Verizon catalog reveals Motorola Droid 2, new dumbphones

We knew the original Droid’s replacement was coming, but we were never able to nail down the market name with confidence — until now, it seems. The Droid 2 makes a prominent appearance in an official catalog of Verizon devices leaked to BGR, talking up its 5 megapixel cam, 8GB of onboard storage, and 1GHz processor, positioning it just ever so slightly below the mighty Droid X. Also finding their way into the catalog are the recently-launched Pantech Jest, the self-branded Verizon Salute, and the Intensity II and Gusto both from Samsung, all dumbphones that just add more evidence to the theory that all the good names for mobile devices have already been taken. No date’s given for the Droid 2, but we imagine it can’t be long now that they’re openly talking about it, right?

Verizon catalog reveals Motorola Droid 2, new dumbphones originally appeared on Engadget on Tue, 13 Jul 2010 18:44:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Kondo aims lower down the food chain with cute turtle robot kit (video)

Kondo’s bipedal robots have always filled us with a sense of awe, whether they’re duking it out in the arena or practicing touchscreen moves. However, we’d never quite seen a Kondo bot that we’d classify as cute until this robot turtle came along. The Kame Robotto is apparently the first in the Kondo Animal series, and it’s honestly a pretty simple kit — nine servos, a tiny board and a 10.8V, 300mAh NiMH battery pack , plus software and a simple frame. That said, it’s pretty amazing how tightly these off-the-shelf components come together to create a scuttling, waving little thing, and we dare you to watch the video after the break without feeling the slightest twinge of compassion for the bot. RT Robot Shop wants ¥39,900 (about 0) for the creature, which is reportedly limited to 100 pieces — if you happen to live in Japan, get your preorder (for July 15) in at the source link.

Continue reading Kondo aims lower down the food chain with cute turtle robot kit (video)

Kondo aims lower down the food chain with cute turtle robot kit (video) originally appeared on Engadget on Tue, 13 Jul 2010 18:20:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

Permalink CrunchGear  |  sourceRT Robot Shop (1), RT Robot Shop (2)  | Email this | Comments


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Yes, the iPhone 4 is broken / No, the iPhone 4 is not broken

The controversy over the iPhone 4′s antenna issues continues to grow, particularly after Consumer Reports confirmed yesterday that every iPhone 4 suffers from signal attenuation when the phone is held with the lower left corner covered — a report that we confirmed with results from our own custom signal metering app. At this point, there’s no longer any question in our minds that the iPhone 4′s antenna can be made to lose signal by holding it “wrong” — and we definitely think it’s more than a little silly that simply holding the phone in your left hand has been nicknamed the “death grip.”

That said, however, it’s not at all clear what the real-world effects of the antenna issue actually are for most people — as we’ve repeatedly said, several iPhone 4s owned by the Engadget staff (including our review unit) have never experienced so much as a single dropped call, while others suffer from signal issues that results in lost calls and unresponsive data in a dramatic way. What’s more, at this point Apple’s sold well over two million iPhone 4s, and we simply haven’t heard the sort of outcry from users that we’d normally hear if a product this high-profile and this popular had a showstopping defect. Honestly, it’s puzzling — we know that the phone has an antenna-related problem, but we’re simply not able to say what that issue actually means for everyday users.

So we’re doing what we can do: we’ve collected reports from every member of the Engadget staff who’s using the phone, as well as reached out to a variety of tech industry colleagues for their experiences. As you’ll see, it seems like most of our peers seem to be doing perfectly fine with their iPhone 4s, but the people who are having problems are having maddening issues in an inconsistent way. We’d say it all comes down to the network — particularly in New York City, where AT&T just completed a major upgrade — but even that isn’t a consistent factor in predicting experience. Ultimately, we just won’t know what’s really going on until Apple comes clean and addresses this issue (and the growing PR nightmare it’s become), but for now we can say with some certainty that not everyone is affected, and those that are seem to be in the minority. Read on for the full report.

