T-Mobile kicks off “Magenta Days,” lets customers trade-in phones

T-Mobile’s new “Magenta Deal Days” will allow customers to trade-in their old phones, from any carrier, and receive a guaranteed trade-in value towards the purchase of a new T-Mobile phone.

The deals run until May 8 and customers will get $50 to $200 for any T-Mobile smartphone, including the new HTC-S

The official release is below:

 

Cleaning out your tech closet to trade in an old phone for a trade up to a super-fast 4G smartphone has never been easier or more affordable than during T-Mobile’s new “Magenta Deal Days” promotion. Customers have the opportunity to receive a guaranteed trade-in value of $50–$200 when they exchange their old working phone and upgrade to a new, super-fast T-Mobile 4G smartphone. The two-week sale will take place from Wednesday, April 25, through Tuesday, May 8.

The “Magenta Deal Days” trade-in offer allows customers to receive a guaranteed value toward any           T-Mobile 4G smartphone, including the Samsung Galaxy S™ II, the HTC Radar ™ 4G and the hot new HTC One™ S powered by Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) and equipped with a 4.3-inch qHD Super AMOLED screen, an 8-megapixel camera with “Pure Capture,” DLNA and Beats Audio™ integration.1

“T-Mobile continues to make getting a great 4G smartphone easy with our latest ‘Magenta Deal Days’ promotion,” said John Clelland, senior vice president of marketing, T-Mobile USA. “No matter how old their phone, and even if it’s valued less, T-Mobile will offer customers a guaranteed minimum trade-in value so they can get rid of those old devices gathering dust and move up to a newer, faster T-Mobile 4G smartphone.”

In partnership with The Wireless Source Inc. (TWS), a leader in consumer electronics collection programs, a trained T-Mobile representative will determine the guaranteed trade-in value of each device and a rebate card for the quoted amount will be given to the customer via a mail-in rebate process. Customers have the ability to check the guaranteed value of their device before going to a T-Mobile retail store by snapping the below QR code or going to http://m.t-mobile.com/4Gtrade to find out how much they will receive for the trade-in. In-store, customers receive a voucher, pre-paid shipping label and bubble pack mailer and simply ship the old phone to TWS at their convenience. They will then be sent a rebate card from TWS in the amount of the quote once the device is received in good working condition.2

New customers will be eligible for this deal when they trade in their old smartphone and sign up for a qualifying T-Mobile Classic or Value plan with a two-year agreement. Existing customers also can take advantage of this offer if they are eligible for an early upgrade, meaning 18 months or more on their current contract.
The following is a list of the guaranteed trade-in value T-Mobile will offer for old devices:

Device Platform

Guaranteed Trade-In Value3

iPhone (iOS)
$200.00
Android, Blackberry, Windows, Symbian 9.0+ OS
$100.00
Any Other Phone
$50.00
In addition to the Samsung Galaxy S II, HTC Radar  4G and HTC One S, other new smartphones customers can trade-up to as part of the “Magenta Deal Days” trade-in offer include the following:

·       Nokia Lumia 710
·       Samsung Exhibit™ II 4G

·       Samsung Galaxy S® Blaze™ 4G

Cleaning out your tech closet to trade in an old phone for a trade up to a super-fast 4G smartphone has never been easier or more affordable than during T-Mobile’s new “Magenta Deal Days” promotion. Customers have the opportunity to receive a guaranteed trade-in value of $50–$200 when they exchange their old working phone and upgrade to a new, super-fast T-Mobile 4G smartphone. The two-week sale will take place from Wednesday, April 25, through Tuesday, May 8.

The “Magenta Deal Days” trade-in offer allows customers to receive a guaranteed value toward any           T-Mobile 4G smartphone, including the Samsung Galaxy S™ II, the HTC Radar ™ 4G and the hot new HTC One™ S powered by Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) and equipped with a 4.3-inch qHD Super AMOLED screen, an 8-megapixel camera with “Pure Capture,” DLNA and Beats Audio™ integration.1

“T-Mobile continues to make getting a great 4G smartphone easy with our latest ‘Magenta Deal Days’ promotion,” said John Clelland, senior vice president of marketing, T-Mobile USA. “No matter how old their phone, and even if it’s valued less, T-Mobile will offer customers a guaranteed minimum trade-in value so they can get rid of those old devices gathering dust and move up to a newer, faster T-Mobile 4G smartphone.”

