Saturday, January 19, 2013


Galaxy Note 10.1 Jelly Bean Update

Owners of the 
Galaxy Note 10.1 and Galaxy Tab 2 will be happy to learn thatSamsung (005930) has begun to update their tablets to Android 4.1 Jelly Bean. The company announced its plans earlier this week, revealing that the Note’s update includes “dramatic improvements to the multitasking and S Pen features,” while the Tab 2 will bring the company’s Premium Suite of features and productivity apps to the device. The addition of Jelly Bean will also give the tablets access to Google Now, Google’s (GOOG) personal assistant feature, and improved performance with Project Butter. The update is available now for Wi-Fi models of the Galaxy Note 10.1, Galaxy Tab 7 and Galaxy Tab 10.1.

iPad Readers Guaranteed First Access to Some Hearst Magazines

iPad owners are now getting more than just bells and whistles tacked on to some of their favorite magazines — they're also getting issues of those magazines first.
As first uncovered by The Loop, Apple has set up a new category in its Newsstand store featuring 20 titles — all owned by Hearst — which will be released before they appear in print "or any other digital edition." Subscribers and single-issue purchasers will be able to access new releases at the same time.
Exactly how much of a lead iPad readers will have will vary by magazine, but most will be within "a couple of days" of the print release, a spokesperson for Hearst told Mashable.
Apple's advantage here isn't so much over print as over other digital newsstands, like Amazon's, Google's and Zinio's. Many magazines owned by companies other than Hearst already push out their digital editions ahead of print: The tablet edition of Conde Nast-owned Golf Digest, for example, goes live one week before print issues hit newsstands, a spokesperson for the magazine told Mashable. (However others, likeRunner's World, sometimes appear several weeks after, we've noticed.)
Why is Apple getting special treatment? Apple suggested it, says Hearst. The advantage for Hearst, presumably, is exposure. At Mashable's Media Summit in November, Hearst President David Carey said the success of its tablet editions relied heavily on promotion from digital storefronts. "If your magazines land in the upper carousel of [Apple's] Newsstand, you sell a lot of product. If you're nowhere on that page, you're not going to do as well," he observed.
Hearst's digital circulation is still marginal. In a note to employees sent at the beginning of the year, Carey said the company had amassed nearly 800,000 paid digital subscribers in the U.S. across its titles. To put that in context, just one of its titles,Cosmopolitan, has a print circulation of more than 3 million, according to ABC.

Friday, January 18, 2013

iPhone 5 SPIGEN SGP Slim Armor Case

There will be many of you that don’t like to cover up that stylish looking new smartphone with a bumper or case despite the risks of any damage. Luckily for those that do want to protect their treasured handset there are a huge number of cases available that offer protection, while keeping a stylish look to the device. We now have the iPhone 5 SPIGEN SGP Slim Armor case for you with a number of video reviews as well.

The product according to the manufacturer has been designed to protect the iPhone 5 at every angle with improved shock absorption all the way round the edge of the handset. It is constructed with a double layer with a TPU case, along with a polycarbonate hard case to offer even more protection.

Owners can remove the polycarbonate part of the case that then allows it to be interchanged with different colour finishes, and the case fits snugly onto the iPhone 5 to still give a nice sleek and natural look. The middle part of the case has also got a matte finish to improve grip in use as wells as provide a soft touch.

We have embedded a number of videos below that show off the Armor iPhone 5 case and the first one is just a quick preview of the handset being placed easily into it, and showing off the various openings for the handsets functions. The next video down goes into more detail about the case and the fact it’s not supplied with a screen protector, but the low $17.99 asking price may have something to do with this.
The video continues by showing you how easy it is to install the iPhone in the case, but does mention that a screen protector is advisable as well. The next video again talks about installing the case onto the iPhone 5, and states you can either have both pieces of the case together before placing the handset inside, or you can first put the device inside the main body of the case before putting on the back polycarbonate shell.

Again owners are advised to use some kind of screen protector as even with the case on there is no protection for the iPhone 5’s display and the final video also comments on how cleanly the cut outs have been done for all of the handsets ports. You can find the SPIGEN SGP Slim Armor case for the iPhone 5 here, and check the videos out below.

What is 4K? Next-generation resolution explained

The 84-inch LG 84LM9600 is the largest LCD released on the market so far, and one of the first with 4K resolution.
(Credit: LG)

If you keep track of next-generation TV technology, you're going to start hearing a lot more about 4K or Ultra HD. Here's what it is and why it exists.

