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LG’s Optimus L7 brings ICS, 4.3-inch screen to market starting today

Wednesday, May 2nd, 2012

LG's Optimus L7 brings ICS and a 4.3-inch screen to market starting today

The high end edition of LG’s new L-Style Optimus line is ready to roll, as the company announced the Optimus L7 is available in various “major” European and Asian locales. In case it’s been forgotten in the midst of its fellow L-branded smartphones like the L3 that launched in March, the L7 is an Android 4.0 handset with a 4.3-inch screen and 8.7mm-thick frame. Check out our hands on impressions from MWC for more info, or just look for it to appear on your carrier sooner rather than later.

LG’s Optimus L7 brings ICS, 4.3-inch screen to market starting today originally appeared on Engadget on Wed, 02 May 2012 23:11:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Ask Engadget: what’s the best sub-$1,000 HTIB setup?

Saturday, November 5th, 2011

We know you’ve got questions, and if you’re brave enough to ask the world for answers, here’s the outlet to do so. This week’s Ask Engadget inquiry is coming to us from Dave, who just so happens to be in the midst of a new PC build. If you’re looking to send in an inquiry of your own, drop us a line at ask [at] engadget [dawt] com.

“Hey all! What is the best ‘home theater in a box,’ with connectivity for my component-out Wii, HDMI-out media box and optical-out TV? Room for plenty of future additions would be awesome. Wireless would be a plus, and of course, it needs to have at least respectable sound quality. Thanks!”

So, HTIB junkies — what’s the box rocking your socks at the moment? Drop your best advice in comments below!

Ask Engadget: what’s the best sub-$1,000 HTIB setup? originally appeared on Engadget on Sat, 05 Nov 2011 22:35:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Ask Engadget: best sub-$400 desktop graphics card on the market?

Saturday, September 10th, 2011

We know you’ve got questions, and if you’re brave enough to ask the world for answers, here’s the outlet to do so. This week’s Ask Engadget inquiry is coming to us from Jamie, who just so happens to be in the midst of a new PC build. If you’re looking to send in an inquiry of your own, drop us a line at ask [at] engadget [dawt] com.

“I’m new to the whole graphics card thing, and could use a little assistance. I want to be able to play all the newest titles (Crysis 2, for example) on the highest settings, while keeping the price as low as possible. I am building my own PC and have allotted a set amount of money for each item, with a $400 to $500 maximum budget for the GPU. All help will be appreciated!”

That isn’t exactly “budget” by any stretch, but it’s still important to get the most for your buck. For those who have sunk a few Benjamins into a new GPU lately, how has your decision worked out for you? Help a fellow gamer out — even if it means giving him an FPS advantage.

Ask Engadget: best sub-$400 desktop graphics card on the market? originally appeared on Engadget on Sat, 10 Sep 2011 22:36:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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IDC latest to proclaim Apple world’s top smartphone vendor

Thursday, August 4th, 2011

Apple was once again reaffirmed as the world’s No. 1 smartphone vendor on Thursday as market research firm IDC released its data for the June quarter. Smartphone shipments in the second quarter of this year totaled 106.6 million according to IDC, up from 64.4 million in the same quarter last year. Of that total, Apple owned 19.1% with 20.34 million smartphones shipped, making it the top vendor by volume and by profit in the quarter. “Apple’s success can be directly attributed to its distribution (more than 200 carriers in more than 200 countries), increased manufacturing capacity, and solid demand within emerging and developed markets from both consumers and business users,” IDC said. “Apple’s emergence as the number one smartphone vendor worldwide comes at a time when former worldwide leader Nokia is in the midst of a major transition. However, Apple has yet to top Nokia’s single-quarter volume record of 28.1 million units. But given Apple’s momentum in the smartphone market, it may not be a question of whether Apple will beat that milestone, but when.” IDC noted that Samsung was the No. 2 smartphone vendor last quarter with 16.2% and Nokia slid to No. 3 globally with 15.7% of the market. Several other market researchers have released estimates placing Apple at the top of the smartphone totem, including Strategy Analytics, which recently said Apple beat out Samsung (19.2 million smartphones shipped) and Nokia (16.7 million) to take the top spot. It noted, however, that Samsung’s 520% growth year-over-year far exceeded Apple’s 140% growth during the same period.

