Plus the real explanation for USB, Barclays goes iPad, Google’s plans for AirPlay-like functionality (and which is the best-selling TV streamer?), and more
A quick burst of 9 links for you to chew over, as picked by the Technology team
Cape Town – IBM unveiled a suite of new software and services that enables global organisations to build a comprehensive mobile computing strategy.
The software includes securing and managing devices, to creating mobile applications and analysing data.
These new offerings are part of a move by IBM to capitalise on the growing market opportunity for mobile.
As organisations increasingly view mobile computing as the next platform to conduct business, the market is evolving beyond just the device.
Business leaders including the chief information officers, and increasingly chief marketing officers of global organisations such as airlines, retailers, governments and healthcare providers are among the businesses turning to IBM to ensure mobile services and solutions are readily available to constituents and in full compliance with IT strategies.
They need solutions that can be applied across any mobile environment and device, whether a laptop, smartphone or tablet, and can provide an underlying IT infrastructure that is always available, secure, effectively manages data, and integrates both front and back-end systems.
According to latest reports, more than 10 billion mobile devices are expected to be in the hands of consumers, doctors, sales leaders and the like by 2020. Already, 90% of mobile users keep their device within arm’s reach at all times, and complete many kinds of transactions across these smart devices.
By the end of 2011, there were 1.2 billion mobile web users worldwide, equivalent to 17% of the world’s total population.
“Mobile is fundamentally changing the way we think, work, and act. But the speed at which this shift is occurring is forcing organisations to react, instead of proactively plan for this transformation,” said Phil Buckellew, vice president, IBM Mobile Enterprise.
“We are evolving that approach. Just as IBM helped organisations capitalise on the internet more than 20 years ago, we are also doing the same for mobile computing. We will continue to partner with clients and help them get ahead of this trend by enabling them to become mobile enterprises.”
Mobile has shifted from a simple device for keeping in touch, to getting things done. We don’t think twice about making purchases, getting directions, finding menus, monitor our health or conduct banking transactions, all via our smartphone, at anytime, and anywhere.
While the opportunities presented by mobile are significant, there are a number of challenges facing clients when adopting mobile computing.
This includes the management and security of devices and their underlying infrastructures, ensuring a quality mobile application experience for users across operating systems, new devices entering the market almost monthly, integrating data with the cloud, and analysing insights captured in real-time.
From consulting services to software solutions and industry expertise, organic R&D to key acquisitions, IBM offers clients a variety of offerings to quickly adopt mobile technologies throughout the organisation.
The push comes after years of the company deploying iPhones only, TechCrunch reported, with the Facebook for Android application getting neglected as a result.
Now, the company has been pushing employees to switch to Android and fix errors within the Facebook app.
Facebook has gone so far as to roll out posters to push Android, with the tagline of “Do you ‘Droidfood?” – a portmanteau of ‘dogfood’ and ‘Android’.
The ‘dogfood’ term reportedly refers to eating your own dogfood, or testing your own products.
Culled from iAfrica.com
Three University of Lagos (UNILAG) students, have won the Google Apps Developer Challenge for the Enterprise/Small Business Solutions category in sub-Saharan Africa.
The students: Bolutife Ogunsola, Michael Adeyeri and Willie Aniebiet, created the Form+ application software; an interface that creates application forms by just dragging and dropping components. The user can create forms – such as curriculum vitae (CV) or résumé submission forms for businesses and coursework submission page for lecturers.
Emeka Afigbo, Program Manager, Google, stated: “Our expectation is that this motivates more young Nigerian developers to develop apps that change the way we live in Nigeria and Africa at large.”
The winners were rewarded with Chromebooks and $20,000. They also won a grant worth $18,000 for their school’s department.
If you were waiting for the Samsung Galaxy S3 Mini to show up at your local mobile carrier, you might be waiting a while, but that does not mean that you cannot get the phone. The Galaxy S3 Mini has popped up on the Amazon website, unlocked and ready for any mobile carrier in the United States. The listing was noticed this week and apparently there is only a limited quantity, but nonetheless, you can at least purchase it if you have been looking for it. The only bad thing is that it is unlocked, so you are likely to pay close to full retail for the phone.
