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Its official: Google is in the auction

Hear that America? That’s the sound of the hammer dropping on our beloved cartel of carriers. Google’s bid for the 700MHz “C Block” is on. Eric Schmidt, Google Chairman and CEO, says the following:”We believe it’s important to put our money where our principles are. Consumers deserve more competition and innovation than they have in today’s wireless world. No matter which bidder ultimately prevails, the real winners of this auction are American consumers who likely will see more choices than ever before in how they access the Internet.”

The bidding begins on January 24th with a minimum of $4.6 billion required for the open-access C Block. Wake the kids, phone the neighbors, it’s going to get ugly fast.

Via Engadget

November 30, 2007 Posted by | google, news, technology, telecommunications | , | 1 Comment

PS3 sales getting better

A new report from Game News identifies some pretty staggering sales numbers for the Playstation 3 over the past year. Black Friday was particularly kind to the Sony console, with sales up 245 percent over the same time last year. That’s great news for Sony’s sales department, but it’s just a small piece of a larger picture of victory. The company has seen unit sales increase by 178 percent, and overall sales $’s increase by 154 percent over the course of the past week, entering the holiday season with bang. This is due, in large part, to the recent price drop for the 80GB model, combined with the introduction of the 40GB model.

Original story

November 29, 2007 Posted by | financial, news, ps3, technology, video games | | Leave a comment

Nintendo Sells Over 650,000 Wii’s in Two Weeks

“Earlier today, Nintendo revealed that they have sold more Wii’s in the last two weeks than in any week since the systems initial launch last November.

Nintendo has reportedly sold over 350,000 Wii’s last week, during the Thanksgiving holiday, whereas they moved over 300,000 the week prior. The last time sales were this high in a two week time frame was when the system launched and sold over 600,000 units in its first eight days of release.

“I couldn’t find a single Wii system on the shelves – literally as I was walking into a Wal-Mart at 11 a.m., someone was walking out with the last one,” stated Fils-Aime. “Consumers are buying every game we can put into the system.”

Earlier this year, Nintendo predicted that they would sell 17.5 million Wii’s before the end of the fiscal year, which ends on March 31. Currently, Nintendo is manufacturing 1.8 million Wii’s a month to reach demand worldwide.”

November 28, 2007 Posted by | news, nintendo, technology, video games | , | Leave a comment

Nintendo only making 1.8 million Wiis a month

…..George Harrison stated that it was “still expecting some shortages in December,” but noted that the Big N wouldn’t be “pulling back on its marketing.” Potentially more interesting is Mr. Harrison’s assertion that the firm is currently producing some 1.8 million Wiis per month, and it’s having to make decisions of where to send shipments to “nearly every week.” ‘Course, the chat couldn’t end without some reference to the rivals, and the exec concluded by proclaiming that Nintendo “doesn’t focus a lot on the competition,” as “its performance seems to be independent of those two.”

Original story

November 19, 2007 Posted by | news, nintendo, video games | , | Leave a comment

Trouble brewing for Starbucks?

“With its affluent customer base and uncanny knack for drawing crowds, Starbucks has long seemed immune to the slowdowns that plague most retailers when the economy falters.

But the king of the $4 coffee is feeling the pinch now. Dairy prices have skyrocketed, fast-food chains have made it easier to find a good cup of joe, and traffic in U.S. stores has flattened amid high fuel prices and turmoil in the housing and credit markets.

Add it all up, and it’s dragged the company’s stock down nearly 40% since it hit an all-time high one year ago……….”

Story continues….

November 16, 2007 Posted by | financial, news | Leave a comment

MIT’s Stackable City Car

TRANSPORTATION TUESDAY, MIT Stackable City Car, Folding City Car, Green Public Transportation, Car Sharing, city car, MIT, electric, lithium, ion, battery, batteries, last mile, public transport, car sharing

 Meant to work more like a car sharing service than that of a personal vehicle, MIT hopes to change the way that we think about personal transportation. Stacks of vehicles could be placed throughout the city to create a small network that is linked to the existing mass transportation systems within the city.

read more | digg story

November 14, 2007 Posted by | amazing, green world, news | , , | Leave a comment

Zune 80 better than iPod classic

 The $249 Zune 80 is Microsoft’s latest attempt to kick the iPod in the nuts, praying to crack Jobs’ titanium-diamond alloy cup through Wi-Fi features and a touch of divine intervention. CNET, Wired, Dean Takahashi, PCWorld and YahooTech struck first with reviews on the new device. Their verdicts? The cup has not yet been breeched, but Microsoft is making very solid improvements on the brand.  

