Archive for June, 2010

DROID X teardown caught on video

DROID X teardown caught on video

We don't know about anyone else, but we can't help but hear the endearing robot from Short Circuit squealing "No disassemble Johnny 5!" when we watch this video of the Motorola DROID X stripped from working handset to constituent parts.  Still, the handiwork of DroidX does at least show us what's happening inside Motorola's latest Android smartphone, and if you ever find yourself needing to replace the display or some other component then the walkthrough could be pretty useful.

Video disassembly after the cut

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Solar camera strap concept ideal for sunshine shutterbugs

Solar camera strap concept ideal for sunshine shutterbugs

As concepts go, here's one we wouldn't be surprised to see sprout into a commercial release in the very near future.  Weng Jie's solar camera strap is designed to not only let photographers eke out a few more shots, but to do so making use of the sun's energy rather than bulky external power packs.

Rather sensibly, the strap basically replaces the neck cord most DSLR users wear to keep their cameras readily to hand with a solar-cell encrusted version.  Clipping on to the camera's mounting points as normal, it would also have a DC plug to gradually top-up the DSLR's battery during use.  Of course you'd need sufficient sun to make it worthwhile, so indoor photographers probably shouldn't bother, but anyone out and about should be able to hammer through a few more frames at least.

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Unrealistic antenna testing to blame for iPhone 4 issues reckons expert

Unrealistic antenna testing to blame for iPhone 4 issues reckons expert

"Gripping any phone will result in some attenuation of its antenna performance" reckons Apple, "depending on the placement of the antennas"; we'll put aside the fact that their statement seemingly ignores the fact that they decided on the antenna placement, and instead turn to specialist Spencer Webb of AntennaSys.  He's been roped in for a more educated opinion on what's causing the problem, and he's blaming the FCC and AT&T as well as Apple's designers: turns out, the FCC and carrier testing only requires SAR testing in terms of a human head being nearby, not with a hand actually holding the phone.

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77% of iPhone 4 buyers replacing older iPhones

77% of iPhone 4 buyers replacing older iPhones

Apple's iPhone 4 launch may have been marked with even greater queues and online preorders than every before, but that may not have left them with a dramatically increased market share.  According to analysts Piper Jaffray, while Apple are tipped to sell between 1m and 1.5m iPhone 4 handsets in the first three days (rival firm Oppenheimer reckon it'll be more like 1.5m in the first day alone), 77-percent of those picking up the fourth-gen smartphone are in fact upgrading from an existing iPhone.

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iOS4 downgrade guide to 3.1.3 saves sluggish iPhones

iOS4 downgrade guide to 3.1.3 saves sluggish iPhones

When iOS4 was released earlier this week, it seemed like a no-brainer for iPhone 3GS, 3G and iPod touch owners to update: after all, free software and boosted features can't be argued with, right?  Unfortunately for many users its turned out to be less impressive than expected, with some handsets now running sluggishly, battery life taking a significant dip and in general the whole experience being sub-par.  Apple may well update iOS4 for these earlier devices and iron out some of the hassles, but until then Lifehacker has a handy guide for downgrading back to iOS 3.1.3.

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Airvana Femto Family Tablet hands-on

Airvana Femto Family Tablet hands-on

Femtocells: simple home cellular base stations that let you make a call when you're indoors and you can't persuade Verizon, AT&T or any of the other carriers to boost their coverage, right? Not if Airvana have their way; the company - who already supply carriers like Sprint with their Airave femto, and who are tipped to be readying a VoIP-capable model for the network - are hoping to turn personal base stations into connected home multimedia hubs, intelligently managing a family's communications and potentially shepherding in more touchscreen tablets. We caught up with the company to find out why smart femtos are the way forward.

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