Posts Tagged ‘flaws’
The past 24 hours have been quite a ride, eh? We’ve seen just how easy it can be to pilfer goods from an Apple store, discovered that there’s yet another internet security flaw and Cupertino has a fix for the latest version of iOS’ problems. However,…
Acer has a new Chromebook that’s looking for the crown among affordable, minimal laptops – The Chromebook 13, which boasts a 13-inch display as per its name, albeit with unique high-definition display options that set it apart from some of the competition. With HD screens and battery life that ranges between 11.5 and 13 hours depending on which model you choose, Acer’s new… Read More
Gigabyte was definitely feeling take on when it unveiled the & pound; 857, 11.6-inch X11 Ultrabook earlier this year. Appearing soon before the arrival of Windows 8, it straddles two OS life cycles, with an attribute set that’s more faithful to Windows 7 than to the touch-centric future. Still, with a Core i5 Ivy Bridge CPU, 4GB of RAM and a 128GB SSD, the existing owner of the “world’s thinnest Ultrabook” title is specced to compete– and, as you ‘d imagine, this is a quick and powerful little device. But has Gigabyte sacrificed engaging features to accomplish the X11’s extra-skinny frame? Join us after the break to find out if this unit, just readily available outside US, is worth the import costs.
Many of my Kickstarter dreams have come tumbling down in disappointing or non-shipping products, which isn’t a knock against the site; that’s a risk I fully accept and take with every project. But without a doubt, the Hidden Radio Bluetooth speaker was one I was really looking forward to. Now, I’ve spent some time with it, and I find myself with mixed feelings about this portable audio accessory.
Since the Hidden Radio first debuted on Kickstarter way back in November, a lot has changed in the world of portable device speakers. Things have gotten better; a lot better, in fact, with stuff like Jawbone’s Big Jambox coming along and basically making everyone fall in love with it. For the Hidden Radio, long overdue according to its original manufacturing timeline, and with specs that in some areas actually fall short of those originally promised, time has not been good for this little upstart. But it is a capable, and for now, cheaper alternative to some of the market leaders.
- 15-hour battery life.
- Works with both wired and wireless connections.
- Omni-directional speaker ensures 360-degree sound coverage.
- Good-looking piece of kit.
- Sound quality is not segment-leading.
- Volume control gimmick is cute, but turning it down also muffles audio in a way that software volume reduction doesn’t.
Let’s start with the Hidden Radio’s strengths: it’s a very good-looking device, one that can live happily among a variety of decors, and one that feels particularly at home with Apple hardware. I’ve got the matte black version, and in both closed and open mode, it’s beautiful (check out the gallery below). Plus the design is sensible: when the cap is twisted shut, power is locked off and the speaker grille itself is protected from the elements. The columnar shape is also fairly compact and portable, though it might be less portable (and is definitely less rugged) than say, a Phillips ShoqBox.
The other notable part of the design is the grippy pad on the bottom, which is designed to hold the Hidden Radio in place as you twist the cover open and shut to control power and volume. That part performs its task well, though as you can see in the gallery photos below, the grippy portion picks up dirt and dust very easily and will require frequent cleaning to maintain its stickiness.
The bottom does have one major failing though: in what looks like an effort to keep things ‘hidden,” the ports for both microUSB (charging) and 3.5mm stereo input are housed in a recessed circular crevice in the bottom of the device. It’s nice for keeping things out of the way in theory, but in practice it’s very difficult to get the microUSB cable in and out, and I’m not sure the aesthetic benefits outweigh the drawbacks.
The Hidden Radio originally promised 30 hours of battery life for streaming music. It ships with 15, which is good, but obviously not as good. That 15 hours still puts it on par with the Big Jambox, and better by five hours than the more size-comparable original Jambox. Hidden also promised Bluetooth speakerphone functionality, which both the Jambox and Big Jambox offer, but that didn’t make it to the final product. An FM radio is included, but not the promised AM/FM capabilities. It’s understandable that reality would cause some changes, but when a project raises $ 938,771, far above its original $ 125,000 goal, it becomes more of an issue.
Still, the Hidden Radio does pair easily with devices, and the twist-on, twist-off feature is very convenient. Also 15 hours is a lot of juice, and plenty for most users, and the FM radio is a nice touch. The original Kickstarter may have over-promised, but that shouldn’t really reflect much on the product taken as a standalone device. Still, if a pre-release notice from an established listed a number of features that didn’t make the shipping unit, they’d definitely be called on it.
This is the big area for all Bluetooth speakers, and I have to say that I’m less impressed with the Hidden Radio in this regard than I was expecting to be. Audio quality was originally one of its selling points, but it lags behind the leaders in this space. The sound is fine, and the 360-degree nature of the speaker means that it’s good for background music at small gatherings, but audiophiles will be disappointed. And sound quality deteriorates quickly if you use the hardware volume control by twisting the cap down, making stuff sound like it’s underwater – this speaker performs best if kept at full volume, with changes to auditory level controlled from the phone. Sound did seem to improve over time, however, as the speaker got broken in.
At $ 149, the Hidden Radio is a good little speaker that trades significantly longer battery life for slightly worse audio quality when compared to the Jawbone Jambox, but I’d be less eager to recommend this product at its regular stated selling price of $ 190 (in black and silver; $ 180 in white), which it climbs up to after November 15. But in a crowded market, selling features like resistance to the elements and new, more powerful designs have emerged to make standing out largely on the basis of a volume control gimmick a little more difficult, once you’re at or near price parity.
