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  1. #1
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    Technology Thread

    I thought to create a thread concentrating on the day technology news and discussion ...

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    Samsung shamelessly steals the iPhone 3G design, again
    http://www.macgasm.net/2012/01/03/sa...=Google+Reader

    Today Samsung has announced the iPhone 3G Galaxy Ace Plus. The phone looks exactly like the iPhone 3G, and clearly illustrates Samsung’s game plan moving forward. Samsung’s product plan for 2012? Become an official Apple counterfeiter, and care not one iota about doing it.

    It’s official, Samsung is a honey-badger and couldn’t care less what the courts say, what international law says, or even what Apple claims. Samsung is completely content with stealing designs, commercials, and other creative from its competitors. Sadly, I say this while I sit here looking at my Samsung television, wondering exactly who they ripped off for that design. I guess my next TV will come from LG or Sony, or any other company not named Samsung.

    Having taken Samsung four years to pull off an iPhone 3G, one would think that they wouldn’t have bastardized the original design so much. I guess that’s giving Samsung too much credit, considering they copy to begin with.

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    Microsoft To Acquire Nokia's Smartphone Division?

    This rumour is not new, nor is it particularly earth-shattering. However, with Windows Phone 7 failing to make a dent in the market place, and Nokia's Lumia 800 not making huge waves either, the rumour's been taken out of the shed again: Microsoft is supposedly acquiring Nokia's smartphone division later this year. Stephen Elop will resign from Nokia shortly afterwards.This time around, the rumour's being rekindled by Eldar Murtazin, the Russian editor-in-chief of Mobile-Review.com. He has a pretty good track record regarding Nokia, and has often had very, very early access to device prototypes and other information. However, as always, a firm pile of salt should be readily available at all times when reading this.
    "Steve Balmer, Andy Lees and Stephen Elop, Kai Ostamo will meet in Las Vegas to finalize agreement about Nokia smartphone unit," he tweeted. The deal is apparently so that Microsoft also gets a few manufacturing plants, and, of course, an extensive patent portfolio. The Nokia name is set to disappear from the Microsoft smartphones that would follow from this acquisition.
    It would leave Nokia with its feature phone business, networking equipment, and an assortment of other activities. While many think this would mean the end of Nokia, I highly doubt it will be - the company is 140 years old, has survived multiple crises and product transitions (they started out as a paper company, after all). Nokia will survive, even without smartphones, but that doesn't make it any less tragic.
    This deal certainly wouldn't surprise me in the slightest. It's becoming ever more clear that all those naysayers were right, back when the Microsoft-Nokia deal was announced. Stephen Elop is a mole, with only one goal: to drive Nokia into the ground, so that Microsoft can swoop in and acquire the interesting parts for a relatively low price. The N9 demonstrated that Nokia did have an option besides the failing Windows Phone 7, and that the deal with Microsoft wasn't a necessity at all.
    We'll have to see how it all pans out over the course of 2012, but this doesn't seem like a crazy prediction. Sad.

  4. #4
    Mahdi's Avatar
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    I had the new Nexus in hands a couple of days ago....first Android I considered buying ever..

    problem with Android is that hardware and software development don't go hand in hand..

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    Roku media player shrinks again -- to an HDMI dongle

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    Roku announced a tiny dongle version of its Linux-based streaming player device, designed to plug directly into a TV's HDMI port. Due to ship in the fall, the "Roku Streaming Stick" will send its signals to -- and accept power from -- Mobile High Definition Link-enabled televisions, including some of Best Buy's Insignia models.

    Only six months after shrinking its Linux-based Roku media player boxes to 3.3 x 3.3 x 0.9 inches with the Roku 2, Roku has cranked up its miniaturization machine again to produce an even smaller, simpler model.

    Although Roku does not list the dimensions for the Roku Streaming Stick, it is said to be the size of a USB flash drive. Instead of being built around a USB port, however, it offers an HDMI port that plugs directly into its counterpart on an HDTV, says Roku.

    Roku Streaming Stick

    The Wi-Fi enabled device appears to lack any other ports, such as the microSD slots that grace all the Roku models except the latest, cheapest, $50 Roku LT. It's unclear whether the Roku Streaming Stick also sacrifices the Bluetooth connection, as does the LT model.

