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May 21, 2014

Oppo N1 Mini Leaks in Live Pictures, Include 5-Inch HD Display, 13MP Camera




One of the most popular Android smartphones in China, the Oppo N1, made the jump to other Asian countries a few months ago. Given the phone’s popularity among Android users, the Chinese company seems determined to launch a mini version of the N1, which will be available for a lower price.

For those unfamiliar with the standard Oppo N1, the smartphone is a beast when it comes to specs. It boasts a huge 5.9-inch IPS LCD capacitive touchscreen display that supports full HD (1080p) resolution and either 16GB or 32GB of internal memory. The phablet is powered by a decent 1.7GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 600 processor, an Adreno 320 graphics processing unit and 2GB of RAM. The bad news is that the Oppo N1 does not come with microSD card slot for storage expansion, so those who rely on internal memory should pick the 32GB model. The device packs a 13-megapixel swivel camera which can be rotated at 180 degrees to take pictures, which is why it doesn’t need a secondary camera in the front.Oppo N1 drains energy from a 3610 mAh battery and offers multiple connectivity options, including HSDPA, HSUPA, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0 and microUSB with USB on-the-go support.

The mini version of the Oppo N1 will still pack higher than average specs, but it will be cheaper than the original model. According to Phonearena, the smartphone has recently been spotted at the FCC (Federal Communications Commission), which means that we should see this one being announced very soon. Dubbed R9C-N5116, the smartphone is shown in multiple pictures and some of its specs are also confirmed. For example, the Oppo N1 mini should pack a 5-inch HD (720p) capacitive touchscreen display, instead of the huge 5.9-inch one included in the standard model. The mini variant will also maintain the same 13-megapixel swivel camera, allowing users to rotate it at 180 degrees. Oppo N1 mini will be powered by a smaller 2140 mAh battery, but given the smaller display, it should be enough.

Although there’s no word on when exactly the smartphone will go on sale, we expect Oppo to make the N1 mini official in the next couple of weeks. The smartphone will certainly be available in several Asian countries, but it’s unclear whether or not Oppo will bring the N1 mini to North America. Europeans may have more luck, as Oppo has already launched its online store in this region. Stay tuned for more on this one.


Oppo N1 Mini
Image credits to FCC

MediaTek Might Not Support Windows Phone This Year




Chinese chip maker MediaTek might not release chipsets with support for Microsoft’s Windows Phone operating system this year, a recent report coming from DigiTimes suggests.

The company is determined to increase its market share in the 4G chipsets area this year, and it seems that this won’t allow it to focus on Windows Phone as well. Citing industry sources, DigiTimes claims that MediaTek is set to release new quad-core and octa-core smartphones this year, and that it will also work towards the launch of chips that offer support for 4G networks. Moreover, MediaTek is expected to launch its first 64-bit processors sometime in the third quarter of the year. Two such processors are expected to be released. However, it appears that the company is determined to grab as much market share off the 4G segment that is currently taking off in China, and that it will also come up with new 3G chips for smartphone makers in the country.

Although MediaTek might not join the Windows Phone party this year, rival company Qualcomm will expand its support for the mobile operating system. The company has decided to launch QRD (Qualcomm Reference Design) smartphones for Windows Phone this year, with the first devices built on it set to arrive on shelves in the second half of the year.

Windows Phone 8.1
Image credits to Microsoft

Turn Your Ubuntu and Debian Jessie into Windows 7 and Windows 8 with WinAte Theme Pack




WinAte, the theme pack that will turn your Ubuntu and Debian installation into a Windows 7 of Windows 8 look-alike, has just received a new update.

There was a time when it was easy to change the look of most Linux distributions and make them look like a Windows counterpart, but that time has passed. There are only a handful that can still be modified, and Ubuntu and Debian Jessie are among them. “With this brand-new WinAte - Windows 7/8 Transformation Pack for LXDE - you will be able to get all the icons and overall appearance of Windows to your GNU/Linux box, without spending lots of resources nor having to adapt old Gnome 2 themes. Everything works just by executing the install.sh script. Just do that, logout and login again, and there should be a different feeling in the whole system,” reads the official website.

The package has a few dependencies that are very easy to meet: gtk2-engines-murrine, gtk2-engines-pixbuf, and compton. The installation is very simple and the instructions can be followed by anyone. This theme is probably the closest that users will ever going to get to Windows 7 or Windows 8 in term of look, but it ca be used to help people migrate to Linux more easily. You can download the WinAte - Windows 7/8 Theme pack from gnome-look.org.

Windows 8 or Linux?
Image credits to WinAte

No Download Errors for iOS 8 – Apple Will Use Its Own CDN




With the Apple TV no longer a hobby, iCloud constantly acting up, and major software releases experiencing server outages, Apple is rapidly growing its own Content Delivery Network (CDN) by quietly signing deals with Internet Service Providers (ISPs).

Analyst Dan Rayburn, an expert watching over the streaming and online video industry, has gathered new intel regarding Apple’s CDN initiative first reported in February this year. According to his sources, “...Apple has been very busy with their build out deploying a lot of boxes running Apache Traffic Server and buying a ton of transit, co-location, wavelengths and other infrastructure services. Their CDN is quickly growing, and it won’t be long before we start seeing a portion of their content getting delivered from their new CDN,” reports Rayburn. A fast, scalable, and extensible HTTP/1.1 compliant caching proxy server, Apache Traffic Server software was formerly a commercial product donated by Yahoo to the Apache Foundation. Currently, it is an Apache TLP.

The Cupertino company is reportedly signing and/or negotiating deals with some of the country’s largest Internet Service Providers to get its CDN up and running. Sandvine data showed that Apple takes up a mere 2% of total Internet traffic at peak hours, but whenever the company deploys a major new piece of software, such as iOS 7 or OS X 10.9, that figure jumps to 40%. It could also explain why so many people incurred download errors when iOS 7 was released. “So Apple does push a lot of traffic at times and the more devices they sell, the larger their traffic grows,” Rayburn writes. Some of the reasons for Apple’s incentive to own a CDN include “performance issues with iCloud, with Apple wanting to have more control over the end-user experience,” according to the analyst.

“Apple already controls the hardware, the OS and the iTunes/App store platforms. Right now Apple controls the entire customer experience, except for the way content is delivered to their devices, so it’s only natural that a company of their size would build out their own CDN,” he concludes. As noted above, the company will also want at least portions of its CDN to be up and running when iOS 8 and OS X 10.10 are deployed. With each passing year these updates have been increasingly sought by customers, causing severe strain on its servers. Apple also has problems delivering timely Support center updates (KB articles) to customers around the world.

The latest download error occurred last month when Apple released iOS 7.1.1
Image credits to Apple

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