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In an interview with hosts Walt Mossberg and Kara Swisher for AllThingsD, Google Chariman Eric Schmidt called the market battle between iOS devices and the Android operating system "the defining fight in the industry today." He also called the ongoing smartphone patent wars "death," and that they were having a larger impact on small companies than large companies like Apple, Google, and Samsung.
According to an Amazon spokeswoman, the online retailer has received approval from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to sell the 4G version of the Kindle Fire. The 8.9-inch tablet was unveiled last month, but the devices had not yet received FCC clearance, and was required to run disclaimers on web pages and emails promoting the product.
On Friday, security researcher Suriya Prakash stated that the majority of Facebook-stored phone numbers are insecure, and have been so at least since September when he started examining the issue. A demonstration provided by Prakash showed that a simple script was able to collect phone numbers and corresponding Facebook names at a minimum with minimal time and cost. Facebook has since limited the utility of the script by basic flood control limitation, but Prakash claims that Facebook was not forthcoming when the social network did so.
Following the remarks from a Czech Microsoft executive claiming imminent availability of Microsoft Office for iOS and Android in March 2013, Microsoft representatives in the US are denying the revealed release dates. Microsoft spokesman Frank X. Shaw publicly disowned the report, saying in a tweet that "the information shared by our Czech Republic subsidiary is not accurate. We have nothing further to share."
Software maker Boinx has brought out a milestone release of its flagship slideshow creator, FotoMagico 4. The new version adds support for the Retina display of the new MacBook Pros, and adds a number of new features and a lengthy list of improvements, tweaks and fixes to the program, which goes beyond what Keynote, Powerpoint or iPhoto can achieve in terms of versatility and fine control of slideshow presentations. The update includes a more intuitive user interface, up to six layers on a single slide, a Timeline mode and more.
Motorola Mobility has asked Magistrate Judge Paul Grewal of the US District Court for the Northern District of California to seal "highly confidential" records of patent negotiations with Samsung. The summary of a licensing negotiation between Motorola and Samsung in 2000 was used in the Apple versus Samsung trial held in August to defend Samsung witnesses against Apple deposition.
Following the release of a report from the House Intelligence Committee, the panel investigating possible security concerns stemming from Huawei and ZTE equipment use now claims to have received \"dozens and dozens\" of calls from former employees and customers of the two companies. These calls, according to Reuters allege suspicious equipment behavior, especially on the part of Huawei\'s equipment. The development is likely to result in intensified scrutiny of the two Chinese companies\' dealings, further hampering their efforts to make gains in the US telecom market.
Google has added a number of different input options to Gmail, in an effort to increase the number of international users of the service. The new additions include over 100 input method editors and virtual keyboards, allowing for text entry in a number of languages that do not use the Roman Alphabet.
Ruling on a July filing by Motorola, Federal Judge James L Robart of the Western District of Washington, presiding over the Microsoft versus Motorola fair, reasonable, and non-discriminatory (FRAND) dispute, denied Motorola's motion for a partial summary judgement dismissing Microsoft's request that the court create a license agreement for Motorola's standard patents. The matter will be resolved at the November 13 trial date.
Apple continues to gain market share in the United States, but the company saw shipments of its PCs decline in the third quarter due to a slowdown in overall consumption. This according to Gartner, which published its analysis of the global and US PC markets for the third quarter of 2012. Gartner\'s report found declines among most of the major US PC suppliers, with only Lenovo shipping more units this quarter than it did in the same quarter last year.
Even as Lenovo posted high yearly growth and gained on market leader HP, the worldwide PC market saw a sharp decline in the third quarter of this year. This according to analysis firm IDC, which published its Worldwide Quarterly PC Tracker report earlier today. The report found that the PC market's well-established struggles with retaining market share as consumers increasingly opt for mobile devices instead of traditional PCs.
Groupon has announced its first point-of-sale system for retail, Breadcrumb. The technology is iPad-only, but designed to be easily connected to hardware such as cash drawers and receipt printers. On top of handling transactions, the system also presents information on topics like sales figures, and food and labor costs.
