Thursday, December 13, 2012

Jacky’s Electronics appointed as Apple Authorised Reseller

Jacky’s Electronics, the UAE’s leading multi-brand consumer electronics retailer, today announced that it has become an Apple Authorised Reseller offering the complete range of Mac, iPad and iPod products along with a wide range of accessories in store.

“We are excited to become an Apple Authorised Reseller,” said Ashish Panjabi, COO of Jacky’s Electronics. Jacky’s mission is to provide the best products, service and support in the market, so we’re delighted that Apple’s innovative products and solutions are now officially available in our stores. Our trained staff will also be on hand to provide expert advice as well as after-sales support to our customers.”

At Jacky’s, customers will be able to learn all about the latest products from Apple including the iPad mini, a completely new iPad design that is 23 per cent thinner and 53 per cent lighter than the third generation iPad and features a stunning 7.9-inch Multi-Touch display you can hold in one hand.

The new fourth generation iPad with an amazing 9.7-inch Retina display and A6X chip that delivers up to twice the CPU performance and up to twice the graphics performance of the A5X chip. The all-new iMac featuring a stunning design, brilliant display with reduced reflection, faster processors and an innovative new storage option called Fusion Drive and the new 13-inch MacBook Pro featuring a stunning Retina display and all flash storage in a new compact design.

Sunday, December 09, 2012

Samsung showcases the Premium Suite Upgrade for Galaxy S III

A nice upgrade is going to be landing soon for Samsung Galaxy S III owners. The Premium Suite Upgrade will bring the multi-window functionality that is already present on Galaxy Note II to Galaxy S III owners along with a few other surprises such as Low-Light-Shot and Best Face to the camera. The following video showcases some of these new features. A full list of features follows.


Powerful Multimedia

(1) Paper Artist: You can make a picture like a pop artist! Change the moods of your pictures whenever you want!

(2) Camera, Low Light Shot: It’s always tough to take pictures in dark places. So the GALAXY S III with Premium Suite has a Low-Light-Shot function. Get your hands on one and check out the difference!

(3) Camera, Best Face: The problem with group pictures? Somebody always, ALWAYS blinks. Well, Best Face is your solution to that. Best Face takes 5 consecutive pictures and lets you choose the best face for each person among those shots.

New Features & Better Accessibility

(1) Easy Mode: For first-time smartphone users and/or those who are really really, well, lazy. This function helps you set up the most five frequently used widgets on the home screen, so you don’t have to be tired of looking everywhere to find those apps.

(2) Sound Balance: You can adjust the balance of volume one each side of earphones.

(3) Setup Wizard: After turning on your cell phone, you can see the accessibility menu right away on the screen.

(4) Camera Easy Snap: With ‘talk back’ and ‘face detection’ on your settings menu, the GALAXY S III tells you how many faces it can detect on the camera preview.

Thursday, December 06, 2012

iPhone 5S rumors hit the Internet; pics surface

The iPhone 5 is barely three months old, but rumors are already beginning to circulate for the iPhone 5S. The latest comes via, which posted a few images of what appears to be a rear casing for an iPhone 5. The only difference is that there seem to be a few minor changes, such as a couple of screw holes going missing which would normally secure the phone’s logic board. This could suggest a change in the logic board, but it’s still early to try and imagine what Apple could be planning. Also, the phone information which is usually displayed under the Apple logo, has been replaced by a series of XXXXXs, indicating that this case was designed for a prototype device.

Is it too early to be thinking about the iPhone 5S? Sound off in the comments below!


Wednesday, December 05, 2012

Nokia sells off Finland HQ for $222 million

Nokia may be riding a tidal wave of happiness that is the Lumia 920, but it still appears to be having a bit of a financial meltdown. According to Engadget, Nokia sold off it’s Finland headquarters for a cool $222 million to another company Exilion. While the sale will only be completed by the end of this year, Nokia have signed a lease to remain in the building as a principal tenant.

In a press release sent out yesterday, Nokia’s CFO Timo Ihamuotila said that the sale was made purely because the company wasn’t interested in owning property. We had a comprehensive sales process with both Finnish and foreign investors and we are very pleased with this outcome. As we have said before, owning real estate is not part of Nokia’s core business and when good opportunities arise we are willing to exit these types of non-core assets. We are naturally continuing to operate in our head office building on a long-term basis.”

(via Engadget)

Tuesday, December 04, 2012

PopSlate case adds a rear screen to iPhone 5

There are thousands of cases you can get for your iPhone, but PopSlate for the iPhone 5 really stands out from the rest because it incorporates an e-ink display on the back of your phone.

The e-ink screen can be used to display photos, app updates, or even a location map. It draws power from the iPhone 5′s lightning port, but won’t put much strain on your iPhone’s battery life. Incidentally, since the case connects to the lightning port, you have to then charge your iPhone via a micro-USB cable instead.

PopSlate is currently a little over $100,000 in funding on Indiegogo with 43 days left for the campaign to close. Check out the video below and then go give them some of your money for this truly awesome iPhone 5 case.

Friday, November 30, 2012

Microsoft tries to reason with IE haters in new ad

Hands up if you using Internet Explorer…wonderful – so this article is dedicated to all four of you.

Microsoft released a rather quirky advert depicting how most people love to hate Internet Explorer. The ad entitled Do You Know This Guy” features a guy surfing the web while trolling IE on various articles and websites, as well as sending IE SUCKS” tweets to the @IE Twitter account. He continues to hound the web browser with abuse until apparently a new Karaoke standard” is released, which eventually wins him over.

And Microsoft’s point is? Well the company has fought long and hard to try and bring users back to its browser, having put up with competition from Safari, Chrome, and Firefox. But with improving web standards and a supposedly faster interface in IE 10, Microsoft are doing their level best to provide a smoother browsing experience to users who may have long abandoned IE. Still it remains to be seen if users will start to be won over by IE or if the browser really is just good for downloading other browsers.

Check out the video below:

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Old functioning digital computer restored

Yeah, that’s a computer. The world’s oldest functioning digital computer, in fact, which has now been restored after three years of hard work. I hope it was worth it.

It was made in 1949, and weighed a massive two and a half tonnes. It was slow, even back then, being out-paced by other smaller computers. For example, it would take multiplying two numbers a good ten seconds. But it was reliable and was at the heart of Britain’s atomic energy research programme. Even back then, technology got old really fast, and when the Witch was no longer needed, it was donated to the Wolverhampton University. It got its nickname, Witch, from there. The full form of it is ‘Wolverhampton Instrument for Teaching Computation from Harwell’.

In 1997, it became a museum piece and was put into storage, and got promptly lost. But luckily, in 2009 the Computer Conservation Society (yes, there is one for that) found it and quickly began restoring the age-old computer. And it still works! It is now on display the Bletchley Park.

I wonder if the same would be done for the iPhone? But oh wait, iTunes might not support it.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Fujifilm launches the X-E1 and X-F1 cameras in UAE

Today Fujifilm launched the much awaited X-E1 camera with interchangeable lenses. Having the same 16.3mp APS-C X-Trans CMOS sensor as their flagship X-Pro1, the new X-E1 comes in the same compact body size as the lower tiered X100. Getting the best of both worlds, the new X-E1 also boats a new 2.36 million OLED electronic viewfinder that makes it easier on the eye, bringing true to life colors.

