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субота, 26 листопада 2011 р.

PURE Contour iPhone/iPod Dock and Internet Radio Review

If you store your music on an iPhone or iPod and also enjoy internet radio, the PURE Contour is a one of the nicer speaker systems that I’ve had the opportunity to review. It offers a dock for playing the music on an iPhone/iPod while also charging its batteries, Internet streaming radio, FM radio and network streaming audio. This is all contained in an attractive compact package. Let’s take a closer look.

Note: Click the images in this review to see a larger view.
Hardware Specs

LCD display: 128 x 64 pixel graphical LCD auto-dimming display, large clock and feature icons, light sensor.
Wireless: 802.11b and 802.11g supported with WEP and WPA/WPA2 encryption.
Ethernet: Requires PURE Choice Mini USB Ethernet adapter, available separately.
Speakers: 2 full-range 3 1/2” drive units.
Audio output: 2 x 18W @ Input connectors: 20V DC power adapter socket. iPod/iPhone connector with adapters. 3.5mm Aux-in for auxiliary devices. USB (mini-B type) for product upgrades and Ethernet adapter. (Software upgrades also available over Wi-Fi).
Output connectors: 3.5mm stereo output for headphones.
Composite video out: Composite RCA.
Component video out: 3.5mm 4-pole TRRS connector* (PURE Choice cable available separately).
S-Video out*: 3.5mm 4-pole TRRS connector* (PURE Choice cable available separately).
Remote control: Infrared remote control. 2 x AAA (LR03) batteries included.
Mains power supply: 100-240V, 50/60Hz 20V DC 2.25A external power adapter.
Dimensions (inches): 14.6 wide x 9 high x 6.9 deep.
Weight: 6.39 pounds
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Tech Week: Apple Siri on iPad 2 and more...

It's once again been a hectic week in the world of tech with technological problems being at the forefront of people's minds. First up is the news that the Apple iPhone 4S and Airplay aren't being cosy via iPod docks, with a major manufacturer reporting a some serious connection problems. This was then followed by it's rival the Samsung Galaxy Nexus suffering from volume problems,

Google have however confirmed a fix for this problem but were not been able to defend themselves from a second barrage this time after it was discovered the Samsung Galaxy Nexus would not support USB Mass storage .

This bad news however was short-lived after it was revealed that Apple Siri on iPad 2 could in fact soon be possible after developers found a way to crack Apple's proxy. This has since resulted in some truly original ideas on how Siri can be used to control items in our lives.

In gaming news: Reports have surfaced which suggest the PS Vita will stream PS3 titles over a WiFi connection, the software update could well happen in mid-2012.

It's also a big week for Nintendo as it's the Nintendo Wii's 5th Birthday, the occassion was celebrated with a specially released version of the console in the US.

Xbox Live gamers were placed in the spotlight after it was revealed that some Xbox Live gamers were being conned through a phishing campaign of fake emails which asked gamers to give across their Xbox Live details.
Black Friday deals

It being the day after Thanksgiving it wouldn't be a proper Tech Week if we didn't give you all the best Black Friday deals along with some T3 exclusives thrown in as well to make sure you enjoy this tech-related bonanza to its fullest.

Well it's not really a tech-related Christmas if you don't all huddle around the TV and watch some films so to help with that we've put together the Best Blu-ray movies and DVD's to buy this Christmas.

If you're looking to keep your Apple iPad 2 warm this winter well look no further, T3 has compiled a list of the Best Apple iPad 2 cases, whether you need something sturdy, stylish or just downright original, it's all there.

Having some problems filling the stockings this Christmas, not a problem. We've been trawling through the interweb to find the best 50 Christmas stocking-fillers.

Finally, if the generic high-street tech is just far to 'mainstream' then we may be able to help, putting together an eclectic list T3 has found the best cool gadgets and gizmos all of which offer you something a little different from the norm.

The big review of the week quite clearly goes to our Samsung Galaxy Nexus review, offering you the full break-down of its features and functions T3 gets up close and personal with the Ice Cream Sandwich handset to see how it holds up.

In case you haven't already, check out the Assassin's Creed: Revelations review where T3 finds out whether Ezio is still up there as no.1 or has lost his way as one of the coolest gaming characters to come into existence.

Finally if you're into your sports in a big way then this could be for you, T3 travelled across the pond to do a Nike SPARQ Vapor Strobe Glasses review. Yes that's a mouthful but these advanced specs limit your vision in split-second gaps, speeding up your reactions and potentially making you even quicker and more responsive.
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Apple cuts iPad 2, iPod prices for 1 day only

Apple is offering one day iPad 2 and iPod touch sales, with free shipping to the UK.

Click to view larger image
You can now snap up an iPad 2 for £368, £438 and £508 (wi-fi only), or £468, £538 and £608. The Black Friday offers represent savings of £31, £41 and £51 respectively, Pocket Gamer reports.

The iPod touch is also available for £154 (8GB), £224 (32GB) and £294 (64GB), saving buyers £15, £25 and £35.

There are also sales on a range of accessories, including Apple's iPad Smart Cover.

Apple has become the UK's second most popular online retailer, according to a market research report which placed the iPhone maker behind Amazon but ahead of Argos for the first time.
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Android App Video Review: Elemental

If you really like Sudoku, but you hate all those numbers reminding you of horrible things like math, then I've got the perfect game for you! Elemental from Vostu adds some innovation and color to the classic game and creates a fresh and enjoyable new experience.

The idea is to fill every space on the board without any elements repeating in the same row or column, much like Sudoku. Here, you're working with a simple four by four board and instead of numbers, we have the classic elements of Earth, Air, Water, and Fire. Unfortunately, no heart could be found, and no Captain Planet can be synthesized. The idea is to combine the elements into new substances, such as mud, dust, stone, ice or clouds. Some single spaces are given away for free, and eventually you'll have to mix three or even all four elements into the same section.

So anyway, if you're having trouble becoming the Avatar, master of all elements, you can cast a spell which will reveal a random space for you, although this ability has a very long cool-down timer. You can tap on any section for a free tip explaining which elements go into that section, accompanied by a fancy and memorable quote related to that section's substance. The game expects you to memorize the composition of each substance eventually, as using tips or casting the freebie spell will take away from your final score. Your final score is comprised of things like your completion time, and you'll even build experience towards whatever substances and elements you combine. For the majority of the game, each level takes anywhere from thirty seconds to a minute and a half to complete, but eventually the difficulty really ramps up. If you want a change of pace, you can try out survival mode, which asks you to complete puzzles within a certain time limit. It's a fun mode that mixes things up.

The art style is warm and well done, and the soundtrack matches it. This is a fun and creative take on the classic Sudoku formula, although it's pretty short and mostly easy. However, more level packs are promised in future updates. OpenFeint leaderboards and achievements are both supported, and best of all, the game is completely free. You can pay one dollar to get rid of advertisements, but I can honestly say that I didn't even notice them. Any puzzle fans, and especially Sudoku fans, have no excuse not to give this one a shot.
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Mobile email: Six tips for building a campaign that works

Mobile email is big, and getting bigger. By 2015, more US internet users will access the web through mobile devices than through PCs.

The mobile email numbers are even more indicative of a seismic shift in web behavior. comScore found that while web-based email declined significantly throughout 2010, mobile email surged 36% from the prior year.

As consumers are increasingly browsing, shopping, and interacting with brands on the go, mobile commerce presents a powerful opportunity.

Mobile consumers typically represent a desirable demographic for retailers and brands, as they have the latest technology, a pricey data plan, and can be more likely to spend a lot of money.

However, any new opportunity brings its own set of challenges. Mobile users have specific needs and biases that you have to consider in your email marketing.

Tiny text, graphics that won’t load, convoluted layouts that require mobile users to scroll left, down, up, and right… any of these problems can quickly derail your attempt to reach mobile users.

After helping a diverse group of brands boost their mobile presence, we’ve seen firsthand what works and doesn’t work when it comes to the mobile web. Here are some ways you can improve the success of your email campaigns in an increasingly mobile world:
1. Subject and sender name matter

Too often marketing teams labour over each word in the body of the email, only to leave the subject and sender fields as afterthoughts. Each element of the email is a small conversion opportunity!

Desktop and web-based email may treat the three elements of an email message (body, sender, subject) with equal weight, but not so in the mobile world. iPhones show the sender name most prominently, while most Android devices focus on the subject. In both cases, there is little to no preview pane to see the message body.

Consequently, you’ve got to use a recognisable name or brand in the From field. And use your subject line as effectively as possible. Keeping it under 30 characters (including spaces) is best and phrase your subject as a promise of what can be found when the recipient opens the email.
2. Simple beats pretty

As marketers, we want to make things pretty. And in email marketing, that usually means HTML email. But this practice will fall flat in many situations on mobile devices.

With limits and caps on mobile data plans, many users choose not to download images as a default setting or as a selection in each email. Graphics often can fail to load, leaving the recipient with an incomplete message or a hole in their email message.

Furthermore, graphics at the top of an email push the message out of sight, making it tough for people to get the point of your message, providing they can see your graphic in the first place. Standards are evolving in mobile email software but not settled yet in any comfortable, normalised way.

