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Archive for May 2014

31
May
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AT&T and Verizon are tied for the most US cellular customers


AT&T LTE ad at a San Francisco store

AT&T and Verizon have long dominated the American cellular landscape, but there’s always been a top dog (more recently, Verizon). In the first quarter of the year, however, something strange happened — the carriers virtually tied each other for market share, according to estimates by analyst Chetan Sharma. While the providers publish different figures (AT&T includes virtual networks and machine-to-machine links that Verizon doesn’t), Sharma believes that they both had 34 percent of US subscribers. AT&T reportedly leveled the playing field when it bought Leap and added all of Cricket’s customers.

This isn’t to say that either of the big two telcos can rest easily. While Sprint is still bleeding subscribers and dipped to 16 percent of the US market, T-Mobile is thriving — the UnCarrier added twice as many users as its top three rivals put together, giving it a 14 percent slice. It’s difficult to know for sure whether the estimate is completely accurate given the lack of directly comparable official numbers. No matter what, you can’t count on this state of affairs lasting for very long. Sprint’s rumored acquisition of T-Mobile could quickly tip the balance, and it wouldn’t take much for AT&T or Verizon to claim an absolute lead.

Filed under: Cellphones, Wireless, Mobile, Verizon, Sprint, AT&T, T-Mobile

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Via: GigaOM

Source: Chetan Sharma

31
May
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Meet NASA’s commercial space capsule contenders


Meet NASA's commercial space capsule contenders

Sure, the Dragon V2 is the latest (and greatest) spacecraft from SpaceX, but it’s not the only capsule that may one day schlep astronauts to the International Space Station. In fact, Elon Musk’s firm is just one of three private outfits currently competing in a NASA program for commercial launches with their own vehicles. We’ve surveyed the space capsule landscape and have whipped up a primer on the future crafts that may wind up taking humans to space.

Dragon (V2)

The second-gen Dragon just had its coming-out party, but we’ll recap the highlights. As SpaceX’s workhorse, the original Dragon has sat atop Falcon 9 rockets and carried cargo to the International Space Station, but it hasn’t been able to safely transport humans. Dragon V2 remedies that, providing accommodations for up to seven passengers (or less for additional cargo space). What’s more, it’s expected the capsule can be used up to 10 times before needing significant repairs.

Eight new SuperDraco engines are fitted into the vehicle, allowing it to land on solid ground with the precision of helicopter, all without using a single parachute. Of course, in an emergency, the vessel can use its reserve chutes and drop itself into the sea. A battery of tests is still in the cards for Dragon V2 before it goes airborne, but it’s expected to fly with humans aboard in 2016.

CST-100

[Image credit: Boeing, PDF]

Boeing’s entry into the commercial crew and cargo program is the Crew Space Transportation-100, or CST-100 for short. In addition to shuttling astronauts to the International Space Station, it’s intended to carry folks to private space stations like those proposed by Bigelow Aerospace. When it’s tasked with taxiing humans, Boeing’s vessel can carry a crew as large as seven.

For landings, the craft slows itself down with parachutes and touches down on terra firma. In the case of an emergency, however, the vehicle can take a dip in the sea.

The CST-100 isn’t quite ready to be tossed into the vacuum of space quite yet, but it’s making good progress. In February, the hardware that connects it to Atlas V rockets passed muster with NASA, and it’s on track to hit the development milestones the space agency is looking for in 2014.

CST-100
Diameter 4.56 m (15 ft)
Height 5 m (16.5 ft)
Weight Approx. 9,000kg (20,000 lbs)
Crew (maximum) 7
Launch Vehicle(s) Atlas V, Delta IV and Falcon 9

Dream Chaser

[Image credit: NASA]

The odd duck in the government’s commercial crew program is the Dream Chaser. Rather than rely on a capsule design, Sierra Nevada Corporation’s built its astronaut taxi by picking up the space shuttle’s mantle. Although it resembles NASA’s retired 184-foot long workhorse, it measures up at just 29.5 feet long. Not only does it look like a pint-sized shuttle, but it also functions much like one.

