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What Happened to the Apple HDTV?

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Remember the much rumoured Apple take on the HDTVs, the one dubbed as "iTV"? The Wall Street Journal reports the project is under ice, since the company failed to differentiate the product from the competition.

Apple TVAccording to the WSJ, Apple dabbled with a lot of TV ideas, including 4K/UHD resolution panels, transparent laser-powered displays and even sensor-equipped face-tracking cameras for use in FaceTime calls. However, such ideas were deemed not "compelling enough" for the company, leading to the shelving of the product in question.

Instead, Apple TV efforts are reportedly concentrated on, well, Apple TV. As in the humble set top box. The WSJ corroborates on earlier reports regarding an Apple TV update, one complete with a new internet TV service, updated software (including an App Store and Siri control) and a slimmer hardware design.

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Mobile Processors Reach 10 Cores

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MediaTek announces an industry first with the Helio X20, a system-on-a-chip (SoC) for smartphone and tablet use packing 10 cores on a single die, all connected with the so-called MediaTek Coherent System Interconnect (MCSI).

Helio X20The 10 cores are arranged in 3 clusters-- two Cortex-A725 cores clocked at 2.5GHz, four Cortex-A53s clocked at 2GHz and four Cortex-A53s clocked at 1.4GHz. The arrangement is compared to a car with 3 gears allowing for fuel efficiency across different terrains, since the low-power cores can handle non-demanding tasks while the 2.5GHz cluster takes care of bigger jobs.

The company also says the grouping allows for power savings of up to 30% off a standard ARM "big.little" implementation.

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Marshall Intros Kilburn Portable Speaker

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The Marshall Headphones and Amplification units team up to create the first portable speaker from the company-- the Kilburn, a Bluetooth number featuring a look similar to the company's famous guitar amps.

Marshall KilburnIt carries a 4-inch woofer, two 0.75-inch tweeters and three amps (two 5W and one 15W), as well as a battery promising up to 20 hours of use between charges. Connectivity comes through Bluetooth 4.0 and 3.5mm jack.

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The Ricoh "Power-Generating Rubber"

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Ricoh reveals what it calls "Energy-Generating Rubber"-- a flexible material able to convert pressure and vibration into electric energy with "high efficiency."

Ricoh Energy RubberThe company says the material combines the best properties of two current piezoelectric (as in able to convert mechanical strain into electrical charge), ceramics and polymers. Ceramics generate "relatively high" electricity but are fragile and heavy, while polymers are flexible but only produce "very slight" power.

On the other hand the Energy-Generating Rubber promises to be a better solution, being a soft and flexible sheet with the electrical output of piezoelectric ceramics. The flexibility also allows for easy processing, the company adds.

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Xiaomi Dips into European Retail

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Mi StoreChinese smartphone maker Xiaomi makes a first entry in European retail with an online store offering a "beta test sale" of four products consisting of the Mi Band fitness tracker, Mi headphones and two USB power packs.

The company says products will be available in "very limited quantities," and will ship said products to the UK, France and Germany.

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