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Showing posts from April 6, 2011

Will AT&T be the next carrier to offer the Nexus S?

Is AT&T next to carry the "pure Google" Android smartphone? (Credit: Samsung) A variant of the Nexus S optimized for AT&T's network has appeared on Samsung's Web site.
Listed with a model number of GT-I9020A, the handset is strikingly similar to the Samsung I9020T currently supported by T-Mobile. The Web site specifically mentions AT&T and references the carrier's UMTS 850/1900 network bands, but with no announcement from Google or AT&T, this remains strictly unofficial at this point.
Given that Sprint recently unveiled its version of the Nexus S, it would not surprise me to see a Verizon variant offered down the road. Samsung has been making it a practice to offer different iterations of the same device, especially those in the Galaxy S series.
I'm very interested to see how AT&T handles this "pure Google" smartphone, considering it blocks the ability to install applications and games from anywhere but the official Goo…

Twitter Continues to Friendly Things Up for New Users

Since its redesign last September, Twitter has said time and again that the site is not just for those who Tweet, but for those who consume. To that end, the company has worked to make it easier and easier for new users to find information related to their interests, with features like the "who to follow" page. Today, Twitter announced another feature to help onboard new users - search that makes it easier to find and follow Twitter accounts based on interest.
The improved search comes alongside another new feature - the advanced search page - which takes the various operators that have always been available to Twitter users and makes them easily accessible in a Web form.
"When you search for a topic," writes Twitter's Carolyn Penner, "you can now discover accounts that are relevant to that particular subject. [...] This new approach helps you find the Twitter users that will best help you follow your interests."
According to Twitter, searche…

When are your Twitter friends online? Tweriod knows.

There’s something magical about Twitter. Its ability to produce instant results and instant information is a wonderful tool. But there’s very little staying power to a tweet, even when it’s retweeted. How, then, can you make sure that you’re sending out tweets when they’re most likely to be read?
A service called Tweriod can do that. It takes a look at the people who follow you and, judging by their activity, gives you a graph that shows when they’re most likely to be online and reading.
After allowing Tweriod to access your Twitter account, you’re going to have a bit of a wait. Tweriod goes to work figuring out when your Twitter followers are most active, and will send you a DM when it has the information ready for your viewing.
The results? Simple, but impressive.
As you can see, you can break down the graphs pretty far. From an overview of the weekend, all the way down to how many retweets happen during a certain hour, Tweriod will let you know.
Sure, this is handy info…

Controversial app Qwitter goes up for sale

Qwitter, the web app that notifies you when people unfollow you on Twitter, is being sold so that the owners can focus on another project.
Qwitter caused quite the splash in social media news in 2008 when it came out, not to mention more than a few awkward silences and broken hearts. After notifications suddenly stopped arriving in its users’ inboxes late that year, the service lay dormant until it was overhauled by Velocis Enterprises in 2010, the company that runs TweetSaver.
Velocis re-released Qwitter last year and notifications began arriving once again. Only one year later, however, the owners have elected to focus on Cardstr, an as-yet unlaunched service that appears to be a potential Groupon competitor, which necessitates Qwitter’s sale.
Qwitter is being auctioned through popular website marketplace Flippa, and bids are heading past $5,000 at the time of writing. The auction has two days left.

Matchbook: Find, bookmark and organize your favourite places

Are you tired of broadcasting location-based “check-ins” and simply want a quick and easy solution for saving and organizing places?
A new iOS app called Matchbook aims to keep your favourite spots organized by marrying bookmarking with places. Similar to bookmarking services like Delicious, the app helps you sort your places by saving and tagging.
How it worksTo set the scene: While walking by a restaurant you decide you want to save the location to your phone. With Matchbook, you can find the venue by choosing a place from a list of nearby places or by searching the place by name. Once you’ve got the venue, it can be viewed on a map and sent to a friend via SMS or bookmarked and saved for later.

