Tuesday, 29 July 2014

Coming, Lighter Batteries with More Life

You may soon be able to have a cell phone with double or triple the battery life as researchers have taken a big step towards accomplishing what battery designers have been trying to do for decades - design a pure lithium anode.

All batteries have three basic components: an electrolyte to provide electrons, an anode to discharge those electrons, and a cathode to receive them.

What we call lithium batteries today do not have lithium in the anode. An anode of pure lithium would be a huge boost to battery efficiency.

"Of all the materials that one might use in an anode, lithium has the greatest potential. Some call it the Holy Grail," said Yi Cui, a professor of material science and engineering at Stanford University in the U.S..

"It is very lightweight and it has the highest energy density. You get more power per volume and weight, leading to lighter, smaller batteries with more power," Cui added.

But engineers have long tried and failed to reach this Holy Grail.

Researchers say that lithium's expansion during charging is "virtually infinite" relative to the other materials.

Its expansion is also uneven, causing pits and cracks to form in the outer surface, like paint on the exterior of a balloon that is being inflated.

The resulting fissures on the surface of the anode allow the precious lithium ions to escape, forming hair-like or mossy growths, called dendrites. Dendrites, in turn, short circuit the battery and shorten its life.

To solve these problems the researchers built what they call nanospheres, a protective layer of interconnected carbon domes on top of their lithium anode.

Made of amorphous carbon, the nanosphere is chemically stable, yet strong and flexible so as to move freely up and down with the lithium as it expands and contracts during the battery's normal charge-discharge cycle.

The study appeared in the journal Nature Nanotechnology.

Monday, 28 July 2014


Canadian gamers must've thought they were still dreaming when they logged onto Best Buy Canada today to find an Xbox One console listed with Rayman Legends for just $45 CAD.

Xbox One for $42

The listing was made public by a Reddit user, who posted the above photo. Best Buy has obviously corrected its mistake now, but there's discussion in the Reddit thread of some about a very lucky few gamers who may have managed to grab the deal of a lifetime.

"Almost all of the orders were cancelled but a lucky few made it to pick theirs up," says the original poster, Z3ppelinDude93.

Another user, LoveSalad, says he managed to claim his $45 Xbox One, posting a photo of his shiny new console along with the receipt.

We'll definitely be eyeballing online retailers obsessively from now on. Did any of you manage to nab your own ridiculously cheap console? Let us know in the comments.

Swatch plans fitness-based touch wristwatch, CEO tells paper

Swatch plans fitness-based touch wristwatch, CEO tells paper

Swatch plans to equip its Swatch Touch line of plastic watches with electronic functions to measure personal fitness, in a bid to tap into the market for wearable gadgets, the company’s chief executive told a newspaper.

He made his remarks several days after the firm denied working with Apple (AAPL.O) on a smartwatch project.

“Beginning in 2015, we will integrate fitness functions into Swatch Touch,” Swatch Chief Executive Nick Hayek told Sunday’s Neue Zuercher Zeitung am Sonntag, a Swiss weekly.

“It will remain a watch, but will have all today’s usual functions to monitor physical fitness.”

Swatch has in past rejected partnerships over smartwatches and voiced concern about being reliant on software and applications from other companies. Hayek told the newspaper the company would use its own electronic components to ramp up the Swatch brand Touch.

The Swatch Touch model is a touch-screen wristwatch launched in 2011 with a limited range of functions including time, alarm, chronograph, and date.

Like most Swiss luxury watchmakers Swatch has hesitated to jump on the bandwagon for wearables device with interactive functions. A spokeswoman for Swatch was not immediately available for comment.

GTA 5 PS4, Xbox One and PC release date tipped for November 7


The GTA 5 release date for Xbox One, PS4 and PC has been tipped by a retailer for November 7. 

UK retailer GameSeek has listed a November 7 release date for the next-gen and PC version of GTA 5, opening up pre-orders for the game ahead of its launch later this year. 

You’re looking at a £44.75 spend for the Xbox One and PS4 editions of GTA 5, while the PC version will set you back £36.75 from GamesSeek. 

Currently, RockStar hasn’t confirmed a launch date for the next-gen/PC version aside from the rather loose autumn launch window. 

