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KDDI Corp. replaces Sony batteries in Casio, Hitachi phones

clock October 10, 2011 22:34 by author Jeremy

Three phone models (two by Casio, one by Hitachi) will be replacing their Sony-made batteries with KDDI Corp. batteries, the second-largest mobile phone operator in Japan. This is due to concerns about the batteries overheating.

Sony, a giant in consumer electronics, has had several recalls over the years, including several years in a row (starting 2006) of Dell laptop batteries. They're also known for their recent issues this past year revolving around computer hacks made against the company.

The phones in question were sold between 2007 and 2009. There have been customer complaints in both 2010 and 2011 of the batteries overheating, which may result in the battery melting.

While a change of batteries in three handheld electronic phones may not have a large effect on the company's monetary standing, it could definitely affect their reputation.

Source: businessweek



Apple stays on trail with iPhone 4S, not iPhone 5

clock October 5, 2011 00:24 by author Jeremy

The biggest news to emerge from today's Apple event is, of course, the unveiling of their latest iPhone, dubbed the iPhone 4S. This will come with quite a few new specs, particularly iOS 5. The iPhone 4S itself can be pre-ordered starting Oct 7th and will be available Oct. 14th. Meanwhile, iOS 5 will be released on Oct. 12th. So let's take a look at what we're dealing with, shall we?

The iPhone 4S will have the same retina display and back glass-casing as the iPhone 4, but comes with the brand new A5 chip. This chip is said to be twice as fast as its predecessor and has dual-core graphics. A new battery will provide 8 hours of talk-time, 6 hours of browsing (or 9 if done through WiFi), 10 hours of video and 40 hours of music, all done via the supposed 14.4 Mbps download speeds. And with AirPlay Mirroring, you can view some of these things on a bigger screen, either through a wired or wireless connection.

A new 8 megapixel camera is provided as well, bringing 60% better performance over the iPhone 4; this camera will also take in 73% more light, has 26% better white balance and an IR filter for more accurate colors. Plus, it's faster: a mere 1.1 seconds required to take one picture and only 0.5 seconds to take a second picture.

Perhaps the biggest new feature of the iPhone 4S/iOS 5 is Siri - originally a company that handled a voice recognition app, but was bought out by Apply in early 2010. Finally, Siri is bringing their expertise to the table by becoming Apple's (very intuitive) voice program. Quite a few examples were done at Apple's event today, with various questions/demands being asked: "What time is it in Paris", "Do I need to wear a raincoat today", "Find me a great Greek restaurant in Palo Alto", "Wake me up tomorrow at 6 AM", "Search Wikipedia for...". With each command, Siri either responded in kind or brought up the specific app that would help (such as a web browser with a wiki-page open).

Of course, the iPhone 4S and iOS 5 weren't the only news (granted, they were what everyone was waiting for) - the iPod Nano and iPod Touch both got a few touch-ups and price-alterations today. The iPod Nano, which now has a multi-touch display for app-swiping and 16 new clocks (including a Mickey Mouse clock!), will be available for $129 (8GB) or $149 (16 GB). Meanwhile, the iPod Touch, which now has iMessaging - bringing texts from your Apple devices to your iPod - will be for sale at $199 for 8GB, $299 for 32GB, or $399 for 64GB.

Also fresh off the Cupertino-grill is iTunes Match, the long-awaited music service that works with iTunes. This feature will scan your library, find the corresponding songs in iTunes for you and gives you the same benefits that iTunes-purchased-music would. This will be live at the end of the month.

Definitely an exciting day for Apple loyalists, and an exciting day for Sprint customers too - it was officially announced today at the event that Sprint will be getting the iPhone as well.

Oh, and as if all the news above wasn't enough, here's a last piece of joy for you: the iPhone 4S will now be available in white as well.

Sources: 9to5Mac, engadget (pictures)



Amazon Releases 4 New Kindles - Including a Tablet-version, Kindle Fire

clock September 28, 2011 22:51 by author Jeremy

Ever get tired of the same ol' Kindle, with its rectangular shape and book-like features? Yeah, neither do I. Which is why it's great news that Amazon is releasing four new kinds of Kindles at different price ranges.

