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Apr 4, 2012

Rogers Launches LTE Rocket Mobile Hotspot

Major carrier Rogers has just added a new LTE-enabled device to its portfolio, the Sierra Wireless AirCard 763S, also known as LTE Rocket.

This is a mobile hotspot that measures 97.5 x 57 x 15.7mm. It allows users to create a Wi-Fi hotspot while on the move, for up to 10 compatible devices.

The handset supports Rogers 1700/2100 MHz and 2600 MHz bands and can potentially reach peak LTE download speeds of up to 100Mbps.

However, users will usually get typical LTE download speeds between 12-40 Mbps, and 12-25 Mbps for 2100 MHz band.

LTE Rocket mobile hotspot is now available for free at Rogers, but requires customers to sign up for a new three-year agreement. 

Customers who are not willing to commit to a long-term contract can purchase the LTE device for $199.99 CAD outright.

iMac 2012 Incoming: Core i5 and Core i7 Ivy Bridge - Report

A reliable tipster is telling Howtoarena.com that Apple is planning an iMac refresh in the coming months. The desktop computers will boast Intel’s 22nm-based Core i5 and Core i7 Ivy Bridge processors, and they’re expected to drop in the June-July time frame.

This allegedly reliable source in the Chinese supply chain is also telling the blog that “the company [Apple] is currently ramping up production of thinner 15 inch version of MacBook Pros with same processors which are reportedly coming later this month.”

The iMac refresh is regarded as highly plausible, mainly because Apple announced an identical refresh around this time last year (Sandy Bridge & Thunderbolt). The new iMacs aren’t expected to feature any aesthetic changes. However, the MacBook Pros are said to be thinner, and more attractive-looking.

Stealth Reveals LPC-680 LittlePC Mini PC

The new item that Stealth Computer has announced may not be the $25 Raspberry Pi, but it definitely ranks among the smallest computers out there. 

Then again, the company has a history of putting together undersized systems that still have everything they need, so we aren't as surprised as we might otherwise have been. 

LPC-680 LittlePC is the name of the company's latest invention. The size is of 6.5 x 6 x 2 inches (165 x 152 x 50 mm). 

A Sandy Bridge CPU lies at the heart, which means that prospective buyers will get to select between a Core i3, Core i5 and Core i7 unit. 

Regardless of the choice, the memory backing it can go as high as 8 GB and the 2.5-inch mobile HDD can provide up to 750 GB of storage space. 

Furthermore, a solid state drive can be chosen instead of the HDD, in case the small computer has to be used in situations where shock, vibration and temperature resistance are more important. 

Moving on, Stealth Computer tossed in a slim DVD/CR-RW optical drive (optional Blu-ray) and I/o panel with two USB 3.0, two USB 2.0, one DVI-I, one DisplayPort, one Gigabit LAN, Wi-Fi 802.11n, 1-RS232 Serial and Line In/Out Audio ports. 

"The Stealth Model: LPC-680 is the most powerful and advanced small form PC we have offered to date. Our full featured machine utilizes the new second generation Sandy Bridge Intel Core i7/i5/i3 mobile processor family and we believe it competes for the most processing power per square inch of any personal computer available today. It is also our first small PC with USB 3.0 connectivity," stated Ed Boutilier CEO of Stealth.com Inc. 

Stealth Computer's LPC-680 LittlePC receives power from the included 20VDC power adapter or any 12 to 20VDC power source, like those used in cars and such. 

Shipments should already be underway, for $1,495.00, or 1,132.74 Euro. Common consumers probably won't jump at it because of this, but customers from the Industrial, Mining and Telecommunications, Military, Public Safety, Utility, Transportation, Commercial and Scientific Research markets probably will.

Script: Mezzanine

Mezzanine is a content management system (CMS) built on top of Python's powerful and versatile Django framework.

We've seen it grow from the bare-bones version we noticed on the PyPi index over a year ago, and now Mezzanine is all grown up, reaching its first stable version, the 1.x series, just a few weeks back.

The Mezzanine CMS is quite the powerful tool, coming packed with features like an admin dashboard, WYSIWYG editing, drag-n-drop interface, form builder, comments moderation, templates for mobile devices, shopping cart module, blogging engine, and many, many more.

To view a Mezzanine demo, go here and login using the demo/demo username and password combination. Also, if you’re willing to contribute, Mezzanine's development is handled via its GitHub page.

In case you’re interested in the shop module seen in the demo, it's called Cartridge and you can download it.

Download  Mezzanine here, or demo here.

Samsung ST200F Camera Up for Sale in South Korea

People who want a new digital camera, but aren't interested in star gazing, might want to take a look at the Samsung ST200F.

Granted, looking at it won't do you much good if you want to buy it, unless you live in South Korea, but still.

