Posts Tagged ‘phone’

J.P. Morgan Warns of UCard Data Breach

December 5, 2013  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

A July attack on J.P. Morgan Chase & Co.’s network has put the personal information of nearly a half million of the bank’s customers at risk. J.P. Morgan said Wednesday that 465,000 users of its UCard prepaid cash cards may have had some personal information pilfered by hackers that breached its network. Speaking to Reuters , the bank said it believes only “a small amount” of noncritical data was taken. But it doesn’t seem to have definitively ruled out the theft of social security numbers, birth dates, etc. As of yet, there is no evidence any crimes have been committed using the data

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Microsoft-Nokia Deal Gets Go-Ahead From Justice Department

December 2, 2013  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

Shutterstock / Lisa S. It’s a regulatory green-light for Microsoft’s pending acquisition of Nokia’s phone business. The U.S. Department of Justice unconditionally approved the $7.2 billion deal last Friday , rubber-stamping a massive transaction that will see Microsoft acquire Nokia’s devices and services business and license the company’s mapping services, a move that Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer says will accelerate the company’s share and profits in phones. A milestone moment for Microsoft, and one that clearly shows the company recognizing two crucial truths: 1. It must create a first-rate Microsoft phone experience in order for it to succeed in the smartphone business. 2. It cannot afford to allow Google and Apple to foreclose the smartphone ecosystem by utterly dominating software and hardware innovation in this sphere. The next hurdle to be overcome: Regulatory approval in the European Union. Here’s a quick refresher on the numbers behind the deal: Microsoft is spending about $7.2 billion to acquire Nokia’s core cellphone business. Of that, $5 billion is for Nokia’s devices business. The remaining $2.18 billion is to license Nokia’s intellectual property Nokia’s patent portfolio includes some 8,500 design patents. It also includes approximately 30,000 utility patents and patent applications. About 32,000 Nokia employees are expected to transfer to Microsoft as part of the deal. About 18,300 of those are “directly involved in manufacturing.” But 56,000 Nokia employees will remain at the company once the deal has closed. With 8.7 million units shipped, Windows Phone had a 3.7 percent share of global smartphone market in the second quarter of 2013, according to IDC. Windows Phone has greater than 10 percent share in nine markets, according to Microsoft. Windows Phone is outselling BlackBerry in 34 markets — again, according to Microsoft. Nokia accounted for 81.6 percent of all Windows Phone smartphone shipments during the second quarter of 2013. Microsoft’s gross margin on sales of Nokia’s Windows Phone handsets before the deal: Less than $10

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One of the Year’s Most Addictive Mobile Games Doesn’t Seem Like a Game At All

December 2, 2013  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

It’s inevitable: When I tell people I write about videogames, someone almost always asks, “What should I play?” Since I’m not a reviewer, there are plenty of games I haven’t played, but I always have at least one game on my phone ready to be shown off; recently, that game has been an unusual one. Clumsy Ninja , which game studio NaturalMotion first demoed at Apple’s iPhone 5 event in September 2012 , finally made it to Apple’s U.S. App Store a few weeks ago, and since then it’s been on a tear. “This is not designed to be a hardcore monetizing game,” NaturalMotion CEO Torsten Reil told me in a pre-launch interview. Well, oops? It is monetizing well — so well, in fact, that it broke into the top-25 iOS grossing apps chart within three days of its launch. At the time of this writing, it peaked at #14 overall on Tuesday and has been hovering between the high teens and low 30s since then, according to App Annie (registration required). (As for what that means in real money terms: According to one report from Distimo, the top-10 grossing apps make at least $47,000 per day . Even if the app never crosses the magical top-10 barrier, that’s still a lot of dough.) So why does Clumsy Ninja monetize so well?

