All posts by Rajesh Pandey

Rajesh is a 19 year old nerd, currently pursuing B.Com Hons from Bhawanipore college in Kolkata, India. He loves everything tech, especially Android. You can follow him on twitter @ePandu or mail to him at [email protected]

Sony To Stop Producing 3.5 Inch Floppy Disks In Japan

If you guys thought that Floppy Disks were already extinct Hold your breath – Sony managed to sell 12 million 3.5 inch floppy disks in Japan last year. Yes, thats 12 Million! Seriously, I wonder why people purchase a floppyfloppydisk disk in this age and time? Well even with such an impressive sales figure, the days of 3.5 inch floppy disks are numbered.

Sony today announced that it will stop the production of 3.5 inch floppy disks by March 2011. Sony is one of the major manufacturers of the oldest data storage medium the floppy disk – which started its journey in 1981. Sony had already stopped the production of floppy disk drives all over the world, except for Japan. Now, by March 2011, the company will cease the production of floppy disks in Japan as well. This will effectively be the end of the road for floppy disks.

Sony’s New PS3 Slim Model To Have A 40NM GPU

The Playstation 3 from Sony is arguably the best console – hardware wise – in the market currently. The PS3 has a Nvidia RSX GPU with 256MB of GDDR3 memory and, a Cell Microprocessor designed by IBM.PS3 RSX GPU With the launch of the PS3 Slim Model, the Cell CPU of PS3 moved to a 45nm manufacturing process. This led to a decrease in power consumption, lower temperatures, and reduction in the cost of production.

Now Playstation University reports that the new PS3 Slim RSX GPU will be based on the 40nm fabrication process.  At the time of its launch, the PS3 RSX GPU used the 65nm fabrication process. The shift to a lower fabrication process has many advantages including the reduction of the Yellow Light Of Death on the PS3s. Thanks to the shift in lower fabrication process, the cooling unit of the new PS3 Slim has also been redesigned. It is now less complex compared to its predecessor.

It is reported that the drop in power consumption is around 15%. The power supply has also seen a weight reduction, and now weighs in at 412g. The original PS3 power adapter used to weigh 815g. Quite a few chips have also been removed from around the Nvidia RSX GPU, leading to a lower cost of production.

The main benefit of the shift to 40nm fabrication process is the lower cost of production. The new PS3 Slim, even though cheaper by 100$, will allow Sony to earn profit on every console sold. Until now, Sony has been incurring losses on every PS3 they have sold.

VIA Unveils Nano-E 64 Bit Processors

Apart from Intel and AMD, VIA technologies are also one of the x86-64 processor manufacturers in the market. VIA CPUs might not be as popular as their Intel and AMD counterparts, but the company still has some market share. Today, VIA unveiled their Nano E-series of processors. The Nano-E series of CPUs have native 64 bit softwareVIA support and virtualization support.

At the time of their launch, the Nano-E CPUs will be available in speeds ranging from 800MHz to 1.8Ghz. The CPUs will also feature VIA’s integrated media system processors and various other codec’s including HD video playback and 3D graphics acceleration. VIA have guaranteed that these processors will have a longevity of seven years. The Nano-E series processors from VIA have many other top-end features so as to support the upcoming Windows Embedded Standard 7.

The Windows Embedded Standard 7 states that every CPU should double the amount of data it can process per clock cycle. But according to VIA, virtual software deployment could revolutionize the embedded market. VIA said that it expects to become the norm, not the exception for upcoming embedded system developers.

(Source)

Android 2.2 “Froyo” Unofficial Changelog

Android handsets have been coming out from the various mobile manufacturers stable at a brisk pace. The development of Android OS has also been pretty good. The OS has been gaining market share by leaps and bounds. Currently, the latest version of the Android OSandroid is 2.1. Reports suggest that Android 2.2 will soon be announced. The Android v2.2 is named Froyo. The new version of the Google OS will come with some major changes under the hood.

