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    Saturday, April 24, 2010

    Reuters - Big expectations for RIM at BlackBerry trade show

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    Big expectations for RIM at BlackBerry trade show

    Thursday, Apr 22, 2010 6:2PM UTC

    By Susan Taylor

    OTTAWA (Reuters) - Research In Motion Ltd needs to produce evidence next week that it is close to unveiling a more consumer-friendly BlackBerry experience if it hopes to disarm critics who question its competitive chops.

    A growing chorus of analysts say Apple's iPhone, Motorola's Droid and other rival smartphones could keep taking market share from the BlackBerry until RIM delivers an improved operating system and browser.

    That has heightened the anticipation surrounding RIM's annual Wireless Enterprise Symposium this year. The event, which runs April 27-29 in Orlando, Florida, is expected to draw thousands of analysts, BlackBerry customers, partners and developers.

    Many wonder if RIM is close to taking the wraps off phones that feature what the industry likes to call "a compelling, high-end user experience".

    Even some devout BlackBerry fans find fault with the look, feel and operation of a device that is built around its email function. Analysts say RIM could sweeten the appeal of its phones by adding multi-touch technology and other intuitive, easy-to-use features that have defined Apple's iPhone.

    Should RIM deliver, "I think that will put a lot of the naysayers' concern to rest," said Avian Securities analyst Matthew Thornton.

    "The expectation is that they can't compete at the high end so they're increasingly pushing down price scale to the lower end, and that will run out of room at some point and it'll have implications for profitability."

    As RIM faces ever-increasing competition in North America, it has made a concerted push into fast-growth international markets, where its cheaper but still profitable smartphones find favor.

    RIM says it is still a contender in the consumer market, but analysts want to hear details about how it plans to win that fight. Its effort to increase the number of apps that run on its phones, for example, is a key part of that strategy and an area where it falls well short of Apple's success.

    POSITIVE VIBE BOOSTS STOCK

    In the past, RIM used the WES event to show off new products and partnerships, generating a positive vibe that has boosted its stock.

    "In the past three years, WES has been a positive catalyst for RIM's shares, outpacing both the S&P 500 and Nasdaq by 5 percent plus," said Oppenheimer analyst Ittai Kidron in a note to clients.

    RIM co-Chief Executive Jim Balsillie heightened expectations recently by promising major product launches in the year ahead. He told analysts on a conference call that if they saw the company's playbook they would be "blown away".

    Speculation has centered on RIM unveiling several new handsets at the show, most notably the high-end BlackBerry 9670. The device, expected to be shaped like a clamshell, could become the first RIM phone to use the new operating system.

    The company may also use the trade show to launch the long-awaited high-end Bold 9650 and lower-end 3G Pearl.

    "I want to walk away from this event feeling like these guys do have another high-end product cycle that is worth paying attention to," Avian's Thornton said.

    This week, respected tech blogger Boy Genius posted screen shots of the 9670 and details of what the blog said was RIM's upcoming operating system. The system got a highly favorable review.

    Canaccord Adams analyst Peter Misek said he will look for details on RIM's 2010 growth plan and how it plans to differentiate itself from market-hungry rivals gnawing away at sales.

    The Waterloo, Ontario-based company may do this at a full-day analyst meeting on Monday, the day before WES opens.

    Evidence of the stiff competition that RIM faces was brought into sharp relief on Tuesday when Apple posted blowout results on the back of record iPhone sales.

    By comparison, RIM reported quarterly profit, revenue, and phone shipments March 31 that came in below market expectations, raising concerns about its prospects.

    Particularly troubling for RIM investors are Apple's inroads in international markets such as Asia, which is regarded as a key expansion region for RIM.

    ($1=$1.00 Canadian)

    (Additional reporting by Nicole Mordant in Vancouver; editing by Frank McGurty and Peter Galloway)

    Friday, April 16, 2010

    Reuters - Speedy scanner re-writes book on publishing technology

    This article was sent to you from bombastic4000@yahoo.com, who uses Reuters Mobile Site to get news and information on the go. To access Reuters on your mobile phone, go to:
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    Speedy scanner re-writes book on publishing technology

    Friday, Apr 16, 2010 7:13AM UTC

    TOKYO (Reuters Life!) - Simply flipping through a book may not seem like the best to way to scan it, but a Japanese research group at Tokyo University has created new software that allows hundreds of pages to be scanned within minutes.

