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23Feb/120

Samsung Previews Their New Quad-Core Exynos Processors – To Make An Appearance At MWC?

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At the International Solid-State Circuits Conference SSCC event in San Francisco, Samsung was one of the OEM’s in attendance showing off their upcoming quad-core Exynos processors. While these powerhouses are still using the older Cortex-A9 architecture, the quad-core Exynos takes advantage of the 32nm manufacturing process making them smaller, and more power efficient. Boasting a performance boost of up to 26% faster than ’11 chips, these Exynos chips use about 50% less power. As an added bonus, each core has the ability to be shut-off independently, further increasing power efficiency when needed.

As we learned earlier this week, it’s not always how fast your processor is if you want your phone to fly, but also has fast the memory is. Samsung’s quad-core Exynos will also support low-power DDR3 memory, to ensure the chip operates at full speed. The GPU on these new chips is also capable of pumping out around 57 million polygons per second.

We’re hoping Samsung will unveil a quad-core Exynos device at MWC though we remain doubtful. Samsung recently unveiled their dual-core Exynos 5250′s in November which wont ship until the Spring. If you’re hoping to see a quad-core Exynos device this year, I wouldn’t hold my breath.

[EETimes | Via Electronista]


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23Feb/120

Asus Transformer tablet to get Ice Cream Sandwich in US tomorrow

Apparently Asus really knows the definition of “soon.” The company announced earlier today that it had begun issuing upgrades of the Android-powered Transformer TF101 tablet in Taiwan, bringing Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich to the device. This sparked a flurry of interest, but most US consumers didn’t take much note since there was no indication of how quickly the update would make its way stateside.

Asus noted that it would start rolling out Ice Cream Sandwich to Transformer tablets in other regions “soon after” it tested the waters overseas. Well, it looks like that process was pretty successful because in a follow-up message on Twitter, the official Asus account wrote a message that the US rollout will happen tomorrow, February 24. Talk about “soon.”

When it comes to Ice Cream Sandwich, there haven’t exactly been a lot of success stories. In fact, the two most noteworthy devices that started rolling out upgrades – the Transformer Prime tablet and the Nexus S phone – had to pull the update process because users complained about their devices crashing and becoming inoperable. Hopefully the kinks have been worked out and this Transformer tablet upgrade will kick off a much bigger batch of successful updates.

[via Computerworld]

Asus Transformer tablet to get Ice Cream Sandwich in US tomorrow is written by Mark Raby & originally posted on SlashGear.
© 2005 - 2012, SlashGear. All right reserved.


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23Feb/120

Sony may unveil Windows Phone device at MWC

There’s no shortage of things to be on the lookout for at next week’s Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, but one thing most people haven’t been talking about is that an important company might be taking a walk on the Windows Phone side even though it has been a staunch Android supporter so far. The idea of a Windows Phone-powered Sony phone first came to light when a supposed picture was leaked.

Of course, at the time, it was referred to as a Windows Phone-powered Sony Ericsson phone, but now that Sony has bought out Ericsson’s share in the mobile joint venture, Sony may be interested in taking the division into new directions. Android has, of course, been the saving grace for the company. Prior to adopting Android, Sony Ericsson was struggling and consistently posted quarterly net losses. When it switched to Android, it said that move would be exclusive.

Of course, all bets are off now that it’s just Sony. We’ve also heard rumors that Sony might be working on its own proprietary mobile phone operating system based on the recently launched PlayStation Vita firmware. So there’s a good chance Sony is at least thinking of putting its hand in a non-Android cookie jar. Hopefully we’ll see if this rumor comes to fruition next week.

[via Know Your Mobile]

Sony may unveil Windows Phone device at MWC is written by Mark Raby & originally posted on SlashGear.
© 2005 - 2012, SlashGear. All right reserved.


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23Feb/120

Best Buy faces criminal investigation for pornography on display TV

Best Buy has apologized for the fact that pornography managed to show up on a 55-inch TV in its store two days in a row. The retailer said it did not know who was responsible for the salacious content, but said it was due to someone hacking into the store’s Wi-Fi network. One shopper was quoted as describing the images that appeared on the screen as “extremely, extremely pornographic.” A police report was even filed by an offended customer.

The customer said Best Buy was guilty of “dissemination of pornographic material.” The local police where this situation occurred, in Greenville, South Carolina, will investigate. A police spokesperson said it will need to see the images in question to determine whether or not a law was actually broken. The woman who made the complaint said she felt “extremely violated.” There were also children in the store who were exposed to the content.

