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Not happy with the Spider-man AR effect app that Sony has already released, it has now published another one. This one ties in with the latest movie, hence is called “The Amazing Spider-Man 2 AR effect” app. This one works slightly differently and is also only available in selected regions worldwide.

Once you download the app from the Google Play Store, you are allowed one pose of Spider-Man to play with. However, there are 12 altogether. The catch is that to unlock all 12 poses you need to visit a Sony Brand Shops where you will receive a free voucher code (Sony trying its best to get people into stores).

Within the AR effect you can move Spider-Man left and right, rotate him up/down/left/right to help strike that perfect pose. You can also resize Spider-Man to best fit into the picture.

The promotion is live in the following countries: Brazil, Mexico, Argentina, Peru, Chile, Panama, Colombia, Ecuador, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Guatemala, El Salvador, Kenya, Tanzania, Bahrain, Mauritius, India, Vietnam, Philippines, Hong Kong and Russia.

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Sony Xperia Z3 Review

Categories: Reviews, Tech
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Sony has released not one but two Z3 handsets recently. The other is the Z3 Compact, but this one is the hero device — bigger, but does that mean it’s necessarily better?

The Xperia Z3 looks similar to its predecessor, with the same glass back and front on a metallic casing. But this time the edges are a little more rounded, taking the edge off the overall ‘slabness’ of what is, let’s face it, a pretty hefty phablet. That’s a welcome addition, as is the sliver sliced off the thickness bringing it down to a whisker over 7mm and the 9g reduction in weight.

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Screen & chassis
The screen size remains the same at 5.2 inches, though the resolution has been beefed up to 1,920×1,080 pixels. It’s strikingly clear and sharp, using Sony’s telly technology to deliver deep contrasts and vivid colours. The pixel count may not be as high as some, but Sony’s defence that the supposed (very small) improvement in picture quality delivered by resolutions significantly higher than full HD just isn’t worth the price of reduced battery life does seem to hold some water here.

Like other high-end Xperias, it’s waterproof and dustproof, capable of surviving a freshwater dunking of up to half an hour in 1.5m of fresh water — meaning it can survive much more than getting splashed a spilled drink or an accidental dip in the bath.

Software & processor
The Z3 is running the very latest 4.4.4 version of Android KitKat with the usual design tweaks from Sony, plus a whole slew of extra features, including the Lifelog health tracker, Sony Select — which pulls together various apps — and PlayStation, so you can play your PlayStation games on your phone anywhere around your home.

The quad-core processor is clocked at 2.5GHz and backed by 3GB RAM. That means it’s fast, basically, and it delivered a score of 42,276 in our usual AnTuTu benchmark test. That’s not quite up there with Samsung’s latest Galaxy designs like the Alpha or Note 4 but it’s still impressively slick and powerful, whipping through menus and balancing a handful of apps simultaneously with no sign of slow down.

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Photography

At first glance the 20.7-megapixel camera appears to be the same as the Z2’s, but closer inspection reveals that there have been some improvements — the lens is a little wider and the ISO sensitivity has been bumped up to 12,800. This being Sony it has plenty of options to play with, including Smile Shutter and face registration, as well as a wide range of modes and effects like timeshift video and background defocus.

The wider lens, along with that additional ISO sensitivity, plus Sony’s Exmor RS sensor all make for better quality snaps in low light, but the autofocus isn’t quite as fast as we’d like and we often found ourselves with a frustrating wait of a second or two while it got itself together. In general, the auto settings could often be a bit hit and miss, especially if you’re in a hurry, but if you’re prepared to take some time to play with the settings, the Z3’s camera has plenty to offer, with realistic colours and plenty of detail to reward your patience. And of course, the physical shutter button on the side means you can take underwater shots too.

The Z3 comes with 16GB of in-built memory, which might not sound like much to app fiends, but you can add up to 128GB via microSD card.

