Gunmen Abduct CAN Executive Member

GunmanGunmen suspected to be kidnappers, have abducted the Executive Secretary of the Cocoa Association of Nigeria (CAN),  Mr Michael Adewunmi, in Akure, the Ondo State capital.

His black Toyota Lexus SUV in which he was abducted was found abandoned with the four doors opened.

The kidnappers were also said to have taken away his Ipad and mobile phones.

The victim’s vehicle, with number plate “ONDO ANG 149 AA”, was reportedly discovered by men of the Ondo State Police Command and taken to the Ijapo Police Station in Akure.

Reports gathered revealed that the abductors were yet to make any contact with the family of the victim.

When reached on the telephone for comments, the spokesman for the State Police Command, Mr Wole Ogodo, said the Command had commenced investigations on the matter and would soon rescue the victim.

South Korea Says Concerned About U.S. Decision On Some Apple Models

The South Korean government on Monday expressed concerns about the decision by the United States to overrule a sales ban of some Apple Inc (AAPL.O) models.

The Obama administration vetoed a U.S. trade panel’s ban on the import and sale of some older iPhones and iPads, reversing a ruling that had favored South Korea’s Samsung Electronics Co Ltd (005930.KS) over Apple in their long-running patent battle. The move was vehemently criticized by the South Korean media as “protectionism.”

“We express concerns about the negative impact that such a decision would have on the protection of patent rights,” the Ministry of Trade, Industry & Energy, said in a statement.

The ministry called on the U.S. trade body and the Obama administration to make “fair and reasonable decisions” as Samsung faces a decision on Friday as to whether some of its phones and tablets infringed on Apple’s patents and should be banned from imports into the United States.

Apple and Samsung, the world’s top two smartphones makers, have been waging a global patent war since 2011, filing multiple lawsuits against each other over the design, interface and technology of their devices.

The U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) in June banned the import and sale of the iPhone 4, iPhone 3GS, iPad 3G and iPad 2 3G distributed by AT&T Inc (T.N), saying the devices infringed on one patent owned by the South Korean electronics giant.

Samsung had also accused Apple of infringing on three other patents, but the ITC found that Apple did not infringe those. A Samsung spokesman said on Monday the electronics giant in July appealed the ITC decision on the three patents.

U.S. Takes Apple To Trial Over E-books Price-Fixing

Apple Inc goes to trial Monday over allegations by federal and state authorities that it conspired with publishers to raise the price of e-books.

The trial pits the maker of the popular iPad and iPhone against the U.S. Justice Department in a case that tests how Internet retailers interact with content providers.

“This case will effectively set the rules for Internet commerce,” said David Balto, a former policy director for the U.S. Federal Trade Commission.
The Justice Department filed its case against Apple and five of the six largest U.S. book publishers in April 2012. The lawsuit accused them of conspiring to increase e-book prices and break Amazon.com Inc’s hold on pricing.

Apple is going to trial alone after the five publishers agreed to eliminate prohibitions on wholesale discounts and to pay a collective $164 million to benefit consumers.

The five publishers were Pearson Plc’s Penguin Group, News Corp’s HarperCollins Publishers Inc, CBS Corp’s Simon & Schuster Inc, Hachette Book Group Inc and MacMillan.

The U.S. government is not seeking damages but instead an order blocking Apple from engaging in similar conduct. However, if Apple is found liable, it could still face damages in a separate trial by the state attorneys general and consumers pursuing class actions.

Apple Buys Silicon Valley Startup WiFiSlam

Apple has acquired a Silicon Valley startup, WiFiSlam, which makes mapping applications for smart phones.

Apple confirmed the acquisition, but declined to give details. The news was earlier reported by The Wall Street Journal, which quoted a person familiar with the matter as saying that Apple paid around $20 million for the company.

“Apple acquires smaller technology companies from time to time, and we generally do not discuss our purpose or plans,” an Apple spokesman told Reuters.

WiFiSlam develops technology that provides indoor tracking and similar services. Big tech companies such as Apple and Google have been racing to provide more and better map applications for users. Google’s application, Google Maps, is widely accessed on Google’s Android platform and rival Apple’s rival iOS platform.

U.S. Computer Hacker Gets Three-and-a-half Years For Stealing iPad User Data

A computer hacker was sentenced on Monday to three years and five months in prison for stealing the personal data of about 120,000 Apple Inc iPad users, including big-city mayors, a TV network news anchor and a Hollywood movie mogul.

Andrew Auernheimer, 27, had been convicted in November by a Newark, New Jersey, jury of one count of conspiracy to access AT&T Inc servers without permission, and one count of identity theft.

