Bodykit BodyBag Review

Front of Bodykit "BodyBag" Some folks are “shoe” folks, some ladies are “purse” folks and many people who read this site are “bag folks”.  They love bags to carry gadgets in!  A company out of the UK called Bodykit is bringing some pretty unusual designs to the market.  Don’t think camping and back-packing with these.  [...]

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Chocomize personalized chocolate: giveaway and discount code

chocomize

Okay, I know what you’re thinking: chocolate on Download Squad? That’s right! That’s because Chocomize is one of the nerdiest ways to get chocolate online: it’s a website where you customize your own bar using a multi-step process.

We’ve covered Chocomize before in our holiday gift guide, so when they reached out to us offering to do a giveaway, we really couldn’t resist.

Chocomize is giving away ten gift certificates, each worth $50, for you to create your own customized chocolate. They sent us some pictures of their recent creations, which you can find in the gallery below.

Regardless of the giveaway, you can use the discount code switched to get 10% off any Chocomize order. The code is valid through April 20th – just in time for Easter!

To participate, simply leave a comment. Fine print is after the jump.

Continue reading Chocomize personalized chocolate: giveaway and discount code

Chocomize personalized chocolate: giveaway and discount code originally appeared on Download Squad on Wed, 06 Apr 2011 09:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Dolphin Browser for iPhone: Gesture-Based Web Browsing and More [IPhone Apps]

Safari on the iPhone is as good as it gets for mobile browsing. But it’s missing the deeper features, like true tabbed browsing, a full screen mode and a slew of other settings. Dolphin Browser adds all that. More »


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British royal family announces iOS and Android wedding app

William and KateTo celebrate the imminent marriage of Prince William and Kate Middleton, the Royal Collection will release an Android an iOS app that chronicles the last seven royal marriages, including Queen Victoria’s marriage to Prince Albert in 1840.

Ironically, the app won’t actually feature anything to do with William and Kate’s marriage — rather, it will focus on the “tradition, splendor and romance” that are intrinsic to British royal marriages. “[The app] will share the stories of past royal weddings and offer a wealth of historical context for the ceremony on April 29.”

Unfortunately, the app, which has been lumbered with the fantastically creative name of ‘Royal App,’ won’t be available until April 18 — just 11 days before Kate’s big day. It won’t be free, either: it’ll cost the rather princely sum of £1.79, or three of your Tea Party-loving dollars. The money will go to the Royal Collection, though, which is a good cause!

British royal family announces iOS and Android wedding app originally appeared on Download Squad on Tue, 05 Apr 2011 11:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Samsung Galaxy S II, Photon Blur [From the Forums]

From the Forums

Wow.. A Samsung Galaxy S II explosion just happened right before our eyes. If you missed it, you can catch up on the blogs post but for sure, hit up the Android Central forums as well for more discussion.

If you’re not already a member of the Android Central forums, you can register your account today.


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Help Us Celebrate TC Gadgets And Mobile At Our First San Francisco Meet-Up On 9/15

tc-meetup2011-09-lgSan Franciscans, start your thrusters. On September 15 at 6:30pm TechCrunch Mobile and Gadgets will host our first meet-up at Roe @ 651 Howard St. in sunny SF. Sponsored by Samsung, this meet-up will be the first chance for our readers to get ahold of some of Samsung’s latest products including the just-announced Galaxy S II. It is an event not to be missed. We’ll have some finger food, a little dancing, maybe some networking and (sadly, as this is an approximately all ages show) a cash bar an open bar. We invite you to meet the entire TCG/M team and chill with some of Samsung’s newest gear.

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Steve Jobs’ Exit: The Day the Magic Died

It is amazing to me the number of people I know who are basically saying Steve Jobs (some wonderful quotes from him here) leaving Apple will not change Apple. Most saw what Apple was like with Jobs, have seen that no similar company has been able to repeat what Apple has done over the last decade, and have seen both Microsoft after Gates and Disney after Walt. They even saw what happened to Dell during the short time Michael stepped down.

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Daily Deal: Case-Mate Tough Case for AT&T iPhone 4 in pink, yellow, green for only $7.95!

For today only, the TiPb Store has the Case-Mate Tough Case for AT&T iPhone 4 in pink, yellow, or green on sale for only $7.95!. That’s maximum protection meets maximum color… Now get them before they’re gone! Shop Case-Mate Tough Case for AT&T iPhone 4 now!

