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22Dec/10Off

Glimpse of Samsung LTE Device Surfaces

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Egg on my face, I went from Motorola gets first crack to let’s see what HTC has to offer and now it’s who will win the race to be the first LTE device?

Gizmodo just received yet another screenshot of a potential Verizon LTE handset, this one hails from Samsung:
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According to Gizmodo’s tipster and what we can spy in the photo here a few details we have to offer:

  • LTE
  • TouchWiz
  • Zero Bing
  • Front facing camera
  • …FroYo?

Looks like they’re wasting no time getting on with their old tricks of dated software. However, seeing as this device isn’t even official we should cut them some slack, for now. Also, the “4G” symbol differs from what we saw coming from HTC; a symptom of TouchWiz or Sense?

With any luck we will find out what all of this is about come CES, and get information on LTE devices from Motorola, HTC and now Samsung.

[via Gizmodo]

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22Dec/10Off

Logitech Revue Review

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Let me tell you a little story. Way back when Google first unveiled Google TV I felt drawn to it in a way that I generally don’t feel about new technology platforms. Even sensing that it might be a bit too ahead of its time and therefor a big flop, I knew I wanted to be in on the television revolution. When I brought home the Logitech Revue and got it set up on my TV, the folks living with me obviously were not in on said revolution.

Fast forward a few months and they are all hooked on Google TV thanks to the Logitech Revue. Which says something about Google TV. For the moment it caters to a fairly specific set of TV and media users: those who do not get the lion’s share of media consumption via only one format. Google TV is for the user who downloads movies and shows on their computers, streams video from the internet, does a fair share of traditional television viewing, and wants them all in the same, easy to access place.

Maybe its limited availability, cost, and the tendency for networks to eliminate access to their streaming shows have put a slight damper on Google’s plans to reinvent your television viewing experience, but with future updates and expansion of the platform as long as Google TV can ride out its first wave there is a promising platform ready to flourish.

The Pros:

  • Unified search allows you to locate shows, actors, channels, or anything else you could search on your Android phone or computer easily and in one place. TV and move search results pages point you to where you can watch, stream, or access exactly what you want to see when you want to see it.
  • The dual-view picture in picture mode makes surfing the internet while staying on top of your soaps easy as pie. It’s all there on one screen.
  • Logitech Revue offers a complete solution for video chat and media streaming, so access to content immediately expands beyond the scope of what is already available out of the box.
  • Bookmarks and feeds let you follow your favorite channels, webpages, podcasts, and more.

The Cons:

  • Lack of Android Market is felt. With it’s launch GTV might be unstoppable, but for now the limited selection of applications on the Logitech Revue hurts.
  • Logtiech and Google need to work to bring on more partners. This includes both major networks permitting their online shows to stream via Google TV, as well as service providers creating the same seamless link featured when used with Dish Network. As it stands, Google TV integrates with other services like Comcast perfectly fine and still allows you to search for shows and control your set top box, but Dish allows for the searching of stored DVR shows, something that would be greatly appreciated from other providers.

The Bottom Line:

We don’t think you should fear the early adopter status of Google TV on the Logitech Revue. Even if the platform were to go bottom up (which we don’t see as happening anytime soon), you’ve still bought into a great interface for connecting all of the media that drives our lives back on the screen that started it all: the family television.

If you already have a PC connected to your TV to watch downloaded content and surf the web, use and Xbox, PS3, or other console to stream Netflix and other media, or find yourself googling the things that pop up on TV as you watch constantly, than by all means this is for your. The Logitech Revue is the perfect solution for someone with a current Hi Def setup looking for a little extra pizazz in the television department.

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22Dec/10Off

GTV Prepping to Receive Updates

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We just received an e-mail from Google regarding Google TV and and some sweet updates they are getting ready to unleash.

1. Netflix – A totally revamped UI for Netflix on Google TV makes it easier to browse and watch movies and TV shows in Netflix’s streaming catalogue.
2. Dual View – Watch TV and the use the web how you want, now that you can resize your screens and move them around to your liking.
3. Remote Control App – Starting today you can use your Android phone as a TV remote. Even change the channel with your voice. Find ‘Google TV Remote’ in Android Market.
4. Movie Results – Find the movie you want to watch in the our new movie search results page. Finds movies that are on TV, the web, Netflix, and Amazon VOD.

In addition to the features that are being pushed, Google mentioned a few bugs that have been fixed but neglected to go into further detail. With any luck these are the changes that needed to be implemented before manufacturers went ahead with showcasing their contributions.

Since its launch, Google TV has been plagued with numerous setbacks led by Fox blocking their content as well as the other Big 3.

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22Dec/10Off

Nexus S Gets Its First OTA

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Well that didn’t take long, did it? Less than a week after launch the Nexus S has received its first OTA update. The XDA forums are abuzz trying to figure out just what was updated or fixed.

