Samsung ATIV S listing obstacle was swept away, and got the network license

Posted by on Dec 20, 2012 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Recently, the Windows Phone 8 has become the new darling of the mobile operating system, the topic heat has even cought up with Android and iOS mobile operating system. The major mobile phone manufacturers have hurried to launch their own phones equipped with Windows Phone 8.

Samsung is no exception. According to the latest news, Samsung first Windows Phone 8 mobile phone ATIV S has obtained the network license, which means Samsung ATIV S last obstacle to release in the domestic market has been swept away.

Samsung ATIV S is equipped with 4.8-inch 720P Super AMOLED display which is the largest size among the WP8 phones, 1.9 million front camera and 8.0 million rear camera, the built-in storage space has 16GB and 32GB versions, and it supports microSD card expansion, NFC , Bluetooth 3.0 and some other functions. It is expected to be listed at the end of this year or January next year.

It is reported that the date when Samsung ATIV S gained the certification is December 13 this year, and the network license is WCDMA version. This phone also supports WCDMA, GSM (GPRS) signal systems.

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Fitness Trackers Make Terrible Gifts

Posted by on Dec 20, 2012 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Unless the person you’re shopping for has obsessive tendencies, fitness trackers won’t help him or her get into shape.

Fitbit Is Sad

Fitbit Is Sad I’ve been using the more expensive Fitbit One, so this Fitbit Ultra is sad. Dan Nosowitz

Fitness trackers, little pedometer-type things that purport to measure your activity and help you get into shape, are on about a billion gift guides this year. But maybe they shouldn’t be. Here are the two most pressing reasons not to buy someone a fitness tracker like a Fitbit, Nike+ Fuelband, or Jawbone Up as a gift.

1. It implies your giftees are fat. And maybe they are but if you feel like that’s something they should know you should probably not use a pedometer as a messenger. Be nice!

2. 99% of people won’t use it. And this is the more pressing reason–it’s not that they’re bad products, exactly, it’s just that fitness trackers have positioned themselves as gadgets for the masses, a futuristic way to get in shape. And they’re not! They are helpful tools for a very particular type of person, and you know maaaaaybe one of that type of person, and that person probably already has one of these.

I’ve been using both of the new Fitbit products for a few weeks now. I am in awful shape, an overripe chimera of laziness and injury and sedentary job and also laziness, and I thought “hey, I bet this’ll help motivate me to get into shape!” It did not, and that’s only partly due to the execution of the product. The Fitbit One, which just about every reviewing publication ranks as the best or one of the best fitness trackers out there, is fine. It’s tiny and well-designed, it can track your steps, it syncs with an app on your phone, it tracks your sleep patterns. All of that stuff together can be very helpful for monitoring your health, but I suspect very few people will actually see the benefit.

That’s because fitness trackers are dumb. I don’t mean dumb as in “bad,” I mean dumb in the same way that an old flip-phone is dumber than a smartphone. It just can’t do very much on its own. Here’s one (unusually active) day of using the Fitbit.

Fitbit App

Fitbit App: I had pho for lunch today. Pho is not listed, although anhyrdrous disodium phosphate is. Weird.  Dan Nosowitz

Last week, before going to bed, I remembered to have the Fitbit track my sleep. I dug the Fitbit out of my pants, put on the big velcro wristband, stuck the Fitbit in the wristband’s pocket, pressed the button to tell the Fitbit I was going to bed, and then went to bed. Woke up the next morning, pressed the button to tell the Fitbit I was awake. Took the Fitbit out of the wristband, put it in my pocket again. Had breakfast. Logged onto the Fitbit app to tell the app I had breakfast. Searched for the specific breakfast I had, guessed how much I had eaten. Logged it. Biked to work–about a 6.5-mile trip–which the Fitbit did not register, because it only registers walking. Logged onto the Fitbit app to tell it precisely how long and how far the bike trip was.

Worked. Had lunch, logged onto the Fitbit app to tell it what I had for lunch. Fitbit directory didn’t list what I had–it mostly includes fast food or chain food–so I guessed at the calorie count. Went to the gym after work. Moved Fitbit from pants to a clip on my workout shorts. Worked out. Fitbit doesn’t pick up on any of that, because I didn’t do anything like walking, which is what the Fitbit measures. Logged onto Fitbit app to tell it what I did. Weighed myself at the gym. Logged onto Fitbit to tell it how much I weigh. Biked home. Logged onto Fitbit app to tell it about that. Ate dinner. Logged onto Fitbit app and took my best guess as to calorie count. Took Fitbit out of pants, synced with iPhone app. Put it into wristband and told it I was going to bed.

From all of that, I saw how many calories I burned, how far I walked, how many flights of stairs I climbed, how many calories I took in. I could see graphs over time, comparing my activity day by day, week by week, month by month. All of that is cool! But I am not an obsessive type, and I lost interest in spending literally hours per day with the Fitbit app after about two days.

This isn’t exclusive to Fitbit; all of the major fitness trackers (Fitbit, Nike+ Fuelband, Jawbone Up) have their own quirks and pros and cons–the Fuelband and Jawbone Up, as wristbands, don’t have the problem of having to remember to bring it with you, though they don’t track your food intake–but they mostly work the same way. They’re glorified pedometers with added fitness tracking software. To really get the most out of these gadgets, you have to be kind of obsessive. Just using them casually gets you very little of value; for a few days, it’s cool to see how many steps you take, and I did take the stairs rather than the escalator to get more “points,” but I very quickly tired of it. They just don’t give enough information because they can’t extract enough data, and they can’t be encouraging because they don’t analyze the data they get.

Fitbit In Wristband

Fitbit In Wristband: You stick the Fitbit One in a wristband when you go to bed.  Dan Nosowitz

I still think there’s a place for fitness trackers. The Basis Band, for example, is one step closer to being actually helpful for two main reasons. First: it can measure your heart rate, unlike any of the other trackers I mentioned. Second: it uses that data to recommend new exercises–instead of just giving you a chart, it’ll advise that you walk around the office for ten minutes. That’s much more helpful to the vast majority of people who don’t like looking at charts all day.

Fitness trackers can only really be helpful when they get smart. Data is great, but for most people, it’s not enough to just gather data and present it. You have to analyze it, figure out what it means and how to use it. The dream of a fitness tracker is pretty much like a fitness-centric version of Google Now: it needs to take in your data and then figure out what you actually want to know. That’s the next generation of this data tech–it’s not about the data, it’s about the conclusions. What we want is a fitness tracker that suggests, that figures out your lifestyle and then gives you advice, that actually helps you get into shape rather than just telling you exactly how out of shape you are. Hopefully the next generation of fitness trackers go in that direction. But for now, don’t bother with a pedometer.

