Author Archives: JC Torres


Samsung’s SmartThings Hub v2 starts pre-order

Samsung’s SmartThings Hub v2 starts pre-order

Samsung seems to be on a roll. After unveiling the Galaxy Note 5 and Galaxy S6 edge+ and announcing the actual launch of Samsung Pay, the company's year-old subsidiary is also making a big splash. Delayed by almost half a year, SmartThings is giving the green light for pre-orders of its brand new Hub device. Although owners are not required to upgrade to this new version, some might consider it worth the purchase considering a crucial update to the capabilities of the smart home central brain.

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ASUS’ higher end ZenPad S 8.0 model is finally here

ASUS’ higher end ZenPad S 8.0 model is finally here

If you've been waiting for ASUS to finally show its hand in the premium Android tablet market, then wait no more. After what might have felt like an eternity for ASUS fans and interested buyers, the manufacturer has finally launched the highest end ZenPad S 8.0 model, specifically the Z580CA. This handy 7.9-inch slate bears what is probably the best of the best components in a tablet this size, perhaps with the exception of the cameras, and has some pretty interesting accessories to match as well.

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LG TONE ULTRA HBS-810 BT headset offers premium on a budget

LG TONE ULTRA HBS-810 BT headset offers premium on a budget

Not even a month after it announced the availability of the Tone Active, LG is revealing yet another member of its TONE Bluetooth Headset family. This time the focus is on budget-conscious consumers. The newest LG TONE ULTRA, model HBS-810 to be exact, combines two things that no buyer can resist or will tire of hearing: premium quality and the promise of an affordable price tag. Packaged in an a now familiar "neck brace" design, the LG TONE ULTRA HBS-810 will be available later this month.

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USPTO invalidates Apple design patent used against Samsung

USPTO invalidates Apple design patent used against Samsung

If you thought the patent squabble between frenemies Apple and Samsung was over, better wake up and smell the coffee. Or in this case, read the US Patent and Trademark Office's latest finding. According to the Central Reexamination Division of the USPTO, Apple Design Patent number 618,677 is invalid on grounds of "obviousness" and prior art. This D'677 was one of the more important patents used by Cupertino to sue Samsung for infringement, a case that would have awarded it half a billion dollars if not for this recent ruling.

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Google Hangouts now has its own hangout on the Web

Google Hangouts now has its own hangout on the Web

Google has been steadily simplifying the Google+ brand, primarily by separating the rather amorphous service from more stable and more independent products. The latest to get that treatment is Google's all-embracing Hangouts messaging platform. To emphasize the point that it is a distinct product separate from Google+, the tech giant has given it not only a facelift on mobile, but now also a home on the World Wide Web. Yes, Hangouts now has a website of its own and you can use it on a browser, no plugin required.

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Project Ara delayed to 2016, looking for US launch site

Project Ara delayed to 2016, looking for US launch site

It seems that the dream has officially been delayed. The Project Ara team has officially confirmed what was already foreshadowed in yesterday's tweets. The modular smartphone won't be coming this year. Instead, it will have a 2016 launch which still has no new timeline. And instead of doing it outside of the country, the first Project Ara smartphone might be launched somewhere in mainland US instead. Naturally, despite its best efforts to assuage fears, the delays would inevitably worry not just fans but also existing and potential hardware partners.

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Square Enix Dive In game streaming shutting down 13th September

Square Enix Dive In game streaming shutting down 13th September

Some services, products, or companies celebrate their anniversaries with a party. But not Square Enix's Dive In. The game streaming service will marking its first and only anniversary by shutting down. This was practically the message that the popular game publisher sent when it announced that Dive In will cease operations on the 13th of September. Given it has barely been a year in the market, however, there will probably be few tears shed and Square Enix itself might be more interested in moving on to a different cloud venture.

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FFVII: Re-imagined reimagines RPG into 2D side scroller

FFVII: Re-imagined reimagines RPG  into 2D side scroller

While we patiently, very patiently, wait for the real, official, and final re-imagined and remastered version of Final Fantasy VII, we can while away the days, weeks, months, and maybe even years, with fan-fueled creativity. Or perhaps travesty for some. Bored with the low poly 3D of the original Final Fantasy VII title? Does the full 3D Advent Children film have you drooling for things yet to come? Why not distract yourself with this Re-imagined version that transforms the 3D JRPG into a 2D side scrolling fighting game like Contra of old.

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LG outs G Pad II 8.0 in Korea without fuss or fanfare

LG outs G Pad II 8.0 in Korea without fuss or fanfare

Perhaps it is an indicator that even major OEMs are getting less enthusiastic about tablets. First, it was Samsung who didn't spend as much hype on the Galaxy Tab S2 as it did on its predecessor. Now, it's LG's turn. The Korean manufacturer silently launched the G Pad II 8.0, clearly a successor to the 2013 and 2014 model that even got a Google Play Edition. Or perhaps LG doesn't want to draw too much attention to this rather strange mid-range slab that bears not a USB Type-C but a full-sized USB port.

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Kaspersky tipped to be sabotaging rival anti-virus software

Kaspersky tipped to be sabotaging rival anti-virus software

Russian security company Kaspersky is one of the most trusted names when it comes to software protection but, while a recent hacking incident may have portrayed it as a victim, it might not actually be that innocent after all. Two former employees, who of course desires to remain anonymous, reveals that Kaspersky has been covertly working to undermine rival anti-virus software by flagging innocent and important system files as malware, causing these other AV programs to delete those files, turning unsuspecting users into collateral damage in their wake.

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Disney to build two 14-acre Star Wars themed lands

Disney to build two 14-acre Star Wars themed lands

If you're anything of a Star Wars fan, that has probably already gotten you jumping up and down. But the good news doesn't end there. At D23, Disney unloaded a bunch of exciting news about the franchise. At the center of it all, to appeal to both old and new fans, will be the largest single theme land expansion that Disneyland will ever undertake to date, giving visitors an authentic Star Wars experience. Plus, Disney also teased details on both the upcoming The Force Awakens theme as well as the next installment.

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BMW, Mercedes Benz, Chrysler not immune to OwnStar hack

BMW, Mercedes Benz, Chrysler not immune to OwnStar hack

Samy Kamkar is at it again and this time he is leaving no car left unturned. Or unhacked in this case. Following on his warning that GM's OnStar computer system is not the only one that's prone to getting infiltrated, the hacker has proved that other car maker's Internet-based remote control systems are equally susceptible. The list has now grown to include BMW's Remote, Mercedes-Benz' mbrace, and Chrysler's Uconnect, allowing hackers to unlock and track a wide range of "smart" cars that are growing in number and popularity.

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