HTC brought its latest handsets to San Diego this week for the MobileCon expo, where Electronista had a chance to check out the One VX. The device represents a midrange addition to the One lineup, pairing a 4.5-inch touchscreen with a dual-core 1.2GHz Snapdragon S4 processor and an LTE radio.
Twitter has released simultaneous updates for the Mac, Windows, Chrome, and web versions of TweetDeck, its more advanced client software. The main change is the addition of a new theme which casts black text on a white background, instead of the standard white text on gray. A simple toggle control flips the theme back and forth at will.
Samsung has announced the launch of the newest addition to its Galaxy line of smartphones, the Galaxy Music. The new Android 4.0 smartphone is aimed at users that want more dedicated music functionality from their handsets. It will be compatible with an array of music file formats, as well as packed with a number of Samsung music and media apps.
The \"purple haze\" problem with the iPhone 5\'s camera is actually prevalent along several major smartphones, according to Consumer Reports. The publication recently tested several devices, and found that the iPhone 4S, Samsung Galaxy S III, and Motorola Droid Razr Maxx all displayed degrees of the issue. In some cases the haze took on a different color or a rainbow effect, but all displayed similar trouble when bright lights were in the frame.
Google has patched an exploit in Chrome less than 24 hours after it was disclosed at a hacker conference. The Pwnium 2 competition at Hack in the Box 2012 saw a single security flaw being discovered, which earned a hacker going by the name “Pinkie Pie” a free Chromebook and $60,000, the highest reward level in the contest.
ECOXGEAR launched its latest Bluetooth speaker, the ECOXBT. The rugged accessory is 100 percent waterproof and floats, so it\'s suitable to bring along on camping trips. It\'s IPX7 certification allows it to be submerged at up to one-meter of water for up to 30 minutes.
Research In Motion headlined the second-day keynote at the MobileCon expo in San Diego, where the company once again showed off its upcoming BlackBerry 10 platform. Chief information officer Robin Bienfait reiterated RIM\'s commitment to building a fresh computing platform \"from the ground up,\" and further claimed the mobile device is \"approaching the functionality and power of a laptop.\"
Taiwanese smartphone and tablet maker HTC has revealed it will stop selling tablet devices in the US. The market is saturated and Apple\'s iPad is far and away the leading offering, according to HTC\'s global online communications manager, Jeff Gordon. He did indicate the company will keep an eye on the market, however, and may return with a product it feels will adequately compete with the market leader.
Yunasoft has released a new version of Awesome Calendar that allows users to view a full weeks schedule, including appointments and weather forecasts for each day. In addition to daily temperature highs and lows, the updated weather feature includes wind, humidity, visible distance, sunset/sunrsie time, and atmospheric pressure for the next five days. The update also features a new feature that lets users see what happened historically on the same day for the past five years. Calendar Awesome can be purchased in the App Store for $5
Hoping to bring some sense of order to the current technology patent environment, tech firms, patent officers, regulators, and others are meeting in Geneva at the behest of the United Nations. The BBC reports that the talks were organized by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), a UN agency charged with ensuring that phone manufacturers agree to standards ensuring interactivity. The ITU's patent roundtable has drawn attendees from the biggest names in technology -- including Apple, Google, HP, Broadcom, Huawei, Nokia, Qualcomm, Samsung, and more -- to Geneva for an event aimed at keeping the exercise of patents from stifling technological innovation.
Twitter may soon allow its subscribers to link to and share short video clips, if the latest reports of it buying a yet-to-be launched video clip sharing service prove true. While the details of the deal aren\'t known, Vine promises to let its user base share short video clips, often just seconds in duration, with others. This certainly fits in with Twitter\'s short character limit as well.
