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14Dec/11Off

Command & Conquer: Tiberium Alliance will be free-to-play

Yet another Electronic Arts game will join the free-to-play category. Command & Conquer: Tiberium Alliances, announced today, is a new massively multiplayer online strategy game in EA’s real-time strategy series. Command & Conquer: Tiberium Alliances will be the first in the series to be MMO style and free-to-play. Players can expect “a completely interactive and dynamic gameplay experience”, according to EA.

There are two factions, Global Defense Initiative and Brotherhood of Nod. The two are engaged in a war over a potent yet volatile resource, Tiberium. Players must not forget they will also be battling the Forgotten, humans who have been mentally and physically mutated by exposure to this resource. As the title states, Alliances will be important for allying with players and fight the Forgotten or other players. Be careful who you trust.

With the popularity of social media continually increasing, it is not surprising we are seeing it more in-game. Command & Conquer: Tiberium Alliances will feature in-game social and news feeds updated in real time. Similar to some Battlefield titles, the game will run in Web browsers and on mobile devices, with support for cross-platform play. Testing for the closed beta begins December 15th , be sure to sign up!

[via Gamespot]


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Command & Conquer: Tiberium Alliance will be free-to-play is written by Christen McGregor & originally posted on SlashGear.
© 2005 - 2011, SlashGear. All right reserved.


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14Dec/11Off

Satechi BT Portable Speaker Now Available

For those shopping for a tech enthusiast this holiday season, take a gander at Satechi’s latest product. Satechi, a leading mobile accessories manufacturer, is pleased to announce their newest addition – the BT Portable Speaker. With a Bluetooth enabled device, you can listen to high quality audio or make phone calls, sans messy cables! The BT Portable Speaker works with most smart phones and tablets including iPad, iPhone, iPod, Android phones, MacBooks and more.

The BT Portable Speaker, weighing in at a mere 3.3 ounces, is highly transportable, but Bass lovers don’t fret. This speaker is loaded with Satechi’s signature Bass Expansion System which extends the speakers to amplify audio range. If you’re attached to your beloved subwoofer and think nothing else can compare, think again. The BT Portable Speaker has a vacuum chamber that “opens up like an accordion” to mimic the acoustic properties of your beloved subwoofers.

The speaker comes equipped with long-lasting lithium-ion rechargeable batteries, ensuring up to six hours of playback time. You will also find integrated buttons to control next track, volume, play/pause and answer/end calls. An LED status indicator, USB cable to connect the device to any USB charger or port and 3.5mm jack compatible with most Bluetooth-enabled devices are additional features of the BT Portable Speaker.

Be sure to pick one up for your tech lover!


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Satechi BT Portable Speaker Now Available is written by Christen McGregor & originally posted on SlashGear.
© 2005 - 2011, SlashGear. All right reserved.


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14Dec/11Off

Can PRADA Save LG?

LG’s first PRADA Phone was legitimately groundbreaking, with its pre-iPhone capacitive touchscreen. The second PRADA handset was a stumbling attempt to cash in on a much-loved fashion label. Now, with the PRADA Phone by LG 3.0, the Korean firm is hoping to follow in the footsteps of Samsung and end 2011 on a high. The signs are surprisingly good: a great display only marred by mediocre resolution, a neatly designed body and no shortage of top-tier features like NFC, speedy HSPA+ and a potent dual-core. Can the third-gen PRADA Phone – and the lessons to be learned from it – lead LG to mobile salvation?

To say LG has had an underwhelming year in mobile is an understatement. The company has consistently fallen in the shadow of Samsung, with the devices it expected to revolutionize the market falling unimpressively flat. Delayed software updates and mixed-messages on which Android phones would eventually get what OS version didn’t do much to encourage early-adopters to stick with LG for their next device.

Look at the company’s Mobile World Congress push, back in February this year. LG concentrated on 3D, with both the LG Optimus 3D and the LG Optimus Tab packing a dual camera array good for capturing photos and video in the third-dimension.

