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Verizon announces new global data plans for international travelers

Wednesday, April 18th, 2012

Verizon Wireless on Wednesday announced new “easy-to-understand” Global Data Plans that will become available starting April 23rd. The nation’s largest carrier will offer U.S.-based customers 100MB of data for $25 per month, allowing users to access email, browse the Web and update social networks while traveling abroad. Verizon’s coverage includes 120 countries and destinations, including all of Europe, South America, the Caribbean, Mexico and Canada. Customers who require more data can purchase an additional 100MB for $25 or choose a pay-per-use plan with rates of $0.02 per kilobyte. Read on for Verizon’s press release.

New Verizon Wireless Global Data Plan Takes The Guesswork Out Of International Travel

BASKING RIDGE, NJ — Summer travel season is just around the corner, and Verizon Wireless is setting sail with a new, easy-to-understand Global Data Plan. Starting April 23, the new Verizon Wireless Global Data Plan offers U.S.-based customers 100 MB of data for $25 a month. For one low cost, customers can access email, browse the Web and update social networks while traveling outside the United States in 120 countries and destinations, including all of Europe, South America, the Caribbean, Mexico and Canada.

Pricing and Availability

With the new Verizon Wireless Global Data Plan, customers can purchase 100 MB of data for $25 a month. Prior to traveling outside the United States, customers should visit to determine their coverage needs.

To purchase a Global Data plan, customers are required to have a domestic data package and international eligibility, which requires minimum payment history.

Customers who require more than 100 MB of data while traveling will receive a notification via text message when an additional 100 MB of data for $25 has been automatically made available to them once they exceed their initial allotment.

Customers traveling to countries not covered under the Global Data Plan, but within Verizon Wireless global coverage areas, will be charged at Pay Per Use rates of $0.02 per KB.

Whether traveling to London for the big games this summer or Oktoberfest in Munich this fall, Verizon Wireless customers with global calling and data services can make and change hotel reservations on the fly, call for and download directions to local attractions and restaurants, and stay in touch with family and friends back home by sharing pictures via email and social networks.

Additional Resources

Verizon Wireless customers planning international getaways can take advantage of first-class tools and resources to help manage their wireless travel needs, putting their minds and budgets at ease before they go and once they arrive:

Verizon Wireless offers a wide range of global-ready devices, including smartphones, tablets and mobile hotspots. Customers can shop for global-ready devices at and select “Global Ready” when sorting devices by feature.

Verizon Wireless Trip Planner provides customers information they can use to plan their travels before they leave home, including details about global calling, country-specific coverage and device functionality.

To help travelers get their wireless bearings, Verizon Wireless greets travelers to most overseas destinations with a free welcome text message featuring helpful information for the country they are visiting, including dialing instructions for calling within and to phones outside the country; voice, text and data rates; as well as the ability to reach Verizon Wireless Global Technical Support.

Free Global Data Roaming Usage Alerts help travelers keep an eye on their wireless usage. Verizon Wireless customers automatically receive free alerts via text message or email when Global Data Roaming charges exceed certain thresholds.

Verizon Wireless operates a dedicated, toll-free global support number that will put customers in touch with one of the company’s U.S.-based support centers 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Customers outside the United States can reach the Global Technical Support Team by dialing the appropriate exit code for the country they are in and then 908-559-4899 – a free call from their device. Customers may also reach Global Technical Support free of charge by using the Verizon Wireless Global Calling Card, provided with their global-ready device, if their device is not usable.

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Facebook buying Instagram for $1 billion.

Monday, April 9th, 2012

Facebook is acquiring Instagram for $1 billion, and Instagram’s team will be joining Facebook. Mark Zuckerberg announced the deal in a Facebook post:

I’m excited to share the news that we’ve agreed to acquire Instagram and that their talented team will be joining Facebook.

For years, we’ve focused on building the best experience for sharing photos with your friends and family. Now, we’ll be able to work even more closely with the Instagram team to also offer the best experiences for sharing beautiful mobile photos with people based on your interests.

