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Apple Haswell Laptops Due in June

Posted by Sam Churchill on

KGI Securities says the product highlight of Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC), which kicks off on June 10, will be the introduction of new models of the company’s MacBook Pro and MacBook Air based on Intel’s latest Haswell processors.

Analyst Ming-Chi Kuo believes that continued strength of non-Retina MacBook Pro models, particularly the 13-inch line, have led Apple to continue producing the non-Retina lineup for the time being.

Contrary to our previous projection, we now think Apple will continue to make the MacBook Pro alongside the MacBook Air and Retina MacBook Pro because the 13” MacBook Pro remains the most popular product in the MacBook line. Also, there is still demand in emerging markets, where Internet penetration isn’t advanced, for optical disk drives.

Intel’s fourth-generation core processor, “Haswell” will arrive on June 3 at at Computex in Taiwan. Haswell is mostly about better battery life and, to a lesser extent, about improved graphics performance, says C/Net.

Intel’s earlier Ivy Bridge in Microsoft’s Surface Pro handily outperformed any ARM chip. Haswell will improve graphics performance and make full-blown tablets and convertibles running OS-X and Windows 8 both practical and likely. The MacBook Pro has been declared ‘best-performing’ Windows laptop.

The first Haswell processors are expected to be the quad-core variety aimed at high-end laptops, but mainstream 13-inch and 14-inch laptops are expected to gain from Haswell’s improved power efficiency.

Google Now on IOS

Posted by Sam Churchill on

Google Now has come to iOS for both the iPhone and iPad at Apple’s App Store. The look and feel of the app is virtually identical on both platforms.

Google Now is similar to Siri. It’s an intelligent personal assistant that uses natural language to answer questions, make recommendations, and perform actions. Voice action features include the ability to post to Google+, song recognition capabilities, and the ability to scan bar codes. Google Now recognizes repeated actions (common locations, repeated calendar appointments, search queries, etc.) to display more relevant information to the user in the form of “cards”.

Galaxy 3

Posted by Sam Churchill on

Samsung has announced a 7-inch tablet running Android 4.1 called the Galaxy Tab 3, which can also make calls in some vesions.

The new tablet gets upgraded to a 1.2GHz chip and offers 16GB of internal storage as an option — its predecessor was limited to 8GB — with the same 3-megapixel rear camera and 1.3-megapixel front camera.

The resolution of the Tab 3’s LCD is also unchanged at 1024 x 600, which isn’t much of a match for the 1280 x 800 display on the Nexus 7. No details on price, but Samsung says the Wi-Fi-only Tab 3 will be available beginning in May, followed by a 3G model for making calls and browsing the web sometime in June. It’s likely be be considerably cheaper than the Samsung Galaxy Note 8 which can also make calls and includes a Pen, but costs $400.

The Verge has a good comparison of recent 7″ tablets which now include the $170 HP’s7 inch Android slate with an ARM A9 Dual Core 1.6Ghz, microSD card and dual cameras and the $149 Asus Memo Pad ME172V with a built-in microSD slot, 1,024×600-pixel-resolution screen, front camera, but a sluggish processor.

The $250, 7″ Asus Fonepad uses an Intel Atom processor and can also place calls.

Of course you could wait a couple weeks and see what Google announces at I/O. Android 4.3 is now expected to debut at Google I/O, not Android 5.0, reports C/Net.

NASA Launches 3 PhoneSats

Posted by Sam Churchill on

Over the weekend, NASA successfully launched into space three satellites consisting mainly of smartphones. The PhoneSats, have been transmitting signals to ground stations on Earth and will remain in orbit for as long as two weeks (#NASA_PhoneSat).

The Phonesats took off from NASA’s Wallops Island Flight Facility in Virginia with three satellites; PhoneSat 1.0, dubbed Graham and Bell, and an early prototype of PhoneSat 2.0, called Alexander.

Launched by the privately-developed Antares rocket, operated by Orbital Sciences, the Antares rocket engines lean on Russian moon legacy. Orbital Sciences and SpaceX were picked by NASA for cargo services to the ISS.

Using commercial off-the-shelf smartphone components, PhoneSat 1.0 was built using HTC Nexus One, while PhoneSat 2.0 — which has improved software and more sensors — is powered by Samsung Nexus S. Each NASA PhoneSat nanosatellite is one standard CubeSat unit in size and weighs less than four pounds.

Since the demonstration flight began, Alexander, Graham and Bell have been broadcasting signals over amateur radio band at 437.425 MHz. NASA created Phonesat.org, a website where anyone around the world can upload data “packets” they receive from the PhoneSats. The site has already collected more than 200 packets from amateur radio operators who have been tracking the satellites.

