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Chart Suggests Speed-Bumped 15-Inch Retina MacBook Pros with 16GB of RAM Standard Coming Soon

Apple may be planning to launch a slightly refreshed line of 15-inch Retina MacBook Pros complete with faster Haswell processors and 16GB of RAM standard, according to a photo said to have come from the company’s Chongqing, China store (via BBS Feng, Google Translate).

The purported pricing chart shows two standard configurations priced at 14,288 yuan and 18,688 yuan, which is the same as Apple’s current pricing for its 15-inch notebook line in China. If real, this pricing chart would likely indicate that Apple would keep its current pricing instead of offering each new model for less as done for the MacBook Air earlier this year.

The first configuration comes with a faster Intel Core i7 2.2 GHz processor and 16GB of RAM standard compared to the current 2.0 GHz Intel Core i7 and 8GB of RAM found on the current base model 15-inch Retina MacBook Pro. Meanwhile, the second configuration features a 2.5 GHz Intel Core i7 processor and the same 16GB of RAM, up from the current 2.3 GHz Intel Core i7 processor. Both models feature the same graphics, with the first configuration coming with Intel’s Iris Pro graphics and the second coming with both the Iris Pro and NVIDIA’s GeForce GT 750M.

A third high-end configuration priced at 23,688 yuan also appears on the chart, boasting a 2.8 GHz Intel Core i7 processor, 16GB of RAM, 1TB of flash storage, and Intel’s Iris Pro graphics plus a NVIDIA GeForce GT 750M.

All of the processors listed on the chart correspond to Intel’s new line of Core i7 Haswell processors launched last week, perhaps indicating that an updated 15-inch Retina MacBook Pro line may be imminent. Apple’s line of 13-inch Retina MacBook Pros should also see an update in the near future, as Intel also launched new Core i5 Haswell processors alongside its refreshed i7 Haswell chips.

A minor refresh of the Retina MacBook Pro line was originally noted earlier this year alongside a rumored 12-inch Retina MacBook. According to the latest reports, the 12-inch Retina MacBook may be pushed back to next year because of Intel’s delayed Broadwell chips.


Sure enough, you can play ‘Doom’ on an ATM

Doom on an ATM

The quest to play Doom on just about everything won’t be over any time soon, it seems. A team of Australians has torn open and modified an ATM to play id Software’s classic first-person shooter using some of the bank machine’s built-in controls. This isn’t the hardest hack in the world — ATMs like this run Windows XP, after all — but it still required custom software and logic, including a circuit board that can remap buttons meant for deposits instead of demon slaying. What you see in the video below is just the start, too. The group already has the side buttons working for weapon selection, and it hopes to make the number pad usable. There’s also talk of tweaking the game to use the receipt printer; if you wanted, you could have it spit out proof that you finished a tough level. The odds of getting the hardware to recreate this feat are sadly rather slim, but it’s good to know that even your local ATM can handle some proper shoot-’em-up action.

Filed under: Gaming


Via: Hack A Day

Source: Aussie50 (YouTube)


Windows Phone’s next update will support smart cases and giant devices

HTC One Dot View case

Windows Phone 8.1 may have only just reached the general public, but it’s already in line for a surprisingly large update. Microsoft has posted developer documents (sign-in required) for Windows Phone 8.1 GDR1, a tweak that fills in a few key hardware and software gaps. Aside from previously revealed folder support, the upgrade will allow for smart cases akin to HTC’s Dot View or LG’s QuickCircle. Phone makers will get to run special apps when the cover is closed, and specify what happens when it’s open. This seemingly simple addition could be important, since The Verge claims that HTC is preparing a Windows Phone version of the new One — such a device would need smart cover features to perform the same tricks as its Android counterpart.

The revision should also enable more of the tablet-sized phones that are all the rage in some corners of the globe. It’ll support a 1,280 x 768 resolution on screens as large as 7 inches, and there’s a new 1,280 x 800 option useful for larger devices that use software navigation buttons. Other upgrades are smaller, but should be important in the long run — the update should bring high-quality voice over LTE, higher-quality Bluetooth music (through aptX) and manufacturer-defined custom lock screens. There’s no confirmed schedule for when GDR1 would arrive, but Microsoft is clearly getting close. It won’t be surprising if the next big wave of Windows Phones ships with the new features built in.

