Nokia E7 starts shipping December 10th

By Chris Ziegler posted Nov 8th 2010 at 1:03PM

We can imagine that the wait’s been an excruciating one for wannabe E7 owners who’ve been restraining themselves from buying an N8 instead… but the good news is that the wait isn’t that much longer. Nokia has announced on Twitter today that the 4-inch tilting QWERTY handset — a phone Espoo has labeled the true successor to the storied Communicator series — will start shipping out on the 10th of next month, though exact availability dates and times will undoubtedly vary a bit from market to market. The company has been quick to note that today’s wild Symbian Foundation news has no effect on the existing range of Symbian^3 devices being launched as we close out the year, so the question is: who’s buying?

Samsung shows off 70-inch ‘Ultra Definition’ 3DTV

By Richard Lawler posted Nov 8th 2010 at 12:39PM

Continuing a fine tradition of large, high resolution prototype displays, Samsung Electronics picked today to show off its latest innovation, in the form of the world’s first 70-inch, “Ultra Definition” 240Hz 3DTV. That UD tag indicates a resolution of 3,840 x 2,160 pixels that puts your current HDTV and even larger projection 1080p 3D units to shame. The big deal in this version is the super high speed silicon Samsung has developed to drive all those pixels fast enough to support smooth motion and 3D viewing — glasses still required, of course.

Editorial: Should your next mobile OS update cost you?

By Chris Ziegler posted Nov 8th 2010 at 12:15PM

Will that fancy new smartphone you’re looking at buying run a version of Android that hasn’t even been announced yet? Or that Nokia 5800 — where’s the Symbian^3 upgrade? Has the lack of commitment on a launch date for the webOS 2.0 upgrade stopped you from buying a Pre on Sprint? The balance between the relative importance of hardware and software in the smartphone industry is definitely teetering toward the software side these days for a number of reasons: screens have no need to get any bigger or higher-resolution, processors likely can’t get much faster without a significant advance in battery technology, and we’re reaching a point where we’re all going to have HD camcorders in our pockets capable of taking still shots that’ll put even higher-end point-and-shoots to shame. So when you stabilize the hardware like that — that is, you get to the point where manufacturers are iterating essentially the same large slate over and over again with marginally better specs — the spotlight starts to fix squarely on the software underneath.

That is to say, whether a phone receives “good” operating system builds (and receives them on a timely basis) really makes or breaks its retail success now more than ever before. All too often, the question isn’t whether a particular device is great, it’s whether the manufacturer and carrier have committed to upgrading it — quite often to a version of its operating system that hasn’t officially been announced. It’s a recipe for confusion and paralysis among consumers that really don’t have a great reason to be putting off their purchases — they just want a reasonable assurance that their new phones aren’t going to be regarded as “obsolete” in six or nine months. And why shouldn’t they?

OCZ RevoDrive X2 PCIe SSD reviewed: blisteringly fast in every conceivable way

By Darren Murph posted Nov 8th 2010 at 11:53AM

Hard to say why OCZ Technology pushed out revision two of its RevoDrive so soon after the original launched, but it’s hard to complain with numbers like this. Just in time to shock the performance hound in your life with an outlandish Christmas gift comes the RevoDrive X2, and this here PCIe SSD solution has now been benchmarked to the hilt. The bottom line? It’s fast. Really fast. In fact, Hot Hardware calls it “simply one of the fastest PCI Express based SSD solutions” that they have tested, noting that it went toe-to-toe with Fusion-io’s ioXtreme while costing a good bit less. Critics over at Tweak Town echoed those thoughts, and while both teams felt the $680 asking price for a 240GB model was a touch pricey, neither felt that it wasn’t worth it if you’ve got the coin laying around. Hit the links below for more charts than you’d ever want to see as an eight grader.

Time Warner Cable rolling out Look Back service to the masses

By Paul Miller posted Nov 8th 2010 at 11:29AM

Time Warner has been running trials of its Look Back service for a year or so in various markets, but it’s finally ready to bring it to the Real America. The feature lets good, honest folk go back and watch shows they’ve missed for up to three days after they’ve aired, with no need to set a DVR — it’s basically on demand content with a better name and no charge. Shows will be available to watch immediately after they’ve aired. Look for it to hit a coax cable near you very soon.

