Check out this drip: Unannounced Samsung ‘Galaxy S Tab’ tablet seemingly revealed in leaked image

Unannounced Samsung ‘Galaxy S Tab’ tablet seemingly revealed in leaked image Via

Why retailers are pinning hopes on Pinterest

Watch “Miracle Whip Open Mouth Anthem” on YouTube

Very clever Television ad that mixes an odd mix of talent together to sing a message about a product that could use something to talk about.


Amid Long Odds, BlackBerry Maker Unveils New Line and New Name (Superbowl ad is coming…)


After numerous delays and development hiccups, RIM has finally unveiled it’s  next generation BlackBerrys on Wednesday, a new lineup of smartphones that could  make or break the company.

The company also dropped its Research in Motion moniker in favor of the  BlackBerry brand.

“From today on, we are BlackBerry everywhere in the world,” president and CEO  Thorstein Heins said. “One brand, one promise.”

Heins showed off two new phones at simultaneous events across cities around  the world including New York, Toronto, London, Paris, Johannesburg, Jakarta and  Dubai.

The Z10 resembles the smartphones most of us have become accustomed to since  the dawn of the iPhone with a large 4.2-inch screen while the Q10 maintains the  company’s iconic physical keyboard, an addition that will surely appeal to the  BlackBerry faithful. Both run the company’s next generation operating system,  BlackBerry 10.

‘A good browser, apps, good camera, and fast networking in your  smartphone is just expected today.’

– BlackBerry president and CEO Thorstein Heins


“A good browser, apps, good camera, and fast networking in your smartphone is  just expected today,” Heins said. “BlackBerry 10 goes beyond that with secure  communications, and a real-time platform.”

U.S. carriers will announce pre-registration today. Although there are no  concrete release dates, the new phones are expected to ship in mid-March. The  Z10 is expected to cost $199 with a contract and will be available on Verizon,  AT&T, T-Mobile and Sprint.

The LTE-ready Z10 comes outfitted with a 4.2-inch 1,280 x 768 display and  measures in at 5.13 x 2.6 x 0.37 inches, making it slightly thicker than the  iPhone 5 and Samsung’s flagship Galaxy S III. Powering the 138 gram phone is a  1.5GHz dual-core Snapdragon S4 Plus with 2GB RAM.

On stage, Heins demonstrated a slew of innovative features unique to the new  platform, including a virtual keyboard that allows you to flick words onto the  screen, multi-tasking integration called BlackBerry Flow and a robust  re-envisioning of the Blackberry Messenger experience. Of emphasis was  “BlackBerry Balance,” the platform’s ability to seamlessly merge both work and  play in a single unified experience. For corporate users, it could mean finally  ditching the practice of carrying around two phones.

But in the age of “ecosystems,” simply having a solid phone with great  software is no longer enough. Users expect more. They want their favorite apps  and easy access to all the digital entertainment — games, music, videos, books,  sports — that they’ve all grown accustomed to. On this front, BlackBerry didn’t  disappoint.

The new BlackBerry World is the company’s answer to the iTunes Store and  Google Play and already includes over 70,000 apps and support from eight movie  studios and all major music labels. BlackBerry 10 launches with support for  Facebook, LinkedIn, Foursquare, the NHL, Major League Baseball and more. Skype,  Angry Birds and WhatsApp among others have all pledged their support for the  platform although there were some notable absences. Instagram was nowhere to be  seen.

Whether or not the new releases can put up a serious challenge against Apple  and Android remains to be seen. In the months leading up to the launch,  BlackBerry’s stock has soared. But mere days before the launch, analysts were  split over whether the new phones could save the company. Following the  announcement, BlackBerry’s stock was down over 6 percent.

“RIM continues to face the twin demons of consumer-driven buying power and a  chronic inability to appeal to mature market consumers. There is nothing in what  we’ve seen so far of BB10 that suggests it will conquer the second of these  demons, and the first is utterly out of RIM’s control,” said Jan Dawson, chief  telecoms analyst for Ovum. “Its glory days are past, and it is only a matter of  time before it reaches a natural end.”

