The Samsung Galaxy S has been selling like hot cakes ever since its release. Competitive pricing, coupled with fantastic screen, powerful hardware and Android OS (Operating System) has earned it a solid reputation. However, that doesn’t mean that it doesn’t have its fair share of kinks.
Besides the well-publicized GPS bug, some Galaxy handsets also suffer from another potentially devastating bug. According to the Inquirer, connecting the device to a PC through Samsung Kies might trigger a factory reset, if there is a file with extension longer than 16 characters. “This only occurs if the Galaxy S device contains a file name extension longer than 16 characters,” informed a Samsung spokesperson. “The issue will be remedied immediately when the file is removed”, he added.
Factory reset basically wipes away all your data and resets the phone to its original condition. This means that you will lose all your contacts, messages, settings and more. Until Samsung fixes this issue through a firmware update, ensure that your Galaxy S doesn’t have any file with extension longer than 16 characters.
With (most of) Hollywood adopting 3D with open arms, can Bollywood be far behind? Panasonic is obviously confident that 3D will help take the Indian entertainment industry to the next level. The Japanese multi-national held a live demonstration at the Yash Raj Films Studios, which was attended by several members of the Indian film fraternity.
Panasonic’s ‘camera to couch’ range of solutions cover everything from creating and editing 3D content to viewing them at home. Speaking on the event, Daizo Ito, President, Panasonic India, said, “Panasonic has been the harbinger of new technology for several decades now. With Indian creativity getting applauded across the world, it becomes imperative for our company to make available the latest movie-making and broadcast technology in India”.
Noted filmmaker Karan Johar was equally enthusiastic about the launch and said to Times of India, “I am so excited that the 3D technology is now available to filmmakers like myself. It will literally add a new dimension to our story telling and creative expression. We all acknowledge the influence of this medium and with 3D captivating the audience so much more, there is going to be a new revolution in movie making. I’m sure the next 3D blockbuster movie just like Avatar is going to come from India”.
Panasonic will also be organising competitions across India to encourage students of leading film and television institutes to create original 3D content.
Samsung had promised to release Froyo for the Galaxy S by the end of September. However, the good news is that with a little bit of trickery you might just be able to get Froyo on your Galaxy a lot sooner than that.
Multiple XDA forum members are reporting that it is possible to get Froyo running on the Galaxy S through Samsung Kies. The trick is to set Kies to test mode (CTRL+ALT+U+P) and modify the Windows registry. Please note that this might crash your handset and force you to do a factory reset.
Although Samsung appears to have fixed the extremely annoying GPS bug that plagued many of the earlier Galaxy S firmware builds, the jury is still out when it comes to performance improvements. However, it might be futile to rush to a judgment, as this is most probably not a final build of the firmware. Nevertheless, this does signal that the official Android 2.2 update for unbranded Galaxy S handsets will arrive soon.
Hat Tip: @kalpik
AMD has announced that it will retire the ATI brand later this year. Four years ago, AMD shocked everyone by acquiring ATI for $5.4 billion. The merger almost cost AMD dearly. The massive expense was financed through $2 million in loans and 56 million shares of AMD stock. Most pundits believed that AMD had made a blunder by coughing up so much for ATI, when it was suffering major losses in the chipset business. However, the merger also brought tangible benefits to the chipset giant. ATI’s strong performance in the recent past has helped AMD boost its brand name, and now AMD is preparing to ship Fusion APUs (CPU+GPU on a single die).
Nevertheless, AMD obviously believes that it stands to gain significantly by retiring the ATI brand name. Come 2011, all products from the Sunnyvale based semiconductor company will bear only AMD branding. According to AMD, an internal survey revealed the following key points:
- AMD brand preference triples when the person surveyed is aware of the ATI-AMD merger.
- The AMD brand is viewed as stronger than ATI when compared to graphics competitors (presumably NVIDIA).
- The Radeon and Fire Pro brands themselves (without ATI being attached to them) are very high as is.
The last point suggests that ATI products are well recognized even without the ATI branding. However, even more crucial is the revelation that most of the consumers consider AMD to be a more significant competitor to Nvidia than ATI. The GPU market has long been dominated by ATI and Nvidia.
Much like 3dfx Voodoo, ATI will always be remembered by geeks and hardware aficionados around the world. Hardcore ATI fans might be disappointed with AMD’s announcement, but at least ATI is going out with respect.
It’s no secret that Google sees the browser as a central part of future computing devices. The Chrome OS is just one of the many manifestations of this particular vision of the future. In Chrome OS, the browser (Google Chrome) is used to do everything from listening to music to editing documents and creating spreadsheets.
While Chrome OS based devices are still a few months away, Google is working hard to get its browser ready for various form factors. Just yesterday, we reported that future versions of Chrome will future GPU Acceleration that will enable it to do heavy duty computing (like scaling videos) with ease. Now DownloadSquad has discovered that speech recognition has been enabled in the latest Chromium builds. Of course, Chrome isn’t the first browser to get voice recognition. Opera received voice navigation support as far back as 2005 with Opera 8. However, this feature works only on Opera for Windows, and since its initial release there has been very little further improvement.
