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MWC 2012: Sony, HTC and LG announce flagship mobile smartphones

Sony, HTC and LG are among the major manufacturers to have announced their new smartphone ranges for 2012.

Speaking at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, the manufacturers increasingly opted for newer, quad-core processors, with only Sony continuing to use older, dual-core models.

The announcements were made on the same day as Chinese giant Huawei announced what it called the world’s fastest smartphone, the Ascend D Quad, which it claimed was able to perform better than either Apple’s iPhone 4S or the Samsung Galaxy Nexus.

LG’s new flagship, the Optimus 4X HD, offers a four-core processor and a high definition screen, as well as a 4G receiver for territories such as America where the technology is available. The firm emphasised that the phone could be used for intensive gaming, and some officials claimed that in normal use the device could last for two days without needing to be recharged.

LG makes the display, battery and camera for the Apple’s iPhone, and hopes that it can produce a similarly successful phone itself. The firm is also producing a small tablet, called the Vu, for the American market. The Optimus 4X HD will run Google’s latest version of Android, Ice Cream Sandwich, and will feature a 4.7” screen with a 1.5GHz processor. LG will also make a series of less expensive devices, targeted at different demographics.

Sony also announced an expansion to its Xperia line of phones, the first the company has made since the end of the Sony Ericsson joint venture. The P and U Xperia models mark an attempt to sell the brand at more mid-range prices. Sony’s incoming Chief Executive emphasised that his task was as much to continue to try to integrate Sony’s music, video games and movies into phones as it was to improve devices. Improved displays would form a key part of the new strategy, the firm said, and the P model features a new technology called ‘White Magic’ for better outdoor viewing. Analysts at CCS Insight said they believed Sony “must quickly exploit its content assets” if its phones were to succeed.

HTC, however, focussed primarily on devices rather than on content. Although the Taiwanese manufacturer announced an improvement to its Dropbox tie-up, allowing enhanced back-up and synchronisation of files, the new ‘One’ range focused on improving photography and design.

The X, S and V models emphasised their new software, enhanced camera performance and the care taken over the design. Although analysts generally liked the individual products, CCS Insight added that “betting on attractive hardware to lure buyers may be risky in a cutthroat market”.

MWC 2012: Sony, HTC and LG announce flagship mobile smartphones
Sony, HTC and LG are among the major manufacturers to have announced their new smartphone ranges for 2012.

Speaking at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, the manufacturers increasingly opted for newer, quad-core processors, with only Sony continuing to use older, dual-core models.

The announcements were made on the same day as Chinese giant Huawei announced what it called the world’s fastest smartphone, the Ascend D Quad, which it claimed was able to perform better than either Apple’s iPhone 4S or the Samsung Galaxy Nexus.

LG’s new flagship, the Optimus 4X HD, offers a four-core processor and a high definition screen, as well as a 4G receiver for territories such as America where the technology is available. The firm emphasised that the phone could be used for intensive gaming, and some officials claimed that in normal use the device could last for two days without needing to be recharged.

LG makes the display, battery and camera for the Apple’s iPhone, and hopes that it can produce a similarly successful phone itself. The firm is also producing a small tablet, called the Vu, for the American market. The Optimus 4X HD will run Google’s latest version of Android, Ice Cream Sandwich, and will feature a 4.7” screen with a 1.5GHz processor. LG will also make a series of less expensive devices, targeted at different demographics.

Sony also announced an expansion to its Xperia line of phones, the first the company has made since the end of the Sony Ericsson joint venture. The P and U Xperia models mark an attempt to sell the brand at more mid-range prices. Sony’s incoming Chief Executive emphasised that his task was as much to continue to try to integrate Sony’s music, video games and movies into phones as it was to improve devices. Improved displays would form a key part of the new strategy, the firm said, and the P model features a new technology called ‘White Magic’ for better outdoor viewing. Analysts at CCS Insight said they believed Sony “must quickly exploit its content assets” if its phones were to succeed.

HTC, however, focussed primarily on devices rather than on content. Although the Taiwanese manufacturer announced an improvement to its Dropbox tie-up, allowing enhanced back-up and synchronisation of files, the new ‘One’ range focused on improving photography and design.

The X, S and V models emphasised their new software, enhanced camera performance and the care taken over the design. Although analysts generally liked the individual products, CCS Insight added that “betting on attractive hardware to lure buyers may be risky in a cutthroat market”.

Microsoft’s Kinect Sensor Used with Shopping Carts

If you were tired of lugging around a shopping cart while at the super market, fret not. Here comes a cool way to make sure that the shopping cart follows you instead! Microsoft’s Kinect sensor for Windows has been used along with a motorized cart that identifies shoppers based on their loyalty card. It has been developed for Whole Foods and was created by a third party developer. The third party developer is Austin-based Chaotic Moon and the prototype was unveiled at the Redmond campus. Microsoft has not been able to stop bragging about this shopping venture lately at all. The demo however had a coupe of false starts and eventually worked as it was intended to work.

It shall be ironed out before the launch and you may probably see more of such shopping carts the next time you head towards Whole Foods. The shopping cart will remember what you purchased, what you like, and even scans items as you place them inside it.

If you think you will forget your shopping list, it will even mark them off the list so that you do not forget what needs to be bought. All you Xbox 360 fans out there, you might want to play a new game. That game may involve going to the nearest shopping market and purchasing some goodies for yourself, and also spend loads of money. Who says shopping can’t be a game! So go ahead, and start planning how to play a game of shopping at the supermarket.

Maximising Your Technology Efficiency

Technology is becoming an ever larger part of our lives. Since the advent of commercial computers in the early 1980′s, technology has been digging itself deeper and deeper into almost all parts of our every day life. Today, we have become so reliant on it that we would seriously struggle without it, and it touches almost anything you can think of.
So it looks as if it’s here to stay, and there are few who argue against it being anything but a good thing. It has drastically altered our lives for the better; made them more comfortable, allowed us to live longer and in more extreme environments, and made us more efficient. However, until the past 5 years little thought had been given to the energy consumption that these products consumed, but with rising energy prices and higher demand it is now becoming very important.

4G mobile phone launch ‘before Christmas’

New superfast mobile networks from Everything Everywhere could be up and running by the end of the year, communications regulator Ofcom has confirmed.

