Google maps out the Grand Canyon with over 9500 pictures

Google Maps has gotten down and dirty in Arizona by mapping out over 75 miles of trails and roads in one of nature’s most impressive wonders.

The initiative is part of Google’s new Trekker program, which puts the famous 360-degree, 15-lens street view cameras in on a wearable backpack, allowing Google maps to give you up close and personal views of areas accessible only on foot.

You can access the wide array of beautiful Grand Canyon imagery right here.

With on-foot mapping now added to their repertoire, perhaps we’ll see some more extreme locations added to Google’s World Wonders Project. Everest, anyone?



Xolo X500 and its Intel Atom Z2420 CPU get benchmarked, get pretty good scores

Xolo X500, which was launched a week ago in India, has just been benchmarked. The smartphone is designed for emerging markets with low cost at higher priority than stellar performance, but it did surprisingly well.

Perhaps a part of the explanation is that the Intel chip also uses its hyper threading technology, which has better multi-tasking ability. The smartphone is powered by a 1.2 GHz Intel Atom Lexington Z2420 processor along with Power VR SGX540 GPU.

The Atom-powered Xolo X500 is right behind the Xolo X900, which is powered by the Medfield chipset in the Quadrant benchmark tests.

quadrant scoresquadrant scores

However the X500 managed to beat its more expensive sibling at the AnTuTu benchmark. The smartphone aggregates 12859 points in the AnTuTu 3.0 benchmark, which is not bad at all.

Xolo X500 is on top of Vellamo 1.0 browser benchmark tests too and scores a hefty 1168 and 421 points in the HTML5 web browser tests and CPU subsystem performance respectively.

The X500 also managed to max out the NenaMark 2 benchmark. At the onscreen GLBenchmark test it only managed 18fps, but it should still do pretty well with all but the heaviest games.

Thanks Rapan Singh, for sending this in!


Google and Motorola are in search for a product manager for the X Phone

Motorola has posted a job listing in search for a senior director of product management to focus and work directly on the X Phone project that the WSJ reported on back in December.

Interestingly, that’s exactly how Motorola has referred to the project about its upcoming high-end smartphone set to rival the iPhone and the top dogs from the Galaxy S line-up.

While nothing more than the codename of the smartphone has been unveiled, we can only speculate on specifications and features. It can be safely assumed that the development of the device is still in its early stages.

As per earlier reports, Motorola is said to experiment with some exotic materials for the X Phone like ceramics and equip it with a “killer camera”, as per Lior Ron (who, judging from the job listing is now the project’s former leader).

Source | Via

Apple gets a trademark for their retail store design

Apple has been granted a trademark for the distinctive design of their chain of retail stores. Although the claim was rejected twice in the past, Apple managed to successfully convince the US Patent and Trademark office the third time with a lengthy, 122-page document detailing the reasons.

The trademark includes use of items such as a paneled facade of glass, recessed lighting units and lined rectangular tables, but as usual, the trademark is for the sum of parts rather than any individual item.

While it’s easy to look at this and scoff, it’s fairly common practice for companies to get a trademark on a distinctive design that they have come up with, with examples such as the shape of the Coca-Cola bottle or the Swiss Federal Railways watch face that Apple was recently found using in iOS. A trademark by definition is a ‘recognizable sign, design or expression which identifies products or services of a particular source from those of others’ and differs from a patent. But while other store designers can still use individual elements of Apple’s store (as many do), if the final result ends up looking exactly like an Apple Store, they better lawyer up.


Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 7.0 gets special Garnet Red Edition, costs $220 with a bonus book cover

Samsung must really love the Garnet Red color – first the Galaxy S III got that color option, then the Note II and the Galaxy S III mini followed suit and now it’s turn for the Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 7.0. It’s a special edition that will arrive just in time for a Valentine’s day gift.

The Galaxy Tab 2 7.0 Garnet Red Edition comes with Android 4.1 Jelly Bean out of box (the base model got it as an update) and Samsung is throwing in a matching Garnet Red book cover (those go for $50 if bought separately).

Other than that the device is unchanged – you still get a 7” 1024 x 600 PLS LCD screen (170ppi), dual-core Cortex-A9 CPU and PowerVR SGX540 GPU, microSD card slot and built-in IR remote.

The Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 7.0 Garnet Red Edition will be available at, Walmart, Office Depot, Fry’s, Tiger Direct, Toys”R”Us and other retailers for $220 (keep in mind the $50 cover that comes with it). It’s a limited edition, so it will be available while supplies last. The black and white versions are available as usual ($200, a red book cover is available for $50).

The hardware is a bit old, so before you decide to get one, you should take a look at the Nexus 7 ($200, 216ppi screen, quad-core CPU, no microSD card slot) and the Barnes & Noble Nook HD ($200, 243ppi screen, heavily customized UI). Neither of them is available in red though.

ZTE announces the 8-inch V81 slate with a 4:3 display

ZTE has unveiled the V81 slate featuring an 8-inch 4:3 display with a resolution of 1024×768 pixels, which is ready to take on the Apple’s iPad mini and Samsung’s upcoming Galaxy Note 8.0.

The ZTE V81 is powered by a dual-core 1.4GHz processor and comes with 1GB RAM.

The rest of the specs include 4GB of internal storage expandable via a microSD card slot, a 2MP rear and a 0.3MP front snappers, a 3.5mm audio jack, an HDMI port and a 3700 mAh battery. The connectivity package has 3G with HSPA, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, GPS and USB. There is no info on GSM connectivity and NFC, so we have to assume they won’t be available on the V81. Update: According to the official specs sheet, it will support GSM connectivity and most probably GSM telephony too.

ZTE V81 stands at 200x156x11.07 mm and runs on Android 4.1 Jelly Bean.

There is no info on the pricing and availability though. I guess the slate will debut at the MWC next month in Barcelona as ZTE usually brings plenty of new devices to the capital of Catalonia .


NVIDIA allegedly to manufacture low-cost Android devices for other companies

Following the rather modest success of the Tegra platform in the smartphone and tablet segment, it seems NVIDIA is now gunning for a bigger share of the pie, so far dominated by the likes of Qualcomm and Mediatek.

According to Eldar Murtazin of, NVIDIA is planning on manufacturing smartphones and tablets of its own and will be selling them to companies to be rebranded and sold under their brand.

The plan is to manufacture reference designs for smartphones and tablets, the way they do it for their computer graphic cards (or Intel does for their phones). Then, instead of selling these designs under their own brand name, NVIDIA will license it to companies, who will then rebrand them and sell it in markets around the world. We already see this happening a lot in markets such as Russia and India, where several companies are selling what are essentially cheap, China-made devices under their own brand name.

What this will do is help increase the penetration of the Tegra platform, especially into the budget handset market, which undeniably forms the major portion of all the Android device sales.

This plan is expected to go into action by May-June this year, with both budget as well as premium tablets being released under various brand names that may or may not have the NVIDIA logo on them.