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Microsoft has started to roll out two security updates today to address vulnerabilities in Internet Explorer. The first fixes a critical vulnerability in versions 7 and 8 of Internet Explorer on Windows XP and Internet Explorer 9 on Windows 7 or Windows Vista. The hole was originally discovered by French researchers earlier this week, with code available for malicious users to attack machines via a specially-crafted Flash animation.
Microsoft’s second out-of-band security patch fixes a Flash vulnerability on Windows 8 with Internet Explorer 10. Although Windows 8 isn’t available publicly yet, a number of developers and organizations are testing the final Release to Manufacturing (RTM) version of the product ahead of its release on…
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Microsoft is looking to hire a software design engineer to help the company secure its Windows Phone devices.
The software giant posted an advert inviting engineers to “help make Windows Phones the most secure phones on the market,” on Thursday. The job listing comes in the same week that iOS 5 struggles with two serious flaws that allow users to bypass the lock screen. CNET reported on Wednesday that the iPhone 4S Siri feature allows anyone to use a device to send emails, SMS and make calls even if a passcode is set on the device. Some iPhone 4S users have also reported that they can access the address book, photos and calendar on the device using Siri. Another serious flaw hit Apple’s iPad 2 device running iOS 5 this week. 9to5mac report that anyone with a Smart Cover accessory can break into an iPad 2. 9to5mac confirm that the issue is present in iOS 5 and could also working on earlier versions of iOS 4.3 (see video below for a demo). A similar flaw affected Apple’s iPhone 4 device around a year ago, allowing users to access devices after bypassing the lockscreen.
Microsoft is aiming to create the next generation of security software for Windows Phones. The software maker wants to ship the most secure phone the market has ever seen. Microsoft is currently fighting off enterprise adoption of iPhone, iPad and Android devices thanks to the secure and business oriented nature of Microsoft’s products. Security flaws are a major factor for enterprise and business adoption and a big reason why some businesses opt for third party products like GOOD to provide email, calendar and contacts to “consumer” devices. A large majority of enterprise customers choose RIM’s BlackBerry infrastructure and devices for their employees but Microsoft is clearly attempting to ship a more secure ecosystem with Windows Phone:
“We want your passion for shipping secure devices, technical depth, drive for breaking code and finding security holes. If you’re looking for your next move, or just looking to be involved in the ‘next big thing’ you should be talking to us. We can help bring out the best in you and you help bring out the best in our products.
The Mobile OS Platform group is looking for talented SDETs with a passion for shipping next generation of secure software for mobile phones. As a member of the security team, you will find yourself working on cutting edge fuzzing technology, pentesting, and other security tools to help us ship the most secure phone the market has ever seen. You’re expected to stay at the top of all current exploits and work closely with MSEC to react to all new found exploits. You’ll also have the opportunity to attend known security conferences.”
Thanks to WinRumors reader Simon for the news tip
Microsoft looking to secure Windows Phone as Apple suffers iOS 5 flaws originally appeared at WinRumors.com.
Researchers find flaws in neodymium magnet crystalline structure, still in love with its personality
Given China’s status as the worlds largest producer of rare earths and its recent proclivity for reducing exports of the stuff, everyone else is looking for ways to reduce dependency on rare earths or optimize the use of these sought-after elements. Well, neodymium is one of those rare earths, and a team from St. Pölten University in Austria recently discovered “disturbances in the crystalline structure in neodymium magnets” that weaken their magnetic fields — and consequently the efficacy of all those electric motors and hard drives that utilize such magnets. For now, research is ongoing to fully understand the properties of neodymium and other rare earths so that their use can be “optimized.” We aren’t exactly sure how we’ll benefit from all this optimization, but we hope it means cheaper and more powerful gadgets, TVs, and cars for all of us.
[Image source: Thomas Schrefl]
Deep Inside the Frustrating World of Second-Tier Tablets: Flaws, Fights, Fails
As Apple reveals its next-gen iPad 2 (with the first edition still acting as the Moses of Tabletland) the high-profile makers of competing devices are squabbling, mis-stepping, or generally not delivering. HP Says RIM is cloning its efforts After its acquisition of ailing smartphone-maker Palm, the expectations were high that HP–with its long history of delivering quality computing products …
Read more on Fast Company Magazine
Impressive T-Mobile Galaxy S gets 4G speed boost
Product: T-Mobile Samsung Galaxy S 4G
Read more on Miami Herald
Some next day thoughts about the iPad 2
Yesterday IÂ gave you all the facts and specs on the new iPad 2 and it was a ton of information. Now that the initial dust has settled IÂ want to share some of the points made at the beginning of the announcement because they paint an extraordinary picture of how the iOSÂ devices and the App Store have become juggernauts in the world of mobile devices. Apple CEOÂ Steve Jobs took the stage and …
Read more on St. Petersburg Times
This is all the flaws/Issues I have experienced so far with my new phone. If you found any other flaws post a video response or leave a comment. Would you still go out and buy this phone?
TECH TIME: LG Fathom smartphone aims at business crowd, but has flaws
Amid the endless stream of phones trying to one-up each other across the various carriers for entertainment value, there is another market of phones that is often forgotten.