? All Tech Radio Episode 357
 all tech radio show
 
 
  • Lenovo will sell a lighter, quicker ThinkPad notebook computer to appeal to customers who like the convenience of tablets and smartphones. DETAILS: The ThinkPad X1 Carbon will go on sale later this month. Lenovo shaved the 14-inch laptop computer's weight to three pounds, from the 3.7 pounds of last year's model, Bhatia. THE NEED: Despite tablets' growing popularity, the company believes there will still be strong demand for notebooks to perform more complex functions in business, education and government.
  • NASA's Mars science rover Curiosity performed a daredevil descent through pink Martian skies late on Sunday to clinch an historic landing inside an ancient crater, ready to search for signs the Red Planet may once have harbored key ingredients for life. Besides a laser beam to cut through rock, and an easy bake oven to test the dirt scooped up, the car sized device is powered by 10 pounds of plutonium in a nuclear powered battery.
  • Apple has submitted a patent this week that would allow the cover of an iPad to be a second touch screen for the device. When you flip open the cover you would be able to use the cover the same way you would be able to use the tablet, but as a second screen. It's only a patent right now, but it may be something Apple decides to make happen on a future release.
  • Google is cutting several programs. Google apps for teams, Google video for business, Google's Listen app, and this November iGoogle. If you have used any of those programs over the last couple of years, Google plans to move any data you may have saved into another application that is similar so you won't lose content.
  • Tired of looking at baby pictures on Facebook? Now you can fight back. A new service called Unbaby.me is designed to automatically replace all the baby photos on your Facebook feed with pictures of something more palatable -- like cats, or manatees, or album covers. Unbaby.me launched Wednesday, and its website has already received 41,000 Facebook likes. That's a lot of people who were really sick of seeing babies on Facebook. The photo-replacing plug-in is the brainchild of three New Yorkers -- Yvonne Cheng, Chris Baker and Pete Marquis -- who work together at the advertising agency BBDO. They are, unsurprisingly, in their late 20s and early 30s.
  • Three employees of China's main search engine Baidu have been arrested on suspicion of having accepted bribes to delete posts from its forum service. The web giant fired the three, along with a fourth person who was not arrested. Baidu's spokeswoman Betty Tian said the sums involved amounted to "tens of thousands of yuan" (thousands of pounds). It is not known what posts were deleted. "Baidu has always firmly cracked down on the illegal behavior of online posts deletion for payment," Ms Tian wrote in an email statement to the BBC. "Baidu has also proactively reported actions involving illegal behavior to the public security organs.
  • Google just took your phone a step closer to replacing your wallet in the mobile payment revolution. The company expanded its mobile payments platform, Google Wallet, to accept multiple credit cards. Users can now connect their Visa, MasterCard, American Express, or Discover cards with the new version of Google Wallet. It's an update from the company's previous partnership with MasterCard, Citigroup and Sprint. Instead of swiping a card, users enter their card info into the service and are able to tap their phones at venues accepting Google Wallet payments. It's a step forward for the company looking to delve into the mobile payment realm - an increasingly crowded space.
  • Looking to upgrade to a shiny, new Samsung device? The company's new upgrade program might be the push you need to make the move. Samsung announced on its Facebook page that users can upgrade to a new Samsung smartphone and get up to $300 for your old phone. Samsung Upgrade operates much like any other Internet trade-in program. "Upgrading is simple. You'll get a quote, purchase a new Samsung smartphone, and mail in your old phone within 30 days," the company said. "Then you'll get a check mailed to you for your refund."
  • July marked the fourth birthday of the Apple App Store, which has had a tremendous impact on everything from the way consumers and business people interact with their mobile devices, to the job markets for developers, to even the revenue models of the wireless carriers, which now offer themselves as both app store hosts and curators. Distimo, a Netherlands-based company that offers insight into the mobile app store market, has released a report on the App Store over these last four years. In it, the company notes that when the App Store launched, it had just 500 applications-and that Apple didn't invent the concept of such a store. It just perfected it. "Others [had] already launched similar products," Distimo wrote, "however, the tight integration of iPhone, the iPod and the Apple App Store worked in a simple, seamless way, whereas other app downloads from other app stores required difficult manual actions." Here, eWEEK parses some interesting statistics from the report as the tech world looks back at four years of Apple App Store, which helped changed the mobile world.
  • Thanks to an increasingly vitriolic, ongoing intellectual property trial between Apple and Samsung, documents reveal that Apple was considering a 7-inch iPad back in 2011, and that former Apple co-founder Steve Jobs 'receptive' to the idea before his death. "I believe there will be a 7-inch market and we should do one," wrote Apple senior vice president of Internet Software and Services, Eddy Cue, in an email to now Apple CEO Tim Cook and other senior Apple executives on January 24, 2011. "I expressed this to Steve several times since Thanksgiving and he seemed very receptive the last time. I found email, books, Facebook, and video very compelling on a 7-inch. Web browsing is definitely the weakest point, but still usable," Cue said in the email. Problems relating to the usability of 7-inch tablets were highlighted by the Nielsen Norman Group. According to the December 2011 report, small tablets such as the Kindle Fire are a compromise because the user interface elements are too small and content isn't optimized for a screen that's bigger than a smartphone yet smaller than that of the iPad.

email from listeners:

  • Judd from Seattle asks "Is a tablet computer a good replacement for a laptop for a student?