When you share a place via SMS, the app will automatically check for the user within the Matchbook user base and if they’re not found, a section will be created for them. In order to send off an SMS, the person must first be added to your device’s contact list.
Let’s say this plac…

Google Maps for Android now has location history dashboard

Google Maps 5.3 for Android has just been released which lets you see your Google Location History dashboard, and allows check in at “home,” and the ability to add your own aspects for places when rating them.
For Android users  that enabled Location History for Google Latitude, they have been able to visualize interesting trends in the location history with a personal dashboard at google.com/latitude on the user’s computer.
With the Maps 5.3 update, now users will see a dashboard on the Android by tapping “View location history” from the Latitude profile. The cool thing is if the user has this enabled, they will be able to verify how far they have travelled in addition to an estimate of how much time they have spent at home, at work, or other locations.
If you haven’t yet, you can enable Location History from your computer or from Latitude’s Settings menu on your phone. Location History is 100% opt-in and is private to you and nobody else. You can always delete any of your l…

Microsoft: Our rights to Nortel patents do not change if they are acquired

Google has put in a bid for some 6,000 patents that are owned by the company Nortel, which is currently in bankruptcy. But Google’s $900 million offer for the patents might have a hanger-on that they did not anticipate: Microsoft.
In 2006, Microsoft and Nortel formed a strategic alliance, which included, among other things, cross-licensed intellectual property. According to Microsoft, that gives them licence to the patents, even if Google or any other company buys them. It is a seemingly radical claim, and one that might lower the potential value of the patents.
Here are the two statements that have come forth from Microsoft today that explain the matter:
“Microsoft has a worldwide, perpetual, royalty-free license to all of Nortel’s patents that covers all Microsoft products and services, resulting from the patent cross-license signed with Nortel in 2006.”“Microsoft’s licensed rights to the patents continue, even when ownership of the patents ch…

Larry Page Replaces Eric Schmidt As Google CEO Today

Larry Page, one half of the duo that founded the world’s most popular search engine, will replace Eric Schmidt as Google CEO today, seeing his co-founder Sergey Brin moving into the title of Co-Founder, with Schmidt taking his new position as Executive Chairman.
As part of the changes, announced on January 20, Schmidt has moved to concentrate on Google’s external partnerships, facilitating deals, connecting with customers and businesses, advising Larry Page and Sergey Brin internally as the company looks to go back to its startup roots.
Writing on the Official Google Blog in January, Schmidt believed Page was ready to take drive the company forward, merging technology and ideas “brilliantly”:
In this new role I know he will merge Google’s technology and business vision brilliantly. I am enormously proud of my last decade as CEO, and I am certain that the next 10 years under Larry will be even better! Larry, in my clear opinion, is ready to le…

Toyota begins advertising on Cydia, targets members of jailbreak scene

Toyota, one of the world’s largest car manufacturers, has taken to alternative iOS app-store and software repository Cydia to run a series of adverts and offer a sponsored theme, becoming one of the first major corporations to target members of the jailbreak scene.
The move was spurred by the Federal Government’s decision to make jailbreaking legal, allowing millions of iPhone and iPad owners to remove restrictions placed on their device but also giving companies a dedicated route by which they could start to engage with the jailbreak community.
Cydia’s creator Saurik estimates that around 9% of iOS users jailbreaking their devices, with 1.5 million unique users access Cydia daily. Topping 5 million users each week, it is thought that up to 15 million Apple devices have been jailbroken.
Acknowledging the growth of the community, Toyota has started to begin marketing on the app marketplace, designing a custom iPhone theme specifically for jailbroken devices, choosing to ru…

