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31
Mar

Samsung Galaxy BLADE edge is the newest cutting-edge device


samsung_galaxy_blade_edge_banner

Samsung has announced a new Chef Collection series item that brings the cutting-edge technology of their popular smartphone devices to the cutting-edge technology of kitchen devices. The Samsung Galaxy BLADE edge is the first smart knife that also has smartphone capabilities. The Galaxy BLADE edge comes with all of the features of the Galaxy S6, but in a chef’s knife form factor. Samsung capitalizes on the strength of the new Gorilla Glass 4 that we have seen survive some serious impact to bring this new device to market which will see thousands of impacts on the cutting board.

Samsung notes that the Galaxy BLADE edge utilizes a new patented ceramic coating that is tougher than stainless steel, yet lighter than plastic. Samsung’s designers focused on ensuring the curves and dimensions of the device resulted in an ergonomic tool. The ceramic coating is practical as well, creating a unique surface tension that keeps foods from sticking to the BLADE edge while cutting.

Samsung also packed in some new functional features in the Galaxy BLADE edge to help it perform in the kitchen. New sensors and algorithms analyze a user’s grip, dexterity and strength to create an efficient weight for maintaining the proper cutting rhythm. Samsung claims this will result in 50% faster cutting when compared to traditional, conventional knives.

samsung_galaxy_blade_edge_features

 Samsung’s KNOX security platform has also been modified for use in the Galaxy BLADE edge to include  a finger-detection system to help users avoid accidental cuts. Should a user attempt to use the smart knife for nefarious purposes, such as a weapon, a special human blood sensor will trigger an automatic emergency call to the appropriate authorities.

The Galaxy BLADE edge comes with a full waterproof coating so it can be used in a variety of liquid substances as well as being sent through the wash. The smart knife is also unique in that it is fireproof for use in flambé situations. Samsung has included a stylus with a built-in S-Thermometer so it can function as a wireless meat thermometer.

Those who pay attention to advanced technology will also find that Samsung has developed their own custom NAND flash memory to be used in the Galaxy BLADE edge. Instead of UFS memory, Samsung developed U4CF or Ultra 4D Curved Flash. This memory, in addition to helping maintain the curved shape of the device, employs a series of 10nm-wide wormholes that can send data to distant cloud repositories instantaneously.

samsung_galaxy_blade_edge_specs

The Galaxy BLADE edge will be part of Samsung’s larger collection of connected kitchen devices and will make use of their new Samsung Kitchen app. Additional accessories will also be available soon, such as a mammoth tusk detachable handle or one made from olivewood. Special cases and a wireless wooden charging block are also planned.

Samsung does note that all descriptions about the Galaxy BLADE edge are subject to change without notice or obligation and the product, at least for now, is not actually real.

source: Samsung

 

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31
Mar

AT&T launches its GigaPower Internet service in Cupertino


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Yesterday, AT&T launched its super-fast U-verse GigaPower Internet service in Cupertino, pipping Google Fiber to the Silicon Valley city post.

In terms of pricing, GigaPower starts at $80 per month for 300Mbps Internet, peaking at $110 per month for 1Gbps. Adding the TV service bumps the price up to $150, while a phone line brings the monthly cost even higher.

It’s important to bear in mind that these tariffs come with a one or two-year guarantee, so it’s quite possible that the price could increase or decrease once the term expires.

GigaPower is limited to a handful of locations in Cupertino, so you’ll need to check availability before you sign up, but you can do that by hitting the source link below.

Source: AT&T

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31
Mar

Microsoft to offer just three versions of its Visual Studio 2015 tools


Microsoft is planning to offer software developers just three versions of its upcoming Visual Studio 2015 tools, versus four versions for the current 2013 edition.

31
Mar

Xiaomi celebrates 5th birthday by announcing Redmi 2A, Smart Scale and more


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Considering how quickly the company has risen to fame, particularly in Asia, it’s hard to believe that Xiaomi is only just now preparing to turn 5 years old. The company’s birthday is officially on April 6th, but they are celebrating early with the announcement of several new product offerings.

Xiaomi Mi Note Pink Edition, Xiami Mi 4 2GB variant, and Redmi 2A

note-pink

First up, let’s start with smartphones. While Xiaomi revealed a new Pink version of the Xiaomi Mi Note called the “Mi Note Pink Edition”, there’s really nothing new here outside of the color. Moving along, Xiaomi has also finally showcased a variant of the device that includes 2GB of RAM, lowered from the original 3GB. The end result is a cheaper price tag of 1,6999 Yuan ($274), versus the original price of about $290.

