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Spanish Woman's Twitter Musings Lead to Terror-Related Conviction
February 24, 2014
Twenty-one-year-old Spaniard Alba González Camacho was convicted of inciting terrorism thanks to some ill-conceived tweets about a far-left terrorist organization. She became the first person in Spain to be convicted of such charges for Twitter posts. González Camacho implored the terror group "Grapo" to murder politicians. Grapo was responsible for 80-some killings, mostly in the 1970s and 80s.
Samsung's New Galaxy S5 Might Ship Bathtub-Ready
February 21, 2014
Of all the Samsung Galaxy S5 rumors to hit this week, the one that had me sit up straight and pay close attention is the rumor that the new Galaxy S5 may be both waterproof and dustproof. This is a big deal, because it would be the first major flagship smartphone with wide and popular distribution to be waterproof. Of course, Samsung last year offered the somewhat waterproof Galaxy S4 Active.
Google's Project Tango Struts Into the Spotlight
February 21, 2014
Google is making an increased push into the 3D imaging sphere with the announcement of its Project Tango technology. The project is aimed at helping mobile devices fully map a 3D space to give them the same type of understanding of space and motion that humans have, through a blend of robotics and computer vision tools. The prototype smartphone Google unveiled has myriad sensors.
WhatsApp Gives BlackBerry a Bounce
February 20, 2014
Facebook's $19 billion purchase of mobile-messaging service WhatsApp appears to have buoyed the value of BlackBerry Messenger -- and by extension, BlackBerry. BlackBerry shares went up nearly 10 percent in after-hours trading because, in the words of Reuters, Facebook's purchase "put a rough valuation metric around the smartphone maker's own BlackBerry Messaging service," also known as "BBM."
BlackBerry CEO Miffed With T-Mobile
February 19, 2014
John Chen, BlackBerry's new chief executive, lashed out at T-Mobile after it sent an email to BlackBerry users imploring them to ditch their current devices and switch to an iPhone. BlackBerry was not notified about T-Mobile's email blast beforehand, causing Chen to become "outraged" over what he dubbed a "clearly inappropriate and ill-conceived marketing promotion."
If You Were Apple, You'd Ignore Low-End Smartphones, Too
February 18, 2014
Smartphone sales have been rising. The 968 million smartphones sold surpassed feature phone sales for the first time, Gartner reported. However, sales actually topped 1 billion, according to IDC. What's the difference of 32 million between friends? Not much. Here's a more important point: High-end smartphone sales have been slowing fast, while low-end smartphone sales have been rising fast.
Two's Company in Global Smartphone OS Market
February 13, 2014
Google's Android and Apple's iOS led the global smartphone operating system market in 2013, a year in which worldwide shipments surpassed 1 billion units for the first time, according to IDC. The two OSes accounted for 93.8 percent of global smartphone shipments for the year. Together, they made up 95.7 percent of the smartphone shipments in the final quarter of the year.
Content Providers: Consumers Have Gone Mobile, Ready or Not
February 13, 2014
Americans are living in an increasingly digital and mobile world, according to "The Digital Consumer," the latest study published by research firm Nielsen. The report determined that Americans now own an average of four digital devices, with average per-person content consumption of 60 hours per week across devices. Consumers have more options than ever for when and how they access content.
A Deep Dive Into New Scuba Tech
February 13, 2014
Scuba divers always have relied on gear that lets the essentially fragile, air-dependent human body descend into oceanic depths. While air tanks, regulators, buoyancy control devices and dive computers have been around for years, digital technologies are altering how they function, how they're used, and how well they work. One recent innovation is iGills.
FBI 'Red Tape' Keeps Oscar Pistorius' Mobile Phone Locked
February 11, 2014
FBI "red tape" is preventing detectives from accessing the mobile phone formerly belonging to South African sprinter Oscar Pistorius, the double amputee known as "Blade Runner," who faces murder charges over the 2013 death of his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp. South African investigators reportedly have been trying to persuade the FBI to back a request for Apple to unlock Pistorius' iPhone.
Apple's Sapphire-Screen iPhone Less 'If' Than 'When'
February 11, 2014
If the latest sapphire tech rumor is true, Apple's exclusive manufacturing partner, GT Advanced Technologies, is gearing up its Mesa, Ariz., manufacturing facility with enough furnaces to forge up to 200 million iPhone displays. Previously, most super-hard sapphire crystal rumors were limited to small component usage in Apple products, like scratch-proof Touch ID sensors or camera lens covers.
