Verizon Wireless is seemingly following AT&T’s lead and taking action against subscribers who make use of unauthorized tethering apps. ReadWriteWeb reports that one of its writers was using a “jailbroken tethered Verizon Motorola X” with an unauthorized third-party app, rather than paying for Verizon Wireless’ mobile hotspot solution as its contract terms require. According to the report, the writer was blocked from accessing webpages on devices tethered to her DROID X on Friday, and was instead redirected to a Verizon Wireless page outlining rates for authorized mobile hotspot usage. Last week, AT&T confirmed to BGR that it would soon begin to revoke unlimited smartphone data plans from users who used third-party apps to share their smartphone’s data connection with other devices. Verizon seems to have taken a slightly less abrasive approach, though the outcome is the same: carriers want customers to stop abusing their congested data networks, and AT&T and Verizon are apparently done asking politely. More →
Apple introduced iOS 5 and its new widget system just last week during WWDC, and a day later it was jailbroken. Now, Cydia developers have taken iOS 5 a step further by providing new third-party applications that allow users to tweak the Notification Center with new widgets. iOS 5 currently only offers widgets for viewing the weather or a stock ticker, but one app — UISettings — will allow users to quickly toggle their network and phone controls, too. Similarly, a widget called MusicCenter is being developed that enables users to view the current audio track they’re listening to. We can’t wait to see what other developers have in store. Hit the jump for an image of UISettings. More →
Twitter’s CEO, Dick Costolo, has confirmed that his firm has purchased TweetDeck, the popular third-party client. In a blog post published on Wednesday morning, Costolo said that Twitter will continue to invest in TweetDeck, which Costolo sees as a powerful platform for brands, marketers, and publishers. Iain Dodsworth, the CEO of TweetDeck, said his team will remain in London “with the same focus and products, and now with the support and resources that allow [it] to grow.” While Twitter.com will still be the go-to destination for consumers, TweetDeck hopes that its service will continue to be used by “brands, influences, the highly active and anyone that just needs “more power.” Terms of the acquisition were not disclosed although early reports suggested Twitter paid $40 million in cash and stock. More →
Earlier this month we heard reports from TechCrunch that TweetDeck had been acquired by Twitter for $50 million. CNN now says that Twitter has finalized its purchase of TweetDeck in a $40 million cash and stock deal, and that the paperwork was signed on Monday. Neither Twitter nor TweetDeck have confirmed the purchase, and Twitter’s PR team tweeted: “For all those who might be curious, we continue to not comment on rumors.” More →
One of the major benefits of owning an Android handset is the ability to install applications from non-Market sources — without the necessity of a dev-team intervention. AT&T customers have not, however, been privy to this particular feature… that is until now. In a letter to developers, the carrier has confirmed that it will, from this point forward, allow users to install Android apps from third-party sources such as the Amazon App Store. The act of installing applications through unofficial channels — oft referred to as side-loading — has been disabled by AT&T since the introduction of its first Android handset. The carrier’s newest Android offering, the Samsung Infuse 4G, was the first device to ship with the side-loading handcuffs removed and, thankfully, it looks like it won’t be the last. More →
According to security firm Symantec, some advertisers on Facebook may have had access to your person profile, photographs and chats thanks to a security leak that was enabled by close to 100,000 Facebook applications. Thankfully, Symantec doesn’t think the advertisers ever knew that they had access to the personal data, and Facebook has already “taken corrective action to help eliminate this issue.” Symantec said that Facebook IFRAME applications were leaking “access tokens” — think of them as “spare keys” — that are granted to Facebook applications. While Facebook now uses OAUTH2.0 for authenticating users, hundreds of thousands of older applications still use a different authentication method. “There’s no good way to estimate how many access tokens have already been leaked since the release of Facebook applications back in 2007,” the report said, but Symantec thinks some may still be available through log files in third-party servers. Symantec advises Facebook users to change their passwords to invalidate those floating access tokens. More →
