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Engadget Mobile Podcast 147

We're later than usual with this week's Engadget Mobile Podcast, but can you blame us? Just look at all of those long, complicated topics below. Earnings, specs, leaks, beams, Notes...it's a mobile casserole, just like Mom used to make, with a little dash of something unquantifiable...just a hint...oh, it's a healthy dose of Lutz to round things out. Grab a plate and gather 'round because this dish needs to be eaten while it's hot, hot, hot!

Hosts: Myriam Joire (tnkgrl), Brad Molen
Guest: Zach Lutz
Producer: Trent Wolbe
Music: Tycho - Coastal Brake (Ghostly International)

00:01:22 - Samsung Galaxy Note for T-Mobile review
00:34:04 - Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro (APQ8064) MDP benchmarks blow away the competition (update: video)
00:45:26 - ATT's Garnet Red Galaxy S III for vampires: we go hands-on
00:53:12 - HTC explains decision to skip Android 4.0 for Desire HD: we'd rather not wipe your data
00:56:07 - HTC One X might drop to $100 on contract at ATT, tempt our wallets (update: confirmed)
01:26:06 - Windows Phone 8 SDK leaks show quiet upgrades to backup, media and the kitchen sink
01:30:23 - Samsung's Q2 2012 earnings show $5.86 billion operating profit, that's a lot of Galaxy S IIIs
01:30:51 - LG Q2 2012 earnings show a loss on cellphones, but higher profits overall thanks to home theater
01:31:11 - Apple announces Q3 2012 earnings: $35 billion revenue, $8.8 billion in net profits
01:39:48 - Apple v. Samsung court filings reveal Sony-inspired iPhone, kickstand-equipped iPad and other prototypes
01:46:30 - Motorola to allow bootloader unlocking from Photon Q 4G LTE onwards
01:47:10 - Sony Xperia 'Mint' leaked and reviewed: 4.3-inch (?) HD screen, 13MP camera, 1.5GHz S4 processor
01:51:32 - ATT reveals new multi-beam antenna tech for live events, could offer data speeds five times faster (video)

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Article source: http://www.engadget.com/2012/07/31/engadget-mobile-podcast-147-07-31-2012/

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Spotify adds radio streaming to its Android app

Catching up to its iOS sibling, Spotify's announced that its premium (and all US-based) users can now enjoy the same not-so-random radio playback functionality on Google-powered mobile devices. This includes creating "radio stations" from any artist, album or playlist you suggest and the ability to gradually improve Spotify's playlist-making skills by offering thumbs-up (or down) feedback on its efforts. Visit the source for the Android app's latest version.

Article source: http://www.engadget.com/2012/07/31/spotify-radio-streaming-its-android-app/

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Sony Xperia Tablet leaked from internal slides: Surface-style keyboard and tentative $450 price tag

Sony's next-generation tablet appears to have leaked on internal slides spotted by German news site, Mobiflip. In short, it's thinner and lighter than the Tablet S, while internal specifications also trump it, including a Tegra 3 quad-core processor, Android 4.0 ("or later"), 3G connectivity and three storage options; 16, 32 and 64GB. The whole tablet follows the same folded magazine design of Sony's existing tablet, is splashproof and houses a 6,000mAh battery that the slides suggest will manage 10 hours of WiFi-based web browsing. There's even some tentative pricing, with the different-sized models marked up at $450, $550 and $650, respectively. The pictures also cover Sony's plans to add a lightweight keyboard to its next tablet, similar to Microsoft's Surface plans, but with some Smart Cover-esque kickstand skills thrown in for good measure. We've added a shot of the keyboard cover after the break, but you can take a tour of the rest of the slides -- which include a raft of accessories and docks -- at the source link below.

Update: We've been in touch with a Sony spokesperson, who had "no comment at this stage." We may have to wait until next month, when European trade show IFA kicks off -- with Sony in attendance -- until we hear anything more concrete.

