BlackBerry bug knocks millions of users offline in Europe, Middle East and Africa

By on October 10, 2011 at 12:01 PM.

BlackBerry bug knocks millions of users offline in Europe, Middle East and Africa

BlackBerry users in Africa, the Middle East and Europe have been without service since 11:00 a.m. Monday, The Telegraph reports. A bug on Research In Motion’s server in Slough, England is to blame and it appears to have impaired all users, independent of carrier or device. RIM has not issued a statement on the matter. “There is an issue with BlackBerry services at present,” a T-Mobile UK representative said on Twitter. “RIM [is] investigating this at present.” Additionally, Batelco, a wireless carrier in Bahrain, issued a statement that confirmed the service was out in the entire country and explained the issue is being “dealt with by BlackBerry providers in Canada.” More →

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Facebook’s ‘Project Spartan’ HTML5-based client revealed

By on September 30, 2011 at 1:30 AM.

Facebook’s ‘Project Spartan’ HTML5-based client revealed

When Facebook announced a revamped mobile page in April, its lead mobile exec Eric Tseng said the social network would focus on using the HTML5 standard for future updates instead of updating individual applications for each mobile operating system. “Project Spartan” is the fruit of those labors, reports claim, and it will be the social network’s attempt to the spill its games and applications into the mobile space. Images and information on Project Spartan were recently posted on a Facebook developer page before being pulled. Thankfully TechCrunch grabbed several of the images and information from the site before it was taken down. The leaked photos clearly display a panel loaded with Facebook Pages, mobile apps and events being accessed from an iPhone’s Safari browser. There also appears to be a notifications component. Facebook will officially announce the platform sometime next week, TechCrunch said. Read on a few additional photos of Project Spartan. More →

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SIMPLE Mobile intros all-you-can-eat talk, text and web plans starting at $40

By on September 23, 2011 at 10:00 PM.

SIMPLE Mobile intros all-you-can-eat talk, text and web plans starting at $40

SIMPLE Mobile announced on Friday that its customers can now sign up for several new plans, including a $40 unlimited nationwide talk, text and web option that is available for smartphone users. SIMPLE Mobile also introduced two new BYOB (Bring Your Own BlackBerry) prepaid plans including a $50 option with unlimited talk and text, and a $60 plan that supports “4G” speeds. SIMPLE Mobile is an MVNO that uses T-Mobile’s nationwide network to support its services, so customers interested in the BYOB plan should note that a T-Mobile BlackBerry will be required to take advantage of the carrier’s 4G HSPA+ network. SIMPLE Mobile also introduced a $25 4G nationwide wireless broadband data plan that provides 750MB of data per month, as well as a $45 2GB option. Read on for the full press release. More →

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Verizon to ‘Unleash’ $50 unlimited prepaid plan this week

By on September 13, 2011 at 4:40 PM.

Verizon to ‘Unleash’ $50 unlimited prepaid plan this week

In an effort to edge in on MetroPCS and Sprint-owned Boost and Virgin Mobile, Verizon Wireless will introduce a brand new $50 monthly prepaid this week that includes unlimited text, talk and web, The Wall Street Journal reported on Tuesday. The new plan, which first launched back in April as “Unleashed” in limited markets, will be available to customers in Verizon stores, Walmart, Target and Best Buy. The new plan is much cheaper than Verizon’s current unlimited talk and text prepaid option, which currently costs $94.99 per month. “This is a very competitive market, and we want to make sure we have a price portfolio to fit a greater number of customers,” Verizon Wireless spokeswoman Brenda Raney said. “In these times there are some people who would prefer living on a prepaid plan.” Read on for more. More →

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FTC antitrust investigators hone in on Android

By on August 11, 2011 at 12:45 PM.

