HP reportedly tried to offload Palm assets for $1.2 billion

By on December 28, 2011 at 10:50 PM.

HP reportedly tried to offload Palm assets for $1.2 billion

Hewlett-Packard has made some wild decisions regarding Palm and webOS following the acquisition in 2010. HP bought Palm for $1.2 billion in April of last year, killed webOS hardware, and then reportedly tried to sell Palm and the dead operating system for $1.2 billion, VentureBeat said Wednesday. Among the companies approached by HP? Facebook. According to the report, HP tried to offload webOS to the social network but the company was “practically laughed out of the room” by Facebook executives. HP eventually cut its losses and announced that it would contribute webOS to the open source community. Then, earlier this month, HP stunned the industry again when it said new webOS hardware, including a possible new tablet, is in development. More →

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$25 Raspberry Pi computer is as small as a credit card, will launch next month

By on December 28, 2011 at 9:35 PM.

$25 Raspberry Pi computer is as small as a credit card, will launch next month

The Raspberry Pi Foundation is preparing to launch a new ultra-affordable Linux-powered computer next month that is the size of a credit card. It’s so affordable, in fact, that it will cost just $25 or $35, depending on how much RAM the buyer requires. In an interview with Edge, Raspberry Pi Foundation head David Braben said, despite the size and low cost, the Raspberry Pi computer is powerful enough to run games such as Quake III Arena and power 1080p video. The company will launch just 10,000 units to developers next month, mostly in the United Kingdom. “At the moment we’re appealing to techy people because we want people to give their time for free, writing software and improving things, porting them from other places, and putting them into the public domain, essentially, so we can use them for education,” Braben said, noting that he hopes to turn the developer board into a consumer-friendly device next year. The Raspberry Pi is equipped with a 700MHz processor, 128MB or 256MB of RAM, support for an SD card, and both HDMI and RCA outputs. More →

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Holiday spending jumps 15% from last year to $35.3 billion

By on December 28, 2011 at 8:10 PM.

Holiday spending jumps 15% from last year to $35.3 billion

U.S. Consumers spent $35.3 billion during this year’s holiday season, up 15% from the same period last year. Shoppers also spent a total of $2.8 billion during the week ended December 25th, up 16% from the same week in 2010, comScore reported. “Holiday e-commerce spending has remained strong throughout the season, and we have now reached a record $35 billion in U.S. online sales for the season-to-date,” said comScore chairman Gian Fulgoni, noting that the record $1.25 billion spent on Cyber Monday represented the heaviest online spending day for the second straight year. ComScore also said that there were a total of nine days during the holiday season during which consumers spent more than $1 billion. The research firm noticed a spike in digital content and subscription sales on Christmas Day, no doubt as a result of consumers loading up their new tablets, computers and phones with applications. Digital content and subscription purchases typically counted for 2.8% of all e-commerce sales during the holiday season, but that figure jumped to more than 20% on Christmas Day. ComScore’s full press release follows after the break. More →

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Google+ reportedly passes 62 million users, adding 625,000 new users per day

By on December 28, 2011 at 6:55 PM.

Google+ reportedly passes 62 million users, adding 625,000 new users per day

If you turned on your television over the holidays you most likely encountered one of many Google advertisements. The Mountain View company has been pushing brand awareness with commercials highlighting Chrome web browsing, Google Search and social networking on Google+. It would appear the advertising is paying off, as Google+ is reportedly adding new users at a rapid pace. The social networking site has over 62 million users and is adding 625,000 new users each day according to unofficial Google+ statistician Paul Allen. What is astonishing is that nearly a quarter of all Google+ users joined in December alone. If the rate of new sign-ups continues, Allen predicts that Google+ will reach 100 million users on February 25th, 200 million users on August 3rd, and will finish 2012 with 293 million users. However, he also believes that 2012 will be the breakout year for the social networking site, and that it could reach more than 400 million users by the end of the year. Impressive nonetheless, Allen’s numbers only show how many people are signing up for Google + and there is no indication how frequently those users actually make use of their accounts regularly. More →

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Airtight brings Apple AirPlay to Google TV

By on December 28, 2011 at 5:40 PM.

