Archive for the ‘NEWS UPDATES PRESS RELEASES’ Category

DREAM EXPERIMENT FOR IPHONE APP CALLING FOR BETA TESTERS

Monday, April 16th, 2012

DREAM APP FOR IPHONES WANTING BETA TESTERS

In what is being touted as “the world’s largest dream experiment,” a psychologist from Britain’s University of Hertfordshire is inviting volunteers to try using an iPhone app to control their dreams. Prof. Richard Wiseman teamed up with the developers at software company YUZA to create Dream:ON, an app that plays soundscapes while its user sleeps, intended to shape what sort of dreams they have. The project comes in response to a UK survey conducted by Wiseman, in which 15% of respondents claimed that they frequently suffered from unpleasant dreams.

To use Dream:ON, people start by indicating the time at which they would like to wake up. Next, they select an alarm tone, followed by one of several “soundscapes” – examples include titles like Peaceful Garden and A Trip to Tokyo. The phone is then plugged into an external power source, and left turned on at the bedside.

Throughout the night, the phone uses its microphone to monitor the user’s movements. Approximately 20 minutes before their selected wake-up time, and once a decrease in their movements indicates that they’ve entered REM sleep (the sleep stage at which dreams occur), the soundscape will be played. Theoretically, that audio will be incorporated into the existing dream. Of course, it’s possible that someone could simply end up dreaming that an axe murderer was chasing them through a peaceful garden – that’s the sort of thing that the project is looking at.

Once the person starts moving again, indicating that they are no longer dreaming, the alarm will sound to wake them. As a side benefit, by not being woken up while in deep REM sleep, users should wake up feeling more refreshed – a strategy already employed by products like the sleep-monitoring Sleeptracker alarm.

The app will subsequently prompt users to submit a report of their dream.

After a few months, Wiseman and his team will review the various users’ reports, to see how well the app works. Dream:ON is available now as a free download at the App Store, while an Android version is expected to come out later this year. If it does indeed work, more soundscapes could be on the way – some of them would be free, while others would have to be purchased.

Should the idea behind Dream:ON sound at all familiar to some readers, it’s because something similar already exists, in the form of the Japanese Yumemiru app. There’s no word on how effective that one has proven to be.

The video below provides an outline of Prof. Wiseman’s project.

Source: University of Hertfordshire
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Sourced & published by Henry Sapiecha

GOOGLE INTERNET IN YOUR GLASSES

Friday, April 6th, 2012

Google has given the world a glimpse of its vision for letting people look at life through internet-tinted glasses.

A video posted at a Project Glass page at Google+ social network confirmed the rumour that the technology titan is working on eyewear that meshes the online world with the real world.

“We think technology should work for you – be there when you need it and get out of your way when you don’t,” members of the project team said in a Google+ post.

project glass

Google plans to release Android-powered internet glasses with a heads-up display.

“A group of us from Google X (Labs) started Project Glass to build this kind of technology; one that helps you explore and share your world.”

Images showed people wearing eyeglasses with stylish silver frames that featured tiny cameras and on-lens displays to discretely show information such as walking directions, weather forecasts or messages from friends.

Built-in microphones let wearers command the internet-linked glasses by speaking.

“We took a few design photos to show what this technology could look like and created a video to demonstrate what it might enable you to do,” Google said, stressing that the glasses were a concept far from being brought to market.

“We’re sharing this information now because we want to start a conversation and learn from your valuable input.”

The project team invited people to express ideas for the glasses at the Google+ page.

Google co-founder Sergey Brin is deeply involved with the California company’s X Labs, best known for its work on a self-driving car.

A YouTube video of legally blind Steve Mahan “driving” an autonomous Google car in his California neighborhood has been viewed more than 1.2 million times since it was uploaded on March 27.

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Sourced & published by Henry Sapiecha

NEW SMARTPHONE APP COULD WELL BE CALLED DOCTOR SMARTPHONE

Wednesday, January 25th, 2012

Monday, January 23, 2012

ARE WE ON THE WAY TO A DOCTOR SMARTPHONE?

(Reuters) – Tired of long waits at the hospital for medical tests? If Korean researchers have their way, your smartphone could one day eliminate that — and perhaps even tell you that you have cancer. 

