Alex Allegro

July 25, 2014

July 24, 2014

July 21, 2014

Screen Shot 2014-07-21 at 4.00.24 PM

Samsung is continuing its approach of pushing anti-iPhone ads on its YouTube channel. Today’s ad showcases two friends, an iPhone user and a Galaxy S5 user, speaking to each other about the upcoming iPhone 6’s larger screen. “Dude, iPhone might be getting a bigger screen” excitedly states the iPhone user  “That hasn’t happened yet?” slyly responds the Galaxy S5 user. Check out the full advertisement for yourself below:

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July 17, 2014

April 13, 2013

Verizon announced a few notable changes this week, possibly in response to T-Mobile’s new ‘Uncarrier’ pricing structure.

The first change enforces 24-month contracts and restricts subsidized upgrades during that period. Customers will no longer enjoy ‘early upgrades’ after 20-months, as was previously the policy.

While the change may disappoint customers who enjoyed upgrading their devices more frequently, Verizon told The Verge that a new “Device Payment Plan” will be accompany the policy changes.

The new payment plan allows customers to upgrade their smartphone annually by paying the upgrade fee at the register and dividing the rest of the full-retail price over 12 months. This payment plan will include a $2/month finance charge through the duration of the year.

For people like us who update annually, this option is a more pragmatic approach, especially when vendors like Gazelle (as well as others) typically pay more than the subsidized cost of a new smartphone for last year’s smartphone.

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April 12, 2013

April 10, 2013

April 2, 2013


NVIDIA announced a new series of notebook GPU’s today branded as the 700M series. Introduced today are five new graphics cards in total, and NVIDIA said they would be available in a long list of laptops over the next few months. The five new graphics cards include two options aimed at the “mainstream segment”, the 720M and the 735M, while the remaining three, the 740M, 745M, and 750M, will be “for the performance segment” of the market.

700m-lineupThe graphics cards are being touted by NVIDIA to “maximize performance and experience,” but they also more power efficient than their predecessors. Because the 700M Series is notebook-only, expect these to be less powerful than a desktop version of the 700 Series that may be announced sometime in the future.

Helping our new 700M chips reach such lofty levels of performance is GPU Boost 2.0, a GPU innovation that extracts every ounce of available computing power from the graphics processor. Before GPU Boost, GPUs were held back by synthetic benchmarks that pushed chips and power usage to the limit, far beyond the levels typically seen when playing games. This ‘worst case scenario’ forced us to throttle GPUs, leaving spare performance on the table when playing games.GPU Boost resolves this problem by monitoring power usage and temperatures, enabling the GPU to use every last ounce of performance without exceeding safety or comfort limits.

While the press release from NVIDIA said the new GPUs will be available in nearly every notebook maker other than Apple, it is possible these GPUs will be seen in the next-gen MacBook Pro with Retina Display. The current 15-inch MacBook Pro with Retina Display sports a NVIDIA 650M GPU, as does the high-end 21-inch iMac model, so an upgrade to the 700M series only makes sense.

The full press release is available below.

New NVIDIA GeForce 700M GPUs Squeeze Every Drop Of Performance Out Of Notebooks, Automatically

Monday, April 1, 2013

NVIDIA today announced five new notebook GPUs which deliver a trifecta of technologies that seamlessly and automatically maximize a consumer’s notebook performance and experience.

With no effort or input from the notebook user, the technologies work in the background to save battery life, enhance performance and enrich the visual experience — providing the best notebook experience the GPU can deliver. They include:

New NVIDIA GPU Boost™ 2.0 technology, which intelligently adjusts GPU clock speed to maximize graphics performance.

NVIDIA® Optimus™ technology, which enables extra-long battery life by switching the GPU on and off so it runs only when needed.

GeForce® Experience™ software, which adjusts in-game settings for the best performance and visual quality specific to a user’s notebook and keeps GeForce drivers up to date.

“There is an elegant simplicity to NVIDIA’s GeForce 700M notebook technologies,” said Rene Haas, vice president and general manager of the notebook business unit at NVIDIA. “You use your notebook how you want, and GeForce makes your experience awesome.”

Incorporating all three of these technologies, the new lineup of NVIDIA GeForce 700M GPUs includes GeForce GT 750M, GeForce GT 745M, and GeForce GT 740M GPUs for the performance segment, as a well as GeForce GT 735M and GeForce GT 720M GPUs for the mainstream segment.

NVIDIA GeForce 700M GPUs are available today. Every leading notebook manufacturer will be introducing notebooks with GPU Boost 2.0 technology, including Acer, Asus, Dell, HP, Lenovo, MSI, Samsung, Sony and Toshiba.

More information about the GeForce 700M family of notebook GPUs is available at

March 26, 2013

March 16, 2013

Images from Patent no. 7433483

Apple has found itself on the wrong side of another patent lawsuit. Lucasfilm-owned THX sued Apple yesterday over a claimed infringed patent relating to the speaker designs found on the new iMacs, iPhones, and iPads.


