With the introduction of Google's Chrome and stepped-up games from the likes of Internet Explorer and Safari, Firefox is arguably not quite the darling of the browser wars it was when it first hit the scene in 2003. And while Mozilla has certainly made progress on that front, the organization understands that diversifying is an important factor in the future success of the company, first through Thunderbird and more recently through the Firefox OS, a mobile operating system targeted toward users in developing nations. G-Fox, meanwhile, marks a decidedly different direction for the foundation, which has made its name in the world of software. It's an adorable attempt, perhaps, to take the world's bedrooms and playrooms by storm.
The plush is the real-world port of G-Fox, Mozilla Online China's large-headed, big-eyed take on the American mascot, Kit. The fox was first spotted in the wild at last year's Mobile Asia Expo in Shanghai. Mozilla Online wasn't talking it up too much at the event, but naturally, we couldn't wait to get our hands on an early build. And for a first-generation product in a new space, we have to say, in the whole time we've been playing around with G-Fox, we've yet to encounter a single crash or slowdown in spite of extensive squeezing, head patting and tossing up in the air, adorably.
Following the likes of Meizu and Xiaomi, another star is born in the Chinese smartphone market. In fact, some may already know the man behind this new Android-based Smartisan OS: Luo Yonghao, a self-taught ex-English teacher (and later becoming the principal of his own English school until last August), as well as the founder of influential blogging platform Bullog.cn (now Bullogger.com) and the chairman of Chinese font studio Redesign. Luo is also a relentless consumer advocate, with his most notable act being his fridge-smashing protest outside Siemens' Beijing headquarters in November 2011, in order to highlight the company's refusal to acknowledge their faulty fridge doors (all explained in the "More Coverage" link at the bottom).
Already a bit of a legend in China, the 40-year-old serial entrepreneur announced last April that he had formed Smartisan Co., Ltd. to work on a smartphone OS, and that it would shame all manufacturers with its revolutionary user experience. Having missed the December target that he promised, Luo eventually took the stage in Beijing last week to spend well over three -- yes, three -- hours going through the thought process behind his Smartisan OS, so bear with us here.
Gallery: Smartisan OS launch event
Gallery: Smartisan OS unveil: Visuals
Via: Engadget Chinese
Source: Smartisan (in development)
AMD gave us a tease of its next-generation Steamroller architecture in 2012, but things weren't looking good for pro users when the initial timeline had current-generation Piledriver technology as the focus for Opterons in 2013. Thanks to a newer investor presentation, there's a glimmer of hope for the workstation and server users among us. Its roadmap shows Steamroller-equipped Opteron variants arriving this year, with an Excavator follow-up coming at an undetermined point in the future. There's nothing about specific timelines and models, as you might imagine -- AMD isn't going to spoil its plans quite so readily -- but the presentation reminds us that Steamroller will put an emphasis on the parallelism that's oh so vital to high-end computing. We're mostly glad to hear that IT backrooms will have something genuinely new to play with while we're off enjoying its Kaveri counterpart at home.
Source: AMD (PDF)
It's Monday, and you know what that means; another Engadget HD Podcast. We hope you will join us live when the Engadget HD podcast starts recording at 5:30PM. If you'll be joining us, be sure to go ahead and get ready by reviewing the list of topics after the break, then you'll be ready to participate in the live chat.
Filed under: HD
Have you eyed the LTE version of Amazon's Kindle Fire HD 8.9, yet remained skittish about buying such a relatively expensive tablet sight-unseen? AT&T is now willing to accommodate you: stop by an AT&T retail store from April 5th onward and you can pick up a 32GB model in person. The carrier is also offering an alternative purchase model. The $399 contract-free purchase is still available for those who want their freedom, but the initial price can drop to $249 for anyone willing to sign a two-year contract for a data plan. While either is still a lot of money to throw at Amazon's ecosystem, it's good to know that we can at least minimize the qualms surrounding an impulse purchase.
