Droid Razr goes on sale as Mot unveils Fire XT smartphone  

Posted by Daniela Mehler

Motorola Mobility and Verizon Wireless began selling the Droid Razr Android smartphone on pre-order for $300, with shipments promised by Nov. 10. Meanwhile, a 3.5-inch Motorola Fire XT Android smartphone was announced in Italy; Motorola Mobility announced strong third-quarter earnings of $3.3 billion; and more evidence piled up regarding an imminent release of two Motorola Xoom 2 tablets.

Motorola Mobility's Droid Razr smartphone was placed on pre-sale by Verizon Wireless for $300. When the Droid Razr was announced two weeks ago, billed as the world's thinnest 4G LTE smartphone, $300 was said to be the approximate price. Now -- unfortunately -- the high price is for real. And the Razr also requires a two-year contract and a smartphone data package. 

Droid Razr goes on sale as Mot unveils Fire XT smartphone

After that, the news gets better, as the Droid Razr (pictured) is not only super thin, at 5.14 x 2.71 x 0.28 inches (130.7 x 68.9 x 7.1mm), but it pushes the envelope on features. Housed in a Kevlar-reinforced case, the Razr features a dual-core 1.2GHz processor, 1GB of RAM and 16GB of flash storage, according to Motorola. It also offers a 4.3-inch Super AMOLED screen packing 960 x 540 pixels.

Other features include dual cameras, including an eight-megapixel model, plus a full range of wireless features, including 4G LTE. There's also a wide range of accessories including a new 14-inch Lapdock 500 Pro.

The device ships with Android 2.3.5, but Motorola was quick to announce that the Droid Razr will be updated to Android 4.0 by early 2012. Verizon is guaranteeing shipment no later than Nov. 10.

More thoughts on the Razr's chances against the iPhone and Samsung Galaxy S II may be found in this Oct. 27 story by Clint Boulton in our sister publication eWEEK .

Motorola Fire XT

Motorola Mobility announced a Motorola Fire XT smartphone for the Italian market, selling for 199 euros ($282) without contract by the end of November. Following that, the phone is slated for other European and Asian markets. 

Droid Razr goes on sale as Mot unveils Fire XT smartphone

Housed in titanium, the phone runs Android 2.3 on an 800MHz processor, and is equipped with 512MB of RAM and a 2GB microSD card in a slot that holds up to 32GB, says Motorola. The 3.5-inch capacitive screen offers 480 x 320 resolution, says the company.

The Fire XT (pictured) is equipped with a five-megapixel rear-facing camera and a front-facing VGA webcam, and includes HSDPA/EDGE cellular support, as well as Wi-Fi and GPS. A 3.5mm audio jack and a 1540mAh battery with up to eight hour of talk time are also said to be available.

On the software front, the phone features a "Moto Switch" user interface that enables users to switch between friend and work-centric modes, says Motorola Mobility.

Mot earnings up in third quarter

Motorola Mobility reported strong third-quarter earnings of $3.3 billion, up 11 percent from third quarter 2010. Non-GAAP net earnings were listed at $0.12 per share, compared to net earnings of $0.13 per share in the third quarter of 2010. This beat analyst estimates, according to a report in BGR , and was due primarily to strong sales of the company’s Android-powered smartphones.

Revenue from device sales in the third quarter totaled $2.4 billion, up 20 percent year-over-year, says Motorola. Some 11.6 million devices were shipped during the quarter, including 4.8 million smartphones (but just 100,000 Xoom tablets ). Motorola shipped 400,000 Xoom tablets in the second quarter and 250,000 units in the first quarter.

Meanwhile, CEO Sanjay Jha announced that the company continues to make progress toward closing its acquisition by Google .

Xoom 2 tablets coming soon

The Xoom tablet may not have been a huge success for Motorola Mobility, hampered due to a high price and a buggy Android 3.0 operating system, among other issues, but Motorola is expected to soon unveil two "Xoom 2" models to try, try again.

Droid Razr goes on sale as Mot unveils Fire XT smartphone

After Droid-Life released some images of one of the alleged Xoom 2 models back in September, the publication in early October found them again in a Verizon database , listed as the Pasteur (MZ617) and Fleming (MZ609).

Now, Droid-Life has discovered another Verizon listing of the tablets, this time listed with "4G branding and storage size." The MZ617 is the flagship 10.1-inch version, listed with up to 64GB of storage while the MZ609 is a smaller "media edition" of the Xoom 2 with up to 32GB, says the story.

Samsung Galaxy S II Android Smartphone Review  

Posted by Daniela Mehler

PC Perspective posted a review on the Samsung Galaxy S II Android Smartphone
Our first look at the Galaxy S II out of its retail packaging was a mix of emotions. While I liked the size of the display and the layout of the volume controls, power button, and USB port, the quality of the materials used on this device felt a bit flimsy and cheap for my taste. I've been using a T-Mobile G2 smartphone for more than a year now, and it is built like an indestructable tank compared to the Galaxy S II. The thin dimensions are quite impressive at 9.4 millimeters, but the overall feel of the phone didn't give me any confidence that it could survive minor drops or other accidents during normal everyday use.

Cortex-A9/FPGA combo SoC gains open source Linux platform  

Posted by Daniela Mehler

Xilinx launched an open source Linux platform and developer community for its Zynq-7000 Extensible Processing Platform (EPP), which combines a dual-core ARM Cortex-A9 processor and a 28nm FPGA. The Zynq-7000 EPP Linux Solution offers GNU toolchain, runtime libraries, and debuggers, plus options including a Virtual Platform hardware emulator based on Cadence VSP.

The Zynq-7000 EPP Linux development platform is equipped with a GNU toolchain, including C/C++ compilers, says long-time FPGA (field programmable gate array ) leader Xilinx. Also available are NEON optimized runtime libraries, debuggers, and a QEMU system model for emulation, says the company.

Cortex-A9/FPGA combo SoC gains open source Linux platform

An Eclipse environment-based tool suite is included, as well as an optional Xilinx ISE Design Suite for embedded hardware design on the FPGA. A new developer website and community, meanwhile, offers a GIT Linux source distribution, a Wiki, and forums.

Xilinx has also expanded its Linux support for the Zynq-7000 EPP system on chip (SoC), which was previously available only in a limited early access program launched in April, a month after the SoC was announced (see farther below for more details).

New tools are said to include the optional ARM Development Studio 5 (DS-5) toolchain. The latest version of DS-5 adds "seamless" multicore debug and trace on Cortex-A9 processors, as well as system-wide performance analysis of Linux software stacks, says the company.

According to Xilinx, more than 60 percent of its Zynq-7000 EPP early access customers expressed interest in using Linux as their primary OS. Of those, 80 percent said they were planning to use an open source Linux distribution.

Cadence Xilinx EPP Emulation

A Cadence-designed Xilinx EPP Emulation platform, previously available to some selected early access developers, is now offered more widely via a newly launched Virtual Platform Early Access program, says Xilinx. This will open to a broader customer base by the end of this year, says the company.

The emulator provides a complete hardware model of the Zynq-7000 EPP, including the ARM MPCore processor system and programmable logic resources, says Xilinx. Xilinx EPP Emulation is said to be based on Cadence Virtual System Platform (VSP), part of the Cadence System Development Suite.

The virtual platform provides a functionally accurate model of the Zynq-7000 EPP processor system, its peripherals, memory and I/O, capable of booting Linux and other operating systems, says Xilinx. Developers can extend the virtual platform using transaction-level models (TLM) to support custom devices that will "ultimately be instantiated within the Zynq-7000 device's programmable logic," says Xilinx.

PetaLogix SDK Zynq Edition

In addition to the Xilinx open source toolsuite for the Zynq-7000, as well as the ARM DS-5 for Zynq-7000 and the Cadence Xilinx EPP Emulation platform, Xilinx is making available a commercially-supported Linux distribution from Xilinx Alliance Program member PetaLogix . This System Development Kit (SDK) Zynq Edition supports all phases of embedded design flow, and integrates with the Xilinx Embedded Development Kit for hardware design entry and implementation, says Xilinx.

Based on the PetaLinux distro, the SDK Zynq Edition is said to include a Linux kernel, standard libraries and applications, a system image builder, and custom application and device driver templates. Also provided is a QEMU-based dynamic virtual Zynq platform for prototyping.

Zynq-7000 EPP background

The Zynq-7000 EPP line of SoCs was announced in early March, targeting high-end markets such as video surveillance, automotive driver assistance, and factory automation, among others. Xilinx first announced its plans for EPP architecture SoCs in May 2010, following an initial partnership agreement with ARM in Oct. 2009. The processor is one of the first tight integrations of ARM Cortex and FPGA technology, a segment dominated by Xilinx.

Cortex-A9/FPGA combo SoC gains open source Linux platform

Zynq-7000 block diagram
(Click to enlarge)

PowerPC-based processors have been used in FPGA products such as the company's Virtex-II Pro, Virtex-4 FX, and Virtex-5 FXT, along with IBM's Core Connect bus. However, the Zynq-7000 is the first FPGA/application processor hybrid that boots at power-up and can run a variety of operating systems independent of the programmable logic, says Xilinx. The processing system then configures the programmable logic on an as needed basis.

The Zynq-7000 SoCs incorporate dual-core Cortex-A9 cores with 32KB/32KB L1 and 512KB L2 caches, plus 256KB memory on-chip. A variety of memory controllers including DDR3 and NAND flash are also provided.

The Zynq-7000 family's programmable logic is based on Xilinx's latest "7 series" FPGA architecture [PDF] . The FPGA technology offers "massive parallel processing to handle large amounts of data across a wide range of signal processing applications," says Xilinx.

Devices in the Zynq-7000 family include the Zynq-7010 and Zynq-7020 -- each based on Xilinx' Artix-7 FPGA family, which is optimized for low-cost and low power, says the company. The larger Zynq-7030 and Zynq-7040 SoCs incorporate the more powerful Kintex-7 FPGAs and include between four and 12 10.3Gbps transceiver channels, plus a PCI Express Gen2 block for high-speed off-chip connectivity.

