Monday, November 28, 2011
The majority of employed American adults (68%) with work email accounts check their messages during traditional family holidays such as Thanksgiving and Christmas. Among those checking their email, 27% do so multiple times each day. Those checking their accounts are not likely to find empty inboxes as 79% of those polled say they receive emails from clients or colleagues during the holidays. The below infographic, published by email and contact management company Xobni, takes a look at how and why so many Americans are on their work email during their time off. The graphic shows that respondents experience less animosity towards contact from their jobs as 37% felt annoyed, frustrated or resentful after receiving work-related emails. This percentage is a 4% drop from 2010. In fact, 19% responded they feel “thankful for the distraction” or “relieved.” For others, checking email is less about seeking distraction and more about staying up-to-date with their work; 41% percent say they do so to ease their workloads once they return from time off. It can be an addiction though, with 10% of respondents ages 18 to 44 saying they check their email during “inappropriate” times such as family parties or meals. Six percent use work as a way to avoid family commitments or avoid crazy friends and relatives.
Take door-buster specials, add early opening hours, and mix in a good measure of pent-up demand and you have a recipe for a strong start to the holiday shopping season. And retailers liked it so much, expect to see a version of it — albeit smaller — today, as a record number of shoppers are expected to go online to snag Cyber Monday deals, which at some retailers, began Sunday night.
Black Friday sales are estimated to have risen 6.6 percent from the same time last year, according to ShopperTrak, a Chicago-based company that tracks mall traffic. That estimated $11.4 billion in retail purchases represents the biggest dollar amount ever spent on that day. The National Retail Federation estimates 226 million shoppers visited stores and websites over the Black Friday weekend, up from 212 million last year.
The survey, which interviewed more than 3,800 adults, reports that the average holiday shoppers spent $398.62 over the Thanksgiving weekend, up from $365.34 last year. Conducted by BIGResearch, the study also found that online spending was significant, with shoppers shelling out an average of $150.53 on the Web, or 37.8 percent of their total weekend outlay. And the spending binge wasn’t isolated to just Friday. The spending started Thursday, as record number of shoppers purchased items on their smartphones and tablets, presumably at the Thanksgiving dinner table, or headed out to early openings at stores such as Toys ‘R Us and Wal-Mart [WMT 57.1175 0.2275 (+0.4%) ], which didn’t even wait until midnight Friday to begin their Black Friday deals. The shopping should continue today, as record numbers of shoppers are expected to go online seek Cyber Monday deals.
Cyber Monday has become a more significant each year. Retailers embraced it and are offering bigger and bigger discounts online — and more and more shoppers are coming for them. That is what is what makes the event, which initially began as marketing gimmick to promote online shopping, more important each year.
With the US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) last week blocking the $39 billion AT&T Wireless purchase of T-Mobile, the companies have withdrawn their application for the sale. But AT&T is planning an 11th-hour comeback, and might offer to sell off a large cache of T-Mobile assets in order to tip the opinions of regulators in their favor.
"AT&T and [T-Mobile owner] Deutsche Telekom are continuing to pursue the sale of Deutsche Telekom’s US wireless assets to AT&T and are taking this step to facilitate the consideration of all options at the FCC and to focus their continuing efforts on obtaining antitrust clearance for the transaction from the Department of Justice either through the litigation pending ... or [via] alternate means," a joint AT&T/Deutsche Telekom statement obtusely reads. "As soon as practical, AT&T and Deutsche Telekom intend to seek the necessary FCC approval."
According to multiple sources, AT&T is willing to sell off as much as 40 percent of T-Mobile's assets to some of the smaller players in the US cellular market—a move the company hopes will appease FCC and DOJ regulators. These regulators have charged that a merger of the two companies' wireless assets is anti-competitive and would cause job losses, as well as higher prices and reduced choices for consumers in the United States. AT&T also announced that it will take a $4 billion charge against earnings this quarter.
This is the amount the company agreed to forfeit to Deutsche Telekom even if the AT&T/T-Mobile merger wasn't approved. It's also coincidentally the cost that AT&T internally estimated it would need to spend to build its own LTE/4G wireless network in the United States from scratch. One has to wonder whether the company would have been better off just doing that, rather than pursuing a network merger that was sure to garner negative regulator attention.
Meanwhile, perhaps Deutsche Telekom can find another way out of the US cellular market. The semi-obvious choice is a Sprint/T-Mobile network merger, though critics will quickly point out that the two companies currently use incompatible wireless-network types. But the market-share numbers make sense: With Sprint controlling 17 percent of the US market and T-Mobile controlling 10 percent, the combined company would provide a strong third choice behind Verizon Wireless (34 percent) and AT&T Wireless (32 percent).
By Paul Thurrott - Windows IT Pro
Sunday, November 20, 2011
An Illinois teacher at Eureka High School is on paid suspension for showing clips of "The Daily Show" in school. Rhett Felix, a first-year government and law teacher, showed three segments from Jon Stewart's show to his sophomore-level class, The Pantagraph reports. Parents of the students complained that the clips had obscenities, sexual content and the perception that the teacher carries liberal bias. "When he returns, he will be reassigned to another teaching assignment," School Superintendent Randy Crump said at a school board meeting Monday, according to The Pantagraph. "That's all I can share at this time." Felix reportedly showed clips from the Oct. 31 and Nov. 2 episodes of the satirical "Daily Show," which discussed sexual harassment allegations against Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain and offering health insurance discounts for those who are physically active.
The Cain segment made euphemistic references to the presidential candidates's pizza business, like "You want sausage on your pie?" and "Want me to stuff your crust?" Felix also told his students to do an Internet search of Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum, referring to his well known yet obscene "Google problem," but warning students not to click on the site, the Peoria Journal Star reports.
Parent Thomas Enterline told The Pantagraph that he didn't find Stewart's clips funny, but "deplorable." "I look at what happened out at Penn State," Enterline told the publication. "Even though this doesn't rise to that particular level, I would ask that this board look at these allegations and respond with appropriate resolve." Felix's suspension comes weeks after a judge in October upheld the decision to fire an Ohio public school teacher who was accused of teaching religious beliefs in class and for keeping a Bible on his desk. Earlier this month, a New Mexico teacher was put on paid leave for allegedly issuing a "sex survey" to her students that parents found offensive. Although students later spoke out admitting to issuing the survey themselves -- and said they had done so for years -- Rio Rancho High School upheld its decision to keep the teacher on leave.