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For those that are looking for an extremely budget-friendly option from Xiaomi, the new Redmi 2A has been announced with an aggressive price tag of just 599 Yuan, or roughly $96.65. The Redmi 2A trades out the Snapdragon 410 found in the original Redmi 2, in favor of a 1.5GHz Leadcore LC1860 quad-core CPU with a Mail T628MP2 GPU. The rest of the specs include 1GB RAM, 8GB storage, a 4.7-inch 720p display, 4G LTE, two SIM slots, and a 2,200 mAh battery.

A 4K 55-inch Mi TV 2 model

xiaomi-tv

Recently Xiaomi brought a budget-priced 1080p 40-inch model Mi TV 2 to the market, but now they’re giving us something a bit further upscale. The new 55-inch 4K model has a Samsung RGB LCD panel and is powered by a quad-core Cortex A17 processor at 1.4GHz, paired with 2GB RAM with 8GB storage, a wireless 8-speaker soundbar, and Dolby MS12 virtual surround sound.

As you might expect, the 4K model isn’t going to be ultra cheap, but at 4,999 Yuan ($806), it is still extremely aggressively priced compared to most other 4K displays out there on the market today.

A smart scale and a smart socket

smart-scale

The last two items announced by Xiaomi are a bit less conventional, namely a Smart Scale and a Smart Socket.

The new Xiaomi Mi Smart Scale is basically Xiaomi’s take on something like the Fitbit Aria scale, giving you a way to track weight, BMI and more using the Mi Fit app and Bluetooth 4.0 for syncing. The big difference here between other smart scales is the price tag. At only 99 Yuan — roughly $16 — the Mi Smart Scale is an absolute steal, especially when you consider that the Aria is priced above $100.

power-strip

Lastly, we have a Smart Socket that is designed with 3 USB charging ports, supports fast charging, has a childproof internal shutter mechanism, and, of course, acts as a surge-protector to. This particular accessory will run for 49 Yuan ($8).

For more details on any of these announcements, be sure to head on over to Xiaomi’s website.



31
Mar

Deal: Last chance to enter Stacksocial Samsung Galaxy Tab S 8.4 Giveaway


samsung galaxy tab s 8.4 review (4 of 27)

Even though Samsung hasn’t been releasing as many tablets as it used to, the Samsung Galaxy Tab S 8.4, one of our favorite tablets of 2014, is still a great device. If you want all of Samsung’s handy multitasking features in a device bigger than a smartphone, this may be one of your best options. But if you’d like to buy one for yourself, they’re still being offered at a high price point. So, what if you could win one? Thanks to our friends at StackSocial, you can! The giveaway is happening now, but ends this Wednesday, April 1st. If you’d like to enter you’ll need to act fast!

Here’s how to enter: Simply head to the giveaway page and enter your email address in the space provided. That will score you one entry into the contest. If you’d like to enter more than once, you can do that, too. After entering your email address, share on Twitter for additional entries. The more your friends and followers enter, the more entries you receive. Make sure you enter with a valid email address so StackSocial can contact you if you win.

This is your last chance to enter, and it really couldn’t be any easier. Head to the link below to sign up for the giveaway.

Editor’s Note: This deal is through StackCommerce, in partnership with AA Deals Store and other StackSocial partners — and not an exclusive Android Authority contest.

Head here to enter the giveaway



31
Mar

Checkout Problems Hindering Growth in Apple Pay Usage


Apple Pay growth is being stymied by issues people are experiencing at checkout, including cashiers unfamiliar with the service and problems getting payment terminals to work. According to a new study conducted by Phoenix Marketing International (via Bloomberg) in February, these ongoing problems are resulting in fewer repeat usage attempts and missed payment opportunities.

Two out of three iPhone buyers surveyed linked a credit card to their iPhones to enable Apple Pay, and 88 percent of those used the service once in the past four months. On average, Apple Pay users made 2.6 in-store transactions using the payments service during its first four months of availability.

Two-thirds of Apple Pay users claimed to have run into problems at checkout, making the Apple Pay experience less appealing. 48 percent of those who had problems said the merchant took too long completing the transaction, 42 percent said the cashier was unfamiliar with Apple Pay, and 36 percent said transactions were posted incorrectly or double counted.