After nearly a year on the market, Amazon has finally blessed its Cloud Drive apps for Windows and Mac with a file syncing folder. Starting today, users can access their documents, music and photos across multiple computers -- a feature that we've seen from the likes of Google Drive, Dropbox and SkyDrive for quite some time. While this feature is far from groundbreaking, it does manage to make Amazon's service a respectable alternative to cloud storage's reigning heavy hitters. Toss in its 5GB of free storage and Cloud Drive could become a worthy contender for those who are looking for a new or additional place to house their digital collections.
Via: The Verge
True to form, carriers won't stop being so coy about the HTC One. We still haven't received any official information regarding the flagship's pricing or specific availability, but thanks to one of our eagle-eyed tipsters, we at least have a solid idea of AT&T's particular plans for the device. The operator is set to begin pre-orders of the One this week, with the 32GB flavor being offered in both silver and black hues for $249.99. The exclusive 64GB model likely won't be ready in time for early adopters, but it'll go for $299.99 once it does show up on store shelves. Our tipster tells us pre-sales will begin in the retail channel on April 5th, while pending marketing materials indicate the One can be pre-ordered online the day before. If this is the case, we expect it won't be long before AT&T delivers the official news, and hopefully T-Mobile and Sprint will do the same; we'll keep you posted as soon as it happens.
This has been a year of fundamental changes for BlackBerry; shifts in the company's core, beginning with a change in name from Research in Motion to the far less cumbersome -- and more familiar -- BlackBerry. The change to BlackBerry also brought the introduction of BB 10, a more advanced and modern operating system that aims to put the smartphone pioneer on an equal footing with the likes of iOS and Android, OSes that have robbed it of a good deal of market share with BlackBerry's efforts apparently focused elsewhere.
The Z10, the first handset to take advantage of the new operating system, has earned decent to good reviews, though reviewers and consumers alike seem intent on holding out for its counterpart, the Q10, which harnesses that core competency that has helped the company maintain so many loyal users: the QWERTY keyboard. And then there's this, the BlackBtrry Water Game (pronounced, we assume, "BlackBattery"), a strange, typoed beast, which may mark yet another fundamental shift for the smartphone market as we know it.
Filed under: Blackberry
In NVIDIA's ongoing efforts to monopolize the technical-sounding graphics card market, the California-based components manufacturer today announced a fresh mobile line of GPUs aimed at notebook computing. That's five new GPUs in total, with the GeForce GT 720M and 735M making up the "mainstream" segment, while the GT 740M, 745M, and 750M make up the "performance" portion of the lineup. All five cards include NVIDIA's "GPU Boost 2.0" tech, which allows the GPU to alter its clock speed on-the-fly for the sake of efficiency -- although this is mainly a software-level upgrade over the first iteration of Boost, and it's still the same familiar Kepler architecture under the hood. It won't be too long before we start seeing the newest NVIDIA mobile GPUs in notebooks at retail, as the PR says they'll be in notebooks from "every leading manufacturer" in the coming months.
When Ericsson launched the T28 in 1999, it was the lightest and slimmest phone on the market. It was also the first handset ever to use a lithium polymer battery. The T28 was a premium device -- Ericsson described it as "designer technology", and it was successful with business executives before the Blackberry became popular. Unlike its bar-shaped competitors, the T28 was immediately recognizable by its signature antenna stub and "active flip" keypad cover. Ericsson packed the phone with state-of-the-art features like voice dialing and an optional Bluetooth dongle. It came in three versions: T28s (GSM 1800 / 900), T28z (GSM 1900) and T28 World (GSM 1900/900). Our T28z review unit started life on VoiceStream (eventually acquired by T-Mobile). How does this classic handset stack up to our modern pocketable computers? Find out after the break.
Gallery: Ericsson T28z review
NASA's got some of the sharpest minds in the world (actual, you know, rocket scientists), sure, but they'll be the first to tell you that sometimes you've got to look outside for the best solution to a complicated problem. In recent years, that's meant the organization has partnered with the likes of SpaceX to help transfer materials to the International Space Station. The desire to look outside has also taken the form of competitions, which, in the past, have sought to improve the efficiency of solar arrays and help better understand the massive amounts of data collected from various missions over a 30-year period.