(WATCH some of the segments Felix reportedly showed in his class.)
The Bluths are back. Twentieth Century Fox Television and Netflix have made an exclusive deal to show about 10 new episodes of the comedy series "Arrested Development," but only to Netflix subscribers.
The Fox Television Network cancelled the series midway through its third season in 2006. But since then it has been one of the most-talked-about T-V shows. The series creators have hinted that about 10 episodes will be filmed, possibly setting the stage for an "Arrested Development" movie after that.
by Rob Archer -KFI News
Friday, November 18, 2011
Bernie Fine Sex Abuse Scandal: Syracuse Police Investigate As Basketball Coach Placed On Leave.
Just two weeks after Penn State was rocked by a child sex-abuse scandal, ESPN reported Thursday that police were investigating an assistant basketball coach at Syracuse University on allegations of child molestation.
Shortly afterward, Syracuse placed longtime assistant coach Bernie Fine on administrative leave "in light of the new allegations and the Syracuse City Police investigation," the school said. Connellan told the newspaper that police received information on the case Thursday but would not say who provided the information. The university said it had conducted its own investigation and couldn't find witnesses to corroborate the allegations. Phone calls by The Associated Press to the police were not immediately returned. ESPN reported that Fine is accused of molesting a former Syracuse ball boy, Bobby Davis, who is now 39. Davis told "Outside the Lines" that the abuse occurred at Fine's home, at Syracuse basketball facilities and on team road trips, including the 1987 Final Four. ESPN said it first investigated the accusations in 2003, but decided not to run the story because there was no independent evidence to corroborate the allegations. Recently, a second man contacted ESPN, alleging that Fine also molested him.
That person said he decided to come forward after seeing the Penn State coverage.
The Post-Standard reported it also investigated the accuser's allegations in 2003, but decided against publishing the story because no one else came forward to confirm the accuser's account. Fine is in his 35th season as an assistant to coach Jim Boeheim. In a statement by Kevin Quinn, the school's senior vice president for public affairs, Syracuse said it would cooperate with the police investigation. He said the school was contacted in 2005 by "an adult male who told us that he had reported to the Syracuse City Police that he had been subjected to inappropriate contact by an associate men's basketball coach." He said the alleged activity took place in the 1980s and 1990s. "We were informed by the complainant that the Syracuse City Police had declined to pursue the matter because the statute of limitations had expired," Quinn said. Quinn said the school conducted its own four-month investigation that included interviews with people the accuser said would support his allegations, but that all those people "denied any knowledge of wrongful conduct" and that the coach also denied the allegations.
Boeheim released a statement saying: "This matter was fully investigated by the university in 2005 and it was determined that the allegations were unfounded. "I have known Bernie Fine for more than 40 years. I have never seen or witnessed anything to suggest that he would been involved in any of the activities alleged. Had I seen or suspected anything, I would have taken action. Bernie has my full support." In a telephone interview afterward with the AP, Boeheim said: "This kid came forward and there was no one to corroborate his story. Not one. Not one. ... This just is not true." The accusations arrived on the heels of the Penn State case in which longtime former defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky is accused of sexually abused eight boys over 15 years. The case cost Joe Paterno his job, and former school administrators Tim Curley and Gary Schultz are charged with not properly alerting authorities to suspected abuse and perjury. By John Kekis, The Associated Press
Thursday, November 17, 2011
Amazon may be prepping a low-cost smartphone for release next year, and their partner in its development is said to be Apple's iPhone assembler, Foxconn. "Based on our supply chain channel checks in Asia led by Kevin Chang, Citi's Taipei-based hardware research analyst, we believe an Amazon Smartphone will be launched in 4Q12," wrote Chang and fellow analyst Mark Mahaney in an equities alert on Thursday.
Although the development of the phone will be shared by Amazon and Foxconn International Holdings (FIH), the two Citi analysts write, "the device and multiple components" will be manufactured by TMS, another subsidiary of FIH's parent company, Hon Hai. The analysts say that TMS "makes Amazon's E-reader and the 8.9-inch Amazon tablet" – but Amazon doesn't currently offer an 8.9-inch tablet. All current Kindles have 6-inch displays, the new Kindle Fire's display is a 7-incher, and the display on the now-discontinued Kindle DX was 9.7 inches. Perhaps the tablet to which Chang and Mahaney were referring is the oft-rumored Kindle Fire 2, which is said to have an 8.9-inch display. If so, that's another cat to come purring out of its bag.
The pair also wrote that the Amazon smartphone will be powered by a Texas Instruments "OMAP 4" processor – the Kindle Fire has an OMAP 4430 – and will have a "dual mode 6-series standalone baseband" from Qualcomm, which may refer to the company's MDM6600 "Gobi 3000" CDMA/HSPA+ module. The operating system to be used on the purported smartphone wasn't mentioned, but we can only assume – like the Kindle Fire – it'll be a Amazonianized version of Android. Chang and Mahaney toted up their estimates of the bill-of-materials cost for such a phone at the end of next year, and suggest that it should come in under $100. Add to that assembly, warehousing, warranty, and other costs, and each unit should cost Amazon about $150 to $170, they say. "What is important to note," they add, "is that Amazon does not need to make money on hardware." As seems to be the case with the Kindle Fire, they might even choose to sell the mid-market smartphone at a loss, focusing more on selling high profit-margin content than low – or no – profit-margin hardware.
If so, the news would be worse for Android smartphone makers than it would be for Apple. Although Apple is currently experimenting with selling earlier models of their phone to carriers at a price that allows them to offer, for example, the iPhone 3GS for free with a two-year contract, it remains a premium brand that would be less threatened by a mid-market phone than would, say, Motorola, HTC, Samsung, and the like. From where we sit, this Amazon smartphone rumor is quite credible. After all, as Chang and Mahaney wrote, "With the clear success of the Kindle e-Reader over the past 3 years, and Kindle Fire possibly succeeding in the low-priced Tablet market, we view this as the next logical step for Amazon." ® By Rik Myslewski
The Escape, the fifth-best-selling vehicle in the U.S., has been transformed from a five-passenger SUV into a sloping crossover with just a hint of minivan and has quietly become one of the biggest success stories at Ford Motor Co.
