Sony To Bring Android TVs In Early 2015: Rumor

Sony To Bring Android TVs In Early 2015: Rumor

Google first announced Android TV back in June during the annual I/O event. It was said that a myriad of big ticket manufacturers will be on board to support the new media platform, with the likes of Razer being the first to announce it. A new rumor today is suggesting that Sony could also be one of the companies interested in launching hardware based on the platform, possibly during next month’s CES 2015 event.

 

Something like this would be suited for the CES event as a wide range of manufacturers will be present during the event to show off their latest innovations. Android TV based hardware is currently sold only by Google in the form of the Nexus Player, but the addition of Sony and other manufacturers could mean that the platform will be more accessible to consumers across the globe.

 

We don’t have specific information on what to expect from Sony’s latest offering, but it seems like it will be similar to previous Android TV (known as Google TV) offerings with the hardware integrated into their televisions. It is being said that Sony will offer Android TVs in varying display resolutions, ranging from 4K to 1080p depending on the market. Either way, don’t expect these televisions to go gentle on your wallets.

 

Android TV relies heavily on Google services and offers content through the Play Store, Play Movies, Play Music etc. Given the number of gaming titles available on Google’s app hub, the device can also be used as a gaming console when coupled with a wireless Bluetooth controller. Expect the likes of Samsung and LG to join the Android TV bandwagon sometime soon.

Report: Sony Leak Traced To A Bangkok Hotel

Report: Sony Leak Traced To A Bangkok Hotel

According to Bloomberg, the source of the huge Sony Pictures leak has been traced to a five-star hotel in Thailand’s capital. Leaching off of the St. Regis hotel’s high-speed wi-fi, the hackers, currently believed the work of the North Korea-linked group DarkSeoul, carried out their devastating and embarrassing attack, leaking 47,000 SSNs and other sensitive information.

 

The source, who remains unnamed in Bloomberg’s report, says it’s currently unknown if the hack was carried in a guest room or in a public area. Cybersecurity experts traced the “digital footprints” of the hackers to this location though these same experts are not ruling out the possibility that the leak was carried out remotely and only taking advantage of the hotel’s open network. Starwood Hotels & Resorts owns and operates the specific hotel that was used in the attack but has yet to issue any official statement regarding these claims.

 

Of course, the exact reasons why the attack occurred remains unclear, but it seems to be more a personal grudge than an attempt to make money, according to Bloomberg. Earlier today, North Korea denied allegations that they were involved but called the cyberattack a “righteous deed.” If the these attacks are deemed state-sponsored, it would definitely be a page turner in the big book of cyber warfare.

 

The only people attempting to lighten the mood surrounding these hacks are also the two people at the center of it-namely Seth Rogen and James Franco, staring in the film “The Interview,” which protrays the attempted assassination of Kim Jong-un. The duo appeared on SNL together last night to get “out in the open” all of the embarrassing information that was bound to leak soon.

 

Although these hackers probably have no interest in Rogen and Franco’s nearly nude Christmas cards, it’s still unclear how this crippling leak will impact Sony and cyber security in the future.

Three Reasons Which Make Lumia 730 A Terrific Mid-Range Smartphone

Three Reasons Which Make Lumia 730 A Terrific Mid-Range Smartphone

 

The ?10,000-?20,000 price band is the hottest smartphone segment in India. While the OEMs have the challenge of trading off features and specifications that go in their flagship devices, they have to squeeze in enough value additions than typical budget devices. Consumers, as diverse as college going students to young professionals to senior smartphone adopters, on the other hand, look for unique differentiators that add to the basic platform experience.

 

Lumia 730, one of the latest generation of Windows Phone 8.1 devices, is available for ?15,299 and as I noted in our review few weeks back, it is a solid, affordable smartphone for a diverse audience. The successor to the very popular Nokia Lumia 720, the Lumia 730 fills in those big shoes very nicely, and impresses in the following departments.

 

Display

While camera and hardware specifications usually make for the sales pitch, a gorgeous display impresses right away. The Lumia 730 sports a 4.7-inch OLED screen with 720p resolution and a pixel density of 316ppi. It’s not HD, but the display looks great with vivid colors without any oversaturation. There’s also Gorilla Glass 3 for best in class protection.

