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Showing posts from February 24, 2013

Curiosity rover to stay in 'safe mode' for days while NASA tackles Problem

NASA's Curiosity rover has mostly had smooth sailing since it touched down on Mars last year. Unfortunately, it's in a more precarious position as of this past Thursday. After noticing corrupted memory files on the robot's primary computer, overseers have kicked Curiosity into a "safe mode" with a backup computer while they determine what's wrong and deliver any viable fixes. Don't think of this like you would the Safe Mode on a Windows PC, though. While the backup can serve as a replacement for the main computer, project manager Richard Cook warns that it will likely take "several days" to supply enough information that the failsafe can take over. NASA will switch back to the main computer if and when it's ready; if it is, the agency hopes to harden the code against future flaws. Curiosity will effectively stay on ice in the meantime... and not the variety it might want to find.

Polaroid to make Socialmatic Camera a reality for fans of Instagram

  Instagram owes its distinctive identity to Polaroid's OneStep cameras; it's now time to return the favor. Socialmatic has signed a deal for a production, Polaroid-branded version of its 2012 Socialmatic Camera concept you see above, which translates the mobile app's retro icon to a real-world, instant-print shooter. While technical details are scarce, the agreement will see accessory maker C&A Marketing build and sell the design sometime in the first quarter of 2014. If the finished Polaroid work is anything like the concept, it could be more than a novelty with its interchangeable lens system, 4.3-inch touchscreen, Bluetooth, WiFi and 16GB of storage. We don't know if the camera will ship with Android, but we hope it does -- there would be an appropriately Xzibit-like aspect to running Instagram on top of an Instagram-shaped camera.

Fujitsu makes 'smart walking stick' to help elderly

   The stick has an LED display showing the which direction to go A walking stick with built-in sat-nav has been developed by Japanese technology giant Fujitsu. The Next Generation Cane is designed to help elderly people find their way, as well as monitor things such as heart rate and temperature. Its location can also be followed online - and can be set up to send email alerts if it thinks the user may have fallen over. Technology for the elderly is a key concern for Japan's ageing population. Fujitsu, like several companies in the region, is looking at ways to help us remain mobile and connected later into our lives - potentially extending our ability to keep on working. The prototype device, shown off at Mobile World Congress (MWC) in Barcelona, is equipped with various connection technologies such as GPS, 3G and wifi - and has an LED display on top of the handle. If a change of direction is needed, the walking stick vibrates

Nokia: How Lumia’s future is sharper than Glass

Are wearables like Google Glass the inevitable future for smartphones? Not if you ask Nokia, where simply floating a display in your line of sight doesn’t quite satisfy the self-imposed “head up” challenge its designers and engineers are facing. The evolution of Lumia isn’t just bigger displays or faster chips, it’s a new way of interacting with the digital world. SlashGear sat down with Jo Harlow, EVP of Smart Devices, Marco Ahtisaari, EVP of Design, and Stefan Pannenbecker, VP of Industrial Design at Mobile World Congress this week to talk “people versus robots”, rolling back the clock on convergence, and how the Finns want to pry our eyes away from smartphone screens, even if we’re looking at a Lumia. Spend any time talking future tech to Nokia’s executives, and you realize there are two themes running through their predictions. First, and perhaps most familiar to most industry watchers, there’s the relentless advance of sensors and the complexity of devices,

Bing Maps updated with 13 million square kilometers of updated imagery

Microsoft has announced that Bing Maps has received a major update, with in excess of 13 million square kilometers of satellite imagery being updated. With the updates, the base satellite imagery is now comprised of 15 meters per pixel, giving a high-resolution look at the world from the comfort of your laptop or mobile device. With the updated resolution, users can now zoom in to Top of the World imagery to a 13x level, at which point further zooming will pull up high-resolution satellite images. More detail is also visible in certain locations now thanks to cloud reduction, which removes clouds from locations where they are often present, revealing the details below them. The base satellite imagery was provided by TerraColor, while bathymetric imagery has also been added, which is basically underwater topography. Because of this, oceans no longer look like endless blue swatches of water, but instead have coloring to indicate depths and mounds of the ocean floo

