Monday, January 21, 2013

1.6 Billion People In The World Don't Have Electricity — So Here's A Cool Solar-Powered Light Called 'Luci'

"1.6 billion people in the world don't have access to electricity, says the founder of a company called "MPOWERD."
These folks and another 1.5 billion people on lousy electrical grids often use kerosene-powered lamps to see at night.
The problem with kerosene lamps is that kerosene is expensive, and the lamps pollute the air that these folks breathe. So kids grow up with clogged lungs, etc.
So a company called MPOWERD has invented a cool little solar-powered lantern called "Luci."
The lanterns charge 6 hours of sunlight and then provides 6-12 hours of light.
They're light and flexible.
You can buy them for $15.95 apiece."

Read more at the Business Insider:


RUMOR: Apple Will Release THREE New iPhones This Year

"There's a report out of Asia tonight that Apple is working on three new iPhone models, two of which will be out by June.
The report comes from quite a chain of sources. The Commercial Times of Taiwan made the original report. It was then picked up by the China Times. Then the China Times report was translated by BrightWire, which says it scours and translates international news. From there, we saw it picked up on Apple blogs.
So, yeah. Treat this one lightly for now. Though, a lot of accurate information has come from Asian supply chain sources in the last few years.
According to the reports, Apple will release a 4-inch iPhone 5S and a 4.8-inch iPhone before the end of June. The report calls the 4.8-inch phone, the "iPhone Math," which is, um, odd. We can't imagine Apple is going to name its big iPhone the "Math."
(But, we also couldn't imagine Apple would name the iPad the iPad and it did! So anything's possible, we suppose.)
Later in the year, some time before Christmas another iPhone is coming with a 12 megapixel camera, according to the reports.
They also say Apple is going to release an Apple TV this year.
The report about a 4.8-inch phone is the most interesting. Apple is the only smartphone company not making a big phone. The bigger smartphones are very popular with consumers.
A bigger iPhone risks fragmenting the iOS market. Developers' apps will have to fit 3.5-inch screens, 4-inch screens, 7.8-inch screens, and 9.7-inch screens. Perhaps Apple will also roll out an elegant software solution to this problem.
What's interesting about this report is that it comes one week after the Wall Street Journal and the Nikkei reported Apple was cutting iPhone screen orders. When those reports rolled out Apple's stock was hit hard. So were the stocks of Apple's suppliers.
BrightWire says in its summation of the reports, "The shipments for components, including touchscreens and cameras, will start rising significantly in March, and iPhone manufacturers will begin production in late April. Hence, Apple's suppliers will see major growth in 2Q 2013."
We could be over thinking it, but it sure sounds like suppliers started leaking Apple's plans to let the market know that they are not totally hosed. Whether that makes this report more or less trustworthy is up to you.
However, this is not the first time we've heard about Apple reportedly developing a much larger iPhone. So, we wouldn't just cast the report aside.
Clearly, something is going on with Apple. The iPhone business as we've known it appears to be ready for a major shake up in 2013."

Read more from the Business Insider:

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Cadillac's New ELR Is Ready To Battle Tesla For The Luxury Electric Car Market

"In October, General Motors announced its entry into the luxury electric car market with the Cadillac ELR.
That market — for customers who want electric cars but are not overly concerned with the price tag — has to date been cornered by Tesla's Model S.
With the ELR, GM will work to steal away those customers. The largest American automaker has several advantages over Tesla, especially infrastructure to design and produce cars, which Elon Musk has struggled to build over the past decade.
On top of that, Cadillac has a lot of momentum. 2012 was a good year for the brand, languishing just a few years ago.
The successful introductions of the XTS and ATS sedans culminated with the announcement at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit that the ATS won the North American Car of the Year award.
We were on hand at the show and got to see the ELR first hand, and were quite impressed by the look and feel of the car.
It may not match the remarkable Tesla Model S, but a solid, luxury electric car from an established automaker will pose a formidable challenge to Elon Musk's company.
The ELR will go into limited production late this year and go on sale early in 2014; pricing has not been announced."

Read more:

If The Next iPhone Really Wants To Stand Out It Needs A...Fingerprint Sensor?

"Apple isn't doing too well right now. It's stock price is falling and there is wide speculation that the company is losing its edge.
A new iPhone release later this year could certainly help rally excitement, but what can Apple do to build on its seemingly perfect smartphone?
AppleInsider is reporting that this innovation could come in the form of a fingerprint sensor beneath the iPhone's home button.
The blog says that this fingerprint sensor would be "an intuitive design that could be difficult for competing Android and Windows Phone devices to copy".
The fingerprint technology would come from one of Apple's recent acquisitions, AuthenTec.
The report continues:
Analyst Ming-Chi Kuo of KGI Securities believes that this fingerprint sensor would allow iPhone users to replace the use of usernames and passwords, allowing users to authenticate in a more efficient manner. He also expects that the fingerprint scanner will integrate with applications such as Passbook to enhance their functionality.
Kuo's track record is pretty solid, as he predicted Apple's entire Fall product line last year, but we're still taking this one with a grain of salt."

