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8Aug/11Off

Cut Down on Greasy Fingerprints with the Logitech Tablet Mouse

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Maybe you are a bit OCD about smudging up that tablet display. Maybe you are that uses your tablet docked to a keyboard. Either way, the Logitech Tablet Mouse wants to be your best friend. The mouse is compatible with Android tablets running Honeycomb v3.1 or higher and pairs via Bluetooth with a 30 foot range. Sure, it sort of takes away from the whole touchscreen aspect of using a tablet — you know, the main design feature which makes them unique from a laptop or netbook — but for $49.99 you will get a portable companion for wireless navigation of the Honeycomb interface. Here’s the catch: there seems to be nothing inherently Android about this mouse, and there is no reason to believe any other Bluetooth mouse couldn’t do the job just as well. Check it out over at Logitech’s site.

[via Androinica]


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8Aug/11Off

DROID Bionic Revealed in Full Hardware Photos

The mobile world has been waiting for a device which combines a dual-core processor with the speed of Verizon’s 4G LTE network since CES this past January. It was at this Consumer Electronics Show that the DROID Bionic was originally revealed, a device which combined an unnamed dual-core processor with the ability to run at what Verizon was then noting was up to 10 times faster than 3G with their 4G LTE network. What we’ve got now is a mobile environment where LTE has been worked into three Android smartphones, dual-core processors are in more than five smartphones, but there’s still no combination of the two – by the looks of the photos in this post, that’s about to change very soon.

This same device was seen on the 5th of this month as well in two photos, one showing the front of the device with a battery charging symbol, perhaps pointing to the idea that it needs more than your average charge during a normal day, and another showing the device’s display sitting next to the DROID Charge, showing its size to clearly be larger than the Charge’s 4.3-inch screen, this indicating a 4.5-inch display that would content with the recently revealed Samsung Hercules, also known as T-Mobile’s version of the Samsung Galaxy S II. The first of these two photos also indicates that the edges of the glass covering the display of the device could be curved slightly downward as is the trend in recent high-end smartphones utilizing the super-strong display cover known as Gorilla Glass.

What the newest set of photos shows is again the possibility of curved glass on the front of the device as shown by the light hitting the front lower left of the device, as well as the Verizon logo in the lower right, Motorola in the center on the top near the speaker grill, an at least reasonably bright display, four Android buttons below, and a standard looking border around the whole screen. Along the left side of the device you’ll see a recognizable microUSB and microHDMI post combination, this indicating that docks similar to that which we’ve seen on the Motorola ATRIX and Motorola PHOTON 4G will be in order – this same setup can be seen on the side of the recent DROID 3 just released on Verizon as well.

The right side of the device shows a simple volume rocker, and the back shows the same 8-megapixel camera we’ve seen in the past along with a speaker grille in the opposite corner, Motorola symbol, 4G LTE logo, Verizon logo, and “with Google” logo. All of this facing in a direction that indicates the device is meant to be held in a landscape mode, again, for docking purposes.

What do you think? Look like the Motorola device for you? Or will you be banking on the Samsung Galaxy S II with a possibility for no LTE? How about thinness? Everyone knows that the Samsung Galaxy S II is and will continue to be the thinnest smartphone on the market – does the bulk of the DROID Bionic turn you off? — Thanks for the tip Josh!

[via GottaBeMobile]


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DROID Bionic Revealed in Full Hardware Photos is written by Chris Burns & originally posted on SlashGear.
© 2005 - 2011, SlashGear. All right reserved.


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8Aug/11Off

Google+ App Now Supports iPad and iPod Touch


When an iOS app for the fledgling social network Google+ was introduced last month, it quickly shot up to become the top free app on iTunes. And it’s interesting to note that the app wasn’t even available to iPads and iPod touch devices. A new update this morning fixes that and adds some other improvements.

The Google+ app for iOS now supports the iPad and iPod touch, whereas previously it could only be installed on the iPhone. However, it is not optimized for the iPad interface yet and simply uses a double resolution version that’s bound to look more pixelated.

With the update, the Google+ group chat offering called Huddle now gets some new settings, including the option to hide a huddle or to mute one. You can also reject huddles instead of just blocking the requesting person entirely.

Additionally, notifications will now be grouped based on type so that each circle add, +1, or comment will get aggregated into its own group instead of appearing separately.

[via TNW]


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Google+ App Now Supports iPad and iPod Touch is written by Rue Liu & originally posted on SlashGear.
© 2005 - 2011, SlashGear. All right reserved.


