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Switcher interest in new BB smartphones said to be 'surprising'
Sensing a change in the corporate marketplace since they last ruled the roost, BlackBerry today announced the first app for iOS and Android based on a feature of their BlackBerry 10 platform called "Work Space." The app essentially allows smartphone owners to "split" their device into two profiles: a group of apps for personal use, and a group for work that can be administered remotely without interfering with the personal "side." By keeping the two sets of data separate, the solution is marketed as promoting user security.
Two Samsung devices, plus BlackBerry Z10 slated for release
According to some leaked data, March 27 will see the release of several LTE handsets on US wireless carrier T-Mobile. Reportedly scheduled are the Sonic 2.0 Mobile HotSpot LTE, the Samsung Galaxy Exhibit on either postpaid or prepaid plans, the Galaxy S III LTE, and the BlackBerry Z10.
Leveraged deal to take Dell private worth up to $24 billion
According to sources familiar with the matter, Dell's board of directors is planning to meet tonight to vote on an offer to take the company private. The offer, valued at $24 billion, would make the deal the largest leveraged buyout in five years. As reported, Silver Lake Management LLC will invest more than $1 billion in the deal, and Microsoft is injecting $2 billion. CEO Michael Dell will include his 15.7 percent share of the business, and an additional $700 million, giving him a majority stake in the company.
Corrects bugs, enhances features, adds speed, Retina support
Apple has issued a minor update to its OS X Server app for Mountain Lion, now at version 2.21. The $20 program allows anyone with a Mountain Lion install to turn the OS into a server OS utilizing a suite of utilities included in the application. The update improves the speed of downloading Mac App Store software through improved caching, adds Time Machine service monitoring, brings Retina display support for the Wiki Server, adds the ability to use Active Directory groups in Profile Manager and more.
New solar panel leads the latest wave of solar charging technology
Solar energy still has a ways to go for widespread adoption, despite its 'green' nature. It doesn't have a high power density, meaning that a large area of solar panels, intense sunlight, or both, is required for optimal energy generation. Plus, the panels are expensive. Reston, VA-based Gomadic Corp supplies the former Kickstarter project SunVolt Solar Charger, in an attempt to make solar charging available to the masses, at least for portable devices. Electronista checks to see if the SunVolt has worked around common issues with solar panels.
South Korean suffers second-degree burns to thigh
A man in South Korea was injured on Saturday after his Samsung Galaxy Note exploded. The 55-year-old man apparently suffered second-degree burns to his right thigh, after the smartphone and spare battery he stored in his pants pocket suddenly ruptured and caused damage to his body and clothing.
Encouraged users to jailbreak, download its own browser
In a move that affects Chinese iOS users worldwide, Apple has removed all iOS apps -- over 20 in total -- made by Chinese search engine and software maker Qihoo over systematic abuse of the iOS eco-system. The apps were removed last week and haven't been restored, suggesting that the company is being punished for new violations. The most likely cause is the company's habit of offering direct file downloads of apps alongside App Store links, providing a path to the apps for jailbroken devices.
Reveal part of 'operation last resort' Aaron Swartz activism
Hacker collective Anonymous, in an attempt to provoke computer crime law reform in the US, has published the personal information of over 4,000 bank executives on the Alabama Criminal Justice Information Center's website. The leak is part of the group's "Operation Last Resort" developed in the wake of technology maven and hacker Aaron Swartz's death, believing that the lead prosecutor in the case was less interested in justice than career advancement; the group also holds that outdated computer crime laws contributed to Swartz's suicide.
Apple must wait for three-judge panel before full examination
The Federal US Circuit Court of Appeals has turned down an Apple attempt to fast-track a ban on several Samsung phones, Reuters reports. A judge ruled against the pretrial ban last December, but Apple chose to appeal that ruling alongside one from October. Because of today's events, the appeal of the December decision will have to be considered by a three-judge panel before going to the full appeals court.
Manufacturer responds to internal, external pressure
Asian manufacturer Foxconn will soon allow workers to elect union representatives for the first time, says UK newspaper The Telegraph. Under the arrangement, a chairman and 20 members of the Federation of Labour Unions Committee will be elected every five years. The Financial Times remarks that the current representatives weren't nominated in an open and transparent manner; over half of the committee members are in fact from management, making it easier for Foxconn executives to fight any changes they don't like.
Would make Mini display Apple's second-sharpest
The next-generation iPad mini will get a display with 324 pixels per inch, says Chinese site My Drivers. The information stems from sources at Taiwanese Apple suppliers, who say that AU Optronics is piloting production of the new tablet. The hardware is expected to use a 2048x1536 display resolution, the same as the fourth-generation 9.7-inch iPad, despite having to compress that detail onto a 7.9-inch screen.
Companies can require addresses, phone numbers in California
Apple and other online retailers aren't breaking state law by requiring people to submit their address and phone number when making credit card payments, the California Supreme Court has ruled. The decision at least temporarily ends a proposed class action brought by David Krescent, who charged that Apple should not be able to require the extra information for iTunes purchases. Reuters reports that eBay and Walmart submitted briefs in support of Apple.
Move intended to push adoption of IP telephony
In a bid to solidify its networking hardware business, Oracle is intending to purchase equipment manufacturer Acme Packet Inc from Bedford, MA for $2.1 billion. The deal is Oracle's largest acquisition since it purchased Sun Microsystems for $7 billion, and follows a year rife with purchases, all pointing to a greater emphasis on the hardware aspects of its business in the future.
