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ShelfX’s Vending Fridge nixes the cashier, uses QR codes, RFID to ‘know what you took’

Friday, April 27th, 2012

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QR codes and RFID tags aren’t uncommon when it comes to automated payment applications, and now Colorado-based ShelfX has purposed them for its new wireless-equipped Vending Fridges. Eliminating the need for a cashier — or cash, for that matter — each unit allows you to purchase any items packed inside by scanning a QR code with your phone (using the company’s app) or an RFID badge. Upon presenting either method to the machine, it’s able to tell who you are and unlocks its door. From there, you can grab whatever you’d like, while ShelfX automatically pulls funds your account for what’s been removed. The system is also smart enough to know when goods are put back, so you won’t have to worry about being charged while making up your mind. All of the money goes through ShelfX, allowing it to take “a small percentage” for itself before sending a monthly payment to owners. The Vending Fridge is currently on sale for $600, and a retrofitting kit for your own fridge is also available for half that amount — no word on whether it has kid-blocking or crab-proofing options, though. You’ll find more information in the press release just after the break.

Continue reading ShelfX’s Vending Fridge nixes the cashier, uses QR codes, RFID to ‘know what you took’

ShelfX’s Vending Fridge nixes the cashier, uses QR codes, RFID to ‘know what you took’ originally appeared on Engadget on Sat, 28 Apr 2012 02:35:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Two-thirds of Americans unwilling to spend over $50 on mobile data

Friday, April 27th, 2012

A new study from Parks Associates found that two-thirds of U.S. consumers are unwilling to spend more than $50 per month on mobile data plans, while almost half of smartphone users were unsure how much data they consumed each month.  The report highlights the risks carriers face as they try to shift consumers from unlimited data plans to usage-based ones. “Moving mobile users to usage-based plans will be difficult and painful, but changes are necessary for operators to maintain revenues,” said Harry Wang, Director of Mobile Research at Parks Associates. “Operators would benefit by recasting mobile data services as experience-driven in order to reduce price sensitivity, fend off competition, and keep their mobile data revenue engine humming.” The firm believes that in order for carriers to maximize their revenues, they should tie in their offerings to popular apps and services, including TV, music, books, newspapers, games, location-based services, and social activities, rather than charging consumers per megabyte. Read on for Parks Associates’s press release.

Parks Associates: Two-thirds of U.S. Mobile Consumers Won’t Pay more than $50/Month for Mobile Data

DALLAS, April 25, 2012 /PRNewswire/ — Parks Associates research finds two-thirds of U.S. consumers planning to purchase a smartphone are unwilling to pay more than $50 per month for mobile data plans while almost 50% of smartphone users do not know how much mobile data they use each month. The firm’s analysts say these findings, from the report Mobile Data and Applications: Market Update, highlight the risks to mobile operators as they try to shift from unlimited to usage-based mobile data plans.

“Operators need to create new value propositions for their data services,” said Harry Wang, Director, Mobile Research, Parks Associates. “U.S. consumers are accustomed to unlimited data use for one fixed price. They are reluctantly embracing the capped data plan tiers, but they have high price sensitivity and will rebel against byte-tracking. Operators need to shift consumers’ perception away from raw data to the experience created by their data services.”

Parks Associates finds over 90% of U.S. smartphone owners have downloaded apps since product purchase, at an average of two apps per month. Worldwide, consumers will spend over $14 billion on smartphone app downloads in 2012. To maximize their revenues, operators need to tie their offerings to popular apps and services, including TV, music, books, newspapers, games, location-based services, and social activities, rather than charging consumers per megabyte.

“Moving mobile users to usage-based plans will be difficult and painful, but changes are necessary for operators to maintain revenues,” Wang said. “Operators would benefit by recasting mobile data services as experience-driven in order to reduce price sensitivity, fend off competition, and keep their mobile data revenue engine humming.”

Parks Associates will discuss operator strategies to monetize mobile data and redefine consumers’ 4G experience at CONNECTIONS™: The Digital Living Conference and Showcase, June 5-7, co-located with TIA 2012 in Dallas, Texas.

