A lower-cost phone running BlackBerry 10 could show up at the company’s BlackBerry World conference. CNET breaks down why it’s important. [Read more]
Tag Archives: Budget
reifman writes “The Seattle Times reports, ‘For the first time in state history, the Washington state budget is being written by Microsofties,’ Representative Ross Hunter has ‘tamed his Microsoft-style head-butting with a politician’s trust-building.’ Senator Andy Hill is ‘the first Senate budget chair ever to request Excel files instead of paper spreadsheets.’ ‘The two must find $ 1 billion in new money for the state’s K-12 system.’ Unfortunately, The Times neglects to mention that Hunter and Microsoft are among those behind the deficit and cutbacks in the first place. Hunter helped pass the amnesty bill for Microsoft’s $ 1.5 billion Nevada tax dodge ($ 4.37 billion if you include impacts from its lobbying to reduce tax rates) that contributed to $ 4 billion in cuts to K-12 and higher education since 2008. The state has resorted to using Yelp to tax dancing to try to make up the shortfall (for real).”
Read more of this story at Slashdot.
It looks like it won’t just be low-cost Android tablets that will see a huge boost in the market, but low-budget smartphones as well. According to ABI Research, in the year 2018, budget smartphones will equal about 46% of all smartphone shipments, which is 28% higher than today. Currently, 259 million budget smartphones are expected
US Cellular, a regional carrier known for offering the lower rung of smartphones running older varieties of Android than you typically find elsewhere, has just added a budget Ice Cream Sandwich handset to its lineup: the ZTE Director. Perhaps because $ 0.00 is too conventional, the carrier is offering this smartphone for $ 0.01 alongside a new
A group of U.S. senators has offered a nonbinding amendment to a fiscal year 2014 budget resolution allowing states to collect sales taxes on Internet sales and end the tax-free shopping that many shoppers enjoy online.
In the wake of last month’s meteor strike in Russia and a close asteroid flyby on the same day, members of Congress asked NASA, White House and Air Force officials what they’re doing to combat the threat of near-Earth asteroids during a hearing on Capitol Hill.
We know you’ve got questions, and if you’re brave enough to ask the world for answers, then here’s the outlet to do so. This week’s Ask Engadget inquiry is from Richard-Keith, who leapt before he looked and now needs our help. If you’re looking to ask one of your own, drop us a line at ask [at] engadget [dawt] com.
“Sheepishly, I have to admit that I didn’t do my homework, but when the chance to get a Mac Pro came around, I didn’t stop to think about the consequences. Now I’ve got a lovely new desktop, but now I’m lamenting the lack of an SD-card reader, built-in speaker and a webcam. I’m sure there are other displays that do the latter three jobs, including the Apple Cinema Display, but is there something a little cheaper than its rather staggering $ 999 price-tag? Thank you from the bottom my heart.”
Let’s be fair and help out our friend, after all, we’ve all made that odd impulse purchase without doing our homework. There aren’t that many monitors that can do all of the jobs you need, but you can pick up a Cinemaview with extra USB ports, or perhaps ASUS’ VK248H (and related), which even have Displayport outputs and a Webcam, although it may be a bit weak in the speaker department. Still, it’s high time we passed this question over to the throng of Engadgeteers, to find out if they know of anything better.
Too often, choosing a budget-friendly device involves settling with a small, under-powered handset with lackluster specs and an old version of Android. Fortunately, that is slowly changing, with more mid-range handsets hitting the market with a reasonable price tag. One such handset is Lava Mobile’s XOLO A1000, a 5-inch Android smartphone that has all-around nice
The Nokia Lumia 620 is an entry level Windows Phone 8 smartphone that puts a polished mobile computing experience in your pocket without breaking the bank or compromising usability with awfully underpowered hardware. Its performance beats plenty of budget Androids but the trade-off is far fewer apps.
Watch out, folks: Pantech is moving up the AT&T food chain. Once known in the US as little more than a budget brand, the Korean company is learning that it’s possible to push out a device with premium components without increasing the going price (while choosing an outside-the-box design at the same time). The latest piece of evidence supporting this is the Discover, a $ 50 smartphone with enough trimmings to turn some heads. But will the phone set a new precedent for its pricing tier, or is it just blindly checking off items on a spec sheet to-do list? Follow us after the break and find out.
