tagged w/ Engadget
Here's RIM's statement, which doesn't really come as much of a surprise:
"We understand that there is a lot of excitement for BlackBerry 10. We will launch the platform on January 30th and until then we won't comment on speculation."Here's RIM's statement, which doesn't really come as much of a... more
This may run counter to what your common sense tells you but, a new paper out of Duke and Rice University says that ditching DRM could actually reduce piracy. The study, which relied on analytical modeling, showed that while copy protection made illegally sharing content more difficult it had a significantly negative impact on legal users. In fact, the researchers say, "only the legal users pay the price and suffer from the restrictions [of DRM]."
Many consumers simply choose to pirate music and movies because doing simple things, like backing up a media collection, is difficult with DRMed content. Even the most effective DRM is eventually broken, and fails to deter those already determined to steal. Meanwhile, abandoning these restrictions could increase competition and drive down prices (as well as remove a serious inconvenience), encouraging more people to legitimately purchase content. You can check out the November-December issue of Marketing Science for more details.
By Terrence O'Brien posted Oct 9th 2011 8:22PMThis may run counter to what your common sense tells you but, a new paper out of Duke... more
Ice Cream Sandwich early preview. The anonymous buyer of a Samsung Nexus S got the shock of his life when he found out that it was using the Ice Cream Sandwich. He sent a video of Ice Cream Sandwich, and now we will have an early glance of the Android update, here it is.http://www.pinoyhalo.com/2011/10/01/ice-cream-sandwich-android-phone-a-secret-look-ahead-courtesy-of-an-ebay-buyer/Ice Cream Sandwich early preview. The anonymous buyer of a Samsung Nexus S got the... more
Last year, Chinese scientists showed off some new old-school tech, transmitting data with blue LEDs that flicker faster than the human eye can perceive. This throwback to the good ol' days of IR receivers was able to hit speeds of 2Mbps, but leave it to the fine folks at the Heinrich Hertz Institute to push the light bulb networking tech to the extremes. Earlier this year researchers hit 500Mbps with white LEDs; now, using a combination of white, green, blue, and red, the team ramped that up to 800Mbps, officially putting Ethernet on notice. The line-of-sight networking won't actually replace your standard Cat 5 line or WiFi router, but it could find a home in places like hospitals where radio-based wireless technology can cause problems for sensitive equipment. With any luck, we'll soon be bathing our homes in HD-streaming illumination.
http://www.engadget.com/2011/08/01/german-geniuses-hit-800mbps-with-light-bulb-wlan/Last year, Chinese scientists showed off some new old-school tech, transmitting data... more
Here's something mildly terrifying to chew on: researchers in Italy have developed a way to automatically harvest anything you type on your smartphone's touchscreen, using only a camera placed over your shoulder. The software, created by Federico Maggi and his team from the Politecnico di Milano, takes advantage of the magnified touchscreen keys you'll find on most iOS, Android and BlackBerry devices.
Because these magnifications often pop up in predictable positions, the spying system can recognize and record them with relative ease, with the help of a camera aimed at a targeted display. And it's not like bobbing and weaving around will help evade its watchful eye, since the apparatus can instantly detect sudden movements and adjust its gaze accordingly. Researchers say their tool is capable of accurately recognizing up to 97 percent of all keystrokes and is fast enough to transmit copied passwords in "quasi real-time," which must be music to a lazy criminal's ears.
http://www.engadget.com/2011/07/15/automated-shoulder-surfing-makes-it-easier-to-steal-passwords-i/Here's something mildly terrifying to chew on: researchers in Italy have... more
Now that Hulu's owners have apparently decided the best thing to do is sell it to someone else, long arrangements for content are needed to bring the highest price. Bloomberg is reporting that after cutting a deal with Fox a few days ago Hulu has now tentatively reached a deal with another of its owners, Disney.
While both arrangements could keep the TV shows flowing, they also reportedly include provisions to increase the number of ads shown on the service. That would also put it in position to reach a similar agreement with Comcast-owned NBCUniversal, because of the media giant's FCC promise to reach similar agreements as its competitors for online content. A change of ownership and including more ad breaks could turn off viewers, but really what else are they going to do, go back to watching Saturday Night Live on TV?
