Beijing-based exchange freezes accounts and halts withdrawals
Another Bitcoin exchange has run into financial problems, following in the wake of other recent turmoil surrounding the currency after the collapse of Mt. Gox. Vircurex, based in Beijing, is faced with insolvency, causing the company to immediately halt withdrawals. Starting March 24, the company will put a freeze on all customer accounts.
Includes Safari 6.0.5
Apple has released a completed v10.8.4 update for OS X Mountain Lion. The release solves numerous issues, such as compatibility problems when connecting to enterprise Wi-Fi networks, and support for Microsoft Exchange in Calendar. FaceTime calls should now properly connect to non-US phone numbers, and Macs should go to sleep after using Boot Camp.
New version does not appear to contain any other changes
Apple has updated its iOS platform to version 6.1.2 specifically to address a serious bug in the way it handles Exchange calendars. The problem, which first appeared in version 6.1, caused excessive logging and usage of resources on Microsoft Exchange 2010-based servers, and also ran down the battery and overtaxed affected iOS devices. Apple identified a fix on Valentine's Day but released it mid-day on Tuesday. The problem also affected Office 365's Online Exchange.
Expected to fix Exchange glitches, lockscreen vulnerability
iOS 6.1.2 is already in development and should go live early next, say sources for German website iFun. The site adds that the firmware will probably go live before February 20th, and that it's expected to close the lockscreen vulnerability discovered in iOS 6.1, along with Exchange problems. It could conceivably fix other issues as well, but these aren't mentioned by iFun.
Firmware overloads servers
Microsoft has posted a support document explaining how to work around trouble with Exchange support in iOS 6.1. "When a user syncs a mailbox by using an iOS 6.1-based device, Microsoft Exchange Server 2010 Client Access server (CAS) and Mailbox (MBX) server resources are consumed, log growth becomes excessive, memory and CPU use may increase significantly, and server performance is affected," the company begins. "Additionally, Office 365 Exchange Online users receive an error message that resembles the following on an iOS 6.1-based device: 'Cannot Get Mail The connection to the server failed.'"
Legal battle focuses on ActiveSync tech
Microsoft has won an International Trade Commission ruling that may result in an import ban on several Motorola devices. The companies are involved in several separate intellectual-property disputes, though the latest ITC ruling focuses on a lawsuit filed by Microsoft over patented Exchange ActiveSync technology.
Walmart to carry four U Prepaid phones
Regional wireless providers US Cellular and Alltel have teamed up with Walmart on an upcoming launch of a new no-contract service. Called U Prepaid, it will be available in nearly 500 Walmart stores in 18 states. The service will focus on offering simple and easy-to-understand service plans.
Nokia and Microsoft might gut BlackBerry in deal
Nokia and Microsoft's talk of possibly buying RIM would amount to a wholesale OS replacement, new leaks uncovered late Friday. The Wall Street Journal tip not only left the door open to a "coordinated" bid for RIM but understood they would drop the BlackBerry OS entirely in favor of Windows Phone. Microsoft would take over the server side, the informants said, implying that it would go to a direct Exchange server instead of a BlackBerry Enterprise Server.
Gmail for iOS quickly made real
A rumor was quickly confirmed on Wednesday after Google posted an iOS-native Gmail app (free, App Store). The title is universal for both the iPhone and iPad and is intended to give a level of speed that isn't normally available through iOS itself: new messages are flagged in real-time through push notifications without having to use Exchange. It also brings expected specific features such as Priority Inbox, labeling, starring, and spam flags.
Jefferies analyst sees RIM too fast on BBerry Colt
RIM's self-proclaimed "superphone" based on its new QNX platform, unofficially known as the BlackBerry Colt, might be pushed too quickly into the market. Based on "checks," Jefferies & Co. analyst Peter Misek believed on Friday that the Colt was "being rushed' with no BlackBerry Enterprise Server or possibly BlackBerry Internet Service support. The company might be following a classic technology company practice of speeding up its timing solely to have a device to show for CES in January, something that Misek saw as a potentially fatal mistake.
