How crony capitalism may have helped Google Fiber get off the ground

By on September 10, 2012 at 1:30 PM.

How crony capitalism may have helped Google Fiber get off the ground

Google Fiber Criticism

The early reviews I’ve seen of Google (GOOG) Fiber have been extremely promising but a recent article from Timothy Lee at Ars Technica raises some important questions about the special treatment Google may have received from lawmakers in Kansas City. The most damning statements that Lee cites actually come from some of Google Fiber’s supporters, who have proudly touted the fact that Google was allowed to skirt regulations and obtain special privileges in exchange for bringing its high-speed network to Kansas City. More →

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With the Kindle Fire HD, Amazon learns that a low-cost tablet doesn’t have to be cheap

By on September 6, 2012 at 4:27 PM.

With the Kindle Fire HD, Amazon learns that a low-cost tablet doesn’t have to be cheap

Amazon Kindle Fire HD Analysis

Last year, Amazon (AMZN) turned the tablet market on its head by releasing the Kindle Fire, which featured a then-unthinkable $199 price tag and… not too much else. That’s not to say the Kindle Fire was a disaster in any way, it’s more that it was a low-price tablet in both name and in design that featured good-but-not-great hardware and that lacked key features such as a camera and a microphone. The Kindle Fire’s killer price point helped it move a lot of units over the holiday season, but its sales reportedly sank quickly once Apple (AAPL) released its new iPad in the spring. More →

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The most annoying things iOS 6 and the iPhone 5 won’t fix

By on August 29, 2012 at 10:05 AM.

The most annoying things iOS 6 and the iPhone 5 won’t fix

iPhone 5 Criticism

We’re now just two weeks away from seeing Apple (AAPL) take the wraps off its sixth iPhone and while nothing is certain until Apple makes it official, we have a pretty good idea of what to expect from the so-called “iPhone 5.” Parts leaks, rumors and even videos of the new iPhone housing have been flowing steadily for months now, and they paint a relatively complete picture: We’re looking at a complete redesign that is just 7.6 millimeters thick, a 4-inch display, 4G LTE connectivity, 1GB of RAM and a new unibody aluminum case. More →

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Is Android doomed in the wake of the Apple v. Samsung verdict? Not a chance

By on August 28, 2012 at 9:55 AM.

Is Android doomed in the wake of the Apple v. Samsung verdict? Not a chance

Apple-Samsung Verdict Analysis Android

There have been rumblings in some corners of the tech press that Google (GOOG) ought to be quaking in its boots in the wake of the Apple (AAPL) v. Samsung (005930) patent verdict because it could give Apple enough juice to take out Android all together. This is highly unlikely to ever happen for a multitude of reasons, but the most important is that Google has a lot of money, a lot of creative and talented people, and a lot of incentive to make sure that Android remains successful. More →

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Why Apple is a better company for most people…

By on August 23, 2012 at 2:50 PM.

Why Apple is a better company for most people…

It’s just easier to come out and say it, right? Well, it’s not like anyone that reads what I write here on BGR, or on Twitter, or Facebook, or speaks to me, or watches me, could have been unclear about the fact that I love Apple (AAPL) as a company. I love almost every product the company makes, and I have bought (within reason — OK, maybe not) every single Apple product since around 2003. More →

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AT&T and T-Mobile again remind us of why we should grateful their merger collapsed

By on August 23, 2012 at 9:40 AM.

AT&T and T-Mobile again remind us of why we should grateful their merger collapsed

AT&T T-Mobile Merger Analysis

It wasn’t that long ago when American wireless subscribers seemed resigned to the fact that AT&T (T) was going to gobble up T-Mobile and that Sprint (S) would likely be bought up by Verizon (VZ) shortly after, thus dooming us all to live under a wireless duopoly. But then something happened: The government decided that an AT&T/T-Mobile merger would consolidate the wireless industry too much and moved to block it. And since then, there have been some encouraging signs that the U.S. wireless market may be getting more, rather than less, competitive. More →

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Why Microsoft deserves credit for Windows 8 innovations, even if people end up hating them

By on August 22, 2012 at 11:25 AM.