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Google holds back on open-sourcing Honeycomb, heralds massive shift for Android

Android Honeycomb

Google, in an interesting but not entirely unexpected twist, will not be open-sourcing Android 3.0 Honeycomb for the foreseeable future.

Historically, Android is usually open-sourced via the Android Open Source Project (AOSP) a few days or weeks after the code is finalized. While this departure from the norm won’t affect OEMs like HTC and Motorola that have access to internal builds of Android, small-time developers will likely have to wait months before rolling their own distributions.

As to why Google is holding back Honeycomb, its reasons are actually rather rational. Honeycomb, while originally intended to run on all mobile form factors, is only ready for deployment on tablets. “To make our schedule to ship the tablet, we made some design tradeoffs,” says Andy Rubin, the head of Google’s Android group. “We didn’t want to think about what it would take for the same software to run on phones. It would have required a lot of additional resources and extended our schedule beyond what we thought was reasonable. So we took a shortcut.”

In other words, Google wants to prevent OEMs and homebrew developers like Cyanogen from rolling their own smartphone versions of Honeycomb — it doesn’t want to see the same bitter-tasting tabletified bastardization that occurred with Android 2.1 and 2.2 last year.

Continue reading Google holds back on open-sourcing Honeycomb, heralds massive shift for Android

Google holds back on open-sourcing Honeycomb, heralds massive shift for Android originally appeared on Download Squad on Fri, 25 Mar 2011 07:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Mozilla publishes name and shame list of slow Firefox add-ons, cracks down on tardy devs

Firefox slow-addons list

Mozilla, continuing its year-long crusade to speed up Firefox startup and shutdown times, has published a name and shame list of the Firefox’s slowest add-ons.

The list is just one part of Mozilla’s new efforts to highlight slow add-ons, and to help developers make their add-ons more efficient. Over the next two weeks, ‘slow performance warnings’ will be introduced in the add-on gallery so that users can see, before installation, which add-ons will slow down their browser. If that isn’t enough to spur developers into cleaning up their add-ons, Mozilla has also begun reaching out to developers of slow add-ons with tips on how to improve add-on performance. Finally, add-on developers will soon have the ability to perform ‘on-demand performance testing,’ so that they can test their add-on before it’s deployed publicly.

Mozilla reports that the average Firefox add-on slows down Firefox’s start-up time by 10% — which means, if you install 10 add-ons, you will double your start-up time. On fast desktop PCs that kind of slowdown might be negligible, but on older computers, laptops and smartphones, it could be the difference between a 5 and 10 second startup. Mozilla has obviously realized that while massive performance gains might’ve been made with Firefox 4, the addition of third-party add-ons can destroy any user-perceived improvements.

In other news, Mozilla says that a future build of Firefox will block the installation of add-ons (such as toolbars) by third-party software. Add-ons and toolbars that are bundled in this way will require explicit approval when you next open up Firefox. Hooray!

Mozilla publishes name and shame list of slow Firefox add-ons, cracks down on tardy devs originally appeared on Download Squad on Mon, 04 Apr 2011 05:15:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Klipsch intros Image S4A in-ears, lets Android users feel the in-line remote love

There’s no question Klipsch’s S4 in-ear headphone line has some of the best to be had for under $100, yet aside from its iPhone-compatible S4i variant, mobile phone users wanting an in-line remote’s benefits were outta luck. Well, it looks like times are a-changin’ as an Android-oriented version of the noise-isolating buds, appropriately dubbed S4A, has popped up for pre-order on Klipsch’s site. The remote’s compatible down to Android 2.1 and appears to be slightly tweaked from the S4i with less buttons, but the specs say it’ll work for phone calls, music control and volume adjustment. To make this cake’s icing even richer, a Klipsch Control App will also allow for “customized functionality.” They’re priced at a cool Benjamin with no word on a ship date just yet, but you’ll find some robot-clad closeups in the gallery below.