HGST unites nanoimprints, self-assembling molecules to double hard drive space

Hard drive makers are in a race to boost capacities and keep spinning disks at least a beat ahead of flash drives on the value curve. We've seen some  exotic developments  as a result, but  HGST  wants to go the extra mile by relying on two breakthroughs at once. Its future storage primarily takes advantage of self-assembling polymer molecules that align themselves into rows. By first splitting the molecules into very small lines and then using an equally rare nanoimprinting technology to put them into circular tracks, HGST can create platters with a 10 nanometer-wide bit pattern that's twice as dense as current hard drives. The technique should hold up in the real world despite ditching typical  photolithography , the company says: the nanoimprinting remains useful in the error-prone world of storage, and it should scale as the patterns get smaller. If only the drive designer had a roadmap -- while the company has a tendency to bring its research to market, the lack of a

Charge your Mobile from water? ITS TRUE

What? Charge your phone using water? It might sound like madness, but it’s real. All you have to do is open up one end of this charger, pour in one tablespoon of water, then plug in your mobile. And hey presto, the water powers a fuel cell which provides charge to your phone. Unlike solar-powered devices it provides instant power, and doesn’t rely on good weather. Not only that, it’ll charge anything that uses USB, so your tablet, laptop, camera… anything is sorted. All you need is a tap, or water bottle. A true lifesaver.  What is This amazing Thing- FC PowerTrekk is a portable fuel cell charger for use by outdoor enthusiasts who spend time away from the electricity grid. PowerTrekk provides instant power anywhere to electronic equipment such as mobile phones, digital cameras and GPS devices. FC PowerTrekk is a 2-in-1 solution that is both a portable battery pack and fuel cell. The portable battery pack can be operated on its own as a ready source of power or
3-D Printed Car Is as Strong as Steel, Half the Weight, and Nearing Production   Picture an assembly line not that isn’t made up of robotic arms spewing sparks to weld heavy steel, but a warehouse of plastic-spraying printers producing light, cheap and highly efficient automobiles. If   Jim Kor’s dream is realized, that’s exactly how the next generation of urban runabouts will be produced. His creation is called the Urbee 2 and it could revolutionize parts manufacturing while creating a cottage industry of small-batch automakers intent on challenging the status quo. Urbee’s approach to maximum miles per gallon starts with lightweight construction – something that 3-D printing is particularly well suited for. The designers were able to focus more on the optimal automobile physics, rather than working to install a hyper efficient motor in a heavy steel-body automobile. As the Urbee shows, making a car with this technology has a slew of beneficial side effects. Jim Kor is the engi
Apple CEO promises investors 'great stuff' to come   A pple CEO Tim Cook sought to assure shareholders Wednesday that the company is working on some "great stuff" that may help reverse a sharp decline in its stock price. True to Apple's secretive nature, Cook didn't provide any further product details during the company's annual shareholders meeting Wednesday. There has been speculation that Apple is working on an Internet-connected watch or TV, while one shareholder recommended that Apple develop a computerized bicycle. Cook, an avid bicyclist, chuckled at the suggestion, along with the rest of the audience. Apple's stock fell $5.20, or 1.2 percent, to $443.77 in afternoon trading Wednesday. Wednesday's meeting at Apple Inc.'s Cupertino, Calif., headquarters was less celebratory than the events in past years, when Apple's stock price was soaring to the delight and enrichment of its shareholders. Since hitting an all-t