China waves goodbye to Google Maps, risks losing ICP license

The deadline has passed and Google has not submitted its application for a Chinese Internet mapping license. It won’t be given an exception when the State Bureau of Surveying and Mapping made it clear that companies that fail to comply will be forced to shut down on July 1. This raised concerns that Google China may even fail the next ICP annual inspection and possibly wave goodbye to China.
People’s Daily reports that the deadline has officially passed and the mapping bureau has yet to receive Google’s application. Administrative departments are said to adopt measures on July 1 to close delinquent Internet companies that do not comply.
According to sources, Google is having difficulties renewing the mapping license mainly due to its decision to withdraw from the Chinese mainland. Foreign-funded enterprises in general are subject to stricter restrictions when getting such a license because upon approval, they will still have to pass the state security department. Google ha…

The iPad 2 is so popular it sold out even in the after life

It wasn’t exactly among the first countries announced by Apple to ship the iPad 2 but due to popular demand, the latest tablet from the Cupertino company is already seeing a supply shortage to the afterlife in Malaysia.
During the Qingming festival, also known as the tomb sweeping festival, Chinese communities in Asia honor their ancestors by burning fake money or replicas of luxury items. Chinese families in Malaysia, however, rush to buy paper replicas of the popular, new iPad 2 to burn for their dead relatives as part of an old rite.
In a Reuters report, Jeffrey Te, a prayer item shopkeeper, seems to face the same supply problem as Apple. He shipped in 300 iPad 2 replicas for the festival but is currently having trouble meeting demands as the stocks were sold out in a matter of hours. In Te’s shop, the first and second generation paper iPads sell at a dollar for 888 gigabyte capacity, which is much cheaper than the basic 16gb iPad for …

Twitter now suggests who to follow based on topics

Twitterjust announced a simpler way to find and follow Twitter accounts based on your interests.
When you search for a topic, you can now discover accounts that are relevant to that particular subject.
Previously, you would have seen accounts that have the specific term in their name or username. The new advancement goes beyond the profile and matches based on the topics that a user continually tweets about. To get started, click on the “people” section of the search results page or search from the “Who to follow” page.

Twitter’s new approach helps you find the similar users that are closer to your true interests. Here is how it works: if you’re obsessed with the TV Show Fringe, it is pretty safe to say that you follow the actors and the “Save Fringe” campaign. That is a pretty fundamental difference, considering previously it took into account what was listed in your profile.
If you are looking for other IT guys fascinated with cricket (yes, you know who you are), a fan …

Google's Newest Mobile Search Feature is a Thing of Beauty

Google Mobile Search added a new feature today that lets users search for stock ticker symbols and see their results in a beautiful, structured interface that scrolls horizontally to display different kinds of results. It would be awesome to see this kind of mobile search interface rolled out beyond search for stocks. It wouldn't be the first time a technical innovation jumped from Google Finance to the rest of Google.
If you're on an iPhone or an up to date Android phone, go to Google.com in your browser and try search queries like GOOG, AAPL, NYT or YHOO. You'll see the whole screen fill up with a chart that lets you view stock price changes over varying timeframes. Swipe right (who ever thought to swipe on a Google mobile search results page?) and you'll see News Search results for the company you searched for. Swipe again and you'll see charts for the 3 leading markets, once more and you'll see a nice chart that lets you compare all the c…

Report: Sony launching Honeycomb tablet this year

Sony CEO Howard Stringer at CES in January (Credit: James Martin/CNET) Sony might be joining the tablet craze as early as this summer, according to a new report.
According to Bloomberg, which cited a report in Japan's Nikkei newspaper, Sony CEO Howard Stringer said that his company will be launching a tablet by the end of the summer. The tablet, according to the report, will run Android 3.0 Honeycomb.
Following that news, Engadget found a report from Japanese publication AV Watch, citing a Sony spokesperson who said the company will be releasing a tablet "this year." The representative said details on the device and the launch will be revealed at a later time.
This isn't the first time Sony has discussed tablets. At the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas earlier this year, Sony Deputy President Kunimasa Suzuki said his company would "really like to take the No. 2 position (in the tablet market) by 2012" behind Apple's iPad. Sony's String…