Friday, August 31, 2012
Thursday, August 30, 2012
Its apparent that respect for the average worker is at an all time low. It will be interesting how employment will evolve to accomodate the current conditions. Could it be startling for those in power?
Just curious how much this beauty will cost...
Monday, August 27, 2012
Sovereign Credit Rating: Canada To Be Among Tiny Elite To Keep AAA Status, Citibank Says
The Huffington Post Canada
As debt crises and an aging population put pressure on government spending around the world, Canada will be part of a small, elite group of countries to retain a top-notch credit rating, says a new report from Citibank.
“Canada and the Scandinavian countries are the only countries covered in our Sovereign Ratings Outlook that we believe rating agencies will maintain a ‘AAA Stable’ status both in the near- and longer-term,” a group of Citibank economists wrote last week in a client note obtained by The Huffington Post Canada.
Of the 19 developed economies the survey looked at, only Canada, Sweden, Denmark and Norway and Switzerland -- not a Scandinavian country -- are projected to have a stable AAA rating three years from now, the survey predicted. ("AAA" is the highest credit rating possible, and denotes the lowest possible risk.
Even Germany, Europe’s economic powerhouse, is projected to be downgraded to an Aa1 rating.
“Over the longer-term, given Citi’s global economic projections and fundamentally weak backdrop, we continue to expect downwards rating pressure,” the report stated.
The U.S. famously lost its AAA credit rating last summer, amidst an impasse in Congress over raising the federal government’s debt ceiling. Ultimately, Congressional leaders reached a deal, but not before damaging confidence in the U.S.’s ability to address its debt problems.
The U.S.’s national debt as of earlier this year stood at 80 per cent of GDP; Canada’s public debt stood at 69 per cent. That compares to 165 per cent for debt-ridden Greece, and 111 per cent for Italy, which is also facing a debt crisis. Greece's debt has been downgraded to CCC -- the fifth-lowest rating possible.
After running surpluses for about a decade, Canada slipped back into deficit spending with the economic crisis that began in 2008, running a deficit of $55.6 billion in 2009-2010. The size of the deficit has been shrinking since then, and has been projected to come in as low as $20 billion for 2012. The federal government projects a return to surpluses by mid-decade.
The Citibank report projects Canada’s economy will grow by about two per cent this year and in 2013, with a slight pick-up in 2014. But it warns that “externally focused downside risks and lingering uncertainties” will keep the Bank of Canada from raising interest rates any time soon.
“However, underlying domestic strength, a fully functioning financial system, balanced risks, and ongoing concern about household debt accumulation amid low interest rates should prompt the bank to retain its slightly hawkish policy tack."
By Erica Ogg
Aug. 27, 2012, 1:49pm PT
So, about that press release Apple sent in June that SVP of Hardware Engineering Bob Mansfield would be retiring from the company this year? Uh, scratch that. He’s staying on at the company, Apple announced Monday afternoon.
In addition, Apple CEO Tim Cook has promoted two new executives to the top tier of Apple’s leadership team: Craig Federighi, who will be SVP of Mac Software Engineering and Dan Riccio, who will be SVP of Hardware Engineering.
Mansfield’s new title wasn’t given, but the company said in a press release that he will stay on at Apple to “work on future products” and he will still report to Cook.
More to come.
These are the 8 Samsung devices Apple wants to ban in the US
Published on August 27th, 2012
Written by: Cody Lee
Last week, a jury found several of Samsung’s devices to be guilty of infringement on Apple’s patents. The damages awarded thus far total around $1 billion dollars, but Apple is seeking much more than that.
The Cupertino company has filed a notice with the court today identifying which of Samsung’s infringing products that it would like banned from US sales, including several Galaxy S and SII models…
The Verge reports:
“Despite having received a finding of infringement from the jury on most of the products in play in case, it looks like Apple is only going after eight. This isn’t terribly surprising given the fact that many of the products in the case are no longer available in the US. The eight Samsung products are:
Galaxy S 4G
Galaxy S2 (AT&T)
Galaxy S2 (Skyrocket)
Galaxy S2 (T-Mobile)
Galaxy S2 Epic 4G
Galaxy S Showcase
Apple’s filing specifically lays out the devices and the patents each was found to infringe according to the jury.”
Even these devices are getting hard to find in the US these days. For instance, the Droid Charge is available at Verizon for free with-contract, but many locations don’t even have them on hand.
That being said, some of these handsets are just now reaching MVNO and prepaid networks. So Samsung would still see some kind of impact in sales if Apple were to win sales bans on the devices above.
But despite its recent victory, Apple is still going to have to prove to the court that it will be “irreparably harmed” if these products continue to remain on sale in the US. While this will likely be easier with last week’s ruling, it’s by no means a slam dunk.
The Apple-Samsung injunction hearing is set for September 20th. Stay tuned.
Sunday, August 26, 2012
It's also been very interesting reading the various viewpoints across the web.
Here's what I think....
Yes it's important to protect hard earned developments and technologies. Makes sense if you spend tens of millions of dollars every year.
Yes, copying is the sincerest form of flattery, but it's not ok to copy everything. Lazy, lazy and LAZY.
Samsung got off simply because they are making a fortune in profit from their endeavors, and yes they are now moving in a much more innovative direction. Is 1 billion dollars punishment? How much did they take in last quarter?
Perhaps if there were a better guideline policy or policies in place so Apple didn't have to warn Samsung as much as they did. A neutral third party so lawyers didn't make so much money.
Yes Nokia combined innovation like icons, nice cameras, etc, etc, but truthfully who enjoyed using it? Or RIM?
Apple combined many elements from many other developers of technology into one cohesive, USABLE, pleasant experience. Still does. Despite using better hardware, the Android experience still isn't as refined.
To the whiners who say innovation will be killed as a result of this verdict...huh? Short term, maybe. Where is the next great step, or are you followers more follower than you want to admit. If you can't beat them at their own game...change the game....isn't that what true innovation is supposed to promise?
Isn't that what Apple did to RIM?
