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Archive Tech News - Feb 06

  Tech News on 05 Feb 2011

As Nokia comes up on Capital Markets Day next Friday -- an event where the company has historically unveiled interesting things and launched important initiatives -- rumors are once again swirling that they're going to be announcing a major platform shift by way of a competitor. 

Both Android and Windows Mobile have come up in the past on multiple occasions, owing in no small part to the fact that Nokia's had an outward appearance of spinning its platform wheels on the backs of Symbian and Maemo for far, far too long, but so far, nothing's materialized. 

This time around, it's said that Microsoft will be the partner announced on the 11th -- and though Nokia's uptake of Windows Phone 7 would be the obvious strategic shift, it's important to note that these companies have actually partnered before with pretty trivial consequences for the market; it's entirely possible they could be ramping up to do that again, sharing apps and services between Windows Phone 7 and Symbian / MeeGo. We doubt it, but it's within the realm of reason.
[...][via engadget]

This morning I decide to try a little experiment: I opened up my iPad, clicked on the little Wired icon and purchased the magazine’s latest digital issue. 

After I agreed to fork over $4, it began downloading. For the next phase of the experiment, I grabbed my car keys, left my apartment and drove about 12 blocks to a local magazine store in Brooklyn,  where I also purchased the latest issue of Wired magazine, this time in print.
[...][via The New York Times]

Android is our future, the stat mavens all agree, but for all its rapid growth, Google's OS still suffers from a shortage of top tier differentiation. 

This has in part been down to LG and Sony -- two of the world's biggest phone makers -- spending the majority of 2010 watching the battle for Android supremacy from the sidelines (the X10 disqualified itself when it announced it neither knew nor cared what Froyo was). 

2011 might just be the year of redemption for both, however, as LG will soon assault the European market with a pair of truly desirable and powerful Android smartphones in the Optimus 2X and Black, while Sony Ericsson's well leaked portfolio of new Xperias includes the Arc, Neo and Play, each one of them coming with Gingerbread preloaded.
[...][via engadget]

Many young readers like Eliana Litos, 11, of Harrison, N.Y., received e-readers as holiday gifts.

Something extraordinary happened after Eliana Litos received an e-reader for a Hanukkah gift in December.

“Some weeks I completely forgot about TV,” said Eliana, 11. “I went two weeks with only watching one show, or no shows at all. I was just reading every day.”
[...][via The New York Times]

Cat, Cats or LOLcats

Apple has quietly updated its iPad App Store to add search filters and remember purchased apps, and 27 individuals have been charged for a complex theft ring that allegedly used fraudulent credit cards to purchase over $1 million in Apple products. Also, the former Apple supplier executive accused of insider trading was indicted Thursday.

iPad App Store

Reports emerged Thursday that Apple had made several changes to the iPad version of the App Store. According to MacStories, a new search filter feature has been added that allows users to refine searches according to Category, Release Date, Customer Rating, Price and Device.

By adding search filters to the App Store, Apple is addressing one critique of the popular digital storefront: 'discoverability.' With over 300,000 apps on the App Store, developers have puzzled over how users will find their offerings among scores of competing apps.
[...][via AppleInsider]

A patent filed by Apple shows a stylus for a touch surface.
It’s quite strange that Apple chose the name iPad for its tablet computer as you can’t actually use it the way one would use a pad of paper, specifically when it comes to drawing or writing with a pen.

The device’s touchscreen is designed to be used with a finger or two. In some instances it’s possible to use a specifically designed stylus to replicate the writing experience, but even that makes it very difficult to sit and take notes, or sketch pictures, using the iPad.

That could all change soon, according to a new patent filed in 2008 by Apple that was discovered Thursday by the blog Patently Apple.
[...][via The New York Times]

The majority of Apple's second-generation iPad models now being built will include either GSM/UMTS or CDMA 3G support, according to checks of overseas manufacturers, suggesting the company plans on forging stronger relationships with wireless carriers alongside the device's introduction.

After briefing AppleInsider exclusively last month on the components expected to find their way into the new iPads, analyst Ming-Chi Kuo of Concord Securities has provide additional details on the five million unit supply Apple is reportedly amassing prior to its launch in the coming months.
[...][via AppleInsider]

Attacks AT&T’s Network In New iPhone Ad
Verizon and Apple have stopped taking pre-orders for iPhone 4 as they have run out of stock in less than a day since they started accepting pre-orders.

Verizon has announced that the launch of iPhone was the fastest-selling debut in the carrier's history, which is amazing when you consider that the pre-orders were open only to existing Verizon customers and Verizon had started accepting orders very early in the morning or late night (3:00am EST).
[...][via iphonehacks]

Chronic Dev Team has finally released greenpois0n to jailbreak iOS 4.2.1 for iPhone 4, iPhone 3GS, iPhone 3G, iPod Touch 4G, iPod Touch 3G and iPad.

The jailbreak is untethered and doesn’t need iOS 4.2 beta 3 SHSH blobs to be saved like iPhone Dev Team’s Redsn0w 0.9.7, which is currently available for beta testing.
[...][via iphonehacks]

The US Food and Drug Administration has approved the first diagnostic radiology app for use in viewing medical images to make diagnoses using Apple's iPad and iPhone, a title that won the Apple Design Award for "Best iPhone Healthcare & Fitness Application" in 2008. 

The announcement, made earlier today, gives a green light for Mobile MIM, an iOS app component of secure medical imaging product sold by the Cleveland-based MIM Software.