In partnership with The Wireless Source Inc. (TWS), a leader in consumer electronics collection programs, a trained T-Mobile representative will determine the guaranteed trade-in value of each device and a rebate card for the quoted amount will be given to the customer via a mail-in rebate process. Customers have the ability to check the guaranteed value of their device before going to a T-Mobile retail store by snapping the below QR code or going to http://m.t-mobile.com/4Gtrade to find out how much they will receive for the trade-in. In-store, customers receive a voucher, pre-paid shipping label and bubble pack mailer and simply ship the old phone to TWS at their convenience. They will then be sent a rebate card from TWS in the amount of the quote once the device is received in good working condition.2

New customers will be eligible for this deal when they trade in their old smartphone and sign up for a qualifying T-Mobile Classic or Value plan with a two-year agreement. Existing customers also can take advantage of this offer if they are eligible for an early upgrade, meaning 18 months or more on their current contract.
The following is a list of the guaranteed trade-in value T-Mobile will offer for old devices:

Device Platform

Guaranteed Trade-In Value3

iPhone (iOS)
$200.00
Android, Blackberry, Windows, Symbian 9.0+ OS
$100.00
Any Other Phone
$50.00
In addition to the Samsung Galaxy S II, HTC Radar  4G and HTC One S, other new smartphones customers can trade-up to as part of the “Magenta Deal Days” trade-in offer include the following:

·       Nokia Lumia 710
·       Samsung Exhibit™ II 4G

·       Samsung Galaxy S® Blaze™ 4G

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Apple posts huge quarter results

Chalk up another solid quarter for Apple.

The Cupertino, CA, company announced financial results for fiscal 2012 second quarter Tuesday. It had quarterly revenue of more than $39 billion and a net profit of $11.6 billion.

Apple sold 35.1 million iPhones in the quarter, and that is 88 percent better in terms of unit growth than the second quarter of 2011. Apple also sold nearly 12 million iPads or a 151 percent increase over the same quarter a year ago. Mac sales were up seven percent; iPods dipped 15 percent.

“We’re thrilled with sales of over 35 million iPhones and almost 12 million iPads in the March quarter,” said Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO. “The new iPad is off to a great start, and across the year you’re going to see a lot more of the kind of innovation that only Apple can deliver.”

Here is the press release

 

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adidas introduces even lighter Crazy Light 2 basketball shoes

Improving on the popularity of its 2011 Crazy Light basketball shoe, adidas has released an even lighter new version, the Crazy Light 2.

If you saw those electric green shoes Baylor wore during the NCAA Tournament (with the electric green uniforms), those were the new “three stripes” shoes.

The new shoes weight 9.5 ounces and adidas claims its 10 percent lighter than the nearest competitor. Does light make a difference? We haven’t tried the new version, but the previous Crazy Light did feel noticeably lighter than other shoes on the market at the time. They at least made you feel a touch quicker.
And any advantage is a good advantage right?

The new adidas shoe will be released May 24 with a MSRP of $140.

Here is the official news release:

PORTLAND, Ore. (April 24, 2012) – adidas Basketball today unveiled the adizero Crazy Light 2. Weighing 9.5 ounces, it replaces its predecessor – the adizero Crazy Light – as the lightest shoe in basketball. The adizero Crazy Light 2 is nearly 10 percent lighter than the nearest competitor’s basketball shoe [1].

In addition to its lighter weight, the new adizero Crazy Light 2 is stronger, more aerodynamic and comes in brighter colors. The super-light sequel will be available May 24.

“Elite athletes are elite athletes because they’re always fighting for that competitive edge,” said Lawrence Norman, adidas vice president of global basketball. “The adizero Crazy Light 2 is that competitive edge. The shoe had a huge performance and style impact during college tournaments and we can’t wait for fans to see the adizero Crazy Light 2 in action during the NBA playoffs. When every second of every game matters, this shoe delivers faster play, stronger cuts and greater support.”