We believe these are different experiences that complement each other. But in order to do this well, we need to be mindful about keeping and building on Instagram’s strengths and features rather than just trying to integrate everything into Facebook.

That’s why we’re committed to building and growing Instagram independently. Millions of people around the world love the Instagram app and the brand associated with it, and our goal is to help spread this app and brand to even more people.

We think the fact that Instagram is connected to other services beyond Facebook is an important part of the experience. We plan on keeping features like the ability to post to other social networks, the ability to not share your Instagrams on Facebook if you want, and the ability to have followers and follow people separately from your friends on Facebook.

These and many other features are important parts of the Instagram experience and we understand that. We will try to learn from Instagram’s experience to build similar features into our other products. At the same time, we will try to help Instagram continue to grow by using Facebook’s strong engineering team and infrastructure.

This is an important milestone for Facebook because it’s the first time we’ve ever acquired a product and company with so many users. We don’t plan on doing many more of these, if any at all. But providing the best photo sharing experience is one reason why so many people love Facebook and we knew it would be worth bringing these two companies together.

We’re looking forward to working with the Instagram team and to all of the great new experiences we’re going to be able to build together.


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Microsoft reissues ‘Smoked by Windows Phone’ smartphone challenge

Friday, March 23rd, 2012

Microsoft on Thursday announced a new round of challenges for its “Smoked By Windows Phone” contest series. If users with non-Windows Phone handsets can perform a variety of tasks faster than a Microsoft Windows Phone, they can win a limited edition Hunger Games PC (HP Folio 13 Special Edition) valued at $1,049.00. Even those who lose the challenge can still win, however, as Microsoft will be handing out unlocked Windows Phones to those willing to trade in their current smartphones. It should be noted, however, that this is a skill-based competition and has nothing to do with benchmarks. “The object of this Contest is for You to come into the Microsoft Store and try to beat the Microsoft Windows Phone in a series of five (5) “Smoked by Windows Phone” challenge scenarios selected by Microsoft at its sole discretion including: (1) Pocket-to-Picture-to-Post, (2) Real-Time Information with Live Tiles, (3) Using the People Hub to Stay in Touch with the People You Care About Most, (4) Updating Your Status Across Multiple Social Networks, and (5) Local Scout (“Challenge”).” The contest runs from March 22nd to March 29th in Microsoft’s 14 U.S. retail locations.


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Instagram and Hipstamatic to announce photo-sharing partnership

Wednesday, March 21st, 2012

Instagram, the increasingly popular photo-sharing platform for Apple’s iPhone, has always allowed users to export photos taken within the app to other social networks. The service has never allowed users to upload non-Instagram photos onto its platform, however — until now. Hipstamatic, a similar photo app that takes vintage-looking photos, is set to unveil a partnership that will allow Instagram photos to be uploaded to its service, Fast Company reported on Wednesday. ”When we launched, it was all about Facebook and Flickr and Twitter, and now we’re seeing a huge shift in our user base toward Instagram,” Hipstamatic co-founder and CEO Lucas Buick said. “We’ve never been a social networking company, but we clearly benefit from social networks. So this will be the first app outside of Instagram that lets you into their network. That’s pretty cool for us.” Hipstamatic is slated to issue an update on Wednesday evening that will bring Instagram integration to iOS devices. The app is available for $1.99 in Apple’s iOS App Store.


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Google to switch on ‘semantic search’ within months, emphasize things as well as words

Thursday, March 15th, 2012
Google to switch on

A search engine should be about more than just keywords. MC Hammer believes that passionately and Google must do too, because over the next few months and years it’ll gradually adjust its own algorithms to put greater emphasis on “semantic search”. Under this system, search queries are run through a vast knowledge database that discovers relationships with other words and facts. A Mountain View exec explained it thus: If you search for “Lake Tahoe”, you won’t just get ranked websites containing those two words but also key attributes about the lake, such as its location, altitude, average temperature and Bigfoot population. If a piece of knowledge isn’t the in the ever-expanding database, the search engine will still use semantic search to help it recognize and evaluate information held on websites. In doing this, Big G hopes to compete with social networks that are amassing their own valuable (and sometimes intrusive) databases full of personal information, while also encouraging people to stay longer on its site and see more targeted ads. Google, who is Viviane Reding?