The sentence imposed by U.S. District Judge Susan Wigenton in Newark was at the high end of the 33- to 41-month range that the U.S. Department of Justice had sought.

Prosecutors had said prison time would help deter hackers from invading the privacy of innocent people on the Internet.

Among those affected by Auernheimer’s activities were ABC News anchor Diane Sawyer, New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Hollywood movie producer Harvey Weinstein, prosecutors said.

“When it became clear that he was in trouble, he concocted the fiction that he was trying to make the Internet more secure, and that all he did was walk in through an unlocked door,” U.S. Attorney Paul Fishman said in a statement. “The jury didn’t buy it, and neither did the court in imposing sentence.”

Auernheimer had sought probation. His lawyer had argued that no passwords were hacked, and that a long prison term was unjustified given that the government recently sought six months for a defendant in a case involving “far more intrusive facts.”

The lawyer, Tor Ekeland, said his client would appeal. He said the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act doesn’t clearly define what constitutes unauthorized access.

“If this is criminal, then tens of thousands of Americans are committing computer crimes every other day,” Ekeland said in an interview. “There really was no harm.”

Auernheimer was handcuffed at one point during the sentencing, the lawyer said. He said his client may have been “tweeting” on his phone, and the U.S. marshals took it away.

Ekeland is also a lawyer for Matthew Keys, a deputy social media editor at Thomson Reuters Corp who was suspended with pay on Friday.

Keys was indicted last week in California on federal charges of aiding the Anonymous hacking collective by giving a hacker access to Tribune Co computer systems in December 2010.

The alleged events occurred before Keys began working at the website Reuters.com. Ekeland on Friday said Keys “maintains his innocence” and “looks forward to contesting these baseless charges.

INTERNET TROLL

Prosecutors called Auernheimer a “well-known computer hacker and internet ‘troll,'” who with co-defendant Daniel Spitler and the group Goatse Security tried to disrupt online content and services.

The two men were accused of using an “account slurper” designed to match email addresses with identifiers for iPad users, and of conducting a “brute force” attack to extract data about those users, who accessed the Internet through the AT&T servers.

This stolen information was then provided to the website Gawker, which published an article naming well-known people whose emails had been compromised, prosecutors said.

Spitler pleaded guilty in June 2011 to the same charges for which Auernheimer was convicted, and is awaiting sentencing.

Gawker was not charged in the case. In its original article, Gawker said Goatse obtained its data through a script on AT&T’s website that was accessible to anyone on the Internet. Gawker also said in the article that it established the authenticity of the data through two people listed among the names. A Gawker spokesman on Monday declined to elaborate.

AT&T has partnered with Apple in the United States to provide wireless service on the iPad. After the hacking, it shut off the feature that allowed email addresses to be obtained.

Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 To Come On Verizon For $600 From Thursday

Korean electronics giant, Samsung, will stop at nothing to enlarge its coast in terms of wide reach for its never-ending release of devices as it has allowed its LTE version of Samsung’s Galaxy Note 10.1 be available at Verizon Wireless starting from Thursday the 7th of March this week.

The tablet which will be available online and in several Verizon stores has been allotted a price tag of $599.99 for 16GB of internal flash storage, compared to the retail price for WiFi-only versions of $499.99 for 16GB or $549.99 for 32GB.

Despite Samsung not being able to topple the Apple yet with its android-based platform, the several lines of tablets released by the South Korean Company has earned the company so much boost in the world when it comes to the smartphone industry, as one of the executives of the company actually confessed at the recently concluded Mobile World Congress that their products will double this year in terms of sales.

That can be considered a very large leap looking at progress as Samsung’s original Galaxy Tab initially failed to make a dent in the market and only helped further illustrate the dominance of Apple and its iPad then.

Samsung has been expanding its Note line of devices, which include an S Pen stylus for writing on the device, as well as multiscreen viewing and advanced security features. Along with the Galaxy Note 10.1 and the smaller phablet — the Galaxy Note 2 — Samsung last week unveiled its 8-inch tablet, the Galaxy Note 8.

Amazon Launches Cloud Player App For iPad And iPad Mini

Amazon today launched its Cloud Player app for the Apple iPad and iPad Mini, expanding the online retail giant’s footprint for its music streaming programme.

According to cnet.com, the app allows customers to stream or download music stored in Amazon’s cloud, play music already stored on the device, and manage or create playlists.

A quick check by CNET shows iPad users also can purchase songs from Amazon through the Safari Web browser like they can on iPhones and iPod Touches. In the past, iOS users were able to access Amazon’s apps but weren’t able to purchase items from Amazon. That’s largely because of an Apple rule designed to make sure it gets its 30 per cent cut on all sales apps generate.

