Some renders have emerged that suggest Samsung’s “other” flagship phone will see only minor hardware revisions in its latest iteration. The Note 5, it appears, will follow closely from the Note 4. But honestly, that’s a really good thing.
With the Note phones, what Samsung has managed to do is spearhead a new part of the market. No one did big phones to much success before the Note, and I remember laughing a lot when the first one was launched. My tune had changed by the time I used it, and when the second rolled around my friend James had managed to sell me so comprehensively on it that I had to have one.
Having established the Note as somewhat of a flagship device, it seems that Samsung wants to keep this phone a little less controversial than the S6 and S6 Edge. For example, I’d be very surprised if the company took away the removable battery and microSD card on this phone, if anything the Note is more of a fanboy device than the Galaxy S is, so to do so would spell trouble for the firm.
On the other hand, I think there’s a really good chance Samsung will switch away from Qualcomm again on the Note. That makes sense as Samsung has had no real problems with the processors in the Galaxy S6, its first high-end phone to totally shun Qualcomm in some time. I don’t really buy into the idea that the Snapdragon 810 overheats – the Sony Xperia Z3+ issues are something else, and Sony has always had heat problems in the Z series. Qualcomm’s issue now is one of perception, and that has become a real problem with the 810.
Even if the hardware was just a minor upgrade from the Note 4, it seems like the big deal for Samsung at the moment is software. The S6, for example, has cut down dramatically on the things that power users like me dislike, which is that extra bloat and customisation found on most Android phones of old. If you haven’t seen the S6, it’s worth taking a look just to see the effort that Samsung has gone to with the OS. It’s not perfect of course, but it’s a step in the right direction.
The Note 5 is likely to incorporate many of the other features. Samsung will want its Pay service on there, especially with Apple and Google’s payment services gather momentum. It feels like this aspect of the S6 has failed to make any headway yet. Rumours suggest it will launch in the US and Korea in H2 this year, but time will tell if that’s accurate. Every moment Samsung waits though it will lose ground to Google. Apple Pay isn’t a competitor here, but Google might spoil Samsung’s service if it gains more ground.
Personally I’m more interested in seeing the camera features make the move from the S6 to the Note 5. The fast-start access from the home button has, weirdly, proven to be a really nice feature about the S6, and one I really struggle with when I use other phones now. Samsung has also nailed the camera on the S6 to the point where it leads in both benchmarks and in subjective terms.
Samsung will also need to move the Note over to the same fingerprint scanner as is in the S6. I’ll be honest, the fingerprint scanner in the Note 4 is just awful, and was easily my least favourite aspect of that phone. The S6 addresses it, and while I think the iPhone still leads here, I think Samsung has the scanner to the point where most people would be happy to use it.
I’m also interested to see what happens with wireless charging on the Note. Samsung has tended to ignore this feature but included it with the S6 and added support for both Qi and Powermat charging, which is nifty and a first. I really hope Samsung doesn’t leave it out of the Note 5, as again it was one of the things I liked best about the S6, and something that is really handy if you just want to plonk the phone on a charging mat and have it charge.
So while the design leak for the Note 5 doesn’t exactly scream “major changes ahead” from the rooftops, it looks like the sort of stability that Samsung needs in its popular phone. I’ve spoken before about Samsung’s surprise at the way the Note took off. It was only ever supposed to be a niche device but it has become much more of that.
Whatever you believe about the S6 sales – it’s hard to judge without actually having official numbers – the Note 5 may be an even more important part of Samsung’s portfolio from now on. And let’s be honest, choice is a good thing.
The upcoming PS4 and 3DS release of Dragon Quest XIis looking amazing in the latest batch of screenshots.
The 3DS version also has a wonderful 3D and 2D split across the dual screens. While this won’t be present across the whole game it’s a wonderful thing to see nonetheless.
The improvements for the Dragon Quest games have been very marked, with this latest entry being a great example.
Set for a Japanese release next year, Dragon Quest XIwill be out on both PS4 and 3DS. In addition there is a rumored release on Nintendo’s upcoming NX console as well. There is currently no news of a Western release as yet.
In the latest episode of Dragon Ball Super various Japanese netizens voiced their anger at decidedly sub-par animation for what is meant to be a big mainstream and well funded anime series.
