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Mar 10, 2015 - 3:51 PM - by wicked
Former Google Inc. executive Michelle Lee is to head the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, a position that has been vacant for more than two years. President Obama was responsible for choosing Michelle Lee to head the patent office, having been recently approved by the Senate and was also confirmed on Monday.
Lee was head of patents and patent strategy from 2003 to 2012 at Google. She has been the acting director of the U.S. Patent Office since January of 2014. Lee officially joined the agency in 2012 as the first director of the Silicon Valley patent office headquarters.
Robert Stoll, a 29-year veteran of the agency and its commissioner of patents from 2009 to 2011, said Lee's main task will be to improve the quality of patents granted by the agency.
"Assuring better quality patents will help blunt the patent troll problem," said Stoll.
Mar 09, 2015 - 3:50 PM - by dgstorm
In an effort to preemptively attack Apple's press event for the Apple Watch, earlier this morning Google shared a new teaser for their Android Wear line of smartwatches. We have included it above. As usual, it uses Google's new Android catch-phrase, "be together. not the same."
It's short on meatiness and on time, clocking in at only 17 seconds, and including nothing but some dancing people. We aren't sure it really did much to over-shadow Apple's event, but it was probably a necessary marketing move.
Mar 09, 2015 - 11:03 AM - by dgstorm
The above snapshot is supposedly a Verizon rep confirming that the Big Red version of the Motorola Google Nexus 6 will be launching on March 12th and will hit retail shelves on the 19th. The exchange took place between a customer with a burning desire to use their Verizon upgrade on the Nexus 6, and a Verizon Rep named Beth M in a chat.
Obviously, there's no confirmation that this is legit at all, but the intel does match up with previous rumors, so it seems pretty solid. Sound off and let us know if the timing of this will be just right for your contract renewal, or if it's simply too little, too late for VZW on this device.
Mar 06, 2015 - 11:19 AM - by dgstorm
Sony wanted to show off how thin and light the new Xperia Z4 Android tablet is compared to the previous generation. They decided it would be fun to send their new tablet floating through the air with some helium filled balloons. They reiterate that their device is 6.1 millimeters thin, which is .3 millimeters thinner than the 6.4 millimeters of the previous generation. They also tout the tablets new svelte weight of only 389 grams, which is 50 grams lighter than the Z2 Tablet.
I'm not sure they thought this whole thing through all the way, because they could have also been inadvertently showing off how well this device handles being smashed to the ground from higher than anyone would likely drop it. Luckily everything turned out okay.
Mar 06, 2015 - 10:41 AM - by dgstorm
According to the latest intel from the Wall Street Journal, Google's initial rollout of their MVNO wireless carrier service might come with a drawback for a great deal of users. Supposedly, the first and ONLY device (at least initially) that will work on Google's carrier service will be the Nexus 6. Here's a quote from the WSJ with the details,
Hmmm... this seems like a pretty big limitation to start a carrier service. Of course, if you are already an owner of a Nexus 6, or you are a fan of the larger "phablet-style" smartphones, then this may not be a concern for you. It sounds like the technology will need to evolve to make future smartphones compatible with the service. What do you guys think?
The service, designed to switch among Wi-Fi and cellular networks, will initially be available only on the latest Nexus 6 smartphone designed by Google and made by Motorola Mobility, a former Google unit now owned by China’s Lenovo Group Ltd., two people familiar with the matter said. One of the people said the service won’t work with older Nexus devices, such as LG Electronics Inc. ’s Nexus 5.
Mar 04, 2015 - 4:34 PM - by dgstorm
Here's something that is slightly Off Topic, but still tech related...
According to sources in the know, we have a few more details regarding the teased HBO streaming movie service confirmed previously. The new service will reportedly be called HBO Now and will use new technology to make sure that people don't experience hiccups and outages while binge watching Game of Thrones.
Speaking of Game of Thrones, the source also confirmed that HBO plans to launch the service at the same time that the new Game of Thrones season 5 hits. This simply confirms previous intel on the subject. Another confirmation of previous rumors suggests the stand-alone (no cable required) service will be $15 dollars per month.