The FDA said the app "is not intended to replace full workstations and is indicated for use only when there is no access to a workstation," but William Maisel, MD, MPH, the chief scientist and deputy director for science in the FDA’s Center for Devices and Radiological Health, noted that "this important mobile technology provides physicians with the ability to immediately view images and make diagnoses without having to be back at the workstation or wait for film."
[...][via AppleInsider]

  Tech News on 04 Feb 2011

Setting straight the claims made by enemies of the first U.S. offshore wind project 
Opponents of Cape Wind, the still-embattled herald of offshore wind in the U.S., have raised an array of unsubstantiated objections, but the project continues to move toward construction.

Objections to the high price that New England utility National Grid agreed to pay for Cape Wind’s electricity were discredited when, in its approval of the power purchase agreement, the Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities said it "is abundantly clear that the Cape Wind facility offers significant benefits that are not currently available from any other renewable resources. We find that these benefits outweigh the costs of the project."
[...][via greentechmedia]

Apple is now allowing Mac developers to create promo codes for apps in the Mac App Store. Per MacStories:

You can now generate promo codes for your Mac apps in iTunes Connect. These promo codes can be redeemed in any Mac App Store worldwide. For each version of your app, you can request up to 50 promo codes.
[...] [via MacRumors.com

New operating system will make for slicker and more powerful tablets—but Apple may have an answer ready.

When Apple's iPad debuted last year, it resurrected a form of computing long thought unworkable, and created entirely new markets for book and news publishers. 

Attempts by others to follow that lead have lacked the iPad's polish, but Google may have changed the equation by revealing its own take on the tablet experience yesterday.
[...][via technology review]

As noted by MacStories, Apple has seeded the golden master version of Xcode 4 to both iOS and Mac OS X developers. The "golden master" designation indicates that this version of the software is intended to be the final version released to the public, barring any last-minute issues.

Xcode 4, which first debuted for developers at WWDC last June, offers a significant update to Apple's development environment for Mac OS X and iOS applications. Most visibly, Xcode 4 features a new single-window interface, but a number of other enhancements are also included.
Update: The golden master build of Xcode 4 appears to have been pulled from Apple's site, with only the earlier Developer Preview 6 currently available for download.
[Now you see it , now you don't...]
[...] [via MacRumors.com

Microsoft announced months ago that the artist formerly known as Vail -- now officially known as Windows Home Server 2011 -- was dropping Drive Extender functionality. 

Though we were given hope that the feature might be reinstated, the release candidate of WHS2011 went out to testers today... sans Drive Extender's 'drive pooling for dummies' capability. 
[...][via engadget]

We said it at the Show and we'll say it again, Sony Ericsson just doesn't know how to keep a secret. 

One of its phones set for launch at Mobile World Congress 2011 has just slipped the net (again) and this time we have its full product name to boot, the Xperia Neo. You'll be familiar with this Android 2.3 handset already from mobile-review's thorough preview a couple of weeks ago, though at the time it was known under its codename of MT15i. 

This latest hands-on look at the hardware is similarly positive about the Neo, describing it as a well constructed phone and praising Sony's Android modifications as restrained and actually useful. Talk about a 180-degree turn from the way things used to be. 
[...][via engadget]

A design that's impractical on land could be a workable, and cheaper, offshore.

Wind turbines attached to floating buoys can harness stronger, more sustained winds in the open ocean. But the floats now used for such deep-water installations may prove prohibitively expensive because the buoys needed to keep them above water are enormous. 

Now a project in France is turning the turbine design on its head for what developers hope will be a low-cost alternative. 
[...][via technology review]

The synthetic vessels can be stored for long periods and avoid the complications typical of vessel grafts.

Synthetic blood vessels that can be made in advance and stored until surgery could help patients undergoing heart surgery, hemodialysis—cleansing of the blood in cases of kidney failure—and other procedures. Laura Niklason, an anesthesiologist and biomedical engineer at Yale University, and her collaborators have grown blood vessels using human cells and tested them in baboons, showing that they provoke no immune rejection and avoid common complications of synthetic vessels, such as clotting, bursting, or contracting over time. 

Researchers hope these studies will show that the vessels are safe enough to win permission from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to begin clinical trials.
[...][via technology review]

The harm of climate change opens enormous opportunities in healthcare. 
For the U.S. healthcare community, which lives by the prime directive “first do no harm,” climate change presents a dilemma.

Healthcare accounts for eight percent of all U.S. greenhouse gas emissions (GhGs), which makes it a much bigger factor in the emissions reduction effort than the much-discussed air travel industry emissions, which account for three percent of U.S. GhGs.
[...][via greentechmedia]

A series of reports and rumors are suggesting that Apple is preparing to release iOS 4.3 and its personal hotspot functionality to the public, possibly by February 13th. At the same time, Apple may be taking the opportunity to also offer a preview of the second-generation iPad ahead of a potential early April release.

In his review of the Verizon iPhone, Daring Fireball's John Gruber lays out his argument that iOS 4.3 will appear within the next two weeks to provide support for in-app subscription payments for The Daily before the free two-week trial runs out.

The Daily requires a subscription - either $1 per week, or $40 per year. They're using a new in-app subscription payment system from Apple for this - but these in-app subscription APIs aren't in iOS 4.2. So The Daily launched today, free for a limited time. They announced at the event that this initial free two-week period was brought to us by: Verizon.
[...] [via MacRumors.com

Not the best news for Sony execs to be waking up to this morning, as the company's PSP has played a starring role in an unfortunate, though thankfully innocuous, incident. 

A 10-year old Milanese boy was recently so absorbed by his portable's make.believe world that he forgot the real one around him had boundaries with bright lines painted around them. 

A moment later the young gamer found himself next to the train tracks a few feet below the platform designed for human occupation, though he wasn't there long as an off-duty policeman by the name of Alessandro Micalizzi quickly leapt down and lifted him to safety. See it on video below and feel free to draw your own conclusions about your gaming habits. 

