Tuesday, 19 April 2011

White iPhone 4 used to demo new multitasking, Spotlight search in 'test version' of iOS? (video)

We've just laid eyes on a video from the prolific leaksters over at Tinhte, who claim they not only have a white iPhone 4 from Apple, but it's one with a "test version" of iOS that nobody else has yet seen. It's difficult to ascertain how legitimate this software is -- it could just be a neatly done jailbreak mod -- but that site has a track record of getting its hands on Apple gear ahead of the pack. With that said, the multitasking menu shown here substitutes the current use of apps' icons to represent them with a visual of each app's open window. You can tap on a window to expand it (replete with animation) to fill the screen or long-press on it to bring up the familiar "x" button for shutting it down. This is all accompanied by a new "Search iPhone" dialog at the very top, which sends you into Spotlight search that looks very much the way it currently does (though it seems to no longer be accessible with a left swipe from the first homescreen as on previous versions of iOS). Jump past the break for the video.

Update: A second video has been uncovered, this one showing that we're looking at a prototype unit and taking us on a tour around its body. A visit to the Settings menu shows a 64GB storage capacity, while app folder creation is also handled a little differently from iOS 4. The presence of the Touch Fighter app on this phone, which Apple built to show off the capabilities of earlier versions of the handset, and other internal-looking software seems to point to this indeed being some form of iOS beta build. Of course, it might not be iOS 5 at all, but simply a never-released version of iOS 4. All we know for sure is that the video's after the break.

Erase a CD like a boss (video)

And here we thought that electricity was only good for reanimating monsters. Video after the break.

Panasonic chains Toughbook to a snowmobile, shows signs of life post-torture (video)

We've never questioned the rigidity of Panasonic's Toughbook line -- after all, we've been shown just how rugged these things are time and time again -- but a new video from the company is just too clever to pass over. Sure, it hardly makes any clearer what's already clear, but just in case you were still having doubts, Panny's Toughbook line is mighty tough. As in, tough enough to survive being towed behind a snowmobile in bitterly cold conditions. Unfortunately, the company only shows the screen lighting up after the ride's done, so there's still the possibility that the keyboard is totally shot -- but hey, props for being alive at all, right? Have a look yourself in the video above.

VIA  Engadget
SOURCE  YouTube (Panasonic)

Apple spent nearly $5.7b on Samsung parts in 2010, faces 'strong' response to its patent suit

Want some numerical context to last night's revelation that Apple is suing Samsung Electronics for copying the iPhone and iPad? How does $5.7 billion sound? That's how much Apple spent on buying up parts from Samsung last year, according to the AFP, which cites the Cupertino company as Samsung's second-biggest client after Sony. Given the breadth of Samsung's component manufacturing, these expenditures can and probably do span everything from flash storage and RAM to processing chips to displays. What's fascinating here -- and illustrative of the psychopathic nature of corporations -- is that in spite of this massive interdependency, Apple's lodged a broadly worded patent assault on a major prong of Samsung's business (smartphones and tablets) and now Samsung's been quoted as saying it has "no choice but [to] respond strongly." A company official has apparently expressed the belief that Apple may be infringing on some of Samsung's wireless patents, which means we can probably look forward to another fat batch of papers being submitted to the Northern District of California court. Lovely.

VIA  Engadget
SOURCE  AFP (Yahoo! News)

HECTOR insect-inspired hexapod walking robot is a smooth operator (video)

We've seen some rather nightmare-inducing robots inspired by insects, but, once again, the folks at Germany's Bielefeld University have managed to turn something inherently creepy into a rather lighthearted affair. HECTOR, or hexapod cognitive autonomously operating robot, was designed to help its creators understand how exactly real animals manage to move so gracefully. Physically speaking, HECTOR sports six legs, with 18 joints in total, that protrude from an exoskeleton made of carbon fiber reinforced plastic. Its legs are given a rather life-like range of motion provided by a special set of "elastic joint drives" and a series of "biologically inspired" algorithms, and its exoskeleton can carry a load weighing 30 kilograms -- the robot itself weighs a mere 12 kilograms. What's more, HECTOR's built to learn from its experiences. Okay, so a three foot robotic insect that can carry nearly three times its weight does sound kind of creepy in retrospect, but HECTOR really does have some smooth moves. You can see for yourself in the video after the break.

