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12Mar/11Off

Sprint Sticks to Its Unlimited Data Guns With New Ad [Video]

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In a time where all major telecoms are switching to tiered data plans to offer different pricing options for their subscribers and to help ease the strain on their networks, Sprint has come with a pretty strong message saying that they simply won’t allow their customers to be subjected to that.

In a new ad, Sprint CEO Dan Hesse reiterates the importance of unlimited everything, including data. Here’s a quote from the ad:

“The other day, I looked up the word unlimited in the dictionary. Nowhere in the definition did I see words like metering, overage, or throttling, which is code for slowing you down. Only Sprint gives you true unlimited calling, texting, surfing, TV and navigation on all phones.”

“Why limit yourself,” says Hesse in an ad that should keep their customers smiling. Sprint’s willingness to go against the grain throughout this trend is sure to attract and retain many paying mobile phone users. The ad didn’t send a message saying they’d never consider limiting users’ data, but if it were to happen you can be sure it won’t be in the near-term.


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12Mar/11Off

XOOM WiFi to Launch at Staples March 27th for $599?

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More from Staples regarding this WiFi-only XOOM has rolled in. Previous rumors pegged the Honeycomb tablet for April 4th without a date, but hard evidence has come in suggesting that it’ll be in a week earlier than that – March 27th, to be exact. We’ve even got a price to go along with that date: expect to pay $200 less than what you’d pay to buy the 3G version outright – $600. (And it’s the same price if you were to get the 3G version on contract at Verizon.) It’s not the $400 or $500 that you folks were dreaming for, but it’s better than nothing. We’ll keep this date circled in our calendar, of course, but we’re holding our breath for any possible delays. [via Droid-Life|2]


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12Mar/11Off

DROID Incredible S With Verizon Branding Pictured

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Before Mobile World Congress, there was a large-looking HTC phone with Verizon branding and no one knew what it was. Later pictures told of a battery door with those same racing line contours found on the HTC Droid Incredible – a phone that was rumored to have a bigger brother coming.

MWC came and HTC announced the Incredible S, a European version of a phone we expected to hit Verizon. Today, more pictures have surfaced all but confirming the inevitable. The picture itself doesn’t show much, though I’m wondering how the phone’s time could be incriminating to whoever leaked the photo as it’s warped out.

We’d beg for a release date and pricing, but Verizon has yet to bring out two other HTC phones we know will be hitting the carrier – the Merge and the Thunderbolt. (HTC says that one’s release date will be announced “soon”, by the way.) [Android Spin]


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12Mar/11Off

Apple now accepts donations to Red Cross Japan relief fund via iTunes

Following the disaster caused by the magnitude 8.9 earthquake and tsunami in Japan, Apple has posted a donation page on iTunes where you can use your iTunes account to make a secure donation to the American Red Cross and its Japanese relief fund.

100% of donations made through iTunes go to the American Red Cross; unlike every other corner of iTunes, Apple is taking no percentage of the profits from these donations whatsoever. Steve Jobs recently said that via the iTunes Store, Apple may have the largest credit card database of any online retailer, so rigging up a donation page on the iTunes Store seems like a good way to raise the potential for donations to the Red Cross and its relief efforts in Japan.

If you don't have an iTunes account or would rather donate directly, our own Rick Martin (currently in Tokyo) has put together a list of donation sites.

[via 9to5Mac]

TUAWApple now accepts donations to Red Cross Japan relief fund via iTunes originally appeared on TUAW on Sun, 13 Mar 2011 00:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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12Mar/11Off

The iPad Failed Me As A Living Room Companion

I was recently sitting in my living room, thinking about what my next column topic should be here on SlashGear. I considered a discussion on Microsoft’s Kinect. I thought about talking about my experience with set-top boxes that have clunky menus. But then I remembered the iPad 2 is now on store shelves. And it quickly became clear that it was the perfect time to talk about my issue with Apple’s tablet.

I bought Apple’s first-generation iPad the day after the device launched. I reasoned at the time that it would be an ideal companion for me while I was on-the-go. More importantly, I thought it would also be a trusty companion in the living room.

See, I’m one of those people that performs research in the living room. If I’m watching television and want some clarification on something that was said in a show, I look it up. If I can’t remember the name of an actor or actress I like in a movie I’m streaming over Netflix, I head to the Web to get my answer.

Because of that, I thought the iPad would be great. I could keep it next to the couch and whenever I had a question, I could turn it on, go to Safari or an app, get my answer, and go back to my night of entertainment. It seemed like the perfect fit — the missing device that I so needed in the living room.

It gets better, I thought. When I want to quickly check out YouTube or listen to some tracks from my iTunes library, I could use the iPad. It would be my ideal living room companion.

But then I got it home. And although I did like the idea of quickly turning the iPad on and looking things up from the device, it didn’t do the trick. The browsing experience isn’t as appealing as it is on a traditional computer. And for the most part, listening to music or watching a video on a tablet instead of through the high-definition equipment in the living room that’s connected to a sound system just didn’t make all that much sense.

