All posts by John Skrhak

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

Battery life battle royale: Nexus vs. iPad

The Nexus 10’s battery is a bit disappointing compared with what the iPad offers.

Screenshot: Eric Franklin)

With all the hoopla about the relative graphics performance of the fourth-generation iPad and the Nexus 10, it’s easy to forget another important performance metric: battery life.

Battery life dictates how long you can actually use the unit before it requires a recharge, so I’d say it’s pretty darn important. So important in fact that it gets its own blog post. Here I pit the last two generations of
iPad, the iPad Mini, the Nexus 7, and the
Nexus 10 against each other in a take-no-prisoners battery blood bath! Or acid bath I guess.

The results
The results speak for themselves, but if you need further explanation, continue reading after the chart.

How we tested battery life
I evaluated battery life the same way I do for all
tablets: by continually running a movie file until the tablet’s battery dies.

I set each tablet to Airplane Mode and adjusted their respective brightnesses to 150 candelas per square meter (cd/m2) or as close to that number as possible. The iPads were running version 6.0.1 of iOS; the Nexus 10 ran Android 4.2, while the Nexus 7 was running Android 4.1.2.

I ran the 720p iTunes iPad version of the recent “Avengers” movie on the iPad and the Google Play version of the same movie on the Nexus 10 and Nexus 7, each movie playing through the tablet’s native default video players.

The final score is an average of two full runs on each tablet, with the two numbers coming within 5 percent of each other.

The iPad continues its tablet-battery-life dominance.

Screenshot: Eric Franklin/CNET)

The iPad continues its battery life dominance over all other tablets. Not the flagship iPad, but the previous-generation iPad and iPad Mini as well. At 13.1 hours, the latest and greatest iPad lasted longer than any previous tablet.

The two smaller tablets on the list make a strong showing, with the Mini posting an impressive 12.1 hours. Very few Android tablets last over 10 hours, but the Nexus 7 achieved the almost mythical feat with 10.1 hours.

The now 8-months-old-and-busted iPad (third generation) still manages to make an impressive showing with 11.4 hours of life.

Google claimed the Nexus 10 would support 9 hours of video playback on a single charge. In CNET’s test it gets close, but doesn’t quite hit that target, lasting a slightly disappointing 8.4 hours; however, that’s only slightly lower than the 8.5 hours we saw from the Asus Transformer Infinity.

The big takeaway here is just how impressive the iPad Mini’s battery is. Its screen may not be as impressive as the Nexus 7’s, but the extra 2 hours of life the Mini is capable of may make all the difference, depending on your needs.

Keep checking our battery-testing results chart for updates on all tablet battery life.

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Rookie Jae Crowder getting ready to replace Shawn Marion

DALLAS – With Shawn Marion out for at least the rest of the week, rookie second-round pick Jae Crowder wore the starters’ white during Tuesday’s practice.

PODCAST Mavericks guard Darren Collison chats about the acclamation process with his new teammates, the team’s offensive identity, how much he’s looking forward to playing with Dirk Nowitzki and much more.

Listen Listen

Coach Rick Carlisle left open the possibility of starting Dahntay Jones at small forward, but there’s no doubt that Crowder is about to get a lot of minutes for the Mavs.

And there’s little doubt that the rugged rookie, who has averaged 8.8 points and 2.8 rebounds in 19.3 minutes per game during Dallas’ 3-1 start, is ready for more responsibility. The 6-foot-6, 235-pound Crowder knows his role, which is headlined by replacing Marion as the Mavs’ top wing defender.

“I feel like I still have to play with a lot of heart, a lot of dedication, a lot of hard work, a lot of hustle on both ends of the court,” Crowder said. “And let the offense come to me. Don’t try to force anything and play off of those older guys.”

Crowder has been impressive since he reported to Dallas to begin practicing for summer league. By the end of the preseason, it was apparent that the rookie had earned a spot in the rotation, a rarity under Rick Carlisle.

Carlisle said he just wants Crowder to continue being active, playing smart and playing within himself. Crowder proved something to Carlisle again Monday night with his performance after the coach opted not to play the rookie in the first half.

“He didn’t play at all in the first half and was 100 percent ready to go when his name was called in the second half,” Carlisle said. “A lot of times, rookies in those situations, they’ll kind of shut down mentally if they miss a rotation for whatever reason. He was just as ready as he’s ever been.”

Crowder doesn’t have to worry about sitting through the first half for at least the rest of the week. Now the rookie needs to get ready to start.

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Sony France says Xperia V pushed back to late January to make way for Jelly Bean

Sony Xperia V hands-on

Europeans who were slightly disappointed that the Xperia V would be shipping with Ice Cream Sandwich a year after the OS first appeared will be glad to know that at least one Sony division shares their feelings. Sony France says it’s pushing back the launch of the 4.3-inch smartphone from late this year to the end of January so that it can ship with Jelly Bean from the start — unfortunate, but possibly worth the wait. The company is simultaneously dropping the off-contract price ever so slightly from €549 to €529 ($704 to $678) to make the delay that much more palatable. We’ve reached out to learn whether or not other European countries are on a similarly adjusted schedule, although it’s less likely that our Gallic friends will be singled out while everyone else gets their device earlier and waits for an upgrade.

