Apr 30 2010

HP Nixes Slate

HP has decided to nix its Slate tablet before even releasing it, according to reports today. HP’s reason for killing off its iPad competitor? Windows 7 does not measure up as a tablet operating system. HP will probably be searching for a new operating system, such as Google’s Android OS, or it could be planning to convert Palm’s webOS to work on tablets. Adapting webOS for tablets would make sense in light of HP’s recent acquisition of Palm.

The demise of the Slate may also have to do with its battery life. Analysts have speculated that with Windows 7 and Intel’s Atom processor, it probably was not getting even close to the battery life of an iPad, which is supposed to be ten hours.

Though Windows 7 has multi-touch support, it is unlikely that it is the best solution for a tablet, even with HP’s TouchSmart software. By abandoning Windows 7, HP has the opportunity to make a better product.

Via the San Francisco Chronicle.

Apr 30 2010

Adobe To Give Employees Free Android Phones

In a move that is not surprising considering the animosity between Adobe and Apple, Adobe is planning to give away free Android-based phones to its employees, according to three sources familiar with the company. Adobe has also said that it plans to develop a version of Flash for the Android platform and show it off at the Google I/O conference.

No one is sure which phone Adobe employees will receive—there has been speculation that it will be a Nexus One or an HTC phone. The shift will not be mandatory, but it’s clear that Adobe and Google want to encourage Adobe employees to use Android and Flash Player as often as possible.

Google is known for giving away Android phones very generously. It is planning to give all Google I/O attendees a Motorola Droid or a Nexus One. Earlier this month, it gave audience members at a Google Apps event Nexus Ones.

It is also unclear whether just developers or all employees will get the free phones at Adobe.

Via CNET, image via CNET.

Apr 30 2010

Rumor: Apple May Offer Cloud Music Service

Apple has just announced that it is shutting down Lala, the streaming music service it bought last December. This comes a little over a month before the developers conference in San Francisco at which Apple often announces major news. There is a lot of speculation among analysts that Apple may intend to offer a cloud-based music service soon.

Currently, iTunes users pay to download songs to their computers, then sync these new songs to mobile devices. But an Internet-based service would eliminate both the need to download songs and the need to have them on a computer first—users could stream them directly to their phones.

Some people believe that a cloud-based music service offered by Apple is nothing more than a rumor because Apple has not spoken with music executives about its plan, and a streaming service would require new licenses to be set up.

If Apple does eventually offer a streaming music service, it could have huge implications for the industry. Users would not need to download songs anymore, which could spell the end of the MP3. Storage space would no longer be an issue either, since the songs would be stored on a remote server. Though I would be willing to try out a streaming music service, I would like to have the option of downloading MP3 files of songs that I really like.

Via The Associated Press, image via Apple.

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Apr 30 2010

Apple Lawsuit Did Not Impact HTC Sales

Remember that lawsuit Apple filed against HTC? Luckily for HTC, it does not seem to have harmed the company’s sales. HTC did better in the first quarter than expected and has predicted a record-breaking second quarter.

The patent lawsuit filed by Apple alleges that HTC is infringing on 20 Apple patents relating to the iPhone. After the lawsuit was filed, there were fears that customers would turn to other phone vendors because of a potential import ban on HTC’s phones.

HTC has defended itself by demonstrating its own work in the smartphone industry, as well as its own patents. Some analysts speculated that the lawsuit was an attempt by Apple to slow down the sales of Android cell phones. If this is true, Apple appears to have failed because HTC noted that its Android phones have sold particularly well during the first quarter.

Via BusinessWeek.

Apr 28 2010

Apple Prepares 3G iPad for Shipment

iPad customers in the US are getting excited: the 3G-enabled iPad is set to arrive this Friday, April 30 to homes and Apple retail stores alike. Most pre-orders for the 3G iPads are listed as “prepared for shipment” on Apple’s Order Status page. Reports are saying that the 3G iPads are in the United States awaiting shipment—the WiFi-only versions shipped directly from manufacturers in China.

For those who did not pre-order an iPad, do not despair: you can line up outside the Apple store to get one (though I will warn you that the line gets quite long quite quickly, so get there early). International customers will have to wait a bit longer: due to the extreme demand for the iPad in the United States, Apple has delayed international shipments. International customers cannot pre-order until May 10 and international pricing is still unknown.

Via PC World.