So consider sending plain text emails. In particular, consider plain text emails for system messages, such as account activations, password retrievals, alerts, or anything else that you need to be sure gets into people’s hands.
3. Be brief

Short wins. On mobile devices, displays are small so each line is precious real estate. Get your message as high up in the email as possible even if it means forgoing fancy graphics.

The same goes for sentences and paragraphs. Keep them short, crisp and active. The job of nearly every sentence in your email is to get the recipient to read the following sentence. So get out of their way with all the words.
4. Early birds catch worms

Email is often checked first thing in the morning, usually from a mobile device. I, for one, am guilty of responding to emails while still in bed. Sending your emails overnight or early in the morning can help you reach your audience before the day has started and they’re hit with countless distractions.

Emails are also often accessed on mobile while recipients are commuting, though hopefully not while driving. So take into account actions of the distracted commuter with a few minutes to kill: make it easy for people to follow up, forward emails on to themselves and others and save them for later.
5. Create a sense of urgency

Email often brings exclusive and time-sensitive promotions. We’ve found that mobile shoppers are typically focused on purchasing or researching a specific item. If something is on sale and limited in quantity, mobile consumers will want to take advantage and will want to share the opportunity with others.
6. Optimise the site behind the email.

At the heart of most email campaigns is a desire to drive some kind of user action: buy, register, request more information, etc.

When your email succeeds and the recipient clicks through with their mobile device, what do they find on your website? How easy is it for them to take those critical next steps while still on a mobile device?

As a marketer, you know you worked hard to get that first click. Now there’s no reason to lose the conversion on the second click by requiring the recipient to revisit your email at a later time from their computer because your website is not mobile optimised.

As data shows the rapid increase in mobile browsing and email, brands should expect their emails to be opened more frequently on mobile devices. Taking the right steps to make your emails and website mobile friendly will ensure success with this vital touch point.
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Mobile App Encourages Preparedness in Arlington

Arlington County’s Office of Emergency Management has released a new mobile app called “Arlington Prepares,” for Android and iPhone users.

The free app, which can be downloaded from the Android Marketplace and the Apple App Store, gives residents tips on what to do in the event of specific emergencies, provides a feed of Arlington’s emergency alerts, offers a checklist of emergency supplies and lists information about several emergency-related volunteer opportunities in Arlington.

Among the 10 emergencies covered in the “What Do I Do?” section are tornadoes (“if you are inside, seek a place of refuge such as a basement”), earthquakes (“many of the 120 fatalities from the 1933 Long Beach earthquake occurred when people ran outside of buildings only to be killed by falling debris”), and chemical attacks (“immediately strip and wash… look for a hose, fountain or any source of water”).

The app was developed “in-house” by the Arlington Office of Emergency Management and Department of Technology Services. There’s currently no plan to launch an app for Blackberry devices.
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Carrier IQ Drops Legal Threats, Apologizes To Developer Trevor Eckhart

Trevor Eckhart, a developer involved in uncovering a huge security vulnerability that affected several HTC devices, was recently threatened by Carrier IQ (CIQ), a company involved in gathering various forms of user data and sending it to carriers or manufacturers for analysis. For those who haven't been following the story, here's what happened:

Trevor Eckhart found several training manuals on CIQ's website. These were publicly available. Trevor shared them with the community, explaining just how far-reaching CIQ's data collection practices are. At this point, CIQ became aware of the fact that sensitive information had been exposed, and pulled the files from their website.

When Eckhart kept sharing the information, CIQ got angry. The company sent Eckhart a cease and desist letter, and threatened legal action due to copyright infringement and defamation. Eckhart promptly contacted the Electronic Frontier Foundation, a foundation that seeks to defend individuals' rights in the digital world. The foundation agreed to help, and quickly confirmed what everyone was thinking – CIQ's claims and threats were totally unfounded, and would not hold up to law.

Today, CIQ withdrew their legal threat in a fax from CEO Larry Lenhart, apologizing "for any concern or trouble that our letter may have caused," and going so far as to offer the chance to discuss the issues Eckhart exposed:

In addition, we would welcome the opportunity to start a discussion with you about these issues that we believe will be helpful to us, to our customers and to customers that use mobile devices.

Looking to do a little more damage control, Carrier IQ even released a media alert to "clarify some recent press on how our product is used and the information that is gathered from smartphones and mobile devices."

In the end, it looks like Trevor's research and reporting was even more useful to the community than previously thought. CIQ's ensuing debacle drew plenty of attention to the company, and the larger issue, making data collection a topic on the tips of many users' tongues in recent days.
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U.S. government agencies have moved to adopt consumer tablets and smartphones.

U.S. government agencies have moved to adopt consumer tablets and smartphones. The Department of Defense (DoD) has approved the use of Dell's Android-based mobile OS, a move that is expected to pave the way for wider use of Android-based smartphones and tablets throughout the military.

And the Department of Veterans Affairs is ready to purchase as many as 100,000 tablet computers, many of which will go to clinicians.

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The Defense Information Systems Agency has now certified the Dell Mobile Security for Android platform for information assurance and use on defense networks, Joe Ayers, an executive in Dell's government business, said in a blog post.

In partnership with Good Technology, Dell said it developed a solution for the Android operating system that will give users secure access to email, documents, a partitioned ecosystem of Android apps and other business applications. Through the Dell Android platform and the mobile device management offered by Good Technology's Good for Government system, information can be passed and managed through Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) Exchange servers as well as network operations centers wirelessly.

Certified and piloted on the Deal Streak 5, the certification will allow the next wave of Dell Android devices, set for release next year, to be rapidly integrated into military environments, Ayers said.

Dell released that tablet device in 2010. The tablet isn't being sold commercially anymore because the form factor wasn't "ideal for consumer use," a Dell spokesman told InformationWeek. The form factor, however, works for the military.

Less than a month after announcing a 1,000 iPad pilot test, the VA plans to move ahead, allowing Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL), Android and Windows OS tablets along with a mix of personal- and government-owned devices into the agency.

Research In Motion's (NASDAQ: RIMM) PlayBook already received a security certification from the National Institute of Standards and Technology in July. Apple has a certification request pending, NIST officials told Bloomberg Businessweek.

VA officials have asked the mHealth industry for information on mobile management systems to secure email streams and control access to agency networks.

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10 Tips for Better "Net-working"

Net-Working” is different from “networking.” I want you to think about the people you know and those who know you as a physical net that you have to throw out there (putting it to “work”) to help you reach your goals and objectives. It’s important you take action and ask for what you want. But that’s only one part of the equation. The other part is understanding that you are also part of someone else’s “net” so you have to be ready and willing to be put to work.

But how do you build a net-work in the first place. Some make it look so easy and you can too. Here are 10 tips to get you networking like a pro.

Have a Goal. Before you head out to a networking event, make sure you take time to figure out what you are looking for at the current moment. If you know what you are looking for you increase you chances of recognizing it when it is presented to you. You may be looking for a business partner, new opportunities, a new supplier, etc and should be ready when someone ask you, “How may I be of assistance to you? What are you looking for at this time? or Who is your ideal client?”
Know what you have to offer. Being clear on your areas of strengths, the circles you run with, allow you to be of immediate assistance to the people you meet. Instead of having to fumble through your list of contacts later trying to figure out a good connection, have a sense of what you have to offer and who are the mover and shakers in your current network. People are not the only thing you can provide as a resource. It may be a service that you provide or align to a hobby. To be a person of influence, you have to keep up to date on what you have offer the world.
Have Business Cards. Or don’t. If you are going to use business cards, make sure you have a system in place that allows you easily distribute your business cards and process the ones you are receiving without mixing the two up.I suggest keeping your personal business cards in your outside jacket pocket (not wearing a jacket, then be sure to keep them in a business card holder) and those that you collect as you are networking in your inside jacket pockets. Another technique and my method of choice to not to use business cards and use an app such as #Hashable (available for iPhones and Android phones) which allows you to virtually exchange contact information and also place a reminder in your calendar so you can follow-up after the event.
Your Mindset. Right before I enter any event I get myself in the right mindset, “I am here to serve. I will connect with the people that I am supposed to connect with.” You have to remember that your goal is not sell anything. It is to connect with another human being, see if there is anything you can offer them and if it makes sense, put yourself in a position to follow-up.
Hands Free. Keep your right-hand free for shaking hands. If you have to keep something in your right-hand, make sure it is dry. There is nothing worst than connecting with the person who could potential take your business to the next level with cold, wet hands. Keep the beer, wine or other spirits in your left-hand.
Name Tags. While drinks should in your left-hand, your name tag should be below your shoulder on your right side. This tip is important so you make things easier for those you are greeting and introducing yourself for the first time or introducing others. Most of the time it’s noisy at networking events and it may be difficult to hear your name. The solution is to take a quick look at your name tag. If your name tag is on your left side, the person shaking your hand has to turn their head to read your name tag instead of keeping with their natural line of sight—sounds confusing? Grab a partner, a post-it note and try shaking hands with the post on either their side of their body. See the difference?
Take Notes. A great way to remember what you spoke to people about is to take notes on the back of their business card. If there is no business card exchange, use paper and pen or an electronic note-taker. I use Evernote or the Notes app on my iPhone. Information important to capture is the date met, event of meeting, any physical description that will help you to remember the person, anything special you discussed and a list of anything you promised to follow-up on.
Connect Right Away. After you meet someone you want to reach out and let them know it was a pleasure to meet them and remind them what you discussed. With smart phones, tablets and free Wi-Fi you can connect before the event is over. Using tip No. 7 above, you have information that allows you to send a quick note recapping your conversation and things you will follow-up on.
Follow-up. It’s important to follow-up on action ideas you promised and other ones that were on your mind. Let’s say you met someone looking for a printer and you didn’t have the information on hand; sending a follow-up note with that information will show that you were listening. You are well on your way to building a great relationship.
Check-in. This is what will take you from a regular networking to a high-level networker. Everyone expects you to follow-up right after you meet, but very few take the next step and check-in, or what Keith Ferrazzi calls in his Relationship Masters Academy, “Pinging.” Set-up a reminder in your calendar to follow up one- to two-months after you first met. Before re-connecting, review your notes to refresh yourself on what you discussed and ask, “How did [insert something from your initial conversation] turn out?” If you have a book or article that you think may be relevant to them, it’s an excellent time to suggest it.