Gallery: Pantech Discover review
Gallery: Pantech Discover review
On our stage at CES, Pantech’s Manager of US Marketing Chandra Thompson told us that nearly 60 percent of the company’s employees are dedicated to R&D, a claim that certainly can’t be made by very many companies. We were quite surprised to hear that from a company like Pantech — it caters almost exclusively to the penny-pinching demographic in the US, so it’s easy to dismiss its hardware as cheap and unexciting.
Au contraire, naysayers: the Discover, Pantech’s latest budget-friendly offering on AT&T, actually bucks the trend of the stereotypical slab, making it a visually arresting device to behold. The curvaceous back is chock-full of contours, but each one is done up in a way that enhances how the phone feels when you hold it in your hands. (We can’t help but be reminded of the Sony Xperia arc when looking at it.) In fact, we’ll go ahead and say that the Discover is one of the most comfortable phones we’ve used in recent history; its chassis hits the ruler at 134.2 x 68.6 x 9.1mm (5.3 x 2.7 x 0.36 inches) and gives us a solid grip that made us confident it wouldn’t slip out of our grasp. It’s also relatively light, weighing in at 4.76 ounces (135g).
Much of that has to do with the textured plastic material on the removable back panel, which adds just the right amount of traction without drawing too much attention to itself. The Discover is not only attractive; it also exudes durability. If you’ve only handled it for a few minutes it might be hard to tell that the device is as inexpensive as it is. We were happy to discover (pun not intended) that the back doesn’t flex or creak when you add pressure, lending even more credibility to the phone relative to its pricing tier.
The front of the device shows off the 4.8-inch 720p TFT screen, with a 2MP front-facing camera and the typical array of sensors above. You won’t find any capacitive nav buttons on the bottom, as the Discover uses virtual keys instead. To take the place of the missing keys, you’ll expectedly find a Pantech logo.
The sides are where the Discover starts to get really interesting. The phone bulges near the top to make room for a pair of 3D surround sound speakers, and the back cover tapers inward to meet up with the chrome edge. The speaker grilles are dotted with a snowflake-like pattern — the only hole in this analogy is that they’re all exactly alike. On the left side, adjacent to the grille, you’ll find a volume rocker that blends in perfectly with the rest of the chrome trim; the top end houses the power button and 3.5mm headphone jack, while the bottom end is where you plug in your micro-USB charger.
Completing our tour, we take you to the back of the Discover, which is where the 12.6MP rear-end camera module is located, with the LED flash directly beneath. You’ll also see a pair of logos for AT&T and Pantech, but neither is so ridiculously large so as to distract from the overall elegance of the device. Rip open that removable cover and you’ll find slots for the micro-SIM and microSD cards, as well as the replaceable 2,100mAh battery and NFC contacts.
Antenna-wise, the Discover is packed with plenty of radios: GSM / EDGE: 850/900/1800/1900; HSPA+ / UMTS 850/1900/2100; and LTE 700/850/1900/AWS. While most observers may be puzzled by the inclusion of four LTE bands when AT&T’s network is only currently utilizing two (700 / AWS), it actually means that your device will continue working properly if the operator decides to begin refarming 850 / 1900 HSPA+ spectrum for the use of LTE. Many of AT&T’s latest phones offer the same new LTE setup, but it’s typically not advertised — in the past we’ve had to dig into each handset’s FCC filings to figure it out.
Rounding out the specs, the Discover also offers aGPS, Bluetooth 4.0, 802.11a/b/g/n, 16GB of internal storage and supports DLNA. That microSD slot is capable of holding cards up to 32GB in size. There is, however, one glaring omission: there’s no LED notification light.
Now, let’s dive deeper into the display itself. Typically, the only time we see a $ 50 phone sporting a panel with a 720p (1,280 x 720) resolution is either when it’s on sale or is near the end of its retail shelf life (such is the case with the HTC One X). Thus, the fact that Pantech is pushing out a device with a higher-end screen at such a low price point should be enough to get any budget-conscious consumer excited. But how is it in real life? How does the display hold up against similar offerings?
