The Human Rights Watch has just issued a 50-page report titled ‘Losing Humanity: The Case Against Killer Robots‘ that urges governments to ban the development of fully autonomous robots designed to kill. A one page addendum to the report written by yours truly adds, “Just ban them all so we can go get drunk and take turns punching each other in the privates.” A solid piece of legislature if I do say so myself.
“Giving machines the power to decide who lives and dies on the battlefield would take technology too far,” said Steve Goose, Arms Division director at Human Rights Watch. “Human control of robotic warfare is essential to minimizing civilian deaths and injuries.”
“Losing Humanity” is the first major publication about fully autonomous weapons by a nongovernmental organization and is based on extensive research into the law, technology, and ethics of these proposed weapons. It is jointly published by Human Rights Watch and the Harvard Law School International Human Rights Clinic.
Agreed — no robot should ever be given the power to decide if a human being lives or dies. That power should only be given to me. And I say NUKE THE ENTIRE PLANET. *mashing big red button* “You do realize that’s just a fake button we installed to see if you’d push it, right?” Um, YEAH — I realized it last night when I snuck out of bed to hit it the first time.
Thanks to Kringle Fantastico, MarkE and NoodleRamen Konbu egg, who promised to stand up and fight the robots which is awesome because now I won’t have to. *stretching out on sofa* Don’t let me down, guys!
If you were wondering what was next for webOS now that it’s gone all open source on us, webOS Nation chimes in with word that Gram is working with LG to bring it to connected HDTVs. Several names from the HP / Gram team are dropped as being involved in the effort, which reportedly was under way even before HP revealed it would spin the project off as an independent. Of course, when we actually saw Open webOS 1.0 it was already stretching to fill the space of an HP TouchSmart computer screen (project architect Steve Winston specifically mentioned hotel kiosks as a possibility, a market LG is all over) so it makes sense that larger displays have been a target. With LG supposedly both looking to replace its existing NetCast smart TV platform and unhappy with Google TV based on its rate of adoption and Google’s terms, engineers have been working to port the software to its dual-core L9 chipset. In the past LG has pursued voice and motion control, the aforementioned Google TV integration and even Plex support to make its smart TVs more appealing, and has founded the Smart TV Alliance for cross platform apps. We only have to wait until CES 2013 to see if webOS is next up to power its efforts, stay tuned.
The Galaxy Nexus’ one year launch anniversary is fast approaching, and as if on cue, the geekier parts of the web have gone abuzz today with rumors of a new Nexus device (and possibly a new version of Android) that could hit the streets “in the next 30 days.” The timing certainly helps explain things — tablets and funky, arguably misguided media streamers aside, Google’s Nexus-branded smartphones always seem to trickle out toward the end of the year, and we’re very nearly there.
It’s no surprise to see Android devotees itching for some new hardware to ogle, but what kind of hardware should we expect to see? As usual, Google wouldn’t officially comment on rumors or speculation, but here’s a quick rundown of what Google and friends are reportedly working on. Got those grains of salt ready?
What’s most interesting to me is that AndroidAndMe’s source claims that the new Nexus device has “already leaked” to some unnamed websites. Exactly how true that is remains to be seen, but one thing is for sure — there are plenty of suspects.Samsung
Samsung’s Galaxy Nexus was no runaway hit here in the states — the Korean company’s own legal team stated that the device “at most captured 0.5% of the market” while all that legal unpleasantness was going down — but it seems that a Samsung-sourced Nexus follow-up may be in the cards. True believers have more than a few bits of potential proof to point at.
A device referring to itself as the GT-I9260 (in case you hadn’t guessed, the original Galaxy Nexus was the I9250) apparently snapped a photo of some woman’s back. What’s more, a device claiming to be the Galaxy Nexus Plus has temporarily popped up on a few UK phone retailer websites, and a supposed spec sheet (see above) for a Galaxy Nexus follow-up points to the inclusion of an updated processor (1.5GHz dual-core A9, up from 1.2GHz) and camera (8-megapixel sensor instead of 5).HTC
Also rumored to be working on Nexus-branded hardware is Taiwanese mainstay HTC, which hasn’t collaborated with Google like that since the heady days of the Nexus One. If these wild-eyed rumors are to be believed, then HTC may well be working on a phablet-sized device with a 5-inch screen running at 1080p, albeit without the sort of pen-based input that made the original Galaxy Note a surprise success.
