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Acer outs AZ3, AZ5, Veriton Z Series all-in-ones, starting at $650


Not wanting to be left behind by the AIO hordes, Acer has unveiled a trio of new options for your spick and span desktop. The higher-end AZ5 provides a 23-inch expanse of full HD, multi-touch glory, a minimum Core i3-2120 processor, 4GB of DDR3 memory and a 1TB HDD, all for the sum of $750. Next up is the AZ3, which saves you $100 by cutting the screen size to 21 inches, switching to an AMD dual-core A4 APU (along with a discreet Radeon HD6410) and slimming the HDD down to 500GB. Both models come with an adjustable stand, two side-mounted USB 3.0 ports (plus four USB 2.0 ports on the rear) and a built-in webcam and mic. Meanwhile, Acer's new Veriton all-in-ones target enterprise users who are prepared to sacrifice those high-def media credentials in favor of better performance and a smaller, more office-friendly footprint -- the 20-inch Z2620G, for instance, packs a Core i5-2400s quad-core processor and NVIDIA GeFore GT 520M GPU for $850. All the new models are available in densely populated areas as of right now, and you'll find more details in the PR after the break.

Continue reading Acer outs AZ3, AZ5, Veriton Z Series all-in-ones, starting at $650

Acer outs AZ3, AZ5, Veriton Z Series all-in-ones, starting at $650 originally appeared on Engadget on Tue, 01 Nov 2011 00:34:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

16 Insights into Google's Rating Guidelines

ChecklistLast week, when the SEO world was distracted by revelations that Google was blocking keyword referral data and nostalgic mania over MC Hammer’s search engine, Search Engine Land released a leaked Google document outlining Google's official guidelines for quality raters. I read the 125-page document out of curiosity, and I decided to share some valuable insights it contains into the mind of Google.

Sorry, No Secrets Here

If you’re looking for SEO “secrets,” you’ll be disappointed by this post. Although this is an internal document, and Google may not be happy about it being leaked, you won’t find a smoking gun here. What you will find is a training manual on Google’s philosophy of quality. The key to proactive SEO is to understand how Google thinks. If you only chase the algorithm, you’ll always be reacting to changes after they happen. Since the document in question is proprietary, I’m not going to link directly to copies of the document or quote large chunks of it. I’m writing this post because I sincerely believe that understanding Google’s philosophy of quality is a fundamentally “white hat” proposition.

What Is A Quality Rater?

Quality raters are Google’s fact checkers – the people who work to make sure the algorithm is doing what it’s supposed to do. Data from quality raters not only serves as quality control on existing SERPs, but it helps validate potential algorithm changes. When you consider that Google tested over 13,000 algorithm changes last year, it’s a pretty important job.This particular document focuses on rating SERP quality based on specific queries. Essentially, a rater reviews the sites returned by a given query and evaluates each result based on relevance. Raters also flag sites that they consider to be spam. One last note: Google’s philosophy is not always reflected in the algorithm. The algorithm is an attempt to code quality into rules, and that attempt will always be imperfect. The document, for example, says almost nothing about back-link count, unique linking domains, linking C-blocks, etc. Those are all metrics that attempt to quantify relevance.

Here are 16 insights into the human side of Google's quality equation, in no particular order…


(1) Relevance Is A Continuum

I think the biggest revelation of the document, in a broad sense, is that Google’s view of relevance is fairly sophisticated and nuanced. Raters are instructed to rate relevance along a continuum with 5 options: “Vital”, “Useful”, “Relevant”, “Slightly Relevant”, and “Off-topic”. Of course, there is always a certain amount of subjectivity to ratings, but Google provides many examples and detailed guidelines.

(2) Relevance & Spam Are Independent

Relevance is a rating, but spam is a flag. So, in Google’s view, a site can be useful but spammy, or it can be irrelevant but still spam-free. I think we see some of that philosophy in the algorithm. Content is relevant or irrelevant, but spam is about tactics and intent.

(3) The Most Likely Intent Rules

Some queries are ambiguous – “apple”, for example, can mean a lot of things without any context. Google instructs raters to, in most cases, use the dominant interpretation. What’s interesting is that their dominant interpretations often seem to favor big brands. In specific examples, the dominant interpretation of “apple” is Apple Computers and the dominant interpretation of “kayak” is the travel site Kayak.com.

Other interpretations (like “apple” the fruit or “kayak” the mode of transportation) automatically get lower relevance ratings if there’s a dominant interpretation. I think the notion of a dominant interpretation makes some sense, and it may be necessary for a rater to do their job, but it’s also highly subjective. In some cases, I just didn’t agree with Google’s examples, and I felt that the dominant interpretation unfairly penalized legitimate sites. Most people may want to buy an iPad when they type “apple”, but a site that specializes in online organic apple sales is still highly relevant to the ambiguous query, in my opinion.


(4) Some Results Are “Vital”

The “Vital” relevance rating is a special case. Any official entity – a company, an actor/actress, a politician, etc., can have a vital result. In most cases, this is their official home-page. Only a dominant interpretation can be vital – Apple Vacations will never be the vital result for “apple” (sorry, Apple Vacations; I don’t make the rules). I suspect this is a safety valve for checking the algorithm – if “vital” results don’t appear for entity searches, many people would question Google’s results, even if the SEO efforts of those entities don’t measure up.

Social profiles can also be vital, if those profiles are for individuals or small groups. So, a politician, actress or rock band could have multiple “vital” pages (their home-page, their Facebook page, and their Twitter profile, for example). Interestingly, Google specifically instructs that social media profiles for companies cannot be considered vital.


(5) Generic Queries Are Never Vital

Obviously, Walmart.com is a vital result for the query “walmart”, but Couches.com is not a vital result for the query “couches”. An exact-match domain doesn’t automatically make something vital, and some queries are inherently generic.