Or RIM did to Palm?
Or Palm did to Motorola?
And because of Apple you got a juggernaut of a product called the smartphone, even if you use Android.
That means cheap downloads, tons of media, mobile gaming, socializing on the go, a friend in your pocket.
I sincerely hope that Samsung ups their game (innovation) and I have no doubts that they will, maybe to the chagrin of Apple when they really shift their massive collective technological resource base.
I just hope that there will always be more than two players in the game otherwise it's called a monopoly, and that's when it's bad for consumers...
Saturday, August 25, 2012
BY MAT SMITH
POSTED AUGUST 25TH 2012 12:17PM
After refreshing its computer range, Apple's gearing up for two events for its new phone and tablet hardware, according to sources at AllThingsD. Given the excitement welling up behind its next iPhone, many have noted (including Daring Fireball's John Gruber) that it would make a whole lot of sense to furnish both the phone and the heavily rumored smaller tablet with individual events -- and that is, apparently, what's going to happen. Unfortunately, the anonymous sources weren't revealing anything further -- Apple's yet to confirm that posited September 12th event date, let alone any secondary event. But when it does, be assured that we'll be there to cover both of them.
FAST COMPANY: Who are you?
DREW TARVIN: I go by Drew, though the name out there is Andrew Tarvin. Through Humor That Works, I teach people and organizations how to use humor to be more productive, effective, and awesome. So far I’ve worked with more than 50 different organizations, including Proctor and Gamble, GE, and others.
When did you realize the power of humor in the workplace?
Over time, it happened. I’m an engineer by mindset and degree. However while in college, my best friend convinced me to start an improv comedy group. I didn’t have any type of performance background. I continued doing that while working at Proctor and Gamble after college. Over time I realized that a lot of the success I was having at P&G was due to stuff I’d learned at improv: the ability to think on my feet, not to be nervous at a presentation, connecting with people, and creating rapport. I started researching humor, and found out that it’s not just this soft skill--there’s real business value to it. Studies showed that it increased productivity in employees and enhanced creativity for problem solving.
Can you teach it? Aren’t comedians born, not made?
I disagree. A broad definition of humor is something that causes amusement--it may not cause laughter, but it may cause you to smile. It could be as simple as using pictures instead of words in a presentation, or including a personal story--something a little bit different that gets people to perk up, pay attention, smile, and stay invested. I think in large part, because of how dry a lot of workplaces are, there’s a much lower bar in terms of doing something humorous.
It’s sad that so many workplaces are so dry that all it takes is a shred of humanity to qualify as “humor.”
It is sad. It’s one of those things where, I wish I didn’t have a job--I wish what I did wasn’t needed, that people didn’t need a coach to say, “Hey, use humor.” People don’t realize the benefits of humor. One study showed that people who used humor in an initial interview, actually were making more money years later. There was a positive correlation between humor in the job interview and how much they were compensated later after having gotten the job.
MY RESPONSE WHEN PEOPLE SAY THEIR ORGANIZATION IS TOO SERIOUS IS, “IS IT MORE SERIOUS THAN THE CIVIL WAR?”
Willy Loman in “Death of a Salesman” thinks that to get ahead you just need to be “well liked.” That doesn’t work out so well for him, but it sounds like you’re saying he might have been on to something.
That’s part of it, but the base assumption here is you still have to do good work. If you’re a salesperson, you can’t be bad at sales and just be likable. You still have to do the work, to have results. But humor can be a way to improve results. It’s like dating--most people say a sense of humor and personality is most important. But there has to be a base level of attraction.
What do you say to the argument that some workplaces are too serious for humor?
If I’m getting heart surgery, that’s not necessarily the time I want the surgeon to add a bit of humor. “What would happen if we made his aorta into a balloon animal?” But one of my favorite anecdotes on this is about Abraham Lincoln. The story is that in the middle of the Civil War, Lincoln gathered all his cabinet members and brought them together to share an important document. But before he did that, he read a bit of Artemus Ward, a humorist at the time.
While he was reading it, he was cracking up--but he looked around and saw that no one else was laughing. He read another piece, and still no one was laughing. At this point he said, “Gentlemen, why don’t you laugh? With the fearful strain that is upon me night and day, if I did not laugh, I should die. You need this medicine as much as I do.” The document he read after that was the first draft of the Emancipation Proclamation. One of our best presidents, at a crucial time, was presenting an important document--and he opened with humor. So my response when people say their organization is too serious is, “Is it more serious than the Civil War?” To me, no place should be completely devoid of humor.
Tell me a workplace humor joke.
I came up with a fake conversation. “How good are you at Powerpoint?” “I Excel at it.” “Was that a Microsoft Office pun?” “Word.”
That’s pretty funny.
Give me a subject, and I’ll try to come up with a pun on the spot.
Did you hear about the IPO for corn on the New York Stock Exchange? It was a really bad stalk option.
Ooh. That one's timely.
Exactly, because of the drought! I needed to work that detail in.
This interview has been condensed and edited. For more from the Fast Talk interview series, click here. Know someone who'd be a good Fast Talk subject? Mention it to David Zax.
Dropped your handset in the bath? Fumbled your phone and plopped it in the loo? Don't panic -- just follow these steps and you'll have a good chance of breathing life back into your drowned smartphone. Just be sure to check out our list below of what not to do for some useful mythbusting.
What to do
While dismantling your phone completely would help it to dry out more effectively, doing so will void your warranty. It usually requires specialist tools and may jeopardize your phone if you're not careful, so I don't recommend it. Instead, follow these steps:
1. Firstly, retrieve your handset from the drink right away. A prolonged plunge will increase the risk of damage.
2. Resist the urge to check if it still works or press any buttons, since putting pressure on the keys could shift liquid farther into the device.
3. In all cases, the best thing to do is immediately pull out the battery, thus minimizing power to the device that may cause it to short circuit.
4. If you own a handset with a nonreplaceable battery, like an iPhone or Nokia Lumia, then pulling the battery isn't an option. You'll have to risk pressing a few buttons to check if it's still on and to swiftly turn it off if it is. Take care when handling the phone in this case.
