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Oct 31, 2013

Download Hangouts 2.0 APK with SMS Integration




Within minutes after Google's release of Nexus 5 factory image and binaries, a buckload of Android 4.4 KitKat apps have been extracted and published online so everyone can download it.

The folks over at AndroidPolice have just released the Hangouts 2.0 application with support for SMS, animated GIFs and a lot more goodies. Keep in mind though that the latest version of Hangouts does not work with Google Voice numbers unless you’ve enabled Google Voice on your Sprint phone. Full support for Google Voice will be added soon via update, but for the time being there's no telling when exactly it will go live.

As expected from previous leaks, Hangouts 2.0 comes with full support for animated GIF files and location sharing. AndroidPolice reports that while you might be getting crashes right after sending your location via SMS, clearing the app's data fixes it.


Hangouts for Android (screenshot)
Image credits to Google

Nexus 5 Android 4.4 KitKat Factory Image Now Available for Download




It looks like it only took Google a few hours to post the first Android 4.4 KiKat factory image and binaries on its official webpage.

As expected, the first factory image is aimed at Nexus 5, though the smartphone has yet to make its debut on the market. Android fans and enthusiasts who like to tinker with factory images will now be able to extract all sorts of goodies and make them available for download. Dubbed factory image “Hammerhead” for Nexus 5 (GSM/LTE), the file is about 425MB in size and can be found on Google's Developer website, along with the rest of factory images for other Google devices.

We can expect more Android 4.4 KitKat factory images to drop on Google's Developer website in the coming weeks for the following devices: Nexus 4, Nexus 7 and Nexus 10.


Android 4.4 KitKat logo
Image credits to Google

LG Nexus 5 Full Specs and Photo Gallery




Google and LG have just announced the upcoming availability of the Nexus 5, the first smartphone to ship with Android 4.4 KitKat operating system out of the box.

In fact, Google confirmed the smartphone is now available for purchase online in lots of markets, but both 16GB and 32GB models sold out in under 30 minutes in most countries. However, Nexus 5's offline availability is set for mid-November in Europe, Central/South Americas, Asia, CIS and the Middle East, so Android fans will have another chance to grab on the two color options available, black and white. LG Nexus 4 comes equipped with a powerful quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 processor clocked at 2.6 GHz, which is complemented by an Adreno 330 graphics processing unit and 2GB of RAM. Although the phone is packed with either 16GB or 32GB of internal memory, this is all you will get as Nexus 5 lacks microSD card slot for memory expansion. Furthermore, the 4.95-inch True HD IPS Plus capacitive touchscreen supports 1080 x 1920 pixels resolution, 445ppi (pixel density) and features Corning Gorilla Glass 3 coating.

On the back, Google confirmed the Nexus 5 boasts an enhanced 8-megapixel camera with optical image stabilization, LED flash and full HD (1080p@30fps) video recording. It is also worth mentioning the handset's camera packs LG Innotek’s optical image stabilizer technology that allows for longer exposures, less blur and less noise. The Nexus 5 also includes Photo Sphere providing users with an easier way to capture a series of photos and turn them into a seamless 360-degree experience. Connectivity-wise, the smartphone offer everything Android users would expect from a flagship device. According to the official specs sheet, Nexus 5 is packed with LTE and HSPA+ support, along with Bluetooth 4.0, microUSB (slimport), NFC (Near Field Communication), Dual-band Wi-Fi (2.4G/5G) 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac and buil-in GPS.

Wireless charging is included as well, along with 1.3-megapixel front-facing camera for video calls. The Nexus 5 is powered by a 2300 mAh non-removable Li-Polymer battery, which should provide up to 300 hours of standby time or up to 17 hours of talk time. Photo gallery below, click for larger images.











LG Nexus 5
Images credits to Google

HIS R9 270X IceQ X2 Turbo Boost Overclocked Graphics Card




HIS wasn't about to let PowerColor be the only one with a new Radeon R9 270X graphics card out, so, naturally, it made its own. Behold the HIS R9 270X IceQ X2 Turbo Boost Clock 2GB GDDR5.