    Scanning paper is normally a tedious process with each page having to be inserted into a flat-bed scanner, but the team led by professor Masatoshi Ishikawa use a high speed camera that takes 500 pictures a second to scan pages as they are flipped.

    Normal scanners can only scan the information that is actually before them on the page. The new scanner being developed is able to deal with the fact that pages that are being flipped are normally deformed in some fashion.

    "It takes a shot of the shape, then it calculates the shape and uses those calculations to film the scanning," Ishikawa said, explaining the system used to reconstruct the original page.

    "As it can film while understanding the underlying shape, it's very easy to then take the pages that are being scanned and save them as a normal flat copy."

    The current system is able to scan an average 200-250 page book in a little over 60 seconds using basic computer hardware that is available off-the-shelf.

    While it now requires extra time to process the scanned images, the researchers hope to eventually make the technology both faster and much smaller.

    "In the more the distant future, once it becomes possible to put all of this processing on one chip and then put that in a iPad or iPod, one could scan just using that chip. At that point, it becomes possible to scan something quickly to save for later reading," Ishikawa told Reuters.

    Being able to scan books with an iPhone may be further off, but Ishikawa says that a commercial version of the large-scale computer based scanning system could be available in two to three years.

    While the technology has the potential to take paper books into the digital age, it remains to be how publishers will react to people scanning their books while just flipping through them.

    (Reporting by Chris Meyers, editing by Miral Fahmy)

    Tuesday, April 13, 2010

    Reuters - Shakespeare's "Romeo and Juliet" in Twitter twist

    This article was sent to you from bombastic4000@yahoo.com, who uses Reuters Mobile Site to get news and information on the go. To access Reuters on your mobile phone, go to:
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    Shakespeare's "Romeo and Juliet" in Twitter twist

    Tuesday, Apr 13, 2010 7:4PM UTC

    LONDON (Reuters) - One of Shakespeare's most famous plays gets a 21st century makeover in a new version of "Romeo and Juliet" which will unfold through Twitter messages and on the YouTube video website.

    Entitled "Such Tweet Sorrow," the experiment is a collaboration between the Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC) and Mudlark, which produces entertainment on mobile telephones.

    Organizers have already outlined a contemporary "narrative arc" loosely based on the original tragedy, and the cast will improvise the rest through Tweets which have already begun to appear on the website www.suchtweetsorrow.com.

    The production will take place over five weeks and allows for the characters to interact not only among themselves but also with members of the "audience."

    Each character writes their own tweets, guided by an existing storyline and diary which outlines where they are at any moment in the adventure.

    And so two families named after the original adversaries the Montagues and Capulets have loathed each other for years after a fatal car crash in an unnamed English market town in 2000.

    Juliet, played by actress Charlotte Wakefield, is just turning 16 and wonders whether she should have a birthday party to celebrate. She posts a video on YouTube showing viewers a typical teenager's bedroom.

    Her Twitter name is @julietcap16 while Romeo's entry into the messaging world comes later as "he is too busy on his Xbox."

    "We have no real idea of what the next five weeks will bring, but we are holding onto our seatbelts," said Charles Hunter from Mudlark.

    Michael Boyd, artistic director of the RSC, added: "Our ambition is always to connect people with Shakespeare and bring actors and audiences closer together.

    "Mobile phones don't need to be the antichrist for theater. This digital experiment ... allows our actors to use mobiles to tell their stories in real time and reach people wherever they are in a global theater."

    (Reporting by Mike Collett-White, editing by Paul Casciato)

    Reuters - Shakespeare's "Romeo and Juliet" in Twitter twist

    This article was sent to you from bombastic4000@yahoo.com, who uses Reuters Mobile Site to get news and information on the go. To access Reuters on your mobile phone, go to:
    http://mobile.reuters.com

    Shakespeare's "Romeo and Juliet" in Twitter twist

    Tuesday, Apr 13, 2010 7:4PM UTC

    LONDON (Reuters) - One of Shakespeare's most famous plays gets a 21st century makeover in a new version of "Romeo and Juliet" which will unfold through Twitter messages and on the YouTube video website.

    Entitled "Such Tweet Sorrow," the experiment is a collaboration between the Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC) and Mudlark, which produces entertainment on mobile telephones.

    Organizers have already outlined a contemporary "narrative arc" loosely based on the original tragedy, and the cast will improvise the rest through Tweets which have already begun to appear on the website www.suchtweetsorrow.com.