[Thanks, Bjorn and Jason]

Klipsch intros Image S4A in-ears, lets Android users feel the in-line remote love originally appeared on Engadget on Tue, 30 Aug 2011 00:39:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Instamap for iPad: A Slick Instagram App for your iPad [IPad Apps]

Instagram is so exclusive! Elitist, even. But it’s also a terribly clever way to actually see what your friends are up to. One problem though: there’s no official iPad app. Instamap gets you Instagram on your iPad and adds a super clever location-aware feature. More »


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How Walter Potter Made Dead Bunnies Look Like School Children [Video]

Calling Walter Potter obsessed with taxidermy would be a bit of an understatement. Potter, who lived from 1835 to 1918, created incredible anthropomorphic scenes of squirrels playing cards, kittens playing croquet, bunnies attending elementary school, and even bird funerals (not kidding), and eight-legged kittens with two tails. More »


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Olympus PEN E-PL3 Micro Four Thirds camera review

Look, the Olympus PEN E-PL3 is cute. Adorable, even. In fact, those swayed by looks alone may be sold after whisking through our hands-on gallery below. But for those interested in more than a highly-capable fashion accessory, it’s worth taking a deeper look into the latest member of the PEN Lite family. We’d strongly recommend reading over our PEN E-P3 review before continuing on, as a lot of what we found true there also applies here. ‘Course, that’s not at all unexpected given the wealth of shared resources: a new 12.3-megapixel Live MOS Image Sensor, TruePic VI Image Processor, an ISO range peaking at 12,800, a reengineered autofocus system, full 1080i HD video with Dolby Digital sound recording, newly designed user interfaces and a variety of Art Filters / built-in creative features. Now that you’re in the know, let’s continue.

Continue reading Olympus PEN E-PL3 Micro Four Thirds camera review

Olympus PEN E-PL3 Micro Four Thirds camera review originally appeared on Engadget on Mon, 29 Aug 2011 18:00:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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A Photographer Thinks He Can Solve the Mystery of the Lost Leonardo da Vinci Painting with a Picture [Art]

“The Battle of Anghiari” is a Leonardo da Vinci painting that many in his era called the Renaissance Man’s finest work. The problem is that it’s been lost since the 1500′s. Many people, however, believe it’s hidden behind a brick wall and a photographer thinks he can snap a picture of the work—through the brick wall—to prove it. More »


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CrunchGear Week In Review: Independent Edition

Here are some stories from the past week on CrunchGear: Weekend Giveaway: Toshiba 47-inch TL515 Series 3D LED TV Starbucks Merges Their Two iOS Apps, Lets You Gift Your Friends Coffee From Your Phone Warn Friends And Foes With These Nine Aperture Science Test Chamber Labels SocialBicycles Bike Sharing Is Now A Kickstarter Project Ricoh [...]

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Google Chrome and Chromium add protection against malicious downloads

google chrome malicious download

Google Chrome already sports a number of security-minded features, from Incognito mode to a software sandbox which makes exploiting the browser a Herculean task. Now, Google has announced additional protection for Chromium and Chrome users.

Built upon the Safe Browsing API, the new feature introduces protection against malicious downloads. If a download link appears in the Safe Browsing blacklist, Chrome and Chromium will warn users against downloading — a save button is still presented, of course, in case you’re convinced a file is perfectly safe to download.

We’d like to see something a bit more eye-catching than the red warning icon — like perhaps painting the entire bar red. Many of the people a feature like this aims to protect probably won’t notice the icon or change in wording as they’ll be focused on clicking the save button.

Google is initially making download protection available to Chrome dev channel users, and you’ll likely see it in Canary and Chromium snapshot builds as well. After thorough testing, beta and stable users will be next in line.

Google Chrome and Chromium add protection against malicious downloads originally appeared on Download Squad on Tue, 05 Apr 2011 15:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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iPad Art ? The Most Artistic iPad Apps

In these days of modernization and technological forwardness, the iPad is becoming more and more popular not just to the techies but also the artistic bunch; hence the number of iPad art apps. You will be surprised as to how an iPad can turn into a canvas for painters. The app Brushes allows you to create finger painted artwork. It was first developed for the iPhone and later on was introduced for the iPad. This takes advantage of the larger [...]

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Google Chrome and Chromium add protection against malicious downloads

google chrome malicious download

Google Chrome already sports a number of security-minded features, from Incognito mode to a software sandbox which makes exploiting the browser a Herculean task. Now, Google has announced additional protection for Chromium and Chrome users.

Built upon the Safe Browsing API, the new feature introduces protection against malicious downloads. If a download link appears in the Safe Browsing blacklist, Chrome and Chromium will warn users against downloading — a save button is still presented, of course, in case you’re convinced a file is perfectly safe to download.

We’d like to see something a bit more eye-catching than the red warning icon — like perhaps painting the entire bar red. Many of the people a feature like this aims to protect probably won’t notice the icon or change in wording as they’ll be focused on clicking the save button.

Google is initially making download protection available to Chrome dev channel users, and you’ll likely see it in Canary and Chromium snapshot builds as well. After thorough testing, beta and stable users will be next in line.

