By Noel Randewich SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Intel Corp is shipping new mobile chips that represent the semiconductor company's biggest hope for making progress in smartphones this year. Responding to a growing market in China for low-cost handsets often priced below $100, Intel announced plans for the chip, code named Sofia, in late 2013 at a meeting with investors. "We went from PowerPoint to shipping in 15 months," said Aicha Evans, General Manager of Intel's Platform Engineering Group. As well as smartphones, the Sofia chip fills a gap in Intel's lineup of chips for tablets.
By Nadia Damouni and Suzanne Barlyn NEW YORK (Reuters) - Chip maker NXP Semiconductors NV has agreed to buy smaller peer Freescale Semiconductor Ltd and merge operations in a deal valuing the combined company at over $40 billion. The transaction is the clearest sign yet that semiconductor companies are regaining the confidence required to pursue big mergers and acquisitions at a time when their major clients, such as mobile phone manufacturers, seek to consolidate suppliers. Freescale also has its chips in consumer products such as Amazon's Kindle e-reader. Last month, Avago Technologies said it would buy wireless networking company Emulex Corp for more than $600 million, while MaxLinear said it would buy Entropic Communications Inc for $287 million.
By Se Young Lee and Harro Ten Wolde SEOUL/BARCELONA (Reuters) - South Korea's Samsung Electronics Co Ltd unveiled its latest Galaxy S smartphones, featuring a slim body made from aircraft-grade metal, in a bid to reclaim the throne of undisputed global smartphone leader from Apple Inc. Designed from scratch in an operation dubbed "Project Zero", the Galaxy S6 and its curved-edges variant are critical for Samsung's plans to reverse plunging smartphone revenues that led to its first annual earnings fall in three years in 2014. A warm initial reception sent Samsung shares on Monday to their highest in nearly nine months. Some technology publications described the phones as Samsung's best-looking to date after its previous flagship device, the Galaxy S5, failed to impress. "We listen to our customers and we learn from our missteps," J.K. Shin, Samsung's mobile chief, told a packed hall in Barcelona ahead of the annual Mobile World Congress trade show, where the Galaxy S6 and the Galaxy S6 edge were unveiled on Sunday.
By Alwyn Scott NEW YORK (Reuters) - Honeywell International Inc said on Monday it has teamed up with satellite internet startup OneWeb Ltd to expand the high-speed data services it offers to aircraft. OneWeb, whose investors include Richard Branson's Virgin Group and Qualcomm Inc, plans to build a network of 648 low-orbit satellites capable of beaming fast internet around the world starting in 2019. Honeywell will use OneWeb's bandwidth to provide aircraft services such as streaming maintenance data from engines and other equipment to the ground, transmitting weather and navigation data to pilots and supplying fast internet connections to passengers.
(Reuters) - One of Google Inc's largest investors has cut its exposure to the company by nearly a third over the past several months amid worries about a shift to cheaper searches on mobile phones. The $107 billion Fidelity Contrafund cut its stake in Google to 5.2 percent of net assets as of Jan. 31, from 7.3 percent of net assets as of June 30. "The firm continued to do phenomenally innovative things, but it is fighting a shift away from desktop search to less-expensive searches on mobile phones," Fidelity Investments portfolio manager Will Danoff said in Contrafund's annual report, released on Feb. 28th.
By Paul Lienert DETROIT (Reuters) - Qualcomm Inc, a maker of smartphone chips and software, unveiled on Monday fourth-generation LTE modems that will enable cars to stay better-connected wirelessly to cloud-based services via the Web. Qualcomm's Snapdragon X12 and X5 modems are designed to be embedded in cars and work with owners' mobile devices to access a variety of Internet services, from streaming music to vehicle diagnostics. Cars are becoming a key battleground for technology industry giants, including Google Inc and Apple Inc, as they seek to develop a market where drivers will be online while on the road. "These modems will give carmakers and consumers an in-car experience that rivals the best smartphones," said Kanwalinder Singh, senior vice president of business development for Qualcomm Technologies.
