Apple vs Samsung, Smartphone Litigants

Has Litigation Replaced Market Competition as the Business Strategy of Apple et al?

Apple vs. Samsung: the Battle of the Bans Continues
"What is the popular thing to do when battling for market share against a strong competitor in the smart phone and mobile device industry? File a lawsuit and request that competitors have their products banned from the country. At least this has been the strategy of Apple and Samsung over the last couple of years as the embattled companies scramble for a foothold over each other. What is the cause of the furious battle between the companies? Infringement; both companies claim that the other has stolen technology, features, and more...."

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Emerging Technologies, Future 5G Networks

The Emerging Technologies Shaping Future 5G Networks | MIT Technology Review: "...So it’s natural to look at the longer wavelengths and higher frequencies of millimetre wave transmissions ranging from 3 to 300 GHz. This should provide orders of magnitude increases in bandwidth. But it won’t be entirely smooth going. The main problem with these frequencies is their propagation characteristics—the signals are easily blocked by buildings, heavy weather and even by people themselves as they move between the device and the transmitter. But it should be possible to mitigate most problems using advanced transmission technologies, such as directional antennas that switch in real time as signals become blocked. “Propagation is not an insurmountable challenge,” they say. Next is the rapidly developing multiple input-multiple output or MIMO technology. Base stations will be equipped with multiple antennas that transmit many signals at the same time. What’s more, a device may have multiple antennas to pick up and transmit several signals at once. This dramatically improves the efficiency with which a network can exploit its frequencies...."

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T-Mobile Bonded, Faster LTE Network

T-Mobile Slowly Rolls Out Bonded (aka Faster) LTE Network | News & Opinion | "According to AllThingsD, T-Mobile has flipped the switch on faster LTE service in North Dallas, with plans to boost up its faster LTE connectivity to 90 percent of the top 25 markets in the United States. As for when, the company wasn't clear on how long the rollout might take. Unlike its competitors, however, the improved speeds should work for all LTE phones on the carrier's network – no fancier hardware is required to benefit from the boost."

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Rural Broadband

Wireless or Satellite for rural broadband?

Episode 1038 | The Tech Guy: "Mike has DISH for Satellite Internet, but it's REALLY slow and unstable. Suggestions? Leo says that the Federal Government needs to create a Tennessee Valley Authority with broadband. It's not really in the interests of broadband companies to provide access in rural areas. Satellite is the first thing you think off and it has gotten better. There are different levels of satellite internet service so you may be able to improve it. Leo recommends Wild Blue's Exeed. They do a better job, but it won't be as fast. Another option is 4G via MyFi and Verizon. And Verizon has wireless home services as well. Check out"

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Chromecast 2014, open SDK, international markets

Chromecast in 2014: an open SDK, big international plans and maybe even new devices — Tech News and Analysis: "Google landed a bit of a coup with Chromecast this year, launching a device that no one saw coming but that has proven to be very popular. Next year, the company plans to take Chromecast even further by bringing it to a number of international markets, opening up the SDK to make hundreds (if not thousands) of apps Chromecast-compatible, and partnering with consumer electronics companies to bring cast functionality to other devices...."

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Two-thirds of the world to have LTE coverage by 2019

Going forward it is all about wireless broadband (LTE 4G and beyond) and multiple mobile computing devices (smartphones, tablets, etc.) --

Two-thirds of the world's population will have LTE coverage by 2019 | TechHive: "Smartphone subscriptions will triple and smartphone traffic will increase by a factor of 10 times between the end of this year and 2019. By that time about two-thirds of the world’s population will be covered by LTE, according to a report from telecom vendor Ericsson. The third quarter was a good one for smartphone sales. Vendors shipped a total of 258.4 million smartphones, setting a new record for units shipped in a single quarter by a margin of over 20 million units, according to IDC. That will help the total number of smartphone subscriptions reach 1.9 billion at the end of the year, according the latest edition of Ericsson’s Mobility Report. . . ."

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Tizen smartphone delayed until 2014

Tizen, Ubuntu, Firefox OS et al -- why bother? Android is a free open OS which can be forked if you like (see what Amazon has done with it). It isn't about the OS, it is about the browser --

Tizen smartphone delayed until 2014 says Samsung executive | Digital Trends: "A Samsung executive has warned the company’s first Tizen-powered smartphone won’t be released until 2014, putting the device’s debut several months behind the schedule indicated by Samsung earlier this year. Tizen is a new mobile operating system, jointly produced by Samsung and Intel, which is regarded by the pair as an alternative to Android. . . ."

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Google Android OS is the new Windows

At one time not too long ago, the Microsoft Windows OS (operating system) was on more than 90% of all computing devices worldwide. No more -- if anything, Windows has been displaced by Android --

Google's Android Eclipses Apple to Become the MS-DOS of Our Time | Wired Business | "Android’s share of the mobile phone market topped 80 percent of units shipped for the first time since IDC began tracking the Google-created operating system, the research firm said in its release of its most recent quarterly figures. Apple, by contrast, captured just under 13 percent of the market. The triumph of Android would seem to vindicate Google’s choice not to go head-to-head against Apple with its own proprietary mobile operating system and hardware. In retrospect, it was a no-brainer decision, owing to one very obvious precedent." (read more at link above)

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FCC Mobile Broadband Research With Android App

FCC Crowdsources Mobile Broadband Research With Android App - Digits - WSJ: " . . . The FCC announced it would start measuring the performance of mobile networks last September. All four major wireless carriers, as well CTIA-The Wireless Association have already agreed to participate in the app, which is called “FCC Speed Test.” It works only on Android for now — no word on when an iPhone version might be available. . . ."

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Microsoft Android patent licenses generate $2 billion a year

Why did Microsoft go all in on Windows Phone and Nokia? Google's Android OS is pure profit for Microsoft to the tune of $2 billion per year!

Microsoft Android patent licenses generate $2 billion a year | BGR: " Sherlund says that Microsoft’s margin on Android-related patent royalties is around 95%, which means that the company’s annual Android haul is almost pure profit. Sherlund goes on to say that Microsoft is using its Android cash to cover up massive losses that it takes from its Xbox division, which he says actually loses Microsoft $2 billion per year."

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Smartphone Makers Tweaks Cause Android Insecurity

In other words buy a Nexus android phone --

Smartphone Makers’ Tweaks Cause Android Insecurity | MIT Technology Review: "According to a study conducted by computer science researchers at North Carolina State University, changes manufacturers made to the stock Android software were responsible for more than 60 percent of the security flaws uncovered in phones from different handset companies. A paper (pdf) on the work is slated to be presented Wednesday at the ACM Conference on Computer and Communications Security in Berlin . . . ."

