Motorola Mobility shuts down Middle East website

November 26, 2012 by  
Filed under Articles, Industry, News, Smartphones, Spotlight

A little over a year back, Google purchased Motorola Mobility- the division that is in charge of making handsets like RAZR. Most analysts looked at the deal as a valuable resource for Google because of the patents that Motorola held in the industry. Looks like they were pretty much spot-on.

After reducing the staff by almost 4,000 Motorola Mobility has now shut down most of it’ international websites including the one for Middle East as well as for Europe and Asia. If you visit the website, you get the following message:

We are streamlining our business and support systems, and unfortunately, we’ll no longer have a dedicated website for Middle East & Africa.

We have reached out the local representatives for Motorola Mobility to hear the official word and will update the story when we do.

AMD A6 Trinity APU Review

The AMD Trinity APUs launched earlier this year, bringing with them many improvements over last year’s Llano platform. While we came out suitably impressed from the A10 desktop variant of the new Trinity APU, let’s see if the mobile A6 APU can replicate the magic.

Our test unit came in the form of the Samsung Series 5 notebook in a relatively thin chassis; not an ultrabook per se, but at 2cm thick and weighing only 1.9kg it’s not far from it. Inside the laptop was an AMD A6-4455M dual-core Trinity processor running at 2.1GHz (boosting up to 2.6GHz). However, this APU runs two integer cores on one module, so technically speaking it’s not a proper dual-core processor.

Running on 32nm architecture the A6-4455M APU also integrates the Radeon HD 7500G graphics processor that contains a modest 256 shader units. On paper that raw processing power of the A6 APU doesn’t seem too impressive, but considering it’s rated TDP of just 17W it looks rather impressive.

Now for comparison we luckily had a comparable laptop from ASUS, the Vivobook, which was powered by an Intel Core i3-3217U processor running at 1.8GHz and no TurboBoost. However, unlike the A6-4455M the i3-3217U is a proper dual-core processor with the ability to run 4 threads in parallel.   Running Intel HD 4000 integrated graphics, the i3-3217U is also rated at 17W TDP.

This is as close a competition as it gets between to ultra-low-voltage (ULV) processors in the same class. All tests are at the below settings.

All tests were done at the native resolution of 1366×768 on both 14-inch laptops. 3DMark 11 and PCMark 7 don’t require any resolution settings when running at standard settings.

Now that the testing is over, it’s clear that the A6-4455M is not meant for modern games, unless they’re based on an easily scalable engine like Source (Team Fortress 2) or games that are more dependent on artwork rather than heavy shaders (Torchlight 2).

The good news is that the fan in the Samsung Series 5 laptop wasn’t loud, but this obviously comes at the cost of high idle temperature. Still, on the top end things looks decidedly cool.

So if you’re on a tight budget and aren’t interested in playing the latest games on the PC, the AMD A6 powered laptops are a pretty good choice. Comparative options from Intel with regards to the Core i3 ULV processors hardly offer any increments considering the price you pay for them. Of course, if you go up to Intel’s Core i5 or i7 ULV processors, then it’s a totally different performance level; as is the price.

2013 Audi S6

November 26, 2012 by  
Filed under Product of the Week

The Audi S6 is so many things: a distinguished company car. A prestigious family car. A vehicle full of elegance and athleticism for daily use. The exterior is impressive, conveying intelligent power.

The elegant lines of the S6 have been created using aluminium hybrid construction. This is just one way in which Audi is helping to make careful use of resources. And is once again demonstrating how dynamism and efficiency can be united as one. Experience the new Audi S6 for yourself. You can not only see the sporty atmosphere in the interior, you can even feel it too. This dynamically stylish ambience boasts some fascinating special details and highlights.

The Audi S6 in figures: V8 4.0 TFSI. Substantially lower CO2 emissions compared to its predecessor. Its 420HP are accompanied by a mighty 550 Nm of torque and propel the Audi S6 from 0 to 100 km/h in 4.6 seconds.

Check out our review of the 2013 Audi S6 to see what makes it so amazing.

Ex-Apple engineer: Apple is a ‘mess’ at Internet services

November 26, 2012 by  
Filed under Apple, News

Apple maybe champions in product design, and marketing that product design as the next best thing since sliced cheese, but it isn’t all it cuts out to be when it comes to Internet services. Those are the words of Patrick B. Gibson, an ex-Apple engineer, who on his personal blog lamented about Apple’s slow and tiresome progress of making better Internet-focused applications.

“Almost anything Apple does which involves the internet is a mess,” he wrote. Giving a few examples, such as how Apple can’t update its online store without taking it offline, or how the notes application requires an email address to sync, Gibson said that Apple is far lagging behind in terms of using new Internet technologies. The fact that the iTunes and Apple Store runs on a “mostly dead framework written almost 20 years ago” is a sign of that.

Apple would not had to worry about that a few years ago, but according to Gibson, they should start right about now. Why? Because Android.

Gibson believes that Android, while not as polished and smooth as the iOS, is catching up to be so quite quickly, and that Google’s Internet services for the platforms which “just work” makes it harder for anyone to argue that Android is now not up to snuff with the iOS platform.

“Google, specifically Android, has been steadily improving its entire platform,” he said. “To me, it still doesn’t have the same quality of polish and feel that Apple software does. However, it’s getting harder to argue that point, especially since their web services all tend to Just Work. Features like Google Now and near-instant voice commands are starting to give Android a serious leg up on iOS. Design is coming along as well. Android is still ugly, but it’s much less ugly than it was a few years ago. Google seems to be actively addressing this, and if Apple isn’t worried, they should be.”

Gibson goes on to suggest that Apple should acquire Twitter, not so much for the social network, but for the talent. Twitter runs on some of the most advanced Web technologies currently available, with most of it invented by the site’s  engineering  team. This could help Apple’s lackluster web skills, which has been plagued by its “inability to recruit or keep talented web engineers.”

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