Filed under: Cellphones, Mobile, Microsoft, HTC, Nokia


Via: NokiaPowerUser, WPCentral

Source: Microsoft (1), (2)


Gadget Rewind 2005: BenQ Z2

BenQ may not be a familiar name to some — at least not in the US — but its roots in the electronics industry date back to the ’80s. The company, formerly a division of Acer, was spun off in 2001 in an attempt to build a brand name for itself. With a background in manufacturing, BenQ began building devices for companies like Nokia and Motorola; devices that were mostly for sale in Asian markets. Soon, it started its own line of mobile handsets and in 2005, BenQ announced a cube-like multimedia device called the Z2. It was poised to compete with the other camera-toting and music-playing cellphones at the time, while also targeting the youth market with its unique form factor and colorful exteriors. Curious to know more? Check out our gallery below.

Filed under: Cellphones, Mobile



Inhabitat’s Week in Green: bonsai in space, rising sea levels and the blood of horseshoe crabs

Each week our friends at Inhabitat recap the week’s most interesting green developments and clean tech news for us — it’s the Week in Green.

Google has a long list of environmental initiatives — and its latest project is to outfit its Street View cars with environmental sensors to track down methane emissions that contribute to climate change. But when it comes to futuristic transportation, there’s no greater innovator than Elon Musk. The serial entrepreneur recently appeared on The Colbert Report, where he discussed Tesla, the Hyperloop and SpaceX.

In other space news, this week NASA scientists suggested that future moon dwellers could live in the hundreds of caves that dot the surface of the moon. It’s believed that the caves would protect humans from sun radiation, meteors and the wild temperature swings on the moon. Japanese artist Azuma Makoto also captured our imagination this week by sending a bonsai tree into space and snapping some gorgeous photos as it orbited the Earth. The time when space exploration was limited to a pair of superpowers — the USA and the Soviet Union — is long gone; these days, several other countries are looking to explore faraway planets. The United Arab Emirates just announced that it’s setting up a Space Agency – and it plans to send an unmanned probe to Mars by 2021. There’s still plenty to explore on our own planet, though. A giant hole in the earth, about 262 feet in diameter, was recently discovered in Russia’s far north, and scientists are baffled about the cause of the chasm.

Sea levels are rising, and if we continue the course we’re on, they’re likely to continue to rise significantly. Case in point: The amazing Cape Romano dome homes located off the coast of Florida are now being swallowed up by rising sea levels. On the topic of sea-level rise, this week Inhabitat interviewed architect Koen Olthuis about how cities can adapt to rising sea levels. His response? Embrace the water by building on it instead of running from it. In other ocean-related news, Captain Charles Moore, the man who discovered the Great Pacific Garbage Patch back in 1997, recently returned to the Pacific and discovered that permanent islands of plastic now exist within the patch. And you won’t believe what people are doing to horseshoe crabs — every year, over 250,000 of the creatures are captured so that humans can harvest their blue blood.

What if you could transform your entire house with the push of a button? That’s precisely the idea behind the Sharifi-ha House, which features rotating rooms that swing outwards to soak up sunlight and provide additional space. Football season is fast approaching, and when it begins, the San Francisco 49ers will move into their new home at Levi’s Stadium, the country’s first LEED Gold-certified NFL stadium. The stadium is equipped with photovoltaic panels that will generate enough energy to power all 10 games each season. A historic farm in the Dutch countryside also received a green energy upgrade with the addition of a modernist solar shed that provides 100 percent of the farm’s energy needs. And Sainsbury’s, a popular UK grocery store, just became the first in the country to be totally powered by food waste. The store recently split from the national power grid in favor of food power created through the anaerobic digestion of food scraps.

On the wearable-technology front, the productivity blogger Maneesh Sethi has developed the “Pavlok” wristband, which shocks you into forming better habits. If you don’t meet your goals — whether it’s exercising or simply arriving to work on time — the device will deliver a jolt of electric current to your wrist. But if you want a bracelet that will help you instead of hurt you, you might be better off with the Safelet, a wristband that signals for help when you’re in danger. Using a Bluetooth-connected app, the Safelet calls the police or the other emergency services when its wearer is in trouble. And in what could be a major breakthrough for STD prevention, an Australian biotech firm has developed a gel that actually fights STDs and has proven effective in killing 99.9 percent of viruses. A condom that uses the gel has received approval for release in Australia, and it could hit shelves within the next few months.



