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25
Apr

HTC tries to get creative with Cellami


htc_cellami

HTC has released a new video that takes aim at Samsung, Apple, and really all other smartphone manufacturers through a spoof of pharmaceutical ads. The ad is for a fictional drug called Cellami which is supposed to help someone suffering from Bi-phonal Displeasure Disorder.

In the ad, HTC takes shots at Samsung by claiming Cellami can also treat SAD, or Samsung Affective Disorder, and at Apple which produces iOS, or Irritable Operating System. Cellami is described as causing a variety of side effects like blue teeth, thumb loss and “oily plastic discharges.” The video is littered with a variety of disclaimers along the bottom of the screen warning against taking it at night, before consuming citrus drinks, or when in the nude amongst others.

To avoid all these bad side effects, HTC says users can just get an HTC One M9. Their device will not only cure all the issues related to Bi-phonal Displeasure Disorder or other maladies, it does so in a safe manner.

Share your thoughts below regarding HTC’s attempt at a spoof video.

Click here to view the embedded video.

Come comment on this article: HTC tries to get creative with Cellami

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25
Apr

OPPO bezel-less phone concept revealed in images, video


oppo_bezelless_phone_02

It is no secret that OPPO has been working on a bezel-less design for a smartphone. This first showed up in some leaked images for what was believed to be the OPPO R7 and then again for a device that may be the OPPO R5 successor. However, other leaked renders of the R7 did not show the bezel-less design. According to this latest set of images and video, OPPO’s work is more a proof of concept and it is unclear whether the technology will make it into one of their existing lines of devices or will be part of a whole new line.

According to OPPO, the display is not technically without a bezel on the sides. However, they have figured out how to curve the front glass panel along the edges to create an illusion that no bezel is present.

Another step that OPPO had to take to make the design work was to create a rim that surrounds the display to help keep it rigid.

You can check out some of the images below of this OPPO device.

oppo_bezelless_phone_01
oppo_bezelless_phone_03
oppo_bezelless_phone_04
oppo_bezelless_phone_05
oppo_bezelless_phone_06

View the video on Sina

source: MyDrivers
via: GSMArena

Come comment on this article: OPPO bezel-less phone concept revealed in images, video

25
Apr

From garage to campus: a look at the digs of tech’s Big Five


Google, Apple, Microsoft, Facebook and Amazon: These juggernauts are at the forefront of the tech industry. And with that success comes an ever-expanding workforce, and the need for a place to put them. To keep pace with growth, these companies have been making the requisite real-estate deals in order to build physical spaces to match their forward-thinking business approach. Fortunately, their designs are also more environmentally conscious than ever before. With the eyes of the world upon them, they’ve taken the well-being of the Earth, as well as their employees, into account, building innovative work spaces in an attempt to harmonize with the world around them. Below, we take a look at some of the steps these giants of industry have made over the years as they’ve moved from garage operations to vast campuses.

[Image: NBBJ]

Filed under: Misc, HD, Mobile, Alt, Apple, Samsung, Microsoft, Google, Amazon, Facebook

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25
Apr

HTC One M9 Camera Shootout


HTC may have things figured out when it comes to design and build quality, but one aspect the company has had issues with when it comes to their flagships is the camera experience. HTC has been working hard to change that reputation, with a slew of devices aimed at showcasing their camera prowess, leading up to the current flagship.

The HTC One M9 packs a traditional 20 MP rear camera, while moving their Ultrapixel tech to its better-suited position up front. We’ve already seen an overview of the camera performance in the comprehensive review of the device, but now, we take an in-depth look at the camera in this HTC One M9 camera shootout!

htc one m9 camera shootout aa full samples (44 of 98)

Like most other smartphones out there, most of the good shots this camera was able to take were in broad daylight. All of these photos are taken at the full 20 MP resolution, and as you can see, the color saturation is quite good, but may not be as saturated as what you get with some of the other players in the Android world.

htc one m9 camera shootout aa full samples (70 of 98)

As a daily driver, the HTC One M9 camera isn’t a hard one to use, with it very easy to access and switch between the various modes available. However, the camera app can be quite fidgety, especially when you’re trying to trigger things like HDR mode, which requires a few different presses to activate, as well as to turn off. Speaking of HDR mode, it does somewhat mitigate the exposure issues that happen in the camera app, but can be hit and miss. While taking scenery shots with the subject off in the distance, they do look good, but there is some grain present as seen with a closer look, because of the use of the digital zoom of the camera app.