PCMag We’ll just come out and say it: The 80GB Zune trumps the iPod Classic…For the same $250 price as the 80GB iPod classic, the new Zune 80GB offers a much larger screen, FM radio, wireless player-to-player sharing, Wi-Fi syncing with your PC, and a rear panel that can be customized with some cool artwork–for free. Simply put, Apple is no longer the leader in the realm of hard drive-based players. While the Zune 80GB and the iPod classic are both outstanding devices, the Zune has more features–and it’s more fun.

CNET The 80GB Zune cuts a much slimmer figure than its bricklike older brother. Measuring 4.3 inches high by 2.4 inches wide by 0.5 inch deep, Microsoft shaved some considerable bulk off the Zune’s thickness, while nearly tripling its capacity…we believe the latest crop of Zunes should finally take hold as a true iPod alternative. (83/100)

PCWorld All of the new Zunes are built around a rounded touch-sensitive control that also doubles as a clickable d-pad-style controler, much like the Click Wheel on Apple’s iPods. Flick your thumb up or down the pad repeatedly, and you begin to build up momentum while scrolling through long lists. At any time, you can tap to stop the scrolling, though it will eventually come to stop naturally. In my experience, it’s a very fun way to navigate through a music collection, even in a long view of artists on the 80GB player…All in all, the 80GB Zune is a decent choice as an 80GB MP3 player. (no score at this time)

Wired Video performance is very good, with the screen size really helping…Battery life didn’t meet the published specs of 20 hours for music and 4 hours for video with the Wi-Fi turned off. My rundown test on music was 18 hours, and video was 3.5 hours, which is, you know, fine…. Would I recommend the Zune? Yeah, I think I would. If you’re not invested in the iPod/iTunes ecosystem, it’s the most polished competitor I’ve used to date. Especially if you’re looking for a subscription service, the integration of player and service just crushes everyone else. (6/10)

YahooTech …the most innovative new feature on the Zune: wireless syncing. Setup was a piece of cake: you just connect the Zune to your PC via USB, fire up the Zune software, and enable wireless syncing under the Settings menu. If your system is already connected to a wireless network, those settings are transferred to the Zune automatically—no need to key in the access point name or password…automatic syncing only works when the Zune is plugged into its charging dock. Overall, I thought wireless syncing worked pretty seamlessly, and I loved being able to sync new songs and playlists over the air (why can’t the iPhone or the iPod Touch do this?)

Dean Takahashi The Zune Marketplace website looks better than iTunes because it feels less like a spreadsheet. It still uses the MTV Urge back-end but is completely redesigned…. All of these things represent improvements that allow Microsoft to claim that it is going its own way. Clearly, they aren’t copying Apple…At this rate of improvement, Microsoft will be a contender. But it has a long way to go before it keeps Steve Jobs up at night. – Zune fans should be happy with the improvements, but even more, that the big new features are software based and free for everyone.

Original story

November 13, 2007 Posted by | microsoft, news, zune | 1 Comment

Apple kinda releases 1.1.2

Looks like Apple just published firmware v1.1.2 for the iPhone; hit the download link to grab it yourself because iTunes hasn’t yet gotten wise to the fact that it’s out. Details to follow, but don’t expect jailbreak or the unactivated Safari workaround hack to still be functional, ok? (… aaaand we’re watching our download speed drop as our readers are grabbing the file. Rockin’.) Update: TIFF jailbreak exploit is dead. Sorry people. More below.

Update: Ok, We’re “sacrificing” an iPhone for you people. We’ll let you know what we find.