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Pentagon approves Android as secure as BlackBerry

One more nail in the BlackBerry coffin --

Pentagon nod shows Android can be as secure as BlackBerry - CSO Online - Security and Risk: "By giving the OK for the U.S. government and military to use Android devices with Samsung's security platform, the Pentagon has confirmed that Google's operating system can be locked down as well as the BlackBerry OS, once considered the gold standard in mobile security. Samsung announced Friday that the Department of Defense (DoD) had approved the use of Knox-enabled Android smartphones and tablets. Currently, that would include only the Galaxy S4, but Samsung has said more devices would ship with the platform in the near future.."

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$349 for Moto X special!

Motorola $349 special promotion for Moto X continued for Wednesday 12/4 and next Monday 12/9 --

The Official Motorola Blog: We owe you an apology.: "Starting at 12 pm EST/9 am PST this Wednesday, we will relaunch the $349 promotion. To help make up for this major inconvenience to shoppers, we will also add an additional promotional day on Monday, December 9. We will double the quantity of phones available, while supplies last, to allow as many people as possible to take advantage of the promotion. We’re also extending the 30% off offer on accessories to these two days."

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FCC Wakes Up To The New Reality of Telephony

It's over for "copper" -- today it is all about internet protocal (VoIP), fiber and cable broadband, wireless carriers, and voice as just one more application or feature --

F.C.C. Chairman Calls for Transforming the Technology Used by Phone Systems - "The chairman of the Federal Communications Commission said on Tuesday that the agency would begin “a diverse set of experiments” next year that would begin to move the nation’s telephone system from its century-old network of circuits, switches and copper wires to one that transmits phone calls in a manner similar to that used for Internet data. The Internet-based systems allow more information to be transmitted at one time, making possible the addition of video to phone calls, as employed by services like Skype and Vonage. While consumers can already use those services, most of the legacy telephone networks still use analog technology, employing an out-of-date system of physical switches that is expensive to keep operating."

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Community wireless mesh networks

Community wireless mesh networks are gaining popularity because they are cheap to build and under the users’ control --

  Home Wireless Network Keeps the Snoops Away - " . . . A wireless mesh network is essentially a network of a bunch of interconnected wireless routers, or nodes, which propagate traffic between users and also broadcast broadband service from nodes that are wired to the Internet. Think of it as a system of linked coffee shop hot spots where patrons at all the various coffee shops can send and receive data directly between each other’s devices, as well as surf the Web. Only you don’t have to go to a coffee shop and listen to annoying soft jazz to participate . . . " (read more at link above)

More info:

FunkFeuer in Vienna, WirelessAntwerpen in Antwerp, Freifunk in Berlin, AWMN in Athens

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Moto G, Nexus 5, the Google mobile revolution cometh

"Google wants to crush the two-year contract, making wireless services more competitive. Moto G and Nexus 5 have a chance at succeeding where earlier phones failed." (source infra)

"An unlocked, off-contract phone can be moved from one carrier to another simply by buying a new SIM card, effectively avoiding the typical two-year contracts that network operators love. For the carriers, the contracts cut down on customer churn. But to consumers, they mean big barriers for anyone who's dissatisfied with network coverage or other factors. For example, if one carrier introduces a competitive new plan, contract termination fees likely will make a person think twice about switching...." (source:
With Moto G phone, Google's mobile revolution now plausible | Mobile - CNET News )

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Cramming, Spam Texts, Consumer Fraud and Theft

The wireless carriers got off light -- the carriers probably should have been criminally prosecuted -- millions have been taken unlawfully from consumers:

Sprint, T-Mobile, AT&T to Stop Charging for Spam Texts | News & Opinion | "AT&T, T-Mobile, and Sprint have pledged to stop charging for spam or "premium" texts. The announcement was made by Vermont Attorney General Bill Sorrell, who has been working with dozen of other state AGs to stop mobile cramming, or unauthorized third-party charges that pop up on mobile users' bills." (read more at the link above)

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Android 4.4 KitKat, Google Android OS, Global Update

Android 4.4 KitKat and Google's quest to take over the world | The Verge: " . . . Beneath the mild cosmetic changes, version 4.4 of the Android OS is about optimization . . . The focus on improving entry-level performance with KitKat is, in the eyes of industry observer Avi Greengart, “one of the smartest things Google has done for Android in a long time.” Greengart notes that although Android enjoys the lion’s share of smartphone sales in developing markets like China, those are most commonly Android 2.3 devices with sluggish responsiveness and no access to Google Play services. His perspective is supported by Strategy Analytics data that shows the Asia Pacific region is the fastest growing market for smartphone shipments and Android is the primary shipping OS — but “older versions and piecemeal UI tweaks have led to a compromised user experience. . . .” read more at link above

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NSA infiltrates private networks, Google included

How the NSA is infiltrating private networks - The Washington Post: "The NSA, working with its British counterpart, the Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ), secretly taps into the internal networks of Yahoo and Google, the two biggest Internet companies by overall data traffic. The operation intercepts information flowing between the enormous data centers that those companies maintain around the world. In general, Google and Yahoo use privately owned or leased lines to synchronize their data centers. . . ." (read more at link above)

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Motorola Project Ara, smartphone modular platform

The Official Motorola Blog: Goodbye Sticky. Hello Ara.: "The design for Project Ara consists of what we call an endoskeleton (endo) and modules. The endo is the structural frame that holds all the modules in place. A module can be anything, from a new application processor to a new display or keyboard, an extra battery, a pulse oximeter--or something not yet thought of! . . . a common vision: to develop a phone platform that is modular, open, customizable, and made for the entire world. . . ." See more at:

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Apple MacBook Pro with Retina Display Review

Apple MacBook Pro with Retina Display Review - Watch CNET's Video & Read Our Review: " . . . We were pleasantly surprised when the 13-inch MacBook Air saw its starting price cut to $1,099 earlier this year. The MacBook Pro follows, with its prices going from $2,199 down to $1,999 for the 15-inch version (and from $1,499 for the 13-inch version down to $1,299). That's a break from traditional Apple pricing, where prices would remain the same generation over generation, with updated components adding value. The 15-inch version defaults to 8GB RAM and a 256GB SSD (which Apple cheekily described as a "quarter terabyte"). Our review configuration of the 15-inch MacBook Pro is the step-up model (and it's a big step) for $2,599, with a faster 2.3GHZ Core i7, 16GB of RAM, a 512GB SSD, and the Nvidia GeForce 750M GPU. . . ." (more at link above)

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Cities, Infrastructure, Broadband Networks, Economic Growth

Taking Cities to the Next Frontier - Bridge50: " . . . local governments should focus on increasing the speed of their broadband networks. A 2011 study demonstrated that doubling the broadband speed for an economy increases GDP by 0.3%. Furthermore, businesses are enticed to locate to a city based on internet speed, not the mere presence of Wi-Fi. In a 2012 survey 90% of professionals in economic development organizations agreed that a broadband speed of at least 25-50 Mbps is needed to attract new business to a city, with over a quarter concurring that 1,000 Mbps would be needed. Fiber optic cables can provide these speeds and the corresponding benefits. First, high-speed fiber optic networks are a demonstrated boon to economic growth. Since first offering its fiber optic service in 2012, Chattanooga, Tenn. has generated $400 million in new business investments and 6,000 new jobs. . . ." (read more at links above)

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Moto X, Motorola, Phonebloks

Moto X isn't helping Motorola yet as losses widen | Mobile - CNET News: ". . . . Google's smartphone unit posted a third-quarter operating loss of $248 million, wider than the year-earlier loss of $192 million, but an improvement over the loss of $342 million from the second quarter. Motorola's revenue fell 33 percent from a year ago to $1.18 billion. The poor results come even as Google reported a third-quarter profit that rose by a third and topped Wall Street expectations . . . . Motorola, however, appears ready to play the long game, and has a well-funded backer in Google."

