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27Sep/10Off

Aphelion Concept Clock Throws a Ball at Your Face to Wake You Up

For some, having the perfect alarm clock is essential to their day-to-day livelihood. If the alarm clock doesn’t work, and they can’t wake up in time for an important date, it can ruin a whole day. And while there are some out there that may make it harder to wake up, this new design concept is designed to make it almost impossible for you to stay asleep. Unless you like getting hit in the head by a projectile object.

Aphelion alarm clock

The Aphelion concept clock is just a concept design right now, but considering how practical and helpful it could potentially be, we could see this design getting picked up by some manufacturer out there. It’s designed to not necessarily throw the ball at your face, but it does indeed throw the ball away from the clock. And once it does, the alarm sounds. There’s no way for you to hit the snooze button, so you’ll have to get up out of bed, and return the ball to its resting place if you want the alarm to quiet.

Sure, you could just rip the alarm clock out of the wall, but if that’s an option, you’re probably already doing that with your alarm clock right now. Other features on the clock are pretty standard: a big display, telling you the time, as well as a Radio function, and connectivity options for your MP3 player. While we don’t imagine that many people will aim the clock to let the ball hit them in the face, there’s a chance that a heavy sleeper out there needs this kind of stimulus to get out of bed.

[via The Design Blog]


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27Sep/10Off

HP’s Todd Bradley Says Company Will Sell 15 Million webOS Printers Next Year

For HP, things haven’t been all that smooth for the last couple of months. With the disruption that the resignation of Mark Hurd, and the subsequent lawsuits, it’s been a very interesting year since HP acquired Palm. But, the company is steadfast in their plan, and Todd Bradley, HP’s Executive Vice President for the Personal Systems Group, has some grand plans for next year, which includes HP selling upwards of 15 million webOS-based printers in 2011.

Todd Bradley

There’s no secret that Bradley is one of the top candidates for taking over HP’s CEO position, and Bradley doesn’t have any trouble fueling those murmurs. While he was speaking at TechCrunch’s Disrupt event in San Francisco today, he was quick to comment, when asked about charging a certain amount for inks, that they should “ask me next year, if I take the [CEO] position.”

He continued his CEO-like speak when he told all of those in attendance that HP would not be licensing the webOS software to anyone else. He also confirmed that it was his Personal Systems Group that was in charge of the acquisition of Palm, and that it’s up to his division to set the tone for webOS’ presence in the market, and evolve it. He added at this point, that he intends for HP to sell 15 million webOS-based printers in 2011. As far as tablets go, Bradley believes that it will be a $40 billion market within the next few years. One of the most talked-about tablets that hasn’t even been officially unveiled is the webOS tablet, and there are plenty of tablet fans out there waiting to get their hands on it. Bradley’s statement, that they plan on entering the tablet market in a “big way” should show that HP’s still giving that mobile Operating System some contemplation in the tablet market, and that’s it’s coming. Some day.

[via TechCrunch]


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27Sep/10Off

BlackBerry PlayBook Tablet Will Get Amazon’s Kindle Application

Research In Motion has officially unveiled the brand new PlayBook, the company’s first tablet device, and they’re pulling out all the stops. For fans of the BlackBerry lineage, getting the Amazon Kindle application on their device was a good day, and for those already thinking about picking up the tablet device with the BlackBerry logo on there, you’ll be happy to know that Amazon is planning on releasing the Kindle application for the tablet device.

BlackBerry PlayBook

Amazon announced today that they are planning on releasing the ridiculously popular Kindle application for the BlackBerry PlayBook. They point out in the press release (which you can read below), that current BlackBerry owners can already download and read eBooks from the Kindle application they can already download. They go on to point out all of the standard, yet necessary features of the application, which will be available in 2011.

