Monthly Archives: January 2011
When you jumped and bought the Gingerbread powered Nexus S, little did you know that it would soon be afflicted with a rather annoying bug that causes the phone to randomly reboot, do you? The annoying bug – which was discovered not long ago lead to some nasty comments on the Nexus S help forum at Google. Earlier, the bug was thought to be handset specific issue that was to be addressed by the maker of the phone – Samsung. Later, it was discovered that it was an update; a Google issued one that caused the bug to appear.Back then, it was informed that Google would be bringing a fix for the problem within a few weeks. Google also acknowledged that there could be an issue Android 2.3 (Gingerbread) operating system after a number of users reported that their Nexus S devices were randomly rebooting. The most annoying this which obviously was when the reboot occurred in the midst of phone calls.Google has now said that it would be within one or two weeks, issue a patch that should sort the issue once and for all. Till then you have no choice but to endure the antics of the bug.
If you happen to be a proud Nexus S user, you might want to tell us whether you affected by this annoying bug!
As AT&T and Verizon rage their pointless dispute over which vendor has the most customers – a schoolyard spat that can go either way, depending on how you count the numbers – the most intriguing mobile broadband vendor continues to be Sprint. Despite the “full stop” commitment to WiMAX from Sprint’s CEO, there have been longstanding rumors that Clearwire, Sprint’s partner in developing WiMAX technology, has been considering an LTE option for its WiMAX network. With the updated WiMAX standard not expected to arrive until 2012, and other mobile broadband vendors aggressively, if disingenuously, promoting their LTE networks as 4G, the pressure is certainly on Sprint to offer an interim solution. And if Clearwire suffers any more nationwide WiMAX outages, comes in last in more ISP performance surveys, or doesn’t overcome its debt problems soon, the pressure on Sprint will only increase. Here’s hoping that Sprint maintains its commitment to WiMAX, and that Clearwire resolves its technical and financial problems, even if they decide to roll out an LTE network. The new WiMAX standard has a much higher potential upside than LTE, and promises to offer true 4G service, which may enable Sprint to someday emerge from the shadows of the top two carriers.
It was just a few days ago that we reported about Huawei suing erstwhile partner Motorola in anticipation against potential breach of confidential Huawei IP (Intellectual Property). Huawei was forced to file the suit against Motorola after the latter decided to sell of a part of its cellular division to Huawei’s rival Nokia Siemens Network. Huawei seems to be worried about the long list of secrets that could possibly end up with NSN unless Motorola does something to protect it from reaching NSNs hands.Unlike most other infringement related suits we have heard of in the not too distant past, this one seems to be moving rather quickly.In some good news for Huawei, the company just won a temporary court order that bars Motorola from disclosing any confidential Huawei information to rival Nokia Siemens Networks. U.S. District Judge Sharon Johnson Coleman has told Motorola to give the court notice of the actions taken by China’s AntiTrust regulatory authority which is currently reviewing Nokia Siemens purchase of Motorola’s assets. The court also asked Motorola and Huawei to issue a protective order within 24 hours.Motorola strangely has always been mum about these developments and it chose to remain so after this new court order against them. It remains to be seen how this legal wrangle eventually ends up.
Folks over at 9 to 5 Mac are reporting that iOS users would soon be able to use Google’s “Instant Preview” feature on their iOS devices. This feature enables a small preview of the websites listed in your search results list whereby users can see the contents of the websites without actually vising the website. The feature was until no only available on the desktop version of Google search and has now trickled on to iOS users.Note that currently only a few set of users have reported this feature being enabled for them. It seems Google is releasing this feature for select users as a trial run before a full-fledged launch. Google’s Mobile blog where usually features like these are announced is still silent about this new feature adding to our doubts that this is currently just a pre-release experiment.Google has been on a continuous feature addition spree for the past few months - at least when it comes to iOS. It was not long ago that Google launched the “Instant” search results for the desktop version. Soon after that, the feature trickled on to iOS devices. That was followed by full support for Google Docs editing on the iPad.If you happen to use any of the latest iOS devices, you might want to check if “Instant Preview” has been activated for you.
Amazon.com has reported that Kindle books have now overtaken the traditional paperback books since the start of this year. And we're not even talking hard cover books - we're talking handy paperbacks!
Amazon's stats are surprising, but the margin between the two sales is still pretty narrow. For every 100 paperback books sold by Amazon, 115 Kindle books were sold. And compared to hardcover books, digital books that were sold amounted to three times that of hardcover. Amazon's stats do not include free Kindle books and it encompasses the entire Amazon business in the United States, including those books for which there is no Kindle version.
It has been previously known that digital books were outselling hardcover books, but this is the first instance that digital books sales have overtaken the sale of paperback books. It is not known what's the exact number of Kindles that have been sold in 2010, but according to some reports, 8 million Kindles were sold last year. This figure, if combined with the sale of iPods, iPads, iPhone etc, amounts to millions of digital book sales, because Kindle offers its e-reading app on multiple mobile platforms.
In the Digital Book World Conference, James McQuivey from Forrester Research gave some research-based information in which he estimated that about $1 billion were spent on e-books last year, and this figure would reach around $1.3 billion in 2011.
