You’ve read our Torch review and you’ve decided to take the plunge, huh? Well, you might be happy to know that AT&T is now finally offering the Blackberry Torch in two additional colors: Sunset Red and Pure White. The phones are live on AT&T’s website and can be picked up for $499 without a contract and $99 when you sign up to a two-year agreement. If a color other than black is your cup of tea, jump on over to AT&T’s website to get your order on. Just remember the white after Labor Day rule, ok? More →
Remember how we told you about Palm’s rumored upcoming devices? Well, the folks over at WebOS Internals have been pouring through SFR’s webOS 2.0 code and have stumbled upon five device code-names: Stingray, Mantaray, Broadway, Windsor and Roadrunner (Palm Pre 2). The code-names were found in string of code that displays: “temporarily not restoring logs for newer devices.” The holiday season is fast approaching, and we would love to add some HP-Palm hardware to our respective wish lists.
If we had to choose one phone to represent Windows Mobile 6.5, it would have to be the HTC HD2. On release, the handset stood a country mile ahead of any other smartphone available on the platform. Unfortunately, soon after its release, Microsoft announced Windows Phone 7 and confirmed there would be no OS upgrade path for Windows 6.5 hardware. This hasn’t stopped eager developers from trying to port the latest OS onto their more than capable hardware, though. Previous attempts have been half-baked, often missing some major functionality. The folks over at XDA China have released pictures and a 2 minute video showing off the latest port. The video shows the phone powering on and booting to the home screen with no hiccups. The UI looks snappy, and we really can’t see much wrong with the port, however the video stops short of showing any functional apps or even making a phone call. HD2 owners will want to keep an eye out for any further developements, in order to get their ticket to the Windows Phone 7 party.
Update: Another video has materialized, showing the HD2 and HD7 running side-by-side and also making functional phone calls–looking good!
Vodafone, one of the UK’s largest networks, has launched a smartphone security service aimed at business professionals. The aptly named service — Vodafone Smartphone Professional — will allow for companies to manage sensitive corporate data remotely without interfering with employee’s personal content. The service will provide IT administrators with an online portal to tweak, remotely wipe and encrypt data over the air. Peter Kelly, Enterprise Director for Vodafone had the following to say:
With smartphones becoming increasingly popular, securing the way data is accessed and stored on these devices is crucial. Many businesses want to allow employees to use the mobile device that they choose to do their job most effectively. With Vodafone Smartphone Professional, businesses have the peace of mind that mobile devices and data are secure.
The service will include the customary 500MB data allowance and will cost you £20-a-month in addition to a £50 in activation fee. A small price to pay for your peace of mind, right? More →
Microsoft has issued a statement describing Steve Ballmer’s plans to sell up to 75 million shares in order “to gain financial diversification and to assist in tax planning”. A sale this large is bound to ring alarm bells with shareholders, however Ballmer has cleared the air of any brewing conspiracy theories. “Even though this is a personal financial matter, I want to be clear about this to avoid any confusion. I am excited about our new products and the potential for our technology to change people’s lives, and I remain fully committed to Microsoft and its success,” said the Redmond CEO. SEC filings indicate that Steve Ballmer has already sold 49 million shares, making him a cool $1.3 billion. With capital gains tax said to increase to 20 from 15% in January, Steve Ballmer has just saved himself some serious money.