(6) Queries Come in 3 Flavors

uery intent can be classified, according to Google, as Action (“Do”), Information (“Know”) or Navigation (“Go”). Like ice cream, queries can come in more than one flavor (although Neapolitan ice cream should never substitute banana for vanilla). This Do/Know/Go model comes up a lot in the document and is a pretty useful structure for understanding search in general. Relevance is determined by intent – if a query is clearly action-oriented (e.g. “buy computer”), then only an Action (”Do”) result can be highly relevant.

(7) Useful Goes Beyond Relevance

This is wildly open to interpretation, but Google says that “useful” pages (the top rating below “vital”) should be more than just relevant – they should also be highly satisfying, authoritative, entertaining, and/or recent. This is left to the rater’s discretion, and no site has to meet all of these criteria, but it’s worth nothing that relevance alone isn’t always enough to get the top ratings.

(8) Relevance Implies Language Match

If a search result clearly doesn’t match the target language of the query, then in most cases that result is low-relevance. Likewise, if a query includes or implies a specific country, and the result doesn’t match that country, the result isn’t relevant.

(9) Local Intent Can Be Automatic

Even if a query is generic, it can imply local intent. Google gives the example of “ice rink” – a query for “ice rink” should return local results, and clearly non-local results should be rated as off-topic or useless. This applies whether or not the location is in the query. Again, expect Google to infer intent more and more, and local intent is becoming increasingly important to them.

(10) Landing Page Specificity Matters

A good landing page will fit the specificity of the query. A detailed product page, for example, is a better match to a long-tail query for a specific item. On the other hand, if the query is broad, then a broader resource may be more relevant. For example, if the query is “chicken recipes”, then a page with only one recipe isn’t as relevant as a list of recipes.

(11) Misspellings Are Rated By Intent

If a query is clearly misspelled, the relevance of the results should be based on the user’s most likely intent. In the old days, targeting misspellings was a common SEO practice, but I think we’re seeing more and more that Google will automatically push searchers toward the proper spelling. It’s likely Google is only going to get more aggressive about trying to determine intent and even pushing users toward the dominant intent.

(12) Copied Content Can Be Relevant

This may come as a surprise in a Post-Panda world, but Google officially recognizes that copied content isn’t automatically low quality, as long as it’s well-organized, useful, and isn’t just designed to drive ad views. Again, this is a bit subjective, and it’s clear that you have to add value somehow. A site with nothing but copied content (whether legitimately syndicated or scraped) isn’t going to gain high marks, and a site that’s only using copied content to wrap ads around it is going to be flagged as spam.

(13) Some Queries Don’t Need Defining

Dictionary or encyclopedia pages are only useful if a query generally merits definition or more information. If most users understand the meaning of the query word(s) – Google gives the example of “bank” – then a dictionary or encyclopedia page is not considered useful. Of course, tell that to Wikipedia.

(14) Ads Without Value Are Spam

One quote stood out in the document – “If a page exists only to make money, the page is spam.” Now, some business owners will object, saying that most sites exist to make money, in some form. When Google says “only to make money”, they seem to be saying money-making without content value. It’s ok to make money and have ads on your page, as long as you have content value to back it up. If you’ve just built a portal to collect cash, then you’re a spammer.

(15) Google.com Is Low Relevance

By Google’s standards, an empty search box with no results displayed is off-topic or useless. Ironic, isn’t it? Joking aside, the document does suggest that internal search results pages can be relevant and useful in some cases.

(16) Google Raters Use Firefox

I said no secrets, but I guess this is a little bit of inside information. Google raters are instructed to use Firefox, along with the web developer add-on. Do with that as you will.

Knowing Is 53.9% of The Battle*

So, there you go – 16 insights into the mind of Google. Advanced SEO, in my opinion, really comes down to understanding how Google thinks, and how they translate their values and objectives into code. You can lose a lot of time and money only making changes when you've lost ranking – really understanding the mind of Google is the best way to future-proof your SEO efforts.

*I always wondered what the other half was – blowing stuff up, apparently.

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Custom Reporting using Google Analytics and Google Docs - The Ultimate Analytics Mashup

Realtime Google Analytics data inside a Google Doc—a panacea!

Don't believe me? Check out that screenshot below. In this blog post I'll show how you can do this yourself, and I've created an easy template to help get you started.

Google Analytics is my favorite analytics product. And it's only been getting better with the new interface, flow visualization, and multi-channel funnels. Google Analytics is still best game in town for the price (it's free)!

But, despite all the flexibility that Google Analytics offers, sometimes you want to access data in a spreadsheet and create a truly custom report. That's where the Google Analytics Data Feed API comes in.

This blog post is going to show you how to create a custom report by connecting a Google Spreadsheet directly with your data from Google Analytics. When data is available directly in a spreadsheet you're able to make interesting comparisons, create the dashboard of your dreams, or chart data however you'd like. And the only requirement is that you have Analytics setup for your website. I've created a simple Google Spreadsheet template that makes the whole thing easy.

Analytics geeks: hold onto your seats!

It all started with the Data Feed Query Explorer

(Those who want to start accessing data in Google Docs should jump right to the next section.)

Before we dive in, a little background. A few weeks ago I was looking for a solution to directly access Google Analytics data in Microsoft Excel or Google Docs using the Google Analytics API.

I first discovered Google's excellent Data Feed Query Explorer. The explorer lets you connect to your Analytics account and pull custom data until your heart's content. This tool is not only an efficient way to figure out what's available via the API, but it's also great for pulling custom data. Want to see which organic keywords drove conversions on your site? Enter the details as below, after authenticating and adding your appropriate profile ID:

The Data Feed Query Explorer is a great way to explore the Google Analytics API, and to understand what data is available. If you're interested in understanding the API, experiment with the tool but also check out the the API documentation.

