Daily Archives: 14/02/2013

Microsoft Surface Pro Teardown


  • Here lies the second version of Surface devices, the Microsoft Surface Pro.

  • Noteworthy specs:

    • Windows 8, the real deal

    • 10.6″ ClearType HD Display (resolution of 1920×1080 pixels) with 10 point multitouch

    • 3rd Gen Intel Core i5 Processor with Intel HD Graphics 4000 (the same graphics found in current-generation MacBook Air laptops)

    • 4 GB of DDR3-1600 RAM

    • 64 GB or 128 GB flash storage

    • Wi-Fi (802.11a/b/g/n) and Bluetooth 4.0

  • Read the rest of this entry »

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    Posted by on 14/02/2013 in IT


    Chevy Spark and Sonic Are First Cars to Get Siri ‘Eyes Free’


    As promised late last year, Chevrolet is the first company to deliver Siri ‘Eyes Free’ to consumers. 2013 Chevy Spark and Sonic cars allow owners to perform a number of tasks via Siri using the car’s built-in entertainment system.

        In the 2013 Spark and Sonic vehicles equipped with MyLink, owners can use Siri in Eyes Free mode to:

        – Make voice-activated, hands-free calls to Contacts on their iPhone
        – Play songs in their iTunes libraries, and even switch music sources automatically from AM/FM/XM radio to iPod mode
        – Listen to, and compose and send an iMessage or text message to a phone number or anyone in saved Contacts
        – Access Calendar and add appointments
        – Minimize distraction even more by keeping the screen of the iPhone from lighting up even when Siri answers simple questions such as game scores or the dates of national holidays

    Chevrolet doesn’t specify exactly when new Sonic and Spark cars will get ‘Eyes Free’ support, but the company says existing 2013 owners will be able to upgrade their MyLink radios with Siri capability beginning in March.

    Honda has promised that the Accord and the Acura RDX and ILX cars will get ‘Eyes Free’ later in 2013, with some current 2013 Accord owners getting to beta test the service ahead of a wider rollout. by macrumors

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    Posted by on 14/02/2013 in IT


    Xbox Founding Engineer Says Apple TV Could Destroy Console Gaming with Third-Party Apps

    xbox_apple_tv-250x121Earlier this month, we highlighted some comments from Valve founder Gabe Newell noting his view that Apple had the potential to take over the traditional gaming market by leveraging its existing ecosystem to deliver a “dumbed down living room platform” more quickly and efficiently than others can transition from the console to streaming via PC as Newell believes is the future.

    Nat Brown, one of the first engineers to join the Xbox project back in 1999, has now published a blog post offering similar thoughts in noting the Microsoft is missing out on a major opportunity by not opening up that platform to small developers, an issue that Apple could easily exploit to gain tremendous momentum in the home gaming market.

        Why can’t I write a game for xBox tomorrow using $100 worth of tools and my existing Windows laptop and test it on my home xBox or at my friends’ houses? Why can’t I then distribute it digitally in a decent online store, give up a 30% cut and strike it rich if it’s a great game, like I can for Android, for iPhone, or for iPad?

    Brown notes that the terms of the Xbox developer program are so onerous that it is essentially impossible for an independent developer to succeed on the platform.

    Brown also believes that the user experience on the Xbox platform leaves much to be desired, with Apple’s emphasis on simplicity giving it an advantage with users.

        Apple, if it chooses to do so, will simply kill Playstation, Wii-U and xBox by introducing an open 30%-cut app/game ecosystem for Apple-TV. I already make a lot of money on iOS – I will be the first to write apps for Apple-TV when I can, and I know I’ll make money. I would for xBox if I could and I knew I would make money. Maybe a “console-capable” Apple-TV isn’t $99, maybe it’s $199, and add another $79 for a controller. The current numbers already say a lot, even with Apple-TV not already an open console: 5.3M sold units in 2012, 90% year-over-year growth — vs. xBox 360 — about 9M units in 2012, 60% YoY decline.

    Just today, Jefferies analyst Peter Misek claimed that Apple will be holding a TV-related special event next month, speculating that the company could announce developer tools for the Apple TV platform to set the stage for a full television set product later this year. by macrumors

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    Posted by on 14/02/2013 in IT


    Apple Planning March Special Event to Introduce Developer Tools for TV?


    Citing “channel checks”, Jefferies analyst Peter Misek today reported in a research note that Apple appears to be preparing for a television-related product event next month. While Misek does not believe that Apple’s rumored television set will be making an appearance at the event, he does suggest that Apple might begin setting the stage for the future product by launching developer tools that would presumably also allow the current Apple TV set-top box to gain third-party apps.