The automaker has sold more than 200,000 of the small sport utility vehicles this year, making it the fifth-best-selling vehicle in America and the top SUV. Decent interior room and cargo space make it popular among soccer moms, while its masculine rectangular SUV design has attracted male buyers. Now Ford plans to upset the apple cart with a complete ground-up redesign of the Escape that improves power and fuel economy but transforms the five-passenger SUV into a sloping crossover with just a hint of a minivan. Ford unveiled the new Escape at the Los Angeles Auto Show on Wednesday. Some shoppers might be turned off by the new look, but other buyers may be attracted by fresh design and the car's features, said Jesse Toprak, an analyst with auto information company TrueCar.com. "It is certainly a leap," Toprak said, "but I believe Ford is trying to be more like Hyundai in terms of design and styling with new models.
They want to be more aggressive and to stand out among crowded product choices that consumers already have." He said the new model would still have the "one-size-fits-all proposition" that has made the current Escape so popular. Jason Sprawka, who manages marketing of the Escape at Ford, said Ford is hoping the new design will catch the attention of the millennial generation — the children of baby boomers who might not have grown up in a household that ever owned a Ford. And while the new styling might skew the Escape toward female buyers, he said the new model will still have the same towing capability and even more cargo space — features that tend to attract men. The new vehicle moves to Ford's global C platform, a vehicle architecture that allows the automaker to build multiple styles of vehicles off the same structure.
The Escape will be the 10th model off this platform; other vehicles that share the platform include the Ford Focus compact sedan. Ford executives say that 2 million vehicles will be built off this platform worldwide by mid-decade. "It gives us great economies of scale to deliver value and features that our competition can't match," Sprawka said. Ford plans three engine options. It expects two turbocharged, four-cylinder engines to account for about 90% of sales. The smaller will be a 1.6-liter engine that will have about 170 horsepower and get more than 30 miles per gallon in highway driving. Ford will also offer a 2-liter four-banger that generates 240 horsepower, giving it the same output of many six-cylinder engines on the market. But the base model Escape will be a 2.5-liter, four-cylinder engine that comes in the current model but with some improvements giving it slightly better fuel economy.
Other options include a parallel-park-assistance system that automatically steers the vehicle into the space, a blind-spot alert system that lets drivers know when there is another vehicle close by but out of their field of view, and a hands-free liftgate system that raises the rear gate with a wave of a foot beneath the bumper. "One out of every six vehicles sold today is a small SUV, so the new Escape is an extremely important vehicle for us," said Mark Fields, Ford's president of the Americas. "The nameplate has great consumer awareness, and we need to meet those expectations." Ford has not talked about pricing except to say that it will be similar to that of the current model, which sells for about $25,000. The vehicle will be built in Louisville, Ky., and begin being sold in the spring. The Escape will no longer have a hybrid version. The hybrid version has made up as much as 13% of the vehicle's annual sales, according to TrueCar data. The Escape has historically been the top-selling domestic hybrid. Sprawka said that the fuel economy improvements in the new gasoline engines negated the efficiency advantage of the hybrid system without adding a hybrid premium to the price of the vehicle.
The new Escape will face stiff competition from Honda's CR-V sport utility vehicle, which also gets a remake for the new model year, and Toyota's small SUV, the RAV4, which the industry expects will also have major changes sometime during the model year. "Ford has a lot riding on the redesigned Escape," said Ivan Drury, an analyst with auto information company Edmunds.com. "Consumers will be even more inclined to cross-shop Escape to CR-V and RAV4. If the new Escape follows in the footsteps of Ford's latest launches as expected, then both Honda and Toyota better keep an eye on the competition." email@example.com
Wednesday, November 16, 2011
Sony is considering launching an internet-based alternative to cable TV, according to people familiar with the situation, the latest threat to cable and satellite operators that now dominate pay television.
The Japanese electronics and entertainment company approached several big media companies that own TV channels to negotiate the rights to offer TV channels over the web to US consumers, the people said. Sony is proposing to beam the channels over internet connections to Sony-made devices including PlayStation gaming consoles, television sets and Blu-ray players.
Sony has sold approximately 18.1 million PlayStation 3 consoles in the US, according to the latest data from tracker NPD Group, and many homes have other internet-connected Sony devices. The biggest US cable operator, Comcast, has about 22.4 million video subscribers and serves a geographic area with over 52 million homes.
Boxee in January will give viewers another reason to cut the cord: live TV functionality.
The company has announced a live TV dongle that lets viewers watch ABC, NBC, CBS and Fox in HD without a monthly fee.
The device, called the Live TV Stick, costs $49 and is available for preorder. If you don’t have reception in your area, though, the Live TV Stick won’t work. In a blog post, Boxee reasoned that many viewers were on the fence about canceling their cable subscriptions because they’d miss live sports and live TV shows such as Dancing With the Stars, “but these things are all available on broadcast TV channels like ABC, CBS, Fox, and NBC for free, over the air in HD.”
Boxee, which lists for $199, lets you watch TV shows, movies and web content on your TV. Users can access content from Vudu, Netflix and YouTube, among other sources. When introduced last November, the Boxee Box was initially clunky, but an HTML5 upgrade in May improved the user experience.
By Todd Wasserman -MASHABLE
Justin Bieber Paternity Lawsuit Dropped Justin Bieber now has one less “baby, baby, baby” on his mind.
The 20-year-old woman who has accused the 17-year-old pop singer of being the father of her 4-month-old son has reportedly dropped her paternity lawsuit. Celebrity gossip website TMZ reports Mariah Yeater “quietly dismissed” her lawsuit against Bieber last week. The site also reports Yeater’s attorneys, Lance Rogers and Matt Pare, have resigned as well.
The paternity suit Yeater filed against Bieber last month claimed a minutes-long tryst between the two in a backstage bathroom at the Staples Center in Los Angeles following a concert in October 2010 resulted in the birth of her son Tristyn Anthony Markhouse Yeater this July. Yeater, who was 19 at the time the alleged tryst took place, had been very public with her claim, appearing on “The Insider” earlier this month. She claimed then the “Never Say Never” star, who was 16 at the time, was “aggressive” and refused to wear a condom the night she said he got her pregnant. “This is a legitimate claim by a woman who wants to know the father of her new baby,” Yeater’s lawyer said at the time.
