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28Feb/120

TiVo Whole Home DVR Extender will get retail release

If you’re still a fan of the original DVR (and there’s a lot of them out there) we’ve got good news: you’ll soon be able to purchase TiVo‘s new Whole Home DVR Extender. Even better, you can get it through your cable or satellite provider or buy it yourself, as the units are headed to electronics retailers as well. The nugget of information came from TiVo’s quarterly financial call, and while there’ no exact information on exactly when the DVR Extender will arrive or for how much, you can expect them to appear on TiVo’s website sometime in the summer or fall.

The Whole Home DVR Extender is a competitor to similar devices that have been available for a while now. Basically it acts as a media access point for any one of Tivo’s DVR Hub devices like the Premiere Elite DVR, allowing televisions in other rooms to access TV or Internet content stored on the central server. The Extender can connect to the Internet independently for web apps like Pandora, but doesn’t require an extra CableCard connection in order to activate – and thus, doesn’t show up on your television provider’s system, meaning no extra monthly charge.

Ideally TiVo DVR Hub owners would be able to purchase one or more Extenders at retail, connect it to their home LAN and share both live and stored television throughout a home or business. That means just one cable or satellite connection, and one access fee, would be required. Retail hardware would be unsubsidized, meaning that it would cost a good bit more than the same coming from a television provider. But customers who want the functionality without resorting to a work-around system like Slingbox’s SlingLink. Retail availability also means that those whose providers don’t sell the Whole Home DVR Extender (and most would have little incentive to do so) have the option available to them.

[via Zatz Not Funny]

TiVo Whole Home DVR Extender will get retail release is written by Michael Crider & originally posted on SlashGear.
© 2005 - 2012, SlashGear. All right reserved.


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28Feb/120

Tivo Whole Home DVR Extender will get retail release

If you’re still a fan of the original DVR (and there’s a lot of them out there) we’ve got good news: you’ll soon be able to purchase TiVo‘s new Whole Home DVR Extender. Even better, you can get it through your cable or satellite provider or buy it yourself, as the units are headed to electronics retailers as well. The nugget of information came from TiVo’s quarterly financial call, and while there’ no exact information on exactly when the DVR Extender will arrive or for how much, you can expect them to appear on TiVo’s website sometime in the summer or fall.

The Whole Home DVR Extender is a competitor to similar devices that have been available for a while now. Basically it acts as a media access point for any one of Tivo’s DVR Hub devices like the Premiere Elite DVR, allowing televisions in other rooms to access TV or Internet content stored on the central server. The Extender can connect to the Internet independently for web apps like Pandora, but doesn’t require an extra CableCard connection in order to activate – and thus, doesn’t show up on your television provider’s system, meaning no extra monthly charge.

Ideally TiVo DVR Hub owners would be able to purchase one or more Extenders at retail, connect it to their home LAN and share both live and stored television throughout a home or business. That means just one cable or satellite connection, and one access fee, would be required. Retail hardware would be unsubsidized, meaning that it would cost a good bit more than the same coming from a television provider. But customers who want the functionality without resorting to a work-around system like Slingbox’s SlingLink. Retail availability also means that those whose providers don’t sell the Whole Home DVR Extender (and most would have little incentive to do so) have the option available to them.

[via Zatz Not Funny]

Tivo Whole Home DVR Extender will get retail release is written by Michael Crider & originally posted on SlashGear.
© 2005 - 2012, SlashGear. All right reserved.


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28Feb/120

Virgin Galactic plans powered space flight test within the year

It’s been slow going for the world’s first commercial passenger space program, but Virgin Galactic is slowly but surely making progress. While it’s already gotten its SpaceShipTwo sub-orbital craft beyond the reaches of Earth’s atmosphere in successful tests before, it only did so with the help of a carrier vehicle, then glided back to earth and landed conventionally. The company hopes to install and test the craft’s rocket engine before the end of 2012, marking a major milestone in Virgin Galactic’s plans to create a space tourism business.

