Apple Confirms iPhone 6 Launch Date

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Apple’s official invites for the iPhone 6 launch have gone public, with September’s launch set to be the biggest yet. And of course, the internet is drowning in an explosion of geek thrill conspiracy theory shenanigans.

If you were anywhere near the internet yesterday evening, chances are you were overwhelmed by an explosion of over-excited tech lovers gibbering on about Apple’s official iPhone 6 launch invite. The invite confirms that September 9th date we already knew about, but many Apple fans have been trying to read even more into it, to work out some specifics ahead of the launch.

Apple is most definitely holding an event on the 9th day of the 9th month in this year, 2014 A.D. We can’t really see this magical sun dial that many enthusiasts have spotted, thus apparently proving absolutely that Apple will be showing off the new iWatch. Quite why Apple would represent smartwatch tech with an ancient outdated method of timekeeping is frankly beyond us. Surely that’s like NIssan sending out a car launch invite with a picture of a horse on it.

Apple’s iPhone 6 launch will be held at the Flint Center for the Performing Arts at De Anza College in Cupertino, where a massive mysterious structure is apparently being built to house the lucky guests. All signs point to it being Apple’s biggest launch yet, which is just as well if it really is make or break time for the company.

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Apple To Unveil ‘iWatch’ On September 9

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Apple will unveil a smartwatch alongside the iPhone 6 on September 9, according to a report on tech news site Re/code.

The site has previously reported that Apple will launch two, different sized versions of the iPhone 6 at an event on September 9.

The California tech giant is expected to merge style and innovation, along with sensors and computing power, in a wrist-worn device that links wirelessly to iPhones or iPads.

Apple’s next-generation iPhones are rumored to have screen sizes stretched to 4.7 and 5.5 inches and have faster processors.

Apple typically updates its product cycle in the second half of the year, getting a lift from holiday sales.

Last year it unveiled the iPhone 5S and the lower-priced iPhone 5C in September, getting record sales at the launch.

Apple is tuning a new operating system which allows for mobile payments and includes a health platform, which could mesh nicely with an “iWatch” for tracking activity, sleep, pulse and more.

The system iOS8 is expected to be in the new iPhones.

Cathay Pacific To Serve Mandarin Oriental Menus

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CATHAY PACIFIC has teamed up with Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group to offer inflight menus to first class passengers on the Hong Kong to London route.

Until October 31, carte blanche will be given to Uwe Opocensky from Mandarin Oriental, Hong Kong.

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First class passengers traveling to London will be able to try foie gras terrine, truffles, organic chicken and beef accompanied by crabmeat and caviar.

Dean Yasharian from Bar Boulud of London’s Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park will then take over until December 31.

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He will offer the privileged passengers, between London and Hong Kong, duck liver, British beef accompanied by mashed parsnips, and sole fillets with lemon and grenobloise sauce.

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An increasing number of airlines have recently been joining forces with great chefs to offer gourmet dishes to their business and first class passengers.

Mercedes Launches Armor-plated S Class

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The S600 Guard offers everything that you would expect from a flagship Mercedes — a glorious V12 engine and levels of comfort that would challenge Rolls-Royce — but when it comes to safety, it’s in a class of its own.

That’s because while most new cars can survive a rear-end shunt, the Guard has been built to withstand bullets, grenades and even mines.

The latest addition to MERCEDES-BENZ‘s line of special protection vehicles, the car boasts a fully armored underside and special glass thick enough to absorb rifle fire or deflect shrapnel.

In fact the glass in the side windows is so heavy that Mercedes has had to use hydraulics rather than electric motors to raise and lower them.

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If the car’s shell is somehow breached, it has its own emergency fresh air system plus integrated fire extinguishers to prevent smoke or fumes from penetrating the cabin. Then there’s the self-healing fuel tank and run-flat tires that will keep the car rolling for miles even if punctured.

Yet despite meeting the highest possible VR9 rating for ballistic protection and meeting the ERV2010 and the Federal Office of Criminal Investigation regulations for resistance to explosive charges, it looks just like a normal S600 rather than like a tank. And it drives like one, too.

