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Jan 31, 2013

BlackBerry 10 Will Arrive on All PlayBook Devices

Canadian mobile phone maker BlackBerry (known as Research In Motion until yesterday) has officially confirmed that all existing PlayBook devices will receive an upgrade to the new BlackBerry 10 platform release.

Thorsten Heins, the company’s CEO, said this referring to the different capacity and connectivity versions of the 7-inch tablet PC that arrived on shelves in the past few years. One thing that he did not say, however, was when new tablets from the company were set to land on shelves.

He did say, however, that the BlackBerry was looking at ways to pack the tablet with services, since selling only hardware had not paid off very well for the company until then. One thing that is certain, however, is the fact that the company is aiming at regaining its foothold on the smartphone market, being set to become the third largest company in this segment in the near future.

BlackBerry 10
Image credits to RIM

Samsung Buys Stake in Stylus Maker WACOM

Styluses aren't exactly widespread on the consumer electronics market, as people usually use their fingers to navigate touchscreens.

Samsung's Galaxy Note 10.1 proved very popular though, and the S-Pen Stylus is one of its primary features. In order to have an easier time striking deals for styluses, Samsung has bought a stake in Wacom.  Wacom actually has 85% of the global “electronic pen” market, many of which are used by smartphones and tablets.

And since sales of such gadgets have doubled between 2011 and 2012, Samsung doesn't have anything to lose by acquiring a share of Wacom, but quite a bit to gain. Meanwhile, Wacom will get $58.9 million / 43.46 million Euro to invest in "product development and manufacturing and supply system enhancements for products to be supplied to Samsung Electronics."

Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1
Image credits to Samsung

Broadcoam UPnP Vulnerability Exposes Asus, D-Link, TP-Link, Other Routers to Risk

As they promised, DefenseCode researchers have continued to investigate the remote code execution vulnerabilities that plague some Cisco routers. They’ve found that Cisco devices are not the only ones that contain the security hole.

Cisco’s own investigation has revealed that only Linksys WRT54GL routers are vulnerable, but experts say that WRT54G3G and “probably” WRT310N are also plagued by the vulnerability. However, they’ve discovered something even more shocking. The flaw lies in a firmware component that’s utilized by many other companies as well, including Boardcom, Asus, TP-Link, D-Link, Netgear, US Robotics, and Zyxel.

“Vulnerability itself is located in Broadcom UPnP stack, which is used by many router manufacturers that produce or produced routers based on Broadcom chipset. We have contacted them with vulnerability details and we expect patches soon,” Leon Juranic, CEO of DefenseCode, explained. On the other hand, Juranic notes that they’ve sent out over 200 emails, but so far they’re not too happy with the results.

Several router models found to contain remote root access vulnerability
Image credits to Cisco

Keyboard Uses E Ink for Dynamic Keys

Many of us have been faced with situations when the keyboard did not correctly indicate what character would appear on the screen because the language of the OS (and, thus, the key layout) was different than the one the keyboard was made for.

There is also the matter of different programs using keys for different things. Designers Maxim Mezentsev and Aleksander Suhih posted a concept keyboard on Yanko Design. Rather than plastic with printed letters, or numbers or other characters on them, each key is actually an E Ink display that always changes to illustrate the effect it would have for each application being run.

In Word or other document writing software, the letters and numbers usually stay as they are, but S can change into a diskette symbol, for instance (CTRL+S is the standard “save file” command). Check out the idea here. Maybe the world will get lucky and a real product will actually appear at some point.

E Ink keyboard
Images credits to Yanko Design

BlackBerry Q10 Gold Edition Coming Soon

If you thought that the new QWERTY-enabled BlackBerry Q10 smartphone was an appealing device, you haven’t had the chance to have a look at the gold version of the handset.

Gold & Co. London, a company who specializes on the launch of luxury gold and gold-plated smartphones and other devices, has decided to come up with its own flavor of BlackBerry’s new smartphone. They have already published photos with the device, in black and rose gold, and supposedly confirmed that a white flavor of the smartphone will also be released.

With the new look, the BlackBerry Q10 phone will certainly appeal to more users, though we doubt that there will be many of them who could afford purchasing one. The standard version of the smartphone, however, will be far more affordable, and should land on shelves starting with April this year. Sprint has already confirmed Q10’s landing on its LTE network.

BlackBerry Q10 in Gold
Image credits to Gold & Co. London via n4bb

Samsung Galaxy S IV Rumored Again for an April Release

Galaxy S IV, supposedly the next flagship Android device from Samsung, is expected to arrive on shelves sometime in April, new reports suggest.

