T-Mobile to solve its LTE problem by merging with MetroPCS

It looks like the No. 4 and No. 5 U.S. carriers will now be one if they can get by Federal Communications Commission regulatory approval.

Both carriers are big Android supporters (neither carry Apple’s iPhone); MetroPCS’s 3G network is CDMA, but T-Mobile’s is HSPA+, so they will not be able to share signal with customers on each other’s network. T-Mobile is likely thinking long term, though, considering Metro PCS has been building a LTE network since 2010. The knock on MetroPCS is that it does not have the backhaul to support the speedy LTE lines. T-Mobile could come in handy there.

It is not clear if the combined entity would surpass Sprint to become the country’s third-largest carrier.

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Deutsche Telecom in talks to buy MetroPCS for merger with T-Mobile USA, MetroPCS confirms

MetroPCS confirmed in a statement that it entered talks with T-Mobile parent company Deutsche Telecom to be bought and merged with T-Mobile’s USA division. After its stock shot up earlier this afternoon due to MetroPCS rumors, the nation’s fifth-largest carrier is believed to be valued at roughly $6.9 billion. The deal is expected to be announced as early as tomorrow, according to what several sources indicated to the New York Times.

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Samsung to announce 4-inch Galaxy S III in Germany on Oct. 11?

According to Unwired View, Samsung Germany sent out the invitation shown above to advertise an Oct. 11 product announcement. The local press received the invitation, which touts “something small will be really big,” leading to speculation that Samsung will unveil a “mini” Galaxy S III. The smaller device has been rumored since August. Samsung further added in the invitation that we should “get ready for a little sensation.” Samsung’s infamous “S” appears in the background of the ad, giving us reason to believe that a Galaxy device is indeed on its way. Read more

Google reveals plans to sell web content with Google Wallet

Google reportedly published and then removed a rough draft on its Google Commerce blog about it soon allowing Google Wallet users to purchase Web content, but 9to5Google was able to grab a cached version of the deleted post.

“Today we are announcing Google Wallet for web content – an experiment designed to help content creators bring more of this high-quality content to the web,” announced the company in the draft. “Google Wallet has several interesting features that help your readers feel comfortable buying your web content.”

A few of the features include:

  • Buy web pages individually —Users can buy what they desire with prices ranging from 25 cents to 99 cents.
  • Instant Refund if they don’t like the content — Available within 30 minutes of purchasing, but Google is keeping a close eye to prevent excessive refunding.
  • Long preview content — Search engines rank articles based on the free preview content, so users should make long previews to rank well.
  • Rich obfuscated content —Users can show what is available for purchase in an obfuscated version of the page.
  • Single secure payment method — Allows users to buy web content with the same Google Wallet account linked across all Google products.
  • Provide perpetual access — Content belongs to a user for forever once bought, and Google even provides an archive service to support perpetual access if website expires.
  • Compatible with ads — Allows ads to run alongsidpreview content, so users can get an ad impression without relying on folks to buy the content.

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New Chrome Beta includes improved real-time audio/video calling, HTML5 track support

Google announced on the Chromium Blog today a new Chrome Beta release that includes a number of new features to make it easier for developers to create web apps with HTML5 video and audio/video calling. In the blog post, Google’s Justin Uberti explained the new release of Chrome now includes the PeerConnection API that allows developers to implement real-time voice and video calling features without using a plug-in:

Together, PeerConnection and the getUserMedia API represent the next steps in WebRTC, a new standard which aims to allow high quality video, audio, and data communications on the web. Check out this funky video chat demo to see how the PeerConnection API can be combined with other web technologies to create fun new video chat experiences. To start the video chat demo, send the url to a friend.

As for HTML5 video, today’s Chrome Beta update includes track support that provides developers with an easy way to include metadata, chapters, captions, subtitles, and other features in HTML5 video content using HTML DOM and JavaScript. Google also announced it added the Media Source API for adjusting video playback backed on network conditions. In the image above, we see a video enhanced with track to include a Google Map and StreetView.

More benefits of track support and a demo video is below:

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Google introduces new lightbox ad format at Advertising Week

We told you Google had a number of presentations prepared for Advertising Week and one of them included the introduction of a new ad format that Google is calling “Lightbox.” Google explained the new ads (pictured above) start “as a standard display ad, making it scalable, but after a two-second hover, expands to a super-sized canvas.”

According to Google’s Jim Lecinskihe, the benefits of the Lightbox ad format include: elimination of almost all accidental expansions, an increase in engagement by up to 6-8x, and advertisers only pay when a user is engaged.
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Study: Samsung Galaxy S III sales spike following Apple verdict & iPhone 5 launch

A new report out of research firm Localytics today suggested sales of Samsung’s Galaxy S III have been growing on a weekly basis with huge spikes following the Samsung/Apple trial and the iPhone 5 introduction. As highlighted in the graphic above, Samsung experienced a 16 percent increase in growth the week of the Apple trial verdict, when compared to just 8 percent the week before, and an average of 9 percent per week since Aug. 1. After the launch of the iPhone 5, new device growth for the S III again jumped to 15 percent compared to 0 percent growth the previous week.

