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Samsung S Voice ripped and available for ICS devices

S Voice has been one of the new features of the Samsung Galaxy S III that we've been on the fence about. It could very well be useful, but the problem is that the usefulness of a voice command "assistant" has yet to be proven. Sure, there are some useful things that can be done quickly with voice command, but overall it hasn't quite proven it's worthy of the immense buzz it gets. 

Still, S Voice has the promise to be one of the better voice command options for Android. There are certainly quite a few voice command options available, but there is room for a leader if Samsung has the chops to take it. Now, we all get a chance to test out the S Voice software, because the wonderful dudes at XDA have ripped the app from the leaked Galaxy S III ROM. 

So, if you have an Android 4.0 device, you may be able to run the S Voice app, and you can decide for yourself how well it works. It's unclear what devices can and can't run the app right now. So far, The Verge got it working on both a Samsung device (the Galaxy Nexus) and a non-Sammy device (the Sharp Aquos), and our readers got it working on a Motorola RAZR, HTC EVO 3D and HTC EVO 4G, but no one is quite sure yet what devices will work, but as yet it does not seem that root is required, nor do you need to have a Samsung device. Let us know what you think, if it works for you, and we'll have our opinion as soon as we can. 
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BlackBerry Curve 9320 now available at Vodafone UK


They may be a week behind some of the other UK networks, but Vodafone UK now have theBlackBerry Curve 9320 available. From £112 on PAYG + V.A.T (£135), the Curve 9320 -- is a real BlackBerry Bargain. With the latest version of software, 7.1, and its glorious traditional hardware keyboard the Curve 9320 is the perfect device for those of you who put social networking and communication at the forefront. Keep reading for the full press release.


Press Release
The great value BlackBerry Curve 9320, featuring the latest BlackBerry 7.1 operating system and 3G connectivity, is now available to buy at Vodafone UK.
The BlackBerry Curve 9320 combines super speedy browsing with a dedicated convenience key for quick and easy BBM. With a built-in FM Radio, its own Mobile Hotspot support and pre-loaded apps for Facebook, Twitter and the new Social Feeds 2.0, it's the perfect phone for social butterflies and, given its fantastic price, anyone on a budget. As the following video shows: http://youtu.be/ptiZZqTPNUc
The BlackBerry Curve 9320 is available now from Vodafone for £135 on Pay as you go price plans, or free on pay monthly price plans from £15.50 per month. For more information on the device, visit: http://shop.vodafone.co.uk/shop/mobile-phone/blackberry-curve-9320-black...
All our Pay as you go phones enable customers to take advantage of the great value Vodafone Freebees, which include a choice of free minutes, text and web access or international calls - www.vodafone.co.uk/freebees.
Every Pay as you go customer is also automatically opted-in to Freebee Rewardz. Every time a Pay as you go customer tops up as little as £5, they'll receive a voucher code via text message, which they can use to 'grab' an instant reward or bank them as 'grow' points, to save up for something bigger.
Customers can choose from a wide selection of rewards including big discounts from brands such as Thorntons and BLOCKBUSTER, music downloads and free minutes, or choose to take a mystery reward, which could be anything from a smoothie maker to an iPhone. Alternatively, customers can collect points towards vouchers and experience days. For more information, visit www.vodafone.co.uk/rewardz.
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Samsung Galaxy S III vs Apple iPhone 4S

Introduction:

Always a difficult decision, choosing between the latest and greatest Android phone or the latest and greatest iPhone is a problem that every smartphone user faces at one point or another. Thankfully, the key to solving that problem isn't that far away when you know what to look for. Having both the Samsung Galaxy S IIIand Apple iPhone 4S here with us, we thought that we absolutely have to pit these two ambitious guys against each other in order to make it easier for you to determine if you are more of a Galaxy S or iPhone user.

Please let us kill the suspense from the very beginning – the Galaxy S III and iPhone 4S are so different and excellent in their own way, there isn't an ultimate “better” phone. For each of us, the better choice would be different as we're all looking for different things. Our comparison between the Galaxy S III and One X achieved its goal of pointing out the ultimate Android phone. However, it is now time to venture out of the Android zone and get the attention back to the notorious OS wars.


Design:

There can't be two handsets more different when it comes to their appearance than the Galaxy S III and iPhone 4S. There's no doubt that the iPhone excels with its solid glass and steel construction, which makes the GS III look a bit toyish compared to it.