Continue reading Yes, the iPhone 4 is broken / No, the iPhone 4 is not broken

Yes, the iPhone 4 is broken / No, the iPhone 4 is not broken originally appeared on Engadget on Tue, 13 Jul 2010 17:28:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Intel has its best quarter ever, brings in $2.9b profit

Sure, smartphone and tablets might be the Next Big Thing, but desktop computing ain’t dead yet — just ask Intel, which just reported its best-ever quarter with a .9b profit on .8b in revenue. That’s an increase of 5m in profit from last quarter and a whopping .3b from last year, all driven by record laptop and server chip revenue, as well as a 16 percent increase in Atom revenue. What’s more, the average sale price of all those chips went up, and selling more chips at a higher price is always good for business. Intel’s got a call to discuss these numbers in depth at 5:30PM ET, we’ll let you know if we hear anything good.

Intel has its best quarter ever, brings in .9b profit originally appeared on Engadget on Tue, 13 Jul 2010 16:31:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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GPS parachutes delivering blood to front lines in the coming years

GPS-guided parachutes are nothing new — in fact, we’re guessing that a few are being dropped somewhere in this wide world right now — but a new deal between the Armed Services Blood Program and US Joint Forces Command will allow these devices to start saving even more lives in 2011. As the story goes, a cadre of air-dropped ‘chutes will be sent to the front lines of the battlefield in order to deliver vital blood to medics. For those unaware, blood loss is a major cause of death in war, and by skipping over the lengthy process that’s currently in place for delivery, the powers that be feel that more soldiers can be saved. Reportedly, the JPADS system “is a family of guided parachutes that can carry payloads ranging from about 150 to 60,000 pounds,” and at a predetermined altitude, a “parafoil deploys and a GPS-device steers supplies to an exact target.” The new system, however, will rely on ultralight versions of the aforesaid JPADS in order to sneak into locations that were previously thought impossible to penetrate. ‘Course, all of this will be a moot point once the robot armies rise to power and start pulverizing each other with scrap metal, but hey…

GPS parachutes delivering blood to front lines in the coming years originally appeared on Engadget on Tue, 13 Jul 2010 16:08:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

Permalink DailyTech  |  sourceMilitary Blood, Marine Corps Times  | Email this | Comments


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Nexus One now a step closer to FM radio support, thanks to modified kernel

As you may or may not be already aware, the Nexus One and HTC Desire have the same Broadcom chip. Seems trivial at cursory glance until you realize the Desire has a FM radio app, which should ergo be just as feasible on the Google-branded device. Cut to xda-developers’ intersectRaven, who’s released a custom N1 kernel that theoretically brings life to the FM receptor. It’s available to download, but as for when you’ll get a chance to really use this yourself, that’s entirely up to the custom ROM developers updating their respective wares. For his part, Paul O’Brien said today he’s already got it working on an upcoming Froyo Sense build for the device — hang tight, folks, it’s coming.

[Thanks, John]

Nexus One now a step closer to FM radio support, thanks to modified kernel originally appeared on Engadget on Tue, 13 Jul 2010 15:41:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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South Korea enlists armed sentry robots to patrol DMZ

South Korea has been working on deploying armed sentry robots along the border with North Korea since at least as far back as 2006, and it looks like it’s still keeping at it. While complete details are a bit light, they country apparently put a pair of new sentry robots in place in the Demilitarized Zone last month, which pack both a machine gun and a grenade launcher to ward off intruders. Those would of course be controlled by humans, but the robots apparently use heat and motion sensors to do all the monitoring on their own, and simply alert a command center if they spots a trespasser. Of course, they are still just in the testing phase, and the military says it’s waiting to see how things work out before it begins a more widespread deployment.

South Korea enlists armed sentry robots to patrol DMZ originally appeared on Engadget on Tue, 13 Jul 2010 14:49:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Tec Hideoto portable cassette player time-travels from 1994, gets USB audio for its trouble

Of all the USB tape players we’ve seen in our day, this is certainly one of them! Available from a Japanese company called Tec, Hideoto is a Walkman-esque portable cassette player that features USB and stereo headphone outputs, powered by either the aforementioned Universal Serial Bus or two AA batteries. It also comes with Cassette Mate software for Windows, which presumably makes saving your audio to MP3, WAV, or WMA a figurative snap. Available next month in Japan for roughly , at which point we expect to see these pop up at our favorite import e-tailers here in the states. Get a closer look after the break.