A team of scientists at Korea Advanced Institute of Science of Technology (KAIST) said in a paper published in Angewandte Chemie, a German science journal, that touch screen technology can be used to detect biomolecular matter, much as is done in medical tests.

“It began from the idea that touch screens work by recognizing the electronic signs from the touch of the finger, and so the presence of specific proteins and DNA should be recognizable as well,” said Hyun-gyu Park, who with Byong-yeon Won led the study.

The touch screens on smartphones, PDAs or other electronic devices work by sensing the electronic charges from the user’s body on the screen. Biochemicals such as proteins and DNA molecules also carry specific electronic charges.

According to KAIST, the team’s experiments showed that touch screens can recognize the existence and the concentration of DNA molecules placed on them, a first step toward one day being able to use the screens to carry out medical tests.

“We have confirmed that (touch screens) are able to recognize DNA molecules with nearly 100 percent accuracy just as large, conventional medical equipment can and we believe equal results are possible for proteins,” Park told Reuters TV.

“There are proteins known in the medical world like the ones used to diagnose liver cancer, and we would be able to see the liver condition of the patient.”

The research team added that it is currently developing a type of film with reactive materials that can identify specific biochemicals, hoping this will allow the touch screens to also recognize different biomolecular materials.

But confirming that the touch screen can recognize the biomolecular materials, though key, is only the first step.

Since nobody would put blood or urine on a touch screen, the sample would be placed on a strip, which would then be fed into the phone or a module attached to the phone through what Park called an “entrance point.”

“The location and concentration of the sample would be recognized the same way the touch of the finger is recognized,” he added.

There are no details yet on a prospective timetable for making the phone a diagnostic tool, however.

Sourced & published by Henry Sapiecha

NOKIA LUMIA 900 SMART PHONE & WHAT IS IT LIKE…?

Monday, January 16th, 2012

NOKIA LUMIA 900 SMARTPHONE LATEST RELEASE

Hands on with the Nokia Lumia 900 at CES

More from CES 2012, Sin City, where we’ve briefly had a chance to get familiar with the Nokia Lumia 900, the Finnish corporation’s sacrificial offering at the increasingly cluttered LTE altar to the gods of 4G. The Windows smartphone features a large 4.3-inch AMOLED touchscreen, 8-megapixel camera with a wide-angle Carl Zeiss lens and seven hours of talk time, according to Nokia. First impressions? Really rather good, actually.

Sourced & published by Henry Sapiecha


WANT A NEW IPHONE? NO THANKS SAY CASH STRAPPED EUROPEAN ECONOMY

Friday, December 23rd, 2011

SMARTPHONE RELEASE IN EUROPE SLOW IN MOVING BECAUSE OF ECONOMY DOLDRUMS

(Reuters) – Weakening economies and falling prices of rival smartphones are hurting sales of Apple iPhones across Europe, data from research firm Kantar Worldpanel ComTech showed on Thursday.

The October roll-out of Apple’s iPhone 4S boosted its position in Britain and United States, but the new phones failed to excite interest in continental Europe, where Apple’s share of the fast-growing smartphone market slipped.

The smartphone industry is dominated by Google, which has stormed the market with its free Android platform.

“In Great Britain, the U.S. and Australia, Apple’s new iPhone continues to fly off the shelf in the run-up to Christmas. However, this trend is far from universal,” said Dominic Sunnebo, global consumer insight director.

Apple’s market share in the 12 weeks to end-November rose to 36 percent in the United States from 25 percent a year earlier and in Britain to 31 percent from 21 percent, Kantar said.

However, in France its share slipped to 20 percent from 29 percent and in Germany to 22 percent from 27 percent. Similar drops were seen in Italy and Spain.

“The French market is showing increasing signs of price sensitivity,” Sunnebo said.

In part, the European sales of the expensive Apple model were hit by weakening economies across the continent.

Euro zone GDP grew just 0.2 percent in the third quarter and most economists expect it to contract in the fourth and also in the first three months of next year, sending the bloc back into recession after its two-year recovery from the worst global financial crisis since the 1930s.