Researchers in Massachusetts have come up with an innovative technology that can prevent drunk driving, and lead to fewer road accidents due to drunk driving. The concept is simple. If the driver is detected to be drunk, the car won't start. How, you may ask.
Well, the Driver Alcohol Detection System detects the driver's alcohol content in their bloods via two techniques. Firstly, it can analyze the breath of drivers and if it finds trace of alcohol, the car would not start. Another method is to analyze the skin of the drivers, through sensors placed on steering wheel or doors. The threshold is 0.08, beyond which the car will not start.
A similar system is in place for convicted drunk drivers, which is the alcohol ignition inter-lock system. But researchers say that this system will be an improved version and will be less obstrusive.
The US Transportation Secretary, Ray Lahood told AP that this technology is "another arrow in our automotive safety quiver." He also said that this technology wouldn't be necessary, but will be optional for car manufacturers in the future.
The research has been funded by NHTSA and Automative Coalition for Traffic Safety.
The processor of the PSP is an ARM chip, exactly like the Apple iPad. ARM processor chips are widely used by major mobile device manufacturers, including Motorola (in its tablet Xoom) and RIM (in their tablet PlayBook). But the specs of the PSP's processor does pale the competition in comparison.
Sony's PSP will be powered by an ARM Cortex-A9 core, whch is a quad core processor. The graphic processor unit (GPU) will be an advanced one, from Imagination Technologies (also quad core). Linley Gwennap, the Principle Analyst at Linley group (a consulting firm for chips) said, "That's pretty leading edge. We're starting to see some other quad-core, and [Nvidia's] Tegra 3 is supposed to be quad-core."
The Tegra 3 by Nvidia is to be announced at the Mobile World Congress next month. Joe Byrni, another senior analyst at the Linley Group said, "And how fast might that be? "Sony is providing consumers with a mobile device with about four times the CPU and GPU performance of an iPhone 4."
There are a few issues that might need attention, such as the ARM chip's heat producing concerns. And secondly, the battery life is also an issue. Gwennap further said, "In a game environment, it's going to be interesting to see how they manage that. When you're playing a game you just don't start and stop. So, they need to figure out a way to keep those four cores running without generating too much heat and without draining the battery. But you can always turn something on, turn something off. It depends on the needs of that particular game."
Intel's has been developing Meego OS, which is a lighter Linux OS, and works on netbooks, tablets and embedded devices. The upcoming tablet would be the first Meego-powered tablet.
The current version of Meego is 1.1, and version 1.2 is supposed to be released in the end of April, 2011. It is not known right now, exactly when will the Intel Meego tablet be released. But Intel did demonstrate Meego OS on tablets and showed its multi-tasking abilities. Multiple applications can be easily run on the Meego OS simultaneously as well as game-playing of multiple users. This introdction will enable Intel to offer an OS which will cater to low-power devices that run on its Atom processor.
Meego OS was announced in February, 2010 as a joint venture of Nokia and Intel. The Intel's Moblin platform and Nokia's Maemo OS was merged to create Meego OS. Currently, the Linux Foundation is managing the development of Meego.
Google has begun restricting search queries such as "BitTorrent", "torrent", "RapidShare" and "Megaupload" from its search engine's auto-complete and instant
service. This has come after Google came under fire from the entertainment sector for not censoring "piracy related" terms.
This announcement hasn't been made publically by Google, but TorrentFreak has reported that Google has come up with a list of keywords which won't activate
the auto-complete search service. It is not known what the list actually contains, but you can go check out the filter, by typing "BitTorrent" in the Google
search field. Sure enough, after writing "Bitt", the keyword doesn't appear and also doesn't appear on Google Instant.
Combinations of keywords have also been censored, such as "Ubuntu torrents". This phrase will also not generate any suggestions in Google.
This move has not been welcomed by all. RapidShare, for one, isn't too pleased. The compnay said in a statement, "We knew about Google’s plans for quite a few weeks now. We embrace that certain search suggestions will not put a wrong complexion on RapidShare anymore, but we are concerned that at the same time the legitimate interests of our users will also be affected. We believe it was the wrong decision to remove the term ‘RapidShare’ from the search suggestions."
Simon Morris of BitTorrent expressed his opinion that the filter by Google is very broad. He said, "There’s no reason for Google to throttle search results for our trademarks, including BitTorrent, µTorrent and torrent," he said. "Indeed, they do still enable auto-complete for many third-party clients that use the BitTorrent protocol, including BitComet, BitLord, and even sites like The Pirate Bay and Isohunt."
It was not long ago that an image of what was then said to be an Android powered device from HTC was leaked. The handset, thought to be a next generation HTC flagship seems to have reappeared again – in the form of an actual prototype. An eagle eyed tipster who was commuting on the busy Taipei Metro spotted one gentleman (most likely, an HTC Engineer) with this handset and candidly took a couple of pictures for all of us to see.The device is quite similar to the existing HTC Desire – albeit minus an optical trackpad.As of now, little is known about the specs of this device apart from that fact that it would run Android. Now, being a flagship device, we can expect this one to get at least a 4 inch display along with the latest version of Android.There is no inkling as to when we should expect this one to launch.[Via Mobile01]