The reported features include:

*JIT compiler
*Free additional RAM
*OpenGL ES 2.0 enhancements
*Flash 10.1 support
*Fixed problem with crazy screen/ Resolution of cross multitouch
*Activation of Color Trackball
*Enable FM radio

The most important change in Android 2.2 is the JIT compiler. The JIT compiler translates the application written in JAVA to native code. This leads to significantly better performance, richer graphics and better battery life.  There is also Flash 10.1 support in the latest version of the OS. The new version of Android OS is also expected to enable Wi-Fi n support in devices which have the required hardware. The Linux kernel of Android will also get an update from 2.6.29 to 2.6.32. This will lead to additional free RAM on the various Android devices.

It is expected that that the latest version of the Android OS will be announced on May 19th, during the Google’s I/O event.

Dell Thunder Is Set To Thunder Its Way In To The Android World

Dell will be releasing a series of phones this year. First the Lightning, and now the Dell Thunder. While the Lightning runs on WP7 OS, the Thunder runs on the Android OS. The specifications of the Dell Thunder are similar to thedell-thunder Lightning. The Dell Thunder features a 4.1inch WVGA OLED display (AMOLED or Super AMOLED?), and has a 8MP camera. As of now, no other information about the hardware of the device is available. Looking at the specs, it is very likely that Snapdragon processor will be used on the Dell Thunder as well.

The Thunder will have a custom Dell UI named Stagerunning on top of the Android OS. At the time of its launch, the Thunder will have Android OS v2.1. The leaked document also suggests that the Dell Thunder will feature Flash 10.1 support. There is also a mention of an   “integrated web video Hulu app.” Hopefully, this will be the mobile Hulu application everyone has been waiting for so eagerly. The phone will be sold under the AT&T network, and the HSDPA version.

The phone is expected to be available from around Q4 of this year. The LTE model of this device will also be released at the end of Q4, 2011.

(Source)

Dell Lightning Leaked, All Set To Strike The Mobile World!

Dell is one of the world’s largest PC and laptop manufacturers. Dell has been selling a few low to medium end handsets in the Chinese market. But now it looks like Dell will beDell Lightning striking the whole world with the Dell Lightning. The Dell Lightning is a WP7 based phone and features a 4.1 inch OLED display. It is not known whether the display is an AMOLED or a Super AMOLED. We   hope its the latter, because of its better sunlight legibility.

The CPU is the 1Ghz monster from Qualcomm the Snapdragon. The Lightning has a portrait slider form factor and features a full QWERTY keyboard. The phone has 512MB of RAM and 1Gb of ROM. It also packs in 8gb of internal storage. The device also features a 5MP camera, and can playback DivX files natively.

Flash and Silverlight are also supported by the device. The usual GPS, FM Radio, Accelerometer are all present. The launch date of the device is pegged at Q4, of this year. It is also believed that the device will be getting a hardware upgrade to support LTE networks, in Q4 of 2011.

(Source)

Firmware Update For Nokia 5230 And Nokia X6 Now Available

Another day, another firmware update for two Nokia phones. This time its the Nokia 5230 and the Nokia X6. The Nokia 5230 is a cheap touchscreen, which has a 3.2 inch resistive touchscreen display. The phone also has a 2MP fixed focus cam, 3G and GPS, but lacks Wi-Fi. The new firmware update is numbered v20.0.005nokia_5230-300x287

Here is the change log-:

  • Improved Music Player
  • Added Ovi Sync application,
  • Kinetic Scrolling in Main Menu,
  • Faster GPS Satellite fix,
  • Overall speed of the system and Opening/Closing application speed has also increased.

Nokia also released a new firmware update for the Nokia X6. The Nokia X6 is an out and out music phone from the Finnish handset maker. It is the only phone from Nokia which uses the Capacitive touch display. The firmware update for the Nokia X6 is also numbered v20.0.05. The unofficial change log for the firmware is-:

  • Kinetic scrolling in the menu(s)
  • Faster system performance and smoother UI
  • Web browser version has also been updated to 7.2.
  • QuickOffice and Shazam application version have been updated

Both the phones feature UDP so users can update their device right from their phone, by using FOTA.