“Grand Theft Auto 5 will take full advantage of the power of the PlayStation 4, Xbox On e and PC with across-the-board graphical and technical improvements to deliver a stunning new level of detail”, said RockStar Games when announcing the remastered version. “Increased draw distances, finer texture details, denser traffic and enhanced resolutions all worked together to bring new life to the cities, towns, deserts and oceans or Rockstar North’s epic re-imagining of Southern California.”

Of course, the upgrade also extends to GTA Online too and the revamped version offers all the previously released content for the multiplayer portion of GTA 5. 

Anyone who has already been sinking the hours into GTA Online on Xbox 360 and PS3 will be pleased to hear that you can transfer your characters and progress to any of the new three platforms, whether its PS4, Xbox One or PC. 

We’ll update you as when RockStar confirms the official release dates for GTA 5 on these new platforms. 

Until then, you’ll have to enjoy this next-gen visuals trailer for GTA 5.

Comic-Con 2014: Tons of Guardians of the Galaxy Content Coming to Xbox LIVE, Minecraft, and Other Games

Guardians of the Galaxy content is coming to Xbox LIVE, Minecraft, Marvel Heroes, and other games, Marvel revealed today during a Comic-Con panel.
Here’s the full list of where you can expect to see characters from Marvel’s next big summer movie:
  • Minecraft: The Xbox One and Xbox 360 editions of Minecraft will get a Guardians of the Galaxy Skin Pack featuring characters from the movie as well as other characters from the Marvel universe.
  • Marvel Heroes 2015: Guardians of the Galaxy characters Star-Lord, Drax, Gamora, Rocket Raccoon, and Groot will join Marvel’s Diablo-like action RPG for the PC.
  • Xbox LIVE Avatars: Xbox One and Xbox 360 players will be able to customize their Xbox LIVE Avatars with Guardians of the Galaxy costumes.
  • Marvel Pinball: A new table inspired by the movie will showcase the individual powers of each member of Guardians of the Galaxy team, as well as battles against the movie’s villains.
  • Marvel: War of Heroes: The mobile game’s special September raid boss event will allow players to use Guardians of the Galaxy characters.
  • Marvel: Avengers Alliance: Facebook game Marvel: Avenger’s Alliance’s next Spec Op mission will feature a new story by writer Alex Irvine that focuses on Guardians of the Galaxy heroes and villains.
  • Disney Infinity: Marvel Super Heroes: As Disney Interactive previously announced, the “toys-to-life” franchise is getting a Guardians of the Galaxy playset that includes new playable characters.
Disney also recently revealed a Disney Infinity PlayStation exclusive collector's edition bundle, which will include the Marvel Super Heroes Starter Pack, all Avengers figures, and the Frost Beast Collector's Edition display.
Disney said that all the content listed above will roll out over the next few weeks. Guardian’s of the Galaxy opens in theaters August 1.

First Look at The Legend of Korra Video Game From Platinum Games

Legend of Korra First Look by Platinum Games

The Legend of Korra, (successor to Avatar: The Last Airbender) is getting a video game this fall from Platinum Games. It will be a downloadable for most current and last gen systems. Taking place between Book (season) two and Book three, the story will be something unseen in the tv show series.

This new Legend of Korra game will run on the same engine as Metal Gear Rising: Revengence, but the gameplay is still very different.
One single playthrough should take about four hours, but the game is intended to have multiple playthroughs. When the game starts two modes are available, casual and normal. Once the game has been beaten, extreme mode becomes unlocked. Platinum Games hopes that players will play through the game more than once to unlock more abilities and items. The second playthrough will allow the player to interact more with the economy system to get more helpful items. By the third playthrough, Korra should be powerful enough to handle extreme mode. If you’ve played a Platinum game before, then you know this is quite the challenge.

In addition to campaign mode, there is also a mode where you get to battle in the pro bending league. These battles take place in the ring and involve taking and loosing ground. Each team has three characters and each player is only allowed to bend one element. Korra will be playing with her teammates from the show, Mako and Bolin.

Platinum hopes that someone looking at the game will know it is a Platinum game by how it plays. Now that gameplay is out, it is clear that they have had their hands full. Korra looks very fluid in battle. She can only have one element equipped at a time, but she can easily flip through the different elements in battle. Several different types of mini games are present to mix up gameplay and relieve the player from constant action. Not all of these segments have been seen, but there is one example of Korra riding her Polar Bear Dog, Naga, through Republic City.

