Wednesday, 11 July 2012

Sony Xperia P mobile phone review,

Launched in February this year, the Sony Xperia P sits above the recently reviewed Xperia U, in terms of hardware specifications. It also sits just below the flagship Xperia S, in the new NGT series of mobiles. That top-tier phone was unveiled in January, where ITProPortal published exclusive hands on photos of the phone, days before it was actually launched.

Setting up the Xperia P for the very first time involves eight steps. This is in the most complete set-up procedure that I have seen in a recent handset, including phones from HTC, Samsung, Nokia and LG mobiles.

The first step that sets the handset apart from others is the way it offers to download the phone’s Internet and multimedia messaging settings. This is followed by configuring access to Wi-Fi for syncing data, without using up your valuable mobile data allowance. The latter is a feature of the Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich setup, but the Xperia P doesn’t even run that OS.

Next up you can configure your personal email accounts, with the usual range on offer: from Google to Microsoft Exchange. There is also the not-always-expected Facebook login, which is used for Sony’s own social networking client called TimeScape (but more on that later). The setup procedure ends with either logging on to, or creating an account for the Sony Entertainment Network. This gives you access to the company's collection of media, from major record labels to Hollywood studios, as well as what Sony has to offer.

The three devices in the Sony next generation range all share a similar look and build. The new handsets look different from the previous flagship Sony Ericsson phone: the Arc and revamped Arc S. However, the height and width of the Arc S and Xperia P are not too dissimilar, at 125 x 63mm and 122 x 59.5mm respectively. Only the back of the older phone curves in the middle (giving it its name) and measures 8.7mm, at its thinnest point. This is compared to the constant 10.5mm thickness of the P.

This handset has design elements taken from the mid-2011 Sony Ericsson Ray. This was a bar style of phone, with a sleek form factor and an almost minimalist quality. It is made up from only four parts, with an aluminium unibody chassis that conveys a premium look and feel, even more so than the higher-end Xperia S.

At the base of the phone is a significant gap across its entire width, which has been filled with a transparent strip. This houses the touch sensitive back, home and option buttons. The phone’s radio antennae also reside here. The other two new Xperia devices all have their touch buttons located above the see-through area, and not embedded within it. This alludes to the P being more of the finished product, since many users of the Xperia S expected the buttons to be within the clear strip.

I would have liked to have seen the strip to add some functionality to the phone. Perhaps this bar could have displayed notifications when the screen is off or maybe alert you to incoming calls when the handset is in silent or meeting modes. Definitely something for Sony to think about, perhaps even via a firmware update.

On the right-hand side is the speaker, volume rocker and dedicated camera button - from top to bottom. The left side is home to the microUSB, mini HDMI and micro SIM card slot. I had a hard time using the SIM card slot; as a word of warning, get an official micro SIM card and not one cut down to fit. The charging port and HDMI are too close together for comfort. I often mistook one for the other and tried to jam a microUSB lead intro the HDMI port. The Xperia S, by comparison, avoids this issue with the ports on either side of the device.

Raj Rajput  [  MBA ] 
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To new Meadowlands Racetrack operator Jeff Gural, the urgency for the state's harness racing industry to find new sources of revenue was readily apparent Tuesday at a news conference held at an off-track wagering facility in Bayonne that he will open next week.

The media event was to announce the draw for Saturday night's Meadowlands Pace — known for three decades as the "Million Dollar Meadowlands Pace." But now, with the New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority no longer subsidizing the purses, the harness racing horsemen will be racing for only $600,000. That's the lowest figure since 1979, the third year of the event.

"In the past the state was just filling the gap between $600,000 and the $1 million but, as it is, between eliminations and consolations [and the main event], we're still putting $500,000 into the race," Gural said of his partnership's contributions. "To put in [a total of] $900,000 just wouldn't make sense."

Gural, who took over operation of the East Rutherford track this year, also said that without purse subsidies from slot-machine revenues at tracks — as many states offer — "we're going to struggle purse-wise. You can't print money. It is what it is. We're still attracting top horses, and it's still a prestigious event to win."

But in an attempt to find that other revenue and build the sport back toward its better days, Gural has invested $18 million to build the 25,000-square-foot Bayonne betting facility on Route 440 north (not far from the Bayonne Bridge and Staten Island).

More than 150 television screens, a 38-seat bar and a full-service restaurant operated by Tim McLoone all evoke comparisons to the Favorites at Woodbridge site in Middlesex County that is now operated by the state's thoroughbred horsemen.

That site, off Routes 1 & 9 and near the junction of the Garden State Parkway and New Jersey Turnpike, generates about $5 million in net operating income. Gural hopes that the Bayonne site — as well as future joint ventures with the thoroughbred horsemen for four or five other off-track wagering locations — will produce enough revenue to offset annual on-site losses at the Meadowlands that reached $10 million in recent years.

Gural said he has reduced various costs since taking over operations, including cutting the pay of tellers and other track employees by 20 percent.

The track's revenues were up in the beginning of the year thanks in large part to a mild winter, but Gural said that so many top drivers have been racing in other states in recent weeks that the quality of the racing — and therefore the amount of betting interest — has suffered.

Gural has repeatedly urged the entire harness-racing community to make every effort to support the Meadowlands track — traditionally North America's leading track — in spite of the lure of more lucrative purses in neighboring states.

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An iPhone app released Wednesday, Sleep101, combines expert advice with sleep tracking. Another plus? It’s free.

There are a number of sleep tracking apps on the market, and plenty of devices that monitor sleep patterns. But the maker of Sleep101, a company called Zeo, has been in this game for a while — and it’s letting users benefit from the nearly one million nights of sleep data they’ve collected so far.

The app tracks your bed movement to provide users with a timeline of when they were asleep and when they were awake. From each night’s sleep data, users will receive a “sleep score” they can share on social networks. Sleep101 users can also tap into Zeo’s library of articles on sleep and scientific sleep study information to help them figure out how to get the best night’s sleep possible.

SEE ALSO: Want to Sleep Like a Baby? iPhone App with Vibrating Strap Can Help

Other apps such as SleepTime and Dream:ON also allow smartphone users to track their sleep based on how much they move by placing their smartphone on the bed. But users of such apps have complained that these app don’t work if you share a bed with someone.

The same may well go for Sleep101, but at least it’ll save you from spending your latte money on an app. At most, having its wealth of sleep data in your pocket, or on your nightstand, might serve you well.

Zeo says its app is pretty reliable: “Sleep101’s free sleep tracking technology is 86 percent as accurate as clinically-proven, expensive, wristband-based sleep tracking devices used in sleep research to detect sleep and wake cycles.”

Individual monitoring devices like the Fitbit Ultra and The Lark might be more accurate for sleepers who share a bed with someone. However, these devices come at a higher price point ($99.95 and $129, respectively).

Zeo, Inc. is a company that uses smartphone and wireless technology to improve peoples’ sleep. Dave Dickinson is the president and CEO of Zeo, based in Newton, Mass.

Sleep101 is currently available in the iTunes app store. Zeo currently has another free app, minus the expert advice, called Sleep Manager for iOS.

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