Now, the media has a love/hate relationship with 3D. It’s hated because it’s so difficult to demonstrate and put into context, unless of course you’re showing people who already have 3D-capable equipment in which case you’re preaching to the converted. It’s loved because it’s an easy stick with which to beat a gadget: “see, how the foolish manufacturer has resorted to cheap gimmicks to try to make themselves relevant.” It’s perhaps telling that the two Android OEMs we see struggling to find their position in the smartphone segment at the end of the year, LG and HTC, are each the companies who made a significant attempt at mobile 3D.

"The LG Nitro HD finally delivered specifications people actually cared about"

Neither of LG’s headline devices held up to closer scrutiny; in fact, it’s only in the past month or so that a decent phone has hit the market. The LG Nitro HD finally delivered specifications people actually cared about: no camera tricks, just reliable photography skills, a 720p HD display, and a powerful dual-core processor. LG realized something Samsung had twigged to many months before: that there’s a place in the market for superlatives that become the standards by which others are judged. Spec-sheet bingo may not be the best way to decide on your new phone, but it’s certainly the way many buyers do today, and it’s how so many of them have ended up with a Galaxy S II in their pocket.

2012 will be about quality. This past year has seen manufacturers – even successful ones, like Samsung – throwing as many different models and variants at the market in the hope that something will stick. Yet at a time when purses and wallets are clenched tighter than ever, consumers aren’t saying “yes, I’d like the phone with a 0.1-inch bigger screen than that of my friends, for the sake of 0.1-inches, and a 0.2GHz faster processor” but are instead looking to the best phone for their money. Just because that might be a phone plenty of other people have, doesn’t mean it isn’t also the best phone for them too.

LG needs to capitalize on what’s appealing with the PRADA Phone and the Nitro, and that demands a long, hard look at where its fallen flat and where it has succeeded. The PRADA Phone delivers because it feels like – whether forced by the fashion label or otherwise – LG has finally given some serious consideration to style and consistency. Yes, there may be some duff points, like the faux-leather back panel that apparently couldn’t be real leather because it was deemed not durable enough, but it at least feels like LG’s designers and engineers had an idea, put together a plan and then stuck with it until the phone gained consistency as a result.

That same concentration needs to be applied to LG’s 2012 range. No more plasticky afterthoughts, no more needless break-out gimmicks. Phones that not only live up to expectations but exceed them. It doesn’t necessarily require a PRADA label to do that, but attacking the market with the same mentality of a detail-obsessed fashion house would be an excellent place to start.

More on the PRADA Phone by LG 3.0 in our full hands-on.


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Can PRADA Save LG? is written by Chris Davies & originally posted on SlashGear.
© 2005 - 2011, SlashGear. All right reserved.


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14Dec/11Off

Nokia Lumia 900 launch date outed by Swisscom

Swisscom, the largest carrier in Switzerland, let it slip via Twitter that the Nokia Lumia 900 would be launching by the end of February. The Lumia 900 has been rumored recently to be a larger version of the gorgeous Lumia 800, but beyond rumors nothing has been confirmed about this device. Hence, the Twitter exchange, although possibly a mistake, will certainly fuel more speculation.

A customer by the Twitter handle @Gimly81 asked @Swisscom_Care about the launch dates for the Lumia 800, the Lumia 900, and the HTC Titan. To that, the Swisscom Care team employee replied that the Lumia 800 would arrive in January, followed by the Lumia 900 in February, and that the carrier would not be stocking the HTC Titan.

However, the Swisscom employee responded not long after with another tweet correcting the previous message. The tweet said, “the Nokia Lumia 710 will be available by end of Feb. We’re not informed about the device you mentioned. Please excuse the mistake.” This could either be a true mistake or perhaps a retraction at the request of Nokia.

So far, rumors point to the Nokia Lumia 900 as having a 4.3-inch AMOLED display and a 1.4GHz processor. It’s expected to run Windows Phone Tango, the successor to the current Mango update and is believed to arrive sometime in Q1 of 2012. Hence, it could debut at Mobile World Congress next year.

[via Unwired View]


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Nokia Lumia 900 launch date outed by Swisscom is written by Rue Liu & originally posted on SlashGear.
© 2005 - 2011, SlashGear. All right reserved.