The Samsung Galaxy S III (left) and the Apple iPhone 4S (right) - Samsung Galaxy S III vs Apple iPhone 4S
The Samsung Galaxy S III (left) and the Apple iPhone 4S (right) - Samsung Galaxy S III vs Apple iPhone 4S
The Samsung Galaxy S III (left) and the Apple iPhone 4S (right)

Obviously, it's going to be much more comfortable to deal with a compact smartphone like the iPhone 4S, which allows you to reach even the opposite end of the screen just by using one hand only. In contrast, the large dimensions of the Galaxy S III make it more difficult to handle and operate. There's also the fact that with the GS III, you can often press its capacitive menu or back keys by accident, whereas such a thing is impossible to do on the iPhone, since it simply lacks such keys.
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Samsung Epic 4G Touch cut to $149.99 at Sprint

With the Samsung Galaxy S III expected to launch in the U.S. next month, it shouldn't be a surprise to see Sprint cut the price on its variant of the phone. The Samsung Epic 4G Touch is the only one of the three U.S. versions of the phone to be equipped with a 4.52 inch screen and the dual-core exynos processor. The new price of the phone is $149.99 with a signed two-year contract.

The Samsung Galaxy S II is considered by many to be the best Android phone ever made. Earlier this month, Samsung introduced the sequel which will launch globally by the end of this month. Three countries will be getting the LTE version of the device, the U.S., Japan and Korea. The U.S. model will hit the market in June while the other two countries are expected to  launch the phone later this summer.

It's hard to think about purchasing the Samsung Galaxy S II when the newer model is only weeks away. An incentive is needed and as a result, we would expect more price cuts for the Samsung Epic Touch 4G as we get closer to the release of the Samsung Galaxy S III.

source: Samsung

Sprint has cut the price on its version of the Samsung Galaxy S II
Sprint has cut the price on its version of the Samsung Galaxy S II
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HTC Amaze 4G online orders indefinitely delayed


As the results of these patent battles start to come to fruition, this has been the week of delays. We might be seeing yet another casualty of the US Customs’ hold on HTC devices.

Customers who order the HTC Amaze 4G from T-Mobile’s website are receiving an email notifying them of a delay. The letter states that the “order for the HTC Amaze has been delayed due to an unforeseen issue with receiving the product from the manufacturer.” It goes on to say that there is not an estimated time as to when the product will be available and that T-Mobile recommends selecting a different device. Finally, it recommends the Samsung Galaxy S Blaze 4G as a replacement, which can’t be going over well over at HTC.

HTC Amaze 4G
HTC Amaze 4G
It is not immediately clear if the issue with the Amaze 4G is, in fact, due to the issues stemming from the ITC’s ruling, but based on the vague language and no ETA, it sure seems that way. Oddly enough, you can still order the device from T-Mobile's website and they haven't posted any warnings about delays on the product page. You can read the letter in its entirety over at the source link below.
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Samsung Canada holding Galaxy S III training sessions through June 27


North America is eagerly awaiting the Samsung Galaxy S III’s invasion of our shores. Last night we told you that it looks like the T-Mobile variant of the device has started its run through the FCC. Our neighbors to the north will be happy the hear that Samsung Canada is holding training sessions on the smartphone throughout the nation.

According to a document leaked by MobileSyrup, “Samsung is presenting Samsung Galaxy S III interactive training sessions” from Wednesday, May 30 through Wednesday, June 27. According to the description, the presentation will be geared toward sales consultants. It also says to consult with your store manager and then register for a session, so it seems that these invites are for carrier stores and possibly select resellers as well.

Leaked document
Leaked document
The great news about all of this is once Samsung is done with its trainings on June 27, all that is left to do is launch the device. We would guess that Sammy would want to launch right after training is done so all the information is fresh in their minds. Obviously nothing is set in stone, but we may be looking at a late June or early July Canadian launch. Although, in the spirit of wishful thinking, in the past there have been devices that have been released while training was still going on. Fingers crossed.
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MIT researchers create do-it-yourself mobile phone


You consider yourself a do-it-yourselfer. You change your own oil, paint your own house, build your own computers, but have you ever considered building your own cellphone? Thanks to researchers at MIT, now you can.

The DIY phone uses open-source designs for both the phone’s circuit board and case. Currently it only supports voice calls, but MIT noted that SMS and other features could be added while still using the same hardware. The prototype uses a custom circuit board inside a laser-cut plywood and veneer case. The parts for all of this run about $150.

So what about the specs? MIT said, “The phone accepts a standard SIM card and works with any GSM provider. Cellular connectivity is provided by the SM5100B GSM Module, available from SparkFun Electronics. The display is a color 1.8″, 160×128 pixel, TFT screen on a breakout board from Adafruit Industries.” We also noticed that in the photos, the screen reads "Number please" when its ready to be used. How polite!

As far as design, we must say, it’s no touchscreen, high-end smartphone, but it looks pretty cool. Apparently the holes you see around each number allow the veneer to flex enough to press the button underneath.

MIT researchers create do-it-yourself mobile phone
MIT researchers create do-it-yourself mobile phone
MIT researchers create do-it-yourself mobile phone
MIT researchers create do-it-yourself mobile phone
MIT researchers create do-it-yourself mobile phone
MIT researchers create do-it-yourself mobile phone
MIT researchers create do-it-yourself mobile phone
MIT researchers create do-it-yourself mobile phone

Oddly enough there was no mention of our DIY smartphone. As you may remember back on April 1st, we here at PhoneArena showed you how to make your own smartphone complete with analogue, pen and paper driven Angry Birds!