Bieber denied the allegations from the start, claiming the story was “completely made up” and that he had never even met Yeater. After Yeater’s appearance on “The Insider,” Bieber’s legal team hit back and promised their client would take a DNA test upon his return from Europe, where he’s been touring and publicizing his new release, alongside longtime girlfriend and fellow pop star Selena Gomez. Bieber’s team also gave notice they planned to file a lawsuit against Yeater once the DNA test proved their client’s innocence, they said. Neither Yeater’s nor Bieber’s attorneys responded to requests for comment from ABC News.
Bieber has taken to Twitter to address the controversy, and thank fans for their support, writing, “Even through all the crap and lies…my fans have been there for me…thanks to everyone who supports me. Much appreciated.” Yeater, meanwhile, faces a bench trial next month on a misdemeanor battery charge filed against her last December claiming she slapped her 18-year-old ex-boyfriend, the same ex-boyfriend whom she earlier accused of fathering the baby she then said was Bieber’s. The charge could leave her facing six months in jail and a $1,000 fine.
By Katie Kindelan -ABC
McQueary: 'I did stop it' Penn State assistant football coach also says in email that he did discuss the shower incident with police.
Mike McQueary, the Penn State assistant football coach under fire for his reported lack of action in an alleged 2002 rape of a boy by Jerry Sandusky, said in an email to a former classmate that he stopped the assault in an athletic facility shower and discussed it with police.
By Mark Wogenrich and Andrew McGill, Of The Morning Call
Tuesday, November 15, 2011
Penn State's interim coach knocked down rumors Tuesday that the embattled football team would decline a bowl bid at season's end. "We've been assured that's not the case for the bowl game," Tom Bradley told reporters at a news conference. He also said that the possibility of the team not playing next year hasn't come up. Bradley praised his football players, saying they are weathering the storm around the sexual child abuse scandal and believes they'll be ready for Saturday's game against Ohio State, another school rocked by a recent scandal. "The mood of the players is very upbeat," Bradley said. "They've been great." He said he believes they'll have enough energy for Saturday's important game in Columbus, Ohio, as the team, 8-2 overall and 5-1 in the Big Ten Conference, remains in contention for the league title.
The scandal revolves around allegations that former assistance coach Jerry Sandusky sexually abused children. The shocking allegations led to the firing of legendary coach Joe Paterno and the departure of other officials because they didn't promptly contact police after accusations surfaced. Noting that Paterno's firing has been a "distraction," Bradley said the players "were great yesterday at practice." As for the rigors of a road game, he said that players form bonds away from home. Bradley expressed pride in his players and emphasized that he couldn't have asked for more from them. "We talked briefly before practice about the game and where we were headed," he said. "I think a lot of times with everything that swirls around that they enjoy coming to practice because it's the one time they can kind of just be with themselves. No one's asking them questions, they're there to play football and they know they have a job to do this week." Talking about communication with Paterno, Bradley said he plans to see him eventually but he said he knows that if he calls him now, Paterno will ask him why he's calling and remind him of his responsibility to focus on coaching.
As it happens, Penn State will be playing a school that faced its own scandal earlier this year, one that cost Ohio State coach Jim Tressel his job. Tressel resigned under pressure after it was revealed he had lied to NCAA officials investigating allegations that Ohio State players had received special benefits from local businesses in Columbus, Ohio. Several players allegedly swapped team and personal memorabilia and equipment for tattoos and other benefits. Tressel became aware of the transactions, which violate NCAA rules, but did not report them on a form all coaches are required to submit. Bradley said he spoke to Luke Fickell, the Ohio State coach, both of whom were thrust into the limelight over their schools' scandals. The two men discussed activity the teams would engage in for the game but Bradley didn't elaborate on what that would be. Last week at Penn State's game against Nebraska, there were dramatic gestures of support for victims of child sex abuse.
Across the country, criticism of Penn State has festered over the scandal, but Bradley said he was assured by Ohio State officials that there will be no problems for his visiting team. "It's still Ohio State-Penn State. One of the things I want emphasize right now, this is all about the players. This is about our team. It's about their team," he said. Playing at the "horseshoe," the nickname for Ohio Stadium because of its shape, will make for a "great atmosphere." "I mean, it doesn't get any better than that, and it's going to be an exciting game. We're both playing for the title, so there's a lot on the line, and it will be a very spirited match regardless of what's going on outside." At a press conference in Columbus, Ohio State student leaders urged their counterparts to display good behavior at the game. They are developing ways on social media to honor victims of sexual abuse. Fickell himself was asked what it is like for players to perform on the field while controversy is swirling. "Young people are very resilient," he said. "They do a good job of continuing to move on." He also said Penn State and Ohio State have many similarities: a fabled football history and great fans and alumni.
Ohio State is 3-3 in the Big Ten and 6-4 overall. Bradley wouldn't answer a reporter's questions about Sandusky. He said he was preparing for the weekend game when the former defensive coordinator was interviewed Monday night by NBC's Bob Costas. Sandusky insisted in the interview that he is innocent of charges that he sexually abused young boys and denied he's a pedophile. In a telephone interview with NBC's "Rock Center With Brian Williams," Sandusky admitted that some details in the graphic 23-page grand jury report released earlier this month are correct. "I could say I have done some of those things," he said. "I have horsed around with kids I have showered (with) after workouts. I have hugged them, and I have touched their legs without intent of sexual contact." Still, Sandusky claimed he has been falsely accused of crimes.
When pressed, Sandusky, 67, said the only thing he did wrong was having "showered with those kids." The national spectacle has outraged and embarrassed Penn State students and alumni. An alumni-led effort has raised $372,000 for abuse victims in less than a week, a Twitter message said Tuesday. Investigations have been launched by the Pennsylvania attorney general's office, the U.S. Department of Education, Penn State, and Second Mile, the charity founded by Sandusky. Costas asked probing questions in his interview: "Are you sexually attracted to young boys, to underage boys?" By Joe Sterling, CNN
Could T-Mobile actually announce their version of the Samsung Galaxy Nexus this week?
Many industry insiders have speculated that Verizon might have some kind of limited exclusive deal in the United States, but there has been confusion on exactly when the Galaxy Nexus will launch in the states. Verizon initially advertised the Galaxy Nexus as “exclusively from Verizon” but later removed that tag.
