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Samsung teases Exynos processor announcement on Twitter

Samsung Exynos chipset

A sign of corporate communications in the 21st century, Samsung took the Twitter account for its Exynos line of processors (yes, processors have Twitter accounts now) to tease “something new and exciting” coming tomorrow.

Samsung’s ARM-based System on a Chip (SoC), the Exynos line has powered everything from the company’s Galaxy smartphone line to Google’s Nexus 10 tablet. The last word from Samsung regarding Exynos was in February, with hexa and octa-core Exynos 5 chipset announcements, but this new SoC is expected to power the 5.7” Galaxy Note 4, likely dropping later this fall.

The teaser image above doesn’t give much in the way of information, other than that we can expect the new chipset to run very cool. Keen eyes, however, can also detect symbols representing Wi-Fi routers, server stacks, and cloud services, which might mean that the new Exynos will be used in a lot more than just smartphones and tablets.



Microsoft cutting support for Windows Phone 7.8 in early September


If your carrier hasn’t already abandoned that aging Windows Phone 7 device, Microsoft is set to put the final nail in that coffin in early September.

Mainstream support for Windows Phone 7.8 will end on September 9th, leaving devices like the LG Optimis 7, Nokia Lumia 510, 610, 710, 800 and 900 without continuing support for major new features or bug fixes. Of course, as with any Microsoft product the company promises to issue hotfixes for major security issues, should they arise, but consider the platform dead in the water either way.

Mainstream support ended for Windows Phone 7.8 a long time ago, though, pretty much the moment Windows Phone 8 was announced in late 2012. While Microsoft made some concessions for current Windows Phone 7.5 owners, issuing an update to 7.8 that mimicked the aesthetic improvements of the company’s latest OS without adding any substantive features, it was always meant as a stop-gap OS.

In other words, if you’re running a Windows Phone 7.8-powered phone, maybe it’s time to upgrade. At least that’s what Microsoft thinks.


Spotify’s Canadian launch is imminent

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Spotify is set to launch in Canada, and soon.

The company has launched a sign-up page where users can submit an email address in exchange for the prospect of receiving an invitation to use the service. It’s unclear when the company plans to open the proverbial floodgates, but this is the best indication we’ve seen yet that Spotify is serious about expanding north of the border.



Motorola updates Connect with new app, phone-finding feature


Motorola has finally given its Connect app for Moto X, Moto G and Moto E the makeover it so sorely needed. Connect 2.0 adds an actual GUI to the Android version of the service, which requires a companion Chrome extension to function.

What is Motorola Connect? It was initially conceived as a way to view texts, MMS and call notifications on your computer by routing the information through the smartphone to the Chrome extension. In this version, in addition to a shiny new app, the developers have added a Find My Phone feature, which sets off an alarm on the device to find it if it has been misplaced. Pretty handy.


SaskTel comes out with new monthly rate plans, offers up unlimited data

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Regional carrier SaskTel has announced a number of new plans, and some humour along with them. Those in the Saskatchewan can check out the four restructured voice and data plans that range in price from $60 to $100 per month.

What was once the $70 unlimited plan now has been capped at 10GB data. The two main attractions are the Ultimate 13th Man and the Ultimate 100, respectively priced at $85 and $100 each per month. Both have unlimited local and long distance minutes, unlimited texting and an enormous amount of data.

The “Ultimate 13th Man” is “just like the extra player on the bench” and gives 13GB of data — however, any overage above the data allotment will cost you $0.06/MB. The Ultimate 100 offers up unlimited data, but as expected is subject to SaskTel’s Fair Use Policy, which cites after 15GB per billing period “your wireless data service will be slowed to speeds equivalent to SaskTel High Speed Light service (up to 256 Kbps download speed and 128 Kbps upload speed) for the remainder of your billing period.” (more…)


LG KizON is a child-tracking wearable that keeps parents in the know


LG has lowered the barrier to entry with its new kids-centric KizON wristband. The wearable is designed for children in pre-school and primary school and aims to “give parents a convenient way to keep track of their young children’s whereabouts” on a smartphone.

The KizON looks playful in kid-friendly blue, pink and green. Behind this toy-looking wristband is a 3G-powered device that hooks to GPS and Wi-Fi that gives parents real-time location information. LG has designed a “One Step Direct Call” — either a button on the wristband or via the app — that instantly sets up a call between child and parent. Added security features are embedded within KizON, so if the child does not answer the One Step Direct Call within 10 seconds it will “automatically connect the call to let the parents listen through the built-in microphone.” (more…)


An ‘alarming number of young people’ in Ontario are still texting while driving, report says


A new report has been released by the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) that declares “an alarming number of young people” are still texting while driving.

The report, which is called the “2013 Ontario Student Drug Use and Health Survey (OSDUHS) Mental Health and Well-Being Report,” asked the question: “In the last 12-months how often did you type a text or email while you were driving?” The finding revealed that 36% of Ontario students in grades 10 to 12, which represents 107,900 drivers, stated they used their smartphone while driving at least once in the past year — with females and 12 graders more likely to text at (45%). (more…)


Eyefi Mobi wireless SD card review


Smartphone cameras have come a long, long way since the blurry VGA output of the first iPhones and Androids, but they’re still physically limited by the size of their sensors.

WiFi-connected cameras have slowly tried to meet the demands of prosumer photographers by allowing syncing between them and smartphones, but the process has often been onerous and ugly, hampered by each camera manufacturer’s proprietary software stack.

In fact, while Fuji, Canon and others have WiFi-connected cameras and corresponding iOS and Android apps, Sony appears to be the only company taking its time to deliver great camera-to-mobile experiences.  (more…)


TELUS: ‘Healthcare is our content play’


TELUS opened the doors of its Toronto offices this week to show off a newly-renovated Innovation Centre, in which its many healthcare-related products, demos and aspirations await public viewing.

Introduced by Paul Lepage, President of TELUS Health, the event was envisioned as a way to bring the company’s many disparate engagements into a single place; many Canadians know that the Vancouver-based company has dipped its toes into myriad healthcare-related projects, but until now there hasn’t been a unified place to source all the relevant information.