    The production will take place over five weeks and allows for the characters to interact not only among themselves but also with members of the "audience."

    Each character writes their own tweets, guided by an existing storyline and diary which outlines where they are at any moment in the adventure.

    And so two families named after the original adversaries the Montagues and Capulets have loathed each other for years after a fatal car crash in an unnamed English market town in 2000.

    Juliet, played by actress Charlotte Wakefield, is just turning 16 and wonders whether she should have a birthday party to celebrate. She posts a video on YouTube showing viewers a typical teenager's bedroom.

    Her Twitter name is @julietcap16 while Romeo's entry into the messaging world comes later as "he is too busy on his Xbox."

    "We have no real idea of what the next five weeks will bring, but we are holding onto our seatbelts," said Charles Hunter from Mudlark.

    Michael Boyd, artistic director of the RSC, added: "Our ambition is always to connect people with Shakespeare and bring actors and audiences closer together.

    "Mobile phones don't need to be the antichrist for theater. This digital experiment ... allows our actors to use mobiles to tell their stories in real time and reach people wherever they are in a global theater."

    (Reporting by Mike Collett-White, editing by Paul Casciato)

    CNN - Source: Terror plot targeted Times Square, Grand Central stations

    Sent from bombastic4000@yahoo.com's mobile device from http://www.cnn.com.

    Source: Terror plot targeted Times Square, Grand Central stations


    The three men accused of plotting to bomb the New York City subway last year planned to attack trains at Times Square and Grand Central stations, a federal law enforcement source said Monday.

    Najibullah Zazi and his two co-defendants wanted to inflict maximum casualties around the anniversary of the September 11 terrorist attacks, the source said.

    The trio, wearing homemade bombs, plotted to position themselves in the middle of busy subway cars in order to kill the most people, probably targeting the 1, 2, 3, or 6 line trains, the source said.

    Since his arrest, Zazi has given authorities information about the plot. The law enforcement source said Zazi would probably have chosen September 14 for the attack, but was also considering the September 15 or 16.

    Zazi's co-defendants, Adis Medunjanin and Zarein Ahmedzay, are indicted in the plot and have pleaded not guilty.

    All three men went to the same high school in Flushing, Queens, New York.

    The plot was foiled when the FBI began following Zazi and police stopped him on a bridge into New York. Zazi said that prompted him to dump his bomb materials and return to Denver, Colorado, where he was working as a shuttle driver, authorities said.

    Prosecutors have said they plan one or two more arrests overseas.

    Zazi is scheduled for sentencing in June.

    Tuesday, April 6, 2010

    Reuters - Magnitude 7.8 quake shakes Indonesia's Sumatra

    This article was sent to you from bombastic4000@yahoo.com, who uses Reuters Mobile Site to get news and information on the go. To access Reuters on your mobile phone, go to:
    http://mobile.reuters.com

    Magnitude 7.8 quake shakes Indonesia's Sumatra

    Tuesday, Apr 06, 2010 10:57PM UTC

    WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A major earthquake of 7.8 magnitude shook the northwestern coast of the Indonesian island of Sumatra, the U.S. Geological Survey said on Tuesday.

    A local tsunami watch was in effect for Indonesia, the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center said.

    "A destructive widespread tsunami threat does not exist based on historical earthquake and tsunami data," the center said.

    But it added "there is the possibility of a local tsunami that could affect coasts" no more than 100 km (62 miles) from the epicenter of the quake.

    The quake was centered 127 miles west-northwest of Sibolga and was at a depth of 28.6 miles, the USGS said. It initially reported the quake's magnitude at 7.6.

    In December 2004, a magnitude 9.15 quake off the coast of Sumatra's Aceh province triggered an Indian Ocean tsunami that killed about 226,000 people in Indonesia, Sri Lanka, India, Thailand and nine other countries.

    (Reporting by World Desk Americas)

    Saturday, April 3, 2010

    Reuters - Apple's iPad hits store shelves; testing begins

    This article was sent to you from bombastic4000@yahoo.com, who uses Reuters Mobile Site to get news and information on the go. To access Reuters on your mobile phone, go to:
    http://mobile.reuters.com

    Apple's iPad hits store shelves; testing begins

    Saturday, Apr 03, 2010 9:9PM UTC

    By Sinead Carew and Paul Thomasch

    NEW YORK (Reuters) - Apple Inc's iPad hit store shelves on Saturday after months of breathless buildup, kicking off a critical sales period that will determine if the sleek tablet computer becomes the next blockbuster.

