The heat is on for prospectors in what could be the next gold rush. According to a recent study in the journal Geothermics, a team of geologists has discovered a mother lode of gold and silver inside super-heated reservoirs within New Zealand’s Taupo Volcanic Zone. Extreme heat from the volcanoes’ magma plumes is heating water, producing acidic underground reservoirs and springs that in turn dissolve the surrounding rock. This then allows the embedded gold and silver to come loose and collect in the water. If successfully drilled, one well could yield as much as $2.7 million in gold a year. More →
When it comes to reducing the costs associated with manufacturing, no one can even touch Apple. Even before Apple became the tech behemoth it is today, Tim Cook, in his capacity as Apple’s COO, was able to streamline Apple’s entire supply chain while simultaneously securing favorable pricing across a number of important components.
With the Apple Watch slated to launch next month, Apple’s operational wizardry may once again be on full display. Specifically, Apple may have come up with a way to deliver an 18k gold watch by using less gold, volume wise, than traditional 18k gold.
Microsoft’s final build of Windows Phone Mango has been rubber stamped and released to manufacturers and wireless carriers according to Windows Phone Dev Podcast. The move is among the final steps before Microsoft delivers the Mango release to customers. The most recent reports have suggested that Microsoft will update current Windows Phone devices in September, although winrumors says the update could be pushed out as soon as August. Microsoft’s Windows Phone partners include HTC, LG, Samsung, Dell, Acer, Fujitsu, ZTE Corporation and Nokia, and we should see a number of new devices from those companies in the fall time frame. Mango was officially announced in May and Microsoft has promised that it will deliver more than 500 new features to the platform.
UPDATE: Microsoft’s Senior Director of Communications Bill Cox has stated that Windows Phone 7.5 Mango has not yet reached RTM, as Windows Phone Dev Podcast reported. More →
Just one day after its official unveiling, Apple has made iOS 4.3 Gold Master, build 8F190 (called it!) available to developers. The code adds support for mobile hotspot creation, third-party AirPlay access, along with a host of other improvements. The update is available to those with Apple Developer accounts and supports iPad, iPhone 4, iPhone 3GS, and the 3rd and 4th generation iPod touch models. Those of you with developer accounts, enjoy!
Way back on the 20th, we told you that Sprint would be tweaking its customer loyalty rewards program — lovingly known as Premier. Recently, Sprint contacted BGR to clarify a few details about exactly what has to happen for customers to qualify for the program’s restructured incentives.
A gold level member will receive 25% off the purchase of 2 or more accessories, customer news letters, “just because” perks, first to buy offers, and the ability to upgrade one device after 12 months of service. To qualify for a Premier Gold membership, users must have an individual monthly plan costing $89.99 or more or a family plan costing $169.99 (before any applicable discounts).
A silver level member will receive the same benefits as gold members — 25% off the purchase of 2 or more accessories, customer news letters, “just because” perks, and first to buy offers — but will not have the ability to upgrade a device after 12 months of service. To qualify for a Premier Silver membership, users must have an individual monthly plan costing between $69.99 and $89.98 or a family plan costing between $99.99 and $169.98 (before any applicable discounts).
Any customer, regardless of rate-plan price, that has been with Sprint over ten years will automatically qualify for Premier Gold. There you have it. Straight from the horses mouth.
