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From: sylvester802/19/2012 9:00:21 AM
   of 32237

Samsung Galaxy Note available today on AT&T for $299
by Phil Nickinson on 2/19/2012 | Filed Under: Smartphones, News; Tags: android, samsung, smartphone, at&t, note, stylus, galaxy note, samsung galaxy note, s pen, at&t galaxy note, galaxy note available | 11 comments

The the Samsung Galaxy Note is finally available in the United States, hitting Best Buy and AT&T's websites right this second, and brick-and-mortar stores just as soon as the sun rises. (And, you know, the stores actually open.)

The Galaxy Note is no stranger to these parts. We reviewed the European version some months ago -- it's already shipped more than 1 million units worldwide -- and we've had the AT&T version for a few days now. They're larger the same (large) smartphone. It's got a hulking (but beautiful) 5.3-inch Super AMOLED display -- with a whopping 800x1280 resolution -- powered by a 1.4 GHz dual-core processor running Android 2.3.6 Gingerbread.It's got an 8-megapixel camera in the back, and a 2MP shooter ujp front.

The AT&T version varies slightly by switching to the traditional 4-butoon scheme below the display, whereas the Euro version opts for a larger, centered home button. That's not unusual -- the Galaxy S and Galaxy S II lines did the same. AT&T's Galaxy Note also throws in a 4G LTE radio in addition to the HSPA+ radio. (Take that, Europe!)

It's a smartphone, to be sure. Makes phone calls and everything. But the noted feature of the note -- and really the reason it's so big -- is the included stylus, called the S Pen. It brings a whole 'nother level of functionality to the traditional Android experience. And when not needed (or wanted), it tucks away neatly into the phone itself, out of sight, out of mind.

There's your teaser. We've got lots more coming in our full AT&T Galaxy Note review. If you're the early adopting type, head into a store today, or hit the links below.

Buy the Samsung Galaxy note: AT&T, Best Buy
More: Galaxy Note forums

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From: zax2/19/2012 9:04:07 AM
   of 32237
Steve Jobs is gone, Windows 8 is coming and Apple panics
By Robert Johnson

I was surprised Apple announced the developer preview of OS X 10.8 yesterday. There is something curiously odd how they went about this, and I believe it has everything to do with the company everyone loves to hate on -- Microsoft.

Anyone following Apple for any length of time should know they are the king of secrecy. Products are announced when they're ready (there are few public betas), usually during invite-only media events. But not this time. Apple claims they did not want to overdo the whole "announcement event" especially having just hosted the iBooks event. That sounds like a pile of crock to me.

According to those in the know, the company hosted private demos among pro-Apple bloggers and journalists -- and as long as two weeks ago. Apple more typically announces a new OS version months before it's made available to anyone, typically during their Worldwide Developer Conference. But with 10.8 things are different. The timing allowed Apple to preempt the release of Windows 8 Consumer Preview, which Microsoft announced in January would be the end of this month.

PC-plus Era

What is so different about today that caused such a drastic change in the way Apple announces and delivers a new operating system? They saw what Microsoft is doing with Windows 8 and panicked.

Say what you want about Microsoft’s Windows 8 strategy, there’s no denying it is aggressive and constitutes one of the biggest shifts in computing the tech industry has seen in almost a decade. Microsoft knows the personal computer's relevance is declining -- hence their use of term "PC-plus" when describing this new era of computing. What we know about Windows 8 and leaked information about Windows Phone 8 confirms their PC-plus mentality. As we will see in Windows 8, the PC becomes a key player along with the phone and TV (Xbox) in productivity and communications.

Apple and Microsoft are attempting to arrive at the same destination from different directions. That destination is mobile computing through device agnostic services and software. The goal: That we as users be able to consume and create content regardless of whether we are mobile or stationary.

Microsoft and Apple have invested much resources in developing continuous services such as sync, continuous communications like FaceTime and Skype and powerful mobile computing capabilities. Microsoft, in making Windows the hub for their PC-plus strategy, instantly has an advantage: Incumbency. Add to that cloud connectivity and sync, parity with Windows Phone and Xbox and ability to run powerful applications, and multiplayer gaming among devices.

