Sandeep Venugopal’s Weblog

June 19, 2008

Omnia, competition for iPhone from Samsung!

Filed under: Uncategorized — Sandeep @ 6:35 pm
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Samsung Electronics South Korea released on early Monday preview details on the company’s new smartphone, before the mania of Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference begins in California. The Samsung Omnia (SGH-i900) is similar in looks and function to the Samsung Instinct (SPH-M800), but with a few more bells and whistles. For starters, it sounds like it has a very promising camera. With five megapixels and anti-shake technology, this may be the first camera on a phone that produces pictures you would actual think of printing, not just posting to Facebook. This is an improvement over the 2-megapixel cameras on both the first-generation iPhone and on the Samsung Instinct.

The touch-screen smartphone, which runs on Windows Mobile 6.1 and features Word, Excel, Powerpoint, and Opera 9.5 as its Web browser, will also have Wi-Fi. That’s something the Instinct also lacks. Like the Instinct, the Omnia has visual voice mail, 3G capability, Bluetooth, an FM radio, and GPS functionality. The smartphone, of course, also doubles as a music player and, with 16GB, will be able to hold up to 4,000 songs or 100 minutes of video, according to Samsung. The Omnia (SGH-i900) will become available in Southeast Asia first and then be launched to other markets over the second half of 2008, according to Samsung.

Source: Crave


May 27, 2008

Samsung plans 256GB SSD drive this year! Sweet!

Filed under: Uncategorized — Sandeep @ 9:34 pm
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Samsung Electronics plans to launch within this year a flash memory-based solid-state disk that boasts a 256GB capacity and high-speed interface, it said Monday. The drive, which was unveiled in prototype form at a Samsung event in Taipei, has the same form factor as a 9.5-millimeter high 2.5-inch hard-disk drive for which it is designed to be a drop-in replacement. Solid-state disks (SSDs) are an emerging type of storage device that use flash memory chips in place of the spinning magnetic disks used in hard-disk drives.

The memory chips mean the drives are more sturdy and typically have a higher performance but the per-byte storage cost is also much higher, so they are generally more expensive. That has largely restricted them to niche applications but as flash prices come down they are expected to become more widely used. The prototype drive announced today by the company has a read speed of 200M bytes per second (Bps) and a sequential write speed of 160M Bps, said Samsung. Samples of the drive will be available to customers from September with mass production due by the end of the year. A version with a similar form factor to a 1.8-inch drive is also expected to be available in the fourth quarter of the year, the company said.

Source: PC World, Martin

Music 2.0, MT9: Koreans develop new music format!

Filed under: Uncategorized — Sandeep @ 9:32 pm
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Korean computer engineers are introducing a new digital music format that has a six-channel audio equalizer and separate controls on the sound volume for each musical instrument, such as guitar, drum, base and voice. The new format, which has a file extension format of MT9 and a commercial title of “Music 2.0″, is poised to replace the popular MP3 file format as the de-facto standard of the digital music source, its inventors say. The MT9 technology was selected as a candidate item for the new digital music standard at the last regular meeting of Motion Picture Experts Group (MPEG), the international body of the digital music and video industry.

Ham says that the music industry should change its attitude to the market as music is becoming a digital service, rather than a physical product. Samsung Electronics and LG Electronics are both interested in equipping their mobile phones with an MT9 player and their first commercial products are likely to debut early next year, he said. Unlike other digital formats exclusively used by big companies, Audizen (the venture company behind the development) allows users to copy the MT9 files, making it a more attractive format. “It’s like having a CD or cassette tape. Once you buy it, you can lend it to your friends. We don’t want to be too fussy about DRM (digital right management),” said Ham Seung-chul, chief of Audizen.

Source: Korea Times, Martin

Samsung will sell 1TB drive under $199! Niceee…

Filed under: Uncategorized — Sandeep @ 9:30 pm
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Samsung has released a one terabyte (TB) hard drive that’s capable of storing around 40 billion songs (or something near that number perhaps) for only $199, which is less than 100 English pounds. The desire for HD-quality programming and hard disk drive (HDD) recorders has led to an increase in storage capacity, and now the industry is talking about things in TBs rather than GBs. Although only an option for the PC, the EcoGreen F1 from Samsung offers a huge amount of storage for serial downloaders, or, as the Korean electronics company suggests, those with large surveillance capture needs.

