FCC Moves Against Political Robocallers Dialing Cell Phones

A little late--but better late than never:

FCC Takes Action Against Political Robocallers for Dialing Cell Phones: " . . . political robocalls are legal to landline phones as long as the caller is properly identified at the beginning of the call and as long as the caller doesn’t seize the line (meaning making it impossible to disconnect the call). But what’s not legal is to call cell phones, emergency phones, phones in hospitals or nursing homes or other exceptions that the FCC has outlined in its rules. Two companies, Dialing Services LLC from Roswell, N.M. and Richard Gilmore DBA Democratic Dialing from Aurora, Colo. have been charged with making millions of prohibited robocalls during the 2012 election season. If the two companies were to be fined the full amount allowed by law, the fines would total nearly $100 Billion (yes, that’s with a B). The robocalls that the two companies made were to cell phones in the U.S. FCC rules prohibit calling cell phones without express permission from the owner of the cell phone. In addition, the caller has to state at the beginning of the call who they are, and where they can be reached. They’re also not allowed to spoof the Caller ID number. . . ."

more news below

BlackBerry 10 suffers security approval setback

So much for BlackBerry's vaunted "security"--

BlackBerry 10 suffers security approval setback by UK gov't | ZDNet: "Summary: UPDATED: Despite a strong hold of the worldwide public sector market, the UK government doesn't believe the latest BlackBerry 10 software is safe enough for secure communications. For now, the only modern day smartphone capable of government use in the UK is the iPhone. The UK government may have deemed BlackBerry 10 not as secure as previous iterations of the smartphone platform. It comes at a time when the Canadian smartphone maker is attempting to claw back vital market share in order to compete with rival smartphone makers, while at the same time aggressively targeting the enterprise and government market with its BlackBerry branding. . . ."

more news below


Apple buys WiFiSlam

Apple obviously not giving up on maps--the reason for acquiring WiFiSlam:

Apple buys WiFiSlam, maker of tech for locating phones indoors
Apple, of course, tossed Google Maps as the default mapping service in iOS and launched its own mapping app, which, on its debut last September, was lambasted for its shortcomings. Since then,Apple has stayed relatively quiet on improvements to its ...

Sony Patent Reveals Google Glass Competitor With A Head Mounted Display ...
Watch out, Google. A recently published patent application reveals that Sony's head mounted display glasses are progressing down the evolutionary path rather nicely. What once amounted to just wide-eyed concepts, this latest patent filing, a ...


Apple Acquires Indoor Location Company WifiSLAM
Wall Street Journal (blog)
The move comes as Apple continues to build its arsenal against Google in mapping. It debuted its own mapping service last year to poor reviews and user complaints about inaccurate data. Applechief executive Tim Cook apologized for the quality of the ...

more news below

Apple, Samsung, Challenged by Cheap Chinese Android Phones

The Chinese government was wrong--the domination of Android in China will enable the Chinese manufacturers to take over the global smartphone market--

Apple, Samsung, Challenged by Cheap Chinese Android Phones | MIT Technology Review: "But the real reason for the switchover to smartphones was that last year large chip makers, including the Taiwan-based MediaTek and Spreadtrum, started offering “turn-key” systems: phone designs plus a set of chips with Android and other software preloaded. Spreadtrum says it may sell 100 million units this year. Each chipset costs $5 to $10, depending on the size of a phone’s screen and other features. In total, Liang says, his cost to make a smartphone is about $40. He says he can manufacture as many as 30,000 smartphones a day for brands such as Konka Mobile and for telecom operators like China Unicom. In the United States, a smartphone’s high cost is generally masked by wireless companies, which discount them steeply if consumers agree to a contract. In China that happens as well. Liang says his phones retail for about $65 or $70 but can cost only $35 with a contract."

more news below

Samsung to launch high-end Tizen phone by September 2013

Samsung is creating its own ecosystem--

Samsung to launch high-end Tizen phone by September 2013 | Digital Trends: " . . . If Samsung wants the world to take notice of Tizen, it needs an exciting flagship phone, even if the OS’s destiny doesn’t lie on such expensive hardware. While a Galaxy S4-style Tizen phone may be wishful thinking, a variation on the Galaxy S3 is a strong possibility. Samsung has shown us with the Galaxy S2 Plus that it’s not afraid to resurrect aging phones if there’s the chance of picking up a few sales. If Tizen didn’t already have its work cut out against Android, iOS and Windows Phone, it’s one of several other new mobile platforms which will debut this year, making the need for a headlining phone when it comes to launch day all the more important. Read more: http://www.digitaltrends.com/mobile/samsung-to-launch-high-end-tizen-phone-by-september-2013/#ixzz2NgJArBo1

more news below

Lackluster demand for Windows tablets and phones says Samsung CEO

New Samsung CEO says there is 'lackluster demand' for Windows tablets and phones | The Verge: "What about your relationship with Microsoft? Has it changed after Nokia began to work more closely with Microsoft on Windows devices? Smartphones and tablets based on Microsoft's Windows operating system aren't selling very well. There is a preference in the market for Android. In Europe, we're also seeing lackluster demand for Windows-based products."

