Android Overload: Wildfire S for Only $250 On Virgin, Cricket Is Testing Their New 4G LTE Network and More
It’s looking a little skimpy here in the Android Overload. But that just means a bunch of great articles were posted on our front page. Less leftovers for today. One thing I found interesting was the Wildfire S 4G on Virgin Mobile. That’s one little firecracker of a device I could recommend to all my friends and family still on a wireless budget. Let’s hope for a U.S. release! Good night, everyone!
- Cricket – yes, Cricket will be testing its new LTE network in new markets starting with Tuscon Arizona. [PCMag]
- American Express and Foursquare inked a deal to give customers HUGE discounts when checking-in. [NYTimes]
- Pricing leaks for Canadian HTC Wildfire S 4G on Virgin Mobile. $30 w/a 2 year contract or $250 retail. [MobileSyrup]
- An update is available for the HTC Salsa bringing its Build number to 1.12.401.2.
- Groupon has added support for the UK, France, Germany, and Brazil in their latest app update. [EuroDroid]
Its official. Asus’ Eepad Transformer was a hit in the (non Apple) tablet world. According to Digitimes, they managed to ship over 400,000 units in the first half of 2011, making their way to the top spot of largest (non Apple) tablet brand on the globe and it’s all thanks to their Android powered Eee Pad Transformer.
Asus has been doing so well that they’re already preparing for the second generation of Eee Pad Transformers powered by Nvidia’s new Tegra 3 quad-core Kal-El processors and the new version of Android, Ice Cream Sandwich. Supposedly, it could ship as early as October, which would make it just in time for the holidays. Things move fast in the PC world and it looks like Android tablets are no different.
Asus will also take the top spot from Acer this year and become Nvidia’s number 1 customer, placing around 2.5 million orders for their Tegra 2/3 CPU’s. But why so many? Well, word on the street is Asus will be using some of those Tegra 3′s in their new Chromebooks due out later this year.
What I also found interesting is that sources are claiming Asus is barely breaking even when it comes to their Eeepad Transformer. Apparently the low $400 price tag and Asus’ use of above standard components is resulting in a very thin profit margin. In fact, where Asus is making most of their money is from the optional keyboard dock and is the main reason most people buy the Transformer to begin with.
2011 is looking like a good year for Asus. With the upcoming release of their Padfone, a Tegra 3 powered, Ice Cream Sandwich running tablet/phone device, they may have more than a few hits this year.
Hulu has just officially announced via their blog that Hulu Plus is now available in the Android Market. Wait- before you rush to your Market app only to find the app is nowhere in sight, they also announced that it’s currently only available for 6 Android devices. That’s right. Lucky owners of the Nexus One Nexus S HTC Inspire 4G Motorola Droid II, Motorola Droid X and the Motorola Atrix will be some of the first in the Android community to try Hulu Plus for themselves. The rest of us will just have to wait.
Before you get a long face, Hulu did say they will be adding to the device compatibility list throughout the year. Besides, I’m sure some tricky kids will find away to get it up and running on other devices (maybe tablets?) before they’re officially supported. I have to admit, being able to watch my favorite shows on the go is making that $8 a month a whole lot more palatable.
[Hulu Plus Market Link]
There’s still a lot of confusion when it comes to the exact definition of 4G and even I have to admit, a lot of it is over my head. I remember when Sprint was the first carrier to launch their 4G service here in the U.S. and it created quite a stir. Why? Well, even though Sprint was using a next generation 4G network (WiMax) download speeds were slower than even T-Mobile’s 3G speeds. This eventually lead to T-Mobile’s market team rebranding their 3G network as “4G” and some people were saying that was misleading.
So how does one classify 4G? Is it the technology used for the network? Or is it raw download speeds? Well, I guess it depends who you ask. This is one of the reasons why some state senators are attempting to pass the Next Generation Wireless Disclosure Act. It’s a bill introduced today that will force carriers to be upfront with consumers regarding their 4G network. This includes: download speeds, reliability, coverage and they technology their using for their service.
