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Samsung Profits, Mobile Division Decline

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Samsung Profits, Mobile Division Decline

Is Samsung on the verge of losing the title of global smartphone leader? Following Apple's record fiscal Q1 2015 the S. Korean giant reports mobile device declines of -64% Y-o-Y for the quarter ending 31 December 2014.

Such results mark the company's 5th consecutive quarter of mobile device declines, even if it fails to prove sales numbers-- a sharp contrast with iPhone sales reaching 74.5 million during the same period.

"Apple's new iPhone 6 and 6 Plus models are proving wildly popular in China, United States and Europe," Strategy Analytics tells Reuters. "Apple tied with Samsung to become the world's largest smartphone vendor for the first time since Q4 2011."

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Now It’s OK to Use Electronic Devices on Airplanes

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Now It’s OK to Use Electronic Devices on Airplanes

The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) will publish by the end of November 2013 its guidance which will let you use personal electronic devices (known only in aviation circles by the acronym, “PED”) during all phases of a flight-- as long as the devices are in “Flight Mode” or “Airplane Mode”.

It’s a good thing that EASA, with its more than 650 experts and administrators from all over Europe, has finally flown out of Slow Mode on this and finally changed the regulation for the owners of laptops, tablets, smartphones, e-readers and mp3 players.

Current EASA guidance only allows the use of “PED” on aircraft, except during taxi-ing, take-off and landing. The new changes will apply only to aircraft operated by European airlines. Continue reading...

John McAfee to Fight the NSA

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John McAfee to Fight the NSA

Antivirus pioneer turned self-described "eccentric millionaire" John McAfee still has some fight left-- so much so he is ready to take on the NSA with a gadget promising miniature darknets for everyone.

Dubbed "D-Central" by the alleged fraudster/murder suspect/bath salt enthusiast, the as-yet-unbuilt device will supposedly cost less than $100 and, in a few words, provides public or private localised dynamic networks (or "floating" networks) through which users can anonymously communicate and share files.

While not designed to replace the internet, the D-Central will have a range of around 3 city blocks and be compatible with iPhones and Android devices.

"There will be no way (for the government) to tell who you are or where you are," McAfee announced at the inaugural C2SV conference, before claiming he will sell the D-Central anywhere else in the world should the US government decide to ban its sale. "This is coming and cannot be stopped."

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Next Xbox: AMD Innards, May Reveal?

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Next Xbox: AMD Innards, May Reveal?

Fresh rumours emerge on the next Microsoft console-- Bloomberg reports the new Xbox carries an AMD processor, while Microsoft analyst Paul Thurrot claims the machine will be revealed on 21 May 2013.

A switch to AMD (specifically an SoC combining a "Jaguar" CPU with a GPU) instead of the IBM Power PC technology means the new console will be incompatible with 360 game titles. It would also seal AMD's leadership of the console segment-- the Playstation 4 also makes use of x86-based AMD hardware, part of a Sony bid to make the console more attractive to developers.

Meanwhile veteran Microsoft watcher Paul Thurrot claims the company should reveal the console on May 2013 before an "early November" launch. News site The Verge confirms the report and adds further details will be available at June's E3 and Build events.

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If Windows RT Isn't Enough of a Prophylactic...

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If Windows RT Isn't Enough of a Prophylactic...

He used to dominate PCs, but these days Bill Gates wants to reinvent far more humble everyday technologies-- the condom is the next target of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

"What if we could develop a condom that would provide all the benefit of our current versions, without the drawbacks?" the Foundation blog asks. "Even better, what if we could develop one that was preferred to no condom?"

Through the current Grand Challenges Explorations round Bill Gates offers $10000 to whoever invents the next best thing in condoms. After all, condoms are serious business-- but despite being the best way to halt the spread of HIV and AIDS, they are also "a trade-off that many men find unacceptable.”

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What's Bill Gates Up To?

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What's Bill Gates Up To?

Now you can read the letter Bill Gates wrote on his progress to save the world. It's the 2013 Annual Letter from Bill Gates.

Once a nerd, always a nerd: Bill talks about the need to measure (and the need for measurements) in his battle to stop polio, improve education, empower gender equality, reduce child mortality, protect the environment and eradicate poverty.

This nerd is spending a lot of money (the money you made for him selling Windows) in a serious way. Read this letter to find out if Continue reading...

IBM 5 for 5: Computing Needs Senses Too

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IBM 5 for 5: Computing Needs Senses Too

Vibrating touchscreens, impossibly sharp-eyed equipment, digital taste buds-- these are just three predictions from the 2012 edition of The 5 in 5, the yearly IBM list of future tech predictions for the next 5 years.

The theme for this year is the senses, with 5 forecast categories covering all human senses. Will the computers of the near future lend us superhuman senses? IBM believes so!

Touch: Touchscreens will provide a far more tactile experience than a sheet of glass, IBM predicts. Through infrared and haptic technologies, touchscreens will simulate the physical sensation of touch, such as "feeling" the texture of cloth through an on-screen catalog.

Sight: Image recognition systems will be far more capable, thanks to more advanced pattern analysis systems. Such technologies should find a wide variety of applications, from the recognition of subtle MRI patterns in healthcare to that of customer preferences on Pinterest-style image boards in retail.

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A Challenger to Silicon Emerges

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A Challenger to Silicon Emerges

The MIT Microsystems Technology Laboratories may have developed a potential replacement to silicon transistors-- a transistor just 22nm in length made out of indium gallium arsenide (InGaAS).

The material, a compound semiconductor made out indium, gallium and arsenic, already has use in high-power and high-frequency electronics as well as a detector material in optical fibre communications.

What makes the MIT development significant is size-- at 22nm (the size of 9 strands of human DNA), the InGaAS Continue reading...

Update: John McAfee in Guatemala, Pleads Asylum

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Update: John McAfee in Guatemala, Pleads Asylum

John McAfee-- antivirus company founder, alleged fraudster, murder suspect, man on the run-- now lies in police custody due to illegal entry in Guatemala after Vice Magazine revealed his location by accident.

"Now that I'm here I can speak freely. I can speak openly," McAfee tells reporters in Guatemala City before claiming he will expose corruption within Belize's government.

Belize president Dean Barrow however does not mince his words, saying "I don't want to be unkind to the gentleman, but I believe he is extremely paranoid, even bonkers."

Just when you thought the John McAfee saga could not get any stranger, guess what? It just did.

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