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Barnes & Noble says new glowing Nook eReader will ship early in limited supply

Wednesday, April 25th, 2012

Barnes & Noble on Tuesday announced that its new Nook Simple Touch eBook reader will begin shipping ahead of schedule over the next week. The bookseller unveiled its new Nook eReader earlier this month, and the response has been positive thus far. BGR reviewed the original Nook Simple Touch and found it to be a terrific device, though Amazon’s Kindle ecosystem posed the eReader’s biggest hurdle. The new Simple Touch model is very similar to the earlier version, however it includes a new “GlowLight” display that allows users to read in the dark without sacrificing the clarity and look of the E Ink display. Strong demand for the new Nook will result in a limited supply, but Barnes & Noble said that pre-orders placed on its website will ship in time for Mother’s Day. Amazon is reportedly preparing to launch its own front-lit eReader in the coming months, as well as a new model with a color E Ink display. Barnes & Noble’s full press release follows below.

Barnes & Noble Now Shipping
NOOK Simple Touch with GlowLight
Ahead of Schedule

Pre-Orders Shipping Over the Next Week
Due to Strong Demand, Limited Quantities will be Available through Mother’s Day
Customers Encouraged to Pre-Order Hot-Selling New NOOK at www.nook.com and in Stores to Ensure Delivery for Mother’s Day

New York, New York – April 24, 2012 – Barnes & Noble, Inc. (NYSE: BKS), the leading retailer of content, digital media and educational products, announced today that it began shipping the highly anticipated NOOK Simple Touch with GlowLight ahead of schedule to customers who pre-ordered the device. NOOK Simple Touch with GlowLight is the world’s first E Ink® Reader with patent-pending lighting technology that eliminates the number-one problem couples have in bed – having their sleep interrupted, or being prevented from falling asleep, when their partner reads with the light on. Due to very strong pre-order demand, the company recommends that customers who wish to gift the device for Mother’s Day pre-order now, as orders will be fulfilled on a first-come, first-serve basis.

“Our new, patent-pending GlowLight technology coupled with the most advanced E Ink display available make this product the most versatile, high-utility Reader ever and the only device of its kind,” said William Lynch, Chief Executive Officer of Barnes & Noble. “It’s like having two Readers in one, with our breakthrough GlowLight technology making the device as exceptional for reading in the darkest bedroom as on the brightest beach, and all at the amazing value of just $139.”

Said Lynch, “We thank our millions of NOOK customers and are pleased to deliver NOOK Simple Touch with GlowLight earlier than committed to those who pre-ordered our newest NOOK. For those who would like to give NOOK Simple Touch with GlowLight as a gift for Mother’s Day, we strongly recommend pre-ordering the device now in stores or online as we will have very limited quantities based on the larger-than-expected order volume we’ve received so far.”

NOOK Simple Touch with GlowLight, introduced by Barnes & Noble less than two weeks ago, is the first and only Reader designed to let E Ink customers read in the dark and at the beach. With a soft, adjustable glow, GlowLight gives bedtime readers just the right amount of light for reading, without disturbing a sleepy spouse. The first and only Reader designed to let E Ink customers read in the dark is equally amazing at the beach, with a paper-like reading experience, even in the bright sun.

Like having two Readers in one, this revolutionary device is the first to combine the most advanced and fastest E Ink display with a precise infrared touchscreen, built-in anti-glare screen for reading in any lit environment, and an evenly distributed and adjustable light for reading in the dark. It is also the lightest NOOK ever, with a long-lasting battery for over one month of reading on a single charge, with the light on.

Beginning this week, customers visiting any of Barnes & Noble’s nearly 700 stores will be able to try NOOK Simple Touch with GlowLight demonstration units. Barnes & Noble NOOKsellers™ will be on hand to demonstrate and answer questions about the newest member of the award-winning NOOK® portfolio, as well as set up devices and take pre-orders. Pre-orders will ship throughout the month and limited quantities of the device are expected to be available for sale in stores in early May.

Customers should visit www.NOOK.com or visit the NOOK Digital Shops and displays in one of Barnes & Noble’s nearly 700 bookstores for more information, or to order NOOK Simple Touch with GlowLight.

