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31Aug/11Off

Sony Takes Wraps Off Tablet P and Tablet S

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With Sony being so secretive regarding their forthcoming Android tablets lately, we expected them to finally show us everything we’ve been waiting to see at IFA. Welp, they’ve done just that. Let’s take a look at what we’re getting here.

Let’s start with the Tablet S, Sony’s 9.4 inch (IPS with Sony TruBlack and Bravia display technology) Honeycomb tablet (the one I’m sure most of us are looking at more closely).

We don’t have much in the way of specs that most of us here care about (such as processor speed/type and amount of RAM) but Sony has confirmed that there would be both 16GB and 32GB WiFi-only configurations. We’re also getting a full-sized SDHC card slot and a front-facing camera along with other usual bells and whistles.

As for the Sony Tablet P, Sony’s odd-looking Clamshell dual-screen tablet, we’ve got two 5 inch displays (effectively making it a 10 inch tablet, I suppose). The dual-screen design opens up a few exciting possibilities here.

Perhaps you want to use the bottom display for the keyboard while the top one is used for something else. Or perhaps that bottom screen will be a nice to put all of those virtual PlayStation buttons to play games.

Sony has given a “within the coming weeks” release window for $499.99 and $599.99 for the Tablet S 16GB and 32GB models, respectively. As for the P, they haven’t mentioned anything about the United States but Europe will get it at the end of November for 599 quid. They’ll also be getting the S in September for 479 quid. We’ll be on the lookout for more details in the meantime.


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31Aug/11Off

United States Government Files Anti-Trust Complaint to Block AT&T’s Purchase of T-Mobile

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This is perhaps the biggest move in this case yet. The United States government (Department of Justice, to be exact) has reportedly filed to block AT&T’s acquisition of T-Mobile for $39 billion, citing anti-trust laws being violated as AT&T would be taking substantial competition off the market.

"AT&T’s elimination of T-Mobile as an independent, low- priced rival would remove a significant competitive force from the market," the U.S. said in its filing.

While many in government, including Governors and Senators, have already expressed their distaste with AT&T and Deutsche Telekom’s proposal, the US DoJ backing everyone else’s concerns is about as big as it gets. It’s a significant blow to AT&T and T-Mobile, though it doesn’t necessarily mean their hopes are completely dashed. Developing… [Bloomberg]


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31Aug/11Off

Sony Ericsson Announces the Xperia Arc S With “Reality Display”, Coming This October; New Flagship Walkman (PMP), Too

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The IFA ball has already begun rolling with Sony taking to the stage two days ahead of the event. Today, they announced that the Sony Ericsson Xperia Arc S will debut this October. Details are a bit scant at this moment as they chose to focus only on its “Reality Display” and the many entertainment services that will be available for Sony users across platforms, but we’ll be on the lookout for more information coming soon.

We’ve also learned of a new Sony Ericsson Walkman that is running Android. They’re calling it their “flagship” Walkman and judging from the apparent lack of an earpiece this isn’t a phone. All of this is still developing  so stay tuned! [Engadget 1, 2]

[Update]: We’re hearing this one bests the first Arc with a 1.4GHz processor instead of just 1GHz. We’ve also get a press release straight ahead.

Sony Ericsson unveils its fastest entertainment experiences to date with Xperia™ arc S
31 August 2011

Xperia™ arc S has a powerful 1.4 Ghz processor delivering up to 25% faster entertainment compared to Xperia arc ™
Winner of the EISA award "European Camera Phone 2011-2012"*

31st August 2011, Berlin, Germany - Sony Ericsson today unveiled Xperia™ arc S at Sony’s press conference in conjunction with IFA in Berlin. Taking the award-winning sleek design from Xperia arc*,the latest addition to the Xperia™ family has a processor upgraded to 1.4Ghz, Sony 3D sweep panorama technology and access to the Sony Entertainment Network services - "Music Unlimited" and "Video Unlimited"**. Xperia™ arc S features 25% faster camera start up and media conversion , along with 20% faster web page rendering compared to Xperia™ arc***.