The smartphone has been said to have been pegged for an April launch before, and it seems that things are slowly being confirmed. Leaked documents that have emerged over at Phone Arena suggest that Galaxy S IV might arrive on shelves on New Zeeland in the week after April 8 (when a promotion at a local retailer ends).

Furthermore, the device is rumored to be expected in the UK in the third week of April, although no official announcement on the matter has been made so far. Some of the latest rumors on Samsung’s next flagship Android device have also suggested that it might be officially unveiled on March 22, during an Unpacked event that Samsung plans for the US.

Galaxy S IV in leaked documents
Image credits to PhoneArena

Sony Preparing New Xperia Devices, Possible Naming Emerges Online

Japanese mobile phone maker Sony Mobile is reportedly gearing up for the launch of new handsets running under Google’s Android operating system and included in its popular Xperia lineup, and possible naming for them has been spotted online.

For example, the already spotted Sony C530X (C5302, C5303, C5306) “Huashan” is now said to arrive on shelves as the Sony Xperia SP, at least this is what info that emerged on Indonesia’s Postel Telecom site shows. The phone should arrive with a 1.7GHz dual-core processor inside, a 720p display similar in size with that of Xperia S, and Adreno 320 GPU, along with an Aluminum chassis.

Additionally, the company is said to plan the launch of a low-end Sony C210X (C2104, C2105), supposedly called Sony Xperia L, packing a 1GHz dual-core Snapdragon CPU, FWVGA resolution, and Android 4.1.2 Jelly Bean.

Names of new Xperia devices emerge
Image credits to XperiaBlog

Most Efficient Supercomputer: Eurora with NVIDIA Tesla GPUs

“Titan” may be the most powerful supercomputer in the world at present time, but it is definitely not the one most apt at working full-throttle on the least energy. Italy's “Eurora” seems to have gained that title.

As it happens, NVIDIA's Tesla K2 GPU compute accelerators, which perform parallel processing tasks, are used in Eurora, just like they are present in Titan. The Cineca Facility in Bologna, Italy, the country's most powerful supercomputing center, managed to get Eurora to work at 3,150 megaflops per watt. This is a 26% improvement over the top system on the most recent Green500 list. For those who need a reminder, Top500 is the list of supercomputers according to top performance, while Green500 is the list according to energy efficiency. Eurora managed to outdo even the best of the best through a mix of the Eurotech Aurora Tigon hardware architecture, Aurora Hot Water Cooling technology (direct hot water cooling on all electronic and electrical components) and, of course, NVIDIA Tesla K20 cards.

Compared to air cooling, Hot-Water cooling reduces TCO (total cost of ownership) by 30-50% for data centers. As such, scientists (with access to Italy's HPC) researching material science, astrophysics, Earth sciences and life sciences can rest easy knowing they are doing it more efficiently than anyone else. Eurora was deployed Wednesday, January 30, 2013, at the aforementioned Cineca Facility in Bologna. It is a prototype system developed under the PRACE 2IP initiative. On a related note, a commercial version of the Eurotech Aurora Tigon supercomputer is available from Eurotech.

“Advanced computer simulations that enable scientists to discover new phenomena and test hypotheses require massive amounts of performance, which can consume a lot of power,” said Sanzio Bassini, director of HPC department at Cineca. “Equipped with the ultra-efficient Aurora system and NVIDIA GPU accelerators, Eurora will give European researchers the computing muscle to study all types of physical and biological systems, while allowing us to keep data center power consumption and costs in check.”

NVIDIA Tesla K20

NVIDIA-based Eurora supercomputer node
Images credits to nVidia

Evasi0n, iOS 6.1 Jailbreak Tool Has Linux Support

iOS 6.1 is fresh out the gate and there's already a group which has coded the jailbreak for this particular version. The tool they provide will also be available for the Linux platform.

It's not uncommon for developers to release Linux versions for their tools and it's nice to see that the guys who call themselves evad3rs decided to make the software multi-platform. According to the developers, the jailbreak tool, named evasi0n, will be compatible with all iPhone, iPod touch, iPad and iPad mini models running iOS 6.0 through 6.1. The software is not ready and they are in the process of finishing the GUI. It will be followed by a small period of beta testing and then everyone will be able to use evasi0n.

If you have any questions about the jailbreak process or jailbreaking in general, they also provide a comprehensive Q&A website. We'll keep you apprised with any developments on the evasi0n front.

Evasi0n tool
Image credits to evasi0n

BlackBerry Z10 and Q10 Full Specs

Now that Research In Motion (RIM) is known as BlackBerry and the company has fully committed to a new platform built by its engineers and designers from the ground-up, let’s take a look at the results.

