The new Sony Xperia throws a flash and 5MP camera on the front of the phone

that’s whats up

Gigaom

Sony is trying something new in the world of the camera phone. Its latest handset, the Xperia C3, which was officially announced on Tuesday, is a fairly standard mid-range Android(s goog) smartphone with one twist: it’s got a 5MP shooter paired with a flash on the front of the phone, for superior self-portraits.

The Xperia C3 — which also comes in a dual-SIM version and has LTE support — has a 5.5-inch 720p screen, a 1.2GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon quad-core processor paired with an Adreno 305 GPU and 1GB of RAM. For storing all those 5MP selfies, you have 8GB of built-in storage with the ability to add 32GB more with a microSD card. There’s a traditional, 8MP camera included on the back too.

But the reason a consumer would choose the Xperia C3 over another handset is that front-facing camera, with a 25mm wide angle lens so you can fit all your friends in the…

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Sixty years after birth, it’s time for solar cells to get serious

Gigaom

If solar panels were people, they could start signing up for AARP memberships. This year the commercial solar photovoltaic industry is celebrating its 60th birthday, after having been kicked off in 1954 by Bell Labs.

The birthday celebration was an oft-mentioned topic during the first day of one of the largest solar conferences in the U.S. on Monday in San Francisco. It’s the seventh year of the Intersolar North America conference, and this year the event is expected to bring in 27,000 attendees and exhibitors. On the opening night, California Governor Jerry Brown pointed out how far the solar industry has come since he first became Governor close to forty years ago, but also noted how far the industry still has to go to deliver enough clean energy to start to mitigate climate change.

Austin's 's Pecan Street Project. Photo courtesy of Pecan Street Inc. Austin’s Pecan Street Project. Photo courtesy of Pecan Street Inc.

It’s one of the brightest years…

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