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Microsoft Cuts 7,800 as It Rethinks 'Mobile First' Strategy
July 8, 2015
CEO Satya Nadella has announced that Microsoft will reduce its workforce by 7,800 as it refines its mobile message and strategy. The company will write down roughly $7.6 billion associated with assets tied to the acquisition of Nokia's devices and services business, Nadella revealed. The restructuring of its own mobile handset division will cost somewhere between $750 million and $850 million.
The Automobile as We Know It Is Dead
June 29, 2015
There's a massive number of efforts going on to kill the car as we know it. Among them are efforts to make it a tiny self-driving box that we'd likely be embarrassed to be seen in, efforts to make it highly customized and amazing, and efforts to change its fuel from gasoline to CNG, electricity or something else. There is no doubt that the car as we know it soon will be dead.
Gadget Ogling: Wrist-Saving Keyboards, Resource-Saving Smartphones and New Angles on Reality
June 20, 2015
Here to save all our wrists -- or at least those of the populace with a spare $299 to spend on a computer accessory -- is a lovely, wood-finished keyboard called "Keyboardio Model 01." Taking its cue from a long history of ergonomic keyboards, the device splits an atypical keyboard in two, dedicating half the keys to each of your hands, and it's set in a gorgeous maple wood construction.
DxO One Bridges iPhone-DSLR Camera Divide
June 19, 2015
DxO on Thursday announced a new compact camera designed to allow iPhones and iPads to capture higher-quality digital images. The DxO One is the first digital camera that plugs into the Lightning connector found on Apple devices and that uses their Retina display as a viewfinder. The DxO One isn't designed to replace either DSLRs or the iPhone's camera, said DxO SVP Kirk Paulsen.
Swiftkey Security Slipup Exposes Samsung Smartphones
June 17, 2015
At least 600 million Samsung smartphones are vulnerable to remote attacks because of the way the company implemented the SwiftKey keyboard, NowSecure researcher Ryan Welton warned Tuesday. A phone can be attacked if it's connected to a compromised or malicious WiFi network and the SwiftKey app is updating existing languages or adding a new language pack.
Can Android Give BlackBerry New Life?
June 16, 2015
BlackBerry could be considering equipping an upcoming smartphone with Google's Android operating system, Reuters reported last week. The move would be consistent with BlackBerry's strategy to focus on software and device management instead of handsets. Such a pivot would take the company away from its current strategy to regain lost market share with a new generation of BlackBerry smartphones.
Huawei's P8 Lite Tickles US Smartphone Market
June 3, 2015
Huawei on Wednesday launched the P8 Lite, a $250 unlocked smartphone running Android 4.4. The company has positioned the device as offering consumers in the United States premium design and features at an accessible price. Though some critics have dismissed the P8 as a low-end phone, "this is a mid-range device masquerading as a low-end one," remarked Ramon Llamas, a research manager at IDC.
Phone Companion App Lets Cortana Get Around
May 27, 2015
Microsoft advanced its "if you can't beat'em, join'em" mobile strategy with Tuesday's announcement of Phone Companion, an app built into Windows 10 that's designed to synchronize information across multiple platforms, including Android and iOS. Windows 10 Phone Companion works like a hub on a PC for a user's mobile devices, allowing apps like Cortana to work across multiple platforms.
Gadget Ogling: A Mighty Little Amp, a Credit Card-Sized Phone and a Food Tray Keyboard
May 26, 2015
Tinny, terrible laptop speakers may be a relic of the past, but there are still occasions when the built-in audio from your portable computer's speakers or audio jack just doesn't quite cut it. Let's say you're an electronic music luminary traveling the world without the comforts of one's home studio but with an album deadline to meet. You need to hear what's going on. So here's the Apogee Groove.
Apple vs. Lenovo: Lenovo's Coming-Out Party
May 25, 2015
If there is one vendor on the planet that has the capability to fight Apple -- on paper, it is Lenovo. Lenovo this week will hold its annual Lenovo Tech World event in China, showcasing the company's new breadth. While it would be easy to position this as the U.S. against China, Lenovo is actually far more of a multinational company, with executives balanced between the U.S. and China.
The Future According to Qualcomm
May 18, 2015
I was at the Qualcomm Internet of Things event in San Francisco last week during what was a major IoT event in the city. What is kind of amazing is the larger event was just a small part of the applications show that used to go on at the same time. This year it is twice the size of that older show. Companies are flocking to this IoT concept like ducks to water.
Smartphone Makers Play Musical Chairs as China's Mobile Market Matures
May 11, 2015
For the first time in six years, China's massive mobile market saw contraction in its smartphone sector, IDC reported Monday. There were 98.8 million smartphones shipped in China by the end of the first quarter of 2015, down about 4 percent year over year, according to IDC's Trackers. Quarter over quarter, the market's Q1 2015 shipments were down by about 8 percent.
