Monday, 27 February 2012

Mashable: Latest 26 News Updates - including “Up Close With the HTC One X and One S [VIDEO]”

Mashable: Latest 26 News Updates - including “Up Close With the HTC One X and One S [VIDEO]”

Up Close With the HTC One X and One S [VIDEO]

Posted: 27 Feb 2012 02:22 AM PST

BARCELONA: Although HTC CEO Peter Chou said the company’s new strategy is to offer customers one device that has it all, HTC actually launched three devices from the HTC One range, with HTC One X being the flagship phone.

I had a chance to play a bit with the HTC One X and HTC One S (the HTC One V was also present, but HTC wouldn’t let us turn it on), and I came away impressed.

Both devices are based on Android 4 or Ice Cream Sandwich and the latest version of HTC’s overlay UI, Sense 4. HTC One X is the more powerful one, though, with quad-core Tegra 3 on board, and it shows: the device is, simply put, the fastest Android handset we’ve ever held in our hands.

Everything – and I mean everything, including the 0.7-second photo snapping HTC is so proud about – feels really smooth and snappy. The Sense UI feels really subtle in its latest iteration, and it doesn’t slow down the experience one bit.

This doesn’t mean that the HTC One S is slow; in fact, if One X didn’t exist, HTC could call this device its flagship phone and I wouldn’t complain. I didn’t spend a whole lot of time with it, but it felt just as fast as its elder brother.

Physically, both devices are incredibly light, and this goes especially for the HTC One X. With its 4.7-inch form factor, you’d expect a heavier device, and its lightness makes it feel less clunky in your hand – though I’m still not sure whether a 4.7-inch screen is too big for a smartphone.

Which leads us to the physical traits of the HTC One S – it has a 4.3-inch screen and a black aluminum case, which many will prefer to the polycarbonate unibody case of the One X. It’s very thin – 7.95 milimeters, and it feels sturdy but light in your hand. If you don’t mind the slightly weaker specs compared to the One X, it might even be a better fit for you than HTC’s flagship Android.

Check out our videos and photos of HTC One X and HTC One S below, and give us your opinions in the comments.

HTC One V compared to the enormous HTC One X

Click here to view this gallery.

More About: android, hands-on, htc, HTC One, HTC One S, HTC One X, Mobile World Congress, sense, smartphone

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Skype For Windows Phone Beta Arrives Wearing a Metro Interface

Posted: 27 Feb 2012 02:07 AM PST

Skype for Windows Phone Beta Video Chat

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BARCELONA: Nokia wove a convincing story this morning of success for the still-young and well-behind-the-competition Windows Phone platform, but it was one brief product mention that could be the best augur of future success: The arrival of Skype for Windows Phone–in beta form, at least.

Microsoft acquired Skype last year and though the marriage is not 100% uncontested, the two companies are now working as one to deliver a unique Skype experience to the Windows Phone platform. Skype for Windows Phone Beta, which you can download today, looks unlike any version of Skype you’ve ever see before.

The interface still has its signature sky blue accents, but the button styles and feature organization is all Metro. Metro is the new cubist design style that’s seeping into all of Microsoft’s platforms, including Windows 8, Windows Phone and Xbox Live. Take the contacts list, for example, which is now a letter grid. The app appears to be fully integrated with all of Windows Phone’s metaphors, including slide away panes to switch between, say, a profile, and chat.

As with other versions of Skype, Skype for Windows Phone beta lets users make free audio and video calls over 3G, 4G and Wi-Fi. By contrast, Apple’s Facetime video chat only works over Wi-Fi and between iPhones. The beta works with most Windows Phones running Windows Phone 7.5 (A.K.A. “Mango”), including Nokia Lumia 710 and 800 models, Samsung Focus S and Focus Flash and HTC’s Titan and Radar. Microsoft and Skype do not list the Nokia 900 as being tested with the Skype beta.

In a blog post, Microsoft promises that Skype for Windows Phone "supports the most important Skype features you’ve come to know and love.” The final version should ship in April.

Skype has a huge user base. Could the existence of this near universal voice and video calling platform transform Windows Phone into a leading mobile platform? Check out the photos and videos and then share your thoughts in the comments below.

More About: Nokia, Skype, smartphone, windows phone 7

Nokia Announces the Cheapest Lumia Smartphone Yet, the Lumia 610

Posted: 27 Feb 2012 01:16 AM PST

BARCELONA: We didn’t get a new flagship Lumia from Nokia at the Mobile World Congress today, but we did get a low-end model: the Lumia 610.

With only 256 MB of RAM, it’s definitely the least powerful Lumia we’ve seen so far. However, Nokia claims that the good work Microsoft has done with Windows Phone 7.5 has enabled them to expand the platform onto less powerful devices. In other words, the Lumia 610 shouldn’t feel too sluggy in day to day operation, though Nokia is still hiding the rest of the device’s specifications.

Like all Lumias, the 610 comes with a neat bundle of extras. Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn integration are all present, as is Xbox Live for those who are into mobile gaming.

The device also comes with Nokia Maps, Nokia Drive, Nokia Transport and Nokia Music.

Nokia Lumia 610 comes in blue, silver, magenta and black, and retails for 189 euros.


Click here to view this gallery.

More About: Lumia 610, Mobile World Congress, Nokia, Nokia Lumia 610, smartphone, windows phone

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Nokia 808 PureView Has a Monster 41-Megapixel Camera

Posted: 27 Feb 2012 12:26 AM PST

BARCELONA: Thought that Symbian was dead? Think again: at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Nokia has just announced the 808 Pureview, a flagship Symbian device with a 41-megapixel camera.

You read that right, 41 megapixels – Nokia has made this happen by combining Carl Zeiss optics and Nokia-developed pixel over-sampling technology. High megapixel count does not equal quality photos, of course – we’re looking forward to seeing how PureView tech works in real life.

Of course, the PureView technology will be coming to upcoming Nokia phones as well, so get used to phones having crazy megapixel numbers in the near future.

The 808 PureView also features something called Rich Recording, which lets you record “crisp, clear audio (…) up to a thumping 140 decibels,” says Nokia.

The rest of the specs mostly spell mid-range: a single core 1.3 GHz CPU, a 4-inch, 360 x 640 pixel screen, 512 MB of RAM and 16 GB of storage.

The device will retail for 450 euros, hitting the market in May.

