Friday, January 24, 2014

2014 Detroit Auto Show: Mercedes unveils new midsized sedan

Mercedes-Benz showed off the next-generation C-Class at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit on Monday. The 2015 C-Class will be roomier than the current model and offer more safety features and amenities.Mercedes is growing the car and adding features because it is no longer the luxury brand’s entry-level vehicle. That role has fallen to the smaller CLA, a just-released sedan starting at about $30,000, roughly 20% less expensive than the expected starting price of the new C.“It’s not uncommon for lower-priced models to slowly move upmarket and get replaced by all-new, entry-level models,” said Karl Brauer, an analyst at auto information company Kelley Blue Book.“The C-Class was never the sportiest car in that segment, so making the next version larger and more luxurious isn’t a major shift for the model’s image or role,” Brauer said.united-promoMercedes’ challenge will be to pack enough luxury features into the new C while still keeping the price competitive, he said.The C300 will come with a 2.0-liter,Tampon turbocharged and direct-injected four-cylinder that will produce an estimated 235 horsepower and 273 pound-feet of torque.The C400 will have a 3.0-liter turbocharged, direct-injected V6 making an estimated 329 horsepower and 354 pound-feet of torque. Expect a diesel option later.Initially, Mercedes will offer only the all-wheel-drive version. A rear-wheel-drive model will follow. 

The new C grows by four inches in length and 1.6 inches width. Mercedes has used that extra room to make a cramped back seat more comfortable. The trunk capacity also has grown to 17 cubic feet from 12.4.The bigger C gives Mercedes slots in nicely in the brands lineup, said Stephanie Brinley, an analyst at HIS Automotive, fitting between the CLA and the larger E-Class and S-Class models.And like Ford,Soft cup with the 2015 F-150 pickup truck also introduced at the Detroit show Monday, Mercedes is making a much greater use of aluminum alloys to shave weight from the car and increase fuel economy. The new C-Class will be about 220 pounds lighter than its predecessor.Nearly half the new C-Class platform is made from aluminum, compared with 10% in the outgoing model. This lightweight construction cuts fuel consumption up to 20% over the current model without any loss of performance, Mercedes said.Mercedes has not released fuel consumption numbers for the new car, but the current generation gets 24 or 25 miles per gallon in combined city and highway driving, depending on the engine choice, according to Environmental Protection Agency ratings.The new model will be the first passenger car built by the German manufacturer in America. Mercedes plans to assemble the C-class at the automaker's factory in Alabama, where it already produces sport-utility vehicles. The shift is part of as strategy by Mercedes to build cars closer to their markets to avoid the negative effects of currency fluctuations.

Microsoft's Management Discusses F2Q 2014 Results

Greetings, and welcome to the Microsoft second quarter fiscal year 2014 earnings conference call. [Operator instructions.] It is now my pleasure to introduce your host, Chris Suh, General Manager of Investor Relations for Microsoft. Thank you, Chris. You may begin.Thank you, operator. On our website,, is our financial summary slide deck, which is intended to follow our prepared remarks and provides a reconciliation of differences between GAAP and non-GAAP financial measures.As a reminder, we will post today's prepared remarks to our website immediately following the call, until the complete transcript is available. Today's call is being webcast live and recorded. If you ask a question, it will be included in our live transmission, in the transcript, and in any future use of the recording. You can replay the call and view the transcript at the Microsoft Investor Relations website until January 23, 2015.During this call, we will be making forward-looking statements, which are predictions, projections, or other statements about future events. These statements are based on current expectations and assumptions that are subject to risks and uncertainties. Actual results could materially differ because of factors discussed in today's earnings press release, in the comments made during this conference call, and in the Risk Factors section of our Form 10-K, Form 10-Q, and other reports and filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. We do not undertake any duty to update any forward-looking statements.Before I hand the call over to Amy, please keep in mind that all growth comparisons we make on the call today will relate to the corresponding period of last year. Also, unless specified otherwise, all impacted numbers for the current quarter have been adjusted for the cumulative effect of last year's revenue deferrals and recognition related Windows, Office, and Xbox video games. 

