Technology News Headlines for May 29 2012 ( Tuesday )

Rumored iPhone 6 Parts Revealed In Photos
Several online sources, including 9to5Mac and MacRumors today posted photos of what's said to be the chassis of the upcoming iPhone. 9to5Mac notes its source is a reputable one, being the same people who revealed that a white iPad was en route.

The images show a device that is, as rumored, taller and thinner than existing iPhones, and includes a redesigned, smaller iPod dock connector. The headphone socket has also moved to the bottom of the phone and it's said the extra space in the "chin" of the phone is to improve the iPhone's speakers. The format does agree with many long-standing rumors, from the alumninum back to a thinner format, and also is compatible with the notion Apple may go for a bigger screen that could be in 16:9 HDTV shape.

Questions have arisen about the parts' authenticity, but a number of clues point to genuine Apple provenance. These include the high-detail milling of the device's back surface--a feature that reminds us of the first iPad, and which would need a high-spec manufacturing process that is now an Apple trademark.

Separately, Bloomberg recently revealed that Steve Jobs was intimately involved with the design of the upcoming device right up until his death.

Grooveshark Reveals Free User Data Analytics Targeting Artists And Advertisers
Grooveshark has opened up a trove of user data to the world for free, via an in-depth analytics service called Beluga. The data Grooveshark has collected is anonymized and comes from surveys that users have responded to in exchange for points on the music network. User information spans a whole gamut, from the cell phones they use, to their annual income, to the kinds of nail paint they prefer. The data also includes age and sex demographics information, and of course, the time, frequency and device used for music listening--all searchable by artist. Grooveshark hopes the free data and analytics will help artists understand their audiences better (though, as TheNextWeb rightly points out, the pool is skewed towards a survey-answering, Grooveshark-using, BlackBerry-weilding demographic) and even perhaps snag advertising partners on the music network--a plus for Grooveshark and a bonus for the artists on it. 

23andMe Parkinson's Disease Discovery To Get Patent Approval

Google-backed personalized genomics company 23andMe is expecting approval for its very first patent, inspired by a discovery about Parkinson's disease that the company's research staff made in October last year. They identified a genetic variant that could protect people with a certain kind of mutation that put them at risk of developing Parkinson's disease. Identifying the variant is a first step to developing a treatment for the disease. 23andMe is continuing work on the variant in collaboration with the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research, co-founder Anne Wojcicki wrote in a blog post--work that could one day find use in drugs developed by biotech companies and pharmaceuticals. 23andMe has been cultivating a patient community and database of information about Parkinson's among its members for about a year now. Parkinson's is of particular interest to Wojcicki's husband and 23andMe backer Sergey Brin, who has been a strong supporter of Parkinson's research since 2005 and also carries a gene for the condition. 

SoftBank's New Smartphones Will Detect Radiation
Japan telecom operator Softbank will start selling smartphones this summer with radiation sensors built-in. The Pantone 5 107SH (which comes in eight colors) is waterproof and dustproof, but will also detect radiation in microsieverts per hour when a key is pressed. Also, a map app will keep track of past radiation check locations and levels. While Sharp has yet to release pricing details for the phone, Softbank founder Masayoshi Son said the phone would be "affordable." The Pantone series is considerably popular in Japan already, and the fact that this phone is the first to run Android 4.0, The Verge points out, may be reason enough for its success, even without the addition of this rather unusual feature. After Fukushima, radiation has become a day-to-day concern for people in Japan, making its way into the environment and mixing itself up with some kinds of food.
Samsung Launches Music Hub, A Direct Competitor To iTunes, Spotify
Alongside the launch of its new top-line Galaxy S3 smartphone, Samsung has released its Music Hub app in a number of European nations. It's an all-in-one music portal costing £9.99 a month that offers to act as an MP3 player as an app, and also as a music locker offering free streaming access to your music, including the opportunity to upload tracks that aren't included in the list of around 19-million tracks that Samsung has already stored in its cloud. The intention is to release the service on all Samsung phones going forward, and possibly to release it for other devices. Music Hub's systems are very similar to the latest iteration of Apple's iTunes and its iCloud integration, and also challenge other streaming apps like Spotify.

Facebook Rumored To Be Buying Israeli Face Recognition Firm
Over the weekend rumors began to swirl that Facebook was looking at spending about $100 million to buy Israeli startup to access its clever face recognition technology. Now it's suggested via GigaOm that the momentum for the deal is actually in Russia's search engine leader Yandex, which invested in Face in 2010, and may be looking to sell its large stake in the company for a combination of cash and Facebook stock. It is likely that many such acquisition rumors will surround Facebook now that it has its cash reserves buffered by the IPO, but this one is particularly interesting: Face recognition systems would be useful for Facebook, although controversial for their privacy implications...and it's a tech that other tech giants like Google and Apple are exploring too.

Groupon Getting In On Square's Game, Low Rates And Free iPod Included.
According to a report at VentureBeat, daily deals site Groupon is testing an iPhone payments system like that of Square, PayPal and Verifone. The system is said to include aggressive pricing of 1.8% fee and 15 cents per transaction--compared to Square's 2.75% share with no transaction fee and PayPal and Verifone's 2.7%. Critically, in what may be a deal-maker for many low-end merchants, Groupon is offering a free iPod Touch alongside its free card reader, while its peers require the merchant to buy an expensive iPod, iPhone, iPad or Android device of their own. The information comes via a leaked internal email, and Groupon has no comment. Groupon recently reported profits after a period of poor performance. Considering Groupon's expertise is in daily deals and discount coupons, it's possible that the firm will leverage this system into its new mobile pay service--meaning our prediction for the rapidly-evolving future of the credit card looks on target. 

Microsoft Downplays Windows 8 Adoption Numbers, Preps 80-Inch "Tablet"
According to, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer has an 80-inch giant Windows 8 "tablet" hanging on the wall of his office, and he's ditched his phone and his note paper. The tablet is made by a different company, but a Microsoft spokesperson made a note of saying the machine--effectively a Windows 8-equivalent of its Surface product--will go on sale. Meanwhile Microsoft is in PR withdrawal, correcting some words Ballmer uttered last week to say "500 million users will have Windows 8 next year." Ballmer was restating, out of context, some figures that had been previously released, MS now asserts, which represent the maximum possible ugrade path from Windows 7 devices. In other news, Microsoft has upset some developers by saying it will withdraw some of its software support tools for writing Windows 8 desktop apps, intending to concentrate its app push onto full Metro-supporting software (implying full touch control, versus more traditional Windows code).
Tags: , ,

About author

Make it happen !!


Leave a Reply