Thursday, 31 March 2011

BlackBerry Touch / Monaco gets manhandled, said to get official in May

Our interest in the BlackBerry Touch (codename Monaco) was piqued when we first caught wind of the device, and we had a feeling it'd be making its way into the wild ever since one showed up in Verizon red around mid-Feburary. Now, BGR has managed to procure an unreleased prototype, and we've gotta say that we like what we're seeing. According to the pub, it should get official at BlackBerry World in May, and it'll run OS 6.1 underneath that 800 x 480-pixel screen. The new BB6 is said to use a BlackBerry ID in place of a PIN for certain key functions -- a necessary move for non-BB platforms rumored to be getting BBM (a historically PIN-based service). BGR also claims it won't be getting the Storm nomenclature, so we apologize in advance to the SurePress fanboys. Either way, we've got an inkling that we'll be hearing more as we get closer to May, but unfortunately our dreams of a super AMOLED-equipped Torch running stock Android with a BBM app will just remain figments of our imagination.

BlackBerry Touch / Monaco gets manhandled, said to get official in May originally appeared on Engadget on Thu, 31 Mar 2011 18:29:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Source: http://www.engadget.com/2011/03/31/blackberry-touch-monaco-gets-manhandled-said-to-get-official/

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Sprint dropping Galaxy Tab to $200 on contract starting April 3rd

An early prank this isn't. Based on our sources (and the pictorial evidence above), Sprint's fixing to whack a full Benjamin from the current $299.99 asking price on its Samsung Galaxy Tab starting on Sunday, making it one of the more affordable ways to get your hands on a 3G-enabled tablet of any kind -- let alone a Froyo-based slate that's received its fair share of compliments. Granted, the original Tab is aging at this point, and we still aren't sure we'd be down for selling our cellular soul for two years just to get a spiffy up-front discount, but hey -- at least you know the option awaits you. Oh, and if spending $429.99 sound a lot better than $199.99 in addition to 24 months of obligation, that'll apparently also be possible.

[Thanks, Anonymous]

Continue reading Sprint dropping Galaxy Tab to $200 on contract starting April 3rd

Sprint dropping Galaxy Tab to $200 on contract starting April 3rd originally appeared on Engadget on Thu, 31 Mar 2011 15:06:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Images leak out of Pentax NC mirrorless camera system, makes us long for summertime

At this point, we're guessing that it's just a matter of time before the likes of Pentax and Nikon toss their hat into the ever-expanding mirrorless camera ring, and at least for the former, it looks as if that could come sooner rather than later. If the (predictably grainy) image above is to be believed, the NC-1 is dangerously close to being ready for primetime, and according to leaked materials, it'll be the world's smallest mirrorless camera when it gets official in May / June. Purportedly, we'll find a 14 megapixel sensor and a pair of lenses to choose from -- an 8.5mm f/1.9 prime lens as well as a 5-15mm f/2.8-4.5 standard zoom. Crazier still, the NC system could be followed by a larger system in the summer, with that fellow sporting an APS-C sized sensor and compatibility with K-mount lenses. 'Course, we'd invite you to chase all of this with a dash of salt for now, but you can bet we'll be scrounging for more.

[Thanks, Andrea]

Images leak out of Pentax NC mirrorless camera system, makes us long for summertime originally appeared on Engadget on Thu, 31 Mar 2011 18:11:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Source: http://www.engadget.com/2011/03/31/images-leak-out-of-pentax-nc-mirrorless-camera-system-makes-us/

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Google Latitude for iOS adds check-in, Places goes multilingual

google latitude places maps iosAndroid users have been able to post Latitude check-ins via the Google Maps app for some time. Now, Google has brought the same functionality to its Latitude app for iOS. Being able to check-in at specific locations gives the app a much more social feel, and it's nice to be able to do more than track your friends' positions on a map.

Google has also delivered a massive internationalization update for the Google Places app. Version 1.1 now supports a total of 30 languages, and it adds a saved places feature which allows you to quickly access your favorite check-in locations while you're out and about. Your saved places will also sync with Maps and Hotpot.

Head to the App Store and grab the new Google Latitude and Google Places apps for your iOS device!