Mintpass planning a dual-screen, dual boot tablet for 2011

By Joseph L. Flatley posted Nov 8th 2010 at 11:06AM
Mintpass, the Korean firm known for its Mintpad tablet (as well as a few baubles, including a flashlight that looks curiously like a chapstick tube and the Cube MP3 player), has recently announced that it will soon be releasing a dual-touchscreen, dual OS device. We don’t have too many details yet, but we do know that it’s, shipping with Windows 7 and Android, as well as Android Market access and some sort of feature called “Space Touch,” which we have no details about but sounds pretty awesome nonetheless. Like theToshiba Libretto W100, this will be able to either operate as two independent displays or, when folded up like a laptop, feature the keyboard on one display with your apps on the other. The company is currently looking for a manufacturer and plans on launching the thing sometime next year.

Nokia taking over Symbian development, Foundation responsible for licensing

By Chris Ziegler posted Nov 8th 2010 at 10:35AM

So it seems the Symbian Foundation isn’t necessarily going away, but it’s transitioning its role in a big, big way. They’re undertaking a “strategic change” that will involve the Foundation moving to a new role where it controls the product’s patent portfolio and licenses the Symbian brand and its research and development activities, but the meat of the operation — the actual platform development — will move over to Nokia beginning the end of March next year. For its part, Nokia says that it’s still “strongly committed” to the platform, it just won’t be the Foundation throwing it together. Interestingly, the Symbian Exposition is this week in Amsterdam, so we suspect we’ll be hearing a lot more about this over the next few days. Is it just us, or is Mr. Elop making his presence felt very, very quickly? For what it’s worth, the Foundation is explaining that a board meeting held just today played a big role in this decision and sudden announcement — though there was a call for media, we received notice of it just minutes before the event. Follow the break for both Symbian’s and Nokia’s press releases.

Israel to activate SMS missile alert system next year

By Darren Murph posted Nov 8th 2010 at 10:20AM
This one’s been talked about since the middle of last year (at least), but it looks as if the time for contemplating is over and done with. It’s bruited that the Israel Defense Forces will be moving forward on a plan to light up a new cellular system that will blast out SMS alerts to citizens if and when a missile is fired in the direction of Israel. Just over $7 million will be invested, with the application itself being jointly designed by eVigilo and Ericsson. If all goes well, it’ll be operational in June of 2011, and it’s just one aspect of the country’s effort to consolidate all emergency alerts into one centralized system. We’re told that the blasts would be sent in a variety of languages, and there’s even potential to send ’em to TVs, radios, websites and “billboards.” And unlike various other SMS emergency alert systems that have been implemented, these would actually differ based on how the threat was forecasted to affect different geographic regions. Something tells us eVigilo’s going to become a multinational company in no time.

Google disallows Facebook from siphoning email data, demands two-way flow of information

By Darren Murph posted Nov 8th 2010 at 9:58AM
Feisty, are we Google? As the battle between these two internet powers continues to intensify, Google has fired the latest shot by outright blocking Facebook (and potentially others) from …

Rocketfish serves up 4-port WirelessHD kit, wireless headphones

By Darren Murph posted Nov 8th 2010 at 9:35AM

Remember the FlyWire? Time to fuhgettaboutit it. While Belkin saw fit to kill the flagship wireless HDMI product of the last decade, a number of other firms have moved forward with similar ideas — thankfully for far less cheddar in many cases. Take this guy, for instance. Best Buy’s in-house Rocketfish label has just introduced a four-port WirelessHD kit, which consists of two separate pieces that work in unison to pipe 1080p content from up to four HDMI sources (one at a time, obviously) to a single HDMI-equipped display. It’s utilizing the same 60GHz WirelessHD protocol that’s been hanging around for years, and supposedly it can operate with around 33 feet of space between boxes. There’s support for 3D video, CEC remote functionality and surround sound, and it’ll even auto-sense which HDMI socket is active and change over to that one for you. At $299.99, it’s definitely one of the cheaper ways to cut an HDMI cable from your setup, but only time will tell if artifacting is an issue. In semi-related news, Rocketfish is also debuting a set of wireless cans at $119.99, with the full details on those waiting just after the break.

