The once failing smartphone giant, BlackBerry, may have just been bailed out by US Taxpayers in a deal that will see The Pentagon purchasing more than 80,000 handsets from the Canadian manufacturer. The purchase comes as the US Department of Defense begins staging the roll out of a massive new wireless network which will primarily use BlackBerry handsets.
News of this injection of cash has been rumored for weeks and as a result, the company stock has more than doubled from its low of $5.75 per share just six weeks ago. This massive purchase from the US Government helps to further push the return to its enterprise roots that John Chen, the company's new CEO has been pushing for since taking the position late last year. No word has been released on how much the deal is worth, but you can imagine that it is in the $800 million to $1.5 billion range.
Chinese PC manufacturer Lenovo will purchase IBM's lower-end x86 server unit for $2.3 billion after months of continued negotiations on both sides. The deal, once approved by U.S. government regulators, will give IBM the ability to focus on software and IT services.
IBM will continue to manufacture higher-end servers, and remains the No. 2 server manufacturer, trailing only behind Hewlett-Packard.
"This acquisition demonstrates our willingness to invest in businesses that can help fuel profitable growth and extend our PC Plus strategy," said Yang Yuanging, Lenovo CEO, in a statement. "With the right strategy, great execution, continued innovation and a clear commitment to the x86 industry, we are confident that we can grow this business successfully for the long-term, just as we have done with our worldwide PC business.
Lenovo, the No. 1 global PC manufacturer, has struggled to compete against HP, Dell, and other manufacturers in the server market. The Chinese manufacturer wants to shift focus to the server market, where profit margins are higher than the regular PC and notebook business.
In the last few years, YouTube traffic has exploded thanks to faster internet connections and mobile device speeds increasing, and one of the biggest complaints is that YouTube seems to perform better on some ISPs than others. Today Google announced that it has released a performance report that outlines which ISPs perform better with YouTube.
At the moment, Google's video quality report only shows a series of slides that aim to educate the public on how YouTube videos are delivered to you via CDN servers, but ultimately will feature a list of ISPs and will rate them on how they perform with YouTube traffic. If viewers on a specific ISP are able to watch 90-percent of YouTube Videos at 720p resolution at consistent quality without buffering, then that ISP will be branded as "YouTube HD Certified."
"We wanted to give users a measure of performance that they can truly understand," Google's Shiva Rajaraman said in an interview. "The other side is we felt this would be beneficial for ISPs too, because now they can describe their service and the various product offerings and price points they might have to their customers in a way that they can truly understand: You can access YouTube in HD on my ISP, or not."
Today is the Catholic Church's World Communications Day, and to celebrate the occasion, Pope Francis, has released a statement that gives us a clue on the church's official stance on the interwebs. The Pope said that the internet has lead to "unprecedented advances" in technology which has made it easier than ever before to communicate with one another.
The Pope continued to praise the internet and wet as far as to announce that the web is truly a gift from God. Not all was praise however, as he did say that the internet's fad of social media isolates individuals from real interaction with their friends and family. He went on to say that the internet makes it easy for users to wall themselves within circles where their opinions are echoed back without any new ideas being injected, but he did concede that the Internet's benefits far outweigh its drawbacks.
"The internet, in particular, offers immense possibilities for encounter and solidarity," Francis said. "This is something truly good, a gift from God," said the pope. "The desire for digital connectivity can have the effect of isolating us from our neighbors, from those closest to us. We should not overlook the fact that those who for whatever reason lack access to social media run the risk of being left behind. While these drawbacks are real, they do not justify rejecting social media," he added. "Rather, they remind us that communication is ultimately a human rather than technological achievement."
ADATA has launched the Elite CE700 wireless charging stand for smartphones and mobile devices, supporting both flat and stand-based charging modes. The device also will automatically stop charging if there is a metallic object between the phone and charging stand, along with overheat protection to prevent damage to the device and CE700 unit.
Although there are a number of charging stations available, ADATA created a slim-profile with sleek curved edges. ADATA promises faster charging times, even for Android devices, as wireless charging isn't limited to USB-based charging bottlenecks.
The device supports charging a variety of devices from 14 different manufacturers, though the Apple iPhone was unfortunately left off the list. Manufacturers supported: Nokia, HTC, Google, Panasonic, Sharp, Fujitsu, Samsung, LG, Kyocera, Philips, Motorola, BlackBerry, Pantech, and TecHDY.
A recent botnet with more than 100,000 hijacked PCs and electronics also included at least one refrigerator, according to security research group Proofpoint. The botnet also relied on "multi-media centers" and connected high-definition TVs, though this is the first public disclosure of a smart refrigerator - and household appliance - used in an organized botnet.
The 'Internet of Things' continues to frighten researchers trying to determine guidelines on how to defend connected devices that are able to connect to the Internet. Despite the security threat, consumers are expected to embrace the Internet of Things, though provides "great promise for cyber criminals," according to security experts.
These types of attacks targeting connected devices will only increase, security researchers warn, as more consumers begin to use smart refrigerators, washers and dryers, and other common household appliances.
Subscription channels HBO, Showtime and Starz are fighting back against a recent NPD Group study that reported pay TV channels have dropped 6 percent of customers through the past two years.
Following the public outcry, NPD clarified its statement sand said while subscribers have declined, TV subscribers are including more channels to their subscription package.
There is fierce competition among broadcasters, cable/satellite providers, and online video content services all vying for consumer attention. Subscribers have a number of different choices when it comes to video content, with HBO, Showtime, Starz, and other broadcasters opening up Web-based streaming for paying customers.
Meanwhile, Netflix CEO Reed Hastings has taken aim at HBO and other subscription TV services, as the company recently hit 33 million subscribers during Q3.
If you're a resident of Provo, Utah, then this news is right up your alley: Google is now accepting registrations for its gigabit Internet service, known as Google Fiber.
The high-speed broadband will include any customers sitting on the former iProvo network, a fiber-optic backbone that was installed, and later sold to Google. Google did note: "We can't install fiber to everyone in Provo all at once, so we're going to work in waves, starting with the North Park area next month and finishing in the Foothills area hopefully by the end of this year".
Provo residents can choose from three different service plans, with the minimum offering 5/1Mbps, which will cost you a $30 one-time fee for installation. Higher tiers are available, with Gigabit Internet on offer for $70 per month, or a Gigabit Internet + TV offer for $120 per month.
We know that Samsung is preparing something special with its upcoming Galaxy S5, but what should we expect exactly? According to two concept devices that have recently popped up, we could expect a buttonless smartphone from the company.
Some new designs have shown up, which feature an unidentified object on the top right side, that could be... shock: a fingerprint scanner. We've heard that the Galaxy S5 will indeed feature an iris scanner, and we've also heard the teases of a smartphone from Samsung with a fingerprint scanner - maybe we'll see the blending of both technologies, too.
We have been told to expect big things from Apple's iPhone for the past quarter, where it is expected to have sold some 55 million units over the three-month period. But what about the iPad?
Fortune reports that from data collected from 45 Apply analysts, that we should see 25 million iPads sold for the quarter - up 10% from the same quarter last year. The estimates vary from 21 million to 28 million, so we should expect something right in the middle of that.