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Tsuro of the Seas


Costruisci il tuo Percorso evitando che gli avversari ti deviano nella direzione sbagliata o fuori del tabellone! Tsuro è un gioco da tavolo veloce in cui le sorti possono cambiare così facilmente come le direzioni da seguire. Tsuro of the Seas riprende le meccaniche di Tsuro (sopravvivere sul tabellone) introducendo mostri marini.


Punti di forza del gioco:

  • Tsuro è divertente, veloce e intrigante!
  • Desing elegante e regole di facile apprensione
  • Ottimo investimentoâ€"divertente per tutta la famiglia

Contenuto della Scatola:

  • 1 tabellone di gioco
  • 2 dadi
  • 8 navi imperiali giapponesi
  • 56 tessere "wake"
  • 10 tessere "daikaiju"
  • le regole


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Zombicide (Edizione Inglese)


Zombicide è un gioco cooperativo ambientato in un classico futuro catastrofico, di durata variabile (da 20 minuti della mappa base fino a 3 ore per gli scenari più difficili). Ciascun giocatore controlla da 1 a 4 Sopravvissuti (4 nel gioco in solitario) che si improvvisano cacciatori di zombi per aumentare le loro possibilità di vedere un altro giorno in questo difficile, difficile mondo morente. O non morto, come volete...

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Google bringing faster WiFi to 7,000 US Starbucks stores

Google and Starbucks are teaming up to boost WiFi speeds at all 7,000 Starbucks stores in the US. The move, which should be complete within 18 months, is a major loss for ATT, the chain's contracted ISP to date. Google claims that you'll experience WiFi speeds up to 10x faster than what's currently available, with a 100x boost in Google Fiber cities like Austin, Provo and KC. The rollout will begin in August -- if you see "Google Starbucks" as an available SSID, you'll know your store has been tapped with boosted access.

Article source: http://www.engadget.com/2013/07/31/google-starbucks-wifi/?utm_medium=feed&utm_source=Feed_Classic&utm_campaign=Engadget

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Samsung’s 14-megapixel WB250 point-and-shoot now posts directly to Evernote

Samsung Brings Evernote to the WB250F SMART Camera

Evernote Gives Consumers a Fast and Simple Way to Sync Favorite Snapshots Across Devices

RIDGEFIELD PARK, N.J. – July 31, 2013 – Samsung Electronics America, Inc., a market leader and award-winning innovator in consumer electronics, today announced the integration of Evernote into its WB250F SMART Camera. Coupled with Samsung's SMART Camera 2.0 technologies, the addition of Evernote gives users a new way to capture and sync photos across any device that has Evernote installed.

The new Evernote feature integration is available starting today to users in the United States via a software update to currently-owned and newly-purchased WB250F SMART Cameras. The WB250F SMART Camera also comes with three months of the Evernote Premium service (a $15 value) that includes a higher upload allowance per month (up to 1GB), more sharing options and faster image processing.1"Consumers want to take great pictures that they can share with their family and friends," said Ron Gazzola, Vice President of Marketing for Digital Imaging. "With the addition of Evernote to Samsung's WB250F, users can now seamlessly sync their images across devices and share their photo memories with other Evernote users."The Wi-Fi enabled Samsung Smart Camera allows consumers to capture images and share them on popular social media sites or via email when connected to a Wi-Fi network. The integration with Evernote is just the latest way that the WB250F SMART Camera can help users do more with the photos they take. With Evernote, users will now be able to instantly and securely sync their photos to all of their personal devices that have the Evernote app installed including their PCs, smart phones and tablets. From there, users can privately share their photos with friends and family via Evernote.

In addition to enabling consumers to connect and share, the 14.2 megapixel WB250F also gives them the ability to take great photos with a BSI CMOS sensor, 18x optical zoom and full manual (P/S/A/M) modes. With a touch-screen LCD display and five-way navigational keys, users can easily adjust the WB250F to their preferences. The Smart Camera also captures everyone's best shot with the Best Face feature and allows users to shoot like a pro and achieve full creativity in varying conditions using Smart Mode and the Motion Photo feature.

