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Odd And Interesting

Moshi for iPad
  • By Aldo Panessidi


    We’ll, it looks like there just might be some substance to the patent infringement mudslinging that has been going on, at least in this one instance of the Apple vs. Samsung tablet battle.


    Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 banned from any more sales in the U.S.


    This week, U.S. District Court Judge Lucy Koh banned the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 Android tablet from sales in the U.S. In Koh’s ruling, she stated, ”Although Samsung has a right to compete, it does not have a right to compete unfairly, by flooding the market with infringing products.”


    This ban is a victory for Apple in the U.S. where it has kept up a constant stream of patent lawsuits against its competition, but it’s probably not the huge one that Apple would like. The ban only affects the Galaxy Tab 10.1, a tablet that was introduced more than a year ago, and Samsung is almost ready with its replacement – the Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 10.1.


    U.S.-based retailers will be allowed to sell their remaining Galaxy Tab 10.1 inventories, and the new Galaxy Tab version is not affected by the ruling.




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  • By Aldo Panessidi


    If you’ve been looking for root access to SIM unlock your HTC One S without waiting for permission from your service provider or paying a third-party for it, we’ve got good news. There is a way to re-set your HTC One S device so that it can be used on any GSM service provider you choose.


    The key to SIM unlocking your HTC One S


    You may have heard awhile back that HTC Sensation owners had figured out that HTC had included that device’s SIM unlock code within the /dev/block/mmcblk0p6 block. HTC quickly got wise to their error and encrypted the actual SIM unlock code with a key generated from the phone’s IMEI number.


    Not to be out-maneuvered, some crafty developers have discovered a way to generate the SIM unlock code for the HTC One S. Users will have to use their phone’s IMEI number to calculate the encryption key, and subtract that number from the UN_Lock_clode inorder to get to the phone’s SIM unlock code.


    If math makes you nervous, here’s the Bash Script that automates the process.


    To obtain HTC One S SIM unlock code with Bash Script


    Root your HTC One S


    1. Download Bash Script zip file
    2. Extract unlock.sh file from zip to /system/ folder on HTC One S
    3. execute the .sh file directly from root explorer or open terminal emulator and run:
      su <enter>
      /system/unlock.sh <enter>

    To SIM unlock the HTC One S


    1. Once SIM unlock code displays on screen (also saved to /sdcard/sim_unlock_code.txt), note the number and turn off your device
    2. Remove the microSIM card from phone
    3. Insert a microSIM card from another service provider and turn the HTC One S back on
    4. When prompted, enter the SIM unlock code

    This root exploit can be used to get a free SIM unlock code for a rooted HTC One S. For those who don’t want to root their device, you can ask your wireless provider if they’ll give you an unlock key (usually after 90 days of phone ownership.) You can also purchase a SIM unlock code from a third-party source. It should run you around $12.




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  • By Aldo Panessidi


    Market research firm Strategy Analytics forecasts that worldwide smartphone shipments will have grown by 38% from one year ago. They also caution that the rate of growth might not be sustainable in the short term due to global economic troubles.


    Smartphone market growth expected at 38% in Q2 2012 4G LTE and Apple main catalysts


    The Strategy Analytics report did state that it expects smartphone shipments to bounce back later in the year. Both the Apple iPhone 5 and iPad 3 along couple with devices having 4G LTE connectivity should fuel new growth. Strategy Analytics called LTE “the industry’s most important segment” and predict that 4G LTE smartphone shipments will rise tenfold in 2012.




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  • By Aldo Panessidi


    The owners of Samsung Galaxy S2 devices on the AT&T network have finally received Android 4.0, and Samsung promises not to take it away again.  Last week, a few AT&T customers reported that one minute they had access to the Ice Cream Sandwich update on their phone and the next they didn’t.


    Yes, the Ice Cream Sandwich update is yours to keep For AT&T Samsung Galaxy S2 owners


    Samsung apparently yanked the updates from the Kies app, saying they hadn’t finished their testing. Now it looks like Samsung has already put everything back in its place because users are reporting that the update is running smoothly again.


    If you’d like to see what the ICS looks like on the Samsung Galaxy S2, check out the pictures posted in the XDA Developers forum.


    T-Mobile Galaxy S2 users have been enjoying their ICS since June 12. We hope AT&T is done monkeying around with theirs.




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  • By Aldo Panessidi


    Wolfson’s audio chip in Samsung Galaxy S3 devicesAudiophiles have hotly debated whether the Samsung Galaxy S3 would come equipped with a Wolfson digital-to-analog converter for high quality audio output. This week, the Scottish electronics manufacturer stepped up to confirm that its WM1811 Audio Hub is the audio chip hiding inside the Galaxy S3. But wait, the US version is different. The US GS3 uses Qualcomm's WCD9310 instead of the Wolfson chip - apparently the Snapdragon S4 is at work here.


