Android smartphones to power NASA’s fleet of miniature satellites

by Colton Kaiser on
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We’ve seen Android serve as the basis for so many innovative ventures, but NASA’s latest project could top them all. A team from NASA’s Ames Research center in California has began construction on a group of miniature satellites composed entirely of Nexus smartphones. The project, properly titled “PhoneSat” is just a small part of the larger Small Spacecraft Technology Program (SSTP)  that aims to build nanosatellites by using  small consumer electronics.

NASA has confirmed that the team has already built two nanosatellite prototype models. PhoneSat 1.0 is the first of the two, and offers limited functionality. The goal for this model is to simply observe and determine if a mini-satellite with a consumer smartphone can survive a short period of time in space. However, one of the most important aspects in determining success is if the satellite can actually send back actual health and picture data from space. In addition to sporting a Nexus One, the body of the satellite will include an array of batteries, a watchdog circuit to monitor the system (and reboot the phone, if necessary) and an external radio beacon.

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Play your Android games in style; Check out this homemade PS3 controller Samsung Galaxy Nexus dock

by Macky Evangelista on
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Lets face it, gaming on an Android device (no matter how big the screen is) can be quite challenging, especially if you’re playing first-person-shooters or even games from an emulator. Wouldn’t it be a dream to use a console’s controller to play these games with, perhaps a PlayStation 3 controller? A Reddit user by the name of TheRealBigLou has done just that by creating his own homemade PS3 controller dock for his Samsung Galaxy Nexus where he’s able to play his Android games with the wonderful controls of a PS3 controller. You may think this feat took some complicated contraptions to make, but it actually only took a couple of Boston clips, some rubber bands, an NFC sticker and a creative mind to achieve this amazing creation.

TheRealBigLou was also kind enough to give a description of how he made this:

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Samsung starts mass production of super fast NAND flash memory for mobile devices

by Chris Stewart on
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Your Android phone or tablet is only as fast as its slowest component. It can never hurt to have extra cores, higher clock speeds and copious amounts of RAM but it’s only worth so much if the rest of your device’s specifications aren’t on a par. As ever, Samsung is looking to keep ahead of  the competition by switching on the conveyor belts to begin production of the Pro Class 1500; the world’s fastest high-speed embedded memory (eMMC) flash memory. The Pro Class 1500 is capable of read speeds of 140MB per second and write speeds of 50MB per second, it will also come in 16GB, 32GB and 64GB size variations.

With at least one new Nexus phone expected before the end of the year, here’s hoping we see this high-speed flash memory make a welcome appearance. Check out the full press release after the break.

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ASUS Transformer, Transformer Prime and Motorola Xoom Receive CyanogenMod 10 Preview Builds

by Brad Ward on
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The other day we received the CyanogenMod 10 preview builds for both the international and U.S. versions of the Samsung Galaxy S III and now there’s more! The CM 10 preview builds are now available for the ASUS Transformer and Transformer Prime (tf101 and 201) and with Motorola’s Xoom. With all the excitement around Jelly Bean and CyanogenMod 10, a working build for tablets is wonderful news to hear.

These are only preview builds though, so they may not be very stable. Unofficial builds also carry no guarantee on support, assistance or updates.

The Transformer builds are currently functional with Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, sounds, camera, video acceleration, minor dock functionality and most sensors. The GPS and light sensor functionality isn’t in there just yet, but the device’s core functionality is stable and working.

Here’s a quick video of the Transformer Prime running CM10 on its current build in action:

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CyanogenMod 10 Preview Build 4.1 For AT&T Samsung Galaxy S III is Now Available [Update: for T-Mobile and Sprint versions as well]

by Brad Ward on
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An early preview of CyanogenMod 10 loaded with Jellybean 4.1 has been released for the AT&T Samsung Galaxy S III (UPDATE also for T-Mobile and Sprint versions as well). It’s in a very early state so you won’t be seeing a lot of CM9′s features merged over yet, but hopefully soon.

Some known issues being worked on include:

  • Overlay for UI (extra butter)- We’re waiting on CodeAurora to publish, UI is a little janky.
  • Camera preview turns green during animations and may crash.
  • MMS downloading doesn’t work but sending & retrieving does work, use a 3rd party SMS/MMS app that can download them. (For T-Mobile)
  • All the things.

Hit the break for download links and instructions.

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One Small Step For Man, One Giant Step For The Nexus Q: User Successfully Connects HID Bluetooth Mouse To Device

by Roy Alugbue on
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Sure the Nexus Q is going to be a revolutionary media device for us Android users, but don’t forget— at the end of the day, it’s still a Nexus product and so you know what that means? It means that the Nexus Q is meant to be tinkered with and improved upon silly. After seeing the Q get unlocked and rooted for all kinds of tomfoolery, it was time to see what else could be done with the device. Well thanks to XDA Forum member fredc888, we are now one step closer to being able to see the full potential and take full advantage of the Q’s ability to run apps and games. fredc888 was able to successfully connect a Bluetooth-compliant HID mouse to the device. Yes friends a Bluetooth mouse. That is definitely big time.