Virgin’s vice president of special projects broke the news while speaking to the Next-Generation Suborbital Researchers Conference, noting that while exact dates haven’t been set, the company expects to overcome the technical challenges before it. Virgin Galactic has already pre-sold almost 500 seats on the 8-person spacecraft at a whopping $200,000 a piece. and if all goes well with the testing in 2012 and 2013, they could begin some time next year or in 2014.

Virgin’s low-orbit plans include a two-stage process: first the carrier vehicle WhiteKnightTwo brings SpaceShipTwo to an altitude of 50,000 feet. Then SpaceShipTwo detaches from the carrier mechanism, powers its rocket engine and climbs to just over 300,000 feet, putting the craft in orbit for a single trip around the planet before returning and landing. A successful test of the second half of the flight plan would be a major accomplishment for Virgin Galactic and its eccentric owner Richard Branson. There’s no hard schedule planned at the moment – like the company’s earlier efforts, they intend to “fly when we’re ready”.

[via Space.com]

Virgin Galactic plans powered space flight test within the year is written by Michael Crider & originally posted on SlashGear.
© 2005 - 2012, SlashGear. All right reserved.


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28Feb/120

HP lays off 275 WebOS employees

Meg Whitman may have big plans for WebOS, the little mobile operating system that couldn’t, but it looks like whatever she’s planning doesn’t require a large portion of the current WebOS development team. The company has laid off 275 employees in its mobile section. Most of the affected employees are engineers, which makes a lot of sense, since HP has no current plans to offer any more WebOS hardware. The laid off workers will join former Palm executive Jon Rubinstein, who voluntarily left HP last month. Some of the employees may be redeployed within HP, but not all.

Hewlett Packard announced plans to make WebOS a completely open-source operating system back in December, months after completely abandoning its tablet and smartphone plans. While HP is retaining its ownership of WebOS after purchasing original creator Palm last year, it’s allowing the open source community free reign to modify and distribute the code – not unlike Google’s strategy with Android. The company hopes that OEMs will take advantage of a competing free and open source mobile OS and produce new hardware on their own, though no one has taken up the offer at present.

Unfortunately, a lack of hardware plans means a smaller team is need to stay profitable. “As WebOS continues the transition from making mobile devices to open-source software, it no longer needs many of the engineering and other related positions that it required before,” said HP spokeswoman Mylene Mangalindan. HP will continue to over see and publish WebOS in its open source format, but new devices – at least from the computer giant itself – are out of the question for the time being.

[via Bloomberg]

HP lays off 275 WebOS employees is written by Michael Crider & originally posted on SlashGear.
© 2005 - 2012, SlashGear. All right reserved.


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28Feb/120

Ford SYNC takes a European roadtrip with B-Max

Ford’s SYNC system is one of the best uses of in-car technology out there that’s included by a manufacturer – but since its inception in 2007 it’s been relegated to North America. The company aims to end that sad state of affairs next week at the Geneva Motor Show, when it introduces SYNC to European customers in the new 2013 B-Max crossover. he optional add-on will be added to other models afterwards. Currently the company hasn’t said when the B-Max will hit the road, or how long after that it’ll take to expand  the current line-up with the SYNC option.


If you’re not familiar with SYNC, it’s one of the more advanced in-car entertainment/navigation/voice control systems available. Co-developed by none other than Microsoft, the SYNC system combines touchscreen, voice controls and standard buttons to control navigation, climate control and other functions, including a cell phone connection via Bluetooth or Android and iOS apps. There’s a considerable safety element, as it adds built-in hands free modes and emergency services contacts. An app platform and SDK help add to SYNC’s expandability. Unlike some cometetive digital systems, SYNC remains free after the purchase of a vehicle.

And speaking of vehicles… they could have chosen a better one for SYNC’s European debut. Not that there’s anything wrong with the B-Max, but an economical box on wheels doesn’t exactly scream futuristic. The 2013 B-Max is based on the Ford Fiesta, with a slightly extended platform to allow for sliding back doors for easy access. The 3-cylinder, 120-horsepower car should make for a pretty good city runner, just don’t expect to see it drifiting around the Autobahn any time soon. SYNC is installed on three million cars in North America already – we’ll see how long it takes Ford to get a foothold elsewhere.