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8Aug/11Off

Skype 5.3 Update For Mac Brings HD Video Calling, Lion Support

Skype released their iPad app just last week and their previous update for Mac came just a month ago that brought group video screen sharing and multitasking functionality. Now, they’ve just released version 5.3 for Mac that will be adding HD video calling as well as support for new Lion features.

Now that the 2011 iMac and MacBook Pro’s come with a FaceTime HD camera, it makes sense that Skype should take advantage of this and offer the option for HD video calling. The new feature also works with a variety of add-on high-resolution webcams. But to receive clear HD video calls its recommended to have a connection speed of at least 1.5Mbps.

The update also adds full support for Mac OS X Lion while promising backwards compatibility with Mac OS X Snow Leopard. Other improvements include new contact sorting, searching, and viewing options.

[via Skype]


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Skype 5.3 Update For Mac Brings HD Video Calling, Lion Support is written by Rue Liu & originally posted on SlashGear.
© 2005 - 2011, SlashGear. All right reserved.


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8Aug/11Off

SOUL by Ludacris SL300 Headphones Shipping Now

So you’re in the mood for some hip-hop endorsed audio in the form of over the ear headphones but you’re not into the whole Beats by Dre fad, yes? Perhaps you’d like a slightly more GOLD solution? It’s time for Ludacris to come out from the shadows and plop some SOUL headphones on your head. The Over-Ear SL300 headphones by the name of SOUL by Ludacris are shipping now, retailers including the likes of RadioShack, Amazon.com, Best Buy, and Microsoft (the store you’ll find directly across the aisle from the Apple store in the Mall of America, of course.) Apple stores will be carrying them as well.

This isn’t the first time we’ve come in contact with the Ludacris in audio situation, the first time being WAY back in 2009 when Chris Davies interviewed the rapper / producer / actor as he sat beside Monster’s Noel Lee. At the time they’d been speaking about “possible” projects. Now we’re talking about Ludacris matching up with Soul Electronics, completely separate group, to create these lovely noise-canceling headphones in several color combinations.

The fact that Ludacris recently starred in the newest installment of the Fast and the Furious series of car-racing movies is not to be mistaken for the five-model-lineup this SOUL by Ludacris headphone extravaganza is turning into. The SL300s are only the tip of the iceberg, there’s still the High Definition On-Ear models SL150 and SL100, and the SL99 and SL49 High Definition In-Ear headphones to come! This entier line will and does contain pro-voiced sound technology with “advanced circutry and drivers” designed by a team of engineers who have also reportedly “developed some of the most notable acoustic breakthroughs in the audio industry.

Also note, since it’s the most awesome feature ever, all modes feature gold-plated connectors for seamless signal transfer. The SL300 models are now available nationwide at Apple.com, Amazon.com, BestBuy.com, Headphones.com, Brookstone, Buy.com, Bobizzo.com, AAFES, InMotion, MacMall, Microsoft Store, Huppin’s OneCall, Ovation and Vann’s and are going to run you approximately $299.


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SOUL by Ludacris SL300 Headphones Shipping Now is written by Chris Burns & originally posted on SlashGear.
© 2005 - 2011, SlashGear. All right reserved.


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8Aug/11Off

Lenovo IdeaPad K1 Review

The IdeaPad K1 is one of the first two Android tablets to come from Lenovo. It’s a competitive 10.1-inch Android 3.1 Honeycomb tablet with almost all the specs you’d anticipate from a slate equipped with the NVIDIA Tegra 2 processor, but attempts to standout with its own individual style, unique interface features, and a price tag that’s $100 less than its rivals.

Hardware

The Lenovo IdeaPad K1 sports a 1GHz NVIDIA Tegra 2 dual-core processor along with 1GB of RAM. Its 10.1-inch multitouch display has a 1280 x 800 resolution with a 16:10 aspect ratio and very good viewing angles all around as can be expected from an IPS panel. It has an internal storage of 32GB that can be doubled with a microSD card of up to 32GB. It also has a front-facing 2-megapixel camera as well as a rear-facing 5-megapixel camera with an LED flash.

When it comes to connectivity options, however, the IdeaPad K1 is a bit lacking. It doesn’t help that we just finished reviewing the Toshiba Thrive, which spoiled us with full-sized ports. Still, we’re not asking for that much—a micro-USB port would suffice. But the IdeaPad K1 has no USB ports whatsoever. Neither does the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1, but at least that device is so crazy thin and light that we’ll make an excuse for it.