Proposal faces stiff resistance from telecommunications lobby
The Federal Communications Commission has proposed the creation of "super Wi-Fi" networks across the US. The networks, in theory would be powerful enough to allow people to access the Internet through them without needing separate coverage via a carrier, has seen a number of parties within the wireless industry lobbying against such a proposal.
Most iOS devices supported
The Evad3rs hacking team has released its promised jailbreaking tool for iOS 6 devices. Known as evasi0n, the software supports any version of iOS 6 through 6.1, and is available in Mac, Windows, and Linux editions. It's also untethered, meaning that it doesn't require connecting to a computer and reapplying the jailbreak if an iOS device is rebooted.
Hotspot has touch-screen display, ten-device limit
AT&T will be offering a second mobile hotspot with touchscreen capabilities to customers later this week. The AT&T Unite by Sierra Wireless will allow users the ability to create a ten-device Wi-Fi hotspot that uses the carrier's 4G LTE phone network, with the further option of allowing the creation of a guest network for one-time users.
Apple edges ahead of Nokia in mobile Internet usage
Apple has surpassed Nokia for the first time in terms of global mobile Internet usage, according to web analytics firm StatCounter. During the month of January, Apple achieved a 25.86 percent share; while that's a 2.81 percent slide year-over-year, Nokia plunged 15.52 percent in the same period to 22.15 percent, giving the win to Apple. Nokia has also been beaten by Samsung, which rose 7.85 percent to a 22.69 percent share.
RadioShack discounts iPhone 5 purchases
RadioShack has started a new promotion that allows customers to save $25 on the purchase of an AT&T or Sprint iPhone 5. The promotion will run until February 14 and applies to both new purchases and hardware upgrades for any iPhone 5 model. In addition to this deal, RadioShack's Trade and Save program is also offering up to $250 to customers who choose to trade in a working iPhone 4S, or as much as $150 for a working iPhone 4.
Operating system decision forces Nokia to 'consider any option'
Nokia is willing to "consider any option" in choosing an operating system for a tablet, according to CEO Stephen Elop. Both Android and Windows will be looked at in a tablet's development, claimed Elop in an interview, though the company will primarily look towards Windows as it's tablet OS of choice.
May dispel claims that production issues were fixed
Apple is delaying European shipping times for the iMac even further, notes French site MacGeneration. At the company's online store, 21.5-inch models are now only slated to ship in 3 to 4 weeks, where previously the gap was 2 to 3. The situation is worse for 27-inch systems, which have been pushed from 3 to 4 weeks to 4 to 6.
Should simplify marketing of iOS, Mac apps
Apple's new shortened App Store URLs made their public debut during last night's Super Bowl broadcast, notes CNET. Within an ad for Star Trek: Into Darkness,AppStore.com/StarTrekApp was displayed, pointing people to a promotional app for the movie. The new address format is designed to make it easier to market apps, since regular App Store URLs are extremely complex.
Existing 3G-service customers to access 4G LTE when rolled out
British carrier Three is planning to offer 4G service without requiring any changes to existing contracts, including those with an unlimited data allowance. Customers will be able to access the 4G signal on current 3G contracts without needing to pay a premium or lose any of their existing data allowance, so long as they are using smartphones capable of connecting to it, and are in an area covered by the signal.
BLU Products tackling off contract market with Quattro handsets
Latin-owned BLU Products has rolled out its new line of quad-core based smartphones running Nvidia's Tegra 3 processor clocked at 1.5GHz. The Quattro 4.5, Quattro 4.5 HD and Quattro 5.7 HD all center on large displays of 4.5-inches and up to 5.7-inches, while all run Android 4.1 'Jelly Bean.' BLU Products is targetting the lineup at the unlocked market, pricing the products accordingly.
UK carriers may be allowed to roll out 4G LTE outside of auction
United Kingdom telecommunications regulator Ofcom is considering the prospect of allowing carriers to reuse existing spectrum for LTE-based services, such as those offered by EE. Such a proposal from Ofcom would potentially offer more spectrum for the faster network services than its current 4G spectrum auction could provide, with little in the way of extra licensing cost for phone networks.
MS Surface Pro reaches retailers ahead of its February 9 launch
The Microsoft Surface with Windows 8 Pro has started appearing in retail stores in the US and Canada. However, the long-awaited Wintel notebook-tablet hybrid is cannot be purchased until its official on sale date of February 9. In the meantime, customers will be able to get their hands on the device and consider handing over the $899 (64GB) or $999 (128GB) that Microsoft is asking to the devices.
HP Pavilion 14, first HP with the Google Chrome OS
HP has created its first Chromebook, the Pavillion 14. The new web-based notebook joins similar offerings including the Google Chromebook from Samsung and the C7 from Acer. While HP is charging a premium for its device, it is quick to point to the additional 2-inches of diagonal screen real estate offered by its 14-inch display as a selling point.
Shipping for iPad mini orders drops to 1-3 days
Roughly ten days after it last updated iPad mini ship times, Apple has dropped the wait again -- indicating that availability is improving. While still not achieving what CEO Tim Cook calls "supply/demand balance" (which generally translates into a shipping status of "in stock" or available for immediate shipping), the delay has now dropped to 1-3 business days in the US and Canadian stores, down from the 3-5 day delay recently advertised. The iPad mini has been heavily in-demand since release, and in-store supplies are still constrained.
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