    Wolfson provides a terrific product, Their Audio Hub promises "crystal clear voice call quality" and "enriched audio playback for music and video." It’s also packed with a 24-bit hi-fi DAC and active noise reduction circuits.


    Just to show that some of us are never happy, some audio experts are claiming that the Galaxy S2 equipment is better. The GS2’s Yamaha DAC converts digital data into an analog signal that can drive a speaker (like the one in your headphones.) Good thing most of us can’t tell the difference.


    Why not eliminate all the debate about sound quality with high-quality earbuds and headsets, XMI Speakers and Beats by Dr. Dre.   Let the experts keep searching for their audio holy grail, while we just enjoy the music.




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  • By Aldo Panessidi 


    Google attempts to block US shipments of Apple iPhone and iPad


    Bloomberg reported that Google may have grounds to ask the International Trade Commission to block U.S. imports of the Apple iPhone and iPad  over 3G patents held by Motorola Mobility. This speculation is based upon Google’s accusations that Apple has violated 3G patents held by Motorola Mobility, one of Google’s latest acquisitions.


    Here’s the quote from the Bloomberg report, “The U.S. International Trade Commission said it will review ITC Judge Thomas Pender’s findings that Apple was violating one Motorola Mobility patent. The commission is scheduled to issue a final decision on Aug. 24, and has the power to block devices made in Asia from entering the U.S.”


    Google bought Motorola Mobility in part to gain access to Motorola’s stockpile of 17,000 patents, many on phone technology. Apple had already filed a complaint against Motorola Mobility at the European Union, accusing them of misusing patents that relate to industry standards.  When Google bought Motorola, that battle with Apple came as part of the deal.




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  • Fans all over the world have been bombarded with speculation about this major update to Apple’s mobile platform, and now we all have a preliminary look.  Last week, Apple finally revealed the details for its iOS 6 with the low-down on over 200 new features, services and user interface upgrades.


    What is Apple thinking with its iOS 6?


    Apple has less than three months to get iOS 6 ready for release.  Here’s the low-down on one of the first reviews.


    First Impressions


    The beta release is available to developers, getting the new code into the hands of those who produce the apps in the crowded App Store. This evaluation is based on testing with the iPhone 4S, so if you have a different mobile device, your results may be different.


    Two hundred tweaks may sound like a lot (and it is), but there are a few key additions, updates and changes with iOS 6 that deserve a closer look. We’ll highlight the biggest upcoming changes that could have even Android, BlackBerry and Windows Phone loyalists thinking twice about Apple's iPhone.


    Siri


    Siri capability is added to the iPad 3 (but not older iPads or the iPhone 4 and earlier.) Siri has only been available on iPhone 4S until now.


    • Siri answers sports questions that go beyond just game scores including history, stats, player bios, and records without switching over to the browser.
    • Siri answers questions about movies like actors, directors, awards and movie stats, and shows status of premieres, reviews, trailers and tickets. It will bring up nearby listings and enable ticket purchases through Fandango.
    • Siri understands more languages Canadian English and French, Spanish, Italian, the varieties of German, Italian and French spoken in Switzerland, Korean, Mandarin, Cantonese. These are also supported in the satellite navigation app.
    • Siri finds the restaurant you are looking for and filters the results based on user reviews. It provides for detailed searches based on food type, location, outdoor, pool, price range, ratings, and more. (This feature is not available in every country.)
    •  Nine automakers (BMW, GM, Mercedes, Land Rover, Jaguar, Audi, Toyota, Chrysler and Honda) have promised to integrate Siri. Hitting the voice button in your car will activate Siri if your iPhone is connected to your vehicle’s infotainment system.
    • Siri launches apps by just saying their name.

    What is Apple thinking with its iOS 6?


    Facebook integration in Siri


    Twitter became integrated into iOS 5, and now Apple is doing the same with Facebook in iOS 6. Everything you can do now with Twitter, you'll be able to do with Facebook.


    • Use Siri to post Facebook updates and tweets.
    • With the link to Facebook you can update your contacts’ pictures, addresses, important dates, emails, phone numbers and websites. You will also get a new Facebook field with a shortcut to your contacts’ Facebook profile. It will load in the Safari browser, not the dedicated Facebook app.
    • All Facebook events will appear in the Calendar.
    • Facebook integration extends to the App Store and the iTunes Store. Whenever you tap on an app, song, movie, TV show, and more three tabs pop up: info, reviews and related.
    • Share photos on Facebook from inside the Camera or Photo apps.
    • Share addresses with a pin in Maps.

