Before we all get in a huff about this, Google has been very eager to point out that the facial recognition app it’s developing will work on a strictly opt-in basis. That means if you don’t want it to scan all of Facebook, Flickr and the rest of Google’s vast hoards of internet knowledge to find you, identify you, and collate your name, phone number and email address into a handy data sheet, it won’t. Okay? So relax now, everything’s fine. Seriously though, Google’s latest research venture sounds like a dashing stride into a minefield of privacy concerns as it aims to use people’s faces to instantly identify them and provide any salient info about them. Project leader Hartmut Neven, whose company Neven Vision was gobbled up by Google in 2006, says the team is being very cautious in how it addresses people’s rather apt apprehension, but he insists there’s actually great value in having a face-recognizing and data-mining app. Great value for the app’s user, perhaps, but we’d rather just stick to business cards, if you ask us.
Update: Google has reached out to clarify that there are no plans to introduce functionality of this sort yet, not without “a strong privacy model in place.” More importantly, however, the linking of facial recognition to personal data is described as “inventions of the reporter” rather than something the company’s actively pursuing.
Google working on a face recognition app that leads to your personal info? (update: Google says ‘no’) originally appeared on Engadget on Thu, 31 Mar 2011 14:39:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.
, neven vision
An early prank this isn’t. Based on our sources (and the pictorial evidence above), Sprint’s fixing to whack a full Benjamin from the current $299.99 asking price on its Samsung Galaxy Tab starting on Sunday, making it one of the more affordable ways to get your hands on a 3G-enabled tablet of any kind — let alone a Froyo-based slate that’s received its fair share of compliments. Granted, the original Tab is aging at this point, and we still aren’t sure we’d be down for selling our cellular soul for two years just to get a spiffy up-front discount, but hey — at least you know the option awaits you. Oh, and if spending $429.99 sound a lot better than $199.99 in addition to 24 months of obligation, that’ll apparently also be possible.
Continue reading Sprint dropping Galaxy Tab to $200 on contract starting April 3rd
Sprint dropping Galaxy Tab to $200 on contract starting April 3rd originally appeared on Engadget on Thu, 31 Mar 2011 15:06:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.
, galaxy tab
We’ve already seen a fair number
of Windows Phone 7 stats
, but Microsoft’s now gone and provided a proper retrospective for the first anniversary of its debut at the MIX10 conference last year. The standout figure, as usual, is the number of apps, which now stands at 11,500 — a number that Microsoft is quick to point out it’s not “artificially inflating” by listing wallpapers as a category, or boosting by adding competitor’s apps
to increase “tonnage.” Microsoft also notes that while the Windows Phone Developer Tools have been downloaded 1.5 million times, it’s choosing instead to focus on the number of AppHub community members as a more accurate measure of the number of developers for the platform — they now total 36,000. It’s also revealed that Windows Phone 7 users download twelve apps each month on average, that it’s currently adding 1,200 new developers this week, and that 1,100 of the apps in the Marketplace are ad-supported and generating revenue with its Ad Control platform. Hit up the source link below for the rest of the stats.
Microsoft details Windows Phone 7 by the numbers: 11,500 apps, 36,000 developers originally appeared on Engadget on Thu, 31 Mar 2011 15:27:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.
If there was one thing that bothered us most about the Xperia Play, it was the dearth of original PlayStation games we could, you know, play on it. That’s getting a shot in the arm tonight with the introduction of five PS One titles to the Android Market: Syphon Filter, MediEvil, Cool Boarders 2, Destruction Derby, and Jumping Flash. Each is priced at
, cool boarders
, mobile gaming
, xperia play
Despite the questionable appeal of watching movies two months after they come out in theaters for $30 a pop, The Hollywood Reporter reports Warner Bros., Sony, Fox and Universal are going ahead with their premium video on-demand scheme. According to the always helpful unnamed insiders, DirecTV will be launch the service nationally at the end of April, with Walmart-backed Vudu and a regional launch by Comcast soon after. Company Town mentions movies like The Adjustment Bureau, Paul or Just Go With It could be among launch titles. There’s no word on DRM although apparently Paramount has taken a pass specifically due to piracy concerns — theater owners aren’t happy either — so we’ll just wait and see if the quality of scene rips suddenly make a jump by this time next month. Either way, expect some new variation of Gregor and his lap giraffe to make an appearance soon.
DirecTV, Comcast, Vudu could start offering ‘premium VOD’ $30 movie rentals in April originally appeared on Engadget on Thu, 31 Mar 2011 16:27:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.