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Apr 28 2010

Apple Acquires Intrinsity

One of Apple’s latest acquisitions is the semiconductor company Intrinsity. Apple, being its usual stealthy self, did not announce this acquisition. Astute observers discovered it by realizing that Intrinsity’s employees started working for Apple in April of this year.

Filings from Apple showed that the company spent around $325 million in business acquisitions: Quattro Wireless, Lala, and Intrinsity. Analysts have estimated that Apple paid less than $50 million for Intrinisty.

Intrinisty was founded in 1997 and initially worked on developing circuit design technologies. Their business started off rather slowly but increased when it began to work with other companies such as ARM (another company who name has been tied, though falsely, to Apple).

The company appeared to be having financial trouble in January 2010 and some analysts speculate that Apple was able to buy it for a relatively low price, which would explain why Intrinsity would not want the price made public.

Via AnandTech, image via Intrinsity.

Apr 28 2010

HP to Buy Palm

Computer maker Hewlett-Packard announced today that it intends to purchase Palm, the struggling maker of Pre and Pixi smartphones. HP will pay $1.2 billion for Palm and gain access to Palm’s software for smartphones and computer tablets. The acquisition will help Palm immensely, as it had to put itself up for sale due to financial difficulties.

HP should be a help to Palm, as it has a lot more money, but both companies have ultimately been less than successful in the mobile phone market. Analysts have said that there will be challenges for the two companies.

Both HP and Palm have not fared well over the past three years and were overshadowed by other makers of smartphones like Apple and Research in Motion. Few people even know that HP does indeed make smartphones—though it is the number one seller of PCs in the world, it is not even in the top 20 sellers of smartphones.

Via The New York Times, image via HP.

Apr 26 2010

iPad Camera Connector Works with Other Devices

For some reason a lot of people are very excited about the fact that the iPad Camera Connection Kit works with peripherals other than cameras. In all honesty, I am not sure I understand precisely why this is so exciting—maybe you have to have an iPad to understand.

The iPad Camera Connection Kit is an adapter that allows an iPad user to connect a camera to the iPad via USB port and import photos from the camera onto the iPad. The images are imported with the equivalent of 3-megapixel resolutions and EXIF data is preserved.

The camera adapter can be used to connect other devices to the iPad, apparently. USB keyboards, headphones, headsets, and microphones can also be connected to the iPad with the camera adapter. This opens the possibility of being able to make VoIP phone calls on the iPad.

Via IntoMobile, image via IntoMobile.

Apr 26 2010

iPad Users on Windows Targeted with Virus

iPad users on Windows computers are being targeted with malware, according to BitDefender. The users have been receiving emails with the subject line “iPad Software Update” that have a link to a page that looks like a legitimate download page where the user can download what is allegedly an iTunes update. However, the download is actually Backdoor.Bifrose.AADY, which opens a backdoor allowing hackers to take control of a system whenever they want. The malware also tries to read the keys and serial numbers of software installed on the computer and logs passwords to the user’s ICQ, Messenger, and POP3 mail accounts.

There are some things Windows users can do to keep themselves safe: most importantly, they should realize that when Apple releases an update, it always releases a lot of documentation pertaining to the update. Windows users should search the Internet for information about their updates and download them from the Apple website (that is, do not click any links—just go directly to apple.com).

Mac users are not affected by this malware. As an Apple fan, my response will probably be pretty predictable: this is yet another reason to switch to Mac.

Via CNET News, image via BitDefender.

Apr 25 2010

Apple May Sell 9 Million iPads in 2010

Yes, you read that right: 9 million. The iPad has not been available that long, but it has already seen some fantastic sales—all that hype made people crazy for it.

Chitika Labs, an advertising network, has said that Apple has sold over 1 million iPads. Though this is just an estimate, the methodology seems logical. Here’s how Chitika says it has calculated that figure:

– We count how many new, unique iPads we see coming through the Chitika advertising network
– We multiply that by how much of the Internet we see at any given time to figure out how many iPads in total are out there
– We look at where iPad traffic is coming from by state

This seems like a reasonable estimate—after all, Apple sold 500,000 iPads during the first week, so this would mean sales of roughly 250,000 iPads per week in the second and third weeks.

Assuming a rate of 1 million iPads a month, Apple could sell as many as 9 million (or even 10 million due to holiday sales) in 2010.

Via ZDNet, image via ZDNet.

