What do you do if a security screw-up leads to over 114,000 email addresses being exposed, including those registered to politicians, celebrities, military personnel, and other prominent figures? You apologize, of course, and take refuge in your exclusivity contract, if you have one (as AT&T does).
"Recently there was an issue that affected some of our customers with AT&T 3G service for iPad resulting in the release of their customer email addresses," AT&T's Dorothy Attwood stated in an email to its customers. "I am writing to let you know that no other information was exposed and the matter has been resolved. We apologize for the incident and any inconvenience it may have caused. Rest assured, you can continue to use your AT&T 3G service on your iPad with confidence."
In the email, Attwood blamed the incident on malicious hackers who exploited a function designed to make the iPad's log-in process faster by pre-populating an AT&T authentication page with the email address used to register a user's iPad for 3G services.
"AT&T acted quickly to protect your information – and we promise to keep working around the clock to keep your information safe," Attwood continued. "Thank you very much for your understanding, and for being an AT&T customer."
As if those who want to pair Apple's iPad with 3G service have a choice (actually, they do, but it requires jailbreaking, tethering to a smartphone, or using a mobile hotspot device like Verizon's MiFi).
Dension has figured out a way to cram tens of thousands of Internet radio stations into your pocket with no one ever being the wiser. It's called the Webradio and it's no bigger than a USB thumb stick, but unlike your flash drive, the Webradio lives up to its name by loading your RadioTime presets, provided you sign up for a free RadioTime.com account. After you do, just pair the device with a 3G-enabled mobile phone and plug it into your car radio's USB port and you're ready to rock.
"RadioTime.com will provide our users with access to 30,000 AM/FM and Internet-only radio stations and 100,000 music, news, talk, sports and entertainment programs, and the Dension Webradio makes it so easy to listen to your favorites anywhere, from the living room to the driver's seat," said Bill Moore, founder and CEO, RadioTime, Inc. "You simply plug the Webradio into your computer to copy your RadioTime account in one step. No need to enter any codes or endure a registration process."
You can also connect the Webradio to your home stereo, not just your car's audio system. Stations appear as MP3 files, and you can browse, select, and listen to the stations just as if they were regular MP3 music files.
Pretec's H220 Intellicable is receiving a quite a bit of buzz around the Internet, and deservedly so. Put simply, this handy USB cable connects your smartphone to your PC and essentially tricks most handsets into thinking they are USB modems.
The company claims it will work with just about any 2G, 3G, and 3.5G phone, and what's more, setup is automatic via plug-and-play. It supports simultaneous voice ahd high-speed data communication, and as Pretec points out, you can save a pocket full of jingle over an HSDPA modem and 1-2 year service commitment.
The multi-functional wonder cable will also charge your device and even comes with 1GB of storage (optionally up to 8GB). Pretec says it will work with any PC, Mac, or Linux-based laptop or netbook. The caveat -- and you knew there would be one -- is that mobile phone support might not be as robust as Pretect touts. Officially, the Intellicable H220 supports 18 phones, most of which are from RIM, and the rest from Nokia, Motorola, and Sagem Navigation.
Pretec says it will sell the cable for $49 or less.
Although Sprint refrained from letting out any numbers, it revealed that EVO's first day sales far exceeded the previous record for the “largest quantity of a single phone sold in one day ever for Sprint - the record was previously held by both Samsung Instinct and Palm Pre.”
Furthermore, the EVO's launch day sales also blazed past the tally racked up by Samsung Instinct and Palm Pre during their first three days on the market: “The total number of HTC EVO 4G devices sold on launch day was three times the number of Samsung Instinct and Palm Pre devices sold over their first three days on the market combined.”
The huge demand lead many of the 22,000 retail locations to expend their quota of EVO's in no time at all. To counter this, Sprint is constantly sending in fresh supplies, with some sales locations even receiving them on a daily basis.
AT&T has announced today that they are making some fairly big changes in the way they sell data. Gone are the $30 "unlimited" plans with the soft 5GB bandwidth cap. The changes affect smartphones as well as the iPad. Now mobile data will be sold in two packages. The DataPlus plan will cost $15 and offer 200MB of data a month. The DataPro plan will come with 2GB of data and run $25 per month.
The carrier is also changing how overages work, and this part of the plan actually sounds pretty reasonable. On the DataPlus plan, each additional 200MB block will run you $15, and each extra GB on the DataPro plan will be $10. The traditional overage fee amounted to $50 per GB of overage. AT&T also plans to finally offer tethering, but it will only be available on the DataPro plan. It will cost an extra $20 per month and it shares the same 2GB data allotment as the phone.
Users currently on the $30 plan are allowed to stay with it, but can move to the new plans at any time. These options may save money for most people, but some users may find themselves increasingly coming up against the caps. AT&T is currently only selling one Android phone directly, but these plans could be a problem for Google's mobile OS. Unlike the iPhone, Android based phones do a massive amount of background syncing of data. How do you feel about the changes? Would you end up saving of racking up overages?
