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It looks like the folks at Utah Valley University have a good sense of humor, after installing walking, running and texting lanese in its Student Life & Wellness Center. The stairway was the brain child of the Marketing & Communications Department, tasked with "enhancing the center's design through the use of art and graphics."
Not surprisingly, the new stairway has received a significant amount of national and international attention - especially with most of us having a story related to watching a person, fully engrossed with using a smartphone, do something potentially reckless or dangerous.
"When you have 18- to 24-year-olds walking on campus glued to their smartphones, you're almost bound to run into someone somewhere; it's the nature of the world we live in," said Matt Bambrough, creative director at UVU. "But that isn't the reason we did it - we used that fact to engage our students, to catch their attention and to let them know we are aware of who they are and where they're coming from. The design was meant for people to laugh at rather than a real attempt to direct traffic flow."
In a very surprise move, Chinese smartphone maker Oukitel has unveiled its latest smartphone prototype which packs an insane 10,000mAh internal battery. This is a battery that could truly last throughout an entire day of super-heavy use, without needing to recharge.
In the images we have above and below, you can see that the Oukitel handset features a black chassis, and quite a tough-looking exterior. Oukitel hasn't named the smartphone just yet, but it does pack Android 5.1 Lollipop, a 10,000mAh battery, which should cause most of the surrounding devices some issues, as the battery will be generating a decent amount of heat.
We don't know when the Oukitel smartphone is coming out, but it's great to see a company doing something different with a smartphone packing a 10,000mAh battery.
Microsoft will be allowing Nokia to design and license out their own smartphones next year, with Nokia's CEO talking with Manager Magazin, saying that they will be looking for interested companies to release a device in 2016.
Nokia CEO Rajeev Suri said in the interview: "We will look for suitable partners. We would simply design them and then make the brand name available to license". While Nokia sold its Device and Services Division to Microsoft last year, Nokia will regain the ability to license mobile devices to other companies next year.
Don't expect a Lumia to be made by another company, as Microsoft retains the rights to Nokia's Lumia, Asha and X brands.
ASUS will be launching its new ZenFone 2 smartphone in Taiwan later this week, with the 64GB version costing around $310, while the 128GB model will bump that price up to around $375.
The ZenFone 2 was released in March, selling over 100,000 units in Taiwan alone. The Taiwanese giant is now looking to continue this, pushing out a 128GB variant of the ZenFone 2, with it already being listed as "coming soon" on India's Flipkart.
Inside of the ZenFone 2, we have a 5.5-inch 1080p display, 4-core 2.3GHz Intel Atom Z3580 CPU, 4GB of RAM, LTE connectivity, 13-megapixel rear-facing camera with 5-megapixel camera up front, and a 3000mAh battery.
Consumers have a growing number of ways to pay at checkout that don't include using cash, debit or credit cards - but trying to actually get people to switch to mobile payments is proving difficult. It's possible to use a smartphone or smartwatch wearable to make payments, with the likes of Apple Pay, Android Pay, and other options.
Apple has recently announced new features of its Apple Pay service, while Google has big ambitions for Android Pay, designed to be the successor to Google Wallet. Earlier in the year, Samsung purchased LoopPay, and is expected to take a more aggressive approach to the mobile payment sector.
"I've been paying for a while with my phone," said Larry Page, CEO of Google, while speaking during a shareholder meeting. "First time you pay with a phone, and you don't have to pull out your card, mess with entering codes and signing things and so on, it's a pretty great experience."
It appears the North Korean government has cracked down on mobile phone access to foreigners living inside the reclusive country. Foreign residents have been blocked from accessing 3G networks, while North Korean citizens remain unable to visit Internet websites outside of the country. Foreign visitors have the ability to purchase 3G mobile SIM cards, with access only lasting about the same amount of time as their visit.
"Unfortunately we are facing Internet service outage from the local Internet provider's side with no estimated time, we will keep you posted once the service is back to normal," according to a memo sent to subscribers of the Koryolink mobile provider.
The block started on Friday local time, and it's unknown what caused the sudden restriction. Of the country's 24 million residents, about 2.5 million of them are currently phone subscribers. There is concern that users with access to the Internet will find unrestricted information, which can be shared with other residents.
If ASUS wants to purchase HTC, then it's going to have to dig in for a fight - because HTC doesn't have any interest in being acquired.
Here is what HTC said in a public statement: "We strongly deny the news. We didn't contact ASUS and will not consider the acquisition. As an international brand, HTC will continue to design world-class innovative smart devices through its pursuit of brilliance brand promise."
As Samsung, Google, Huawei, Lenovo and other manufacturers find success in releasing Android-based smartphones, HTC - which once enjoyed comfort in the evolving smartphone market - has struggled in recent quarters. To make matters worse, the Apple iPhone is seeing strong demand in China, a market that HTC once was able to fall back on.
The announcement of the OnePlus Two smartphone can't be far away, with the latest rumor from MyDrivers teasing that the company will launch the OnePlus Two smartphone in July, for just $322.
Internal sources of the site hve said that it will launch next month for 1999 Yuan, which roughly converts to $322 USD. We don't know if this price will translate exactly the same to the US, but if it's priced at under $400, this is going to be one of the hottest smartphones of the year.
Do you have $91,000 spare to blow on a smartphone? Too bad. Someone else shelled out a couple of house deposits on the Samsung Galaxy S6 edge Iron Man Limited Edition smartphone.
JD.com, China's second largest e-commerse retailer, auctioned off just one of the Galaxy S6 edge Iron Man Limited Edition smartphones, with a huge 92,429 bids received, the final price was $91,635. At $91,635, this lucky bidder spent nearly 100 times what the phone retails for, at $1079.
While I love the Galaxy S6 edge, you'd have to be very wealthy - Tony Stark rich - to spend nearly $100,000 on a smartphone. But, what a collector's item, eh?
Smartphone maker BlackBerry is reportedly interested in using Google Android on its upcoming smartphone, according to multiple sources speaking to Reuters. The company doesn't even control one percent of the current smartphone market, with constant rumors that it would just abandon phone development.
BlackBerry is fighting for its survival in the smartphone market, with users choosing Android and Apple iOS - and would be a complete reversal of BlackBerry's desire to use its own mobile OS. If BlackBerry can focus on device management and software, instead of the mobile OS, it will be able to free up resources for future development.
"We don't comment on rumors and speculation, but we remain committed to the BlackBerry 10 operating system, which provides security and productivity benefits that are unmatched," a BlackBerry spokesperson told Reuters.