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Logitech CEO steps down after money losing Q1, Revue price slashed to $99

Thursday, July 28th, 2011

This is becoming a trend. After a disappointing Q4 saw Logitech reduce the price of its Revue it revealed today that after a net loss of $29.6 million for the first quarter it is cutting the price of the Revue to $99, as well as saying goodbye to CEO Gerald P. Quindlen. Quindlen had been an outspoken supporter of the Google TV box (see the video after the break) but according to Logitech this price cut and corresponding $34 million hit to its finances are necessary to “remove price as a barrier to broad customer acceptance.” In the midst of these results — as well as lowered sales in several regions and key products like Harmony remotes — Chairman and former CEO Guerrino De Luca will assume the role of acting CEO while a long term replacement is sought. Until then, and before the Google TV Honeycomb update arrives, does anyone think the Revue will be more appealing for one Benjamin than it was for two, or three?

Continue reading Logitech CEO steps down after money losing Q1, Revue price slashed to $99

Logitech CEO steps down after money losing Q1, Revue price slashed to $99 originally appeared on Engadget on Thu, 28 Jul 2011 09:28:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Open letter to BlackBerry bosses: Senior RIM exec tells all as company crumbles around him

Thursday, June 30th, 2011

There’s no question Research In Motion is in the midst of a major transitional period. The company is planning to launch a brand new product line based on a brand new operating system within the next 12 months, and even though the first device born out of RIM’s new QNX OS was impressive in some ways, it was incomplete. There still is a chance for RIM to deliver some really interesting competitive products, but time is quickly running out, as we have written time and time again. The thing is, RIM has always been a company controlled by two people — Jim Balsillie and Mike Lazaridis. For all the things that have worked, they have missed the boat countless times and we’re now seeing the results.

We have received an open letter to Mike and Jim from a high-level RIM employee (whose identity we have verified), and in an amazingly honest and passionate plea, this letter gives fascinating insights into what RIM must fix, and fast. RIM did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Read the open letter in its entirety after the break.

P.S. If you’re an employee of RIM and want to send us your thoughts and feelings on the company, you can send them to us via email or leave a comment below.

To the RIM Senior Management Team:

I have lost confidence.

While I hide it at work, my passion has been sapped. I know I am not alone — the sentiment is widespread and it includes people within your own teams.

Mike and Jim, please take the time to really absorb and digest the content of this letter because it reflects the feeling across a huge percentage of your employee base. You have many smart employees, many that have great ideas for the future, but unfortunately the culture at RIM does not allow us to speak openly without having to worry about the career-limiting effects.

Before I get into the meat of the matter, I will say I am not part of a large group of bitter employees wishing to embarrass us. Rather, I believe these points need to be heard and I desperately want RIM to regain its position as a successful industry leader. Our carriers, distributors, alliance partners, enterprise customers, and our loyal end users all want the same thing… for BlackBerry to once again be leading the pack.

We are in the middle of major “transition” and things have never been more chaotic. Almost every project is falling further and further behind schedule at a time when we absolutely must deliver great, solid products on time. We urge you to make bold decisions about our organisational structure, about our culture and most importantly our products.

While we anxiously wait to see the details of the streamlining plan, here are some suggestions:

1) Focus on the End User experience

Let’s obsess about what is best for the end user. We often make product decisions based on strategic alignment, partner requests or even legal advice — the end user doesn’t care. We simply have to admit that Apple is nailing this and it is one of the reasons they have people lining up overnight at stores around the world, and products sold out for months. These people aren’t hypnotized zombies, they simply love beautifully designed products that are user centric and work how they are supposed to work. Android has a major weakness — it will always lack the simplicity and elegance that comes with end-to-end device software, middleware and hardware control. We really have a great opportunity to build something new and “uniquely BlackBerry” with the QNX platform.

Let’s start an internal innovation revival with teams focused on what users will love instead of chasing “feature parity” and feature differentiation for no good reason (Adobe Flash being a major example). When was the last time we pushed out a significant new experience or feature that wasn’t already on other platforms?

Rather than constantly mocking iPhone and Android, we should encourage key decision makers across the board to use these products as their primary device for a week or so at a time — yes, on Exchange! This way we can understand why our users are switching and get inspiration as to how we can build our next-gen products even better! It’s incomprehensible that our top software engineers and executives aren’t using or deeply familiar with our competitor’s products.