A high-bandwidth AMBA4 "Advanced Extensible Interface" (AXI4) interconnect between the processing system and the programmable logic, enables multi-gigabit data transfers at very low power, says Xilinx. (For more details, charts, and a spec list, see our previous Zynq-7000 coverage .)

Stated Lawrence Getman, vice president of Processing Platforms at Xilinx, "The Cadence/Xilinx solution takes embedded software development to a whole new level by mapping it to the Zynq-7000 family's unique extensibility without the need for any hardware other than the designers' workstation."

Stated John Williams, PetaLogix Founder and CEO, "PetaLinux SDK is the only Embedded Linux distribution specifically targeting FPGA-based system-on-chip designs. The company is focused exclusively on Xilinx FPGA-based Embedded Linux platforms."


The open source Zynq-7000 EPP Linux Solution is available now, with more information available at the new Zynq-7000 community site . The extensible Virtual Platform Early Access program has begun and will open to a broader customer base by the end of this year, and to general availability in Q1 2012. More information may be found on the Xilinx Virtual Platform page , as well as at this Cadence Zynq page .

First silicon devices based on the Xilinx Zynq-7000 family are scheduled for the second half of 2011, with general engineering samples available in the first half of 2012. ARM TechCon attendees can see a demonstration of the Zynq-7000 EPP and the extensible virtual platform through Oct. 27 at Xilinx booth #207.

Linux 3.1 released with NFC support  

Posted by Daniela Mehler

Released several weeks late due to malware attacks on kernel.org in August, the Linux 3.1 kernel is out now, with a variety of enhancements to performance, virtualization, and power management. It also includes support for near field communication (NFC), the OpenRISC open source CPU, Nintendo's Wii controller, and 3D acceleration with Nvidia GEForce graphics processor units (GPUs).

The new kernel arrives more than three months after Linux 3.0 , delayed primarily by a late-August malware attack on kernel.org. Although the attacks compromised several key servers, the source code for the Linux kernel does not appear to have been affected, thanks to its "git" distributed revision control system.

According to the semi-official Linux 3.1 overview on KernelNewbies.org , the release offers a grab-bag of goodies, from new performance and virtualization enhancements to support for new devices.

For starters, Linux 3.1 provides support for near field communication (NFC) short-range wireless radios. NFC is supported by Android 2.3 and later releases, including a new "Android Beam" peer-to-peer transfer feature in Android 4.0 , and is incorporated in Google's Android-based Google Wallet mobile payment initiative. Some 552 million NFC handsets are expected to ship in 2016, according to ABI Research.

Linux 3.1 released with NFC support

OpenRISC 1200 block diagram

Linux 3.1 also adds support for OpenCores.org's open source OpenRISC processors, specifically the 32-bit, RISC-based OpenRISC 1000 family. The OpenRISC 1200 , for example, has been used in a variety of Linux-based system on chips (SoCs), including Vivace's VSP200 . The OpenRISC processors are offered as open designs licensed under LGPL, with freely available software development tools, libraries, operating systems, and applications.

One popular improvement is likely to be the addition of Nvidia Nouveau driver code for Mesa and X.org, as well as 3D acceleration on several Nvidia GeForce graphics chips. As Thorsten Leemhuis explains it in his Linux 3.1 overview on The H , the Nouveau-DRM/KMS driver will be able to generate firmware for GPUs that use Nvidia's Fermi architecture . As a result, Linux now exploits the 3D functions of Nvidia's recent GeForce 400 and 500 GPU series.

Linux gamers should appreciate the new driver for the Nintendo Wii Remote. There are also some new Wi-Fi drivers, including a "rtl8192de" driver that supports Realtek's RTL8192DE and RTL8188DE PCI-Express Wi-Fi chips.

Performance and file-system enhancements

Under the hood, Linux 3.1 offers various performance improvements, including dynamic throttling of "writeback" -- the process of writing data from RAM to the disk. The new feature temporarily blocks processes until the current data has been written to the disk, thereby reducing bottlenecks. It also avoids "random IO patterns which are not good for performance," according to KernelNewbies.org.

In addition, the kernel's default "slub" slab allocator now implements wider lockless operations, said to speed up slab-intensive workloads. In addition, the Virtual File System (VFS), which mediates between the file-system and user space, is now said to be more scalable.

There's not a lot of file-system news in this release, but Linux 3.1 does alter the Ext3 file system to enable "barriers" by default. These barrier instructions are sent by the file system to improve robustness in case of a crash. They have previously been seen to reduce performance on many systems, but the new version appears to have greatly reduced the performance tradeoff, motivating the kernel team to make the feature a default.

The newer Ext4 filesystem has been improved to speed up batched discard, a technique said to be useful for solid state drives (SSDs) and thinly provisioned storage, according to The H's Leemhuis. Meanwhile, the experimental Btrfs filesystem offers an improved locking mechanism that can make the Btrfs "significantly faster during read-heavy workloads," according to his report.

New iSCSI support, plus power and virtualization improvements

Other storage-related enhancements include a new iSCSI implementation. In addition, the MD layer, otherwise known as software RAID, has gained bad block management support, says KernelNewbies.org. Also, a "Cpupowerutils" power consumption management userspace utility has been added, featuring a hardware monitoring tool. 

On the networking front, "ipset" support has been improved so that IP sets are provided with filter information. This is said to make it easier for firewall code to access the tables

As usual, the kernel continues to refine its virtualization support, with further enhancements to both KVM and Xen code. Linux 3.1 adds Xen PCI backend support, which enables the kernel to pass through PCI and PCI-Express devices to Xen guests, according to Leemhuis. In addition, KVM is now said to offer nested virtualization, letting developers start a guest system from within another guest system on Intel processors.


The Linux 3.1 kernel is now freely available. More information may be found at KernelNewbies.org , as well as this Linux kernel changelog .

Linux 3.1 Enhances Sandy Bridge, Preps For Ivy Bridge  

Posted by Daniela Mehler

Phoronix takes a look at Linux kernel 3.1
The Linux 3.1 kernel was released earlier this week and it further enhances the Intel Sandy Bridge graphics support while also prepping the open-source kernel driver for Intel's next-generation Ivy Bridge processors.

ARM will detail Cortex-A7 at this week's TechCon  

Posted by Daniela Mehler

ARM is set to provide an in-depth look at its recently announced Cortex-A7 processor this week at a Santa Clara, Calif.-based event. Other highlights of ARM TechCon 2011, scheduled for Oct. 25 to 27, will include a keynote by ARM CTO Mike Muller, and a demonstration of a $25 ARM11-based Ubuntu Linux computer from Raspberry Pi.

UBM Electronics' ARM TechCon -- set to begin Oct. 25 at the Santa Clara Convention Center -- is billed as "the most comprehensive forum for learning about technology based on the ARM architecture." It will include more than 85 sessions, addressing "areas such as developing for open source platforms, low-power design, safety and security and the latest in human interface design," according to the organizers.

Since the first ARM processor was released in 1987, more than 25 billion ARM-based chips have shipped, via an ecosystem of more than 850 licensees, according to UBM Electronics. ARM designs have loomed as being more important than ever, however, ever since Microsoft announced at last January's Consumer Electronics Show (CES) that its next major version of "big Windows" would run on ARM processors as well as x86 chips .

Since then, Microsoft has kept the pot boiling by releasing a Windows 8 Developer Preview version (albeit only in x86 form) and by blogging regularly about what features its forthcoming operating system will include.

Equally important, though, is that younger users have embraced smartphones as the computing platforms they're most excited about: ARM-based processors are included in Apple's iPhone and iPad, an overwhelming majority of Android phones and tablets, and in handsets using Microsoft's Windows Phone 7 operating system.

Showing off the Cortex-A7

Last week, ARM responded to burgeoning smartphone demand by announcing its 28-nanometer Cortex-A7 , described as offering five times the energy efficiency, one fifth the size, and 50 percent better performance than the current Cortex-A8 . A single-core version set for a 2013 debut will target sub-$100 smartphones, offering performance as good as today's $500 devices, according to the company.

ARM also announced a "big.Little" system on chip (SoC) design that combines the Cortex-A7 with the more powerful Cortex-A15 processor in a design that features a 20-microsecond interconnect between the two. (For more details, see our earlier coverage .)

ARM will detail Cortex-A7 at this week's TechCon

Cortex-A7 speed and power comparison with Cortex-A8

UBM says ARM TechCon attendees will get detailed information on the Cortex-A7 via a pair of sessions on Oct. 26. At 2:30 p.m., ARM CPU Product Manager Brian Jeff will present a session titled "ARM Cortex-A7 Processor for the Mainstream Low-power Mobile Market." This will be followed up at 3:30 by another titled "big.Little processing with the Cortex-A15 and Cortex-A7 Processors," delivered by Lead Designer Peter Greenhalgh.

These are just two among dozens of ARM processor-related sessions over the event's three days. Those on Oct. 25 are aimed most particularly at chip design teams working with ARM silicon IP and tools, while those on Oct. 26 and 27 are aimed at system designers and software developers, UBM says.

A 9:30 a.m. keynote on Oct 26 will be delivered by Microsoft's Dan Javnozon, group product manager for the Windows Embedded marketing group. "Creating business value with Microsoft" will feature a discussion of "key elements of Windows Embedded's use of ARM architecture, and outline how customers and partners can begin planning for ongoing technical innovations," according to the conference organizers.

Given that Javnozon is responsible for marketing today's Windows Embedded Compact 7, which runs on ARM processors and was revised just last week , we'd expect to hear more emphasis on what Microsoft has to sell today, and less on Windows 8 hype. Still, it will be worth looking around to see if the show provides any demos of Windows 8 running on ARM SoCs.

