Archive for April, 2011
Taipei, April 28, 2011 (CENS)–Acer Inc., Taiwan`s leading personal-computer vender, registered only NT$0.45 in after-tax earnings per share in the first quarter of this year, a new quarterly low over the past eight years, which institutional investors believe to be the worst for Acer.
Despite a 10% decline in shipments of PCs in the second quarter from the previous quarter, Acer said its operating profit margin in the second quarter will remain the same as the previous year`s. An industry insider forecasts Acer`s operating profit margin will fall between 1.5% and 2% in the second quarter.
Acer registered NT$127.8 billion in consolidated sales in the first quarter of this year, down 14.3% from the previous quarter, but only 11.5% if denominated in greenbacks, the currency the maker mainly uses to settle sales.
According to self-audited financial statement, Acer posted NT$1.93 billion in operating net income in the first quarter of this year, plummeting 56% from NT$4.39 billion of the preceding quarter. The company`s after-tax net income reached NT$1.187 billion in the first quarter, shedding 64% year-on-year and down 70% from the preceding quarter.
Institutional investors predicts Acer`s operating profit margin will recover to between 1.8% and 1.9% in the second quarter of this year, and climb to approximately 2% in the third quarter of this year.
We knew it was coming, and moments ago Sprint confirmed that it will launch the Motorola XOOM Wi-Fi, an Android 3.0 (Honeycomb) tablet, on May 8th for $600. The XOOM sports a 1GHz dual-core NVIDIA Tegra 2 processor, a 5-megapixel camera with flash and HD video recording capabilities, a 2-megapixel front-facing camera for video chat, and a 10.1-inch display. The tablet ships with 1GB of internal memory that can be expanded to 32GB using a microSD card. The XOOM does not, however, support Sprint’s 3G or 4G WiMAX networks — sorry only Wi-Fi. Don’t fear, Sprint should be getting a WiMAX variant soon enough. Hit the jump for the full release.
First Tablet Built on Android 3.0, Motorola XOOM Wi-Fi, Available with Sprint on May 8 for $599.99
First device to feature Android software built specifically for use on a tablet,
delivers a powerful multi-tasking experience, making it easy and fast to surf the Web, watch videos and play games with a PC-like experience
As the first device to feature Android™ 3.0 (Honeycomb), as well as a 10.1-inch widescreen HD display and 1GHz dual-core processor, Motorola XOOM™ Wi-Fi will be available from Sprint beginning on Sunday, May 8, for $599.99. Android 3.0 is the version of Android designed specifically for tablets and features innovations in widgets, multi-tasking, Web browsing, notifications and customization.
With a 1GHz dual-core processor, 1GB of RAM and 10.1-inch widescreen HD display, Motorola XOOM delivers exceptionally fast Web browsing performance and supports a Beta of Adobe® Flash® Player 10.2, downloadable from Android Market™, enabling the delivery of Flash-based Web content, including videos, casual games and rich internet applications.
Motorola XOOM also features two cameras, a rear-facing 5-megapixel camera with flash that can capture HD video and a front-facing 2-megapixel camera for Google Talk™ with video chat. Motorola XOOM can also display content on any HDMI®-equipped HDTV (HDMI cable sold separately).
With its large touchscreen display, Motorola XOOM makes it easy to stay connected from anywhere using personal and Exchange corporate email. It also offers access to more than 3 million Google eBooks and apps from Android Market, making it an ideal e-reader.
Motorola XOOM also features the latest Google™ Mobile services including, Google Maps™ 5.0 with 3D interaction.
Additional key features include:
- Android Market for access to more than 150,000 useful applications, widgets and games available for download to customize the experience
- Google mobile services such as Google Search™, Gmail™, Google Maps™ with Navigation, Google Calendar, Voice Actions, and YouTube™
- Corporate email (Microsoft Exchange ActiveSync®), personal (POP & IMAP) email and instant messaging
- Bluetooth® 2.1 + EDR
- Integrated GPS
- 1GB internal RAM memory and 32GB onboard user memory
- Dimensions: 9.8 inches x 6.6 inches x 0.5 inches (249.1mm x 167.8mm x 12.7mm)
- Weight: 25.74 ounces (730 grams)
- 3250 mAh Lithium-ion battery
Motorola XOOM Wi-Fi will be available through Sprint Direct Ship sales channels, including Sprint Stores, Web sales (www.sprint.com), Telesales (1-800-SPRINT1) and Sprint Business Sales, beginning on Sunday, May 8, for $599.99.