Article source: http://www.engadget.com/2012/07/31/sony-xperia-tablet-leak-rumor/

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The mighty Kuratas gets assembled on video

It'll cost you $1.35 million to own one, but putting together a Kuratas isn't any easier. The latest video of the monstrous mech shows it being transported and assembled. That means flatbeds, cranes and a whole lot of socket wrenches. Of course, at the end of the day, you've got a 13-foot tall robot you can climb inside. Certainly puts that Ikea bookshelf project into perspective, huh?

Article source: http://www.engadget.com/2012/07/31/the-mighty-kuratas-gets-assembled-on-video/

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T-Mobile urges the FCC to approve Verizon’s spectrum deal, wants its cut

It's strange to see another network provider stepping up to the plate for Verizon, but some of T-Mobile's big hitters have visited the FCC to do just that. The company wants Verizon's acquisition of AWS spectrum licenses from SpectrumCo, Cox and Leap to be pushed through as quickly as possible, and its motives are pretty obvious: it comes just a month after the companies agreed to some friendly bandwidth-sharing once the deal's done. T-Mobile has also challenged comments from the Rural Telecommunications Group (RTG), which argues that Verizon's acquisition will hurt competition. Oh, how things have changed since T-Mobile was battling in completely the opposite direction.

Article source: http://www.engadget.com/2012/07/31/tmobile-pressures-FCC/

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OUYA partners with Square Enix, names Final Fantasy III as launch title

We've been saying for a while now that a large deal of the success of Kickstarter blockbuster OUYA will hinge on the console's game selection. News just got a fair bit brighter on that front -- particularly for RPG fans. The company announced via its Kickstarter page (as per usual) that it has partnered with Square Enix. The first fruits of that burgeoning relationship will be Final Fantasy III, making the game a launch title for the console. The company is promising that the title will be "updated to exploit OUYA's high-definition resolution in glorious graphic detail" -- and, as is OUYA's M.O., players will be getting a free demo of the game. Oh, and for those keeping track, the product's Kickstarter page is currently at a mind-boggling $5,820,345 with eight days to go.

Article source: http://www.engadget.com/2012/07/31/ouya-partners-with-square-enix-names-final-fantasy-iii-as-launc/

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Hulu Plus app live on Apple TV

We haven't seen any official information yet, but tipsters report and we've confirmed on our own that Hulu Plus is quietly rolling out to Apple TV set-top boxes this morning. It was on our hockey pucks when we turned them on, while reports on Twitter indicate losing the connection before the icon appeared once the box came back online. We're checking it out now, and like Netflix, it allows users to pay for the service via iTunes if they choose. The menus and UI are all appropriately Apple TV styled, if you're not seeing it yet on your box then it should probably be there after a reboot. Otherwise it's the same old Hulu Plus, just (finally) on Apple TV without any hacks or redirects needed, any new users can snag a 1 week free trial by signing up on the website or through the device itself.

Update: We have official confirmation now, check the Hulu Blog for more information, or after the break for two quick demo videos.

[Thanks, Rune]

Ben Drawbaugh contributed to this report.

Article source: http://www.engadget.com/2012/07/31/hulu-plus-app-live-on-apple-tv/

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BBC shows off 33-megapixel Super Hi-Vision Olympic footage, we ask: why?

The first live Super Hi-Vision broadcast for public consumption was of the Olympic opening ceremony in London last week. We didn't get to see that premiere, or the second or third screenings either -- but the fourth? Oh yes. We grabbed a seat right up front of a small theater inside BBC Broadcasting House, watched a live 33-megapixel feed from the Aquatics Center and absorbed some very fond memories in the process. At the same time, a question hung over the footage like a watermark: why bother? The world is barely getting to grips with the notion of 4K, so why did the BBC and Japanese broadcaster NHK go to the expense of sending a dedicated SHV video truck, a 22.2-channel SHV audio truck, and the world's only three 8K Ultra HDTV cameras to London? Fortunately, we caught up with someone in charge who was able to respond to that question. Read on for what they said, plus a slightly fuller sense of what the footage was like to watch.