While this tool is helpful, it didn't meet my goal of accessing this data within a live spreadsheet such as Google Spreadsheets. Enter Mikael Thuneberg. Mikeal wrote an excellent set of scripts that pulls data from the Google Analytics API, and allows you to access that data within a Google Spreadsheet. Nice work, Mikeal. He provides this code free of charge (and it's included in my template below), but feel free to reach out to him if you're interested in paying an expert for your custom reporting needs.

I used Mikeal's scripts to create a template that accesses Google Analytics data and allows you to customize it in almost any way. Let's get started!

Connecting Google Analytics to Google Docs

I've created a brief screencast to walk you through connecting your Google Analytics account to the template I've created, but the instructions are also written out below the video. (A small disclaimer: this spreadsheet is provided without warranty or support, so please use at your own risk!)

1) Make sure you have a Google Analytics account with data. Duh.

Make sure you're logged into Google Analytics on the computer you'll be using with my spreadsheet template.

2) Open the spreadsheet template and save a copy.

Open this Google Spreadsheet template, and save a copy to your own Google Account (as you cannot edit this public version). Once the spreadsheet is open, choose "File"... "Make a copy".

Get the Google Spreadsheet template here!
(open this and save a copy to your own Google account)

3) Enter your Google Analytics username.

Give the browser a few moments to make the duplicate copy. Once the copy is created, enter your Google Analytics username (usually an email address).

4) Enter your Google Analytics password.

Enter your Google Analytics password. Once entered, you may hide that row to obfuscate your password.

If the cell below the Profile ID shows an Auth Token (a very long alphanumeric string) you have successfully authenticated. If you have an issue, ensure you are logged into the same Google Account for which you are trying to access. If you still have any issues, such as a CAPCHA warning, wait 30 minutes and try again.

5) Enter your Google Analytics Profile ID.

You'll need to determine the Google Analytics Profile ID of the site you'd like to create a custom report for, and enter it into the Google Spreadsheet.

Log into GA (in a seperate browser window) and open the profile for which you'd like to access data. Getting the profile ID isn't easy, and it differs based on which version of GA you use.

Once you're logged into Google Analytics, grab the profile ID from the browser address bar. Here's where you can find it depending which interface of Google Analytics you're using.

Finding your Profile ID in the Old Google Analytics Interface:

If you're using the old Google Analytics interface, your profile is highlighted below in yellow. In the example below it is 2917495 and should be entered into the spreadsheet as characters only.


Finding your Profile ID in the New Google Analytics Interface:

If you're using the new Google Analytics interface, your profile is highlighted below in yellow. In the example below it is 2917495 and should be entered into the spreedsheet as characters only.

Once you have the profile ID, add it to the appropriate field in the spreadsheet template. If everything worked, the cell below the Profile ID should display an Auth Token (a very long alphanumeric string). If you have any issues, ensure you are logged into the same Google Account for which you are trying to access. If you still have issues, such as a CAPCHA warning, wait 30 minutes and try again.

6) Click the "Custom Report" tab to start accessing your data!

Now you're all set! Click on the "Custom Report" tab at the bottom of the Google Spreadsheet to start interacting with your data. Edit the cells in yellow to change what data is pulled, and for what data ranges. Read on to learn more about choosing which metrics to pull, and how to filter the data.

Customizing the data

When you jump into the "Custom Report" tab of the spreadsheet you'll notice several of the cells are yellow. You can update these cells to change what data is pulled from Google Analytics. For a full walkthrough of the spreadsheet template, be sure to watch the screencast earlier in this blog post.

There are four ways you can change the information that's pulled from Google Analytics into the spreedsheet.

Metric: Change which metric is pulled in that column of the spreadsheet—for example: visits, pageviews or bounces. Change this value and the cells below will update to pull that data. Check out Google's Dimensions & Metrics Reference for details on what data you can access.

Filter: Change how the data below is filtered, i.e. what data is included. Here you can specify a filter that will show only metrics for which the filter is true. For example, setting 'ga:medium==organic' in the filter cell will only show data where the traffic medium is organic search. The filter section is where you have a lot of power—you can even use regular expressions to do advanced filtering. To learn more about setting the filter cell, read Google's Data Feed documentation.

Start Date: Enter a date in the MM/DD/YYYY format to select the start date for cells in that particular row.

End Date: Enter a date in the MM/DD/YYYY format to select the end date for cells in that particular row.

How to make this actionable

So you've connected your Google Analytics account to a Google Spreadsheet. Now what? There's a lot you can do when you access your analytics in this format; I've included a few ideas below:

  1. Put interesting metrics next to one another. Have you ever wanted to see your total visits next to your organic search visits and goals completions? By choosing the metrics that get displayed in each column you can compare metrics however you like.
  2. Compare a variety of date ranges easily. Want to compare several days, weeks or months? Change the start and end dates and you can compare multiple periods.
  3. Create advanced filters. Get creative with your filters. Try creating a filter for organic search traffic (ga:mediun==organic), or for a set of keywords using regular expressions. There are unlimited ways you can slice and dice your data!
  4. Create calcuated cells. Add a column to the spreadsheet and cacluate your conversion rate by dividing your goal completions by your visits.
  5. Create your ultimate dashboard. Probably the most useful way to use this report is to create a dashboard of your favorite key performance indicators. This spreadsheet can automate your weekly or monthly reporting by pulling all of the relevant metrics in one swoop!

These are just a few of the many ways you can use Google Analytics data within a spreadsheet. I'd love to hear your ideas for how to make this actionable—please let me know in the comments.