The Cat Behind Windows

Take a look at the 10 features Apple revealed about Mountain Lion and compare those Microsoft boasts about Windows 8. Apple is trying to do everything in their power to keep Mac, iPad and iPhone relevant. If that means going to market quickly with features that were planned further down the pipeline, then that’s what they have to do.

Notice how much of iOS they are integrating into OS X: Game Center; Messages; Notification Center; and Reminders. Microsoft has already demoed or mentioned similar services in Windows 8. Game Center is the most telling. Apparently Apple is planning for real-time multiplayer gaming between Apple devices. I don’t believe they are simply copying Microsoft here because this seems to be the way the industry was headed.

My theory is that Apple needed to do something quickly to respond to what Microsoft is doing with Windows 8. This is why we are seeing this new operating system announced as a developer preview in February with a general release in “late summer”.

Windows 8 and its bundled services suddenly makes the iPad, and Mac look less attractive. This smells of panic on the part of Apple, who wants to stay ahead or at least have parity with Windows 8. I think what Microsoft demoed about Windows 8 in September and what has been leaked so far about Windows Phone 8 caused many people to realize OS strategy is not only on the right track but is moving quickly and aggressively to advance the platforms.

Apple will probably release OS X 10.8 long before Windows 8 ships. I can already hear the Apple pundits screaming about how Microsoft overtly copied features of 10.8 that had already been announced for some time. It seems odd to me that the company that coined the term “Post-PC era” is suddenly so “PC-plus” in their strategy.

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To: sylvester80 who wrote (16806)2/19/2012 1:24:13 PM
From: zax
   of 32237
Vibrant Media, Media Innovation Group and PointRoll, Google and others took advantage of the cookie handling code Apple implemented in Safari. It should amuse those using Safari (iPhone, iPad or Mac owners) to no end that they' are being tracked and their web-viewing habits recorded and sent to many different companies.

Users of Internet Explorer, Firefox and Chrome were not affected. Thats right, no other major browsers. Not even browsers like Chrome and the Android browser, which share Safari's WebKit.

Check out the graphics Apple submitted with their new OS-X/ / iOS anti-malware patent application, describing how these OS's now automatically prevent these attack vectors. An interesting read follows...

Who are Vibrant Media, WPP and PointRoll?
Steve White/THE CANADIAN PRESS - Google is one of four advertisers to circumvent Safari’s privacy settings.

By Hayley Tsukayama,

Google may be facing the bulk of the backlash over a bit of code that went around Safari’s privacy settings to attach cookies to users’ devices, but it was not the only company to do so. Here’s a quick look at the other companies that used the same tactics.

Vibrant Media: Vibrant Media is known for its in-text ads, aka those double-underlined mouseover ads that pop up in the text of articles on the Web. According to Vibrant, its ads reach 250 million unique users per month working with partners including Microsoft, Unilever, Chrysler and AT&T.
According to researcher Jonathan Mayer, Vibrant — along with Google — purposefully tried to circumvent Safari’s privacy settings. In a statement to the Wall Street Journal, Vibrant Media said that it used a “workaround” to “make Safari work like all the other browsers” and that it did not collect personally identifiable information.

WPP: WPP is one of the largest advertising groups in the world, earning $7.4 billion in revenue in 2011. There are more than 150 companies in WPP’s group, including advertisers such as JWT and Ogilvy & Mather Worldwide, as well as policy and lobbying firms such as Burston Marsteller.

The company that is said to have circumvented Safari’s settings is the WPP’s Media Innovation Group, part of WPP’s digital group. The MIG is known for its B3 advertising tool, which lets advertisers track the effectiveness of ads and allocate funds to the most successful ones. The Journal reported that the group declined to comment on Mayer’s research.

PointRoll: PointRoll is a Gannett company, specializing in digital circulars and other “rich media” ads such as videos. PointRoll says that it is the leading rich media advertiser on the Web and works on mobile and Web ads.