Google Latitude for iOS adds check-in, Places goes multilingual originally appeared on Download Squad on Tue, 22 Mar 2011 09:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Source: http://downloadsquad.switched.com/2011/03/22/google-latitude-for-ios-adds-check-in-places-goes-multilingual/

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Evigroup debuts Windows-based SmartPaddle tablet

It hasn't been all that long since France's Evigroup upgraded its "Paddle" tablet the Paddle Pro, but it's now already back with another model: the SmartPaddle. This one packs the same Atom N450 processor as before, along with an 11.6-inch capacitive screen, 2GB of RAM, a 64GB SSD, WiFI and 3G connectivity, and Windows 7 for an OS -- plus a Microsoft Arc keyboard, apparently. You'll also get the same head-tracking capabilities seen on the Paddle Pro, as well as a new 3D interface for Windows dubbed "Scale," which promises to make things a bit more tablet-friendly. Head on past the break for a video, and look for the tablet itself to set you back a hefty €1,290 (or about $1,820).

[Thanks, WMax]

Continue reading Evigroup debuts Windows-based SmartPaddle tablet

Evigroup debuts Windows-based SmartPaddle tablet originally appeared on Engadget on Wed, 30 Mar 2011 23:49:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Source: http://www.engadget.com/2011/03/30/evigroup-debuts-windows-based-smartpaddle-tablet/

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Delta E4 electric coupe goes out for a spin, carrying lucky humanoid (video)

When was the last time you rode in an electric vehicle almost entirely constructed of carbon fiber and good for 250 miles on a charge? We're laying odds on "never," which is why we turned a shade of violent green when we saw Fully Charged host (and part-time Series 4000 Mechanoid) Robert Llewellyn set foot in just such a car. Delta Motorsport's E4 Coupe, originally designed to win an Automotive X-Prize, is the vehicle we're referring to here, and despite the fact that only one-third of its full projected power was available to coax Mr. Llewellyn firmly into his racing seat (four-wheel drive and regenerative braking are also TBD) and set his teeth on edge, we have to give the man some major props for documenting the experience for us on film. Watch it after the break.

Continue reading Delta E4 electric coupe goes out for a spin, carrying lucky humanoid (video)

Delta E4 electric coupe goes out for a spin, carrying lucky humanoid (video) originally appeared on Engadget on Thu, 31 Mar 2011 08:13:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Source: http://www.engadget.com/2011/03/31/delta-e4-electric-coupe-goes-out-for-a-spin-carrying-lucky-huma/

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Useful keyboard shortcuts for Twitter.com

Twitter.com keyboard shortcuts
When Twitter.com unveiled its recent overhaul at the end of 2010, one of the least-discussed features was the addition of some excellent keyboard shortcuts.

Some keyboard shortcuts only work from some pages, but we'll mark those where appropriate.
  • n -- post a new status update (works from any page)
  • r -- reply to your selected tweet
  • t -- retweet (only works on Twitter profiles other than your own)
  • m -- direct message (but it doesn't auto-fill the recipient)
  • / -- move the cursor to the search box
  • . -- move back to the top of the page, and check feed for updates
  • g then h -- go to your home page (twitter.com)
  • g then r -- see your @ mentions
  • g then m -- see your direct messages
  • g then p -- go to your profile page (twitter.com/username)
  • g then u -- go to a specific user's profile page (it pops up a dialog box)
For a complete list of keyboard shortcuts, type ?.

Now, if you don't use Twitter.com (which is about 65% of Twitter's users), these keyboard shortcuts probably won't work. Every installed Twitter client has different keyboard shortcuts (and some don't have any at all). If you want to lessen your mouse hand dependency, your best bet is to simply head to Google and type the name of your client + "keyboard shortcuts".

For more tech tips, check our tips index.

Useful keyboard shortcuts for Twitter.com originally appeared on Download Squad on Fri, 18 Mar 2011 10:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Source: http://downloadsquad.switched.com/2011/03/18/useful-keyboard-shortcuts-for-twitter-com/

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Omnibox Site Search for Chrome googles your current website

chrome site search omnibox
You still can't sync custom search engines in Google Chrome, and that makes tasks like site-specific searches a pain. There are loads of extensions available which can handle the chore, of course, and one worth checking out is Omnibox Site Search.

Once installed, you simply type the letter s and press space to invoke a Google-powered site search for the domain you're currently visiting. The top five matches load in a flash, and you can also click through to Google via the top link for complete results. It's a fast, simple way to get results which are limited to a specific domain -- and as we know from experience, Google search is nearly always a lot better than most on-site search boxes.