Catherine Bach source

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Researcher: Pesky Microbe May Have Caused the Biggest Extinction in History

Posted by on Dec 19, 2012 in Uncategorized | 0 comments



Methane-producing bacteria may have leverage nickel from volcanism to flood the atmosphere with methane

It was called “The Great Dying”.

I. A Time of Death and Desolation

If that title sounds dire it is because it was indeed a grim time for life on Earth.  Occurring about 252 and one-third million years ago, the mass extinction came at a time when life on Earth had become fairly advanced.  Terrestrial life consisted of a rich mix of large amphibians (think huge cousins of today’s salamanders) and scaly reptilian dinosaur predecessors.  The seas teemed with life.

Then some sort of cataclysm swept the globe.  Ninety-six out of every one-hundred marine species (96%) went exinct, while seventy out of every one-hundred terrestrial vertebrate species (70%) also bit the metaphorical dust.  The exinction to this day remains the most severe mass extinction in Earth’s history and what is believed to be the only mass extinction to feature a major extinction of insects — traditionally among the Earth’s most hardy species.

So what caused this severe event?


In line with all the hype and fervor surrounding global warming, some past researchers have suggested climate change may have played a role.  Criticism of this hypothesis has traditionally been that it’s improper to assume the markers of climate change — atmospheric and ocean carbon levels — as causing ecological changes, when ecological changes can also cause climate change.

Massachusetts Institute of Technology Professor Daniel Rothman has become the latest researcher to throw his hat in the paleontological ring, offering up an interesting alternate hypothesis of how such a catastrophic climate change incident may have been triggered, leading to the Earth losing so much biodiversity.

The Great Dying marked the edge of the Permian.  Its end ushered in a new era — the Triassic — which would become the first of three major historical eras when the land-masses were ruled by large reptiles (dinosaurs).

To look for clues as to what caused The Great Dying, Professor Rothman dug back into sediments from the end of the Permian era.  Examing deposits in China, he found something intriguing.

Carbon levels in the sediment indeed appeared to rise quickly.  But the interesting part is that they rose so quickly that he feels that the sedimentary analysis rules out change by slower-acting forms of carbon release, such as volcanoes.

He also observed that oceanic nickel levels spiked 251 million years ago, as volcanoes in Siberia dumped tons of molten nickely into the sea.

II. What Caused Carbon Levels to Spike? 

Nickel is a ubiquitous catalyst in certain kinds of biochemical reactions.  Microorganisms, such as the ocean-based methane-producing bacterium methanosarcina, often use the metal to speed up reactions that produce carbon waste byproducts.

Thus Professor Rothman suggests that methanosarcina likely exploited the rising nickel levels to transform carbon dioxide and hydrogen into methane.  

In fact, Professor Rothman believes that methanosarcina fortuitously acquired the its triple metal-catalyzed methane-producing metabolic pathways about 251 million years ago, just as the nickel levels spiked.


The loss of atmospheric carbon dioxide would likely have twin adverse impacts — first as plants require carbon dioxide to produce sugars, there likely would be mass loss of foliage globally; second as methane is a more potent warming gas than carbon dioxide, temperatures likely would have spiked globally.

The researcher’s hypothesis was set forth on Dec. 4 at the annual meeting of the American Geophysical Union.  The meeting was held in San Francisco, Calif. at the Moscone Convention Center.

If he is correct it suggests that methanosarcina could be the most diabolical murderer in history, by far eclipsing mankind’s worst impact in terms of speciation.

Not all experts are convinced.  Anthony Cohen, a researcher at the Open University in the United Kingdom, comments, ‘”[For the hypothesis to be correct] there are a lot of assumptions you have to make.”

Sources: Live Science, AGU Meeting Schedule

read other stories Lara Bingle

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Thank You, Apple Maps. Now Go Away Forever

Posted by on Dec 19, 2012 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

iPhone owners: let’s raise our glasses to Apple Maps, which has, indirectly, given us a better iPhone. And then let’s get rid of it.

The New Google Maps for iPhone

The New Google Maps for iPhone Google

The terrifying few months of what will be forever known as Apple Mapgate (no it won’t) are over. Google just released Google Maps for the iPhone, so we can all stick Apple Maps in our “Utilities” folder on our homescreens where it can sit comfortably next to other useless apps like Compass and Stocks. But here’s the weird thing: Google didn’t just package up the old Google Maps for iOS app and re-release it. They spent the past few months actually making a better app, with features the iOS version of Google Maps never had before.

In other words, thank you, Apple Maps, for giving iOS users a better phone.

It’s easy to forget that Google Maps for iOS was never particularly great; it was pretty, but increasingly limited, especially compared to Maps on Android. It never had turn-by-turn navigation, which Android has had since October of 2009 (!), it never had bike directions or offline caching, and it used clumsy bitmaps instead of vectors. That last one is why Google Maps for Android (and, to be fair, Apple Maps) loads faster and never looks blurry while zooming or panning.

The underlying data in Google Maps for iPhone was always great, of course; Google spends lots of time and money and effort getting the best data for its maps. But during all the panic over Apple Maps, we lionized the old Google Maps, and we shouldn’t have, really.

That’s why it’s interesting that the new Google Maps is such a marked improvement. It actually looks modern now–no stupid folded-over corner, a skeumorphic relic from 2008. Instead it looks like Google circa 2012, which is very nice indeed. Clean white bars, clear symbols, a hidden sidebar with more options. It has turn-by-turn navigation now, and vector graphics, and listings from Zagat (which Google acquired a few months back). It works even with older iPhones, which Apple Maps does not.

Google responded to Apple Maps as if Apple Maps was a threat, as if any app named “Google Maps” wouldn’t get about a billion downloads as soon as it was released. Google decided to compete with Apple. And that’s great for us, because Google finally (mostly) stopped handicapping the iOS version of it’s map app. It still doesn’t have everything the Android version has, but the weird thing about this whole mess is that iPhone users have come out on the other side with something they should have been demanding all along: a modern, full-featured maps app.