Web analytics firm Quantcast estimates that PointRoll powers more than 50 percent of all rich media campaigns online. In a company blog post, PointRoll said that it does not “currently employ” the technique mentioned in Mayer’s research. “PointRoll conducted a limited test within the Safari browser to determine the effectiveness of our mobile ads,” wrote Rob Gatto, PointRoll’s chief executive. “The test did not involve the collection, retention or resale of any specific user information. The limited test ended on February 8, 2012, and we made the decision not to employ this practice further.”

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To: Heywood40 who wrote (16808)2/20/2012 12:08:28 AM
From: sinclap
   of 32237
Somebody piss in your Cheerios recently?

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To: FUBHO who wrote (16260)2/20/2012 4:57:48 AM
From: elmatador
   of 32237
Pressure, Chinese and Foreign, Drives Changes at Foxconn

Looks like manufacturing in Brazil more appealing by the day...
Pressure, Chinese and Foreign, Drives Changes at Foxconn
BEIJING — The announcement Saturday that Foxconn Technology — one of the world’s largest electronics manufacturers — will sharply raise salaries and reduce overtime at its Chinese factories signals that pressure from workers, international markets and concerns among Western consumers about working conditions is driving a fundamental shift that could accelerate an already rapidly changing Chinese economy.

But the true meaning of Foxconn’s reforms, analysts say, will depend in part on how effectively the company can remake an economic system that has relied for much of the last decade on luring migrants to work cheaply for long hours in mammoth factories building smartphones, computers and other electronics.

Plants depend on workers’ being at assembly lines six or seven days a week, often for as long as 14 hours a day. Such facilities have made it possible for devices to be turned out almost as quickly as they are dreamed up.

For that system to genuinely change, Foxconn, its competitors and their clients — which include Apple, Hewlett-Packard, Dell and the world’s other large electronics firms — must convince consumers in America and elsewhere that improving factories to benefit workers is worth the higher prices of goods.

“This is the way capitalism is supposed to work,” said David Autor, an economist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. “As nations develop, wages rise and life theoretically gets better for everyone.

“But in China, for that change to be permanent, consumers have to be willing to bear the consequences. When people read about bad Chinese factories in the paper, they might have a moment of outrage. But then they go to Amazon and are as ruthless as ever about paying the lowest prices.”

Foxconn, with 1.2 million Chinese employees, is one of China’s largest employers. It assembles an estimated 40 percent of the smartphones, computers and other electronic gadgets sold around the world. Foxconn’s decisions set standards other manufacturers must compete with.

The announcement by Foxconn, which said that it would raise salaries as much as 25 percent, to about $400 a month, came after an outcry over working conditions at its factories. In recent weeks, labor rights groups have staged coordinated protests in various countries after reports that some of Apple’s Chinese suppliers operate harsh, abusive and dangerous facilities. To stem criticism, Apple hired a nonprofit labor group to inspect the plants it uses.

Workers welcomed the announced raises and overtime limits, though some were skeptical they would cause much real change. “When I was in Foxconn, there were rumors about pay raises every now and then, but I’ve never seen that day happen until I left,” said Gan Lunqun, 23, a former Foxconn worker. “This time it sounds more credible.”

By bowing to such demands, Foxconn has conceded that employees and consumers have gained a sway once possessed only by Chinese bureaucrats and executives at the global electronics firms that hire Foxconn to build their products.

Foxconn’s announcement also reflects how quickly China’s economy is shifting. Many of the country’s employers are facing labor shortages, which also puts upward pressure on wages, as do inflation and government demands to raise minimum wages.

Over 100 million migrant workers returned to their village homes this month to celebrate China’s Spring Festival, otherwise known as the New Year. Traditionally, factories have had no problem luring those workers back. But many Chinese cities are still confronting serious labor shortages, even though the holiday ended weeks ago. A recent Chinese government report said this year’s labor shortage was more pronounced than those in previous years.

And just as China’s exporters are struggling to cope with labor shortages in coastal regions, they are also confronting higher raw material costs and a strengthening Chinese currency, which makes Chinese goods more expensive in other nations.

