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Top Stories  |   (Sep 01, 2014)

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Hands-on: Samsung Galaxy Tab S 10.5

Samsung Galaxy Tab S 10.5 delivers the best tablet display yet

As with its smartphones, Samsung has thrown everything it can at the wall when it comes to tablets to see what eventually sticks. However, even though Samsung holds the title as the largest single Android tablet maker, it hasn't made the same sort of inroads against Apple in the tablet space as it has with its Galaxy smartphones. It has launched tablets in all shapes and sizes, with multiple models and sizes targeting the low-end, middle and high-end segments making it a challenge for consumers to navigate. Its latest high-end model, the Galaxy Tab S 10.5 , however, looks as though the company may finally have its formula right in its never-ending battle with Apple.

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Intel launches Core i7 Extreme Edition processors with 6, 8 cores[u]

Enthusiast Intel Core i7 processors accompanied by X99 Express chipset

[Updated with information from Penny Arcade Expo] Intel has formally unveiled an octa-core processor for desktop computers, as part of the Core i7 Extreme Edition range . Previously under the name Haswell-E , the first three from the range will consist of one processor with eight cores flanked by two six-core chips, with Intel also launching the X99 Express chipset alongside the enthusiast processor collection.

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Apple officially announces September 9 press event [u]

Expected to feature iPhone 6, iWatch

(Updated with Bloomberg claims of iWatch debut) As anticipated, Apple has formally announced a September 9 press event. Unlike past fall events, however, this one will be held at the Flint Center for the Performing Arts in Cupertino, California, rather than the Yerba Buena Center in San Francisco. It will begin at 10AM Pacific time, or 1PM Eastern.

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Samsung unveils Gear S with SIM card, curved display, Gear Circle

Gear S smartwatch can operate independently from smartphone with own 3G connection

Samsung has unveiled a new Gear smartwatch and earphones before its Unpacked event at IFA. The Gear S updates the original device's bulky design into a slimline and stylish smartwatch with a curved two-inch 360x480 Super AMOLED display, though unlike the Gear 2 and Gear 2 Neo, this edition adds the SIM card and 3G connection from the rumored Gear Solo , allowing it to work independently from a smartphone.

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Hands-on: OnePlus One '2014 Flagship Killer'

OnePlus One looks set to cause a major headache for the likes of Samsung

OnePlus is an ambitious new OEM out of China founded in late 2013 with designs on conquering the smartphone market. Its first handset is the audacious OnePlus One , which recently started shipping to the US and select European markets. Interestingly, instead of jumping into the market with a 5-inch smartphone, the company's first effort is a 5.5-inch phablet that it is marketing as a 'Flagship Killer.' With its intentions clear, is it possible for a company to come from out of almost nowhere to steal the title of most wanted Android phone from the likes of tech titans like Samsung?

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Amazon procures streaming site Twitch for $970 million [u]

Sources state that the deal is worth $1 billion, same as reported Google acquisition

[Updated with confirmation of deal between twitch and Amazon] Originally reported by The Information , Twitch has been purchased by Amazon. While Google was thought to be the forerunner that would pick up the company for $1 billion, based on earlier reports , Amazon has completed the deal, worth $970 million in cash.

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Hands-on: Golla Road City bag

Golla Road City bag provide an excellent blend of style and functionality

An ongoing conundrum for tech users one is trying to find the best bag to tote your gear around when on the go. Golla is a Finnish company whose products have now found their way into both Apple and Microsoft stores in various locations around the globe. In addition to smartphone cases and other accessories, the company also sells a range of bags geared towards tech users. We have our hands on the company's Golla Road City bag in gray and have been impressed with its blend of form and function.

