Apple has introduced their users to a brand new messaging service that was designed for the iOS called iMessage, and it’s included with iOS 5. This new chat service allows users to send unlimited text, video and photo messages over a 3G or WiFi connection. This new app is clearly aimed at competing with BlackBerry’s very own BlackBerry messenger application. According to a new report that was published recently, Apple has revealed that they’re planning to extend its services on the iOS platform by implementing a native IM client that will integrate all of Apple’s popular existing services, giving users an all-in-one experience, and without forcing the less-tech savvy user through a new learning curve.
An iOS developer recently revealed his discovery of a string of code that could suggest Apple’s intentions of bringing iChat to the iPhone, iPod touch and the iPad, as a part of the iOS 6 release. Currently iChat can be accessed on the Mac OS X, allowing users to send messages through various messaging services including AIM and Google Talk. The Mac’s version of iChat also supports video chats. Apple has integrated iMessage with the default messaging application to keep things simple, but FaceTime remains as a separate app for doing video calls on the iPod touch and iPad. It’s no question that Apple is at least in the testing or brainstorming phases for iChat, and it will be interested to see if the new iOS 6 will implement this service for the iPhone, iPod touch and iPad.
A long tradition of net neutrality in the United States is a dearly held value by many inside and outside the tech industry, but changes may be on the wind according to observers in the US who are citing a recent ruling by an appeals court to allow bandwidth sales companies to throttle customers they see as using too much of the company’s resources. The ruling would change the way that large scale broadband service providers do business and change the Federal Communications Commission’s policy that providers such as Comcast must treat equally all of the internet traffic they carry across their lines. The new decision opens the doors for providers to charge additional fees to offer faster service or greater bandwidth to select customers. Telecom industry companies stand to benefit by being able to exercise greater control over their customer base and potentially offer a more solid service to all customers, but many groups on and off the web see the ruling as a major shift of a core value that internet service providers have been required to uphold up until now.
Since companies will be able to throttle or even out right block their users from certain videos or other services they deem to bandwidth heavy, it could affect the content people are able to access via their providers. This limits the freedom that Americans would have to experience the internet in their own homes and comes as a grave concern to privacy rights advocates who warn the power could be abused in favor of corporate interests in the bottom line.
In the age of new media arriving at a frightening pace, video game developers have begun to turn increasingly to faster methods of getting their instant gratification based entertainment products into the hands of gamers across the globe. Fittingly, the companies are now looking to make a splash in retail markets that are online as traditional retail markets continue to sink in terms of game sales. Consumers continue to seek out new ways to purchase games over the web through their computers, console gaming systems and mobile phone devices and this has lead to a surge in online sales of game products. This has lead to major shake ups in the video game industry as companies attempt to find a sweet spot from which to market their products and offer consumers the ideal way to purchase games. The closing of development firm Pandemic Studios is indicative of the grisly picture analysts in the market paint of gaming companies – a company that has been forced to shut its doors simply because it relied entirely on traditional disc based gaming distribution and marketing. In today’s world, experts say, gamers want to be able to get games at lightning speed and the industry must respond.
With sales of games in traditional shrink wrap packaging dropping over 10 per cent during 2009, market observers say that the high cost of around $60 has been massively detrimental to the industry and led to a huge downturn in the retail sector. Stores such as Wal-Mart, Best Buy and Target have traditionally carried a mix of games, but today gamers want more options and faster take home.
With the growing consumer demand for eco friendly green vehicles at the consumer level, auto makers are scrambling to come out with new models that meet consumer needs at price points that will sell vehicles to that market. At both state and federal levels in the United States, incentives are being developed to help citizens switch over to more ecologically sound transportation alternatives, but thus far many of these incentives have not been enough to sway consumers from their traditional styles of vehicle. Experts predict that the Leaf, a new green model electric car from Nissan, may change all of this. As a zero emissions vehicle due out in late 2010, the Leaf will be eligible for massive discounts that see residents in the US state of California paying as little as $20,000 for a new electric vehicle. The hatch back would normally cost nearly $32,800 but the subsidy would lower the cost substantially and thus raise the appeal to consumers who have awaited an affordable car that is 100 per cent electric with no use of petrol based products whatsoever.
Environmental advocates for the green movement are hoping that Nissan’s tech advance will bring new drivers into the electric car fold and a federal tax credit of $7,500 may be able to sweeten the deal, as well. The only other vehicle that compares in terms of tech performance is the Tesla Roadster, a sports car that runs almost $110,000 and is obviously not intended as a classic family vehicle. The Volt from Chevrolet will be unveiled later this year.
In a story that sounds vaguely like something straight from a sci fi novel, scientists have recently announced a new form of fashionable hi tech clothing that will turn a standard t shirt into a bullet stopping suit of armor. Scientists have been working for years now to create better body armor for both domestic police officers and soldiers on the battle fields of war, but until recently most attempts at light armor have been limited by materials or engineering restraints. This new form of armor makes use of microscopic splicing of the carbon found naturally in cotton fibers with boron, the 3rd hardest metal on the planet. Researchers at the University of South Carolina increased the durability of the fabric several times over and are now able to produce super light weight shirts that are reinforced by boron carbide. This particular combination has already been used the by the United States military to protect tanks.
On top of this break through, other researchers at the USC including Dr. Xiadong Li, a professor of mechanical engineering, have published paper about Advanced Materials. These materials are designed to be very light weight, incredibly strong, totally durable and energy efficient for both humans and vehicles. The hyper elasticity of the nano wires enables them to have the strength similar to spider webs with a comparable level of strength and ability to hold structure. The newly synthesized fibers are a huge improvement over previous boron carbide because they are much lighter and more flexible which fits with the concept of wearable armor much better.
Apple is flush with its success of the new iPad mobile tablet computer’s launch and hot on the heals of that debut, industry insiders say there may well be another Apple product that will almost certainly devour the laptop market once again: the MacBook Pro. It appears as if the computer industry giant is in the late development stages of the new computer and has already sent details to popular electronics retail outlet Micro Center. According to sources in the industry, the retailer has gotten part numbers for a total of four different new computers that market observers believe directly correlate with upcoming MacBook Pro computers. This rumor was then confirmed by another source other than Micro Center and that the numbers are 15 and 17, possibly in reference to the diagonal measurement of the screen size, a traditional standard measurement for computers.
Should these rumors prove to be true, the unveiling of the new machines may well happen quite soon which comes as no surprise to most experts who expected that Apple would be releasing a new version of their popular MacBook given the immerse success of the previous generation in 2009. The past few years have been very good to the Cupertino, California computing giant and the company is still flush with cash from the astronomical sales levels of its iPhone and iPod Touch devices, the latest iPad only building upon that built up steam. Should the MacBook Pro prove to be a hit, many in the industry believe that it will finally confirm Apple’s status as a strong and equal competitor to Microsoft.