    Roku has accomplished its remarkable shrinking act by requiring TVs that have HDMI ports equipped with the new MHL (mobile high-definition link) technology. MHL lets the TV supply power to peripheral devices over HDMI in an approach similar to Power over Ethernet (PoE).

    Roku Streaming Stick ready to power up via an MHL-enabled HDMI port on an Insignia HDTV

    According to the MHL Consortium, MHL features a single HDMI cable with a five-pin interface, supporting 1080p HD video and digital audio transport while simultaneously powering mobile devices. The technology potentially "enables the TV remote to control ... [a] mobile phone and access its contents."

    MHL has been "adopted" by nearly 100 hardware and manufacturing vendors, according to Roku. These are said to include the MHL Consortium's joint founders: Nokia, Samsung, Silicon Image, Sony, and Toshiba. MHL is already supported by over a dozen devices, primarily Android smartphones, including the HTC Rezound, according to a list posted on Wikipedia.

    However, it might be easier finding an MHL-enabled smartphone than an MHL-ready TV. The possibly dated Wikipedia story says that only the Toshiba Regza WL800A LED TV and Samsung's UN55D8000YF and UN55D6300SF LED TV range are currently shipping with the technology.

    Some of Best Buy's Insignia brand TVs, however, will be available with MHL by the time the Roku Streaming Stick ships this fall, says Roku. The Roku device will be offered with the Insignia TVs, presumably as an extra-cost option.

    According to Roku, the Roku Streaming Stick can help TV manufacturers and their consumers keep up to date with "smart TV" functionality. While TVs generally have a lifespan of six to eight years, IPTV technology changes much more rapidly. Manufacturers who integrate such technology in their TVs run the risk of rapid obsolescence, argues Roku.

    "By moving the streaming platform to a stick that's easily replaceable, consumers no longer have to worry about their large-screen Smart TV becoming obsolete before its time," says the company.

    This would suggest that the Roku Streaming Stick will be at least as affordable as its manufacturer's current systems -- the $50 Roku LT is pictured at right, dwarfed by its remote controller. Roku, however, has not released pricing or other technical details.

    Like the other Roku devices, the Roku Streaming Stick will feature free, automatic software updates and channel enhancements, says Roku. Roku's lineup now incorporates more than 400 channels, including Netflix, Amazon Instant Video, Hulu Plus, Pandora, Angry Birds, and most recently, HBO GO.

    The $50 Roku LT, announced in October, joined three revised Roku 2 boxes released in July. Like the Roku LT, the $60 Roku 2 HD is limited to 720p playback. The Roku 2 XD ($80) moves up to 1080p, and the Roku 2 XS ($100) adds USB and Ethernet ports as well as a motion-control remote and Angry Birds. Presumably, the Roku Streaming Stick will support 1080p, although this was not made clear in the announcement.

    Stated Greg Peters, vice president at Netflix, "Roku is taking streaming innovation to the next level and giving consumers a seamless Smart TV experience. The Roku Streaming Stick allows us to deliver the Netflix experience found on the Roku platform to potentially any TV."

    Stated Kurt Scherf, vice president and principal analyst at Parks Associates, "The Roku Streaming Stick is a game changer for the Smart TV market. It takes the leading streaming platform and integrates into the TV in a way that no one has been able to do."

    Availability

    The Roku Streaming Stick will be available this fall, both bundled with an Insignia TV in retail or sold separately for consumers to use with their own MHL-enabled TVs, says Roku. More information should eventually appear at Roku's website.