As if LED and 3D TV weren't confusing enough, in the last few months we have seen a new HDTV technology called 4K, or its official name, Ultra HD. It's being heralded as the next high-def, and judging by the show floor at CES 2013, manufacturers are lining up to bring you a new array of products.
But just as was the case with 3D, it's the hardware chicken before the software egg: there's no consumer 4K content available. Still, if you listen to the industry, it'll tell you it's the last resolution you'll ever need. So what is 4K anyway, and what makes it different from high definition?

Digital resolutions: A primer

The latest in a line of broadcast and media resolutions, 4K/UHD is due to replace 1080i/p (1,920x1,080 pixels) as the highest-resolution signal available for movies and, perhaps, television.
Though there are several different standards, "4K" in general refers to a resolution of roughly 4,000 pixels wide and about 2,000 pixels high. That makes it the equivalent of four 1080p screens in height and length. Currently 4K is a catch-all term for a number of standards that are reasonably close to that resolution, and the TVs we'll see this year labeled 4K will actually be Ultra HD, which is defined below. But frankly, we think 4K is the catchier name.
Meanwhile, high definition (HD) itself has been with us for about a decade and is used in Blu-ray movies and HD broadcasts. There are three versions of HD: full high definition 1080p (progressive), 1080i (interlaced), and 720p (also called simply "high definition").
Most television programs and all DVDs are encoded in standard definition (480 lines). Standard definition is the oldest resolution still in use as it began life as NTSC broadcasts, switching to digital with the introduction of ATSC in 2007.

Four resolutions compared: standard definition; full high definition; Quad HD; and 4K/2K.
(Credit: CNET)

The beginnings of digital cinema

The roots of 4K are in the theater.
When George Lucas was preparing to make his long-promised prequels to the "Star Wars" movies in the late '90s, he was experimenting with new digital formats as a replacement for film. Film stock is incredibly expensive to produce, transport, and store. If movie houses could simply download a digital movie file and display it on a digital projector, they could save a lot of money. In a time when cinemas are under siege from on-demand cable services and streaming video, cost-cutting helps to keep them competitive.
After shooting "The Phantom Menace" partly in HD, George Lucas shot "Attack of the Clones" fully digitally in 1080p. This was great for the future Blu-ray release, but the boffins soon found that 1080p wasn't high-enough resolution for giant theater screens. If you sit in the front rows of one of these theaters as it's displaying 1080p content, you may see a softer image or the lattice grid of pixel structure, which can be quite distracting.
The industry needed a resolution that would work if the audience were sitting in the optimum "one-and-a-half times the screen height" from the screen or closer, and found it required that resolution to be higher than 1080p. The Digital Cinema Initiatives (DCI) was formed in 2002 with the goal of setting a digital standard. Based on these efforts, two new resolutions came about: a 2K specification, and later in 2005, the 4K format.
The first high-profile 4K cinema release was "Blade Runner: The Final Cut" in 2007, a new cut and print of the 1982 masterpiece. Unfortunately, at that time very few theaters were able to show it in its full resolution. It would take one of director Ridley Scott's contemporaries to truly drive 4K into your local cineplex.

The 4K 'standard'

"4K is at the point of diminishing returns." --Dr. Dave Lamb of 3M Laboratories
Despite the industry's best intentions, there is still no single 4K standard -- there are five or more different shooting resolutions available. In cinemas, you see projectors based on the DCI specification.
In August 2012, the Consumer Electronics Association attempted to clarify the situation for the home by introducing the term Ultra High Definition defined as resolutions of "at least 3,840x2,160 pixels". However, the next day Sony muddied the waters by saying it was going to call the technology "4K Ultra High Definition".
The HDMI organization recently added two types of 4K support to its latest 1.4 specification: the former "Quad HD" (strictly 3,840x2,160 pixels) and 4K/2K, also called 4Kx2K (4,096x2,160 pixels). While only Quad HD conforms to the classic 16:9 ratio of modern television screens, both Quad HD and 4K/2K qualify as "Ultra High Definition".
Meanwhile, some industry experts have questioned the necessity of 4K as a home format, given the lack of content and the need for very large displays to appreciate the extra resolution.
"There was a huge, noticeable leap from standard definition to HD, but the difference between 1080p and 4K is not as marked," said researcher Dave Lamb of 3M Laboratories.
Lamb added that "4K is at the point of diminishing returns," but there could be some benefits for screens over 55 inches.