Lisa Snowdon see more

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‘Users are Instagram’s product’: Privacy row as photo-sharing app claims right to put users’ pictures on adverts

Posted by on Dec 18, 2012 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

  • Instagram’s new terms of service and privacy policy bring it into line with those of parent company Facebook
  • Comes after standoff between Instagram and Twitter over photo apps
  • Company claims the right to use any uploaded photos or user data to promote its partners’ products
  • It adds that it may not always identify when these recommendations are merely adverts or genuine user actions

By Damien Gayle

|

Instagram has claimed the right use any picture uploaded to the service to promote its corporate customers’ products without any compensation to the user who originally took it.

The photo-sharing app, recently bought out by Facebook, has adopted several sections from its new parent’s terms of service which reveal how it is to operate in the future.

Foremost among them is the company allowing itself to put users’ names, likenesses, photos and actions online next to any product it is paid to promote.

'Did we mention its free?' Except Instagram's new terms of service makes clear that users grant the company rights over all their photos and personal information uploaded to the site

‘Did we mention its free?’ Except Instagram’s new terms of service makes clear that users grant the company rights over all their photos and personal information uploaded to the site

It comes as twitter and Instagram are involved in a war over mobile pictures – with twitter adding retro filters to its software, and instagram banning twitter users from embedding their pictures in tweets.

Privacy campaigners have blasted the new terms, saying it is just another example confirming how users’ personal data are turned into products traded between powerful companies.

Instagram’s home page describes the service as ‘free’, however the new terms make clear that users effectively hand over the rights to their pictures and personal information in exchange for access.

The changes to Instagram’s terms of service bring it into line those of Facebook, which bought out the photo-sharing app for $715million in September.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg: His company bought out Instagram in a $715million deal in September

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg: His company bought out Instagram in a $715million deal in September

Clause two of the Rights section of Instagram’s new terms of service says: ‘You agree that a business or other entity may pay us to display your username, likeness, photos (along with any associated metadata), and/or actions you take, in connection with paid or sponsored content or promotions, without any compensation to you.’

What this means Instagram can now takes its users’ identities and data and put them next to any business partner who pays for the privilege of advertising on the site.

To make matters worse, it adds in the following clause: ‘You acknowledge that we may not always identify paid services, sponsored content, or commercial communications as such.’

This seems to mean that where it has taken users’ personal information and used it to promote a product, it needn’t let it be known that it is not the choice of the user identified.

While Facebook’s terms of service are similar, the social network at least explicitly grants its users the ability to change how their names and profile pictures are used for commercial content.

Section 10, clause one of Facebook’s terms of service reads: ‘You can use your privacy settings to limit how your name and profile picture may be associated with commercial, sponsored, or related content (such as a brand you like) served or enhanced by us.’

HOW TO KILL YOUR INSTAGRAM

If Instagram’s new terms of service are tough for your to swallow, there is a quick way to remove yourself from the service – and save all your pictures.

First you need to download all the pictures you have handed over to the app. Wired Gadget Lab recommends using Instaport, which will download your entire library in just a few minutes.

Once your photos have been rescued, you can upload them to another photo-sharing service with less invasive terms like Flickr.

Once your photos have been removed, its time to delete your account – but bear in mind that once it’s gone, it’s gone forever.

Instagram will not reactivate delected accounts and you will never again be able to sign up to the service with the same user name.

Instagram’s new terms also reveals that the service has given itself the right to share users’ cookie data with third-party advertising networks, allowing them to target advertisements that follow users across the web.

The changes to the policies come as a senior Facebook executive recently confirmed plans to ‘monetise Instagram’.

Facebook’s vice president of global marketing Carolyn Everson told Business Insider: ‘Instagram continues to grow incredibly fast and we’re still a very small team when you think about the amount of people they are reaching.

‘There are many brands that use Instagram right now to try to get a feel for how to engage with their followers. We will definitely be figuring out a monetisation strategy.

‘When that will happen, I can’t comment, but it’s going to happen.’

Ms Everson pointedly avoided confirming that adverts would appear on the service, implying that the company may choose to use the wealth of data about Instagram’s users to make money.

FACEBOOK OWNED INSTAGRAM DECLARES WAR ON TWITTER

Instagram no longer allows Twitter users to view its photographs in tweets in an effort to drive more people away from the rival social media company to its own website.

Kevin Systrom, CEO of the photo-sharing service, which was snapped up by Facebook earlier this year, said Instagram has turned off support for ‘Twitter cards,’ signalling a deepening rift between two of the web’s biggest brands.

Twitter users started to complain earlier this month in public messages that Instagram photos were not displaying properly on Twitter’s website.

Clarifying the situation, Mr Systrom released a statement saying: ‘We believe the best experience is for us to link back to where the content lives.’

Instagram started off as a smartphone application-only service but has recently improved its website.

‘A handful of months ago, we supported Twitter cards because we had a minimal web presence,’ Mr Systrom said, noting that the company has since released new features that allow users to comment about and ‘like’ photos directly on Instagram’s website.

The rivalry between Facebook and Twitter intensified in April when the former outbid Twitter to nab fast-growing Instagram in a cash-and-stock deal valued at the time at $1billion.

FACEBOOK PLANS OWN VERSION OF ‘SEXTING’ APP SNAPCHAT

Facebook is developing its own in-house equivalent to Snapchat, the controversial photo messaging app that has been accused of promoting ‘sexting’ among youngsters.

Snapchat allows users to send pictures with a time limit – meaning that they automatically delete themselves after a predetermined time has elapsed.

The messaging service,  has reportedly become popular for sending flirtatious pictures, with recipients unable to hang on to the embarrassing evidence and leak it online.

Snapchat

However, it has come under fire for promising more privacy than it can guarantee, since it remains possible to take a screengrab of the picture before it self destructs.

Facebook, the world’s most popular social network, reportedly plans to launch its own Snapchat-like service in the coming weeks, before the end of the year.

The new app will be standalone and separate from the main Facebook app, bringing the social network’s app count up to five. 

All photos uploaded from users’ mobile phones contain geotagged location data that reveals exactly where the picture was taken.

That, combined with records of users’ activities on the service and Facebook’s own facial recognition technology, gives the company a rich seam of data to mine. The new policies go into effect on January 16, which will mark the completion of Instagram’s merging with Facebook.

Nick Pickles, director of privacy and civil liberties campaign group Big Brother Watch, said: ‘People thought they were Instagram’s customers, but in reality users are Instagram’s product.

‘It goes to show when respecting people’s data and privacy come into conflict with profit, there’s only ever going to be one winner.

