British Couple Pay £67,000 For Two Clones of Their Dead Dog

A couple from the UK have paid a South Korean lab to clone their dog, ending up with two duplicates of the deceased canine. Richard Remde and Laura Jacques of West Yorkshire paid South Korean firm Sooam Biotech Research Foundation  £67,000 to clone their boxer Dylan, who died of a brain tumour at the age of eight, according to The Guardian.

After the couple provided DNA samples of Dylan to Sooam back in July, two clones of the dog were born to surrogate mothers just after Christmas, subsequently named Shadow and Chance by Remde and Jacques. The puppies have made history, being cloned two weeks after Dylan had died; previously, the record for cloning a dog was five days following death.

“The whole thing just feels surreal,” Jacques said. “I lost all sense of time. I have no idea how long everything took, the whole thing made me feel very disoriented. I was just clinging on to Richard for about an hour and a half after Chance was born.”

“After they got him out I still couldn’t quite believe it had happened. But once he started making noises I knew it was real. Even as a puppy of just a few minutes old I can’t believe how much he looks like Dylan. All the colourings and patterns on his body are in exactly the same places as Dylan had them,” she added. “I had had Dylan since he was a puppy. I mothered him so much, he was my baby, my child, my entire world.”

Sooam are considered experts at canine DNA cloning, having used its duplication methods – implanting DNA into dog ova from which the nucleus of the cell has been removed – to create over 700 dogs. While animal cloning is banned in Europe, the practice is permitted in South Korea.

“5G Playground” Opens the Door for Warp Speeds

Internet connection speeds have been somewhat of a hot topic over the last decade or so, consumers who demand ever-increasing speeds while internet service providers have been particularly lagging in certain regions of the world. Well, researchers who are developing new super-super-fast standard 5G mobile technologies have what has been described as a “playground” which they can visit in South Korea.

It has been reported that Service provider SK Telecom (South Korean wireless telecommunications operator) has unveiled its Research and Development “5G Playground” on Thursday with partners including Ericsson, Nokia, Intel and Samsung Electronics, it was also announced that a collection of regional standard bodies would host a series of events with the aim of building a global consensus on the emergence of 5G.

5G is potentially an important breakthrough after SK Telecom and Nokia demonstrated the possible capabilities of this network which ran at a super quick 19.1 Gbps (per second), SK plans to launch a 5G trial service in 2017.

As technology is becoming more advanced so is certainly the need for a turbo charged infrastructure, this new standard is expected to be completed by 2020, although it might vary as to the rollout progression speed per country. Until at least then, many people will have to make do with current speeds.

Image courtesy of thenextsiliconvalley


Samsung Rumoured to be Releasing Folding Screen Smartphone in January

Samsung is reportedly releasing a new smartphone with a foldable display, possibly as early as January 2016. The report comes courtesy of SamMobile, a Samsung news blog with a good track record of providing accurate information.

According to SamMobile’s Chinese source, Samsung will offer the foldable display smartphone in two different models, with either a Snapdragon 620 or Snapdragon 820 processor, both carrying 3GB of RAM, a microSD card slot, and a built-in battery. While the source does not know much more about the phone, they did clarify that it would not be the Galaxy S7 and might only see release in South Korea.

Samsung has a history of trialling its more experimental handsets in the South Korean market, with the Galaxy Round, the precursor to the Galaxy Note Edge, which lead to the recent Galaxy S6 Edge and S6 Edge+ models.

With the Eastern markets dominated by Apple, Huawei, and Xiaomi, Samsung is making concerted efforts to reaffirm its identity with features such as the S-Pen and curved displays. The foldable display has been on Samsung’s workbench for nearly a decade; the company even showcased an early prototype of its foldable screen technology back in 2008:

Thank you Mashable and SamMobile for providing us with this information.

Meet the Robot That Won $2 Million in the Darpa Robotics Challenge

In Pomona, California on Friday and Saturday, some of the greatest robotic engineers gathered together to compete for a £2 million prize in a competition run by the US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) to find the most advanced robot in the world. The two-day event pitted 24 teams –  each with their own robot funded by companies and institutions such as Amazon and NASA – against each other.

