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Mobile Technology News, June 30, 2012

As developers for tablets and smartphones we like to keep abreast of the latest mobile technology developments . This is a daily digest of mobile development and related technology news gathered from the BBC, the New York Times, New Scientist and the Globe and Mail to name a few. We scour the web for articles concerning, iPhone, iPad and android development, iOS and android operating systems as well as general articles on advances in mobile technology. We hope you find this useful and that it helps to keep you up to date with the latest technology developments.

Mobile Technology News, June 29, 2012

As developers for tablets and smartphones we like to keep abreast of the latest mobile technology developments . This is a daily digest of mobile development and related technology news gathered from the BBC, the New York Times, New Scientist and the Globe and Mail to name a few. We scour the web for articles concerning, iPhone, iPad and android development, iOS and android operating systems as well as general articles on advances in mobile technology. We hope you find this useful and that it helps to keep you up to date with the latest technology developments.

  • VIDEO: How tiny drones offer a unique view
    Commercial companies and civil government bodies are taking an increasing interest in the smaller versions, known as ‘nano-UAVs’.
  • TED: Share your way to the future
    Users offering each other services over the net disrupt traditional business models
  • Departures Magazine: PHOTOS: Travel Gadgets For Summer 2012
    Years ago summer was lo-fi — a season more about escape than entertainment. No longer.
  • Foxconn, Sharp eying Apple big-screen TV, says parts maker
    Need more reassurance that an Apple big-screen TV is on the way? A screen component manufacturer in Asia muses on the potential of the Foxconn-Sharp alliance.
  • BlackBerry Maker RIM Posts $518 Million Loss
    Research in Motion, the company behind BlackBerry phones, also reported a $518 million loss for the first quarter.

  • Google Chrome Causing Freezing and Crashing on New Mac Notebooks
    Over the past several days, Gizmodo has been highlighting freezing and crashing issues on several of its staff’s new MacBook Air models, linking the problems to Google Chrome. Switching to Apple’s Safari browser eliminated all of the issues, and thus the site recommended that owners of the new machines avoid Chrome for the time being.



    Google has now issued a statement to Gizmodo acknowledging that Chrome is the culprit and discussing the steps it is taking to address the issue. While Google has disabled some of Chrome’s GPU acceleration on an emergency basis as it seeks to deploy a permanent solution, the company has also filed a bug report with Apple as such issues should not be able to cause an entire system to freeze or crash.

    “We have identified a leak of graphics resources in the Chrome browser related to the drawing of plugins on Mac OS X. Work is proceeding to find and fix the root cause of the leak.

    The resource leak is causing a kernel panic on Mac hardware containing the Intel HD 4000 graphics chip (e.g. the new Macbook Airs). Radar bug number 11762608 has been filed with Apple regarding the kernel panics, since it should not be possible for an application to trigger such behavior.

    While the root cause of the leak is being fixed, we are temporarily disabling some of Chrome’s GPU acceleration features on the affected hardware via an auto-updated release that went out this afternoon (Thursday June 28). We anticipate further fixes in the coming days which will re-enable many or all of these features on this hardware.”

    With the issue affecting all systems using Intel HD 4000 graphics, all of Apple’s notebook models released earlier this month are susceptible and owners of the new MacBook Pro models are indeed also reporting the issue.

    First launched in September 2008, Chrome has steadily gained in overall popularity among desktop Internet browsers and is currently running neck-and-neck with Firefox for the second position behind Microsoft’s Internet Explorer.


  • Microsoft reveals list of countries getting Windows Phone 8
    The list is a dramatic increase over the 38 markets from which developers had access in the marketplace’s previous version.
  • Maggie Jackson: Hold the Family Talk: I’ll Have Another… Screen
    At a time when we are saturating ourselves with media, the notion of inserting yet another screen into yet another moment of life is disturbing on many levels.
  • Retail sales of pricey ultrabooks up, vie with MacBook
    High-end ultrabooks sales are up, seemingly defying conventional wisdom that the skinny laptops need to be cheap to catch on.
  • Chrome goes mobile at I/O 2012
    Google made a big push for Chrome on mobile platforms at this year’s developer’s conference, and we’ve reviewed Chrome for Android and Chrome for iOS.
  • Bits: Will Google’s Personal Assistant Be Creepy or Cool?
    Google Now raises questions about the line between when tech is helpful and when it makes users uneasy. The service will do things like remind an Android owner that they have a lunch date — but also who it is with, how to get there and when they should leave, based on traffic.

  • Apple Announces Retirement of Bob Mansfield, Senior VP of Hardware Engineering
    NewImageApple Senior Vice President of Hardware Engineering Bob Mansfield is retiring, according to an Apple press release. He joined Apple in 1999. He has led Mac hardware engineering since 2005, along with iPhone, iPod, and iPad engineering since 2010.

    Apple® today announced that Bob Mansfield, Apple’s senior vice president of Hardware Engineering, will retire and the role will be transitioned to Dan Riccio, Apple’s vice president of iPad Hardware Engineering, over several months. The entire hardware engineering team will continue to report to Mansfield until his departure.

    “Bob has been an instrumental part of our executive team, leading the hardware engineering organization and overseeing the team that has delivered dozens of breakthrough products over the years,” said Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO. “We are very sad to have him leave and hope he enjoys every day of his retirement.”

    Mansfield has been instrumental in Apple’s success in recent years, overseeing the development of the very successful MacBook Air notebooks, as well as recent iPhone and iPad designs. With rumors of an iPhone redesign coming this fall, it’s possible that Mansfield wanted to stay with Apple through the introduction of that product.

    He has sold off more than $70 million in Apple stock and options in the past few years.

    Dan Riccio, the executive taking over Mansfield’s responsibilities, has been with Apple since 1998. He was vice president of product design for 12 years before taking over the iPad division in 2010. Apple’s press release says Riccio “has been a key contributor to most of Apple’s hardware over his career.”

    In a separate announcement made today in a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, Apple reported that Corporate Controller and Principal Accounting Office Betsy Rafael will also be retiring, effective October 19.


