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Samsung's Tizen smartphone reportedly coming next year
Dec 31st 2012, 19:32

Samsung's Tizen smartphone reportedly coming next year

Back in May, the first images of Samsung's Tizen smartphone prototype were released, though little else about the phone was divulged.

Samsung did manage to reveal a few scant specifications, including the phone's 1.2GHz dual-core ARM processor and 4.3-inch HD display, but there wasn't much else about the Linux-based OS to show off at the time.

Then in September, rumblings of Samsung readying a Tizen Galaxy for release made the rounds, with sources claiming the device would be coming in the "near future."

It's been a few months, but it appears Samsung is still on track to release the first Tizen phone in the coming year thanks to its partnership with Japanese carrier NTT Docomo.

Another new OS?

According to Daily Yomiuri, Samsung's Tizen smartphone would launch in Japan first under Docomo (the only Japanese carrier without iPhone), with other countries expected to get the device around the same time.

Regardless of where the Tizen phone first launches, it will find itself in an uphill battle against the likes of Android and iOS, two operating systems Samsung counts as Tizen's chief competition.

Analytics firm Garnter reported Android held 72.4 percent of the smartphone market through the third quarter of 2012, with iOS holding onto just over 13 percent, there's little room for a little fish to make a big splash.

The recent launch of Microsoft's Windows Phone 8 and the upcoming release of Research in Motion's BlackBerry 10 will also provide some stiff competition for the untested OS.

TechRadar has reached out to Samsung, and will update this story when and if they respond.

Facebook Midnight Delivery New Year's app hit by serious privacy flaw
Dec 31st 2012, 19:08

Facebook Midnight Delivery New Year's app hit by serious privacy flaw

Facebook was forced to temporarily disable its Midnight Message service today, after an IT student uncovered a security flaw.

The Midnight Delivery app, which is part of the Facebook Stories site, allows users to send a message to their pals across the globe and have it appear when the clock strikes 12am on January 1.

However, when testing the messaging app, British IT student Jack Jenkins found that he was able to access messages and photos sent by other users, simply by modifying the URL of his own messages.

The new messages displayed his personal profile picture, but the content of the messages, photos from other users, as well as the names of the recipients.

Personal images

Writing on his personal blog, Jenkins said he was able to view an image of a father and son (people that he did not know) and even delete messages that had been sent.

Jenkins, who studies at Aberystwyth University, posted: "It shouldn't be possible to do this, as these are not generic and are people's personal images.

"A very bad part of it all is I think that you can actually delete other people's messages, which I have tested for myself on a single message as I thought that it would say access denied."

The flaw did not expose regular Facebook Inbox messages, only those which had been sent through the Midnight Delivery app, but this is still a pretty serious lapse.

The social network said it was "working on a fix," but in the meantime disabled the app to ensure more messages could not be exposed.

It was available for use again as of noon in the UK (7am EST) on New Year's Eve.

Samsung to unveil 'unprecedented' TV design at CES 2013
Dec 31st 2012, 17:03

Samsung to unveil 'unprecedented' TV design at CES 2013

Samsung has a televisual surprise in store beyond its always-stellar range of new TVs, when CES rolls around on January 7.

The company took to its Samsung Tomorrow blog to tease that a "true innovation of TV design is coming up with an unprecedented new TV shape and timeless gallery design."

The post is accompanied by an image (see above), showcasing a portrait-style screen, on a beach, with a fully translucent screen.

Beyond that, Samsung is cannily leaving it to everyone to make up their own minds.

Wait and see

It's difficult to speculate too much on what Samsung has in store when the Las Vegas Convention Centre opens its door in little over a week.

A translucent, portrait TV, as alluded to in the image. would surely be a hard sell, so perhaps a more likely shout would be the introduction of a true bezel-less, edge-to-edge display?

Although this option doesn't cover the 'new shape' aspect promised in the teaser, so we'll have to wait and see what Samsung dishes up.

The company has already vowed to showcase its newly-revamped Smart TV platform at CES, while we're likely to see more 4K UHD sets on offer.

Earlier this month, we brought word that Samsung may be plotting a 110-inch Ultra HD television for the annual tech extravaganza.

FCC approves Lenovo ThinkPad Helix with built-in AT&T LTE card
Dec 30th 2012, 15:35

FCC approves Lenovo ThinkPad Helix with built-in AT&T LTE card

On Friday, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) approved Lenovo's plans for the ThinkPad Helix tablet, marked by a native cellular data card.

While the news is no confirmation of the device heading to store shelves stateside, it is a step closer than a few Chinese site listing for the dockable tablet back in October.

The approval on the FCC site also indicates that the wifi-only rumors for the ThinkPad Helix have been upgraded to LTE-enabled rumors.

Specifically, the approval is for an AT&T LTE card in the device that supports both AT&T-only (700MHz) and AT&T-compatible (1700MHz and 2100MHz) bands.

Double Helix

The report by the FCC also includes information about a wifi-only model, but both versions would apparently run on the same Ivy Bridge processor.

The tablet would also feature an 11.6-inch screen displaying Windows 8 at 1080p, and would have the capability to function on or off a keyboard docking station.

The potential introduction of the ThinkPad Helix in the U.S. market would likely be a business play for Lenovo, accompanying the upcoming release of the ThinkPad Tablet 2.

Lenovo continues to push forward in the Windows 8 consumer tablet space as well as it looks forward to the release of the IdeaTab Lynx in the coming year.

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