You know that saying, “give and take?” Someone should tell U.S. wireless carriers that ignoring 50% of that adage sort of makes you look greedy. BGR has learned that beginning on April 1st, U.S. wireless carrier Sprint will increase the requirements customers must meet to qualify for early hardware upgrades via the Premier program. This news comes just days after the company announced a new $10 “premium data fee” for all smartphone customers — set to take effect on January 30th. Hit the break for all the details. More →
Adding once again to its line of ultra-high end luxury feature phones, Mobiado announced Tuesday the addition of the Classic 712 Mokume Gane to its Classic portfolio. Mokume Gane translates from Japanese as “wood grain metal,” and the 712MG is true to its name. The case materials undergo a unique forging process that involves hand-twisting different metals together to create the unique mokume gane look. Beneath its copper, nickel silver, brass and sapphire crystal exterior lie quad-band GSM and tri-band WCDMA radios, a 2.2-inch QVGA display panel, a 5-megapixel camera and integrated GPS. In addition to the Classic 712MG, a special Classic 712MG Angular Momentum Edition is also available along with a matching watch built by Swiss watch maker Angular Momentum. The Mobiado Classic 712 Mokume Gane is available immediately for $4,180 and the Classic 712MG Angular Momentum Edition is already available as well for $8,800. Hit the break for the full press release and additional images. More →
Probably not the iOS 4.2 announcement you were hoping for, but it is an announcement nonetheless. Moments ago, Apple seeded another gold master candidate of iOS 4.2 — 4.2.1 — to developers via its iOS Dev Center. Presumably, the new code fixes several bugs that have been reported in the first 4.2 GM candidate; including a fairly nasty Wi-Fi bug affecting iPads. If you’re a member of Apple’s developer network, you know what to do. Everyone else… the waiting continues.
Just a quick follow up to an article we posted last week. It looks like Apple’s iOS 4.2 gold master candidate, which was pushed out to developers last night, closes the security loop hole that allowed the iPhone’s lock screen to be bypassed from the “Emergency Call” function. We’ve been trying, unsuccessful, to replicate the issue with the latest iOS pre-release.
If you’re not a member of the developer community, and wondering when you can get your hands on iOS 4.2, know that iOS 4.1 GM was released to developers one week before it went live to the general public.
If we told you an ATM was coming to the United States that dispensed its payload in 1 gram, 5 gram, 10 gram, and 1 ounce quantities, what would you think it was? Before you get too excited and fire up that Bob Marley EP, it’s gold. A German firm plans on deploying ATMs that dispense pure Au in the U.S. beginning this year. Company Gold to Go is looking to “take advantage of demand” for gold bullion that arises in times of economic turmoil. The machine’s creator, Thomas Geissler, said, “This year we will issue around 35 machines, and for next year we are looking for bigger numbers.” Unsurprisingly, the company’s first gold-dispensing ATM was deployed in Abu Dhabi’s Emirates Palace Hotel last May. Currently, gold is trading at right around $1,300 an ounce. More →
According to analyst estimates, Microsoft’s Xbox Live premium gaming service may generate over $1 billion in revenue for the fiscal year that ended on June 30th. Much of this revenue is coming from Xbox Live Gold members who pony up cash for additional content like game add-ons, avatars, and movies. Microsoft was uncharacteristically forthcoming about its Xbox Live memberships and confirmed that over half of its Xbox Live members pay for the premium Gold service at an average price tag of $50 per year. Though it still plays second fiddle to the Nintendo Wii in total console sales, this is good news for Microsoft’s gaming division and bodes well for the upcoming launch of its Kinect motion controller. More →
Although it’s having a bit of a hard time looking after its own finances, that didn’t stop Nokia from splurging on some gold and subsequently gilding the crap out of one of its most popular phones in the 6700 classic. Come Q1 2010, 370€ ($546 USD) will be the magical amount of money one will have to part with in order to get their hands on the 6700 classic Gold Edition. Of course it might be wise for one to spend the same amount of money on something more capable like a smartphone, but let’s be honest: this is about as close as you’re likely to come to owning something as opulent as one of Snopp Dogg’s pimp chalices. Or one of Pharrell’s toys. More →
Who doesn’t love a little bit of Skype action? If you’re a Mac user, though, Skype 2.8 Gold adds (or improves on if you were using a beta version) some awesome features like screen sharing (you can even share just a part of your screen for privacy reasons), Skype Access, and improved audio and video support. Skype Access is a way to pay for Wi-Fi hotspot access using your Skype account balance which can simplify things for those on the move we guess. Here’s a couple more updated features:
- Improved chat management (sort chats, set priorities)
- Quick add (self explanatory but let’s you add new people to chats)
- Mood message chat (“it’s a bit like Twitter”)
- Support for large profile pictures
- Hidden avatars in incoming contact requests
- Add notes to contacts
Skype 2.8 Gold is available for download immediately from Skype’s website.