ASSET speed camera also checks your seatbelt, insurance, can call the police all by its lonesome

By Tim Stevens posted Nov 8th 2010 at 9:13AM
ASSET speed camera also checks your seatbelt, insurance, can call the police all by its lonesomeSpeed cameras have dubious legality in many places here in the States, but over in Europe they’re an ugly fact of life. Now they’re getting smarter, and the first is going into deployment in Finland. It’s called ASSET, the Advanced Safety and Driver Support for Essential Road Transport, which confusingly abbreviates to ASDSERT and is the product of £7 million in government funding and years of development. Each of the £50,000 (about $80,000) cameras can naturally tell just how fast you’re going and, if you’re speeding, take a picture of you and your license plate number. That’s just the beginning. It can also look up the status of your insurance, tell if you’re wearing a seatbelt, and ding you for tailgaiting, all while sitting alone on the side of the road, relying on a wireless data connection and an internal generator to be totally self-sufficient. Whether or not this is scary depends largely on your propensity for speed, but know that the things will be getting built into police cars soon and will shortly be heading over here to our big, wide American highways

Motorola Droid Pro official on Verizon: $179.99 after rebate, pre-sales begin November 9th

By Vlad Savov posted Nov 8th 2010 at 8:49AM

Exactly as suspected, the Droid Pro will start its Verizon retail adventure tomorrow, with pre-sales at selected VZW stores and the carrier’s online outlet, to be followed by its proper shelf debut on November 18th. Price is set at $179.99 on a two-year contract, provided you’re happy to take care of a $100 mail-in rebate. Moto will be hoping business types lap this offer up, as it has equipped the Droid Pro with an unusual (outside of RIM’s realm) portrait QWERTY keyboard as well as a dual-mode CDMA/GSM wireless chip. A 3.1-inch display, 1GHz of processing power, and a 5 megapixel autofocus cam fill out the spec sheet. Jump past the break for the full press release.

Open Handset Alliance member confirms Android 2.3 is Gingerbread, coming soon to Nexus One

By Tim Stevens posted Nov 8th 2010 at 8:10AM
Open Handset Alliance member confirms Android 2.3 is Gingerbread, coming to Nexus One in 'next few days'

For an “Open” Handset AllianceGoogle has been keeping its cards rather close to its chest when it comes to the oft-discussed Gingerbread flavor of Android, specifically whether it would be another point release or could it be spicy enough to knock us up to 3.0. Now it’s looking confirmed that Gingerbread is indeed 2.3, with Alvaro Fuentes Vasquez, member of the leadership team at the Open Handset Alliance (and who shall now be known as “The Gingerbread Man”), delivering this tweet:

Prepare your Nexus One (Developer version) for Android OTA update 2.3 (Gingerbread) in the next few days 😀

That’s some good news for many N1 owners, and of course means it’s time for those who possess other Android handsets to start with the hoping and the waiting.

Soundfreaq’s SFQ-01 Bluetooth audio system exemplifies gorgeous

By Darren Murph posted Nov 8th 2010 at 8:00AM

Can’t say we’ve ever heard of Soundfreaq, but it’s safe to say said company has our attention now. The newly introduced SFQ-01 Bluetooth audio system is easily one of the most stunning we’ve seen, and since it accepts BT commands, it’ll play nice with just about any mobile phone and / or PMP in the modern era. As for aural qualifications, you’re looking at Kevlar-reinforced balanced drivers (2.75-inch), an acoustically tuned dual-port chamber and a UQ3 spatial enhancement processor, all of which presumably combine to deliver pure nirvana straight to your ear canal. Doubly so if listening to Cobain. You’ll also find an inbuilt FM radio tuner as well as a 3.5 millimeter auxiliary input, but you won’t spot the unit itself anywhere other than Target; it’ll ship there later this month for $199.

HTC said to be working on its own app store, would make a lot of Sense

By Vlad Savov posted Nov 8th 2010 at 7:28AM

Keen readers of the Financial Times will have been greeted this morning by a nice little bit of insider information regarding HTC’s future software plans. We already knew the phone maker was keen to play a more active role in the softer parts of the smartphone experience it offers, but two new sources have come forward with word that HTC is actively hiring new staff in preparation for setting up its very own app store. The cloud service that recently launched with the Desire HD and Desire Z Android models in Europe looks like the first step toward that goal, with its HTC Hub area already acting as an app discovery assistant — it wouldn’t be terribly difficult to include an extra section in it for HTC’s own application offerings. That’s not to say that this would be an Android exclusive thing, however, as HTC already boasts a selection of ten apps on Microsoft’s Windows Phone 7 platform and it would seem quite logical that it’d want an organized repository where it could sort through all its wares.