Do you already use any of the Net-working tips above? What are your favorite Net-working tips?

Read more:http://www.chasebohn.com/index.php?p=blogs/viewstory/46072

BlueStacks, Android Apps On Windows Now Compatible With XP, Vista

With so many new and exciting apps coming out for mobile operating systems like Apple’s iOS or Google’s Android, it only is natural that some users want those apps to work on their desktop PCs as well. Maybe they want to utilize the bigger screen of their computer system, show off an app or device, or have access to an app even when their mobile phone is not in reach or accessible.

BlueStacks offers a solution for Windows based computer systems. It was first only compatible with Windows 7, the latest version released a few days ago added support for XP and Vista as well.

When you install BlueStacks on your computer an icon is added to the upper right screen of the operating system. This icon acts as the central hub. Here you can start Android applications, open the help file or the BlueStacks website to load additional apps on the computer.

The free version ships with ten preinstalled apps. It offers room for additional apps (The (changing) start page states the free version is limited to 26 additional apps) that can be installed from a list of featured apps on the BlueStacks homepage or by installing a BlueStacks client on the Android mobile which can then be used to push Android apps directly to the Windows PC. These apps appear in the hub listing after a short period of time.

bluestack android on windows

Available preinstalled are mostly game apps like Aporkalypse or Drag Racing. The featured apps section on the BlueStacks homepage, only accessible after connecting a Facebook account with the service, lists more games and some news related apps.

More interesting that the featured or preinstalled apps is the ability to push existing Android apps from your phone to your PC to access them on Windows. The developers say that not all apps may work at the current point in time.

Apps that work are launched in fullscreen. Take a look at the following videos to get a better expression.

The developers are continuing to work on the application. It will eventually reach beta and then final status. The plan of the company from what I can see is to keep offering the free version of the software with limited app storage space, and a professional version with unlimited space that is likely going to cost either a flat sum of money or a subscription fee.

Windows users can download the latest version of BlueStacks from the project website. Windows XP users should take a look at the prerequisite page before they install the software to make sure they have all the software installed on their system that is required to run BlueStacks.

Android users, have you tried the BlueStacks App Player yet? If so, what’s your opinion?
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Android conquers marketshare, Apple conquers profits: Who’s winning?

As Android entrenches itself as the leading smartphone platform in terms of sales, most of the smartphone money seems to be going to Apple. What matters more: money or marketshare?

A new report from market research firm Gartner has phones running Google’s Android operating system accounting for 52.5 percent of the worldwide smartphone market in the third quarter of 2011, giving it more than three times the share of its nearest global competitor Symbian, with a 16.9 percent share. (Apple’s iOS managed a third-place finish for the quarter, with a 15 percent share.) Overall, Gartner found that nearly 60.6 million Android phones were sold to customers during the quarter, compared to about 17.3 million iPhones.

android-raceWith figures like that, it’s easy to jump to a conclusion that Android is winning the smartphone wars: after all, when a product’s share or sales tips over 50 percent, it’s generally viewed as a market-dominating force. And there’s no question that Android is seeing considerable success, particularly entering into the end-of-year holiday season with a plethora of new tablet devices (like the Kindle Fire and Barnes & Noble Nook Tablet) and Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich heading at consumers.

But as Charlie Sheen can attest, there’s more than one definition of “winning.” A report distributed to clients this weekend by Oppenheimer shows another interesting story: it finds that, among Android handset makers, only HTC and Samsung seem to be making any money. What’s more, Apple appears to have captured roughly two thirds of the operating profit in the entire smartphone business — a margin Oppenheimer believes will increase a bit in 2012.

Brace yourself: the colors are jarring:


What matters more: market share or actually making money?
The market share argument

It’s easy to see Android’s recent dominance of smartphone sales as a huge advantage for the platform. After all, more people buying Android devices translates to more sales for device makers, more contract and pre-paid subscribers for mobile operators, and a growing market for app and service developers making software for Android. This is how ecosystems are made: Build a platform, stimulate customer interest, provide third-party opportunities, then reap the benefits of growth while continuing to innovate the platform.

galaxy-nexus-droid-razr-iphone-4sDespite the lingering cloud of patent litigation and encumbrance from the likes of Oracle, Microsoft, and (indirectly) Apple, Android has effectively executed in this idea. Even though Android got off to a rather fitful start (especially compared to the already-mature iPhone), Android has rapidly evolved its technology and interface to the point where it frequently rivals Apple, and in some cases exceeds Cupertino’s efforts. The diversity of the Android hardware world does make for an uneven experience — some devices perform well, while others are sluggish or eat batteries — but for many consumers that diversity of devices is precisely the appeal of Android. Mobile users who want a smartphone with a QWERTY keypad for messaging or a 4-inch or larger screen simply have nothing to buy in the one-size-fits-all iOS world. Android has also worked hard to catch up with iOS on the interface and fit-and-finish department — although Android still isn’t as consistent as iOS, in a few instances Android now arguably exceeds Cupertino’s efforts.

And it’s not just consumers embracing Android, it’s developers too. The Android Market now sports more than 320,000 apps compared to about 450,000 in the Apple App store. (Although, interestingly, over a third of Android apps have been removed from Android Market since they were published, compared to less than a quarter of apps released for iOS). For iOS and Android, the sheer number of apps available for each platform is ceasing to be an issue: basically, if mobile users want an app, odds are it (or something close) is available for both platforms.

Historically, Android’s broad marketshare should translate to long-term success for the platform, giving it a large installed base of customers who, if they like their initial Android devices, are likely to stick with the platform (and their apps) when they move on to their next smartphone. Similarly, they’re more likely to embrace Android on other devices like tablets and (Google hopes) televisions, since they’re already familiar with the operating system and ecosystem. For that installed base, sticking with Android becomes the path of least resistance — similar to how Microsoft Windows has been able to maintain market dominance of desktop operating systems.
The profit argument

However, comparing Android’s smartphone market share to iOS is also a bit misleading, since it pits the marketshare of a number of handset makers — Samsung, HTC, Motorola, LG, Acer, Sony-Ericsson (and, heck, even the likes of Dell, ZTE, Huawei, Pantech, Garmin, NEC Casio, and Cherry) against a single company: Apple. Comparing companies directly, Samsung is ahead, but Apple is a close second place.

Yet, if Oppenheimer’s figures are accurate, Apple currently accounts for about two thirds of the entire smartphone industry’s operating profit, despite a second-place (and, arguably, dwindling) share of device sales, although the smartphone market will continue to buoy all players as it grows. But by 2012, Oppenheimer doesn’t expect Motorola, LG, Sony-Ericsson, or Nokia will be earning any significant profit in the smartphone business, despite having significant revenues. And Samsung’s profit will be roughly one quarter of Apple’s.

samsung-focus-flash-review-front-windows-phone-tilesRegardless of marketshare, it’s very difficult to persuade device makers to support a platform if they can’t reasonably expect to make money by building devices. Even companies that seem positioned to at least do decent business in Android devices are hedging their bets: Both HTC and Samsung are marketing Windows Phone devices, and Samsung hasn’t given up on Bada, which it controls. In other words, despite Android’s current popularity, making Android devices doesn’t seem to be a sure-fire business opportunity.
How did Apple capture smartphone profits?

In part, Apple’s lead in profit is buoyed by ruthless business decisions with carriers: Apple famously charges carriers substantial fees up front for every iPhone sold. Apple’s original deal with AT&T with the original iPhone had AT&T paying Apple every month for every iPhone on the market. That kind of revenue sharing went away with the iPhone 3G, but the high costs of offering the iPhone continue: U.S. carrier Sprint is reportedly paying Apple $500 for ever iPhone 4S it sells; AT&T and Verizon Wireless aren’t much better off with a reported $400 up-front price, although they pay lower prices for the previous iPhone 4 and (for AT&T) 3GS. A typical subsidy to a smartphone maker is about $250 per device. It would be safe to assume Apple takes a similarly high-priced stance with international carriers.

By that token, Apple’s lead in revenue ought to be about 60 to 100 percent higher than other handset makers on a unit-for-unit basis. And that roughly bears out in Oppenheimer’s figures (although they compare revenue share, rather than raw revenue). For 2011, Oppenheimer estimates Apple will account for about one third of the smartphone industry’s revenue. Samsung accounts for about 18 percent — a bit over half Apple’s whilst moving more units — and HTC, RIM, and Nokia are expected to manage about 11 percent each.