[May be the game should not 'play' when they detect that the user is walking... I don't know how, but if they can do something, people will like the game and a new safety rating should be set for games - 'Walk Safe'.]
[...][via engadget]

Chronic Dev Team has finally released greenpois0n to jailbreak iOS 4.2.1 for iPhone 4, iPhone 3GS, iPhone 3G, iPod Touch 4G, iPod Touch 3G and iPad.

The jailbreak is untethered and doesn’t need iOS 4.2 beta 3 SHSH blobs to be saved like iPhone Dev Team’s Redsn0w 0.9.7, which is currently available for beta testing.
[...][via iphonehacks]

Ad Age reports on the results of a recent survey commissioned by Apple and soup company Campbell's claiming that Apple's iAd mobile advertising program results in greater brand recognition among consumers at considerably less cost than traditional television advertising.

Those exposed to one of Campbell's iAds were more than twice as likely to recall it than those who had seen a TV ad. 

Indeed the five-week study, conducted by Nielsen, showed that consumers shown an iAd remembered the brand "Campbell's" five times more often than TV ad respondents and the ad messaging three times more often.
[...] [via MacRumors.com

The search engine wants to weed out sites that create low quality articles simply as a way of luring people to online ads.

Google is working on ways to rid its search results of "content farms"—sites that create many pages of very cheap content crafted to appear high up in Google's results. 

Speaking this week at Farsight 2011, a one-day event in San Francisco on the future of search, the firm's principal search engineer, Matt Cutts, said that Google is considering tweaks to the algorithms that guide its search results. It's also considering more radical tactics, such as letting users blacklist certain sites from the results they see.
[...][via technology review]

The Microsoft Kinect is the first consumer product that lets people control an interface using gesture and voice alone. 

An add-on for Microsoft's Xbox 360 video-game console, the sensor-packed device can determine your position and interpret vocal commands, all without requiring you to hold any special controllers or wear special clothing. 

At $150 retail, it is a relatively inexpensive way to try a next-generation interface.
[...][via technology review]

What we once knew as Symbian^3 was simplified into "just Symbian" a few months back, ostensibly to make updates faster and easier for Nokia to execute. Well, huzzah huzzah, here's your first update. 

Version 1.1 of the new Symbian enhances communications by allowing you to accept meeting requests straight from an email and also integrating maps so that you may view the location as well. 

Besides that, N8 users get killer new features in Quick Office 6.4 like zooming in and out of Word documents along with three "high quality" games preloaded on new devices (which were already freely available in the Ovi Store). 
[...][via engadget]

  Tech News on 03 Feb 2011

iPhone users have been able to keep watch on their Dropcam security cameras from the convenience of a dedicated app since the Dropcam Echo launched last summer, but Android users have unfortunately been left with no other option than to simply use the standard, less-than-mobile-friendly web interface. 

The company's now finally corrected that oversight, however, and released a full-fledged app for Android smartphones running Android 2.2 or higher. 
[...][via engadget]

Okay, we'll admit it. While mesmerized by the bling of Sony's purty silver satin PS3, the company's simultaneous announcement of its new BD Remote Control almost slipped past our gadget radar. 

Dubbed the CECH-ZRC1, thankfully in this new model Sony finally appears interested in settling the beef between the Bluetooth signal requirements of its gaming system and the IR needs of its other home theater products. 
[...][via engadget]

The Verizon iPhone 4 is an interesting product for Engadget to review. Firstly, it's not exactly a new device (not in any outwardly noticeable way). From design, down to its CPU, RAM, and even cost, this iPhone is the same as the AT&T model... save for that one small but really important thing: it's got a CDMA radio inside. 

The device is also somewhat tricky to review based on its software, since we've all been using (and even took a deep look at) iOS 4.2 for quite some time. 

So for us the task is to make clear the differences between these two devices and their networks. 
[...][via engadget]

We said it at the Show and we'll say it again, Sony Ericsson just can't keep a lid on (any) secret information. 

The Xperia Play, formerly and more poetically known as the PlayStation Phone, has been previewed, videoed, and loved (mostly by us), but today we can add even more to our foreknowledge about this still unannounced device in the form of its in-store booths. 
[...][via engadget]

You see what we're seeing in the browser history? Google Who. Google Who? What's that? It appears at the 32 minute mark from yesterday's Android event video. Perhaps it's just an internal directory lookup or maybe it's something more, a 20 percent project possibly. 
[...][via engadget]

Unless you've been away from the Internet over the last few days, you would've no doubt heard about Woz's special appearance at the Engadget Show on Sunday. 

Unsurprisingly, a few websites ran with some quotes that they pulled from our interview -- specifically, the highlight was Woz "confirming" that the white iPhone 4 was indeed delayed due to camera issues. 

Well, I don't think this is the case at all. In fact, I'm sure there are plenty of other good reasons for why Apple's been delaying the much anticipated flavor of its flagship smartphone, but the camera just isn't one of them. Head right past the break and all will be explained.
[...][via engadget]

  Tech News on 02 Feb 2011

Though it was technically announced back at CES, T-Mobile just barely talked about the LG G-Slate there, spending more time chatting up Dell's Streak 7 and letting Motorola's Xoom get virtually all of the Honeycomb attention. 

Well, that's changed today with a handful of official new details: turns out the G-Slate features a 1GHz dual-core Tegra 2 processor, 32GB of internal storage, both a gyroscope and accelerometer, and -- this is key -- stereoscopic rear-facing video cameras capable of 1080p 3D capture, one of which doubles as a 5 megapixel still camera with LED flash.
[...][via engadget]

Hot on the heels of ASUS' underwhelming Lamborghini VX6 netbook comes the equally over-hyped Lamborghini external HDD. 