We’ll bring you more update on it as it comes.

Getting its Cloud Player on as many devices as possible is important for Amazon’s strategy. While the company makes its own hardware, it makes more money from selling books, music, movies, and other products and services. While iOS users can’t purchase items directly from Amazon’s apps, being able to access the content via Apple devices at least broadens Amazon’s potential user base.

“Our goal is to make Cloud Player the most widely compatible cloud playback solution available, giving our customers the ability to buy their music once and enjoy it everywhere,” Steve Boom, vice president of digital music for Amazon, said in a press release.

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Review: Five favourite tablets of 2012 – itproportal

Microsoft founder Bill Gates was the man of the moment, when in 2001 he unveiled a prototype tablet computer.

Bill Gates however made history after he showed knowledge of events on the evolution of tablets before it started to happen, because now the tablet market has exploded, with mobile computing due to eclipse traditional PCs in the near future.

Though Apple can take credit for taking tablets mainstream with the introduction of the first iPad in 2010, the Cupertino-based company is certainly not the only player in that market nowadays. And so with the holiday season on the horizon, a list of five favourite tablets of 2012 has been compiled to guide you this Christmas.

 

Apple iPad mini

Apple’s miniature tablet is likely to top many Christmas wish lists this season, but that shouldn’t come as a surprise – the iPad mini packs a slew of impressive features in its slim, 7.9in frame. It offers a richer experience than some of the other tablets in the 7in category by being slightly bigger, but its major selling point is that it is considerably more portable than the full-size 9.7in iPad. At just 308g and thumb typing-friendly, it’s a great option for anyone looking for a lightweight tablet. Plus, it has an IPS LCD display with a 1,024 x 768 pixel resolution, as well as both rear and front-facing cameras.

The device promises up to 10 hours of battery life, so it’s particularly useful for commuters or those who spend a lot of time travelling. Another feature in the iPad mini’s favour is Apple’s App Store, with an unbelievable library of titles available, 275,000 of which were designed specifically for the iPad. The iPad mini is available in two colour schemes – black and slate or white and silver – and ships in Wi-Fi-only or Wi-Fi + cellular models, with three storage options – 16GB, 32GB, or 64GB, depending on what your usage is like. Pricewise, the iPad mini starts at £269 and runs to £529 for the 4G enabled 64GB model.

 

Apple iPad with Retina display

Apple’s fourth-generation iPad sits at the higher-end of the tablet spectrum, its Retina display boasting a dazzling 9.7in screen with a resolution of 2,048 x 1,536 pixels. But though the incredibly sharp display is its primary calling card, the latest iPad is chock-full of other attractive features. The new Apple A6X processor, for instance, means that graphic-heavy applications and CPU-intensive tasks are considerably faster and more fluid; according to Apple, it’s twice as fast and twice as powerful as its predecessor, making it ideal for media consumption.

Apple’s iOS is one of the factors setting the fourth-gen iPad apart from offerings from competitors – the mobile operating system is tighter, more streamlined and altogether smoother than Android. The new iPad in particular counts Siri among its premier features; Apple’s voice-activated digital assistant promises improved voice recognition and can look up movie times, manage your calendar, and post Facebook statuses for you. There’s also Apple’s unmatchable App Store, which is home to hundreds of thousands of apps, running the gamut from games to fitness management to music production. Ultimately, if you’re prepared to swallow the price – it starts at £399 for a 16GB, Wi-Fi-only device and ranges to £659 for a Wi-Fi + cellular model with 64GB of storage – it’s the best large-format tablet on the market.

 

Google Nexus 7

Google’s Asus-produced Nexus 7 proved to be incredibly popular when it was released this summer, and its recent refresh alongside the larger Nexus line-up will likely continue to be just as coveted throughout the holiday season. Here we have a budget-friendly 7in tablet that’s fantastic for everyday use and is virtually unrivalled in the value-for-money department – so much so that some competing manufacturers and retailers were forced to cut their own prices in response.

On the operating system front, it runs the latest version of Android, 4.2 Jelly Bean, which adds features like Gesture Typing and more integrated Google Play media, including books, music, and films. As for hardware, the Nexus 7 features an IPS LCD screen with a resolution of 1,200 x 800 pixels that, despite not being ground-breaking, certainly does the trick. It’s powered by a quad-core Nvidia Tegra 3 SoC, which is impressive for such a small, affordable device.

The Nexus 7 is available in 16GB and 32GB storage iterations, but lacks a microSD card slot, which could prove to be a deal breaker for some customers. However, its attractive pricing is difficult to resist; it may not be the best tablet out there but, maxing out at £239 for a 32GB model with Wi-Fi and 3G, it certainly won’t break the bank.