The euro zone’s own crisis with government debt has scared off investment and eaten into business and consumer confidence, particularly since August when investors intensified their scrutiny of the bloc’s problems.

European consumers are keeping a lid on their expenses as government spending cuts and job losses deprive companies of demand for goods and crush exports.

Google had market shares of between 46 and 61 percent in all markets. Cellphone makers like Samsung Electronics, Sony Ericsson, LG Ericsson and Motorola Mobility all use its Android platform in their phones.

“In Germany, Android achieved a dominant 61 percent share of smartphone sales in the latest 12 weeks, with the Samsung Galaxy S II the top selling handset,” Sunnebo said

Sourced & published by Henry Sapiecha

I PHONE 4S IS A WINNER WHILE YOU ARE WAITING FOR THE 5S

Thursday, October 20th, 2011

Can’t wait for the iPhone 5? Get your minor improvements with Apple’s latest instead.


IT’S A revamp rather than a breathtaking redesign but Apple’s iPhone 4S is a worthy heir to the throne.

Extra grunt under the bonnet, a spruced-up camera and improved reception – that’s the iPhone 4S in a nutshell. It’s an incremental upgrade in the tradition of the iPhone 3GS, retaining the form factor of the previous model while improving the spec sheet to give resource-hungry apps more headroom.

The iPhone 4 is certainly no slouch but the 4S raises the bar with its A5 processor, first seen in the iPad 2. That extra grunt isn’t immediately obvious, especially as the iOS 5 software upgrade doesn’t appear to have slowed the iPhone 4 (a welcome change from previous iOS updates).

You will also want to upgrade to the latest versions of Lion and iTunes to take advantage of all of iOS 5’s features, which will chew through almost two gigabytes of your monthly data allowance (perhaps more if you have multiple computers and iGadgets).

Spend time with the 4S and the A5 processor’s extra grunt peeks through in several places.

The time it takes to launch the camera has always been a telltale sign of a sluggish iPhone. With nothing else running, an iPhone 4 running iOS 5 takes about 2.5 seconds to launch the camera and open the iris so it’s ready to shoot. The 4S cuts this down to about 1.5 seconds.

Under iOS 5, you can also launch the phone’s camera from the lock screen and use the volume button to capture shots, which is an improvement for when you’re trying to quickly capture the moment. The volume button trick is one of many features owners of hacked iPhones have enjoyed for some time and it’s good to see Apple finally acknowledging the iPhone’s shortcomings rather than dictating how people should use their devices.

There’s also extra grunt from the new processor when browsing the internet. Throwing complicated webpages at the mobile version of Safari, such as the non-mobile version of theage.com.au and other media sites, shaves anywhere between 10 per cent to 40 per cent off page loading times. We’re only talking about a few seconds of difference, but it is clear the 4S’s faster powerplant helps.

The A5 processor really makes its presence felt when you start to push the phone. For example, the iPhone 4S is clearly happier than the iPhone 4 when running the TomTom satnav app while playing music in the background. The iPhone 4S also has less trouble keeping up when editing large files in Apple’s Pages word processor app.

Along with a performance boost, the A5 also lays the foundation for new features.

Graphics-intensive games don’t always look better on the iPhone 4S but this is deceptive, as some games now tone down the effects for older iGadgets. Firemint’s Real Racing 2 is a classic example: it plays almost as smoothly on the iPhone 4 but look closely and you see the effects are ramped up when running on the 4S’s faster processor.

Apple has also introduced AirPlay mirroring to the iPhone 4S and iPad 2. Rather than just streaming video clips and photos to an Apple TV via your home wi-fi network, these devices can now mirror any application on your television. This could be handy for work and play, whether for business presentations or using the handset as a gaming controller while watching the action on television.

AirPlay mirroring is an obvious threat to the Wii, particularly as some games such as Real Racing 2 are adding split-screen support for multiple devices. This lets up to four players race on the television simultaneously, like Mario Kart Wii.

In terms of hardware, the improved eight-megapixel camera is the iPhone 4S’s other big drawcard – not just the extra megapixels but also the new optics and improved aperture. You’ll see more detail in your photos, particularly when peering into the shadows of an otherwise bright scene. Low-light photos contain less fuzziness, or ”noise”. Unless you’re a purist, the 4S’s camera is probably good enough to replace your digital happy snapper.

