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  1. “More power!” You can imagine Steve Ballmer yelling it through Microsoft’s halls but that’s exactly what is happening with the Xbox 720, according to reports from IGN. The next Xbox — rumored to be the “Xbox 720″ — will ship to retailers in late October or early November 2013 and have six times the processing power of its predecessor, the Xbox 360, sources close to the project told IGN. The next console will use the AMD 6000 series, which should run similar to the Radeon HD 6670. That all sounds a bit jargon-y but essentially it’s a super-fast processor that supports DirectX11, multi-display output, 3D and 1080p HD. Production of the GPU should start by the end of this year. All that anticipated extra power on the fabled Xbox 720 isn’t just about graphic fidelity. It allows games to have more detailed environments, longer draw distances (think open world games such as The Elder Scrolls: Skyrim), better enemy artificial intelligence, faster multiplayer experiences and the ability to cram more stuff on the screen. Sony’s PlayStation 3 won the tech arms race with the last generation of consoles however that gamble on technology didn’t quite pay off. The PlayStation 3 was generally outsold by both the Xbox 360 and the Nintendo Wii for years after its launch and the Wii had a slower processor than both of its competitors. (PS3 sales are making a steady comeback of late.) Will a more powerful Xbox finally dominate the market or should it watch out for Sony’s next console and Nintendo’s Wii U? More About: Gadgets, Gaming, microsoft, Tech, video games, xbox For more Entertainment coverage: Follow Mashable Entertainment on Twitter Become a Fan on Facebook Subscribe to the Entertainment channel Download our free apps for Android, Mac, iPhone and iPad View the full article
  2. 1. Minor Upgrades iLounge recently reported that it saw a prototype of the next-generation iPad at the 2012 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) and that it looks just like the iPad 2, only thicker by about 1 mm. The camera in the top left corner is expected to be a bit larger than the iPad 2 and similar to the improved camera featured on the iPhone 4S. It’s also been rumored that the next-generation iPad will have a high-resolution screen – possibly even double dpi -- and a stronger interior. However, the updates seen by iLounge seem to be more cosmetic than structural. Could the next-generation device be an upgrade similar to that of the iPhone 4 to the iPhone 4S? Click here to view this gallery. The tech industry and its user base love to buzz about the arrival of new Apple products, and the next-generation iPad is likely to be the next big product unveiled by the company. Speculations about a February or March announcement date have been circulating throughout the web for some time now, and since that’s in line with the company’s product launch cycle, we wouldn’t be surprised if this rumor holds true. But there’s no guarantee that the latest tablet from Apple will even be called an iPad 3 — there’s always the possibility of Apple releasing an iPad HD with only a few updates from the iPad 2. In fact, a recent report from iLounge noted that a prototype of the new version of the Apple tablet was at the 2012 Consumer Electronics Show – you just wouldn’t know because it looks almost identical to the iPad 2. SEE ALSO: Is the iPad 3 at CES? | iPad Survives 100,000+ Fall from Space [VIDEO] However, will it have Siri? Will it be unveiled on Steve Jobs’s birthday, Feb. 24? Will previous models be cheaper? For a full run down of the latest rumors, check out the gallery above. More About: apple, ipad, iPad 2, ipad 3, siri, trending For more Dev & Design coverage: Follow Mashable Dev & Design on Twitter Become a Fan on Facebook Subscribe to the Dev & Design channel Download our free apps for Android, Mac, iPhone and iPad View the full article
  3. LG is paving the way for a new era in smart appliances. From a refrigerator that helps you diet and keeps track of your groceries, to a robot that vacuums via smartphone control, LG is giving the household a whole new tech makeover. The company announced at the 2012 Consumer Electronics Show an array of new products to its Smart ThinQ appliance line. At the forefront of its new line is its refrigerator, which just got a lot smarter with a health manager feature that allows you to maintain your diet, send recipes to your smart oven and even keeps you posted when you run out of certain groceries. The health manager also customizes family member profiles to cater to each person in the house and can be controlled by voice recognition. Highlights from CES: A Refrigerator That Helps You Diet | Canon Unveils New Flagship PowerShot Camera, G1 X The company also unveiled a fridge feature called Blast Chiller that can chill a bottle of wine in eight minutes. The refrigerator also features French doors, the largest of its kind on the market. The refrigerator isn’t the only device getting an upgrade. LG also unveiled an ultra-fast, eco-friendly washing machine. The TurboWash also fits more clothes in fewer loads. And not in the mood to vacuum? A new LG robot vacuum cleaner will clean up the house as you kick up your feet and relax on the couch while operating the device via a smartphone. Would you upgrade your house with these high-tech devices? Which is the most compelling for your lifestyle? Let us know your thoughts in the comments. For more coverage from 2012 Consumer Electronics Show, click here. More About: CES, CES 2012, LG, smart appliance, trending View the full article
