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Samsung ATIV S listing obstacle was swept away, and got the network license

Recently, the Windows Phone 8 has become the new darling of the mobile operating system, the topic heat has even cought up with Android and iOS mobile operating system. The major mobile phone manufacturers have hurried to launch their own phones equipped with Windows Phone 8.

Samsung is no exception. According to the latest news, Samsung first Windows Phone 8 mobile phone ATIV S has obtained the network license, which means Samsung ATIV S last obstacle to release in the domestic market has been swept away.

Samsung ATIV S is equipped with 4.8-inch 720P Super AMOLED display which is the largest size among the WP8 phones, 1.9 million front camera and 8.0 million rear camera, the built-in storage space has 16GB and 32GB versions, and it supports microSD card expansion, NFC , Bluetooth 3.0 and some other functions. It is expected to be listed at the end of this year or January next year.

It is reported that the date when Samsung ATIV S gained the certification is December 13 this year, and the network license is WCDMA version. This phone also supports WCDMA, GSM (GPRS) signal systems.

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Barbara Schoeneberger Neriah Davis

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Seattle-Area Thieves Make Off With 7,000 Wii U Consoles



Stolen hardware is valued at $2.1M USD

Nintendo Comp., Ltd.’s (TYO:7974) Wii U is a hot holiday item which is welcome news for a company looking to turn around struggling financials and continue the Wii console’s successful track record.  But this holiday some Wii U consoles may be hot in quite a different sense.

A Seattle-area warehouse, located near the SeaTac airport, was the target of a daring crime caper, which saw thieves nab 7,000 Wii U consoles. The system retails for $300 USD, indicating the thieves made off with approximately $2.1M USD (MSRP) in hardware.

The thieves rolled up on SeaTac’s Seattle Air Cargo warehouse in the wee hours of the night in two semi trucks.  The thieves also used a third box truck, which confirmed to be stolen.


Gaining entrance to the warehouse, the bandits used a forklift to lift the pallets of Wii U consoles into the waiting trucks, then sped off into the night.

 

 


The King County Sheriff’s office is not very hopeful that tracing the trucks will lead to catching the thieves, but they are hoping to maybe spot them online.  Comments a spokesperson to Kotaku, “I’d be surprised if they’re still using that truck and that trailer, but we still want people to call if they see anybody advertising for any great deals for Wii U’s on Ebay or privately, especially if there’s a large quantity of them.”

The Sheriff’s office can be reached at 206-296-3311.


Nintendo had no comment on whether the console has any sort of remote theft-prevention mechanism when connected to the internet.  A number of intriguing launch titles are available for the console, including NintendoLand, New Super Mario Bros. U, and ZombiU, although some have criticized the launch lineup as a bit anemic (similar criticism was leveled against the soon-to-be best-selling Wii at its launch).

Sources: ABC News, Kotaku

Catherine Oxenberg Jennifer Connelly

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Researcher: Pesky Microbe May Have Caused the Biggest Extinction in History



Methane-producing bacteria may have leverage nickel from volcanism to flood the atmosphere with methane

It was called “The Great Dying”.

I. A Time of Death and Desolation

If that title sounds dire it is because it was indeed a grim time for life on Earth.  Occurring about 252 and one-third million years ago, the mass extinction came at a time when life on Earth had become fairly advanced.  Terrestrial life consisted of a rich mix of large amphibians (think huge cousins of today’s salamanders) and scaly reptilian dinosaur predecessors.  The seas teemed with life.

Then some sort of cataclysm swept the globe.  Ninety-six out of every one-hundred marine species (96%) went exinct, while seventy out of every one-hundred terrestrial vertebrate species (70%) also bit the metaphorical dust.  The exinction to this day remains the most severe mass extinction in Earth’s history and what is believed to be the only mass extinction to feature a major extinction of insects — traditionally among the Earth’s most hardy species.

So what caused this severe event?


In line with all the hype and fervor surrounding global warming, some past researchers have suggested climate change may have played a role.  Criticism of this hypothesis has traditionally been that it’s improper to assume the markers of climate change — atmospheric and ocean carbon levels — as causing ecological changes, when ecological changes can also cause climate change.

Massachusetts Institute of Technology Professor Daniel Rothman has become the latest researcher to throw his hat in the paleontological ring, offering up an interesting alternate hypothesis of how such a catastrophic climate change incident may have been triggered, leading to the Earth losing so much biodiversity.

The Great Dying marked the edge of the Permian.  Its end ushered in a new era — the Triassic — which would become the first of three major historical eras when the land-masses were ruled by large reptiles (dinosaurs).

To look for clues as to what caused The Great Dying, Professor Rothman dug back into sediments from the end of the Permian era.  Examing deposits in China, he found something intriguing.

Carbon levels in the sediment indeed appeared to rise quickly.  But the interesting part is that they rose so quickly that he feels that the sedimentary analysis rules out change by slower-acting forms of carbon release, such as volcanoes.

He also observed that oceanic nickel levels spiked 251 million years ago, as volcanoes in Siberia dumped tons of molten nickely into the sea.

II. What Caused Carbon Levels to Spike? 

Nickel is a ubiquitous catalyst in certain kinds of biochemical reactions.  Microorganisms, such as the ocean-based methane-producing bacterium methanosarcina, often use the metal to speed up reactions that produce carbon waste byproducts.

