Posts Tagged ‘ BreakingNews

Google Voice now lets you port your own phone number

We’d be lying if we said we hadn’t been waiting on this feature since the service’s debut. As one reader just notified us now lets you port your own phone number into its system — as in, that 10-digit hometown relic you’ve been holding onto as long as you’ve carried a handset can now live in the cloud and grant you freedom to start afresh / forward to your many on-hand devices. Check under phone setting to see if “change / port” is now an option. The cost of porting is $20 and, as you may guess, it’ll terminate your current service plan and probably prompt the carrier in question to charge applicable early termination fees, but that’s pittance for saving your old line for the indefinite future. You know, just in case your seventh grade crush gets the nerve to call and say, “sorry.” Of course he / she will, just give it time.

sourceGoogle Voice

Official: Apple now offering iPhones contract free (updated: not unlocked)

We heard from 9 to 5 Mac that Apple was due to begin selling a contract-free variant of the iPhone in the near future “at list price.” And guess what happened when we inquired to an Apple store? That’s right folks — you can now pick one up for $499 (3G), $599, or $699 (3GS). We’ve confirmed this info at no less than five stores, so you should be hearing the same message at your local Appletorium. Given the current unfriendly climate between Apple and Google, this could be seen as nasty jab, though the devices are still carrier-locked to AT&T, so you’re not being given much freedom… and it’s certainly not much of a statement. In many parts of Europe (France and Poland, for example) you can pick up the carrier-unattached device (and we mean totally unlocked), but that doesn’t appear to be the case here.

These devices are still locked to AT&T — so you’re just looking at an off contract pricing scheme. Which is also totally lame.

Source:9 to 5 Mac

Apple vs HTC: a patent breakdown

Apple suing HTC over 20-odd patents before both the US District Court and the International Trade Commission has certainly caused some chaos this morning, but we thought we’d take a quick breath now that we have the complaints and tease out exactly what patents are at stake here. Of note, most of the patents were granted in the past year, but overall they span a range from 1995 to February 2. Yes, last month. That’s a pretty big gap, and most of the patents are pretty dry and technical — and none of them cover anything like pinch-to-zoom. In fact, you might remember #7,479,949, “Touch screen device, method, and graphical user interface for determining commands by applying heuristics” — we blew apart the myth that it was Apple’s “multitouch patent” back when Cupertino was making noise about Palm. It’s impossible for us to say exactly how this case is going to play out — just like the Apple / Nokia lawsuit, it could settle tomorrow, or it could last for 10 years — but what we do know is that Apple’s going after Android as much as it’s going after HTC. Some of these patents are from 15 years ago and cover OS-level behavior, so it’s hard to see how they can relate only to HTC’s implementation of Android and not Google’s OS as a whole. Yeah, it’s wild, and while we’re not going to blow out all 20 patents to sort out what they mean — not yet, anyway — we can certainly walk through the claims. Let’s see what we’ve got. Read more

Apple sues HTC for infringing 20 iPhone patents

Looks like Apple’s going on the warpath, kids. Just a few months after Cupertino got into it with Nokia over phone patents, Apple’s filed suit against HTC, alleging that the company is infringing 20 patents “related to the iPhone’s user interface, underlying architecture, and hardware.” Steve, you have something to say?

“We can sit by and watch competitors steal our patented inventions, or we can do something about it. We’ve decided to do something about it,” said Steve Jobs, Apple’s CEO. “We think competition is healthy, but competitors should create their own original technology, not steal ours.”

Okay then. We’re pulling the complaint filing now, we’ll let you know the exact details as soon as we learn them.

Update: HTC just gave us a statement — this is apparently coming totally out of the blue for them, since Apple hasn’t even served the complaint yet.

We only learned of Apple’s actions based on your stories and Apple’s press release. We have not been served yet so we are in no position to comment on the claims. We respect and value patent rights but we are committed to defending our own innovations. We have been innovating and patenting our own technology for 13 years.

Update 2: We mean it when we say this was all just filed in the past few hours — it’s not yet in the court’s systems. We just got the PDFs and put the full list of claims from the federal lawsuit below, but remember not to take the names of the patents literally or directly, since they don’t mean much. We’ll poke each one apart and tease out what’s really at stake as we go along.

Update 3: We’ve just learned that Apple submitted over 700 pages of exhibits to the District Court, which is a little nuts. In addition, the ITC complaint lists a number of specific HTC handsets as exhibits, including the Nexus One, Touch Pro, Touch Diamond, Touch Pro2, Tilt II, Pure, Imagio, Dream / G1, myTouch 3G, Hero, HD2, and Droid Eris. That’s really a full range of HTC phones, running both Android and Windows Mobile, with and without Sense / TouchFLO. Interestingly, the Android sets are specifically included because they run Android, while the WinMo sets are called out specifically for including DSP chips, not anything to do with Windows Mobile.