Everything Everwhere, the owners of Orange and T-Mobile, has applied to Ofcom to be allowed to reuse its existing mobile phone spectrum for the new, faster mobile broadband services.

A four-week consultation will close on 17 April, and Everything Everywhere’s competitors are however expected by some analysts to seek to stop it stealing a march on their own plans.

A Vodafone spokesman said “We share the regulator’s desire to see the next generation of mobile internet services rolled out quickly and placed within the reach of many more people in rural areas. But we seriously doubt that consumers’ best interests will be served by giving one company a significant head start before any of its competitors have a clear path to 4G.”

As rival operators do not have suitable spectrum, some sources believe they may equally see it as a way of getting the firm to fund what is likely to be an expensive marketing campaign to educate consumers about what 4G is and what equipment is needed to use it.

Ofcom is in the process of auctioning off 4G spectrum that will be vacated when analogue television is switched off later this year.

The Government is keen to encourage the roll-out of the faster mobile phone networks, whose development is more advanced in America and most other European countries. The Ofcom consultation comes slightly sooner than many industry watchers had expected.

Ofcom said that “Allowing Everything Everywhere to reuse its spectrum in this way is likely to bring material benefits to consumers, including faster mobile broadband speeds and – depending on how Everything Everywhere uses the spectrum – potentially wider mobile broadband coverage in rural areas.”

Ofcom added that it “has considered whether allowing Everything Everywhere to use this spectrum in this way would distort competition, and provisionally concluded that it would not”. “Given the benefits this would bring to consumers, Ofcom is minded to allow this change of use,” the regulator said.

The application relates to Everything Everywhere’s 1800MHz spectrum. The firm has said that it will fund 4G roll-out using some of the £1.5bn already set aside to upgrade its network. It has already commenced 4G trials in Cornwall and Bristol, but products in the UK market this year are likely to be mobile broadband dongles rather than handsets.

Dominic Baliszewski, of comparison site Broadbandchoices.co.uk, said that “If 4G gets the green light this could give a serious boost to mobile broadband services with recent real-life tests delivering speeds in-excess of 10Mb. This could make a huge difference to the lives of rural dwellers currently struggling on without a viable fixed line broadband connection.”

Everything Everywhere issues a statement saying “It’s very important that the UK does not get left behind in the building of a new infrastructure for the digital economy. We welcome today’s notice of 1800MHz licence variation from Ofcom, as it suggests Ofcom’s willingness to encourage the early deployment of 4G LTE .”

22 Technology Minded

As most of you know by now, in the first month of  existence, the social network has attracted a tremendous amount of tech people. Since those interested in technology like to follow other technology experts, I figured, why not make a list of some of the most interesting technology minded people on  Below is a list of 22 technology minded individuals who are a must follow if you are into tech, even a hair.
Leo Laporte – Podcaster, broadcaster, Chief TWiT and The Tech Guy
Chris Pirillo – Technology Strategist, and self proclaimed geek
Peter Urbanski – Programmer, Designer, and Search Engine Marketer
Pedram Keyani -Facebook Engineer
Sascha Pallenberg – Technology blogger living in Taipei
Randy Scherkenbach – SAP Business Analyst at Aptar, Inc.
Mohamed Mansour Accessibility, Browsers, Extensions, HTML5, and Machine Learning
Chris Porter – Technology Integrator, Gadget addict
Veronica Belmont – Podcaster, Video Host, Book Worm
JR Raphael – Syndicated writer. Co-founder of eSarcasm. Author of Android Power.
Mickey Mellen – Blogger, Seo Expert, Google Earth fan
Chris Chabot – Developer Advocate at Google
John West Founder and CEO of Crazy Monkey Games. Entrepreneur and technophile
Michelle Marie – Tech geek by day
Frederic Lardinois – Writes about technology from consumer point of view
Linda Lawrey – IT Tech, Consultant, Geek, Wife, Mom and Social Media Enthusiast.
Ryan Block – Editor, technology critic, and most recently co-founder of gdgt
Chris Sandberg Internet Entrepreneur and Marketer, Investor.
Chris Cho – Program Manager : Technology, Software, Mobile
Stephen Keaveny – Entrepreneur, Futurist,  Founder of metaverse.ie
Andreas M. Hahn Internet Marketing Manager, SEO, SMO, Usability Engineer
Bryan Bamford I’m a Web/Mobile Designer & Developer, Redditor

ROLL LAPTOP is Amazing new Technology 2012

Ask anyone what a laptop, a notebook, or a netbook looks like and the chances are they’ll tell you it has a screen and a keypad and is sort of square shaped but maybe with rounded corners.Ask them to elaborate on differences between the various models and you are likely to hear about differences in thickness, whether it’s light or heavy, and the sizes of the screens.
Some may come out and speak about fancy features like raised keyboards or multi card slots, data security maybe.
Then you have those who would focus on the different colours and trims, whether it’s glossy or matt what they are made of and so on.
The point I’m getting at here is that basically all laptops, no matter what you call them, follow the same basic bookish design with maybe a few added touches, features or specifications that differentiate them from the rest.
You would be pretty shocked if someone came out and said that a laptop is cylindrical or tube shaped and that it rolls up like a scroll. It might even cross your mind that they were completely mad or some alien creature from another planet.
That just isn’t an image the masses are likely to have in mind at all when you mention a laptop and yet that is exactly the design that computer scientist and designer Hao Hua has come up with.
Ok so it’s still at the conceptual stage and not a reality yet but what an exciting idea.
According to Hao Hua the digital roll as he calls it is “the next generation laptop design”. Personally, I can’t wait.
The laptop would have a flexible OLED screen, a roll-able keyboard and the straps double up as USB outlets.
It even has a mouse and a webcam that you can attach to your wrist. This really is computing on the go at its best.