Others, however, believe this could be an opportunity for a serious  comeback.

“This year we will see multiple attempts to fight the Samsung/Apple  smartphone duopoly in smartphone hardware—along with the twin Google/Apple  duopoly in smartphone operating systems,” said Ian Fogg, senior principal  analyst at IHS. “Because of the fast-rising adoption of smartphones, 2013  represents the last, best hope for RIM’s BlackBerry 10—along with endangered  specimens like Microsoft’s Windows Phone, Nokia’s Lumia and Mozilla’s Firefox—to  create a viable third smartphone competitor in the market.”

For BlackBerry, the realization that this could be the company’s last chance  saloon has culminated in an unprecedented marketing push. Heins revealed that  singer-songwriter Alicia Keys would be the company’s new Global Creative  Director. And next week, the new BlackBerry will be featured in its first ever  Super Bowl ad.


Digital Domain shutters Florida Unit

TemboAwful news out of Florida this morning. Digital Domain announced today that as part of “a strategic realignment that will enable it to focus its resources on its core business,” it will shut down its new Port St. Lucie, Florida studio Tradition and halt production of its first animated feature The Legend of Tembo. Per the studio’s press release:

As a key part of this strategic realignment, DDMG has begun the cessation of its Port St. Lucie operations by reducing virtually its entire Port St. Lucie workforce, retaining approximately 20 employees who will remain as part of the wind-down.

300 people lost their jobs this morning. The breakdown: “About 100 on Tembo, 50 or so on VFX, 100 or so doing Stereo Conversion work, and about 50 or so misc. employees.”

One artist who was let go tweeted, “A very sad day for the Digital Domain Tradition studios family. I’ll miss the whole Tembo crew,” and followed up with, “In related news, I’m looking for work! I’ll have an updated portfolio online later today.”

Other Digital Domain studios will remain open according to the same press release: “DDMG’s studios in California and Vancouver intend to continue to operate without interruption, as will the Digital Domain Institute, based in West Palm Beach, Florida

Top Facebook Exec Leaving To Do His Own Thing, More Departures Could Follow

And so it begins: Facebook CTO and platform guru Bret Taylor is leaving Facebook this summer,  off to do a startup with Google App Engine founder Kevin Gibbs. Taylor confirmed the news in (of course) a Facebook update.

This is one of the first in a wave of Facebook departures we’re hearing, as a slew of older employees have hit their four year stock cliffs, and the 90 day IPO lockout fast approaches. According to a source, many Facebook employees including one other executive are already planning what to do next.

It makes sense. With the stock price low, additional RSUs granted to keep people sticking around won’t be nearly as good a retention mechanism.

I’ve also been hearing separately that due to the IPO fallout, Facebook is currently under a modified hiring freeze, with groups that were previously allotted slots for senior-level positions having had those slots reneged. Lower level deals and hires are still happening from what I’m hearing.

So is this a harbinger of a hiring sea change? Facebook has had a monopoly on the best and brightest engineering talent for the past couple of years and it’ll shake the Valley to its core if this is indeed the case.

Well, if the founder life isn’t for you future Facebook refugee, we hear Pinterest is hiring.

Warehouse Robots Get Smarter With Ant Intelligence



Amazon may have just gotten its claws into Kiva Systems, but there’s more than one company out there looking to automate warehouses with smart little robots. At the Fraunhofer Institute for Material Flow and Logistics, researchers are looking for ways to make warehouse robots smarter and more efficient by getting them to communicate and cooperate like a swarm of ants.

A swarm is just exactly what you want with warehouse robots. There are a lot of them, and they’re all identical and interchangeable, cooperating to complete complex tasks by combining simple actions. The big difference between a swarm of (say) ants and a swarm of (say) robots is that the ants don’t have any high-level control: each ant has its own little tiny brain, and even though ants have specific tasks that they are directed (or bred) to perform, they decide on an individual level how to go about carrying out their instructions.