The product was first seen at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show (CES 2012) and relies on a 16 megapixel image sensor.

Wi-Fi exists as well (for social networking, as well as for PC connection), along with a 3-inch HVGA display.

Samsung made the camera compatible with wide angle lenses and gave it a 10X optical zoom too.

All in all, the ST200F should be a good pick if you plan to record 720p HD video or shoot photos while using effects such as Picture in Picture, Motion Photo, Split Shot, panorama and Magic Frame (or not).

Shipments start in mid-April and the price is of 249,000 won / $220.99 / 168 Euro.

3 ZeuS Botnet Command and Control Servers Evade Microsoft

Last week we learned that Microsoft managed to disrupt a major botnet powered by the infamous ZeuS Trojan. However, it turns out that they didn’t sinkhole all the command and control (C&C) servers, as three of them escaped the long arm of the Redmond company.

FireEye researchers analyzed the botnet targeted by Microsoft and provided some interesting information. It turns out that out of the 156 different C&C domains that the botnet used, Microsoft took out only 147 in Operation B-71.

Out of the nine C&Cs that remain, a couple were appointed as being dead because they didn’t resolve to any IP address, a number of four were abandoned by the cybercriminals, and the other three are still active.

From these three servers, isdfsrttyqza.c0m.li, mylemain.com and stockli.us, zombies are still receiving commands.

“I am not sure why the MS Digital Crime Unit has not been able to sinkhole all the CnC domains. Their main concern should be the three active domains. Without these domains completely destroyed, this botnet can not be officially declared as dead,” FireEye’s Atif Mushtaq wrote

“I hope MS will take over these leftover domains soon in order to put that last nail in the coffin.”

This is not the first time the takedown of a botnet is not a complete success. At the end of March 2012, Kaspersky disabled 116,000 bots part of the new Kelihos botnet.

Two days later, Seculert experts found that Kelihos was alive and well, infecting computers using a Facebook worm that spread by advertising a so-called photo album. 

Back in February, when Kaspersky came forward to reveal that the Kelihos botnet that was taken down in the fall of 2011 was resurrected, Microsoft rushed to clarify that it was a completely new one, not the one disrupted by them. 

Hopefully, now they will also provide details regarding the remaining 3 servers. 

We have reached out to Microsoft representatives to see if we can get some clarifications regarding the active C&Cs and we’ll return with more details once they are made available.

AMD's Trinity: 56% Faster Graphics, 29% Better Productivity

Advanced Micro Devices hasn't officially said much about the Trinity series of accelerated processing units, but leaks and reports are doing a great job of satisfying everyone's curiosity. 

As if the promising benchmark of the A8-4500M APU weren't already enough to spark people's yearning, we now have a marketing slide to gush over. 

Having been provided by the folks at SweClockers, said slide makes some very interesting and bold claims. 

Not only is the so-called Trinity series of Accelerated Processing Units (APUs) going to be much faster in terms of graphics, but it will also clearly distance itself in productivity. 

To be more specific, the APU will be up to 56% faster when drawing visuals (graphics performance is better by more than half, in other words) while boosting productivity by up to 29%. 

The comparisons are drawn between Trinity and Llano (the existing collection of mainstream APUs). 

Other than these bold claims, the slide has some other interesting entries and emphasizes the important parts with a nice, golden font (or plain yellow, for those who disavow such epithets). 

For one, an honorary mention is given to optimizations for Windows 8, the new operating system that Microsoft will launch this year. 

Of course, with AVX, AES-NI, SSE4.2, and DirectX 11.1 graphics integrated into the GPU, this goes without saying. 

Secondly, the power efficiency is said to be enough to enable 12 hours of “resting battery life”, whatever that means (basic computing tasks or idle times, probably). 

Thirdly, the marketing slide lists the 3.0 version of the Turbo Core dynamic overclocking technology (powers down/up individual cores depending on workload and TDP). 

Finally, the media accelerators will possess new features, but no details exist on this front, not that we are surprised. 

All in all, Advanced Micro Devices has everything it needs to score consumer and business deals. Now it just needs a silver tongue sly enough to charm prospective customers away from Intel.

GeForce GTX 680 OC Edition Prepared by Gigabyte

It looks like there will soon be a new graphics card roaming online and physical stores, one made by Gigabyte.

The product is called Gigabyte GeForce GTX 680 OC Edition and is exactly what it says on the tin: an overclocked GTX 680 board.

Nevertheless, some things have to be mentioned, such as the custom PCB (printed circuit board) and the new WindForce cooler (three fans, a dark grey shroud, lots of fins).

The GPU clock speed is 1,071 MHz, not all that high, but doubtlessly capable of going much higher with the right overclocking. It isn't called OC Edition for nothing after all.