  • RIM delays Blackberry 10 launch
    Blackberry maker Research in Motion says it will delay the launch of its new phone operating system Blackberry 10 and says it is to cut 5,000 jobs.
  • On YouTube, Amateur Is the New Pro
    Exploring the art and commerce of homemade videos.

  • Larry Magid: Hands-On With Google’s New Nexus 7 Tablet
    Like Amazon and Apple, Google is selling more than hardware — it’s selling content that people buy in its Google Play store including books, music and video.
  • Aperture Receives Minor Bug Fix Update [Mac Blog]
    ApertureApple has issued a minor update to Aperture, its prosumer photo editing and management application. The 3.3.1 update fixes a minor issue that caused a crash in certain situations:

    What’s new

    • Fixes an issue that in rare cases could cause Aperture to hang or quit unexpectedly when upgrading libraries

    The prior update to Aperture enabled users to swap libraries between Aperture and iPhoto with no importing or exporting.

    Aperture is available for $79.99 on the Mac App Store. [Direct Link]


  • Turns out Kinect is for fashionistas and surgeons, too
    Eleven startups with financial and technical backing from Microsoft are pitching investors today to raise funds and fuel nongaming uses for the the motion-sensing controller.
  • This Device Could Help The Paralyzed Comunicate
    By Ferris Jabr (Click here for the original article) One weekend about 10 years ago, when she was a nurse at a hospital in Cologne,…
  • BlackBerry Maker Posts Massive Loss, Crippling Delays, Layoffs
    BlackBerry maker Research In Motion posted a huge loss for its Q1 2013 fiscal quarter. During the three months that ended on June 2, 2012,…

Mobile Technology News, June 28, 2012

As developers for tablets and smartphones we like to keep abreast of the latest mobile technology developments . This is a daily digest of mobile development and related technology news gathered from the BBC, the New York Times, New Scientist and the Globe and Mail to name a few. We scour the web for articles concerning, iPhone, iPad and android development, iOS and android operating systems as well as general articles on advances in mobile technology. We hope you find this useful and that it helps to keep you up to date with the latest technology developments.

  • Google Tries Something Retro: Made in the U.S.A.
    With its wireless Nexus Q home media player, Google is resisting the accepted wisdom that consumer electronics products can no longer be built in the United States.

  • Silicon sirens: The naughty bots out to seduce you
    Chatbots have turned to crime, using ever-slicker methods to steal cash or identities – and these cheating algorithms are passing the Turing test every day

  • BlueStacks Allows You to Run Android Apps on a Mac
    BlueStacks announced a public alpha version of their Android App Player for the Mac today at Google I/O.

    The company had originally released a beta version of their App Player for Windows back in March. The software allows users to run Android apps directly on their Windows PCs, and the newest version begins to extend that functionality to the Mac.



    While the Windows version allows you to run any Android app without modification, the early Mac version seems to be limited to 15 initial apps that comes bundled with the download. The bundled apps include Air Control Lite, Alchemy, Basketball Shot, Drag Racing, Elastic World, Facebook, Glow Hockey, Guns’n'Glory, Paper Toss, Pulse, Robo Defense, Seesmic, Twitter, Whatsapp, and Zebra Paint.

    Their support page claims that “in the very near future”, they plan on opening the Mac version up to over 400,000 Android apps:

    The BlueStacks App Player for Mac OSX (alpha) supports both Lion and Snow Leopard. You can test drive a fixed set of curated apps for the first release (alpha-1). In the very near future, BlueStacks will let you select from over 400,000 Android apps to play on your Mac.

    The alpha version is available as a free download from the BlueStacks website.


  • In European Court, a Small Victory for Microsoft
    A European Union court on Wednesday upheld a 2008 decision to impose a penalty on Microsoft for violating antitrust laws but said it had been calculated improperly.

  • Google Shifts Efforts to Hardware with Tablet and Eyeglasses
    The focus on hardware is a strategic shift for the company as it aims to create additional revenue from Google-branded devices, while protecting its core search business as competitors hover.

  • VIDEO: Minitel: The rise and fall of the France-wide web
    France is switching off its groundbreaking Minitel service which brought online banking, travel reservations, and porn to millions of users in the 1980s.
  • Microsoft to feel Surface heat from PC makers
    If one of the Microsoft’s goals was to light a fire under the PC industry, mission accomplished, said one source.
  • Noticed: Viral Videos Become The New Cousin Brucie
    The current No. 1 hit, Carly Rae Jepsen’s “Call Me Maybe,” spotlights a new avenue: the viral response video.

  • NY Times launches site in Chinese
    The New York Times launches a Chinese language version of its website in a bid to tap into the world’s biggest internet market.
  • Apple Planning Major Overhaul of iTunes to Emphasize iCloud and Sharing
    Bloomberg reports that Apple is preparing a major overhaul of its iTunes software to more closely integrate its iCloud services and add new features for sharing music.
    With an increasing amount of content available on the store, the overhaul is intended to improve how people manage all their files, one person said. That includes changes to how users find new material and how they access what they already own on different Apple devices, said one person.

    One of the main ways Apple will attempt to improve discovery is by making it easier for people to share songs, a popular feature of Spotify Ltd.’s music-subscription service. Apple has been negotiating with major record labels for rights that would let a user listen to a song sent to them from a friend for free, one person said.

    Apple’s iCloud efforts will improve organization of users’ own content while also the company is also considering splitting out some functions of iTunes as it did yesterday on iOS with its new Podcasts app.

    Apple is also looking to include more multimedia content in the iTunes Store, requesting more photos and music videos from artists to help broaden its offerings.

    The revamped iTunes application is set to launch before the end of the year and is said to be one of the largest sets of changes since the iTunes Store’s debut in 2003. As announced at its Worldwide Developers Conference earlier this month, Apple is also working to improve the iTunes experience on iOS, revamping its digital store apps in iOS 6 to aid users in discovering new content.