Motorola Pro Plus unveiled
Motorola took a second shot at capturing the pro smartphone market away from RIM on Tuesday with the Pro+. Along with a sleeker and more BlackBerry Bold-like shape, it's the first work-level phone from Motorola with Android 2.3. Accordingly, it gets the latest version of the Blur interface and has seen its 3.1-inch display upgraded to a sharper 640x480, twice as dense as the older Droid Pro and XPRT.
BlackBerry Colt with QNX seen shipping early 2012
A possibly major scoop Monday has shed light on what could be RIM's first phone using the QNX platform from the PlayBook. So far known as the BlackBerry Colt, the long promised device would fall short of RIM's repeated claims of having a "superphone" through lower performance. BGR's source understood that attempts to maintain the BlackBerry's reputation for battery life meant the Colt would still go with a single-core processor where most of its competitors will have dual- or even quad-core processors when it ships.
Windows Phone Mango hits summer with new phones
(Update: corrected to fall) Microsoft ahead of its live event on Tuesday gave word of the launch of its planned Mango update for Windows Phone 7. The update is still penned in to the fall. The upgrade will also come with some partners completely new to WP7, such as Acer, Fujitsu, and ZTE, as well as new models from existing phone makers.
iPhone over 3X more popular in work than Android
Apple is still far ahead in corporate adoption compared to Google, Intermedia found in a study late Thursday. Despite Android's inroads at home, iPhones made up 61 percent of those using Exchange on Intermedia's global hosting service. Only 17 percent of devices were Android, making the group smaller than the 22 percent "other" category including minority platforms like Windows Mobile, Windows Phone, HP's webOS, and Symbian.
RIM buys Tungle for BlackBerry calendar sync
RIM on Wednesday bought Tungle. The company is best known for a calendar sync service that lets users keep their schedule updated across desktop apps and platforms as well as share available scheduling time with others. Users could either update on the web as well as on BlackBerry and iOS mobile apps, with an Android version still in the works before the takeover.
Drobo for business targets big users
Drobo on Tuesday brought out its first range of Drobo business drives aimed both at companies and at home users with very high demands. The eight-bay B800fs and B800i, as well as the 12-bay B1200i, are speed-optimized beyond their regular counterparts and have new management tools along with extra after-the-sale support and services. All have been greenlit to work with Citrix, Exchange, SharePoint, Symantec backup, and VMware.
Nokia ships E7 to stores but E6 appears
Nokia today began shipping the E7 as its second true modern Symbian flagship. The long delayed QWERTY slider is designed with an eye to both home and work; it revolves around a four-inch, ClearBlack-equipped OLED (albeit at 640x360) and an eight-megapixel camera with 720p video but still has pro features such as VPN access, Adobe Reader, Exchange mail and Office Communicator Mobile for live work chat. It comes with 16GB of memory built-in and has both HDMI as well as the unique trick of a USB port that can take external storage.
Microsoft backs Yahoo mail as cause of WP7 bug
Microsoft today in an official response acknowledged that Yahoo mail was at fault for the phantom 3G data bug plaguing Windows Phone 7 users. Confirming what had been discovered mentioned that an "inefficiency" exists when syncing mail, it said it was working with Yahoo and had identified a fix it expected in the next few weeks. The OS maker repeated Rafael Rivera's temporary workarounds and suggested checking Yahoo mail only manually.
iOS 4.2 being bypassed entirely?
Apple is seeding a new gold master of iOS to developers, v4.2.1, reports say. Although no notes have been leaked, one source claims that the firmware is aimed at fixing some serious issues with audio and Exchange support in iOS 4.2, which itself received an unusual second gold master distribution last Friday. Apple has yet to push v4.2 out to the public, and the existence of a v4.2.1 preview likely suggests that the former will not reach the general public.
v1.7.0 also fixes minor issues
Good Technology have updated their free Good for Enterprise application for iOS devices to v1.7.0, adding a new iPad HD version to the universal iOS app which makes full use of the expanded screen size. Good For Enterprise allows business users to easily work with "corporate" secure email accounts, calendars and contacts from Microsoft Exchange and Lotus Domino servers, taking advantage of the enterprise features in iOS 3 and higher to deliver push synchronization, over-the-air and on-device encryption, password policy enforcement and remote wiping of data.