5. Remove any peripherals and attachments on your phone, such as cases.
6. Extract the SIM card and any SD cards it carries, leaving ports or covers on your handset open to aid ventilation.
7. Dry off everything with a towel, including the exterior of your handset, being careful not to let any water drain into openings on the phone.
8. Even when everything's dry, it's very likely there's latent moisture within the device that you'll want to get out before turning it on. The most oft-reported fix for a sodden phone is to bury the handset in a bowl of dry rice. Desiccant materials, such as rice, have hygroscopic properties that can attract and absorb moisture. You can also use silica gel packs -- the kind used in shoe boxes -- to greater effect. If you don't have any lying around, uncooked rice will do nicely.
Place your phone in an airtight container and completely cover it with your choice of desiccant. Leave the container for 24 to 48 hours for the material to draw all the moisture out of your handset. If you feel like splashing out, you can buy silica-lined, hermetically sealed pouches that are specifically designed for the task.
9. When you're confident it's dried out, replace the battery and try switching it on. Good luck!
What not to do
A purported fast-track method of drying out a wet phone is to use a hairdryer, or applying heat to the device in other ways. While this would successfully evaporate all the moisture still sitting within the handset, it risks becoming too hot and causing damage to the components.
In cases of severe waterlogging, the steam created may not be able to fully ventilate and would simply condense again elsewhere in the phone. You may get away with it, but it seems rather perilous, so my recommendation is to avoid this method.
Another recurring recommendation is to stick your phone in a freezer, wrapped in paper towel to prevent frost damage. Supposedly, the reduced conductivity of water when close to freezing temperatures will stop your phone from short circuiting when in use.
This is definitely not a long-term solution, however, since as soon as the ice begins to thaw, you're left with the same, if not exacerbated, problem. In the process you'll probably mess up your phone's very fragile screen, which hardly seems worth risking for a short-term fix of dubious effectiveness.
For less-severe dunkings, you may get away with drying your phone thoroughly on the exterior alone, paying special attention to openings like the headphone jack and USB port. To this end, a few have suggested gently poking into them with a toothpick wrapped in paper towel. While jabbing into your phone with a stick is always a bit iffy, the biggest risk is that rags of sodden paper could get stuck inside your phone and play havoc with its innards.
One suggestion is to overcharge the handset so that the build-up of heat is gradual and not excessive, but this carries all the risks you'd expect with running a current through wet circuitry.
Inevitably, someone reading this will wonder if it's possible to dry out a phone by putting it in the microwave. Please see this for an adept response.
If you succeed in reviving your phone, then congratulations! But you may not have yet won the war with the Grim Reaper of gadgetry. The metal within your phone coming into contact with water and oxygen may create rust that will corrode over time.
While a professional phone fixer may be able to clear out any corrosion by swabbing the circuitry with rubbing alcohol -- again, don't try this at home, kids -- in many cases, the eventual demise of your phone is only a matter of time. Sorry.
Is your warranty still valid?
Seek out the liquid contact indicator (LCI). It's a small white sticker that turns red when it comes into contact with water. Manufacturers place LCIs on their products to use as a litmus test when deciding warranty claims. In most cases, they can refuse to fix or replace your handset if the LCI has been triggered.
Their location varies from phone to phone, and increasingly, manufacturers have taken to hiding them out of reach of Wite-Out-wielding customers.
Irrespective of the LCI's state, you should contact the manufacturer to see if it can help. That's a long-term solution, but if you need a phone (or the data it holds) right away, you'll need to dry out your phone before you try to use it, as outlined above.
If you really want it, chances are it's there, waiting.
Friday, August 24, 2012
Apple Beats Samsung: First Reactions
By BRIAN X. CHEN
Apple / Samsung Handout/European Pressphoto Agency
In the landmark trial between Apple and Samsung Electronics, a jury awarded Apple over $1 billion in damages on Friday after deciding that Samsung was guilty of infringement on most patents at issue. And in response to Samsung’s countersuit accusing Apple of infringing patents, the jury concluded that Apple owed Samsung nothing. In other words, it was a clean sweep for Apple.
What follows are early reactions to the news.
Apple was, obviously, quite pleased. Katie Cotton, an Apple spokeswoman, said the verdict did it justice.
We are grateful to the jury for their service and for investing the time to listen to our story and we were thrilled to be able to finally tell it. The mountain of evidence presented during the trail showed that Samsung’s copying went far deeper than even we knew. The lawsuits between Apple and Samsung were about much more than patents or money. They were about values. At Apple, we value originality and innovation and pour our lives into making the best products on earth. We make these products to delight our customers, not for our competitors to flagrantly copy. We applaud the court for finding Samsung’s behavior willful and for sending a loud and clear message that stealing isn’t right.
Samsung Electronics issued a statement after the verdict:
Today’s verdict should not be viewed as a win for Apple, but as a loss for the American consumer. It will lead to fewer choices, less innovation, and potentially higher prices. It is unfortunate that patent law can be manipulated to give one company a monopoly over rectangles with rounded corners, or technology that is being improved every day by Samsung and other companies. Consumers have the right to choices, and they know what they are buying when they purchase Samsung products. This is not the final word in this case or in battles being waged in courts and tribunals around the world, some of which have already rejected many of Apple’s claims. Samsung will continue to innovate and offer choices for the consumer.
Mark Lemley, a professor of Stanford’s law school, spelled out just how enormous a win this was:
$1,051,855,000. And no cents, apparently. Just large enough to make it the largest surviving patent verdict in history. #icourt #appsung
In an update posted on LinkedIn, Al Sabawi, a former I.B.M. executive and founder of Quantopix, a software company, said Samsung deserved to lose.
To all the lazy copycats out there who think cutting and pasting is an intellectual achievement, that hard work, sweat and tears don’t matter, that ideas, designs, and innovations can be stolen willy-nilly with no consequences: This is to you.