The X-F1 is a lifestyle point & shoot camera with a unique twist lens barrel that turn on the camera after it’s opened. The X-F1 boasts a large 12mp 2/3-inch EXR CMOS sensor that’s paired with an f/1.8-4.9 4x optical zoom lens. The X-F1, with it’s small size and collapsible lens comes in three distinct leather covers in red, brown or black.

We are extremely excited about adding this new camera under the innovative X-series umbrella. We are confident that photographers will enjoy this new introduction to the market, said Keitaro So, General Manager, Fujifilm Electronics Imaging Division, MENA.

The X-E1 is available now in shops for AED 3,599 body only, while the 18-55mm zoom kit will cost AED 4,999. Two new lenses will also be available to pair with just the body: the XF 18-55mm F2.8-4 R (manual aperture ring) LM (linear motor) and OIS (optical image stabilization) for AED 2,499. The range topping AF 14mm F2.4 R lens will also be available for AED 3,299. The X-F1 will retail for AED 2,299.

Check back as we’ll have the review of these cameras soon.

Friday, November 09, 2012

HP Connected Music launches with Universal Music Group

Press release: HP today announced full details of its Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA)-wide collaboration with Universal Music Group, the world’s leading music company. To celebrate the launch of HP Connected Music, which features exclusive rewards and content, the two companies have teamed up for No Doubt’s worldwide concert launch event. Taking place today in Paris at La Maison de la Mutualité, the No Doubt private show marks the band’s only live performance of the year in Europe and is the first event of the partnership between HP and Universal Music.

Available on all new Microsoft® Windows® 8 -powered HP consumer desktop and notebook PCs HP Connected Music brings music lovers a new way to enjoy some of the world’s most popular music artists.

The No Doubt concert is the first in a series of private events planned by HP with other Universal Music artists across Europe. The HP Connected Music platform on Windows 8 HP consumer PCs will offer users access to exclusive VIP experiences and give them the opportunity to attend events with some of their favourite artists over the next year.

With exclusive content and access to Universal Music’s unrivalled catalogue of global artists, the agreement puts music at the heart of the latest HP consumer PCs.

A whole new music experience
Users can access exclusive HP Music Rewards Packages3 via the HP Connected Music launcher embedded on Windows 8 HP consumer PCs including:
- HP Private Events: access to exclusive showcases featuring live performances by Universal Music artists;
- Music Experiences: the chance to win money-can’t-buy experiences such as exclusive “meet & greets,” recording studio visits or the opportunity to have lunch with popular artists; and
- VIP Pack Trips: exclusive VIP opportunities to visit artists, including travel and accommodation.

Customers with new HP consumer PCs featuring Windows 8 will also have access to an exclusive list of services through HP Connected Music including streaming with free access to Universal Music’s full catalogue, the most extensive in the industry, for 90 days and, for customers with new Windows 8 HP Spectre and HP Envy PCs, 10 free mp3 downloads per month for 90 days.

“Customers are looking for great entertainment on their personal devices and HP sees the PC as the heartbeat of the entertainment experience for today’s consumers, letting them create, consume and share content they love,” said Eric Cador, senior vice president and general manager, Printing and Personal Systems Group, HP EMEA. “Working alongside Universal Music, we can pair our innovative Windows 8 hybrid, notebook and desktop consumer PCs with one-of-a-kind music experiences that give our customers access to some of the world’s most popular artists.”

“This innovative partnership will provide a great consumer experience for new audiences. With the help of HP technology, we’re looking forward to engaging with music fans across established markets, as well as in new territories where previously there have been no legal digital music services,” added Olivier Robert-Murphy, Global Head of New Business, Universal Music Group.

Thursday, November 08, 2012

Samsung Galaxy S III overtakes the iPhone as best-selling phone last quarter

Samsung’s Galaxy S III was declared as the highest selling Smartphone for Q3 or 2012 overtaking Apple’s iconic iPhone for the first time, as revealed in a report published by Strategy Analytics. With 18 million units sold, the Samsung Galaxy S III easily bested iPhone that shipped around 16.2 million units.

Neil Shah, Senior Analyst at Strategy Analytics, said, “Samsung’s Galaxy S3 smartphone model shipped 18.0 million units worldwide during the third quarter of 2012. The Galaxy S3 captured an impressive 11 percent share of all smartphones shipped globally and it has become the world’s best-selling smartphone model for the first time ever. A large touchscreen design, extensive distribution across dozens of countries, and generous operator subsidies have been among the main causes of the Galaxy S3’s success. Apple shipped an estimated 16.2 million iPhone 4S units worldwide for second place, as consumers temporarily held off purchases in anticipation of a widely expected iPhone 5 upgrade at the end of the quarter.”

Wednesday, November 07, 2012

Say hello to The Steve Jobs Building

Steve Jobs has become a household name for his work at Apple but between his two terms at Apple, he headed Pixar before Disney bought them. Pixar is the company responsible for creating some of the best animated movies of recent times such as Toy Story, Cars and Finding Nemo. The studio’s main building has been named The Steve Jobs Building”  at Pixar’s campus, as reported by Pixar Times.

On Twitter, a Pixar employee shared an image taken by a friend, stating that the building had been named “The Steve Jobs Building.” Peering in through the windows, you can clearly see the outline of Sulley, confirming that this is the main building that Steve Jobs himself played a major role in designing. He came up with the idea that the building should be centered around a large atrium, which would lead to accidental collaboration that may not occur if everyone was stuck in their individual offices.

I find this to be the perfect way to honor the legacy of Steve Jobs. Placing his name above the main building not only reminds those who walk through the entrance of his importance to the formation of the studio, but is also a meaningful representation of his influence on the famed building.

Sunday, November 04, 2012

Coyote Case turns your iPhone into a siren

There have been a lot of rather interesting accessories for the iPhone, including turning it into a tazer. But if you’re looking for a more stylish device for your personal security, then you need to take a look at Coyote Case.

The Coyote Case looks like a regular iPhone case, but at a simple touch of a button it blasts out a 100-decibel siren to alert people that you are in distress. At the same time, it broadcasts a message along with your location to a list of your emergency contacts, making it a very useful case indeed. It comes in five colors and is currently looking to raise funding of $120,000 to begin production.

Check out the introductory video below, and also their Indiegogo page here.

Friday, November 02, 2012

Oprah loves the Surface

Oprah Winfrey loves Microsoft’s Surface Tablet and is not afraid to shower superlative praise on it. The device has been declared as one of her “Favorite Things” of 2012.

In the December issue of O, Oprah’s magazine, the media tycoon and former talk show host says, “”The Surface, Microsoft’s first tablet, feels like a Mercedes-Benz to me, people!”

She goes on to praise the “full-size keyboard built right into the cover “and the “very smart kickstand”. Oprah is also really impressed by the weight of the Surface or rather the lack of it which makes it “a great alternative to a laptop.”

I am not sure Oprah Winfrey’s endorsement counts as much as it used to when she was on television everyday (would she be giving out Surfaces to the audience if she was on today? Probably). But the list is out in advance of the holiday shopping season and she still has millions of fans. Redmond isn’t complaining.

