Acer takes on Samsung’s Chromebook 2 with better battery-life & faster graphics for $100 less

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Acer is providing tough competition for Samsung’s Chromebook 2 with its new Chromebook 13, offering 11-hour battery life with full HD display for $100 less. The NVIDIA Tegra K1 2.1GHz quad-core processor should give the 1920×1080 display even better graphics performance than Samsung’s Exynos-powered model, as well as beating its 9-hour battery-life, for $299 against Samsung’s $400.

The downside, as noted by Engadget, is the cheaper-looking casing, being plain white plastic rather than the faux-leather stitching of the Chromebook 2 …  Read more

NVIDIA Shield Tablet and wireless controller with gaming focus officially unveiled

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After weeks of leaks, rumors and speculation, the NVIDIA Shield Tablet and Wireless Controller have officially been announced this morning. NVIDIA posted a series of videos on their YouTube channel promoting the new device with the slogan “high-performance gaming everywhere”.

In terms of aesthetics, the device looks like we imagined. It features dual 5MP cameras, dual front-facing stereo speakers, and an 8-inch, 1920×1200 display. The specs under the hood are equally impressive. The device boasts an NVIDIA Tegra K1 GPU, an ARM Cortex A15 CPU clocked at 2.2GHz, and 2GB of RAM.

In terms of pricing, there are two different models of the device. A 16GB WiFi variant and a 32GB WiFi + LTE version, selling for $299 and $399, respectively.  Both models will ship for a July 29th release.  Read more

NVIDIA Shield gaming tablet and controller rumored to be released July 29, tablet starting at $299

Following a leaked image of the supposed NVIDIA Shield tablet yesterday, more details have emerged regarding the company’s future plans. According to information obtained by video game website “Video Cardz,” NVIDIA has a new lineup of devices called the “Shield Family” planned. Included in this line-up is the Shield gaming tablet, as well as a Shield Controller.

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Hackers working on tool to prevent Nest, Google from collecting user data

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When Google announced its $3.2 billion acquisition of Nest, many users reacted strongly to the idea of Google having access to their information and data, despite both companies claiming that they wouldn’t share any information. The WSJ published a report last month, however, claiming that Nest and Google eventually planned to share some user data between each other. This report only led to even more privacy uproar. Now, a handful of hackers have taken matters into their own hands and have developed a tool to prevent any user data from be sent back to Nest or Google (via Forbes).

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Samsung, Nest, ARM and others say Smart homes need more than WiFi and Bluetooth, propose Thread IP6 mesh network

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Wifi and Bluetooth may work fine for today’s limited number of smart home devices, but neither is ideal for future homes in which every switch, socket and lightbulb may be a connected device – that’s the claim of a consortium of companies that includes Samsung, Nest and ARM.

GigaOM reports that the companies have jointly created a new radio system which they believe is more suited to smart home networks than existing systems.

Dubbed Thread, it is a low-power, mesh network protocol that also supports IPv6. The standard is built on the existing radio hardware used by ZigBee devices (802.15.4), which means that a company could update their ZigBee devices to support Thread with software if they chose …

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US Supreme Court rejects Google’s Street View case appeal

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The US Supreme Court rejected Google’s attempt to appeal a class-action lawsuit claiming the search giant violated federal wiretap laws when its Street View vehicles collected data from private WiFi networks. In 2010, Google said that it accidentally recorded data from unencrypted WiFi networks, stating it immediately grounded its cars and reached out to regulators to find out how to properly dispose of the information that it collected.

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Google bringing off-network ultrasonic-controlled device pairing to Chromecast

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Google is developing new ways to connect your mobile devices to its Chromecast and one of these alternative methods will be through ultrasonic sounds. The company recently announced support for off-network casting during its I/O developer conference in San Francisco and Chromecast engineering manager John Affaki said during a presentation that Google was looking to refine the platform’s social experience.

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Report: Google “considering” purchase of Dropcam, Apple has also shown interest

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Earlier this year Google acquired smart-thermostat company Nest, and according to a new report out of The Information, the company is not planning on stopping its quest to enter the home automation and security market. The report claims that Google has “considered” acquiring Dropcam, the makers of a system that streams live footage directly to phones and computers.

The report goes on to say that the status of talks and negotiations between the two companies is unclear at this point and that spokespeople for both companies did not reply to requests for comment.

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Google Glass already winning praises from firefighters

A Georgia Fire Chief is singing the praises of Google Glass. It isn’t hard to see why a heads up display would be a big benefit to Firefighters but a less Beta product would probably more optimal for bigger rollouts. (which are probably a year out at least).

Still, good for them for being open to trying it. Read more

Samsung Galaxy NX Review: The first professional-level Android powered camera

As a blogger, taking great, print-quality photos when covering events or doing reviews is a necessity. So carrying around a big DSLR or comparable digital camera system has become a necessary evil. I say evil because the camera world and I just don’t understand each other. The camera market has become stale and full of devices that cater to professional photographers, while seemingly ignoring the incredible innovations that have happened with mobile devices in recent years. Just because pro photogs want their tried and trusted physical controls and pricey glass, doesn’t mean there isn’t room for beautiful touch screens with easy to use UIs, WiFi, LTE connectivity, USB charging, and everything we love about the app and developer ecosystem that we get with Android.

Samsung is the only company that gets it: It’s the first to integrate what is essentially a full Android smartphone on the back of a full fledged, professional mirrorless camera system. It’s the big brother, high-end version of the Galaxy Camera (review) point and shoot it introduced last year.  It’s an intriguing concept and certainly where I hoped camera manufacturers would look to when attempting to take their professional product lines out of the stone age, so I’ve been more than excited to have the opportunity to put the device to the test over the last few weeks.

DESIGN/ SPECS: Read more