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South Korea successfully launches native rocket and satellite into space

The spacefaring club has been a small one: to date, just 10 countries have managed to build their own rocket and successfully deploy at least a satellite. Make that 11. South Korea has entered the fold by successfully launching its mostly self-developed, two-stage Naro rocket and putting the vehicle's Science and Technology Satellite-2C payload into orbit. The achievement comes after two prominent failures in 2009 and 2010, and is partly symbolic when there's no plans for a short-term follow-up. However, the success gets the ball rolling for the long run -- the Korea Aerospace Research Institute is working with contractors to build completely in-house rocket stages by 2016, and reach 300 tons of thrust as soon as 2018.

Article source: http://www.engadget.com/2013/01/30/south-korea-successfully-launches-native-rocket-and-satellite/

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Watson heading to college, honing administrator-pranking algorithms

IBM's Watson to Join Research Team at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

IBM (NYSE: IBM) today announced it will provide a modified version an IBM Watson system to Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, making it the first university to receive such a system. The arrival of the Watson system will enable new leading-edge research at Rensselaer, and afford faculty and students an opportunity to find new uses for Watson and deepen the systems' cognitive capabilities. The firsthand experience of working on the system will also better position Rensselaer students as future leaders in the areas of Big Data, analytics, and cognitive computing.

Known to many as the IBM innovation that beat Jeopardy!'s all-time champions, Watson has a unique ability to understand the subtle nuances of human language, sift through vast amounts of data, and provide evidence-based answers to its human users' questions. Currently, Watson's fact-finding prowess is being applied to crucial fields, such as healthcare, where IBM is collaborating with medical providers, hospitals and physicians to help doctors analyze a patient's history, symptoms and the latest news and medical literature to help physicians make faster, more accurate diagnoses. IBM is also working with financial institutions to help improve and simplify the banking experience
The leadership of Rensselaer faculty in Web science, Big Data, artificial intelligence, and other research areas uniquely situates the university to help expand Watson's abilities. Rensselaer faculty and students will seek to further sharpen Watson's reasoning and cognitive abilities, while broadening the volume, types, and sources of data Watson can draw upon to answer questions. Additionally, Rensselaer researchers will look for ways to harness the power of Watson for driving new innovations in finance, information technology, business analytics, and other areas.

With 15 terabytes of hard disk storage, the Watson system at Rensselaer will store roughly the same amount of information as its Jeopardy! predecessor and will allow 20 users to access the system at once – creating an innovation hub for the institutes' New York campus. Along with faculty researchers and graduate students, undergraduate students at Rensselaer will have opportunities to work directly with the Watson system. This experience will help prepare Rensselaer students for future high-impact, high-value careers in analytics, cognitive computing, and related fields.

Underscoring the value of the partnership between IBM and Rensselaer, Gartner, Inc. estimates that 1.9 million Big Data jobs will be created in the U.S. by 2015. This workforce -- which is in high demand today -- will require professionals who understand how to develop and harness data-crunching technologies such as Watson, and put them to use for solving the most pressing of business and societal needs.

"The entire Rensselaer community joins me in thanking IBM for enabling us to receive and welcome Watson technology to Rensselaer. The system will be an unprecedented platform to help students and faculty meet the challenge of our university's motto, 'Why Not Change the World?'" said Rensselaer President Shirley Ann Jackson. "Access to the Watson system will enable new research in cognitive computing as it relates to a diverse range of scientific and engineering fields, and the experience of working on Watson will give our students an advantage as they compete for the best jobs in Big Data, analytics, and cognitive computing."

"The award signifies our strong partnership with Rensselaer and our commitment to ensure New York State has the skills and capabilities to lead in Big Data applications and the next era of computing," said Dr. John E. Kelly, Senior Vice President and Director of IBM Research.

As part of a Shared University Research (SUR) Award granted by IBM Research, IBM will provide Rensselaer with Watson hardware, software and training.The ability to use Watson to answer complex questions posed in natural language with speed, accuracy and confidence has enormous potential to help improve decision making across a variety of industries from health care, to retail, telecommunications and financial services.

Article source: http://www.engadget.com/2013/01/30/watson-college/

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Kanex’s DualRole is a USB 3.0 hub and Ethernet adapter for modern MacBooks


BREA, CA – January 31, 2013 – Kanex®, a leader of innovative Apple® and iOS connectivity solutions for homes and businesses worldwide, today announced DualRole™, a USB 3 Hub and Gigabit Adapter all in one solution. The hub portion uses the latest SuperSpeed USB 3.0 standard for fast transfer speeds between devices and your computer. It has three extra USB 3 ports which enable users to connect more USB 3 devices such as hard drives, digital cameras, MP3 players and more. The Gigabit Ethernet adapter adds a Gigabit port to your MacBook Air, MacBook Pro with Retina display or any other USB 3 enabled computer and provides a fast and secure wired connection without hassle of Wi-Fi setup.