And, going back to the question we asked at the beginning – whether Symbian is dead, as many have predicted – Nokia declined to say. In any way, even if 808 PureView is the last Symbian we see, at least the PureView technology will live on in other handsets.


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More About: 41 megapixels, Mobile World Congress, Nokia, Nokia 808 PureView, PureView, Symbian, trending

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Nokia Launches New Asha Devices, Brings Lumia 900 to Canada and Europe

Posted: 27 Feb 2012 12:19 AM PST

BARCELONA: Officially kicking off the Mobile World Congress with its first major press conference, Nokia introduced three new Asha devices, the Asha 202, 203 and 302, and announced the availability of Lumia 900 in Canada and Europe.

The Ashas are Series 40 devices, meaning low-end smartphones and smartphone/featurephone mixes for the emerging markets, with the Asha 202 and 203 falling into the latter category. They are essentially the same phone, with the only difference being easy SIM-swap support in the Asha 203.

They have a numeric keypad and a 2.4-inch touch screen, and come with Nokia Life, a slew of apps and features focused on education, healthcare, agriculture and finance.

These two devices will come with a gift package of 40 popular Electronic Arts games. They will start at 60 euros and should hit the market in about 6 weeks.

Asha 302 is aimed for “hyper-social” customers, Nokia claims. Push e-mail, Twitter and Facebook are preloaded on the device. It has a 1 GHz CPU, which makes it “faster than many low-end Androids,” as Nokia was happy to note. It is powered by a 1-GHz processor and supports 3.5G data speeds.

The device also supports Microsoft’s Mail for Exchange, which makes it much more appealing to business users. It is available right now for about 95 euros.

Finally, the good old Lumia 900 which is already available in the US will be hitting Canada with Rogers In April. In Europe it will be available for 480 euros, and is expected to start shipping in Q2.


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More About: Asha, Lumia, lumia 900, Mobile World Congress, Nokia

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Hands On With the Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1

Posted: 26 Feb 2012 11:00 PM PST

Samsung Galaxy Note 10-1 Android 4 Interface

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BARCELONA: Samsung's newest 10.1-inch tablet, the Galaxy Note 10.1, is thin, light and powerful, but it's also among a rather rarefied — but growing — group of stylus tablets. Like its little sibling, the 5.3-inch Samsung Galaxy Note, the new tablet features a Wacom digitizing tablet interface and stylus. Unlike the smaller notepad, the 10.1 stylus does not slip inside the slate. It's also kind of fun to use.

We got to spend a little time with the 1.29 lb. tablet and found it comfortable to hold (it's 8.9mm thick) and responsive. Using the stylus is not exactly like using one with an Apple iPad. The big difference here is that the Notepad 10.1's screen is pressure-sensitive, so your line weight can vary — if you're drawing. It's also notable that Samsung has already updated its pen technology to recognize even more degrees of pressure than you could on the original Notepad.

Inside the Android 4.0 device is a dual-core 1.4GHz mobile CPU, a 3-megapixel camera on the back and a 2 megapixel camera on the front. The device, though, is also packed with a bunch of pen-ready software, including the just-announced Adobe PhotoShop Touch, and a bunch of S-Pen Samsung apps.

We tried out the S-Note app, where we could mark up documents and draw images from scratch. Samsung warned us that while the hardware was final, the software was not. Even so, drawing on the tablet felt good and the Notepad 10.1 had no trouble keeping up.

Other notable features include a micro-SD card slot, full HD video support and the ability to work with other Wacom digitizing pens.

Samsung execs said the tablet will ship globally with HSPA+ (no LTE for now) and Wi-Fi — as well as a Wi-Fi-only version — some time in Q2. Pricing has not yet been set.

Do you want a full-sized tablet with a stylus, or did you agree with Steve Jobs when he said, "nobody wants a stylus"? Let us know in the comments.

More About: Mobile World Congress, samsung, Tablet

Bruce Springsteen Premieres New Song ‘Wrecking Ball’ [EXCLUSIVE]

Posted: 26 Feb 2012 09:02 PM PST

Bruce Springsteen

Today, we bring you “Wrecking Ball,” the title track from Bruce Springsteen’s forthcoming album, streaming right here on Mashable for 24 hours.

The Boss hasn’t released a new album since Working on a Dream in 2009. But on March 6, he’ll release Wrecking Ball, his 17th studio album. To celebrate, he’s holding an extended listening party of sorts by unveiling each track from the album on a different website up until March 2.

In January, the album was announced by posting the first song, “We Take Care of Our Own,” on YouTube. Since then, it has been viewed over 1 million times, with overwhelmingly positive sentiment. Springsteen tells Rolling Stone that Wrecking Ball is “as direct a record as I ever made.”

The song “Wrecking Ball” originally debuted live when Springsteen and his band, the E Street Band, performed at Giants Stadium in his home state of New Jersey, shortly before the arena was demolished. On the surface, the song would appear to be about tearing down the building, but viewed through the prism of the American financial collapse it plays like a call for starting over and renewal. Andy Greene of Rolling Stone calls the album “a scathing indictment of Wall Street greed and corruption and a look into the devastation it has wrought.”

Springsteen will embark on an international tour behind Wrecking Ball this spring, but first will appear as the keynote speaker at South by Southwest on March 15. Tonight, he will appear on “Late Night With Jimmy Fallon” as part of a week-long tribute to his music. Throughout the week other artists will perform songs from his catalog, and then Springsteen will return on Friday as musical guest once again.

Fans can pre-order the album here. Have a listen to “Wrecking Ball” below and let us know in the comments what you think – are you getting pumped for Bruce Springsteen’s new album?

More About: bruce springsteen, Music, soundcloud, trending, YouTube

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Adobe Primetime Highlights Brings Video into the Digital Publishing Circle

Posted: 26 Feb 2012 08:59 PM PST

Adobe Primetime Highlights

BARCELONA: Here at Mobile World Congress, Adobe has unveiled Primetime Highlights, a powerful new tool for converting video highlights into publishable, ad-supported, fully distributed clips in a matter of minutes.

Primetime Highlights is part of Adobe Digital Publishing Suite (DSP), a set of turnkey hosted services that allow publishers to create rich digital publications across a variety of platforms (you can get a deeper dive on DSP here). They produce once and deliver to tablets, phones and PCs. Project Primetime adds video as another tool in the digital publisher's arsenal.

