A month with Apple's new iPad Air
Every new iPad is the best iPad yet when it debuts, but the iPad Air is something more...
In addition to meeting whatever requirements the Federal Aviation Administration may have in place for such projects, Amazon Prime Air drones may also have to face actual physical threats. Assuming the company will be allowed to use unmanned autonomous flying devices to deliver goods in 30 minutes or less, Amazon will need to figure out a way to help its drones avoid bird attacks and even sniper threats. Slate mentions a variety of examples from the wild, in which various species of birds attack other birds or flying devices perceived as potential dangers to their habitat. More →
Don’t worry, procrastinators: You’ll be able to make the iPhone 5s a last-minute holiday gift. MacRumors notes that shipping times for the iPhone 5s have fallen to just 1 to 3 days, which means that you’ll be able to slip it under your Christmas tree as long as you order it on December 22nd. The improved shipping times come amid reports that Apple has shut down some of its iPhone 5c production and has shifted it over to iPhone 5s production in response to higher-than-expected demand. But while supplies of Apple’s flagship smartphone seem to have caught up with demand, you still shouldn’t expect to see the Retina iPad mini in stock until after the holiday season as Apple is still apparently having trouble producing enough of them.
According to The Wall Street Journal, Dell offered buyout packages to a portion of its massive workforce. The struggling computer maker currently has 110,000 employees, and with this “voluntary separation program” Dell hopes to streamline its operations. Dell spokesman David Frink said, “a critical element of our strategy has been, and always will be, about improving our cost structure and freeing up capital to make the investments in growth areas that matter to our customers.” Employees have until December 20th to accept the offer. Dell did not say how many jobs it hopes to cut. Dell has struggled to adapt to the post-PC era, with failed attempts at making smartphones and tablets. In addition, Windows 8.1, Microsoft’s latest desktop operating system, has failed to help slow slumping PC sales around the world.
Law enforcement officials legally need to get search warrants when they tap your phone or read your mail but they face no such restrictions on a federal level when it comes to electronic communications. With this in mind, both Google and the Electronic Frontier Foundation have started banging the drum for a campaign aimed at pressuring lawmakers to amend the 1986 Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA) to make law enforcement officials get court-issued warrants before snooping on suspects’ email. Google and the EFF are both part of a larger coalition of companies that are urging an overhaul of the ECPA, including Apple, Microsoft, Amazon and Facebook.
In a bid to increase sales of its flagship handset this Christmas, HTC has kicked off a special promotion in the U.S., offering buyers the option of purchasing an unlocked 32GB HTC One smartphone for $0 down followed by 24 monthly interest-free payments of $25. In two years, buyers qualifying for the offer would only pay for the cost of the handset, whose listed price is $599. However, depending on credit checks, not all applicants will be able to take advantage of the interest-free financing offer and some buyers may end up getting different financing terms, based on their creditworthiness. More →
Samsung has seen Google and Amazon’s best efforts at selling super-cheap tablets and it’s apparently getting ready to do them one better. According to the latest rumors from SamMobile, Samsung is planning to release a new tablet next year called the Galaxy Tab 3 Lite that it will sell for a mere €100 (USD $135), making it by far the cheapest Samsung tablet ever released. There’s no information available yet on the rumored tablet’s specifications although SamMobile expects them to be “respectable” because Samsung is releasing both a Wi-Fi-only version and 3G cellular version of the device. No release date has been confirmed although it does sound like it would be a good candidate to launch at the Consumer Electronics Show in January.
Chromecast is a nifty way to get your web browser and other key TV apps onto your big-screen television but Google’s ambitions for the living room apparently go deeper. The Verge relays us the latest report from The Information that claims Google is working on something called Nexus TV, which will be its own Apple TV-style set-top box that it will release sometime in 2014. Like Chromecast, the Android-based set-top box will let users play content from Netflix, Hulu, and YouTube and it will also apparently give users access to select video games as well. There’s no information on pricing for the device yet but The Information’s source says that it should be ready for release in the first half of 2014.
Apple looks poised to top its previous sales records this holiday season after major growth in November. Cantor Fitzgerald analyst Brian White reports that his firm’s Apple Barometer is projecting this November to be the strongest in Apple’s history, due in part to a huge Black Friday weekend. More →
If you’re looking to buy a new PC and you hate the idea of looking at Live Tiles, then you’d better get a new PC within the next year or so. As ZDNet points out, Microsoft has told its manufacturing partners that they can keep selling new Windows 7-based PCs through October 30th, 2014, which means that by this time next year every new PC that OEMs release will come preloaded with Windows 8. Microsoft has also announced that it’s officially stopped selling Windows 7 box copies at retail. More →
So it seems that Microsoft has put together yet another ad bashing Google’s line of Chromebooks. The Verge’s Tom Warren says this aggressive line of attack raises a key question: Why in God’s name is Microsoft actually worried about Chromebooks? I’ve tried to figure this out myself and I have not been able to come up with anything resembling a logical answer. More →
You know the big, bright, beautiful displays in Samsung smartphones that people just can’t get enough of? At least two new Samsung tablets set to launch in 2014 will feature similar screens. Korean-language technology news site Naver on Friday reported that Samsung is developing two new tablets with displays that use AMOLED technology just like the screens on popular smartphones such as the Galaxy S4 and the Galaxy Note 3. The report claims Samsung will release both an 8-inch tablet and a 10-inch tablet with AMOLED displays, and one of them might launch alongside the highly anticipated Galaxy S5 early next year. The new AMOLED screens will reportedly be available only in high-end Samsung tablets and the company will continue to use LCD panels in its entry-level and mid-range tablet lineup.
Sorry, Samsung: It looks like that additional $290 million still isn’t enough for Apple. FOSS Patents notes that Apple filed a motion this week asking Samsung to pay an additional $15.7 million to help cover Apple’s legal expenses, which the company says totaled more than $60 million over the duration of the patent trial. Samsung is already on the hook for more than $929 million in its patent dispute with Apple so from that perspective another $15 million doesn’t seem like all that much. More →
A new project is raising money on Kickstarter to build an anamorphic adapter lens that would be compatible with the iPhone 5 and iPhone 5s, letting users record video reminiscent of a J.J. Abrams movie. With 16 days to go, the project has already surpassed its $30,000 goal, which means that backers will likely receive the new iPhone accessory at some point in March 2014, when it’s expected to begin shipping. More →