Google Chrome and Chromium add protection against malicious downloads originally appeared on Download Squad on Tue, 05 Apr 2011 15:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Evoluce Win&I brings Kinect gesture controls to Windows 7

evoluce win&i windows 7 gesture control kinect
We’ve been looking at some pretty cool Kinect and Windows interactions for a while now, but we were hoping that the release of an official SDK would lead to even more coolness. Evoluce has stepped up, and is now offering Win&I — a full-featured gesture control system for Windows 7.

The company claims that a range of up to four meters is supported, which should be perfect for just about any home theater setting. In the video embedded after the break, you can see an Evoluce demonstrator flip through a photo album, pan through a map, rearrange application windows, browse the Web, and control media playback. Two versions of Win&I are offered — the home version goes for about 20 Euros, the business version for 40.

Anyone else having fun pretending his stance is a little “Iron Man”? We’re tempted to put a repulsor on that hand.

Continue reading Evoluce Win&I brings Kinect gesture controls to Windows 7

Evoluce Win&I brings Kinect gesture controls to Windows 7 originally appeared on Download Squad on Fri, 01 Apr 2011 12:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Here’s Why You Shouldn’t Make Phone Calls During the Hurricane [Irene]

Want to know why cell networks got clogged and choked during the earthquake? A one minute phone call is 460,800% larger than a single text. So with our next natural disaster this week, use SMS. For everyone’s sake. More »


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Unredacted Wikileaks Cables Found Online? Probably, Depressingly

blood

“The creatures outside looked from pig to man, and from man to pig, and from pig to man again; but already it was impossible to say which was which.”George Orwell, Animal Farm

Leck bei Wikileaks“. The headline in German-language news weekly, Der Freitag, described the irony with Teutonic efficiency: “Leak at Wikileaks“. In the story, published on Friday, editor Steffen Kraft claims to have found online a “password protected csv file” containing a 1.73GB cache of entirely unredacted diplomatic cables, originating from Wikileaks. According to Kraft, the password for the file is also easy to locate. The same day, Wikileaks dumped a large number of cables online and asked its followers to help sift through them. Copies of the files have been in the possession of news organizations like the Guardian, the New York Times and Reuters for months, but this is the first time the documents had been made available to the public. The release came, says chief leaker Julian Assange, because the media has lost interest in the diplomatic revelations as yet unreported. (A cynic might infer that Assange — who remains under house arrest in the UK pending extradition on sexual assault charges — is worried that the media has lost interest in him too.) But the document found by Der Freitag are not the official Wikileaks files, which have been partly redacted to remove the names of vulnerable sources. Rather it contained thousands of unredacted pages, with ‘named or otherwise identifiable “informers” and “suspected intelligence agents,” from Israel, Jordan, Iran and Afghanistan.’

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Windows 8 now available to OEMs via Microsoft Connect

windows 8Select Microsoft Connect partners — major players like HP — have been given their first taste of Windows 8. According to various sources, the build string currently sits at 7971.0.110324-1900, which is the third milestone build of the successor to Windows 7.

So far, there haven’t been many details revealed about Windows 8. An actual System Restore — which is being referred to as History Vault — has been reported, and the feature will allow users and administrators to completely roll back a system to a previous state. A factory reset option is also said to be included.

We’ve also seen Windows Live integration taking shape on the desktop. It’s believed that you’ll be able to log in to Windows 8 using your Windows Live credentials, not just a traditional offline Windows username and password.

All that’s left now is for a leaked Windows 8 build to show up on a torrent site. Feel free to tip us if you see that happen.

Windows 8 now available to OEMs via Microsoft Connect originally appeared on Download Squad on Thu, 31 Mar 2011 08:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Steve Jobs Resigns as CEO of Apple

I just popped open my Macbook Air to check email and RSS feeds and the first item that caught my eye was a shocker (at least to finally see it in text)… It’s been announced that Steve Jobs has resigned as CEO of Apple. After stock market trading ended this afternoon, Steve sent out a [...]

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Evernote Web gets a new interface, Facebook sharing, and more

evernote web

Evernote, the popular multi-platform ‘digital memory’ app, has done some serious re-tooling of its Web interface. In addition to a more polished UI that more closely mirrors the look of Evernote on the desktop, the update brings features like notebook stacks and snippet view to the Web.