FTC antitrust investigators hone in on Android

Antitrust investigators with the Federal Trade Commission are focusing on Google’s Android operating system and web search services, The Wall Street Journal reported on Thursday. Reportedly, there is some concern that Google prevents its Android partners from implementing services provided by Google’s competitors to their smartphones. One example comes from backin May, when Google blocked Motorola from using Skyhook Wireless’ location services on its phones. The FTC is also investigating whether Google promotes its own services over its rivals, and whether it actually uses data that its competitors have collected, such as local reviews, to populate its own results. The FTC announced that it was opening an investigation into Google’s business practices on June 24th and, at the time, Google said that it was not clear what the FTC’s concerns were. The search giant said that it will cooperate fully and will continue to follow its five pillars: “do what’s best for the user,” “provide the most relevant answers as quickly as possible,” “label advertisements clearly,” “be transparent,” and “loyalty, not lock-in.”

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Security hackers crack Google's Chrome OS using web tricks

By on August 4, 2011 at 7:01 PM.

Security hackers crack Google's Chrome OS using web tricks

When Google first introduced its Chrome operating system, the search giant touted its rock solid security. In an effort to keep hackers out, Google automatically installs the operating system on three different hard drive partitions: one swap partition, one encrypted user partition and one read-only operating system root partition. Despite those security enhancements, VentureBeat says researchers Kyle Osborn and Matt Johanson of White Hat Security’s Threat Research Center were able to break into the operating system using “web-based hacker tricks,” that provided access to Google Docs, the address book, Google Voice messages and emails. The two hackers demonstrated how easy it was during the Black Hat security conference. “This conversation is about the web, not Chrome OS,” a Google spokesperson told VentureBeat. “Chromebooks raise security protections on computing hardware to new levels. They are also better equipped to handle the web attacks that can affect browsers on any computing device, thanks in part to a carefully designed extensions model and the advanced security available through Chrome that many users and experts have embraced.” More →

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T-Mobile to offer cheaper “Value” plans to those who buy phones at full price

By on July 20, 2011 at 12:00 PM.

T-Mobile to offer cheaper “Value” plans to those who buy phones at full price

T-Mobile announced new “Value” plans for customers who sign up for service and pay the full price of a new phone or bring their own device. Beginning on July 24th, customers will have the option of paying for a new device at an unsubsidized cost upfront or in monthly installments. T-Mobile’s cheapest Value plan is a $39 monthly option that provides 500 minutes and unlimited texting, but the carrier will also offer 2GB, 5GB, and 10GB data packages. Family lines will start at $49.99 per line, and customers will have the option of signing up for “value” mobile broadband plans, too. The new plans will be particularly attractive to customers who take hand-me-down phones from friends, but there’s a small catch. It’s typically attractive to buy a phone at full price to avoid being locked into a two-year agreement. If you sign up for a Value plan, however, you’ll still be locked into a contract. T-Mobile’s current “Even More” plans will be rebranded “Classic” when the Value options make their debut. Read on for the full press release from T-Mobile. More →

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Web-based jailbreak returns, supports iPad 2 and any other iOS device

By on July 6, 2011 at 7:17 AM.

Web-based jailbreak returns, supports iPad 2 and any other iOS device

Web-based jailbreak tool Jailbreakme.com is back, and jailbreaking your iPhone, iPad or iPad touch has never been easier. How easy is it, you ask? Simply navigate to jailbreakme.com in Safari on your iOS device and then follow the on-screen instructions. Within seconds, you’ll be on your way to sporting an open iDevice. What’s more, JailbreakMe 3.0 is the first widely available tool to feature support for the iPad 2 (running iOS 4.3.3), so tablet owners will undoubtedly be excited about that. The service also supports every other iOS device other than Apple TV: iPad (iOS 4.3+), iPhone 3GS (iOS 4.3+), GSM iPhone 4 (iOS 4.3+), CDMA iPhone 4 (iOS 4.2.6+) and third or fourth-gen iPod touch (iOS 4.3+). Developer betas of iOS 5 are not supported. Remember to back up with iTunes before jailbreaking and, of course, proceed at your own risk. More →

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Google’s Chrome web browser now has 20.7% of web browser global market share at cost of IE, Firefox

By on July 5, 2011 at 10:22 PM.