  • Net porn automatic bar considered
    The government is to consider putting extra pressure on computer users to filter out pornography when setting up internet accounts.
  • Google I/O Day 2 is on the horizon
    Fatigued from that exhilarating extreme sports demo of Google Glasses? Thrilled at the prospect of the Nexus Q? Better grab that protein bar — or better yet, some jelly beans — because there’s more to come tomorrow on day two of Google I/O 2012.
  • Bianca Bosker: Google Now’s Latest Trick: Outsourcing Your Brain
    You can stop thinking now. That’s Google’s job.
  • 5 Sweet New Android Features We Can’t Wait To Try
    How sweet it is! Google has given developers a taste of " target="_hplink">Android 4.1 (codenamed "Jelly Bean"), the latest update to the company’s OS for…
  • The rise and fall of the France-wide web
    The rise and fall of the France-wide web
  • Bruce Kushnick: Broadband Wars, Verizon NJ Update: Kick the Wireless Cantenna?
    The Cantenna, with its overhyped "4G" service, is ostensibly "designed for use in rural and remote homes that can’t get DSL or cable." Verizon has been rolling out Cantenna to rural areas so that they don’t have to bother upgrading the wires.
  • Comcast Settles With FCC For Not Meeting Broadband Merger Promise
    The Federal Communications Commission on Wednesday announced a settlement with Comcast after finding the company had not been aggressively marketing its standalone Internet service, a…
  • AIDS Quilt Returns To National Mall
    WASHINGTON — For tourists struck by the summer heat in the nation’s capital, a quilt might be the farthest thing from their minds. But thanks…
  • Should You Freak Out About A Stolen Credit Card Number?
    There is some likelihood that your credit card number is for sale in a dark corner of the Internet. The selling price? As little as…

Mobile Technology News, June 27, 2012

As developers for tablets and smartphones we like to keep abreast of the latest mobile technology developments . This is a daily digest of mobile development and related technology news gathered from the BBC, the New York Times, New Scientist and the Globe and Mail to name a few. We scour the web for articles concerning, iPhone, iPad and android development, iOS and android operating systems as well as general articles on advances in mobile technology. We hope you find this useful and that it helps to keep you up to date with the latest technology developments.

  • F.T.C. Charges Hotel Group Over Data Breaches
    The Federal Trade Commission said that three electronic intrusions resulted in the theft of credit card data belonging to hundreds of thousands of the Wyndham hotel chains’ customers.

  • Internet Providers Testing Metered Plans for Broadband
    Broadband companies are moving toward a strategy called usage-based billing, which will charge tiers of pricing based on how much people use their Internet at home.

  • F.B.I. Says 24 Are Arrested in Credit Card Theft
    The computer crime arrests were made on four continents in an undercover operation.

  • Apple Delaying Early Retina MacBook Pro Orders for Some Business Customers
    MacRumors has received word today from several customers who have received emails from Apple indicating that their launch-day purchases of Retina MacBook Pro machines through Apple’s enterprise sales channel have been delayed by up to a month. The customers had been quoted shipping estimates of 7-10 business days at the time of ordering, but today’s emails from Apple cite new shipping dates of on or before July 25.
    Dear Apple Customer,

    Thank you for your recent order.

    Purchase Order#: xxxxxxxxxx

    Sales Order#: xxxxxxxxxx

    Ship-to Zip Code: xxxxx

    Due to an unexpected delay, we are unable to ship the following item(s) by the date that you were recently quoted:

    Z0ML, MBP 15.4/CTO

    will now ship on or before

    Jul 25, 2012

    Please note that product availability can change rapidly, and it is possible that your order may ship much sooner than we anticipate. You may even receive a shipment confirmation between the time we send this email and the time that you read it.

    It is unclear exactly what is triggering the delays in shipping estimates, although all of those who contacted MacRumors about the delay indicated that they had customized the high-end model with 768 GB of solid-state storage but did not upgrade from the stock 2.6 GHz processor.

    The Retina MacBook Pro has been in high demand since its introduction during the keynote of Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference earlier this month, with shipping estimates slipping to 2-3 weeks within hours of launch before settling at 3-4 weeks a day later. Estimates have remained at that 3-4 week timeframe since that time.


  • Google tablet set to limbo in at low $199 entry point
    The Google Nexus tablet will be co-branded with Asus. More importantly, it will be inexpensive at $199.
  • Apple Wins Preliminary Injunction Against Samsung Galaxy Tab Sales in U.S.
    Reuters and AllThingsD report that U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh granted a preliminary injunction against the sales of the Samsung Galaxy Tab in the U.S.

    The ruling is the latest in the ongoing legal battle between Apple and Samsung. Apple had accused Samsung of copying the design of Apple’s iPad and iPhone products. Apple has previously sought and won injunctions against the sale of the same Samsung tablet in other countries.

    As reported by AllThingsD, the new ruling stated:

    “Although Samsung has a right to compete, it does not have a right to compete unfairly, by flooding the market with infringing products,” Koh wrote in her order, adding that the strength of Apple’s case on the merits left her no choice but to grant the injunction. “While Samsung will certainly suffer lost sales from the issuance of an injunction, the hardship to Apple of having to directly compete with Samsung’s infringing products outweighs Samsung’s harm in light of the previous findings by the Court.”

    Samsung is likely to appeal the preliminary injunction but the order could go into effect once Apple posts a $2.6 million bond to cover any damages to Samsung if the injunction does not hold up in appeal.

    AllThingsD received a statement from Apple that reiterated their previous claims that Samsung had copied the iPad:

    “It’s no coincidence that Samsung’s latest products look a lot like the iPhone and iPad, from the shape of the hardware to the user interface and even the packaging. This kind of blatant copying is wrong and, as we’ve said many times before, we need to protect Apple’s intellectual property when companies steal our ideas.”