As a reminder, with our new segment reporting structure, we have consolidated adjustments of this nature into “corporate and other” to provide better comparability of operating results. You can find details of the adjustments and a reconciliation of differences between GAAP and non-GAAP financial measures in our financial summary slide deck.Thank you, Chris.Period Cup Good afternoon and thank you all for joining us today. As I look back on the quarter, I am pleased with the results, as we exceeded our expected revenue growth while continuing to maintain our focus on improved execution and cost management.TamponOur devices and consumer segment had a very good quarter and grew 13%, with a successful holiday. Our commercial segments had another great quarter, and grew 10%, to over $12 billion, as we continue to deliver on our differentiated cloud strategy.We performed well this quarter, and you see it in our financial results. This holiday, we continued to make significant progress in the consumer space, headlined by Xbox One, which launched in 13 markets and sold in 3.9 million units in just over five weeks.united-promoAccording to NPD Group figures, Xbox One was the leading console in the U.S. for the month of December, which was its first full month in market. When adding in Xbox 360, which held the third spot, Xbox led the U.S. market, with 46% share in December. We are excited by this enthusiastic response from our loyal customers, and are working to increase the availability of Xbox One.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

iPhone 6 Features We Want from Apple

The iPhone 5s is just a few months old, but seeing as how we’re already into 2014 and a new iPhone will more than likely be released later this year at some point, it’s not too early to talk about the next generation, currently referred to as simply the iPhone 6 for now, although rumors have pointed to the “iPhone Air” as a possible name for the device.Period CupWe’ve already talked plenty about iPhone 6 rumors and what we can most likely expect out of the new device, but we’ve never really discussed what we’d like to see featured on the next iPhone,united-promo rumor or not — sort of like a wish list that we could give to Apple if we had the chance.There are a lot of rumors flying around about the iPhone 6, many of them are fairly realistic, but there are also a lot of rumors that are pretty ridiculous. With that said, we thought we’d come up with our ideal iPhone 6 and put together a next-gen device that we would want to see later this year. 

There’s a reason that Apple hasn’t slapped a 5-inch display onto the iPhone: the iPhone 5 and iPhone 5s’s 4-inch display allows for a fairly small device that’s easy to hold and easy to store in a pocket while on the go. The Nexus 5 is great and all, but it’s way too big for one-handed operation.However, Apple can go a bit bigger without compromising size. The iPhone 5s has surprisingly thick bezels, but if the company slimmed those down and made the iPhone just a tad larger, it could easily fit in a 4.2-inch display — maybe a 4.5-inch.Furthermore, if they upped the resolution to a proper 1280×720, the device would still be at least the same 326 PPI that the iPhone has always been since the iPhone 4. In other words, a 4.2-inch display is completely feasible.We want to see NFC in the next iPhone, but after Apple revealed iBeacon, we’re not so sure if that’s going to happen. iBeacon might be Apple’s NFC replacement, which can do many of the things that NFC can,Menstrual Cup but with a much wider communication range that’s similar to a local WiFi network. 

Granted, iBeacon will still be useful, and iOS users will still get close to the same benefits in a way, but cross-platform support is out of the question, so sending something via NFC to an iPhone from an Android device might never be possible. Then again, that's something that isn’t new.While I personally don’t think that Apple will implement wireless charging into the iPhone 6, I’d still love to see it as a feature. It's a simple enough technology that Apple could easily explain it to the everyday consumer, and Apple is all about simplicity and convenience, so users wouldn’t need to worry about wall chargers or USB cables if they needed to boost their iPhone juice.As far as how they could implement the technology is an entirely different question. Users might have to buy a separate Apple accessory in order to take advantage of wireless charging, or the company could start making new docks that have wireless charging capabilities inside. Whatever the case, we think wireless charging would be a big hit amongst iPhone users.

Car Accessories For Relaxation and Luxury

Car Accessories For Relaxation and LuxuryYou are looking for whether your automobile is low-priced or costly or sick maintained or maybe well held. You will need to install many car accessories that could make the feeling of travelling, a rather pleasurable a person. External vehicle accessories in addition to internal car or truck accessories are often the two groups of car equipment. Floor mars, specialty dash contains, seat contains fog devices and atmosphere perfumes are furnished car gadgets. It is usually insufficient to help simply get a car after which you can equip it without any accessories. More furnished accessories consist of car tire covers, figure covers, cool and environments accessories plus gas hats. 

