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Likely purchased for Android development team
Even though the IPO roadshow is ongoing and large acquisitions are generally unwise during that period, Facebook has purchased Lightbox. Lightbox is a predominantly Android photo sharing startup with many similarities to the recently acquired Instagram. Facebook is closing Lightbox, and likely going to use staff developers for Android development. No terms of the deal have been formally announced.
Video shows Jobs predicting publisher revolt
A 2010 video has surfaced of Apple co-founder Steve Jobs prognosticating that e-books would eventually wind up around the same price on most competing e-book stores. The video comes as the Justice Department pursues its e-book lawsuit against Apple and two other publishers for alleged price-collusion. Depending on one's interpretation of the video, Jobs' statement could imply foreknowledge of publisher plans or just industry canniness, and could even figure in the Justice Department's case.
Available in driveless or 6TB versions
On May 15, LaCie announced an addition to its network attached storage (NAS) line of products. The LaCie 2big NAS joins the product lineup. The new drive case is fully compatible with Apple's Time Machine software as well as Windows 7 Backup. Remote access is by way of FTP, SFTP, or HTTP file transfer. Cloud storage is accessible by an iOS application.
New display may add between $60 and $90 to assembly cost
Rumors of a new line of Apple Macintosh MacBook Pros with an enhanced Retina Display are making the rounds this week. According to CNet, NPD DisplaySearch analyst Richard Shim said that super-high resolution 13.3 and 15.4 inch panels suitable for Retina Display usage are available now from component manufacturers. The increased resolution may come at an higher cost to Apple, and possibly to consumers.
Part of a series on inventors, innovators
The latest entry in the children's book series "Who Was" spotlights the life of Apple co-founder and former CEO Steve Jobs. The series, which has profiled figures like Walt Disney, Jim Henson and Dr. Seuss, illustrates Jobs' early life and eventual rise to found, lead, leave and then return to Apple. The story of Apple's mercurial CEO is obviously sanitized for younger readers, but covers the major events and Jobs' impact on the technology industry.
Forcing 3G users off unlimited with 4G LTE migration
As users move to 4G LTE data sharing plans, Verizon will slowly eliminate grandfathered data plans left over from the $30-per-month unlimited data era. Verizon's planned replacement for the contracts, a "pooled data" type plan, is scheduled to launch mid-summer, but no concrete dates or pricing details have been announced. All the legacy data plans are left over from contracts established prior to July 2011.
Users can share ideas of things to do
Google has finally brought its Schemer service to the iOS platform as a native app (free, App Store). Schemer for the iPhone, iPad and iPod touch enables users to participate in the activity-recommendation network, which allows users to post things to do and organize activities with other users.
Nationwide rollout of Skype on Xfinity commences
Comcast has made its Skype on Xfinity system available in Boston and Seattle in the first stage of a nationwide rollout. The previously leaked Skype camera allows users to perform video calls through the service, with instant messaging available while watching TV at the same time.
Venstar Wi-Fi key for thermostat allows for cloud-based control
Venstar has outed its Skyport Wi-Fi key for the ColorTouch thermostat. The key connects the thermostat to Skyport Cloud Services, run by the company, allowing users to monitor and adjust the thermostat from a phone or tablet. The key is a $100 upgrade to the $300 thermostat, with iOS, Android, and Blackberry apps free to download.
Mid-2007 MBPs temporarily excluded
Earlier today, Apple updated its OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion Developer Preview 3 for developers, though no significant changes or additions were listed by the company. For reasons unknown, Apple has excluded the mid-2007 MacBook Pro (identifier 3,1) from this build, but says it will restore support for the model in future releases. Numerous known issues from the previous build remain unaddressed, though a minor enhancement has already been spotted.
Users can quickly filter results
Google has introduced a new search feature, "Knowledge Graph," that aims to enhance search results in several ways. For search queries that may bring ambiguous results, users can now click on their intended subject and view the correct results. The company uses "Taj Mahal" as an example, as users may be searching for the musician, the mausoleum in India, or a local business using the same name.
Minor upgrade makes Bamboo more practical
Recently MacNN had a chance to test out the Bamboo Stylus duo, a newer version of Wacom's popular stylus for the iPad -- and by extension, other capacitive touchscreen devices. The duo adds an ink pen into the mix, occupying the tip opposite a rubber one meant for touchscreens. This may make the stylus more practical for some people, since it means always having a pen handy for writing checks or quick notes, or at least one less pen sitting in your bag.
