Dec 04, 2013 - 3:47 PM - by dgstorm
When Andy Rubin stepped down as head of the Android Division at Google earlier this year it came as a shock. At that time, they made it clear that he wasn't leaving the company, but was instead focusing on other projects for Google. The year is almost up and only now are we getting the details on just what Andy has been up to. It turns out, Mr. Rubin is still in charge of androids, just not the Google mobile OS variety. A new report from the New York Times indicates that Andy Rubin is now the head of Google's robotics division. He is working on developing more intelligent robotics for industrial based applications, right now, but his work could lead to other advancements.
Right now they are calling his work a "moonshot" which refers to the fact that it could take a decade before the results of his work are realized. Here's a quote from the NYT article with a few more details,
What do you guys think? Will Andy Rubin help to usher in a new era of automated prosperity or slavery to robotic overlords?
“Like any moonshot, you have to think of time as a factor,” Mr. Rubin said. “We need enough runway and a 10-year vision.”
Mr. Rubin, the 50-year-old Google executive in charge of the new effort, began his engineering career in robotics and has long had a well-known passion for building intelligent machines. Before joining Apple Computer, where he initially worked as a manufacturing engineer in the 1990s, he worked for the German manufacturing company Carl Zeiss as a robotics engineer.
“I have a history of making my hobbies into a career,” Mr. Rubin said in a telephone interview. “This is the world’s greatest job. Being an engineer and a tinkerer, you start thinking about what you would want to build for yourself.”
He used the example of a windshield wiper that has enough “intelligence” to operate when it rains, without human intervention, as a model for the kind of systems he is trying to create.
Hewlett Packard's all new Tegra 4-powered Android tablet line is now available at Best Buy and priced to sell. The HP Slate 7 Extreme and HP Slate 8 Pro can be had for $200 and $330, respectively, and are very promising tablets for the price tag. The HP Slate 8 Pro features a 7.98-inch display at 1600×1200 resolution, 8MP rear camera, 2MP front shooter, 1GB DDR3 RAM, 16GB on board Storage, micro SD card slot, micro HDMI out, Beats Audio, and of course the NVIDIA Tegra 4 A15 quad-core processor clocked at 1.8GHZ.
The HP Slate 7 Extreme is the Slate 8 Pro's little brother and comes with a 7-inch display sitting at a rez of 1280×800, 1GB DDR3 RAM, 16GB onboard storage, 5MP rear shooter, .3MP front facing camera, micro SD card slot, stereo speakers (facing front), and a 2mm-tip passive stylus. The Slate 7 Extreme is powered by the NVIDIA Tegra 4 A15 quad-core processor clocked at 1.6GHZ.
Both tablets will ship with Android 4.2 Jelly Bean.
Source: Best Buy HP Slate 7 Extreme / HP SLATE 8 Pro
Dec 02, 2013 - 4:32 PM - by dgstorm
Sometimes people think outside the box, but sometimes they think so far outside the box you can no longer see the box. A new idea from Jeff Bezos, the CEO of Amazon's is a prefect example of this. He plans to develop flying remote-controlled drones which will eventually be used to help Amazon deliver most of the packages you purchase from them in 30 minutes or less.
Mr. Bezos announced this on 60 Minutes last night (Sunday, December 1st, 2013). In his interview he said, "Prime Air vehicles will be as normal as seeing mail trucks on the road today." Here's a quote from the Amazon official announcement below (followed by a link):
He admitted it will take a few years to implement, but is very doable. If the plan works out, we might one day see the skies darkened not with Terminator drones of doom, but instead with flying robot Santa Clauses. What do you guys think of this wild idea? Is Bezos crazy or just "crazy-like-a-fox?"
We're excited to share Prime Air — something the team has been working on in our next generation R&D lab.
The goal of this new delivery system is to get packages into customers' hands in 30 minutes or less using unmanned aerial vehicles.
Putting Prime Air into commercial use will take some number of years as we advance the technology and wait for the necessary FAA rules and regulations.
Check out this footage from a recent test flight.
Source: Amazon Prime Air
Dec 02, 2013 - 12:48 PM - by dgstorm
Today Qualcomm announced that their Toq Smartwatch is officially available for pre-order from their Toq Store with a $350.00 price tag attached to it. Available in black and white the Toq will ship in 1-3 weeks with the charges to your Credit card only taking place after the smartwatch has shipped. The Toq SmartWatch is compatible with most Android powered handsets, so you don't have to worry about compatibly issues.
If you are interested you can head on over to the Toq Store and reserve yours today.
We've yet to see a high demand for wearables (Galaxy Gear) and perhaps with some pricing changes that could all change. What say you? Are these SmartWatches priced at a level you'd expect, or should they be dropped to a sub $300.00 price point?
