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31Jan/120

Motorola DROID RAZR “Developer Edition” Sparks Online Protest – Operation MOSH 2.0 In Full Effect

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In a world where fragmented devices and patent lawsuits are a regular occurrence, the Android environment can be a harsh one. Today is no different. Disgruntled Motorola users have begun banding together, taking to online petitions to raise awareness of Motorola’s failed promises, in an effort to “Make Ourselves Heard,” better known as Operation: MOSH.

If the acronym sounds familiar, it’s because this was the same group who put pressure on Motorola to unlock their bootloaders last year and even though Motorola promised to comply — things didn’t turn out exactly as planned. Motorola’s initial announcement was that the bootloaders on all their devices would be unlocked by the end of 2011 and here we are, well into 2012 with no announcement and devices still locked down tight.

Motorola did, however, throw users a bone today when they announced a special “developer edition” of the Motorola Droid RAZR would be released in the coming months complete with an unlocked bootloader. I’m sure you’re thinking, “What about all of those new Motorola customers who recently purchased Moto devices with hopes of unlocked bootloaders in their future?” Seems they’ve been left high and dry. And that’s where Operation MOSH comes in. Their demands are simple:

“To let Moto know that this ‘Developer Edition’ had better be available either as a trade for our devices, paying the difference, or not at all, since we all bought our devices in hopes that they would keep their word in the first place.”

Seems reasonable enough. So what can you do to help? Well, the first and most important step is signing the online petition. From there you can take it as far as you’d like emailing Motorola executives, filing FCC complaints or simply hounding Motorola on Facebook. All the details and links can be found on the respective thread on XDA. Link for the online petition can be found below.

[MOSH Online Petition | XDA]


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31Jan/120

Sky reveals streaming TV plans for non-subscribers, plus Sky Go Android app

Sky has revealed a new on-demand streaming TV service, offering subscription-based and pay-per-view content to those who haven’t signed up to the network’s satellite TV option. Set to launch in the UK in the first half of this year, the new Sky internet TV service will stream content to computers, tablets, mobile phones, games consoles and smart TVs. Meanwhile, there’s also news on expansion to the Sky Go mobile app, including a version for Android.

Initially, the Sky IPTV system will offer films from Sky Movies; however, the company expects to expand that to encompass sport and entertainment content soon after launch. Pricing has not been confirmed, though Sky says it will offer both packages – including, say, unlimited access to movies for a monthly fee, and with no minimum contract – and pay-per-view for those only wanting to watch specific content.

The system will include recommendations based on previous viewing habits, and be maintained alongside the existing Sky Go IPTV option for current Sky satellite users.

Those users will soon have access to a new Android app, set to launch in February. Initially available for Samsung’s Galaxy range and HTC devices, the Sky Go Android app will offer streaming access to on-demand movies and other content. Sky also plans to launch a WiFi hotspot roaming agreement for UK Sky Broadband Unlimited customers, offering access to around 10,000 hotspots.

Finally, Sky has revealed plans to offer a fibre broadband option to home users from April. Priced at £20 per month, the package will offer speeds of up to 40 megabits and have no usage caps.

Yesterday, Sky announced it would be adding BBC iPlayer and ITV Player content to its STBs.

Sky reveals streaming TV plans for non-subscribers, plus Sky Go Android app is written by Chris Davies & originally posted on SlashGear.
© 2005 - 2012, SlashGear. All right reserved.


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31Jan/120

MegaUpload data reprieve: Safe until mid-February

Legitimate user data stored with seized file-sharing service MegaUpload is safe from deletion until at least mid-February, the lawyer for the piracy-accused site has confirmed, though there’s still no way for users to actually access it. Having been taken down by US federal prosecutors earlier this month, the longevity of MegaUpload’s database was in question after investigators said hosting companies could begin deleting data from Thursday, February 2. That’s been avoided, MegaUpload lawyer Ira Rothken told TorrentFreak, for “at least” two weeks more.

Concerns around the safety of data had been sparked from the original legal action taken against MegaUpload, with legitimate users claiming their personal backups, media collections, family photos and other information had been uploaded to the site. At present, however, visiting MegaUpload.com shows only the FBI takedown and domain seizure notice.

However, worries around access turned to fears the data could be irretrievably lost, when it was suggested that – with its assets frozen – MegaUpload could no longer pay its hosting companies. US investigators had not seized entire servers, but merely copied select data expected to be used in the eventual legal action.

One of MegaUpload’s hosts, Carpathia Hosting, told SlashGear yesterday that it had no access to user data, asked that users not contact it for retrieval, but also said it was not the source of the February 2 delete date. The other named host, Cogent Communications Group, is yet to comment publicly, though according to CNET has been in contact with MegaUpload. “The hosting companies have been gracious enough to provide additional time” Rothken confirmed, “so we can work out some kind of arrangement with the government.”