The iPhone 4’s reception issues are well documented but the 4S’s redesigned antenna eliminates the so-called ”death grip”. Reception suffers if you hold the iPhone 4 the wrong way but not so with the iPhone 4S Livewire used, on loan from Vodafone. Even if your telco’s network is partly at fault, the new 4S should be happier in areas with dodgy coverage.

Most of the iPhone 4S’s other improvements are courtesy of the iOS 5 software upgrade. Older models miss out on a few features, such as the Siri voice-interaction system, which is in beta. Early reviews have been a little gushing – Siri is a technological marvel but not always the most practical way to interact with your phone. Frustratingly, Siri’s location-aware features are restricted to the US for now.

Siri alone isn’t reason enough to upgrade from the iPhone 4; it’s a sleeper that will mature in time.

So, what’s the verdict? The iPhone 4S is an impressive upgrade and the extra grunt lays the foundation for a new generation of apps and services. If you’re buying a new iPhone today, spending extra on the 4S compared with a discounted 4 is a wise long-term investment. But the improvement isn’t enough to ditch your iPhone 4 if you’re in the middle of a two-year contract, unless there’s a feature exclusive to the A5 processor you simply can’t live without.

Unless the iPhone 4 is already starting to feel sluggish, current owners might want to hold out for next year’s mythical iPhone 5.

Sourced & published by Henry Sapiecha

WORDWIDE COVERAGE WITH THE LATEST SMART PHONE , THE PHOTON 4G

Friday, August 26th, 2011

??CHECK OUT THE WORDWIDE SMARTPHONE PHOTON 4G

If you frequently travel overseas for business or pleasure, a smartphone with world-roaming capabilities is a good thing to have in your travel kit.

Not only do these phones allow you to stay in touch with friends and family back home, but with their built-in functions and various apps, they can also organize your travel itinerary, provide recommendations for things to do, capture memories, and much more. So which phones make good travel buddies?

Well, first, you’ll need a world phone that supports the four GSM networks (850/900/1800/1900). T-Mobile and AT&T phones already offer this compatibility, but Sprint and Verizon Wireless customers will have to check their carrier’s respective lineup for a handset that offers dual-mode CDMA/GSM technology.

To make it a bit easier for you, below you’ll find a selection of some of the latest and greatest smartphones that will support international networks. You’ll also want to check and sign up for international calling and data plans, so you don’t return home to a shocking cell phone bill. Alternatively, you can purchase an unlocked phone, which isn’t tied to a service provider, so you can insert a prepaid SIM card from a local carrier while overseas to save money. Some of the U.S. carriers will also unlock the SIM (for example, Verizon has a policy where it will unlock the included SIM if you’ve been a customer for more than 60 days and are in good financial standing) so you can do the same.

Our quick guide to world phones provides a more in-depth explanation on the topic and is definitely worth a read if you’re new to the subject, but if you’re simply after some recommendations, head on over to our roundup of the latest world phones.

Sourced & published by Henry Sapiecha

KOREA LOOKING TO BUILD ITS OWN MOBILE PHONE PLATFORM NETWORK

Thursday, August 25th, 2011

Seoul seeks to build

mobile platform

By Christian Oliver in Seoul

South Korea’s government has called on Samsung Electronics and LG Electronics to join it in a consortium to develop a homegrown mobile phone operating system, a sign that Seoul fears Google’s acquisition of Motorola Mobility could pose a long-term threat to two of its biggest companies.

Samsung and LG are the world’s second- and third-biggest makers of mobile handsets but their software is much weaker than their hardware. Their most successful smartphones have relied on Google’s Android operating system.

South Korea admitted that it could be strategically dangerous to keep relying on Google for software as the US firm builds up its own ability to make hardware, which is Korea’s strength.

Since Google’s acquisition, there have been fears that a tighter integration of Android with Motorola’s mobile devices will make for a stronger competitor to third parties such as Samsung and LG. Google insists it will continue to work with independent handset makers on Android devices.

Seoul’s ministry of the knowledge economy said on Wednesday that it would announce details of its plan in October. The ministry said it had invited Samsung and LG to take part but that small and medium-sized IT enterprises should form some 50 per cent of the consortium.