The Samsung WB250F (MSRP: $249.99) is available in white, cobalt black, gun metal and red from authorized Samsung retailers and at www.Samsung.com. Newly purchased cameras will come with the Evernote Premium redemption code in the box. Evernote Premium codes can be redeemed at go.evernote.com/samsungcamera.

Article source: http://www.engadget.com/2013/07/31/samsungs-wb250-evernote/?utm_medium=feed&utm_source=Feed_Classic&utm_campaign=Engadget

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The Guardian: NSA’s XKeyscore tool is its ‘widest reaching’ system for collecting online data

Edward Snowden has said that he still has more information about the NSA than what he's already leaked, and we're now getting a look at another big piece of that. According to a new set of documents provided to The Guardian, the NSA is using a tool called XKeyscore that is said to be its "widest reaching" system for collecting information from the internet -- one that lets it examine "nearly everything a typical user does on the internet," as one presentation slide explains. That apparently includes both metadata and the contents of emails, as well as social media activity, which can reportedly be accessed by NSA analysts without prior authorization; as The Guardian notes, a FISA warrant is required if the target of the surveillance is a US citizen, but not if a foreign target is communicating with an American.

According to The Guardian, the amount of data collected is so large that content is only able to stored in the system for three to five days, or as little as 24 hours in some cases, while metadata is stored for 30 days. That's reportedly led the NSA to develop a multi-tiered system that lets it move what's described as "interesting" content to other databases where it can be stored for as much as five years. In a statement provided to The Guardian, the NSA says that "XKeyscore is used as a part of NSA's lawful foreign signals intelligence collection system," and that "allegations of widespread, unchecked analyst access to NSA collection data are simply not true. Access to XKeyscore, as well as all of NSA's analytic tools, is limited to only those personnel who require access for their assigned tasks." The agency further adds that "every search by an NSA analyst is fully auditable, to ensure that they are proper and within the law."

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Article source: http://www.engadget.com/2013/07/31/nsa-xkeyscore-leak/?utm_medium=feed&utm_source=Feed_Classic&utm_campaign=Engadget

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Trace collects your kick, push, coasting metrics, shares them on social media

Meet Trace - A Device That Makes Action Sports Measurable, Sharable and Comparable

Runners and bikers have all sorts of tools and gadgets that monitor their activities and progress. But the same is not true for Action Sports like Surfing, Skateboarding, Skiing and Snowboarding. Today, ActiveReplay is launching Trace, a new and on of a kind device that makes action sports measurable, sharable and comparable, via a Kickstarter campaign. Trace is the first piece of technology that can correctly and automatically identify performance and tricks as they are being performed by skaters, skiers, snowboarders and surfers. Action Sports athletes will finally be able to look back on their day, see how many tricks they landed or waves they caught, and be able to share all of this information with their family and friends. ActiveReplay's goal is to raise $150,000 to begin production of Trace.

Trace is a small, rugged, and durable device with 9-axis inertial sensors, advanced multi-Hz GPS, and Bluetooth 4.0,that measures a huge amount of events and tricks athletes perform in skiing, snowboarding, surfing and skating. The athlete can then compare and share those metrics with leaderboards and their networks via social media. Trace consists of two parts: the data collection pod and the mount. Attaching and activating Trace is easy: The mount is attached to any hard surface like a board or helmet. Trace slides in the mount. The athlete pushes a button and begins their sport.

When an athlete completes a session, Trace will connect with their smartphone and send the data to ActiveReplay servers for processing. Within seconds, the athlete will be able to see all of their data, beautifully laid out and easy to read on their phone. Athletes will be able to share their session sheets on Facebook and Twitter, and compare their performance on the leader board.

"Trace is really easy to use: just turn it on and go. We'll take care of the rest. And the metrics you can gain from it are truly amazing. No more bragging to friends about an amazing wave or new trick without having a way to prove that it happened. We keep track of speed, time, distance, and calories. When you pull tricks like 360s our algorithms will measure your airtime, jump height, and rotation," said ActiveReplay CEO Dr. Anatole Lokshin. "We are introducing Trace based on the popularity of our flagship product, AlpineReplay, which has become the largest social network of skiers and snowboarders in the world. Since its launch, AlpineReplay has skiers in 43 countries and more than 1,400 resorts worldwide. AlpineReplay athletes logged 460,000 ski days, 5.1 billion feet of vertical and 2.5 million jumps this past season. We're now expanding this concept to other action sports. We are confident that Trace will transform action sports with stats never before seen for amateur and professional athletes."

