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May 28, 2012

Lian Li Announces the MiniQ PC-Q02 and PC-Q03 Cases

Well-known high quality computer case manufacturer, aluminum expert designer Lian-Li has just announced the PC-Q02, PC-Q03 and PC-Q16 miniITX cases belonging to the MiniQ family of products, on its official website.

The new models come with USB 3.0 front connectors and the respective inside connecting cables along with a minimalist design and a small volume. The PC-Q02 model is fitted with an externally accessible 5.25” bay for installing a thin optical disc drive unit and a removable metal cart that can host two 2.5” hard disk drives or a single desktop sized 3.5” HDD. The model also comes with an included high quality 300 watts SFX power supply.

The only mainboards that you’ll be able to fit inside are the ones complying with the Mini-ITX and Mini-DTX format standards, but buyers should be warned that these cases are almost fanless as there is no place to mount a case fan. The PC-Q03 allows mounting of a graphics card of up to 180 millimeters long and a power supply of up 160 millimeters length.

Next to the front USB 3.0 connectors, the PC-Q03 also comes with two HD audio jacks. The PC-Q16 model has no 5.25” compartment and comes with removable tray that allows mounting of up to three 3.5” hard disk drives. This one actually manages to fit a huge 140 millimeter fan at the front of the unit that spins at a very low speed thus ensuring a long life and silent functioning. Pricing is set at 150 USD for the PC-Q02 and PC-Q03 models and 160 USD for the smallest of them all, the PC-Q16. That’s around 120 EUR for the PC-Q02 and PC-Q03 models and 128 EUR for the small PC-Q16.

PNY Introduces Water Resistant Transformer USB Flash Drive

PNY Technologies has just announced the new Transformer Attaché USB flash drive, on its official website. This is a very cool looking metallic USB memory stick with a capless design and a mobile hook-and-lock arm.

Unfortunately for the users that really care about their money and what they are spending it on, the Transformer Attaché USB flash drive is using the rather old USB 2.0 interface. We really don’t understand how and why did PNY Technologies think that launching yet another ordinary USB 2.0 memory thumb drive will help them achieve great sales or user popularity. The company claims that the complete metallic design of the Transformer Attaché USB flash drive will prove to be protective when it comes to the daily wear and tear and even says that the Transformer is water resistant.

The Transformer Attaché USB flash drive is backed by a 5-year warranty and comes in various capacities. Here are the official specifications:

4.5mmH x 13.9mmW x 47.7mmL
4G/8G : up to 8MB/sec write , 24MB/sec read
16G/32GB: up to 10MB/sec write , 32MB/sec read
(*Actual capacity and performance may vary depending on file format and system specification.)
Operating Temperature: 0°C to 60°C
Storage Temperature: -25°C to 8°C
Operating Voltage : Vcc Power: 4.5~5.5 VDC

Huawei "Emotion UI" for Android Phones Confirmed for July

Chinese handset maker Huawei plans to unveil its proprietary UI for Android phones on June 9. Although the user interface will be detailed in about two weeks, it will only get on the market in July.

Dubbed “Emotion UI,” Huawei’s user interface will come pre-loaded on all the company’s smartphones powered by Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich. This is probably one of the main reasons that Huawei delayed the launch of its flagship Android phone, the Ascend D quad, which is now set to arrive on the market in July. For the time being, it’s unclear what will happen with current ICS-powered Huawei smartphones that lack the Emotion UI, but it’s likely that the company will make it available in future updates. According to a Huawei ad leaked via mobile.163, the new UI will be “smart,” “emotional” and “simple” at the same time.

It is also worth mentioning that Huawei’s “Emotion UI” will be launched in China, but it’s probable to see this one being released outside the Mainland as well. Given Huawei’s plans for “world domination,” a global rollout for “Emotion UI” makes perfect sense, though we should wait until the Chinese handset manufacturer unveils more details on its proprietary user interface. Although Huawei claims the “Emotion UI” will be integrated onto its Android smartphones, the company failed to mention which Android versions will be compatible with the new user interface.