Etisalat launches first flagship store in Sri Lanka

Press Release: Etisalat Lanka recently announced the launch of its first flagship store in Sri Lanka. Located at Etisalat Lanka’s corporate office in Colombo, the new flagship store will serve as a one-stop shop for customers to experience new products and services, and will also house an Etisalat Lanka customer service centre to assist customers with all their telecommunications needs, specifically 3G services.

The new flagship store is the first of its kind in Sri Lanka and features an Experience Centre displaying cutting-edge products and 3G services aimed at enhancing the lives of customers and empowering individual mobile communication needs. Customers have the chance to try these products first-hand with the help of trained service personnel. The store also includes a Customer Care Point where products and services can be purchased, as well as a Billing Centre for services payments.

Commenting on the opening of the Flagship Store, Jamal Saif Aljarwan, Chief Regional Officer â€" Asia, said: “At Etisalat, we believe telecommunications is transformative. This new flagship store will allow us to reach customers with ease and provide services of the highest quality, in addition to demonstrating new technologies and 3G services that will benefit individuals and companies, as well as society as a whole.”

The Flagship Store is the first in a series of outlets that Etisalat will open around the country in an expansion drive that will enable it to service its customers island-wide. This is part of Etisalat’s broader plan of expanding operations and coverage around the country while introducing new technology and solutions that will boost the mobile telecommunications sector.

The new Etisalat flagship store was inaugurated by Abdulhamid Abdul Fattah Al-Mulla, the United Arab Emirates ambassador to Sri Lanka in the presence of a distinct number of representatives from the business sector in Sri Lanka.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

The iPad mini advert that’s worth watching

Oh Apple, how people both love and hate you. While I’m still giggling over Amazon’s cheeky shot at the iPad mini earlier this week, a spoof advert has turned up on YouTube that pokes fun at how obscure the iPad mini is.

But despite parody videos like the one below, the iPad mini is gaining popularity, with Apple having to shift shipment dates back by up to 2 weeks from their original promise of November 2nd.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Unlock Windows 8 with a smile

Windows 8 is of course the only thing on Microsoft’s mind this week. They’re so busy touting all the amazing features of their latest OS that they don’t realize that some features users really won’t pay attention to.

Like the video below, which showcases a new feature of Windows 8 where users can unlock their PC by drawing a pattern on the screen. But this isn’t like what you’ve seen on Android phones or even the slide-to-unlock feature on the iPhone. Microsoft wants you to draw smiles, circle ears, draw arrows and do all kinds of gestures to get into your PC. Of course if you want, you could always go the old-fashioned route and grab one of these passwords.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

The most popular passwords for 2012

Passwords – gotta love and hate them.

There have been plenty of instances when I’ve sworn loudly at my PC because I can’t remember the correct password, only to have to reset it through a series of complicated steps that involves everything except providing a sample of my DNA.

But some of us tend to be a bit too lazy when it comes to securing our accounts, and opt to choose passwords that are easy to remember. At the same time these easy passwords can be just ridiculously easy to figure out, and that’s what’s been revealed in a recent post by security company SplashData. The post highlights what some of the worst passwords of the year have been, and there are some true gems in there such as ’123456′ and my personal favorite, ‘password’.

The top 25 worst passwords of 2012 compared to last year are:

1. password (Unchanged)
2, 123456 (Unchanged)
3. 12345678 (Unchanged)
4. abc123 (Up 1)
5. qwerty (Down 1)
6. monkey (Unchanged)
7. letmein (Up 1)
8. dragon (Up 2)
9. 111111 (Up 3)
10. baseball (Up 1)
11. iloveyou (Up 2)
12. trustno1 (Down 3)
13. 1234567 (Down 6)
14. sunshine (Up 1)
15. master (Down 1)
16. 123123 (Up 4)
17. welcome (New)
18. shadow (Up 1)
19. ashley (Down 3)
20. football (Up 5)
21. jesus (New)
22. michael (Up 2)
23. ninja (New)
24. mustang (New)
25. password1 (New)

(via SplashData)

Monday, October 22, 2012

Middle East companies embracing remote access solutions

At Gitex last week, I had an opportunity to sit down with Noman Qadir, Regional Director Middle East & Africa, Citrix Systems. We spoke mainly about a very interesting survey that Citrix had done recently about the UAE workforce, in which it was found that more people were applying to companies that offered flexible work environments. This meant that an employee could work comfortably from home while still putting in the same effort and number of hours that they would do if working from an office desk. However only 46% of respondents said that their current employer had adapted the technology to allow them to work from home.

I think there’s some confusion about the word ‘cloud’ and that has led to a bit of confusion about enabling mobile work styles. Today end users are demanding it, and if you look at the number of devices people carry around, that means that IT Departments are under tremendous pressure to cater to these different devices.” said Mr. Qadir

On the other hand, you have some companies that are pioneers – some educational institutes and government entities have taken the first plunge and have seen the benefits in moving to desktop virtualization. Some of the challenges in the region of course have been around infrastructure and things like the quality of internet connection and bandwidth. Having said that, this is where Citrix shines [...] our first parameter that we look for when selling a solution is to ensure that the end-user experience does not get compromised. We’re seeing a transition and a phenomenal interest in making this happen, so I only see the trend going upwards in an exponential manner.”

Listen to the entire interview below:

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Fujitsu releases new product range designed for women

IF you’re looking for a laptop, you’d traditionally look at features such as storage space, processor speed, connectivity, and how heavy the thing is.

Fujitsu on the other hand, seem to think that they’ve got a new angle on the computer market, by designing a PC range that’s exclusively targeted to women. Dubbed the Floral Kiss” range, the lineup was designed by the help of Fujitsu’s own female employees. This is clearly evident on Fujitsu’s website, which states The top casing has been constructed with an elegant and refined gradation with gold trim, and it features a flip latch that can easily open the displayâ€"even by users with long fingernails.”

Yes people, your fingernails will thank you. The device also features a floral motif” for the air vents, and gold accents on the keys.

Check out the entire press release here.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

GITEX: Golden Systems booth coverage

While we took a quick look at what Gigabyte had to offer yesterday, here are some other partners that had their goodies on display for GITEX Trade.

First off we have a variety of Nvidia cards from Zotac, most of which were from their famous ‘AMP! Edition’ series. Their recently introduced GTX 660Ti AMP! Extreme edition was also on show.

Also on display were the Zotac ZBOX range of miniPCs, including the recently reviewed AD12 Plus Nano.

Next up is Cooler Master where two of their new cases were on display, as were some of their recently launched gaming keyboards and mice, in addition to their ever popular power supply units and CPU coolers.

Kingmax went all out with pretty much all of their USB keys and other memory sticks on show, including most of their SSD range as well, some of which we have already reviewed.

Last, but definitely not the least, was Axtrom with all of their myriad accessories for PC, including the Axpad which we reviewed earlier this week.

As with Gigabyte, Golden Systems is the distributor of all of the above mentioned brands, so if you like anything in the pictures above, you know where to go.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

BLACKSOCKS – because your socks just aren’t smart enough

I seriously, honestly hope that this video is some kind of joke or SNL sketch.

