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Old dogs can learn new tricks: Samsung Galaxy Gear gets an update to Tizen

Samsung Galaxy Gear gets an update to TizenThe Samsung Galaxy Gear, in hindsight, was a leap of faith for Samsung. Releasing the most powerful smartwatch onto the market would have seemed logical and putting Android on it would have seemed equally logical. The success, however, never eventuated and the Galaxy Gear ended up being plagued with poor battery life and garnered its fair share of criticism. The release of the Samsung Gear 2 and Gear 2 Neo signalled a change in strategy for Samsung, entrusting their smartwatches with the Tizen OS. However, it looks like they might be giving its predecessor one last hurrah as the Samsung Galaxy Gear gets an update to Tizen.

Overall, although the device is essentially wiped and a new OS put on, the Tizen Galaxy Gear will vary very little visually. The improvements, however, mostly lie beneath the surface with improvements to performance and battery life as well as several new features like a music player, voice control for the camera and customizable shortcuts. All of these can be found on the Gear 2 and Gear 2 Neo, but it’s nice to see that Samsung cares enough to give the Galaxy Gear a second lease on life. Currently, the update is only officially available through Samsung Kies, otherwise you’ll have to manually install it; as this is an effective wipe of data, be sure to back up anything before updating.

With prices of the Galaxy Gear falling quickly, this might be a good chance for Samsung devices owners to cheaply get in on the Tizen smartwatch bandwagon. What do you think about Samsung putting Tizen on the Galaxy Gear? Let us know your thoughts below.

Source: SamMobile via Phandroid

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MIT project transforms selfies into pro-style portraits

As it stands, you can spice up your selfies with Instagram filters and other edits before beaming to the interwebs. But what about making a truly compelling smartphone self-portrait? Well, a team of researchers from MIT — alongside folks from Adobe and the University of Virginia — created an algorithm that could allow you to accurately apply the stylings of critically-acclaimed portrait photographers to everyday self-made snapshots. According to MIT grad student YiChang Shih, “style transfer” from the likes of Instagram and other filter-applying apps isn’t well-suited for complementing facial features. Instead, this software uses existing works (Richard Avedon, Diane Arbus, and Martin Schoeller are cited as examples) and makes an appropriate match with the captured image. Eyes, beard, skin and lighting are all compared to make an ideal pairing before applying the artistic details. “You can’t get stylizations that are this strong with those kinds of filters,” says Adobe’s Robert Bailey. “You can take a photo that has relatively flat lighting and bring out portrait-style pro lighting on it and remap the highlights as well.”

Filed under: Science, Software, Mobile


Via: TechCrunch

Source: MIT


Android TV to debut at Google IO – report says

android tv

It wasn’t that long ago that Google had plans get a place in your living room with a TV service , unfortunately that didn’t pan out quite as well as hoped with Google TV becoming a bit of a flop, mainly due to the half-baked integration of trying to combine apps and Pay TV services.

Google knows that there is a future in TV and the demise of their original TV offering has not put them off. According to Gigaom the much rumoured Android TV, the company’s new iteration of a TV platform, will see its debut at this year’s Google I/O conference in June.

Android TV is not set to be a piece of hardware instead Google will be pushing the platform the same route as it has done with Android for smartphones and will be looking for support from TV manufactures to have their hardware running Android TV straight out of the box, whether this is a TV or set-top device.

The focus for Google is to allow users to customise their TV with the content they actually want to see on their screen, very much like what they have in place with the Android OS. Applications for online tv providers , games and music are expected to be a big part of the Android TV experience with the likes of Netflix , Hulu plus and Google’s own music and content apps being available from launch.


Google needs this to be an enjoyable way to watch TV and for this to happen you need a very intuitive UI , so out steps PANO, Google’s secret weapon for keeping the user interface simplistic and probably very Google Now ish.

GigaOm quotes that “The idea behind Pano is that apps can surface individual pieces of content right on the home screen in a card-like fashion so that users can browse movies, TV shows and other types of media as soon as they turn on an Android TV.”

Early in the year the Verge released what was reported to be a leaked internal document that showed Android TV’s interface which really highlights Google’s method of keeping it simple with a nice clean layout and easy navigation and I hope that this is what we will see come June.

So Google’s TV vision looks to be taken care of but they need to get the TV manufacturers on board for this to succeed and with the fail of Google TV probably still fresh in the minds of these companies , it may not be an easy task to convince them that this will be better however it seems that some companies love to work with Google , LG for example, so it may not be that hard.