This latest competition, a partnership with TopCoder, deals with the unspeakably appealing category of space robots, aiming to improve the vision of NASA's head of menial space station tasks, Robonaut. At present, the 'bot's got the sort of sight problems that would have no doubt barred its fleshier counterparts from making their way through the training program.
Facebook already told us all that it'd be announcing something new and Android-related at an event on April 4th. Android Police has just given us a new heaping helping of evidence, via an APK teardown, that the social network will, at long last, announce an oft-rumored, never revealed Facebook phone and a FB-themed version of Google's mobile OS. The ROM reveals that it's built for an AT&T-compatible HTC Myst handset with a 4.3 inch display, 1GB of RAM and a dual-core MSM8960 SoC. There's also a 5-megapixel rear camera, 1.6-megapixel front shooter, Bluetooth 4.0 and WiFi a/b/g/n radios, which confirms earlier spec leaks about the phone.
As for software, it runs Android 4.1.2 and Sense 4.5, and most importantly, a new Facebook program called Facebook Home. As you might expect, it'll serve as the phone's home screen and launcher. To that end, it has more system controls than the existing Facebook app, with permission to turn off the lock screen, start up when the phone boots and control your WiFi connection, among others. The APK also revealed that there's a host of circular Facebook-flavored icons and tight Facebook Messenger integration. Oh, and in case you aren't looking to buy FB-specific hardware, fear not, for the presence of TouchWiz compatibility indicates that Facebook Home will be available for other phones as well.
Source: Android Police
Before Engadget was born, the late '90s saw a rising fear of the millennium bug, not to mention the advent of the first true e-readers. As time went on, e-ink technology on these devices improved, and despite the subsequent rise of tablets, e-readers have persisted thanks to their retina-soothing displays and generally affordable prices. Now, millions sit on bedside tables and in commuters' bags worldwide. Their popularity, however, has given rise to whole new branch of niche e-readers with tiny memories capable of holding but a single text. Join us as we delve into this fledgling fad and ask whether such low-cost hardware can persuade you to put down your Kindle, Nook or Kobo and give them a shot. Is this a new chapter in the e-reader story? Swing past the break and find out.
Looking to save some coin on your tech purchases? Of course you are! In this round-up, we'll run down a list of the freshest frugal buys, hand-picked with the help of the folks at Slickdeals. You'll want to act fast, though, as many of these offerings won't stick around long.
In what we could've labeled as the HD Edition, home theater gadgets claim three of the five spots in today's roundup. If you're not into those types of purchases at the moment, the Sony NEX-F3 also gets a pretty nice discount of its own. For all of the details, take a quick trip to the other side of the break.
In Engadget's ongoing quest to get you, our lovely readers, as up-close-and-personal with the electronics of the future, we're partnering once more with Panasonic to take a couple (hundred) of lucky readers into an otherwise media-exclusive hands-on event. As these events tend to be, it's taking place in Jay-Z and Robert DeNiro's backyard, downtown Manhattan, and there'll be ample time to learn about Panasonic's 2013 lineup. Moreover, it's a chance to be among the first to preview Panasonic's 2013 product lines, including the new Smart VIERA ZT Series Plasma TVs and WT Series LED TVs, as well as new home audio, imaging, home appliance and personal care items.
You'll need to get yourself into the bit city and over to the shindig by 6:30PM ET, but there'll be no need to arrive early and line up -- if you receive a confirmation email, you're in. We'll also be in attendance, giving out friendly conversation and the occasional hug. To enter, shoot an email to nycevents [at] engadget.com, and we'll get you all squared away.