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Facebook Testing Timehop-Like Feature to Surface Past News Feed Posts

November 29, 2013  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

Grufnik/Flickr Facebook is getting the slightest bit more nostalgic. The company is trying out a new feature inside of the News Feed that lets users surface old Facebook posts from their Timeline. Facebook confirmed the new feature in a statement: “We’re testing a new way to help you remember favorite moments by making it easier to revisit previous News Feed posts,” a Facebook spokesperson told AllThingsD . “When you click on this notice, you will see a selection of some of the top posts from your News Feed from a year ago. This is just a small test at this stage.” The feature is much akin to startups like Timehop and the now-defunct Memolane , single-serving apps that connected to users’ various social media accounts and resurfaced status updates, tweets and photos from years past. I found Timehop in particular to be equal parts charming and embarrassing when looking back on what I had to say just a year or two ago. But as an app that served little purpose outside of digging up the past, it was difficult to see any direction in which it could evolve. I’ve also been suspect of how long people would keep an app devoted entirely to this purpose before deleting it from their phone. It makes sense, then, that a site like Facebook — which aims to essentially be a digital-identity service and record of your online life — has subsumed the functionality. It’s also a simpler way to look into the past without requiring the work of digging back through your entire Timeline. As Facebook said, the feature isn’t being pushed out widely at the moment. But the timing of the test seems perfect: It comes smack in the middle of Thanksgiving and the holidays, the time of year perhaps best suited to nostalgia and self-reflection.

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Facebook Testing Timehop-Like Feature to Surface Past News Feed Posts

November 29, 2013  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

Grufnik/Flickr Facebook is getting the slightest bit more nostalgic. The company is trying out a new feature inside of the News Feed that lets users surface old Facebook posts from their Timeline. Facebook confirmed the new feature in a statement: “We’re testing a new way to help you remember favorite moments by making it easier to revisit previous News Feed posts,” a Facebook spokesperson told AllThingsD . “When you click on this notice, you will see a selection of some of the top posts from your News Feed from a year ago. This is just a small test at this stage.” The feature is much akin to startups like Timehop and the now-defunct Memolane , single-serving apps that connected to users’ various social media accounts and resurfaced status updates, tweets and photos from years past. I found Timehop in particular to be equal parts charming and embarrassing when looking back on what I had to say just a year or two ago. But as an app that served little purpose outside of digging up the past, it was difficult to see any direction in which it could evolve. I’ve also been suspect of how long people would keep an app devoted entirely to this purpose before deleting it from their phone. It makes sense, then, that a site like Facebook — which aims to essentially be a digital-identity service and record of your online life — has subsumed the functionality. It’s also a simpler way to look into the past without requiring the work of digging back through your entire Timeline. As Facebook said, the feature isn’t being pushed out widely at the moment. But the timing of the test seems perfect: It comes smack in the middle of Thanksgiving and the holidays, the time of year perhaps best suited to nostalgia and self-reflection.

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Nokia Lumia 1520 Marks Giant Leap (In Screen Size) for Windows Phone

November 28, 2013  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

What’s big and red (or yellow, or white, or black), makes calls and plays movies, and doubles as a butter dish for Thanksgiving dinner? Why, it’s Nokia’s latest Windows Phone device, the Lumia 1520 , of course. And I’m just kidding about the butter dish part — sort of. The Lumia 1520, which is available now from AT&T for $200 on contract, is Nokia’s first foray into the world of “phablets” — those hybrid devices that try to be both smartphone and tablet. Till now, the largest screen to appear on a Windows Phone handset measured 4.5 inches. But the Lumia 1520 ups the ante with a six-inch full-HD display, which I found great for watching movies, reading text and even working on documents. But, as one would expect, it also makes for a large device. Not Samsung Galaxy Mega big, but big enough that it’s cumbersome to hold and carry

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Wi-Fi(delity) in a Smaller Sonos

