U.S. Stories September 26, 2013

Google announced today on its Google Glass Google+ page that it will soon be kicking off a road trip with the Google Glass team that will give people around the U.S. the opportunity to try out the wearable firsthand. Google didn’t share many details, but it has already announced the first stop on its tour with registration for a visit to Durham, NC in October now open.

We’ve heard lots of people are interested in experiencing Glass first hand, so we’re taking Glass to cities across the US to give you a chance to do just that… We’re excited to announce that we’ll be kicking off in the Tar Heel State. Come try Glass, chat with the team, and enjoy local snacks and beverages.

Google plans to announce additional dates for its U.S. Glass tour in the near future through its Glass Google+ page.

U.S. Stories March 8, 2013

We heard in October that Google had plans to further reduce Motorola’s workforce after cutting around 20 percent, or roughly 4,000 jobs, in August. The Wall Street Journal reported today on an email from Google that confirmed the company is beginning to cut around 1,200 employees (a little over 10 percent of its current total headcount):

Motorola MSI -0.74% staffers were informed by the company via email this week that “while we’re very optimistic about the new products in our pipeline, we still face challenges.” The company email added that “our costs are too high, we’re operating in markets where we’re not competitive and we’re losing money.”

As for where the cuts might take place, we previously reported that Motorola, which was unprofitable for 14 of its last 16 quarters, planned to reduce its operations in Asia and India, but today’s report said the layoffs would hit workers in the United States, China, and India. Google also warned that further restructuring might be necessary and significant costs could be involved.

In a recent piece from The Wall Street Journal highlighting Google executives’ fear that Samsung is gaining too much dominance, Android chief Andy Rubin said the purchase of Motorola was “a kind of insurance policy against a manufacturer such as Samsung gaining too much power over Android.”

Deal: Get Pixelbook at 25% off: $750!

U.S. Stories November 13, 2012

Google is out today with its latest Transparency Report where the company officially reports the number of requests it receives from government organizations to remove or hand over data. Today’s update to the report includes data for government requests from January 2012 to June 2012 and shows requests for access to user data have steadily increased.

For the United States, Google received 7,969 requests during the time period, of which 16,281 user accounts were specified. Google also explained that it sometimes received “falsified court orders asking us to remove content.”

This is the sixth time we’ve released this data, and one trend has become clear: Government surveillance is on the rise. As you can see from the graph below, government demands for user data have increased steadily since we first launched the Transparency Report. In the first half of 2012, there were 20,938 inquiries from government entities around the world. Those requests were for information about 34,614 accounts.

The report showed that requests around the world for the removal of content also continued to increase: expand full story

U.S. Stories October 17, 2012

We know Apple has had a lot of success pushing iPads in education, and during Apple’s Q3 conference call, CEO Tim Cook said the company would continue to be “very aggressive”. Apple’s iPad 2 sales in the K-12 market doubled y-o-y in Q3 thanks to a price drop to $399. In Q2, Apple said it sold about a million iPad units to the United States education market. With Apple’s upcoming iPad mini announcement possibly bringing an even lower price point for iPads in education, Amazon is announcing its plans today to get Kindle tablets into schools.

Reuters reported today that Amazon is launching a service, called “Whispercast”, aimed at allowing schools to easily deploy and manage multiple kindle devices:

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U.S. Stories July 16, 2012

Sony announced this morning that it is bringing its Xperia NXT Series to the United States with all three devices, including the Xperia S, Xperia P, and Xperia U, now available unlocked through Sony stores across the country and sony.com/NXTNewegg.com, and various other online retailers. While we do not get LTE with any of these devices like AT&T’s Xperia Ion, they are compatible with both AT&T and T-Mobile’s networks. The lineup of devices originally unveiled at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona in February.

The flagship model of the series is the $560 Xperia S with a 4.3-inch 1,280-by-720 display, 12 megapixel main cam, 1GB of RAM, a 1.5 GHz Qualcomm Dual Core processor, and it is available in black and white.

As for the Xperia P: $480 will get you a 4 inch, 960-by-540 display, 8 megapixel camera, 1GB of RAM, and a 1GHz dual core processor. The Xperia P is available in the silver, red, and black models that can be seen in the videos above and below. Xperia U is $300 (black or white), and it provides decent specs for the price point with a 3.5-inch 854-by-480 display, 5-megapixel camera, 512MB of RAM, and a 1Ghz dual core processor.

The entire NXT lineup comes with Android 2.3, but it is already upgradable to Ice Cream Sandwich. The two high-end models, Xperia S and P, also have built-in NFC, HDMI with BRAVIA Sync, as well as Sony’s Mobile BRAVIA Engine display technology.

Sony’s full press release and intro videos for the NXT lineup are below:

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U.S. Stories May 1, 2012

Following IDC’s report this morning that highlighted Apple’s continued growth among mobile phone marketshare worldwide, while coming second to Samsung in global smartphone marketshare, research firm comScore just released its numbers for United States mobile subscribers for the three-month period ending March 2012.

According to comScore, Apple posted impressive growth during the quarter with 30.7-percent marketshare among smartphone platforms in the U.S (up from 29.6-percent). Increasing from 47.3-percent in December 2011 to 51 percent in March 2012, Android was able to grab the top position for platforms during the quarter. Growth for Android and iOS continues to come at the expense of RIM. The company grabbed just 12.3-percent of the platform market in March, which is down from 16 percent in December 2011. Microsoft also lost marketshare with 3.9-percent, which is down from 4.7-percent… expand full story

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