“You are going be the vanguard of this new future that you’re going to go build,” Arati Prabhakar, director of Darpa, said at the prize-giving ceremony. “We have people here from countries all over the world, and every single one of you made an incredible contribution to the field of robotics. As you do that, I know you’re going to think back to 2015, the end of the DRC and the beginning of a huge journey.”

The eventual winner that scooped the $2 million prize money, revealed on Saturday evening, was DRC-Hubo, a humanoid robot developed and built by the Korean Advanced Institute of Science and Technology in Daejeon, South Korea. DRC-Hubo was one of three robots to successfully complete the eight-task challenge – the other two being Atlas, a robot developed by Google’s Boston Dynamics, and Chimp, built by Tartan Rescue – but the South Korean creation was the one deemed to have engaged with the test most effectively.

Thank you The Guardian for providing us with this information.

Samsung Rumoured to Start Making Chips for Nvidia

A week ago, Samsung reportedly won a contract to make chips for Apple’s upcoming iPhones using their latest 14nm FinFET technology. However, it seems that the South Korean manufacturer has been busy scooping up more contracts in the meantime.

The latest points to a “few million dollars” contract between Samsung and Nvidia, allowing both Samsung and GlobalFoundries to make 14nm chips in Korea as well as the US for Apple, Qualcomm and Nvidia as per the new contract. As previously reported, GlobalFoundries struck a deal with Samsung to replicate its 14nm FinFET technology.

“The latest agreement between Samsung and Nvidia is another positive factor lifting Samsung’s logic chip business unit. The timing looks good as increased foundry customers justify the Korean chip giant’s moves to find new revenue sources,” a source told Korean Times.

So why the rush to roll out small factor GPU chips? Easy. A GPU takes a lot of workload off the CPU and as we all know, smartphones are requiring new tech to handle better graphics while cutting down on power consumption. However, in order to achieve the perfect balance, a smaller form factor SoC is needed.

Looking at the partnership from another perspective reveals that Samsung and Nvidia are still not on the best of terms. Both companies are reportedly engaged in legal actions, but another source stated that the companies are more focused on business rather than their little disagreements.

“The Samsung-Nvidia deal means that there is no enemy and friend in businesses,”

Neither Samsung nor South Korean-based representatives for Nvidia wanted to shed more light on the new partnership, but stay tuned as we will keep you updated with more information as it unravels.

Thank you Korea Times for providing us with this information

Samsung Unveils 6.3mm-Thick Galaxy A7 Smartphone

Put the speculation to bed: Samsung have confirmed that the Galaxy A7 smartphone is real, and it’s the South Korean company’s thinnest model yet, measuring just 6.3mm in thickness. The news was announced during the unveiling of the Galaxy A3 and Galaxy A5 phones in Malaysia on Friday.

The Galaxy A7 is powered by the new Snapdragon 615 1.5GHz CPU and has a 5.5-inch 1080p display, aluminium body, 13MP rear camera, and a 2,600mAh battery. Though the phone will ship with Android 4.4 KitKat, an upgrade to 5.0 Lollipop will be along soon after.

Though US and Europe release dates are yet to be announced, Samsung promised that the Galaxy A7 will be available across East Asia by February.

Source: US Finance Post

South Korea Planning 10Gbps Internet!

Tired of slow internet connections? Or perhaps current ultra-fast connections in your own country just don’t seem as amazing as they used to? Move to South Korea! The country is about to blow the competition away with the promise of 10Gbps fiber internet.

To put that into perspective, you could download a 1GB file in 0.8 seconds! That’s a ful 50GB blu-ray in just 40 seconds. For those worried about streaming video in 4K, this connection would allow you to stream 4K to multiple devices and still have plenty of bandwidth to spare.

The new connections will be 100 times faster than Korea’s current average broadband speed, which is already an impressive 100Mbps. How does your home internet connection compare?

Thank you TweakTown for providing us with this information.

Image courtesy of GlobalProsperity.