2) Recruit Senior SW Leaders & enable decision-making

I’m going to say what everyone is thinking… We need some heavy hitters at RIM when it comes to software management. Teams still aren’t talking together properly, no one is making or can make critical decisions, all the while everyone is working crazy hours and still far behind. We are demotivated. Just look at who our major competitors are: Apple, Google & Microsoft. These are three of the biggest and most talented software companies on the planet. Then take a look at our software leadership teams in terms of what they have delivered and their past experience prior to RIM… It says everything.

3) Cut projects to the bone.

There is a serious need to consolidate our focus to just a handful of projects. Period.

We need to be disciplined here. We can’t afford any more initiatives based on carrier requests to squeeze out slightly more volume. Again, back to point #1, focus on the end users. They are the ones making both consumer & enterprise purchase decisions.

Strategy is often in the things you decide not to do.

On that note, we simply must stop shipping incomplete products that aren’t ready for the end user. It is hurting our brand tremendously. It takes guts to not allow a product to launch that may be 90% ready with a quarter end in sight, but it will pay off in the long term.

Look at Apple in 1997 for tips here. I really want you to watch this video because it has never been more relevant. It is our friend Steve Jobs in 97 and it may as well be you speaking to RIM employees and partners today. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3LEXae1j6EY

4) Developers, not Carriers can now make or break us

We urgently need to invest like we never have before in becoming developer friendly. The return will be worth every cent. There is no polite way to say this, but it’s true — BlackBerry smartphone apps suck. Even PlayBook, with all its glorious power, looks like a Fisher Price toy with its Adobe AIR/Flash apps.

Developing for BlackBerry is painful, and despite what you’ve been told, things haven’t really changed that much since Jamie Murai’s letter. Our SDK / development platform is like a rundown 1990′s Ford Explorer. Then there’s Apple, which has a shiny new BMW M3… just such a pleasure to drive. Developers want and need quality tools.

If we create great tools, we will see great work. Offer shit tools and we shouldn’t be surprised when we see shit apps.

The truth is, no one in RIM dares to tell management how bad our tools still are. Even our closest dev partners do their best to say it politely, but they will never bite the hand that feeds them. The solution? Recruit serious talent, buy SDK/API specialist companies, throw a truckload of money at it… Let’s do whatever it takes, and quickly!

5) Need for serious marketing punch to create end user desire

25 million iPad users don’t care that it doesn’t have Flash or true multitasking, so why make that a focus in our campaigns? I’ll answer that for you: it’s because that’s all that differentiates our products and its lazy marketing. I’ve never seen someone buy product B because it has something product A doesn’t have. People buy product B because they want and lust after product B.

Also an important note regarding our marketing: a product’s technical superiority does not equal desire, and therefore sales… How many Linux laptops are getting sold? How did Betamax go? My mother wants an iPad and iPhone because it is simple and appeals to her. Powerful multitasking doesn’t.

BlackBerry Messenger has been our standout, yet we wasted our marketing on strange stories from a barber shop to a horse wrangler. I promise you, this did nothing to help us in the mind of the average consumer.

We need an inventive and engaging campaign that focuses on what we are about. People buy into a brand / product not just because of features, but because of what it stands for and what it delivers to them. People don’t buy “what you do,” people buy “why you do it.” Take 3 minutes to watch the this video starting from the 2min mark: http://youtu.be/qp0HIF3SfI4

6) No Accountability – Canadians are too nice

RIM has a lot of people who underperform but still stay in their roles. No one is accountable. Where is the guy responsible for the 9530 software? Still with us, still running some important software initiative. We will never achieve excellence with this culture. Just because someone may have been a loyal RIM employee for 7 years, it doesn’t mean they are the best Manager / Director / VP for that role. It’s time to change the culture to deliver or move on and get out. We have far too many people in critical roles that fit this description. I can hear the cheers of my fellow employees now.

7) The press and analysts are pissing you off. Don’t snap. Now is the time for humility with a dash of paranoia.

The public’s questions about dual-CEOs are warranted. The partnership is not broken, but on the ground level, it is not efficient. Maybe we need our Eric Schmidt reign period.

Yes, four years ago we beat Microsoft when everyone said Windows Mobile with Direct Push in Exchange would kill us. It didn’t… in fact we grew stronger.