According to Adobe's Danny Winokur, Vice President & General Manager, Interactive Development, the idea is that you take an important moment from a big game, like a field goal, home-run or touch down, clip it and instantly distribute it to all sources, including web sites, mobile devices and on air. Those clips will all run "with advertising to capture full value of the scene," said Winokur.

Primetime Highlights leverages video tools, as well as its investments in analytics (Adobe's acquisition of Omniture analytics) and targeted ad services (Demdex). The enterprise tool will initially roll out this year with support for Mac, Windows, iOS, Android and Smart TVs.

Adobe’s success in the digital publishing space is clearly driving this new push into video. In addition to the 16 million downloaded digital publications mentioned above, Adobe trotted out some impressive engagement figures:

  • More than half of digital publication readers spend as much as 2.5 hours a month consuming DSP-produced publications.
  • 68% pay for digital magazines and newspapers built in DSP
  • Almost half of all interactive elements included in these publications are clicked on at least once.
  • Every fifth page of these publications is an Ad (a figure that’s more or less consistent with physical publications).
  • More About: adobe, digital publishing

    Top 14 Memes and GIFs from Oscars 2012

    Posted: 26 Feb 2012 08:56 PM PST

    Image courtesy of

    Click here to view this gallery.

    The Internet was quick to put together the best memes and GIFs from the 84th Annual Academy Awards on Sunday night, from Robert Downey Jr. channeling his inner Tim Tebow to Sacha Baron Cohen dumping ashes on Ryan Seacrest on the red carpet.

    The Oscars were filled with various memorable moments this year. Robert Downey Jr. showed the world his own Tebow impression before presenting an award with his Iron Man co-star Gwyneth Palthrow. Meanwhile, Sacha Baron Cohen dumped faux ashes of late dictator Kim Jong II on Ryan Seacrest during an a red carpet interview.

    Baron Cohen — who was dressed in character as General Aladeen to plug his upcoming film The Dictator, a parody about a Middle Eastern dictator — said it was a longtime wish of Jong Il's to be sprinkled over the red carpet and "over Halle Berry's chest." When Seacrest turned his head, Baron Cohen "accidentally" dumped the ashes on his tuxedo.

    SEE ALSO: Sacha Baron Cohen Red Carpet Shenanigans Go Viral | Oscars 2012: How to Watch Online

    Emma Stone shimmied while presenting with Ben Stiller, Jonah Hill reacted and the Bridesmaids girls drink on stage — every time someone says “Scorsese”.

    For more moments from the Oscars, check out the gallery above.

    What was your favorite moment of the night? Which awards show did you like best: The Grammys or The Oscars? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.

    More About: celebrities, Film, humor, memes, Oscars, trending

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    9 Ways 3D Printing Can Change the World

    Posted: 26 Feb 2012 08:49 PM PST

    What once seemed like something straight out of The Jetsons has become a very common utility across all industries — 3D printing could very well revolutionize the way we manufacture, research and fix things.

    Although this new(ish) form of technology is widely recognized as a way to produce mass amounts of prototypes and other forms of commerce, it’s potential reaches further than that. Scientists are researching exact replicas of fossils to study dinosaurs and museums can now make copies of sculptures — in other words, fragile, important pieces of history that used to be untouchable can now be handled freely.

    SEE ALSO: Will 3D Printing End Mass Manufacturing? [PICS]

    This also makes printing on-demand a more viable option for even small businesses, which could make manufacturing more economical and efficient. However, 3D printers are not being used just to make dozens of clones of the same product. You can create personalized novelties and decor.

    Here are nine ways 3D printing is making lives easier.

    1. Medical Procedures

    Recently, an 83 year-old woman underwent the first-ever custom transplant of a lower jaw made by a 3D printer.

    The patient — who can now chew and speak with ease — suffered from a chronic bone infection. Doctors were worried that at her age, reconstructive surgery could have caused complications.

    Image courtesy of Flickr, sean94110

    Click here to view this gallery.

    More About: 3d printing, features, Tech

    Fun With Fonts: 5 Free iPhone Games for Typography Fans

    Posted: 26 Feb 2012 07:04 PM PST

    1. Helvetica vs. Arial

    Can you tell the difference between Helvetica and Arial? This game puts you to the test.

    Click here to view this gallery.

    We have a treat for font fans with itchy thumbs in this super selection of five fabulous iPhone games that share a typographical theme.

    Can you easily identify typefaces? Can you tell Helvetica and Arial apart? Can you spot the serif in a sea of characters? These games will test you on these skills — and more. Best of all, the apps we’re highlighting are all tried, tested and free, so you can give them a go without spending a single cent.

    SEE ALSO: Top 10 Accessories for Typography Nuts [PICS]

    Take a look through the gallery for our selections. Shout out in the comments below with any other typographical games you enjoy on your iPhone.

    More About: apple, dev and design, features, fonts, Gaming, iphone, iphone apps, iPhone games, typography

    Sacha Baron Cohen Red Carpet Shenanigans Go Viral

    Posted: 26 Feb 2012 06:38 PM PST

    Sacha Baron Cohen dumping faux ashes of late dictator Kim Jong II on Ryan Seacrest on the red carpet of the 84th Academy Awards went viral Sunday night, as the video and animated GIF showed up on Twitter and various Tumblr sites.

    Baron Cohen — who was dressed in character as General Aladeen to plug his upcoming film The Dictator, a parody about a Middle Eastern dictator — arrived at the Oscars in a white stretch limo and an urn he said contained the ashes of the former Korean dictator Kim Jong II, who passed away in December.

    SEE ALSO: Oscars 2012: Who Will Win? Oscar Predictions According to Twitter [INFOGRAPHIC] | Oscars 2012: How to Watch Online

    During a red carpet interview with Seacrest, Baron Cohen said it was a longtime wish of Jong Il’s to be sprinkled over the red carpet and “over Halle Berry’s chest.” When Seacrest turned his head, Baron Cohen “accidentally” dumped the ashes on his tuxedo.

    “I had a feeling something was coming,” said Seacrest, as he brushed the ashes off. Seacrest took sullying of his tux in good spirits.

    It was rumored that Baron Cohen would attend the awards in character. Baron Cohen was dressed in a military uniform designed by John Galliano and was accompanied by two flower girls who served as sidekicks.