You’ll be able to utilize Amazon’s WhisperSync technology, which means you’ll be able to read your books from the plethora of other devices that the Kindle is supported on (like the iPad, iPhone, Kindle itself, and Android devices), and keep your place along the way. You’ll also be able to download books while on the go, without having to buy them from your PC first. And as usual, while the majority of books available to download will cost you, the application itself will be free.

Press Release

Amazon to Launch Kindle App for New BlackBerry PlayBook Tablet Computer

Amazon adds to its growing list of Buy Once, Read Everywhere Kindle apps that let readers choose from over 700,000 Kindle books and read them across a wide range of devices

SEATTLE – Sept. 27, 2010 – Amazon.com (NASDAQ: AMZN) today announced that it will launch a Kindle app for the new BlackBerry PlayBook tablet computer. Customers can already enjoy the free Kindle app on their BlackBerry today. Like all Kindle apps, the Kindle app for the new BlackBerry PlayBook will let customers Buy Once, Read Everywhere—on Kindle, Kindle 3G, Kindle DX, iPad, iPod touch, iPhone, Mac, PC, BlackBerry, Android-based devices, and in the coming months, the new BlackBerry PlayBook. Amazon’s Whispersync technology syncs your place across devices, so you can pick up where you left off. For more information about the free Kindle apps, go to www.amazon.com/kindleapps.

“When you buy a Kindle book, you can already read it on iPhone, iPad, Android, PC, Mac, BlackBerry, and of course on your Kindle, Kindle 3G, and Kindle DX,” said Dorothy Nicholls, Director, Amazon Kindle. “We’re very excited to add the new BlackBerry PlayBook to that list. As with our other Kindle apps, the BlackBerry PlayBook app will be free and will incorporate our WhisperSync technology so you can seamlessly switch between devices. Our vision is ‘Buy Once, Read Everywhere.’”

With Kindle devices and Kindle apps, customers can choose from over 700,000 books in the U.S. Kindle Store – the largest selection of the most popular books that people want to read—including New Releases and 108 of 111 New York Times Bestsellers. Over 575,000 of the books in the Kindle Store are $9.99 or less, including 80 New York Times Bestsellers. With Kindle Worry-Free Archive, books you purchase from the Kindle Store are automatically backed up online in your Kindle library on Amazon where they can be re-downloaded wirelessly for free, anytime.

Customers can learn more about the free Kindle apps at www.amazon.com/kindleapps.


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27Sep/10Off

BlackBerry PlayBook QWERTY keyboard and charging dock accessories look likely

For a company that’s built its reputation on hardware keyboards, RIM’s decision not to give the BlackBerry PlayBook anything but an on-screen QWERTY could be seen as an unusual one.  Still, there’s plenty of scope for accessories; the press release may be light on details, but we can draw a few conclusions from what RIM has said.  For instance, as well as the microHDMI and microUSB, there are battery charging contacts on the PlayBook tablet.

blackberry playbook accessories 580x247

That certainly implies some sort of docking cradle which would allow for hot-grabbing of the BlackBerry PlayBook when you’re headed out of the office.  In fact all three of the ports are in a compact row on the bottom edge of the slate, perfectly placed for various docks such as an HDMI media dock – to take advantage of the 1080p HD support – and even, perhaps, a BlackBerry PlayBook keyboard dock to turn the tablet into a netbook replacement of sorts.

What also remains to be seen is how functional the BES integration is for non-BlackBerry smartphone users.  The company is making much of the BlackBerry PlayBook tablet’s potential for connecting via Bluetooth to one of their handsets, and editing content – emails, calendar, etc – on the device, but until the 3G/4G versions arrive we don’t know how dependent the WiFi/Bluetooth-only model will be on RIM’s ecosystem.


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27Sep/10Off

BlackBerry PlayBook Tablet not due until 2011

The BlackBerry PlayBook tablet might have been RIM’s surprise announcement at the company’s DevCon 2010 conference today, but the 7-inch slate itself was a no-show on stage when it comes to actual prototype hardware.  RIM showed off a canned demo video of the BlackBerry PlayBook – which you can see after the cut – but failed to put a physical device on show.