Paul O’Brien, founder of MoDaCo, a site focused on Windows smartphones, said this sounded like good news for Microsoft and its Windows phone platform.
Hear that noise? That’s the sound of Android manufacturers ringing Microsoft right now.
Robert Barr, executive director of the Center for Law and Technology at the University of California, Berkeley, spelled out what this would mean for the tech industry as a whole. It’s going to make it very difficult for not only Samsung but for other companies to mimic the Apple products:
Each of the patents cover a particular feature of the iPhone and the iPad. You can still make a smartphone, like the Microsoft Windows phone made by Nokia. It has a different look than the iPhone, different appearance and different features. That would be an example that is unaffected by this. The important thing here is that Apple’s patents were upheld as valid. Other companies are going to have to avoid the patents or license them. Even though this jury upheld them, other companies still get a shot. They can come in with new evidence and attack them. You have to have new reasons and new evidence.
The amount of damages is extraordinary. A billion dollars in damages is extra. It’s one of the biggest patent verdicts ever. That’s a huge amount of damages. And the judge has to now decide whether to increase that for the wilfulness. And the judge could increase that as much as triple. The judge has to still decide if there will be an injunction against future sales or a recall of product.
Even though people can come back and attack them, they are going to need new evidence and it’s going to be difficult.
Lisa Alcalay Klug and Nick Wingfield contributed reporting.
Twitter hands HootSuite users $100 in ad credits as API controversy fades
By Louis Goddard 24 Minutes Ago
Social media dashboard HootSuite has teamed up with Twitter to provide selected users with $100 in free advertising credits, part of the microblogging service's mission to woo small and medium enterprises (SMEs). The promotion, which went live yesterday, is only available to US businesses, and can only be redeemed with Twitter accounts that have not used Twitter's self-service advertising platform in the past.
The scheme is reminiscent of a deal offered when the platform launched, in which SMEs using American Express cards were given an identical amount of advertising credit. It is not clear whether Twitter has plans for any further promotions, with the decision likely to depend on how successful the HootSuite partnership proves in attracting new business.
As TechCrunch points out, this latest move follows an apparent endorsement of HootSuite made during the announcement of Twitter's controversial new API plans earlier this month. Describing the company's shifting attitude to third-party clients, product director Michael Sippey listed HootSuite among business-focused CRM providers like Sprinklr and Radian6, contrasting them with consumer-oriented clients.
Friday, Aug. 24, 2012
Alternatives are becoming much more attractive than a year ago. The iPhone didn’t change much over the year
Apple Inc.’s share of China’s smartphone market almost halved to 10% in April-June as buyers waited for the next iPhone model — expected later this year — or switched brands, data from industry research firm IDC showed on Friday.
China, Apple’s second-largest market, is set to overtake the United States as the world’s biggest smartphone market this year, with demand driven by generous handset subsidies offered by the three main carriers, increasingly tech-savvy consumers and more feature-packed and affordable products.
For the first time, smartphone shipments in China overtook feature phones in the second quarter, with local brands Lenovo Group Ltd and ZTE Corp pushing Apple to fourth place from second, the IDC data showed.
Total April-June smartphone shipments rose to 44 million, accounting for 51% of China’s total mobile shipments of 87 million, IDC said.
“There are two things in play,” said IDC analyst TZ Wong, referring to Apple’s drop in ranking and market share. “One is seasonal, people know the new phone is coming. And the second is that the alternatives are becoming much more attractive than a year ago. The iPhone didn’t change much over the year.”
South Korea’s Samsung Electronics Co Ltd retained its lead in the Chinese smartphone market with a share of 19%, though this was down from 21% in the previous quarter, according to the IDC data.
Lenovo, the world’s No.2 vendor of personal computers which makes the LePhone, climbed to second place and increased its China market share to 11% from a single-digit percentage in the first quarter when it was ranked 7th, the data showed. Local rival Huawei Technologies Co Ltd ranked fifth.
Data from Gartner, another research firm, showed Apple’s market share fell to 12% in the second quarter from 17% in the previous three months, though it kept its No.2 ranking, according to a report by Nomura Securities.
CHIPS FOR CHINA
U.S. chipmakers such as Qualcomm Inc have been trying to capture a larger slice of a booming market that has long been dominated by Taiwan’s Mediatek Inc and China’s Spreadtrum Communications Inc, by offering chipsets and solutions catered to Chinese vendors.
Recently launched Chinese smartphones packed with Qualcomm’s Snapdragon chips include Huawei’s G330D and Xiaomi Technology’s MI2.
“It’s such an important market because of the volume and the growth rate, which are so attractive for chipset vendors … so we’re seeing a lot of competition,” said James Shen, Qualcomm’s vice president for business development.
In the overall mobile phone market in China, which includes smartphones and feature phones, Samsung, Nokia and ZTE top the rankings for the second quarter, IDC said.
IDC’s Wong said it was inevitable that Chinese brands would gradually gain more share due to their aggressive marketing and close ties with local carriers China Mobile, China Unicom and China Telecom.
“In the mid- to long-term, it’s very possible they will start to dominate four of the top five (rankings), leaving Samsung as the only one standing. At that point, even Samsung will start to feel the pressure.”
Friday, Aug. 24, 2012
There is scope for further action by the Federal Reserve to ease financial conditions and strengthen the recovery
Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke said the central bank has the ability to take additional steps to boost the economy.
“There is scope for further action by the Federal Reserve to ease financial conditions and strengthen the recovery,” Bernanke said in a letter dated Aug. 22 to California Republican Darrell Issa, the chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee.
Bernanke repeated the statement from the Federal Open Market Committee’s Aug. 1 meeting that the Fed will provide “additional accommodation as needed.” He also reiterated earlier remarks to Congress that monetary policy “is not a panacea” and that other government policy makers could take steps to improve the economy.
The Fed chief said previous stimulus — including the two rounds of quantitative easing in which the Fed purchased US$2.3-trillion of securities — have “helped to promote a stronger recovery than otherwise would have occurred, and to forestall the possibility of a slide into deflation.”
