Lucas123 writes "The upcoming shift from Double Data Rate 3 (DDR3) RAM to its successor, DDR4, will herald a significant boost in both memory performance and capacity for data center hardware and consumer products alike. Because of the greater density, 2X performance and lower cost, the upcoming specification and products will for the first time mean DDR may be used in mobile devices instead of LPDDR. Today, mobile devices use low-power DDR (LPDDR) memory, the current iteration of which uses 1.2v of power. While the next generation of mobile memory, LPDDR3, will further reduce that power consumption (probably by 35% to 40%), it will also likely cost 40% more than DDR4 memory."
Mozilla has announced the availability of a new beta version of Firefox for Android. The release notes list many of the new features and fixes, which include Flash support, improvements to panning and zooming, plugins loading only on touch, and a new "Awesome Screen." They point out that many Android phones are supported, and that a beta version for tablets will be coming soon. Mozilla is asking for help "testing everything from the faster startup and response times to compatibility for specific websites and graphics performance." Here's the download page.
Nate the greatest writes "I'm sure you've heard about the color E-ink screen which was rumored to be used on the next Kindle. As of today, E-ink no longer has that market niche to themselves. Plastic Logic held a press conference in Russia this morning where they unveiled a new color screen that uses their plastic-based screen tech. The resolution is low (75ppi), but if the video is any sign, then this might be a better screen than the 9.7" Triton color E-ink screen used on the Jetbook Color. And that's not all Plastic Logic showed off this morning; they also developed a frontlight for their screen, and they can play video at 12 frames per second. But best of all, they cut one of their screens in half just to show that it could still work."
fallen1 writes "Wireless broadband company LightSquared has filed for bankruptcy. In filings with U.S. Bankruptcy court, it was revealed that LightSquared had assets and debts of over $1 billion each. The decision followed a year-long fight between LightSqaured and GPS users — including some heavyweights like FedEx and UPS. Apparently Boeing and Alcatel-Lucent are heavily invested, but it would be interesting to see what the old Bell Labs could do with the technology."
Mark.JUK writes "The Open Rights Group (ORG), which works to raise awareness of digital rights and civil liberties issues, has published a new report that examines the impact of internet censorship on UK mobile networks and lists an example of 10 legitimate websites that often get unfairly blocked (PDF) by adult content filters (over-blocking). The study is important because similar measures could soon be forced upon fixed-line broadband ISP subscribers by the UK government. Some of the allegedly unfair blocks include censorship of the 'Tor' system, a privacy tool used by activists and campaigners across the globe, and the website of French 'digital rights' advocacy group 'La Quadrature du Net.'"
An anonymous reader writes "Last week we heard complaints from Mozilla that Windows RT would restrict users' choice in web browsers, unfairly favoring Internet Explorer over alternatives like Firefox and Chrome. Unfortunately for Microsoft, the situation is now on the Senate Judiciary Committee's radar, and they will look into claims that Microsoft is engaging in anti-competitive behavior. That said, it could be a difficult case to make, since Windows RT is destined for ARM-based tablets, and Apple currently dominates that market. 'When it comes to proving abuse of monopoly power, an important question is determining the market in which a monopolist has power — the relevant market, in antitrust legal terms. In the [late '90s] DOJ case, U.S. District Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson's findings of fact concluded Microsoft had a monopoly in the market for "Intel-compatible PC operating systems." Windows on ARM doesn't run on x86 chips, so by Jackson's standards, Windows RT hasn't been judged to be part of Microsoft's monopoly.' Microsoft addressed some of these issues in a blog post in February."
An anonymous reader writes "We've heard many times and from multiple sources that text messaging is declining. There are multiple reasons for this (BlackBerry Messenger, Apple's iMessage, and even WhatsApp), but the biggest one is Facebook (Messenger). Facebook is slowly but surely killing the text message. As a result, the social networking giant is eating into the traffic carriers receive from text messaging, and thus a huge chunk of their revenues."
