News Archive for 12/10/10

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Schmidt: iOS versus Android the industry's 'defining fight'

10/10, 11:01pm

Interview addresses patent wars, Apple Maps, Microsoft

In an interview with hosts Walt Mossberg and Kara Swisher for AllThingsD, Google Chariman Eric Schmidt called the market battle between iOS devices and the Android operating system "the defining fight in the industry today." He also called the ongoing smartphone patent wars "death," and that they were having a larger impact on small companies than large companies like Apple, Google, and Samsung.

Kindle Fire HD 4G approved for sale by the FCC

10/10, 10:31pm

Previous advertising required disclaimer mentioning approval absence

According to an Amazon spokeswoman, the online retailer has received approval from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to sell the 4G version of the Kindle Fire. The 8.9-inch tablet was unveiled last month, but the devices had not yet received FCC clearance, and was required to run disclaimers on web pages and emails promoting the product.

Researcher builds Facebook phone number data farming tool

10/10, 10:09pm

Facebook now limits tool's functionality to a few hundred at a time

On Friday, security researcher Suriya Prakash stated that the majority of Facebook-stored phone numbers are insecure, and have been so at least since September when he started examining the issue. A demonstration provided by Prakash showed that a simple script was able to collect phone numbers and corresponding Facebook names at a minimum with minimal time and cost. Facebook has since limited the utility of the script by basic flood control limitation, but Prakash claims that Facebook was not forthcoming when the social network did so.

Office for iOS revealed, promptly denied by Microsoft

10/10, 9:03pm

Microsoft Czech Republic affiliate releases info, immediately refuted

Following the remarks from a Czech Microsoft executive claiming imminent availability of Microsoft Office for iOS and Android in March 2013, Microsoft representatives in the US are denying the revealed release dates. Microsoft spokesman Frank X. Shaw publicly disowned the report, saying in a tweet that "the information shared by our Czech Republic subsidiary is not accurate. We have nothing further to share."

Motorola files to seal Samsung negotiations used as evidence

10/10, 8:09pm

Documents used in Apple versus Samsung patent trial

Motorola Mobility has asked Magistrate Judge Paul Grewal of the US District Court for the Northern District of California to seal "highly confidential" records of patent negotiations with Samsung. The summary of a licensing negotiation between Motorola and Samsung in 2000 was used in the Apple versus Samsung trial held in August to defend Samsung witnesses against Apple deposition.

Users allege suspicious Huawei, ZTE equipment behavior

10/10, 7:33pm

New allegations come in wake of House committee report

Following the release of a report from the House Intelligence Committee, the panel investigating possible security concerns stemming from Huawei and ZTE equipment use now claims to have received "dozens and dozens" of calls from former employees and customers of the two companies. These calls, according to Reuters allege suspicious equipment behavior, especially on the part of Huawei's equipment. The development is likely to result in intensified scrutiny of the two Chinese companies' dealings, further hampering their efforts to make gains in the US telecom market.

Google adds 100 virtual keyboards, typing tools to Gmail

10/10, 6:49pm

Gmail supports typing in 75 languages

Google has added a number of different input options to Gmail, in an effort to increase the number of international users of the service. The new additions include over 100 input method editors and virtual keyboards, allowing for text entry in a number of languages that do not use the Roman Alphabet.

Motorola versus Microsoft FRAND dismissal motion denied

10/10, 6:15pm

June motion by Motorola hoped to torpedo the November bench trial

Ruling on a July filing by Motorola, Federal Judge James L Robart of the Western District of Washington, presiding over the Microsoft versus Motorola fair, reasonable, and non-discriminatory (FRAND) dispute, denied Motorola's motion for a partial summary judgement dismissing Microsoft's request that the court create a license agreement for Motorola's standard patents. The matter will be resolved at the November 13 trial date.

IDC: Lenovo gains on HP, PC market struggling

10/10, 5:27pm

PC shipments down 8.6 percent from last year

Even as Lenovo posted high yearly growth and gained on market leader HP, the worldwide PC market saw a sharp decline in the third quarter of this year. This according to analysis firm IDC, which published its Worldwide Quarterly PC Tracker report earlier today. The report found that the PC market's well-established struggles with retaining market share as consumers increasingly opt for mobile devices instead of traditional PCs.

Groupon debuts Breadcrumb iPad-based point-of-sale system

10/10, 5:05pm

Coupon company moves into Square, OpenTable territory

Groupon has announced its first point-of-sale system for retail, Breadcrumb. The technology is iPad-only, but designed to be easily connected to hardware such as cash drawers and receipt printers. On top of handling transactions, the system also presents information on topics like sales figures, and food and labor costs.

Hands on: HTC One VX

10/10, 4:31pm

Midrange addition to the One family

HTC brought its latest handsets to San Diego this week for the MobileCon expo, where Electronista had a chance to check out the One VX. The device represents a midrange addition to the One lineup, pairing a 4.5-inch touchscreen with a dual-core 1.2GHz Snapdragon S4 processor and an LTE radio.