Obviously, it would be great to have this UI on as many smartphones as possible, but we’re not sure whether or not “Emotion UI” is compatible with older than Ice Cream Sandwich OS versions. On a side note, Huawei is expected to launch its Ascend P1 and P1 S in the following weeks, both powered by Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, but lacking the “Emotion UI.” It will be great if Huawei makes the user interface available as an optional update, so that people could decide for themselves if they want it on their phones or not.

Panasonic Lumix Camera Can Be Controlled from a Phone Now

There seems to be a lot of interest for means of turning phones into remote controls, and Panasonic is definitely contributing to the trend.

What the company did this time was launch a piece of software instead of some new device. Said software is an app meant to work with the $300 / 240 Euro Lumix DMC-FX90 point and shoot camera. All you need is a smartphone running Android 2.2 (or higher) or an iPhone with iOS 4.3 or later. The small program is available free of charge and is just what the product needed to become more than a standard consumer pocket camera.

Granted, it already had Wi-Fi and a 3-inch touchscreen, but there was not much use for the wireless connection until now. When the app is launched, owners can look at a”remote view” of the image they are about to take. They can also control the shutter and the zoom. People will also have the option of transferring photos between the camera and phone/tablet via Lumix Link, a separate app.

Sure, a firmware update will need to be applied to the camera itself in order for all this to work, but that shouldn't be too much of a problem.

Kyocera’s Urbano Progresso to Arrive on Shelves This Week

This week, Kyocera will bring to shelves a new Android 4.0-powered mobile phone, the Urbano Progresso, which features tissue conducting technology.

The new mobile phone was unveiled to the world back at the CTIA 2012 conference, when Kyocera showcased the new technology inside it. Urbano Progresso lands on the market with a Smart Sonic receiver, and drops the standard earpiece to make room for a ceramic transducer. This piece of hardware was designed to make the handset's surface vibrate, so that it would deliver a better audio experience when compared to current technology. This technology sounds pretty impressive, yet only users in Japan will be able to benefit from it, as the handset will land on KDDI’s network later this week.

Kyocera’s new smartphone will arrive on shelves with a variety of high-end capabilities as well, with support for global connectivity, including CDMA, GSM, UMTS, and GPRS bands. Urbano Progresso will be released on KDDI’s network on May 30th with a dual-core Snapdragon S2 application processor inside, clocked at 1.4GHz. Moreover, it will arrive with a 4.1-inch touchscreen display on the front, as well as with an 8.1-megapixel photo snapper on the back, capable of delivering HD video recording capabilities to its users.

The same as with all other smartphones designed for the Japanese market, the new Kyocera Urbano Progresso will be waterproof, while also featuring infrared port, WiMAX capabilities, support for Osaifu-Keitai, and the like. The smartphone was announced with Google’s Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich operating system on board. You can make a better idea of what the handset has to offer through the video embedded below. While released only in Japan this week, the Kyocera Urbano Progresso is expected to hit other markets around the world as well in the not too distant future. It could be released in the United States as well, most probably before the end of the current year, rumor has it.

Nokia Updates the Nokia Pulse App for Symbian

Owners of a Nokia smartphone powered by the Symbian operating system can now download and install on their devices a new flavor of the Nokia Pulse application.

The new software release brings along a series of social features that have been pushed to the users of Nokia Windows Phone handsets a few weeks back. For those out of the loop, we should note that the Nokia Pulse application has been designed as a simple and easy-to-use way to send rich location messages to friends and family, all through a single tap on the phone’s screen. It is “available on web, mobile web, Windows Phone, Meego, and Symbian devices and soon on all major mobile platforms,” Nokia Pulse’s description on Nokia Beta Labs reads.

Unfortunately, the Symbian version of the app is available only in a beta flavor for the time being, which means that there might be a series of issues that will affect user’s experience with it. However, enhancements have been included in the new app release, so that users would enjoy more features and capabilities while on the go. The release notes for the new version of Nokia Pulse include the following:
  • Ability to sign-in with Facebook credentials
  • Auto-complete names/matches when adding people to a group
  • Profile name and photo are editable
  • Better integration with Nokia Maps, and tappable location stamps
  • Audio notifications of Pulse activity, even if the app is running in the background
Liron Markus, product manager, Nokia Beta Labs, notes in a recent blog post that users who download and install on their Symbian smartphones the new version of Nokia Pulse should provide feedback on their experience, so that more improvements could be added to it. Users interested in learning more on the application can have a look at the video embedded below or can head over to Nokia’s website for that (registration required), or via this direct link Nokia Pulse for Symbian 0.93.6 beta.