While the ministry has not decided on the nature of the operating system, it said it wanted something that could ultimately compete with Google’s Chrome and is considering a cloud-based system to allow the sharing of data across smartphones, personal computers and laptops.

“In the long term, we cannot go on like this by solely relying on Google,” Kim Jae-hong, a deputy commerce minister, told reporters.

Samsung declined to comment on the government plan, saying the idea was in “initial stages”. LG said it was “willing to listen” to the government’s ideas.

Telecommunications analysts said the government’s plan was impractical or unlikely to succeed because South Korea had too much ground to make up in software, and argued that handset makers should look to buy a foreign operating system or diversify their OS suppliers.

Chang Sea-jin, a professor at Singapore National University, said the government initiative was a “long shot” and looked more like a programme to help struggling SMEs than to boost Samsung and LG. He argued that Samsung, the world’s biggest technology company by sales, should instead look to buy a foreign OS maker.

“In the short term, it is more reasonable to balance [Microsoft’s] Windows and Android and not rely on Google,” he said.

Samsung, whose Galaxy smartphones are the main challenger to Apple’s iPhone, already has a homegrown software system called Bada but it is aimed at low- to mid-end smartphones. Samsung’s blue-riband smartphones use Google’s Android. Samsung on Wednesday launched new Galaxy handsets aimed at increasing sales in emerging markets.

Although South Korea’s government regularly tries to steer companies, analysts said software design was a field in which Seoul was out of its depth.

“I understand the government’s desire to seek solutions with the threat of a rapidly changing market but this is the wrong direction,” said Greg Roh, analyst at HMC Investment Securities. “This should be left to the market.”

?Apple won an injunction in a Dutch court on Wednesday to stop Samsung from marketing three smartphone models in some European countries after alleging a breach of patents, Reuters reports from Amsterdam. Apple and Samsung are locked in a bruising patent fight in the US, Europe and Asia, as they jostle for the top spot in the smartphone market.

Sourced & published by Henry Sapiecha

ENTER THE NEW OLDER LOOK PHONE

Saturday, August 13th, 2011

NEW PHONE GETS REVAMP WITH OLD TIME LOOK


While most phones are getting smaller and being crammed with non-phone functionality, the “Sixty” cordless phone from French company Sagemcom harks back to an earlier age of domestic communications … with an injection of 21st Century design and technology.

  • The Sixty offers rotating lights and sound effects during dialing
  • The Sixty has a folded zig-zag form that transforms the stocky rotary phone into an slick-...
  • The Sixty offers hands-free calling, caller ID and a 150 name and number capacity phone bo...
  • The Sixty retro cordless phone

The Sixty delivers a new twist on the 1960’s Bakelite telephone by transforming the stocky rotary form into a folded, slimline design and adding a digital time fascia and capacitive touchscreen. The non-retro functionality includes hands-free calling, caller ID, 150 name and number phone book, phone conferencing, multiple languages, and an integrated digital answer machine.

The drilling bell tone of yore has been replaced with more modern polyphonic ringtones, although these include a reproduction of the original “ring ring” for those who want to retain some of the old-skool feel. There’s also rotating lights and sound effects during dialing.

One 1960s element that doesn’t make a comeback is the curly phone cord – instead there’s a wireless handset with a 10 hour battery life.

The Sagecom Sixty is available for £99.99 (US$167) … and it’ll come in any color you like as long as it’s orange.

Sourced & published by Henry Sapiecha

ANDROID PHONES AND APPLE FALSE PATENTS

Thursday, August 4th, 2011

IS GOOGLE ANDROID -SAMSUNG THREATENED BY APPLES FALSE PATENTS?

Google’s chief legal officer has launched a blistering attack on competitors, including Apple, for attempting to stifle innovation by using “bogus patents” to target Google’s Android partners including Samsung.

David Drummond, who is also Google’s senior vice-president, wrote in an explosive blog post that the patent wars were pushing up the prices of Android smartphones and tablets. This was part of a “hostile, organised campaign” being waged by Apple, Microsoft and others to “strangle” Android, which Google provides free of charge.

