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7Dec/10Off

LauncherPro Update (0.8.2) Now Live, Adds Virtual Looping, “Recent Apps” for Swipe Gestures

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We just got done reporting that Federico Carnales – LauncherPro’s beloved developer – would be bringing an update sometime early this week. And while we assumed that could be anytime today, we didn’t want to get our hopes up. Thankfully, he delivered just as we expected him to and the secret features are quite the doozy.

For starters, whenever you try to swipe past your first or last homescreen, you’ll have the option to trigger the “virtual looping” feature which will take you back to the the first or last homescreen, depending on which side you’re swiping from. Sounds cool and is another option that just adds to the marvelous experience that LauncherPro already was.

The other feature introduced is a gesture for showing “Recent Apps”. Not unlike holding the home button on your phone, setting this gesture up will bring up your fouR most recently-used apps. Simple in practice, but it’s quite nice regardless. You can find the new version of LauncherPro in the Android market now. [via LauncherPro]

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7Dec/10Off

LG Star Headed for SK Telecom Soon, Won’t be Google Branded, Takes Cues from Galaxy S

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The first word of availability regarding the LG Star has popped up, recently,  as Korean outlet Cetizen reports the device will be available “sometime soon” for South Korea’s top cellular provider, SK Telecom. What’s more is that their version is a wee-bit different from the “prototype” we’ve seen in earlier pictures and videos.

For starters: this thing was certainly influenced by the Samsung Galaxy S. If LG’s custom user interface didn’t tip you off to as much, then the “plasticky” look of the outer-shell will. Even the set of buttons on the front mimic the “iPhone-wannabe” style that the Samsung Galaxy S i9000 introduced earlier this year.

And finally, it’s not Google branded. We’re not sure why considering the version we’ve seen is. Anywho, everything else is still the same: an 8-megapixel camera with LED flash, HDMI port, a Tegra 2 processor, will run Android 2.2 (with a high chance of it seeing Gingerbread before too long) plus more. No pricing information to be had yet. [Cetizen via Unwired View]

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7Dec/10Off

Developer Shows How to Combine Phone & Tablet Versions of Apps in a Single .APK

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Write once, run anywhere is an idea that every developer loves, and they won’t hesitate to jump on an opportunity to learn about how they can minimize the overhead of having to port applications for specific devices or having to adapt their applications for the big screen. One developer named Al Sutton – who spoke at DroidCon UK this year – has taken time out to show folks how they can combine the phone and tablet version of the same application into a .APK file. This sounds like it’ll come in extremely handy whenever the newer Android tablets make their way onto the market and Google updates the market to highlight tablet-specific offerings. The tutorial and example in full can be had over at his blog, if you’ve been looking for such a guide. [via Android Community]

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7Dec/10Off

Acer tosses out new Revo 100 media PC in the UK

Acer has some cool little computers in the Revo line that are aimed at media fans looking for a compact system to stream video and performance other tasks. Acer has announced a new Revo 100 computer that looks really cool for the UK market that also has some interesting features. Like next generation NVIDIA Ion graphics and lots more.

The machine runs Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit and has an AMD processor inside. That processor is the Athlon II Neo dual-core and that CPU is combined with an nForce 520LE chipset. The machine can be fitted with up to 4GB of DDR3 RAM at 1333MHz. It has an integrated Blu-ray super multi optical drive and has a memory card reader inside as well.

The optical drive inside the machine supports 3D Blu-ray playback and the little computer can be fitted with up to 750GB of storage. The sound on the machine is Dolby Home Theater v3 HD and there are lots of connectivity options. The machine has HDMI out, dual USB ports, Ethernet optical audio out, and a pair of mini PCI Express slots. It also has a wireless touchpad with keyboard functionality for controlling the rig from across the living room. The MSRP for the computer is £599.99 including VAT.


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7Dec/10Off

Green Porsche Cayenne S hybrid gets federal tax credit

When it comes to green cars, a few names jump right to mind like Toyota with its Prius and GM with the Volt. One name that most of us don’t associate with green cars is Porsche. I tend to think of Porsche as a performance brand, and it is. The company is famous for its fleet of exotic and high-end performance vehicles like the 911 and others.

Porsche also makes a SUV that is popular around the world called the Cayenne and the latest version of the Cayenne dubbed the S Hybrid has around for a while. The SUV may be a hybrid, but anything with the Porsche crest has to perform, and the Cayenne S does. The big SUV can hit 60mph in 6.1 seconds and has a top speed of 150 mph. The vehicle is rated for 20mpg in the city and 24 mpg on the highway by the EPA.

Those fuel efficiency figures might not sound that great when compared to other hybrids, but when you consider this is a performance vehicle it’s pretty impressive. The Cayenne S Hybrid has a combined power output of 380hp from a supercharged V6 combined with an electric motor. Porsche has announced that the Cayenne S Hybrid has qualified for a one-time federal tax credit of $1,800. The vehicle stickers for $67,700 before that credit is taken off the price. I’m not sure the sort of folks that can afford to spend nearly $70,000 on a SUV really need a tax credit.