Airtight brings Apple AirPlay to Google TV

Apple iOS users have long been able to take advantage of the company’s wireless streaming feature, AirPlay, that is built into all iPads, iPhones, and iPod touch devices. Airtight is a new app that just arrived in the Android Market, and it gives Android users the same wireless streaming capacity. The app is available for Google TV boxes running at least Android 3.0, and will allow users to stream content from their iOS devices right to their televisions using AirPlay. While Airtight will allow users to stream photos and videos, full mirroring of a device and DRM-protected media is unsupported in the current version. Airtight’s developers plan to further expand the capabilities of the app and are looking to include music as well as the rest of AirPlay’s functionality in the future. Airtight is available immediately for $0.99 in the Android Market. More →

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Microsoft testing fix for Windows Phone SMS security hole

By on December 28, 2011 at 4:55 PM.

Microsoft testing fix for Windows Phone SMS security hole

Microsoft is reportedly testing a fix to a Windows Phone SMS security hole that was first discovered by Khaled Salameh earlier this month. “[Microsoft's] Security Team contacted me today, they’ve confirmed the WP7 SMS Bug and found the root cause, a fix is currently under testing,” Salameh tweeted on Wednesday. Here’s how the bug worked: one user could send a text message with a specific string of characters to a Windows Phone device that would automatically reboot the phone and then lock the Windows Phone user out of the Messaging Hub. It is unclear when Microsoft will issue the patch to the public. More →

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Pentagon approves Android device for Department of Defense, Apple still awaits clearance

By on December 28, 2011 at 4:20 PM.

Pentagon approves Android device for Department of Defense, Apple still awaits clearance

Research in Motion’s BlackBerry OS has been the platform of choice for the Department of Defense for many years thanks to RIM’s robust security. However, with the rise of Google’s Android and Apple’s iOS operating systems, the DoD may be moving away from BlackBerry devices. In a recent Security Technical Implementation Guide, the DoD approved the use of Android-powered devices by its staff, but the Dell Venue is currently the only phone that qualifies. The DoD states that a device must be running Android 2.2 and have the Android Market stripped from its core in order to be used by staff. Moreover, all web browsing must be done through a DoD proxy server and classified information cannot be sent, received or accessed by Android handsets. Apple’s iPhones and iPads are also being tested by the Defense Information Systems Agency, however due to Apple’s tightly controlled ecosystem, the devices have not yet been approved. Installing DoD third-party security software was more difficult on iOS than Android’s open-source framework. Additionally, government officials said they were uncomfortable with Apple’s ability to track its users’ locations. More →

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Samsung may offer ‘value pack’ instead of full Android 4.0 for Galaxy S and Galaxy Tab

By on December 28, 2011 at 3:45 PM.

Samsung may offer ‘value pack’ instead of full Android 4.0 for Galaxy S and Galaxy Tab

Samsung originally went on the record stating that it will not provide an Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich upgrade for the Galaxy S or 7-inch Galaxy Tab. The company originally cited memory issues related to its TouchWiz user interface, but on Tuesday, reports surfaced suggesting that Samsung HQ was reconsidering its original statement. A more recent report published by the South Korean website Duam on Wednesday, however, said Samsung may instead offer an “Android Value Pack” that will include a number of enhancements to both devices without the need for full-blown Android 4.0. Duam said the value pack update could offer improved web surfing, better multitasking, new widgets, camera improvements and more. Samsung did not immediately respond to a request for comment. More →

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Gameloft sale drops price on all Android games to 99¢

By on December 28, 2011 at 3:10 PM.

Gameloft sale drops price on all Android games to 99¢

When it comes to mobile gaming, no one does it better than Gameloft. The French company is known for its visually stunning and in-depth game-play, having repeatedly raised the bar for mobile gaming throughout the years. Gameloft’s paid games range from $0.99 to $6.99, however, from December 29th through January 5th all of the company’s paid games can be had for $0.99. There is no catch and no gimmick; all games means all games, including the newly released first-person shooter Modern Combat 3: Fallen Nation, originally priced at $6.99. Other titles you may want to check out, should you have a compatible device, include Order & Chaos Online, N.O.V.A. 2 HD, 9mm HD, Adventures of TinTin, and BackStab HD. The sale begins tomorrow, December 29th, at 1:00 p.m. More →

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Verizon 4G LTE suffering nationwide outage for third time this month [updated]

By on December 28, 2011 at 2:05 PM.

