Friday, 8 February 2013

Vodafone says 4G is for 'technology freaks', amid cash woes

Vodafone has seen its revenues slip, though the red-hued network insists it isn't losing customers to speedy 4G services.
Revenue dipped 5.2 per cent in the last three months of 2012, The Guardian reports -- the biggest fall in over three years. The cash drop comes despite an increase in customer numbers however, as Vodafone's total number of UK subscribers climbed 230,000 to 19.5 million.
Vodafone itself blames the decline on customers hunting for bargains elsewhere, with company boss Vittorio Colao adamant that paying customers aren't flocking to 4G.
"I haven't got reports of customers flying away to 4G," the embattled CEO is quoted as saying, going on to declare, "The kind of people who are going for it are technology freaks."
That seems a little unfair to me, as I'm sure most smart phone owners would jump at the chance to boost their browsing and download speeds. If 4G is of limited interest for now, it's because EE -- as the only company to provide the fast new technology -- is charging through-the-roof rates for it.
That will change later this year however, once the ongoing 4G spectrum auction is concluded, and rival networks can kick off their own services. Three has the right idea, having already promised that 4G speeds will cost the same as current contracts.
Three is using 1,800MHz spectrum it's buying from EE to forge its 4G services. It's not clear whether operators like Vodafone or O2, which are bidding in the 4G auction, will be able to offer 4G without a bump in prices.
What do you think of Vodafone? Is 4G really just for "technology freaks", or should everyone have access to speedy Internet? Let me know in the comments, or on our Facebook wall.

Has Apple finally found a way to crack the Indian market?

FORTUNE -- Two data points from the subcontinent, where Apple's (AAPL) iPhone sales have been notoriously slow to take off.382018078647
  • At Asymconf: California last week, Paul Brody, IBM (IBM) vice president for electronic global business services, told attendees that he had just come back from India where mobile carriers are activating iPhones at the rate of 2,000 per day.
  • The Times of India reported Friday that sales of Apple devices -- especially iPhones -- have increased three or four fold in the past three months.
"Apple is doing what it did in China three or four years ago," Jayanth Kolla, founder of the research firm Convergence Catalyst, told theTimes. "They studied the market, learned consumer needs and suddenly went aggressive. From having about 30 people here six months ago, Apple India is now about 150-people strong."
The Times cites analysts who say Apple is pivoting away from its traditional reliance on local carriers and has begun aggressively marketing the iPhone directly to high-end consumers.

Pedestal Stand for iPad brings technology to toilet trips

Using the bathroom can be a dull activity. To relieve the boredom some people read a book, others complete a crossword, and others just twiddle their thumbs. In this gadget-obsessed age, smartphones and tablets have entered the bathroom boredom-relief equation, and it seems there's an emerging market for accessories to assist those who like to mix technology with toilet breaks.
The Pedestal Stand for iPad means your tablet will always have a comfortable home in the b...

The Pedestal Stand for iPad from CTA Digital is designed to aid your use of the Apple tablet while you do whatever you need to do in the bathroom. It's made of chrome, has a heavy base (7.5 inches / 19 cm in diameter) to keep it from toppling over, and features a 10-inch (25 cm) bendable gooseneck stand that holds your iPad securely in position.
You can adjust the neck to "any viewing angle, orientation or position you may need," and the stand reaches up to 32 inches (81 cm) in height. The total weight of the Pedestal Stand for iPad is 7.25 lbs (3.3 kg) before the tablet is added to the mix. This is the adult equivalent of the iPotty (from the same company) featured previously on Gizmag. Just without the need for toilet training.
The toilet roll holder is optional (as are anti-bacterial wipes), and CTA Digital is also working on a variation which replaces it with a cup holder (as seen in some of the images in the gallery). The Pedestal Stand for iPad retails for US$44.99. It's compatible with the iPad 2 and iPad (3rd and 4th Generations).

