Samsung Galaxy S4 Formally Announced in the USA

Samsung have formally announced and dated their new flagship smartphone, Samsung Galaxy S4, and announced that it will reach American hands on April 30th. It arrives just in time to tempt those who haven\’t yet reached for the HTC One and are waiting it out to see what Samsung pulls out of its magician\’s top hat, as the company has built a reputation for innovation and quality over the years and has released a string of popular handsets.

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Not that other manufacturers haven\’t, of course – but you\’d have to feel a little stressed knowing you were facing off against this beast of a machine. With two gigabytes of RAM, a 5\” screen (a cheeky wink towards the current 4.7\” trend) and full HD on its display, the Galaxy S4 is a serious contender for being branded the best handset of 2013.

The impressing thing about Samsung\’s launch will be its inevitable competition with other handsets as it sets out to demonstrate just what sets the manufacturer apart. Then again, given Samsung manufactures the tech for at least one other major competitor, it\’s worth thinking about the level of capability they possess when it comes to building smartphones, tablets and the like.

The initial reviews are starting to come in, although they\’re no more than first looks, but the initial impression from critics is that they\’re, well, impressed. There\’s a lot to compete with here, bearing in mind that the Galaxy S4  follows on from the SII and S3, both extremely popular high-quality phones in their own right, both of them still happily in use by Samsung fans even now, which is unusual for the smartphone market.

The S4 itself has many noticeable improvements, such as facial recognition technology, an improved camera, and a larger and higher-resolution screen. It also comes with an extremely thin layer of glass over the screen itself, which helps keep the form factor of the device down while allowing you to feel like you\’re interacting with the screen more directly than on handsets with thicker glass.

There are other little innovative touches, too, such as Smart Look, which pauses video when the phone works out you\’re not looking at the screen, Sound and Shot, which records nine seconds of audio with the photo you\’ve just taken (not a unique feature but a nice one nonetheless), and of course the quality of the camera itself whether you\’re recording video or taking snapshots of the world around you. The S4 indeed has quite the formidable feature set, and when it hits the USA at the end of April it will be interesting to see how the competition reacts to such a desirable phone.

It seems like this year is definitely the year of smartphones that are set to push the bar regardless of which manufacturer they\’re from, and as Samsung and HTC step up as rivals to Apple in terms of innovation and quality, it\’ll be exciting to see who comes out on top in the end, especially if it drives these companies to produce more impressive handsets in an attempt to beat one another.

Editor\’s note: Samsung Galaxy S4 will hit the Philippine market this week and local telcos will have their separate launches in the coming weeks, too, so stay tuned for more information.

\"AllieAbout the Author:

Allie Cooper is a writer interested in gadgets, fashion, mobile handsets and social media trends. Aside from blogging she is a fan of playing on computer games and she\’s always available on Twitter.

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Galaxy S3: The Best Gadget Ever?

This article is a guest post from Michelle, a tech writer in UK.

Despite having strong competition from iPhone 5, Nokia Lumia 900, HTC One X and Nexus, Samsung Galaxy S3 still serve to be one of the best gadget ever because of its outstanding features and excellent apps.

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The S3 is built up with a 4.8-inch large display and its slim design aid to present more comfort while handling and operating the device. It comes up with a glossy finish along with a good multi-touch facility. When compared to its predecessor Galaxy S2, Samsung Galaxy S3 has been upgraded ahead of its time in terms of display, weight, and other features.

  • Quad-core processor: The device is powered by the latest 1.4 GHz Cortex-A9 processor which truly helps in accessing apps and other processes very fast.  
  • Android Ice Cream Sandwich operating system: Galaxy S3 runs on Android operating system version 4.0 and could be upgraded to newer version 4.1 also know as Jelly Bean. The mini S3 version already ships with Android 4.1. With Jelly Bean, the user interface is more intuitive than the earlier version of TouchWiz user interface.
  • Display: The Galaxy S3 display measures 4.8-inch which serves to be one of the biggest smartphone ever. The stupendous screen size makes images and videos look more impressive. The HD Super AMOLED display screen with a 1280 x 720 pixel resolution provides a very impressive angle for images. The display is protected by corning Gorilla Glass 2.
  • Siri-esque interface: Similar to Apple’s Siri, there is also voice control assistant app developed for Samsung Galaxy S3 where it only requires a single tap to talk to and command the smartphone what you need.  You can even tell it to do certain operations like creating text, capture photo, music control, make a call or set an alarm and so on. 
  • Music Hub app: The S3 is powered by Music hub application where it connects users to a music store and allows users option to buy albums or songs or lets its user just listen audio or video clips online. The Music Square feature builds a custom playlist that comprises of the favourite tunes and loaded albums. There is an FM radio app with a great looking feature and a stylish twiddling knob user interface. 
  • Calendar app: This app is also named as “S planner”, where it allows its users to use Google calendar to keep track of appointments on the fly. This app lets to set reminders and notifications to manage any particular event.