Google blew the display on Apple’s fourth-generation iPad out of the water when it unveiled its Nexus 10 earlier this autumn. The Samsung-made device boasts a 10in display with a 2,560 x 1,600 pixel display, giving it the title of the highest-resolution tablet in the world. And, coupled with Google Play’s improved media offerings, the Nexus 10 is an optimal tablet for watching videos, editing photos, and browsing the web.

But an astounding screen isn’t all this high-end tablet has to offer – it also runs the latest version of Android, so it benefits from the slight tweaks introduced via Jelly Bean 4.2, including the new Photo Sphere app and live turn-by-turn GPS navigation. All of that is powered by a dual-core ARM processor with 2GB of RAM, so it will prove to be a thoroughly capable tablet with less battery drain than its quad-core rivals. Surprisingly, the Nexus 10 is Wi-Fi-only and ships in either 16GB or 32GB variations with no microSD slot. If you want to avoid going down the Apple route, the Nexus 10 is almost certainly your best alternative – and priced at £319 or £389, it’s also a fair bit cheaper.

 

Microsoft Surface with Windows RT

The launch of Surface marked Microsoft’s first foray into tablet production – a sturdy, impressive hybrid tablet billed as a happy medium between a conventional tablet and a productivity-friendly notebook. Surface sets itself apart from the other devices on this list by shipping with a smartcover that offers a full touch keyboard – a spill-resistant one, at that. At 10.6in and with a solid build, it veers close to notebook territory, but the 1,366 x 768, 16:9 widescreen display offers a rich experience that feels very much like a hybrid and not simply a tablet with a keyboard attached.

The device runs Windows RT, Microsoft’s touch-optimised operating system for ARM-based hardware (in this case, the SoC in question is an Nvidia Tegra 3). Accordingly, Surface fits in well with the company’s broader ecosystem, which also encompasses Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8. While that means it will initially suffer from the scarcity of apps in the Windows Store, it will benefit from a much welcome boost in the form of Microsoft Office and tight integration with other Microsoft products like SkyDrive and Skype. In terms of capacity, it comes in 32GB and 64GB models, with a microSD card slot for an additional 64GB of space. In the end, Surface is a surprise contender, so if price is no object – it ranges from £399 to £559 – this could be the device for you.

Samsung ships a whooping 157million smartphones ahead of Apple in Q3

Samsung increased its lead in terms of smartphone shipments as estimate shows that the total number of smartphone shipments exceeded 157 million in Q3 2012. The Korean company shipped a record 56.3 million which was almost double the number of iPhones shipped by Apple (26.9 million). The Galaxy S III played a key role for Samsung with estimated sales of 18 million in the third quarter. Things are getting so dire for RIM and Nokia that ZTE has got ahead of them. LG did well amongst the Tier 2 players compared to rivals like Huawei, Motorola and HTC.

Nokia’s insistence on failing to ship an Android based handset and stick to its Windows Phone (W7 Mango) devices meant sales fell a whacking 63 per cent compared to Q3 2011.

The Finnish company shipped just 6.3 million smart devices in the third quarter. Though there’s hope for Nokia as the Xmas season always see strong sales growth for everyone.

In its report, ‘Smartphone Evolution Strategies: Premium, Standard & Economy Markets 2011-2016′, Juniper says, “Samsung has been highly effective in leveraging its global brand strength and the popularity of the Android OS to drive sales of smartphones in all price tiers.”

With Windows Phone 8 devices due to become commercially available shortly plus the fact that in the UK, for example, its offers handsets to run on EE’s 4G LTE network.

No such luck for RIM which unbelievably won’t actually ship a BlackBerry 10 smartphone until Q1 2013 – just when everybody has bought a new phone.

At least the Canadian firm managed 7.7 million quarterly smartphone shipments, so it piped Nokia.

Given RIM’s emphasis on the business sector missing Xmas may not harm its Q4 sales as much as expected.

Even LG sold more smartphones than Nokia as it posted a 24 per cent quarter-on-quarter (q-o-q) growth to a record 7 million smartphone shipments.

ZTE shipped almost 20 million smartphones over the first three quarters with third quarter sales exceeding both Nokia and RIM.

The phenomenal success for Samsung has been the Galaxy S III which is, of course, an Android based device.

Drop in Desktop PC sales linked to increase in Tablet users

It has been reported that there’s been a 10 per cent year-on-year slump in desktop PC sales to business users during the first two months of Q3.