The central bank’s most recent balance-sheet program, known as Operation Twist, is “still working its way through the economic system,” Bernanke said. Under the program, the Fed is swapping US$667-billion of short-term securities for longer-term debt.
“Monetary policy changes typically take several quarters to achieve their full effect on economic activity,” he said.
By Neil Hughes
Friday, August 24, 2012 @ 08:41 AM
A handful of third-party cases from overseas allegedly designed to fit Apple's rumored "iPad mini" feature space on the back for a rear-facing camera, as well as a mysterious tiny hole at the center.
The protective cases were discovered and highlighted on Friday by Giz-China.com, and show space for a camera at the top left of the device. That suggests that like all other portable iOS devices, including the iPhone and iPod touch, the smaller iPad will feature a rear-facing camera.
Also shown on the cases is a small, centered hole atop the back. That's consistent with leaked parts claimed to be from Apple's next iPhone which also show a new mystery hole on the back of the device, located between the camera lens and LED flash.
It has been speculated that the space on the new iPhone could be for a new rear-facing microphone that would improve audio quality when shooting video. It's possible that the empty space on the third-party cases purportedly for Apple's smaller iPad could also be accommodating for a new rear-facing microphone.
Another case available for sale includes a rendering of Apple's rumored smaller iPad featuring both the smaller dock connector as well as a forward-facing FaceTime camera.
Last month, alleged engineering samples of Apple's smaller 7.85-inch iPad appeared online and showed off the use of a smaller dock connector, but gave no indication of a rear-facing camera or microphone. The rumored device was shown to be noticeably thinner than Apple's current third-generation iPad with Retina display.
However, one alleged rear casing for Apple's "iPad mini" which surfaced earlier this month did not show a rear-facing camera or the mystery space found in the new third-party cases. But that alleged part also lacked the legally required technical info and disclaimer text usually found on the back of Apple's devices, casting some doubt on the part's authenticity.
Rumors have pegged Apple's smaller iPad to launch in October ahead of the holiday shopping season. It's been suggested that Apple may hold a separate media event from its anticipated Sept. 12 unveiling of a new iPhone to launch a smaller iPad model.
Formula GP Experience aims to put you in a Formula 1 car
By Gary Becker
If you are reading this article then it is probably a good bet that you are a car person and have in some way thought about what is it really like to be in Formula 1 car at speed.
The folks at Formula GP Experience have come up with a way, if you have the cash, to turn those thoughts of speed into reality. Formula GP Experience is a joint venture between Conquest Racing of the American Le Mans Series fame and DXLus.com. The two companies have been working together for the past 4 years and have given 11,500 souls the opportunity to go fast in Europe and the Middle East.
Now operating in the United States, they have taken a couple 2003-2004 Jordan Formula1 chassis and added a couple of seats on either side of the driver's seat. The cars are powered by Judd V10 motors that are pushing out 750 horsepower and can take you from 1 to 60mph in about 1.8 seconds.
Depending on how heavy your wallet is you can either ride around in one of the side seats for a single lap for $499 or the deluxe package for $999.
The Discovery Lap Package is just that. You get a one lap ride in a Formula 1 car at speed. The Formula GP Package gives you some laps in a go kart, 2 or 3 laps in the real car and pictures with a Pirelli girl I'm sure your wife let you hang on the living room wall. The GP package takes about 5 hours.
The Formula GP Experience begins the end of September a the Monticello Motor Club, moves to West Palm Beach, Phoenix and Las Vegas in October and in November ends up in Austin.
For more information visit https://formulagpexperience.com
POSTED BY LAURA CRIMMONS AT 11:47AM ON FRIDAY, 24 AUGUST 2012
Ever since Facebook’s IPO earlier this year, there‘s been a pretty obvious and significant increase in the amount of Facebook advertising opportunities. There has also been somewhat of a cold war brewing between Facebook and Google for a while, with many comparisons being made between their offerings, especially between Facebook and Google’s social platform Google+.
Speculation surrounding Facebook search has also been rife for a while now, especially since it was reported by Businessweek back in March this year that Facebook had employed about two-dozen engineers led by a former Google engineer, Lars Rasmussen, to work on improving its own search function.
And now it seems that Facebook is fighting even harder to move further into the search giant’s domain, having launched its very own PPC search advertising option, ‘Sponsored Results’.
With Sponsored Results, marketers will now be able to target users who are searching for specific pages, apps and places by showing their ad above the organic results, just the same as with traditional search engine PPC Google and Yahoo.
Here’s an example of what it will look like (taken from Facebook’s Developers Blog):
Interestingly, Facebook does allow users to hide the ad by clicking ‘x’, but it will also then prompt the user to offer a reason as to why they are closing it. It would seem likely that this will then be incorporated into Facebook’s algorithm to help it decide the position in which ads are displayed in results, just like with Google Adwords.
Further details about the specifics of the new Sponsored Results for developers, including details like maximum text length of an ad (70 characters) and how ads can be targeted, can be found here.
Pricing information is also included here, which states ‘Minimum bid price is $0.01 for targeting the same entity that you are promoting and $0.15 for targeting other entities on Facebook.’ This is interesting, because it means that advertisers will have to pay more per click to target an app, page or place that doesn’t belong to them, i.e. one that belongs to a competitor.
At present, Sponsored Results can only direct users to another page within Facebook and cannot direct to an external URL, however, with the rate that Facebook is trying to increase its advertising revenue, who knows whether this will always remain the case, or whether it aims to soon start allowing marketers to advertise to sites outside of Facebook.com?
Thursday, August 23, 2012
First Apple, then Microsoft and Amazon
Wednesday, August 22, 2012
Tuesday, August 21, 2012
Monday, August 20, 2012
Sunday, August 19, 2012
Saturday, August 18, 2012
The Wall Street Journal is reporting that Motorola has filed with the International Trade Commission (that's the same one that blocked the HTC One X and EVO 4G LTE for a spell) to sue Apple over seven undisclosed patents. The patents relate to the iPhone, the iPad and the iPod touch, for which Motorola is seeking an import ban.