That combined with the slowdown in new Galaxy S3 growth seen leading up to Apple’s announcement (week-over-week new devices were the same as the previous week, resulting in 0% growth) suggest that many consumers were waiting to hear about the new iPhone before making a decision… Note that the average week-over-week growth of 9% means that every week 9% more Galaxy S3 handsets were added than the week before. This also means that the growth effects are cumulative, so while the Samsung device’s weekly new device growth slowed some weeks, it is still adding handsets at a remarkable rate.

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Google announces over 20M Apps for Education users

As noted on the Official Google Blog, Google has now reached 20 million students using its Google Apps for Education products; and in celebration of World Teachers’ Day on Friday, the company posted some stats to highlight the product’s success. It is also highlighting amazing teachers on its Google in Education Google+ page. The first video (above) features Ms. Kornowski. She is “a science teacher at Kettle-Moraine High School in Wales, WI, who is using Google Forms to bring her students together.”

Some of the highlights of Google Apps for Education over the last year:

  • 400+ universities are posting lectures and/or full courses online using YouTube Edu
  • 600,000 staff from the Philippines Department of Education will now be using Google Apps
  • Universities across the continents are signing up for Apps, including schools inPoland, Spain, the Netherlands and Africa
  • More than 500 schools and districts went back to school with Chromebooks this fall
  • Seven of the eight Ivy League universities and 72 of this year’s top 100 U.S. universities (as determined by 2013 U.S. News and World Report’s ranking)have gone Google with Google Apps for Education

Time Warner Cable and AT&T want Google’s Kansas City Fiber deal

A new report from The Wall Street Journal claimed AT&T and Time Warner Cable are approaching Kansas City officials in an attempt to get the same deal Google has for its Google Fiber gigabit Internet service in the city. According to the report, the companies are after the same free office space, assets, and infrastructure, and government employees the city has agreed to provide Google:

Among the sweeteners granted Google by both cities are free office space and free power for Google’s equipment, according to the agreement on file with the cities. The company also gets the use of all the cities’ “assets and infrastructure”—including fiber, buildings, land and computer tools, for no charge. Both cities are even providing Google a team of government employees “dedicated to the project.”… For the past few months Time Warner Cable has been negotiating with Kansas City, Kan.,to get a “parity agreement” granting it the same concessions as Google got, the city and the company says. Time Warner Cable has already signed such a deal with Kansas City, Mo… AT&T also has approached Kansas City, Mo., for the same deal, according to a person familiar with the matter.

HTC One X+ unveiled: 1.7GHz quad-core Tegra 3 processor, Android 4.1 Jelly Bean and strictly matte black

HTC unveiled its all-new flagship this morning: the HTC One X+. Looking very similar to its HTC One X brethren, the One X+ packs most of its changes inside. HTC has included a powerful 1.7GHz quad-core Tegra 3 processor, 2,100mAh battery with six hours more talk-time, 64GB of storage, and Android 4.1 Jelly Bean with HTC’s custom Sense 4+ on top. HTC said the One X+ is “67 percent faster than the HTC One X LTE.”

Furthermore, the HTC One X+ will only ship in black rather than the white and charcoal gray featured on the HTC One X. Past the color change, not much else has changed on the outside. HTC stuck with Beats branding and the same 4.7-inch Gorilla Glass screen. The software on the device is certainly welcome, as the HTC One X+ features Android 4.1 Jelly Bean with HTC’s own Sense 4+ flavor. HTC further announced this morning that the HTC One S and HTC One X would be updated with similar software set in October.

The HTC One X+ will hit Europe and North Asia sometime this month, with South Asia following in November. HTC said North America availability would be unveiled separately. Is anyone sad to see just minor changes? That processor just has to zoom.

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Google airs new Google+ for Android commercial

The oh-so hip Plus team over at Google released a new commercial today. The 1 minute and 13 second clip shows off Google+ for Android’s array of features, including the app’s ability to share life “as it happens” and seeing the latest from your friends at the touch of your fingertips. It is not clear where the new commercial will air (most likely just the web), but it should encourage users to download the Google+ for Android app. Check out how Google’s Nexus 7 ad stacked up against AppleRead more

People power: Gmail goes live in Iran after one-week block

Theocratic countries have blocked Google’s products left and right, but a new report from Reuters today indicated Iran is lifting its one-week-old block on Gmail due to a flurry of official complaints.

According to Reuters:

Iranian authorities have reopened access to Google Inc’s email service a week after blocking it, a government official and Iranians said on Monday.

Iran maintains one of the world’s largest Internet filters, blocking access to tens of thousands of websites on the grounds that they are criminal or immoral, but the block on Gmail had even prompted complaints in parliament.

Gmail reportedly went live again for Iranians Sunday night, after an official announced on Sept. 23 that Iran would block YouTube throughout the country “until further notice.” Committee Member Mohammad Reza Aghamiri told the Mehr news agency that Gmail’s ban was an ” unintended consequence” of trying to block YouTube. Various local news agencies attributed the banning of YouTube to a controversial anti-Islam film posted on Google’s video-sharing platform.

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