In all seriousness though, this is a very neat project that makes a DIY mobile phone a realistic and obtainable goal.

“(W)e hope to encourage a proliferation of personalized and diverse mobile phones. Freed from the constraints of mass production, we plan to explore diverse materials, shapes, and functions. We hope that the project will help us explore and expand the limits of do-it-yourself (DIY) practice,” MIT said.
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Motorola explains why it won't update the Motorola DROID 3 and the Motorola DROID X2 to Android 4.0

The Motorola DROID X2 was launched exactly one year ago Saturday. The Motrorola DROID 3 was launched even later. Despite both of these models being a year old or less, Motorola's updated Android 4.0 update schedule infers that both of these handsets will not be receiving Ice Cream Sandwich. Some have theorized that the 512MB of RAM in each unit was the reason for the omission, but the manufacturer has a different explanation. In a statement, Motorola says that if Android 4.0 can't make a specific Motorola device better, it is unable to update that device.
"You may be wondering why all devices aren’t being upgraded to Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich). Here’s the deal. We work very closely with Google and cell phone carriers for every software update. And, obviously we want the new release to improve our devices. If we determine that can’t be done—well then, we’re not able to upgrade that particular device."-Motorola
Launched one year ago today, the Motorola DROID X2
Launched one year ago today, the Motorola DROID X2
Of course, that statement won't really placate owners of either phone. And despite the statement from Motorola, if a phone doesn't improve with the latest OS update, it probably means that there is something in the specs that just doesn't cut it. In this case, the common denominator appears to be the lack of 1GB of RAM on both phones. And that is a shame considering the young age of both handsets. 
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Samsung GALAXY Nexus discontinued at Telus; magenta Nokia Lumia 800 next


Talk about a short life cycle! Just launched by Telus this past January, documents leaked from the Canadian carrier reveal that theSamsung GALAXY Nexus has been discontinued since May 16th. On some level, this makes sense since the Samsung Galaxy S III is coming down the pike, but on the other hand the device was just launched on January 13th. And considering that the unit offers stock Android, why not keep in on the shelves for those who want the pure Google experience, at least until the next Nexus handset arrives?

Also found on the discontinued list is the Nokia Lumia 800 in magenta. That model will say adios on June 17th, according to the document. Telus also offers the model in black and cyan which will be your only two choices in a few weeks. Other handsets of note found on the list include the16GB Apple iPhone 4 and the white BlackBerry Curve 9360
The Samsung GALAXY Nexus has been discontinued by Telus
The Samsung GALAXY Nexus has been discontinued by Telus

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Machinarium for Android hands-on


Surely taking its time, the popular indie adventure puzzle game Machinarium has finally arrived for Android. Although it’s technically not a new game, especially when it first arrived on the PC a while ago with an iOS version later on, it’s nevertheless here now for the taking at $3.99 through the Google Play Store. So if you love robots and puzzles, you’ll surely appreciate all of the fun you’ll find in Machinarium.

Rather than tantalizing us with some kind of 3D graphics, Machinarium relies on2D visuals combined with puzzle elements to enthrall gamers. Honestly, the world of Machinarium has an apparent steam punk characteristic to it, as each stage is filled with crazy machinery. There’s no spoken dialog whatsoever in the game, but rather, everything is conveyed through pictures and the actions of our star – a clever little robot called Josef.

Machinarium for Android hands-on
Machinarium for Android hands-on
Machinarium for Android hands-on
Machinarium for Android hands-on


Be warned folks, there is a high level of difficulty with Machinarium, especially in the later stages as the puzzles become more complex. Luckily, for those of us who are a bit slower in solving them, we’re at least given one hint for each stage. Still, we find ourselves scratching our heads at times or feverishly tapping on something in the environment to interact with it – in the hopes of solving each stage. So yeah, the pace of the game might scare off traditional action gamers who are more accustomed to a run and gun type of deal.

Overall, there’s a lot of value with Machinarium, even more when it’s priced modestly at $3.99 right now. The artistic presentation and puzzle solving aspects of Machinarium undoubtedly stands out, but as we’ve said already, it’s only the most diehard puzzle solvers that will be able to complete the game from start to finish.