, fox searchlight
, piracy concerns
, premium vod
There isn’t any hardware that will make you a better (or hell, a good) DJ, although we always seem to forget this whenever we see one of Native Instruments’ invariably mind-blowing product demos. If you’re a DMC-level DJ, it certainly looks like the newly available Traktor 2
will suit all of your needs nicely. If you’re not? Well, you can always enjoy DJ Craze going wild on the video after the break (be advised, however, that the F-bomb drops about a gazillion times on the thing, so this might not be safe for your workplace). And while we’re at it, if you own NI’s Maschine, the 1.6 software that we first got a look at in early February
is available: launch the NI Service Center app to upgrade.
Continue reading Native Instruments rolls out Traktor 2, Maschine 1.6 update
Native Instruments rolls out Traktor 2, Maschine 1.6 update originally appeared on Engadget on Thu, 31 Mar 2011 16:46:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.
, native instruments
, pro audio
It’s perhaps a little too early to be feeling all retro-nostalgic for the netbook, with much of the industry moving on up to your notbooks and your tablets and such, so we’ll just say that Hercules is still kickin’ it old school by launching its eCAFE netbooks. There are two models, the Slim HD and EX HD, the former tipping the scales at 1.9lbs and measuring only .8-inches thick, while the EX model is a bit heftier at 2.5lbs and 1.1-inches, managing 13 hours of “real use” battery life. Both are said to smoothly play 720p video on their 10-inch, 1024 x 600 displays or export it over HDMI, running a custom flavor of Linux and powered by an ARM Cortex-A8 processor. Hercules says this “sets a new standard” in netbooks, but 8 or 16GB of flash storage and 512MB of RAM sounds all too familiar to us, and if that cramped, recessed keyboard is the future we’re quite happy to stick in the present, thanks.
Hercules re-invents the netbook again, launches 10-inch Linux- and A8-powered eCAFE originally appeared on Engadget on Thu, 31 Mar 2011 17:04:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.
Intel cares about you. It cares that your data is safe and secure in a sturdy storage silo of the solid state variety. In order to enlighten you on the dangers that old and dusty magnetic hard drives pose, it has kindly fashioned out a short film detailing graphically the fate of your 1s and 0s when they’re kept on an HDD that suffers an unexpected impact. It’s atmospheric, thrilling stuff, which we dare not spoil for you here. We’ll just say it ends on a pretty hilarious note and point you to the video below.
Continue reading Intel posts a short film about SSDs and the folly of not using them
Intel posts a short film about SSDs and the folly of not using them originally appeared on Engadget on Thu, 31 Mar 2011 17:23:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.
, solid state storage
Though it was teased late last year — on the same day that HTC announced its very first Windows Phone 7 devices, in fact — the company’s QWERTY-packing 7 Pro has taken its sweet time to make it to American airwaves; in the process, it’s gone through a name change and picked up the first big platform update from Microsoft. The phone we now know as the Arrive is finally available from Sprint, becoming the first Windows Phone 7 device available on a CDMA network. These days, it’s pretty unusual for an HTC handset — or a handset on any American carrier, really, regardless of manufacturer — to take this long to make it to subscribers’ hands after announcement, but in this case, Sprint’s hands were tied: Microsoft simply didn’t support CDMA initially, which explains why both AT&T and T-Mobile have been enjoying a selection of models from Samsung, LG, Dell, and HTC alike while Sprint and Verizon have been patiently twiddling their thumbs.
The CDMA dry spell’s over, though; the Arrive marks just the first of what should be several Redmond-powered phones over the course of 2011. Is it a fitting first effort? And how does it fare against the GSM models that beat it to market? Read on.
Continue reading HTC Arrive review
HTC Arrive review originally appeared on Engadget on Thu, 31 Mar 2011 15:50:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.
Building and putting any sort of offshore wind turbine into place is a fairly impressive bit of engineering, but Denmark’s Vestas is truly going the extra mile with its new V164-7.0 MW turbine. Not only does it promise to provide seven megawatts of power but, as you can see above, each of the blades is longer than nine double-decker buses, which gives the turbine itself a larger total diameter than the London Eye. Of course, the company also hopes that there will eventually be not just a few of these but massive farms of the turbines at sea (the North Sea, specifically), although that won’t exactly happen overnight — Vestas only expects to have the first prototypes ready by the end of 2012, with full production expected to begin in the first quarter of 2015. Head on past the break for a video — don’t worry, nothing like this
Continue reading Vestas unveils massive 7-megawatt offshore wind turbine (video)
Vestas unveils massive 7-megawatt offshore wind turbine (video) originally appeared on Engadget on Thu, 31 Mar 2011 12:29:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.
, wind farm