A few technical notes

  • The Google Analytics API is rate limited, so you may occassionally receive errors because your spreadsheet has made too many API calls at once. Unfortunatly, there's no easy way around this expect to reduce the number of rows or columns of data you're pulling. Please let me know in the comments if you've found a good workaround for this.
  • Your password is in plaintext in the Setting tab of the spreadsheet. Be sure you don't share this Google Doc unless you want someone to have access to your Google Analytics password.

Be a data ninja!

I hope this template is useful and that you're now able to do all sorts of fancy things with your web analytics data. Please let me know how it works in the comments!

Ford's Driver Alert System keeps you in the right lane, recommends java on occasion


It ain't the first automaker to do so, but Ford's taking a step in the 'stay in your own lane!' direction with a new technology package for the Explorer. The Driver Alert System is slated to launch in early 2012, and it'll tout new lane keeping technologies, including a system that can help detect drowsy drivers. The goal here is to keep sleepyheads from destroying lives -- be it their own or others -- by suggesting that they pull over, rest and have a sip of coffee if they've been cruising along for an extended period of time. Furthermore, a camera setup will monitor one's lane position, and if they drift too far away from the straight and narrow, their steering wheel will vibrate. It all sounds good and well, but the fact that a AAA survey found that over 40 percent of Americans have "fallen asleep or nodded off while driving" makes 'staying at home' seem like the sensible choice.

Continue reading Ford's Driver Alert System keeps you in the right lane, recommends java on occasion

Ford's Driver Alert System keeps you in the right lane, recommends java on occasion originally appeared on Engadget on Sat, 29 Oct 2011 20:12:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

Not so ultimate Ultrabook: MacBook Air KIRF features mini-HDMI port, 3.5 hour battery life



Hey, who wiped the MacBook Air logo off? Nah, we're kidding -- it's a KIRF. Sure, Apple's svelte 13-incher may have a duo of USB ports and an SD card slot, but this rig adds in a 3-in-1 card reader and and an odd, combo RJ45 / VGA jack (which we assume needs an adapter). For good measure, you'll also find a mini-HDMI output, although, with 3.5 hours of battery life it may prove problematic for getting through a 1080p movie marathon without nearby power. The alloy-encased lappy has a 1.86GHz Intel Atom N2800 CPU with a GMA3600 integrated GPU, 2GB of RAM, a 32GB SSD and a 13.3-inch LED display sporting a ho-hum resolution (for a 13-incher) of 1366 x 768, just like the 11-inch MacBook Air. Amazingly, this knock-off weighs merely .01 kilograms more than its real counterpart at 1.36 kgs (about three pounds), while being only 0.1 cm thicker. Giz-China expects this Ultrabook-wannabe by Shenzen Technology Ltd to land on Chinese shelves sometime in November for about $471. Cue Apple's lawyers in 3... 2...

Not so ultimate Ultrabook: MacBook Air KIRF features mini-HDMI port, 3.5 hour battery life originally appeared on Engadget on Sat, 29 Oct 2011 18:21:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

HP's Todd Bradley refutes webOS shutdown rumors


HP's Todd Bradley showed up on Bloomberg last night for a quick round of webOS damage control. Following a report from the The Guardian, saying the company would in fact kill the webOS division, Bradley referred to the report as an "unfounded rumor." He went on to say that "accolades for the operating system are broadly known" and that the company is focusing on how to "effectively utilize that phenomenal software." Of course, there's always a chance that the best way to utilize the troubled OS is to sell it to the highest bidder, but Bradley said HP will weigh all the "data and information" before making "the right decision." For now, the operating system's still kicking it in limbo. The full interview awaits you at the source link below.

HP's Todd Bradley refutes webOS shutdown rumors originally appeared on Engadget on Sat, 29 Oct 2011 17:17:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

Facebook testing 'Trusted Friends' feature, the password unlock we hope you never have to use

Here's a situation: you create a Facebook account. You fall in love with said account. You're on it all day, every single day. And then, your computer explodes. You go to login on a new machine, and you realize that your minty fresh browser has no recollection of your Facebook password. At this point, you're probably pondering the point of taking another breath. Evidently, Facebook understands your dilemma, and in the coming weeks, it'll be testing out a new password recovery system for those who can't / won't take advantage of the existing methods. Christened "Trusted Friends," the feature will allow a user to select between three and five pals that they're confident will help out in dire times. Then, should you lose your password, Facebook can send recovery codes to that gang, and they can hand 'em over to you in order to unlock things. According to Facebook, it's akin to "giving a house key to your friends when you go on vacation." The only concern? Friends aren't friends forever, and even BFFs can morph into WEEs given the right circumstances. Choose wisely, Facebookers.

Facebook testing 'Trusted Friends' feature, the password unlock we hope you never have to use originally appeared on Engadget on Sun, 30 Oct 2011 01:11:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

Volta BCN electric motorcycle announced, set to go on sale in Q2 2012



Your all-electric motorcycle options are getting more and more plentiful these days, and it looks like you'll soon have yet another option consider. Volta Motorbikes officially announced its new Volta BCN motorcycle this week, with a complete unveiling set for the EICMA Motorshow in Milan next month. It will be available in three different models -- the BCN Sport, BCN City, and BCN My Volta -- each of which pack the same 35 horsepower and 70 kilometer range, but have various other tweaks to suit different tastes (with the My Volta being customizable through an online ordering tool). Details remain a bit light otherwise, but pricing is expected to come in around the €7,000 mark (or just under $10,000), with the first units set to roll out in the second quarter of 2012 -- a reservation list will also be opened up at the start of the year for those interested. Head on past the break for a quick teaser video, and check out the gallery below for a closer look.