Google to switch on ‘semantic search’ within months, emphasize things as well as words originally appeared on Engadget on Thu, 15 Mar 2012 04:32:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Watchdog group reveals ‘Enemies of the Internet’ list for 2012

Monday, March 12th, 2012

Global media watchdog group Reporters Without Borders on Monday released its “Enemies of the Internet” list for 2012. The list is comprised of nations it feels inhibit its citizens’ freedom to express themselves on, or even denies access to, the Internet. Reporters Without Borders’s report focuses a great deal on countries that have reportedly blocked access to social networks and microblogging services in an effort to impede the efforts of activists as they tried to organize fellow citizens. It also updated its “under surveillance” list, which covers countries that may soon be added to the enemies list. Read on for more.

“Online social networks complicate matters for authoritarian regimes that are trying to suppress unwanted news and information,” Reporters Without Borders wrote in its report. ”It was thanks to netizens that Tunisians learned about the street vendor who set himself on fire in Sidi Bouzid and Egyptians learned about Khaled Said, the young netizen who was beaten to death by police outside an Alexandria Internet café. It was thanks to social networks that Sidi Bouzid and Khaled Said became news stories and went on to become cornerstones of the Arab Spring.”

The group points to microblogging services and social networks like Twitter as a means of quickly disseminating information and even organizing against oppressive regimes. In combination with the advent of other recent technologies such as mobile phone-based to video broadcasting, the group says these services are “increasing the possibilities of freeing information from its straightjacket.”

“The mixing of journalism and activism has been accentuated in extreme situations such as Syria, where ordinary citizens, appalled by the bloodshed, are systematically gathering information for dissemination abroad, especially by the international news media, so the outside world knows about the scale of the brutal crackdown taking place,” the group wrote.

New to the “Enemies of the Internet” list this year are Bahrain and a number of other countries, which join the likes of North Korea and China. Egypt, Malaysia, Australia and France find themselves on the group’s ”under surveillance” list, Australia for working with ISPs to create a mechanism for censoring certain online content, and France for filtering Web content and maintaining its “three-strikes” policy, which cuts off Internet access to people found to be downloading copyrighted content illegally three times. Libya was removed from the list following the fall of Moammar Gadhafi.

Reporters Without Borders’s full report can be viewed on the organisation’s website.

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Mercedes-Benz to bring Siri integration to all A-Class vehicles

Tuesday, February 28th, 2012

Mercedes-Benz has unveiled plans to integrate Apple’s Siri voice assistant into its A-Class vehicles, according to a report from PSFK. The integration would allow drivers to access their iPhone apps using voice commands. The feature is being called the Drive Kit Plus program and will work in conjunction with Mercedes-Benz’ Digital DriveStyle app to translate the iPhone’s screen onto the in-car display. The program will feature compatibility with popular apps such as Twitter and Facebook pre-installed, and drivers will be able to listen to music, change radio stations, update their status on social networks and send text messages using voice commands as well. According to the report, the car’s integrated Garmin navigation system will be also compatible with Siri commands. Mercedes-Benz is the first car maker to integrate Apple’s voice assistant into a vehicle, with the feature reportedly set to debut at the 2012 Geneva auto show next month and a rollout to all A-Class vehicles scheduled to begin this fall.


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Samsung announces the Galaxy Ace 2 and Galaxy mini 2

Tuesday, February 21st, 2012

Samsung on Tuesday announced two new additions to the company’s Galaxy smartphone line; the Galaxy Ace 2 and Galaxy mini 2. The Ace 2 features an 800MHz dual-core processor with a 3.8-inch WVGA display. The handset is also equipped with a 5-megapixel rear camera, VGA front facing one, Android 2.3, 4GB of internal storage and a microSD slot. The mini 2 comes with an 800MHz processor and a 3.27-inch HVGA display with a 3-megapixel rear camera, microSD slot and Android 2.3. Both devices also ship with Samsung’s ChatON, Social Hub and Music Hub services, allowing one-step access to social networks and over 17 million songs. The GALAXY Ace 2 will be available in the U.K. in April, and the GALAXY mini 2 will be available in France in March before being rolled out globally. Samsung has not announced any details with regard to a North American launch. Read on for Samsung’s press release.