While the series is still very popular and is arguably aimed at a younger audience, much of the Japanese anime fanbase have a point.
The same sentiments have been broadly repeated by much of the Western fanbase as well.
The episode in question was the one that aired over the weekend and featured a fight between Goku and Beerus (as shown above and below).
This is not the first time that big anime shows have been criticized for poor animation, as Gurren Lagann famously had issues with some of their early episodes. To which one of the founders of Gainax, that of Takami Akai, had to resign when he tried to albeit clumsily defend the show’s production to fans online.
In this instance no one from Dragon Ball Super’s production has waded in, which is likely a smart move. That said it is still quite surprising to see a big budget series like this have very obvious lapses of animation quality.
Admittedly we are still very early on in the series’ run and hopefully people at Toei Animation can rectify the situation.
The other and more ugly aspect to all this is that Japanese anime production is equatable to slave labor, so these kinds of lapses in quality are more down to an abused workforce than any kind of simple production oversight.
Whatever the current cause for the issues plaguing Dragon Ball Super, I hope they are resolved as this is the first major Dragon Ball series in 18 years. The fans deserve better and the production should be more professionally managed as a consequence
Considering that Super started out really well and has a long run ahead of it, these kinds of issues will likely be ironed out but for now this is definitely an embarrassing slip up for one of the major tent pole franchises in anime and manga.
Serena Williams heads to New York this month for the U.S. Open on a historic roll. She has won the past four Grand Slam events to complete the “Serena Slam” for the second time in her career. She has lost only once on the court in 41 matches this year (she’s withdrawn in the middle of three events for injuries). Her $9.1 million in prize money during the first seven months of the year is more than tennis legend Chris Evert and all but 35 female tennis players made over their entire careers.
But for all of her brilliance on the court, Williams still looks up at rival Maria Sharapova when measuring their bank accounts. Williams earned $24.6 million from prize money and endorsements between June 2014 and June 2015, while Sharapova banked $29.7 million. Sharapova is the world’s highest-paid female athlete for the 11th straight year.
Sharapova bounced back from injuries in 2013 to win her second French Open title last year and her fifth Grand Slam overall. Her $6.7 million in prize money is almost triple what it was in the previous 12 months. The Roland Garros win also kicked in valuable bonuses from sponsors Nike NKE -1.22% and Head. Other major Sharapova partners include Avon Products AVP -3.76% (new in 2014), Evian, Porsche and Tag Heuer
Sharapova launched her own candy line, Sugarpova, in 2012. Sales doubled in the past year to more than three million bags of candy and the brand is now available in more than 30 countries. The Russian-born tennis star wants to turn Sugarpova into a lifestyle brand with clothing and accessories. She launched the Official Maria Sharapova App in March to provide fans a behind-the-scenes look at her life on and off the court. She is already the top female athlete and tennis player on Facebook with 15 million fans.
Williams continues to dominate her sport at an age when most players have hung up their rackets. At 33 years old, she is the oldest player to hold the No. 1 ranking with Evert the previous record holder at 30 in 1985. In July, Williams had twice as many rankings points as the current No. 2 player, Sharapova. This was a first in WTA history. Williams’ career prize money of $72.7 million since she turned pro twenty years ago is twice as much as Sharapova (Serena’s sister Venus ranks third overall with $31 million).
Williams is arguably the greatest female athlete of all-time, but sponsors have often eschewed the 21-time Grand Slam singles champ. Williams’ skin color, muscular body type and one memorable outburst at the U.S. Open in 2009 have all been blamed by pundits for the endorsement gap between Williams and Sharapova. The reality is that there is no one magic answer for the disparity.
Williams’ endorsement scorecard has picked up as she shoots for the calendar Grand Slam in Flushing, Queens. Williams added deals with Audemars Piguet and Chase over the past year. Chase is a big sponsor of the Open and its’ commercials featuring Williams have been in heavy rotation on TV during the summer. She also expanded her longtime Gatorade relationship to include the sport drink’s parent PepsiCo PEP -0.24%, which introduced a new Pepsi Challengethis summer. A win at the U.S. Open should further close the gap between Williams and Sharapova.