Platinum Games is excited about the work they’ve done to bring Korra into the world of gaming. They even said if they did a sequel they would be excited if they could make it a full retail release, which would be welcomed if they can already do so much with a downloadable game. They said that if their fans had enough interest in a particular show becoming a game, they would consider it (so get to that Twitter page!). In case you missed the original trailer, here it is.

This downloadable title will be coming out this fall on Xbox 360, Xbox One, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, and PC. A different turn-based Legend of Korra game (from a different developer) will be coming out for the 3DS sometime later. If you look forward to this game be sure to let Platinum Games know, or request something else you would like to see them make a game from.

Android 4.4.2 KitKat update for Lava Iris 504Q+ handset now available

Lava Iris 504Q+ handset owners are going to have an exciting week ahead as Android 4.4.2 KitKat has started rolling out out for the smartphone in India. The new update is being seeded over the air and introduces various new features as well as a fresh UX.

Lava Iris 504Q+

The Lava Iris 504Q+ went official a couple of months back and it was offered with Android 4.2 Jelly Bean. It’s not quite common to see handsets in the affordable market receive major software updates, but that looks to be changing.

There’s no changelog from the company as yet, but the new firmware will introduce a fresh dialer application and various modifications to the user interface. Battery life will also be improved, but there’s no information on how much difference will be noticeable.

As mentioned above, the release is being pushed over the air with a phased rollout. So you should be seeing a notification popup soon highlighting its availability. If you’re impatient, you could always head over to the System Update tab from the About phone menu in Settings and manually check whether the firmware is available for you device.

Here are the key specs of the Lava Iris 504Q+:
- 5-inch 720p HD display w/ Dragon-trail Glass
- 1.3GHz quad core processor
- 8MP storage, 32GB expandable
- 10MP Sony Exmor RS rear camera, 2MP front snapper
- 2000mAh battery
- Dual SIM support
- HSPA+ 21Mbps, GPS, Bluetooth 3.0, Wi-Fi
The Lava Iris 504Q+ was launched at Rs 13990 back in April, but its price has been dropped down to Rs 11499, making it an alluring mid-range handset.

Mozilla: India a huge force in shaping global digital future

India is a huge force, not only in terms of people coming online, but also shaping what the digital future can be, says a top Mozilla official.

As the Internet penetration gains more strength, India is headed to be a huge force in shaping the digital future of the world, a top official of Mozilla Foundation, makers of Firefox webs browser has said.
"India is a huge force, not only in terms of people coming online, but also shaping what the digital future can be. As we figure out, how do people understand web, India absolutely has to be at the core of that," Mark Surman, executive director of the Mozilla Foundation said in a recent interview.
As the web spreads to the whole of humanity, India and the talented code developers from India are going to play a key role in the global digital literacy.
As in the next decade some five to six billion people are expected to gain access to the web, Surman said it is important that everybody understands how web works.
"Web literacy is important," he noted.
Having travelled to India several times, Surman is highly impressed by the talent of Indian techies.
"One of the things so excited about India is that people are so aspirational. They are starting to say, how I can make life better? And Internet is a promise to that aspiration," he said.
"When I come to India, it is really exciting to see, especially those Mozilla volunteers, that aspiration and see unlock those things to people, and also they want to teach that to the other people across India," Surman said, adding that India is playing a key role in the recently launched global digital literacy programme of Mozilla.
Mozilla, he said, decided a few years ago that it is not just important to create open source product, that empower people to use the web, but also that everybody in the world understand what they can do on the web.
"Not just to be a consumer, but also to be a creator of the web," Surman said.
Early July, Mozilla launched a two-month global campaign of events known as "Maker Parties" aimed at promoting web literacy to all people.
This includes around 2,000 events in 350 cities worldwide in the coming two months and many of them are taking place in India, which Mozilla describes as a global Internet pioneer.

Samsung Z Russia launch delayed, as world still awaits first Tizen phone

Samsung Z Russia launch delayed, as world still awaits first Tizen phone

Samsung has announced that it would postpone the roll-out of its new smartphone based on Tizen OS, a home-grown operating system aimed at breaking away from Google’s Android system.