On Wednesday morning our inbox was flooded with complaints from readers stating that Verizon Wireless’ 4G LTE network was down — claims we were able to confirm with our Samsung Charge in New York City. Verizon Wireless has acknowledged the problem and is keeping its customers up-to-date via Twitter. “We’re aware of an issue with the 4G LTE connections and our network engineers are working to resolve quickly,” Verizon’s official account tweeted today. It followed up three hours later with “Investigating 4G LTE network issue; ThunderBolts making voice calls, may get slower 1xRTT data.” Verizon says it will keep its customers updated as its works to resolve the problem.
Few things are as powerful, important, or enjoyable as music. Actually, Android may hold equal sway among this crowd, so let’s meet in the middle and take a look at a production that merges the two: the Sonos Music Controller for Android.
Sonos has spent the better part of the 2000′s releasing products to manage home audio systems. With its ZonePlayers, Sonos users can create a multi-room audio set-up that plays music from various sources throughout their home. The recently-introduced Sonos Music Controller for Android makes it possible to control all of those players – up to 32 on one Wi-Fi connection – on one device.
The good folks at Sonos sent Androinica.com a massive box with everything needed to run the audio entertainment system. Sonos relies on ZonePlayer speakers, which can be connected to your wireless router, or stream music through a Zonebridge add-on connected to your router (sold separately). Sonos offers three types of speaker systems, but I tested the S5 box that has 5 speakers and amplifiers working in concert. The sound quality is excellent and the system really takes advantage of the bass-heavy music that I often listen to while at home. And while I love my desktop speakers, they really can’t match what the Zoneplayers offer when blasting hip-hop, reggae, or dubstep music.
Sonos previously required a remote control device that retailed for $350, but the Android app is free. The beauty of Sonos Music Controller for Android is that it provides the same deep well of entertainment options that you can tap into at any moment. Sonos can import music from your computer, plug-in to an MP3 player using the line-in port, play plenty of radio stations, and link with several popular streaming services. And once you begin playing those songs, the controller has a built-in equalizer to boost or reduce Bass, Treble, and Left/Right balance.
Finding music to listen to shouldn’t be a problem if you choose not to stream from the desktop, line-in, or local radio. The Sonos controller can also manage your playback from the following streaming services:
- Wolfgang’s Vault.
Sonos does a great job of capturing the basic style of those services – from rating songs in Pandora to getting artist info from Last.fm – in a uniform fashion that doesn’t require leaving the Sonos player. I managed to access all of the same features in mobile apps, and I’d actually argue that this provides a better mobile option for Pandora than the official app. A free trial is available for the premium services offered with Sonos, so there really shouldn’t be a lack of options (unless you’re looking for Amazon Cloud or Slacker, which aren’t available yet).
I also love having access to my PC-stored music in various formats, but searching the music library may present a problem depending on how your library is tagged. Sonos failed to return any results in my artist search for “Willie Hutch,” despite having several songs by the soul legend stored on my computer and viewable when I browsed by genre or composer. There’s no option to simply search for “Willie Hutch” and return all songs related to him because Sonos limits users to searching within a parameter like Artist or Album.
The Sono Music Controller is thankfully much better in other aspects of locating and playing songs. The app can browse by shared folders, iTunes library, Artists, Albums, Composers, Genres, and Imported Playlists. The playback control is clutter-free, so users can do everything from customize their playlist queue and take complete control of their playback. You can even create a playlist and save it specifically for use on Sonos.
Tapping the Home button brings up the Zone Menu and switches between different Zone Players. Sonos can then control multiple systems that each play a different audio source, or group them all into a Party Mode that sync all Zoneplayers to the same song. This has so far proven to be my favorite feature because I often start playing music in my office but then have to relocate to the kitchen, living room, or bedroom to play music. Sonos allows me to rely on a particular Zoneplayer rather than crank my computer’s speakers to maximum volume or start over with Google TV.