Project Glass to be higher in field of view according to Google
Google has admitted that its Project Glass wearable display interface currently does not resemble what is shown in the demo video. The admission comes the same day the search giant patents the design of the Project Glass prototypes, showing what a prescription variant would look like.
$15.5 billion commitment seen as too much by some shareholders
Sprint's deal with Apple for the iPhone will ultimately prove "quite profitable" for the carrier, said CEO Dan Hesse during a company shareholder meeting on Tuesday. The pact will end up costing $15.5 billion by the end of 2015, which has prompted some worried shareholders to challenge it. Hesse in fact recently returned $3.25 million in personal compensation back to Sprint when it was pointed out that the company hadn't factored in the impact of the iPhone before tallying worker bonuses.
ARWU celebrates one year anniversary
Other World Computer has announced a new 32GB Memory Kit for 2011 iMac and 2010 27-inch iMac models. The OWC PC3-10600 DDR3 1333MHz chip has been fully tested to meet all Apple memory design and compatibility specifications and comes with a lifetime replacement warranty and step-by-step installation video. The upgrade kit can be purchased for $360, $240 less than Apple's own 16GB RAM kit.
Social Network writer signs on for Steve Jobs film
Aaron Sorkin -- a writer for The West Wing, Sports Night, and HBO's upcoming The Newsroom -- has officially signed on to script Sony Pictures' forthcoming biopic about the late Steve Jobs. The film will be based on Walter Isaacson's bestselling biography on the Apple co-founder.
Asymco analyst puts Google's Android earnings at $2.75 per device
An analyst at Asymco has posted an analysis of Google's revenues from its Android operating system, estimating that Android nets Google approximately $2.75 in ad sales per device every year. The figure is dwarfed in comparison to Apple's take from iOS devices.
Japanese researchers break records in the terahertz band
Researchers at the Tokyo Institute of Technology have demonstrated transmission speeds of 3Gb/s at 542GHz, the BBC reports. This development could mean greatly increased wireless transmission speeds, up to 20 times faster than 802.11n Wi-Fi transmission rates and slightly faster than the 1.7Gbps speeds that Netgear claims for its new 802.11ac equipment.
LG, Sharp, Japan Display again named as builders
Sources for Reuters are supporting Wall Street Journal claims that Apple is using 4-inch displays for the next iPhone, and has already begun to place orders for the new parts. As with the earlier report, Reuters says that LG Display, Sharp, and Japan Display are handling production, which is allegedly in early stages; full production orders could begin in June. iPhone assembly could start as soon as August, if Apple follows normal patterns. One source comments that it's still uncertain what share of display production each supplier will have.
NTT DoCoMo brings Galaxy S III to their network
Japan's NTT DoCoMo has revealed its summer lineup of releases including 16 Android 4.0 smartphones, a tablet, a mobile phone for children and a mobile Wi-Fi router. The announcement comes at the same time as plans for the company's Dmarket content to be expanded to offer anime videos and music on a flat-rate basis for smartphones and tablets.
Russian-funded company to look to licensing, technology partnerships
E-paper and device maker Plastic Logic revealed on Wednesday that it will stop plans to release a branded e-book reader using its own advanced e-paper display, SlashGear revealed. Instead, the company will turn its attention to developing license and technology partnerships in order to get its rugged plastic displays into devices made by other companies. As part of the announcement, the US development facility will be shut down, though a research and development center is expected to open in Russia.
Car giant has little faith in Facebook advertising
General Motors has announced that it will cease advertising on Facebook, Agence France-Presse reports. The move could signal trouble for Facebook, which is currently attempting to allay prospective stockholder concerns in the run-up to its initial public offering.
Sprint memo reveals the company will no longer offer early upgrades
A leaked memo shared by TechnoBuffalo indicates that Sprint will put an end to its early upgrade program. Basically, the carrier let some users who were close to their hardware upgrade eligibility date -- say two weeks -- upgrade to a new phone. The change is due to "high costs," Sprint explained in the memo, and four other options are given to staff in order to appease customers.
Offline reading gains Readability
The latest version of Flipboard, 1.9, now includes an Audio category, its developer has announced. The content is available through the Content Guide, and includes clips from NPR and PRI shows, as well as recommendations from SoundCloud. This includes access to lists and followed users, as well as highlighted content. Once audio is playing a person can continue reading other sections of Flipboard without it being interrupted; a menu option lets users control playback.