Verizon 4G LTE suffering nationwide outage for third time this month [updated]

Verizon Wireless users are once again suffering from a widespread 4G LTE and 3G EV-DO data outage. The outage is the third one of the month and only seems to be affecting users with 4G LTE devices. A recording on Verizon’s support line reveals that the company is aware of the issue and working to fix it, but no indication was given as far as when service might be restored. We have received reports stating that service is out across the country, with confirmed outages in parts of New York, New Jersey, North Carolina and other regions.

UPDATE: Verizon Wireless issued BGR the following statement on the outage: “We are investigating reports of some customers experiencing trouble accessing the 4GLTE network. The network itself continues to operate and all customers continue to be able to make calls, send text messages and utilize data services. 3G devices are operating normally.”

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Kindle accessory maker sues Amazon for extortion

By on December 28, 2011 at 1:50 PM.

Kindle accessory maker sues Amazon for extortion

M-Edge Accessories has filed a lawsuit against Amazon with a federal court in Maryland that accuses the online retailer of bullying it into coughing up higher commissions in exchange for better placement on Amazon’s website. M-Edge Accessories isn’t just filing a suit for extortion according to The Wall Street Journal, however — the accessory maker is also accusing Amazon of patent infringement, false advertising, creating unfair competition and hampering M-Edge’s customer relations. Amazon reportedly played some pretty dirty games with M-Edge in order to secure a larger percentage of commissions. M-Edge said it initially signed a deal with Amazon that would provide the retailer with a 15% commission on all goods sold. Amazon allegedly came back two months later and demanded a larger 32% commission. When M-Edge declined, an executive told M-Edge that Amazon would “de-list,” “play” with, or bury the accessory maker’s products so that “no one will be able to find you.” M-Edge eventually signed a new contract with Amazon, but it had to pay $6.5 million in commissions in order to do so. Even still, Amazon allegedly left its products off of the “Amazon Approved Accessory Maker” list. M-Edge is also suing Amazon for patent infringement and is arguing that it holds a patent for a Kindle case with a built-in reading light. More →

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Quad-core Samsung Galaxy S III to be unveiled at MWC 2012

By on December 28, 2011 at 12:45 PM.

Quad-core Samsung Galaxy S III to be unveiled at MWC 2012

Samsung’s Galaxy lineup has been one of the most sought after smartphone lines worldwide. The Galaxy S II became the company’s fastest selling smartphone ever, selling 3 million units in just 55 days. Moreover, Samsung sold more than 30 million Galaxy S and Galaxy S II smartphones worldwide as of October. There is no question that consumers are interested in the Galaxy lineup and it is almost certain that we will see a Galaxy S III in 2012. According to Korean website ETNews, the much anticipated device will debut at Mobile World Congress in February and feature a quad-core Exynos chipset. Additionally, the Galaxy S III will sport a Super AMOLED Plus 720p display, LTE connectivity, 2GB of RAM and Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich with TouchWiz. It has also been rumored that Samsung’s flagship device will feature 3D technology that will integrate the device with 3D television sets. Mobile World Congress is scheduled for February 27 through March 1, 2012 in Barcelona, Spain. More →

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Looking back at 2011: RIM on the ropes

By on December 28, 2011 at 11:40 AM.

Looking back at 2011: RIM on the ropes

2011 was a huge year for the wireless industry. Global mobile connections surpassed 6 billion as the world’s total population hit 7 billion people, and worldwide smartphone penetration is now approaching 10%. In the United States, smartphone penetration has now topped 44% as converged, connected devices continue to flood the market across all age ranges. The rapid growth in the smartphone space can be attributed for the most part to two platforms, Android and iOS, and other companies continue to struggle to gain or even maintain their ground in a market that is expanding faster than it ever has before. Microsoft’s Windows Phone OS is heralded as a breath of fresh air but significant sales still elude the company’s vendor partners. On the other side of the coin, age finally caught up with Research In Motion’s BlackBerry OS and smartphone users are becoming increasingly disinterested in a platform that was once the most desirable mobile experience in the world. More →

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