  4. When four friends met in business school and discovered they shared a common problem — an aversion to paying hundreds of dollars for eyeglasses — they realized there was a business opportunity in it. The group founded Warby Parker, an innovative startup that aims to revolutionize how people buy eyeglasses. Warby sells directly to the public, via their website, allowing them to bypass retailers and sell their frames and lenses for $95. Check out our interview with Dave Gilboa, Warby Parker’s CEO and learn how the company is disrupting the eyewear industry, similar to the way Netflix crashed the video rental market. Dave also talks about some of the company’s early growing pains, including having to put 20,000 customers on a waiting list and why Google shut down his company’s email servers. Disclosure: Host Dave Lerner is an investor in Warby Parker. Thanks to Mike Brown, Jr. for hosting our shoot at AOL Ventures. Follow Venture Studio, in association with Mashable, which is brought to you by Square1 Bank. The show is hosted by Dave Lerner, a 3x entrepreneur and angel investor. You can follow him on Twitter here. More Recent Episodes of Venture Studio: How a Handful of Small Investors Built Silicon Valley [VIDEO] Why Good Entrepreneurs Borrow, Great Ones Steal [VIDEO] How a First-Time Entrepreneur Built a Top-Grossing iPad App [VIDEO] More About: mashable video, Startups, venture studio, Video, warby parker For more Business coverage: Follow Mashable Business on Twitter Become a Fan on Facebook Subscribe to the Business channel Download our free apps for Android, Mac, iPhone and iPad View the full article
  5. Korean electronics company LG caused a worldwide stir when it announced its 55-inch OLED panel last week, and now the company’s rolled out two more pictures that show you what kind of remarkable TV set this is going to be. How groundbreaking is this TV, anyway? If you’ve ever seen an OLED screen, all of which are much smaller than this one, you’ll know how outlandishly vibrant its colors are. And an OLED screen can be impossibly thin. For instance, the one you see here is only 4mm thick — take a look at the right side of the picture below and you’ll see the woman’s finger pointing at the edge of the screen. On its official LG UK Blog, LG says this screen’s color is even more vibrant because of its four-color pixels, making its picture more natural and accurate than other OLEDs. Each tiny pixel emits red, green, blue and white, instead of the red/green/blue used in the pixels of other OLED sets and most other TV sets manufactured today. Does that make a noticeable difference? We’ll take a close look at this screen and others like it at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) next week and give you our first-hand impressions. The OLED screen (organic light-emitting diode, read more about OLED technology here) is nothing new, but here’s the innovation: Until now, it’s been difficult to create the screens in a size this big, at a reasonable cost and with a long-enough lifespan. The problem with this announcement is, LG is not saying when this screen will be available, how much it will cost, or how long it will last. So will this be yet another spectacular CES demo of a product that will never make it into the homes of real-world consumers? From what we’ve seen, LG is serious about its OLED manufacturing, where it invested $226 million in mid-2010 to create a new production facility, tripling its OLED capacity. Many other manufacturers are whispering about OLED screens. There are already smaller OLED screens available now, albeit at exorbitant prices. There are small OLED screens on millions of smartphones. This is not science fiction, folks. The promising fact: huge OLED screens can be printed onto razor-thin surfaces using a process akin to an inkjet printer, theoretically making them even cheaper to produce than today’s LCD and plasma screens. And the screens have much faster response time, with refresh rates that could (again, theoretically) reach 100,000 Hz. They’re brighter, lighter (this 55-inch screen weighs 16.5 lb), and can even be flexible. No question about it: You’re looking at the TV the future, and the question is not if we’ll see these screens available in large sizes and affordable prices, but when. More About: CES2012, HDTV, LG, OLED, trending View the full article