Danish tennis pro Caroline Wozniacki ranks third with earnings of $14.6 million, including $11 million off the court. She picked up new deals with Godiva chocolates and Lavazza coffee this year. She is the first athlete sponsor ever for Godiva, which approached her after Wozniacki said in a Wall Street Journal article: “I will do a chocolate deal for product only. No need for money.” Wozniacki will get product in the new deal, as well as a mid-six figure check annually in the multi-year pact. Wozniacki, who is tight with Williams, ran the NYC marathon in November and raised more than $80,000 for charity in the process.
The first non-tennis player to make the cut is Nascar’s Danica Patrick, who ranks No. 4 with earnings of $13.9 million. Patrick’s main sponsor, GoDaddy, announced in April that it was leaving Nascar after the 2015 season. Despite her struggles on the track, Patrick is still a hot commodity in the sport and is expected to return to Stewart-Haas Racing with new sponsors behind her car in 2016. She has been featured in more Super Bowl commercials than other celebrity thanks to GoDaddy.
The world’s 10 highest-paid female athletes are a global group with seven different nationalities represented. They earned $124 million collectively from salary, winnings, appearances, licensing and endorsements between June 1, 2014 and June 1, 2015. The total was down 12% as some new blood made the cut this year with the retirement of list-staples Li Na and Kim Yuna, who ranked second and fourth last year respectively. The Chinese tennis star and South Korean Olympic figure skating champion both retired from competition in 2014.
Tennis players dominate the list with seven entries. The revenue disparity between athletes in basketball, soccer and golf is vast with the top 10 male athletes earning $950 million combined over the past 12 months. But tennis is the one sport that generates significant revenue on both the men’s and women’s side. The result is near equal prize money in tennis and widespread TV coverage, which attracts sponsors who want athletes getting exposure. Tennis’ demographics are also strong with tennis fans wielding high disposable incomes to spend on equipment, apparel, watches and cars.
One newcomer in the top 10 is UFC star Ronda Rousey, who ranks No. 8 with estimated earnings of $6.5 million. The mixed martial arts champion had a breakout year with roles in three big budget movies over the past 12 months, a best-selling autobiography and an appearance on the cover of Sports Illustrated (she also showed up in SI’s swimsuit issue). Her endorsement portfolio includes Reebok, Metro PCS, Monster headphones, Buffalo David Bitton and Carl’s Jr.
For years, Nintendo had insisted that it would not take its beloved cast of video game characters, including Mario and Zelda, to the smartphones and tablets that tens of millions of people now use to play games.
But on Tuesday, Nintendo reversed its position on mobile devices, dropping a pledge that had come to seem increasingly detached from the habits of game players.
The company said it had formed a partnership with another Japanese company that specializes in mobile games, DeNA, to develop games based on Nintendo brands for smartphones and tablets. The two companies said they planned to create an online gaming service to be introduced this fall that will be accessible from mobile devices, PCs and Nintendo’s own game systems.
Nintendo promised that it was not abandoning the business of making its own game hardware, saying that it had a new game platform under development. The company’s president, Satoru Iwata, said Nintendo would share more details about the product, code-named NX, next year.
For Nintendo, the risk of ignoring mobile was that its whimsical games would lose relevance to popular mobile games like Minecraft, Angry Birds and Clash of Clans, especially among younger players. Other established companies and figures in the game industry, including Electronic Arts, came to recognize the importance of mobile games much earlier.
“Welcome to three years ago, Nintendo,” Cliff Bleszinski, a prominent game designer, cracked on Twitter.
No matter the timing, investors seemed to welcome the news. A flood of buy orders bid up the company’s stock price by its daily limit of 3,000 yen — or 21 percent — in Tokyo on Wednesday.
Nintendo has long favored its traditional approach of designing games only for its own hardware, including the Wii U console and portable players like the Nintendo 3DS. Its position was somewhat like that of Apple, which believes it can create high-quality products only by controlling devices and the software that runs them.
Even Apple, though, swiftly bowed to the realities of the PC market, creating its iTunes software and service for dominant Windows computers. Nintendo’s aversion to mobile devices, in contrast, came to seem dogmatic and hazardous to the future of the company.
