Archive for February, 2013


4GEE, the U.K.’s first and still it’s only 4G/LTE network just got a little larger. Carrier EE has switched on 4G services in nine more towns, bringing the total number of towns and cities connected to the service to 27 in the 90 days since it launched the network.

The network now reaches around 45 per cent of the U.K. population, according to EE — which says the rollout is ahead of schedule. The carrier is aiming to cover 98 per cent of the population by 2014.

The nine latest towns to get EE’s 4G services are situated around the U.K.. They are: Amersham, Bolton, Chelmsford, Hemel Hempstead, Southend-on-Sea, Stockport, Sunderland, Sutton Coldfield and Wolverhampton.

In addition to bringing new locations on stream, EE said it is continuing to beef up the network density of 4G in areas where it has already switched the service on. ”As a result, users will find they have increasingly consistent, superfast access to 4G wherever they travel, and during their commutes to work,” it said in a release announcing the latest stage of the rollout.

It’s unclear how many customers EE has signed up to the U.K.’s first 4G network so far — the carrier has repeatedly declined to break this figure out. A company spokeswoman told TechCrunch: “We don’t have specific figures to share at the moment.” Earlier this month EE announced a promotional discount in a bid to sign up new users — perhaps indicating that signs ups have not been as plentiful as it would like. It also launched a new 20GB monthly data tariff for ‘super users’.

Rival U.K. carriers O2, Vodafone and Three are currently in the midst of bidding for the spectrum they need to build their own 4G networks. Bidding on the spectrum got underway on January 23 and is expected to take “weeks” before winners are determined. U.K. telecoms regulator Ofcom expects services using the new spectrum will be launched by a range of providers from late spring/summer 2013.

When Google announced a new project it called Trekker last October, it sounded like a far-reaching and futuristic 20% type undertaking. Today, that project has come through with some of the most detailed and amazing interactive imagery of the Grand Canyon, as promised, showing off Google’s vision for how the world can be catalogued and detailed for everyone’s daily tasks and travels.

Starting today, these images will start showing up on Google Maps for everyone to check out. In a blog post from Google Maps Project Manager, Ryan Falor, he discussed exactly how these images were taken and where these images will be applied:

This breathtaking imagery collection was made possible with the Trekker. Our team strapped on the Android-operated 40-pound backpacks carrying the 15-lens camera system and wound along the rocky terrain on foot, enduring temperature swings and a few muscle cramps along the way. Together, more than 9,500 panoramas of this masterpiece of nature are now available on Google Maps.

Take a quick look at some of the amazingly detailed photos that the Trekker backpack captured:

Sure, 40 pounds might sound really heavy, but when you’re out trekking through nature, carrying heavy objects isn’t something totally new. The idea of Trekker is that there are so many views and vantage points that you can’t capture simply by driving a Street View vehicle up and down roads. There are places that cars and trucks can’t go, and this is where Trekker comes into play.

Up until now, here’s the type of image you could expect when poking around the Grand Canyon on Google Maps:

Yep, it’s the street. Not so pretty. Check these out, though:

You’ll now be able to see more, explore more and plan more, all before you leave for your big trip. It started with the Grand Canyon and there’s no telling what location will be “trekked” next by Google.

While Trekker isn’t a consumer device, it does look like Google will be sending these things out into the wild to get more data like the shots you’ll see in the below video:

I discussed the possibility of Street View technology becoming available for Google Glass at Trekker’s launch and was told “Absolutely.” As you can tell, Google wants people to feel like they’re Christopher Columbus, exploring areas in ways that nobody else ever has, while documenting their experiences along the way. There could be a nice cozy spot at the Grand Canyon that only you know about, and you could be the first person to take an image of it for Google Maps with something like Trekker or Glass. That’s pretty neat, and still seems futurustic.

Pretty soon, every nook and cranny on the planet will have corresponding images and panoramic views. The world continues to feel smaller, and less scary, thanks to technology like this.

Not only does mapping help us find our way around, it also saves us money and creates new jobs, according to Google. VP of Google Geo, Brian McClendon, says that geo services saves 1.1B hours of travel time each year and pays out $90B in wages. It’s big business with major impact on all of us:

Google Maps is front and center for all of this.

Fifteen-year-old Hadiya Pendleton was talking with friends when gunman opened fire on group

A 15-year-old girl who performed in Barack Obama’s inauguration festivities has been killed in a Chicago park as she talked with friends by a gunman who apparently was not even aiming at her.

Chicago police said Hadiya Pendleton was in a park about a mile from Obama’s home on Tuesday afternoon when a man opened fire on the group. Hadiya was shot in the back as she tried to escape.

Chicago is experiencing its bloodiest January in more than a decade, following on the heels of 2012, which ended with more than 500 homicides for the first time since 2008. It also comes at a time when Obama, spurred by the Connecticut elementary school massacre in December, is actively pushing for tougher gun laws.

Hadiya’s father, Nathaniel Pendleton, spoke on Wednesday at a Chicago police news conference, which was held in the same park where his daughter died.

“He took the light of my life,” Pendleton said. He then spoke directly to the killer: “Look at yourself, just know that you took a bright person, an innocent person, a nonviolent person.”

Hadiya was a bright kid who was killed just as she was “wondering about which lofty goal she wanted to achieve,” said her godfather. “She was a very active kid, doing dance, cheerleading, who felt like she could accomplish just about anything, a very good student who had big dreams about what she wanted to be, a doctor, an attorney,” said Damon Stewart, a Chicago police officer and attorney. “She was constantly getting good grades.”

