Tuesday 27 November 2012

27/11/2012: Google rolling out Android 4.2.1 as the HTC One X gets 4.1, Surface phone pictured? Wii Mini, Cambridge researches studying robot uprisings and much more!

Google starts rolling out Android 4.2.1 and Play reviews now require Google+.

   A lot has been made in the past few weeks of Android 4.2 and it's seemingly buggy introduction, something we don't normally see with Google's releases. Thankfully, though Google is currently pushing out an update to Android 4.2.1 which addresses most of the problems people have been experiencing on their shiny new Nexus 4 or 10's.

   First up there's a fix for that slight issue where the month of December went AWOL, as well as a fix for Bluetooth stuttering and along with the more minor bugs that have annoyed other early adopters.

   Don't worry about downloading this one over Wifi because the update is just 1.1MB is size, so it won't destroy your data allowance, but at the same time remember this is not a big update, it literally will only fix the calender issue and a few other bugs.

   Secondly, we heard today that Google Play reviews will now need your 'Google+ name and picture' in order for you to post. This is probably a good move on Google's part because it will stop the people who hide behind the veil of anonymity when they issue scathing reviews of apps which developers have spent ages slaving over. On the other hand, it may make the Play Store less accurate as people will be less inclined to offer negative reviews of apps because they'll likely have to offer retorts from the developer!

   What do you think? Should Google have kept the old system or will this one make ratings more accurate? Let us know in the comments below.

Via DroidDog 1 and 2.

Sometimes you just can't make this stuff up! Cambridge researchers launch research into the possibility of a robot uprising!

   It seems those clever bunch of people over in Cambridge in England are running short of things to do at the moment because a group of academics has launched a joint project from the CSER, or the Centre for the Study of Existential Risk, which is very intriguing indeed. The intellects will form a research group which includes; a philosopher, scientist, and a software entrepreneur and no this is not the start of a joke!!!

   Their goal is to ensure that the 'scientists [who] are concerned that developments in human technology may soon pose new, extinction-level risks to our species as a whole' have their minds set as ease.

   Essentially they're researching the possibility of a robot uprising. Surprisingly 'such dangers have been suggested from progress in AI, from developments in biotechnology and artificial life, from nanotechnology, and from possible extreme effects of anthropogenic climate change.'

   Apparently the 'seriousness of these risks is difficult to assess, but that in itself seems a cause for concern, given how much is at stake.' Erm, we're not really sure quite how to end this one, but when their research is conducted and something is published hopefully we'll have a very interesting follow up editorial to post!

In other news:

  • Analysts don't seem to be holding out much hope for RIM's upcoming BB10 smartphones. A report published by Morgan Stanley, which Forbes got hold of, explains why they don't see much value in BB10:
"We continue to believe BB10 has a low chance of success... While some of the new features on BB10 seem innovative, we had a similar reaction to Palm’s WebOS when we saw it at CES in ‘09. Ultimately we believe BB10 is too late, and subs continue to shift to competitive devices. According to a global mobile workforce survey in mid-Oct, just 5% of respondents expect to upgrade to a BB, even below MSFT at 8%.” Via TechnoBuffalo.
  • Hot on the heels of Barnes and Noble's launch of the Nook HD tablet here in the UK, the company has released their free Nook applications for Android, the iPad and the iPhone! Check out your app store of choice to download them!
    Via The WSJ.
  • Nintendo has launched the Wii Mini. It'll be $99 in Canada and it'll be slightly lacking in a few departments. First up there's no internet connection, so no Netflix, there's no GameCube compatibility and Nintendo won't promise it'll work with all Wii accessories. You can find out more details and see some snaps here.
  • On the subject of new Nintendo consoles, the company told CNet that they sold 400,000 Wii U consoles in the US in their first week! Unfortunately there's no news on the rest of the world just yet!
  • Samsung, in a bid to get a bit more exposure for their Galaxy Note II handset, have teamed up with Steak Studio for a little bit of interactive water art. It's pretty cool, the Note II essentially controls pumps which create whatever you draw on the phone in the water!
    Via Android Central.

  • There's a mandatory Xbox 360 update rolling out at the moment. If you sign into Xbox Live you'll be prompted to install the update. At the moment it looks as though the update fixes the issues people have been experiencing with Xbox Music, Video and Smartglass.
    Via Slashgear.
  • Jelly Bean is finally rolling out to owners of HTC's One X! HTC Source said: 

"The inevitable has finally happened Android 4.1 for the HTC One X is finally here. We’re received dozens of tweets today from our followers who can confirm that the Jelly Bean update for the HTC One X is currently making its way to unlocked HTC phones across the globe. We’ve been able to confirm the update has hit CID_038 and CID_044 devices in India, Argentina, UK, Russia, Dominican Republic, Peru, Brazil and Sri Lanka, but we’re sure the update will be coming to even more markets in the coming hours." Via CoolSmartphone.

And finally, Neowin has today suggested that this picture, which has turned up on the Windows Phone Facebook page, could be the rumoured Surface phone. It seems the commenter's like the design as much as we do. Unfortunately, we have a sneaking suspicion it is just a render because Microsoft has a habit of promoting their software on make-believe hardware, but we're more than happy to be proved wrong Microsoft, if you're reading!


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