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More and more mobile phone users are getting away from standard providers with contracts and going to providers like Cricket Wireless where no contract is needed. Many of these people purchase cheaper phones outright, but some still out to pay outright for a high-end smartphone or bring their own device to the network.
Cricket Wireless has announced that it has rolled out some new service plans for customers to choose form. The new plans come after the acquisition of Leap Wireless was completed. The new plans include 4G LTE data access and include unlimited talk, text, and data with rates starting at $35 monthly.
Users of Google now will be able to take advantage of a new update that enables the service to remind you when it's time to pay bills. Forgetting to send in a bill is easy to do if you are very busy and don't rely on automated payments.
The Google Now update is rolling out right now and will offer you bill payment reminders if you receive emails about your bills via Gmail. The update will identify emails with bills from the user Gmail account and those bills will show up as Google Now cards.
We mentioned not long ago that AT&T and DirecTV hoped to announce a purchase agreement as early as today. That purchase agreement has now been announced with AT&T and DirecTV entering into a definitive agreement that will see AT&T buy the satellite provider. The deal will see AT&T pay $95 per share for DirecTV.
The purchase will be funded in cash and stock and was agreed to unanimously by the boards of both companies. AT&T says that the deal will create a combined company that is a content distribution leader in the mobile, video, and broadcast platforms.
AT&T reportedly wants to purchase DirecTV in a $48 billion acquisition, which could be finalized in the next few days, though the deal is still rather fragile at the moment, sources recently noted. DirecTV remained dedicated to its TV subscription offering, as the company doesn't have a phone or competitive Internet package to woo potential subscribers.
A proposed AT&T-DirecTV deal was expected to take longer, though is an important step forward for AT&T, giving the conglomerate a nationwide satellite TV provider - boosting wireless phone service with television and high-speed Internet access. However, DirecTV would continue to operate, under control of AT&T, according to media reports released over the past few weeks.
Federal regulators, already trying to determine if Comcast should be able to acquire Time Warner Cable for $45 billion, will also analyze AT&T's $48 billion acquisition of DirecTV.
Well, here's something you probably didn't expect: Apple and Google have dropped all remaining patent suits that they have against each other, taking an entirely new direction: pushing for patent reform in the United States.
An interesting note to take away from this is that Apple is still gunning after Samsung, as its big lawsuit wasn't as lucrative as it thought it would be. As for the "thermonuclear war" that Steve Jobs waged against Google, it looks like it's finally over!
Another day, another acquisition, with Google acquiring Quest Visual, the company behind iOS app Word Lens. Word Lens uses the camera on the rear of the iPhone, translating the text to your desired language in front of your eyes.
The technology that makes Word Lens work will be baked into Google Translate, but I think we'll also see it work its way into Google Glass, too. While Quest Visual is rolled into Google, the company will make the Word Lens language packs free to consumers, where it said: "As a thank you to everybody who supported us on our journey, we've made both the app and the language packs free to download for a limited time while we transition to Google".
The recent announcement of Brock Pierce, a former Disney child star and bitcoin supporter, as new Bitcoin Foundation director has angered some within the organization - and at least 10 members of the Foundation have resigned due to the announcement. Pierce was accused of giving drugs and pressuring minors for sex during his reign as leader of the Digital Entertainment Network, a company that later went bankrupt.
"The track record of prominent Bitcoin Foundation members has been abysmal," said Patrick Alexander, one of the Foundation members resigning. "I no longer want to be associated with these people."
Although bitcoin is receiving mainstream publicity, it has proven to be a difficult journey to reach this point. The downfall of Mt. Gox and a well-known bitcoin executive getting busted in a Silk Road money laundering scheme certainly didn't help - but the sky is still the limit for the volatile cryptocurrency.
In some areas if you don't lock your bike up, it will be gone before you come back out to get it. In those areas, a bike lock is a requirement. However, if you want to share your bike with a friend, you have to tell them your combination or give them a key and that can be a problem if you aren't nearby. A new high-tech bike lock called the Skylock is looking to help solve that problem.
Skylock is a U-lock that has a solar powered rechargeable battery inside. The lock is able to send the owner theft and crash alerts. It also has keyless entry and opens the ability to share your bike without having to be there.
The Lead Electrical Engineer on Google Glass, Adrian Wong, has just left the Mountain View-based search giant for Facebook, where he will work on the Oculus Rift.
Wong's LinkedIn page is where the information came from, with his last day at Google being around two weeks ago now. He posted a goodbye message on Facebook, to his friends at Google. When he was with Google, he was the man responsible for the main PCB and display electronic subsystems on Google's wearable device.
Autodesk is a name that is very well known in the 3D modeling software market. The company has stepped into the 3D printing market with a new open platform called Spark. Autodesk CEO Carl Bass says that Spark will "make it more reliable yet simpler to print 3D models, and easier to control how that model is actually printed."
Autodesk will also unveil its own 3D printer that will serve as a reference implementation for Spark. Bass promises that the 3D printer will set a "new benchmark" for 3D printing. Autodesk plans to promote free licensing of the printer and Spark to manufacturers and other parties.