htc one m9 camera shootout aa full samples (75 of 98)

Without the availability of optical image stabilization, you do need steady hands to take the photo properly. The lack of OIS is felt even more prominently while shooting video, which can turn out very shaky if shot without very steady hands.

htc one m9 camera shootout aa full samples (2 of 98)

Going back to the exposure issues that were mentioned earlier, this happens because the One M9 camera app focuses on spot metering, you have to find just the right spot in order to get the exposure that you want in the photo. If you go into a dark area, the entire photo gets pretty light, and vice versa. This is where using the HDR mode makes a world of difference, evening out the exposures, and adding some saturation to the photo, making it even more disappointing that it is a mode that takes some fidgeting to get to.

(Oppo N3 Comparison) HTC One M9 camera samples aa (9 of 30)

There are of course, a few other modes available, such as Panorama, which does allow for some really good shots, but do have some stitching issues, which can be chalked up to human error more than anything else. As mentioned, the front-facing camera is now of the Ultrapixel variety, which allows for some great shots and self-portraits, especially when indoors. There are also different effects available such as Face Fusion, adding particle effects to a photo, the ability to put two photos together with a number of different effects to get one nice shot. All of these effects are a lot of fun to use, especially Zoes, that makes a return with the latest flagship, which is a very nice way of recapping a particular day.

htc one m9 camera shootout aa full samples (36 of 98)

As we move into indoor shots and those in poor lighting conditions, the main gripe I have with the One M9 camera is that its performance is quite inconsistent, in terms of sheer quality. When taking shots indoors, or outside at night, there is a lot more grain in the images, and unfortunately, there is a noise reduction going on that makes all of the photos quite smudgy, with the degradation more and more evident as lighting conditions deteriorate.

htc one m9 camera shootout aa full samples (98 of 98)

From what I can tell, the main reason why the HTC One M9 has a problem with low light shots is because of the two things it typically does in these situations. The first being that it bumps the ISO to very high levels, which adds a lot of grain to photos, with the second being the lowering of the shutter speed, which comes with its own issues, requiring you to keep your hands as steady as possible because of the longer amount of time needed to bring in all of the light in order to get the proper exposure. You will likely end of taking multiple shots in those situations, and more often than not, the images will turn out blurry.

100% crops

Which brings us back to the issue of consistency. While able to take some great shots in prominent lighting, the grain comes out in even indoor shots, and the noise reduction that the camera app uses in post processing doesn’t do much to help the situation.

Ultimately, the camera of the HTC One M9 is not a bad performer by any stretch of the imagination. Unfortunately, the reason I may not be using it all the time is because I prefer to have a smartphone camera that can take a good shot in any situation, and that isn’t always the case with this device. Many users have confirmed though that you can go into the Settings to make some changes that do allow for better photos, but given the fact that you do spend a lot of money to get a phone like this, the out of the box experience should have been good right off the bat.



25
Apr

HTC One M9 Camera Shootout


HTC may have things figured out when it comes to design and build quality, but one aspect the company has had issues with when it comes to their flagships is the camera experience. HTC has been working hard to change that reputation, with a slew of devices aimed at showcasing their camera prowess, leading up to the current flagship.

The HTC One M9 packs a traditional 20 MP rear camera, while moving their Ultrapixel tech to its better-suited position up front. We’ve already seen an overview of the camera performance in the comprehensive review of the device, but now, we take an in-depth look at the camera in this HTC One M9 camera shootout!

htc one m9 camera shootout aa full samples (44 of 98)

Like most other smartphones out there, most of the good shots this camera was able to take were in broad daylight. All of these photos are taken at the full 20 MP resolution, and as you can see, the color saturation is quite good, but may not be as saturated as what you get with some of the other players in the Android world.

htc one m9 camera shootout aa full samples (70 of 98)

As a daily driver, the HTC One M9 camera isn’t a hard one to use, with it very easy to access and switch between the various modes available. However, the camera app can be quite fidgety, especially when you’re trying to trigger things like HDR mode, which requires a few different presses to activate, as well as to turn off. Speaking of HDR mode, it does somewhat mitigate the exposure issues that happen in the camera app, but can be hit and miss. While taking scenery shots with the subject off in the distance, they do look good, but there is some grain present as seen with a closer look, because of the use of the digital zoom of the camera app.

htc one m9 camera shootout aa full samples (75 of 98)

