Throwback Thursday: IBM

By on June 16, 2011 at 3:45 PM.

Throwback Thursday: IBM

BGR’s Throwback Thursday segment is typically reserved for extinct tech, but this week we make an exception. On June 16th, 1911 — one hundred years ago today — Charles Ranlett Flint merged three companies to form the Computing-Tabulating-Recording Company. Headquartered in New York City, CTR manufactured and sold scales, card-punch machines, meat slicers and a variety of other products that have long since been replaced by several generations of improved offerings. CTR changed its name to International Business Machines Corporation, or IBM, on February 14th, 1924, to better align its name with its wide range of products. IBM would hit its stride building tabulating devices, and it was at the forefront of developing the PCs we now take for granted. Now, 100 years later with a market capitalization of just under $200 billion, IBM remains a leader in the technology space, producing software and hardware that will shape the future of computing. Happy 100th, IBM, and here’s to 100 more.

BGR’s Throwback Thursday is a weekly series covering our (and your) favorite gadgets, games, and software of yesterday and yesteryear.

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Apple’s new iMac gets torn open; same LG display spotted

By on May 4, 2011 at 9:11 PM.

Apple’s new iMac gets torn open; same LG display spotted

The crew over at iFixit — torx screw drivers in hand – just stripped down one of Apple’s brand new 21.5 inch Sandy Bridge iMacs to give us a look at its guts. There aren’t too many surprises in store: the computer uses the same LG display found in the last generation of iMacs, and iFixit was pleased to find that Apple used an appropriate amount of thermal paste on the CPU and GPU — a “happy departure from the gobs” Cupertino put on the new MacBook Pro. The RAM, hard drive, and optical drive can be swapped out easily, too; you’ll just have to remove the LCD in order to do so. iFixit gave the new iMac a 7 out of 10 “repairability score,” as most of the hardware was easy to access. The team’s biggest complaint was with the need to remove the logic board in order to clean the LCD after reassembling the computer. Hit the jump for a few more images of the teardown. More →

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Ovi Maps, Nokia-branded app store coming to Windows Phone

By on April 22, 2011 at 11:59 PM.

Ovi Maps, Nokia-branded app store coming to Windows Phone

In a recent blog post, Nokia reaffirmed its commitment to the Windows Phone ecosystem by offering us a glimpse at what is to come. The company’s CEO, Stephen Elop, has noted that Nokia has “shifted from a mode of developing” its strategy to one of “putting that strategy into action.” Part of the Finnish phone giants plans involve bringing some of Nokia’s strengths to all members of the Windows Phone family, and one of the most exciting Symbian ports will definitely be Ovi Maps. “Nokia will supply mapping and location-based services for the Windows Phone ecosystem, building on the success it’s experienced with Ovi Maps,” reads the blog post. The company also notes that a “Nokia-branded  application store” will be present on the company’s Windows Phone hardware. The CEO also went on to say that Nokia is hard at work in the hardware department, and quipped that his company would “define some of the future disruptions in our market.” More →

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T-Mobile Sidekick 4G now available

By on April 20, 2011 at 9:57 AM.

T-Mobile Sidekick 4G now available

If you’ve been patiently waiting to get your paws on the Sidekick’s sweet, sweet, keyboard, the wait is over. The T-Mobile Sidekick 4G — built by Samsung — sports a 1GHz processor, Android 2.2 (Froyo), 3-megapixel rear-facing camera, and HSPA+ radio for access to T-Mobile’s 4G network. Despite packing more heat than any other Sidekick before it, the device still maintains the same lovable form factor of the Sidekicks from yesteryear. We dug the colorful user interface and sturdy build quality during our initial hands-on, and think it will be a big hit with Sidekick fans everywhere. T-Mobile’s offering the phone for $99.99 with a new two year contract, and it’s available in matte black and magenta. More →

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Intel outs new Atom Z760 processor for tablets

By on April 11, 2011 at 3:00 PM.