  6. Imagine your life rendered as a pack of gum.Crazy, you say? Well, Wrigley’s Orbit brand claims to be able to do just that if you concede that your Facebook profile is an accurate representation of your life. The brand rolled out a program this week that claimed to let you “see how your social life looks like in your own pack design.” Orbit’s interpretation is rooted in an algorithmic data visualization engine, according to a rep from the brand. The engine uses four algorithms to “numerically pool a user’s data and apply it to a series of shapes within their design. The algorithmic code base manipulates artwork, colors and behaviors before generating the design unique to that user.” Nonetheless, the interpretation of your Facebook data for the Orbit program is still fairly subjective. For instance, if your birthday is Jan. 22, the 22nd day of the year, the design elements will be rotated 22 degrees. The Orbit program is just another manifestation of the latest craze on Madison Ave — converting Facebook profile information into new objects or experience. The hope is that it will be impossible for users to resist a personalized product or experience that appeals to the lurking narcissist within us all. After Facebook’s rollout of Timeline and the new wealth of data that will be supplied to advertisers, expect more of the same in 2012. Below are some other brands’ recent interpretations of your Facebook profiles: Nivea U.K. Beiersdorf's skin care brand is running a program in the U.K. that creates printable Christmas wrapping based on your wall posts, pictures and interactions with the recipient. Click here to view this gallery. Mashable’s Complete Facebook Timeline Coverage Facebook Timeline EssentialsFacebook Timeline: The Complete Guide Facebook Timeline Is Here: Are You In? Facebook Users Beware: Facebook’s New Feature Could Embarrass You Facebook Privacy: 3 Fights to Expect When You Get the New Timeline The New Facebook: How to Take Control of Your Privacy No, You Aren’t Going to Quit Facebook Timeline Resources How to Fill In Your Facebook Timeline 10 Fresh Designs for Creative Inspiration [PICS] 10 Simple Tips and Tricks 5 Sites for Customizing Your Cover Photo 10 Stunning Designs [PICS] More About: Facebook, Marketing, Orbit View the full article
  7. Google is inviting users to take a trip down Memory Lane, with a new web archive on one of its most celebrated traditions -- the Google doodle. Last week, the search giant unveiled a revamped doodle website, replete with an interactive gallery of over 1,000 homepage designs from around the world. On the new site, users can browse, watch or play with any of Google's myriad doodles, all of which are organized by date and location. Die-hard doodle-heads, meanwhile, can commemorate their love with a customized t-shirt, coffee mug, or any other completely embarrassing stocking stuffer, available at Google's new "Doodle on Demand" store. Check it out for yourself, at the links below.Google launches revamped doodle website, store, self-celebration ensues originally appeared on Engadget on Mon, 19 Dec 2011 04:02:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds. View the full article
  8. If Apple‘s patent applications are any indication, the call quality on your iPhone may get better in the coming years — even if a whole room full of people are shouting in the background.According to this patent uncovered by Apple Insider, Apple is looking to improve noise cancellation on the iPhone by having the phone recognize the specific tone and nuances of the user’s voice. While most noise cancellation techniques focus on filtering out certain kinds of ambient noise (strong winds or whirring fans, for example), the Apple patent reverses the equation, analyzing the user’s voice and filtering out everything else. The key to the technology would be a system that can discern the unique patterns in a person’s voice, including frequencies and distinct inflections. Apple is obviously focused on improving the voice-recognition technology in its digital assistant, Siri, and this patent is likely a consequence of that focus. If it works, the technology would theoretically be better than other noise-cancellation systems, which use less subtle techniques like bone conduction (prevalent in Jawbone’s Bluetooth earpieces) or filtering out entire chunks of the audio spectrum based on the frequencies of typical noise. Included in the application is a proposal to apply the voice-specific noise suppression to the person at the other end of a phone call. That would mean if you were having a speakerphone conversation, the microphone could remain active while the other person speaks, since his or her voice would be cancelled out. Three other patent applications from Apple also deal with noise cancellation, but the techniques are less novel, ranging from echo cancellation to some specific ways portable devices use the technology. Apple originally filed the patents in June 2010, so it’s had some time to work on the proposals since then. Might we see voice-specific noise cancellation in the next iPhone? Stay tuned. The classic question Click here to view this gallery. More About: apple, patent, siri For more Mobile coverage: Follow Mashable Mobile on Twitter Become a Fan on Facebook Subscribe to the Mobile channel Download our free apps for Android, Mac, iPhone and iPad View the full article