What Fraunhofer is trying to do is mimic the ant swarm system with robots. For example, instead of having one central computer control the movements every robot (as with Kiva), Fraunhofer’s system utilizes robots that make their own decisions with onboard computers. Each robot communicates with all the other robots in the swarm simultaneously using WLAN, and they use algorithms based on a model for how ants forage for food to cooperatively decide which of them should go where and do what.

The robots don’t need fixed localization points, but instead rely on “integrated localization and navigation technology” (including signal-based location capability, distance and acceleration sensors and laser scanners) to find the most direct routes to their destination without crashing into anything or each other. This makes them very efficient, and it also makes the system easily scalable, since you can introduce new things and the robots won’t freak out.

Scalability, reliability, and flexibility are why swarm robotics has been getting so much attention lately: need a bigger system? Just toss more bots into the mix. Lose a bot to a mechanical problem? It’s not a problem, since another bot just takes over. We’ve seen lots of swarms related to search and rescue (i.e. military) applications, but as far as a way to improve a commercial (or industrial) project, this research seems like a promising way to go.



Amazon announces new tie-in with Discovery Networks…

Below is text from Amazon new content from Discovery Networks:

Dear Customers,

Today we’re announcing our biggest addition yet, bringing nearly 3,000 more titles to Prime Instant Video. We’ve struck a deal with Discovery Networks to bring some of the highest quality, non-fiction, informative and entertaining content about the world to our Amazon Prime customers. Rolling out over the next few weeks are TV shows from Discovery, TLC, Animal Planet, and Science. Prime members, at no additional cost, can now stream more than 17,000 titles.

The new titles include hits such as Deadliest Catch, Mythbusters, Man vs. Wild, Dirty Jobs, Gold Rush: Alaska, and Shark Week, TLC series like Say Yes to the Dress and Cake Boss, as well as content like How It’s Made from Science, and The Jeff Corwin Experience from Animal Planet.

Interesting – seems like Discovery has “found” a digital outlet for content – it will be interest to see who else joins in….

So, whatever happened to L.A. Noire, the brillant Video Game from 2011?


Rockstar and the now defunct Team Bondi’s brilliant L.A. Noire was troubled since the beginning, resulting in an agonizingly long seven year development cycle that promptly ended the bright developer’s business upon its release.  Still, if a developer is going to release its final game, it might as well be as good as the absolutely sublime L.A. Noire.  It spoke directly to the love of the detective genre with its investigations into heinous crimes and really impressed with its disturbingly life-like facial animations, resulting in an unforgettable experience that is begging for the franchise treatment.  Let’s really hope that Rockstar gets it together to give this incredible framework the treatment it deserves before it becomes the gaming equivalent of the one that got away.  Get on it, guys!

Lantronix Debuts Solution for Printing from iPad, iOS Devices

Apple’s AirPrint technology in the iPhone, iPod touch and iPad makes it easy to send photos and documents stored on those devices directly to nearby printers via a local Wi- Fi network, eliminating the need to send these files to a computer first. But it won’t work with printers that aren’t specifically labeled AirPrint-compatible, which practically limits its utility; if you’ve wanted to use AirPrint, you’ve probably had to buy a new printer.

Last week at the International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, however, Lantronix, Inc., debuted a better option: a small device named xPrintServer-Network Edition ($149.95) that plugs into a home network router and makes almost any old printer compatible with the direct printing capability built into Apple’s iOS devices––as long as that printer is also connected to the same router, either by a cable or wirelessly. No other installation steps are required (there are no additional applications, software downloads or printer drivers requires), and the xPrintServer will automatically discoverall the compatible networked printers in the vicinity.

But the xPrintServer will run only on iOS version 4.2 or later, and it won’t work with every printer ever made. Right now, the xPrintServer is compatible with “thousands of printer models” from HP, Brother, Canon, Dell, Epson, Lexmark and Xerox, Lantronix says, although downloadable updates to the device expected later will add even more printers. The xPrintServer is slated to be available in the first quarter of this year at,,, and In addition, pre-orders can be placed now at the company’s website.

Watch the Lantronix xPrintServer launch video to learn more.