So far, the only official word from Motorola has been "We would like to settle these patent matters, but Apple's unwillingness to work out a license leaves us little choice but to defend ourselves and our engineers' innovations." Also pertinent to the case is the fact that the patents in question aren't standards-based, so Motorola does not have to license them. Based on the history of patent litigation involving Apple (and sometimes Motorola) it sounds like the status quo, right?
Not so fast.
We've seen Motorola go after folks in the courtroom before, with a mixed bag of results. I hated it then, but it was just one company fighting with another company over your money -- in other words, business as usual. But that was all initiated before Google took over the helm. Today's news is something different.
Don't be evil
Google has made "Don't be evil" its company tagline. For the most part, Google has held true to its word. Google finds itself in hot water every now and then, but there's no malicious intent behind its goals. Better mapping and new pictures for Street View are things they care about. Thinking about all the repercussions and people who have no idea how to secure a Wifi network probably wasn't even an afterthought. And the deal with using what they call a standard, while knowing Apple's Safari browser didn't recognize it as such, to place cookies can be written as some folks at Google thought the +1 button was so cool they wanted it to work anywhere. Stupid, yes. Evil? Well, I don't think so.
Again, this is different. Inside I've always been able to placate myself by thinking that throughout all this patent nonsense, Google has kept their hands clean. They've sued nobody, and fought hard for what they (and I) think is right. That all changed today. Since May, Google is directly responsible for the things Motorola do as a company, and the Motorola name in the middle is just a proxy. Yes, Google says Motorola will be run as a stand-alone venture, but ultimately they have the final word.
While you cheer and say Apple deserves a taste of their own medicine, I'll be here thinking of the people who might be saving to buy an iPad, only to (potentially) have the opportunity taken away -- by Google. That makes me sad, and seeing Android fans cheer in droves makes me even sadder. We pride ourselves on the choice Android and Google give us, so seeing them try to take away a fair choice is not something I can support. Don't be evil, Google. Even when the other kids on the playground are.
Friday, August 17, 2012
Thursday, August 16, 2012
CEO aims to be largest PC maker
Here's a few numbers to infatuate a loved one.
Wednesday, August 15, 2012
Tuesday, August 14, 2012
08/14/12 by Stephanie Buck
1. TMI Parents
We love your babies, really we do. We do not, however, relish vivid descriptions of their every wee wee and poopee. And we especially don't look forward to 46 similar posts every single day.
Congratulations, you have a job! So does the majority of the rest of the 900 million people on Facebook.
We simply ask one favor: If you wish to market, create a marketing page. If you wish to lose all your friends, keep spamming them with P90X ads.
Urban Dictionary defines "vaguebooking" as the following: "An intentionally vague Facebook status update that prompts friends to ask what's going on, or is possibly a cry for help."
"Wondering if it's all worth it..."
"Yep, that just happened."
"Karma is a bitch."
4. Unsolicited Check-Ins
I really don't think anyone cares about our third trip to Dunkin' Donuts this week. For that matter, I'd prefer if my boss didn't learn about our weeknight rendezvous at **FREE-Tuesday-Night-Jager-Shots-With-Purchase-of-PBR-Tall-Can Tavern.**
5. The Humblebrag
"Sometimes I wish I wasn't 5'10" and stunningly gorgeous because then I could just walk in peace."
MySpace may have popularized the "selfie," but we're pretty sure Facebook is keeping it alive and well.
7. Song Lyrics
We're not total squares. We appreciate a good tune now and again. But somehow, reading your ass-random song lyrics out of context doesn't toot our trumpet, if you know what I mean.
8. Political Rants
Does [insert politician here] reward you for being his top ultra liberal/conservative social media mouthpiece? He should.
9. The Twitter Sync
HT @mention, @mention FWIW, Twitter is not the same as FB. #kthanksbye.
10. Third Person
There's a reason people on Facebook discontinued the third person status update. Because it got old. Ergo, stop doing it.
11. The Phantom Tag
I am not in that sunset picture, but you seem to want me to be. Or you just want me to hate you.
Variation: Any post that ends with "Amirite? [Tagged name] [Tagged name] [Tagged name] [Tagged name] [Tagged name] [Tagged name] [Tagged name] [Tagged name] [Tagged name] [Tagged name]."
It's so refreshing to know that people subscribe to you for your intelligence and wit. Oh right, that and marriage proposals.
13. Publicizing Private Moments
A) Full-blown conversations on Facebook between a couple that sees each other every day and may even be sitting next to each other on the couch, for all we know.
B) Posting publicly about private or sensitive matters pertaining to family, friends, legal matters, religious beliefs, health, violence or even feminine hygiene products (yes, we've seen it).
KITY (Keep It to Yourself).
14. Unnecessary Name Changes
When did it become trendy to go by your middle name instead of your last name? Some of us missed the memo.
15. Month-Long Events
Creating a month-long event? Cool. Now I have 30 days to plot my revenge.
16. The Shared Profile
There's no reason you and your partner should maintain separate profiles — you breathe the same air, keep the same secrets and mourn the same crippled identity, right?
17. Urban Legends / Chain Letters
"Repost this Facebook status to protect your privacy!" Sound familiar?
Fake rumors like these often start as political, marketing or social campaigns, and are designed to spread awareness through fear. But really, it's the people who blindly perpetuate these rumors who should be afraid — very afraid.
18. The "Arm Triangle of Insecurity"
The hand-on-hip trick creates a slimming effect, also known as the "skinny arm." It's especially effective when paired with a bent knee and photographed from the side.
Only problem is it's no longer a secret of the sorority pros. Now everyone knows you're just trying to look skinny.
Image courtesy of Flickr, Greek@Duke
19. Mundane Posts + Exercise Bragging
It's really important that every single one of your 400 Facebook friends knows that you're training for a 5K, that you stubbed your big toe during a recent jog, and that your runner's diet of chia seeds is doing wonders for your digestion.