Thus Professor Rothman suggests that methanosarcina likely exploited the rising nickel levels to transform carbon dioxide and hydrogen into methane.  

In fact, Professor Rothman believes that methanosarcina fortuitously acquired the its triple metal-catalyzed methane-producing metabolic pathways about 251 million years ago, just as the nickel levels spiked.


The loss of atmospheric carbon dioxide would likely have twin adverse impacts — first as plants require carbon dioxide to produce sugars, there likely would be mass loss of foliage globally; second as methane is a more potent warming gas than carbon dioxide, temperatures likely would have spiked globally.

The researcher’s hypothesis was set forth on Dec. 4 at the annual meeting of the American Geophysical Union.  The meeting was held in San Francisco, Calif. at the Moscone Convention Center.

If he is correct it suggests that methanosarcina could be the most diabolical murderer in history, by far eclipsing mankind’s worst impact in terms of speciation.

Not all experts are convinced.  Anthony Cohen, a researcher at the Open University in the United Kingdom, comments, ‘”[For the hypothesis to be correct] there are a lot of assumptions you have to make.”

Sources: Live Science, AGU Meeting Schedule

Paula Jai Parker Sydney Moon

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NVIDIA Tegra 4 Processor Details Leak



Details on the next generation Tegra 4 processor, codenamed “Wayne”, leak

NVIDIA has done pretty well on the mobile market with its Tegra 3 processor, and it should be of no surprise to anyone that NVIDIA has been working on the next generation Tegra processor. The company even provided some rough details early last year.
 
However, some detailed information on the next-generation 28nm Tegra 4 leaked today, and it promises six times the power of Tegra 3. Tegra 4 appears to be, according to a leaked slide, a 4+1 quad-core design similar to that of the current Tegra 3. The Cortex-A15-based Tegra 4 has 72 graphics cores and supports dual channel memory. Tegra 4 will also support resolutions of 2560 x 1440 for encode and decode and promises very low power consumption.

Other supported features will include the USB 3.0, making this the first NVIDIA chipset to support the new and faster USB standard.

With CES 2013 kicking off in mere weeks, we should have significantly more details coming in the not-too-distant future. 

Source: Engadget

Donna Gubbay Ashley Greene

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Hacker Who Leaked Nude Scarlett Johansen Photos Gets 10 Years in Prison



Chris Chaney pleads guilty to hacking over 50 celebrities’ smartphones for fun and profit

Between November 2010 and October 2011, there were a rash of hacking of high-profile celebrities smartphones.  Starlets like Scarlett Johansson, Christina Aguilera, Mila Kunis had sexually explicit or provocative pictures stolen from their devices and released onto the internet.

In Scarlett Johansson’s case fully nude pictures, meant to be seen by then-husband Ryan Reynolds were exposed for the world to see.  She recalls, “I have been truly humiliated and embarrassed.”

But intrusions weren’t the work of a team of savvy hackers; they were the twisted hobby-horse of a single man, according to federal prosecutors – Christopher Chaney, a 35-year-old Jacksonville, Fla. resident.

On Monday, justice was served and U.S. District Judge S. James Otero weighed a seemingly remorseful Mr. Chaney versus tearful celebrities like Ms. Johansson, who comments, “I find Christopher Chaney’s actions to be perverted and reprehensible.”

The federal judge gave the hacker a prison sentence of 10 years after pleading guilty of several criminal counts under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act of 1986 (18 USC § 1030) — unauthorized access to a computer and illegal wiretapping.  (In the U.S. only federal agents are allowed to wiretap people.)

Mr. Chaney could have faced a maximum sentence of 60 years in prison, but the sentence he did receive wasn’t exactly lenient either.  Prosecutors were only seeking a sentence of 6 years, but Judge Otero was concerned that Mr. Chaney hadn’t truly changed his ways and needed longer away from the world of electronics.  According to the Judge, prosecutors presented evidence that Mr. Chaney continued to pursue and harass women online after his arrest in October 2011.

In all, Mr. Chaney’s “Operation Hackerazzi” breached the smartphones of 50 Hollywood and music industry celebrities.  But he was also alleged of hacking into some close acquaintances phones, including send a nude picture of a former co-worker to her father.


Mr. Chaney does not deny hacking the celebrity phones, but was apologetic.  He, however, refused to admit to hacking his acquaintances phones, insisting he never did that.  He comments, “I don’t know what else to say other than I’m sorry.  I could be sentenced to never use a computer again and I wouldn’t care.”

The Judge is quoted as telling him, “It’s hard to fathom the mindset of a person who would accomplish all of this.  These types of crimes are as pernicious and serious as physical stalking.”

Now he will spend a better part of the next decade of his life behind bars (although he could get out early if gets parole).

Source: AP on Google News

Christine Anu Rachael Leigh Cook

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Redesigned Technology blog moves to new address

Tech blog

The L.A. Times Technology blog has been redesigned, and with our new duds we’re rolling out a new URL. So if you’ve been a loyal follower of our work, please update your bookmarks.

Our hope is that you’ll find the new look to be cleaner and easier for reading, viewing photos and watching videos. Please let us know what you think about the new look by leaving us a comment on the Technology blog’s Facebook page or by shooting a tweet to @LATimesTech.

Thanks for reading, watching and clicking.