You would probably surely need to make auto look wealthy and exciting right? Any time yes, then it’s good to purchase the appropriate accessories. There are a number people that live inspiration. They might do anything to acquire original gadgets. If this really is you, you need in store the showroom that could have each of the accessories you have to equip your vehicle. If possibly not, then a good accessory shop might your very best bet. If you happen to not in the fad with originality, then obtaining them through retailers certainly a better option because cost is leaner. No topic where you pay for the gadgets from, it is very important to decorate your automobile with all of them.The description of gadgets for cars might be ‘necessary add-ons’. They aid in categorize outer walls and insides accessories.GM TECH2 Increasing this performance for the car will be the role that could be played through the add-ons. They likewise go some distance in attracting a person’s eye of these passers-by. Merchandise that give auto, a totally new looks are definitely the car add-ons. If a person compromise to them, you usually are compromising on precisely what will make the vehicle look greater. 

The security portion of the car is not ignored.Menstrual Cup If your house is in a spot where a large amount of fog reigns from the winter, afterward fog equipment, are absolutely essential. If your home is an area where winters are very harsh, then choosing snow plus ice add-ons will are beneficial. Never compromise on the safety and purchasing car add-ons thus gets important. Your own satisfaction will possibly be enhanced using accessories including car take covers, saddle covers together with body includes.x431

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Bolivian president heads welcome reception

Bolivian President Evo Morales Sunday personally welcomed the motorcycle and quad competitors of the Dakar Rally as they arrived in Bolivia as part of the seventh stage of the off-road race.As racers arrived in the southwestern town of Uyuni, a visibly moved Morales thanked the race organizers, the Amaury Sport Organization (ASO), for including Bolivia in the multinational route."We did not qualify for the World Cup (soccer finals), but we have a world-class race with the Dakar, and we hope to expand the race next year," said Morales, as he hugged Bolivian motocross competitor Juan Carlos Salvatierra, who was among the top 20 rally racers."Today I have seen ..China visa service. people moving along the mountain ranges, along the rpp resinivers. It is impressive how sports can bring people together, and that is why I thank the ASO for agreeing to be here."Morales said he hoped future editions of the rally, which has helped boost tourism, would continue to include Bolivia, traversing different regions of the country. 

Spain's Joan Barreda (Honda) won the motorcycle race Sunday,Silicone Wristbands which covered a track that led from the Argentine city of Salta to Bolivia's Uyuni, while Chile's Ignacio Casale won the quad race, with a time of 3 hours and 56 minutes.This year marks the first time Bolivia has been included in the route of the rally, which began Jan. 5 in Argentina and concludes Jan. 13 in Chile, though only two of the rally's four vehicle divisions entered Bolivia. Cars and trucks took a different direct route to Chile Sunday.The quad and motorcycle racers crossed into Bolivia at 9:59 am local time (1359 GMT), at a point called "kilometer zero, Pachamama point," in the border town of Villazon.There, Morales, accompanied by his vice president, Alvaro Garcia, and a group of indigenous elders, welcomed the racers with a traditional ritual to Pachamama, or Mother Earth, asking for the race to go well.This year's 36th edition of the rally kicked off in Rosario, Argentina, with 431 vehicles: 174 motorcycles, 40 quads, 147 cars and 70 trucks.

Canada Post unveils stamps marking Chinese Year of the Horse

Canada Post on Monday unveiled a collection of Year of the Horse stamps to usher in the Chinese Lunar New Year, which will start on Jan. 31.The stamps, the seventh issue in a 12-year series, are part of a popular commemorative stamp program Canada Post has been running for the past 18 years.This year's collection, featuring designs by Louis Gagnon and Daniel Robitaille from Montreal-based firm Paprika, depicts outlines of horses. While it is the second time they have issued Year of the Horse stamps, Canada Post's spokesperson, Eugene Knapik, said this year's design was not like its 2002 predecessor."They (the designers) were influenced by shadow puppetry as well as traditional print-making techniques,GM TECH2 so they've gone with flattened images and used foiling to emphasize the flattening of the images," he explained.The two designers both had their own special traits, said Knapik. 

He pointed out that the international stamp this time adds a twist to a technique used in previous issues, using embossing on the entire image of the horse to add dimension, as opposed to just using the technique in small areas.A reusable silicone cup, worn internally to collect menstrual flow. Includes FAQ and testimonials.Menstrual Cup The domestic stamp depicts a horse in motion with a simple and elegant design."With the domestic stamps, they've really gone for motion," he said. "So when you look at the full sheet of 25 domestic stamps, you will see they're in motion like waves, because the tail of one touches the mane of another."Color is also a key element in the 2014 designs, with the designers making use of the traditional Chinese colors of red and gold on the pair of stamps to evoke the liveliness of fire and to portray a powerful and graceful horse. 