Consumers with a 2011 Xperia™ smartphone are now able to enjoy "Music Unlimited" and "Video Unlimited" subject to market availability**:

"Music Unlimited" has a global catalogue of over 10 million unique songs**** with access to your personal music library and ad free radio channels across multiple devices.
"Video Unlimited" (currently exclusive to Sony Ericsson Xperia™) is the ultimate source for the latest Hollywood blockbusters, all-time classics, and TV shows from all major studios.

Nikolaus Scheurer, Head of Product Marketing at Sony Ericsson said: "Xperia™ arc S is the fastest and most entertaining Xperia™ to date and it clearly demonstrates how the Xperia™ family are the best smartphones to experience great entertainment services such as Music Unlimited and Video Unlimited."

In addition to these services, Xperia™ arc S includes best-in-class Sony technology such as 3D sweep panorama. 3D sweep panorama images can be captured and then viewed by connecting the phone to a 3D TV using the HDMI output.

Xperia™ arc S also has a visually brilliant 4.2" Reality Display with Mobile BRAVIA® Engine, an 8.1mp camera with HD video capability and Sony’s award winning Exmor R™ for mobile image sensor that enhances still images and videos even in low light conditions.

Consumers also have access to a uniquely social entertainment experience of sharing and discovery with Facebook inside Xperia™, plus the extensive world of Android with over 250,000 applications.

Xperia™ arc S at a glance:

Super fast 1.4 GHz processor
3D and 2D sweep panorama photography
8.1 MP camera with Exmor R™ for mobile image sensor
4.2" Reality display with Mobile BRAVIA® Engine
Latest Android™ platform Gingerbread 2.3

Sony Ericsson Xperia™ arc S will be available globally in selected markets from Q4 2011.
For full details all products news, please visit the press room and the product blog:

http://www.sonyericsson.com/cws/corporate/press/pressreleases/latestnews

http://blogs.sonyericsson.com/products/

* Xperia™arc S and Xperia™ arc are winners of the EISA (European Imaging and Sound Association) award for European Camera Phone 2011-2012. Xperia™ arc is also the winner of the prestigious red dot Product Design Award 2011

** Availability of Sony Entertainment Network services:

"Music Unlimited" and "Video Unlimited" are expected to become available on Xperia™ arc S and launch timing will vary by region. Customers will be notified when services are available.
Markets for Video Unlimited: USA, Italy, Spain, Germany, UK, France, Australia, Canada and Japan
Markets for Music Unlimited: USA, Italy, Spain, Germany, UK, France, Australia, Ireland, New Zealand

*** Based on internal tests.
**** The number of songs available from this catalogue varies by region


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31Aug/11Off

Light Field photo tech promises true HD upscaling

One of the things that delays photos that you take with a point and shoot camera between when you press the shutter button and the image is actually recorded is the time needed to focus. We have already talked about a camera before called the Lytro light field camera that could shoot a photo and then focus later that would eliminate that delay. Fraunhofer is now presenting a similar solution at IBC 2011 convention in Amsterdam that will allow photographers to use a special lens and software after the photo is snapped to change focus, angle, and depth of field.

The hardware and software technique will allow photographers and videographers to go back and completely change a scene or photo to focus on a different aspect and will allow them to change where the point of focus is on a photo or video as well. In tests, the researchers from the Fraunhofer Institute used a micro lens array in front of a camera sensor. Each lens of the camera records a slightly shifted image of the scene as if several different cameras had been aligns.

The cameras using these lenses are able to record images in a 4D light files. The light intensity, position, and direction are all recorded. What the lens does is allow the user to go in and completely adjust the image on a computer in post processing using software. That allows for post production of the video or photos to completely change the angle of view for a sequence and choose a completely different area of focus. That would mean no reshoots or missed shots due to focus or angle issues.

One of the more interesting things about the sensor used is that it has fewer pixels than a normal HD sensor would have and therefore only grabs the data that is a necessity for the photos. The software on the computer is then able to use scanning and signal frequency to turn the image into true HD. That means the image data doesn’t need in camera processing or compression, which should speed up the process of taking photos and video.


