Archive for September, 2011

Windows Phone 7 Technical Preview

Microsoft’s new mobile OS, Windows Phone 7, is now in technical preview. We got a video tour of some of its key features, including the standard user experience.

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CirculaFloor Robotic VR Movement

Read more at translate.google.com and intron.kz.tsukuba.ac.jp

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Canonical Releases Windows Version of Ubuntu One

ubuntu-one

Canonical, the commercial backer behind the Ubuntu Linux distribution, have been hosting a file synchronization service called Ubuntu One for a couple years now. A free account gets you 5GB of storage, and the client side controls have been baked into the last couple of releases of the Ubuntu distribution. It works pretty much like Dropbox or similar services, but has been — until today — Linux-only.

In an announcement late last night, Canonical has revealed that there is now a Windows client for Ubuntu One, allowing you to access all your files from either Linux or Windows computers.

We have long received feedback from Ubuntu users regarding their evolving needs to manage all their content from a single, secure place across multiple platforms and devices. We’ve looked at many use cases, the most common being the Ubuntu user who is using more than one device or OS. Many people have to work in Windows or Mac environments, even if they prefer to use Ubuntu as their home desktop or OS of choice. Another case is enabling more opportunities for sharing across platforms. For example families using different operating systems in one household can use Ubuntu One as their central place to store all their music, documents, photos and share them easily with each other and friends.

Ubuntu One also offers a nifty music streaming service. For $ 4 per month, you get 20 GB of storage and the ability to stream music files from your account to your mobile device. The Ubuntu One app is available for iOS and Android, and Android devices get the added benefit of a controllable offline cache, allowing you to listen to your cloud-stored music without requiring a network connection. Neat stuff.



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Virgin Mobile announces LG Optimus Slider, sneakily postpones data throttling until 2012

Virgin Mobile was originally intending to celebrate the new month by flipping the switch on throttled data, but it decided to push those plans back and announce a couple new phones instead. The prepaid carrier announced the upcoming launch of the LG Optimus Slider (note: it’s not the Optimus Note) and the HTC Wildfire S in October and, in the same press release, nonchalantly mentioned that it would delay reducing throughput speeds for heavy users until sometime next year. No word on why this came about, but we’ll take good news whenever we can get it. The LG Optimus Slider is an Android 2.3 device with a 3.2-inch HVGA display, a 3.2MP camera and 1,500mAh battery, and will be available online beginning October 16th for $ 200 and in Sprint stores October 30th. The HTC Wildfire S will show up in silver at Best Buy and in white at Radio Shack starting October 23rd, and can be yours for $ 200 as well. We can imagine which announcement you’re most excited for. Check out both press releases in their glory after the break.

Continue reading Virgin Mobile announces LG Optimus Slider, sneakily postpones data throttling until 2012

Virgin Mobile announces LG Optimus Slider, sneakily postpones data throttling until 2012 originally appeared on Engadget on Fri, 30 Sep 2011 21:33:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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More Details On MIT’s “Artificial Leaf” (And Video)

20110929082446-1

Back in March, we heard about a breakthrough from MIT: an “artificial leaf” that produces pure oxygen and hydrogen gas, powered entirely by sunlight. The technology was described in yesterday’s edition of Science, and the team has released a video showing one of the devices in action.

I say device, but it’s really more of a material. There are no moving parts and it has no set shape or size. The leaf is semiconducting silicon, coated on one side with a special cobalt catalyst, discovered by the project’s Daniel Nocera in 2008, and on the other with a nickel-molybdenum-zinc alloy. Sunlight creates a current within the silicon, and the catalyst causes water molecules to split into gaseous H2 and O2, which rise off in bubbles from opposite sides of the leaf.

Take a look at the video. It’s not particular exciting, but it gives you an idea of what kind of conversion rate we’re talking about:

The gases could be isolated and stored in a fuel cell, which could provide power later and produce pure water as its exhaust.

Nocera and several other researchers formed a company, Sun Catalytix, to independently research, apply, and market the artificial leaves, and last year raised $ 9.5 million from Tata and other investors.