The stamps have become a long-standing tradition at Canada Post to usher in the new year and to celebrate the diverse cultures within the country.x431"Our stamp program focuses on all facets of the Canadian experience, and there's 1.5 million people of Chinese heritage living in Canada, and it's the most important festival in the Chinese calendar," said Knapik, adding that it has become one of their most popular series."I'm amazed at the popularity, the number of people who come out and purchase all the stamps," he added.As always, the launch never fails to attract avid collectors who cannot get enough of the series."I come every year because I have grandsons now, and I like to give it to them," said King Wong, an avid collector. "The kids love them, and they enjoy it very much."

Friday, January 17, 2014

Numerous Retailers Said Hit by Data Attacks Similar to Target's

Numerous retailers were probably hit by an unprecedented series of hacking attacks that extends beyond thefts of credit-card data from Target Corp.pendant lampand Neiman Marcus Group, according to a security company working with the Secret Service.The attacks on retailers may involve multiple groups of hackers who appear to be working from a sophisticated piece of software code that began circulating on underground websites last June, according to a report from iSIGHT Partners, a Dallas, Texas-based security company that tracks cyber criminals.The report doesn’t identify whether the software, dubbed Kaptoxa, was used in the theft of as many as 40 million customer credit and debit card accounts from Target. A person briefed on the investigation, who asked not to be identified because the matter is confidential, confirmed that Kaptoxa is the same software that infected Target. Molly Snyder, a spokeswoman for Target, declined to comment.“We haven’t seen the last of this,” said iSIGHT Chief Executive Officer John Watters in an interview. “Now it’s a race to the bank with the criminals rushing to hijack the data and convert it into criminal gain before the door to profitability is closed.” 

The iSIGHT report said the scale and sophistication of the campaign against retailers’ point of sale systems -- the terminals on which customers swipe credit and debit cards -- may be the largest ever seen, escaping elaborate industry efforts to secure a system that processes more than $3.3 trillion in U.S. transactions annually.Target, the second-largest U.S. discount chain,The knives wholesaler vertical of BRG offers aesthetically and ergonomically designed stainless. has said the theft of customer data may have affected anyone who provided basic information to the retailer over the past several years. In December, Target said credit- and debit-card data for as many as 40 million people who shopped in its stores between Nov. 27 and Dec. 15 may have been compromised. Earlier this month, the company said the thieves also got access to the names, phone numbers and home and e-mail addresses of as many 70 million people.Neiman Marcus said earlier this month some amino resinunauthorized purchases may have been made with customer cards, without disclosing the scope of the breach. Credit-card processors alerted the Dallas-based luxury chain to the incursion in mid-December and the company is working with federal authorities and investigating the matter, according to a statement.

Wall Street rebounds on positive retail sales

U.S. stocks surged Tuesday, bouncing back from Monday's selloff, as better-than-expected retail sales provided a boost to the market.In midday trading, the Dow Jones Industrial Average jumped 70. 90 points, or 0.44 percent, to 16,328.84. The S&P 500 climbed 13. 55 points, or 0.74 percent, to 1,832.75. The Nasdaq Composite Index soared 50.85 points, or 1.24 percent, to 4,164.16.U.S. retail sales edged up 0.2 percent in December following a downwardly revised 0.4-percent gain in November, the Commerce Department said, exceeding market forecasts. "The December retail sales numbers look strong," said a research note Tuesday from FTN Financial. It also added the downward revisions to the October and November numbers must be taken into account.U.S. business inventories rose 0.4 percent in November from the preceding month, the department said in a separate report Tuesday.Moreover, U.S. import prices recorded no change in December following two months of declines, while export prices advanced 0.4 percent, the Labor Department said. 