The 3,100mAh battery held up very well in our testing, and if we didn’t quite the full two days that Sony suggests, we were close enough to believe that with a little care it can easily be done. And for a high-end, demanding handset like this, that’s impressive.

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Conclusion
Sony has been revising its Z series and it’s getting steadily better. The distinctive blocky shape has been softened and the specs remain impressively high, with a terrific screen, powerful processor, waterproofing and outstanding camera. And of course, if you already happen to have a PlayStation at home, your next quality handset is really just a choice between the Z3 and its Compact cousin.

Bad NeighBours Movie Review

Categories: News, Reviews, Tech
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Seth Rogen’s boy next door star quality takes on a literal twist in Bad Neighbours, director Nicholas Stoller’s deceptively intelligent, lowbrow comedy about a 30-something couple whose peaceful lives turn to chaos when a fraternity house moves in next door.
The pitch is Animal House in the ‘burbs crossed with a Grumpy Old Men-esque story of neighbours at war, the overarching themes a mixture of adults behaving like children and youth grudgingly accepting the need to grow up.
Stoller’s delivery is anything but preachy. He keeps one hand on the proverbial bong, feeding audiences a spoonful of fermented sugar to help the medicine go down. Bad Neighbours is stocked with wastoid humour — epic house parties, weed and beer jokes and occasional gross-outs — before it arrives at something slightly more meaningful.
Rogen plays Mac Radner and Rose Byrne, equally well cast, is his wife Kelly. The story begins deeply rooted in everyday middle of the road, middle class America – a nuclear family and nine-to five job.
Mac and Kelly are interrupted having sex by their newborn baby; office work is a grind for dad; the couple wonder what to do with a babysitter and so forth – all a normal everyday grind until mischievous yoof arrive to deal a deathblow to peace in the neighbourhood through extensive liver and sinus damage.
“They’re going to be loud, obviously, and they’re going to party a lot,” Mac correctly deduces when a moving truck arrives with Teddy (Zac Efron), Pete (Dave Franco) and their booze and dope hungry minions. Mac and Kelly come up with a game plan to play it cool. After some Seinfeldian banter about how to casually ask new neighbours to keep it down, they decide to present the crew with a welcoming gift: a joint.
“In this neighbourhood we don’t keep off the grass,” says Mac, but after an attempt to connect via partying, the plan to keep their neighbours under control spectacularly backfires. Reminiscent of Rolf de Heer’s under-appreciated 2012 gem The King is Dead!, Bad Neighbours is a story of nice people driven to desperation when all their options – including assistance from authorities – are extinguished, much to the delight of screenwriters forcing them into all sorts of curly situations.
The two lead characters want peace and quiet but it’s immediately obvious they ain’t gonna get it: the fraternity boys’ idea of standing on the shoulders of historical giants is to drink booze out of a shoe mixed with vomit. The feuds between the two camps are petty and vulgar, with faint suggestions of mutual respect a la Bull Murray and Jason Schwartzman going tit-for-tat in Wes Anderson’s Rushmore (1998).
Watching Rogen and Byrne try to stay “with it” in the manner of people young enough to know vaguely how to be cool, but too old to pull it off, is good fun. Their chemistry keeps even the film’s weaker moments (including icky jokes that feel like off-cuts from a Farrelly brothers movie) palatable.

The Advertising Standards Authority of South Africa (ASASA) has ruled that the Xperia Z1 cannot be marketed as being “waterproof”. This follows a complaint from a woman who claims the device stopped working a day after she had used it in water. She claims that all ports were closed but the phone still stopped working.

A Sony repair centre said that the phone ports were not properly shut and would not repair the handset under warranty. Her carrier also wouldn’t repair the phone insisting that the Xperia Z1 is merely “water resistant” and not “waterproof” as claimed by Sony. Therefore the woman was left with a ZAR 9,000 (£500, €636, $805) paperweight.