Behold ladies and gentlemen, BLACKSOCKS – the ‘smarter’ way to sort through your socks. In the three minute video below, you’ll be introduced to a ‘revolutionary’ new way to manage and sort your socks. Yes, your socks. Those little things you slip onto your feet without even an afterthought, are about to get really complicated. The genius minds at has a system that implements NFS tags and a receiver to communicate with a device that then relays information about the sock to an app on your iPhone. The information contains the sock’s unique ID, how many times it’s been washed, when it was produced, and other kinds of information that you really don’t care about. Seriously, words fail me at this point.

Check the entire video out below, and if you’re curious check out their website here. Again, please someone let me know if this is serious or not so my faith in humanity can be restored.

Tuesday, October 09, 2012

Emirates airlines to allow in-flight calls on cell phones

If you’ve ever gone through the stress of a flight that has its fair share of screaming babies on it, things are about to get a whole lot louder at 35,000 ft.

Emirates airlines announced yesterday that they will soon allow passengers on its A380 to talk on their mobile devices in-flight. Previously phone calls were only possible through the aircraft’s on-board phone system, but in conjunction with the aircraft’s OnAir wireless service, normal mobile headsets will be usable as well. Mobile phones and other cellular devices are currently only allowed in-flight in ‘aircraft’ mode or with the cellular network switched off, to avoid interference with onboard equipment.

The only limitation to the service is that it will automatically shut down when the aircraft is within 250 miles of the United States of America, according to the US Federal Aviation Administration regulations which prohibit mobile phones from being used in-flight.

Sunday, October 07, 2012

Get a virtual affection when your post is ‘liked’ on Facebook

Technology engineering. It is one of the most important element in product development. When you have a good engineering team, you can achieve wonders and put it to some good use – like making Half Life 3, or making the next Maps update not suck, or make a patent that Apple can’t sue.

And then there are these MIT engineers, who instead of participating in the above mentioned projects, have in turn built a jacket that gives you a hug whenever your Facebook post gets a like.

No, really.

It’s called Like-a-Hug, and it works by gently inflating whenever there is a ‘like’, replicating somewhat the farm fuzzy feeling you get when you are hugged ‘IRL’.

MIT engineer Melissa Chow describes the jacket as a wearable social media vest” designed to bringing us closer despite physical distance”. It’s a noble idea, especially those who are pulling off a long distance, or are away from their family. But come on, we all know why it will be mostly used for.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

GITEX Shopper begins in Dubai

GITEX Shopper kicked off today, at its new home at the Dubai World Trade Center Exhibition Hall. Located in the Sheikh Saeed Hall, the show’s new venue aims to provide easier access for consumers via the Dubai Metro station, situated right outside the exhibition halls.

GITEX Shopper attracts hundreds of visitors each year, keen to grab great bargains on everything from laptops and digital cameras to mobile phones and tablets. Show exhibitors include retailers such as Jumbo Electronics, Jacky’s, Emax, Plug-ins and Sharaf DG, along with other recognized brand names such as HP, ASUS, HTC, and many more.

The show will run from 29th September to 6th October, opening 11am to 10pm on weekdays and 11am to 11pm on the weekend.

For more information, visit the official site here.

Friday, September 28, 2012

Tim Cook apologizes for the Maps app

Here’s something I have never seen Apple do.

In an official statement on its website, CEO Tim Cook apologized for its home-brewed Maps app which it introduced in the iOS 6 update. Since its launch, the infamous app has been underfire from users (and competitors alike) for its amazing inability to show proper locations and landscapes. Here are few examples of what this about.

Addressing it, Cook said, At Apple, we strive to make world-class products that deliver the best experience possible to our customers. With the launch of our new Maps last week, we fell short on this commitment. We are extremely sorry for the frustration this has caused our customers and we are doing everything we can to make Maps better.”

Cook adds that since the app was built from the ground up, the problems users are facing with it might go on for a little while longer. As such, he suggest users try alternatives by downloading map apps from the App Store like Bing, MapQuest and Waze, or use Google or Nokia maps” while he and his team continue to work on Maps until it lives up to the same incredibly high standard” that Apple is generally known for.

BlackBerry Bold 9790 – now in pink

While the BlackBerry Bold 9900 continues to enjoy being the high-end device from RIM, a lot of people, myself included, prefer the slightly smaller size of the Bold 9790. The Bold 9790 has been available in black and white for some time now and it seems that a new color is about to join the family- say hello the the pink BlackBerry Bold 9790.

The light pink color is sure to delight quite a few female BlackBerry fans (and possibly some of the opposite gender.) The front of the device as well as the back cover are a light-rose pink color while the edges are shiny silver- much like the white and black BlackBerry Bold 9790 models. This certainly makes the BlackBerry Bold 9790 pink a good looking device.

The included accessories such as the charger and the USB cable are white in color.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

New quartz glass chip by Hitachi could store your data forever

Japanese electronics giant Hitachi unveiled a glimpse at the future of long-lasting digital storage and it’s a piece of glass.

This two centimeter square and two millimeter thick sliver of quartz glass can hold 40 megabytes of data per square inch.  The new technology stores binary data by using a laser beam to create dots inside the thin sheet of quartz glass which can then be read using an optical microscope connected to a monitor with data reading software. Moreover, the chip is as tough as they come. Quartz glass is a highly stable and resilient material and can withstand hostile conditions like water (tsunamis), heat (high temperature flames and heat up to 1,000 degrees Celsius for two hours), radio waves and most chemicals. So, theoretically Hitachi’s glass chip would be capable of storing digital information for a few hundred million years.

While this is only a prototype, chips developed from quartz glass plate technology could have real potential to replace CDs and hard drives which have a lifespan of a few decades to a century at most.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Sharp launches new 80″ Aquos LED TV

If you’ve got some space and spare cash to boot, why not splurge on Sharp’s swanky new 80″ Aquos LED TV. The TV features a full-HD X-Gen Panel and other features such as Internet integration, USB inputs, and stellar image quality. Starting at a suggested retail price of AED 35,999 this is one TV you’re going to have start saving for in advance.

Press Release: Dubai, 24 September 2012 â€" Sharp, an industry leader in large flat panel TVs and innovator of LCD/LED TV technology, today announced the introduction of the region’s first commercially available 80 inch Aquos LED TV to the Middle East. The company’s new offerings are its way to demonstrate a luxurious modern lifestyle to its UAE customers this GITEX. Sharp’s LED TV line-up offers unrivalled picture quality and impressive functionality exhibiting industry leading energy-efficiency.

The new Aquos LED TV is part of the “From Bigger to Biggest” product line-up which reiterates Sharp’s position as the leader in LCD/LED TV category. In its 100th year since foundation, Sharp is dedicating its latest offerings to the modern family and its high-end urban needs. On one hand, Sharp’s large TV products enhance the customer’s home entertainment experience with the optimization provided by smart TV features. While on the other hand, it offers cutting edge appliances for today’s sophisticated kitchen where the modern family increasingly spends more time together.