Gallery: Volta BCN

Continue reading Volta BCN electric motorcycle announced, set to go on sale in Q2 2012

Volta BCN electric motorcycle announced, set to go on sale in Q2 2012 originally appeared on Engadget on Sun, 30 Oct 2011 16:12:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

Acer's first venture into Windows Phone arrives in France as the Allegro



Remember the Acer W4? After seeing it at IFA 2011, it seems that it's finally ready to make some first impressions, and its blind date is with France. Known officially as the Allegro, Acer's inaugural Windows Phone isn't going over the top in the spec department: it has a 3.6-inch WVGA (800 x 480) display, 1GHz single-core Qualcomm MSM8255 CPU, 8GB internal storage, 5MP rear camera with LED flash and a 1,300mAh battery. However, a unique addition to this €299 ($425) device is a feature called Fast Charge, which allows the Allegro to get juiced up to 2.5 times faster than the rest of the company's lineup. Expect the device to land in France in mid-November with two color options -- white and dark blue iceberg. Just make sure, Acer, to walk your date all the way back home from dinner.

Acer's first venture into Windows Phone arrives in France as the Allegro originally appeared on Engadget on Mon, 31 Oct 2011 00:31:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

Mythical snow-white N9 spotted at Nokia World


Is it possible to improve on something as minutely refined as the Nokia N9 simply by adding another color variant? Well, that depends on what color weʼre talking about. Sure, we already have black, cyan, and magenta, but what weʼve been missing -- until now -- is white. Plain, simple, ethereal white. It happens to be one of the hardest hues for a manufacturer to pull off without making a handset look tacky, or making its surface susceptible to the general grubbiness of everyday life. But Nokia did a smart thing: it added a glossy coating that completely changes the look and feel of the device. Take a look for yourself in the gallery below. But bear in mind that the midnight blue disco lights at Nokia World didn't quite do it justice.

Continue reading Mythical snow-white N9 spotted at Nokia World

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Mythical snow-white N9 spotted at Nokia World originally appeared on Engadget on Wed, 26 Oct 2011 14:41:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

Maingear and Origin PC shove Intel's Core i7 2700K into gaming rigs, overclock it beyond 5GHz


Keanu Reeves and Sandra Bullock were both unavailable for comment, but we're guessing the pair would be quite pleased to see that the tech world's Need For Speed is hardly fading. Maingear and Origin PC have both announced this week that their high-end gaming desktops are now available with Intel's Core i7 2700K -- a beast of a processor that's clocked from the factory at 3.5GHz. Maingear's shoving this guy into its SHIFT (starting at $1,985) and F131 (starting at $1,228) rigs, with factory overclocking options pushing it beyond 5GHz. Origin is hawking its Genesis desktop with a factory speed of 5.2GHz, and yes, gratis warranties are thrown in for the paranoid. Hit the links below to give your wallet the dent it's been asking for.

Continue reading Maingear and Origin PC shove Intel's Core i7 2700K into gaming rigs, overclock it beyond 5GHz

Maingear and Origin PC shove Intel's Core i7 2700K into gaming rigs, overclock it beyond 5GHz originally appeared on Engadget on Wed, 26 Oct 2011 16:28:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

Adidas miCoach Speed_Cell measures your dunking prowess and serving skills

When it comes to sports gadgets, runners seem to get all the good stuff: the Nike+, the Motoactv and even the FitBit. For all the footballers, basketball players and aspiring tennis stars out there, Adidas is spreading the love with the introduction of its miCoach Speed_Cell -- a $69.99 device that measures motion and performance in every direction whether you're into tackling, serving or shooting. The gadget fits on the bottom side of compatible shoes to capture seven hours of stats including average and max speed, number of sprints, distance at high intensity levels, steps and strides. The coolest part? Your personal bests will transfer wirelessly to a smartphone, tablet, PC or Mac for post-practice critique, Sports Center style. The soccer-centric company has already released a compatible pair of cleats and has plans to put out more miCoach-friendly footwear, as well as a series of sport-specific apps allowing athletes to virtually monitor their performance. Jump, skip or dribble over to the PR after the break for the full deets.

Continue reading Adidas miCoach Speed_Cell measures your dunking prowess and serving skills

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Adidas miCoach Speed_Cell measures your dunking prowess and serving skills originally appeared on Engadget on Wed, 26 Oct 2011 17:02:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

ASUS Transformer Prime shots leak out, apes the Tao of Zenbook design


Who's ready for a little gadget pr0n? ASUS head honcho Jonney Shih gave AsiaD attendees a first peek at the Transformer's successor just last week. Apart from that distant, dais-based reveal, we now have in the wild shots of the tab to focus our tech lust on. The leaked images, which have since been pulled from the Chinese site that hosted them, show off several angles of the quad-core Prime, its Zenbook-like aluminum finish and accompanying dock. Unfortunately, the lone lockscreen shot on offer's not giving us any taste of the potential Ice Cream Sandwich OS lurking beneath. Hungry for the full tablet spread? Then hit up the source below to get your gawking a-go-go.

Continue reading ASUS Transformer Prime shots leak out, apes the Tao of Zenbook design

ASUS Transformer Prime shots leak out, apes the Tao of Zenbook design originally appeared on Engadget on Wed, 26 Oct 2011 17:21:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

Sony limits PS Vita game save options, memory card definitely not optional


We say proprietary and you think, Sony. Isn't that how it usually goes? For the electronic giant's latest reVitalized foray into portable gaming, the same old custom solution is in tow -- now, with limited storage options. According to a report on Kotaku Japan, games made for the handheld will either save your progress to its SD card-like external storage or to the cartridge itself, as SCEI's not offering users any option for overlap or preference. Thinking you might save a few bucks and skip out on the external memory altogether? Well, my frugal gaming friends, think again. Unlike the PSP, titles for the system requiring an external save, in addition to some downloadable content, simply won't play without a memory card on board. Sure, this tidbit of news could prove frustrating to those not indoctrinated to the company's obstinate ways. But, we're willing to bet this device's dazzling innards are enough to help you overlook these minor niggles come next February.

