New submitter ve6ay writes "The talk of the tech world over the past day is that RIM, struggling mightily in these last months, was in talks to be bought either partially or wholly by Samsung. Sources at the Boy Genius Report indicate that while RIM may be trying to sell, it is asking way too much for itself."
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LinuxScribe writes "As predicted last September, Samsung has announced plans to merge Tizen with its own Bada platform to create a new mobile OS that will fit well on low- and high-end smartphones. Last year, Bada had more global phone deployments than Windows Phone 7. The merger means each Linux-based platform will have access to more native- and HTML5-based apps."
SpuriousLogic writes with a preliminary ruling in the ITC case between Apple and Motorola. Quoting eWeek: "Motorola is celebrating an initial triumph over Apple, after a U.S. International Trade Commission administrative law judge issued an initial determination (PDF) finding that Motorola Mobility has not violated any of the three patents listed in an October 2010 lawsuit Apple filed against the Droid maker. ... The determination isn't the final say ... in March, the ruling will be reviewed by a six-member ITC panel that will announce the ultimate ruling. However, according to Zacks Equity Research, it's unusual for the ITC panel, which has the power to block device imports, to contradict a judge's determination."
An anonymous reader writes "In a surprise move, Representative Eric Cantor (R-VA) announced that he will stop all action on SOPA, effectively killing the bill. This move was most likely due to the huge online protest and the White House threatening to veto the bill if it had passed. But don't celebrate yet. PIPA (the Senate's version of SOPA) is still up for consideration."
judgecorp writes "EcoATM is going to install machines which give money for old phones across the U.S. The system, shown at CES, takes a photo of any phone or other gadget put in its tray, and provides a data cable (for every kind of phone?) to check it is working. The machine offers a quote based on the current used price, and pays up on the spot."
First time accepted submitter SSG Booraem writes "I'm on the IT committee at my church. We've recently added wireless access points to our Family Life Center, but the committee chair isn't comfortable with allowing unrestricted access to our network. We host a lot of guests during the week for Upwards basketball practices and on Saturdays for games, so we want to restrict internet access to the Sunday school classes held in that building. Unfortunately, neither he, nor I, know anything about setting up a wireless catch-and-release like in hotels. If anyone could point me at good documentation, I would be very grateful."
New submitter smithz writes "Bloomberg is reporting that the U.S. Federal Trade Commission is expanding its antitrust probe of Google Inc. to include scrutiny of its new Google+ social networking service. Google this week introduced changes to its search engine so that results feature photos, news and comments from Google+. The changes sparked a backlash from bloggers, privacy groups and competitors who said the inclusion of Google+ results unfairly promotes the company's products over other information on the Web. Before expanding the probe, FTC was already investigating Google for giving preference to its own services in search results and whether that practice violates antitrust laws. The agency is also examining whether the company is using its control of the Android mobile operating system to discourage smartphone makers from using rivals' applications. Google is facing similar investigations in Europe and South Korea."
An anonymous reader writes "Car manufacturers at CES are showing off their future integration of mobile computing technologies and automobiles. Quoting CNN: 'As digital tech — and our expectations for it — becomes more mobile, carmakers are taking notice. Many automotive designers here seem to have taken inspiration from smartphones, with their promise of being always connected and their vast menu of apps for every purpose. ... Simply point your hand at them, and the icons open to show real-time information: when that bridge over there was built, what band is playing at that nightclub on the left, whether that new café up the street has any tables available. Wave your hand again, and you've made a restaurant reservation. ... All these advancements may make driving more interesting. Or they may spoil one of modern society's last refuges from the hyper-connected digital world. Either way, they are coming soon.'"
An anonymous reader writes "Water has always been the bane of electronics, however American company Liquipel just announced that they have developed a way to completely waterproof any device against the elements. Using a revolutionary process, Liquipel applies a hydrophobic nanocoating to phones, computers, and other devices that completely waterproofs them and protects them against accidental exposure to liquids."
snydeq writes "Canonical CEO Jane Silber discusses the Ubuntu maker's ambitions in the mobile market, saying there is plenty of room for a new player in tablets, TVs, and maybe even smartphones. 'There is a real demand for an alternative platform. We believe Ubuntu has all the characteristics that are needed to become that platform,' Silber says, adding that she expects to see Ubuntu on tablets later this year. 'And we think we can do that effectively because of characteristics of Ubuntu as a platform, industry dynamics, and an increased wariness around the walled gardens of Apple and to some extent Google and even Amazon, as they are increasingly in this game as well.' Silber cites openness, open governance, collaboration, and a strong developer ecosystem as key for Ubuntu as a tablet platform, when compared with Android and iOS."
Back in May, we heard about Qualcomm's plans to hammer out details for an X PRIZE competition to invent a Star Trek-style tricorder. Now, reader Sven-Erik sends word that the requirements have been finalized and the competition has launched. "As envisioned for this competition, the device will be a tool capable of capturing key health metrics and diagnosing a set of 15 diseases. Metrics for health could include such elements as blood pressure, respiratory rate, and temperature. Ultimately, this tool will collect large volumes of data from ongoing measurement of health states through a combination of wireless sensors, imaging technologies, and portable, non-invasive laboratory replacements. Given that each team will take its own approach to design and functionality, the device's physical appearance and functionality may vary immensely from team to team. Indeed, the only stated limit on form is that the mass of its components together must be no greater than five pounds."
Slashdot's Timothy Lord is at the International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas. There is no way any one person can take in the whole show. It's just too big for that. But on Timothy's first day, he spotted an overlay keyboard for the iPad that's been mentioned on Slashdot before, an invisible keyboard for your smartphone or tablet, and a crazy-interesting all-in-one computing device with a built-in projector and built-in virtual keyboard. Watch the video and join Timothy as he learns about these three devices. (Before you ask: Yes, we'll have more videos from CES over the next few days.)"
adeelarshad82 writes "After years of promises to enter the smartphone market, Intel has finally done so. During his keynote at CES, Intel's Chief executive Paul Otellini said that Intel has signed Lenovo and Motorola to contracts to use its Atom processors in smartphones. Unlike past launches, Intel has held Medfield back until its partners were ready to go to press as well. According to an early preview, Medfield pairs a 1.6GHz Atom CPU with an SGX540 GPU designed by PowerVR. This is the same GPU we've seen tip up in the Samsung Galaxy Nexus and Droid Razr, though Intel is clocking it higher, at 400MHz. Intel's new SoC encodes video at 720p at 30 fps, can playback 1080p at 30 fps, and supports 1920×1080 output via HDMI. The first smartphone to carry an Intel chip will debut on China Unicom during the second quarter."