Dozens of elite players have worn the adizero Crazy Light 2 during the most important games of their lives. During the 2012 college basketball tournament, players from Kansas University, University of Louisville, Baylor University, University of Wisconsin and Indiana University showed off their speed in adizero Crazy Light 2. When the NBA playoffs begin April 28, several players will wear the adizero Crazy Light 2, which first debuted on court at the 2012 McDonald’s All American High School Games in Chicago on March 28.
“In the league, every game matters and you don’t want anything weighing you down on the court,” said Philadelphia 76ers point guard, Jrue Holiday. “Putting on the adizero Crazy Light 2 gives me that speed and confidence I need when it counts.”

“The adizero Crazy Light 2 is light done right,” said the shoe’s designer, Robbie Fuller, adidas advanced footwear concept designer. “We not only made it lighter, but we made it stronger and more aerodynamic. We work closely with the adidas Innovation Team (aIT) to continuously innovate and find that perfect weight-to-strength ratio that gives athletes better command and agility on court.”

The increased strength of the adizero Crazy Light 2 comes from an enlarged asymmetrical SPRINTFRAME, allowing for maximum motion control. Designers added volume to the midsole for a more supportive base.  The new aerodynamic three-layer SPRINTWEB is the thinnest ever, with a tighter web layout that gives players enhanced vertical and horizontal strength. Overall, the shoe’s new geometry allows for maximum weight savings, energy return and motion control.

Five colorways go on sale May 24 for $140, including the electricity color seen at the McDonald’s All American Games, along with a metallic finished black/white/red look and three others. The adizero Crazy Light 2 will be available on adidas.com and at Foot Locker, Eastbay and other leading retailers.

Today, adizero continues to provide the lightest in performance footwear with lightweight shoes for basketball (adizero Crazy Light 2), football (adizero 5-Star), soccer (adizero f50), baseball (adizero 5-tool), every-day running (adizero Feather and adizero Rush), sprinting (adizero Prime track spikes).

The new adizero Crazy Light 2 also features a micoach speed_cell™ capability, helping players measure, view and share their stats. micoach technology includes an advanced accelerometer that captures 360-degree movement and measures performance metrics during practice or gameplay. The chip’s unique on-board memory stores up to seven hours of data, wirelessly syncs with the user’s smartphone and uploads performance stats that can be shared through Facebook and Twitter.

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Motorola Droid 4 review

Recently had a week with the Motorola Droid 4, which was introduced and heavily hyped at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.

It has a 1.2 gigahertz processor and a five-row QWERTY keyboard with edge-lit keys. To me, the keyboard and keys, while they felt a little small, were the best things about the phone. The raised and curved keys, when you got used to them, worked well, but to be honest, after years of typing on the flat surface with our thumbs, we’ve come to prefer the “faux typing.”

Still, the phone will do everything you want a phone to do: email, make calls, play games, etc, but it’s not running the latest Android software (yet) and its 4-inch display just doesn’t look as good as the Samsung Galaxy line of Android phones that are selling so well. Frankly, the screen just isn’t very good. In daylight, you’ll need to cover it to see it. That was a big drawback.

If you want a keyboard, this phone, while a touch heavy, is a good alternative. It’s got government grade encryption, Motorola claims, for email, calendar and contacts. We were quite impressed with the 8-megapixel camera and the 1080P video recorder. And the hot spot functionality can now power up to eight devices.

Oh, it’s also sporting Verizon’s 4G LTE and that means your phone will probably cruise around the Internet faster than your home PC. Verizon’s network is no joke. Battery life was also improved over past Droids. We managed to get between six and seven hours of use before it was needing the electricity.

Coolest thing? You can connect the phone directly to an HDTV and put what’s on the phone on the screen — in HD. There’s an available $300 “lapdock” that you can plug the phone into and turn it into a full-fledged PC. Not our favorite feature, but we’ve seen guys using it. We do like the “MotoCast” app which allows you to remotely stream documents, videos, music and pictures from work or home computers to the handset.

Our take? If you want a QWERTY keyboard on a smartphone, this one is worth a look. We prefer this to the latest BlackBerry models, but there are much, much better Android alternatives out there if you don’t want the raised keyboard.

 

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HTC One S smartphone to drop on T-Mobile April 25

T-Mobile is getting a new high-powered smartphone next week. The HTC One S will be available to customers April 25 for $199 with the standard two-year contract after a $50 mail-in rebate card.

