Microsoft is continuing its regular monthly updates this month, with a number of changes to both of its Surface tablets. The “Patch Tuesday” updates are rolling out immediately and for Surface Pro users they’ll include some improvement in Wi-Fi connectivity and stability. There’s also a video driver update to improve Skype and a specific OpenGL bug in Adobe Photoshop. Finally, there’s an update to enable the PXE boot feature, an option that administrators typically use to install a copy of Windows across a network. There’s no sign of the updated Wacom driver for improved sensitivity in desktop apps.
Surface RT owners will get a driver pack with the latest update that includes a specific improvement in the speaker volume. Owners have…
Epson’s 3D display glasses, the Moverio BT-100 have been floating around as a development platform for a couple years, and APX Labs is the latest to hack the headset. APX Labs is a software firm best known for creating Terminator Vision augmented reality tech for the US military, and it decided to use the BT-100 as a vehicle to develop and showcase a smart glasses platform it’s built to work for both business and consumer applications. In order to get the functionality it needed, APX grafted a 5 megapixel camera, mic and a full suite of motion sensors to provide nine-axis head tracking onto a Moverio headset.
All that gear is shoved into a 3D-printed module and attached to the BT-100 to turn it into a pair of smart glasses. In addition to the cameras and sensors, APX also hacked an Epson daughter board onto the Moverio’s controller to allow an HDMI video feed from a smartphone to be shown on the displays. This result? A system that understands where you are, what you’re seeing and hearing and a UI that allows users to glean information from the world around them using voice commands and head gestures. That should sound familiar to fans of Google Glass, but by using Epson’s binocular displays, these smart glasses can convey depth in a way Mountain View’s monocle cannot. (Not to mention that Glass doesn’t even do AR apps… yet). The hardware we got to see was a crude prototype built for demo purposes only, but the software platform shows promise and Epson’s got a version two Moverio headset in the works — so perhaps you can see a bit of the future of smart glasses in the video after the break.
- Motion|Tech Meets Blog
The latest company to release its quarterly and year-end earnings report is LG, and the good news is that unlike last year’s losses, it has managed to eke out a net profit of $ 80.75 million. Revenues overall were down six percent from last year, but its operating profit moved way up to $ 1.01 billion from $ 342.06 million for 2011. Its TV division also reported record sales and a full year profit of over $ 480 million, while its cellphone division’s revenue for Q4 was the highest of the year as it shipped 8.6 million smartphones. There’s a few more numbers in the press release after the break, we’re still digging through them so check back in a moment for more updates.Show full PR text
LG ANNOUNCES FOURTH-QUARTER AND FULL-YEAR 2012 FINANCIAL RESULTS All Business Units Report Improved 2012 Operating Income from Previous Year
SEOUL, Jan. 30, 2013 – LG Electronics Inc. (LG) today announced consolidated revenues of KRW 50.96 trillion (USD 45.22 billion) and a net profit of KRW 91 billion (USD 80.75 million) for full-year 2012. Despite a 6 percent revenue decrease from 2011, operating profits increased significantly in 2012 to KRW 1.14 trillion (USD 1.01 billion) from KRW 379 billion (USD 342.06 million) in full-year 2011.
Fourth quarter 2012 consolidated revenues were KRW 13.50 trillion (USD 12.37 billion) with an operating profit of KRW 107 billion (USD 98.08 million). Unaudited consolidated financial results for the fourth quarter ending Dec. 31, 2012 showed a net loss of KRW 468 billion (USD 428.96 million) which reflects a fine related to alleged cathode-ray tube pricing issues imposed by the European Commission in December.
The LG Home Entertainment Company reported record sales of flat-panel TVs with 9.3 million units in the fourth quarter resulting in a 17.4 percent revenue increase quarter-on-quarter to KRW 6.44 trillion (USD 5.91 billion) and full-year operating profit of KRW 542 billion (USD 480.92 million). Revenues from 3D and Smart TVs increased with higher unit sales in the United States, Europe and CIS countries. Although the Home Entertainment Company had the strongest quarter of the year in terms of revenue, profitability declined somewhat due to lower average selling prices and increased competition. LG will continue to aggressively market 3D and Smart TVs and plans to expand its share of the premium TV segment in 2013 with Ultra HD TVs and OLED TVs.
