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Mar 11, 2016 - 10:13 AM - by dgstorm
If you are one of those frugal consumers who doesn't mind grabbing an older model smartphone when it's cheaper because the new models are distracting everyone, then this deal alert might be good for you. The online retailer B&H Photo has a sale going for the latest Google Nexus smartphones.
You can grab the Nexus 5X for $50 instant off, and/or you can get the Nexus 6P for $50 instant off plus another $50 Gift Card for a total $100 savings. Here are the links below to take advantage of this limited time offer:
Nexus 5X deals -
Nexus 6P deals -
Mar 08, 2016 - 12:41 PM - by dgstorm
Google's Project Fi is now available without an invite. To celebrate the new open availability, Google is also offering a very tempting discount for folks who sign up for the service and opt for the Google Nexus 5X smartphone to go with it.
Customers who sign up for the Project Fi service and purchase the Nexus 5X will get $150 off the regular price of the phone, bringing it down to a super-affordable $200 price. When you consider Google's Project Fi service could save individual plan holders a ton of money, this is a deal that might be too good to pass up. The offer is valid for only one discounted Nexus 5X per account, and officially ends on April 7, 2016 while supplies last.
For those who haven't heard the details about Project Fi, it is Google's own wireless cellular and data smartphone service. Project Fi is an MVNO which uses both T-Mobile and Sprint's networks in tandem for users to get the best signal strength. Additionally, the Project Fi compatible phones (the Nexus 6, Nexus 5X and Nexus 6P) have special radios that allow them to seamlessly switch between Wi-Fi and the cellular network for both data and phone calls. This means you are frequently using Wi-Fi for data instead of the usage of your data plan.
The pricing for Project Fi is very affordable when you compare it to individual data plans from the other big U.S. networks. It is only $25 per month for unlimited calling/texting and is just $10 per month for every 1GB of data. You only pay an additional $10 per 1GB of data beyond the first, and Google will actually pay you back for any unused data in your plan each month. The average user on Project Fi uses about 1.6GB of data, leading to a typical price of just $45 per month.
Here's a link for more info: Official Android Blog: From ?Hi? to Fi to ?Goodbye? to invites: 7 things we?ve learned about Project Fi
Mar 07, 2016 - 10:07 AM - by dgstorm
The software developers behind the AnTuTu benchmark decided to put all of the current (and newest) mobile CPUs to the test. Here's a quick breakdown of results.
Mobile Chipsets (early 2016) CPU scores:
- Qualcomm 820 — 136,383
- Apple A9 — 132,657
- Samsung Exynos 8890 — 129,865
- Kirin 950 — 92,746
- Samsung Exynos 7420 — 86,652
- Qualcomm 810 — 81,049
- Qualcomm 652 — 79,636
- Apple A8 — 79,100
- Qualcomm 650 — 78,979
- Qualcomm 808 — 68,508
The respective GPUs were also tested for these same chips. Here is that ranking.
Mobile Chipsets (early 2016) GPU scores:
- Qualcomm 820 — 55,098
- Apple A9 — 39,104
- Samsung Exynos 8890 — 37,545
- Qualcomm 810 — 29,189
- Samsung Exynos 7420 — 24,583
- Apple A8 — 22,466
- Qualcomm 805 — 20,777
- Kirin 950 — 18,082
- Qualcomm 808 — 17,487
- Qualcomm 652 — 17,365
At first glance it seems surprising that the Snapdragon 820 isn't that much faster than last year's Apple A9 chipset, but the biggest advancements in that chipset have come in energy and heat efficiency.
Feb 26, 2016 - 3:51 PM - by dgstorm
Media folks who made it out to Mobile World Congress this year have come back some hot intel gleaned from the showroom floor. We have several different rumors to report from various sources. We already reported on several of them, including stories like the OnePlus 3 release in June, no LG Nexus phones this year, Google's removal of the app drawer in Android N app, and more.
