Samsung Galaxy S5 costs $256 to make, uses mostly “recycled components”

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According to a teardown and component analysis by IHS (via Recode), Samsung’s flagship device costs roughly $256 to make. That price includes the bill of materials, as well as the estimated assembly cost.

In an interview with Re/code, the leader of this teardown Andrew Rassweiler noted that Samsung’s smartphones have been going up in cost. However, Rassweiler also stated that, “Inside we see mostly a lot of recycled components that we’ve seen before. There’s really nothing special inside where Samsung is pushing the envelope,” although he did give credit to Samsung for the water-resistant design.  Read more

Samsung Galaxy S5 vulnerable to same fingerprint hack as iPhone 5s

The same German security researchers who demonstrated a hack of the iPhone 5s Touch ID fingerprint sensor have released a video showing that the same hack also works with the Samsung Galaxy S5.

The hack relies on photographing a latent print from something like a glass in a bar, then using lab techniques to transfer the image of the print into wood glue, which is then applied to someone else’s finger to activate the sensor …  Read more

Reminder: Registration for Google I/O 2014 lottery opens tomorrow

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Update: Registration for Google I/O 2014 is officially open!

Google I/O 2014 registration was originally slated to begin last week, but in a post on Google+, the company announced that it was pushing the registration window back a week in order to further perfect the registration process. Registration for Google I/O 2014 will officially open tomorrow, April 15th at 4:00 PM PDT and will run through April 18th at 2:00 PM PDT.

While in past years Google has run I/O registration on a first come, first serve basis, it will be adopting a new strategy this time around. This year, people interested in attending can sign up during the 4 day window and once the window closes, Google will randomly select who will get the opportunity to purchase an actual ticket. This is very similar to the process Apple used for WWDC signups this year, as well.

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KitKat is coming to Google Glass this week, bringing sweet new features

Photo Bundles

Google has officially announced via Google+ that Glass will be receiving KitKat later this week. Google is promising improved battery life and enhanced reliability, which will be welcome news to Explorers. Additionally, this update supposedly makes Glass easier to update in the future, which should help the device keep up-to-date with Android releases. Besides these under-the-hood enhancements, Google is adding various new features to the platform in this XE16 KitKat update. Read more

LG G3 specs leaked, get ready for quad HD displays

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Supposed specs for LG’s upcoming flagship smartphone were spotted on Sprint’s internal device database by MyLGPhones (via PhoneArena). The upcoming G3, internally known as the LG LS990, will have a 1440×2560 display — that’s four times 720p, which is considered HD, and twice the resolution of current flagships like the Samsung Galaxy S5 and the HTC One (M8). All of those pixels will be in a panel that is rumored to be 5.3 inches, making for roughly 530 pixels-per-inch — almost double the dots-per-inch of photos and text in magazines. Read more

AllCast updated with ability to Cast content from Google Drive to Chromecast

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Since its release back in December, AllCast has become one of the most useful apps for owners of Google’s $35 Chromecast. This afternoon, the app, developed by Koushik Dutta, was updated with support for yet another source to beaming content from your Android device to your Chromecast. With this update, you can now stream content from your Google Drive account to your Chromecast, via the AllCast app.

The feature is still in an early beta, but it actually works quite well. The interface within the app still needs work, though, For instance, you simply see a list of all your videos and images, which can be rather cluttered for people with a lot of files stored in Drive. Folder support is in the works for the next update, however, according to Dutta.

In addition to Google Drive support, the update also includes various bug fixes, including a fix for those whose Chromecast and Android device were disconnecting after 30 minutes. The full changelog is below:

  • BETA: Google Drive
  • Potential fix for disconnecting after 30+ minutes
  • Various bug fixes

The update is available on Google Play now, for both the free and premium versions of the app. 

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Microsoft may have silently killed its Scroogled ad campaign (updated)

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With the introduction of a new CEO and a few personnel shifts, Microsoft is definitely making some changes, but along with its corporate restructuring, the company appears to have a new take on marketing as well. Derrick Connell, Microsoft’s corporate vice president in charge of Bing recently stated during an online Q&A session that the company was done with its highly publicized Scroogled ad campaign.

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Oppo’s Find 7a UHD capabilities shown off in cinematic camera demo

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Oppo’s latest flagship smartphones are packing some serious specifications. Internally, the Find 7/Find 7a are not much different than Samsung’s Galaxy S5 or the HTC One (M8), but Oppo has made an effort to beat the pricing of both devices. YouTube creator Danny Winget has put together a camera test demonstrating the exceptional UHD video recording capabilities of the Find 7/Find 7a’s camera. The results look incredible and it’s actually hard to believe that this footage came straight from a smartphone.

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Google reportedly considering boosting search rankings of websites with encryption

google headquarters

Google is considering giving higher search rankings to websites that use security encryption, according to The Wall Street Journal. If true, this could force more websites to adopt a secure setup, possibly making it harder for cyber criminals to spy on web users. This new idea was recently mentioned at a conference by Matt Cutts, the head of Google’s Webspam team. Still under consideration, if Google decides to move forward with this process, a change reportedly won’t happen for quite a while. 

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Google buys Titan Aerospace, makers of solar-powered high altitude drones

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The Wall Street Journal reports that Google is purchasing Titan Aerospace, makers of high altitude, solar-powered drone aircrafts, and a company that the report notes Facebook was rumored to be in talks with earlier in the year. Google is said to be using the technology for a few of its still early in development projects but also possibly Maps and other consumer facing products:

Google said the Titan team will work closely with Google’s Project Loon, which is building large, high-altitude balloons that send Internet signals to areas of the world that are currently not online. Titan may also work with Makani, another early-stage Google project that is developing an airborne wind turbine that it hopes will generate energy more efficiently.

Titan says its drones will be able to collect real-time, high-resolution images of the earth, carry other atmospheric sensors and support voice and data services. That type of technology could also help other Google businesses, including its Maps division.

There were no financial details disclosed, but Google provided the following statement to the WSJ: Read more

Google patent application details micro camera system for contact lenses of the future

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Google will soon open its Glass explorer program to all US residents for one day only, however a recent patent application from the search engine kingpin might make you reconsider making a purchase tomorrow. Spotted by the folks at Patent Bolt, Google has filed a patent application for a micro camera component to compliment its recently announced smart contact lenses.

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