Nokia Lumia 920 users tempted by the improved lens of the Lumia 925 and the new Windows Phone’s broader ISO support should probably hold off before they trade in, with Nokia’s photograpy chief Juha Alakarhu promising an incoming update will significantly narrow the gap between the phones. While all eyes are on the new Lumia
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Editor’s note: Ross Rubin is principal analyst at Reticle Research and blogs at Techspressive.
These days, it seems that anything that whiffs of the traditional PC has all the market appeal of a month-old banana. Microsoft and its hardware cohorts are trying to fight back against the image of the staid tower and notebook with touch-enabled, all-in-one computers, clickety-covered tablets and convertible notebooks that twist like a contortionist. With no stake in Windows to protect, though, device crowdfunders have taken a different tack, pushing Android and other mobile OSes into alien configurations. While a bit of old hat for tiny game consoles from OUYA and GameStick, the game is now on for more general computing tasks.
Much to the consternation of scientists, the cylindrical platinum-iridium artifacts that represent the kilogram (see image above) have been gradually packing on extra weight due to surface contamination. Since that unit of measure is the last to be based on an artifact and not a physical constant of nature — for instance, a meter is the distance light travels in a vacuum during 1/299,792,458 of a second — it means that scientists no longer know exactly how much a kilogram is. That makes experiments requiring extreme precision more difficult, so researchers from Mettler Toledo, CERN and the EPFL have been working for the last 15 years on a so-called Watt balance, which works on the principle of electromagnetic force restoration. The team managed to created a “load cell” that’s accurate to a 0.3 µg resolution for a 2kg weight, well below the desired level of 1 µg — meaning the goal of replacing a hunk of metal from 1878 with something more, ahem, solid is within reach by the 2015 target date.
Source: Mettler Toledo
An anonymous reader writes “The Dutch government today presented a draft bill that aims to give law enforcement the power to hack into computer systems — including those located in foreign countries — to do research, gather and copy evidence or block access to certain data. Law enforcement should be allowed to block access to child pornography, read emails that contain information exchanged between criminals and also be able to place taps on communication, according to a draft bill published Thursday and signed by Ivo Opstelten, the Minister of Security and Justice. Government agents should also be able to engage in activities such as turning on a suspect’s phone GPS to track their location, the bill said. Opstelten announced last October he was planning to craft this bill.”
Read more of this story at Slashdot.
The Dutch government today presented a draft bill that aims to give law enforcement the power to hack into computer systems — including those located in foreign countires — to do research, gather and copy evidence or block access to certain data.
In an effort to return cash to investors, Apple is reaching out to the debt market and offering US$ 17 billion in bonds, the biggest non-bank bond offering in history, according to a report by The Wall Street Journal.
A plastic smartphone screen cover patterned with tiny lenses could help mobile 3-D take off.
Last week, a company in Singapore began shipping $ 35 plastic screen protectors for the iPhone 5. These are no ordinary screen protectors, though—each has half a million tiny lenses precisely patterned on its surface, which can turn an ordinary phone into a device capable of displaying 3-D images and video, no glasses required.
University of Tennessee coach Butch Jones wanted to get an eagle-eye view of his players, but apparently didn’t have the resources to spend it on the kinds of expensive, cable-suspended Skycam equipment used by broadcasters. Instead, he sent up a drone, in what appears to be the first–or one of the first–uses of unmanned aerial vehicles in college football. A Vine (above) showing the coaches warming up the drone for practice immediately started making the rounds on sports blogs. According to Outside magazine, military drone technology was quickly adopted by the entertainment industry, and is becoming more pervasive for ariel footage, “Even at upwards of $ 5,000 per day, a drone runs a fraction of the cost of a helicopter rental,” explains Joe Spring. A number of policymakers are proposing moratoriums on law surveillance drones, until privacy laws can catch up to the quickly evolving technology. But, flying cameras are completely legit for sports. Interestingly, Coach Jones credits the experiment to a Google-style mass innovation approach to management: “It’s a number of guys. It’s our support staff, it’s [Sports Technology Coordinator] Joe Harrington. It’s everyone just always trying to make the program better each and every day. That’s the culture that we’re building here. It doesn’t matter if it’s our secretaries, our equipment staff, our training staff, or our cooks. How can we make Tennessee football better each and every day?”