http://www.engadget.com/2011/06/24/potential-hulu-deal-with-disney-increases-ads-value-to-potentia/Now that Hulu's owners have apparently decided the best thing to do is sell it to... more
There was a time when RIM owned the smartphone space with its revolutionary push email-equipped BlackBerrys. And there are still plenty of folks who can't live without a good physical keyboard and BBM. But, despite the company's $4.9 billion in revenue and $695 million in profits from Q1 2011, RIM's stock has tumbled to its lowest price in five years. What's changed since those heady days when it seemed like there was a Pearl in every pocket? As many of you know, Androids and iPhones have carved out a big chunk of the smartphone market, largely at RIM's expense. Sure, Blackberry 7 OS is coming and the PlayBook is rolling out to help the company gain ground on Android and iOS, but only time will tell if these latest efforts from Waterloo can stem the rising tide of iPhones and little green bots.There was a time when RIM owned the smartphone space with its revolutionary push... more
Mechanics spot strange things stuck under cars all the time, but when 20-year-old Yasir Afifi's ride was put up on lifts his shop found something that hadn't been kicked up from the road: a cylindrical tube connected to a device with an antenna. An extremely paranoid person would think they'd found a bomb, but the truth isn't much better. It was an FBI tracking device. Afifi posted pictures and his story on Reddit while a friend contemplated cunning things to do with it, sticking it to someone else's car or selling it on Craigslist. They didn't have long to ponder before long two "sneaky-looking" people were spotted outside his apartment. Afifi got in his car and drove off, only to be pulled over by FBI agents who demanded the device back, threatening "We're going to make this much more difficult for you if you don't cooperate."
Now, we've already given our opinions on using GPS technology like this and, while it's unknown whether these agents had a warrant to place this device, the 9th US Court of Appeals recently made one unnecessary for this sort of thing. The ACLU is working with Afifi to fight that ruling, and for now we're hoping that he, who is an American with an Egyptian father, is currently able to hit the town without agents following his every move. However, at this point they may not need a tracker: one agent who retrieved the device took the time to list off his favorite restaurants and even congratulated him on his new job.
** This was on Gizmodo the other day but now the FBI wants the property back and the ACLU is involved.
^^^^^^Original More Full Story^^^^^^^Mechanics spot strange things stuck under cars all the time, but when 20-year-old... more
It's good to see that HTC's omnipresence in the smartphone market is paying off in nicely growing financial figures as well. Having reported $268 million in profit for Q2, the Taiwanese company is today touting a $360 million tally for the period between July and September 2010.
Android is again fingered as the chief catalyst for this growth, which is best illustrated by comparing numbers to last year, when HTC managed to pull in $184 million during Q3, or almost exactly half of this year's haul. Total revenues were also appropriately inflated, up to $2.45 billion, and analysts seem in agreement that HTC's future is looking rosy. So long as the G2 hiccups remain an isolated incident, that should indeed be the case.It's good to see that HTC's omnipresence in the smartphone market is paying... more
We always knew Darren Murph had oodles of talent and was extremely prolific -- but now the man has got the paper to seriously prove it. Our own Mr. Murph was just awarded the Guinness World Record for most posts ever by a blogger. Not only is this a first for Darren, it's a first for Guinness as well, creating a new category for the group.
Darren joined Engadget in July of 2006 (his first post is here), and almost four years to the day (when these numbers were submitted to Guinness) he'd arrived at 17,212 individual posts (since surpassed, of course). That's single posts on Engadget, Engadget HD, and Engadget Mobile, not duplicated work. We obviously couldn't be more proud of Darren and the work he's done (and continues to do) here, and we think this is an amazing feat for one writer. Of course, this is the guy who did 59 posts in a single day at CES 2008. Seriously. To put it in perspective, his current word count is at 3,389,148. That's War and Peace about six times over.
We asked Darren if he had anything to say, and he gave a nod to Ryan Block (our former editor-in-chief) for giving him the chance to start here (and "not killing me when I passed him early on"). Darren also told us that he intends to defend the title for the rest of his natural life. So would-be competitors, you'd better get started... right... now.We always knew Darren Murph had oodles of talent and was extremely prolific -- but now... more
Let's not forget that before "tablets" were all the rage there were, well, tablets. While most tablet PCs were -- and still are -- aimed at the business market, the HP TouchSmart tm2 (which began as the tx2000) was one of the first tablets for the average Joe. And despite rumors of a slate product and future WebOS devices, HP hasn't given up on the tm2, and rightfully so.
Just updated with a brand new Core i3 ULV processor, the convertible has a 12.1-inch capacitive touchscreen, a new TouchSmart layer for laptops, an onboard stylus for taking notes, and a striking design with a rather stellar chiclet keyboard. There's no doubt the form factor still appeals to students or those simply looking for the power of a PC with a touch experience, but we wish HP paid a bit more attention to a few key features before shippingLet's not forget that before "tablets" were all the rage there were,... more
Sure, the massive clear block at the front of this Coloured Glaze HTPC from NOVO is completely pointless, but it also does the remarkable task of making a boring hunk of plastic powered by Intel Atom and NVIDIA Ion into an object of minimalist desire. Our colleagues at Engadget Chinese recently got their hands on one of these nettops, which were initially shown off at CES, and managed to plug it in and power it on in the midst of photographing its beauty from every angle. Hit up the source link for pics galore.Sure, the massive clear block at the front of this Coloured Glaze HTPC from NOVO is... more
While robots still struggle to do basic things like hang out with us or bring us cookies, it's comforting to know that the variety of locomotion methods for this burgeoning race shows no sign of slowing. The latest of these "this would be a cool way for a robot to make its way through a disaster site and rescue people" solutions is a robot from a team at the Georgia Institute of Technology that can "swim" through sand, much like a lizard.