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The Apple Pay terminal simply did not work according to 27 percent of respondents who had issues, and 23 percent said it was inconvenient to choose a card in Passbook. In a separate section, 47 percent of those who had attempted to use Apple Pay ran into problems with the store not accepting Apple Pay even though it was one of Apple’s partners.

“However, the early-on transaction potential is being undercut by low repeat usage and lost payment opportunities,” said Greg Weed, Director of Card Research at Phoenix. “The demand is there: 59% of Apple Pay users have gone into a store and asked to make a purchase with Apple Pay. But so is the disappointment: 47% visited a store that was listed as an Apple Pay merchant only to find out that the specific store they visited did not accept (or were not ready to accept) Apple Pay.”

For the study, Phoenix surveyed 3,002 respondents. Of those, 532 owned an iPhone 6, 350 linked a card to Apple Pay, and 302 used Apple Pay to make a purchase at least once during the last four months. With a small sample size, it is difficult to draw concrete conclusions about overall Apple Pay usage habits and customer experiences, but Phoenix’s survey seems to be reflective of issues users have had with the service.

In our own experiences at MacRumors, we’ve had multiple occasions where an Apple Pay terminal simply failed to work, or took several tries to register a payment. We have also seen Apple Pay partner stores that were not equipped to accept Apple Pay payments, and we’ve run into employees who knew little about the service.

At other locations, we’ve been forced to sign for purchases, greatly cutting down on Apple Pay’s ease of use, and at times, we’ve also been asked to show ID for a purchase, causing us to pull out a wallet anyway. We’ve seen several other reports of problems with Apple Pay on our own forums, and several journalists have gone hands-on with Apple Pay and seen issues first hand.

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Apple Pay may still have hiccups to overcome, but the service has seen early success and will continue to improve with wider adoption. 72 hours after launch, Apple Pay had more than 1 million credit and debit activations, and from October through January, Apple Pay accounted for two of every three dollars spend through contactless payments on Visa, Mastercard, and American Express. As of March, Apple Pay is accepted at more than 700,000 locations in the United States, and merchant adoption continues to grow.

In January, Apple CEO Tim Cook said Apple Pay was “off to a very strong start” and that he expects 2015 to be “the year of Apple Pay.”



31
Mar

Huawei P8 surfaces in TENAA filing revealing specs


huawei_p8_tenna_front_back

The forthcoming Huawei P8 smartphone, expected to be announced as the company’s next flagship at an April 15th event, surfaced in a filing with TENAA, the Chinese equivalent to the FCC. Besides the information about specs that are included in the filing, Huawei also supplied several images giving us an official look at the device.

The Huawei P8 specs are consistent with previously leaked information. The smartphone will be powered by Huawei’s own Kirin 930 octa-core processor, 3GB of RAM, and 32GB of internal storage expandable via microSD. The Huawei P8 will come with a 5.2-inch 1080p display and a 13MP camera. The device will come loaded with Android Lollipop out of the box. Sources expect the smartphone to be priced at less than $500.

huawei_p8_tenna_sides

source: GSMArena

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31
Mar

Google Chromebit packs an entire Chrome OS computer into an HDMI stick


If you’ve been looking for the easiest way to get Chrome OS onto your TV, Google’s new Chromebit HDMI stick might be exactly what you need.

Google has a new type of Chrome OS device, one that’s designed to make it easier and more discrete than ever to hook up a TV. It’s called Chromebit, and it’s a complete Chrome OS computer in an HDMI stick about the size of a candybar.

31
Mar

Google reveals budget Chromebooks including a $249 ASUS convertible


OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Ladies and gentlemen, get ready for some new Chromebooks. Yep, Google has just announced four new Chrome OS laptops, all of which lean toward the budget-friendly end of the spectrum. They are the ASUS Chromebook Flip, the ASUS Chromebook C201, the Hisense Chromebook and the Haier Chromebook 11 (This also comes in an educational version dubbed the 11e). Though it’s the priciest model at $249, the most notable one by far is ASUS’ Chromebook Flip. Not only is it the slimmest of the bunch with a thickness of only 15mm, it has a 10.1-inch touchscreen IPS display that can be flipped (hence the name) 360 degrees around.