Parts of 'The Phantom Menace' were shot digitally, and the film enjoyed a new lease on life in early 2012 with a 3D cinema release
(Credit: 20th Century Fox/Lucasfilm Ltd.)
Did you see James Cameron's "Avatar 3D" in the theater? Then you've seen 4K in action. Cameron's movie about "giant blue dudes" helped drive high-resolution 4K Sony projectors into theaters around the world, and made a lot of money in the process. Movie studios keen to maintain that momentum have released a slew of 3D films -- mostly converted from 2D -- and continued the expansion of 3D cinemas.
However, this forward motion hasn't translated to a success for 3D TV in the home.
"Manufacturers would have wanted 3D to be bigger than it was; they wanted it to be the next LED, but it didn't work out," Lamb said.
Given a so-far-mediocre response to 3D, and the expense and bulk of active glasses, manufacturers have begun to search for an alternative, and 4K offers a way increase the quality of the 3D image with passive glasses or get rid of them altogether.

In-home 4K, now and the future

The 4K TVs will be big and expensive for the next couple of years.
Most companies have committed to releasing 4K displays in 2013, and in the absence of 4K media to watch, the main benefit would seem to be the enhancement of 3D quality. Theresolution disadvantages of LG's passive 3D system can, in theory, be overcome by doubling the number of horizontal and vertical pixels, allowing 4K passive displays like theLG 84LM9600 (due this summer) to deliver 1080p to both eyes.
The first consumer-grade 4K panel to hit the U.S. market was the LG 84LM9600 that features a UHD resolution of 3,840x2,160 pixels and currently goes for $17,000. Meanwhile,Sony's 84-inch XBR-84X900 TV will set you back 25K. More TVs will be coming your way in 2013.
Sony announced its 4K home-theater projector, the VPL-VW1000ES, in September 2011, but does not make the product available through its Web site or stores and instead sells it directly to custom installers. Meanwhile, JVC announced four projectors in 2011 that upscale 1080p content to 4K but currently are unable to display native 4K content.
In the absence of 4K content, players and displays will need to upscale 1080p or even standard-definition content. To this end, Sony has a Blu-ray player, the BDP-S790, that will upscale to 4K. Sony has also announced it will bundle a movie server that has 4K films stored on it with its X900 TV.
Looking to the future, Sony is reportedly keen to have the forthcoming "Spider-Man" reboot become one of the first 4K Blu-ray movies, and is apparently in talks with the Blu-ray Disc Association to finalize the specification.
Tim Alessi, director of home electronics development at LG, said he believed that such a development was not only inevitable but also potentially valuable.
"I do expect that at some point [4K] will be added [to the Blu-ray specification]. Having that content in the home is what the average consumer will want," Alessi said.
Just when we thought we had it all covered, 4K may not even be the final word in resolution. Japanese broadcaster NHK was the first to demonstrate 8K in 2008, and at CES 2012 there were industry murmurings -- and at least one prototype -- devoted to higher-than-4K resolution.


Will the extra resolution offered by 4K make movies better? You could argue that it depends on the format of the original film. For example, "The Blair Witch Project" and "28 Days Later" were both shot with standard-definition camcorders, and there would arguably be little extra benefit to buying either movie in a 4K native format over a DVD -- depending on the quality of the scaler in your brand-new 4K screen, of course.
Even with reference-quality native 4K material, however, a 4K-resolution TV or projector won't provide nearly the visible improvement over a standard 1080p model that going from standard-def to high-def did. To appreciate it you'll have to have sit quite close to a large screen -- sort of like being in the front few rows of a movie theater.
But whether it's 4K or 8K, you can bet that manufacturers haven't run out of cards when it comes to trying out the next "must-have" feature in the coming crops of televisions.

Kim DotCom promises 50GB for free from Mega

The site replacing MegaUpload will give free users lots of storage space, but former premium users won't get their statuses back, yet.

Kim DotCom plans to launch his new site in two days, and users will get 50GB of storage for free, the infamous entrepreneur tweeted today.
DotCom also tweeted that his lawyers are working on giving former premium users their premium statuses on the new site but that the site "can't at this time."

50GB is a huge amount of free storage right off the bat. DotCom's tweet comes a day after another cloud storage service, MediaFire, announced it would be offering 50GB of free storage. Other storage services may offer as much -- or more -- for free, but those accounts come with requirements.