One might think that, with Android gaining so much traction with consumers, Android device makers could extort similar premiums from carriers. That doesn’t seem to be the case. After all, if Samsung decides it wants $500 per device from carriers, those carriers can just turn to HTC or Motorola for a different (and some might argue, better) Android device… then play the makers against each other. In this sense, the diversity of the Android ecosystem actually works against device makers. It does create market forces that ought to help keep prices down for consumers, but which also mean manufacturers are operating on little or no margin.

As the sole provider of iOS devices, Apple does not face that pressure. Its profit margins are not being eroded by competitors offering the same platform. By the same token, Apple feels no pressure to lower its prices to consumers — especially since it seems to be able to sell almost everything it makes.

Apple further leverages its position by working out beneficial supply chain deals with component suppliers — and this is the area where Apple’s current CEO Tim Cook strong operational skills have paid off for the company. Apple famously uses its deep pockets to lock in suppliers, components, and manufacturing processes. This was perhaps no clearer than when Apple rolled out the iPad and would-be competitors found themselves unable to match Apple’s prices even with slower components and smaller screens. In 2010, Apple reportedly locked HTC out of high-resolution “Retina displays” by essentially acquiring all manufacturing capacity. Similarly, Apple has made massive prepaid deals for flash memory and other supply chain components, and bought out all capacity for particular manufacturing processes: There’s a reason there aren’t many other companies doing unibody aluminum notebooks.
What the graphs don’t show

Google is essentially giving Android away for free. Although device makers might find themselves encumbered by licensing fees to Microsoft (and, in the future, maybe Oracle and/or Apple), pretty much anyone can grab Android’s source code and have a go. Google’s gamble with Android is that it will provide a compelling experience backed by Google services like Google Search, Gmail, and Google Maps — and those services, in turn, earn revenue for Google through advertising and access to aggregate customer data.

You’ll notice who is left out of that equation: device makers. They do not share in revenues Android generates for Google. Instead, device makers have to make their money on the outright sale of Android devices, or by making Android devices that tap into their own revenue-generating ecosystems.

That’s where the Kindle Fire comes from. Amazon essentially forked Android, put on a custom interface that buries Android in the background, and plugged the device into Amazon’s substantial content offerings, including video, music, and (of course) books. Although Google will arguably see some revenue from advertising to users brought to Google services by the Kindle Fire, Amazon has cut out things like Google Books and the forthcoming Google Music, along with other services were Google could directly collect money from customers. The same idea underlies Barnes & Noble’s Android-based tablet offerings: Use Android to power the device, but do everything you can to lock it into your own services so you can actually make some money.

It’s important to note that:

Neither Amazon’s nor Barnes & Noble’s offerings are smartphones
They’re trying to make their money by locking Google out of Android’s revenue stream.

Bottom line: despite Android’s dominance of smartphone sales, it’s a tough time to be an Android smartphone maker. And Apple is just fine with that.
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Video playback requires Flash CRO Risk Forum Insights, September 2010 Enterprise risk management: A critical tool for strategic decision-making Deciding what opportunities to fund, which risks to protect Improving Your Strategic Sourcing Decisions: Total Cost of Ownership & Total Risk Profiling Supply Chain Risk Insights Ready for #BlackFriday and #CyberMonday? A little risk prevention can go a long way - bit.ly by ZurichAdvocate via twitter November 23 at 9:35 PM Follow Reuters Facebook Twitter RSS YouTube Read Pakistan stops NATO supplies after raid kills up to 28 7:44am EST Bond market hammers Italy, Spain ponders outside help | Video 5:56am EST Violence, pepper spray mar Black Friday shopping | Video 4:41am EST F-35 makes headway amid criticism, US budget crunch 25 Nov 2011 Black Friday draws crowds, but spending in doubt | Video 4:40am EST Discussed 152 Debt-reduction panel spirals toward failure 87 Study rejects ”faster than light” particle finding 66 ”Super committee” near conceding failure: aides Watched China's new superpower - a supermodel China's new superpower - a supermodel Tue, Nov 22 2011 California road slides into ocean California road slides into ocean Tue, Nov 22 2011 German police spray water at protesters German police spray water at protesters Fri, Nov 25 2011 Best Buy Offers Holiday Tips to Make the Most of Black Friday Shopping

MINNEAPOLIS, Nov. 17, 2011 - Last week's National Retail Federation survey reported that some 152 million Americans plan to shop this year on Black Friday, the largest crowd in three years for the biggest shopping day of the year. Best Buy (NYSE: BBY) is offering added convenience to customers by opening its doors at midnight on Black Friday for the first time ever and offers these tips for helping consumers make the most of this, the official kick-off to the 2011 holiday spending season.

Black Friday veteran and Best Buy Blue Shirt Sy Paulson encourages shoppers to become familiar with doorbusters ahead of time, "Be sure to come to Black Friday with a plan for what products you want to grab first. Visit your local Best Buy store ahead of time to learn where the hot products are located and then literally map out your route so you're ready to go on the big day."

More Best Buy Black Friday Tips
· Get an early glimpse at exclusive deals - Check out the Black Friday ad on www.bestbuy.com/doorbusters for the inside scoop on the hottest deals and in-store specials. Early doorbusters up for grabs include a Sharp 42" Class LCD 1080p HDTV for $199.99 and a Samsung Laptop / Intel® Pentium® Processor / 15.6" Display / 4GB Memory / 320GB Hard Drive for $299.99. While these doorbusters are available in-store only, visit www.bestbuy.com/doorbusters for additional Black Friday deals available both in-store and online at BestBuy.com.
· Get the app - With the Best Buy mobile app, you can create a holiday wish list on your smart phone to share with family and friends. Available for the iPhone and Android, this free app enhances the shopping experience, and allows users to compare products and even scan in-store product QR barcodes to unlock special offers and tailored content.
· Bring Company - Wrangle a friend or make friends in line to allow for breaks while waiting. Bring snacks for sharing and be neighborly. This will help when negotiating line-holding strategies in the event that nature calls.
· Prepare to Wait - This year, Best Buy is making the wait enjoyable for everyone by entertaining the crowds with the film, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 at approximately 120 stores nationwide. Be sure to get in line in time to catch the free screenings starting at 9 p.m. local time. To learn which Best Buy stores will feature movie screening experiences in your area, visit www.bestbuy.com/blackfridaymovie.
· Get Comfortable & Check the Weather- Make waiting more comfortable with a tent, chairs, sleeping bags and blankets. Hand and foot warmers may be a necessity to fight off the cold or in some cases, rain or snow. Check the weather ahead of time.
· Make it Fun - Make the wait entertaining with technology. Bring along a favorite device like an eReader, laptop, smart phone or tablet to play with when the movie isn't playing. Best Buy has seen some pretty amazing setups with big screen TVs and gaming systems. Some customers have even hosted a traditional Thanksgiving dinner as they've waited.
· Etiquette - Remember that being nice to your neighbors makes the wait more pleasant.
o If holding a place in line for someone, let line-mates know ahead of time, so no one is surprised when the entire extended family shows up an hour before the store opens. Remember, people count heads before they decide to join the line.
o If leaving the line, make sure to tell line-mates when you are coming back.
o If making a coffee or food run, offer to pick something up for fellow best friends in line. It fosters good will, and more importantly, they'll most likely return the favor later.
o Most importantly, when the doors do finally open, stay calm. Try to be patient and understanding with fellow customers and the store employees. With so much anticipation for that moment, it's easy to throw all that goodwill out the window.
· Read the fine print - Big doorbuster items will have limited quantities, so get in line early. Black Friday ads should indicate the minimum quantity guaranteed to be in stock. The best retailers to shop are those who pass out tickets (like Best Buy), so consumers don't stress out once the doors open. Be sure to read those coupons carefully. Some of them are only valid for certain hours or for very specific items because some restrictions almost always apply.
· Free online shipping - Bypass the lines and shop Best Buy from the comfort of home on Thanksgiving and every other day of the year. With free online ground shipping through Dec. 27 on everything, including all computers, Blu-Ray, DVD movies and gaming software.
· Free advice - Best Buy will have 4,000 Agents covering the phones on Black Friday to answer questions big and small. All it takes is a quick phone call to 1-888-BEST-BUY (1-888-237-8289. Geek Squad also is offering free phone and online support now through New Year's Day, even on Christmas Day. Geek Squad is available via phone at 1-800-GEEK-SQUAD (1-800-433-5778) and online at geeksquad.com.
· Gadgets On-The-Go - If you're one of the more than 23 million travelers flying during the Thanksgiving holiday this year, Best Buy Express is a great option to get the gear you may need while on the way to grandma's house for some pumpkin pie. Whether it's a charger for that smartphone with a low battery, headphones to listen to music or videos on a plane, or even a digital camera to snap some pictures at the family dinner, Best Buy Express offers a wide range of electronic devices at Best Buy prices while on-the-go.

For more information or to find Black Friday ads and store hours, visit www.bestbuy.com/doorbusters.

Best Buy Eases the Stress of the Season and Offers Consumers a Series of Compelling Holiday Perks

Best Buy edges out the competition this season with a series of hot holiday offers aimed at taking the stress out of holiday shopping. Stocked with the hottest gifts at the best prices this holiday season, Best Buy's broad selection is enhanced by a robust service-oriented experience in-store and online ensuring customers can buy with confidence.