Back in March, Apple was sued in Australia and criticized in Europe over its marketing of the iPad as supporting 4G speeds when it only did so in the U.S. and Canada. Now, reader TheGift73 writes with news that Apple has given in and changed the 'Wi-Fi + 4G' label to 'Wi-Fi + Cellular.' From the article: "In the U.K., a number of complaints by customers pushed the ASA into acting against Apple for its misleading advertisements. The regulator had received 'dozens of complaints' from customers, and had pushed for Apple to remove any mentions of '4G' from its websites. It should come as little surprise considering Britain has yet to see its mobile networks divide up its 4G spectrum without bickering furiously about it. Some networks had even opted to avoid litigation directed at them by including stickers to inform potential buyers that the new iPad will not work on existing 4G networks, or even 4G networks that don't even exist yet. This should come as bittersweet news for consumers. Apple has already sold millions of iPads across the U.K., Europe and Australia, while the vast majority are unaware that they will not be able to connect to high-speed mobile broadband networks."
alphadogg writes "No one will ever say that America's wireless carriers are too proud to beg. This year's Cellular Telecommunications Industry Association Wireless trade show in New Orleans seemed less like an industry gathering at times and more like an infomercial dedicated to forcing the government's hand to free up more spectrum. Start with CTIA President and CEO Steve Largent, who dedicated the vast majority of his introductory keynote address to discussing the challenges carriers will face if they don't get fresh spectrum to use within the next few years. Execs from T-Mobile, Verizon and others also beat the drum. Verizon Wireless CEO Dan Mead, for example, said: 'Innovation is at risk today due to the spectrum shortage that we face. If additional spectrum is not available in the near-term, mobile data will exceed capacity by 2015.'"
Gunkerty Jeb writes "Senator Al Franken (D-MN) is demanding answers to questions about the U.S. Department of Justice practice of gathering data from wireless providers in order to monitor individuals' movements using mobile phone location data. In a letter (PDF) to Attorney General Eric Holder, Franken said, 'I was further concerned to learn that in many cases, these agencies appear to be obtaining precise records of individuals' past and current movements from carriers without first obtaining a warrant for this information. I think that these actions may violate the spirit if not the letter of the Jones decision.'"
Alt-kun writes "This past week has seen a couple of interesting articles about Research In Motion's strategic plans for BlackBerry 10. The Globe and Mail thinks that by pushing HTML5 for app development, they want to make mobile applications platform-neutral, which would let them sell devices purely on the strength of the hardware and OS, rather than on the ecosystem. And the Guelph Mercury notes that they also plan to push BB10 as the basis for a whole range of mobile and embedded devices, not just phones and tablets. One example shown off at the recent developer conference was a Porsche with a BlackBerry entertainment system."
An anonymous reader writes "In a welcome move, Apple has agreed to help share initial costs with Foxconn in improving the factories being used to manufacture iDevices. From the article: 'Foxconn chief Terry Gou did not give a figure for the costs, but the group has been spending heavily to fight a perception its vast plants in China are sweatshops with poor conditions for its million-strong labor force. It regards the criticism as unfair. "We've discovered that this (improving factory conditions) is not a cost. It is a competitive strength," Gou told reporters on Thursday after the ground-breaking ceremony for a new China headquarters in Shanghai. "I believe Apple sees this as a competitive strength along with us, and so we will split the initial costs."'"
Trailrunner7 writes, quoting Threat Post: "Carrier IQ, a startup heavily bruised last fall by harsh criticism of its handset diagnostic software, today announced it's hired a high-profile lawyer as its Chief Privacy Officer. Magnolia Mansourkia Mobley, a CIPP and former Verizon executive, will be tasked with quickly broadening the company's focus on consumer privacy. She also was named the company's General Counsel. The company became the flashpoint in a heated controversy after initial reports its analytics software, embedded in some 150 mobile phones, was capable of gathering a great deal of personal data without the customer's consent."
angry tapir writes "One Laptop Per Child Australia had a win in the recent Australian budget, receiving federal government funding for the first time. OLPC Australia will benefit from $11.7 million of funding, which will be used to purchase 50,000 laptops to distribute to students. The organization recently launched a new initiative that builds an educational ecosystem around the laptops, to help integrate them into the learning process."
Fluffeh writes "Around nine months ago, BART Police asked to have wireless communications disabled (PDF) between Trans Bay Tube Portal and the Balboa Park Station. That was because they knew a public protest was to take place there — and the service to the underground communication system was disabled. This affected not only cellphone signals, but also the radio systems of Police, Fire and Ambulance crews (PDF) within the underground. This led to an even larger protest at a BART station and many folks filed complaints along with the American Civil Liberties Union and Electronic Frontier Foundation. The FCC responded by launching a probe into the incident. The results were a mixed bag of 'To protect citizens!' and 'Only in extreme cases,' not to mention the classic 'Terrorists use wireless communications!' But even if the probe doesn't lead to a full proceeding and formal order, the findings may well be used as a guide for many years to come."