Sony’s response to the matter was that her carrier was wrong in asserting that the device is onlywater-resistant. However, the ASASA ruled that “the semantic difference between a term such as “waterproof” and “water resistant” might carry two very different meanings”.

Therefore, Sony can no longer describe the Xperia Z1 as being “waterproof” in South Africa. It will be interesting to see whether similar judgements get passed in other countries. Sony’s new Xperia Z3 series have the highest level of dust and water resistance found in a mobile device (IP68 certified), however they still have ports that leave the phone susceptible to damage if left open.

Excerpt from ASASA ruling on promoting the Sony Xperia Z1 as “waterproof”

The Directorate notes that some of the marketing material available on the respondent’s website indicates that the claim of being “waterproof” is not intended to be an absolute claim. The “White paper | XperiaTM Z1” document states, inter alia, that the phone is “Smart, sleek and waterproof*”, but then caveats this statement by commenting as follows:

  • “And due to its IP55/IP58 rating, this slim and sleek smartphone is both water and dust resistant …”
  • “… is protected against the ingress of dust and is waterproof. Provided that all the covers for the micro USB port, the micro SIM slot and the memory card slot are firmly closed, the phone is (i) protected against low pressure jets from all practicable directions … and/or (ii) can be kept under 1.50 metres of freshwater for up to 30 minutes … For more information, go towww.sonymobile.com/zperia-z1-waterresistant”.
  • “… The phone is not designed to float or work outside the IP55 and IP58 classification range that may lead to your warranty being void …”

It can be accepted that, depending on the context, the semantic difference between a term such as “waterproof” and “water resistant” might carry two very different meanings to the hypothetical reasonable person.

Common dictionary definitions for “waterproof” includes explanations such as “not penetrable by water”, or “impervious to water”, whereas “water-resistant” is generally described and defined as something that is able to resist water (usually for a limited time), but that is not entirely able to prevent the penetration of water.

It is apparent from the above that the phone’s capabilities appear to be more aligned with what is commonly understood to be “water-resistant”. From the respondent’s submissions as well as the information obtained in its marketing material and on its website, it is clear that the phone can effectively resist or repel fresh water, only up to a depth of 1,5m, and only for a limited time.

Accordingly the term “waterproof” in a context that appears to align with “water-resistant” is misleading, and in contravention of Clause 4.2.1 of Section II of the Code.

Given the above finding:

  • The word “waterproof” in relation to this phone must be withdrawn;
  • The process to withdraw the word “waterproof” in relation to this phone must be actioned with immediate effect on receipt of ruling;
  • The withdrawal of the word “waterproof” must be completed within the deadlines stipulated by Clause 15.3 of the Procedural Guide; and
  • The word “waterproof” may not be used again in relation to this phone in manner that suggests anything other than water-resistant capabilities.

The respondent’s attention is drawn to the provisions of Clause 15.5 of the Procedural Guide, which effectively requires it to amend its advertising on all media platforms where the device in question is being promoted.

The complaint is upheld.

Huawei tease with .. 7 Mates ?

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So what do we have here? Are Huawei teasing 7 new devices? Or is just one device getting launched at IFA and we’re just getting bombarded with buzz words?

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The video seems to suggest a glamorous device or devices that can keep up with your life, dynamically changing from a work handset to one that can get you gaming, playing with your kids and .. umm.. watching football while being an archaeologist.

We’re not too sure what’s going on to be fair, but the number 7 seems to play a big part and they’re mentioning “material and artistry” a bit. Either way, the full details will be announced at 3PM CEST on September 4th. Keep tuned for further news, or follow us on Twitter.