In lieu of a USB port for data transfer and charging, the IdeaPad K1 comes with its own proprietary pin connector port. Two of these cables are included in the box, one ending with a USB male and the other ending with a wall socket adapter. But do note, like with other Honeycomb devices, that if you’re a Mac user, you will need the Android File Transfer app for your computer to recognize and access the tablet.

You can always transfer data using a microSD card, but getting to it is a pain on the IdeaPad K1. The microSD card slot can only be popped open by poking something into a tiny pinhole next to its cover. Lenovo was kind enough to provide a small metal clip specifically for this job, but it’s just the kind of thing you’ll lose within the first week.

The IdeaPad K1 does have a micro-HDMI port and it supports 1080p full HD video-out and video playback. It also supports Bluetooth and WiFi connectivity.

Physically, the IdeaPad K1 feels comfortable to hold. At 1.65lbs it’s not much lighter than the Toshiba Thrive, which weighed in at 1.66lbs, but it does feel much lighter, possibly an illusion created by its thinner profile measuring 13.3mm.

The tablet comes in four colors of black, red, white and brown. We have the black model and the backside is covered with a dense honeycomb pattern that adds both a sleek industrial look and a grippy texture. The design for the back camera cutout, the Lenovo logo, and the two stereo speaker grilles are all pleasantly subtle.

Other external elements include the physical power on/off button, volume rocker, screen-lock switch, and a 3.5mm headphone jack. Additionally, there’s an unmarked physical home-screen button that also makes it easy to take screenshots by simply holding down the button until an onscreen indicator pops up.

Software & Performance

So the interface is where the Lenovo IdeaPad K1 is supposed to really shine. Instead of the stock Android 3.1 Honeycomb, Lenovo has put a lot of effort into adding some personal touches to improve usability straight out of the box. This is a move that could either innovate on or detract from the Honeycomb experience.

Let’s start off with what’s probably the best feature of Lenovo’s customized interface, and that’s the ability to close apps from the task switcher. A red circle with a white “X’ appears in the top right corner of each layer thumbnail, on which you can press to close the individual app instantly. This is rather convenient and an improvement that stock Android 3.1 Honeycomb should consider.

Less favorable is the Lenovo Launcher, which appears on the home screen as four squares that can be customized to show the functions you use most. To the left of the squares is a button for customization and to the right is the Android settings button. This feature seems rather unnecessary, unattractive, and a bit redundant given that an App Wheel feature is also offered.

The App Wheel button sits at the center of the bottom menu bar. When pressed, the App Wheel appears on the right side of the screen, where thumbnails of your favorite apps can be rotated through. The selection of apps in the App Wheel is fully customizable and is not representative of your most recent or most used apps.

Lenovo also offers its own App Shop that takes the uncertainty out of shopping on the Android Market by vetting apps for validity, usefulness, and to avoid apps that contain malware or viruses.

Furthermore, the IdeaPad K1 supports Flash content right out of the box and is preloaded with over 30 apps. These include both free apps as well as those that would normally cost you to purchase, such as Documents To Go, which sells for $14.99. Among the preloaded apps is Netflix. Lenovo proudly asserts to be the first to offer the app preloaded on a tablet coupled with hardware-enabled DRM for streaming Netflix movies, TV shows and more anywhere, anytime.

The video quality was excellent and the two stereo speakers worked well and surprisingly better than those on the Toshiba Thrive, which were too quiet. Despite being situated on the back-side, the speakers are angled such that they are never covered up completely no matter what angle the tablet is held.

Now for performance figures, we used the synthetic benchmarking tools Quadrant Pro, Vellamo, and Smartbench 2011. In both the Vellamo and Smartbench 2011 benchmarks, the IdeaPad K1 scored behind the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1.

Battery

The IdeaPad K1 has a 2-cell battery rated for up to 10 hours of standard use. After intermittent use of the tablet with 100% screen brightness while surfing the web over WiFi and watching YouTube videos, we were able to get around 8 hours. This is a bit better than the Toshiba Thrive, which pulled in about 6 hours. The IdeaPad K1 does take awhile to charge back up, so keep the charging cable handy. And, definitely make sure not to lose the cable, since the proprietary pin connector port makes it more difficult to replace.

Wrap-Up

The Lenovo IdeaPad K1 offers some unique features at a $499 price tag for a 32GB tablet that, for some, could make it worth the minor trade-offs. Plus, it does sport competitive specs that yield good performance and excellent battery life.

It may not be as productivity-oriented as the Toshiba Thrive with all its ports, but it also doesn’t carry the undesirable bulk. However, starved of ports, it’s still not quite as thin and light as the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 or the iPad 2. And if having 32GB onboard storage is of no concern, then a cheaper alternative could be the ASUS Eee Pad Transformer.

