Ed Oswald

AT&T begins giving 'Early iPhone Discount' to select customers

iPhone 4S

With iPhone 5's launch presumably close, and the 4S itself being discounted at carriers and retailers (and Apple, too, if you ask), AT&T now offers an early discount to smartphone customers ahead of the launch of the next model.

AT&T smartphone customers are being extended the same benefit that iPhone 3GS customers received in 2010 ahead of the launch of the iPhone 4, and some iPhone 4 customers saw ahead of the iPhone 4S announcement. As was the case previously, getting the special pricing requires a new two-year contract.

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Red Hat's OpenStack preview debuts, supported version due in 2013

servers cloud

Red Hat released a preview of its OpenStack cloud platform, and says a fully supported version will debut in 2013. The move puts the open-source software company in direct competition with Citrix and its CloudStack offering, a move aimed to solidify its position in the cloud computing industry.

The company's software joins at least two other enterprise-grade OpenStack distributions: Piston Computing's Enterprise OpenStack, and another called Nebula, which was created by OpenStack cofounder Chris Kemp. Nebula will debut within the next several months.

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Apple price matches iPhone, but it's nothing new -- should you wait anyway?

money shred cash

Here come the iPhone price cuts. With the launch of the iPhone 5 likely a little over a month away, retailers are beginning to drop prices on iPhone 4 and iPhone 4S models in stock in order to make way for the new device.

There's a key difference here over previous pricing changes, and that's the adjustments are originating with the carriers first and trickling down to retailers. AT&T and Verizon's pricing on the iPhone 4 and 4S remain at $99 and $199 for the 16GB model: however Sprint has lowered the price of the 4S to $149.99.

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Mars Rover Curiosity camera isn't as good as your cell phone's

Mars Surface from Curiosity

NASA's Curiosity rover landed on the surface of Mars on Sunday night, and almost immediately began transferring back to Earth the first images of the Martian surface. But for its reported $2.5 billion price tag, the images have a little less clarity than you might expect.

Curiosity's cameras have a maximum resolution of two megapixels. For perspective's sake, modern smartphones typically are 8MP or more. The result will be images that are sharper than those of Martian rovers past, yet lack the clarity that would be expected of a modern research craft.

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YouTube app disappears from latest iOS 6 beta, Apple says license has 'ended'

youtube big

Apple's divorce from Google is nearly complete: say goodbye to the native YouTube app. The change came within iOS 6 Beta 4 which released to testers on Monday. The reasons for the move are unclear: little was said other than the license to carry YouTube in iOS had expired.

Monday's news follows Apple's decision to dump Google Maps in favor of its own in-house solution. As competition heated up in the smartphone sector and Google's Android gained more market share, the two companies have begun to distance themselves from one another.

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Apple's dock connector update may trigger refresh of entire product line

Apple Store

While the focus on Apple's next big thing has surrounded the likely release of the iPhone 5 next month, the Cupertino, Calif. company's decision to change the dock connector may affect its entire product line, a new report claims.

Rene Ritchie at iMore says sources told the publication that the entire iOS device lineup will receive a refresh when the iPhone 5 launches, rumored to occur on September 12. The report claims that date will see a refreshed iPad, new iPod nano and iPod touches, the iPhone 5, and even the debut of the 7-inch iPad.

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What's in a name? Metro becomes a bad word at Microsoft

Windows 8 Metro

Microsoft isn't known for its ability in picking catchy names, so it was somewhat shocking when the Redmond, Wash. company began referring to its clean, typography-first interface as "Metro". It was beautifully simple, and just seemed to fit.

Not anymore.

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Dead Trigger is now free on iOS too, but is piracy really to blame?

Dead Trigger

A week after Madfinger Games made much to-do about piracy driving its decision to make first-person zombie shooting game Dead Trigger free on the Android platform, the game developer has now done the same for the iOS version.

Those who purchased the game while it was 99 cents will be given in-game currency 25 gold and ten casino chips in the 1.1.2 update. Unlike last time however, there is no grandstanding from CEO Marek Rabas on a privacy problem on Apple's mobile platform. All we know is that Madfinger is moving to a "freemium" model with Dead Trigger, and in one case, blamed it on piracy.

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Why aren't you mobilizing your business in the cloud?

businessman cloud

Is your business cloud-ready? More importantly, are you using the cloud to mobilize your business? Mobile connectivity has become crucial to businesses, and in many cases a necessity. While on the road, it's important for your employees to have access to their email, mission-critical business applications, and the Web itself.

A recent study by research firm SMB Group showed that small-and-medium businesses are looking to mobilize, not only increase productivity but save money. Forty-four percent of all respondents said the ability to work from the field was a driving force in their mobile business strategy, while one-quarter say the ability to make decisions faster was a key factor.

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Twitter admits it acted inappropriately in suspending journalist's account

guilty guilt culpable

The controversy over the suspension of a Twitter account belonging to a journalist critical of NBC's Olympics coverage deepened Tuesday. UK daily The Telegraph reports that NBC officials say Twitter alerted the network first about The Independent correspondent's tweets, which Twitter later confirmed.

Twitter's move will likely upset those already complaining that Twitter's actions were an affront to free speech even more: the social network actually informed NBC's social media department how to use its complaint system, which resulted in the suspension.

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NBC pressures Twitter to shutter account of journalist critical of Olympics coverage

twitter bird

As criticism over NBC's coverage of the 2012 Olympics in London grows, the network now finds itself at the center of a controversy surrounding its apparent involvement in the suspension of the Twitter account of an American journalist.

Guy Adams, the Independent's Los Angeles bureau chief, has been extremely critical of NBC's coverage of the games. In a series of tweets, Adams takes on NBC's decision to run almost no major event live, and Matt Lauer's sometimes inane banter during the Opening Ceremony coverage. Adams even went so far as to criticize NBC Olympics president Gary Zenkel.

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Apple scoops up security firm AuthenTec for $356 million

attack mac keyboard security malware virus

Apple has agreed to purchase security firm AuthenTec for $356 million, a Thursday SEC filing from the Melbourne, Fla.-based company indicates. Apple is likely looking to bolster the security credentials of its products, and with the recent focus by hackers on Apple's products, that might be a good idea.

AuthenTec produces a variety of software and hardware-based security solutions, including fingerprint sensors. Its VPN security software is already included in smartphones and tablets from Samsung, and its DRM platform is used to protect streaming content within the HBO GO application.

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Google's Kansas City ultra-fast fiber network set to debut

ethernet fiber optic cable wire

Residents of the Kansas City metropolitan area are close to having access to super-fast Internet as Google unveiled its fiber-to-the-home service on Thursday. For as little as $70 per month, Google will provide 1 Gigabit Internet service to customers in both Kansas City, Mo. and Kansas City, Kan.

The service will also include a television component for an additional $50 per month. Deployment depends on the number of consumers that pre-register in a specific area: Google will only complete runs of fiber-optic cable to where the demand is highest.

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Yes, Twitter was down (And Google Talk was too).

failwhale

It has not been a good day for messaging services.

Both Twitter and Google Talk experienced service problems Thursday, with Google Talk down for much of the morning and Twitter until early this afternoon. As of press time, neither Twitter nor Google had given specific reasons for the downtime.

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Malware infects three-quarters of the world's top banks

security malware trojan map world

File this story in the "Who do you trust with your money?" category.

Eighteen of the top 24 banks in the world have malware problems, security firm Lookingglass says on Wednesday. Even three-year old worms that have long had patches and fixes to address them continue to infect the PCs of banks, including Conficker, found (gasp) in the IT deployments of 10 of the top 24.

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