According to source speaking to TechCrunch, Twitter purchased the popular third-party client TweetDeck for between $40 and $50 million on Monday. The Wall Street Journal originally reported that Twitter was in “advanced talks” to purchase TweetDeck – a 15 person company – back in April. Sources speaking to TechCrunch said that Twitter made the purchase in an effort to stop Uber Media, another third party company with a handful of Twitter applications across multiple platforms, from buying TweetDeck first. Neither company has officially announced the acquisition, yet. More →
DigiTimes is citing a report from sznews.com today that three Foxconn employees have been arrested in Shenzhen, China for leaking the design specs of the iPad 2 to third-party case manufacturers ahead of the device’s launch. The three were allegedly arrested in December of last year and were charged in late March for the leaks. Foxconn grew suspicious of its own employees after accurate third-party iPad 2 cases began popping up on the market; the firm then asked local authorities to investigate. Foxconn manufacturers electronics for a number of major companies including Apple, HP, Palm, and Sony, and it has been called out in the past for the harsh treatment of its employees. More →
It looks like AT&T is aiming to recapitalize on revenues generated from handset sales. Several third-party wireless resellers — including Wirefly — have reported that beginning this March, they will no longer offer AT&T devices or services. In a letter to customers, Wirefly CEO, Andy Zeinfeld, noted that his company is committed to providing great selection and savings along with straightforward pricing; something Mr. Zeinfeld said is no longer possible with AT&T.
“It is with regret that I must inform you that effective March, 2011, we will no longer offer AT&T products and services on Wirefly.com,” writes Mr. Zeinfeld.
Wirefly is not, however, the only one being put on AT&T probation. Online retailer LetsTalk sent out the following note to its affiliates:
Effective March 8th, 2011, LetsTalk as well as other web indirect agents […], will no longer be able to offer AT&T Wireless as a carrier option to our customers. The primary reasons given for this change in AT&T’s business strategy were centered around AT&T cost savings and retrenchment.
It is still unclear how other independent, third-party retailers — like Amazon Wireless — will be affected; the “business strategy” that AT&T modified causing this third-party exodus is also unknown.
Wirefly declined to further comment on the situation and AT&T did not respond to BGR‘s request for a statement. More →
Apple on Wednesday released a new build of iOS — version 4.3 beta 1 — that significantly expands AirPlay functionality for the iPhone, iPad and iPod touch. In current public builds of iOS, only native Apple applications can make use of AirPlay, which allows multimedia content to be streamed wirelessly from iOS devices and Mac computers to compatible hardware. In iOS 4.3 beta 1, developers of third-party native iOS apps and Web app developers can now utilize AirPlay functionality. iOS 4.3 is not expected to become available to the general public until March, giving developers plenty of time to implement AirPlay functionality into their apps.
Research In Motion has just introduced a new Built For BlackBerry program that aims to make sure verified and approved third party manufacturing partners deliver specifically designed accessories and peripherals for BlackBerry smartphones and the BlackBerry PlayBook. RIM details the program as offering, “technical, strategic, and marketing support” to members of the program, in addition to a snazzy Built For BlackBerry logo that will appear on accessory packaging. We have reached out to RIM to try and get an idea of what requirements third party manufacturers will have to meet to be accepted into the program, and most importantly, if RIM is planning on taking a percentage of the sales in exchange for manufacturers using the Built For BlackBerry logo, much like Apple does with their Made For iPod/iPhone program. RIM’s announcement is after the break. More →
Silicon Alley Insider pulled out a pin and burst the bubble that pushed Twitter to the top of the Wednesday’s tech news with its claim of a staggering 800 million search queries a day. According to SAI, Twitter is over-inflating its search query numbers by counting queries that are generated via its web page and third party client software that conduct searches using Twitter’s API . This latter source of queries may be causing the search number to skyrocket as many third party clients allow users to setup automated lists/columns that poll Twitter every 30 seconds when searching for a term or topic of interest. One person using Tweetdeck with one column searching for @BGR could easily generate 2880 search queries a day; multiply that by the millions of Twitter users using third party clients and you can see how that search number can balloon very rapidly. In the end, it all comes down to the definition of what constitutes a search query. Is it an individual user manually entering in a search term? Or is it any query regardless of whether it is is manually entered or automatically generated at a rapid interval? More →