For you to ultimately choose the Lenovo IdeaPad K1, it will be because you desire the storage capacity at the lower price, you don’t mind not having a USB port or difficult access to the microSD card slot, and you like the custom interface features.

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Lenovo IdeaPad K1 Review is written by Rue Liu & originally posted on SlashGear.
© 2005 - 2011, SlashGear. All right reserved.


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8Aug/11Off

Official FBI Child ID App Launched for iPhone

The United States Federal Bureau of Investigation, this being the real official FBI, have launched a totally legit FBI Child ID app in the iOS App Store. What this Child ID app does is allow parents to electronically store photos and “critical information” about their children for later use should their child turn up missing. In addition to being able to store info and images of your child, Child ID has an archive of information on how to keep your child safe and what your courses of action should be if they do indeed go missing. Our first question, us being part of a rather paranoid generation, is in regards to how secure this app really is, and how we’ll be able to know if this information really is being kept only by the FBI OR if it’ll be all too simple for predators to get the information we’ve shared.

The FBI lets us know that “a child turns up missing in the United States every 40 seconds,” and that “many never return home” but as the majority of the 45 reviews done for the app thus far remind us: this app does not have password protection, nor is it secure in any way should the owner of this app’s host phone lose said phone. Say for example you’ve got all your information set on your two kids Janie and Johnny Doe, their height, width, photos, school schedule, answers to names, everything else about them, and a child predator gets ahold of your iPhone? Your child may then become quite a simple target for said predator with malicious intent for your child.

On the other hand, when used CORRECTLY by a person who doesn’t drop their phone more often than they drop their hat, this app could indeed be quite useful. Quick links to emergency phone numbers including NCMEC National Center for Mission and Exploited Children, links and resources, and safety tips, along with the quick list of your child’s traits should you happen to be losing your mind when you can’t find your kid on the 4th of July at the fireworks display.

This app is currently free for download in the iTunes app store and the FBI is now working with the AFCA to announce its existence to the public. The American Football Coaches Association will soon be producing a public service announcement to be delivered to the public soon – so that’s what you’re hearing on the garbled intercom blasting over the field, incase you were wondering.


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Official FBI Child ID App Launched for iPhone is written by Chris Burns & originally posted on SlashGear.
© 2005 - 2011, SlashGear. All right reserved.


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8Aug/11Off

Herman Miller Envelop Desk Leans Back for All Day Tech Users

So you sit at your desk all day, do you? Sounds familiar to me – in fact more often than not I find myself sitting in several places looking for the best “desk” to meet my ever-changing daily needs; for example right after a meal or early in the morning are completely different levels of leaning back or sitting up. The folks at Herman Miller have heard the cries of you and I, ladies and gentlemen of the tech-using community, bringing forth the “Enveop Desk” that has the ability to move back and forth with the user, leaning down and towards the user when they need it most.

While the desk may not look like anything extremely spectacular on it’s own (it being the modern minimalistic masterpiece that it is,) it’s the pulling back and down of the black piece of the desk that makes the most magic. You’ll see what’s going on in the video below, as Herman Miller specialists see a young lady working at her desk in the normal fashion, taking away the elements that aren’t working for her, replacing these then with Herman Miller pieces of furniture, the Envelop Desk included – she gets to a point in her day when she wants to lean back a bit and – what’s that – she’s got the ability to pull her desk back and down to compensate!

Based on what Herman Miller is noting was “extensive research and development,” the Envelop Desk provides “the ideal alignment of a users eyes and posture with their screen for optimal ergonomic comfort.” Sounds rather nice and comfortable to me. And what’s best? The Envelop Desk is made entirely of recyclable materials so if you ever find a desk to replace it, this piece of furniture can be broken down and turned into new desks!

This desk is going to run you right around $960 USD before shipping costs, and you’ve got a couple choices as to what you’re going to get for your surface material and base finish. Designers Bill Stumpf and Jeff Weber would LOVE for you to pick one up, and your humble narrator CERTAINLY wouldn’t mind having one for himself. ALSO Herman Miller lets us know that between the 1st and 15th of August you can get standard shipping for just $9 on all orders over $499.


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Herman Miller Envelop Desk Leans Back for All Day Tech Users is written by Chris Burns & originally posted on SlashGear.
© 2005 - 2011, SlashGear. All right reserved.