If you don’t have enough money to fund this best gadget, then try taking financial help from same day cash loans and enjoy all the benefits of this smart device.
This guest post is written by Michelle, a tech writer from UK. She is also into finance. Catch her in Twitter @financeport

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What You Need to Know About Cloud Storage

This article is a guest post from MSI-ECS, distributor of Trend Micro products.

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Back then, all your files were stored on hardware. Today, you store your photos on Facebook, Instagram, or Picasa. You even use your email as storage by sending yourself emails with attachments! You know that your files are out there, but where?

These files are in the cloud. The cloud is where you access services that help store, or run software applications anywhere in the world when needed. Imagine having infinite, secure storage for your backup data at a reasonable price. These are just some of the reasons why people are moving their data to the cloud.

The cloud can be used in different ways. Services like Dropbox, iCloud, and Box give you free limited storage with an option to pay for more. Some operating systems provide cloud backup and restore services in case your device crashes or is stolen, or your data somehow gets deleted. You can also communicate and mingle through the cloud! Networking sites like Facebook and Twitter have apps you can use. Other services include media storage and playback; banking and finance; and note-taking and bookmarking, among others.

There are many reasons to move to the cloud. Data backed up in the cloud means less hardware for you. There’s no need to update multiple copies anymore. It’s also easy to share your data in public, or even to a select few. Like they say, there’s an app for that!

It’s important to note that there are storms you have to brave in the cloud. It’s possible to lose your entire digital life in under an hour. You should be alert for threat campaigns, flaws in the system, additional costs, access woes, provider data leakage, the human factor, and distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks. Dropbox users were once spammed because of third-party sites linked to the service.

Being proactive when it comes to cloud security can protect you from these storms. Always update your apps. App developers address service bugs and fix flaws through updates. Use cloud-based services that automatically encrypt data you upload like Trend Micro™ SafeSync™. Don’t click links or open attachments from suspicious-looking emails. Same goes for IMs and private messages on social networking sites. Use mobile security programs like the Trend Micro™ Mobile Security to block malicious apps. Change simple passwords into phrases that are hard for others to remember. Don’t recycle passwords or refer to popular media when creating new ones. Password managers like Trend Micro™ DirectPass™ allow you to use one master password for all your accounts. Back up you mobile data with services like Trend Micro™ Mobile Backup and Restore. This will come in handy when your device crashes or is stolen. These are just a few ways of finding the silver lining in the cloud.

To find out more on how you can keep your personal data safe in the cloud through the Trend Micro Digital Life E-guide, please visit “Files in Flight: What You Need to Know about Cloud Storage.”

Trend Micro security solutions are distributed in the Philippines thru MSI-ECS Phils Inc.  For more information, please contact [email protected]

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Social Media Customer Service Fail

This article is a guest post written by Sean Clark.

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As a business you can choose whether to take part in social media or not.

Whether you do take part or you don\’t, it won\’t alter the fact that the conversation will continue on regardless.

By taking an active role you have the opportunity to shape the conversation, make a difference and stand out from the competition.

Social media can be a very cost effective channel for customer service, when implemented correctly.

Which is why so many companies have embraced social media, creating accounts on various channels to provide a gateway for their customers and potential customers to reach them.

Nobody\’s Home

There is something worse than not taking part though.

That is to open a social media channel, and by doing so inviting customers to use it to reach out to you, then when they do, totally ignore them!

This is akin to advertising a telephone support number and never picking up when it rings, not even an answer-phone message.

This is really happening.

Customer Service Fail

Mark Shaw has gone to some length to highlight this phenomenon on Twitter with his EngagementIndex. His aim? To raise the customer service bar.

