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14
Oct

Google developer posts Android L screenshot, hints at “Lollipop”


android_l_lollipop_issue_tracker

There is much speculation as to what Google will be calling Android L. Some of the possible names are Licorice, Lemon Meringue Pie, Lava Cake, and Lemon Drop. Today, the selected name has seemingly been revealed. A developer on the Chromium issue tracker posted a screenshot from a device running Android L (seen above). In the status bar, you will see a tasty treat. What is it? A lollipop.

While we do not know the exact version number Google is going with, it is a safe bet that Android Lollipop is coming soon.

Source: Chromium
Via: Myce

Come comment on this article: Google developer posts Android L screenshot, hints at “Lollipop”

14
Oct

New details emerge about OPPO N3 camera


oppo_n3_camera_specs

Yesterday a new image surfaced from OPPO showing the new camera for the upcoming OPPO N3 smartphone. This ended lots of speculation and rumors about what form the rotating camera may take. Now the CEO of OPPO released a new image using his Weibo account to share some details about the camera. The biggest news to come from the image is that the sensor will measure 1/2.3-inches in size. This is a sizeable improvement compared to the sensor in the OPPO N1 that measured 1/3.06-inches.

For comparison, the Samsung Galaxy S 5 and the Samsung Galaxy Note 4 have a 1/2.6-inch sensor size while the HTC One (M8) and Apple iPhone 6 have 1/3-inch sensors. In addition to the change in sensor size, CEO Chenming Yong revealed the camera will be a 16MP unit.

According to Yong, OPPO was looking for more than just an increase in the number of pixels captured. They also wanted to improve the quality of the image and improving the sensor size is part of that effort. Between the camera improvements and other rumored specs, the OPPO N3 appears to be on a path to being one of the better devices to hit the market this year.

source: Weibo
via: G for Games

Come comment on this article: New details emerge about OPPO N3 camera

14
Oct

Samsung and Facebook strengthening relationship, but what’s in store?


Facebook_Home_Samsung_Galaxy_S_III_Status_Bar

Officials from Samsung and Facebook have met for the third time this year. It is not that much of a surprise considering the Gear VR is made with the Facebook-owned Oculus VR. By now, meetings should have moved on to other projects because the Gear VR is approaching a release. Apparently this latest meeting was a big success for both companies.

At the latest meetig, the two met at Samsung’s Open Innovation Center in Silicon Valley to discuss “futuristic” projects. Samsung and Facebook are working together to assist one another with their core strengths. If there is one area Facebook can help Samsung, it is user interaction. On the other side, Samsung could help Facebook gain success when it comes to hardware.

What is to come from these meetings? No one really knows. It could be hardware or it could be software. Maybe even both. Another Facebook phone seems highly unlikely due to the social network’s failed products. It could actually be something as simple as Facebook be pre-installed on select Samsung devices. However, that just does not sound like a futuristic project. It probably has something to do with hardware because Samsung is present; therefore, keep an eye out for something like a social smartwatch powered by Facebook.

Source: The Korea Times, The Korea Herald
Via: G 4 Games

Come comment on this article: Samsung and Facebook strengthening relationship, but what’s in store?

14
Oct

Apple Likely Planning October 24 Launch Date for New iPads


With Apple’s October media event coming up later this week, the company has reportedly already begun shipping mass quantities of new product into the U.S. and appears to be setting up for a Friday, October 24 availability date, according to a source that has provided accurate information to MacRumors in the past.

The specific product being shipped was not identified by the source, but it likely is Apple’s rumored upcoming iPad, though it is not clear which model — the iPad Air 2, the Retina iPad mini 2, or both — is being transported.

ipad_air_touch_id_mockupPhysical mockup of iPad Air 2 with Touch ID
The timing would be consistent with Apple’s usual strategy for such launches, coming just over a week after the product’s introduction. With the exception of major new category products like the Apple Watch or those for which there are severe production constraints, Apple typically unveils a product and ships it within a short period of time if not on the same day. Last year, Apple announced the iPad Air and Retina iPad mini on October 22 and launched the iPad Air on November 1, with the Retina iPad mini landing a few weeks later due to short supplies.

Based on these shipping estimates, Apple likely will announce its new iPad Air 2 and possibly an updated Retina iPad mini on Thursday with a target launch date of October 24. There is no word yet on the possibility of pre-orders, but if Apple does offer a pre-order period, it will likely start very soon after the event in order to allow shipments to be positioned for delivery on launch day.



14
Oct

iPad Air Roundup Updated


Apple is debuting its next-generation iPad Air this Thursday, with part leaks pointing towards an A8X chip, 2GB of RAM, and storage starting at 16GB. Rumors also suggest the updated tablet will feature Touch ID, an improved camera, a gold color option, and a new anti-reflective coating.