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LG’s Q1 2012 earnings show greater profits on strong TV, phone sales

Tuesday, April 24th, 2012

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LG has released its Q1 2012 numbers, and there’s plenty of good news to go around, with TV profits that nearly doubled and profit from cellphones for the second quarter in a row following six straight quarters of losses. Despite slightly lower sales, more of the units that did sell had higher prices and made more profit. In its press release, the company claimed to have “turned the corner” with a net profit of $215 million, blaming the slower sales of TVs on the European economy and cellphones on declining featurephone sales. We don’t have specific numbers, but it called out the popularity of the Optimus LTE and Optimus Vu as part of the reason for increased revenues. Of course, the year is only just getting under way, and the company is expected to introduce its first 55-inch OLED HDTV soon, as well as quad-core smartphones and a new L-style series of phones. Before that however, it will have to deal with the competition from fellow Korean giant Samsung which will report its earnings later this week and has a few high profile releases up its sleeves as well. There’s more details in the press release after the break, and PDF linked below.

Continue reading LG’s Q1 2012 earnings show greater profits on strong TV, phone sales

LG’s Q1 2012 earnings show greater profits on strong TV, phone sales originally appeared on Engadget on Wed, 25 Apr 2012 01:11:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Bell Canada launches revamped push-to-talk service, now with added 4G

Tuesday, April 24th, 2012

Bell Canada launches revamped push-to-talk service, now with added 4G

People have been pushing to talk for a good number of years, but it’s a service that has largely remained untouched by the passing of time. Bell, however, thinks it’s due a little lick of “next-generation” paint. What’s new? Well, the firm boasts that it’s the firs PTT service in North America to make use of 4G, which on Bell, means a slice of that “up to” 21Mb goodness. The service launches on a slew of devices that includes the BlackBerry Curve 9360, the Samsung Galaxy SII and the rugged Sonim XP5520 with a range of plans available. Want to know more? Push (the press release button) to find out more.

Continue reading Bell Canada launches revamped push-to-talk service, now with added 4G

Bell Canada launches revamped push-to-talk service, now with added 4G originally appeared on Engadget on Tue, 24 Apr 2012 20:26:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Nyko’s PlayStation Vita speaker stand goes on sale for $30, Power Grip still MIA

Tuesday, April 24th, 2012

Nyko's PlayStation Vita speaker stand goes on sale for $30, Power Grip still MIA

The PlayStation Vita may not have the electric longevity to replace your portable music player, but Nyko figures there’s no good reason it can’t take up the role of rocking your bedroom. The accessory outfit’s stereo speaker charging dock for the Sony’s fledgling handheld hasn’t changed much since we saw it at CES, save for the fact that it’s available now. $30 turns your Vita into the most overpowered alarm clock (assuming you download the upcoming app from the PSN store) your nightstand has ever seen. What of the PS Vita Power Grip? A Nyko representative tell us it’s on the way, but doesn’t have anything to announce at this time. Read on for the charging dock’s official press release.

Continue reading Nyko’s PlayStation Vita speaker stand goes on sale for $30, Power Grip still MIA

Nyko’s PlayStation Vita speaker stand goes on sale for $30, Power Grip still MIA originally appeared on Engadget on Tue, 24 Apr 2012 09:00:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Barclays releases the NFC-enabled PayTag [video]

Thursday, April 19th, 2012

Barclays on Thursday announced the launch of the Barclaycard PayTag, a sticker that can be placed on any handset to equip it with instant NFC compatibility. The PayTag is an extension of a customer’s credit card account that can be used to make payments of £15 and under, though the limit will rise to £20 in June, and it is available at no cost to Barclaycard owners. “Today, we are offering the choice of mobile payments to millions of our customers at no additional cost to them,” David Chan, CEO of Barclaycard Consumer Europe, said. “More than half of us say that the item we’re most lost without is our mobile phone, so we’re giving people the option of using them to make easy, convenient, everyday payments without the need to upgrade their current handset.” The PayTag will be released to a select group of customers in the coming weeks, with mass availability coming later this year. Barclays’ commercial and press release follows below.

Barclaycard today announced the launch of Barclaycard PayTag, a new way to pay with your mobile telephone

Barclaycard today announced the launch of Barclaycard PayTag, a new way to pay with your mobile telephone. Millions of Barclaycard customers will be offered the chance to make payments with any mobile phone by simply sticking a Barclaycard PayTag to the back of their handset.

Available at no cost, and exclusively to Barclaycard Visa cardholders, Barclaycard

PayTag is an extension of a customer’s credit card account. At a third of the size of a normal card, it can be discreetly and simply stuck to the back of any mobile phone. Once attached, it can be used to make payments of £15 and under, rising to £20 in June, by simply being held over a contactless payment terminal.