Google has also uncorked a few other handy features in Chrome, including support for device orientation and Google Labs. The former is an essential feature for netbooks, tablets and other accelerometer enabled devices. The latter on the other hand will enable curious users to get a taste of the latest features being cooked up by Google. To access it simply type about:labs in the omnibar (address bar). For now, Windows users can enjoy tabs on the left, while Mac users can play around with Google’s implementation of Tab Expose.
Image via GoogleSystem
Earlier this week Microsoft added six more impressive themes to the official Windows 7 Personalization Gallery, which has been growing ever since its launch. Five of these themes feature specially crafted wallpapers by graphic artists. They are:
- Girls Rock! – She’s in the band. Rock out with musician desktop backgrounds (wallpaper) in this Windows 7 theme.
- 26Creative – Live what you dream, just for fun.” So reads the message artist Chang, Fan-Hsuan pairs with cheerful florals and patchwork characters in this Windows 7 theme.
- An Hsin Pu Tzu – The land of the dreamy dreams. In this romantic Windows 7 theme created by artist Lin, Yu-Fu, cartoon characters relax in surroundings inspired by love and nature.
- Bakehouse – It’s always warm and toasty in Bakehouse, a Windows 7 theme made up of cartoonish breads and pastry characters created by Wang, Hsueh-Shih.
- Imagination – Let your imagination float away, with this gently surreal Windows 7 theme from artist Yeh, Hsin-Hung.
The other new addition to the gallery is the official theme for the recently released Gears of War 3 game.
HTC has been releasing Android handsets at a prolific rate, and they clearly have no intention of slowing down. BoyGeniousReports has managed to procure pictures of a new mystery device from HTC, which is expected to land on Verizon.
The handset looks a lot like the Sprint HTC Evo. Although BGR didn’t mention if it’s an Android or a WP7 device, the button layout suggests that it is not running the latter. The phone sports a 4.3” screen, which seems to be a new standard for high end Android phones, and according to BGR’s source, “makes the Droid 2 look like a kids toy”. There is an 8 megapixel camera, as well as a front facing camera for video chat. Interestingly enough, it even has a kickstand.
The handset obviously has all the hallmarks of becoming a flagship device. Let’s hope that HTC is also planning on releasing it globally. It would be a pity to see such an impressive device being restricted only to the US.
The online video giant YouTube has expanded its “Movies” section, which was launched last year for US residents. Google already has agreements with Crackle, CBS, MGM and Lionsgate to provide full length content to US viewers. It has now tied up with Blinkbox, which is providing about 165 feature films for UK viewers.
As one might expect, most of the films being offered are obscure and dated. Nevertheless, there are quite a few classics including Jackie Chan and Hitchcock movies, as well as some decent horror movies. Bollywood fans will also be pleased to find legendary movies like Pukar, Bawarchi and Padosan.
YouTube is the undisputed leader in the online video segment and enjoys a massive number of visits per day. However, most of these visitors tend to surf for a few minutes and then move on. Engagement is one of the factors that Google has been trying to improve upon. This is obviously a step in that direction as full length movie and television show streams are the logical next step for YouTube.
Yesterday, Opera Software published the July edition of their monthly State of the Mobile Web report. This month’s report takes a closer look at gender equality (or inequality) and mobile web usage in Southeast Asia.
In just two years, the percentage of female mobile web users has increased by an impressive 575%. South Africa has the highest percentage of female mobile web users (43.5%), followed by United States (35.6%), Russia (32.4%) and the United Kingdom (31.5%). Sadly, India finds itself right at the bottom of the list with just 4% female users. Nigeria (5.4%), China (11.6%) and Vietnam (17.9%) are other countries with very few female users.
Opera also asked its users if they had friends they have never met away from the keyboard. An overwhelming majority answered yes. The highest proportion of affirmative answers came from users in Nigeria (87.3%) and Indonesia (83.7%). Respondents in United Kingdom (64.6%) and United States (65.6%) provided the fewest “yes” responses.
In July, Opera Mini was used by 62.3 million users, a 4.8% increase from June 2010. Opera Mini, which had been growing explosively until early 2010, is still the most popular mobile web browser in the world. However, it’s growth has virtually stagnated over the past few months.
Orkut has long been the dominant social network in India. Exactly what made millions of Indians throng to the mostly forgotten social network from Google is still a baffling mystery to me. Nevertheless, Facebook – the most popular social network in US and all over the world, has now surpassed Orkut even in India.
Traffic analytics firm comScore is claiming that Facebook became the top social networking website in India in July with 20.9 million visitors. This represents a 179 percent year-on-year growth. Comparatively, during the same period Orkut managed to grow by only 16 percent. The social networking audience in India grew by an impressive 43 percent during the past year.
In related news, Orkut has unveiled a new grouping functionality that can be used to communicate with groups of contacts (coworkers, relatives, friends etc.). The groups are visible only to the user and essentially acts as filters.