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Daily Archives: 04/02/2013

Is that Kevin Spacey behind all those Apple products?

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Up until this one specific camera shot, 31 minutes and 42 seconds into the sixth episode of House of Cards, it had all been going pretty well. The endearing evil of the series’ anti-hero Francis Underwood (Kevin Spacey, there on the left) had carried me through the first five installments at a brisk pace, to the extent that even the most blatant Apple and Sony product placements had largely gone unnoticed. (Underwood: “Is that a PS Vita? I oughta get one of these for the car.”)

I happen to be from the UK, where paid product placements on TV shows were banned until 2011 and where we’re particularly sensitive to such things, so I must have been engrossed. But then this desk shot happened. My disbelief stopped suspending and promptly clattered to the floor. It had nothing to do with Apple specifically, or even the principle of commercial gadget cameos. My paranoia runs deeper than that, and it has so far prevented me from going back to watch the rest of the series. Read on and I’ll explain.

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Posted by on 04/02/2013 in IT

 

AT&T Unite LTE hotspot coming to stores February 8th for a dollar

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The second touchscreen LTE mobile hotspot has just been announced for AT&T. Known as the Unite, the Sierra Wireless device will be available on the network February 8th and will cost you no more than 99 cents after a two-year contract gets involved. This particular device, which has a 2.4-inch display, boasts a 10-hour battery life with regular use (10 days standby). For more info about the Unite, head to the source link below. by engadget

 
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Posted by on 04/02/2013 in IT

 

Super Bowl 2013 ads: Samsung, Best Buy, BlackBerry and… Zombies

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So, catch the big game on the, er, internet? Or, if you took our advice and used more traditional hardware, you may have caught Seth Rogen and Paul Rudd trying to outdo each other to become Samsung’s “Next Big Thing” promoters (only to be trumped by LeBron James), or a BlackBerry Z10 user turning a tanker truck into rubber duckies. Other tech ads included Best Buy’s “Ask Amy” with Amy Poehler in full-on adorkable mode, Sony’s cinematic PlayStation God of War teaser and a pair of skeevy / cleverish Godaddy ads. We also got a sneak peak at the trailers for Iron Man 3 and Zombie apocalypse / Brad Pitt starrer World War Z. Finally, Star Trek: Into Darkness launched another teaser, which notably featured the debut of the Apple Store’s “AppStore.com” short link. All-in-all, pretty weak sauce compared to last year, in our opinion — but you can decide for yourself after the break. by engadget

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Posted by on 04/02/2013 in IT

 

Raspberry Pi Model A hits Europe with $25 price tag, expected worldwide soon

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Looking for a slimmed-down Raspberry Pi with a single USB port, 256MB of RAM, no Ethernet and one-third the power consumption of a Model B board? You’re probably in the market for Model A — a $25 alternative designed for use in battery or solar-powered devices like remote sensors, WiFi repeaters, robots and so on. Europeans currently have exclusive access to the cheaper Raspberry Pi flavor, which according to an Adafruit test consumes only 100 mAh of juice (compared to about 300 mAh for the Model B, due to Ethernet power requirements). Beginning today, hobbyists can get their fix directly from RS Components and Element 14, with pricing fixed around £19, including VAT. According to the manufacturer’s blog post, Model A exclusivity will be short-lived, with the device coming to the rest of the world “very soon.” If you’re based across the pond, however, you can hit up our source links to place your order now. by engadget

 
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Posted by on 04/02/2013 in IT

 

Samsung ATIV Tab review: the Windows RT tablet you’ll never find in the US

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In a world that’s increasingly dominated by tablets, Microsoft, whose fortune is intertwined with desktops and laptops, needed to prevent its customers from leaving in droves. After a few years in a Redmond laboratory, Windows 8 and Surface RT were born — but not everything was well in the brave new world the company had created. While Windows RT looks and behaves the same way as its big brother, it doesn’t run your existing Windows programs despite having its own “desktop” mode. Understandably, as casual users struggled to understand the distinction, Samsung abandoned any plans to launch a Windows RT product in the United States.

However, the device is still available in the rest of the world, and so it is for everyone else — and those with an eye on importing it — that we put the ATIV Tab through its paces. In short, if it never made the journey across the pond, it would be a shame, because it’s certainly tablet enough to give the Surface RT a run for its money. So should you buy one? The answer to that question awaits after the break.

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Posted by on 04/02/2013 in IT

 

Panasonic shows micro color splitters that double up image sensor acuity

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Panasonic shows image sensor that splits color to double up on sensitivity

Panasonic has developed a new type of imaging sensor that gets more photons where they need to be by foregoing the use of conventional CMOS debayering filters. Those can reduce sensor effectiveness by blocking 50 to 70 percent of the light, so researchers developed “micro color splitters” to do the job instead, which can separate hues microscopically using refraction. They did it by taking advantage of wave optic principals to create a new type of electronic “deflector” that can analyze and separate light wave frequencies much faster than previous methods. There’s almost no loss of light during the process, and such devices can be made using conventional semiconductor fabricating techniques, too. There’s no timetable for commercializing the tech, but Panasonic holds 21 domestic and 16 overseas patents on it — meaning it’s likely not just a science project. by engadget

 
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Posted by on 04/02/2013 in IT

 

Sony VAIO T14 and T15 touchscreen Ultrabooks arrive at Sony’s store, Best Buy starting at $770

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Sony flaunted its VAIO T series 14- and 15-inch Windows 8 touch-enabled Ultrabooks at CES 2013 last month, but we weren’t able to do anything at the time but snap, film and fondle them a bit. Now those models have arrived on Sony’s store for pre-order, giving us a complete picture of pricing, specs and availability. We knew about the 15.5-inch, 1920 x 1080 touchscreen for the T15, and now we also know it’ll be available with 3rd generation Intel Core i3-3227U, i5-3337U and i7-3537U processors starting at $770, $950 and $1,150 respectively. You’ll also get Intel HD 4000 graphics, HDMI out, USB 3.0 and a DVD burner, with 4GB of RAM and 500GB + 24GB hybrid hard drive (HHD) on the i3 model; 6GB of RAM and the same HHD on the i5 model; and 8GB of RAM, a 256GB SSD and Blu-ray disk player on the top Core-i7 model for $1,400.

The VAIO T series 14-inch models, meanwhile, will sport a 14-inch, 1366 x 768 touch display with 3rd gen Intel Core i5-3337U processors, 6GB of RAM, 500 GB + 24GB SSD HHDs, a DVD burner, Intel HD 4000 graphics, HDMI out and USB 3.0. That model will run $900, but of course you’ll be able to customize it (or the T15) to your heart, and wallet’s content. Meanwhile, Best Buy is also showing the VAIO T15 model with Core i5, 8GB of RAM and the 500GB + 24GB HHD for $930 or so. Sony’s got most of them in stock, with custom models shipping by February 19th, well before its CES prognostication of “early Spring” — so if you’ve been hoping to actually, you know, do something with those famous Windows 8 live tiles, hit the source. [Thanks, Erik] by engadget

 
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Posted by on 04/02/2013 in IT

 
 
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