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7Dec/10Off

sWaP Rebel touchscreen phone watch is geeky fashion at its finest

Geeks have had a lust for phone watches for years going back to the comic book days of Dick Tracy and his watch phone. There are a few watch phone offerings on the market today and a new one has just landed. The watch is called the sWaP Rebel and it looks a bit like one of those iPod nano watches that have been so prevalent lately.

The sWaP has a 1.46″ TFT screen that is touch sensitive and the watch has a mini stylus for working that tiny screen. The watch comes in green, white, orange, pink, and black colors all with bands made from soft silica rubber gel with a smooth matte finish. One of the coolest features is the USB port that is on the end of the watchstrap allowing you to transfer data to and from the watch without needing any other cables.

The watch will work on all mobile phone networks in the UK except for 3. It weighs 65g, measures in at 205 x 45.5 x 17.52mm, and has a 240mAh lithium battery inside with up to 85 hours of standby and 160 minutes of talk time. The watch ships charged and ready to use with a set of earphones and a 2GB microSD card for storage. Other features include a video camera, still camera, FM Tuner, MP3 player, video player, and a calendar. The device can also connect to the web with WAP connectivity. The sWaP sells for £189.99 including VAT.

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7Dec/10Off

Macy’s saves millions migrating to green LED lights for 86 stores

I think that most of us only think about green practices like power saving computers and LED lighting as ways to make the environment better and don’t stop to consider that by going green you can also save on your electric bills as well. The massive department store chain Macy’s is migrating 86 of its stores from traditional incandescent lights to green LED lights and will save millions over the decade lifespan of the bulbs.

MSi is one of the companies that Macy’s will be getting the LED lighting from and according to MSi Macy’s is replacing 117,000 traditional light bulbs that it uses inside stores for accent lighting and general lighting. The bulbs will be replaced in 86 different store locations around the country.

The new bulbs will use 73% less energy than the bulbs they are replacing and have a life span of ten years compared the traditional bulbs life expectancy of about six months. In total Macy’s will save 16,200 megawatts of power per hour every year according to MSi. That is the same as planting 65,500 trees says the green lighting firm. The total savings for Macy’s according to MSi when accounting for all factors like less maintenance, lower cooling bills, and other factors will save the company millions over the life span of the LED bulbs.


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7Dec/10Off

16GB and 32GB class 10 microSDHC Cards surface from Patriot Memory

Patriot Memory has announced that it is launching a pair of new microSDHC cards that have class 10 speed capability. The new cards are in the LX series and are microSDHC offerings in 16GB and 32GB capacities. Both of the memory cards are covered by a 5-year warranty

The class 10 specifications mean that the memory cards are very fast and will be perfect for folks that like to put video and other media that needs high speeds on the cards for watching on mobile devices. The fast cards also mean that recording large HD video files works smoothly.

The 32GB class 10 card is capable of recording over ten hours of HD video and can store over 10,000 photos. The cards both ship with an adapter that allows the microSDHC cards to be used in a SD card device as well. Pricing is unannounced at this time.

“Today’s mobile devices have evolved from simplistic phones to multi-functional tools capable of handling email, music, photos and more,” says Meng Jay Choo, Patriot’s Flash Product Manager. “Smartphones have become a part of our everyday lives letting us connect with each other. Adding 16GB and 32GB storage solutions let consumers expand the capabilities of these devices.”


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7Dec/10Off

Apache Wave reboots Google’s collaborative tool in open-source Incubator

It really is turning into a Google week, what with the Nexus S, Android 2.3 Gingerbread, Google Maps for Mobile 5.0, a Honeycomb Motorola tablet and the promise of Chrome OS news today, but there’s also confirmation that the Apache Wave project will indeed be going ahead. Submitted for potential open-source inclusion in late November, Google’s ill-fated Wave has been accepted and there’s work already underway to bring the new project – and Wave in a Box – up to speed.

That includes “significant improvements to the wave panel, visual enhancements to the login pages, gadgets hooked up and working, improved development set-up and documentation, and a draft HTTP transport for wave federation” according to Google Wave software engineer Alex North. There’s a considerable amount of documentation and video about the project here, so if you’ve been pining for Wave since its untimely demise, head on over to get going.

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7Dec/10Off

Taiji dual-screen tablet and Win 7 slate shown off

OEM Taiji Electronics made some waves earlier in the year with a tablet that hid a Bluetooth keyboard for easier text entry; now the company has followed up with a pair of new slates, one of which borrows the dual-touchscreen form factor of the Toshiba Libretto W100 and the Acer Iconia. The Taiji T10A and its unnamed dual-display clamshell comrade were shown off at the Elexcon conference in mid-November, each running VIA processors.

The T10A has a 10.1-inch touchscreen, VIA C7-M 1.2GHz processor, VX700 graphics and a 32GB SSD. It also packs a front-facing webcam and runs Windows 7; no word on whether the touchscreen is resistive or capacitive.

As for the more interesting clamshell model, we know even less about its hardware but it apparently has twin 8-inch touchscreens and an unspecified VIA CPU. That makes it more in line with the Libretto W100 in terms of size than the Iconia; however, the low-power CPU could give it more battery life than the Toshiba, the usability of which was undermined by its sub-3hr runtimes. No word on when – or indeed if – we can expect to see either tablet reach the market.


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