– Nathan Olivarez-Giles

Nathan Olivarez-Giles on Google+

Facebook.com/nateog

Twitter.com/nateog

Image: A screen shot of the Technology blog’s new look. Credit: Los Angeles Times

Alexis Bledel Sienna Miller

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User added wireless charging for the Google Nexus tablet

The user mentioned today is not an ordinary one, he has done a lot of functional improvements for smartphone before, this time this user adds wireless charging for the Google Nexus 7 Tablet PC, his name is -Rod Whitby, and I think he is not a stranger to some people. Currently that Rod Whitby adds wireless charging technology for Google Nexus 7 Tablet PC has reached the final step, his uses a Touchstone charging dock and an old circuit on an old Palm smartphone to complete this experiment, just like some software hackers have done.

Rod Whitby for Google Nexus 7 Tablet PC to add wireless charging technology has reached the final step, his old circuit to complete this experiment on the use of a Touchstone charging dock and an old Palm smartphone, just like some software hackers done.

However, in this process Whitby had to overcome some difficulties. First, he needs to find a large enough space to install something in the real cover of the Tablet PC. Then, he found a single charging coil can not meet the Nexus 7 Tablet PC charging voltage demand. How to solve these difficulties? He used two parallel wires to provide more stable power supply. He is currently testing another method, which is to remove the larger coil from the HP TouchPad to provide large enough voltage.

Although these tests have not yet completed, but we are very confident on Rod to add wireless charging technology for Google Nexus Tablet PC. As to the success, then please pay attention to his dynamic on Google to obtain the latest information about the message.

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User added wireless charging for the Google Nexus tablet

The user mentioned today is not an ordinary one, he has done a lot of functional improvements for smartphone before, this time this user adds wireless charging for the Google Nexus 7 Tablet PC, his name is -Rod Whitby, and I think he is not a stranger to some people. Currently that Rod Whitby adds wireless charging technology for Google Nexus 7 Tablet PC has reached the final step, his uses a Touchstone charging dock and an old circuit on an old Palm smartphone to complete this experiment, just like some software hackers have done.

Rod Whitby for Google Nexus 7 Tablet PC to add wireless charging technology has reached the final step, his old circuit to complete this experiment on the use of a Touchstone charging dock and an old Palm smartphone, just like some software hackers done.

However, in this process Whitby had to overcome some difficulties. First, he needs to find a large enough space to install something in the real cover of the Tablet PC. Then, he found a single charging coil can not meet the Nexus 7 Tablet PC charging voltage demand. How to solve these difficulties? He used two parallel wires to provide more stable power supply. He is currently testing another method, which is to remove the larger coil from the HP TouchPad to provide large enough voltage.

Although these tests have not yet completed, but we are very confident on Rod to add wireless charging technology for Google Nexus Tablet PC. As to the success, then please pay attention to his dynamic on Google to obtain the latest information about the message.

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Analyst: iPad Mini 2013 Shipments to Leave New iPad/iPad 2 in the Dust




  (Source: gawkerassets.com)

Apple’s iPad mini will make up about half of Apple’s total iPad shipments in 2013

The fact that Apple’s iPad is predicted to steal much of the tablet market share next year is no surprise; however, the fact that the iPad mini may outpace the iPad 2 and the new iPad is certainly interesting.

According to DisplaySearch, which is a global market research and consulting firm, Apple’s iPad mini will make up about half of Apple’s total iPad shipments in 2013.

Apple expects to ship a total of 100 million iPads in 2013. Out of that total, DisplaySearch predicts that the iPad mini will account for about 50 million of those shipments while the new iPad and the iPad 2 will ship about 40 million and 10 million respectively.

DisplaySearch further predicts that there will be a total of 170 million tablet shipments in 2013 (from all tablet makers, not just Apple). If Apple were to achieve the 100 million shipments, it would have about 60 percent of the market share.

For 2012, despite being released in October, the iPad mini is holding its own concerning sales. In Q3, Apple shipped 1.6 million, and for Q4, the tech giant is asking panel makers to ship over 12 million.

This is an interesting prediction, considering many saw the iPad mini as being far too expensive for a 7-inch tablet (starts at $329) when so many others in the 7-inch arena typically start at $199 (i.e., Google Nexus 7 and Kindle Fire HD).

The iPad mini was unveiled in late October of this year. It sports a 7.85-inch display, a 1024×768 resolution, dual-core A5 processor, 16GB/32GB/64GB storage options for $329/$429/$529 respectively, a lightning connector and LTE capabilities for an extra $130 to those sticker prices.

Source: Display Search Blog

Kimberly Joseph Allie Mutch

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Test Could Reveal Which Side of the Looking Glass We’re On

OK, so let’s assume that nothing is real in the sense that we understand reality. We and everyone and everything we know are part of a computer simulation created by an advanced post-human intelligence. Scientists have considered the theory and come up with arguments for and against it. Before now, though, no one has suggested a test could be run to find out one way or another. Do we want to know?

For those who spend enough time playing World of Warcraft, the line between what is “real” and what isn’t probably blurs from time to time. However, a far deeper and more philosophical question has been raised: whether life, the universe and everything is actually just a computer simulation.