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BlackBerry Desktop Software 7.1 hits Beta Zone



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Research in Motion has unleashed version 7.1 of its BlackBerry Desktop Software into the Beta Zone. Most significantly, this update introduces support for both the BlackBerry 10 Dev Alpha handset and 4G PlayBooks. The software also brings enhanced media support, which includes the ability to sync by album, and manages to squash a few bugs along the way
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HTC One S “Roughriders Edition” coming to SaskTel



This is awesome. Not only has SaskTel signed up to release the HTC One S, but they’ve dreamed up the fancy name and called it the “Roughriders Edition.” The specs are the same what TELUS, Virgin, Bell and Fido have launched but SaskTel says their One S will offer “Rider junkies” a “specially wrapped box with a Riderized graphic and the full Rider schedule”, have the One S pre-loaded with the official Roughriders mobile app (gives you live scores, team stats, player info), plus Rider ringtones, wallpaper and a free Riders case.
There press release we received gave no word on pricing or when this will launch, probably in the next few days. Good show. Perhaps the Riders will win the Cup this year.
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Samsung Galaxy Proclaim now official for Straight Talk



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If you're considering picking up a smartphone during your next trip to Walmart, you'll find a new selection lurking within the Straight Talk section -- the Samsung Galaxy Proclaim is now available from the MVNO for just $180. The handset offers a 1GHz CPU, a 3.5-inch HVGA display, a 3-megapixel camera and includes Android 2.3
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Huawei C8820 tastes like Ice Cream Sandwich, bound for U.S. Cellular


Huawei C8820 tastes like Ice Cream Sandwich, bound for U.S. Cellular
There is a new Android smartphone bound for launch on U.S. Cellular – the Huawei C8820. Prying eyes have spotted the device on the Bluetooth SIG web page, where some of its specs have been listed along with a press photo.

What we know about the Huawei C8820 so far is that it has Wi-Fi, GPS, 3G, and Bluetooth, just like... pretty much every Android smartphone out there. The presence of a microSD slot for storage expansion is more than welcome. Upon taking a closer look at the photo we noticed a front-facing camera located at the unit's upper right-hand corner.

What is more interesting about the device, however, is that it comes with Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich out of the box, so owners will be getting the most up-to-date Android experience without the need to wait for an update that may take ages to arrive. U.S. Cellular has yet to add an ICS smartphone to its portfolio, and this might as well be it. 

Further details such as launch date and in-depth hardware specs remain unknown, and we might have to wait until U.S. Cellular makes the Huawei C8820 official. Pricing is also a mystery, but given that previous Huawei devices have aimed for great value-for-money ratio, we expect this one to follow suit.

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Samsung Galaxy S III S Voice APK leaked online


Samsung Galaxy S III S-Voice APK leaked online
If you find yourself with nothing better to do this weekend, then you might have a bit of fun playing around with Samsung's soon-to-be-released S Voice application on your rooted Android 4.0 smartphone. The APK has now made its way into the wild, and we couldn't help but take it for a spin on our Nexus S. First off, while we can't vouch for the security of the file, we can confirm that it's indeed functional. Secondly, while some of the S Voice features work just fine -- such as search or contact queries -- other requests such navigation repeatedly caused the app to crash. In other words, if you're expecting this app to behave as it should on the Galaxy S III, you might be in for a disappointment. If you're merely looking to poke around with the S Voice functionality, however, the download seems quite worthwhile. At this point, we're most curious to know whether non-Samsung owners have similar luck. If you're willing to give 'er a go, let us know your experience in the comments below. We've also now tested the leaked APK on our Galaxy Nexus, and are happy to report that S Voice works quite flawlessly. As always, your mileage may vary.
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Microsoft exec says Windows Phone outselling iPhone in China


HTC Triumph for China
Going by Microsoft's Greater China COO Michel van der Bel, the launch of Windows Phone in China is off to an auspicious start -- enough to give Apple the shakes. He claims that devices like the Nokia Lumia 800c have helped Windows Phone reach seven percent of the Chinese market, or just enough to get past the six points of the iPhone. We're waiting on hard data before we take van der Bel's word: the top smartphone makers worldwide aren't depending much or at all on Windows Phone, and the iPhone has athriving gray market in China that masks some of its real numbers. Having said this, we've seen signs of Windows Phone enjoying a bit of a surge even in an iOS- and Android-loving Europe, so we'll be watching to see if there's an uptick in the number of buyers saying ni hao to Microsoft in the near future.
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Facebook likes Karma app, buys the whole dam thing

What does one do after generating billions from an initial public stock offering? Go shopping, of course. After falling short of expectations following its somewhat helter-skelter IPO debut, Facebook simply shook off the whole thing and acquired itself some good Karma. No, we're not talking about that Karma. Instead, Facebook purchased the startup responsible for the Karma social gifting app. The move was apparently made to bolster Facebook's mobile chops -- an area the company considers ripe for opportunity. Just recently, Facebook also acquired mobile stalwartInstagram and the Lightbox team, for example. As for its newest purchase, Karma will be allowed to "continue to operate in full force" despite its recent status change, according to a blog post by co-founders Lee Linden and Ben Lewis. Details weren't disclosed about how much the deal was worth but judging from celebratory nature of their post, it doesn't look like Linden and Lewis will "Unlike" the agreement any time soon.
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China clears Google acquisition of Motorola, eliminates last barrier to Googorola bliss