Nov 22, 2013 - 4:28 PM - by dgstorm
We wanted to share a quick tidbit with you guys this fine Friday afternoon. Our sister-site over at DroidForums.net is holding an Xbox One Contest! The contest is meant as a celebration of the launch of the new Xbox One and our amazing success on XboxOneForums.net. Feel free to head over there and enter to win a FREE Xbox One!
Here's the link to the contest for more of the details: ULTRAAA-CONTEST - DroidForums.net XBOX One Giveaway!
If you have any questions, feel free to post them in this thread.
Nov 22, 2013 - 3:13 PM - by dgstorm
A couple of days ago our very own Garemlin brought us the sad news that LG was potentially shifting away from the smartphone business and refocusing their R&D budget toward their TV business. Luckily, it turns out the report from the Korean news publication which originally reported this intel was reporting unfounded and completely incorrect information. Since that news report, LG themselves have come forward refuting the news story completely. Here's a quote with more of the details,
We have to admit, here at HQ we were skeptical from the beginning regarding this story, but we appreciate Garemlin for sharing it because it could have been true and would have been a pretty big shakeup in the mobile industry. Overall though, it wouldn't have made sense for LG to suddenly dump their smartphone business. It was actually their handset business that posted a decent profit last quarter while they have been struggling in the TV business. Additionally, they have been finding great success with the G2 and the new Nexus 5.
LG responded to a report by Korean publication ET News that it was shifting its resources away from the mobile business and towards televisions, dismissing it as "completely untrue."
"We are more committed than ever in making the LG brand a major player in the mobile space," an LG representative said on Friday. "And we think our products this year speak for themselves."
Furthermore, LG said the report was based on "non-credible sources and uninformed speculation." ~ CNET
Regardless, we feel like we dodged a bullet with this one because the tech industry is really good at surprising us once in a while!
Nov 21, 2013 - 4:51 PM - by dgstorm
About a week ago we reminded you guys that the 100 Year war between Apple and Samsung was still going on. This phase of the fight is the damages retrial. It just concluded and the resulting verdict came down in Apple's favor again to the tune of $290 Million. This means the total damages that Samsung will owe Apple have skyrocketed back up to around $900 Million.
- The original damage award was $1+Billion dollars.
- Judge Koh later found that some of the damage numbers were erroneously calculated by the jury.
- She reduced the award by about $450 Million, resulting in an award of about $600+ Million.
- This new damages retrial started up about a week ago. Apple was asking for another $380 Million, but Samsung argued it only owed an additional $52 Million.
- This trial now concluded and the Jury awarded Apple an additional $290 Million.
As a reminder, this is not the appeal trial for the final verdict. That trial is set to occur in March 2014. We will keep you apprised at that time. This war seems to keep bouncing back and forth. I stopped liking roller-coasters when I was a kid...
Nov 21, 2013 - 12:14 PM - by dgstorm
If you were looking to pick up one of the best values in an Android tablet this holiday season, then you probably want to check out this offer on Newegg. The EVGA Tegra Note 7 is the first (and currently only) Tegra 4 powered Android tablet available. At a price of just $199.99, the power and features of this little tablet might shock you.
Here's a recap:
- NVIDIA's Tegra 4 SoC, (This is the same ultra-fast processor and GPU combo found in the NVIDIA Shield)
- 7-Inch 720p Display
- 1GB RAM
- 16GB of storage
- MicroSD card slot
- 5MP rear camera
- 1.3MP front-facing cam
- Android 4.2.2 at launch
- An integrated stylus
- Dual front-facing speakers
- MicroHDMI port
While the amount of RAM is a bit low, and the display isn't true HD like many of the newer tabs, the graphics prowess of the Tegra 4 could rival some desktop PCs. This tab is obviously built with gamers in mind, but at this price point it should attract more than just gamers.
Here's a link to check out this offer: Newegg.com - EVGA TEGRA NOTE 7 Tablet ? 16GB Flash, 1GB RAM Quad Core Nvidia Tegra 4
Nov 21, 2013 - 11:47 AM - by dgstorm
The Toshiba Excite 7 was officially announced yesterday. It boasts a quad-core processor, a microSD slot and more for only $169.99. Here's a breakdown of specs and features:
- 7-inch 1024 x 600 Display
- Quad-core processor
- 1GB of RAM
- 0.3MP front facing camera
- 3MP rear camera
- Android 4.2.2 runs the show
- Enhanced stereo speakers
- 12 hours of general use / 7.5 hours of video playback
- microSD support
Taking a look at the specs and the version of Android running the device, it's hard to justify this device even at this price. The specs are rather mediocre, although the microSD slot and Quad-Core CPU is appreciated. What do you guys think of this one?
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