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Dec 9, 2012

BBM in BlackBerry 10 Features Recommended Contacts

One of the features that Research In Motion’s upcoming BlackBerry 10 operating system will arrive on devices with is Recommended contacts on BBM.

Apparently, RIM has decided to enhance the feature that was available for PlayBook users through the Video Chat app (which shows to users which of their contacts have video chat), and also gave it a new name. It is available in BlackBerry Messenger for BB10 under the name of Recommended contacts tab, where contacts with BBM are listed.

The feature provides users with the possibility to easily invite contacts, berryreview reports, yet it does not share the users’ PIN. BBM for BlackBerry 10 will maintain compatibility with previous versions. With usage of BBM expected to expand greatly next year, it does not come as a surprise that RIM has finally decided to bring some enhancements to the service and apps for it.

BBM in BlackBerry 10
Images credits to BerryReview

USB Squirming Tentacle Monster Ready to Wriggle

We've seen lots of weird gadgets, and we even said that some of them were the weirdest ever. ThinkGeek has launched something that could rival the best of them.

Some might think it is a USB flash drive. It is not. It does go into a USB port, but the energy provided by the interface is only used to animate the squirming tentacle. That is the actual name of the product: ThinkGeek USB Squirming Tentacle. We can only imagine how strange the sight of a multi-port USB charging hub would be with several of these things installed.

It takes $25 to purchase one tentacle, which is about the same as 19.34 Euro, according to exchange rates. Further information can be found here, where it is also possible to place orders and see a larger image gallery.

-Tentacle wiggles and squirms when plugged into a computer
-Uses power from your USB port
-Fills your computer with unspeakable evils (just kidding!)
-Note: The USB Squirming Tentacle does not store any data, however, it may summon the Elder Gods from the depths. Use at your own risk.
Video credits to thinkgeek

The First Screenshots of Mega, MegaUpload's Successor

Dotcom's upcoming MegaUpload revival, dubbed simply Mega is taking some small steps from being pure vaporware to something that may actually exist.

The entrepreneur has posted the first screenshots of the upcoming cloud service, showing off some of the key aspects. The shots show the login page, the encryption key page and the web-based file manager. They are just static images so it's hard to tell anything from them, but it looks to be a solid cloud storage service. The encryption part is the most interesting one, though Mega won't be the only such service to offer client-side encryption, there are a few alternatives already. None of them has Mega's buzz though. Client-side encryption means that only you can access your files, Mega won't have any idea of what it's storing and any government taking a peek will be similarly stumped.

The 2048-bit RSA encryption should be fairly solid and should be considered uncrackable, with the usual caveat that, in time, computers become more powerful and attacks more sophisticated. What's interesting about Mega is that it enables users to share files publicly, something that most cloud storage providers discourage, partly because of bandwidth concerns, partly because of piracy. Dropbox for example allows users to share files with anyone via a simple link, but it does enforce a daily traffic limit ensuring that you'll only be using the feature to share with friends or just a few people. Mega won't have the same limitations.

The final piece of the puzzle, the file manager looks modern and practical enough, but until it's actually live, there's no way to know how well it works. On paper, the new Mega has a few things going for it, Dotcom's and MegaUpload's notoriety on the one hand, and a unique mixture of features on the other. The problem will be translating these things into an actual solid product. Mega is slated for launch on January 19 next year, the one-year anniversary of the raid on Dotcom's mansion. 

Mega will employ 2048-bit RSA encryption keys
Image credits to Kim Dotcom

The Mega login screen
Image credits to Kim Dotcom

The Mega file manager
Image credits to Kim Dotcom

The USPTO Invalidates “Steve Jobs Patent”

Upon reexamining an iPhone patent this week, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has issued a preliminary notice ruling that “the Steve Jobs patent,” as it is also referred to, is invalid in its entirety.

In what will undoubtedly affect Apple’s legal brawls with Samsung and perhaps other handset makers, the preliminary invalidation of Patent 7,479,949, (granted in January 2009) is a major turn of events. It incorporates several other patent applications from as early as September 2006 with Steve Jobs being listed as the primary inventor. FOSS Patents takes a closer look at the USPTO’s decision and concludes that “first Office actions are partial because they are based only on submissions made by those challenging the patent, and many examiners like to take a tough position early on in order to enable and require the patentee to present the strongest arguments in favor of validity.”

Florian Mueller, an expert in legal matters involving patents, says it would be a mistake to underestimate the importance of a first Office action. He also points out that “a complete rejection of all claims of a given patent is potentially more devastating than one affecting only some claims.”

Patent screenshot
Image credits to MacRumors

The Low-Cost Windows Blue Could Spawn 7-Inch Microsoft Tablets

Rumors swirling around on the web claim that Microsoft is working on a new Windows version called Windows Blue that could be offered at a very low price or even for free.

A new report published by The Verge, however, hints that Windows Blue may also be installed on some smaller tablets with 7- or 8-inch displays, which means that Microsoft may really consider expanding the Surface product family with new devices. Although Microsoft hasn’t confirmed that it’s willing to release smaller Surface tablets, sources familiar with the matter have previously hinted that a 7-inch Xbox Surface tablet designed with gaming purposes in mind could hit the market in 2013.

What’s more, that company may also launch three different Surface devices, each aimed at a different industry sector, but also supposed to help Microsoft become an important player in the hardware market.

Windows Blue could be released in mid-2013
Image credits to wallpowper.com

Nokia Nearby App on Asha 308 [Video Ad]

Nokia’s Asha devices have been recently deemed as smartphones, although they are powered by the Series 40 platform, mainly courtesy of the wide range of applications they have to offer to users.

One of these apps is coming from Nokia itself in the form of Nokia Nearby, aimed at providing users with a new way to discover things around them. With Asha phones highly popular in emerging markets, it comes as no surprise that the company has decided to advertise the application on an Asha 308 smartphone in India, just as can be seen in the video embedded above.

“Introducing the Nokia Nearby app on the Nokia Asha 308. Bringing to you a whole new way to discover new places and things to do in your city. Now look for restaurants, cinemas and even police stations within seconds using the Nokia Nearby app on the Nokia Asha 308 dual-SIM smartphone,” Nokia notes.

Introducing the Nokia Nearby app on the Nokia Asha 308. Bringing to you a whole new way to discover new places and things to do in your city. Now look for restaurants, cinemas and even police stations within seconds using the Nokia Nearby app on the Nokia Asha 308 dual-SIM smartphone. Know more about the phone here: http://bit.ly/SOyUWV
Video credits to NokiaIndiaOfficial

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