Apr 25 2010

Man Arrested for Stealing iPad

A man has been arrested for stealing an iPad from an Apple customer as he walked out of the store with his new purchase. Unfortunately for the iPad customer, 59-year-old Bill Jordan, the thief, Brandon Darnell, did more than simply steal the iPad: he ripped off Jordan’s pinky finger in the process.

As Jordan walked out of the Apple store with his new iPad, Darnell ripped the bag out of Jordan’s hand with such force that a part of Jordan’s finger was torn off. Jordan said the experience was very painful and is having to come to terms with the mutilation.

Darnell’s picture was caught on security cameras and police have been working nonstop to catch him since the theft happened last week. Darnell was arrested at 1:14 this morning. I hope Jordan got his stolen iPad back.

Moral of the story? Don’t wrap those strings on the Apple bags around your fingers. It may not seem like the most obvious thing but it’s important, as poor Bill Jordan had to find out.

Via I4U, image via I4U.

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Apr 23 2010

Amazon is Aware of Apple Threat

Amazon was probably not too happy about the release of the iPad because the iPad poses a major threat to Amazon’s Kindle. Though the iPad is more than an e-reader, it does have e-reader capabilities that have been touted by Apple. Amazon is astute and realizes this threat.

Though Amazon just posted earnings that exceeded expectations, its predictions for the next quarter are a bit more conservative. Amazon gets a lot of its revenue from the Kindle, so lower earnings would probably result from a slowdown in Kindle sales. Though the Kindle is an obvious choice for people who would want a device just to read books on, those who want more capabilities would be much better served by the iPad.

The iPad has created trouble for Amazon and probably will continue to do so. It will be interesting to see how e-readers fare with the iPad on the market.

Via Tainted Green, image via Amazon.

Apr 23 2010

Apple Bans Potential iPad Customers

Watch out--they've reached their lifetime limit.

As much as I love Apple, even I have to admit that sometimes it can be quite strange. Take, for example, the company’s iPad policy: while most companies want their customers to buy as many of a product as possible, Apple has put a lifetime limit on the number of iPads a person can buy. Yes, you read that correctly: lifetime limit.

I knew that there was a limit of two iPads per customer right now, and I assumed that was because of high demand and limited supplies, so I also assumed (apparently erroneously) that this limit would eventually be lifted. But a medical student who went to buy iPads for friends in foreign countries found out from Apple store employees that there is a lifetime limit of two iPads per person.

That’s just strange. I find it hard to believe that Apple would actually stop a person who has bought two iPads already from upgrading to a 3G capable iPad in a year or so. A lifetime limit is such a strange policy to have. It must be nice to make a product that is so popular that a lifetime limit policy is actually needed.

Via Business Insider, image via Business Insider.

Apr 22 2010

Facebook’s Privacy Issues

I’m not going to lie: I really am getting sick of Facebook. The site is seriously a privacy nightmare. Take, for example, Facebook’s notable announcements this week. Mark Zuckerberg, the CEO of Facebook, described his vision of the Internet as a web of human relationships with users sharing all sorts of information with one another. Part of the vision is a universal Like button, which lets users let others know that they, well, like something.

The problem stems from the fact that users do not know precisely how much they are sharing and with whom they are sharing such information. And with Zuckerberg’s new vision for Facebook, profile information could be accessible to third-party sites. Facebook’s privacy settings are unclear at best and useless at worst. When the settings were changed six months ago, 65 percent of users kept their profiles public.

Users either do not understand their own privacy settings or simply do not care, both of which are a problem. Of course other companies, such as Google, have had problems with privacy in the past. But as Dan Costa said in his article at PC World, “For Google, having users share private information is a constant risk and an unfortunate side affect of its services, perhaps even a liability. For Facebook, it is a business model.” And personally, I do not want to have anything to do with a company that has such a business model.

Via PC Magazine, image via Facebook.

Apr 22 2010

Apple and Microsoft Still Rivals

The Apple vs. Microsoft rivalry is perhaps one of the most well-known in the world of technology—even people who do not follow tech stuff closely know about it. Despite all the analysis and talk recently about an Apple vs. Google rivalry and a Google vs. Microsoft rivalry, the old Apple vs. Microsoft rivalry still remains.

A report on Thursday by Standard & Poor said that Apple has replaced Microsoft as the number 2 company on its ranking of companies in terms of market cap. Microsoft took issue with this, informing the media that it still has the greater market cap. Microsoft had a 35% increase in earnings in the fiscal third quarter due to its new Windows operating system.

Investors have already made their decision, though. Apple has better products and has created new markets that did not exist ten years ago. Microsoft is still tied to its Windows operating system and Office suite. It is simply not an innovative company.