According to the listing on the website, the Galaxy S3 Mini is $409.95 without a contract and supports T-Mobile USA or the AT&T network. The Galaxy S3 Mini is not the same as the Galaxy S3 handset just smaller, it does have separate features and specs to go along with it. To start out with, the phone features a 4-inch Super AMOLED touch screen display that sports a 480×800 resolution with a 233ppi pixel density. The phone is powered by a STE U8420, dual-core processor that is clocked at 1GHz and is paired up with 1GB of RAM. It also features 16GB of internal memory and the popular microSD card slot for expansion.
On the back side you are going to find a 5MP camera with LED, auto focus and other camera features. The camera is also able to record 720p HD video at 30 frames per second, with the VGA front side web cam that works for video calling. The Android 4.1 Jelly Bean software is on the device when you power it up, as well as, the Samsung TouchWhiz user interface placed neatly right over the top of the stock Android interface.
The phone does support Bluetooth accessories, Wi-Fi connections and the popular mobile hotspot feature allowing you to connect up to 5 more devices to your internet connection. NFC, DLNA and OTA syncing are also supported on the handset. The phone was announce back in October of this year as the little brother to the Samsung Galaxy S3 and would be a perfect upgrade for those looking for advanced software, hardware and features in a smartphone, but cannot handle anything that is larger in size.
Alongside the HTC Windows Phone 8X, Nokia’s Lumia 920 is the flagship handset for Microsoft’s new Windows Phone 8 operating system. Finnish mobile giant Nokia has bet big on Windows Phone, being the only major operator to solely use the software on its smartphones since the launch of the Lumia 800 last year.
We liked the Windows Phone 8X pretty much across the board, but Nokia’s latest top-end Lumia is in many ways even better; bringing an arguably superior camera, wireless charging and a range of additional software features. But the elephant in the room remains the Windows Phone ecosystem. Until Microsoft’s software can truly get the app factor, it is a poor relation to Apple iOS and Google Android.
The Lumia 920 is a hefty handset. At 130mm in length and 70mm width, it is pretty standard for a new phone, but the 10.7mmm girth is not what you would call slim. Weighing 185 grams, this chunky slab feels like a Samsung Galaxy S3 if it put on a few pounds, but the Lumia 920 is also not an ugly beast either.
The phone follows the design of previous Nokia Lumia devices; featuring a tactile one-piece polycarbonate body. Available in black, white, red and yellow, the device feels very much like a premium product that has been made with care and quality materials. The front is dominated by the display, coated in Gorilla glass for extra protection, and the corners have been toughened for extra strength. Whilst the Lumia 920 lacks the finesse of the Apple iPhone 5, it certainly feels like it could cope with whatever life throws at it.
The power, camera and volume buttons on the side have a shiny coating, and there is a headphone jack and SIM card port on the top, and micro-USB and speakers on the bottom. The rear is completely clear apart from the stylish dark silver stripe bearing the Nokia and Carl Zeiss lens branding around the camera.
There is no micro-SD slot included in the phone for additional storage, meaning users are left with just the 32GB on-board, which might feel a little stingy for some – although you do get 7GB of free cloud storage via SkyDrive.
With the release of Windows Phone 8, Microsoft introduced support for high definition screens to its operating system. Nokia has taken full advantage by fitting the Lumia 920 with a display measuring 4.5-inches on the diagonal and a resolution of 768×1280 pixels. That gives a pixel density of 332ppi, beating the iPhone 5’s 326ppi, although it is doubtful most people will notice the difference.
Text on web pages or eBooks appears sharp and crisp, while images and video are displayed in sumptuous detail. Nokia has also fitted the screen with ClearBack technology, which makes blacks even deeper. To see the benefit of this, just switch the Windows Phone 8 Start screen theme to ‘dark’ and see the excellent contrast against the bright live tiles.
Nokia has also fitted the phone with super-sensitive touchscreen technology that allows the display to still be used while wearing gloves. This does indeed work with most materials, although we found that touch with heavier woollen gloves did not always register.
Nokia has arguably missed a real opportunity to release the first quad-core Windows Phone device, instead fitting the Lumia 920 with a 1.5GHz dual-core processor and 1GB of RAM. However, that is better than Windows Phone 7 devices which were limited to just a single core.
The smartphone competition has moved on, including the recent Android-powered Google Nexus 4 boasting a 1.5Ghz quad-core chip with 2GB of RAM, and a cheaper price than the Lumia 920. But Nokia’s handset still performs admirably at most tasks. The most demanding apps, such as Real Racing 2, would stretch the Lumia 920, but most of them are not available on Windows Phone anyway.