80 Inch “Real as life” Home Entertainment:
The full HD Japanese made panel, Sharp’s flagship 80 inch model LC-80LE940X provides more than twice the screen area of an average 55-inch TV. It features Sharp’s 4th Generation Quattron technology for better 3D viewing, plus direct LED backlighting and Aquo-motion Pro (240Hz) to decrease blur during fast-moving videos. It also boasts advanced Wi-Fi capabilities, which are further strengthened by Sharp’s smart TV interface, allowing customers to enjoy applications such as Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. The interface also allows customized preferences which allow users to send photos, music and videos wirelessly.

“Our Big AQUOS series fulfills the demand for bigger screens while maintaining affordable prices and energy-efficiency”, said Mr. Hiroshi Sasaoka â€" Chairman at Sharp Middle East FZE. “The 80-inch AQUOS LED TV meets the consumer’s need for bigger flat panel TV. It is stylish, offers stunning picture quality, sound quality and we are proud to introduce it for the first time to the Middle East”, continued Mr. Sasaoka.

“We are always seeking to strengthen our presence in the GCC and Levant Region and our team is going through continued year-on-year growth supported by strong sales of our LCD TVs and other consumer electronics pillar products such as fridges, ACs, and PCI products. More regional offices are being established to better cater to key markets across Africa and we are also growing as a team with more than 100 staff working for us in the MEA CIS region”, he adds.

The AQUOS LC-80LE940X Television features:
- 80-inch Class (80-inch diagonal) â€" more than double the screen area of a 55-inch Class TV;
- Full HD X-Gen Panel â€" a unique leading edge technology designed with advanced pixel control to minimize light leakage and wider aperture to let more light through
- UV2A Technology â€" for high precision picture with fast control of the liquid crystal molecules to ensure uniform alignment
- Quattron â€" delivering unprecedented reality in natural colour gradations for a high-precision picture with low power consumption.
- Quad Pixel Plus 2 â€" improves picture quality details using interpolation with special correction and by processing to remove jagged edges.
- AquoMotion Pro â€" The number of frames in the picture is increased four times, motion blur is reduced for an overall better image clarity.
- MHL â€" Mobile High Definition Link
- Sound Quality â€" Audio Engine by Yamaha achieves genuine 3D surround
- Smart TV – delivers customized Internet content and live customer support via Wi-Fi to enjoy apps like Facebook and Twitter;
- USB Inputs – enable viewing high-resolution video, music and digital photos on the TV.

LC-80LE940X is now available starting September 24, 2012 at selected retail stores across the UAE at a recommended retail price of AED 35,999 (including FOCs such as five 3D glasses, one Blue-Ray Player & one Wi-Fi Dongle).

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Huge Discount on GITEX Shopper Entry for Students

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Office 2013 pricing revealed

Microsoft today revealed the pricing of Office 2013. The suite will be available as standalone and as well as part of the Office 365 subscription model.

Here’s the breakdown:

- Office 365 Home Premium ($99.99 per year):

Users will get access to Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, Outlook, Publisher, Access, both online and offline. 20GB of SkyDrive storage and 60 mins of Skype World calling will be included as well.

- Office 365 Small Business Premium ($149.99 per year):

This includes online and offline versions of Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, Outlook, Publisher, Access, Lync, and InfoPath, as well as shared calendars, 25GB mailbox, 10GB of SharePoint storage, HD video conferencing, and free public-facing business website.

For those not interested in paying subscriptions for their Office, there are standalone packages:

- Home & Student ($139.99): Inlcudes Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote

- Home & Business ($219.99): Inlcudes Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, Outlook

- Professional ($399.99): Inlcudes Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, Outlook, Publisher and Access.

Of note here is that Office 365 packages will allow users to install on upto 5 PCs, whereas standalone packages will work on just one PC.

There is no word on when Office 2013 will be available, however Microsoft said that it will be available in 277 countries at launch.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Google acquires iOS photo app Snapseed

Google has acquired Nik Software, the German developer of iOS and Mac photography app Snapseed, for an undisclosed amount. Nik Software produces a host of photography apps for Mac and Windows, but according to reports, the deal was focused around Snapseed.

We want to help our users create photos they absolutely love, and in our experience Nik does this better than anyone”, Vic Gundotra, Google’s senior vice president of engineering posted on his Google+ account about the acquisition.

Analysts are looking at this development as Google’s attempt to keep up with Facebook’s buyout of Instagram. While Snapseed may not be as popular as Instagram, it does have its own share of loyal followers with many considering its photo editing capabilities superior to its competitor app.  It was even named iPad app of 2011 by Apple.

The Verge also reports that employees from Nik Software who worked on Snapseed will relocate to Google headquarters in Mountain View to work directly on Google+. So, we might be right to lookout for Snapseed integration into Google+ soon.

Snapseed is also currently working on an Android app.

Volkswagen launches Polo sedan

Volkswagen has a huge range of market segments covered, from luxury sedans to enthusiast hatchbacks, to powerful SUVs. And while the Jetta has been great for the mainstream segment, the entry-level market for sub-compact cars has been left wanting. Well, the Polo sedan is finally here.


With a 1.6-liter, 104HP and 153Nm torque engine, the Polo sedan is adequately powerful, and great on fuel efficiency with a rated economy of just 5.9 liters/ 100kms.   While the new Polo sedan is made in Pune, India, you get the full quality German engineering you have come to expect from Volkswagen.

The new Polo sedan will retail for AED/ SAR 59,990.

Press Release

Volkswagen Middle East launches the new Polo Sedan

New Polo Sedan offers quality, reliability and German engineering for everyone in the Middle East

Dubai, UAE 17 September 2012 - Volkswagen Middle East has launched the brand-new Polo Sedan, bringing the first generation model to the Middle East.

With the highest standards of modern automotive engineering and high quality workmanship, the new Polo Sedan completes the portfolio of sedan models that Volkswagen Middle East offers to its customers in the region.

At an exceptionally competitive price, the new Polo Sedan is sleek, spacious and comfortable delivering luxury and innovation whilst being affordable.

Available with a 1.6 litre 105 PS engine and a 6 speed automatic transmission, the Polo Sedan includes 15 inch alloy wheels, dual airbags for driver and passenger, ABS, spacious interior â€" especially in the rear and central locking with keyless entry.

“The new Polo Sedan is the perfect combination of German engineering together with optimum comfort and driving characteristics,” says Marcus Butros, Sales Director, Volkswagen Middle East. “The Polo Sedan completes our sedan segment within the market following the Jetta and Passat which have been extremely well received by our customers. The Polo offers high safety standards along with driving comfort, sleek styling and affordable innovation.”

The Polo Sedan has been produced for the Middle East market in Volkswagen India’s plant in Pune. Opened in 2009 the Pune plant is one of the most modern plants in the Volkswagen Group. Volkswagen has an international production network catering to all markets ensuring the reach ofGerman engineering around the world. The Pune facility is the only production plant in India operated by a German automaker and covers the entire production process from press shop, body and paint shop to final assembly.

“The Polo Sedan is the entry model into the Volkswagen portfolio and is aimed at a younger demographic who want to experience our German engineering. Many of our customers stay loyal to Volkswagen after their first experience with the brand as we provide quality, affordable innovation andcan cater to all their automotive needs. We see high potential for this model in the region, and one that will drive volume growth as we continue to be the fastest growing volume brand in the Middle East,” concluded Butros.

