BOG Gadget Reviews & Latest Tech News

Sony unveils voice-controlled Google TV device

Sony has announced a new Google TV set-top box called the NSZ-GS8 Internet Player.

The device comes with a range of smart features, such as voice control and sharing features via a companion app for smartphones.

Sony's NSZ-GS8 Internet Player

The hardware's Universal Voice-Activated Remote responds to vocal commands, and users can customise applications and share content via the Airtight software for iOS and Android devices.

NSZ-GS8 owners will gain access to live TV, single episodes, entire seasons, games and more through the Google TV platform.

Internet browsing is also supported through Google Chrome, which comes with a Flash plugin for viewing online content that requires the Adobe technology.

The NSZ-GS8 Internet Player will be released in July with a price tag of $199. It is yet to be confirmed whether the product will be available outside of the US

Samsung Galaxy S4 Active is a waterproof S4, out this summer

Mobile Phones
Samsung's long-rumoured Galaxy S4 Active has entered the realm of officialdom at last, and will be out in the UK this summer, Samsung has confirmed.

The S4 Active is a rugged version of the regular S4, aimed at outdoorsy types who don't want a phone that'll faint at the first sight of dust or water. The phone has a sealed design that -- Samsung promises -- will protect the S4 Active from water damage for up to 30 minutes of submergence at a depth of one metre.
More than enough protection against dropping it in your pint, then, but Samsung also reckons you'll be able to take underwater photos using the Active's 8-megapixel camera, and a new 'Aqua Mode'.

 It's a little chunkier, thanks to the bulky protective casing, but for those worried about smashing their phone, that's not much of a sacrifice. Personally I quite like the exposed screws and industrial styling you get on the S4 Active's rear casing.

Samsung told CNET that the S4 Active will be out in the UK this summer. Phones 4u has confirmed they'll be selling the phone.

HTC Desire U goes on sale in India for Rs 13,499

HTC Desire U has made its way to India. The smartphone is available on the e-commerce site for Rs 13,499. The website lists that the phone will be delivered in 7-8 business days.

The HTC Desire U is a dual SIM (GSM + GSM) phone, which has a 4-inch 480 x 800 Super LCD capacitive touchscreen. It is powered by a 1 GHz processor and runs Android 4.0 ICS operating system. The phone has 512 MB RAM.

It has a 5 megapixel rear camera with an LED flash. The phone has an internal storage of 4GB, which can be expanded up to 32 GB via a microSD card. The smartphone comes packed with a 1650 mAh Li-ion battery. The phone is available in Polar White colour.

HTC Desire U goes on sale in India for Rs 13,499

The HTC Desire U is a dual SIM (GSM + GSM) phone, which has a 4-inch 480 x 800 Super LCD capacitive touchscreen and a 5MP rear camera.

Available in Polar White colour, the phone was originally announced in January.

Samsung's surprise patent win could block Apple iPhone 4 sales in US

US tech giant claims ruling it infringed patent essential for 3G standard will have 'no impact' on availability of its products

A man holding an iPhone 4 up to the camera 
The iPhone 4's 3G connectivity in the US uses a Samsung patent. Photograph: Paul Hackett/Reuters
Samsung has won a surprise victory in a patent battle with Apple that could see the iPhone 4 and 3G-capable iPad 2 banned from sale in the US.

The decision – over a patent deemed essential to conform with the 3G standards, which Samsung has pledged to license freely – will be appealed against by Apple, which said that it will have "no impact" on the availability of its products in the US.

The final judgment by the International Trade Commission, which only adjudicates on requests for import bans to the US, will intensify debate over the US patent system, which is seen as hobbling competition in some fields. It came just hours after Barack Obama pledged to shake up his country's patent litigation system, with reform of the ITC among its objectives.

The ITC decided that the provision of 3G mobile data links in the iPhone 4, released in 2010, and 3G-capable iPad 2, infringed US patent 7,706,348. It rejected Apple's contention that Samsung had failed to license the patent on "fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory" (FRAND) terms, as is required for standards-essential patents (SEPs). The iPhone 5 and 4S, and iPads released in 2012, are unaffected by the decision.

Apple and Samsung have been fighting a war of attrition through the various patent courts in the US and around the world in which they have sought to ban and otherwise limit sales of each other's products in Europe, the US, Australia and Asia. The ITC decision is the most significant win for Samsung in the US after a series of losses and indeterminate rulings there.

The decision to allow Samsung's request for a ban is controversial, because the FTC in January demanded a consent order from Google in which it would pledge that its Motorola subsidiary would not seek sales bans against "willing licensees" of SEPs.