  • Larry Magid: Common Sense Media Report Shines Positive Light on Kids and Social Media
    The report stands in sharp contrast to some naysayers who worry that Facebook might cause social and emotional distress, depression or social isolation.
  • India’s bet on eco-friendly tech
    India opts for eco-friendly tech as its population and energy use grows
  • Andras Szakal: A Smarter Government Through Cloud Computing
    A smarter government is more agile, more able to effectively respond to changing government needs and citizen dynamics. One of the best ways to improve the way our government works is through cloud computing.
  • Zynga is playing a long-term game
    The Farmville firm on share price falls and its social strategy
  • Bethann Cregg: Imagine the Marriage of Social Networking and Cloud
    What’s the one thing all organizations have in common? They must identify new ways to grow revenue and expand their business to stay competitive.
  • Andy Monshaw: Small and Midsize Businesses Seizing the Cloud Opportunity
    No matter how you look at, it’s the cloud that is driving the way information and technology is being consumed — changing the way we work.
  • Ben Hecht: What Would Carlos Slim Do?
    Technology is not a panacea, only a means to an end. Increasing access to broadband and the Internet are an important first step, but we also need to find better ways of applying this technology to accelerate progress and prosperity for all.
  • FBI Arrests Accused Credit Card Hackers In International Crackdown
    They went by online nicknames like "Cubby," "404myth," and "JoshTheGod." One had details of more than 50,000 stolen credit cards, authorities said. Another sold malicious…
  • Another Tech Giant Moves To Struggling Mid-Market
    When San Francisco lawmakers revealed a controversial redevelopment effort in the blighted Mid-Market neighborhood, Supervisor Jane Kim promised economic development and jobs. And now, it…
  • FBI cybercrime sting snares 24
    At least 24 people in 13 countries are arrested in a US-led sting operation that targeted the trade of stolen bank card data.
  • Why You Shouldn’t Post Facebook Statuses About Your Hangover Or Hating Your Boss
    The posts on the new website We Know What You’re Doing read like a list of exactly the things most people would never want strangers…
  • Best Buy founder mulls selling out, taking retailer private
    The question facing Best Buy is whether it would be better to fix the company by staying public or reverting to a private company.
  • ‘Friends’ Flashback: Lisa Kudrow Talks ‘Web Therapy’ With David Schwimmer
    It’s difficult for many TV fans to think of Lisa Kudrow as anything other than the lovably goofy Phoebe Buffay on "Friends." And for Kudrow,…

Mobile Technology News, June 26, 2012

As developers for tablets and smartphones we like to keep abreast of the latest mobile technology developments . This is a daily digest of mobile development and related technology news gathered from the BBC, the New York Times, New Scientist and the Globe and Mail to name a few. We scour the web for articles concerning, iPhone, iPad and android development, iOS and android operating systems as well as general articles on advances in mobile technology. We hope you find this useful and that it helps to keep you up to date with the latest technology developments.

  • Microsoft tablet and iPad to duke it out at large companies
    Windows 8 Pro tablets will be attractive to large corporate customers. But it won’t be easy competing with the iPad, which is gaining traction at large businesses.
  • Software Helps Parents Monitor Their Children Online
    An array of surveillance software now exists to let parents keep tabs on their children’s activities online, raising questions about appropriate parenting.

  • App used to trace riot suspects
    Police are hoping to use crowd-sourcing via a smartphone app to identify people suspected of committing crimes in last year’s riots in London.
  • In a Big Network of Computers, Evidence of Machine Learning
    A neural network of computer processors, fed millions of YouTube videos, taught itself to recognize cats, a feat of significance for fields like speech recognition.

  • Zynga Pursues New Hits for a Fickle Market
    Zynga plans to add more games as interest in its most popular games is waning and its share price is declining.

  • Bing Maps adds 165TB of new images of Earth
    Doubling down, Bing Maps adds a stockpile of new satellite and photo images that cover 38 million square kilometers of the world.
  • Orbitz Presenting More Expensive Hotels to Mac Users
    Travel shopping site Orbitz is offering more expensive hotels to Mac users because the company found Mac users prefer more luxurious rooms, reports the Wall Street Journal.

    Orbitz
    Orbitz noted that it was is not showing different prices for the same room to different users, but was presenting pricier hotels more prominently to Mac users than those using Windows. Users can rank hotel options by price and get the same listings no matter what platform they are using.

    Orbitz found Mac users on average spend $20 to $30 more a night on hotels than their PC counterparts, a significant margin given the site’s average nightly hotel booking is around $100, chief scientist Wai Gen Yee said. Mac users are 40% more likely to book a four- or five-star hotel than PC users, Mr. Yee said, and when Mac and PC users book the same hotel, Mac users tend to stay in more expensive rooms.

    “We had the intuition, and we were able to confirm it based on the data,” Orbitz Chief Technology Officer Roger Liew said.

    The WSJ goes on to note that the average household income for adult owners of Macs is $98,560, according to Forrester Research, versus $74,452 for a PC owner. The paper also says that some high-end hotels see bookings from Mac users hugely out of proportion with their user share on Orbitz.

    The targeting efforts are part of Orbitz’s “predictive analytics” efforts — using gathered data to offer more tailored results to shoppers in order to generate more revenue.


  • Handling the rush hour on Twitter
    How rail firms are using Twitter to tackle rush hour anger
  • How elderly care could be crowdworked
    The remote controlled robot that could look after you
  • VIDEO: Teaching silver surfers to use social media
    How ‘sensitive’ wizkids teach senior citizens to embrace internet
  • Stop! Don’t Buy These Phones!
    Imagine that you are inside your favorite mobile phone retail store. The air conditioning blows cool on the back of your neck; you tap your…
  • MI5 issues cyber-attacks warning
    MI5 is working to counter “astonishing” levels of cyber-attacks on UK industry, the organisation’s chief says in his first public speech for two years.
  • Decorated Couches On The Move
    First festival-goers sought to improve the comfort and leisure available at large music events by bringing their own couches to sit on. Now, one Australian…
  • Microsoft: No plans for branded phone — not yet, at least
    Phone executive knocks down rumors that a Microsoft-branded handset is in the works.
  • Cultural Studies: Computer Passwords Grow Ever More Complicated
    As our dependency on the Internet has grown, so has the complexity of its restrictions. The end result: a mind-boggling array of personal codes.