For skaters, Trace will identify tricks, track speed, map out lines and more. If the trick was landed poorly or the board didn't rotate all the way around, Trace will track that, too. Trace already has established an initial set of identifiable tricks like ollies, nollies, kickflips, 360 flips, impossibles and more.

"This trick set will only get bigger," added Dr. Lokshin. "As skaters start to use it, we'll be able to identify more and more tricks."
For surfers, Trace will identify break, waves caught, speed, airs, turns and more. From the moment the surfer paddles out, Trace is collecting data. Every time a surfer catches a wave, Trace calculates max speed, average speed and length of wave in both time and distance. If a surfer boosts an air, Trace measures how high they got, how long they were in the air and distance traveled.

For skiers and snowboarders, Trace identifies resort location, lifts and trails, as well as speed, vertical, air and more. Trace takes AlpineReplay to the next level. All data will now have sub-second level of accuracy. In addition to max speed, vertical distance, distance traveled, calories, number of jumps and airtime, Trace will also be able to identify tricks like 360s, backflips and more.

ActiveReplay's management team includes Dr. Lokshin, who in addition to his duties as CEO, also leads the ActiveReplay Math Team which focuses on algorithm development. He also supervises hardware development and production. Dr. Lokshin formerly served as VP and CTO of Magellan Navigation, where he led teams which pioneered and commercialized consumer GPS, created first digital mapping, 3D mapping, released the first PND, and shipped millions of units of hardware to consumers. Before working at Magellan, Dr. Lokshin was part of the technical staff at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory where he worked on robotic arms for the space station and the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI) project. He holds an MS in Physics from Polytechnic University St. Petersburg, Russia. He also holds a Ph.D. and EE USC.

David Lokshin is Active Replay's VP of Products, managing the engineering workflow and web and mobile products. After earning his A.B. with honors in Applied Mathematics from Harvard University, he traded FX options for Barclays in Singapore where he was responsible for the Philippine Peso and Malaysian Ringgit options books. Lokshin has been writing code and leading product for ActiveReplay since inception, building the products he wanted as a kid, surfing, skating, and snowboarding in California.

Article source: http://www.engadget.com/2013/07/31/trace-kickstarter/?utm_medium=feed&utm_source=Feed_Classic&utm_campaign=Engadget

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US government declassifies documents concerning telephonic data collection

Today brings another victory for transparency as the US government has just declassified three documents pursuant to the collection of telephonic metadata authorized by section 215 of the PATRIOT Act. The documents, released by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, include the 2009 and 2011 reports concerning the reauthorization of the PATRIOT Act as well as the order for business record collection. During a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on the subject, NSA Deputy Director John Inglis made public for the first time the mechanism for accessing the metadata at the government's disposal. According to Inglis, telephonic information -- which does not include names, addresses, or social security numbers -- exists in databases but cannot be accessed without reasonable suspicion of association with terrorists. Deputy Attorney General James Cole went on to say, "Nobody is listening to anybody's conversations." This revelation might be cold comfort to those concerned about the government's ownership of this data to begin with, but it does pull back the curtain somewhat on the NSA's policies and procedures. To read these declassified -- and heavily redacted -- documents in full, head on over to the source link below.

Article source: http://www.engadget.com/2013/07/31/us-government-declassifies-telephonic-data-documents/?utm_medium=feed&utm_source=Feed_Classic&utm_campaign=Engadget

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ASUS MeMo Pad HD 7 review: a budget tablet that punches above its weight

To some extent, ASUS is a victim of its own success: it gave the budget tablet category a boost with the original Nexus 7, and it now faces a legion of competitors in that space. The company is taking a two-step approach to maintaining its relevance. The new Nexus 7 tackles the higher end, with top-tier specs that include a 1080p display and wireless charging. Right now, though, we're more interested in ASUS' low-end solution, the MeMo Pad HD 7. While it's one of the cheaper name-brand tablets at $150, it promises some of the quality we typically expect from more expensive products. But is the HD 7 good enough to fend off other entry-level tablets? And can it attract customers who'd be willing to pay the premium for a new Nexus 7'? Let's find out.

