Saturday, 24 March 2012

With Samsung Galaxy Beam, you can watch your photos and videos by beaming them directly onto walls.

Samsung has forayed into the projector phone segment with the unveiling of Galaxy Beam, which is an Android 2.3 Gingerbread based smartphone with 1.0 GHz dual-core processor.
The Samsung Galaxy Beam projector smartphone, which allows users to display and share multimedia content anywhere on a large luminous screen, was unveiled at a Samsung event in Bangkok.

According to a spokesperson of the company, "The device will be launched in India in April."
Galaxy Beam lets users spontaneously share photos, videos or other digital media with family or friends by beaming the multimedia contents stored on the device directly onto walls, ceilings or improvised flat surfaces.
The device features a projector-dedicated application which makes it easy to select content and activate projection in a few simple steps. The Galaxy Beam has a 5 megapixel camera.
Despite featuring a full built-in projector, the Galaxy Beam measures just 12.5 mm thick and features an ergonomic design. It has 8 GB of internal memory which can be expanded to 32 GB using SD card and a 2000 mAh battery.
In the past few months lot of Indian handset manufactures have launched projector phones but all of them are feature phones based on Java operating system.

Friday, 23 March 2012

The latest ultrabooks haven't beaten the MacBook Air yet, but they're getting closer. Here are some upgrades the next ultrathin Apple laptop could use to maintain the lead.

A new generation of slim, lightweight laptops has taken the PC world by storm. Theseultrabooks (to use Intel's trademarked marketing term) are exactly what many laptop shoppers have been longing for, a PC version of Apple's MacBook Air that runs Windows.
But despite very strong showings from HP, Dell, Lenovo, and others, there still is not an ultrabook on the market right now that really beats the MacBook Air in a head-to-head shootout. That's not because of price, processing power, or features -- the Air is more expensive, has about the same CPU horsepower, and lacks many of the ports and connections found on the best ultrabooks. But it still wins on overall experience, thanks to an excellent keyboard and touch pad, the tight unibody construction, extra-long battery life, and sleep, resume, and instant-on features that actually work.
That said, the current MacBook Air dates from July 2011, and the newest ultrabooks have several important features that Apple's slim laptop lacks. Systems such as the HP Folio 13 andToshiba Z835 have taken the best parts of the MacBook Air and added the kind of mainstream features we've come to expect in any 13-inch laptop (although some of the ultrabooks we've seen skimp on these features as well).
In order to stay competitive, the next version of the MacBook Air, whenever it is released, should include one or more of these recommended upgrades, so it can stay competitive with the growing wave of ultrabooks, some of which are good enough that Apple really should be looking over its shoulder.

This request sounds like a broken record, but there are good reasons we keep coming back to it. Nearly every ultrabook includes this universal audio/video connector, while Apple sticks with Mini DisplayPort. Sure, you can get an adapter, but that's not nearly as convenient as plugging right into a big-screen TV or external monitor with a stock cable that you're likely to find sitting around any office. 

Lower price
A couple of the earliest ultrabooks toyed with $1,099 or $1,199 prices, but most are well under that, at $899 or $999. The entry-level 13-inch MacBook Air, with the same 128GB capacity SSD and Intel Core i5 CPU that you'll find in the $899 HP Folio 13, costs $1,299. Even Dell's MacBook Air-alike, the XPS 13, is only $999. That's not to say the Air is still not a better overall user experience, but with these price differences, it's getting harder to make the pro-Apple argument. 

Ethernet jack
Another feature that current MacBook Air users can get with an external adapter, but it's so important that it seems like the kind of thing that should be built in (and on many, but not all, ultrabooks, it is). Everyone I know with a MacBook Air or other Ethernet-free laptop has run into a situation where the available Wi-Fi has been too slow, or just completely nonfunctional (perhaps at the offices of a major technology Web site...) and had to reach for a Cat5 cable. If you don't have a jack or the adapter dongle, you're out of luck. 

USB 3.0
Yes, Apple has its own high-speed data port with Thunderbolt, but that technology has, frankly, never really caught on. To be fair, most of the USB devices you're likely to use are USB 2.0, but every single ultrabook to date, and most other recent laptops, all have at least one USB 3.0 port, and by later in 2012, even budget laptops will likely have at least two. 