A statement from Best Buy’s corporate office was sent to the local CBS affiliated, saying, “Two individuals accessed our store’s wireless signal to broadcast inappropriate content on a smart television display. In both cases, we worked immediately to disable the inappropriate content. We greatly apologize for this unfortunate incident and we are working to ensure that it does not happen again.” Part of the police investigation will be to determine why the store’s Wi-Fi network was so easy to break into.

[via AVN]

Best Buy faces criminal investigation for pornography on display TV is written by Mark Raby & originally posted on SlashGear.
© 2005 - 2012, SlashGear. All right reserved.


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23Feb/120

Photojojo iPhone Rangefinder revealed and detailed

Everybody knows that Photojojo makes the strangest, most interesting, and indeed some of the highest quality oddities a camera enthusiast can buy – and today they’ve upped the ante for hipsters working with the iPhone. Grab you iPhone 4 or iPhone 4S, slide on the first piece of the cast, pop that into the second bit, and bam, you’ve got your very own retro-style analog camera that looks and feels relatively similar to the real thing, but with iPhone quality in the mix! You’ll be able to tap the shutter button to take a photo, use a real viewfinder, and mount it on a tripod!

And the whole thing is pretty darn customizable. This unit works with Photojojo’s collection of Magnetic Cell Lenses which include Fisheye, Wide Angle/Maco, and 2x Telephoto. The tripod mount is removable, the whole setup is lightweight, and there’s no blockage of any of your physical buttons or charging dock. The shutter button lines up with your volume up button which, as you know, works as a shutter button on its own in the newer versions of iOS with your camera application too.

This unit has side loops for a camera strap, the whole thing is very stylish, and that front lens has a function too. Even though you’ll still be using your own iPhone lens, (with or without Magnetic Cell Lenses,) you’ll be able to utilize that big lens front and center as a self-portrait viewfinder because it’s mainly a mirror!

You can pick this unit up starting this week for $65.00 for just the case or $99.00 including all three Magnetic Lenses – fun stuff!

Photojojo iPhone Rangefinder revealed and detailed is written by Chris Burns & originally posted on SlashGear.
© 2005 - 2012, SlashGear. All right reserved.


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23Feb/120

Nintendo reportedly striking Wii U video distribution deals

Nintendo has apparently been in discussions with some of the top players in the world of content creation and distribution to make the Wii U much more than just a game console. In fact, it seems Nintendo may have ambitions as strong as Microsoft, as the Wii U may be able to run live streaming TV content from cable companies and individual cable TV networks.

A report from Adweek cites numerous unnamed sources as saying Nintendo wants to make streaming video an integral part of its next generation console, something that could potentially play very well with the touchscreen controller that is a focal point of the Wii U. Players could potentially watch a video on their Wii U controller while someone else is watching TV, essentially turning the controller into its own makeshift tablet.

It’s a stark contrast to the Nintendo of the early 2000s, which said it was a dedicated gaming company and its machines were to be dedicated to gaming only. It was with that mindset that the original Wii was created, and now Nintendo has been pressured to create workarounds within the Wii’s infrastructure to allow for things like Netflix and Hulu Plus apps. For the Wii U, it seems that additional non-gaming content is going to be part of the structure from day one.

[via Ars Technica]

Nintendo reportedly striking Wii U video distribution deals is written by Mark Raby & originally posted on SlashGear.
© 2005 - 2012, SlashGear. All right reserved.


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23Feb/120

Dish Network’s Blockbuster acquisition paid off

In the most recent quarter, Dish Network managed to add 22,000 new subscribers, a feat it says was accomplished by its acquisition of fledgling retail chain Blockbuster. If you are still living in the 1990s, what you probably picture from reading that statement is a bunch of promotional standees in Blockbuster stores offering a special Dish Network subscription package. Nope, the brick-and-mortar section of Blockbuster is very much dead weight, but Dish’s marketing of the company’s online service seems to be working.

Customers who sign up for Dish get three free months of Blockbuster’s online system, which gives them access to more than 100,000 movies and TV episodes, in addition to DVDs by mail at a rate of one disc at a time. Even after the three months, the service only costs $10 per month and it’s conveniently added to customers’ Dish Network bills. That’s much cheaper than a comparable offering from Netflix.

Of course, when you talk about Blockbuster you need to talk about those few proud stores that are still standing. A third of those will be gone soon, as soon as their respective leases run up. But if you just look at that as an area of impending death, Blockbuster is still adding overall value to Dish. The satcaster went two years without adding to its subscriber base, so an increase of 22,000 customers proves something is working. Those quarterly numbers beat analyst expectations.