Both MegaUpload and US authorities have said they would like to secure data for subsequent restoration to customers, data which Rothken also claims will be essential to his clients’ defense, though there’s no detail on how that might be managed. Sifting through legitimate content mixed in with illegally shared files is, given the scale of MegaUpload’s operation, likely to be a herculean task, and it’s unclear if the two week extension apparently agreed will be sufficient time to make arrangements.

MegaUpload data reprieve: Safe until mid-February is written by Chris Davies & originally posted on SlashGear.
© 2005 - 2012, SlashGear. All right reserved.


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31Jan/120

Koobe Jin Yong eReader fourth to deliver Qualcomm’s mirasol

Qualcomm’s mirasol color e-paper technology has found its way into another device, the Koobe Jin Yong eReader, a 5.7-inch XGA slate targeting ebooks, digital comics, animated picture books and magazines. The Koobe model is the fourth to use Qualcomm’s screen tech, and like models from Kyobo it runs a reskinned Android 2.3 on top of the chip company’s 1GHz Snapdragon S2 processor.

The mirasol appeal, of course, is the combination of E-Ink style low power consumption but with video-capable refresh rates, as well as outdoor visibility. mirasol builds on the same light-bouncing principles that make a butterfly’s wings shimmer, only Qualcomm uses it to produce a color display that gets brighter and more color-saturated the more light is directed at it.

Design-wise, we’re guessing all of the four mirasol ereaders we’ve seen so far – the Kyobo model, the Bamboo Sunflower, the Hanvon C18 and this new Koobe version – are all based on Qualcomm’s own reference design. That would explain the lack of pure tablets using mirasol; Qualcomm had always said it intended to target ereaders first, though larger mirasol panels for iPad-rivals are also in the pipeline.

Koobe says the Jin Yong eReader will include WiFi and come preloaded with content by the Chinese author it’s named after. No word on pricing, nor when we might see a version arrive in North America or Europe.

Qualcomm / Mirasol Koobe eReader
Qualcomm / Mirasol Koobe eReader
Qualcomm / Mirasol Koobe eReader
Qualcomm / Mirasol Koobe eReader
Qualcomm / Mirasol Koobe eReader

Koobe Jin Yong eReader fourth to deliver Qualcomm’s mirasol is written by Chris Davies & originally posted on SlashGear.
© 2005 - 2012, SlashGear. All right reserved.


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30Jan/120

Listia For Android Now Available – List, Bid and Exchange Items All For Free

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Do you like eBay but hate the fact that you have to use real money to purchase that luchador mask you’ve had your eye on for months now? Enter Listia, an app fresh off the Android Market that allows Android users to list anything, and everything — even bid on items — all for absolutely free.

More like a huge recycling marketplace. Listia gives users coins in place of currency to use for bidding on all sorts of items. Everything from jewelry, to wedding cake toppers, and even that creepy pig mask from Saw. The way to accumulate more points is by, first, downloading the app to pocket 400 coints, then begin listing your own items with no actual money ever coming into play throughout the whole transaction. Think of it as a huge marketplace where you can recycle used items you’re no longer using.

If you want to keep it local (like Craigslist), the Listia app features a geo location feature for locating nearby users if shipping out items aren’t really your cup of tea. With over 3,000,000 items exchanged, it’s safe to say you’ll find something to pick up on Listia. You can download the app for free right now in the Android Market.

[Market Link]


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30Jan/120

Samsung Offers Custom Galaxy Note Engraving For South Koreans – What About The Rest Of Us?

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So the jig is up. Samsung is trying to win over consumers’ hearts by becoming the “South Korean Apple” (Korean Pears are amazing, by the way). So how exactly is Samsung going to accomplish this? Well, besides their recent ad blitz poking fun at iPhone users and lets not forget — they’re amazing handsets that seem to be winning the world over — Samsung will begin offering custom engraving free to anyone who purchases a Galaxy Note. The only catch is the service will only be available until March 31st and you have to live in South Korea to take them up on their offer.

But let’s take another look at this offer. What other big named company has offered engraving on their devices — Oh, yes. That’s right — Apple. Seems Samsung is suffering from a serious Apple complex but it’s pretty easy to see why. Apple is sitting on a surplus pile of money worth approximately $97.6 billion. That’s enough to make any conglomerate drool.

Back to engraving, I think it would actually be pretty awesome for more companies (besides Apple) to begin permanently offering laser etching like this. Typically, we as Android users love our customization and I wouldn’t mind customizing my next device with a huge Android mascot. What you get on yours?

[OLED-Display | Via DroidDog]


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30Jan/120

Nokia’s 1997 game Snake authentically recreated on Windows Phone

There aren’t many mobile phone games from the 1990s that are really worth taking a second look. In fact, the entire market of vintage cell phone games is sorely uninspiring, but there is one that has and always will stand out from its monochromatic brethren. If you had a Nokia phone back in the day, then you either played Snake or you should have.

Now, developer Willem Middelkoop has revived the archaically simplistic game on Windows Phone. And no, it doesn’t just put a black-and-greenish screen on the display and let players have at it. This app effectively turns your Windows Phone into a mid-1990s Nokia handset, complete with buttons and all. The experience is meant to be as faithful as possible, giving players a limited play area and requiring them to push numerical buttons to move the snake.