The only other new thing to report is that Apple is supposedly heavily courting HBO to work out a deal where they can offer the HBO Now service on the Apple TV. Supposedly, HBO is keen on the idea, but they also want to offer the service on as many other TV boxes as possible including: Roku, Xbox, Amazon and PlayStation.
Ohhhh... so many ways to fire up Game of Thrones for a weekend!!! April 12th cannot come fast enough!
Mar 03, 2015 - 11:11 AM - by dgstorm
Lenovo Tab 2 A10 shown above.
We have a couple of new Android tablets to share with you guys today from Mobile World Congress 2015. These were actually revealed a couple of days ago at the event in Barcelona, Spain, but we didn't get a chance to get to them until today. Lenovo revealed two products for us. Here are some press renders above and below, as well as their spec-lists along with release dates and pricing info.
Lenovo Tab 2 A8 shown above.
Lenovo Tab 2 A10 - available in April - Wifi models will start at $199 and LTE models at $279.
- 10.1-inch Full HD IPS LCD display with 1920×1200 resolution
- Wifi model: 1.5GHz quad core 64-bit MediaTek MT8165 processor, LTE model: 1.5GHz quad core 64-bit MediaTek MT8732 processor
- 2GB of RAM
- 16GB of internal storage, MicroSD expansion up to 32GB
- 171 x 247 x 8.9mm, 509g
- 8MP rear-facing camera
- 5MP front-facing camera
- Non-removable 7200mAh battery
- Android 4.4 KitKat (Lollipop update coming in June)
- Dolby ATMOS 3D Surrond Sound
- Available in Pearl White and Midnight Blue
Lenovo Tab 2 A8 - available in June - Wifi models will start at $129 and LTE models at $179.
- 8-inch IPS LCD display with 1280×800 resolution
- Wifi model: 1.3GHz quad core MediaTek MT8161 processor, LTE model: 1.3GHz quad core MediaTek MT8735 processor
- 1GB of RAM
- 8GB of internal storage (Ebony model only), 16GB of internal storage (Midnight Blue, Pearl White and Neon Pink models), both with MicroSD expansion up to 32GB
- 125 x 210 x 8.9mm, 360g
- 5MP rear-facing camera
- 2MP front-facing camera
- Non-removable 4200mAh battery
- Android 5.0 Lollipop
- Dolby ATMOS 3D Surrond Sound
- Available in Pearl White, Ebony, Midnight Blue and Neon Pink
Mar 02, 2015 - 4:36 PM - by dgstorm
We've had a drought of Android tablet news for the past several months. Today we have a slight trickle that probably won't prove to be more than that, but is a welcome respite despite. Sony announced their Xperia Z4 Android tablet at Mobile World Congress 2015. The device is slim and sexy and holds a surprising amount of power and features. Here's a breakdown:
- 6.1mm thin & weighs up to 393g (the LTE version)
- 10.1-inch display with 2K resolution
- Octa-core 64-bit 2GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 processor
- Includes PS4 Remote Play support that lets you continue your gaming sessions on mobile devices
- 32GB of storage
- A microSD support
- 8.1-megapixel camera rear
- 5.1-megapixel front-facing camera
- 6,000 mAh battery - includes “industry leading battery life” for 17 hours of battery life on a single charge
- Android 5.0 Lollipop
- Special BKB50 Bluetooth Keyboard accessory
- Xperia Lounge Gold preloaded out of the box - offers quick access to movies, TV shows, music and new apps
- Crafted “with premium stainless steel metal corners and mineral glass”
- Waterproof and dust-proof (IP68 certification) - so you can take it with you to the tub or pool
Sadly, pricing has not been revealed yet, nor has a retail launch date. We will keep you informed.
Feb 27, 2015 - 11:32 AM - by dgstorm
NVIDIA just rolled out a quick hotfix update for their Shield Tablet. Apparently there was a color reproduction issue with the display that was introduced by last week's 2.2 update. This hotfix is 2.2.1.