Auto-saving is now enabled as well, and you can select multiple items by holding down the Cmd or Ctrl key on your Mac or Windows keyboard. If you’ve got items stored in your notebooks that you want to share with friends or co-workers, Evernote has improved that process, too. You can quickly post an item to Facebook, share it via email, or generate a Web sharing link to paste into an IM conversation or status update.

Head over to the Evernote Web login page to try out the new interface.

Evernote Web gets a new interface, Facebook sharing, and more originally appeared on Download Squad on Tue, 29 Mar 2011 10:50:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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VMware adds Mozy to its cloud and virtualization empire

mozy vmware

Mozy is one of the most popular cloud backup services around, with more than one million users storing around 70 petabytes of data. Its popularity apparently put it on the acquisition radar of VMware — which has now made Mozy part of its virtualization empire.

VMware’s official blog post makes it clear that the company wasn’t so much interested in Mozy as a consumer offering. Rather, it’s the inner workings of Mozy which piqued VMware’s curiosity. CTO Steve Herrod says, “Over the past 5 years, Mozy has built one of the best examples of a globally distributed, large-scale cloud offering.” He adds that the move will allow VMware to “further ramp our own cloud-related learning and accelerate new IP, scale, and capabilities” of its existing offerings.

Existing Mozy customers don’t need to worry, of course. VMware has pledged to continue running Mozy’s service without interruption.

VMware adds Mozy to its cloud and virtualization empire originally appeared on Download Squad on Tue, 05 Apr 2011 11:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Facebook launches unified mobile site, announces 250 million mobile users

Facebook has announced that its two mobile sites — m.facebook.com and touch.facebook.com — have been unified, bringing a simpler mobile experience to Facebook users. And there are a lot of those — a quarter billion, according to Facebook.

Smartphone users won’t be losing any functionality because of the consolidation. If your phone supported the enhacned features offered by touch.facebook.com, the new site will automatically flip the switch when you visit.

Rolling the sites together helps simplify things for Facebook’s developer team. Now changes can be pushed to a single site instead of two separate sites, which makes it easier to ensure that all mobile users receive a nearly identical experience regardless of the device they’re using.

The new Facebook mobile can also check to see if your phone supports geolocation. If it doesn’t, you won’t be seeing much of Facebook Places — which obviously relies heavily on geolocation. Images can also be optimized on the fly to keep page performance from suffering on less powerful devices. You can see the three different versions of the share button below, courtesy our friends at TechCrunch.

Facebook launches unified mobile site, announces 250 million mobile users originally appeared on Download Squad on Fri, 01 Apr 2011 10:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Mozilla publishes name and shame list of slow Firefox add-ons, cracks down on tardy devs

Firefox slow-addons list

Mozilla, continuing its year-long crusade to speed up Firefox startup and shutdown times, has published a name and shame list of the Firefox’s slowest add-ons.

The list is just one part of Mozilla’s new efforts to highlight slow add-ons, and to help developers make their add-ons more efficient. Over the next two weeks, ‘slow performance warnings’ will be introduced in the add-on gallery so that users can see, before installation, which add-ons will slow down their browser. If that isn’t enough to spur developers into cleaning up their add-ons, Mozilla has also begun reaching out to developers of slow add-ons with tips on how to improve add-on performance. Finally, add-on developers will soon have the ability to perform ‘on-demand performance testing,’ so that they can test their add-on before it’s deployed publicly.

Mozilla reports that the average Firefox add-on slows down Firefox’s start-up time by 10% — which means, if you install 10 add-ons, you will double your start-up time. On fast desktop PCs that kind of slowdown might be negligible, but on older computers, laptops and smartphones, it could be the difference between a 5 and 10 second startup. Mozilla has obviously realized that while massive performance gains might’ve been made with Firefox 4, the addition of third-party add-ons can destroy any user-perceived improvements.

In other news, Mozilla says that a future build of Firefox will block the installation of add-ons (such as toolbars) by third-party software. Add-ons and toolbars that are bundled in this way will require explicit approval when you next open up Firefox. Hooray!

Mozilla publishes name and shame list of slow Firefox add-ons, cracks down on tardy devs originally appeared on Download Squad on Mon, 04 Apr 2011 05:15:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Samsung pushes Galaxy S II launch back a day due to Hurricane Irene

It looks like you’ll have to wait an extra day to learn what you already know: the Galaxy S II — aka, the Attain, Hercules and Epic 4G Touch — is about to launch on AT&T, T-Mobile and Sprint. Samsung’s pushed Monday’s New York press event back a day due to that little east coast storm you may have read something about. Fortunately, these handsets haven’t exactly kept a low profile, so we weren’t expecting too many surprises anyway. We’ll be there covering it live, but in the meantime, stay safe and if you’re a Verizon customer, you might want to find a dry place to continue your seething.