TED 2013: Uchek app tests urine for medical issues  A smartphone app that uses a phone's camera to analyse urine and check for a range of medical conditions has been shown off at the TED (Technology, Education and Design) conference in Los Angeles. Uchek tests for 25 different health issues and could help diagnose and treat diseases in the developing world. Increasingly mobile health is being talked up as a lifesaver in such areas. The app is the brainchild of TED fellow Myshkin Ingawale.  "I wanted to get medical health checks into users' hands," he told the BBC. Urine can be tested for the presence of 10 elements - including glucose, proteins and nitrites. These can be used to pinpoint a range of conditions including diabetes, urinary tract infects, cancers, liver problems as well as being used to keep track of general health.Users need to collect their urine and dip a standard test strip into it . The strip is placed on a mat -
Huawei Ascend G710 reportedly spied touting a 5-incher, 720p screen   Evleaks has spotted what's purported to be the Ascend G710, a not-quite-high-end smartphone that would sit just below the Ascend D2. While it would preserve the 5-inch screen and 1.5GHz quad-core processor, it would dip to a 720p resolution. There's hints that it may be more a step sideways, however, through some less performance-minded changes: the G710 would have a premium-looking metal (or metal-effect) back, free up screen real estate with capacitive navigation buttons and talk to both CDMA and GSM networks. When the camera, storage and the all-important launch plans are still missing, though, there's a long way to go before we know where this latest Ascend might sit in Huawei's catalog.
Astro Gaming officially unleashes A30 & A40 PC editions, drops prices   Astro Gaming's A40 headset and Mixamp Pro have generally gotten yearly revisions, but the portability-inclined A30 hasn't received the same love since its inception. That's officially changed this week, as the company's announced its 2013 PC editions (standalone versions) of the A30 and A40 stereo headsets are now available. Although the new units began shipping with the company's Mixamp-packing Audio System bundles last November, this is the first time it's really blasting the airwaves about the A30's revision. Both editions feature re-tuned drivers touting better response for bass and cleaner output, along with a re-tooled approach to the quick disconnect cables and a new media cable with a revised inline remote and mic. The revised cabling setup allows 3.5mm cables to plug directly into the headsets, making for easier replacements and swapping (previous versions
LG reveals Optimus L3II worldwide When LG took the wraps off of its Optimus L-Series II family of phones only the L7II had any launch details attached to it. Now the company say its smaller L3II will debut in Brazil this week with other unspecified Central / South American, European, Asian Middle Eastern and African markets on deck. Bucking the bigger-is-better / more-power trend, the 3.2-inch handset contains just a Snapdragon S1 CPU and 512MB of RAM to push its Android Jelly Bean software and a QVGA res screen. If the combination of dual-SIM capability, smaller size and budget-friendly specs appeal to you (and it's headed to your area) check out our hands-on experience from earlier this week at Mobile World Congress for more information.
MYO’s gesture control armband promises to let you “unleash your inner Jedi”  By offering the ability to wirelessly control your smartphone or computer via gestures. It does this by detecting the electrical activity in your arm muscles as you move and responding accordingly. The device is now available for pre-order with shipping slated for late this year.The MYO is a one-size-fits-all armband that is turned on and off via a hand gesture said to be unique enough to avoid accidental activation. Once on, users can control their computer or mobile device by a combination of gestures and arm movements, with the band being able to detect both. MYO reports that the device can detect subtle movements, as well as keeping track of where the user’s hand and arm is at for precise control. MYO boasts that the armband is so fast, it can react to the electrical signal in the muscle a moment before the gesture is completed, making it seem as if the device is reading your min