That really is the full name of the board. It's an amalgam of terms, from the name of the cooler to the status of the GPU. Which is to say, this is a custom-cooler, factory-overclocked version of AMD's adapter. The GPU works at 1100 MHz / 1140 MHz instead of 1000 MHz / 1040 MHz, while the dual-fan cooler is not only better at its job, but is quieter too (below 28 dB while watching movies, not much louder during demanding games).

HIS ships the newcomer with the iTurbo overclocking software (temperature, speed and voltage control). Sadly, HIS did not say what price it expected to be paid. Probably a dozen or so more dollars/Euro above $200 / €200.

HIS R9 270X IceQ X2 Turbo Boost Clock 2GB GDDR5
Image credits to HIS

Oct 30, 2013

AMD Kaveri A8, A10 APUs Launch Schedule Detailed




The other day, we picked up on a report about the next generation of accelerated processing units from Advanced Micro Devices, but we didn't go into too much detail about what chips, exactly, would come out and when.

The folks at VR-Zone China decided to jump the gun on some information about the next generation of accelerated processing units. We already knew that availability was scheduled for 2014, and that the first sample shipments would happen on December 5, 2013. That was it though. Anything about the chips themselves was left to speculation. Only the use of GCN was confirmed. GCN (Graphics Core Next) is the technology at the base of the Radeon graphics core that will be paired with the “Steamroller” CPU architecture. According to the schedule published by the Chinese, AMD will launch two A10 branded processors and one A8 chip. Both of them will rely on the A88X chipset, meaning that they will fit into FM2+ sockets, although the architecture improvements will make it unlikely for current-generation FM2+ motherboards to support them as well.

All three APUs will use SteamrollerB cores with enhanced Turbo Core support, as well as configurable TDP (thermal design power). More importantly, the Heterogeneous System Architecture (AMD HSA) will be included, enabling both the GPU and CPU to share the main memory. Furthermore, the A10 and A8 chips will boast PCI Express 3.0 support, dedicated PCI-Express SSD interface, integrated Audio co-processor, and AMD Start Now 3.0 (fast boot technology). AMD will hold the APU13 event from November 11 to November 13, 2013, so we'll learn more then. CES 2014, in January, is also bound to be a time of revelations. Until then, we'll have to settle for vague hints and the occasional benchmark or presentation slide. As is usual for the course for the IT industry really.

AMD Kaveri launch plan detailed
Image credits to AMD

Oct 29, 2013

Facebook Interested in Acquiring BlackBerry [Wall Street Journal]




Facebook is the last player in the BlackBerry acquisition saga, as execs of both companies reportedly met last week to discuss on a potential buyout offer.

According to Wall Street Journal, both BlackBerry and Facebook declined to comment on the matter, so it's unclear if Facebook is still interested in placing a bid after the said meeting. BlackBerry has already accepted a buyout offer from Canadian consortium Fairfax Financial, which is expected to finalize in early November if no other bids are placed on the handset makers assets.

Several companies expressed their interest in acquiring BlackBerry, including Lenovo and the company's ex-CEO Mike Lazaridis, but neither placed any bids on the company. If nothing happens until next week, BlackBerry may go private and start focusing on business and government customers, as the Canadian company announced a few weeks ago. Stay tuned for more updates on the matter.

BlackBerry logo
Image credits to BlackBerry

Prerelease (Engineering Sample) AMD Kaveri APU Closes In on Intel's Haswell Heavyweights




It's still unclear when, exactly, Kaveri APUs will debut, whether this year or in 2014. On the other hand, we now actually know what the chips can do.

Kaveri will be the first accelerated processing unit utilizing the Steamroller CPU architecture and the GCN (Graphic Core Next) GPU Architecture. Chinese websites like China DIY have managed to get a hold of an engineering sample and some “Near Production Samples” of the chip. There wasn't an exploration of the graphics side, but the CPU cores were examined quite closely. On the surface, it looks like a trade-off in performance, because of the 1.8 GHz clock and measly 2 MB cache that limits the Floating Point performance to 85% of AMD FX Bulldozer and Piledriver.

The Kaveri dominates in integer count though, being 30-32% better than its predecessors. In layman terms, this means that, if not the next-generation Intel CPU, the AMD Kaveri will be able to match the Intel Haswell Core i7-4770K somewhat.

