Feb 27, 2015 - 12:32 PM - 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 - 2:41 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These companies argue that applying outdated regulation to the broadband industry will stifle innovation by hurting investment opportunities in networks.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 - 11:27 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 - 4:33 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.
Feb 24, 2015 - 5:18 PM - by dgstorm
Here's an interesting turn of events. Apparently, Google has purchased some technology and intellectual property rights from Softcard. In case you forgot, Softcard is the mobile payment system formerly known as Isis which was spear-headed by Verizon. Google has also worked out some agreements with Verizon, AT&T and T-Mobile to include Google Wallet functionality automatically on future Android smartphones.
Ironically, one could argue that Softcard is one of the reasons why Google Wallet never took off. It was Google Wallet's primary competitor, and was the main NFC-based mobile payment service which was backed by Verizon, AT&T and T-Mobile. It never really saw wide-spread adoption or popularity, and it also held back Google Wallet indirectly by reducing its market footprint. Google Wallet was also hurt by the fact that the carriers refused to offer Google Wallet services on their devices (although later on Google was able to circumvent that restriction).
It looks like things didn't go well for Softcard, because the carriers decided to ink this deal with Google. Although Softcard assures its customers they can continue to utilize the service for now, a decision about the future is coming soon. It makes you wonder if Google Wallet would have been a bigger success if the three carriers had not ruined the idea with Softcard. We'll see what Google can do with it in the next generation of mobile payments.
Between Apple Pay, Samsung's new LoopPay, and now Google's Softcard/Google Wallet, it will be an interesting pit-fight for mobile payments.
Feb 24, 2015 - 10:59 AM - by dgstorm
After checking out this trailer video for the LG Watch Urbane, it looks like both the Moto 360 and the Apple Watch will have some serious competition in the wearables sector. LG has really stepped it up a notch, and all three companies are leaving Samsung in the dust as far as the aesthetic appeal of a smartwatch is concerned.
In the past, LG has made some sexy looking smartphones (like the G2, G3 and Nexus 5), and now it seems they made their design team work overtime on the Urbane smartwatch. The best part of the video above is that it briefly shows off what the watch will look like with several different bands... impressive!
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