The delay is seen as a blow to Samsung’s campaign to carve out a niche in mobile software and services, to complement its dominant hardware role. The Samsung Z, which has been specially developed by Samsung to run on the Tizen platform, was to go on sale in Russia in the third quarter of this year before reaching other markets.

But the world’s largest smartphone maker said the launch was being pushed back in order to “further enhance the Tizen ecosystem.” It did not provide a new launch timeframe.

The vast majority of Samsung’s popular devices, including its flagship Galaxy S smartphones, use Android. Samsung has touted Tizen as a platform not just for phones, but for a range of connected devices from home appliances to door locks and watches which may communicate with one another in the future.

In recent months, Samsung has unveiled a line of Tizen-powered devices including cameras and smartwatches, as well as prototypes of Tizen televisions and smartphones.

Tizen smartphones were to launch in Russia initially, followed by markets such as India and China, but with even the initial launch delayed, it remains to be seen whether Samsung will indeed make a bigger push for Tizen OS phones.

LG announces 11.6-inch Android Tab Book with Intel Core i5 CPU, 4GB RAM

LG announces 11.6-inch Android Tab Book with Intel Core i5 CPU, 4GB RAM

LG has announced its hybrid device called the Android Tab Book in South Korea. Pricing and availability have yet to be revealed, while the fate of the device outside Korea is also not known yet.

The Tab Book will feature an 11.6-inch full HD IPS display with 10-point touch control and a slideout QWERTY keypad.   Earlier this year at CES, LG had launched the Tab Book Ultra which was a Windows 8.1 powered hybrid device. The Android Tab Book looks similar to it but of course, it sports the Android 4.2.2 OS. For a latest device with high-end internals, that is quite a dated Android version. We hope that there is an OTA Android KitKat update in the pipeline.

LG Android Tab Book (model no. 11TA740-GA50K) comes with an Intel Core i5-4200U CPU which is a dual-core hyper-threaded processor clocked at 1.6GHz with a maximum turbo boost clock of 2.6GHz. It houses Intel HD4400 integrated graphics. The CPU is paired with 4GB of RAM in a single RAM slot.

On the storage front, you have a 128GB SSD with support for microSD card as well. The Tab Book is 16.7mm thick and weighs 1.05kg. There are two USB 3.0 ports and an HDMI port.

Samsung Galaxy Tab S 8.4 review: The Android tablet to beat this year

With the Galaxy Tab S 8.4 and 10.5, Samsung has pushed limits with the super-sharp display and ultra thin body. Both tablets come with the best hardware we’ve seen on a tablet and, unsurprisingly, are steeply priced. It’s a bold move considering the tablet market is currently dominated by cheaper Android tablets. Even Apple, feeling the heat, has been forced to bring down iPad prices as more people opt for low-end tablets or large-screen smartphones. It’s up to time to tell whether Samsung will turn the game around with its Tab S line, and if the tablets are worth the premium. We have the 8.4-inch version for the review.

Design and build quality
The Tab S may lack the metallic finish of the iPad, though nothing about the device looks or feels cheap. It sports a dimpled rubber back (previously spotted on Samsung’s flagship Galaxy S5 smartphone) which coupled with a metallic rim provides a comfortable grip and feels solid.


At 125.6mm, the Tab S is narrower than the iPad mini in the portrait mode despite the larger screen, so it’s easier to use the tablet one handed. You can easily hold the device with one hand and type with the other as it’s also very thin and lightweight. The Tab S 8.4 is 37g lighter and 0.9mm thinner than the iPad mini.

Tab S Rear
Two buttons on the back cover to support docking of the tablet on a keyboard

The Tab S lets you create multiple users for the device. You can also restrict what other users can see, plus a Kids Mode that provides fun, educational content for children. The fingerprint scanner is a handy way to quickly unlock the tablet or make PayPal payments. Each user can save up to three fingerprints. It’s mostly accurate, though you can type in an alternate password if it fails to detect your fingerprints.

Fingerprint scanner
Each user can save up to three fingerprints

The tablet features the Magazine UX, which comes with the latest version of Samsung’s TouchWiz interface to provide content from various online magazines or email accounts in a tile-based format. Each tile gets updated in real-time and is also useful for gaining quick access to your mailbox, Hancom Office for working on office documents and the calendar app.