The conical (red) surface shows the relationship between energy and momentum in special relativity, a fundamental theory concerning space and time developed by Albert Einstein, and is the expected result if our universe is not a simulation. The flat (blue) surface illustrates the relationship between energy and momentum that would be expected if the universe is a simulation with an underlying cubic lattice.
(Martin Savage)

The center of this theory is that any civilization that evolves to a “post-human” stage would in turn be capable of running a simulation on the scale of the universe. Given the size of the universe — with its billions of worlds around billions of suns — and its billions of years of existence, this could have happened.

If so, are we in it?

This concept, which has been the basis of such movies at The Matrix and The Thirteenth Floor, hasn’t exactly been easy to prove or disprove.

However, researchers at the University of Washington, led by Martin Savage, Ph.D., have concluded that there could be a test to determine if the world is just a simulation.

Sim Universe?

The basis of the test that Savage has theorized is itself rather complicated. It suggests that if we are in a simulation, then that simulation would have to have been constructed with the same finite resources that we could use to create such a simulation. In other words, we could see the shortcomings a programmer made.

For example, this could include the behavior of ultra high energy cosmic rays to determine if there is a set of preferred direction. This in itself wouldn’t actually prove that the universe is a simulation, but it would be the sort of thing that would be in a simulation.

To understand this further requires a bit of understanding the mechanics of the universe.

“We believe we live in a quantum universe,” said James Canton, Ph.D., of the Institute for Global Futures. “We are only now taking the baby steps to prove it.”

As for looking for those patterns that Savage would seek out, they would be there in the mechanics.

“There are some constants in the universe,” Canton told TechNewsWorld. “All matter, everything you can see, is the smallest part of the cosmos. The largest part, which we can’t see, is the dark matter. But these are still constants.”

High-Tech Creationism?

While this concept of a simulated universe is often compared to the dystopian film series The Matrix, a more apt comparison might be another film that came out at the same time. Now largely forgotten, The Thirteen Floor speculated that simulated worlds could be created, and those within it didn’t even know they were just simulations.

So while video games have created believable worlds, those bad guys and other characters are just scripted and don’t really exist. Could the next step be imbuing them with some sort of self-awareness, but not giving those characters the ability to know they are in a simulation? And if that is possible, does it then make the theory that we are in a game all the more possible?

“It seems quite unlikely that we exist as virtual beings living within a computer simulation being operated by some future species descendants,” said Glen Hiemstra of Futurist.com. “However, at the same time I do accept the proposition that the day will come when computer/AI entities will be intelligent enough to be self-aware by some definitions.

“If that is true, then of course we might in fact be those computer/AI entities,” Hiemstra told TechNewsWorld.

There are fundamental questions that would remain, even if Savage’s theory is upheld — that is, that preferred direction could suggest the universe is a simulation. However, other questions might be answered.

“Many mysteries become more sensible, such as where our energy goes when we die, or the idea that we may live many lives,” added Hiemstra. “Other mysteries remain, such as why our simulated universe still shows no clear evidence of other intelligent beings, when putting them into a simulation would make the simulation more entertaining.”

From Games to Reality

Whether this universe is a simulation isn’t easily answered, but could technology create a simulation that would be indistinguishable from reality? Today the most immersing experience is staring at a computer screen, but technology is moving quite quickly.

“We haven’t ported emotion and feeling, but that is a cognitive step. That will come,” he said.

“Big data and cloud computing will allow this immersive universe to be created,” Canton predicted. “We didn’t even have the bandwidth until recently. But and now there is more technology that exists in a single laptop than was available throughout the world in 1974.”

Whether that laptop — or world — actually exists is still to be proven.

Sophia Bush Danniella Westbrook

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Deep space fly-by: Incredible pictures taken by Chinese probe passing asteroid show giant rock 4.5 million miles from Earth

By Leon Watson

|

A Chinese spacecraft has carried out a deep space fly-by on an asteroid four and a half million miles away from the Earth.

The Chang’e-2 probe successfully conducted the mission to scan the surface of the asteroid Toutatis.

It happened on December 13 at 16.30om Beijing Time, the State Administration of Science, Technology and Industry for National Defense announced today.

The Chinese space probe flew got around two miles away from the asteroid Toutatis, officials said

The Chinese space probe flew got around two miles away from the asteroid Toutatis, officials said

At 2.7 miles long and 1.5 miles wide, astronomers say it is considered a potentially hazardous asteroid because it makes repeated passes by the Earth, about every four years.

In comparison, the asteroid that is thought to have destroyed the dinosaurs was approximately 10 km (6 miles) wide.

The flyby was the first time an unmanned spacecraft launched from Earth has taken such a close viewing of the asteroid, named after a Celtic god.

China followed in the footsteps of the U.S., the European Union and Japan by using an spacecraft to examine an asteroid.

Chang’e-2 came as close as miles from Toutatis and took pictures of the asteroid at a relative velocity of 10.73km per second, the SASTIND said in a statement.

Sources with the administration told the Xinhua news agency that Chang’e-2 is continuing its deep space travel and will reach a distance of more than six million miles away from Earth in January next year.

Chang’e-2 was launched on October 1, 2010, from Xichang Satellite Launch Center and later orbited the moon in a more ambitious mission than its predecessor Chang’e-1.

Chang’e-2 left its lunar orbit for an extended mission to the Earth-Sun L2 Lagrangian point on June 9, 2011, after finishing its lunar objectives, which collected data for a complete lunar map.