T-Mobile USA is denying claims that it plans to drop the iPhone from its \"Unlimited and Unlocked\" campaign, a spokesperson tells 9to5Mac. Yesterday TmoNews reported that T-Mobile had issued an internal memo warning workers to no longer refer to Apple or the iPhone as a part of Unlimited & Unlocked marketing. The document also allegedly mentioned that \"BYOi [Bring Your Own iPhone] Program focus will change to BYOD [Bring Your Own Device],\" although \"iPhone Demo Devices should continue to be used for training and customer demonstration purposes.\"
iOS and Android versions of Office 2013 should be released in March, according to a Microsoft product manager. Petr Bobek made the comment at a press event in the Czech Republic earlier today. The Verge, meanwhile, says it has seen a press release from Microsoft\'s Czech team that confirms plans for \"Windows Phone, Windows RT, Mac OS, Android, iOS and Symbian,\" on top of the flagship Windows edition. There should also be an Office Web Apps update.
The third-generation iPad will get a revision to support UK LTE bands, but the upcoming iPad mini will be Wi-Fi-only, according to industry sources contacted by The Guardian. While LTE is one of the major marketing points for the third-gen iPad, the chipset currently used by Apple only supports American and Canadian 4G bands. Public complaints and pressure from government agencies around the world ultimately forced Apple to de-emphasize LTE in its international advertising.
Production of a 13-inch MacBook Pro with a Retina display is still "on track", claims an analyst at NPD DisplaySearch. Speaking to CNET, Richard Shim believes the notebook will begin manufacture in the fourth quarter, later than estimates made by other analysts earlier this year for an October production start.
Apple Mac developers are getting frustrated by increasing waiting times to have their apps approved by Apple for sale through the Mac App Store portal. Data from Shiny Development shows that waiting times for Mac app approvals have blown out to 27 days over the past month. This compares with just 7 days to get an app approved for the iOS App Store.
Apple knew of iOS 6 Maps problems as far back as June this year, says CNET. After the first beta of iOS 6 was seeded to developers, feedback on errors and inaccuracies in the new app were supplied by numerous parties. Developers filed bug reports, emails were sent to specific employees, and frustration was also expressed on developer-only message boards viewed by Apple.
Logitech has shown off two new mice and a trackpad designed with Windows 8 in mind. The Wireless Rechargeable Touchpad T650, Touch Mouse T620, and Zone Touch Mouse T400 do away with physical buttons for the most part, instead replacing them with touch-sensitive areas for scrolling and gesture controls.
Apple’s decision to use an aluminum unibody chassis for the iPhone 5 is causing supply constraints, reports Bloomberg. Apple chose the material for its light weight and resistance to cracking, it is also softer than the Gorilla glass used on the back of the iPhone 4 and 4S. It has caused quality control issues during manufacture resulting in lower production yields at Foxconn following pressure from Apple executives after it emerged that iPhone 5s with scratches, scuffing and nicks were being shipped to customers.
Samsung has confirmed that it will be launching the Galaxy S III Mini tomorrow. JK Shin, head of Mobile Communications at Samsung, commented on tomorrow's event in Germany to Inews24, confirming the device to have a four-inch screen and have a "full form factor," though it will not apparently be an entry-level smartphone.
LG recently expanded its Android lineup with the Optimus L9, a midrange handset that is set to launch at T-Mobile. The handset sports a 4.5-inch display and a high-density battery, helping to maintain a thin profile without sacrificing battery life on the carrier's 4G network. The L9 has yet to arrive in stores, but Electronista had a chance to try out the new phone ahead of its formal launch.
Sports and fitness app makers Pear Sports are now offering a free app that interfaces with a $150 kit sold at Apple retail stores to help users achieve fitness or weight-loss goals using personalized coaching from top personal coaches based on the biofeedback the kit sends the app. The product includes a Bluetooth heart monitor, a pair of Pear earbuds for listening to music and the coaching, and the app for iPhone or iPod Touch. The app provides real-time feedback and encouragement using data gained from the heart rate monitor.
Sling Media has rolled out the Slingbox 500 and Slingbox 350, two completely redesigned retail Slingbox products that provide live streaming of television, sporting events, recorded programming and premium content to smartphones, tablets, laptops and connected devices. In addition, the Slingbox 500 introduces new features, including Wi-Fi and HDMI, as well as a platform for delivering personal content to the TV.