Omnibox Site Search for Chrome googles your current website originally appeared on Download Squad on Mon, 28 Mar 2011 09:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Source: http://downloadsquad.switched.com/2011/03/28/omnibox-site-search-for-chrome-googles-your-current-website/

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Fruity nanofibers could make for super-strong plastics, banana-flavored body panels

Fruity nanofibers could make for super-strong plastics, banana-flavored carbon fiber
Carbon fiber is still the material of choice for high-end components that need lots of strength without a lot of weight, but wouldn't life be better if those components were made of pineapple? Apparently, yes. At least that's the case according to Brazilian scientists led by Alcides Leão, who have created so-called nanofibers from the pulp of various fruits, including pineapple leaves and coconut shells. These are processed down to create nano-scale threads that, when added to plastics, form a composite 30 percent lighter than carbon fiber yet three or four times stronger. Healthier, too. No word on when this stuff might be in full production, but we look forward to cradling our future fruit-based gadgets.

Fruity nanofibers could make for super-strong plastics, banana-flavored body panels originally appeared on Engadget on Wed, 30 Mar 2011 22:57:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Source: http://www.engadget.com/2011/03/30/fruity-nanofibers-could-make-for-super-strong-plastics-banana-f/

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HTML5 MP3 player lets you listen to your music library inside your browser

html5 browser mp3 audio player
While this slick little HTML5 audio player might not pack all of the features of your favorite desktop media application, it's still a very cool demonstration of what a Web app can do with access to local resources -- like MP3 and OGG files.

Just fire up http://antimatter15.github.com/player/player.html in your HTML5-compatible browser and browse to the topmost folder in your music library. The app will quickly build an index of all your tunes and let you start listening right inside your Web browser. Click on the filter library text, and you can enter a search string -- results load as you type.

There's a volume control, shuffle mode, play/pause control, and you can click and drag to skip forward or rewind during playback. As OMG! Ubuntu points out, you can even save the app to your hard drive and run it offline, which is pretty darn cool.

Not all browsers are equal when it comes to HTML5 implementation, of course. We found that Chrome worked the best, and Firefox was OK. It's also worth noting that this music player comes from the same developer that created one of our favorite restartless Firefox 4 add-ons, drag2up.

HTML5 MP3 player lets you listen to your music library inside your browser originally appeared on Download Squad on Wed, 30 Mar 2011 11:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Source: http://downloadsquad.switched.com/2011/03/30/html5-mp3-player-lets-you-listen-to-your-music-library-inside-yo/

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Wednesday, 30 March 2011

Ask DLS: Cross-platform multiplayer games that work on Android and iOS

askdls
Here's one for our knowledgeable commenters: I recently bought my girlfriend an iPad. I, on the other hand, own an Android device. And now we're looking for games we can play using both devices.

There's no dearth of multiplayer games either for Android or for iOS. But finding multiplayer games that can cross the platform boundary is an entirely different matter.

Jay recently posted Words with Friends which is one such game. It's actually an ideal example, because it's turn-based so you don't necessarily both have to be next to your device at the same time (great for long-distance gaming).

But what other examples are there? What multiplayer games are there that let iOS users play with Android users?

[Why am I now humming 'Ebony and Ivory'? -Ed]

Ask DLS: Cross-platform multiplayer games that work on Android and iOS originally appeared on Download Squad on Wed, 02 Mar 2011 14:45:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Source: http://downloadsquad.switched.com/2011/03/02/ask-dls-cross-platform-multiplayer-games-that-work-on-android-and-ios/

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Boxee details next Box update with iPad support and more in May

Boxee Box iPad app
We refuse to be surprised that the next Boxee Box update isn't actually arriving by the end of March, but just to tide us over CEO Avner Ronen has picked up his blogging pen and revealed many of the changes on the way. As mentioned on that Australian podcast, the browser will be faster, as well as a new on-screen display for FF/RW controls, options for sorting local files and additional language support. A smiley face is reserved for the news that support for Boxee for iPad will be included, before moving on to a list of bugs that will be stamped out. Early access users should expect to see test builds rolling out shortly, with plans for major updated to the Boxee Box (and "other Boxee based devices") every three months or so so we should expect this one in May -- no word on anything for the PC clients. Until then hit the source link for all the details or just relive our special CES hands-on time with Boxee for iPad in the gallery.