Apple, Complaint (PDF), ITC Complaint (PDF)

Google Buzz Explained

Google today announced a new service, Google Buzz, that automatically brings social networking into Gmail and the rest of the Google-sphere. Whether or not you’re big on social networking sites like Twitter or Facebook, Buzz offers a somewhat new and intriguing approach.

What’s Buzz All About?

Read more

Canon’s new Rebel T2i shoots 18 megapixel stills, ups the video options

We’d heard inklings, but Canon’s brand new Rebel T2i (also known as the EOS 550D outside the US) is newly official and oh-so-desirable. The camera takes quite a few features from Canon’s EOS 7D, including an almost identical sensor, the selectable frame rates, and the stereo mic jack. There’s also a new widescreen LCD and button layout to differentiate it from its T1i sibling — which will stick around on the market to pick up the poorer Canon lovers among us. The shooter can capture 18.7 megapixel stills at 3.7 fps, with better, 7D-style light metering and an expanded ISO range of 100 to 6400. Video is even more thrilling, with the addition of 30 / 25 / 24 fps 1080p (the T1i was limited to a silly 20 fps at that resolution), along with 720p at 50 / 60 fps and VGA at similar rates. The camera can also do an ultra-zoomed “movie crop” function that actually does the cropping on the CMOS sensor to provide about 7x of additional zoom without losing quality in SD. The T2i will hit retail in March for $800, with a EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS lens kit at $900.

Hit Read More to see the Press Release. Read more

PS3 finally properly hacked?

In a post titled “Hello hypervisor, I’m geohot,” hacker George Hotz (already known in the iPhone community) has made a strong claim: that he has cracked the PS3. The system has remained (mostly) uncompromised for over three years now, with a few exceptions here and there. But, this one pledges full read/write access to the entire system memory and complete control over the processor — all without a mod chip. Has he really done it, if so how, and what comes next? That all remains to be seen. This exploit supposedly “isn’t really patchable, but [Sony] can make implementations much harder,” meaning he isn’t tipping his hat until he’s ready, because once he does the never-ending firmware update war begins, and as we’ve seen on the PSP, Sony can really knock out those updates.

BREAKING: Mini Countryman official photos leaked [w/video]

Here is your new Mini Countryman, the latest model from the ever expanding Mini range. As you can see, the Countryman (also sometimes called the Mini Crossover) is a bit bigger than other Minis, and sports four doors – five if you count the hatch. You’ll also note the “All4” badge on the back, indicating that the Countryman is AWD, a first for the brand.

You also might be noticing that the Countryman has different headlights (which we find quite attractive), as well as a new grille treatment. There’s definitely a bit of baby Porsche Cayenne going on up front and in the stance, though it’s clearly still a Mini. We will say, however, we’re surprised at how dissimilar the production version looks from the concept we saw a year or so back. Here, too.

We know that because of 2009 and all the economic misery it entailed, Mini decided to delay the launch of the Countryman, at least here in the U.S. Meaning that you’re going to have to either wait until October, or move to Europe to get your hands on one. Expect more details to follow soon. Odd teaser video after the jump. Read more

Windows Mobile 7 megarumor: LG Apollo and HTC Obsession running flagship ‘720p’ specs, Zune Phone Experience

Alright, this is some wild, heavy stuff, but the folks at WMExperts have compiled what they believe to be true about Windows Mobile 7, including a whole bunch of previously undisclosed info and even a couple of flagship phones. We can’t vouch for the rumors, but there’s a ring of truth to plenty of it, and most of the rest of it we want to be true. First off, Microsoft is approaching the revision with two flavors: Windows Phone Seven Business Edition, and Windows Phone Seven Media Edition. The former is a stripped down OS that will allow OEM overlays like HTC’s Sense UI, and includes lower minimum specs — though a WVGA “minimum” is nothing to get angry about. Meanwhile, it sounds like the Media Edition is the quasi-“Zune Phone” we’ve been dreaming of, with a heavy emphasis on HD media playback and capture, along with social networking activities like Xbox Live, Facebook and Twitter. Other features include cloud-style services on the Business Edition side for live manipulation of stored data, a long with a location-aware platform dubbed “Orion.” Read more

Next Android version will be called Froyo, says Erick Tseng

Android’s next big iteration will be known as Froyo. That’s short for “frozen yogurt” and fits right in line with the zany naming scheme that has delivered us Cupcakes, Donuts, and Eclairs so far. If you had your money on Flan being next in that alphabetical order, sorry to disappoint. No additional info could be squeezed out of the Google man at present — such as how much further along Froyo will be from Android 2.1 (technically considered part of Eclair) or when we might expect the upgrade — but we’ve got a name and that should be plenty to get us started on another wonderful journey of soothsaying and speculation.