While the HTC One X still holds the crown for best 720p display, the Discover doesn’t disappoint. It’s not quite as bright as the One X, but it certainly bests the Galaxy S III in this area. We also like the decent viewing angles and natural-looking colors — it’s definitely less saturated than the GS III, but then again, most phones are. It doesn’t use a PenTile matrix, so the fonts were crisp and easy to read without any jagged edges getting in our way.
Pantech is just as creative in its firmware design as it is in hardware. The Discover runs Android 4.0.4 (Ice Cream Sandwich), though company reps have told us that Jelly Bean is in the works — unfortunately, they wouldn’t tell us which version, but this is at least a step in the right direction. Despite the fact it’s running now-antiquated firmware, it at least throws in quite a few differentiators that make its custom skin one of the most unique we’ve encountered on this side of the Pacific.
For starters, the app dock on the front screen allows 14 total icons, instead of the standard four. How so? If you look carefully, you’ll see arrows on either side of the dock indicating that you can swipe left or right for more shortcuts, folders or apps. We imagine this will only come in handy if you prefer using most of your front screen space for widgets, but it’s a nice touch regardless.
Additionally, while the virtual nav buttons at the bottom of the display feature the usual suite of back, home and recent apps, Pantech throws in a tiny menu button on the right-hand side that’s visible only on the front screen. (It doesn’t replace or duplicate the settings buttons you’ll find in most apps.) Pressing it brings up a menu that overlays the app dock and offers widgets, wallpaper, themes, settings and tips. Sounds great in theory, but it’s absolutely pointless since long-pressing the home screen achieves exactly the same result.
Moving on to the app menu, you’ll first notice that widgets are nowhere to be found — you’ll need to access them using the settings bar. Pantech has chosen to use the tab space on top to enhance the group-viewing experience. Essentially, you can choose to put any of your apps into customizable groups — just as if they’re a separate folder — and each group you create gets its own tab up on top. You can also assign each tab its own specific color and change the name to whatever you want; even better, you can also long-press the tab to install the entire group as a folder on your home screen, making it less work for you to set up groups in multiple places.
The navigation menu also has a few tweaks of its own: the top of the menu features a quick settings bar (nothing new there) and a second bar for settings shortcuts. This bar, which can be collapsed if you deem it unnecessary, includes icons for sound, WiFi, display, Bluetooth and more — the idea is to get you one step closer to these individual settings, thus reducing the amount of time you spend trying to reach them. We don’t foresee this saving more than a fraction of a second, but it’s there for you as an option if you want.
Pantech is also taking a page out of Samsung’s book by introducing its own set of motion / gesture controls. The concept is roughly the same: by waving your hand left and right over the front-facing camera, you can answer calls and navigate through pics and music without touching the screen. It worked much better than we expected; the camera recognized our hands from as far away as two feet.
Speaking of looking to Samsung for inspiration, the Discover also features a pop-up video option. When you begin watching a video, tap the proper button near the top of the screen and it hovers above whatever app you want to use simultaneously. You can also do something similar in the music app: the press of a button will float a “now playing” widget (which can be switched to playlist view as well) above your other programs.
Easy Experience Mode is offered with the Pantech Discover. We went into more detail on this particular feature in our review of the Flex, but in a nutshell: Easy Experience is essentially a special introductory launcher that helps first-time smartphone users settle into the whirlwind world of Android without experiencing as drastic a learning curve. There’s less stuff to customize, the font and icons are a little larger and the app menu is much more streamlined. Not much is different on the Discover, with the exception of a new toggle switch on the main UI, which makes it pretty easy to go back and forth between the two modes.
As you might expect, you’ll still have the normal onslaught of preloaded apps (though fortunately Pantech lets you hide unwanted apps or tuck them away in groups), but AT&T is pushing one new program in particular: DriveMode. The app is intended to prevent drivers from reading texts or taking calls when on the road. When your driving speed is above 25MPH, the service (which can be disabled if you prefer) sends an automatic SMS response to anyone who calls you or sends a text, letting them know you’ll get in touch with them as soon as you’ve finished your journey. It definitely does the job as intended — when we first began this review, our unit had the service enabled by default, and it showed up as soon as we hit the right speed. (Disclaimer: the reviewer was in the passenger seat when making this discovery.)
