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Sep 25, 2012

AOKP Jelly Bean Build 3 Now Available for Download

A new Android 4.1 Jelly Bean-based release is now available from the Android Open Kang Project team, namely build 3, which comes only one week after the second build was made available.

The new custom ROM flavor comes with a nice range of features packed inside, including improvements for those with SMS QuickReply, IME Switcher & Vib/Ring toggle as NavRing target, as well as various fixes for bugs discovered in the previous release. Stopwatch & Countdown in the Clock app (CM), and Expert Calculator functions (Graph, Matrices, etc.) (CM) were also included in this release.

Moreover, the ROM now offers expanded support for devices, and can be installed on Galaxy Nexus and Nexus S 4G at Sprint, as well as on Galaxy S II i9100 and i9100g, and Samsung Galaxy S III i9300. More info on the new build can be found on the AOKP website. Download links are available there too.

Android 4.1 Jelly Bean logo
Image credits to Google

PNY ThinkSafe, Portable Laptop Locking Systems

Password protection is great, and there are even biometric security systems all in laptops nowadays, but there is something comforting, for some people anyway, in knowing that no one but them can lift the lid.

PNY has introduced a trio of locking systems that ensures precisely that: ThinkSafe Portable Laptop Locking Systems. Three in number, they bear the fairly self-explanatory names of ThinkSafe Portable Laptop Locking System, ThinkSafe Portable MacBook Locking System and PNY ThinkSafe Portable Security Clamp.

The first two have numeric keypads that need a special combination to be inserted before allowing access. The third is basically a vise that keeps the laptop firmly shut. The Locking Systems are priced at $39.99 / €39.99, while the Clamp ships for $29.99 / €29.99. Go here to learn more.

PNY ThinkSafe
Images credits to PNY

Apple SVP Phil Schiller: iPhone 5 Scratches Are “Normal”

Early iPhone 5 adopters are becoming concerned about the "scuffability" of the iPhone 5, following widespread reports that the aluminum chassis housing the phone’s electronics is prone to getting easily scratched.

So one customer decided to take matters up with the black suits at Apple. Alex decided he’d email Phil Schiller, Apple’s senior vice pre… Apple’s sales guy, in short. He asked if the company had any plans to address an issue that hasn’t even been confirmed as an issue – “scuffgate.” Hit the link, if you’ve been away from your RSS feed lately. “Any aluminum product may scratch or chip with use, exposing its natural silver color,” reads the email reply from Apple SVP of Product Marketing, Philip Schiller. “That is normal,” he said, indicating that Apple isn’t planning to do anything about the so-called “scuffgate” issue.

What’s interesting to see is that no matter what material Apple uses, and no matter what advantages one poses over the other, the media is always up in arms over the likelihood of damage. As if the rest of the industry has bulletproof offerings, or something.

It's less than 24 hours after our iPhone 5 Teardown and we have received a lot of questions about it. It's come to our attention that a lot of you are concerned about the scuffability of the iPhone 5's aluminum rear case, so much so that there's already a scandal brewing around it, which the Internet is calling "scuff-gate." We set out to find out just how much truth there is to the latest scandal surrounding a Apple product release, and have a little fun while we were at it.
Video Credits to iFixitYourself

TP-Link TL-WN823N, 300Mbps Mini-Wireless N USB Adapter

TP-Link has chosen to advertise its newest product, N300 TL-WN823N, as a direct competitor to an item from Netgear, one that is more expensive while not noticeably superior to it.

The device that TP-Link aims to steal customers from is the Netgear N300 WNA3100M, priced at $36.99 / 29-36.99 Euro. Basically, both Netgear's small stick and TP-Link's 300Mbps Mini-Wireless N USB Adapter establish a strong wireless connection when plugged inside a USB port. "Our customers tell us they need a portable wireless adapter that has the power to provide fast connection speeds to their laptop, smart phone and tablet at times when only one wired connection is available," says Lewis Wu, director of sales at TP-LINK USA. "This adapter solves the single Internet connection challenge while still being easy to carry." Normally, wireless connections are provided by a router. We know of many such routers, some quite powerful and capable of broadcasting over a wide range.

Alas, there are many areas where the signal is low, and using wired LAN is just so much easier. Unfortunately, wired connections are few, and not something that phones and tablets can take advantage of, due to the absence of compatible ports. That is where the TP-Link N300 TL-WN823N comes in. Once connected, it automatically turns the LAN of a PC into an 802.11 b/g/n network. All this for the price of $21.99 / 17-21.99 Euro. The SoftAP Mode of operation is the one responsible for this seamless transition between LAN and Wi-Fi, but it isn't the only asset of the new gadget. A second element deserves mention as well: One Button Security Setup, which establishes a secure connection at a single press of the WPS button (Wi-Fi protected Setup).

Those who would like to read everything on the new product will find the page of the TP-Link TL-WN823N right here.