The Department of Justice told the Federal Communications Commission that the upcoming wireless spectrum auction should give smaller carriers, like T-Mobile, a fighting chance to obtain spectrum in the low-frequency band. The wireless spectrum up for sale is being offered voluntarily by TV broadcasters so that wireless carriers can take advantage of them. However, with
3D printing is still in its relative infancy, but more and more folks are using machines like the MakerBot Replicator and Formlab’s Form 1 to turn digital plans into physical reality. An Autodesk engineer named Evan Atherton has access to a much more capable (and expensive) 3D printer, an Objet Connex 500, and as a design exercise decided to use that printer to create a finished product. You see, a lot of 3D printers are used for rapid prototyping, as opposed to product manufacturing. Join us after the break for a video interview with Atherton explaining how he created these sonic beauties.
Filed under: Home Entertainment
Thanks To Poor Holiday Sales, B&N Will Give Away A Free Nook Simple Touch With Every Purchase Of A Nook HD+
There’s been nothing but bad news coming from Barnes & Noble lately, and it seems as though the company has decided to resort to the desperate measure of giving away Nooks for free. Reuters is reporting that customers who purchase the $ 269 Nook HD+ will receive a $ 79 Simple Touch free of charge as a limited offer. It’s a great deal if you’ve been looking for both a tablet and an ebook reader, but I can’t help but feel a little sad that this is what it’s come down to. Nooks have always been solidly designed products, it’s just that they were never able to catch on with consumers after being doubly sucker punched by the iPad and the Kindle. In January, Barnes & Noble revealed its plans to close nearly 20 of its retail locations over the next decade, which was followed by news last month that Nook revenue had dropped 26 percent YOY.
Darrell Steinberg, California Senate President pro Tem, has introduced a bill that would require public colleges and universities in California to give credit for online courses taken at 3rd party providers. Steinberg stated that the bill would ensure that California students will not “be denied the right to move through their education because they couldn’t
What if mobile subscribers could click a button and top-off their data plan, or even buy mobile Internet access to a single app?
Most people have enough to worry about without micromanaging their smartphone use, but that’s what it’s come to for many device owners. To avoid exceeding a data cap, and incurring a costly penalty, many people try to meter their phone activities or resist the temptation to click on that Pandora app or YouTube link near the end of a billing cycle.
Disruption comes in all shapes and sizes, and benefits people of all shapes and sizes. When you think about global entrepreneurs solving hard problems, you might not think about creating hardware products that aim to save the lives of premature babies.
A Russian mogul uses a science award to spread Internet millions among university biologists. Is he after a cure for cancer?
Russian billionaire Yuri Milner has been making money and friends fast in Silicon Valley. Now he’s doing the same in cancer biology labs.
Having already declared war on the grid, TV remote / guide app maker Dijit is taking GoMiso under its wing. The company announced via its site that it’s in the process of acquiring the social TV developer. The move will incorporate more discovery into Dijit’s offerings. The company has announced intentions to keep the Miso and Sideshow apps around, as well as GoMiso founder, Somrat Niyogi, who is coming on as an advisor. Quips, on the other hand, is now on the chopping block — at least it’ll have some clever last words, no doubt.
The advance could help researchers better understand the role of proteins in disease.
