As the quest for more spectrum continues, opponents ask the FCC to check Verizon

As our need for more data grows, so does the need for more wireless spectrum. As a result, cell phone companies have been squabbling over the acquisition of the spectrum. The most recent development in this saga is a letter to the Federal Communications Commission by Verizon’s opponents, asking the FCC to halt the review of a purchase of spectrum for $3.9 billion by Verizon until certain documents are made public.

The center of this controversy is a deal that Verizon struck up last December to purchase Advanced Wireless Systems (AWS) spectrum licenses from SpectrumCo, LLC, a joint effort from Comcast, Time Warner Cable, and Bright House Networks. Verizon would pay $3.9 billion for acquiring the spectrum, allowing them to expand their LTE network.

Other companies have been calling foul on this deal. T-Mobile had already requested that the FCC halt Verizon’s purchase of spectrum. They argued that this would give Verizon an excessive amount of wireless spectrum that they wouldn’t even use in the foreseeable future. T-Mobile claimed the Verizon/cable company deal would hurt competition and was not in the public’s best interest.

Verizon responded to these accusations by stating that their current spectrum holdings would no longer support the increase in LTE data traffic by the end of 2015.

There are several redacted sections in this response, however. Sentences marked “highly confidential” would seemingly contain information about Verizon’s plans to build out its networks.

This has caused several companies, such as Sprint, DirecTV, and T-Mobile, along with advocacy groups like Public Knowledge and Media Access Project, to request for those redacted segments to be publicly shared before the FCC can proceed in their review of Verizon’s deal.

“As an institutional matter, the Commission cannot allow Verizon and the cable companies to make unilateral determinations that certain information is not relevant to Commission’s public interest determination or is too sensitive to be sufficiently protected by Commission safeguards,” they wrote. “As a policy matter, the Commission cannot allow the applicants to deny production of evidence for the record without which interested parties would be unable to submit … fully informed analyses.”

We’re hoping at Talk Android that the FCC will require that all relevant information is made public, and that the ruling of this deal will be in the best interest of the consumer, not just large corporations.

source: IT World

Nvidia’s Tegra 3 Reminds Apple’s New iPad Just What It’s Capable Of (Video)

Nvidia just wants to send out a reminder, with all the hype about Apple’s new iPad and all, just who rules when it comes to the mobile core space.  The company touts their latest product, the Tegra 3 chipset and claims that the iPad’s CPU is no challenge.  And as proof, they’re pointing towards their Nvidia powered gaming options.  Using their site, the chip manufacturer shows off just how good the 4-Plus-1 CPU can be.  Check out the list of impressive games that have been released to compliment the powerful CPU.

Mobile app developers are beginning to realize just how far they can take mobile applications when utilizing NVIDIA Tegra 3 – the world’s only 4-PLUS-1 quad-core mobile processor with the extra battery saver core that allows it to use less power than dual-core processors.

Here’s a quick look at just a few of the top Tegra 3 apps:

  • Splashtop THD from Splashtop Inc. – allows you to seamlessly stream content from your desktop onto your Tegra 3 tablet.
  • Photaf THD Panorama Pro from Oren Bengigi – a new photo-stitching app that allows you to combine a sequence of photos to create a panoramic view of any scenery. This app accelerates image stitching time by using all four Tegra 3 processing cores.
  • Snapseed from Nik Software – one of the easiest, most intuitive photo editors available for your Tegra 3 device. Take a picture, customize it to your liking and immediately send to friends and family. Coming to Google Play this summer.
  • PowerDirector Mobile from CyberLink– this app was once a powerful desktop-based video editing tool. Thanks to the Tegra 3’s high-performance and battery-friendly 4-PLUS-1 architecture, PowerDirector Mobile will give you the power to manipulate and edit videos on your mobile device. Coming to Google Play this fall.
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source: Nvidia

Caterpillar enters smartphone market with heavy duty CAT B10

 

Caterpillar Inc, perhaps better reconginsed as CAT and most famously known for being the worlds largest manufacturer of construction and engineering equipment have entered the smartphone market. It will come as no surprise to find that the B10 is a mid-range Android phone that positions itself as a rugged, heavy duty device.

The CAT B10 is fully IP67 certified meaning it’s water, scratch and dust resistant. The tech specs are relatively modest, sporting Android 2.3.5 Gingerbread, a 800MHz Qualcomm processor, 3.2″ display, 5MP rear camera and a front facing camera for video calling. The B10 is expected to go on sale worldwide from May with European pricing set at  €379 ($500).

All terrain phones aren’t new to Android. The Motorola Defy+ has been around for a while and Samsung recently announced the Rugby Smart. The interesting story here is to see if heavy duty experts but smartphone virgins, CAT, can challenge the Android elders.

 

source : THE VERGE

MoDaCo Does it Again: HTC One X Gets Root Thanks to Superboot

Like the Galaxy Nexus before it, the One X by HTC is already seeing root thanks to superboot files released before well, the phone even sees a release thanks to MoDaCo. Basically it’s a script that you run on your Linux, PC or Mac computer when the device is connected via the USB cable. What the script does is push the necessary root files to your device without the need for all those fancy ADB commands. It’s not as easy as a one-click root method but it isn’t as much of a process as using ADB.