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14Dec/11Off

Verizon Galaxy Nexus announced for sale [UPDATE: Off-contract pricing included]

The device known as the Galaxy Nexus has been formally announced for sale this week via Verizon Wireless, this device being the first LTE smartphone running Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich and indeed the first Android device running that newest version on the market. We’ve been waiting for this release since the first announcement of the device in its international form back in Hong Kong a few weeks ago, and starting this month we’ll be able to pick the device up here in the United States at our local Verizon store for $299.99 connected to a 2-year contract – starting tomorrow, the 15th of December, 2011.

This version of the device is slightly thicker than its GSM HSPA+ international cousin already on the market, this because of not only its LTE radio inside, but because of its slightly larger battery (1850mAh) as well. You’ll also have a slightly darker paneling around the edges and the back, the back panel also sporting the first Verizon branding a Nexus device has ever had – unless of course you count the Motorola XOOM which was essentially the hero device for Android 3.0 Honeycomb, in other words Nexus once again. In this device comes the first Android operating system optimized for both the handset and the tablet-sized screen, Ice Cream Sandwich to sandwich it all.

Double-data is also in effect, per Verizon:

For a limited time, when customers subscribe to a 4G smartphone data plan, they will receive double the amount of data for the same monthly fee. The promotion applies to new contract customers purchasing Verizon Wireless 4G LTE smartphones which would include upgrades. A person getting the 2GB for $30 a month will receive 4GB of data for $30. This promotion is available through the holidays so customers purchasing the Galaxy Nexus will have the chance to take advantage of this.

UPDATE: Galaxy Nexus LTE full retail price OFF contract will be $649, also per Verizon.

You’ll notice that this device has a couple of Verizon applications pre-loaded on it, this again a first for a Nexus-branded device, as previous Nexus devices have been 100% vanilla (without carrier modifications) and free of 3rd party apps. That said, you can disable any app you wish with Ice Cream Sandwich’s built-in ability to do so. For those of you wishing to get a better look at the Galaxy Nexus as it exists today, head back to our hands-on review of the Galaxy Nexus international edition now. You can also check out our review of Ice Cream Sandwich if you dare as well, and take a big bite – it’s tasty!

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Verizon Galaxy Nexus announced for sale [UPDATE: Off-contract pricing included] is written by Chris Burns & originally posted on SlashGear.
© 2005 - 2011, SlashGear. All right reserved.


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14Dec/11Off

Samsung beats iPhone in consumer buzz

Nokia’s suggestions that the iPhone may be falling from fashion-grace could be correct, though it seems Samsung’s Android devices not the Finn’s new Lumias are the buzz beneficiaries. New research into “consumer perception” by stats firm YouGov suggests Samsung has edged ahead of the Cupertino smartphone when it comes to being at the forefront of peoples’ minds, a finding that’s attributed to Samsung’s snarky adverts.

Those ads took pot-shots at the sort of queueing behavior spotted among the “iPhone faithful”, lining up outside Apple stores waiting for the Next Big Thing to arrive. The commercials “appear to be affecting the iPhone’s consumer perception,” YouGov concludes, “sending it into decline around the time the first ad appeared and continuing now.”

YouGov’s methodology involves asking a survey group “if you’ve heard anything about the brand in the last two weeks, through advertising, news or word of mouth, was it positive or negative?” Scores range from -100 to 100, subtracting negative reactions from positive to arrive at a final, overall figure: Samsung now sits a single point ahead of Apple, at 26.

Still, it may not be the young, fashionable audience that Samsung hopes for that’s actually shifting the figures. According to the researchers, “the downward and upward perception movement of the iPhone and Samsung respectively is driven mostly by adults 50+.” A sale is a sale, certainly – and Samsung has shipped a record 300m devices this year already after all – but we’re still little closer to knowing whether the iPhone really has had its moment in the sun.


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Samsung beats iPhone in consumer buzz is written by Chris Davies & originally posted on SlashGear.
© 2005 - 2011, SlashGear. All right reserved.


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14Dec/11Off

Google giving back to Education, Technology and Anti-Slavery

With the Holidays quickly approaching, Google has reminded us of other ways for achieving technological growth and innovation. This week Google listed the organizations that were recipients of $40 million in grants. The four causes that were recipients were science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education; girls education; empowerment through technology; and fighting human trafficking and modern-day slavery.

