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Nokia Lumia 920 and 820 coming exclusive to AT&T in the US, seems like a bad plan for Nokia

By: Trace Hagan | More News: Mobile Devices, Tablets & Phones | Posted: Oct 4, 2012 9:34 pm

The upcoming Windows Phone 8 devices by Nokia will be heading to AT&T exclusively in the United States when they launch in November. This seems like a bad plan for Nokia as they need to expand their customer base so that they can return to profitability and relevance in today's smartphone market.




Jeff Bradley, senior vice president of Devices and Developer Services at AT&T Mobility said, "Exclusive to our customers and featuring unique innovations in imaging technology, wireless charging and a bright, sensitive display - all on the nation's largest 4G network - the Lumia 920 will be one of the hottest phones for the holidays."


AT&T will also be carrying the HTC 8X, another Windows Phone 8 device. They appear to want to continue their dominance as the top Windows Phone carrier as they reminded everyone that they have sold more Windows Phones than any other carrier to date. I don't think that Windows Phone 8 is enough to make users switch carriers, though.


Even with the Lumia 920's and 820's cool features, such as Nokia's City Lens AR overlay, it's going to be hard to convince users to switch to AT&T for the device. There is still no word on pricing or release date. November is the best guess that is currently available for when the devices will be available.

Google looking to trim more jobs from Motorola as restructuring plan moves along

By: Trace Hagan | More News: Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: Oct 4, 2012 8:33 pm

Google is sharpening its job axe in anticipation of slicing more jobs out of the Motorola Mobility division. During the second quarter, Motorola reported an operating loss of $233 million. Google slashed 4,000 jobs (roughly 20 percent) of Motorola's workforce in August as a way to trim down costs, and it looks as though they are trimming some more.




"Motorola has continued to refine its planned restructuring actions and now expects to broaden those actions to include additional geographic regions outside of the U.S.," Google said in a statement.


What this should be read as is "we're cutting more jobs." But cutting jobs is only one part of the restructuring plan. After all, cutting jobs costs money as Google's upping of its estimated severance costs proves. Google upped the estimate 9 percent to $300 million, not exactly cost saving in the short term.


Google has also helped Motorola focus on releasing a smaller number of devices so that they reduce R&D costs. I'm sure you and I have never even heard of half the phones Motorola has produced, so that money is nearly going to waste. You can see this part of the restructuring effort in Motorola's last press conference.


They released just three new devices and focused on three main features: battery life, LTE, and Android. We'll be sure to keep you updated when actual numbers come from Google or Motorola regarding these predicted job cuts.

HP not making a smartphone in 2013, even after Whitman's comments saying they need to offer one

By: Trace Hagan | More News: Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: Oct 4, 2012 7:29 pm

HP's CEO Meg Whitman has publicly stated that HP will not be releasing a smartphone in 2013. This comes after she commented that HP would eventually need to offer a smartphone so as to avoid falling behind the curve. "We don't have any plans to introduce a smartphone in 2013, but we've got to start thinking about what is our unique play, how do we capture this element of the personal computing market?" she said.




She continues by noting that by not bringing a smartphone to market in the next "five years from now," HP could be "locked out of a huge segment of the population in many countries of the world." This would be a major problem for HP as they would be missing out on a large portion of prospective customers.


HP acquired Palm, so they had the experience and know-how at one point in the past. How much of that staff is still left is not easy to ascertain, however, it is known that 500 jobs were cut from the webOS division in 2011. webOS is now sitting in the open source community, which could bring some unique features to the mobile operating system.

Redbox to sell tickets to live events, only adds a $1 fee to transactions

By: Trace Hagan | More News: Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: Oct 4, 2012 6:32 pm

Redbox is venturing into new business territory with the announcement that they will begin to sell seats to live events. Better yet, they are only planning to add a $1 fee to transactions, cheaper than most online sites. They won't be so ubiquitous with ticket sales as TicketMaster, but instead will be focusing on selling tickets that otherwise might not get sold.




This means that Redbox will sell tickets that are to less popular events or seats that are in the nosebleed section. Tickets can be purchased at the physical installations or online on their website. For right now, the new service is being trialed in just one market, Philadelphia, but if successful, will expand to others.


For example, they are selling seats to a Carrie Underwood concert on November 28, though it's not known how many of the 19,500 seats are being sold through the service. Tickets are also only given a row number and range of seats, so you won't know your exact seat until the ticket is purchased.


Other examples of tickets that Redbox is selling in Philadelphia include tickets for Villanova University football games and NASCAR race tickets at Pocono.

Scientists manage to produce gold from a toxic gas by using bacteria, won't help our financial problems

By: Trace Hagan | More News: Science, Space & Robotics | Posted: Oct 4, 2012 5:29 pm

Michigan State University scientists have figured out a way to ensure that tech geeks around the world will continue to have gold to use in their electronic connectors. If you didn't know, all of those 1000-2000 pins on a modern CPU are coated in gold, along with the pins in expansion slots on the motherboard.




Professors Kazem Kashefi and Adam Brown utilized the bacteria Cupriavidus Metallidurans to process a naturally occurring toxic gas known as Gold Chloride into 99.9% pure 24-carat gold. You can see the apparatus that was used in the experiment in the above picture. And no, it's not magical.


