If Vine still leaves you pining for the choppiness of GIFs, Microsoft’s got you covered — on Windows Phone 8, at least. Redmond’s Blink app, which helps smartphone photographers capture bursts of images, has hit version 2.0 and scored the ability to create short animated clips, aptly dubbed Blinks. In addition to the bite-sized videos, the latest update bakes in camera settings in capture mode, sharing to social networks and web galleries for shared creations. Microsoft Research also released Blink Cliplets for Windows 8 and RT, which allows users to layer static and dynamic elements atop footage. Hit the break to check out the new release of Blink in action, or jab the first source link for the download.
Via: Windows Phone Blog
No need to envy your iPhone- and iPad-toting friends anymore just because they can catch the latest episodes of _Bates Motel_ or _Dance Moms _on the go. Streaming apps from A&E, History Channel and Lifetime have just arrived on Android, and you can access content even if you’re not a cable subscriber. Naturally, the entire roster of shows and episodes isn’t available — in some cases, you can only watch clips instead of full episodes — but Comcast or DirecTV subscribers who log in will have more to choose from. Should you need new companions for solitary nights, hit the source links below to download the apps on your device.
Via: Android Police
Netflix mentioned another European country was in its sights for this year and tonight it’s announced the new region it will service is the Netherlands. As is its custom, it will be offering Dutch viewers a package of movies and TV shows for one low price, including its ever-growing slate of original series. There’s no word yet on what that price will be, an exact launch date or what devices will be supported, but interested residents can sign up for alerts at Netflix.nl starting today.
Planning on turning on your PS3 for some _The Last of Us_ action tonight? According to a thread on the PlayStation Support forums, if you’re prompted to install the latest firmware update version 4.45 then you may want to hold of for now. A number of owners are reporting their systems locks up while booting, although the problem may only affect users with hard drives installed that are 500GBs or larger. According to the changelog, it was supposed to allow users to select whether or not they want an in-game notification when a trophy is earned. Check the thread for more details, if we hear more from Sony then we’ll let you know when it’s safe to press OK.
Via: @Wario64 (Twitter)
Jelly Bean has been making its way to ever cheaper phones in recent months, and that’s very conspicuous with the launch of Virgin Mobile’s new Samsung Galaxy Ring. For $180, you’re getting Android 4.1 in a price range where 4.0 is still common. You’re also getting a surprisingly capable device under the hood — while there’s no LTE, the prepaid handset carries a reasonably quick 1.4GHz processor, a 4-inch screen, a 5MP rear camera and a 1.3MP front-facing sensor. We’d still consider shelling out a little more cash for a future-ready 4G device, but Virgin users determined to scrimp and save can pick up the Galaxy Ring today.
Via: Android Community
Scanadu clearly knows to tap into our collective _Star Trek_ dreams, as the company just reached $1 million in funding for its Scout tricorder. The backing so far comes from people in 91 countries, including luminaries like Eugene Roddenberry (who else?) and Steve Wozniak. That figure is more than symbolic, we’d add — backers who’ve paid for a Scout can now get theirs in black rather than a clinical-looking white. Should the new color option prove tempting, it’s not necessarily too late; as of this writing, there’s still a few days left to make a pledge.
He was nominated to replace Julian Genachowski as chairman of the Federal Communications Commission a mere six weeks ago, and before he’s even got the job, Tom Wheeler’s making headlines. _Ars Technica_ reports that would-be chairman Wheeler wants what many (all?) cell phone owners want — the ability to unlock our phones free from fear of legal retribution. The way he sees things, when folks have bought and paid for their phones and are contract-free, they “ought to have the right to use the device and move it across carriers.” Unfortunately, while he’s staked out his position on the matter, he has yet to say exactly how he plans to make phone unlocking legal, be it through legislation or other means. The good news is, he’s not the boss just yet, so he’s got time to address those niggling details while he waits to be confirmed as the new chairman.
The E3 and WWDC news surges have finally calmed, so now we’re back into the normal weekly groove. This week, Ben details his time using an Oculus Rift to watch recorded video and Richard attempts to ride out E3 as long as possible with our roundup. All that and more is ready to stream straight to your ears below.
Producer: Joe Pollicino (@akaTRENT)
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To use NVIDIA’s graphics technology, you’ve typically had to buy gadgets using NVIDIA chips — good for the company’s bottom line, but not for influencing the industry as a whole. The firm is expanding its ambition today with plans to license some of that technology on a broader scale. Beginning with the Kepler architecture, other firms can use NVIDIA’s GPU cores and graphics-related patents for their own processors and chipsets. The deal could affect a wide range of hardware, but it mostly pits NVIDIA against the likes of Imagination Technologies: a system-on-chip designer could integrate a Logan-based GPU instead of the PowerVR series, for example. While it will be some time before third-party silicon ships with NVIDIA inside, it’s already clear that the company’s in-house design is now just one part of a larger strategy.
Today we had a chance to play with Qualcomm’s latest dev tablet (MDP) which packs the company’s mighty Snapdragon 800 SoC (MSM8974). The device is slightly larger than last year’s MDP and features a 11.6-inch 1920 x 1080 pixel display, 2GB of LPDDR3 RAM, 32GB of built-in flash storage (with microSD expansion) and a 12 megapixel AF rear camera with flash (2MP in front). All of this is crammed into a light (xxlbs) and slim (xx inches) chassis that’s powered by a 3400mAh Li-ion battery and includes a bevvy of radios (LTE, WiFi ac, Bluetooth 4 LE, GPS, NFC) and sensors (including pressure and humidity).
We put the Snapdragon 800-equipped MDP through its paces by running our usual suite of benchmarks (plus a few more). The results? Prepare for ludicrous speed.
_Nicole Lee contributed to this report._
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