    This isn’t the first time that Baron Cohen has wreaked havoc at an awards show. In 2009, he lampooned Eminem in character as “Bruno.”

    The Dictator will debut in theaters in May.

    What do you think of Baron Cohen’s red carpet stunt? Let us know!

    More About: GIFs, Movies, Oscars, trending

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    Oscars 2012 Live Blog [TRANSCRIPT]

    Posted: 26 Feb 2012 04:23 PM PST

    The 84th Academy Awards airs tonight, and we’re capturing all the action for you from Mashable HQ in New York City. Join us as we dish the details before, during and after the ceremony, which starts at 8:30 p.m. ET.

    Starting at 7:30 p.m. ET, our team will talk all things Oscars, including digital, social media, predictions, winners and so much more. We’re looking forward to having you chime in, too!

    And don’t forget to check out Mashable‘s new mRank leaderboard, which tells you what’s trending in real time on Twitter, Facebook and the blogosphere.

    More Oscars Coverage:

    More About: abc, celebrities, Entertainment, Movies, Oscars, trending

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    How One Tech Company Got MTV to Embrace Live Music

    Posted: 26 Feb 2012 03:30 PM PST


    Seven years ago a Texas company called NewTek launched TriCaster, a product that essentially puts all the equipment from a TV news truck into one box. It’s affordable as broadcasting equipment goes, with rigs as cheap as $5,000. When it unveiled TriCaster, NewTek thought its main customers would be amateur broadcasters looking to upgrade from shoestring operations.

    Then MTV came calling.

    In 2008 MTV was looking to ramp up its web operations. The first project: an online “after show” for its reality-show hit, The Hills, shot at a remote location. The problem, as with many web projects that are secondary to a main broadcast, was cash. MTV didn’t want to invest a lot of money in something that hadn’t been proven to work yet.

    So MTV called up NewTek and set up a TriCaster to handle the broadcast. The Hills after show ended up being a huge hit, so the network turned again to TriCaster for its next move in original online video: live-streaming concerts from an intimate club, New York City’s Webster Hall.

    “We started producing a Hills aftershow live stream with the TriCaster four years ago,” says Jeff Jacobs, MTV’s senior vice president of operations. “Now we have a half-dozen series that have live streams associated with them. For us, [TriCaster] allows us to produce shows and content that we would not otherwise be able to produce.”

    Although streaming a concert over the web is easy at a major venue like a stadium, all MTV had to work with at Webster Hall was a closet. Fortunately, that’s more than enough space for a TriCaster, and it enables the channel to live-stream bands on a regular basis — bands like The Kills and Mariana and the Diamonds, who normally wouldn’t get any attention from a brand like MTV. Jacobs says it would be a natural move to expand the live music project beyond New York City, though there are no firm plans yet.

    However, MTV’s streaming operations continue to grow. In addition to the live music and “extra material” from various shows, the network streams live red-carpet coverage of many awards shows — including tonight’s Oscars — via a TriCaster.

    SEE ALSO: New AppList: Apps For Streaming On-Demand Video

    MTV is just one of many major brands that discovered how TriCaster is a cheap and easy way to set up a remote broadcast and still make it look like a pro operation. NewTek’s senior vice president of strategic development, Philip Nelson, says in addition to MTV, Glenn Beck and several pro football and hockey teams have invested in a TriCaster as part of their web-video operations.

    “When we first launched it, we thought our target was enterprise, churches and education. We didn’t realize it would be implemented so widely from broadcasters.”

    While services like Ustream can turn anyone with a webcam into an Internet broadcaster, it’s a far cry from the professionally cut, multiple-camera setups that usually take place in a studio. A TriCaster can support up to four — or even up to eight — cameras or sources depending on the model, and it’s equipped to simultaneously feed the stream to three different places: a broadcast channel, a live stream on the web and digital signage (that’s what the “Tri” is for).

    On top of that, the most recent models have a few extra tricks. No money for a sleek studio? TriCaster can create a virtual one, complete with desks that are accurately lit. There’s also Apple AirPlay support, so if you have an iPhone or iPad, you can easily turn its screen into one of your video sources. Nelson gives a run-down of the latest TriCaster in the video below:

    As Nelson sees it, a TriCaster is a good investment for anyone looking to monetize an online-video operation.

    “If you want sponsors, streaming video needs to look like TV. You get more credibility. My 13-year-old son knows what TV looks like and he knows what dorm-room video on YouTube looks like.”

    Citing TriCaster operators like the Streamin’ Garage, Nelson says several web-video pioneers have used the equipment to upgrade their operations. On top of that, a host of colleges and universities have bought one to broadcast games locally and online.

    “Not to sound cheesy, but it’s really changed lives. In the Midwest there’s an NCAA conference called the Horizon League. They were doing about 10 sporting events a year. They bought TriCasters for all their schools and with the same budget they went from 10 live events to 400. It opened up sports — gymnastics, swimming — that would never get coverage.”

    TriCaster has certainly been a success story for NewTek. Thanks to interest from pros and amateurs alike, the company has doubled from 60 to 120 employees since the first product was launched in 2005. Nelson says NewTek has sold “thousands and thousands” of TriCasters, and the company can’t make them fast enough to satisfy worldwide demand.

    What do you think of TriCaster? Is it something you think you’d use for your own live-streaming operation? Let us know in the comments.

    TriCaster: TV Studio in a Box

    The TriCaster aims to "democratize" broadcasting by packing a live production system into a piece of gear you could fit into a backpack.

    Click here to view this gallery.

    More About: broadcasting, live streaming, mtv, NewTek, TriCaster

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    The Long and Winding Road to Personal Heads-Up Displays

    Posted: 26 Feb 2012 02:53 PM PST

    With the rumors churning about Google’s potential “heads-up display glasses” coming out at the end of the year, we thought it was important to look back at the history of this technlogy.

    Heads-up displays allow users to receive data on a screen in front of them, so they don’t have to look somewhere else, thus disrupting what they’re concentrating on. Each HUD has three parts: the combiner, which is the surface the data is projected on — like a windshield or lens; the projector unit, which puts out the image; and a video generation computer, which creates the images.

    Heads-up display in a commercial plane

    The combiner is coated with a transparent film that allows all other light to pass through, but reflects or refracts the light generated by the projector unit, making it appear to float on the screen. As you can see in the above image of a HUD on an aircraft, the information appears over the sky so the pilot doesn’t have to turn his head. The projector units are powered by cathode ray tubes, similar to older televisions, an LED, or a LCD.