Google-Motorola
The final significant roadblock to Google's buyout of Motorola has been cleared, as Chinese regulators have just given their rubber stamp. Their approval follows a few months after the simultaneousAmerican and European clearances, and virtually all that's left now is to formally close the deal and start integrating the two mobile giants. It might still come too late for the combined entity to present a united front at Google I/O, but at least they won't have any awkward glances at each other across the room. We're just trying to decide on whether or not Googorola is the best pet name for the loving, $12.5 billion-dollar Android union. Update: Google has since told the AP that the deal will likely wrap up early next week, so Motorola should be part of the family well in advance of Google I/O.
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How Wearable Computers Could Make Us Healthier


The last time your doctor asked how much you exercise, did you tell the truth? Do you even really know the truth—not just how many visits to the gym you’ve made this month, but how many hours you sit or how many calories you burn in a day?
What if your doctor had already received the information from a tiny device built into your cellphone, wallet, or undershirt? Sonny Vu believes a device like this could fundamentally change health care. “You can’t just lie to your doctor—it’s all there, recorded,” he says. “You cut right to the chase rather than having to tease out all that information.”
Vu is an entrepreneur who thinks a lot about how a well-designed mobile device can affect health. As a cofounder of the medical-device company AgaMatrix, he created the first FDA-approved glucose sensor that plugs into an iPhone; it hit Apple stores this month under the brand name iBGStar.
Now Vu is taking his ideas a step further, betting that the next phase for mobile computing is on our bodies. He’s heading a new company called Misfit Wearables, which is developing health monitoring devices that he says will fit unobtrusively into the clothing and objects we use every day.
Mobile health devices and software could change medicine profoundly, allowing people to continuously monitor vital signs and better track and modify behavior. That’s important because chronic diseases like obesity and diabetes are on the rise. “We’re seeing an infusion of mobile technologies into people’s lives,” says Susannah Fox, who studies technology and health care for the Pew Internet & American Life Project. “And we’re seeing a very rainy forecast in terms of people’s health.”
In health care, however, good ideas often succumb to the realities of human nature. “Health isn’t really top of mind for most of us,” says Fox. Yet many health-related apps and devices essentially ask people to make health a priority. Pew’s research has found that interest in health apps hasn’t been increasing among users.
Vu’s idea is to remove from the equation what he calls “intentionality”—the deliberate daily choice to use a health technology. Donning a pedometer or entering information into a calorie counter every day is asking too much of most people. “The best products are the ones that you really rely on but you don’t have to remember to use,” he says.
Vu says that realization came to him after many years of trying to understand why people with diabetes might forget to use their glucose meter, even though their health depends on doing so. (The meters use a drop of blood from a pinprick to measure blood sugar.) “If you have diabetes, what’s your main problem? It’s that you don’t want to have diabetes anymore,” says Vu. Carrying around a bulkier glucose meter is annoying and a constant reminder that one is ill. By creating meters that were closely integrated with a phone, something many people never leave the house without, “we enabled people to be closer to where they wanted to be, which was a little less diabetic,” he says.
Vu, 39, splits his time between several locations, including Cambridge and his native Vietnam, where he’s cultivated a software development team. He calls himself a “product person” who is happiest designing products and obsessing over their details. He founded Misfit Wearables last fall with John Sculley, former CEO of Apple, naming the company after Apple’s iconic “Think different” ad (“Here’s to the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels …”).
The company raised $7.6 million this year from prominent investors, including Peter Thiel’s Founders Fund and Vinod Khosla, following seed investment from the Cambridge incubator IncTank Ventures. Vu says he’s even been invited to brief Bill Gates, who—like other technology leaders—is seeking to understand when, and how, computers will become wearable.
As a developer of medical devices, Vu is accustomed to proving his products’ worth to the FDA. Now he’s bringing that experience into the much less regulated world of consumer health and gadgets. Devices that monitor weight, activity level, heart rate, or other vital signs could, in principle, lower health-care costs by aiding efforts to prevent chronic illnesses like diabetes and heart disease. They could make it possible to provide medical services such as remote monitoring of patients or automatic detection of falls. “Wearable sensor data is going to be the most complete you can get,” Vu says. It could make a yearly blood pressure measurement at the doctor’s office seem archaic.
But developing these devices is challenging. First there’s what Vu calls the “skin and silicon” problem. It’s technically difficult to create an interface that accurately collects physiological signals and transmits them to a small mobile device. It’s equally difficult to figure out what to do with the data. The people who obsessively analyze their own heart rate are a tiny minority, and even doctors don’t have time to wade through raw data about their patients. The key, he says, is to provide software that can hunt for patterns and provide usable insights—that your heart rate veers dangerously high at work, or that your activity level drops on certain days of the week. But even the best device can’t make someone follow its advice.
Vu is keeping quiet about the details of the product Misfit is planning to launch, which is still in development. It will function like current fitness monitors—he mentions the Fitbit pedometer and BodyMedia’s activity-tracking armband—but will add a novel measurement that no other wearable device supplies. Vu is aiming for a consumer product, but eventually he’d like to conduct a clinical study of its effectiveness and seek FDA approval for a medical application.
The primary goal, however, is invisibility. “You have wearable products right now—they’re just not that wearable,” he says. “And you have to remember to wear them.” He thinks a health monitoring device should would be unobtrusive enough to be incorporated into something you already wear or carry every day: socks, bra, undershirt, cellphone, wallet, keys.
That goal has brought Vu into the world of high-tech fashion. At a recent conference on smart fabrics, he mingled with designers and textile engineers making clothes that light up with fiber optics or heat and cool themselves. Vu believes the textile world could ultimately contribute more creative innovation to wearable computing than device companies do. “Those folks are thinking about clothing and about stuff you’re already wearing,” he says. “Not ‘How can we strap this thing to your body?’”
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Changed Windows 8 Desktop Revealed, Interface Improved [VIDEO]