His remarks come after Apple succeeded in hobbling the Australian launch of Samsung’s Galaxy Tab 10.1 after accusing it in the Federal Court this week of infringing 10 Apple patents including the “look and feel” and touchscreen technology of the iPad.

Mr Drummond implied that Microsoft and Apple were getting “into bed together” to stifle Android’s success. He revealed that more than 550,000 Android devices were being activated worldwide every day through a network of 39 manufacturers and 231 carriers.

He said this competition was yielding “cool new devices and amazing mobile apps for consumers”.

“But Android’s success has yielded something else: a hostile, organised campaign against Android by Microsoft, Oracle, Apple and other companies, waged through bogus patents,” he wrote.

Apple sought injunctions preventing Samsung from selling or advertising the Galaxy Tab 10.1 in Australia – and demanded all of Samsung’s stock be sent to it to be destroyed.

Samsung has agreed not to market the US version of the tablet in Australia but has said it will launch a modified version and has agreed to send Apple samples of the device seven days before it goes on sale. It is likely Apple will also seek injunctions preventing the sale of the Australian version upon receiving the samples.

Patent experts claim that Samsung will not be able to modify the tablet sufficiently to avoid infringing Apple’s broad and far-reaching patents on multi-touch, gestures, list scrolling and other features.

Separately, the FOSS Patents blog has broken down some of the patents in question and argues it will be difficult for any Android maker to escape an Apple infringement suit.

Apple is suing Samsung in nine other countries as well and has launched other legal attacks on HTC and Motorola for allegedly infringing its patents with Android devices and stealing its ideas. Google itself faces patent suits from Oracle, which seeks billions of dollars in damages, claiming Google’s Android infringes its Java patents.

Mr Drummond cited these patent battles as well as the fact that a consortium including Microsoft and Apple recently bought thousands of Novell and Nortel’s old patents and were using them to demand a $US15 licensing fee for every Android device. He said this would make it more expensive for phone manufacturers to license Android than Windows Mobile.

“Patents were meant to encourage innovation, but lately they are being used as a weapon to stop it,” he wrote.

“A smartphone might involve as many as 250,000 (largely questionable) patent claims, and our competitors want to impose a ‘tax’ for these dubious patents that makes Android devices more expensive for consumers. They want to make it harder for manufacturers to sell Android devices. Instead of competing by building new features or devices, they are fighting through litigation.”

Mr Drummond said this was an “anti-competitive strategy” designed to “strangle” Android.

Google has responded by attempting to buy up its own cache of patents and has hired one of the US Federal Trade Commission’s top patent lawyers. Despite its criticisms of Apple and Microsoft for joining to buy Nortel’s patents for $US4.5 billion, Google also put in a bid.

Microsoft’s general counsel Brad Smith fired back with a tweet: “Google says we bought Novell patents to keep them from Google. Really? We asked them to bid jointly with us. They said no.”

Microsoft’s PR team backed Smith’s tweet up with a picture of an email that appears to corroborate his remarks.

Google executive chairman Eric Schmidt has previously accused Apple of responding to Android’s success with lawsuits rather than innovation.

“We have not done anything wrong and these lawsuits are just inspired by our success,” he said last month, commenting on Apple’s battle with HTC.

Kimberlee Weatherall, an Australian intellectual property lawyer, blogger and academic, wrote on The Conversation website that “the breadth of monopoly Apple is claiming” over basic smartphone features was “breathtaking”.

“I’d like to think Apple won’t be able to maintain a claim that broad, but in patent law, you never know – it all depends on what existed before the date of the patent,” Ms Weatherall said.

One of the patents “seems to cover most commands given using more than one finger on a touchscreen of any computing device (mobile phone, tablet, or anything else). Think ‘pinch to zoom’ and everything else”.

Technology companies, particularly Microsoft, Apple and Google, are buying up stacks of technology company patents in order both to demand licensing fees and to protect themselves from patent litigation by other companies.

In a recent interview with TechCrunch, Google general counsel Kent Walker argued that a patent wasn’t innovation but rather “the right to block someone else from innovating”.

“Patents are government-granted monopolies. We have them to reward innovation, but that’s not happening here.”

Sourced & published by Henry Sapiecha