Admittedly it’s slower than a standard S600 with a top speed limited to 130mph and needs much bigger brakes to bring that extra weight to a smooth but rapid halt. But those are the only compromises.

It is packed with all of the latest technological driver aids from active cruise control and collision avoidance to smart lane keeping and a night vision camera for driving in little or no light.

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It has a special heating system that ensures any surface within the cabin that an occupant might come into contact with is never icy cold to the touch.

Mercedes won’t reveal the price of the S600 Guard, nor will it reveal some of the vehicle’s finer details, such as its weight or fuel consumption.

However, a standard S600L costs around €170,000 and the cost of the armoring procedure is believed to add a further €200,000 to the price tag.

And if size is an issue, Mercedes also offers a Guard version of its more compact E-Class executive sedan and of its M-Class and G-Class SUVs.

Legoland Florida Hotel Opening In 2015

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Legoland Florida Resort has opened the reservation line for overnight stays at its new Legoland Hotel, set to open next year.

LEGO has recently experienced a major renaissance thanks to the major silver screen hit “The Lego Movie” released earlier this year.

The five-storey Lego-themed hotel is currently being built at the main entrance of the theme park, 45 minutes from Orlando, and will include a pool, restaurants, interactive play areas and nightly entertainment.

Pirate, Kingdom or Adventure-themed rooms can now be booked for mid-June, and come with a queen-size bed for grown-ups, and a separate sleeping area for up to three kids. The hotel features 152 rooms and suites.

Legoland Florida Resort includes 50 rides, shows and attractions, in addition to a Water Park.

Smartphones Will Go Ultra-high Definition In 2015

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Just like televisions and computer monitors, handset displays are about to get a huge resolution boost.

According to the latest forecast from ABI Research, a 4K screen will become a flagship smartphone feature within the next 12 months and within five years, 478 million SMARTPHONES a year will ship with a UHD display as standard.

However, at the moment there is very little native 4K broadcast content available for either TV or smartphones, meaning that, for the time being, a display with a super resolution could be seen as just a marketing gimmick.

Although UHD displays aren’t expected to arrive until next year, the ability to use a smartphone to create 4K content is already here.

The latest Samsung and LG flagship handsets both record video in 4K and as such join a growing list of UHD devices, such as the GoPro action cam.

However, even with more user-generated UHD content, disseminating it among friends or even hosting it to sites like YouTube is still an issue in terms of streaming or downloading due to the size of the file involved and consumers’ hatred of videos that buffer.

“Over The Top (OTT) video services will carefully weigh the costs of 4K delivery, the impact on viewing on mobile devices, and the brand halo high resolution services can bring,” said practice director Sam Rosen.

Rosen believes companies that use the internet to deliver content will initially focus on bringing UHD to televisions but there are emerging connection technologies that could mean that smartphones become a hub for streaming rich content to other devices around the home.

“New connections like wired MHL 3.0 and wireless 802.11ad can help position mobile devices as a hub for streaming high quality video and gaming to TVs.”

“Qualcomm’s acquisition of Wilocity and push of 802.11ad could further encourage OTT companies and TV manufacturers to embrace the technology and bring high resolution video to TVs via mobile devices,” he adds.

Samsung Launches World’s First Flexible TV

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If you want an ultra-high-definition TV but can’t decide on a flat or curved screen, the SAMSUNG UN78S9B might be just the thing.

And that’s because its 78-inch screen goes from flat to concave curve, on command. Demonstrated for the first time at the 2014 International CES in January, the TV has gone from prototype party piece to actual product and will be going on sale in the company’s native South Korea on August 1.

The logic goes that curved-display TV screens, especially ones that boast four times the resolution of High Definition, offer a more immersive, cinematic experience — so great for watching movies and for gaming.

The past several weeks have been very busy for Samsung’s TV business.

At the end of June it launched three new ranges of flat UHDTVs, including the frankly gigantic 105-inch curved screen UN105S9 UHD TV with its equally colossal $120,000 price tag.

There is currently no word as to how much Samsung’s bendable television will cost, or when it will be offered for sale beyond South Korea.