Screen resolution and aspect ratio 
Did you know that the 11-inch MacBook Air is the only Apple laptop with a 16:9 aspect ratio? The 13-inch Air and all MacBook Pro models are still 16:10. The relative merits of each can be debated endlessly, but 16:9 is definitely the consumer standard, matches perfectly with your HDTV and HD video content, and allows for a smaller chassis. In the case of the 13-inch MacBook Air, it would likely mean a 1,600x900-pixel native screen resolution, rather than the current 1,440x900-pixel display, although both are preferable to the 1,366x768 in the majority of current ultrabooks (the Asus Zenbook's screen is 1,600x900 pixels).
Has the increased competition made these must-have features for the next MacBook Air? Or would a simple CPU upgrade be more than enough to steal some of the spotlight back from the current generation of ultrabooks? Let us know what you think in the comments section below.

As more companies ask workers for access to their Facebook accounts, the social network says that sharing or soliciting a password is a violation of its own guidelines

Has an employer or potential employer ever requested access to your Facebook account? If so, Facebook itself advises you to just say no.
Responding to growing complaints from employees over the practice, Facebook made its own position quite clear in a post published today. Noting an increase in the number of such requests from employers, the social network said they undermine both the security and the privacy of the user and the user's friends.
And the practice can put employers themselves at risk.
Companies making such requests may not have the right policies or training in place to deal with private information, according to Facebook. Further, companies might be held liable if the information they find proves problematic, such as a post that "suggests the commission of a crime."
Employers could face other thorny legal issues, noted Facebook. "For example, if an employer sees on Facebook that someone is a member of a protected group (e.g. over a certain age, etc.) that employer may open themselves up to claims of discrimination if they don't hire that person."
Given the rise of these requests and the resulting concerns, Facebook is pointing to certain guidelines on its end.
"As a user, you shouldn't be forced to share your private information and communications just to get a job," Facebook said in its post. "And as the friend of a user, you shouldn't have to worry that your private information or communications will be revealed to someone you don't know and didn't intend to share with just because that user is looking for a job. That's why we've made it a violation of Facebook's Statement of Rights and Responsibilities to share or solicit a Facebook password."
Of course, some employers aren't likely to care about violating Facebook's guidelines, which don't carry any legal weight. So the company is also promising to work with lawmakers and even take legal action to protect the accounts and privacy of its users.
Facebook's strong stance on this issue is certainly welcome. The social network often finds itself on the receiving end of complaints that it doesn't respect or protect the privacy of its users.
But the trend of companies asking an employee or job applicant for their Facebook account has touched a nerve.
One recent report detailed job applicants for Maryland's Division of Corrections being asked to log into their Facebook accounts during the interview and showing the interviewer all of the posts, friends, and other "private" information.
The controversy has even reached beyond the corporate world into the classroom. A 12-year-old girl has launched a lawsuit against her school for pressuring her to reveal her Facebook password.
And, of course, lawmakers are now getting into the act. Sen. Richard Blumenthal, a Democrat from Connecticut, is gearing up a bill that would prevent employers from asking for a job applicant's password on Facebook and other social networks. The senator told the Associated Press yesterday that such a practice is an "unreasonable invasion of privacy for people seeking work."

Thursday, 22 March 2012

These are the eye-watering visuals Sony and Microsoft's next gen consoles will be capable of. At least, that's what PSM3 and Xbox World magazines are saying in their latest issues. 

In collaboration with Codemasters' lead artist Mike Smith and Dead End Thrills techmaster Duncan Harris, both magazines present a glimpse of the future: what PS4 and Xbox 720 will be capable of in terms of visuals - but also what they'll be capable of in terms of scale, lighting, landscapes, AI and procedural generation.
With developers harnessing what the magazines claim will be "six times the power", Codemasters' Smith says: "If you look at the amount of effort that goes into lighting at companies like Pixar, we're quite some way away from being able to leverage that control. (But) once we have a toolset to do that, art directors can go crazy."
What's interesting, particularly for PlayStation owners, is that the screenshots running in PSM3 are from tech that echoes the reported specs of PS4, with recent rumours suggesting Sony are ditching PS3's controversial Cell chip, and working with AMD to provide PS4's graphics chips. (In effect, PS4 will be "essentially a PC" according to sources close to tech specialist Richard Leadbetter, of Digital Foundry.)