Monday, 4 February 2013

ThreeUK pledges to add LTE to its unlimited data plans at no extra cost

The old beer-selling adage that good things come to those who wait also applies to those who've yet to sign away a kidney for one of EE's LTE plansThreeUK is announcing that it's going to bundle LTE into its existing unlimited mobile data packages without any additional charges. The network is planning to launch its own 4G product later in the year, using spectrum it snagged when T-Mobile and Orange were forced to sell off a chunk in order to see their marriage go through. As such, existing ThreeUK customers who own an LTE-ready device can expect to see their mobile internet shoot through the roof as soon as the capacity is switched on.Image

Three to offer latest technology as standard with no price premium.
Three UK today made a public commitment to offer Ultrafast services as a standard feature on all its smartphone price plans. LTE, otherwise known as 4G, will be added to Three's Ultrafast network later this year. Unlike some other UK mobile operators, it will be available across all existing and new price plans without customers needing to pay a premium fee to 'upgrade'.
Three's Ultrafast network, currently supported by DC-HSDPA technology, already covers 55% of the UK population with an initial focus on 50 towns and cities. It will reach 80% population coverage by the end of March and in the second half of this year it will incorporate 1800Mhz spectrum already acquired by Three to add even more coverage and capacity.
Any customer with an Ultrafast ready device can already enjoy great speeds on Three's Ultrafast network without paying a premium or needing to swap SIM cards or price plans. LTE will be available as standard with all customers' price plans when the roll-out begins later this year.
"Our customers choose Three because they love the internet and know they can get great speeds and great value on our award-winning network," said Three UK chief executive Dave Dyson.
"As we add the next wave of technology to our Ultrafast network, we've listened to our customers and thought long and hard about the right way to do it. We don't want to limit Ultrafast services to a select few based on a premium price and we've decided our customers will get this service as standard. With Three, it's simple, great value and Ultrafast. What you might expect from the network that was built for the internet."
Customers with Ultrafast ready devices, including the Apple iPhone 5, Nokia Lumia 920, Sony Xperia Z, Apple iPad mini and Apple iPad with Retina display, can already enjoy Three's Ultrafast network and will also be able to use the 1800Mhz spectrum when it is added later this year. Device choice is growing rapidly with new Ultrafast ready LTE versions of the Samsung Galaxy S III and Galaxy Note II being launched on Three within the next month, and the BlackBerry Z10 launching mid-February.

Google Glass bone conduction technology referenced in FCC filing

As if Google Glass wasn’t already cool enough, today we’re finding out that it feature bone conduction technology. The glasses recently made an appearance at the FCC, and the filing for the project mentions “integral vibrating element that provides audio to the user via contact with the user’s head.” Of course, Google recently filed a patent for glasses that feature the tech, so it seems that bone conduction will definitely be a part of Project Glass.
Some of you will already know what bone conduction is, since it isn’t exactly a new technology. Essentially, the glasses will send vibrations through bones near the ear. This means that users can hear audio with the glasses on, without the need for headphones. The added benefit here is that users will be able to hear the audio Google Glass is putting out while still hearing whats going on in their surroundings – something that’s a lot more difficult or even impossible when you’re wearing headphones.
Having bone conduction tech along for the ride should do something to allay the concerns of those who think Google Glass could potentially be unsafe. After all, having a little screen in front of your eye could prove to be quite the distraction. At least with bone conduction technology, users would still be able to hear what’s happening around them.
Bone conduction technology isn’t new, but it isn’t very popular either, so perhaps we’ll see it popping up more in other devices after being included in Google Glass. Google recently held developer hackathon events for Google Glass, but don’t expect to hear any news from them. Hopefully we’ll be finding out more about Google Glass soon, so stay tuned.

