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Sony offers 10% discount on its European online store, valid until tomorrow only

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Sony took down its online store in Europe for maintenance for a little while and put it back online this Sunday. To apologize for any inconvenience, Sony is giving you a 10% discount code.

The code should work on all European versions of the Sony Store, but if you want to use it you’d better be quick, it’s valid only until tomorrow. Read more »

References of Google Now found in JavaScript code that loads in Google homepage

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Google Now is headed for the desktop version of Chrome as an extension (in Russian only, not fully functional yet), but it seems that the mind-reading information service will make its way to the Google homepage as well. References to Now and cards have been discovered in a JavaScript file loaded by Google.com, but the functionality isn’t there yet.

The customizable iGoogle homepage was retired a while back, but Now might prove to be a worthy successor. Read more »

Google gets €145,000 fine for collecting Wi-Fi data with its Street View cars in Germany

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Google got into some hot water when it was discovered its Street View cars are collecting Wi-Fi data (including things like email, passwords and more) and while there was no criminal prosecution, there’s a fine.

Almost the maximum too, for what Johannes Caspar, Hamburg data regulator, calls “one of the biggest data protection rules violations known”. Read more »

Nokia locks down Navifirm, no more firmware downloads without authenticated access

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Late last year Nokia announced that it will be closing unauthorized access to Navifirm, the online repository of firmwares for Nokia phones. And that time has finally come. Navifirm was often a source of firmware for Symbian and later Windows Phone handsets before it was rolled out over the air, some times before it was even official.

From now on, you’ll need a Nokia Online login to download firmware. Read more »

Microsoft sees net income grow in the past quarter, beats estimates

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Microsoft turned in its report card for the first quarter of the year (which is the third quarter on the company’s financial calendar). The total revenue for the quarter was $20.49 billion with net income growing to $6.06 billion, 19% up from the same quarter the previous year. That was a bit better than analysts predicted.

The company’s CFO, Peter Klein, mentioned that Windows 8 will be coming to smaller devices (presumably with the 8.1 Blue update), but said nothing about Microsoft branding one of them as a Surface device (the rumor mill thinks has it that there is a 7” Surface in the pipeline). Read more »

Trailer for Iron Man 3 game from Gameloft promises to put you in control of 18 different suits

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The premiere of Iron Man 3 is just around the corner (May 3 in the US and even earlier in Europe), but you’ll get to play a virtual Tony Stark a few days early with Gameloft’s Iron Man 3 game. In it you’ll be able to develop and fly around in 18 different suits.

Here’s a video that features some of those plus some in-game footage: Read more »

Photo of alleged front-facing camera of the next iPhone hits the web

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The iPhone 5S is yet to be seen in whole, but various alleged parts are already making the rounds on the Internet. The latest is a look at the front-facing camera of the next Apple phone, along with another unidentified component.

The photos of the components come from Japanese retailer Moumantai. The front-facing camera is compared against that of the current model, the iPhone 5. Read more »

AllWinner reveals new chipsets with dual and quad-core Cortex-A7 processors

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Android sticks and ultra-cheap tablets are often powered by an AllWinner chipset, typically one using an old Cortex-A8 CPU design. The Chinese chipmaker has now updated its lineup with three new chipsets based on the new and power-efficient Cortex-A7.

One chip of particular interest, the AllWinner A20, packs a dual-core A7 CPU, which is up to 5 times more power efficient and offers 50% better performance than the A8. It’s fully certified to run Android 4.2.2 as well. Read more »

List of ARM big.LITTLE licensees grows, will we see Cortex-A15 in affordable chipsets?

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New companies have joined ARM’s initiative to build powerful but efficient chipsets using the big.LITTLE architecture. A total of 17 companies have licenses to build chipsets that combine the powerful Cortex-A15 with the efficient Cortex-A7.

ARM didn’t provide a list of the newcomers, but among the companies with a big.LITTLE license are names like MediaTek and HiSilicon. MediaTek are best known for the chipsets in mid-range smartphones from smaller companies and HiSilicon is behind Huawei’s custom chips. Read more »

Google updates mobile search with direct sub-links, Quick view for near-instant page previews

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One of the best things about Google search is that it tries to cut down the distance between you and the data you need as much as possible. Two newly introduced features for the mobile search aim to help that. The first one is the expandable list of links to important pages on a site – e.g. if you search for “rotten tomatoes” you’ll get a link that leads straight to the In Theaters page of the site.

The other is more experimental and works for the English portion of Wikipedia only – it’s called Quick view and it previews the content of a page, which is much faster than opening the page itself. Read more »

Samsung Galaxy Ace 3 shows up in GLBenchmark database, runs Android 4.2 on Broadcom chipset

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The Samsung Galaxy Ace 3 is rumored to hit in late May or early June and while there’s not much known about the mid-range droid, data from GLBenchmark gives us some info on the screen, OS and chipset.

The Galaxy Ace 3 is expected to have a 4” screen and GLBenchmark reports WVGA resolution. That would put it on par with the Galaxy S III mini with 233ppi pixel density. Read more »

Sony Xperia Z teardown video makes it look easy

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The Sony Xperia Z is a tough device – water and dust resistant – so how tough can it be to take apart if you need to repair it? Well, Rounded.com, a spare parts supplier, has a video walking you through the process.

You’ll need a scraping tool, a Phillips 1.5×45 screwdriver, a pincet, a hair drier and a suction cup. Read more »

Ouya team speeds up production, last dev units should ship by late May

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The developer version of the Ouya game console has been shipping to Kickstarter backers for a couple of weeks now but some eager devs are still questioning the Ouya team about when they’ll get theirs. The team responded with an update saying they’ve already optimized things by changing one of their partners, a change that will shorten the wait by a few days.

The number of consoles shipped per day is on the rise and the plan is to keep increasing the pace. The chart above shows Ouya’s predictions of how many deliveries will be made by the end of the month. Read more »

Patched APKs let you install Facebook Home on any droid in any country

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You may have tried downloading the new Facebook Home only to be disappointed to find out your phone or country isn’t supported. Good thing Android is easy to tweak – MoDaCo has a workaround so you too can see what all the fuss is about.

MoDaCo released the Home and updated Facebook apps a few days ago before they officially hit the Play Store. Now, founder Paul O’Brien has released a new Home APK that goes around the country and device checks. Read more »

Spy shot of Samsung NX2000 mirrorless camera shows Home button, suggests Android involvement

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Samsung already dipped its toe in the connected camera waters with the Galaxy Camera, but the company may be looking to expand to higher-end shooters. An alleged photo of the Samsung NX2000 shows a curious Home button, leading to speculations that the NX1000 replacement is running Android (or possibly Tizen).

The camera packs a 20.3MP APS-C CMOS sensor and built-in Wi-Fi connectivity as indicated by the labels on the camera. Read more »