Tiled interface of the Magazine UX
Tiled interface of the Magazine UX

Multi window is one of the Tab S’s more usable features, which lets you work on two apps at a time. For example you can access the phonebook while writing an email or watch a video while reading the lyrics on the web browser.


The SIM slot on our edition of the Tab S means you can use it as a primary phone. Knowing well that holding a tablet to your face will make you look ridiculous, Samsung has introduced SideSync, which transfers phone calls to your smartphone. However, the feature can currently be used only with the Galaxy S5.

The Tab S comes with 16GB of built-in storage, of which 10GB is available for use. You can boost the storage up to 128GB with an external micro SD card. The tablet is also available in the 32GB storage option.

The Tab S is one responsive device. After spending hours on the tablet, I found my iPhone slow in comparison. It reacts to the slightest touch and switching between apps is extremely smooth.

Powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 SoC with four Krait 400 CPU cores and running at 2.3GHz, this slate excelled in all our benchmark tests. It’s a champ at handling everyday tasks such as watching videos and web browsing as well as intensive gaming and handling demanding apps.

To test how well the tablet can multitask, it was used for browsing the web while keeping other processes such as an eBook download and a Dropbox photo upload running in the background, and the Tab S had no problems coping up. However, the speed and responsiveness are not always consistent. The tablet stutters when there are many apps updating in the background and there were instances when the screen would freeze for a few seconds if the battery was running low.

Everyday use
The 8.4-inch Galaxy Tab S is best for on-the-go reading, even though Samsung has positioned it as a tab for professional use. In the landscape mode, the keyboard covers half the screen, while in the portrait mode text appears too small to get work done quickly. For professional use, you might be better off with the 10.5-inch version.

The TouchWiz interface is simple and easy to get used to, whether you’re used to Samsung devices or not. You can add or remove home screens, create folders and disable or uninstall apps directly from the App Drawer.

Dull outdoor shot
Dull outdoor shot

The 8MP rear camera is underwhelming. It’s slow to capture shots, while pictures appear dim in well-lit conditions. Picture quality of the 2MP front-facing camera, however, came as a pleasant surprise. It works really well for video calls and self-shots. It has a ‘Beauty Face’ option which detects your face to make the skin look smoother and blurs out any spots.

The display is the Tab S’s key strength. The 2560×1600 resolution Super AMOLED screen renders sharp images and text and holds up well in bright outdoors, while optimizing the tablet’s battery use. The Adapt Display adjusts the screen brightness according to how you’re using the tablet. For example, it automatically dims the screen in a dark room or increases the screen sharpness while watching photos and videos.

The sharp screen is excellent for reading eBooks
The sharp screen is excellent for reading on the device

The screen is a big plus for reading and surfing the web on the Tab S. The screen is very pixel-dense, which means you can’t see the individual pixels even when you’ve zoomed way into the page.

Tablets are known for underwhelming speakers, but the Tab S tries to break this evil spell. It has stereo speakers on the top and bottom edges of the device that provide surprisingly fuller sound in comparison with some of Samsung’s older tabs.

Speech is clear and detailed enough for watching videos and listening to music. Unlike Samsung’s earlier tabs, speakers are on the edges rather than on the back, which keep you from accidentally blocking them with your hands.

The Galaxy Tab S does not supply earphones, which is shame for a tablet this expensive.

Battery life
The Tab S showed mixed results with its battery performance. When in the Adaptive Display mode, it provided an impressive battery life of nearly nine hours of web browsing. In the basic mode, the battery life drops significantly, providing just a little more than six hours of web browsing. We recommend keeping the Adaptive Display switched on not just for the sharpness, but also for the battery optimization.

Verdict and price in India
After several attempts at dethroning the iPad, looks like Samsung has finally got it right with the Galaxy Tab S. With an excellent display, powerful processing and great speaker quality, there’s little going against the Galaxy Tab S. It might not provide the 10 hour battery life that the iPad does, but it’s pretty close and adequate to get you through a day’s work.

Priced at Rs 43,090, the 8.4-inch Tab S is on the steeper side, which could be a deal-breaker for those on a budget. But if you can afford it, the Samsung Galaxy Tab S 8.4 is well worth the money, and the Android tablet to beat right now.