Any HDD for less than a hundred pounds has to be worth the money, and this capacity would surely be all the storage you would ever need. Ever, ever, ever. Samsung have attempted to keep things decent in the spec stakes too, with 5400RPM rotational speeds, and offering the highest capacity per disk for one terabyte hard drives, at 334GB per platter. This keeps the amount of parts needed down to a minimum, thus boosting the overall performance of the device. Samsung says the drive uses up to 50 per cent less power than other one TB drives and has technology to keep it quiet through operation. EcoGreen F1 should be available in June of this year.

Source: Techradar, Martin

May 3, 2008

Adobe gives away Flash for cell phones! Niceee…

Filed under: Uncategorized — Sandeep @ 12:25 am
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Adobe Systems Inc. says it will license its video-enabling Flash software for free for mobile devices to help developers make mobile Internet experiences more closely resemble the experience on computers. The world’s fifth-largest software maker is launching what it calls the Open Screen Project with support from phone makers Motorola Inc., Nokia Corp., Samsung Electronics, Sony Ericsson and Toshiba Corp., from chip makers Intel and Qualcomm, and from content providers including NBC Universal, MTV Networks and the BBC, among other companies. With the Open Screen Project, Adobe said, it aims to improve Internet experiences on all electronics, including computers, TVs and digital video recorders. But mobile devices are a particular focus.

Many mobile applications have met with disappointment from consumers. And game and video developers have been burdened with cranking out numerous versions of applications for mobile devices, said Kevin Lynch, Adobe’s chief technology officer. “You have to make over 100 different versions of that game in order to actually make it work across all these different phones,” Lynch said. Notably missing from the list of industry supporters for Adobe’s project is Apple Inc. The iPhone maker does not use Flash on its smart phones, and Chief Executive Steve Jobs has publicly criticized Flash for being too slow. Adobe says it’s working on a version of Flash for the iPhone — now that Apple has released the information needed to custom fit the software to Apple’s operating system.

Source: AP, Martin

April 17, 2008

Samsung CEO charged with fraud, avoids arrest!

Filed under: Uncategorized — Sandeep @ 2:27 pm
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Oh Lee Kun-hee — if you keep this up, you’re going to make the Enron CEOs look like choir boys. The latest episode in the unending shame-game that is Samsung’s corporate improprieties comes in the form of a an actual indictment against the electronic-maker’s top man… for fraud. According to a report out of Australia, prosecutors in Korea have formally charged Kun-hee (who has admitted guilt anyhow), but say they won’t arrest him because it would cause “enormous disruption” in the company’s operations. Authorities said instead they plan to send him to a week-long, all-expenses-paid trip to a luxurious spa, and hope that a deep tissue rub will rid him of his lawbreaking ways.

Source: EN, abc

March 18, 2008

Samsung preps ultra-thin 8MP phone camera!

Filed under: Uncategorized — Sandeep @ 11:41 am
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Samsung this morning revealed what it says is one of the world’s smallest high-resolution cameras yet. Although capable of 8-megapixel shots, the new camera is roughly as wide as a coin and a third of an inch thick, allowing it to fit into far thinner and more compact phones than even many 5-megapixel cameras. The sensor is also more powerful than most at its size with up to ISO 1600 light sensitivity, anti-blur and noise correction, and both face and smile detection for portraits.
The optics are also said to be flexible with a 30mm wide-angle equivalent and extremely close macro shooting up to 0.4 inches away from the lens. Samsung explains that the new camera will be used both in Korea and abroad and that it should find its way both into cellphones as well as digital cameras and other portable media devices. Production samples will start arriving for customers in May but should reach shipping products sometime in the second half of this year, though the company has not named any launch partners.

Source: electronista

January 29, 2008

Qtrax free music player disappoints

Filed under: Uncategorized — Sandeep @ 10:13 pm
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Qtrax had promised a working beta last night, but we knew there was going to be problems after visiting the website. The company warned that downloads weren’t yet available and posted this message on the site.

“We’re thrilled with the massive response we’ve received. To ensure the best user experience, we’re activating accounts in stages. In the meantime, enjoy all the functionalities of the Qtrax player like importing and playing your music and searching for artist-related content.”

Disregarding the warning, we downloaded the 9.4 MB install program anyways. After the install, the program scans your hard drive for music and appeared to crash several times during the process. We had to continually close and restart the program to get Songbird working again.

We then tried downloading a few music clips and at first everything appears to be ok. You are presented a description of the CD and songs. You are even given a nice shiny download button, but a pop-up box saying “Downloads Coming Soon” appears when you click the button.

But don’t be completely disappointed folks, at least Qtrax got the ads to work correctly. Take a look at our screenshot gallery and you’ll see some giant Samsung banner ads appearing along the top and side of the Qtrax player.

Source: TG Daily

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