DotCom has spent the last year battling the U.S. government over his site MegaUpload, the highest-profile service to be accused of criminal copyright violations. He was arrested on allegations of criminal copyright violation, conspiracy, money laundering, and wire fraud. U.S. federal officials accused DotCom of pocketing millions of dollars in illegal profits from criminal file-sharing and downloading that has reportedly cost the film industry more than $600 million in damages.
DotCom's tweets also indicate that more goodies are coming with the new service. After the year he's had, he'll need those incentives to get going again.
While still fighting the government in court, DotCom decided to start a new site from New Zealand, where he now resides. He claimed that he was entrapped by the U.S. government because he complied with a federal search warrant targeting five file-sharing services using MegaUpload's infrastructure in 2010, but the feds have called this claim "baseless."

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Free Video Call Recorder for Skype

Free Video Call Recorder for Skype
Available languages
Windows Vista, Windows 7 and Windows 8
Free Video Call Recorder for Skype is an absolutely free application for recording Skype calls without any limitations. It has a very simple interface.
With its help one may record calls in the following modes:
- picture-in-picture (the program records audio and video of all sides of the conversation);
- only video of other sides;
- only audio (all sides).
You don't need to download or install any extra libraries to be able to use the program.
You just need to specify the mode you like, choose the output folder and press “Start”. If you don't want to record some moments during the conversation, just click on “Pause”. In order to finish the record select “Stop”.
All video records are saved in mp4 format that is easy to playback on a player.
For audio calls the program creates an mp3 file that is supported by most modern players.
Free Video Call Recorder for Skype contains no spyware or adware whatsoever. It's 100% free and absolutely safe to install and run. It's free both for personal and commercial use.
As an optional part of the installation you can also get the official DVDVideoSoft Community Toolbar for Windows Internet Explorer, Firefox, and Google Chrome (powered by Conduit).

Apple exploring idea for removable device clip with tactile controls

Apple's unique idea for a removable clip that could add tactile buttons to a portable device was revealed on Thursday in a new filing.

The patent application was published on Thursday by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office under the name "Removable Clip With User Interface." It shows an iPod-like device with a slot on top where a clip could be inserted.

But the clip could offer more than making the device wearable: Apple's concept includes a data connection and accompanying physical buttons that would allow new control methods on the device.

In one variation, the clip is transparent, and the buttons on it correspond with information shown on the device screen below.

In another illustration included with the filing, a transparent clip is not necessary because the accessory does not cover the screen. Instead, the clip and its buttons cover the back side of the device, allowing new input methods while leaving the front display unobstructed.

In the patent application, Apple notes that clips included on existing media players serve only one function: to clip the device to various objects, such as the user's clothing.

"While today's clips provide a valuable function for portable electronic computing devices, they are deficient in that the real estate used by the clips is underutilized, in that the clips are only used to attach electronic devices to other objects," the filing reads.

"Such underutilization is particularly undesirable as technology continues to miniaturize, since even the smallest amount of real estate used by a device is often considered burdensome by a consumer."

The application, published on Thursday by the USPTO, was first filed by Apple in July of 2011. The proposed invention is credited to Teodor Dabov and Fletcher R. Rothkopf.

Apple's iPhone e-wallet concept includes controllable subsidiary accounts for children

Apple's idea for an "e-wallet" iPhone application would allow subsidiary accounts for children, complete with customizable spending limits and restrictions.

Apple's interest in the concept was revealed in a patent application published Thursday by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office entitled "Parental Controls." It describes ways that a user could establish rules for subsidiary financial accounts.

The proposed invention shows a hypothetical application on the iPhone home screen named "E-Wallet." The software allows users to have a primary account tied to a credit card, allowing transactions to be conducted with an iPhone.

The key feature of the filing are the E-Wallet subsidiary accounts. By creating one, the user can allow new users, such as children, to have access to the E-Wallet app with controlled spending limits.

The customizable rules would allow a parent to set, for example, a weekly or monthly allowance for their children. The application would also enable parents to decline transactions if they are over a certain amount of money.

Parents could also restrict transactions from certain merchant categories, or even block sales to a specific merchant or location. In one example, the application is set to prevent the user from purchasing alcohol or tobacco with Apple's iPhone e-wallet.


Illustrations included in Apple's patent filing show that the concept for the E-Wallet application would include purchase history, bill summary, and the ability to search for specific transactions. The E-Wallet app would be driven by users' existing credit cards, with numbers entered into the software to link them together.

The filing goes on to note that a future iPhone could have an integrated near-field communication chip to supplement the E-Wallet app. It notes that communication using the NFC component would occur in a range of 2 to 4 centimeters.

The proposed invention, published by the USPTO this week, is a continuation of a filing first made by Apple in January of 2009, and issued as U.S. Patent No. 8,127,982 in March of 2012. It is credited to Brandon J. Casey, Gary L. Wipfler, and Erik Cressall.