    In another blow to Google, there’s no Google+ integration. Then again, there's no Google+ integration in Android either…


    Apple Maps


    Google has been providing an Apple version of its Google Maps since iOS was born. But iOS 6 kicks Google Maps to the curb. While the Google version may still be available in the App Store, Apple’s iOS 6 Maps provided by TomTom will have the default position. Here are a few of the highlights:


    • iOS 6 Maps uses TomTom for all mapping and traffic data.
    • Siri connects to these maps, and turn-by-turn voice navigation is included for free.
    • You can access crowd-sourced traffic information for (almost) real-time traffic alerts.
    • 3D "Flyover" maps are available on the iPhone 4S, iPad 2 and the New iPad/iPad 3 (older models won't support the advanced graphics.). Zoom, tilt and rotate the landscape to explore 3D landmarks in real time.
    • Access local search and Yelp reviews.
    • Navigation even works in the lock screen mode and behind other apps. This is ideal for use in car mounts.
    • Offline mapping capability should be available in the coming weeks.

    PassBook


    Passbook is a single app that collects and intelligently displays boarding passes, movie tickets, retail coupons, and loyalty cards.


    • Any travel changes (like gate changes and fee differences) are displayed in Passbook in real-time as long as you have a data connection. This is a airline carrier partnership deal. So far the only airline to sign up is United. A lot more carriers will have to join to make this one worthwhile.
    • The location-aware app makes the right coupon available in the right place and at the right time.
    • The PassBook will report the balance on coupons and cards, let you check your ticket seats and can even show you relevant notifications (e.g. gate or terminal change for a flight).

    Safari browser


    The Safari browser has gotten a few minor updates:


    • It’s faster than it was on the iOS 5. Its benchmark scores for SunSpider, BrowserMark and HTML5test.com show significant improvement over iOS 5.1.1.
    • A full-screen view option is available from a dedicated button on the taskbar. It works only in landscape mode.
    • iCloud tab syncing is enabled, along with offline reading.
    • You can access to your multimedia content without exiting the browser.

    Email


    Good old email got some updates too:


    • Set up friends’ emails in a dedicated VIP mailbox, and it will appear highlighted in the regular inbox. Designate where you want to be notified of VIP emails (for example, put them on the lockscreen.)
    • Flag important emails and they’ll be placed in a Flagged mailbox.
    • Use different mail signatures for multiple email accounts.
    • Insert pictures or videos in emails just by tapping and holding on an empty space and accessing them from a pop-up menu.
    • The update button is now gone and there's a pull to refresh instead.

    Phone app


    Apple is adding some much needed calling features:


    • When you decline an incoming call, you can reply to it with a text message or set a callback reminder.
    • Use the Do Not Disturb setting to bypass calls and texts, except those from callers on your VIP list.
    • If the Repeated calls feature is activated a second call from the same contact within less than three minutes will not be silenced (it might be an emergency.)

    App Store and iTunes Store


    With iOS 6 Apple has updated the App Store and iTunes Store and content handling:


    • Featured pages have scrollable rows rather than lists.
    • The App Store won't prompt you to enter your password when you’re just updating apps.
    • You can see the change log in the Updates screen without opening the info screen.
    • After you buy or update apps you can continue browsing the store. You can also launch apps you've already installed from within the store.
    • The Game Center gets Facebook integration and supports challenges.

    FaceTime


    FaceTime for 3G is finally here, allowing FaceTime to work over cellular networks, not just Wi-Fi.


    • FaceTime now supports video chatting on data networks, but be warned; these chats run through around 3MB per minute and will chew through your LTE data plan in short order.
    • The unified FaceTime/iMessages ID lets you receive calls on an iPad using your phone number.
    • Other FaceTime improvements include updated Stores and system apps, new icons, and revised settings.

    What is Apple thinking with its iOS 6?


    Guided Access and Lost Mode


    Apple is working hard to bring iOS to people with disabilities through its Guided Access.


    • It helps students with disabilities remain on task and focused on content.
    • It allows a parent, teacher, or administrator to limit an iOS device to one app by disabling the Home button as well as restrict touch input on certain areas of the screen.
    • VoiceOver, a screen reader technology for blind and low-vision users, is now integrated with Maps, AssistiveTouch, and Zoom.
    • Guided Access could be useful as a kid- or test- mode. Loan your Apple device to your kids without being worried that they will access inappropriate content or change your settings and apps.

