS along with the upgrades to the latest OS from Microsoft.

Reller also said that there is a growing number of devices using the Windows 8 and Windows RT OS. The company is aware of the time it will take to change and it is optimistic of the developments following the launch of the OS. Despite the decline in PC sales, she is still confident of the PC market.

The PC market is now evolving with the increasing number of mobile devices including convertibles and touch laptops. The new PCs that have emerged are starting to become more affordable for consumers.

The number of apps available in the Windows Store has also increased by six-fold since it was launched. The first six months saw over 250 million applications downloaded by users.

The SkyDrive of the company also has more than 250 million uses while the Outlook.com webmail has around 400 million accounts. This is positive news for the company even as it prepares for the release of the Windows Blue OS update within the year.

Plants Vs. Zombie To Debut By July


Plants Vs. Zombies 2
Plants Vs. Zombies 2
(Image Credit: http://www.pcmag.com)
PopCap announced recently released a teaser video showing the Plants vs. Zombies 2. The upcoming game is expected to make its debut on July.

The video also shows fans asking for the release of the sequel to the widely-popular game. One fan said that the time has come for a sequel to be released while another fan said that most video games would release a sequel by this time. A number of fans have started to become frustrated with the non-appearance of a sequel to the game. The maker of the game has indicated that the sequel will be launched by July.

The scheduled launch is behind the original expected release schedule last year. The Plants vs. Zombies 2 was expected to be released in the spring of 2013. No explanations were offered on the delay of the release of the game.

So far no details were released on the upcoming Plants vs. Zombies 2. The first version of the game was released in 2009 for PCs. The iOS version was released in the following year. The game is also available on the Nintendo DS, Xbox, BlackBerry PlayBook, and Android devices.

The game basically has a homeowner protecting his dwelling against brain-hungry zombies using an array of zombie –fighting plants.

The iPad HD version of the game was initially offered through the App Store at around $7 while the version for the iPhone was priced at around $3. After the free versions for the iOS were released, the price tag of the two versions went down to $0.99. On the other hand, the Android version was initially available at around $3 before the price went down to $ 0.99.

The price tag of the upcoming Plants vs. Zombies 2 has yet to be released by PopCap.

Friday, May 10, 2013

Sony Xperia Z Available In The US Market

Sony Xperia Z
Sony Xperia Z
(Image Credit: http://www.sonymobile.com)

The US website of Sony already has the Sony Xperia Z on its device lineup. The unlocked version of the latest Android flagship smartphone of Sony has a price tag of around $630.

It should be noted that the smartphone is different from the Sony Xperia ZL, which basically has the same features as the recently-available smartphone. The two smartphone feature a five-inch full HD display screen, 1.5GHz quad-core Snapdragon processor, 2GB RAM, and the Jelly Bean Android 4.1 OS. However, the Sony Xperia Z offers a more premium design using first-class materials.

The chassis of the upcoming flagship smartphone from Sony has a glossy glass rear. It is also designed to be water and dust resistant. Since it is an unlocked model, users have the option on the mobile service provider they will use for the device.

Despite the marked differences between the two devices, they are both priced at around $630. It may be possible for the company to keep the Xperia ZL from the US market in order to increase the appeal of the Xperia Z. For the moment, the high cost of acquiring unlocked smartphones is a bit discouraging for some consumers, which makes the market for such devices rather small.

It may be possible for a major US-based mobile service provider to include the smartphone into its device lineup. This will likely bring the cost of acquiring the smartphone down and increase the number of consumers who may acquire it in the US market.

Reports On The BlackBerry R10 Continue To Emerge

BlackBerry R10
BlackBerry R10
(Image Credit: http://www.dgtle.com)

It seems that Research In Motion aims to get back its share of the market, and it may come in the release of a new BlackBerry device that will be dubbed as the BlackBerry R10.

Images of the upcoming device were leaked recently into the net, and this device may be a low-priced version of the BlackBerry Q10. The images initially emerged on DGtle, a China-based website. It showed the familiar keyboard of a BlackBerry device. However, it does not feature the premium design of the BlackBerry Q10.

The images appear to show a device made of plastic instead of the fiber glass-plastic material used on the BlackBerry Q10.

The BlackBerry R10 features a back plate that appears to be glossy and has a more pronounced rectangular design. Reports have also indicated that the upcoming device will use the new BlackBerry 10 software, which means that it may not be a huge downgrade for the upcoming device.  The chiseled typing surfaces of the QWERTY keys of the BlackBerry Q10 may be step up from the rather shallow design of the previous Blackberry devices.

The launch of the reported BlackBerry R10 remains to unconfirmed although some reports have hinted at the possibility that it may be unveiled during the BlackBerry Live event. Some industry watchers are anticipating the release of new tablet devices by RIM. However the statements of Thorsten Heins, the CEO of the company, have pre-empted such expectations.

It may be possible for the company to have some partnerships with app developers or some Android apps may be ported into the BlackBerry 10 OS. However, the BlackBerry Live event may also see the launch of the reported BlackBerry R10.

First 3D-Printed Gun Successfully Tested

3D-Printed Gun
3D-Printed Gun
(Image Credit: http://www.cnet.com)

The debate on gun control may soon go up one level higher after a man from Texas was able to successfully fire an actual bullet using a 3D-printed gun.

Cody Wilson, a law student from the University of Texas, released a video showing test shots using the “Liberator,” a 3D-printed gun. The main components of the gun are made from plastic, and it only has two metal components, the firing pin and a six-ounce steel component that is a requirement of the Undetectable Firearms Act. The steel component will allow the gun to be detected by metal detectors. However, it may also be possible for other gun enthusiasts not to include it.