“China can’t guarantee the low wages and costs they once did,” said Ron Turi of Element 3 Battery Venture, a consulting firm in the battery industry. “And companies like Foxconn have developed international profiles, and so they have to worry about how they’re seen by people living in places with very different standards.”

No other company in the world has quite the manufacturing scale of Foxconn. Nearly every global electronics company has some tie to the manufacturing giant, and while much of its work can be done cheaply, with low-skilled workers, the sheer volume of goods and scale of its operations make it China’s single biggest exporter.

Some of its campuses are considered small cities, with as many as 200,000 workers. Many are housed in dormitories near the assembly lines and are expected to be ready to rush into work should new orders flow in.

The Foxconn model, though, is under pressure. While most companies operate with similar dormitories, wage structures and work schedules, staffing Foxconn’s large sites has grown increasingly difficult. A new generation of young people in China are more reluctant to migrate to coastal cities, live in factory dorms and toil long hours. Many are staying closer to home, because of new opportunities in inland provinces. That has created labor shortages on the coast.

Social scientists say young people here are also less willing to accept factory jobs for long periods. Meanwhile, demographic changes have meant China has fewer young people to join the work force.

If the workers will not move to the coast, the logic is that the coastal factories ought to move to where the workers are living. Big manufacturers like Foxconn have responded to such challenges by moving factories inland.

And worried that the old model is dying, Foxconn has announced plans to invest in millions of robots and automate aspects of production.

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To: Heywood40 who wrote (16808)2/20/2012 7:04:38 AM
From: sylvester80
   of 32237
Lower China court rules against Apple in iPad trademark row, says shops should pull tablets
By Associated Press, Updated: Monday, February 20, 4:07 AM

SHANGHAI — Apple’s dispute over the iPad trademark deepened Monday after the Chinese company that claims ownership of the name said it won a court ruling against sales of the popular tablet computer in China.

Xie Xianghui, a lawyer for Shenzhen Proview Technology, said the Intermediate People’s Court in Huizhou, a city in southern China’s Guangdong province, had ruled on Friday that distributors should stop selling iPads in China.

The ruling, which was also reported widely in China’s state media, may not have a far-reaching effect. In its battle with Apple, Proview is utilizing lawsuits in several places and also requesting commercial authorities in 40 cities to block iPad sales.

Apple Inc. said in a statement Monday that its case is still pending in mainland China. The company has appealed to Guangdong’s High Court against an earlier ruling in Proview’s favor.

Apple insists it holds the trademark rights to the iPad in China.

“We bought Proview’s worldwide rights to the iPad trademark in 10 different countries several years ago. Proview refuses to honor their agreement with Apple in China and a Hong Kong court has sided with Apple in this matter,” said Apple spokeswoman Carolyn Wu.

Calls to the court in Huizhou rang unanswered.

A letter to Proview’s chairman Rowell Yang from the Beijing office of the law firm King & Wood, which is representing Apple, accused Proview of breaching “principles of good faith and fair dealing” and of making “false and misleading” statements.

Proview, a maker of LCD screens which is based in Guangdong, has asked regulators to seize iPads in China in a possible prelude to demanding a payout from Apple. A Shanghai court is due to hear a similar case on Wednesday.

So far, iPads have been pulled from shelves in some Chinese cities but there has been no sign of action at the national level.

Shenzhen Proview Technology is a subsidiary of Hong Kong-based Proview International Holdings. It registered the iPad trademark in China in 2001 and says the name was used for a computer described as an “Internet Personal Access Device” that employed touch panel technology.

The company says it plans to ask China’s customs agency to block imports and exports of iPads.

Apple contends that it acquired the iPad name when it bought rights in various countries from a Proview affiliate in Taiwan in 2009 for 35,000 British pounds ($55,000). Proview won a ruling from a mainland Chinese court in December that it was not bound by that sale.

Proview International’s shares have been suspended from trading on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange since August 2010 and reports say it is deep in debt. It will be delisted in June if it cannot show it has sufficient assets, business operations and working capital.

