Tim Conneally

Sprint buys $480 million worth of U.S. Cellular's Midwest wireless business

St. Louis Gateway Arch


Third-largest U.S. wireless network operator Sprint on Wednesday announced it will be acquiring $480 million worth of wireless spectrum from eighth-largest carrier U.S. Cellular in various markets in five different midwest states.

The spectrum licenses encompass 10MHz or 20MHz blocks of space in the 1900 MHz band, the band Sprint is building its 4G LTE network upon. These expanded areas of coverage, which include urban areas of Chicago, St. Louis, South Bend, Indiana and Champaign, Illinois, will be included in Sprint's overarching Network Vision upgrade which began last year.

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Enterprise social network Unison is going mobile to compete with Yammer, Chatter, Podio

Unison enterprise social network web interface

Next week, private social networking startup Unison is launching on both the iOS and Android platforms, so enterprise users can have mobile access to all the features of the browser-based version of Unison, plus persistent presence and voice note chatting from your mobile device.

The overall impact of social media on the enterprise sector is difficult to measure. It has changed interpersonal communications, it has changed the information cycle, and it has changed the way companies observe and interact with their customers. Though the impact is still difficult to measure, it's relatively easy to create a picture of the overall enterprise social media landscape with qualitative assessments.

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Splashtop 2 launches for Android smartphones, brings Windows 8 gestures along

Splashtop 2

Remote desktop software maker Splashtop Inc on Tuesday announced it has made Splashtop 2 universal on the Android platform, supporting both tablets and smartphones, and offering special optimization for devices built on Qualcomm's Snapdragon systems-on-a-chip.

Splashtop 2 has been available for iPad since last June, and for Android tablets since mid-August, and the product marked a generational shift in Splashtop's business model. The original version of Splashtop was a for-pay application that let users connect to their desktop PC through their iOS or Android device as long as they were on the same local Wi-Fi network.

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Halo 4 launches at midnight everywhere: Where will you be?

Ed Oswald, taken via camera phone

Halo 4, the latest milestone edition in Microsoft's most iconic video game franchise, launches at 12:01am on November 6.

It's been eleven years since the original Halo: Combat Evolved was released, and though there have been a couple of noteworthy titles launched recently, it's been five years since the last "numbered" Halo (Halo 3, that is) was released.

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FEMA debunks Hurricane Sandy rumors with new Snopes-like page

FEMA

The U.S. Government's Federal Emergency Management Agency, known commonly by the acronym FEMA, is cracking down on false information and rumor circulating on the internet about Hurricane Sandy and related recovery efforts.

FEMA's introduction of its Snopes-like site follows a highly publicized Twitter misinformation campaign perpetrated by a former hedge fund analyst and republican political consultant tweeting under the name @comfortablysmug.

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Hey, we know how you feel: Softbank gives half a million dollars in Hurricane Sandy relief

Red Cross disaster relief

Japan's third-largest wireless carrier Softbank announced on Friday that it is donating $500,000 to the American Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund to support the relief efforts in East Coast areas seriously affected by Hurricane Sandy.

"Our thoughts are with the millions of people in the Northeastern United States who have been impacted by Hurricane Sandy," said Softbank Chairman and CEO Masayoshi Son in a statement on Friday. "With homes destroyed and families displaced, we hope that our donation can lend some needed assistance to those in the U.S. as they rebuild and recover."

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For the first time ever, Microsoft is not a Kaspersky top-10 security vulnerability

remote access laptop hacker security


Security researcher and software vendor Kaspersky Lab on Friday released its quarterly malware report for the third quarter of 2012, and for the first time in the history of the report, not a single Microsoft product had a vulnerability in the top ten vulnerabilities list.

Kaspersky says the automatic updates mechanism in recent versions of Windows has prevented exploits from getting out of hand by patching vulnerabilities quickly and quietly.

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MIT engineers may have cracked the smartphone battery life problem

Photo: Phuriphat/Shutterstock

ETA Devices, a Massachusetts company founded by MIT electrical engineering professors Joel Dawson and David Perrault, has designed a new signal amplifier for cellular communications that could result in a massive drop in power consumption.