Without the availability of optical image stabilization, you do need steady hands to take the photo properly. The lack of OIS is felt even more prominently while shooting video, which can turn out very shaky if shot without very steady hands.

htc one m9 camera shootout aa full samples (2 of 98)

Going back to the exposure issues that were mentioned earlier, this happens because the One M9 camera app focuses on spot metering, you have to find just the right spot in order to get the exposure that you want in the photo. If you go into a dark area, the entire photo gets pretty light, and vice versa. This is where using the HDR mode makes a world of difference, evening out the exposures, and adding some saturation to the photo, making it even more disappointing that it is a mode that takes some fidgeting to get to.

(Oppo N3 Comparison) HTC One M9 camera samples aa (9 of 30)

There are of course, a few other modes available, such as Panorama, which does allow for some really good shots, but do have some stitching issues, which can be chalked up to human error more than anything else. As mentioned, the front-facing camera is now of the Ultrapixel variety, which allows for some great shots and self-portraits, especially when indoors. There are also different effects available such as Face Fusion, adding particle effects to a photo, the ability to put two photos together with a number of different effects to get one nice shot. All of these effects are a lot of fun to use, especially Zoes, that makes a return with the latest flagship, which is a very nice way of recapping a particular day.

htc one m9 camera shootout aa full samples (36 of 98)

As we move into indoor shots and those in poor lighting conditions, the main gripe I have with the One M9 camera is that its performance is quite inconsistent, in terms of sheer quality. When taking shots indoors, or outside at night, there is a lot more grain in the images, and unfortunately, there is a noise reduction going on that makes all of the photos quite smudgy, with the degradation more and more evident as lighting conditions deteriorate.

htc one m9 camera shootout aa full samples (98 of 98)

From what I can tell, the main reason why the HTC One M9 has a problem with low light shots is because of the two things it typically does in these situations. The first being that it bumps the ISO to very high levels, which adds a lot of grain to photos, with the second being the lowering of the shutter speed, which comes with its own issues, requiring you to keep your hands as steady as possible because of the longer amount of time needed to bring in all of the light in order to get the proper exposure. You will likely end of taking multiple shots in those situations, and more often than not, the images will turn out blurry.

100% crops

Which brings us back to the issue of consistency. While able to take some great shots in prominent lighting, the grain comes out in even indoor shots, and the noise reduction that the camera app uses in post processing doesn’t do much to help the situation.

Ultimately, the camera of the HTC One M9 is not a bad performer by any stretch of the imagination. Unfortunately, the reason I may not be using it all the time is because I prefer to have a smartphone camera that can take a good shot in any situation, and that isn’t always the case with this device. Many users have confirmed though that you can go into the Settings to make some changes that do allow for better photos, but given the fact that you do spend a lot of money to get a phone like this, the out of the box experience should have been good right off the bat.



25
Apr

Recommended Reading: Designing a roller coaster that’ll make you weep


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.

How to Design a Roller Coaster That’ll Make You Beg For Mercy
by Jeff Wise
Bloomberg Business

When it comes to designing a roller coaster, there are any number of tools that can achieve that maximum thrill. At Carowinds, a theme park that borders North and South Carolina, the Fury 325 debuted this spring. The ride packs a 325-foot drop and top speeds of 95MPH. How does something like this come about? Bloomberg’s Jeff Wise will take you for a ride to find out.

Tidal’s Indie Plan
Tyler Hayes, Smashd

Tidal has received its fair share of criticism for a star-packed relaunch event that mentioned little about helping independent artists. Jay Z and Co. revealed some tools in the weeks since, including the ability to upload tracks directly.

The Man Who Broke the Music Business
Stephen Witt, The New Yorker

A man who worked at a CD-manufacturing plant in North Carolina became a notorious leaker for much-anticipated albums. He did his part to put a dent in the music industry for years, until the FBI finally caught up.

The Uncanny Evolution of Invisible Boyfriend, the Site Where Money Can Buy You Love
Caitlin Dewey, The Washington Post

Need that fake boyfriend to appear real to appease a nagging relative? Well, Invisible Boyfriend will create “social proof” one exists for just $25 a month.

What Game Designers Love (And Don’t Love) About ‘Souls’ Games
Kirk Hamilton, Kotaku

Video game designers weigh in on the great and not-so-great elements of From Software’s Souls games.