However, overconfidence clouds good decision-making. We missed not boldly reacting to the threat of iPhone when we saw it in January over four years ago. We laughed and said they are trying to put a computer on a phone, that it won’t work. We should have made the QNX-like transition then. We are now 3-4 years too late. That is the painful truth… it was a major strategic oversight and we know who is responsible.

Jim, in referring to our current transition recently said: “No other technology company other than Apple has successfully transitioned their platform. It’s almost never done, and it’s way harder than you realize. This transition is where tech companies go to die.”

To avoid this death, perhaps it is time to seriously consider a new, fresh thinking, experienced CEO. There is no shame in no longer being a CEO. Mike, you could focus on innovation. Jim, you could focus on our carriers/customers… They are our lifeblood.

8) Democratise. Engage and interact with your employees — please!

Reach out to all employees asking them on how we can make RIM better. Encourage input from ground-level teams—without repercussions—to seek out honest feedback and really absorb it.

Lastly, we’re all reading the news and many are extremely nervous, especially when we see people get fired. We need an injection of confidence: share your strategy and ask us for support. The headhunters have already started circling and we are at risk of losing our best people.

Now would be a great time to internally re-brand and re-energize the workplace. For example, rename the company to just “BlackBerry” to signify our new focus on one QNX product line. We should also address issues surrounding making RIM an enjoyable workplace. Some of our offices feel like Soviet-era government workplaces.

The timing is perfect to seriously evaluate at our position and make these major changes. We can do it!

Sincerely,

A RIM Employee

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What Would You Do During a Flight Emergency? Tweet Pictures! [Twitter]

Saturday, April 2nd, 2011

Logitech is giving away Google TV-ready Revue boxes to celebrate CES

Wednesday, January 5th, 2011

There’s nothing like free gear to help greet one of the biggest consumer electronics shows of the year, and Logitech has just what the doctor ordered this year at CES 2011. The company is giving away five Logitech Revue units this week — one for each day of CES. The Revue is Logitech’s new set top box featuring Google TV, and it definitely is not in the midst of a production halt. It’s a great little box and for the low, low price of free-fifty, it can’t be beat. The first four units will be given away between January 5th and 8th, and winners will have to watch Logitech’s Twitter account for instructions on how to hunt down a chance to win at the show. These four winners will be CES attendees but the fifth box, to be given away on January 9th, can be had by anyone in the United States. To find out how you can enter to win, just follow Logitech on Twitter at the link below.

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HTC Legend finally updates to Android 2.2 in Europe

Saturday, December 11th, 2010

Sure took a long while, but the Android 2.2 update is now available to all HTC Legends residing in Europe and… no, sorry, this isn’t the just-announced Gingerbread. It’s Froyo, the one before it — trust us, this isn’t a frozen dessert you won’t mind in the midst of winter. And don’t bother asking about 2.3 because HTC isn’t giving specifics yet. Wildfire? That’s “coming soon,” according to the person behind the HTC UK Facebook curtain.

HTC Legend finally updates to Android 2.2 in Europe originally appeared on Engadget on Sat, 11 Dec 2010 06:25:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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NOVO Coloured Glaze HTPC refracts us into the next century

Sunday, June 27th, 2010

Sure, the massive clear block at the front of this Coloured Glaze HTPC from NOVO is completely pointless, but it also does the remarkable task of making a boring hunk of plastic powered by Intel Atom and NVIDIA Ion into an object of minimalist desire. Our colleagues at Engadget Chinese recently got their hands on one of these nettops, which were initially shown off at CES, and managed to plug it in and power it on in the midst of photographing its beauty from every angle. Hit up the source link for pics galore.

NOVO Coloured Glaze HTPC refracts us into the next century originally appeared on Engadget on Sun, 27 Jun 2010 03:10:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Steve Jobs’ WWDC10 keynote video is now live on Apple’s site

Monday, June 7th, 2010

Yeah, we liveblogged the hell out of Steve Jobs’ keynote yesterday, but there are few things more charismatic than Apple’s CEO in the midst of one of his ambitious product launches. And to feel it for yourself, you’ve either gotta be there or you have to watch the video — fortunately, the latter is now available for consumption right on Apple’s website.

[Thanks, Dilwar]

Steve Jobs’ WWDC10 keynote video is now live on Apple’s site originally appeared on Engadget on Tue, 08 Jun 2010 02:37:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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How Many Times Have You Broken Your Phone During Your Two-Year Contract? [Qotd]

Thursday, December 31st, 2009

When thinking about the cost of a cellphone, we consider the phone itself and any service plans, but what about the price of misuse? How often are we finding ourselves paying an unsubsidized price to replace phones under contract?