Sand's a bit of a toughie, in case you've never found out for yourself in an ill-fated game of sand volleyball, thanks to its combo of solid and fluid dynamics. The spandex-clad, squirmy solution uncovered by Georgia Tech gets along nicely, however, going mainly with the fluid approach. Check it creeping creepily on video.While robots still struggle to do basic things like hang out with us or bring us... more
It's always hard to justify spending extra for a waterproof camera that will do you good at the beach but deliver mediocre image quality everywhere else. Photography Blog has taken a look at Fujifilm's new 12 megapixel FinePix XP10 waterproof shooter and, while it predictably falls short of DSLR-level quality (or even high-end compacts), it overall scores a very positive review thanks to its 5x zoom lens, 720p video recording, solid construction, and a "pleasingly compact" design that we think looks very funky (in a good way). The camera's cause is also helped dramatically by an MSRP of £169.99, or $199.95, and we're finding this thing available online for way less than that. For that kind of money this thing wouldn't make a bad side-kick for your go-to camera, a sort of stunty stand-in for when the going gets tough... or perhaps just damp.It's always hard to justify spending extra for a waterproof camera that will do... more
Hoo boy. This is a tough one, isn't it? In our years at Engadget, we've rarely seen such deafening debate and adulation for a pair of devices. In one corner we have the iPhone 4, coming off a few relatively easy rounds atop the smartphone mind share heap. However, the Droid and its ilk have weakened Apple's spot, and here comes the HTC EVO 4G in for the kill, sporting a larger screen, 4G data, and all manner of HTC sexy. If the devices themselves weren't enough, the debate has turned into something larger and metaphorical, with Apple representing tight restrictions and a singular top down vision, while Google's Android stands for something perhaps a bit more haphazard but democratizing. The gloves come off after the break.
Of course, the easy answer is that they're both great phones. The truth of the matter is that what might make the EVO the perfect smartphone for one person doesn't necessarily pop up on another person's radar. In many cases (like this author's, for instance), there are many pros and cons on both platforms and devices that makes the decision difficult, almost painful. We're going to try to lay out the facts, so that you have the best material at your disposal for making the decisions, but we're not going to call the decision "easy" or "cut and dry" for anybody. This is a road we all eventually walk alone... into an Apple or Sprint store.
AT&T / Sprint
This one's pretty simple: if you live in a WiMAX area with good coverage, you could see higher data speeds on Sprint than AT&T. The trick is, you probably don't live in a WiMAX area with good coverage -- they're few and far between. Luckily, Sprint's 3G network is actually pretty great (outside of some notable rough patches in certain areas), and we've had a wonderful experience using it on the EVO so far, surpassing even some other Sprint handsets we've used. As we get further into the launch we're starting to see some hints that the EVO is straining Sprint's network somewhat -- middling performance where it used to be excellent -- but that's at least not a widespread, iPhone-scale problem at this point.
Meanwhile, AT&T is AT&T: great speeds and network if it's not over capacity in your area. The company has made some strong strides at fighting dropped calls in major metropolitan areas like NY and SF, and that new external antenna design on the iPhone 4 helps out as well -- as long as you don't hold it wrong. On a more minor note, the new iPhone also has slightly improved upload speeds.
The HTC EVO 4G is $199 after a $100 mail-in rebate with Sprint, but you can get it elsewhere (like Radio Shack and Best Buy) for $199 straight up. The iPhone 4 is $199 (if you can find one). Service plans get much more complicated, but basically:
AT&T you can get as low at $55 with 200MB of data, 450 minutes of talk, and no messaging. If you want unlimited voice and messaging, along with 2GB of data (the most AT&T will pre-sell you, it's $10 per GB after that), you'll be forking over $115 a month.
Sprint requires you to go for a minimum $80 plan (that includes the required premium data plan add-on for the EVO), which includes unlimited data, unlimited messaging, and 450 minutes of talk. To bump up to unlimited everything (and that $10 premium data charge insures a true unlimited data) you'll be spending $110 a month.