I didn’t have much time to get a real feel for the Flip, but it does remind me a lot of ASUS’ other flipping laptop, the ASUS Transformer Book Flip. The Chromebook flip is very lightweight at less than two pounds and I was able to hold it with one hand quite easily. Thanks to an internal accelerometer, the screen orientation changes depending on how the laptop is positioned — as you can see in the image here, it’s rotated 180-degrees when in the upside-down teepee formation. In this converted state, the software in the Chromebook Flip is smart enough to bring up touch-centric controls like a virtual keyboard and handwriting recognition whenever you tap an empty text field. Flip it around to regular laptop mode, however, and these extra modes will disappear, as it recognizes that you now have a full keyboard at your disposal.

The Haier and the Hisense laptops, on the other hand, are decidedly less glamorous. Instead of a sleek all-metal frame, the Haier and the Hisense models are clad in utilitarian black plastic. Still, that isn’t necessarily a bad thing. The Hisense in particular has a pleasant pebbled texture that contributes to a firmer grip and I quite like the feel of the metal palm rest. They both have almost the same dimensions — the Hisense is 11.7 by 8.8 by 0.6 inches and weighs about 3.3 pounds while the Haier is a touch smaller at 11.4 by 8.1 by 0.71 inches and 2.54 pounds. Both have 11.6-inch screens with 1366×768 resolution and 200 nits of brightness. I wasn’t too impressed with what I saw of the displays — the colors seem washed out and rather lackluster — but for low-end budget models, they’re perfectly functional.

I was also a fan of the Haier 11e educational Chromebook. It’s a lot more durable against everyday wear and tear and is water- and spill-resistant due to tiny drainage holes in the chassis. Unlike the regular Haier Chromebook 11, the 11e has a removable battery along with a built-in handle, presumably so kids can easily carry it from class to class. ASUS’ Chromebook C201 is a bit of a mystery as I wasn’t able to handle it myself, but Google tells us it has a 11.6-inch display and the internals are about the same as the rest.

ASUS Chromebook C201

As for those internals, well, all of the above Chromebooks come equipped with a Rockchip 3288 SoC with 2GB of RAM and 16GB flash memory (eMMC). They all also have 802.11 ac WiFi, a 720p HD front-facing camera, two USB 2.0 ports, a microSD card reader, Bluetooth 4.0 and an ARM Mali 760 quad core GPU. Battery life fluctuates from model to model — the Flip promises up to 10 hours, the Hisense has 8.5, the Haier has 10 while the Chromebook C201 promises 13.

The main draw with all of these, of course, is price. The Flip will be available for $249, the C201 starts at $169, while both the Haier and the Hisense models will cost $149 each. The Flip should be out later this Spring, the C201 will be on Amazon in May, and both the Haier and Hisense models are avaiable for pre-order today. The Haier is available through Amazon while the Hisense can be purchased through Walmart.

Filed under: Laptops, ASUS, Google

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31
Mar

The Original Maze Runner: Pac-Man appears on Google Maps


Google Maps Pac Man (4)

This is Kyoto. Seriously.

April 1st is a very naughty day. It’s frequently host to some of the biggest dupes, gags, and yarns the world-at-large has ever seen. Everything from fake product announcements to paranormal news stories are par for course. Thanks to Google, this year you can chart a new one: your neighborhood.

Following in the vein of Japanese-themed April Fools gags (Pokemon anyone?), the collective brains at Mountain View have put forth the most entertaining version of Google Maps yet. It’s full of ghosts, power pellets, and the original Maze Runner. To access the game, simply go to Google Maps on your browser, type in an address, and look for the Pac-Man view option in the bottom left corner. Click it and the game will zoom into the center of the screen and make a labyrinth out of it. Take a look at how the area around Kyoto Station (the pink rectangle) goes from this…

Google Maps Pac Man (3)

Notice the Pac-Man box on the bottom-left corner. Simply click it and…

To this:

Google Maps Pac Man (1)

…this is what you get.

The more roads there are on the screen, the more detailed the maze will become. Note that some areas will not work, prompting an error message and a suggestion to click on a link “Feeling Lucky” which will take you to a random location. I got Italy apparently:

Google Maps Pac-Man (5)

Now where could that pizza pie-shaped yellow circle be. Hmm…

You can control Pac-Man with the keyboard. Note that by default, the sound seems to be set to mute; you need to manually check the audio on the top right corner of the blue space (left side) to enable the retro-sound effects. What’s the craziest location you can come up with?

 

 

 



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