Beyond just getting first hands-on with Panasonic's HDTVs and myriad other unreleased electronics, one very lucky attendee will give a forever home to the devices on hand in the form of a "techover" -- that means Panasonic wants to give you a whole bunch of stuff: a VIERA HDTV, Home Theater, Home Audio, LUMIX Camera, Personal Care and Home Appliance products. There'll also be other giveaways, of course. We just wouldn't feel right inviting you out and not sending you home with something to remember us by!
Hacking is still a loaded concept for many, often conjuring negative images of corporate espionage, fraudsters and prank-minded script kiddies. PBS' Off Book wants to remind us that hacking wasn't always seen this way -- and, thanks to modern developments, is mending its reputation. Its latest episode shows that hacking began simply as a desire to advance devices and software beyond their original roles, but was co-opted by a sometimes misunderstanding press that associated the word only with malicious intrusions. Today, hacking has regained more of its original meaning: hackathons, a resurgence of DIY culture and digital protests prove that hacks can improve our gadgets, our security and even our political landscape. We still have a long way to go before we completely escape movie stereotypes, but the mini-documentary may offer food for thought the next time you're installing a custom ROM or building your own VR helmet.
There are two kinds of computer owners: those that backup their data, and those who will backup after they lose something irreplaceable. It's that last group for whom World Backup Day exists, and the special occasion has returned for a third year to make sure we all wind up in that first, very responsible camp. Thankfully, it's easier than ever to have at least some kind of safety net. Along with ridiculously high-capacity external hard drives, both Mac and Windows users have simple built-in software to make backup a set-it-and-forget-it affair. No money or room for an extra drive on the desk? No problem: cloud storage is ubiquitous, and even includes unlimited options. Mobile users have it a little easier with a myriad of Apple, Google and Microsoft cloud services, although there's third-party options in that space, too. In short, you've got few excuses to skimp out when it comes to safeguards, and enough choices to seriously consider using two or more -- which might be wise in this dangerous era of meteorite showers and brick-tossing robots.
Source: World Backup Day
Each week our friends at Inhabitat recap the week's most interesting green developments and clean tech news for us -- it's the Week in Green.
This week, Team Inhabitat traveled to Mountain View, Calif., to get a look at the 100 percent sun-powered Solar Impulse airplane before it embarks on its first flight across the United States. Inhabitat editors also braved the crowds at the 2013 New York International Auto Show to report on the hottest new hybrids and electric cars. Some of the green cars unveiled at this year's show were the compact Mercedes-Benz 2014 B-Class Electric Drive and BMW's sexy new Active Tourer plug-in hybrid. The Tesla Model S was named the 2013 World Green Car of the Year, beating out the Renault Zoe and the Volvo V60. And speaking of new auto unveils, Epic EV unveiled its new all-electric TORQ Roadster, which looks like a roofless Batmobile and can go from 0-60 MPH in just four seconds.
Missed us live at our new weekly livestream home on YouTube at 3PM ET last Thursday? Fret not, because we've got you covered here with the video and audio recordings as usual. So, listen on your own time as Tim, Brian and Peter talk everything from OUYA to Angry Birds hand sanitizer. Stream it below, or catch the subscription links and video embed after the break. Happy weekend!
Hosts: Tim Stevens, Peter Rojas, Brian Heater
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Filed under: Podcasts
In Insert Coin, we look at an exciting new tech project that requires funding before it can hit production. If you'd like to pitch a project, please send us a tip with "Insert Coin" as the subject line.
We've seen a few stabs at smartphone-enhanced car diagnostics as of late, but many good solutions like Automatic Link and Delphi's Vehicle Diagnostics are primarily useful after you've parked. The upcoming Dash OBD-II adapter is certainly up to that side of the job, telling a Bluetooth-connected iOS device (and eventually, Android) about your car's problems and estimating fuel costs based on the gas tank's levels. Where it stands out is its usefulness while on the road: the custom app offers custom live gauges, including a Green-Meter for ideal fuel economy that you won't usually find in a real instrument cluster. There's even a dashcam mode that overlays travel details on captured video, whether it's to support insurance claims or just to immortalize a drive through the back country.