Electronics makers love a spec they can get behind and make the center point of their marketing efforts — no matter how useless it is as a comparison. The undisputed be all arms race HDTV metric for the past few years, LCD refresh rates, has recently become even muddier according to HD Guru. Terms like Clear Motion Rate (Samsung) and Scenes Per Second (Vizio) are meant to confuse the customer while resembling the somewhat useful (and, as of late, unmentioned on the box) refresh rate. Our advice? Ignore this spec completely and instead find a TV that can accurately display your favorite content at its native frame rate (24, 30 or 60) — leave all that soap-opera looking frame interpolation technology to the modern day twelve o’clock flasher.
We’re generally satisfied with our internet performance, but we wouldn’t say no to a speed boost. A Microsoft blog post reveals plans to enable just that, with the company’s proposed “HTTP Speed + Mobility” approach to HTTP 2.0. Have you thought about what life would be like with a faster internet? MS says Y-E-S! “There is already broad consensus about the need to make web browsing much faster,” the company proclaimed. Juicy. The suggested protocol will, well, focus on achieving greater speed, but Microsoft hasn’t detailed exactly how it will accomplish that, beyond mentioning that it’s based on the Google SPDY protocol, which on its own aims to reduce latency and congestion by prioritizing requests and removing the limit on simultaneous streams over a single TCP connection. For its part, MS says it will be expanding on SPDY to “address the needs of mobile devices and applications,” which we presume would be in Google’s best interests as well. It’s safe to say that Microsoft’s being a bit more forthcoming during its meetings with the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) this week — the organization responsible for creating HTTP 2.0 — so perhaps we’ll be hearing more about this fabled faster internet before we turn anew to Q2.
In 2010 President Obama stated, in no uncertain terms, that our country’s competitive edge and technological leadership were conditional on our ability to open up broad swaths of spectrum for commercial and governmental use. Two years later, we’ve made progress, but our wireless providers are still struggling to keep up as our demand for cellular broadband skyrockets — even spectrum hog Verizon claims to be gasping for air. The Commerce Department and US National Telecommunications and Information Administration are suggesting a new approach to opening up the airwaves to carriers that doesn’t involve the wholesale abandonment of radiowave real estate by its current residents. The NTIA thinks there is room for both federal agencies and companies in the 95MHz between 1755 and 1850MHz. This would open up the prime spectrum to commercial use, but would also save the time and money normally needed to relocate existing government services which, in this case, includes military communications and missile guidance systems. In typical bureaucratic fashion, more study will be needed before a formal recommendation can be made to the FCC. But, there’s plenty more detail to be had in the meantime — just check out the PR after the break and the full report at the source link.
[Tower photo via Shutterstock]
Today we’ve got a special treat for you: not one, but two knockoff Galaxy Notes from across the Pacific. Both lack the raw power of Sammy’s 5.3-inch device, and even knock the resolution down to a paltry 800 x 480. Our first contestant is rockin’ only a 1GHz single-core processor and 512MB of RAM, but it’s using those rather pedestrian components to push ICS through its little 9.7mm thick body. The second of today’s players certainly wins the audacity contest — brandishing its clearly unearned Samsung logos. It also wins the spec war here by jumping up to 768MB of RAM and a dual-core CPU, even if the later is an asymmetrical design with a 650MHz ARM7 and a 250MHz ARM9 inside. It also trades up in the camera department going with an eight-megapixel sensor, though, it does settle for Gingerbread. Now all we have to do is think up a new name for the segment, it seems wrong to bless these KIRFs with the phablet name. We were thinking slone or phlate… either way, check out the bonus hands-on vid after the break.
It’s easy for life to imitate art when you’re armed with near billion dollar coffers. Taking a cue from his 1989 hit, The Abyss, James Cameron made a solo plunge down to the deepest part of the Earth — a spot seven miles below sea level known as the Challenger Deep — and recorded his journey in 3D for our slack-jawed, couchbound amusement. The terrain, described by Cameron as both “desolate” and “lunar,” is part of the Mariana Trench and had remained unexplored by humanity since the Trieste first touched down in 1960. That two man crew, hampered by the technological advancements of the time, didn’t have the luxury of capturing the undersea trek, so when Cameron’s footage finally hits screens, it’ll be the planet’s first peek at a truly alien world. Conspiracy theorists and New Age-y types will be disheartened by the lack of any reported close encounters of the aquatic or Steve Zissou kind, as the blockbuster filmmaker only spied a variety of small, whitish and, predominantly, eyeless creatures. The trip was seven years in the making, and involved the construction of the Deepsea Challenger — the high-tech mini-sub which carted Cameron safely to the Pacific Ocean’s depths and back. Curious to see what only the world’s richest can experience first-hand? Then click on past the break for a brief docu-tease.