‘Users are now paying the price of Facebook’s acquisition of the company and unfortunately this kind of move will be seen time and time again as long as it is our personal data and advertising paying for services.’

Laura Schlessinger more stories

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With 3.7-inch touch screen and WP7.8 system, Nokia Lumia505 released

Posted by on Dec 18, 2012 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

According to the information Nokia updated on the Mexico site, this new machine Lumia505 for the low-end market will be tailored to the Mexican carrier Telcel and it offers red, black and magenta three colors, and it is expected to be within the market in the coming weeks.

Nokia Lumia505 continues the past style in the appearance, the curved screen and colorful shell is still the most attractive in appearance. As for the configuration, this new machine is not so special, it is equipped with a 3.7 inches AMOLED WVGA resolution touch screen, joined Corning Gorilla Glass and ClearBlack technology, with 256MB RAM memory and 4GB ROM capacity, but it does not support memory card expansion.

Nokia Lumia505 is also loaded with Qualcomm Xiao Long processor, although the official did not disclose the specific model,according to previous news rumors there will be a 800MHz single-core processor, which makes the overall configuration of the machine is basically the same level with the Nokia Lumia510.

Nokia Lumia505 also has built-in 800-megapixel camera, but there is no Carl Zeiss lens, and also it does not support auto-focus function, and it can even only record VGA resolution video screen, while the lack of front camera is also regrettable. Still, the phone provides a thorough wireless connection, it supports WCDMA/HSPA network, Wi-Fi wireless Internet access and Bluetooth 2.1 technology.

The Nokia Lumia505 is also equipped with WP7.8 system, the upcoming new features will include providing new start screen experience, changeable dynamics magnet size.

The Nokia Lumia505 also has a big advantage that it has a long standby time, as equipped with a 1300 mA battery, it can support 36 hours continuous music playback time, and be able to get 7.2 hours talk time in 3G network and up to 600 hours standby time.

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Redesigned Technology blog moves to new address

Posted by on Dec 17, 2012 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Tech blog

The L.A. Times Technology blog has been redesigned, and with our new duds we’re rolling out a new URL. So if you’ve been a loyal follower of our work, please update your bookmarks.

Our hope is that you’ll find the new look to be cleaner and easier for reading, viewing photos and watching videos. Please let us know what you think about the new look by leaving us a comment on the Technology blog’s Facebook page or by shooting a tweet to @LATimesTech.

Thanks for reading, watching and clicking.

– Nathan Olivarez-Giles

Nathan Olivarez-Giles on Google+

Facebook.com/nateog

Twitter.com/nateog

Image: A screen shot of the Technology blog’s new look. Credit: Los Angeles Times

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Cisco Looks to Ditch Linksys Division

Posted by on Dec 17, 2012 in Uncategorized | 0 comments



Linksys expected to fetch less than the $500 million Cisco paid in 2003

Cisco Systems is one the largest makers computer network hardware in the world. While the majority of the products that Cisco sells directly are enterprise grade products sold to businesses, Cisco does have the Linksys consumer brand for wireless routers, hubs, and IP cameras.

However, a report suggests Cisco is looking to sell Linksys and has hired Barclays PLC to help it find a buyer. Bloomberg indicates that Linksys could be interesting to TV makers seeking a recognized brand name and technology.

Cisco purchased Linksys in 2003 to give itself a consumer networking arm for $500 million. At the time, Linksys was a mature company in the consumer business segment with low margins.  Linksys is now expected to fetch significantly less than the $500 million Cisco paid.

Like many other companies in the technology segment, Cisco has been downsizing in order to streamline its operations. The company eliminated 7,800 employees over the last year and closed its Flip video camera unit that made small, handheld digital camcorders.

Source: Bloomberg

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Facebook’s IPO filing, by the numbers

Posted by on Dec 17, 2012 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Facebook's Menlo Park HQ

Facebook’s IPO filing on Wednesday offers investors, bankers, analysts, journalists and anyone willing to read the massive S-1 document a deeper look at the business and financial side of the world’s largest social network than we’ve ever had before.

Our team of tech and business reporters has been digging into the filing, reporting on the Menlo Park, Calif., company’s $3.7-billion revenue, rivalries with Twitter and Google+, perspective on China, social mission and hacker ethos, Zynga accounting for 12% of Facebook’s revenue, Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg’s pay cut from $600,000 in 2012 to $1 in 2013 and even what the IPO could mean for the Winklevoss twins.

But that wasn’t all the S-1 had to say. Here are some other highlights from Facebook’s IPO filing before the company actually goes public in May:

Users: Facebook has an average of 845 million monthly active users, 483 million of whom log into the social network daily.

Workforce: At the end of 2011, Facebook had 3,200 full-time employees, up 50% from 2,127 employees 2010. In 2009, the company had 1,218 employees.

Worldwide: Facebook’s plan, unsurprisingly, is to continue to grow by gaining more users in countries around the world. But the company also said in its S-1 that it plans to grow its workforce worldwide as well. “We plan to continue the international expansion of our business operations and the translation of our products,” Facebook said. Currently, Facebook is offered in more than 70 different languages, and the company has data centers in more than 20 different countries.

Popularity: Facebook said that about 60% of the online population in the U.S. and U.K. is registered on the social network. But Facebook is more popular in Chile, Turkey and Venezuela, where the company has “penetration rates of greater than 80% of Internet users.”

There are more than 2 billion Internet users worldwide and Facebook said its goal is to connect all of them through its social network.

“In countries such as Brazil, Germany, and India we estimate that we have penetration rates of approximately 20-30%; in countries such as Japan, Russia, and South Korea we estimate that we have penetration rates of less than 15%; and in China, where Facebook access is restricted, we have near 0% penetration,” the filing said.

Money in the bank: Facebook said that it had $1.5 billion at its disposal in a mix of “cash and cash equivalents” as of Dec. 31, as well as $2.3 billion in “marketable securities.” In 2010, Facebook had $1.7 billion in cash and cash equivalents and no marketable securities. Total assets on hand amounted to $6.6 billion in 2011, while Facebook had a total of $1.4 billion in liabilities.

R&D: Facebook’s research and development efforts have seen massive growth over the last few years. In 2011, the company spent $388 million, or about 10.5% of its revenue, on R&D. In 2010, Facebook spent less than half that amount, with $144 million going toward R&D. In 2009, the company spend $87 million on R&D, up from $47 million in 2008 and $81 million in 2007.