David Chan, CEO of Barclaycard Consumer Europe, said: “Today, we are offering the choice of mobile payments to millions of our customers at no additional cost to them. More than half of us say that the item we’re most lost without is our mobile phone[1], so we’re giving people the option of using them to make easy, convenient, everyday payments without the need to upgrade their current handset.”

The announcement comes as Visa predicts that the number of contactless point-of-sale terminals in the UK will rise by 50% to 150,000 this year. Major retailers that offer, or are introducing, contactless include Waitrose, McDonalds, Boots, WH Smith and Tesco. By the end of 2012, London buses will also accept contactless payments, followed by the Tube and the rest of the transport network in the Capital in 2013.

Barclaycard PayTag is safe and secure, and comes with the same 100% fraud protection as any Barclaycard. An exclusive group of customers will be invited to receive their Barclaycard PayTag in the coming weeks, before they are offered to millions of Barclaycard customers later in the year.

David Chan, adds: “Barclaycard is developing a wide range of initiatives which will ultimately enable everyone to enjoy the benefits of mobile payments. Barclaycard PayTag is another milestone on our journey to make paying easier, and sits alongside other easy ways to pay with your mobile such as those we offer in partnership with Orange.”

Last week Barclaycard and Orange announced that credit or debit card holders from all UK banks would be able to load money onto Barclaycard’s mobile payments application, in the Quick Tap wallet. This will open up the opportunity for contactless payments to more Orange customers. Orange also confirmed that it would be making Quick Tap available on a range of Android smartphones, with the first to be announced in the coming weeks.

Research carried out on Barclaycard’s behalf predicts that £3 billion worth of purchases will be made with mobile phones in the UK in 2016[2]. Barclaycard PayTag provides customers with the choice of simple mobile phone payments now, without having to wait to upgrade, and at no additional cost.

To find out more and to register interest in Barclaycard PayTag, please visit barclaycard.co.uk/paytag.

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Verizon to add 27 new 4G LTE markets, expand in 47 others this week

Tuesday, April 17th, 2012

Verizon Wireless on Tuesday announced plans to bring its 4G LTE network to 27 new markets on Thursday and expand its service in 47 existing markets. The additional markets bring Verizon’s total coverage to 230 4G LTE markets across the United States, covering nearly two-thirds on the nation’s population. By the end of 2012, the carrier plans to have its LTE service available in more than 400 markets covering more than 260 million Americans. “Verizon Wireless 4G LTE is the premier wireless data service in the nation, with more than six times the geographic coverage of our nearest competitor’s 4G LTE network and now available to more than two-thirds of the nation’s population,” said David Small, chief technical officer of Verizon Wireless. “We will continue to introduce new markets and expand covered markets to ensure even more wireless users across the United States can take advantage of the benefits that 4G LTE brings to consumers, small businesses and enterprises.” Read on for Verizon’s press release.

Verizon Wireless 4G LTE Network Will Be Available To More Than 2/3 Of U.S. Population Starting April 19

BASKING RIDGE, NJ — Verizon Wireless, owner of the nation’s largest 4G Long Term Evolution (LTE) network, today announced that it will cover more than two-thirds of the U.S. population when it introduces its 4G LTE network in 27 new markets and expands in 44 markets on April 19. With the new and expanded markets, Verizon Wireless continues to lead the industry in 4G LTE deployment, offering network coverage in 230 markets across the United States. By the end of 2012, the Verizon Wireless 4G LTE network will be available in more than 400 markets, and will be available to more than 260 million people in the United States.

With the continued growth of the Verizon Wireless 4G LTE network, people in more areas of the United States will be able to take advantage of the speed and connectivity offered by the nation’s fastest 4G network. Verizon Wireless currently offers more than 20 4G LTE-enabled devices, including the new Lucid™ by LG and the Samsung Galaxy Tab™ 7.7.

“Verizon Wireless 4G LTE is the premier wireless data service in the nation, with more than six times the geographic coverage of our nearest competitor’s 4G LTE network and now available to more than two-thirds of the nation’s population,” said David Small, chief technical officer of Verizon Wireless. “We will continue to introduce new markets and expand covered markets to ensure even more wireless users across the United States can take advantage of the benefits that 4G LTE brings to consumers, small businesses and enterprises.”