2013-ford-b-max_100380098_m
2013-ford-b-max_100383544_m
sync dash

[via Motor Authority]

Ford SYNC takes a European roadtrip with B-Max is written by Michael Crider & originally posted on SlashGear.
© 2005 - 2012, SlashGear. All right reserved.


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28Feb/120

OCZ extends power supply range with kilowatt Fatal1ty PSU

Desktop gaming computers are getting more over-the-top every year, and with triple and quadruple SLI and Crossfire X motherboards now on the market, those who need the absolute maximum in performance also need a ton of power with which to achieve it. Enter OCZ’s latest power supply, the 1000W Fatal1ty PSU. It’s not the first kilowatt power supply around, but it is the first to feature the branding of pro gamer Johnathan “Fatal1ty” Wendel – an instant way to make PC gamers sit up and take notice.

System builders may (or may not) respect the name, but what they live and breathe is specifications. First of all, it uses the modular cabling system that neat freaks (like yours truly) can’t live without, allowing users to add and subtract power rails as necessary. Connections include a single +12v rail, one 20+4 pin for the ATX standard, two  4+$ rails, six 6+2 rails, 8 4-pin rails and 12 5-pin SATA rails. Even with the largest and most capable of rigs, it’s hard to imagine someone exhausting that many options.

Other features include 100% Japanese capacitors, a 140mm cooling fan, and a 5-year warranty. OCZ claims that it can maintain consistent 1000-watt output at a temperature of 50 degrees Celsius. While some gamers find the Fatal1ty branding to be somewhat overblown, it’s hard to argue with the numbers that OCZ is pushing out. Prospective PC builders, don’t reach for the highest option right away – unless you’re doing som major overclocking on three or more GPUs, plus a handful of hard drives and PCIe accessories, odds are you can do just fine with something a little less powerful.  There are a couple numbers that are missing at the moment: a price and a date.

Fatal1ty_box_1000W
Fatality 1000W_back
Fatality 1000W_front

OCZ extends power supply range with kilowatt Fatal1ty PSU is written by Michael Crider & originally posted on SlashGear.
© 2005 - 2012, SlashGear. All right reserved.


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28Feb/120

T-Mobile skips 84Mbps upgrade for LTE future

Last week T-Mobile finally announced its plants to upgrade its network to long-term evolution (LTE) speeds, now that the possibility of being acquired by AT&T is off the table for good. The LTE portions of T-Mobile network won’t be online until next year at the earliest, but in the meantime the company had planned to upgrade all of its HSPA+ towers to a mind-boggling 84 megabits per second. Alas, that’s no longer the case – due to the intense cost and preparations needed for the LTE network, T-Mobile’s “4G” HSPA+ network won’t get above 42MBps maximum.

LTE rollouts are no easy matter – Verizon’s is the largest in the country, but even they can’t seem to get outside city limits in most cases. AT&T’s LTE network is still in its infancy, and though they’re adding new devices and markets all the time, they’ve still got a lot of work to do. The lower half of America’s “big four” is stuck playing catch up, and in T-Mobile’s case, a year spent on the sidelines waiting for a merger that never happened didn’t help in the slightest.

That said, it’s good to see that all four major networks – plus a few regional carriers like US Cellular – are adopting the LTE standard. Not only does that mean faster data speeds for everyone (eventually) it also means that they’ll be more compatible with carriers worldwide, making roaming and moving between devices less of a hassle. That’s not much compfort to T-Mobile customers in the meantime but it does mean that they’re planning to be around for a while – which is more than you could say for them a few months ago.

[via The Verge]

T-Mobile skips 84Mbps upgrade for LTE future is written by Michael Crider & originally posted on SlashGear.
© 2005 - 2012, SlashGear. All right reserved.


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28Feb/120

Reminder: our WIMM Spring Developers Project has come to a close!

Last week we held our Spring Developers Project featuring the WIMM One developer kit, a lovely tiny device with the power to run Android and a slew of “Micro Apps” which take full advantage of the fact that this object functions best as a watch! We had developers and everyday average brilliant citizens submit ideas for their own futuristic Micro Apps the whole week, and the results were more than encouraging – they were downright excellent! Ten of our favorites were chosen from the pack, and what we’ve got here is one final reminder that each of the following users had what we consider the latest and greatest in submitted Micro App coolness!