The grubby, high-ISO 1080i video above can't transmit this experience -- all we could do is zoom in on a detail and then zoom out again to show how small a proportion it was of the total image. Instead, it's better to just come out and say it: while watching the swimming event and cut-down highlights of the opening ceremony, there were moments when we could almost have believed we were looking not at a projected image, but rather through a window direct onto the Olympic Stadium or Aquatics Center itself.

Unlike HDTV, there wasn't even the merest hint of pixellation or compression in the 500Mb/s IP feed, and even the tiniest figures in the scene were totally vivid and sharp; and unlike 35mm film there were no flickers, artefacts or low-frame rates to force you into that other plane of celluloid reality. The sound was a big part of it too -- with an inordinate number of channels to position sound in the theater, it was impossible to tell whether the people sitting behind us were clapping or if it was actually someone in the Aquatics Center. Embarrassingly, there were a couple of occasions when we applauded some athlete and then realized we were the only ones in the theater making a sound. That's honestly how engaged we were.

However, these feelings never lasted long, because the shot would switch to another camera position which had worse contrast, or greater lens distortion, or shallower depth of field, and the illusion would be broken. In particular, there were occasions when what we wanted to focus on jarred with what the cameraman actually focused on -- because the vista was often so wide and detailed that it seemed we could choose any subject we wanted, and there was no need for cutaways. Wide shots worked best, when everything was visible and in focus. That said, many of these issues can be overcome, even if it means directors and cameramen have to work differently when broadcasting in 8K.

Ultimately, there's plenty of reason to believe the BBC's project head, Tim Plyming, when he says that "8K is the maximum the human eye can understand" and that "it's the end of the resolution story." As far as he's concerned, anyone investing in 4K may as well go right to the end of the track and put their money in 8K instead, because that's the technology that "puts people at the event."

As a broadcaster peering into the future, the BBC recognizes two very separate trends. The first, of course, is towards mobile, in which people increasingly want their video to be sent to phones and tablets as part of a data-rich stream of content. The second trend is towards immersion, in which people seek premium experiences on huge TVs and in theaters, and they want nothing to get in the way of their escapism: that's why the Olympic footage we saw had no commentary and no info-rich graphical overlays -- nothing except what a person at the event would see or hear. Plyming didn't state it specficially, but if you take this view to its logical conclusion, a regular 42-inch HDTV would get pushed into a no man's land somewhere inbetween -- it's not portable, not immersive, and therefore not able to compete in the long-term. And that's why broadcasters' investment in 8K perhaps isn't so wild after all.

Article source: http://www.engadget.com/2012/07/31/super-hi-vision-eyes-on/

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Google brings NYC subway alerts to Maps, makes public transit a little more bearable

Google has offered up New York City subway information via Maps for some time now, but as anyone who's navigated the 100-plus-year-old transit system will happily tell / complain to you, such information is only so useful without info on the requisite service changes -- a lot of work goes into maintaining something that old. Google's upping its game by bringing services changes to Maps for Android and its web-based counterpart. Clicking on one of the 468 stations in Maps will bring up relevant maintenance information, as well as step-by-step instructions for navigating around it. Until Boingo rolls out WiFi to more stations, however, you might want to check your status before going underground.

Article source: http://www.engadget.com/2012/07/31/google-brings-nyc-subway-alerts-to-maps-makes-public-transit-a/

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Pantech Marauder QWERTY slider gets official for Verizon, runs $50 after rebate

Pantech Marauder™ To Launch On The Verizon Wireless 4G LTE Network

Dual-Interface Option and QWERTY Keyboard Make Pantech Marauder the Perfect Crossover Choice for Basic Phone Customers Switching to a Smartphone

BASKING RIDGE, NJ and HAUPPAUGE, NY - Verizon Wireless and Pantech today announced the 4G LTE-powered Pantech Marauder™ is coming exclusively to America's largest 4G LTE network starting Aug. 2. The Pantech Marauder provides first-time smartphone customers with a dual-interface option, allowing customers to fit the device to their lifestyles or specific needs.

