Many people have the fondest memories with Myspace as being the early social network that was immensely popular but quickly dropped into oblivion as everyone moved on to Facebook. There have been a lot of tries to revive Myspace and all of them have spectacularly failed. But maybe the key is not trying to compete with Facebook and offering a new experience. And that’s exactly what the revamped Myspace offers – a minimal, music focused social network. And it has the power of Justin Timberlake to give it a head start.
For those who don’t know, Justin Timberlake has stake in Myspace and led to the sale of the company last year for a mere $35 million. It was an unexpected and off move to see an artist buy a social network, but it’s very clear what his master plan was. You see, Justin Timberlake wants to make this a social network for music fans and is admittedly doing a great job at making it so. Myspace was always about a focus on indie music and now the website totally embraces that aspect with a much cleaner Windows 8-like look that puts the artists front and center. There’s a lot of big names already on the site with a lot of their popular music available to stream. Your profile can be created through Facebook or Twitter itself and you can form your own identity uploading music or connecting with other musicians and sharing their music, meeting like minded fans alike. The service was in a closed beta for a while, but only opened to the world a few days back with the launch of Justin Timberlake’s first new single in over six years called ‘Suit and Tie’. It’s definitely creating a media buzz enough to bring music fans to give a second look at the much maligned service’s impressive redo.
Nokia seems to be the pioneer of Windows 8 phones in the market the way that Samsung seems to dominate the Android phone market, but one of the biggest steps in doing so is having a number of products offering that experience at various price points for a mass audience. There’s the flagship Lumia 820 which is pricey but has a whole lot of power inside it, but then there’s their 820 which is somewhat scaled down but in some ways even better (it has expandable memory and switchable covers) for cheaper. Now, they’ve launched the Lumia 620 which is much more affordable for the casual audience who doesn’t like spending thousands on a mobile phone and can effectively compete with the low-end Android devices that Samsung offers.
Dubai, UAE, 13 January 2013: Nokia introduces the Nokia Lumia 620, the most affordable smartphone in its range of Windows Phone 8 smartphones in UAE, retailed at AED 899. Alongside the flagship Nokia Lumia 920 and mid-range Nokia Lumia 820, the Nokia Lumia 620 offers a more fun, youthful appeal, and compact design.
The Nokia Lumia 620 uses a new dual-shot color technique to deliver a variety of striking color and texture effects. Dual-shot adds a second layer of colored, transparent or translucent polycarbonate on top of a base layer to produce secondary color blends and depth effects. With seven different exchangeable shells to choose from, people can adapt the look of their Nokia Lumia 620 to their own personal taste and style.
“We continue to execute on our strategy to reach new audiences and new markets by expanding our smartphone offering,” said Tom Farrell, Vice President, Nokia Middle East. “With its innovative design, the latest Nokia Lumia 620 with Windows Phone 8 software and signature experiences from Nokia, like Nokia lenses, Nokia Maps, City Lens and Nokia Music, the Nokia Lumia 620 is a highly competitive smartphone at a very affordable price point.”
Among the features shared with the Nokia Lumia 920 and Nokia Lumia 820 are exclusive camera lenses that transform the creative power of the Nokia Lumia 620’s five megapixel main camera and VGA front-facing camera. The Cinemagraph lens adds simple animations to still photographs, while Smart Shoot creates a single, perfect shot from multiple images, even removing unwanted objects from the picture.
The Nokia Lumia 620 also provides access to the world’s best maps and location experience, including Nokia Maps, Nokia Drive, Nokia Transport and the exclusive Nokia City Lens. Nokia City Lens displays information about local surroundings overlaid onto buildings as seen through the camera viewfinder.
Making it easy to discover and enjoy new music, Nokia Music provides free streaming of ad-free tracks without registration or subscription and the ability to download playlists for listening offline.
With NFC support, the Nokia Lumia 620 can easily pair with NFC-enabled accessories like the JBL PlayUp Portable Speaker for Nokia. Open and secure NFC-connectivity makes it possible to share and receive content by tapping with compatible devices, or make secure payments using the Wallet application in Windows Phone 8.
