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13
May

Humanoids, showoffs and other machines ready to do our dirty work


If you’ve developed a not-so-irrational fear of losing work opportunities to robots, you’d probably mistake RoboUniverse as a job fair. And you wouldn’t be too far off. It’s the first year for the three-day expo, which wraps up the New York portion of its tour today. The event was organized as a buyer/seller conference to show off progressive technology in the service robotics industry. We’re a sucker for any event advertising “robots,” so we decided to swing by to see what was bubbling up from industry, capturing a few photos along the way. While there was no over-arching theme, STEM education and lightweight designs (many using 3D-printing for industrial applications) were definitely highlights. BlueWorkforce’s spidery Ragnar Robot breaks away from proscribed anatomy by offering an easily customizable framework for industrial automation. EZ-Robot, NewBotic Corporation and c-Link (just to name a few) are helping to weave an understanding of the field into the next generation of potential coders and engineers. But don’t worry, aside from OSHbot sauntering up and asking if I needed help finding anything (albeit hardware store items), the event was still staffed by humans.

Filed under: Robots, Science

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13
May

The RadioShack brand lives to see another day


The RadioShack brand lives to see another day

RadioShack’s brand will live on. According to The Wall Street Journal, the retailer’s label assets have been purchased by Standard General LP, a hedge fund, for $26.2 million. Along with the trademark, other undisclosed intellectual property was also included in the bankruptcy auction, which took place Monday in New York. But what exactly is Standard General LP’s vision? It plans to rebuild and rebrand. The firm is reportedly looking to overhaul RadioShack’s brand around a “streamlined array of necessities,” that are going to be sold alongside wireless products from Sprint. The carrier, of course, has kept close tabs on the electronics chain’s Chapter 11 woes. Just last month, it opened its own stores inside existing RadioShack locations, which would otherwise now be defunct.

[Image credit: Getty Images]

Filed under: Cellphones, Misc, Wireless, Mobile

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Via: Business Insider

Source: RadioShack

13
May

Samsung Galaxy S6 Active breaks cover with an expectedly rugged look


If you’re looking for a phone with great specs that can be tossed around and survive a swim, Samsung’s Galaxy S6 Active appears to be on the way. Both GSM Arena and trusted leaker @evleaks offered a glimpse of the forthcoming handset today, one that features an outer shell similar to last year’s version. Like previous Active models, a trio of hardware buttons reside on the front, so don’t expect the same fingerprint scanner found on both the Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 Edge. They do have to be waterproof, after all. Other than a look at both sides, details remain scarce besides save for word that the S6 Active packs a 3,500 mAh battery. If history is any indication, you can expect similar specs to the flagship while being both shock resistant and dustproof, as this handset will be built to withstand a bit more stress.

Filed under: Cellphones, Mobile, Samsung

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Via: BGR

Source: @evleaks, GSM Arena

13
May

Chrome extensions are now only available from the Web Store


To combat the spread of malicious code and malware through un-vetted websites, Google implemented a new rule for Windows users last year: Chrome extensions can only be hosted on the Chrome Web Store. Today, Google announced that it will expand that rule to users on all Windows channels with Mac channels following suit in July. The move comes after a staggering 75 percent drop in the number of customer support help requests to uninstall unwanted extensions, according to the Chromium Blog.

Filed under: Internet, Google

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Source: Chromium Blog

13
May

Supplies of 15-Inch Retina MacBook Pro Continue to Tighten Ahead of Broadwell Refresh


For the past several weeks, high-end 15-inch Retina MacBook Pro shipping times have been quietly slipping, first to one to two weeks and then to two to three weeks, sparking questions from MacRumors readers about whether a 15-inch Retina MacBook Pro update is imminent.

While it’s true we’re approaching the Worldwide Developers Conference in June, where Apple often announces new products, Broadwell chip availability remains an issue that makes it unclear whether we might get a refresh announcement at the event.

macbookshippingestimates
We have heard no word on the status of Broadwell chips appropriate for the 15-inch Retina MacBook Pro for several months. The last update on the chips came from a roadmap released in the summer of 2014, which suggested Broadwell chips appropriate for the notebook would be released in July or August of 2015.

In recent weeks, Intel has started shipping a small handful of desktop Broadwell chips, but chips that would be used in the 15-inch Retina MacBook Pro and the iMac are not yet shipping out.