Sony Tablet P hands-on and unboxing

After months of waiting and no small amount of whining from yours truly, Sony has finally seen fit to grace the United States with the presence of its oddball folding tablet, the Tablet P. For better or worse it’s only available on AT&T’s wireless network. Sony fans and those looking for a little something different have been waiting a long time for the Tablet P. Does the unique folding screen mechanism make for a better tablet, or yet another Android oddity? Let’s find out.
The folding 10-inch clamshell is undeniably striking: we can say without exaggeration that there’s nothing quite like it on the market. The Tablet P uses two identical 1024×480 screens, which can operate compatible apps independently or combine them for a full 1024×960 screen, nearly a full square. The experience takes some getting used to, even if you’re used to Android’s tablet interface, but after a few minutes any technically-minded person should be able to get around with minimal difficulty.
The Tablet P’s curved sides make maximum use of its internal space, cramming a Tegra 2 dual-core processor, 1GB of RAM and a 3,080mAh battery into the casing. It’s an attractive design made all the more interesting from a lack of boxy edges, and will slide into a (large) pocket or bag better than any 9 or 10-inch tablet currently on the market. The processor and RAM are more than enough to make Honeycomb zip, though it’s not the smoothest experience we’ve seen. This may be due to some “enhancements” to Android 3.2 on Sony’s part.
Unfortunately there’s no room for more than 4GB of storage space (though you do get a 2GB MicroSD card gratis) or 4G LTE – you’ll have to make due with HSPA+ “4G”, something of a penance considering the $399 on-contract price tag. Sony has already committed to an Ice Cream Sandwich upgrade, but between the manufacturer and the carrier it could be quite some time before it materializes.
If you live in Sony’s entertainment world, you’ll appreciate the various included software: the PlayStation store for access to converted PSX titles and other games, plus Sony’s music and movie stores. Of course with access to Google apps and the Android Market, there’s no reason to limit yourself, either. And speaking of software, Sony says that more than 40 third-party apps take advantage of the Tablet P’s unique dual-screen design, including Evernote and News 360.
Build quality is rock-solid and typical of Sony. Those worrying about the moving parts in the hinge needn’t bother. The screen is surprisingly glossy, though; while LCDs are generally better than AMOLED screens at blocking reflection, the coating on the inside of the tablet seems to reflect a lot more light than most. The volume and power buttons on the side of the tablet are tricky, and we wish that it had a MicroUSB charging port instead of the proprietary one sitting on the side, begging you to bring along a second adapter.
You can pick up the Sony Tablet P today from AT&T for $399.99, on a two-year contract or extension. We’ll have a full review up later this week, but check out the unboxing video below in the meantime.

Korean and World Wide Technologies

A leading IT research and consulting company from America, Gartner, is famous for briefing and presenting about leading technologies year after year. Every October Gartner announces 10 “strategic technologies” that have most potential. Last year at the Symposium/IT Expo 2011 that was held in Orlando, Florida, USA, Gartner announced the technologies that were to brighten up the future of 2012.
If we sift through Gartner’s 2012 picks the representative keywords that can be seen are as follows: media tablet, mobile applications, social, ‘internet of things,’ app store, next generation research technology, big data, internal-memory computing, low power TTL server, cloud computing. At this year’s presentation, a great change rose up that can be compared to 2011. First off, 2011’s #1 strategic technology, cloud computing, has fallen to #10. Even a midst growing indifference to the energy reducing craze like low power TTL server, smart grid, and green IT, Gartner has expressed interest in the use of energyefficient technologies. Now we will take a look at the two representative technologies that Gartner has selected for 2012.

Small Business Technology News

As the calendar turns to 2012, business owners are still struggling to identify strategies that will help them navigate the challenges of a persistently sluggish economy. Profitability and revenue growth continue to elude many entrepreneurs, especially those who have already cut their company’s expenses to the bone.
Technology Tips for Small Business Owners in 2012
To help SMB owners balance the competing demands of growth and cost containment, AT&T Small Business Solutions has offered five technology related tips that can be used to drive both efficiency and growth within the business.
1. Invest in a Business Website – According to industry research, more than half of all small businesses do not currently have a business website. The lack of a strong online presence severely handicaps your ability to compete, so it’s important to create a mobile-optimized website using either a professional site design firm or one of the many, affordable DIY site creation tools available in the marketplace.
2. Improve Your Tech Support – Hiring an IT expert can be an expensive proposition. But without technology expertise, your company may be in jeopardy of lagging behind the competition. So in 2012, you may want to consider hiring virtual tech support — 24/7 service from experts who can help remedy your technology issues remotely, via phone or the Internet.
3. Establish Reliable Data Backup Routines – Data disasters are costly for any business. But for small companies, the loss of large quantities of data can be devastating. Establish routines for regularly backing up your data on CD, removable hard drive(s) or affordable, online backup services.
4. Equip Field Reps with Mobile Apps – Mobile apps are inexpensive tools field personnel can use to perform a variety of tasks including fleet management, mobile dictation, paperless forms, time management/tracking, and other functions. In terms of ROI, it’s hard to beat the return you get from the quality apps available in today’s mobile marketplace.
5. Utilize Conferencing Technology – Rather than spending tons of cash on business travel expenses, consider how your business can utilize voice, web and video conferencing technologies to conduct meetings or share presentations with customers, partners and employees.

The advance of the spider robot

Scientists in Germany have developed a prototype robot that they hope will have a wide range of uses from helping emergency relief teams during natural disasters to clearing mines from war zones.
They call it the spider robot.
Four of its legs remain constantly on the ground while the other four move forward, giving the robot great stability. It is made from plastic, contains very little in the way of electronics and is powered by compressed air.
So it is lightweight, and its developers say the form of propulsion means it can be operated almost anywhere.
Jannis Breuninger, Product Developer at Fraunhofer IPA in Stuttgart, said: “Air exists everywhere so we can operate the spider anywhere with a simple air pump.”

Each spider robot costs about 500 euros to produce, which makes it far cheaper to make than most other robot designs.
And that means hundreds could be turned out quickly in the event of an emergency, like an earthquake, to help search for survivors.
The spiders can be equipped with cameras to send live video back to a control room.
Breuninger added: “The walking robot is suitable for use in disaster zones because it has a very stable motion that means that we can operate on very rough terrain. We could also use the robot in mine fields. Because they are cheap to make we can produce large numbers that can walk over mines to trigger detonation so the robots would effectively be doing mine clearance.”