One in three Apple engineers is Indian? That’s a stretch

One in three Apple engineers is Indian? That’s a stretch

Apple’s recent quarterly earnings call pointed to India as a growth market for iPads despite flagging sales in matured markets. India has also contributed greatly to iPhone sales in the past two quarters, as Apple pushed its older models aggressively through various promotions.

So naturally, India figures towards the top of the list as far as Apple’s key markets are concerned, but a report in a leading Indian daily today suggests that Apple also relies heavily on Indian IT talent. The report points out that one in 3 engineers employed by Apple is Indian, based on research conducted by HFS Research, a global business analysis firm.

While that high a proportion of Indians in Apple’s engineering workforce is of note, and the proportion sounds encouraging when looking at it from the Indian IT professional point of view, there are quite a few points of concern. Let’s look at the numbers cited in the report.

For one, the research says Apple employs around 12,000 people as “engineers, designers, marketers and other white-collar tech product workers”, but does not break down the figures further by each category. We are left to assume the number of engineers.

The second statistic that is being used to extrapolate the number of Indian engineers employed by Apple is the company’s H-1B visa applications, which is an indicator of the total number of foreigners (i.e not American citizens) hired by Apple. The report mentions two figures in this regard: “Apple filed 1,750 H-1B applications during the 10-year period 2001 to 2010, but the number increased sharply to 2,800 during 2011-13.”

And that’s about it. There’s no specificity as to the number of Indians in the total applications, nor about the total number of engineers. In fact, we don’t even know how many of those applications were accepted by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). So all we know is that Apple applied for 2,800 H-1B visas between 2011 and 2013.

Everything that follows is just an overview of how Apple has increased its reliance on Indian IT vendors. There’s nothing that directly indicates that one in every three Apple engineers is Indian. But yes, as the company banks on the new wave of iPhones for big revenue in yet another quarter, India, a key smartphone market, will play a big part in Apple’s growth story.

Celkon Millennium Vogue Q455 smartphone introduced in India for Rs 7999

The dual SIM Celkon Millennium Vogue Q455 has made an entry into India with its price set at Rs 7999, something which pushes it straight into the affordable smartphones category. This new device adheres to the latest trend among Indian manufacturers and grants the KitKat 4.4 software to buyers instead of coming with an older version of Android and making them wait for an update.
What sets the smallish phone apart from competition is the fact that it’s just 7.9mm thin. Keeping it out of the phablet category is a 4.5-inch display present on its front, offering visuals in a 540 x 960 pixel resolution. Celkon’s partnership with Broadcom has resulted in the latter’s chipset having found its way into the Millennium Vogue Q455.
Celkon Millennium Vogue Q455
There’s a 1.2GHz quad core CPU that handles its operations with help from 1GB of RAM. Furthermore, this Celkon handset carries 16GB of storage onboard and even proffers a microSD card slot for memory expansion of up to 64GB. An 8MP rear camera and a 1.3MP front snapper also form part of its offerings. Packing in all these components, the smartphone still maintains its weight at 83.7g.
Here’s a full look at the specs of the Celkon Millennium Vogue Q455:
- Display: 4.5-inches, 540 x 960 pixels
- OS: Android 4.4.2 KitKat
- Processor: 1.2GHz quad core BCM23550
- Memory: 1GB RAM, 16GB storage
- Expandability: Up to 64GB
- Camera: 8MP rear, 1.3MP front
- Battery: 2000mAh
- Weight: 83.7g
- Dimensions: 136.5mm x 68mm x 7.9mm
The Celkon Millennium Vogue Q455 handset is yet to land via major e-retail sites, but you can expect that to happen soon and we’ll update you when it does.

New cap allows you to control smartphone via voice

A baseball cap that connects with the wearer's smartphone via Bluetooth and allows them to control their device via voice commands has been designed.

Sydney-based entrepreneur Will Miller has started a crowd-funding campaign for the baseball cap that allows voice control of a paired device.

Snaptrax looks like your regular baseball cap, but features a Bluetooth module, microphone and speakers built into the corners of the cap just above the peak.

The wearer can make and receive calls, respond to texts and emails and control music, with a button panel on the side to operate volume and pairing, 'Gizmag' reported.

