Friday, May 15, 2015

Lg returning to windows OS

Three years after swearing off Windows Phone, LG is back with a budget handset for Verizon Wireless.
The LG Lancet has a 4.5-inch display with 854-by-480 resolution, a Qualcomm Snapdragon 410 processor, 8 GB of storage (with MicroSD expansion), an 8-megapixel rear camera, a VGA front camera, and a 2,100 mAh battery.

Those specs put the Lancet squarely on the low end of the smartphone spectrum, but it has a price to match. Verizon is charging just $120 for the phone without a contract, or you can get it with a two-year commitment for $20.
For software, the Lancet runs Windows Phone 8.1, but LG is also borrowing some features from its Android phones. For instance, users can wake or lock the phone by double-tapping on the display, and can snap a selfie with a hand gesture. A Quick Memo application lets users take notes or capture the screen during phone calls.

The Lancet is available now through Verizon’s website. If you’re looking for a new high-end Windows Phone, it’s not going to happen until Windows 10 arrives this summer.

The story behind the story: LG was one of the first Windows Phone manufacturers in 2010, but a few years ago the company publicly declared that it would stop supporting Microsoft’s platform, citing a lack of meaningful market share. While Windows Phone is still far behind iOS and Android, Microsoft’s hardware reference design and support for on-screen buttons now makes it easier for phone makers to turn their existing Android handsets into Windows Phone variants. That seems to be the case here, as the Lancet is very similar to one of LG’s recent low-end Android phones, the Leon.

source: pc world

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Apple's HomeKit accessories to hit stores next month

The first batch of home automation accessories, such as thermostats and garage door openers, compatible with Apple's software platform will go on sale in June, the tech company said Thursday.
HomeKit is a set of tools in Apple's iOS 8 software designed to work with smart home devices. The company announced the home automation platform at its conference for developers last year, but devices compatible with the software have yet to appear in stores.

"HomeKit has been available for just a few months and we already have dozens of partners who have committed to bringing HomeKit accessories to market and we're looking forward to the first ones coming next month," Apple spokeswoman Trudy Muller said in a statement.

Apple did not specify where the accessories would be sold.

Apple's statement followed a report from Fortune that the first HomeKit-enabled devices would not be available until August or September.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Lily isn’t just a quadcopter, it’s an autonomous personal cameraman in the sky

Looking at the new Lily Camera, you’ll spot an immediate resemblance to various consumer quadcopter drones that are already available. But its creator, Antoine Balaresque, purposely avoids calling it a quadcopter or a drone, because those terms, he says, are used to describe something that requires an operator to control and meant to be dispatched far away. Lily, however, is the world’s first autonomous, smart “flying camera” that doesn’t rely on any human intervention, as it uses computer vision technology and GPS to track its user.

“We designed it as a camera, and never thought of it as a drone or quadcopter,” Balaresque says. “Think of it as your own personal cameraman.”

And it’s that idea of a “personal cameraman” that initiated the creation for this robot. After reviewing photos from a vacation he took with his family, Balaresque noticed that his mother was missing from many of them, as she was behind the camera. What if he could create a flying camera that would hover around them, capturing photos and videos at the same time?
It sounds like science fiction, but that’s what he and cofounder Henry Bradlow did. Using their computer science background from the University of California, Berkeley, as well as their experience in the U.C. Berkley Robotics Laboratory and participation in “hackathon” events, the two created Lily, a five-man robotics company based in Menlo Park, California. The Lily Camera, a project that started two years ago, will be its first flagship product.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

The M² Tablet Is An Entry Level And Affordable Android Tablet For $79

The M² tablet is the first product from a new technology company, Mastermind Hardware and Logistics was founded in late 2014. The companies first product will be up for pre-order starting tomorrow, May 12th from their online store. The M² tablet is being billed as a “feature full budget” device, in fact it is quite affordable at only $79. The M² tablet is running Android and does come equipped with Google features.

In terms of hardware and specifications, it is important to keep in mind that this is a budget centric device that still has some solid features. The M² features a 7-inch IPS display with a 1028 X 600 resolution and it is powered by a 1.3GHz processor with 1GB of RAM. It is running Android 4.4 KitKat out of the box, and they have not announced if it will get the upgrade to 5.0 Lollipop. The reason behind this is due to the drivers for the processor, it will be interesting to see if it gets an upgrade. Out of the box you should have around 8GB of internal storage which can be expanded via a micro SD card slot. There is a 4.9 megapixel camera on the back, along with a 1.9 megapixel shooter on the front. In terms of connectivity, the M² features WiFi, Bluetooth, an FM Receiver, GPS, and Dual-Sim 2G and 3G WCDMA connectivity.