Exterior styling and dimensions

The Polo Sedan is 4384 mm long, 1466 mm tall and 1699 mm wide. The balance of the exterior dimensions produces a powerful ratio of proportions. In parallel, the new Volkswagen “design DNA” enhances its style. This has resulted in clear precise lines and muscular surfaces that give this sedan a dynamic styling yet keeping it timelessly elegant.

Front end: The Polo Sedan offers a very distinct, smart and elegant look. It comes with chrome trimmed front radiator and line grille that adds to its classy look.

The stylish halogen headlights and indicators give extra emphasis to its look and provide optimum vision on the road, thereby providing attention uncompromisingly on the road. Fog lamps are also a standard feature in the Polo Sedan.

Side profile: The strong, muscular lines on the sides are typical of the Volkswagen “design DNA”. It makes the Polo Sedan look powerful and also emphasise its wheel arches, giving it an overall dynamic image which can perfectly accommodate 15 inches wheels.

Rear section: A harmonised surface dominates the look at the rear of the Polo Sedan. The wide rear window offers good visibility behind the sedan while continuing to maintain its strong dynamic lines.

The squarish tail lamps give a stylish contour to the Polo Sedan and perfectly blend with the rear design. The rear light clusters with the chrome lining gives the model its unique look.

The Polo Sedan offers 455 litres of boot space for its passengers making it extremely comfortable to accommodate the family shopping bags.

Interior Highlights

The interior of the new Polo Sedan complements the exterior offering top-quality, perfectly finished fabrics and materials that provide comfort and style to its passengers. With a comprehensive chrome package and exclusive chrome trim inlays the interior of the model is modern and sleek.

When designing the new Polo Sedan Volkswagen ensured that comfort was off paramount importance. The new model has an extended wheelbase which is 82mm longer than the European Polo hatchback. The Polo Sedan has been made for the region offering features such as more rear legroom that reflect the changing needs of the Middle East customer. The car also includes “Climatic” manual air conditioning as standard in the S and SE model specifications, with “Climatronic” air condition as an optional extra. The new model also includes a practical storage concept for everyday use including; compartments in the front for water holders, storage pockets on the rear of the front seats, glove box with flap and glasses compartment and a centre console with two cup holders.

The cockpit has a modern leather steering wheel, gear knob, handbrake lever and gear lever, a dashboard design with ergonomic control layout, as well as comprehensive functional equipment with electrically adjustable side mirrors, electric remote unlocking for the boot lid and central locking.The driver-orientated cockpit also includes a radio with CD/MP3 player as standard.

Passive safety

The passive safety in the Polo Sedan has been well optimised. It is equipped with front airbags for the driver and co-driver along with an ultra high strength steel frame that makes for an indigenously structured passenger cell.

Add to that an Anti-lock Braking System (ABS) which provides individual wheel braking preferences, thereby aiding better control of the car. All model lines also include cruise control as standard.

The height adjustable 3 point safety front seat belt, 3 point safety belts for the rear outboard passengers and lap belt for the middle passenger make it an extremely safe travel. Parking distance control is also optional as an added rear safety feature.

The Electronic Immobiliser is a standard feature in the new Polo Sedan. It is an anti-theft device which gets activated when the ignition key is removed and works in tandem with the engine control unit to prevent unauthorised starting of the engine.

Engines, transmission and driving dynamics

With a 1.6 litre 105 PS engine and a 6 speed automatic transmission, the new Polo is a city car that offers optimum performance for stop-and-go city driving, whilst having a long range thanks to the 55-litre fuel tank.

Price starting at SAR 59,990

Saturday, September 15, 2012

LA man drives car through Apple store window

Today in what were they thinking” news, a Los Angeles man apparently drove his SUV through the window of an Apple store, in an attempt to possibly ‘stealthily’ rob the store of a few products. In the video below, the man is shown crashing his car into the Apple store, while another man jumps out of the car and tries to grab as many Apple products as he can, before the dynamic duo make their getaway.

The ‘drive-in’ caused hundreds of thousands of dollars in damages, and a suspect is currently being held on a $600,000 bail. The Apple Store in question has since been boarded up – unless they really are installing a drive-thru.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

New iPod Shuffle gets new colors and nothing else

While the entire tech world is going gaga about the new iPhone 5 and even the revamped iPod Touch and Nano, let’s show some love to the little guy in the room here. The iPod Shuffle, an ultra-budget bare-bones MP3 player by Apple which they clearly don’t care about, also got a new edition announced yesterday. But unlike the improvements and overhauls that the other bigger MP3 players received, this unfortunate little one got the shaft and the only thing that’s new to it is … some new shades and hues. That’s pretty much it.

The little portable music player gets some cool new colors like the iPod Touch, which includes the pink color which ladies will adore for sure and a red color for those social activist types. Aside from that, there’s not a single difference to be seen. We don’t know if there will be a price drop or strangely even a price hike, but this is Apple so anything is possible.

Will you buy the Shuffle or get the bigger brothers instead?

Saturday, September 08, 2012

Google adds high resolution images to Maps and Earth

In a blog post today, Google announced that it was adding more high-resolution images to its Google Earth and Google Maps platforms. The images cover over 30 new cities, from parts of the United States to other countries such as Spain, France, Indian, Saudi Arabia, and many more. The updates images are currently only available for Google Earth, but will be rolled out to Google Maps ‘shortly’.

Google also included new 45-degree images for certain countries such as United States, France, and Spain. The 45-degree images offer an unprecedented level of detail for certain regions, with more cities soon to be added to the fold.

Users can also track if their location gets updated imagery by using the Follow Your World tool.

Thursday, September 06, 2012

Leaked video shows rumored new iPhone booting up

While the world waits with bated breath for Apple’s big announcement on September 12, a video has popped up online that supposedly shows the new iPhone booting up alongside an iPhone 4S.

The video shows the new iPhone being compared to the iPhone 4S, and clearly highlights the thinner frame, new dock connector, and other design changes (including the headphone jack moving to the bottom of the phone). The video finally has the two phones ‘booting up’ to demonstrate the speed of the new iPhone. While the odds are high that the device being shown is a fake, it’s certainly one of the better hoaxes we’ve seen in a while.

Check out the video below and stay tuned for Apple’s big announcement next week.

Wednesday, September 05, 2012

Jumbo Electronics appoints new Chief Executive

Press release: Jumbo Electronics Co Ltd. (LLC) has announced the appointment of Vishesh L. Bhatia as the company’s new Chief Executive. Bhatia moves into his new role after his retirement from a position in the senior leadership team at the Dubai-based Al Futtaim Group where he was lately responsible for a number of its business verticals including electronics, engineering and real estate businesses.

Having worked in Dubai since 1978, the new role marks his second spell with Jumbo Electronics, having been the company’s Chief Operating Officer from 2001 to 2002, working closely with the charismatic Founder of Jumbo, the late M R Chhabria.

A past President of The Electronics Group, Dubai, the trade body representing the wider interests of the industry, Vishesh Bhatia brings with him over three decades of experience in the electronics distribution and retail markets in the UAE and the wider region. More recently he was awarded the accolade of Indian CEO of the Year 2012 (Electronics).
Commenting on the new role, he said, ‘I am indeed honoured to have been invited to lead what is one of the most successful and well-respected electronics trading groups in the Middle East region. I am looking forward to working closely with the Shareholders and Supervisory Board in developing and executing a robust growth strategy for the Jumbo group, while bringing my wide-ranging business experience to drive operational excellence and to position the Jumbo enterprise as an Employer of Choice.’