Meanwhile, there doesn't appear to be a keynote planned by anyone from Microsoft's arch-rival Google. However, there are multiple sessions devoted to the search giant's Android operating system, as follows:

Android on Low-cost ARM Systems -- Thurs. 10/27 at 4:00 pm Design and Development of the First Android Smartphone -- Wed. 10/26 at 2:30 pm OS Selection for ARM-Based Systems -- Thurs. 10/27 at 2:00 pm Professional Debug Solutions for Linux on ARM -- Wed. 10/26 at 3:30 pm OME - A Fully OpenMAX Complaint Media Framework for Android -- Thurs. 10/27 at 3:00 pm

According to UBM, additional keynotes will include, in chronological order:

A Mentor Graphics keynote by Walden C. Rhines, chairman and CEO, discussing issues related to measuring and enhancing product differentiation. (9 a.m. Oct. 25)

A TSMC keynote by Dr. Shang-Yi Chang, senior vice president of R&D, discussing the manufacturing challenges facing the industry and the value of collaboration across the development lifecycle (9:30 a.m. Oct. 25)

An Oracle keynote by Henrik Stahl, director of Java product management, who will speak about how Oracle's continued focus on Java Embedded is making computing more pervasive in the real world embedded domain. (9 a.m., Oct. 26)

An Avnet keynote by Harley Feldberg, corporate vice president and president of Avnet Electronics Marketing, who will discuss the moves companies can take to stay ahead of the technology curve in an ever-changing marketplace. (10 a.m., Oct. 26)

An ARM keynote by Mike Muller, chief technology officer, who will look at the technological advances that will bring us to 2020 in 26 steps (9 a.m. Oct. 27)

A keynote by Ole Lund Hansen, United Nations head of Global Compact LEAD, who will discuss how his organization is challenging and inspiring companies to achieve higher levels of sustainability (9:45 a.m., Oct. 27) Finally, we're told the show will feature a demonstration of a tiny ARM computer that runs Ubuntu Linux and may sell for as little as $25. Featuring a USB port on one and an HDMI port on another, the device was first announced back in May by the Raspberry Pi foundation.

ARM will detail Cortex-A7 at this week's TechCon

The ARM11-powered Raspberry Pi prototype, with optional camera on top
(Click to enlarge)
Raspberry Pi did not disclose the processor of its eponymous computer, but the device uses a Broadcom SoC, according to an Oct. 25 EETimes article . The device will be demonstrated by Eben Upton, an SoC architect at Broadcom who is one of Raspberry Pi's founders, according to author Colin Holland.

An image published by EE Times suggests that the Raspberry Pi device no longer features its original form factor, and is now about the size of the proverbial credit card, but we'll just have to wait and see. An ARM TechCon Expo session set for 1:30 p.m. on Oct. 27th will provide more details, Holland adds.

Further information

Advance registration for UBM's ARM TechCon 2011 is no longer available, but onsite registration will begin when the show opens Oct. 25. Further information may be found on the event website .

Jonathan Angel can be reached at jonathan.angel@ziffdavisenterprise.com and followed at www.twitter.com/gadgetsense .

Microsoft collects license fees on 50% of Android devices, tells Google to "wake up"  

Posted by Daniela Mehler

Googles complaints about patent-based attacks against Android dont seem to be doing the company any good. We all know Steve Jobs pledged to destroy Android, claiming it stole its ideas from Apples iOS. Yet what is likely an even bigger threat comes from Microsoft, which claims that more than half of all Android devices are now subject to patent licensing agreements. From Ars Technica: What does that mean? When you buy an Android phone, theres a good chance either the vendor whose name is on the device or one of the manufacturers who contributed hardware to it is paying Microsoft a fee for each sale. Today, Microsoft announced an agreement with Compal, an original design manufacturer that produces smartphones and tablets for third parties and takes in $28 billion in annual revenue. This was the tenth license agreement providing coverage under our patent portfolio for Android mobile phones and tablets, and the ninth in the last four months, Microsoft lawyers Brad Smith and Horacio Gutierrez write in a blog post.

Kloxo 6.1.7 Beta 2 released  

Posted by Daniela Mehler

Kloxo 6.1.7 Beta 2 has been released. Kloxo is a free webhosting software for CentOS to manage clients, resellers, databases, traffic, domains, mail and IPs across multiple locations. As we get closer to a final release LxCenter invites everyone to try Kloxo 6.1.7 Beta. It is very simple. Just run the commands below (as root) and update an existing Kloxo server or install from scratch following the Installation Guide in our wiki: echo " download.lxcenter.org" > > /etc/hosts And... /script/upcp LxCenter does not recommend you run Beta releases in production servers. Note Kloxo reports version 6.1.7 but there will always be a new update available. It is recommended you enable "Auto Update" under "General Settings" so you are always running the latest Beta release. The last Beta release will remove the testing server from your "hosts" file and your Kloxo install becomes the final version. Please, report bugs at the Kloxo Development forum. You can see the bug fixes and new features in the roadmap. Please test each of them and add your comment to the issues. Thank you for your support! - LxCenter Team

Kloxo 6.1.7 Beta 3 released  

Posted by Daniela Mehler

Kloxo 6.1.7 Beta 3 has been released. Kloxo is a free webhosting software for CentOS to manage clients, resellers, databases, traffic, domains, mail and IPs across multiple locations. As we get closer to a final release LxCenter invites everyone to try Kloxo 6.1.7 Beta. It is very simple. Just run the commands below (as root) and update an existing Kloxo server or install from scratch following the Installation Guide in our wiki: echo " download.lxcenter.org" > > /etc/hosts And... /script/upcp LxCenter does not recommend you run Beta releases in production servers. Note Kloxo reports version 6.1.7 but there will always be a new update available. It is recommended you enable "Auto Update" under "General Settings" so you are always running the latest Beta release. The last Beta release will remove the testing server from your "hosts" file and your Kloxo install becomes the final version. Please, report bugs at the Kloxo Development forum. You can see the bug fixes and new features in the roadmap. Please test each of them and add your comment to the issues. Thank you for your support! - LxCenter Team

Compact PC sports three Mini PCI slots  

Posted by Daniela Mehler

Norco announced a fanless, ultra-compact PC that can simultaneously support Wi-Fi and dual 3G cellular modems. The BIS-6625 includes a choice of Intel Atom E6xx processors, dual Ethernet ports, five USB ports, and room for an SATA-interfaced hard disk drive or SSD (solid state disk), according to the company.

Announced Oct. 19, Norco's new BIS-6625 will doubtless be offered under the company's Habey brand too, as have the company's previous mini-PCs. News of the product was unfortunately unaccompanied by a product page or data sheet, but it seems clear that the device is related to the previously released BIS-6622 .

The BIS-6222 appeared in September 2010, and was the first complete PC to adopt the Atom E6xx ("Tunnel Creek") processors Intel had announced the same month. It employed Intel's EG20T ("Topcliff") controller and was offered with three CPU choices: the 600MHz Atom E620, the 1.0GHz Atom E640, and the 1.3GHz Atom E660.

Norco then showed its talent for creating variations on a theme when, last June, it announced the BIS-6622II, BIS-6622III, and BIS-6622IV . These mini-PCs had the same internals as the original, but offered various permutations of back-panel ingredients (such as HDMI ports, serial console connectors, and multiple serial ports).

Compact PC sports three Mini PCI slots

Compact PC sports three Mini PCI slots

Varying derrieres on Norco's earlier BIS-6622III (left) and BIS-6622IV (right)
(Click either image to enlarge)

The new BIS-6625 (pictured later in this story) employs what appears to be the same 4.9 x 2.9-inch case as these other models, and we'd readily bet money that its motherboard is exactly the same. However, Norco has added an AFC-443V daughtercard (see block diagram, below) that provides the compact PC with two additional Mini PCI expansion slots.

Compact PC sports three Mini PCI slots

A block diagram of Norco's BIS-6625
(Click to enlarge)

Now with triple Mini PCI slots, the BIS-6625 accepts a wireless local area networking card as well as two 3G cellular modems. This allows for "cellular redundancy and a more pervasive network," and is ideal for applications where reliability is critical, according to Habey.

Compact PC sports three Mini PCI slots

Compact PC sports three Mini PCI slots

The front (left) and rear (right) of Norco's BIS-6625
(Click either to enlarge)

Habey provided few other written details, but the above photographs make clear that the little PC's front panel has two USB 2.0 ports and audio I/O. The rear panel, meanwhile, has three more USB 2.0 ports, two gigabit Ethernet ports, a VGA output, and a serial console port.

The company's release also cited an HDMI port which, however, is nowhere to be seen on the images it supplied. Given that the BIS-6622 is orderable in variants with either type of video output, we assume the same is true of the BIS-6625.

No doubt, the BIS-6625 once again has a 1.8-inch bay, compatible with an SATA hard disk drive or SSD. We expect that operating range is still rated at 14 to 122 deg. F, too, though perhaps filling up all three Mini PCI slots would heat things up a little.

Specifications for the BIS-6625, listed by Norco and supplemented by us with BIS-6222 data, include:

Processor -- 600MHz Atom E620, 1.0GHz Atom E640, or 1.3GHz Atom E660 Chipset -- Intel EG20 Memory -- Up to 2GB of DDR2 RAM Storage -- 1.8-inch bay for SATA devices Expansion -- 3 x Mini PCI Express Networking -- 2 x gigabit Ethernet Other I/O: 5 x USB (2 front, 3 rear) audio I/O (mic in and headphone out) VGA HDMI (apparently optionally available) RJ45 port for serial console Operating temperature -- 14 to 122 deg. F (-10 to 50 deg. C) Power consumption -- 12VDC via AC adapter; under 10 Watts Dimensions -- 4.92 x 4.92 x 1.77 inches (125 x 125 x 45mm) Further information

As noted, no product page was available for the BIS-6625 at the time of writing. One should appear in due course on the Norco website .

Jonathan Angel can be reached at jonathan.angel@ziffdavisenterprise.com and followed at www.twitter.com/gadgetsense .