Here's the official changelog from NVIDIA:
- Display color-space correction
- Improvements to Netflix experience
Hmmm... color reproduction issue? Is that anything like that silly gold & white/blue & black dress optical illusion which is running rampant across the web?
Feb 26, 2015 - 1:41 PM - by dgstorm
We knew it would be coming soon. The FCC had their final meeting regarding the Net Neutrality debate. As the FCC Director Tom Wheeler shared in his proposal, the FCC will now classify the Internet under the Title II classification. This basically categorizes the Internet like a utility and allows the FCC to keep ISPs from blocking or slowing down traffic on wired and wireless networks. It also bans ISPs from charging content providers differently for any type of paid priority "fast lanes," even in the case of network congestion.
This classification will be applied to both wired and wireless broadband networks to prevent ISPs from favoring bits of data over each other. Here's a quote with a few more details regarding the resulting furor over the official announcement,
These new rules will be published in the Federal Register within the next few weeks.
But the FCC's move to apply Title II to broadband has been viewed by cable operators, wireless providers and phone companies as a "nuclear option," with potentially devastating fallout from unintended consequences.
These companies argue that applying outdated regulation to the broadband industry will stifle innovation by hurting investment opportunities in networks. It could also allow the government to impose new taxes and tariffs, which would increase consumer bills. And they say it could even allow the government to force network operators to share their infrastructure with competitors.
Wheeler has said these fears are overblown. The agency is ignoring aspects of the Title II regulation that would apply most of the onerous requirements.
He said critics have painted his proposal as "a secret plan to regulate the Internet."
His response to that? "Nonsense. This is no more a plan to regulate the Internet than the First Amendment is a plan to regulate free speech. They both stand for the same concept: openness." ~ CNET
Feb 26, 2015 - 10:27 AM - by dgstorm
Here is some shocking news this morning. It turns out the rumors about the LG Watch Urbane LTE version were true. The device will not be using Android Wear, but will instead be using a variant of WebOS. To be clear, the non-LTE version of the LG Watch Urbane still uses Android Wear. The WebOS will only be used on the LTE version for now. Also, LG is calling it their "LG Wearable Platform," even though it is basically built from WebOS.
Of course, the handy thing about WebOS on an LTE watch is that it shouldn't even need to be paired with an Android phone. It will even be able to make and receive calls and texts on its own, and includes push-to-talk support.
This LG phone/watch will also have beefy specs compared to its competition. Here's a breakdown:
- 1.3 plastic-organic-light-emitting diode circular display, which has an always-on "ambient mode."
- 1.2GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 processor
- 4 GB of Storage
- 700 mAh battery (very nice for a smartwatch)
- LTE Radio
- NFC-enabled for mobile wallet use
On top of these internal specs, the LG Watch Urbane LTE will have three physical buttons on the right side of the smartphone. The top most button will access your settings. The center button is designed to switch between the watch and mobile apps. The lower button is basically a back function, and you can hold the back button down "to send out a safety beacon to a preset emergency contact."
There is one caveat to this awesome "James Bond" style superwatch... it only comes in the silver color for now, whereas the non-LTE version comes in bronze/gold or silver.
It's interesting to see what LG is doing with their acquisition of the Palm WebOS from HP back in 2013. It looks like they are following Samsung's lead with Tizen. I suspect that WebOS will get a bit more traction than Tizen (at least with the tech-head/nerd crowd).
Are you drooling yet @UltraDroid? ...me too!
Feb 25, 2015 - 3:33 PM - by dgstorm
We haven't had any tablet news in quite some time, but that famine has broken. The Sony Xperia Z4 Android tablet had an image and a few details leaked ahead of its reveal at Mobile World Congress next month. The above image shows an ultra-thin tablet, which is not surprising coming from Sony.
The leaked intel also offered up a few vague details, including a 10-inch 2K display, “the latest ultra fast processor,” and “industry leading battery performance.” This leak may hint at the launch date as well, because it shows a March 3rd, which coincides with Sony's upcoming press event.
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