The LG Mobile Communications Company reported a 7 percent unit increase quarter-on-quarter in mobile handset shipments to 15.4 million with more than half of the units coming from smartphones. Smartphone shipments grew 23 percent compared to the previous quarter, increasing to 8.6 million devices from the 7 million in the third quarter. Fourth quarter revenues were the highest of the year, growing 15 percent to KRW 2.81 trillion (USD 2.58 billion) quarter-on-quarter. Sales of premium LTE smartphones such as Optimus G and Vu:2 increased in the fourth quarter, as did the L-series and Google Nexus 4. With more European and emerging markets introducing LTE services this year, LG plans to increase smartphone revenues and market share by launching follow-up devices to Optimus G and the L-series as well as the new F-series.
The LG Home Appliance Company posted almost flat revenues year-on-year, with sales of KRW 2.94 trillion (USD 2.7 billion) in the fourth quarter as strong sales in the U.S. and CIS countries were largely offset by sluggish demand in Europe, the Middle East and Latin America. Profitability was affected by unfavorable foreign exchange rates and increased marketing investments, even though average selling prices for home appliance products rose in the fourth quarter. The company plans to improve its revenue and profitability in 2013 with more competitive products, advanced technologies and a stronger focus on profitable regions.
The LG Air Conditioning & Energy Solutions Company reported sales of KRW 683 billion (USD 626 million) in the fourth quarter, essentially unchanged year-on-year. An operating loss of KRW 11 billion (USD 10.08 million) in the quarter showed improvement from the same period last year due to operational efficiencies. For full-year 2012, the company recorded revenues of KRW 4.35 trillion (USD 3.86 billion) and operating profit of KRW 156 billion (USD 138.42 million). The priority in 2013 will be to introduce more energy-efficient and localized products to bolster revenue growth.
2013 Business Direction For 2012, LG Electronics is targeting a revenue goal of KRW 53.5 trillion with plans to spend KRW 2.5 trillion in capital expenditures.
2012 4Q Exchange Rates Explained Starting from the fourth quarter of 2012, the Company has modified its disclosure of operating profit or loss in accordance with the newly issued Amendments to Korea-International Financial Reporting Standards (K-IFRS) 1001 “Presentation of Financial Statements.” Due to this change, the Company has also reclassified comparative financial data in accordance with the new disclosure requirement. Amounts in Korean won (KRW) are converted into U.S. dollars (USD) at the average rate of the three month period in each corresponding quarter: KRW 1,091 per USD (2012 4Q) and KRW 1,146 per USD (2011 4Q). Average rate of the twelve-month period in 2012 was KRW 1,127 per USD.
Earnings Conference and Conference Call LG Electronics will hold a Korean-language earnings news conference on Jan. 30, 2013 at 16:30 Korea Standard Time at the LG Twin Tower Auditorium (B1 East Tower, 20 Yeouido-dong, Yeongdeungpo-gu, Seoul, Korea). An English language conference call will follow on Jan. 31, 2013 at 10:00 Korea Standard Time (01:00 GMT/UTC). Participants are instructed to call +82 31 810 3069 and enter the passcode 9084#. The corresponding presentation file will be available for download at the LG Electronics website (www.lg.com/global/ir/reports/earning-release.jsp) at 13:00 on Jan. 30, 2013. Please visit http://pin.teletogether.com/eng/ and pre-register with the passcode provided. For those unable to participate, an audio recording of the news conference will be available for a period of 30 days after the conclusion of the call. To access the recording, dial +82 31 931 3100 and enter the passcode 142680# when prompted.
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Just as Facebook did a while back, Tumblr, too, has decided to rebuild its iOS application from the ground up. Inside this new version (3.2), daily users of the blogging service will find a completely redesigned Dashboard, which displays larger pictures and offers faster overall speeds when loading posts. In addition, Tumblr’s also added “spiffy” notifications previews to its iOS application, allowing folks to see when other users reply, like or reblog their posts — oh, and better yet, GIFs now automatically play on the all-new Dashboard. The new Tumblr app’s now live on Cupertino’s App Store — all you have to do is either hit the source link below or snag it directly via your iPhone, iPod touch or iPad.