Samsung pushes Galaxy S II launch back a day due to Hurricane Irene originally appeared on Engadget on Sat, 27 Aug 2011 20:26:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Droid Bionic gets a silent walkthrough (video)

Sure, there’s no sword-wielding lady in a leather blouse, but this silent hands-on walkthrough will no doubt prove exciting in its own right for anyone who has been aching to get their hands on the forthcoming Droid Bionic. It’s four minutes and change of scrolling through the Verizon phone’s fancy animations, with a speed test thrown in for good measure. Overall, there’s nothing too earthshaking, but it’s one of the most in-depth walkthroughs we’ve seen of the anticipated and long-delayed device in its current form, adding to that start up video we spotted the other day — and unlike those Verizon ads, it actually has a phone in it.

Continue reading Droid Bionic gets a silent walkthrough (video)

Droid Bionic gets a silent walkthrough (video) originally appeared on Engadget on Fri, 26 Aug 2011 15:01:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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LG unveils S430, S530 Aurora laptops for people who like muted hues

LG has added two new stars to its constellation of Aurora laptops, with the LG S430 and LG S530. Both models are powered by an Intel Core i5 processor, with the S430 boasting a 14-inch, 1366 x 768 HD LCD and the S530 rocking a slightly larger, 15.6-inch display, available in either HD or HD+ (1600 x 900) resolution. Both also feature 8GB of DDR3 memory and up to 750GB of HDD space (5400 RPM), along with your standard WiFi 802.11 b/g/n, Bluetooth 3.0 and USB 2.0 connectivity. Perhaps most notable, however, is their sleek, metallic veneer and crystalline, scratch-free finish, available in both purple and blue. Pricing remains a mystery, but the pair should be available in Africa, Asia and the Middle East by early next month, before making their way to Europe and the US shortly thereafter. Details galore await you after the break, in the full PR.

Continue reading LG unveils S430, S530 Aurora laptops for people who like muted hues

LG unveils S430, S530 Aurora laptops for people who like muted hues originally appeared on Engadget on Fri, 26 Aug 2011 11:11:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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NATIONAL SEMICONDUCTOR NATIONAL INSTRUMENTS MOTOROLA MOODYS MISCROSOFT OFFICE

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Get Prepared for Hurricane Irene with the FEMA App for Android [Android Apps]

The ever so timely FEMA just released an app for Android phones that’ll get you prepared for that bitch of an Irene. The app will give you checklists to build an emergency kit, maps of disaster recovery centers, information how to stay safe and more. You’re going to need this this weekend (if you live on the east coast, at least). [Android Market] More »


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Video Clip Reveals Possible Chinese State-Sponsored Hack Attack

Solid proof regarding the origins of high-profile international cyberattacks is typically elusive. However, when Western interests are targeted, suspicion often turns to China — whether rightfully or otherwise. Those suspicions were again aroused recently, courtesy of government-controlled China Central Television.

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Mozilla publishes name and shame list of slow Firefox add-ons, cracks down on tardy devs

Firefox slow-addons list

Mozilla, continuing its year-long crusade to speed up Firefox startup and shutdown times, has published a name and shame list of the Firefox’s slowest add-ons.

The list is just one part of Mozilla’s new efforts to highlight slow add-ons, and to help developers make their add-ons more efficient. Over the next two weeks, ‘slow performance warnings’ will be introduced in the add-on gallery so that users can see, before installation, which add-ons will slow down their browser. If that isn’t enough to spur developers into cleaning up their add-ons, Mozilla has also begun reaching out to developers of slow add-ons with tips on how to improve add-on performance. Finally, add-on developers will soon have the ability to perform ‘on-demand performance testing,’ so that they can test their add-on before it’s deployed publicly.

Mozilla reports that the average Firefox add-on slows down Firefox’s start-up time by 10% — which means, if you install 10 add-ons, you will double your start-up time. On fast desktop PCs that kind of slowdown might be negligible, but on older computers, laptops and smartphones, it could be the difference between a 5 and 10 second startup. Mozilla has obviously realized that while massive performance gains might’ve been made with Firefox 4, the addition of third-party add-ons can destroy any user-perceived improvements.

In other news, Mozilla says that a future build of Firefox will block the installation of add-ons (such as toolbars) by third-party software. Add-ons and toolbars that are bundled in this way will require explicit approval when you next open up Firefox. Hooray!