Patents: Faceook said a major factor in whether or not the company will be able to maintain the huge success it’s had thus far will ride on its ability to “protect our core technology and intellectual property.”

To do that, Facebook will “rely on a combination of patents, patent applications, trademarks, copyrights, trade secrets, including know-how, license agreements, confidentiality procedures, non-disclosure agreements with third parties, employee disclosure and invention assignment agreements, and other contractual rights.” The social media giant ended 2011 with 56 patents and 503 patent applications filed in the U.S., along with 33 corresponding patents and 149 patent applications filed in foreign countries.

RELATED:

Facebook’s S-1 already has a (fake) Twitter account

Facebook IPO: Winklevoss twins could reap big payday

Facebook IPO: Mark Zuckerberg’s salary falling to $1 in 2013

– Nathan Olivarez-Giles

Nathan Olivarez-Giles on Google+

Facebook.com/nateog

Twitter.com/nateog

Photo: Visitors pose in front of a sign at the entrance of Facebook’s new headquarters in Menlo Park, Calif., on Wednesday. Credit: Kimihiro Hoshino / AFP/Getty Images

Zooey Deschanel Sara Cox

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Thank You, Apple Maps. Now Go Away Forever

Posted by on Dec 17, 2012 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

iPhone owners: let’s raise our glasses to Apple Maps, which has, indirectly, given us a better iPhone. And then let’s get rid of it.

The New Google Maps for iPhone

The New Google Maps for iPhone Google

The terrifying few months of what will be forever known as Apple Mapgate (no it won’t) are over. Google just released Google Maps for the iPhone, so we can all stick Apple Maps in our “Utilities” folder on our homescreens where it can sit comfortably next to other useless apps like Compass and Stocks. But here’s the weird thing: Google didn’t just package up the old Google Maps for iOS app and re-release it. They spent the past few months actually making a better app, with features the iOS version of Google Maps never had before.

In other words, thank you, Apple Maps, for giving iOS users a better phone.

It’s easy to forget that Google Maps for iOS was never particularly great; it was pretty, but increasingly limited, especially compared to Maps on Android. It never had turn-by-turn navigation, which Android has had since October of 2009 (!), it never had bike directions or offline caching, and it used clumsy bitmaps instead of vectors. That last one is why Google Maps for Android (and, to be fair, Apple Maps) loads faster and never looks blurry while zooming or panning.

The underlying data in Google Maps for iPhone was always great, of course; Google spends lots of time and money and effort getting the best data for its maps. But during all the panic over Apple Maps, we lionized the old Google Maps, and we shouldn’t have, really.

That’s why it’s interesting that the new Google Maps is such a marked improvement. It actually looks modern now–no stupid folded-over corner, a skeumorphic relic from 2008. Instead it looks like Google circa 2012, which is very nice indeed. Clean white bars, clear symbols, a hidden sidebar with more options. It has turn-by-turn navigation now, and vector graphics, and listings from Zagat (which Google acquired a few months back). It works even with older iPhones, which Apple Maps does not.

Google responded to Apple Maps as if Apple Maps was a threat, as if any app named “Google Maps” wouldn’t get about a billion downloads as soon as it was released. Google decided to compete with Apple. And that’s great for us, because Google finally (mostly) stopped handicapping the iOS version of it’s map app. It still doesn’t have everything the Android version has, but the weird thing about this whole mess is that iPhone users have come out on the other side with something they should have been demanding all along: a modern, full-featured maps app.

Alessia Marcuzzi Romane Bohringer

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Test Could Reveal Which Side of the Looking Glass We’re On

Posted by on Dec 16, 2012 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

OK, so let’s assume that nothing is real in the sense that we understand reality. We and everyone and everything we know are part of a computer simulation created by an advanced post-human intelligence. Scientists have considered the theory and come up with arguments for and against it. Before now, though, no one has suggested a test could be run to find out one way or another. Do we want to know?

For those who spend enough time playing World of Warcraft, the line between what is “real” and what isn’t probably blurs from time to time. However, a far deeper and more philosophical question has been raised: whether life, the universe and everything is actually just a computer simulation.

The conical (red) surface shows the relationship between energy and momentum in special relativity, a fundamental theory concerning space and time developed by Albert Einstein, and is the expected result if our universe is not a simulation. The flat (blue) surface illustrates the relationship between energy and momentum that would be expected if the universe is a simulation with an underlying cubic lattice.
(Martin Savage)

The center of this theory is that any civilization that evolves to a “post-human” stage would in turn be capable of running a simulation on the scale of the universe. Given the size of the universe — with its billions of worlds around billions of suns — and its billions of years of existence, this could have happened.

If so, are we in it?

This concept, which has been the basis of such movies at The Matrix and The Thirteenth Floor, hasn’t exactly been easy to prove or disprove.

However, researchers at the University of Washington, led by Martin Savage, Ph.D., have concluded that there could be a test to determine if the world is just a simulation.

Sim Universe?

The basis of the test that Savage has theorized is itself rather complicated. It suggests that if we are in a simulation, then that simulation would have to have been constructed with the same finite resources that we could use to create such a simulation. In other words, we could see the shortcomings a programmer made.

For example, this could include the behavior of ultra high energy cosmic rays to determine if there is a set of preferred direction. This in itself wouldn’t actually prove that the universe is a simulation, but it would be the sort of thing that would be in a simulation.

To understand this further requires a bit of understanding the mechanics of the universe.

“We believe we live in a quantum universe,” said James Canton, Ph.D., of the Institute for Global Futures. “We are only now taking the baby steps to prove it.”

As for looking for those patterns that Savage would seek out, they would be there in the mechanics.

“There are some constants in the universe,” Canton told TechNewsWorld. “All matter, everything you can see, is the smallest part of the cosmos. The largest part, which we can’t see, is the dark matter. But these are still constants.”

High-Tech Creationism?

While this concept of a simulated universe is often compared to the dystopian film series The Matrix, a more apt comparison might be another film that came out at the same time. Now largely forgotten, The Thirteen Floor speculated that simulated worlds could be created, and those within it didn’t even know they were just simulations.

So while video games have created believable worlds, those bad guys and other characters are just scripted and don’t really exist. Could the next step be imbuing them with some sort of self-awareness, but not giving those characters the ability to know they are in a simulation? And if that is possible, does it then make the theory that we are in a game all the more possible?