Sony limits PS Vita game save options, memory card definitely not optional originally appeared on Engadget on Wed, 26 Oct 2011 18:46:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

SMK's touchscreen registers your gloved swipes, won't acknowledge the bad touch


Somewhere in an underground ice lair, Jack Frost's prepping to nip at noses and keep covered hands from touch devices. But SMK Corp's got a capacitive solution set to thwart old man winter's digitus interruptus. On display at this year's FPD International in Japan, the company's touchscreen innovation incorporates a specialized chip capable of highly-sensitive pressure detection that works in conjunction with a noise-filtering sensor to make your gloved gestures readable. It's good news for those of us subject to occasional bouts of frostbitten weather, but don't clap just yet -- these panels will initially be headed to in-car navigation systems. Still, with the displays workable on screens up to 8-inches in size, it's possible we could be seeing this tech extend to smartphones in the near future. So, there's a remedy out there folks, but while you wait for it, it's best to keep those glittens close at hand.

SMK's touchscreen registers your gloved swipes, won't acknowledge the bad touch originally appeared on Engadget on Wed, 26 Oct 2011 19:52:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

FingerFlux system uses magnets to add tactile feedback to touchscreens


We've seen a number of efforts that promise to make touchscreens more tactile, but none quite like this so-called FingerFlux system developed by a team of researchers from Germany's Aachen University. Its hook is a layer of magnets that lie beneath the touchscreen and react to a simple thimble that the user must wear. While that particular accoutrement could be considered a slight drawback, it does open up a number of interesting possibilities -- including the ability to draw your finger towards an item on the screen, and "lock" it in a certain area. What's particularly key, however, is that you're also able to feel a bit of feedback before you even touch the screen -- as opposed to other entirely screen-based options -- which could could let you operate something like media player controls without actually looking at your phone. Of course, it's all still a long ways from being shrunk down to phone-size, but the researchers do have a working prototype in a table-top device. Check it out in the video after the break.

Continue reading FingerFlux system uses magnets to add tactile feedback to touchscreens

FingerFlux system uses magnets to add tactile feedback to touchscreens originally appeared on Engadget on Wed, 26 Oct 2011 20:56:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

Angry Birds to ride Russian rockets into space, follow iPads bound for bored cosmonauts


Slingshots and unbridled rage might be enough to launch Rovio's furious fowl across the battlefield, but they'll need some outside help if they hope to break free of Earth's atmosphere -- it's time to call the cosmonauts. Two upcoming Russian space launches are scheduled to ferry a pair of iPads and a plush Angry Birds toy to the International Space Station. The twin tablets will fly on an unmanned resupply vehicle early next week, and the irritated avian is playing the part of a jocular gravity indicator in a manned mission next month -- part of a russian tradition of hanging a toy by a string to signal when the vessel has escaped the Earth's gravity. NASA told collectSPACE that the iPads are only slated for recreational purposes, but mentioned that various tablets were being evaluated for future use. The plush bird? It's coming home; cosmonaut Shkaplerov's five year old daughter can't be expected to give up her toys forever, can she?

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Angry Birds to ride Russian rockets into space, follow iPads bound for bored cosmonauts originally appeared on Engadget on Wed, 26 Oct 2011 22:02:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

Warner pushes 28-day new release delay on Blockbuster, matches Redbox and Netflix


We suppose it's good news / bad news for Blockbuster. The good news is that after going through bankruptcy and being sold, Warner Bros. has decided it's healthy enough to take on the competition on even ground. The bad news, is that Warner has decided to give Blockbuster the same month long delay the studio loves so much before new movies can be rented out as its competitors, Redbox and Netflix. While Blockbuster has had delays at its kiosks already, being first to get new flicks in stores has been a part of its marketing for a while. The LA Times reports Blockbuster so far is turning to simply buying the copies it needs at retail to rent them out immediately, but we'll see how long that lasts. If you enjoy your discs via kiosk or mail don't think you're out of the woods either, as the paper mentions Warner wants to delay new flicks to those outlets even longer when their deals are renegotiated.

Warner pushes 28-day new release delay on Blockbuster, matches Redbox and Netflix originally appeared on Engadget on Wed, 26 Oct 2011 23:17:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

Lumia 710 makes an appearance on Nokia's US site without its Windows Phone counterpart


When Nokia made it known that the Meego-running N9 wouldn't be making any official tour to the US, the sound of crushed dreams could be faintly heard in households across the nation. Would the newly-announced Lumia series suffer the same fate somehow? Might Uncle Sam's invitation to the family BBQ get lost in the mail a second straight time? Thanks to Nokia's US website, we know that at least one of the two Windows Phones will leave Espoo and land somewhere between sea and shining sea, as the budget-conscious Lumia 710 appears front and center on the OEM's home page while the 800 is nowhere to be found. We're not giving up just yet -- if absence makes the heart grow fonder, we don't want to get enamored with the AWOL phone this fast.

Update: Dampen down those hopes and dreams, kids. Nokia has said that it will be making a splash in the USA at the start of next year, but it won't be with the Lumia phones. The page went up just for your information.