Interestingly enough, the so-called HTC One X 5 has also been referred to (possibly erroneously) as the Droid Incredible X in some circles, which would clearly imply some connections with Verizon Wireless a la the CDMA Galaxy Nexus. If rumors hold true, the One X 5 (which some claim will be rebranded as the Nexus 5) will feature a 1.4 GHz quad-core Snapdragon processor, 1.5GB of RAM, and a 12-megapixel rear camera.LG
Easily the most unlikely name on the list of potential Nexus hardware partners is LG, a company that has struggled for months to get its smartphone strategy settled. Even after devoting half of its capex budget to reviving its flagging smartphone business this year, the other Korean electronics giant saw fit to push out me-too products like the underwhelming LG Intuition/Optimus Vu.
That seems to have changed these past few weeks as LG officially revealed its latest flagship, the surprisingly-not-bad Optimus G. A handful of sources are claiming it’s that device — along with its 1.5GHz quad-core S4 Pro chipset, LTE support, and 13-megapixel camera — that will serve as the base for Google’s next Nexus phone. For what it’s worth, if there were ever any LG phone worth bearing the Nexus name, it’s this one.Motorola Mobility
You would think now that Google’s purchase of Motorola Mobility is over and done with, and the search giant’s newly bolstered mobile division would get cracking on some new hardware. Interestingly, there hasn’t been much buzz around a Nexus-branded Motorola device this time around — AndroidCentral’s Jerry Hildenbrand reached out to the usual unnamed sources and came back with the only Moto-Nexus report of note. Here’s what he had to say:
We got wind of a Motorola built device with the model defined as “RNEXUS”. The few bits we have say it has a 1080p screen of undisclosed size, a keyboard, and will use the Z2580 Intel Atom SoC.
Motorola’s Intel push is an intriguing one, even if the first bit Intel-powered hardware Motorola has pushed out looks awfully familiar. It’s a fairly new rumor, which could indicate one of three things — 1) Google indeed plans to push a Motorola Nexus device out in October and has done a great job of keeping it quiet; 2) Google plans to push out a Motorola Nexus device at some point down the line; or 3) the news is total crap.
Though there’s not much more than secretive whispers from sources and oft-repeated rumors to go off at this point, the possibility remains that all of these devices could be real. The Wall Street Journal reported back in May that Google would work “with as many as five manufacturers at a time to create a portfolio of ‘Nexus’ lead devices that include smartphones and tablets,” and if true, the devices listed above could make for a compelling product lineup in Google’s (mostly empty) Play Store Devices section.Android 4.2?
As I’m always so fond of saying, hardware is only ever part of the equation — among this crush of rumors is one claiming that Google is also preparing to unleash yet another Android build (4.2) shortly. That’s probably the hardest claim to swallow so far, and it’s not just because it will inevitably cause people to cry “FRAGMENTATION!” At this point, Android 4.1 Jelly Bean is still less than four months old — for Google to push out another update so quickly would be to throw another curveball at consumers. How many devices right now are still waiting for Ice Cream Sandwich? How long will it take for consumers’ handsets to finally be up-to-date?