Here is a graphic showing the moment the spacecraft passed within two miles of the asteroid Toutatis

Here is a graphic showing the moment the spacecraft passed within two miles of the asteroid Toutatis

Chang'e-2 was launched on October 1, 2010, from Xichang Satellite Launch Center. Here is mission control

Chang’e-2 was launched on October 1, 2010, from Xichang Satellite Launch Center. Here is mission control

China claims it was the first to closely observe the asteroid Toutatis, although other space missions have pictured it

China claims it was the first to closely observe the asteroid Toutatis, although other space missions have pictured it

The probe departed from L2 this year and began its mission to Toutatis.

Since its blast-off, Chang’e 2 has become the first to capture full coverage map of the moon with a resolution of seven meters.

China claims it was also the first object ever to reach the L2 point directly from lunar orbit; and being the first to closely observe the asteroid Toutatis.

China early this year published a full coverage map of the moon, as well as several high-resolution images of the celestial body, captured by Chang’e-2. The resolution of the images is 17 times greater than those taken by Chang’e-1.

‘The success of the extended missions also embodies that China now possesses spacecraft capable of interplanetary flight,’ said Wu Weiren, chief designer of China’s lunar probe program.

Chang’e-2′s extended missions, which were conducted millions of miles away from Earth, have tested China’s spacecraft tracking and control network, including two newly built measuring and control stations in the northwest Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region and northeast Heilongjiang province, according to the SASTIND.

However, China still belongs to the second tier in lunar probe internationally, said Ouyang Ziyuan, chief scientist for China’s lunar orbiter project, adding that the U.S. and Russia are still leading nations in this field.

Wu Weiren stressed the need for international cooperation in lunar probe mission, saying it is a shared responsibility of world scientists to work together in lunar and deep space exploration for the common good of the human race.

 

Sonya Kraus Angelu DeLeon

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Steve Jobs turning over in his grave? Look-alike touts rival Android

Fake_steve_jobs

Steve Jobs likeness continues to pop up in the most unlikely places. He’s been immortalized as a bronze statue in an office park in Hungary, his image was painstakingly recreated in what might be the world’s most detailed action figure, and now a Taiwanese commercial making its way around the Internet depicts the recently deceased Apple visionary as a shill for an Android-based tablet called Action Pad.

Oh, the irony!

The man playing Jobs in the commercial is Taiwanese comedian and impersonator Ah-Ken, according to a report in Reuters. The commercial never explicitly uses Jobs name, but Ah-Ken is dressed in Jobs trademark black turtleneck and blue jeans, his hair is a silvery grey, and he’s wearing glasses. He’s standing on a stage meant to mimic those that Jobs paced across during major Apple announcements and speaking excitedly to an applauding audience. One thing he has that Jobs never had: a halo and wings.

At the end of his talk he says, “Thank God I can play another pad.”

Jobs of course hated Android with his whole being. His biographer Walter Isaacson writes that he never saw Jobs as angry as when he was talking about a lawsuit Apple had filed against Android.

After telling Isaacson that he considered Google’s Android to be a wholesale ripoff of the iPhone, he said:

“I will spend my last dying breath if I need to, and I will spend every penny of Apple’s $40 billion in the bank, to right this wrong. I’m going to destroy Android, because it’s a stolen product. I’m willing to go thermonuclear war on this. They are scared to death, because they know they are guilty.”

Maybe things change in the afterlife?

Action Electronics, the company that makes the Action Pad along with other electronic gadgets, sees no problem with the advertisement. “Steve Jobs always promoted things that were good for people, Apple products, so his image can also promote other things that are good,” a spokeswoman told Reuters. “It’s just an impersonator, not Jobs,” she said.

The reaction on YouTube has been mixed with commenters vacillating between disgust and amusement, but the video itself is rapidly racking up views.

ALSO:

Steve Jobs statue unveiled in Budapest office park

Demand for iPhones in China could skyrocket, analyst says

Steve Jobs action figure is advertised; will Apple respond?

– Deborah Netburn

Image: Screen grab from a Taiwanese commercial for Action Pad that depicts Steve Jobs as a shill for the Android-based tablet. Credit: YouTube

Lara Bingle Sophia Bush

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Samsung Galaxy S4 release time is determined and to hold a special conference

According to media reports, the hot-issues Samsung Galaxy S4 release time it determined and they will hold a special press conference.

For Samsung Galaxy S4 release time, there were media reports that it will be released together with the cheap version Galaxy note 2 on CES 2013.

Subsequently, there were media saying that the product released on CES 2013 has nothing to do with the phone, but Samsung televisions and notebook products, Galaxy S4 will not be released.

In this regard, the industry analyses, the Samsung Galaxy S4 is Samsung major products and Samsung will prepare a separate conference for it. The specific time is roughly scheduled for May next year.

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Microsoft Stores taking $25 deposit on Nokia Lumia 900

Nokia Lumia 900

AT&T, Microsoft and Nokia haven’t said when the Lumia 900 will hit stores or how much it will cost, but if the flagship Windows Phone is a device you just have to have, you can now pre-order it.

Microsoft’s retail stores are currently taking a $25 deposit for those looking to reserve themselves a Lumia 900 on launch day, whenever that is. The deposit offer was first reported by The Verge and confirmed to The Times on Friday through Microsoft Store employees.