  • Big Bank’s Staffers Join Twitter, And It’s Even Less Exciting Than It Sounds
    Morgan Stanley is coming to Twitter, albeit in a very controlled, scripted way. Morgan Stanley’s 17,000 financial advisers will be joining Twitter and LinkedIn over…
  • Windows 8: Is it done yet?
    When will Microsoft christen Windows 8 as being “done”? At this point in the game, no one from Microsoft has stated this in any official capacity.
  • Maria Strømme: Thoughts on the Opportunities That Nanotechnology Presents
    Life has managed to find a way since the first living cells started to appear on Earth nearly 4 billion years ago. Let me provide some examples of how natural, bottom-up (or self-assembly) processes are now being mimicked to provide technological breakthroughs.
  • Ex-MySpacers See Their Risky Departure Pay Off
    Right after News Corp. bought MySpace for $580 million in 2005, some of the social network’s earliest employees jumped ship. For some of those employees,…

Mobile Technology News, June 25, 2012

As developers for tablets and smartphones we like to keep abreast of the latest mobile technology developments . This is a daily digest of mobile development and related technology news gathered from the BBC, the New York Times, New Scientist and the Globe and Mail to name a few. We scour the web for articles concerning, iPhone, iPad and android development, iOS and android operating systems as well as general articles on advances in mobile technology. We hope you find this useful and that it helps to keep you up to date with the latest technology developments.

  • Advertising: Sony Rolls Out Its Xperia Ion Smartphone
    The company is using the Xperia Ion phone to emphasize the entertainment side of its business.

  • With Tablet, Microsoft Takes Aim at Hardware Missteps
    Microsoft’s plan to create its own tablet is the most striking evidence yet of the friction with its partners on the hardware side of the PC business.

  • Surface: A desperate move to catch Apple, says report
    It was getting harder and harder to catch Apple’s iPad. So, Microsoft took matters into its own hands, says a report.
  • Apple’s Retail Store Staff Compensation Criticized
    In the latest installment of its “iEconomy” series of articles, The New York Times takes a look at Apple’s retail stores, examining the compensation offered to its employees responsible for fueling booming sales in the division. The article features quotes from a number of former Apple retail store employees, including MacRumors‘ own Jordan Golson.



    The new report takes the stance that Apple is not paying its retail staff enough given the success of the stores, instead relying on its employees’ devotion to the company and a strong fan base providing a massive pool of job applicants to keep its retail stores staffed.

    Within this world, the Apple Store is the undisputed king, a retail phenomenon renowned for impeccable design, deft service and spectacular revenues. Last year, the company’s 327 global stores took in more money per square foot than any other United States retailer — wireless or otherwise — and almost double that of Tiffany, which was No. 2 on the list, according to the research firm RetailSails.

    Worldwide, its stores sold $16 billion in merchandise.

    But most of Apple’s employees enjoyed little of that wealth. While consumers tend to think of Apple’s headquarters in Cupertino, Calif., as the company’s heart and soul, a majority of its workers in the United States are not engineers or executives with hefty salaries and bonuses but rather hourly wage earners selling iPhones and MacBooks.

    The report notes that roughly 70% of Apple’s 43,000 U.S. workers are retail store employees, with many of them earning in the neighborhood of $25,000 per year. Apple’s pay rates are above average for the retail sector, but the Times argues that with each retail store employee bringing in an average of $500,000 in sales per year Apple is not a typical retailer.

    The latest iEconomy report comes just days after Apple began offering raises of up to 25% to many of its retail store employees, with speculation suggesting that the move was made to address the criticism set to appear in the report. Apple last week also launched new employee hardware discounts of $500 off of a Mac or $250 off of an iPad, on top of existing 25% employee discounts.

    (Photo by Win McNamee/Reuters)


  • Peter S. Goodman: Bogus Divide: Business And Government Need To Cooperate To Create Jobs
    From the crude characterizations echoing from the campaign trail, it often seems as if American business and government are confined to separate and hostile spheres,…
  • Bits Blog: Flipboard in Content Deal With New York Times
    Times subscribers will be able to view articles, videos, slide shows and blog posts inside the mobile app Flipboard, and nonsubscribers will be able to read a free sampling of articles.

  • Jeremy Harris Lipschultz: Wayfinding 2.0 in Silicon Valley
    The ancient Polynesian wayfinders would have been at home in Palo Alto, as the Academic Summit this June focused on media as now entirely social.
  • VIDEO: China’s new use for chicken manure
    Martin Patience visits a chicken farm on the outskirts of Beijing in China, where the birds’ manure is being used to create energy.
  • Voice algorithms spot Parkinson’s
    The TEDGlobal conference starts in Edinburgh with an entrepreneur who has come up with a novel diagnosis for Parkinson’s disease.
  • What makes the Microsoft Surface tablet different? (poll)
    Can Microsoft distinguish itself in the tablet market? It seems to be off to a good start, but proof is in the pudding.
  • Fashion Video Games, Anyone?
    At first thought, fashion and video gaming seem to be a more awkward couple than Mary-Kate Olsen and Olivier Sarkozy. But many big players in…
  • Alan Turing’s Brother On Why Alan Turing Should Be Alive Today
    June 23rd is the centenary of the birth of Alan Turing, father of computer science and artificial intelligence, who committed suicide just shy of 42….
  • The Woman In The Facebook Frat House
    An early staffer recalls the raucous days of a company in transition from Harvard dorm room to Silicon Valley…

Mobile Technology News, June 24, 2012

As developers for tablets and smartphones we like to keep abreast of the latest mobile technology developments . This is a daily digest of mobile development and related technology news gathered from the BBC, the New York Times, New Scientist and the Globe and Mail to name a few. We scour the web for articles concerning, iPhone, iPad and android development, iOS and android operating systems as well as general articles on advances in mobile technology. We hope you find this useful and that it helps to keep you up to date with the latest technology developments.

Mobile Technology News, June 23, 2012

As developers for tablets and smartphones we like to keep abreast of the latest mobile technology developments . This is a daily digest of mobile development and related technology news gathered from the BBC, the New York Times, New Scientist and the Globe and Mail to name a few. We scour the web for articles concerning, iPhone, iPad and android development, iOS and android operating systems as well as general articles on advances in mobile technology. We hope you find this useful and that it helps to keep you up to date with the latest technology developments.

