? All Tech Radio Episode 417
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  • LG has announced it is to start mass-production of what it calls the "world's first flexible OLED [organic light-emitting diode] panel for smartphones". The South Korean firm said it hoped to start selling the first handsets to feature the tech next year. The news comes weeks after Samsung made a similar announcement. Samsung said it intended to launch its first product - a special edition of the Galaxy Note 3 - later this month. Both companies already use the technology to offer curved OLED television sets.
  • Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk, never shy about personally blogging in defense of his company's electric car, has taken to the Web against in reaction to fallout over a video showing a Model S that caught on fire. Musk's reaction comes as Tesla shares fell during the week after the video started receiving thousands of page views. After the video came to light, shares fell from $190 to a low near $168. But then they started to recover, rising $7.67 Friday to close at $180.98. Musk's bottom line is the accident outside Seattle that caused the Model S sedan and its battery pack to go up in smoke would have been far worse had it been a conventional gasoline-powered car. "Had a conventional gasoline car encountered the same object on the highway, the result could have been far worse," Musk, who is also CEO of rocket maker SpaceX, writes on Tesla blog.
  • If you're looking to pick an iPhone 5c sometime soon, you'll be hard-pressed to find better deals than what's currently being offered at Walmart and RadioShack. Both retail outlets this weekend slashed pricing on the iPhone 5c from US$99 to $45, provided, of course, you sign up for a two-year contract. That translates into a solid 55 percent price drop for a brand-new device that has received nothing but glowing reviews since being released two weeks ago. Here are deal particulars to be aware of. The iPhone 5c price cut at RadioShack will run through November 2 while Walmart's deal will run through the holiday season. Keep in mind that Best Buy is also offering special iPhone 5c savings through Monday. We recently reported that iPhone 5c purchasers at Best Buy locations will receive a $50 gift card that can be used on other store items, though notably not towards the iPhone 5c purchase itself.
  • Microsoft is blowing last year's 'sold out' trumpet again and this time for the recently released Surface 2 and Surface Pro 2 tablets. According to Microsoft it has sold out both the tablets from its initial inventory and now the shipment dates for new orders has been pushed back to October 25 as against October 21. The bumper sales could be attributed to better specifications as well as enterprise level deals like the one with Delta Airlines. behind Microsoft's claims. Either the tablet indeed sold really well or Microsoft had only a limited Surface 2s made in the first place. If we go by last year's books chances are the Microsoft would have ordered limited numbers of the revamped Surface tablet to prevent another write off.
  • It's hard to see an area at Microsoft that isn't going through some degree of transition, and Windows Phone is definitely no exception. Having carved out a small piece of the market, Microsoft has taken some big steps to improve the position of its still fledgling mobile operating system. Its first step was to develop a close relationship with Nokia; the second step seems to have been to buy Nokia's handset division outright. But that move has spawned much speculation that Microsoft's handset partners are disgruntled and considering eliminating their Windows Phone portfolio. According to a report from Bloomberg, Microsoft may be making a big move to stem the tide by cutting or eliminating its licensing fee. Bloomberg reports that conversations between HTC and Microsoft have revolved around the idea of HTC putting Windows Phone onto its Android handsets as an alternative. It's unclear how this would work, but it could mean that users would choose a handset model and then choose an operating system, similar to being able to choose between Windows and Linux in some notebook models. The prospect of a dual boot solution seems ludicrous and impossible to implement, but Bloomberg's reporting leans strongly in that direction. As enticement to pursue this strategy, the report states that Microsoft has offered to cut or eliminate the licensing fee.
  • The legions of people who use Instagram will start to see advertising in their photo sharing feed in the next couple of months. The popular photo-based social network, snapped up by Facebook Inc, will roll out advertising in the United States in a bid to become a "sustainable business," Instagram said in a blog post on Thursday. Instagram acknowledged the transition would be delicate since its 150 million users are not used to ads peppering photo streams of family and vacations, and might be alienated by the effort. "Seeing photos and videos from brands you don't follow will be new, so we'll start slow," the blog post said. "If you see an ad you don't like, you'll be able to hide it and provide feedback about what didn't feel right. We're relying on your input to help us continually improve the Instagram experience."
  • It's no secret that Apple has been reluctant to introduce any dramatic changes to the iPhone form factor, increasing the screen from 3.5 to 4-inches for the first time only a year ago. The new iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c maintain that size, but a new report suggests that Apple could be working on something much bigger for the iPhone 6 - to the tune of 4.8 inches. As noted by Boy Genius Report, in his latest research note on Monday Jefferies & Co. analyst Peter Misek increased his target on Apple's stock shares from $450 to $600, noting, "Despite still seeing risk to CQ4 and FY13 revs, we now believe better [gross margins] will allow Apple to skate by until iPhone 6 launches with its 4.8? screen." He adds, "We est ~50% of smartphone shipments have >4? screens and that iPhone 6 will catalyze a large upgrade cycle. The stock is attractive based on the attitude change, FY15 revs >+15%, and valuation."
  • Prompting readers at The Wall Street Journal to comment that he may be making the situation more precarious, Steven VanRoekel, U.S. CIO, said this week that he is worried about the U.S. federal government shutdown's effect on cyber security within the government's systems. VanRoekel describes a multi-layered series of consequences, in which he is unable to even determine definitively which employees in which departments may be designated exempt from furlough. Agencies, other than the Department of Homeland Security, says VanRoekel, are running on "skeleton crews" and would have to call in staff should an emergency occur - a time-consuming process in itself. While it seems unlikely that his comments would alert any cyber terrorists or hackers to a situation that has been leading the news for weeks, the cascading effects are becoming more widely known.
  • The Dynamics CRM Online 2013 offering, codenamed "Orion" - the first major platform update since the 2011 Dynamics CRM release - went live last week in Microsoft's Asia Pacific datacenters. As of October 7, it's now live in the company's European and African datacenters. It willgo live in the Americas "later this week," according to a post on the Microsoft Dynamics CRM UK Blog. The on-premises complement to CRM Online 2013 is not yet generally available; it's coming later this month, the aforementioned blog post indicates. Because of this, there are a couple of pieces of the CRM service that aren't yet fully operational. The Windows 8 and iPad companion apps - part of the Orion release - also are not yet in the Windows Store and Apple Store.
  • Twitter has submitted its filing to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) listing potential risks to the business across several different areas. In this series, we look at each of these risks in turn and what this means for anyone planning to invest in the company. From the filing (in bold): "If we fail to grow our user base, or if user engagement or ad engagement on our platform decline, our revenue, business and operating results may be harmed." Twitter's growth has been very healthy so far in terms of users. Whilst growth in the U.S. is slowing, international growth shows a different trend.

email from listeners:

  • Janet from Seattle asks: "What's the easiest and best way to have my pictures and videos shared on the internet?"