Vidya Chhabria, Chairperson of Jumbo Electronics, commenting on the appointment said, ‘The expansion of our retail and distribution network is well underway. Consumer electronics in the region is expected to grow at a brisk pace and Jumbo is determined to not only defend its leadership position but to further build on the successes achieved so far. Vishesh Bhatia has an excellent and proven track record of orchestrating change and developing a strategic approach in various lines of businesses’.

Monday, September 03, 2012

Samsung strands bloggers in Berlin for not promoting products

Fresh out of their battle with Apple, Samsung are once again going to make news thanks to some rather unweildly behavior on their part.

A lengthy article published today by The Next Web recounts how two bloggers from India were invited to the IFA conference in Berlin, and were then casually told by Samsung that they were to wear a special Samsung uniform and promote Samsung products to members of the press at the show. Essentially, be booth boys.

This of course, didn’t go down well with the bloggers involved, who had previously clearly stated to Samsung that they would be attending IFA to cover Samsung products as well as other products at the show, and not be doing any kind of product demonstrations. So what did Samsung PR end up doing? According to one of the bloggers Clinton Jeff, Samsung simply stated that the bloggers would have to bear the costs for their hotel, and that their return flights would be cancelled. Having little choice in the matter, the bloggers agreed to attend one of Samsung’s events but refrained from doing any of the aforementioned product demos. But the silver lining to the story is that in the end, Nokia swooped in to rescue the two bloggers by arranging hotel and tickets home so that they could cover the rest of the show.

Read the entire account here and follow Clinton Jeff on Twitter here.

Saturday, September 01, 2012

Forget the iPhone 5 – grab the Goophone I5

While there is still plenty of time before Apple officially launched the next iPhone, that’s not stopping a Chinese firm in Hong Kong from putting out its own bizarre hybrid phone, dubbed the Goophone I5.

The Goophone matches most of the design parts that were leaked in recent weeks, including the design of the rear cover. But the knockoff phone bundles with Google’s Android OS instead of iOS, bringing the two giants together in a jade garden of peace and tranquility. That last part might just be in my head btw.

The website doesn’t disclose many technical details about the Goophone, however it does feature a factory tour video with hundreds of workers merrily putting together the Goophone. Probably the best part though is their advert for the phone, which shows it being held up by proud workers as some sort of beacon of justice.

Your move Apple…

Friday, August 31, 2012

New Android gaming tablet ‘GamePad’ announced by Archos

Archos has unveiled a new 7″ tablet targeted at gamers who might prefer buttons and joysticks over tapping a touchscreen.  The tablet runs Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, with a dual-core processor clocked at 1.5GHz and a quad-core Mali 400 MP GPU. The device will have physical controls for gaming including an integrated D-pad, ABXY buttons, and two analog thumb sticks in addition to the standard touchscreen.

Like a regular tablet, it will be wi-fi enabled and have access to Google Play and its accompanying games, e-mail and apps.

Other specs revealed â€" a micro USB port, 8GB of internal storage, a microSD card slot that adds up to 64GB and a mini-HDMI connection for outputting content to your TV.

The GamePad supports game controller APIs built into version 4.x of Android and includes Archos’ own game recognition and mapping tools which ensure that the physical buttons are compatible with Android games that use virtual controls. Archos has said that over 1,000 games available through the Google Play Store are already supported.

Archos has announced pricing as ‘less than €150’ or about $250 with a release date of ‘the end of October 2012’.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Samsung introduces Galaxy Note II

Not surprisingly, Samsung announced the follow up to their phablet- the Galaxy Note II at IFA. Increasing the screen size to 5.5″ but keeping the resolution at 1280×800, the Note now comes with a redesign S Pen with 1024 levels of pressure, Android 4.1 and a 1.6GHz Quad Core Exynos processor. Best of all, it comes with a 3100mAh battery to last you a long time!

Unreal Engine 3 running on ASUS Windows RT Tablet

Gamers looking forward to new Windows RT tablet have something to rejoice for today. Shown in the video below is an ASUS Vivo Windows RT tablet running on Tegra 3 showcasing Unreal 3 engine at pretty amazing frame rates

This is the full PC version of the the Unreal Engine 3 that powers games like the Mass Effect series, Batman series and Infinity Blade Series.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Sony Xperia SL Smartphone Coming to UAE in August

Press Release: Sony Mobile Communications today announced that its new Xperia SL smartphone will be made available in the UAE in early September. Based on the popular Xperia S, recognised as having the sharpest HD smartphone display in a report from Strategy Analytics, Xperia SL has the same stunning 4.3” HD display for excellent viewing with razor sharp clarity. Additionally both rear- and front-facing cameras deliver HD recording capabilities, with HD video chat and easy HDMI connectivity to TV for consumers to enjoy all their content on the big screen.

Xperia SL features 12MP fast capture camera that goes from sleep to snap in just over a second with a single key press, and comes with a powerful 1.7GHz dual core processor for superfast performance. Xperia SL is launching on Android platform 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich).

Spyridon Gousetis, Director of Marketing, Sony Mobile Communications, Middle East and Africa said: “The Xperia SL continues the winning streak of the previous Xperia S. These next generation smartphones capture the thrill of high definition, and the design and form factor of the entire series allows people to do more. With innovative features like face unlock, we anticipate that Xperia SL will capture the imaginations of the young tech genius as well the business phone user.”

Providing premium entertainment, Xperia SL will come preloaded with Music Unlimited and Video Unlimited from Sony Entertainment Network, and is also PlayStation™ Certified.Three new media applications (“WALKMAN”, “ALBUM” and “MOVIES”) provide enhanced entertainment experiences, combining the best Sony technologies and social media connectivity to share content amongst friends.

Key Features for Xperia SL:

- 4.3 inch Reality Display with Mobile BRAVIA® Engine with HD resolution screen, as well as front (720p) and back (1080p) cameras for HD recording.
- HD sharing through DLNA, HDMI and BRAVIA Sync to quickly and easily stream content on other screens.
- 32GB flash storage and 1.7GHz dual core processor gives consumers superfast performance for instant gaming, browsing and apps.
- 12MP rear camera with Sony Exmor Râ„¢ for mobile with fast capture to go from sleep to snap in just over a second.
- NFC (Near Field Communications) enabled to access growing range of NFC applications and services as well as Xperia SmartTags

Available through leading electronic stores, Xperia SL will be priced at AED 2,049.

Monday, August 27, 2012

LinkedIn to open office in Dubai

After Facebook opened their first office in the region, specifically Dubai Internet City three months ago, it’s not surprising to see one of the biggest social netwroking websites in the world for industry professionals is following suit.

According to The National, LinkedIn has already advertised for six positions for the proposed Dubai office. And while talks are ongoing, nothing is confirmed according to one Dubai Internet City executive. ”They have shown an interest. There has been a discussion,” the executive said.