Powered by Windows Phone 8, the Nokia Lumia 620 delivers a more personal smartphone experience. Adjustable Live Tiles update direct to the Start Screen. People Hub pulls together contact information from multiple address books and social networks into a single location, making it easy to stay in touch with friends and set up contact Groups and private Rooms for sharing. From the Me Tile people can check in to their location, post an update, set chat status, see what’s new and monitor notifications across Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter. Windows Phone 8 also includes Xbox Live, Microsoft Office, 7GB of online SkyDrive storage and faster, safer surfing with Internet Explorer 10.
These features and capabilities are enabled by Qualcomm’s Snapdragon™ S4 Plus processors.
The Nokia Lumia 620 will be available in a range of colors* including, lime green, orange, magenta, yellow, cyan, white and black. Priced at AED 899, the Nokia Lumia 620 will begin selling on the 20th of January 2013 in the United Arab Emirates.
Give it up for Samsung for always trying to innovate with the technology of their products, and this may just be the most industry revolutionizing advancement that they’ve ever announced. At the CES 2013 show earlier, Samsung took the stage to announce their brand new flexible OLED technology dubbed Youm and the video below will blow you away.
After wooing the audience into an applause with the display of the flexible screen in action, the company then went on to show a prototype device using the technology and once again wooed the audience with the screen extending out to the side and the uses that could have. That was followed with an admittedly cheesy advertisement of devices that could use this in the future, but the devices within were undoubtedly impressive. Imagine a tablet that folds into becoming a phone. Now stop reading this, and just watch the entire video of what I just mentioned below:
I’d pay money to see the faces at Apple headquarters right now. Thoughts?
Every week, there’s a story about the dumbest criminals in the world getting themselves caught thanks to social media. But this one takes the cake with possibly the stupidest thing so far.
South Africa-based IOL News reports that James and Barbara McCall encountered a burglary in their house where their Samsung tablet went missing. Fair enough, but later on when the husband logged into Facebook to change his passwords, he found a picture of a stranger uploaded onto his wife’s Facebook account. A man that he believes is the burglar himself. Talk about failure of social media:
“He probably did not realize he was doing it. Usually you never log off from a tablet, so it could have happened quite quickly.”
Now that the picture has been handed over to the police, he’ll definitely wish it was Google Plus he would’ve opened instead.
I’ve always complained that though tablets are great for media consumption, they can never replace a desktop computer when it comes to content creation and processing due to it just not being powerful enough. Well, I would have to eat my words after Panasonic shook the industry by announcing a massive 20 inch Windows 8 tablet at CES 2013 that will run off an insane 4k resolution. Less than half an inch thin, the tablet is clearly aimed for media professionals like photographers and filmmakers and being the latter, I can safely say that this can definitely be a godsend in the editing room provided the specifications are up to the task because the resolution clearly is. With a stylus pen to go along with it, this probably won’t be a cheap device but will change the definition of what a tablet really should be. Read the entire press release below.
OSAKA, Japan, Jan. 8, 2013 /PRNewswire/ — Panasonic Corporation today announced the development of a new tablet computer that features a 20-inch IPS Alpha LCD panel with more than four times the resolution of Full High Definition, as well as a high precision digital pen. With the target to commercialize the new tablet later this year, Panasonic is gearing itself up to propose new business value this feature-rich device will offer to its customers in a wide range of industries. The tablet is on display at the 2013 International CES in Las Vegas from January 8 to 11.
Employing Panasonic’s cutting-edge digital technology, the new tablet is designed to create new value for users with a more realistic and intuitive operating environment than paper or a display. This tablet embodies the characteristics of printed media that existing personal or tablet computers cannot provide, such as texture rich rendering, natural hand-writing and a light weight and thinness for easy mobility.
The 20-inch LCD panel delivers “4k” resolution (3840 x 2560, 9.83 million pixels), more than twice the horizontal and vertical resolutions of Full HD (1920 x 1080) and has a density of 230 pixels per inch. With a unique aspect ratio of 15:10, it can display an A3-size paper in almost full size, making it ideal to show content such as newspapers and magazines, as well as pictures with the same aspect ratio. Moreover, the pen input, with a resolution as high as the panel itself, enables natural handwriting on the tablet. Weighing 2.4 kg (5.3 lbs) and 10.8 mm (0.4 inch) thick, the tablet is easy to carry.