Today we were informed that T-Mobile is holding their own media event on the night of November 16, so the press can “experience the world of T-Mobile & Google.” We already know November 16th is the same day Google is expected to announce music purchases in the Android Market, but Google’s event is at 2:00 PM and T-Mobile’s will start at 9:00 PM. T-Mobile will definitely be celebrating the launch of music purchases with special appearances from Drake, Maroon 5, Busta Rhymes, Dirty South and R3hab, but they could also be announcing a big device launch. That might sound like a stretch, but T-Mobile was the launch partner of the Nexus One and also supported the Nexus S.
Monday, November 14, 2011
Watch every week as eliminated cheftestants fight for redemption and another shot at the title of Top Chef.
Sunday, November 13, 2011
I just could not help myself, and was compelled to watch " The Insider's" Stupid interview of Bieber's crazy Baby Mama Drama.
Friday, November 11, 2011
If the number of tech sites and blogs writing on persistent battery troubles on the iPhone 4S are any indication, however, reports of iOS 5.0.1 fixing battery problems have been greatly exaggerated.
Apple acknowledged the problems in a brief statement sent out to several technology blogs on November 2: A small number of customers have reported lower than expected battery life on iOS 5 devices. We have found a few bugs that are affecting battery life and we will release a software update to address those in a few weeks.It did not take a few weeks, however, as Apple released iOS 5.0.1 to users just eight days later; chief among the updates listed was one that "fixes bugs affecting battery life."
AllThingsD, MacTrast, The Unofficial Apple Weblog, Boy Genius Report, PCWorld, CNet, 9to5Mac, Ars Technica, Gizmodo and The Next Web have all published trend stories detailing the litany of iPhone owners complaining on the Apple forums about persistent battery life troubles after downloading iOS 5.0.1. Apple has issued a statement on continuing battery problems. Via a statement sent to The Huffington Post: The recent iOS software update addressed many of the battery issues that some customers experienced on their iOS 5 devices. We continue to investigate a few remaining issues.
After dominating the mobile world for just shy of two years (haters be damned), Angry Birds is movin’ on up into its own retail space. While Rovio plans on opening up shop in China (where the brand is huge, but next to all of the available merchandise is fake) sometime next year, this first store is on their home turf in Helsinki.
By GREG KUMPARAK
In an audacious effort to boost its ratings, CBS' "The Early Show" has hired some talk show heavyweights. On Thursday, sources told The New York Times that Charlie Rose and Gayle King would be joining the embattled program in January. Rose, who hosts the show "Charlie Rose" on PBS, will co-anchor the 7 a.m. hour with Erica Hill. He will also continue to work on his popular late night interview program and contribute to the "60 Minutes" news show.
King, editor-at-large of "O, The Oprah Magazine" and best friend to the talk show maven, will co-anchor the 8 a.m. hour with Jeff Glor. King has previously worked as a television news anchor and currently hosts "The Gayle King Show," on OWN. According to The Daily Beast, the pair was courted by CBS News Chairman Jeff Fager. Chris Wragge, who currently co-hosts both "Early" and the 6 p.m. news on WCBS, the CBS station in New York, will be leaving the show.In a statement released Thursday, he said, "CBS has been my home since 2004 and will be for the foreseeable future in whatever capacity they want. I am loyal and grateful to CBS."
This will be CBS News' second revamp of the third-place morning show in as many years, and is the most conspicuous effort yet by the network to zig where its competitors have zagged. Having already doubled down on a harder news format, the network is now making a big bet that its counter-programming strategy can bring viewers who have tired of the fluffier morning shows on NBC and ABC. What remains to be seen, of course, is whether Rose and King can bring those viewers along with their star power — and whether they will be comfortable in a format neither of them has been tested in.
We just got word from Google of an Android-themed event next week, with little more than the words "These Go to Eleven" right up top -- a reference to a phrase from the 1984 mockumentary This is Spinal Tap. To top things off, the email came from "Nigel Tufnel," Christopher Guest's character from the film. The event kicks off in Los Angeles at 2PM local time (that's 5PM for you folks on the East Coast) on Wednesday, November 16th. We'll be there live, and so will you -- catch the livestream at YouTube.com/Android. There are a few more subtle hints in the invite teaser image, so jump past the break to see if you can pick them out.
By Zach Honig
Thursday, November 10, 2011
Wednesday, November 9, 2011
Google announced on Monday that it will offer Google+ “Pages” to brands, businesses, and celebrities, so that they can trumpet themselves across the search giant’s fledgling social network. Much like Facebook Pages, these Google+ destinations are places where commercial names can not only broadcast news and propaganda to the world at large, but also interact with their fans and critics.
You can sign up here at the new Google+ business site. The news comes on the heels of the company’s October announcement that Google+ is now part of Google Apps, the search giant’s online suite of office applications. Clearly, Google is serious about turning its social network into a business tool. But the company is not alone. At this point, Google+ Pages are where businesses interact with web denizens on the cutting edge of net technology, and Facebook is where you interact with everyone else. Facebook boasts 800 million users, while Google claims 40 million. Google’s limited audience isn’t necessarily a bad thing.
For now, Plus streams generally contain “non-frivolous” information. A company’s message isn’t lost amid a sea of random pictures and cat videos. Of course, this may change. But more importantly, Google integrates Plus into its web-dominating search engine. With Google+ Direct Connect, searchers can insert a “+” before their query and jump directly to a business’s Google+ page. Type “+YouTube” into a Google search box, for instance, and Google will take you straight to YouTube’s Plus page. This is where Google will have an advantage over Facebook: With a broad array of services like search and Gmail and Chrome and Android, Google offers tools that are fundamental to the online lives of so many people — and these can be tied to Google+.
As Google+ evolves, Google will have the means to promote its social network — and the branded Pages within it — in ways that Facebook or Twitter cannot. And though many point to the similarities between Plus and Facebook — and the similarities have only grown with the addition of branded pages — the addition of Pages may be more of a challenge to Twitter. While a certain portion of the population is accustomed to information in 140 character bites, Google+ provides a richer forum where companies can release news to the public. Sharing pictures and video on Twitter, for instance, is still a rather clunky process. Followers usually must click through a shortened link and wait for a new page to load. By contrast, Google+ integrates directly with YouTube, the web’s unquestioned video heavyweight, and Picasa, its photo sharing tool. What’s more, anyone can readily comment on a Google+ Page post, and the Page owner can readily respond. With Twitter, that sort of communication becomes a tedious series of @-messages that clog the feeds of uninterested followers. Google is certainly trailing the pack with Monday’s announcement, but in other respects, it’s well ahead.
