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3Dec/10Off

Contemplating tablets beyond the iPad (Q&A)

A manager at tablet chip supplier Atmel offers his perspective on the tablet market in 2011. Sizes beyond the 10-inch iPad will bring variety and expansion to the market, according to Atmel.

Originally posted at Nanotech - The Circuits Blog

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3Dec/10Off

Need a Free Smartphone? Best Buy Will Have Them All Throughout December

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It’s not odd to see an offer for a free smartphone on a two-year contract on any of the four biggest carriers, but when Best Buy offers them for free no matter which phone you decide to get on which carrier, there’s reason to rejoice. If you were planning to buy a smartphone for yourself or a loved one this month, Best Buy is undoubtedly the place to get them: they’ll feature a minimum of four smartphones – one from each carrier – every single day in December for free. We can’t imagine they’ll leave any particular phone out, so if you haven’t been able to find a deal on the phone you were looking for yet, you’ll want to check in with Best Buy at the promotion’s specific landing page every day to see if they’ll have the Android phone you’ve been waiting to get. [via Best Buy]

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3Dec/10Off

PC Mag Claims to Have Hit 21Mbps on Verizon’s 4G LTE; Is a 5GB Cap Enough? [Poll]

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The big story has been Verizon’s 4G LTE, lately, and while it’s great to hear of the cities getting it and great to know that there are MiFi devices out ready to take advantage of it, we really just want to know how fast it really is. PC Mag decided to do some usage testing to figure out how fast you could consume data using Verizon’s network, which would in turn tell you how fast you’ll need to fork over an extra $10 if you hit that 5GB cap.

They claim to have hit the theoretical max of 21 Mbps – doing what, where, and when, they didn’t say – but that’s not what matters here: what matters is how fast you can hit that data cap before this stuff REALLY starts getting expensive. At those speeds, you’d be eating up your monthly allowance of 5GB in just 32 minutes. Ouch. Knocking it down a notch, if you were streaming HD Netlfix content – which eats up 3.8Mbps – you’ll hit the cap in just under 3 hours. And streaming Hulu content at 1Mbps will take you just under half of a day.

While we imagine folks won’t have an issue hitting their cap in everyday moderate usage once 4G LTE phones are on the market (which, for now, we’ll assume will have capped data plans), those who might rely on their phones as mobile hotspots will need to use it sparingly. There have been many instances where I’ve needed to use my phone as a mobile hotspot for long periods of time and even just browsing the web eats up a lot of bandwidth. Throw in a few quick trips to YouTube and you might be in trouble. Don’t expect to do any heavy lifting over Verizon’s network if you don’t have the extra money to throw at them.

How do you guys feel about this? Mobile data caps are nothing new, but does a pay-per-gigabyte model really make sense? Would you much rather prefer to be throttled? Verizon says that as their network will evolve, so may the pricing model. Let’s hope they ease up on their overage model before they turn too many folks away.

View Poll

Filed under: Android Comments Off
3Dec/10Off

SPB TV 2.0 Released – Now Free of Charge

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SPB has released version 2.0 of their TV app – SPB TV, simply – and aside from some new features to better the overall experience, they made one major change: it’s free! SPB offers over 150 channels of content at no charge, but you won’t be able to get your weekly episodes of House or other such popular shows. I haven’t checked it out for myself, but I imagine they’ve dropped their $9.95 price tag in favor of an ad-based model. Though many of the channels might not interest you, they have been a god send for folks who want to watch channels exclusive to countries other than their own. It’s free now, so you might as well try it out for yourself and see if you can find something good to watch. Full feature list straight ahead.

  • Integrated TV Guide with a list of current and upcoming TV shows
  • Unique browser with fast channel launching and switching
  • Quick channel preview (picture-in-picture mode)
  • On-screen control panel
  • Video on Demand
  • Setting a reminder
  • Video quality switcher
  • Advanced Video Codec support
  • Tablets support

[Link to the App on AppBrain]

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3Dec/10Off

Logitech Revue Recovery Mode Uncovered – is Root Access Coming?

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As they are Android devices, they must be hackable! Stericson led the charge on Logitech’s model – the Revue – and while we are probably some time off from full-blown root access, he’s at least been able to uncover the Revue’s recovery mode. There’s not much to the story, but if you’ve been waiting for its chains to be freed (even if there’s nothing special you can do to a Google TV unit once rooted), then you’ll want to keep following Stericson as he hammers away at it. [@Stericson via AndroidPolice]

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3Dec/10Off

Samsung Sold More Android Smartphones in Q3 than Anyone in America

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Samsung’s finally atop the Android totem pole (at least here in the states) as they’ve just announced that Gartner’s Q3 research shows them as the number 1 provider of Android smartphones in the United States. I’m not surprised by the news considering you can find their current flagship device – the Samsung Galaxy S – on nearly every  major carrier imaginable. (PAYG-exclusive carriers not being counted here.)

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This news comes to us just a couple of hours after learning they have reached their goal of selling 1 million Galaxy Tabs worldwide. Samsung’s riding high right now, and you can only expect that they’ll want to keep their foot on the gas. While their name may have been tarnished in the eyes of the technical crowd (the types of folks who read Phandroid, for instance), they’re still offering one of the best line of smartphones in the market today, and their Q3 accomplishment only reaffirms as much. Read on for full press details.

