Tuesday, July 27, 2010

First HTC Windows Phone 7 info and pictures leaked

Leaked images and information about HTC's first Windows Phone 7 mobile has surfaced, revealing that the new handset won't be utilising HTC's well-received Sense UI overlay.

Details for the new model posted on Engadget show that it sports a 3.7-inch SLCD touchscreen, which it recently announced would be making its way onto the HTC Desire, and a 1GHz Snapdragon processor, very similar to the Desire, so this is clearly HTC's Windows Phone equivalent to the highly-successful Android model.

It features an 8 megapixel camera and comes with three touch-sensitive buttons at the bottom: Back, Search, and Windows Home. Considering some complaints about these buttons not being very receptive on the Nexus One, this may have been a bad choice.

Other features which have not been confirmed, but which should come as standard as per Microsoft's requirements for devices running its latest operating system, include 256MB RAM, which may be double that to come closer to the Desire's offering, and 4GB of built-in storage. Wi-Fi, GPS and an accelerometer should also be included.

The phone, which has not been named, will run Windows Phone 7, Microsoft's latest offering into the growing world of smartphone operating systems. Surprisingly, however, there won't be HTC's Sense UI overlay to differentiate the user experience from other Windows Phone 7 mobiles.

Sense creates a more intuitive and user-friendly skin for the operating system of a phone, bringing it closer to the successful UI implemented on the iPhone

Without this users will have the bare knuckles Windows Phone 7 experience, but this seems to be an intentional design by Microsoft which wants "firmer control" of how people use their phones, an effort that mimics the approach taken by Apple with its own devices.

That said, HTC is promising that while it will not be able to offer a full Sense skin, it may be able to alter things slightly to provide some additional features to its phones that sport Windows Phone 7.



Source: http://www.techeye.net/mobile/first-htc-windows-phone-7-info-and-pictures-leaked

Friday, July 23, 2010

India announces low cost tablet PC

A low cost tablet PC has been announced in India.

The tablet, which was unveiled by the Union Minister for Human Resource Development, Shri Kapil Sibal, will cost around $35. However, this price is said to gradually drop to $20 and possibly $10 in the future if companies invest in further development in quality and lower cost features.

Companies expected to do this are IIT Rajasthan and technical institutions, and it is hoped that these tablets could eventually be used to give connectivity to all colleges and universities.

Before this can be done the Indian government must find a manufacturer for the Linux based tablet, which offers features including word processing, web browsing and video-conferencing.

There is also a solar power feature and it is supported by a two-watt backup source for places where power supply may be poor. There is also 2-gigabyte memory but no hard disk.

"This is our answer to MIT's $100 computer," Kapil Sibal told the Hindu when he showed off the device yesterday.  

According to the paper the concept device was started by the ministry last year after it had spoken to a range of professors, experts at IISC, and institutions such as IIT Kanpur, IIT Kharagpur, IIT Madras and IIT Bombay.

Students studying B.Tech and M. courses at Indian universities were asked to produce the motherboard for the device but were told to allow for flexibility to change components. One motherboard design was generated under the Ministry's guidance in the B.Tech project of a student at VIT, Vellore. At the time the material costs came to $47. However, this was amended and bought into a cheaper price bracket later on.  

This isn't the first time India's human resource development ministry has got excited by a low cost laptop. Last year it announced a $10 laptop, which caused disappointment when it was found that the "laptop" was merely a handheld device, with an unspecified price tag, that never materialised.

Source: http://www.techeye.net/hardware/india-announces-low-cost-tablet-pc

Google ramps up Chrome browser updates

Google has ramped up the number of browser updates it will be making on Chrome.  

The company has now said it will be issuing a new version of the browser about every six weeks, which according to Anthony Laforge, a Chrome program manager, will put a a new "stable" version of the browser in users' hands roughly twice as often as in the past.

The company said it had a few more hopes in mind for Chrome, which included giving users new features at a faster rate, and releasing updates within a more structured schedule.  

It also said that the new updates would take the pressure off programmers who will no longer have to rush a feature as they'll know when the new updates are coming.

Laforge said in a blog post: "With the new schedule, if a given feature is not complete, it will simply ride on the next release train when it's ready.

"Since those trains come quickly and regularly there is less stress.

"Over the next few months, we are going to be rolling out a new release process to accelerate the pace at which Google Chrome stable releases become available. Running under ideal conditions, we will be looking to release a new stable version about once every six weeks, roughly twice as often as we do today," he added.

Source: http://www.techeye.net/internet/google-ramps-up-chrome-browser-updates

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

$20 ebook reader revealed

An outfit which wants to bring e-readers to the poor has built one for just $20.