ASUS MeMo Pad HD 7 review

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Despite its name, the MeMo Pad HD 7 bears little in common with the older 7-inch MeMo Pad. The nondescript black front and curvy profile are familiar, but ASUS has replaced the textured backing with a smooth surface that's either matte on the dark blue model, or glossy on the green, pink and white versions. Consider getting the HD 7 in white if you want to keep it pretty -- the back is prone to showing fingerprints and other smudges. ASUS' build quality is reasonably solid too, although some slight creaking under strain is enough to remind us this is an entry-level product we're dealing with.

The HD 7 is comfortable to hold, with plenty of grip and a moderate weight of 10.7 ounces (303.3g). It's also a compact device at 7.7 inches tall and 4.7 inches wide. That said, its 0.43-inch thickness makes it as chunky as the old Nexus 7 or the Hisense Sero 7 Pro. As reasonable as that is for 7-inch devices, we can't help but covet slimmer tablets like the new Nexus 7 or Samsung's Galaxy Tab 3 7.0.

A closer inspection reveals some conspicuous improvements to the MeMo Pad formula. The 1.2-megapixel front camera and left-side microSDHC slot remain in mostly familiar places, but there's now a slightly protruding 5-megapixel camera (albeit without a flash) on the back. ASUS has replaced the small mono speaker with a larger stereo unit. Curiously, ASUS has moved the micro-USB port from the bottom to the top, next to the headphone jack and microphone; accessories made for the earlier MeMo Pad may not work here. You should find a basic stand in the box, though.

We're not big fans of the buttons. Like its sibling, the MeMo Pad HD 7 puts the power button and volume rocker on a back corner. They're easy to reach, but they're both hidden from sight and nearly flat, making them hard to identify by feel. Even now, we still occasionally have to double-check what we're about to press to avoid inadvertently putting the tablet to sleep.

You also won't find many luxuries beyond the ones we've already mentioned so far. The HD 7 covers basic wireless with dual-band 802.11n WiFi and Bluetooth 4.0 LE, but there's no NFC. There's also no hardware-based video out, whether through HDMI (as on the Sero 7 Pro), MHL or SlimPort. ASUS does offer Miracast wireless display support as a consolation prize, however, so those with suitably modern TVs can skip the wires altogether. Like the earlier MeMo Pad, there's 16GB of built-in storage in the US model, 11.8GB of which is usable.

Display and sound

When tablet designers want to cut corners, display quality is frequently the first to go. Exhibit A: the lackluster screen on the HP Slate 7. Thankfully, the MeMo Pad HD 7 doesn't fall into that trap. ASUS is using an IPS 1,280 x 800 LCD that produces accurate colors and very wide viewing angles. The panel is even bright enough to use outdoors in some situations. There's no question that we'd notice the Nexus 7's higher resolution in a direct comparison, but the HD 7's display is more than crisp enough for books, games and movies.

There are a few quirks. Black levels aren't superb; you're more likely to see dark gray than black in poorer lighting. The front glass is also glossier than we're used to, which didn't help our attempts to read near a window, or outside on a sunny day. Even so, the HD 7's screen doesn't feel like a significant compromise. It's at least appropriate for the price, and it trumps the 1,024 x 600 displays in rivals like the Galaxy Tab 3 7.0.

Sound from the tablet isn't quite so impressive. The speakers are loud and largely distortion-free at high volumes, but their bass output won't compete with HTC's BoomSound. Moreover, having both speakers so close to each other negates the advantages of stereo separation; you won't hear panning effects or the virtual surround sound of the Nexus 7. It's easy to partly obscure the speakers in the middle of an enthusiastic gameplay session, for that matter. We'll still take the HD 7 over competitors with single-channel sound. It just feels like a missed opportunity, particularly when the Nexus 7's audio is so well done.