Kaveri APU early samples tested
Image credits to China DIY

BBM Adds 20 Million Users in Less than Two Weeks




BlackBerry has just announced it has added more than 20 million BBM users since the launch of the Android and iOS applications on October 21.

With the latest achievement, the Canadian company confirmed it now has more than 80 million monthly active users on BlackBerry Messenger (BBM). Currently, BBM for iOS and Android is available for download via Google Play and App Store in all countries, but it has been slowly rolled out since launch, so not all users were able to download it since day one.

Although neither application features BBM Video, BBM Voice, and BBM Channels, BlackBerry said these capabilities would be added in the coming months via updates that will be announced closer to launch. Stay tuned for more info on the matter.

Download BBM for iOS (iTunes AppStore link)
Download BBM for Android (Google Play link)

BBM logo
Image credits to BlackBerry

Oct 28, 2013

Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 Kids Comes to the US Ready to Ships November 10




With the increasing wave of kiddie friendly slates being released these days, Samsung couldn't just stay away. So today, the Korean tech giant announced the availability of its Galaxy Tab 3 Kids slate.

Vice President of Emerging Business, Nanda Ramachandran commented on the event saying that “today’s kids are incredibly tech-savvy and regularly use technology at home, at school and on-the-go.” “Studies show that 70 percent of tablet owners share their tablets with their children. The Galaxy Tab 3 Kids is engaging, encourages learning and fosters creativity in a safe environment that parents can easily manage.” That’s exactly what’s important when kiddie slates are involved, providing a safe, customized child friendly interface that parents can control. And Samsung offers all that. The tablet features a 7-inch screen with 1024 x 600 pixel resolution. It draws power from a 1.2GHz dual-core processor coupled with 1GB of RAM. It has two cameras, a 3MP rear one and 1.3MP frontal one. 8GB of onboard storage are provided with the possibility of adding more via the mircoSD card.

Samsung has bundled the slate with fun yet age-appropriate games like Toca Train, Wipeout, Fruit Ninja or Where’s My Perry. It offers educational content too, balancing the world of fun and learning with apps like Learn ABCs, I Learn with Ocean or Dolphin Reader. The tablet comes with a cheerful orange case to ensure the device will be kept safe in case of accidental drops or scratches. Parents and kids that are going to purchase the slate will also get a $10 / €7 credit for which they can get books, apps, movies or music from Google Play. But wait there’s more – customers will also get 12-months of Boingo Mobile Wi-Fi access, 3 month Hulu Plus membership for new users and 2 years of up to 50GB of DropBox storage. Quite an attractive offer.

The slate will become available for purchase from Samsung.com, Amazon, Best Buy, Fry’s Office Depot, Sam’s Club, Tiger Direct and Toys “R” US for $299 / €217 a pop. Samsung will commence shipping November 10, but pre-oders start November 1.

Samsung brings its kiddie slate to the US
Image credits to Samsung

LG Nexus 5 Now Selling for €460 ($635) Ahead of Official Launch




With just a few days left until the alleged release of LG Nexus 5, the smartphone went on sale prematurely in the Netherlands.

Spotted by the folks over at GSMArena, the Nexus 5 is now available for pre-order at Dutch online retailer Belsimpel for no less than €460 ($635) outright. This is a bit overpriced in comparison with Nexus 5’s price on Google Play, but that’s common knowledge among Android users.

The retailer claims that the smartphone will ship in 2-4 days, but that’s subject to change, so there’s no telling if this is legit or not. In the same piece of news, Nexus 5 is also up for sale at Tele2, where customers can get it for free on €36 ($50) a month contracts, Hi HS Student Medium contracts at €35 ($48) a month.

LG Nexus 5
Image credits to Belsimple

Li-Fi LED-Based Tech Reaches Wireless Speeds of 10Gbps




The primary colors are red, yellow and blue, but for electronics, they become red, green and blue, and it is those three colors that experts in “Li-Fi” technology used to achieve their latest milestone.

Li-Fi is the term people have started to use to refer to wireless transmissions achieved through visible light. It's Wi-Fi, but using the visual electromagnetic spectrum. The range of wavelengths that don't pass through walls, sadly. Still, that disadvantage can be offset by sheer data transferring potential. On that note, UK researchers have moved data via Li-Fi, through use of a micro-LED light bulb, at 10 Gbps (BBC report).