“MiracleBATTERY” App for Android Phones Claims 64% Battery Improvement

One of the most important components for an Android smartphone is the battery. Although handset manufacturers are trying to include higher-capacity batteries into their smartphones, software needs to be taken into consideration as well.

This is why Intercom, a computer software and iPad apps developer, has launched an Android application that claims to be able to extend battery life up to 64%. Obviously, the company doesn’t have a miracle solution for battery drainage, instead it promises to offer Android fans an easy-to-use power management application. Basically, instead of manually switching off Wi-Fi or Bluetooth connectivity, users will be able to do this automatically with the touch of a button. Other smartphone features, like email synchronization, backlight and screen brightness, that weigh heavily on the battery when they’re turned on, can also be switched off with a single click of a button.

Moreover, users will be able to customize the settings to switch the power saving mode on or off for certain periods or days of the week. According to Intercom, the application ranked #1 in popularity at Google Play (Japan) in the tool category of paid apps in April, so those who have yet to install MiracleBATTERY may want to give it a try. Aside from its power management features, MiracleBATTERY can also clean unnecessary data and history. The developers claim that the application can clean up task data from memory, call history, internet browsing history, and such.

On the other hand, the 'app management' feature simply shows the list of installed apps and enables users to perform uninstalls for multiple apps at once. MiracleBATTERY is available for download for $3.99 USD via Google Play Store and it should be fully compatible with all devices running Android 2.2 and up. It is also worth mentioning that a 30-day free trial is available at no cost in the Play Store.

Nokia Lumia Evolution Concept Runs Windows Phone 8

Nokia is rumored to plan the release of Windows Phone 8 devices as soon as the new platform becomes available later this fall, but it hasn’t provided any official confirmation on the matter.

Recent reports did suggest that the company is already in the testing phase of these devices, and that they would arrive on shelves with the same looks as the current Lumia 800 and Lumia 900 handsets. If so, many users will be happy, since Nokia’s design for these Windows Phone devices managed to impress a lot. Until a formal announcement on the matter is made, however, we’ll have to take this with a grain of salt, but that does not prevent enthusiasts from imagining what the upcoming Windows Phone 8 handsets from Nokia might look like. One of these is the Nokia Lumia Evolution concept phone coming from LokiBartleby / DeviantArt, and it looks pretty amazing, that’s for sure.

In terms of hardware specs, the device could easily pack a 4.5-inch touchscreen display, along with a dual-core application processor, and up to 64GB of internal memory. After all, Microsoft did confirm that Windows Phone 8 – codenamed Apollo – would offer support for high-end hardware, just as Android and other mobile platforms out there do. The phone’s camera could be 12-megapixel, most probably packing PureView technology for better photo snapping and video recording.

As a next-generation device, the Lumia Evolution would also offer support for LTE networks, as well as NFC, WiFi, Bluetooth connectivity, and the entire range of usual sensors. This is only a concept device, of course, but it might easily become reality, especially when taking into consideration the latest advancements in the smartphone industry. Undoubtedly, if Nokia does manage to bring to shelves Windows Phone 8 handsets that would at least resemble this one, it will be able to regain some of the market share it has been losing during the past few years.

HTC Jel X720d for China Telecom Emerges

HTC is gearing up for the release of a new Android mobile phone on the market in China, one that would sport the codename of Jel X720d, and which was just spotted online.

The new device is said to sport a large 4.7-inch HD LCD display, while being powered by a dual-core 1.5GHz Qualcomm MSM8660A Snapdragon application processor. Moreover, the new handset comes with an 8MP camera on the back, along with a 1.3MP sensor on the front, 1GB of RAM, and 16GB of internal memory.