They’re called BlackBerry Z10 and BlackBerry Q10 and they are the first products of the Canadian handset maker under the new designation, expected to go on sale starting today. The BlackBerry Z10 will be available in the UK beginning today, while other countries will get it over the next couple of weeks. The Z10 is the first full-touch smartphone powered by BlackBerry 10 platform, just as the Q10 is the first to feature a physical QWERTY keyboard. The former sports a more than decent 4.2-inch WXGA capacitive touchscreen display that supports HD (1280 x 768 pixels) resolution and 356ppi pixel density. On the inside, the smartphone is equipped with a 1.5 GHz dual-core Qualcomm MSM8960 Snapdragon processor built on Krait architecture, which is complemented by an Adreno 225 graphics processing unit and 2GB of RAM.

There are 16GB of internal memory inside, but users will be able to expand it further up to 32GB via microSD memory card. The 8-megapixel photo snapper on the back features autofocus, LED flash and full HD (1080p) video recording, while the 2-megapixel front-facing camera is perfect for video calls or capturing HD (720p) video. There will be a few BlackBerry Z10 versions available on the market, so some might be fitted with LTE support, while other might not. Depending on the carrier and region, the BlackBerry Z10 will offer the best connectivity experience possible. Next up is BlackBerry Q10, which is now said to arrive on the market in April. The phone has been designed in the traditional BlackBerry-esque way, so expect the same high-quality QWERTY keyboard and stylish finishes.

BlackBerry Q10 packs a similar 1.5 GHz dual-core processor, but this one is made by Texas Instruments (OMAP 4470). In addition, the smartphone comes equipped with a PowerVR SGX544 graphics processing unit and 2GB of RAM. The phone’s AMOLED display measures exactly 3.1 inches and supports 720 x 720 pixels resolution and 330ppi pixel density, which is a bit unorthodox for a company like BlackBerry.  Unfortunately, BlackBerry did not unveil the amount of storage the Q10 embeds, but it has been confirmed the Q10 will come with microSD card slot memory expansion (up to 32GB). Last but not least, both BlackBerry Z10 and Q10 are powered by similar 1800 mAh Li-Ion batteries, which are rated for up to 10 hours of talk time.

BlackBerry Z10 and Q10

BlackBerry Z10

BlackBerry Q10

Images credits to RIM

Jan 30, 2013

Download GTGraphics 2 Theme for Windows 7 and Windows 8

GTGraphics 2 is one of the latest customization options that Microsoft has made available for download to its Windows 7 and Windows 8 users, as a continuation of the GTGraphics theme that was released over one year ago.

Featuring artwork by the talented duo Tobias Roetsch and Jeff Michelmann, the new theme proposes amazing spacescapes through a set of 16 high-resolution images. “Experience other planets and other worlds through these stunning, imaginative new spacescapes from GTGraphics. We loved the first ones so much we came back for more,” Microsoft’s Jennifer Shepherd notes in a blog post.

Just as all other themes for Windows computers, the new one was made available for download for free to all users. It can be found here, compatible with Windows 7, Windows 8 and Windows RT devices

GTGraphics 2 Theme
Image credits to Microsoft

Windows Phone 7.8 Update Rolling Out Now for Nokia Lumia Devices

Right on schedule Nokia has just announced it has kicked off the rollout of the hotly-anticipated Windows Phone 7.8 update.

However, only those who own a Nokia Lumia smartphone powered by an older version of Windows Phone will be able to upgrade. Microsoft is expected to make a similar announcement in the next few hours (days), but there are no confirmations yet. According to Nokia, “following extensive software testing, update notifications will begin to appear for Nokia Lumia 510, 610, 710, 800 and 900 owners with an unlocked phone or operator approved software during February.” This doesn't mean the update will be pushed OTA (over the air), so those who are notified on the update should connect their phone to their computer via Zune for PC, or the Windows Phone app for Mac, and follow the onscreen instructions. Keep in mind that Windows Phone 7.8 update is rolling out for Nokia Lumia smartphones, in stages, through February.

Make sure you have the “notifications” option enabled by going to Settings / Phone Update / “Notify me when new updates are found”. One Windows Phone 7.8 is installed users will notice lots of changes, including a range of new features: Internet sharing, Bluetooth sharing, imaging enhancements (Camera Extras). Additional applications will be available on the Lumia phones, such as Contact Share, Play To and Nokia City Lens. Furthermore, the “Start screen” has been redux and now offers users the possibility to re-size their tiles: small, medium and large.