Today at Mobile World Congress, Cyanogen and Alcatel announced the Hero 2+, a 6-inch smartphone that will come with CyanogenMod preinstalled. The Hero 2+ is a variation of the Hero 2 Alcatel released globally last year, and features a 6-inch, 1080p display, a 2GHz octacore Mediatek processor, 2GB of RAM, a 13-megapixel camera, support for LTE on AT&T and T-Mobile, and a stylus. CyanogenMod is already available on a handful of smartphones across the world, including the Oppo N1, OnePlus One, and devices in India. The Hero 2+ will run CyanogenMod 11, which is based on Android 4.4 KitKat, though it will likely be upgraded to newer version of the software as it is released.
Twitter said Monday it was working with law enforcement officials on unspecified threats, amid reports that the social network had been targeted for blocking accounts linked to the Islamic State. "Our security team is investigating the veracity of these threats with relevant law enforcement officials," a Twitter spokesman said, without elaborating. The news comes following reports that Twitter had suspended accounts linked to IS and related entities, including the Nigerian Islamic group Boko Haram. A page on the online bulletin board Pastebin showed an image of Twitter founder Jack Dorsey in what appear to be the crosshairs of a rifle scope and a message in Arabic.
It’s only March, which means we’re still a few months away from a deluge of iPhone 6s rumors making their way down the pipeline. Still, a recent report from AppleInsider sheds some light on an interesting feature Apple may introduce on the next-generation iPhone. DON’T FORGET: Apple holding March 9th special event for new products According to the report, Apple’s upcoming iPhone will feature “Force Touch” input functionality, the very same feature Apple uses on the upcoming Apple Watch. According to Apple, Force Touch incorporates tiny electrodes that can ably distinguish between a tap and a deep press on a display. By differentiating between two distinct types of touches, iOS will presumably be able to present a wider array of controls and options
Buying electronic cigarettes online is exceedingly easy for teenagers, according to a study conducted in North Carolina. Between 2011 and 2012, the percentage of high school students who had ever used e-cigarettes rose to 10 percent, from 4.7 percent (in contrast, 46 percent of high school students have tried tobacco products in general). This is a problem given the risk for nicotine addition, and the potential negative health affects of nicotine on teenage brain development. For this reason, researchers at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, decided to look into how well online vendors were — or in this case weren't — complying with North Carolina laws.
Wireless headphones are everywhere. Most wireless headphones are on-ear or over-ear models, but there are a few in-ear designs that have been available for a couple of years. Beats' PowerBeats 2 are excellent examples of in-ear wireless headphones designed for exercise. Sol Republic's new $99.99 Shadow headphone is a Bluetooth in-ear model, but it's not designed for exercise like the Beats.
HTC tells me that it's pushing out updates to the One M9 on a daily basis and 95 percent of their content is camera-related. The Taiwanese company has heard a chorus of discontent with its latest camera echoing throughout early previews and is working hard to improve the quality of its images. The overwhelming reason for why I found myself disappointed with the One M9 this past week was its camera. HTC is the company that spent two years evangelizing the benefit of larger pixels for capturing more light — that's the big selling point behind its lower-resolution UltraPixel camera — and now it's leapt in the exact opposite direction by cramming in 20 million smaller pixels to obtain greater resolution.
Billionaire philanthropist Bill Gates kept his spot as the world's richest man, a rank he has held for 16 of the past 21 years, Forbes magazine said Monday. The Microsoft co-founder's fortune increased $3.2 billion since last year to $79.2 billion, the business magazine said, despite a $1.5 billion gift of Microsoft shares to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation in November. In fourth was Amancio Ortega, founder of the Inditex fashion group that includes Zara clothing retail shops. Facebook co-founder Mark Zuckerberg jumped five spots to land in number 16, the first time he made it within the exclusive circle of the world's 20 richest people.