The development of Snaptrax is in its early stages and Miller and his team are working through the technical details regarding the battery and charging capabilities.

"Obviously we don't want the whole lining to be filled with batteries. It has to be comfortable. We are aiming for around a 90 minute charge time and a couple of days use at a time," Miller said.

The cap is available in four varying combinations of red and black and the makers will begin shipping in January 2015.

Samsung's Galaxy W arrives in China as the TabQ

Samsung's Galaxy W is a device that has interested us since we first heard about it earlier in the year, and now it has been released in China with another name. The device is a huge 7-inch tablet/phablet with phone calling connectivity and it has shown up in the FCC hinting that Samsung will launch the slate in the US in the coming months.

Galaxy TabQ

Before that though the Galaxy W has emerged in China and is known as the Galaxy TabQ, where it continues to blur the lines between mobile phone and tablet. When we first heard about the W/TabQ we wondered whether Samsung was taking the phablet form to the extreme with a 7-inch screen, after-all this is the company that started the phablet trend with the original Galaxy Note.

It turns out that the Korean company is actually marketing the Galaxy TabQ as a full tablet, just one that happens to be able to take calls. It is still a mystery who would particularly want such a slate, unless they truly planned to use it as a phone calling device. Nevertheless, it seems Samsung thinks the added calling functionality will make up for some distinctly lower end specs.

A 1.2 GHz quad-core processor, likely a Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 powers the tablet, while the 7-inch screen is a modest 720p HD panel. In terms of cameras, there is an 8 megapixel lens on the rear of the device and a lowly 2 megapixel front facing snapper. The slate also arrives with Bluetooth 4.0 and a 3,200 mAh battery, while price details are still unknown in China, although we expect it to cost the same as the Korean variant that launched in June.

Whether that is enough to ditch your smartphone and tablet for an all in one device we doubt, but Samsung seems to think there are big pockets in China. While we question the point of this device, we still look forward to it landing here later in the year, even if it is just to see what Samsung charges for the Galaxy W in the US market.

Xbox One and Xbox 360 Free August Games With Gold Titles Include Crimson Dragon, Dishonored

Microsoft today announced August's free Games With Gold titles for Xbox One and Xbox 360, totaling four games in all split between the two platforms.

On Xbox One, players with an active Xbox Live Gold subscription ($60/year) can download Crimson Dragon (normally $20) and Strike Suit Zero (normally $20). These will become available starting August 1, and they replace the current free games, Guacamelee! Super Turbo Championship Edition and Max: Curse of Brotherhood. If you have not downloaded those games yet, now would be a good time to do so.

Xbox 360 players with the Xbox Live Gold subscription, on the other hand, can download Motocross Madness (normally $10) for free August 1-15. Then starting on August 16, subscribers can pick up Dishonored (normally $20) for free through the end of the month.

On Xbox 360, once you download a free game, it is yours to keep even if your Xbox Live Gold subscription lapses. But on Xbox One, you'll need to keep your Xbox Live Gold subscription active to hang on to the free games.

Facebook launches ‘Save’ button for bookmarking News Feed posts

In one of those countless new Facebook features which its makers keep pouring in one by one, there is ‘Save’ which is nothing but the ability to bookmark posts for reading later. It has been introduced as a cross-platform feature, so it will work on smartphones as well as the desktop version of the site.

Facebook Save

Using Facebook can get a bit frustrating at times when you want to perhaps click on a video, but which you notice is longer than 10 minutes and you don’t have enough time to see. But there’s also the chance that if you don’t watch it then and there, it might not appear in your News Feed again at all.

‘Save’ is meant for addressing this discomfort, enabling you to just mark posts with a single tap or click and access them later on. With it, you can save items links, places, movies, TV as well as music. And like we said, this feature works in a cross-platform manner, so you can save it on the desktop version and access it through the Android and iOS apps of the social network as well.

In case you’re likely to forget about your saved posts, Facebook has that covered too. The site will at times issue reminders about those posts, complete with links to them, so you don’t even have to enter the ‘Save’ section in order to access them.

Facebook has revealed that the new ‘Save’ function will be rolled out to everyone using the Android, iOS and desktop versions of the site over the next few days.