I’ve always thought that 4G is anything that’s at least double than what I get with normal 3G but I guess I was being naive. According to the International Telecommunication Union (global wireless standards-setting organization) no current U.S. carrier is technically capable of 4G speeds. To be true 4G, a network must be capable of download speeds of 100Mbps. That’s like, 10 times faster than my home cable internet!
I, for one, am all in favor of this bill because it seems to be a murky subject for many consumers. Especially at a time when carriers are putting more and more emphasis on their 4G networks. Consumers need to make informed decisions before signing their life away for 2 years.
In case you were beginning to lose faith that you would ever see a DROID Bionic anytime this year, Motorola is still reminding people via their Twitter, that the Droid Bionic is in fact coming. And pending a few updates, it’s still on track for a Summer release.
Like your crush that strings you along with text messages out of the blue, “Hey! I miss you!” and you never hear back from again, some potential Bionic buyers’ eyes may start wandering this summer. Especially with the release of superphones struttin’ around with their dual-cores for all to see. We won’t wait around forever. You hear that, Cindy! Er – Motorola.
The “hacktivist” group called LulzSec has been wreaking havoc on websites and servers across the board over the last several weeks. Ever since the PlayStation Network breach, the group has been actively taking down gaming sites and even government agency sites including the CIA.gov and Senate.gov. They’ve certainly kept themselves in the headlines and are now drawing ire from other hackers.
Another hacker group called TeaMp0ison claims to have defaced a LulzSec website and left a message warning LulzSec that it had obtained pictures, addresses, passwords, IPs, and phone numbers of LulzSec members and will be releasing all the info in a “TeaMp0ison Issue 2.” The message also rants about how LulzSec uses pre-made tools and scripts to attack opponents and therefore do not qualify as real hackers.
However, the message seems to be from one perpetrator who admits he’s only 17 years old. It’s not clear if this is a personal grudge or if the message is actually representative of the underground hacking community. But it does show that there could be other hacker groups that are irritated by LulzSec’s public antics. The slew of attacks have drawn unwanted attention from law enforcement and negativity from gaming sites and other services that some of the hackers themselves like and support.
Below is a transcription of the text from the screenshot above, in case it’s too small to read:
BREAKING NEWS: TEH LULZBOAT HAS OFFICALY SANK WITH 100S OF ANON MEMBERS ON BOARD!
No matter how many bots you gather, no matter how much people you lie to, no matter how much pre-made tools you use, you will _NEVER_ represent the real hacking scene, we warned you, we told you we do not make empty threats, we gave u 48hrs to secure your ircs yet u failed to do so, instead u posted hashes from public forums and then claimed you doxed us and laughed at the fact that i was 17years old. stop telling yourself that u are hackers, putting a ip into a irc is NOT hacking nor is using pre-made tools and scripts to grab databases… you do not represent the anti-sec movement, u are not allowed to greet underground groups like zf0, ab, h0n0, el8 like your member “AnonSabu” was doing, you will never be apart of the underground scene, if anyone thinks you are underground and can actually hack they have no idea about what happens in the underground scene. oh and TeaMp0isoN Issue 2 is coming out VERY soon exposing lulzsec members (pictures, addresses, passwords, ips, phone numbers etc). . . . not so anonymous anymore are you? lets hope that you can swim because the lulzboat just got titanic’d…
Relevant Entries on SlashGear.com
- LulzSec Takes Down Terrorist site Aljahad.com
- LulzSec hackers swipe source code from Sony websites and post it online
- LulzSec Denies Sega Pass Hack, Offers Revenge
- Nintendo admits servers hacked but no personal data stolen
- Sony Pictures Hacked, Over 1 Million Accounts Compromised
- LulzSec Hacks Bethesda Softworks And U.S. Senate
- Police in Turkey pick up 32 people suspected of affiliation with hacker group Anonymous
- Sega Pass Gets Hacked, Accounts Compromised
Being able to “tap and pay” with your smartphones will be widespread next year according to the predictions of Google exec Eric Schmidt. The company has begun rolling out its Google Wallet mobile payment system after last month’s announcement. And to keep up, competing mobile payment service ISIS—a joint venture between AT&T, Verizon, and T-Mobile—is speeding up the delivery of its system, now set to start in Austin, TX.