Boxee details next Box update with iPad support and more in May originally appeared on Engadget on Wed, 30 Mar 2011 15:38:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Source: http://www.engadget.com/2011/03/30/boxee-details-next-box-update-with-ipad-support-and-more-in-may/

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Internet Explorer 9: Speedy Google Chrome Competitor

Microsoft released Internet Explorer 9 late March 14. For anyone who's toyed around with the beta or Release Candidate, there's nothing wholly unexpected in the browser's final version. The bigger question now is whether its features--including a stripped-down interface and fairly deep integration with Windows 7's user interface--can entice users who would otherwise drift in the direction of Google Chrome and Firefox.

IE9 Image 1.jpg

The first thing you notice about IE9 is its absences. With this release, Microsoft has stripped out from the interface pretty much everything nonessential to power users and reduced the size and prominence of the remaining widgets. This helps bring Web content front-and-center, and it also invites comparisons to Chrome and its similarly less-is-more design.

In keeping with Microsoft's recent focus on integrating its various software assets to work together, IE9's most eye-popping features come in conjunction with Windows 7. These include the ability to drag-and-drop a Website tab to the Windows 7 taskbar, transforming it into an icon that can, when right-clicked, open up a "jump list" full of one-click links to that Website's most vital content.

Windows 7 users can also "Aero Snap" their browser windows to the left or right of the screen, which comes in handy when organizing multiple Websites or trying to view two Web pages side-by-side. I've played around with IE9 through multiple builds, on multiple PCs, and I've found that Aero Snap comes in particularly useful with a widescreen monitor; your own mileage, as always, may vary.

IE9 also leverages your PC's GPU and CPU, along with a revamped JavaScript engine named Chakra, to help speedily render rich Web content. Whether benchmarks and independent testing support Microsoft's claim that IE9 is their fastest browser ever, it certainly feels fast in practice, especially when displaying Websites thick with rich content.

IE9 image 2.jpgIE9 might work great with Windows 7, but its incompatibility with Windows XP effectively shuts off a wide swath of users from downloading the browser. In turn, those users will either gravitate toward a rival, such as Firefox, or stick with one of the antiquated versions of Internet Explorer that Microsoft is trying so desperately to kill off. Microsoft evidently hopes that Windows 7's adoption will continue at a fast enough pace to prevent this from becoming a major issue, although with 55.09 percent of PCs still running XP (according to analytics firm Net Applications), it could be some time before it's negated entirely.

IE9 is also compatible with Windows Vista, from which users are fleeing like first-class passengers from the Titanic.

This newest browser also comes with some nifty security features designed to assuage the paranoid and match its rivals' capabilities. InPrivate Browsing allows for Web surfing without leaving any traces that can be discovered later. The baked-in SmartScreen Filter evaluates potentially suspect Websites based on their reputation and notifies the user accordingly with pop-up windows and lists of suggested actions. Tracking Protection lets users decide which types of information they want viewable by third parties.

IE9 hits the market at a somewhat odd time for Microsoft. According to Net Applications, the company's share of the browser market currently stands at 56.77 percent, followed by Firefox at 21.74 percent, Google Chrome at 10.93 percent and Safari at 6.36 percent. For the Internet Explorer franchise, that represents a significant decline from the 68.46 percent it held in March 2009.

In other words, Microsoft is facing a slow but steady erosion in market share. Whether IE9 can help halt or even reverse that slide remains to be seen, but it's definitely a browser capable of going toe-to-toe with the latest versions of its rivals.


Source: http://feeds.ziffdavisenterprise.com/~r/RSS/MicrosoftWatch/~3/lN06KTTGD3Q/internet_explorer_9_speedy_google_chrome_competitor.html

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Watch-controlled robo-tot grasps small objects, the meaning of life (video)

It may seem like there's an abundance of robot news lately, but we're just trying to please our mechanical overlords deliver the latest in gadget and technology news. What we've got here is an Arduino-based robo-gripper that serves only to move around and use its 3D printed claws to grab tiny objects that we'd otherwise be too lazy to pick up ourselves. The robot, infused with a Texas Instruments CC1110 dev kit, is controlled using an accelerometer-based Chronos watch and can move in all directions by simply tilting the timepiece. If you want to take a gander at this little guy in action, check out the video past the break -- it's always warming to see humans having the upper hand against the machine.

Continue reading Watch-controlled robo-tot grasps small objects, the meaning of life (video)

Watch-controlled robo-tot grasps small objects, the meaning of life (video) originally appeared on Engadget on Wed, 30 Mar 2011 18:53:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Source: http://feeds.engadget.com/~r/weblogsinc/engadget/~3/eOzbBmmqnEU/

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