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Moshi for iPad

  • Apple may have some revolutionary new earbuds for us to go along with next month’s iPhone launch.


    In a patent filed earlier this year, Apple described a “vented in-the-ear headphones” design that reduces the echo of your own voice that you sometimes hear when you're on the phone. The patent that got approved yesterday claims the invention “aims to improve the sound quality by venting or leakage.”


    It apparently works like this: When external vibrations caused from the sound within earphones bounce against the skull or other parts of the body near the ear, sound quality is reduced. Apple’s earbud design has a “vented tip” that forms a seal within the ear canal. As stated in Apple’s patent filing, “This provides the wearer with good acoustic isolation against external sounds.”


    This is good acoustic news for all of us who’ve tried carrying on a phone conversation while exercising or even walking on a noisy street. Now let’s hope Apple lets those new earbuds loose with that new iPhone.




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  • By Aldo Panessidi


    Microsoft’s new Window Phone 8 OS won’t get installed on any of the current Windows Phone devices because they are based on a different core- Windows CE (Windows Phone 7) versus Windows NT (Windows Phone 8). Windows Phone 8 will support significant improvements including multiple CPU cores and better graphics.


    Current Windows Phone owners excluded from Windows Phone 8


    Microsoft’s senior marketing manager for Windows Phone Greg Sullivan stated that, while it can be done, porting WP8 on older devices would be very expensive. He also stated that the WP8 requires functions like multi-core support, higher resolution screens, NFC and microSD card support. The legacy device hardware can’t make use of Windows Phone 8 upgrades.


    Microsoft is attempting to make it up to current Windows Phone users with a Windows Phone 7 update (WP 7.8). It’s most noticeable change is a more user-friendly Start screen.


    Users who buy Windows Phone 8-compatible devices, will be able to migrate their Windows Phone 7 apps. There's no backwards compatibility for the newly developed WP8 apps though and there's nothing that can be done about it.


    This could mean a big loss of momentum for Microsoft’s mobile OS. They’re still the new kid on the block trying to establish a reputation. This isn’t helping.




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  • By Adhurim Murtezai


    Nokia doesn’t need any more bad press, but now Reuters and BusinessWeek have been spreading the news from more than a few financial analysts and venture capitalists that Nokia’s troubles are far from over.


    Analysts anticipate more troubles for Nokia


    UBS stated that Nokia would have “to significantly discount its new Microsoft Lumia products, including the Nokia Lumia 900, Nokia Lumia 800 and the Nokia Lumia 710 in order… to gain any traction with retailers, operators and consumers.”


    Canaccord Genuity predicted “a continued sharp decline in Symbian smartphone sales…combined with a slow ramp in Windows smartphone volume.”


    Janardan Menon with Liberum Capital said that Nokia had,  ”too much baggage in terms of cost structure and legacy operating systems” to be attractive to most buyers.


    Charlie Wolf, an analyst at Needham & Company painted the worst picture. He said “if Nokia doesn’t come out of its funk within a year, Nokia is going to be finished.”


    Microsoft has been the only company talked about as a serious potential buyer.


    Nokia has been lowering its projections. Most recently they cut earnings expectations and announced layoffs of 10,000 employees by the end of 2013.




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  • By Aldo Panessidi 


    Microsoft’s ARM-friendly Windows RT operating system launches this fall, but Microsoft is going to make it very difficult for tablet makers to use it and still compete with Apple’s iPad 3 pricing.  Microsoft will reportedly charge tablet makers $85 to license each device that uses its Windows RT.


    Microsoft to add $85 to the cost of tablet manufacture


    VR Zone reported that Microsoft’s pricing was disclosed to them by a number of vendors during the Computex Taipei trade show. All claimed the price would be anywhere between $80 and $95. With that amount added to the cost of tablet manufacturing, ARM-powered Windows RT tablets could cost between $549 and $799. Premium products could be priced between $799 and $899.


    Microsoft’s hardware and software strategy looks like it’s patterned after Apple’s. Both companies want control. Windows RT will come exclusively pre-installed in Windows on ARM devices (or WOA for short).


    It will be strictly limited to WOA PCs built exclusively for Microsoft. Windows apps will only be made available only through its Windows Store.




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  • By Aldo Panessidi


    Mobile phone maker Nokia announced this week that it plans to restructure. Nokia is trying to stay in business with job cuts, sale of its Vertu luxury product line and reorganization at the top of the company. With $1.7 billion lost in the first three months of this year and a $1.2 billion in 4Q 2011, the company is on a sad slide.


    Nokia loses $3 billion in last 6 months, cuts 10,000 more jobs, sells Vertu


    The 10,000 job cuts add to last year’s workforce reduction of 14,000 employees. This year Nokia will shut down research and development facilities in Ulm, Germany, and Burnaby, Canada, and a manufacturing facility in Salo, Finland. It also plans to shuffle senior leadership and acquire Swedish software firm Scalado AB.


    Nokia’s latest strategy shows an increasing reliance on the potential for success with Windows Phone. The Scalado AB is a mobile image company. Its acquisition should strengthen Nokia’s Windows Phone service portfolio for the Nokia Lumia 900, and the remaining Lumia line of busienss.  In the press release announcing the restructuring, Nokia said it acquired Scalado AB to beef up its "imaging experience" for its line of Lumia devices.


    Nokia said making the cuts and the restructuring will cost it about $1.2 billion but will reduce costs by about $2 billion by next year. It also lowered second-quarter earnings expectations.




