Google video service approved for Kansas City

Quick, everybody – get you Nostradamus hats on. Google has applied for a license to distribute an at-home video service in Kansas City, Missouri, which has become unofficially known as “the luckiest city in America” after the company chose it as the test site for its fiber-optic Internet service. Regulators approved their application late last month, meaning that Kansas City could well become the very first place that Google starts competing directly with cable and satellite television providers. Their internet infrastructure would almost certainly form the backbone of this video service.

Hold up, Kansas City Stars: there’s nothing here that guarantees the Big G will actually follow through with the application. The approval simply gives them the option of delivering traditional television services in the area, if they so choose. It’s certainly indicative of Google’s future intentions – after all, what better way to compliment Google TV than its own television service? But as of now, this is all theoretical. You know, like Google’s HUD glasses. Or Their self-driving cars. Or that crazy story about Google buying a mobile OS called Android.

What could Google do with a terrestrial television service? First of all, they’ve got enough diversified money to offer it at a price point that would crush competition wherever they went. With a little integrated advertising magic, it could easily become a profitable and cheap alternative to expensive satellite and cable options, especially when running on Google’s own data lines. We can dare to dream that Google might listen to the long-standing wish of TV patrons everywhere and offer a-la-cart programming, something that’s been denied to pay TV customers for decades in favor of expensive bundles.

Of course, to do this, Google would need to secure the channels and other video content from providers… something they haven’t been all that great at historically. Give it a try, Google – what have you got to lose?

[via The Verge]

Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 10.1 drops by the FCC

If it’s taken you this long to purchase a Galaxy Tab 10.1 and you’re not swayed by the Galaxy Note 10.1‘s fancy-pants stylus input, this one may interest you. The Galaxy Tab 2 (10.1-inch version – man, Sammy really needs to work on these names) passed through the hallowed halls of the FCC today. There was never any real doubt that the Galaxy Tab 2 was heading to the US, and will probably be available on one or more carriers as well as a WiFi-only version. That said, this looks like the advance guard international version that manufacturers tend to send through the FCC as a matter of course.

The 10.1-inch version of the Galaxy Tab 2 brings Ice Cream Sandwich and not much else to the original design. The same 1Ghz processor and 1GB RAM combo are present on the inside, with an identical 16 or 32GB of storage (though at least you get an SD card option this time. The screen is the same 10-inch 1280×800 panel, although the front fascia is a little remodeled to appease the lawyers in Cupertino with stereo speakers on either side. The real draw here is Ice Cream Sandwich (with Samsung’s customary TouchWiz, of course) but since the original 10.1 will get that anyway, you’re really payer for a new name, swappable storage and some front-facing speakers.

The model number of the tablet that the FCC is checking out is “GT-P5110″, which would put it just above the current Tab family in terms of Samsung’s hierarchy. As this is the WiFi model, no carriers are currently lined up, but it’s a distinct possibility. Samsung hasn’t said when the Galaxy Tab 2 will go on sale (or even if the 10.1-inch version will be coming to the US) but it’s more than likely that we’ll see it in multiple territories before May.

[via Liliputing]

Qualcomm Spark launches – helps push boundaries of mobile computing

Today Qualcomm has just announced the release of a brand new mobile computing and technology startup called Spark. This isn’t an app for Android, or something that will be inside of HTC or other Qualcomm powered devices — instead it’s a place for creators to come and spark ideas, invent the unimaginable and more.

This is more than just a place or a blog to share ideas. It is a digital magazine where communities of inventors and tech fans alike can not only learn of new ideas, but to share them and help each other look for the next big thing. The next amazing creation in this ever growing and expanding world of mobile computing we live in. Qualcomm themselves, industry leaders and analysts can all join together and talk about ideas, share perspectives and more with Qualcomm Spark.

They are calling it the Spark blog but it’s much more than that. Qualcomm isn’t just a company that builds processors. They innovate, research, and create. With things like Mirasol displays and more they have plenty of ideas for the world of mobile. Chairman and CEO of Qualcomm, Dr. Paul Jacobs talks about Qualcomm Spark in detail with the video below that should help any wandering minds.

Qualcomm hopes that Spark will help them and others to push the boundaries of mobile computing. In future releases to the Spark Blog we can expect to see real life stories of inventions and creations that will help Spark current or future ideas beyond anything we’ve seen so far in this crazy world of technology. Interesting to say the least. I can’t wait to see some of the awesome ideas or creations that come from this new initiative.