BlackBerry Playbook 3 slashgear1 580x413

That could well tie in to earlier rumors that the QNX platform the BlackBerry PlayBook is built on is far from ready for prime-time.  Sources inside the company had suggested that indecision over the scope of the tablet OS – together with issues around porting RIM’s proprietary battery, BES and email compression systems – had left development seriously behind schedule.

There are also questions remaining about the hardware; RIM’s spec list is pretty comprehensive, but makes no mention of internal storage, the type of display panel used, or even why it’s called the BlackBerry PlayBook when RIM seem to be targeting it first and foremost at professionals.  It’s also heavily dependent on whether developers choose to opt into the new platform: RIM says they’re planning to begin working with devs and “select corporate customers” next month, and are accepting registrations for early SDK access here.


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27Sep/10Off

AMD’s Radeon HD 6700 Series Specs Leak Into the Wild, Offer Twice the Power

On a Chinese-based website called Chiphell, details on AMD’s upcoming Radeon HD 6700 Series graphics cards broke cover, offering up pretty much every bit of detail that people would be interested in, all in an organized fashion. The new series is set to replace the Radeon 5700 series, and AMD (at least on the leaked image) says that the new series will offer up “twice the horsepower” compared to the previous chips.

AMD Radeon leak2

The leaked image shows the range of AMD’s series, from the 5700, to the 5800, and including the new 6700 series. In the breakdown, we see that while clocked speeds may not be that different from previous models, AMD says the new series will add almost a 60 percent increase to the raw computing power. Accordingly, the Radeon HD 6770 will produce somewhere near 2.3 teraflops, while the Radeon HD 5850 only produces 2 teraflops.

However, it should be noted that both of the new 6700 series models will consume more power, but they will be more efficient, when compared to the performance, versus the 5800 series of chips. As for a release date, that wasn’t included in the leaked document, but it has been rumored that AMD is ready to make a launch announcement some time in October.

[via VR-Zone]


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27Sep/10Off

BlackBerry PlayBook takes on iPad: Full Specs & Details

RIM obviously knew they’d need some serious hardware to take on the iPad, and so they didn’t hold back with the BlackBerry PlayBook.  We’ve got the full specs now, and this 7-inch 1024 x 600 multitouch slate is a pocket powerhouse that challenges not only Apple’s tablet but the Samsung Galaxy Tab, too.  An ARM Cortex A9 dual-core 1GHz processor gets things going, then there’s 1GB of RAM, WiFi a/b/g/n, Bluetooth 2.1+EDR, microHDMI and – in the future – the promise of both 3G and 4G models.

rim blackberry playbook 2

The PlayBook also blows both the Galaxy Tab and the iPad out of the water when it comes to optics, with a 5-megapixel on the back and a 3-megapixel on the front.  Considering Apple are yet to give the iPad any cameras whatsoever, that’s a significant step up for this new BlackBerry rival.  If you’re not keen on recording content then consuming it should be just as straightforward, with 1080p HD H.264, MPEG, DivX and WMV supported.

rim blackberry playbook 1

The PlayBook may have an enterprise focus – in fact it’s described as being “the first professional tablet” – but RIM obviously realised it would be a shame to waste that potent CPU on just spreadsheets and email.  Instead there are some serious gaming credentials, with POSIX and OpenGL support.

Of course, hardware only gets you out of the gate: it’s software that scores you sales success.  RIM’s approach with the PlayBook is a bit of a dark horse right now; they’re using the QNX developed platform, which so far looks quite a bit like webOS.  If they can pull in developers and convince the enterprise market that what their workers need is a 7-inch tablet, however, they could be on to a real winner once the BlackBerry PlayBook lands in early 2011.