The Sonos Music Controller for Android is an incredible app. Combine it with the right hardware and you’ll have an inspired audio experience. The only drawback to such a set-up is likely to be the price of that hardware. The most affordable ZonePlayer costs $349, so someone must be an audiophile looking to create a great music set-up in order to justify the purchase. Sonos offers a combination pack that includes two Sonos S5 (black or white) and a Zonebridge for $798. It’s definitely a pretty penny, but users prepared to pay the premium will take their home audio needs to a higher level than they are likely to have at the moment.
Despite the continued protest of Sprint and others in the wireless industry, AT&T has submitted its proposal detailing the acquisition of T-Mobile to the FCC. Detractors argue that the merger would stifle competition as Verizon and AT&T would emerge as the only viable contenders in the US. AT&T is prepared to argue that acquiring T-Mobile will allow them to bring 4G LTE services to 97 percent of the United States, tracking the growing demand for wireless and bringing high-speed services to areas that otherwise would be left without. It’s a tough call, but luckily we aren’t the ones that have to make it. One FCC official sees no way the deal will pass, but something tells us this one won’t be that simple. In the end the results will trickle down to the consumer, good or bad.
AT&T Files Public Interest Statement With FCC on T-Mobile Acquisition
Dallas, Texas, April 21, 2011
AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) today filed with the Federal Communications Commission its Public Interest Statement regarding its proposed acquisition of T-Mobile USA. The filing demonstrates the numerous benefits of the merger, including the deployment of 4G LTE network technology to more than 97 percent of the population. When the parties announced this transaction in March 2011, AT&T initially stated that it would deploy LTE to 95 percent of the U.S. population. After conducting a more refined analysis of the combined network, AT&T is increasing the scope of this commitment to 97.3 percent. This deployment will help fulfill this Administration’s pledge to connect every part of America to the digital age, and it will create new jobs and economic growth in the small towns and rural communities that need them most.
The publicly available filing, with certain portions containing competitively confidential information redacted, is available at www.MobilizeEverything.com.
Additional highlights of the filing include:
AT&T has helped make the United States the global leader in mobile broadband and smartphone sales. AT&T’s mobile broadband leadership, however, presents it with unique spectrum and capacity challenges. A smartphone generates 24 times the mobile data traffic of a conventional wireless phone, and the explosively popular iPad and similar tablet devices can generate traffic comparable to or even greater than a smartphone. AT&T’s mobile data volumes surged by a staggering 8,000% from 2007 to 2010, and as a result, AT&T faces network capacity constraints more severe than those of any other wireless provider.
AT&T is using up its spectrum at an accelerating rate, and the wireless broadband revolution is just beginning. Over the next five years, data usage on AT&T’s network is projected to skyrocket as customers "mobilize" all of their communications activities, from streaming HD video and cloud computing to a range of M2M applications like energy management, fleet tracking, and remote health monitoring. In just the first five-to-seven weeks of 2015, AT&T expects to carry all of the mobile traffic volume it carried during 2010.
This merger provides by far the surest, fastest and most efficient solution to that challenge. The network synergies of this transaction will free up new capacity – the functional equivalent of new spectrum – in the many urban, suburban and rural wireless markets where escalating broadband usage is fast consuming existing capacity.
This transaction will thus benefit consumers by reducing the number of dropped and blocked calls, increasing data speeds, improving in-building coverage, and dramatically expanding deployment of next-generation mobile technology.
The transaction’s benefits arise from the uniquely complementary nature of AT&T and T-Mobile’s GSM/HSPA+ technologies and spectrum holdings.
The combined company expects to integrate a significant portion of T-Mobile cell sites into the AT&T network. Upon network integration, which will benefit customers in as little as nine months, this will equate to "instant" cell splits – increasing cell density and effectively doubling the amount of network traffic that can be carried using existing spectrum in the areas served by those cell sites.
Groups across the political spectrum, including a broad range of consumer, disability, civil rights, and rural advocacy groups have highlighted the transaction’s potential to empower consumers, workers and small businesses to participate more fully in our nation’s broadband society.
The U.S. wireless marketplace is fiercely competitive, characterized by escalating usage, product differentiation, rapid innovation, fierce advertising campaigns, new entry, and sharply declining prices for wireless service by unit of consumption (e.g., minutes or megabytes). In fact, the FCC found last year that approximately three-quarters of Americans live in localities contested by at least five facilities-based wireless providers.1 These other competitors are rapidly growing and investing and will ensure the wireless marketplace remains vibrantly competitive after the transaction.