· Free Shipping: From now through Dec. 27, Best Buy will offer free standard shipping on all items purchased on BestBuy.com. Unlike some retailers, no minimum purchase will be required and free shipping will apply to the more than 400,000 items like computers and accessories, gaming software and hardware and even appliances sold at BestBuy.com -with no exceptions -- for the eight full weeks leading up to and immediately following Christmas Day.

· Same-Day Store Pickup: Customers who want their gifts without delay can order their choice of products on www.bestbuy.com and conveniently pick them up at their local Best Buy store for free the in as little as 45 minutes.

· Ship-to-Store: Order items from an expanded online assortment and have them shipped free to a local store for easy pickup.

· Easy Returns: Best Buy takes the hassle out of holiday returns. Recognizing that sometimes the perfect gift may be a duplicate or not quite as perfect as the giver intended, Best Buy's return policy has been extended for purchases made this holiday shopping season. Gift purchases can be returned or exchanged-with no exclusions -- now through January 24, 2012. Best Buy also has removed its restocking fee entirely, including no fees on special orders.

· Price Matching: Best Buy customers will enjoy unbeatable prices on hot consumer electronics - guaranteed - this holiday season. Best Buy will match its retail store competitors on any identical available product for sale now through December 24, 2011 (November 24 Thanksgiving Day through November 28 Cyber Monday excluded). Best Buy customers who make a purchase during those dates also will have the peace of mind that, should Best Buy or a local retail store competitor reduce the price before January 24, 2012, Best Buy will match the new lower price - just let us know.

· Financing: The company's no-interest financing2 is available storewide and online without exclusions, including 18 months for all purchases of $429 and above, a full year for all purchases of $299 and above, and six months for all purchases of $149 and above. Additionally, for all home theater purchases totaling $899 and up, shoppers can receive 36 month interest free financing.
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6 Tips for Better Mobile Security

The more you do on your mobile device, the more you should be concerned about its security. This is especially true if you use it for work. Keep in mind, if your device is configured with your employer’s email or messaging server, they may already be implementing some of the security tips we’re going to discuss.

Tip No. 1 - Choose a mobile OS that supports encryption, oh, and use it: If you are truly concerned about the security of your mobile phone or device you should use a mobile operating system (OS) and device that supports hardware-based encryption, such as Apple’s iOS or RIM’s BlackBerry, for both internal and external storage. This means the data stored on it is protected even from the most advanced hacker. Without encryption it’s possible that someone could recover the data on the device even without your lock pin or password.

Full device encryption on current Android devices is limited and varies between manufactures. Motorola Mobility's business-oriented smartphones offers encryption capabilities on Android 2.3. Android 3.x includes an API to help developers offer encryption on tablets, which some currently implement. And in the next year, we should see Android 4.x tablets and smartphones support encryption. WhisperCore is a third-party encryption solution you may want to also keep your eye on. Beta versions are currently available for Nexus S and Nexus One.

Tip No. 2 - Set a lock pin or password: Enabling a password, whether it’s called a pin, passcode, or passphrase, is the first line of defense in protecting your privacy and security. It helps prevent others from picking up your phone or device and snooping around if it becomes lost, stolen, or just left unattended. It’s also usually required if encryption is enabled on the device.

If encryption isn’t supported by the OS you should still definitely require yourself to set a password. Though your data can possibly be recovered by determined individuals without them knowing the password, you’ll at least protect it from the causal snoopers.

Tip No. 3 - Enable auto-wiping of data: Most mobile OSes support automatic wiping of the device’s data after a certain number of incorrect passwords attempts. This is great if encryption isn’t supported by the device but it can actually be just as beneficial for encrypted devices. Because giving others unlimited guesses to your password makes it much more possible that they could get it right, and once that happens the data is decrypted.

Auto-wiping is natively supported by iOS, Windows Phone 7, and BlackBerry.

Android requires the use of a third party app, such as Autowipe or a security app as in the last tip.

Just remember to keep all your data regularly backed up and use a solution that lets you restore the data to a new device in case you can’t find the one you wiped.

Tip No. 4 - Setup remote tracking and management: Before your phone or device gets misplaced or stolen you ought to setup a remote tracking and management solution. Most let you see the device’s GPS location on a map, send audible alerts to help you find it, and display a visual message to tell others how to return it. They typically also let you remotely lock and/or wipe it before someone else gets their hands on it.

For iOS 4.2 or later, Apple provides a free service. For earlier iOS versions there’s the MobileMe service from Apple at $99 a year after the 60 day free trial.

For Android you have to use a third-party app, such as the security apps mentioned in the last tip.

For Windows Phone 7 Microsoft provides the free Windows Live for Mobile service.

For BlackBerry, RIM provides the free BlackBerry Protect service.

Tip No. 5 - Limit Wi-Fi hotspot usage: When you use public Wi-Fi hotspots that aren’t encrypted, all your Internet traffic is transmitted through the air and can be easily intercepted. The most important sites and services, such as banking websites, usually implement their own (HTTPS/SSL) encryption that protects their individual traffic. But most email providers and many social networking sites don’t; thus eavesdroppers can likely capture their passwords and traffic.

On the other hand most 3G, 4G, and other cellular data connections are usually encrypted by the carriers. Plus eavesdropping on these types of connections isn’t as popular. Therefore, when you’re out and about you should try to use the data connection rather unsecured Wi-Fi hotspots.

If you insist on using Wi-Fi hotspots, use those that provide enterprise encryption and 802.1X authentication, such as from T-Mobile and iBahn. Alternatively, consider using a VPN connection to secure your traffic from local eavesdroppers.

Tip No. 6 - Use an antivirus or security app: Viruses, malware, and hacking on mobile devices aren’t a huge issue now but they are becoming more of an issue. You should consider installing a security app to help prevent infections and intrusions. Most AV solutions also offer additional features, such as remote wiping, backup and locating.
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Tips to deal quickly with online reviews

Dealing with online reviews quickly and constructively is a key message from The Wedding Guy's Peter Duncan.

The Wedding Guy won the Trustpower Customer Service category of the Westpac Rotorua Business Excellence Awards in 2009 and 2010 and Duncan said online reviews and social media comments had huge potential to influence potential customers.

"With today's android phones, with their GPS features, you can search for a place to get a coffee and it won't just come up with a list of cafes. It will also bring up any online reviews."

He points to the importance of monitoring media like Trip Advisor, Jasons, Facebook and Twitter for comments about your business and responding in a prompt and positive way.

"I was talking to somebody the other day and pointed out to them that they had a horrible review online. They knew about it, but just didn't know how to respond in a constructive manner."

Duncan suggested business owners see negative comments as learning opportunities, identifying areas for improvement.

"People who do respond tend to take offence that somebody has dared to put a negative posting up about them. You can't take it personally. You have to see the criticism in a constructive light and become solution-orientated."

He recommended starting a response by thanking the person for highlighting the issue, letting them know it was being investigated and what actions were being taken.

It was also possible to contact site managers about removing poor historical reviews and happy customers should be encouraged to post positive experiences. Positive comments should be milked for all they were worth by sharing them on other media and using them to benchmark strengths.

"We are often so afraid of Tall Poppy Syndrome, we undervalue good news, but you really do have to accentuate the positive."

It was important to respond quickly. "If good news travels fast in social media, bad news travels even faster. If someone makes a critical post about your business, you have to think about the audience that is going out to. Facebook alone has 80 million users around the world."
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Gadget Tips - Black Friday Tech Duds Vs. Deals Revealed

Thanksgiving is near once again, indeed one of my favorite holidays of the year (yes, even if I am up in Canada...) however, that also means Black Friday.

Sure, there's loads of holiday deals and pitches to try and get you to open your wallet. Keep in mind though, this is also a great time of the year to grab some much needed electronic equipment for your business, in particular, keep an eye open on deals for tablets, PCs, smartphones, and GPS devices. As they do always, Retrevo has provided some excellent resources to help you out this Black Friday. Read on for some tech pointers and warnings or things to maybe stay away from.

From Retrevo...

Black Friday 2011 is almost here. We've been analyzing the deals on electronics from HDTV sets to digital cameras and have turned up some real deals and some duds. We see some great deals like a Sharp 42-inch 1080p TV for $199 at Best Buy although we suspect supplies will be limited on killer deals like this one. On the other hand, we also found some deals that don't look as sweet like the $78 Magnavox Blu-ray player at Walmart that has been offered in past Black Friday deals. We list more deals to avoid in this companion article but here are some picks and recommendations:
*Amazon hadn't announced their prices as we put this list together but we're sure Amazon will be offering some very compelling deals

HDTV Bargains Come in All Sizes
If you're looking for a small TV to put on the counter, bedside or next to Grandma's chair there are some under $100 small screen sets worth considering. There are plenty of larger screen deals to consider as well even some 3D sets.

Samsung 55-inch D6000 LCD TV for $1099 at Sears
This TV offers some attractive features for the price. You get 120Hz, LED backlight and connectivity all for $400 off the normal price.

Dynex 24-inch 1080p LCD TV, $79 at Best Buy
Dynex is Best Buy's house brand which we understand is made by a Thai electronics manufacturer named Orion. Even though you don't really need 1080p on a set this size, it might make DVDs and games look better and it's hard to turn down at $79.