Specs:

  • 7″ LCD, 1024 x 600, WSVGA, capacitive touch screen with full multi-touch and gesture support
  • BlackBerry Tablet OS with support for symmetric multiprocessing
  • 1 GHz dual-core processor
  • 1 GB RAM
  • Dual HD cameras (3 MP front facing, 5 MP rear facing), supports 1080p HD video recording
  • Video playback: 1080p HD Video, H.264, MPEG, DivX, WMV
  • Audio playback: MP3, AAC, WMA
  • HDMI video output
  • Wi-Fi – 802.11 a/b/g/n
  • Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR
  • Connectors: microHDMI, microUSB, charging contacts
  • Open, flexible application platform with support for WebKit/HTML-5, Adobe Flash Player 10.1, Adobe Mobile AIR, Adobe Reader, POSIX, OpenGL, Java
  • Ultra thin and portable:
  • Measures 5.1″x7.6″x0.4″ (130mm x 193mm x 10mm)
  • Weighs less than a pound (approximately 0.9 lb or 400g)
  • Additional features and specifications of the BlackBerry PlayBook will be shared on or before the date this product is launched in retail outlets.
  • RIM intends to also offer 3G and 4G models in the future.

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27Sep/10Off

BlackBerry PlayBook official: 7-Inch 1GHz “Professional” tablet

It looks like we might have spoken too soon. At this year’s BlackBerry DEVCON, the possibilities are endless for Research In Motion. They have plenty of pent-up rumors and speculation being thrown around. Most of that around the BlackPad, the first tablet from the house that built BlackBerry. And, sure enough, RIM is working on a tablet device. It’s not called the BlackPad, though. It’s called the PlayBook, and it is indeed the BlackBerry tablet.

BlackBerry Playbook 4 slashgear 580x326

The device will feature webOS-like application switching, and RIM’s co-CEO Mike Lazaridis says that it is “the first professional tablet.” It will have a dual-core Cortex A9 1GHz CPU, have 1GB of RAM, and feature a 7-inch display. There will also be an e-reader component thrown in for good measure, as well as full document editing. And, just as we’ve heard in the past, you will be able to connect the PlayBook to a BlackBerry device.

It supports 1080p HD video with non-proprietary HDMI and USB connectors and is only 9.7mm thick.  It has a WebKit Browser, as well as HTML5, Flash support, hardware accelerated video, and can output 1080p video over that HDMI connector. There will also be HD cameras on the front and back of the tablet. The PlayBook is Linux-based, based on development from QNX, and will be perfectly compatible with BES.

Stay tuned, as more details are still coming in.

Press Release:

RIM Unveils The BlackBerry PlayBook

New Professional-Grade Tablet Delivers Unmatched Power and Web Performance
SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA–(Marketwire – Sept. 27, 2010) – BlackBerry DEVCON 2010 -

