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Latest Technology, Sony

Happy Thanksgiving from Doki Doki Universe

Greetings from HumaNature Studios, the creators of the soon-to-be-released Doki Doki Universe. In the spirit of this year’s Thanksgiving holiday, we thought we’d share a preview of one of the stories in our upcoming game. This one is particularly relevant to the themes and spirit of Thanksgiving -- odd as this may seem, as there are no pilgrims or turkeys to be seen.
Apple, Latest Technology

Retina Apple iPad mini gets blasted for having outdated display tech

DisplayMate, the website which specializes in rating and comparing display tech of mobile devices and laptops, has sharply criticized Apple’s iPad mini 2 in its latest shootout, pitting it against the Kindle Fire HDX 7 and Google Nexus 7.

The biggest criticisms come in regards to the color gamut and accuracy. The Retina screen of the new mini is way off what the iPad 3, 4 and Air have been offering so far in this respect.

The problem boils down to Apple’s use of outdated IGZO display technology in the Retina mini’s panels. IGZO, which was a relatively new display tech a few years ago, has since been replaced by LTPS – which Apple uses for its iPhones. Apple has also reportedly suffered from low yield rates for IGZO, and have resorted to making Retina mini’s with a-Si displays as well. a-Si has much lower power efficiency than IGZO, which Apple has been able to compensate for by using higher performance White LEDs, which roughly equalizes the power requirements of the two display technologies.

But perhaps the more pressing question is why Apple, renown for its high quality hardware, would choose to ship one of its hottest products with inferior display tech?

Rumors of potential shortages in Apple’s supply chain have been circulating since even before the iPad mini 2′s announcement, and earlier this month we reported alleged talks Cupertino was having with arch-rival Samsung to fulfill an order of some 15 million Retina mini panels.

Back then, it was reported that Apple could either go through the cost-prohibitive process of upgrading their panels to the LTPS substrate, or turn to Samsung to produce the required amount of panels by early next year, since their other suppliers – Sharp and LG – would not be able to get a high enough production yield.

It seems that for the time being Apple has solved the production problem with the help of a-Si panels, but has opened the door to criticism and potential hardware issues in the future.

Source | Via

Latest Technology, Reviews, Sony

PlayStation Plus: December Preview

You can hop into Borderlands 2 for free later this month on PS3, and this game absolutely shines with co-op, so be sure to bring some buddies along with you while you blast away all the skags on Pandora. You can build out your vault hunter how you like – focus on damage or get some support skills to aid yourself & your friends.
Latest Technology, Nokia

Nokia Asha 502 Twin SIM and Asha 503 go on sale

Nokia put two Asha 50x phones on sale – the 502 Dual SIM and the 503. The two are based on the Asha 501 design, but add a transparent outer layer on the back (while being every bit as colorful underneath).

The Nokia Asha 502 Dual SIM improves the phone's photography skills by bumping the camera to 5MP and adding an LED flash. The video recording is still at the abysmal QVGA@15fps, though.

As the name suggests, it comes only in dual-SIM. Unlike the 501, this model has only 2G connectivity, but Wi-Fi is still available and so is WhatsApp. Note that the Asha 502 has a slightly smaller battery.

The Nokia Asha 503 comes in single- and dual-SIM versions. It also brings back the 3.5G connectivity from the 501, while keeping the improved camera. The battery is back to the original 1,200mAh capacity too.

Both the Asha 502 and the 503 have 3" QVGA screens (240 x 320) protected by Gorilla Glass 2, Wi-Fi b/g/n, Bluetooth 3.0, microSD card slots. They also feature social networking integration (Facebook, Twitter, Sina Weibo, LINE, WeChat) and Nokia's data compressing Xpress Browser.

The Nokia Asha 502 Dual SIM and Asha 503 are available right now in select IMEA (India, Middle East and Africa) and Asia Pacific regions.


