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Most of the recent focus on near-field communications and RFID technology is targeted at mobile payments and advertising. One company, however, is thinking beyond the basics and using the tech to recall your memories — if you consider memories to be user-generated content from smartphones. Read more »

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As consumers purchase a greater number of web-connected devices such as tablets, portable game devices and eBook readers, they don’t want to leave these items behind. Automakers are beginning to see the potential of integrated Wi-Fi in cars, which will boost revenue opportunities down the road. Read more »

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Cox Communications, the third largest cable provider in the U.S., today entered the wireless market after more than two years of planning. Incumbent carriers should take note: Cox Wireless customers get refunds for unused minutes, plan pricing is competitive and ETF charges are pro-rated properly. Read more »

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Layar, creator of a mobile augmented reality (AR) platform, today announced $14 million in funding led by Intel Capital. The funds will be used for three purposes, all of which are meant to create “augmented reality experiences to people’s everyday lives,” says Maarten Lenz-FitzGerald of Layar. Read more »

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Just 40 days after introducing it, LG has sold 1 million Optimus handsets, a relatively low-priced Google Android smartphone targeted for first-time smartphone owners. The Optimus represents a growing challenge for handset companies such as Nokia to transition away from feature phones with value-priced smartphones. Read more »

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As print magazines continue to struggle through a digital transition, it’s nice to see some “old school” journals embrace digital medium in new ways, the latest being Guitar World. Today, GW launched a free app that teaches guitar licks daily for a relatively inexpensive subscription fee. Read more »

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Chrome OS devices are coming soon, with several vendors planning to offer them. When Google announced Chrome OS, it sounded ideal for mobile web-workers, but the market has completely changed since then. As a result, the window of opportunity for Chrome OS netbooks may be closed. Read more »

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Samsung’s Galaxy S is the first smartphone certified for Wi-Fi Direct, a new standard that supports peer-to-peer wireless transfers without an access point or hotspot. Users could securely shoot media or data to a wireless printer, hard drive, picture frame or any number of Wi-Fi-capable devices. Read more »

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The free FLYsmart app arrives on Android devices today, offering air travelers flight tracking, gate information and airport maps with support for indoor location. Software that helps navigate inside facilities isn’t new, but as FLYsmart demonstrates, location plus other contextual services will trump navigation-only mobile apps. Read more »

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Nokia Siemens Networks today launched a mobile application to measure and report real-time 3G connectivity service levels. That’s similar to a crowdsourced consumer app from Root Wireless, but if NSN can embed its solution in the network equipment it provides, future data networks could be self-optimizing. Read more »

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Symbian, the open-sourced platform used in Nokia’s smartphones, gained a €22m investment from the ARTEMIS Joint Technology Initiative to create the SYMBEOSE consortium from 8 member nations. What’s the sudden public-private interest in Symbian? Fear of a future filled with embedded devices running Google Android. Read more »

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Two noted analysts are predicting good times for Qualcomm, and not just because the chipmaker provides the processing and connectivity for many of the top-rated Android handsets. Qualcomm is ready to add sales of 10 million more chips per quarter by powering the CDMA Apple iPhone. Read more »

lg-optimus-t-featured

Can a $30 Android smartphone compete with high-end devices costing five times more? Provided you can give up some performance and a few advanced features, it definitely can. The LG Optimus T represents a future filled with low-priced Android smartphones for current feature phone users. Read more »

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