Dell drops 25,000 BlackBerries for Venue Pro
Dell dealt a blow to RIM tonight and said it would switch all of its BlackBerry-equipped staff to its own phones. The more than 25,000 workers currently assigned a BlackBerry will instead switch over to the Windows Phone 7-based Venue Pro. Company representative David Frink expected the switch to start in the near future but told Reuters the rollout would be gradual.
Google sues US Interior Dept for Microsoft deals
Google today sued the US Department of the Interior for alleged favoritism in picking Microsoft over others for contracts (document below). The complaint accused the government of automatically ruling out Google Apps and other products by requiring that any solution for its messaging service use the Microsoft Business Productivity Online Suite, excluding Google entirely. Limiting the choices to Microsoft was "unduly restrictive" and limited competition, the search firm said.
Ray Ozzie leaves Microsoft
Microsoft was dealt a hit to its long-term plans as its Chief Software Architect today said he was retiring from the company. The veteran planned to move to the "broader area of entertainment" where Microsoft was still involved, CEO Steve Ballmer wrote in an e-mail. He would stay with the company for an unspecified amount of time to help oversee transitions among various projects.
Samsung Captivate gets GPS update OTA
Samsung today posted an update for the Captivate on AT&T that addresses its GPS speed. The upgrade fixes a well-known sluggish GPS lock-in problem that prevented most Galaxy S phones from getting their positions quickly or at all. Patching also adds a full version of QuickOffice instead of the trial, speeds up checking for new media on the phone and improves the handling of Exchange 2003 policies.
Peek 9 adds app platform and maps
Peek after a brief teaser today launched the Peek 9, the latest generation of its always-on e-mail reader. The new version earns its name by running about nine times faster than the Pronto as well as through better reception for its T-Mobile 2G connection. It also becomes a multi-app device for the first time as it can check Google Maps, Facebook and Twitter.
Nokia E7 becomes first Symbian3 business phone
Nokia capped off its Nokia World news with its first Eseries pro phone to use Symbian^3. The E7 takes the aluminum shell of the N8 but adds a sliding, tilting display that reveals a QWERTY keyboard underneath. Its trick design preserves the N8's four-inch, 640x360 AMOLED, now with the outdoor-friendly ClearBlack panel of the C6 and C7, without adding significant bulk.
JPMorgan testing iPhone and Android support
The BlackBerry may be handed one of its more significant losses as insiders said today that JPMorgan and UBS are working to allow Android and iPhone hardware for their workers. JPMorgan is purportedly testing "a few hundred" devices of both varieties to make sure they work well with its Exchange system, Bloomberg said. Under the proposed final plan, staff would have to pay for the phones themselves, unlike the BlackBerry, but could use it for both personal and company work.
iPad making deep inroads into business
The iPad already has a footprint in half of the companies in the Fortune 100, Apple said in the call discussing its spring results. About 50 percent of the top companies are already either using or testing the tablet for corporate use. Chief operating officer Tim Cook didn't have specific adoption rates but characterized the early acceptance at the workplace as "incredible."
Update available as a configuration file
Apple has posted a fix for Exchange sync issues with iOS 4. Many users encountered problems attempting to sync with Exchange ActiveSync Mail, Contacts, or Calendars after updating to iOS 4. The issue reportedly caused a complete failure for some users, or an excessively slow sync for others.
Standard Chartered makes iPhone option worldwide
RIM was dealt a blow on Monday after British bank Standard Chartered said it would let workers switch from the BlackBerry to the iPhone. The bank has been converting its e-mail system worldwide and will offer to cover the iPhone service costs of anyone who needs a smartphone for work. Company officials didn't know how soon the entire company would move over or how many of Standard Chartered's 75,000 staff are equipped with smartphones.