Tuesday, November 8, 2011
Rapper Heavy D died today after being rushed to a Los Angeles hospital. He was 44 years old. His cause of death was not immediately known. Heavy D, born Dwight Arrington Myers, was one of the most influential rappers of the 1990s.
He was the leader of the hip-hop trio Heavy D & the Boyz, which gained mainstream fame for the theme song for the TV show “In Living Color.” (The song was first “In Living Color,” Heavy D & the Boyz later recorded a new theme, “Cause That’s the Way You Livin’ When You’re in Living Color.”) Heavy D also rapped on Michael Jackson’s “Jam” and Janet Jackson’s “Alright.” In recent years, Heavy D focused more on TV and movie appearances. He made a cameo in Eddie Murphy and Ben Stiller’s new film, “Tower Heist.” Heavy D performed at October’s BET Awards, his first live performance in 15 years.
In pop culture, Heavy D is also remembered for his mention in the Notorious B.I.G.’s 1994 hit single “Juicy” with the lyric “Salt’n'Pepa and Heavy D up in the limousine.”
By Sheila Marikar
What do you get the guy who has everything for Christmas? Well, this year, you can get him an issue of Playboy featuring a naked Lindsay Lohan, if he's into that kind of thing. Playboy confirmed to Fox411.com that Lohan will grace the cover of the magazine's first issue of 2012. "Lindsay Lohan will be featured in Playboy’s January/February issue, which hits newsstands in late December," a Playboy rep told Fox411.com.
Now Lohan is having a hard time getting acting work due to her legal troubles, and so is focusing on fashion and photo shoots to keep the money coming in. Lohan was released from a Los Angeles County jail early Monday morning just hours after she turned herself in to serve a 30-day sentence for violating probation. She was given an additional week to turn herself in so she could complete the photo shoot for Playboy magazine. Had she been unable to complete the shoot, she could have been held in breach of contract by the men's magazine, which reportedly paid her almost a million dollars for the spread. The judge imposed a complicated sentence on the oft-arrested star, telling Lohan that she must perform all of her community service at the county morgue or risk serving an additional 270 days in jail. It's Lohan's fifth jail sentence since being arrested twice for drunken driving in 2007.
Matthew Fox wants a jury trial in a Cleveland civil lawsuit claiming the former star of TV's "Lost" punched the driver of a chartered party bus. Online court records show Fox made the demand in a counterclaim filed Thursday.
In her lawsuit, driver Heather Bormann alleges Fox punched her in the breast, groin, arm and legs after she blocked him from boarding the bus on Aug. 28. Fox was in Cleveland for a movie shoot.
Bormann's lawsuit says she needed medical treatment for injuries that led to a loss of income.
She's seeking at least $75,000 in damages. Cleveland prosecutors reviewed the case and declined to file charges against the actor. The office of Fox's attorney said he had no comment. Bormann's attorney didn't immediately return a message seeking comment.
The company that makes the BlackBerry has a short window to revive its sagging share price and shake up its business, or risk the escalation of a dissent movement that claims support from holders of 8 percent of its stock. Three Research In Motion shareholders backing a call from merchant bank Jaguar Financial for transformational change at the Canadian smartphone company said the still-informal group was bound to grow if RIM's shares don't rebound soon. "I would say that if we are still looking at this stock in this position by the middle of next year then I think there will be a lot more support than just 8 percent," one of the shareholders told Reuters. He said he was not ready to be identified because he did not want to go public with his investment strategy. Jaguar says the dissidents want a sale of the company as a whole or in parts, and the replacement of co-CEOs Mike Lazaridis and Jim Balsillie. The pair are RIM's two largest shareholders and the most powerful figures in its management.
The discontent centers on the BlackBerry maker's poor performance in the face of stiff competition from Apple Inc's iPhone and IPad, and devices powered by Google's Android system. Its stock touched a six-year low of $18.77 last week after figures showed its share of the lucrative U.S. smartphone market had slumped to 9 percent in the third quarter from 24 percent a year earlier. Shareholders who back Jaguar said they want to see a share price that is at least in the $40-$60 range. On February 18 it hit a year-high of $70.54 on the Nasdaq. "Our valuation is substantially higher than here, certainly north of $50," said one of the dissident shareholder. Jaguar says none of the members of Jaguar's informal group know who the others are, and there is no concerted action or decision-making by the group at this point. They are united only by independent conversations with Jaguar, it says. Jaguar Chief Executive Vic Alboini says there are 13 shareholders in his camp, but he declined to identify them. "There is no collaboration on RIM other than, 'we support the Jaguar initiative to cause corporate governance change, and to push the company to put itself up for sale or pursue strategic options'," Alboini said. The point he makes is important because a group of shareholders acting together and holding at least 10 percent of shares is obliged by law to disclose its membership. Jaguar has a history of targeting underperforming companies. In 2009, Alboini played a crucial role in scuttling HudBay Mineral's friendly bid for Lundin Mining, successfully appealing the Toronto Stock Exchange's approval of the transaction.
THE QNX ALTERNATIVE
In separate conversations with Reuters, the three shareholders said they backed Jaguar because it seeks change, although they don't see the company shake-up advocated by Jaguar as the only possible route. All hope RIM can turn its stock price around in coming months as it deploys its new QNX software on handheld devices. RIM is counting on the souped-up operating software to help it regain ground lost to Apple and Google. But the company has not yet said when it will expand the use of the new platform, Right now it is only used to power RIM's poorly received PlayBook tablet computer. "My concern with RIM as a shareholder is the following: they need to step up the pace of getting the word out on what they are doing," said a second shareholder who backs Jaguar. "I'm behind Jaguar as a way to put the spotlight on this." A third investor indicated his company might be willing to go public about its support for Jaguar's demands at a later date if RIM fails to revive its stock price. "They are on a short leash at this point," the investor said. "If their Plan A isn't working then we apply pressure." Alboini said he has tried to speak to the RIM board but has been rebuffed so far. He said the group has held off on demanding an open RIM shareholders meeting, their right as holders of more than 5 percent of the stock. Such a request would require members to reveal their identities as a formal group. "We're waiting to see if we can do this in a friendly, logical, methodical manner, and so far we've been unsuccessful, but we're going to keep plugging away," he said. "This is not a sprint. This is a marathon and we have to play our cards right."
