Feb 16, 2011

Audi rolls out updated hybrid e-tron Spyder

It's looking rather more polished since it first appeared the Paris Auto Show earlier this year, having been given a lovely coat of red paint (embarrassingly almost exactly the same hue as the Tesla Model S that's here) but keeping the some gorgeous, turbine-styled wheels. It's the Audi e-tron Spyder, a hybrid with a twin-turbo V6 and dual electric motors as well capable of 0 - 60 times of 4.7 seconds, and we thought you might want to see. Still no price or availability, though. Audi Chairman Rupert Stadler also took the time to show off the company's latest MMI system, with its character-recognizing touchpad, and also spoke a little bit about the future -- vaguely, anyway. He refuted our thoughts on the car of the future, replacing the dash with a mobile device, saying that those devices are designed to draw your attention which is, of course, a bad thing while you're driving. However, we can't help but think that there are ways to eliminate that problem with the right software layer.

Deutsche Telekom rolling out NFC payments with T-Mobile USA, other markets this year; NFC iPhone along for the ride?

At its press conference at Mobile World Congress today, Deutsche Telekom -- the German parent of T-Mobile subsidiaries around the world -- mentioned that it'll start launching NFC payment systems in handsets across multiple markets starting this year with full deployments in 2012. T-Mobile USA will be included in the action through the Isis initiative announced in late 2010 in partnership with AT&T and Verizon, but here's where it gets particularly interesting: DT execs apparently name dropped Apple during the live event for a 2011 launch. Of course, there's no shortage of rumors that the next-gen iPhone will include some manner of NFC capability, and it certainly seems like an Apple endorsement would work wonders in taking the technology to a new level of consumer acceptance. Follow the break for the full press release -- it doesn't mention Apple, interestingly, so it's entirely possible that this was an executive slip-up. More on this as we have it. Rich from Phone Scoop wrote in to let us know that the Apple mention was in a slide deck handed out during the conference, not verbalized by executives. Interesting!

Verizon CEO - "We dont need the Nokia - Microsoft partnership

Courting the largest carrier in the United States is probably at the top of any phone manufacturer's to-do list, and it's starting to sound like Nokia -- on the strength of its just-announced Windows Phone gamble -- has an uphill battle ahead of it. Verizon CTO Tony Melone has gone on record out at Mobile World Congress this week saying that he's skeptical Micosoft has the capability to meet its lofty volume goals for Windows Phone -- a little odd, considering that Verizon is on the verge of launching its first Windows Phone 7 model -- and that he doesn't think "Verizon needs the Nokia and Microsoft relationship." Referring seemingly directly to Nokia CEO Stephen Elop's desire to make the smartphone war a "three-horse race" between Android, iOS, and Windows Phone, Melone says he thinks that "right now the three OS players we see for our network are Android, Apple, and RIM." Of course, just like the iPhone, we're sure Melone's attitude could change in a snap if Windows Phone picks up enough steam -- but even in the best case, that's going to take a while.

AT&T's old $49 iPhone 3GS gets a new ad to sell it

It looks like someone's realized that simultaneous voice and web will not be enough to keep kids away from the Verizon iPhone. But where technical details fail to entice, perhaps a good deal will. Because, really, what's better (or at least as good) as retaining your current customers? Well, if you ask AT&T it's bringing in a slew of new ones by advertising that bargain-basement $49 iPhone 3GS (8GB).

Elop - Microsoft is not paying Nokia billions of dollars to use Windows Phone

In Engadget's sitdown with Nokia CEO Stephen Elop out at Mobile World Congress, they brought up something that had come up during his press conference and Q&A session last Sunday evening -- that the company's partnership with Microsoft would generate "billions, not millions" of dollars' worth of value. This quickly morphed into an internet-wide story that Microsoft would basically be cutting a ten-figure check to Espoo in exchange for launching devices running its platform, but the reality is that Elop never said anything close to that: in fact, when we specifically asked how the money was flowing and who would be seeing black ink upfront, Elop said on no certain terms that they're not talking specifics of the deal. He goes on to say that it's a "very balanced relationship," which would indicate to us that there wasn't any massive cash transfer to kick this thing off. Regardless, the fact remains: at no time did he say Microsoft was paying to make it happen -- and considering Nokia's needs, we wouldn't be surprised if this was nearly a zero-sum transaction: Microsoft gets a huge boost in the platform's profile along with some services it needs, while Nokia gets a platform that it wasn't able to make itself. Makes sense to us.

Interview: Nokia CEO Stephen Elop talks Microsoft, Symbian, MeeGo, and Windows Phone

Engadget had a chance to sit down for a few minutes with the man who's arguably stolen the show here at Mobile World Congress this year -- Nokia CEO Stephen Elop -- to talk about everything from his time at Microsoft to the potential for a multi-billion dollar platform partnership with his former employer that he's hoping to foster over the coming years. Elop's emerged in the past week as an outspoken character who doesn't seem to shy away from a question, to speak his mind, or to tell it like it is, which makes this ten-odd minute segment a must-see. Check the video out after the break. 

Nexus S suffering from random data loss, reboots? (updated: fixes coming!)

Nexus S suffering from random data loss, reboots?
Lots of people have lots of problems with lots of things, but to say that we've been getting lots of complaints about Nexus S issues would be an understatement. Hundreds have chimed in on the Google Mobile Help forum indicating that their handsets are frequently losing data signal and, once lost, a reboot is required to reconnect. It's been said this could be related to an issue that's been around since 2009 (issue 2845), but a new issue in the Android bug tracker has been created, 14672, which specifically deals with the Nexus S. You might want to star 'em both if you're affected -- or feeling charitable. Finally, and perhaps even more troubling, is the phone rebooting. By itself. In the middle of a call. You can imagine how this might be a little annoying. That issue is number 13674 and it's linked down there too.

Update: Just got a note from Google saying: "All of the issues described in the post are resolved and will be fixed with an OTA that will go out soon." Feel free to start mashing that "system updates" menu item.

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Video - NVIDIA announces quad-core Kal-El SOC, promises it in tablets by August

So it turns out that NVIDIA roadmap we saw last month was as true and pure as driven snow. The barely conceivable quad-core Tegra chip that it listed has now been made official by none other than NVIDIA itself, with the company also informing us that the new silicon is already sampling out to prospective clients. Known as Kal-El internally, this will most likely turn into NVIDIA's Tegra 3 as and when it's ready to enter the consumer market. Tonight NVIDIA whetted our appetite for what's to come with a demo that can most fittingly be described as an exhibition of unadulterated computational muscle. A 2560 x 1440 stream was being decoded on a developmental device, scaled down to that slate's native 1366 x 768 resolution, and additionally displayed on a connected 30-inch, 2560 x 1600 monitor. That entire voluminous workload was being handled in real time by Kal-El and we saw no signs of it struggling. Hit read more for details and videos!

2011 Toyota Corolla Altis 1.6 - Exclusive for TechGuru readers!

Interesting new pictures have come up in the blogosphere of the Corolla Altis with changed rear and front lights courtesy of PakWheels.com. Pricing and details will be given to you as we learn about them. For now our readers can feast on the pictures alone. Hit read more for more pictures.


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