Underneath that logo you've got either 500GB or 700GB of storage spinning at 5400RPM in the USB 2.0 model and 7200RPM in the USB 3.0 edition. 

The only sign of luxury in sight, however, is the price tag -- at $120 for the 500GB and $140 for the 700GB, the USB 2.0 versions are nearly twice as pricey as the non-Lambo competition. 
[...][via engadget]

You could say Bing is taking a cue from its competition, but it seems to be more literally taking search results as well. Google Fellow Amit Singhal is claiming so much and has provided some amusing (if not totally clever) results from its "Bing Sting." 

Here's how it works: find a search term that returns no matches for either site, make a "honeypot" page manually appear for the term, then have about 20 Google employees make the search (and click the top link) using Internet Explorer with both Suggested Sites and the Bing Toolbar on. 

Within two weeks, Singhal claims, a handful (about 7 to 9) of the 100 or so "honeypot" results were popping up in Bing. Bizarre choices, too, like mbrzxpgjys, hiybbprqag, and indoswiftjobinproduction. 
[If you cannot beat them, copy them...]
[...][via engadget]

The third beta in just under four weeks, this latest iOS 4.3 release sports the same key features introduced in the first beta: AirPlay support for third-party apps, a new much-requested preference to toggle the behavior of the iPad’s hardware switch, and full-screen iAd banners on the iPad.
[...][via Macworld]

As previously rumored, Apple today issued a third beta version of iOS 4.3 to developers. The release comes nearly two weeks after the previous seed.

Today's seed carries the rumored build number of 8F5166b, compared to the previous 8F5153d build. As with the previous builds, versions are available for the iPad, iPhone 4 and 3GS, and third- and fourth-generation iPod touch, with a separate version for the second-generation Apple TV also available.

While we've yet to hear details on changes from the previous build, earlier builds have included such new features as personal Wi-Fi hotspot functionality, enhanced support for AirPlay video streaming, and a software toggle to set the functionality of the iPad's side switch.
[...] [via MacRumors.com

Apple has just released the third beta version of iOS 4.3 (build 8F5166b) to developers of iOS Developer program.

iOS 4.3 beta 3 is available for iPhone 4, iPhone 3GS, iPod Touch 4th generation, iPod Touch 3rd generation and iPad.
[...][via iphonehacks]

Intel's chipset troubles for its new Sandy Bridge processors affect both desktop and mobile machines, AppleInsider has learned, placing into question the timing of updates to both Apple's MacBook Pro line of notebooks and iMac desktops.

An Intel spokesman confirmed to AppleInsider on Tuesday that a design error with its Intel 6 Series chipsets, code-named Cougar Point, could affect both mobile and desktop Sandy Bridge systems. 

All Cougar Point chipsets are said to contain the error, including those that will be required in notebook systems. 
[Will Apple sue INTEL or will Apple look for a backup chip maker for their processors?]
[...][via AppleInsider]

Following up on last night's story revealing that Apple had rejected a Sony Reader iOS application for eBooks, All Things Digital has received an official statement from Apple clarifying the company's position. 

According to the company, Apple has not changed its terms, but is simply enforcing existing ones that require applications offering content for purchase outside of the application to also offer the content via Apple's in-app purchasing mechanisms.

Apple's made no change to its App Store Guidlines, it's simply enforcing a rule that's been in them all along: apps that offer purchases elsewhere must support in-app purchases as well. “We have not changed our developer terms or guidelines," company spokesperson Trudy Miller told me. "We are now requiring that if an app offers customers the ability to purchase books outside of the app, that the same option is also available to customers from within the app with in-app purchase."
[...] [via MacRumors.com

When we published a post about a jailbreak tweak called DeepEnd, which gives the iPhone homescreen a cool 3D-like effect by moving the iPhone’s wallpaper based on its orientation, tonywongfish, one of our readers commented that the tweak would have more impressive if the wallpaper could be a live feed from iPhone’s camera rather than a static wallpaper.
[...][via iphonehacks]

SAN FRANCISCO — Apple is further tightening its control of the App Store. 

Some application developers, including Sony, say Apple has told them they can no longer sell e-books within their apps unless the transactions go through Apple’s system. Apple rejected Sony’s iPhone application, which would have let people buy and read e-books from the Sony Reader Store. 

Apple clarified on Tuesday that it was still allowing customers to read e-books they bought elsewhere within apps. (The New York Times reported earlier that Apple had told developers that content purchased outside of the App Store would no longer be viewable in apps.) For example, a Sony app could still access books the customer bought earlier from Sony’s store. 
[...][via The New York Times]

Apple's iOS, which powers the iPhone, iPad and iPod touch, cracked 2 percent of all Web browsing in January, with a share north of 5 percent in both the U.K. and Australia to start 2011.

Net Applications on Tuesday published the results of its latest worldwide browser market share findings. 

The numbers show that in the month of January, Apple's iOS mobile operating system and the Mobile Safari browser cracked the 2 percent barrier for the first time.
[...][via AppleInsider]

We’re hearing rumors that Apple may launch the white iPhone 4 very soon, which it had delayed until Spring 2011.

We had recently reported that an unknown Japanese company has developed a new paint material that will allow Apple to finally release the long-awaited white iPhone 4.
[...][via iphonehacks]

OnLive, meet subscription services. It's not the January 15th date we had initially marked, but that's no matter now, the time has come. The company has introduced PlayPack, which for $9.99 each month gets you unlimited access to a selection of titles. 

There's no long-term commitment required and your saved games will stay on servers for at least a year after cancellation, should you change your mind and decide to come back. 