  9. Hurricane Katrina, 9/11, Princess Diana’s death — these three events might have played out differently had social media been as strong as it is now. That’s not to say they wouldn’t have happened. But if nonprofits then had been able to access the same technology resources we have today, perhaps the aftereffects of Hurricane Katrina wouldn’t have been so painstakingly slow and devastating. Families wouldn’t have waited nearly as long to be reunited after 9/11; not to mention, those who couldn’t turn to real-life support could have relied on digital communities. And today’s technology would have made it a lot easier to personally contact British friends as they mourned the loss of Princess Diana. Alas, we worked around the technological limitations of the time. SEE ALSO: Why 2011 Will Be Defined by Social Media Democracy Today we turn to social media when an influential event occurs as a way to share our personal experiences and relate to the people most affected. It provides us with the reassurance that we’re not alone, but also gives us the opportunity to help. Here are 10 moments in history affected by social media. How would social media have changed the outcome of other historical events? Let us know what you think in the comments. 1. Presidential Election 2008 Twitter had never existed in any campaign before the 2008 presidential election, where it was successfully integrated into President Obama's campaign. Although voting has traditionally been regarded as a private decision, millions took to social media to openly express their political approval or contempt. Click here to view this gallery. More About: features, history, japan earthquake, september 11, Social Media View the full article
  10. Infinity Blade II Infinity Blade II for iOS launched on Thursday and immediately soared to the top of the App Store's best sellers list. It's the first iOS game that takes advantage of the superior graphics capabilities of the iPhone 4S, and we're impressed. See our full hands-on review for the details. $6.99. Click here to view this gallery. With about 500,000 apps in the Apple App Store and an estimated 300,000 apps in the Android Market, finding the gems among the virtual haystack can be full time job. The good news is that it’s our full time job. We’ve trekked through the overly frivolous, the ugly and the downright impractical in our search for these seven recently launched apps in the slideshow above. We hope you enjoy this week’s top picks. Thumbnail image courtesy of Flickr, Jorge Quinteros More About: AirCassette, App.bg, apps, DailyModi, disney, Google, Infinity Blade 2, PlayModi, Santa, TED, weekly app roundup View the full article
  11. Each day, Mashable highlights one noteworthy YouTube video. Check out all our viral video picks. A New Jersey mall abruptly transforms into a stage for a short musical about Santa. One man breaks into song about how “you’re never too old, too old to sit on Santa” and soon a handful of mall occupants join in. The mastermind behind this flash musical is Improv Everywhere, a comedic group known for causing fun, attention-grabbing scenes in public. You may remember the group’s flash musical about social media in May in which conference “attendees” sang about the joys of sharing stuff online (see the first video in the gallery below). The mall Santa musical is part of Improv Everywhere’s Spontaneous Musicals project. To see the other videos, flip our gallery below. For a behind-the-scenes look at how the Santa musical was created, click here. Gotta Share! The Musical Click here to view this gallery. More About: Holidays 2011, improv everywhere, Video, viral-video-of-the-day, YouTube For more Entertainment coverage: Follow Mashable Entertainment on Twitter Become a Fan on Facebook Subscribe to the Entertainment channel Download our free apps for Android, Mac, iPhone and iPad View the full article
  12. Although many anticipated that Apple its eagerly anticipatory Grand Central Terminal store in New York City before Black Friday, construction workers at the location confirmed on Tuesday that it won’t be ready in time. The store, opening in the highly-trafficked commuter terminal, will be Apple’s largest retail venue. “It won’t be any time too soon,†a construction worker at the site told Mashable. “We still have a lot to do, so my guess is that it will be ready in December.†It’s been rumored that the Cupertino, Calif., company will be announcing later today when the store will open. Apple hasn’t given a date for the opening yet. In the meantime, it remains boarded up in the train station’s main terminal, with the sounds of drills and construction serving as a backdrop for commuters. This will be Apple’s first U.S. opening since the departure of Ron Johnson, the former senior vice president for retail at Apple who helped create its iconic store design with Steve Jobs. Johnson is now the CEO of J.C. Penney. The Grand Central Apple Store will reportedly cost the company more than $1 million in rent each year to reach the 750,000 people that pass through the venue each day. The store will be the company’s fifth Apple Store in New York City. Image courtesy of Flickr, achimh More About: apple, Apple Stores, grand central, Top Stories For more Business coverage: Follow Mashable Business on Twitter Become a Fan on Facebook Subscribe to the Business channel Download our free apps for Android, Mac, iPhone and iPad View the full article