The MeMo Pad HD 7 faces an immediate problem on the software front. It's shipping with Android 4.2.1 at the very moment that another ASUS tablet -- you guessed it, the Nexus 7 -- is launching with Android 4.3. While the new OS doesn't represent a night-and-day experience, it does offer perks like guest profiles, better OS-level Bluetooth support and modular DRM that allows for 1080p Netflix streaming. ASUS tells us it will upgrade the HD 7 to Android 4.3 in the near future, but that still leaves the tablet ever-so-slightly behind the cutting edge.

ASUS MeMo Pad HD 7 screenshots

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The HD 7 is shipping with Android 4.2.1 at the very moment that another ASUS tablet -- the Nexus 7 -- is launching with Android 4.3.

Not that we mind much. The new MeMo Pad largely echoes the PadFone Infinity's delicate balance between stock Android and useful customizations. Google's minimalist interface persists in the home screen, app tray and multitasking, but there's numerous helpful ASUS-made features hiding just underneath the surface. The notification bar includes a Quick Settings section to change display brightness, wireless options and other basics. Long-press the home button and you'll get shortcuts to both core functions and favorite apps. Pinch the home screen and there's access to home screen profiles. ASUS also has one of the better mini-app implementations we've seen; it reserves a dedicated navigation key for access to tiny tools like a browser, calendar and video player.

The HD 7's software isn't quite a one-for-one copy of what we saw in the PadFone, however. Hardware-specific features like Dynamic Display are gone, as you'd imagine, but we also noticed that Google Now's voice search has replaced the sub-par ASUS Echo. Improvements are few, and mostly come from the Android 4.2 refresh. Miracast sharing and lock screen widgets are Google's responsibility; ASUS, meanwhile, introduces both a wallpaper settings shortcut in the lock screen as well as the option to use Google's stock notification bar. Some 4.2 features are sadly missing, such as Photo Sphere or Swype-inspired typing. All the same, we're happy with the new MeMo Pad's interface, which comes across as the subtle refinement of a successful formula.

Out of the box, the US variant of the HD 7 carries a mostly familiar first-party app layout. Among the more practical tools, AudioWizard and ASUS Splendid let users customize their sound and video profiles; ASUS Studio and ASUS Story organize photos and create photo collages; ASUS Artist offers basic drawing; MyLibrary provides a home for generic e-books; AppBackup and AppLocker keep app data safe and secure; ASUS To-Do, MyBitCast and SuperNote bring both reminders and media-enhanced notes. They're easy to use and helpful in the right situations, although we only seldomly had use for them ourselves.

We have mixed thoughts on BuddyBuzz and ASUS WebStorage, though. BuddyBuzz's social network aggregation is more reliable than the last time we tried it, but it still has less functionality than the dedicated apps for each service. Our US test unit also preserves support for services that are more popular in China, such as Plurk, Renren and Sina Weibo. As for ASUS WebStorage? We like the service's free cloud space (16GB for one year, 5GB after), backup functions and collaborative Office editing -- it's just nothing special. Alternatives like Google Drive and SkyDrive offer similar cloud functionality without being tied to one hardware vendor.

There are a few apps that haven't made the cut in the American version of the HD 7. It lacks the previously mentioned ASUS Echo as well as Birthday Reminder, PinPal (another social networking aggregator) and Watch Calendar. ASUS indirectly compensates for those titles' absences by throwing in DRM support for primarily US-oriented streaming video services such as HBO Go, Hulu Plus and Netflix. Combined with the included Amazon Kindle and Zinio apps, there's enough to get owners started without overwhelming them or chewing up too much free space.


We're still of the opinion that many cameras on tablets are sub-par... and frankly, the MeMo Pad HD 7 doesn't do much to improve their reputation. Like the Nexus 7, the 5-megapixel, f/2.4 rear camera can produce sharp photos with vivid colors, but only if all the stars align; you'll need reasonably bright light, a low-contrast background and a slow-moving subject. Life only sometimes provides those circumstances, of course, and most of our photos fall short of those from cameras on premium-priced tablets, like the Galaxy Note 8.0 or iPad mini.

