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24Aug/11Off

Acer reports first quarterly loss, victim of iPad success

Acer is the second largest PC manufacturer in the world with a record winning streak of quarterly earnings only to be dashed with a worse-than-expected quarterly loss reported today. The company has seen its netbook sales eaten away by the popularity of tablets while the company has struggled with internal strategy transitions in the first half of the year.

For Q2 2011, the Acer reports a loss of 6.8 billion New Taiwan Dollars (NT$) or about $236 million, which is far more than the anticipated shortfall of NT$3.3 billion or $114.7 million and a drastic difference from its NT$1.19 billion or $43 million profit posted in the previous quarter. The company expects to continue operating in the red for the rest of this year, saying that it would be impossible to break even for the full year.

However, Acer Chairman J.T. Wang insists that tablets are only a fad and that he expects the “fever” for tablets to recede. The year before, Wang had predicted that the iPad’s market share would fall to between 20 and 30 percent of the tablet market, but to date, the iPad still takes well over 50 percent of tablet sales.

Acer has also had to deal with the departure of its CEO Gianfranco Lanci followed with internal conflicts on the company’s strategy. Transitioning its focus from it’s once flourishing netbook business to tablets, the company has in recent months released the Acer Iconia Tab A500 and A100 Android tablets.

[via Reuters]


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Acer reports first quarterly loss, victim of iPad success is written by Rue Liu & originally posted on SlashGear.
© 2005 - 2011, SlashGear. All right reserved.


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24Aug/11Off

iPhone 5 concept video shows holographic keyboard and display

We’ve seen plenty of iPhone 5 concept renderings in the past, one of the most recent being the More @ Less design, but here we have a neat concept in video format. The video is created by a San Francisco-based 3D animation and digital content shop called Aatma Studio, which imagines the integration of pico projection for holographic keyboards and displays on future iPhones.

The virtual keyboard is shown projected onto a surface by swiping it off the screen. The projected keyboard can then be scaled to a more comfortable size using a pinch-to-zoom gesture directly on the surface of the projection. It appears that sensors are able to detect your key strokes as a combination of light and shadows

But Aatma takes this idea further to show a holographic display. While Apple has filed patents for pico projection systems for their iPhones and iPads, as well as a feature that can read and react to the silhouettes of gestures in front of the projections, the concept shown in the video projects an image in mid-air. It’s a bit less plausible at this time than the keyboard projection, but hey, it’s a concept.

[via 9to5 Mac]


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iPhone 5 concept video shows holographic keyboard and display is written by Rue Liu & originally posted on SlashGear.
© 2005 - 2011, SlashGear. All right reserved.


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24Aug/11Off

Samsung Galaxy smartphones banned in Europe by Apple patent complaint

Apple has won another victory against Samsung in their ongoing legal battle. The Dutch courts in The Hague have today issued a preliminary injunction against Samsung’s Galaxy S, Galaxy S II, and Ace smartphones that would ban the sale of the devices across almost all of Europe. The ruling, however, does not include Samsung’s Galaxy tablets.

According to FOSS Patents, the preliminary injunction only applies in member countries of the European Patent Organization where a specific Apple software patent is valid. There are several countries in which the patent was not made valid because Apple did not complete the filing and pay the costs. Those countries include Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Estonia, Greece, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Portugal, Romania, Slovenia, Slovakia, and Spain.

Also, Samsung’s Korean parent company is not bound by the ruling, but the company’s primary European distribution hub is believed to be in the Netherlands. Samsung will have to reorganize its logistics chain in Europe before the ruling takes effect in about 7 weeks. The deadline for the decision was originally set for September 15 with any injunctions to take effect after October 13, but the Dutch courts delivered their decision early, which will also give Samsung more time to regroup.

This more extensive filing against Samsung in the Netherlands comes after Apple’s filing in Germany, which initially issued an Europe-wide preliminary injunction on the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1, but was later reversed to be effective in Germany only. Apple had also successfully hindered Samsung’s Galaxy Tab 10.1 sales in Australia.

[via FOSS Patents]


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Samsung Galaxy smartphones banned in Europe by Apple patent complaint is written by Rue Liu & originally posted on SlashGear.
© 2005 - 2011, SlashGear. All right reserved.