Wilson actually planned to print the weapon earlier but after Startasys, the manufacturer of the 3D printer, got wind of his plans, they confiscated the leased printer form the nonprofit organization of Wilson, Defense Distributed. However, he was still able to print out the Liberator at a cost of $8,000.

Wilson advocates the freedom of anyone around the world to be able to download blueprints for weapons and the capability of printing them using a 3D printer. Although he is aware of the concerns of his detractors, he is adamant on his advocacy. The blueprint for the 3D-printed gun of Wilson is reportedly available on the net and can be used by anyone who has access to a3D printer.

The primary goal of Defense Distributed is to develop printable firearms. It also aims to be a hub for such weapons. It also seems that the organization wants to get some reaction from lawmakers.

And it appears that the organization has gotten the attention of Senator Charles Schumer of New York. He called for a ban on 3D-printed guns during a recent press conference.  He said that it will be possible for anyone to produce weapons at the comfort of their own homes. This includes people who may not qualify to legally acquire a weapon.

Schumer said that it may be possible for a felon, a spousal abuser, a mentally-ill person or a terrorist to have a gun factory inside the garage. He added that he wants the undetectable weapons ban to include plastic high-capacity magazines. An Undetectable Firearms Modernization Act will also be introduced by Rep. Steve Israel and Senator Schumer soon.

The plan of Schumer may affect any future plans of anyone who aims to produce their own 3D-printed guns in their backyard.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Internet Connection And The Next Xbox

Xbox 720
Xbox 720
(Image Credit: http://www.cnet.com)

Earlier reports hinted at the possibility that a continuous internet connection was necessary to allow the next Xbox to function. However, Ars Technica reported that Microsoft acknowledged the need for the game console to remain operational even if it is not connected to the net.

The latest report may ease the concerns of video game enthusiast who were anxious of the limitations of the need to be continuously connected into the net for the console to function.

The next Xbox, which was codenamed Durango, is designed to offer the next-generation entertainment even as it was intended to be patient with the current state of the internet, the report indicated. There are a number of instances where internet connection may be limited, and it is necessary for the game console to continue to function whenever these limitations exist. Gamers can still use the game console for watching live TV, playing using a Blu-ray disc, and playing single player games.

Microsoft did not release any statements in connection to the report. However, it indicated that it has revealed some information about the upcoming device while more feature will be revealed once the device is launched on May 21.

A Microsoft spokeswoman indicated that the company will be releasing information about the games, the entertainment and TV features of the game console on May 21. However, it has nothing more to share for the moment in connection to the next Xbox.

Despite the report, it appears that many gaming enthusiasts may continue to be anxious about the connectivity issue on the game console. The main concern is the need to be constantly connected to install games, which may limit the capability of gamers of playing second-hand game titles.

The always-connected feature on the next Xbox may be a means of limiting piracy by Microsoft at the expense of video game enthusiasts.

Samsung Galaxy Core Introduced

Samsung Galaxy Core
Samsung Galaxy Core
(Image Credit: http://www.samsung.com)

An upcoming Samsung Galaxy Core smartphone that has a dual-SIM option may be unveiled by the South Korean manufacturer before the end of the month.

The upcoming smartphone will come in two variants, one that has only one SIM while the second one will be a dual-SIM model. The single-SIM model may not be launched earlier than July while the dual-SIM model will be unveiled within the month.

The upcoming dual-SIM Samsung Galaxy Core smartphone will feature a 1.2GHz dual-core processor, 1GB RAM, and an internal storage of 8GB. The internal storage can be expanded up to 64GB through a microSD memory card. It will also feature a 4.3-inch WVGA display screen, a 5MP rear-facing camera and a VGA front-facing camera.

The smartphone will use the Jelly Bean Android 4.1 OS and will come with the Samsung Hub along with a number of other Samsung apps.

The Samsung Galaxy Core smartphone will also offer users with the Smart Stay feature that dims the display whenever users turn their eyes away from the screen. It will also feature the Smart Alert feature that informs users of missed messages and calls whenever they pick up the device. The S Voice will also allow users to use the device using voice commands while the Motion UI of the device will allow users to trigger some commands through specific motions and gestures.

For the moment, no information was released on the availability and the price tag for the upcoming Samsung Galaxy Core smartphone.

Production Of Display For Retina iPad Mini To Start Soon

Retina iPad Mini
Retina iPad Mini
(Image Credit: http://www.cnet.com)

The RetinaiPad Mini may be launched in the third quarter of the year as production of the display will start in the coming months. This was revealed recently by NPD DisplaySearch, which pointed to a June or July start of the production of the display panels of the device.

NPD DisplaySearch analyst Richard Shim indicated that one of the main manufacturers of the display will be LG Display. He also said that Samsung was not among the list of suppliers for the upcoming small-size tablet offering of Apple.

Shim indicated that the role of LG Display in the production of the Retina iPad Mini has become bigger as Samsung was not identified as one of the component suppliers for the device. The 7.9-inch display of the device will have a resolution of 2048 by 1536.

The pixel density of the device will be similar to the one found on the Retina display of the iPhone 5. It will also be among the highest pixel densities among all tablets in the market. Bu, Shim was uncertain if the higher pixel density will be noticed by ordinary consumers.

Shim added that a number of tablets with pixel densities that go beyond 300 PPI are set to be released into the market. It may reach a point where it will not be easy to distinguish the enhancements on the image quality. The Amazon Kindle Fire will have displays that have a pixel density of over 300 PPI. On the other hand, the Google Nexus 10 already has a pixel density of 229 PPI.

However, consumers will still notice the better image quality on the Retina iPad Mini compared to the current model of the device.

It is also possible that consumers to focus on the display of the upcoming Retina iPad Mini due to the attention that the small-sized model of the iPad has gotten following its release into the market.