Here's the skinny on a couple more rumors from MWC:
- Windows 10 could be coming to several high-end Android smartphones like the Xiaomi Mi 5, the OnePlus 2 and the OnePlus 3.
- Vivo is making a smartphone called the Xplay 5 which will have 6GB of RAM, and could be significantly faster than most current smartphones.
Hmmm... color us intrigued!
Feb 26, 2016 - 9:56 AM - by dgstorm
Regular video bloggers on YouTube can probably attest to situations in which they have uploaded a video to YouTube without realizing they forgot to blur out someone or something that didn't consent to be filmed. It can be very frustrating having to re-edit the original video to blur out the person or logo, and then re-upload it. This is especially true if you didn't catch it very quickly and the video has been up getting hits for some time.
Luckily, Google understood the frustration and made something that rectifies this head-ache. They created a new tool that lets YouTube users blur out any part of a video even after it has already been uploaded. The blur effects can be added, removed, and resized at any time. The tool even has some safeguard measures in place, as viewers will not be able to turn off the effect. Well that's just handy! Why didn't they think of that sooner?
Source: YouTube Blog
Feb 25, 2016 - 4:17 PM - by dgstorm
LG will be taking a pass on making a Nexus device this year. According to a report from CNET, an LG executive confirmed at Mobile World Congress that "LG needs to focus on its own brand." Supposedly, LG is "totally happy" with the work it did on the previous Nexus phones as well as their relationship with Google. He further added that the G5 project requires a great deal of resources that will be better spent on its own phones.
This has not been confirmed by Google when reached for comment, and LG has yet to publicly confirm it either, yet we would not be surprised if it turns out to be true. The question remains, "Who will be making Nexus devices in 2016?"
Feb 25, 2016 - 12:07 PM - by dgstorm
Engineers in the United States have made the final breakthrough for technology called Passive Wi-Fi. It's set to drive the revolution of the IoT (Internet of Things) and replace Bluetooth eventually. Passive Wi-Fi can generate an 11Mbps Wi-Fi connection, and although that doesn't seem very impressive, it does it with 10,000 times less power than standard Wi-Fi connections.
Additionally, the latest successful tests for Passive Wi-Fi had a range of 100 feet (30 meters) and consumed 1,000 times less energy, but with up to 11 times faster speeds than existing low energy standards, like Bluetooth and Zigbee.
Here's a quote with a few more details,
"To achieve such low-power Wi-Fi transmissions, the team essentially decoupled the digital and analog operations involved in radio transmissions.
The Passive Wi-Fi architecture assigns the analog, power-intensive functions - like producing a signal at a specific frequency - to a single device in the network that is plugged into the wall.
An array of sensors produces Wi-Fi packets of information using very little power by simply reflecting and absorbing that signal using a digital switch."
Joshua Smith, associate professor of computer science and engineering had this to say about the breakthrough, "Now that we can achieve Wi-Fi for tens of microwatts of power and can do much better than both Bluetooth and ZigBee, you could now imagine using Wi-Fi for everything."
It's amazing the magical things the wizards of engineering can create! Check out the video in the thread below for a demo of the new Passive Wi-Fi tech.
Feb 24, 2016 - 3:52 PM - by dgstorm
The latest crazy concoction from those zany engineers over at Boston Dynamics (the Google owned robotics company), shows off the latest advancements in robot tech. The newest version of their Atlas project is a remarkably humanoid shaped robot that can walk on snow, move boxes, avoid getting pushed over, and pick itself back up when it is knocked down.
The video (shown in the thread below) is both funny, sad and a bit creepy. You can't help but laugh as the robot stumbles around in the snow, yet you feel a tiny bit sad when the tester keeps pushing the robot over. Overall, the advancement is just a bit creepy and might remind you of the robot from the cheesy 80's movie Saturn 3: Saturn 3 (1980) - IMDb.
Regardless, it's amazing how far the robotics engineers have come so quickly.