(Reporting by Pav Jordan and Alastair Sharp )
Google today launched the first iteration of its brand Pages product for Google+. The company has some big choices to make about how it will flesh out this skeleton to challenge the Pages product Facebook has had years to work on. Still, comparing the two visions of brand presences now can give us a sense of what might be next on the product roadmap for Google+ Pages, and the opportunities Google has to exploit weaknesses stemming from Facebook’s need to promote its application platform and draw advertising dollars.
Two core ways Google+ could make its Pages better than Facebook’s would be letting brands target updates to demographic subsets of their followers, and providing official app templates that let brands easily assemble their own custom apps rather than going through third-party developers. PAGE SET UP Over the next few days Google plans to give all users the ability to create Pages. The rollout is a bit of a mess now, though, as every existing Page features a “Create a Google+ Page” link that abruptly roadblocks some users with a notice that they can’t actually do that yet. Similar to Facebook, Google currently offers a few overarching types of Pages that break down into many sub-categories, according to Search Engine Land.
A better in-line Page creation tutorial could keep brands on Google+ from worrying they’ve screwed up their crucial first steps. Google+ Pages lack custom vanity URLs, though you can assume that’s coming. Multiple admin support is reportedly on its way. The option to assign different roles and privileges for admins such as the ability to publish updates or remove other admins could make Google+ Pages more secure and easier for teams to manage.
Josh Constine - techcrunch
A software flaw in Apple Inc's iPhones and iPads may allow hackers to build apps that secretly install programs to steal data, send text messages or destroy information, according to an expert on Apple device security. Charlie Miller, a researcher with Accuvant Labs who identified the problem, built a prototype malicious program to test the flaw.
He said Apple's App Store failed to identify the malicious program, which made it past the security vetting process. There is as yet no evidence that hackers have exploited the vulnerability in Apple's iOS software. But Miller said his test demonstrated that there could be real malware in the App Store. "Until now you could just download everything from the App Store and not worry about it being malicious.
Now you have no idea what an app might do," Miller said. Miller said he proved his theory by building a stock-market monitoring tool, InstaStock, that was programed to connect to his server once downloaded, and to then download whatever program he wants.(To see a YouTube video demonstration of the technique, go to here) Apple did not respond to requests for comment.
Miller, who in 2009 identified a bug in the iPhone text-messaging system that allowed attackers to gain remote control over the devices, said that he had contacted the company about the vulnerability. "They are in the process of fixing it," he said. Miller is scheduled to present his detailed research at the SyScan '11 security conference in Taiwan next week
(Reporting by Jim Finkle; Editing by Gary Hill)
Dr. Conrad Murray, the former personal physician of Michael Jackson, was found guilty of involuntary manslaughter in the King of Pop's 2009 death. California jurors delivered their verdict to a stone-faced Murray on Monday after deliberating for ten hours.
On the ground, John Smith, 60, followed the trial for 33 days outside. "I never thought he would go on to be this huge," he said. "Mike was loved for his human rights, charity and music. Conrad Murray is going to be found guilty." Kimberly Binion stood outside the courthouse holding a photo of herself and Michael Jackson from when they were both teens. She has been following the trial since it began and this is her first day outside to hear the verdict. "I think that Conrad Murray should get second-degree murder. Manslaughter is not enough," she told HuffPost.
The judge has ordered jurors' personal information sealed. Before the verdict was read, crowds outside the courthouse were chanting "Guilty, guilty, guilty" and "This is it, this is it" -- not only signaling the resolution of a lengthy investigation, but recalling the name of the tour Jackson was working on at the time of his death. Murray has been remanded without bail, and scheduled for sentencing on Nov. 29. After the verdict was read, Julia Thomas, 39, burst into tears outside. She has been coming to courthouse for two years and has held protests outside Murray’s apartment. "I'm just overwhelmed.
He was a great soul and a great humanitarian. Now there is justice for his children, family and for him," she said of Jackson. Jamie Khawaja, also standing outside the courtyard, told HuffPost of feeling "an overwhelming feeling of jubilation and excitement. Conrad Murray has set an example for other doctors who are treating celebrities. He did not get away with it and now nobody else will either." Murray faces a sentence ranging from probation to four years in prison, according to the Associated Press.
Monday, November 7, 2011
Accuser's Attorney: He Offered 'His Idea Of A Stimulus Package'
Sharon Bialek, the fourth woman to come out and make sexual harassment allegations against Herman Cain, appeared alongside her attorney Gloria Allred at a press conference on Monday. According to Bialek, the Republican presidential candidate exhibited inappropriate behavior when he was serving as head of the National Restaurant Association more than a decade ago. Bialek said the alleged incident in question occurred down the street from the NRA headquarters.
Describing what happened, she said, "Instead of going into the offices, he suddenly reached over and put his hand on my leg, up my skirt, and towards my genitals." She recalled that when she protested the advances, Cain said, "You want a job, right?" Bialek alleged that Cain also "grabbed [her] head and brought it towards his crotch." She said that she was "shocked" by the behavior. After losing her job, Bialek allegedly turned to Cain for help. Allred said on Monday, "Mr. Cain instead decided to try to provide her with his idea of a stimulus package." According to Bialek, the alleged incident occurred at a bar in the nation's capital in 1997. She said Cain worked to arrange a "palatial suite" for her at a hotel and told her, "I upgraded you." Bialek said, "I'm coming forward to give a face and a voice to the women." Three other women have leveled sexual harassment allegations against Cain, though their names have not been publicly disclosed.
The New York Times reports: In an interview after Ms. Bialek’s news conference, Joel P. Bennett, a lawyer for one of Mr. Cain’s anonymous accusers, said that Ms. Bialek’s claims were “very similar” in nature to the incident that occurred between his client and Mr. Cain. The Cain campaign was quick to come out with a statement on the accusations, calling the charges of sexual harassment "false."
The world was stunned this week when news broke that a reality TV star might have just done something for money.
Kim Kardashian's divorce from NBA player Kris Humphries after just 72 days of marriage was lucky enough to happen at the beginning of an "SNL" week, making it perfect fodder for this weekend's episode.
With Nasim Pedrad breaking out her beloved Kim impression and Kristen Wiig playing an excellent Kris Jenner, this pre-recorded parody ad for "A Fairytale Divorce" on E! skewers the entire "Keeping Up With The Kardashians" gang.