TP-Link TL-WN823N
Image credits to TP-Link

Lytro Light Field Camera Reaches US Market

The Lytro camera, reputed for being capable of capturing the entire field of light and, thus, allowing a photo to be focused after it has been taken, is making the headlines again.

We don't have any new tech breakthrough to talk about this time. Instead, we are here to inform you that, if you live in the US, the product will be available online from stores like Amazon, Target and BestBuy from October 9, 2012 onwards. After that, in November, Target's CityTarget brick-and-mortar stores in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Westwood, Seattle, and Chicago will have it up for sale too.

Unfortunately, the same doesn't go for the rest of the world, which is really what we are hoping for, since Lytro has been selling the camera, in the US, through its website for months. Granted, Canada's Future Shop will get it on October 9 too, and Australia on October 10, but Hong Kong and Singapore will only get it “starting mid-October.” As if the ambiguity weren't enough, there seems to be no intention on Lytro's part to start accepting international orders through its website.

Lytro light field camera
Image credits to Lytro

Kingston ValueRAM Capable of 2,400 MHz Is Incredibly Cheap

One would think that a memory module capable of working well in excess of 2,000 MHz would cost more than average, but Kingston has shown that there are exceptions even to that rule.

The company didn't actually make any announcement about it, but that didn't stop some people from having the epiphany by accident. It turns out that a 4 GB Kingston value RAM memory module ships for only $18.99, or 14.70-18.99 Euro on European retailers. Obviously, the 1,600 MHz frequency and the latency of 11-11-11-28, all on 1.5 Volts, makes that tag seem like a logical choice. Sure, it is low, but only due to how poorly memory has been selling over the past year. The price is also “owed” to the lack of Intel CMP certification and the distinct absence of heatsinks.

However, when using the module in overclocking, the 4GB Kingston ValueRam becomes a 2,400 MHz device with a latency of CL10. Considering that even 1,600 MHz is enough to eliminate bottlenecks on Intel and AMD motherboards, this is a considerable accomplishment.

Kingston ValueRam overclocked to 2,400 MHz
Images credits to VR-Zone

BlackBerry 10 New Screenshots Emerge (Again)

Research In Motion is still tight-lipped on what its upcoming BlackBerry 10 operating system will have to offer to users, yet info on the matter is slowly emerging online, via various leaks.

New screenshots with the platform are now available for your viewing pleasure, confirming that there will be a Maps application available in the OS, and that users will also benefit from NFC support. Moreover, a Mobile HotSpot application with support for up to 8 Wi-Fi-enabled devices will also be included in the platform, a nice enhancement over the feature present in BlackBerry 7 OS.

The upcoming platform version will also come with an HTML5 browser, which should deliver great performance levels, at least this is what one of the screenshots that BlackBerryItalia.it brought online shows. The first BlackBerry 10 devices are set to arrive on shelves in early 2013, which means that additional info on the platform will emerge soon, so stay tuned.

BlackBerry 10 Screenshots
Images credits to BlackBerryItalia.it

Nokia to Sue HTC over Polycarbonate Design of HTC Windows Phone 8X

Finnish mobile phone maker Nokia is reportedly considering filing a lawsuit against Taiwanese maker HTC, seeking a ban on its newly unveiled Windows Phone 8X smartphone.

The handset, unveiled to the world last week, features the same polycarbonate body that Nokia has been using for about one year for its Windows Phone devices, and resembles a lot the Lumia 920 and Lumia 820 smartphones that were unveiled in early September. HTC’s new smartphone indeed looks a lot like the Lumia handsets, especially when put side by side with the Lumia 820, Nokia’s mid-range device. Nokia hasn’t made an official announcement regarding its plans, but PC-Tablet.com cites trusted sources claiming that the company is indeed considering a possible lawsuit against HTC. “The reports are saying Nokia is preparing to get HTC 8X banned in various parts of the world from going on sale when it will launch in November. Nokia has said in reports that the front-face of HTC 8X looks identically same as of the Lumia 820 followed by side-curves of the phone body,” said sources said.

Of course, there are a wide range of hardware and feature differences between the Lumia smartphones and HTC’s new Windows Phone 8 devices, but that doesn’t change the fact that they sport a similar outer design and color flavors. Both Nokia and HTC are expected to bring their WP8 handsets to shelves in November, and they should make them available in a wide range of markets around the world. Lawsuits over resembling phone designs are rather common, and it wouldn’t come too much as a surprise if Nokia indeed pursued this in court. However, with Windows Phone struggling to gain some market share, a ban on HTC’s 8X would likely hurt sales, and we’re almost certain that Microsoft does not want that. If so, the Redmond-based company might intervene and try to determine its partners to settle the conflict, provided that Nokia indeed sees one here, outside the court. Stay tuned for more on this.

Windows Phone 8X by HTC
Image credits to HTC

Nokia Lumia 820
Image credits to Nokia

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