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8Aug/11Off

Apple Sued for OS X Fast Booting with Supposed LG Owned Patent

Down in Florida today, a group by the name of Operating Systems Solutions, LCC, has found it necessary to file a patent infringement lawsuit against no less than Apple. Their suit includes finding Apple’s OS X operating system using a fast boot operation which seems to infringe on a patent originally owned by LG Electronics. The original owner, LG Electronics, seems to have filed for patent back in 1999, another granted patent being assigned again in 2002 to LG Electronics Inc, but that in its reissued granted patent form is assigned to Protimus Technologies LLC in 2008 – it is this patent that’s being quoted in the court’s document – will Apple be forced to defend connections to said original LG filing? We shall see!

The first Count of this new lawsuit reads as follows: “Apple sells or offers to sell within this district, computer systems, including but not limited to the MacBook Pro, that utilize the Mac OSX operating system that infringes at least claim 1 of the OSS [Operating System Solutions] Patent.” What this does is claim that Apple has either knowingly or unknowingly created an operating system with a feature that had been patented previously without confirming with the current patent holder that it was agreeable to do so. If the court should find that the fast-boot sequence on current OS X devices is close enough to the original patent’s description, Apple could be in a heap of trouble.

The one-time patent abstract from the original LG Electronics filing reads as follows – see if this seems similar to how your OS X Lion-toting device boots up:

“A method for quickly booting a personal computer system using boot configuration information on memory and the attached devices that was created and saved in a hard disk at the preceding boot process. The method for a quick boot process includes the steps of performing a power-on self test POST) operation when a personal computer system is powered on or a reset button is pressed; performing a normal boot process after the POST operation; saving the contents of memory and the status of the attached devices to a hard disk; checking if a reboot is requested; restoring the saved boot configuration information from the hard disk, after POST is completed during the reboot process; checking whether or not an initial device configuration file and/or an automatic batch file were changed; and executing commands in the two files and saving a newly created boot configuration information to the hard disk for future boot. The personal computer system, may reboot quickly because of omission of execution of the initial device configuration filed and the automatic batch file.”

The above is also what you’re seeing in the main image of this post, as seen above. The following paragraph is how the lawsuit claim reads, on the other hand. Decide for yourself if this matches up with the original LG Electronics patent wording:

“A method for fast booting a computer system, comprising the steps of: A. performing a power on self test (POST) of basic input output system (BIOS) when the system is powered on or reset is requested; B. checking whether a boot configuration information including a system booting state which was created while executing a previous normal booting process exists or not; C. storing the boot configuration information from execution of the POST operation before loading a graphic interface (GUI) program, based on the checking result; and D. loading the graphic user interface (GUI) program.”

Patently Apple notes that it’s suspicious that the group currently running this lawsuit, the group that goes by the name “Operating Systems Solutions LCC” doesn’t appear in a simple Google search. When this sort of situation arises, alarms should be going off that read PATENT TROLL. This type of troll is one that uses patents in a rather opportunistic way, attacking groups that may have “infringed” on said patent without any intention of actually developing the patented subject matter on their own.

[via Patently Apple]


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Apple Sued for OS X Fast Booting with Supposed LG Owned Patent is written by Chris Burns & originally posted on SlashGear.
© 2005 - 2011, SlashGear. All right reserved.


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8Aug/11Off

iTunes Replay mired in studio negotiations say sources

Reports that Apple will imminently offer re-downloads and streaming access to purchased movie and TV show content as part of an iTunes Replay system are premature, new sources have suggested, amid claims that in fact the Cupertino company is yet to secure most of the necessary licensing agreements. So far, deals with at least four of the six top film studios are yet to be inked, CNET‘s sources tell them, leaving an iTunes Replay launch several months off, in all probability.

The reason behind the delay, it’s suggested, is the so-called HBO window, industry shorthand for the electronic distribution period in which HBO has exclusive rights to digital content from 20th Century Focx, Warner Bros. and Universal. During that period, while DVD sales are permitted, any electronic streaming distribution is not.

HBO is reportedly not averse to cloud streaming delivery, at least where customers have already purchased copies of content and are re-accessing them as iTunes Replay supposedly allows, but the complexity of the licensing agreements – and the fast-moving pace of digital entertainment – means negotiations have been difficult. The company is supposedly cautious that pay-per-view streaming could evolve into subscription-based services, eating into its own profits.

As the original rumors had it, iTunes Replay would allow customers to re-access content they had purchased through the digital download store as far back as the beginning of 2009. However the new sources claim that persistent rumors of a Netflix-style subscription package – despite HBO’s fears – are not true.


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iTunes Replay mired in studio negotiations say sources is written by Chris Davies & originally posted on SlashGear.
© 2005 - 2011, SlashGear. All right reserved.


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