Android VP Hugo Barra Leaves Google, Heads To Xiaomi

hugo-barraHugo Barra, then VP of Google’s Android division has announced that he is leaving the company for Chinese manufacturer Xiaomi. There he will be vice president of Xiaomi Global, in an attempt to widen their product portfolio and business. During his resignation he wished the active Android team the best: Andy Rubin, Hiroshi Lockheimer, Sundar Pichai, and Vic Gundotra.

And with that, Google will have to redistribute his responsibilities while also recuperating from the loss.

Via: Huga Barra (Google+)

Nintendo Is Thinking Flat, By Announcing The 2DS Console

nintendo-2dsReally, this is beyond even my comprehension of experimenting and figuring out what works, and what does not. The concept is sane, but the design, which lacks the clamshell that we’re all used to, doesn’t make sense.

Nintendo is going to produce and sell a 2D version of the 3DS, called the 2DS, as soon as they receive FCC authorization in the United States. Priced as a budget portable games console at $129, it can play all DS and 3DS games, just in 2D format only. It also includes wi-fi, multiplayer games, and the Nintendo eShop.

In the meantime, there’s no definite launch date.

Via: Nintendo

Nissan Wants To Sell Several Affordable Self-Driving Cars By 2020

niss-leaf-nismoBeing gutsy, aren’t you Nissan? Falling right on the same timeline as competitors in Asia and the the Americas, Nissan plans to have their own self-driving, affordable line of cars. Executive VP Andy Palmer wants the cars Nissan has planned fully autonomous by 2020.

To accomplish this feat instead of just making small talk, the company is constructing a facility to test self-driving systems that’ll be up and running in 2014.

ViaWall Street Journal

Sony’s Wants To Completely Own The Interchangeable Lens Camera Market With The NEX-5T

NEX-5T_wSELP1650_1_BKThis is Sony’s latest go at making a small camera capable of amazing photography: the NEX-5T. Fitted with a 16.1 megapixel APS-C sensor, BIONZ image processor, support for 1080p HD video recording at 60 frames-per-second, and a 3-inch touchscreen at 921,600 dot resolution — that’s a lot to ask for in a little camera. Add to this 99 phase-detection autofocus points and you have a crazy amount of power, able to shoot moving objects at 10FPS.

The lens mount type remains the same, so you can fix all your Sony E-mount lenses to the camera or use and adapter for other lenses.

But a feature that is actually somewhat neat is being able to use NFC (near-field communication) and simply tap the NEX-5T against an Android phone or tablet to transfer video or photos. If NFC isn’t available, then a WiFi transfer can be used thanks to Sony’s own software.

Pricing is pretty dandy, too. At $700 in a kit with a 16-50mm lens or as a body-only for about $550, in early September. Press release, after the break.

Sony’s a3000 DSLR-Styled 20MP Camera Appeals Budgets At $400

A3000 Situation3An entry-level camera with a 20.1 APS-C sized megapixel sensor, electronic viewfinder, priced at $400 and styled as a more expensive DSLR counterpart? Seems like the kind of hardware than can change the market. For those of you who would prefer to shoot 1080p video, you can do so at a decent 24 frames-per-second, all the while having access to interchangeable Sony E-mount lenses and the like. While I’d opt for the more expensive, capable, and compact NEX-5T, knowing that the a3000 costs $300 less is a win for the budget consumer, while still getting some of the core functionality.

Like the NEX-5T that was announced in tandem with the a3000, it will launch in early September for $400, paired with a black 18-55mm zoom kit lens. Press release, after the cut.

The Moto X Will Be On Verizon By This Thursday

vzw-moto-xPossible Moto X owners looking for an alternative network will be pleased to know that Verizon will begin selling the device online by Thursday, this week (a retail launch will occur in the next few weeks). Of course, the irony of this being that the Droid Ultra is in fact everything that the Moto X is, with the same features in a different body.

The only pro to buying a Moto X on Verizon would have been color customization, but that isn’t the case (at least for now), because AT&T has an exclusive on the Moto Maker service. The price will be $199 on a new 2-year contract, just like the HTC One, Galaxy S4, and iPhone 5.

Via: VZW (Twitter)

UN Chemical Weapons Inspectors Came Under Sniper Fire In Syria

Emblem_of_the_United_NationsIn an attempt to research and prove Syria’s supposed point of not using chemical weapons on its people, 20 UN chemical weapons inspectors embarked on a convoy consisting of six vehicles near Damascus. In the process, the lead vehicle was shot repeatedly by sniper fire from unknown forces. The UN will replace the damaged vehicle and will once again enter the area, as stated by the UN spokesperson Twitter account:

The first vehicle of the Chemical Weapons Investigation Team was deliberately shot at multiple times by unidentified snipers in the buffer zone area.

As the car was no longer serviceable,  the Team returned safely back to the Government check-point. The Team will return to the area after replacing the vehicle.

It has to be stressed again that all sides need to extend their cooperation so that the Team can safely carry out their important work.

The C.W.I.T has been in Syria since August 18th, after rebel forces and the Syrian government reached a temporary ceasefire to allow the investigation to take place. It’s worth taking note that this conflict that claimed over 100,000 lives and counting, with major world powers considering entering a concerted military strike against the Syrian government.

Via: United Nations