? Episode 274
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  • Taiwanese publication DigiTimes reported Monday that Apple is increasing its original goal of 19 million million units, citing Taiwan-based component suppliers. According to sources, a CDMA iPhone is set to launch in North America and Asia Pacific in the first quarter with a shipment goal of 5-6 million units in the first quarter. Reports of a North America and Asia Pacific launch match rumors that the U.S. and China will be among the first countries to offer a CDMA-compatible iPhone. Though rumors of an iPhone on the Verizon network in the U.S. have persisted for years, an October report by The Wall Street Journal lent credence to rumors that Apple intends to introduce the iPhone on Verizon in early 2011. JP Morgan analyst Mark Moskowitz sees the anticipated launch of the iPhone on Verizon as potentially adding at least $1.25 incremental earnings per share annually.
  • In five months, the Kindle 3 has shot to the top of Amazon's bestseller list, unseating the last book of the popular Harry Potter series, "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows." In a press release, Amazon announced that on its peak day, Nov. 29, consumers broke more records and ordered more than 13.7 million items worldwide -- a mind-blowing 158 items per second. Jeff Bezos, Amazon.com founder and chief executive, credited the Kindle's $139 price point, e-ink display and long battery life with the great sales figures.
  • In a historic decision, the U.S. Federal Communications Commission voted on Dec. 21 to approve network neutrality rules, but that action will not bring an end to a long debate about the need for regulations prohibiting broadband providers from selectively blocking Web traffic. The chances of a lawsuit challenging the rules are extremely likely, according to most FCC observers. And several Republicans in Congress have promised attempts to repeal the rules, although the chances of success there are slim. The burning question about a lawsuit is not if it will happen, but who will file it. "Everything the FCC does gets taken to court," said Art Brodsky, communications director for Public Knowledge, a digital rights group that criticized the rules as too weak. "That's a pretty safe bet. Who's going to do it? There are lots of suspects."
  • It appears that the Department Of Energy is pushing for the U.S. to, once again, mine its own "rare earth" minerals, which are key to the manufacturing of many different types of high tech components, such as those found in cell phones. Most of these minerals are currently imported to the U.S. from China, but China has begun to flex its muscles in this area and has been making the materials more expensive and harder to comeby. As a result, Molycorp is reopening one of its rare earth mineral mines in California. Rare earth mines, such as the one in California, fell out of fashion in the U.S. because of the environmental damage they can cause.
  • Microsoft Corp. Chief Executive Officer Steve Ballmer, said to unveil new software for tablets at the Consumer Electronics Show next week, will face skeptics who say his company won't soon narrow Apple Inc.'s iPad lead. "By the time Microsoft gets it figured out everybody will already own an iPad," said Keith Goddard, CEO of Capital Advisors Inc. an investing firm in Tulsa, Oklahoma, that holds Apple shares. "That train has left the station." Microsoft will announce a full version of the Windows computer operating system that runs on ARM Holdings Plc technology at the show, which begins in Las Vegas on Jan. 6, two people familiar with Microsoft's plans said last week. Allying with ARM is Microsoft's way of stepping up rivalry with Apple, which has garnered the largest share of the tablet market with its iPad, a touch-screen device introduced in April that handles video, music and computing tasks. The effort may falter unless Ballmer can match the features consumers have come to expect from the iPad, Goddard said.
  • Scientists from the Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) Psychiatric Neuroimaging Research Program have discovered a link between the size of a particular part of the brain and a person's likelihood to experience a full and active social life. The part of the brain in question is known as the amygdala, and according to an MGH press release dated December 26, it is a small, almond shaped structure located deep inside the temporal lobe. People have one amygdala in the right side of their brain and another in the left side, and according to the study, which appears in the journal Nature Neuroscience, they are responsible for both the number of social relationships a person has and the complexity of those relationships.
  • Samsung will unveil an Android-based portable music player based on its popular Galaxy S smartphone next week at CES, according to a report on Samsung Hub. The device won't be Samsung's first Android-based music player--that honor goes to the YP-G50, which went on sale in October. But the new player is basically a Galaxy S minus cellular connection, with a larger screen than the YP-50, a front-facing camera for video chat over Wi-Fi, and a more recent version of Android (2.2 or Froyo). The Galaxy S has been a success for the company with over five million sold, and has done particularly well in Japan.
  • A Michigan man has been charged under anti-hacking legislation designed to protect trade secrets after logging on to his wife's email account and discovering she was having an affair. Leon Walker, 33, faces a trial lawyers say could have significant repercussions given that nearly half of US divorce cases involve some form of snooping, such as reading emails, text messages or social networking.Walker was charged after opening the Gmail account of his wife, Clara, who was married twice previously. Walker found she was having an affair with her second husband, who had once been arrested for beating her in front of her young son from her first husband.

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  • Fred from Texas asks "Should I wait for the next IPAD or buy it now?"
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