Might Google Have a Sly Motive Behind Motorola? - " . . . So far, there's no evidence that the Motorola is pushing down prices. The Moto X is selling for $99 or less on contract, and is thus one of the best low-priced phone you can buy today. But Apple and Samsung don't seem to have noticed. Even with the launch of the lower priced iPhone 5C—which is basically last year's phone at $99—Apple's pricing structure is largely unchanged from previous years. But Google has always made clear that Motorola is a long-term play. It is willing to wait years and, I suspect, lose billions if the end result is cheap, great phones for everyone."

Phonebloks: "Phoneblok is made of detachable bloks. The bloks are connected to the base which locks everything together into a solid phone. If a blok breaks you can easily replace it; if it's getting old just upgrade."

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Google Play Store, tablet-optimized apps

Google Play Store to position tablet-optimized apps front and center from next month | Digital Trends: "Anyone visiting Google Play using a tablet will notice some changes next month as the online store moves to give tablet-optimized apps more prominence. Starting November 21, top lists (top paid, top free, top grossing, top new paid, top new free, and trending) showing tablet-optimized apps and games will be pushed front and center as a default view to anyone visiting Google Play on a tablet."

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US Has High Costs of Connectivity

The Cost of Connectivity 2013 | "Last year, the New America Foundation’s Open Technology Institute published The Cost of Connectivity, a first-of-its-kind study of the cost of consumer broadband services in 22 cities around the world.[1] The results showed that, in comparison to their international peers, Americans in major cities such as New York, Los Angeles, and Washington, DC are paying higher prices for slower Internet service. While the plans and prices have been updated in the intervening year, the 2013 data shows little progress, reflecting remarkably similar trends to what we observed in 2012."

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Moving iPhone users to Moto X with iCloud migration tool

Motorola hopes to tempt iPhone users to Moto X with iCloud migration tool | The Verge: "Motorola's Moto Maker site is primarily meant to help customize and purchase a new Moto X, but today the company is adding another feature: the option to transfer your contacts and calendars from an Apple iCloud account to a Google account. The process, according to Motorola's help document, is relatively straightforward. Simply enter in your iCloud credentials, then your Google credentials, and your data will be transferred from one to the other. The service only appears to be offered to new customers who have completed the purchase process at Moto Maker. . . ."

more info:,6720,8696

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Microsoft, Mobile, a Cautionary Tale

As Microsoft Updates Mobile Software, a Cautionary Tale - "If Microsoft has learned anything while competing against Google in the Internet search business, it’s that Google clings to a dominant position like a squatter does a house.The lesson is a relevant one for Microsoft’s mobile phone business. Microsoft is discovering that gains in market share for its phones are incremental, slowly acquired and ultimately dwarfed by Google’s position. . . . ." (read more at link above)

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Fair Broadband Pricing?

Some carriers want to limit internet usage/access --

Fair Broadband Pricing | NCTA: " . . . .Since Americans are accustomed to paying for what they use, some broadband providers are developing usage plans that promote fairness by asking high capacity Internet users to shoulder a greater proportionate share of network costs. But instead of applauding increased consumer choice and common sense pricing, some critics want to force average users to pay a flat fee akin to a “universal” service, no matter if they are an occasional visitor or frequent “super user.”

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iPhone 5S, what's the point?

iPhone 5C a flop, and the iPhone 5S -- $900 for what? --

Why I Returned My iPhone 5s - Mobility - Smartphones - Informationweek: " . . . The biggest reason I returned the iPhone 5s is because it didn't offer a different experience from the iPhone 5. Aside from the Touch ID fingerprint sensor, there was no obvious change in how the device performed. Sure, the 5s has a slightly better camera and faster processor, but the difference in performance is hardly noticeable. If you look at it from this angle, I spent $900 to get a fingerprint sensor. Let me tell you something: I don't need a fingerprint sensor on my smartphone. At least, not right now. . . ." (read more at link above)

And a new Android Nexus 5 phone is only $349!

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Norway, Super Broadband for All

Google Translate: "Increased investment in ICT and broadband is a key to the future welfare and growth in Norway, writes Conservatives and FRP in its declaration and believes "the state must have an overall responsibility for the availability of broadband." So far, the market has had primary responsibility for broadband development in Norway. The Government will establish an infrastructure fund of 100 billion built up over up to 5 years. Return earmarked in the state budget for road, rail and public transport network as well as broadband and ICT infrastructure. It is said, however, nothing about the distribution key between the various measures." read more at link above

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ATT Says Kill Copper

AT&T Study: We Should Kill Copper Since You're Not Using It | DSLReports, ISP Information: "AT&T has been working hard to gut regulations governing traditional phone service so they can exit the landline (DSL & POTS) business in numerous areas and focus on the real money maker: wireless. To do this, they've been going state to state, promising locals a cornucopia of broadband upgrades -- if only locals agree to eliminate all pesky remaining regulations. In order to help them in the quest, AT&T has employed the use of an endless stream of folks who've been running editorials in major papers without clearly illustrating they're working for AT&T. . . ." read more at link above

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Hangouts 1.3, SMS, Android iMessage Equivalent

Hangouts 1.3 Will Reportedly Add SMS, Giving Android Its Own iMessage Equivalent | TechCrunch: " . . . It would also be potentially bad news for competitors like WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger. FB’s messaging app already offers SMS integration, but Google’s Hangouts version would ship on devices pre-installed, and could conceivably replace the Messaging app altogether, making it the default option for Android users. It could also eat away at more carrier business, as combining the two and favoring Google+ based messaging first would have a similar effect to iMessage, where carriers eventually derive less revenue from shuttling SMS content back and forth. . . ." (read more at link above)

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Romanian ISP, fastest wired Internet connections