Angry Birds Toons - a brand new cartoon series premiering on March 16 & 17!

 Rovio's wildly popular game is now an animated series that lets viewers watch what is happening "deep in the heart of Piggy Island." First it was stuffed animals, then T-shirts, and now it's a cartoon Web series -- the Angry Birds franchise just continues to grow. Rovio announced today that the first episode of the weekly Angry Birds cartoon show, "Angry Birds Toons," is set to air on March 16. Viewers will be able to watch what is happening "deep in the heart of Piggy Island" and find out whether those merciless piggies ever get hold of the birds' eggs.The game maker hinted at turning the wildly popular game into an animated series last April. In addition to the cartoon, the company has also said that an Angry Birds movie is in the works, which is expected to debut in the middle of 2016. It seems Rovio's overall goal is to transform from a gaming company to an entertainment company. Zynga is also getting into the entert
IE 10: Microsoft rolling out For Win 7 Also Before Tuesday, if you wanted to explore the browsing improvements Microsoft touted in Internet Explorer 10, you had to get your hands on Windows 8. The company, however, will soon be rolling out IE 10 to those with the previous version of Windows, potentially starting a new round of browser battles while letting PC users enjoy better security, faster page-loading times and enhanced developer support. -To See more Click HERE In what could be a boost for Microsoft in the browser wars, the company on Tuesday began offering Internet Explorer 10 to Windows 7 users, giving them the same enhanced Web surfing features previously available only to those who had access to Windows 8. The company will automatically update Windows 7 users' browsers in 95 languages over the next few weeks, beginning with those running the IE 10 Release Preview. "I'm excited that Microsoft has finally seemed to have gotten the point that they n
Adobe outs Photoshop Touch for phones, ready to outfit pockets for $4.99 Jealous about your mates' ability to edit photos and whatnot via their mid-sized slates? Well, Adobe has just announced a solution that's ready to equip your handset of choice. That's right, the pro design software outfit added Photoshop Touch for phones that wields "core" Photoshop capabilities, Scribble Selection and supports those high-res snapshots. The app also sports Camera Fill and other special effects alongside the option to share creations via Facebook, Twitter, email and other applications. Creative Cloud access is here as well, with auto syncing across a device arsenal and a free 2GB storage account to boot. For iOS, you'll need an iPhone 4S, 5th-gen iPod touch or later to get in on the action while the Android version requires Ice Cream Sandwich. Ready to take the leap? A $5 purchase from iTunes or Google Play stands between you and slic
Kyocera DuraPro keeps the flip phone alive on US Cellular, Available at $100 The rumors of the basic cellphone's death have been greatly exaggerated -- it's just finding niches to hide in while smartphones take over the mainstream. Witness today's launch of the Kyocera DuraPro on US Cellular. Although it's just a flip phone, it meets the US military's 810G specs for dust, shock, temperature and water resistance, all of which help it survive a rough workplace or an accidental splash at the beach. That and a loud speakerphone are the real highlights, although you will get microSD support and a 3.2-megapixel camera for your trouble. Do the math before you pick up a DuraPro in-store on February 28th, though. At $100 on contract after a $50 rebate, it's carrying smartphone-level pricing that could steer some buyers away from its retro rugged chic.
Flexible displays are the Future of IT Industry! A part from 4k and smart home appliances, the CES 2013 saw a lot of attention being drawn towards bendable, flexible displays. The elasticised display idea isn’t something new as we have seen hoards of device concepts being crafted around flexible, bendable and even foldable displays. These concept devices give us a futuristic feel, be it a flexible phone to be worn around the wrist or a phone that opens up to turn into a tablet or PSP-like device. But how far is this future? Nokia has been toying with the idea ever since we remember. The technology sounds very fascinating and the possibilities and the extent to which bendable displays could be used are vast and leave us spellbound. However, these have always been concepts and we haven’t seen any device materialise in the real world. There have been several technologies that were conceived in these years and all have been put to their practical use. But the bendable d
Indian rocket puts 7 satellites including the Nexus-One powered STRaND-1 in orbit A n Indian rocket successfully placed into orbit seven satellites including one with an Nexus One onboard yesterday. The satellites included the Indo-French satellite SARAL, the world's first smartphone-operated nano satellite STRaND-1, a space telescope satellite and four other foreign satellites. The rocket — Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle-C20 (PSLV-C20) — hurtled towards the skies on Monday evening, ferrying the seven satellites together weighing 668.5 kg. President Pranab Mukherjee witnessed the first of the 10 space missions planned by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) for 2013 and also the country's 101st space mission. At around 18 minutes into the flight PSLV-C20 spat out SARAL satellite. The following four minutes saw the rocket ejecting six satellites in their intended polar orbit. Immediately on the successfully ejection of the seven satellites, scientists at