  • Extracting software… restarting… iTunes successfully upgraded to 1.1.2.
  • The “slide for emergency” slider flashed through different languages while it was waiting to be plugged in again.
  • It’s activated, pulled the backup data, and restarted — success! Officially on 1.1.2.
  • Testing jailbreakme.com… looks like they broke jailbreak! Yep, it’s broken alright.
  • Not really finding any new features — certainly no new icons, no voice memos, nothing obvious about disk mode. Anyone else finding anything?

More info

November 8, 2007 Posted by | apple, at&t, cellphones, iphone, news | , , | Leave a comment

Apple confirms international 1.1.2 iPhone update to Pocket-lint

“In a meeting this morning with the UK Apple press team, it was confirmed to Pocket-lint that version 1.1.2 will be an international update on Friday 9th November for all iPhone owners.”

Original story

November 8, 2007 Posted by | apple, iphone, news | | Leave a comment

Google annnounces Android

“The Google Phone has been announced, and instead of a phone that’s manufactured by just one company, it’s an open software platform that’s going to be loaded on phones made by HTC, LG, Motorola and Samsung. Those phones are going to be available in the US on Sprint and T-Mobile by the second half of 2008—plus, it’s going to be available in China, Japan, Germany, Italy, and Spain on their respective carriers. The 34 members of the Open Handset Alliance developing this gPhone will throw in their expertise (example, Nvidia with their graphical abilities, Skype with their VoIPing) and offer the collective goods under an open source licensing agreement. Hell, Google might not even put their logo on the phone itself—they just want to sell advertisements to users through it.”

Original story

November 6, 2007 Posted by | cellphones, google, news, telecommunications | Leave a comment

Facebook Is Now 5th Most Valuable U.S. Internet Company

Yesterday came news that Microsoft invested $240 million into Facebook, valuing the company at $15 billion.

How much is $15 billion? It’s hard to understand how much money that really is. But this evening a friend helped put it into perspective in a conversation about the deal: among the pure-play U.S. Internet companies, only Google, eBay, Yahoo and Amazon have larger market capitalizations. Their annual revenues range from $6 – $11 billion/year. IAC, Salesforce, Monster.com and all the rest trail significantly.

Big Internet properties like MSN/Live.com, AOL and MySpace can’t be directly compared because they are part of larger corporations. Still, its easy to imagine that Facebook, at $15 billion, is perhaps worth more than AOL and MSN/Live.com. Is it worth more than MySpace, which was acquired for a mere $580 million in 2005? The total value of parent company News Corp., with $30 billion or so in annual revenue, is just $70 billion.

Of course, Facebook is not being valued by the public markets like the others. And it may be some time before there is any updated valuation for the company. They are now positioned with a huge war chest of cash (the actual amount raised is likely above $240 million; rumors of a hedge fund or other financial partner who put in additional cash are already swirling) and a massive stock valuation. They can make acquisitions of key technology and talent without spending much. And they can go for years as a private company on that cash. Even with the 700 employees the company expects to have next year, they shouldn’t spend more than $50 million or so per year to run the company.

Original story

October 26, 2007 Posted by | financial, microsoft, news, social networking | Leave a comment

Analyst: iPhone AT&T’s top selling device, #4 in US sales

“Researchers for Strategy Analytics claim that the iPhone could become the best-selling handset in the US within the next six months. In addition, the handset has already become the best selling device for AT&T, according to reports. “The iPhone has become AT&T’s top selling device, commanding some 13 per cent of AT&T’s overall handset sales, and the fourth top selling handset in the US market,” said Barry Gilbert, vice president of the Strategy Analytics BuyerTRAX programs. “Although the iPhone hasn’t had an expansionary impact in the market, the iPhone has quickly assumed a leading market share position and raised the ante for smart devices. The sales trajectory we are observing with the iPhone could make it the top selling device in the US over the next 1-2 quarters.” The current best-selling handset, the Motorola RAZR V3, has seen its lead diminished recently, according to Strategy Analytics.”

Original story

October 19, 2007 Posted by | apple, at&t, cellphones, financial, iphone, news, telecommunications | Leave a comment