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12 May 12 Army stronger with Androids


Android-powered smartphones will help soldiers of the future discover better trails, locate colleagues and build stronger defense – capability that just doesn’t exist today. They’ll be a permanent fixture in the United States Army, officials said.

FoxNews.com traveled to White Sands Missile Range in south central New Mexico, where soldiers are testing the Motorola ATRIX and the General Dynamics made Motorola GD300, as well other smartphones, radios and handhelds in a massive war game. In military vehicles, combat leaders used Motorola Xoom tablets to get a unique new look at soldiers’ locations.

Brigade commander Col. Daniel Pinnell said the smartphones will allow him to lead a stronger defense team.

“Before this point I had to grab a hand mic and ask 30 people to describe to me as best they can on what piece of dirt they’re on [and] what condition they’re in,” Pinnell told FoxNews.com.

Now he just takes out his smartphone and checks out the screen.

‘This is one of the most important things, strategically, that this army has taken up in recent years.’

- U.S. Army Secretary Hon. John McHugh

“You can basically see everybody that’s on the ground. It gives us a lot of enhancement,” said U.S. Army Specialist Jordan Michael Rotecki-Kennedy, who has been helping evaluate the GPS-like network.

Indeed, there’s no other system like it in place.

A brigade, based out of Fort Bliss, Tex., is testing the devices over the next several weeks in war-like exercises in the sweltering heat, deserts and mountains of the immense White Sands range, including practice battles and counter-insurgency operations in mock-Afghan villages.

The commands are given hundreds of miles away from Fort Campbell, Ky. — equivalent to the distance soliders would range from base during operations abroad.

On the field, they aren’t looking for bars from ATT or Virgin Mobile. The phones, known to the Army as end-user devices, are connected by USB to a radio system that carries voice and data on a secured network.

The gadgets are far from what you’d find in a store, however much they may look the same. They work on military software called Nett Warrior developed by the Army, meaning when a soldier turns on the phone, he won’t see apps or anything like a Google Maps.

Instead, the Army developed its own.

On Mar. 21, 2012, the Army launched the newest version of the Army Software Marketplace prototype, which delivers web-based and downloadable apps to all devices approved for use within the Army’s Common Operating Environment on the Army network.

“Training aids, planning tools and other apps in the Marketplace give Soldiers easy access to information we need to keep current,” said Sgt. 1st Class Nanette Williams, a member of the Army Executive Communications Team at the Pentagon.

The smartphones allow the men and women on the ground to get better visuals of their surroundings. If they run into harms way, they can send texts to other soldiers, or photos of enemies to intelligence.

“Everybody in between not only understands what the soldiers sees, but then can begin to help the soldier,” Col. Curt Hudson, spokesman for the Brigade Modernization Command, told FoxNews.com.

The Android’s batteries weigh only a quarter of a pound and last up to six hours, and a soldier can carry five of them in his pocket.

Network Integration Evaluation (NIE) is running the project series. This is the third such test to take place at White Sands Missile Range. This one has cost $60 million.

NIE has spent the last several years developing a strong communication infrastructure for the Army. The 2nd Brigade, 1st Armored Division of 3,800 soldiers is set to deploy to Afghanistan in fall 2013; they’re spending the next several weeks testing 600 devices at White Sands.

The brigade will use the network upon deployment. Seven other deployed brigades are also expected to use the devices.

The desert, mountains and weather — which includes sandstorms, rain, and sweltering heat — put these soldiers in an environment very close to what they will experience in Afghanistan. It’s ideal for this evaluation.

The entire range is equivalent to the size of Delaware.

U.S. Army Secretary Hon. John McHugh traveled to New Mexico to witness the integration.

“This is one of the most important things, strategically, that this army has taken up in recent years,” McHugh told FoxNews.com.

He said these exercises are no doubt taking soldiers to the next level.

“We’re not fielding something that looks good, but operationally works well on the battlefield and on the move,” McHugh added.

Soldiers say these networking devices aren’t difficult to pick up on.

“Just like the regular smartphone, you can read the [manual] all you want, but you’re going to find out more from using it,” Rotecki-Kennedy said.

Patrick Manning is part of the Junior Reporter program at Fox News. Get more information on the program here.