Sony Mobile has 'an ambition' to launch Firefox OS device in 2014       Despite what your feelings may be about Firefox OS, various OEMs and carriers are clearly content with having more options to explore. The latest outfit appears to be Sony's Mobile entity, which, earlier today, announced it had reached multi-year deal with Telefónica which will "explore the development" of a device running Mozilla's novel operating system. What's more, Deputy Chief Executive Officer and Head of Products Business Group, Bob Ishida, says Sony Mobile engineers are already working on a project with the new mobile OS on the block, adding that the eventual goal is to "bring a product to market in 2014." Now, whether we'll see higher-end slabs than some of the ones we've experienced thus far, well, dear readers, that remains to be seen. Sony Mobile and Telefónica reinforce partnership with multi-year commercial and technical collaboration Tel
 Touchscreen experience to your Windows 8 machine by adding  Portronics Handmate Pen Portronics Handmate Windows 8 Pen is one of those nifty little devices that seem too good to be true when you first read about them. It promises to turn any Windows 8 laptop into a touchscreen device, letting you experience the joys of owning one of those 'hybrid' devices at fraction of the cost. But does it work? Let's find out. Setting up the Handmate Windows 8 Pen is simple - just connect it to any available USB port on your Windows 8 laptop and fix the receiving unit on one of the edges of the screen, about halfway from the top. Go to Control Panel to calibrate the screen (the device comes with instructions on where exactly to go) and a barely a minute later, you are good to go. We hooked up the device to a HP Windows 8 laptop, but any standard Windows 8 machine should do. Put in the batteries into the pen-shaped stylus and start operating your Windows 8 device by touching
Samsung Galaxy Camera gets a price cut! Samsung has slashed the price of its Android-based Galaxy Camera in India. The camera was launched in India last November carrying a price tag of Rs. 29,900. The company now decreased the price to Rs. 26,500, with some online retailers selling the camera on a further discount. The Samsung Galaxy Camera features a 16.3-megapixel sensor with a f/2.8 aperture and 23mm-480mm lens that has 21x of optical zoom. Under the hood, the camera is powered by a 1.4GHz quad-core Exynos processor, as found in the Galaxy S III smartphone. It features a 4.8-inch S-LCD display with a resolution of 1280×720 pixels translating into 308 ppi. The camera also supports 3G connectivity via a micro-SIM but does not have calling features. The camera comes with 8GB of internal storage, 32GB of expandable memory with microSD support. Connectivity options include 3G (HSPA+ 21Mbps), HDMI 1.4, WiFi a/b/g/n, WiFi HT40, Bluetooth 4.0 and GPS. Apart from this, th
Acer launches 16GB Iconia B1 Android tablet for €139 Acer's low-end  Iconia B1-A71  Android tablet made its debut at CES 2013, packing a dual-core 1.2GHz Mediatek processor and 8GB of internal storage. A few months later here at MWC, the company is introducing a 16GB model of the 7-inch  Jelly Bean  slate, and it's on sale immediately for €139 (compared to €119 for the 8GB version). The higher storage capacity is the real story here; otherwise, you're looking at the same 1,024 x 600 display, 0.3-megapixel camera and lightweight plastic build. Like the version announced at CES, the B1 is available in Africa, Europe and the Middle East but not North America. Cruise past the break for the press release. Press Release:  BARCELONA (Feb. 24, 2013) –  Acer today announced the expansion of the Iconia B1-A71 tablet with a16GB version. First announced at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) as 8GB version, the Iconia B1-A71 is targeted at young or new users or famili
Samsung Galaxy Note 8.0 :an 8-inch S Pen tablet that's also a phone    An updated, larger Galaxy Note from Samsung was inevitable. Given the undeniable popularity of mid-size tablets (see: Apple iPad mini), it's no surprise the Korean electronics giant would want to strengthen its foothold in a category it helped create. It was just three short years ago that Samsung introduced the Galaxy Tab and now, three Notes later, it's ready to perfect the one-handed experience. With this new Note, the company's culled the best of what's around its Galaxy into an 8-inch form factor, housing a 1,280 x 800 TFT display, Exynos 4 Quad with 2GB RAM (clocked at 1.6GHz), TouchWiz-skinned Android Jelly Bean 4.1.2 OS, S Pen (and suite of associated apps), as well as radios for HSPA+ and WiFi into that familiar, lightweight plastic body. But that extra inch alone isn't the Galaxy Note 8.0's main attraction. Samsung's wisely made use of the additional scre