T-Mobile has announced a new expansion of their HSPA+ data network. Now residents of several cities in Upstate New York, Connecticut, and Rode Island can get that high speed goodness. This adds to several existing markets including the Washington DC area and Philadelphia. T-Mobile has stated they plan to have the majority of their network upgraded to HSPA+ by the end of the year.
The cell carrier is claiming that HSPA+ offers 4G-like speeds. The updated data standard is capable of speeds up to 21Mb/s, but as is common with wireless technologies, the actual throughput is much less. HSPA+ is usually capable of download speeds of 2-6Mb/s. This is still in the vicinity of some WiMAX tests under the right conditions. T-Mobile has not yet announced any plans to move the a fourth gen technology, but is instead sticking with this 3.5G standard for the time being.
Do you have access to HSPA+ in your area? If so, let us know what sort of speeds you're seeing.
Bits of information have been leaking out about Google's next iteration of the Android platform with increasing regularity as we near the Google I/O event. Today we've gotten perhaps the tastiest tidbit yet. According to TechCrunch, Android 2.2 (codenamed Froyo) will have tethering and Wi-Fi hotspot functionality built in. This would be the first modern smartphone platform to integrate these abilities natively, without carrier support.
Some phones, like the Palm Pre Plus and HTC EVO 4G (and costs extra for the EVO), are shipping with specialized apps for sharing their mobile connection over Wi-Fi, but these solutions are developed with the blessing of carriers. It's unclear if carriers would be able to disable this functionality or require a fee, without using a non-standard build of the Android OS. In the screen shots we can clearly see options for both standard tethering, and Wi-Fi hotspot tethering.
Google clearly sees this a differentiator in the US market where the iPhone still lack any tethering options at all. We are definitely looking forward to hearing more about this feature when Froyo is announced.
Increasing its lead in the tablet market before the competition has yet to even release a competing model, Apple sold about 300,000 iPad 3Gs over the weekend, a number which includes 52 days of preorder sales, says Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster.
That puts the 3G model on par with what the Wi-Fi only model sold during its first day of availability, which included 22 days of preorders. By Sunday afternoon, Munster reports that most of the Apple stores surveyed were sold out of the 3G model, an impressive feat when you consider the pricing premium placed on 3G models compared to their Wi-Fi counterparts.
"As of 3:00PM ET on Sunday afternoon (5/2), 49 of 50 Apple stores we called were completely sold out of the iPad 3G (most were also sold out of Wi-Fi only models," Munster wrote in a Sunday note to clients. "While it is difficult to gauge, we believe this is due to both stronger than expected demand and lower than intended supply on the part of Apple. Near-term, this may put downward pressure on luanch day/weekend statistics, but long-term we see it as positive, as consumers are definitely interested in the iPad as a new category."
Combined with the more 600,000 Wi-Fi models sold at last count, Apple likely has sold over a million iPads in all.
It looks like Dell is really taking the smartphone space seriously, with news that they are working on a Windows Phone 7 device called the Lightning. The phone looks to be the rarely seen portrait QWERTY slider form factor. With most Phone 7 devices we've seen looking like pretty similar landscape sliders, this is a breath of fresh air. The image is only a render, but the design looks very elegant. The specs are also looking good.
The Lightning is expected to have a 1GHz Snapdragon CPU, 4.1-inch WVGA OLED touchscreen, a 5MP autofocus camera, and support for both AT&T and T-Mobile 3G bands. Dell is also including an FM radio function and the usual Wi-Fi, GPS, and accelerometer support. There will be 1GB of flash memory built in, with an additional 8GB MicroSD card. Oddly, the documents leaked to Engadget seem to indicate the SD card is not user-accessible. Dell also indicated there would be full support for Adobe Flash; we're interested to see what Adobe has to say about that.
Expected launch will be sometime in Q4 of this year. No carrier partner was listed, but there's one more surprise. Dell expects to release an LTE version of the phone in late 2011. Not telling is this phone will still look as good by then, but we're plenty excited to see it come out.
Microsoft's new Kin phones are heavily integrated with social networks and Redmond's new cloud service. The story that Microsoft was really pushing at the event was that the Kin phones will allow users to stay in touch by pulling in all their social networking notifications. But after further clarification from Microsoft, it looks like those notifications will be delayed by as much as 15 minutes.
Microsoft claims that battery life and poor API support from social networks are to blame. While we can certainly see that as a possibility, something just doesn't sit right. According to Engadget (and we agree), this could have something to do with Verizon and their 3G pricing. Big Red recently institute a $10 per month data fee for most non-smartphones. This move could be meant to get a sweeter deal from Verizon, thus keeping the Kin One and Kin Two financially in reach for teens.
Microsoft points out there is a manual refresh button to update all that social whatnot. At this point there are no other 3G restrictions we're aware of. However, these phones have passable web browsers, so perhaps Verizon still intends to limit them to a 25MB monthly cap like seen in the $10 plan. maybe these phones will even be subject to that charge, and the notification compromise was just to avoid the requirement of a full data plan.