Author Archives: JC Torres


LeEco US event next month could mark smartphone arrival

LeEco US event next month could mark smartphone arrival

LeEco, a Chinese company that started out as Letv with a bent towards online videos, has just scheduled a press event for mid-October. Judging by its invite and the numerous businesses it has dipped its fingers in, ten guesses as to what it will be about. It’s not hard to imagine, however, that the company would use the opportunity to formally launch one of its Android smartphones in the market, firmly planting its foot in US soil even before rival Xiaomi has a chance to take root.

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Google launches G Suite set of apps, new “The Keyword” Blog

Google launches G Suite set of apps, new “The Keyword” Blog

It’s a day of new brands for Google. Or rather, new rebrands. Topping today’s slew of app and service updates are announcements that re-introduce old things in a new name. Google App for Your Domain, which became Google Apps for Work, is now G Suite. Catchier name for the same thing. And so that you’ll hear more about, and all other Google-related news, in one single place, Google is launching a new “The Keyword” site that collates posts from the company’s 19 public blogs.

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Facebook shares rare photos of Arctic data center

Facebook shares rare photos of Arctic data center

When your business involves connecting millions of people around the world, not to mentions their photos and cat videos, you’re going to need small amount of server for processing, which generates no small amount of heat, which requires no small amount of cooling. Keeping servers from overheating is one of the biggest recurring costs of data centers and companies like Facebook. In order to be smart about that cooling system and also reduce its carbon footprint, Facebook has instead put to use Mother Nature’s biggest air conditioning unit: the Arctic Circle.

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Raspberry Pi gets its own official desktop environment: PIXEL

Raspberry Pi gets its own official desktop environment: PIXEL

The Raspberry Pi, in all its incarnations, has been used in every DIY project or dream imaginable, from security systems to obstruction-detecting robots to, well, mini desktop computers. While most of these projects won’t really use a traditional computer desktop environment, the RPi was still in need of a lightweight, beautiful, and user-friendly desktop for beginners as well as those using the single-board computer as a regular, though less powerful, everyday desktop. Thus, PIXEL was born and is now available for download and use.

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Firefox plays around with mini video, screenshot sharing features

Firefox plays around with mini video, screenshot sharing features

Web browsers have practically become operating systems and desktop environments. Just look at Chrome OS. While Firefox OS hasn’t exactly taken on a similar form, and is, in fact, practically dead, Mozilla isn’t stopping in giving its own web browser some extra power so that you won’t have to leave Firefox just for some menial tasks. Expanding its Test Pilot group of experimental features Mozilla is giving Firefox the ability to play videos in a smaller window at a corner of your screen or take and immediately share screenshots, all within Firefox, of course.

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Panasonic flaunts twistable lithium-ion batteries

Panasonic flaunts twistable lithium-ion batteries

It’s either the worst or the best time to be talking about new battery technologies. Samsung’s disastrous Galaxy Note 7 rollout has probably consumers and manufacturers wary about changing the battery formula too much. At the same time, however, the incidents only showed how the industry is in dire need of improved battery technologies. Panasonic, is, of course, undaunted by those and at CEATEC next week, it will be showing of a lithium-ion battery, the same type that powers mobile and wearable devices, that can be bended and twisted, safely and without losing its charge.

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Kano DIY computer brings camera, speaker kits to crowdfunding

Kano DIY computer brings camera, speaker kits to crowdfunding

Technology and electronics have come such a long way that it’s already possible to build basic computers as easy as you would LEGO structures. But how about the parts that attach to that computer? Not so much. Once again, Kano is trying bring that DIY plus LEGO culture to kids and the young at heart by trying to crowdfund three kits that separately form a camera, a Bluetooth speaker, and a pixel grid display. Together, especially with the sensors the ship with, they form together hours of educational fun.

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MacBook Pro refresh believed to land late October

MacBook Pro refresh believed to land late October

While the new iPhone 7 and Apple Watch 2 definitely deserve the media attention, Apple’s other faithful users are also dying to have their time in the spotlight. Specifically, Apple’s Mac computers have languished on the sidelines, in a dire need of revitalized models and marketing. Fret not, Mac faithful, because your time might be coming in just a few weeks. Based on movements of macOS 10.12.1, it is now believed that the first Mac refresh, namely the new MacBook Pros, could be finally revealed as early as late October.

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Huawei reportedly looking to Tizen for future smartwatches

Huawei reportedly looking to Tizen for future smartwatches

It seems that Google might be losing yet another OEM partner in the smartphone market. According to an unnamed Samsung official quoted by a South Korean newspaper, Huawei is in the process of developing a new smartwatch, but one that doesn’t run Android Wear. Instead, the Chinese company is said to be working together with Samsung in order to get the Tizen operating system up and running on the wearable device. With Android Wear smartwatches seemingly at a plateau, this win for Tizen could mean a more difficult struggle for Google’s wearable platform.

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Samsung investigates new Galaxy Note 7, one catches fire in China

Samsung investigates new Galaxy Note 7, one catches fire in China

It now seems quite likely that Samsung’s nightmares are far from over, just weeks before its intended re-launch of the ill-fated Galaxy Note 7. Even as replacement units with promised safer batteries are starting to land in consumers’ hands, reports are coming in that said units still exhibit problematic behavior like overheating or severe battery drain. And there is now at least one report of a replacement unit catching fire in China, a country were Samsung is already facing an uphill battle in the smartphone market.

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DxOMark gives iPhone 7 high scores, still at #3

DxOMark gives iPhone 7 high scores, still at #3

In contrast to some early reviews that panned the new iPhone 7’s photography chops, the seasoned testers at DxOMark still crowned Apple’s latest smartphone with high scores. The iPhone 7, in particular, was called Apple’s best yet. The one caveat, however, is that while the iPhone 7 did get an overall score of 86, beating out the iPhone 6s Plus’ 84, that still landed this year’s model only in 3rd place, behind 6 other smartphones in DxOMark’s growing list of smartphones with outstanding cameras.

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Here are the Windows 10 Mobile features coming next year

Here are the Windows 10 Mobile features coming next year

For the past two Windows 10 releases, Microsoft has focused primarily on the desktop side of the operating system, which is only natural as it desperately needed to catch up with lost time. That, however, left many Windows 10 Mobile users feeling orphaned. If this latest info dump, as well as some rumors, do come to pass, then they will be able to turn that frown upside-down. In the “Redstone 2” update coming next year, and supposedly in Redstone 3 after that, Microsoft will finally be giving Windows 10 Mobile some much-needed attention.

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