Technology in the classroom

Lots of talk lately has been whether or not technology can improve student learning.  I believe, when used correctly, technology can drastically improve understanding of concepts .  Using the virtual world destroys the boundaries we encounter in the physical classroom.  In all fields of education, we need to start using all tools available and not just the “traditional” tools that were around when we were in high school.
When my SmartBoard was first installed in my class, I truly believed I was utilizing technology to its full potential everyday, by writing my notes on the SmartBoard.  Sadly, I have then realized all I had in my classroom was a glorified whiteboard.  This then caused to me think, “Even though I might have technology in my class, unless I am using it in a way that requires that certain technology, I am not using it correctly”.
How do we utilize such technology?  Below are apps described by “eSchoolNews”, and what the sites claims to be the top 10 iPad, iPhone, or iTouch apps.  The list could go on and on, as more and more educational apps are created daily.   No matter what technology we use, however, we need to be aware that its use should be promoting student learning and not just for entertainment.

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BlackBerry ‘UK’s No 1 smartphone’

BlackBerry ‘UK’s No 1 smartphone’
Research in Motion claims its BlackBerry handsets were the best-selling in the UK for the second year running.

The latest data shows that the troubled BlackBerry averaged 27.7 per cent market share in 2011, and that it hit 8.5 million UK subscribers.

Worldwide the number of subscribers grew by 35 per cent year on year, to 75 million in December 2011, driven by growth among young people and in the developing world.

BlackBerry Managing Director for the UK and Ireland, Stephen Bates, said that RIM had dominated pre-paymarket in particular. “We’ve moved the market up by around 40 per cent by offering a proposition people can see the value in,” he said.

At the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas in January, RIM announced the new version of BlackBerry OS7, numbered 7.1, and an update to the PlayBook tablet called PlayBook 2. The company has seen its stock price fall by 75 per cent in a year, and it has missed a series of release deadlines. Recently its co-founders stepped down to make way for a new CEO, but Mike Lazaridis and Jim Balsillie will remain involved in the business.

RIM’s share of the smartphone market in the US dwindled to 16.6 per cent in the three months to the end of November, according to research firm comScore. That compares to just under 50 per cent for phones using Google’s Android operating system and 28.7 per cent for Apple. RIM has lost just over $70bn (£45bn) of value since its market capitalisation peaked in 2008.

“We’ve learnt a lot from the PlayBook,” said Mr Bates, although he conceded “if you don’t have a BlackBerry then it’s not the tablet for you – if you’ve got an Apple you’re more likely to buy an iPad, Android users are more likely to buy an Android-based tablet.” Mr Bates said that the PlayBook was designed to extend the existing BlackBerry experience and that it had sold very well over Christmas.

BlackBerry is set to release its new BlackBerry 10 operating system for smartphones by the end of the year, although it has missed previous deadlines. “This new operating system is not about the short term,” said Mr Bates. “This is about us getting fit for the next 10-15 years. Yes we want to be quicker with new capabilities; yes we want to add new things; yes I would love them to come faster – but the reality is that some of this stuff is hard.”

He added that BlackBerry’s new CEO Thorsten Heins would focus on shipping products on time. “This year our fundamental strategic focus is: deliver. We need to prove people wrong and show that we can deliver.” Mr Bates said he felt confident about the coming year for RIM. “There is no shortage of innovation at BlackBerry – we just have to crack this delivery and Thorsten is a great man for that.”

Apple workers in China get 25 per cent pay rise

Apple’s main manufacturing partner Foxconn is paying workers up to an extra 25 per cent following widespread criticism of its labour practices.

The firm makes iPads and iPhones under contract to Apple in giant factories that employ and house over a million Chinese workers. It also manufactures electronics for Dell, HP and Microsoft, among others.

The significant pay increase is the second for Foxconn workers in less than two years and means salaries will reach between £180 and £250 per month. The firm said the rise, effective from 1 February, would compensate workers for cuts in overtime, made as part of efforts to reduce overall working hours.

The first big pay boosts were announced in 2010 after a spate of worker suicides received major media interest in the West.

Apple has been accused of benefiting from Foxconn’s use of low-paid workers in tough conditions. After it announced the iPhone 4S had driven record quarterly profits of more than £8bn last month, The New York Times ran a series of articles highlighting long hours, strict discipline and dangerous practices at Foxconn.

In response to the controversy, last week Apple said the Fair Labor Association would independently audit Foxconn City, one of the manufacturer’s biggest facilities, located in Shenzhen, Guandong Province.

“We believe that workers everywhere have the right to a safe and fair work environment, which is why we’ve asked the FLA to independently assess the performance of our largest suppliers,” said Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO.

Apple has also granted access to Foxconn facilities to Nightline, a US news programme, for a report due to air on Tuesday.

Apple ‘top smartphone vendor in 2011’

Apple was the world’s largest smartphone vendor in 2011 but Google Android remained the top operating system, according to analysts.

Apple was the top smartphone vendor in the world in the fourth quarter of 2011, with a 23.8 per cent share of the market, according to analysts Gartner. For 2011 as a whole, Apple was top with a 19 per cent market share.

Samsung was the second largest smartphone vendor, closing the gap on Apple, and was ahead of Apple in overall mobile device sales, but behind Nokia. The Finnish manufacturer is the world’s leading mobile device vendor, with 23.8 per cent of the market, but saw its share of the smartphone market decline.

Western Europe and North America led most of the smartphone growth for Apple during the fourth quarter of 2011,” Roberta Cozza, principal research analyst at Gartner, said in a statement.

Google’s Android operating system continues to grow, reaching a market share of 46.5 per cent in 2011. However, its growth slowed slightly at the end of the year. A share of 52.5 per cent in the third quarter of last year fell to 50.9 per cent in the fourth quarter after the release of Apple’s iPhone 4S.

Meanwhile, RIM’s share of the operating system market reflected the bad year the company had in 2011. From 19.9 per cent in 2009, RIM’s share fell to 16.6 per cent in 2010 and just 10.9 per cent last year.

Microsoft also saw its numbers decline, down to only 1.8 per cent from more than 10 per cent in 2008, while Nokia’s Symbian system saw its share halve from 37.3 per cent in 2010 to 18.7 per cent in 2011 as the company transitions to Windows Phone.

Gartner expects Android growth to continue with relative newcomers ZTE and Huawei putting Google’s OS into more people’s hands through a range of low-cost smartphones.

