Saturday, June 28, 2008

Kindle: eTextbooks

From Yahoo! Buzz -

According to Inside Higher Education, Kindle will start carrying titles from Princeton University Press this fall. But the textbook savings aren't going to be instant. Kindle, is still pricey despite a $40 reduction. (It still costs USD349) With some titles only a few dollars cheaper than their paper version, e-readers save mostly on shipping costs and time.

Still, people have been buying the Kindle. Amazon had originally targeted the male tech-toy buyers, but women are apparently the true audience. Females have been warming to Kindle and currently makes up half of the device's searches, which have been growing after a post-holiday lull.

Source article here.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Nokia Helps Buys Symbian, Turns it Open Source

From Gizmodo -

Nokia has announced it's buying out all the remaining shares in Symbian it doesn't already own as part of a deal between Nokia, AT&T, LG Electronics, Motorola, NTT DOCOMO, Samsung, Sony Ericsson, STMicroelectronics, Texas Instruments and Vodafone to form what's being called the "Symbian Foundation."

Part of the press release:

Espoo, Finland - Nokia today announced it has launched a cash offer to acquire all of the shares of Symbian Limited that Nokia does not already own, at a price of EUR 3.647 per share. The net cash outlay from Nokia to purchase the approximately 52% of Symbian Limited shares it does not already own will be approximately EUR 264 million.

Nokia has received irrevocable undertakings from Sony Ericsson Mobile Communications AB, Telefonaktiebolaget LM Ericsson (publ), Panasonic Mobile Communications Co. Ltd. and Siemens International Holding BV to accept the offer, representing approximately 91% of the Symbian shares subject to the offer. Nokia also expects Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. to accept the offer.

The acquisition is a fundamental step in the establishment of the Symbian Foundation, announced today by Nokia, together with AT&T, LG Electronics, Motorola, NTT DOCOMO, Samsung, Sony Ericsson, STMicroelectronics, Texas Instruments and Vodafone. More information about the planned foundation can be found at

"This is a significant milestone in our software strategy" said Olli-Pekka Kallasvuo, CEO of Nokia. "Symbian is already the leading open platform for mobile devices. Through this acquisition and the establishment of the Symbian Foundation, it will undisputedly be the most attractive platform for mobile innovation. This will drive the development of new and compelling, web-enabled applications to delight a new generation of consumers."

"The wide support for this initiative, uniting the industry around the Symbian platform, reflects the strong gravitational pull it has for application developers and other ecosystem players. We will drive efficient, open innovation by unifying the platform and simplifying the software supply chain, leveraging our experience from mobile devices. Nokia is strongly positioned to realize the benefits of open innovation, as well as accelerating time to market, enabling us to meet and exceed consumer expectations for leading converged devices and experiences", Kallasvuo continued.

Symbian Limited is the software company that develops and licenses Symbian OS, the market-leading open operating system for mobile devices. User interfaces designed for Symbian OS include S60 from Nokia, MOAP (S) for the 3G network and UIQ, designed by UIQ Technology, a joint venture between Motorola and Sony Ericsson. A privately-owned company established in 1998, Symbian has its headquarters in London, UK and other offices in the United Kingdom, United States and Asia (Bangalore, Beijing, Seoul and Tokyo).

"Ten years ago, Symbian was established by far sighted players to offer an advanced open operating system and software skills to the whole mobile industry", said Nigel Clifford, CEO of Symbian. "Our vision is to become the most widely used software platform on the planet and indeed today Symbian OS leads its market by any measure. Today's announcement is a bold new step to achieve that vision by embracing a complete and proven platform, offered in an open way, designed to stimulate innovation, which is at the heart of everything we do."

Mobile devices based on Symbian OS account for 60% of the converged mobile device segment (source: Canalys, 12 months to Q1 2008). Symbian OS represented approximately 7% of all mobile device sales in 2007, up from 5% in 2006 (source: Strategy Analytics). To date, more than 200 million Symbian OS based phones have been shipped, over 235 models, from 8 vendors and on more than 250 mobile networks around the world. More than 4 million developers are engaged in producing applications for Symbian devices.

Nokia expects the acquisition to be completed during the fourth quarter of 2008 and is subject to regulatory approval and customary closing conditions. On a reported basis, Nokia expects the transaction to be dilutive in 2009, approximately breakeven in 2010, and accretive in 2011. On a cash basis, Nokia expects the transaction to be dilutive in 2009 and accretive in 2010 and 2011. After the closing, all Symbian employees will become Nokia employees.

Source article here.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Google Faces Android Handset Delays

From PC World -

Per the Wall Street Journal, Android-based mobile phones may not be available until the fourth quarter of this year, and some companies are struggling to even meet that deadline. Google has previously announced the phones will be available by the second half of this year.

Still, major phone manufacturers like Samsung and HTC have announced they are working on their respective handsets.

Source Article here.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Canonical makes Ubuntu Netbook Remix official at Computex

From Engadget -

Canonical has announced at 2008 Taiwan Computex its Ubuntu Netbook Remix, which is hailed as a reworked desktop image of Ubuntu built specifically for portable internet-centric devices. It will also feature a launcher that enables users to get online more quickly and have faster access to their favorite applications, and leverages Moblin technologies optimized for the Atom processor.

Devices with UNR pre-installed will probably ship later this year.

Intel, Ozmo to demo Wi-Fi PAN Cliffside

From Computerworld -

Intel and wireless start-up Palo Alto-based Ozmo is demonstrating the former's Cliffside technology, a WiFi Personal Area Network (PAN), at the Taiwan Computex. The technology enables Centrino-based WiFi-equipped laptops to connect to up to eight peripherals such as headsets, keyboards and stereo speakers, and even the iPhone.

The new technology is considered to be a potential threat to Bluetooth.

Free iPod Touch with Mac Purchase for College Students?

From MacRumors -

Apple is having their biggest ever Back to School promotion, with a free 8GB iPod Touch ($299) offer to college students who buy a qualifying Mac (MacBook, MacBook Pro, MacBook Air, iMac, Mac Pro). Alternatively, students may choose to get an 8GB iPod Nano ($199) or a higher priced model by paying the difference. The promotion runs from June 3 to September 15th, 2008. Unfortunately the iPhone is not part of it.

Apple apparently is rapidly expanding their Touch OS X platform over the next few months, giving developers a large audience for their iTunes Store apps and games. However, when Apple releases the 2.0 firmware for the iPhone and iPod Touch, iPod Touch owners will be required to pay a small fee for the upgrade.

Google's GPhone Delayed Until 2009, Android Platform Still OK?

From Gizmodo -

Gary Krakow of TheStreet is claiming that Google's GPhone will be delayed until 2009. Which leads to the question of whether the Android platform as a whole will be delayed, since many other manufacturers besides Google are planning their own phones. Krakow's source doesn't say, which probably means it's still on track or horribly, horribly delayed.