Given that Android 4.0 is running on the One X with an ICS kernel it shouldn’t be too difficult to get custom ROMs and recoveries onto the device. Even though the bootloader is still locked my guess is that it will be added to the HTCDev site sometime shortly after it gets released. So while we will have to wait for the phone to release here in April for the UK and Europe and on AT&T this summer for the U.S. it’s nice to know that you’ll be able to root the device right out of the box. Hit the break below to find the instructions to do so as well as the file to download. Enjoy!
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Contest: Win one of three iFrogz Boost Near Field Audio Speakers (Updated With Winners)

I just did a review on the iFrogz Boost Near Field Audio Speaker, which amps up your speaker on your smartphone or digital media player. The folks over at iFrogz were gracious enough to provide three units for our loyal readers. We like to keep our contests simple so all you have to do is head over to our forum thread and tell us what your favorite song to listen to is lately. You will have until Sunday, March 11 at 11:59pm EST. We will pick three random winners and post them on March 12. Winners will receive an email in the account associated with your username. Only one entry per person please.

Click here to enter

Update:

Congratulations to the following winners:

Colin Sewell

davidac

dbqfan

You will receive an email to the account associated with your username. Just get back to me with your full name, address, and phone number your iFrogz Boost will be shipped.

Thanks for playing and look for another contest soon.

 

 

Mobile Industry Already Looking to the Idea of “5G”

Just when we were getting used to the idea of having 4G LTE as commonplace in our daily lives the mobile industry of today is looking at the future networks of tomorrow. Even though 4G is just being pushed out, Verizon in the lead with its near 200 networks in the U.S., talks of 5G networks are now circulating. 5G wouldn’t be all about another big speed increase but rather a push for a more reliable network. As Tod Sizer, head of wireless research at Alcatel-Lucent’s Bell Labs puts it:

“5G won’t be about more speed, necessarily. It may be faster, but it will be more about meeting the expectation of service quality.”

Given that industry analysts believe that the amount of data traffic created by smartphones and tablets will be dwarfed by data generated from connected “things” like shoes, watches, appliances, thermostats, etc, by 2020, reliability is important. Heck, we’ve seen how frustrating it is when networks go down for just a few hours. But as carriers are brushing up against the limits of physics as they try to add network capacity a need to meet the growing data demands becomes that much more important. 
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Sony Xperia S shows off its anti-stain nanocoating

It seems tech sites aren’t happy these days unless they’re filming an elaborate test showing the endurance of the latest smartphones for our viewing (and cringing!) pleasure. In recent times we’ve seen our precious Androids subjected to scratching, dropping and with a plethora of waterproof Android devices on the horizon perhaps we should expect a new definition for soak test!

The good folk over at phoneArena have clearly been feeling creative this week and have invented a new form of phone torture to show the world. They managed to get their hands on a white Sony Xperia S and decided to test out that anti-stain nanocoating by introducing it to a permanent black marker.

I’d personally recommend keeping your pens, keys and tarmac away from your phone but in the meantime check out the anti-stain magic at work in the video below.

 

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source : phoneArena

Review: WIMM One Smart Watch – Part 2 – WIMM Companion app and syncing with your phone [Hands on Video]

A few days ago I posted part 1 of my 3 part series on the WIMM One smart watch highlighting the basics and setup. Today I bring you part 2 highlighting the WIMM companion app, which allows you to sync your WIMM One to your phone via Bluetooth. I found setup to be a breeze and straight forward. Once you’re synced (or paired), you will have the ability to checkoff, on your phone, if you would like new SMS text message alerts and/or incoming phone calls to display on your WIMM One.

Now you have the convenience of being able to decide if you want to take a phone call or if you need to quickly respond to a text message without taking your phone out of your pocket. In fact, it really works great for me since I own a Galaxy Nexus. I always leave my phone on vibrate, and the Galaxy Nexus has a very weak vibrator. I can’t tell you how many calls I’ve missed while it was in my pocket. The WIMM One companion app eliminates that. For now only SMS text messages and phone calls appear on the WIMM One, but I’m sure that in the future the ability to get emails, Tweets, and other notifications will be added.


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Toshiba Thrive 7″ Review

The battle for 7 to 9-inch tabs is getting hot and heavy lately as just about every manufacturer has one. When it comes down to it, you really have to weigh price with what each manufacturer is offering as far as differentiation goes. When I mean differentiation, I don’t mean UI enhancements, I mean the quality of the build and the overall hardware. Does the Toshiba Thrive 7″ offer anything other tablets don’t? This is my full review, but you can also check out my initial hands on video as well.


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Review: Amp up your smartphone with the iFrogz Boost Near Field Audio Speaker [Hands on Video]

I don’t know about you, but I have zero interest in listening to my music through my phone speaker. Up until now you had two choices: either you wire it into a stereo/speaker via the microphone jack or connect it via Bluetooth. There’s a newer third option which doesn’t involve wires, syncing, or Bluetooth. It’s called the iFrogz Boost Near Field Audio Speaker, and it features patent pending NearFA™ technology. All you have to do is place your smartphone or digital media device on top of the Boost, and it will sync the audio signal from inside your device and output it to two 2W x 2RMS speakers.


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