Over time, it quickly became clear that the iPad was my perfect mobile companion. But when it came to the living room, it fell short.

So, I found a solution. I first hooked up a Mac Mini to my HDTV to satiate my desire to find information whenever I had some questions. Granted, going to another input and using a wireless keyboard and mouse wasn’t as simple as turning the iPad on, but the experience has proven to be far more appealing. The browsing is better and the overall functionality of the Mac Mini appeals more to me.

Even better, I put all my iTunes music on the computer. And since I could access Netflix on it (as well as on the consoles or Apple TV connected to my television), the iPad’s chances of becoming an entertainment option in the living room was all but eliminated.

Now, before Apple fans try to say that this is all an attempt to bash the iPad, let me just make this clear: I’m a happy iPad customer. It’s with me everywhere I go. And I still use it every single day. It’s just that the tablet didn’t live up to my expectations for the living room.

Is that really a problem? Not really. The iPad is meant to be a mobile computer, not an entertainment platform for the living room. But if it could have satisfied my desire for a simple device that enhances my productivity in the living room, it would have been all the more valuable to me.

Oh well. I guess you can’t win them all.


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12Mar/11Off

HTC Thunderolt Car Dock Seen In-Store, Ready To Be Driven

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Although everyone wants to know, nobody is sure if the HTC Thunderbolt will launch March 17th, March 21st, or some other date. That isn’t isn’t stopping accessories from popping up in Verizon Wireless stores which would suggest the much-awaited HTC Thunderbolt will at least launch this month.

If you get as much use from Google Navigation as I do, you’ll likely have the above HTC Thunderbolt Car Dock on your “To Buy” list. It’s clearly an Official Verizon Wireless Accessory and comes at the cost of $29.99 – not bad, especially considering a texting while driving ticket is likely much more. Consider it an insurance plan.

[Thanks Anonimac & Anonymous Tipster!]


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12Mar/11Off

Japanese Earthquake Victims Seek Refuge With Flashlight Apps

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The earthquake off the coast of Japan has rocked the country’s foundation and the resulting blackouts, fires and tsunami have devastated citizens. While the lives taken by the natural disaster are the most precious of losses, many others face horrific living conditions evidenced by a total collapse of infrastructure. For the families devastated by this event, it isn’t yet about repairing their broken lives but living amongst devastation.

Take a look at some of the disaster’s raw footage, for example the towering Tsunami in the distance as it crashes onto the countryside, with the camera cutting out just before relentlessly pounding moving vehicles trying to escape the calamity:

Or fires caused by the earthquake seen below:

At the ground level, brave service people are undergoing rescue missions and numerous countries have offered their support through man power, finances, and other resources. But still, with a disaster of this magnitude, hundreds of thousands of people are trying to help themselves in one way or another. While it’s a very small matter relatively speaking, the power of Android has played at least some role in assisting citizens trying to deal with their problems.

Nikolay Ananiev, developer of Tiny Flashlight + LED which has been downloaded 2.5+ million times, contacted us to share a startling statistic. In a matter of hours, 50,000+ Android users in Japan downloaded his app following the disaster. I assume that as the earthquake shook infrastructure, the power went out, and people were left in the pitch black trying to escape. They went to Android Market, downloaded a flashlight app, and used it to find an escape route. I’m sure not all were in danger – it’s likely that others in more safe areas simply lost power but were searching for Android Market’s assistance to navigate the dark.

Thoughts and prayers go out to the victims of this horrible crisis along with their family and friends. While we all love downloads like Angry Birds and Evernote, it’s great to see how technology can be used to make the world a better place. Sure… it’s just a simple flashlight app, but to the 50,000+ who downloaded in that time period I’m sure they’d say it was much more than just a simple flashlight app.

What other Android applications could have helped in a time like this? Are there applications you would suggest downloading in advance just in case a natural disaster occurs?


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12Mar/11Off

Apple Stocks Smarter Investment than Apple Products [SHOCKER]

A fabulously obsessed young man by the name of Kyle Conroy has a website out there on the internet that provides the world with an incalculably invaluable service: taking every single Apple product (or nearly every one) and pricing them out in terms of stock value. What this means is for each product (for example a G3 PowerBook from 1997) he finds the original price ($5700) and takes that amount of money in stock, having been purchased at that time, converting it to what that stock would be worth today ($330,563.)

These numbers are contrasted sharply against a similar situation listed by the New York Times: a Hewlett-Packard laptop from 1997 would have run you $3,500. If you’d purchased that much HP stock instead, you’d now have a grand total of $4,560. Not so impressive!

Another example from Apple that’s not quite as impressive, but impressive nonetheless, is a 2001 purchase of the Apple MacBook “Core 2 Duo” 2.2 13″ (Black-SR). This device would have cost you $1,499, and today in stock prices you’d have instead have $2,166. This of course, if you think about it in terms of how much the device itself is worth today, (under $300), is still a fantastic difference in investment value.

What do you think? Feel like you should have purchased some Apple stock instead of that horrifying blue or orange iMac? Us too. Check out the rest of the list over at kyleconroy.com. — thanks for the tip, Ben!


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