Tag Archives: Android

Samsung’s Optical Smart Hub SE-208BW, Something Old is New Again…

Samsung may have been disappointed by the reaction to their release of the Smart Media Hub DVD drive last year. No matter the reason they have released an updated drive with a slight name change and better software, producing the Optical Smart Hub SE-208BW – OSH -. Samsung may have realised that many people missed the point of the device when first released this time last year.

The Optical Smart Hub is a mini convergence device that tries to be many things to many people. By adding a Network chipset and USB functions to what is a seemingly ordinary external Optical Disk Drive – ODD – Samsung have created a new type of utility device, the Swiss Army Knife of external DVD’s. With the addition of a few chips Samsung have created a compact device that can perform network storage, backup, Wi-Fi hub, and media streaming functions with the press of a button.

As an external USB DVD – no Blu-Ray options here – it can do all of the standard duties, play back, record and generally spinning disks when connected to a PC via the USB. In this configuration the OSH acts just as any external DVD would. The twist comes when the Wi-Fi and Network functions are enabled.

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Medfield: Intel’s Smartphone Processor…

Intel’s Medfield processor is a brand new flavor for Intel. Designed from the ground up for the extremely low power requirements of the Smartphone world. Intel hopes Medfield will go places they have never been, in our pockets. Intel has undoubtedly dominated the desktop computer for 30 years but they have consistently failed – had their butts kicked – in the low power world, smart phones and tablets included. The current leader of low power processors is the ARM processor. Designed in England and manufactured by many companies these processors can be found in every smartphone and 99% of tablets. Look out ARM Intel is gunning for your market.

For Midfield Intel has pulled out all the stops and is finally working in the right direction when it comes to low power. Starting with a notebook processor and altering it for ultra low power could be considered working top down, this time Intel has worked bottom up. Starting with the design of each type of transistor, optimizing each to stop current leakage, wasted power that is converted to heat. Working their way up the design ladder the chip itself integrates a new design strategy, System On A Chip. SoC is a process of integrating as much of a system onto one chip. Intel didn’t stop there, with their sights set on the Smartphone world they have built in technology to accelerate common android functions.

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Cotton Candy The USB Computer, Android Everywhere…

Cotton Candy, a stick that connects you to the clouds. Not only designed to make any device Android Smart but FXI are attempting to battle the multiplicity of log-ins and applications that’s evolving as more devices become internet connected and intelligent. Cotton Candy doesn’t just carry your data and applications but it is a single point of access for your entire online life, your online Cotton Candy.

Created by Norwegian start-up FXI Technologies –Trondheim Norway, a spin-off of Falanx Microsystems which is now part of ARM – Cotton Candy brings Android to any device. Use the HDMI to turn any TV into an Internet Connected Smart TV or bring Android to you PC / Mac by switching ends and plugging in the USB. Work blocking Facebook, no problems just plug in Cotton Candy and all of your Android applications spring to life in their own window on your PC. FXI envision Cotton Candy becoming our everyday environment, with our entire online lives lived through the USB stick. This could simplify the need to keep multiple machines up to date with the same applications or the need for multiple log-in and passwords.

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Sphero A New Kind of Toy, The Spherical Super Hero…

The Christmas toy season is quickly approaching, toy companies around the world are beavering away in their labs trying to formulate the latest must have toy. Orbotix, a small company from Boulder Colorado may have this years viral toy sitting in the palm of their hand, a toy named Sphero. Orbotix have taken the worlds oldest toy, the ball, and dragged it kicking and screaming into the 21st century in turn creating the worlds only remote-controlled intelligent ball. Sphero, he will roll his way into everyone’s hearts and minds.

“The idea is to combine Sphero, a real world robot ball with the virtual world of augmented reality and by doing so, enhance the overall gaming experience for the user. Augmented reality allows Sphero to become the object of any number of virtual games. Picture Sphero as a wrecking ball crushing virtual objects in your living room – the possibilities are endless.” Adam Wilson, Chief Software Architect.

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The Android Who Would Be King. Samsung GALAXY Tab 10.1…

Samsung has put all of its cards on the table and released the GALAXY Tab 10.1. The thinnest and lightest 10.1″ tablet to hit the market so far. This is a salvo fired across Apples bow, Samsung finally has hand. With fast hardware, the latest Android Honeycomb OS and a beautiful hi-res display Samsung has all of the ammunition it needs to take the fight right to Apple.

The iPad 2 is the undisputed king of tablets at the moment and will naturally be the yard stick for any new tablet entering the market. The GALAXY Tab 10.1 is 2mm thinner and 15 grams lighter than it’s rival so off to a good start. Nvidis1GHz Dual Core Tegra2 CPU and graphics chip is as good as ARM CPU’s get at the moment. The 1280×800 resolution again just beats the iPad 2s 1024×768 resolution. Onboard DDR memory is another win for Samsung 1GB versus 512MB, a handy advantage for multi-tasking. front and rear-facing cameras are also standard. 4G wireless is a win for Samsung, not a practical win with 4G coverage being limited, so while it is 4G chances are it will run on a 3G network. Galaxy versus iPad 2 purely on specs looks like a win for Samsung, it doesn’t win the hardware spec battle hands down but it does win.

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BlueStacks. Android on Windows…

Android and Windows may not be a match made in heaven, Google and Microsoft haven’t been seen in the same room together for a long while after all. As it turns out the children of the two 900 pound gorilla’s may look good enough together, enough so that one company has given it a shot.. BlueStacks is that company and their software allows you to run Android software on Windows tablets or PCs.

Billed as a way to make real tablet software available for Windows tablets. BlueStacks may be on to something here, until Microsoft release Windows 8 for Tablets and software for it appears Android applications have the advantage of being made for a touch screen world, running standard windows apps on a tablet has been possible for 30 years – GRIDPad released 1989 – but it has never taken off because a tablet and desktop PC are two very different beasts.

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Chumby 8, Our Favourite Über Widget…

Chumby our favourite internet gadget company has just released Chumby 8, an upgrade to the already excellent internet device. Chumby is a small gadget that allows you to load add-on applications to the screen turning the gadget into anything you want. More than just the ultimate bedside device, think clock radio or alarm clock with a Star Trek twist. Chumby was the first device to really fulfill the term Widget.

If your sick of plain old alarm clocks, bored by the latest MP3 playing picture frame or just want a device to do more then the Chumby is for you. With 1500 apps available, the Chumby can be many things to many people. Load the Flicker application to make Chumby into a picture frame, Alarm Clock, Weather, social media dating applications all turn Chumby into something different. Load the news feeds, sports updates and horoscopes onto your Chumby and you have a live news centre. Load the financials and world clocks to turn Chumby into a world-wide stock tracker. Internet radio, games, social and online video applications all expand the Chumby’s usefulness.

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Facebook Makes Tinfoil Hats…

Facebook prepares to add VOIP services to its expanding social networking empire.

All of the stories surrounding Facebook at the moment are small pieces of a puzzle, when you bring them all together an interesting picture develops..

The chatter started with your profile phone numbers being made public. While reports around the wobbly web concentrated on the privacy aspect of this action – which Facebook doesn’t give two whoots about – more important was the building of a facebook phonebook, an important part of any telephone system around the world, the Blue Pages.

The Inquirer reports a VOIP service being in testing. While the VOIP service is a logical extension to Facebook it’s importance is a little more obscure than that. For Facebook to really be aware of what we are doing it needs your phone to be routed through Facebook. That doesn’t mean they will be listening to your calls but they will have your call records in their database. At the moment your telephone company has all of your call records – you see a summary of it on your bill – all of this information will be in Facebook.

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