The first notebook model to run Google’s Chrome OS is now available for $499 through a private sale. Samsung’s Chromebook Series 5 notebook computer is currently a featured item on Gilt Men, a subsection of Gilt Groupe’s popular private sale website. Gilt’s sale began today and it runs until 9:00 a.m. Eastern on Friday. The Samsung Series 5 Chromebook features a 12.1-inch display, a dual-core Intel processor, Wi-Fi and 3G connectivity and an HD webcam, and it ships with a free sleeve as part of Gilt’s sale. Samsung will release the notebook to the general public on June 15th but Chromebooks purchased through the Gilt sale will be delivered between June 8th and June 14th. More →
We have just received some information from a solid Apple source, and if they’re right, Apple may be planning something big for its 10th retail anniversary this Thursday the 19th. Here’s what we’ve been told:
- There’s an overnight shift planned for around 10-15 individuals at each Apple Store to work from late Saturday all the way through mid-Sunday.
- During the overnight shift, it’s going to be required that employees lock cell phones in the main office. They will also have to sign an NDA with Apple.
- There are a wide variety of roles, we’re told, for the overnight shift. This includes all visuals staff, a manager, a business team member, a few Genius team members, one back-of-house employee, and a few generic Apple specialists.
- Apple stores have apparently already received hardware to install, and are expecting more hardware to come on Friday or Saturday. All materials that Apple stores have received have been instructed to be under lock and key until after close on Saturday night.
- Apple employees will be putting up black curtains at all stores so that people walking outside cannot see inside.
- Employees have had to download gigabytes of data from Apple corporate labeled, “training” in a password-protected zipped folder that won’t accessible to managers or anyone else until Saturday afternoon.
- Lastly, all Apple retail stores have mandatory meetings on Sunday, May 22nd. Most meeting are scheduled for the morning, but there are evening meetings as well.
The question is, what is Apple planning? More →
That’s not a typo in the title, that’s seventy billion dollars… with a “b”. Reuters is reporting that a group of private investors is looking to offload nearly $1 billion worth of shares they hold in social networking company Facebook. The price per share puts Facebook’s valuation at nearly $70 billion. “The current deal, which includes stock held by Facebook employees, is awaiting approval from top Facebook executives including Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg and Chief Financial Officer David Ebersman,” writes Reuters. “The sellers have lowered their price after previously trying to offload shares at a price that valued the company at $90 billion, which would make Facebook more valuable than Time Warner Inc and News Corp combined.” Facebook declined to comment on the report. More →
It’s no secret that U.S. wireless provider Sprint is not a fan of the proposed AT&T and T-Mobile merger. The company’s CEO, Dan Hesse, has been very forthcoming with his concerns — mainly that the merger will create a duopoly between AT&T and Verizon Wireless — and now the carrier is looking for even more anti-merger ammunition. Bloomberg is reporting that Sprint representatives have “signed confidentiality agreements in advance of possibly gaining access to filings that won’t be available to the public.” The merger, were it to go through, would relegate Sprint to a distant third-place amongst U.S. wireless carriers, having just over half as many customers as its next competitor, Verizon Wireless. AT&T is seeking FCC and Department of Justice approval for the blockbuster merger that is expected to be complete within the next year. More →
It looks as though software developer James Laird has opened Pandora’s box for Apple’s AirPlay music streaming system. Frustrated by the fact that an AirPort Express emulator did not exist, Laird began to look for a solution that would allow him to stream iTunes music without the use of AirPlay. “I was disappointed to find that Apple used a public-key crypto scheme, and there’s a private key hiding inside the ApEx [Airport Extreme],” wrote Laird. “So I took it apart (I still have scars from opening the glued case!), dumped the ROM, and reverse engineered the keys out of it.” Laird has published the private key in an open source software project dubbed ShairPort (clever). The software, which is built in Perl and C, will allow users to stream iTunes content to hardware and software designed to talk to ShairPort. Apple has opened up its AirPlay system to third-parties in recent months, but this blows the doors wide open for all those looking to circumvent that red tape-filled process. More →
Social networking giant Facebook may be looking to conquer another market, Wall Street. After news spread of a $500 million investment — $450 million from Goldman Sachs and $50 million from Russia’s Sky Technologies — Facebook was given a valuation of $50 billion by market analysts and firms. The eleven figure price tag was placed upon the privately held company even as the government’s Securities and Exchange Commission has, purportedly, launched a formal inquiry into Facebook’s private-share trading activity. According to the Times, the SEC is investigating the “increasingly hot private market for shares in Internet companies, including Facebook, Twitter, the gaming site Zynga and LinkedIn.” The government agency is looking for loopholes in the public disclosure laws that companies, investors, and firms may be exploiting through the use of private shares. A $50 billion valuation of Facebook makes the company’s youthful CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, worth an estimated $15 billion — more than double the estimated $6.9 billion net-worth put on Facebook’s founder back in September. More →
Famed iOS hacker geohot is utilizing his talents to aid the tinkering community of another platform, the PlayStation 3. Mr. Hotz has successfully acquired and published the root keys used by Sony’s popular gaming console, opening the door to custom software and ROMs. On his site, geohot has noted that he does not condone piracy in anyway and wouldn’t mind being “on the other side” — perhaps an offer to work for/with Sony? Hit the read link to check out geohot’s handy work. More →
If you have a Windows Phone 7 device and are itching to get some OS tinkering in, listen up. Blog ChevronWP7 has released their first Windows Phone 7 unlocking tool for users running Windows XP SP2 or higher. The unlock will allows for “the sideloading of experimental applications that would otherwise can’t be published to the Marketplace, such as those which access private or native APIs.” The tool itself is a dead-simple executable file that requires three to four clicks to delivery its payload. If you’re interested, hit the read link and let us know how you make out. More →