1Fourteenth Report, Implementation of Section 6002(b) of the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1993, 25 FCC Rcd 11407, 11621-22 42-45 (May 20, 2010) ("Fourteenth Wireless Report").
*AT&T products and services are provided or offered by subsidiaries and affiliates of AT&T Inc. under the AT&T brand and not by AT&T Inc.
What is Windows Phone Device Manager / TouchXperience ?
Windows Phone Device Manager is a Windows PC software that will allow you to perform various tasks on an unlocked WP7 device like install/uninstall homebrew applications, File management, Add and manage custom ringtones, Send SMS, E-mail, notes directly from PC, and more
TouchXperience is the better half for the WP7 device which offers various features like custom menus, organize applications & games, File explorer and more
Windows Phone Device Manager features:
- Applications management: view, install/uninstall homebrew applications
- File management: explore device, exchange files with your phone
- Sync files, folders and favorites with phone
- Send to Windows Phone (to send files, apps, ringtones, web links in one click)
- Detailed device information (CPU, ROM, RAM, storage, network, battery, OS,…)
- Add and manage custom ringtones
- Send SMS, E-mail, notes directly from PC (without needing cloud services)
- Take screenshots of the phone
- Programming sends notifications to phone
- Shared clipboard with PC and phone
- Integration with Windows explorer (drag & drop, copy/paste, view apps icons and details)
- Integration with Control Panel (Device Stage, task links)
- Nice integration with Windows Vista/7 (jumplists, widgets, aero effects,…)
- Initiate connection from PC or phone
- Wireless connection support
- Auto pairing (no need to enter PC or phone IP address)
- Notify phone applications updates
- Applications backup
- Use your phone as a remote control (control mouse, keyboard and navigation in Windows Media Center)
- Open marketplace for non-commercial applications (if developers are interested)
TouchXperience for Windows Phone features:
- Create custom menus
- Add folders, apps, contacts, websites, maps, documents, and many other widgets
- Organize applications & games
- File explorer
- Multitasking support
- TouchXperience port taking benefit from Metro UI
- Panorama background customization
- Contact manager
- Communication manager
- Profile manager
- Task manager
- RSS reader
- Web radios
- Interactive backgrounds
- Integration with Facebook and Twitter
- DLNA support
- Network drives support
- Skydrive support
- G-scrolling support
- Windows Sideshow support (if MS let me create drivers and services)
- Live tiles support
- Download Windows Phone Device Manager and launch WPDeviceManager.exe
- Plug in your phone, it should detect it automatically, if not click Connect in menu
- The first time you connect your phone Windows Phone Device Manager will automatically install TouchXperience
- Registred or unlocked Windows Phone 7 device
- Windows Vista or Windows 7 32/64-bit
- .NET Framework 4.0
- Windows Phone Developer Tools
It currently supports the following devices:
HTC HD7, HTC 7 Mozart, HTC 7 Trophy, HTC 7 Surround, HTC 7 Pro, HTC Arrive, HTC HD2, Samsung Focus, Samsung Omnia 7, Dell Venue Pro, LG Optimus 7, LG E900, LG C900.
Industry Intel Apple Inc iOS Devices Enterprise Tips and Tricks Apps Toys Reviews iMac supplies tighten ahead of forthcoming refresh
A good indication that an Apple product refresh is coming soon is when the respective product’s supplies begin tightening up. Most recently, this process happened with the iPad prior to the iPad 2 launch and with the MacBook Pro prior to the MacBook Pro refresh with Thunderbolt and quad-core processors. Now, it’s the iMac’s turn for a refresh. We have been told by three people familiar with the matter – all in different countries including the U.S. and an Asian country – that iMac supplies are tightening.
First, we have our friend Mr. X who provided us with the above screen shot and the following information. Mr. X says supplies for the iMac have tightened significantly, and this has never happened during the current model’s life-cycle. The data chart above shows that all four iMac models are “constrained” with no ETA for new shipments in a particular region; a very large one.
Tipsters in the United States have informed us that their iMac shipments are also very constrained. That’s not the full story though. Although actual iMac shipments are lacking, our U.S. tipsters report that actual iMac components are also very constrained. The most constrained pieces right now are the current iMac’s graphics processors and hard drives. A lack of replacement components is also a good indication of an upcoming refresh.