California Kill Switch Bill Tackles Smartphone Theft
February 07, 2014
California Sen. Mark Leno on Friday introduced a bill in the legislature that would require all smartphones and devices sold in the state to have a kill switch starting Jan. 1, 2015. Senate Bill 962 comes against a backdrop of rising smartphone theft. It is now the leading property crime in the U.S., accounting for one third of all robberies nationwide.
Cycloramic Pro Swims With the Sharks
February 06, 2014
How does an iOS panoramic photo shooting app first introduced in 2012 rocket to the top of the Paid App list in Apple's App Store? Answer: The developer takes it to ABC's Shark Tank, where he demonstrates how his iPhone can spin around, taking photos all by itself. He then shakes off a $200,000 offer for 10 percent of his business and holds out for $500K of venture investment.
Google Maps for iOS Now Flags Faster Routes
February 05, 2014
A new version of Google Maps for the iPhone and iPad hit the App Store Tuesday. Added to the app's repertoire is the ability to notify a driver when a faster alternative route is available. When Google Maps' navigation feature is running, traffic conditions will be monitored by the app. When it determines that an alternative route can get you to your destination faster, it will notify you.
Mac Birthday Video Stars iPhone
February 04, 2014
Unlike in 1984, when the Macintosh was introduced, there weren't any Apple ads at the Super Bowl this year. Instead, on the day after the Massacre in the Meadowlands, the company raised the curtain on a 127-second video celebrating the 30th anniversary of the Mac -- on YouTube. Video for the project was shot entirely with iPhones over a 36-hour period on Jan. 24, the 30th birthday of the Mac.
The Motorola Shuffle: Lenovo Gets Business, Google Keeps Patents
January 30, 2014
Less than two years after Google's $12.5 billion purchase of Motorola Mobility was finalized, Google on Wednesday announced that Lenovo would be purchasing Motorola Mobility in a $2.91 billion deal. Google will be retaining the vast majority of Motorola's patent portfolio, including current patent applications and invention disclosures. Lenovo will get 2,000 patent assets as part of the deal.
Smartphone Could Hold the Key to Your Room
January 30, 2014
Starwood Hotels & Resorts is rolling out a program in two of its hotels -- one in New York City's Harlem and one in Cupertino, Calif. -- that will allow customers to try a new lock system. Guests can download a mobile app that will allow them to virtually check in once they've arrived at the hotel. Then they'll be able to open their room door with the tap or wave of their smartphone.
What Went Wrong With the iPhone 5c?
January 30, 2014
The iPhone 5c has been bugging me. As a product, it's so good -- and yet so wrong. By not saying much at all during the financial conference call with analysts this week, Apple has confirmed doubts while presenting new questions. Does the iPhone 5c represent a colossal misstep by Apple? Or is it just a mediocre product that remains profitable? Can it be both at the same time?
iPhone May See the World Through Different Lens
January 29, 2014
Smartphones have been steadily stealing shutterbugs from digital camera makers, but most of those converts are coming from the point-and-shoot snapper crowd. The next step is to target more sophisticated photographers who use cameras with interchangeable lenses. Apple appears to be getting ready for that battle. It just won two patents that would allow lenses to be attached to a mobile device.
Apple's Next iPhone: Big's In, Plastic's Out
January 28, 2014
iPhone rumors hit pretty much every week, but some rise to the top -- with or without great sources. The latest bigger-screen iPhone 6 rumor comes courtesy of three authors who span the globe, writing together from Hong Kong, Taipei and San Francisco. According to "people familiar with the situation," they reported that two new iPhone models would be released in the second half of this year.
Horizon Keeps iPhone Video Shooting on the Level
January 23, 2014
Even if you've never been guilty of sharing one of those annoying vertical videos, you may have run into a situation where you've been filming and moving around at the same time -- and because you were scrambling over a rock or playfully wrestling while recording, your fun little video perspective spun vertical on you. Once you start shooting vertically, you're stuck.
How to Slim Down a Bloated Android Device
January 22, 2014
It's a good idea to prune an Android device periodically, for a few reasons. A mishmash of apps, some aging, have all kinds of on-device routines running that can negatively affect performance. Worse, some are continually accessing the Internet and eating into your data cap -- unlimited wireless Internet on mobile devices is practically nonexistent these days.

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