What about Chromecast ? I hear you say. Well it won’t fade away, the success of the streaming dongle has been immense especially with its competitive pricing but it is just that – it’s a way to get content off of your mobile device to the big TV and Google still sees this a cheap way to way to keep in the TV game , plus it keeps the company competing with the likes of Roku and Apple in the streaming market.

There are exciting times ahead for Google fans and we look forward to what I/O will bring for the TV.


The Post Android TV to debut at Google IO – report says appeared first on ChromeWatching.

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The post Android TV to debut at Google IO – report says appeared first on AndroidGuys.


LG Announces the LG G-Flex 2?! ASUS Padfone X Becomes Official! – The ManDroid Show


Happy Friday Android friends. I finally have an actual show for you. I changed up the format a  little bit, just because I was tired of the old way the show flowed. Hopefully you guys dig the new format. LG announced the G3, but that wasn’t  the only thing they announced. The ASUS Padfone X also was made officially, so let me know which phone is catching your eye.

News Topics
LG G3 becomes official
LG G-Flex 2 coming sooner than expected
ASUS Padfone X Announced

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LG’s G3 is surprisingly repairable for a smartphone

LG’s new G3 has some impressive internals, but just how impressive can’t be seen until you take the thing apart. That’s just what the folks at UBreakIFix did: they got their collective hands on a newly released Korean G3 and couldn’t seem to help themselves. Turns out, the G3 is incredibly easy to take apart (and more importantly, repair) as long as you’ve got a steady hand and just a little gumption. By their count, all that holds LG’s finest flagship together are 14 screws that are revealed once you pry a bit of plastic casing off. The rest of the components are fastened to a single large board instead of multiple like in the G2, which UBreakIFix’s Justin Wetherill says makes the prospect of fixing a busted G3 less of a headache. They’re still doing a deeper dive on what makes this smartphone tick, but for now, here’s a peek into its tightly packed innards.

Filed under: Mobile


Source: UBreakIFix


Windows Phone now lets you browse your files

Files for Windows Phone

You no longer have to go searching app-by-app to find a buried file on your Windows Phone. Right on schedule, Microsoft has released its Files app; if you’re running Windows Phone 8.1, you can now dig through folders to open and manipulate documents stored anywhere on your device. The interface won’t compare to what you get on your PC, but it should be useful for offloading photos to an SD card or deleteing videos that are chewing up space. If you’re already running Microsoft’s latest and greatest mobile OS, you only have to swing by the Windows Phone Store to give the file browser a spin.

Filed under: Cellphones, Mobile, Microsoft


Via: WPCentral

Source: Windows Phone Store


Nokia’s Here Maps acquires an AI firm to build you a virtual travel agent


Ever used Nokia’s Here Maps on your Windows Phone? If so, you’ll agree the platform has an impressively comprehensive vault of travel data to pull from. Today, the Finnish company hopes to make said data more personal by acquiring Desti, a travel-planning AI app based out of the same research center as Siri and Nuance.

So, what can Desti bring to the table? Since its software is based on natural language processing, it can peruse the metadata and customer reviews of online travel listings (hotels, hotspots, nearby attractions) based upon what you, the happy vacationer, are looking for. Want a more romantic rather than family-oriented getaway? No problem. Desti’s AI can gather such context from your request and summarize its recommendations in a friendly dialogue.

Nokia hasn’t outlined any real details on what future integration looks like, but Here VP of Search and Places Don Zereski did drop a small hint, saying the company wants to “create a new class of location services that implicitly understands who you are and what you’re looking for, sometimes even before you ask.” Sounds a little bit like Foursquare‘s check-in prompts and Google Now, doesn’t it?

Filed under: Cellphones, GPS, Nokia


Source: Here, Desti


Tales of Honor: The Secret Fleet is a spacefarer’s dream game, now on Android

Tales of Honor: The Secret FleetI have a huge soft spot for action and strategic games that are set in space; one of my all time favourite games is Freespace 2 and since then I immediately take interest once I hear even a hint of space combat. Tales of Honor: The Secret Fleet is one such game that I took a liking too immediately after seeing its trailer and a few screenshots. The game includes ship-to-ship combat and allows you to customize and improve your ship between battles. Check out the trailer for some snippets of gameplay:

Developed as part of Evergreen Studios‘ storyworld of Tales of Honor, the game has been developed with a strong emphasis on the story and its keeping with the lore. If Evergreen Studios sounds familiar, that’s because they are the studio behind the recent Walking with Dinosaurs movie. While the game has been on iOS for some time now, the Android version is now available on the Google Play Store for free. Being a game with upgrades and customization, there are in-app purchases that can be made within the game, however so far in my time playing Tales of Honor, I haven’t felt the need to buy anything yet to be able to enjoy the game. Plus, it’s space!