RCS & RDS will introduce the fastest wired Internet connections: "The largest Internet provider in Romania, RCS & RDS will soon introduce the fastest data connection on the market. they will be available in November for residential customers in over 150 locations. speeds below have was possible due to the expansion of fiber networks. Future subscription Digi Net Fiberlink 500 allows a download speed of up to 500 Mbps and will have a monthly cost of £ 49 . Subscription Digi Net Fiberlink 1000 will provide a download speed of up to 1000 Mbps and will cost 59 lei , VAT is included." (more at link above)

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Internet Access, Costs, Google Wants To Help

The Internet Costs 30% Of Monthly Wages In Some Nations. Google Wants To Help. | TechCrunch: "Internet access is astonishingly expensive in some parts of the world. The International Telecommunications Union estimates that fixed broadband costs 30 percent of the average monthly wage within the developing world [PDF]. To address this, Google, Facebook, USAID and a host of top-tier tech companies have teamed up to make the Internet universally affordable. The newly launched Alliance for Affordable Internet (A4AI) aims to achieve the UN development goals of keeping Internet access costs below 5 percent of monthly income worldwide." read more at link above

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Google+ Hangout app, group video chats

Google + Hangout app fun for group video chats: " . . . .In May, Google ditched its old Talk instant message service and renamed it Hangouts to mirror the Hangout feature in the Google+ social network, which lets up to 10 people stage a video chat. The app, introduced at the Google I/O conference, is unique in that 10 people can not only video chat for free, they can do it across multiple platforms — on Android and Apple devices, as well as Apple or Windows computers. . . . "

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Growth of prepaid smartphone plans threaten Apple

Investors and analysts have fretted that Apple's focus on selling pricey, heavily subsidized phones will hurt it in developing countries such as China and India, where unsubsidized phones and prepaid plans predominate. But few have paid attention to how the company is being hurt by the shift to prepaid plans closer to home. "There's no question that (Apple's) missing out," said Weston Henderek, a principal analyst at Current Analysis, a technology market research firm. "They're essentially ceding that market to Android."

Apple threatened by growth of prepaid smartphone plans - "Although prepaid accounts still represent less than a quarter of all wireless service plans in the United States, they're gaining ground rapidly. Half of all new wireless accounts added between 2008 and last year were prepaid ones."

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BlackBerry, a Global Slide

A delayed regulatory filing said competition was robbing BlackBerry, the troubled smartphone maker, of customers in its final bright spot, the developing world -- The company attributed its slowdown in those markets to an increase in inexpensive phones based on Google’s Android operating system. But it also cited a factor behind its severe decline in the United States: the relative paucity of desirable software apps for its phones. (source infra)

BlackBerry Filing Describes a Global Slide - "The filing suggests that BlackBerry will still go ahead with its plans to lay off about 40 percent of its remaining staff, about 4,500 people, despite the Fairfax bid. The company indicated that it expected to post about $400 million in charges related to those layoffs during its current fiscal year, up from a previous estimate of $100 million."

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ATT, 300Mbps fiber internet to Austin in December, gigabit by mid-2014

AT&T brings 300Mbps fiber internet to Austin in December, gigabit by 'mid-2014': "Now that AT&T is actually laying down fiber-optic line in Austin, we have yet another reason to be jealous of Texas' weird city. According to Ma Bell, "tens of thousands" will be getting 300Mbps downloads (and uploads), the "fastest internet speeds available" in town to the general public, come December. Those subscribers can snag a free upgrade to gigabit service -- GigaPower, as the company calls it -- when it's available in the middle of next year. . . ."

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Motorola Updates

Motorola DVX rumoured to be a budget Moto X
Google is rumoured to be readying a budget follow-up to its Moto X customisable handset. It's named the Motorola DVX, and as you can see, it looks pretty colourful. This leaked pic came from Weibo, the Chinese equivalent to Twitter, The Verge reports.

Motorola Droid Bionic, Atrix 4G and Samsung Galaxy S4 top list of most ...
News Tribe
Motorola's Droid Bionic and Atrix 4G and Samsung Galaxy S4 are the most repairable smartphones, a report said. According to a list released by iFixit the Motorola Droid Bionic is the most repair friendly, scoring a 9 out of a possible 10. The Motorola ...

Proposed Motorola Tablet to be Inspired by Google's Moto X SmartPhone
IBTimes India
"That's something we are working on, but [there's] nothing specific to talk about right now," Dennis Woodside, CEO of Motorola told Engadget when asked about plans to manufacture the Motorola tablets. It is said that the rumored tablet will be ...

Moto X Born of New Attitudes at Motorola Mobility
CIO Today
The team behind the Moto X wants to show that Google didn't just buy a lucrative patent portfolio with a money-losing hardware manufacturer attached to it, but rather a company capable of producing cutting-edge tech that appeals to consumers worldwide.

Google looks for talent in BlackBerry's backyard
The Australian Financial Review
With BlackBerry shedding staff in its hometown of Waterloo, Ontario, other tech companies, including Google's Motorola Mobility unit, are moving to take advantage of a growing pool of local talent. Motorola Mobility said on Thursday it plans to set up ...

Motorola Has a Fix On the Way for the Moto X's Crappy Camera
We love the Motorola Moto X's well-designed approach to a near-stock Android experience. But one of the handset's biggest weaknesses is its camera, which ...

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Android Surpasses Apple in Tablets

First phones, now tablets --

Android overtakes Apple's iPad in tablet marketshare, approaches in revenue ...
Apple Insider
Apple's iPad and iPad mini are still the most popular tablets in the world, but Android-powered tablets are grabbing an increasing share of the market and are collectively approaching the iPad in terms of revenue, according to a new study from ABI ...

Android Tablets Giving The iPad A Run For Its Money [Research]
Apple's iPad has long dominated the tablet market. It is by far one of the most insanely popular tablets available in the market, demand for Apple's slate has skyrocketed since 2010 when the original iPad came out. However, according to ABI Research, ...

Tesco's Hudl Android Tablet Could See The Retailer Define The Winning ...
UK supermarket retailer Tesco announced their own brand Android tablet at the start of this week. The Hudl is a seven inch device with 16 GB of memory, a 1.5 GHz quad core CPU, and runs Android 4.2.2. For a 7 inch tablet, those are relatively middle of ...

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New Google Wallet App

New Google Wallet App Moves Past NFC and to All Major Carriers - Jason Del Rey - Commerce - AllThingsD: "those with any new Android phone will be able to use the app for several other tasks, many of which weren’t available on Google Wallet in the past. First, users of the new app will be able to send money for free to any adult in the U.S. with an email address by linking their bank account with the app or by using their Google Wallet balance. With this move, Google Wallet will now compete with similar offerings from PayPal and Braintree’s Venmo. Money transfers funded by credit card or debit card will also be possible, for a fee. Those who use this peer-to-peer pay will get early access to a similar money-transfer product being rolled out on Gmail." (read more at link above)

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Sprint annual upgrade plan blows away AT&T, Verizon

One Up vs. the world: How does Sprint's new annual upgrade plan stack up? | TechHive: "Sprint’s $92 per month pricing blows away the $117 monthly cost we found with AT&T Next and Verizon Edge for a similarly priced phone and a capped—not unlimited—data plan. With Sprint you’ll also pay just barely more on a month-to-month basis than on T-Mobile’s Jump, which costs $90. T-Mobile, however, usually charges a down payment fee around $220 for a top-end phone, though it's currently selling the iPhone 5s with a $99 downpayment and the iPhone 5c with no down payment whatsoever."