14
Oct

Macworld/iWorld Goes on Hiatus, No 2015 Event Planned


IDG today announced plans to put its annual Macworld/iWorld Expo on hiatus, which means the San Francisco event planned for 2015 will no longer take place. Macworld/iWorld, held annually, has long been one of the major Mac-based trade shows, dating back to 1985.

macworldiworldhiatus

Macworld/iWorld will not take place in 2015 and the show is going on hiatus. The show saw a remarkable 30 year run that changed the technology industry, provided an important forum for Apple developers to bring new companies and products to market, delivered world class professional development to Apple product enthusiasts, and fostered the development of one of the most dynamic professional communities in the tech marketplace.

Though the shuttering of Macworld/iWorld comes as a surprise, the expo’s popularity has been on the decline in recent years. Prior to 2009, Apple attended the event and used it to unveil new products, drawing thousands of attendees, but the company pulled out of the conference after 2009 and instead began hosting all of its own events.

Along with the Macworld/iWorld hiatus, Macworld also recently laid off several of its editorial staff members and shut down its print magazine. IDG’s wording “hiatus” in the statement suggests that Macworld/iWorld could potentially return in the future, and the company still plans to hold its enterprise-focused MacIT event in 2015.



14
Oct

What you need to know about Google’s battle with Oracle over Android


Boxing Robots

Two of the world’s most powerful companies are engaged in a legal battle that has its roots in the world’s most popular mobile operating system: Android. Google is playing defendant, while Oracle is laying claim to a crucial set of code in the foundation of Android. Doesn’t ring any bells? That’s likely due to the fact that this dispute goes back four years. Just this week, Google filed a petition with the United States Supreme Court to decide once and for all which company is in the right.

So, what are these two internet giants fighting about? The short answer is Java, which Oracle owns. The real answer, of course, is far more complex

Oracle is a seriously big company. Google is similarly huge. They’ve both got tremendous cash reserves (tens of billions of dollars), enormous profits each year and — most importantly — the will to see this dispute through. That’s evident from the past four years of shots from both sides.

Here’s a breakdown of the past four years, in short:

  1. Oracle files suit with Google (August 2010)
  2. Google hires Java founder James Gosling (March 2011)
  3. Jury finds that Google didn’t infringe patents, did infringe patents (May 2012)
  4. Judge William Aslup overturns copyright claim, says APIs aren’t copyrightable (May 2012)
  5. Oracle appeals to US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (October 2012)
  6. Which finds APIs copyrightable (May 2014)
  7. Google appeals to SCOTUS to hear the case (October 2014)

That brings us to this week.

WHAT IS IT?

Generic Java code

Okay, so we know that Oracle is suing Google, and we know that it has to do with Java and Android. The long and short is this: Making applications for Android and Java is very similar, and that similarity was on purpose. Google wanted it to be easy for developers who already used Java to make applications for Android. Google knew this, but didn’t want to license Java — owned by Oracle — for its big mobile OS.

Put more simply: Google didn’t want to pay Oracle for software, so it made its own, similar version of that software. Where things get messy is whether Google’s code, and the way that code is arranged, violates Oracle’s copyright. Is the code even copyrightable?

WHAT’S THE ARGUMENT?

US District Court Judge William Aslup didn’t think so when he mooted a jury ruling in May 2012. “To accept Oracle’s claim would be to allow anyone to copyright one version of code to carry out a system of commands and thereby bar all others from writing their own different versions to carry out all or part of the same commands. No holding has ever endorsed such a sweeping proposition,” he declared in a May 31st, 2012, ruling.

Aslup actually learned how to code in Java for the trial — there’s an amazing back-and-forth transcript at Groklaw that illustrates how deep he got (search for “We heard the testimony of Mr. Bloch…”).

The United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit later overturned Aslup’s ruling, which resulted in Google appealing to the highest court in the US. “Because we conclude that the declaring code and the structure, sequence and organization of the API packages are entitled to copyright protection, we reverse the district court’s copyrightability determination with instructions to reinstate the jury’s infringement finding as to the 37 Java packages,” Circuit Judges Kathleen O’Malley, S. Jay Plager and Richard Taranto wrote in May 2014.

The important sticking point there is whether or not “the declaring code and the structure, sequence and organization of API packages” is entitled to copyright. Thus far, we’ve got two different courts with two differing opinions on the matter.

WHAT DOES EACH SIDE HAVE TO LOSE?

Each side has a lot to lose should their argument prove unsuccessful; it’s not about money as much as it is about precedent. Should Oracle win, it’s setting a much bigger precedent in the technology business: Certain types of code, and specifically API packages, may be copyrightable. If so, that could mean a lot more copyright infringement lawsuits.