Why Microsoft deserves credit for Windows 8 innovations, even if people end up hating them

Microsoft Windows 8 Praise

There’s no shortage of people criticizing Microsoft (MSFT) over the decisions it has made with Windows 8 and its Surface tablet, from analysts to OEMs to game developers. And to be fair, I think a good deal of the criticism has merit: the switch from the standard desktop UI to the UI Formerly Known as Metro might indeed be too jarring for many users — the UI may be great for tablets, but it seems to be a complete debacle as a desktop UI. Microsoft might have to do some serious kiss-and-make-up with disgruntled OEMs as well if its Surface tablet doesn’t create an instant market for Windows tablets. So why do I think the Microsoft deserves some applause for Windows 8 and the Surface despite all these potential issues? Because it’s the first time I can remember that the company has taken a significant risk to do something innovative. More →

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AT&T just pulled a dick move with FaceTime over cellular

By on August 17, 2012 at 5:50 PM.

AT&T just pulled a dick move with FaceTime over cellular

AT&T sucks, limits FaceTime usage

It’s no secret that AT&T (T) is a terrible wireless carrier — just ask anyone who uses, or has used AT&T. Its calls drop, data is unusable in any location with more than four wireless subscribers within a square mile, and it nickel and dimes every single fucking thing. You know what set me off though? The fact that AT&T is limiting FaceTime over cellular and making subscribers switch to a new shared data plan if they want to use it. It was bad enough AT&T brazenly charges you a fee if you want to use the data you pay for on another device via tethering, but now AT&T is trying to control just what you can and can’t do with your own data, which you pay for every month, down to the specific application. More →

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Facebook’s stock is tanking – did investors get played by big banks?

By on July 27, 2012 at 5:05 PM.

Facebook’s stock is tanking – did investors get played by big banks?

Facebook Q2 2012 Earnings Analysis

Although Facebook (FB) met expectations in its first-ever earnings report on Thursday, the reaction from investors has been decidedly ugly so far. By the end of trading on Friday, the company’s stock price had dropped by 117% to close at $23.70, or about half the value of its 52-week peak of $45. Making things worse, Facebook’s big slide came on a day when the NASDAQ closed up 2.24%, meaning Facebook can’t plausibly blame its slide on weak U.S. GDP numbers or other external factors. More →

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Google Fiber: Start wetting the bed, cable companies

By on July 26, 2012 at 3:00 PM.

Google Fiber: Start wetting the bed, cable companies

Google Fiber Opinion

Yes, Google Fiber is only being launched in Kansas City so far. And sure, there’s not much hope that it will spread across the entire country for the near future. But that doesn’t mean Google’s (GOOG) insanely fast 1Gbps fiber network shouldn’t be pushing cable companies and other ISPs to up their games in terms of both service quality and pricing. More →

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Apple’s iPhone is starting to look dull

By on July 19, 2012 at 11:30 AM.

Apple’s iPhone is starting to look dull

iPhone Criticism Display Quality

When Steve Jobs introduced the iPhone 4 and its stunning Retina display, he said it would set the standard for mobile displays for the following five years. Five years is a lifetime in the smartphone industry, but two years later it’s safe to say the iPhone’s screen is easily still a market leader — I would even go as far as to say no mobile display even comes close to matching the iPhone’s in terms of clarity. But as sharp as Apple’s (AAPL) screen is, it is quickly falling behind the pack in another key area. More →

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Amazing Alex first impressions: It’s clever but it needs some bad guys

By on July 12, 2012 at 3:40 PM.

Amazing Alex first impressions: It’s clever but it needs some bad guys

Amazing Alex Review

When the history of gaming is written, Rovio’s Angry Birds will to be touchscreen device games what Super Mario Bros. was to 8-bit consoles — that is, the seminal title that helped bring an emerging gaming platform into the mainstream. Rovio has certainly set a high bar for itself and the release of Amazing Alex on Thursday is the company’s attempt to show it can do much more than simply fling birds with slingshots. While Amazing Alex is definitely a clever puzzle game with an intriguing setup, it lacks the visceral sense of immediacy that made Angry Birds so much fun. More →

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Microsoft Surface: Three keys for success

By on June 21, 2012 at 2:45 PM.

Microsoft Surface: Three keys for success

Microsoft Surface iPad Competitor

I was somewhat surprised to learn this week that Microsoft had developed a tablet that’s actually pretty cool. My expectations were admittedly low when I attended the company’s big unveiling event in Los Angeles but once I saw the tablet and played around with it for a bit, I gradually grew more impressed, something I haven’t felt about any Microsoft product other than the Xbox in a long time. More →

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