Samsung gets edgy, Lenovo dumps the crap, HTC revives Valve, Ikea furniture charges devices, Google saves Blogger porn, and the real-life Batman suit.
Samsung Unveils the Galaxy S6
Samsung has unveiled the Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 Edge at a press event in Barcelona ahead of the 2015 Mobile World Congress. Both phones, which are identical apart from the curved screen of the Edge, will be available worldwide on April 10. Samsung hasn’t yet revealed the pricing details, but it’s thought the Edge will be priced slightly higher than the standard S6.
For the S6, Samsung has ditched the plastic of its previous models in favor of metal and glass. Specs include an octacore processor, a 5.1-inch QHD Super AMOLED display, 3GB of RAM, between 32GB and 128GB of internal storage, and a 16-megapixel camera. There is also internal support for wireless charging, and faster USB charging than previous models.
As expected after it acquired LoopPay, Samsung is developing its own mobile payments system simply called Samsung Pay. It isn’t quite ready to debut at the same time as the Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 Edge, but when it is launched in the summer it should be accepted at 90 percent of retailers.
Lenovo Promises to Kill Bloatware
When asked for comment on Lenovo’s new no-crapware policy, Oracle said “would you like to install the Ask toolbar?”
— Avdi Grimm (@avdi) February 27, 2015
Lenovo has promised to stop installing crapware (also known as bloatware or junkware) on its computers. This follows on from the Chinese manufacturer being heavily criticized for pre-loading its laptops with Superfish, which can so easily be classified as malware.
Lenovo issued a statement saying, “We are starting immediately, and by the time we launch our Windows 10 products, our standard image will only include the operating system and related software, software required to make hardware work well (for example, when we include unique hardware in our devices, like a 3D camera), security software and Lenovo applications. This should eliminate what our industry calls ‘adware’ and ‘bloatware.’ For some countries, certain applications customarily expected by users will also be included.”
This is an extremely good move on the part of Lenovo, as it could persuade other computer manufacturers to follow suit. However, with profit margins already thin for everybody but Apple, prices may have to rise in order to offset the costs of delivering clean, bloat-free computers. And there is still no guarantee this will allow Lenovo to regain the trust of geeks upset over Superfish.
HTC & Valve Reveal Re Vive
HTC and Valve have teamed up to create their own virtual reality headset. Called the HTC Re Vive, this VR headset joins the Oculus Rift, Sony’s Project Morpheus, and Microsoft’s HoloLens in offering a new way of looking at the world.
The HTC Re Vive uses a gyrosensor, an accelerometer, and a laser position sensor to track your head movements. A 1,200 x 1,080 screen will relay the images to each eye, with “ergonomic VR game controllers in each hand” allowing you to interact with the virtual world.
The developer edition will be available soon, with a consumer edition then launched before the 2015 holiday season. The promo video above certainly sets the scene, despite being a bit short on technical details.
Ikea Furniture Recharges Your Batteries
Just got in and out of an IKEA in less than 20 minutes and Alan Turing called and asked me to join his team at Bletchley Park.
— Bryan Donaldson (@TheNardvark) February 28, 2015
Ikea is launching a range of furniture capable of charging your mobile devices. The bedside tables, desks, and lamps have Qi wireless chargers built into them, which can then charge your devices via a small, Ikea-designed pad. The range will arrive in Ikea stores in Europe and America this April.
Google Reverses Ban on Blogger Porn
Google is banning porn from its Blogger platform which is basically like standing in the ocean and yelling at people to swim around you.
— Amanda Rosenberg (@AmandaRosenberg) February 24, 2015
Google has reversed its decision to ban adult content from Blogger. The search giant changed its mind only a few days after declaring adult content was soon to be prohibited on the blogging platform. It’s thought the number of complaints from users forced Google to rethink its position.
Google issued a statement saying, “This week, we announced a change to Blogger’s porn policy. We’ve had a ton of feedback, in particular about the introduction of a retroactive change (some people have had accounts for 10+ years), but also about the negative impact on individuals who post sexually explicit content to express their identities. Blog owners should continue to mark any blogs containing sexually explicit content as ‘adult’ so that they can be placed behind an ‘adult content’ warning page.”
We’re currently polling readers about their use of Internet porn, so please vote and/or comment if you have any thoughts about online pornography.
A Real-Life Batman Suit
And finally, as Batman has no superpowers and relies instead on a bottomless pot of money, engineering skills, and a level of bravery bordering on suicidal, he’s probably the most believable comic-book character around. If only his suit was real.
It’s a little closer to being real thanks to the efforts of Armatus Designs, which, as you can see in the video embedded above, has created a real-life Batman suit capable of withstanding some brutal punches. There is clearly still work to be done, but it is at least a start. [H/T Reddit]
Your Views on Today’s Tech News
Will you be buying the Samsung Galaxy S6? Are you more or less likely to buy a Lenovo laptop after the Superfish scandal? Would you like to own a punch-proof real-life Batman suit?
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