ASUS MeMo Pad HD 7 sample shots

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We most often noticed the poor dynamic range, as the MeMo Pad tends to blow out highlights (such as bright skies) and doesn't extract much detail from shadows. The tablet has a tendency to wash out colors in these situations, too. While there is autofocus, it occasionally misses a prominent subject and requires a tap to get a proper lock. Moderately fast subjects tend to blur. And you'll want to rule out low-light photography in general: shots are noisy, and there's no flash (like on the Sero 7 Pro) to bail you out. We did get some good photos, primarily up-close, but it's clear that the rear camera is more a bonus than a selling point.

The front 1.2-megapixel, f/2.4 camera faces similar problems, although it's more forgivable given the lower standard for front cams. It's only really present for the sake of video chats and the occasional selfie, and it does an adequate job so long as you're not trying to host Google Hangouts in the dark.

ASUS' camera software partly compensates for the lackluster output. The shot-to-shot times are relatively fast in good lighting, and it's possible to shoot still photos while capturing video. While customization is largely limited to basics like exposure, ISO sensitivity and white balance, it's easy to find and change these settings on the fly. Our chief gripe is with the relatively crude approaches to special features: the high dynamic range mode overcompensates for dark subjects and produces a "burnt" look, while panoramas can appear slightly jagged.

If there's a strong point to the tablet's camera system, it's video. Known image quality issues aside, the HD 7 captures 1080p video at a 18Mbps bitrate -- much higher than the Nexus 7's 12Mbps, and enough to produce sharp footage worthy of the "HD" label. You do have to watch how quickly you pan the camera, though. The wobble of the rolling shutter effect is visible if you spin the camera too quickly, and the HD 7 doesn't always refocus properly when subject distances change.

Performance and battery life

Let's get the obvious comparison out of the way: the MeMo Pad HD 7's quad-core, 1.2GHz MediaTek MT8125 processor is no match for the 1.5GHz Snapdragon S4 Pro in the Nexus 7. Paying extra for Google's official tablet gets you much better performance across the board, especially in web browsing and graphics. Although some would lump both devices into the entry-level category, they're ultimately in different leagues.

So how does the HD 7 fare against its more direct competitors, then? That's a tougher call. It's faster than the dual-core Slate 7 in most respects, but it's typically outpaced by Tegra 3-based tablets like the Sero 7 Pro. Get a load of that browsing performance, though: whether we used Chrome or the plain Browser app, the new MeMo Pad was noticeably quicker than similarly priced challengers. There weren't significant performance issues in general use, either. Although we caught the very occasional stutter during an interface transition, the device didn't feel overburdened, even when running mini-apps alongside their full-size siblings.

Just don't pick up the MeMo Pad if you're a gamer. Its variant on Imagination Technologies' PowerVR SGX544MP graphics isn't up to snuff for the latest 3D titles. While an older game like Riptide GP runs smoothly, modern releases like Real Racing 3 barely achieve playable frame rates. Although we weren't expecting a visual powerhouse, it's clear that the similarly priced Sero 7 Pro is a better pick if you're willing to make a few sacrifices for some additional 3D prowess.

ASUS makes up for that deficiency through battery life. The company estimates 10 hours of runtime from the MeMo Pad HD 7's 15Wh battery, and indeed, our unit was almost exactly on target. Our battery rundown test, which involves looping a 1080p video with the brightness set to 50 percent, ran for nine hours and 56 minutes. That's longer than every small tablet we've tried short of the iPad mini. It's also far ahead of the new Nexus 7, but there's a necessary disclaimer here: the Nexus has a decidedly brighter LCD, so it may be using more backlight energy at the same setting.

Suffice to say that the real-world longevity is at least as good. We managed a full day of intensive use that included browsing, social networking, snapping a few dozen photos and recording five short movies. Less demanding owners can get away with closer to a day and a half of frequent use, and we suspect that once-a-day users could go a week between top-ups. It's just as well that the MeMo Pad lasts so long, since it takes four hours to recharge from empty.