Microsoft has revealed an updated desktop user interface for Windows 8.
“In the end, we decided to bring the desktop closer to the Metro aesthetic,” wrote Jensen Harris, the Director of Program Management for the Microsoft Windows User Experience Team, in a blog post about the changes.
The biggest change in the update is a move away from Aero Glass, a clear-window effect introduced with Vista.
A release preview of the operating system is due in June. In the meantime, you can get a glimpse of the interface in the video above. Harris wrote he expects any change to “bring forward its share of both deep believers and naysayers.”
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Roughly 75,000 people are working to make the Samsung Galaxy S3


Yes, believe it or not dear readers, there are roughly 75,000 people working hard right now to manufacture the Samsung Galaxy S3. If you’ve read the recent report saying that there are 9 million pre-orders for the Samsung Galaxy S3, you must be wondering whether these people can actually make 9 million units in time for its release? The short answer is yes, they can.
How did we arrive to the said figures? We’ll spare you the horrid details (not to mention the math) and just give you a brief recap of a feature ran by ExtremeTech.com. In the article, Sebastian Anthony uses various statistics from Apple and Samsung to estimate the workforce necessary to churn out the millions of Galaxy S3 phones that the market demands.
Just to give you an idea of how the estimation was made, Anthony starts from the capacity of Foxconn’s production lines, a figure revealed earlier this year in the diary of a worker.
Now applying that with the production line of the Samsung Galaxy S3. Samsung’s factory will at least need 60 production lines to make 5 million units of the Samsung Galaxy S3. That equals to around 38,400 workers. So to make the 9 million units of the phone who are up for pre-orders, then it will require roughly 75,000 people to work on Samsung’s manufacturing plant. And these are the same number of workers who will make Samsung Galaxy S3 units beyond the 9 million pre-orders.
Those are the bare facts about the production of the Samsung Galaxy S3. Those are the number of people who are working so hard to deliver what we have all been waiting for all these months. Hopefully, the working conditions of Samsung workers in Korea are not as bad as the Foxconn employees who make the iPhone.
So by the time you get hold of the Samsung Galaxy S3, think about these people and thank them for their hard work just to make us happy, Samsung Galaxy S3 owners
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MK802 Mini Android 4.0 PC Arrives For $74


The $74 MK802 Android mini PC is equipped with a single-core 1.5GHz AllWinner A10 processor, supported by 512MB of memory.
MK802 Android PC
The MK802 is also equipped with 2 x USB ports, one full-sized and one micro, and runs Google’s latest Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich (ICS) operating system. As well as being equipped with a HDMI port for connecting to your monitor of preference.
Connectivity on the MK802 is provided by WiFi 802.11b/g, with 4GB of Flash storage as standard,  which can be increased to 32GB via the microSD card slot.
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Samsung Accounts For 40 Percent Of Android Smartphone Sales According to Report


Samsung has had great success with its Galaxy range of android smartphones, with the incredibly popular Samsung Galaxy S II, and it looks like Samsung’s new Galaxy S III will continue the trend as we heard earlier that 9 million of the device had been pre-ordered.
According to a recent report by Gartner, Samsung’s Android smartphones account for 40 percent of all Android smartphone sales, which basically means that out of every ten Android smartphones that are sold, Samsung sells four of them.
According to the report, none of the other Android manufacturers come close to Samsung, with none of them having more than a 10 percent share of Android smartphone sales.
We suspect that this trend will continue with the launch of the new Samsung Galaxy S III, and we wonder how long it will be before Samsung owns firty percent or more of the Android smartphone market.
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Angry Birds Heikki: New Rovio racing game out next month


Can’t get enough of Angry Birds? Well, you may have a new game coming your way. A new teaser website just went live for Angry Birds Heikki, a new game from Rovio. It looks like an Angry Birds racing game, so get ready for some road Rage.

