Foxconn announces $226 million halfyear net loss, blames usual suspectsManufacturing behemoth Foxconn (Hon Hai) has announced a record net loss of $226 million on turnover of $2 billion for the first half of the year. Unsurprisingly, it attributed the loss to the European debt crisisglobal economic slowdown and its customers “continuous struggle” formarket share. While it made a big push to encourage new customers, capacity far outstripped demand. In order to stem the tide, it’s relocating some of its Shenzen-based facilities to sites in Northern China — and it’s also in talks with carriers to become an ODM, building white-label smartphones in the same way that Huawei and ZTE do. While the loss isn’t a rosy picture, the company does have nearly $2 billion stashed in the bank, so it shouldn’t be worrying too much.

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Sony A99 specs leak 243megapixels of fullframed, translucent mirrored camera

Sony’s not unleashed a full frame camera for some time, so when a purported spec-sheet for the upcoming Alpha A99 breaks cover, we’re elbowing our way to the front to see it. According to Sony Alpha Rumors, it’ll be a 24.3-megapixel CMOS Exmor sensor with an ISO range of 100-25,600, 14 bit RAW output and a 1/8000 maximum shutter speed. Other nuggets of interest include a 102 point AF system, full 1080p HD video recording (at 60fps) and a 921k dot LCD (like that seen on the A77pictured). When might we see this come to market? According to the rumor-mill, sometime in October, with an official unveiling in early September. Along with everything else, it seems. Head on down to the source for the full spread. 

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Samsung announces Drive Link, a car-friendly app with MirrorLink integration

Until self-driving cars become mainstream, it’s best to keep eyes on roads and hands off phones. With this in mind, Samsung’s debuting Drive Link, an app that balances in-car essentials with driver safety, complete with approval from the no-nonsense Japanese Automotive Manufacturers Association. It’s all about the bare essentials — navigation, hands-free calling and audiotainment from your phone-based files or TuneIn. Destinations can be pulled from S Calendar appointments or texts without trouble, and the text-to-speech feature means you won’t miss a message, email or social media update. The best bit is that via MirrorLink, all these goodies can be fed through compatible dash screens and speaker systems. Drive Link is available now through Sammy’s app store for Europeans sporting an international Galaxy S III, and will be coming to other ICS handsets “in the near future.” 

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It appears there will be plenty of options for professionals interested in WQHD monitors this fall, and ASUS has added one more to the pile on the eve of IFA 2012 with its PB278Q. An LED-backlit IPS 27-inch widescreen display with a resolution of 2560 x 1440, it has HDMI 1.4, DisplayPort 1.2, Dual-link DVI and built-in speakers. Similar to the VA278Q that was introduced at CES 2012, it will add pro-focused adjustments for more accurate color, plus ASUS QuickFit Virtual Scale and Splendid Video Intelligence tech when it ships in early September. There’s no word on the price tag, but if you’re interested in something with more pixels than your current 1080p setup, there’s a video from ASUS Republic of Gamers Australia embedded after the break.

 

 

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Everything Everywhere signs 5year deal with MasterCard for mobile payments

MasterCard has switched up its NFC and Mobile Payments deal with T-Mobile and Orange to include corporate parent / sibling Everything Everywhere. The pairing will leverage the existing Orange Cashstandard to get users onto the service, building out a person-to-person payment system similar to Pingitas they go. It’s reportedly angered rival networks Vodafone and O2, still smarting from last week’s 4G news, who were co-operating on a unified mobile payments service called “Project Oscar” that would have standardized the system nationwide. Given that Vodafone has partnered with Visa and O2 is trying things out on its own, perhaps the next time you choose a phone, you’ll have to side with your card-provider of choice, too. 

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