These unique characteristics will open up new ways for tablets to be used. The following is an example of its usage in an editorial meeting to finalize a new catalogue:
An editor comes into the room carrying a 4k tablet with him, lays it flat on the table and switches it on to show the catalog data for perusal by the editorial staff. While they check each page of the print-ready catalog by tapping and swiping the touchscreen, the editor jots down instructions for color changes directly on the screen using the digital pen and transfers them to the printing company. The meeting wraps up after they make a final check of the revised data returned from the printer to ensure the changes have been made correctly.
As the above example shows, the 4k tablet offers intuitive operation and ultra-high resolution images with superb color reproduction and a wide viewing angle unique to IPS Alpha panels, bringing an “eco and smart” work style into various business scenes.
The tablet is based on Windows 8 operating system, which enables the user to continue to use reliable applications developed for and business documents created on older versions of Windows. Besides offering an intuitiveness other PCs and tablets cannot rival, this innovative tablet will facilitate an environment in which users can develop business solutions in a timely fashion without losing any business chance.
Panasonic has built up trust with customers in a variety of industries by offering its ruggedized Toughbook laptops and Let’s Note mobile notebook PCs, which helped improve operation efficiency and productivity in harsh outdoor working environments where such IT products were rarely found. Building on these achievements, Panasonic will strive to commercialize the 4k tablet, making it available globally to provide new business values to customers.
The digital camera market is rapidly evolving as always, and while DSLRs were the absolute option for anyone looking for solid image quality, the line has been blurred with the arrival of impressive interchangeable lens mirrorless cameras by Panasonic, Nikon, Samsung and others.
But Canon has been late to enter the increasingly popular mirrorless camera market, much to everyone’s wonder. However, with the EOS M, one can term their entrance as ‘fashionably late’. The EOS M is a very impressive mirrorless camera that rivals entry level DSLRs in terms of image and video quality, with a slow autofocus being its only major weakness.
We’ve been seeing a surge in innovation in the laptop and tablet market since the launch of Windows 8 in a way that we haven’t quite seen before in a long time. The most interesting one of them is the hybrid laptop and tablet design which is great for people who not only consume content but are also interested in creating it without carrying two separate devices. Now, another one aimed for professionals arrives.
Dubai, UAE – January 7, 2013: Lenovo (HKSE: 992) (ADR: LNVGY) today announced two new additions to its family of convertible laptop-tablet devices: the ThinkPad Helix, a premium convertible for business professionals featuring a “rip and flip” design – a blueprint for the next generation of laptop designs – and a more powerful and productive IdeaPad Yoga 11S, the first multimode mini Ultrabook™ equipped with powerful Intel processors and featuring Windows 8.
“Our unmatched family of convertibles gives consumers, students, business professionals, and everyone in between the opportunity to choose the convertible that’s right for them,” said Peter Hortensius, president, Product Group, and senior vice president, Lenovo. “The ThinkPad Helix gives business professionals two devices in one incredible form factor. It is a high performance, thin and light Ultrabook with a detachable Windows 8 tablet. We’ve also pumped more power and productivity into the new IdeaPad Yoga 11S mini-Ultrabook so it can handle whatever mobile computing tasks consumers throw at it.”
ThinkPad Helix Fuses Laptop, Tablet and More with “Rip and Flip” Screen
The ThinkPad brand’s premium convertible, Helix, defines the next generation of mobile computing through its ground breaking “rip and flip” design. This special design gives users absolute mobile freedom and versatility with four unique ways to use it.
ThinkPad Helix first functions as a high performance Ultrabook. For added mobility, the 11.6-inch tablet can separate from its base to become the thinnest full-function Intel® 3rd generation Core™ tablet with vPro. Adding to its mobility, the tablet weighs 835 grams, also making it the lightest in its class1. Unlike other convertibles, the innovative “rip and flip” screen lets users flip the tablet 180° and snap it back into the base – this mode, called Stand mode, transforms Helix into a mini-movie theatre or business presentation central. From here, users can also fold the screen down to use it as a tablet while keeping the base connected for added ports and connectivity.
Besides its game-changing design, the ThinkPad Helix comes with exceptional performance and productivity features that set the bar for this type of device. A top-class Ultrabook™ the ThinkPad Helix runs up to 10 hours for a full day of work and play. Navigation and interaction are easy with the precision on-board pen, full-size keyboard and new five button clickpad that boasts 20 percent more surface area than traditional ThinkPad clickpads. As the brightest screen in the ThinkPad brand portfolio, Helix’s 11.6-inch high definition 1080p IPS display maximizes clear, crisp and vibrant visuals in nearly any environment.