Qualcomm says all options are on the table for FLO TV, including sale of spectrum

By Donald Melanson posted Nov 8th 2010 at 7:09AM

FLO TV may be dead as we know it, but it’s still a significant asset for Qualcomm, and it looks like the company is keeping all options on the table for what to do with it. As CEO Paul Jacobs himself laid out during a recent analysts’ conference call, that includes a possible restructuring of FLO TV’s wholesale business model, a joint venture with a third party, or a complete shutdown of the service and sale of its sure-to-be-valuable 700MHz spectrum. On that latter possibility, there’s apparently been some “strong interest” from various parties looking to use he FLO TV network or spectrum for one purpose or another, although specifics beyond that are obviously still being kept under wraps.

Sprint’s ZTE Peel embracing your iPod touch sans contract on November 14th?

By Richard Lai posted Nov 8th 2010 at 6:44AM

Still clinging on to your iPod touch in the hope that Sprint will one day launch an iPhone? Well, it’s ratherearly to make a call, but news has it that we may get the next best thing very soon. According to our buddies over at BGR, the ZTE Peel that we saw a little while back is apparently hitting Sprint on November 14th, which is merely a week from today. Sadly, no one knows yet how much this 3G router case will cost, but both BGR and our own sources have confirmed that it’ll be availble on a contract-free 1GB data plan for $29.99 per month. Meanwhile, you may consider the Apple Peel 520 that can actually turn your jailbroken iPod touch into a phone, or grab yourself an Overdrive and duct tape for some hotWiMAX Skype action.

[Thanks, Delon H.]

Omnio WOWKeys and iPhone team up to build a better Eee Keyboard

By Thomas Ricker posted Nov 8th 2010 at 6:08AM
Why just dock your iPhone when you can create an iOS-based Eee Keyboard instead? What you’re looking at is a Made for iPhone keyboard called WOWKeys from Omnio. The $100 USB keyboard / iPhone (3GS or 4) dock is Mac or PC compatible (note the cohabitation of the Windows flag and Command key in the prototype images after the break) featuring 15 hotkeys designed for iPhone use. Of course, you can also load up any number of apps to turn the iPhone into a media center remote control, multi-touch trackpad, and soon an AirPlay media streamer when iOS 4.2 is released. That makes the whole ensemble a pretty versatile ARM-based computer and smartphone. Someone remind us of the advantages of that $600ish Atom-based ASUS all-in-one PC running XP again?

Update: Added gallery of product renders below and a description of the shortcut keys after the break.

Sharp Touch Wood concept turns real with limited run of 15,000 handsets on NTT DoCoMo

By Vlad Savov posted Nov 8th 2010 at 5:29AM

You might have expected Sharp’s pebble-shaped Touch Wood concept to remain just that, a concept, but the eclectic Japanese market has found a spot in its heart to fit 15,000 units of the curvy, wood-trimmed cellphone. Built from locally sourced cypress timber, each handset will have its own unique pattern and color, while the innards will be filled with a five megapixel imager, a 3.4-inch (854 x 480) display, a MicroSDHC expansion slot, and your usual GSM and 3G wireless radios. You can get yours through NTT DoCoMo some time around February or March.

NASA budgets $15 million for hypersonic flight

By Sean Hollister posted Nov 8th 2010 at 4:46AM

You’re probably familiar with supersonic planes like the SR-71 Blackbird pictured above, which managed to fly at over three times the speed of sound, but imagine this: NASA set aside $15 million to develop ahypersonic plane that could exit our atmosphere at speeds between Mach 5 and Mach 20. The US space agency’s not expecting to build it quite that cheaply, of course, and it’s not holding out hope for a contractor to build the entire plane just yet — the organization intends to fund some sixteen smaller science and engineering projects (ranging from “how to build a Mach 8+ engine” to “predicting hypersonic fluid dynamics”) and letting would-be government contractors pick and choose. Know how to quantify baseline turbulent aeroheating uncertainty in a hypersonic environment? You’ve got until November 23rd to get your proposal in.

Update: As some have pointed out in comments, hypersonic flight isn’t unprecedented — NASA spent eighteen years developing and testing the X-15 space plane starting in 1951, which reached Mach 6.7 using a rocket engine.

[Thanks, Gadi]

Switched On: The iPadification of Mac OS

By Ross Rubin posted Nov 7th 2010 at 12:50PM
Each week Ross Rubin contributes Switched On, a column about consumer technology. 