If you can work out what’s going on, Huawei would like to know “what kind of dreamer” you are. Personally, I’m a daydreamer… Oh look, a rainbow…

What? You want rumours and details? OK. It’s the oh-my-god-that’s-a-large-thing-to-be-making-calls-on Ascend Mate 7. A chuffin massive “phablet”, which should (with a 6″ screen) actually be just classed as a tablet in our opinion. The video basically seems to contain it alongside a Huawei smartband and Bluetooth headset. The Mate 7 is expected to have Android 4.4 KitKat, the new Huawei Emotion UI, a quad-core CPU, 13 megapixel rear cam, 5 megapixel front and 16GB. Of storage with a microSD slot for more.

That 6″ screen (and yes, it is a bit weird having a 6″ screen on a device called the “7″) has a 1080×1920 pixel resolution and it’s said to do 4G along with the usual WiFi / GPS and Bluetooth tech.

I just  recently got the Lumia 930 which I love to be honest  and one of my favorites services is MixRadio which has made me stop using the other services that I were using in the past such as Spotify or Google Music. While using MixRadio I have discovered a couple of different things that I really enjoy about the service.

  1. I got an awesome friend Dean that works for MixRadio. In fact I think that you should follow him on Twitter. 
  2. Easy way to discover new music – the different mixes has allowed me to discover new music that I have not listened to before.  To be honest I have started listening to Spanish music even tough I do not know a word of spanish, except for the few words that I have learned while listening
  3. The app – you can see that the team behind MixRadio has put a lot of work behind their app.
  4.  Another app related reason. Their Windows 8 app is really awesome and the way it works in snap mode allows me to continue working with other apps and still enjoy the music
  5. You can create new Mixes that you can enjoy. Much more fun and enjoyable then creating playslists
  6. The “Play Me” button is awesome – love how it creates mixes based on what I have liked in the past and what you told the app that you liekd when you first started it.
  7. You can update the audio  quality easy within the settings menu if you subscribe to the premium version
  8. There is an option to create new music mixes based on the music that you now have on your desktop
  9. If you are using hte free version there is no adds that interups the service. You got limitless music to listen to right there in your pocket.
  10. Better battery life – compared to other music services I have noticed that with MixRadio the battery does not go down as much as I am used to when using Xbox Music or Spotify Premium.

 

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Udell Enterprises, Inc, the same developer that brought us Wearable Widgets, is now back with another Android Wear app. This time, it’s a unique watch face that borrows its design from the analog meters of yore.

 

Meter Watch Face gets a lot of things right and manages to overcome most of the limitations caused by the lack of an official watch face API for Wear. It uses three white meters with black text and a mid-screen vertical red indicator when the screen is active. The third meter scrolls in a continuous animation with each passing second. In the always-on mode, the watch face switches to a battery-friendly white text on a black background design and the seconds meter disappears.

  

Thanks to its design, Meter Watch Face manages to partially circumvent the large notification card issue—the card will only hide the seconds and minutes meters, but not the date or hour. And finally, the app is ready for round watches too.

It’s Friday night, what would be an ideal activity? Pre ordering a phone that doesn’t officially exist yet. And that phone is the much hyped premium material Samsung Galaxy Alpha. Which we saw leakedthe other week.
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Well anyway Mobilefun have opened up pre orders for the Galaxy Alpha asking £549 pounds for it. Whether or not this will be the final price for it remains to be seen. They’ve even used a leaked image from SamMobile too. No official images here.

Mobilefun have also published details of what might be the final specs. Let’s have a look:

- Display: 4.7″ Super AMOLED with 1280 x 720 pixels (320 ppi pixel density)
– Memory: 32GB
– OS: Android 4.4.2 (KitKat)
– Processor: Octa-core Exynos
– Connectivity: Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0 with A2DP, EDR, LE, Micro USB, GPS
– Camera: 12MP with superfast autofocus, LED flash, video and secondary 2.1MP camera

Is this just a case of a retailer trying to piece together leaks to catch a few eager customers itching to get hold of the latest device? Or is this just Mobilefun using insider info and jumping the gun a little bit? No doubt we’ll hear officially from Samsung in a few weeks time. If you fancy ordering one you can here.

Hello world!

Categories: Tech
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