The desktop-class Broadwell chips that are currently shipping were also given prospective July/August 2015 release timelines, so their arrival does potentially herald the imminent release of Broadwell chips that would succeed the existing Crystalwell chips in the 2014 Retina MacBook Pro. If these chips are going to ship out earlier than the prospective July/August timeline, it’s possible Apple could make a Retina MacBook Pro update announcement at WWDC.

If the chips are not shipping until July or August of 2015, however, WWDC seems a bit premature for an announcement of a minor chip refresh that would not ship for several months, making a WWDC debut unlikely.

It’s possible the shipping delays on the high-end 15-inch Retina MacBook Pro are due to resource reallocation rather than an imminent refresh. Apple’s suppliers that produce the Retina MacBook Pro are also responsible for assembling the Apple Watch and the MacBook, so the delays that we’re seeing may be a combination of workers being rerouted to work on more pressing products and low demand for the high-end Retina MacBook Pro.

It’s worth noting that the high-end iMac is also seeing similar delays, with a shipping estimate of one to two weeks. The high-end iMac is in the same situation as the Retina MacBook Pro — chips appropriate for an update are not yet available. Furthermore, chip roadmaps call into question whether there will be Broadwell chips available for Apple’s non-Retina 27-inch iMacs at all.

Given the significant delays with Broadwell chips, their release timelines merge with the release timelines of Intel’s next-generation Skylake chips and an investigation into Intel’s release plans suggests that the company may jump directly to releasing Skylake chips in the third-quarter of 2015, bypassing Broadwell chips for certain machines all together.

inteldesktoproadmap

Roadmap for Intel’s desktop chips
As an example, the successor to the Core i5-4670 chip used in the low-end 27-inch iMac is the Core i5-4690 used in the low-end 27-inch Retina iMac, and the successor to that chip appears to be the Skylake Core i5-6600, suggesting a potential refresh for the non-Retina iMac might use that Skylake chip rather than the older Broadwell chip. Any upgrades to the 27-inch Retina iMac will also use Skylake chips rather than Broadwell chips.

Processor upgrades for the 21-inch iMac are a bit murkier as the chips used in those machines have no Skylake equivalents at this point in time, so it’s tougher to speculate about potential chip successors Apple could use. It’s also worth noting that the close proximity of Skylake and Broadwell chip releases could see Apple waiting for Skylake chips not only for the iMac, but also for the Retina MacBook Pro.

The major takeaway from the increased iMac and Retina MacBook Pro shipping estimates is that the Broadwell delays have thrown Apple’s upgrade cycle into disarray, making it difficult to determine when we might see an update due to all the variables involved. If Apple chooses to go with a minor Broadwell update for the high-end 15-inch Retina MacBook Pro and those chips ship soon, we could very well see an announcement at WWDC.

If, however, those chips are not ready or if Apple should choose to forego Broadwell in favor of Skylake for a more substantial update, it’s unlikely we’ll see a WWDC refresh announcement for the 15-inch Retina MacBook Pro. iMac updates are even more difficult to pin down, but it seems unlikely a refresh is imminent.




13
May

NUU Mobile announces the affordable X3: 4G LTE, quad-core processor and an 8MP camera


NUU Mobile X3

NUU Mobile, the relatively new Hong Kong-based smartphone manufacturer, has just announced the budget-friendly X3 smartphone. It’s only the second unlocked 4G LTE-capable handset from the company, and it’s being offered for under $200.

Since the philosophy behind the X3 is to save some money, we aren’t looking at the most feature-rich handset on the market. The X3 has a 4.5-inch qHD display with a 960 x 540 resolution, a 1.2GHz quad-core Snapdragon 410 processor, 1GB of RAM, 8GB of on-board storage and microSD expansion up to 32GB. It also comes with an 8MP rear-facing camera, 2MP front-facing camera and a 2000mAh battery. The device can connect to both AT&T’s and T-Mobile’s networks using LTE bands 2, 4 and 17, and has dual SIM card slots. It’s only running on Android 4.4 KitKat for now, but NUU Mobile says it will get the Lollipop update later this summer.

X3-gallery-flat-01

The X3 will be available in both Black and White color options for $179.99 through BestBuy.com, HSN, Target.com, Amazon, NUUMobile.com among other retailers. The phone will also be available in more than 165 Meijer stores in late May.

Like I said before, the X3 certainly doesn’t offer up the best specs on the market, but it may be a viable option if you need a smartphone that won’t break the bank. Check out the press release below for more information.