Samsung introduces the new GALAXY Ace 2 and GALAXY mini 2

Welcome to Samsung’s AndroidTM experience with the two new members of GALAXY smartphones

SEOUL, Korea – February 21, 2012 – Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd, a global leader in digital media and digital convergence technologies, today announced two new additions to the GALAXY smartphone range: GALAXY Ace 2, which will be available in UK from April, and GALAXY mini 2, which will be available in France from March before being rolled out globally.

Building on the market success of GALAXY Ace and GALAXY mini since their release last year, GALAXY Ace 2 and GALAXY mini 2 are ideal devices for users with active lifestyles who value individuality and style without compromising on performance or affordability.

“Launched in 2011, GALAXY Ace and GALAXY mini have been a huge success in the global market. Today, we introduce GALAXY Ace 2 and GALAXY mini 2 with upgraded features and services,” said JK Shin, President of IT & Mobile Communications Division at Samsung Electronics. “Our goal remains the same—to continue to create new and improved mobile experiences that deliver something suitable for everyone. This is the hallmark of Samsung’s GALAXY range and what has made the GALAXY brand such a runaway hit with consumers around the world.”

Double-Engine Power, GALAXY Ace 2

GALAXY Ace 2 delivers efficient multitasking, lightning-fast screen transitions and high-quality graphics for even the most demanding applications and games. HSPA 14.4 connectivity provides an enhanced browsing experience and fast content downloads with minimal lag-times. Additionally, 4GB of internal storage ensures that films, photos and a whole array of personal multimedia content can be easily stored and taken out and about; a 1,500mAh battery adds to GALAXY Ace 2’s on-the-go performance for active, demanding use.

Enhanced Samsung Hubs and ChatON services ensure that users are never far from the content or social connections they care about. Music Hub allows one-step access to over 17 million tracks at anytime; Game Hub offers users the very latest gaming titles; Social Hub allows users to view their instant messages, social network and email communications all in one single inbox. Samsung’s ChatON service connects users with other phone users – across any platform – into a single community, providing easy multi-format instant messaging and group chatting.

Compact and Trendy for more fun, GALAXY mini 2

GALAXY mini 2 packs a real performance punch into its slim and colorful 11.9mm-thick casing. The 3.27” HVGA touch-screen enables high-quality multimedia viewing while maintaining the device’s portability.

The compact GALAXY mini 2 ensures comfortable Web browsing and easily handles the demands of the most resource-intensive applications. An improved 1,300mAh battery capacity also guarantees extended multimedia usage and longer chat sessions. 4GB of storage allows users to comfortably store videos, music and images.

Like GALAXY Ace 2, GALAXY mini 2 keeps users connected through ChatON and Social Hub, while Music Hub allows one-step access to over 17 million tracks at any time.

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Nokia announces sale of its 1.5 billionth S40 handset

Wednesday, January 25th, 2012

Nokia announced on Wednesday that it has officially sold its 1.5 billionth S40-powered cell phone since the first S40 device — the Nokia 7110 — was released in 1999. A 21-year old Brazilian woman made the historic purchase in São Paulo, the company said, noting that the woman purchased a Nokia Asha 303 from a Magazine Luiza store. “We are incredibly proud to reach this milestone,” said Mary McDowell, Executive Vice President for Mobile Phones at Nokia. “Having 1.5 billion Series 40 devices sold is a hard-to-reach mark, let alone one attainable in a single line of products. At a time when we are maintaining our commitment to connecting the next billion customers around the world – it is gratifying to consider how Series 40 devices have made mobile technology accessible and help continue to change people’s lives for the better.” Nokia is set to announce its earnings on Thursday after the market closes. The company’s full press release follows after the break. 