There's 38 games to choose from at first, including BioShock, Prince of Persia, and Alien Shooter, with more titles promised "on a regular basis." 
•Alien Shooter
•Alien vs Predator Classic 2000
•Brain Challenge
•Tom Clancy's H.A.W.X.
•Tomb Raider: Underworld
•Tropico 3
•Unreal Tournament III: Titan Pack
•World of Goo
•Zombie Shooter 2
[...][via engadget]

Courthouse News Service reports that AT&T has been hit with a new class action lawsuit alleging that the carrier is overbilling its customers for data transferred through its networks to iOS devices such as the iPhone and iPad. According to the suit, AT&T is overstating the amount of data used for each transaction, leading some users to exceed their data plan limits and incur extra charges.

This one claims that "AT&T's bills systematically overstate the amount of data used on each data transaction involving an iPhone or iPad account," and bills customers for data transactions even if they disable their phones and leave them untouched - as the plaintiff's experts did.

The class says AT&T's billing system "is like a rigged gas tank that charges pump that charges for a full gallon when it pumps only nine-tenths of a gallon into your car's tank."
[Somebody should check our telcos..]
[...] [via MacRumors.com

Look, let us just sum up the Galaxy S 4G for you: it's a Vibrant with Froyo, a front-facing camera, and Inception. After reading through the new details T-Mobile's outed on its latest HSPA+-equipped Android smartphone today, that's really the best way to describe it... and let's face it, Avatar (which, you might recall, came bundled with the Vibrant) was getting kind of old and played out anyway. 
[...][via engadget]

An in-car interface helps drivers keep their hands on the wheel.

An experimental gestural interface for cars lets drivers control any part of their dashboard without taking their hands off the wheel.

Christian Müller, a researcher at the German Research Center for Artificial Intelligence (DFKI) in Saarbrücken, who co-developed the new system, says the idea is to enable drivers to adjust everything from the volume of the car stereo to the climate-control settings while keeping their hands on the wheel and eyes on the road. 
[...][via technology review]

Last night, New York Times had reported that Apple had started rejecting applications including Sony’s Reader app since it allowed users to access content that is purchased outside the App Store.

This raised doubts on the fate of popular apps like Kindle and Barnes & Nobles NOOK for iOS devices as users have to purchase content from their respective websites to view content using the apps.
[...][via iphonehacks]

The Readability app strips articles to the minimum of text and photographs with a single click, right. On Tuesday, the developers will unveil a service that costs at least $5 a month, 70 percent of which will be sent to the sites each subscriber is reading. 

The DVR rocked the world of television by letting viewers skip commercials and build their own home viewing schedules. Now a handful of Web services and applications are starting to do much the same thing to online publishers. 

These tools make it easier for people to read Web articles how, when and where they want, often dispensing with publishers’ carefully arranged layouts and advertisements. 
[...][via The New York Times]

Hot on the heels of Samsung admitting that it had exaggerated sales of its Android tablet to consumers, it is becoming clear that Google's Android platform definition is being stretched to include Chinese rivals, including China Mobile's Ophone and Tapas OS, a project run by the former president of Google China. 

A report by Canalys yesterday claimed that Google Android platform had taken the top spot in global smartphone platforms worldwide, edging in front of Nokia and making up about a third of all smartphones globally.
[...][via AppleInsider]

As a certain company knows quite well, finding the right place to put an antenna can be harder than it looks. Rather than just slap one on the roof and call it a day, General Motors has created the SATIMO ATS, a near-field antenna testing system of the sort we're used to spying in all those FCC photos. This one, however, is SUV-sized, as you can see in the video below.
[Think Apple can rent it when it's not in use?]
[...][via engadget]

Google's last Android-centric event, Google I/O in the middle of last year, treated us to a pair of delectable demos that may now finally be turning into mobile realities. 

One was a web client for the Android Market with OTA installations -- you just browse to an app you want to install while on your desktop and choose to push it to your Android device -- and the other was a cloud-based music backup and streaming service. 
[...][via engadget]

Intel today announced that it has discovered a "design error" in its "Cougar Point" support chip that is part of its implementation of the Sandy Bridge architecture for desktop machines, chipsets that are expected to make their way into the next-generation iMac.

As part of ongoing quality assurance, Intel Corporation has discovered a design issue in a recently released support chip, the Intel 6 Series, code-named Cougar Point, and has implemented a silicon fix. 

In some cases, the Serial-ATA (SATA) ports within the chipsets may degrade over time, potentially impacting the performance or functionality of SATA-linked devices such as hard disk drives and DVD-drives. 

The chipset is utilized in PCs with Intel's latest Second Generation Intel Core processors, code-named Sandy Bridge. Intel has stopped shipment of the affected support chip from its factories. Intel has corrected the design issue, and has begun manufacturing a new version of the support chip which will resolve the issue. 

The Sandy Bridge microprocessor is unaffected and no other products are affected by this issue.
[...] [via MacRumors.com

  Tech News on 01 Feb 2011

As noted by VentureBeat, Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak reported last night during an appearance on The Engadget Show that delays for the white iPhone 4 are in fact due to issues with the paint allowing light to leak in and affect camera performance as had been previously rumored. 

Wozniak also reported that the issues have been solved and that a release for the device should be expected in the near future.
[Yes! This is what i have been waiting for..]
[...] [via MacRumors.com

Let's be honest, the original Dell Streak had a bit of an identity crisis. The 5-inch device wasn't sure if it belonged in the tablet or smartphone world, and ultimately it was targeted at a pretty niche user. 

But its larger brother, the Streak 7, is more self-aware. It's a honest-to-goodness tablet meant for doing all those tablet-y things -- surfing the web, reading e-books, watching video and more. 

