All posts by John Skrhak

John Skrhak | Gadgets, Sports and Toys Fanatic | Read about them all here.

Motorola’s new phone could offer edge-to-edge screen

Motorola Droid Razr Maxx (Verizon)

Motorola’s new phone should look like the Droid Razr Maxx, but will it offer the marathon battery life?

Sarah Tew/CNET)

A few more details trickled out today regarding the new
Android smartphone that Motorola is expected to unveil next week.

Citing a person familiar with the handset, Bloomberg reports that it will feature an edge-to-edge display and support 4G LTE networks. The source didn’t spill any other details, except that the device will go on sale with Verizon Wireless later this year.

Though Verizon and Motorola declined to comment to Bloomberg, both 4G support and a noteworthy screen sound plausible. Previous rumors have pegged the name of the phone as the Droid Razr M 4G LTE (say that three times fast) and the invitation for the Wednesday, September 5 evebt in New York promised to put something “on display.”

It’s unclear, however, whether the new phone will deliver an HD display. While early reports indicated such a feature, recent speculation suggests just a 4.3-inch qHD (960×540-pixel) Super AMOLED Advanced display with Gorilla Glass 2.

On the outside, the
Droid Razr M 4G LTE should sport the trim profile of the earlier Droid Razr, but we’ll have to see whether it carries the long-lasting battery of the popular Droid Razr Maxx. Other features could include Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, a dual-core 1.5GHz MSM8960 Snapdragon S4 processor, and an 8-megapixel camera with 1080p HD video.

Whatever happens, CNET will be at next Wednesday’s event to bring you all the news in words, pictures, and video.

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IFA 2012 wrap-up: Galaxy Note II, 84-inch 4K TVs, Windows 8 convertibles and much more

IFA 2012 wrapup

Europe’s premier consumer electronics trade show has further cemented its status on the industry’s radar, thanks in no small part to Samsung, Sony and a shocking number of 84-inch 4K TVs. Since Wednesday, we’ve welcomed a brand new Galaxy Note, a healthy heaping of smaller mobile phones, a few cameras (including that Android stunner) and enough laptops and tablets to keep us computing well into the fall. From your perspective, the show ran silky smooth, though Berlin’s mobile data plague continued to take its toll on our productivity, while the Messe’s absolutely insane sprawl left us with a few well-worn shoes. As always, we still had a blast bringing you all the latest gear as it hit the floor, and German hospitality (and beer) made the setbacks a bit more bearable. Since there’s oh so much to get through, we’re sorting out our grouping of news and hands-ons from major manufacturers, followed by some smaller device makers and a few one-hit wonders — all tidied up just past the break.






Other news

Other hands-ons

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This week in Crave: The imposter edition

Too busy trying to keep thieves out of your brain this week to stay on top of Crave? Continue not thinking about your PINs while you ponder the stories you missed.

“Ecce Homo” gets the Batman treatment from Twitter user @Darklyte510.


Twitter user @Darklyte510

– Finally! Your
iPad can pretend to be a MacBook.

– It’s an “iPhone 5,” minus just one key feature.

– Stargazers, have a gaze at this massive Mars mosaic.

– A suborbital space flight? Yeah, we’d call that a decent frequent flyer award.

– Ecce Homo: Behold the meme spawned by a botched art restoration.

– “Star Wars” in 3D coming in 2013 — times two.

– Atari Arcade: Get your retro game on in any HTML5 Web browser.

– Future shock: Phones could get a charge out of Ultrabooks.

– Wonderful wheelchair floats through the sea.

– Here’s what it might look like in the halls of Samsung someday soon.

– More iPad Mini evidence? And just how much would you be willing to pay for an iPad Mini anyway?

Got something you’re willing to tell us? Write to us at crave at cnet dot com. And be sure to follow us on Twitter: @crave.

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2012 Camaro ZL1: More muscle

Wayne Cunningham/CNET)

One of the greatest automotive rivalries exists between the Chevy Camaro and Ford Mustang. Although it lay dormant when the Camaro ceased production, the 2010 model reignited the rivalry. However, when it comes to discussions of horsepower, Ford could hold the Mustang-based Shelby up as having no competition among Camaros. Until now.

The 2012 Camaro ZL1 adds a supercharger to a big V-8, the same strategy as the Shelby, to produce massive horsepower. And while the Shelby is still the power king, Chevy can boast other tech tricks that help give the Camaro ZL1 the edge at the track.

Foremost among these is the Magnetic Ride Control suspension, also used in the Corvette and Cadillac CTS-V. This technology uses electromagnets to stiffen the dampers, reacting to driving style and road conditions. The result is very flat handling in the corners.

This generation of Camaro lacks some of the cabin electronics that come in handy during everyday driving, but it does have a performance computer accessible on the instrument cluster. And OnStar provides excellent telematics services.

Check out CNET’s review of the 2012 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1.

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Sigma finally announces price and availability for DP1 Merrill compact

Sigma Corporation announces pricing and availability of Sigma DP1 Merrill

New generation compact camera to hit US shelves in September for street price of $999

RONKONKOMA, N.Y.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Sigma Corporation of America (, a leading researcher, developer, manufacturer and service provider for some of the world’s most impressive lines of lenses, cameras and flashes, has announced that the Sigma DP1 Merrill compact digital camera will be available in the United States in mid-September for the street price of $999.