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    BeagleBoard-xM The USB-powered BeagleBoard is a low-cost, fan-less single board computer that unleashes laptop-like performance and expandability without the bulk, expense, or noise of typical desktop machines. OMAP3530 processor highlights: Over 1,200 Dhrystone MIPS using the superscalar ARM Cortex-A8 with highly accurate branch prediction and 256KB L2 cache running at up to 600MHz OpenGLę ES 2.0 capable 2D/3D graphics accelerator capable of rendering 10 million polygons per second HD video capable TMS320C64x+ DSP for versatile signal processing at up to 430MHz USB power via complete chip-set with minimal additional power-consuming logic

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Playboy View Post
    BeagleBoard-xM The USB-powered BeagleBoard is a low-cost, fan-less single board computer that unleashes laptop-like performance and expandability without the bulk, expense, or noise of typical desktop machines. OMAP3530 processor highlights: Over 1,200 Dhrystone MIPS using the superscalar ARM Cortex-A8 with highly accurate branch prediction and 256KB L2 cache running at up to 600MHz OpenGLę ES 2.0 capable 2D/3D graphics accelerator capable of rendering 10 million polygons per second HD video capable TMS320C64x+ DSP for versatile signal processing at up to 430MHz USB power via complete chip-set with minimal additional power-consuming logic
    Beagel board has been around for a while and has great community around it ...

    The higher version of it is the panda board:
    http://pandaboard.org/


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    panda is out but beagle is less than half the size and half the price with similar capabilities.

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    Ubuntu TV has Unity-inspired UI, will ship on televisions by end of 2012

    http://www.theverge.com/2012/1/9/2693228/ubuntu-tv-has-unity-inspired-ui-will-ship-on-televisions-by-end-of

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    CES (Consumer Electronic Show) 2012 started in Las Vegas today with lots of new products and prototypes. It should be tons of news coming soon ....

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    Lenovo Thinkpad X1 hybrid with both windows and android (tablet) coming soon

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  12. #12
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    This is really cool:
    http://www.therestartpage.com/#

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    Asus reveals first 7" tablet with four cores, at "magic" $249 price

    At yesterday's NVIDIA press conference here at CES, Asus took the stage to talk about using NVIDIA's quad-core Tegra 3 mobile processor in its tablets. Fans of Asus's Tegra 3-powered Transformer Prime tablet will be thrilled to know that the 10-inch device will have an Android 4 ("Ice Cream Sandwich") update pushed out beginning Wednesday.
    But the real news came when ASUS CEO Jerry Shen showed off an upcoming 7 inch tablet dubbed the EeePad Memo (pronounced "MEE-moh"), which runs Ice Cream Sandwich on a Tegra 3 processor, has an "incredible" rear-facing camera, and features a "magical" price. That price? $249.
    Different strokes

    NVIDIA CEO Jen-Hsun Huang talked a lot about how the many form factors in the Android ecosystem is a distinct advantage over the competition (read "iPad.") "Though the Camry is the most popular car, we don't all drive one," he said. "One size doesn't fit all; different strokes for different folks."
    The fragmentation of the Android platform has been largely overcome by Android 4.0, according to Huang. Being able to run on smartphones, folios, tablets, and "transformers" will create "one enormous installed base for developers," he said. "We expect this to be a big shift in how people think about Android devices."
    Huang said that Asus's Transformer Prime tablet running ICS is his "favorite tablet, and my favorite computer." Though the tablet launched with the tablet-only version of Android known as "Honeycomb," Huang said that Asus and NVIDIA engineers have been working around the clock for weeks to build a version of ICS for the Transformer Prime and that Google gave the release a "thumbs up" on Tuesday. An Asus representative told Ars that the update should begin rolling out as an OTA update on Wednesday, slightly ahead of schedule.


    Asus CEO Shen, whom Huang credited with creating the modern motherboard market as well as the netbook and transformable tablet form factors, then pulled out an early sample of what Asus is calling the EeePad Memo. The 7 inch, 16:9 widescreen tablet includes a quad-core Tegra 3 processor, the "best" tablet camera, and will ship with Android 4.0.
    The price? "We want to achieve magic priceŚ$249!" Shen said. A firm ship date wasn't announced, but the tablet should be available in the first half of 2012.

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    Fierce competition on the road to the $1,000 genome

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    Although the focus on CES is on consumer technology, it's not unusual to see announcements for products that companies will use to provide services to consumers. Even by that standard, one of the announcements made at the show this year was rather unusual, since it was for a consumer service that's not quite there yet: personal genomics. Right now, two companies are pushing hard to become the first to be able to produce a human genome for $1,000.