“It seems quite unlikely that we exist as virtual beings living within a computer simulation being operated by some future species descendants,” said Glen Hiemstra of Futurist.com. “However, at the same time I do accept the proposition that the day will come when computer/AI entities will be intelligent enough to be self-aware by some definitions.

“If that is true, then of course we might in fact be those computer/AI entities,” Hiemstra told TechNewsWorld.

There are fundamental questions that would remain, even if Savage’s theory is upheld — that is, that preferred direction could suggest the universe is a simulation. However, other questions might be answered.

“Many mysteries become more sensible, such as where our energy goes when we die, or the idea that we may live many lives,” added Hiemstra. “Other mysteries remain, such as why our simulated universe still shows no clear evidence of other intelligent beings, when putting them into a simulation would make the simulation more entertaining.”

From Games to Reality

Whether this universe is a simulation isn’t easily answered, but could technology create a simulation that would be indistinguishable from reality? Today the most immersing experience is staring at a computer screen, but technology is moving quite quickly.

“We haven’t ported emotion and feeling, but that is a cognitive step. That will come,” he said.

“Big data and cloud computing will allow this immersive universe to be created,” Canton predicted. “We didn’t even have the bandwidth until recently. But and now there is more technology that exists in a single laptop than was available throughout the world in 1974.”

Whether that laptop — or world — actually exists is still to be proven.

Catherine Bach source

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Microsoft Stores taking $25 deposit on Nokia Lumia 900

Posted by on Dec 16, 2012 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Nokia Lumia 900

AT&T, Microsoft and Nokia haven’t said when the Lumia 900 will hit stores or how much it will cost, but if the flagship Windows Phone is a device you just have to have, you can now pre-order it.

Microsoft’s retail stores are currently taking a $25 deposit for those looking to reserve themselves a Lumia 900 on launch day, whenever that is. The deposit offer was first reported by The Verge and confirmed to The Times on Friday through Microsoft Store employees.

Rumor has it that the Lumia 900 could launch in March at a price of about $99 on a 2-year contract, which would undercut top-of-the-line rivals such as Apple’s iPhone 4S and the Android Ice-Cream-Sandwich-equipped Galaxy Nexus, built by Samsung.

In the U.S., the Lumia 900 will be exclusive to AT&T and feature a 4.3-inch display, a polycarbonate body in cyan or black, a 1.4-gigahertz Qualcomm single-core processor, 512 megabytes of RAM, 16 gigabytes of built-in storage, an 8-megapixel/720p video rear camera and a 1.3-megapixel front-facing camera.

I spent a bit of time with the Lumia 900 at CES in Las Vegas last month, and the phone did look quite impressive and something I thought could sell at $150 or $200 on a 2-year contract. Check out my hands-on look at the Lumia 900 below.

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Nokia’s Lumia 900 Windows Phone may launch at $99

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CES 2012: Lumia 900, Nokia’s first 4G LTE Windows Phone, debuts [Photos and Video]

– Nathan Olivarez-Giles

Nathan Olivarez-Giles on Google+

Facebook.com/nateog

Twitter.com/nateog

Photo: A Nokia Lumia 800 smartphone sits on display inside a Nokia retail store in Helsinki, Finland. Credit: Ville Mannikko / Bloomberg

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Samsung Galaxy S4 release time is determined and to hold a special conference

Posted by on Dec 16, 2012 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

According to media reports, the hot-issues Samsung Galaxy S4 release time it determined and they will hold a special press conference.

For Samsung Galaxy S4 release time, there were media reports that it will be released together with the cheap version Galaxy note 2 on CES 2013.

Subsequently, there were media saying that the product released on CES 2013 has nothing to do with the phone, but Samsung televisions and notebook products, Galaxy S4 will not be released.

In this regard, the industry analyses, the Samsung Galaxy S4 is Samsung major products and Samsung will prepare a separate conference for it. The specific time is roughly scheduled for May next year.

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Microsoft Stores taking $25 deposit on Nokia Lumia 900

Posted by on Dec 15, 2012 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Nokia Lumia 900

AT&T, Microsoft and Nokia haven’t said when the Lumia 900 will hit stores or how much it will cost, but if the flagship Windows Phone is a device you just have to have, you can now pre-order it.

Microsoft’s retail stores are currently taking a $25 deposit for those looking to reserve themselves a Lumia 900 on launch day, whenever that is. The deposit offer was first reported by The Verge and confirmed to The Times on Friday through Microsoft Store employees.

Rumor has it that the Lumia 900 could launch in March at a price of about $99 on a 2-year contract, which would undercut top-of-the-line rivals such as Apple’s iPhone 4S and the Android Ice-Cream-Sandwich-equipped Galaxy Nexus, built by Samsung.

In the U.S., the Lumia 900 will be exclusive to AT&T and feature a 4.3-inch display, a polycarbonate body in cyan or black, a 1.4-gigahertz Qualcomm single-core processor, 512 megabytes of RAM, 16 gigabytes of built-in storage, an 8-megapixel/720p video rear camera and a 1.3-megapixel front-facing camera.

I spent a bit of time with the Lumia 900 at CES in Las Vegas last month, and the phone did look quite impressive and something I thought could sell at $150 or $200 on a 2-year contract. Check out my hands-on look at the Lumia 900 below.

RELATED:

Nokia’s Lumia 900 Windows Phone may launch at $99

Lumia 710, Nokia’s first U.S. Windows Phone — review

CES 2012: Lumia 900, Nokia’s first 4G LTE Windows Phone, debuts [Photos and Video]

– Nathan Olivarez-Giles

Nathan Olivarez-Giles on Google+

Facebook.com/nateog

Twitter.com/nateog

Photo: A Nokia Lumia 800 smartphone sits on display inside a Nokia retail store in Helsinki, Finland. Credit: Ville Mannikko / Bloomberg

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Analyst: iPad Mini 2013 Shipments to Leave New iPad/iPad 2 in the Dust

Posted by on Dec 15, 2012 in Uncategorized | 0 comments




  (Source: gawkerassets.com)

Apple’s iPad mini will make up about half of Apple’s total iPad shipments in 2013

The fact that Apple’s iPad is predicted to steal much of the tablet market share next year is no surprise; however, the fact that the iPad mini may outpace the iPad 2 and the new iPad is certainly interesting.

According to DisplaySearch, which is a global market research and consulting firm, Apple’s iPad mini will make up about half of Apple’s total iPad shipments in 2013.