Samsung CEO Shin interview: Windows demand lacking | BGR: ". . . . Jun Dong-soo, the head of Samsung’s memory chip business, said last week that Windows 8 was “no better than Vista” and had failed to reignite demand for personal computers. Given that Samsung relies primarily on Android and is planning to launch its own Tizen mobile platform in the near future, the company apparently doesn’t see any reason to play nice with Microsoft at all anymore. . . ."

more news below

Smartphones outsell feature phones for first time

Smartphones to outsell feature phones in 2013 for first time | Mobile - CNET News: "Smartphones are finally overtaking feature phones in worldwide sales, thanks to falling prices on smartphones and 4G networks, market researcher IDC said today. For years, analysts have been predicting that smartphones would one day supplant basic feature phones in terms of worldwide sales, and that day is expected to finally come in 2013. According to the report, IDC estimates that manufacturers will ship 918.6 million smartphones in 2013, which is about 50.1 percent of the industry's total shipments. This number is expected to grow to 1.5 billion in smartphone shipments by the end of 2017, which will be represent about two-thirds of the total cell phone shipments, according to IDC. IDC says there are two main reasons why smartphones -- which can surf the Web, access e-mail, act as GPS navigation devices, and check you into your favorite coffee shop via dozens of social media apps -- are so popular right now. The most important is the fact that prices have fallen dramatically across the globe on smartphones. But also important is the fact that carriers around the globe are starting to deploy faster 4G, or fourth generation, cellular networks. Strong demand in developing countries with large populations such as China, Brazil, and India is driving much of the demand."

more news below


Ways to find free Wi-Fi wherever you go

5 ways to find free Wi-Fi wherever you go | Fox News: ". . . 3. Tap into Wi-Fi databases When possible, it's best to look up free Wi-Fi hot spots in the area you plan to travel. That's where Wi-Fi databases come in handy. The Wi-Fi FreeSpot Directory has thousands of free spots. It organizes hot spots by state or business and has special sections for airports and hotels. You can even find RV parks and campgrounds with hot spots. Instead of listing sites as a directory, the JiWire website lets you search by city, state and ZIP code and see hot spots plotted on a map. You can organize results to list paid hot spots, as well, though free is always going to be the best place to start. On the road, the JiWire App will tap into your phone's GPS to find you the closest free or paid hot spot. You can even navigate to it once you've picked it. If you find a location that isn't listed, you can submit it to JiWire's database right from the app. . . ."

more news below

Faster browsing using Chrome browser

Google Chrome Blog: Faster browsing for your smaller screens: " . . . Chrome for Android, faster and more responsive - Speed is critical, especially when you’re on the go. With the latest version of Chrome for Android, you can scroll and fling to view all of your favorite web pages with even more speed and ease. Based on the latest version of the V8 Javascript engine, now optimized for mobile, we have improved the Octaneperformance benchmark by 25 percent on average since our previous update. This means that interactions within web pages in the browser are snappier.  We’ve also added expanded support for HTML5 features such as CSS Filters, which should result in better mobile websites in the future. We plan to continue optimizing Chrome for Android platform at the same rapid pace that you’ve come to expect on Chrome across other platforms. Chrome for iPhone and iPad, improved search and sharing - If you’re using Chrome on your iPhone or iPad, searching with Google just got even easier. Now you can see your search term in the omnibox, instead of the long search URL. This will help you refine search queries and view more content on the results page. This feature will roll out in the coming weeks, so you may not see it right away after upgrading. . . . "

more news below


Tips to Stretch Smartphone and Tablet Battery Life

5 Tips: Stretch Smartphone, Tablet Battery Life - Mobility -:
1. Lower Screen Brightness.
2. Use Wireless Radios Sparingly.
3. Turn Off Notifications.
4. Turn Off Location Services.
5. Sync Email And Other Data Less Often.
Read full story here

Apple needs to counter Samsung momentum, says analyst
Samsung is on its way toward successful launches of mid-tier smartphones (i.e. Galaxy S3 mini and Galaxy Grand) – an area in which we believe Apple needs to be by the end of the summer to remain competitive. To say that the Samsung momentum is an ...

