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TECH SPACE
Windows 8 phone users tell of glitches
by Staff Writers
Redmond, Wash. (UPI) Nov 19, 2012


Phone screen responds to different touches
Pittsburgh (UPI) Nov 19, 2012 - A U.S. computer scientist says he's developed a prototype smartphone with a touchscreen that can sense touches from different parts of the hand.

Chris Harrison at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh says the screen can distinguish between touches from the knuckle, fingertip and even a fingernail, and initiate different phone action based on the hand part used, NewScientist.com reported.

Harrison's modified Samsung Galaxy S3 smartphone senses the acoustic and vibrational differences between the three types of touch.

"A big problem with touchscreens right now is that they are very simplistic, relative to the capability of our hands," Harrison says. "We could do so much more."

For example, he says, a fingertip could select an object, while a knuckle tap could work like the right-click on a computer mouse and open up a sub-menu.

The sensor is a standard piece of electronics that can be added to the main circuit board of any smartphone, he says. What makes it work is his FingerSense software.

"The real magic is in the software, this artificial intelligence that lives in the heart of the phone," said Harrison, who is already in talks with some major phone manufacturers about his system.

Microsoft has confirmed it is investigating reports of Windows Phone 8 devices suffering random reboots and problems syncing email messages.

Windows 8 smartphones from both Nokia and HTC are having issues with random reboots, Slash Gear reported Monday.

While Microsoft told CNET, "We are currently investigating reports of these incidents," it has been unable to offer users any advice or fix yet.

With Windows Phone 8 devices just starting to hit the market, the glitch is not good news for Microsoft, which launched Windows Phone 8 as a mobile operating system intended to take on dominant Android and Apple iOS phones.

No similar problems have been reported on phones running the earlier Windows 7 OS, CNET said.

Airline cabin crew to get tablet computers
Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UPI) Nov 19, 2012 - Flight attendants on Emirates Airline are being given Windows 8 tablet computers with a built-in airline-specific business app, airline officials said.

The airline announced the move Monday during the Windows 8 launch event in Dubai in the United Arab Emirates, home to the airline, CNET reported.

The HP ElitePad 900 tablets will use a business app called Knowledge Driven In-flight Service, or KIS, which can provide airplane, crew and customer information, officials said.

"To support our crew, we have created an application on Windows 8 that delivers a unique, personalized experience with the necessary information for our cabin crew to better serve the needs of customers," Emirates Cabin Crew Senior Vice President Kevin Griffiths said in a statement.

"The Windows 8 platform running on HP ElitePad 900 devices gave us this option, allowing us to create the KIS app that enables our crew to offer an experience not available on other airlines."

The airline said it would have 100 tablets in its planes by the end of January 2013 and 1,000 by the end of the year.

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