“Clearly the issue for Nintendo was they were losing that customer base they had — preteens and kids who get introduced to Nintendo products at an early age,” said David Cole, an analyst at DFC Intelligence, a game research firm. “Now these kids are getting introduced to mobile.”
Nintendo’s sales and profits suffered badly in recent years as game-playing on smartphones and tablets skyrocketed. Most mobile games are far cheaper than Nintendo games, especially the free-to-play games that are so common on mobile devices. Analysts believe Nintendo teamed up with DeNA partly because it has so little experience with the methods of generating revenue from today’s mobile games.
The rise of mobile gaming is particularly galling for Nintendo, which practically invented the concept of playing games on the go with devices like the Game Boy and the more recent 3DS.
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As successful as Nintendo’s portable devices have been, they are far more limited devices than modern smartphones, more than a billion of which are sold every year. Mr. Cole estimates the revenue from smartphone and tablet games was about $15 billion last year, compared with about $4 billion for portable games.
Despite the recent struggles, it is hard to count Nintendo out completely. The company has more than $7 billion in cash and short-term securities in its coffers. In an industry in which famed companies like Atari, Sega and 3DO have faded or vanished, Nintendo has shown a remarkable ability to reinvent itself again and again.
The company, founded by Fusajiro Yamauchi, started out as a maker of playing cards in the late 1800s. His successors eventually led the company into toys and video games, after they began to take off in the 1970s.
Much of the credit for its modern success lies with Shigeru Miyamoto, the Nintendo game designer who is the closest the industry comes to a Walt Disney. Mr. Miyamoto, who joined Nintendo in the late 1970s, created Mario, Donkey Kong and Zelda, three of the best-selling game franchises of all time.
Nintendo began to falter as Sony and Microsoft poured fortunes into building consoles with the most powerful graphics available. In response, Nintendo created the original Wii, a console that lacked the best graphics but made up for it with an innovative motion-based controller. For several years, it was the hottest game system around, finding avid users among large portions of the public who had never played games before.
It was precisely those casual game users whom Nintendo lost to smartphones and tablets, when games emerged as a category for those devices. But some analysts do not think it is too late for Nintendo to be successful in mobile.
Michael A. Swierczek, an analyst at Evercore ISI, a stock research firm, said a handful of mobile games had stood the test of time and vastly more had faded quickly from memory.
He said the type of games that Nintendo specializes in, with their cartoony, playful graphics, will be more easily adapted to mobile devices than more complex console games. “They are so much simpler and easier to convey on a smaller screen and in much shorter snippets of time,” he said.
IT’S not fun getting into a car when the interior is 130 degrees, but that’s a typical problem during the summer for those who live in a city like Phoenix, where outside temperatures can regularly soar well past 100.
But Sean O’Gorman never needs to endure a furnacelike cabin. As an owner of a Tesla Model S, he opens an iPhone app a few minutes before he gets into the car and remotely starts his air-conditioner.
Mr. O’Gorman, 32, a software product manager, can also use the app to do things that previously only a physical key could do, and more: Start the engine, unlock the doors, turn on the heat and monitor the battery.
Tesla is not alone in offering those sorts of options; BMW, General Motors and Volvo, among other manufacturers, offer apps that perform similar functions.
They are just the latest step in the evolution of the car key away from the standard metal shaft used for decades, and still often used today, to unlock and start cars.
Now, car keys — or key fobs, as they are also known — include chips to prevent theft, cannot be duplicated at the local locksmith and often never have to be removed from pockets.
But despite the advances, it will be a while, if ever, before smartphone apps entirely replace keys that drivers carry around. Too many problems exist — like a slow data network or a dead phone battery — to rely on smartphones alone, experts say.
“The physical key will be with us for years to come,” said Mark Baker, director of engineering for ZF TRW, a manufacturer of automobile systems.
That’s because customers are purchasing cars with so-called PEPS, or Passive Entry, Passive Start capabilities. Rather than needing to pull out a key from one’s pocket or purse, the key sends a signal to the car that it’s nearby, and the car creates a digital “handshake” with the authorized key. Touching the door’s handle unlocks it, and the car is started by pushing a button. The car cannot be locked if the key is left in the car.