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Verizon, Internet, Pay-per-view

Verizon's diabolical plan to turn the Web into pay-per-view | The Industry Standard - InfoWorld: "The country's No. 1 carrier is fighting in court to end the Federal Communications Commission's policy of Net neutrality, a move that would open the gates to a whole new -- and wholly bad -- economic model on the Web." (read more at link above)

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Getting your locked smartphone back

So you've lost your locked smartphone or tablet? Here's how to get it back... | ZDNet: "You're locking your smartphone now? Good. But how can people get it back safely into your hands if you lose it? Here's a guide for iOS, Android, and Windows Phone users..."

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Chine, New IPhone, Meh

In Beijing, the New IPhone Gets a Resounding 'Meh' - Businessweek: "On the day Apple released its new iPhone 5C simultaneously in the U.S. and China, I tromped around Beijing asking yuppies, restaurant workers, and migrant street sweepers what kind of phones they use—and why. It’s hardly a scientific survey, but if the mood at the Yonghegong Costa Coffee shop is any indication, Apple’s marketing people have some work to do. Costa Coffee, near Beijing’s Lama Temple, is the kind of place that attracts the type of latte-sipping young professionals who flocked to buy new iPhones two years ago. In fact, a fair number of its customers are still using older iPhones, but they expressed mixed feelings about whether they’ll stick with Apple (AAPL) in the future—or opt instead for the larger Android-powered Samsung (005930:KS) Galaxy smartphone, which is fast gaining popularity here. The iPhone 5C is routinely mocked as “not attractive.”. . ."
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Hugo Barra, Xiaomi

“First, let’s begin with the name,” said Hugo Barra to me, in his first extended interview since he was named new head of global for Xiaomi a little over two weeks ago. “Think of ‘show me,’ and then pronounce the first word as if it was ‘shower.’” (source infra)

Hugo Barra Talks About His Future at Xiaomi and Why He Left Google - Kara Swisher - Mobile - AllThingsD: "“There is no question the phone business is very low margin today, but they want to get to a place where they can sell the device at cost and then sell high-margin services to make that phone experience even better,” said Barra. That’s easier said than done, especially as Xiaomi moves into more markets. While he would not get into specifics about what products he hopes to first move abroad, that’s why Barra said he would be focused on more rapidly developing ones first. “I think that’s the sweet spot for Xiaomi — places like India, Russia, Indonesia, Latin America, Thailand,” he said. “It’s where the equation of quality and affordability works, because it’s in those markets you can replicate what the company has done in China.” Still, Barra knows that Xiaomi has to also rate in the “trend-setting countries,” like the U.S. and Europe."

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Verizon, Microsoft, Nokia

How the Microsoft-Nokia and Verizon Wireless Deals Capture the State of the Wireless Industry | MIT Technology Review: It’s a reminder that in the smartphone craze of the past few years, the lion’s share of the revenue has flowed not to app developers or handset makers, but to wireless network operators like Verizon Wireless, whose business is protected by high barriers to entry and who are less subject to the fickleness of consumer tastes. That was captured neatly in the chart below, from our March Business Report on Making Money in Mobile (see “Smartphones Are Eating the World”).

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Florida Do Not Call Program

Florida Do Not Call Program - Division of Consumer Services, DOACS: "The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services maintains the State's "Do Not Call" list.   Florida residents who do not wish to receive sales calls may have their residential, mobile or paging device telephone number included on this list. Business numbers may not be included on the list. It is unlawful to make telephone sales calls before 8:00 a.m. or after 9:00 p.m. local time or prevent transmission of the solicitor's name or telephone number to the party called. The most frequent violations of the Do Not Call law occur because  a solicitor: failed to identify his or her true first and last names and the business on whose behalf he or she is soliciting immediately upon making contact; called a telephone number on the Do Not Call list (subscriber); made a pre-recorded sales call to either a subscriber or non-subscriber.

Florida Do Not Call Statute - Telephone solicitation, the complete Florida Statute.

Do Not Call FAQs - Frequently asked questions and contact information.

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Lunar Laser, Terrestrial Communications, Google Project Loon, Intelsat, Inmarsat, O3B

Lunar Laser Could be used for Terrestrial Communications | MIT Technology Review: "  . . . Under the system, eight satellites whizzing around the planet at an altitude of about 12,000 kilometers would create a total system capacity of six terabits per second—and download speeds of 200 gigabits per second, about 100 times faster than today’s radio links. “We’re aiming for worldwide coverage at service levels and connectivity options previously unattainable by other satellite platforms,” says Brumley. But the company’s main aim is to become a wholesale supplier of bandwidth to other carriers–possibly even including other satellite services–and not to become a competitor, he added. The recently launched satellite company O3B—which stands for “the other three billion”—provides between 150 megabits per second and two gigabits per second using radio frequencies. Other companies,Intelsat and Inmarsat, also deliver speeds in that ballpark. Another Internet-boosting idea, Google’s “Project Loon,” envisions balloons circling the Earth in the stratosphere to provide coverage to underserved areas. But that would also use radio signals (see “African Entrepreneurs Deflate Google’s Internet Balloon Idea”), Google says." (read more at link above)

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Ballmer promises shorter names for Nokia phones

Ballmer promises shorter names for Nokia phones: goodbye Nokia Lumia Windows Phone 1020: "What will Microsoft's thunderous multi-billion dollar purchase of Nokia's mobile phone business mean for little ol' you and me? Time will tell, of course, but in the short term Steve Ballmer is promising something concrete: shorter brand names. "

Doubtful it will help.

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TCPA, Telephone Consumer Protection Act, Express Consent Can Be Revoked at Any Time

More TCPA Lawsuits Coming: Express Consent Can Be Revoked at Any Time | Foley & Lardner LLP - JDSupra: "Express consent to be called using an autodialer can be revoked at any time, says the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit. On August 22, 2013, in Gager v. Dell Financial Services, LLC, the Court attacked a common understanding of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act among many creditors and debt collectors: Once a debtor provides his cell phone number to you, you may call him at that number using an autodialer or prerecorded messaging for as long as the debt is owing..."