A Market Watcher, Context tracked sales of desktop PCs through distribution across Western Europe and blamed the decline on the growing popularity of smartphones and tablets.

Sales of the devices were down by more than 20 per cent in Switzerland and Finland, while the UK, Germany and France suffered single digit declines.

UK PC sales, in particular, were down 3.4 per cent on the same period last year, but were reportedly buoyed by a series of large-scale enterprise purchases towards the end of Q3.

A PC market analyst said desktop PCs are falling out of favour with business users that want to take advantage of mobile working.

According to research, Notebooks now have the same power as most desktop [PCs] while other portable devices, such as smartphones and tablets, continue to offer enterprise users more personalised features via app eco-systems.

Despite the lacklustre performance of the desktop PC market, it was predicted by a market analyst that all-in-one devices will become more popular with business users as time goes on.

iPhone 5 over $100,000 stolen in Japan before launch

With the much-awaited launch of the iphone5 in Japan, the honour of being among the first to get their hands on the iPhone 5 has gone a bit awkward as thieves in Japan broke into carrier stores and carted away over $100,000 worth of Apple’s latest smartphone.

The Wall Street Journal reports that both Softbank and KDDI’s au were the victims of burglaries just hours before the iPhone 5 was set to go on sale. Three separate incidents across Osaka resulted in a total of 191 phones being lifted. Police estimated the largest heist, which saw 116 units nabbed from Softbank, was worth an estimated 7.45 million yen ($95,000).

It’s not clear whether the incidents were connected, though proximity and timing makes it possible that all three burglaries were committed by the same perpetrators.

The high value of Apple devices makes them frequent targets of theft. Apple has had difficulty with smash-and-grab burglaries that take advantage of the glass doors in many of its retail stores. One recent high-profile incident involved a BMW SUV crashing through a storefront in Temecula, California.

Friday morning’s burglaries do slightly mar the launch of Apple’s new gadget, but expected record sales should more than make up for the unfortunate incidents. Apple pre-sold more than 2 million iPhone 5 units in the first 24 hours of availability, and the company’s own estimates suggest new orders won’t be shipped for 3-4 weeks.

In nine countries around the world, legitimate owners of the iPhone 5 will begin purchasing the iPhone 5 on Friday. The Next Web obtained two units for testing the new HD Voice feature on the Telstra network in Australia. Call quality was clearly better with the devices, though it could still stand for improvement.

Teardown experts’ iFixit also made their way out to Australia to get early access to the iPhone 5. After breaking down the handset, they found it to be substantially more repairable than previous versions of the iPhone.

iPhone 5 and iOS 6 maps app will get better – Apple

Apple responded to the criticism of the recent map service on the newly launched iPhone 5, which was released in stores around the world on Wednesday.

Below is the statement released by Apple: “Customers around the world are upgrading to iOS 6 with over 200 new features including Apple Maps, our first map service. We are excited to offer this service with innovative new features like Flyover, turn by turn navigation, and Siri integration. We launched this new map service knowing it is a major initiative and that we are just getting started with it. Apple Maps is a cloud-based solution and the more people use it, the better it will get. We appreciate all of the customer feedback and are working hard to make the customer experience even better.”

And to follow up that promise of serving it’s huge customer base,a number of postings to the Apple’s job site reveals the company is looking to bolster its newly-released Maps app, which has been almost universally panned since iOS 6 launched on Wednesday. Over the course of the past week, Apple has posted multiple listings for software engineers who will handle development, real-time rendering and overall upgrades to the fledgling mapping service, among others.

According to one job description, Apple’s iOS Maps team is “responsible for MapKit, the iOS framework that displays maps which is used by countless applications on the App Store.” Apple is seeking to fill positions for developing 3D flyover models, including “mesh generation of terrain” and “road rendering” in a C++ environment. Another engineer is being sought to work on both the client and server to develop “advanced dynamic label layout of road labels, points of interest and other labels on the map.”

Three Map Display team listings points to work on real-time rendering techniques, creating “new and innovative” features and general systems maintenance. Another Map Display team engineer is needed to find and fix what Apple calls “performance bottlenecks” by creating specialized testing tools. Apple’s Maps app is the company’s first foray into the mapping service business, having previously implemented Google’s finely tuned Google Maps in its iDevices since the first iPhone was launched in 2007.

In reviewing the new iPhone 5, critics naturally turned to comparing the two services, and while iOS Maps did garner some acclaim, most found the lack of features and usual Apple polish troubling. The company responded to complaints on Thursday, saying, “We launched this new map service knowing it is a major initiative and that we are just getting started with it.” Apple noted that Maps is a cloud-based service and said, “the more people use it, the better it will get.”