To connect virtually anywhere, ThinkPad Helix comes with optional LTE2 high speed wireless and also pioneers the emerging Near Field Communications (NFC) technology that allows devices to share data seamlessly by simply tapping to pair them. Additionally, Helix delivers the ThinkPad brand’s reliability, enhanced security and manageability features that large businesses depend upon, including Intel® vPro. Helix redefines expectations for mobile computing by bringing together innovative technology and engineering that essentially eliminate the need to carry a laptop and a tablet.
IdeaPad Yoga 11S – Small Yet Powerful Ultrabook
Users now have another option for choosing one of Lenovo’s groundbreaking flip and fold, 360° hinge IdeaPad Yoga convertibles. The new Yoga 11S comes equipped with a new low power lineup from Intel with up to 3rd generation Intel® Core™ i5 processors and Windows 8 to give users the full power of multitasking and using Office applications, all in a svelte, 0.68-inch thin frame. Like its predecessor, users can work with Yoga 11S as a laptop, or flip the screen around to turn it into a great sized tablet. Even convert Yoga 11S into Stand or Tent modes for a space-saving way to watch movies, as it’s tuned with great Dolby Home Theatre audio and smooth Intel integrated high definition graphics.
IdeaPad Yoga 11S features an 11.6-inch HD IPS display that supports 10 finger multi-touch and comes with unique features previously only available on Yoga 13: Motion Control lets users simply swipe their hand in front of the webcam to advance photos, videos and other document, and with Lenovo Transition, users can automatically open applications like PowerPoint in full-screen when using Yoga in its other three modes: tent, stand or tablet.
IdeaPad Yoga 11S also has the same attractive rubber painting and a soft-touch exterior as the IdeaPad Yoga 13 and will be available in Silver Grey and Clementine Orange.
Lenovo offers a full suite of services for the convertibles, including In-Home Warranty upgrades for service at the owner’s home or business, and Accidental Damage Protection on select products to help insure against damage from accidents like drops or spills. Lenovo Premium Support’s expert technicians are available when needed with convenient over the phone or remote session support from the comfort of home. Additionally, a full lineup of Lenovo Services for Small Business backs up ThinkPad Helix. Customers can select from a portfolio of warranty upgrades, Accidental Damage Protection, Keep Your Drive and other protection services valuable to today’s small businesses.
Pricing and Availability
The ThinkPad Helix and IdeaPad Yoga 11S convertibles will be available starting in late-February and June, respectively, through retailers, business partners and www.lenovo.com. Models start at approximately $1,499 and $799, respectively.
Though Apple is still a major heavyweight in the smartphone market with their huge selling iPhone, one could argue that their reign is definitely crumbling with major competitors outmatching them in terms of specifications and even quality. One of their biggest competitors is Samsung, who has gained a major market share with their Galaxy phones in the past two years and their sales figures are higher in total than the iPhone and have a loyal fanbase of their own. What does Apple need to do? According to them, a cheaper iPhone may be the end of the problem.
At least that’s what Strategy Analytics analyst Neil Mawston believes. Apparently, Apple has realised that the reason Samsung is outselling them is because they play to a larger market with a wide variety of phones for each price point. Hence, Apple is going to develop their own cheaper iPhone Mini that will attempt to recapture some of that market that slipped away from them, but this is unlikely to happen this year. He tells CNET:
“We believe Apple will have to launch an ‘iPhone Mini’ at some point over the next three years to address the hundreds of millions of prepaid users worldwide that cannot afford the current iPhone. The iPhone 5 is growing fast and profitably right now, so there is limited incentive for Apple to launch a profit-squeezing ‘iPhone Mini’ this year. We expect the ‘iPhone Mini’ to be more likely next year, in 2014, when Apple’s penetration of the global postpaid smartphone market will be nearing saturation and Apple will be forced to discover fresh growth streams elsewhere.”
While all this is a rumor at this point, it’s not too unbelievable to see Apple take this course to not lose out on the smartphone market. With Samsung getting ready to unleash their S4 this year among other phones, Apple needs to step things up and innovate if they want to avoid the route Nokia and RIM took back in their day and lost in the process.
What do you think?
A random story of robbery has been made newsworthy with an interesting little detail. TheTechStorm reports that about two days ago, a thief entered the Microsoft Mountain View Campus building. Only thing is – all he took five iPads. Nothing more.