Intel outs new Atom Z760 processor for tablets

Intel on Monday officially took the wraps off of its latest Atom Z760 processor, formerly codenamed “Oak Trail.” The Atom Z760 processor promises to provide better performance, specifically with multimedia playback, and it supports 1080p video encoding as well as HDMI-out in a package that’s 60% smaller than previous Atom CPUs. The new processor also supports Windows 7, Android and MeeGo, allowing manufacturers to build tablets that can boot into a variety of operating systems, and Intel says the chip is designed for more portable embedded designs. The Atom Z760 chip — clocked at 1.5GHz – has been shipping to manufacturers for the last few weeks and tablets from OEMs including Lenovo, Toshiba and Fujitsu are expected to hit the market as soon as this May. Intel confirmed with BGR that the “lion’s share” of the Atom Z760 powered tablets will run Windows 7. The chip maker will show devices running the new processor during the Intel Developer Forum, which begins on Tuesday, and it will also tease its next generation “Cedar Trail” chip for netbooks during the forum. Cedar Trail will provide support for Intel Wireless Display, PC Synch, Fast Boot and Intel Wireless Music. Hit the jump for the full release. More →

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Apple's AirPlay private key discovered, revealed

By on April 11, 2011 at 8:09 AM.

Apple's AirPlay private key discovered, revealed

It looks as though software developer James Laird has opened Pandora’s box for Apple’s AirPlay music streaming system. Frustrated by the fact that an AirPort Express emulator did not exist, Laird began to look for a solution that would allow him to stream iTunes music without the use of AirPlay. “I was disappointed to find that Apple used a public-key crypto scheme, and there’s a private key hiding inside the ApEx [Airport Extreme],” wrote Laird. “So I took it apart (I still have scars from opening the glued case!), dumped the ROM, and reverse engineered the keys out of it.” Laird has published the private key in an open source software project dubbed ShairPort (clever). The software, which is built in Perl and C, will allow users to stream iTunes content to hardware and software designed to talk to ShairPort. Apple has opened up its AirPlay system to third-parties in recent months, but this blows the doors wide open for all those looking to circumvent that red tape-filled process. More →

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Nokia: Symbian is no longer open source

By on April 8, 2011 at 12:31 PM.

Nokia: Symbian is no longer open source

Nokia recently said that its Symbian operating system is no longer open source. The Finnish firm is continuing to provide source code to Japanese OEMs and its small developer community in an alternative “open and direct” model. “Consistent with this, the Nokia Symbian License is an alternative license which provides an access to Nokia’s additional Symbian development for parties which collaborate with Nokia on the Symbian platform,” Nokia stated. The Symbian Foundation opened up the Symbian source code in February 2010, and in November of last year Nokia and the Symbian Foundation announced that Nokia would take full control of the OS in March 2011. More →

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Apple to focus on iOS, Mac OS at WWDC; no iPhone 5 announcement?

By on March 28, 2011 at 10:31 AM.

Apple to focus on iOS, Mac OS at WWDC; no iPhone 5 announcement?

Earlier today, Apple announced that it will be holding its annual Worldwide Developers Conference from June 6th to June 10th in San Francisco where it said that it will “unveil the future of iOS and Mac OS.” That suggests that Apple may stray from its usual schedule of announcing an updated iPhone during the show each year. “You get caught up in patterns, and it holds true, until it doesn’t,” Michael Gartenberg, an analyst with Gartner, told The Loop. “There is no reason for Apple to follow a predictable yearly pattern, and it keeps their competition off guard a little bit.” We’ll be honest, it would be pretty disappointing to many Apple fans if this deviation was true, but we’re skeptical. It makes perfect sense for Apple to announce the new hardware alongside an updated iOS platform with developers in the room. Why stray from what works? More →

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iPad 2 and iPhone 4 shortages expected in wake of Japan earthquake, tsunami

By on March 17, 2011 at 10:49 AM.

iPad 2 and iPhone 4 shortages expected in wake of Japan earthquake, tsunami

Two of Apple’s component suppliers, Mitsubishi Gas Chemical Co and Toshiba, have reportedly shut down some of their operations in Japan in the wake of the March 11th earthquake and tsunami. According to Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster, this could result in shortages of Apple’s iPad 2 and iPhone 4 in March, through the rest of the first quarter, and into June. Toshiba manufactures 40% of the world’s flash memory, and Mitsubishi Gas Chemical Co is believed to be Apple’s go-to company for BT resin — which is used on circuit boards. Munster says Apple’s strategy to buy from multiple component suppliers could help soften the blow. “This strategy has proven to be an effective way for Apple to leverage its balance sheet and its position as one of the largest buyers of many of the components it uses; moreover, this strategy may prove particularly helpful if supply is limited and pricing increases,” wrote Munster. “Finally, we believe Apple buys futures on important components, which will help offset near-term pricing swings. Our conclusion is that Apple is well positioned to suffer proportionally less than its competitors.” Apple’s stock traded down sharply yesterday on the news of an analyst downgrade and potential supply shortages. More →