Xiaomi begins pre-registration process for latest Youth Edition phone
The hot-selling Xiaomi Mi One just received a smaller brother, the cheaper and less powerful Youth Edition. The smartphone will cost 1,500 yuan (about $240) or 500 yuan ($50) less than the M1. Major specs such as the 4-inch, 854x480 touchscreen and eight-megapixel camera will be retained, as will the 4GB of built-in storage and 1,930mAh battery.
Samsung QF20 and W300 reaches US stores
Samsung has put two camcorders up for sale in the US. The QF20, which we tried at CES, can sense if it has been flipped over and changes both filming and menu orientations automatically, and the W300 is claimed to be water-, shock-, and dust-proof.
Verizon announces another 4G network expansion on May 17
Verizon announced it will begin offering its 4G network services in 28 new cities on May 17. At the same time, it will expand coverage in 11 cities. This will bring the total 4G coverage of the carrier at 258 cities, covering over two thirds of the US population.
HTC Ville C to be a cheaper version of HTC One S
The specs of an upcoming handset, the HTC Ville C, have been spotted by BriefMobile. They reveal a version of the HTC One S (shown) that is reported to be less costly, mainly thanks to its Snapdragon S3 processor rather than the S4 in the One S. It's being billed as ultra-slim, though exactly how thin isn't known.
Carrier losing subscribers due to native 3G standard
China Mobile is in talks with Apple to offer the iPhone, confirms Mobile chairman Xi Guohua. The executive made the statement on Wednesday at a shareholder meeting in Hong Kong, his first since replacing Wang Jianzhou, who retired in March. Apple has refused to comment, and Xi didn't elaborate much further at the meeting, saying he couldn't predict if a deal would be reached this year. "China Mobile and Apple both have the will to strengthen cooperation," he commented. "When there is more specific news, we will disclose it."
ICS comes to T-Mobile Sensation and Amaze 4G devices
T-Mobile has taken to Twitter to announce that its pair of HTC 4G smartphones will be upgraded to Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich). The first device to get the update will be the Sensation 4G, which gets an over-the-air update starting today. Amaze 4G users can expect to get their taste of ICS starting from May 21.
WSJ tips larger 4-inch display for new iPhone
The Wall Street Journal is reporting that Apple has placed orders for iPhone displays measuring ‘at least 4-inches diagonally’ for its sixth generation iPhone expected in October. Citing ‘people familiar with the situation’ production on the new displays is set to begin next month. Apple is said to be working with LG, Sharp and Japan Display (a newly formed partnership between Sony, Hitachi and Toshiba) on the new screens, which can be expected to be Retina Display-class.
Samsung and HTC shares suffer at the hands of Apple
Samsung and HTC stock have both taken a hit thanks to separate actions instigated by Apple. Samsung’s stock saw $10 billion wiped off its value following a report by DigiTimes indicating that Apple had placed a large order for DRAM from its struggling Japanese competitor Elpida. Separately, HTC’s shares also slumped by over 6 percent following an Apple initiated ITC injunction being enforced by US Customs, stopping the importation of its hotly anticipated One X and EVO 4G LTE handsets.
Class-action civil suit fires back at 'overpriced' e-books
In addition to the lawsuit from the Department of Justice and 17 states against Apple and two major publishers alleging the companies conspired to keep e-book prices artificially high, a US District Court judge yesterday approved a class-action civil lawsuit targeting Apple and five major publishers on the same charges, filed "on behalf of e-book customers." The judge rejected a motion to dismiss the lawsuit in a strongly-worded opinion.
Encryption start to finish, not just at one end
Election software maker Scytl has announced the development of an improved online voting encryption technology. The Baltimore-based company claims the breakthrough guarantees end-to-end security for both computer-based online voting as well as mobile phone voting. Scytl provides voting services to 340,000 French citizens living abroad, some US troops deployed overseas, and provide internet balloting for 350,000 in the city of Halifax, amongst other clients.
ITC trade ban in place, no timetable for release
HTC has confirmed that US Customs is holding shipments of the HTC One X and EVO 4G LTE smartphones. An International Trade Commission (ITC) ban is in place, preventing the customs release while a review of the shipments for non-infringement of Apple patents is underway. HTC has protested the hold, saying it believes the phones are no longer in violation of the sales injunction applied by the ITC.
USB3 1.5TB drives available in June
Toshiba has added two higher-capacity models to its Canvio line. The line is now buttressed by the Canvio 3.0 and Canvio Basics 3.0, which now offer up to 1.5TB of storage space. The Canvio 3.0 includes software allowing OS X to both read and write the NTFS file system.
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