The Humane Reader, which can be seen here, is designed to provide low-cost computing solutions to places without Internet access.  

It basically stores the books so they can be read on a TV screen.The beast is made using eight bit technology to keep costs down, and instead of a monitor, it just needs a TV with a composite input to display information. 

It has a 2GB SD card,  and it has a USB and a PS/2 port.  You will still need to get your paws on a keyboard too.Still if people buy it, they will get access to 500 books which could solve many problems about the distribution of information.

The outfit said that televisions are far more common in the developing countries than computers or internet connections. 

The Humane Reader has been developed from the ground up with cost in mind. The basic unit can be produced for less than $20 in mass quantities.

Thus for less than the cost of a single textbook the Reader can provide the equivalent of a five thousand book library. Wikipedia is the first content provided for use with the Humane Reader.

 A single memory card can hold most if not all of Wikipedia text in a variety of languages. The device provides search capabilities, and can be connected to an optional keyboard for more fluid text input.

 It is not an iPad or Kindle killer but you have to admire anyone who can build anything more than a pizza for less than $20.

Source: http://www.techeye.net/hardware/20-ebook-reader-revealed

Intel releases new price lists

Intel has released its new price list yesterday and there are 11 new products or price drops included.

The list, which was found by Hexus , said that there are the new top-end CPUs for the Core i7 and Core i5 families.  The Core i7-870 has seen its price halved.

There's also a new low-power version of the 870 - the 870S.

The Atom family is breeding like American trailer trash. There are a couple of additions to the Atom targeted at small form-factor desktops.  

This is the category that Intel insists on calling "nettops" which sounds to us like something a stripper would wear.

What is interesting in this price list is that it should give AMD, with its coming launch of its 'fusion', a reason to be happy.

It looks like Intel is not really that interested in stopping AMD getting its elbows into the mobile computing space with a serious price war.

However it looks like Intel may be looking to consolidate its position in the desktop market which is something that AMD may not be too happy about.


Source: http://www.techeye.net/chips/intel-releases-new-price-lists

Monday, July 19, 2010

Sharp announces 100GB Blu-ray BDXL disc

Sharp has announcedBlu-ray disc that meets BDXL specifications and can store up to 100GB of data.

The disc, called VR-100BR1, is a triple-layer single-write Blu-ray disc which conforms with the BDXL format specifications defined by the Blu-ray Disc Association for high-capacity Blu-ray discs.

Current Blu-ray discs can store up to 50GB of data, so this latest product from Sharp doubles current capacity to allow recording of up to 12 hours of terrestrial digital TV.

The new discs also include a "hard coat" protective coating, which helps protect from scratches, dirt and fingerprints, which may damage the disc and lead to errors.

Other companies have been working on developing 100GB Blu-ray discs for some time, with Sony even developing an eight-layer 200GB disc, but none of them have managed to actually get them into production. Now that Sharp has started the ball rolling, however, we hope to see others joining in.

Sharp has not revealed pricing, but rumours suggest a hefty price tag of $60 (£40) which could drop as other companies develop the technology and help drive prices down.

The new discs will be in available in Japan from July 30 with an international release date yet to be decided.


Source: http://www.techeye.net/hardware/sharp-announces-100gb-blu-ray-bdxl-disc

Saturday, July 17, 2010

AMD brings Ontario Fusion forward, delays Llano

AMD has brought forward the launch of its Fusion offering codenamed Ontario and at the same time has delayed its Llano Fusion chip. Llano is delayed because of 32 nanometre yield problems. Llano is being built by GloFo (GlobalFoundries) on a 32 nanometre process while Ontario will be built by TSMC on a 40 nanometre process.

Dirk Meyer, CEO of AMD, speaking at an analyst conference call, said that Ontario, an APU which includes the Bobcat CPU core, said "Ontario will be a game changer". He said that AMD expected Ontario to be the first Fusion product to come to market, will ship in the fourth quarter of this year, ahead of schedule.

But AMD is delaying its Llano Fusion offering - that's because of insufficient yields on 32 nanometres. Llano, Meyer said, will be pushed back a couple of months but shipments will happen in the first half of 2011.

He said that AMD had switched its efforts to Ontario with its timeline "changing quite dramatically"

AMD, said Meyer, has three different Fusion designs in four packages for notebooks and desktops. Ontario is targeted at low cost, low power netbook and small form factor category. There will be two designs under the Llano codename.  Ontario will ship for revenues in the fourth quarter.