 

The viewing angles are pretty solid, and only at extreme angle you’d notice a minor shift in the contrast. Nokia’s ClearBlack technology offers deep blacks and helps minimize reflectivity. The display is very bright, and even at low brightness setting the outdoor performance is great. Sunlight readability on the Lumia 730 is arguably amongst the best.

 

Hardware

The Lumia 730 is powered by a quad-core 1.2 GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 processor with 1GB of RAM. Interestingly, the mid-range Lumia 730 shares the same internals as the more expensive ‘affordable flagship’ Lumia 830.

 

That’s good enough to have a breezy Windows Phone experience, especially since the operating system is definitely lighter on resources. It doesn’t top the charts in benchmark tests against Android smartphones at similar price point, but the real word performance is lag-free and pretty smooth.

 

You might see a few frame drops while playing graphic-intensive games or a few seconds of the loading/resume screen while switching between apps, but it’s not much significant and would work for most non-power users.

 

Camera

While the marketing folks for Lumia 730 prefer to flaunt the front camera, the rear camera on the 730 is pretty good as well. The phone boasts of a 6.7-megapixel rear camera with Carl Zeiss optics and the photos captured are pretty good, easily better than most other smartphones in this price range. It doesn’t match the brilliance of the PureView camera on the Lumia 830 or the Lumia 930 obviously, but the color reproduction is great and the photos are nicely saturated.

 

 

 

Google Is Making A Porn-Proof Search And Other Kid-Friendly Products

Google Is Making A Porn-Proof Search And Other Kid-Friendly Products

 

As much as parents want to protect their kids, it’s damn near impossible today to totally block access to the internet. Google is moving forward with plans to create child-friendly versions of its most popular products to help kids under 12 go online safely.

 

Google’s VP Engineering Pavni Diwanji, who leads the project, talked about the plan today, discussing how her own children were motivators. “I don’t want them to feel like they’re going to the back room to use technology,” Diwanji explained. She didn’t mention a timeline or which specific features would get their ‘Lil Guy Kidz version, beyond showing screenshots of a child-friendly search un-creatively named Safe Search Kids, though it’s likely YouTube and Android will make the cut.

 

We’ll know more as soon as more details are revealed, but I suspect this will be incredibly difficult to implement. According to the children’s online privacy law COPPA, websites and services need to get consent from parents to legally be used by children under 13. Many services, like Facebook and Snapchat, formally do not allow people under the age limit to use their services. But there are tons of 12-and-unders using social media because getting around the age requirement is as easy as taking candy from a baby who is too busy posting to Tumblr to properly guard his lollipop. Kids just put in a different date of birth.

 

The primary way most of these services enforce the rule is by age-gating, a profoundly stupid and ineffectual policy. Google doesn’t even have an age gate though, so F for effort-an actual newborn could search “breastfeeding yum” and see some seriously freaky shit if they had substantially accelerated motor skills and access to the internet.

 

The challenge Google is up against is making services for children that are legitimately more appealing than their normal services in the eyes of children. Otherwise it’ll be hard to force kids to switch, especially when they’re in the 10-12 age range, which is primetime for your first “what is a rim job” Google experience.

A Wallet That Charges Your Phones

A Wallet That Charges Your Phones

 

some smartphones, when it comes to battery, are not so smart. However, in this day and age, you would be a fool to cry about your smartphone’s battery.

 

There are a number of options available to charge your smartphone, even when you are not carrying your charger, and believe it or not, you can use your wallet to charge your smartphone’s battery.

 

The guys at WowThem have come up with Power Wallet, which is a slim, lightweight wallet with a rechargeable 3000mAh battery. It is crafted from Saffiano leather, is durable and scratch-resistant.

 

Along with an integrated charging cable and discreet port for re-charging, Power Wallet comes with a section to keep your notes, four slots for keeping your plastic money, and one compartment dedicated to keeping your coins.

 

Android and Blackberry devices can be charged directly while Apple users would have to buy an adapter for charging their iPhones. It can charge an average smartphone by upto one and a half time.