Cisco puts a huge value on the 'Internet of everything'
PCWorld (blog)
The so-called "Internet of everything," the rapidly approaching world where objects from refrigerators to factory robots can talk to people and other machines, will create a massive business opportunity worth US$14.4 trillion over the next decade ...

more news below


Google Chrome faster, smarter and better

Google Chrome: How to make it faster, smarter and better than before | PCWorld: "If you aren't using Google Chrome yet, you should be. When it comes to browser speed—and especially JavaScript performance—Mozilla and Microsoft can't compete with Google. But Chrome can go even faster if you're willing to make some adjustments under the hood. To help with that effort, we've gathered for your consideration a few of our favorite free Google Chrome. Experience the power enhancements they provide, and in a few days you'll wonder how you ever survived online with a bare-bones browser. If you're a more-advanced power user, you can dig into Chrome's experimental options that use your CPU and GPU to optimize your Web browsing. Those options are buried in an obscure Chrome menu to prevent casual surfers from accidentally borking their browsers, but we'll describe where the options are and how they work. . . ."

Inside Google's Top Secret Glass Foundry Event
By Emily Price
Earlier this month Google held two top secret Glass Foundry events in NYC and San Francisco. Developers who attended the closed-door events were required to sign pretty extensiv...

A VC: Google Now: " . . . I've always thought Google's voice recognition on Android was excellent. I've mostly used it to compose text messages when I am out and can't focus on the phone to type. It works really well. But Google's voice recognition, combined with Google Now, Google Maps, and Google Search is really impressive. I don't use Siri but my kids have all given it a try and mostly dropped it. I suspect Google Now might be better than Siri. . . ."

more news below


Does Apple Need a Genius Like Steve Jobs?

Does a Company Like Apple Need a Genius Like Steve Jobs?
New Yorker (blog)
It's also the lesson from Windows' defeat of the Apple Macintosh in the nineteen-nineties, Google's triumph in the early aughts, and, more broadly, the success of the Internet over its closed rivals (remember AOL?). But is it still true? ... Last ...

New Yorker (blog)

Apple could unveil iPhone Mini this summer, says analyst
First, Apple would launch a new Mini model. Second, legislation for TD-LTE licenses and number portability could pass later this year or in 2014. And third, China Mobile would be more open to subsidizing higher-end smartphones on a TD-LTE network.

Microsoft Takes Outlook.com Out Of Preview, Starts Migrating ...
By Frederic Lardinois
Six months after its initial launch, the preview of Outlook.com, Microsoft's free webmail service that is meant to replace the aging Hotmail brand and design, now has over 60 million active users according to the company's own data. Today ...

more news below

Dial-up Subscriptions Produce Most AOL Profit

AOL Subscription Business Produces All The Profit - Business Insider: " . . . AOL's dial-up subscription business--the business that powered AOL to astounding global success in the 1990s--still accounts for the vast majority of AOL's profits. In fact, AOL's subscription business generates more than all of the company's profits, after accounting for AOL's corporate costs. On the one hand, this is really bad news, because AOL's subscription business is still shrinking. . . . This shrinking business still throws off an amazing amount of cash--about $500 million a year--that AOL can use and is using to invest in other cool businesses (content and an ad network) . . . Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/aol-subscription-business-profit-2013-2#ixzz2LBRrnLEQ

Contracts? We don't need no stinking contracts! | ZDNet: Contracts? We don't need no stinking contracts! Summary: I've been living with my Nexus 4 for a while now, contract-free and happy to be rid of Verizon. It seems I'm not alone. . .  My Great Debate this week with ZDNet Healthcare blogger Denise Amrich had us looking at the impact of unlocked phones on the wider wireless market. Having lived with an unlocked Nexus 4 for a few months now, I can very confidently paraphrase the classic line from Blazing Saddles(among other books and movies): "Contracts? We don't need no stinking contracts!". .  . "

iPhone 5 rated 5th in U.S. user satisfaction | Mobile - CNET News: "The iPhone 5 trailed four Android phones for user satisfaction, according to a new report out today. Conducted by mobile research firm OnDevice Research, the poll asked 320,000 smartphone and tablet users in six countries how satisfied they were with their devices. Among the 93,825 people surveyed in the U.S., Motorola's Atrix HD came out on top, followed by Motorola's Droid Razr M, HTC's Rezound 4G, and Samsung's Galaxy Note 2, leaving the iPhone 5 in fifth place. "Although Apple created one of the most revolutionary devices of the past decade, other manufactures have caught up, with some Android powered devices now commanding higher levels of user satisfaction," On Device Research marketing manager Sarah Quinn said in a statement. . . ."

more news below

iOS - Google News

android - Google News

smartphones - Google News

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

broadband - Google News

expri.net - devices and connectivity

DSLreports - front page

mobile broadband - Google News

expri.com- technology

expri.org - digital media

Alive in the Cloud - cloud computing

sobeq.org - cybersecurity

Velcro Feline - internet freedom

sobeq.net - search / SEO

Views under the Palm

sobeq.com - video games

 Google Fiber