Ahead of Sunday’s huge Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 edge unveiling at the annual Mobile World Congress trade show in Spain, there was a lot of chatter focused on similarities between the Galaxy S6 we saw in leaks and Apple’s iPhone 6. Many people suggested that Samsung was getting ready to copy the iPhone once again with its new flagship phones — in some ways of course, that would be a good thing — and leaked images of handset prototypes certainly made it appear as though that would be the case. Now that the Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 edge are official and we have spent some time with both new models, it’s time to determine once and for all
The FCC is looking into whether Comcast and Time Warner Cable have placed any restrictions or limits on companies' streaming video services. Last week, letters were sent to eight companies including Disney, CBS, and Viacom asking if either cable provider placed any "limits on distribution" on streaming video. The Justice Department is asking its own questions about Comcast and Time Warner Cable, according to Bloomberg, to find out if the potential merger would have a negative impact on online video. Both the FCC and the Justice Department are tasked with reviewing the merger between the two cable giants.
Panasonic's new $250 Nubo camera addresses that problem head on: it's the first home security camera with built-in LTE networking, so it can be mounted virtually anywhere you have a cell signal. The Nubo's included SIM will work with Panasonic's own MVNO network in Europe (running on Vodafone), with service plans starting at $7-$10 per month. It also has built-in Wi-Fi and microSD storage support as fallbacks and can be used without a service plan. Panasonic's Nubo app will work with Android and iOS and lets you watch live video, manage the lengths of clips the Nubo records, and see when the Nubo camera has detected activity.
Called MoDe, the two bikes would run on a combination of pedal power and pre-charged batteries. Ford envisions the two bikes as part of a broader mobility system that integrates cars, bikes, and various other forms of transportation into a seamless, networked whole. Ford has been promoting alternate transportation research projects for a while, most notably at its most recent CES keynote, but these prototypes offer a more concrete look at the company's ambitions. An integrated iOS navigation app would direct users to the fastest route, potentially a mix of car, bike, and public transit.
A few days before the MWC 2015 madness started, LG surprised smartwatch fans by announcing a one of the best-looking smartwatches yet, at least until Huawei’s watch was unveiled: the LG Watch Urbane and its SIM-card carrying cohort, the LG Watch Urbane LTE. After taking the later for a brief stroll at MWC, I can say that it looks and feels good on the wrist, but it’s also a little bulky. Not to mention the fact that it runs on LG’s “Wearable Platform,” which might take some adjusting to. FROM EARLIER: Hands-on: Sony’s new tablet is a powerful, slim and light Android beast The smartwatch packs a lot of power under the hood, which should be enough for it to perform the kind of tasks you
The biggest channels on YouTube grew rapidly over the past year. In January, YouTube's top 100 channels received more than double the views that they were seeing one year earlier, growing from just over 7 billion collective monthly views to 14.7 billion views, according to analytics from OpenSlate that were published on Tubefilter. The Guardian first pointed out the year-over-year jump. Like many things in pop culture this year, Taylor Swift played a role (her channel was the third most viewed). YouTube has very publicly been trying to empower the people using its platform and place them in the spotlight.
The annual Mobile World Congress trade show didn’t officially start until today, but there is no question that Samsung stole the show on Sunday. The company’s new Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 edge smartphones represent a bold new era at Samsung, one where the company is finally willing to build a smartphone out of premium materials that better compliment its cutting-edge specs. Among the improvements in Samsung’s new flagship phones is an impressive new camera that could be the best smartphone camera in the world when it launches. And now, we have our first official samples of photos captured with the Galaxy S6’s camera. DON’T MISS: Samsung Galaxy S6 hands-on preview Samsung Galaxy S6 edge hands-on preview Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 edge specs Like
Google has announced that it's working on a new mobile payments framework named Android Pay. Speaking at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Google exec Sundar Pichai confirmed that this would not be a new product for users, but an "API layer" that allows other companies to support secure payments on Android in both physical stores and via apps. "We are doing it in a way in which anybody else can build a payments service on top of Android," said Pichai.