Then again, such a move wouldn’t entirely be out of character for Google, as it regularly pushed out new updates every five to seven months for a long while. Google seems to have bucked that trend with more recent releases — Honeycomb, Ice Cream Sandwich, and now Jelly Bean have enjoyed a bit more room to breathe. For the curious, eight months elapsed between the Android 3.0 and 4.0 launches, and nine months separated the 4.0 and 4.1 launches. Whether that’s just a happy coincidence due to production schedules or a concerted effort to space things out a bit more isn’t known, but it could mean that the next big version of Android is still a ways away.In the end…
…there’s no telling whether or not Google’s newest Nexus will be one, all, or none of the devices listed above. Really, the only thing that can be said for sure is that the Nexus brand ain’t what it used to be. What once was a product line meant for Android hobbyists and the contract-averse has now made a major mainstream impact in the hardware market with devices like the Nexus 7. The natural follow-up question to ask is what role this supposed Nexus phone is supposed to play now that the brand it represents has evolved — is it going to be a nerd’s device? A mass-market crowdpleaser? With any luck, that answer and more should become apparent before the month is over.Related Posts:
There was a time when Audience’s contribution to the iPhone’s call clarity was not only praised, but actively hunted down. But now it looks like the party is over — at least according to the chip maker itself. Citing events “in the normal course of business” the firm believes that its technology won’t be making it into Apple’s next handset — unsurprisingly a big blow for its shareholders. While it remains unconfirmed, Audience suggested in a conference call that Apple has built its own audio team. Something that is possible already creating a hubbub with other industry players. Though all things going well, we’ll only have to wait a week until the new iPhone hits the surgeon’s bench anyway.
Samsung’s Galaxy S III is a pretty lust-worthy gadget to begin with, but the Korean electronics giant just won’t leave well enough alone. First they put together a model that managed to combine both an LTE radio and an Exynos quad-core chipset, a combination that unfortunately hasn’t trickled out of the country yet.
Now it seems that U.K. phone retailer Clove has the skinny on yet another hardware revision. The folks at Phandroid spotted a landing page for Clove created for that handsome new black GSIII that’s been spotted in the wild that mentions it will ship with 64GB of internal memory in October.
Better late than never, I suppose. Galaxy fanatics may remember that Samsung promised a 64GB Galaxy S III at the company’s ostentatious London launch event, but the device failed to appear in due course. Naturally, many assumed that particular model got the axe at some point, a notion that Samsung eventually denied — according to them, the 64GB version was instead slated for a launch during the “second half” of 2012.
It shouldn’t come as much surprise that there isn’t much information on what the mildly-tweaked handset will cost, or when we can expect to see it embark on a world tour. In fact, Samsung hasn’t even officially confirmed the device’s existence, but that’s all right — third-party retailers and carriers (including T-Mobile USA, which is a bit of an eyebrow-raiser) are apparently more than happy to spread the word anyway.Related Posts:
Earlier today, a Reuters report added more fuel to a particularly nitpicky fire — according to its typically unnamed sources, Apple’s new iPhone indeed sports a smaller, 19 pin dock connector instead of the 30 pin relic the company’s iDevices have clung to for years.
The news itself isn’t particularly shocking — our own John Biggs locked down the 19-pin number last month — but now a new report from iMore points to an even less surprising development. The Cupertino company is allegedly working on a dock connector adapter to keep those iDevice accessories from becoming completely obsolete, or so the story from iMore’s supply chain sources go.
Yeah, There’s literally no way that Apple would risk pissing off longtime iDevice owners by making their scores of old accessories useless in one fell swoop. Sadly, that’s all iMore was able to confirm. At this point, there’s still no word on whether or not such an adapter will find its way inside the new iPhone’s box, nor how much it will cost customers to purchase it separately.
While Apple hasn’t officially confirmed any of this (and don’t expect them to until September at the earliest), there’s more than enough smoke to signal a fire here. What’s more, the incessant clatter of the rumor mill points to plenty of big hardware additions — a larger screen, an LTE radio, NFC, and more — so it’s not much of a stretch to imagine Apple grappling with the prospect of squeezing everything into a slim new chassis.
Like it or not, this sort of move isn’t anything new for Apple. Most recently, the company launched the new MacBook Air and retina MacBook Pro with smaller MagSafe connectors because of their slimmer frames, but Apple has attempted to ease the pain by selling an adapter for $ 9.99.Related Posts:
Watch out for iPad mini rumors! They’re dropping left and right, and odds are, at least a few of them are going to be on target.
The latest state that the so-called iPad mini will be thinner than the Kindle Fire the overall thickness that of the iPod touch 4G. That would put the smaller iPad at 7.2mm, nearly 25% thinner than the new iPad. The device’s screen reportedly measures 7.85-inches although there doesn’t seem to be a consensus among reports concerning the device’s form factor and design. It might look a large iPod nano rather than a small iPad.