MobileMe would give iPhone edge over Android
A tentative new rumor asserts that Apple may turn MobileMe into a free service. The plan would drop the $99 annual fee and let anyone with an iPad, iPod, iPhone or Mac get the online sync service for free. The MDN contact wouldn't give a launch window but hinted at it coming "sooner than later" with the launch depending on "certain facilities" going live on time.
Download fixes corporate e-mail issue
Verizon has already distributed over-the-air software updates for the HTC's Incredible smartphone. The downloads, which began to arrive sometime last week, appear to address an issue related to Exhange used for corporate e-mail accounts.
Dell Aero to come loaded with custom apps
The Dell Aero when it ships will veer far from the usual Android smartphone lineup, a leaked presentation slipped out late last night. The Mini 3 variant will support protected Windows Media music for download and streaming audio and may be the first Android phone to support PlayReady DRM. Sheets in the Engadget documents point to more Microsoft hooks as it would get both Exchange support (including ActiveSync) and QuickOffice for basic Office file editing.
E-mail, security, delivery cited as problems
The iPad may potentially lure in businesses, but some decisions on Apple's part will ultimately limit sales, analysts say. Some attractive points are said to include iWork, which can handle basic job tasks, and Safari, which in its enhanced form may be good for web-based apps. Salespeople may find the device useful for its visuals, and still other workers may simply need a large touchscreen.
EU approves Windows 7 browser ballot
The European Commission on Wednesday greenlit Microsoft's updated proposal for a browser ballot within Windows 7. Now referred to as a "choice screen," the ballot will give EU users what the Commission says is as neutral a choice as possible for their browser. Those first booting a Windows PC will get a neutral window to pick their browser and will see the browsers presented in a random order that gives equal weight to Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer, Opera and Safari.
Samsung Behold II coming to T-Mobile
T-Mobile started off the week with word of its first Samsung phone with Android. The Behold II has graduated from a feature phone to a full smartphone and carries the full Google suite of apps as well as Android Market for third-party apps. Unlike the Galaxy it's based on, though, the Behold II is Samsung's first phone to bring its TouchWiz interface and not only has the widget sidebar but a 3D cube menu that provides shortcuts to common tasks like media, the web and the Amazon MP3 online store. Microsoft Exchange sync also adds to what Google would bring itself.
Palm webOS 1.2.1 fixes iTunes, Exchange
Palm today quietly circumvented Apple's protective measures again with webOS 1.2.1. Its second update in a week is the first to restore iTunes syncing for the Pre since iTunes 8.2 and will let the Pre take media from iTunes 9.0.1 as though it were a native device in the jukebox software. It even adds deeper integration and will now sync photo albums as well as lower-resolution versions that save space on the phone.
Problems with Exchange, power, more
Downloaders of the iPhone 3.1 firmware are experiencing a variety of problems, according to talk on Apple's support forums. Perhaps the most serious involves occasional total shutdowns, which occur without warning. Affected iPhones can be revived, but only after a manual reboot.
Snow Leopard on Aug. 28
Validating rumors, Apple has formally announced that Mac OS X Snow Leopard will ship on August 28th, just ahead of its predicted September launch date. The software is a $29 upgrade for individual Leopard owners, or a $49 upgrade for people needing a five-license family pack. It can also be had with a new Mac computer, or as a part of the Mac Box Set, which bundles the latest versions of iLife and iWork. Single-user and family pack versions of the Box Set cost $169 and $229, respectively.
MS Nokia Office Tomorrow
Microsoft this evening said it and Nokia together would hold a conference call late tomorrow morning to unveil an "alliance" between the two firms. The two aren't specific about details. As the call will be led by Microsoft Business president Stephen Elop as well as Nokia's executive devices VP Kai Öistämö, however, it's the news may involve the addition of Office apps to Nokia's smartphones, especially its Eseries business models.
SyncEm supports Google
Derman Enterprises released an update to its sync software, Sync'Em 1.33. The latest version adds support for basic Google calendar events and contact fields, while handling of FileAs/FileAsMapping fields in Exchange has been improved. The company also revamped the user interface and fixed several syncing bugs.