The phone will be able to access T-Mobile’s fastest faux 4G network speeds and will run the latest Android smartphone software (version 4.0, Ice Cream Sandwich) as well as HTC’s Sense 4.

The phone has an eight megapixel camera and comes with 25 gigs of free cloud storage from DropBox.

Here is the official press release:

T-Mobile Launches Ultra-Sleek HTC One S April 25

T-Mobile’s Thinnest Smartphone Brings an Amazing Camera and Beats Audio™ Integration to America’s Largest 4G Network™
BELLEVUE, Wash. — April 18, 2012 — Today, T-Mobile USA, Inc. and HTC Corp. announced the highly anticipated HTC One™ S will be available at T-Mobile® stores nationwide on April 25. As HTC’s premier launch partner in the U.S., T-Mobile will be the first to offer the ultra-sleek HTC One S, which is the company’s first device to ship with Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) and HTC Sense™ 4.

The latest smartphone from T-Mobile to take advantage of 4G (HSPA+ 42) technology on America’s Largest 4G Network,™ the HTC One S provides T-Mobile customers with an amazing camera and authentic sound technology, plus a diverse selection of apps and services that give customers amazing 4G experiences.

“The HTC One series is a revolutionary device portfolio and we’re proud to be the first carrier to introduce the HTC One S to the U.S. market,” said Andrew Sherrard, senior vice president of marketing, T-Mobile USA. “With a stunningly thin design that doesn’t compromise performance, the HTC One S is a sleek 4G smartphone with beauty and brains that our customers will be proud to show off.”

With the HTC One S, customers will find a fantastic music experience that works seamlessly on T-Mobile’s 4G network. Customers can listen to their music libraries — up to 20,000 songs — straight from the cloud  and purchase new music on the go with Google Play. Virtually all audio experiences sound better on the HTC One S thanks to its built-in Beats Audio™ technology, which provides a richer and more authentic sound experience whether consumers are watching movies, listening to music or playing games.

Featuring an 8-megapixel back-side illuminated camera and HTC ImageSense,™ which provides a variety of enhancements to the camera’s lens, sensor and software, the HTC One S is always ready to capture pictures in the blink of an eye. Consumers have immediate access to their cameras from their home screens and a super-fast auto focus with continuous shooting to take continuous photos at 4 frames per second simply by holding the shutter button. In addition, the smartphone enables high-quality video recording with a full high-definition (HD) 1080p camcorder and the ability to concurrently capture HD video and still images at the same time. With access to 25 GB of free cloud storage from DropBox, HTC One S customers also can bring their photos, documents and videos virtually anywhere they go and upload new content to the cloud via T-Mobile’s network or Wi-Fi. HTC One S also gives customers a new way to share their content through use of HTC’s wireless Media Link HD accessory.* The small accessory allows easy sharing of any content on the phone with any TV that supports HDMI.

“Blending the latest technology with HTC’s focus on consumer experience, the HTC One S allows people to capture amazing images as high-definition video and photos at the same time with merely a touch of their finger,” said Martin Fichter, vice president, product management, HTC Americas. “And HTC’s Media Link HD accessory provides an easy wireless solution to share those great photos, videos and other entertainment on their TV screen with a swipe of their hand.”

Also included with the HTC One S are applications that deliver added value, utility and fun.
T-Mobile TV makes it possible to enjoy free or premium live and on-demand programs, from the hottest TV shows to kids’ programs. With the Amazon Mobile application, T-Mobile customers can search and buy millions of products directly from their device and receive special offers on select merchandise. Also highlighted is a T-Mobile-exclusive version of the popular “Where’s My Water?” game from Disney Mobile, with ten levels that can’t be played anywhere else.

The ultra-sleek and modern HTC One S will be available in gradient blue and is T-Mobile’s thinnest smartphone (7.95mm). In addition to featuring a beautiful 4.3-inch qHD Super AMOLED screen, the HTC One S is equipped with a 1.5GHz, dual-core Snapdragon S4 processor by Qualcomm® and access to T-Mobile’s fastest 4G (HSPA+ 42) speeds, making the HTC One S a powerful device ideal for customers seeking a fantastic mobile experience.