The Dream Chaser uses an entirely different form of controlled descent from its competition. By gliding down from low-Earth orbit, the contraption is able to land at any airport runway suited for commercial airliners. While it builds on the shuttle’s strengths, it also inherits some of its weaknesses. Sierra Nevada’s solution can handle ferrying up to seven folks to space in low-earth orbit, but it’s not fit for long trips to other planets.

In November of 2016, the pint-sized shuttle lookalike is scheduled to make it to orbit for the first time. As if the similarities to NASA’s spaceplane weren’t enough already, it’s set to use the very same runway (for landing) as its much larger doppelgänger.

Dream Chaser
Length 9 m (29.5 ft)
Wingspan 7 m (22.9 ft)
Weight 11,300 kg (25,000 lbs)
Crew (maximum) 7
Launch Vehicle Atlas V

Orion

[Image credit: NASA, Flickr]

OK, NASA’s next-generation space vehicle, Orion, isn’t a commercial craft, but it’s certainly worth mentioning. Although it was originally devised as part of the now-canceled Constellation program that aimed to take astronauts to asteroids, Mars and the moon, the space agency’s building a version of the craft — with the help of Lockheed Martin — that’ll become its Swiss Army knife. Now dubbed the Orion Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle (MPCV), it’ll be able to make those same trips using a new rocket setup called the Space Launch System. What’s more, it’ll also be able to haul up to six people to the International Space Station if the need arises.

Returning to Earth for Orion means deploying parachutes and splashing down in the ocean, much like the Apollo missions did. In an emergency, however, the vessel can safely set itself down on soil.

A bit of legwork is still needed before Orion can make its way into orbit, but its first test flight isn’t far off. Come December 2014, it’ll head 3,600 miles away from our blue marble and land — if all goes well — in one piece.

Orion
Diameter 5 m/16.5 ft
Height 3.3 m/11 ft
Weight 8,913 kg/19,650 lbs
Crew (maximum) 6
Launch Vehicle Delta IV, Space Launch System

Wrap-up

Though each of these commercial vehicles is progressing steadily, it may not be until 2016 that any of them are slung into orbit. Ironically, for as much as NASA’s demise is proclaimed, it’ll launch Orion before the CST-100 and Dream Chaser even get their first taste of space’s vacuum. No matter which company (or companies) NASA ultimately taps for future crew and cargo missions, space aficionados will have the private space race as entertainment.

Filed under: Transportation, Science

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31
May
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The Big Picture: Exploring the deep blue in a wearable submarine


Developed and built by Nuytco Research, this exosuit is made from hard metal and allows divers to operate safely down to a depth of 1000 feet. The suit has four 1.6 horsepower propulsion thrusters, fiber optic gigabit ethernet, and a host of telemetry devices. The “Exosuit atmospheric diving system” (ADS) will allow wearers to work in deep water without facing problems with decompression. While still in testing right now, diver Michael Lombardi will be taking it out for its first full exploration mission later this summer, at a location called Canyons, approximately 100 miles off the coast of Rhode Island.

Filed under: Science

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Source: Nuytco Research

31
May
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Moto X+1 to sport 5.2-inch 1080p display


moto-x1-leak-2

The successor to the original Moto X is turning out to be a pretty decent phone, based on the plethora of rumors we’ve received so far. Possibly due out towards the end of Summer, the “Moto X+1″ should be toting 2GB RAM, a quad core CPU, and a 12MP camera. We’ve also heard of the phone bringing us a 5.2-inch, 1080p display. Well, thanks to this new leaked image, we’re getting closer and closer to “confirming” some of these specs.

Let’s be honest, we know that until Motorola steps out on stage and releases the specs nothing is actually confirmed. But that doesn’t stop us from fishing around for leaked images or a reported spec sheet. This particular leak, however, was brought to us by a Baidu forum user, that shows the display of what appears to be an unreleased Motorola phone.