Show Press Release
NUU Mobile’s X3 Boasts 4G LTE Speeds in an Affordable, Feature-Rich Unlocked Phone

Unlocked Phone Built on KitKat, Features 4.5-inch qHD Display & Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ Processor

ROCHESTER, Minn. – May 12, 2015NUU Mobile today launches its X3, the company’s second 4G LTE unlocked phone. The sleek X3 is built on Android’s 4.4 KitKat operating system and will sell for $179.99 MSRP through online retailers including BestBuy.com, HSN.com, Target.com, and NUUmobile.com.

Performance and Power

The X3’s sleek frame houses a powerful Qualcomm Snapdragon processor making tasks smooth and seamless. And the KitKat operating system gives users the ability to multitask with ease – stream videos, email, text, social media, online radio, download the latest apps and games. The operating system will be upgradable to Lollipop 5.0 later this summer and offers new productivity options and a much-improved Google Now.

“We want to provide our customers with a phone loaded with the latest technology and innovative features without the high price,” said John Murtha, vice president of sales for NUU Mobile. “The X3 takes our product offering to the next level by meeting the needs of consumers who want an affordable, feature-rich LTE device with the freedom to choose their own carrier and plan.” 

Clarity and Sharpness

The X3 features a crisp 4.5-inch qHD display with wide-angle view, making the screen come to life with crystal clarity and vivid graphics when enjoying movies, videos and games.

The X3 arms consumers with an 8 MP rear camera with low-light sensor to take award-worthy photos in any kind of lighting, and a 2 MP front camera.

Functionality and Flexibility

Consumers can stay connected and multitask with LTE speed on T-Mobileâ and AT&Tâ LTE networks including Cricket Wireless, Lyca Mobile, MetroPCS, Net10 Wireless, Straight Talk and more. And with Dual SIM cards, consumers can have two phone numbers on one device, eliminating the need to carry separate phones for work and personal life.

The X3 also boasts an expandable memory with microSDä (up to 32 GB) and removable lithium-polymer battery.

Pricing and Availability

The X3, available in both black and white, is priced at $179.99 MSRP and will be available through BestBuy.com, HSN.com, Target.com, Amazon.com, NUUMobile.com and other fine retailers. In late May, the X3 will also be available in throughout the U.S.

Warranty Protection

The X3 will come with a two-year limited warranty, as NUU Mobile recently announced that all newly-manufactured devices would come with a two-year limited warranty. NUU Mobile also offers reliable U.S.-based customer support via both phone and email.

NUU Mobile X3 features:

  • 5-inch qHD Touch screen 960 X 540 (245 PPI)
  • 8 MP rear camera with low-light sensor
  • 2 MP front camera
  • HD video recording and playback
  • Enabled for 4G LTE: Bands 2,4,17 (T-Mobile® and AT&T® networks)
  • Up to 150 Mbps HSPA+ connectivity
  • Android™ 4.4 KitKat operating system, upgradeable to 5.0 Lollipop later this summer
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 1.2 GHz Quad-Core processor
  • 8 GB Internal ROM Storage, expandable with microSD™
  • 1 GB RAM
  • 2000 mAh battery
  • Dual SIM card supports 4G LTE & 2G
  • Over-The-Air (OTA) updates
  • Noise cancelling audio
  • Bluetooth 4.0
  • LED notifications

Customize and Accessorize

Consumers can personalize the X3 with an interchangeable back cover available in a variety of bold colors including pink, blue and white. The back covers will be sold online in a set of three for $19.99.

Additional accessories including protective cases and glass screen protectors will be available for $19.99 each through select online retailers as well as in Meijer stores.

To learn more about the NUU Mobile X3, visit www.nuumobile.com.

About NUU Mobile

Headquartered in Hong Kong and launched in 2012, NUU Mobile designs, engineers and manufactures high quality unlocked Android™ smartphones. The company provides an alternative option to rigid, long-term contracts for mobile consumers by offering smartphones with the latest technology, increased flexibility and exceptional quality at more accessible prices. The brand expanded to the United States in 2014, with offices in Rochester, Minn., and is currently growing its distribution in North and South America.



13
May

Google Fit updated with calories, distance and other features


Google has updated its Google Fit app for Android today, adding in some new and handy details. As part of the latest release the app now estimates calories burned and distances traversed. To see the figures users need only enter height and weight into the app.

LG_Watch_Urbane_3

Additionally, Google Fit provides a new look to its historical data. Scrolling through the timeline you’ll find new groupings for days, weeks, and months. The idea is to see how your activities have changed over time.

Another new detail included the updated app is the inclusion of a home screen widget and Android Wear watch face. Both are designed for those who like to keep a close eye on their activities and provide at-a-glance info.