A pair of notable banks posted a mixed picture in their earnings reports, followed by a bound of earnings reports from other giant banks later this week, which is expected to set the tone of the new earnings season.JPMorgan, the largest U.S. bank by assets, early Tuesday reported a net income of 5.China visa houston3 billion U.S. dollars for the fourth quarter of 2013, down from 5.7 billion dollars a year ago. Its revenue for the quarter was 24.1 billion dollars, down 1 percent compared with the previous year.Legal costs, including the recently announced settlement over JPMorgan's involvement in Bernard Madoff's fraud, took a toll on the bank's results in the fourth quarter. However,Wedding invitations the bank's shares still slightly advanced in midday.Meanwhile, Wells Fargo & Company, the biggest U.S. mortgage lender, reported a record full-year and quarterly net income Tuesday.The main tool that comes in an electric Household scissors often has bits, similar to those used on a drill, that are for sanding and shaping the nail. Its net income in 2013 was 21.9 billion dollars, up 16 percent from last year, while its fourth-quarter net income was 5. 6 billion dollars, up 10 percent year on year.Wells Fargo's record-setting performance was boosted by strong loan and deposit growth, continued improvement in credit quality and strengthened capital levels. But the bank's shares traded in negative territory in the morning trading session.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

UPDATE 2-American Express says exposure to Target breach 'minimal'

Credit card company American Express Co , which reported strong quarterly results on Thursday, said it had seen 'minimal exposure' to the data breach at Target Corp stores during the U.S. holiday shopping season.American Express said it had fraud controls in place on accounts affected in the theft, one of the biggest card breaches on record.About 40 million credit card records and 70 million other records containing data on Target's customers were stolen in the breach disclosed in December."The closed-loop is a big advantage for us, especially in situations like this," Chief Financial Officer Jeff Campbell said on a post-earnings conference call, referring to the company's system of issuing its own cards in addition to processing transactions.Clawfoot tubsEarlier in the day, American Express reported a two-fold jump in fourth-quarter profit as its affluent customers spent more in the U.S. holiday season and fewer users defaulted on payments.The mood is light, and Kidd has two reasons for the smile on his obd2."We ended the year on a strong note, with card member spending up 8 percent despite mixed reports during the holiday shopping season," Chief Executive Ken Chenault said in a statement.Concerns over debit and credit card safety have increased after Target, the third-largest U.S. retailer, disclosed the breach that lasted 19 days through Dec. 15.

Cards on American Express's platform are seen as safer than those on Visa Inc and Mastercard Inc platforms due to the 'closed loop' system.American Express benefited from the holiday shopping season in the United States, with billed business in its core market growing 9 percent in the quarter ended Dec. 31, the highest growth in six quarters."Even though overall growth in consumer spending has been somewhat muted, the fact that American Express focuses on affluent consumers is helping it grow its billed business," said Janney Capital Markets analyst Sameer Gokhale.U.S. retail sales increased 3.8 percent in the 2013 holiday season, according to data released by the National Retail Federation on Tuesday.The same day, the U.light projectS. Commerce Department said retail sales including automobiles, gasoline stations and restaurants rose 1 percent from a year earlier in the October-December period.American Express, a component of the Dow Jones industrial average, said fewer customers defaulted on payments in the quarter, with worldwide net lending write-off rate falling to 1.6 percent from 2 percent, a year earlier.Delinquency rates at credit card companies usually rise in the fourth quarter as customers spend more during the holiday season and then find it difficult to repay loans.

Employment in S.Korea beats expectations in 2013 amid solid recovery

Employment in South Korea beat expectations last year thanks to robust economic recovery caused by the supplementary budget plan in early 2013 and solid job creation in the service industry, a government report showed Wednesday.The South Korean economy created 386,000 jobs in 2013, beating expectations of 320,000 job growth estimated by the government and 300,000 employment forecast by the central bank,Seventh Generation Sanitary Pads, Sanitary Napkin, Sanitary Napkin Pads. Featuring a natural absorbent material derived from wheat.Soft cup according to the Finance Ministry.The ministry said that an average job growth was 292,000 for three years through 2007, noting that last year's job creation exceeded the pre-crisis level.Job creation continued to accelerate last year as the government's massive extra budget plan was implemented in early 2013, boosting the economic recovery and its consequent improvement in the labor market.The Asia's No.4 economy grew 2.A sanitary napkin, sanitary towel, sanitary pad, menstrual pad, maxi pad, or pad is an absorbent item worn by a woman while she is menstruating.Period Cup8 percent last year, with the growth becoming faster to 3.7 percent in the second half of 2013 from 1.9 percent in the first half.An absorbent pad worn externally by women during menstruation to absorb the menstrual flow.Sanitary napkin The Bank of Korea (BOK) expected the economic growth to rise to 3.8 percent in 2014 and 4 percent in 2015.The service sector led last year's job creation. The healthcare and welfare-related industries added 155,000 jobs in 2013 due to the government's efforts to expand support for childcare, and the restaurant and lodging sector created 64,000 workers amid the domestic demand recovery.Employment grew more among those in their 50s and above. Those in their 50s who landed jobs last year were 254,000 with those in their 60s who found jobs reaching 181,000. But those in their 20s and 30s who got a job reduced 50,000 and 21,000 respectively. 