The competition

We said earlier that the MeMo Pad HD 7 and Nexus 7 don't really exist in the same category, but we also know that some shoppers will invariably compare the two. And we'll be honest: if you can afford the $230-plus for the Nexus 7, you'll likely be happier with that in the long run. It's faster, carries an exceptional display, runs Android 4.3 and has options for both 32GB of built-in storage and LTE. Its software upgrade strategy will also appeal to some. As a Nexus device, it's likely to get updates both sooner and across a longer period of time. Despite ASUS' good reputation for upgrading its non-Nexus devices in a timely fashion, there's little doubt that Google's flagship will get those updates first.

The MeMo Pad doesn't just have a price advantage: both microSD storage and software customizations work in its favor.

It's not a clear-cut victory for the Nexus, mind you. The MeMo Pad doesn't just have a price advantage: both microSD storage and software customizations work in its favor. If you regularly swap memory cards or prefer ASUS' modifications to Android, there's no direct substitute for those features. The cheaper tablet even outperforms its counterpart in video recording, although we wouldn't buy it solely for that reason. There's also the question of the return on investment. If you don't plan to do more than read e-books, check Facebook or watch the occasional YouTube video, the Nexus 7 may be overkill.

As you may have gathered from the review so far, we see the $150 Sero 7 Pro as the most directly comparable opponent. Hisense ships it with a paltry 8GB of built-in capacity, but it's otherwise a strong contender between its faster graphics and the inclusion of perks like HDMI, microSD expansion and a camera flash. Those who would prefer to get closer to stock Android will also get their fix here. If you're not big on gaming, though, the MeMo Pad is arguably the better purchase with its increased storage and longer battery life.

If anyone walks out of this fight with a black eye, it's HP and Samsung. The Slate 7 is a tad cheaper at $140, but it's so far behind on display quality, performance and storage that we can't honestly recommend it. Meanwhile, the $200 Galaxy Tab 3 7.0 is simply too expensive. You'd have to be a dedicated fan of Samsung's TouchWiz interface to pick the Galaxy Tab over the cheaper, more powerful MeMo Pad.


Make no mistake: ASUS isn't working miracles. The MeMo Pad HD 7's mixed performance, mediocre cameras and minor design issues remind us that the tablet is built to reach a certain price point. If you're looking for the best that ASUS has to offer this year, you'll still want to consider the Nexus 7 or wait for the Transformer Pad Infinity.

Still, we can't help but think that the company has delivered a pleasant surprise. The HD 7's battery life, display, software and storage are all above-average in the budget realm; for $150, ASUS' tablet provides an experience that some companies can't manage in devices that cost $200 or more. There's a good chance that some will prefer the Sero 7 Pro's processor or Samsung's familiar software, but the rest of us should be well-served by what the MeMo Pad HD 7 has to offer.

Edgar Alvarez contributed to this review.

Article source: http://www.engadget.com/2013/07/31/asus-memo-pad-hd-7-review/?utm_medium=feed&utm_source=Feed_Classic&utm_campaign=Engadget

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BSkyB grants Microsoft temporary use of SkyDrive name in trademark dispute, allows it time to rebrand cloud service

British Sky Broadcasting and Microsoft Reach Settlement in Trade Mark Case

Sky allows Microsoft temporary use of SkyDrive name during transition period following trade mark infringement judgement - while Microsoft agree to forego planned appeal

British Sky Broadcasting Group plc ("Sky") and Microsoft Corporation ("Microsoft") have today announced the settlement of trade mark infringement proceedings in the European Union brought by Sky against Microsoft in the English High Court. The settlement of this case reflects the desire of both companies to focus on joint projects to benefit their customers.

In June, High Court Judge Mrs Justice Asplin issued a judgment holding that Microsoft's use of the name SkyDrive infringed Sky's rights in the 'Sky' mark.

According to the settlement, Microsoft will not pursue its planned appeal of this decision and Sky will allow Microsoft to continue using the SkyDrive name for a reasonable period of time to allow for an orderly transition to a new brand. The agreement also contains financial and other terms, the details of which are confidential.

