Gadgets Microsoft

Microsoft Patents Courier's Dual Display Design

Microsoft Courier may no longer be a reality. But the company has just been awarded a patent for the purported dual display design of the Courier tablet PC. Patent number D618683 describes the “ornamental design for a dual display device“.

Microsoft Courier Tablet
Microsoft Courier Tablet PC

Frankly, the design for which Microsoft has just won the proprietary rights is so generic that it could refer to any of the dual display devices that we have seen in the past. It is not clear how Microsoft intends to make use of the patent. Licensing the rights to every other company looking to make a dual display tablet is an obvious plan. But it would be great if we can still manage to see a Microsoft Courier sometime in future.

Apple iPhone

How To Fix Signal Reception Issue On iPhone 4

Okay. So you are one of those poor souls who braved the weather and queued outside the Apple Store for hours before you could get hold of your prized possession only to realize that this thing does not make a call.

It looks like there are several hundreds of users out in the wild complaining about the signal reception issues that seem to be plaguing the recently launched iPhone 4.

Apple has not announced an official fix. Steve Jobs has pronounced his verdict – Users are holding their device the wrong way. Apple is also learned to be sending manuals to their retail staff instructing them about how to counter complaints from iPhone users experiencing these issues. Effectively, there has been little support from Apple about this so far.

Surprisingly, there seems to be a minor workaround that has helped several users get over the signal reception issue. Get ready and note the steps carefully

1. Use the paperclip-like pin that was provided with your iPhone to remove the SIM card from the tray

2. Now, with the tray open, reseat the SIM on the tray so that it is properly centered

3. Reinsert the tray into the iPhone

Looks too absurd a fix for an issue as important as signal reception, right? But it seems to be working for a lot of users. One user on the MacRumors forum offers a reason

“The metal part of the sim card is not centered and is contacting the sim tray. The sim tray is steel and the sim tray is contacting the outer antenna band. Once you touch the phone, this could be causing a sim issue. If when you touch the antenna line on the lower left it changes the state of frequency, power or what ever, it might actually be messing with the sim card. The metal on the sim is connected to the sim tray, the sim tray is connected to the antenae and the antenae is connected to your hand when you touch the phone. Take a look at your sim card and see if the metal is just off center enough to touch the tray.”

So there you go. Try it – It costs nothing. And don’t forget to post in here about how it goes.


Gateway NV59C Notebook Technical Specifications And Price

Are you looking for a notebook with large 15.6″ display that can play HD video, run Blu-Ray discs and connectivity to HDTV? Then, the recently launched Gateway NV59C is a device to go. The notebook is targeted at the HD video consuming audience – more generically multimedia consumers.

Here are some tech specs of this brilliant Gateway device

Display : 15.6″ HD with 1366×768 resolution
Processor : Intel Core i3-330M 2.13GHz processor
Memory : 4GB RAM
Storage : 320GB Hard drive
Graphics : Intel HD graphics card
Camera : 1.3 megapixel
Connectivity : WiFi b/g/n, three USB 2.0, HDMI, VGA, ethernet, audio in/out and a 5-in-1 memory card reader – NO Bluetooth

The device is tagged at a starting price of $579


Watch Live Indian TV Channels On iPhone With Yupp TV

Move over Hulu. iPhone users worldwide looking to watch Indian TV channels from their iPhone or iPod Touch can now do so with the help of a new application named Yupp TV. The app is available for free download and can stream channels like EtV, Aaj Tak, Zee, NewsX, Headlines Today ,9X ,IndiaTV and Zoom TV on their iPhones.

The app appears to monetize via in-stream ad embeds. Additionally, the application also allows users to share their streams with their phone book contacts.

Currently, the app is only available for Hindi, English, Kannada, Telugu and Malayalam channels. You may download the app by clicking here.

Online Marketing

Most Common Ad Banner Sizes

Comscore has published an interesting study that looks into the ad banner sizes and formats. According to the report, the ad creatives are horizontal banners with only a tenth of the advertisements actually sky scrapers. Also, as you may have assumed, 300×250 is the most common ad format – I have personally found this format to offer the highest click-throughs.

Here are the most common ad creatives (and the percentage of impressions)
Banners : 23.1%
Rectangles : 22.7%
Non-standard : 22.1%
Buttons : 20.7%
Skyscrapers : 10.6%
Pop-ups/unders : 0.7%
New OPA formats : 0.1%

Now, here is the share by ad-banner sizes
Medium Rectangle 300×250 : 18.6%
Leaderboard 728×90 : 18.3%
Buttons 120×90 : 14.7%
Pushdown 970×418 : < 0.1%
XXL Box 468×648 : < 0.1%

The last two sizes if you notice are not among the most used banners. They are recent entrants to the Online Publishers Association(OPA) approved ad standards. Expect them to get more common moving ahead.