The jobless rate kept falling to 3.1 percent in 2013 after peaking at 3.7 percent in 2010 when the world economy was struggling to recover from the great recession. The jobless rate gauges the percentage of those unemployed who actively sought jobs over the past four weeks to the economically active population, or the sum of people employed and unemployed.The hiring rate was 64.4 percent in 2013, up from 64.2 percent from a year earlier. The employment rate measures the percentage of working people to the working age population, or those aged 15 and over. It is used as an alternative to the jobless rate for assessing labor market conditions.The ministry said that job security rose to the record high level last year due to a rise in regular workers. The rate of regular workers to all wage earners reached 64.4 percent in 2013, up from 62.7 percent in 2012.Overall working hours reduced last year due to an increase in flexible working-hour jobs, which allow workers, especially female laborers, to choose their working hours flexibly to help them nurture children, the ministry said.Meanwhile, the number of those employed increased 560,000 in December from a year earlier, maintaining the job growth of more than 500,000 for two straight months.The hiring rate among those aged between 15 and 64 rose 0.9 percentage point on-year to 64.6 percent last month, while the unemployment rate edged up 0.1 percentage point to 3 percent in December.

S&P 500 sets all-time high on encouraging data

U.S. stocks, bolstered by positive economic data from the United States and the encouraging fourth-quarter earnings from Bank of America, rose for a second consecutive day Wednesday, bringing the S&P 500 to the uncharted territory.The benchmark Standard & Poor's 500-stock Index hit a new record high of 1,850.84 points in intraday trading, before receding to end at 1,848.x43138, also an all-time closing high, up 9. 50 points, or 0.52 percent.The Nasdaq Composite Index refreshed a high in more than 13 years, surging 31.87 points, or 0.76 percent, to 4,214.88.The Dow Jones Industrial Average rallied 108.08 points, or 0.66 percent, to 16,481.94.Bank of America released a strong earnings report Wednesday,Banner Pen which said its net income for the fourth quarter of last year soared to 3.4 billion U.S. dollars, or 29 cents per diluted share, compared to 732 million dollars, or 3 cents a share, from the same period of the previous year. The company's total revenue in the quarter rose 15 percent year on year to 21.7 billion dollars.The bank's shares advanced 2.27 percent to 17.15 dollars apiece.The fourth-quarter results from all the six major U.S. banks will be released by the end of this week, which is expected to set the tone of the new earnings season.

JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Wells Fargo posted a mixed picture in their earnings reports one day earlier.Positive economic data coming out in the day also buoyed investors' sentiment, which had showed a relatively restless sign in the beginning of the New Year following a stellar year of 2013 for the stock market.Manufacturing activity in the New York region expanded at a faster pace in January, with the general business conditions index rising to 12.5, its highest level in more than a year, said the Federal Reserve Bank of New York Wednesday.U.S. mortgage applications surged 11.9 percent last week, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association.Moreover, the U.S. Producer Price Index for finished goods advanced 0.4 percent in December on a seasonally adjusted basis,GM TECH2 the Labor Department reported.The Federal Reserve's Beige Book strengthened the opinion that the U.S. economy is picking up, saying that economic activity continued to expand across most regions and sectors.In corporate news, Apple shares jumped 2.01 percent to 557.36 dollars apiece, as China Mobile, the world's biggest mobile network, will start selling iPhone models Friday. The Chinese telecom giant has reportedly received 1.2 million pre-orders.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

What court's decision on FCC net neutrality rules means for you

Internet content is no longer treated equally in 2014, as the Federal Communications Commission Open Internet Order ran into a closed courtroom door this week in the net neutrality case of Verizon v. FCC.This controversial ruling in favor of internet service providers (ISPs) strikes down government regulations that had prohibited their discrimination of data that passed through their pipelines.The mistake of the FCC was that it classified ISPs as "information service providers" in 2002. This week, more than a decade later,China tourist visaamino resin the court's 3-0 decision saw through the agency's attempt to adopt rules as if ISPs were of the more regulated "common carriers" distinction applied to telecom companies.Now Verizon,Banner Pen AT&T, Time Warner or whomever you get your internet from can legally increase the speed of content that conforms to their business needs and, without rebuke, slow down or even block content that rivals their own services.If YouTube or Netflix are hogging up all of the bandwidth, for example, and your ISP has its own half-baked on-demand video service, it could essentially sabotage the download speeds of YouTube and Netflix and favor its own service.This, as you can imagine, bodes poorly for content consumers, a.k.a. the American public. 