    The first is Ion Torrent, now part of the Life Technologies conglomerate. We covered their sequencing technology back when they were a startup. In short, it copies DNA one base pair at a time and registers which base was added by a silicon chip. Each chip is an array of sensors, with each sensor reading the results from a small population of identical DNA molecules. (The use of a population is important, because it cuts down on the noise and error rate. Things can go wrong with one molecule, but the problem will be swamped out by the signal from all the molecules that do the right thing.)

    Ion Torrent has a few big advantages. It's compact, since most of the action takes place on a chip, and we know how to make very small chips. It's cheap, since the hardware only has to feed reaction materials to the surface of the chip. And it's fast, since the chip reads all of the reactions in parallel. The net result is that its hardware is about the size of laser printer and costs in the $50,000-$150,000 range, depending on the model. That's on the edge of affordability for individual research labs, and it's cheap enough that a medical practice might consider getting one. That latter market is what Ion Torrent has been targeting, offering kits that will produce a sequence from a few hundred genes associated with human diseases or cancers.

    The company's literature claims it can benefit from Moore's Law in order to keep producing more sequences from the same hardware, but that's a bit of a marketing white lie. Ultimately, the size will be limited by the fact that each sensor on the chip has to be linked to a single population of DNA molecules that are fed reaction materials. All of that will take up space, so ultimately, the chips will have to get bigger in order to run more reactions in parallel. Right now, the company is upping its capacity by both increasing the chip size and increasing the density of reactions on the chip.

    The chip that will bring Ion Torrent close to the $1,000 genome goal will only run on the company's newer, larger, and more expensive hardware. And that hardware is being released with a lower capacity sensor at the moment. There's a chip planned for early next year that will do a draft quality version of a human genome in less than a day. The best an Ion Torrent machine can currently offer is about a Gigabase (one billion base pairs) per run, which is only about a third the size of the human genome, and 60 times less than what's need for a draft genome.

    Right now, however, Ion Torrent is well behind the market leader, Illumina, when it comes to cost and throughput. Illumina's technology works somewhat differently, as it relies on the addition of bases carrying a fluorescent tag to a small population of DNA molecules. After each base is sent through the chamber containing the DNA molecules, everything grinds to a halt while lasers scan the entire area. This has to happen four times (once each for A, T, C, and G) to read a single base pair on a DNA molecule. Completing this for a single, 200 base pair read literally takes days. On the plus side, Illumina packs more reads into a single machine than anyone else.

    The support equipment for this is pretty significant—about the size of a typical closet—and expensive. Most of Illumina's machines cost well over $500,000, limiting them to dedicated DNA sequencing facilities. But the initial investment pays off in that a single Illumina run can provide massive amounts of data at a lower cost than Ion Torrent. While the newest Ion Torrent chips promise a Gigabase in a few hours, Illumina has announced hardware that produces 120 times that in just over a day. Let it run for several days, and it will extend that out to 600 Gigabases. (The human genome is about 3 Gigabases long.)

    This time last year, Illumina introduced a smaller piece of hardware that was priced and sized about the same as the newest Ion Torrent hardware. It's still much slower, but its capacity has now been upped to 7 times that of the Ion Torrent machine—still not enough to even produce a draft-quality read of the human genome.

    A few things seem clear. The first $1,000 human genome will almost certainly be done on a large Illumina machine, but the capacity of the machine will be so large that a dozen or more additional genomes will be done at the same time. The more interesting competition, in the long term, will be in the table-top hardware, where lower cost and higher speed mean that they can be used in a lot of additional contexts, like hospitals and medical practices.

    There are two wildcards in all of this. One is that there are a couple of companies out there with radically different sequencing technologies. Right now, they either have no hardware on the market, or the hardware they do have isn't competitive. But the very different nature of the technology makes future progress difficult to predict. The other wildcard is storage and processing time. Six hundred Gigabases every week means filling up a 3TB drive in a month, and the price per Gigabase has been dropping much more quickly than the price per Gigabyte for several years now. Plus, all that data has to be heavily processed before it can be used for any sort of medical or biological analysis. In the end, the price of computing and storage may start putting a floor on the plunging cost of sequencing.

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    Gaming Tablet PC


 

 

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