Two reports published online in Science on Thursday open up the possibility that researchers may be able to determine the structure of individual proteins in living cells. Although the work is still in early stages, the potential is that researchers could get a better handle on the role of proteins in disease.
pigrabbitbear writes “We are strangely territorial when it comes to our wireless networks. The idea of someone siphoning off our precious bandwidth without paying for it is, for most people, completely unacceptable. But the Open Wireless Movement wants to change all that. ‘We are trying to create a movement where people are willing to share their network for the common good,’ says Adi Kamdar, an activist with the Electronic Frontier Foundation. ‘It’s a neighborly thing to do.’ That’s right, upstanding citizen of the Internet, you can be a good neighbor just by opening your wireless network to strangers — or so the line goes. The ultimate vision is one of neighborhoods completely void of passwords, where any passerby can quickly jump on your network and use Google Maps to find directions or check their email or do whatever they want to do (or, whatever you decide they can do).”
Read more of this story at Slashdot.
The company’s search engine will become formidable when it includes the text of comments and the vast store of Open Graph data about things outside Facebook.
Facebook’s new Graph Search—a feature that lets you search through the data shared by your friends—clearly needs some work (see “Facebook’s New Graph Search: Not Very Good”). It relies solely on the “likes,” check-ins, and profile data provided by your friends – signals that may be incomplete or unreliable unless you have friends all over the world who always faithfully check in wherever they go, and like products and brands honestly, not ironically. What’s more, queries must be structured in a way that often makes you feel like you’re talking to a database.
The country, which gets most of its electricity from nuclear power, is debating whether to wean itself from that dependency.
Rethink Robotics invented a $ 22,000 humanoid robot that competes with low-wage workers.
Chris Budnick is head of Vanguard Plastics, a small injection-molding operation in Southington, Connecticut, that makes plastic fixtures, gaskets, and other “stuff no one cares about unless it breaks.” On a computer screen, placed where all his workers can see it, Budnick displays what he considers the company’s key statistic: sales divided by man-hours.
The FCC plans to allocate more unlicensed spectrum for Wi-Fi to improve performance in crowded public places and in homes, looking to head off a future spectrum crunch.
Just before Page and Co. officially took the wraps off of Android in 2007, Googler Dan Morrill was getting ready to introduce the OS to a larger swath of developers in Mountain View. In an effort to spice up his presentation to devs, Morrill drew up a gang of bots while taking a brief respite, creating what he believes were the first proposed mascots for Android. The rowdy bunch may be a far cry from the avocado-hued droid we’ve come to know and turn into figurines, but the “Dandroids” enjoyed a small measure of popularity within Google before Bugdroid took the limelight. Their creator unearthed the image files while cleaning up a NAS and has slung them up on Google+ for all to see. Take a gander at the adjacent gallery or jab the neighboring source link to catch a glimpse of the other bots.
Gallery: First Android Mascots
Filed under: Google
Source: Dan Morrill (Google+)
ebh writes “Noted in an AP story about how fees make it difficult to compare air travel costs, is how the airline industry is moving toward tailoring offer packages (and presumably, fares) for individuals based on their personal information. Worse, ‘The airline association said consumers who choose not to supply personal information would still be able to see fares and purchase tickets, though consumer advocates said those fares would probably be at the “rack rate” — the travel industry’s term for full price, before any discounts.’”
Read more of this story at Slashdot.
FatLittleMonkey writes “New Scientist asks a Bryant Walker Smith, from the Center for Internet and Society at Stanford Law School, whether the law is able to keep up with recent advances in automated vehicles. Even states which have allowed self-driving cars require the vehicles to have a ‘driver,’ who is nominally in control and who must comply with the same restrictions as any driver such as not being drunk. What’s the point of having a robot car if it can’t drive you home from the pub while you go to sleep in the back?”
Read more of this story at Slashdot.
A new low-cost, imager chip could give your average smartphone the ability to see through walls and objects Superman style.
Grumbleduke writes “The UK Pirate Party has been forced to shut down its proxy of The Pirate Bay. The Party had been running the proxy since April, initially to support the Dutch Party’s efforts, then as a means of combating censorship after the BPI obtained uncontested court orders against the UK’s main ISPs to block the site across the UK. In a statement released through their lawyers, the Party cited the impossibly-high costs of legal action for their decision, but vowed to keep fighting for digital rights however they can.”