According to a report published by Japanese Mac site Macotakara, the prototype for the rumored iPad mini looks like a 3rd generation large iPod nano. This means the device likely still uses employs tapered sizes although perhaps in a different fashion. The report also states that a 3G model is planned, too, although it doesn’t state if 3G is included or optional like in the current iPad lineup.
This different design and capabilities would likely help Apple sell the iPad mini without cannibalizing the full size iPad’s sales. It’s within reason that the iPad mini will not use a retina screen and use smaller storage options — maybe just 8GB. That said, expect Apple to use the dual-core A5X SoC to give the iPad mini as much computing horsepower as possible.
Reportedly the Foxconn will start making the device in Brazil this September with the announcement and release coming prior to the holidays.Related Posts:
I don’t know too many people who would look at the Galaxy Note and its 5.3 inch display and say “y’know, it would be great if this thing was just a little bigger,” and I now I know why. As it turns out, those people live in Korea, work for Samsung, and may have decided just that.
According to their usual unnamed sources, Korea’s MK Business News reports that Samsung’s Galaxy Note 2 will sport an even larger 5.5-inch display when its unveiled at Germany’s IFA 2012 trade show in August.
Naturally, the display isn’t all they’re said to be upgrading here. The next-gen Galaxy Note is also rumored to pack an unspecified quad-core processor (most likely an Exynos 4 Quad), and a 12 or 13 megapixel camera around the back instead of the 8 megapixel shooter as seen in the original. To top it all off, it’s said to run on Google’s newly-revealed Jelly Bean version of Android, though it’s unclear at this point how the company will be tweaking their UI to account for Jelly Bean’s new features.
So how much of a handful is thing going to be? Well, while the display has been stretched out a bit, the device itself isn’t expected to be significantly larger than the current Galaxy Note. Frankly, this seems like both a blessing and a curse — users who can comfortably wrap their mitts around the original model should do just fine, but that slightly larger display may make one-handed operation even less feasible than before.
Now I’m all for pushing limits and whatnot, but this just begs an obvious question: how big is too big? Most tablet manufacturers are loath to dip below the 7-inch barrier, and if this report holds true then Samsung is eagerly chipping away at the other side of that limit. Samsung’s success with the Galaxy Note has also prompted companies like LG to take up the super-sized phone challenge, so it’s very possible that phone screen sizes haven’t topped out just yet.Related Posts:
This video was uploaded from an Android phone. Video Rating: 3 / 5Related Posts:
If you were planning to swing by your local Target to buy a Kindle some time soon, you may want to add a little pep to your step. An inside source told The Verge that Amazon’s line of Kindle e-readers and tablets would soon disappear from Target’s store shelves, due to an unspecified “conflict of interest.”
Sales of Amazon’s hardware hasn’t dried up just yet though — that same source sent along an internal memo that points to May 13 (i.e. Mothers Day) as the point after which store stock would no longer be replenished.
Though there’s no official word on why the split is taking place, the rationale behind it must be a doozy. After all, Target was tapped as the first brick-and-mortar retailer to offer Amazon’s e-readers and has been slinging Kindles for just over two years now (even ahead of more gadget-friendly stores like Best Buy). Before that, Target also spent a long time leaning on Amazon to power their e-commerce offerings — from 2001 to 2011, to be more specific.
It’s also worth noting that Target referred to the Kindle Fire as their best selling tablet during Black Friday 2011, a factoid that Amazon placed front and center in their exultory press release. So what gives?
As it turns out, Apple may have a hand in this situation — The Verge notes that Apple recently inked a deal with the red-tinted retailer to launch 25 mini-stores within existing Target locations. Somehow, that doesn’t strike me as being the deciding factor, especially considering that Apple and Amazon (not to mention Kobo and Barnes and Noble) products have managed to co-exist just fine on Target’s shelves for years. Still, the possibility exists that Amazon bristled at the notion of Apple products getting more visibility than theirs despite Amazon’s considerable history with Target.
I’ve reached out to both Target and Amazon for an official comment, but neither could comment at time of writing.