The title of Apple’s recent Back to the Mac event turned out to have multiple meanings. The first was heralding a shift of Apple’s event focus to the product that was once synonymous with the company. But it also had a more literal connotation, that traits associated both with iPad software and hardware would now be finding their way back to the Apple’s computers. But the impact of this round trip could have different implications for hardware and software.

Apple’s new MacBook Air was cited as taking on traits associated with the iPad such as thinness, flash storage, longer battery life, and instant on. The new MacBook Air also dispenses with an optical drive, but so did the previous MacBook Air, and indeed so do nearly all netbooks and quite a few other “thin and light” notebook PCs. Most would agree that the new hardware choices produce desirable traits in an ultramobile notebook.

NVIDIA promises ‘fastest DX11 GPU on the planet’ very, very soon (video)

By Vlad Savov posted Nov 7th 2010 at 9:34AM

Nobody will be too shocked to hear NVIDIA expects its next flagship GPU to be the fastest that’s ever been, but few will have guessed it’d also be one of the company’s coolest and quietest. In the first public teasing of its next-gen graphics card (which is almost certain to bear the GeForce GTX 580 name tag), NVIDIA has revealed a new vapor chamber cooling system, which reminds us of Shuttle‘s ICE CPU cooler — basically, water sealed within the chamber gets boiled by the hot elements (a copper plate in NVIDIA’s case), which forces it to transfer heat away to the bits that are being cooled by the fan, where it chills out and recycles itself back to the boiling plate. The end result, according to NVIDIA, is about seven decibels less vroom relative to the GTX 480, along with lower operational temperatures. Besides that, the company’s Tom Petersen also showed off an impressive tessellation demo and the first public display ofCall of Duty: Black Ops gameplay, which was powered by this as yet unannounced GPU. Skip past the break to see it all on video.

[Thanks, Vygantas]

DIYer builds handsfree, Arduino-powered remote camera trigger (video)

By Darren Murph posted Nov 7th 2010 at 8:06AM

It takes a pretty radical hack to truly grab us, but we’re fairly confident that Matt Richardson is now one of our most favorite dudes ever. He has put together a comprehensive video detailing the setup required to build your own Arduino-powered remote shutter trigger, and while it’s certainly one of the more complicated setups out there, properly executing it can land you self-taken photos like the one above. You’ll need a laptop, a solid DSLR, an Arduino, a DIYer toolkit (you know, tiny screwdrivers and the like) and a good bit of spare time. If you’ve already checked all five from your list, head on past the break and mash play — your weekend project awaits.

[Thanks, Matt]

Onkyo’s CS-V645 and CS-445 mini stereos offer iPod dock, a pinch of retro

By Darren Murph posted Nov 7th 2010 at 4:01AM

Onkyo’s got a knack for dishing out new kit with a semblance of yesteryear in the design, and we’ve got to say — we dig it. The company’s latest are designed for minuscule offices, studio apartments and your everyday bedroom, with the CS-V645 DVD / CD mini system leading the way. This guy’s got an iPod / iPhone docking station on the top, a USB port on the front, built-in FM radio tuner and support for MP3, WMA, JPEG, and DivX file formats. It’ll also upscale content to 1080p over the HDMI output, and in case you were worried about getting up each time to alter the station, a remote is bundled in for good measure. The CD-only CS-445 is practically identical save for its incompatibility with DVD and the removal of its USB socket, but as with its older brother, it boasts a 40-watt amplifier and a pair of two-way loudspeakers. The CS-V645 is expected to crash in early December for $399, while the CS-445 reaches retailers this month for $329.

Designer sofa encourages you to lose the remote control

By Sean Hollister posted Nov 6th 2010 at 11:57PM
If you’ve ever lost an important gadget to that black hole colloquially referred to as a “couch,” you know what this is for — it’s a seat designed to hold your possessions without …

Dell Venue Pro launches November 8th at Microsoft stores, November 15th at Dell website?

By Sean Hollister posted Nov 6th 2010 at 10:05PM

We’re finding it hard to hold back our enthusiasm for Dell’s Windows Phone 7 slider, but come launch day the 4.1-inch Venue Pro may be a tricky one to find — you’ll need to line up at one of only seven Microsoft retail stores on November 8th (a likely date) if this allegedly leaked document is right. If you’re willing to wait until November 15th, however, there’s also Dell itself, which will apparently double as the only place you’ll be able to go to get any support for the T-Mobile device. Neither niggle will stop us from nabbing one, however. For all we know, Lightning might not strike Windows Phone 7 twice.