New options are available on the lock screen as well, such as “having a daily background image from Bing; plus there’s improved pocket and child lock screen security.” It is also worth mentioning language support has been increased. Check out the video below for more details on how to download and install Windows Phone 7.8 on Lumia phones.

Nokia Lumia 900
Image credits to Nokia

Windows Phone 7.8 is here! Update your Lumia via Zune and enjoy the great features like new start screen.
Find more info here: http://nokia.ly/14vUUxJ
Video credits to Nokia

BlackBerry Q10 Video Introduction

Today, Canadian mobile phone maker Research In Motion announced a rebranding of the company, called BlackBerry from now on, as well as two handsets running under the BlackBerry 10 operating system, namely the BlackBerry Z10 and BlackBerry Q10.

The latter will arrive on shelves with a physical QWERTY keyboard, just as the company’s legacy devices did, though it will sport a new, modern design. Furthermore, the BlackBerry Q10 will bring along all the features and enhancements that the new mobile operating system packs inside. To provide users with a better understanding of what the new device can offer to them, the company has published an introductory video for it. “Even though I love the keyboard, perhaps my favorite feature is the stunning touchscreen display – the largest ever on a BlackBerry QWERTY device,” BlackBerry’s Donny H. notes in a blog post.  “If you’re a fan of a physical QWERTY device experience, you’re going to love the BlackBerry Q10. All your information is displayed beautifully on the screen, and you can take action and respond to it as you choose thanks to the powerful and elegant BlackBerry 10 software.”

The handset will land on shelves with a battery capable of providing users with at least one day of usage time, so that they can go about their usual activities efficiently. Furthermore, it will offer fast web browsing and a rich media experience, courtesy of the built-in power of the BlackBerry 10 OS. “Additionally, meticulous detail has been put into the design. The BlackBerry Q10 features a unique glass-weave material that is meant to be not only thinner and lighter, but stronger than plastic,” the mobile phone maker also notes.  The new device is meant to provide users with a great, new mobile experience while on the go, regardless of whether they have a full-touch or a QWERTY-enabled device in their hands.

BlackBerry Q10
Image credits to RIM

Meet the newest member of the BlackBerry 10 family. The BlackBerry Q10 device features the best of both worlds: touch screen and a physical keyboard.
To get the full scoop on the BlackBerry Q10 and Z10 devices, visit http://blackberry.com/blackberry10
Video credits to BlackBerry

RIM BlackBerry 10 Launch Event

Research In Motion’s BlackBerry 10 launch event is about to begin and we expect the Canadian company to also unveil two new smartphones powered by its new platform, the Z10 and the N10.

So, we’re certain that RIM will put the BlackBerry Z10 on sale immediately after the announcement, but we don’t have any details on N10’s release. Quite a slew of operators around the world have already confirmed that they will carry one or more BlackBerry 10 devices, and some authorized retailers let it slip that they would sell the Z10 starting later today. RIM’s new flagship BlackBerry smartphone, the Z10, is expected to come with a 1.5 GHz dual-core processor, 2GB of RAM and 16GB of internal memory. The device is also said to sport a 4.2-inch capacitive touchscreen display that supports HD (768 x 1280 pixels) resolution, as well as an enhanced 8-megapixel rear camera with autofocus, LED flash and full HD (1080p) video recording.

It will be interesting to see how much of the leaked info is accurate, so stay tuned for our live coverage of RIM’s BlackBerry 10 launch event. It's happening! Alec Saunders, VP of Developer Relations is now on the stage and offers his insight on RIM's developer campaign over the past couple of months.

Thorsten Heins, President and CEO takes the stage. BlackBerry 10 is here! According to him, BlackBerry 10 will keep moving; this is just the beginning.

He says the company had a difficult choice to make two years ago: either go with an existing platform or build a brand new one from the ground up. Even though it was risky, RIM decided to create BlackBerry 10.

 "From this day forward RIM becomes Blackberry!" (That was unexpected). It looks like the Canadian company will be known as BlackBerry everywhere in the world.

 There you go, it's the BlackBerry Z10 and Q10!

BlackBerry Z10 is the first full-touch Blackberry 10 smartphone. It features a textured back hood to feel more comfortable in hand.

The Q10 is the first BlackBerry 10 smartphone to feature a physical keyboard. This is the best QWERTY keyboard embedded onto a mobile phone, Heins claims.

Vivek Bhardwaj, RIM's head of software is now on the stage and is showing BlackBerry 10's hub.

At first glance, it looks amazing. True multi-tasking and one-thumb handling.