Fastec's DSLR-sized TS3Cine does 720p at 720fps for $30,000

For years, consumers have been able to shoot slow-motion videos -- mostly with the help of Casio's line of slightly gimmicky point-and-shoots. But Fastec's TS3Cine aims for a more discerning customer -- the kind of videographer who might spice up a promo or short with some slow-mo action. Unlike Casio's cameras, which cut the resolution to little more than thumbnail-size as you crank the frame rate, the TS3Cine does 720p video at 720fps, and 1280 x 1024 at 500fps. It's only when you further slow down the video (up to 20,000fps) that the image size starts to shrink. This camera also has a badass design, pairing a DSLR-like body with a gargantuan 7-inch WVGA LCD that effectively eliminates the need for an external monitor. Pros have their choice of a C-Mount, F-Mount, and optional SL-Mount, and can upgrade to a 256GB SSD for a cool two grand if the standard 128GB one isn't roomy enough. It also has Gigabit Ethernet and USB ports, HDMI-out, support for an external power source, and a removable battery. Can't afford the $29,900 price tag? If you're in the Boston area, at least, you can rent it for $625 a day, a price that includes a tripod and two batteries -- enough juice for up to six hours of shooting. Head on past the break for a sample video clip and a tour of this beastly camera in action.

Redsn0w untethered jailbreak updated for iOS 4.3.2, still no love for iPad 2

Good news for all iOS jailbreakers: turns out the latest 4.3.2 update is still vulnerable to the same untethered hacking method used by redsn0w for 4.3.1, so Dev-Team's @i0n1c simply had to port his code over to the new kernel to keep the jailbreak alive. As before, the almighty iPad 2 is still not supported here, and ultrasn0w unlockers are reminded to wait for the new PwnageTool release later this week; but the rest of you can go ahead and grab the new tool at the source link.

Update: Eke! Looks like the existing build is causing issues for iPhone owners -- hang tight, we're hearing that a fixed version is on the way!

VIA  Engadget
SOURCE  Dev-Team

Apple sues Samsung for 'copying' the iPhone and iPad

Whoa! In the world of big-time lawsuits, this must be just about the biggest. The Wall Street Journal is reporting that Apple has sued Samsung Electronics for copying "the look and feel" of its iPad tablet and iPhone smartphone. This relates to the Samsung Galaxy S 4G, which bears more than a passing resemblance to the iPhone 3G / 3GS models, and the slightly less obvious Epic 4G, Nexus S, and Galaxy Tab (presumably the older 7-inch model, since the newer ones aren't out yet) devices. The claim for intellectual property infringement is phrased as follows:
"Rather than innovate and develop its own technology and a unique Samsung style for its smart phone products and computer tablets, Samsung chose to copy Apple's technology, user interface and innovative style in these infringing products."
The lawsuit was filed in the Northern District of California on Friday and seeks injunctions against Samsung, damages (both actual and punitive), and a finding that the infringement was willful. Lest we forget, the rarest outcome in such legal tussles is for an actual judgment to actually be handed down, so the greatest likelihood is that this will just lead to another round of grudging handshakes and licensing going one way with money going the other way, but still, it's fun to see the big dogs barking at each other.

Another aspect to these proceedings that shouldn't be overlooked is that, on the software front, they boil down to iOS versus Android (again). When Apple calls Samsung uninventive in its user interface, it's talking more about Android's perceived imitation of the iPhone's interface than whatever TouchWiz tweaks Samsung has slapped on top. And hey, if you're going to sue Google indirectly, you can't leave a major player like Samsung outside the courtroom, it just wouldn't be fair.

VIA  Engadget
SOURCE  Wall Street Journal

Samsung promises a dual-core 2GHz smartphone 'by next year'

Are you ready for a scorching-fast future? Samsung sure is, as today the Maeli Business Newspaper reports "a high-ranking" company official has disclosed Samsung's intention to deliver a dual-core smartphone that runs at 2GHz. That's 2GHz for each core, not the specious 1GHz multiplied by two mathematics that Sanjay Jha likes to dabble in. ARM already has a dual-core Cortex-A9 design capable of scaling such speed heights, which is most probably the basis on which Samsung is building its future processor on. The report goes on to state that Samsung will consider selling the chips separately, so you wouldn't necessarily have to buy a Samsung-branded handset in order to have what's being described as desktop-class performance in the palm of your hand. Man, just as we prepared one dual-core comparison chart, here comes the next next big thing.

VIA  Engadget, Daum.net, Mashables (Yahoo! News)
SOURCE  Maeli Business Newspaper