Proponents of net neutrality rules are alarmed at this verdict because it could create a tiered internet in which ISPs become the gatekeepers to what you can and can't access on the web.The scenario in which Netflix is treated differently from a cable provider's own video on-demand service isn't so far fetched. It actually happened in 2012 and caught the attention of Netflix CEO and Comcast subscriber Reed Hastings.Hastings noticed that Comcast didn't count the data used to stream video through its own Xfinity app on Xbox 360. A button click away, the video game console's Netflix, Hulu Plus and HBO Go apps did count against the data cap instituted by Comcast, giving Xfinity an unfair advantage.Scenarios like this make it clear that the choice as to which service is best may no longer be in the hands of users. ISPs could heavily influence your online habits from here on out.That's not only bad for the well-funded Netflix, it's devastating for the garage-based app developer with a legitimately innovative idea. The next Snapchat could easily be overshadowed by a deep-pocketed copycat like Facebook's inferior Poke app if it were too slow or counted against your data plan. Facebook would have the money to copy and compete, but two Stanford University students with an original idea would not.Ultimately, the biggest losers would be content consumers - you and everyone who uses and enjoys internet content.

Google's latest Chrome release tries to replace the Windows 8 desktop

According to stats published by Google, the newest Android release, codenamed KitKat, is powering over one percent of all Android devices accessing the Google Play store.The data, which is based on smartphones and tablets accessing the Google Play store over a 7-day period ending on January 8, 2014, shows that Android 4.4 is installed on 1.4 percent of devices.Android 4.4 was release on 31 October, 2013, and first made its public appearance on the Nexus 5.This latest version has a long way to go to catch up with the previous release, codenamed Jelly Bean. This release, which includes versions 4.1.x, 4.2.x and 4.3, power 59.1 percent of Android devices and makes it the single most popular version. However,x431 Android version 4.1.x is the single most popular release, installed on 35.9 percent of devices.This means that there's considerable fragmentation among devices running Jelly Bean, with the majority unable to benefit from features introduced in versions 4.2.Seventh Generation Sanitary Pads, Sanitary Napkin, Sanitary Napkin Pads. Featuring a natural absorbent material derived from wheat.Soft cupx, 4.3, and now 4.4 as KitKat is rolled out to handsets.However, Jelly Bean's nearest rival continues to be Android 2.3.x Gingerbread, a version first released back in February 2011, and this version continues to power 21.2 percent of the devices accessing the Google Play store. However, the good news is that this version's dominance is eroding slowly as the months progress, but it is likely to remain significant for at least another year. 

The problem with getting users up to the latest version is not down to a lack of interest. Indeed, the speed and ferocity with which iOS users upgrade to the latest version shows that users clearly are interested in new versions of operating systems. The problem is that Google is the beginning of a long system that updates have to go through.Whenever Google releases a new version of Android,drives his golf cart across the street to the high school and unlocks the key programmer. device OEMs have to then customize the release, add their own tweaks and personalizations. Then, for smartphones and tablets that are hooked to a carrier contract, the carriers have to add their own branding. The problem is made worse by the fact that neither the OEMs of the carriers feel there's much of a benefit in pushing free software updates to customers, and would rather focus on selling owners a new device. Beginning in April 2013, Google started delivering data collected from each device when the user visited the Google Play Store. Previously, the data was collected when the device simply checked in to Google servers. Google believes that the new data "more accurately reflects those users who are most engaged in the Android and Google Play ecosystem."

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

GM wins awards, Ford turns heads at Detroit auto show

General Motors' Chevrolet unit swept car and truck of the year honors but Ford's use of aluminum in its F150 sparked new debate on the first day of the Detroit auto show Monday.But as cars from Mercedes Benz's new C-Class and Honda's little third-generation Fit showed, consumers are getting more amenities, from connectivity to power to comfort, in the lower ranges of the automakers' fleets."There's a tremendous amount of innovation taking place in the industry right now," said Robert Carter, senior vice president for automotive operations at Toyota.Automakers, after a hugely successful 2013, forecast more growth and unveiled powerful new trucks, sexy sports cars and luxury models.General Motors logged an early win after its Chevrolet brand swept the car and truck of the year awards with the Corvette Stingray sports car and the Chevy Silverado pickup truck."Chevrolet is in the midst of the most aggressive product transformation in the brand's more than 100-year history," Chevy chief Alan Batey said, hailing its wins.Eyes were on Ford, however, as it gambled with a major change for the best-selling F150 pickup,Lanyard Strap replacing steel body panels with aluminum to drastically lower body weight and boost fuel economy. 