“This year represents a year of growth and investment in our 4G LTE network, which stands out by virtue of its superb combination of coverage, speed and the variety of devices that we offer customers.”

On Thursday, April 19, the company will introduce its 4G LTE network in Auburn and Tuscaloosa, Ala.; Pine Bluff, Siloam Springs and Van Buren, Ark.; Visalia/Porterville, Calif.; Fort Walton Beach and Ocala, Fla.; Brunswick, LaGrange and Macon/Warner Robins, Ga.; Peoria, Ill.; Kokomo/Logansport and Marion, Ind.; Dodge City, Garden City, Great Bend and Hays, Kan.; Salisbury, Md.; Cattaraugus/Allegany, N.Y.; Sandusky, Ohio; Ardmore and Ponca City, Okla.; Salem/Albany/Corvallis, Ore.; Pierre, S.D.; and Big Springs and Tyler, Texas.

The company will also expand its 4G LTE network in Phoenix and Tucson, Ariz.; Bakersfield, Fresno, Modesto, Sacramento, Salinas/Monterey, San Diego, San Francisco, San Luis Obispo and Stockton, Calif.; Colorado Springs and Fort Collins/Loveland, Colo.; Sarasota/Bradenton, Fla.; Boise/Nampa, Idaho; Carbondale/Marion and Rockford, Ill.; Fort Wayne and Indianapolis, Ind.; Des Moines, Iowa; Boston and Worcester, Mass.; Detroit, Mich.; St. Louis, Mo.; Las Vegas and Reno, Nev.; Manchester/Nashua, N.H.; Albuquerque and Santa Fe, N.M.; Buffalo/Niagara Falls and New York, N.Y.; Akron, Cleveland and Columbus, Ohio; Oklahoma City and Tulsa, Okla.; Portland, Ore.; Providence/Pawtucket, R.I.; Nashville, Tenn.; El Paso, Texas; Provo/Orem and Salt Lake City/Ogden, Utah; and Olympia/Centralia and Spokane, Wash.

4G LTE Speed

In real-world, fully loaded network environments, 4G LTE users should experience average data rates of 5 to 12 megabits per second (Mbps) on the downlink and 2 to 5 Mbps on the uplink. When customers travel outside of 4G LTE coverage areas, devices automatically connect to Verizon Wireless’ 3G network, where available, enabling customers to stay connected from coast to coast. Verizon Wireless’ 3G network is the most reliable high-speed data network in the country and allows customers in 3G coverage areas who purchase 4G LTE devices today to take advantage of 4G LTE speeds when the faster network becomes available in their area or when they travel to areas already covered by Verizon Wireless’ 4G LTE network.

4G LTE Markets

On April 19, Verizon Wireless’ 4G LTE network will be available in 230 markets across the United States. Visit www.verizonwireless.com/lte for a full list of 4G LTE markets and additional information about Verizon Wireless’ 4G LTE network. For a comparison of Verizon Wireless’ 4G LTE network coverage to its competitors, street-level detail of coverage and more, please visit www.verizonwireless.com/4glte.

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Xtex’s My Tablet gets you 7-inches of tasty ICS for just 150 bones

Monday, April 16th, 2012
Xtex's My Tablet gets you 7-inches of tasty ICS for just 150 bones

Tablets are are great and all, but they sure can be expensive — especially if you want one running a newer version of Android. Step in Xtex’s $150 My Tablet, a 7-inch device loaded with Ice Cream Sandwich 4.0.3, a 16GB HDD (expandable to 48 GB via its TF card slot) and a 1.5Ghz CPU complimented by 1GB of RAM. That’s not all, though, as the device also packs a 2-megapixel front-facing camera, an HDMI output and mini and standard USB ports. That low price does mean you’ll be making due with a screen resolution of 800 x 480 and only WiFi connectivity, but you’ll get to choose from its very neapolitan-esque black, white and pink colorways. Considering the My Tablet is nearly half the price of an Andy Pad Pro, it sure does looks appetizing on paper — as long as you keep your expectations reasonable, that is. Satisfy your sweet tooth with more images in the gallery below and the press release after the break.