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Acura gets back to its “entry level luxury” roots with $26K ILX model

There’s been a lot of talk throughout the industry about Acura’s new ILX, which is based on the Honda Civic. Acura has struck out recently trying to make small compact cars, but this one, while based on the Civic, doesn’t look the least bit like the Civic.

The ILX, which starts at $26,000 and runs to $35,000, comes in three versions: a base engine, a sport tuned engine and a hybrid. The hybrid is Acura’s first, and we’d love to see Honda and Acura stick hybrids in their larger cars like Accords and TLs.

Here is the official press release:

TORRANCE, Calif., April 20, 2012 – The all-new 2013 Acura ILX will go on sale at Acura dealerships May 22, 2012, with a manufacturer’s suggested retail price (MSRP*) starting at $25,900 Acura announced today. The ILX offers remarkable value for the money with robust feature content and premium appeal.

“The 2013 Acura ILX will serve as the gateway to the Acura brand,” said Jeff Conrad, vice president of Acura sales. At the leading edge of a new, sporty compact segment, the ILX delivers style, value, performance and connectivity to younger buyers looking to move into the luxury market.

The all-new Acura ILX features a windswept exterior design with 5-passenger cabin, a choice of three powertrain options, including Acura’s first-ever gasoline-electric hybrid, and a well appointed interior that is smart, spacious and sporty. It will offer a number of new, premium features including a standard Keyless Access System with smart entry and pushbutton start, along with Pandora® internet radio interface and SMS text message function for smart connectivity with the world. Like all Acura models, the ILX is equipped with a rich list of standard features including a power moonroof, aluminium wheels and Bluetooth® HandsFreeLink®.

The entry-level ILX (starting at $25,900) is powered by a 2.0-liter inline 4-cylinder engine producing 150 horsepower paired with a Sequential SportShift 5-speed automatic transmission. For those seeking a more dynamic driving experience, the ILX can be equipped with a 2.4-liter engine ($29,200, includes the Premium Package) with an output of 201 horsepower featuring a close-ratio, six-speed manual transmission. The ILX Hybrid (starting at $28,900) makes use of a 1.5-liter inline engine and an Integrated Motor Assist® electric motor. Paired with a Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT), the ILX 1.5L Hybrid has an EPA estimated** city/highway/combined fuel economy rating of 39/38/38 mpg.

As with all Acura models, the ILX will have a long list of standard features, multiple trim levels (a Premium Package and Technology Package), and excellent standard safety features— including Acura’s acclaimed Advanced Compatibility Engineering™ (ACE™) body structure, front, side and side-curtain airbags, 4-channel anti-lock brakes and Vehicle Stability Assist™ (VSA®). Although yet to be tested, Acura anticipates that the ILX will achieve top crash safety ratings from both NHTSA and the IIHS.

The Premium Package (available as a $3,300 option; not available on the ILX Hybrid model) features leather seating surfaces, heated front seats, a power driver’s seat, an upgraded 360 watt stereo system with XM® radio, HID headlights, foglights, 17-inch aluminium wheels, a multi-view rearview camera and an Active Sound Cancellation system to make for a quieter cabin.

Building on the Premium Package, the Technology Package (available on the ILX with 2.0-liter engine for $2,200) adds Acura’s award winning ELS Surround® audio system and a full complement of relevant technologies, including AcuraLink® Satellite Communication System, Acura Navigation System with Voice Recognition™, AcuraLink Real-Time Traffic with Traffic Rerouting™, AcuraLink Real-Time Weather™ with radar image maps and HomeLink®. The navigation system makes use of a hard disk drive (HDD) with 60 gigabytes of storage capacity— including 15 gigabytes that can be specifically allocated for music storage. The Technology package is also available on the ILX Hybrid for $5,500 and includes all Premium Package features except 17-inch aluminium wheels.

The Acura ILX will be manufactured (using U.S. and globally sourced parts), exclusively at the company’s state-of-the-art Greensburg, Indiana plant, one of only three plants worldwide to receive J.D. Power and Associates’ 2011 Platinum Award for outstanding product quality, and the top award for any factory in North America.

TRIM

MSRP*

EPA**

ILX

$25,900

24/35/28

ILX with Premium Package

$29,200

24/35/28

ILX with Technology Package

$31,400

24/35/28

ILX 2.4 L with Premium Package

$29,200

22/31/25

ILX Hybrid

$28,900

39/38/38

ILX Hybrid with Technology Package

$34,400

39/38/38

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Verizon Wireless making major upgrades for Charlotte’s Democratic National Convention

What do you do when you’re a major wireless company getting ready for a fairly large convention when lots of people will want superior wireless coverage?

You boost the signal.

Verizon recently announced plans to enhance its wireless network in Charlotte ahead of the Democratic National Convention this fall. And when Barack Obama and Co. leave town, Charlotte residents will still continue to enjoy the benefits of all the signal enhancements.

Verizon has also started making similar enhancements in Tampa, ahead of the Republican National Convetion.

“Our network technicians have made tremendous preparations for the DNC including repositioning antennas, increasing permanent capacity and ensuring all permanent towers are operating at optimum levels,” said Frank Cairon, network executive director of Verizon Wireless. “To reinforce connectivity and network coverage, we also installed several permanent DASs, which consist of smaller antennas networked together throughout a venue.  These systems run voice, 3G and 4G LTE data, allowing consumers to stream video, share files and surf the web on smartphones and tablets with increased reliability and speed.”

Here is the official press release:

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – With tens of thousands of visitors descending on the city at once, Verizon Wireless network engineers have been busy at work enhancing wireless networks in Charlotte to effectively manage the increased traffic and ensure an excellent experience for visitors from around the nation. Following the DNC, residents will continue to enjoy the benefits of in-building repeaters, distributed antenna systems (DAS) and capacity enhancements to the Verizon Wireless network throughout the city. The network enhancements will mean Charlotte residents will have better wireless network coverage and reliability in places including the Time Warner Arena, Bank of America Stadium, and NASCAR Hall of Fame, for years to come.

            “Our network technicians have made tremendous preparations for the DNC including repositioning antennas, increasing permanent capacity and ensuring all permanent towers are operating at optimum levels,” said Frank Cairon, network executive director of Verizon Wireless. “To reinforce connectivity and network coverage, we also installed several permanent DASs, which consist of smaller antennas networked together throughout a venue.  These systems run voice, 3G and 4G LTE data, allowing consumers to stream video, share files and surf the web on smartphones and tablets with increased reliability and speed.”

In addition to permanent network enhancements, Verizon will strategically situate temporary mobile cell towers referred to as CoWs and CoLTS (Cells on Wheels and Cells on Light trucks) throughout the downtown Charlotte area to assist with offloading wireless traffic and increasing capacity in key areas where heavy traffic is anticipated.  CoW and CoLT units have the ability to process thousands of calls and data transmissions at the same time to enhance Verizon Wireless’ voice, 3G and 4G LTE coverage in Charlotte during the anticipated spikes in traffic.  The cell sites will extend boosted coverage for wireless calls; text, picture and video messages; downloading and accessing apps; Internet connections; and other wireless traffic.

Working in conjunction with the DNC committee, Verizon identified over 75 hotels in the Charlotte area that will host DNC delegates and guests.  System performance engineers equipped with special test equipment walked the hallways of the majority of these hotels to test in-building penetration (signal strength inside rooms).  As a result of the system performance engineers tests, the network team deployed distributed antenna systems using network repeaters to enhance coverage to numerous hotels.

            Verizon Wireless prepares year-round for natural disasters and other emergencies so customers can rely on the company’s network to keep them connected, even when the unexpected happens.  Verizon Wireless’ ongoing intensive investments and preparations – from the construction of new cell sites with on-site back-up power to the implementation of comprehensive emergency response plans – proved critical after many storms and emergency situations over the years. Verizon Wireless’ network remained strong while many other wireless communication networks struggled, enabling emergency response officials and residents to communicate with support services, businesses, family, friends and co-workers during and after recent hurricanes, wildfires, tornadoes, floods and other emergencies.

            Verizon Wireless has made preparations for emergency services during the DNC as well.  A special command center operating throughout the DNC will house additional equipment, technicians and engineers, who will communicate directly with the city of Charlotte and DNC officials in the case of severe weather or emergency.