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First look: Nvidia Shield Android gaming tablet

Nvidia delivers genuine differentiation with its Shield gaming tablet

Although it might look like just another Android tablet, the Nvidia Shield Android gaming tablet is one of the more interesting devices to come out in a segment that swamped with endless options, but little genuine differentiation. It tries to stand out from the crowd not with a heavily customized user interface, or even bold design, but rather tries to specialize in one particular area - Android gaming. It is also one of the first devices on the market running Nvidia's latest chip, the Tegra K1 . While it still sports a 32-bit ARM Cortex A15 4+1 architecture clocked at 2.2GHz, its graphics capabilities are the real highlight. It sports 192 Kepler GPU cores, which is the very same architecture that powers Nvidia's vaunted discrete desktop and notebook GPUs.

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HTC One (M8) for Windows launches as Verizon exclusive

Windows Phone version of HTC One M8 uses same specifications as Android original

HTC has launched the Windows Phone version of its One M8 flagship at an event in New York. The HTC One (M8) for Windows is a metal-clad smartphone with the same specifications as the Android original , including an identical five-inch 1080p display, quad-core Snapdragon 801 processor clocked at 2.3GHz, 2GB of RAM, and 32GB of expandable storage.

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Dolby Atmos audio technology migrating from theater to home

New technology backwards compatible with Blu-Ray, other content delivery

At an event earlier this week, Dolby announced a technology moving from the cinema to home theaters that challenges the channel-based stereo paradigm. Dubbed Dolby Atmos , the new protocol -- which is fully backwards compatible with older Blu-Ray players and other content delivery mechanisms -- uses up to 34 speakers to more accurately play back a moving sound, and enhance the home theater experience.

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Opinion: The best $300 I've spent on a gadget in a while

Buying a headphone amp is money well spent if you love music

Like many people, I love music and have an extensive iTunes collection. I also record my own music and even released a single with Billy Idol guitarist Steve Stevens on lead guitar. All of which means that, like many people, I take the quality of my listening experience seriously and am always looking for a great listening experience at home, in the car, and when on the go. I have managed to get a great sound at home, and in my car, but struggled to get an ideal listening experience on the go. Like some I've bought far too many headphones as part of this quest, when what I really should have done is buy a portable headphone amp as I recently discovered.

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T-Mobile announces plan to throttle those abusing 'unlimited' data

P2P file-sharing, unofficial tethering both violations of the terms of plans

On the heels of Verizon's announcement that it will periodically throttle the LTE speeds of its most prodigious users during times of network congestion, a leak from T-Mobile has revealed a similar program -- but with a different approach. Rather than targeting a certain percentage of the heaviest users without discrimination, the carrier plans to first educate and then restrict the speeds of only those users who are in violation of the terms and conditions of the "unlimited' data plans through torrenting or tethering abuse.

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Samsung Galaxy Alpha launches with metal frame, octa-core processor

Metal Samsung Galaxy Alpha uses 4.7-inch 720p Super AMOLED display

Samsung has unexpectedly launched the Galaxy Alpha smartphone, weeks before an Unpacked launch event. The rumored smartphone has been revealed as using a metal frame with a soft back cover, a change from the heavily use of plastic in earlier Galaxy devices, with the Alpha's 7mm (0.28-inch) thickness making it one of the slimmest Galaxy smartphones the company has ever produced.

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Opinion: Hachette and Amazon fight, who loses?

Ongoing struggle between Amazon and content publishers highlight changes

In advance of a coalition of authors' letter being published in The New York Times tomorrow supporting publisher Hachette , Amazon has lashed out in an open letter to consumers , asking readers themselves to take Amazon's side in the "fight" for e-book pricing. The problem is that the matter is not as simple as either Hachette or Amazon are portraying it, and the real victims in this dispute are the customers, caught in the middle.

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Opinion: Why the Apple iWatch will succeed (Part 2)

The iWatch will deliver unmatched levels of sophistication and integration

This is part two of an earlier article assessing why the Apple iWatch will succeed where others have failed. The first part of the article set out the backdrop against which the iWatch will be launched and argues that given the current competition, the iWatch stands an excellent chance of being successful. The current crop of smartwatches haven't managed to get the right mix of functionality, usability and desireability. Even Google's new Android Wear smartwatch platform makes a far from convincing case as to the benefits of owning a smartwatch. Only Apple has the ambition and product execution to make a compelling smartwatch and the signs are there that this is what we will get when it eventually launches before the end of the year.

