Lenovo is dividing its internal operations to separately handle its mid and low-range products and the high-end products associated with the ThinkPad. This news comes from an internal email we were made aware of by Sina Tech, which states that in April the Lenovo Business Group will handle mid-range laptops, desktops, tablets and smart TVs, while the Think Business Group will handle high-end consumer products and produce enterprise machines. It was noted in the email by Lenovo CEO Yang Yuanqing, that Think is more suited to compete with Apple in the high-end market. Digitimes also reports on rumors suggesting Lenovo plans to arrange an in-house position for its notebook production within three to five years.
Read More | Sina Tech
Following up on the Lady Gaga album sale earlier this week, Amazon continues their digital download battle against Apple with the launch of their own Mac app download store. They've got quite a variety of available titles (though, not as much as the Mac App Store of course,) which include big games like Civilization V, productivity suites like Microsoft Office, and a bunch of others. Right now they are offering Airport Mania for free, and your first paid download will be $5 off. We like it.
Lady Gaga's Born This Way album is one of the biggest album releases of the year, and digital stores like iTunes and Amazon MP3 certainly know that her fans are more than willing to pay full price for the offering. However, possibly more interesting than the album itself, is the price different between the two aforementioned stores. iTunes has the album for the typical $12 (or $16 for the Bonus Track Version,) and we are sure they'll sell a ton of them at that price. In addition, you can buy individual tracks from the album on iTunes for $1.29. However, budget-minded shoppers might want to jump over to Amazon, where they are selling the entire Born This Way album for 99 cents. Yes, for less than the price of one track on iTunes, you can get the entire 14 track album on Amazon. In addition, an Amazon purchase also allows you to store the album on Amazon Cloud Drive, makes it accessible from Amazon Cloud Player, and gives you 20GB of space on the service as well.
Amazon MP3 purchases can be automatically synced to your iTunes library as well, so really, why would anyone buy this one from the iTunes Store?
Read More | Born This Way on Amazon
Last Friday, USA Today reported that PR firm Burson-Marsteller had contacted a variety of news outlets pushing a story about how Google's "Social Circle" Gmail feature violates users' privacy. The pitch was made on behalf of an unnamed client that The Daily Beast later confirmed was Facebook.
When pressed, Facebook confirmed the hire to the Daily Beast, citing concerns it had with the way Google was using its data. It was also reportedly annoyed that Google was boosting its own social-networking services with information from Facebook.
"In other words, just as Google built Google News by taking content created by hundreds of newspapers and repackaging it, so now Google aims to build a social-networking business by using that rich user data that Facebook has gathered," Dan Lyons wrote for The Daily Beast.
Facebook and Google declined comment Thursday.
Verizon Wireless announced this morning that their President and CEO, Lowell McAdam, has sent a letter to lawmakers on Capitol Hill announcing that “Effective immediately for small wireless carriers…any new exclusivity arrangement we enter with handset makers will last no longer than six months - for all manufacturers and all devices.” At first glance, that’s kind of a big deal. After all, handset exclusivity is something that can be very financially beneficial to a carrier (see AT&T and iPhone as one such example.) So here’s the thing, when you re-read that statement, you discover that this exclusivity thing will still be in effect as it pertains to AT&T, T-Mobile, and Sprint. It’s only the small wireless carriers, those with 500,000 customers or less, that will be able to pick up handsets that are exclusive to Verizon Wireless after a six-month period. Still, it’s better than nothing, but the cast majority of non-Verizon Wireless mobile customers won’t benefit from this news.
In other words, this is a blatant attempt by Verizon Wireless to look like the nice guy while the FCC and congressional inquiries into exclusive handset deals proceed. This isn’t much progress at all. It’s just a political play that we can guarantee wouldn’t have happened if lawmakers weren’t taking a peek behind the curtain. What’s more, Verizon is hoping that other carriers will follow their lead with this move, specifically AT&T with the iPhone.
You can see the entire letter after the break.
Read More | Verizon Policy Blog
We do love ourselves a good battle, and it looks like Microsoft is ready to start putting their dukes up against the super popular Apple retail stores. Not only is Microsoft going to be opening up their own branded retail stores, they are going to put some stories “right next door to Apple stores” this fall. Oh yes, it’s on.
At first glance, you may be wondering what cool, eye-pleasing toys Microsoft would have to even lure people in to their stores. I mean, isn’t almost every consumer electronics store a “Microsoft Store?” Well, it’s all in the approach. We know that the Zune HD will be released this fall. We know that the Xbox 360 will have a nice dashboard update this fall that will bring with it a host of new social features, there’s the Microsoft Surface tabletop, Xbox 360 games, Project Natal, etc. If Microsoft uses some of these popular items as cornerstones for their retail presence, and even allows the chance to get first-looks at some of these things, they may be on to something.
We are ready for the war.
Want to be a star but don’t think you can handle being one of thousands auditioning? YOBI.tv is sort of an American Idol competition online with actual cash. Winners also receive such goodies as VIP tickets to Sundance 2010, the Grammys 2010 and a major comedy film. Singers, comedians, filmmakers and photographers all get an equal shot. You can go to their site to vote for their semi-finalists or enter yourself as they also give weekly prizes.
Read More | YOBI
Joen Hwan Ju’s RITI Printer runs on used coffee grounds or tea leaves. To use the eco-friendly device, one places the leftovers in the ink case on the top, inserts a piece of paper, then moves the case left and right and the image is printed. Joen mentions that another perk is that you will get the smell of the beverage, which undoubtedly would be closer to aromatherapy than your basic ink. The idea is nice but we’re not so sure about the time to print and clean-up afterwards. Joen’s prototype is part of core77’s Greener Gadgets Design Competition.
Read More | Core 77
Think you can design a cool set of headphones? Nokia is sponsoring the Music Almighty Contest. Download a “Style Palette” or “Freestyle” template and come up with your creation. You can alter the color, add graphics, and drag and drop components. Five winners get to go to the UK to see their designs become realities. The deadline is Dec. 31. If you want to see some of your competition, head over to their gallery.
Read More | Nokia
Anything that shortens our clothes washing chores is fine with us. Guopeng Liang designed the iBasket for the Electrolux 2008 Design Lab Competition. Hamper-shaped, the prototype automatically washes once there is enough weight in it. With a wireless connection, it has a remote monitor and control of wash cycle frequency by PC and IM notification to PC or mobile device when your clothes are done. We only hope the final product won’t be transparent so we are forced to see our dirty laundry.
Read More | tuvie