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Canon’s new mid-range 24-70mm zoom gets stabilization

Canons EF 24-70mm f/4L IS USM

Canon’s EF 24-70mm f/4L IS USM

Canon USA)

Two new higher-end but not top-end lenses will arrive in December, the $1,500 EF 24-70mm f/4L IS USM and the $850 EF 35mm f/2 IS USM, Canon said today.

The 24-70mm f4 lens, though not inexpensive by any means, extends a Canon tradition of offering intermediate models for enthusiasts and pros who don’t necessarily want to pay more for top-end lenses — in this case, the alternative is the $2,300 Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L II USM introduced in February, whose f2.8 aperture enables photography in low-light shooting and with a blurrier background to emphasize foreground subjects.

Unlike the f2.8 models, the new lens, though, has a very valuable feature: image stabilization — specifically, Canon’s Hybrid IS that compensates not just for lateral motion of the lens but also to changes in the angle it’s pointed.

It also has a macro option when used at 70mm, enabling close focusing on subjects as little as 7.9 inches away. It’s got two aspherical lens elements and two with ultra-low dispersion glass. And it’s got a nine-blade aperture diaphragm.

Canon’s new 35mm f/2 IS USM also adds image stabilization compared with its older and much less expensive $310 predecessor and with Canon’s comparable top-end prime lens, the $1,300 EF 35mm f/1.4L USM. (An “L” in the name denotes Canon’s high-end lenses, with high optical quality, full-frame image sensor support, durability, and, these days, weatherproofing. For the status-conscious, they have a red ring around the end of the lens and come at a big price premium.)

Canons EF 35mm f/2 IS USM

Canon’s EF 35mm f/2 IS USM

Canon USA)

The intermediate-priced lenses are a nice alternative, but it should be noted that Canon’s view of intermediate is in flux. The second-generation 24-70mm f2.8 model costs about $800 more than the $1,500 predecessor with the same wide aperture. And people are willing to pay: Canon’s SLRs continue to be a bright spot in the company’s otherwise gloomy financial performance.

“Demand for interchangeable-lens digital cameras continued to realize robust growth in all regions while the market for compact digital cameras shrunk due to the stagnation of the global economy,” the company said in October as it reported third-quarter financial results. Canon’s imaging systems division revenue dropped 7.3 percent to $4.1 billion, and its operating profit dropped 30 percent to $674 million.

Canon’s top SLR rival, Nikon, has embraced the intermediate lens strategy, too. In October, Nikon introduced a 70-200mm f4 telephoto zoom that’s not as pricey, bulky, or heavy as the top-end f2.8 model.

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The O.J. Mayo clinic continues

DALLAS — It didn’t take O.J. Mayo long to feel at home in Dallas.

[+] Enlarge
OJ MayoAP Photo/Tony GutierrezO.J. Mayo has 62 points in his first two home games in Dallas — both Mavs wins. That includes a 13-of-18 clip from 3-point range.All he’s done in his first two games wearing Mavericks white at the American Airlines Center is put up 62 points on 22-of-35 shooting, including 13-of-18 from 3-point range. Not coincidentally, the fresh, fun Mavs won both of those games and have a 3-1 record despite the absence of their only All-Star, Dirk Nowitzki.

Hey, Mayo might make a pretty strong All-Star case for himself if he can keep anything close to this kind of groove going.

We’re seeing why Mayo was the third overall pick in 2008. We’re getting a glimpse of the talent that made Mayo one of the most explosive young scorers in the league as a rookie, when he had three sets of back-to-back 30-point games.

Who cares why Mayo hadn’t put up 30 points in consecutive games since then until his first two home games in Dallas, when he dropped 30 on the Bobcats and followed that up by celebrating his 25th birthday with 32?

Yeah, Mayo’s career fizzled in Memphis. He won’t forget that. That’s why he showed up in Dallas soon after signing with the Mavs, eager to learn from coach Rick Carlisle and earn back respect around the league.

“I worked this summer,” Mayo said. “Things didn’t go my favor (in Memphis), so it just put me back into a just-try-to-get-back-in-the-NBA type deal. I was working every day, just grinding nonstop, two or three times a day. I just wanted to be really prepared to come into this season and just provide for the city of Dallas, for the organization, for the Mavericks.

“I just wanted to provide and show that I can play.”

Mayo’s hot streak didn’t just happen. This is hard work paying off.

You can count on Mayo being one of the last men off the practice floor, launching dozens of extra shots each day. He’ll usually come back to get up more shots at night, displaying a Dirk-like devotion to his craft.