Gallery: Xtex My Tablet

Continue reading Xtex’s My Tablet gets you 7-inches of tasty ICS for just 150 bones

Xtex’s My Tablet gets you 7-inches of tasty ICS for just 150 bones originally appeared on Engadget on Mon, 16 Apr 2012 04:02:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Meizu MX Quad-core launching with Android 4.0 in June, gets 32GB and 64GB flavors

Sunday, April 15th, 2012
Meizu MX Quad-core launching with Android 4.0 in June, gets 32GB and 64GB flavors

Can’t say we’re surprised, but Meizu’s finally giving us the lowdown on the quad-core variant of its flagship Android smartphone. Simply dubbed the MX Quad-core, this new device will be powered by a Cortex-A9-based, 32nm HKMG (High-K Metal Gate) quad-core Samsung Exynos chip — no word on the clock speed or RAM, but we’re betting our money on the Exynos 4412 that goes up to 1.5GHz. Meizu claims this will save up to 20 percent of CPU power consumption compared to its dual-core counterpart. Also, the battery will be bumped up from 1,600mAh to 1,700mAh — we shall see how much difference this makes when we eventually get our hands on the phone. And yes, in addition to the original white back cover, you’ll be able to swap it with one of the five optional colored covers pictured above.

On the software side you’ll get a Meizu-customized Ice Cream Sandwich system (aka Flyme OS), though it isn’t clear whether the company will stick to its old promise of simultaneously releasing a vanilla ROM. The rest of the new phone’s identical to the dual-core MX, especially the 4-inch 960 x 640 ASV display and the eight-megapixel BSI camera. While there’s still no microSD expansion, here’s some good news to make up for this flaw: the base model starts at 32GB and it’ll cost the same as the current 16GB MX! In other words, come June the unsubsidized MX Quad-core will go from ¥2,999 (US$480) in China and HK$3,099 (US$400) in Hong Kong; and then there’ll also be a 64GB version priced at ¥3,999 (US$635) and HK$4,099 (US$530), respectively. Meanwhile, starting today, the original MX is reduced to ¥2,399 (US$380) and HK$2,599 (US$335). Press release after the break.

Now, with Meizu proudly claiming to have the world’s first smartphone to utilize the quad-core Exynos chip, we wonder where Samsung’s at with its own unicorn device?

Continue reading Meizu MX Quad-core launching with Android 4.0 in June, gets 32GB and 64GB flavors

Meizu MX Quad-core launching with Android 4.0 in June, gets 32GB and 64GB flavors originally appeared on Engadget on Sun, 15 Apr 2012 21:43:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Best Buy details its 50 big box store shutdowns in the US, most will close by May 12th

Sunday, April 15th, 2012

We knew Best Buy planned to close 50 of its big box retail locations by the end of its 2013 fiscal year, and now (just days after Mike Mikan took the CEO-reigns from Brian Dunn) it’s detailed all of the stores that’ll be getting the boot. As it stands, two locations have already been shut down, with six others set to close before the year is out — and the company hopes to clear out the remaining 42 before May 12th. Employees at most of the stores were informed of the news this weekend, and despite the impending closures, the company says it’ll try to re-position them within the company or offer up severance packages. Past that, Best Buy is also reaching out to the customers of these stores, noting that they’ll still have other nearby locations to choose from — try-before-you-buy online shoppers rejoice. There’s still no specific word about the 100 Best Buy Mobile stores it hopes to setup, but more information will be forthcoming later in the year. Hit up the press release after the break if you’d like to parse the full list of affected locations or find out more details about the planned closures.

Continue reading Best Buy details its 50 big box store shutdowns in the US, most will close by May 12th

Best Buy details its 50 big box store shutdowns in the US, most will close by May 12th originally appeared on Engadget on Sun, 15 Apr 2012 05:28:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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LogMeIn branches out from its remote desktop roots, intros Cubby cloud sharing service

Thursday, April 12th, 2012
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Ready for yet another option in world of cloud storage services? LogMeIn today announced it’s ready to get in on the remote storage action with its own offering, built atop its Gravity Data Service, dubbed Cubby. Currently in beta, Cubby allots you 5GB of storage in the cloud, while allowing you to turn your Mac, PC and any folders into “virtual cubbies.” You’ll be able to sync selected data between your choice of devices and even share access (read-only if needed) to specific cubbies for collaborative efforts — and although the service is free, there’s no limit on how much data you can move between your machines. Better yet, iDevices and Androids are also supported via LogMeIn’s free Cubby apps. If you’ve been looking for another option aside from the likes of Pogoplug and Dropbox, you can request an invite to the service by hitting up the source link below. If you’d like more details in the meantime, check out the press release after the break.