Nokia hits 1.5 billion sales of revolutionary Series 40 mobile phones

The landmark Nokia Asha 303 device has been purchased by a 21-year-old Brazilian woman

Espoo, Finland – Nokia today announced one of the most significant milestones in its history with the sale of its 1.5 billionth Series 40 mobile phone. The device was sold to a female consumer in the Brazilian city of São Paulo and represents a historic moment as Nokia continues its strategy of connecting the next billion.

The 1.5 billionth phone was a Nokia Asha 303, a stunning touch screen handset with QWERTY keypad designed for web browsing, social networking and gaming, that features pre-installed entertainment and applications such as Angry Birds Lite.

The device was purchased from a Magazine Luiza store in São Paulo by Mayara Rodrigues, a 21-year-old who loves staying in touch with friends and family through social networks.

The first Series 40 phone was the Nokia 7110 developed in 1999.  Since then this family of phones has evolved to such an extent that they are considered ‘Smartphone Lite’ thanks to the innovations of the new Nokia Asha range.

Series 40 phones now blur the line between feature phones and smartphones.  With recent innovations including Nokia Maps for Series 40, Nokia Browser and Web Apps, Nokia Money and Nokia Life Tools, millions of consumers have enjoyed easy and affordable access to the Internet and information for the first time, with locally relevant apps and content.

Mary McDowell, Executive Vice President for Mobile Phones at Nokia, said: “We are incredibly proud to reach this milestone. Having 1.5 billion Series 40 devices sold is a hard-to-reach mark, let alone one attainable in a single line of products. At a time when we are maintaining our commitment to connecting the next billion customers around the world – it is gratifying to consider how Series 40 devices have made mobile technology accessible and help continue to change people’s lives for the better.”

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Kodak intros new connected Easyshare M750 and Playfull Dual Camera, adds instant uploads over WiFi

Monday, January 9th, 2012

Fancy taking photos on the fly and then uploading them to your preferred list of social networks? Good thing, then, that Kodak has your best interests at heart. Announced at this year’s CES extravaganza, the company’s showing off two of its newest connected imaging devices — the Kodak Playfull Dual Camera and Easyshare M750. The compact Playfull has a 12MP camera capable of full HD 1080p video capture at 60fps, with an accompanying Xenon flash and a port for an external mic. But those specs aren’t the camera’s real draw — that’d be it’s built-in WiFi ability. Using the Share Button, users can instantly upload photos and video to YouTube, Kodak’s own Gallery, as well as Facebook. The company’s more traditional looking point-and-shoot refresh, the Easyshare M750, touts a 16MP module, 3-inch capacitive touchscreen, a RETINAR HD 5x zoom lens and a similar capability to share content wirelessly via an available network or through an installable app on iOS, Android and BlackBerry. When it launches later this spring it’ll retail for around $170 and come in a smattering of colors, like silver, teal blue and red. As for the Playfull, well, nothing’s quite been announced on it yet, but that could all very well change this week. Check out the official pressers after the break.

Continue reading Kodak intros new connected Easyshare M750 and Playfull Dual Camera, adds instant uploads over WiFi

Kodak intros new connected Easyshare M750 and Playfull Dual Camera, adds instant uploads over WiFi originally appeared on Engadget on Mon, 09 Jan 2012 17:45:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Samsung Galaxy S likely won’t get Android 4.0 ‘value pack’ update

Wednesday, January 4th, 2012

Samsung announced at the end of December that the highly popular Galaxy S line would not be receiving an update to Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich. The device, which sold over 10 million units worldwide, doesn’t include enough memory for the update, Samsung claimed. After outraged users flocked to social networks with their complaints, reports out of South Korea claimed that Samsung was reevaluating the Galaxy S and may offer a “value pack” update instead. When Business Insider reached out to Samsung, however, the company reiterated its previous statements, claiming the device doesn’t feature the necessary hardware requirements to support the update. “A full update to Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich for the GALAXY Tab (7-inch) and GALAXY S is not practicable due to hardware limitations,” a Samsung spokesperson told the site. While the company would not comment specifically on a value pack update, based on Samsung’s record updating its Android devices, it seems highly unlikely that an update is forthcoming. Interestingly enough, the nearly identical Nexus S received an Ice Cream Sandwich update late last month from Google.