The bacteria used was discovered to be up to 25 times more resistant to toxic environments than previously thought. This discovery prompted the experiment that resulted in the production of gold. It's a rather simple affair, too. The bacteria is placed into a small bowl into which the toxic Gold Chloride gas is pumped.


Leave it there for about a week and you'll end up with a 99.9 percent pure gold nugget. Unfortunately, it won't be solving any financial problems or making anybody rich anytime soon. While the process is easy, the Gold Chloride gas isn't cheap and since it isn't "natural" gold, it won't be worth as much.

Google Street View comes to Google Maps web app for iOS, iOS6 users around the world rejoice

By: Trace Hagan | More News: Apps | Posted: Oct 4, 2012 4:48 pm

We reported yesterday that Google would be coming out with Street View for it's mobile web-based Maps application. There was some debate as to whether or not it would be today that we saw the fruit of Google's labor, and it turns out that iOS6 users don't have to wait any longer to get access to one of the most popular Google Maps features.




While Street View is now available on iOS 6, the system is a bit laggy due to it being web-based. That said, it is still the only way to see a destination before arriving there. I'm sure most users will be overjoyed at getting the feature back. It will at least work as a stop-gap measure until Google releases a native Maps app for iOS.


While they haven't said they are working on one, it's highly unlikely that Google would take a miss on the large user database they could have for gaining traffic information and other information.

Continue reading 'Google Street View comes to Google Maps web app for iOS, iOS6 users around the world rejoice' (full post)

Target to make use of QR codes on several products this Christmas, is this the way of the future?

By: Trace Hagan | More News: Mobile Devices, Tablets & Phones | Posted: Oct 4, 2012 4:17 pm

Target has announced that starting Sunday, October 14, they will be crafting a special in-store area with popular toys. Now, this isn't that big of a deal by itself, but Target isn't stopping there. These popular toys will feature QR codes that can be scanned with a shopper's smartphone. The QR code will then direct them to order the toy online.




The idea behind doing this is that shoppers (more like mom and dad) can do their shopping away from prying eyes. You do have to install an app produced by Target, but they allow you to opt-in for free shipping, which is an added bonus. This way the kids can come with you shopping and still not know what you're getting them for Christmas.


It's a cool use of the QR codes that are becoming ever-more popular. Coincidentally, the bar-code celebrated its birthday yesterday. As smartphones become more and more prevalent, expect to see more cool and unique uses of QR codes. This is just the start of what can be done with them.

Facebook passes 1 billion monthly active users, has had more than 1.1 trillion likes since February 2009

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Social Networking | Posted: Oct 4, 2012 12:35 pm

We knew it was coming, but Facebook have confirmed some amazing stats for the biggest social network ever. Facebook reached their one billion monthly active users (MAU) on September 14, at 12:45 PM Pacific time.




Since the launch of the social network, they've experienced 1.13 trillion likes, 140.3 billion friends connected, 219 billion photos uploaded, 17 billion location-tagged posts and check-ins, and 62.6 million songs have been played 22 billion times - enough music to fill around 210,000 years of music.


Facebook's numbers found that the median age of a Facebook user is 22, with the top five countries connected to Facebook when they reached the one billion MAU milestone were Brazil, India, Indonesia, Mexico and the US. The social network enjoys an insane 600 million mobile users.

Continue reading 'Facebook passes 1 billion monthly active users, has had more than 1.1 trillion likes since February 2009' (full post)

Apple inks deal with Australian-based Microlatch, to work on fingerprint recognition technology

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: Oct 4, 2012 10:32 am

Apple have just signed off on a deal with Australian-based Microlatch, where they'll work on fingerprint recognition technology. Ex-Commonwealth Bank head, and now major Microlatch investor, David Murray, claims that the help Apple are after, is related to mobile payments using near-field communications (NFC) technology.




Microlatch has patented fingerprint technology that is said to meet banking security standards, all without the need for central processing - something Murray calls a "self-registering" system. The iPhone 5 may not have NFC technology, but with this latest deal it looks like Apple are one step closer to an NFC filled future.


We already have Passbook in iOS 6, with this possibly the start of Apple's NFC journey. Apple's iPhone 5S might sport NFC tech, but would they be too late to the game? Or will they do it in a way that really beats their competitors' NFC-based smartphones?

Scientists working with nanobots that could one day cure cancer, other diseases

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Science, Space & Robotics | Posted: Oct 4, 2012 9:31 am

Scientists from the NanoRobotics Laboratory at École Polytechnique de Montreal in Canada have discovered a way of directing nanobots (nano-sized robots) inside the human body. If you're unfamiliar with nanobots, the nano-sized robots are so small that they can only be seen under a microscope.




These bots can be guided toward specific parts of the body that were too dangerous to risk surgery over - and is considered a huge breakthrough in cancer treatment. The technology is still in its infancy, with human testing not even a thought for now, but there are a few robotics firms including Quantum International, Intuitive Surgical, iRobot Corporation, and Dover Corporation, who are all committed to pushing this nanobot technology.


Robert Federowicz, CEO of Quantum, has said:


Using robots to deliver cancer-killing medicine directly to a tumor deep within the body could forever change the treatment of the disease. The market for such astonishing technology would obviously be enormous. Quantum is dedicated to bringing just such innovations out of the laboratory and into the global marketplace.

Continue reading 'Scientists working with nanobots that could one day cure cancer, other diseases' (full post)

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