Research In Motion (RIM) (NASDAQ:RIMM)(TSX:RIM) today redefined the possibilities for mobile computing with the unveiling of its new professional-grade BlackBerry® PlayBook™ tablet and BlackBerry® Tablet OS.
Perfect for either large organizations or an “army of one”, the BlackBerry PlayBook is designed to give users what they want, including uncompromised web browsing, true multitasking and high performance multimedia, while also providing advanced security features, out-of-the-box enterprise support and a breakthrough development platform for IT departments and developers. The incredibly powerful and innovative BlackBerry PlayBook is truly a game-changing product in the growing tablet marketplace.
“RIM set out to engineer the best professional-grade tablet in the industry with cutting-edge hardware features and one of the world’s most robust and flexible operating systems,” said Mike Lazaridis, President and Co-CEO at Research In Motion. “The BlackBerry PlayBook solidly hits the mark with industry leading power, true multitasking, uncompromised web browsing and high performance multimedia.”
The Tablet You’ll Want to Take Everywhere
This beautifully designed and incredibly powerful tablet is ultra portable, ultra thin and super convenient for both work and play. Measuring less than half an inch thick and weighing less than a pound, the BlackBerry PlayBook features a vivid 7″ high resolution display that looks and feels great in your hand. With such a unique mix of utility, performance and portability, you’ll want to take it everywhere.
The New Benchmark in Tablet Performance
At its heart, the BlackBerry PlayBook is a multitasking powerhouse. Its groundbreaking performance is jointly fueled by a 1 GHz dual-core processor and the new BlackBerry Tablet OS which supports true symmetric multiprocessing. Together, the abundant processing power and highly sophisticated OS enable the BlackBerry PlayBook to provide users with true multitasking and a highly-responsive and fluid touch screen experience for apps and content services.
Uncompromised Web Browsing
With support for Adobe® Flash® Player 10.1, Adobe® Mobile AIR® and HTML-5, the BlackBerry PlayBook provides customers with an uncompromised, high-fidelity web experience and offers them the ability to enjoy all of the sites, games and media on the web. For more than a decade, the mobile industry has worked to bridge the gap between the “real web” and mobile devices through various apps and technologies and, in fact, a significant number of mobile apps today still simply serve as a proxy for web content that already exists on the web. The BlackBerry PlayBook closes that gap and brings the real, full web experience to mobile users while also opening new and more exciting opportunities for developers and content publishers.
High Performance Multimedia
The BlackBerry PlayBook features premium multimedia features to support high-quality mobile experiences. It includes dual HD cameras for video capture and video conferencing that can both record HD video at the same time, and an HDMI-out port for presenting one’s creations on external displays. The BlackBerry PlayBook also offers rich stereo sound and a media player that rivals the best in the industry.
BlackBerry Integration
For those BlackBerry PlayBook users who carry a BlackBerry smartphone*, it will also be possible to pair their tablet and smartphone using a secure Bluetooth® connection. This means they can opt to use the larger tablet display to seamlessly and securely view any of the email, BBM™, calendar, tasks, documents and other content that resides on (or is accessible through) their smartphone. They can also use their tablet and smartphone interchangeably without worrying about syncing or duplicating data. This secure integration of BlackBerry tablets and smartphones is a particularly useful feature for those business users who want to leave their laptop behind.
Enterprise Ready
Thanks to the seamless and secure Bluetooth pairing experience and the highly secure underlying OS architecture, the BlackBerry PlayBook is enterprise ready and compatible (out-of-the-box) with BlackBerry® Enterprise Server. When connected over Bluetooth, the smartphone content is viewable on the tablet, but the content actually remains stored on the BlackBerry smartphone and is only temporarily cached on the tablet (and subject to IT policy controls). With this approach to information security, IT departments can deploy the BlackBerry PlayBook to employees out-of-the-box without worrying about all the security and manageability issues that arise when corporate data is stored on yet another device.
QNX Neutrino Reliability
The BlackBerry Tablet OS is built upon the QNX® Neutrino® microkernel architecture, one of the most reliable, secure and robust operating system architectures in the world. Neutrino has been field hardened for years and is being used to support mission-critical applications in everything from planes, trains and automobiles to medical equipment and the largest core routers that run the Internet. The new BlackBerry Tablet OS leverages and builds upon the many proven strengths of this QNX Neutrino architecture to support a professional grade tablet experience and to redefine the possibilities for mobile computing.
An OS Built for Developers
The Neutrino based microkernel architecture in the BlackBerry Tablet OS delivers exceptional performance, high scalability, Common Criteria EAL 4+ security, and support for industry standard tools that are already familiar to hundreds of thousands of developers. The OS is fully POSIX compliant enabling easy portability of C-based code, supports Open GL for 2D and 3D graphics intensive applications like gaming, and will run applications built in Adobe Mobile AIR as well as the new BlackBerry® WebWorks™ app platform announced today (which will allow apps to be written to run on BlackBerry PlayBook tablets as well as BlackBerry smartphones with BlackBerry® 6). The BlackBerry Tablet OS will also support Java enabling developers to easily bring their existing BlackBerry 6 Java applications to the BlackBerry Tablet OS environment.
Key features and specifications of the BlackBerry PlayBook include:
7″ LCD, 1024 x 600, WSVGA, capacitive touch screen with full multi-touch and gesture support
BlackBerry Tablet OS with support for symmetric multiprocessing
1 GHz dual-core processor
1 GB RAM
Dual HD cameras (3 MP front facing, 5 MP rear facing), supports 1080p HD video recording
Video playback: 1080p HD Video, H.264, MPEG, DivX, WMV
Audio playback: MP3, AAC, WMA
HDMI video output
Wi-Fi – 802.11 a/b/g/n
Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR
Connectors: microHDMI, microUSB, charging contacts
Open, flexible application platform with support for WebKit/HTML-5, Adobe Flash Player 10.1, Adobe Mobile AIR, Adobe Reader, POSIX, OpenGL, Java
Ultra thin and portable:
Measures 5.1″x7.6″x0.4″ (130mm x 193mm x 10mm)
Weighs less than a pound (approximately 0.9 lb or 400g)
Additional features and specifications of the BlackBerry PlayBook will be shared on or before the date this product is launched in retail outlets.
RIM intends to also offer 3G and 4G models in the future.
Availability
The BlackBerry PlayBook is expected to be available in retail outlets and other channels in the United States in early 2011 with rollouts in other international markets beginning in (calendar) Q2.
RIM will begin working with developers and select corporate customers next month to begin development and early testing efforts.
The BlackBerry Tablet OS SDK is planned for release in the coming weeks and developers can register for early access at www.blackberry.com/developers/tabletos.
For more information, visit www.blackberry.com/playbook.
*Bluetooth support required.