  • Codebreaker Alan Turing’s ‘suicide’ in doubt
    Alan Turing, the British mathematical genius and codebreaker, may not have committed suicide, as is widely believed, claims an academic.
  • For Bullied Bus Monitor, Karen Klein, Donations to Take Hurt Away
    An online fund-raising drive for a 68-year-old Rochester woman who was brutally taunted by a group of 12- and 13-year-old boys has proved hugely successful.

  • Gita Kashani: Open Letter to Mr. Cook and Apple
    The recent discriminatory practices at Apple’s branches in Atlanta, Georgia are deeply disturbing not only to U.S. citizens of Iranian descent and all legal visa holders but also the outer public — misguided at best, and a violation of state and federal law at worst.
  • The lessons from Turing’s death
    Mike Lynch on what lessons we should take from Alan Turing’s life
  • ‘I remember Alan Turing…’
    Former colleagues recall Alan Turing
  • Hand hygiene compliance up at Vanderbilt University Medical Center due to new app
    Hand hygiene is one of the most important steps that can be taken to avoid getting sick and spreading germs to others. Especially in a healthcare setting, it is the first line of defense when interacting with patients. Vanderbilt University Medical Center (VUMC) physicians, nurses and IT specialists understand this all too well, having recently collaborated on an iOS app that more efficiently documents and reports hand-hygiene compliance.
  • Shawn Amos: WATCH: 60 Seconds of Social Media
    From Lady Gaga’s nearly 80 million followers and fans on Twitter and Facebook, to Spotify’s 16-million-song catalog, social media’s impact on the music industry is undeniable.
  • Traders Probed For Buying And Selling To Selves
    U.S. regulators are reportedly probing whether high-frequency trading firms have been conducting transactions with themselves in a potentially illegal practice known as "wash trading" that…
  • WATCH: Bill Maher’s New Rule For People Who Text While Crossing The Street
    There’s a texting epidemic in this country: we’re texting while driving, while crossing the street, while getting married… It’s all very dangerous, and Bill Maher…
  • Fly To The Moon In A Used Soviet Spacecraft For Just $155 Million
    There’s good news and bad news for would-be astronauts out there. The good news is that Excalibur Almaz, a commercial aerospace company based on the…
  • Why Age Doesn’t Matter When It Comes To Technology
    Marion Mills first taught herself how to use a computer at the ripe age of 70. "I became curious about computers and I’m totally self-taught,"…
  • Cultural Studies: Computer Passwords Grow Ever More Complicated
    As our dependency on the Internet has grown, so has the complexity of its restrictions. The end result: a mind-boggling array of personal codes.

  • Attention Getter: GroundWave Shadow Trainer Teaches You How To Dance
    For those of you who don’t feel the beat in your soles, GroundWave Shadow Trainers will teach you how to dance. The prototype kicks have…
  • No Retina Display in Next-Generation iMac?
    Earlier today, Instapaper developer Marco Arment published his thoughts on a potential timeline for upgrades to Apple’s iMac and Mac Pro lines, initially suggesting that the need for an ultra-high resolution 5120×2880 Retina display (either inside the 27-inch iMac or as a standalone display) is likely the most significant hurdle to major updates for those lines.

    With ABC News having reported in May that Apple was planning to bring Retina displays to its next-generation iMac line and suggestions of updated models potentially being right around the corner, anticipation has been high for new Retina iMacs. But shortly after publishing his speculation, Arment is now hearing that while the next iMac update will come later this year, it will not include Retina displays.

    I’ve now heard from multiple sources that while an iMac update is indeed coming this fall, it will not have Retina displays.

    Arment describes some of the issues surrounding Retina displays at the size needed for the 27-inch iMac, including production yield and insufficient bandwidth, but it is unclear why Apple would wait until the fall to update the iMac if those issues will prevent Retina displays from being included in that revision. Even without a Retina display, updated iMac models could take advantage of Ivy Bridge processors, improved graphics chips, and USB 3.0, and those upgrades could be included in a new model any time now.

    As we noted earlier today, vacation blackouts at a third-party technical support firm are hinting at a release of OS X Mountain Lion in late July, and it seems possible that Apple could follow last year’s trend of a simultaneous hardware/software launch by introducing new Ivy Bridge iMacs and perhaps Mac minis alongside Mountain Lion. That speculation is, however, yet to be supported by any specific rumors or evidence.

    Following the keynote at Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference earlier this month, company representatives were initially quoted as saying that updated Mac Pro and iMac designs were due “later next year”, but the company moved to clarify those remarks as applying only to the Mac Pro, suggesting that iMac updates will come ahead of that timeframe.


  • Drobo Announces New Thunderbolt and USB 3.0 Storage Devices [Mac Blog]
    Drobo has announced a pair of Thunderbolt and USB 3.0-capable storage devices. The company has not released official pricing and availability information, other than saying they will be coming next month.

    NewImage

    Both the Drobo 5D and Drobo Mini include industry-first SSD acceleration—utilizing the performance benefits of solid state drives (SSDs) and the capacity benefits of hard disk drives (HDDs) to deliver an automated, no-compromise system. In addition to supporting SSDs in any of the drive bays, both units include an additional bay that will accommodate a small-form-factor SSD to achieve significant performance boosts while making all drive bays available for high-capacity HDDs.

    The products also support both lightning-fast Thunderbolt (2 ports) and USB 3.0 connectivity, an industry first for storage arrays that will provide flexibility to both Mac and Windows users. The two Thunderbolt ports allow customers to easily daisy-chain devices to accommodate massive growth, and the USB 3.0 port ensures compatibility to millions of USB systems.

    Along with SSD acceleration and Thunderbolt / USB 3.0 interfaces, the new Drobo products have been completely redesigned from the ground up with new hardware and software architectures. These enhancements provide a significant increase in processing capability and several optimizations to BeyondRAID™ that will increase baseline performance by at least five times—prior to the addition of SSDs—easily making the new Drobo 5D and Drobo Mini the fastest storage arrays in their class.