The head of the European Commission believes that a settlement could be reached in the Apple e-book antitrust case "in the coming couple of months." The European Commission is now market-testing an offer by Apple and four publishers in a bid to end the probe. The publishers involved mirror those from the US case over the same e-book price-fixing allegations -- Simon & Schuster, HarperCollins, Hachette Livra, and Macmillan are all named in the settlement offer. Publisher Penguin was also charged in the investigation, but is not participating in the settlement.
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Apple want ads hint at future Watch faces
An Apple job listing for a dedicated clock face team may suggest future fashion-brand partnerships, possibly in time for the updated watchOS updates that are likely to be revealed at this spring's Worldwide Developer Conference. Since the introduction of watchOS 2, there has only been four new watch faces, but three of them were left over from the first release, with only one truly new one -- the co-branded HermÃ©s face exclusive to that edition. There is a rumored March 15 event, but if that takes place it will likely focus on new band options as regards the Apple Watch. http://apple.co/1O1TbTI
Microsoft may end Office Support Professional prog
Microsoft appears to be either ending or seriously revamping its "Accredited Support Professional Program" for training on Microsoft Office for Mac and iOS it has offered at MacTech conferences since 2013. The program is not on offer at the upcoming MacTech tour, which begins on March 16 in San Francisco and includes a number of other cities. Microsoft has released a statement that it is "evaluating options for 2016, but don't have anything to share at this time." http://bit.ly/1KDz3MQ
Office for Mac v15.18 released
Microsoft has issued an update for the Mac version of its productivity suite, Office 2016. The v15.18 update offers improvements for all of the included apps, such as bringing full screen support to Outlook and allowing Word to save PDF files to flash drives. In addition, a new selection pane has been added to PowerPoint and Excel for keeping track of objects, and shapes can now be added to OneNote notebook pages. The update is free for all users, but requires a Mac running OS X 10.10 or later and a valid Microsoft Office 365 subscription. http://bit.ly/1Q7pAzW
Apple to open new south Florida mall store
According to real estate trade papers in south Florida, Apple has signed a lease for a new retail space in Miami, at the forthcoming Brickell City Centre (yes, the UK spelling is used) open-air mall, which is set to open later this year. The center will feature a five-story shopping area, condominiums, a hotel and office buildings, along with a "climate ribbon" in the shopping area to keep visitors cool, eschewing traditional air conditioning. The exact location of the Apple Store within the plan is not yet clear, but the destination already boasts 75 confirmed stores. http://bit.ly/1Q7n7Wd
Filemaker provides free custom app guide
FileMaker announced today the release of the first in a three-part series of free how-to guides that will lead teams through the process of building a custom app using the FileMaker Platform. FileMaker's new how-to guides provide a step-by-step process that starts with a planning cycle covering goals, requirements, functionality and usability, and run all the way through identifying user scenarios, defining requirements, addressing integration, providing security, and deployment of the final product. http://bit.ly/1o08wQh
OCZ Trion 150 SSD shifts to 15nm TLC NAND
SSD manufacturer OCZ has updated its entry-level 2.5-inch Trion 100 SSD. The new Trion 150 has similar performance to the now replaced model, and now utilizes 15nm TLC NAND. Sequential read speeds top out at 550MB/S, with 4KB random write speeds running from 25K IOPS in the 120GB model, to 64K IOPS in the 960GB version of the drive. Endurance is limited to 30TB in the 120GB, and peaks at 240TB in the 960GB version. Retail prices vary between $46 for 120GB, to $270 for the 960GB version. http://bit.ly/1nVmlyL
Google off the hook in CAPTCHA labor suit
US District Jacqueline Scott Corley has dismissed a proposed class-action suit against Google, that alleged that Google secretly was given an economic gain without user knowledge. The suit alleged, correctly, that the second word in Google's CAPTCHA service was used as a crowd-sourced word identification for Google's book-scanning project. The judge ruled that the suit as filed had no facts to support a "reasonable consumer would expect to receive compensation" for the seconds it took to complete the form, and in addition, the free Gmail account provided more than offset any labor penalty incurred by the user. http://bit.ly/1o06Cir