“This type of key is a huge convenience for drivers,” said Jeff J. Owens, chief technology officer for Delphi, another supplier of automotive systems. “A watch or phone used instead must offer more than today’s key.”
In some ways, they offer less, by increasing the complexity of operating a vehicle. In Tesla’s case, one needs to open the app and then enter a PIN to start the car or unlock the doors.
Using the Internet to transfer vehicle starting or unlocking information, while useful in an emergency, “is not a viable way forward,” said David Green, market development director at Volvo.
Slow network traffic can cause the unlocking command take up to a minute, Mr. Green said. “This is a regression from today’s keys.”
If a cellphone’s battery dies, or there is no data signal available to send an unlocking or engine start command to the car, the driver would be stranded.
And then there’s cost. Someone will have to pay for the data that will be needed to transfer information from the smartphone to the car, and it most likely will be the driver, who will have to tap into a monthly data subscription plan.
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Using a smartphone as a virtual key also presents unsolved security and privacy concerns. There is also the challenge of how to transfer car activation capabilities to a new owner’s smartphone if the car is sold.
Mr. O’Gorman has found a way to mitigate these problems: Most of the time, he still carries around Tesla’s key fob.
“If you only replace a key with a smartphone, that’s not terribly interesting,” said Phil Abram, chief infotainment officer at G.M. “Today’s key does a great job.”
Still, keys will evolve, and smartphones are increasingly part of the equation.
Hakan Kostepen, the executive director for product planning strategy for Panasonic Automotive Systems, said he believed that keys would eventually carry a specific driver’s information within them, so that an individual’s preferences for seating position, favorite audio stations and locations could be transferred across vehicles, even to rental cars.
A smartphone could work in conjunction with that key. For example, the phone can track a driver’s location, and then, if the driver agrees, present information about or opportunities near that location.
If a person who owns a high-end vehicle enters a mall, a phone could offer recommendations for stores and deals specific to that person, and the car manufacturer would get a piece of the action for any sale. To prevent someone from being bombarded with ads, the driver’s previous purchases in specific stores could correlate to any on-screen ads.
“The key needs a new name,” Mr. Kostepen said. “It’s really a lifestyle token.”
But not everyone is so sanguine about this approach. “I have seen scenarios in which drivers are offered coupons,” said Ron Montoya, the consumer advice editor for Edmunds.com, the automotive website. “It’s certainly feasible, but a lot of people might find this intrusive.”
Advanced digital keys — whether a physical key or a smartphone app — could also be authorized for one-time use, allowing other people to enter vehicles but locking them out if they tried to do so again.
Both Audi and Volvo are experimenting with systems that allow groceries and packages to be delivered to the trunks of cars, with the owner notified of each entry. Car keys could also be authorized and then de-authorized for rental car drivers, Mr. Green noted.
“Ninety-five percent of the time, a car sits there doing nothing,” Mr. Green said. “There are huge possibilities when keys are digital.”
1. Drink coffee. “It’s one of the biggest sources of antioxidants in the American diet.”
2. Skip the juicing. “The glycemic index on that is as bad as Coke. For eight ounces, there’s 14 grams of sugar. People get suckered into thinking, ‘Oh, I’m drinking this juice.’ Skip the juicing. Eat the fruit. Or eat the vegetable.”
3. You should also skip the protein shake.
4. Go for long walks.
5. It’s O.K. to drink red wine. “A glass of wine is better than a glass of water with a Mediterranean meal.”
6. High-impact exercise winds up doing as much harm as good. “You can’t be pounding your joints with marathons and pumping iron. You’ll never see me doing CrossFit.” Instead stick to activities like biking, yoga and, yes, walking.
7. Cook mostly vegetarian meals that are heavy on fruits, vegetables, beans, nuts, 100 percent whole-grain bread, oatmeal and avocados.
8. Hold the butter. “My view is that butter, lard and other animal fats are a bit like radiation: a dollop a couple of times a week probably isn’t going to hurt you, but we don’t know the safe level.” Use olive oil instead.
