Apple is reportedly attempting to poach members of the Google Maps team. You know what they say: If you can’t beat ‘em, steal ‘em. [TechCrunch]
The latest boat lifted by the rising tide of the New York tech boom: accounting firms. [Crain's New York]
Meanwhile, in New Zealand: A court has ordered an investigation into whether Kim Dotcom was the victim of “unlawful spying.” [BBC News]
Attendees at the EuSecWest-sponsored World Security Professional Summit in Amsterdam are participating in a contest called Mobile Pwn2Own. Contestants are, yes, basically revealing that our mobile devices can be easily pwned by someone with the know-how. Quell your bubbling phone fanboy or fangirl rage right now: it looks like both Androids and iPhones are vulnerable. The Next Web describes the Android pwnage, which was partially done, by the way, via near-field communication, or NFC: Read More
Do we detect a little extra joy in Jeff Bezos’s supervillain laugh lately? Well, a spot of plotting does warm the heart, and it sounds like he’s cooking up something big. Judging from a Bloomberg report this morning, it’s looking like that Amazon smartphone may very well be more than mere rumor.
Anyone from Microsoft might just want to go ahead and leave the room; coming on the heels of that Vanity Fair article, this’ll just upset you.
Bloomberg cites two people “with knowledge of the matter,” who claim an Amazon smartphone designed to compete with iPhone and Android is on its way. According to one of those sources, the company is already working with Foxconn on the device. Read More
Hard on the heels of last week’s Facebook phone rumors comes new smartphone pot-stirring on the part of Wired. The question: Why shouldn’t Amazon take its foothold in the tablet market and tackle smartphones? Uh, we can think of a couple of reasons.
This isn’t the first mention of an Amazon smartphone. Back in November, All Things D got hold of a note that predicted the device would be launched by the end of the year, based on backdoor intel (called channel checks) from Amazon’s Asian suppliers. The memo suggests the phone would cost $150 to $170 to build–and of course, Amazon has never been shy about cutting it close on margins. Now that it’s already May, Wired runs the pros and cons. The ability to sell on its own homepage is not to be underestimated as an advantage. ABI Research analyst Aapo Markkanen–who calls a smartphone “a logical next step” for Amazon–points to the “lock-in effect” of the company’s content ecosystem: Read More
If you’re being generous, one could say your smartphone already grants some version of comic book superpowers. The mobile browser lets your feign omniscience at will; email-in-your-pocket lets you be everywhere at once. Scientists at the University of Texas at would like the add X-ray vision to that list.
As the British tech site The Inquirer reports, electrical engineering professor Dr. Kenneth O and his team developed an imager chip that could let your smartphone see through walls . . . and wood and plastics and paper and more. Read More
Betabeat has been using the original Droid since 2009, and with the occasional factory refresh, it’s been an amazing phone. But as much as we love the old girl, she’s reaching the end of her usable life. After reading some horror stories about how Android was being ruined by crapware from the manufactures and carriers, we were planning on getting the iPhone 5. But after spending a few weeks with Motorola’s new flagship phone, the Droid Bionic, we may end up sticking with Android after all. Read More
The bombshell news this morning that Google is trying to buy Motorola Mobility for $12.5 billion in cash is not actually that big of surprise. Anyone who read our article about what a nightmare the Android ecosystem has become for consumers knows that Google was having problems with its OEM partners. The real question now is, can Google build its own hardware business and mantain good relationships with its licensees. “No one has ever successfully licensed a platform and competed with licensees at the same time,” tweeted Gartner analyst Michael Gartenberg. “Apple tried it (twice) as did Palm & Nokia.” Read More