alphadogg writes "The Federal Communications Commission has released a map showing which counties across the U.S. lacked coverage from either 3G or 4G networks and found that wide swaths of the western half of the country were 3G wastelands, particularly in mountainous states such as Idaho and Nevada. This isn't particularly surprising since it's much more difficult for carriers to afford building out mobile data networks in sparsely populated mountainous regions, but it does underscore how large stretches of the United States lack access to mobile data services that people in the Northeast, South and Midwest now take for granted."
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wiredmikey writes "Protests against Apple and Foxconn due to furor over reports about working conditions have gone digital. A group known as SwaggSec has successfully hacked computers at Foxconn, and posted the stolen data to The Pirate Bay website. News of the hack comes as protesters paid a visit today to Apple stores around the world to deliver petitions demanding the improvement of working conditions at factories run by Apple suppliers in China and other countries. In response to the attack, Foxconn reportedly took down a website that explains the services it offers to some of its partners, including Apple, Cisco and Acer."
redletterdave writes "Following the precedent set by commercial airliners, the U.S. Air Force plans to buy up to 18,000 iPads for its Air Mobility Command (AMC), replacing heavy flight bags with light and efficient Apple iPad 2s for the crews that fly cargo aircraft. The devices will reportedly be used by the crews on the C-5 Galaxy and C-17 Globemaster aircraft. There are several benefits to using electronic flight bags instead of physical versions. For one, the iPad can instantly update charts electronically, while the AMC would require flying charts get reprinted every 28 days to stay up-to-date. By cutting publication printing and distribution costs, and exchanging 70 pounds of paper for a 1.3-pound iPad, the Air Force can save some serious cash, including more than $1.2 million worth of fuel per year."
New submitter HungryMonkey writes "According to the latest EBITDA numbers from AT&T, Sprint, and Verizon, the subsidies they have to pay Apple in order to carry the iPhone are drastically reducing their profits. From the Article: '"A logical conclusion is that the iPhone is not good for wireless carriers," says Mike McCormack, an analyst at Nomura Securities. "When we look at the direct and indirect economics that Apple has managed to extract from the carriers, the carrier-level value destruction is quite evident."' So one money sucking leech has attached itself to another money sucking leech?"
Hugh Pickens writes "With Verizon's 4G network covering a good chunk of the country and AT&T gaining ground, more smartphone users have access to the fastest wireless service available. But because 4G coverage isn't truly continuous in many locations, users' batteries are taking a big hit with 4G, as phones spend an lot of battery power trying to hunt down a signal. 'You've got a situation where the phones are sending out their signals searching and searching for a 4G tower, and that eats up your battery,' says Carl Howe, a vice president for research firm Yankee Group. The spottiness of 4G stems at least in part from the measured approach carriers have taken to it, rolling out the service city by city. There are a few tricks 4G users can try to extend battery life such as turning off your 4G connection when you don't need the fastest speeds — when using email, for instance — or using a program such as JuiceDefender to search for apps you may have downloaded that you don't need to run all the time, and erase them."
redletterdave writes "Proview Technology, which currently uses the 'iPad' name on several of its products including computer monitors, stands to win up to $1.6 billion and an apology from Apple for allegedly infringing upon Proview's trademarked name to use on its bestselling tablet. Proview International, which owns subsidiaries Proview Technology in Shenzhen and Proview Electronics in Taiwan, originally registered the name 'iPad' in Taiwan in 2000 and mainland China in 2001. Proview eventually sued Apple in 2011, and even though the Cupertino-based company retaliated with a counter-suit of its own, Apple lost the case in local Chinese courts. Depending on the court's findings, Apple could be fined anywhere from $38 million to the $1.6 billion that Proview is seeking. In addition to the money, Proview also wants Apple to apologize. 'We have prepared well for a long-term legal battle,' said one of Proview's lawyers."
An anonymous reader writes "Today Google announced the availability of a beta version of its Chrome browser for Android. Unfortunately, it's limited to Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) devices. Google is trying to keep Chrome fast and easy to use, and part of that involved redesigning tabs so they work more naturally with touchscreens. 'You can flip or swipe between an unlimited number of tabs using intuitive gestures, as if you're holding a deck of cards in the palm of your hands, each one a new window to the web.' They've also including synchronization functionality that allows you to move from desktop browsing to phone or tablet browsing and pick up right where you left off."
grub writes "Halliburton has decided to drop Research In Motion's Blackberry platform in favor of Apple's iOS for its workforce. 'An internal newsletter outlined the plan for the nearly 70,000 employees who work for Halliburton in more than 70 countries. "Over the next year, we will begin expanding the use of our mobile technology by transitioning from the BlackBerry (RIM) platform that we currently use to smartphone technology via the iPhone."'"
