The City of New York is reportedly planning to revive 250 old phone booths with the introduction of 32-inch Internet-ready “smart screens” throughout the five boroughs, The New York Post reported on Monday. The touch-screens will display local neighborhood information in multiple languages, including lists of nearby restaurants, stores in the area, traffic updates, landmark information and safety alerts. If the pilot program is successful, the futuristic screens could replace all of the city’s 12,800 outdoor pay phones. “The goal is to pilot it and see what the response is,” said Nicholas Sbordone, a spokesman for the city’s department of Information Technology & Telecommunications. “It will help inform the city’s ongoing reassessment, with public input, of what we want or what we think the future of public pay phones will entail.” Read on for more. More →
As a standard security measure, Apple’s iPhone can be set to require a four-digit passcode whenever the phone’s screen is powered on in order to prevent unauthorized access. With passcode security enabled, a user’s information is theoretically kept private if his or her device ever falls into the wrong hands. A recent Forbes report reveals that law enforcement agencies can bypass the iPhone’s passcode requirement in less than two minutes, however, gaining access to all of the private data stored on the devices. Read on for more. More →
The United States Justice Department has issued a request for more information from Google and Motorola Mobility concerning the search giant’s planned $12.5 billion acquisition of the phone maker. Google senior vice president Dennis Woodside explained that his company is still confident the deal will be approved. “We believe very strongly this is a pro-competitive transaction that is good for Motorola Mobility, good for consumers, and good for our partners,” he said, noting the “second request” form the DOJ was routine. “While this means we won’t be closing right away, we’re confident that the DOJ will conclude that the rapidly growing mobile ecosystem will remain highly competitive after this deal closes. We’ll be working closely and cooperatively with them as they continue their review.” Google announced in August that it intends to purchase Motorola Mobility and, shortly after, CEO Larry Page noted that Motorola’s patent portfolio will help Google’s Android partners against competitors. Despite public statements in support of the acquisition from HTC, Samsung and other Android heavy hitters, BGR has argued the purchase could potentially spell trouble for Motorola’s competitors. More →
Google asked a federal judge to secure “competitively sensitive data” that may be revealed during the Justice Department’s investigation into AT&T’s proposed $39 billion acquisition of T-Mobile USA, Bloomberg reported on Wednesday. Google said the data it provided to the investigation is related to its Android operating system and it fears the information could be leaked to the press or its competitors. “Without such additional protection, Google and other non- parties could find their confidential information — such as Google’s business plans related to Android — in the hands of competitors (or their competitors’ consultants), or even in newspapers, without having had prior notice of its disclosure,” Google said. The U.S. government filed a lawsuit in opposition of the merger on August 31st, noting that the merger would “remove a significant competitive force from the market.”
Google has accused Microsoft of leaking “highly confidential source code” related to its open-source Android operating system. According to PaidContent, the search giant asked a federal United States International Trade Commission judge to sanction Microsoft after it spilled the beans on Google’s source code to a witness in Microsoft’s ongoing patent battle with Motorola. Reportedly, the witness, Dr. Robert Stevenson, has acted as a consultant for both HP and Microsoft, which Google views as “direct competitors.” Microsoft is suing Motorola because it believes Motorola’s Android-powered smartphones infringe on its patents. Microsoft responded to Google and said that Stenvenson only had “two or three conversations with Microsoft’s outside general counsel regarding a case related to printer technology.” The odd part about the motion is Google’s Android operating system is open source, so it is unclear exactly what “highly confidential” source code Microsoft might have revealed. Microsoft’s official response to the sanction is due by August 15th, PaidContent said. More →
Apple has promised to patch a security hole found in the iPhone and iPad following a report published by Germany’s Federal Office for Information Security. Reportedly, a PDF security hole could allow hackers to gain unauthorized access to personal data — such as messages and passwords — stored on an iPhone or iPad and could “infect the mobile device with malware without the user’s knowledge.” Apple’s PR team was quick to respond to the allegations. “[Apple is] aware of this reported issue and developing a fix that will be available to customers in an upcoming software update,” Bethan Lloyd, an Apple spokesperson told AFP on Thursday. Apple has not yet confirmed when it will push out the security update. More →
AT&T will be launching its Unlimited Messaging with Mobile to Any Mobile plan tomorrow. Just ahead of the launch, BGR has acquired an internal AT&T memo that details exactly what customers will have to do to qualify for said plans. Spoiler alert: not much. Surprisingly, there isn’t any fine print with AT&T’s latest offering. Customers with individual, post-paid lines costing between $39.99 and $59.99 per month are eligible for the unlimited texting and mobile to mobile offer — individual plans over $59.99 include unlimited calling. Customers with family, post-paid lines costing between $69.99 and $109.99 per month are also eligible for the offering — family plans over $109.99 *drumroll* include unlimited calling. That’s pretty much it… no red tape. Who’s jumping on this tomorrow?
Yesterday afternoon, we told you about a non-working website URL indicating that HTC’s first LTE device on Verizon would in fact be named the Thunderbolt 4G. Well, it appears as though that non-working link is now live. The page reminds you that on January 6th “HTC will be the first to 4G. Again.” and will kindly take your name and email address to provide you with news on the cloaked handset when available. Don’t take our word for it, hit the read link and have a look for yourself. CES draws near… get excited.
Today, Research In Motion announced that the cryptographic kernel of its BlackBerry 6 mobile operating system has earned the FIPS 140-2 security certification. FIPS, or Federal Information Processing Standard, is a classification used by the U.S. — and others — to validate the security of a computer system’s cryptographic services. The certification officially green-lights the OS for use by government employees handing “sensitive but unclassified” information. Just another security feather for RIM’s proverbial cap.
One of our Verizon Ninjas was kind enough to pass along a handful of training documentation being circulated for the Samsung Fascinate’s looming release. A lot of the documentation will confirm what you already know, the device will have a: 1 GHz Hummingbird processor, 4-inch Super AMOLED display, and a 5 megapixel shooter with 720p recording abilities. The documents also detail that the Fascinate will support ActiveSync for Exchange 2003, 2007, and 2010 servers. Mobile hotspot capability will be built in, and — like the EPIC 4G — the device will have Bluetooth 2.1 + ERD as opposed to Bluetooth 3.0. Curiously, the device will only have 384 MB of RAM; the Captivate, EPIC, and Vibrant all have 512 MB. Flash support is listed as being available by “Year End 2010″; meaning Android 2.2 probably isn’t dropping on the Fascinate until then either. Some of the more mundane things we discover are that the device will come preloaded with Bing Maps, Google Maps with Navigation, NFL Mobile App, Amazon Kindle, Visual Voicemail, Backup Assistant, Blockbuster, Skype Mobile, Vcast Videos, and VZ Navigator. Hit the jump to view all the goodies.
UPDATE: We’re not sure about the RAM figure listed on these slides. On the fifth slide RAM is listed as 336 MB with 512 MB of ROM, on the 7th slide RAM is listed as 384 with 2 GB of ROM. Obviously one (or both) of these figures is incorrect on the training documentation. More →
BlackBerry users on Big Red can now keep a leg up on their phone usage using Verizon’s latest BlackBerry application. Available for the Curve 8330, Pearl 8130 and 8830 World Edition, the My Verizon application allows users to check their minutes and data usage, view account balance, make payments, view plan, add/remove features and change their voicemail passwords directly on the handset. The application is available as an OTA download from the default Verizon BlackBerry browser homepage — http://mobile.vzwapp.com for those that have changed it. Unfortunately, Storm owners can skip this application as it is apparently compatible with trackball-sporting BlackBerry handsets only.