Tablets will overtake PCs, says Apple boss

Tablet computers will soon be more popular than laptops and desktops, Apple’s chief executive has said.

Tim Cook, speaking at a conference hosted by Goldman Sachs, said that Apple’s iPad “is on a trajectory that is off the charts”.

He said: “From the first day it shipped, we thought that the tablet market would become larger than the PC market and it was just a matter of the time it took for that to occur. I feel that stronger today than I did then.”

Apple has sold 55 million iPads and is expected to launch a new version of the device in the first week of March. Apple’s competitors have rushed to launch their own tablets since the original iPad was launched in 2010 but none has sold as well as the iPad.

Cook was dismissive of Google’s Android tablets as a competitor for the iPad. “We wound up with 170,000 apps and I’m not sure there is 100 yet on the other platform,” he said.

He acknowledged that Amazon, which launched the Kindle Fire tablet in the US later last year, was “a different competitor”. However, he implied that the Kindle Fire is a “limited function” tablet and said that was something that Apple’s target audience did not want.

Apple is widely expected to announce its next iPad next month and it is thought that it will have an improved screen, with much higher resolution, as well as a faster processor.

Cook said the iPad’s success came because of Apple’s existing ecosystem. Consumers were familiar with the iOS interface from using the iPhone and there was a range of content available from the iTunes Store.

He said: “The iPad has stood on the shoulders of everything that came before it.”

Cook has spoken at the annual Goldman Sachs Technology Conference several times in the past but this was his first appearance as chief executive. In a broad conversation, he also addressed criticism over the treatment of workers in the Chinese factories where Apple’s products are made.

He said: “I would want everyone to know is that Apple takes working conditions very seriously, and we have for a very long time. Whether workers are in Europe or Asia or the United States, we care about every worker.”

Explaining Apple’s commitment to auditing suppliers to ensure that they conform to standards on working conditions, health and safety and other key criteria, Cook said that no company in the technology sector does as much as Apple.

“We are constantly auditing facilities going deep into the supply chain, looking for problems, finding problems and fixing problems,” Cook said. “We report everything because we believe transparency is so very important in this area.”

Earlier this week, Apple announced that it had asked the Fair Labor Association to inspect Foxconn factories in China, where some Apple products are made. The FLA will also inspect facilities run by other Apple suppliers.

Apple is rumoured to be planning a television set for launch later this year but Cook did not give any hint of what might be coming. Asked about Apple TV, the set-top box that streams content to a television, Cook said the company still considers it to be a hobby.

It would remain that way until Apple had “something that could go more main market”, Cook said.

Influence on the development of information technology companies

Companies that develop high levels of agility not only survive this economic turbulence, but also will be the leaders of tomorrow’s markets.

Today’s organizations must identify the change and respond to it swiftly in order to remain a viable option in the market. The ability to detect, anticipate and respond to changes more quickly will provide organizations set strategic direction for:
Respond to changing market conditions.
Increase its market share even in economies that characterize hard as our new reality
Increase sales growth and profitability and improve overall financial performance

Agility is characterized by a cycle, which comprises a series of five steps:
– Detect lies ahead or need a change
– Planning the best action
– Decide on the course to follow
– Communicate to all key participants in the new plan,
– Press for Change.

technology companiesThese five steps are sequential and are executed every time there is a change in the business landscape. The cycle occurs in all levels of the organization on an ongoing basis.
How to facilitate agility in the organization? Technology is the common denominator of all five. It is not the case that only some technologies provide flexibility, but each organization will have a different agenda management challenges and unique architectural footprint that will require different strategies of using technology to support and improve agility. This may represent from a small correction to a strategic reorientation of the company.

In the context of information technology is of interest to measure the agility of a company making a benchmark to compare with similar companies. Eventually provide prescriptive measures to optimize investments in information technology from the objective of maximizing agility.
There are four key attributes that have to meet any investment in information technology to generaragilidad for business:

First, a solution of information technology has to ensure that business operations are reported. You must connect data devices and processes both internally and externally so that people can access information from anywhere and more usefulness;
second, the technology has to turn the company into a more productive by leveraging also systems to support processes and thereby enable the business to multiply the power and impact of its technology and its people.

companiesThe technology must be reliable, always available, always working safely and always ready, but AT THE SAME TIME must be flexible to adapt according to changing business needs
finally, technology must provide all of this based on a clear concept and aimed at the best cost / benefit. The consistent application of cost-benefit measurements allows real information about the return on investment.

Any solution of information technology must comply with each of these points to maximize every dollar invested and ultimately generate business agility
Each of the criteria have equal weight and importance to an organization in pursuit of the goal of agility. Developing a framework, it is possible to measure the state of agility in an organization, identify weaknesses and suggest practical solutions so the organization can implement concrete actions to improve their agility and competitiveness portended.

Information Technology and Communication (ICT)

Currently the Information Technology and Communication ICT are undergoing rapid development, this is affecting virtually all areas of our society, and education is no exception.

This work is of interest that the ICT-Education interaction has aroused worldwide. Education International conference “Education for All for Learning to Live Together (CIE, 2001) held in Geneva in 2001 expressed in relation to Information Technology and Communication (ICT).

These technologies are increasingly a necessity in the context of society where rapid change, increased knowledge and the demands of a high standard of education constantly updated become a permanent requirement.

The relationship between ICTs and education is twofold: On one hand, citizens are forced to meet and learn about ICT. Furthermore, ICT can be applied to the educational process.

This dual aspect is reflected in two different educational expectations: on the one hand, we have computer scientists interested in learning computers, and in the other, teachers interested in using information technology to education.

Throughout the development of this work will be addressing the issues that we believe are important to know the information technology and communication and its use as a tool to strengthen the development of education.

Sophisticated Computer Technology

A computer is an electronic and programmable processing machine.  This machine is specially designed to carry out the sequence of arithmetical or logical operations; sequentially and automatically. Many things can be dug in the development of computer technology. It is particularly concerning that, what sort of accelerated development of increasingly sophisticated computer technology. It is important to understand that person as computer users know and even understand in detail. It is also very important to understand the more familiar device of the computer that has always been a fundamental instrument of workflow support.

