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Jan 29, 2012

Evi Finally Delivers True Siri Functionality

True Knowledge, the developers of Evi, have managed to pull their act together in the past few days by expanding their server power. The Siri clone now delivers answers to all types of questions with fewer connection errors.

Put in the simplest way possible, Evi is a Siri replica which answers your queries based on Nuance voice recognition and core semantic search technology.

The iOS app was launched to market a couple of weeks ago. Because of the unexpected popularity, it received quite a bit of backlash from iPhone users and the tech blogosphere for its inability to deliver on demand.

True Knowledge apologized for the lackluster experience but promised to get Evi back on her feet in the quickest time possible.

Tests carried out by us can now confirm that Evi is rapidly improving. While the service doesn’t deliver a 100% Siri experience, it’s certainly the next best thing at the moment.

There are still some bugs to iron out, but the app now fulfills most queries. The connection to the True Knowledge servers is also less fragmented now.

“We don't want Evi to just work OK,” the company said in a recent blog entry. “We don't want her to merely ‘cope’. We want her to FLY! As such the team are continuing to scale up the server capacity so there will be continual improvements in the days ahead.”

The company has prepared an update for the iOS app, which means there was some “local” adjusting to be done as well - not just on the server side.

“An update is pending for iOS,” reads another blog entry from True Knowledge. “There are delays with pushing updates to the App Store as all need to process through the App Store review process which is outside of our control,” the company explains, adding that they’ve ordered new hardware “to bring a bevy of new servers online.”

Nokia Lumia 910 Listed by Dutch Retailer

Nokia has just announced the upcoming availability of the Lumia 900 in the United States, and rumors about a new Windows Phone device manufactured by the Finnish company have already started to surface online.

Although Nokia stated that the Lumia 900 was specifically designed for the United States market, it appears that the smartphone is heading to Europe as well.

However, Lumia 900 will be launched on the European market with slightly different specs, claims Eldar Murtazin, the Nokia guru. He said earlier this week that the Lumia 900 might be launched in Europe in June, but that Nokia plans to release another Windows Phone dubbed Lumia 910.

In this regard, a Dutch retailer has already listed the Nokia Lumia 910 as 'Coming Soon,' though there is no price tag attached to it or a release date. Unlike the Lumia 900, this one lacks LTE support and features an enhanced 12-megapixel camera.

Intel Haswell CPUs Could Feature 4K Video Hardware Acceleration Support

With the introduction of Haswell in 2013, Intel reportedly wants to take the video decoding capabilities of its integrated GPUs one step further by adding hardware decoding support for 4K content, as well as a series of new post-processing features.

As VR-Zone reports, the integrated graphics core found inside Haswell is expected to include full MVC and SVC hardware encode and decode, as well as much faster AVC processing.

Both of these features are required for accelerating 4K video playback, which should become a major selling point for Intel’s processors, since this type of content will become increasingly popular in the next few years.

JPEG and MPEG hardware decode, with support for 16Kx16K still images, will also be included, while the MJPEG processing support should help with converting the video captured by Webcams.

The advanced video decoding features of the Haswell processors will also be joined by a series of special hardware accelerated effects, such as image stabilization, colour gamut mapping and frame rate conversion in hardware for different display options.

Noise reduction, de-interlacing, video sharpening and skin tone correction are also expected to come as standard features for Haswell CPUs.

It goes without saying that all these new hardware video decoding and post-processing capabilities found inside Haswell will come as a great benefit for notebooks and Ultrabooks.

Haswell is the code name used by Intel for Ivy Bridge's successor and this is expected to be launched in 2013.

Compared to their predecessors, the chips will feature higher IPC performance, support for the AVX2 instruction set, and will also receive DirectX 11.1 support.

Ultra-low voltage (ULV) mobile processors will feature a system-on-a-chip (SoC) design, enabling them to have a TDP of just 15 Watts, while desktop Haswell processor will utilize the new LGA 1150 packaging and socket.

Intel 2013 Haswell Processor Reportedly Pictured

Intel is apparently making good progress with next year’s Haswell CPU architecture, as the company has already finalized the first qualification samples (QS) of these processors, as proven by a picture that has recently popped up online.

The image in question shows a chip with no heat spreader and a limited number of identification codes, that OBR-Hardware claims is a Haswell QS processor.

According to the same website, the CPU is actually a quad-core model with Hyper-Thearding support, its die measuring approximately 185 square millimeters in size.

As one can clearly notice from the comparison shot provided, Haswell’s die is actually larger than that of Ivy Bridge, which will measure 162 square millimeters.

Haswell will be a “Tock” on Intel’s roadmap meaning that it has an entirely new architecture built using the 22nm production node.

The first chips using this new core will arrive in 2013, but Intel plans to split these processors into two distinct product groups, the first including the company’s desktop and notebook processors, while the latter will be specially designed for Ultrabooks.

These will drop the 2-chip platform approach used by Intel for quite some time now in favor of a system-on-a-chip (SoC) design.

Desktop CPUs will feature either two of four processing cores with TDPs of 35, 45, 65 or 95 Watt, and will include a dual-channel DDR3/DDR3L memory controller, as well as GT2 or GT1 integrated graphics cores.