It will also focus attention on the ITC, which has been used by a number of companies including Apple, Samsung, HTC, Nokia and others to seek import bans over alleged patent infringement against rivals in the hugely valuable smartphone business. On Tuesday, Obama announced plans to overhaul many of the US's patent litigation systems, including "change the ITC standard for obtaining an injunction to better align it" with the tests applied in US federal courts. Those effectively preclude sales bans over SEPs on willing licensees.
In Europe, the antitrust arm of the European Commission has indicated it will take legal action, perhaps including fines, against Samsung for seeking sales bans over SEPs against Apple – the same scenario in which the ITC has backed Samsung. One of the ITC's commissioners dissented from Tuesday's ruling, citing "public interest grounds".

Normally, the owner of a patented technology can decide whether or not to license it, and what rate to charge for it. But with SEPs, the owner pledges to a standards body to offer it on FRAND terms to any licensee. The payment for such patents is usually small – perhaps amounting to a fraction of a penny per use – in return for widespread use. That allows other companies to build their products to an agreed standard. Systems such as the 3G and Wi-Fi wireless networking and the H.264 video encoding/decoding standards incorporate hundreds of patents, all of which are licensed under FRAND terms.

In its judgment, the ITC said that Samsung's FRAND declarations "do not preclude" a sales ban. However, that is at odds with the FTC and European Commission position over SEPs.

"We believe the ITC's final determination has confirmed Apple's history of free-riding on Samsung's technological innovations," Samsung said in a statement to the AllThingsD website. "Our decades of research and development in mobile technologies will continue, and we will continue to offer innovative products to consumers in the US."

Apple said it was "disappointed" with the decision and that it would appeal to a federal court. Its only other alternative to avoid the import ban would be to appeal directly to Obama.
"Samsung is using a strategy which has been rejected by courts and regulators around the world," an Apple spokesperson said in a statement to AllThingsD. "They've admitted that it's against the interests of consumers in Europe and elsewhere, yet here in the US Samsung continues to try to block the sale of Apple products by using patents they agreed to license to anyone for a reasonable fee."

Apple has been seeking a US sales ban without success on a number of Samsung smartphones and tablets after it won a jury verdict and $1.05bn in damages against the South Korean company in a Californian court in August 2012. That case revolved around patents which Apple has not made part of a standard, and which it said Samsung knowingly infringed. The jury rejected counterclaims by Samsung that Apple had infringed a number of SEPs.

Lucy Koh, the judge in the case, has so far declined to allow that ban, and has ordered a retrial affecting about $400m of the damages award.

32GB Asus Nexus 7 price let out in India

Asus has announced that the 32GB Google Nexus 7 will be available in India soon and the price for the Wi-Fi variant has been etched as Rs. 18,999. The version with 3G support is also set to cross the border carrying a label of Rs. 21,999.

 The maker was earlier reported to be targeting a launch window sometime in the month of June. And then less than a week ago, the 16GB model had its availability declared and it also showed up on the Play store for pre-order. Seeing as this variant only offered connectivity via WLAN, prospective buyers will be quite happy with the new development.

The latest device will be rocking the Android 4.2 Jelly Bean platform out of the box, and will be gaining steam from a quad core chipset along with 1GB of RAM. With the incorporation of Tegra 3’s 4-plus-1 design, consumption of battery is regularized without compromising on the performance. A 1-cell power pack supplies enough charge to the slab to keep it alive for around 10 hours of web browsing or approximately 300 hours of standby time.

A 7-inch touchscreen which spews out visuals at a resolution of 1280 x 800 pixels is rendered almost impervious to imminent scratches and scrapes. This is owing to the use of Corning Gorilla Glass in its construction. The display shares space with a 1.2MP camera on the front panel that can be used for the purpose of making face-to-face calls and capturing pictures and videos. It is devoid of a rear-facing snapper though. The manufacturer asserts that the device has been optimized for gaming with its IPS screen and powerful internal environment. Furthermore, the infused OS adds weight to the maker’s claims, allowing exposure to around 700,000 apps and games.

The 32GB Asus Google Nexus 7 doesn’t have any specific release date affixed to it, as of now. Those who are interested in the version with lesser storage space can always take a look at the 16GB which sells for Rs. 15,999.

Specifications of the slate:

- OS: Android Jelly Bean 4.2
- Processor: Quad core Nvidia Tegra 3
- Memory: 32GB
- Display: 7-inch touchscreen
- Resolution: 1280 x 800 pixels
- Camera: 1.2MP front-facing snapper
- Form factor: 198.5 x 120 x 10.45 millimeters
- Weight: 340 grams

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