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Light Field photo tech promises true HD upscaling is written by Shane McGlaun & originally posted on SlashGear.
© 2005 - 2011, SlashGear. All right reserved.


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31Aug/11Off

Financial Times app pulled from App Store

I don’t think any of the companies with apps that sold monthly subscriptions on the App Store were happy in the least when Apple instituted its new method of subscription payments where it took 30% of the monthly fees. The requirement was that all subscription payments in apps must go through the iTunes store. Many companies are getting around that by offering access via the web using a web browser rather than an app.

Since the Financial Times wouldn’t come to compliance with the iTunes rule, Apple has now removed the app from the App Store. That means iPad and iPhone users can no longer get the apps to view the paper. Apparently, the digital subscriptions are important to the publication. It has been growing its digital subscribers at a robust rate.

Reports claim that since the FT app launched 10% of the digital subscriptions to the paper were made on the iPad. The FT had gained 100,000 new subscribers to its digital edition so as many as 10,000 readers may have been using the iPad. The FT launched a web application in June to replace the app on Apple device. The web app reportedly has 550,000 users.

[via PaidContent]


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Financial Times app pulled from App Store is written by Shane McGlaun & originally posted on SlashGear.
© 2005 - 2011, SlashGear. All right reserved.


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31Aug/11Off

Apple MacBook 3G prototype called back home

When a geek happens across something early or really weird that was not meant to leave the inner workings of a company like Apple, they tend to throw it on eBay looking to make some loot off the deal. Such was the case when an eBay seller put a prototype MacBook Pro up on eBay earlier this month. The prototype was notable because it had a 3G antenna and a SIM card slot inside. That 3G connectivity is an option that many people have wanted for a long time on a MacBook.

The prototype machine never made the end of the auction though since Apple found out about it and had the auction pulled before it finished. The seller had purchased the notebook on Craigslist earlier this year according to CNET. The machine was originally purchased for parts to use in a repair business. The bidding had apparently hit $70,000 before it was pulled; the odds of that winning bidder actually paying were probably slim.

Apple has now reached out to the owner of the prototype, one Carl Fregna, and wants to send someone to pick the machine up and return it to Cupertino. It’s not clear if the man will get the money he paid for the device back from Apple. I would bet that there would be some sort of compensation for returning the machine since the man purchased it legitimately even if it was never meant to have left Apple.

[via CNET]


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Apple MacBook 3G prototype called back home is written by Shane McGlaun & originally posted on SlashGear.
© 2005 - 2011, SlashGear. All right reserved.


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31Aug/11Off

Java creator James Gosling ditches Google for robotics firm after less than 6 months on the job

In March of 2011, Google hired James Gosling, the father of Java for an unspecified position. We naturally assumed that Gosling was going to work on Android in some capacity. Strangely, at the time Gosling landed at Google, it and Oracle were in a legal battle over the alleged use of some Java code in Android. Gosling is no longer working at Google and the reason for leaving isn’t noted. I wonder if it had anything to do with the Google/Oracle fight over Java.

Gosling left Google to become the chief software architect at Liquid Robotics. The CEO of Liquid Robotics is Bill Vass. Vass and Gosling worked together at Sun Microsystems previously. Gosling will be writing software for the cool robots that Liquid Robotics makes. The bots are called Wave Glider and are designed to glide through the oceans collecting data on all sorts of things.

The bots are able to harvest the power they need form the waves in the ocean and are autonomous. The robotics firm only makes about a third of its overall income selling the data that its bots collect. The rest of the income the company generates is made by doing research and development as well as selling the Wave glider robot that the company uses to collect data in the oceans.

[via Android Community]


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Java creator James Gosling ditches Google for robotics firm after less than 6 months on the job is written by Shane McGlaun & originally posted on SlashGear.
© 2005 - 2011, SlashGear. All right reserved.