    Video games are a common way to encounter HUD; interfaces players use to keep track of their health, ammunition or objective are all displayed in some variety of HUD, a technique that evolved especially as first-person perspective games, like shooters and RPGs, became mainstream. They’ve also appeared in sci-fi movies as part of everyday technology.

    But before they were even futuristic concepts, basic HUD’s were first put into practice by the military as early as World War II. Read our slideshow to learn the history of heads-up displays, from then, to now, and even into the future.

    World War II Origins

    The HUD we know today evolved from the reflector sight on German planes in 1937. They allowed targeting assistance to be added to a scope for pilots to more easily aim. Eventually it incorporated displaying information such as air speed velocity and attack angle that made it easier for pilots to hit targets.

    Click here to view this gallery.

    Image courtesy of iStockphoto, lsannes

    More About: features, heads-up glasses, hud

    Oscars 2012: How to Watch Online

    Posted: 26 Feb 2012 02:21 PM PST

    Billy Crystal will host the 84th Academy Awards tonight on ABC. The Oscars begin at 8:30 p.m. ET / 5:30 p.m. PT, with red carpet festivities beginning at 7 p.m. ET. With the Oscars 2012 online experience, your night can involve more than simply watching a TV screen.

    Mashable is hosting a ho-holds-barred Oscars live blog. JOIN NOW!

    The big question is: “Can I watch the Oscars online?” Unfortunately, unlike this year’s Super Bowl — which was available to stream free online — the Oscars will not offer a complete online stream.

    However, ABC is offering an official Oscars Back Stage iOS app for iPhone and iPad. This app will offer a behind-the-scenes look at the ceremony, including access to the control room, views from multiple cameras and interviews with the winners. Last year, the Oscars offered an all-access online experience for $4.99. This year, the experience-enhancing app will be available free. Even though the Oscars Back Stage experience won’t offer the actual broadcast, it is a nice companion to enrich your television-viewing experience.

    SEE ALSO: Oscar 2012 Predictions According to Twitter [INFOGRAPHIC]

    Android users don’t have to miss out on the action. E!’s Live From the Red Carpet app is available for free from the Android Marketplace.

    SEE ALSO: How Social TV is Taking Over the Oscars

    You can also follow the Red Carpet festivities live online from AP and Livestream. Starting at 5 p.m. EST, the stream will offer interviews with nominees and a view of the red carpet.  And, make sure to follow the official Oscars website for interviews, live streams, and up-to-date information about the winners.

    SEE ALSO: Most Buzzed About At The Oscars

    Don’t forget to enter our Oscars contest for your chance to win the exclusive Special Edition “Red Carpet” Droid Razr Maxx.

    A complete schedule of Oscars events can be found here.

    How will you be watching the Oscars? Does social TV add to your viewing experience?

    Image courtesy of iStockphoto, EdStock

    More About: academy awards, Film, Oscars, trending

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    HTC One S and One V Announced in Barcelona [PICS]

    Posted: 26 Feb 2012 02:05 PM PST

    BARCELONA: Besides showing us the drool-worthy flagship and king of the new One line of devices, the HTC One X, Taiwanese mobile giant HTC also launched two cheaper devices: the HTC One S and One V.

    The HTC S features the same unibody design as the HTC One X in a curved metal case coupled with Gorilla glass. The case is created with a technique called microarc oxidation — it makes the metal casing hard, durable and, let’s face it, sexier than ever. The device comes in silver and black finishes.

    It has a 4.3-inch, 960×540 pixel screen, an 8-megapixel camera, a dual-core 1.5 GHz CPU, 1 GB of RAM and 16 GB of storage.

    The HTC V also has a metal unibody and sports a simple design, that claims HTC, will resonate with the masses. The device’s design is really similar to HTC Legend, with a tiny “chin” at the bottom of the device. It’s the cheapest device in the bunch, with a 3.6-inch screen, a 1 GHz CPU, 512 MB of RAM and a 5-megapixel camera.

    The hands-on experience with these two devices – which represent the mid and low-tier of the new One lineup – is slightly odd – their cases are made of metal, while the flagship device is in an even lighter polycarbonate shell. With this trick, HTC has done a good job making sure these two devices don’t feel cheap. This especially goes for the HTC One S, which is incredibly thin – only 7.95 mm.

    We’ll see these two devices in store sometime in Q2 2012, HTC says.

    Check out our up close and personal photos of the devices in the gallery below.

    HTC One V compared to the enormous HTC One X

    Click here to view this gallery.

    More About: HTC One S, HTC One V, Mobile World Congress

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    Oscars 2012: Who Will Win? Oscar Predictions According to Twitter [INFOGRAPHIC]

    Posted: 26 Feb 2012 01:26 PM PST

    Do you need some last minute help with your Oscar pool?  The 84th Academy Awards won’t start announcing the winners of its major awards until tonight — however, Webtrends Design Lab analyzed 476,000 tweets to gather detailed Oscar winner predications.

    Every year particular films generate hype; however, that hype has often be difficult to quantify. The infographic below is a precise way to quantify Oscar buzz among Twitter users.

    SEE ALSO: Oscars 2012: How to Watch Online
    Likewise, Mashable launched mRank this week. mRank is our way of  measuring Oscar buzz across Facebook, Twitter and the blogosphere.

    Will Twitter hype give us accurate Oscar predictions? Do you think Twitter buzz will translate into victory for The Artist, Meryl Streep, George Clooney and Martin Scorsese?



    Infographic courtesy Webtrends Design Lab

    More About: oscar predictions, Oscars, oscars 2012, trending, Twitter

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    HTC Launches New HTC One Line of Smartphones

    Posted: 26 Feb 2012 12:30 PM PST

    BARCELONA: HTC has launched a new flagship Android smartphone, the HTC One X, at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.

    The majority of mobile giants had their announcements before the actual start of the MWC – including Samsung, LG and Sony. HTC had the last, and perhaps the most glamorous event of the day, held in a huge rounded dome at the top of the Cúpula las Arenas next to Fira de Barcelona, where the main conference is held.

    The HTC One X (the first in a new line of devices called simply HTC One), unveiled by the company CEO Peter Chou, is a 4.7-inch, quad core Tegra 3-powered beast in a polycarbonate white shell.