    Users interested in the Drobo 5D and Mini can sign up to be notified of availability on Drobo’s website.


  • The Cool Thing This Wedding Video And ‘Prometheus’ Have In Common
    Two-dimensional wedding videos are so last year. A bride and groom in Montecito, Calif. had their recent wedding filmed in 3D using a 5K RED…
  • Apps And Gadgets Every Boomer Needs
    Most baby boomers remember watching the animated show The Jetsons wondering if we were getting a glimpse of our future. Well, we haven’t quite made…
  • New Facebook Feature Lets You Go Back In Time
    How many times have you posted a brilliant Facebook comment, only to realize that you made a ridiculous spelling mistake? Facebook took note of this…
  • Dr. Ed Catmull and Larry Ellison Remember Steve Jobs
    NewImage
    Steve Jobs was a frequent guest at All Things D‘s annual D Conference, appearing six times with D hosts Kara Swisher and Walt Mossberg. After he passed away last year, Swisher and Mossberg felt it was important to have a session honoring Jobs and his legacy.

    They asked Dr. Ed Catmull, who worked with Jobs for years at Pixar, as well as Larry Ellison, the legendary CEO of Oracle who was one of Jobs’ closest friends, to appear and reflect on Jobs’ life.

    Dr. Catmull also did a separate one-one-one interview with Kara Swisher. He discussed the history of Pixar, computer animation, and shared some fascinating stories about his experiences working with Jobs at both Pixar and Disney.

    Image courtesy Asa Mathat/All Things D


Mobile Technology News, June 22, 2012

As developers for tablets and smartphones we like to keep abreast of the latest mobile technology developments . This is a daily digest of mobile development and related technology news gathered from the BBC, the New York Times, New Scientist and the Globe and Mail to name a few. We scour the web for articles concerning, iPhone, iPad and android development, iOS and android operating systems as well as general articles on advances in mobile technology. We hope you find this useful and that it helps to keep you up to date with the latest technology developments.

  • To Settle Suit, Facebook Alters Policies for Like Button
    To resolve a class-action suit, Facebook has agreed to give its users the choice to avoid potentially appearing in advertisements just for clicking the social network’s like button.

  • Video Review of Weather HD for Mac
    No matter where you live in the world there is always the need to find out what the weather is going to be for that day or night.  This is particularly true for those of us who travel a lot or if you are in cubicalville and rarely get to see the outside world.  Knowing the weather, especially if [...]
  • Acxiom, the Quiet Giant of Consumer Database Marketing
    Few consumers may have heard of Acxiom, a database marketer. But it has amassed the world’s largest commercial data trove about them, analysts say.

  • Bitta Mostofi: Apple Should "Think Different" on Sanctions
    Technology and telecommunications companies like Apple should be leading the charge to lift sanctions that violate freedom of speech and access to information, not over-zealously applying these policies.
  • Microsoft’s Surface tablet said to come with only Wi-Fi
    While the software giant has yet to release full specs on its forthcoming tablet, rumors are circulating that it may be Wi-Fi only and without a mobile network connection.
  • Are Iranians banned from buying iPads?
    Are Iranians in the US banned from buying iPads?
  • DealBook: As Facebook Seeks Answers, S.E.C. Investigates Exchanges
    Investor confidence in the markets has waned after problems on the day Facebook shares began trading.

  • App Store Launches in 32 New Countries
    At Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference earlier this month, Tim Cook announced that the App Store would be launching in 32 additional countries this month, bringing the total number of countries with App Store access to 155. As documented in the country-selection page within the iTunes Store, those 32 new markets are now available, although Apple has yet to update its support page listing which iTunes Store content is available in which countries.



    The vast majority of new countries are located in Apple’s African and Asian markets, with the exception of Albania and Ukraine in Europe. The full list of new App Store countries includes: Albania, Benin, Bhutan, Burkina Faso, Cambodia, Cape Verde, Chad, Republic of the Congo, Fiji, Gambia, Guinea-Bissau, Kyrgyzstan, Laos, Liberia, Malawi, Mauritania, Federated States of Micronesia, Mongolia, Mozambique, Namibia, Nepal, Palau, Papua New Guinea, São Tomé and Príncipe, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Solomon Islands, Swaziland, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Ukraine, and Zimbabwe.


  • Turing was defiant until death
    Despite persecution Alan Turing was not ashamed of his sexuality
  • VIDEO: What do we owe Alan Turing?
    Experts gathered at King’s College, Cambridge, consider what was Alan Turing’s greatest contribution.
  • Google unveils app for managing off-site workers
    Google Maps Coordinate is designed to help dispatchers and others oversee and direct teams of workers in the field.
  • Bits Blog: Twitter’s Site Suffers Some Downtime
    Just weeks after unveiling its new logo — a bird in flight — Twitter briefly crashed to earth on Thursday. Its site was unavailable for roughly an hour.

  • Bullies Apologize To Karen Klein On Anderson 360
    Earlier this week a video depicting Greece, N.Y. school bus monitor Karen Klein being maliciously verbally abused by the students she was watching over went…
  • Jihadists’ Twitter presence grows
    How Twitter is becoming an invaluable tool for Islamic radicals
  • Why firms must adopt the open source way
    Why all companies should switch to open source
  • Google Hopes To Save 3,000 Languages
    Though more than 7,000 languages are spoken throughout the world today, researchers believe half of those will fade over the next century. To combat that…
  • Google accidentally confirms Android 4.1 Jelly Bean in Play Store

    You can get a dozen rumors that point in the same direction, but it doesn’t mean anything until you hear it from the horse’s mouth, as they say. In the case of Android’s rumored update to version 4.1, we now have such equine conformation. It seems Google pulled the trigger a little too early on [...]

  • Hey, Windows 8 doesn’t suck
    Windows 8′s innovative Metro interface shines when it’s on a touch device. And soon enough, all devices will be touch devices.
  • James Dyson: A Sub-Standard Solution
    As an inventor, I’ve made more mistakes than I care to mention. To me, that is the greatest missed opportunity in education. I’d go as far to say we should award marks for good mistakes. Success may satisfy, but failure drives a hunger.