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Opinion: Why the Apple iWatch will succeed (Part 1)

Only Apple is capable of delivering the first compelling smartwatch

Apple has been long been rumored to be working on a smartwatch widely referred to as the iWatch thanks to some Apple trademark applications surfacing. However, even though the product hasn't yet been revealed some naysayers like the notorious Apple sceptic John C. Dvorak have already started to write off the device before it has even been released. Similar conclusions were also drawn about Apple's iPhone and iPad by Dvorak and others before each was released; but both as we know have been phenomenally successful. While it seems less likely that an iWatch will have the same widespread appeal as either the iPhone or iPad, there are several signs that suggest that Apple will once again succeed in a market where others have thus far failed to inspire.

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Samsung, Apple agree to end all non-US legal disputes

Cases dropped without settlement in more than eight countries

In a joint email sent to the press, Apple and Samsung have agreed to drop all patent lawsuits against each other in all countries except the US, without any settlement, cross-license agreement or any other consideration. The US court system will be the sole arbiter of the numerous patent disputes the two companies have brought against each other, and comes on the heels of a series of moves to de-escalate the standoffs between them. Samsung and Apple agreed to drop appeals of an ITC case in June.

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Pentax Q-S1 revealed with 12.4MP sensor, multiple body color options

Bokeh control, gyro sensor used in retro-styled Pentax Q-S1

Ricoh has launched another camera in its Q-range of Pentax compact snappers, which it claims is one of the world's smallest and lightest with interchangeable lenses. The Q-S1 has a 12.4-megapixel BSI CMOS image sensor, housed inside a retro-styled body which customers are able to heavily personalize, thanks to its wide selection of color combinations.

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Tor compromised earlier in year, relay attack to 'deanonymize' users

The Tor Project announced on its blog today that the service suffered two different types of attacks in an attempt to uncover information that could remove the anonymity of sources accessing hidden services. Tor states that the attackers are so far unknown, but it says that anyone that accessed any hidden services from the beginning of February through July 4 should assume they've been affected by the attack.

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Opinion: iPad Air + Logitech Folio + Office for iPad = Productivity?

iPad Air is a more capable productivity tool than some might expect

The question of how much productivity you can get done on the Apple iPad is one that has persisted since its introduction. Even if the question is not an easy one to answer, it seems almost irrelevant to even ask when one looks at how massively successful the iPad has been since its introduction. The question also depends on what one defines as being 'productivity,' when it has been clear for some time that plenty of people can and do use iPads for getting work done, particularly in creative endeavors. The recently announced partnership between Apple and IBM in enterprise, coupled with the arrival of Microsoft Office for iPad suggests that the iPad's capability in the workplace will be properly tested given that IBM also becomes an official Apple reseller and will help to shift many more units into the workplace.

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Ford Motors to replace BlackBerry with iPhones for over 9,300 workers

'Global' switchover will cost nothing extra over normal replacement cycle

Automaker Ford has announced that it will transition at least 9,300 corporate employees from BlackBerry models and flip phones to iPhones over the next two years. The change, which will cost the company nothing above the normal cost of a replacement cycle, is a blow to BlackBerry, but the Canadian smartphone maker can take solace in the fact that Ford chose BlackBerry's QNX for its next-generation Sync infotainment system, replacing a previous Microsoft-based one.

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Apple updates MacBook Pro line with faster processors, more RAM

Apple's portable line external design unchanged, internals boosted

As predicted , Apple has updated its MacBook Pro with Retina display product line. Both sizes of the model have an unchanged external design, but now boast faster processors, with some models seeing a doubling of RAM as standard. Surviving the upgrade is the 13-inch MacBook Pro, which also remains unchanged apart from a price cut.

