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Touchscreens On Steroids Thanks To Pop-Up Buttons!!

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At first, I thought about this and said, why would they even implement this? But then, I thought about it and it's probably the best thing I've heard in a long while. Imagine if your iPhone (easiest relatable touchscreen phone) could magically just "lift" its own buttons up when you're typing on the virtual QWERTY keyboard. That would be amazing. If you don't understand exactly what I mean, just read this execerpt:

Now researchers at Carnegie Mellon University have developed buttons that pop out from a touch-screen surface. The design retains the dynamic display capabilities of a normal touch screen but can also produce tactile buttons for certain functions.

Graduate student Chris Harrison and computer-science professor Scott Hudson have built a handful of proof-of-concept displays with the morphing buttons. The screens are covered in semitransparent latex, which sits on top of an acrylic plate with shaped holes and an air chamber connected to a pump. When the pump is off, the screen is flat; when it’s switched on, the latex forms concave or convex features around the cutouts, depending on negative or positive pressure.
To illuminate the screens and give them multitouch capabilities, the researchers use projectors, infrared light, and cameras positioned below the surface. The projectors cast images onto the screens while the cameras sense infrared light scattered by fingers at the surface.

Special thanks to those at Carnegie Mellon University, I now love them. This would definitely be an amazing addition and I hope to see it on future touchscreen phones. It could possibly eliminate my needs of a physical QWERTY keyboard, to a certain extent - I'd still love the extra screen room, which is what the slide-out QWERTY keyboard gives us. Read more about this technology at the link below.

[Crunch Gear]

Averatec Developing 10-Inch Netbook Running Android

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Averatec is developing a new 10-inch netbook which is "a merger of cellphone and PC technology." This news sets the flag off that this netbook could be running on Google's OS, Android. Averatec's CEO mentioned that the OS will be "a surprise" and he neither denied nor confirmed the Android OS rumours. I'm excited to see how well Android performs on this netbook - until yesterday I've actually never even heard of this company. I'm actually really happy that today has turned out to be an Android-filled day. Looks like Google is really pushing the envelope here.

[Slash Gear]

Windows 7's Windows XP Mode Needs 2GB of RAM and True Processor Virtualization

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Remember that awesome Windows XP Mode reported to be included in Windows 7? Well, it looks like it will have a couple of hardware specifications. Straight from Gizmodo:

• A CPU that has true chip-level virtualization from Intel or AMD.
• 2GB of RAM minimum.
• While XP Mode will be a free download for buyers of 
Windows 7 Professional, Windows 7 Enterprise, and Windows 7 Ultimate, you will need a licensed copy of Windows XP Service Pack 3.
All seems very straightforward except the virtualization part. According to Microsoft's Scott Woodgate, "Some PCs have [chip-level virtualization] and some don't. It's not as clear as it should be relative to which PCs have support and which don't." Hopefully, they will release a tester program along with Windows 7.

I would definitely love to have Windows XP Mode on my Windows 7 PC, I just hope that these processors will be easy to find.


Motorola IRONMAN Also Running Android

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I just blogged about the Motorola Calgary and it looks like another Android-based smartphone from Motorola looks like it could be on the way. This Motorola "IRONMAN" (not to be confused with the movie) is said to run on Android and it is also said to be available by the end of Q3. I don't know what's gotten into Motorola lately, but it looks like they could be jumping on this Android wagon faster than other companies out there. This smartphone is said to have your regular specs, including: WiFi and 3G; it may also sport a "high res" camera, which could be 5MP, but I'm just guessing. The Calgary will be released on Verizon, but there's been no word on which phone company will be releasing this smartphone yet.

[Boy Genius, Engadget]

Motorola Calgary Will Be Motorola's First Android Phone; Flash and Inferno Get 'Canned'

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It has been confirmed that the Motorola Calgary (pictured above) will indeed be Motorola's first crack at Android. I talked a bit about this phone last year, but it's been a while since we've last seen it. I'm actually not sure if the picture above is just a mock-up or the real thing, but the picture does look good. It does look unique, compared to the T-Mobile G1, HTC Magic, and the Samsung I7500. I hope this will be a good product from Motorola because they need to make something decent, sooner or later.

On a side note, the Motorola Flash and Inferno (Motoprizm) have now been 'canned' aka will never be available. Oh well, I actually thought the Flash looks decent. On a side note, Android seems to be getting some recognition.

[Boy Genius]

Samsung's 23-Inch OLED TV By 2010; Panasonic Working on 37-Inch OLED TV

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I love hearing about OLED's and how bright they are and the fact that they are just so amazing. Samsung has talked about making their own OLED TVs and that they are expected to be on store shelves by 2010. The said TV will have a 2,000,000:1 contrast ratio and DVI / HDMI inputs. This OLED TV from Samsung is also said to be just 1.6 cm and will suck 40% less energy than the standard LCDs. We'll have to see what happens, OLEDs will of course brighten up CES 2010.

Panasonic wasn't going to let Samsung have all of the fun. They have just announced that they are working on a 37-inch OLED TV that will be available in 18-24 months from now. The said OLED TV will have a 50,000 hour life span (20,000 more than the average) and will be just 1-inch thick (a bit thicker than I expected). I love OLEDs and I can't wait for them to become mainstream. I just hope I don't have to wait until 2015 for them to "take off."

[Slash Gear (Panasonic), Engadget (Samsung)]

iPhone 3.0 Beta 4 Now Available; iTunes 8.2 Points At Blu-ray For Upcoming Macs?

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For all of you lucky developers out there, Apple has just released Beta 4 for the iPhone 3.0 OS, which should fix a couple of bugs, or whatever. On a side note, first you must install the beta version of iTunes which is version 8.2. iTunes 8.2 does have a hidden message, which points at Blu-ray. We already know that Apple's WWDC has sold out - no surprise there. But, could Apple be preparing a new MacBook with Blu-ray functionality? You be the judge. All I know is that Blu-ray would just make those stinking things even more expensive than they already are.

[Gizmodo (iPhone 3.0), Gizmodo (Blu-ray)]

New PSP Rumoured To Be Named The PSP Go!; Has 16GB of Flash Memory

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Yes, this is the latest rumour on the street. The new PSP will be called the PSP Go! The Go! will have a touchscreen and will be UMD-free. It will also reportedly have 8 / 16GB of flash memory built-in, and 2 thumbsticks for your gaming. The PSP Go! is said to be announced by Sony at this year's E3, so it would be a disappointment if this doesn't happen. The Go! is said to be available before this year ends (perhaps Fall). Pricing is, of course, still unknown. Don't forget that the image above is still just a mock-up. The screen could be sporting an 800 x 480 resolution and I hope that it has multitouch. We'll have to see if these rumours are true, come E3. This looks exciting!!

[Tech Radar, Electronista]