Frankie70 writes: Apple invested more than $1 billion in an effort to make sapphire one of iPhone 6's selling point. But iPhone 6 released without the sapphire screen. GT Advanced Technologies, the small company chosen to supply Apple with enormous quantities of cheap sapphire, declared bankruptcy a month later. Recent documents from GT’s bankruptcy proceedings, and conversations with people familiar with operations at Apple and GT, provide several clues as to what went wrong. GT said that to save costs, Apple decided not to install backup power supplies, and multiple outages ruined whole batches of sapphire. The terms Apple negotiated committed GT to supplying a huge amount of sapphire, but put Apple under no obligation to buy it. In its bankruptcy documents, GT would later accuse Apple of using “bait-and-switch” tactics, and said the terms of the deal were “onerous and massively one-sided.”
We found that participants who multitasked on a laptop during a lecture scored lower on a test compared to those who did not multitask, and participants who were in direct view of a multitasking peer scored lower on a test compared to those who were not.
Frankie70 writes: Here is a video of Microsoft's prototype software handwriting recognition keyboard for Android wear devices. Looks really cool.
With the Analog Keyboard Project, Microsoft is exploring handwriting recognition for text input on small touch screens. Handwriting, unlike speech, is discreet and not prone to background noise. And unlike soft keyboards, where many keys have to share the small touch surface, handwriting methods can offer the entire screen (or most of it) for each symbol. This allows each letter to be entered rather comfortably, even on small devices. In fact, it has been shown that some handwriting systems can be used without even looking at the screen. Finally, handwriting interfaces require very little design changes to run on round displays, which are becoming increasingly popular.
Frankie70 writes: Windows Phone is not exactly taking the world by storm, but it does seem to have a leg up on the competition when it comes to no-contract cell phones. As of now, within the United States, Amazon.com reports that out of its top five bestselling no-Contract cell phones, three of them are Windows Phone devices.
Frankie70 writes: Eric S Raymond feels that the local civil police in the U.S. are too heavily armed and in many places have developed an adversarial attitude towards the civilians they serve, one that makes police overreactions and civil violence almost inevitable.
However, he also feels that there is another injustice being done here: the specific assumption, common among civil libertarians, that police overreactions are being driven by institutional racism. He believes this is dangerously untrue and actually impedes effective thinking about how to prevent future outrages.
Frankie70 writes: It looks rather like the failure of the Mozilla executives to defend CEO Eich from the Gay Mafia campaign being waged against him may have been at least in part due to the desire to remove a major obstacle to DRM being added to Firefox. Eich stood firmly in the way of Mozilla incorporating DRM into Firefox. Now that he's gone, and his technological authority with him, Mozilla immediately caved to Hollywood interests.
Frankie70 writes: Nearly three years before he revealed himself as the source of leaked documents about NSA surveillance, Edward Snowden traveled to New Delhi, India. There, he spent six days taking courses in computer hacking and programming at a local professional school, according to school officials and people familiar with Snowden's trip. Working with a private instructor, Snowden, who was then a contractor for the spy agency, took a course in "ethical hacking," where he learned advanced techniques for breaking into computer systems and exploiting flaws in software.
Frankie70 writes: The U.S. National Security Agency has the ability to snoop on nearly every communication sent from an Apple iPhone, according to leaked documents shared by security researcher Jacob Appelbaum and German news magazine Der Spiegel.
An NSA program called DROPOUTJEEP allows the agency to intercept SMS messages, access contact lists, locate a phone using cell tower data, and even activate the device’s microphone and camera.
Frankie70 writes: Taiwan’s Fair Trade Commission has hit Apple with a small fine and warned the company that it may face a more substantial penalty if it doesn’t stop interfering with carriers’ iPhone pricing and the prices of the plans carriers sell alongside the iPhone. “Through the email correspondence between Apple and these three telecom companies we discovered the companies submit their pricing plans to Apple to be approved or confirmed before the products hit the market,” Taiwan’s FTC said in a statement.
Frankie70 writes: From Reuters, U.S. tech giant Apple is under investigation in Italy for allegedly hiding 1 billion euros ($1.34 billion) from the local tax authority, two judicial sources with direct knowledge of the matter told Reuters.
Milan prosecutors say Apple failed to declare to Italian tax authorities 206 million euros in 2010 and 853 million euros in 2011, one of the sources said, confirming a report by Italian magazine L'Espresso.
The Italian subsidiary of Apple booked some of its profit through Irish-based subsidiary Apple Sales International (ASI), thus lowering its taxable income in Italy, the source said.
Frankie70 writes: One of the most enticing "what-ifs" of recent years has come true: Microsoft has purchased Nokia's Devices and Services unit, it announced today. It unites Windows Phone 8 with its biggest hardware supporter, and gives the company an integrated solution across hardware and software. When the deal closes in the first quarter of 2014, Microsoft will pay 3.79 billion Euros for Nokia's business, plus another 1.65 billion Euros for its portfolio of patents.
Frankie70 writes: In Europe, Windows Phone has seen promising growth, posting its highest ever market share of 8.3 per cent across the five major European markets – the UK, Germany, France, Italy and Spain. Year-on-year this is an increase of 3.3 per cent. Windows Phone’s success has been in convincing first time smartphone buyers to choose one of its devices with 42% of sales over the past year coming from existing featurephone owners
Frankie70 writes: Michele Catalano was looking for information online about pressure cookers. Her husband, in the same time frame, was Googling backpacks. Wednesday morning, six men from a joint terrorism task force showed up at their house to see if they were terrorists. Which begs the question: How'd the government know what they were Googling?
Frankie70 writes: So, America's National Security Agency has been tapping up US internet giants to gather information about foreigners online, allegedly sharing that data with Britain's GCHQ — and gobbling up details about US citizens' phone calls.
After the past month's privacy scandal after privacy scandal and liberty scandal after liberty scandal involving the NSA and the American administration, I'm rapidly moving from being "uncomfortable hosting my data in a US-controlled cloud" to "feeling ethically bound to vote with my wallet in order to send a message".
That power belongs to each and every one of us expressed through something as simple as where we choose to invest the money we spend. I believe it is our duty to choose wisely and to make those choices based on more than mere pragmatism.
If you know of any providers of internet services who have – deliberately or accidentally – created a business free of American legal encumbrances, please, leave a note in the comments. The ability to choose differently starts with knowledge and we might as well start building that list here.
Frankie70 writes: Overall, IDC says Windows Phone and Windows Mobile devices accounted for six percent of the 227 million smartphones shipped worldwide in the fourth quarter of 2012. For the year, Windows Phone made up 2.6 percent, however, the analyst firm is predicting Windows Phone to be the fastest growing platform between now to 2016 with a compound annual growth rate of 71.3 percent. IDC expects Windows Phone to account for 11.4 percent of smartphone shipments by 2016, largely off the back of declining Android market share.
Windows Phone handsets have outsold the iPhone in seven markets including India, analyst firm IDC has revealed, and beat out BlackBerry in 26. Some of the countries where Windows Phone pipped the iOS handset in Q4 2012 were Argentina, India, Poland, Russia, South Africa and the Ukraine.