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 →
Those curious as to whether or not we might actually see the often-rumored 7-inch iPad become a reality can rest assured that we have our answer: no. During a rare appearance on Apple’s Q4 earnings call Monday evening, Apple CEO Steve Jobs went on a no holds barred tirade that ran the gamut from ragging on RIM to gibing Google, and even to nudging Nokia. Amidst the stabs and jabs, Jobs quelled rumors that Apple would soon release a smaller version of its magical iPad. The pertinent point:
We’re not not making a 7-inch tablet because we don’t want to hit a lower price point; we just believe it’s too small to hit the user experience people want. When we make decisions, it’s not about cost, it’s about value when you factor in the software. We’re all about the best products at aggressive prices.
There you have it folks… there’s not much room for interpretation. According to Jobs, bigger is better and 7-inches just isn’t enough real estate to get the job done. On the other hand, Apple has reversed its stances countless times in recent history — most notably, perhaps, when it launched the App Store after Jobs had previously claimed native apps were unnecessary on the iPhone — so no one really knows what the future holds for Apple’s magical tablet.
Hot off the wire: MMC, the parent company of BGR has announced a strategic transaction with the United Internet Group — Europe’s largest Internet company. With a name like Mail.com and more than 14 million registered users, you can see why the Germans see tremendous potential to expand the offering internationally. As part of the transaction, MMC will transition the Mail.com email services over to United Internet AG while MMC will be the primary provider of original digital content to the Mail.com portal. Additionally, look for MMC to rebrand itself in the coming weeks. It’s really exciting news, especially for a site like BGR… you’ll just have to stay tuned. Hit the link below for the full press release! More →
This morning while speaking in Boston, AT&T Mobility’s CEO Ralph de la Vega quipped that the net-neutrality agreement recently published by Verizon and Google was “good for the industry.” AT&T’s chief went on to say that the pact, “indicates that two companies from different industries can come together on a difficult issue.” The Electronic Frontier Foundation analyzed the joint proposal, saying: “It carves out exemptions from neutrality requirements for so-called ‘unlawful’ content, for wireless services, and for very vaguely-defined ‘additional online services.’ The definition of ‘reasonable network management’ is also problematically vague. As many, many, many have already pointed out, these exemptions threaten to completely undermine the stated goal of neutrality.” Whether you love or hate the Google/Verizon net-neutrality proposal, it has brought attention to this hot-button issue. An issue that needs to be addressed sooner rather than later. What are your thoughts on the proposal? More →
Apple has — surprisingsly — posted the complete video from today’s iPhone 4 antenna press conference. If you want to hear what you probably already have heard, straight from the horse’s mouth, hit up the read link and enjoy. More →
Yes, it’s that time… time to announce the winner of the Apple iPhone 4! We’ve finally picked who will receive the “magical” device, and it’s commenter Julian. Thanks so much to everyone that entered, and hey, there’s always next time, ok?
A California appeals court has ruled that Verizon Wireless is to pay some 175,000 customers current and former customers $21 million as a settlement in a class action lawsuit over early termination fees. The class action suit was filed in California on the behalf of customers who were upset that Verizon asked they pay a flat ETF of $175 regardless of how many months were left on their contract. Each customer is expected to receive $87.50 as a result of the ruling. Too bad history is bound to repeat itself now that Verizon’s ETF for “advanced devices” (i.e. smartphones) is set at $350. More →
The iPad might be the cool tablet to own, but for busy business people who really need to get things done, there are things like the Cisco Cius. Announced today, the Cius is what Cisco likes to calls a “mobile collaboration business tablet.” Based on Android, the Cius weighs in at 1.15lbs. and features a 7″ touchscreen display, front-facing camera for multi-party video conferencing that records and streams 720p video at 30 FPS , Bluetooth 3.0 as well as support for Wi-Fi 802.11b/g/n and 3G/4G wireless networks. Pricing and a release date are unknown. More →
The AP reports that U.S. President Barack Obama will “double the available amount of wireless communications spectrum over the next 10 years in an effort to keep up with the ever-growing demand for high-speed video and data transmission to cell phones, laptops and other mobile devices.” The plan, which will call for the auctioning off of 500 MHz of federally owned spectrum, will be put into a Presidential Memorandum to be signed today. The White House, in an official statement said: “This initiative will catalyze private sector investment, contribute to economic growth and help to create hundreds of thousands of jobs.” The AP went onto report that revenue generated from the auction would go to “public safety, infrastructure investments and deficit reduction.” More →
HTC just let us know that their team has been able to replicate the browser privacy issue we posted about a couple of days ago. Here’s the official statement:
HTC has identified the root cause of the DROID Incredible not deleting web page thumbnails after a factory reset, and is creating an update which will eliminate this issue. This will be distributed through a software maintenance release that will be pushed to devices in the near future. Until this time, consumers who wish to manually delete these thumbnails can do so by following these steps:
1) Go to the “Settings” menu
2) Select “SD Card and Phone Storage”
3) Select “Format Phone Storage”
*NOTE* This will delete all files in internal storage, including music and image files. So these files should be backed up before taking these steps.
Other Android devices with HTC Sense, like the DROID Eris, save these thumbnails to the SD card, instead of internal memory, so users can easily keep this information from being shared simply by removing the SD card from their device before trading in the device, sending in for repair, etc.
Since the Incredible memory is built in, it makes sense that this would happen, but it should be all good in no time.
Qualcomm is now at the center of a European Commission antitrust investigation, it was revealed on Thursday. Stemming from a complaint from rival chipmaker Icera, the Wall Street Journal is claiming that “the main issue appears to be over the way Qualcomm links the patents from other companies to its own patent offering to bolster its chip sales.” For its part, Qualcomm says that the new allegations are more or less the same as previous antitrust case it fended off in 2005 in which six major competitors alleged the chipmaking giant was charging too much in royalty fees and making it difficult for new entrants to break into the mobile chipset market. More →
According to TechCrunch’s Michael Arrington, Google’s Android team is currently burning the midnight oil working on a UI refresh for it’s ever popular smartphone OS. People familiar with the matter claim that the goal of the refresh is to provide a better user experience which would in turn discourage companies like HTC and Motorola from creating custom UI overlays such as Sense and MOTOBLUR. Despite the popularity of some skins — HTC’s Sense in particular — they can be quite the headache for both Google and users as their being loaded onto a handset is a surefire way to cause temporary fragmentation as the skin has to be reworked for each subsequent OS release. More →
Today at E3, Nintendo delivered upon its promise and announced the 3DS, the only device of its kind to deliver 3D imagery without requiring users to wear dorky special glasses. The portables secret weapon is its 3.5″ 3D display which users can adjust based upon their proximity to the screen for optimal 3D viewing; there will also be an option to disable 3D. Like the 2D DS, the bottom display is a resistive touchscreen and the front-facing camera remains unchanged. Another neat feature is the dual camera system on the backside of the main display which allows users to capture 3D images. There’s also a gyropscope, motion sensor, and Wi-Fi which apparently is able to download content in the background and sniff out a connection and log onto the web without your instructing it to do so. Pricing and a release date were not disclosed. More →