ISIS will deliver a similar NFC-based mobile wallet system that links your existing Visa, MasterCard, or other major credit card with your mobile account. Originally, the group had greater ambitions to completely replace conventional credit card networks with its own comprehensive offering that would make revenue both on transaction fees and ads. This would essentially mean competing head-to-head against Visa and MasterCard. Plus, Visa announced its own plans for mobile payments.
They have since had to scale back possibly realizing the clout of Visa and MasterCard and also to roll out their service quicker. ISIS had previously announced that their first trial city would be Salt Lake City, making Austin the second city to be announced for their trial program set to start within the first half of 2012. Austin residents will be able to use ISIS-enabled NFC handsets to tap and pay at participating store.
Relevant Entries on SlashGear.com
- Google To Reveal Mobile-Payment Service On May 26?
- ISIS NFC Mobile Payment System Trial In Salt Lake City Early 2012
- Visa Mobile Payments Announcement Coming Next Week
- ISIS NFC Mobile Payment System Scales Back, Not Butting Heads With Visa, MasterCard
- Survey shows mobile users are interested in mobile payments despite privacy and security concerns
- Sprint Launching NFC In 2011, Ahead Of AT&T, T-Mobile, And Verizon
- Visa Announces Mobile Payments Plan, Most Comprehensive Say Analysts
- Starbucks now taking payments from mobile phones nationwide
There are certain statistics every good camera or camera-toting device group pays attention to, one of the more unassumingly important set of these being on Flickr’s own most popular cameras page. This page is an extremely simplistic look at which devices are attached to photos the most often in the Flickr community, graphs broken down into Point & Shoot, Cameraphones, and the cross-breed Most Popular Cameras overall over the past year of Flickr action. What we’re seeing today is that longstanding king of Flicker photos, the Nikon D90, has been ousted and replaced by the rapidly growing iPhone.
This is the first time (in recent history at least) that a smartphone has taken the top spot from the Cannons and Nikons of the world, a wakeup call for the point and shoot / DSLR / every camera-only device in the world to be sure. When you take a look at the Popular Point & Shoot Cameras chart you’ll notice that not only are they ALL Canons, they’re all evening out, this chart (and the others) showing the % of members on the site. This means that the cameras being used by members of the photo-centric site are fragmenting, while what these other charts are showing us is that Apple and their tight relegation of models of devices, (aka one smartphone to rule them all: iPhone,) is more than a powerful message to the rest of the non-smartphone handheld device world.
Finally, if you take a look at the Popular Cameraphones category, you’ll see that the iPhone 3G has been dominating for as long as this graph represents, while the iPhone 3GS follows a very similar path to the Android device HTC Evo 4G and the iPod touch creeps up the bottom. Then there’s the iPhone 4 which near the beginning of the graph directly counter-acts the path of the iPhone 3G and takes over by a long-shot by the time the present rolls around.
It’s important to note the “about these graphs” section on this page which includes word that the graphs can only be read as accurate to the point at which you note that Flickr can automatically detect the camera used to take the photos or videos uploaded to the site, this being only about 2/3rds of the time, or so they say. This situation gives an unfair advantage to all non-cameraphone devices as it’s “not usually possible” to detect the make of cameraphones with the method Flickr uses, so you might want to think about such a thing like this: you need a combination of being able to be read by Flickr as a device model name and actually being popular to overtake these graphs, and Apple‘s got that combo in the bag!
Relevant Entries on SlashGear.com
- iPhone is second most popular camera used on Flickr
- iPad 2 Camera Not Popular Says Flickr
- Flickr now allows for mobile phone video watching
- RIM To Discontinue Flickr For BlackBerry
- Apple brand worth $153B making it more valuable that Google
- iPhone not too swish for public transport, seen on Caltrain
- Blur tripod adapter for the iPhone debuts
- Flirting with disaster
Ever since the 4G race got heated between T-Mobile and AT&T after realizing they were lagging behind Verizon’s LTE and the Now Network’s WiMAX networks, the meaning of 4G became increasingly defiled. Now, Congresswoman Anna Eshoo is proposing a bill that would require carriers to be straightforward with their network speeds and eliminate all this faux-G bull.