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Transformer Prime to get Android 4.0 on January 12, official bootloader unlock tool soon

Tuesday, January 3rd, 2012

ASUS took to its Facebook page on Tuesday to ease tensions from an increasing number of customers unhappy with the locked bootloader on the quad-core Transformer Prime tablet. The company also confirmed that it will begin rolling out an Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich update on January 12th. It was reported yesterday that the highly-anticipated Eee Pad Transformer Prime featured a locked and encrypted bootloader, making it impossible to flash custom ROMs and kernels. Irate customers took to social networks such as Twitter and Facebook and voiced their opinions. The company announced that it is working on a bootloader unlocking tool, however with an unlocked bootloader comes consequences; Google video rentals will be unavailable and the ASUS warranty will be voided for unlocked devices. ASUS’s full statement follows below.

Thank you very much for all of the support you have given to ASUS. Eee Pad Transformer Prime received excellent reviews and great demand when it launched in December 2011. Now, we are continuing to make the Transformer Prime available in the worldwide market, and doing our best to fulfill the incredible demand. ASUS strives to create the best products and provide the best service for our customers, and will be releasing an FOTA update for the Transformer Prime shortly. This update, version, will improve the focus of the camera, the fluidity of the touch experience, and the APK capabilities in Android Market.

ASUS has been working hard to make the highly anticipated Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich available on the Transformer Prime, and today, we have good news for you. Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich FOTA worldwide update for the Transformer Prime will start from Jan 12th, 2012. Thank you for your patience and support through this process.

In addition, we would like to address your concerns related to GPS and bootloader on the Transformer Prime.

The ASUS Transformer Prime is made from a metallic unibody design, so the material may affect the performance of the GPS when receiving signals from satellites. Please note that this product is not a professional GPS device, and signal performance can be easily influenced by factors including, but not limited to: weather, buildings, and surrounding environments. Please understand there are limitations when using the GPS function. To avoid inconveniencing users who demand a powerful GPS device, we made the decision to remove it from our specification sheet and marketing communications. We apologize for any inconvenience this has caused.

Regarding the bootloader, the reason we chose to lock it is due to content providers’ requirement for DRM client devices to be as secure as possible. ASUS supports Google DRM in order to provide users with a high quality video rental experience. Also, based on our experience, users who choose to root their devices risk breaking the system completely. However, we know there is demand in the modding community to have an unlocked bootloader. Therefore, ASUS is developing an unlock tool for that community. Please do note that if you choose to unlock your device, the ASUS warranty will be void, and Google video rental will also be unavailable because the device will be no longer protected by security mechanism.

Thank you for all the understanding and support for the ASUS Transformer Prime. Happy New Year!

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Hajime Research is assembling a robot taller than you, Mr. Stark couldn’t be more proud (video)

Friday, December 23rd, 2011

Not only are robots getting their own social networks, but now the plan is for them to become increasingly taller than us humans — at least that’s what the people at Hajime Research have in mind. The company has in its strategic plans the ultimate goal of building a 59-foot large machine that could be a comic-book character all on its own; before it can do so, though, it’s starting with a 13-foot humanoid. Hajime Sakamoto is the man behind the bizarre idea, and if there’s anyone that can do, it’s him. After all, in 2009 he built a seven-foot droid that remains one of the tallest this side of Saturn. Don’t believe us? Catch the video after the break.