Information Regarding Samsung’s VR Headset Revealed

While Oculus Rift and Project Morpheus are virtual reality projects everybody knows and anxiously await, Samsung has its own plans. The difference is, Samsung is apparently keeping it on the low with information about what the company is working on. This does not stop leaks and clues from surfacing it appears.

Rumors are that a patent filled by the South Korean giant back in August 2013 has emerged with detailed information on what they are currently working on. It states that the gadget is to be a “a device that is worn by a user and displays an image in front of the user’s eyes in a virtual reality system or an augmented reality system”.

Furthermore, the VR headset / gadget is to simulate an image at a “predetermined distance” from the user, having images created and displayed to each of the users’ eyes. In addition, the two modules are said to be set at a “predetermined angle” to be able to focus the user’s sight in a “target position”.

OLED and LCD panels are also mentioned by Samsung inside the patent, therefore we might assume that the technology in question will be used to create the image with the help of a smartphone attached to the VR headset. The gadget is also said to require a connection to a certain device, creating the possibility of it being just a frame holder for a device.

TweakTown also reported some time ago about the VR headset having to be powered by Android. In addition to Samsung handset running mostly on Android, this could very well point to the fact that the VR headset will most likely be a gadget for a user’s Samsung handset. But these are just speculations at the moment.

Whether we will see a frame holder gadget or a fully fledged VR headset gear powered by Android, time will have to reveal more of Samsung’s secrets.

Thank you TweakTown for providing us with this information
Image courtesy of TweakTown

Asia Reported To Be The Leading Place For Top-Speed Internet Connectivity

Study shows that the fastest internet connection, in the world, is in Asia. Latest study from Akamai Technologies, Asia is considered the epicentre for top-speed Internet access, having Hong Kong, South Korea, Japan and Singapore as the top 4 on the list.

Akami states that most of Asia improved their internet speeds compared to last year with at least 12 percent, which is quite impressive. However, Indonesia was the only one to see a 30 percent drop each year, achieving a 9.7 Mbps average connection, placing it on the 115th place on the list.

India appears to be the worst of them all, having a 9 Mbps connection speed, and even China’s 11.3 Mbps was not nearly enough to place it on the top 100 on the list. But as you would expect, people in Singapore, Japan and South Korea were among the top five countries on the list, having exceeded 100 mobile-data connections per 100 inhabitants., according to the International Telecommunication Union.

“Internet – and particularly broadband Internet – has become a key tool for social and economic development, and needs to be prioritized, even in the world’s poorest nations,” ITU Secretary-General Hamadoun Toure said in a statement last year.

Besides Asia, in the top 10 top-speed internet countries, there were some European countries as well. Israel has achieved a 5th position with a 47.7 Mbps average connection, followed by Romania and Latvia on the 6th and 7th positions, with internet speeds of 45.4 Mbps and respectively 43.1 Mbps. The US and UK however appear to be kicked off the top 10 list, having the UK placed on the 16th position with 35.7 Mbps and the US coming in on the 13th place with 37 Mbps. Now how about that?

Thank you Bloomberg for providing us with this information.

‘Movie in a split second’ Downloads Expected In Upcoming 5G Network Connection

South Korea is reportedly working on delivering 5G network connection by 2020. This comes as a $1.5 billion dollar project from the South Korean science ministry, which is said that users will be able to download a movie in a split second through the 5G connection.

“We helped fuel national growth with 2G services in the 1990s, 3G in the 2000s and 4G around 2010. Now it is time to take pre-emptive action to develop 5G,” the ministry said in a statement.

The science ministry also admits that there will be “fierce” competition between nations, including the EU, US and China to develop this new technology. If all things go to plan, they are going to launch a trial in 2017, followed by the full commercial release estimated to be somewhere around December 2020. The priority is said to be given to Ultra-HD and hologram transmissions, though the ministry here is clearly going way ahead of themselves since we don’t even have a prototype hologram-capable device at the moment.

Things are moving quite fast, only a few years ago we saw the launch of 4G and some countries don’t even have 3G coverage, yet alone 4G. Even so, most users are still operating on the 3G network and few have switched to 4G. And we now hear of 5G connectivity in the works. First of all, the 4G connectivity should still be given a chance to evolve and be more appreciated by users, and secondly, given the 5G connectivity announcement, we are now looking into seeing 5G capable handsets in the near future as well.