Sharp 42-inch 1080p LCD TV, $199.99 and 60-inch AQUOS for $799 at Best Buy
This TV could work well in a living room or bedroom. This model has 4 HDMI ports along with a VGA port to hook up to a computer. Best Buy is also offering a 60-inch, 120Hz Sharp LCD TV for $799. Sears is also offering a 60-inch Sharp AQUOS for $999 which is still a good buy for a 60-inch TV.

Vizio 42-inch Passive 3DTV Set for $598 at Walmart (M3D420SR)
Passive glasses are less expensive and don't need batteries but some say passive 3DTVs don't look as good as active ones. In any case this LED backlit, 240Hz, connected LCD TV looks like a good deal to us. It also comes with four pairs of passive glasses.

Westinghouse 46-inch 1080p LCD TV for $298 at Target
A Westinghouse LCD TV seems to get rolled out for Black Friday every year. We hear it's actually a decent TV and for $298 this 46-inch TV would make a good replacement for that old CRT TV.

Sony BDPS580 Blu-ray Player is $109 at Best Buy
Although there are cheaper players available this one is 3D compatible, has built-in Wi-Fi and offers features like fast load times. Slow load times can be annoying on players that seem to take forever to load a disc.

Laptop Deals Are Everywhere, Tablets Not so Much
Even though a recent Retrevo Pulse report indicated that tablets are higher on many holiday wish lists there are many deals on laptops with state-of-the-art processors, big hard drives, and lots of memory. Meanwhile, tablet deals are few and far between. You won't find any discounted iPads this Black Friday and the $249 Nook Tablet and $199 Amazon Kindle Fire are hard to beat but there also some interesting tablet deals to be found.

HP Pavilion for $399 at Office Max
Office Max looks like the place to go for laptops and printers this year. This HP 15.6-inch laptop comes with 4GB of RAM and a big 500GB hard drive.

Toshiba 15.6-inch Laptop for $399 at Office Depot
The Toshiba L755-S5366 comes with 6GB of RAM and a 500GB hard drive. It also has a Sandy Bridge Core i3 processor.

Lenovo Laptop for $179 at Best Buy
This 15.6-inch laptop doesn't offer a lot of memory (2GB) or Intel processors but for $179 you still get a dual-core AMD-based laptop for a great price.

Asus Transformer for $249 at Best Buy
You get a 10-inch screen on this Android tablet with 16GB or storage and a dual core processor and you can buy a $99 keyboard for it that turns it into a laptop (minus the Windows OS).

Toshiba Thrive for $279 at Best Buy
Even though you can buy this tablet now for just a little more than this price, the Thrive is a worthy Android tablet that is about to get an update to Android 3.2 (Honeycomb). The Thrive runs on a dual-core NVIDIA Tegra 2 processor and includes lots of connectors like a USB port and an SD card slot. The Thrive sold for around $500 when it first went on sale.

Acer Iconia Tablet for $299 at Staples
The Iconia tablet also runs Honeycomb and comes with 16GB of storage and includes a GPS.

Digital Cameras and Camcorders
Are Still Better Than Most Smartphones
Even though smartphones with 8MP cameras and 1080p video are doing their best to make digital cameras (at least point and shoot ones), most good quality cameras still take better pictures than most phones.

Nikon CoolpixS8100 for $149 at Best Buy
This 12.1 MP camera normally sells for well over $200. It offers a 10x optical zoom, large 3-inch display and the ability to shoot 1080p video.

Kodak C1450 for $49 at Walmart
Although there's not a lot of data on this camera a similar Kodak Easyshare gets decent marks. We say you're on your own but a 14MP camera with a 5x optical zoom for $49 is hard to resist.
Canon PowerShot ELPH 300 HS for $149 at Best Buy
Although $149 is not a super deal for this camera which you can buy now on Amazon for $177, it's a highly rated 12MP point and shoot camera.

Multifunction Printers Are Cheaper Than the Ink for Them
For under $100 you can get a printer, copier, scanner, fax, combo. The only thing you have to be careful about is the cost of the ink. You might want to see if third party ink is available on places like Ebay.

Canon PIXMA MX870 for $79 at Office Max
This multifunction device offers wireless connectivity and duplex printing along with the ability to make high resolution 9600 x 2400 photo quality prints. Staples has the PIXMA M882 for $89

Brother HL-2280DW for $99.99 at Staples
If you don't need a color printer, this laser multifunction printer is fast and relatively cheap on consumables. It's wireless too.

GPS Deals
Despite the fact that many people are using their smartphones as GPS devices, stand-alone GPS units still over a better GPS than most phones.

Garmin nuvi 50LM for $109 at Staples
This a large 5-inch screen GPS with spoken directions and a lifetime subscription to maps updates.

Garmin nuvi 1450LM for $129 at Office Max
If you want to move up to a 5-inch touchscreen Garmin GPS with lifetime maps you can go for the 1450LM.

TomTom 1505M for $89 at Target
This GPS doesn't get quite as good reviews as the Garmins but you still get a 5-inch GPS with lifetime maps (always look for the "M" in the model) for a lot less than the Garmins.

Apple Deals
You won't find many Apple products listed in Black Friday sales and the Apple Store won't be offering many great deals but there may be a few discounts here and there to make buying an Apple product even more attractive.

iPod Touch With a Gift Card
The $195 price for an 8GB iPod Touch doesn't look like a great deal until you consider the gift card that comes along with it. Several stores like Toys R Us and Best Buy are offering a $45 - $50 gift card along with the Touch.

Mixed in with some great bargains this year are some questionable ones like a $38 Toshiba Blu-ray player that requires a $49 adapter to make its Wi-Fi work.

LG 47-inch LCD TV and 42-inch Panasonic at Sears
Although a nice LED backlit LCD TV, the 47LV4400 is listed on Sears' Black Friday deals for $679.99 but is available on Amazon for just $9 more. Similarly the TC-L42E3 listed for $599.99 at Sears is selling for that same price now at B&H Photo.

Panasonic TC-P50S30 50-inch Plasma for $699
We hate to pick on Sears but it looks Best Buy is selling this set for $100 less on Black Friday.

Is Toshiba Blu-ray Player's Price Too Good?
We've seen the Toshiba BDX2150 "connected" Blu-ray player listed for as low as $39 which looks like an irresistible deal if you don't mind hooking up an Ethernet cable. If you want to use its Wi-Fi "ready" capability you'll need to buy a $49 adapter. We think you might be better off spending more for a Sony connected Blu-ray player seen from $79 - $109.

Magnavox Blu-ray Player Makes Annual Appearance
This Blu-ray player gets trotted out every year on Black Friday. Not that it's a terrible player for $79, we just think there are some better players to consider.

Not All Core i3 Laptops Are Equal
Intel didn't make it easy for consumers to spot the new Sandy Bridge versions of the Core i3, i5, or i7 chips. The easy way to tell is that new versions have four numbers in the model (i.e. Core i3 21xx)while older versions have three. For example the HP laptop offered by Office Max for $389 touts a Core i3 but the -370M suffix gives it away. At least this version has the graphics engine built in.

BlackBerry Playbook is No Bargain at $199
Yes, the Playbook is a well designed, good looking 7-inch tablet that is selling for a lot less than originally intended but it runs RIMs own OS not Android and so you won't have that huge library of apps available to download.

Why Buy a Non-HD Camcorder?
This Sony DCR-SX85 camcorder normally sells for around $250 and Best Buy will offer it at $149 on Black Friday. It has 16GB of Flash memory and offers a long 60x optical zoom but it doesn't shoot HD video.
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3 great Evernote tips for businesses

If you’re already a seasoned Evernote client, consider incorporating these three tips into your workflow.

It’s no secret that Evernote—available for iOS, Android and QNX tablets—is one of the most useful free productivity applications on the market today.

Robust, flexible and easy to use, this cloud-based app can help you take legible meeting notes, create collections of associated files, record audio, timestamp your content, capture images with your device’s camera and keep everything synchronized between multiple computers, smartphones and tablets with no effort.

1. Clip and save web articles

If you need to capture articles from a website for future reference, Evernote’s free Clearly browser extension for PC and Mac systems is a great option. It allows users to isolate a web article’s content and images, and does away with superfluous content such as advertisements, page fixtures and other distractions. With a click of your mouse, Clearly will clip and send articles to your Evernote account, making it both possible and easy to read them on your tablet later.

2. Share your notes via Facebook or Twitter

Leveraging the reach of social media has become the tool of choice for many organizations when it comes to communicating with their existing customers and potential client base en masse. Thanks to an update rolled out this past summer, Evernote for iPad users now have the option of broadcasting their notes via Facebook or Twitter, making the app a one-stop shop for creating, editing and disseminating your message to the masses.

3. Upgrade to premium

While Evernote is available as a free service, we highly recommend the premium version, which offers users a number of perks. Evernote Premium subscribers enjoy a larger monthly upload/download cap, offline notebook viewing and editing, the ability for other users to edit their notes (perfect for work groups), note versioning and PDF searching. All for a very reasonable five dollars per month—or $45.00 per year.
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Is Android becoming the Windows of mobile malware?

Juniper Networks is reporting a shocking 472 percent increase in the incidence of Android malware since July of this year. What's going on, and is Android becoming a malware writer's dream?