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31Aug/11Off

Facebook doles out $40,000 in 21 days for security bug hunt

The Facebook Deals program didn’t work out too well for the giant social network, but it looks like their bug hunt program is working out really well. Facebook is running a program that will pay security researchers and other folks that find bugs or flaws in the security of the social network and report them. The money paid out depends on the severity of the flaw found.

The payout runs from $500 for a minor bug up to $5,000 for a severe security issue. One researcher has apparently already racked up $7,000 in bounties for finding six different bugs in Facebook security. The program has been running for 21 days now and already Facebook has paid out $40,000 according to reports. That is a lot of bugs in security that have already been nailed by security pros.

The goal of the program is to make the code of the social network more secure and less prone to hacking by malicious types looking to exploit the wealth of information on users hidden inside. Facebook isn’t alone in running a program that pays people to find and report security flaws. Apparently Sophos, Google, and Mozilla also run this sort of program and I am sure there are many more. The catch is that nefarious sorts might be able to make more money selling what they find to hackers than taking the offered bounty.

[via BBC News]


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Facebook doles out $40,000 in 21 days for security bug hunt is written by Shane McGlaun & originally posted on SlashGear.
© 2005 - 2011, SlashGear. All right reserved.


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31Aug/11Off

Sony HMZ-T1 head-mounted 3D display lands November

Sony has waded into the head-mounted display segment, launching a futuristic headset packing a pair of 1280 x 720 OLED panels capable of 3D graphics. The Sony HMZ-T1 has an HDMI input and is intended to work not only with Blu-ray media but PCs, games consoles like the PS3, content recorded using Sony’s 3D-capable camcorders and cameras, and more, offering the equivalent of a 750-inch screen viewed from 20m away.

There’s also 5.1-channel virtual surround sound, and Sony says its clever 45-degree optical lens technology means there’s practically zero 3D crosstalk. The broad viewing area is actually wider than most peoples’ actual field of vision, which makes for a more immersive experience.

As well as the HMDI input there’s an HDMI pass-through output so you can hook up either a second headset or a regular display. Don’t get any clever ideas about portable use, however, since the processor unit is a 180mm x 36mm x 168mm box you’ll need to find room on your A/V rack for.

Pricing is expected to be around 60,000 yen ($784) when the HMZ-T1 lands in Japan come November 11. Availability outside of the country is currently unclear.

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Sony HMZ-T1 head-mounted 3D display lands November is written by Chris Davies & originally posted on SlashGear.
© 2005 - 2011, SlashGear. All right reserved.


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31Aug/11Off

Android Tops Comscore’s US Market Share Chart

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The folks at Comscore just put together some numbers regarding US smartphone market share. Their data was gathered from May 2011 though July 2011 – not exactly your traditional quarterly report but could be taken just the same. Of all smartphones here, Android was on 41.8% of them. This is compared to a 36.4% Android enjoyed last month which is still quite impressive.

I should note that these are not sales for the quarter, but overall market share, meaning that out of the 82.2 million smartphone subscribers in America, 34.3 million of them run Android.

Taking a look at other platforms, iPhone is still kicking with 27% of the market share, an increase of 1% since April 2011. Some may attribute Apple’s stagnant growth in the US due to an expected announcement of the iPhone 5, but one can only use that excuse so much.

They said the same thing about the iPhone 4 when it debuted both on Verizon and AT&T (whose respective launches were quite a few months apart) and Apple continued to struggled to grow in market share up against Android.

RIM surprisingly still has 21.7% of the US share, though this is down from 25.7% in April. We’ve also got Microsoft apparently failing to break into the market share here with 5.7%, which is actually down from 6.7%. 4.6 million devices is a lot more than most people think Microsoft is doing.

Finally we have Symbian which never seemed to gain traction here in the US and, not surprisingly, is down from 2.4% in April giving it 1.9% of the share this quarter. Android’s got a big quarter coming up, phone-wise (doesn’t it always?) so it’ll be rather interesting to see how these numbers look once a new breed of phones heads out to store shelves for the holiday season.


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