It should feature support for CDMA2000/GSM networks and WiFi and Bluetooth capabilities, while running under Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich operating system.  According to Ameblo, the new device measures 134.8 × 68.99 × 9.5mm and weighs 138.5 grams. No specific details on when China Telecom might launch the new device have been unveiled so far.

AMD’s Ultra-Clocked Dual Radeon HD 7990 Coming Soon

Traditional AMD video card manufacturing partner PowerColor has been teasing its latest Vortex III cooling system lately. The card behind the cooling system has yet remained unknown, but today there are reports that the card in question might be a dual GPU AMD Tahiti monster.

As revealed by the latest picture, the card comes with triple 8-pin PCI-Express power connectors able to deliver a huge 150 watts of power each. Adding up the power provided by the three 8-pin power connectors and the power also provided by the PCI-Express slot, we obtain a total of 525 watts of available power to feed the Devil 13 card.

This leads many of us to believe we can only be looking at a dual GPU card based on AMD’s Tahiti Radeon HD 7970 GPU. The extra amount of power leads us to a possible overclocked configuration, when the two GPU might actually be running above the 1 GHz frequency that AMD sets in many of its chips.

AMD FX-8150 CPU Overclocked to over 8.80 GHz

The AMD FX-8150 CPU has been overclocked repeatedly, which means that breaking record speeds isn't really all that easy anymore.

That didn't stop Thai overclocker 'ksin' from trying though. He even claims to have succeeded, pushing two of the eight cores to 8.80 GHz (8,805.64 MHz really). CPU-Z hasn't validated the results, probably on account of insufficient information as to how the feat was achieved, like cooling. The overclocker did mention some of the other hardware though: ASUS Crosshair V Formula and 4 GB of ADATA RAM.

To reach the speed, ksin used a base clock speed of 303.29 MHz, a 29.0x multiplier and a 1.86V core voltage. What does this mean for us? Nothing, really. Overclocking isn't actually relevant for the common man, especially when only 2 of 8 cores are used. Big numbers are still nice though, in their own way.

RIM to Lay Off 2,000 More Employees

Canadian mobile phone maker Research In Motion, currently struggling to regain its foothold on the mobile market, is reportedly getting ready to give the pink slip to at least 2,000 workers soon.

The company’s financial issues have determined it to plan the layoff of around 10 percent of its workforce, the latest reports on the matter suggest. Apparently, the company is set to start sending people home in the next two weeks, a recent report on The Globe and Mail shows. The smartphone designer has a global workforce of around 16,500 people at the moment. 

During the past years, RIM has been constantly losing ground on the smartphone market in front of Android and iOS (Samsung and Apple lead the market at the moment), something that should change as soon as the next-generation BlackBerry 10 platform becomes available.

Gravity 2.70 Build 7152 Showcased on Nokia N8

Gravity, the popular Symbian twitter client, has been recently released in an alpha flavor as version 2.70 Build 7152, and it can now be seen running on Nokia’s N8 smartphone in the video embedded above.

The latest release of the application brings along a new top bar, complemented by new icons and a new share menu, as well as a series of other enhancements. The new iteration of Gravity comes from @Janole with a new browser and a new combined notifications screen, as well as with modified Groups and Lists section.

The application also enables users to save Facebook images now, and shows the data when uploading photos. It now sports a search bar too, along with other improvements. As can be seen in the video above, Gravity 2.70 looks very appealing as well.

Language Pack Installation Screenshots Emerge for Windows 8 Release Preview

Windows 8 is set to make the installation of language packs an easier task than before, Microsoft has been touting for the past several months.

The company’s upcoming operating system will also offer increased support for languages, with 14 new ones added to the 95 display languages that were available for Windows 7. In fact, one of these will be a stand-alone language, while the other 13 will arrive as display languages, the Redmond-based software giant unveiled back in February. These features will be available for all users who will purchase one of the final flavors of Windows 8, set to arrive on shelves sometime this fall.