[via Qualcomm]

Humble Bundle 2: “Pay What You Want” for 5 Great Indie Games

Humble Bundle 2 was just released today and not only does it bring some great games to Android it also supports some great developers and charities (Child’s Play Charity, Electronic Frontier Foundation). For those of you who don’t know, Humble Bundle is a set of games that allows you to pay whatever price you want for four games, although if you meet or beat the average donation amount ($6.05 as I write this) you get an additional fifth game thrown in to the mix. After you pick your donation amount you get to decide where your monies go. You can give it all to charity, developers, or a combination of both. There is even a spot to tip your Humble host.

In its second iteration, Humble Bundle 2 includes Zen Bound 2, Canabalt, Cogs, Avadon: The Black Fortress, and a bonus for those who aren’t cheapskates – Swords and Soldiers. One great thing about this deal is that it is cross-platform capable, you can install all games on any platform, making it a deal worth around $57. You have two weeks to get in on the action so whenever you are ready and feeling generous head on over to their website. In the meantime check out the explanation/demo video after the break.

Click here to view the embedded video.




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HTC Sensation, Sensation XE and Vivid Get ICS Kernel Source Published

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Developers, rejoice! HTC has released the Ice Cream Sandwich kernel source for a few of their phones. The HTC Sensation, HTC Sensation XE, and the HTC Vivid are all getting treatment today. Kernel source code helps developers make custom ROMs and you can bet developers will be hard at work whipping up some Ice Cream flavored goods before too long. If you fit the bill of the type of person who will need these files, get to for the downloads. [via Android Police]

Sharp RW-T110 tablet has Gingerbread and lots of cheek

What’s more annoying than a brand-new Android device that’s running an OS version behind? One that’s running two versions behind, with no clear reason for doing so. Sharp’s just unveiled their RW-T110 tablet for the Japanese business market, and as the title suggests, it’s running Android 2.3 Gingerbread out of the box. For the sake of completeness, I’ll note that Gingerbread was released in December of 2010, and Ice Cream Sandwich’s open source code was published just over four months ago by Google. Nice try, Sharp, we’ll see if you can product a tablet and tablet OS combination next year.

The specs aren’t actually that bad – it’s got a 10-inch 1280×800 resolution, a form factor I’ve never seen with Gingerbread before. A 1Ghz processor isn’t much, but a full gigabyte of RAM and and 8GB of on-board storage are quite respectable. It’s even packing near-field communication, something that an OS with certain dairy treat disposition might be able to make quite good use of. The RW-T110 goes on sale in Japan on March 27th, and given Sharp’s predelictions for smartphone hardware thus far, is unlikely to leave the land of the rising sun.

Honestly, this sort of decision wouldn’t have bothered me four months ago. Google didn’t release the open source code for Android 3.0 Honeycomb until they released ICS as well, leaving manufacturers who wanted to play outside of Google’s sandbox no real choice but Gingerbread. But now there’s no excuse for any new tablet to run anything else – it’s out there, all manufacturers have to do download it, compile it and grab some drivers for whatever components they’re using. Heck, doomed products like the HP TouchPad and $100 Chinese no-name tablets can run the latest version of Android. What’s not to get here?

Rant over. I’m going to go download the latest CyanogenMod build now, and be thankful that Android is flexible enough to get around the mistakes of manufacturers.

[via Engadget]

Olivetti Unveils Two New Android 4.0 Tablets

While most of us really haven’t heard much in regards to European technology companies that doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t be paying attention to them. Olivetti, an Italian computer manufacturer, unveiled two tablets that should at least entice European folks. While newer to the tablet game, they started making them last year, they may have found their stride with the OliPad Graphos and OliPad Tegra 3 tablets.

The OliPad Tegra 3 will feature, as you probably guessed it, an Nvidia quad-core Tegra 3 processor and 10-inch IPS (1280 x 800 resolution) display. It will have NFC built in and an option for 3G connectivity. WiFi connectivity will also be built in but details about RAM, on-board storage or any other technical detail is still under wraps. It’s cousin, The OliPad Graphos will have an 8-inch screen (1024 x 768 resolution)  and will come with stylus support. Which will be quite helpful in playing those rounds of Draw Something. It will weigh in at 1.32 pounds (600 grams) and sport a Tegra SoC 2 processor. 

Both devices will have Ice Cream Sandwich on-board and will be coming to Italy before the summer season. There are no details on pricing or whether or not this device will be seen anywhere outside of Italy. Official details should be coming here within the next couple of weeks so keep it locked on TalkAndroid as we will surely update you when we find out. Stay tuned!


source: Notebook Italia