Gallery: Pantech Discover screenshots
Gallery: Pantech Discover screenshots
Lastly, the Discover uses the same stock Skyfire browser as the HTC One VX and LG Optimus G (among others). This means it comes with the love-or-hate browser bar at the bottom of the screen that offers several shortcuts and other settings. It appears that this particular browser is here to stay, and we shouldn’t be surprised to see it continue to surface on future AT&T models.
One major quirk with the UI is that Pantech doesn’t really take full advantage of the vertical space afforded to it. In addition to the virtual keys taking up room at the bottom of the screen, most of the phone’s UI elements are much larger than your typical device. The app dock on the front screen, the extra settings in the navigation menu and even the tabs on top of the app menu are easy to press, but you only get this benefit by sacrificing precious screen real estate.
The weakest link in every Pantech phone we’ve ever reviewed is the camera. The 8MP sensor used in the Flex was certainly an improvement over the 5MP models used previously, but it still couldn’t hold a candle to Samsung’s and HTC’s 8-megapixel units. So what did we get out of the Discover’s 12.6-megapixel rear-facing cam? Pixel count isn’t everything, after all.
First, let’s go over the user interface on the camera. The shutter button sidebar consists of a few toggle switches: front / rear, camcorder and HDR. The other sidebar is where you’ll find your various settings, as well as shortcuts that can be customized to specific things you tweak the most (this bar is free of shortcuts by default — you have to add them in at your leisure). Among the listed settings are exposure, flash, resolution, white balance, color effects and focus mode (in which you can choose between touch focus and tracking focus). Long-pressing the viewfinder in touch mode will lock your focus, and then you can touch the screen another time to lock exposure.
Speaking of which, the Discover is missing the ability to lock focus on objects in low-light or near-dark conditions; the phone doesn’t give us the option to use LED flash as a focus mechanism prior to taking the shot, so you may need to take several images in low light before it truly comes out the way it should. The LED flash itself is sufficiently bright, so that particular part of the camera isn’t an issue.
Gallery: Pantech Discover camera samples
Gallery: Pantech Discover camera samples
In fact, low-light images in general didn’t turn out very well. Perhaps a big part of the problem is the fact that Pantech didn’t throw in any special modes like the ones you’ll find on the One X, Galaxy S III and other flagships. No low-light, night or candlelight modes are offered; the phone doesn’t even have macro mode. Unfortunately, it’s just not as decked out as we’d like it to be. Frankly, this is to be expected on a phone that is geared toward the budget user, but we have a hard time understanding exactly why Pantech would go through the effort of boosting the megapixel count without enhancing the actual image-taking experience.
While we have a difficult time recommending the Discover’s camera over the proven modules found on the HTC One X and Samsung Galaxy S III, the images on the Discover were still at least par with what we originally expected (which unfortunately isn’t saying much). We had quite a few issues with washed-out colors, middling dynamic range and soft focus. The upside is that white balance seemed to be pretty good. Regardless, it’s not the point-and-shoot replacement you’d like it to be.
We actually didn’t have so much to complain about with the video capture performance (MPEG-4, 18 Mbps bit rate, 30fps frame rate). It was very smooth when catching motion or panning, and the mics picked up our voice loud and clear. Its only drawback was that it couldn’t properly handle sunlight without ultimately washing out the colors in the process.
Performance and battery life
On the performance side, the Discover doesn’t bring anything new to the table. It sports the same 1.5GHz dual-core Snapdragon S4 Plus processor that we enjoyed on the Burst and Flex, along with 1GB RAM and an Adreno 225 GPU. Thus, it shouldn’t come as any surprise that its actual output is nearly the same. Responsiveness is great and lag is near non-existent when performing most processor-heavy tasks. All told, we didn’t feel like we were using a subpar handset. Gaming was also as smooth as we’ve come to expect on an S4 Plus device. Here’s how the Discover benchmarks against some similarly priced phones on AT&T’s network:
|Pantech Discover||HTC One VX||LG Escape|
|SunSpider 0.9.1 (ms)||1,614||1,504||1,598|
|GLBenchmark 2.5 Egypt 1080p Offscreen (fps)||14||12||11|
|SunSpider: lower scores are better.|
In terms of battery life, our standard endurance test — looping a video with a series of notifications rolling in the background — went on for six hours and 45 minutes. That’s hardly spectacular, but it’s still better than what we saw on the HTC One VX. What this means is that moderate users can make it through an entire day before having to charge up the phone, but anyone who uses the device extensively will get a solid nine or 10 hours out of it. However, unless you’re barely using it, you shouldn’t expect it to last overnight and into the next day.