    Lost Mode is part of the former Find My iPhone service. If you lose your gadget, you can lock it remotely and send a message with your contact information. Lost Mode doesn’t have data wiping capability.


    Miscellaneous mentions


    Right inside the Photo app is a sub-social network for pictures called Shared Photo Stream. By choosing what pictures to share and which people to share them with, those you send them to will be able to like them and post comments.


    The Bluetooth toggle has more prominence with placement next to the Wi-Fi toggle.


    The Camera UI is now black.


    In the settings menu brightness is now in the wallpaper screen.


    In the auto brightness mode, your device will be in full control of the brightness and will move the slider above the toggle to show the currently selected setting.  You’ll be able to see exactly how bright the screen is, but you won’t be able to adjust it in auto-mode like you could in past iOS versions.


    The Settings and Clock apps have updated icons. The Clock app now allows you to access the iPod music library and assign any song as an alarm tone.


    Compatibility


    Not all Apple iPhone and iPad generations will get the upgrade. iOS 6 is compatible with iPhone 3GS, 4 and 4S; iPad 2 and 3; and the fourth-generation iPod Touch. The first iPad has been left behind.


    Siri access is expanded beyond the iPhone 4S, but only as far as iPad 3. The turn-by-turn navigation and the Flyover mode in Maps is only possible with the dual-core devices - iPhone 4S, iPad 2 and iPad 3.


    Wrap up


    The iOS 6 changes will make a difference for every Apple device that it’s made for.


    The big deal is Maps. While much of Maps looks similar to Google Maps, it integrates 3D and voice navigation. The integration with Siri is most of what will make Apple’s Maps a winner with most users.


    iOS 6 won’t inspire a mob of new customers, but we’ll see if the new iPhone 5 package makes the iOS 6 greater than the sum of its parts.




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  • By Aldo Panessidi


    Samsung has a Galaxy Note2 with “UBP”


    The new Samsung Galaxy Note “phablet” is in the works as a follow up to the success of its first phone/tablet hybrid –  the Galaxy Note. 


    The Galaxy Note was one of the key contributors to Samsung's success in the past year. Over seven million devices have been sold worldwide. That beats the company’s sales projections from back in March by two million units.


    According to MK Business News, Samsung plans to release the new handset in October. Samsung apparently wants its new Note to go head to head with the Apple iPhone 5 that is also expected to enter the market in the fall.


    The Galaxy Note2 will have a display that is rumored to be larger than the current Note’s 5.3-inches. It will up the technology bar with a display made from “unbreakable plane” (or “UBP”), a precursor to the flexible display. The Note II is also is rumored to have a slimmer design than the Note, a quad-core processor and an Android Jelly Bean OS.


    No details on pricing have been provided by Samsung.




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  • By Adhurim Mirtezai


    Hacker claims theft of 50GB of credit card data stolen from 79 major banks


    A hacker chose Twitter to announce that he had stolen somewhere in the neighborhood of 50GBs worth of customer information from dozens of large banks. The data included full names, addresses, phone numbers and email addresses related to Visa and MasterCard credit and debit card accounts. 


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    Hacker claims theft of 50GB of credit card data stolen from 79 major banks


    The hacker known as Reckz0r proclaimed that he had illegally accessed these banks’ servers, and he provided the confidential data to prove it.  Reckz0r boasted that he was only showing only a portion of the data stolen, and the full amount is “about 50GB or bigger” taken from “over 79 large banks.”  He also said that he had been working on his project over the last three months.


    The international credit card processing company Global Payments confirmed back in March that hackers had stolen the credit card numbers of as many as 1.5 million MasterCard and Visa customers. No one is saying whether this new data leaked by Reckz0r was part of the earlier breach.




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  • LG ends tablet production
    Posted on June 26, 2012 by Pure Mobile

    By Aldo Panessidi


    LG Mobile announced that it will halt both time and investment in tablet development and instead concentrate their attention on making smartphones including the Optimus L7, Optimus 4G LTE and Gossip Pro 


    LG ends tablet production


    Ken Hong, an LG spokesman, couldn’t have made it any clearer when he told Bloomberg, “We’ve decided to put all new tablet development on the back burner for the time being in order to focus on smartphones.”


    LG launched the Optimus Pad LTE earlier this year, but hasn’t been able to make any inroads against Apple, Amazon and Samsung in the tablet market. The South Korean electronics manufacturer will try to turn around its smartphone business by concentrating on its Optimus line of Android devices. Hong also noted that the company is still interested in making phones using Microsoft’s Windows Phone software.




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