While this is an exciting achievement, it is one that should be taken with extreme caution. As you might expect, the Q doesn’t have a traditional Bluetooth menu to allow it to connect to other devices outside of Android phones and tablets, so the Bluetooth stack configuration file must be directly edited to allow input devices and connect to them automatically and naturally— this step requires unlocking the bootloader, which effectively wipes the device’s data partition. Should you make an oopsies, unbricking options for the Nexus Q are limited and that means users should take extraordinary precaution when writing to the device.

Despite the significant risk to the Nexus Q– you can’t help but be excited at the idea of connecting additional gadgets to the device. So if you’re feeling a little lucky, brave or just plain curious, be sure to check out the complete thread— which you can find at the source link below.

source: XDA Forums

Crafty Gamer Cleverly Mounts Samsung Galaxy Note To A Playstation 3 Controller, Oh And The Controls Are Fully Functional

by Roy Alugbue on
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One of the great things about Android devices is that well, you get to modify them and put them through unusual jobs, such as putting it to use as a topnotch gaming device. Okay, so many of you are looking perplexed, so let me explain: a crafty Galaxy Note owner realized the 5.3-inch screen of the device is too good to not be taken advantage of when it comes to gaming. So in having some time on his hands, the crafty developer went ahead and did the unthinkable— he literally gathered ports of popular games like Mario on his Galaxy Note, created an attachment terminal mount on his Playstation 3 controller, mounted his Galaxy Note to the controller and successfully configured the setup to allow his PS3 controller control the games. Impressive isn’t it?

Don’t take my word for it— check out the cool achievement in all its glory once you hit past the break.

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Olympus announces MEG4.0 wearable display prototype, perhaps their version of Google Glass?

by Macky Evangelista on
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It seems as if Google isn’t the only ones with the idea of  multimedia glasses. While Google has been publicly engineering their Project Glass for a couple of years now, Olympus actually spend the past 7 years quietly designing and creating the MEG4.0. Unlike Google Glasses, the MEG4.0 isn’t a standalone structure and needs your personal glasses to hang on. The weight of the MEG4.0 is less that 30 grams total, thus it shouldn’t feel heavy while using it.

The QVGA (320 x 240) display can connect to devices through Bluetooth 2.1, with Olympus pointing to a smartphone hook-up to provide both the processing power and internet connectivity, much like Google Glasses. While Olympus themselves have yet to announce availability dates nor a price set, they did reveal some information about it during their official press release that you can check out after the break.  » Read the rest

There’s Only 5 Days Left to get in on Kickstarter Project Pocket TV

by Macky Evangelista on
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Wouldn’t it be awesome to be able to turn any high-definition TV into an Android running Smart-TV?  That’s exactly what Project Pocket TV does and they need your help to get their project started. We have written about Pocket TV and during that time there was 31 days left for consumers to “pledge” money to the program. Now there’s just 5 days left and even though the company has already surpassed their goal of $100,000 with a total of $409,111 in pledges, you are still welcome to pledge. Of course, if you get in now, you can save up to $50 rather than waiting until it’s released. Hit the break for all the details.  » Read the rest

Samsung to Offer MHL Cable Adapters for Galaxy S III

by Macky Evangelista on
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We’ve previously reported that the Samsung Galaxy S III uses a special MHL/HDMI adapter and you would not be able to use the last-generation MHL to HDMI adapter cables because of hardware changes. Samsung has come forward with a great solution as they have built a 5-pin to 11-pin adapter that allows the old cable to work with the new phone. They also gave a reason as to why the change was made:

Samsung Galaxy S® III uses an 11-pin micro USB input, which allows it to support MHL output and USB on-the-go input simultaneously – an improvement over 5-pin capability. This means that customers can take advantage of new functions for accessories that are not supported by a 5-pin micro USB connector, allowing a deeper convergence between the Galaxy S III smartphone and a HDTV.

To ease this transition and to allow for greater innovation with Samsung accessories, Samsung Mobile will offer a 5-pin to 11-pin MHL Cable Adapter that will allow the original Samsung HDTV Smart Adapter to function properly with U.S. models of the Galaxy S III, as well as future Samsung premium smartphones. In addition, Samsung is offering consumers the ability to purchase the new adapter separately, or to bundle it with the original HDTV Smart Adapter. Our goal in offering these MHL adapter solutions is to provide consumers with the newest accessory technology while ensuring the highest level of device compatibility.

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