As our mobile communications technologies progress, our demands for electrical energy have increased, both on the end user side and on the tower side. When a phone is looking for a signal, for example, the transmitter kicks on, the amplifier cranks up its signal, the energy demands increase, the phone heats up, and the battery dies quickly.

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Symantec completes VeriSign Japan acquisition, expands presence in strong Asian market

Security money currency yen euro dollar

Computer security company Symantec announced on Thursday that its acquisition of VeriSign Japan KK was complete, and as of November first, the Japanese company is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Symantec.

Two years ago, Symantec spent an estimated $1.28 billion in cash to acquire Verisign's identity and authentication businesses, including its Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) Certificate Services, Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) Services, the VeriSign Trust Services and the VeriSign Identity Protection (VIP) Authentication Service.

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Answers launches exclusive Windows 8 app: This is more important than you may think

Answers app on Windows 8

Thursday, question and answer site Answers launched its new Windows 8 application in the Windows Store.

The application is designed in the Windows 8 style, gives users the basic functionality of asking, answering and editing questions, as well as exploring over 8,000 categories and browsing featured content based on interests. The app utilizes the Windows 8 system-wide search functionality, and users can pin Q&A categories as live tiles on the start screen.

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AT&T and T-Mobile share networks for post-hurricane cleanup

Hurricane

Wireless carriers T-Mobile and AT&T announced on Tuesday that customers of either network will be able to place calls on whichever network is most operational in their area. If an AT&T customer can get a T-Mobile signal, they'll be able to place a call, and vice-versa.

Both networks utilize GSM and UMTS wireless standards, so by working together, they can provide more comprehensive coverage in storm-damaged areas.

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Google Search and Maps now include missing children AMBER alerts

Google Amber alert

AMBER alerts are the emergency bulletins that announce when a child has been abducted, they sometimes interrupt radio and television broadcasts or flash across variable message signs (aka matrix signs) on the highway. Today, Google announced it has teamed up with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children to bring location-based AMBER alerts to Google Search and Maps, both mobile and desktop.

These AMBER Alerts provide information about the abducted child, and any other details about the case and the alleged abductor, including name, identifying traits, and make and model of car. The feature was actually suggested to Google by a user in the Google search forum in early 2011, but it is unclear if the user's suggestion was the origin of this development.

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Windows 8, Windows Phone live tile interface called a copycat in patent infringement suit

Surfcast Inc. Tile interface used to sue Microsoft

In the district court of Maine yesterday, a small, privately owned company called Surfcast Inc. filed a patent infringement complaint against Microsoft for its famous live tile interface, now common among both the Windows and Windows Phone operating system families.

Surfcast was granted a patent back in 2004 (#6,724,403) for a "System and Method For Simultaneous Display of Multiple Information Sources," which bears a strong resemblance to Microsoft's live tile interface.

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Still concerned about the future of PC gaming? Havok pledges full support to Windows 8, RT

Assassin's Creed, Havok

Today, Intel subsidiary Havok, an early Windows Phone supporter, announced its complete technology suite will be available to Windows 8, Windows RT and Windows Phone 8 game developers later in the year. Havok's middleware powers a tremendous number of the most popular video games.

Last June, Valve CEO Gabe Newell famously said Windows 8 would be "a catastrophe" for the PC industry, with specifically catastrophic results for the PC gaming industry. Blizzard's Executive Vice President of Game Design Rob Pardo added to Newell's comment, saying Windows 8 was "not awesome for Blizzard, either." Shortly thereafter, Minecraft creator Markus "Notch" Persson expressed worry that a "locked down" Windows 8 would be "very very bad for Indie games and competition in general."

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Speeding jet fighter maintains 19Mbps LTE connection in Ericsson test

Notebook PCs in Jet traveling at 477kph

We consumers may still have to rely on mind-bendingly slow in-flight internet connections when we travel, but Swedish wireless communications infrastructure company Ericsson has successfully tested LTE tower connections in a jet traveling 700kph.

Using a low-flying Saab SK60 training jet, Ericsson engineers tested how the Doppler effect would interfere with a standard LTE connection moving at an extremely high rate of speed. While flying at over 600km/h between Linköping and Västervik Sweden, Ericsson's equipment managed a seamless handover from one radio base station to the next while streaming video. The video stream was reportedly uninterrupted.

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