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 - latimes.com: "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. - NYTimes.com: "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 | PCMag.com: "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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Demise of Desk Phone and Landlines

Thanks, IPhone: Demise of the Desk Phone Means No End to the Workday - Bloomberg: "Silicon Valley companies big and small are pulling the plug on desk phones in favor of mobile devices. While consumers have been cutting the cord for years, businesses are joining the trend at an accelerating rate thanks to the increasing capabilities of mobile devices, which make it easier for workers to be productive and stay connected from any location at all hours."

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Boston Bombing Prompts Emergency Network Proposal

Outage after Marathon Bombings Prompts Emergency Network Proposal | MIT Technology Review: " . . . Our argument isn’t that the approach will solve the problem completely. The FCC, other agencies, and the private sector need to continue to work on improving network reliability, resilience, and capacity. But natural disasters and other crises aren’t going away, even as our dependence upon instant communications grows. Whether in the United States or elsewhere in the world—where we have seen authoritarian governments seek to disrupt traditional communications when they fear their own publics—mainstream consumer hardware and software can become a foundation for resilient interaction among people during a crisis and an innovative part of the solution to this very real challenge. . . ." (read more at link above)

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Intel phone UI Obsidian

Exclusive: an early look at Intel’s own phone UI, “Obsidian” | Ars Technica: "Intel is planning its own UI overlay, codenamed “Obsidian,” that it will bring to the mobile operating system Tizen and possibly Android. A source working at Intel has tipped Ars with several early screenshots and some video of Intel’s Obsidian project, which includes a handful of unique UI touches. Tizen, a mobile operating system backed by the Linux Foundation, Samsung, and Intel, has yet to ship on any physical devices. Samsung announced that it plans to launch Tizen devices later this year, mainly in Eastern markets. Intel's Atom chips have also made appearances in a handful of Android phones and tablets, but the company has yet to publicly announce further Tizen devices. . . ." (read more at link above)

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BYOD Trend Continues

Android rockets and iOS gains, while Windows dips | ZDNet: "The bring your own device trend continues, with Gartner forecasting that 72 per cent of personal computing devices will be bought into the workplace by 2017, up from 65 per cent in 2013. "This signifies the growing importance of designing for the consumer inside the enterprise," the analyst house noted."

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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

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