Feb 24, 2016 - 10:37 AM - by dgstorm
It looks like Facebook finally finalized their new expanded "Like" button. They call the new extra like functions "Reactions," and there are 6 of them. These include the standard "Like" as well as Love, Haha, Wow, Sad and Angry. These will obviously give users a wider range and variation on how they respond to Facebook posts.
It certainly took them a while to nail these down, especially when you consider that forums across the web have had this functionality for years. One could argue that Facebook is simply one gigantic social forum, so why couldn't Facebook have expanded this system sooner? Here's what Facebook themselves had to say about that,
"We understand that this is a big change, and want to be thoughtful about rolling this out. For more than a year we have been conducting global research including focus groups and surveys to determine what types of reactions people would want to use most. We also looked at how people are already commenting on posts and the top stickers and emoticons as signals for the types of reactions people are already using to determine which reactions to offer."
Regardless, at least the changes are coming soon. Facebook didn't reveal precisely when these changes would roll out, but we expect it to begin soon. For more info here's Facebook newsroom post: Reactions Now Available Globally | Facebook Newsroom
Feb 24, 2016 - 10:19 AM - by dgstorm
It looks like Verizon's steady march toward truly high speed wireless internet has take a few steps forward. They just announced their 5G field tests have completed successfully and they were able to achieve multi-gigabit speeds. The technology also allows for sub-millisecond latency because it uses a combination of advanced MIMO, beamforming and tracking technology.
Several different major companies participated in the testing including: Apple, Cisco, Ericsson, Intel, LG, Nokia, Samsung and Qualcomm. Verizon plans to move on this quickly and broad scale network testing will begin soon.
The next phase of testing the LTE-U network will commence in Raleigh, N.C. and Oklahoma City first. Adam Koeppe, the Verizon vice president who’s in charge of the testing efforts, said, “[W]e want to quickly make some key technical decisions and move rapidly to pre-commercial form factors and testing later this year." AT&T is working on field testing for their version of 5G very soon as well, while T-Mobile and Sprint are also working on their own solutions.
There is one negative for Verizon to move quickly on this new tech. The standards organization that codifies carrier wireless technology, (3GPP), has yet to solidify a standard for 5G speeds. This means that as the various U.S. carriers begin to rollout their competing 5G technologies, we could end up with a varied assortment of divergent technologies that will all be labeled "5G," yet do not conform to any standard. This is basically the same thing that happened with WiMAX and LTE technology during the ramp up to 4G from 3G.
Feb 23, 2016 - 3:23 PM - by dgstorm
According to the latest rumint, Google is getting ready to make a huge change in the way it displays advertisements on the Google.com search results page. The current method includes one or two ads at the top of the page, and several additional ads in the sidebar on the right. Supposedly, the new change will actually show 4 ads at the top and an even larger compliment of ads in the sidebar on the right. You can see an example of the final change in the screen-cap above.
The obvious effect this will have for some users is that they will have to scroll down farther to actually see their own search results. We can imagine this will not be a well received change, although advertisers will likely be happier about it. What do you folks think?
Feb 23, 2016 - 11:39 AM - by dgstorm
Here's an interesting rumor that is floating around right now. Supposedly, Google could be planning to remove the App Drawer with their Android N release. There is actually quite a bit of evidence mounting to suggest they are going this direction. First, several sources in the developer world have indicated that their pre-release builds of Android 7.0 does not have the app drawer.
On top of that, it looks like the LG G5 and the HTC One X9 do not include an app drawer. Also, the Galaxy S7 has a hidden option to remove it. This suggests the OEMs are gearing up for the big change ahead of time. For now, that's all the info which points to the rumor, but it seems pretty suggestive at the very least.
We will keep an eye on this and see if we can get any additional intel. In the mean time, please let us know what you would think if Google ditched the App Drawer in Android N. Why do you think Google would get rid of it?
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