The guys over at Notion Ink in India have revealed some user-interface updates for their upcoming Adam tablet. The tablet is expected to ship in late November 2010 and will sport a re-worked Android browser with a novel system to allow for non-intrusive tab switching. Amongst other small UI tweaks, the developers have uploaded a video of the tablet cutting through a 1080p clip like butter. The Adam tablet will come in two flavors, an LCD model and a Pixel Qi trans-reflective LCD variant; both of which rock a CPU/GPU combo of 1GHz dual-core Arm Cortex-A9 processor and Nvidia Tegra 2. Connectivity wont be a problem since the tablet is believed to feature 2 USB ports, a micro USB port, an HDMI-out port, a microSD card slot, and SIM card slot. Android aficionados will be happy to know the tablet will run Android 2.2 when released. Whilst the tech specs are more than satisfying, it remains to be seen if it can live up to buzz. Hit the read link for the latest update on the Adam. More →
Research In Motion has been getting a lot of stick recently for not providing government agencies controlled access to their encrypted servers. In August, the United Arab Emirates threatened to pull the plug on BlackBerry services before the two parties reached an agreement. In October, India chimed in on the situation giving the Waterloo based firm an ultimatum: meet compliance standards by January 31, 2011 or get shut down. BlackBerry users in India will be happy/unhappy to know that RIM and the Government of India have reached an interim arrangement wherein RIM will allow for the “lawful interception of BBM services.” RIM still has until January 31, 2011 to come up with a final solution to put this whole thing to bed. In the mean time, it’s business as usual. More →
It’s starting to look like VLC’s days in the iOS app store are numbered. Videolan developer, Rémi Denis-Courmont, has confirmed that the company has sent Apple papers citing copyright infringement. The VLC media player is currently distributed under a General Public License (GPL), and this has come into direct conflict with Apple’s DRM-based app store distribution model. The conflict of licenses were known to both parties prior to the app’s publication, and Videolan is stressing they are not at fault, since the app was ported to the app store via a third party developer — Applidium. The popular multi-format video player made its debut on the iPhone only a week ago, and its future looks bleak. We highly recommend snagging your free copy before Apple possibly shuts the book on this case. More →
Sprint may not stock the iPhone or the iPad, but that hasn’t stopped them from reaping the benefits (or even making a case) of the iPad’s success. In an interview with GigaOm, Dan Hesse,CEO of Sprint pointed out that the fastest selling iPad’s were the WiFi variants, which bodes well for Sprint. Sprint’s Overdrive 3G/4G mobile wireless hotspot, has been selling well, allowing iPad owners to blitz the net at 4G speeds. “The company has seen an uptick in demand for its Overdrive (3G/4G) MiFi wireless hotspot device, as people use it to connect their iPads to the Internet when on the go.” Although Dan stopped short of giving us some actual numbers, we’ll give him the benefit of the doubt. Sprint has been rolling out their 4G network gradually across the major cities in the U.S., and from the looks of it, their Overdrive sales aren’t going to pipe down any time soon.
Apple has a mixed record when it comes to adopting industry standards. For example, the company was the first OEM to install USB and Firewire on its desktop machines but has yet to include HDMI connectivity in its laptop line; the recently refreshed Mac Mini line were the first Apple products to sport an HDMI output. Now, Mr. Jobs has provided us with his two cents in an email response to a request for Apple to adopt USB 3.0:
We don’t see USB 3 taking off at this time. No support from Intel, for example.
The optimist in you might be hoping that Apple is holding off in favor of Intel’s upcoming Light Peak technology. Light Peak will feature an optical cable with a bandwidth of 10Gb/s (that’s gigabits) and will be a universal replacement for SCSI, SATA, USB, FireWire, PCI Express and HDMI. Are we hoping for too much? More →
Canesta, a company specializing in motion-sensing and 3D gesture controls, have just announced that they are being acquired by Microsoft; a deal that is expected to be finalized by the end of 2010. Canesta was founded in 1999 and they specialize in “NUI’s” or natural user interfaces. Their technology allows users to do away with the traditional mouse and keyboard combo for most of their computing needs. They are also experts in 3D tracking; a very useful purchase for the future development of the Kinect platform. The Silicon Valley company holds 44 patents with regard to 3D sensing technologies, which will protect Microsoft in any patent litigation they may find themselves in. The acquisition could usher in a new revolutionary GUI/NUI for Windows 8. Minority Report computing might be around sooner than you think. Hit the break to watch Canesta’s technology in action. More →
Picture this: you are at the base camp of Mount Everest, only to realize it’s your girlfriends birthday and you forgot to send flowers; what do you do? Grab your cell phone and call the florist of course, as Ncell, Nepal’s mobile operator, now has you covered. The carrier has announced its first 3G base station on the the world’s tallest mountain, allowing users to make calls and connect to the internets from GSM enabled phones. Previously, mountaineers and adventurers had to resort to expensive satellite phones to make calls. Ncell is a joint venture between private investors and Sweden’s Telia Sonera, and currently cover one-third of Nepal. Ncell tested their latest base station by placing the world’s highest video call at 17,388 feet. Telia Sonera’s CEO had the following to say: “This achievement is as mighty as the altitude, as 3G high speed internet will bring faster, more affordable telecommunication services to the people living in the Khumbu Valley, trekkers, and climbers alike.” More →
South Korean electronics powerhouse Samsung has announced its Q3 financials via a press release. The outfit raked in an impressive $35.8 billion in revenue and $3.98 billion in operating profits, and about 25% of that profit came by way of its thriving telecommunications business. Samsung chiefs were quick to credit their mobile communications wing, which shipped 71.4 million phones during Q3 — a 19% increase on last year’s figures. Samsung claims to have sold 7 million Galaxy S phones during the quarter and expects to sell 10 million by the end of the calendar year. Go on Samsung, pat yourself on the back. Press release after the break. More →