Mark states on the website:

\”Twitter is a game changer for businesses. Through EngagementIndex I want businesses to be able to track themselves so that they can see how they are performing, see if the resources they have allocated are sufficient and aimed in the right places…\”

Socially Devoted

On Twitter consumers may attempt to talk to you even though you may not have set up an account. When it comes to Facebook generally consumers will approach you via your Facebook page.

Yes the page your company set up! So why then are companies failing to respond?

SocialBakers, who provide a social analytics platform, have launched their Socially Devoted website to draw attention to the below-average customer care in social media, specifically on Facebook.

Their aim is \”…to encourage brands to shift their strategy towards more open and responsive social marketing.\”

SocialBakers have produced the infographic below highlighting Facebook Page response rates by industry:
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Who\’s Socially Devoted To You?

If you\’ve set up a presence on social media with the aim of using it to promote your business, don\’t forget it works both ways.

So when customers use social media to reach out to you, ensure you\’re there and respond accordingly.

\"Sean

Sean Clark

Passionate Web Geek and Chess fan, blogging about Twitter, WordPress, iPad, SEO and Google. Sean helps startups leverage Social Media and Search to accelerate their business growth.

Check out Sean\’s latest online course: How To Use Twitter To Build Authority In Your Market Sector http://seanclark.com/using-twitter

Website: http://seanclark.com
Twitter: SeanClark

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Genius GX Gaming Series Amplifies MSI Overdrive e-Sports 2012

This press release is a guest post from MSI-ECS, distributor of Genius products.

Genius, a leading brand of innovative computer peripherals, supports the upcoming MSI Overdrive e-Sports Intensified 2012 on July 6-8, 2012 to be held at 4/F Annex Event Area, SM City North Edsa. The event will be a gathering of gamers, overlockers, hardware enthusiasts, cosplayers, modders, and Kpop fanatics. To enhance the gaming experience, Genius will provide its newest GX Gaming Series which encompasses a full range of professional PC gaming peripherals. Designed for MMO, RTS, and FPS gamers, the GX Gaming Series includes diverse products such as 7.1-channel headsets, programmable keyboards and mice with on-board memory to save your game settings, and gaming speakers that deliver thundering bass.

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Among the products to be showcased is DeathTaker MMO and RTS professional gaming mouse. You can customize it to conquer any challenge in a MMO/RTS game and become an explosive game performer.

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DeathTaker has a built-in over-clocking SCGii engine for a dpi range from 100 to 5700 so gamers can easily shift around the battlefield. A full speed CPU with memory chip prevents macro settings from game block and gives gamers 1-ms (8X quicker) in response time, plus a braided cable with gold-plated USB connector provides a stable and smooth signal connection during battle activities. A reliable eight million clicks gives a comfortable click feeling for MMO/RTS gamers, and the adjustable weight design has six metal weights – each 4.6 grams, and the X/Y axis dpi is adjustable to fit the game battle demand. DeathTaker uses the Scorpion UI so gamers can setup “Button Assignment”, “Manage Macro” for up to 55 keys, “Advance Setting” customized mouse performance and “Light Option” can select up to 16 million fascinating backlight colors.

Being MMO/RTS game oriented, comfortable in design and a superb hand grip, outstanding performance in all games, DeathTaker is the choice of game addicts.

Features:

  • Professional 9-button MMO/RTS gaming mouse
  • Over-clocking SCGii: 100 dpi to 5700 dpi
  • Scorpion gaming UI for shortcuts
  • 16 million RGB backlight system
  • Adjustable metal weight 4.5g x 6
  • Onboard memory to prevent game block
  • 1.8 meter braided cable with gold-plated USB cable
  • Rubber coating finished to receive total control

DeathTaker professional gaming mouse retails at Php 2,490. Genius is locally distributed by MSI-ECS. For inquiries, email [email protected] or call (02) 688-3181.

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Genius SP-i165 Portable Speaker

This press release is a guest post from MSI-ECS, distributor of Genius products.