Mozilla publishes name and shame list of slow Firefox add-ons, cracks down on tardy devs originally appeared on Download Squad on Mon, 04 Apr 2011 05:15:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Follow the Rugby World Cup 2011 with the official app

If you are a lover of Rugby, you are more than likely very excited for the upcoming Rugby World Cup 2011. The competition starts in New Zealand in early September and what better way to keep in touch with all the action than with the Official Rugby…

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Daily Crunch: Power Supply Edition

Behind The Scenes At The Impossible Project?s Resurrected Polaroid Facility ?The Best Chance To Beat Gasoline:? An Excerpt From Seth Fletcher?s Bottled Lightning The ZEHST Is The 3,000 MPH, Zero Emissions Airplane Of 2050 Japan Takes Top Spot From China: Fujitsu?s ?K? Is The World?s Most Powerful Supercomputer Finally, A Solar Powered Netbook Comes To [...]

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Google’s Blogger platform adds five new HTML5 Dynamic Views

Google Blogger Mosaic Dynamic View

Google, as part of its ongoing and much-needed overhaul of its popular Blogger platform, has just enabled five dynamic, HTML5ish, AJAXy ‘Dynamic Views’. There’s a video introducing the new layouts after the break.

The five new views provide fresh and interesting ways to explore your favorite Blogger blogs. The Mosaic view, for example, creates a wall of thumbnails — click one, and it zooms to fill the screen; click it again and it minimizes. Flipcard is similar to Mosaic, but not quite as eclectic. Sidebar, Timeslide and Snapshot round off the new views, with each one obviously targeted at different types of content, from photo blogs, to text-only philosophy blogs, and everything in between.

For now, you have to visit a Blogger blog and add /view to the URL to enable the new Dynamic Views. If you own a Blogger blog, you can disable the new views — and really, why weren’t they disabled by default?

If feedback is positive — which we’re sure it will be — these Dynamic Views will soon be enabled by default. You’ll also be able to edit the views in much the same way as current Blogger templates.

Continue reading Google’s Blogger platform adds five new HTML5 Dynamic Views

Google’s Blogger platform adds five new HTML5 Dynamic Views originally appeared on Download Squad on Thu, 31 Mar 2011 10:15:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Gladinet maps Amazon Cloud Drive to your Windows desktop

amazon cloud drive
Amazon’s recently-introduced Cloud Drive is a great place to store your files online. It offers 5 gigs of totally free space, and U.S. users also get access to the handy Cloud Player app (for Web and Android!) which streams music you upload to your Cloud Drive.

The service could be a little easier to use, however. Until Amazon releases a desktop client, Windows users might want to take another look at Gladinet. The multi-service cloud connector has now added Amazon Cloud Drive support and will let you map a network drive letter to your account with minimal fuss.

Once you’ve added your credentials to Gladinet, just pick the letter you want to assign to the drive and you’re good to go. You can then copy files to and from your Cloud Drive, rename items, and manage folders like you would any local hard drive in your system.

The only downside is that the free version of Gladinet gives you a limited number of cloud interactions. Once you use those up, you’ll need to upgrade to the paid version, which costs $49.99. If you work with a number of cloud-based storage providers, however, it could be well worth the price tag.

Gladinet maps Amazon Cloud Drive to your Windows desktop originally appeared on Download Squad on Mon, 04 Apr 2011 09:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Hacker Smack Talk Escalates

This past week saw considerable hacker activity: AntiSec released to the Internet 1 GB worth of emails and documents stolen from the account of VanGuard Defense Industries SVP Richard Garcia. A related hacker community, Anonymous, hacked into the servers of the BART Police Officers’ Association. Anonymous also breached the servers of another BART website, releasing data on about 2,000 BART riders.

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Amazon Appstore for Android Test Drive hands on: surprisingly cool, but still US-only

Amazon Appstore for Android Test Drive

When Amazon Appstore for Android launched last week, one of its primary features — Test Drive — was disabled just a few minutes after it opened. With no try-before-you-buy, no refund process, and 1-Click purchasing ready to strike at any moment, this caused some problems. Anyway, don’t despair: Test Drive is now enabled.

Before you get your hopes up, Test Drive doesn’t work with every app. The IMDb app works fine — you can even watch movie trailers on it! — but the Angry Birds games are sadly not enabled. Some games work surprisingly well, though, like Bubble Buster. There’s very little latency, and the framerate is really rather good. The Test Drive experience is so true to life that you even get ads; how cool is that?