The memory speed is the same as the reference one (6008 MHz), but again, overclocking will be possible.

We have no price to mention right now, but we suspect it isn't too high compared to the original's $499 / 499 Euro.

Canon Releases Camera for Astronomers

People exploring the Canon official website may run upon a certain new entry on the products section: the EOS 20Da digital SLR camera.

As opposed to the majority of consumer cameras that follow a sort of standard feature set, this particular device is more specialized.

Sure, it still has everything it needs for people to do all the common point and shooting/recording, but that is beside the point.

Long story short, the EOS 20Da is geared towards astronomers, or anyone who likes to shoot photos of the night sky.

An 18-megapixel APS-C CMOS sensor can capture sharp and high-contrast images, which makes stars and whatever else turn up very clear.

There is even an infrared-blocking filter that leads to a hydrogen-alpha light sensitivity about thrice as high as a regular Canon DSLR camera. In other words, the Hydrogen Alpha line (H α wavelength) has a 20% higher transmittance.

Moving on to the rest of the specs, Canon's EOS 20Da can use super-telephoto EF lens and can attach to a telescope.

In fact, the Silent Shooting feature eliminates shutter-induced vibration when mounted in such scenarios.

Also, full manual controls permit images to be captured in RAW, JPEG, and RAW+JPEG formats, while a 3-inch Vari-angle Clear View LCD serves for previewing the shots (1,040,000 make it easy to focus). Furthermore, the ISO sensitivity is of 100 to 6,400 (expandable to 12,800).

Other specs include a 63-zone dual layer metering system, a self-cleaning sensor unit, various recoding functions (card access indicator, read error warnings displayed on the viewfinder, card formatting), simultaneous recording of RAW and JPEG and the ability to select between sRGB and Adobe RGB color spaces.

For those who want to get the complete lowdown, the product page has everything anyone could ever need to know.

Unfortunately, sales haven't started yet, but they will soon, this month in fact (April, 2012). The price is $1,499 / 1,135 Euro.

Galaxy S III’s 4.65’’ Screen Enters Production

South Korean mobile phone maker Samsung is gearing up for the release of its next-generation flagship Android device, none other than the long rumored Galaxy S III. 

The smartphone is expected to become official before the end of April, and might arrive on shelves starting next month. 

In the meantime, the device is undergoing the final touches over at Samsung, and the latest reports on the matter suggest exactly that. 

According to the guys over at DDaily, Samsung Mobile Display (SMD) has already kicked off production of this screen. 

They also note that this will be the first non-Pentile phone display coming out from Samsung’s OLED division with an HD resolution. 

The screen is said to measure 4.65 inches diagonally, the same as the 720p Super AMOLED panel packed on Galaxy Nexus and Galaxy S II HD LTE did. Galaxy S III’s display should feature a pixels density of 316ppi.

The Android-powered mobile phone was rumored to be en-route to shelves with a fast quad-core application processor inside, as well as with an 8-megapixel photo snapper on the back (some rumors suggested that the camera would be of 12MP). 

Apparently, the moment when this device will launch is indeed nearing fast. Samsung reportedly confirmed to AsiaE that it already started testing the mobile phone with wireless carriers in Korea. 

The handset’s quad-core CPU and LTE capabilities could delay the concluding of testing in the country, although the leading mobile phone maker appears set to complete these procedures before the usual two months term. 

Galaxy S III is expected to arrive on shelves as the true successor of last year’s popular Galaxy S II, and should deliver great performance capabilities, along with high-end features. The upcoming mobile phone will run under Google’s Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich and will feature Samsung’s TouchWiz on top.

Sprint HTC EVO One Caught on Camera, Launch Is Imminent

Sprint’s own version of the HTC One X, which is about to hit shelves globally this week.

However, it appears that the first live photos of the smartphone have leaked as well, along with some impressions on its overall performance.

The folks over at An.Droid-Life got the chance to take the HTC EVO One for a spin and have given us their opinion on the phone’s design, software and hardware configuration.

Firstly, as seen in the pictures, the smartphone comes with a small kickstand on the back and bears Sprint’s logo on the battery covers.

Design-wise, it looks pretty much similar to the HTC One X. The phone is rather big, but very thin at only 8.9mm. 

Let’s not forget that the HTC EVO One comes with a stunning 4.7-inch Super IPS LCD2 capacitive touchscreen that supports HD (720 x 1280 pixels) resolution and features Corning Gorilla Glass coating for extra protection of the display while on the go.

The smartphone is powered by Android 4.0.3 Ice Cream Sandwich operating system and features HTC’s Sense 4.0 UI on to. 

Unfortunately, An.Droid-Life claims that the new UI is almost unchanged, which might be boring for those who have already owned an HTC device that runs the company’s proprietary user interface.

