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Dec 20, 2013

Acer Liquid S2 Launched Officially in Hong Kong

Today, Acer has made its Acer Liquid S2 official on the market in Hong Kong, with a price tag of HK$4,799 ($619 / €454) attached to it.

For those out of the loop, we should note that the mobile phone was launched with a Snapdragon 800 processor packed inside, as well as with support for 4K video recording. The mobile phone comes to the market with a 6-inch touchscreen display, capable of delivering a full HD (1920 x 1080 pixels) resolution, as well as with the aforementioned quad-core MSM8974 CPU, which has its cores clocked in at 2.2GHz. The smartphone also features Corning Gorilla Glass 3 protection for the touchscreen, along with a Zero Air Gap feature, as GSMInsider notes. The Acer Liquid S2 also sports 2GB of RAM inside, along with 16GB of internal memory, complemented by a microSD memory card slot for expansion purposes.

Moreover, it should be noted that Liquid S2 was announced with Dolby Sound Technology, being the first smartphone in the world to include the capability. On the back, the new mobile phone has a 13-megapixel camera with four LED flash and the aforementioned support for 4k video capture. The handset also features a 2MP camera on the front, so that users could make video calls while on the go. Acer also included the usual set of connectivity functionality inside the smartphone, such as support for 4G LTE networks, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth capabilities, and built-in GPS receiver. Furthermore, the smartphone comes with the usual range of sensors in the package. The device measures 166 x 86 x 9 mm and weighs 231 grams. It runs under Google’s Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean operating system and is powered by a 3300mAh battery.

No specific info on the availability of the smartphone in other markets around the world has been provided as of now, but Acer might unveil such details shortly, so stay tuned.

Acer Liquid S2
Image credits to Acer

Gluglug X60 is The First Laptop Certified with Free Software and Zero Backdoors by FSF

The Free Software Foundation (FSF) has just awarded its coveted  Respects Your Freedom (RYF) certification to a laptop, Gluglug X60, making it the first to receive this distinction.

The Free Software Foundation has launched the requirements for the “Respects Your Freedom” (RYF) certification back in 2005, but no one managed to get it. According to FSF, the RYF certification mark means that the product meets the FSF's standards about users' freedom, control over the product, and privacy. This is the first hardware product to receive the distinction. "Finally there is a free software laptop that respects your freedom as it comes from the store," stated Richard M. Stallman, founder and president of the FSF. “The boot programs (such as a BIOS) run when a computer is turned on and their primary purpose is to initialize the hardware before loading the operating system. Computer makers not only install nonfree boot programs, but they also have made it notoriously difficult for free software developers to have access to the necessary hardware specifications and information needed to produce free software replacements,” reads the official announcement.

The Respects Your Freedom certification mark assures the buyer that the hardware they have just purchased comes with a free OS and free boot software. It is also free of any spyware, backdoors, and any means of intruding on the privacy of the users. "This announcement comes at a time when people have a heightened concern over controlling their data and securing their communication. Proprietary software is by nature fundamentally insecure, because it uses both force of law and technological measures to prohibit a user from controlling and securing her own computer,” said FSF Executive Director John Sullivan. The Gluglug X60 laptop can be purchased straight from the official website and it comes win a large variety of hardware configurations.

Gluglug X60
Image credits to Free Software Foundation

BlackBerry and Foxconn to Launch New BB10 Smartphone in March / April 2014

While announcing deepened loss for the third quarter of its financial year 2014, BlackBerry also confirmed plans to launch a new smartphone in collaboration with Foxconn.

The smartphone will arrive on the market with the BlackBerry 10 operating system loaded on top, and it is currently known under the codename of Jakarta. John Chen, executive chair and CEO of BlackBerry, confirmed today that the device would be launched sometime in March or April next year, and that it would land in Indonesia first, as n4bb reports. However, BlackBery also plans on bringing the device to six or seven more markets soon after the initial launch, though no details on them have been provided as of now. No specific info on the handset itself has been provided, but Chen did confirm that BlackBerry would focus on the development of the software for it, while Foxconn will be in charge of manufacturing the hardware.

“This partnership demonstrates BlackBerry’s commitment to the device market for the long-term and our determination to remain the innovation leader in secure end-to-end mobile solutions,” Chen said. “Partnering with Foxconn allows BlackBerry to focus on what we do best – iconic design, world-class security, software development and enterprise mobility management – while simultaneously addressing fast-growing markets leveraging Foxconn’s scale and efficiency that will allow us to compete more effectively.” As part of the agreement, Foxconn will be making products for BlackBerry at its locations in Indonesia and Mexico. However, the Canadian company will own all of its intellectual property and perform product assurance on devices.

Moving forth, BlackBerry will continue to focus on driving innovation in secure hardware, software, and services, and it will also work on expanding the reach of its multi-platform BBM (BlackBerry Messenger). “BlackBerry is an iconic brand with great technology and a loyal international fan base,” said Terry Gou, Founder and Chairman, Foxconn. “We are pleased to be working with BlackBerry as it positions itself for future growth and we look forward to a successful strategic partnership in which Foxconn will jointly develop and manufacture new BlackBerry devices in both Indonesia and Mexico for new and existing markets.”

New BlackBerry 10 smartphone coming in March / April
Image credits to BlackBerry

BlackBerry Posts $4.4 Billion (€3.2 Billion) Loss for Q3

Today, Canadian mobile phone maker BlackBerry has announced its financial results for the third quarter of its financial year 2014, and posted a total loss of $4.4 (€3.22) billion for the timeframe.

The company announced that its revenue for the timeframe was in the $1.2 (€0.88) billion range, down from $1.6 (€1.17) billion in the previous quarter, and that it had managed to sell around 1.9 million smartphones during the three-month period (down from 3.7 million). BlackBerry also announced that it “takes primarily non-cash, pre-tax charges of $4.6 (€3.37) billion associated with long-lived assets, inventory and supply commitments, and previously announced restructuring and strategic review process.” At the same time, it unveiled that “GAAP loss from continuing operations of $4.4 billion, or $8.37 (€6.13) per share diluted, compared with a GAAP loss from continuing operations of $965 (€707) million, or $1.84 (€1.35) per share diluted, in the prior quarter.” Moreover, adjusted loss from continuing operations for the third quarter was of $354 (€259.5) million, or $0.67 (€0.49) per share diluted, marking a sharp downgrade from the second quarter of the fiscal year.

However, BlackBerry registered some gains as well, including the addition of over 40 million new BBM users due to the launch of the service on iOS and Android devices, and agreements with OEMs out there for the pre-loading of the messenger on their hardware. There have been over 250,000 BBM Channels created since the launch of the feature on BlackBerry, including some coming from large brands out there, such as Coke Indonesia and USA Today. In addition to unveiling these details on its financial performance, the company announced a five-year strategic partnership with Foxconn for the manufacturing of new BlackBerry devices.

Furthermore, Foxconn will engage into the development process, while also being in charge with the management of inventory associated with those devices. Initially, the partnership will focus on a smartphone for Indonesia and other fast-growing markets. The new device should be launched in early 2014.

BlackBerry's loss deepens in Q3 FY2014
Image credits to BlackBerry

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