HTC’s Leaving Designers Questioned On Expenses And Stolen Trade Secrets

HTC One Software DeetsThings just can’t seem to be good at HTC. From the departing designers to product leads, there has only been drama at the Taiwanese Android device maker, famous for their introduction of the all-metal HTC One. Several top designers were arrested (while others released on bail) including Vice President of Product Design Thomas Chien, R&D director Wu Chien Hung and design team senior manager Justin Huang (who also personally sketched out the One’s design before the phone as produced).

These designers and other key role-players at HTC were on the verge of creating a new design firm in both Taiwan and mainland China, so much so that HTC claims it witnessed Chien taking vital information about the upcoming Sense 6.0 design interface and sending it to industry contacts via email.

It gets even better: while  design was done in-house, the three men used an external design firm to invoice HTC for over US$334,000 worth of commission fee between May and July — followed by the splitting of money between themselves. Oceans 11, anybody?


Apple Debuts iPhone Trade-In Program Inside Their Stores Today

iphone 5

Officially dubbed iPhone Reuse and Recycling Program, Apple’s new iPhone trade-in program begin in retail stores today. Owners will be able to trade-in anything from an iPhone 3G to the iPhone 5, afterwards receiving a gift card for the determined value of the device, while the unit will be sent to BrightStar for recycling.

Looks like a good way to recoup some funds before the upcoming iPhone announcement.


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.