Sure, the Streak 7 may just look like an enlarged version of the 5-inch version, but they differ in more than just screen size: the 7 packs a powerful 1GHz dual-core Tegra T20 processor, 1.3 megapixel front facing camera, 5 megapixel lens on the rear, T-Mobile "4G" HSPA+ connectivity, and 16GB of internal memory. 
[...][via engadget]

It's no secret that RIM's PlayBook is going to need a connection to a nearby BlackBerry phone to do much of its corporate heavy lifting, and a new video posted by the company today shows a little more detail on exactly how that'll look. 

The one-minute, 54-second spot spends much of its time in the tablet's email app, demonstrating how the Playbook and the Torch beside it are perfectly in sync -- read an email on one, it immediately shows read on the other, and so on.
[...][via engadget]

Angry Birds, the cellphone game that has turned into a cultural phenomenon with 75 million downloads and counting, is lending its wings to a 20th Century Fox movie.

On The Times’s Media Decoder blog, Brooks Barnes reports on a new version of the game that will be used to promote an animated film featuring voice performances by Jamie Foxx and George Lopez. 
[...][via The New York Times]

As reported by igeneration.fr, Apple has amended its stance on water damage to iPods.   As you can see below, Apple will allow some leeway in water damage, even if the red indicator has been triggered, so long as no corrosion is present.  One reader working in an Apple Authorized Service Provider(AASP) sent this capture explaining the change:
[...][via 9TO5Mac]

An interesting series of charts from Asymco reveals that, despite a worldwide mobile phone unit market share of only 4%, Apple accounted for approximately half of the industry's profits for the fourth quarter of 2010.

With only a small unit market share, Apple has managed to achieve its remarkable profits by focusing on the high-priced and rapidly-growing smartphone market while doing so at significant profit margins. That 4% unit share consequently translates to over 20% of industry revenue and just over 50% of industry profits.
[...] [via MacRumors.com

Solar power is the most egalitarian of all energy sources, yet residents in many parts of the world still lack access to electricity. 

Three University of Michigan engineering students have created an affordable solution to this problem -- to the delight of camping geeks everywhere -- with the Emerald, a portable solar panel that does double duty as both a cellphone charger and personal light source. 
[I hope they see it as a green source of energy and not just for countries with lack of access to electricity]
[...][via engadget]

BERLIN — Google’s operating system for cellphones has overtaken Nokia’s Symbian system as the market leader, ending the Finnish company’s long reign, a British research firm said Monday. 

In the three months through December, manufacturers shipped 33.3 million cellphones running Android, Google’s free, open-source cellphone operating system, up from just 4.7 million a year earlier, according to Canalys, a research firm in Reading, England.
[...][via The New York Times]

After boasting last fall that sales of its Galaxy Tab were "faster than expected" and had reached 2 million, Samsung has now admitted to analysts that its figures were only "sell-in" inventory shipped to retailers, and that actual units bought by consumers were "quite small." 

Sales of Samsung's Galaxy Tab were closely watched last fall because the device represented the first generation of Android tablets to take on Apple's iPad, as it was the only Android tablet device that was actually reported to be selling in any real quantity.

A month after announcing plans to launch its new 7 inch tablet on all four US carriers at an event in September, Samsung claimed it had sold 600,000 units, and by the end of the quarter it had reported sales of 2 million.
[...][via AppleInsider]

Apple appears to be relaxing its repair policy on iPods whose internal sensors indicate possible water damage by authorizing its service providers to make repairs to the device under warranty in some cases.

All of the Cupertino-based company's mobile products -- including iPhones, iPads, iPods, and MacBooks -- contain one or more LSIs (Liquid Submersion Indicators) or LCIs (Liquid Contact Indicator) that turn from white (or silver) to a pinkish red when they come in contact with a liquid. 
[...][via AppleInsider]

Late last week, we noted that Active Storage appeared set to introduce a replacement for Apple's Xserve, which is being discontinued as of today. The company followed through today with its introduction of ActiveSAN, a new metadata controller appliance to fill the void left by Xserve's departure.

"On the day that Apple has formally stopped selling Xserve, we have exciting news. Until now, Apple's Xserve was the Metadata Controller of choice for most Xsan installations, providing enterprise form factor and capabilities," said Alex Grossman, CEO of Active Storage, Inc.

"Xsan users in high-pressure industries require datacenter-level quality products to manage their Metadata, but also demand the ease of use and setup of Xsan," continued Grossman. "Previously, that meant one thing: Xsan on an Xserve. But all that changes today - with ActiveSAN."
[...] [via MacRumors.com

The Intel Corporation cut its first-quarter revenue forecast by $300 million Monday because of costs associated with correcting a design flaw that it discovered in a chip. 

Intel said it had stopped shipments of the chip, which is used in PCs with the company’s latest generation Sandy Bridge processors, and had done a fix. It estimated the total cost to repair and replace the chip at about $700 million. 

Shares of Intel, the world’s largest chip maker, were down 1.4 percent after the announcement, but it said it did not expect the problem to have a material effect on full-year revenue. It will begin delivering an updated version of the chip to customers in late February.
[...][via The New York Times]

Intel today announced that it has discovered a "design error" in its "Cougar Point" support chip that is part of its implementation of the Sandy Bridge architecture for desktop machines, chipsets that are expected to make their way into the next-generation iMac.

As part of ongoing quality assurance, Intel Corporation has discovered a design issue in a recently released support chip, the Intel 6 Series, code-named Cougar Point, and has implemented a silicon fix. In some cases, the Serial-ATA (SATA) ports within the chipsets may degrade over time, potentially impacting the performance or functionality of SATA-linked devices such as hard disk drives and DVD-drives. 