Before that, however, we can have a look at what installing a new language pack involves on the nearly-here Windows 8 Release Preview. A series of screenshots made it to the web courtesy of Winunleaked.tk forums, providing an example of Windows 8’s way of handling the installation of language packs. For those who missed our previous article on the matter, we should note that adding a new language can be done through the Control Panel in Windows 8. In addition to showing the language currently in use on the computer, the Control Panel will enable users to “Add a language,” which brings up a list of available options.

After selecting the wanted language, simply hit Options, then click on “Download and install language pack.” As soon as the process is completed, users will be able to toggle between installed languages from the same panel. As can be seen in the screenshot coming from Winunleaked.tk forums, the same operation can be performed from a DVD that contains the wanted language pack. Through offering a simpler way of changing the display language in Windows 8, Microsoft is looking to provide users with a wider range of personalization options for their computers.

Currently, the company is gearing up for the release of Windows 8 Release Preview for the next week, and it is expected to make the platform available for manufacturing later this summer.

Future Nokia Lumia & PureView Phones Get "Superhydrophobic" Waterproofing Tech

Nokia is working hard to bring its lab technologies into the latest PureView and Lumia smartphones. Although the Finnish company is still struggling to improve its business, things are looking rather grim, even though the latest Lumia handsets made quite a nice impression.

With Nokia 808 PureView that’s just about to make its debut on the market, the handset maker will surely win back some of the market share lost in the last two years. Even though Nokia was forced to pull the plug on some of the projects developed in its R&D centers, and even close some of these due to low income, it appears that new technologies continue to be researched in its laboratories. One of these innovative technologies that Nokia is working on is called “superhydrophobic” technology and will reportedly make future Lumia and PureView smartphones completely waterproof.

The information has been recently confirmed by Conor Pierce, VP of Nokia Western Europe, during the Lumia 610 launch event in the UK. Pierce claims that Nokia has been secretly developing its own waterproof technology that will be embedded into smartphones, but it did not reveal any timelines for the implementation. Here is how Nokia’s Conor Pierce explained the company’s innovative “superhydrophobic” technology:
“What happens when a drop of water lands on a lotus leaf has baffled scientists for generations, but our team in Cambridge UK found a solution. Nano technology lets us do it. Superhydrophobic technology makes water bounce, it stops it, rolls it off the device and leaves it water impregnant, that’s the magic, that’s what we’re going to bring to the party.”

Hopefully, Nokia’s project won’t be buried like many other interesting innovative technologies that never saw the light of day. For the time being, the idea of waterproof Lumia and PureView smartphones sounds very optimistic and the technology behind it looks pretty amazing. Check out the video below.

Intel’s Least Capable Chipset to Be Released This Autumn

We’ve already talked about the fact that Intel doesn’t have a real AMD Trinity competitor and that their UltraBook bet is likely to be a losing one for the American/Israeli company. This is why the it is desperately trying to gather up volumes of cheap low-performing CPUs and chipsets.

Intel is very confident in their marketing division and truly believes that with enough advertising money, they’ll be able to sell 18-month-old handicapped technology in good-looking, cool UltraBooks. The company’s plan is to use low-performing Sandy Bridge processors to make UltraBooks reach their desired 599 USD mark. To accompany these low-end parts, Intel is reportedly preparing an equally-handicapped chipset that only comes with a single SATA III port and absolutely no USB 3.0 support. The name of the new chipset is NM70 ULV, and this one has another three SATA II ports, along with eight USB 2.0 ports.

There will also be an USB 3.0-capable version coming with a total of ten USB ports, out of which two will be USB 3.0, but rest assured that the more “capable” version will cost more. PCI-Express is only available in 2.0 version and the chipset will be able to work with a total of three different displays. It is able to support both Sandy Bridge and Ivy Bridge graphics with VGA and LVDS, but it won’t matter too much, as you can’t expect decent performance out of the Celeron 807 processors.

Intel is doing what it does best, selling marketing rather than hardware, but the company has been very successful in doing so for the past two decades, so we can’t argue with their financial performance.

Intel Core i7-3740QM and i7-3840QM Ivy Bridge DetailedIntel Core i7-3740QM and i7-3840QM Ivy Bridge Detailed

There is new information available on a pair of central processing units that will become part of the Intel Ivy Bridge lineup sooner or later.