Proview has filed a trademark-violation lawsuit that goes to court Wednesday in Shanghai. In the meantime, China’s mass media is abuzz with speculation over the case.

“The iPad trademark case: Who cheated who?” quizzed a story in Monday’s edition of the 21st Century Business Herald.

Apple, based in Cupertino, California, points to a Hong Kong court ruling in July that said Proview had acted with the intention of “injuring Apple.”

According to that ruling, Apple set up a company in Britain to buy the iPad trademark from owners in various markets without revealing Apple was the purchaser.

Proview has accused Apple of acting dishonestly when it bought rights to the iPad name from Proview’s Taiwan affiliate. A Hong Kong court document shows that once the dispute arose, Proview demanded $10 million for the iPad name in China. But Hong Kong’s legal system is separate from the mainland’s.
Researcher Fu Ting contributed to this report.

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To: Heywood40 who wrote (16808)2/20/2012 7:06:13 AM
From: sylvester80
   of 32237
Apple’s Trademark Problems Mount in China
Posted Monday, February 20th, 2012 at 2:30 am

A potentially costly dispute over the name of the iPad computer tablet may not be the only trademark problem facing Apple Incorporated in China.

The China Daily newspaper reports Monday that at least 39 Chinese companies and individuals have attempted to register the names iPhone or iPad as trademarks for products as varied as hiking shoes, veterinary drugs and diapers.

The newspaper says six manufacturers, including a flashlight manufacturer, got as far as preliminary approval before their applications were challenged.

The disclosure comes as a dispute over the iPad name has led authorities in several cities to seize the hand-held computers from Chinese retailers, threatening iPad sales in the world's largest computer market and, potentially, Apple's ability to export the tablets from the country where they are made.

A financially troubled Chinese company, Proview Technology, says it registered the iPad trademark in China in 2001, but Apple says it bought rights to the trademark in 10 countries from a Proview affiliate in Taiwan.

Apple has won a court judgment in its favor in Hong Kong, but Proview has won a favorable ruling from a court in the southern Chinese manufacturing hub of Shenzhen.

The dispute has captured the attention of China's massive Internet audience, becoming the most-searched topic last week on the nation's top search engine, Baidu.

An article in the Yangzi Evening News lists a number of suggestions from Chinese web users in the event that Apple loses its rights to the iPad name in China.

Many suggest putting another letter or number in front of the word “Pad,” including the numeral “1? which looks like the letter “i.”

Other suggestions included myPad, trueipad and JobsPad in reference to the late Apple chief executive, Steve Jobs.

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To: elmatador who wrote (16815)2/20/2012 7:34:46 AM
From: zax
   of 32237
Welcome to the board, elmatador. :)

Poor Foxconn. Can you imagine having to pay an employee nearly $360 a month? Did you notice how the Foxconn raises went into effect virtually the day before the FLA inspectors arrived?

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To: zax who wrote (16818)2/20/2012 7:48:02 AM
From: elmatador
   of 32237
Brazil Grants Foxconn Fiscal Incentives To Produce iPads
Message 27918039

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To: sylvester80 who wrote (16817)2/20/2012 7:51:51 AM
From: zax
   of 32237
Fujitsu Plans European Presence With Android and Windows Phones
By: Anton D. Nagy |5:16 AM 20-Feb-12

According to a recent Financial Times report, Fujitsu is planning on entering the European market this year with a number of Android-powered smartphones and tablets to go with its Windows Phones.

The hardware maker is allegedly already in talks with network operators but it is yet unknown whether its line-up will be unveiled at the upcoming MWC or not. Following the same market policy as Panasonic -- which is planning on entering the European market this March -- Fujitsu will bring its devices to Europe while maintaining some of the features specific to the Japanese market.

According to the report, NFC, LTE mobile broadband technology, and fingerprint security will be featured on upcoming devices. Fujitsu (at that time, part of the Fujitsu-Toshiba joint venture) was the first to release a Windows Phone to the market running the Mango iteration. We will hopefully see the IS12T alongside some great Android phones and tablets soon in Europe.

Source: Financial Times
Via: TNW

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