[Image credit: Carowinds]

Filed under: Misc

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25
Apr

Nexus devices aren’t selling well, Nexus 6 mostly to blame






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Google has just announced their quarterly financial results for Q1 2015, and while the overall picture is good, there’s a bit of bad new for Nexus devices. Google refers to the money it earns from the Play Store and Google Store as “other revenues”, and while overall “other revenues” has increased to $1.8 billion, up 23% year-on-year, when compared with last quarter, this revenue stream has actually fallen by 3%. In the earnings call, Google CFO Patrick Pichette attributed this decline to the fact that Nexus devices aren’t selling well anymore, in particular the Nexus 6, which hasn’t been the financial success that the Nexus 5 and Nexus 7 were.

You can kind of understand why this is the case – the Nexus 5 ($349) and Nexus 7 ($249) were significantly cheaper than their successors, the Nexus 6 ($649) and Nexus 9 ($399), and it’s obvious that the almost double-the-cost Nexus 6 is a bit of a tough ask for what is essentially an enthusiast’s device. Having said that, it’s unlikely that Google will bat an eyelid as the Nexus line, as we all know, is less about being a commercial success but getting quality devices into the hands of developers and enthusiasts – though I doubt they’d complain if it actually made money too. We’ll have to see if Google changes their strategy with the next Nexus smartphone and goes back to a cheaper device.


What do you think about Nexus devices not doing too well? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

Source: 9to5 Google via TalkAndroid

The post Nexus devices aren’t selling well, Nexus 6 mostly to blame appeared first on AndroidSPIN.

25
Apr

Only selfies can kill the bad guys in this game


Okay, “bad guys” is a bit of an exaggeration: The green boxes you have to kill in Selfie Assault don’t really do anything but stay perfectly still. You’d have to eliminate them all to conquer the game, though — as its tag line says: “Only cameras can see them. Only selfies can kill them. No filter. No mercy.” In Selfie Assault, developed by mint for the Ludum Dare 32 game jam, you go around in a white room, finding enemy green boxes through a virtual phone screen. To make them go away, you’d have to take a selfie with them in the picture. The photo’s angle and your position in the selfies don’t matter, so you can think up of crazy poses and be creative.

It’s not exactly a heart-thumping shooting game, but you have to give the devs props for both making fun of selfies and letting those fond of taking them practice while playing. As for those harmless “enemies,” well, just imagine they’re silently waiting for a chance to conquer the world if that makes you feel better.

Filed under: Gaming, Science

Comments

Via: Kill Screen

Source: Ludum Dare

25
Apr

Google pulls the Nexus 7 tablet from its online store


In case you were on the fence about grabbing one of Google’s affordable Nexus tablets, you’d better jump off it pretty soon. The Nexus 7’s been pulled from the Google Store, as spotted by TalkAndroid, and it almost assuredly isn’t coming back — especially since the Nexus 9 exists. That means if you still want one of the consistently updated 7-inch slates you’ll have to hit places like Amazon while supplies last or wallow in regret for all that could’ve been. Namely, owning a tablet that (to me at least) is more comfortable to hold than the IPad Mini 2 and is essentially just as capable.

Unless you go for the most expensive configuration — 32GB with LTE — most models will run you less than half what one of Google’s newer, bigger tablets will, too. That sound you hear? It’s opportunity knocking. We’ve reached out to Google for additional info and will update this post should we hear back.

Filed under: Tablets, Mobile, Google

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Via: TalkAndroid

Source: Google Store

25
Apr

Chill out with this ‘holographic’ virtual aquarium


There’s something inexplicably tranquil about gazing at fish in an aquarium as they swim back and forth, darting about rocks or that tacky plastic treasure chest sitting in the corner. But what if you could have one on your desk, without all the water changes, filter cleaning and general maintenance? That’s probably a ways off, but Memukhin Oleg’s “Fishing Day” explores such a (not entirely virtual) reality. As you’ll see in the video below from The Creators Project, he’s used a handful of different 3D modeling techniques to bring artificial fishies to life. They react to a handheld submarine, schooling and separating as they might in the real world, flitting through a gaudy shipwreck you’d find at a pet store’s aquarium aisle. It’s all really, really impressive and there’s even a breakdown of how the effects shot came together. The only bad part? The video’s a bit on the short side.

https://player.vimeo.com/video/122942653

[Image credit: The Creators Project]

Filed under: Internet

Comments

Via: Laughing Squid

Source: The Creators Project

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