It's all thanks to the fact that white light can be broken down into red, green and blue (RGB). Each primary color achieves 3.5 Gbps. If ever there was a chance to use all lights in the world to form a wireless networking system, it's now.



Li-Fi illustrated
Images credits to Photonics.ac.uk

MSI Z87M Gaming Motherboard Has Killer Ethernet Chip for Online Game and Streaming




Gaming motherboards abide by a standard rule: be overpowered or don't be at all. Thus, they have many things in common, which means that their makers need to put special effort into standing out. MSI chose the Killer gaming chip.

The new mainboard that Micro-Star International made is called Z87M GAMING and relies on Intel's 8-series Z87 chip, meaning it can welcome any of the latest Haswell fourth-generation CPUs. The basics are easily enough gleamed from the photos of the newcomer: two PCI Express 3.0 slots, two PCI Express mini slots, four DDR3 memory slots, six SATA III ports, various pin headers, many video/USB/audio ports on the back panel, etc.

The Killer network chip is more important here. It can prioritize games over anything else taking up networking bandwidth, kind of like QoS protocol but better. In addition to that, MSI included the Audio Boost technology (not much need for an explanation there). Add to that MIL-STND-810G military class components and voila! A black and red, overpowered mATX platform. You even get Click BIOS 4, and the “all new two-stage one-second overclocking OC Genie 4” technology.



MSI Z87M Gaming Motherboards
Images MSI

BBM Video and Voice Coming to Android, iOS “Within Months”




Since BlackBerry Messenger made its debut on Android and iOS platforms, the Canadian company has delivered several updates for both versions, which were meant to fix some issues and improve the overall performance of the application.

Those who installed BBM on their iPhone and Android devices are already aware of the fact that the application lacks important features such as BBM Channels, BBM Voice and BBM Video. However, developers promised these features would be added in the future via updates. In an interview for CBC’s The Morning Edition, BlackBery’s Andrew Bocking confirms BBM Voice and BBM Video will be added “within months.”

Moreover, Bocking announces BBM Channels will soon exit beta testing and will be pushed to both BBM for Android and iOS apps in the coming weeks. Stay tuned for more updates on the matter.

BBM logo
Image credits to BlackBerry

Oct 27, 2013

BlackBerry Removes BBM Waiting List for Android and iOS




Good news for those who have yet to download BlackBerry Messenger, as the Canadian company has just confirmed it has removed the waiting list for those who did not register to receive info on BBM's release on its official website.

According to a tweet posted on the official BBM account, Android and iOS users who now download and install the instant messaging application will be able to use it right away, assuming they already have a BlackBerry ID set.

This wasn't possible until this weekend and everyone had to wait at least a few hours until they were able to start using BlackBerry Messenger. BBM for iOS and Android is now available for as a free download via App Store and Google Play Store and requires devices powered by iOS 6.0 and Android 4.0 or up.

BBM logo
Image credits to BlackBerry

Custom Radeon R9 290X Graphics Cards Coming in Late November




Had AMD allowed its partners to play with its new video card from the onset, we might have already had custom-cooled versions of the Radeon R9 290X. As it is, we have to wait until late next month.

At least we know when it will happen though. Until now, we couldn't say for sure when Advanced Micro Devices would lift restrictions for custom PCB designs and coolers. Of course, you could just get the reference card and buy an aftermarket cooler separately.

There aren't many out yet though (Prolimatech MK-26 and Arctic’s Accelero Xtreme III and Accelero Hybrid), and the cards that AMD's partners customize have other advantages, like factory overclocking and better PCB components, like improved VRM. According to SweClockers, custom Radeon R9 290X will debut in late November, 2013.

Prolimatech MK-26 cooler without fans
Prolimatech

Oct 24, 2013

Bermuda's Stunning Underwater Views Now in Street View




Google is boasting about some stunning new Street View imagery now available though, truth be told, these photos are as far removed from a street as you can get.

These aren't the first images taken underwater for Street View, but the new imagery from Bermuda is guaranteed to leave you wishing for an exotic holiday. "Dive underwater from the island of Bermuda with #StreetView. Explore the Mary Celeste Wreck and more at maps.google.com/ocean," Google wrote.