    The device also brings a vastly improved camera experience, called Image Sense. The camera takes photos quickly — in 0.7 seconds. It has 8 megapixels and uses an f/2.0 lens, which captures more light than any other HTC smartphone camera. It also takes great photos in unfavorable light conditions, thanks to the device’s HDR algorithm.

    An on-screen comparison with the photos taken with an HTC One X and an iPhone 4S portrays HTC’s device as a clear winner, but we’re sure Apple will have a word or two to say about that.

    HTC is bundling a bunch of extras with the device: 25 GB of free Dropbox-powered storage, Beats Audio sound (HTC acquired Beats Audio in August 2011) and a feature called Media Link, which takes your photos and videos from the smartphone to the TV (through a special gadget that connects to any TV) with a three-finger swipe on the smartphone’s screen.

    The company also launched two other HTC One devices with slightly lower specs – the HTC One S and the HTC One V.

    All three devices should be hitting the market in the next two months, likely in April.

    More About: android, htc, Mobile World Congress, smartphone

    For more Mobile coverage:

    iPad 3: Who Will Buy One, and Why? [INFOGRAPHIC]

    Posted: 26 Feb 2012 12:01 PM PST

    How well will the iPad 3 sell when it’s introduced next month? Who’s going to upgrade, and who will sit on the sidelines, enjoying their current version of the iPad, or no iPad at all? We have answers to those questions and more in this exclusive infographic created by the experts at AYTM Research (Ask Your Target Market), with help from Mashable.

    The official introduction of the iPad 3 is bearing down upon us, with most rumors placing the Apple press event on March 7 (and a little rumor we heard placing it on March 6). It’ll probably have a higher-resolution 2048×1536 “retina” display, a 1GHz quad-core Apple A6 processor, 4G connectivity, and it might have a few other surprises, too.

    Until we can lay eyes on the real thing, let’s take a look at this infographic, which deals with who’s going to upgrade, and what people expect to do with the iPad 3.

    To get this data, researchers at AYTM conducted two surveys, with questions we assisted in developing. One was of 2,000 Americans who don't own an iPad, and the other questionnaire queried 500 iPad owners. Both were conducted this month. Here’s AYTM’s full interactive stats report for the iPad owners part of the study.

    iPad 3 infographic courtesy AYTM Research

    More About: apple, infographic, ipad 3, trending

    Sony Announces Two New Xperia Smartphones

    Posted: 26 Feb 2012 10:53 AM PST

    As expected, Sony unveiled its Xperia P and Xperia U dual-core smartphones at the Mobile World Conference in Barcelona on Sunday. It was the first press conference for Sony since it spun off Ericsson, with Sony’s smartphones now originating from a division called Sony Mobile Communications.

    The first new addition to Sony’s NXT series of Android smartphones, which already included the previously announced Xperia S, is the Xperia P (pictured above), with aluminum unibody construction. It has a 4-inch touchscreen that Sony touts as its “reality display,” and Sony says the screen’s WhiteMagic technology gives it wider viewing angles in bright light.

    It’s also equipped with NFC and an 8-megapixel camera capable of shooting stills and 1080p video. Available in three finishes, the Xperia P will ship in the second quarter of this year.

    Along with that phone, Sony showed its Xperia smart dock, into which you can plug the Xperia P, which then connects to an HDTV using HDMI.

    Next up was the similarly designed Xperia U smartphone, a dual-core 1GHz device with a 3.5″ Reality Display and a 5-megapixel camera. The Xperia U will also be available in the second quarter.

    Sony didn’t mention if the phones were going to be running the new Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) operating system.

    More About: android, MWC2012, smartphone, sony, Xperia

    20 Strange and Hilarious Google Street View Sightings

    Posted: 26 Feb 2012 10:26 AM PST

    1. A Fleet at the Ready

    Take a minute and think about the gargantuan task of photographing every inch of road in the world. Is your mind blown? Now you may understand why Google needs so many cars.

    Click here to view this gallery.

    Google is ubiquitous in our digital lives. Its algorithms deliver search results, email and YouTube videos to us in the blink of an eye. But there’s one task Google executes that is remarkably analog. To collect imagery for Street View in its Maps feature, humans (remember those?) drive automobiles, affixed with a multi-lensed camera on the roof, all over the world.

    So what are the odds you’re doing something zany right when the Google car happens to pass you by? Would you even know it if you saw it? Sometimes the car is clearly labeled, other times it’s not. Regardless, now you won’t be alarmed when you see a car with a large contraption on its roof, roaming your block. Feel free to photobomb the Internets by doing something silly while the Googlemobile is driving past.

    SEE ALSO: Top 28 Google Street View Sightings

    Plenty of folks have done it, and the website has become a repository of great images found and submitted by users. We’ve highlighted our favorites above.

    Have you ever run across something odd or hysterical while browsing Street View? Share the coordinates in the comments below.

    BONUS: Google Map Hilarity

    If you’re one of many who still find Google Street View a little creepy, this hilarious video is for you.

    Image courtesy of Flickr, lizzardo.

    More About: features, Google, Google Maps, street view

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    Amazing Water-Repellant Tech Keeps Your Gadgets Dry

    Posted: 26 Feb 2012 09:56 AM PST

    BARCELONA: If you’re one of the people whose gadgets often die a watery death, you’d feel really safe at this year’s Mobile World Congress.

    Several different companies are showing off their water-repelling technology at the ShowStoppers event, and though we’ve seen similar tech in the past, it’s always cool to see an iPhone submerged under water or drops of liquid literally running away from a specially treated paper tissue.

    A company called P2i has demonstrated its Aridion technology, which protects — according to P2i — over nine million electronic devices, including smartphones, tablets and hearing aids. Aridion uses special pulsed ionized gas (plasma), created within a vacuum chamber, attaching a nanometer-thin polymer layer over the surface of the product.

    It looks impressive — a simple paper tissue treated in this way simply refuses to soak in water, with water literally rolling off the material:

    P2i wouldn’t say who its clients are — company reps were permitted, they say, to name only one — Motorola. We might not even know it, but many of the gadgets we already use are protected by this or similar technology, which prevents them from corroding as fast as they would otherwise.

    Sure enough, P2i is not the only one who’s doing it — another company called HzO showed us the exact same trick with the paper tissue, and we’ve also caught several iPhones, iPod nanos and other gadgets happily working in a bowl of water.