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HTC, Chinese Government, New Mobile OS For China Market

HTC Reportedly Building New Mobile OS Specifically For China Market, In Partnership With Chinese Government | TechCrunch: "HTC’s Hail Mary play might not take the form of another new smartphone: The Taiwanese company is reportedly working with Chinese government officials to build a mobile OS that includes “deep integration” with China-specific services like Weibo, aimed specifically at the Chinese market. The project could see the new mobile OS launch before year’s end, according to the Wall Street Journal, which first reported the news. The report said it wasn’t clear whether HTC’s China OS would be forked from or based upon Android in some way, and a source speaking to the paper said that in fact the company has changed plans throughout the year regarding whether it would be something completely new, or just a new user interface based atop Google’s mobile OS. Already HTC has some devices using the OS in active testing, and prototypes are in the hands of Chinese government officials..."

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Amazon Wireless Network

AWN, Amazon Wireless Network, coming?

Amazon Is Said to Have Tested a Wireless Network - Bloomberg: " Inc. (AMZN) has tested a new wireless network that would allow customers to connect its devices to the Internet, according to people with knowledge of the matter. The wireless network, which was tested in Cupertino, California, used spectrum controlled by satellite communications company Globalstar Inc. (GSAT), said the people who asked not to be identified because the test was private."

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Make Phone Calls Through Domain Name or Email?

Interesting -- and this is not Google Talk or Google Voice --

MyHostNews: Web Hosting News, Web Hosting Interviews, Web Hosting Awards and Web Hosting Reviews » Blog Archive » New value-added service: Domain dialing through cPanel: "Siter is the only app that allows smartphone users to make a phone call through a domain name or email instead of using a phone number. It allows you to use any top-level domain as a phone number. That means no more searching for a contact phone number and for a business a simple way for customers to contact with them. It is always easier to remember a domain name than a phone number. Siter is available for Android, iOS, Blackberry10 and Windows Mobile and is free to download. Registrars and host companies are welcome to integrate through Siter’s Partner API or cPanel plugin, to offer the Siter – domain dialing feature to your full customer base. The Siter cPanel plugin is available to any web host at no charge, and Siter has a very fair offer to all Registrars and Host companies, 50/50 revenue share policy to all recurring payments. . . ."

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iPhone 5C for the global market

Cheap smartphones is what the global marketplace wants -- is this what Apple will give them?

The iPhone 5C Isn’t For The US; It’s The iPhone For The Rest Of The World | TechCrunch: "U.S. carriers are the exception, not the rule. AT&T, Verizon and Sprint won’t bill you less if you bring your own phone. It used to be the same for Canada but is slowly changing. But in Europe, you can choose between a standard subsidized plan and a much cheaper SIM-only plan. For example, in France, you get unlimited talk, text and data (with a speed reduction after 3GB) for $25 per month (€19.90). The only downside is that you have to pay full price for your phone."

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Data, Backups, Drives, Cloud

Backup? Use at least 1 cloud service and 1 flash drive, but it doesn't last forever --

Tech Q&A: How long will a backup drive keep working? - Technology - "Flash drives, which don't have moving parts, can wear out as a result of the flow of electricity through them, reportedly after 100,000 writing or erasing actions. Some experts believe this can take more than 20 years of regular use. Flash drives can also lose their data by sitting idle for about 10 years, because the tiny electrical charges that represent data eventually dissipate. But don't put too much stock in those long lifetimes. Remember that lower-capacity flash drives are inexpensive devices, and they are not immune to manufacturing flaws. Despite the reliability of backup drives, I always advise people to keep multiple copies of irreplaceable data, such as photographs. In addition to storing data on a backup drive, you may want to copy it to a second drive or to one of the free online storage services, such as Dropbox, Google Drive and Microsoft's SkyDrive."

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$80 Firefox OS smartphones to be sold on EBay

First Firefox OS smartphones to be sold on EBay - "Smartphone maker ZTE said it will sell Mozilla's first Firefox OS smartphone on EBay to U.S. customers but did not say when it would be available for sale. The ZTE Open, which went on sale last month in Spain, Venezuela and Colombia, will be sold for $79.99. The device comes unlocked and will be able to work with all cellular networks, according to the Chinese phone maker."

ZTE's Firefox OS Smartphone Will Sell For $80 - Hardware -: "Chinese telecom equipment maker ZTE plans to begin selling its own Firefox OS phone through online auction website eBay in the U.S. and in the U.K. The ZTE Open, running Mozilla's open-source Firefox OS, will be available in one color, orange, and will list for $80 in the U.S. and 60 pounds in the U.K. No release date has been specified but the company says it will begin taking orders on Friday. The ZTE Open is presently available in Colombia, Spain and Venezuela through Spanish mobile operator Telefonica. But the ZTE phones offered through eBay won't be affiliated with a specific mobile operator. Deutsche Telecom recently began offering Alcatel's Firefox OS-based One Touch Fire handset in Poland and plans to expand availability to Germany, Greece and Hungary shortly."

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Android, BlackBerry, Nokia

Pride precedeth a fall --

BlackBerry - and Nokia's - Fundamental Failing | stratÄ“chery by Ben Thompson: " . . . . In fact, the strategic superiority of the Android option for RIM and Nokia was even then so obvious that I suspect their core failing was not so much strategic as it was all-too-human: pride. Owning an ecosystem seems much more important than owning services or supply chains, even if building said ecosystem completely devalues what you’re actually good at (this tweet captures the waste perfectly)."

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T-Mobile Shock Jock, John Legere

T-Mobile's John Legere: The most dangerous man in wireless | Mobile - CNET News: "In 2000, near the end of the dot-com boom, he headed to Asia Global Crossing, the Asian arm of a company that built a fiber-optic infrastructure to carry data across great distances, including oceans. A year later, he took over as CEO of parent Global Crossing, and ushered it from bankruptcy to recovery before selling it to Level 3 Communications in 2011 in a deal worth $3 billion. "He was much more staid and conservative there, so it was something of a shock to see the 'new John' at T-Mobile," said Jan Dawson, an analyst at Ovum.. . ."

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Using your smartphone less and less every day?

This may be a new trend--declining smartphone usage--

Why I'm using my smartphone less and less every day | ZDNet: "When smartphones first appeared I happily did everything with mine. Surfing the web on the phone was a heady experience, along with lots of other activities. Then something changed, at least for me. . . ." (read more at link above)

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Color designer smartphone or a rugged device?

Forget color designer smartphones, I want a rugged device | ZDNet: "Customize your own Moto X? A Lumia 920 in your choice of fab plastic? Or perhaps a new iPhone 5C? Meh. I need something that can withstand the rigors of daily business and travel without putting an ugly, bulky case on it. . . ." (read more at link above)

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Motorola Moto X Customization

Motorola’s Moto X - Interface Innovation with a Learning Curve --

Review: Motorola’s Moto X | MIT Technology Review: "It’s really in the customization and purchase experience that you can actually see the influence of Google on Motorola. It’s all driven by data, from customer research and focus-groups to real-time feedback on inventory availability. Since the original Nexus was launched, Google’s been trying to find a way to change the experience of buying smartphones, and Moto Maker gets us closer."