Latest Technology, Samsung

Samsung Galaxy S5 will not have OIS camera

Before the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 came out there were rumors that it will have a camera with optical image stabilization (OIS). It didn’t and rumors had it that it was due to the insufficient supply of stabilized modules in time for the launch. Then there were a couple of OIS-enabled cameras linked to Samsung – a 13MP one and a 16MP one – with speculations coming that they'll be used on the Galaxy S5.

Not so fast, says Korean publication ETNews. Apparently, the next Galaxy S flagship will not have OIS due to a number of issues. For one, OIS camera modules are thick and might not fit in the thin Galaxy S5.

Getting enough units is another issue – the Galaxy S phones sell in the tens of millions and Samsung is reportedly worried that camera suppliers won't be able to deliver enough units, at least in time for the S5 launch early next year.

Samsung execs recognize that competitors are using OIS as a marketing point, but the next flagship smartphone will most likely miss out on the feature.

Keep in mind that that these rumors are in no way official and might turn out to be false. The same goes for other Galaxy S5 rumors including the metal frame and 64-bit processor.

Source (in Korean) | Via

Intel, Latest Technology

Intel Brussels welcomes a new blogger

Hi ! My name is Julian Lageard and I’ve been working on EU environmental regulation for the past couple of decades. Europe can be proud of what it has achieved by setting the global bar from a competitiveness standpoint on laws such as the RoHS2 Directive (Restriction of Hazardous Substances) which bans the use of lead in electronics. Similar legislation has been or is being introduced in 40 countries outside the EEA, the latest being the Eur Asian Customs Union (Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan). However, whilst everyone applauds the goals of the relatively young chemicals regime REACH, we need to build more predictability and legal certainty into the system in order to attract significant new investment into Europe and before REACH is fit for purpose to proliferate out of the EU into other jurisdictions.

Latest Technology, Samsung
Latest Technology, Tips & Tricks

Last Minute Strategy Guide for Black Friday

As we get ready for Thanksgiving Day, “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire” is the #1 Box office movie in the USA. The movie is about a game of survival on an island among randomly chosen …
Apple, Latest Technology

‘Angry Birds Go!’ launches on iOS in New Zealand

Angry Birds Go! is the latest game in the Angry Birds series from Rovio and is the farthest departure from anything that has come before it. Like many franchises before it, including Mario, Sonic and Crash Bandicoot, Rovio turned to the go-kart racing genre for their popular franchise and now we have a go-kart racing game but with birds.

Angry Birds Go! was supposed to launch worldwide on multiple platforms on December 11 but Rovio has done a soft launch on iOS in the New Zealand region, so if you happen to be there the game is available for download for free.

Of course, every time you see ‘free’ now, you can just assume there are either ads or in-app purchases lurking somewhere within the app or the game and Angry Birds Go! has the latter. You can buy powerups and upgrades for your karts and you can buy coins that let you make these upgrades through IAP. There is also a Big Bang Special Edition car, which is priced at 64.99 NZD (53 USD).

We’ll be taking a closer look at the game when it launches internationally but for now you can download it from the link below if you’re in New Zealand.


Gaming Technology, Latest Technology
Google, Latest Technology

CyanogenMod installer app removed from the Google Play Store

The official CyanogenMod installer was pulled out of the Google Play Store. The app was voluntarily removed after the Google Play Support team contacted CyanogenMod that its creation was violating the store’s terms.

The app specifically violated the Google Play Store Terms of Service by encouraging users to void the warranty of their devices, despite being harmless in its nature. As you probably know already, void warranty is one of the biggest downsides of rooting an Android device.

Launched a couple of weeks back, the official CyanogenMod installer, in conjunction with a desktop companion, allowed you to flash the company’s custom Android ROMs to compatible devices. According to CyanogenMod, the app has seen hundreds of thousands of installs for the two weeks of its availability.

Thankfully, removal from the Google Play Store does not mark the end of the road for the CyanogenMod installer. The app is available to download directly from the CyanogenMod website and can be sideloaded to any Android device. The freshly minted company is also submitting the app to the Amazon and Samsung app stores.


Latest Technology, Misc. Mobile Phones, Reviews

Oppo N1 review: Head spin

GSMArena team, 27 November 2013.