The leaf-like form factor is easy to demonstrate on a human scale, but there’s no reason why the “leaves” couldn’t be microscopic or enormous. The different use cases require much research and testing, however, which is likely what Sun Catalytix is working on at present. That and figuring out to do with the extra protons the process generates. They envision banks of these things powering houses and communities and storing the excess in tanks for sale or emergencies.

There’s more information at MIT’s news page, and, if you’re scientifically minded (and subscribe to the journals), the various papers listed on Sun Catalytix’s tech page.

[image credit: Dominick Reuter]



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FCC Fridays: September 30, 2011

We here at Engadget tend to spend a lot of way too much time poring over the latest FCC filings, be it on the net or directly on the ol’ Federal Communications Commission’s site. Since we couldn’t possibly (want to) cover all the stuff that goes down there, we’ve gathered up all the raw info you may want (but probably don’t need). Enjoy!

Phones

Read – Alcatel OneTouch 910A
Read – Fujitsu F02D
Read – Fusion Garage Grid 4
Read – Haier HG-M508
Read – Haier HG-Q100
Read – HTC PH39100 (Holiday)
Read – Huawei C8512
Read – Huawei G5510
Read – Huawei U2801
Read – Huawei U5100
Read – Huawei U8350
Read – Huawei U8600
Read – Huawei U8800 Pro
Read – LG L-01D
Read – LG T565
Read – Mobo KRAZE
Read – Motorola P56MD2
Read – Motorola WX306
Read – Nokia 603
Read – Samsung GT-B5510
Read – Samsung GT-I8150
Read – Samsung GT-I9220
Read – Samsung GT-P6810
Read – Sony Ericsson Xperia Active
Read – Virgin Mobile JukeB

Tablets and peripherals

Read – Huawei E173Z-6 USB stick
Read – Samsung GT-7300B
Read – ZTE Smart Tab 7
Read – ZTE Smart Tab 10

FCC Fridays: September 30, 2011 originally appeared on Engadget on Fri, 30 Sep 2011 19:11:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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iPad 2, Motorola Xoom, Samsung Galaxy: Drop Test Comparison

www.squaretrade.com In this video, we test The Motorola Xoom, Samsung Galaxy and the iPad 2 to see which of these devices survives a waist high drop. RESULTS: iPad 2: Suffers brutal screen damage. Motorola Xoom: Falls flat and hard since it’s heavier. Suffers brutal damage in line with the iPad 2 Samsung Galaxy: Survives drop with minimal screen damage. Smaller, lighter, and less surface area. PS We don’t cover intentional damage like you see in the video. Filmed and edited by Jeph Foust. www.jephfoust.com
Video Rating: 4 / 5

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Microsoft “Accidentally” Tags Chrome As Malware

fmatter3

Oh, Microsoft! You are so cunning. With IE market share plummeting and many users opting for “alternative” web browsers like Firefox and Chrome, your base of power is crumbling. We thought you would succumb to melancholy and accept your fate. But you had a plan all along. Clever girl.

Yes, Microsoft has found a way to staunch the hemorrhaging of its users to other browsers: label them as malware in the built-in Security Essentials suite!

Okay, I kid. It was just a minor mistake, and they corrected it immediately: “On September 30th, 2011, an incorrect detection for PWS:Win32/Zbot was identified. On September 30th, 2011, Microsoft released an update that addresses the issue.” The incorrect detection led to Chrome being removed and reinstall prohibited.

It actually brings up an interesting point, though. Seamless updates like Chrome’s are growing more popular, especially since many apps are essentially web services, and changes (mostly innocent) happen behind the curtain all the time. When it’s a local app, though, the process for authentication becomes more complicated.

Google shouldn’t have to wait for Microsoft to approve all its updates. But Microsoft needs to be vigilant and watch for unauthorized changes that may negatively affect the user. And while malicious programs are important to watch for, poorly secured ones can be just as dangerous.

Security was never simple, but it’s getting more complicated by the day and users have more choices and more exposure. Luckily, snafus like this one are pretty harmless and Microsoft, though I give them a hard time, is actually very responsive on this front.

Update: Google has some more information on their Chrome blog.



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