On AT&T’s LTE network in Salt Lake City, the Discover zoomed through speed tests at an average of 18 Mbps down and 12 Mbps up. Keep in mind that this number may vary depending on the strength of your local network. We had mixed results with the phone’s WiFi performance; on multiple occasions it randomly disconnected from our preferred network and would refuse to reconnect again (it often would get stuck in an endless loop, going back and forth between “connecting” and “saved”). Quickly shutting WiFi off and then turning it on again typically resolved the problem, but that’s of course an annoyance.
When it came to actually making phone calls, our callers could hear us perfectly loud and clear. Noise cancelling was in full force, as callers had no idea that we were in a noisy room. On our end, other voices came through crystal clear, although the volume was a little softer than we would have preferred.
So what about the dual 3D surround sound speakers on the Discover? In a couple words: not bad. Thing is, it’s louder than your typical budget phone, so in that sense you’re getting your money’s worth; however, we could barely tell any difference between it and the audio output on flagship phones like the iPhone 5 and Samsung Galaxy S III. In fact, when doing direct comparisons between the three devices, the Discover’s sound was on the tinny side and not as full or rich as the others. Again, it’s pretty good for its intended price range, but not the best out there. One other thing: while the surround sound concept works okay when the phone’s in portrait mode, it’s a completely different story when you’re watching movies in landscape, since both speakers are on the same side. It’s pretty difficult to mimic stereo sound very well with this kind of setup.
Pricing and comparison
Going by the spec sheet alone, the Pantech Discover blows away any other brand-new device in its price range — you may see some better-specced phones on sale around the $ 50 margin, but this surpasses any other budget or midrange phone that has begun at this particular cost. On AT&T’s network, the next in line would be the HTC One VX, a phone that for the same amount of money snags you a qHD display, 5MP rear camera, 8GB internal storage and a few other mid-range specs to go along with it. While we were fond of the VX, the Discover ultimately offers more bang for your buck.
With each of its recent phones, Pantech has shown that it’s possible to make an inexpensive handset without sacrificing premium components. It specializes in the lower-end (in the US, at least), and it does its job very well. With a going price of $ 50 (after a two-year commitment), it’s sure to turn quite a few heads. It’s far from perfect, of course, but right now, at least, we have a hard time seeing how anyone could make a better budget device.
With fiscal cliffs, debt ceilings and other financial woes facing the country, several iconic telescopes may lose funding and possibly even close.
The folks at AT&T have just released the HTC “budget” device known as the HTC One VX, a smartphone that by early 2012 standards would have been considered a top-tier machine. Instead it would seem that a dual-core Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 process and Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich as well as a fabulous 4.5-inch qHD
ASUS has been a strong force in the tablet game even before it set a new price-to-quality standard with Google’s Nexus 7. It looks like the firm could be tightening the budget screw even further, if some recent GLBenchmarks are to be believed. The details are sparse, but outline a product with model number ME172V (which follows from its pre-Nexus smaller tablet line), that runs Android 4.1.1 Jelly Bean, sports a 1,024 x 552 (likely 1,024 x 600) resolution powered by a Mali 400 GPU and 1GHz chip. There’s no indication on the number of cores, or, well, much else for that matter. Various rumors are keen to suggest there’d be support for microSD, which if true, would make it unlikely to be a Nexus. But a budget tablet by the same manufacturer, is likely enough for many people all the same.
Via: Pocket Now
The Portabee is a portable 3-D printer that will run you just $ 500.