Rumor has it that the Lumia 900 could launch in March at a price of about $99 on a 2-year contract, which would undercut top-of-the-line rivals such as Apple’s iPhone 4S and the Android Ice-Cream-Sandwich-equipped Galaxy Nexus, built by Samsung.

In the U.S., the Lumia 900 will be exclusive to AT&T and feature a 4.3-inch display, a polycarbonate body in cyan or black, a 1.4-gigahertz Qualcomm single-core processor, 512 megabytes of RAM, 16 gigabytes of built-in storage, an 8-megapixel/720p video rear camera and a 1.3-megapixel front-facing camera.

I spent a bit of time with the Lumia 900 at CES in Las Vegas last month, and the phone did look quite impressive and something I thought could sell at $150 or $200 on a 2-year contract. Check out my hands-on look at the Lumia 900 below.

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– Nathan Olivarez-Giles

Nathan Olivarez-Giles on Google+

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Photo: A Nokia Lumia 800 smartphone sits on display inside a Nokia retail store in Helsinki, Finland. Credit: Ville Mannikko / Bloomberg

Rebekah Emily Symons

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New species of slow loris found in jungles of Borneo

  • The slow loris is the only venomous primate – and could even kill a human
  • But because of its cute appearance it is targeted by the animal trade

By Charles Walford

|

A new species of slow loris has been discovered in Borneo.

Conservationists hope the finding will add impetus to efforts to protect the double-tongued animals.

Two previously known subspecies have also been accorded full species status.

But experts are warning that dividing the animals into four distinct species means the risk of extinction is greater than previously believed for the animals but could help efforts to protect the unusual primate.

Discovery: A new species of slow loris - the Nycticebus kayan - has been found in Borneo and the Philippines

Discovery: A new species of slow loris – the Nycticebus kayan – has been found in Borneo and the Philippines

The loris is the only venomous primate, producing a flesh-rotting poison that can be fatal to humans.

But they are also very cute – and in fact are known as ‘jungle gremlins’ – which makes them a target for the animal trade.

Captured animals often have their canine and incisor teeth pulled out before being sold on as pets, in a bid to protect their potential owner.

Harming the animals this way, though, can quickly lead to their death, as the toothless primates are unable to feed properly.

‘Four separate species are harder to protect than one, since each species needs to maintain its population numbers and have sufficient forest habitat,’ said lead author Rachel Munds, MU doctoral student in anthropology in the College of Arts and Science.

‘Unfortunately, in addition to habitat loss to deforestation, there is a booming black market demand for the animals. They are sold as pets, used as props for tourist photos or dismembered for use in traditional Asian medicines.’

According to Munds, slow lorises are not domesticated and are protected under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species. She contends that keeping the animals as pets is cruel and that domesticating them is not feasible.

Got it licked: The slow loris has a serrated sublingua - under-tongue - of a slow loris sticks out beneath the primary tongue

Got it licked: The slow loris has a serrated sublingua – under-tongue – of a slow loris sticks out beneath the primary tongue

A team of researchers, led by Munds and Professor Anna Nekaris of Oxford Brookes University, observed the animals living in the forests of Borneo and the Philippines and found that the original single species contained animals with significantly different body sizes, fur thickness, habitats and facial markings.

Museum specimens, photographs and live animals helped primatologists parse out four species from the original one.

But the new species of slow loris, named Nycticebus kayan, has gone unrecognised until now, in part due to its nocturnal lifestyle.

Animals that are active at night rely less on visual clues, and can therefore appear more similar to one another.

So the scientists had to look hard to discover the differences between the new species, and focused primarly on facial markings.

And the researchers found there to be four species of slow loris in the Philippines and Borneo, each with their own, subtly different but distinct head markings.

Conservatrion: Rachel Munds (left), doctoral student in anthropology at Missouri University, and Anna Nekaris, primatology professor at Oxford Brookes University, pose with a tarsier, another species of nocturnal primate

Conservatrion: Rachel Munds (left), doctoral student in anthropology at Missouri University, and Anna Nekaris, primatology professor at Oxford Brookes University, pose with a tarsier, another species of nocturnal primate

Previously there was thought to be just one species, called N. menagensis.

Two of these new species, N. bancanus and N. borneanus, were previously considered subspecies of N. menagensis. N. kayan, is new to science.

‘In Borneo in particular, from where three of the new species hail, this will mean that three new lorises will be added as threatened to some degree on the IUCN Red List of threatened species,’ said Prof Nekaris.

She warned of the threats to the animals that comes from their trade, driven by demand for lorises as pets

‘YouTube videos of lorises being tickled, holding umbrellas or eating with forks have become wildly popular,’ said Anna Nekaris, study co-author, primatology professor at Oxford Brookes University and MU graduate. ‘CNN recently promoted loris videos as “feel good” entertainment. In truth, the lorises gripping forks or umbrellas were simply desperate to hold something.

‘The arboreal animals are adapted to spending their lives in trees constantly clutching branches. Pet keepers rarely provide enough climbing structures for them.’

The animals also are used in Asian traditional medicines. The methods used to extract the medicines can be exceedingly violent, according to Nekaris, who also is director of the slow loris advocacy organisation, Little Fireface Project.