TweetDeck gets cross-platform visual updates

10/10, 4:06pm

Basic font, theme options added

Twitter has released simultaneous updates for the Mac, Windows, Chrome, and web versions of TweetDeck, its more advanced client software. The main change is the addition of a new theme which casts black text on a white background, instead of the standard white text on gray. A simple toggle control flips the theme back and forth at will.

Samsung makes Galaxy Music phones official

10/10, 3:32pm

Music phone also to come in dual-SIM version

Samsung has announced the launch of the newest addition to its Galaxy line of smartphones, the Galaxy Music. The new Android 4.0 smartphone is aimed at users that want more dedicated music functionality from their handsets. It will be compatible with an array of music file formats, as well as packed with a number of Samsung music and media apps.

Consumer Reports: 'Purple haze' issue not limited to iPhone

10/10, 3:29pm

iPhone 4S, major Android phones also affected

The "purple haze" problem with the iPhone 5's camera is actually prevalent along several major smartphones, according to Consumer Reports. The publication recently tested several devices, and found that the iPhone 4S, Samsung Galaxy S III, and Motorola Droid Razr Maxx all displayed degrees of the issue. In some cases the haze took on a different color or a rainbow effect, but all displayed similar trouble when bright lights were in the frame.

Chrome 'Pwnium' security flaw fixed within 24 hours

10/10, 3:22pm

Security contest rewards hacker with cash, Chromebook

Google has patched an exploit in Chrome less than 24 hours after it was disclosed at a hacker conference. The Pwnium 2 competition at Hack in the Box 2012 saw a single security flaw being discovered, which earned a hacker going by the name "Pinkie Pie" a free Chromebook and $60,000, the highest reward level in the contest.

ECOXGEAR intros rugged, floating Bluetooth speaker

10/10, 3:04pm

ECOXGEAR Bluetooth speaker is rugged, waterproof, and floats

ECOXGEAR launched its latest Bluetooth speaker, the ECOXBT. The rugged accessory is 100 percent waterproof and floats, so it's suitable to bring along on camping trips. It's IPX7 certification allows it to be submerged at up to one-meter of water for up to 30 minutes.

RIM shows more BlackBerry 10 features ahead of Q1 launch

10/10, 2:32pm

Balance feature locks enterprise functions

Research In Motion headlined the second-day keynote at the MobileCon expo in San Diego, where the company once again showed off its upcoming BlackBerry 10 platform. Chief information officer Robin Bienfait reiterated RIM's commitment to building a fresh computing platform "from the ground up," and further claimed the mobile device is "approaching the functionality and power of a laptop."

HTC exits US tablet market, but will keep a watchful eye

10/10, 2:11pm

HTC gives up on US tablet market but may return in the future

Taiwanese smartphone and tablet maker HTC has revealed it will stop selling tablet devices in the US. The market is saturated and Apple's iPad is far and away the leading offering, according to HTC's global online communications manager, Jeff Gordon. He did indicate the company will keep an eye on the market, however, and may return with a product it feels will adequately compete with the market leader.

UN patent meeting draws tech firms, regulators

10/10, 1:28pm

Summit aimed at preventing stifling of innovation

Hoping to bring some sense of order to the current technology patent environment, tech firms, patent officers, regulators, and others are meeting in Geneva at the behest of the United Nations. The BBC reports that the talks were organized by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), a UN agency charged with ensuring that phone manufacturers agree to standards ensuring interactivity. The ITU's patent roundtable has drawn attendees from the biggest names in technology -- including Apple, Google, HP, Broadcom, Huawei, Nokia, Qualcomm, Samsung, and more -- to Geneva for an event aimed at keeping the exercise of patents from stifling technological innovation.

Twitter buys yet-to-be-launched video-sharing app Vine

10/10, 1:27pm

Vine may allow Twitter users to share short video clips

Twitter may soon allow its subscribers to link to and share short video clips, if the latest reports of it buying a yet-to-be launched video clip sharing service prove true. While the details of the deal aren't known, Vine promises to let its user base share short video clips, often just seconds in duration, with others. This certainly fits in with Twitter's short character limit as well.

T-Mobile denies dropping iPhone from unlocking campaign

10/10, 1:12pm

Carrier says it has 'stepped up' efforts

T-Mobile USA is denying claims that it plans to drop the iPhone from its "Unlimited and Unlocked" campaign, a spokesperson tells 9to5Mac. Yesterday TmoNews reported that T-Mobile had issued an internal memo warning workers to no longer refer to Apple or the iPhone as a part of Unlimited & Unlocked marketing. The document also allegedly mentioned that "BYOi [Bring Your Own iPhone] Program focus will change to BYOD [Bring Your Own Device]," although "iPhone Demo Devices should continue to be used for training and customer demonstration purposes."

Office 2013 for iOS, Android due in March, says MS manager

10/10, 11:19am

Mobile suite may be s

iOS and Android versions of Office 2013 should be released in March, according to a Microsoft product manager. Petr Bobek made the comment at a press event in the Czech Republic earlier today. The Verge, meanwhile, says it has seen a press release from Microsoft's Czech team that confirms plans for "Windows Phone, Windows RT, Mac OS, Android, iOS and Symbian," on top of the flagship Windows edition. There should also be an Office Web Apps update.