For those wondering what iPads were doing at the Microsoft office, you need to keep in mind that Microsoft has been developing applications for the Apple platform lately and it makes sense why they would have the devices. Who knows, they probably even had some development unit of the next iPad which is bound to get the robber a fortune in the black market.
The surprising bit is that not a single Microsoft item was stolen, and one can make jokes about it all they want but there’s probably a reason based on the robber’s motivation itself.
What do you think?
Samsung’s new lineup of digital cameras is doing something different to stand out from the crowd. Yes, there’s way too many digital cameras from mulitple companies in the market already fighting for the best image quality and specifications. But instead of trying to outdo other companies in that regard, Samsung is focusing on their strengths – innovation. And hence, their lineup has some very nifty features that most other cameras in the market do not offer. Today, we’ll do a quick look of 2 of their latest cameras – the big-league Samsung NX20 as well as its smaller counterpart NX1000.
To start off with the NX20, this is one of the higher end models in Samsung’s lineup and is being marketed as the closest to a DSLR that they have. From the looks of it, it definitely exudes the body of a compact DSLR. The design is very much like a DSLR with the buttons placed just the way you’re familiar with. But at the same time, Samsung has managed to keep the device light and portable without the big lens on (the pancake lenses are much more portable and lighter). Even the screen itself can swivel around, just like the newer DSLR’s like 600D and others. On the design end, Samsung has succeeded in making this a DSLR-like body without the added weight that most of them have.
On the specifications side, the NX20 packs enough power to compete with the best of mirrorless cameras in the market. With a 20.3MP APS-C CMOS Sensor, 1080p video recording, 3 inch AMOLED screen, ISO 100-12800, features like 3D Panorama and intelligent auto modes, Samsung hasn’t cut any corners power-wise. And because of that, the image quality doesn’t disappoint from the brief tests that we conducted with it. There’s a lot of detail in the images which come out vibrant and vivid and actually not only match the quality of other competing mirrorless compact cameras in the market but also some entry level DSLR’s in the market.
But it’s the extra features where the camera really impresses – particularly the built in Wi-Fi on the camera that allows transfer of images without the need of a memory card slotting into your laptop. Other cameras are catching up to this technology, but Samsung can boast being one of the first cameras to do so in the market. Then there’s also the I-Function lens system, which allows you to control the most common shooting elements through the focus ring of compatible lenses and that’s a huge timesaver that I’m sure other companies will implement soon enough. The ability to automatically select shooting modes is something that professionals may frown upon, but it allows casual users to take the best pictures out of an already robust camera system.
Overall, the Samsung NX20 is a surprisingly impressive entry into the mirror-less camera segment with great design and solid image quality to boot. But most of all, there’s functional features here that are hard to find in the segment that give it the overall edge.
Next up is the Samsung NX1000, which serves as the little brother to Samsung’s big boy lineup. But don’t mistake it to be underpowered, because the NX1000 is targeted for people looking for an even more compact and more importantly pocketable camera that still has enough power inside it for great image quality. And NX1000 slots in right there for that need. The camera feels lighter than the NX20, but that has to do with the plastic body used in the model. The design itself is quite appealing and mirrors a DSLR a lot in terms of the dials and buttons, but of course this is a small mirrorless camera which means it doesn’t have the ability to change lenses and comes with a default 20-50mm zoom lens.
With a 20.3 megapixels APS-C sensor, a lot of the features from its bigger brother are carried over into this camera including the Wi-Fi capabilities which is impressive. The 8fps continuous shooting mode leads to some very snappy shots when the time calls for it, but the zoom isn’t particularly helpful in that regard but does the job adequately. The image quality doesn’t quite match the NX20 in terms of detail and color, but does a very good job for its size and will impress with its swift autofocus. Also impressive is the fact that the camera can record a full 1080p resolution video that looks pretty good and crisp. In night shots, there may be some noise issues as well as shakiness since there’s no strong image stabilization built in, but that’s a problem with every camera of this size.
In the end, Samsung NX1000 complements the NX20 in a positive manner. Both these cameras show that Samsung is here to make a dent in the camera market and aren’t further behind in terms of specifications of quality, and may even be a step or two ahead in terms of the extra bells and whistles designed to make your life easier. Depending on your budget, both these cameras are solid choices in a market saturated with digital cameras.