"Taken in partnership with Catlin Seaview Survey, this imagery highlights efforts to protect the waters around Bermuda," it added. Google has been working with the Catlin Seaview Survey to map and photograph underwater areas in several stunning locations. Imagery from the Galapagos islands is already available. The images are shot with specially designed underwater scooters capable of snapping 360-degree imagery.

Bermuda shipwrek in Street View
Image credits to Google

PowerColor's Pair of Overclocked AMD Radeon R9 290X Graphics Cards




TUL Corporation has released two PowerColor-branded AMD Radeon R9 290X graphics cards, which are among the few that actually don't totally stick to AMD's reference specs.

The Hawaii GPU (2816 stream processors) normally runs at 1 GHz, but PowerColor's R9 290X go with 1030 MHz instead. Both of them. And by both, I mean that there is a PowerColor card with a bundled copy of Battlefield 4 and one without it. Don't think that's a freebie though. The new video board costs $550 / €550, but the game will add around $25 / €25 to the price tag.

There are 4 GB of GDDR5 VRAM installed on the black-painted newcomers, communicating with the GPU over an interface of 512 bits. The clock is of 5 GHz. 4K gaming (UHD resolution, 3840 x 2160 pixels) should be smooth and great, even on multi-monitor configurations.


PowerColor Radeon R9 290X
Images credits to PowerColor

Qualcomm Executive Reassigned After Calling Apple’s A7 Chip a “Gimmick”




A short-sighted Qualcomm executive is seeing his status downgraded by his employers after making a rather bold remark regarding Apple’s marketing of the A7 chip, which is built on a 64-bit architecture.

In an interview with IDG, Anand Chandrasekher said, “I know there's a lot of noise because Apple did [64-bit] on their A7. I think they are doing a marketing gimmick. There's zero benefit a consumer gets from that.” I covered the story on October 9 refraining from saying “there will be consequences.” Apple buys millions of wireless chips from Qualcomm. Case in point, the same IDG now reports that Qualcomm has removed Chandrasekher from the company’s leadership page. A statement from Qualcomm reads:

“Anand Chandrasekher, is moving to a new role leading our exploration of certain enterprise related initiatives...Anand will continue to report to Steve Mollenkopf, COO and President of Qualcomm. This will be effective immediately.”

As I said before, gimmick or no gimmick, you can’t afford to say whatever passes your mind when you’re in bed with Apple. Or any other tech juggernaut for that matter.

Anand Chandrasekher
Image credits to ctimes.com.tw

AMD Radeon R9 290X Hawaii Graphics Card Finally Launched




After weeks of skirting around the issue, Advanced Micro Devices has finally made the official introduction of its latest and greatest single-GPU graphics adapter: Radeon R9 290X.

This is one of those cards based on a new GPU (graphics processing unit) and barred from any sort of physical design modification by OEMs. That means that AMD's many partners (Sapphire, ASUS, Gigabyte, MSI, Club 3D, etc.) won't be launching custom-made cards any time soon. That doesn't mean factory overclocking is completely forbidden though. As we understand it, several of AMD's OEMs have implemented minor tweaks to the GPU frequency, despite not being able to change the cooler. Spec-wise, AMD's Radeon R9 290X has a 28nm Hawaii GPU at 1 GHz, 4 GB of GDDR5 VRAM at 5 GHz, 176 texture units, 2,816 shaders (stream processors), 64 ROPs, a memory interface of 512 bits, memory bandwidth of 320 GB/s, and 6.2 billion transistors. The adapter has a TDP (thermal design power) of 250W and an FP32 performance of 5.6 TFLOPs.

AMD Eyefinity multi-monitor technology is included as well, along with TrueAudio technology and, of course, support for both DirectX 11.2 and AMD's new Mantle application programming interface (API). The Sunnyvale company has even bundled the Battlefield 4 game from EA Digital Illusions Creative Entertainment (DICE). BF4 is, after all, the first (and only, for now) game that supports Mantle. According to reviews, the new product has a price of $549.99 / €549.99, which is “high” for AMD, but quite a bit lower than the $620 / €620 of the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 780 and definitely leagues apart from the $999 / €999 of the GeForce GTX Titan. The consensus among testers is that the good outweighs the bad. The good is thus: great price, good performance, software voltage control, better multi-monitor support, Dual BIOS, TrueAudio and native full-size HDMI and DisplayPort support.