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Safety, Security, Smartphones

The Five Stages of Losing a Smartphone

Smartphone authorities urge users to be proactive against theft
The State
Many apps for smartphones allow users to track, locate or erase the information on their smartphone if it has been stolen or lost. A list of security apps based on device type can be found here: consumer_info/safety /index.cfm/AID ...

How to keep your smartphone safe
Boston Globe
A smartphone can contain a lot of information that its owner would rather keep private. But 39 percent of more than 100 million American adult smartphone owners fail to take even minimal security measures, such as using a screen-lock, backing up data, ...

Are smartphone makers going for style over substance?
Motorola unveiled its first flagship smartphone since being acquired by Google, and facing fierce competition from Samsung and Apple, it appears it's decided to market its Moto X on looks, not brains. Hoping to get some traction in a market dominated ...

'Smartphones no child's play'
Times of India
WASHINGTON: Parents, note! Better keep your smartphone away from the reach of your young ones. Playing with smartphones can impede brain development in toddlers, experts have warned. According to new research, 25% of children aged two and ...

Fastest smartphones around
San Francisco Chronicle
... features can quickly overwhelm and confuse. The cost: $100 to $650. The bottom line: Its laundry list of features require time and effort to truly master, but the Galaxy S4 is the top choice for anyone looking for a big-screen, do-everything ...

Android Smartphones Captures 80% Global Market Share For Q2 2013
The Droid Guy
There's no stopping the popularity of Google's Android operating system. A report which was recently released by research and consulting firm Strategy Analytics shows that Android smartphones accounted for 80 percent of smartphone sales worldwide for ...

Smartphones Used by 56% of Canadians
With smartphone ownership on the rise in Canada, an increase in addiction to mobile devices is also prevalent, according to a new study by Google. VOCM 's Erin Eaton reports. About one third of Canadians would rather give up their television than part ...

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Hayward could get high-speed fiber-optic network

Hayward could get high-speed fiber-optic network - "Lightning-fast Internet connections could be coming to local businesses, using a private-public model that created Lit San Leandro, a fiber-optic network that encircles that city. The same company that created the high-speed network in San Leandro wants to expand into its neighbor to the south as High-Speed Hayward, which would utilize existing underground city conduit to house an 18-mile loop of cable. Businesses could tap into the network, receiving and sending data over the Internet in a fraction of the time it takes with broadband, said Lit San Leandro CEO Jim Morrison. "Fiber optic is much, much faster," he said. In exchange for Hayward allowing the cable to be run through its conduit, the city would have access to 10 percent, or 30 strands of the network, Morrison said. "It would effectively be theirs," he said. Thirty fiber strands could carry several thousand times more data than what is used at City Hall, according to a staff report. . . ."

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GPS jamming

GPS jamming: Out of sight | The Economist: "EVERY day for up to ten minutes near the London Stock Exchange, someone blocks signals from the global positioning system (GPS) network of satellites. Navigation systems in cars stop working and timestamps on trades made in financial institutions can be affected. The incidents are not a cyber-attack by a foreign power, though. The most likely culprit, according to Charles Curry, whose firm Chronos Technology covertly monitors such events, is a delivery driver dodging his bosses’ attempts to track him. . . . . (read more at link above)

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Google Global Cache and Content Delivery

The internet optimized--

Peering & Content Delivery - Overview – Google Peering & Content Delivery: " . . . Original content is hosted within Google data centers. The content is replicated to multiple data centers for redundancy and more efficient serving to our end users. We then distribute this content across our network and closer to users, using the Google backbone network. Google Global Cache (GGC) represents the final tier of Google’s content delivery platform, and is closest to users. With GGC, network operators and Internet Service Providers deploy a small number of Google servers inside their network to serve popular Google content, including YouTube. Google's traffic management system directs users to the node that will provide the best performance for the user. GGC can be located anywhere in an operator's network to maximize savings in backbone and transit bandwidth. Targeted deployment can reduce the number of route-miles traveled on an operator's network to serve Google traffic, further increasing cost savings for the operator. While cache hit rates vary based on the unique consumption patterns of end users on each operator's network, typically between 70-90% of Google cacheable traffic can be served from GGC. . . ."

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Google Serves 25 Percent of North American Internet Traffic

Google doesn't really market or promote its backbone infrastructure--but it is obviously becoming a competitive advantage--

Google Serves 25 Percent of North American Internet Traffic | Wired Enterprise | " . . . Google has added thousands of servers — called Google Global Cache servers — to ISPs around the world. These servers store the most popular content from Google’s network — a YouTube video that’s going viral right now or apps from the Android marketplace, for example — then serve it directly from the ISP’s data center, rather than streaming it all the way from Google’s data center. These servers were in a handful of North American ISPs three years ago. Today, they’re in 80 percent of them, Labovitiz says. . . ."

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Ubuntu Edge dual-boots Android, seeks $32M

Ubuntu Edge dual-boots Android, seeks $32M | Smart Phones - CNET News: " . . . Although elements of the design and specs are still open -- possibly with input from phone fans who have backed the phone -- the Edge is also planned to include 4G, NFC, and Bluetooth 4.0. It's designed to hook up to a computer or a monitor via HDMI cable so you can use it just like the desktop Ubuntu operating system. Although it sounds similar to the Motorola Atrix, Canonical insists the Edge will be much more powerful and will give a much more desktop-like performance. Revealed in slick rendered images, the Ubuntu Edge runs the version of open-source operating system Ubuntu designed for touch-screen gestures on phones and tablets. . . ."

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BlackBerry keeps losing customers

Likely BlackBerry future either breakup or liquidation--

BlackBerry keeps losing customers as it tries to turn itself around - "A slew of businesses and government agencies have abandoned BlackBerry phones in recent months, a troubling trend for a company that has been refocusing its attention on business users after watching consumers depart in droves. "Ultimately, we are skeptical that BlackBerry can penetrate the consumer market, and its remaining enterprise installed base is no longer large enough to drive unit sales" beyond August, Kevin Smithen, telecom analyst for investment firm Macquarie Group Ltd., wrote to investors. "We think the likely end game for BlackBerry is a breakup or liquidation at a lower price."" (read more at link above)

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Telcos Abandon Copper Phone Lines

Big Disconnect: Telcos Abandon Copper Phone Lines - ABC News: "The number of U.S. phone lines peaked at 186 million in 2000. Since then, more than 100 million copper lines have already been disconnected, according to trade group US Telecom. The lines have been supplanted by cellphones and Internet-based phone service offered by way of cable television and fiber optic wiring. Just 1 in 4 U.S. households will have a copper phone line at the end of this year . . . ."