Humphries gets a pretty ridiculous imitation from Andy Samberg, Taran Killam shows Bruce Jenner's inability to show any emotion, Jay Pharoah takes on Lamar Odom, and host Charlie Day makes an appearance as a confused yet delighted divorce attorney.
The Huffington Post Katla McGlynn
Friday, November 4, 2011
On Friday, The Wall Street Journal reported that Google is working on a subscription-based cable-TV service, according to "people briefed on [Google's] plans." Google is currently building Google Fiber, an ultra high-speed broadband network in Kansas City, Missouri, and Kansas City, Kansas, and if the the Journal's sources are correct, the cable-TV service as well as a phone service will be added to this platform.
Google's Fiber project will bring Kansas City residents a blazing internet connection that is "100 times faster than what most people have access to today." Google hopes that its Fiber project will be up and running by early 2012. According to the Kansas City Star, the addition of TV packages to the high speed internet service would solve one of analysts' major concerns about Google's broadband plans, namely that people who are used to traditional cable providers' all-inclusive phone, internet, TV plans wouldn't be willing to trade all that for just high speed internet. If Google were building a service with the likes of Time Warner, Walt Disney, Discovery and other media companies, Mashable writes that Google “could not only sell subscriptions to the pay TV channels, but sell ads on those channels as well.
It would also put its video-on-demand services in a sweet spot, perhaps moving many of its video capabilities over to the streaming-video Internet side, rather than the conventional cable TV business model.” However, this is easier said than done. As VentureBeat points out: To become a full-fledged paid TV operator, Google will need more than a handful of partners on-board. Those negotiations may be difficult since many content providers spurned Google last year by blocking access to Google TV on their websites. The Wall Street Journal was unable to get confirmation about the TV service from Google.
The search giant's only statement regarding the rumor: “We’re still exploring what product offerings will be available when we launch Google Fiber.” Google isn't the only tech company reportedly making a foray into the television market. Last week the internet was aflutter with rumors about a Siri controlled Apple TV set, which according to The New York Times Bits Blog would be "the stuff of science fiction." But a physical TV set might not be all Apple has in the works. During a CBS earnings call on Thursday, CEO Les Moonves let slip that the broadcasting company had turned down an ad-based Apple TV service. According to GigaOm, CBS rejected the deal because Apple had proposed that the two companies share advertising revenue, rather than pay up-front licensing fees to CBS.
The movie will be called "Skyfall," Daniel Craig is back as Bond, Javier Bardem and Albert Finney are indeed involved (Bardem as the villain, Finney as an intelligence official), Naomi Harris is playing a field agent named Eve and the film is working on a $230 million budget.
Here's the synopsis: "Bond's loyalty to M is tested as her past comes back to haunt her. As MI6 comes under attack, 007 must track down and destroy the threat, no matter how personal the cost." PREVIOUSLY: The name is Bond, James Bond. But what is his next movie named? We should know that soon. Sony is staging an elaborate press conference to announce the as-yet untitled 23rd film in the official James Bond canon on Thursday, and we're bringing you all the details.
Here's what we know so far. Sam Mendes is directing, while Daniel Craig is back for his third go as 007. Javier Bardem will be a villain, Naomi Harris will supposedly be Moneypenny, Bérénice Marlohe is rumored to be the next Bond Girl, Albert Finney will allegedly play Judi Dench's boss at British Intelligence, Ralph Fiennes has some sort of potentially evil role and they're filming in either India or South Africa. Other than that, we'll just have to wait until the secret agent reveals more -- watch below for new details.
Google is shipping more Google+ features today designed to increase user engagement and sharing. These include a YouTube slider that lets you watch and share YouTube videos with your Google+ friends and two new Google Chrome extensions for sharing webpages and tracking your Google+ notifications.
The YouTube slider is a button that appears on the right-side of the Google+ homepage, that, when clicked, slides out to reveal a YouTube search box asking you “What do you want to play?” When you type in a search and hit enter, a pop-up window appears which is somewhat like a scaled-down version of the YouTube website featuring the video and a playlist of videos matching your search term.
As you watch the videos, a “+1 button” at the top of the video lets you perform the Google equivalent of the Facebook “like,” while a prominent green “Share” button lets you post the video to your Google+ profile. Pop-up windows aren’t the most elegant integration for this new functionality, but it gets the job done
The new YouTube feature also lets your Google+ friends open a related playlist directly from the video post you shared on the network (via a blue button beneath the update). This is actually kind of great for things like music videos, as indicated by the example below.
The other new additions today are two Google Chrome extensions, whose functionality has been provided by third-parties for some time. The “+1″ extension lets you click a browser toolbar button to like page and share it on Google+. Meanwhile, the Notifications extension displays the Google+ red notifications box indicating new activity (new followers, pluses and comments) on the social network.
Thursday, November 3, 2011
Android continues its reign as the leading smartphone platform of choice among U.S. smartphone users. On Thursday, Nielsen released its third quarter smartphone report, which showed continued growth in the U.S. smartphone market. Overall, Nielsen found, 43 percent of Americans with mobile phones have smartphones, while 57 percent have feature phones.
That's a 5-percent increase in smartphone ownership over the past 6 months, reports Fortune. Further highlighting the increase, Nielsen's report showed that in every age bracket examined, smartphone use has increased since last year. Not surprisingly, people aged 18-34 have increasingly adopted smartphones--more than any other group. About 20 percent more people in the 18-34 age now own smartphones, compared to Nielsen's figures from last year.
Meanwhile, the 12-17 year olds and 45-54 year olds have each increased their smartphone usage by 14 percent, while those aged 55-64 and 65 and over have increased their usage by 13 and 6 percent respectively. Android's market share remains the leader among smartphone platforms, with 43 percent of users owning a smartphone that operates on Google's operating system. Apple, meanwhile, controls 28 percent of the market, and the other 29 percent is shared between BlackBerry, Windows and other platforms. According to a report released by Nielsen in July, Android has increased its share by 4 percent since July; Apple has stayed firmly at 28 percent.
According to Nielsen's smartphone market share report from the third quarter of 2010, it's BlackBerry, not Apple who is losing users to Android. Last year BlackBerry commanded 30 percent of the smartphone market and this year that number has fallen to 18 percent. Windows' user base has also shrunk dramatically since last year. In 2010 15 percent of smartphone users used Windows phones, today that number has fallen by more than half, leaving only 7 percent
The Huffington Post Ramona Emerson