Computer Technology fulfills our lives with great features. It can fill our world from the timing of the traffic lights to advanced theoretical modeling and space exploration. Computer technology can be used widely in almost all the departments of life. It makes our lives easier and shrinks our lives to seconds. While use of computer technology is now common place, such has not always been the case.

Computer Technology allows for processing and calculating the information 1000 of times faster than human brain. However such technology is prone to errors and is at the mercy of mechanical components which can wear out and software which can become corrupted by the computer viruses. This technology is used on airlines and railway reservation offices. All the business was done by using this technology. Banks and offices are completely based on this technology. There is no need to make queue at the bank counter. You can withdraw your money and pay your bills through the ATM machines in seconds.

Computers have been discovered but not yet come to the realization.  The computer can support the needs of human beings especially in military services and activities. When world war broke out, the functions of computer is realized a lot of people could serve as a mode of pengerak technology in supporting the activities of kemiliterannya. Nowadays this technology is used to control the remote controlled aero planes and jet planes. The radar system is completely computer depended. It provides the ways of communications and makes it easy to communicate each other.

Nowadays every thing in our modern world is influenced by Computer Technology. Telecommunications, timing of traffic signals and even time keeping are controlled by advanced Computer Technology in our everyday lives. Nowadays even a simple trip to the grocery can be result in multiple interfaces with computer technology. There is an automated billing machine which can calculate and billed to customers.

The benefits of Computer Technology include scientific discovery, advanced communications and the speed of processing information. It is the greatest achievement of scientific world. It provides us the methods of advance communications. It is also a great source to give security to our business. Many security systems in banks and firms are operated and based upon the computer technology.

Computer technology featured us with faster data transfer and communication. I this fastest growing world of technology we can exchange our data and information with the movement of our mouse in nano second. We can share our data through sending Email, Fax and SMS as compared to traditional airmails and letters

Asus Transformer Prime review

The latest version of Asus’s innovative tablet-cum-laptop is better than ever, but Matt Warman wonders who it is for.

Few brands have a better recent record than Asus: the EeePC was the laptop that popularised the ‘netbook’ trend in laptops, and now for the new generation of Intel chips its Zenbook vies only with the new Samsung Series 9 to be the best of the new, ultra-light, beautifully designed ultrabooks.

When it comes to tablets, too, Asus’s original Transformer was the first to bridge the gap between laptop and iPad-imitator. Running Android (of course) the Transformer also featured an extra keyboard dock that meant typing longer documents was substantially easier than on the tablet screen and massively boosted the battery.

The problem, of course, was really that the easily portable, slimline tablet was compromised by the addition of a bulky keyboard. Although it added great functionality, it made the unit cumbersome.

With the new Transformer, dubbed the Prime, Asus has done a lot to address those issues. The brushed steel tablet itself features a very slim profile, a quad-core Nvidia Tegra processor and the latest version of Google’s Android operating system, Ice Cream Sandwich. That makes it more capable than almost any rival tablet currently on the market, and means it offers access to Chrome for Android, which is in some respects even better than the browser on the iPad, thanks to its desktop synchronisation and its excellent tabbed browsing. Battery life, with the dock attached, is an impressive 18 hours, even if that is with a proprietary charger.

Document editing and the like is of course better on the Prime than it is on a tablet without a keyboard, and the processor is fast enough to make the process feel almost as good as it does on a laptop. That speed also means that playback for movies, rented say from YouTube, is smooth, and browsing from one application to another is neat too. I’ve not come across better gameplaying on an Android tablet either.

Where the Prime falls down, however, is on two fronts: its screen is good, but compared to something like the BlackBerry Playbook it’s not as impressive. The iPad’s, too, is better. This is a quibble rather than a crisis, however.

Of more major concern is what the point of the Prime really is – if you want a tablet, you by definition don’t want a laptop, and vice versa. So if you are likely to use it with the keyboard and without in almost equal measure, the Prime is the best device currently out there for you, if you don’t want a keyboard-type dock for the iPad. But if you really want a beautiful laptop, then buy the thinner Asus Zenbook. Or better still wait a while and buy a touch-enabled ultrabook, as Intel recently demoed at the Consumer Electronics Show in Vegas.

The Prime has its uses, and it’s very good at what it does. But its unique selling point is that it’s a tablet that is so great it’s almost as good as a laptop. Many users might as well just buy a laptop.

Apple iPad 3 announcement ‘in early March’

Apple will announce the iPad 3 in the first week of March, it has been claimed.

The US technology blog All ThingsD reports that “sources” say Apple will announce the next iPad at a special event early next month.

Apple typically updates it products annually and the iPad 2 was announced on March 2 last year so this would fit the schedule. All ThingsD suggests that, as last year, Apple will put the device on sale a week or two later.

Earlier, blogs circulated a photo that appeared to show the back of the next iPad. The picture, which suggested that the new tablet had already entered production, ignited rumours about the iPad 3.

The photograph shows only slight differences from the iPad 2 back and it is possible that the part is not from an ‘iPad 3’ but instead from a rejected prototype or even a fake.

Technology blog The Verge, citing “people familiar with the product”, says that the new iPad will have double the screen resolution of the iPad 2 and as a result will be about one millimetre thicker. It will probably be powered by an A6 chip – the iPad 2 is powered by the A5 – but The Verge says that chip will be dual-core and not quad-core as had been suggested elsewhere.

RepairLabs, the website that received the photo in the first place, says that the new design appears to suggest a slimmer logic board, meaning that the new device could have a larger battery.

RepairLabs writes: “Our insiders tell us that so far the screen is not out there yet. That could mean that the finished product has not been signed off or that it is being kept top secret.”

It’s impossible to draw conclusions at this stage but as we draw closer to the anticipated launch – which still has not been confirmed by Apple, of course – then we can expect the rumours to increase.

An update for Adobe’s Flash Media Server

Adobe has released a new update for its “Flash Media Server”, version 4.5. It was an opportunity for AEG Digital Media, a specialist in webcast and media services for live streaming events, to team up with Adobe for its promotional campaign. In a mini-reportage, we see their technical teams working at full tilt; we clearly appreciate the levels of stress inherent in their work!