            Verizon Wireless invested over $290 million in 2011 to improve and expand access to its wireless broadband and voice service in North Carolina. Charlotte was one of the first markets in the world to gain 4G LTE, which Verizon launched in the city in December 2010. The company, which operates the largest 4G LTE network in the nation, expanded its 4G LTE network last year to Asheville, Durham, Fayetteville, Greensboro, High Point, Lumberton, Raleigh, Wilmington and Winston-Salem.

            Verizon Wireless has also been making special network enhancements for the Republican National Convention held August 27-30, 2012 in Tampa, Florida.

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Passtouch for iPad protects passwords, allows multi-users, shows promise

One of the features that the iPad is just BEGGING to have is the ability to have multiple users use the thing with a little privacy.

You know, multiple sign-ons.

That way I can log out and give the darn thing to the kids without the kids nosing around all of Dad’s texts and emails (I’m not the only one, right?).

A Surf City, N.C., company is inching towards that goal with Passtouch, a lockable web browser that remembers all of your passwords. It’s kind of neat tech, though, it forces you to for the most part abandon app-based operations to fully use it.

So with Passtouch, you can go to Wellsfargo.com, for example, and it’ll memorize your long, weird and punctuation-filled passwords that you can never remember, but you have to access the browser based version of the bank’s website and not use the app, which is easier to deal with and kind of killer.

Not a big annoyance for you? Passtouch may be your thing.

And if you don’t use the iPad “Mail” app much, but use web-based stuff, it’ll protect your mail too.

iMessage? Not so much.

So it’s not a perfect solution, but a step in the right direction.

Some users may find the Android-like “drawing on the screen” to unlock a bit cumbersome, but just don’t get too creative. To create your password, you draw a single line across a puzzle-like screen. You hit a button to lock and another to unlock and then draw your “signature”.

Passtouch will save your bookmarks and your passwords, but you can’t have multiple web pages open at once (surely this will get fixed in the future).

All in all, it’s a nice start, but we really long for the ability to “lock” mail and messages, or better yet, swap users on iPad. There are two versions. One is free and has iAds at the bottom. The $1.99 version comes sans the ads.

Here’s the official particulars from the company:

Surf City, NC—Passtouch is introducing a new universally accepted “signature type” password alternative and web browser for touch screen devices like the iPad. Passtouch works a lot like a signature, but offers even more creative freedom. Users create their own Passtouch design by drawing a single continuous line over an interface provided on the company’s app. Unlike anything else that has been previously created, Passtouch is truly intuitive and takes advantage of the iPad’s highly responsive touch screen. Free and paid versions of the app are available in the iTunes App store.

The patent pending technology has several unique features. Passtouch can be entirely free form, natural and intuitively interactive. As a result, it produces a significant amount of authentication data, rivaling the levels of traditional password security. Another distinguishing feature is the graphical user interface. It is built on fundamental visual elements that serve as a vivid roadmap to guide users along their signature path.

The colorful design and circular framework of the interface encourage users to create entries that are very fluid, well balanced and ultimately more secure. After a handful of entries, a Passtouch begins to develop a certain feel and muscle memory kicks in. This powerful combination of universally recognized visual cues in the interface along with muscle memory helps to make Passtouch very easy to remember.

Jason Boger, CEO of Passtouch, LLC, said, “We have really created a passcode with a universal appeal because of its special memory and cognitive touch aspects as opposed to a language driven or alpha numeric system. Passtouch has thousands of users in 150 countries. We appeal to people of all ages. We even have a four-year-old using it. We also discovered that Passtouch appeals to users who are disabled or have limited dexterity. “

The Passtouch web browser allows multiple users to create private profiles, each with their own history and bookmarks. Profiles are protected by a single Passtouch signature, no typing required. While browsing, website log-in details can be saved as bookmarks, which provide one-touch access to password protected sites.

“Web browsers are like windows to your entire world, much of which is personal and private,” Boger said. “On the iPad, the browser is often shared. With Passtouch, there’s now a secure method of unique identification for anyone accessing the Internet.”

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Time Warner Cable adds new iOS, Android channel availability

Time Warner Cable has a neat little present for its customers today. It’s adding a ton of national and regional sports networks to its TWC TV app for the iPad, iPhone and Android version 4.0 smartphones and tablets. It’s also adding them to its TWCTV.com, a browser-based portal that customers can hit on their computers.

Satellite services need to catch up. And TWC fans — just in Charlotte, New York and Dallas for now — can boot their Watch ESPN app.