The less than good traits are the noise level, high temperatures, high power consumption and lack of VGA output. For those wondering, the Dual BIOS feature isn't normal itself. Usually, there's a base/backup BIOS and one for tweaking, but here there's a Quiet BIOS (18% performance improvement over the R9 280X / HD 7970 GHz Edition) and an Uber BIOS (24% boost). As for card comparisons, we'll give you the conclusion of tests against NVIDIA's GeForce Titan. The AMD card lost when in “Quiet” BIOS mode, but slightly overcame it in Uber settings. And for something at almost half the price, that's actually impressive. Sure, different games and benchmarks returned different results, but this is the so-called summary. AMD's new card is definitely going to be a success. Images below are R9 290X gallery, click for larger images.



AMD Radeon R9 290X
Images credits to AMD

AMD Radeon R9 290X benchmark result
Image credits to TechPowerUp

BBM for iOS 1.0.2 Now Available for Download




Good news for BlackBerry Messenger users disappointed by the application’s severe issues on iOS smartphones, as the Canadian company has just released an update meant to address all these problems.

We reported yesterday that iOS users experienced random BBM crashes when trying to use the application. The issue only affected those who upgraded their iPhones to iOS 7.0.3 and was caused by the fact that Apple removed a “HelveticaNeue-Italic” font used by BBM. Luckily, BlackBerry provided a bug fix in less than 24 hours and even delivered more features and improvements to the iOS version of BBM.

The latest version of BBM for iOS comes with contact categories, List Sorting and filtering in BBM Groups, lots of performance improvements and other bug fixes. You can now download BBM for iOS 1.0.2.114 for free via App Store. Keep in mind that the application is only compatible with iPhones powered by iOS 6.0 or later.

BBM for iOS
Image credits to BlackBerry

Oct 23, 2013

Download Plants vs Zombies 2 for Android Now on Google Play for Free




EA has finally released the long-awaited Plants vs Zombies 2 for Android on Google Play Store. The game was initially launched on iOS platform and then made available to Android users in Australia and New Zealand.

It's been almost a month since only a few Android enthusiasts could download the game and Plants vs Zombies 2 has finally been unleashed on Google Play and made available for everyone. The game comes with the same features as the iOS version, so expect lots of fun for loads of hours. Keep in mind the game requires Android 2.3 Gingerbread, ARMv7 1GHz or higher and 1 GB of RAM in order to run optimally. Developers also claim features may vary by mobile device.

You can now download Plants vs Zombies 2 for Android 1.5.252752 for free via Google Play Store. As mentioned earlier, the game should be fully compatible with devices powered by Android 2.3 and up.

Plants vs Zombies 2 for Android
Image credits to EA

BBM Crashes on iOS 7.0.3, BlackBerry Working on a Fix




BBM users who upgraded their iPhones to iOS 7.0.3 have been affected by a critical bug that makes the instant messaging application almost impossible to use.

As CrackBerry points out, BlackBerry Messenger application uses a special HelveticaNeue-Italic font, which, unfortunately, has been removed by Apple in the iOS 7.0.3 update. This issue causes BBM to randomly crash. The problem is said to affect all iPhone users who upgraded to iOS 7.0.3, but those who kept their smartphones on a previous version don’t have any problem using BBM.

The good news is BlackBerry is aware of this problem and is working hard to offer a fix as soon as possible. We will keep an eye out for any updates on the issue, so stay tuned for additional info when it becomes available.

BBM logo
Image credits to BlackBerry

MSI Adora24 All-in-One PCs Upgraded with Intel Haswell CPUs




The Haswell line of CPUs now has another all-in-one computer under its belt, courtesy of Micro-Star International.

Haswell is the codename used to refer to the latest generation of Intel Core i3, Core i5 and Core i7 central processing units, both for desktops and for notebooks. MSI has chosen to outfit the Adora24 AiO with Core i3 and Core i5 mobile multi-core chips. Adore24 isn't a new computer though. Just the latest to be getting this upgrade. All-in-One systems often have to use laptop components because they need to be very compact themselves, hence the use of mobile chips instead of desktop ones (they would be too hot).