Tales of Honor: The Secret FleetIf you’re interested in picking up Tales of Honor: The Secret Fleet, be sure to hit the Play Store links below.


Press Release

After conquering the App Store, Honor Harrington sets course for Google Play

LOS ANGELES — May 27, 2014 — Evergreen Studios today announced the Android launch of Tales of Honor: The Secret Fleet. Previously released on iOS, the game is part of Evergreen’s Tales of Honor storyworld, based on David Weber’s military sci-fiHonor Harrington novels. The space-combat strategy game is now available for free on Google Play:

“We have been absolutely delighted with the response to the initial launch of The Secret Fleet from both fans and newcomers to the Honorverse.” said Richard Browne, EVP of Interactive and Gaming for Evergreen Studios. “The launch of the Android game is just the next step in expanding its reach, we will continue to add richness to it through regular updates and whole new experiences beyond.”

See the game in action in the trailer:

Weekly online live events are also kicking off with the Android release. Players are challenged to complete difficult quests that reward super rare and legendary loot. These event-exclusive items equip the ship’s offensive and defensive systems against enemy ambush and help level up the ship’s crew.

The game is divided into five modes:

  1. Starship combat: Players actively manage combat by firing missiles and defensive weapons, shifting the ship’s orientation to utilize impeller wedges, and repairing damaged systems on the fly.
  2. Damage repair: Players shift between the ship’s systems to put out fires, and save components, conduits, and the crews’ lives.
  3. Upgrading systems, components, and officers: Players must use resources obtained via successful encounters to level up systems, install components, and promote crewmembers from rookies to masters.
  4. Exploration and story progression: Challenging Story Missions unravel the game’s main plotline. Sub missions allow players to embark on random encounters within Star Systems to gather resources to aid in quests and upgrade the ship.
  5. Live events: These never-before-seen special missions are now available for the first time on Android!

Tales of Honor: The Secret Fleet on Android arrives on the heels of the 32rd Annual Sci-Fi and Fantasy Convention, BayCon 2014, in Santa Clara, CA, where David Weber and the Royal Manticoran Navy, the official Honor Harrington fan association, were this year’s guests of honor (no pun intended).

Also coming soon is the third issue of Tales of Honor: On Basilisk Station, the successful Honorverse comic series from Top Cow, which will hit stores and on June 11, 2014.

Tales of Honor: The Secret Fleet is now available for free on the App Store and Google Play.

For more information on the Tales of Honor storyworld, comic books and interviews with the creative team, please visit

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How to Tune Your IT Infrastructure for Easy Cloud Adoption

Asan organization’sIT infrastructure grows, so does the need to be able to deal with the growthin a quick and cost-efficient manner. One of the major requirements of modern business is to adapt internalIT infrastructure and business processes to new technologies such as cloud computing. Cloud computing means using IT infrastructure as a service. That service may be anything ranging from using third party APIs  or renting new hardware. The first step organizations should take to make their infrastructure cloud friendly is to undertand their basic infrastructure needs and decide which cloud computing infrustructure model they should adopt, depending on business size and needs.

How to Tune Your IT Infrastructure for Easy Cloud AdoptionUnderstanding Basic Infrastructure Requirements

In order to get the most out of your cloud computing solution, it is important to have the right hardware and infrastructure in place. Your infrastructureis a way to deliver virtualization to your cloud computing strategy. For instance, you can run your cloud computing across the internet or on a local server.

One very important requirement for effectiveuse of the cloud is reliable, fast internet access, especially for smaller organizations that are using public cloud providers. Moreover, you need enough bandwidth so those who need to collaborate and work across cloud technologies are able to do so efficiently.

Understanding Cloud Computing Infrastructure Models

Any organization that plans to adoptcloud services must decide which cloud computing infrastructure model suits its work processes.Organizationscan choose to deploy applications on private, public or hybrid cloud.

Organizations must take into consideration a number of factors before choosing a cloud model.  For instance, an application needed on a temporary basis might be best suited for deployment ona public cloud rather than private because it helps avoid the need to purchase additional hardware. On the other hand, if an application is needed on a permanent basis and has a specific requirement, it is better to deploy it on a private or hybrid cloud.