The phone supports wireless charging by placing it on a special matt that is connected to the mains. This is a pretty good feature as you don’t need to constantly tangle with wires and can create a set charging point, such as on a desk or by a bed. But if you want to move the charging apparatus then it is pretty much the same as using a normal charger.
Ever since the Lumia 920 was released earlier in the month, users have reported issues with rapid drain of its 2,000mAh cell battery. Indeed, our test handset was very thirsty and drained around 50% in a matter of just a few hours. The Lumia 800, Nokia’s first Windows Phone flagship handset released last year, was also hit with similar complaints. Nokia later issued a software patch to fix the problem, and so it will probably do the same here.
Culled From: digitalspy
A U.S. judge has ordered Apple Inc to disclose to rival Samsung Electronics details of a legal settlement the iPhone maker reached with Taiwan’s HTC Corp, including terms of a 10-year patents licensing agreement.
The Korean electronics giant had earlier filed a motion to compel its U.S. rival — with whom it is waging a bitter legal battle over mobile patents across several countries — to reveal details of the settlement that was reached on November 10 with HTC but which have been kept under wraps.
In August, the iPhone maker won a $1.05 billion verdict against Samsung after a U.S. jury found that certain Samsung gadgets violated Apple’s software and design patents.
Now, legal experts say the question of which patents are covered by the Apple-HTC settlement, and licensing details, could be instrumental in Samsung’s efforts to thwart Apple’s subsequent quest for a permanent sales ban on its products.
The Asian company has argued it is “almost certain” that the HTC deal covers some of the same patents involved in its own litigation with Apple.
The court on Wednesday ordered Apple to produce a full copy of the settlement agreement “without delay”, subject to an Attorneys-Eyes-Only designation.
Representatives for the U.S. company could not immediately be reached for comment.
Samsung also requested the California court to add three newly released Apple products — the iPod Touch 5, the iPad 4 and the iPad mini — to the list of devices that it claims to have infringed on some of its patents, according to court documents.
The settlement of Apple and HTC ended their worldwide litigation and brought to a close one of the first major flare-ups in the global smartphone patent wars.
Apple first sued HTC in 2010, setting in motion a legal conflagration that has since circled the globe and engulfed the biggest names in mobile technology, from Samsung to Google Inc’s Motorola Mobility unit.
Culled From: channelstv
An international scientific expedition has revealed a South Pacific island roughly the size of Manhattan and clearly marked on online maps and marine charts does not, in fact, exist.
The ‘undiscovery’ of the island – which until now was midway between Australia and New Caledonia – highlights how much there still is to learn about the oceans, scientists say.
“We saw this mysterious island on all the scientific maps and weather maps but not on this one navigational chart that was on our ship,” Ph.D student Sabin Zahirovic, part of the research team on board the RV Southern Surveyor, told CNN. “So we decided to go see if it was actually there.”
The island, identified as Sandy Island by Google Maps and Sable Island on others, was supposed to be quite large in size – 156 square kilometers (60 square miles) – but the ship sailed right through the area where the island was supposed to be. “The captain was actually quite nervous because the island was showing up on all the maps,” Zahirovic said.
The undiscovery was made during the ship’s voyage this month. Although the team had originally planned to check out the existence of the island during the day, they had arrived at the location of the island at night due to a navigational error.
“We were watching all of our depth-sounding equipment. Luckily for us the sea floor turned out to be very deep there,” said Zahirovic, who is studying tectonic evolution of the eastern Coral Sea.
Although the undiscovery of the island was not part of the original research mission of the international team of scientists led by University of Sydney’s Dr. Maria Seton, the implications of the wrong maps are significant.
“All the scientific cartography relies on these maps, and numerical simulations of waves and currents depend on size of these land forms,” said Zahirovic. “It just goes to show the oceans are so underexposed. It’s actually really shocking that we haven’t not found more islands.”
When asked about the Google Maps mistake, a Google spokesperson told CNN that keeping on top of changes is a “never-ending endeavor,” and that Google will continuously explore ways to integrate new information from users.
Culled from Naija.com
AT the recent launch of the all-new 2013 Nissan Sentra, the masterpiece car was shown to participants at the Medicine auto show to demonstrate Nissan’s cutting edge in car manufacturing.
The new Sentra has some multifunctional systems like best-in-class legroom, two-score highway mileage and a list of amenities that would shame a mid-90s Mercedes E-Class.