In a post released on Sunday, ISIS supporters took aim at Twitter and the social network's co-founder Jack Dorsey for blocking their accounts online. While the provenance of the post is unclear, Twitter and law enforcement have already begun an investigation into its origin. "We told you from the beginning it’s not your war," reads the post, translated from Arabic by BuzzFeed, "but you didn’t get it and kept closing our accounts on Twitter, but we always come back. The group has frequently used Twitter to share gruesome videos of beheadings with its followers, and last month called on its supporters to launch attacks on police and military officials in the US and Europe.
The chip maker is bundling its McAfee Mobile Security suite with LG's recently announced Watch Urbane LTE. I'm not sure why, and I don't think Intel is either. I asked Intel CEO Brian Krzanich why a smartwatch needs anti-virus software, and he compared the wrist-worn gadgets to air conditioners. Discussing security vulnerabilities on various hardware, Krzanich says breaches "actually occurred through very generic devices like air conditioners." Krzanich is likely referring to part of the Target breach, but complex and legacy industrial machinery shouldn't dictate modern device security.
(Reuters) - A video posted online shows Los Angeles police scuffling with and shooting a homeless man during a confrontation, The Los Angeles Times reported on its web site. The video, posted on Facebook, shows several uniformed Los Angeles Police Department officers scuffling with a man in a downtown area where homeless people pitch tents at night known as skid row. A series of civilian deaths at the hands of police in the past year has become a touchstone for trouble race relations in the United States, most notably in Ferguson, Missouri, when an unarmed teen-ager was shot and killed by a police officer, triggering weeks of protests and some rioting. The homeless man in the video was declared dead at a hospital shortly after the shooting, the Times reported, citing police spokesman Sgt. Barry Montgomery.
By Scott Malone BOSTON (Reuters) - Lawyers for the Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev and federal prosecutors sparred on Monday over how much evidence related to his motive and his brother's role in the attack can be presented in the opening weeks of his trial. Tsarnaev, 21, faces the possibility of a death sentence if convicted of killing three people and injuring 264 in the April 15, 2013, attack, and fatally shooting a police officer three days later. Federal death penalty cases play out in two stages, with a jury first determining whether the defendant is guilty and then considering his sentence. Prosecutors are seeking to stop defense attorneys from arguing during the first stage of the trial that Tsarnaev was not the mastermind of the attack but that his older brother, Tamerlan, was its architect.
By Barbara Liston ORLANDO, Fla. (Reuters) - A Florida Islamic group announced on Monday it has filed a formal notice with the FBI that it plans to sue the agency over the death of Ibragim Todashev, a friend of one of the Boston Marathon bomb suspects. Todashev, 27, a Chechen immigrant, was shot dead in an Orlando apartment in May 2013 during FBI questioning over his links with the Boston bombing suspects. The notice was filed by the Council on American-Islamic Relations Florida (CAIR-Florida) on behalf of Todashev's parents. "We are seeking answers and justice for someone who was shot seven times by an FBI agent in his own home after hours of interrogation," said Thania Diaz Clevenger, civil rights director for CAIR Florida.
A federal judge on Monday ruled Nebraska's ban on gay marriage unconstitutional in a decision that could allow same-sex couples to marry in the state within a week. U.S. District Judge Joseph Bataillon issued a preliminary injunction in the case brought by seven same-sex couples in the state, calling Nebraska's ban an "unabashedly gender-specific infringement of the equal rights of its citizens." Bataillon denied a state request to stay his decision but said his injunction would take effect on March 9 to assuage Nebraska officials' concerns of possible administrative turmoil. The Nebraska Attorney General's Office was studying the decision and was expected to have a statement later. Nebraska voters in 2000 adopted a state constitutional amendment that defines marriage as only between one man and one woman and does not recognize civil unions, domestic partnerships or similar relationships for same-sex couples.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu denied Monday that his upcoming speech to the US Congress was a slight to President Barack Obama, and insisted the US-Israeli alliance remains strong. Netanyahu is due to address Congress on Tuesday to lobby against ongoing US efforts to reach a deal with Iran to curtail its nuclear program. "My speech is not intended to show any disrespect to President Obama or the office that he holds.