Google predicts in the next six years there will be 2.4 million job openings in the STEM fields. The organizations receiving Google’s aid will provide students with the necessary resources to continue excelling in science, technology, engineering and math, leading to a career in one of the related fields. The dreams and hard work of an estimated 3 million kids was recognized by Google’s generosity.

Seven organizations, or more than 10,000 girls in the developing world were given the opportunity to receive education in 2011. This education has a bigger impact than just a steady career down the road. A girls education also impacts their health. With education, girls in developing countries such as Africa, Central Asia and Southeast Asia, will be 3 times less likely to contract HIV/AIDS. These girls will also go on to have smaller, healthier families.

The power of the internet is especially felt in low and middle-income countries. The fifteen empowerment through technology organizations that were recipients can attest to this statement. A 10% increase in internet penetration yields an economic output increase of 1.4%. These organizations utilize social media, open source programming, and other means to improve access to information. With Google’s help the organizations can bring change for millions of technology users.

Slavery and human trafficking is still heavily present today. Google’s fourth cause aims to provide assistance for nine organizations working to free over 12,000 people from modern-day slavery and victimizing. Those freed return to their villages to educate others so they won’t be tricked into slavery.

Over $40 million was given to the above causes, however, Google’s generosity does not stop there. For 2011 Google has given over $100 million to various organizations around the world.

[via Google]


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Google giving back to Education, Technology and Anti-Slavery is written by Christen McGregor & originally posted on SlashGear.
© 2005 - 2011, SlashGear. All right reserved.


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14Dec/11Off

White Motorola DROID RAZR Pictured In The Wild – Galaxy Who?

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It was barely announced a few hours ago that Motorola would be launching their all new white Droid Razr tomorrow on “Nexus Thursday” and the device has already appeared in a few images, giving you guys a better idea of what to expect.

  

The new Razr isn’t your typical “white” version, featuring only a few white accents/borders around the device. Although a long time fan of white devices, I’m still not quite sure how I feel about this new color scheme. Guess I’ll turn this over to you guys. What do you think?

[Via Droid-Life]


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14Dec/11Off

World Famous MIUI Lockscreen Comes To The Android Market – MiLocker Now Available For Download

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Alright, I’m willing to accept the fact that not everyone has taken a liking to MIUI, my personal favorite custom Android ROM. That’s fine. Some people hate chocolate. Or Oreos. Even kitten. I understand that. But if it’s one thing I think we can all agree on — in the words of the great Kanye West… MIUI has one of the greatest lockscreens of ALL time. Unfortunately, for us, the boys over at MIUI HQ have never considered the idea of maybe throwing some of MIUI’s best parts (apps) into the Android Market for us to mix and match and download at our leisure. Wouldn’t that be something?

  

Well, it looks like all of that has changed with the release of the MiLocker — MIUI’s highly customizable lockscreen — in the Android Market. Now, regardless of your distaste for MIUI, you can now enjoy one of its greatest features. And we aren’t just talking about your typical, boring lockscreen with static icons and sliders. No, many of these lockscreens feature moving parts and animations (like the Transformer one above) that virtually make the lockscreen come to life.

Here’s to hoping the MIUI boys will do what the Go Launcher team has done and release individual apps for download that when combined, eliminate the need for flashing a custom ROM to enjoy all the things that make MIUI so darn lovable.

MiLocker wont cost you a cent and it is currently availble for download in the Android Market. Which MIUI app would you guys like to see next? I vote themeable launcher!

[Market Link]

[MIUI | AndroidSpin]


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14Dec/11Off

OFFICIAL: Samsung Galaxy Nexus Available from Verizon Dec. 15 for $299

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Pop the champagne, boys and girls. The moment we have speculated over for what seems like eternity is finally here. The Samsung Galaxy Nexus will be available from Verizon Wireless tomorrow, December 15th, for $299 on a two-year contract. With little left to say, let’s just say we’re glad the moment has arrived, at last. Sales start online at 1AM EST, but you can avoid the shipping time (and extra wait) by heading to your local VZW outlet tomorrow.