As soon as we can discern what is going on, we’ll let you know!

Update:
XDA member Mighty07 says:

1.9Mb file stating Bug fixes and Maps fixes. Must be on the Maps API coz the Google Maps itself is already >5Mb

[via Engadget]

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22Dec/10Off

Google Shared Spaces Sneaks Out, Showcases Wave Technology

While announcing a product with a huge event is one way to go about things, sometimes you just want to release something in a small fashion. Quietly. That’s exactly what Google Labs has done with Google Shared Spaces. It’s open right now in a very non-public fashion, and it’s meant to showcase the technology that powered Wave, but in a far more creative way.

The Spaces are built around “gadgets,” of which there are currently 50 to choose from. These Spaces will then be able to be shared through pretty much any means you can think of, thanks to a simple link. Whether that’s from a tweet, an email, or a status on some other social networking, it will be easy for people to invite others to come and enjoy, and interact, with their Space. And, if you know JavaScript, you will be able to make your own gadgets, which people can then interact with.

And while Google Wave may have not survived, it’s good to see that the technology, which promotes real-time collaboration, is still around. If Google Shared Spaces can take off, that could probably be considered a notch in the “win” column for Google, even if it took a bit longer to achieve. As for a date regarding a public opening, Google didn’t say. So it looks like we’ll have to wait a bit longer before we can all experience what Shared Spaces has to offer.

[via Mashable]


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22Dec/10Off

iPad 3G Available Through AT&T Online Store in Time for Christmas

Apple opens up the doors for the iPad to be sold in other retailers every so often. We’ve seen it made available in Sam’s Clubs across the nation, and even within Target stores. And don’t forget about the fact you can pick an iPad up at a Verizon location near you, too. But, despite the fact the iPad launched with AT&T in tow, the 3G-enabled device hasn’t been made available through the wireless carrier’s online store. Until now.

The iPad 3G is now officially available for all of those who would like to get their tablet device through AT&T. However, despite making it just in time for any last minute shoppers out there, don’t expect to find any deals, or special pricing. The 16GB iPad 3G is still going for $629, while the 32GB and 64GB versions will cost you $729 and $829 respectively. You’ll have to go through the AT&T data portal on your new 3G iPad to make sure that you get all your Internet browsing, and application downloads covered.

[via 9to5 Mac]


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22Dec/10Off

Westone 4 Headphones Announced, Cost $449

If you listen to music a lot, and you mainly do so with headphones in (or on) your ears, then you probably take your ‘phones pretty seriously. Because of that, you can generally justify spending quite a bit of money on your next pair, just as long as the feature list matches what you’re willing to shell out. If you’re looking for a pair of advanced in-ear buds, which feature the world’s first four-driver universal fit earphones, then hopefully you’re willing to look at them now, but wait until early 2011 to get them.

Westone Laboratories has just announced their latest and greatest in the headphone department. The Westone 4 are designed specifically for audiophiles, and anyone else who might call themselves an enthusiast when it comes to music. The Westone 4 feature an EPIC cable, four balanced armature drivers, and a three-way crossover. Westone Laboratories are planning on showing off their glowing achievement at CES 2011 in January. And if you think they’re nice enough to buy, the company says they should be ready to go by some time in the first quarter of 2011. Check out the full press release below for more information.

Press Release

Westone 4 the World’s First Four Driver Universal Fit Earphone

Westone Laboratories, Inc. Introduces the World’s First Universal Fit Earphone With Four Balanced Armature Drivers

COLORADO SPRINGS, CO–(Marketwire – December 14, 2010) – Westone Laboratories, Inc. introduces the Westone 4, the world’s first four driver balanced armature universal fit earphone designed specifically for the serious audiophile and music enthusiast.

“The earphone market has become quite crowded in the last several years with lots of ‘me too’ types of products. Westone was an early pioneer back in the early 90′s working with bands like Def Leppard and Rush to develop an in-ear monitoring solution to combat excessive stage noise,” explains Lynn Kehler, President & CEO, Westone. “Developing the first universal four driver product is a statement of our commitment to leading the market with products that are superior in both sound and quality.”

Pushing the limits of both technology and ergonomics, the Westone 4 uses a four driver balanced armature design with 3-way crossover to achieve breathtaking clarity and realism. The EPIC Cable (Earphone Precision Interconnect Cable) is both durable and guards against microphonics. Westone’s exclusive True-Fit technology, based on over 50 years of experience with in-ear applications, results in an earphone that is extremely comfortable, lightweight and compact.