Natural Living:5 Myths about nature vs technology

Technology has made us healthier in a lot of ways. It’s beaten back old threats from smallpox to stillbirth to scarlet fever. But many think the march of progress has gone too far, and we need to get back to nature. 
Author Nathanael Johnson says most of us are in the middle – suspicious of technology run amok, but unwilling to trade the condo for a mud hut. He investigates whether the natural approach is really better for us in his book,“All Natural.” 
Nathanael also laid out five common myths about nature versus technology. Get the gist below, or click below and listen to the full conversation:
1) Identical nutrition labels mean identical nutrition.
The Food and Drug Administration requires foodmakers to post the content of essential nutrients, calories and so on so we can compare how healthy one food is next to another. But Johnson says scientists now understand that the way a food delivers nutrients – how they’re structured inside a food – make a huge difference in how we process them (think Wonder Bread versus rustic bread). That means the numbers on those labels tell just part of the story, and maybe not a very important part at that.
2) Pale pork is healthy pork.
The “other white meat” probably shouldn’t be white. Johnson says white pig flesh is actually a symptom of a delicious-sounding condition called “pale, soft, exudative flesh,” or PSE. This is usually a result of the piggy being highly stressed prior to slaughter. Better off finding pork that is a deep red color, though not too brownish or purple.
3) Take an antibiotic, just to be on the safe side.
Many of us have been lectured that we shouldn’t overuse antibiotics because, on the whole, it gives rise to drug-resistant “superbugs.” But for any given individual with any given sinus infection, it’s tempting to think, “Might as well err on the side of caution … and who’s it really going to hurt?” Well, maybe you, says Johnson. Besides the bad germs, antibiotics wipe out billions of good bacteria in our bodies, many of them in our gut. That leaves us wide open to opportunistic germs that might not otherwise gain a toehold, such as the highly unpleasant and potentially deadly C. difficile, now at epidemic levels.
4) Vaccines may not cause autism, but dang it there’s something fishy there
The jury is in on the supposed vaccine-autism link: there isn’t one. But a host of other misgivings about vaccines persist. Johnson says some of these derive from the idea that vaccines are the height of medical hubris, that they are an unnatural intervention with unknown consequences. Even he thought that to some extent until he did his research. He came to believe that vaccines actually restore a natural balance we lost once we moved into cities and stopped getting so dirty all the time.
5) Getting screened for cancer couldn’t hurt, and might save your life
In any single case, that may be true. But on the whole, Johnson says screenings for prostate, breast of cervical cancer carry their own risk. They generate lots of false positives, which trigger more interventions – each of which has the potential to harm. It’s not just about saving money, Johnson says: On the whole, public health experts believe the population would be healthier if fewer of us got screened.

Friday, 1 February 2013

iPad 5:New Screen Technology To Make iPad 5 Thinner & Lighter

Apple could use a touchscreen technology called “G/F2 (DITO) thin-film” in its next generation 9.7-inch iPad 5  according to the questionable DigiTimes.


Apple currently use the G/F2 (DITO) thin-film technology in its 7.9-inch iPad mini, and could decide to use the thin touch technology in its next full-sized iPad. The technology would help Apple cut down on the weight and thickness of the fifth generation iPad, which already carries the iPad 5 nickname.

iPad 5

Other recent rumors said Apple is looking to make the iPad 5 thinner and lighter than the fourth generation tablet, and this rumor meshes well with those. Previous rumors said Apple plans to use the same basic design as the iPad mini in the next generation iPad. That includes a thinner bezel on the sides of the device and a flatter back that comes in both black and silver.

iPad 5 vs iPad mini
If Apple does use the DITO technology for the screen, it would get the thin-film materials from Nitto in Japan, and touchscreen modules from Nissha Printing, which is also in Japan. TPK in Taiwan would handle the lamination of the parts, and the display planels would come from LG Display and Sharp.
With all five firms Apple could produce as many as five million displays each month in mass production.
For users, the new technology will mostly just result in a thinner and lighter iPad. There’s no word on any other improvements this technology provides. At 1.44 pounds the current iPad isn’t that heavy, but the size and weight do make it somewhat difficult to hold in one hand. A reduction in weight could theoretically make it easier to hold without two hands.
The iPad 5 will likely come out sometime this fall, though some rumors point to March. If Apple does go through with the redesign, it will be the first major redesign to the iPad since the iPad 2 which introduced the current designe