Mayo didn’t shoot the ball well on the Mavs’ first two games, going 7-of-22 from the floor and pressing when his early shots didn’t go down. He’s relaxed since the Mavs returned from the road. As Collison said after the point guard recorded his second straight double-double, 3-pointers suddenly look like midrange shots to Mayo.

“He’s playing with a lot of confidence,” vet swingman Vince Carter said. “He puts his work in. It’s his confidence. He’s in a great rhythm. He’s shooting the ball with ease. He beats himself up when he’s not making shots. Sometimes he overthinks it. When he’s flowing, when he’s rolling, he’s rolling.”

With his mind right, Mayo’s rolling now.

Mayo is also committed to making major mental strides. He spends hours in one-on-one video sessions with Carlisle, a teacher strongly recommended to Mayo by Chauncey Billups, another former No. 3 overall pick whose career took off after Carlisle coached him for a season in Detroit. Carlisle and Mayo break down all of his touches and all of his defensive possessions.

“He’s a sponge,” said Carlisle, who praises Mayo for playing with controlled aggression. “He wants to be as good as he can possibly be, and he’s showing it.”

The flashes of brilliance from Mayo, as well as his young backcourt partner Darren Collison, help breathe hope back into a Mavs franchise that missed on its chance to sign a ready-made superstar this summer.

There wasn’t much of a market in free agency for Mayo, who struggled the last two seasons after being demoted to the Grizzlies’ sixth man, so the Mavs were able to sign him to a one-year, $4 million contract. There’s a player option for $4.2 million next season, but that’s just an insurance policy for Mayo.

The Mavs’ preference with their one-year players is for those guys to prove themselves worthy of a long-term commitment. So far, Mayo is doing that with his performance and his attitude.

“I kind of just trust what I do and do what I trust,” Mayo said. “If you work hard, it’ll pay off sometimes.”

If Mayo keeps putting in this kind of work, it’ll pay off big for himself and the Mavs.

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Yahoo and Samsung announce multi-year interactive TV partnership

Yahoo! and Samsung Form Multi-year Partnership to Deliver Interactive TV

Partnership to Provide Real-time, Enhanced Entertainment and Advertising to Homes Across the United States

SUNNYVALE, Calif. and RIDGEFIELD PARK, N.J. – Nov. 5, 2012 – Yahoo! (NASDAQ:YHOO) and Samsung today announced an expanded multi-year partnership to integrate Yahoo!’s Broadcast Interactivity platform into Samsung 2012 Smart TVs. Yahoo! Broadcast Interactivity, powered by its automatic content recognition (ACR) technology, SoundPrintTM, will be deployed in Samsung’s SyncPlus platform, enabling new opportunities for intelligent content discovery, advertising and engagement, bringing an unprecedented level of interactivity in the living room.

With this agreement, Samsung Smart TV owners will receive real-time, actionable content that runs alongside and complements TV shows and commercials. TV viewers will see subtle, on-screen prompts informing them that additional content can be accessed. With the touch of a remote, connected tablet or phone, Samsung Smart TV viewers can easily surface content or offers related to the TV shows and commercials they are watching.
In addition, TV programmers can provide complementary content like trivia, additional show insights, commerce or interactive gaming to extend engagement. Showtime Networks and National Geographic Channel are two of the initial TV programming partners.

The partnership also creates new forms of advertising by extending traditional 30-second commercials into immediate actions. With Broadcast Interactivity-enabled commercials, advertisers can embed calls-to-action for downloading apps or digital media, providing coupons, ordering samples, reading reviews or viewing product information.

“By combining watching TV with engaging content, we can change the way audiences are entertained and informed,” said Ron Jacoby, vice president of Connected TV at Yahoo!. “We are thrilled that our expanded partnership with Samsung extends our platform’s footprint, enabling our content partners and advertisers to reach many more consumers. Content owners can augment their programming and advertisers can create compelling calls-to-actions that allow audiences to engage on marketing messages the moment they are delivered.”

“Today, consumers are engaging in interactive TV program experiences more and more,” said Eric Anderson, vice president of content and product solutions at Samsung Electronics America, Inc. “Samsung’s SyncPlus service combined with Yahoo! Broadcast Interactivity and SoundPrint will provide consumers with a very entertaining experience. We are very pleased to partner with Yahoo! and we look forward to a successful collaboration in the years to come.”

Yahoo! Broadcast Interactivity leverages Yahoo!’s patented SoundPrint™ technology which enables real-time identification of live or recorded, cable, broadcast and satellite television through audio fingerprinting. Combining SoundPrint, the largest index of television audio matching, with Yahoo!’s Connected TV platform creates a full suite of capabilities for audiences, broadcasters and advertisers.

Yahoo! Broadcast Interactivity and Samsung SyncPlus will be delivered in the latest firmware update to Samsung’s 2012 Smart TVs in the U.S. Yahoo! Broadcast Interactivity will be integrated into future models of Samsung TVs.

To learn more about Broadcast Interactivity, visit

More information about advertising opportunities is available at

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