Mobile chips will be available in the same dual or quad-core configurations, but the memory controller only supports DDR3L DIMMs, while for graphics duties they will rely on the more powerful Intel GT3 GPU. 

As far as the Ultrabooks Haswell chips are concerned, these will be limited at supporting dual computing cores.

Optimus 7, Surround 7, Desire and Torch 9800 on $0 at TELUS

Canadian wireless carrier TELUS holds another one of its 72-hour sales, and has four devices available for free as part of it. 

This weekend, TELUS customers interested in the purchase of a new device can grab a Windows Phone-powered LG Optimus 7 or HTC Surround 7, or an Android-powered HTC Desire. Not to mention that the BlackBerry Torch 9800 is available for the same price tag. 

Users can acquire these devices for nothing with the signing of contract agreements for one, two or three years. Of course, they are a bit older, but they can still deliver great performance, and they are more than cheap, they are free. 

To learn more on the deal, users would simply have to go to the wireless carrier’s website. At the time of this article, there were about 48 hours left to take advantage of the offering, so hurry up.

HTC TITAN II Receives FCC Approvals

AT&T is gearing up for the release of two new Windows Phone devices on its airwaves, namely the HTC TITAN II and the Nokia Lumia 900, both of which feature LTE connectivity inside. 

The former has just received the necessary approvals from the Federal Communication Commission, where it features model number PI86100. 

Packing support for AT&T’s LTE network, TITAN II is expected to hit shelves on March 18th, featuring a price tag of $199, with the signing of a two-year contract agreement. 

TITAN II packs some impressive specifications, such as a large 4.7-inch touchscreen display complemented by a 1.5GHz application processor, or a 16-megapixel photo snapper on the back, with support for HD video recording. 

The mobile phone also sports 16GB of internal memory, and support for all of the apps and services designed for the Windows Phone 7.5 Mango operating system.

Hilarious Commercial: Check Out This New iPad Thing from ASUS

Sadly, there are many companies on the IT market that make great products, but release the most ludicrous of commercials, but sometimes someone does something about it. 

ASUS' Eee Pad Transformer Prime is among the best tablets according to many (though not without its problems). 

Unfortunately, ASUS' commercials are probably not something you'll want to see more than once. Just check out the video below if you don't believe us. 

Fortunately, your soul can still be saved: a hilarious new commercial, though sadly not official or in any way belonging to ASUS, has appeared on, you got it, YouTube. 

We can almost see this video gathering lots and lots of views and likes over the next few days. After all, we aren't the first to notice how it compares to the originals. 

Well, enough said. Just click play on the video above and enjoy your rise to popularity and just become really popular.

Nokia Fixes Lumia 800 Battery Issues, Preps Camera Improvements

Nokia’s first Windows Phone-based mobile phone, the Lumia 800, came to the market with a series of issues affecting its battery performance. Nokia has already delivered a software update to the handset’s users, and it appears that things have been put back in order. 

In a recent post on the Nokia Discussion forum, the Finnish mobile phone maker notes that it has already addressed the said problems via the latest Lumia 800 update, 1600.2483.8106.11500. 

The software update was specifically meant to resolve issues that users have been reporting back in December, the company notes. 

“First of all, the primary target of the latest Lumia 800 update (1600.2483.8106.11500) was to enhance standby time as well as to bring an improvement to the issue reported by some customers in December, that their phone wasn’t able to access the full battery charge capacity correctly,” the company explains

“We can confirm that we have successfully tested that those improvements are working,” Nokia adds. Users who would like to take advantage of these improvements will have to install the said 1600.2483.8106.11500 software update on their devices. 

To check on the software version installed on their devices, Nokia Lumia 800 owners need to go to Settings > System > About and hit the More information box. 

“The ‘Firmware revision number’ shows 1600.2483.8106.11500 if you have installed the latest Nokia update for Lumia successfully,” the company explains. 

Users can also go to Settings > Phone Update and select the “Notify me when updates are found” box, to make sure that they will have the latest software installed on their devices. 

Moreover, the handset vendor notes that a future update will bring along camera and audio enhancements: “Additionally, we’ve noted your concerns regarding audio and camera settings and are going to address those in a series of future updates, ie. these will not be included in this specific update.”

As for the battery issues, Nokia also recommends that users charge their devices with the charger that came in the package, as it was specifically destined for the handset’s battery. 

“Also always use the original Nokia Fast USB Charger AC-16 or the Nokia Charging and Data Cable CA-185CD that came with your Lumia 800, as they are specifically designed to charge the Lumia 800 as efficiently as possible,” the company notes. 

“Only a charger with an output of 1000mA will fully charge your Lumia 800 battery. If you have several Nokia chargers at home, just check the respective labels or plastic parts as the product name is mentioned there.”

Nokia also recommends that people who would like to keep an eye on the battery’s performance should not use the Diagnostic App, which was not designed specifically for that, but should go to Settings > System > Battery saver for that. 

“It will tell you both your remaining battery life in percent as well as the estimated time remaining, plus the time since you last charged your phone (as soon as you have disconnected your phone from your charger),” the handset vendor concludes.

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