The lowest-priced, which is just your basic "Kindle", is the same as its predecessors. It's smaller, lighter and "turns pages 10 percent faster"...I'm not sure what kind of page-turning madman sat down and compared that, though. Nonetheless, you still get your favorite e-reader from before, only for $79.

Next up is the "Kindle Touch", a mere $20 more than its less-advanced version (bringing our total to $99). This aptly-named e-reader brings a touch-screen for your page-turning, note-taking, searching-and-shopping pleasure. Again, enhancements have been made to prolong battery life, reduce the weight and make it smaller. There's also the new "X-Ray" feature, which Amazon says lets users "see all the passages across a book that mention ideas, fictional characters, historical figures, places or topics that interest them, as well as more details descriptions from Wikipedia and Shelfari". Avid wikipedia-clickers, beware, as this may just eat hours of your day in a single book.

The top of the line e-reader is the "Kindle Touch 3G", available for $149. This version carries all the specs of the Kindle Touch but with, you guessed it, 3G. The best part? It's free! Now you can have access to the Kindle store wherever, whenever, without the need for Wi-Fi hotspots.

Perhaps the most exciting news to come out from Amazon's tablet event is the release of the new "Kindle Fire", a $199 tablet, which shouldn't be confused with the aforementioned e-readers. With this tablet, you can browse the entirety of Amazon's selection, ranging from movies, music, shows, games, books and magazines. Of course, these virtual products still require buying. And don't let the measly 8GB of storage space scare you off: Amazon has provided free cloud storage for all of your digital content, available for re-downloading whenever you desire).

The Kindle Fire also comes with Amazon's new "Amazon Silk" - a type of browser that delivers faster speeds. This is done by Amazon taking part of the page-loading away from your device, and instead onto their servers. With loading times split between Amazon servers and your Kindle Fire, pages should come up faster, allowing for a swift peruse of the internet.

The Kindle can be bought today, while the Kindle Touch and Touch 3G are available for pre-order now, with shipping on November 21st. The Kindle Fire can be pre-ordered today as well and will ship out on November 15th.

Sources: Amazon Kindles Press Release, Amazon Silk Press Release



Apple Invitations Sent for Oct. 4th: "Let's Talk iPhone"

clock September 27, 2011 23:27 by author Jeremy

Well, the title pretty much says it all...or does it? This may look like just a regular invitation picture, but all around the world, people are clamoring as to what the event will unveil. The past has shown that Apple likes to throw little hints in their invites, so perhaps there's more to these icons than what first glance shows us.

Most people immediately jump to the long-awaited iPhone 5, or possibly even the iPhone 4GS/4S, both of which make sense (the message does read "iPhone" at the bottom, after all). But considering there's only "one missed call", one would think that only one phone is being released.

Meanwhile, emphasis on the word "talk" may indicate voice-recognition services. Roughly 18 months ago, Apple acquired Siri, a start-up  that delivered voice-activated personal-assistance programs. This could be Apple's foray into voice-recognition.

No matter what gets unveiled though, there's no denying that Apple's simple invitation has garnered enough attention to keep folks interested until Oct. 4th.

Sources: ibtimes, wsj



HP Hires Meg Whitman as CEO as Leo Apotheker Steps Down

clock September 23, 2011 01:48 by author Jeremy

Does the name "Leo Apotheker" ring a bell? How about Meg Whitman? ...Surely you've heard of "Hewlett-Packard" at least, right? These three names are tied together and have all come up in the news today.

Leo Apotheker has been the CEO of HP for the past year, until he stepped down earlier today and handed the reins over to Meg Whitman. For those who aren't sure who she is, Whitman was essential in eBay gaining popularity to becoming the giant it is today; she also ran for Governor of California in 2010, but eventually lost that race. Now, as the new CEO of HP, she'll be (hopefully) providing her ebay'ing business background to the falling company.

What does this mean for HP? According to several sources, they won't be changing their game plan: webOS is still out and they'll need some fresh juice to get the ball rolling again. We'll see if Whitman is the right person for that in the upcoming months.

Sources: cnet, thisismynext, bloomberg

 



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