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24Aug/11Off

Nokia unveils Symbian Belle on three new phones

After teasing Symbian Belle with a countdown on Monday, Nokia has indeed unveiled the latest Symbian update today along with three new smartphones. The Nokia 600, 700, and 701 will all be powered by Symbian Belle, which now provides more customization, resizeable live widgets, and new apps that take advantage of an integrated NFC chip.

Some of the changes you will find in Symbian Belle are similar to what was rumored before as being being akin to the MeeGo-Harmattan UI. This latest update features up to six home screens and has an improved status bar with a pull down tab that displays missed calls, messages, and settings. The navigation and options bar at the bottom of the screen also sport a new modern look, similar to what was first seen on the Nokia N9.

Symbian Belle offers a more informative lock screen that displays missed calls, messages, and more. The new resizable widgets can be rearranged to create a fully customized set of home screens and there are also new “Toggle” widgets for tasks like switching on Bluetooth. Visual multitasking lets you flick between larger live images of your open apps to see what’s going on at a glance, again, much like the swipe feature we’ve seen demonstrated on the N9.


Nokia 701

The first of the three new Symbian Belle handsets is the Nokia 701, which is touted to have the brightest screen in the world, using a 3.5-inch IPS LCD display with ClearBlack technology. The design is based on the Nokia C7-00, but it has an upgraded 1GHz processor. It also features an 8-megapixel rear-facing camera with dual-LED flash, a front-facing camera for video calling, NFC, and 8GB internal memory expandable with a microSD up to 32GB. Priced at 290 euro or about $420.

Nokia 700

The Nokia 700 is touted as the smallest touchscreen smartphone on the market, measuring just 110 x 50.7 x 9.7mm and weighing 96g. It has a 1GHz processor, 3.2-inch AMOLED screen, and battery life of up to 7.4 hours talk-time or up to 465 hours standby. It has a 5-megapixel rear-facing camera with LED flash, NFC, and 2GB internal storage expandable with microSD. Priced at 270 euros or about $390.


Nokia 600

The Nokia 600 is an all-in-one media phone sporting super load speaker and comes preloaded with Angry Birds and Fruit Ninja. It has a 3.2-inch 640×360 display, A-GPS, accelerometer, and magnetometer and runs on a 1GHz processor. Priced at 180 euros or about $260.

[via Nokia, via TNW]


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Nokia unveils Symbian Belle on three new phones is written by Rue Liu & originally posted on SlashGear.
© 2005 - 2011, SlashGear. All right reserved.


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24Aug/11Off

Nikon outs six new Coolpix cams

I mentioned this morning already that Sony has unveiled its new DSLR and other cameras. Nikon is also showing off some new point and shoot digital cameras in the Coolpix family. The new cameras include the Coolpix P7100, AW100, S1200pj, S8200, S6200, and the S100. The P7100 is a 10.1MP camera with a 3-inch rear LCD. The lens is a 7.1x optical zoom unit with wide-angle. The camera has full manual controls with dials and will be shipping in September for $499.95.

The AW100 is the first rugged Nikon point and shoot. It’s waterproof, freeze proof, and shockproof with a 16MP backside illuminated CMOS sensor and 1080p video capture. The camera will ship in September for $379.95. The S1200pj has a little projector built-in that has 20 lumens of brightness and it will work with the iPhone and other iOS devices. It has a 14.1MP resolution, 5x optical zoom, and records 720p movies. The rear LCD is 3-inches and it will ship in September for $429.95.

The S8200 is a 16.1MP camera with a 3-inch screen and 14x optical zoom. It records 1080p video and has continuous burst shooting at 6fps. Shipping is set for next month for $329.95. The S6200 will sport 16MP, 10x optical zoom, 720p video recording, and a 2.7-inch screen. Shipping is next month for $229.95. The S100 is a 3.5-inch screen smartphone with 16MP and 5x optical zoom with 1080p recording and will ship in September as well for $299.95.


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Nikon outs six new Coolpix cams is written by Shane McGlaun & originally posted on SlashGear.
© 2005 - 2011, SlashGear. All right reserved.


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24Aug/11Off

Droid Bionic Teaser Makes its Way Online

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A clear version of a Verizon teaser for the Motorola DROID BIONIC has made its way to YouTube after initially popping up around the web yesterday in a much lower quality. DroidLife provides the goods as Big Red invites us to “rule all machines.” The phone has done a pretty good job of ruling the tech blog world with countless leaks over the past weeks, but will it still live up to the hype when it launches in early September?