Kdelibs Security Update for CentOS  

Posted by Daniela Mehler

A kdelibs security update has been released for CentOS 5
[CentOS-announce] CESA-2011:1385 Moderate CentOS 5 x86_64 kdelibs Update CentOS Errata and Security Advisory 2011:1385 Moderate Upstream details at : http://rhn.redhat.com/errata/RHSA-2011-1385.html The following updated files have been uploaded and are currently syncing to the mirrors: ( md5sum Filename ) x86_64: 9bc8d8f3b13bd1e86556aac113b79d1c kdelibs-3.5.4-26.el5.centos.1.i386.rpm 02723b60e5c81720d8ff3b513e9b9d98 kdelibs-3.5.4-26.el5.centos.1.x86_64.rpm 43c5e518d234dacaa1b5a9da4155e0f6 kdelibs-apidocs-3.5.4-26.el5.centos.1.x86_64.rpm 3e071569b39063aaf9f3fb589367f71a kdelibs-devel-3.5.4-26.el5.centos.1.i386.rpm 7b7f74abcf830bf67f922774a8b0f596 kdelibs-devel-3.5.4-26.el5.centos.1.x86_64.rpm Source: a149dd622eef4ba2e43a690b5045b9f8 kdelibs-3.5.4-26.el5.centos.1.src.rpm

Android 4.0 unveiled with new unified UI, face recognition  

Posted by Daniela Mehler

Google announced Android 4.0 ("Ice Cream Sandwich"), a version of the mobile operating system that for the first time is optimized for both smartphones and tablets. Unveiled with a preliminary software development kit -- and due to appear first on the Samsung Galaxy Nexus -- it sports a revamped user interface, a faster browser, an improved camera interface, plus facial recognition and text-to-speech features.

Three years after the first Android smartphone -- the G1 -- appeared on the scene, the Linux-based Android operating system has turned four. Android 4.0 ("Honeycomb") attempts to integrate the previously diverging 2.x smartphone platform and the newer 3.x "Honeycomb" version for tablets.

The heavily revamped OS will appear first on the simultaneously announced Samsung Galaxy Nexus smartphone (below), previously tipped as the Nexus Prime . This 4.65-inch monster runs on a 1.2GHz dual-core processor, features NFC short-range communications, and is due to ship in November with Google branding.

Android 4.0 unveiled with new unified UI, face recognition

Samsung Galaxy Nexus
(Click to enlarge)

Android 4.0 "Ice Cream Sandwich" (ICS) was unveiled along with the Galaxy Nexus at an Oct.19 event in Hong Kong, and Google also released a preliminary version of the ICS software development kit (SDK). ICS highlights are said to include new social and sharing integration, network data usage control, new connectivity and camera options, and an updated set of standard apps, according to Google.

Aside from the fact that for the first time a single Android is optimized to run on smartphones, tablets, and other Android devices, Android 4.0 is most notable for its revamped, Honeycomb-influenced user interface. According to Google, "the lock screen, widgets, notifications, multi-tasking and everything in between has been rethought and refined to make Android simple, beautiful, and beyond smart."

Android 4.0 unveiled with new unified UI, face recognition

Android 4.0 unveiled with new unified UI, face recognition

Android 4.0 homescreen (left) , showing virtual buttons on bottom, as well as resizable widgets (right)
(Click on either to enlarge)

Many of the UI changes bring the best of Honeycomb -- most recently upgraded in July to a seven-inch friendly Android 3.2 -- to the Android 2.3 ("Gingerbread") smartphone world. For example, notifications have been made more interactive, and widgets are now resizable (pictured above).

In several cases, elements are automatically expressed differently depending on screen size. For example, on tablets, the notifications appear in the System Bar on the bottom of the screen, but on smartphones, they roll down from the top.

In place of the hardware buttons that previously sat beneath the screen in Android 2.3 phones, new "virtual buttons" are placed in the System Bar. These software buttons point backward and forward, as well as to commonly used features, and can be dimmed by apps in order to open up more screen space.

Google has also revamped the virtual keyboard, with features such as improved error correction, as well as an in-line spellchecker (see image below, right). A new "Roboto" font is said to be optimized for HD displays. Other enhancements have been made to copy and paste and screenshot functions, and data reporting features have also been upgraded.

Android 4.0 unveiled with new unified UI, face recognition

Android 4.0 unveiled with new unified UI, face recognition

Multitasking is more manageable with new Recent Apps function (left), and the virtual keyboard now offers a built-in spellchecker (right)
(Click on either to enlarge)

Control over multitasking has been enhanced, says Google. Users can more easily see which apps are still running. The Recent Apps button (above, left) pops up to show thumbnail images of apps, and running apps can be closed with a simple swipe.

The browser is still based on WebKit, but is said to be significantly faster, and offers "a refined tab manager." It also features the ability to sync bookmarks with Google Chrome.

Google's Gmail app has also been given a makeover, letting users do offline search, and "quickly swipe through your inbox and search messages even when you’re offline," says Google. A revamped Calendar app is said to let users pinch-and-zoom into appointment details. In addition, users can now respond to incoming calls via text message, "without needing to pick up the call or unlock the device," says Google.

A new "People" app improves the contacts function with embeddable high-resolution photos, as well as integration with social networking services such as Google+ . The latter is now baked into the ICS build as a standard feature.

Android 4.0 unveiled with new unified UI, face recognition

ICS has nothing to compare with Apple iOS 5's new Siri voice feature, but Voice Actions for Android has been upgraded with the ability to use voice commands to activate voice actions, rather than selecting an option via the touchscreen.

Other enhanced functions include a voice-to-text feature designed to type texts and emails. With the new voice input engine, users can speak continously for a prolonged time, pausing for intervals if needed, as well as dictate punctuation, says Google.

If the iPhone still has the edge with voice, Android 4.0 pushes the sci-fi envelope with new facial recognition features. These include a Face Unlock feature that lets users unlock the lockscreen by smiling at the camera (pictured at left).

Android 2.3 added near field communication (NFC) short-range wireless support to the OS, but that capability has largely been limited to the Samsung Galaxy Nexus and Nexus 4G. This fall, however, we can expect more NFC-imbued devices, and they'll be supported with a new Android 4.0 peer-to-peer function (similar to an NFC-based app unveiled in July by PayPal ).

On NFC-enabled phones like the Galaxy Nexus and Nexus 4G, the new "Android Beam" feature lets Android 4.0 users share content via a NFC connection. Users can share contacts, URLs, apps, maps, directions, and videos by holding two NFC enabled Android phones close to each other and clicking, says the company.

Like Apple's iOS 5, Android 4.0 boasts improved camera firmware, with features including gridlines for aligning shots. In addition, users can now access the camera from the lockscreen. A new panoramic mode, similar to features already available on some Android smartphones, lets users piece together separate images into one.

Android 4.0 SDK

Development-oriented features mentioned in Google's SDK announcement include a unified UI toolkit that offers a single set of UI components, styles, and capabilities for phones, tablets, and other devices. In addition to APIs for previously mentioned novelties -- including the new social and calendar APIs, text-to-speech, and Android Beam -- the SDK offers new support for Wi-Fi Direct and Bluetooth Health Device Profile support, says Google.

Other features include improved app management in the launcher, new image and video effects, precise camera metering, and support for new media codecs and containers, says Google. Hardware-accelerated 2D drawing is now available, as well as stylus input support, and improved mouse support.

In addition, accessibility APIs have been added, as well as keychain and VPN APIs for managing credentials and connections, says Google. Sadly for some, there's also a new administrator policy for disabling the camera.

Galaxy Nexus demo on YouTube showing Android 4.0 goodies
Source: Google
(Click to play)


Android 4.0 is available now to Android OEMs, and the SDK is available for download.

More information may be found in this Google Blog announcement by Google's Andy Rubin, as well as on this Android 4.0 platform highlights page , and this Galaxy Nexus and ICS overview page . More on the SDK may be found in this ICS SDK announcement , and on this Android 4.0 SDK download page .

Ubuntu 11.10 Oneiric Ocelot Review: First Real Step in Its March Towards Mass Adoption  

Posted by Daniela Mehler

Tech Drive-In posted their Ubuntu 11.10 Oneiric Ocelot review
Ubuntu 11.10 Oneiric Ocelot final release happened sometime ago. I have been using Ubuntu 11.10 as my default netbook OS ever since Oneiric Alpha 2 was released. So it's not like I am installing Ubuntu 11.10 just for the sake of reviewing it. Ubuntu 11.10 Oneiric Ocelot has been the OS of choice in my netbook for sometime now.

The Perfect Server - Ubuntu 11.10 (ISPConfig 3)  

Posted by Daniela Mehler

Howtoforge posted a tutorial about setting up Ubuntu 11.10 as server with ISPConfig 3
This tutorial shows how to prepare an Ubuntu 11.10 (Oneiric Ocelot) server for the installation of ISPConfig 3, and how to install ISPConfig 3. ISPConfig 3 is a webhosting control panel that allows you to configure the following services through a web browser: Apache web server, Postfix mail server, MySQL, BIND or MyDNS nameserver, PureFTPd, SpamAssassin, ClamAV, and many more.

Core-based PICMG 1.3 SBC supports 14 USB ports  

Posted by Daniela Mehler

Arbor Technology announced a full-size PICMG 1.3 single board computer (SBC) designed to support Intel "2nd Generation" ("Sandy Bridge") Core i3/i5/i7 processors. The HiCore-i67Q1 is equipped with an Intel Q67 chipset, dual DDR3 sockets for up to 8GB SDRAM, six RAID-enabled SATA ports, 14 USB 2.0 ports, and extensive PCI and PCIe expansion, according to the company.

The HiCore-i67Q1 joins a growing list of PICMG 1.3 SBCs that have adopted Intel's "Sandy Bridge" generation of Core i3/i5/i7 processors. It offers roughly the same feature set as the Axiomtek SHB106 , and offers considerably more I/O than the recently announced Ibase IB960 . Like those boards, the HiCore-i67Q1 features an onboard Intel QM67 chipset. This is said to enable the SBC to support Intel turbo boost, hyper-threading, and vPro technologies.

