Samsung plans to ship half a billion handsets in 2013

According to The Korea Times, the phone manufacturer expects itself to ship over half a billion handsets -- 510 million to be exact -- next year.

In 2012 alone, Samsung shipped an estimated 420 million devices. If we go by next year's projections, it's aiming for a 20 percent jump in devices shipped.

Of the 510 million devices forecast, 390 million units are expected to be smartphones, while the remaining 120 million will be feature phones.

Also in Samsung's plans are more Microsoft Windows 8 handsets, and an executive at Samsung's telecommunications department noted the high user demand for LTE devices.

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Here comes Microsoft Surface Pro, 64 bits and all

Microsoft's Windows 8 Pro version of the Surface will arrive soon, giving consumers probably one the highest performing tablets to date.
Microsoft is already dropping not-so-subtle hints that the device is coming "early in 2013." And now it appears to have made its debut at the FCC.
Let's look at what else Microsoft is saying about the 2-pound tablet that sets it apart from the current Surface RT tablet.

  • 64-bit computing in a tablet: Surface with Windows 8 Pro is "a 64-bit tablet PC." That's not a trivial point. You get all of the goodness of 64-bit computing via Intel's power-efficient Core i5 Ivy Bridge processors. Surface RT, on the other hand, is 32-bit only.
  • Security: Support for the same level of security you can expect with any corporate Windows laptop. And Microsoft includes sBitLocker, which encrypts your hard drive's data.
  • Pen: It includes a pen. That's really a holdover from the Windows 7 slates but something that some business customers still want.
  • Mini DisplayPort/display: This allows connection to large high-resolution displays (e.g., Apple Cinema Display). That said, the Surface Pro's 10.6-inch (16:9) 1,920x1,080-pixel display is already the same resolution of some desktop displays. Other ports include a full-size USB 3.0, microSDXC card slot, headset jack, and Cover port
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Facebook quietly tests new Timeline design

Facebook has been quietly testing a new Timeline design, the company has confirmed.
The world's largest social network yesterday confirmed to ABC News that it's testing a new Timeline design "with a small percentage of people." The move, the spokesperson told ABC News, is to "make navigating Timeline even easier."
According to ABC News, which tested out the new Timeline, the design includes a tabbed look, allowing users to switch between friends, photos, and a person's About page. In addition, Facebook's current method of displaying Timeline updates by placing them in two columns has been modified to show updates on the left and friend and photo information on the right side.

In addition, when scrolling through a profile page, it automatically scrolls through a person's "about" information and then goes to friends, followed by photos, all within the same pane.
That's not all Facebook is doing. According to Facebook blog InsideFacebook, the social network lets users drag and drop photos into their publisher box -- the space in which users post photos and updates. In addition, users can drag and drop multiple photos into the box at once.
According to InsideFacebook, the drag-and-drop feature is being rolled out and will eventually come to all users. Whether the Timeline update will make its way across the social network is unknown at this point.
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Suspected security hole found in many Samsung devices

A suspected security hole affecting a handful of Samsung smartphones could give apps access to user data and leave the handset vulnerable to malicious apps and bricking, according to a developer.

The vulnerability, which was discovered and detailed by an XDA member with the handle "alephzain," lies in Exynos 4, the ARM-based system-on-chip typically found in Samsung smartphones and tablets. Alephzain developed an exploit he said bypasses the system permissions, allowing any app to extract data from the device's RAM or inject malicious code into the kernel.

Alephzain said that he stumbled upon the vulnerability while trying to find a new way to root his Galaxy S3, but that the exploit affects the Galaxy S2, Galaxy Note, and Meizu MX as well. However, the Nexus 10 is unaffected as it uses the Exynos 5 chip.

The good news is we can easily obtain root on these devices and the bad is there is no control over it

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Apple expected to launch iPad 5 in March 2013

Apple, which recently launched the fourth iteration of its popular iPad tablet, is now rumoured to come up with the fifth version of the iPad in March 2013, says a report from Macotakara, a Japanese website.
The report claims that the next-gen iPad, unofficially dubbed "iPad 5," will be lighter and smaller than the current model, which is heavier and thicker than the iPad 2 because of the circuitry that is used to power the device's Retina display. The new tablet will take the design refrences from the iPad mini, states the report.
If Apple unveils the next-gen iPad in March, it will be around five months after the brand unveiled the fourth generation version. The announcement of the fifth version of the iPad may come out to be true as we have seen Apple launching the fourth version six months after the new iPad (iPad 3) launch. 

The report also noted that Apple is working on the next-gen iPad Mini, which is speculated to have a 7.9-inch Retina Display with a resolution of 2048x1536 pixels, and come powered by an A6X processor that powers the Apple iPad 4. The next-gen iPad Mini is likely to enter the trial at the end of this month.
Slashgear last month had reported that Apple has chosen AU Optronics, one of Apple's suppliers of 1024x768 panels for the iPad mini, to build a Retina Display for the next-gen iPad mini, which is said to have a pixel density of 324 ppi.
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Changes & Advances In Gaming

The world of electronic gaming is constantly evolving and expanding, sometimes so quickly that it’s difficult to keep pace. With new gaming devices and technologies constantly coming out, and new gaming websites sprouting up and growing nonstop, it’s easy to fall behind a bit on the latest trends and technologies in gaming. With that in mind, here are a few words on the most significant advances and changes we’ve seen recently in different types of gaming.

Increased Interaction
Undoubtedly, the biggest shift in the world of gaming in recent years is the increased interactive capabilities in various genres of video games. In fact, even if you play a number of these games, you may not quite have noticed just how large a role Internet interaction plays. The best example is probably the online multiplayer modes now seen in popular console games from Call Of Duty: Black Ops 2 to FIFA 2013. However, interaction with online communities is prevalent in other types of gaming as well. For example, consider the widespread popularity of mobile app games such as Words With Friends, in which people are able to compete against friends, family, and even strangers from all over the world, at the touch of a button. This level of interaction has completely transformed the gaming industry. 

Gaming Regulation
While not specifically a technological revolution of any kind, the spread of gaming regulation is drastically altering (and improving) one of the most active markets in the world of gaming: casino games. Sites like Party Poker that offer users the complete casino experience online are being legally enabled to practice real money gambling all over the world, which is leading to the expansion of a lucrative industry. With many believing that increased regulation will soon spread to the United States as well, the potential for growth in casino gaming online is simply too large to measure.

Dynamic Consoles
A few years ago, with the release of the Nintentdo Wii (followed by Playstation Move and XBox Kinect), the concept of motion sensitive gaming devices became available in people’s homes. Motion controls have since improved, and now there are massive selections of games for popular consoles that involve everything from motion control to voice recognition. Now, consoles may be taking the next step in branching out, as the introduction of the new Nintendo Wii U appears to be a potential game changer. The Wii U offers users a choice between ordinary controls, and an advanced controller complete with its own screen – the idea is that the advanced controller can be used as a portable console, and can allow you to continue a game after turning off your main television. This new system provides a few interesting ideas for where the console industry may be heading next.
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