Brought to market by Personal Communications Devices, LLC (PCD), the Pantech Marauder offers customers the option to choose between Starter Mode and Standard Mode. Starter Mode is a simplified and more intuitive experience that is perfect for those who are new to the smartphone world. This option eases first-time customers into the smartphone experience with the help of four easy-to-learn home screens featuring preset widgets and an uncluttered, easy-to-use lock screen. Starter Mode also features a quick dialer icon that allows customers to make phone calls directly from the home screen. Standard Mode is a general smartphone setting for those who are familiar with the Android™ experience. It offers up to seven fully customizable home screens and a customizable lock screen with quick access to frequently used applications. All settings are maintained when switching between modes so customers do not have to worry about losing information.

The Pantech Marauder features a virtual keyboard as well as a slide-out QWERTY keyboard, making it the perfect choice for messaging aficionados and for those who want an excellent messaging experience. With the 5-megapixel camera, customers can take pictures, capture high-definition video, and easily share them as well as video chat with family and friends, using the Verizon Wireless 4G LTE network.

Additional features

Notification Curtain that displays quick on/off settings, phone settings, connectivity and sync, social media and email
On device help section provides guided tours for first-time smartphone customers to help learn the tips and tricks of their new device
1.2 GHz dual-core processor and 1 GB RAM
Support for Google™ Mobile Services, including Gmail™, YouTube™, Google+, Google Search™ and Google Maps™, as well as access to the Google Play Store
Share media with friends and colleagues wirelessly to DLNA®-enabled devices
Bluetooth® Version 3.0 Support Profiles: headset, hands-free, object push, advanced audio distribution (stereo), audio/video remote control, file transfer and phone book access
Daily Life Assistants such as clock, calendar and weather
Easy access email that is compatible with Microsoft® Exchange, Yahoo!® Mail, Windows Live®, AOL®, Gmail
microSD™ card slot with support for up to 32 GB
Mobile Hotspot capable to share 4G LTE connection with up to 10 Wi-Fi-enabled devices

The Pantech Marauder will be available online at www.verizonwireless.com starting Aug. 2 for $49.99 after a $50 mail-in rebate with a new two-year customer agreement. Customers receive the rebate in the form of a debit card; upon receipt, customers may use the card as cash anywhere debit cards are accepted. New customers that purchase a Pantech Marauder smartphone will need to subscribe to a Verizon Wireless Share Everything plan. Customers can purchase unlimited talk and text messaging with 1 GB of data for $90 monthly access. Customers can visit www.verizonwireless.com/shareeverything for additional information on data plans.

For more information on Verizon Wireless products and services, visit a Verizon Wireless Communications Store, call 1-800-2 JOIN IN or go to www.verizonwireless.com.

About Verizon Wireless
Verizon Wireless operates the nation's largest 4G LTE network and largest, most reliable 3G network. The company serves 94.2 million retail customers, including 88.8 million retail postpaid customers. Headquartered in Basking Ridge, N.J., with 78,000 employees nationwide, Verizon Wireless is a joint venture of Verizon Communications (NYSE, NASDAQ: VZ) and Vodafone (LSE, NASDAQ: VOD). For more information, visit www.verizonwireless.com. To preview and request broadcast-quality video footage and high-resolution stills of Verizon Wireless operations, log on to the Verizon Wireless Multimedia Library at www.verizonwireless.com/multimedia.

About Pantech
Pantech Co., Ltd., is one of Korea's top three mobile handset makers. Pantech has received wide-ranging industry recognition for its innovative handset designs, and has also introduced a significant number of breakthrough technologies in the mobile phone industry. Established in 1991, Pantech collectively has approximately 3,000 employees and 4 regional sales offices worldwide. For more information on Pantech, please visit www.pantechusa.com.

Article source: http://www.engadget.com/2012/07/31/pantech-marauder-qwerty-slider-gets-official-for-verizon-runs/

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