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What Samsung Got When It Bought SmartThings

August 22, 2014 | by Ben Munson | Comments

The move looks smart especially as competitors like Apple are ramping up their connected home efforts and Google is putting up $3.2 billion for connected home companies like Nest Labs. But what exactly did Samsung get when it bought SmartThings and how will it factor into the Korean giant’s foray into the smart house?

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Foursquare Revamps App with New Features

August 18, 2014 8:48 am | by Barbara Ortutay, AP Technology Writer | Comments

Foursquare began five years ago as a tool for letting people tell friends where they are. You can check in to a restaurant, a movie theater, rides in a theme park or even the "hot dog man" at Penn Station. The more you check in, the more points, badges and mayorships you earn. They mean little in the real world, but users have competed fiercely for such honors.

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Contract's Up? What To Do Now

August 15, 2014 10:08 am | by Anick Jesdanun, AP Technology Writer | Comments

Although the discounts are typically less than the subsidies you're forgoing, it's the reverse for plans with at least 10 gigabytes of data. So big families sharing lots of data are probably better off with a full-price plan. That's also the case if you don't need a high-end phone, as the monthly fees for voice, text and data services factor in the costs of subsidizing the most expensive phones. 

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A Closer Look: Multitasking on Mobile Devices

August 12, 2014 10:59 am | by Anick Jesdanun, AP Technology Writer | Comments

That's starting to change with Android devices, though. Windows tablets do let you run multiple apps side by side, but Windows phones do not. The iPhone and iPad don't, either. In this installment of A Closer Look, I assess some of the Android devices that offer limited multitasking. These approaches aren't as smooth as what I'm used to on Mac and Windows personal computers, but they are a start.

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Alternatives to Passwords Gain Traction on Mobile

August 5, 2014 9:41 am | by Anick Jesdanun, AP Technology Writer | Comments

They're a pain to use, and they aren't secure when they are based on easy-to-guess digits, such as a birth date or street address. Many people don't bother using them on phones, even though that means any thief can get instant access to email, banking apps and more. Fortunately, phone makers have started to come up with alternatives to passcodes.

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Wideband LTE’s Time is Now as Carrier Aggregation Waits in the Wings

July 31, 2014 3:36 pm | by Ben Munson | Comments

Carrier aggregation is only one component of the emerging LTE-Advanced feature set but it’s received the most attention so far. Maybe that’s because it’s more fun to say than Relay Nodes but more likely it’s because of the phone-melting downlink speeds it’s capable of producing. South Korea’s SK Telecom earlier this year successfully stitched together three LTE bands (one 20 MHz and two 10 MHz) and was able to support speeds up to 300 Mbps.

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Elastic Cell Tech One More Brick in Road to 5G

July 30, 2014 3:24 pm | by Andrew Berg | Comments

Elastic Cell, also called Flexible Cell, could mean more seamless data transmission by mitigating degradation that can occur when the handset moves across cell boundaries, something that could become more important as we move to networks composed of thousands of small cells. 

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A Roadmap for Spectrum Sharing

July 24, 2014 3:01 pm | by Elliott Drucker | Comments

The growing difficulty in identifying new spectrum for the exclusive use of wireless networks, and the length of time the reallocation process takes, has precipitated a growing interest in using shared spectrum for offloading some broadband network traffic.

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The New Wireless Battleground: Carrier Wi-Fi

July 24, 2014 2:57 pm | by Dr. Derek Peterson, Chief Technology Officer, Boingo Wireless | Comments

A recent New Street Research study found that the share of U.S. smartphone data traffic traveling over Wi-Fi increased from 15 to 63 percent between 2011 and 2013, and a recent Comcast survey found that consumers would choose Wi-Fi over free food at retail locations. 

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Microsoft Refines Design Philosophy for New Devices

July 21, 2014 4:56 pm | by Ryan Nakashima, AP Business Writer | Comments

With minimal market share in both tablets and phones, Microsoft has its work cut out for it. Yet a focus on design over compatibility under new CEO Satya Nadella means Microsoft can make products and services for non-Windows platforms, such as Apple's iOS and Google's Android, and still retain the look, feel and functionality of the Microsoft brand.

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AT&T Puts Data in the Driver's Seat

July 15, 2014 2:06 pm | by Andrew Berg | Comments

"Each individual automaker will decide what's the best choice for them," Penrose said, noting that while GM is leaning heavily on AT&T's existing offerings-including day passes for those that don't want to commit to using data all the time-other automakers, like Tesla, have decided to include, or subsidize data, in the purchase price of the car. 

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The Connected Car: Speeding the Growth of Automotive M2M Applications

July 15, 2014 1:53 pm | by Andreas Kohn, Sierra Wireless | Comments

A fundamental question that needs to be asked is: Does devoting countless engineering hours and huge financial resources to build and rebuild basic communications functions really make sense? When each new solution requires the integration of processors, modems, and memory, and the piecing together of all of the software components for an application, as well as testing and validation, it becomes a costly undertaking.

Report: Bumps in the Road for Connected Cars?

July 15, 2014 8:45 am | by Iain Gillott, Founder and President, iGR | Comments

With a slew of announcements from OEMs, mobile operators and technology vendors in the early part of 2014, the connected car market is picking up momentum.  In addition to announcements, a wider range of vehicles with new connected car capabilities, including LTE, are promised in 2014, with more to come in 2015 and beyond.

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Google Glass Could Offer Sports Fans First-Person Perspective

June 30, 2014 10:28 am | by Jay Cohen, AP Sports Writer | Comments

Your favorite team is playing for the title, and you are in the middle of the field. You have a ticket in the very top row for an NBA playoff game, and a courtside seat. The referees are reviewing a big play in the final seconds, and you are right there in front of them.

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The LG G3’s Brilliant Quad HD Display is a Sight to Behold

June 27, 2014 3:33 pm | by Ben Munson | Comments

We were lucky enough to get our hands on an LG G3 well before it’s even been announced for U.S. release. The unit LG sent over for review is a Korean version, so there’s no cellular connection and that makes it tough to write a full review. But then quality isn’t what we want to talk about anyway: the main attraction of the G3 is the quad HD display.

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App Watch: Facebook's Slingshot for Fleeting Posts

June 18, 2014 4:58 pm | by Barbara Ortutay, AP Technology Writer | Comments

NEW YORK (AP) — Facebook is taking another stab at ephemeral mobile messaging with an app called Slingshot. The app is designed to appeal to fans of Snapchat and other messaging apps that let people send self-destructing messages to friends. Slingshot draws inevitable comparisons to Snapchat. Facebook even tried to buy Snapchat's maker — for $3 billion, according to published reports. But there are some key differences between the two.

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