Read on for the official particulars:

NEW YORK–Time Warner Cable today announced the addition of national and regional sports networks to the TWC TV™ app for the iPad®, iPhone®, Android™ 4.0 smartphones and tablets, and TWCTV.com, the browser-based portal that can be accessed through PCs and Mac® computers. Customers in New York City, Dallas and Charlotte can now watch their favorite sports networks from their mobile device or computer anywhere inside the home. TWC TV™ is available at no additional cost to Time Warner Cable video customers at the Standard (Expanded Basic) level or higher. Programming lineup availability will vary by market.

“We’re very pleased that we’ve been able to solve the technical issues surrounding blackouts in these three markets”

The following networks now available are as follows:

New York City (except for Hudson Valley) – ESPN, ESPN2, TNT, TBS, YES, SNY, MSG, MSG+, MLB Network, NBA TV, NHL Network

Dallas – ESPN, ESPN2, TNT, TBS, Fox Sports Southwest, MLB Network, NBA TV, NHL Network

Charlotte – ESPN, ESPN2, TNT, TBS, Fox Sports Carolinas, SportSouth, MLB Network, NBA TV, NHL Network

“We’re very pleased that we’ve been able to solve the technical issues surrounding blackouts in these three markets,” said Mike Angus, Senior Vice President and General Manager, Video for Time Warner Cable. “We’re also working hard with our industry partners to implement a broader technical solution that will enable us to deliver more sports programming on TWC TV™ in additional markets.”

Live TV requires that the customer have a broadband connection using either Road Runner or a TWC-managed service, or a Time Warner Cable-provided video only cable modem. Customers can download the mobile app from the App Store or Google® Play, launch it, log in and scroll through the channel lineup to select preferred programming. They can also watch TWC TV™ from any computer in their home by visiting www.twctv.com and logging in using their TWC username and password.

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Apple may turn to exotic metal for next iPhone

The next iPhone? Maybe

Apple iPhone rumors are flying faster now that the latest iPad is out and, well, Apple fanboys need something else to talk about.

So, will it have a bigger screen, a faster processor, 4G LTE and 1 gig of ram? Some if not all of that will be included but the latest bit of news has more to do with cosmetics than function. Apple may be using liquid metal for the case of what is said to be an all-new design.

Really? Yes, or at least according to ET News.com, a Korean publication. Neither Apple nor Samsung can one-up the other with function and operating systems so style is the next battlefield.

“According to industry sources, the next flagship phones of the companies are expected to adopt unprecedented materials for their main bodies, that is, ceramic for the Galaxy S III and liquid metal for iPhone 5, both being thin, light and highly resistant to external impacts,” the publication wrote. The site also predicts the new iPhone may make a debut at the WWDC in June. Most analysts believe the phone will appear sometime in the fall.

The inclusion of exotic materials sounds good but both these materials may make the phones much more expensive. That could prove to be a problem for Apple since the iPhone makes up the largest portion of its profits.

Is there a need for a liquid metal iPhone? Depends. Apple acquired patents for LiquidMetal in 2010, so, why not? If Apple gives its fans what they are screaming about – bigger screen, 4G LTE and a big dose of style – the company could probably make it out of paper and it would sell. It’s already fairly expensive so a price increase is not going fly, even if it were made of diamonds.

There have been some interesting designs floating around for the last couple of years and we hope Apple chooses one of them or even tops them with their own design. All that innovation wrapped in the same package will eventually hurt sales.

Yet, all the doom and gloom from naysayers over last year’s iPhone 4S didn’t happen. The 4S has sold well, probably because of the inclusion of Siri, which, depending on who you ask, is a neat feature. ‘Well’ may be an understatement. The 4S sold 4 million copies in it’s debut weekend.

Apple will get the iPhone 5 (or what ever it will be called) right. It has to do so. Bill Shope, an analyst for Goldman Sachs said that this will be the company’s most important launch.

“The iPhone 5 launch is likely to be one of the most important smartphone product cycles we’ve seen to date,” written in a note to investors Wednesday. He’s predicting the stock could hit $750 per share.

With Apple said to be revamping it’s entire lineup before the end of the year, the rumor will is only getting started. This may be a fun summer after all.

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