Cruel trade: Slow lorises for sale in Möng La, Shan, Myanmar

Cruel trade: Slow lorises for sale in Möng La, Shan, Myanmar

Sick: The teeth of a juvenile slow loris being removed by an animal trafficker

Sick: The teeth of a juvenile slow loris being removed by an animal trafficker

Veronika Zemanova Barbara Schoeneberger

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Peru’s spiral Nazca lines ‘are a path to spiritual enlightenment’

  • Labyrinthine shapes were ‘designed to be walked along, not seen’
  • They were created as a ‘spiritual path’ for Nazca tribe

By Charles Walford

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Some say they were created as messages to the gods, while slightly more bizarre theories suggest they were traced by aliens.

But now a scientist has claimed he has solved the mystery at least one of the 1,500-year-old Nazca lines.

Professor Clive Ruggles, of the University of Leicester, says the spiral shape traced in the Peruvian desert are likely to have been a labyrinth, created as a spiritual path.

The huge images, which include hundreds of animals and complex mazes in the Nazca desert, can only clearly be seen for the air giving rise to a number of explanations as to who they were intended for.

Scroll down for video

Inspiring spiral: The spiral lies in the centre of the area analysed by Prof Ruggles

Inspiring spiral: The spiral lies in the centre of the area analysed by Prof Ruggles

Focal point: Surrounding the spiral are a series of straight lines, some stretching a mile-long across the sand

Focal point: Surrounding the spiral are a series of straight lines, some stretching a mile-long across the sand

But some have no easily identifiable shape, raising further questions as to what they could be.

And Prof Ruggles believes some of the Nazca Lines were in fact not created to be seen at all, but to be walked in single file as part of a spiritual ritual.

As part of a five-year investigation, the British researchers covered 1,500km of desert in southern Peru – tracing the lines and geometric figures created by the Nazca people between 100 BC and AD 700.

Prof Ruggles, along with Dr Nicholas Saunders, of the University of Bristol, combined the experience and knowledge gained by walking the lines with scientific data obtained from satellite digital mapping.

The result, published in the journal Antiquity is the most detailed such study to date.

Prof Ruggles, who believes they were the first people to walk the 4.4km lines in more than 1,000 years, said: ‘The labyrinth was probably constructed during the middle part of the 800-year-long Nazca period, around AD 500.

‘Unlike some of the famous zoomorphic (animal) figures, its irregular form provides no reason to speculate that it might have been intended to be viewed from the air.

Heron: A number of the patterns are int he shape of birds, with varying theories as to their significance

Heron: A number of the patterns are int he shape of birds, with varying theories as to their significance

Monkey see, monkey do: A size of the animal designs has led many to believe that they were created to be seen by the gods

Monkey see, monkey do: A size of the animal designs has led many to believe that they were created to be seen by the gods

THE DESERT LINES THAT LAY UNSEEN FOR CENTURIES

Contrary to the popular belief that the figures can only be seen from the air, they are actually visible from the surrounding foothills.

They were first spotted by the Peruvian archaeologist Toribio Mejia Xesspe, while hiking through the foothills in 1927.

Paul Kosok, from Long Island University, is credited as the first scholar to seriously study the Nazca Lines.

While in Perus in 1940-41 to study ancient irrigation systems, he flew over the lines – realised that one was in the shape of a bird.

He also discovered that the lines converged at the winter solstice in the Southern Hemisphere.

Along with Maria Reiche, a German mathematician and archaeologist, Kosok proposed the figures were markers on the horizon to show where the sun and other celestial bodies rose.

As for how they were made, archaeological surveys have found wooden stakes in the ground at the end of some lines, which support theory the ancient people used simple tools and surveying equipment to construct the lines.

Most of the lines are formed by a shallow trench with a depth of between 10cm and 15cm, made by removing the reddish-brown iron oxide-coated pebbles that cover the surface of the Nazca desert and exposing the light-colored earth underneath.

This sublayer contains high amounts of lime which has down the years hardened to form a protective layer that shields the lines from winds and prevents erosion.

‘As Nick Saunders and I argue, it was not meant to be ‘seen’ from outside at all, but rather to be experienced from within. It was meant to be walked.

‘This leads on to the question of by whom, and in what circumstances.

‘Our conclusions in the paper are reached by combining the archaeological evidence and interpretations based on the actual experience of walking the figure in its entirety.’

Professor Ruggles first discovered the labyrinth in 1984. He said; ‘I didn’t have the slightest idea of its true nature.

‘Only gradually did I realise that here was a figure set out on a huge scale and still traceable, that it was clearly intended for walking, and that I was almost certainly the first person to have recognised it for what it was, and walked it from end to end, for some 1500 years.

‘The ancient Nasca peoples created the geoglyphs, and used them, by walking on the ground.

‘”Sharing” some of those experiences by walking the lines ourselves is an important source of information that complements the “hard” scientific and archaeological evidence and can really aid our attempts to make anthropological sense of it.’

Although arid conditions have ensured remarkable preservation of Nazca’s fragile geolyphs for over a millenium, segments of nearly all the lines and figures – including the labyrinth – have been washed away by flash floods, the study for journal Antiquity says.

But the researchers say the pristine state and well-preserved edges of the labyrinth suggest it was never walked by more than a few people in single file, which makes it likely to have had a spiritual and ritual purpose.