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27Sep/10Off

RIM launch BBM app plugins, in-app Ads & payments and WebWorks dev tool

It’s day one of RIM‘s DevCon 2010 event, and while the company hasn’t announced a BlackTab tablet – at least so far – they’ve perhaps done something more important for the long-term success of the platform. The key unveils this year is the new version of BlackBerry Messenger - complete with support for third-party plug-ins – the introduction of commercial services for apps, such as in-app payments and custom ads, and the BlackBerry WebWorks platform, a web-based app creation tool

devcon 2010 2 slashgear 580x326

According to RIM, there are currently 28 million BlackBerry Messenger users and that number is growing at a rate of 1.5m every month across both social and business applications. Right now users can share photos, flag up what music they’re listening to and do other basic P2P functions; what RIM is now opening up is a suite of APIs and services that will allow third party developers to tie in their own apps as well.

Not only will software be able to share content via BBM, they’ll be able to register as plugins to the BBM service: for instance, you could open a contact in Messenger and then, with a single click, open up that user’s profile in a third-party app. RIM also see it playing an important role in gaming, for instance allowing users to invite their friends to multiplayer titles, and then using BBM as a P2P platform for gaming sessions themselves.

Meanwhile there’s a greater emphasis on commercialization and monetization, with the next step in the 18 month old App World being a push into adverts. RIM says there are over 35m users of App World today, downloading around 1.5m titles each day; they’re pushing to extend carrier billing – which was added for AT&T subscribers last month – and expect more US carriers to allow BlackBerry users to charge apps to their cellphone bill by the end of the year. That will spread to international carriers through 2011.

The new BlackBerry advertising service is, RIM say, based around a few key fundamentals: that it is simple to use, open, flexible, global and inclusive of the entire advertising ecosystem. On the developer side it’s relatively straightforward to implement, requiring just three lines of code in a Java or web-based application to hook into RIM’s new API and pull in ad inventory. That’s because the clever parts happen on RIM’s servers: the company has developed a mediation platform that aggregates dozens of ad networks worldwide, allowing them to submit their commercial content and then matching it with suitable apps.

