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Today's Tech: Ubuntu Edge smartphone smashes crowdfunding world record and Samsung Galaxy Gear smart watch launch 'confirmed'

BusinessNews
by Aatif Sulleyman
, 16 Aug 2013News
Today's Tech: Ubuntu Edge smartphone smashes crowdfunding world record and Samsung Galaxy Gear smart watch launch 'confirmed'

Nokia is slated to release two more new devices this year, with a 5.2in phablet and 10.1in Windows RT tablet currently thought to be making their way to the Finnish firm's production line. According to The Inquirer, Chinese news site Dopsy has dished up pictures of the new smartphone on its site, which is being tentatively dubbed the Nokia Lumia 825. The phablet will come with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 quad-core processor that is clocked at 1.2GHz and has a 5.2in display with a 1,280 x 720 pixel resolution, thus making sure it isn't the first Windows Phone device sporting a full HD [1080p] screen. We already knew that Nokia was likely to debut a smartphone with a screen that falls into phablet territory and earlier rumours had pegged the display as being Full HD thanks to the Windows Phone 8 GDR3 update, but unfortunately it doesn't look like that will be the case. There's still no definite unveil timeframe for the device, with various dates around the end of September and beginning of October being touted, when Nokia will also reportedly reveal their first tablet, a 10.1in Windows RT slate running Microsoft Windows 8.1 OS.

The NSA has broken privacy laws and illegally spied on US citizens thousands of times, an internal audit and other top secret documents obtained by The Washington Post have revealed. The documents were handed to The Post by whistleblower Edward Snowden earlier this summer, but the newspaper decided to not make them public until now. The internal audit, which covers the year preceding May 2012, counted 2,776 incidents which resulted in the unauthorised collection, storage or access to private communications on US soil. Following an increase of significant violations in 2009, the number of NSA oversight staff was quadrupled, however the documents show that the rate of transgressions increased in 2011 and early 2012. Many of the incidents were caused by technological or human error which resulted in the collections. One of the most serious of this kind was in 2008 when a "large number" of calls made from Washington were intercepted when a programme confused the state code 202 for the international dialling code of Egypt, +22. This was not reported to oversight staff. In what appears to be the most brazen violation of privacy laws by the NSA, in 2011 the agency launched a programme which collected large volumes of international data, regardless of whether the emails originated in the US. The agency did not seek authorisation for the collection method from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, which grants NSA agents permission to collect data, first.

A whole host of major manufacturers have now been linked with the production of a digital smart watch, but it's Samsung which looks set to become one of the market forerunners, with its so-called Galaxy Gear reportedly launching as early as next month. Samsung news specialist SamMobile is usually pretty reliable when it comes to anything breaking from the Korean firm, and the site says it "can confirm" that the Galaxy Gear will be unveiled on 4 September at IFA 2013 in Berlin. Samsung likes to leave its mark on the annual German tradeshow, having previously unleashed the original Galaxy Note phablet and its Note 2 successor in 2011 and 2012 respectively. Details on the smart watch have remained scarce, with little known beyond the Gear's Android OS and ability to act as a kind of phone companion.

Canonical's Ubuntu Edge smartphone has smashed the world crowdfunding record, having now generated more than $10,300,000 (about £6.6m) in pledges via Indiegogo. However, despite passing the $10,266,844 (£6.56m) total raised by Pebble Technology for its Pebble Smartwatch on Kickstarter in 2012 - and easily clearing the previous Indiegogo record of $1,665,380 (£1.06m) - the project still seems unlikely to reach its hugely ambitious goal of $32 million (roughly £20.5m). According to some analysts, the Ubuntu Edge push is now destined to fail and Canonical needs to start examining other options if it wants to make the dual boot smartphone a reality. "$10m in crowd-sourced funding is a huge achievement, a very powerful and distinct message," Chris Green, a senior consultant at the Davies Murphy Group, told the BBC. However, he branded the overall decision to go it alone on Indiegogo a bit "naïve," adding: "They need to really start looking at more conventional forms of fundraising." The Ubuntu Edge campaign runs until 21 August, meaning the London-based developer has a $20-odd million mountain to climb in the next six days if it is to be successfully funded.

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