Report tips iPad with UK LTE, says Mini will be Wi-Fi-only

10/10, 10:18am

iPad mini announcement anticipated as 'imminent'

The third-generation iPad will get a revision to support UK LTE bands, but the upcoming iPad mini will be Wi-Fi-only, according to industry sources contacted by The Guardian. While LTE is one of the major marketing points for the third-gen iPad, the chipset currently used by Apple only supports American and Canadian 4G bands. Public complaints and pressure from government agencies around the world ultimately forced Apple to de-emphasize LTE in its international advertising.

Analyst claims 13-inch Retina MacBook Pro still on track

10/10, 9:21am

Release expected after iPad Mini announcement

Production of a 13-inch MacBook Pro with a Retina display is still "on track", claims an analyst at NPD DisplaySearch. Speaking to CNET, Richard Shim believes the notebook will begin manufacture in the fourth quarter, later than estimates made by other analysts earlier this year for an October production start.

Developers warned Apple about iOS Maps in June

10/10, 7:30am

Developers alerted Apple about Maps woes as far back as June

Apple knew of iOS 6 Maps problems as far back as June this year, says CNET. After the first beta of iOS 6 was seeded to developers, feedback on errors and inaccuracies in the new app were supplied by numerous parties. Developers filed bug reports, emails were sent to specific employees, and frustration was also expressed on developer-only message boards viewed by Apple.

Logitech readies touch mice, touchpad for Windows 8

10/10, 7:07am

Gesture control, glass touch surfaces added to peripherals

Logitech has shown off two new mice and a trackpad designed with Windows 8 in mind. The Wireless Rechargeable Touchpad T650, Touch Mouse T620, and Zone Touch Mouse T400 do away with physical buttons for the most part, instead replacing them with touch-sensitive areas for scrolling and gesture controls.

Use of aluminum unibody slowing iPhone 5 production

10/10, 6:39am

iPhone 5 production being slowed by tighter quality control standards

Apple's decision to use an aluminum unibody chassis for the iPhone 5 is causing supply constraints, reports Bloomberg. Apple chose the material for its light weight and resistance to cracking, it is also softer than the Gorilla glass used on the back of the iPhone 4 and 4S. It has caused quality control issues during manufacture resulting in lower production yields at Foxconn following pressure from Apple executives after it emerged that iPhone 5s with scratches, scuffing and nicks were being shipped to customers.

Samsung confirms 4-inch Galaxy S III mini launch tomorrow

10/10, 4:34am

Mobile head claims 4-inch form factor for European market

Samsung has confirmed that it will be launching the Galaxy S III Mini tomorrow. JK Shin, head of Mobile Communications at Samsung, commented on tomorrow's event in Germany to Inews24, confirming the device to have a four-inch screen and have a "full form factor," though it will not apparently be an entry-level smartphone.

Hands on: LG Optimus L9 for T-Mobile

10/10, 3:02am

Lightweight, midrange Android phone

LG recently expanded its Android lineup with the Optimus L9, a midrange handset that is set to launch at T-Mobile. The handset sports a 4.5-inch display and a high-density battery, helping to maintain a thin profile without sacrificing battery life on the carrier's 4G network. The L9 has yet to arrive in stores, but Electronista had a chance to try out the new phone ahead of its formal launch.

Apple Stores to carry Pear Sports Mobile Training kit

10/10, 2:31am

Uses biofeedback to deliver customized coaching

Sports and fitness app makers Pear Sports are now offering a free app that interfaces with a $150 kit sold at Apple retail stores to help users achieve fitness or weight-loss goals using personalized coaching from top personal coaches based on the biofeedback the kit sends the app. The product includes a Bluetooth heart monitor, a pair of Pear earbuds for listening to music and the coaching, and the app for iPhone or iPod Touch. The app provides real-time feedback and encouragement using data gained from the heart rate monitor.

New Slingbox 350, 500 models unveiled

10/10, 2:25am

First new models in three years released

Sling Media has rolled out the Slingbox 500 and Slingbox 350, two completely redesigned retail Slingbox products that provide live streaming of television, sporting events, recorded programming and premium content to smartphones, tablets, laptops and connected devices. In addition, the Slingbox 500 introduces new features, including Wi-Fi and HDMI, as well as a platform for delivering personal content to the TV.

EU testing Apple e-book settlement, due in next few months

10/10, 1:38am

One of five publishers not participating in settlement

The head of the European Commission believes that a settlement could be reached in the Apple e-book antitrust case "in the coming couple of months." The European Commission is now market-testing an offer by Apple and four publishers in a bid to end the probe. The publishers involved mirror those from the US case over the same e-book price-fixing allegations -- Simon & Schuster, HarperCollins, Hachette Livra, and Macmillan are all named in the settlement offer. Publisher Penguin was also charged in the investigation, but is not participating in the settlement.

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