Best Buy Connect – Mobile Broadband Data Service Launch In July?

Popular electronics retailer, Best Buy will make its foray into the mobile broadband data service market with the launch of Best Buy Connect. The launch is speculated to happen on July 11 and will be offered in partnership with Sprint.

According to reports, this will not be a full-fledged service to begin with and will be limited to a small segment of devices sold by the retailer. The service will only be offered to laptops embedded with Qualcomm’s Gobi chipset. Also, though the partnership is with Sprint, the retailer will not provide 4G broadband services and will be completely restricted to 3G data service.

The data plans are expected to begin at $30 a month for 250MB of data usage and $60 a month for up to 5GB of data. The Gobi chipset based laptops can roam on both CDMA and HSPA networks. So it will be interesting to see if Best Buy also partners with other carriers to expand their service offering. We will know in a few days.


Magellan ToughCase GPS Case For iPhone And iPod Touch Released

Magellan ToughCase GPS for iPhone iPod Touch Magellan GPS has announced the launch of a new waterproof GPS casing for the iPhone and iPod Touch. The new Magellan ToughCase GPS case will come with a high sensitive SiRFstar III GPS chipset built into the casing that will provide location accuracy of up to 3 meters. Also, the device is completely waterproof and can be submerged at a depth of 1 meter for up to 30 minutes. Magellan has said that the 1840 mAh battery on the device can virtually double the battery life of the iPhone.

The Magellan ToughCase is expected to offer improved location based service systems to iPhone and iPod touch users. The device is launching worldwide via and through Apple Stores at a price of $199.99.

The GPS casing is compatible with iPhone 3G, and iPhone 3GS though its compatibility with iOS 4 or iPhone 4 is not known at the moment. Stay tuned.


Seagate 3TB FreeAgent GoFlex Desk External Hard Drive Launched

Seagate has announced the launch of a new 3-Terabyte external hard drive which is presumably the first time a company has launched an external desktop HD of such high storage capacity.

Announcing the same in a media release yesterday, Seagate has said that the new hard drive shall be compatible on both Windows and Mac OS X systems. Seagate FreeAgent GoFlex Hard drive makes use of a New Technology File System (NTFS) driver for Mac that makes it compatible on both these platforms.

The drive comes with a USB 2.0 interface that allows transfer speeds of 480Mbits/second. Users may however upgrade this drive to USB 3.0 framework that can theoretically raise the maximum transfer speeds to as high as 4.8Gbit/second.

The 3-Terabyte FreeAgent GoFlex external drive retails at a starting price of $249.99

Consumer Electronics

3D TV Comparison : LED Vs. LCD Vs. Plasma

I do not normally write about consumer electronics on GoRumors. But a recent article on HDTVMagazine made for interesting reading. In the article, the author has studied how the viewing angle affects the 3D viewing experience on LCD and Plasma television screens from Samsung and Panasonic.

Here are some notes from the study

Samsung 55″ LED TV
The 3D viewing is perfect when your head is held straight and at the ideal angle to the screen. However, viewers may experience slight ghosting as the viewing angle changes. When the viewing angle is tilted by as much as 80 degrees, the LCD screen is cancelled out by the polarizing angle of 3D glasses and the image may be completely dark.
Samsung 3D LED TV

Panasonic 50″ Plasma Screen
Unlike the LCD screen of Samsung, the Plasma screen on a Panasonic TV appeared to be free from any appreciable cross-talk and ghosting even when when the viewing angle was tilted by as much as 90 degrees. The brightness dropped by a little, but casual viewers may not even notice.
Panasonic 3D Plasma TV

Sony 3D LCD TV
The performance deteriorates drastically with viewing angle on an LCD TV. This is because the LCD TV only makes use of one polarizer per glass lens thus causing much more crosstalk. On the contrary, the Plasma screens from Panasonic made use of dual polarizers that helped in minimizing ghost images.

The study concludes by saying that while Plasma shows marginal ghosting, the performance is significantly better than LCD or LED. You may expect even more improved performance when OLED TVs make it to the market. But that’s sometime away and so if you are going for a 3D TV now, maybe choose a Plasma.

Gaming Sony

Hulu Plus On PS3 – Only For PlayStation Plus Subscribers?

As you may have already heard by now, Hulu has launched their premium subscription service at $9.99. One of the platforms where the new Hulu Plus will be available is on gaming consoles. We have already talked about Hulu coming to XBox 360 and now there has also been talks of the Hulu Plus service coming to Sony PlayStation3.

However, it has been believed that the service should be available to any customer to pays up the $9.99 monthly fee. Not so. We are now hearing that the Hulu Plus subscription shall only be made available for Playstation Plus subscribers. The folks at Technologizer have dug out some information from the source code of the Hulu Plus download page that shows

Hulu Plus On Playstation Plus

We are yet to hear any confirmation in this regard, though.