When you hear “3-D printing,” you probably think of advanced prototyping operations, or maybe even a factory-style floor humming with 50 industrial-scale machines (see “A Ribbon Cutting for 3-D Printing”). Yet when I tell the uninitiated about 3-D printing, they’re often thrown off. They hear the word “printer,” and they automatically assume I’m talking about the thing beneath your desk that spits out ink and paper. It takes a moment to explain that 3-D printing doesn’t typically refer to something that happens in your home–yet.
The U.S. Dept. of Energy, which builds the world’s largest supercomputers, is now targeting 2020 to 2022 target for an exascale system, two to four years later than earlier expectations.
An anonymous reader writes “For all of those wondering about China’s massive high speed rail network, it costs some serious cash. Running high speed lines across the nation is expensive — to the tune of $ 100 billion dollars a year. This covers the cost to maintain the network, build it, and pay all of the staff. The problem is, corruption has reared its ugly head. The network itself has had its share of problems, with people dying as a result. There is also the problem that many of Chinese poor make so little money they can’t afford to ride it. The sad fact is that so much money is being spent, no one can even keep count.”
Read more of this story at Slashdot.
If you’re looking for a budget-friendly quad-core processor, you need look no further than the AMD FX 4130. This new AMD processor is a small step up from the AMD FX 4100, offering clock speeds at 3.8/3.9GHz to the FX 4100′s 3.6/3.8GHz. Not too bad, especially considering that you’ll only be paying $ 11 more for
RIAA’s budget comes from music labels and distributors because it represents the interests of the music industry. Therefore, it depends on their willingness. TorrentFreak obtained its latest tax filing and the RIAA is facing the same difficulties as the major music labels. Its budget has been cut to $ 29.1 million dollars for 2010-2011 from $ 51.35 million dollars two years earlier. Yet, the most important shift comes from the anti-piracy strategy adopted by the RIAA.
Instead of spending tens of millions of dollars in legal fees, the RIAA is supporting the copyright alert system and its six strikes, a policy inspired by the unpopular and ineffective French anti-piracy law called Hadopi.
In what could be seen as a response to the positive reaction that Google’s $ 200 Nexus 7 has garnered, Barnes & Noble has just cut down the prices on all three of its Android-based, seven-inch Nook Tablets. The 16 and 8GB models have been respectively reduced to $ 199 (from $ 249) and $ 179 (from $ 199), while the Nook Color is priced 20 bones cheaper than before at $ 149. Not sure whether those prices too good to be true, even up against the likes of the Kindle Fire? Feel free to peruse our reviews of B&N’s reading-focused slates before potentially taking the plunge at its webstore.
Filed under: Tablet PCs
Solid-state drives cost just a fraction of what they did a few years ago, but with prices that can still exceed $ 1,000, you could hardly label them as cheap. Crucial still aims to put solid-state storage within reach of those on a budget, however, releasing its 2.5-inch v4 drive with pricing that starts at $ 50. That entry-level model will net you just 32 gigs of storage — hardly a lust-worthy sum — but the series is also available in configurations of 64GB ($ 70), 128GB ($ 100) and 256GB ($ 190), offering read speeds of up to 230 MB/s and write speeds of up to 190 MB/s with SATA 2-capable desktops and laptops. The v4 joins Crucial’s higher-end m4, which offers much speedier performance and Ultrabook-friendly configurations to boot. You’ll find full details in the PR after the break.
Filed under: Storage
McGruber writes “The Federal Times has the stunning (but not surprising) news that a new audit found six Defense Department modernization projects to be a combined $ 8 billion — or 110 percent — over budget. The projects are also suffering from years-long schedule delays. In 1998, work began on the Army’s Logistics Modernization Program (LMP). In April 2010, the General Accounting Office issued a report titled ‘Actions Needed to Improve Implementation of the Army Logistics Modernization Program’ about the status of LMP. LMP is now scheduled to be fully deployed in September 2016, 12 years later than originally scheduled, and 18 years after development first began! (Development of the oft-maligned Duke Nukem Forever only took 15 years.)”
Read more of this story at Slashdot.