[Thanks, Ryan]

Screen Grabs: Jeremy on Vampire Diaries uses LG Quantum to find the undead, look dreamy

By Tim Stevens posted Nov 6th 2010 at 8:11PM
Screen Grabs chronicles the uses (and misuses) of real-world gadgets in today’s movies and TV. Send in your sightings (with screen grab!) to screengrabs at engadget dt com.

What’s a major corporation to do when it’s trying to bring its stake in the smartphone world back from the dead? Why, call in the help of some vampires, naturally. Character Jeremy Gilbert from CW’s Vampire Diaries looks like he’ll be tapping away on an LG Quantum in the next episode, calling up Bing Maps and then getting an aerial view of some mysterious compound. Vampire hideout? Werewolf den? Factory where they make really great hair product? You’ll have to tune in to find out.

Dell’s Stage UI headed to Streak, also unofficially works on EVO 4G (video)

By Sean Hollister posted Nov 6th 2010 at 7:04PM

The first time the words “Stage UI” passed our lips, they were in relation to the Dell Thunder leak, but now we’re hearing that Dell’s custom Android user interface will actually appear alongside Android 2.2 when the update finally arrives on the five-inch Streak. We’ve just learned that’s going to happen this winter in Japan when the Streak launches on SoftBank at the very least, as both are advertised for early December there, but we expect we’ll see the updated OS even sooner in the US and Europe for obviousreasons. What’s more, an unofficial build of Froyo that leaked out for the Streak last month has since been found to have Stage UI on board. StreakSmart‘s got a video of a custom ROM running a series of Dell-specific widgets on the Streak, and sister site Good and Evo managed to trick the very same software to run on a rooted HTC EVO 4G. You can see examples of both on video after the break, but here’s the basic idea behind the UI — giant panes of contacts, apps and shortcuts that fill an entire screen each, but leave your app drawer accessible at a swipe. If you’re feeling daring, you can try the ROM for yourself at our more coverage link. Just be careful flashing that new baseband, eh?

[Thanks to everyone who sent this in]

PSA: Apple’s iPhone may not wake you up on time tomorrow morning

By Sean Hollister posted Nov 6th 2010 at 5:58PM
Apple is warning iPhone users that the daylight savings time glitch that plagued Europe affects US iPhones too, meaning you’ll wake up an hour late if you rely on the Clock app built into the device. Though Apple representatives say there’s a permanent fix in the works, it’s not due until iOS 4.2, so the company suggests you set a new alarm today if you want to rise on time. Since the bug apparently only affects certain repeating alarms, you can create a new one-time alarm (i.e. with the repeat option set to “never”) instead, and the iPhone clock will take care of the rest. Don’t be the gal or guy blaming your tardiness on failed technology, folks, when it’s this easy to be able to point the finger at traffic, family, or spontaneous bouts of dance fever instead. 

[Thanks to everyone who sent this in]

HTC HD2 runs Windows Phone 7, makes us yearn for more (video)

By Sean Hollister posted Nov 6th 2010 at 4:46PM

HTC HD2 owners have been trying to shoehorn Windows Phone 7 onto their hapless devices practically since day one, but it looks like a port won’t make it into the wild before the platform’s formal US launch. That doesn’t mean you should give up hope, however, because one variant seems to be at least partway done, winding its merry way from boot through the splash screen and deep into the speedy UI in a far more convincing video demo than the last one that hit our inbox. Though no apps are actually demonstrated nor so much as a basic phone call (pretty please?), multitouch pinch-to-zoom appears to work just fine, and we’ve little doubt any remaining quirks will be worked out in due time — if not nearly as soon as new HTC HD7 owners migrating from the HD2 might have liked. Video after the break.

[Thanks to everyone who sent this in]

The Engadget Podcast, live at 4:15PM EDT!

By Paul Miller posted Nov 6th 2010 at 4:09PM

It’s the weekend, kids. You know what that means? Relaxation. And what could be more relaxing than a live Engadget Podcast? Sure, we might be filled with rage against The Man and stuff like that, but it’s in a, like, totally chill way. It’s like “dude, step off, The Man. Chill out. Have a PBR.” See what we mean?Relaxation. The podcast and chat are after the break.