Google’s Chrome web browser now has 20.7% of web browser global market share at cost of IE, Firefox

According to the analytics firm StatCounter, Google’s Chrome web browser now has a 20.7% grip of the web browser market — seven times more than it had just two years ago. The boost comes at the cost of Microsoft’s Internet Explorer web browser, which now has less than a 50% hold on the market. Mozilla’s Firefox web browser has a 28% share of the browser market, down from 30% two years ago, and Microsoft’s Internet Explorer share fell to 44% from 59% two years ago. According to Reuters, StatCounter gathers its data from more than 3 million websites with more than 15 billion page views. More →

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AT&T intros $50 unlimited GoPhone plan

By on June 22, 2011 at 2:50 AM.

AT&T intros $50 unlimited GoPhone plan

On Tuesday AT&T officially announced that its customers can now sign up for a $50 unlimited GoPhone plan that includes unlimited text, talk, and web for $50 per month. AT&T’s GoPhone option does not require a contract and it also allows customers to text Mexico, Canada, and 100 other countries at no additional cost. AT&T’s new pricing is a considerable drop from the original $60 per month GoPhone option, which just provided unlimited talk and text.Read on for the full release. More →

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Verizon outs 4G LTE Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1, pre-orders start June 8th for $529.99

By on June 2, 2011 at 10:55 AM.

Verizon outs 4G LTE Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1, pre-orders start June 8th for $529.99

Verizon Wireless on Thursday announced that it will carry a 4G LTE version of Samsung’s Galaxy Tab 10.1 Android Honeycomb tablet. The device — currently the thinnest tablet on the market — will be available in two capacities, 16GB and 32GB, and will launch in two color schemes: “metallica gray” and “glossy white.” Save for its 4G LTE radio and updated operating system, the tablet is nearly identical to the special edition that we reviewed earlier this month: it offers a 1GHz dual-core NVIDIA Tegra 2 processor, a 1280 x 800 resolution display, a 2-megapixel front-facing camera for video chats, and a 3-megapixel rear camera. Pre-orders begin on June 8th, and you can pick up the 16GB version for $529.99 or the 32GB model for $629.99 with a new two-year contract. Verizon Wireless also said that it will offer a range of accessories for the Galaxy Tab 10.1, including a full keyboard. Hit the jump for the full press release. More →

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Microsoft creating web-based Windows Phone Marketplace for Mango

By on May 26, 2011 at 1:53 PM.

Microsoft creating web-based Windows Phone Marketplace for Mango

Microsoft’s senior director of the Windows Phone Marketplace, Todd Brix, has announced that Microsoft will launch a new web-based Windows Phone Marketplace for Mango phones. Brix explained that customers will be able to read reviews, view screen shots, and even promote applications on social networks. Purchases can be made with any credit card associated with your Windows Live ID, and you can choose to download the applications over-the-air to your phone. We’ve seen similar interfaces before: Google’s http://market.android.com website already allows Android users to install apps over the air, search for new apps, and more. The Windows Phone Marketplace web store is expected to launch in tandem with Mango, which Microsoft has confirmed will happen this fall. More →

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Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 pre-orders start at $499.99

By on May 18, 2011 at 7:01 PM.

Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 pre-orders start at $499.99

Samsung’s Galaxy Tab 10.1 Android Honeycomb tablet is now available for pre-order from J&R. The 16GB tablet is priced at $499.99 while the 32GB version will set you back an additional $100. Here’s a quick rundown of its specs: it offers a 10.1-inch display with a 1280 x 800 resolution, a 1GHz dual-core NVIDIA Tegra 2 processor, full 1080p HD playback, a 3-megapixel camera capable of recording 720-p video, a 2-megapixel forward-facing camera for video chats, and more. The Galaxy Tab 10.1 also happens to be the thinnest tablet on the market right now. If you want a deeper dive, be sure to check out our full review of the limited edition version.  J&R doesn’t specify exactly when the tablet will ship, although we’ve heard the Galaxy Tab 10.1 will be available on June 8th. More →

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