Patent no. 7433483, filed in 2008 by THX, protects “narrow profile sound systems” that shoot sound out a “narrow sound duct.” The exact patent description reads as follows:

A narrow profile speaker unit comprises at least one speaker outputting sound towards an internal surface and through a duct with an output terminus, such as a slot, having a narrow dimension, effectively changing the cross-section of the speaker’s audio output wave. A pair of speakers may face one another, outputting sound towards a common output slot. Multiple pairs of speakers may be used to form an inline speaker unit for increased sound output. A slotted speaker unit may include multiple speakers facing the same direction, towards a groundplane or reflecting surface, and having parallel apertures for allowing sound radiation. The speaker units may be integral with or attached to electronic appliances such as desktop computers or flatscreen devices, or may be used in automobiles or other contexts.

THX was founded in 1983 as a division of Lucasfilm and was re-booted in 2001 as an independent company. Apple and THX have never had friction in the past, and, just two months ago, THX released ‘THX tune-up’. It’s an app that allows you to adjust your “TV, projector and speakers” all from your iPhone or iPad.

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March 12, 2013

Google Now, the prediction software that debuted on Android’s Ice Cream Sandwich last year, may be crossing over to iOS in the very near future. A promotional video posted on YouTube today—but was pulled minutes later—showed Google Now on the iPhone and iPad.

A tipster for Engadget recorded the video and re-uploaded it online, which is now available above. The speaker in the video seems to be the same female voice found in the original Google Now promotional video from last year (below). Unless this is a very elaborate hoax, it would seem that a Google Now update is in store for Google Search app.

Perhaps the delay in going live is due to App Store approval.

We’ll update when/if the app update to the Google Search app goes live.

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March 11, 2013

A new iPhone 5 commercial just aired tonight and shows off a few features like cooking apps and Passbook in action. The Starbucks Passbook-enabled app, a remote control app, MyScript Calculator, and the Hue Lighting app that got an SDK earlier today are among the other apps also shown off.

These ads are of the same format as the “Alive” and “Together” iPad ads released in mid-February, as well as the Hollywood ad released during the Oscars to moderate reviews.

Another new ad called “Discover” is below.

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February 27, 2013

Leap, creators of the Mac and PC 3D motion-tracking device, announced this morning that it will begin shipping its Leap Motion on May 13. Last May, Leap announced it would open up pre-orders for the device for $69.99.

With today’s announcement, Leap raised the price of the controller $10 dollars; $79.99 is the new retail price. Leap also announced that starting today Best Buy would take pre-orders for the device with a May 19 delivery date

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February 24, 2013

February 20, 2013


At Sony’s PS4 keynote, game developer Evolution Studios promised its driving game Drive Club would have a “second screen” option for Android tablets. This would allow gamers to socialize with other players from a tablet, but it was previously unclear if this feature would be compatible with games and devices other than Android tablets.

Just a mere four hours after today’s keynote, Sony has announced a new version of its “PlayStation App”. It is compatible, in addition to Android, with iOS devices. The app will turn tablets and phones into a “second screen” controller. Users will also be able to download games to their PS4 while on the go, so they’ll be ready to play once they arrive home.

It is currently unknown if the app will be similar to Microsoft’s Xbox app that allows users to view the stats of other gamers. Sony has yet to announce a release date, but the console is scheduled to arrive during the 2013 holiday season.

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January 30, 2013

January 25, 2013

By Alex Allegro

Disclaimer: This is a developer unit of the Leap Motion and not the final stage of the product. Therefore, this review is not on the final hardware that has yet to released.

Few innovations truly change the way we interact with our devices. Touchscreens—once just a fantasy reserved for science fiction—are now more common than ‘dead screens’. Just show any iPad-wielding, 3-year-old kid a screen, and he’ll try swiping it. In a few years from now, eye-tracking technology may have a similar impact on devices. Today, though, Leap hopes to make motion and gesture control the next big thing with the announcement of its first consumer product, the Leap Motion. Promo video:

Due to the “overwhelming response” from developers, who say their app idea will help make the Leap a better product when it launches sometime this year, Leap has decided to send out over 10,000 beta units to developers. Fortunately enough for us, we were able to get our hands on one, and, after a few hours of somewhat extensive testing, I have my verdict on the Leap Motion.

Screen Shot 2013-01-24 at 7.33.50 PMComing in a sleek black box with a hand-pasted sticker only reading “Leap Motion”, it’s no secret Leap took a cue from Apple on how to make a minimalist package. Opening the box reveals the Leap along with a letter from the CEO that briefly explained how valuable the developers are to the Leap’s success. You will find a micro USB-to-USB cable, as well. Plugging the Leap in and seeing your motions visualized on the screen only takes a quick download of Leap’s SDK (now at version 0.7.1) that is available to developers from their online “Dev Portal.”

The software is extremely “thinned out,” as once downloaded, the Leap software doesn’t open an app, but it instead reveals a small icon in the task bar with a pull-down menu. The only way to tell if your Leap Motion device is working is to open the visualizer and test it. The visualizer is a 3D grid that displays your finger movements with a long colorful tail. Each finger has its own color, but the device has trouble recognizing which finger is which, so you’ll usually get a different color for the same finger each time.

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