SAMSUNG MOBILE NAMED #1 ANDROID SMARTPHONE PROVIDER BASED ON
RETAIL SALES IN U.S. & GALAXY S PORTFOLIO REACHES THREE MILLION
SHIPMENTS MILESTONE

Independent research from leading industry analyst firm shows Samsung captured
top spot in U.S. Android smartphone market in third quarter of 2010

DALLAS, December 3, 2010 — Samsung Telecommunications America (Samsung Mobile) the No. 1 mobile phone provider in the U.S., today announced that third party research firm Gartner® reported Samsung as the top Android smartphone provider in terms of sell through to end users in the United States for the third quarter of 20102. According to Gartner, Samsung Mobile captured 32.1 percent of the U.S. Android smartphone market in Q3 2010 based on retail sales, an increase from 9.2 percent of the Android smartphone market in Q4 2009.

Samsung Mobile attributes much of the success to its Galaxy S portfolio of premium smartphones, which recently passed the three million shipment milestone in the U.S. Galaxy S smartphones are currently available with AT&T, Sprint and T-Mobile and Verizon Wireless, along with U.S. Cellular and Cellular South.

“I want to personally thank everyone who selected a Galaxy S smartphone as their mobile handset of choice. Neither of these wonderful accomplishments would have been possible without the loyalty and support of our customers,” said Dale Sohn, president of Samsung Mobile. “The Galaxy S portfolio has played a significant role in Samsung’s success in 2010 and we are extremely excited to show you what products, services and innovations we have in store for the U.S. market in 2011.”

The Samsung Galaxy S portfolio is packed with premium features and services, including a brilliant 4-inch Super AMOLED display screen, 1GHz Hummingbird Application Processor, Samsung’s Media Hub premium movie and TV programming download service and a full array of entertainment, messaging and social networking capabilities. The Galaxy S portfolio will be upgraded to the Android 2.2 (Froyo) operating system in the near future.

For additional information on the Samsung Galaxy S portfolio, please visit www.samsung.com/galaxys.

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3Dec/10Off

Uranium soap glows radioactively

Geeks like weird stuff. If that weird stuff happens to not be a gadget, that’s fine. We need to decorate our homes too. My wife is always buying some sort of soap to put in the bathroom that we aren’t allowed to use, which is silly to me.

What I need to decorate my sink with is this Uranium glow in the dark soap. The soap is marked with the periodic table notations for the soap and a single bar is not cheap at $6.99. You can buy an entire box of Dial soap for that price.

Each bar measures in at 2.25″ x 3″ x 1″ and its human tested and vegan free. Apparently, it smells like the ocean, which in Texas means it smells like oil and dead shrimp.


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3Dec/10Off

Japanese battery makes power from vibrations

When it comes to gadgets many of us tend to focus on the performance as far as how fast the thing operates. Perhaps more important that advances in outright performance such as how fast a phone operates are improvements in battery technology that will allow our gadgets to run longer. A cool new battery technology from Japan has surfaced that is able to make power from harnessing the energy in vibrations.

The little battery is very small at about the size of the tip of a sharp pencil. Despite its small size, it is able to generate impressive levels of power with an energy density of around 22mW/cm3. That is about 20 times higher than the energy density of other vibration-powered generators.

One of the keys to making so much more power than other similar devices is the high-tech alloy used in the device. The alloy is made from a mixture of iron and gallium called Galfenol that has magnetostrictive properties. That means the material reacts when a magnetic field is applied and change shape in response to the field. This is still in the research stages so it is much too early to know when or if the battery will ever make it to market in a consumer device.

Via Inhabitat


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3Dec/10Off

GSLO applies to Apple MFi program for Peel 520

You might remember that Peel 520 device that we talked about a while back that promises to turn your iPod touch into a phone capable of sending and receiving texts and making voice calls. I honestly thought Apple would not like the idea of that device because it might make people not want to buy the iPhone.

GSLO has announced that it is applying to the Apple MFi program that allows the company to license Apple tech and use the Made for iPod/iPhone/iPad logos on the device. The 520 plugs into the iPod touch using the docking connector.

I am not sure if Apple will be included to grant the company a license considering that the iPhone is the bread and butter of Apple right now and amounts for such a huge part of what Apple is worth. The Peel 520 is undeniably cool and I hope it gets the certification. Do you think Apple will approve of the device?


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3Dec/10Off

Professor in NYC installs camera in head

A professor of photography from New York University has had a camera installed in the back of his head. This sounds much cooler than it really is. If I had a camera in the back of my head, I would want to be able to see what people behind me were doing. This camera just takes pics and then uploads them at an art exhibit called “The 3rd I.”

The dude had the thumb size camera installed at a piercing shop and the camera is said to be about the size of a thumb. That plate on his head is larger than a thumb and appears to be a cover that the professor’s school requires him to use when teaching to protect the privacy of his students.

The camera will take a photo every minute to show what his life is like for the next year. I hope the dude remembers to put on the cover when he drops the browns off at the super bowl. The images will be viewable at the Mathaf: Arab Museum of Modern Art when the exhibit opens on December 30.


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