Continue reading Hajime Research is assembling a robot taller than you, Mr. Stark couldn’t be more proud (video)

Hajime Research is assembling a robot taller than you, Mr. Stark couldn’t be more proud (video) originally appeared on Engadget on Fri, 23 Dec 2011 21:13:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Flipboard for iPhone now available

Wednesday, December 7th, 2011

Flipboard, the popular magazine-style news application originally made available for the iPad is now available for iPhone as well. Flipboard allows users to flip through a single feed of articles and photos that have been shared across various social networks. It can also display stories from a variety of news categories including technology, design, “Flipboard picks,” photography, business, sports, style, travel, food and more. The user interface is among the best we’ve ever seen on a casual news application. Android and Windows Phone users may want to check out Pulse for a similar experience, though Pulse isn’t quite as impressive and novel as Flipboard. Flipboard for iPhone is free and is available in the App Store now.


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Nokia unveils ‘Asha’ family of Series 40 phones

Wednesday, October 26th, 2011

Nokia fans around the world may be focused on the company’s two new high-end Windows Phone devices unveiled during Nokia World in London on Tuesday, but that didn’t stop Nokia from revealing a handful of Series 40 devices, too. The Finnish phone maker revealed its “Asha” family of phones on Wednesday, which includes the Asha 200, Asha 201, Asha 300 and Asha 303. The higher-end Asha 303 is equipped with a 2.6-inch display, a full QWERTY keyboard, a 1GHz processor and more. The 300 offers an alphanumeric keypad, a 1GHz processor, a 5-megapixel camera and support for 3G networks. Nokia expects both phones to begin shipping during the fourth quarter of this year. The Asha 201 and 200 are very similar, both offer full QWERTY keyboards, but the Asha 200 also supports dual SIM cards. Both phones will ship during the first quarter of next year. Read on for the full press release from Nokia.

Nokia showcases bold portfolio of new phones, services and accessories at Nokia World

Introduces a range of stylish, smart mobile phones, superior Nokia Maps, partnership for co-branded accessories with Monster, and more

Asha: A new family of smarter mobile phones

Nokia continues its mission to deliver high quality, stylish devices that provide the best access to social networks, the Internet and information, and offer the best overall experience and value proposition for the next billion mobile phone users. These consumers want access to innovations such as easy-to-use dual-SIM, local services and content, and third-party apps, all with a superior user experience for which Nokia mobile phones are known.

These devices comprise the new Asha family of Nokia mobile phones. Derived from Hindi – meaning ‘hope’ – Asha signifies Nokia’s focus on positive user experiences and connecting millions of people to new opportunities that help them reach their aspirations.

The Asha mobile phone family includes:

Nokia Asha 303
The Nokia Asha 303 is a stunning phone designed with sophisticated materials and metallic finishes. It combines a large 2.6″ capacitive touch screen with a high quality QWERTY keypad. The Nokia Asha 303 is built with Internet and social networks ease in mind.

The device harnesses a powerful 1Ghz engine, 3G and WLAN to deliver a fast Internet experience. Social networks, email and IM are at the center of the experience, easily accessible from the homescreen. The Nokia Asha 303 is powered by the cloud-based Nokia Browser, which by compressing the web by up to 90%, provides higher speeds and a more affordable access to the Internet.

Entertainment and applications are also a core part of the Nokia Asha 303 offering. Angry Birds Lite, the popular mobile game, comes preinstalled, together with support for other globally relevant applications such as Facebook Chat, Whatsapp messaging and the latest release of Nokia Maps for Series 40 (in selected markets). The price will vary from market to market and operator to operator. The estimated retail price for the Nokia Asha 303 will be approximately 115 EUR, excluding taxes and subsidies. It is expected to start shipping in the fourth quarter of 2011.

Nokia Asha 300
The beautifully designed Nokia Asha 300 is a touch device which also offers the convenience of a keypad. The Nokia Asha 300 has a powerful 1GHz processor and 3G to deliver a faster Internet and social networking experience. The Nokia Browser allows for fast, affordable and localized Internet access by compressing  web pages by up to 90%.

Users have fast access to messaging, email and instant messaging from the home screen and can swipe to access apps, music or games from the Nokia Store. The Nokia Asha 300 also arrives preloaded with the popular Angry Birds game.