Article source: http://www.foxnews.com/scitech/2012/05/12/army-stronger-with-droids/

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12 Apr 12 Google Chrome browser tabs get a ticket to ride


Soon, Google Chrome users will be able to access live tabs on a range of devices, including tablets and smartphones. 

By

Matthew Shaer /
April 11, 2012

Google Chrome tabs are now portable. Here, the Google logo is displayed on a screen at Google HQ.

Reuters



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The scenario goes something like this: You’ve opened up approximately 734 tabs on your browser. You’re looking at a news site, and at directions to the nearest cinema, and also a website that features photographs of cats – hypnotic, all-consuming pictures of cats. So all-consuming that you’re half a mile away from your computer by the time you realize you forgot to write down the correct movie times. 

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Tab-lovers with low-attention spans, take heed: Google has the solution for you. This week, the company took the wraps off a new functionality for its Chrome browser, which allows you to access active tabs remotely, via another computer or on your smartphone. To fire up the feature, Google engineers Nicolas Zea and Patrick Dubroy wrote this week, navigate over to the “other devices” menu on the New Tab page. 

“With a click, you can find and open the tab with your directions and be on your way,” Dubroy and Zea added. “The tab’s back and forward navigation history is also included, so you can pick up browsing right where you left off. If you use Chrome for Android Beta, the tab will also be available on your phone, right there in your pocket when you hit the road.”

Google will roll out the functionality gradually over the next couple weeks. In the early-going, you’ll need to have the latest version of Chrome Beta or Chrome for Android Beta, which are available here and here, respectively. 

For more tech news, follow us on Twitter @venturenaut. And don’t forget to sign up for the weekly BizTech newsletter.

RELATED: Top 5 Google Labs projects






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Article source: http://www.csmonitor.com/Innovation/Horizons/2012/0411/Google-Chrome-browser-tabs-get-a-ticket-to-ride

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11 Apr 12 Instagram gives Facebook 5 million reasons to love recent acquisition


The new Android app from Instagram, which was recently gobbled up by Facebook, has racked up 5 million downloads. 

By

Matthew Shaer /
April 11, 2012

Instagram, seen here on an Android phone, has proved extremely popular among users of the Google mobile platform.

Reuters



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Earlier this week, Facebook announced the acquisition of photo-sharing hub Instagram. The price tag? A reported $1 billion in stock options and cash, a hefty chunk of change even for a company that could soon be valued at $100 billion.

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In a message to users, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg maintained that although Facebook and Instagram offered very “different experiences, that the two platforms would “complement each other.” 

“This is an important milestone for Facebook because it’s the first time we’ve ever acquired a product and company with so many users,” Zuckerberg wrote. “We don’t plan on doing many more of these, if any at all. But providing the best photo sharing experience is one reason why so many people love Facebook and we knew it would be worth bringing these two companies together.” 

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Plenty of analysts thought Team Facebook was nuts. (The deal, wrote one, “was an indication that Facebook does not have what it takes to stay in business.”) 

But today comes news that Facebook may have been prescient in gobbling up Instagram. According to VentureBeat, the new Instagram Android application tallied up a million downloads in the first 24 hours it was available. And it wasn’t just a quick burst of interest, either – over six days, downloads of the Android app topped five million. “Insta-growth,” VentureBeat called it. (30 million users already reportedly access Instagram through Apple’s iOS.) 

The question now is whether Instagram can continue to thrive under Facebook control, points out Mike Isaac of Wired. 

“Upon any relatively small startup being absorbed by a larger company, there’s almost always change in structure, workflow and even long-term product goals,” Isaac writes. “While both Mark Zuckerberg and Burbn CEO Kevin Systrom both promised that Instagram would continue as the standalone brand and product it is now, it’s difficult to imagine that the social giant’s influence won’t affect Instagram’s evolution at all.”

For more tech news, follow us on Twitter @venturenaut. And don’t forget to sign up for the weekly BizTech newsletter.

RELATED: 20 essential Android tips and tricks






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Article source: http://www.csmonitor.com/Innovation/Horizons/2012/0411/Instagram-gives-Facebook-5-million-reasons-to-love-recent-acquisition

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