Looks like racking up those loyal points may just pay off in the near future, as Ma Bell’s rolling out a new loyalty program dubbed ATT Plus. The free service — which is only available in Houston, Colorado and Minneapolis at the moment — will let customers get tidbits such as a “personalized customer experience,” with access to a special 1-855-ATTPLUS customer service line. Additionally, ATT Plus users get a 25 percent discount on accessories (sorry, no iPhone or iPad add-ons) as well as waived activation and upgrade fees. ATT’s yet to say what you’ll need to get a Plus party invite, but we’d imagine that staying away from any warning is the first step…
Article source: http://www.engadget.com/2012/03/27/att-plus-loyalty-program/
Chances are you’re still melting over the impressive HTC One X benchmarks, and that’s just the dual-core Snapdragon S4 taking care of business. As you may know, those of you in the Old Continent will see a quad-core flavor hit the shelves, and it’s looking like that version is getting priced a wee bit earlier. So, just how much will you have to shell out to snag one of HTC’s latest? Phones4U and Carphone Warehouse both have the One X listed as high as 329.99 (about $527) on contract, though you can also grab a free one if you take on a longer, more expensive plan on Orange, O2 and Vodafone. Carphone’s site shows you can expect the device to land at your doorstep in the week of April 2nd. In the meantime, take a look at our hands-on to remind you how badly you need it.
Update: It looks like Canadians can now also pre-order the HSPA+ version of the phone courtesy of NCIX, although they’ll have to part with a hefty $800 (off-contract, of course).
Article source: http://www.engadget.com/2012/03/27/htc-one-x-uk-pricing/
Eager to get a taste of Ice Cream Sandwich while you wait for an update on your phone? Then you now have another option to do so relatively cheaply if you don’t mind venturing into Coby’s bargain bin of tablets. It’s begun rolling out no less than six new slates to retail stores today (most of which we saw at CES in January), which pack screens ranging in size from seven to ten inches and each run Android 4.0. Specs are otherwise fairly identical across the board, with each boasting the same single-core 1GHz Cortex A8 processor, microSD card slot, front-facing cameras, HDMI out and either 4GB or 8GB of storage. Unfortunately, they all also come with one key drawback common to budget Android tablets: there’s no official access to Google Play. If that’s not too much of a deterrent, you can pick these up for between $179 and $279.
No guests this week, just us but we’ve got a quick and dirty podcast with news of TiVo’s latest DVR plus some freshly updated iPad apps from Netflix and DirecTV. The Xbox 360 has its own new apps to deliver as well, while Sky is still creeping towards a different kind of pay-TV service with its upcoming Now TV. Home automation heads will be interested in the Motorola Connected Home Gateway that appears to be right around the corner, and we’ve also got a quick look at the latest legal developments for Aereo. Finally, we’ll check in with the latest TV and Blu-ray releases this week — press play and see if we can get Ben caught up on Game of Thrones in time for the season premiere.
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Producer: Trent Wolbe
06:37 – TiVo Premiere 500GB coming Sunday along with lower prices for service, XL and Elite DVRs
09:30 – TiVo sues Time Warner Cable, Motorola Mobility in fresh patent assault
12:00 – Microsoft and TiVo agree to drop ongoing patent suits, we ask the world to follow
14:55 – Netflix iPad app upgraded with Retina quality icons and images now, HD video soon
19:27 – DirecTV iPad app adds (some) TV and movie streaming ‘Everywhere’
21:40 – BBC iPlayer app finally launches for all UK Xbox 360s
24:08 – Sky dubs upcoming internet TV service ‘Now TV’, chases those currently without pay-TV
25:45 – Xbox 360′s Comcast Xfinity TV app in beta testing, won’t count against data caps when it launches
29:00 – Motorola Connected Home Gateway home automation all-in-one hits the FCC with Verizon tags
31:02 – Aereo countersues broadcasters over its internet TV streaming service
33:36 – Must See HDTV (March 26th – April 1st)
Yesterday’s rumor about Sony launching PlayMemories Studio this week has just become fact. The $15 editing suite has just gone live on the PlayStation Store, enabling plebes to edit, organize and share photos (and video) right on their home console of choice, the PS3. Those with a spare Vita or PSP laying around can also put those to good use through Remote Play functionality. Unsure if Sony’s couch-iPhoto experience is for you? Hit the source for more info on the whole shindig, in addition to details on how to get your creative side on with a gratis thirty day trial.