Nokia E72 Firmware Update v31.023 Released

It looks like Nokia is on a roll here. Within the last one week, the Finnish handset maker has released new firmware updates for the Nokia E63, E66, N86, E71, 5800 and now Nokia E72. The Nokia E72 is the successor of the hugely popular business phone the Nokia E71. The Nokia E72 features a 600MHz ARM 11 Processor, 128MB RAM, a 5MP camera, and an optical trackpad. The new firmware update for Nokia E72 brings with it a number of bug fixes and stability improvement.

The Nokia E72 features UDP (User Data Preservation), so users can update the firmware of their phone without the risk of losing their data.

Here is the full change log :

New content

* WAPI support for China
* Internet radio
* Smart Connect
* Bloomberg
* Advanced Communications Manager

Updated

* Freestyle email (2.05, BL3, csw.32.rd_email_10w04)
* My Nokia (4.1)
* Nokia Maps SR3
* Share on OVI (4.3)
* Ovi Store (1.5.436)
* Cherry (2.1)
* Browser 7.2

Corrections
Only major corrections listed.
• Stability improvements
o Memory leak corrections to improve general stability
o Music player, radio, video recording, earphone, security software and encryprion stability corrections

• Localisation corrections(MAPS, Calendar, Contacts, Email and Browser area)

• Email improvements
o MFE activation registration correction
o Synchronisation correction to mailbox creation(like Yahoo and Gmail) for the first time
o Email editing correction(doubling of words when deleting suggestions)
o Correction to synchronization when syncing draft meeting request
o Set default setting Sync while roamingto No
o Sending message without password initials crash correction
o Messaging menu memory leak correction

• Calendar
o Meeting request creation stability corrections
o Requiring meeting request corrections
o Meeting request saving correction if meeting request is saved before sending
o Meeting update send after editing request

• Contacts
o Contacts stability improvements (arrow keys pressed rapidly before contacts are loaded, add searched contact to the goup without name, mail box removal, open/close contacts during call, conference call with two same name participants, … )
o Company name displayed in contacts
o Group deleting correction when group is deleted from group edit view
o Contact group editing view corrections
o Contacts search corrections (Group cannot be searched after editing its conference service number, Image detail of marked contact is not displayed in search result, Group disappears when add contact to it in searched result view)

• Home screen
o Missed call indicator removal correction after call has been accomplished form action menu
o Message notifier corrected when several voice messages received

• MAPS
o New maps version included
o Free navigation
o Improved GPS handling
o Landmark corrections(land mark received vie MMS, Landmarks are not displayed when selecting places during planning route from landmarks application)
o Voice guidance corrections (turning directions, safety camera)
o Route planning/saving corrections

• Browser
o Browser bitmap memory leak correction
o Browser closing stability improvement before connection is open
o Secure connection icon corrections ( going to an other secure page, secure connection canceling )
o When moving multiple Bookmarks, the last selected Bookmark is not moved
o Bookmark icon correction

• Other
o Spacebar stops working correction
o Emergency call correction when lock code query is on and call made quickly after power on
o Theme effects disabled by default

UPDATE: Nokia 5800 v50 Firmware Update Released

Nokia has released a new firmware update for its first S60v5 touch phone the Nokia 5800. The Nokia 5800 got a major firmware update at the beginning of this year with firmware version 40. The v40 firmware update for Nokia 5800 brought with it – Kinetic Scrolling throughout the interface except for Icon based menu(s), New updated homescreen, better performance, Ovi Maps 3.3 and better reliability. The v50 firmware update for Nokia 5800 brings Kinetic scrolling in menus, new N97/Mini type music player, more reliability and smoother interface. It was just yesterday that Nokia had released a new firmware update for Nokia N86.