Xiaomi Mi 3 to go on sale again via Flipkart tomorrow

The Xiaomi Mi 3 sold faster than hot cakes when it went on sale last week through Flipkart and new inventory is expected to arrive at the ecommerce website tomorrow. So that would make today the last day to register for Tuesday’s sale as limited stock will be up for grabs this time again.

Xiaomi Mi3

And if you miss out on tomorrow, you might have to wait an entire week (or more) before new inventory is brought in. The initial batch of Xiaomi Mi 3 smartphones sold out in just about 40 minutes. The retailer hasn’t disclosed just how many units were made available, but it did mention that registrations went beyond 100000.

At Rs 13999, the handset is basically a steal as it offers high-end components with a sturdy design. The front features a 5-inch 1080p screen with Corning Gorilla Glass 3 protection, while the body is crafted from plastic with a metallic finish.

Android 4.4 KitKat comes out of the box and is layered with a highly customizable MIUI V5 interface. And the star of the show is a 2.3GHz quad core Snapdragon 800 SOC, delivering flagship-class performance at the price of a mid-range phone.

Xiaomi Mi 3 key specifications:

- OS: Android 4.4 KitKat (MIUI V5)
- Chipset: 2.3GHz quad core, Snapdragon 800
- Memory: 2GB RAM, 16GB storage
- Connectivity: HSPA+, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0, A-GPS
- Battery: 3050mAh
- Camera: 13MP rear, 2MP front

Time’s a-wasting folks, so hurry up and sign-up for the Xiaomi Mi 3 on Flipkart to get in on tomorrow’s sale. The registrations will be closed today at mid-night and there’s no word on when the next sale will take place.

Sunday, 27 July 2014

Bose Sues Beats Over Noise-Canceling Headphones


Earlier this month Beats was going after headphone counterfeiters in China, but now the company is facing a lawsuit of its own over noise-canceling technology developed and patented by Bose. CNBC broke the news earlier today, and the entire filing is also available to read online.
In the suit Bose claims some of Beats’ headphones use technology it developed over the past 50 years through research and development dating back to 1978. In total, the complaint claims Beats is violating 22 U.S. patents and 14 more applications currently under review. Not all Beats headphones feature noise-cancelling technology, but it’s a key selling point for much of the company’s high-end lineup.
A quick Google or Amazon search will pull up hundreds of different noise canceling headphones, and while it’s possible Bose is going after more than one company Beats feels like an easy target. Not only is the celebrity-backed firm highly successful, but it’s also set to merge with Apple. Once Beats is swallowed up into the Cupertino company it could be a lot harder to pull off a similar lawsuit, though that doesn’t necessarily Bose will succeed now.

Mega Man Battle Network Confirmed for Wii U Release

EPSON scanner image

Are you itching for some new Mega Man? Well, so am I, but that’s not happening any time soon. Instead, you have another chance to dive into the older library thanks to the efforts of the Game Boy Advance Virtual Console on Wii U. Capcom has confirmed with Nintendo thatMega Man Battle Network will be available on July 31.
The Mega Man Battle Network games are a strange bunch. Excellent combat which feels like a natural RPG fit for the Mega Man universe is somewhat bungled up by its kid friendly setting. Not that kid friendly settings are inherently bad, but I remember most of my time playing these games when they were new was most spent wondering “When can I fight again?!”
That being said , the first two games are definitely worth checking out. Back in the day, they brought a bit of imagination and excitement to the aging franchise with an original twist that was genuinely fun. Like most Mega Man sub-series though, fans agree that it got a little stale by the third entry and was totally irrelevant went it closed down at the sixth.
Mega Man might not be seeing any new games in the near future, but far and away, the best way to experience his classic games from the NES, the Super Nintendo and even the Game Boy Advance has been the Virtual Console on both the Nintendo 3DS and Wii U. I’ve blasted through Mega Man 2 on my 3DS quite a few times, played the Game Boy Mega Man V for the first time, and rediscovered that Mega Man 6 is actually a pretty decent game. Mega Man X is also always a blast to waste an afternoon on.
The Mega Man Battle Network games are a more than welcome addition. It seems like all we have waiting now is a digital channel for Mega Man Legends on PlayStation 3. Can’t happen, Capcom says. Sorry guys.