On the positive side, it appears that the phone’s 8-megapixel rear camera with autofocus and LED flash is absolutely amazing. According to An.Droid-Life this might be one of the best cameras on a mobile device. 

Last but not least, HTC EVO One comes with full LTE support, 1GB of RAM and 16GB of internal memory (no microSD card slot included).

According to the latest hearsay, HTC EVO One is expected to be announced today or within the next few days, but rumor has it that it will hit shelves only in June.

AMD Trinity A8-4500M APU Benchmarked, Better Than Expected

Advanced Micro Devices is going to launch its 32nm-based Trinity accelerated processing units this year (2012) and there is now some extra information on the line.

To be more specific, the Internet has uncovered some details about one of the chips that will be part of this product collection.

The unit in question is called A8-4500M and will take the place of the A8-3500M (the Llano-series equivalent).

Alas, we have no clock speeds to relay, so that will have to wait for a bit longer.

What we do have to write about is the result of a test reported by NordicHardware.

The dual-Piledriver A8-4500 was tested under the Folding benchmark, and there is a clear difference between the two GPU generations.

In terms of floating point speeds, A8-4500M "Trinity" scored 1,655.51 points on one of the two systems tested, and 1,679.55 on another.

Meanwhile, A8-3500M "Llano" got 1,580.98, which means that the average difference is of 5.47% (in favor of Trinity).

The integer speed (basically the CPU math performance) is where Trinity shines though: its score of 5,214.95 / 5 662.48 is about 38.67% better than the Llano's 3,921.99.

Added to the above is another benefit: the Radeon HD 6900-series graphics with some functions found in the new HD 7000.

We mentioned before that the product is a dual-Piledriver. What we meant by that is that two Piledriver modules are present, leading to a total of four x86 processor cores.

The clock speeds will be higher than those of the previous generation, but this goes without saying. After all, AMD did promise that the overall performance would be better by up to 25%, even though the TDP is the same (35W). If nothing else, the Folding benchmark tests are in line with that promise. We'll let you know if we uncover anything more.

Download Nokia Maps Suite 2.0, Out of Beta

It appears that Nokia Maps Suite is reportedly out of beta and available for update via Nokia Suite or OTA (over the air). The beta version of the application is still listed in the Betalabs, and no official changelog has been released for the final version yet.

MyNokiaBlog reports that Nokia Maps Suite 2.0 is now out of beta, but some users who updated to the latest build complain about various issues that were also present in previous beta versions.

Keep in mind that installing the update does not require users to uninstall the beta version downloaded from the Betalabs.

Firstly, it looks like the weather app now installs on smartphones without having to insert a SIM card. 

Secondly, the application will only install on C: drive and requires 40MB of free space, otherwise Nokia Maps Suite won’t install.

Official Android 4.0 ICS for AT&T Samsung GALAXY Note Leaks

Both Samsung and AT&T promised the Galaxy Note would receive the Ice Cream Sandwich update at some point, but neither gave a specific release date.

The latest official statement comes from the South Korean handset vendor who stated that Samsung Galaxy Note would be upgraded to Android 4.0 sometime in Q2 2012.

Initially slated for a Q1 release, the Ice Cream Sandwich update for Galaxy Note has been delayed given the “incredible versatility and unique users experience” offered by the smartphone.

Basically, the Galaxy Note will not only receive the Android 4.0 ICS upgrade, it will get a special “Premium Suite” that includes extra multimedia features, as well as some S Pen optimized apps.

There’s no telling when Samsung will start the global rollout of the update, but until they do there’s a new official Android 4.0 ICS ROM that has just leaked on the Internet, courtesy of the folks over at RootzWiki.

Keep in mind that this build does not come with the promised “Premium Suite” upgrade, but it has been tested in order to make sure it can be used on a regular basis. This ROM can only be flashed on AT&T's Galaxy Note, it won't work on the international model.

According to RootzWiki, the following features are fully working and don’t require any fixes:

Face Unlock; LTE connections; Phone calls; Audio quality; Stereo Bluetooth; MMS; GPS; Google Talk and Video Chat; Google Voice; Task Manager is smooth and transitions are quick; Downloaded Flash video and in-browser video; Chrome autosync; AT&T Hotspot functionality, external devices connect within the parameters.

Several changes have been highlighted as well, such as the Samsung Planner, which is now Calendar. It looks like the new Calendar widgets now include Month, Mini Task, Mini Today, Agenda, and other options.

It is also worth mentioning that there are a few issues that have yet to be corrected in the final build of the update. Besides the fact that the “Premium Suite” is not included in this package, those who tested this build reported TouchWiz launcher crashes on first boot, and upon adding a Google Play account.

For more details on how to download and install this official Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich ROM for Samsung Galaxy Note head over to RootzWiki’s site.

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