Continue reading Tec Hideoto portable cassette player time-travels from 1994, gets USB audio for its trouble

Tec Hideoto portable cassette player time-travels from 1994, gets USB audio for its trouble originally appeared on Engadget on Tue, 13 Jul 2010 14:06:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

Permalink CrunchGear  |  sourceAV Watch  | Email this | Comments


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Velocity Micro shows off $199 Cruz Reader

We haven’t heard much about Velocity Micro’s Android-based Cruz Reader since it sort of came out of nowhere back in April, but it’s now finally nearing a release (sometime in August), and the company is starting to show it off a bit more. As expected, the Cruz Reader is just one of a series of tablets from the company and, despite the “reader” moniker, is actually more of a full-fledged Android tablet, complete with support for apps, games, web browsing, and other tablet-like activities. Velocity Micro is playing up the reader angle though, and has announced a partnership with Borders and Kobo to deliver ebooks to the device. Somewhat confusingly, however, it will be joined later in August by the 9 Cruz Tablet, which opts for a 16:9 capacitive display, adds 4GB of internal storage and an 8GB SD card, and Flash support, which the Reader apparently doesn’t have (we’re not quite sure what that means OS-wise). Rounding out the initial group is the kid-friendly Cruz StoryPad, which boasts a spill-resistant case and will run 9. Head on past the break for a look at the Cruz Reader on video, and the complete press release.

Continue reading Velocity Micro shows off 9 Cruz Reader

Velocity Micro shows off 9 Cruz Reader originally appeared on Engadget on Tue, 13 Jul 2010 13:43:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Apple deleting mentions of Consumer Reports’ iPhone 4 piece on forums, can’t delete your thoughts

…or can they? In case Apple has somehow managed to perfect the art of selective disremembrance across a wide population, here’s a refresher: Consumer Reports has thrown down the gauntlet, stating that it “can’t recommend” the iPhone 4 until the antenna issues are fixed, issues that its labs and ours have verified quite substantially. Apple apparently isn’t happy about that, and has taken to deleting threads about the Consumer Reports article from its support forums. Now, Apple deleting threads from its support forums is nothing new; outside of “regular” moderation, the company routinely deletes discussion of hardware flaws that it’s not ready to ‘fess up to, or just generally negative lines of thought about its products. Good thing the internet’s a big place, and if Apple’s not going to admit the antenna issue, there are plenty of ways to gripe about it. Feel free to express yourself in the comments below, for instance!

Apple deleting mentions of Consumer Reports’ iPhone 4 piece on forums, can’t delete your thoughts originally appeared on Engadget on Mon, 12 Jul 2010 20:34:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Britain’s Ministry of Defence unveils unmanned Taranis combat aircraft

Well, it looks like Boeing’s unmanned Phantom Ray stealth aircraft just got a bit of company courtesy of Britain’s Ministry of Defence. It’s now unveiled the BAE-built Taranis, which is not just an unmanned aircraft, but an unmanned combat aircraft that promises to be capable of penetrating enemy territory — as opposed to something like a Predator drone that’s only suitable for use if the airspace is under control. As you might expect, complete details on the aircraft are still being kept under wraps, but the MoD says there’s “more than a million man hours” behind it, and that its first flight trials will begin early next year. And, no, “unmanned” doesn’t mean autonomous — the MoD is quick to point out that, “should such systems enter into service, they will at all times be under the control of highly trained military crews on the ground.”