9. Eat meat and fish only sparingly.
10. Try to stay away from cow’s milk. Use soy milk instead.
11. There’s no need to avoid carbs if you add freshly baked loaves of bread to a meal. “A true sourdough bread will actually lower the glycemic load of a meal. But it has to be a real sourdough bread.”
12. Eat in good company. It’s not just about what you eat, but how you eat, and how much you and your friends enjoy a meal together: “The secret sauce is the right mix of friends.”
It was a cold case for more than three decades — a cold violin case — but now it has been closed. A Stradivarius violin that disappeared without a trace after it was stolen in 1980 from the violin virtuoso Roman Totenberg has been found, and is being restored to his family, said one of his daughters, Nina Totenberg.
Ms. Totenberg, the legal affairs correspondent for NPR news, reported the discovery of her father’s stolen violin on Thursday morning on NPR’s “Morning Edition.” She said in an interview that law enforcement officials were planning to hold a news conference about it in New York on Thursday afternoon.
The violin — which was made in 1734 and is known as the Ames Stradivarius — was stolen in May 1980 from Mr. Totenberg’s office at the Longy School of Music in Cambridge, Mass., where he was then the director. Mr. Totenberg, a teacher and virtuoso who performed as a soloist with major orchestras and worked with Igor Stravinsky, Aaron Copland, Leopold Stokowski and Arthur Rubinstein, died in 2012 at the age of 101. His violin was valued at $250,000 when it was stolen; these days, Stradivarius violins often sell for millions of dollars.
Stolen Stradivarius violins are hard to sell because they are so recognizable. This one turned up, Ms. Totenberg said, after a California woman met with an appraiser in New York in June with a violin she said she had inherited from her late ex-husband.
“The appraiser looks at her and says, ‘Well, I have some good news and some bad news,’” Ms. Totenberg said. “‘The good news is that this is a real Stradivarius. And the bad news is it was stolen, 35, 36 years ago from Roman Totenberg, and I have to report it right away.’ And within two hours, two agents from the F.B.I. art theft team were there.”
A law enforcement official said one of the agents was able to call up digital images of the stolen Stradivarius while en route to see it. Then measurements were taken, which matched those of the missing Ames. The official said that no charges are expected to be filed in connection with the case. Details on the suspected thief were not immediately available.
Ms. Totenberg said that the woman had inherited the violin from the man Ms. Totenberg’s father had suspected all along of stealing the instrument. The man had been seen in the vicinity of his office at Longy near the time of the theft, and a woman once visited Mr. Totenberg and told him that she believed that the man had stolen his violin. But to the family’s frustration, investigators at the time apparently did not believe that the tip was sufficient for them to obtain a search warrant.
“My mother was so frustrated,” Ms. Totenberg recalled, “that she famously went around Boston asking her friends if they knew anybody in the mob who would break into this guy’s apartment.”
An F.B.I. agent put in a call to Ms. Totenberg to tell her that the violin had been recovered in late June.
The next morning, Ms. Totenberg spoke by phone with her two sisters. “We were just crying and laughing on the phone,” she said.
Ms. Totenberg said she was sad that her father was not alive to see his instrument restored. The bond between musicians and instruments is a powerful one. After the theft, Mr. Totenberg, who had owned it for 38 years, told CBS News in 1981 that it had taken two decades of playing it before the instrument reached its potential, saying that “it took some time to wake it up, to work it out, find all the things that it needed, the right kind of strings and so on and so on.”
But she said that he would have been furious “if he’d know that the person that he’d thought took it had in fact taken it, and all these years had it hidden away, not maintaining it the way one should, not caring for it as a special baby, not having it played.”
She said that the family has now paid back the insurance money that Mr. Totenberg collected after the violin was stolen, and that it planned to have the Ames Stradivarius restored and sold.
“We’re going to make sure that it’s in the hands of another great artist who will play it in concert halls all over the world,” she said. “All of us feel very strongly that the voice has been stilled for too long.”
Mavin Records pop star Tiwa Savage has given birth to a baby boy.
Her husband/manager Tunji ‘Tee Billz’ Balogun shared a photo of him holding a new born baby’s hand today, July 22, 2015.
In the caption he simply wrote ” Thank You
Don Jazzy has congratulated the celeb couple
Congrats to the couple.