From one shaky photo, there’s no way of telling exactly how big the screen size actually is, or whether or not it sports a 1080p display. But what we do know is this: obviously Motorola will want to bump up some specs this time around, and these leaks are making us believe it more and more.

Who knows whether or not any of these leaked photos are actually the real thing. It would make sense, though, especially because this phone looks like it would be a successor to the Moto X. We’ll have to wait until the end of summer to find out.

What are your thoughts on all of these Moto X+1 rumors? Do you think any of them are true?

Source: Baidu forums, Via: Slash Gear

The post Moto X+1 to sport 5.2-inch 1080p display appeared first on AndroidGuys.

31
May
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Samsung Galaxy Tab S 10.5 press renders leak out, show a perforated Back



Samsung Galaxy Tab S 10.5Samsung has had a number of tablet devices of the Galaxy Tab S line rumoured to be announced at their event on the 12th of June. Today we get the best look yet of one of those devices, the Samsung Galaxy Tab S 10.5, in some press renders leaked out by leak extraordinare, @evleaks. The Galaxy Tab S 10.5, which is expected to be launched with a smaller Galaxy Tab S 8.4 variant, is rumoured to have a 10.5-inch 2560×1600 AMOLED display, the first on a tablet from Samsung since 2011.

Powering that monstrous display is said to be the octacore Exynos 5420, 3GB RAM and a fingerprint sensor much like the one on the Samsung Galaxy S5. That isn’t the only similarity these Tab S tablets are expected to have with Samsung’s latest flagship smartphone; from the press renders, it looks like the Tab S 10.5 will have a perforated finish on the rear of the device like the Galaxy S5, and presumably the Tab S 8.4 will also have the same.


Are you looking for a new tablet and are interested in the new Galaxy Tab S devices? Let us know what you think in the comments below.

Source: @evleaks via Phone Arena


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31
May
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Divoom Voombox Travel Review – The Little Big Rugged Package



Divoom Voombox Travel Size

Big things can often come in tiny packages and that’s what is happening to the mobile speaker industry.  Companies are constantly finding ways to make portable audio smaller, lighter and better sounding.  Divoom’s Voombox Travel is one of the latest rugged travel speaker accessories designed to enhance your listening experience when you’re travelling.

The Voombox Travel is a compact puck shaped, Bluetooth 4.0 speaker.  The Voombox Travel is also rugged in design and rated as water resistant. Its easily clipped to your pant loops or backpack via the included carabiner making easily usable on any kind of excursion.

 

Divoom Voombox Travel Circle

The added bonus is the built in Mic allowing the Voombox travel to act as a speaker phone too.

 

Specifications:

  • Dimensions: 90 mm diameter, 45 mm thick
  • Speaker: 2″ full range and 2” passive radiator rated at 4 watts
  • Battery: 550 mAh, 2 to 2.5 hours charge time
  • Bluetooth: Bluetooth 4.0, A2DP Stereo profile support
  • Talk time: up to 6 hours
  • Music playback time: up to 6 hours

 

The Divoom Voombox Travel is available in a multitude of different colors to suites almost everyone’s tastes.

Divoom Voombox Travel Colors


The build quality of the Voombox Travel seem pretty high.  It feels good and solid in your hands and definitely has that rugged feel you’d expect from an outdoor speaker like this.  There is a ribbed rubber banding about ¾” wide around the entire body of the Voombox Travel offering good protection and also encompasses the various buttons used to control the Power, Volume, Phone answering and USB port.

Divoom Voombox Travel Power Button

The sound is generated by a 2 inch driver and 2 inch passive radiator and generates a surprising amount of bass and pretty clear audio.  It’s not going to replace your less mobile speaker systems, but for the perfect mobile experience, it’s up at the top of my list.  Sound comes from one side of the Voombox Travel while the opposite side has the same speaker grill but also three small rubber rubbers so you can sit it down on a flat surface with some degree of protection.