Juniper Networks is raising eyebrows in the mobile industry this morning with a new report claiming the incidence of malware targeting Android devices has risen by 472 percent since July of this year. Presumably, that number is augmented by “hundreds” of malware samples the company uncovered in a series of third-party Russian app stores. Juniper describes the Russian malware cache as just the “tip of the iceberg,” believing there may be thousands of more malware apps waiting to be discovered.

Although many security firms still characterize the threat of mobile malware as relatively low, it’s important to know that those firms are generally comparing the number of threats faced by Android and other mobile operating systems to the those faced by Windows — which is the absolute king of malware, assaulted by hundreds and even thousands of new trojans, worms, exploits, and variants every day. Saying a platform faces a low threat compared to Windows isn’t saying much at all.

But Juniper’s figures highlight the growing threat of mobile malware, particularly on Android. How do Juniper’s numbers hold up, what’s to blame for rising Android malware, and how can Android users protect themselves and their devices?
Juniper’s figures

Juniper Networks Android Malware infographic Nov 2011

According to Juniper Network, the amount of malware targeting Android has jumped by 472 percent since July, punctuated by very sharp increases in October and November. Juniper says they were seeing steady increases in the amount of Android malware they intercepted in July and August, which saw incidence rates increase by 10 and 18 percent, respectively. However, in September Juniper intercepted more than double the amount of Android malware it had in July (up 110 percent) and that figure jumped to either 111 or 171 percent from October 1 through November 10. (See Juniper’s infographic for more detail—the infographic claims a 111 percent increase most recently, But Juniper’s text says 171 percent.)

The figures echo similarly alarming percentages from other security vendors. This summer, Trend Micro claimed the incidence of Android malware had increased 1,410 percent from January to July 2011. It published an infographic, too.

Curiously, Juniper provides no hard figures to accompany its percentages, so it’s difficult to know what those percentages mean in absolute terms. It would be nice to compare the number of malware apps out there (and their interception rates) to the number of available Android apps or the number of apps distributed over the same period of time. After all, if a small town of 5,000 people had one serious traffic accident in 2010 and then two serious traffic accidents in 2011, the rate would be up by an alarming 100 percent! However, number of accidents in proportion to the number of drivers — let alone the number of hours driven in the town during the year — would still be very, very low. Juniper Networks does describe the cache of Russian malware it found as “hundreds” of apps, but it’s not clear if those are included in the firm’s 472 percent increase, and offers no other hard figures.

Symantec and Kaspersky similarly offer percentages for recent increases in Android malware, but seem to withhold hard figures — or, at least, I haven’t been able to find them. McAfee is slightly more helpful: In August it reported a 76 percent increase in malware targeting Android during the second quarter of 2011, and gave a specific number of threats it had identified: 44. Just this week, McAfee described the total number of malicious apps in the wild as “approximately 200“—and that’s across all platforms, including Symbian, Java ME, Windows Mobile, iOS, and others.

The number of apps available on the Android Market stands at about 350,000. Although the total number of threat apps is never truly known — even to security researchers — the alarmingly large percentage figures from Juniper and McAfee do seem to suffer from a bit of the small-town problem. Despite some high-profile malware removals from the Android Market (like DroidDream trojans earlier this year), in absolute terms, Android malware still a very small portion of the broader Android software ecosystem.
Types of Android malware

There does seem to be basic agreement on the types of Android malware out there. The bulk acts as spyware and tries to steal personal data, including contacts, location, personally identifying information email, messages, and data stashed in log files and other areas of the device. Spyware can also potentially control an Android device, meaning it could place calls, send messages, restart apps, disable locks, control vibrate alerts, and (of course) access the Internet to send collected data to the malware authors — or download and install new malware packages.

Spyware represents a bit of a longer-term game for malware authors: They’re hoping they’ll get usable (and sellable) information by keeping an eye on users’ phones, and they’ll make their money selling collected email addresses (and potentially financial information) to spammers and cybercriminals.

One form of Android malware that has immediate payoff for malware authors is are SMS Trojans: apps that appear to do something fun or useful, but in the background send SMS messages to premium rate numbers — the same way many voting competitions, music and ringtone services, and other businesses collect money via text messages. Once those messages are sent, the malware authors have their money, and consumers don’t have much (or any) recourse. The bulk of Android malware apps Juniper says it found in Russian third-party Android markets are SMS Trojans.
Pointing fingers

So even if malware isn’t quite overrunning the ecosystem yet, where is all this malware coming from? Security firms seem to pretty squarely place the bulk of Android malware at the feet of cybercriminals who used to target Java ME and Symbian phones. As those platforms have declined, they’ve moved along to Android, which enables them to leverage some of their working knowledge of Java and is also, conveniently, now the world’s hottest-selling smartphone platform.

In terms of distribution, security firms all agree that third-party Android app stores run a higher risk of malware than trusted sources. A number of Android exploits have been distributed via third-party app stores in Russia and China — heck, one Chinese example of Android malware uses a public blog as its command-and-control center. The appeal of these app stores in their respective markets is obvious: They use local languages, and their selection of apps and new items is going to be much more in tune with local culture than the broader Android Market. Nonetheless, most of those app stores are completely unregulated and unmonitored: Almost anyone can upload anything, safe or not.

That doesn’t let Google’s Android Market off the hook. Although McAfee recommends Android Market specifically as a trusted source for safe Android apps, other security outfits aren’t so kind. Juniper in particular rips into Google’s management of the Android Market:

“These days, it seems all you need [to upload malware to Android Market] is a developer account, that is relatively easy to anonymize, pay $25 and you can post your applications,” Juniper wrote in its blog. “With no upfront review process, no one checking to see that your application does what it says, just the world’s largest majority of smartphone users skimming past your application’s description page with whatever description of the application the developer chooses to include.”

Google famously does not review submissions to the Android Market, or require code-signing by a trust authority, although developers must at least code-sign with self-signed certificates. Although Google will remove malicious apps once they’re discovered, realistically that can’t happen until the apps have victimized users.
Staying safe

Android users can take some basic steps to keep their devices and their data safe. Good tips include:

Disable the “unknown sources” option for installing apps in the Android device’s Applications Settings menu. This will help prevent users from inadvertently installing software when, say, accidentally following a malware link in an SMS message, spam, or social networking site. It will also keep the device out of most third-party Android app stores, which seem to be a prime distribution vector for Android malware. However, this may not be an option if users need to sideload custom Android apps for, say, business or work purposes.
Research apps before downloading or buying them. Try to stick with apps that have broad third-party recommendations and come from reputable publishers. Check both an app’s and publisher’s ratings.
Carefully check app’s permissions. When you install an app, Android will present a list of hardware and software components that the app wants to access, including things like location data, a device’s camera, the Internet, storage, system tools, MMS/SMS, and making phone calls. If the requested permissions don’t seem reasonable, don’t allow the app to install. For instance, a game probably doesn’t have any need to access your contacts, and a photo organizer doesn’t need to send SMS messages.

Makers of security and antivirus software will, of course, recommend users download, install (and, hopefully, purchase) antivirus software for Android. However, the jury seems to be out on how useful security and antivirus apps are for Android — at least at the moment. A new study from AV-Test (PDF) finds that almost all free Android malware apps don’t offer significant protection against existing Android malware. Paid Android security packages from F-Secure and Kaspersky fared better, but only managed to detect about half the installed threats tested by AV-Test, although they did very well with blocking malware installation.

The most important thing is probably to be aware that there is malware for Android, and let common sense be your guide. If an app seems to good to be true, it might just be carrying a hidden payload that’s after your money and personal information.
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How to install Android Ice Cream Sandwich on a Samsung Nexus S

Over the weekend, an intrepid XDA developer by the name of Kwiboo managed to corral version 4.0.1 of the Android Open Source Project — aka, Ice Cream Sandwich — into a custom ROM that works on the Nexus S. This means, if you have a Nexus S, a thrill-seeking personality, and about 10 minutes to spare, you can be running Ice Cream Sandwich in just a few screen taps.

The build isn’t perfect — there’s no video shooting, for example — but almost every major feature of ICS is available. Panorama mode works, for example (and yes, it’s as cool as you’d hoped), as do the updated Gmail, Google+, Music, and Maps apps. Face Unlock, data usage statistics, tethering — it all works. This build of ICS is completely usable — with one caveat: It’s simply not quite as smooth as the latest build of Gingerbread. 2D and 3D hardware acceleration works, so it’s not mega-slow, but it’s definitely not as fast as the finalized, official build of ICS that Google will distribute in the next few weeks.

Nexus S, running ICS, on the ET websiteWith that said, let’s dive in with some instructions. If you don’t have a Nexus S, or if you don’t want to play around with unofficial custom ROMs, there’s plenty of photos and screenshots further down. Update: We now have a hands-on video review of ICS running on the Nexus S.
1. Download the custom ROM

Hit up XDA-Developers and download the Nexus S custom ROM (v2, “no need for wifi patch”). If you have a 4G Nexus S, you can download the appropriate custom ROM, but we haven’t tested it — so be careful.