The Fairphone, World’s First Ethically Sourced Smartphone, Opens Pre-Sales To General Public | TechCrunch"The Fairphone, World’s First Ethically Sourced Smartphone, Opens Pre-Sales To General Public - Netherlands-based hardware initiative Fairphone began around three years ago as a project designed to highlight the use of conflict minerals in the construction of consumer electronics, and then evolved three years later into a full-fledged hardware startup, with the aim of turning its knowledge into action with the building of an ethically sourced, built and distributed smartphone. Now, it’s opening up pre-orders to the general public, beginning with customers in Europe. . ."(more at link above)

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The Growth in Mobile Computing

The Growth in Mobile Computing and Its Most Profitable Companies | MIT Technology Review: "Mobile computers are spreading faster than any other consumer technology in history. In the United States, smartphones have even begun reaching the group of relative technophobes that consumer researchers call the “late majority.” About half of mobile-phone users now have one. The big question facing technology companies, and the subject of the upcoming stories in this month’s MIT Technology Review Business Report, is how to make money from this rapidly expanding technology. . . . Apps and services still account for the least amount of money in mobile computing. Mobile advertising brings in only $9 billion as yet. But here is where the most opportunities lie. Facebook has a monthly audience as large as any ever reached. And in January, it said for the first time that more of that audience was coming from mobile devices than from PCs. . . ."

Obama Fund-Raiser Is Likely Pick to Lead F.C.C. - "A group of Washington technology policy advisers later wrote to Mr. Obama saying that Mr. Wheeler should be the nominee. “He has consistently fought on the side of increasing competition,” the group wrote."

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FTC finally moves against cramming

What’s That Charge on My Mobile Phone Bill? The FTC Wants to Know | Jeff Ifrah - JDSupra: " . . . Last week, the FTC filed its first legal action to shut down a mobile cramming operation. In federal court in Georgia, the FTC alleges that since 2011, Wise Media, LLC, its CEO Brian Buckley, and its owner Winston Deloney have made millions of dollars by placing unauthorized charges for premium text messages services offering “horoscopes, flirting, love tips and other information” on consumers’ mobile phone bills. The FTC’s complaint also names Concrete Marketing Research, LLC, a company owned by Deloney, as having received funds earned through the allegedly unfair and deceptive practices. . . ."

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Android Winning The Tablet Wars

the biggest usage mode for tablets is communications: e-mail, web, social media . . . second biggest use is media and entertainment (source infra)

Why Android Is Winning The Tablet Wars - Forbes: " . . . Apple held on to over 70% market share in iPods throughout the life cycle. The iPod is a media consumption device, and the link to the iTunes content access/management platform was unbeatable. It’s clear that tablets will be a different story, more like PCs. They are becoming a diverse market with several strong brands (Samsung, Asus/Google, Amazon/Kindle), a large number of popular-price offerings, and multiple content access platforms. This is good news for the eco-system. Apple and Google have done a great job of showing the way and creating a rational platform, but the true potential of tablet computing will emerge only if we let all the flowers bloom." (read more at link above)

Microsoft debuts Skype for Xbox with group video calling | The Verge: "At its Xbox One launch event . . . Microsoft debuted Skype for Xbox One, a new version of the communications service that lets you conduct HD video chat with friends using the Kinect camera. You can engage in group video chats, as well as use the new Xbox's Snap feature to do picture-in-picture calls while playing a game or watching TV. You can use your voice to start a call, end a call, or shut off your mic. Microsoft demoed the app on the Xbox One, though it may also be available for the Xbox 360. With the addition of Xbox, Microsoft's Skype portfolio is complete"

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Sprint Takes On the Check-Cashers

Sprint Takes On the Check-Cashers | News & Opinion | "Check-cashing places and payday loan providers are the bottom-feeders of the financial industry. Serving people too poor, too undocumented, or too mobile to have real bank and credit card accounts, they charge much higher fees for services than traditional banks do. Sprint's Boost brand is looking to provide an alternative with Boost Mobile Wallet, a new bank-like service based on cell phones launched Tuesday at the CTIA Wireless trade show. It'll take some time to see whether this makes a big difference to the unbanked, but it's a positive step. With Boost Mobile Wallet, your Boost cell phone account essentially acts as your bank. (Technically, your bank is Sutton Bank, based in Ohio.) You can deposit cash at a Boost retailer or take photos of checks and put them in your account; you can pay bills online, make purchases, or send money abroad using the Ria system from your phone. If you need to make a purchase at a brick-and-mortar store or use an ATM, Boost sends you a Visa debit card. . . ."

Caterpillar launches insanely durable smartphone - May. 22, 2013: "If Caterpillar's smartphone doesn't exactly pack a punch, the B15 can certainly take one: It can withstand water up to a depth of 1 meter, for up to 30 minutes. The screen works perfectly well when it is wet, unlike most smartphones. And the silver anodized aluminum and rubber casing of the B15 protect it from drops of up to six feet."

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No Contract Cell Phone Plans Popular

No Contract Cell Phone Plans Grow In Popularity - Forbes: " . . . The big (or not so big) shocker is that the mainstream carriers don’t measure up to the little guys. According to the ACSI,  the smaller carriers (when combined) easily top the big four — Tracfone, Cricket, and MetroPCS (now part of T-Mobile), Boost, and others rising 3 percent to a score of 78. The fairly obvious reason: Smaller companies understand the power of giving customers choice and freedom: They do not lock customers into contracts and are perceived as a better value. . . ."

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Android and iOS gain while Windows declines

Android rockets and iOS gains, while Windows dips | ZDNet: " . . . calculations from analyst Gartner, 866 million Android devices will ship this year (up from 505 million last year. Around 296 million iOS and Mac OS devices will ship (up from 212 million last year) while 339 million Windows devices will ship (a slight dip from 346 million last year). And next year Android is likely to see a billion devices shipped — compared to 378 million Windows devices and 354 million iOS devices. . . . the reality is the relevance of each operating system varies according to the type of device. "Apple is currently the more homogeneous presence across all device segments, while 90 percent of Android sales are currently in the mobile phone market and 85 percent of Microsoft sales are in the PC market," she (Gartner research VP Carolina Milanesi) said in a statement. Still, Gartner's numbers contain yet more bad news for PC vendors, as it seems their experiments with new form factors and operating systems aren't going to stop the market for their hardware shrinking. . . ." (read more at link above)

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iOS - Google News

android - Google News

smartphones - Google News

4G OR LTE OR wimax OR wi-fi - Google News

broadband - Google News - devices and connectivity

DSLreports - front page

mobile broadband - Google News technology - digital media

Alive in the Cloud - cloud computing - cybersecurity

Velcro Feline - internet freedom - search / SEO

Views under the Palm - video games

 Google Fiber