Core-based PICMG 1.3 SBC supports 14 USB ports

(Click to enlarge)

VGA displays are supported at resolutions up to 2048 x 1536 pixels, which makes the board suitable for gaming, digital signage, medical, and digital surveillance applications, says Arbor Technology. There's no stated support for LVDS or DisplayPort, however.

The HiCore-i67Q1 provides two DDR3 "Long-Dimm" sockets, supporting 1066/1333MHz SDRAM up to 8GB, says Arbor. Storage is supported via six SATA ports, including two at 6Gbps and four at 3Gbps, all of which support RAID 0, 1, 5, 10, says the company. Expansion is said to include four PCI masters, a PCI-Express (PCIe) x16 interface, and four PCIe x1 interfaces.

The HiCore-i67Q1 is further equipped with dual gigabit Ethernet ports, which are available on the backplane. Also on the backplane are the VGA port, and one additional port, which is likely the stated PS/2 port.

The board includes headers for 10 USB 2.0 ports. Four more USB 2.0 ports are said to be available via one of the PICMG 1.3-standard golden fingers connectors. Additional I/O includes dual serial ports and 8-bit DIO, says Arbor.

Features and specifications listed for the HiCore-i67Q1 include:

Processor -- LGA1155 socket for 2nd-Gen Intel Core i3/i5/i7 up to 3.4GHz Chipset -- Intel Q67 Memory -- up to 8GB DDR3 1066/1333MHz RAM via 2 x Long-DIMMs Expansion: 4 x PCI Masters 1 x PCIe x16 4 x PCIe x1 Storage -- 6 x SATA (2 x 6Gbps; 4 x 3Gbps) with RAID 0, 1, 5, 10 Display -- VGA port for up to 2048 x 1536 pixels Networking -- 2 x gigabit Ethernet ports Other I/O: 10 x USB 2.0 ports 4 x USB 2.0 via golden finger connector 1 x PS/2 keyboard/mouse 1 x RS-232/422/485 1 x RS-232 DIO (8-bit programmable) Other features -- HD codec audio (Realtek ALC886) with I/O via audio cable; watchdog Power -- ATX +12V; consumption: 6,75A12V, 1.72A/4.94V, 1.27A/3.3V Temperature -- 32 to 140 deg. F (0 to 60 deg. C) Dimensions -- 13.3 x 4.96 inches (338 x 126mm); PICMG 1.3 Availability

No pricing, availability, or operating system information was provided on the HiCore-i67Q1 . More information may be found on Arbor's HiCore-i67Q1 product page .

Ubuntu 11.10 Server tames cloud with Juju, Openstack, says review  

Posted by Daniela Mehler

Ubuntu Server 11.10 is more compelling than as ever as a Linux distribution for cloud deployments, says this eWEEK Labs review. A lack of updated documentation and some other rough edges give pause, but the new Juju cloud deployment framework and tighter OpenStack integration should make "Oneiric Ocelot" a winner when it arrives in its LTS version in April.

Ubuntu 11.10 Server tames cloud with Juju, Openstack, says review

With its cloud focus and lack of license fees, Ubuntu has flourished in the cloud, becoming a popular guest operating system on Amazon EC2 and other infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) options. Ubuntu also tends to be the reference OS of choice for the OpenStack and Cloud Foundry projects.

Based on eWEEK Labs' latest tests of Ubuntu Server 11.10 ("Oneiric Ocelot") -- released yesterday along with the desktop version (pictured) -- Ubuntu's cloud-attractiveness shows no sign of abating. The new version is packed with tools for building, orchestrating and running on clouds, both private and public. These include tighter integration with OpenStack, as well as a new Juju framework (see video demo below).

For the full story, click on this eWEEK Labs Ubuntu 11.10 Server review .

Ubuntu 11.10 demo of Ensemble (now called "Juju") on YouTube
Source: Ubuntu project
(Click to play)

Jason Brooks is Editor-in-Chief for eWEEK Labs.

CompatDB Updates 10/14/11  

Posted by Daniela Mehler

Here the latest updates of the CompatDB compatiblity lists. There are today 15 Windows updates. Windows Applications: Advanced SystemCare Free (IObit) AVG Anti-Virus Updates (Grisoft, Inc.) Avira Free Antivirus (Avira) Gigaget Download Manager (Giganology) Internet Explorer Administration Kit 5.5 SP1 (Microsoft) IObit Malware Fighter (IObit) Mozilla Firefox 6.0.2 Final (The Mozilla Organization) Neotrace PRO 3.25 (Neotrace.com) NOD32 Antivirus System (Eset s.r.o.) Norton Removal Tool (SymNRT) (Symantec) Realtek High Definition Audio for 2K/XP/03 (Realtek) System Mechanic Free (iolo technologies) Win7codecs x64 (Shark007) Windows 8 Transformation Pack (Windows X) Hardware: Promise Ultra 133 TX2 (Promise Technology) Windows Applications: AIDA32 - Personal System Information (Tamas Miklos) Avira Free Antivirus (Avira) Clarion 5.5 for Windows Enterprise Edition 5.5 (Clarion) IObit Malware Fighter (IObit) Mozilla Firefox 6.0.2 Final (The Mozilla Organization) Realtek High Definition Audio for 2K/XP/03 (Realtek) Win7codecs x64 (Shark007) Windows 7 USB/DVD Download Tool (Microsoft Corp.) Windows Installer CleanUp Utility (Microsoft Corp.) Games: 1602 A.D. (GT Interactive) Hardware: AIC-7850 PCI SCSI Controller (Adaptec) Marvell Yukon Ethernet Controller (Marvell) Please contribute to the compatibility lists by submitting reports of your (in)compatible hardware/software to the database. The CompatDB compatibility lists are free and licensed under the terms of the GNU Lesser General Public License. For more information visit the CompatDB site. To submit reports for Windows: Submit Windows application Submit Windows game Submit Windows hardware To submit reports for Linux: Submit Linux application Submit Linux game Submit Linux hardware To submit reports for Mac OS: Submit Mac OS application Submit Mac OS game Submit Mac OS hardware

Apple wins preliminary Galaxy Tab 10.1 ban in Australia  

Posted by Daniela Mehler

An Australian court has awarded Apple a preliminary injunction preventing Samsung from marketing or selling its Galaxy Tab 10.1 down under. From Ars Technica: Though Samsung could still appeal, and the judge is encouraging Samsung to agree to an expedited trial, it appears that in any case the device will be missing from store shelves during the critical holiday shopping season this year. Among lawsuits pending in several venues across the globe, Apple sued Samsung for patent infringement in Australia, seeking a preliminary injunction against its iPad competitor, the Galaxy Tab 10.1. Apple has accused Samsung of "slavishly copying" the design and technology of the iPad and iPhone to create its Galaxy Tab tablets and Galaxy S series smartphones.

Editing Images With Pinta  

Posted by Daniela Mehler

Howtoforge shows you how to edit images with Pinta
This article is about how to use the Pinta graphical editor to edit pictures and covers some of its most important features. Pinta is a lightweight image editor for Linux and is far more easier to handle than Gimp but still has a large variety of tools and features to use. It can be used for quick editing like resizing images or adjusting the colours of photographs, but also for more professional tasks which depend on layered images and more. It is a good mixture between MS Paint and professional image editing tools and is recommendable for most purposes of image-editing-everyday-use.

Latest MyTouch phones feature help wizards  

Posted by Daniela Mehler

T-Mobile announced two mid-range Android 2.3 ("Gingerbread") phones from LG Electronics, featuring set-up wizards and how-to guides for novice users. The 3.8-inch MyTouch and the 3.5-inch, QWERTY slider MyTouch Q are equipped with 1GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon processors, five-megapixel cameras, and support for T-Mobile's HSPA+ 4G network.

Tipped with minimal detail earlier this week in a "now you see it now you don't" web-page flash , the latest members of T-Mobile's MyTouch family of Android smartphones were unveiled by the carrier Oct. 6  and slated for a pre-holiday release. Whereas all earlier MyTouch phones were built by HTC, the new MyTouch and MyTouch Q were manufactured by LG Electronics.

Earlier MyTouch phones included the 3.2-inch MyTouch 3G -- one of the very first Android phones to reach market back in 2009 -- and the latest 3.7-inch MyTouch 4G Slide . (The 4G Slide is the most powerful MyTouch to date, with a 1.2GHz dual-core Qualcomm Snapdragon processor and an eight-megapixel camera.)

Latest MyTouch phones feature help wizards

MyTouch Q (left) and MyTouch
(Click to enlarge)

None of the MyTouch phones have exceeded that size, and they've all featured curvy designs and marketing campaigns that have been subtly focused on women, not unlike Verizon's new HTC Rhyme . The new LG MyTouch phones continue these traditions, although with slightly diminished curves, and T-Mobile is marketing them at newbies who don't take naturally to the inner mysteries of Android.

Both the MyTouch and QWERTY-enabled MyTouch Q add to the Android 2.3 experience a number of features aimed to get novice users up and running quickly. These include a set-up wizard that helps users get rolling on email and social network integration, a "Tips Widget" that offers a "how-to" overview of features, and a collection of instructional videos.

The phones also provide T-Mobile's previously fielded "Genius Button," which enables "one-shot" voice commands for calling, texting, or searching the web, according to the carrier. Additional software includes Android Market and Google Maps, as well as Netflix, YouTube, and "T-Mobile TV in Mobile HD."

Both MyTouch models feature 1GHz single-core Qualcomm Snapdragon processors, placing them firmly in the mid-range of Android phones. The MyTouch offers a 3.8-inch touchscreen while the MyTouch Q is equipped with a 3.5-inch display and a slide-out QWERTY keyboard, says T-Mobile.