"We designed DualRole with MacBook travelers in mind," said Kelvin Yan, president of Kanex. "We know when on the road sometimes you need an Ethernet connection for Internet or network access or even more USB ports, which is why we combined both a hub and adapter into one small compact solution."

The Kanex DualRole is bus-powered however for additional power; users can plug in a 5V wall power adapter to provide more power to the USB3 ports. This enables users to connect USB 3 devices that require more power to operate.

Pricing and Availability:

The Kanex DualRole is available for $69 through select retailers and our website at www.kanexlive.com/dualrole.

Article source: http://www.engadget.com/2013/01/30/kanex-dualrole/

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Vimeo introduces content ratings for videos, keeps its platform in check

Vimeo's certainly made its presence felt inside multiple media-delivery mezzanines, but the video service isn't forgetting all about the basics: its own platform. As such, Vimeo today announced some more changes to its website, which will see the introduction of a content rating system for published videos. The most recent alterations, as seen in the picture above, add an assessed rating badge to a user's video, making it a requirement to brand any uploads as "All Audiences," "Mature," or "Not Yet Rated." According to Vimeo, these content ratings are "the first step along a path that will make Vimeo more accessible to more audiences," adding that sometimes it's a a good idea to let folks know "if a face is going to explode or if someone is going to take their jean shorts off."

Article source: http://www.engadget.com/2013/01/30/vimeo-content-ratings-videos/

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BlackBerry Q10 hands-on

Forget the all-touch Z10 for a moment. This here is RIM's BlackBerry's other BB 10 device -- the BlackBerry Q10. As you can tell from its alphanumeric moniker, that single letter is a nod towards the handset's physical leanings. That's right, it's a hybrid touch / physical QWERTY model and one that diehard BlackBerry fans won't only be more familiar with, but potentially more willing to embrace with open palms. With a 720 x 720 Super AMOLED 3.1 inch display, the Q10's screen is slightly larger than its touch hybrid predecessor, the Bold 9930, and sports a much tighter pixel density of 328ppi (BlackBerry claims the display is 360ppi, which doesn't jibe with our math). The screen itself is plenty bright and contrasty with incredible viewing angles. We didn't notice any of the telltale blue-tinge typical of AMOLED implementations, but the overtly blue lighting around us might have helped mask those shortcomings.

The steel band around the middle and "glass weave" backplate actually gave the device a pleasantly premium feel in our hands. It was solid, well shaped and smooth to the touch without being plasticky. The 1.5GHz dual-core CPU and 2GB of RAM keep the device humming along quite smoothly. It reacted almost instantaneously to input with no hiccups. The smaller screen size did make touch input seem a little less natural, but the ability to just start typing and search or perform actions (such as sending an email) more than made up for the slightly cramped confines.

The 10.3mm thick body does feel slightly chunky when compared to it's all touch sibling the Z10, and downright brick-like next to a svelte beauty like the Galaxy S III, but its short stout shape will fit in your pocket and palm with equal ease. At 139g it does pack some heft, but we dont see that as a bad thing. The phone feels like it means business -- something we can't say for some of its plasticky Android competitors. For more, check out the gallery below and the video after the break.

BlackBerry Q10 (hands-on)

Joseph Volpe and Ben Gilbert contributed to this report.

Article source: http://www.engadget.com/2013/01/30/blackberry-q10-hands-on/

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Blackberry Z10 UK pricing revealed: all devices 4G-ready, free on £36 per-month contracts

Liked what you saw? Even happier then, as a Brit, you'll likely be getting your hands on it months before your US cousins. UK networks have started to announce availability for the handset, with EE, O2, Three and Vodafone already confirmed to be stocking the Z10. Retailers that will also be selling the new BB10 hardware in the British Isles include Carphone Warehouse and Phones 4U.

Retailer Phones 4U will launch both color options (exclusively, at least initially) although it hasn't ventured a contract-free price just yet. The Carphone Warehouse, meanwhile will be offering the Z10 free on contracts of £36 per month on the major networks.

Vodafone will offer the Z10 for £29 on the £42 a month Red Data plan, including unlimited calls and texts as well as 2GB of internet. It'll be free on the £47 a month variant of plan, or cost £69 one-of payment on the £37 per month plan. Three UK hasn't revealed any details beyond that it'll be stocking the handset.

While all Z10 devices sold will be ready for 4G, according the Waterloo crew, the BlackBerry Z10 will be available to utilize EE's existing 4G service immediately. The price? It'll be £50 on a £41 per-month 24 month package, with 1GB of mobile data, as well as unlimited UK calls and texts. No word just yet on whether Orange and T-Mobile will be offering cheaper bundles later. We'll update here when we hear more pricing details from the other players.