Intel's launch of the Ivy Bridge central processing unit line does not really qualify as a “launch”, not in the strictest sense anyway. Instead, the company chose to spread out the release of the chips, the first batch having come forward last month (April 2012). By the time all CPUs are available, regardless of core count, months will have passed and many damaged dies will have appeared, as overclockers try to pry off the IHS and replace the thermal paste. Right now we are looking at two CPUs that will most likely replace the Core i7-3720QM and i7-3820QM. Their names are Core i7-3740QM and i7-3840QM and the information cropped up in the Material Declaration Data Sheets (MDDS) database, according to CPU World.

The former has the part number BX80638I73740QM, while the latter is called BX80638I73840QM. In that same order, the S-Spec numbers are SR0UV and SR0UT. The clock speeds haven't been specified, but they should be somewhat higher than those of the i7-3720QM and i7-3820QM. For those who don't know, the former works at 2.6 GHz base and 3.4 GHz in Turbo Boost, while the latter reaches 2.7 GHz and 3.5 GHz, respectively. As for the rest, we can't really say for certain, but there is no reason for the upcoming SKUs to not retain all other features of their predecessors.

That means that the i7-3740QM will get a L3 cache memory of 6 MB, Hyper-Threading support and the vPro technology, while the 3840QM will have the same perks but 8 MB of L3 cache instead of 6. Needless to say, the HD 4000 graphics accelerator will be built into the chips. Finally, the TDP (thermal design power) should stick to the 45W mark.

Nokia’s Windows Phone 8 Devices to Boast Lumia 800/900 Looks

Finnish mobile phone maker Nokia is gearing up for the release of Windows Phone 8 devices later this year, recent reports suggest.

Given the fact that Nokia is currently the largest maker of Windows Phone devices, that does not come too much as a surprise, yet details on the smartphones that will be released with the upcoming platform on board have yet to surface. In the meantime, however, we learn that the handset vendor is planning on packing them with the same form factor as on Lumia 800 and Lumia 900 devices. The company introduced the design style with its MeeGo-powered Nokia N9, and it registered increased success with it. No official info on the upcoming Windows Phone 8 smartphones from the company has been unveiled, yet WPDownUnder claims that devices are already being tested in Australia, and that they would indeed sport the same looks as the aforementioned existing smartphones.

Preview units have been already delivered to testers in the country, and one of them is said to be almost identical with the existing flagship Lumia handset. However, it seems that only the outer design might be kept in the upcoming Windows Phone 8 products from Nokia, while the internal circuitry would be greatly enhanced. No further details on these smartphones have been unveiled so far, but Microsoft did confirm that it would offer support for better hardware in the forthcoming platform. In addition to Nokia, leading handset vendors HTC and Samsung are also said to have sent Windows Phone 8 devices to Australia for testing.

Samsung has already confirmed that it would launch new smartphones running under Microsoft’s next-gen mobile platform this year, and it makes perfect sense for it to already be testing them in various markets around the world, to ensure that they will be ready for release later this year. Some of the recent reports on Microsoft’s Windows Phone 8 platform suggested that it might arrive on existing devices as well, yet the software giant hasn’t made a formal announcement on this until now.

Casio Shows the New Elixim EX-ZR300 Digital Camera

Japanese company Casio has just announced the new Elixim EX-ZR300 digital photo camera, on its official website. This one comes with a high density 16 megapixel image sensor and an ISO range between 80 and 3200.

The lens system covers a focal range of 24 to 300 millimeters and comes with a 12.5x zoom. The processing power comes from a pair of Elixim Engine HS processors. Casio’s new camera boosts a fast autofocus, as the response time is equal to 0.12 seconds. The time it takes the camera to be ready to take the first picture is less than one second after pressing the power button.

The new Elixim EX-ZR300 digital photo camera is able to film at FullHD resolution, with a framerate of 30 FPS. It is quite efficient, as you can take over 500 photos before the battery runs out. Pricing has not been made available yet.

First DisplayPort to DVI MST Converter Could Soon Appear

For some reason or other, no IT company has made a DisplayPort to DVI Multi-Stream Transport (MST) adapter, and the folks at WSGF want to do something about it.