Continue reading LogMeIn branches out from its remote desktop roots, intros Cubby cloud sharing service

LogMeIn branches out from its remote desktop roots, intros Cubby cloud sharing service originally appeared on Engadget on Thu, 12 Apr 2012 11:57:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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AT&T fails to reach terms with workers union

Tuesday, April 10th, 2012

AT&T was unable to reach a settlement with the Communications Workers of America by the April 7th deadline to extend Four Core Wireline contracts. More than 40,000 employees will continue to work under the terms of the expired contract, however, as negotiations between the two parties continue. “The ongoing negotiation reflects the spirit of the longstanding relationship between the company and the union,” AT&T said. The carrier is looking to reduce worker benefits to cut costs in its wireline business, which has declined rapidly in recent years. The workers union has said that AT&T is seeking too many concessions, however, and instead wants the company to make adjustments to workers’ healthcare plans. The Communications Worker of America represents nearly 16% of AT&T’s 256,000 workers and it does possess the ability to call a strike if agreements on new contracts are not reached. AT&T’s press release follows below.

AT&T, Communications Workers of America Agree to Continue Negotiations as Four Core Wireline Contracts Expire

DALLAS, April 8, 2012 /PRNewswire/ — AT&T* today announced that while a settlement was not reached with the Communications Workers of America by the April 7 expiration of four Core Wireline contracts covering nearly 40,000 employees, the parties have agreed to continue to negotiate.

The ongoing negotiation reflects the spirit of the longstanding relationship between the company and the union. Employees will work under the terms of the expired contract while negotiations continue.

The contracts are East, Legacy T, Midwest and West. The East contract covers more than 3,000 employees in Connecticut. The Legacy T contract covers nearly 6,000 employees spread across the country. The Midwest contract covers nearly 13,000 employees in Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio and Wisconsin. The West contract covers more than 17,000 employees in California and Nevada.

More information will be posted on www.att.com/corewirelinebargaining as it is available.

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Windows Phone will only account for 2% of app downloads in 2012, firm says

Monday, April 9th, 2012

Despite reinforcements arriving this year from Nokia, Microsoft’s Windows Phone platform will only account for 2% of all mobile application downloads in 2012, a recent report suggests. Market research firm ABI Research recently released a new study stating that nearly 36 billion apps will be downloaded to smartphones and tablets this year, and an overwhelming 83% of those downloads will be served to either Android or iOS-powered devices. “Although Windows Phone lags behind RIM’s BlackBerry and even Nokia’s Symbian, we shouldn’t ignore the fact that the two percent that we forecast for 2012 would be twice the share the platform achieved last year,” ABI analyst Lim Shiyang said in a statement. “Microsoft is gaining momentum, but its starting point is frustratingly low.” Devices like Nokia’s new Lumia 900, which BGR reviewed on Tuesday, are expected to improve Microsoft’s position in the smartphone market while the firm works on its next major OS release, Windows Phone 8. ABI Research’s press release follows below.

Windows Phone to Represent 2% of 2012’s App Downloads, but Its Future Will Be Brighter

LONDON – April 3, 2012

Mobile users will download nearly 36 billion apps in 2012 and Android and iOS will make up for 83% of the app downloads, while only 2% can be attributed to Windows Phone.

Research associate Lim Shiyang says, “Although Windows Phone lags behind RIM’s BlackBerry and even Nokia’s Symbian, we shouldn’t ignore the fact that the two percent that we forecast for 2012 would be twice the share the platform achieved last year. Microsoft is gaining momentum, but its starting point is frustratingly low. Contrary to popular belief, this isn’t really a chicken-and-egg problem of low device sales holding back the app business and the slow app business holding back the device sales. It’s more complicated than that.”

There are four factors undermining Windows Phone’s app growth. First, the small device market share is the most obvious drag. Second, Windows Marketplace’s global roll-out has taken a long time, further limiting the number of potential customers. Third, Microsoft has also been slow to enable in-app purchasing, meaning that most of the quality apps remain behind an upfront paywall. And fourth, there have been no tablets built on the platform. Advancement on any of these fronts will have a positive impact.