The vice president of AEG Digital Media admitted that his company was pulling out all the stops to ensure reliable and high quality production across all new media. To achieve this, it is obviously essential to be able to rely on technology as robust as that offered by Adobe’s “Flash Media Server”.

And the cherry on the cake: this update means content in Flash format will be viewable on iPhones and iPads. About time too!Provided by YC/ATC-TCL.com

Vodacom Smart Tab launched

Vodacom’s hushed launch of their Vodacom-branded tablet will be only be available via the mobile operator.

The Vodafone Smart Tab is available in 7′ or 10′ screens (image: Vodacom)

Available in 7 and 10 inch screens, the Vodacom Smart Tab runs Android Honeycomb 3.2, featuring built-in 3G and Wi-Fi, 16GB, microSD card, 5MP rear- and 2MP front camera, driven by a Snapdragon S3 – 1.2GHz dual-core processor.

‘The Smart Tab comes with preloaded content and apps that allow you to keep in touch with your world on the go with text and instant messaging, email access and Twitter. In addition to the standard Android apps, it also has QuickOffice Pro, which allows you to view, create and modify documents, spreadsheets and presentations,’ Vodacom said on the tablet’s page.

The tablet is only available at selected Vodacom outlets, and users can purchase the device on contract or pre-paid. On a MyGig 1 contract, the Smart Tab 7? will set users back R249 pm, while the Smart Tab 10? will be R299 pm. For pre-paid users, the Smart Tab 7? will be R3 699, while the Smart Tab 10? will cost you R4 699.

Google scraps mortgage comparison service

Google scraps mortgage comparison service
Google has scrapped its mortgage comparison service in Britain after closing its US version, it has been reported.

 

The search giant launched a trial version of the service, called UK Compare Mortgages, in July last year. The website was suspended in September with a message saying it was being revamped, according to Money Marketing magazine.

Google said it began scaling back the service in November and closed it this month.

A spokesman for Google said: “We’ve been prioritizing our product efforts across Google, which means taking a hard look at products that haven’t been as successful as we would have hoped. We’ve closed down the mortgage search feature of Google Advisor in the US and are focused on building continued improvements into the rest of the product.

“We tested a mortgage comparison product in the UK for a short time during the summer of 2011. That test is no longer running and we have not made a decision on our next mortgage comparison step in the UK.”

In March last year, Google bought comparison site Beatthatquote.com for £37.7m. Beatthatquote included a mortgage quote service.

Earlier this month European regulators requested Google to “pause” planned changes to simplify its privacy policy. The search giant had been planning to combine the 70 different privacy policies currently in force for its various services into a single document.

BlackBerry gets FIPS 140-2 certification

Research In Motion today announced that BlackBerry smartphones running on the new BlackBerry 7 and BlackBerry 7.1 Operating Systems (OS) have been awarded FIPS 140-2 certification by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and the Communications Security Establishment Canada (CSEC).

Research In Motion’s BlackBerry Curve 9360 (image: RIM)

FIPS (Federal Information Processing Standard) 140-2 is recognized by the U.S. and Canadian governments and is required under the Federal Information Security Management Act of 2002 (FISMA).

All BlackBerry smartphones running BlackBerry 7 and BlackBerry 7.1 benefit from this certification, including the BlackBerry Bold 9900, 9930 and 9790, BlackBerry Torch 9850, 9860 and 9810, and BlackBerry Curve 9350, 9360, 9370 and 9380.

‘The FIPS 140-2 certification for BlackBerry 7.0 and 7.1 illustrates RIM’s continuing commitment to providing industry-leading, secure, mobile computing platforms for our customers,’ said Scott Totzke, Senior Vice President, BlackBerry Security at Research In Motion.

‘With all of the latest BlackBerry smartphones and the PlayBook tablet certified under the FIPS program, government and security-conscious customers can deploy our entire range of products with confidence.’

In addition to FIPS 140-2 certification, the BlackBerry 7 OS has received Common Criteria EAL4+ certification.

Xbox games on PC?

A rumour, and a good one at that, has been blitzing the internet like a cannon bombardment. “Windows 8”, Microsoft’s future operating system, could be capable of running games designed for Xbox 360!

According to the “Insideris” website, a perfectly reliable source, this compatibility would become operational after subscribing to a paying service. The news initially remained confidential, but was spotted on the specialist blog “Teknylate”, the rumour then began to trickle out.

It would seem that online games will only be possible between gamers connected to the same platform. In any event, Microsoft has found a good way of extending the life of its HD console after the launch of its future Xbox 720.Provided by YC/ATC-TCL.com

Those with a high IQ have a fondness for Opera

Can we determine the intelligence of an individual based on the Web browser they use? The psychometric assessment company AptiQuant has attempted to prove this hypothesis. It has undertaken a study of more than 100,000 people in order to evaluate the intelligence quotient (IQ) of users based on their preferred system for browsing the Internet.

The results of this ridiculous study, aiming on the face of it just to raise a smile, show that surfers with a higher IQ browsed with “Opera” (average score 126.5). “Camino”, the browser designed by Mozilla for Mac OS (124.4), “Safari” (113.5), “Chrome” (111.2) and “Firefox” (108.7).

The various versions of “Internet Explorer” were all used by people with a lower IQ, and at the bottom end of the scale “Internet Explorer 6” (82). Upset by this, fans of Microsoft’s browser are threatening to take out a lawsuit against AptiQuant!Provided by YC/ATC-TCL.coma

Nokia Lumia 710 review

imageA pleasing, budget handset from Nokia shows Windows Phone is on its way to the mainstream, says Matt Warman.

Nokia’s Lumia 710 is a budget-friendly version of the Lumia 800 flagship. With basically the same internals, it skimps only on storage and camera quality relative to its older sibling.

