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Gadget Ogling: Smart Rings, Breathalyzing Bike Locks, and Laptop-Sized Transports
August 15, 2015
Please, whatever you do, don't decide with your loved one it would be a good idea to get rings that vibrate only when you're trying to get in touch with one another. Omate and Emanuel Ungaro are offering schmucks the Ungaro ring, which does just that. It buzzes when one designated person, whoever that may be, sends a text message or calls you. It will retail for up to $2,000.
Samsung Doubles Down on Galaxy Phones
August 14, 2015
Samsung on Thursday unveiled two new devices, the Galaxy S6 edge+ and the Galaxy Note5. The smartphones reportedly will be available in the United States starting Aug. 21. Samsung also announced its NFC mobile payment service, Samsung Pay, will launch in the United States Sept. 28. The Note5 reportedly incorporates many of the Galaxy S6's features and design elements.
Report: Ad Blockers Are Killing Ad Dollars
August 14, 2015
About $21.8 billion in global ad revenues have been lost so far this year due to ad blockers, according to a report Pagefair released this week in partnership with Adobe. Consumers increasingly are opting for tools to shut down ads before they pop up. By next year, the U.S. alone should account for about $20 billion in blocked ad revenue, the report predicts.
Xiaomi Unveils Redmi Note 2 as US Twinkles in Its Eye
August 13, 2015
Xiaomi has announced its new Redmi Note 2, getting a jump on Samsung's announcement of two new smartphone entries. Xiaomi's Redmi Note 2 comes with a 2-GHz octacore Mediatek Helio X10 CPU and 16 GB of flash memory. The Redmi Note 2 Prime edition comes with a 2.2-GHz octacore MTK Helio X10 CPU and 32 GB of flash memory. The phones will sell in China at price points equivalent to about $125 to $140.
Android on BlackBerry Is Looking More Real
August 10, 2015
BlackBerry's upcoming slider handset, aka "Venice," will run on Android and will be available in the coming months for AT&T as well as T-Mobile, according to rumors that picked up steam over the weekend. This is not the first time rumors of a BlackBerry device running on Android have made the rounds. The company earlier this year hinted at the possibility at the Mobile World Congress.
Sprint Sinks to 4th Place, T-Mobile's Legere Gloats
August 6, 2015
Sprint continued to make progress in its turnaround during Q1, it said Tuesday. However, it apparently wasn't enough to keep the company from slipping to fourth place among major wireless carriers, exchanging places with T-Mobile, which climbed up to third. Among other things, Sprint cut postpaid customer losses in the quarter to 12,000 -- the lowest ever.
The Transformational AT&T, DirecTV Merger
August 6, 2015
AT&T's acquisition of DirecTV is more than a merger -- it is a transformational event that could change the entire television space. It has the potential to create such intense competition that it very well could transform the entire television space -- meaning cable TV, satellite TV and IPTV -- and blend it with wireless. It means more choice and more innovation.
Report: Apple Is Kicking the MVNO Tires
August 5, 2015
Apple is in discussions to become a mobile virtual network operator in both Europe and the United States, where it's already running a trial of its service, according to a media report. The MVNO idea may not advance beyond the test phase -- and if it does, it likely won't happen for some time -- at least five years. However, Apple on Tuesday issued a denial that it has held MVNO discussions.
Hey, Siri - Get Out Your Steno Pad
August 4, 2015
Apple reportedly is working on a service that will enlist Siri to transcribe voice mail messages for iPhone users. The service could roll out in 2016, possibly as a new feature in iOS 10. When a call is placed to a phone that has iCloud Voicemail enabled and you don't answer it, Siri will pick it up for you. If your caller leaves a voice message, Siri will notify you and send you a transcription.
AT&T to DirecTV Customers: Let's Stick Together
August 3, 2015
AT&T on Monday announced its first-ever nationwide package of TV and wireless services. The new bundle, which is being offered for US$200 per month, will be available beginning Aug. 10. It will include HD and DVR service for up to four TV receivers, along with unlimited talk and text for four wireless lines. Subscribers to the plan will get 10 GB of shareable wireless data.
Glass Is Back, and This Time It's All Business
August 3, 2015
A reinvigorated and redesigned Glass reportedly has been sighted in the enterprise sector. Google earlier this year closed down the Glass Explorer program, proclaiming that the augmented reality wearable was "graduating" from the company's clandestine Google X labs to a brand-new division of its own. Since then, Google has offered vague reassurances from time to time that the product was not dead.
As Wireless Changes, So Must Marketing
July 30, 2015
We have just seen quarterly earnings reports from AT&T and Verizon, and they continue to grow at a healthy pace. Sprint and T-Mobile also have started to grow once again. However, the larger wireless marketplace is splitting into smaller segments. Understanding this is one of many keys to success for any wireless carrier going forward. The larger wireless marketplace is changing.