Read more of this story at Slashdot.
Storybricks, the AI gaming startup co-founded by serial entrepreneur Rodolfo Rosini, has announced that it’s pivoting. Gone is the company’s super-ambitious mission to create a new browser-based MMO that would let users turn stories into games. Instead, harnessing much of its core tech, the startup aims to build the best artificial intelligence (AI) engine for online games by giving characters emotions — and licensing this engine to third-parties.
Google has just snapped up BufferBox, a Waterloo, Ontario-based startup that offers temporary lockers for online purchases much like the ones recently deployed by Amazon. Instead of 7-Elevens and RadioShacks however, the relatively young startup has only just started a deal to install parcel kiosks in Canada’s Metrolinx GO Transit stations. The Mountain View company hopes to keep BufferBox alive through the acquisition, with plans for 100 kiosks in Greater Toronto and Hamilton in the next year. Of course, we can’t help but think this could all be part of Google’s master plan for a rumored same-day delivery service that might make Amazon a touch nervous. Hopefully this means future Nexus deliveries will be a just little faster, eh?
There is some consolidation in the error-tracking/monitoring space. Exceptional, the error-tracking service for cloud developers, has announced the acquisition of the Ranger monitoring service to extend the U.S. company’s ‘DevOps’ platform. Terms of the deal remain undisclosed, although Exceptional CEO Jonathan Siegel tells me it’s a “solid six-figure purchase,” and covers the Ranger product (which has just been updated to version 2.0) and existing customer base-only.
Have there ever been questions in the back of your mind, but they weren’t really a top priority to sit down and search for the answer? Google is wanting to give you answers and information for things that you’ve always wondered about, but never actually searched for, with a new kind of mobile search tool
From The Lab To The Shelf: NYC TechConnect Event Helps Give An Entrepreneurial Boost To The Sciences
As funding dwindles across the life sciences industry, researchers at major universities are increasingly adopting the entrepreneurial models forged by the tech world. With help from groups like NYC TechConnect, scientists are taking their inventions and discoveries out of the lab and into the free market.
First time accepted submitter Vanderhoth writes “I’m currently serving as a new member of a board for a not for profit organization. The board currently has a few other members, and a couple of vacant positions. One of the issues I’ve noticed since joining the board is the method in which they conduct business is very out of date. The member that maintains our web presences (Bob) has developed a system over the last ten years to allow us to store documents, such as agendas and minutes on a website server.
Some of the big issues are:
1.) The system is very disorganized, there are documents from the late 90′s that aren’t relevant, but have to be sifted through to find more current stuff. 2.) Often documents are not where they should be and are difficult to find. 3.) No one except Bob really knows how the system works. 4.) No one really wants to use the system because of the monster it’s become.
My concern is if Bob decided to leave the organization no one would be able to maintain the existing system and we would be scrambling to put something new in place. I feel, for what we want to do, Google Docs would be an excellent platform for collaborating and sharing documents. The other board members, except Bob, have agreed with me, but are worried that bringing the issues with the existing system may cause offense and ultimately cause Bob to leave. Other than being overly vested in a system he developed, Bob is an important part of our board and a very valuable member.
We’re already having a difficult time finding members to serve on the board so it’s very important that we don’t lose any existing board members. I’m hoping that I can convince the Bob to start supporting some Google docs objects on the site and try to wean him off his existing system to something a bit more manageable and collaborative that can be passed on to new members and maintained easily.
I don’t want this to turn into old dogs and new tricks. I’m not that far behind Bob in years and can appreciate the difficulty of being told it’s time to give in to something more modern. I’m wondering how the situation could be approached tactfully so maybe Bob will see how much easier a new system could be for everyone, including him.”
Read more of this story at Slashdot.