Thank you for providing us with this information
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Samsung Will Reveal Tizen OS 3.0 On November 11th

The Tizen OS is essentially a WebKit runtime running on top of the open source Linux Kernel, developed with key industry players like Intel, Samsung and the Linux Foundation. So far in 2013 it has popped up a few times, first we saw a full HD Tizen tablet released by Systena and then again a few days ago when we saw a Samsung smartphone show up with the Tizen OS running on it. Tizen so far has received a lacklustre response but the OS is still very much in its early development stages. Samsung has announced that its next incarnation of the Tizen OS will be introduced on November 11th at a developer conference in South Korea. At that conference Samsung will reveal its proprietary Tizen 3.0 operating system.

Samsung have reportedly said that they have no intention of releasing any Tizen smartphones this year, probably because Samsung doesn’t think Tizen is ready to take on the likes of Android, Windows phone and iOS. Samsung is expected to demonstrate the Tizen platform in the UK shortly after doing so in South Korea when Samsung holds its annual European developer conference in London.

Image courtesy of Tizen/Samsung

LG Reveal Vu 3 Handset With 5.2 Inch 1280 x 960 Display

LG’s native South Korean division has just launched the third handset in their Vu series of smartphones. The LG Vu 3 (which drops the Optimus from the naming scheme) is LG’s attempt at competing in the large smartphone market segment. The Vu 3 has a 5.2 inch 1280 x 960 display with a rather unusual 4:3 aspect ratio display, hence the rather odd looking shape of the phone. At the heart of the LG Vu 3 is a Snapdragon 800 processor powering Android 4.2. The LG Vu 3 has a built in stylus than can be stowed away inside the phone.

The LG Vu 3 has a 13 MP camera, a range of optional QuickView covers (just like the LG G2 has) and LTE-A support to cover South Korea’s fast mobile networks. Currently the Vu 3 has only been released for South Korea and is available to buy there from Friday September 27th. There’s no indication about whether the smartphone will be launched anywhere else or if this will just be a South Korean exclusive.

Image courtesy of LG (Korea)

Second-Gen Nexus 7 4G LTE Version Now Available On Google Play For $350

Google has just recently made available the second generation Nexus 7 with 4G LTE over at the Google Play Store. If you reside outside the U.S then you actually won’t be able to pick up the Nexus 7 32GB 4G LTE tablet, in South Korea you can grab the 4G LTE version of the 16GB version whilst the rest of the world has to keep waiting for a 4G LTE second generation Nexus 7.

The price you have to pay for the 32GB 4G LTE Nexus 7 is $349 and all orders ship in 1-2 days with free shipping. The tablet uses a T-Mobile SIM in the sale package with up to 2GB of 4G data for the first month with no obligations. After that month you’d obviously have to arrange your own 4G LTE mobile SIM.

For those who unaware of the basic specifications of the second generation Nexus 7 well here is a quick recap:

  • Quad core 1.5GHz Snapdragon S4 Pro processor
  • Adreno 320 Graphics
  • 2GB of RAM
  • 16 or 32GB of internal storage
  • 1920 x 1200 display with Corning Gorilla Glass
  • Android 4.3 Jelly Bean OS

Image courtesy of Google

Tablet Sales Will Hit 381 Million By 2017 Says Analysts

Forrester Analysts predict that by 2017 we could see 381 million tablets per year sold. They suggest that by 2017 one in eight people on earth will be a table user as existing sales of tablets will mean there will be about 905 million tablets in use.

By 2017 they claim that 60% of “online” Americans will own a tablet, 42% of European “online” consumers will have one and in the developing world figures will be much lower. In the developing world penetration rates are expected to be below 25% aggregate. In wealthier markets like Singapore and South Korea they are expected to still do well.

Of the total sales only 18% will be enterprise purchases meaning 82% of total sales will be made up from consumer purchases.

Image courtesy of ASUS