No such thing as bad publicity? 20 people shot by BB guns as LG’s G2 stunt goes rather wrong

When organising a publicity event for a new product, there are a few things you need to check. Book the venue, check public transport links, make sure you have enough sample products … oh, and ask people not to bring weapons with them.

The video above is in Korean, but you get the idea. More details below the fold … Read more

HTC begins new re-branding campaign with Robert Downey Jr. video teaser

Today, HTC unveiled their new “Change brand platform”, a long-term strategy that celebrates HTC’s disruptive impact on the mobile industry over its 17-year history.

Robert Downey Jr., who plays gadget superhero Tony Stark, has signed a two year contract to not only star in but also ‘shape the creative direction’ of the campaign, following such high profile celebrity creative directorial successes as Alicia Keys at Blackberry and Intel’s Will.i.am collaboration.

A teaser is above and the campaign, which will begin”putting change at the core of HTC’s brand by offering a variety of unique interpretations of the HTC acronym”. The full videos will start rolling out August 15th.

Extending the interpretation to consumers, a word randomizer app hosted on HTC.com allows people to identify the most outlandish possible interpretations of HTC, building on the variety of permutations first introduced in the ad campaign, including “Here’s TChange”.The brand platform will roll out in three phases with the initial advertising campaign highlighting HTC’s brand with a playful take on what it means to different people. The second phase will feature executions which highlight how HTC innovations—like BlinkFeed, Video Highlights and BoomSound—have changed the face of the mobile industry. Ad spots in the third phase will focus on how HTC products empower individuals to drive change in their own lives.

Is there any chance in the world that Tony Stark runs anything but stock Android? No, there is not.

Press release follows:

Read more

Google rolls out Music All Access service to nine European countries

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Google Play’s Music All Access service – Google’s rather clumsily-named equivalent to Spotify – has now been rolled out to Europe, initially to nine countries.

The service, launched in the USA in May and later extended to Australia and New Zealand, is now available in Austria, Belgium, France, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Portugal, Spain and the United Kingdom …  Read more

Security flaw in Chrome browser reveals plain-text passwords without authentication

Image: thehayden.org

Image: thehayden.org

The Guardian reports that a security flaw in Chrome allows anyone with access to a computer to view all of the saved logins without requiring any form of authentication.

A serious flaw in the security of Google’s Chrome browser lets anyone with access to a user’s computer see all the passwords stored for email, social media and other sites, directly from the settings panel. No password is needed to view them.

Besides personal accounts, sensitive company login details would be compromised if someone who used Chrome left their computer unattended with the screen active …  Read more

LG G2 press image leaks ahead of official unveiling

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After teasing the device in nearly every way possible, LG is finally set to introduce its new G2 flagship in New York City tomorrow. @evleaks has once again, however, taken the anticipation out of the event and leaked a clear press image of the device. The image confirms the large, 5.2-inch display, as well as rear-placed volume and power buttons.

As far as specs go, the device will have a 5.2-inch full-HD display, a Snapdragon 800 processor, 2GB of RAM, a microSD card slot, a removable battery, on-screen navigation keys, and Android 4.2.2 with LG’s custom skin.

We’ll be sure to bring you all the official news out of LG’s event tomorrow, but at this point, the only we don’t know is availability and pricing. Read more

Google reportedly in talks to bundle Google Play All Access subscription with Verizon plans

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Google’s All Access music service just launched earlier this summer, and according to a new report from Billboard, the company is looking to get it into the hands of even more consumers. The site is reporting that Google is in talks with Verizon to bundle All Access subscriptions with smartphone plans by allowing them to add the $9.99 bill on to their existing monthly fee. While it doesn’t look like Verizon customers would get any sort of advantage over other customers, it would give Google another outlet to promote the service and make the process more seamless.

A deal with Google Play Music All Access would allow Verizon to offer an on-demand music service to its 100 million wireless subscribers. Google would gain a powerful distribution partner that could seamlessly fold the monthly $9.99 fee for its service into subscribers’ cellphone deal.

It’s unclear what sort of advantages Verizon would get, though Google is allegedly pitching that it would make customers happy. Read more

Samsung sends invites for Sept 4. ‘Unpacked 2013 Ep. 2′ event, new Galaxy Note likely

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Samsung just sent invites to “Unpacked 2013 Episode 2″ and is hinting that we’ll likely see what’s next in line for its stylus-based Note family. The event is scheduled to take place on September 4 in Berlin, which puts it right in the middle of IFA, one of the year’s biggest technology trade shows taking place the same week. A new Note product wouldn’t exactly be surprising, as the company has used its event during IFA to unveil its new Galaxy Notes since the introduction of the first model two years ago.

Last year, Samsung hosted its Unpacked event during IFA where it unveiled the Galaxy Note II alongside the introduction of its Galaxy Camera. This year it looks like we might be getting another Note announcement, as the invite above asks us to “Note the date” and does so in a decidedly S Pen-like, handwritten font.

