Saturday mail delivery through the United Stated Postal Service will be a thing of the past beginning August 1, 2013. It's a move focused on cutting costs as the USPS tries to deal with, and recover from, massive financial losses due to mandatory retiree health care benefits, and should end up saving the struggling agency about $2 billion per year. Not all Saturday mail activity will go away--packages will still be delivered, P.O. boxes will receive mail as usual, and post offices will still be open on Saturdays. Of course, with the proliferation of email, snail mail demand has decreased significantly over the years. We're sure that this is unwelcome news for Netflix DVD subscribers, but on the bright side, with Saturday mail delivery ceasing, it's another junk mail-free day to look forward to on the weekend.
Read More | AP
Apple is touting the latest milestone for iTunes, as the service has now sold over 25 billion songs. The 25 billionth track sold was Chase Buch's "Monkey Drums (Goksel Vancin Remix)" by Phillip Lüpke, who Apple will be rewarding with a €10,000 gift card. Not bad. "We are grateful to our users whose passion for music over the past 10 years has made iTunes the number one music retailer in the world." said Apple's Eddy Cue, who went on to mention that iTunes sells over 15,000 songs per minute. Who says no one buys music anymore?
Read More | Apple
Can someone explain to me why Nokia is now reviewing its own Windows Phone smartphones on its own corporate blog? This just screams conflict of interest. In fact, it doesn't appear that the reviewer had anything bad to say about the Nokia Lumia 620 - but hey, it matched the green jumper he happened to be wearing that day, so, that's something…right?
The company just changed the headline, removing the word "review" and replacing it with "hands-on" while adding this note to the post:
This article was first headlined as a ‘review’, obviously, it’s more of a hands-on account of Adam’s experiences and the headline has been changed to reflect that.
They don't seem to realize that, whether you call it a hands-on or a review, it is 100% biased. Seriously, the "reviewer" found nothing wrong and nothing about the device that could be improved. Horrible.
Read More | Nokia
Amazon has announced that it's Instant Video service has secured exclusive rights to Downton Abbey, the same day that Netflix exclusive House of Cards went live. Season 3 of the popular show will debut on Amazon Prime Instant Video on June 18th. The first two seasons are available on Hulu and Netflix, but will be removed later this year. Season 4 (and 5, if produced) will maintain Amazon exclusivity.
It's fun to sit back and observe the battle between Netflix, Amazon, and Hulu, but we have to wonder what this does for customers. If you want to be able to watch shows that are exclusive to different services, then you need to be a subscriber to all of them. Not super-expensive at about $25 per month, but it's still a substantial jump over just choosing one service for $8 per month and sticking with it.
Read More | Amazon
The Transporter is a private data sharing and storage device from the folks at Connected Data, a team comprised of many of the same folks who worked on the Drobo. It's able to communicate with every other Transporter device, anywhere in the world, elimination the need for a third-party cloud storage solution for any files stored. Even more impressive? The Transporter is a Kickstarter project that is actually shipping on time - just 20 days after the end of its massively successful campaign. Compare that to other Kickstarter hardware projects, and you'll see just how impressive this is. You can pick up a Transporter with no drive for $199, a model with a 1 TB drive for $299, or a 2 TB version for $399. Hit the break for a video explaining how it all works.
Read More | Transporter
Earlier today, BlackBerry (formerly RIM) announced the first two BlackBerry 10 devices in the BlackBerry Z10 and BlackBerry Q10. Shortly after, the company's European MD, Stephen Bates, appeared in a BBC radio show, and gets asked multiple times about what the company has learned from Apple and the iPhone over the past few years. That's where it gets awkward, since Bates no-sells the questions time and time again, ignoring the direct questions point blank. BlackBerry may have a couple of new devices and a new name, but the more things change, the more they stay the same.
Read More | BBC
While the BlackBerry Z10 was definitely the star of the show, the company also unveiled the BlackBerry Q10, featuring a hardware QWERTY keyboard and 3.1-inch display. With this device, BlackBerry (formerly known as RIM) makes it clear that it isn't ditching the hardware keyboard, making a device to cater to those who prefer it. The display is a 720 x 720 AMOLED screen, and it's all powered by a 1.5 GHz dual-core processor and 2 GB RAM. Like the Z10, LTE is on board here as well, supporting AT&T, Sprint, and Verizon Wireless. One thing that BlackBerry left out here is the price of the Q10, but that should be coming soon enough. It should arrive in the US in April.
This morning BlackBerry (formerly known as RIM) unveiled the first fully touch-based BlackBerry 10 device, the BlackBerry Z10. It's a handsome device, available in black and white, and matches what was previously leaked. They say that it's what's on the inside that counts, so let's dive in.
The BlackBerry Z10 sports a 4.2-inch 1280 x 768 display with a pixel density of 356 ppi (better than the iPhone 5 Retina display.) It's not a huge phone like the Galaxy Note II, but it does measure in at 5.13- x 2.6- x 0.37-inches, so it's a bit bigger than the Galaxy S III and iPhone 5 in terms of hardware dimensions. That said, it's a nice and light 138 grams. The Z10 is powered by a 1.5 GHz dual-core Snapdragon S4 Plus processor with 2 GB RAM to keep it speeding along. A removable 1800mAh batter is a nice touch, and you get a microSD slot that supports up to 32GB of additional storage, Bluetooth 4.0, NFC, and 802.11a/b/g/n Wi-Fi. For optics, you can expect an 8-megapixel 1080p camera on the back, and a 2-megapixel shooter up front that records in 720p. This will also be the first BlackBerry with 4G LTE support for AT&T, Sprint, and Verizon Wireless.
The BlackBerry Z10 is set to launch in the US in March for $199.99, with the white version being touted as a Verizon exclusive.
General Motors unveiled the long-awaited 2014 Cadillac ELR this week, the first plug-in extended range EV hybrid for the brand. For all intents and purposes, the ELR is a Chevy Volt that's been souped up with Cadillac luxury touches. Originally revealed as the Cadillac Converj, the ELR will feature a redesigned interior cabin that will supposedly define future Cadillac models, with features like Regen on Demand buttons on the steering wheel that let the driver capture the energy generated by the vehicle's momentum, conserving it for a bit more battery juice. The ELR also packs in the awesome Cadillac CUE infotainment dashboard system. The vehicle puts out 207hp, more than 25% more than the Chevy Volt. No final word yet on EV range, though, but the Volt gets about 35 miles before gasoline kicks in, and the ELR is a bit heavier. GM says that production on the ELR is set to begin later this year in preparation for a 2014 North American launch.
Read More | GM
Sprint is bringing FM radio to select Android and Windows Phone devices this year with the NextRadio tuner app. This move makes Sprint the first US carrier to herald FM radio in such fashion, and shows the amount of faith the carrier puts in a format some might say is already dead.
Sprint also revealed an application bundle for the Sprint Zone on Android dubbed "Entertain Me." The bundle will feature Sprint TV and Movies, Sprint Music Plus, Spotify, Slacker, iHeartRadio, Shazam, and Rumpus.
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