There's still robust demand for enterprise servers, said Meyer. But Magny Cours only became available in June. On the client PC side, that's AMD's lowest priority, said Meyer.

Meyer said demand for GPU offerings in the quarter were very strong, but were constrained by supplies. He said that in the second half of the year, demand will remain healthy and AMD expects GPU constraints to ease.

He said that AMD expected to see server products start to deliver serious revenues in the third quarter.

AMD, he said, had more than tripled the number of Vision branded products. He claimed that Vision was the most successful launch in AMD's history with 130 design wins across multiple prices.

He said that the Bulldozer core will sample second half of this year on track for launch next year.

Source: http://www.techeye.net/chips/amd-brings-ontario-fusion-forward-delays-llano

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Vole plugs hole while pulling the plug on Windows XP SP2

Microsoft is contradicting itself today by ending support for Windows XP SP2 while also plugging a hole in XP that saw over 10,000 computers attacked.

In efforts to get people to upgrade to SP3 or, more preferably for Microsoft, Windows 7, the software giant is ending support for XP SP2 users, which amounts for nearly half of the PCs in most organisations according to a recent survey by Softchoice.

This will leave a substantial number of computers exposed to attack. Microsoft is simultaneously fixing the vulnerability in XP which a Google employee discovered, saving potentially thousands of computers from attack. Is it just us or are these two things a little antithetical?

Microsoft has confirmed that it will continue to support SP3 until April 2014, but with such a large volume of people still on SP2, and with such gaping holes found recently in XP overall, is it really helping to ensure its older operating system is secure?

Today's patch will see the CVE-2010-1885 Windowx XP vulnerability mended, along with another in 64-bit versions of Windows 7, and two holes in Office. It will be the last patch XP SP2 users will see, which means any further vulnerabilities and exploits will not be addressed by Microsoft, making that version of XP very risky to use.

In fact, it effectively completely disables the security update feature for SP2 users, meaning that other software, such as Internet Explorer and Windows Media Player will also not receive any updates - even when critical patches are available for the same software on SP3, Vista, or Windows 7. And should a certain Google employee find another flaw in XP, SP2 users will not receive a fix for it.

Microsoft is obviously urging users to upgrade to SP3, but when SP3 originally launched in May 2008 it caused more problems for people than it solved. Numerous reports revealed complete computer crashes or looping reboots, while others had problems getting their web browsers and other software to work. It caused such an uproar that many users decided it was a much safer bet to simply not upgrade. 

Two years on and it seems that the bad taste from the original SP3 launch is still very tangible, but wary XP users will need to upgrade now or risk a volley of attacks aimed at the unsupported service pack.

Source: http://www.techeye.net/security/vole-plugs-hole-while-pulling-the-plug-on-windows-xp-sp2

Top nine things you will be able to do with Windows 8

The strokers of beards and people who keep their ears to the ground have been working out what will be under the bonnet of the next Windows operating system. Many of these thoughts are based on what Microsoft kindly shared with its chum HP and OEM partners.

Obviously it is early days yet but there are some pointers. Be aware that some of these will not work, or will be dropped at the last minute.

1. Log in to your PC with your face
Who needs passwords when you computer can just look at your face and decide that you can look at your own files? Of course making a computer look at your face every morning might make it decide that it does not like the look of you. If you have a tragic disfigurement you might also not be able to get into your PC which would be a bummer.

2. Windows 8 will follow you across devices. To do this Windows 8 would have to be on a cloud. If you connect to other gear it does not really matter where you are. It does solve the problem of multiple licences.

3. Touch screens. This is practically with us anyway. However, Redmond wants to make the OS aware of the light so that you can actually see the screen when in the sunshine. The iPad is like a vampire. It can only be seen at night.

4. Watch HD movies on your wireless TV. Well not entirely wireless, you still have to plug it into the mains. But the idea is that Windows 8 will let you stream anything from the computer to the fridge onto your telly screen.

5. Download apps from the Windows App Store. Haven't we seen this somewhere? It is clear that Microsoft is copying Jobs' Mob.

6. Resetting things without having to wipe your data. If a virus takes out the OS then you have to do a re-install. After so many years Microsoft has never worked out a way around this that did not involve wiping your hard-drive. Windows 8 will, apparently, manage it.

7. Faster start up times. A March 2010 Windows Planning Survey polled 545 customers about 21 user activities, and found that starting the computer tops the list when it comes to "highest importance/lowest satisfaction in terms of speed and performance." On average, Windows 7 takes 27 seconds to boot up. Vista was 40 seconds, although it felt a lot longer. Windows 8 will probably be about 15 seconds with the wind behind it. Although this might be done by using a "new off state combining the best of hibernate with a boot/shutdown look and feel."