Activision, perhaps the biggest name in video games at the moment, has reported its financial results for Q3 2012, and as you’ve probably already guessed, they’re pretty darn great. The company brought in a GAAP net revenue of $ 841 million during the quarter, which up significantly from the $ 754 million in took in during Q3
If a copy of Nintendo Land, 32GB of internal memory and a black paint job weren’t enough for you to drop an extra $ 50 for the Wii U Deluxe Set, Nintendo’s hoping fresh details on its Deluxe Digital Promotion will further sweeten the pot. When deluxe console owners buy a game through the firm’s eShop or purchase a download code at a brick-and-mortar store, they’ll receive roughly 10 percent of the price in points. For example, gamers will net 599 points for a title with a $ 59.99 price tag. For every 500 points, users can snag a code redeemable for $ 5 in eShop credit useable on the Wii U or 3DS digital storefronts. The house that Mario built will keeping track of points between the system’s launch day and December 31st, 2014, but won’t issue credits until the promotion’s website launches sometime in December. Look out below for more details in the press release.
A series of initiatives are under way at SAP with the goal of bringing its business applications much closer to the ease of use and eye-catching visuals provided by consumer applications, particularly ones made amid the boom in mobile computing.
Americans won’t get to keep the Galaxy Rugby Pro all to themselves. As long as internal documents gleaned by MobileSyrup prove true, Bell should be carrying Samsung’s ruggedized 4G phone as the Galaxy Rugby LTE on November 1st. Other than the name change, it’s likely to be a match for the AT&T version down to the very wide frequency support we saw at the FCC, when it appeared as the SGH-i547. You’re looking at a modest 4-inch screen, 768MB of RAM and 5-megapixel rear camera, but also a quick 1.5GHz dual-core processor, Android 4.0 and that dust- and waterproof body. Pricing is an unknown, although the partly toned-down features imply that the Galaxy Rugby LTE will skew well below the $ 160 contract price for a Galaxy S III on Bell’s network.
Giorgio Maone writes “Ubuntu developer and fellow Mozillian Benjamin Kerensa chatted with various people about the new Amazon Product Results in the Ubuntu 12.10 Unity Dash. Among them, Richard Stallman told him that this feature is bad because:
1. ‘If Canonical gets this data, it will be forced to hand it over to various governments.’; 2. Amazon is bad. Concerned people can disable remote data retrieval for any lens and scopes or, more surgically, use sudo apt-get remove unity-lens-shopping.”
Read more of this story at Slashdot.
The cyberattacks never stop. The White House recently acknowledged that one of its own networks was the target of hackers and very nearly breached. Is e-mail the problem?
Those of us who’ve used a BlackBerry PlayBook will be familiar with the inevitable first-boot tutorials showing how to navigate the swipe-driven interface before we’re let loose. Thanks to a series of demonstration videos leaked by BlackBerryItalia, it’s apparent that we won’t escape that educational process on BlackBerry 10 devices, either. The four clips show the basics of what we know the gesture experience will be like on full-touch L-series phones, including the signature BlackBerry Peek to check notifications and the unified inbox. Anyone looking for a direct clue as to what production BlackBerry 10 hardware will entail might be frustrated, mind you — the rendered phone appears to be a placeholder rather than the L-series or a Dev Alpha B, and the device name is censored in an attempt to protect the source. That said, the clips provide a very straightforward explanation of the new interface concept and give us one more indication that RIM is closer to launch.
Earlier this year, we found out that Apple had purchased AuthenTec, a company that provides fingerprint scanning technology to many other companies around the world. At the time, it wasn’t clear what Apple was planning to do with AuthenTec, and while its intentions are still unknown for the most part, it seems that Apple isn’t
iPhone 5 owners may find that their spanking new smartphone produces photos considerably under the resolution expected, though it’s part of a plan for improved low-light performance not a malfunction. The new iPhone is capable of 8-megapixel stills from its sapphire-protected main camera, but some will turn out with roughly half that resolution thanks to an oversampling