“We are extremely pleased with the engineering and design involved in the upgrade of the DP1 Merrill”

This upgraded, high-resolution, compact digital camera with a fixed lens is named in honor of Richard “Dick” Merrill, the co-creator of the Foveon X3 Direct Image Sensor technology that powers Sigma’s unique lineup of cameras. It differs from its predecessor, the DP1x, because its lens now includes one “F” Low Dispersion glass element to correct aberrations, and its resolution has grown by moving from Foveon’s 14.6-megapixel APS-C size image sensor to the 46-megapixel APS-C image sensor found in the company’s flagship SLR, the Sigma SD1 Merrill. The full-color Foveon X3 direct image sensor ensures outstanding resolution, richly gradated tones and images with a three-dimensional feel. A focus ring and custom Quick Set (QS) mode also improve the user interface.

“We are extremely pleased with the engineering and design involved in the upgrade of the DP1 Merrill,” said Mark Amir-Hamzeh, president of Sigma Corporation of America. “Its wide focal length, fixed lens and impressive sensor capture stunningly sharp images that are truly incredible, especially given the compact nature of the camera’s design.”

The Sigma DP1 Merrill boasts an exclusively designed, high-performance, telecentric 19mm F2.8 lens, which is the equivalent to a 28mm lens on a 35mm SLR camera. This camera differs from the DP2 Merrill, which was released in June, due to its wider focal length. The DP2 Merrill has a 30mm F2.8 lens, which is the equivalent to a 45mm lens on a 35mm SLR camera. Both cameras are compact and lightweight, and feature Super Multi Layer Coating to reduce flare and ghosting.

Other features of the Sigma DP1 Merrill camera include:

A dual, three-layer responsive ultimate (TRUE II) engine that now incorporates two TRUE II processors to improve the processing speed and overall quality of the final image
RAW and JPEG format recording to retain the full image detail of the utmost quality captured through the direct image sensor, as well as a JPEG recording format for convenience
Sigma Photo Pro processing software to convert RAW data quickly and easily
Manual focus for use when autofocus or focus-lock is not desired
Easy-to-use auto focus with a “nine-point select mode” which can select the desired focusing point from nine different frames, and a “free move mode” that allows shooters to select their desired focusing point
An advanced user interface complete with a custom QS menu and the metallic command dial to improve usability
Continuous shooting capabilities to capture up to seven RAW images per sequence
A large, highly visible, three-inch TFT color LCD monitor for great visibility
A hot shoe for the use of the dedicated external flashgun EF-140 DG (optional)
Movie mode for movie recording with VGA (640×480) size, with 30 shooting frames per second

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Could Dirk Nowitzki really be done in two years?

Think Dirk Nowitzki was sending a subtle message to Mark Cuban with his tweet after playing two more years and then seeing how he feels?

Think again.

It was just an honest answer to a fan’s question. That’s it.

Nothing has changed for Nowitzki in terms of how he views his basketball future once this contract expires. He has consistently said since he signed the four-year, $80 million deal that it could be his last NBA contract.

Nowitzki’s loyalty to the Mavs, and Cuban, hasn’t wavered. He made that clear later during his impromptu weekend Twitter QA when asked why he doesn’t try to jump to a so-called super team.

“I bleed blue,” Nowitzki replied.

Maybe the quality of the Mavs’ roster will influence Nowitzki’s decision on whether to continue his career into his late 30s. Maybe he’ll figure he needs to play for a legitimate contender to muster the competitive fire at that point in life.

Perhaps Nowitzki’s family life will be a major factor, too. He got married this summer. Maybe he’ll decide to become a stay-at-home dad.

But here’s betting that Dirk’s decision comes down to how his then-36-year-old body feels after 16 seasons of the NBA grind.

Nowitzki’s knee trouble early in last year’s lockout-shortened season was the first sign of wear and tear taking its toll. The Mavs hope and believe, however, that the knee soreness was a result of the sudden end to the lockout and compressed schedule, not necessarily a painful sign of things to come.

Nevertheless, Nowitzki is likely to have logged close to 50,000 NBA minutes, including playoffs, by the time his contract expires. Plus, that 7-foot frame made a ton of trips up and down the floor while playing for Germany in international competition.

On the other hand, Nowitzki’s game should age well. It isn’t as if he became one of the best power forwards of all-time because of awesome athleticism.

It’s not like Nowitzki will suddenly lose his shooting touch in his old age. He preferably wouldn’t have to create his own shot so often and carry the Mavs’ offense on his shoulders, but Nowitzki could be a scoring threat until his blond hair goes gray.

And Nowitzki has the benefit of working on a daily basis with Mavs athletic trainer Casey Smith, who is widely considered one of the best in the business and happens to be one of No. 41’s best friends.

While Nowitzki has never focused on his numbers, there’s something to be said for cracking the 30,000-point barrier, an exclusive club that includes only Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Karl Malone, Michael Jordan and Wilt Chamberlain and should be joined by Kobe Bryant this season. Nowitzki will probably need two more pretty good seasons to get there after this deal is done.

If his body is still able, it’s hard to envision Nowitzki not being willing to continue cashing Cuban’s checks and knocking down jumpers in a Mavs uniform.

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