8. Better resource control for those who know what they are doing. There are shedloads of things in Windows 7 which require you to read the manual to find out what they do. Microsoft wants these functions to be easier to find. It should also be easier to kill off software which will not go away.

9. Er, that's it. 

Source: http://www.techeye.net/software/top-nine-things-you-will-be-able-to-do-with-windows-8

Monday, July 12, 2010

iPhone too insecure for a life of crime

If you are on the wrong side of the law you should not use an iPhone because being an Apple fanboy is going to get you locked up.

While Jobs' Mob's closed garden of delights might appeal to the more intellectually challenged crim, your average mastermind should not allow one in his island volcano powered retreat.

Apparently coppers are using information gathered by the Jobs Mob to track criminals.

Coppers have had to rely on locating a crim's position via conventional mobile phone towers, but iPhones offer far more information.

The phones are also dead easy to hack, er, retrieve personal data from. This is because the geniuses in Apple decided that every cough and spit of a users life should be recorded somewhere on the phone.

Jonathan Zdziarski,who now teaches US police how to retrieve data from mobile phones, told AP that the iPhone organises people's lives and, if you're doing something criminal, something about it is going to go through that phone.

Zdziarski said security had been neglected on the iPhone which made it wide open for anyone in comparison to the more secure BlackBerry.

Coppers could target the iPhone's keyboard logging cache, which was designed to correct spelling but means that an expert could retrieve anything typed on the keyboard over the past three to 12 months.

Every time an iPhone's internal mapping system is closed down, the device snaps a screenshot of the phone's last position and stores it.

Armed with several hundred such images from the iPhone and to establish its user's whereabouts.
iPhone snaps include so-called geotags so that, if posted online, they indicate precisely where a picture was taken and the serial number of the phone that took it.

While it is impossible to feel sympathy for a criminal iPhone user, the ease at which the coppers can get the gear to grass up their owners should scare the willies out of companies who plan to use them for business.

Source: http://www.techeye.net/mobile/iphone-too-insecure-for-a-life-of-crime

Friday, July 9, 2010

London's TechHub launches today

TechHub is launching officially today, a project that will aim to bring all of the movers and shakers on the London technology scene together and have a central UK unit for startups to come along to in the South of England.

It's got heavyweights behind it already: partners include publishing company Pearson and venture capital legal advisory Orrick. Aaaand, the biggest gun of them all has just announced it's throwing its weight behind TechHub - Google's getting involved. Although we heard from a source in the know that this could, possibly, be an agreement to provide the coffee.

Mike Butcher, editor of TechCrunch Europe, is lending his support too. And why not? TechCrunch Europe has been backing start-ups from the beginning as well as putting on great events and TechHub aims to provide both affordable office space and a community to the scene. 

TechEye will be there tonight at the launch party, weighed down with a camera and probably dressed provocatively. We're looking forward to meeting everyone who's going to be involved from the beginning and wish it every bit of luck down the line.

It's located just off Old Street tube station on the city road, a quick walk from Liverpool Street and an even quicker walk to the pubs and bars of Whoreditch, er, Shoreditch just down the road. We're wondering if the rest of the technology scene is into mid-day Hoxton Square boozey picnics as much as we are.

While today's launch day, it'll be opening for business on Monday 12th July at:


Ground Floor

76-80 City Rd



Source: http://www.techeye.net/business/londons-techhub-launches-today

Thursday, July 8, 2010

AMD-ATI releases a cheap chip that games

AMD is about to release a new version of its cheap as chips ATI Radeon HD 5570.

The chip hit the shops for $79 earlier this year and stopped many people in their tracks. This was mostly because it actually had the ability to play games if you were prepared to make some compromises on resolution and detail.

The card managed a decent performance at lower and middle resolutions to basically meet sufficiently modest expectations.

Now it appears that AMD thinks there is more cash to be made from this market and is increasing the spec.

It's provisioned a new version of the 5570 that will have the same price, and same spec but will come with a 1GB of GDDR5 RAM instead of the original DDR3.

While it will still not be super powerful it can handle DirectX 11  and AMD's multimonitor Eyefinity technology for up to three displays.  Nothing from Nvidia can manage that for the price.

Extreme Tech have got their paws on one of the prototypes and claim that sometimes the GDDR5 card's gains are quite dramatic.  The performance gains were obvious in every title the reviewer tested it on if you want to play at 1280 by 1024 resolution.

Source: http://www.techeye.net/chips/amd-ati-releases-a-cheap-chip-that-games