The M² tablet seems to have some solid specifications and comes in at a relatively low-cost. The device will be available for pre-order starting tomorrow, May 12th 2015. Interestingly enough, Mastermind Hardware and Logistics is avoiding an invite only purchasing system, in that if you choose to pre-order you won’t be charged until the production begins on the tablets. They will be deciding on inventory, based off of how many pre-orders they receive. They are saying that production will begin on May 20th, and they have estimated that around 20 days later they should begin shipping units to customers.

source :Nj tech

Friday, May 8, 2015

Android and iOS apps on Windows: What is Microsoft doing—and will it work?

At its Build developer conference last week, Microsoft made a pair of announcements about Windows development that were more than a little surprising: Windows will support applications developed for iOS and Android.

Neither OS/2 nor BlackBerry 10 has made a success of this capability. There are two major problems with supporting foreign applications on a niche platform. The first is straightforward: it removes any incentive for developers to bother with the native platform. Investing in developing for a minor platform is already something of a gamble, and by telling developers "Oh hey, you can just use your existing Win16 or Android program..." as IBM and BlackBerry (respectively) did, you're implicitly sending them a message. "Don't bother learning our platform or writing native apps for it."

It turned out as expected for both platforms. While a few true OS/2 applications were created—and similarly there are some true BlackBerry 10 apps—they're relatively unusual. After all, what's the point? If IBM is going to boast about just how well OS/2 will run Win16 apps and those Win16 apps can be sold both to OS/2 users and to Windows 3.1 users, why would a developer write anything other than a Win16 app?

This capability cedes a lot of control. By being dependent on apps developed for a third-party platform, you give the owner of that third-party platform the power to choose how to evolve its APIs and add new features. This bit OS/2 hard: while IBM was busy promoting how well OS/2 could run 16-bit Windows applications, Microsoft was busy encouraging developers to create new 32-bit Windows applications and end-users to buy the 32-bit capable Windows 95. This new world of 32-bit software wouldn't run on OS/2, and so the big OS/2 feature that IBM heavily marketed was rendered semi-useless. OS/2 found some niche success, but it was ultimately a failure.

source: arstechnica

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Nintendo games on smartphones.

Nintendo's first smartphone game is due out by the end of this year, and more are soon to follow. In a meeting with investors following the release of the company's 2014 earnings, CEO and president Satoru Iwata (above) said that approximately five mobile titles will be released by March 2017.

"You may think it is a small number," said Iwata, "but when we aim to make each title a hit, and because we want to thoroughly operate every one of them for a significant amount of time after their releases, this is not a small number at all and should demonstrate our serious commitment to the smart device business."

Iwata reiterated that Nintendo will take a cautious approach to the mobile market, and won't port existing titles to phones. "Even with highly popular IP, the odds of success are quite low if consumers cannot appreciate the quality of a game," he said. "Also, if we were simply to port software that already has a track record on a dedicated game system, it would not match the play styles of smart devices, and the appropriate business models are different between the two, so we would not anticipate a great result."

Nintendo will continue to produce its own gaming machines into the future; an upcoming console codenamed NX is currently in development. The company hopes that producing games on smartphones will familiarize customers with Nintendo's IP and eventually drive them to "explore more premium experiences on our dedicated game systems," as Iwata puts it. Together with partner DeNA, Nintendo is creating a cross-platform membership service that will work on mobile devices and its own consoles.

source: the verge

NASA will award you $5,000 for your finest Mars city idea

NASA this week said it would look to the public for cool ideas on how to build a sustainable environment on Mars with the best plan earning as much as $5,000.

With the Journey to Mars Challenge, NASA wants applicants to describe one or more Mars surface systems or capabilities and operations that are needed to set up and establish a technically achievable, economically sustainable human living space on the red planet. Think air, water, food, communications systems and the like.

NASA said submissions “may consist of proposed approaches, capabilities, systems or a set of integrated systems that enable or enhance a sustained human presence on Mars. Solutions should include the assumptions, analysis, and data that justify their value. Submissions should include a process to develop, test, implement, and operate the system or capability. Submissions will be judged on relevance, creativity, simplicity, resource efficiency, feasibility, comprehensiveness and scalability.”

Given spacecraft limitations on weight and volume -- and a minimum 500 days between resupply opportunities -- innovative solutions are required for a mission to Mars that is not dependent on Earth for resources.\ NASA said it expects to make up to three awards at a minimum of $5,000 each from a total award pool of $15,000.

NASA is working on numerous systems to support a Mars mission. This includes Solar Electric Propulsion, the rocket expected to launch the mission – the Space Launch System and a number of current and existing robotic landers such as the Curiosity rover. Much more planning and money of course will be needed if NASA is to get humans to Mars sometime in the 2030s.

source: networkworld