Check out RIM's new BlackBerry virtual keyboard. It can learn words as you type so you only need to use one thumb. You can also use gestures to delete one or more words. gestures can also be used to change between languages while typing!

BlackBerry 10 allows users to change from Personal to Enterprise mode with a single touch. However, that is integrated in a way that offers a single user experience, which is called "BlackBerry Balance." Basically, applications coexist in both modes.

Next up is BlackBerry Messenger for 10 OS. Blackberry introduces BBM Screen Share! It works like the share feature between two computers!

Demo time! Vivek demos an application called BlackBerry Remember. It integrates Outlook, Evernote, and more into a single platform. It lets you flag important emails, photos, notes, memos by accessing a single hub.

Vivek is now showing some of BlackBerry Z10's camera capabilities. It can do Time Shift and users will be able to edit newly captured pictures with the embedded photo editor. Did I mention it can be entirely controlled with gestures?

Heins says Blackberry managed to secure agreements with eight major music labels and studios to provide content in the BlackBerry World at launch.

 Martin Mallick, VP of Business Development is now speaking on the stage. He says BlackBerry World has more than 70,000 apps available for download (no news here).

Skype, Amazon Kindle, Facebook, Foursquare, LinkedIn, ooVoo, Twitter, WhatsApp, TuneIn, JetPack Joyride, Angry Birds are among the most important apps and games for BlackBerry 10.

Heins announces BlackBerry Z10's availability. Sadly, nothing on the Q10 for now. According to him, AT&T, Sprint, Verizon Wireless and T-Mobile will announce availability starting today. The Z10 is expected to hit shelves in the US in March. Canada will get BlackBerry Z10 on February 5 from various carriers and major retailers.

In the UAE, the Z10 will arrive on February 10, while in the UK the smartphone will go on sale tomorrow, January 31, at O2, Orange, Vodafone, Three UK, Phones4U, Carphone Warehouse and other retailers.  Price may vary depending on location and carrier. Heins says it will be available for a subsidized price of $150/€110, or $650/€480 on no-term.

BOOM! Alicia Keys is a new member of BlackBerry's board of directors! Yes, that super-hot Alicia Keys will be the Canadian's company Global Creative Director!

Thorsten Heins leaves the stage and thanks everyone attending the event. That's about it, folks! 

AV-TEST Awards Bitdefender for “Best Repair” 2012 Title

AV-Comparatives is not the only independent antivirus testing organization to acknowledge the efficiency of Bitdefender products. German institute AV-TEST has awarded Bitdefender’s Internet Security with the Best Repair 2012 title in the home-user products category.

AV-TEST praises the ability of Bitdefender solutions to efficiently detect, repair and clean malware from an infected system, particularly when it comes to identifying hidden rootkits and removing malicious elements that cause damage to an infected computer. “In some of our most exhaustive testing ever, Bitdefender proved to be the reigning antidote to infection. The company has done great things with its repair technologies. When your computer is infected, Bitdefender is the one to go to,” explained Andreas Marx, the CEO of AV-TEST. “Here in the Bitdefender Labs, we’re always looking out to develop daredevil technologies – the potentially disruptive innovations that keep us at the top of our industry,” said Viorel Canja, head of Bitdefender Labs.

He added, “This creative approach, and our emphasis on going the extra mile, has served us very well in recent years. So we're always pleased to hear of new awards, especially when they come from one of the most respected testing organizations in the industry.” F-Secure, Symantec and Kaspersky are also winners of the AV-TEST AWARD for 2012. F-Secure Internet Security was named the best in terms of protection, while Symantec Norton Internet Security received the award for best usability. When it comes to corporate products, Kaspersky’s Endpoint Security won both “best protection” and the “best repair” titles. Symantec Endpoint Protection has been awarded for “best usability” in the corporate products category.

AV-TEST names best products for 2012
Image credits to AV-TEST

White Nexus 4 Hands-on Photos

Google and LG had been working on the launch of a white flavor of the Nexus 4 smartphone, and the move appears to have been confirmed now, as hands-on photos with the device made it online.

The new images arrived on the web courtesy of Vietnamese website Tinhte, but no additional info on the handset was provided. However, it seems that these photos were taken at a press event, which might suggest that a formal announcement on the device might be very close.

Nexus 4, the latest Google phone out there, was made available back in November, but it has been constantly running out of stock globally ever since. Starting today, however, the black version of the device should be up for purchase in countries such as the US, Canada, Germany, France, Spain, Australia and the UK.

White Nexus 4
Images credits to Tinhte

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