Lumia 710 makes an appearance on Nokia's US site without its Windows Phone counterpart originally appeared on Engadget on Thu, 27 Oct 2011 00:36:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds

Samsung Galaxy Nexus confirmed to have 'fortified glass,' not Gorilla Glass


For all the talk of the Samsung Galaxy Nexus in recent days, there's still quite a few questions surrounding the flagship Ice Cream Sandwich phone. Last week we learned that the phone's 4.65-inch screen was a standard Super AMOLED display and not a Super AMOLED Plus variation (as seen on the Galaxy S II), and now Corning has confirmed that the device doesn't use its trademark Gorilla Glass as you may have assumed given its high-end status. According to Samsung, however, it does use a type of "fortified glass," but the company isn't getting any more specific than that. We guess we'll have to wait for some stress tests (or clumsy hands) to see just how well it holds up.

Samsung Galaxy Nexus confirmed to have 'fortified glass,' not Gorilla Glass originally appeared on Engadget on Thu, 27 Oct 2011 01:35:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

Skifta leaves beta, streams media to and from your Android device wherever you may be

Skifta
When we first saw Skifta back in February, it was a pretty neat app for beaming media on your phone to other DLNA capable devices in your home. Well, now it's left beta and added a new trick to it repertoire -- stream media from your other gear to your Android device, over 3G. To celebrate Skifta hitting the magical 1.0 mark, Qualcomm Atheros also unveiled a new media server plug in for Linux, OS X and Windows that lets you pull music and movies from your home PC to your phone or tablet, even while you're out and about. Skifta (in addition to its terrible name) also sports a Channel Library which allows you quickly queue up content from Facebook, TED, ShoutCast, Revision3 and more. You'll find full PR after the break but, more importantly, the download links at the source.

Continue reading Skifta leaves beta, streams media to and from your Android device wherever you may be

Skifta leaves beta, streams media to and from your Android device wherever you may be originally appeared on Engadget on Thu, 27 Oct 2011 02:25:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

Sony to buy out Ericsson's stake in joint venture, call it quits after ten years



We all saw it coming and, sure enough, it's finally happened. After all the rumors and opaque comments, Sony has just bought out Ericsson's share of Sony Ericsson, effectively assuming ownership of the entire venture. Ericsson confirmed the buyout this morning, adding that it will receive a cash consideration of €1.05 billion in exchange for its 50 percent stake. Sony, meanwhile, will now have the chance to integrate smartphones more tightly within its arsenal of tablets, laptops and gaming devices. The agreement also gives Sony an IP cross-licensing agreement and ownership of "five essential patent families" pertaining to wireless tech, though the breadth of this coverage remains unclear. The separation won't be finalized, however, until January 2012, pending regulatory approval. Find more details in the full PR, after the break.

Update: Sony president and CEO Sir Howard Stringer has just addressed the media on the proposed buyout and confirmed that the company will indeed move away from feature phones, as previously stated. This effectively heralds the death of the Walkman line and the dawn of Sony's exclusively Android era, though Stringer's not ruling out the possibility of bringing another OS on board. When asked whether his firm would consider buying webOS, the exec said simply, "Never say never."

[Thanks to everyone who sent this in]

Continue reading Sony to buy out Ericsson's stake in joint venture, call it quits after ten years

Sony to buy out Ericsson's stake in joint venture, call it quits after ten years originally appeared on Engadget on Thu, 27 Oct 2011 03:02:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

Spotify comes to MeeGo to help keep your N9 company


Looking to bring the gift of song to your new, somewhat limited edition Nokia N9? Good news, Spotify is offering itself up to the MeeGo gods, bringing its music streaming services to the slick handset by way of the Nokia Store. The app is free, but requires the customary Spotify Premium account for you to get any actual enjoyment out of the thing.

Spotify comes to MeeGo to help keep your N9 company originally appeared on Engadget on Thu, 27 Oct 2011 03:40:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

Nintendo posts first half loss in earnings report, slashes forecast yet again



Nintendo's latest earnings report may be one of its most forgettable. The company posted a net loss of ¥70.27 billion ($923 million) this morning, in a report covering the first six months of the fiscal year ending on September 30th. That's significantly deeper than the ¥2.01 billion loss Nintendo posted during the same period last year, though Nintendo attributed the result, in part, to a strengthened yen and sagging demand for its 3DS console. Revenue, meanwhile, fell by 40.6 percent on the year, to ¥215.74 billion ($2.84 billion), as the manufacturer reported an operating loss of ¥57.34 billion. Things are looking so bleak, in fact, that Nintendo has decided to slash its financial projections yet again, predicting a net loss of ¥20 billion for the full year (ending in March 2012), compared with the ¥20 billion in profits it projected only in July. And, as Bloomberg notes, if these prognostications hold true, it would mark Nintendo's first annual loss in a full 30 years. Ouch. Check out the full report for yourself at the source link, below.

Nintendo posts first half loss in earnings report, slashes forecast yet again originally appeared on Engadget on Thu, 27 Oct 2011 04:28:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

Dell Latitude ST tablet gets official with vague press release, dead links (video)


Remember that Latitude ST that Dell gave us a sneak peek at earlier in the week? Well it's slowly inching its way towards an official release, appearing on Dell's Corporate Blog early this morning. The Windows 7-based enterprise tablet is powered by an Intel Atom processor and includes a 10-inch multi-touch display with stylus, WiFi, mobile broadband options, front and rear webcams and a mic. There are also durability features like Gorilla Glass and a rubber bumper, enabling it to survive violent impacts with plush office carpeting. Port details are rather vague in the PR, though USB, HDMI and an SD card reader get their 15 seconds of fame in the promo video. There are also security features, like remote hard drive wipe, Microsoft Bitlocker support (this is a Windows 7 tablet, after all) and a Kensington Lock slot. Pricing details are absent and the product page isn't live quite yet (though that didn't stop Dell from linking to it from the blog post), but it looks like we could see these ship as soon as November 1st. Ready to get your tap and sketch on? Jump past the break for an enterprise montage, complete with doctors, educators and suit-sporting business pros.