20. Redundant Links
Pet peeve: people who don't remove the URL once they've copy/pasted it into a status update. Result: ilooklikebarackobama.com on top of ilooklikebarackobama.com. Hurts my eyes.
Either we’re getting old and grouchy or Facebook is becoming a lot less tolerable these days. Once we filter through pictures of baby’s first potty training and epic love poems of the newly engaged, we’re left with political diatribes and spam — and yes, all of it from our “friends.”
SEE ALSO: The Most Annoying Person on Facebook [COMIC]
In a long-winded, therapeutic email thread, Mashable staffers vented about our biggest Facebook pet peeves. Once I removed the NSFW language and CAPS LOCK cyber-rants, I narrowed down the list to the 20 most annoying behaviors on Facebook.
Perhaps your friends are guilty of one or — God forbid — all of these Facebook mortal sins. Maybe even you have erred from time to time (we forgive you, but please stop). Either way, now’s your chance to contribute your own nominations for world’s worst Facebook manners. Vent away in the comments below.
Thumbnail image courtesy of Flickr, Tuomas Puikkonen.
Gmail on your mobile device
iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch
Other mobile devices (BlackBerry, Windows Mobile, etc.)
Gmail for mobile browsers
Keyboard shortcuts help you save time by allowing you to never take your hands off the keyboard to use the mouse. You'll need a Standard 101/102-Key or Natural PS/2 Keyboard to use the shortcuts.
To turn these case-sensitive shortcuts on or off:
Click the gear icon in the upper right, then select Settings.
Choose the option next to "Keyboard shortcuts" to turn them on. You can also enable shortcuts automatically by going to http://mail.google.com/mail/?kbd=1
Shortcut Key Definition Action
c Compose Allows you to compose a new message.
/ Search Puts your cursor in the search box.
k Move to newer conversation Opens or moves your cursor to a more recent conversation. You can hit
j Move to older conversation Opens or moves your cursor to the next oldest conversation. You can hit
n Next message Moves your cursor to the next message. You can hit
p Previous message Moves your cursor to the previous message. You can hit
u Return to conversation list Refreshes your page and returns you to the inbox, or list of conversations.
e Archive Archive your conversation from any view.
m Mute Archives the conversation, and all future messages skip the Inbox unless sent or cc'd directly to you. Learn more.
x Select conversation Automatically checks and selects a conversation so that you can archive, apply a label, or choose an action from the drop-down menu to apply to that conversation.
s Star a message or conversation Adds or removes a star to a message or conversation. Stars allow you to give a message or conversation a special status.
+ Mark as important Helps Gmail learn what's important to you by marking misclassified messages. (Specific to Priority Inbox)
- Mark as unimportant Helps Gmail learn what's not important to you by marking misclassified messages. (Specific to Priority Inbox)
! Report spam Marks a message as spam and removes it from your conversation list.
r Reply Replies to the message sender.
a Reply all Replies to all message recipients.
f Forward Forwards a message.
Saves the current text as a draft when composing a message. Hold the
Moves the conversation to Trash.
Opens the Labels menu to label a conversation.
Moves the conversation from the inbox to a different label, Spam or Trash.
[ Archive and previous Removes the current view's label from your conversation and moves to the previous one.
] Archive and next Removes the current view's label from your conversation and moves to the next one.
z Undo Undoes your previous action, if possible (works for actions with an 'undo' link).
q Move cursor to chat search Moves your cursor directly to the chat search box.
y Remove from Current View*
Automatically removes the message or conversation from your current view.
From 'Inbox,' 'y' means Archive
From 'Starred,' 'y' means Unstar
From 'Trash,' 'y' means Move to inbox
From any label, 'y' means Remove the label
* 'y' has no effect if you're in 'Spam,' 'Sent,' or 'All Mail.'
. Show more actions Displays the 'More Actions' drop-down menu.
? Show keyboard shortcuts help Displays the keyboard shortcuts help menu within any page you're on. (Note: Typing ? will display the help menu even if you don't have keyboard shortcuts enabled)
Move up a contact
Moves your cursor up in your contact list
Move down a contact
Moves your cursor down in your contact list
Opens the contact with the cursor next to it.
Return to contact list view
Refreshes your page and returns you to the contact list.
Remove from Current Group
Removes selected contacts from the group currently being displayed.
Checks and selects a contact so that you can change group membership or choose an action from the drop-down menu to apply to the contact.
Escape from input field
Removes the cursor from the current input
Deletes a contact permanently
Opens the groups button to group contacts
Reverses your previous action, if possible (works for actions with an 'undo' link)
Show more actions
Opens the "More actions" drop-down menu.
Combo-keys - Use the following combinations of keys to navigate through Gmail.
Shortcut Key Definition Action
y then o Archive and next Archives your conversation and moves to the next one.
g then a Go to 'All Mail' Takes you to 'All Mail,' the storage site for all mail you've ever sent or received (and have not deleted).
g then s Go to 'Starred' Takes you to all conversations you have starred.
g then c Go to 'Contacts' Takes you to your Contacts list.
g then d Go to 'Drafts' Takes you to all drafts you have saved.
g then l Go to 'Label' Takes you to the search box with the "label:" operator filled in for you.
g then i Go to 'Inbox' Returns you to the inbox.
g then t Go to 'Sent Mail' Takes you to all mail you've sent.
* then a Select all Selects all mail.
* then n Select none Deselects all mail.
* then r Select read Selects all mail you've read.
* then u Select unread Selects all unread mail.
* then s Select starred Selects all starred mail.
* then t Select unstarred Selects all unstarred mail.
The rumour mill....
Nice, basic explanation in real persons terms
By Tommaso Ebhardt
August 13, 2012 6:00 PM
The 204,000-euro Ferrari 458 Italia has never been a particularly common sight, even on the autostrade of its native Italy. Today it’s becoming even rarer as austerity measures spur Ferrari owners to export supercars by the truckload.
