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Mobile Technology News, January 9, 2013

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.

  • Online Banking Attacks Were Work of Iran, U.S. Officials Say
    Security researchers say that hackers engineered networks of computers in data centers, allowing them to cripple online banking sites in a way that amateurs could not.

  • Chinese Man Pleads Guilty in Copyright Violation Case
    Xiang Li sold more than 2,000 pirated software products worth more than $100 million, prosecutors say.

  • A Financial Service for People Fed Up With Banks
    An online banking start-up company called Simple offers free checking accounts and digital tools to people frustrated with typical banks.

  • Microsoft to kill the Messenger on March 15
    The tech titan plans to migrate users of the instant messaging client to Skype, which it purchased in 2011.
  • CES Serves as Early Warning System for Enterprise IT Planners
    NEWS ANALYSIS: It’s true that the major players, including Apple, Microsoft, Google and Amazon appear to be sitting out this year’s Consumer Electronics Show. But CES still serves as a valuable early warning system for what enterprises will be dealing with in 2013.

  • Google withdraws ITC patent claims against Microsoft
    Motorola Mobility parent drops two patents from its infringement case over video-coding patents used in Xbox and smartphones.
  • UK ‘complacent’ over cyber threat
    The UK is at risk of an attack in cyberspace because of government “complacency”, an influential group of MPs warns.
  • Baseball Dumping Dugout-to-Bullpen Landlines
    Major League Baseball is embracing cellphones to communicate from the dugout to the bullpen as part of T-Mobile USA’s sponsorship of the league.

  • Nokia’s India factory in tax raid
    Finnish phone maker Nokia becomes the latest foreign telecom company to face tax issues in India as its factory in Chennai is raided by tax officials.
  • Apple Reportedly Set To Introduce A Line Of Cheaper iPhones
    For nearly six years, Apple’s sold just one line of iPhones. The strategy serves the Cupertino, Calif.-based company well. By some measures, the pricey, wildly…
  • Firefox For Mac Gets Updated With Retina Support [Mac Blog]
    Mozilla today released version 18 of Firefox, adding Retina support for Apple’s line of Retina MacBook Pros.

    Safari, Opera, and Google Chrome implemented Retina months ago, leaving Firefox as the last of the major browsers to receive a Retina update. Without Retina support, both website text and images on Firefox appeared fuzzy and hard to read.

    Firefox 18 also includes the following updates, changes and fixes:

    -Faster JavaScript performance via IonMonkey compiler

    -Support for Retina Display on OS X 10.7 and up

    -Preliminary support for WebRTC

    -Experience better image quality with our new HTML scaling algorithm

    -Performance improvements around tab switching

    -Support for new DOM property window.devicePixelRatio

    -Improvement in startup time through smart handling of signed extension certificates

    -Support for W3C touch events implemented, taking the place of MozTouch events

    -Disable insecure content loading on HTTPS pages

    -Improved responsiveness for users on proxies

    Firefox 18 can be downloaded from the Mozilla website.

  • What It Looks Like To Hold The World’s Largest Smartphone
    LAS VEGAS — Smartphones just keep getting bigger and bigger. At the 2013 Consumer Electronics Show here in Las Vegas, Huawei has unveiled the Ascend…
  • Teachers Gravitate To Social Networks Tailored To Educators
    Within the wide expanse of social networking, educators appear to be gravitating to more protected and exclusive spaces. While teachers often use such popular mainstream…
  • LOOK: ‘Dog Who Wouldn’t Die’ Recovers Thanks To Viral Facebook Campaign
    Thanks to the residents of a Texas city and a Facebook campaign that has gone viral, an abused dog who was was left for dead…
  • VIDEO: 3D TV ‘shows two channels at once’
    Rory Cellan-Jones has been look at some the gadgets on show in Las Vegas that could shape our future – including a smart spoon that can make you eat slower.
    CNET at CES 2013…
  • Walmart and Straight Talk Wireless Now Carrying iPhone 5
    Walmart and Straight Talk Wireless are now carrying the iPhone 5, offering a $45 unlimited talk, text and data plan with no contract. It was previously reported by That’s It Guys. Straight Talk is a subsidiary of TracFone, and its iPhone customers will use AT&T’s network. There is no indication of whether the phones will support AT&T’s LTE network or not.

    Like other prepaid plans such as Virgin Mobile, users must pay full price for their iPhones without having them subsidized by the carrier. Unlike Virgin Mobile, Walmart is offering holders of the Walmart credit card a no-interest fixed payment plan for $25/month. This allows customers to have a unlimited talk, text and data plan for a total of $70/month before taxes and fees.


    Walmart and Straight Talk Wireless, America’s largest and top rated no-contract cell phone provider, today put the power back in the hands of customers with an industry game changing offer. Starting on January 11, 2013 in more than 2,000 Walmart stores and online at Walmart.com, customers now have access to the iPhone 5 and iPhone 4 on Straight Talk’s $45 no contract unlimited talk, text and data plan. To make this offer even more affordable, Walmart will be offering customers who purchase the phone in the store, a no interest fixed-monthly payments special financing offer for only $25 a month with a Walmart Credit Card.

    The Straight Talk wireless no contract plan, exclusive to Walmart, saves consumers on average $950 a year when they switch from conventional contract plans with similar unlimited plans. To learn more about how Straight Talk Wireless saves consumers $950 a year, please visit: www.straighttalk.com.

    The iPhone 5 is available in black or white for $649 for the 16GB model only, and the iPhone 4 is available in black or white for $449 for the 8GB model.

  • Apple Seeds Build 12D50 of OS X Beta 10.8.3 to Developers [Mac Blog]
    Apple today seeded build 12D50 of OS X 10.8.3 Mountain Lion to developers, the fifth beta release reports 9to5Mac. The first 10.8.3 beta was seeded back in November, and the third and fourth releases were released in December.

    Though the update comes with no known issues or new features, as before Apple has asked developers to focus on AirPlay, AirPort, Game Center, Graphics Drivers, and Safari in their testing. Registered developers can download it via the Apple Developer Page.

  • WSJ: Less Expensive iPhone Could Come as Soon as This Year
    A less expensive iPhone is in the works and could go on sale as soon as this year, reports the Wall Street Journal. Digitimes reported something similar earlier today.

    The translucent iPhone case for the iPhone 5, from iPhone5mod

    While Apple has explored such a device for years, the plan has been progressing and a less expensive version of the flagship device could launch as soon as later this year, one of the people said.

    The cheaper phone could resemble the standard iPhone, with a different, less-expensive body, one of the people said. One possibility Apple has considered is lowering the cost of the device by using a different shell made of polycarbonate plastic. Many other parts could remain the same or be recycled from older iPhone models.

    The WSJ reported that Apple was working on a cheaper, smaller iPhone two years ago, which the paper does note. Of course, Apple already does offer cheaper models than the flagship iPhone — currently the iPhone 4 and the iPhone 4S.

    The device could be aimed at emerging markets like India where postpaid plans are scarce, and users typically pay in full for their phones up front.

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