The move, which helped Ford slash the truck's weight by up to 700 pounds (317 kilos) is seen as a big risk, because truck buyers tend to focus on sturdiness and power.Toyota, meanwhile, revved up its design credentials with a provocative new concept for a sports car, with a race car pit crew opening a shiny red box to reveal the FT-1 sports concept -- Future Toyota 1.Chrysler unveiled its hotly anticipated revamp of the 200 sedan, which aims to bring a new level of luxury and styling to its midsized offering with a low entry price of $21,700."We designed a car to take on every other vehicle in its class, feature by feature and prove that a quality sedan doesn't have to cross an ocean to be worthy of an American driveway,Shop our enormous selection of knife sets - islands, range hoods, pot racks, cabinet and pantry organizers and more." Chrysler brand chief Al Gardner told reporters.Mercedes got a jump on its competitors by hiring Kelly Rowland of Destiny's Child to serenade its sleek and luxurious new C-Class sedan, an upgrade from the entry-level position it has held for several years.Now that role has been taken by the CLA, and the C-Class has been decked out with features from higher-end Mercedes.Also enjoying the move down from senior models is the diminutive Honda Fit.light project Honda has reshaped the front, enlarged the inside with generous leg space for a subcompact, boosted horsepower to 130 and worked to smooth the ride, adding a right-side Lane Watch, Bluetooth, rearview cameras, and upgraded smart phone connectivity.Corvette also generated excitement with its new racing versions of the Corvette Stingray, the street-legal Z06 and the track-ready CR.7.Mark Reuss, a senior executive at General Motors, Chevrolet's parent, said there was little to separate the two, which he called "America's Supercar"."Racing motorsports and winning is a part of who we are," said Reuss.Kia and Toyota brought in concept pocket-rockets, BMW served up a hat-trick of new models -- the 2 series, and an M3 and M4.

Ultra HD quality coming to TV

After attempts to hawk 3-D and OLED TVs fizzled in recent years, television manufacturers are taking small steps toward making a new technology, Ultra HD, more viable for mainstream consumers.It’s the first TV format to be driven by the Internet video-streaming phenomenon, and at the International CES gadget show last week, major streaming players Netflix and Amazon said they’ll offer movies and TV shows in the format, and Sharp introduced a relatively inexpensive TV with near-Ultra HD quality.The moves are meant to coax consumers to pedal faster on their TV upgrade cycles. At the moment, most Americans buy new TVs about once every seven years.Banner Pen TV manufacturers would love to create another wave of buying like the one that sent millions of people to stores a few years ago to upgrade from standard definition, tube TVs to flat-screen HD models.Unlike the 3-D TV trend, which quickly eroded into a tech fad in recent years, analysts say Ultra HD may actually catch on. With screens that house four times more pixels than regular HD TVs, Ultra HD is a simple enough upgrade to gain widespread adoption in the next few years. 

Aside from being visually jarring, 3-D required sometimes pricey special glasses and gave some people headaches. Because Ultra HD content can be delivered over a standard high-speed Internet connection, it isn’t likely to get bogged down in a format war that plagued the Blu-ray disc standard.“You see it, you get it. It’s a big, awesome picture,” said Ben Arnold, a consumer electronics analyst at NPD Group. “Consumers will be interested in it as prices come down. Consumers are also moving toward bigger screens. All of this is good news for (Ultra HD).”In side-by-side comparisons, Ultra HD is remarkably crisper than HD. It displays richer skin textures, finer details and less pixelation. The extra resolution becomes more important as consumers spend more money on bigger screens that amplify images.But Ultra HD, or 4K, is in its very early stages.uv resin Although prototypes and demonstration models have been around for years, the first sets for consumer use didn’t hit the market until 2012 with prices in the tens of thousands of dollars. Only about 60,000 Ultra HD sets were sold last year in the U.S., with 485,Clawfoot tubs000 estimated this year, according to the Consumer Electronics Association.