Thursday, October 6, 2011

iPhone 4S: what the tech critics said

Here’s what tech critics said about Apple’s iPhone 4S:

"In the hand it may feel like the same device, but in practice the “S” in 4S could easily stand for “Speed.” Now with the dual-core 1GHz Apple A5 inside, with what is claimed to be 2x the performance and 7x the graphics speed of the iPhone 4, it’s all round a faster phone. Navigating between apps has never been slow, but there’s literally no lag to be found. Webpages rendered instantly, while pinch-zooming was silky smooth."
Vincent Nguyen, Slashgear

"The iPhone 4S has a much faster CPU, a much faster GPU, a much better camera, a highly advanced voice-AI system like nobody has ever seen, better battery life, an improved antenna, international GSM roaming ability on CDMA-locked phones, a 64 GB option, and better carrier availability. It is extremely likely to become the best-selling smartphone in the world. Would as many people be disappointed if Apple had released the same device but called it the iPhone 5?"
Marco Arment,
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Things you didn’t know about Steve Jobs

Later in his life, Jobs crossed paths with his biological sister while seeking the identity of his birth parents. His sister, Mona Simpson (born Mona Jandali), is the well-known author of Anywhere But Here — a story about a mother and daughter that was later adapted into a film starring Natalie Portman and Susan Sarandon.

After reuniting, Jobs and Simpson developed a close relationship. Of his sister, he told a New York Times interviewer: "We're family. She's one of my best friends in the world. I call her and talk to her every couple of days.'' Anywhere But Here is dedicated to "my brother Steve."

The novel is set in the 1960s and '70s, and follows 12-year-old Ann August as she travels cross-country to California with her flighty mother. The novel became a bestseller and was eventually adapted into a film starring Natalie Portman and Susan Sarandon.

Greatness cannot always be replicated. But sometimes it runs in families, it seems.

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Pirates of Silicon Valley

TNT will pay tribute to Apple founder Steve Jobs tonight with a special presentation of the TNT Original Pirates of Silicon Valley. The movie will air at 8 p.m. and 10 p.m. (ET/PT).

Starring Noah Wyle (TNT’s Falling Skies) as Steve Jobs, Anthony Michael Hall as Microsoft founder Bill Gates and Joey Slotnick as Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak, Pirates of Silicon Valley follows the fascinating and unforgettable race between technology rivals Apple Computers and Microsoft. From nights of dorm-room tinkering to days of boardroom scheming, their fierce and often humorous battle to rule the fledgling computer empire literally changed the world.

Pirates of Silicon Valley premiered on TNT in 1999 and went on to earn five Emmy® nominations, including Outstanding Made for Television Movie and Outstanding Writing for a Miniseries or Movie. The movie was written and directed by Martyn Burke, who adapted the script from the bestselling book Fire in the Valley by Paul Frieberger and Michael Swaine. Pirates of Silicon Valley was produced for TNT by Haft Entertainment, with Steven Haft and Nick Lombardo serving as executive producers.

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Wednesday, October 5, 2011

$35 tablet computer for rural poor

NEW DELHI -- India introduced a cheap tablet computer Wednesday, saying it would deliver modern technology to the countryside to help lift villagers out of poverty.

The computer, called Aakash, or "sky" in Hindi, is the latest in a series of "world's cheapest" innovations in India that include a $2,040 compact Nano car, a $15 water purifier and $2,000 open-heart surgery.

Developer Datawind is selling the tablets to the government for about $45 each, and subsidies will reduce that to $35 for students and teachers. In comparison, the cheapest Apple (AAPL) iPad tablet costs $499, while the recently announced Kindle Fire will sell for $199.

Datawind says it can make about 100,000 units a month at the moment, not nearly enough to meet India's hope of getting its 220 million children online.

Human Resources Development Minister Kapil Sibal called the announcement a message to all children of the world.

"This is not just for us. This is for all of you who are disempowered," he said. "This is for all those who live on the fringes of society."

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Siri: Not a search technology but may hurt Google

Steve Jobs was clear last year that he didn’t consider Siri a search company, but instead an artificial intelligence company. But that doesn’t mean that Siri can’t serve as a threat to Google on iOS devices.

With the rollout of Siri on iPhone 4S, the voice-recognition and virtual assistant service is even more robust than when it first appeared last year before Apple bought the company. And it’s showing that while Siri is not search technology, when paired with other services including Wolfram Alpha, Wikipedia and Yelp, it has the potential to divert significant traffic away from Google and other search engines.