Via MarketWatch, image via Apple.

Apr 22 2010

Apple Buyout of ARM Just a Rumor

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A rumor originated in London this week concerning the possibility of Apple buying chip designer ARM. Such a move would be messy, pricey, and unpopular and has since been confirmed as just a rumor, as the two companies are not engaged in talks with each other.

Such an acquisition would probably cause some regulatory scrutiny. Though ARM is a small company, it licenses technology to many chipmakers such as Texas Instruments, Samsung, and Nvidia. Furthermore, if Apple owned ARM, many people would question the independence of ARM, no matter how many times Apple emphasized independence.

The acquisition would also be very expensive for Apple. Apple has about $40 billion right now, but ARM would cost up to $8 billion, which certainly is not cheap. It would be foolish for Apple to buy the company when it could just license the technology instead.

Via CNET, image via ARM.

Apr 21 2010

Lenovo Introduces IdeaPad S10-3t Multitouch Tablet Netbook

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Lenovo’s line of IdeaPad S10 netbooks have been fairly successful so far — otherwise, they probably still wouldn’t be around.  But Lenovo doesn’t want to introduce another netbook that’s similar to the ones that already exist, and that’s why with their newest netbook, the IdeaPad S10-3t, Lenovo will be dressing it up, as well as equipping it with multi-touch capabilities and a swivel screen.

The IdeaPad S10-3t (the “t” is for touch) will be equipped with a 1.83GHz Intel Atom N470 processor — one of the first IdeaPads to incorporate Intel’s newest Atom processor — as well as the Windows 7 Home Premium operating system.  The swivel screen on the tablet/netbook is capable of pivoting 180 degrees in either direction.

Via HotHardware.

Apr 21 2010

Google Chromium-Based Netbooks Priced at $300-$400

According to Google Chief Eric Schmidt, netbooks running on Google’s new Chromium operating system that are expected to be on sale in retail stores by the end of this year or early next year will be priced in the $300-$400 range. “Those prices are completely determined by the costs of the glass, the costs of the processor and things like that, but in our case Chrome OS and Android are free so there is no software tax associated with all of this,” Schmidt says.

Google introduced the Chrome operating system two months ago and boasted it as a lightweight, browser-based OS that could boot up in seven seconds or less.  The company has not yet revealed who they will be partnering with to manufacture their new netbooks, but Acer has said that it expects to offer about a million of these devices this year.

Google’s trying hard to get into the netbook market and is up for a fight against its competitors, namely Windows-based devices.  Guess we’ll just have to wait to see Google’s latest creation.

Via Wired.

Apr 21 2010

Apple Wants Device Returned

Remember that mysterious device, found on the floor of a bar, that was allegedly the next iPhone? I initially dismissed the idea that it was the next iPhone, but now the plot thickens because according to tech blog Gizmodo, Apple wants the device returned.

Gizmodo said that it bought the device for $5,000 from a source who found it. Gizmodo then proceeded to thoroughly about the device in a post that received 5 million hits. On Tuesday Gizmodo posted a letter to Brian Lam, Gizmodo’s editorial director, from Bruce Sewell, general counsel for Apple. The letter was a formal request for Gizmodo to return the device to Apple.

According to Gizmodo, the device was left at the bar by Gray Powell, an Apple employee who was celebrating his birthday there. Gizmodo has posted a reply to Apple’s letter, agreeing to return the device. Apple’s insistence at having the device returned raises the question: is it the real thing?

Via Philadelphia Inquirer, image via Engadget.

Apr 21 2010

Apple’s Profit Rises 90 Percent

Apple’s second-quarter profit has risen 90 percent, mostly driven by the company’s incredible iPhone sales—nearly 9 million were sold, easily surpassing estimates. iPhone sales are up 130 percent from last year at this time.

Chief operating officer Tim Cook said in a phone call with analysts that the increase was mostly due to strong international sales, especially in Asian markets. iPhone sales in the Asia Pacific increased 474 percent year over year. Desktop sales were up 40 percent, but iPod sales were down 1 percent, though the total iPod profit was up 12 percent.

The quarter does not include sales figures for the iPad, which went on sale on April 3. During the phone call, Cook was asked whether the iPad could adversely affect sales of existing Apple product lines. Cook said that it was too early to tell and that Apple has been very thrilled with iPad sales so far.

Via MarketWatch, image via Apple.

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