Syrian authorities seem to have taken things to the next level as BGR is reporting that iPhones have been banned in the country in an effort to curb communication between protestors via social networks.
Syria’s finance ministry customs department has allegedly said that authorities in the country are to “warn anyone against using the iPhone in Syria”. The news was first reported to the German Press Agency with the BBC later confirming that imports of the iPhone had also been banned. Other smartphones have yet to be affected.
Telstra, the australian telecommunications provider has taken it upon themselves to open what is being dubbed as the first Android store ever. “Androidland” as it is known has just been opened in melbourne and was built, in part, with the help of Google and some of their handset producers.
The store offers a whole bunch of Android powered devices as well as staff who actually know what they’re supposed to know (yay!). The staff, according to Engadget have been Google-trained for the job. Telstra proudly stakes the store as the first of its kind but it remains to be seen if more will pop up; either by Telstra themselves or their competitors.
A new report featured in CNN states that the location sharing site Gowalla has been bought for an undisclosed sum by the mighty Facebook.
An unnamed source who is said to be ‘close to Gowalla’ confirmed the report and also added that a majority of the employees of Gowalla even founder Josh Williams, will move to Facebook’s offices in Palo Alto. The new team is pegged to work on the recently unveiled timeline feature of facebook. A feature unveiled earlier this year and still in the process of making its way to over 800 million facebook users.
It remains to be seen what will happen of Gowalla and it’s app as Facebook has, in the past, been notorious for sending teams from existing start-ups to work on their own projects while killing off the start-ups. Vaughan Smith, Facebook director of corporate development had earlier said that Facebook aims to make 20 purchases in 2011. Well, the clocks running down and it looks like Gowalla was one of those 20.
Acer’s president Jim Wong has announced that Tegra 3 quad core processors will find their way into an Acer tablet in 2012. As quoted in T3 Mr.Wong goes on to say:
“Acer was the first to follow Motorola with a Honeycomb tablet in 2011 after the launch of the XOOM and we intend to remain very aggressive on that front. You may have seen some leaked stories in the media relating to Acer launching a new quad-core tablet and I can confirm these stories are true.”
The coming tablets will no doubt feature Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich and are said to be the successor to the Asus Transformer Prime.
“Tablets are a very important category to expand our business. We are the only company selling Windows 7 tablets in volume and next year we will continue to do the same thing with second generation windows tablets on the way in addition to our Android tablets.” Said Mr. Wong
By the looks of it CES 2012 (In January) and the Mobile World Conference in February will feature some rather interesting devices.
According to the guys over at StatCounter, their latest global report on web browser usage shows that for the first time ever, Google’s Chrome browser has overtaken Mozilla’s Firefox. Though both browsers still don’t hold the position of top dog, an honour reserved for Internet Explorer for now, it still marks a milestone in the growth of Chrome.
The stats go on to show that during November, google’s market share went up to 25.7% a rather large number considering that back in 2009 chrome only had 4.66% of the market. Firefox raked in 25.2% for november while both browsers were dwarfed by Internet Explorer who boasted a comfortable 40.6%.
Engadget goes on to show that Chrome seems to be the only browser experiencing such drastic growth with both IE and firefox seeing their numbers dwindling.
While many of the record setting iPhone 4S’ owners seem content with their latest devices a surprising number are coming forward with a series of bugs. Some of which have been reported are a glitch that causes audio calls to cut out when using the headset as well as very poor battery life in spite of an iOS 5.0.1 update. The latest bug seems to be tougher to solve than a simple software update.
Users are reporting that static sounds can be heard during voice calls. This annoying “static digital crackling” sound has been reported by thousands of users across not only Apple’s support forums but other forums across the internet as well.
While some users seem to be more tolerant;
““It doesn’t prevent me from having a conversation, but it does get annoying on a long phone call,”
Others have reportedly returned their devices after several exchanges could not get to the root of the issue.
BGR went on to quote a user on the Apple support board who had this to say:
”If I use the Siri with 3G network, the noise is absolutely happened. But [if] airplane mode is ON and Wifi is also ON, there is no noise. That means a 3G module inside the iPhone 4S makes a noise. I don’t know the technical issue exactly, but the first reason is by using a 3G module.”
Apple has yet to comment on the reported bug.
As Nokia looks for more ways to bring the company’s stubborn bottom line in order, Engadget is reporting that the company is looking to rid itself of it’s WiMax Division. This wont be the first time they look to shed unwanted weight as just last month Nokia Siemens announced a staggering 17,000 workers would be laid off as part of global restructuring.
NewNet Communication Technologies is said to be the company willing to take the dead-weight WiMax technologies off Nokia’s hands for an undisclosed sum. 300 NSN employees are also said to be bundled in the deal.
When Siri was first launched it set the bar for voice controlled smartphone assistants, and boy did it set it high. Even Microsoft’s attempt at competition came nowhere near the accuracy and capabilities of Siri and her awe-inspiring ways.
Well step aside Siri, your time has come. A worthy competitor dubbed ‘Cluzee’ has emerged. Dressed in Android garb the app launched on Tuesday claims to be ‘your intelligent personal assistant’ and offers envious Android users of a service that, hard to believe, can not only match Siri’s capabilities but in some cases out-do them.
An example of how Cluzee excels is seen in the video below where when the user asks what his schedule for today looks like, it not only responds with the relevant data but adds snippets of information it has gathered from the internet, such as “to reach the doctor’s office on time, you should avoid Main Street because of construction”
The CEO of Tronton; The team behind Cluzee said that people were drowning in information overload. He (Ashish Patwa) went on to add:
“We don’t need all of the information available, all of the time.We just need the right information at the right time, which Cluzee intelligently provides, making us more productive. Technology created the problem, but we’re using smarter technology to solve it.”
According to BGR, the company also has plans to launch a cloud based version that can be accessed from any phone, tablet, computer or internet-connected device. And while the range of commands is narrower than Siri, the first public build still holds plenty of potential.
As part of the work carried by Google’s philanthropic arm ‘Google.org’, recent developments have emerged that could soon change current early warning systems for earthquakes.
Researchers from UC Berkely, the USGS and other universities have begun testing of the prototype system which relies on a network of seismological sensors embedded throughout the american west-coast. These are used to detect P-waves, the initial tremors that precede the more destructive S-waves.
Google’s involvement also comes in when the time has come to alert the public of an impending earthquake and according to Engadget, Google has also teamed up with other companies such as Deutsche Telekom’s Innovation Center to find ways to disseminate the information across computers, cellphones, and community alert systems.
While you don’t seem to be hearing many users complaining of a lack of speed from their current Cortex A-9 based Samsung chips, that doesn’t seem to be stopping the techies over at Samsung from churning out even more power houses. The latest iteration of their Exynos line seems to be a testament to just that- boasting chips that double the performance on the current line.
The new Exynos 5250 SOC is said to harness two Cortex A-15 chips with each running at a clockspeed of 2GHz each. They even feature a GPU that is capable of WQXGA resolutions of up to 2560×1600 (For whoever can find a use for it). Engadget is reporting that Samsung has said that these baby’s will go into production as early as the second quarter of next year.
Time to up your game Nvidia.