According to senior analyst Aapo Markkanen, “One message we hear from many developers is that, purely technically speaking, Windows Phone is actually a rather appealing platform. And if it turns out to be a platform for relatively high-end devices, avoiding the fragmentation pitfalls of Android, it won’t even need to achieve a remarkably large market share to attract a vibrant app scene. The arrival of the first Windows 8 tablets, as well as Windows Phone’s upgrade to the Apollo iteration, should also give it a boost, since developers can reuse their code to launch on various screen sizes.”

ABI Research’s study, “Mobile Applications Market Data,” provides insight into the fast-growing mobile applications market. The market data include a forecast for application downloads, segmented by operating system platform, as well as a forecast for application revenues. Also, a list of storefronts, with their key features and regional availability, is provided.

It is part of the firm’s Mobile Applications Research Service.

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Origin PC EON15-S and EON17-S gaming laptops available now, priced from $1,525

Saturday, April 7th, 2012
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In the market for a beastly portable gaming rig that won’t break the bank? Origin PC today announced availability of its EON15-S and EON17-S gaming laptops, with pricing starting at $1,525 and $1,576, respectively. You’ll of course still be able to hand over an arm and a leg depending on how you opt to build out your system, but considering that the base model is priced at nearly half the amount its predecessor was when it was announced this time last year, we imagine additions will wield a softer blow than they did in 2011. Both systems include Intel HM77 Ivy Bridge chipsets, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 660M, 670M or 675M graphics with Optimus power-conservation technology, and a 5.1 ONKYO surround sound system. Both cases offer unique designs, with black, red, silver or custom finishes, and a colorful backlit keyboard. What else could you possibly need? Perhaps a press release and a few more pictures — and we’ve got both for you right here.

Continue reading Origin PC EON15-S and EON17-S gaming laptops available now, priced from $1,525

Origin PC EON15-S and EON17-S gaming laptops available now, priced from $1,525 originally appeared on Engadget on Sun, 08 Apr 2012 00:01:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Sprint LG Viper 4G goes on pre-order April 12 for $100, release date still TBA

Tuesday, April 3rd, 2012
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Sprint’s finally starting to get the ball rolling with its first LTE devices, announcing this morning that it’s ready to begin pre-orders of the LG Viper 4G on April 12, and the next-gen goodness can be yours for $100 (after $50 mail-in rebate). The actual release date wasn’t specified, but at least we know this means it’s coming up much sooner rather than later. As a refresher, the Viper comes with Gingerbread, a 4-inch WVGA display, a 1.2GHz dual-core CPU, NFC and Google Wallet functionality, microSD slot, 50GB cloud storage from Box, and a smattering of eco-friendly features. For the full rundown, gaze upon the press release below.

Continue reading Sprint LG Viper 4G goes on pre-order April 12 for $100, release date still TBA

Sprint LG Viper 4G goes on pre-order April 12 for $100, release date still TBA originally appeared on Engadget on Tue, 03 Apr 2012 13:24:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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BMW adds extra sportiness to its i-series lineup, unveils i8 Concept Spyder

Saturday, March 31st, 2012
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We’ve swooned over BMW’s i3 and i8 plug-in gasoline electric hybrids for some time now, so naturally our hearts raced today when the company announced its latest addition to the series, the i8 Concept Spyder. What you’re looking at is essentially a sportier version of the i8 Coupe, with the appropriate accents and design tweaks to match. So, what’s different in this variant of the nearly gull-winged wonder with a 96 kW / 131hp electric motor up front and 164 kW / 223hp gasoline engine on back? BMW notes that the vehicle features a shorter wheelbase and overall length (all while maintaining its 50-50 weight distribution), a slighter darker interior and refreshed paint job on its exterior, topless roof and even a pair of matching folded kickboards(!) that stow in the back. BMW hasn’t mentioned when they’ll be showing this Spyder in flesh, but as Autoblog notes, the New York Auto show is only a week way — and we’ll be sure to let you know if we spot it ourselves. In the meantime, you can zip over to Autoblog and the press release after the break for the details.

Continue reading BMW adds extra sportiness to its i-series lineup, unveils i8 Concept Spyder

BMW adds extra sportiness to its i-series lineup, unveils i8 Concept Spyder originally appeared on Engadget on Sat, 31 Mar 2012 18:00:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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