Mobile Technology News, June 20, 2012

As developers for tablets and smartphones we like to keep abreast of the latest mobile technology developments . This is a daily digest of mobile development and related technology news gathered from the BBC, the New York Times, New Scientist and the Globe and Mail to name a few. We scour the web for articles concerning, iPhone, iPad and android development, iOS and android operating systems as well as general articles on advances in mobile technology. We hope you find this useful and that it helps to keep you up to date with the latest technology developments.

  • Sharp decline in profits at Kesa
    Profits at European electrical goods retailer Kesa almost halved in the 2011-12 financial year, the group says, as it announces plans to rebrand the group Darty.
  • Microsoft will withdraw later from tablet market: Acer founder
    Ah, so that’s the strategy. Microsoft is pulling a Google: use a branded product to lead the way, then step back. So, Acer’s founder claims.
  • Whitney Cummings’ Twitter Page Hacked
    Whitney Cummings has become the latest celebrity victim of malicious hackers. The actress/comedian, who stars in the NBC sitcom "Whitney," lost control of her personal…
  • Is Turing the father of computing?
    Does Alan Turing really deserve the title “father of computing”?
  • Apple Posts WWDC 2012 Session Videos for Developers
    Just days after the conclusion of its 2012 Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) in San Francisco, Apple has posted the full set of session videos to its website and iTunes. Access to the videos requires a minimum of a free Registered Apple Developer account.



    With over 100 sessions available, the videos are a significant resource for those looking to learn more about developing for OS X and iOS. The quick turnaround on posting the videos is helpful for developers who were unable to attend WWDC, especially given that the conference sold out in less than two hours this year.

    Apple used to charge several hundred dollars for the videos, but ended that practice in 2010 as the company restructured its developer programs to lower the cost of entry and its increasing popularity led to conference sell-outs that prevented some willing developers from attending in person.


  • Join us tomorrow for Microsoft’s Windows Phone Summit
    Microsoft is holding a Windows Phone summit in San Francisco on June 20 where it should reveal Windows Phone 8. Join CNET for live coverage.
  • Bits Blog: Facebook Shifts Its Approach to Payments
    Facebook signaled its ambitions to grow as a payment platform, with changes to how its users can buy goods and services without leaving its site. It is also a clear signal to Wall Street that the company is pushing to make more money.

  • Microsoft Surface shows Apple could be wrong
    Did Microsoft actually come up with a better design than Apple? Maybe the better question is, why not?
  • Bits Blog: A Start-Up Bets on Human Translators Over Machines
    Duolingo, launched by the man who created reCaptcha, wants to encourage language learners to translate material for content providers on the Web.

  • How those annoying online security tests evolved
    How those annoying online security tests evolved
  • Bits Blog: The Cost of Microsoft’s Surface Tablet
    Let’s just assume for a few minutes that Microsoft’s Surface tablet is as delicious as Microsoft executives made it out to be on Monday night. Does Microsoft then have any hope of competing with the iPad on price? Even if it does undercut Apple, which no serious tablet maker has done, it is no assurance of success.

  • MIT + Harvard = edX
    Is this the formula for a university revolution?
  • WATCH: A ‘Dollhouse’ For Techie Girls
    This isn’t your average pretty, pink dollhouse; this toy is meant to get girls in touch with their inner scientist. After three Stanford students noticed…
  • 9 Things You Should Never Do On LinkedIn
    We’ve all seen them: The LinkedIn profiles that make us cringe. LinkedIn’s mission is to “connect the world’s professionals to enable them to be more…
  • Why Facebook Wants Your Face
    Prepare for Facebook to be a whole lot more in your face. Facebook announced Monday that it will acquire facial recognition firm Face.com, an Israeli…
  • Google Exec: ‘World Wide Web Has Yet To Live Up To Its Name’
    JERUSALEM — Google’s executive chairman Eric Schmidt on Tuesday warned that vast numbers of the world’s population are missing out on the advantages brought by…
  • Finding An Old Friend, And A Kidney, On Facebook
    Facebook is known for being the place to reconnect with old friends, but a Tampa Bay area resident named Hannah Craig recently found that it…
  • Molly Raphael: Are Publishers Long Overdue In Offering Libraries eBook Titles?
    To the surprise of many readers, public library e-book "shelves" now sport gaping holes. The Witness by Nora Roberts? Unseen. The Lost Years by Mary Higgins Clark? Missing. Drop Dead Healthy by A.J. Jacobs? DOA.
  • Stanford and Piazza Add Peer Collaboration to iTunes U ‘iPad and iPhone App Development’ Course
    ITunesEarlier this year, Apple completely revamped iTunes U with new iPad and iPhone apps as well as new tools that allow teachers to include assignments, books, quizzes and syllabuses with their iTunes U courses.

    Now, Stanford is taking that a step further by linking the Piazza social learning platform with one of the most popular iTunes U courses — Professor Paul Hegarty’s iPad and iPhone App Development [iTunes Link].

    The new social media aspect of the course builds on a technology many students already use: Piazza, a social learning platform. Stanford students taking the classroom version of Paul Hegarty’s programming course, on which the online course is based, have used Piazza.

    Earlier versions of the 10-week apps course have proved enormously popular, with individual lecture videos downloaded more than 10 million times.

    The inclusion of Piazza will enhance the learning experience, said Brent Izutsu, Stanford’s program manager for iTunes U. “There is an enormous potential for collaboration and community-building though Q&A and problem-solving with friends from across the globe,” he said.

    Those enrolled in the iTunes U class are expected to answer questions as well as ask them, while the course captains facilitate discussions and drive students toward correct answers.

    The course follows the iOS 5 course from the Fall 2011 semester that’s currently on iTunes U — Stanford is taking those lectures and using Piazza to improve the experience for users taking the class across the same 10 week period.

    We hope that the ability to ask and answer questions online will help even more people learn – increasing the value of the materials Stanford has already made available. We also think having peers will make it more fun, and will make you more likely to keep going when the going gets tough.

    The course will run June 25 to August 16. Registration is free and closes July 6.


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