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Genius Marries Portability and Design with Its Latest Speaker

Genius presents a new portable speaker, SP-i165 for enjoying music anywhere. It has a cute artsy design that can bring you great enjoyment. SP-i165 uses a 40mm speaker driver for enhanced bass. The built-in rechargeable battery lets you listen to your favorite music with family and friends anywhere for a long time. Charging is simple; just plug it into the USB port of a PC/laptop. You can use SP-i165 with any iPad, iPod, iPhone, cellphone, notebook, MP3/MP4 player or CD player that has a standard 3.5mm audio input. It comes in three attractive colors: black, white or red. Also added are a quick charge USB cable and a pouch for storage.

Features:

  • Portable speaker for smart phone, iPhone, iPad, Tablet PC, notebook, mp3/mp4 player
  • 40mm driver for clear sound and deeper bass
  • LED indicator: Blue – working, red – low power/charging
  • Built-in lithium battery; quick charge by USB
  • Up to eight hours working time
  • Color options: Black, White, or Red
  • Pouch included

Genius SP-i165 portable speaker retails at only Php 750 and is locally distributed by MSI-ECS. For product inquiries, [email protected] call 632 688-3181.

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Infrastructure Secrets Behind Cloud Data Centers

This article is a guest post from MSI-ECS, distributor of APC products.

Unveiling infrastructure secrets behind the cloud

How power and cooling reliability issues can be avoided in cloud data centers?

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Thinking about the cloud? If so, be ready to recognize how cloud environments can impact data center power and cooling infrastructure. Virtualization is the technology engine behind cloud computing. Although virtualization is well understood from an IT equipment perspective, the effects of virtualization / cloud computing on the data center physical infrastructure are less understood. Some clear challenges exist that can impact systems uptime. The good news is that these challenges can be addressed by Schneider Electric™ solutions that are available today.

Challenge #1: Increased power densities

Areas of high density pose heat removal challenges. In cloud environments, virtualized servers are grouped in ways that can create “hot spots”. As a physical host is loaded up with more and more virtual machines, its CPU utilization increases, which means that more heat is produced. If the existing heat removal system is inadequate, downtime becomes a bigger threat. One solution is to spread the high density servers throughout the data center floor. However, increased floor space consumption, higher cabling costs, reduced electrical efficiency related to uncontained air paths, and the perception that half-filled racks waste rack space all could pose problems. The preferred solution is to move higher density equipment to a specific rack or row, separate from lower density equipment. This high density “pod” with dedicated heat removal (row-based cooling) and containment enables higher efficiency (shorter air paths), more predictability, and maximum density per rack. Pods and row based cooling solutions are available from Schneider Electric.

Challenge #2: Worse PUE

Virtualization can result in a significant decrease in server energy consumption. However if the power and cooling infrastructure is left in its pre-virtualization state, then power usage effectiveness (PUE) worsens. Since power is consumed by the power and cooling systems regardless of what the IT load is, when the IT load goes down (as it often does in the initial stages of virtualization), the power and cooling systems have, in effect, become oversized and less efficient. Scalable power and cooling solutions, available from Schneider Electric, can significantly reduce these inefficiencies by “rightsizing” to the new load.

Challenge #3: Increased risk of downtime

Loads within cloud data centers can vary in both time and location. Compared to a non-virtualized data center, a highly virtualized cloud-based data center will tend to experience larger load swings. Unless the cloud data center is incredibly well-planned and managed, load swings could be large enough to cause capacity-related reliability issues. This issue becomes too complex for a human to manage. Predictive management tools are a safe way to maintain an efficient, lean data center in a cloud environment. Tools such as the Schneider Electric StruxureWare™ for Data Centers suite work in real time with virtual machine managers to assure that power and cooling capacity can efficiently accommodate the dynamic loads.

Challenge #4: Unnecessary levels of redundancy

Cloud data centers are operated with a high level of IT fault-tolerance and this may reduce the need for power and cooling infrastructure redundancy. Matching of physical infrastructure redundancy to the fault-tolerant nature of a virtualized cloud environment is a form of rightsizing to further reduce energy consumption, capital costs, and fixed losses all while improving the data center PUE. Understanding the challenges that cloud computing can impose on data center physical infrastructure is an important first step in achieving the goal of a reliable, efficient and flexible data center.

For more information about high density pods, scalable power and cooling, and predictive management tools, go to www.apc.com. APC is distributed in the Philippines by MSI-ECS. For more product information, please contact [email protected] or +63-2688-3181.

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