Cyanogen Taps Truecaller in Effort to Build a Better Mobile OS
May 8, 2015
Cyanogen, best known for its FOSS Android-based OS, CyanogenMod, soon will provide caller ID screening and spam blocking directly from the native dialer on Cyanogen OS, the commercial version of its operating system. These capabilities will be provided through the company's global partnership with Truecaller. They will be baked into future smartphone devices preloaded with Cyanogen OS.
Xiaomi's Mi 4i Spreads in Asia
May 7, 2015
Chinese wunderkind smartphone manufacturer Xiaomi is taking its flagship Mi 4i smartphone to Hong Kong and Singapore, with availability slated for next Tuesday. Designed especially for emerging markets, the Mi 4i has been wildly successful in India, where it launched two weeks ago and reportedly sold 40,000 units in less than 15 seconds. The Mi 4i is the first Xiaomi phone to run Android Lollipop.
Can LG's Hot G4 Smoke the Competition?
April 29, 2015
LG on Tuesday unveiled its latest flagship smartphone, the G4. The official launch followed weeks of leaks about the device's design and features. The G4 has an f1.8 aperture lens; a new IPS Quantum display, which is generally seen in the latest TVs; a body curved in LG's "Slim Arc" design; and six genuine leather color options. Its rear 16-MP camera has a manual mode and a color spectrum sensor.
Shiny Apple Has a Few Soft Spots
April 29, 2015
Apple on Monday reported another quarter of stellar earnings, detailing its drive to 27 percent revenue growth on the backs of its iPhone, Mac and App Store sales. The company generated $58 billion in revenue in the second quarter -- about a $12 billion increase year over year -- and posted a net profit of $13.6 billion, roughly $3 billion more than the year-ago quarter.
Gadget Ogling: Pretty 3D Printing, an Eye-Catching Engagement Ring Box and a Sturdy Smartphone
April 28, 2015
3D printing is fascinating. It still seems wild to me that you can download schematics for anything and have a plastic version of a physical object in your home a short while later. However, not many printers can switch up the color or the types of filaments you use in your creation. The Pallette could change that, with a peripheral to brighten up that mono-colored trinket you're ready to print.
No More Smartphones, Nokia Vows
April 27, 2015
Nokia has kinda, sorta asserted that it's not returning to the smartphone business, in the wake of persistent reports that it's been eyeing a comeback. Nokia "currently has no plans to manufacture or sell consumer handsets," reads a company statement. "The reports are false, and include comments incorrectly attributed to a Nokia Networks executive."
Nokia Scratches Smartphone Itch
April 20, 2015
Nokia reportedly will release a new smartphone by the end of 2016. The company last year announced the N1, its first entry in the mobile market since being gutted by Microsoft's acquisition of its devices and services business unit. The Nokia N1, an Android tablet manufactured by Foxconn, is blessed with Nokia's branding. It may be Nokia's partner in producing the smartphone as well.
Gadget Ogling: A Juicy Wristband, a Gamy Wearable and a Dorky Dongle
April 18, 2015
Asus is taking a common-sense approach to the fitness tracker game by debuting a new watch with a 10-day battery life. Thanks to its square screen, the soon-to-be-released VivoWatch resembles a smartwatch more than, say, a Fitbit. It appears to have a monochrome screen, which must help extend that all-important battery life. It has a stainless-steel build, and dust and water protection.
LG Lends Substance to G4 Rumors
April 16, 2015
LG on Thursday confirmed rumors about the basic look of its upcoming G4 flagship smartphone with a post on its Facebook page. Details about LG's forthcoming G4 flagship smartphone recently were leaked on a Korean microwebsite, generating considerable buzz on the Internet. Photos and other information were published by a number of outlets before the microsite disappeared.
Emojis Get Real in New iOS
April 10, 2015
Apple on Thursday released a new version of iOS that adds racial diversity to its emoji library. In addition to the fair-skinned faces found in prior versions, the new assortment includes brown, black and golden yellow mugs. What's more, there are emojis of same sex couples and families, too. "Emoji have become huge for people," said Kantar Worldpanel ComTech's Carolina Milanesi.
Samsung Galaxy S6: If Looks Could Kill
April 2, 2015
Samsung's upcoming pair of flagship smartphones are distinguished by their form factors. The Galaxy S6 edge is almost identical to the $650 Galaxy S6, but, for an additional $100, users get a display that spills over its sides, allowing notifications to appear along its marquee-like edges, without rousing the handset's display in full. Reviews of the S6 and S6 edge have been warm all around.
Gadget Ogling: Cute Robots, Secure Tablets and a Conscientious Can
March 21, 2015
PLEN2 is simply adorable. A robot to seemingly fix all the world's problems, if its Kickstarter project is anything to believe, PLEN2 is possibly the most joyous humanoid machine I've seen in years. Maybe I'm swayed a little by the infectious theme song in the pitch video. The idea is to sell the basic robot and let customers get creative using open source tools and 3D-printed parts.

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