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Apple drops cross-appeal against Samsung, gives up injunction

Bid for sales ban against 23 copying Samsung products had been denied twice

Two years after the first Apple-Samsung patent trial, the big winner in that case -- Apple -- has dropped a motion to cross-appeal a portion of Judge Lucy Koh's final verdict. The action means that the company has officially given up hope of seeing any product bans on the 23 Samsung products found guilty of copying Apple technology, though the matter is largely moot as none of the products are still offered for sale anyway. Despite the clear victory in the jury trial, Judge Koh twice refused to issue sales injunctions on the infringing Samsung products.

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Closer look: Android L preview

Android L focuses on look, feel, performance rather than features

Google's Android L preview has been made available to developers and any other interested users who own a Nexus 5 smartphone or Nexus 7 tablet. It marks the first time that Google has released an early preview of the latest version of its mobile OS, while is also the first major revamp of the Android UI since Android 4.0 'Ice Cream Sandwich,' which was released three years ago. In that time, Android has become the most widely used mobile operating system in the world. However, despite its popularity, it has slipped somewhat on the technology front with Apple iOS making the leap to 64-bit in August last year. Android L seeks to redress this by adding an all-new 64-bit runtime (ART), coupled with other system enhancements designed to improve performance and battery life.

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Bose suing Beats over infringement of active noise reduction patents

Apple now on the hook in another patent infringement case

In a court filing discovered today , audio equipment maker Bose is suing headphone rival Beats over noise cancellation headphone technology. Bose claims that Beats has knowingly infringed on "50 years of signficant investment in the research, development, engineering, and design" on the technology, with the Beats lineup for sale now using "36 US patents and applications" that Bose now owns or has filed for.

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Amazon Fire Phone now available to purchase in United States

First Amazon smartphone goes on sale with Dynamic Perspective display system

Amazon has put its first smartphone on sale in the United States. Available through Amazon directly or via AT&T , the Fire Phone marks a departure from the retailer's usual Kindle Fire tablet range, by being a smaller mobile device and by using five front-facing cameras for the company's "Dynamic Perspective" 3D-effect user interface.

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Microsoft reveals Nokia Lumia 530 as its first Lumia release

Nokia Lumia 530 has four-inch display, $115 price tag

Microsoft has unveiled its first Lumia smartphone since it acquired Nokia's Devices and Services division. Still labeled under the Nokia branding, the Lumia 530 is an entry-level Windows Phone 8.1 smartphone with a four-inch, 854x480-resolution display and a low price point to help it compete against other competing low-specification devices running on Android.

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Microsoft hits $23.4 billion revenue in Q4, earnings share decreasing

Expected profits fall shy of expectations, Nokia deal responsible for $0.08 EPS hit

Microsoft released its quarterly revenue figures for the end of the 2014 fiscal year, revealing that the company pulled in $23.38 billion in revenues for the fourth quarter. While the revenue numbers beat the expectations of $23 billion, earnings per share (EPS) missed the mark at $0.55 per share. Experts polled by Thomson Reuters expected the software company to hit $0.60 EPS based on the $23 billion in revenues.

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Nvidia launches Shield Tablet with 8-inch display, separate controller

Nvidia Shield Tablet retains game-streaming functionality of original device

Nvidia has finally launched a new gaming tablet in the Shield product line, following a number of leaks . The successor to the Shield controller and the Tegra Note 7 , the Shield Tablet effectively separates the display and controller elements of the original Shield, with an accompanying wireless controller allowing it to be used in a similar manner as a portable console.

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Microsoft confirms layoffs; 18,000 to lose jobs, majority from Nokia

Most of the Microsoft layoffs to come from Nokia devices and services

Microsoft has made official previous rumors of massive job cuts. The company is planning on cutting 18,000 jobs in the next year, with the largest cuts coming from the Nokia devices and services division. Microsoft claims that the first 13,000 of the laid-off employees will be notified in the next six months.

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