20081003-Nokia5800XpressMusic_3

QuickOffice has also been integrated into the phone with this firmware update. Users who updated their phone to the latest version, also report that the camera quality has marginally improved. A new application called Ovi Sync is also installed by default. Users can update the firmware of the phone using Nokia Software Updater Or via FOTA. The Nokia 5800 features UDP (User Data Preservation) so users can update the firmware via FOTA, without any fear of loosing their data. Even then, users are recommended to create a backup of all their sensitive data before updating the firmware of the phone. As of now, the firmware update is only available in the APAC region.

UPDATE: The new firmware also enables kinetic scrolling in the web browser of the phone. Sadly, the web browser does not have the option to go in full screen mode now. Quite a strange move by Nokia here.

UPDATE 2: The browser automatically goes into full screen mode, just like the web browser on the Nokia N97/Mini. It was not working on my phone for some reason. Started working properly after a hard reset!

Nokia N86 Gets A Firmware Update To v30.009

Nokia just rolled out  a new firmware update for the Nokia N86. The firmware update is numbered v30.009. Nokia N86 is currently the company’s best multimedia handset in its non-touchscreen line-up. The Nokia N86 features a 8MP Carl Zeiss lens with variable aperture for better night photography. The phone is a dual slider, with dedicated music keys and a 3.5mm jack. The phone got the face detection feature after a small firmware update, late last year.

Users can update the firmware either via FOTA (Firmware Over-The-Air) or by using Nokia Software Updater. Since the phone features UDP (User Data Preservation), users can update the firmware without worrying about their data on the phone.

Nokia lists the v30 firmware update as a “Maintenance” release. There is no official changelog available but few changes in the firmware include-:

  • Includes the latest Ovi Maps 3.3 (with free navigation)
  • Includes the sharing of location via Facebook
  • Nokia Messaging improvements and fixes

Users who have upgraded to the latest firmware report that the phone is now more stable and the interface has become more smoother. Personally, I will recommend users to hard reset their device after they update their phone to the latest firmware for optimal performance. The hard reset will also free up significant amount of Phone memory (C:) on the Nokia N86. Keep in mind that doing a hard reset will erase all the data present in the phone including contacts, sms etc. Users should take a backup of their phone, prior to doing a hard reset.


    Rumor: Apple May Use AMD Processors In Its Line-up

    After Apple made the move to x86 processors in 2006, Intel has been their lone CPU supplier. The shift to Intel processors was appreciated by many as it brought faster performance across the whole line-up. Thanks to the shift to the Intel processors, Apple now refreshes its various product line-up every year with better CPUs. But now it seems like Apple is interested in using AMD processors in its products as well. AppleInsider reports that Apple is in serious discussions with various representatives from AMD about adopting their CPUs.

    AppleInsider.com reports that many of the representatives from AMD, have had some serious discussions with some high officials from Apple. Until now, the only possible way to run Mac OS on an AMD processor is Hackintosh. Even though illegal, Hackintosh is quite popular among the modding community. It is believed that Apple is interested in AMD because of their Fusion technology. AMD Fusion technology combines the processor with up to 4 cores and a Dx11 based IGP in a single package. AMD has said that the first AMD Fusion based processors will be launched in 2011.
    The site reports that Apple has even started using AMD processors in its lab. If the talks between AMD and Apple are successful, then we can see Apple using AMD processors in the lower range of its product line-up. The use of Intel processors in Apple’s line-up will be restricted to its higher end product only.


    Dell Streak Series Of Tablet Devices Leaked

    Engadget reports that Dell will soon be announcing the Dell Streak 7 inch and 10 inch tablets. The rumored launch date of the 7 inch Dell Streak is late 2010, while that of the 10 inch one is early 2011. It is possible that the device may initially be launched under the AT&T network. Engadget also reports that Dell’s Aero – the lightest Android handset to be ever announced – will be released in June, this year.