It’s just so easy to damage a phone. It slips out of your hand and crashes to the ground, gets knocked into a sink, thrown into the wash, and abused in who-knows-what other ways. The lousy part is that when you need to replace your precious gadget in the midst of a one-two-three year agreement, you’re very likely to find yourself paying full retail price.

It’s miserable, but it happens to even the best of us.

What we want though, is for you to ‘fess up. Tell us how often you’ve been in this costly situation during your last two-year agreement and whether it’s affected any of your buying decisions. [Thanks to Shooter for this QOTD idea!]



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Verizon Wireless responds to FCC complaint regarding its early termination fee and Mobile Web charges

Saturday, December 19th, 2009

verizon-wireless-logo1

On Friday afternoon, Verizon Wireless issued its response to the FCC complaint which investigated the carrier’s increased early termination fees for advanced devices and the spurious charges some customers incur when accidentally accessing the Mobile Web. As expected, Verizon defended the increased ETF and dismissed the accusation that it charges customers $1.99 for accidentally connecting to the Mobile Web. Verizon justifies its increased ETF by claiming that the fee is not limited to the recovery of the wholesale purchase price of the device. The fee is also necessary to partially offset the cost of running a smartphone network. There is a cost to sell the device (advertising, commission, store costs, device subsidy), a cost to technically support the device, and a cost associated with maintaining a broadband network. Verizon also reminds the FCC that the number of advanced devices is increasing and “the overall cost to the company for providing and supporting  devices to customers at low up-front cost has increased substantially”. When asked why a person canceling in the 23rd month of a 24 month contract still has to pay a $120 ETF, Verizon responded by claiming that it “still incurs a financial loss from early terminations, even with the $350 ETF”. If the ETF was prorated to$0 at the end of the contract, Verizon would be forced to charge a higher starting ETF and customers would be worse off. When you consider what Verizon has said about its need to increase its ETF, also consider the fact that Verizon’s revenue from its data services grew to $4.1 billion in Q3 2009, up 48.1 percent and up 28.9percent on a pro forma basis. In the midst of all this talk  about expenses, Verizon conveniently left that information out. Now that we have seen what Verizon thinks about its ETF, let’s examine what it said about its erroneous $1.99 Mobile web charges. Hit the jump for all the details.

Rather than admit any culpability for the numerous reports of erroneous Mobile Web data charges, Verizon denied that any error exists. Repeatedly in the report, Verizon stated that they do not charge usage fees ” when a customer simply launches the Internet browser and lands on the Verizon Wireless Mobile Web homepage”. Usage fees of $1.99 per megabyte are only charged when a customer navigates away from this launch page. Verizon explained that phones can be programmed to prevent the accidental launch of the web browser and confirmed that customers can place a data block on their account. Unfortunately, Verizon’s explanation does not jibe with the numerous reports of incorrect Mobile Web charges from both Verizon Wireless customers and Verizon Wireless employees. The FCC is currently reviewing Verizon’s response, let’s hope they are thorough.

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Three new smartphones to hit Verizon Wireless in early 2010?

Friday, December 18th, 2009

motorola-calgary-small

Verizon Wireless may be turning it up a notch again and adding not one, but three new smartphones to its lineup in early 2010. The eclectic group is rumored to include the Windows Mobile-powered LG VS750, the Android-based Motorola Devour A555 and the Palm Pre Plus. The LG VS750 is LG’s first smartphone offering for Verizon Wireless. Running Windows Mobile 6.5 and with both CDMA and GSM on board for global roaming, it is sure to please all those business-oriented, world travelers in our midst. The Motorola A555 Devour is also known as our old friend the Motorola Calgary, which we broke the news on almost one year ago today. The Devour will be the DROID’s little brother and is expected to arrive in early 2010 with Android 2.1, MOTOBLUR and a 3 megapixel camera. Last but not least, the Palm Pre Plus will be Verizon’s first webOS device and is most likely the reason for Verizon’s new online training course touting the benefits of Palm and webOS. The significance of the addition of “Plus” to its name is unknown — was it chosen by the marketing department as a way to distinguish the Verizon Pre from the Sprint Pre? Or will this handset indeed be a never-seen-before, much improved Palm Pre?

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