The Oppo N1 knows it will need to fulfill the promises made by the Oppo Find 5. The latter essentially placed the company on the international map but the newcomer does look like a much improved and mature product that will aim even higher. The Find 5 was designed to impress and had an amazing screen - a solid foundation for the N1 to build on, and it doesn't fail. What's more, Oppo takes on from there with courage and creativity.

Oppo N1 official photos

Prior to release, Oppo went over and beyond to promote the upcoming smartphone with regular YouTube teasers and sneak peeks, getting CyanogenMod's top man, Steve Kondik, on board. That collaboration will bear fruit in a limited edition Oppo N1 with a CyanogenMod ROM but the one we're about to have a closer look at runs the company's homebrewed Color OS.

Android manufacturers (Chinese ones nonetheless) are keen to have their own take on Android - we've seen Meizu's Flyme OS on a few occasions, Huawei's got Emotion UI and Xiaomi has the MiUi. This is our second encounter with Oppo's Color OS, and it has improved quite a lot from what we remember on the Find 5.

Let's get into the spec sheet in a little more detail. It's a list that's meant to impress and occasionally wow and it dully delivers on those points.

Key features

  • Quad-band GSM/GPRS/EDGE support; penta-band 3G with HSPA
  • 5.9" 16M-color 1080p Super IPS LCD capacitive touchscreen with 373ppi
  • Android OS v4.2.2 Jelly Bean with Color OS; There is a limited edition with CyanogenMod
  • Quad-core 1.7 GHz Krait 300 CPU, 2 GB RAM, Adreno 320 GPU; Qualcomm Snapdragon 600 chipset
  • 13 MP autofocus camera, 206° module rotation; dual-LED flash; HDR, long exposure (up to 8 seconds), shutter remote
  • 1080p video recording @ 30fps with HDR mode, continuous autofocus and stereo sound
  • Oppo Beauty capture
  • Touchpad on the back
  • Dual-band Wi-Fi ac/a/b/g/n, Wi-Fi Direct and DLNA; Wireless TV-out (Miracast)
  • GPS with A-GPS
  • 16GB/32GB of built-in storage
  • microUSB 2.0 port, USB on the go support
  • Bluetooth v4.0
  • NFC
  • Standard 3.5 mm audio jack
  • 3610 mAh battery
  • Accelerometer and proximity sensor
  • Active noise cancellation with dedicated mic
  • Premium aluminum and polycarbonate finish
  • O-Click Bluetooth Remote Control in the package

Main disadvantages

  • Non expandable storage
  • No LTE
  • Non user-replaceable battery
  • Hefty and big device, near impossible to operate single-handedly
  • Snapdragon 600 is no longer flagship-grade

The main focus is undoubtedly on the display and camera but Oppo did well to fill in the details - there's an immense battery, ample 2GB of RAM and a solid connectivity set. It's the Snapdragon 600 chipset that looks a bit out of place. Not that you should worry about general speed and responsiveness, but it just doesn't provide as much in terms of future-proofing as the Snapdragon 800 . And it can't manage 4K video recording, which is a potential eyebrow-raiser in a package that bets so heavily on imaging.

The camera is the most obvious attention-grabber, the lens placed on a 206°-rotating module, which has the earpiece and proximity sensor on one side and the 13MP camera with dual-LED flash on the other. A rotating camera design scores big on exclusivity in the current smartphone game, although we can't discount Nokia's early efforts in the field with the 3250 and N90. Maybe that's what Oppo meant with "Back to innovation".

More importantly though, the N1's camera has hardware you rarely see in a smartphone, and the software backing to make it count in more than just high-resolution selfies.

Oppo N1 Oppo N1
Oppo N1 at HQ

It's obvious Oppo has gone all out with the N1 - the screen, the camera, the OS, the design and the marketing. The company wants to be heard and seen and it sure looks like they have something to show. We're eager to explore and our next stop is hardware. It goes without saying that the only way the N1's going to get its back scratched is by us testing the rear touchpad.