LinkedIn themselves have so far declined to comment on the job postings, however sources close to them put the launch of the new office in Dubai by September of October this year. The local office is expected to advertise recruiting services for corporate positions, competing with existing firms such as Hays and Claredon Parker, etc.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Apple vs Samsung – it’s all over

In what has been probably one of the highest-covered trials in recent times, the big battle between Apple and Samsung has finally come to an end.

The nine jurors in the case finally came to a decision yesterday in the battle of the tech giants, siding finally with Apple in most of the patent infringement claims against Samsung. While Apple initially sought close to $2.75 billion in damages, the jury eventually ordered Samsung to pay Apple $1.05 billion in damages.

Some of the claims highlighted by the jury included:

- Jury found Samsung infringement of Apple utility, design patents for some (though not all) products.
- Jury found willful infringement on five of six patents.
- Jury upheld Apple utility, design patents.
- Jury upheld Apple trade dress ’983.
- Jury found Samsung diluted” Apple’s registered iPhone, iPhone 3, and Combination iPhone” trade dress on some products, not on others.
- Jury found no Apple infringement of Samsung utility patents.
- Jury found Samsung did not violate antitrust law by monopolizing markets related to the UMTS standard.

(The complete jury form can be found here)

The Apple vs Samsung battle has been one of the most closely observed tech trials, stretching over a number of weeks with endless battles between each company in a struggle to out-wit and out-ban the other. While a massive amount of evidence was revealed from both parties, including some information on products that never saw the light of day, it was ultimately Samsung’s undoing when it revealed several internal documents that compared its prototype smartphone to the iPhone, and offered clues on how it could be improved upon to look more like an iPhone.

(via CNET)

Thursday, August 23, 2012

HP posts nearly $9 billion quarterly loss

In their recent financial call, Hewlett-Packard Co. reported a quarterly loss of $8.9 billion. Overall sales declined by 5% over the previous year, to $29.7 billion, earning them $2 billion for the three months ending July 2012.

While stagnating PC sales was a prime contributor to the low sales, the major reason for the colossal loss is mainly because of the write-down of $10.8 billion for Electronic Data Systems Corp. and other recent acquisitions.

We are still in the early stage of the turnaround. There will be challenges ahead that could create some variability in performance,” said CEO Meg Whitman to Reuters. But I’m confident in our ability to work through them and get to where we want to be.”

HP, along with their smaller rival Dell are also trying to face off stiff competition from Asian firms like Lenovo and Acer, not just a consumer market that’s increasingly replacing smartphones and tablets with PCs.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Logitech debuts washable keyboard

Probably the biggest issues we have with desktop keyboards is how much of dirt and crap can get stuck underneath the keys. Not to mention those fateful days where you spill a cup of coffee across your keyboard and have to kiss your keyboard goodbye.

Logitech seems to understand your pain, and today announced the K310, a washable keyboard that can be wiped down or even rinsed under running water. The keyboard has special drainage holes at the back to allow liquids to escape, and can be fully immersed in up to 11 inches of water. Drying the device is as simple as leaving it out in the sun – the keys have been specially treated to avoid fading by sunlight or water, and will retail in US markets for around $39.99 with a European launch later this year.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Sony NEX-5R and NEX-6 photos get leaked

Recent pictures leaked via Sony Alpha Rumors seem to confirm that Sony’s upcoming NEX cameras will have built-in WiFi chips for instant internet connectivity. Both the NEX-5R and NEX-6 appear to have WiFi chips in addition giving us a proper glimpse of what the final products will look like.

The NEX-5R comes with a completely new 16MP APS-C sensor, but otherwise looks pretty much the same as the NEX-5N. The NEX-6 which is to sit between the NEX-5R and the flagship NEX-7, it will also come with the new 16MP sensor and going in-line with the NEX-7, will also have a built-in EVF, although one of a lower resolution.

The NEX-5R is expected to seel for $700 with the kit lens, while the NEX-6 is expected to sell around $1000.

Both cameras come with APP support which will allow you to surf the net as well. Release dates will presumably be around October, so expect them to launch around GITEX 2012.

Monday, August 20, 2012

User screenshot points out Windows 8 design inconsistencies

While Windows 8 may have been getting plenty of flak for its forced Metro interface, a forum user has taken a series of screenshots that point out Windows 8′s various design inconsistencies.

It’s not easy to design a UI for a program, let alone an entire OS, but if you’re Microsoft you’re going to want to at least run some proper tests on your UI so it looks good throughout. There are a number of design inconsistencies such as missing borders around UI elements, items not aligned or grouped properly, and uneven spacing. While this may sound like just a lot of nitpicking that the average user won’t notice, it’s still a bit surprising that these little quirks have made their way into the RTM version of Windows 8.

Check out more screenshots and the entire forum thread here.

Friday, August 17, 2012

HP eyeing tablet market again

In an internal memo at HP, the company is apparently looking to re-enter the consumer tablet market.

According to a report by The Verge, the newly created ‘Mobility’ division will focus on consumer tablets, as well as looking at additional segments and categories where we believe we can offer differentiated value to our customers”. The division will be headed by Alberto Torres, who previously worked with Nokia. The company’s purported ‘commercial tablet’ will still fall under its PC division.

HP are no stranger to the tablet market, having attempted their own tablet launch last year with the WebOS HP TouchPad. But after dismal sales and failure to lure consumers, HP were forced to cease production and slash the price of their tablet down to $99 for a 16GB version in order to clear through stocks.

With Windows 8 on its way it makes sense for HP to want to take another stab at the consumer tablet market, however with the market already crowded with various manufacturers, it remains to be seen if HP really did learn their lessons from the TouchPad launch or not.

(via The Verge)

Adobe shuts down Flash for Android

Adobe has announced that it is removing the Flash app from Google’s Android OS. It will now no longer be available on the Google Play store.

This effectively removes Flash support from the future of mobile web and follows a decision made last November by Adobe to stop development of the software for mobile devices.

Adobe told BBC that it was removing the option to install the plug-in because it was likely to exhibit unpredictable behaviour” when used with Jelly Bean, the most recent Android based OS.

The decline of Flash can be traced back to Apple refusing to allow it to be installed on iPhones and iPads. HTML5 has emerged as the new alternative, with many companies adopting it in favour of Adobe’s technology. Adobe itself acknowledged HTML5 as the best solution for creating and deploying content in the browser across mobile platforms” on its blog last year.

Flash is clearly ceding ground to HTML5 and in what could be a final blow, Microsoft recently said that it will only have ‘limited support’ for Flash on Internet Explorer 10 in Windows 8.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

RealPlayer hits Google Play store

RealNetworks’ RealPlayer was probably one of the most annoying media players I used on my PC. The barrage of adverts, annoying startup times, and generally sluggish performance of the app made me quickly ditch it for more lightweight media and streaming players.

But in a bid to woo the everyday mobile user, RealNetworks has announced that RealPlayer has finally landed on the Google Play store. The app allows you to play music and videos, as well as scroll through photos on your device.

It’s certainly not an earth-shattering app by any means, though a $4.99 upgrade will unlock ‘premium’ features such as an equalizer, widgets, no adverts, and editing metadata for music tracks.

If you’re feeling nostalgic, get the RealPlayer app here.