“A Westone customer expects a truly engaging music experience. Not only does the Westone 4 take the experience to the next level, but these earphones can lend themselves to so many applications due to their compact size and sound signature,” describes David Slepak, Manager of Marketing. “For the audiophile it’s pure heaven, gamers will feel like the action is surrounding them, we’ve even had exceptional feedback from the home and field recording community as an alternative to bulky over-the-ear headphones and difficult to use near field monitors.”

The Westone 4 will be revealed to the world in Westone’s exhibit located within the iLounge Pavillion at the Consumer Electronics Show January 6th in Las Vegas. The world’s first four driver universal fit earphone will carry a suggested retail price of $449 and start shipping early in the first quarter of 2011.

Westone, The In-Ear Experts since 1959, has been at the forefront of in-ear monitoring technology since the early 1990′s. Offering a wide range of custom and universal-fit products for music lovers and musicians the world over, Westone musicians’ monitors are used by acts ranging from Third Day and Playing for Change to Flyleaf and Nine Inch Nails. Westone is committed to superior customer service, with musicians on the development team, experienced audiologists on staff and knowledgeable technical support personnel available to answer any questions.


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22Dec/10Off

Cyberdyne HAL Exoskeleton to Be Shown Off at CES 2011

Way back in 2007, Cyberdyne was showing off their latest version of the Hybrid Assistive Limb exoskeleton, better known as HAL. They were even talking about how in 2008, people would be able to rent the exoskeleton for whatever purpose they needed. While the scientists, researchers, and designers at Cyberdyne originally promoted the exoskeleton for those with disabilities and the elderly, it’s looking more and more like HAL is all set to be shown off for everyone.

Cyberdyne has let it be known that they plan on making an appearance at CES 2011, in Las Vegas, and showing off the latest and greatest in their exoskeleton technology. The company’s exoskeleton is a bit different than others we’ve seen in the past, as the HAL suit is able to measure the nerves in your body, and actually react to them. The result is an exoskeleton that the user doesn’t have to move, but moves on its own, based on what you want it to do. That means you won’t have to actually pick up the exoskeleton’s leg to move, but that it will lift on its own, and step with you.

As you may have already guessed, the HAL suit is supposed to give those who wear it extra strength, as well. As of right now, this particular version of the exoskeleton is able to go about two hour and 40 minutes of constant usage. We’ll be sure to stop off at the CES Robotics TechZone this year, to make sure that we get plenty of face time with the HAL suit.

[via I4U; thanks, Robert]


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22Dec/10Off

HTC Media Link unboxing [Video]

It’s been a long time since we first caught sight of HTC’s Media Link, squeezed into an HTC Sense presentation back at the launch of the Desire HD and Desire Z. The two phones have launched and gone on sale, but it’s taken longer for the compact DLNA wireless streaming box to arrive. Patience has served us well, though, and now the Media Link is fresh on the SlashGear test bench.

Unboxing video after the cut

It’s an unassuming box, and smaller than we imagined it would be. Measuring 70 x 45 x 8 mm, the only ports are a microUSB for power and micro HDMI for hooking up a TV. On the front is a standby/power button with a status LED. HTC bundle an HDMI cable along with a USB cable and regular USB power adapter; we prefer that to a fixed adapter, since it means you can use the same charger for your phone with the Media Link.

HTC Media Link Unboxing:

The Media Link uses WiFi to stream content from a phone, tablet, laptop or other DLNA-compliant device, and it can either hook up wirelessly to your existing home network or create its own WiFi network to which devices can link directly. HTC also offers an app for their phones to turn them into a remote control, though you don’t necessarily need it.

We’ll be putting the HTC Media Link through its paces in the best way we know how: boring friends and family with all the wireless media we can find from the various DLNA-compliant devices we insist on carrying around with us during the holidays. Will the Media Link’s appeal pale before our relatives scream for mercy? We’ll let you know in the full review.

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22Dec/10Off

TalkTorque 2 Robot Will be Happy to Guide You Through a Museum [Video]

Robots. Most engineers and designers bring robots to life to do a certain set of tasks, or interact with humans in a whole new way. The technology therein is usually the main focus of the robot as a whole, but when you’ve got a robot that looks like the TalkTorque 2, even the fact that it doesn’t talk is creepy. The robot’s inability to talk is a design choice from those at Japan’s Tsukuba University, who believe that the TalkTorque 2 will be able to become a master at human communication without words, and just gestures.

The point behind TalkTorque 2, is to be able to interact with humans without any words being exchanged. The designers behind the robot believe that TalkTorque 2 would be a perfect guide within places like museums. Letting the human attendees follow the robot around, while it gestures with its head, hands, and hips towards important pieces.

There are three cameras installed in the TalkTorque 2, along with a laser rangefinder. Thanks to the cameras, the robot will be able to recognize returning visitors. In the video below, you can watch the original TalkTorque as it is put through a few tests, all focusing on its gestures.

[via Plastic Pals]

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