Each of the following TEN submissions to the SlashGear half of this project are eligible to collect a WIMM One developer kit from SlashGear courtesy of WIMM. If you are one of the people below, please be sure to contact us at giveaway[at]slashgear.com as soon as possible with your name, mailing address, and phone number so we can send you your WIMM!

WINNERS LIST:

1. Jacob Postle

“For those of us road warriors addicted to google maps and navigation, having a watch micro app that can start vibrating when you are about to miss a turn or drive into a nasty traffic jam would be killer… not to mention a great way to fend off road fatigue. As an added safety feature, an intrepid developer could add an option to start vibrating like crazy if the driver hasn’t moved their wrist in a while. If some folks prefer visual to tactile cues, the wimm can be stuck on the steering wheel or instument panel and display simplified turn instructions without causing as much driver distraction as a full smartphone screen would.”

2. Devin Bernosky

“An app that spoofs an urgent phone call. If you’re having a horrible first date, or need an excuse to leave an awkward situation, launch the app on the WiMM, which activates a silent countdown. After the countdown, your phone rings, and you have a wonderful excuse to hurry off.”

3. Syaizul A Syamil

“App that is connected to bluetooth sensors that allows monitoring of bodily condition like temperature, blood pressure, pulse rate and etc. And continuously record this into the phone while displaying live data on the watch. Also able to voice out critical data like “Warning – exceeded normal body temperature” would be useful.”

4. Bob Nielsen

“What we need is a emergency notification app that will notify a person with a wimm one when there is a emergency in the area like tornado watch nuclear fallout or just flash flood.”

5. Mike Loebl

“I’m into amateur radio and would love to integrate APRS (think instant messages/geolocation/news/weather/twitterlike and IM like before they were really popular on the Internet) Would be cool to have an app so I can see local stations, receive emergency weather alerts, and get notification when friendly ssid (stations) are within a certain proximity of my location. Ideally it would be client/server situation where I’d have the APRS server service running on my Android cell phone or tablet (can communicate to the APRS via the Internet via cellular/wifi or via the bluetooth interface to my APRS enabled transceiver in the car.) It could use the phone’s internal GPS, and the server side would handle all the messaging/processing. the WIMM would be used as a client for the information display.”

6. Ryan Poltermann

“How about for the motorcyclists (or even bicyclists) out there: use it as a garage door opener. Most garage door openers are for visor mounts, and they would be uncomfortable in a jacket. Tie that into home automation, and you’re set when you get home.”

7. Dale Chen

“Facebook app tailored for quick bite sized info and updates. Easy checking to locations. Aid in viral adoption of Wimm by showing “posted via Wimm” in Facebook feed. You could also setup easy checking in on foursquare or easy updates on Path.”

8. Ryan Poltermann

“How about for the motorcyclists (or even bicyclists) out there: use it as a garage door opener. Most garage door openers are for visor mounts, and they would be uncomfortable in a jacket. Tie that into home automation, and you’re set when you get home.”

9. Mike Loebl

“I’m into amateur radio and would love to integrate APRS (think instant messages/geolocation/news/weather/twitterlike and IM like before they were really popular on the Internet) Would be cool to have an app so I can see local stations, receive emergency weather alerts, and get notification when friendly ssid (stations) are within a certain proximity of my location. Ideally it would be client/server situation where I’d have the APRS server service running on my Android cell phone or tablet (can communicate to the APRS via the Internet via cellular/wifi or via the bluetooth interface to my APRS enabled transceiver in the car.) It could use the phone’s internal GPS, and the server side would handle all the messaging/processing. the WIMM would be used as a client for the information display.”

10. Gabe Medine

“If I could develop any application for the WIMM I would create a central networking solution for small businesses. You could check your schedule, tasks, clock in and out, send messages (hopefully) see what your employees are doing at any time. My second idea is a car alarm system that sends out a bluetooth signal, the WIMM hooks onto the bluetooth signal allowing you to lock and unlock your car, set and unset the alarm.”