Move over, Western Digital. A*STAR’s Data Storage Institute (DSI) has developed its own 5mm-thick hybrid hard drive, and it’s packing a 1TB HDD and a 32GB SSD within its 2.5-inch confines. Aptly dubbed A-Drive, the firm’s razor-thin hardware relies on a new proprietary motor and 30 additional design patents to lower power consumption and achieve its diminutive form factor. The outfit envisions the drive being put to work in tablets, where it could stretch battery life by up to 30 percent, and in ultrabooks or business-centric storage solutions. To top things off, A*STAR says its hybrid drive will be cheaper than SSDs currently used in ultrabooks, and Yahoo! News reports the device could ring up at roughly $ 73. Can’t wait to have the hardware in a machine of your own? Hold your horses, vaquero. According to DSI Executive Director Pantelis Alexopoulos, it might take six to eight months to kick off production after they strike a deal with a manufacturing partner, which hasn’t happened quite yet.
[Image Credit: Yahoo! photo/ Deborah Choo]
Filed under: Storage
Big Dog is the huge quadrupedal robot that stomped its way into our hearts a few years ago with its wild gait and hydraulic whine. Now, however, there’s a new Dog in the mix, the StarlETH, a smaller robot made at ETH Zurich. This guy may be tiny but he’s uniquely suited to running through and over obstacles and in environments that Big Dog may not be able to tackle.
This wee robot can right itself if it falls and runs at 1.5 mph. It also handles obstacles a bit better than Big Dog and has improved hip movement. You can see it fall below – it has active and passive damping so it can either right itself in one motion or bounce around a bit to fix its gait.
Starl stands for Series Compliant Robotic Leg and is designed to handle multiple terrains and environments. It’s a bit small right now but scaling this monster up should give Big Dog a run for its money.
The RIM PlayBook by just received a developers update that adds some interesting new Android functionality to RIM’s tablet. This new version now supports Android apps running in their own windows, improving compatibility with the general Android app universe.
From Crackberry:Improved HTML5 support Portrait support for Email, Calendar and Contacts Improved folder support including IMAP folder support Full device encryption is now supported, so that the whole device and personal partition can be secure. Screenshots are now saved in lossless PNG format. Each Android app will now run in its own window. This greatly improves the user experience and consistency among the other application runtimes. Access to the Camera hardware is now supported for Android apps, allowing many more application types to work on the BlackBerry® PlayBook™ tablet. In-App Payment is now supported through the BlackBerry Payment SDK, so Android applications can include virtual items for sale in their applications.
This version is butting up against the incoming BB10 OS that will soon appear on phones and tablets, but, as the Verge notes, the BB10 PlayBook should be able to run apps written for previous OS versions.
Oddly, this version seems like a bit of a dead end but it’s nice to see Android functionality getting fleshed out more concretely.
Everyone’s favorite VoIP service, Skype, has rolled out a fresh update to its iPhone / iPod Touch and iPad clients. First off, the Microsoft-owned outfit added a revamped login screen to both iOS applications, and now offers the ability to move your vid preview around the screen — much like FaceTime does. To go along with the new pair of features, Skype’s changelog also notes the app will now automatically restart after a sudden crash, while other undisclosed enhancements were made to improve the overall UI, stability and accessibility. Of note, Skype v4 requires folks to be running iOS 4.3 or later. So, those of you keeping that Cupertino OS current can hit either of the iTunes links below to get the goods, or grab it from the App Store on your device.
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There’s nothing quite like under-promising and over-delivering, and it seems that we’ve got just that scenario in the case of this here rumor-turned-reality. After hearing that Seagate was planning to update the firmware on its GoFlex Satellite streaming hard drive, the company has indeed released version 1.3.5.015 today, a 51MB file that makes quite a few succulent changes. For one, it improves battery life (from five hours to seven), and it also “lifts the restriction on the number of devices that can connect to the drive at one time.” Lastly (and perhaps most importantly), it provides a pass-through for internet access when connected to the drive. As you’d expect, the new bits and bytes are available gratis, and they can be downloaded there in the source link.
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