You can head over to heikki.angrybirds.com and you’ll see this teaser image, with some links to share the page and a link to Rovio’s website. That’s about it so far. The page source however brings up the phrase: “Where’s Heikki’s F1 racing helmet gone?! The Angry Birds have a hunch!”
It looks like the game should arrive on June 18 2012. Unless this is all just some promotion for some racing tie-in. We will find out soon enough. Our money is on a game though.
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The HTC One X debacle: winners and losers


htc one xOn Tuesday, news broke that US Customs had blocked imports of the HTC One X and the HTC EVO 4G LTE, effectively preventing HTC’s flagships from reaching American customers. The embargo was enforced due to an exclusion order by the International Trade Commission (ITC). The ITC ruled back in December that HTC’s Android devices infringe on two of Apple’s patents, but gave the Taiwanese a respite until April 19 to remove the infringing features.
Although HTC claims that both the HTC One X and the EVO 4G LTE are now free of the infringing feature, it seems that the US Customs needs a lot of time to decide if that’s truly the case.
The most immediate and visible effect of this incident was the canceled debut of Sprint’s EVO 4G LTE, which left many customers (some of whom have pre-ordered the device) furious. It’s easy to blame Apple for the whole snafu (if you’re an Android fan), but I also wonder what HTC did or could have done to prevent such a high-profile embarrassment. Even Sprint could come under fire for scheduling a device launch before knowing for sure when the device will be available.
Regardless of who’s to blame, it’s increasingly obvious that this indefinite delay will have real consequences for all the players involved. Here’s how I see the winners and the losers of the game.

The winners

  • Apple – Although many have interpreted Apple’s legal victory from last December as merely symbolic, it appears now that ITC’s ruling is more than just a bureaucratic measure. Apple actually managed to disrupt (even if it’s just for a few days) two of the iPhone’s bigger competitors. Moreover, this affair will show the other Android OEMs that losing against Cupertino can have dead-serious consequences. I am not sure if the other manufacturers are affected in any way by ITC’s decision, but at least at a symbolic level, Apple has shown its killer instinct. Oh yeah, and the iPhone will probably sell better now.
  • Samsung – somewhere in Korea, someone smiled when news broke about the HTC embargo. The One X is the main competitor to Samsung’s freshly unveiled Galaxy S3, and many say that HTC’s device is superior to the much hyped S3. Every little obstacle that the One X (in its various incarnations) faces is a boon for Samsung. Although theGalaxy S3 is not out yet in the United States, even a brief absence will erode the One X’ position in the market. If the delay goes on for another week or two, some potential customers might even switch sides, provided that the Galaxy S3 gets a launch date anytime soon.
  • Nokia and Microsoft  the battered Finnish and their Redmond-based buddies certainly won’t mind that the Lumia 900 enjoys some extra days in the spotlight on AT&T. Although some stores still have the One X in stock, most AT&T retail locations don’t have HTC’s device available in numbers. This extends the window of opportunity for the Lumia 900, which has been Ma Bell’s hero device for the last month or so. Sales of Nokia’s flagship are reportedly good, and this misstep from HTC is likely to improve them.

The losers

  • Apple  Yes, Apple. This case has highlighted the way Apple wages its legal war against Android, often based on patents for trivial features. In this case, it’s tapping a phone number to get a context menu, but that’s not really important. Most comments on the articles that covered this story revolve on the “Apple sucks for this” theme. And I am not talking just about the Android sites. It seems to me that people are tired of seeing big companies (Motorola, Samsung, and others included) harass each other, especially when it directly affects consumers, like it happened now.
  • HTC – obviously, the Taiwanese can’t afford this type of mishap now. We are not talking about the glorious HTC from 2010. Today’s HTC is bleeding money, and the One X is the shot in the arm that was supposed to bring the company back to life. Even if the delay doesn’t go on for too much, I am almost sure that we will see its impact when HTC’s quarterly financial results are announced. Samsung Galaxy S3 is already breaking records, and it didn’t even begin to sell. Another week of uncertainty could cost HTC dearly, and it would be too bad, because the One X really is a beautiful device.
  • Sprint – the third largest carrier in the US had passed through some tough times lately, making a big strategic error by betting on the Wimax standard instead of LTE. After admitting defeat and jumping on the LTE bandwagon, Sprint hoped that the HTC EVO 4G LTE would be its ticket to a new era. With the iPhone coming at a blistering price for the company (as CEO Dan Hesse admitted), Android should have been a breath of fresh air for Sprint. The damage is still limited for now, but if the delay continues for another week or so, the repercussions will follow.
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Sony’s Hayabusa same phone as Xperia GX? Leaked pictures and video!