Palm webOS Restores iTunes
Palm tonight countered Apple's move to break iTunes syncing by releasing webOS 1.1. The previously promised update restores full syncing with iTunes 8.2.1 and lets both the Pre and future webOS phones once more transfer music, photos and videos directly from the jukebox software. It's not clear what was changed to restore access, though Apple explicitly mentioned that its iTunes patch checked the authenticity of devices, hinting that Palm has found a way to bypass or fool the check.
Palm webOS 1 1 Leak
A tip regarding Palm's future webOS 1.1 update hints that the smartphone OS is about to receive a significant upgrade, particularly for business users. The new firmware described by PreCentral should give the Pre and future Palm phones much requested Microsoft Exchange features such as support for company-initiated remote wipes, requiring a PIN to unlock the phone, forcing a certain complexity of PIN, and automatically locking the phone when it goes unused for a certain amount of time. All of the additions are considered essential for the phone, which has seen unusually high interest from corporate buyers and to compete against the iPhone in the workplace.
Palm on Licensing webOS
Palm chief Jon Rubinstein during the company's fiscal results call yesterday evening detailed the company's stance on licensing webOS as well as some of the early reaction to the Pre. Addressing a question on whether Palm would ever let other companies make webOS phones, the executive was emphatic that there were no current plans for this but explained that it was "not a religious issue" for the company. Although not directly stated, the implication was that Palm didn't share Apple's opinion that software exclusivity was essential to integrating with its hardware.
Sunflower, ImageFlow FX
DMG Master 2.1 ($20) is a utility that allows users to create standard Disk Image Archives from their own files. Users can select any file or group of files and covert them into an archive that can be recognized by any Mac. New to this release is the option to encrypt archives using either AES-128 or AES-256 encryption. The interface has also received small improvements and several new preference options have been added. [Download - 0.78MB]
Palm Pre Leaked Guide
A leak of Sprint's guide to the Palm Pre for business late yesterday has revealed key details about the launch of the smartphone, including Sprint's attitude towards both the iPhone and T-Mobile G1. In its comparison unearthed by Engadget, the carrier touts less direct features as an advantage, including the built-in camera flash, a hardware keyboard and the Synergy feature that merges multiple contacts and calendars. Sprint also boasts the least expensive unlimited service with a $100 plan compared to the $150 for an iPhone on AT&T and $125 for T-Mobile.
Sync'Em 1.24 update
Derman has published an update to Sync'Em, its synchronization utility for Macs. The software links contact and calendar information from iCal, Mail and Address Book with Google and Exchange accounts. Users can also omit local systems from the equation, and sync solely between Google and/or Exchange accounts. Some features remain incomplete, such as the the ability to share notes and tasks across platforms.
Google Sync for iPhone
Google this afternoon revamped Google Sync to include beta two-way support for iPhone, iPod touch and Windows Mobile devices. These and any SyncML devices can make updates to calendars and contacts that get sent to Google's cloud with changes elsewhere sent back to the devices. The feature works through a new license Google has obtained that uses Microsoft's Exchange to push the information in near real-time.
Helio Ocean 2 in Feb.?
MVNO carrier Helio may ship its second Ocean smartphone as early as February, according to a company representative. The phone is at least due this quarter, which would put a release date no further than the end of March. The current Ocean is Helio's signature phone, a messaging device with many iPhone-like features such as a YouTube client and a built-in GPS receiver. The Ocean 2 is expected to have similar features, such as a microSD slot and a two-megapixel camera with flash.
Web Dumper, MediaLink
Sync'Em 1.2 ($50) is an application for syncing Exchange, Google and Apple contact and calendar information. The update has added extra options to the applications uninstaller which can be helpful with a later reinstall. Users will also find a few interface enhancements, a fix for a syncing issue that could cause the application to hang and a a work around for a problem with unhandled exceptions in OS X's Sync Services. [Download - 16.1MB]