Apple expects to ship a total of 100 million iPads in 2013. Out of that total, DisplaySearch predicts that the iPad mini will account for about 50 million of those shipments while the new iPad and the iPad 2 will ship about 40 million and 10 million respectively.

DisplaySearch further predicts that there will be a total of 170 million tablet shipments in 2013 (from all tablet makers, not just Apple). If Apple were to achieve the 100 million shipments, it would have about 60 percent of the market share.

For 2012, despite being released in October, the iPad mini is holding its own concerning sales. In Q3, Apple shipped 1.6 million, and for Q4, the tech giant is asking panel makers to ship over 12 million.

This is an interesting prediction, considering many saw the iPad mini as being far too expensive for a 7-inch tablet (starts at $329) when so many others in the 7-inch arena typically start at $199 (i.e., Google Nexus 7 and Kindle Fire HD).

The iPad mini was unveiled in late October of this year. It sports a 7.85-inch display, a 1024×768 resolution, dual-core A5 processor, 16GB/32GB/64GB storage options for $329/$429/$529 respectively, a lightning connector and LTE capabilities for an extra $130 to those sticker prices.

Source: Display Search Blog

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New species of slow loris found in jungles of Borneo

Posted by on Dec 15, 2012 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

  • The slow loris is the only venomous primate – and could even kill a human
  • But because of its cute appearance it is targeted by the animal trade

By Charles Walford

|

A new species of slow loris has been discovered in Borneo.

Conservationists hope the finding will add impetus to efforts to protect the double-tongued animals.

Two previously known subspecies have also been accorded full species status.

But experts are warning that dividing the animals into four distinct species means the risk of extinction is greater than previously believed for the animals but could help efforts to protect the unusual primate.

Discovery: A new species of slow loris - the Nycticebus kayan - has been found in Borneo and the Philippines

Discovery: A new species of slow loris – the Nycticebus kayan – has been found in Borneo and the Philippines

The loris is the only venomous primate, producing a flesh-rotting poison that can be fatal to humans.

But they are also very cute – and in fact are known as ‘jungle gremlins’ – which makes them a target for the animal trade.

Captured animals often have their canine and incisor teeth pulled out before being sold on as pets, in a bid to protect their potential owner.

Harming the animals this way, though, can quickly lead to their death, as the toothless primates are unable to feed properly.

‘Four separate species are harder to protect than one, since each species needs to maintain its population numbers and have sufficient forest habitat,’ said lead author Rachel Munds, MU doctoral student in anthropology in the College of Arts and Science.

‘Unfortunately, in addition to habitat loss to deforestation, there is a booming black market demand for the animals. They are sold as pets, used as props for tourist photos or dismembered for use in traditional Asian medicines.’

According to Munds, slow lorises are not domesticated and are protected under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species. She contends that keeping the animals as pets is cruel and that domesticating them is not feasible.

Got it licked: The slow loris has a serrated sublingua - under-tongue - of a slow loris sticks out beneath the primary tongue

Got it licked: The slow loris has a serrated sublingua – under-tongue – of a slow loris sticks out beneath the primary tongue

A team of researchers, led by Munds and Professor Anna Nekaris of Oxford Brookes University, observed the animals living in the forests of Borneo and the Philippines and found that the original single species contained animals with significantly different body sizes, fur thickness, habitats and facial markings.

Museum specimens, photographs and live animals helped primatologists parse out four species from the original one.

But the new species of slow loris, named Nycticebus kayan, has gone unrecognised until now, in part due to its nocturnal lifestyle.

Animals that are active at night rely less on visual clues, and can therefore appear more similar to one another.

So the scientists had to look hard to discover the differences between the new species, and focused primarly on facial markings.

And the researchers found there to be four species of slow loris in the Philippines and Borneo, each with their own, subtly different but distinct head markings.

Conservatrion: Rachel Munds (left), doctoral student in anthropology at Missouri University, and Anna Nekaris, primatology professor at Oxford Brookes University, pose with a tarsier, another species of nocturnal primate

Conservatrion: Rachel Munds (left), doctoral student in anthropology at Missouri University, and Anna Nekaris, primatology professor at Oxford Brookes University, pose with a tarsier, another species of nocturnal primate

Previously there was thought to be just one species, called N. menagensis.

Two of these new species, N. bancanus and N. borneanus, were previously considered subspecies of N. menagensis. N. kayan, is new to science.

‘In Borneo in particular, from where three of the new species hail, this will mean that three new lorises will be added as threatened to some degree on the IUCN Red List of threatened species,’ said Prof Nekaris.

She warned of the threats to the animals that comes from their trade, driven by demand for lorises as pets

‘YouTube videos of lorises being tickled, holding umbrellas or eating with forks have become wildly popular,’ said Anna Nekaris, study co-author, primatology professor at Oxford Brookes University and MU graduate. ‘CNN recently promoted loris videos as “feel good” entertainment. In truth, the lorises gripping forks or umbrellas were simply desperate to hold something.

‘The arboreal animals are adapted to spending their lives in trees constantly clutching branches. Pet keepers rarely provide enough climbing structures for them.’

The animals also are used in Asian traditional medicines. The methods used to extract the medicines can be exceedingly violent, according to Nekaris, who also is director of the slow loris advocacy organisation, Little Fireface Project.

Cruel trade: Slow lorises for sale in Möng La, Shan, Myanmar

Cruel trade: Slow lorises for sale in Möng La, Shan, Myanmar

Sick: The teeth of a juvenile slow loris being removed by an animal trafficker

Sick: The teeth of a juvenile slow loris being removed by an animal trafficker

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Facebook’s IPO filing, by the numbers

Posted by on Dec 15, 2012 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Facebook's Menlo Park HQ

Facebook’s IPO filing on Wednesday offers investors, bankers, analysts, journalists and anyone willing to read the massive S-1 document a deeper look at the business and financial side of the world’s largest social network than we’ve ever had before.

Our team of tech and business reporters has been digging into the filing, reporting on the Menlo Park, Calif., company’s $3.7-billion revenue, rivalries with Twitter and Google+, perspective on China, social mission and hacker ethos, Zynga accounting for 12% of Facebook’s revenue, Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg’s pay cut from $600,000 in 2012 to $1 in 2013 and even what the IPO could mean for the Winklevoss twins.

But that wasn’t all the S-1 had to say. Here are some other highlights from Facebook’s IPO filing before the company actually goes public in May:

Users: Facebook has an average of 845 million monthly active users, 483 million of whom log into the social network daily.