The Nokia Asha 300 comes with a 5 megapixel camera, a music player, FM radio, Bluetooth connectivity and can handle memory cards up to 32GB.  The price will vary by market and operator. The estimated retail price for the Nokia Asha 300 will be approximately 85 EUR, excluding taxes and subsidies. It is expected to start shipping in the fourth quarter of 2011.

Nokia Asha 200
The Nokia Asha 200 is Nokia’s latest dual SIM phone with Easy Swap functionality, allowing consumers to easily change their second SIM without switching the device off.

It is a fun and colorful QWERTY phone designed to meet the needs of young, urban consumers who want to constantly stay in touch. The Nokia Asha 200 features integrated social networking, email and IM, adding RenRen, Orkut and Flickr support. Nokia Asha 200 makes it possible to carry thousands of songs with support for 32 GB memory cards and providing a battery for an amazing 52-hour playback time. The price will vary by market and operator. The estimated retail price for the Nokia Asha 200 will be approximately 60 EUR, excluding taxes and subsidies. It is expected to start shipping in the fourth quarter of 2011.

Nokia Asha 201
The single SIM version of the Nokia Asha 200, the Nokia Asha 201 is ideal for young consumers who wish to stay socially connected, are price conscious and like listening to music. The Nokia Asha 201 has great music features including a high performing loudspeaker, enhanced stereo FM radio and ringtone tuning. With the Nokia Browser you get even faster, even better and more affordable access to the Internet. It supports up to 32 GB memory cards and provides a battery for 52 hours of music playback time. The Nokia Asha 201 also supports push email as well as the popular Whatsapp messaging app. The price will vary by market and operator. The estimated retail price for the Nokia Asha 201 will be approximately 60 EUR, excluding taxes and subsidies. It is expected to start shipping in the first quarter of 2012.


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Mario can’t save 3DS: Nintendo to miss 3DS sales target despite price drop, feature boost

Tuesday, September 13th, 2011

During the Nintendo 3DS Conference in Japan on Tuesday, Nintendo’s president Satoru Iwata discussed the company’s plans to boost interest in its 3D portable gaming console. Nintendo will add the ability to record 3D video on the device, which is currently only capable of snapping 3D photos, and will sell a new joystick add-on. Nintendo will also launch a pink 3DS in October in an effort to attract female gamers. But those new options as well as 43 new games, including Super Mario 3D Land, will not be enough to help the company meet its sales expectations according to analysts surveyed by Bloomberg. The analysts collectively estimated that Nintendo may miss its goal 16 million 3DS units sold goal by about 16%. Read on for more.

Reportedly, Nintendo may sell 2.5 million units by March 31st, which marks the halfway point for the company’s fiscal year. Those sales may have been spurred by Nintendo’s decision to drop the price of the console to $179, which consequently resulted in a 260% increase in sales. “[Nintendo] can’t compete with free or $0.99 downloads,” Wedbush Securities analyst Michael Pachter said, comparing the system to the iPhone, iPad and iPod. Pachter estimates Nintendo will sell 10 million units for the fiscal year. “Nintendo should consider embracing social networks, even though it’s going to be a latecomer,” Daiwa SB Investments portfolio manager Koichi Ogawa told Bloomberg. “Even with the price cut, it’s hard to lure consumers as various platforms including the iPhone and iPad are available now. Those people wont use 3DS to play cards or mah-jongg.”


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Facebook to launch music service on September 22nd

Wednesday, August 31st, 2011

Facebook will launch a music service on September 22nd, CNBC reported today. There are currently no details on whether it will be a streaming subscription service or simply a music storefront similar to iTunes, and Facebook has not yet confirmed the announcement. Business Insider said the Facebook music service will integrate with other third party services such as Spotify and Rdio. CNBC also suggested Facebook will work with MOG, another music service that has a long-standing relationship with Facebook. Spotify and Rdio currently allow users to integrate with social networks to share songs and playlists with friends.

Read [CNBC] Read [Business Insider]

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