Made of plastic, it feels cheap but well constructed, as you’d expect from Nokia – you get what you pay for. And almost anybody buying a 710 is likely to be paying mainly for the excellent Windows Phone operating system. (more…)

Technology

imageTechnology has changed our lives but, has it made our lives any better? Some believe technology makes people happier because, people always want to upgrade their electronics to new, more efficient pieces of equipment. People have been progressing for thousands of years, and we still are. Researchers are always looking to improve current technology and come up with modern, efficient devices to improve our lives. If society were to stop emerging with new inventions, I feel we would be very unhappy. I believe that the leading edge of technology is what makes us happy. (more…)

Sophisticated Computer Technology

imagecomputer is an electronic and programmable processing machine.  This machine is specially designed to carry out the sequence of arithmetical or logical operations; sequentially and automatically. Many things can be dug in the development of computer technology. It is particularly concerning that, what sort of accelerated development of increasingly sophisticated computer technology. It is important to understand that person as computer users know and even understand in detail. It is also very important to understand the more familiar device of the computer that has always been a fundamental instrument of workflow support. (more…)

BlackBerry gets FIPS 140-2 certification

imageResearch In Motion today announced that BlackBerry smartphones running on the new BlackBerry 7 and BlackBerry 7.1 Operating Systems (OS) have been awarded FIPS 140-2 certification by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and the Communications Security Establishment Canada (CSEC).
Research In Motion’s BlackBerry Curve 9360 (image: RIM)

FIPS (Federal Information Processing Standard) 140-2 is recognized by the U.S. and Canadian governments and is required under the Federal Information Security Management Act of 2002 (FISMA). (more…)

Help for combat helicopter pilots

imageIn dusty and desert terrain war zones, military helicopters often have accidents due to extremely poor visibility. Engineers at BAE Systems have developed a solution to this problem.

They have created a system called “BLAST”, which scans the landing area in a very detailed way. As a result, pilots have a real-time visual representation, in both 3D and colour, of the terrain over which they are flying. (more…)

First Tablet Lenovo Sign Late This Year

imageOutput Lenovo’s latest Tablet, IdeaPad Tablet K1, will be available in Indonesia began the fourth quarter of 2011. This was stated in a press conference in the Ballroom Lenovo Ritz Carlton, Pacific Place, Jakarta,

Tablet IdeaPad K1 will be one of the products featured in the new campaign Lenovo bertagline “For Those Who Do” which also launched today. X1 and its Thinkpad notebooks, Tablet IdeaPad K1 launched to increase market share in Indonesia Lenovo.

“We see Indonesia as a key market for growth and we plan to further increase our presence in retail Indonesia. With the campaign, we aim our brand more known. It was strengthened with the launch of the ThinkPad and IdeaPad Tablet X1 K1, products are designed by considering The Do-er, “said Sandy Lumi, Country General Manager Lenovo Indonesia.

IdeaPad K1 Tablets running the Android operating system 3.1 and has filled more than 40 applications. one unique application was developed by Lenovo Social Touch. With this application, users can access all social networking sites in one place. (more…)

Slide Nokia Apple Producers Smartphone Biggest

imageProduct sales of smart phones (smartphones) made by Apple Inc. and Nokia Oyj Samsung surpassed for the first time. According to Strategy Analytics, Apple is now the largest smartphone manufacturer to control 18.5 percent of global smartphone sales in the second quarter.

While Nokia, must go down two levels to the third position of the first rank. The position of the Finnish manufacturer of smartphones just under the Samsung, after its market share shrank from 38.1 percent to 15.2 percent. Samsung in second place with 17.5 percent market share.

“Shifting the smartphone market has been going on since the introduction of the iPhone. Until now, Nokia has not been able to find the answer,” Leon said Cappaert, Fund Manager of KBC Asset Management in Brussels. (more…)

Grindr founder created straight dating app Blendr ‘for his mum’

imageJoel Simkhai, a softly spoken American, launched Blendr this week “to help people make friends based on their mutual interests”.

Whereas Grindr allows customers to scout for potential homosexual liaisons based on their location, Mr Simkhai says Blendr is intended to help users of any sexual orientation to forge friendships with people who share their interests or hobbies, such as knitting.

“’Friendship’ is not a euphemism,” he said. “We are matching people based on their interests. We’ll help you find people who have that specialist interest in your vicinity, whether it’s hiking, or knitting, so you can do that activity together. Alternatively it may be about practicing a language or looking for friends in your ethnic group,” he said. (more…)

Google gives HTC patents so it can sue Apple

imageGoogle is stepping up its battle with Apple by handing mobile phone manufacturers patents they need to sue the iPhone maker.

The web search giant has sold nine key patents to HTC, allowing the Taiwanese mobile phone manufacturer to sue Apple for infringements of intellectual property.

Apple was already locked in an intellectual property dispute with HTC regarding a number of alleged breaches of Apple patents in its Android handsets. However, on Thursday HTC lodged counter-suits against Apple in two US courts using some of the patents transferred from Google, and also filed a complaint at the US International Trade Commission. (more…)

AT&T revamps stores in tablet push

iamgeAT&T Chief Executive Randall Stephenson got an Amazon Kindle as a Christmas gift in 2007. A few months later, the company unwrapped a new emerging-devices group to explore the potential for all kinds of wireless options.

oday, Kindles are the fastest-growing connected device on AT&T’s wireless network. The attention given to wireless devices beyond smartphones has paid off for the communications giant. AT&T’s emerging-devices group is now driving wireless growth for the company, which took in $124 billion in total revenue in 2010.

Still, the company saw its second-quarter net income drop 10% this year as its exclusive contract with Apple’s iPhone ended and Verizon got the hot-selling device, too, with Sprint reported to be next.

STORY: AT&T’s ’emerging devices’ strategy (more…)

HP printer captures 3D images

imageThe market for All-In-One printers can be a rather demanding one, and HP has just released their latest offering, with a twist. Although the TopShot LaserJet Pro M275 does everything a user would expect from a multifunction printer, the TopShot has one trick up its sleeve – it can print 3D objects.

HPs LaserJet Pro M275 with the TopShot arm extended (image: HP)

Printing any object in 3D is done by extending the TopShot arm above the printer, and placing the object in line with the cameras.

‘(It) combines six images (three with flashes from different angles, and three in ambient light conditions with different exposure levels) to mimic a studio-like product shot,’ Engadget wrote. Although it can scan and print 3D objects, it only prints in the convention format of 2D.

Using the Biz Card app, the printer is also capable of scanning and importing multiple business cards simultaneously, while it can also make use of the HP cloud for extra online storage.

It can naturally upload any scanned image to a device without using a conventional PC, and connects wirelessly to an iPad, iPhone or iPod touch, making use of Apple AirPrint.