MSI has also installed the NVIDIA GeForce GT 740M discrete graphics card, plus MSI's latest software tools. The MSI Adora24M and Adora24G with older-generation CPUs will be gone by the end of the month (October 23, 2013).

MSI Adora24
Image credits to MSI

Lenovo ThinkPad X3 Ultrabook Specs Image Leaked




It appears that Lenovo is working on a new Ultrabook, as a bunch of details slipped online today, via Notebook Review. We’re talking about the ThinkPad X3, expected to be considerably thinner than its successor, the X1 Carbon.

With the new set of leaked specifications present online, now we can get a better idea of what Lenovo is aiming to provide here. The ThinkPad X3 is expected to come boasting a QHD IPS display with a resolution of 2560 x 1440 pixels, integrated graphics. Under the hood, Lenovo offers powerful Intel Core i3-i7 options.

Wi-Fi, LTE and NFC functionalities are going to be provided as well. Users can choose between 4GB or 8GB of RAM of storage. The X3 will ship with the ThinkPad Onelink dock and its battery will provide a hearty nine hours of juice to the device. So far pricing details and availability haven’t been disclosed yet.

Lenovo ThinkPad X3 Ultrabook specifications leak
Image credits to NotebookReview

Impactics Haswell Fanless NUC Case




Intel's Core-series of CPUs were made for mid-to-high-end PCs, but there are those who make mini PCs with them. FanlessTech decided to help.

Intel itself has a mini PC ready to accept its Haswell line of CPUs (fourth-generation Core-series). Called NUC, Next Unit of Computing, it is small and shaped like a block. Almost cube-like. The chassis, in this case, plays more than just the role of pretty skin. In fact, it does most of the cooling. Impactics has now created a case that can make it unnecessary for the CPU to have even a fan of its own.

More specifically, the new NUC case can take Intel's D54250WYK motherboard, complete with Intel Core i5-4250U processors (dual-core, up to 2.60 GHz, 3 MB L3 cache) and fanlessly keep the heat off them. The reference case has a lateral-blower fan that can get really noisy, so Impactics may get quite a few buyers.



Impactics NUC Case
Images credits to Fanlesstech

Oct 22, 2013

BBM for iOS, Android Hits Over 10 Million Downloads in Just 24 Hours




Android and iOS users seem to be happy with what BlackBerry Messenger (BBM) has to offer up until now, and when BBM users are pleased BlackBerry is pleased as well.

The Canadian company has just announced BBM has been downloaded more than 10 million times in just 24 hours. That's quite an achievement even for a popular application such as Blackberry Messenger. “BBM rose very quickly in the Apple App Store free app rankings in the first 24 hours, taking the number one slot in more than 75 countries, including the US, Canada, the UK, Indonesia and most of the Middle East. We have also seen overwhelmingly positive reviews on Google Play and the App Store. In fact, BBM has earned 60,000 five-star reviews on Google Play from about 87,000 reviews, ” said Andrew Bocking, Head of BBM. This is the second time BlackBerry is trying to release BBM for iOS and Android, and it looks like this time was successful.

Although both BBM for iOS and Android are missing some important features that are integrated onto the BlackBerry version, such as BBM Video and BBM Channels, these features will be added soon via updates. “My team is still committed to bringing those features to the BBM on Android and iPhone in the near future. And we’re not stopping there – we have some great new features planned that will build on BBM as the private social network you count on for immediate conversations you can control and trust,” added Bocking.

In the same piece of news, BlackBerry confirmed it has updated BlackBerry Messenger for Android with a new BBM chat widget that allows users to stay engaged in chats without having to open the app. In addition, the iOS version of BBM has been optimized for iOS 7.

BBM logo
Image credits to BlackBerry

BBM Coming Soon to Windows Phone 8 Platform




It's only been 24 hours since BlackBerry resumed the rollout of BBM for iOS, Android and rumors on other versions of the application have already emerged online.

According to BlackBerryScoop, a reliable source in the past, claims BlackBerry is already working hard to bring BBM on Windows Phone 8 platform. In addition, the cited source also claims BlackBerry Messenger will arrive on iPads and Android tablets. Desktop and web version so BBM are also in plan, which seems extremely plausible given the fact BlackBerry officials demoed a desktop version of a BBM only a few weeks ago.