November 20, 2013  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

In the market for high-quality wireless speakers that stream music digitally, Sonos has been a gold standard. Its products produce sterling sound, need no wiring or professional installation and are controlled by apps on computers, tablets and smartphones. They can be used alone, or several can be networked together to form a whole-house system. But Sonos products have been relatively expensive, ranging between $300 and $700 for a single speaker, plus $50 for a “bridge” device that plugs into your home Internet router to make the speakers’ wireless network function. And its speakers have typically been large and heavy. Now, the Santa Barbara, Calif., company has come out with a lower-priced, smaller model that preserves its quality sound and its modular, wireless connection system. Like its larger siblings, it works with a handsome Sonos app on Macs, PCs, iPhones, iPads and Android phones and tablets to stream music either from those devices, or from the cloud via services like Pandora, Amazon and Spotify. I’ve been testing the new $199 Sonos Play:1 and I really like it, despite a couple of downsides that Sonos is working on fixing. I found it easy to set up and use. I loved the crisp, rich sound it produced, which easily filled a large room without being at maximum volume. Sonos is even throwing in the bridge device free with the Play:1. Like older Sonos speakers, the Sonos Play:1 plays music from computers, tablets and phones, but is more portable. I was able to tuck away a Play:1 almost out of sight and still enjoy great sound in my large family room. I was able to combine two speakers in a single room as a paired stereo set. I was able to set up three of them in my house and either play the same song on all of them, or separate songs and playlists on each. I controlled it from computers, tablets and phones

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The League’s Steve Rannazzisi Is a Real-Life Fantasy Football Junkie

November 15, 2013  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Specs Who Steve Rannazzisi

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In Data-Speed Race, Who Is the Fastest in LTE?

November 13, 2013  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

As smartphone usage has surged, so has the demand for reliable, fast cellular data. Sure, your smartphone can use Wi-Fi to surf the Web, watch video, stream music and download documents. But Wi-Fi isn’t always available or costs extra in some public places. In the U.S., the fast cellular technology of choice is called 4G LTE. The 4G just means we’re on the fourth generation of cellular data systems and LTE stands for Long Term Evolution, which is the fastest and most consistent form of 4G cellular data. It’s the one that U.S. wireless carriers are competing to offer in as many cities as possible, as quickly as possible. Verizon Wireless got the jump on deploying LTE and I reported my first tests of its nascent service in January 2011. But now AT&T claims it has almost caught up, and Sprint and T-Mobile are racing to build out their LTE networks. So I decided to test the availability and speed of the four major U.S. carriers’ LTE coverage in three metro areas where I happened to be in the past month or so. I focused on download speeds because the average consumer is still downloading much more than uploading

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Baby, You Can Drive (Or Ride in) My Car

November 12, 2013  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

If you’re still driving your own car, you might need to get up to speed. Car sharing and ride sharing have cruised into many cities around the world, especially as more people are going car-free to save money or live more environmentally friendly lifestyles. And smartphone apps are making it even easier to find available rental cars and rides. But before you can join in a chorus of car-sharing Kumbaya, you might want some basic information. In this week’s column, I’ll explain how car sharing and ride sharing work, how to find and access cars and how to address safety concerns. This could be helpful if you need wheels for just an hour or the day, want a ride from someone or want to offer a ride to someone. Just be prepared to pay for the convenience of quickly picking up a car and be aware of the possible awkwardness of riding with a stranger. Wheeling in Convenience A spin with some zip: Zipcar lets you pick from a variety of vehicles and choose a membership plan that fits your driving frequency. Renting a car no longer means going to an airport or rental office to get one. You might be able to find a car a few steps from your front door. This is especially common in cities where services like Zipcar, Car2Go and Enterprise (with its Enterprise CarShare program) let users pick up or drop off cars on streets or in parking garages. To start, you’ll need a membership with the company, which usually requires a fee, as well as some information like your driver’s license, age, moving violation history (if any) and payment information. The company will send you a membership card, which you wave over a small panel on the windshield to unlock the car and start tracking the time you began using it. Keys are inside and you’ll leave them there when you’re done. To lock the car, just swipe your card on the windshield reader again. In the case of Zipcar and Enterprise CarShare, cars must be picked up and returned to the same spot and reservations must be made via phone, website or mobile app. Car2Go uses a looser approach: It lets members pick up cars without a reservation (though you can make one) and it’s designed for one-way rides to anywhere within a designated Home Area

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