Like last year, the event will be live streamed through Samsung’s YouTube channel, and this year the company is also hosting a live stream in New York’s Time Square for those that can’t make it to Berlin. We’ll be in Berlin bringing you the best of both IFA and Samsung’s event early next month.

As expected, T-Mobile confirms it’s not yet on board to sell Moto X in stores

You might remember back in July when we first reported that T-Mobile was actually not yet signed up to carry the Moto X. Yesterday Motorola officially announced the device and, while it said that it will be available through all carriers (including T-Mobile), today T-Mobile backed up our original report by confirming that it will indeed not be selling the Moto X in its stores (via AllThingsD): Read more

Motorola deletes tweet and amends sexually suggestive ads for Moto X

Motorola's tweet, since deleted

Motorola’s tweet, since deleted

You’d have thought that when you’re spending half a billion dollars on marketing a phone, you might be able to decide your strategy beforehand. So far, Motorola seems to be suffering a bad case of indecisiveness, reports Business Insider, deleting the above tweet and revising two ads.

Poor taste or harmless fun? You decide. Before-and-after ads below the fold …

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Motorola officially announces the Moto X, coming late August/early September

Motorola is about to show off its brand new Moto X smartphone at its event this afternoon, but the company just released details regarding specs and availability in a blog post on its website. We noted earlier that it would be arriving on AT&T starting at $199 with some exclusive customization options, but the Moto X will also be coming to handful of other carriers including Sprint, US Cellular, Verizon Wireless (and through BestBuy) later this month and next.

Motorola confirmed specs for the device, which will be assemble in the USA, on a newly launched sign up page.  A few of the notable specs a 4.7-inch HD AMOLED 720 display, 10MP rear camera, 2200 mAh battery with up to 24 hours battery life, 2GB of RAM, and two years of free 50GB storage on Google Drive. A full list of specs is below:

Rear Camera 10MP CLEAR PIXEL (RGBC) / LED Flash / 1080p video (30 fps)
Front Camera 2MP 1080p HD video
Operating system Android 4.2.2
Architecture Motorola X8 Mobile Computing System
RAM 2 GB
Storage 16 GB standard, 32 GB version available online. 2 years 50GB storage free on Google Drive
Bluetooth 4.0 LE + EDR
WiFi 802.11a/g/b/n/ac (dual band capable), mobile hotspot
Bands GSM/GPRS/EDGE
UMTS/HSPA + up to 42 Mbps
CDMA/EVDO Rev. A (CDMA model only)
4G – LTE

There’s no word on what specific date the device will be hitting each carrier, but Motorola said it will arrive through all of its partners around the end of August, and in Canada and Latin America by early next month.

The over 2,000 customization options for the device will be available through Moto Maker, an online tool that will let customers “choose the colors, and decide on the details: front, back, accents, memory, wallpapers, even add a name or a short message,” although it appears many of them will be available only to AT&T customers for the time being (and soon through BestBuy). On top of the 32 color options and other customization features we’ve heard about, Motorola has plans for additional options later in the year: Read more

Moto X coming to AT&T for $199/$249 with exclusive colors & customization options

Right as Motorola’s event to unveil the much rumored Moto X smartphone is about to kick off, AT&T has just made details official for the device announcing pricing and exclusive color and customization options. Motorola has also posted a sign up page detailing some of the unique features and specs for the device.

The Moto X will be available for $199 for the 16GB model and $249 for the 32GB model, both on AT&T’s usual two-year contract, and include a few features and unique colors available only when ordering through the carrier.

The carrier will also have unique color options for the device including 2 color options for the front and 16 for the back of the device, as well as 7 accent color choices for the power key, volume key and camera ring. We knew that customization would be a big focus for the new Moto X, and it appears that will extend to exclusive customization options for carriers.

AT&T will also be the only carrier to offer the ability to add your name, a wake-up message, or short message on the phone when ordering and a Wake-up message. In addition, AT&T said it will be offering unique wallpapers on its version of the device.

In the video below, the carrier shows off much of what we’ve already seen for the device including the customization options noted above. Specs mentioned in the video include the 4.7-inch 720 HD AMOLED display and the 10mp rear facing camera. You’ll also see some of the software features we saw in the leaked Rogers video including the twist to activate camera feature and the always listening voice commands.  Read more

UK to ban wearing Google Glass while driving

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Google Glass seems to be setting new records in the number of prohibitions of a product that hasn’t yet been officially launched.

After being banned everywhere from bars to workplaces, Stuff reports that the British government has announced plans to make it illegal to wear Glass while driving.

A Department for Transport (DfT) spokesman told Stuff: “We are aware of the impending rollout of Google Glass and are in discussion with the Police to ensure that individuals do not use this technology while driving. It is important that drivers give their full attention to the road when they are behind the wheel and do not behave in a way that stops them from observing what is happening on the road.”  Read more