Category Archives: NEWS

Android 2.4 will be Ice Cream Sandwich, coming this summer


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Google officially launched Android 2.3 last month which is known as Gingerbread, and at CES 2011, some manufacturers also introduced Android 3.0 a.k.a Honeycomb devices. Android 3.0 is specially designed for tablets, and Honeycomb powered tablets will be out soon, whereas Android 2.3 is for smartphones and other devices. The next version of Android will be Android 2.4, and it will be known as Ice Cream Sandwich. Well, the name makes sense because all the versions of Android are named on sweets i.e. Cupcake, Donut, Éclair, Froyo, Gingerbread and Honeycomb. It’s rumored that Android 2.4 will be out this summer as a successor to Android 2.3. May be Google will announce it Google I/O 2011.

Google has divided Android into two divisions. Android 2.x series is a series of Android OS for smartphones, whereas Android 3.x is for tablets. So I think Android 2.4 will only hit smartphones and other compatible devices. And may be Google will also launch Android 3.1 or 3.2 sometime later this year, which will be an update only for tablets. So Android fanboys and girls, are you happy to hear that?

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Skinput Makes the Entire Body a Touch Interface


Microsoft Research and Carnegie Mellon University publicly unveiled work at the Computer Human Interaction conference in Atlanta Monday that makes an entire body a touch interface. Called Skinput, the system listens to the sounds made by tapping on parts of a body and pairs those sounds with actions that drive tasks on a computer or cell phone.

To make it work, a user straps on a prototype armband that includes 10 sensors, each smaller than a penny, that listen for taps made on the arm or hand.

"It can actually listen to these effects and impacts traveling up the bones and muscles and ligaments," said Chris Harrison a Ph.D. student at Carnegie Mellon University who is now working with Microsoft Research to develop the project further. "It listens to what they sound like and it can classify them. If it learns what your middle finger sounds like then it can say, ‘Oh I just heard the middle finger,’ and then you can bond interactive capabilities onto those."

It takes a minute or two to calibrate the system for each new user. That’s done by choosing one of six tasks that the prototype can now handle — up, down, left, right, enter or cancel — and pairing the choice with a tap on the arm or hand.

"And so it memorizes these mappings and attaches those to interactive things like pause your music player," he said.

The demonstration at the CHI conference used a computer monitor to show the interface, but in a previous demonstration off-site, Harrison had a pico, or mini, projector mounted on his arm that projected the display onto his hand or arm.

One of the examples Harrison showed was a game of Tetris where he controlled the blocks by tapping on his fingers and arm. In another demonstration he navigated a simple music player; playing, pausing and selecting music with a series of taps.

The system is bulky now, with an armband and 10 wires plugged into a large receiver that then plugs into a computer to process the sounds. Harrison hopes to scale it down.

"Maybe the size of a penny could encompass the entire armband. That could fit in the back of your audio player when you’re out for a jog," he said.

In a lab test, Harrison found that jogging didn’t interfere with the system.

As more task choices are added besides, the system will need to be more accurate.

"In the wild and especially when you have 10 inputs, your accuracy is going to suffer," he said. "We really need to push the accuracy up to the high 90s or even 100 percent if we want this to be palatable for consumer electronics."

According to Harrison, the accuracy of six inputs is between 90 and 100 percent, depending on the user.

Skinput was born from an earlier project that Harrison worked on called Scratch Input that allowed users to write by simply dragging a finger over the surface of the textured material, like a desk. A sensor interpreted the sounds and turned them into lines on a display. Imagine scratching letters on a desk and having them show up on a display screen.

There’s no word on when or if the system will be commercialized, but Microsoft’s interest in what was once a student’s project could indicate that it may use the technology in the future.


Google reveals Android 3.0 Honeycomb on a Video


Google has made it official by calling its Android 3.0 release Honeycomb and dropping it for Tablets. That means this version of Android will not be coming for phones.But, hey that hasn’t stopped manufacturers from stuffing Android into anything they can build under the Sun.


Android 2.3 on an iPhone 3G


Before your beloved Android phones could even dream of getting updates. Open – iBoot has been upgraded to run the latest version of droid on the iOs bearing Smartphone. Android 2.3 will now be available as a direct option while installing Open-iBoot, soon.

Check Out the video of the device with Android 2.3 below


Samsung to launch Dual-Core Phones and Tablets at MWC 2011


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We’ve seen Samsung going the aggressive way, and they are gaining a lot momentum in the mobile space. JK Shin,President of Samsung’s Mobile business told PCMAG at CES 2011 that they will be showcasing their new line up of devices mainly the Dual-Core phones and Tablets at MWC 2011 this year . "We will continue to keep our technology leadership this year. In terms of dual-core applications, we already have a program, and next month at Mobile World Congress we will unveil it.In February at MWC, we will unveil our next-generation tablet device portfolio in detail." Shin said. Major players like LG, Motorola have already announced  tablets, smartphones and hotspots running the latest version of Android (ie 2.3) with some stunning specs (like phone’s running on dual-core processor, having 1GB RAM, Wi-Fi Direct etc.). Though Samsung has already announced some devices at CES, they haven’t had any groundbreaking products. He also said "We are in a position to supply 4G smartphones and tablets to all the carriers in the US". "We will continue to keep the partnership with Microsoft". "Samsung will take a major shift from 3G to 4G and from feature phones to smartphones, Shin said. Samsung’s executive vice …


Missing e-mail, folder bug in Hotmail fixed and explained


A service bug that left a group of Windows Live Hotmail users without access to new messages and entire folders for days has been explained and remedied against future instances.

Writing on the Windows Team Blog, Mike Schackwitz of the Hotmail team says the problem stemmed from an error with an automated script that Microsoft uses to test the service for errors in every day usage. Part of the script’s function is to clean its tracks once it’s done creating test accounts, but this time around the testing jumped the test group and went to real user accounts.

The good news, at least, is that the data is still there. "Please note that the email messages and folders of impacted users were not deleted; only their inbox location in the directory servers was removed," Schackwitz said. The empty mailboxes those who were affected saw when logging in were made to compensate for the fact that their account didn’t match up with Hotmail’s database. "This is why the accounts received the ‘Welcome to Hotmail’ message," Schackwitz explained.

That bad news is for anyone who was affected by the bug and didn’t log in during the time it was being fixed, Schackwitz said. For those people, any messages sent would bounce back to the senders as if the account was shut down.

The script bug affected 17,355 users–16,035 of which Schackwitz said had their accounts fixed a day after the company first began addressing the issue. The other 1,320 took another three days to get sorted out.

In order to keep a bug like this from happening again, Microsoft is splitting up its service testing accounts from the set of normal user accounts, as well as adding a service status to its support forums and bug reporting tools.


World’s Tiniest Battery


the U.S based Sandia National Labs researcher who has invented a battery thinner than human hair – or in today’s record, the world’s thinnest battery. This lithium-based battery is so tiny that it was baked inside a transmission electron microscope. Huang says that doing it this way helped them figure out how such micro-batteries worked and bettered their understanding of how batteries worked in general. As those microscopic electrodes put together have a chance for significant improvements over what we’ve got now, they could be used in hybrid cars, laptops and cell-phones.

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It’s good to hear about those scientists working on improving battery technology, rather than just the chip-makers constantly working to budget power consumption. Because let’s face it – we’re doing a lot more on our mobile devices than we were a decade ago; be it shooting hi-def video or using cell-phones as GPS navigation systems. All these things require more power; and with most smartphones measuring in the range of just 9 to 12 mm thickness, I doubt how many would trade back that slimness for better battery life. 


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