[via VentureBeat]

Dish Network’s Blockbuster acquisition paid off is written by Mark Raby & originally posted on SlashGear.
© 2005 - 2012, SlashGear. All right reserved.


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23Feb/120

Microsoft says man’s last name too offensive for Xbox Live

In the world of Xbox Live profile censorship, we’ve seen people get banned because they listed the actual name of their hometown (e.g., Fort Gay), we’ve seen gamers axed en masse because of a so-called “software error,” and we saw gamers unable to express their sexual identity in their username (a stance that has since been reversed), and here’s a new one to add to the pile – a man whose Xbox Live username was deemed too offensive for the online community, even though it’s just his last name.

We’re talking about one Christopher Gooche. He registered the Xbox Live name “Gooche” way back in the days of the original Xbox, in 2004. For the last 7+ years he has been making friends and collecting achievements with that name. Then, all of the sudden, he got a message from an Xbox Live representative while playing Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3. He was asked to change his username. Apparently “gooche” is also used in a slang and profane context.

His profile will remain intact, but the username has to be altered, even though it was deemed perfectly fine for nearly eight years. “I mean its not the end of the world, but for the last decade its been my name… my online persona… even on [PlayStation Network]. How do you change that in five minutes?” he said in an e-mail to Kotaku. He said he knew he had an embarrassing last name but has come to wear it “like a badge of honour.”

[via Kotaku]

Microsoft says man’s last name too offensive for Xbox Live is written by Mark Raby & originally posted on SlashGear.
© 2005 - 2012, SlashGear. All right reserved.


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23Feb/120

Academy Awards: even the desserts are in 3D

At Sunday’s Academy Awards, many of the nominees are films that were made available in 3D. In fact, we could probably be pretty safe in saying that more 3D movies will win Oscars this year than any previous year. And we’re not the only ones who are noticing this. Wolfgang Puck, who is the official chef at the Governors Ball (the biggest after-show party for award show attendees), created what he calls a “3D dessert.”

We know what you’re thinking: what the heck is a 3D dessert? We’re not even sure ourselves, but apparently if you look at the confection while wearing a pair of 3D glasses, it has the illusion of jumping out at you. That’s what Puck says at least. And yes, people who attend the Governors Ball will receive a pair of 3D glasses. Do you need any other affirmation that 3D has taken over Hollywood?

Interestingly enough, while there are certainly enough 3D movies on the Oscar ballot, some of the top nominees like The Descendants and The Artist were notably not shot in 3D. In fact, The Artist is a throwback to very low-tech Hollywood flicks. Nevertheless, there’s no mistaking that 3D is an important part of the industry, and if you don’t believe me, check out the man who engineered 3D desserts, at PopSugar.

Academy Awards: even the desserts are in 3D is written by Mark Raby & originally posted on SlashGear.
© 2005 - 2012, SlashGear. All right reserved.


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23Feb/120

Apple to acquire Chomp app search platform

Having an App Store means never having to say "Sorry, there's no app for that" -- or at least not very often. With the massive success of the iOS App Store, however, there's also a discoverability problem: how do you find the apps you need? Searching by name or keyword doesn't always help, and some gems may be hiding just around the next page of results.

The search tool Chomp, available currently for both iOS and Android, aimed to change that equation. Via the company's app or web tool, you can search for apps by what they do rather than what they're called. A proprietary algorithm digs into the app descriptions, reviews and capabilities to figure out what makes an app useful, and then exposes that analysis to eager app searchers and would-be purchasers.

Such a capability, if it worked as advertised, would be very valuable. Seems like it does work and it is valuable, because our sibling site TechCrunch is reporting that Apple has bought Chomp. Chomp's current deal to provide Android app search features for Verizon's phones (awkward!) and its standalone app will probably go away once the Apple integration is finalized, according to MG Siegler's post.

Like Apple's past high-profile acquisition of Siri, the Chomp technology could make its way into a future version of iOS alongside the obvious integration into iTunes & App Store search. In fact, putting a Chomp backend behind Siri's active assistance would be a natural synergy for iPhone users. "Siri, I need an app for web meetings that supports multi-person videoconferencing." Easy as can be.

TUAW - The Unofficial Apple WeblogApple to acquire Chomp app search platform originally appeared on TUAW - The Unofficial Apple Weblog on Thu, 23 Feb 2012 21:40:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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