Update: Looks like the specs have leaked out overseas, so we're guessing it'll get official soon enough.

Update 2: And here come the unboxing videos!

Update 3: And Dell's business page is up! Thanks, One Love!

Continue reading Dell Latitude ST tablet gets official with vague press release, dead links (video)

Dell Latitude ST tablet gets official with vague press release, dead links (video) originally appeared on Engadget on Thu, 27 Oct 2011 05:14:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

Samsung's SCH-i929 and SCH-W999 dual-screen clamshell get certified in China


Ready for a heavy dose of Android this morning? Then enjoy this Samsung double whammy freshly delivered from China. On the left we have the China Telecom-branded SCH-i929, a 9.7mm-thick handset featuring a Snapdragon MSM8660 chip (likely clocked at 1.5GHz), 4.5-inch 480 x 800 AMOLED display, eight-megapixel camera and GSM plus CDMA2000 connectivity. All of this makes the i929 a near-identical cousin of the Galaxy S II LTE -- same processor, same chassis, but obviously with different network compatibility.



Of course, the real star of the show is the SCH-W999, a follow-up to the SCH-W899 of the same dual-screen clamshell form factor. As you can see on the right, on the outside this phone features a 3.5-inch 480 x 800 AMOLED display along with three touch buttons, while on the inside it packs a similar screen plus a physical keypad. Like the i929 above, this funky flip phone is also powered by a MSM8660 chip and supports both GSM and CDMA2000 on China Telecom, though its camera is limited to five megapixels instead. Anyhow, we'd certainly love to get hold of a world-friendly version of this 204 gram beast, so what do you say, Won-Pyo Hong?

Samsung's SCH-i929 and SCH-W999 dual-screen clamshell get certified in China originally appeared on Engadget on Thu, 27 Oct 2011 05:54:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

Motorola Pro+ 4G rides into Canada November 7th, will kick off shoes and stay a while

We knew it was planning to grace Europe and Asia with its presence this month, but now we're hearing the Motorola Pro+ 4G is ready to make its North American debut at Bell Canada. We're not seeing any large differences here compared to the overseas model, though the addition of "4G" to the title is an obvious exception. The device offers a 1GHz CPU, 512MB of RAM, Android 2.3, a 5MP camera, 3.1-inch VGA (640 x 480) display with Gorilla Glass, HSPA 14.4 (hence the "4G" name) and a lot of Enterprise-friendly security features. We know it'll be hitting shelves on November 7th, but no price has been announced so far. To find out the full shebang, head south for the press release.



Update: We've confirmed with an inside source that it'll sell for $349.95, but there's no word on whether subsidies will apply for long-term contracts.

Continue reading Motorola Pro+ 4G rides into Canada November 7th, will kick off shoes and stay a while

Motorola Pro+ 4G rides into Canada November 7th, will kick off shoes and stay a while originally appeared on Engadget on Thu, 27 Oct 2011 06:49:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

Sports Tracker racing toward Windows Phone for November release


Love Windows Phone, sweating and tracking personal statistics? Good news! Sports Tracker is celebrating Nokia week by announcing the upcoming availability of its exercise-logging app for Microsoft's mobile OS. The app, which spent its early days on Symbian, is now available on iOS and Android, and will be hitting Windows Phone next month. It lets sporty smartphone owners track their distance, speed, calories and more, and upload that information to Sports Tracker's site and the requisite social networks to generally irritate out of shape followers.

Sports Tracker racing toward Windows Phone for November release originally appeared on Engadget on Thu, 27 Oct 2011 08:29:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

Porsche Design P'9981 BlackBerry provides a long-awaited design jolt, compensates for a lot


Remember that downright futuristic BlackBerry we spied back in September? Say hello, all over again. RIM and Porsche (of all companies) have just taken the official wraps off of the Porsche Design P'9981 BlackBerry, a frighteningly beautiful new slab that offers up a forged stainless steel frame, hand-wrapped leather back cover, sculpted QWERTY keyboard, and "crystal clear touch display." It'll ship with an exclusive Porsche Design UI and a bespoke Wikitude World Browser augmented reality app experience, not to mention the "premium, exclusive PINs that help easily identify another P'9981 smartphone user." Fancy. As for specs, it's boasting a 1.2GHz processor, HD video recording capabilities, 8GB of onboard memory, Liquid Graphics technology, a microSD expansion slot, an inbuilt NFC module and BlackBerry OS 7. We're told that it'll be available from Porsche Design stores later this year, but mum's the word on the (presumably stratospheric) price. Head past the jump for T-break's hands-on vid.

Update: MobileSyrup reports that the device shown here will sell for "around $2,000," and they'll be (unsurprisingly) limited in quantity.

Continue reading Porsche Design P'9981 BlackBerry provides a long-awaited design jolt, compensates for a lot

Porsche Design P'9981 BlackBerry provides a long-awaited design jolt, compensates for a lot originally appeared on Engadget on Thu, 27 Oct 2011 09:14:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

Nokia Lumia 800 unboxed: we shed some light on what's inside


We managed to grab enough time with the Lumia 800's retail innards here at Nokia World, revealing some welcome extras including a flexible rubberized case for that affectionate lump of polycarbonate. The requisite data cable, power adapter and headset are all accounted for inside the packaging, which is covered in shots of this dark, not-so-mysterious phone. It's all a bit more vibrant than the packaging of its other 2011 phone, but is still coated in that unmistakable Nokia blue. We expect to get our excitable digits on a review model very -- very -- soon, but until then check out more shots of what we can expect to get alongside Nokia's premier Windows Phone handset.

Nokia Lumia 800 unboxed: we shed some light on what's inside originally appeared on Engadget on Thu, 27 Oct 2011 09:34:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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