P.S. And don’t forget that Ustream has Android and iPhone clients as well, if you’re out and about and you can’t join in on the Flash-based fun below.

Update: It’s over! If you missed the live show, we should have the processed and edited podcast (we had a lot of swears this week) up for you tomorrow or Monday.

Sprint axes Huawei, ZTE telecom bids due to security fears in Washington?

By Sean Hollister posted Nov 6th 2010 at 3:33PM
Huawei might be making inroads into the US consumersmartphone market, but the Chinese telecom supplier’s attempts to break into big business have been stonewalled. Now, the Wall Street Journal reports that Sprint is excluding both Huawei and competitor ZTE from a multi-billion dollar contract — where they would have been the lowest bidders — primarily because of national security concerns. The US Secretary of Commerce reportedly called Sprint CEO Dan Hesse to voice concerns about letting firms with possible ties to the Chinese government supply local communications infrastructure, a perspective also penned by eight US senators back in August. “DoD is very concerned about China’s emerging cyber capabilities and any potential vulnerability within or threat to DoD networks,” the Department of Defense told the publication, without naming Huawei or ZTE directly. We’re not doctors, but it sounds likesomeone’s got a serious case of supercomputer envy.

Verizon trials unlimited text and data cellular plans for preferred customers, starting at $70 a month

By Sean Hollister posted Nov 6th 2010 at 2:13PM

Sure, Verizon’s pushing tiered data plans in public, but it’s simultaneously expanding its unlimited offerings behind closed doors — yesterday, the wireless carrier launched a promotional plan with 450 minutes, unlimited text and unlimited data for $70 a month. Before you jump at the chance to lower your monthly bill, however, we should warn you that this is very much a limited trial: Verizon will check its computers to verify that you were sent a promotional email before letting you into the deal. Furthermore, the offer doesn’t ring up as a new plan in Verizon’s computer system, but rather an amalgam of the company’s existing $60 Talk and Text plan and its $30 unlimited data plan, with a $20 credit applied to your bill each and every month. The upside of that is that selected customers can basically add unlimited data to any Talk and Text plan they choose for an extra $10 monthly, but the downside is that it’s far too early to call the promotion a portent of things to come. See the full offer at our source link… or in your inbox, we suppose.

[Thanks, Sam]

Indamixx 2 Atom-powered MeeGo tablet touts rockstar looks, $999 price tag

By Darren Murph posted Nov 6th 2010 at 12:20PM

Indamixx — get it?! — may be a relative dark horse in the race to tablet supremacy, but those looking for something a touch outlandish can’t possibly ignore the company’s latest. The self-titled Indamixx 2 slate has just recently broke cover, with a prototype boasting Intel’s single-core 1.66GHz Atom N450 (a dual-core chip is slated to hit the finalized version), 2GB of RAM, a trio of USB 2.0 ports, a VGA output, Ethernet socket and analog audio input / output jacks. There’s no exact word on the screen size or resolution, but the kicker is the software — this guy’s loaded with Transmission 5.0, a music-centric OS that’s actually built around MeeGo.

The creators say that they chose MeeGo due to its fondness of multitouch inputs, and based on the videos we’ve seen of it running, it definitely looks like a wise choice. Moreover, those looking to use this for more traditional tasks will be thrilled to know that they still can, and considering that it’s Linux underneath, the limits are near-endless when it comes to tweaking options. For those in no position to wait for the final build, you can hit the source link in order to snag “beta hardware” for $999; we’re hoping that those who wait will be treated to far more sensible pricing, but there’s no question that we’re intrigued either way. Hop on past the break to see this bad boy get down.

Linksys Media Extenders suddenly stop working, did Cisco pull the plug?

By Tim Stevens posted Nov 6th 2010 at 9:46AM
Linksys Media Extenders suddenly stop working, did Cisco pull the plug?

It was the halcyon summer of 2009. The Hubble Space Telescope was fixed, Helio Castroneves won the Indy 500, Somali pirates were really doing their thing, and Linksys decided it was time to pull the plug on its DMA2100 and DMA2200 Media Center Extenders. Production was ceased and that was that… or so we thought. Now we’re hearing dozens of reports that those extenders mysteriously stopped working over the past few days, and indeed a thread over at The Green Button is full of hundreds rightfully disgruntled users. Thanks to a lot of investigations by members it’s been determined that the boxes are trying to dial home to an address that no longer exists. Naturally this is causing wild speculation about DRM checks and the boxes being remotely disabled, but for now there are some manual work-arounds, including configuring your router to explicitly block any traffic from the Extender or simply assign an invalid gateway. This seems to work for many, but not for all. We’ve reached out to get an official word from Cisco on what’s up here, but until we hear back feel free to post your most alluring conspiracy theories in comments below.