Next, our source in a major Asian country reports that the 21.5 inch iMacs are very constrained, more so the 3.06 GHz base model, and the other three models are very close to the constrained state. So, when are the new iMacs coming? Previous reports claim that new iMacs with faster, Sandy Bridge processing chips and Thunderbolt I/O ports are launching between late April and early May… bring them on!
Update: Readers are asking about Mac minis and white MacBooks. Although those products are approaching the end of their life cycles, there are plenty of them still around.
Motorola Asks Everyone What Cool Android Apps They’d Like to See, Gets Over 10,000 Votes for an Unlocked Bootloader
In a poll that has clearly taken a turn for the worst (for Motorola, anyway), Motorola has asked their Facebook fans what types of new apps they’d like to see from developers. Unfortunately for them, they left the poll open to custom responses – you know who showed up for this juicy occasion. Rooters and developers the world over flocked to this opportunity to fight for their devices’ freedom and to let Motorola know that they want — nay, they need an unlocked bootloader. Over a dozen of these responses were left with subsequent votes on them totaling up to over 10,000. Doesn’t exactly fit Motorola’s original question, but the message has been sent. Let’s see how or if Motorola responds to the outcry.
When we last heard from Texas Instruments they had been hard at work absorbing business rivals, but today they showed off what they do best. Technology.
The most recent fruits of their labor is a little something called the bq51013. Its a wireless induction charging chip that’s close to 80% smaller than technology we’re using now. If you’re unfamiliar with wireless charging its the same tech found inside your Sonicare toothbrush or the Palm Pre’s Touch Stone.
I’ve never been a fan of wireless charging. With my busy lifestyle I, at most, have only have a few precious moments to find wall socket to plug in. I quickly realized wireless charging was much too slow at powering up my energy thirsty Evo. Thankfully, TI is promising a 93% efficieny rate when compared to AC charging.
It may come in handy if we start seeing this technology become heavily adopted by cell phone manufacturers. Who knows, in the future we may only have to lay our phone down at a restaurant table to find it fully charged by the time we received the check.
There’s an Android security scare happening at least once a month. Most of these are overblown, rehashed non-issues, but there are legit concerns about Android malware and privacy leaks. Researchers at North Carolina State University have developed software designed to shield Android users from concerns about apps stealing their private data.
The Taming Information-Stealing Smartphone Applications (TISSA) is a security prototype developed to give Android phone owners more control over which data is accessible to apps. TISSA can show that an app requests “Location” data, and users can respond by setting it to Trusted, Anonymized, Bogus, or Empty.
A privacy setting is applied for each permission request, so device owners can accept that an app wants to know their location but still reject access to the call log. The developer may offer a perfectly good reason to request such information, but that’s exactly what it is – a request. TISSA gives users the option to deny access. These are the four privacy options set forth by TISSA:
- Trusted – Users accept that the app is not abusing data and TISSA doesn’t provide any restrictions.
- Anonymized – Users may be suspicious or simply want to be cautious, so TISSA can send random data with general information. So a weather app can get your location information within 10 miles, but not within 10 feet.
- Bogus – Flat-out lies to the app. It sends phony information, which is an ideal way of protecting your Contacts and Call Log.
- Empty – TISSA will tell the app that the information does not exist, so a suspicious app looking for contact log will think that you haven’t made any calls.
“There are a lot of concerns about potential leaks of personal information from smartphones,” says Dr. Xuxian Jiang, an assistant professor of computer science at NC State who co-authored a paper describing the research. Jiang added that the research team is still mulling how it can make the security options available to Android users, but a software update could be sent over-the-air to incorporate into Android. A paper titled “TISSA (on Android)” will be released at a security conference in June and offer more information.
WHAT DOES THIS MEAN FOR REGULAR FOLKS?
At the moment, TISSA is just a concept of what can be done. It is not official from Google and will likely require some customizing before anyone outside of the research project is able to load this onto a phone. Google currently offers a take-it-or-leave-it stance on apps in the Android Market; a user is told up-front what security permissions each app requests, but all must be accepted or the app cannot be used at all.
It would probably be against Google’s interests to allow users to send phony information that could harm the growing mobile ads ecosystem, but Google might recognize the value in ending these privacy issues once and for all. TISSA could provide an additional layer of security that allows users to pick and choose how much personal information they will surrender to developers.