"We are pleased to have reached a settlement after Microsoft agreed not to appeal the trade mark infringement judgment in relation to its SkyDrive service," said Sky. "We will remain vigilant in protecting the Sky brand and will continue to take appropriate action against those companies who seek to use our trade mark without consent."

Microsoft said, "We're glad to have resolution of this naming dispute, and will continue to deliver the great service our hundreds of millions of customers expect, providing the best way to always have your files with you."


Article source: http://www.engadget.com/2013/07/31/bskyb-and-microsoft-reach-agreement/?utm_medium=feed&utm_source=Feed_Classic&utm_campaign=Engadget

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Samsung edges past Apple in US smartphone satisfaction study, but reverse is true in Korea

Samsung Beats Apple in New Smartphone Customer Satisfaction Study from ACSI

ANN ARBOR, Mich., (July 31, 2013) – Samsung hits a home run with its Galaxy S III and Note II, according to a smartphone brand study released today by the American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI). The new study provides 2013 customer satisfaction benchmarks for 10 of the past year's top-selling smartphone models in the United States.

Samsung's flagship model for 2012, the S III, receives an ACSI benchmark of 84 (on a 0 to 100 scale), beating Apple's iPhone 5 at 82, the company's most recent smartphone offering. Another Samsung model, Note II, shares the top of list at 84. Galaxy S4 is not included because the ACSI study was fielded just prior to its launch.

While U.S. customers give Samsung's smartphones the top scores, Korean consumers prefer Apple. According to the National Customer Satisfaction Index (NCSI) in South Korea, which uses the same technology as the ACSI, the iPhone 5 has higher customer satisfaction than Galaxy S III.

The smartphone segment of the cell phone market is growing at a rapid clip, and ACSI data suggest that smartphone users are much more satisfied than are feature phone users. Overall, smartphones earn a customer satisfaction score of 76 compared to 69 for feature phones.

"While feature phones are cheaper, and therefore viewed by many customers as better value, smartphones excel in quality," says Claes Fornell, ACSI founder and Chairman. "Smartphones receive strong marks for feature variety, design and ease of use, with battery life as their only real shortcoming."

The iPhone 4S matches its successor-iPhone 5-with an ACSI score of 82. Apple's iPhone 4 is just a point below at 81. On the other hand, at a score of 78, customer satisfaction with the Galaxy S II, precursor to the S III, is lower. Motorola Mobility's Droid Razr Maxx HD comes in at 80, while the Droid Razr scores 77. The low end belongs to BlackBerry, far below competition, with 67 and 64, respectively, for its Curve and Bold smartphones.

"Not only does Samsung edge ahead of all iPhones, Apple customers themselves don't see much difference between the iPhone 4, 4S or 5," says ACSI Director David VanAmburg. "The latest earnings report from Apple was better than expected, but the name of the game for Apple has always been innovation. Samsung, on the other hand, shows a strong upward ACSI trend from the Galaxy S II to the Galaxy S III. If the S4 performs as well-or even better-in the eyes of customers, Samsung could threaten Apple's dominance in overall customer satisfaction."

The smartphone brand study complements and expands the ACSI's coverage of the cell phone industry, updated in May 2013, gauging customer satisfaction with each company's complete array of product offerings-smartphones and feature phones. As reported earlier, Apple's overall ACSI score is 81, a 2% drop compared with 2012, but strong enough to retain the industry lead.

Unlike Apple, which has a smartphone-only lineup, Samsung offers both feature and smartphones. At 76, Samsung continues to lag Apple for overall customer satisfaction. Nevertheless, the company's 7% gain in 2013 is a clear reflection of the strength of Galaxy S III.

"Like Apple, BlackBerry offers smart devices only, yet the company stays firmly entrenched at the bottom of the industry in customer satisfaction," says Fornell. "This does not bode well for BlackBerry considering that smart typically outperforms feature when it comes to cell phones."

Article source: http://www.engadget.com/2013/07/31/acsi-smartphone-satisfaction-2013/?utm_medium=feed&utm_source=Feed_Classic&utm_campaign=Engadget

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