Each miniature satellite, measuring only four inches on each side and weighting less than four pounds, cost $3,500 to construct. NASA said its goal with PhoneSats is to send cheaper, easier to build satellites to space. Sunday’s launch is estimated to cost as little as $50,000. As a comparison, a typical satellite costs as much as $500 million.

A similar British smartphone-based satellite named STRaND 1 launched in February and was initially operated with a conventional CubeSat computer before it was supposed to be switched over to an on-board Android-based Nexus One phone.

But STRaND 1 stopped communicating with Earth a few weeks ago, before engineers at Surrey Satellite, the builder of the spacecraft, were able to turn on the smartphone control system.

The STRaND 1 team is working with amateur radio operators to search for signals from the satellite.

Related DailyWireless CubeSat stories include; Surrey Satellite Launches Smartphone in Space, NASA Enters CubeSat Race, Hackerspace Satellite , Formation Flying Swarmbots, Nexus S in Space, Small Satellite Conference Celebrates 25 Years, Space-Based Vessel Tracking, AIS Space Race , Orbcomm’s Space-based AIS Fails, FabFi: Cell Network in a Suitcase, Rebel Phone Network, High School Builds Police Robot, Atom Shrinks, Climate Satellite and Cubesats Lost, Funding Found For Flexible, Free-Flying Satellite Swarms, Small Satellite Conference,

UK Gears Up for Commercial White Spaces

Posted by Sam Churchill on

The UK is gearing up for a White Space rollout next year, after their trial in Cambridge, with potential uses including rural broadband and machine to machine communications.

Ofcom chief executive Ed Richards said in a statement on Friday:

“Ofcom is preparing for a future where consumers’ demand for data services will experience huge growth. This will be fuelled by smartphones, tablets and other new wireless applications.”

Under Ofcom’s plans, a TV white space device will not be able to start transmitting until it gets clearance from a database qualified by Ofcom and listed on a dedicated Ofcom website. This database will provide updated information on where the TV white spaces are and the power level that devices would need to be restricted to if they wanted to use them.

Spectrum Bridge, which maintains a geo-tagged database of television transmitters, is dedicated to working with partners like Carlson to manage TV White Spaces, which require a lookup function to avoid interference with nearby terrestrial television signals. Spectrum Bridge also has partnership with Neul to expand the global deployment of TV White Spaces (TVWS) networks for machine-to-machine (M2M) communications in the UK.

UK-based Neul says their TV White Space transceiver chip, is the first capable of tuning across the entire UHF TV white space spectrum (470 – 790MHz), delivering reliable, secure, long range wireless, non-line-of-sight connectivity to previously unreachable applications and locations for both machine-to-machine (M2M) as well as for applications in wireless broadband.

US-based Carlson has commenced a large-scale deployment of commercial TVWS products in Northern California. The project comprises multiple transmission sites delivering broadband to several hundred heretofore un-serviceable subscribers in El Dorado County.

The success of their project will help qualify the potential of TVWS and provide a hopeful outlook for millions of other rural Americans awaiting quality broadband.

Related Dailywireless articles include; Microsoft Announced Narrow Channel Whitespace, FCC Authorizes White Space Service in Wilmington, FCC Gets Unlicensed White Spaces in Payroll Tax Bill, White Space Show Down, Genachowski Lobbies for Unlicensed White Spaces, Universal Service Reform Passed, Microsoft Announced Narrow Channel Whitespace, FCC Authorizes White Space Service in Wilmington, White Space Legislation Goes Dark, White Space War, Bills to Kill Unlicensed White Space?, White Space Trial Completed, White Space Trialed, Huawei to Trial White Space TD-LTE, NTIA “Finds” 1.5 GHz of Federal Spectrum, UK Delays 4G Auction Ofcom: White Spaces by 2013, UK Gets Free Public WiFi, Europe’s Digital Divide Auction

CISPA Dead for Now

Posted by Sam Churchill on

The Senate will almost certainly kill a controversial cybersecurity bill, recently passed by the House, according to a U.S. Senate Committee member, reports ZDNet.

Michelle Richardson, legislative council with the American Civil Liberties Union, told the publication she thinks CISPA is “dead for now,” and said the Senate will “probably pick up where it left off last year.”

Civil liberties groups have called the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act a “privacy killer,” and “dangerously vague,” and warned that it may be in breach of the Fourth Amendment.

Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-WV), the chairman of the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation, said in a statement on April 18 that CISPA’s privacy protections are “insufficient.”

A committee aide told ZDNet on Thursday that Rockefeller believes the Senate will not take up CISPA. The White House has also said the President won’t sign the House bill.

Staff and senators are understood to be “drafting separate bills” that will maintain the cybersecurity information sharing while preserving civil liberties and privacy rights.