Google’s $ 35 Chromecast dongle may have made all the headlines this week, but the folks in Mountain View aren’t the only ones working on curious gadgets that plug into your TV’s HDMI ports.
Dell showed off its Android-powered Project Ophelia dongle all the way back in January, and it managed to turn a few heads… until its tentative launch window came and went without much fanfare. Now, though, it looks like early devices are finally on their way to testers ahead of a full launch in the coming months.
Not exactly familiar with Project Ophelia? Let’s flash back to CES 2013 when Dell showed it off for the first time — long story short, you plug Ophelia into your TV (any other display with an HDMI input) and Android 4.0 fires up so you can mess around on the web and download apps from the Google Play Store. Of course, that concept isn’t exactly new: Countless tiny Android devices that plug straight into your television have popped up on crowdfunding sites and Chinese bulk ordering sites for what feels like ages now.
Ophelia’s big differentiator, though, is its support for Dell’s Wyse cloud computing tech, which allows users to (among other things) remotely access files stored on PCs or servers and connect to Citrix or VMware-powered virtual machines. The company’s eagerness to show off Ophelia’s enterprise chops could go a long way in justifying the device’s roughly $ 100 price tag, but what’s even more interesting is the very fact that a huge PC manufacturer is moving to embrace such a strange little segment of the market.
Considering the state of the PC market, though, it’s not hard to see why a company like Dell would put together something as peculiar as Ophelia. PC players have been feeling the squeeze that comes with declining demand over the past months since people are starting to give up more traditional computers for mobile devices. Dell definitely isn’t immune to this sea change, either — its most recent earnings report revealed that its end-user computing division (which accounts for PC sales to consumers) dipped 9 percent from last year. Dell’s Ophelia may just legitimize what is now a largely underwhelming class of gadgetry, thanks to its potential prowess as both a consumer and enterprise device, but it may take more than an aggressive price point and some nifty new features to make Ophelia into something worth owning. For Dell’s sake, here’s hoping Project Ophelia doesn’t meet the same fate as its Shakespearean counterpart did.
Microsoft demonstrated its new Mail app for Windows 8.1 earlier this week during the Build keynote, but the company has started to share even more details about the upcoming overhaul. While the Mail app has gradually been getting better in Windows 8, the Windows 8.1 version opens up new features like drag and drop support, and sections to filter specific emails. During a Build session on Friday, Microsoft’s Jeremy Epling walked through most of the new improvements in Mail.
Microsoft has altered the sidebar in the Mail app to include access to the categories that filter out emails like social updates or newsletters, and there’s also options to pin folders. One new feature is the ability to pin a specific person to the sidebar and have…
So, it’s a wrap. Done, dusted. To celebrate, the whole Engadget crew rolls up for the last podcast from the show floor. It’s fast-firing tech talk with a bunch of giveaways, and best of all you can catch it all again right here.
Hosts: Tim Stevens, Brian Heater Producer: James Trew
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LG G Flex 32GB Unlocked GSM WCDMA LTE 4G 6.0" Curved P-OLED 4core NEW phone $780.00 (46 Bids)End Date: Thursday Dec-12-2013 17:40:14 PSTBid now | Add to watch list SPI IIC 0.96" 128X64 Blue GreenLand OLED Display Module SSD1306 for Arduino AVR $8.86End Date: Sunday Jan-5-2014 22:54:59 PSTBuy It Now for only: $8.86Buy It Now | Add to watch listRelated Posts:
When App.net kicked off its Twitter rivalry, the $ 50 yearly subscription fee was based on the assumption that the ad-free social service would maintain 10,000 customers. Founder Dalton Caldwell may have underestimated year-one adoption by just a tad: he now has nearly 20,000 customers on his hands in less than two months, which throws the previous economies of scale out the window. The pain for Caldwell’s business model is a pleasure for fans, however. App.net’s price of entry has dropped to $ 36 per year, with existing memberships’ durations extended to match the new yearly rate. Anyone on the fence also has a chance to try the service for a short stint through a $ 5 monthly plan. While it’s hard to know if the price drop will sustain the early runaway pace, it reflects a determination to play for keeps in the social media game — an important trait when the chief opponent isn’t sitting still.
Filed under: Internet
So, just how many people want to see Stompy, the two-ton hexapod come to smashtastic life? Enough to fund the project in 11 days via its Kickstarter page. The folks at Artisan’s Asylum dropped us a line to let us know that Sir Stompsalot has hit its $ 65,000 goal as of 7:30 AM this morning, with 18 days left to pledge. That list includes two backers at the $ 5,000 adopt-a-leg level and nine backers for the $ 1,000 drive Stompy mark, so unless you’ve got a giant insect of your own, you might want to avoid driving the streets of Somerville, Massachusetts for a while…
If you rushed out to buy a Galaxy S III (or are waiting to buy one) but got skittish over decking it out with extras, it’s time to relax. MobileFun has volunteered to show a quintet of the Android 4.0 phone’s official accessories on-camera to get a feel for how they work. Samsung’s desktop dock, battery charger and flip cover all get the video treatment, but the highlights are the WiFi Display Hub and C-Pen. The wireless hub sadly isn’t shown with a live Galaxy S III to demo, but gives a feel for just how minuscule it is next to a TV. However, the C-Pen is mostly notable for working only with Samsung’s latest: there’s no way to wield it as an upscale Galaxy Note stylus. All of the accessories are already on sale, although it might be wise for Americans to just watch the videos below until they have real phones in their hands later this month.
Yesterday, Phoronix had encouraging news about the prospect of Steam for Linux: photo evidence of Left 4 Dead running on Ubuntu 11.10 with AMD Catalysts drivers. Today, the site followed up with video footage of that same scenario, posting a hastily shot clip to show that Valve is indeed making progress — slow as it may be — on porting the game engine to Linux. Got 14 seconds? Check out the video demo below the break.
Continue reading Steam for Linux captured on video, one step closer to reality
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Sure, you can take us on our word that the new iPad really is that much sharper than its predecessor — or, you can opt for a more scientific approach, and peek at that Retina display under a microscope. Our own Richard Lai slid his 64GB WiFi iPad under a USB scope, going far beyond the naked eye for a close-up look at those gorgeous high-density subpixels. As you can imagine, it’s impossible to distinguish one dot from the next when you’re looking at a cool three million pixels packed tightly within a 9.7-inch slab, but that view clears up quite nicely under a 230x microscope. Some easy math confirms what you’ll see — those tiny red, green and blue dots are now 50 percent smaller, when compared to the iPad 2. That means text that’s easily legible without a pinch, smooth icons and far sharper pictures. There’s a dramatic improvement for sure, but is that new display alone enough to justify the upgrade for you? A quick click through the gallery below should help clear things up.
Gallery: The new iPad’s LCD under the microscope
Richard Lai contributed to this report.
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