  13. Nokia has released an in-depth documentary providing a behind-the-scenes look into the creation of the company’s flagship Windows Phone handset, the Lumia 800. The video reveals a couple of details about Nokia’s partnership with Microsoft. “We were side-by-side with the designers and engineers at Microsoft from the day the partnership deal was signed,” says Nokia’s VP of Industrial Design Stefan Pannenbecker. “This intense collaboration was new to all of us,” he says. Ultimately it paid of, because “people are looking at Nokia with fresh eyes again.” SEE ALSO: Nokia, Bring the Lumia 800 to the U.S. Now — Please In the nearly 8-minute long video, Nokia also praises the phone’s antenna performance, taking an indirect jab at Apple. Its iPhone 4 was initially criticized for the antenna, which would experience a significant signal drop when held a certain way. Nokia, a company known for the quality and precise manufacturing of its products, has lately been strutting its feathers with several in-depth videos such as this one. A recent video provided insight into the making of Nokia N9, Lumia 800′s Maemo-based cousin. It's Like the N9...But Not The Lumia 800 is nearly identical in appearance to the N9, Nokia's first -- and last -- MeeGo handset. Like the N9, it sports a beautiful polycarbonate body with a curved glass screen, a rear camera with LED flash and edges that feel great in the hand. Click here to view this gallery. More About: Lumia, Lumia 800, Nokia, smartphone, windows phone For more Mobile coverage: Follow Mashable Mobile on Twitter Become a Fan on Facebook Subscribe to the Mobile channel Download our free apps for Android, Mac, iPhone and iPad View the full article
  14. Ashton Kutcher, one of the most popular celebrities on Twitter, says he’s taking a break from the social network for the time being.“As of immediately I will stop tweeting until I find a way to properly manage this feed,†Kutcher wrote Wednesday night. “I feel awful about this error. Won’t happen again.†The impetus for Kutcher’s sudden hiatus was an earlier tweet that defended Penn State coach Joe Paterno, who was fired Wednesday after being implicated in a scandal related to assistant coach Jerry Sandusky’s alleged history of sexually molesting children. “How do you fire Jo Pa? #insult #noclass as a hawkeye fan I find it in poor taste,†the tweet said. Later on, Kutcher tweeted, “Heard Joe was fired, fully recant previous tweet!†and “Didn’t have full story. #admitwhenYoumakemistakes.†Those two tweets have been subsequently removed, but Kutcher has left another apology: “As an advocate in the fight against child sexual exploitation, I could not be more remorseful for all involved in the Penn St. case.” Kutcher’s remark about “managing this feed” could indicate that someone else tweets for him or has access to his Twitter account. If so, Kutcher, who has more than 8 million followers, wouldn’t be the first celeb to run ghost-written tweets. Rapper 50 Cent, Britney Spears and President Obama have all run “ghost-tweets.” Kutcher is also hardly the first celeb to put his foot in his mouth on Twitter. Comedian Gilbert Gottfried lost his job as an Aflac spokesman in March after airing some tasteless jokes about the Japanese earthquake, and designer Kenneth Cole drew ire in February for making light of the uprising in Egypt with a tweet that included a link to his collection: “Millions are in an uproar in #Cairo. Rumor is, they heard our new spring collection is online at [link].” More About: ashton kutcher, Twitter For more Social Media coverage: Follow Mashable Social Media on Twitter Become a Fan on Facebook Subscribe to the Social Media channel Download our free apps for Android, Mac, iPhone and iPad View the full article
  15. Diet and filmmaking legend Peter Jackson's given us another insight into the making of the Hobbit movies, and this time he's talking about his envious collection of tech. Filming with no less than 48 Red Epic cameras at 48fps in full 5k resolution might sound fantastic, but it hasn't all been a bed of cotton candy. Two 3D cameras need to be mounted at the same "interocular" (the inch-or-so distance between your eyes) which is impossible given the size of the Epic and its lenses. The team had to hire specialist firm 3ality to build a rig where one camera shoots the action and the other is pointed vertically at a mirror. Those who would love to shoot with an Epic should also beware that the cameras naturally desaturate the action to such an extent that the makeup, costume and set design teams have to over-color everything to look natural in post production. For more interesting facts, head down past the break to catch the video in full, and try not to imagine how many years bad luck you'd get if you broke one of those mirrors during a key scene. View the full article
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