Look out, savvy graphics card buyer: just because it’s labelled ‘GeForce’ and starts with a ’6′ doesn’t necessarily mean it benefits from NVIDIA’s premium 28nm Kepler architecture. We’ve already seen rebadged mobile chips with last-gen 40nm silicon, and now entry-level desktop cards are arriving on shelves that will stretch Fermi’s expiry date even further. There are no price tags as yet, but according to AnandTech the ‘new’ GeForce GT 610 is a repackaged GT 520 with 48 CUDA cores and an ever-so-polite 29-watt power draw. The GT 620 is a GT 530 with a 49-watt TDP and twice as many CUDA cores as the 610 — although a meager 64-bit memory bus will put a cap on any performance gains. Finally, the GT 630 is a 65-watt GT 440 in all but name, with a 128-bit memory bus width allowing its 96 CUDA cores to be fully exploited. This latter card shouldn’t be confused with the OEM version of the GT 630, which does actually pack Kepler. Bewildering, right? We’ve quizzed NVIDIA over its strange rebadging tradition and were told that the company simply numbers its products according to raw performance, rather than freshness or chip type — which sort of makes sense so long as you don’t dwell on it.
Say what you will about Android, but one of the many benefits includes being able to throw it on cheaper hardware and offering it to the masses. Here’s yet another cheap Android tablet, this time from France. The Yzi is a 10-inch tablet with a five point capacitive touchscreen that features support for passive stylii
sciencehabit sends this excerpt from ScienceInsider:
“One of the big three research agencies appears to be lagging behind its doubling peers in the president’s 2013 budget request released this morning. The $ 4.9 billion budget of the Department of Energy’s Office of Science would rise by 2.4%, to $ 5 billion. In contrast, the National Science Foundation would receive a nearly 5% boost, to $ 7.37 billion, and the National Institute of Standards and Technology a hike of 13%, to $ 860 million. These three agencies were originally singled by President George W. Bush in 2006 for a 10-year budget doubling, a promise that President Barack Obama and Congress have repeatedly endorsed despite the current tough economic times. … Obama is
asking for a 1% increase in overall federal spending on research, to $ 140 billion. Within that total, the White House seeks a similar 1% hike in the $ 30 billion devoted to basic research.”
Read more of this story at Slashdot.
Nikon‘s final three cameras of the morning borrow a little from both the P510 superzoom and the S-series compacts, a mongrel collection of zoomers, rugged snappers and super-simple models each promising HD video recording. The COOLPIX L810, L26 and S30 can each be run on AA batteries, and all come in at under the $ 280 mark, [...]
ZTE’s showing off its new global ambitions, the OEM-smartphone maker brought a party bus to London and asked Professor Green (everyone’s favorite nasally-challenged Grime MC) to spread the word about the Tania. It’s a modestly-kitted 4.3-inch WVGA (800 x 480) Windows Phone, erm, phone, that’s running Mango on a single-core 1GHz chip, 512MB of RAM and 4GB internal storage. ‘Round back there’s a five megapixel camera, but sadly nothing up top for impromptu video calling. It’ll be available on contract on second-tier operators like Virgin Mobile, Brightpoint and Go Mobile for “around” the £10 – £20 per-month price range, but word on the street is that it’ll be available to purchase for a none-too-painful £250 ($ 390).
Not prepared to pony up for the ICS-ready Transformer Prime? No worries, Coby has five alternative flavors, each offering its own helping of Android 4.0. The quintet of tablets bear the same model number format as the outfit’s Kyros tablets, and all share the same 1GHz ARM Cortex A8 CPU. Coby plans to debut the slates at CES 2012, making them available to consumers within the first quarter. The slabs range between seven and ten inches, and will offer up to 1GB of RAM with up to 32GB of expandable memory — WiFi radio and HDMI-out come standard. Want to see the official details? Hit the break, we’ve got a good ‘ol fashion press release just waiting for your peepers.
A major SAP ERP project being conducted by the New South Wales Department of Education and Communities has hit a rocky patch, with projected costs for the first phase ballooning from US$ 157 million to US$ 215 million, according to a new report by the Australian state’s auditor.
Launch delays and shrinking federal budgets threaten NASA’s plan to rely on private rockets to ferry astronauts and equipment to the international space station, government and industry officials said.