Though Sony’s LT29i Hayabusa has already been sighted in the wild, we’re still in the dark about the phone’s official Xperia branding, at least one that we know of. Unwired View believes that the flagship phone will be named as the Sony Xperia GX, the same phone that DoCoMo just introduced a couple of days ago for the Japanese market.
Sony Xperia GX has similar specs to the LT29i Hayabusa. The phone will ship with a 4.6-inch HD screen, a dual-core 1.5GHz Snapdragon S4 processor, 13.2MP rear camera, 1,700mAh battery, and Android 4.0.3 Ice Cream Sandwich. Given the slight difference in specs, it is possible that the LT29i Hayabusa is simply the international version of Sony Xperia GX.
This conclusion was reached after checking out leaked hands-on pictures and video of the Hayabusa, which showed a phone with many similarities to the Xperia GX in looks. Though the phone in question doesn’t seem to carry any DoCoMo branding, we could see hints of DoCoMo in the phone’s menu. Hence, we’ll add a speculation hashtag to the story for now.
Eprice
Regardless of the name, Sony has a winner on its hands judging from the specs of the Hayabusa alone. Apart from the expected combo of dual-core 1.5GHz Snapdragon S4 Pro processor and Adreno 320 GPU, the phone will come with a 4.55-inch HD Reality display, 13MP rear camera with HDR video recording, and a 2,200 mAh battery in a 7mm casing.
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How to make custom ringtones for your iPhone, Android, or Windows phone


Long ago, the only way to get custom ringtones on your phone was by purchasing them from your service provider. At about $1-2, this method is still an option today, but luckily, you can now create your own ringtones for free and load them onto your device.
With this do-it-yourself method, you'll be able to turn any piece of audio into a ringtone--any part of your favorite song (not just the chorus), or even audio from a YouTube video. If you'd like to do the latter, you can extract audio from any YouTube video using this tutorial.
In any case, make sure you have the audio files for the music you want to turn into ringtones. When you do, follow the instructions for the appropriate phone and desktop operating system.

iPhone

Mac
Mac users can easily create ringtones for their iPhone using GarageBand. The process is straightforward and results in sending your ringtone directly to iTunes. Once your ringtone is in iTunes, simply sync your iPhone, then go to Settings > Sounds on your device to set your new tone.
Windows
Windows users should use Fried Cookie's Ringtone Maker, as it allows you to turn full-length song into a 30-second M4A file, which is Apple's proprietary file extension for iPhone ringtones.
Once you've created a ringtone, simply drag and drop it into your iTunes music library. iTunes will automatically add it to the Tones section, which you can find in the left sidebar.
Finally, sync your iPhone. Then, on your iPhone, go to Settings > Sounds to set your new ringtone.
Alternatively, you can use the method shown in the video below to create ringtones directly from iTunes.

Android

Mac
To create an Android ringtone on your Mac, you'll use an MP3 you already own and cut it to a 30-second clip of your choice. Follow these instructions, but when you're ready to export the song, do not send it to iTunes. Instead, select Share > Export song to disk, and choose the MP3 format.
Then, plug in your Android phone and mount it. Explore the drive and, if you don't have one already, create a folder and name it Ringtones. Finally, drag and drop your custom MP3 in to the new folder. Eject your Android phone and unplug it.
To set your new ringtone, head to Settings > Sound and select it from the list.
Windows
To create your ringtone in Windows, use Fried Cookie's Ringtone Maker. When you've created and saved your custom ringtone, connect your Android phone to your computer and mount it. Drag and drop your custom MP3 in to the new folder. Finally, eject your Android phone and unplug it.
To set your new ringtone, head to Settings > Sound and select it from the list.
Alternatively, you can create ringtones directly from your Android phone using an app likeRingDroid.

Windows Phone

Mac
Naturally, the process will be a little complicated since Windows inherently doesn't play nicely with Mac. So, be a little patient with this one.
To make your ringtone, you'll use an MP3 you already own and cut it to a 30-second clip of your choice. Follow these instructions, but when you're ready to export the song, do not send it to iTunes. Instead, select Share > Send song to iTunes.
Open iTunes. Find the ringtone you created, right-click it, and select "Get info." Then, in the Info tab, under Genre, type ringtone. Click OK.
If you don't have it already, install Windows Phone Connector for Mac. Launch it, then connect your phone to your Mac. Sync your phone (or just the song) and unplug it.
On your phone, go to Settings > Ringtones + sounds. Tap the ringtone list, and you'll see your new ringtone among the others.
Windows
To create your 30-second ringtone, use Fried Cookie's Ringtone Maker. Then, drag and drop the file in to the Zune software. In the Genre list, make sure ringtone is selected. If it doesn't appear, type it. Click OK.
Connect your Windows Phone to your computer and sync it. Unplug it, and (on your phone) go to Settings > Ringtones + sounds and select your new ringtone.
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