        Channel checks indicate Apple has a product event in March that is Apple-TV related (possibly an iTV SDK introduction). We think a Sep/Oct iTV launch is being targeted.

    Misek anticipates that Apple will launch its television set in the 42″-55″ size range with prices starting around $1500.

    Rumors about Apple’s television set plans have slowed down in recent months after a flurry of reports at the end of 2012, but just today fresh rumors of a potential Apple acquisition of German television maker Loewe have brought renewed focus.

    Apple has also gained regulatory approval for a tweaked Apple TV box, although the company claims that the update incorporates only minor internal changes and will be invisible to users.

    With the Apple TV software being based on iOS, Steve Jobs noted at the time of the launch of the revamped box in late 2010 that an App Store for Apple TV could launch when the time is right, indicating that the company has indeed been looking at opening up the platform to third-party developers.

    Update: The Loop’s Jim Dalrymple has refuted Misek’s claim of an event scheduled for next month.  by macrumors

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    Posted by on 14/02/2013 in IT


    Apple Updates Retina MacBook Pro with New Processors, Drops Pricing on 13-Inch Models and High-End MacBook Air


    Apple today announced that it has updated its Retina MacBook Pro lineup with new processors, also moving to lower pricing across the board on the 13-inch models.

        The 13-inch MacBook Pro with Retina display now starts at $1,499 for 128GB of flash, and $1,699 for a new 2.6 GHz processor and 256GB of flash. The 15-inch MacBook Pro with Retina display now features a faster 2.4 GHz quad-core processor, and the top-of-the-line 15-inch notebook comes with a new 2.7 GHz quad-core processor and 16GB of memory.

    macbook_pro_retina_13_1499The high-end 15-inch stock configuration now has the twice the amount of RAM that it had previously and the new 13-inch Retina MacBook Pro prices are $200 and $300 cheaper than their predecessor models, respectively.

    In addition to the Retina MacBook Pro updates, Apple has also lowered the price of the 256 GB 13-inch MacBook Air by $100, now starting at $1399.

    Update: Apple has also eliminated the high-end stock configuration of the non-Retina 15-inch MacBook Pro, leaving only the base model starting at $1799. Customers can still configure the low-end model with all available options, meaning that the previous high-end configuration is still available, but it is no longer being promoted separately as a stock machine. by macrumors

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    Posted by on 14/02/2013 in IT


    Shares of Television Set Maker Loewe Jump as Apple Acquisition Rumors Resurface


    Reuters reports that shares of German television set maker Loewe jumped 43% today as rumors of a possible acquisition by Apple resurfaced. A trader was quoted as saying that Apple is looking to bid 4 euros per share for Loewe, but a company spokesman claimed that Loewe was not aware of any such offer.

    Rumors of an Apple acquisition of Loewe first emerged in May of last year, dying when Loewe said there was “absolutely nothing to it”. It is not known what has led to the renewed speculation today.
    While Loewe’s luxury TV designs are very much in line with what might be expected from the long-anticipated Apple television set, given that design is one of Apple’s core strengths it is not immediately clear what unique contributions Loewe might bring to the table. The German manufacturer is 28% owned by Sharp, 13% by the company’s management, 11% by storage company Lacie, and the rest freely traded.

    As of the time of writing, Loewe shares were up 33% to 3.63 euros ($4.89), valuing the company at 53 million euros. by macrumors

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    Posted by on 14/02/2013 in IT


    Rdio Streaming App Gets Improved Design, Long Press, Badges


    Rdio, a popular music streaming app for iOS, has been updated with an improved design, a long press action, and badges.
    Discover your next favorite song with Rdio, a service for streaming unlimited music—on-demand and ad-free—on your iPad, iPhone and iPod touch. With over 18 million songs available and more added every week, you can immediately listen to popular hits, new releases and old favorites. When you’re in the mood to hear something new, follow friends, artists and tastemakers and let their favorites find their way to your ears. Build a playlist—solo or in collaboration with friends—then sync everything to your device for offline listening.
    106126Subscription Cost:
    $14.99 (US) / 14.99 CAD (CA) / AU$20.99 (AU) / NZ $19.99 (NZ) / £14.99 (UK) / 14.99 € (DE, ES, PT, FR, FI, EE, BE, NL) / 149 kr (SE) / 149 kr (DK) / 147 kr (NO) per month, renewing automatically.
    What’s New In This Version:
    – Long Press. Hold your finger on a piece of music to share, sync to device, add to playlist, or Play Later.
    – Improved Design. Continued usability enhancements make it easier to browse and interact with content.
    – Badges. Easily see what music you’ve added to your Collection or synced to your device.
    You can download Rdio from the App Store for free.

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    Posted by on 14/02/2013 in IT

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