Given the fact we don't have any official confirmation on any of these speculations, we will file it under “rumors.” We will keep an eye out for more details these rumors, so stay tuned for more updates on the matter.

BBM logo
Image credits to BlackBerry

Download OS X 10.9 Mavericks – Apple Official Release




Mac owners using a 2007 Mac (or newer) with OS X Snow Leopard 10.6.8 and higher can now download OS X 10.9 Mavericks, free of charge from the Mac App Store.

Apple is now officially offering Mavericks as a free download through the Mac App Store internationally, delivering a truckload of new features and enhancements for Mac users worldwide. Mavericks includes iBooks and Maps, two applications borrowed from iOS, as well as redesigned versions of Calendar, Safari, a new Notification Center, Finder Tabs and Tags, iCloud Keychain, and much more.

Mavericks supports multiple displays like no other desktop OS, and includes energy-saving core technologies so you can surf the web longer on a single charge, according to Apple. Previously, Apple used to charge money for OS X upgrades. This marks the first time Apple is offering a new desktop OS for free.


OS X Mavericks on the Mac App Store
Image credits to Apple

BBM for Android Exclusively Available in Africa on Samsung Galaxy Phones




Bad news for iOS users in Africa, as BlackBerry has confirmed, once again, that BBM is not available for them unless they own a compatible Samsung Galaxy smartphone.

Apparently, Samsung paid BlackBerry for a three-day exclusive period over BlackBerry Messenger for Android in Sub-Saharan Africa. Under agreement, BBM for Android will only be available to Samsung Galaxy smartphone owners in Sub-Saharan Africa from the Samsung App store. BlackBerry has also confirmed that BBM will be part of Samsung Messaging Hub, “complementing the range of propriety and third party messaging services that customers currently enjoy.”

iPhone users, as well as other Android customers who own devices other than Samsung Galaxy models, will be able to download and install BBM beginning October 25 via App Store and Google Play. Stay tuned for more updates on the matter.

BlackBerry Messenger logo
Image credits to BlackBerry

Nokia Lumia 1520 Phablet Now Official with 6-Inch Display and 20MP PureView Camera




The first Nokia phablet is now official. The Lumia 1520 has just been confirmed with a huge display and an impressive 20-megapixel rear-facing camera.

This is the first Windows Phone handset announced by the Finnish company at Nokia World 2013, right after the phone maker introduced the new Asha 500, 502 and 503 devices. Previous rumors have suggested that Nokia Lumia 1520 will boast a 6-inch display and Stephen Elop confirmed this on the stage during the press conference. The phablet packs a 6-inch LCD full HD (1080p) capacitive touchscreen display, as well as a powerful quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 processor clocked at 2.2 GHz. The phone’s huge screen integrates ClearBlack technology, as well as Corning Gorilla Glass 2 coating. It offers LTE cat 4 support, as well as DC-HSPA, WiFi a/b/g/n/ac (2.4/5GHz) and Bluetooth 4.0 LE. As expected, Nokia has announced that the Lumia 1520 features integrated wireless charging via Qi technology. The 20-megapixel rear-facing camera features PureView technology, OIS (optical image stabilization), Carl Zeiss lens, dual-LED flash and full HD (1080p) video recording. It is also worth mentioning that the phablet will be powered by a high-capacity 3400 mAh Li-Ion battery, which should provide up to 780 hours of standby or up to 25 hours of talk time. It should also last for 11 hours of video playback or up to 124 hours of music playback.

Nokia Lumia 1520 is only 8.7mm thin and weighs 209g (battery included). The smartphone features a 1.2-megapixel front-facing camera and microSD card slot for memory expansion (up to 64GB). Software-wise, the phablet comes pre-loaded with Microsoft Office, free global HERE Maps and Here Drive+, as well as Nokia Music for unlimited streaming of ad-free music. The Lumia 1520 will be available in Q3 2013, in yellow, white, black and glossy red for $749 (€548) outright. The phablet will be initially introduced in Hong Kong, Singapore and the United States, while China and Europe will get it afterwards.

Nokia Lumia 1520 (front)

Nokia Lumia 1520 (back)
Images credits to Nokia

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