    Check out a gallery of water-repellant tech and fearless gadgets working underwater below.


    Click here to view this gallery.

    More About: Gadgets, Mobile World Congress, water-repellant

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    Pinterest Becomes Top Traffic Driver for Women’s Magazines

    Posted: 26 Feb 2012 09:06 AM PST

    Pinterest hasn’t just become a significant source of referral traffic for retailers; it’s also becoming a top traffic driver for women’s lifestyle, home decor and cooking magazines, some of which are seeing bigger referral numbers from the image-collecting service than from major portals like Facebook and Yahoo.

    Beginning this summer, Pinterest became the top social referrer for and, sending more traffic to both properties than Facebook and Twitter combined. Pinterest is on track to become the second highest traffic driver (after Google) to Cooking Light‘s website, up 6,000% from just six months ago. The social bookmarking site already drives 10 times the amount of traffic to Cooking Light compared to Facebook.

    Elsewhere, Pinterest is the fourth largest source of traffic for Country Living, up 150% from August to the end of January, and accounts for 3% of all referrals. It was the ninth largest traffic source for both Elle Decor and House Beautiful last month, both of which have seen triple-digit percentage increases in referrals over the last six months, and was among the top 10 referral sites for Self magazine.

    In most cases, the traffic began organically. Style, home decor, weddings and food are among the most popular pinning categories among the site’s more than 10 million registered users, the majority of whom are women. Pinterest users turned to the websites of lifestyle magazines early on for material, and many publishers moved quickly to harness Pinterest’s potential as a traffic driver by creating their own branded accounts.

    Multiple editors contribute to Country Living’s Pinterest page.

    Instead of assigning the account to a community or social media manager, Country Living has divvied up its boards among editors. The crafts editor, for instance, posts to the crafts board; the photo editor posts to a board of inspiring images; and three market editors manage the shopping, style, and Etsy boards. An editors’ faves board contains repins from staffers’ personal boards. Much of the content is derived from Country Living‘s own evergreen and season-specific material, but content is also pinned and repinned from favorite bloggers, designers, stylemakers and photographers, Allison Mezzafonte, director of Hearst Digital Media’s Shelter Network, tells us.

    “Creating Pinterest pages [for our magazines] allows us to share what we see around the web, and not just our own content. [Our audience] wants to know what we see, what we like, and what's inspiring us beyond the beautiful images seen in the pages of our magazines,” Mezzafonte explains.

    To build awareness of Country Living‘s Pinterest presence, the magazine also cross-posts some of its pins to Facebook and Twitter. Mezzafonte also monitors Country Living’s source page to track, Like and comment on what is being pinned from the site. “I think it makes [users] happy to know that we're paying attention to what they're pinning and what they like,” Mezzafonte says. “It's also a very visual way for me, as the web editor, to see what people are looking at on our site… [To see] the images, projects and recipes that resonate most with our readers.”

    It’s not just legacy print publications that are reaping the Pinterest boom, however. Pinterest recently passed Yahoo to become the number-four referral source to, accounting for roughly 6% of traffic in January. Referrals are up 246% from October, and up a whopping 2500% from July. A spokesperson for the noted that the site has its own frequently updated brand pages, but that the majority of the traffic is coming from users who pin recipes directly from the sites, and from the viral activity that happens organically on Pinterest.

    Martha Stewart Weddings has added pin buttons to its site.

    In some cases, publishers are also adding pin buttons to their sites, reminding readers to save their content to Pinterest. Martha Stewart Weddings recently added a pin button to its social toolbar, in between the Facebook Like and Google +1 buttons.

    While publishers and retailers are both reaping the rewards of traffic increases, it’s still not clear whether they’ll be able to monetize that traffic further. Can magazines turn Pinterest referrals into subscribers? Can retailers turn Pinterest users into customers? The platform certainly has the potential to do both, meaning that the network could become even more central to their marketing efforts than it is at present.

    More About: fashion, features, magazines, Media, pinterest

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    Adobe Brings Photoshop Touch to the iPad

    Posted: 26 Feb 2012 08:20 AM PST

    Adobe Photoshop Touch for the iPad

    BARCELONA: Adobe Photoshop Express is a great, free and highly usable iOS app for quickly fixing up your digital photos, but it pales in comparison to the desktop version of Photoshop. Last year Adobe introduced a solution: Photoshop Touch, but chose to bring it to the Android Tablet market first. Now, as promised, Adobe is finally bringing that powerful image editing capability to Apple‘s iPad 2. The company will announce the new app today in Barcelona at Mobile World Congress.

    Editor’s note: This story was intended to be confidential until 9 p.m. Pacific Time on Sunday night, but 9 to 5 Mac broke that embargo, so that’s why we’re publishing this story early.

    For $9.99, iPad 2 owners (sorry, there's currently no iPad 1 support) get the ability to work in layers, use "sophisticated" selection tools and "scribble" over images to remove unwanted portions. Users will also be able to touch up photos, paint over them and create new layouts. The new app is part of Adobe's upcoming suite of iPad "Touch" Apps. "Inspired by Adobe's Creative Suite," the apps include:

    Adobe Collage; Adobe Debut presentation software; Adobe Ideas, which will be similar to the Illustrator vector-based desktop drawing software; Adobe Kuler color theme manager; and website- prototyping and wireframe tool Adobe Proto. Adobe said these remaining apps will launch for iOS later this year and will all work with Adobe's Creative Cloud services.

    Other features in Adobe Touch for iPad include the ability to share to Facebook directly from the app, search, using Google, from within the app, apply sophisticated image effects, and even use your tablet's built-in camera to fill in portions of your image project.

    Adobe Photoshop Touch for the iPad Effects "Photoshop Touch combines the magic of Photoshop and its core features with the convenience of a tablet, bringing image-editing power to the fingertips of millions of people," said David Wadhwani, Adobe's Digital Media Business Unit senior vice president and general manager.

    Adobe's Photoshop Touch requires iOS 5 and will be available in the App Store on Monday, February 27. Although 9 to 5 Mac reported it was available now in New Zealand and Australia, the app has since been removed from the App Store, set to become available worldwide on Monday. The 9 to 5 Mac site also reported some of its readers saying the iPad 2 version “works better than the Android version.”