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  • By Aldo Panessidi


    Now that the Samsung Galaxy S3 is in consumer hands, Samsung is telling how they were so good at keeping the details of the new device top secret. They were so tight-lipped that engineer Buyong-Joon Lee wouldn’t even admit what he was doing when asked by his 11-year-old son.


    Samsung admits how it kept its Galaxy S3 secrets


    The lengths took to keep us guessing were extensive. Handsets were moved between facilities in locked boxes. One executive was charged with hand-delivering prototype devices to network partners. Samsung further befuddled watchers by producing three Samsung Galaxy  S3 devices with completely different specs. Each model was designed and constructed as if it was the final product. Engineering teams had to build and rebuild components to accommodate each design, just as if all of them were the final model.


    Of course had to get help from lots of internal departments to get the device to market, but even they were kept in the dark as much as possible. For example, just to set prices and buy components, the procurement department had to rely on written descriptions of parts, not the parts themselves.


    Well, Samsung did the seemingly impossible task these days of launching a flagship device before the market knew all its secrets.




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  • By Aldo Panessidi


    Amazon Prime adds MGM catalog of movies and TV shows


    A licensing agreement between Amazon and MGM will add hundreds of classic movies and TV shows to the Amazon Prime Instant Video catalog. Amazon Prime is available for $79 per year and offers unlimited video streaming of more than 18,000 movies and TV episodes, free book downloads for Kindle tablet owners and free two-day shipping for all Amazon orders.


    As Brad Beale, director of digital video content acquisition for Amazon said in the company’s press release.  “Our customers tell us they love having tons of movies and TV shows to choose from, which is why we are focused on adding even more titles to our already extensive Prime Instant Video library. MGM offers one of the most distinguished catalogs in all of Hollywood, and this deal will bring Prime Instant Video customers hundreds of new titles to enjoy on their Kindle Fire or any wireless device compatible with Amazon Instant Video. Customers can enjoy favorites like The Silence of the Lambs, Dances with Wolves, Rain Man and The Terminator, as well as fan-favorite TV series like Stargate.”


    Enjoy watching these movies and TV shows through crystal clear sound with top quality earbuds & headsets as well as XMI speakers.




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  • By Aldo Panessidi


    A Chinese website has published pictures that they claim reflect a working model of the sixth-generation Apple iPhone. The TGBUS website posted a series of “iPhone 5” photos that they believe are authentic.


    iPhone 5 Preview Leaked


    The device in the pictures matches the hardware described in previous leaks. These photos look like they’re as close to the real thing as anything else that we’ve seen so far.


    As far as their source, the Italian phone blog iPhoneItalia has discovered that these pictures are 3D renderings created and posted by a Flickr user.


    iPhone 5 Preview Leaked


    Everything about these photos matches previous iPhone 5 rumors. The case is thinner than that of the iPhone 4S and iPhone 4. The device is also noticeably taller than the other versions - to this end, all new iPhone accessories for the iPhone 5 would have to be designed to fit a rumored 4.08 inch display. Don’t get too excited yet... as none of the dimensions can be verified from the photos.


    The cases for both the iPhone 4 and iPhone 4S are longer than the one shown in these pics - by a few millimeters in each direction beyond the wrap-around antenna. These pictures show a case that barely extends beyond the width of the antenna. There’s a smaller dock connector, a relocated audio jack, new speaker grills, a larger camera lens and an LED flash. The backside of the case shows a two-tone rear cover that appears to be aluminum and glass. The antenna matches this in color.




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  • By Aldo Panessidi


    An intentional autopsy on a MacBook Pro Reveals a few shocking results


    The folks at iFixit got their hands on a final version of Apple’s new MacBook Pro with Retina Display this week, and what did they do?   They tore it apart.   Here are a couple of things they found:


    • Samsung SSD and Hynix RAM cannot be upgraded. You’ll have to decide upfront how much capacity you’ll need over the life of your MacBook Pro.
    • The battery is glued to the housing and the display is fused into the assembly. Replacing the battery or the display will be expensive.

    Maybe the amount of power packed into the MacBook Pro will somewhat make up for this criticism. The laptop is packing 95% of juice. That’s enough for seven hours of power. Even for some of the smartphones and tablets out there that kind of battery life is a stretch.






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  • By Aldo Panessidi


    Ask anyone what Near-field communication (NFC) technology does and they’ll tell you it processes mobile payments. Now Samsung is going to give NFC a whole new meaning with TecTiles.


    Samsung’s new TecTiles takes NFC beyond mobile payments


    TecTiles are little “stickers” with a simple NFC tag inside. Each sticker lets the user “program” the sticker to have a specific response whenever any device with an NFC chip passes nearby.  You designate a TecTile to perform a specific function like open a website, change a device setting, make a call, download a document, or whatever else you’ve told the sticker to do. When you tap the screen above the TecTile it will do what you programmed it to.


    Unlike QR codes, NFC doesn’t require launching an app or using your phone’s camera — just put your phone on top of it and hit “OK.”


    We hear the app is very easy to use, and within seconds we were able to program the TecTile with simple commands like phoning a specific number. As long as you don’t “lock” the TecTile, you can re-set it to other programs.


    Samsung’s TecTile app runs on any Samsung phone with an NFC chip, including the Samsung Galaxy S 3 and Samsung Galaxy S 2, the Galaxy Nexus and Nexus S, and the Galaxy S Blaze. The TecTile app will be available in Google Play.  You can purchase stickers in packs of five for $14.99 from Verizon, AT&T, Sprint and T-Mobile.




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