Wide·screen gaming forum is an online community that strives to provide all the game fixes, game support and hardware its members need. This happens to include anything that can lead to a better enjoyment in multi-monitor configurations. However, WSGF's latest move isn't so much aimed at improving the experience in such situations as it is to allow it. Seeing that, for some reason or other, no company has made a DisplayPort to DVI Multi-Stream Transport (MST) hub, WSGF contacted a device manufacturer in the hope of having one made. The hub should remove the need for AMD Eyefinity or NVIDIA Surround technologies by receiving video through one full-size DisplayPort 1.2 input and releasing it via three or four dual-link DVI outputs.

Also, the operating system of a PC would be able to see it as a single large surface without the need for hacks or any specific AMD or NVIDIA GPU. As if this function alone wasn't enough, the converter would also support Portrait-Landscape-Portrait (PLP), where one large monitor stands in the middle and two smaller monitors (whose length equals the larger one's width) flank it. Granted, it is possible to set up PLP even with “normal” CrossFire/NVIDIA Surround configurations, or a Matrox adapter, but only through use of the SoftTH software, which isn't particularly user-friendly and is also incompatible with graphics above DirectX 9.

WSGF is still trying to gauge and raise support before commissioning the converter from whatever company it contacted. To that end, it has provided a list of other perks that the converter would possess, not the least of which are Bezel Correction for each monitor, Projector Edge Blending, independent rotation per monitor (hence the PLP support), cropping, image scaling and low latency (just 1 video frame). Finally, the converter should be DirectX independent, easy to configure and capable of delivering different resolutions to each panel when the screens are mismatched.

Motorola Showcases New UI for Ice Cream Sandwich Devices

Mobile phone maker Motorola is gearing up to bring the new Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich to a bunch of smartphones, and it is teasing some of the changes users will benefit from.

The company has just unveiled a series of videos showing a new user interface that will be loaded on top of its ICS-running devices, so that people can make an idea of the modifications it has in store for them. As can be seen in the videos embedded below (available via Phandroid), the UI that Motorola proposes for its Android 4.0 handsets resembles a lot the stock interface, through there are a series of changes around it. For example, users will have four shortcuts at their disposal on the lock screen, unlike the usual two that have been present in the UI until now. The phone and messages applications can now be accessed from this screen as well.

Moreover, the new UI comes with modified icons, while the camera has been tweaked to take lapse photography. Not to mention that users who shoot videos will also be able to snap photos while doing so, just as Galaxy Nexus (which runs vanilla ICS) or HTC One X (with Sense 4.0 loaded on it) can. Android 4.0 will bring its own tweaks to Motorola’s handsets, which leaves little room for the handset vendor to make a larger set of changes. Given the fact that Google has just completed the acquisition of Motorola, it also makes sense for the vendor’s devices to remain as close to the stock version of Android as possible. The Ice Cream Sandwich update should begin rolling out to Motorola’s smartphones in the second quarter of the year, with DROID RAZR and DROID RAZR MAXX being the first to receive it.

The deployment will continue in the third and fourth quarters, for devices such as DROID BIONIC, XOOM Wi-Fi, and PHOTON 4G. Unfortunately, many Gingerbread-powered Motorola phones won’t get a taste of ICS.

Nokia Lumia 800 with Windows Phone Tango Gets Demoed in Thailand

One of the first Windows Phone devices manufactured by Nokia, Lumia 800, was unveiled last year at the Nokia World 2011.

Although the smartphone now runs Windows Phone 7.5 Mango operating system, Nokia has recently released a new update for its devices, which adds a few other features and bug fixes. Unfortunately, the update is not yet available in all regions, so Lumia 800 will have to wait a bit more until the Windows Phone Tango is pushed to its units. Anyway, it appears that the folks over at TheNokiaBlog have been able grab a Lumia 800 powered by Windows Phone Tango (update 8773). One of the most important features introduced is Internet sharing.

Other minor changes have been included as well, such as a new option in video setting, as well as a modified Marketplace icon. via TheNokiaBlog

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