If one of these people is you, contact us asap! If not, thanks very much for submitting your idea and stay tuned to SlashGear for more opportunities to bring the innovation fury in the near future!

Reminder: our WIMM Spring Developers Project has come to a close! is written by Chris Burns & originally posted on SlashGear.
© 2005 - 2012, SlashGear. All right reserved.


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28Feb/120

Schmidt’s Privacy Obsession Leaves Google Torn

Privacy is a hot topic at Google, and chairman Eric Schmidt wasted no time in cultivating an MWC 2012 keynote around personal freedoms, the role of the internet as activist, and safeguarding of our individual information. Yet what Schmidt’s appearance did show us more than anything is that the chairman is consumed with an obsession around the topic, either attempting to convinced us that we have the option of anonymity, or outlining the dance which Google follows trying to balance between the public and the private.

Those of us hoping for Android@Home information, or details about Android 5.0 Jelly Bean or even Google I/O 2012 left Schmidt’s keynote disappointed. Android was name-checked – Schmidt was particularly keen to stress the activation figures – and a brief, three minute demo of Google Chrome for Android took center stage for a moment, but otherwise Schmidt grabbed the opportunity to outline his vision of the future of the internet, of connectedness-powered social activism, and the evolution of society.

Privacy, it seems, plays a huge role in that evolution, or at least so Schmidt would have us believe. The Google chairman mentioned the flexibility of privacy controls on at least eight occasions during his 35 minute keynote and subsequent Q&A session, hammering home the idea of the search giant being mindful of our inherent reluctance to be tracked and monitored.

"Schmidt didn’t suggest private necessarily meant better"

That’s not to say Schmidt suggested private necessarily meant better. Google users not opting for anonymous browsing would get better search results and generally more satisfying services, he explained, a reference to Google’s learning algorithm that uses your track record in search and other activity to educate future browsing.

Schmidt’s stance on privacy seems, ironically, to be more akin to that of advocates than the looser internet populace. At several points during the keynote he emphasized that he is against internet tracking and monitoring. Yet the chairman has also been a regular guest of various US Congress caucuses and other groups, each concerned at the extent of the information Google has collated on each of its users, and Schmidt insisting that not only has no wrongdoing taken place, but that the search company’s best interest is always that of the user.

Perhaps the biggest hint to Schmidt’s attitude toward privacy came not from his repeated theme that Google respects it, but his dismissal of an audience question regarding the “quality” of an online experience versus its real-life counterpart. Our phones, tablets and laptops are not dominating us, Schmidt insisted; after all, we are free to turn them off entirely. We are lucky, he said, because we have the choice: either the online world, with its inherent compromises, or the real world outside of it.

Right now, broad stroke options are all we have: turn the device off or activate incognito mode, or open ourselves to monitoring and tracking. Schmidt may talk of an open internet and inalienable freedoms, but Google’s approach – like that of others, to be fair – still lacks the finesse that will truly satisfy either the US Congress or the general public alike.

Schmidt’s Privacy Obsession Leaves Google Torn is written by Chris Davies & originally posted on SlashGear.
© 2005 - 2012, SlashGear. All right reserved.


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28Feb/120

T-Mobile Kills Plans For 84Mbps HSPA+ Network – Will Jump Straight To LTE In 2013

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T-Mobile USA Senior Vice President Andrew Sherrad in an interview with The Verge, that the carrier would be skipping their original plans to introduce an even faster 84Mbps network, in favor of moving straight to an LTE based one. The move is for a few reasons. For one, T-Mobile wants to continue emphasizing their WiFi calling feature and currently, their UMA based service can’t support when a customer is on a WiFi call, and leaves their wireless network — the call will drop. But once T-Mobile gets on board the LTE train, this will no longer be a problem with the new network transitioning seamlessly between the two.

That isn’t to say T-Mobile will just drop everything in their move to LTE. T-Mo will continue rolling out their plenty fast 42Mbps HSPA+ network while getting ready for LTE in 2013. And really, that network seems to be holding up pretty well compared to their nearest competitor, Sprint’s 3G/4G network.


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