The Next Generation Wireless Disclosure Act, as it is called, will have carriers publish details on their minimum 4G speeds, their coverage, and their network reliability. Eshoo wants to create a standard framework of what 4G really means, at least at this moment in time, and ensure that consumers understand what they sign up for.
The International Telecomunications Union (ITU) had originally defined true 4G as being a theoretical peak of 100Mbps, which only some LTE networks can reach. And so far, only LTE-Advanced and WiMAX 2 are formally certified as 4G. And although no consumer 4G connections ever reach this number in the real world where other factors can cause a large variation in speeds, the term was abused by T-Mobile and AT&T to mean significantly slower speeds that are essentially enhanced 3G networks.
T-Mobile was first to start calling its enhanced 3G network, dubbed HSPA+, as 4G. Following suit, was AT&T, which released several so-called “4G” devices earlier this year that did not even meet HSPA+/HSUPA speeds. The devices included the Atrix 4G and the Inspire 4G. Customers complaint of capped speeds only to get a response from AT&T that the device did not support HSUPA uplink speeds. This was dubious since HSPA+ support usually means support for HSUPA. The carrier later admitted that it was simply not enabled. Sadly for consumers, the Infuse 4G was the first “HSPA+ enabled device on launch” from AT&T after months of defining 4G as HSPA+ and already selling so-called 4G devices.
Relevant Entries on SlashGear.com
- Bill Gates 2008 CES Keynote Live (sort of)
- CES 2008: Goodbye Bill Gates, from SlashGear with love
- Bill Gates Interview yields interesting statements
- Senate Bill Requires Consent For iPhone, Android Location Data
- AT&T 4G LTE speed preview: 28.87Mbps downloads
- Sprint CEO: “Not faux-G, 4G” on our network
- Microsoft board refuses Ballmer roust
- BillToMobile Signs Sprint Deal, Now Three Major US Carriers For Mobile Payments
No More “Faux-G,” Congressional Bill Demands Carriers To Detail 4G Speeds is written by Rue Liu & originally posted on SlashGear.
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Sony’s PSP successor, which has long been dubbed the NGP for next-generation portable was finally unveiled at E3 2011 as the PS Vita. It promises to bring PS3 console quality games to handheld and was slated for this fall just in time for the holiday season. However, recent reports from online pre-orders through Amazon suggest that the device may not ship until January of next year.
Several readers of Destructoid claim to have placed orders for the PS Vita on Amazon only to be notified of a January 2012 ship date. So far, rumors have pointed to a November 4th release of the PS Vita for the UK, but not much has surfaced on a U.S. release date. Destructoid is claiming a December 31 release that would suggest most shipments won’t arrive until at least January 4th. A two-month difference between the UK and US release plus missing the holiday season makes the claim a bit iffy.
The PS Vita touts a 5-inch OLED touchpad screen along with a second touchpad on the back side. It will also have dual analogue sticks, six-axis motion sensor, and both a front and back camera. It will support Wi-Fi and 3G with initial carrier being AT&T. New social features called “Party” and “Near” will also be part of the package. The Wi-Fi-only model is priced at $249 while the 3G/Wi-Fi model is $299.
Relevant Entries on SlashGear.com
- Sony PS Vita name for NGP tipped via PlayStation site source code
- Sony files for trademark on PS Vita logo in EU
- Sony NGP Backwards Compatibility Confirmed And Detailed
- The Dolce Vita Laptop Bag
- Vita Audio R4 luxury iPod-ready CD & DAB radio
- E3 2011: Sony NGP Officially PS Vita [Updated with VIDEO]
- Sony XEL-1 OLED TV to ship in December
- Android to own 49% of smartphone market by end of 2012