For Google, it could mean a big payout to Oracle. Not so much that Google would really feel it, but that’s up in the air; Oracle originally demanded several billion, but that was significantly reduced over time. It was originally rumored that Oracle wanted royalties for every Android device out there, and that may still be the case. Time will tell.

WHY SHOULD I CARE?

A Palestinian youth holds an Arabic tran

Google’s argument is essential to why this matters to you. In its Supreme Court filing, Google said, “Early computer companies could have blocked vast amounts of technological development by claiming 95-year copyright monopolies over the basic building blocks of computer design and programming.” Because Google was built on computer technology fundamentals from decades earlier (before 1978), copyright extends for 95 years. Such copyright claims would’ve impeded the progress of modern computing technology — that’s Google’s argument, anyway.

Oracle’s argument is such that functional code is on par with that of creative works. Oracle actually cites Harry Potter specifically. Here’s Oracle’s opening argument to the US Court of Appeals:

“Ann Droid wants to publish a bestseller. So she sits down with an advance copy of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix — the fifth book — and proceeds to transcribe. She verbatim copies all the chapter titles — from Chapter 1 (“Dudley Demented”) to Chapter 38 (“The Second War Begins”). She copies verbatim the topic sentences of each paragraph, starting from the first (highly descriptive) one and continuing, in order, to the last, simple one (“Harry nodded.”). She then paraphrases the rest of each paragraph. She rushes the competing version to press before the original under the title: Ann Droid’s Harry Potter 5.0. The knockoff flies off the shelves. J.K. Rowling sues for copyright infringement. Ann’s defenses: “But I wrote most of the words from scratch. Besides, this was fair use, because I copied only the portions necessary to tap into the Harry Potter fan base.” Obviously, the defenses would fail.

Defendant Google Inc. has copied a blockbuster literary work just as surely, and as improperly, as Ann Droid — and has offered the same defenses.”

WHAT’S NEXT?

That is, unfortunately, anyone’s guess. The US Supreme Court might take Google’s case (“Google Inc. vs. Oracle America Inc., 14-410″), and it might not. We’re not in the business of offering conjecture as to whether or not the Supreme Court accepts cases, but we sure are hoping it’ll take this one. If for nothing else, to hear the assuredly hilarious back-and-forth oral arguments over specific programming functions. There’s nothing quite like hearing Supreme Court justices grapple with technological jargon. It’s a delight!

WANT EVEN MORE?

Here’s hoping you do, because there’s a tremendous amount of writing about Oracle v. Google out there. Even just on Engadget, check out this tag. Groklaw was a vital resource throughout the research of this piece, as was Villanova law professor Michael Risch‘s writing at the Madisonian. The San Francisco Chronicle also published an explainer back in 2012 that helps to further elucidate the code dispute at the heart of Oracle and Google’s battle.

[Image credits: CSA Images/Getty Images (boxing robots), KIVILCIM PINAR/Getty Images (generic Java code), Wikimedia Commons (Oracle headquarters), AFP/Getty Images (Harry Potter books), Getty Images/Flickr RF (Supreme Court of the United States)]

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14
Oct

Here’s what Google’s giant Nexus 6 phone (probably) looks like


Google's giant Nexus smartphone

You may have already seen concepts and sketchy photos of Google’s long-fabled 6-inch Nexus, but it now looks like the final veil of secrecy has been removed from this future Android flagship. Evan Blass (aka @evleaks) has posted an apparent leaked press image for the new smartphone that supports many of the existing rumors. The massive screen full of Android L imagery is likely the biggest giveaway, but the device also has the Moto X-style grilles and side trim that many have been expecting from the reportedly Motorola-made device. There aren’t any new hints as to when this supersized hardware would arrive, and it’s still not completely certain that this is what you’ll eventually hold in your hands. However, Google’s tendency to unveil new Nexus gear around October or November suggests that you won’t have very long to wait.

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Source: Evan Blass (Twitter)

14
Oct

Live soccer scores are now just an iPhone swipe away


Forza Football iOS 8 Widget

If you’re a keen soccer fan, chances are you already use an app to keep up with all of the latest scores while you’re out and about. However, many apps rely on you opening it each time to get a quick rundown on matches, or bombard you with push notifications when a goal goes in. Now that Apple’s added widget support to iOS 8, Forza Football is putting all of that important information just a swipe away. As part of its latest update, the app now lists goals, scorers and times of goals in the “Today” screen inside Notification Center, allowing you to catch up with the matches that are only relevant to you. To get started, simply add the new widget to your Notification Center and then follow your favorite team(s). You can also add individual matches to the app’s calendar, giving you an at-a-glance look at how your team’s rivals are performing during crunch match days.