    Will you pay nearly $10 for this tablet-based image editing app, or are instant effects-generators and editors like Instagram and Adobe Express sufficient for your image-editing needs? Let us know in the comments.

    More About: adobe, apple, iOS, ipad, Mobile World Congress, Photoshop, trending, tripadvisor

    5 Clever Social Media Campaigns To Learn From

    Posted: 26 Feb 2012 07:19 AM PST

    This post originally appeared on the American Express OPEN Forum, where Mashable regularly contributes articles about leveraging social media and technology in small business.

    You don’t have to be in the market for a Super Bowl ad to learn the world’s biggest marketers. In fact, as a quick trip to Facebook illustrates, social media has a leveling effect: Whether you’re Coca-Cola or Jones Soda, your Facebook Page looks pretty much the same. Coke’s billions won’t buy a dedicated wing on Twitter, either.

    With this in mind, the following social media campaigns from marketers big and small are designed to be idea generators. This isn’t a ranking of the most effective social media campaigns of the year, but rather the ones that have the most to offer an entrepreneur with big ideas and a not-so-big marketing budget.

    1. Kraft Macaroni & Cheese’s Jinx

    Last March, the venerable Kraft brand launched an interesting campaign on Twitter: Whenever two people individually used the phrase “mac & cheese” in a tweet, Kraft sent both a link pointing out the “Mac & Jinx” (as in the childhood game Jinx.) The first one to reply back got five free boxes of Kraft Mac & Cheese plus a t-shirt.

    What you can learn from this: This is a low-cost way to track down potential fans on Twitter. All you have to do is search a given term and identify two people who tweet the same phrase at (roughly) the same time. In return, you’ll gain goodwill, a likely follower and probably some good word-of-mouth buzz on the social network.

    2. Ingo’s Face Logo

    When Swedish ad agencies Grey Stockholm and Ogilvy Stockholm merged last year, they wanted to get social media fans involved. The two agencies asked fans to participate by signing into Facebook to see the new name. Every time new people logged on to the dedicated site, the logo added their profile picture. With every picture, the logo got a little bigger, until 2,890 fan photos comprised the full name, Ingo, over a four-hour period.

    What you can learn from this: This was another inexpensive way to get fans literally enmeshed with the brand. Another alternative is to create a real-life mosaic based on pictures of your Facebook fans, a project that Mashable recently completed.

    3. BlueCross BlueShield of Minnesota’s Human Doing

    What better way to illustrate the plight of the common man than an actual common man? That was the thinking behind a BlueCross BlueShield of Minnesota program last year that put Scott Jorgenson, a St. Paul resident, in a glass apartment in the Mall of America for a month. To demonstrate the recuperative effects of exercise, Jorgenson was put on a workout routine for the month that compelled him to exercise three to five times a day, in 10-minute spurts. In a social media twist, Twitter and Facebook followers dictated the type of exercise for each session.

    What you can learn from this: Creating an event, especially one that involves social media fans, is an alternative to launching an ad campaign. Humanizing a problem for which your company provides a solution is also a good idea.

    4. GranataPet’s Foursquare-Enabled Billboard

    Pet food brand GranataPet earned worldwide attention last year for its billboard in Agenta, Germany. This wasn’t just any billboard, though. It was rigged so that if a consumer checked in on Foursquare, the billboard would dispense some of the company’s dog food. Someone from Granata’s ad agency filmed the billboard in action, and the video now has more than 50,000 views on YouTube (in various iterations.)

    What you can learn from this: In the social media age, a single ad or a single billboard can generate images, press and videos, but only if it’s clever enough.

    5. Reinert Sausages’s Wurst-Face App

    Another German brand, Reinert Sausages, transcended its roots with a clever Facebook app that let users upload their photo and receive a “Wurst Face,” a graven image of themselves in cold cuts. The name “Wurst Face” comes from the extra piece of sausage that kids get for free at the butcher.

    What you can learn from this: If you can create an app that’s social, fun and brand-appropriate, it will function more effectively than even a high-budget ad campaign.

    More Small Business Resources From OPEN Forum:

    - The Quick and Dirty Guide to Tumblr for Small Business
    - Community Managers Share Best Productivity Apps and Tools
    - 5 Tips For Using LinkedIn’s Mobile Site

    Kraft image courtesy of Flickr, Lulu Hoeller

    More About: Facebook, facebook marketing, features, mashable, online marketing, open forum, social media marketing, Twitter, Twitter marketing

    Up Close with the Samsung Galaxy Beam

    Posted: 26 Feb 2012 06:41 AM PST

    BARCELONA: A projector jammed inside a smartphone may seem awkward or crazy to some — and it’s not a new idea — but the Samsung Galaxy Beam may be the most elegant execution of the mash-up yet.

    The concept is simple: take a full-powered 4-inch Galaxy smartphone and add a 15-Lumens LED-powered, nHD projector. The result is a yellow and black phone that at first glance looks like a slightly fatter version (it’s 12.5mm thick and weighs 145.3 grams) of any of today's top 3G phones.

    Samsung didn't skimp much to squeeze in the projector or, potentially, keep the price down. The Beam has a 5 MP camera (a tad less than the 8 MP we're now used to), 8 GB of storage (upgradeable via micro-SD card to 32 GB) and 768 MB of RAM. It's also running Android 2.3. The 480×800 screen looked clear and bright, but those specs and the screen are not the real story here. It's reasonable to assume that the only reason someone would buy the Galaxy Beam is if you desperately wanted a dual phone/projector.

    In operation, the Galaxy beam appeared flawless. It'll play virtually anything you run on the small screen, and had no trouble shining a roughly 3-ft image onto an 8- or 9-ft ceiling. Images in a fully darkened room were very sharp and bright, but since it relies on the smartphone speakers for sound, you'll want to hook up external speakers. Samsung execs told us that they're working on a variety of docks and accessories.

    The phone also worked well in presentation mode. Samsung execs projected a presentation on a nearby screen and changed slides by touching the Galaxy Beam's screen.

    Pricing has not been set, but Samsung will ship the Galaxy Beam globally sometime in Q2. It will also come pre-loaded with some mood videos (stars, for example) that run on a loop and should be upgradable to Android 4.0. Check out the photos and video for an up-close look at this interesting device.

    Samsung Galaxy Beam

    Click here to view this gallery.

    More About: Mobile World Congress, samsung, smartphone

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