Once the zip file is downloaded, transfer it to your phone’s SD card.
2. Root your phone and install ROM Manager

ROM ManagerIf you’re already using CyanogenMod (which hopefully you are), your phone will already be rooted and have ROM Manager installed. Otherwise, you’re going to have to root your phone. This isn’t particularly hard, but it is a multi-step process, and there’s a risk that you could brick your Nexus S. The best way to do this is to follow a video guide, but googling for “how to root nexus s” works as well.

With ROM Manager installed, open it up and make sure the latest version of the ClockworkMod recovery image is installed (“Flash Clockwork Mod Recovery” — see right).
3. Make a backup!

Scroll down in ROM Manager and select “Backup Current ROM.” This will back up all of the system and app data on your phone — but not any data on your SD card, such as photos or music. This backup is saved on your phone’s SD card, in the “clockworkmod” directory — and once it’s done, you should copy this to your computer via USB. You will need this backup if you want to restore your phone to its pre-ICS state.

Installing ICS on your Nexus S should not affect the contents of your SD card, but it’s always wise to make a copy of your photos and videos, just in case. To do so, plug your phone into a computer and transfer the files via USB.

Please bear in mind that installing this build of ICS will completely wipe out your installed apps. You can reinstall them, but you will lose all of your settings. You shouldn’t proceed unless you really want to try out Ice Cream Sandwich. Remember, though, that you should be able to restore your backup without issue — so you do have a way out.
4. Install Android 4 on your Nexus S

ROM Manager, wipe data and cacheNow, from ROM Manager, hit “Install ROM from SD Card,” and surf to the zip file on your SD card (“ics-crespo-aosp-4.0.1-v2-unsigned.zip” or similar). Select “Wipe Data and Cache” and “Wipe Dalvik Cache” from the menu and press OK (see right).

ICS will now install. Your phone will reboot, and in about 60 seconds you’ll be greeted by Ice Cream Sandwich’s phone setup screens, and then some basic tutorials.

Welcome to Ice Cream Sandwich! This build is pre-rooted, so to revert to Gingerbread you will simply have to re-install ROM Manager and restore your backup.

At this point, check out our ICS explainer and hands-on tour so that you can find your way around the new OS — a lot has changed, and many features look completely different.

Please leave a comment if you discover a particularly cool feature, or if you have tips and tricks for installing custom ROMs.
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Five Tips to Avoid Malware in Mobile Apps

Smartphones and tablets are evolving from niche luxury devices to mainstream consumer gadgets. As mobile devices become a ubiquitous part of the mainstream culture, malware developers are paying attention and are anxious to exploit the fertile new territory.

Android is the low-hanging fruit because it combines the leading smartphone platform with an open ecosystem, and the ability to purchase apps from diverse, rogue app repositories. Other platforms seem inherently more secure, but are still not invulnerable. Despite the "walled garden" and strict curation of iOS apps, a security researcher recently demonstrated that the Apple App Store has its weaknesses as well.

[Click to enlarge] Malware on red binary backgroundFollow these five tips to avoid malware on your mobile devices.A statement from McAfee proclaims, "While reported mobile malware incidents are still relatively low in number, McAfee Labs is seeing significant growth in the mobile malware threat landscape."

To guard against mobile malware and protect yourself and your data, here are five things you should keep in mind when buying or downloading apps for your mobile devices:

Be Aware

Malware on mobile devices is nowhere near the threat that it is on PCs--particularly Windows-based PCs…yet. Malware developers aren't looking for a challenge. They will develop malware for the platforms and devices that have the largest pool(s) of potential victims, and those that are easiest to exploit. Step one in protecting yourself is to simply be aware that the threat exists.

Do Your Homework

Think before you download. Just as it makes sense to read some Amazon reviews before buying a book, or some Yelp reviews before testing out a new restaurant, it makes sense to read some reviews of an app before you jump off the cliff. General word of mouth support for an app is good, but it is even better if you can get input from your social networks--friends and family you trust--before downloading an app.

Check Your Sources

Not all third-party sources of apps are bad, but the odds are much higher. For a platform like iOS, you have to go out of your way to jailbreak the device in order to use apps that aren't approved by Apple. If you have taken such drastic measures, you are hopefully already aware of the risks involved as well.

Android users may not be as conscious of the threat because third-party app repositories are normal for that platform. Still, the safest source of Android apps is the official Google Android Market, or at least an app store from a trusted source like the Amazon App Store. To avoid shady apps, you should deselect the "Unknown sources" option in the Android Applications Settings.

Watch the Permissions

Mobile operating systems have enough security in place that apps generally have to request permission to access core functions and services of the device. Think about the permissions you are granting before you just tap and blindly accept them. Does that Sudoku app really need access to your contacts, camera function, and location information?

Use Antimalware

As the mobile market grows, and the malware developers take notice and begin to target it, the security vendors--like McAfee--are working to try and stay a step ahead of the malware attacks with security tools and software.

Following the first four tips will help you avoid a majority of potential threats, but antimalware software can help detect and identify any threats that slip past your defenses.
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Avoid Android malware

ovember 21, 2011, 2:26 PM — Here are some tips to help you avoid getting malware on your Android device.

1. Only download and install trusted sources.

2. Research the app before you install it on your device.

3. Install anti-virus/anti-malware software on your Android device.

4. If you aren't sure what an app does, do not install it on your device.

5. If the app isn't from a trusted source or trusted developer then do not install it on your device.

For more, see the original article at the link below.

Android How-To Guide Available Now

Don't miss PCWorld's newest Android Superguide update, a super-how-to collection of tips and shortcuts for the new Android tablet or phone owner. The guide gives you pointers on the latest tablet operating system, Honeycomb, and the latest on Ice Cream Sandwich, the newest Android phone OS.

The Android Superguide shows you which Android apps let you play music or games, run basic productivity apps, and essential utilities. Plus, the guide explains how to get them on your phone or tablet. Also, it explains, step-by-step, how to customize your phone, manage your documents, secure your handset, and even tether your Android phone to your PC for full-strength Web browsing on the go.

Other how-to's help you get creative, so you can take control of your music, have more fun with your photo collection, and create, share, and manage video. Plus, our pictorial Android walk-through will show you every screen and feature that you might encounter as you wend your way through the OS.

This superguide will help you feel like an Android authority in no time.

• Learn keypad shortcuts.

• Explore customization tricks.

• Learn how to manage music, video, and photos.

• Get tips on installing apps.

A complete 119-page book in a convenient 1.8MB download costs $12.95. If you don't want to download the PDF, you can get it on CD-ROM for only $12.95 including shipping and handling.
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McAfee threat report: Android biggest malware target

The third-quarter threat report from McAfee Labs showed that the Android mobile operating system solidified its lead as the main target for new mobile malware, as the number of malware targeting the OS jumped nearly 37 percent since the last quarter.

In fact, nearly all new mobile malware in the third quarter targeted Android devices, the security firm said.

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"This has been a very steady quarter in terms of threats, as both general and mobile malware are more prevalent than ever," said Vincent Weafer, senior vice president of McAfee Labs. "So far this year, we've seen many interesting yet challenging trends that are affecting the threat landscape, including heightened levels of sophistication and high-profile hacktivist attacks."

McAfee also predicts that 2011 will become the busiest year for malware in history. The firm predicts that malware will reach 75 million unique samples by year's end. Malware authors are capitalizing on the popularity of Android devices, as demonstrated by the fact that the Android platform was the only mobile OS for all new mobile malware in the third quarter, McAfee concluded.

One of the most popular forms of trickery in the third quarter was SMS-sending Trojans that collect personal information and steal money. Another new method of stealing user information is malware that records phone conversations and forwards them to the attacker.

For more:



Leak Tips HTC Ville With Android 4.0, But No LTE, NFC

Boy Genius Report has leaked some details about another HTC smartphone hitting in April 2012, codenamed HTC Ville, which ships with Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, a Super AMOLED display, and thin chassis.

The Android smartphone is expected to launch in April 2012 with a 4.3-inch qHD Super AMOLED display, 1.5-GHz dual-core Snapdragon Series 4 processor, 8-megapixel camera with HD video recording, 0.3-inch thickness, and 1,650 mAh battery. Like other high-end HTC phones, starting with the HTC Rezound, the Ville will come paired with customized Monster Beats headphones and the latest HTC Sense skin, version 4.0

However, it lacks 4G LTE support and a near field communications (NFC) chip "due to the metal construction of the case," BGR wrote. The HTC Ville will run on HSPA+ for AT&T or T-Mobile.

While these specs are somewhat high-end right now, rivaling those found in the HTC Vivid, Droid RAZR, Droid Bionic, Samsung Galaxy Nexus, and numerous others coming this fall, the Ville will probably be a mid-tier phone by April 2012, especially if HTC is launching the rumored quad-core HTC Edge beast before then. Furthermore, in early 2012 we should be seeing more smartphones powered by Nvidia's Tegra 3 chips, the first quad-core ARM-based chipsets to ship. Tegra 3 is being touted as about "five times the performance of Tegra 2."

Last week, Verizon Wireless and HTC announced the HTC Rezound, HTC's first Beats Audio-paired smartphone. It's a 4G LTE device featuring a 4.3-inch 720p HD display, 1.5-GHz dual-core processor, 32GB of storage, 1GB of RAM, and the latest version of HTC Sense. It also sports an 8-megapixel camera and records video in 1080p. For more, see PCMag's Hands On With the HTC Rezound and slideshow below.
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