    No other details about Dell’s Streak series of tablet devices are known. When the folks at Engadget contacted Dell regarding the Streak series of tablets, they got a very “insightful” reply :

    “Dell continually develops and tests new products that extend the mobile experience. We have not made any product announcements and do not comment on speculation, rumor or unannounced products.”

    It will be interesting to see whether the Dell Streak series of tablets run on Android OS or Windows 7. As of now, no further information about the specifications of Dell Streak tablets are available. The processor, amount of RAM, and the hard disk capacity, all remain a mystery. Since Android OS now supports the Intel Atom processor, it might very well be possible that the Dell Streak tablets use the new Atom Sandy bridge processors.


    New MacBook Pros Have Updated DisplayPort, Software Update Available For Them As Well

    Just yesterday, Apple released the new MacBook Pros with Core i5 and i7 Processors. Along with the new Macbook Pros, Apple also released a software update for the new Macbook Pros. The MacBook Pro Software Update 1.3 weighs inapple-logo1 at 258Mb. Apple says that update “is recommended for all 15-inch and 17-inch MacBook Pro mid-2010 models and contains improvements for graphics stability for high-performance video and gaming applications as well as various bug fixes.”

    The new 15and 17Macbook Pros feature an Intel Core i5 or a Core i7 CPU. The 13Macbook Pro still uses the Intel Core 2 Duo processor, though the processor now runs at 2.66Ghz. 4Gb of DDR3 RAM is now standard across all the Macbook Pros now. Apple also updated its implementation of the Mini DisplayPort. It can now simultaneously transfer video as well as audio signals. This mean users can now enjoy both audio and video signals when they connect their MacBook Pro to a HDTV using a miniDP to HDMI adapter. Apple sells one such converter from Griffin on their online shop. The 24Apple Cinema LED Display still relies on USB connection for audio signals, even when connected to the newer MacBook Pros.

    Microsoft To Cease Xbox Live Support For Original Xbox Tonight

    Microsoft will be killing the Xbox live service for the original Xbox tonight. Microsoft had launched the original Xbox live service, along with the original Xbox gaming console way back in 2002. Xbox live was the first major successful online gaming service. Obviously, the Xbox 360 will still be supported. Though the games which were supported at the launch of the service in 2002, won’t be supported from now.  This move is definitely a step forward. After the Xbox live service on the original Xbox will be phased out, the 100 friends cap will be removed from the service.

    microsoft

    Support for classic multi-player games like Battlefront 2, Crimson Skies, and the highly popular Halo 2 will be ceased as well. Owners of the original Xbox gaming console can still play games in the offline (single player) mode. Though, they will definitely be missing the fun of playing multi-player games online like Halo 2 etcetera. This move will allow Microsoft to add new features in the Xbox live, which the older Xbox could not support.

    Apple iPad International Launch Date Postponed By A Month

    The Apple iPad has met with astounding success in the U.S. market. Apple claimed that it managed to sold 300,000 iPads on its launch day. When Steve Jobs announced the iPhone OS 4.0, he said that in the first week more than 450,000 iPads were sold. Thanks to the heavy demand in the U.S. market, Apple has decided to push back the international release date of the iPad by a month.apple-logo1

    "Faced with this surprisingly strong U.S. demand, we have made the difficult decision to postpone the international launch of iPad by one month, until the end of May. We will announce international pricing and begin taking online pre-orders on Monday, May 10," said Apple in a press release.

     

    Typical of Apple, the company also boasted about the strong sales of its product in the press release. "We know that many international customers waiting to buy an iPad will be disappointed by this news, but we hope they will be pleased to learn the reason—the iPad is a runaway success in the U.S. thus far." As of now, there is virtually no competition for the iPad. Things will however change soon, with the launch of Meizu’s Mbook and few other Android based tablet devices. HP will also be soon launching its tablet device a.k.a Slate, which will run Windows 7.

    Apple did not comment on the iPads overheating and Wi-Fi connectivity issue, which we had reported earlier.