It is perhaps a fitting tribute to the fact that Nokia now runs a third-party operating system, something that mobile enthusiasts just a few years ago would have said was a ludicrous idea. Of course, Nokia didn’t create Snake; it lived as an old-school computer game long before you could carry a phone outside your house. But the simplistic game made a perfect splash into the mobile gaming sector. Incidentally, Nokia tried to release a modern-day Snake on its N-Gage phone several years ago. Neither the game nor the phone was successful. But when it comes to retro goodness, you can’t lose.

[via Digital Trends]

Nokia’s 1997 game Snake authentically recreated on Windows Phone is written by Mark Raby & originally posted on SlashGear.
© 2005 - 2012, SlashGear. All right reserved.


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30Jan/120

Harmonix game in the works for Xbox Live, PSN, and Facebook?

The guys at Harmonix are fairly occupied working on continuous downloadable content for Dance Central, but apparently there is something else in the works for the music game moguls. Brian Chan, who was the senior designer for Rock Band 3, has mentioned on his own public resume that he has begun working on a new Harmonix project, but nothing matching his description has yet been announced by the video game company.

On Chan’s resume, it mentions the game is being developed as a downloadable title for the Xbox 360 and PS3, with the unlikely pairing of Facebook as well. It’s unclear if the three will have some sort of interconnected social communication or if the Facebook version will simply stand on its own. Nevertheless, it is a curious revelation. After all, Harmonix is not exactly known for making downloadable games. Its high-concept projects are grandiose and live on for years through sequels and fresh content.

After Chan’s resume change was spotted, Harmonix was soon to reply that it had not announced anything and would not confirm the new title. However, a spokesperson for the developer did not deny it either, and was instead quoted as saying there are a number of different games in the pipeline. So far we have also heard of an upcoming Nintendo 3DS and PlayStation Vita title. Beyond that, who knows what the next move is for Harmonix?

[via Joystiq]

Harmonix game in the works for Xbox Live, PSN, and Facebook? is written by Mark Raby & originally posted on SlashGear.
© 2005 - 2012, SlashGear. All right reserved.


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30Jan/120

Lenovo ThinkPad Tablet will get Ice Cream Sandwich upgrade

In case you’ve been wondering what happened to Ice Cream Sandwich upgrades to Android-powered tablets, Lenovo has confirmed it will release an update to the ThinkPad Tablet in the second quarter of 2012. Asus’s Transformer Prime device has been the only upgraded tablet so far and it’s being met with problems, but hopefully those kinks will be worked out before Lenovo steps into the ring.

The ThinkPad Tablet launched in July of last year without a lot of fanfare, despite its then-attractive price point of $479 and support for Android 3.1 Honeycomb. The device was marketed to business and enterprise customers, just like the ThinkPad brand of laptops. The market of business-oriented Android tablets is still incredibly niche, but with Ice Cream Sandwich compatibility, Lenovo will have a distinct competitive advantage.

As mentioned, Asus is paying the price for being an Ice Cream Sandwich guinea pig. The update file has caused handfuls of Transformer Prime tablets to lock up and crash, leaving developers scrambling to work on a permanent fix. ICS also proved problematic for the Nexus S phone, which halted its upgrade process after users experienced similar crashing symptoms. Meanwhile, the Galaxy Nexus, which has ICS pre-installed, has had no major issues.

[via PC World]

Lenovo ThinkPad Tablet will get Ice Cream Sandwich upgrade is written by Mark Raby & originally posted on SlashGear.
© 2005 - 2012, SlashGear. All right reserved.


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30Jan/120

Google+ Hangout with Obama spurs SOPA discussion

President Obama appeared before the world tonight in a virtual town hall that took place on Google+. As could easily be expected, there were some controversial issues to discuss, one of which was the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA). Obama responded to a question about the piece of legislation by saying there could be other workarounds, though he did not firmly voice opposition to the measure.

It was a rather stark and perhaps ironic discussion place for the bill. After all, Obama is the most technologically-active president the United States has ever seen. Tonight’s event, at the behest of the president, was broadcast on YouTube, a site that by its own admission would be forced to shut down the day that SOPA was put into effect, should that day ever come. As such, even though he is a master of political statements, it was pretty obvious what Obama’s true sentiments were about the proposed law.

“I think that it’s going to be possible for us” to go a different route for battling online piracy. It doesn’t have to be SOPA, Obama said. “What I’ve suggested is that both sides–the content side and the server side–come together and work with us to create a system where there are strong protections in place.” In the last few weeks, there have only been lawmakers who were in support of the bill who now oppose it. There have been no Congressmen who had the reverse change of heart.

[via Cnet]

Google+ Hangout with Obama spurs SOPA discussion is written by Mark Raby & originally posted on SlashGear.
© 2005 - 2012, SlashGear. All right reserved.


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