Here is the presser:

GALAXY™ NEXUS™ BY SAMSUNG NOW AVAILABLE ON THE VERIZON WIRELESS 4G LTE NETWORK

First Smartphone to Combine Android™ 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich and the
Power of America’s Fastest, Most Reliable 4G Network

BASKING RIDGE, N.J. - Verizon Wireless, Samsung Telecommunications America (Samsung Mobile) and Google™ announced Galaxy™ Nexus™ is available starting today in Verizon Wireless Communications Stores and online at www.verizonwireless.com for $299.99 with a new two-year customer agreement.
Customers can browse the Web, stream music and more at blazing speeds using the Verizon Wireless 4G LTE network. Galaxy Nexus customers can enjoy access to the 4G LTE network in 190 markets covering over 200 million people across the United States, and fly through the Web with fast download speeds of 5 to 12 megabits per second (Mbps) and upload speeds of 2 to 5 Mbps within the 4G LTE Mobile Broadband coverage area.

Galaxy Nexus runs Android™ 4.0, Ice Cream Sandwich, which brings an entirely new look and feel to Android. Galaxy Nexus offers customers a redesigned user experience with improved multi-tasking, notifications, Near Field Communications (NFC) sharing with Android Beam™ and a full Web-browsing experience. The lock screen, home screen, phone app and everything in between have been rethought and redesigned to make Android simple, beautiful and useful. Galaxy Nexus also features an ultra-thin 9.47mm design with a 4.65-inch HD Super AMOLED™ Contour Display to watch movies, view pictures and play games that come to life in 720p (1280×720) resolution.

Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) features:
• Redesigned user interface - software navigation buttons, a first for Android smartphones, and a dedicated recent apps button to make multi-tasking easy
• Face Unlock - use state-of-the-art facial recognition to unlock Galaxy Nexus
• Android Beam™ - quickly share Web pages, apps, contacts and YouTube™ videos with friends by simply tapping two compatible phones together
• Redesigned Camera - introduces panorama mode, 1080p video capture, zero-shutter lag for instant photo capturing, and effects such as silly faces and background replacement
• People Application - browse friends, family and coworkers, see their photos in high-resolution and check their latest status updates from Google+ and other social networks
• Cloud Services - keep email, contacts, photos, music, browser bookmarks and other data synced to the cloud, available across multiple devices so customers never lose important data
• Google Music - upload up to 20,000 songs to the cloud, discover and buy new music from Android Market™, and stream it instantly on Galaxy Nexus and from the Web for free
• Google+ - Create a Google+ account right from the phone and check status updates, manage circles, quickly share updates and photos, video chat with up to ten friends with Mobile Hangouts, and chat with groups of friends with Google+ Messenger
• Support for Google Mobile™ Services - Gmail™, Google Maps™ with 3D maps and free turn-by-turn navigation, Google Earth™, Movie Studio, YouTube, syncing with Google Calendar™, a redesigned Google+ app and access to more than 300,000 apps, millions of eBooks, thousands of movies to rent, and millions of songs available to download from Android Market

Additional features:
• Dual-core 1.2 GHz application processor and HTML5 Web browser - optimized dual-core processing with Android 4.0 combined with lightning fast 4G LTE connectivity for fast downloading of graphics, applications processing and Web browsing
• Mobile Hotspot capability - share 4G LTE or 3G connection with up to 10 Wi-Fi-enabled devices
• 5-megapixel rear-facing camera with zero-shutter lag for instant photo capturing, autofocus and LED flash with full 1080p recording
• Front-facing 1.3-megapixel camera for video chat
• Textured soft-touch back cover - enhances the ergonomic feel and makes the phone slip-resistant
• Bluetooth® 3.0 technology - support for headset, hands-free, stereo, phonebook access, human interface device (HID) and object push for vCard and vCalendar
• 1 GB RAM and 32 GB on-board memory (actual formatted capacity will be less)

Pricing and data packages:
• Galaxy Nexus is available now in Verizon Wireless Communications Stores and online at www.verizonwireless.com for $299.99 with a new two-year customer agreement.
• Customers that purchase a Galaxy Nexus by Samsung will need to subscribe to a Verizon Wireless Nationwide Talk plan beginning at $39.99 monthly access and a smartphone data package starting at $30 monthly access for 2 GB of data.

Customers can visit www.verizonwireless.com for more information on the Galaxy Nexus. For additional information on Verizon Wireless products and services, visit a Verizon Wireless Communications Store, call 1-800-2 JOIN IN or go to www.verizonwireless.com.


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