Divoom Voombox Travel Volume Button

While the Voombox Travel is rugger, it’s not waterproof.  It designed to be splash resistant so you’ll be good in the light rain and splashes on a beach or boat, but don’t go throwing in the water and expect it to continue working.

Pairing the device with a couple of different phones was fast and easy.  There was an occasional breakup in the sound when I was walking with the speaker on my belt loop.  Not sure why as my phone was only feet away, but this can happen sometimes with Bluetooth and may have nothing to do with the Voombox Travel.  In general, I had no issues with the connection.

Divoom Voombox Travel USB Connector

The speaker phone worked great, with the usual caveat of most Bluetooth hands free devices.  People know you’re on a hands free speakerphone, but everyone said they could hear me fine for a short conversation.

Conclusion:

Divoom is getting good at making inexpensive audio accessories, not only in the quality of the sound they produce, but the quality of the build as well.  The Divoom Voombox Travel is a great little companion device when you’re heading out doors and want something easy to carry for a little background sound.  If you’re more of an audiophile and need something to crank out a little higher quality sound at higher levels, then you’ll maybe want to look at less mobile, larger device.

For $50, you can’t really ask for more and I have no problem recommending the Divoom Voombox Travel to anyone.


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31
May
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Recommended Reading: Beer genetics and Kinect physical therapy


Recommended Reading highlights the best long-form writing on technology and more in print and on the web. Some weeks, you’ll also find short reviews of books that we think are worth your time. We hope you enjoy the read.

Strange Brews: The Genes of Craft Beer
by William Herkewitz, New York Times

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White Labs has been providing professional and home brewers with the requisite yeast strains that they need for proper fermentation for years. Now, the suds-focused laboratory has gone a step further by creating the first genetic map for the yeasts. The company has sequenced DNA from over 240 strains from all over the globe, reading the 12 million molecules that compose each line by line. Not only will direct comparisons be an option, but also discovering exactly how the mapping translates to the final taste and the overall brewing process.

How the Kinect Saved My Life and Why I Don’t Want it to Go Away
by Holly Green, Polygon

We’ve seen Kinect used in a variety of ways over the years, and aiding physical therapy patients is just one of the myriad tasks. Finding relief from her Reflex Neurovascular Dystrophy, Polygon’s Holly Green took to Dance Central for at-home sessions and staying motivated to get the much-needed exercise in. With Microsoft recently making the choice to unbundle the Kinect from Xbox One packages, the future of the add-on could be in jeopardy, and Green pleads her case for it to stay.

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Why This NASCAR Team Is Putting RFID Sensors On Every Person In The Pit
by
Matt Hartigan, Fast Company

A fraction of a second in the pits could mean the difference between winning a race and finishing fifth. Until now, NASCAR crews have used video footage and stopwatches to gauge performance, but a company is looking to outfit each person over the wall from Michael Waltrip Racing with RFID Sensors. By doing do, the effort seeks to maximize efficiency by gauging each turn of the track bar, tightened lug nut and fuel fill-up to ensure that races are won — and not lost — on pit road.

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Kickstarter Helps Revive a Film Ansel Adams Used
by Hiawatha Bray, Boston Globe

Thanks to a Kickstarter campaign, Polaroid’s popular large-format black-and-white Type 55 film is set to return. A new release based on the original photo material — which was used by Ansel Adams to shoot stills of Yosemite National Park — is scheduled to debut next year thanks to the efforts of inventor Robert Crowley.

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How To Redesign Stadiums For People Who’d Rather Watch Games On TV
by Evan Gant and Alex Tee, Fast Company

Let’s face it: Sometimes it’s just better to stay home and watch the big game on TV. There’s the traffic and the overpriced beers and the view from the nosebleeds to make the experience a bit less than ideal. Most folks are okay to stay at home, so attendance is suffering, but there are some things that can be done to motivate couch potatoes to turn out.