Continue reading Amazon Appstore for Android Test Drive hands on: surprisingly cool, but still US-only

Amazon Appstore for Android Test Drive hands on: surprisingly cool, but still US-only originally appeared on Download Squad on Mon, 28 Mar 2011 12:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Photographer Makes Huge 8 x 10-Inch Digital Camera Back

Only in the world of photography could a piece of gear that costs “equal to the cost of a good size house ? before the housing crash” be considered a money saver. But that’s exactly what photographer Mitchell Feinberg claims for his 8 x 10-inch digital camera back.
After months of calling around, Feinberg managed to [...]

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Survival Lab is a fun pixelated game where dying doesn’t matter

Survival Lab
In most games, dying is a bad thing. You have to start all over again, or at least revert to the last save point and lose some progress. Not so in Survival Lab: in this pixelated gem you play as a lone individual pitted against ruthless weapons in a sealed chamber. You have to run, jump and duck, collecting little yellow things (I have no idea what they’re called).

For each donut-like yellow thing you pick up, you gain a bit of experience. If you manage to collect several in a row without getting hit, this counts as a combo. You can see my mad combo skills in the screenshot, of course. Collecting combos is a good thing, because a ten-point combo gives you for more experience than just collecting ten dounts one by one (getting hit in-between).

Having experience is useful, because once you die, you get to a screen where you can upgrade your skills. You can learn to run faster, double-jump (and then double-jump higher), and duck. You can also gain more armour so that getting hit won’t kill you so quickly.

What makes this simple game so addictive is that when you die, your experience doesn’t reset. You just go back to the same level, or another level of your choosing, and keep accumulating more and more experience. Lots of fun, especially if you’re into the whole retro-gaming thing.

Survival Lab is a fun pixelated game where dying doesn’t matter originally appeared on Download Squad on Mon, 28 Feb 2011 16:20:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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DropSpace adds real Dropbox sync to Android

dropspace

Dropbox offers a lovely client for Android, but it’s lacking true “sync” functionality. You can merely browse your Dropbox, pull files into the device, and manually upload specific files.

DropSpace is a little Android app that makes Dropbox on Android work like Dropbox – that is, you get real folder synchronization in the background.

When you run the app you’re prompted for your Dropbox credentials. After logging in to Dropbox, you get to select which device folders you’d like to sync to the cloud. It’s a straightforward mapping process: You select a folder on the device, and then specify where in Dropbox it should go.

The interface is rather clunky, at least for now. The biggest annoyance is that you can’t edit your “sync list”: if you add a folder and then wish to remove it, you must delete the entire list of folders and start over.

In terms of functionality, it works quite well. I tested it with the camera folder, and it was nice to be able to take my photos using the lean default Camera app and have them sync up to the cloud instantly.

DropSpace adds real Dropbox sync to Android originally appeared on Download Squad on Fri, 04 Mar 2011 12:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Live from the Engadget reader meetup in NYC

Are you in New York City? We sure are, and we want you to join us! Right now! We’ll be at Guastavino’s, located just under the Queensboro Bridge at 59th Street in Manhattan, until 10:30pm. Plenty of Engadget editors are on hand, along with our friends from Joystiq and TUAW, so be sure to swing on by if you’re in the neighborhood. We’re walking around with the latest gadgets, and may even have some for you to take home. Can’t make it to the party? We have our cameras and laptops in tow, and we’ll be adding photos and text throughout the night. Jump past the break to join in on the fun!

Continue reading Live from the Engadget reader meetup in NYC

Live from the Engadget reader meetup in NYC originally appeared on Engadget on Thu, 25 Aug 2011 18:30:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Lightning Motorcycles risks neck for an extra 10 MPH on the Flying Banana

Weeks after breaking the electric motorcycle land speed record, Lightning Motorcycles decided it wasn’t satisfied with 206.079 MPH. Shunning a well-deserved vacation, its Flying Banana MK. II bike hit a verified speed of 215.960 MPH. The company is taking orders for the $38,888 eco-widowmaker and assures you it’ll be cheap to run — the record breaking trip in the video below used a mere 18 cents of electricity.

Continue reading Lightning Motorcycles risks neck for an extra 10 MPH on the Flying Banana

Lightning Motorcycles risks neck for an extra 10 MPH on the Flying Banana originally appeared on Engadget on Thu, 25 Aug 2011 11:21:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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