The new Sentra has an emblazoned shiny schnoz and L.E. dazzled headlamps of the new Sentra, along with smaller and less flattering images of its archrivals from Honda, Toyota, and Hyundai.
“The 2013 Sentra has a new grille with more chrome and paint than any other category competitor.”
At the Medicine show, while most cars in its class were once variations on the same theme are with four wheels! Thus, allowing the car to rise to the top of the market share pie, modern models have become impossibly competent and competitive. So much so that Nissan, which has sold some 4.3 million Sentras over the past 30 years, has to sharpen some semblance of competitive edge, however specious, just to keep its brand top of mind.
Analysing of the edge, this may be the only time a version of that word will ever be used in association with the new Sentra, as the car is almost cumulous in its execution. This does not meant that attention wasn’t paid to details, it was, as evidenced by their sheer size and quantity.
The new Sentra has a lustrous and pendulous door handles on the door, a body’s unique length and wide-winged dashboard.
Not surprisingly, it was felt that the overall design was unresolved, because, the daylight openings, windows and windshields, are stylishly kempt. But the tail looks like an ill-fitting graft from a Camry, the front end looks attractive with sunglasses, and the doors and wheel openings were in-built.
The Sentra‘s 130-hp four-cylinder seems like it should be a respectable means of propulsion for a compact car, given how indistinguishable it is from other compacts. Yet while the new Sentra weighs 150 lbs. less than the previous one, it still tops 2,850 lbs.
The car engine is mated in form of a stripper model, which comes with a pluckless manual—to Nissan’s freshened continuously variable transmission.
It features an infinite number of ratios, 27 per cent of them quiet enough to make you question whether the car is running, 73 per cent of them how enough to cause a friction headache and none of them feeling the least bit fast or furious.
According to the maker, Nissan, “yes, the fuel economy benefits are undeniable — highway mileage can top 40 mpg, but the hitched is that its star to CVTs the way Mazda once hitched its to rotary engines, a radical solution seeking a reasonable reason to believe.”
Nissan said that it was aware of the driver-centricity once baked into its Sentras in SE-R guise, and said, “this sporty heritage has not been forgotten.” Whether or not this means that another more entertaining Sentra is coming up in the future.
Culled from GUARDIAN
IN anticipation of future automobile, the Los Angeles auto show hosted an event among automotive designers to formulate ideas about the future of transportation in the world.
This year’s theme was centered on what the law enforcement rides of 2025 might look like and the sketchers at Mercedes-Benz were so enamored with their design, they built a life-size version, creating a Gelandewagon for the end of the world.
Dubbed the ‘Ener-G-Force’, the truck is in Mercedes’ own words “pure science fiction,” but it provides a few hints as to where Mercedes designers see SUV styles heading in the future.
Based on the military-grade G-Class SUVs, the Ener-G-Force features built-in police lights, a bull bar integrated into the grille and 20-inch off-road wheels “guarantee the right-of-way even where no way exists.”
Since this is 2025, power comes from a hydrogen fuel cell sending electricity to motors in each wheel hub.
As part of the design competition, Mercedes filled the Ener-G-Force with a few less realistic, imaginary tools.
The hydrogen from the fuel cell comes from a more up-to-date take on Mr. Fusion that pulls hydrogen from any given source and stores the water produced by the cells in roof tanks.
The space where a spare tire goes on the modern G-Class is filled with tools. And the roof rack includes a “terrascan” topography sensor that adjusts the suspension for different terrain.
Given that Mercedes already sells technology that attempts to sense the road and even the wakefulness of the driver, some of these sounds like it could be on a options list well before 2025.
Culled from VANGUARD
Plan Name Service Data Cap Validity period Code SMS to 127 Time of use
Always MAX N7,500 8GB 30 days *127*1# ’12’ All day
Always MIN N5,000 4GB 30 days *127*2# ’11’ All day
Always Day N500 195MB 24 hours *127*3# ’10’ All day
G 300 N15,000 12GB 300 hours/3months *127*4# ’21’ All day
G 100 N6,000 4GB 100 hours/1month *127*5# ’20’ All Day
G work N6,000 4GB 30 days *127*6# ’31’ 8am – 9 pm
G leisure N5000 4GB 30 days *127*7# ’30’ 8pm to 9am everyday + all day during weekend
Culled from Nairaland