The chipset is utilized in PCs with Intel's latest Second Generation Intel Core processors, code-named Sandy Bridge. Intel has stopped shipment of the affected support chip from its factories. Intel has corrected the design issue, and has begun manufacturing a new version of the support chip which will resolve the issue. 

The Sandy Bridge microprocessor is unaffected and no other products are affected by this issue.
[...] [via MacRumors.com

A problem requiring a "silicon fix" is bad news in the chipset business, and sadly that's what Intel is announcing. Its new Intel 6 Series chipset, Cougar Point, has been found to have a flaw, something to do with the SATA controller. 

Intel is indicating that the ports can "degrade over time," leading to poor i/o performance down the road. All shipments have been stopped and a fix has been implemented for new deliveries, but it sounds like recalls will be starting soon for those with this ticking time bomb silicon within. 

It isn't a critical problem right now, though, so if you own a Sandy Bridge Core i5 or Core i7 system keep computing with confidence while looking for a recall notice, but it is bad news for Intel's bottom line: the company is advising a $300 million hit to revenue.
[...][via engadget]

We’re sure you might have come across Google’s “Instant Previews” feature on the desktop version of the search engine. This feature basically offers users a preview of the website listed in the search results without them having to actually click and open it. 

Quite helpful when you are in a hurry and do not wish to open multiple pages. The feature was available only on full-fledged browsers and not on mobile browsers.
[...][via iphonehacks]

There was no lack of consumer backlash in 2010 as utilities were taken to task over smart meter deployments and what advantages the process offers for customers. 

By the time the year came to a close, customer engagement was the battle cry for any utility looking to move forward with smart meter projects.
[...][via greentechgrid]

  Tech News on 31 Jan 2011

An analyst from Concord Securities is claiming to have knowledge of some of the upcoming iPad 2 components in their latest research note. According to Ming-Chi Kuo as reported by AppleInsider, the iPad 2 display will not get a higher resolution display as some have hoped. 

Instead, the iPad 2's screen improvements will focus on thickness and anti-reflection. The screen is said to be 30-35% thinner and also offer a better sunlight reading experience due to the anti-reflective properties. 
[...] [via MacRumors.com

SAN FRANCISCO — Speculation in technology circles that Yahoo might close or sell Flickr, its photo-sharing service, prompted an emphatic denial this month. 

“Is Yahoo committed to Flickr?” Blake Irving, Yahoo’s product chief, wrote in a message on Twitter. “Hell yes we are!” 

The confusion over Flickr’s future was perhaps understandable. Yahoo had just recently disclosed plans to shut down or otherwise dispose of several other Web products, including the bookmarking service Delicious, and some users feared Flickr would be next. 
[...][via The New York Times]

It's taken a long time since that 2005 patent was filed for, but Raymond Li is now finally ready to bring his water-propelled jetpack to the money-spending world. Nailing down a 

March 2011 launch date and a price of $99,500 hasn't been easy for the inventor, who says his efforts to procure capital and prototyping quotations were mostly met with incredulity -- "almost everyone thought I was crazy." 
[...][via engadget]

You might think of a laser as light forced into a single, directed beam, but scientists have recently discovered that if you fire a laser in one direction, the air itself can fire another right back. 

Using a 226nm UV pump laser, researchers at Princeton University managed to excite oxygen atoms to the point that they emit infrared light along the same channel as the original beam, except this time pointed back where it came from. Since the return beam's chemistry depends on the particles in the air to generate the return beam, the "backward laser" could potentially carry the signature of those particles back to the source and help identify them there.
[...][via engadget]

Verizon has sent out emails to existing customers and updated its iPhone information page to confirm that current Verizon customers will be able to order the iPhone 4 beginning at 3:00 AM Eastern time on February 3rd.
Existing Verizon Wireless customers will have an exclusive online purchase opportunity before iPhone 4 is available to everyone else. Order iPhone 4 from our reserved quantity on a first-come, first-served basis beginning at 3 AM Eastern.
[...] [via MacRumors.com

With Apple set to discontinue the Xserve in just a few days, a number of observers noted earlier this week that Apple's shipping estimates for last-gasp orders are listed as "April". 

While the reason for the over two-month delay in shipping is unknown, Apple representatives have simply reported that the company is winding down manufacturing and that the "April" estimate is a worst-case scenario.

According to 9 to 5 Mac, Apple is planning to redirect customers interested in Xserve/Xsan solutions to Active Storage, a company founded by former Apple employees who left the company after it discontinued its Xserve RAID offerings in early 2008.
[...] [via MacRumors.com

Apple's iPad 2 will feature a better quality display, faster chips, separate CDMA and GSM versions, iPod touch-like dual cameras, and vendors will produce 4.5 to 5 million units in the first quarter, according to a new report from Taiwan. 

No Retina Display 

Analyst Ming-Chi Kuo of Concord Securities has prepared a report indicating that iPad 2 won't get higher resolution screen this year, using the same 1024x768 of the original iPad.

"The improvement of iPad 2 display," the report notes, "focuses on thickness and anti-reflection, not resolution. iPad 2 display module is 30~35% thinner than iPad 1 and it’s helpful for better form factor. 

"Thanks to anti-reflection, iPad 2 could have better sunlight readable experience and it's helpful for Apple to compete with Amazon's fast growing Kindle business.

"The most important reason why iPad 2 won’t have retinal display is yield rate of panel making. At this point, making high resolution and bright IPS/FFS panel is not easy and the production volume and cost couldn’t meet Apple’s requirements."
[...][via AppleInsider]

A semiconductor material could make solar cells three times as efficient.