Workforce: At the end of 2011, Facebook had 3,200 full-time employees, up 50% from 2,127 employees 2010. In 2009, the company had 1,218 employees.

Worldwide: Facebook’s plan, unsurprisingly, is to continue to grow by gaining more users in countries around the world. But the company also said in its S-1 that it plans to grow its workforce worldwide as well. “We plan to continue the international expansion of our business operations and the translation of our products,” Facebook said. Currently, Facebook is offered in more than 70 different languages, and the company has data centers in more than 20 different countries.

Popularity: Facebook said that about 60% of the online population in the U.S. and U.K. is registered on the social network. But Facebook is more popular in Chile, Turkey and Venezuela, where the company has “penetration rates of greater than 80% of Internet users.”

There are more than 2 billion Internet users worldwide and Facebook said its goal is to connect all of them through its social network.

“In countries such as Brazil, Germany, and India we estimate that we have penetration rates of approximately 20-30%; in countries such as Japan, Russia, and South Korea we estimate that we have penetration rates of less than 15%; and in China, where Facebook access is restricted, we have near 0% penetration,” the filing said.

Money in the bank: Facebook said that it had $1.5 billion at its disposal in a mix of “cash and cash equivalents” as of Dec. 31, as well as $2.3 billion in “marketable securities.” In 2010, Facebook had $1.7 billion in cash and cash equivalents and no marketable securities. Total assets on hand amounted to $6.6 billion in 2011, while Facebook had a total of $1.4 billion in liabilities.

R&D: Facebook’s research and development efforts have seen massive growth over the last few years. In 2011, the company spent $388 million, or about 10.5% of its revenue, on R&D. In 2010, Facebook spent less than half that amount, with $144 million going toward R&D. In 2009, the company spend $87 million on R&D, up from $47 million in 2008 and $81 million in 2007.

Patents: Faceook said a major factor in whether or not the company will be able to maintain the huge success it’s had thus far will ride on its ability to “protect our core technology and intellectual property.”

To do that, Facebook will “rely on a combination of patents, patent applications, trademarks, copyrights, trade secrets, including know-how, license agreements, confidentiality procedures, non-disclosure agreements with third parties, employee disclosure and invention assignment agreements, and other contractual rights.” The social media giant ended 2011 with 56 patents and 503 patent applications filed in the U.S., along with 33 corresponding patents and 149 patent applications filed in foreign countries.

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– Nathan Olivarez-Giles

Nathan Olivarez-Giles on Google+

Facebook.com/nateog

Twitter.com/nateog

Photo: Visitors pose in front of a sign at the entrance of Facebook’s new headquarters in Menlo Park, Calif., on Wednesday. Credit: Kimihiro Hoshino / AFP/Getty Images

read more Becky Delos Santos

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Redesigned Technology blog moves to new address

Posted by on Dec 15, 2012 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Tech blog

The L.A. Times Technology blog has been redesigned, and with our new duds we’re rolling out a new URL. So if you’ve been a loyal follower of our work, please update your bookmarks.

Our hope is that you’ll find the new look to be cleaner and easier for reading, viewing photos and watching videos. Please let us know what you think about the new look by leaving us a comment on the Technology blog’s Facebook page or by shooting a tweet to @LATimesTech.

Thanks for reading, watching and clicking.

– Nathan Olivarez-Giles

Nathan Olivarez-Giles on Google+

Facebook.com/nateog

Twitter.com/nateog

Image: A screen shot of the Technology blog’s new look. Credit: Los Angeles Times

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Verifone Pulling Out Of Square’s Market, Says It’s Not Profitable

Posted by on Dec 14, 2012 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Verifone, one of the world’s top makers of the current credit card-reading tech in stores, launched its Sail ecosystem to address a totally new market: very small businesses who prefer to process transactions using devices like Square and the iPhone. But the company has revealed that it’s withdrawing from the small business market with Sail (which will remain on offer to banks for their own resale purposes) because it says the market offers only “razor thin margins” and profits that are “fundamentally unprofitable.”

That’s bad news, potentially, for Jack Dorsey’s Square. Sail and Square are highly similar systems, and though Square has had a degree of success in the U.S., Verifone’s expertise in processing card payments spans the globe. Verifone even verbalized this warning to Square alongside its news, but that’s nothing new–it’s got a bit of a history of down-talking Square.

This makes us wonder how big the Square market is: Have you ever used Square, or its smarter European equivalent iZettle?

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Jammie Thomas-Rasset’s Lawyers Appeal $222,000 Fine to Supreme Court

Posted by on Dec 14, 2012 in Uncategorized | 0 comments



The consul argues the defendant’s due process rights were violated

Could the highest profile music piracy case to be brought against an individual in the U.S. be headed to The Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS)? That’s the outcome lawyers for working mom Jammie Thomas-Rasset are hoping for.

The defendant’s legal team has filed a petition for certiorari claiming that their client’s right to due process has been violated.  The case has been kicked around the courts for some time.

Ms. Thomas-Rasset first lost in a June 2009 jury verdict, with the jury deciding on a $1.92M USD fine, arguing that lawyers for music labels like Sony Corp.’s (TYO:6758) BMG and their trade group the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) has sufficiently proved that the working mom had willfully-infringed on 24 songs.

After the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) approved the verdict, the matter seemed settled, setting a rather draconian precedent.  But a judge cut the fine to a mere $54,000 USD.

Then it was deja vu all over again — the case went to retrial, a jury found Ms. Thomas-Rasset guilty of another huge fine ($1.5M USD, this time), and then the judge yet again bumped the fine to $54,000 USD.


Most recently the RIAA, et al. appealed the reduction, and the fine was bumped back slightly to $222,000 USD, where it currently sits.  That appeal prompted Ms. Thomas-Rasset’s lawyers to ask the SCOTUS to hear the case.

The defendant’s lawyers cite State Farm v. Campbell, BMW v. Gore, and St. Louis I.M. & S. Railway Co. v. Williams as relevant cases.  These cases all involved the plaintiff seeking a large amount of punitive damages (for example Dr. Ira Gore sued BMW and initially won $4M USD in punitive damages after BMW sold him a repainted vehicle and claimed it was new).  In each case the SCOTUS ruled that there should be reasonable limits, based on the scope of the civil offense, to punitive damages.

The RIAA and big media backers are estimated to have spent over $3M USD on the case; Ms. Thomas-Rasset has received much of her legal services and fees paid for via donations.

Source: RIAA v. The People

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