Read more:

Why fixing the Java flaw will take so long

"By now you've heard about the latest, very serious problem with Oracle's Java runtime. You may also have heard that it could take a very long time to fix. Here's why: The flaw uncovered by security researchers last week devolves not to one issue, but to a series of issues, one knocking into the other like dominoes. Oracle has fixed one of the dominos with a patch, but there are likely to be other ways to tip over the entire row.
Emergency response
The vulnerability patched by Oracle resides in a version of Java 7 designed to extend Web browsers. The defect made it possible for a malicious Java applet on a Web page to execute arbitrary code on the underlying computer.
While this sort of defect would usually be kept secret until a fix was available, it was disclosed last week because malicious crackers had already found the defect and were exploiting it as part of a dirty-tricks toolkit used by scammers and other thieves, giving Oracle zero days to fix the code. As more researchers evaluated this "zero-day exploit," it became clear it was exceptionally serious.
With terrific speed, Oracle's engineers created a fix for the problem over the weekend andreleased it Monday. Yet security researchers weren't impressed. Why was that? I asked Oracle to brief me, but I was refused and simply referred to a blog posting on the subject, which offered little explanation.
Instead I turned to the open source community for help. Java 7 is actually based on an open source project called OpenJDK, and Oracle had also released patches for that. I was able to quickly find explanations of both the defect and the fix."

Read the full article at Why fixing the Java flaw will take so long

Thursday, January 3, 2013

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Wait, Is This The REAL Reason Apple Cut Its iPhone 5 Orders?

The story of December for Apple was the monster drop in its stock price.
One of the main reasons the stock tanked was numerous reports from sell-side analysts about Apple severely cutting its iPhone 5 orders for the first quarter of 2013.
The initial read on this cut was that demand for the iPhone 5 was weak. Otherwise, why cut the orders?
But it looks like there might be an alternative explanation for the cuts.
First, Apple's manufacturing of the iPhone could have been better than expected.
Second, and much more importantly, Apple is apparently going to release a new iPhone in the May-June time frame, according to Topeka Capital analyst Brian White. His report is seconded by Peter Misek at Jefferies. (Misek has a June-July timeframe, White has May-June.)
Most analysts have been assuming Apple will sell the next iPhone in September or October since that's what it did for the iPhone 4S and the iPhone 5.
But, if Apple is really shifting the release of the next iPhone 5, then it's likely that it's going to change production of the iPhone 5, cutting back its orders for the first quarter of the year. It won't want a big build of iPhones. It has also seen demand for iPhones drop as the rumor mill starts cranking about the next iPhone.
Two quarters before the iPhone 5 was announced, iPhone sales were worse than expected. Apple blamed the dip on rumors about the next iPhone. If a new iPhone is coming in June, then it might be anticipating a drop in the March quarter.
We're not sure if that makes investors feel much better, since it suggests it's going to miss numbers for the first quarter of this year. But, it's certainly better than weak iPhone 5 demand, which would be a problem with Apple's core business.
Apple reports earnings on January 23, so we'll find out the truth about iPhone demand during the holidays, as well as getting an idea about demand for this quarter through Apple's guidance.

 Read more from the source:

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

The iWatch Could Be The First Step In Apple's Plan To Kill The iPhone

Apple is reportedly exploring development of a watch-like product.
Small-minded people will scoff at the idea of Apple building a watch. After all, who needs watches when you have a smartphone. Further, Apple is a company with $200 billion in annual revenue. A $100 watch which will sell in limited quantity is barely going to move the needle.
While all of those are fair points, they're missing a much bigger picture.
There is a line of thinking that the smartphone era will perish almost as quickly as it began.
This is, after all, the natural way of technology. It's defined by creative destruction. Just as the smartphone killed the flip phone, and the iPad is killing the traditional PC, something is going to come along and kill the smartphone.
The early bet on what kills the smartphone is something like Google Glass. Wearable computers are widely believed to be the next computing fad.
For Apple, an iWatch could be a way to test the wearable computer market, says Gene Munster at Piper Jaffray. He says, "We believe that longer term (over the next 10+ years), wearable computers could eventually replace the iPhone and smartphones in general."
He continues, "We believe technology could progress to a point where consumers have a tablet plus wearable computers, like watches or glasses, that enable simple things like voice calls, texting, quick searches, navigation, etc. through voice control."
Much like the current Apple TV is a "hobby" for Apple that lays the groundwork for it to ultimately release a full-blown television, an iWatch could be the "hobby" that lets Apple explore wearable computing.
After all, just because some people think the smartphone will be consumed by wearable computers, doesn't actually make it so. This could give Apple a good testing device.
And, to be clear, we're not saying an iWatch kills the iPhone. We're saying the iWatch could be a peripheral gadget that complements the iPhone. And down the road, the evolution of the iWatch, or other wearable computers, could alter what we currently think of as a smartphone.
If an iWatch is real, it won't come out until 2014 or later, says Munster.

Read more from the source: