Thursday, February 28, 2013

mophie juice pack helium for iPhone 5 review

The mophie juice pack helium is an all new, all lighter and thinner battery charging case for the lighter and thinner iPhone 5. It features a 1500mAh, barely more than the iPhone 5's built-in 1440mAh battery, and when translated into external battery pack terms, that packs roughly an 80% refill charge.

The design of the mophie juice pack helium is similar to previous generation juice packs, though longer and even more svelte. Like Apple, mophie has made a conscious choice to emphasize extreme thinness and lightness over everything else. (mophie does, however, make a juice pack air that provides more battery.)

As you'd expect, cut-outs leave all buttons accessible, though ports are a different story. Since Apple relocated the 3.5mm headphone jack to the bottom, and that's where mophie packs much of its battery extension, they've had to figure out a work around. That comes in the form of a small extender that feels through a long hole in the juice pack and plugs into the 3.5mm port on the iPhone 5. You then plug your headphones into the extender.

Likewise, the Lightning port is covered, as 30-pin Dock connector was in prior mophie juice packs, and you have no access to it. Instead, also as before, you have a micro-USB port that charges the mophie and the iPhone 5 both. personally, I'd still prefer a Lightning port pass through. It's far more flexible than USB, and any iPhone owner will already have cables for it.

As it stands the USB port can't be used for more more than charging. None of the Lightning adapters work with it, obviously, so you have to take the mophie off to use, for example, the HDMI adapter. Also, you can't sync over USB to iTunes with the mophie on. You have to use Wi-Fi sync to connect to iTunes.

I don't sync with iTunes, wired or wireless, anymore (I have iCloud, I'm fine), and Wi-Fi sync works great, but for those who like to move large files around old school style, that'll be an annoyance.

The exterior of the mophie juice pack helium is covered in a soft-touch finish that feels even softer to the touch than previous models. Velvety even. It comes in two colors, the dark gray, which is available now, and the light gray, which ships next month.

The bottom section comes off like a cap, like with later versions of the juice packs for the iPhone 4 and iPhone 4S, and the top slides off.

There's the usual button on the back that will illuminate one of four lights to show you the current remaining charge level. In my nearly constant use over the last week and half, the indicator was accurate and the recharge consistently brought my iPhone back from the brink roughly 80%.

The good

  • Light, slim design
  • Recharges iPhone 5 80%

The bad

  • USB rather than Lightning prevents anything but charging

The bottom line

The mophie juice pack air is an interesting compromise, much like the iPhone 5 itself. While lighter and thinner than any juice pack before it, because the iPhone 5 is so much lighter than any iPhone, the net different is still appreciable -- an iPhone 5 in a juice pack helium feels solid.

If traveling light but staying charged is your number one priority, the mophie juice pack helium is just about perfect. If you're willing to sacrifice weight for more charging power, check out the juice pack air instead.


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Apple, BlackBerry, others sued over security patents

Security company Maz Encryption Technologies sued seven large technology companies for allegedly infringing on several of its security patents. The suits target security technology used in the iPhone and iPad as well as the BlackBerry Enterprise Solution, among other products.

Maz sued Dell, Hewlett-Packard, Fujitsu, Lenovo, Toshiba, BlackBerry, and Apple in the U.S. District Court for the District of Delaware, according to documents that were filed with the court on Monday that were published by PriorSmart.


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Cubeware Launches Big Data App Store

BISTRO, a new Hadoop-based apps market, offers business intelligence software and tools that save organizations time and trouble, says Cubeware.

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Ubuntu chief says converged platforms are the future

Real benefits don't rest on servers alone but balance of CPU, storage and network power

The convergence of devices and software platforms is being driven by the shift towards cloud computing, which will ultimately become the engine room of all modern applications, according to Canonical CEO Mark Shuttleworth.

Speaking at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, following the launch of a developer preview of Canonical’s mobile-friendly version of Ubuntu last week, Shuttleworth said that one of the key challenges in the mobile space is the fragmentation of the underlying platforms.

“If you think of the vast array of devices – not just those that we carry but all of the devices that we talk to, that talk to each other – the software platforms on those are extraordinarily fragmented,” he said.

“It's hard to know where they came from, it's hard to know how to update them, it's hard to know whether or not they are secure, it's hard to know where you stand, it's hard to be compliant or to audit that fragmented world.”

However, Shuttleworth said that, thanks to Moore's Law, the increase in capability and decrease in cost of the silicon that powers these embedded environments will lead to greater convergence within the industry.

He said that the version of Ubuntu currently running on mobile phones is not an embedded operating system, or an RT version; it is the full Unix that also runs on servers and desktops in a broad range of security-sensitive environments, such as defence forces and national police forces.

“We think it will become true of all platforms that, in future, you won't have embedded Windows and Windows RT and Windows on a desktop and Windows on a server; you'll essentially just have Windows,” he said. 

“Apple and Google will take their platforms and converge them as well because, from a security point of view, being able to audit and manage a platform that is widely used on all of your devices is a vastly better proposition than having fragmentation across the device landscape.”

This type of convergence is not just spanning the client world, but is also impacting modern app architecture. It is now common to have the GUI on a device and the engine of the application running in the cloud.

“Increasingly we're offloading the really rich and complex work into the cloud. So the question then comes, what kind of convergence can we create between this device, which is essentially an embedded device, and the cloud?” said Shuttleworth.

“As we slim down the platform to make it fly on the phone, we get greater density in the cloud, because we are essentially reducing the housekeeping that the operating system is doing. So as the platform gets leaner for mobile and embedded applications, it also gets leaner for the cloud.”

He added: “This is an extraordinary convergence. The last time we had this kind of convergence was in the late 80s early 90s when it became possible to write applications on a Windows desktop and then publish them to a Windows server.”

Convergence is not only happening at the software layer, but also at the infrastructure layer. Shuttleworth pointed OpenStack as an example of how private cloud vendors are collaborating together to make it easier for end users to essentially plug and play different components.

In the case of Ubuntu, the platform running on phones is the same one that is running in the cloud, so there is a possibility that some of the workloads will eventually be condensed down to run on ultra-lightweight hardware.

“There is a real interest in the industry to see whether some of the economic benefits that we've seen at the edge of the network cloud move to the centre of the network as well,” said Shuttleworth.

He added that in many cases the real economics are not governed by the horsepower of the machine at the centre, but by the balance of storage I/O with CPU capabilities and network I/O. It is therefore likely that the ecosystem at the heart of the data centre will also become more open over the next five years.

“The industry has learnt from mistakes it has made in the past – none of us want to opt into a walled garden. If you trap users in an environment, you lose,” he concluded.

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The New Dyson AM05 Is The Darth Vader Of Space Heaters

AM05 Black HeroBeautiful design and utility are, in many ways, paramount when it comes to home electronics. That's why I was really impressed by the the new AM05 space heater/cooler from Dyson. It's a completely quiet, blade-less system that comes in a black and nickel color scheme that looks like it fell off of Boba Fett's Slave 1.


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Google working on experimental 3.8 Linux kernel for Android

Kernel version

Google has opened a public kernel repository, marked as experimental, for the Linux 3.8 kernel. The kernel repo is built from the standard Linux kernel, with Android modifications added by the folks in Mountain View working on the Android project. 

The reason this is good news? 3.8 includes three important and interesting changes for mobile devices -- support for open source NVIDIA Tegra and Samsung Exynos DRM drivers, support for the Flash-Friendly File-System, and a lower memory footprint -- in some cases much lower. Having native support means less development time by Google or anyone else building the kernel for Android, and everyone loves more memory for apps instead of the system.

It's important to realize that this is by no means official support. Currently, Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean ships with the 3.4 kernel on the Nexus 4, but versions 3.0 and 3.3 are supported as well for other Jelly Bean devices. Maybe we'll see 3.8 in the next version of Android.

Source: Phoronix


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Secret of the Stars Gives Us More Awesome Auto-tuned Neil Tyson and Michio Kaku

Secret of the Stars Gives Us More Awesome Auto-tuned Neil Tyson and Michio Kaku
The next great autotuned science music video is out, tackling Einstein's most famous equation.


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ZEN & TECH 53: Fitness month balance special

Georgia and Rene finish up Mobile Nations Fitness Month by talking about balance. Exercise, nutrition, and sleep are great, but how do you fit them into your hectic work, school, and family life? Find out!

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Seeking Social Business Leaders For 2013

Help us identify the organizations making the best use of social technologies in support of their businesses. We will showcase the winners at the E2 Conference in Boston.


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Oracle Appeals Google Verdict, Fights 'Software Exceptionalism'

Oracle tries to undo Google's successful defense of Android by claiming that software code is no different than literary text in matters of copyright.


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Intel takes on ARM in low-cost Android tablet market

One of the first low-cost Android tablets with an Intel x86 processor was announced at Mobile World Congress, setting the stage for a long battle between the world's largest chip maker and ARM, whose processors go into most tablets today. Asustek released a 7-inch tablet running a single-core Intel Atom Z2420 processor code-named Lexington, which is targeted at low-cost smartphones and tablets. Priced at $249, the tablet has 3G voice and data capabilities, and Asus claims it offers nine hours of battery life. The tablet includes multiple cameras and a 1280 x 800 pixel screen.


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Getaround Launches A New iPhone App To Simplify Peer-To-Peer Car Rentals

GetaroundLogo_RGB copyPeer-to-peer car rental startup (and TechCrunch Disrupt winner) Getaround is built around the idea of helping customers to make use of cars they own, which are sitting around not being driven most of the time. Also, to help those without cars to quickly and easily gain access to one that’s sitting around and actually use it.


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Impala Infotainment System Valet Mode

The 2014 Chevrolet Impala has a new PIN-locked cubby that let's you stash your stash.


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LG To Write Next Chapter For HP WebOS

LG says it will use its newly acquired mobile operating system in smart TVs, not mobile devices. But what else does LG have in its smartphone arsenal?


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Oracle Appeals Google Verdict, Fights 'Software Exceptionalism'

Oracle tries to undo Google's successful defense of Android by claiming that software code is no different than literary text in matters of copyright.


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Samsung Wallet Is Just Like Passbook, But on Android

Samsung Wallet Is Just Like Passbook, But on Android
Whether you agree with it or not, Samsung gets accused of ripping off Apple just about every time they roll out a new marquee phone or tablet. On Wednesday, the company unveiled Samsung Wallet, a new Android app that looks ...


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Game on! | Toy Story: Smash It! Incoming to iOS/Android

Game on! | Toy Story: Smash It! Incoming to iOS/Android
With Disney Interactive upping their game on Disney Infinity it would be easy to forget about its other properties. Toy Story: Smash It! Is a 3D Physics Puzzler set in the world of the popular Toy Story films.


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