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iPad 2 and Smart Cover guts revealed in iFixit tear-down

By on March 14, 2011 at 2:12 PM.

iPad 2 and Smart Cover guts revealed in iFixit tear-down

iFixit got down and dirty opening up the iPad 2 Wi-Fi and its Smart Cover accessory over the weekend and has published specs and pictures of the inner workings of both. There aren’t a ton of surprises hiding in the iPad 2, which sports a 1GHz A5 dual-core processor manufactured by Samsung, 512MB of LPDDR2 RAM, a 9.7-inch LED-backlit multitouch display, and 16GB, 32GB, or 64GB of internal storage. Its Wi-Fi board is powered by a Broadcom BCM43291HKUBC chip that was used in the first iPad and in the iPhone 4.

Also listed on the battery is a capacity of 6930 mAh. Since mAh = Watt-hours / volts * 1000, converting using the above numbers yields 25 / 3.8 * 1000 = 6,579. It looks like there might be some rounding going on here, or the battery voltage might actually be more like 3.6 volts.

The iPad 2 Smart Cover tear-down revealed 21 magnets (in addition to the 10 magnets in the iPad 2 itself), a large metal plate encased in plastic, and two structural plates. Hit the jump for images of a heaping serving of hardware porn.

More →

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U.S. video game market jumps 3% in February

By on March 12, 2011 at 7:13 AM.

U.S. video game market jumps 3% in February

The U.S. retail video games market grew 3% in February, up from the same time period last year, to $1.36 billion, according to new figures from NPD Group. Video game hardware sales were up 10%, but software revenue fell 5% during the month. Microsoft’s Kinect controller for the Xbox 360, which Microsoft recently said passed 10 million unit sales, helped drive the 22% jump in sales of video game accessories. Microsoft’s Xbox 360 console rocked the top sales spot in the console market, with 535,000 consoles sold in February. Nintendo sold 454,000 Wii units, and Sony has not yet disclosed sales figures for the PlayStation 3. More →

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Verifone to include NFC in all new payment systems

By on March 5, 2011 at 8:21 AM.

Verifone to include NFC in all new payment systems

In an attempt to combat what it is referring to as “merchant resistance,” payment solutions company Verifone has taken an unprecedented step with NFC (Near Field Communications) technology. The company will begin to include NFC in all new POS (point-of-sale) systems deployed to merchants. “The retail point of sale represents a point of convergence for smartphone-initiated payments, social networking and electronic couponing, but it won’t happen if retailers are expected, on faith, to absorb the costs of making it work,” said the Verifone’s CEO, Douglas G Bergeron. “We find ourselves at the epicenter of the mobile payments revolution and the key enabler of the integration of new payment methods with the world’s existing payment infrastructure.” Mr. Bergeron does caution that the mere presence of NFC in POS systems does not make a retailer ready to accept touch-less payment, rather it takes “deep software richness at the point-of-sale to interact with the smartphone and manage a services-based model.” The move is sure to have a positive affect on the future adoption rate of NFC, and we applaud Verifone for taking this giant step. More →

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Samsung considers Galaxy Tab 10.1 overhaul following iPad 2 unveiling

By on March 4, 2011 at 10:37 AM.

Samsung considers Galaxy Tab 10.1 overhaul following iPad 2 unveiling

Following the unveiling of Apple’s second-generation iPad tablet earlier this week, competitors are left scrambling to react. The iPad 2 wasn’t perfect, of course, but it still sets the standard for tablets in 2011 and it will still outsell the competition 10 to one. Apple had its eye on hardware with its iPad 2 update, and the sleek, slender result was so impressive that it seemingly left Samsung scrambling to overhaul its upcoming Galaxy Tab 10.1 slate. The company is already rethinking some of the tablet’s hardware components, Korea’s Yonhap News Agency reports, in consideration of the iPad 2’s 8.8-millimeter aluminum body. “We will have to improve the parts that are inadequate,” Lee Don-joo, EVP of Samsung’s mobile business, told Yonhap. “Apple made it very thin.” Samsung is also considering a lower price point when it releases the Tab 10.1 later this year, according to Lee. “The 10-inch [Galaxy Tab] was to be priced higher than the 7-inch [Galaxy Tab] but we will have to think that over.” More →

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