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 →
In a post on his blog this morning, AdMob founder Omar Hamoui lambasted Apple for anti-competitive behavior pertaining to the most recent changes to section 3.3.9 of the iOS developers agreement. According to Hamoui, if Apple should chose to enforce what is written in the agreement, Apple would be erecting “artificial barriers to competition” which “hurt users and developers and, in the long run, stall technological progress.” While there is in reality very little that anyone can do to get Apple to change its course, Hamoui has said he and Google plan on “speaking to Apple to express our concerns about the impact of these terms.” More →
Our very own Jonathan Geller, also known as Boy Genius, has been invited to participate in the 2010 Future of Media event this afternoon at New York University. The event kicks off at 1:00 EDT, so grab your popcorn and hit the bounce…we’ve got the embeded video for you live viewing pleasure ready to go. More →
HP CEO Mark Hurd certainly stirred the pot yesterday when he said that “we didn’t buy Palm to be in the smartphone business” and that puring money into developing webOS smartphones “doesn’t in any way make any sense.” Well just like we predicted, HP’s PR machine went into damage control mode this evening. Here’s the statement they just sent out clarifying what it was Hurd meant.
When we look at the market, we see an array of interconnected devices, including tablets, printers, and of course, smartphones. We believe webOS can become the backbone for many of HP’s small form factor devices, and we expect to expand webOS’s footprint beyond just the smartphone market, all while leveraging our financial strength, scale, and global reach to grow in smartphones.
We’re certainly glad that’s settled.
“We didn’t buy Palm to be in the smartphone business.” Those were words the of HP CEO Mark Hurd as he spoke to the Bank of America Merrill Lynch technology summit on Wednesday. Going further, Hurd said that theory that HP was going to throw money into developing new smartphones featuring webOS “doesn’t in any way make any sense.” So why on earth did HP buy Palm? Patents. Owning the rights to webOS and Palm’s treasure trove of patents means HP will easily and affordably be able to create a unified experience across the “tens of millions of HP small form factor web-connected devices” including but not limited to printers and tablets. Here’s the quote in its entirety.
“We didn’t buy Palm to be in the smartphone business. And I tell people that, but it doesn’t seem to resonate well. We bought it for the IP. The WebOS is one of the two ground-up pieces of software that is built as a web operating environment […] We have tens of millions of HP small form factor web-connected devices […] Now imagine that being a web-connected environment where now you can get a common look and feel and a common set of services laid against that environment. That is a very value proposition.”
Anyone else have the feeling some poor soul in HP’s PR department is at this very moment slaving over a statement that goes something like this: “HP is very committed to the development of webOS-based smartphones”?
After weeks of leaks and speculation, Canada’s reigning Conservative government outlined its plans to amend the ageing Copyright Act. According to the outline, anyone convicted of bypassing the DRM of a given media format — even if legally purchased — will be subject to a fine of up to $5,000. But if the circumvention of DRM is done for profit, then the fine is raised to $1 million. Convicted downloaders of copyrighted materials will face significantly weaker penalties with a fine of $5,000, down from the present day maximum of $20,000. Canadians will also be allowed to use copyrighted materials to create mashup videos for sites such as YouTube, and the law books will finally acknowledge that commonplace activities such as recording TV, radio and internet broadcasts are okay. The same applies for backing media for personal use or archival purposes, but so long as DRM is not tampered with. Cellphone unlocking was not mentioned, although Heritage Minister Tony Clement said that it is currently legal to unlock phones so long as that phone is not currently under contract from a carrier. In an editorial co-autored with Heritage Minister James Moore published in The National Post on Wednesday, Clement argued that “Canada’s Copyright Act is more than 80 years old and has not been significantly modified for many years” and needs a serious overhaul in order to protect the interests of Canadians and the rights of content creators. The legislation is expected to be tabled in the House of Commons on Thursday. More →
The BBC has released an interesting analysis of the world’s supercomputing prowess based on the June 2010 TOP500 Supercomputing list. The report shows, unsurprisingly, that Linux is the king of supercomputing OS’ by an extremely large margin. Other fun facts from this months report include: the U.S. houses the most supercomputers (as well as the fastest), IBM is the largest manufacturer of supercomputing systems (HP is second), Intel is the most popular processor used in supercomputers (AMD is second), and the most widely used function for supercomputers is “research.” The fastest beast of the bunch, the Jaguar supercomputer, located in the U.S. at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory, has been clocked at 1.759 petaflops; only two other machines on the list are clocked using petaflops. We’ve got all BBC article, complete with infographics, all queued up for you. More →