Carriers can choose their preferred ad networks and plug in their own choices, and developers are free to either leave it entirely up to RIM as to which networks are used, or can be as specific as they want: down to choosing which network, which ads and even which times they run at. RIM will initially launch with five networks onboard – both US-centric and international – and expect location-based and video-based advertising to be introduced within the next few months.

For the user, the adverts will be completely tied into the app experience. For instance, they’ll support click-to-call, mapping, and video playback, and tie into the BlackBerry’s email, calendar and address book allowing them to start new messages or appointments directly from the advert itself. Developers will get 60-percent of ad revenues.

Finally, there’s the new BlackBerry Payment Service, supporting in-app payments for upgrades, unlocking trial apps, opening premium content and buying virtual currencies or credits. The SDK for in-app payments will be released on the BlackBerry developer site today, and the service itself will go live by the end of 2010.

It’s all part of RIM’s push to better engage with the developer community; they’re waiving all vendor fees for App World, both for new users and for existing developers either updating their current titles or adding new ones. They’re also making it easier to monitor app usage, with a new, free BlackBerry Analytics service powered by WebTrends. Implemented with a few lines of code, the new Analytics SDK can pull out when, where and how the app is being used, how the user discovered it, and which features are most and least popular.

It’ll come into its own with BlackBerry WebWorks, RIM’s new web-app platform that creates web-based software with HTML5, Javascript and CSS that has the same potential functionality and integration as native apps. With WebWorks, developers can create titles that tie into the BlackBerry calendar, address book and push-technology, together with using the same in-app payment, analytics and advertising as local software. Available for developers to use today, WebWorks will also be made open-source, and RIM is working with industry partners around Javascript frameworks to promote the platform’s use with other developer groups.

While PC users have been well served with RIM development tools in the past, the experience for Mac-based developers has been less impressive. That should change with the new Eclipse plugin for Java developer on OS X, released as a technical preview today and then as a beta in a month, and which has all the features of the current Eclipse plugin. The Canadian company is hoping that the plugin will remove barriers for Mac developers who might otherwise opt to create titles for Apple’s iOS.

RIM hasn’t forgotten its broad enterprise user-base either, with the new BlackBerry enterprise app middleware that aims to make distributing software to a large number of company users more straightforward. It automates packaging of apps on both the server and the handset ends, together with better managing app security.

Not the iPad-challenging tablet hardware announcements we may have been hoping for, but perhaps of more interest to the developer crowd attending DevCon 2010. Still, there’s plenty of opportunity for a BlackTab tease during the keynote which is just underway now.


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27Sep/10Off

United Nations Names Astrophysicist as Head of Office for Outer Space Affairs

For fans of science-fiction, robots play a big part in the end of the world. But, there’s always that ever-looming idea that aliens could come down and wreak some havoc on our lovely planet any day now. And while governments all over the planet work pretty hard to squash any UFO-related information, it seems that the United Nations has a different take on the possibility that aliens exist. In fact, they’ve set up a greeting committee.

Mazlan Othman

Her name is Dr. Mazlan Othman, and she is an astrophysicist that is Malaysian-born, and received her Ph.D. in New Zealand. First and foremost, the position as Head of the Office for Outer Space Affairs is set up to work as an ambassador to extraterrestrials, if they were to ever decide to drop down into our neck of the woods. While many movies showcase the President of the United States taking up that position, the United Nation believes that it should be a more “global” position, and not just centered on one country.

Othman had this to say about the new position. “The continued search for extraterrestrial communication, by several entities, sustains the hope that someday humankind will receive signals from extraterrestrials.” She went on to add that when it does happen, the world should have a coordinated response that takes into account all of the sensitivities related to the subject. Furthermore, she points out that “the UN is a ready-made mechanism for such coordination.”

But, aliens aren’t the only thing that this office will have to worry about. If any organizations find that a speeding asteroid is heading right for the planet, threatening all life, it will be up to Othman and her office to figure out what to do next. Sounds like something right from a Sci-Fi movie, but apparently someone out there thinks it’s a necessity.

[via DVICE]


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