A U.K. judge has sentenced four members of hacking collective LulzSec, an offshoot of hacking group Anonymous, for their role in taking down various corporate and government websites between February and September 2011, ZDNet reported. Judge Deborah Taylor sentenced 26-year old Ryan Ackroyd, 20-year old Jake Davis, 18-year old Mustafa al-Bassam and 21-year old Ryan Cleary in a London courtroom on Thursday. More →
A new report suggests that prepaid smartphones are becoming more popular among consumers. According to research from NPD Group, 32% of all smartphones sold in the first quarter were prepaid devices, up from 21% during the same period in 2012. Samsung was found to be the most popular vendor of prepaid smartphones, accounting for 32% of sales in the first quarter. Handsets from LG made up 22%, Huawei 11%, and Apple and HTC tied at 8%. Prepaid iPhone sales were found to have increased fourfold in Q1 though, while sales of LG smartphones doubled year-over-year. More →
On the second day of Google’s I/O Developers conference, the company announced the availability of more “glassware” applications for its heavily hyped wearable computing device. Google Glass applications including CNN, Elle, Twitter, Tumblr, Facebook and Evernote are available now to early Glass adopters, The New York Times reported. The applications join Path and The New York Times’ own app, which were previously the only other third-party apps available for the device. Each application will bring something unique to Google Glass. The CNN application, for example, allows users to be notified with news alerts for a specific topic, while the Evernote app will let users send notes, such as a grocery list, to Glass for reference later on.
In the past year, Microsoft has increased its efforts to dethrone Google as the world’s top search engine. To accomplish this, the company has launched a “Scroogled” advertising campaign that looks to shine a light on Google and its sometimes questionable privacy practices. The company has previously attacked Google’s search engine and Gmail service, and is now taking aim at its Chrome Web browser. iCosmoGeek obtained an internal video that is believed to be created by Microsoft that mocks Google’s latest Chrome commercial. Google recently created an advertisement touting Chrome’s ability to sync addresses and passwords across smartphones, tablets and desktop computers. Microsoft’s video attacks the company, meanwhile, for tracking customers and monetizing their personal information with targeted advertisements across smartphones, tablets and desktops. Google’s original video and Microsoft’s parody follow below. More →
Google on Thursday faced questions from British lawmakers regarding the company’s tax practices, Reuters reported. It has been alleged that Google may have misled parliament last year when it said it complied with U.K. tax law. The company had previously claimed that, in an effort to avoid additional taxes, it doesn’t make sales to U.K. customers from within the country. An investigation by Reuters discovered that this was not the case, however. Google’s Northern Europe boss Matt Brittin flip-flopped on the issue while being questioned, and said the U.K. team is selling but “not closing.” Committee chairwoman Margaret Hodge noted that Google was abandoning its “don’t be evil” mantra and was being deliberately misleading.
The first day of Google’s I/O Developers Conference keynote has come and gone without a single mention of a potential update to the company’s Android operating system. Despite a number of rumors that suggested Google would announce a new version of Android at the annual event, the company remained quiet on the issue. According to a press release from the Bluetooth Special Interest Group, however, a new version of Android will be announced in the ”in the coming months.” The group announced on Wednesday that Google has committed to bringing support for Bluetooth Smart to future versions of the operating system. The power efficient Bluetooth standard is already supported in Apple’s iOS, as well as in a number of Android smartphones such as the Nexus 4, Galaxy S4 and Galaxy Note II. Bluetooth SIG notes that the newest version of Android, rumored to be Android 4.3, will be the first version to support Bluetooth Smart.
Microsoft and BlackBerry are fighting to become viable alternatives in the mobile market, and while Android and iOS accounted for a majority of smartphone shipments in the first quarter, Windows Phone made some significant moves that propelled it ahead of BlackBerry. Research firm IDC found that Windows Phone shipped 7 million smartphones, accounting for 3.2% of all shipments in the first quarter of 2013, more than double the year-ago quarter. Microsoft was able to overtake BlackBerry, which despite its new BlackBerry 10 operating system, saw smartphone shipments decline from 9.7 million units to 6.3 million units, accounting for 2.9% of global channel sales. More →
The Raspberry Pi foundation on Tuesday announced the availability of a $25 camera module for its popular Raspberry Pi computers. The module can be purchased from distributors RS Components or Premier Farnell/Element14, and is compatible with both the Model A and Model B versions of the Raspberry Pi. The 5-megapixel camera is capable of taking pictures at a 2592 x 1944 resolution and can record full 1080p HD video at 30 frames per second. The module’s ribbon cable must be plugged into the CSi port that is located between the Ethernet and HDMI ports on the unit. The Raspberry Pi must also be on the latest firmware to recognize the camera, which can then be enabled in the configuration settings. A video demonstration follows below. More →
Google made a splash at its I/O Developers Conference on Wednesday when it announced a special edition Galaxy S4 smartphone. The device will be sold directly through Google’s Play Store for $649 and runs a stock version of Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean, rather than Samsung’s TouchWhiz user interface. Unfortunately it would appear other manufacturers will not be following Samsung and Google’s lead. HTC confirmed in a statement to TechnoBuffalo that it has no plans to offer its popular all-metal One smartphone with a stock version of Android. The company does offer an unlocked developer edition of the HTC One on its website, however that model still runs the company’s Sense user interface.
College graduates would love to land a job at Google, Apple or one of the many startups in Silicon Valley. But according to a survey from Universum Global, there are quite a few students who would prefer the rainy days in Washington over working in the golden state. The American Student Survey asked students from five different fields of study — business, engineering, IT, natural sciences and liberal arts — about their ideal company to work for. Companies such as Google and Apple unsurprisingly topped the charts in almost all categories, however there were some surprising results: Microsoft consistently outranked both Facebook and Amazon. The company ranked higher than Amazon in all fields of study and even higher than Apple in IT. Students found Microsoft more appealing than Facebook in almost all categories as well, with the exception of liberal arts.
HP on Wednesday announced the Android-powered SlateBook x2 and the Windows-powered Split x2. The SlateBook x2 is equipped with a 10.1-inch 1920 x 1200-pixel display and a new 1.8GHz quad-core NVIDIA Tegra 4 processor. The tablet also features 2GB of RAM, up to 64GB of internal storage, a rear-camera capable of 1080p video recording, an SD card slot, HDMI-out, a USB port and Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean. More →
The countdown on Apple’s website stopped late Wednesday indicating that the company’s App Store has surpassed 50 billion downloads. The milestone comes just 14 months after Apple announced 25 billion apps had been downloaded from its popular marketplace. Apple launched the App Store in July 2008 and downloads have increased steadily over the past five years. The company’s first milestone came in January 2011 when the store surpassed 10 billion downloads, followed by 25 billion last March. Apple will reward the individual who downloaded the 50 billionth application with a $10,000 App Store gift card and 50 runners-up will each receive a $500 card.
Apple is expected to debut a new iPhone, iPad and iPad mini tablet later this year. Earlier rumors have suggested that the company’s popular 7.9-inch tablet would see a variety of improvements over the previous model. According to MobiLeaks, the second-generation iPad mini will be equipped with an improved Retina display with 2048 x 1536 resolution that works out to 324 pixels per inch, and it will feature Apple’s dual-core A6X processor as well. The device’s camera will reportedly be upgraded with an 8-megapixel sensor on the back and a 2-megapixel sensor on the front. The thickness of the next iPad mini is also said to be increasing from 7.2mm to 7.5mm, likely to make room for a larger battery. Apple is expected to release the second-generation iPad mini sometime this fall.