Archive for December, 2012

Curiosity plays peekaboo: New self-shot before 9-month mountain climb

Curiosity plays peekaboo: New self-shot before 9-month mountain climb

NASA's Curiosity rover has set mountain climbing as its New Year's Resolution, with the intrepid space explorer headed up a Martian peak  for its 2013 challenge. The nine-month trek - punctuated with pitstops for drilling and sample analysis - will see Curiosity clamber up the 3 mile high Mount Sharp at the center of the Gale Crater it landed near, further hunting evidence that the red planet might once have supported microbial life. Before that, however, Curiosity couldn't resist snapping another self-portrait - with the mountain clearly visible in the background.

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Which Console Maker Will Win the Next-Generation Battle?

Which Console Maker Will Win the Next-Generation Battle?

The Nintendo Wii U has kicked off a new generation of consoles. The device, which comes with HD graphics that can about match those we have from the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360, will likely be joined by vastly more powerful PlayStation 4 and Xbox 720 consoles at some point in the next year or so.

Once those devices launch, it will be time to handicap the marketplace. Which console will succeed? Which console will fail? And perhaps most importantly, which console will win the next-generation battle?

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Samsung offers free Flip Cover and TecTiles for GS3 and Note II owners [Update: All gone!]

Samsung offers free Flip Cover and TecTiles for GS3 and Note II owners [Update: All gone!]

Samsung has launched a promo to help Galaxy S III and Galaxy Note II owners beat the post-holiday blues, with the promise of a free Flip Cover and free NFC TecTiles in return for registering their device. The offer, available to Samsung owners in the US, requires users to register their handset on the company's Facebook Owner's Hub, with a "customized care package" of accessories in return. [Updated after the cut]

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Intel Redhookbay benchmarks surface, show dual-core Merrifield processor

Intel Redhookbay benchmarks surface, show dual-core Merrifield processor

This year, Intel launched its Medfield Atom processor in a big push to enter the smartphone market. The processor was lacking when compared to the competition, however, and a leaked roadmap image appeared soon after showing the processor's successor: the dual-core Merrifield. Now a benchmark has surfaced of Intel's "Redhookbay," which shows it equipped with the new processor.

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FCC loosens its grip, makes it easier to get Internet in-flight

FCC loosens its grip, makes it easier to get Internet in-flight

For now, airlines have to go through a lengthy hassle in order to get in-flight Internet access established. The airline has to get the FCC's go-ahead to utilize the satellite-delivered airwaves that bring wifi to aircraft, as well as approval from the FAA. To decrease the red tape and streamline the process, the FCC has approved an application process that will let airlines more easily get licensing.

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Fujitsu to bring its senior citizen-optimized Raku Raku smartphone to the US, Europe

Fujitsu to bring its senior citizen-optimized Raku Raku smartphone to the US, Europe

Smartphones are a lot of things -- convenient, powerful, and feature-rich. They're also exceedingly complicated to many older users who are accustomed to 12-button panels and curly phone cords. This past summer, Fujitsu revealed that its Raku Raku smartphone, a handset designed specifically for senior citizens, would be arriving in Japan via NTT Docomo. Now the company, facing a saturated market in Japan, is branching out and will launch the handset in the United States and Europe.

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Earth microbes can survive on Mars, study finds

Earth microbes can survive on Mars, study finds

In a study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, scientists from the Russian Academy of Sciences and the University of Florida show that the anaerobic organism Carnobacterium can survive on the Red Planet. This comes after years of belief that any Earth microbes that make their way to Mars via devices sent there, such as the Curiosity rover, won't survive the conditions. In light of this information, scientists have to be more careful than ever to avoid sending microbes to the Martian planet.

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SlashGear Evening Wrap-Up: December 28, 2012

SlashGear Evening Wrap-Up: December 28, 2012

Welcome to Friday evening everyone. The weekend is about to kick off, but luckily for us, it's chosen to wait patiently while we recap the news. We heard today that the Samsung Galaxy S IV may ship in April with S-Pen functionality, which is exciting for all of us who love the Galaxy Note II. Speaking of the Galaxy Note II, we saw a leaked press shot of the handset in black today, while Instagram use was seen surging on iOS and Android but taking a hit on Facebook.

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