Pocket

Filed under: Misc

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31
May
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The not-so-mini Oppo N1 Mini is officially announced sporting a 5-inch Display



Oppo N1 MiniBeing “mini” no longer means being a small smartphone anymore thanks to the Oppo N1 Mini which was officially announced earlier today. While the 5-inch N1 Mini is definitely smaller than the original Oppo N1, which sported a 5.9-inch display, it still dwarfs most smartphones that many people would still call a little big. If the size isn’t all you’re worried about, you’ll be happy to hear that the N1 Mini is still going to have the 13MP swivel camera for taking those high resolution selfies.

The specific processor that the N1 Mini is going to be using has yet to be revealed, but it is going to be LTE capable. This is a step up from the original N1 which lacked the LTE support, but also had a 3,610mAh battery; the N1 Mini is going to only have a 2,140mAh which may decidedly struggle under the stresses of 4G usage. The device will also be running Oppo‘s proprietary ColorOS, but that’s all that has been announced so far, with the device to be officially launched in China on June 11th with no mention of price or a global release yet.


What do you think of the Oppo N1 Mini? Are you interested in getting one if it is priced appropriately? Let us know your opinion in the comments.

Source: Oppo via Android Police

 


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31
May
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Whatcha Playing?: CLARC by Golden Tricycle



Whatcha Playing

This is the first of hopefully many weekly articles, where I exclusively play one game for an entire week and tell you the readers what I think of the game and we can discuss it in the comments. This week I played the game CLARC by Golden Tricycle.

Whatcha Playing

What the game is about?
Spoil free as best as I can. You play a robot that is tasked to fix things around a robot filled factory. As you’re trying to do job you run into a damsel in distress, this is where the game takes a page from the movie Wall-E. The best part of the game to me is the humor which always seemed to put at least a smile on my face.

Whatcha Playing


What type of game is it?
CLARC is a top down view platform puzzle game that has both slow and fast paced puzzles. What do I mean? For one example of the slow part of the game is it will give you a puzzle that lets you take your time and think it over. As you progress in the game some puzzles are a race to stay alive, sometimes literally.

Whatcha Playing

Who is this game for?
This game is for those who like to think ahead while sometimes thinking on their toes. If you are a fan of games like Zelda for the puzzles and less for the action this game is for you. If you liked the movie Wall-E this game is also for you.

Whatcha Playing

Even though I was not able to beat the game in a week I enjoyed my time with it. This is one that I would recommend to anyone that either wants a change of pace or just something fun yet at time frustrating to play. Also a side note the game developer also made a lite version of the game for a try before you buy experience. Let me know what you think about this game in the comments as well as any questions and also whatcha playin for this week.

Google Play Link: CLARC Lite, CLARC


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31
May
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Oppo’s N1 mini makes iPhones look tiny


The N1 isn’t exactly a household name, so allow us to refresh your memory: it’s a CyanogenMod phone with a selfie-friendly swivel camera made by Chinese manufacturer Oppo. Well, its creator just announced a mini version of the device — except it’s not exactly something you’d call small. Oppo shaved just 0.9 inch off the full-sized N1, so the smaller version’s still quite a large 5-inch phone, larger than other “mini” follow-up devices like the 4.3-inch Galaxy S4 mini. According to the official page Android Police spotted, the new device will have the same 13-megapixel swivel camera. It is slightly lighter (150 grams) than its older sibling (213 grams), though, and features something the original phone doesn’t have: LTE support, which is unfortunately coupled with a smaller battery (2,140mAH vs. the larger one’s 3,610mAH). As you’d except, the Oppo N1 mini’s shipping in China first on June 11th loaded with the company’s Android ROM called Color OS. Whether it’ll follow in its predecessor’s footsteps and heading stateside, we still don’t know, but we’ll keep you posted.

Filed under: Cellphones, Mobile

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Via: Android Police

Source: Oppo

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