Microsoft Fans Embark on Windows 10 Migration
July 30, 2015
Microsoft on Wednesday began offering Windows 10 as a free upgrade to Windows 7 and 8 users in 190 countries. Eligible users began receiving taskbar notifications, beckoning them to begin the migration to Windows 10. To encourage migration, Microsoft has asked the first flock of digital pilgrims to use the hashtag #UpgradeYourWorld and to tag a nonprofit organization to their posts.
Motorola Promises Its Smartphones Will Love You Back
July 29, 2015
Motorola, on Tuesday launched three new handsets -- Moto X Style, Moto X Play and a refreshed Moto G -- designed to end the "one-sided relationships" between smartphones and consumers. People have been living with phones that nag during drives, make outbursts during meetings, and run out of juice just when they're most needed, the company said. Motorola promised its new suitors will change that.
Facebook Pumps Up Internet.org
July 29, 2015
Facebook on Monday announced it was scaling up Internet.org, creating a partner portal that makes it easier for mobile operators to offer its free basic services in new countries. Those basic services are bringing new users onto mobile networks more than 50 percent faster, and more than half of them pay for data and Internet access within 30 days of signing up, Facebook said.
Salesforce's Lightning Announcement
July 29, 2015
Spreadsheets suffered a body blow on Tuesday, when Salesforce announced new platform functionality. Soon all spreadsheets will be good for is financial analysis. This sounds funny, because the spreadsheet for several decades has been the unofficial IT prototyping tool. Actually, it was the end-users' prototyping tool -- the default thing they used to capture data.
Super-Scary Android Flaw Found
July 28, 2015
Zimperium on Monday revealed a stunning discovery by researcher Joshua Drake -- a flaw in Android's Stagefright media playback engine that could expose millions of mobile device users to attack without their having done anything. Stagefright, which processes several popular media formats, is implemented in native code -- C++ -- which is more prone to memory corruption than some other languages.
Apple Watch to Decorate Best Buy Shelves
July 27, 2015
After tightly controlling the sales experience for its smartwatch since its April debut, Apple appears ready to unleash it to the mass market. Best Buy on Monday said it would begin selling the Apple wearable in 100 of its stores on Aug. 7, as well as on BestBuy.com. As the holiday season rolls in, it expects to expand that number to 200. Sixteen models will be available at the Best Buy outlets.
Apple Leaves Nest Thermostat Out in the Cold
July 24, 2015
Apple reportedly has pulled the Nest smart thermostat from both its online and brick-and-mortar stores, possibly paving the way for its own line of smart home appliances. The thermostat disappeared from Apple's product offerings earlier this month. Apple's stores now are selling the Ecobee 3, a thermostat that works with Apple's HomeKit, an Internet of Things platform that's part of iOS.
Mobile Device Hijacking Costs Advertisers $1B a Year
July 24, 2015
A type of fraud spreading through the mobile universe could cost advertisers more than $1 billion globally this year, according to a July 2015 study released by Forensiq. The fraud, called "mobile device hijacking," uses installed apps to rapidly load ads that no one sees -- but the fraudsters collect money for the ads as if they had been viewed.
Commodore's Ghost Lives in New Machine
July 22, 2015
Yet another Android smartphone has hit the market -- but what's surprising is that it comes from Commodore. The Commodore PET smartphone is from Commodore Business Machines, a UK-based firm that has acquired the brand and trademark. It runs Android 5.0 Lollipop, and has a 5.5-inch full HD 1920 x 1080 display. Two preinstalled emulators let owners play games written for old-school Commodore PCs.
PayPal Flies Solo on Nasdaq
July 21, 2015
PayPal on Monday returned to the Nasdaq as an independent company, no longer tethered to eBay. PayPal debuted at a market value 1.4 times its former parent -- $46.6 billion -- while eBay's capitalization shrunk to $34 billion. The companies agreed to split in September due to market pressures and some nudging by corporate raider turned shareholder value advocate Carl Icahn.
Swipes, Taps and Cursor Movements Can Foil Cyberthieves
July 16, 2015
Swipes, taps, cursor movements and other ways of interacting with electronic devices can be used to protect online merchants from Net fraudsters. Many people are familiar with biometric authenticators like irises, fingerprints and voices, but it turns out that how we behave with our machines, including typing speed and the use of keyboard shortcuts, can authenticate our identities, too.
Google May Goose Mobile Device Impulse Buys
July 15, 2015
Google on Wednesday announced that it is giving tablet and smartphone users more purchase options in an effort to respond to shoppers' "micro moments." Mobile devices influenced about 28 percent of in-store sales in the U.S. last year, noted Jonathan Alferness, vice president of product management for Google Shopping. However, "it's way too hard to buy things on your phone," he added.

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