By Matt Spetalnick and Dan Williams WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The United States and Israel showed signs of seeking to defuse tensions on Sunday ahead of a speech in Washington by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu when he will warn against a possible nuclear deal with Iran. Policy differences over the negotiations with Iran remained firm, however, as Netanyahu arrived in the United States on Sunday afternoon for a speech to Congress, which has imperiled ties between the two allies.
By Matt Siegel CANBERRA (Reuters) - The search for missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 cannot go on forever, Australia's deputy prime minister said, and discussions are already under way between Australia, China and Malaysia as to whether to call off the hunt within weeks. No trace has been found of the Boeing 777 aircraft, which disappeared a year ago this week carrying 239 passengers and crew, in what has become one of the greatest mysteries in aviation history. The search of a rugged 60,000 sq km (23,000 sq mile) patch of sea floor some 1,600 km (1,000 miles) west of the Australian city of Perth, which experts believe is the plane's most likely resting place, will likely be finished by May. Australian Deputy Prime Minister Warren Truss told Reuters that a decision would have to be taken well before then as to whether to continue into the vast 1.1 million sq km area around the primary search zone if nothing has been found.
ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — Hardy souls who shivered and shoveled their way through February in the Northeast now have evidence of just how brutal the weather was, with record cold in at least eight cities and record snowfall in Boston.
By Polina Devitt and Maxim Rodionov MOSCOW (Reuters) - Tens of thousands of Russians marched through central Moscow on Sunday, carrying banners declaring "I am not afraid" and chanting "Russia without Putin" in memory of murdered Kremlin critic Boris Nemtsov. Families, the old and young walked slowly, with many holding portraits of the opposition politician and former deputy prime minister who was shot dead while walking home from a nearby restaurant on Friday night. His supporters have blamed the authorities. "If we can stop the campaign of hate that's being directed at the opposition, then we have a chance to change Russia.
Two US astronauts on Sunday made speedy work of their third spacewalk to get the International Space Station ready for the arrival of more commercial spacecraft in the coming years. Tethered to the outside of the orbiting outpost, space station commander Barry Wilmore and flight engineer Terry Virts reported no problems with their spacesuits during the outing, but Virts discovered a small amount of water building up in his helmet after he re-entered the space station. A similar problem occurred after Wednesday's spacewalk, when about three inches of water collected in Virts' headpiece, but NASA said the problem did not put the astronauts in danger.
By Matt Spetalnick and Dan Williams WASHINGTON/JERUSALEM (Reuters) - The United States and Israel showed signs of seeking to defuse tensions on Sunday ahead of a speech in Washington by Israeli leader Benjamin Netanyahu when he will warn against a possible nuclear deal with Iran. Policy differences over the negotiations with Iran remained firm, however, as Netanyahu set off for the United States to deliver the speech, which has imperiled ties between the two allies. Israel fears that U.S. President Barack Obama's Iran diplomacy, with an end-of-March deadline for a framework accord, will allow its arch foe to develop atomic weapons -- something Tehran denies seeking.
By Andrew Osborn LONDON (Reuters) - Islamist militant Mohammed Emwazi, identified as 'Jihadi John', was a member of a network in contact with one of the men convicted of trying to bomb the British capital's underground railway in 2005, according to the government. U.S. security sources last week identified the man, who appeared clad in black and brandishing a knife, as Mohammed Emwazi. The British government's view is set out in court papers, reviewed by Reuters and publicly available on the Internet, which refer to 2011 and 2013 British legal hearings concerning two of Emwazi's London associates, known only as Iranian-born "CE" and Ethiopian-born "J1." The court papers reported in the Observer and Sunday Telegraph newspapers, offer a fleeting glimpse of Emwazi's life in London before he left for Syria. One of the same network's members, "J1", spoke on the phone with Hussain Osman, one of the men convicted in connection with an unsuccessful attempt to blow up the London underground in 2005, on the day of the failed attack itself, the papers show.
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