Android Blog

The post Google Fit updated with calories, distance and other features appeared first on AndroidGuys.

13
May

Nexus 5 to get Android 5.1.1 ‘LMY48B’ update this week: Sprint


The Google Nexus 5 is going to receive Android 5.1.1 this week, according to Sprint support. The Nexus 5 is going to be the first phone to receive built number LMY48B, which was previously seen in the Nexus 9 and the Nexus 10.

The update was earlier expected be rolled out to the on May 11, but it was delayed due to some technical issues.

Although the built has never seen before in a phone, it is nothing more than the update to 5.1.1 with included “security enhancements.” While it is too early to speculate what those security enhancements could be, the upgrade seems quite minor in nature.

Like all the other Android upgrades these days, even this one will be available over the air. If you receive a notification to update your Nexus 5’s software, follow the screen instruction and let your phone restart itself.

You can also receive the update manually by going to Settings > About phone > System updates > Check for update. If the update is available follow the screen instructions otherwise tap Home button.

Source: Sprint support

The post Nexus 5 to get Android 5.1.1 ‘LMY48B’ update this week: Sprint appeared first on AndroidGuys.

13
May

Apple Watch Vulnerable to Theft With No Activation Lock


Our iPhones and iPads are protected by Activation Lock, a security feature that prevents thieves from wiping and using a stolen Apple device with a new account, but the recently released Apple Watch has no similar security feature.

As pointed out by iDownloadBlog in a detailed post on the security of the Apple Watch, there is nothing that stops a lost or stolen Apple Watch from being wiped and paired with a new iPhone. The Apple Watch has a passcode option that requires a sequence of numbers to be entered every time it’s removed from a wrist, but the passcode protects only data.

The passcode is also easily bypassed with a reset. Pressing down on the side button of the Apple Watch brings up the power down options and a force press on this screen brings up an option to Erase All content and Settings. Erasing the Apple Watch in this manner erases the passcode and allows the Apple Watch to be paired with a new device, with no hint of the original owner’s information available.

applewatchpasscode
Because there’s no Activation Lock and because the Apple Watch is reliant on the iPhone, there’s also no Find My iPhone option to locate a lost or stolen Apple Watch. Due to this lack of security, it’s possible the Apple Watch will become a major target for thieves.

It’s an expensive device (especially the higher-end Edition versions), it’s compact, it’s highly desirable, it has a high resale value like all of Apple’s products, and it’s easily visible on a wrist rather than hidden away in a bag or pocket like an iPhone. In short, it’s an easy target for muggers.

iPhone theft in major cities like San Francisco and New York became such an issue that government officials called for Apple and other cell phone manufacturers to implement a “kill switch” that would disable stolen devices, leading to the eventual release of Activation Lock alongside iOS 7.

Activation Lock had a positive impact on smartphone thievery, dropping iPhone theft by 25 percent in New York, 40 percent in San Francisco, and 50 percent in London as of early 2015. If Apple Watch theft causes crime rates to spike like iPhone theft, it’s possible lawmakers will once again step in to call upon Apple to improve the security of the wrist worn device.

As iDownloadBlog notes, Apple could potentially introduce stricter security measures in a future version of Watch OS. A simple solution would check the last known Apple ID of a paired device, refusing a new connection without a password or other authentication. Given the number of sensors in the Apple Watch, it’s also not unimaginable that a future biometric solution could also be implemented for additional security.




13
May

AT&T will offer customers free Hulu streaming content later this year


Hulu Plus chromecast apps

According to a new press release from AT&T, the carrier’s new and existing customers will soon be getting a pretty exciting freebie: access to Hulu’s full library of subscription content.

The new deal signed between Hulu and AT&T will be offered to all customers at no extra cost, though there is a small catch. Instead of utilizing Hulu’s established apps and website for content, you’ll instead get access to Hulu programming through the AT&T website and mobile app. At least initially, that means no app for streaming to the big screen, though AT&T and Hulu are reportedly looking into offering such a solution in the future.

At Hulu, we strive to create the best possible video experience for customers – offering them the ability to view their favorite content, when, where and how they want. We are excited to be working with AT&T to connect its customers with our premium content on every screen.
Tim Connolly
Hulu senior V.P. of partnerships and distribution

As for when the Hulu content will go live on AT&T? There’s no exact date specified just yet, though AT&T says to look for it sometime “later this year”. What do you think of this new perk from AT&T? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.



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