Solar cells cool themselves to produce more power

Solar power array

Solar power cells need to stay relatively cool for the sake of both efficiency and longevity, but active cooling (like ventilation) isn’t practical; it’s expensive, and may block the very rays the cells are supposed to collect. To tackle this problem, Stanford University researchers have created a new form of solar cell that cools itself. The technique embeds a pattern of very small cone and pyramid shapes into the collector’s silica surface, bouncing hot infrared wavelengths away while letting in the visible light that generates the most energy.

The result is a heavily optimized panel that not only scoops up more power, but avoids cooking itself to death — it’s very nearly ideal, according to scientists. The Stanford team has a long way to go (it still has to try the self-cooling tech outdoors), but it foresees commercial products. Don’t be surprised if you can eventually install a refined solar array at home that not only powers more of your gadgets, but doesn’t need to be replaced after suffering through a few too many scorching summers.

[Top image credit: AP Photo/Ebrahim Noroozi]

Self-cooling solar cell up close

Filed under: Science


Via: Treehugger, LaserFocusWorld

Source: Optical Society, OpticsInfoBase


Homer for iPhone lets you peek at the apps your friends use

Homer app for iPhone

Ever had the urge to peek at your friends’ phone screens, whether it’s to learn about their favorite apps or simply pry into their digital lives? Well, you can now do that without having to either strike up an awkward conversation or get overly nosy. PayPal co-founder Max Levchin and the HVF crew have launched Homer, an iPhone app that lets you share your app picks with fellow users. All you do is take screenshots of your home screens and submit them; Homer scans the pictures and identifies the apps, making it easy to compare them with pals in your contacts or on social networks.

As you’d hope, there’s some privacy features baked in. Besides the voluntary nature of screen captures, you can hide individual apps you’d rather keep a secret — you don’t have to share your Tinder addiction with the rest of the world. There’s no mention of Homer versions for other platforms (or people outside the US, for that matter), but you can try it today if you have both an iPhone and an unquenchable curiosity about your buddies’ mobile habits.

Filed under: Cellphones, Internet, Mobile


Via: GigaOM

Source: App Store, HVF Labs


Turn your Android phone into a PC gamepad with this new app

GestureWorks Gameplay using an Android phone for a gamepad

So you want a gamepad to play that new platformer on your Windows PC, but you don’t relish the idea of buying an expensive peripheral that will collect dust after you’re done. Are you stuck using the keyboard? Not if Ideum has its way — it’s updating its GestureWorks Gameplay virtual controller app with Android support, letting you use your phone or tablet to steer the action instead of either a real gamepad or on-screen buttons. You can still tailor the controls for specific titles, so you won’t have to settle for a sub-par experience just because you jumped from Castle Crashers to Bastion. The new software supports more graphics standards, too, so more of your favorite games should be compatible.

You’ll have to spend $15 to get the full version of the new Gameplay app, which should be available on Steam either now or very shortly. That’s relatively costly for a utility, but the Android upgrade extends the software’s usefulness beyond tablets — it could save you from buying gamepads for most any Windows PC, and it will visiting friends join in on multiplayer sessions without having to bring dedicated hardware.

Filed under: Cellphones, Gaming, Software


Source: GestureWorks


A Motorola Nexus 6 Reportedly in Our Future


A new report has come about that is suggesting Motorola will be the manufacturer of the Nexus 6. Speculation from the community pointed to LG giving another go at the the Nexus phone, but according to Android Police, Motorola and Google have a phone in the works with the codename Shamu. Why Shamu? This phone is going to be HUGE is my guess.

The Moto Nexus 6 from this report says that it will rock a 5.9-inch display, and will be due out this November. That is usually the time when Google announces their new Nexus devices, and the report also mentioned it will be available on all major carriers. The evidence is there, and we know that Google hasn’t given up on their Nexus line, so let us know what you think about a 5.9-inch Moto Nexus 6.

Source: 9to5google

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The post A Motorola Nexus 6 Reportedly in Our Future appeared first on AndroidSPIN.


HTC Desire 610 gets launched by AT&T


First we heard rumors that AT&T will release the HTC Desire 610, and then they confirmed the availability of it just a few days ago. Now AT&T has officially launched the HTC Desire 610, you can grab it for just 99 cents with a 2-year contract, and if you are interested in getting it without… Read more »

The post HTC Desire 610 gets launched by AT&T appeared first on AndroidGuys.

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