MORE @LinkHoo boy. This is a tough one, isn't it? In our years at Engadget, we've... more
We'd heard earlier that ngmoco's new game Eliminate: Gun Range was one of the first apps to really take advantage of the iPhone 4's gyroscope, and now that we've had a chance to play with it, we've got say there's a ton of potential here. E:GR is itself just a simple shooter, but the gyroscope adds what seems like nearly 1:1 motion control to the proceedings -- and since you're moving the display itself, it almost feels like augmented reality. It's hard to explain, since it's so unlike any mobile UI experience we've encountered before, but as soon as we tried it our brains pretty much exploded with possibilities -- we're thinking drastic improvements to actual augmented reality apps like Layar, all kinds of crazy flight simulator games, much more refined GPS apps, you name it.We'd heard earlier that ngmoco's new game Eliminate: Gun Range was one of... more
We've just been sent a mother lode of shots of RIM's upcoming BlackBerry 9800 -- a phone whose market name is still unknown -- but whether it's called the Bold, the Torch, or something else altogether, we think we're looking at near-final hardware here. The software is identified as version 0.9, but you can clearly tell from the UI that it's running BlackBerry 6 with an ever-so-slightly refined look and subtle 3D elements missing from prior releases. This particular phone is AT&T-branded, and it starts up with a carrier logo screen that proudly proclaims the 9800 a world phone -- sure enough, the About screen shows support for WCDMA bands I, II, V, and VI, which means you'll be able to use the phone for 3G service in Japan and most of Europe. Generally speaking, BlackBerrys haven't been known to be the prettiest things around (with the possible exception of the Curve 8900), but we'll admit -- we're digging this. Check out the full gallery @engadgetWe've just been sent a mother lode of shots of RIM's upcoming BlackBerry... more
What's more annoying than spending hours lining up for a shiny new gadget? Learning that your precious phone can't actually connect to the network. Well, depending on how you hold it -- word has it that the iPhone 4's bottom-left corner isn't playing nice with your skin. If you recall from the keynote, that's where the Bluetooth / WiFi / GPS antenna meets its GSM / UMTS counterpart. So we decided to test on two brand new iPhone 4 handsets purchased today in the UK.
One iPhone 4 demonstrated the issue everytime it was held in our left hand (as a right-handed person is apt to do) so that our palm was essentially bridging the two antennas. You can see that in the video after the break. Bridging the two with a finger tip, however, didn't cause any issues with the reported reception. If we had to guess, we'd say that our conductive skin was acting to detune the antenna -- in fact, we've already managed to slowly kill two calls that way so it's not just an issue with the software erroneously reporting an incorrect signal strength. That said, we had no issues when Apple's $29 rubber bumper accessory (given to us free for standing in line) was attached, creating a buffer between our palm and the antennas. Our second UK-purchased iPhone 4 was fine, showing none of these handling symptoms. See the video evidence after the break including Insanely Great Mac's version which got us to worrying in the first place.
P.S. Don't forget to take our poll and let us know if you're seeing both the yellow spots / stripes and reception issues. Unfortunately, we're suffering from both flaws which is not a good sign for quality control on this first batch of Apple handsets.
P.P.S. Since some of you are asking, our review unit showed none of these issues.What's more annoying than spending hours lining up for a shiny new gadget?... more
You might have noticed that Adobe has launched a pretty full-force campaign to call out Apple on its anti-Flash mission. If you don't know what we're talking about, it's the advertisements that start with "We [heart] Apple." Along with the web ads, the company has also snagged a full page in today's Washington Post to address the battle in which the two companies have been engaged. All of this links back to a new statement from Adobe, as well as an open letter from founders Chuck Geschke and John Warnock ("Our thoughts on open markets"), addressing Apple's recent spate of clear and direct attacks against the company and its products. Most of the reading should sound familiar to those of us who've been following the saga, but here are a few choice quotes from the duo:
--"We believe that consumers should be able to freely access their favorite content and applications, regardless of what computer they have, what browser they like, or what device suits their needs. No company - no matter how big or how creative - should dictate what you can create, how you create it, or what you can experience on the web.
When markets are open, anyone with a great idea has a chance to drive innovation and find new customers. Adobe's business philosophy is based on a premise that, in an open market, the best products will win in the end - and the best way to compete is to create the best technology and innovate faster than your competitors.
We believe that Apple, by taking the opposite approach, has taken a step that could undermine this next chapter of the web - the chapter in which mobile devices outnumber computers, any individual can be a publisher, and content is accessed anywhere and at any time.
In the end, we believe the question is really this: Who controls the World Wide Web? And we believe the answer is: nobody - and everybody, but certainly not a single company."
So, it's clear this issue isn't going to die out any time soon, and it's also clear that Adobe is going to go to great lengths to defend and protect its cash-cow. Of course, if they really want this message to hit home to the core iPad and iPhone users out there, they're going to need to run that ad in HTML5.You might have noticed that Adobe has launched a pretty full-force campaign to call... more