Obama was asked about Hadiya’s death in an interview with Telemundo, which led to a discussion about gun control. The White House press secretary, Jay Carney, said the president and the first lady’s “thoughts and prayers are with” her family, adding: “And as the president has said, we will never be able to eradicate every act of evil in this country, but if we can save any one child’s life, we have an obligation to try when it comes to the scourge of gun violence.”

In Chicago, gangs routinely and often indiscriminately open fire. Mayor Rahm Emanuel is pushing for tougher local, state and national gun laws and longer prison sentences for offenders.

Samsung Galaxy ICS

Finally a good news for Samsung Galaxy SII owners, Samsung has recently released official Android 4.0 (Ice-cream Sandwich) update for SGS2. The ICS firmware is dated 9th March 2012. Although Samsung has taken a little bit of time for releasing the ICS update still this firmware has no bluish ICS interface and is very much similar to Android 2.3.6. Galaxy SII owners must be expected something better, I, myself being a Samsung Galaxy S2 user, wanted a little more from them. Right now we can only wait for another update with few new features.

Galaxy S2 Android 4

The firmware is based on I9100XXLPQ (4.0.3) with modem XXLPQ and CSC OXALPQ, while the kernel build is 3.0.15. Although the update has not taken place worldwide and is limited to certain countries, but still if you want to try this ICS final build from Samsung, then you can have a look at XDA Forum or SAM Mobile, from where you can download this firmware along with the instructions for flashing/updating your Samsung Galaxy S2.

Related posts:

  1. ICS For Samsung Galaxy S2 Coming Soon
  2. Android 4 (ICS) For Samsung Galaxy S
  3. ICS Rom For Galaxy Note Leaks Out

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For the past couple of days, rumors have been swirling that Apple was set to launch a new model of iPad with 128GB storage capacity. When the fifth beta for iOS 6.1 was released, developers noticed reference to a larger capacity device, dubbed an “Ultimate” ipad because of a reference to it from an unnamed major U.S. retailer. In a move that goes against everything we know about Apple, the company quietly posted a press release to its online website with the new product announcement.

From the press release, it appears that Apple has decided to offer the larger capacity model to target enterprise. According to the announcement, nearly all Fortune 500 companies, and 85 percent of Global 500 companies are either deploying or testing iPads. These companies need larger storage space for larger applications and files, such as 3D CAD files, X-rays, film edits, music tracks, blueprints, and more.

Like the previously-launched fourth-generation iPad models, the 128GB tablet features a 9.7-inch Retina display with an A6X processor chip and FaceTime HD camera. It also comes with iOS 6.1 already installed.

Apple never launches new products, or even changes to current products, without flourishes and fanfare. So, it is unusual that the company has decided to announce the larger capacity iPad in such a small way. They could have, at least, sent someone to MacWorld/iWorld, which starts on Thursday. It almost feels disappointing to find out about the new tablet this way.

The 128 GB fourth-generation iPad with Retina display will be available in black and white, and with Wi-Fi only for $799 or Wi-Fi + Cellular for $929. The device will be available for sale starting February 5.

After last week’s inaugural post, we got a slew of great questions from our PadGadget readers. I am going to answer a few of them today, so check after the break to find out about iCloud, multitasking, multiple users, and more.

Question From Jack: Can I make users on my iPad… How?

Answer: At this time, Apple does not support separate users for iPads. Unfortunately, you can only use one profile per device, which means there’s no way to create different profiles for each family member. Hopefully this will change in the future, but for now, you’ll have to share.

From Lory: Does leaving apps open in multitasking really use up more battery power?

Answer: According to Apple, apps that are in your task bar are not actively in use, open, or using system resources, meaning they are not slowing the performance of your iPad or using battery life.

However, when apps in the background are actively using location services, playing music, listening for calls, or using the network, they will use the iPad’s battery. When these apps are no longer using the above services, they will also cease running. So if you pause your music app, it will go into a suspended mode, no longer using resources.

I run a lot of apps in the background and decided to test this by measuring battery life with apps open in the taskbar and without.

I saw no noticeable change in my battery life, as expected. Think of the multitasking bar as a list of apps you’ve recently used rather than a list of apps that are running. You generally don’t need to manage this list at all unless something goes wrong, which sometimes happens with app crashes.

From Mike: Does a Retina display transmit more data for a given app than a non-Retina iPad?

Answer: No. The data that your iPad transmits when using an app will not change based on the resolution of the display. Downloading apps, however, may use more data as Retina displays have increased the standard size of app downloads.

From Pat: How do I see what’s in iCloud?

Answer: Apple is very transparent about what is stored in iCloud. iCloud is limited to what you have enabled on your devices, so for example, if you have not turned on iCloud for Notes or Reminders, the data is not uploaded. If you have, then everything you have written in these apps will be in iCloud. The same goes for your iCloud mail, contacts, calendar, and documents.

Unless you have deliberately enabled a service in iCloud, Apple can’t upload your data. You can check out an overview of iCloud using iCloud.com, and also by checking your iPad.

icloudmanagement

Navigate to the Settings menu, and select General. From there, tap on Usage. In this section of the settings menu, there’s an option for iCloud. If you tap on “Manage Storage,” you can see exactly what apps have data in iCloud and how much data they are taking up.

Do you have an iPad question you would like answered?

Feel free to ask in the comments. You can expect each week’s post to be detailed, direct, and full of useful information. Let us know what you’re looking for in the answers – we’re aiming to tailor these posts to our reader’s needs.

Commenting on the weekly Ask the Expert posts is one way to ask us a question, but you can also use the PadGadget contact form, which is located here.

If there’s an issue you’ve been trying to figure out or an app you’ve been searching for, you’re in the right place. Ask us, and check back next week for an answer!

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