Hugh Pickens writes "Anna Leach reports that Siri support has been a contentious issue for owners of earlier iPhones, but a recent filing from Audience shows that Siri won't run on the iPhone 4 because the phone's chip can't handle it. Linley Gwennap of the Linley Group cracked one of the secrets of the new iPhone's A5 chip after working out that it packs some serious audio cleaning power not available on the iPhone 4's A4 chip. Audience has developed technology that removes most or all of the background noise when someone places a cell-phone call from a restaurant, airport, or other noisy location. The iPhone 4S integrates Audience's 'EarSmart' technology directly into the A5 processor, improving its technology to handle 'far-field speech,' which means holding the device at arm's length rather than directly in front of the mouth. Apple has also licensed the Audience technology for a 'new generation of processor IP,' which may mean that the forthcoming A6 processor will appear in the iPad 3 and iPhone 5. 'Why Apple has not simply purchased Audience is unclear. An acquisition would prevent Audience's other major customer, Samsung, from using the technology to compete with Apple,' says Gwennap. 'The company may be hedging its bets, as it could switch to Qualcomm's Fluence noise-reduction technology in the future.'"
MojoKid writes "There's a new tablet in town called the Spark. The Linux-driven tablet, based on the Zenithink C71 and KDE was unveiled by developer Aaron Seigo recently. The tablet will be available for pre-order this week and will start shipping worldwide in May. In terms of specifications, the 7-inch (800x480) multi-touch slate will run a 1GHz AMLogic ARM processor and Mali-400 GPU, sport 512MB of RAM, 4GB of internal storage (with a microSD slot for expandability), 802/11b/g WiFi, a pair of USB ports, a front-facing 1.3MP webcam, and an audio jack. The UI of choice is Plasma Active and there will apparently be a content store where developers can peddle their wares and users can snag software."
alphadogg writes "Former FCC chairman Reed Hundt made waves when he called the House spectrum auction legislation 'the single worst telecom bill' he's seen. The legislation, which would severely restrict the FCC's ability to place conditions on spectrum auctions, is seen as a non-starter in the Senate where a bipartisan group of senators including John Kerry (D — Mass.) and Jerry Moran (R — Kan.) have signaled strong opposition to the House approach to authorizing spectrum auctions. In this interview, Hundt outlines his major objections to the House bill and describes what he would do differently to make more spectrum available."
First time accepted submitter creativeHavoc writes "Forbes author Tomio Geron takes a look at data accrued by mobile app monitoring startup Crittercism. After looking at normalized data of crashes over the various mobile operating system versions he compares crash rates of apps on the two platforms. He also breaks it down further to look how the top apps compare across the competing mobile operating systems. The results may not be what you expect."
An anonymous reader writes "Google has just made some interesting changes to their developer pages. As of today, all of the documentation, source code, and firmware images pertaining to CDMA Android devices (including the Verizon Galaxy Nexus) have been removed. A statement from Google explains that the proprietary software required to make these devices fully functional got in the way of Android's open source nature, so CDMA devices are no longer supported as developer hardware. What does this mean for the Galaxy Nexus, which is only available as CDMA in the U.S.?"
SpuriousLogic sends this excerpt from a BBC article detailing the suspension of a sales ban on certain Apple products in Germany: "Motorola Mobility had forced Apple to remove several iPad and iPhone models from its online store [yesterday] after enforcing a patent infringement court ruling delivered in December. An appeals court lifted the ban after Apple made a new license payment offer. However, Germany-based users may still face the loss of their push email iCloud service after a separate ruling. 'A suspension like this is available only against a bond, but Apple is almost drowning in cash and obviously won't have had a problem with obtaining and posting a bond.' ... A statement from Apple said: 'All iPad and iPhone models will be back on sale through Apple's online store in Germany shortly.'" Reader DJRumpy points out that Motorola is seeking royalties of 2.25% for Apple's wireless devices in exchange for a license to use Motorola's patents.
Hugh Pickens writes "PC Magazine reports that Ting, a new reseller of Sprint's voice, 3G and WiMax services, has a new approach to mobile pricing that lets customers buy minutes, messages, and data separately, and allows households to pool them to an unlimited number of phones and data devices on one account. 'Household data plans are the next step for consumers, mainly because people are adding more connected screens and devices to their lifestyle,' writes Kevin Tofel. 'And different household members have different data needs; some use a little while others consume gobs of gigabytes. Why not average out the usage across multiple devices?' Both AT&T and Verizon have hinted at offering shared data plans in the future, but the devil's in the details, says Tofel. 'My hope is that family data plans come soon, to all carriers, just like we have for family voice and messaging plans.'"