They both offer modest five-megapixel cameras with 720p video recording, while the larger MyTouch also supplies a front-facing webcam with access to T-Mobile Video Chat, powered by Qik, says the carrier. The MyTouch is said to be available in black or white, while the Q model may be found in gray or violet.

T-Mobile makes no mention of the speed of the particular 4G HSPA+ support offered, but PhoneArena says the MyTouch and the MyTouch Q support the carrier's fastest 42Mbps service. The publication also fills in some more specs, including the presence of Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and GPS, as well as a microSD slot, micro-USB port, 3.5mm audio port, and a full slate of sensors.

The MyTouch measures 4.82 x 2.5 x 0.40 (122 x 64 x 10mm) and weighs 3.8 ounces (108 grams), says PhoneArena. The 1500mAh battery is claimed to last nine hours for talk and 456 hours on standby.

The MyTouch Q measures 4.76 x 2.5 x 0.51 inches (121 x 64 x 13mm) and weighs 5.64 ounces (160 grams), says PhoneArena. The 1500mAh battery is claimed to last only 3.3 hours of talk time and 280 hours standby. (The difference in claimed battery life between the two models, seems extreme -- even considering the QWERTY slider variable -- so this is a good time to pass on PhoneArena's caveat that it cannot guarantee its posted specs.)


The LG-built MyTouch and MyTouch Q will both be available in time for this year's holiday season, according to T-Mobile, which did not list pricing. More information and notification sign-up may be found on T-Mobile's MyTouch/MyTouch Q product page .

Multiserver Setup With Dedicated Web, Email, DNS & MySQL Database Servers On Debian Squeeze With ISPConfig 3  

Posted by Daniela Mehler

Howtoforge posted a tutorial about setting up a Multiserver Setup with ISPConfig 3 and Debian 6
This tutorial describes the installation of an ISPConfig 3 multiserver setup with dedicated web, email, database and two DNS servers all managed trough a single ISPConfig 3 control panel. The setup described below uses five servers and can be extended easily to to a higher number of servers by just adding more servers. E.g. if you want to have two mailservers, do the setup steps from chapter 2 on both of these servers. If you want to set up more web servers, then install ISPConfig on all other web servers in expert mode except of the first one.

Cyrus-imapd-2.2 security update for Debian  

Posted by Daniela Mehler

Updated cyrus-imapd-2.2 has been released for Debian GNU/Linux
- -------------------------------------------------------------------------- Debian Security Advisory DSA-2318-1 security@debian.org http://www.debian.org/security/ Nico Golde Oct 6, 2011 http://www.debian.org/security/faq - -------------------------------------------------------------------------- Package : cyrus-imapd-2.2 Vulnerability : multiple Problem type : remote Debian-specific: no Debian bug : none CVE IDs : CVE-2011-3372 CVE-2011-3208 Multiple security issues have been discovered in cyrus-imapd, a highly scalable mail system designed for use in enterprise environments. The Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures project identifies the following problems: CVE-2011-3208 Coverity discovered a stack-based buffer overflow in the NNTP server implementation (nttpd) of cyrus-imapd. An attacker can exploit this flaw via several crafted NNTP commands to execute arbitrary code. CVE-2011-3372 Stefan Cornelius of Secunia Research discovered that the command processing of the NNTP server implementation (nttpd) of cyrus-imapd is not properly implementing access restrictions for certain commands and is not checking for a complete, successful authentication. An attacker can use this flaw to bypass access restrictions for some commands and, e.g. exploit CVE-2011-3208 without proper authentication. For the oldstable distribution (lenny), this problem has been fixed in version 2.2_2.2.13-14+lenny5. For the stable distribution (squeeze), this problem has been fixed in version 2.2_2.2.13-19+squeeze2. For the testing distribution (wheezy), this problem will be fixed soon. For the unstable distribution (sid), this problem has been fixed in cyrus-imapd-2.4 version 2.4.12-1. We recommend that you upgrade your cyrus-imapd-2.2 packages. Further information about Debian Security Advisories, how to apply these updates to your system and frequently asked questions can be found at: http://www.debian.org/security/

Intel unveils smaller, power-sipping Atoms  

Posted by Daniela Mehler

Intel has quietly launched its 32nm, "Cedar Trail" Atoms, which will reportedly sell for as little as $42. The portable-focused Atom N2600 and N2800 can be clocked up to 1.86GHz and 2.13GHz respectively, while the desktop-oriented D2500 and D2700 stretch to 2.13GHz and 2.4GHz, according to the company.

Since the 2008 release of its original Z5xx ("Silverthorne"), Intel has released 42 different, 45nm-fabbed Atom processors (a total that doesn't even include the Atom-based CE4100 and CE4200 systems-on-chip). The chipmaker's most recent such product is the "Oak Trail" Atom Z670 , which has already been incorporated into a variety of tablets and other devices.

But in April, the company tipped a smaller Atom platform code-named "Cedar Trail," which it promised would shrink courtesy of 32nm fabrication and go on sale during the second half of this year. Featuring further improvements in power consumption, "Cedar Trail" (below) will include Blu-ray 2.0 support, a dedicated media engine "for full 1080p playback," plus additional video options including Intel Wireless Display, DisplayPort, and HDMI, the company said at the time.

Intel unveils smaller, power-sipping Atoms

Intel's Cedar Trail
(Click to enlarge)

Thanks to leaks that soon began pinging around the blogosphere, it was clear by May that the new Cedar Trail Atoms would be known as the D2500 and D2700 for desktops, and the N2600 and N2800 for portables.

And a May 26 story by DigiTimes writers Monica Chen and Joseph Tsai cited "sources from netbook players" as saying the N2600 and N2800 would sell for just $42 and $47 -- a significant drop from the cost of the existing Atom N4xx and N5xx CPUs, which ranged from $64 to $86 at the time.

Likely drawing on the same porous Taiwanese sources, CPU World writer Gennadly Shvets published the same prices on May 24 . His story also summarized available information on clock speeds and power consumption in a table, which we adapted and is reprinted below.

Model   Clock speed   Cores/threads   TDP   Price  

D2500   1.86 GHz   2/2   10W   $42  

D2700   2.13 GHz   2/4   10W   $52  

N2600   1.6 GHz   2/4   3.5W   $42  

N2800   1.86GHz   2/4   6.5W   $47  

Intel's upcoming D- and N-series Atoms
Source: CPU World

Information on Cedar Trail's enhanced graphics apparently first emerged, meanwhile, on the VR-Zone website. On May 10, it ran an "exclusive" story with what appeared to be a Intel-sourced graphic (below).

Intel unveils smaller, power-sipping Atoms

Intel's Cedarview platform
Source: VR-Zone
(Click to enlarge)

The slide indicated that the 32nm-fabbed Cedar Trail chips measure 22 x 22nm. Also disclosed was PowerVR graphics IP licensed from Imagination Technologies, providing support for DirectX 10.1 and OpenGL 3.0, as well as hardware accelerated video decoding for MPEG-2, MPEG-4 part 2, VC1, WMV9, and H.264.

Stealthy confirmation from Intel

Intel still hasn't confirmed the pricing quoted above, nor has it posted product pages for the four Cedar Trail Atoms, as far as we're aware. But, the N2600, N2800, D2500, and D2700 quietly became official when the chipmaker quietly placed a PDF-formatted data sheet for the processors on its website.

Intel unveils smaller, power-sipping Atoms

Clock speeds for Intel's new Cedar Trail Atoms
Source: Intel
(Click to enlarge)

This 119-page document essentially confirms the information already mentioned in this story. As shown above, however, it adds that the N2600 and N2800 can potentially be clocked up from their normal 1.6/1.86GHz to 1.86/2.13GHz, while the D2500 and D2700 may be bumped from 1.86GHz or 2.13GHz to 2.13GHz/2.4GHz.

Apparently the fastest Atom processors ever, the new chips have maximum TDPs of 10 Watts for the D2500 and D2700. The N2800 and N2600, meanwhile, can operate using just 6.5 Watts or 3.5 Watts, respectively.

Intel unveils smaller, power-sipping Atoms

A block diagram of the Cedar Trail platform
Source: Intel
(Click to enlarge)

Intel's documentation also confirms our previous suspicions that the Cedar Trail CPUs would use the company's existing I/O controller. The maximum amount of RAM supported is 2GB for the N2600, and 4GB for the other three processors, according to the company.

Intel unveils smaller, power-sipping Atoms

Resolutions supported by the Cedar Trail processors
Source: Intel
(Click to enlarge)

Intel adds that the built-in graphics on the N2600, N2800, D2500, and D2700 support LVDS, Embedded Display Port, VGA, Display Port, HDMI, and DVI interfaces. As indicated by the table above, the most widely supported resolution is 1920 x 1200 pixels, but the D2xxx processors support Display Port screens with 2560 x 1600 pixels.

Jonathan Angel can be followed at www.twitter.com/gadgetsense .

Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6.2 Beta  

Posted by Daniela Mehler

Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6.2 Beta has been released to RHEL subscribers
Dear Red Hat customers and partners: Today, we are pleased to announce the availability of the beta for Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6.2. This beta includes a broad set of updates to the existing feature set and also provides rich new functionality particularly in the areas of performance and scaling, identity management, high availability, advanced storage, and networking as well as enablement for the latest hardware and architectures. Already the established leader as both a virtual machine guest and hypervisor host, Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6.2 introduces new features and enhanced functionality that reinforces Red Hat Enterprise Linux as the standard operating system platform for the enterprise. Key functionality in this beta include: Performance and Scaling o Kernel-level optimizations implemented in the process scheduler, networking, virtualization, and I/O subsystems will improve performance and scalability. o Faster creation of ext4 file systems and improved response times in XFS for certain workloads. o Improved CPU controller, scalability and enhanced resource management features to set processor utilization ceilings. Identity Management o Centralized identity management for the flexible management of users, roles, policies, and authentication services. o New capabilities for the unification of Kerberos ticketing, DNS naming, user and group ids, and Linux systems policies into a single service. High Availability o Support for Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6 guests on VMware(R) hosts and comprehensive support for the GFS2 shared storage file system have been added to the High Availability Add-on Product, creating a more tightly integrated environment. o Full support for the UDP-unicast protocol which reduces administration overhead, resulting in easier cluster deployment. Advanced Storage o World Wide Name (WWN), or World Wide Identifier (WWID), for storage devices making it easier to identify them during installation for users utilizing Storage Area Networks (SAN) and other advanced network typologies. o Within production environments using Infiniband - where high throughput and low latency are key requirements - Red Hat Enterprise Linux can now be purposed as an iSCSI initiator and storage server. Networking o Transmit Packet Steering (XPS) capabilities which improve network packet transmission throughput by 30%. We look to our community and partners for feedback to ensure Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6.2 is yet another high-quality release. The beta can be accessed at https://access.redhat.com/downloads/ The Release Notes can be accessed at https://docs.redhat.com/docs/en-US/Red_Hat_Enterprise_Linux/6-Beta/html/6.2_Release_Notes/index.html The public blog can be accessed at http://www.redhat.com/about/news/blog/red-hat-announces-the-beta-release-of-red-hat-enterprise-linux-6-2 To learn more about Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6, visit http://www.redhat.com/rhel/ For a technical deep-dive on Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6, visit http://www.redhat.com/about/news/blog/red-hat-enterprise-linux-6-a-technical-look-at-red-hats-defining-new-operating-platform/ We are always thankful to our partners and our customers who continue to work with us to develop and deliver the highest quality platform available today. The Enterprise Linux Team

20 ways to break Linux  

Posted by Daniela Mehler

Techradar posted 20 ways to break Linux
Linux has a reputation for robustness but there are still plenty of ways to damage a perfectly working system.Here we share some of the ways you can trash Linux so you don't make the same mistakes we did. 01. Fill a filesystem If the filesystem containing /var fills up, nothing can write its log messages and all sorts of system processes may stall. This can be caused by a runaway process spamming /var/log or, if everything is on the same filesystem, it could be all the downloads in your home directory.

CompatDB Updates 10/05/11  

Posted by Daniela Mehler

Here the latest updates of the CompatDB compatiblity lists. There are today 10 Windows updates. Windows Applications: 7Burn - Burning Studio (RCPsoft) CCleaner Standard (Piriform Ltd. ) IObit Malware Fighter (IObit) IObit Toolbox v1.0 (IObit) Mozilla Firefox 6.0.2 Final (The Mozilla Organization) Realtek High Definition Audio for 2K/XP/03 (Realtek) Win7codecs x64 (Shark007) Windows 7 USB/DVD Download Tool (Microsoft Corp.) Games: Space Bunnies Must Die! (Ripcord Games) Hardware: Promise FastTrack 378 PATA/SATA RAID (Promise) Please contribute to the compatibility lists by submitting reports of your (in)compatible hardware/software to the database. The CompatDB compatibility lists are free and licensed under the terms of the GNU Lesser General Public License. For more information visit the CompatDB site. To submit reports for Windows: Submit Windows application Submit Windows game Submit Windows hardware To submit reports for Linux: Submit Linux application Submit Linux game Submit Linux hardware To submit reports for Mac OS: Submit Mac OS application Submit Mac OS game Submit Mac OS hardware

Puppet security update for Debian  

Posted by Daniela Mehler

A puppet security update has been released for Debian GNU/Linux
- -------------------------------------------------------------------------- Debian Security Advisory DSA-2314-1 security@debian.org http://www.debian.org/security/ Nico Golde Oct 3, 2011 http://www.debian.org/security/faq - -------------------------------------------------------------------------- Package : puppet Vulnerability : multiple Problem type : local/remote Debian-specific: no Debian bug : none CVE IDs : CVE-2011-3848 CVE-2011-3870 CVE-2011-3869 CVE-2011-3871 Multiple security issues have been discovered in puppet, a centralized configuration management system. The Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures project identifies the following problems: CVE-2011-3848 Kristian Erik Hermansen reported that an unauthenticated directory traversal could drop any valid X.509 Certificate Signing Request at any location on disk, with the privileges of the Puppet Master application. CVE-2011-3870 Ricky Zhou discovered a potential local privilege escalation in the ssh_authorized_keys resource and theoretically in the Solaris and AIX providers, where file ownership was given away before it was written, leading to a possibility for a user to overwrite arbitrary files as root, if their authorized_keys file was managed. CVE-2011-3869 A predictable file name in the k5login type leads to the possibility of symlink attacks which would allow the owner of the home directory to symlink to anything on the system, and have it replaced with the "correct" content of the file, which can lead to a privilege escalation on puppet runs. CVE-2011-3871 A potential local privilege escalation was found in the --edit mode of 'puppet resource' due to a persistant, predictable file name, which can result in editing an arbitrary target file, and thus be be tricked into running that arbitrary file as the invoking user. This command is most commonly run as root, this leads to a potential privilege escalation. Additionally, this update hardens the indirector file backed terminus base class against injection attacks based on trusted path names. For the oldstable distribution (lenny), this problem will be fixed soon. For the stable distribution (squeeze), this problem has been fixed in version 2.6.2-5+squeeze1. For the testing distribution (wheezy), this has been fixed in version 2.7.3-3. For the unstable distribution (sid), this problem has been fixed in version 2.7.3-3. We recommend that you upgrade your puppet packages. Further information about Debian Security Advisories, how to apply these updates to your system and frequently asked questions can be found at: http://www.debian.org/security/

CompatDB Updates 10/03/11  

Posted by Daniela Mehler

Here the latest updates of the CompatDB compatiblity lists. There are today 22 Windows updates. Windows Applications: AMD Athlon 64/FX Processor Driver (Advanced Micro Devices, Inc.) Amplify (Blue Radium) Avid Xpress Pro HD v.5.0 (Avid) Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi Driver Windows 7 (Creative) Download Accelerator Plus Language Pack (SpeedBit Ltd.) EVEREST Free Edition 2.20 (Lavalys Consulting Group, Inc.) Intel Chipset Device Software (Formerly Chipset Software Installation Utility) (Intel) Intel Graphics Media Accelerator Driver for Windows XP (Intel Corp.) IObit Malware Fighter (IObit) K-Lite Codec Pack Full (KL Software) Malwarebytes Anti-Malware (Malwarebytes) McAfee Virus SuperDAT Definitions 6005 (Network Associates) Mozilla Firefox 6.0.2 Final (The Mozilla Organization) Realtek High Definition Audio for 2K/XP/03 (Realtek) SiS UniVGA5 Graphics Driver For Windows 7 (VIA / S3 Graphics) Win7codecs (Shark007) Win7codecs x64 (Shark007) Win7x64 Components (Shark007) Windows 7 SP1 90-Day Eval VHD (Microsoft ) Hardware: EZcam (Ezonics) Realtek High Definition Audio for 2K/XP/03 (Realtek) Realtek RTL810X/RTL8130/ RTL8139(A/B/C/D) PCI Series Drivers For Vista (Realtek) Please contribute to the compatibility lists by submitting reports of your (in)compatible hardware/software to the database. The CompatDB compatibility lists are free and licensed under the terms of the GNU Lesser General Public License. For more information visit the CompatDB site. To submit reports for Windows: Submit Windows application Submit Windows game Submit Windows hardware To submit reports for Linux: Submit Linux application Submit Linux game Submit Linux hardware To submit reports for Mac OS: Submit Mac OS application Submit Mac OS game Submit Mac OS hardware

Kloxo 6.1.7 pre-release 5 (20110928)  

Posted by Daniela Mehler

Another pre-release of Kloxo 6.1.7 is available. Kloxo is a free webhosting software for CentOS to manage clients, resellers, databases, traffic, domains, mail and IPs across multiple locations. Most codes for Kloxo 6.1.7 already to be release. But, before release need help from users to participate in test. Why?. The reason is many features in 6.1.7, especially reconstruct apache and lighttpd config structures. With this new structure, apache and lighttpd more 'customize' then previous. What new in Kloxo 6.1.7 (http://project.lxcenter.org/projects/kloxo/roadmap): 1. New structures for apache and lighttpd 2. More options on 'PHP type' in Apache, add: - mod_php_ruid2 and mod_php_itk --> mod_php with secure environment - suphp_worker and suphp_event --> suphp running on httpd-worker or httpd-event; on previous only httpd-prefork 3. Fix bugs: - xcache install - database for horde and roundcube - missing images - parked, redirect and webmail webserver config - NEW! - etc 4. Bonus: - Running well on 64bit (still have some issues; mostly IMAP problem)--> solve for IMAP problem - New layout for default/disable/cp/webmail pages - Possibility change logo on new pages - new scripts for optimize (apache-optimize, mysql-convert, mysql-optimize, fix-chownchmod, clearcache) - new scripts for install (kloxo-installer.sh, kloxo-packer.sh and kloxo-patcher.sh) - modified and new scripts (fixwebmail.sh, fixhorde.sh and fixroundcube.sh) - Can install old version - NEW! - etc WARNING: backup data before testing!!! 1. kloxo pre-install 1.1. Download: cd /tmp wget "http://forum.lxcenter.org/index.php?t=getfile&id=1457" mv index.php* kloxo_pre6.1.7.zip unzip kloxo_pre6.1.7.zip 1.2. Before kloxo install: cd /tmp/pre-install sh preinstall.sh 2. Kloxo install: 2.1 New/fresh kloxo install cd /tmp/kloxo cp -rf /tmp/kloxo/patch/kloxo-install/kloxo-packer.sh ./ sh kloxo-packer.sh --svnpath=branches/6.1.x cd ./ready sh kloxo-installer.sh --type=master reboot OR 2.2 Patch on kloxo 6.1.6 already installed cd /tmp/kloxo cp -rf /tmp/kloxo/patch/kloxo-install/kloxo-patcher.sh ./ sh kloxo-patcher.sh --type=master reboot 3. Before testing ruid2 and itk cd /tmp/kloxo cp -rf /kloxo/patch/extra-repo/*repo /etc/yum.repos.d/ - delete this kloxo-custom.repo when Kloxo 6.1.7 release

ThinkPad Tablet holds its own against iPad in enterprise, says review  

Posted by Daniela Mehler

Lenovo's 10.1-inch ThinkPad Tablet is a reasonable alternative to the iPad 2 for enterprise users, says this eWEEK Labs review. This capable Android "Honeycomb" tablet offers business-focused extras like built-in enterprise software, full-size ports, and an effective digitizing pen.