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24Aug/11Off

HTC Bliss Makes Blur-Free Appearance, Not as Green as We Thought It’d Be

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The HTC Bliss while not the most powerful, is certainly one of the more interesting phones we’ve been hearing about. It was first rumored to be a lady-centric device, employing a soothing green hue for its chassis and a charm that’ll light up when a notification is received.

While we’re still a bit iffy about the truth of that last one, it definitely does look a bit like what was described to us a while ago. I can’t tell from the photo, but the green hue here is not as strong as we imagined it’d be. It looks to be a very easy light olive green, but we can’t say for sure.

Other things in the image confirm that this will have a front-facing camera and judging by the picture of it in the model’s hand (below), it looks like it could be 3.7-4 inches. As for other rumored specs, this one is said to have an 800MHz processor, likely the same one inside the HTC Status ChaCha. It should also come with Android 2.3 and an older version of HTC Sense. [XDA.cn via PocketNow]


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24Aug/11Off

[Update] Judge: Only the Gallery Infringement Claim is Valid, Samsung Will Continue to Sell Phones Pending Application Update

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Here’s a small victory (if you can call it that) for Samsung up against the possibility that they may have had to cease sales and advertisement of the Galaxy S, S II and Ace. They claimed Samsung violated patents of Apple’s which describe sliding on-screen to unlock a device and scrolling in the gallery (and the “bounce” after you hit the beginning or end of a list of photos). A judge has ruled that the slide-to-unlock patent claim and nine others are invalid and that that their infringement on the gallery patent can be remedied by disposing of the application – they’ll likely update it to comply. [Samsung Tomorrow (Translated)]

More information after a natural English translation/account of the proceedings. A judge ruled that the reason Apple’s claims were invalid is due to prior art and function. Specifically, they point out a 2005 phone (before anyone even knew of the iPhone) called the Neonode that had a similar slide-to-unlock feature.

They also said that the Galaxy S and S II’s device likeness claims are invalid due to the LG Prada – released well before the iPhone (2006) – taking precedence. Finally, the graphical user interface claim was thrown out due to the Nokia 7710, a 2004 phone that also boasted a grid-like interface for scrolling through applications.

“Most interesting note: the judge specifically mentions that by having such a minimalist design, the iPad basically makes itself less viable for design protection.”

Read more at osnews.com.

[Updated to achieve accuracy after rough translation, add additional details.]


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24Aug/11Off

iSpeech Obama and iSpeech Bush Make Novelty Text-to-Speech Applications Interesting [Video]

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Ever wanted to hear President Obama praise you for all of the outstanding work you’ve done as an American citizen over the years? Want to recreate one of countless classic George Bush speeches that make absolutely no sense whatsoever? iSpeech Obama and iSpeech Bush will help you do just that.

They are novelty applications, really, as their main purpose is to show off the power of iSpeech’s TTS and ASR engine. With it, developers can enable TTS in their applications and are given full freedom and control over how the voices sound.

I can’t imagine a TTS application like this would draw in a huge crowd if not for the fact that they sound somewhat similar to the two most recent presidents of the United States. I’m sure people wouldn’t mind the same app with others’ voices. (I’m particularly interested to see if anyone will come up with an Ozzy Osbourne rendition. That would be hilarious.

While the voices sound overly-computerized at times, you can tell it’s Obama and Bush. iSpeech provides a developer-friendly SDK with APIs to do almost anything they want with text-to-speech. If you want to consider it for your current or future project, head to their site to get started. If you want to demo these two apps on your PC, go to the Apps section of iSpeech.org (Bush, Obama). And if you want the Android applications, you can find the free and paid applications for Obama (here) and Bush (here) in the market.


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24Aug/11Off

Vizio 8 Inch Android Tablet First of its Kind to Get Hulu Plus

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While we’re a bit disappointed that Hulu has yet to bring their services to tablets and Android devices other than phones, we can’t be mad that they’re at least trying. Today, we can scratch the “first tablet with Hulu Plus” milestone off the list as The Vizio 8 inch Android tablet has been added to the list of supported devices. It’s no Honeycomb tablet, but there it is anyway. If you’ve already gotten one of these to go along with your Vizio internet-connected TV (which should also have Hulu Plus) go ahead and grab from the Android market. (Market listing not yet updated to reflect the change.)


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