[Thanks to everyone who sent this in]

iControl and uControl engage in home automation merger, domestic disputes seem inevitable

By Darren Murph posted Nov 6th 2010 at 5:47AM

Come one, come all — we’re guessing you won’t want to miss the most comical business arrangement since the latter part of 2007, when ROK acquired a majority share of Rock. Believe it or not, iControl and uControl have somehow put their selfish ways aside to come together as one, but it’s pretty clear who’sreally in control. The merged company will forge ahead as iControl Networks, leaving u with nothing but fading memories and half a bottle of Jack. In all seriousness, this melding of minds could definitely give the home automation world a boost it’s badly in need of; fragmentation and a lack of universal compatibility (not to mention stratospheric pricing) has severely hindered adoption in the consumer universe, and we’re hoping that these guys can somehow make ZigBee, Z-Wave and your ZR1 talk to each other sans any hoop jumping. ‘Course, we wouldn’t expect any sort of quick collaboration — these two have to get on speaking terms before any magic happens, you know?

AT&T clarifies Windows Phone 7 launch parameters: no pre-orders, online sales are a go

By Darren Murph posted Nov 6th 2010 at 2:55AM
November 8th is creeping ever closer, and aside from it marking the beginning of yet another long, drawn-out week in the working world, it’s also the first day you can get your paws around a Windows Phone 7 device from AT&T. Much in the same way that it did beforesubsequent iPhone launches, the carrier has come forward with a few vital pieces of information to chew on before making any incorrect assumptions. Company representative Warner May confirmed toPhone Scoop that online sales for Windows Phone 7 devices (theSamsung Focus and HTC Surround) would indeed go live on launch day, debunking rumors that the phones would only be available for the grabbing in retail locations. Furthermore, we’re told that no pre-orders are being accepted via B&M / online — a logical move given the chaos that ensued from the iPhone 4 pre-order rush. More on the launch as we get it.

MSI reveals 15.6-inch, Core i5-equipped CX620 3D laptop

By Darren Murph posted Nov 6th 2010 at 1:03AM
Need another use for those 3D glasses you were suckered into buying as an integral part of this year’s Halloween costume? Look no further, bubs. MSI has just outed its latest 3D-friendly laptop, the CX620 3D. Outfitted with a Core i5 (or a Core i3, if you’re looking to save a few bucks), this 15.6-incher also gets up to 8GB of DDR3 memory, a 1GB ATI Mobility Radeon HD 5470 GPU, HDMI / VGA outputs, 320/500/640GB hard drive, a DVD writer, two USB 2.0 sockets, an ExpressCard slot, 4-in-1 card reader and a pair of stereo speakers. You’ll find Windows 7 Home Premium runnin’ the show, while 802.11b/g/n WiFi, Bluetooth 2.1+EDR, gigabit Ethernet and a 1.3 megapixel webcam all make expected appearances. There’s no telling how long the six-cell Li-ion will last once the deathmatch gets going, nor how much it’ll cost when it lands sometime between now and who knows when. But hey, 3D!

The daily roundup: here’s what you might’ve missed

By Ross Miller posted Nov 5th 2010 at 11:31PM
A visual recap of the day’s articles
Nov 5th 2010 | 35 Articles

How would you change Sprint’s Epic 4G?

By Darren Murph posted Nov 5th 2010 at 10:18PM

It’s the only Galaxy S variant to offer 4G connectivity, but it’s also the only one that requires a $10/month data surcharge to use. That boost in cost will undoubtedly bring higher expectations, and we’re eager to hear from early adopters on how their Epic 4G experience has been. For those who skipped over the EVO 4G in order to get this, we’re keenly interested to find out if you’ve been satisfied with the decision. How’s that slide-out QWERTY keyboard treating you? Would you have changed up the UI any? Would you have added any of the quirks from those other Galaxy S versions to this guy? Speak loudly in comments below. But not too loudly. More like a stern whisper.


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