Thursday, 8 March 2012

Every new tablet, super-size smartphone, or other multifuncton device seems to give industry watchers yet another excuse to declare the traditional laptop dead, or at least on the way out.
With the new features and capabilities built into the just-announced third-gen iPad (also known as the "new iPad"), I expect a flood of reader e-mail over the next few days, asking if a revamped iPad is better investment than a new laptop.
And it's not a crazy question, even if you've thus far resisted the urge to move more and more of your computing tasks to a tablet. This was one of the most controversial debates about the original iPad in 2010, and just before that first-generation system hit stores, I had managed to get my hands on an early unit and weighed in on its skills as a PC replacement.
That story was called, "Is the Apple iPad a Netbook killer?" which gives you some idea of how long ago 2010 was. Back then, Netbooks--small 10 and 11-inch laptops that cost $300-$500--were all the rage, and in fact, most were less expensive than the iPad, and were much more flexible, at least in theory. At the time, I said:

By some standards, the iPad is essentially a keyboardless laptop, but by others, it's more akin to a portable media player, such as the iPod Touch...We tilted in the direction of "not a computer," and the factor that tipped the scale was Apple's use of the walled garden iPhone operating system. The iPad's lack of freedom to install basic apps and plug-ins, such as FireFox or even Flash, makes this far too limited a system to be considered a full-fledged computer.
Since then, I've mostly stood by that original assertion that the iPad is not a replacement for a personal computer. The iPad 2 added a much-needed camera, which made tasks such as posting photos on social media sites easier, and allowed for Skype (or FaceTime) video chatting, both essential parts of the PC experience. But, you're still behind that walled garden of apps, only able to purchase and use programs that have been filtered through Apple (there are some Web-based tools and virtual apps, but the HMTL5 app ecosystem never blossomed like some thought it would).

Despite this, there is a lot that the third-gen iPad can do in place of a laptop or desktop. Some tasks, such as e-mailing, consuming video, reading news Web sites and feeds, and even social media and gaming (of a certain sort), are often better experiences on the iPad than a laptop.
After the original iPad was released, I even tried using it as an on-the-go blogging tool, reporting from the annual E3 video game trade show in Los Angeles. I was able to successfully write and publish from the iPad, but several time-consuming workarounds were required. I described the experience:
The biggest problem was uploading photos to our blog tool--a message informed us when logging into the blog dashboard that Flash was needed for that. Of course, even if it did work, the iPad lacks a traditional desktop or folder system to upload from...I'm certainly far from declaring that this is the way to go for onsite reporting in the future. But, it did end up being a more workable option than I originally expected...The light weight, long battery life, and instant-on gratification of the iPad worked in its favor, as did the fact that typing manuscripts on it wasn't as painful as I imagined it would be. On the other hand, the photo-uploading workaround is a hassle.
And while it hasn't been a laptop-killer, the iPad to date has certainly been a Netbook killer, contributing to the rapid decline of that very specific category. Note that from January to April 2010, we reviewed 18 Netbook laptops. During the same period in 2011, we reviewed only five (and that was counting AMD Fusion ultraportables). For airplane trips and as a secondary computing device, the iPad did end up replacing a certain kind of low-cost laptop.
Now with the new iPad (a naming convention sure to cause much confusion in the near future), the question to ask is: Are any of the new features enough to make it a viable laptop replacement?
The high-res screen is a big step up, beating even the highest-resolution laptop screens, which top out at 1,920x1,080 pixels. And the improved camera and GPU also move the iPad closer to being an all-around utilitarian machine, but not in a way t
hat's radically different than the previous generations.

The biggest difference may be the new and updated apps, such as iMovie or iPhoto. The iPhoto app in particular looks impressive, and like it may allow people to use their iPads as a photo management and editing tool, even if they previously needed advanced computer-based tools for that.
But beyond that, it's hard to say the third-generation iPad has moved the needle much in terms of making your laptop or desktop computer obsolete. It's certainly become a solid replacement for the smaller, secondary laptop used for travel or in the kitchen, bedroom, or den, for many people, but I don't see a big change in that perception over the iPad 2.
Perhaps someday we'll all be using tablets and slates with virtual keyboards, touch screens, and one-click app stores, but for that to happen, the iPad and other tablet contenders will have come up with a bigger generational leap than we've seen here today.

Tuesday, 6 March 2012

Don't believe Apple will release a small tablet? Maybe not. But that hasn't stopped a constant trickle of reports citing Asia-based suppliers who are reportedly gearing up to make parts for the device in the third quarter of this year.

AU Optronics and LG Display will supply the 7.85-inch screen for the Apple device, according to Taipei-based Economic Daily News--that report was cited in the Macotakara blog in a post dated March 6.
Other suppliers listed in original Chinese-language article include: Radiant Opto-Electronics and Forhouse, which will supply the backlight module; Renesas Electronics, which will make driver ICs (integrated circuit); and Toshiba, which will deliver the NAND flash memory.
An Asia-based report in December also cited AU Optronics and LG as display suppliers.
And an analyst told CNET at that time that Apple was showing increasing interest in making a small tablet based on a 7.85-inch screen.

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