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Source: Forza Football (App Store)

14
Oct

Here’s what to expect from Apple’s October 16 event


Now that the dust from the launch of Apple’s new iPhones has started to settle, it’s time to wade into the fray one more time. It’s been just about a year since the folks from Cupertino trotted out the iPad Air, and now it’s going to show off its next-generation model — along with a handful of other updated goodies — at a big media event at its corporate headquarters on October 16. Before we descend into the depths of Apple’s auditorium and liveblog our fingers off, though, let’s just take a moment to suss out what Tim Cook and pals have in store for us.

A trimmer iPad Air

Apple’s got a whole new (fine, maybe not whole new) aesthetic going on with its newest pair of iPhones, and it looks like that design DNA has been infused into the next-generation iPad Air too. The prolific gadget leakers at Tinhte.vn got their hands on what appears to be the new iPad’s chassis and man is it ever thin — they claim it comes in at 7mm thick, which puts its waistline right between that of the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus. It’s pretty hard to miss the telltale stainless steel ring around the home button too, so you won’t have to wait too long before you can unlock your iPad and authorize iTunes purchases via Touch ID. Chances are also good that we’ll finally get a gold version of the Air to please all you chromatically picky types. Alas, some of the most important tidbits are the most difficult to suss out: The iPhone 6 Plus has earned itself some fans with its Retina HD display, but we can’t tell if Apple’s looking to bump up the resolution here too. Alas, it seems unlikely that the engineers in Apple HQ would be able to cram an even higher-resolution display into a frame that thin (to say nothing of the battery that’d power such a beast).

We’ve gotten a better look at what’s actually inside the new Air in recent days too: Photos of the iPad’s logic board obtained by Apple.club.tw suggest it’ll pack a more powerful X variant of the A8 processor nestled inside the new iPhones, not to mention 2GB of RAM just as icing on the proverbial tablet cake. And what of the iPad mini? It’s very possible that Apple’s updating its tiny tab too, but the rumor mill’s been awfully quiet on the matter. Japanese fan site Mac Otakara claims that such an unveiling is in fact in the cards, while a few other reports suggest we’re looking at a very modest upgrade — we’re not sure what we’d see beyond the inclusion of a Touch ID sensor for parity and a rounder design to bring its looks in line with the rest of Apple’s iOS gadgets.

But wait, Apple just cranked up the size of its iPhones — what about a bigger iPad? You really shouldn’t hold your breath. Apple’s said to be working on a 12.9-inch version of its tremendously popular tablet (some have started calling it the “iPad Pro”), but no one thinks it’ll land any sooner than next year.

A slew of updated Macs

We’ve already seen the Retina MacBook Pro and the MacBook Air get modest upgrades this year, so don’t expect much in the way of flashy new notebooks. There were some sporadic whispers of a new Retina-screened MacBook Air in the works, and while they probably have some weight to them, a new report from Re/code suggests they’re not going to pop up on Thursday. No, most of the Mac-centric scuttlebutt we’ve seen over the past few weeks deals with the desktop, and it seems like the long-running iMac line will get most of the attention. The most prominent rumor we’ve heard alleges that the 27-inch iMac will finally get a Retina display running at 5,120 x 2,880 for your viewing pleasure — it’d be the first time Apple’s brought such high-definition love to your desk, and with any luck it means a standalone Retina Thunderbolt display isn’t too far off either.

We’ll probably see a refreshed version of the 21.5-inch iMac too, but the particulars aren’t as thrilling: MacRumors doesn’t expect any change in screen resolution, though a shift to AMD graphics in the higher-end version might get your motor running. And what of Apple’s tiniest desktop? The Mac mini hasn’t been touched since 2012, which is ages ago in computer years — if it does show up on Thursday, expect it to come packing a speedier Haswell chip so it can keep up with more modern MacBooks.

More than just hardware

There’s no way Apple’s going to talk new Macs without invoking Yosemite, the new version of OS X that developers and guinea pigs have been playing with since late July. Apple has spent all the time keeping mum about when it’ll actually launch, but there’s a good chance we’ll be able to get our hands on it after the event on Thursday comes to a close. After all, we’re already three Golden Master builds in, and the folks in Cupertino only issued two before it officially released OS X Mavericks last year. The thing is, some of Yosemite’s neatest features (like Continuity with your phone) require iOS 8.1 to work properly too — if a few reports are to be believed, it’s set to land on iPhones starting on October 18. Apple Pay is inching closer to its public launch too, so it wouldn’t be crazy to think we’d get one last onstage run-through before the big day hits. 9to5Mac points out that a slew of companies (including McDonald’s, seriously) are training their employees on how to handle Apple payments, and a supposedly leaked memo to Walgreens employees mentions that the service will officially go live on the 18th alongside iOS 8.1.

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