Road to discovery: New theory suggest the lines - parts of which are cut through by the Panamerican Highway - were a path to spiritual enlightenment

Road to discovery: New theory suggest the lines – parts of which are cut through by the Panamerican Highway – were a path to spiritual enlightenment

Flying high: The hummingbird sits atop a promontory in the Nazca Desert

Flying high: The hummingbird sits atop a promontory in the Nazca Desert

VIDEO: A flyover view of the Nazca Lines:

Laura Dern Malin Akerman

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Steve Jobs turning over in his grave? Look-alike touts rival Android

Fake_steve_jobs

Steve Jobs likeness continues to pop up in the most unlikely places. He’s been immortalized as a bronze statue in an office park in Hungary, his image was painstakingly recreated in what might be the world’s most detailed action figure, and now a Taiwanese commercial making its way around the Internet depicts the recently deceased Apple visionary as a shill for an Android-based tablet called Action Pad.

Oh, the irony!

The man playing Jobs in the commercial is Taiwanese comedian and impersonator Ah-Ken, according to a report in Reuters. The commercial never explicitly uses Jobs name, but Ah-Ken is dressed in Jobs trademark black turtleneck and blue jeans, his hair is a silvery grey, and he’s wearing glasses. He’s standing on a stage meant to mimic those that Jobs paced across during major Apple announcements and speaking excitedly to an applauding audience. One thing he has that Jobs never had: a halo and wings.

At the end of his talk he says, “Thank God I can play another pad.”

Jobs of course hated Android with his whole being. His biographer Walter Isaacson writes that he never saw Jobs as angry as when he was talking about a lawsuit Apple had filed against Android.

After telling Isaacson that he considered Google’s Android to be a wholesale ripoff of the iPhone, he said:

“I will spend my last dying breath if I need to, and I will spend every penny of Apple’s $40 billion in the bank, to right this wrong. I’m going to destroy Android, because it’s a stolen product. I’m willing to go thermonuclear war on this. They are scared to death, because they know they are guilty.”

Maybe things change in the afterlife?

Action Electronics, the company that makes the Action Pad along with other electronic gadgets, sees no problem with the advertisement. “Steve Jobs always promoted things that were good for people, Apple products, so his image can also promote other things that are good,” a spokeswoman told Reuters. “It’s just an impersonator, not Jobs,” she said.

The reaction on YouTube has been mixed with commenters vacillating between disgust and amusement, but the video itself is rapidly racking up views.

ALSO:

Steve Jobs statue unveiled in Budapest office park

Demand for iPhones in China could skyrocket, analyst says

Steve Jobs action figure is advertised; will Apple respond?

– Deborah Netburn

Image: Screen grab from a Taiwanese commercial for Action Pad that depicts Steve Jobs as a shill for the Android-based tablet. Credit: YouTube

source Amanda Doherty

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The New York Times Is Getting Into eBooks With Byliner And Vook Partnerships

The New York Times is getting into the e-books business through partnerships with digital publishers Byliner and Vook. The Times will publish up to 12 original e-singles through Byliner on a variety of topics including culture, sports, business, science, and health. The first Byliner title, “Snow Fall: The Avalanche At Tunnel Creek,” will cost $2.99 and is an expansion of author John Branch’s upcoming Dec. 17 article for the Times . Through the Vook partnership, the Times will also start publishing a curated selection of articles collectively referred to as “TimesFiles.”

Neriah Davis Lori Petty

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Samsung Galaxy S4 release time is determined and to hold a special conference

According to media reports, the hot-issues Samsung Galaxy S4 release time it determined and they will hold a special press conference.

For Samsung Galaxy S4 release time, there were media reports that it will be released together with the cheap version Galaxy note 2 on CES 2013.

Subsequently, there were media saying that the product released on CES 2013 has nothing to do with the phone, but Samsung televisions and notebook products, Galaxy S4 will not be released.

In this regard, the industry analyses, the Samsung Galaxy S4 is Samsung major products and Samsung will prepare a separate conference for it. The specific time is roughly scheduled for May next year.

Related Posts:

Jennifer Connelly Erika Eleniak

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These Terrifying Handcuffs Can Shock And Drug Prisoners

A recently filed patent details the (scary dystopian) handcuffs of the future.

Electric Shock Cuffs USPTO via Patent Bolt

An Arizona-based company recently filed a patent for high-tech futuristic handcuffs that are, in a word, terrifying. In addition to restraining prisoners, the cuffs can also deliver electric shocks and sedatives.

They’re still in the patent phase right now, of course, but when they do exist on a full commercial scale, they could work manually at a guard’s behest or they could be programmed to automatically activate when someone in cuffs starts to act up or steps outside of certain boundaries. Safety mechanisms could–hopefully will–be set to prevent a guard from doping or shocking prisoners to the point where they suffer from major side effects. Death, for example.

As for the drugs: They could include “an irritant, a medication, a sedative, a transdermal medication or transdermal enhancers such as dimethyl sulfoxide, a chemical restraint, a paralytic, a medication prescribed to the detainee, and combinations thereof.”

If the cuffs move past the patent office and into commercial production, it’ll be interesting to see what sort of rules and regulations come attached. From patent photos, it looks like the developers might already have a prototype, which means we might be seeing them sooner rather than later. Note to self: Avoid jail.

[Patent Bolt via Daily Mail]

Nina Moric Shirly Jones

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