Apple showed off how users can easily ask questions of Siri, anything from inquiring about the weather to getting definitions of words. They can also find restaurants and book tables if they need to, things that were available in original version of Siri. And with Wolfram Alpha integration, they can do more general web searches.

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Apple's Steve Jobs Is Dead

Steve Jobs, the visionary in the black turtleneck who co-founded Apple in a Silicon Valley garage, built it into the world's leading tech company and led a mobile-computing revolution with wildly popular devices such as the iPhone, died Wednesday. He was 56.

The hard-driving executive pioneered the concept of the personal computer and of navigating them by clicking onscreen images with a mouse. In more recent years, he introduced the iPod portable music player, the iPhone and the iPad tablet -- all of which changed how we consume content in the digital age.

His friends and Apple fans on Wednesday night mourned the passing of a tech titan.

"Steve's brilliance, passion and energy were the source of countless innovations that enrich and improve all of our lives," Apple said in a statement. "The world is immeasurably better because of Steve."

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Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Apple iOS 5 and iCloud service to launch October 12

Apple's latest software update for iOS and the iCloud storage service will go live on October 12, according to several live blogs reporting the news from the Apple event in Cupertino, Calif., today.

Apple announced the new iOS 5 and the iCloud music service in June at the Worldwide Developers Conference. iOS 5 will come with a slew of new features, including notifications and iMessage, a new messaging service for iOS users. Apple also announced a new app for iOS 5 called Reminders, which offers location-based reminders. It could do things like remind you to stop by the grocery store when you're leaving the office

The iCloud service is a storage service that is free to iOS users and ferries data between devices and stores device backups in the cloud. Developers have had access to iCloud since then, and a public rollout was promised for the fall.

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Apple iPhone 4S

Apple introduced its long-awaited new iPhone on Tuesday. But it wasn’t an iPhone 5. That will have to wait.

The new model of the iPhone, which will go on sale Oct. 14, with preorders starting Friday, is virtually indistinguishable from its predecessor on the outside. But beneath its skin Apple made big changes, packing it with a better camera that shoots crisper pictures and video. The device also includes a more powerful chip, the A5, the same microprocessor that is the brains of the iPad, for producing better graphics and other improvements

While Apple’s decision not to call its new phone the iPhone 5, as many expected, raised some eyebrows, it has some precedent. A couple of years ago the company introduced the iPhone 3GS, which made modest improvements over the iPhone 3G. Michael Mace, the chief executive of a mobile application start-up and a former Apple and Palm executive, said Apple most likely wanted to telegraph that the iPhone 4S was an incremental change to the product, rather than a big redesign denoted by a change in the model number
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Sunday, October 2, 2011

Dell to take on Macbook Air, Again

Dell is going to go after Apple's MacBook Air again, part of its broader strategy to take on the entire MacBook line.

The new ultraslim laptop could come around the CES time frame, according to industry sources familiar with Dell's plans.

There was also a separate report this week that said Dell is prepping an Ultrabook--the Windows camp answer to the MacBook Air. Whether the rumored Ultrabook is the same laptop that Dell sources are referring to is unclear.

If Dell waits until CES 2012 to announce a super-svelte laptop, it would be exactly three years after it announced the Adamo, which went head to head with the MacBook Air.

That timing would also coincide with Intel's announcement of its next-generation processor dubbed Ivy Bridge--expected to drive Ultrabook sales from the spring of 2012. Ivy Bridge supports USB 3.0, Microsoft's DirectX 11 multimedia technology, and packs more powerful graphics silicon.

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IBM Passed Microsoft as Second-Most Valuable in Technology

Sept. 30 (Bloomberg) -- International Business Machines Corp. passed Microsoft Corp. to become the world’s second-most valuable technology company, a reflection of industry changes including the shift away from the personal computer.

IBM’s market value rose to $214 billion yesterday, while Microsoft’s fell to $213.2 billion. It’s the first time IBM has exceeded its software rival based on closing prices since 1996, according to Bloomberg data. IBM became the fourth-largest company by market value, based on yesterday’s closing price, and, in technology, trails only Apple Inc.

Chief Executive Officer Sam Palmisano sold IBM’s PC business six years ago to focus on corporate software and services. Though Microsoft has expanded into online advertising and games, it gets most of its revenue and earnings from the Windows and Office software used primarily on PCs.

“IBM went beyond technology,” said Ted Schadler, an analyst with Forrester Research Inc. “They were early to recognize that computing was moving way beyond these boxes on our desks.”

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