The most efficient solar cells typically have several layers of semiconductor materials, each tuned to convert different colors of light into electricity. Researchers at Lawrence Berkeley National Lab have now made a single semiconductor that performs almost the same job. More importantly, they made the material using a common manufacturing technique, suggesting it could be made relatively inexpensively.
[...][via technology review]

The McTivia won one of our Best of Show awards this week at Macworld 2011. What’s all the fuss about? See for yourself in this quick video from the Expo showfloor.

... The McTiVia can wirelessly send audio and video from your Mac to an HDTV. We’ve got more information about the product in our round-up of Best of Show winners from Macworld 2011.
[...][via Macworld]

Do you know someone who is having problems seeing the letters, numbers, and other characters on their keyboard? If so, help is at hand.

Logickeyboard demoed its XLPrint Apple Advanced Black on White Keyboard on the show floor. The product gives nearsighted or vision impaired users an easier way to type that both minimizes errors and reduces eye strain. This keyboard, with its large letters, numbers, and punctuation, makes it easier to accomplish tasks regardless of the application you’re using, such as word processing, spreadsheets, or any other program.
[...][via Macworld]

The same Singapore event that brought us our first look at AMD's humongous Radeon HD 6990 has also served as the stage for the company's first showing of a new, even lower-powered Fusion APU. 

The regular dual-core Ontario (C-50) variant requires a 9W power budget to operate, but AMD's managed to shrink that down to 5W in a chip designed specifically to be used in tablets. Clock speed remains at 1GHz and the core count hasn't bee touched, but the memory controller has been dumbed down and peripheral ports have been reduced to one of each type. 
[...][via engadget]

One enterprising user has taken off the front and back glass panels of his iPhone 4 and converted them into clear panels by removing the paint using a paint thinner.

As you will see from the images after the break, the results are quite amazing as you can see the insides of the iPhone 4, which surprisingly look quite good.
[I like...Maybe this is what Apple should do for a new model of iPhone if they cannot get the white color out. This will also save some $ in the process.]
[...][via iphonehacks]

JUST before Google first sold its shares to the public in 2004, Larry Page, one of its founders, excited the nonprofit world with a bold commitment to philanthropy. 

He vowed to dedicate about 1 percent of Google’s profits, 1 percent of its equity and a significant amount of its employees’ time to the effort, which became known as Google.org, or simply DotOrg. 

“We hope someday this institution may eclipse Google itself in terms of overall world impact by ambitiously applying innovation and significant resources to the largest of the world’s problems,” 

Mr. Page wrote in a letter to potential investors. 
[...][via The New York Times]

Google and the geeks from Silicon Valley aim to revolutionize the 70-year-old TV industry. Conquering the Internet was easy in comparison.

Nearly every week from last February until mid-May, Google trotted wide-eyed visitors into a small room at its colorful headquarters in Mountain View, California. 

Inside were a comfy couch and easy chairs, a tall fabric houseplant in a corner, and a large high-definition television set atop a credenza. Under the watchful eyes of engineers and product managers on the other side of a mirrored window, the visitors would settle in with a wireless keyboard. 

They would search for and tune in to All My Children on ABC, catch a Glee episode on the Web, watch a recording of The Daily Show from a digital video recorder, or surf over to those witty Old Spice ads on YouTube—all on that nice big TV screen. 
[...][via technology review]

The cameras in most mobile phones are an afterthought. This has left an opening for programmers to step in and develop software to make the images produced by smart phones much better. 

One roadblock to this effort has been the cameras themselves—their very design imposes limits on what a photographer can reasonably capture. Now Stanford professor Marc Levoy has created an app that changes what the iPhone's camera is capable of. 

Called SynthCam, Levoy's software lets the iPhone 4 take pictures that look like they were taken with a larger, more expensive camera.
[...][via technology review]

One day somebody will write a book called "The rise and rise of Android" and this moment will be highlighted in bold. Canalys' latest smartphone sales figures show that Android phone makers managed to shift a cool 33.3 million handsets in the last quarter -- more than any other smartphone platform out there, including the previous leader, Symbian, which sold 31 million units. 

Google's Android becomes the world's leading smart phone platform
- Canalys reveals smart phone market exceeded 100 million units in Q4 2010

Palo Alto, Singapore and Reading (UK) – Monday, 31 January 2011
For immediate release
[...][via engadget]

Ryan Petrich, developer of popular jailbreak apps such as ProSwitcher, Rotation Inhibitor, Clippy etc has recently released another tweak called DeepEnd.

The jailbreak app gives the iPhone homescreen a cool 3D-like effect by moving the iPhone’s wallpaper based on its orientation.

... You can download and install the jailbreak tweak for free from the Cydia App Store using these instructions:

•  Launch Cydia on your jailbroken iOS device:
•  Tap on the Manage Tab and then tap on Sources.
•  Tap on the Edit button and then tap add to add the following repo URL to add sources: http://rpetri.ch/repo/
•  After it is successfully installed, tap on the Search tab and search for DeepEnd.
•  Tap on DeenEnd to install it on your iPhone.
That’s it, you should see the effect on the homescreen.
[...][via iphonehacks]

Despite posting impressive sales of the iPad last quarter, Apple saw its tablet market share drop from 95 percent to 77 percent as shipments of Google Android-based tablets chipped away at the company's tablet dominance, a new report says.

Sales of the first competitors to Apple's iPad have begun to take off, resulting in the market share for tablets running the Google Android mobile OS increasing nearly tenfold in the December quarter, said research firm Strategy Analytics on Sunday.
[...][via AppleInsider]

Tags: iphone 4, ipad, apple iphone, iOS 4, iphone hack, iphone 4 news, green enviroment, LED, computers, facebook, Consolidated Tech News for the week, Consolidated Tech, RIM, cloud printing, SONY, Apple changes its stance on water damage to iOS devices,