A crackdown on luxury goods combined with budget cuts that have pushed Italy deeper into its fourth recession since 2001 are souring demand for sporty cars and other symbols of the country’s carefree lifestyle. The number of secondhand high- performance cars exported from Italy nearly tripled to 13,633 vehicles in the first five months of 2012, from 4,923 a year earlier, according to auto industry group Unrae.
“Italy is one of the strongholds of supercars, and those vehicles are now disappearing from the streets,” said Giuliano Noci, associate dean of Milan Polytechnic’s business school. “This has a huge symbolic value and shows how deep the crisis is.”
The exodus reflects weaker overall demand for supercars in the home of Ferrari and Maserati, Fiat SpA (F)’s most profitable brands. Sales of super-luxury cars in Italy are forecast to plunge 47 percent to 593 vehicles this year from 1,116 in 2008, according to IHS Automotive, which predicts that sales won’t return to pre-crisis levels before 2016.
The government of Prime Minister Mario Monti is implementing 20 billion euros ($25 billion) in austerity measures as the country grapples with 1.9 trillion euros of debt. The economy has contracted for four straight quarters and unemployment has surged to near a 13-year high as consumer spending and industrial output slump.
The downturn prompted Fiat, Italy’s biggest manufacturer, to temporarily halt investments in the country. Chief Executive Officer Sergio Marchionne may close another factory after shuttering a plant in Sicily last year. Weaker supercar demand could further sour Fiat on Italy and accelerate a shift to stronger markets like the U.S. and China.
Marchionne relies on Fiat’s luxury models to offset losses at the group’s mass-market brands in Europe, which totaled 345 million euros in the first half. Ferrari and Maserati’s combined operating profit was 175 million euros in the period, equivalent to 12.2 percent of sales, beating Bayerische Motoren Werke AG (BMW)’s 11.6 percent margin.
Italy has become a declining source of supercar profits after Monti raised ownership levies on high-performance vehicles as part of his budget reforms. After the changes, owners of the 316,000-euro Lamborghini Aventador pay about 8,400 euros a year in taxes, an increase of 6,600 euros.
On top of the extra levies, supercar-owners are being scrutinized in efforts to flush out tax evaders. Since December 2011, Italian authorities have conducted dozens of raids in wealthy areas, including the ski resort Cortina d’Ampezzo and Portofino on the Riviera. The officials stop supercars to check whether their owners declared sufficient income -- and paid enough taxes -- to support their lifestyles.
Near Venice last month, financial police arrested a 44- year-old man driving a Ferrari F40 for not paying 8 million euros in taxes since 2006. In a July sweep in the northern town of Bergamo, police found that the driver of a 200,000-euro Ferrari F131 had evaded 3 million euros in taxes since 2007.
“Many Ferrari owners want to get rid of their supercars after the financial police came to one of our events near Rome and checked every driver,” said Fabio Barone, who heads the Ferrari owners’ club Passione Rossa. One of the members put a Ferrari 458 up for sale for 143,000 euros after buying it for 224,000 euros last year, he said.
Barone said he has received calls from dealers in France, Germany and eastern Europe inquiring about vehicles that might be available. Some owners looking to unload their cars are simply listing them on automotive websites. Others sell them via Ferrari’s pre-owned car program.
It’s not just Ferraris. Every week about 200 second-hand Porsches leave Italy for other European countries, according to Loris Casadei, head of the Italian operations of the Volkswagen AG (VOW) brand. Exports of used Porsche Cayennes more than tripled to 1,134 vehicles in the first five months of 2012. The number of second-hand Ferraris and Maseratis leaving Italy jumped to 424 cars from 142, according to Urae
“The high-end car market is one of the more resilient to the crisis, and Italy is punishing it -- not a wise decision,” said Romano Valente, general manager of Unrae, which represents foreign automakers in Italy. “The luxury tax has created a perverse mechanism.”
While Ferrari’s sales in Italy were hurt by an “anti- rich” political campaign, demand in other markets for cars like the four-seat FF will help the automaker increase sales to more than 7,000 vehicles this year, Chairman Luca Cordero di Montezemolo said at the Geneva Motor Show in March.
Though Montezemolo supports the government’s fight against tax evasion, he disagrees with the “demagogic spectacularization” of those efforts, said a Ferrari official. The carmaker sells about 95 percent of its cars outside Italy.
Still, the global expansion by Ferrari, Maserati and Lamborghini won’t help Italians like those in the Passione Rossa club. In June, more than 40 members were checked by police who were waiting when a ferry carrying them docked at the port of Palermo for a driving event in Sicily.
“The situation is dramatic,” said the club’s president, Barone. The Dolce Vita era “is far behind us.”
To contact the reporter on this story: Tommaso Ebhardt in Milan at firstname.lastname@example.org
To contact the editor responsible for this story: Chad Thomas at email@example.com
Monday, August 13, 2012
New world POV
Audiophiles have a new way to share....
Sunday, August 12, 2012
Saturday, August 11, 2012
Google updates its search policy
If you like to download free media content, think again.
90 degree reading glasses
A fascinating development...
Friday, August 10, 2012
Thursday, August 9, 2012
Mercedes' powerful engine could be the cause of increased rear-tyre wear for its customers; McLaren, Mercedes and Force India, according to a report in Germany's Auto und Motor Sport.
It's believed that the high torque at the mid-range is putting increased power and therefore stress through the rear-tyres, particularly when a driver accelerates out of a medium-speed corner.
This could go some way to explaining why Ferrari, Sauber, Red Bull and Lotus are enjoying longer life in their Pirelli tyres. The former pair are powered by the Ferrari unit, whilst the latter two are powered by Renault - both engines are well-known to offer slightly less power than the Mercedes unit.
A comment made by Mercedes team principal Ross Brawn, in which he said, "the characteristics of the engine have a large influence on the degradation of the tires," supports the reports findings.
Mercedes have recognised the problem and are believed to be working on a fix, though a trade-off exists between decreased tyre wear through less torque and a higher rate of acceleration to the cars top-speed.