Article source: http://www.engadget.com/2013/01/30/blackberry-z10-uk-pricing/

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BlackBerry sticking with 4.2- and 3.1-inch screen sizes, resolutions for next wave of BB10 devices

If you're expecting to see future BlackBerry devices with larger (or smaller) screen sizes, Thorsten Heins has got a bucket of ice water ready to throw over your dreams. At the BlackBerry 10 launch event, he confirmed that the next set of smartphones would stick to the same screen sizes and resolutions that we've seen in the Z10 and Q10. The company wants to avoid fragmenting its ecosystem and, as such, will stick to having two hardware strands -- one with a 4.2-inch, 1,280 x 768 display and the other with a 3.1-inch, 720 x 720 screen. When questioned about when we'd see follow-ups to both BlackBerry 10 handsets, Heins said that the company was looking at product cycles of between 12 and 15 months, but wouldn't be drawn on specifics.

Article source: http://www.engadget.com/2013/01/30/blackberry-sticking-with-z10-q10-screen-sizes/

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Engadget HD Podcast 334

Did you miss us? Richard and Ben needed a second dose of recovery time after all the madness from our post-CES podcast, but now we're back to normalcy. These week, we do our best to keep the earnings numbers to a minimum and, instead, focus on topics like the amazing CGI effects from Jurassic Park and Ben's fascination with the moon landing conspiracy debunks. Oh, yeah, and the notable HD news from the past week. All that and maybe more, so get to listening down below.

Hosts: Ben Drawbaugh (@bjdraw), Richard Lawler (@rjcc)

Producer: Joe Pollicino (@akaTRENT)

Hear the podcast

00:16:11 - Japan plans to broadcast 2014 World Cup in 4K / ITU approves the H.265 video format
00:27:53 - LG has found 300 homes for its $20K, 84-inch, 4K TV in Korea so far
00:28:59 - Apple TV software update brings Bluetooth keyboard support, music from iTunes in the Cloud
00:33:08 - HDHomeRun Prime beta update for DLNA streaming is live
00:38:37 - 'User friendly' XBMC for Android build rolls out for set-top boxes and mobile devices
00:46:28 - Sony Entertainment Network web store now live in North America and Brazil
00:49:43 - Netflix and YouTube's DIAL promises to be open alternative to AirPlay
00:52:48 - Netflix streaming most dominant on HDTVs, more than double PC and tablets
00:56:25 - Netflix Q4 earnings show 2 million new customers streaming in the US, 6 million total internationally
01:03:37 - Samsung reports $8.27 billion in profits for Q4 2012
01:03:56 - ATT lost $3.9 billion in Q4 2012, earned $7.3 billion profit for the year
01:04:08 - Verizon adds 'record-high' 2.1 million subscribers in Q4 2012, but still makes a loss 01:04:28 - Logitech Q3 earnings reveal plans to sell off Harmony remote, video security divisions
01:14:05 - Jurassic Park 3D Blu-ray comes home April 23rd after its one-week theatrical return 01:21:10 - Lucasfilm postpones Star Wars Episode II and III 3D, focusing on Abrams-directed Episode VII 01:30:01 - Must See HDTV (January 28th - February 3rd)

Get the podcast

[iTunes] Subscribe to the Podcast directly in iTunes (MP3).
[RSS - AAC] Enhanced feed, subscribe to this with iTunes.
[RSS - MP3] Add the Engadget HD Podcast feed to your RSS aggregator
[Zune] Subscribe to the Podcast directly in the Zune Marketplace
[MP3] Download the show (MP3).


Article source: http://www.engadget.com/2013/01/30/engadget-hd-podcast-334-01-28-2013/

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BlackBerry Bold vs BlackBerry Q10: fight!

BlackBerry's rich history of tactile keyboards continues in its Q10, a tiny device with a 3.1-inch Super AMOLED screen and ... well, a full keyboard. We've already gone hands-on with the device, and you'll get to do the same come April, but we couldn't help wondering: how does it stack up against its spiritual forebear, the BlackBerry Bold? We snapped a handful of comparison shots to answer just that question, which you can see for yourself in the gallery below.

BlackBerry Bold vs BlackBerry Q10: Fight!

Article source: http://www.engadget.com/2013/01/30/blackberry-bold-q10-fight/

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BlackBerry 10 launch event video now available for replay

Looking to catch up with what was surely one of the most important events for the company formerly known as RIM? You can do so with our liveblog, or you can now watch (or rewatch) the entire keynote courtesy of a video replay BlackBerry had made available. Hit the source link to get started -- the whole thing runs just over an hour.

Update: If you prefer, you can also find highlights from the event on the official BlackBerry YouTube channel.

Article source: http://www.engadget.com/2013/01/30/blackberry-10-launch-event-video-now-available-for-replay/

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