Let’stake a closer look at the different models of cloud infrastructure:

Public Cloud

Public clouds are built to be shared by clients. They are owned and run by a third party where resources including storage systems, servers and networks are shared. Here, applications from different customers can be run simultaneously because the public cloud has that capacity. Essentially, public clouds are famous for their role in reducing customer risk due to the fact that a lot of security and performance measures have to be taken into consideration before they are implemented.

Private Cloud

Private clouds are built for the exclusive use of one client and they provide utmost control over security, data and quality of service. The company owns the resources and has total control over how applications are run. Such clouds are likely to be deployed at a colocation (a location where the company’s servers are located together with the servers of the cloud provider) facility and are managed by the company’s own IT staff. Hence, this model gives companies high levels of control.

Hybrid Cloud

Hybrid clouds combine both private and public cloud models. Hybrid clouds have the ability to augment the resources of a public cloud and a private cloud in order to maintain high service levels in the face of rapid workload fluctuations.

Infrastructure Preparation: What shouldbe donebeforeAdopting Cloud Computing?

Organizations cannot jump into cloud computing without proper planning and guidancefrom an internal team of IT experts or an expert technology consulting firm. The following are recommended steps any business enterprise should follow when envisioning their cloud computing strategy:

  1. Start by outlining the organization’s cloud computing goal. Benchmarking and gap analysis are effective tools you can use to know where your organization stands at the moment relative to your internal IT needs as well as the competition. It is important that enterprises know exactly what advantages they will accrue once they adopt the cloud.
  2. The next step is to spell out the organization’s cloud vision.
  3. Develop a cloud strategy or an execution plan by consulting a technology consulting company or with the help of your internal IT experts.
  4. The aim of adopting the cloud is to achieve greater business efficiency and agility. Therefore, it is important to understand your overall IT goals and how you will be able to achieve them through cloud computing.
  5. A decision needs to be made whether you are going for the private, public or hybrid model
  6. The organization must focus on automation because it is the central pillar to efficiency, scalability and agility. When businesses become automated, business processes take short time to complete and there is a higher level of accuracy compared to manual processes.
  7. You should train your IT staff or hire the services of highly skilled IT professionals to help you achieve your cloud goals.

Knowing this helps organizations plan and put in place required infrastructure and IT resources to enable anefficient move to cloud.

In addition to the recommended steps above, organizations must also focus on the following key factors to make their infrastructure cloud friendly:

  1. Size of the organization – This determines what cloud model to choose, the type of resources to acquire and extent of IT consultancy services needed.
  2. Bespoke Software -If possible, it is advisable to have customized applications and specialist IT resources to usher in the cloud.  However, if you are a small start-up, there may be no need to purchase any software at all at first as you can make use of the free available web apps such as Google drive or Microsoft’s new Office 365 suite.
  3. Backup and Disaster Recovery – Have a proper backup and disaster recovery process so that if something goes wrong, you can get back on your feet on time. This can be in form of secure storage or signing up with more than one cloud provider to ensure data redundancy.
  4. Cloud Provider – Make sure you are buying the cloud services from a reputable providerto achieve maximum returns on your technology investment
  5. Due diligence -Due diligence needs to be carried out at the beginning of the planning process because there will be little opportunity to rollback in case of inefficient deployment.

To avail thetremendous benefits that result from adopting cloud services, it is important to ensure you have cloud friendly infrastructurethat helps you achieve reliability and efficiency in business processes. This can be achieved by critical evaluationas to which cloud infrastructure model toadopt, based on your business size and objectives.


E.T. and other Atari games rescued from New Mexico landfill to be sold

At this point some 1,377 game cartridges for the Atari 2600 have been rescued from the New Mexico landfill where they were unceremoniously dumped over 30 years ago. Of those, 700 will be appraised, certified and eventually sold, some of which will pass through the New Mexico Museum of Space History. While many carts will go to the film’s producers and museums like the Smithsonian, some will be sold to the public along with a certificate of authenticity. The details are still being worked out by city officials, but you could soon own a piece of gaming garbage history. The carts that will be commanding the most money will clearly be the 171 copies of E.T. that were unearthed, but titles like Centipede, Missile Command and Asteroids have also been dug up. There are still over 700,000 games buried the in landfill outside of Alamogordo, NM, but they’ll stay there… for now. The hole has been refilled, and the cartridges going on sale will be priced to reflect their rarity. Of course, if the city decides it needs more cash, that could always change.

Filed under: Gaming


Source: Alamogordo Daily News

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