[Thanks, Rob]

Britain’s Ministry of Defence unveils unmanned Taranis combat aircraft originally appeared on Engadget on Mon, 12 Jul 2010 18:22:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

Permalink BBC News  |  sourceMinistry of Defence, BAE  | Email this | Comments


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BlackBerry Protect protects (you guessed it) your BlackBerry

You might expect a product with as much enterprise street cred as BlackBerry to offer the best lineup of options for dealing with a lost or stolen phone, but not quite — devices in a controlled BES environment can be wiped from afar, but for non-enterprise consumers, the options are a little more limited. That’s where RIM’s new BlackBerry Protect software comes into play, combining a host of services into one product; on top of being able to remotely message, lock, and wipe a misplaced phone, you can locate it on a map and take regularly-scheduled wireless backups that make replacing the handset (if it comes to that) as painless as possible. It’s going into an invite-only beta period later this week, after which it’ll move to a wider-scale public beta “later this year” at no charge. Considering that MobileMe’s similarly-styled features do less than this for 0 annually, the word “free” has an especially sweet ring to it, doesn’t it?

BlackBerry Protect protects (you guessed it) your BlackBerry originally appeared on Engadget on Mon, 12 Jul 2010 17:37:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Toshiba Portege R705 review

Stuck on the Toshiba Portege R705′s magnesium alloy palmrest is a shiny sticker celebrating the company’s 25 years of “laptop innovation.” Now, we’re the first to hate on the plethora of decals that festoon Windows laptops these days — and this one also deserves to be peeled off and tossed into the garbage — but the sticker actually happens to speaks volumes about why the 0 R705 is such a big deal. We promise to keep the history lesson short, but for years the Portege series has been Toshiba’s top-of-the-line ultraportable brand, featuring the latest CPUs while usually setting the standard for portability, and always been attached to seriously hefty price tags. Take the Portege R500, which was the worlds lightest laptop in 2007, and cost two grand.

The Portege R705, which is exclusive to Best Buy for now, changes that formula. And in celebration of the big two-five, Toshiba’s put out a 3.2-pound, Core i3-powered stunner that’s less than half the price of past Porteges. Oh, and did we mention it has an on-board optical drive, 500GB of storage, Intel’s wireless display technology and promises 8.5 hours of battery life? We won’t beat around the bush — it’s impressive. But did Toshiba maintain the same Portege standards when creating the R705, or did it cut quality along with the dollar signs? That’s been our main question, and we’ll answer it and others after the break in our full review.

Continue reading Toshiba Portege R705 review

Toshiba Portege R705 review originally appeared on Engadget on Mon, 12 Jul 2010 17:06:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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SlingPlayer Mobile for Android review

The World Cup may have just ended, but whether you’re into football or not, there must have been a point over the last five weeks where you or someone you know moaned about missing a live goal. This is where SlingBox comes in — in case you didn’t know already, it’s a little networked box that piggybacks on your set-top box’s AV and IR ports, thus stuffing your TV experience into your computer or cellphone via WiFi or even 3G. Windows Mobile, Palm OS, Symbian, BlackBerry and iOS have been mingling with the SlingPlayer Mobile app for some time now, and for the same .99 tag, Android users can now also join the party. But is the app worth the money? Does it get on with our green bot? Read on to find out.

Continue reading SlingPlayer Mobile for Android review

SlingPlayer Mobile for Android review originally appeared on Engadget on Mon, 12 Jul 2010 16:28:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Microsoft’s Windows Phone Developer Tools package goes to beta

Early versions of the tools Windows Phone 7 developers will use to craft their wares have been floating around since Microsoft’s MIX event in March, but it looks like things have finally gotten robust and feature-complete enough this week to bless the kit with a beta label. In fact, Microsoft is coming out and saying that this release “represents the near final version,” which we take to mean you can develop with some confidence that your world won’t be turned upside down when the time comes to prep your apps for shipping devices and firmwares. The actual API has been tweaked and Expression Blend is now fully integrated with the tools, though there are apparently still a few controls that aren’t ready for primetime and will be added over the coming weeks. Oh, and if no emulator is enough to satisfy your intense cravings, you might be excited to learn that more developer devices are slated to ship next week — so keep an eye on your mailbox and your porch if you signed up to get one.

Microsoft’s Windows Phone Developer Tools package goes to beta originally appeared on Engadget on Mon, 12 Jul 2010 15:57:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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