The newly released Lenovo ThinkPad tablet flips the "consumerization of IT" paradigm by adding business-class features. These include management software, full-size peripheral connectors -- including a USB 2.0 port -- and an optional digitizer pen.

The ThinkPad tablet debuted Aug. 23 and comes with 16GB, 32GB, or 64GB RAM. The configurations are priced at $499, $569 and $699, respectively, for the Wi-Fi-only version. Pending radio approval, a broadband mobile edition of the ThinkPad tablet appears imminent but was not available at the time of this review.

ThinkPad Tablet holds its own against iPad in enterprise, says review

Lenovo ThinkPad Tablet

I tested the ThinkPad tablet at eWEEK Labs, and found the device a worthy competitor in terms of performance and capability when compared with the widely used Apple iPad 2. The tablet runs Android "Honeycomb" on  a Nvidia Tegra 2 dual-core, 1GHz ARM processor, and features a 10.1-inch display.

Device wake was instantaneous, and applications and screen swipes were snappy. I encountered one instance when using the Notes Mobile application when the simulated page-turn was draggy, but I was not able to consistently reproduce this effect.

ThinkPad Tablet holds its own against iPad in enterprise, says review

ThinkPad Tablet in optional keyboard dock

The ThinkPad Tablet has slightly larger dimensions and is marginally heavier than the iPad 2, and the rated battery life is about 90 minutes shorter than the premier Apple device. Even so, I had no trouble using the ThinkPad Tablet all day on a Wi-Fi connection without needing to look for a power outlet. Although I didn't test it, the tablet can also be used with an integrated stand/keyboard/cover accessory (see image above).

A pen in the hand

One of the most obvious differences between the ThinkPad Tablet and most current tablet designs is the digitizer pen. Although the optional pen tether ruins the sight lines of the tablet, I was easily able to work without getting caught in the tether line. The digitizer pen makes jobs such as sketching or precisely marking an area on the screen easy, compared with using a finger to perform these tasks.

The included Notes Mobile application aptly recognized my hen scratching, and almost immediately turned it into readable text. I don’t like the clattery noise made when the stylus is used on the Gorilla glass display, but the noise will only be noticeable in quiet meetings and is no louder than keyboard typing.

ThinkPad Tablet holds its own against iPad in enterprise, says review

ThinkPad Tablet ports

In addition to the digitizer pen, the ThinkPad tablet has a number of connection ports that should please business users: full-size USB 2.0, micro-USB, mini High-Definition Multimedia Interface (HDMI), and a three-in-one SD media card reader. Using the USB file copy utility worked as expected, enabling me to move files on and off the tablet.

Overall, the fit and finish of the ThinkPad Tablet carries on the business-class durability found in ThinkPad laptops. The Gorilla glass display resisted scratching during regular use.

The four physical keys on the lower edge of the ThinkPad Tablet have a counter-intuitive upward press action, but are otherwise unremarkable. The covers for the external ports were easy to open and had a positive feel when latched shut. The single speaker resulted in a fairly mediocre listening experience, but the headphone jack provided very good sound output.

What's good for business?

The Lenovo ThinkPad Tablet comes with a number of business-first applications already installed, although the applications verge on being bloatware. Most of the included "free" software actually consists of trial versions.

For example, the PrinterShare application is limited to printing 20 pages before the user needs to buy the application. I was able to set up and use PrinterShare in under five minutes, although IT managers will need to locate printer drivers for users to successfully use the application.

Similarly, the included Docs To Go application, which enables users to view and edit Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint files, is a trial version.

Other applications are full-featured, but will only benefit organizations that are already using particular enterprise applications or back-end systems. For example, Lenovo has long had a relationship with LANDesk, the endpoint management tool-maker.

Lenovo says the ThinkPad Tablet can be managed through the ThinkManagement Console and the Lenovo Mobility Manager add-ins for the LANDesk Management Suite version 9. The LANDesk integration enables IT managers to push applications and security policies through the LANDesk system.

Lenovo also enables shops to set up a private application store so that employees can get approved software.

IT managers who are in a position to recommend a tablet device instead of just accepting whatever walks in the door would do well to consider the ThinkPad Tablet. More images and review notes on the ThinkPad Tablet may be found in this eWEEK slide show .

Cameron Sturdevant is a technical director and regular reviewer for  eWEEK Labs.

Revised seven-inch Galaxy Tab is thinner, lighter, and faster  

Posted by Daniela Mehler

Samsung announced a replacement for its original seven-inch Galaxy Tab Android tablet, upgraded with a dual-core 1.2GHz processor. The Samsung Galaxy Tab 7.0 Plus is faster, thinner, lighter, and adds HSPA+ service -- plus, it should be inexpensive, considering the competition from Amazon's $200 Kindle Fire and HTC's Flyer (about to be slashed to $300).

Revised seven-inch Galaxy Tab is thinner, lighter, and faster

As far as we know, the original, seven-inch Samsung Galaxy Tab Android tablet (pictured at right) is still the best selling Android tablet of all time. By "all time," we pretty much mean since last November when the Galaxy Tab shipped internationally and on all the major U.S. wireless carriers. After all, it was one of the very first Android tablets to reach market.

Since then, we've seen the Galaxy Tab 10.1 , the Galaxy Tab 7.7 , and the Galaxy Tab 8.9 , each named for their screen size. Now the Galaxy Tab 7.0 Plus returns to Samsung's seven-inch roots with a thinner profile and a faster processor.

Revised seven-inch Galaxy Tab is thinner, lighter, and faster

Revised seven-inch Galaxy Tab is thinner, lighter, and faster

Samsung Galaxy Tab 7.0 Plus
(Click on either to enlarge)

The Galaxy Tab 7.0 Plus will launch in October in Indonesia and Austria, followed by the U.S. and other countries at a later date, presumably by the end of the year. Pricing was not listed, but in the wake of Amazon's $200 Kindle Fire , the 7.0 Plus is almost certain to be cheaper than the original's $600 launch price (with 3G), and may even match the roughly $300 the original Wi-Fi only version costs today.

Revised seven-inch Galaxy Tab is thinner, lighter, and faster

The Kindle Fire's pricing pressures have already been felt keenly. On Oct. 1, HTC and Best Buy will slash the price of the Wi-Fi only, seven-inch HTC Flyer tablet, from $500 to $300, according to SlashGear .

The biggest improvement to the Galaxy Tab is the 7.0 Plus version's dual-core 1.2GHz Cortex-A9 processor, a major upgrade from the original's single-core, 1GHz Cortex-A8 Samsung Hummingbird. Samsung doesn't list the name of the processor, holding out the possibility there's a Snapdragon or Tegra 2 under the hood, but we're guessing it's Samsung's Exynos .

This still doesn't match the dual-core 1.4GHz processor found in the Galaxy Tab 7.7, which -- with its Super AMOLED Plus screen -- can be considered the high-end successor to the original Tab. The 7.0 Plus resides in the mid-range, while the "Plus" addendum to its name holds out the possibility that Samsung will come up with a low-end version as well.

The other big improvements are in weight and thickness. This is no surprise considering Samsung has been pushing the size and weight envelope in its other recent tablets as a response to the svelte iPad 2.

Whereas the original Tab measured 7.48 x 4.74 x 0.47 inches and weighed 13.4 ounces, the new 7.0 Plus measures 7.62 x 4.82 x 0.39 inches and weighs 12.17 ounces.

Like the original Tab, the 7.0 Plus model offers 1024 x 600 resolution, according to Samsung. By comparison, other recent high-end Android tablets, such as the Toshiba Thrive 7" , are moving up to 1280 x 800 resolution. The 7.0 Plus also uses PLS LCD display technology, rather than Super AMOLED Plus.

Like most other recent seven-inch tablet entries, the 7.0 Plus features the Android 3.2 version of the "Honeycomb" platform. The tablet is said to be equipped with 1GB of RAM and either 16GB or 32GB of internal flash storage, as well as a microSD slot for adding another 32GB card.

Like the original, the 7.0 Plus features a three-megapixel camera, but its front-facing camera -- which was a breakthrough when the original Tab was announced in September 2010 -- has moved up to two megapixels. The main camera offers LED flash and video recording in 720p HD. Video playback, meanwhile, supports up to 1080p HD quality, says Samsung.

Other features are more or less the same, including 802.11n, GPS, and Bluetooth 3.0, as well as a full list of sensors and a 4000mAh battery. The phone supports HSPA+ -- HSDPA 21Mbps and HSUPA 5.76Mbps -- and will no doubt be billed as being 4G when likely carriers such as AT&T and T-Mobile get a hold of it.

The Galaxy Tab 7.0 Plus adds Samsung's new tablet version of its TouchWiz user interface to the Android 3.2 experience, says the company. The tablet also comes with Google Mobile applications, including Search, Gmail, Google Talk, YouTube, Google Maps, and Android Market. Samsung Social Hub, Readers Hub, and Music Hub services are said to be available, and voice and video call support are supported "with no need for a headset," says Samsung.


The Samsung Galaxy Tab 7.0 Plus will be available in Indonesia and Austria at the end of October, says Samsung. A global rollout will follow in Southeast and Southwest Asia, the U.S., Europe, CIS, Latin America, Middle East, Africa, Japan, and China, on a rolling basis, says the company.

More information on the Galaxy Tab 7.0 Plus, including a full spec sheet, may be found at Samsung's Tab 7.0 Plus page .