    At Apple's flagship store on Fifth Avenue in New York City, cheers went up from employees as shoppers entered the shop at 9 a.m. (1300 GMT), emerging a few minutes later carrying the first iPads, a device touted as a bridge between a laptop and smartphone.

    Hours after the doors opened, the store remained loud and bustling. Some customers, like Simon Cox, immediately cracked open their new iPads for a trial run.

    Cox, a high school math teacher visiting from Manchester, England, said he tested his device with a quick email to friends and family.

    "It looks fantastic, so nice to hold and play and touch," he said, noting that the iPad is smaller than he expected. "It's easier to carry around. I certainly know I'll use it when I'm out and about."

    Technology experts also rushed to have a firsthand look at the gadget, taking apart the iPad to catalog its components and inner workings. One firm, iFixit, an Apple parts and repair specialist, revealed the iPad includes chips from Samsung Electronics, Broadcom, and Texas Instruments.

    Wall Street is curious to see if the device -- which went on sale at the company's more than 200 retail outlets in the United States, along with many Best Buy stores -- can win a mass following and will be monitoring crowds this weekend to gauge its appeal.

    If so, it could provide another boost to Apple, whose stock has been hitting record highs, as well as companies that provide parts and components for the iPad.

    Crowds built steadily at stores around the country beginning early on Friday, with shoppers waiting at locations in New York, Washington, Boston and San Francisco. But the lines were noticeably shorter than those that ushered in the iPhone in 2007.

    Will Kiefer, 28, who waited at a store at Burlington Mall, north of Boston, said he hoped the iPad would allow him to break away from his desktop computer -- and avoid buying a laptop.

    "I think this will do everything for me that I need. ... I'll do my random New York Times reading from the iPad," said Kiefer, a freelance software developer who is among those hoping to develop some apps for the new device.

    In Richmond, Virginia, about 100 people gathered at an Apple store, drinking coffee and mingling in a festive atmosphere.

    Matt Reidy, IT director at a company called snagajob.com, said he got there at 1 a.m. and was first in line. "My wife thinks I'm crazy," said Reidy, 43. "She said I'd be the oldest person out there."

    Because customers have been able to pre-order the gadget since mid-March, there was little reason to stand in line for the launch. Those who ordered early enough online were to get their iPads on Saturday, from store pickups or home delivery.

    Analysts say the company received several hundred thousand pre-orders, with sales estimated at anywhere from 4 million to 7 million in the gadget's first year.

    MUCH AT STAKE

    Apple has plenty riding on the iPad, which it introduced in January and calls a new category of device: a lightweight media consumption device that tries to fuse the best attributes of a smartphone and a laptop.

    The iPad's touchscreen measures 9.7 inches. At 1.5 pounds (680 g), it resembles an oversized iPhone and runs on the same operating system. It starts at $499 for a short-range Wi-Fi model, topping out at more than $800 for a 3G-enabled version.

    The iPad is designed for using media of all sorts, including games, video, pictures, e-books and magazines. It can access roughly 150,000 existing iPhone apps, as well as new ones freshly designed for the iPad.

    Apple is also launching its own digital book business to compete with the Kindle from Amazon.com Inc and other e-readers and e-books.

    The iPad is the first in a wave of lightweight tablet devices expected to land this year from rival vendors, including Hewlett-Packard Co and Dell Inc.

    The question is whether the iPad can attract a mainstream following beyond the first few months of excitement.

    Technology enthusiasts have praised the iPad's beautiful screen and fast Web browser, but also have pointed out some missing pieces. It lacks a camera, cannot run more than one app at a time, and it cannot view popular video sites that use Adobe's Flash software.

    Reviewers at The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal said the iPad works nicely for Web surfing and multimedia -- but may appeal less to people who need computers for more heavy-duty chores.

    Saturday's iPad launch is only in the United States, and only for the Wi-Fi model.

    (Additional reporting by Gabriel Madway in Richmond, Va. and Ros Krasny in Boston, and Christopher Michaud in New York; Editing by Edwin Chan, Jan Paschal and Doina Chiacu)

    What me do with many of these?

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    CNN - First iPad buyers excited, curious

    Sent from bombastic4000@yahoo.com's mobile device from http://www.cnn.com.

    First iPad buyers excited, curious


    Thousands of people emerged from stores across the United States on Saturday clutching newly purchased iPads, the tabletlike computer that's Apple's most-awaited product since the first iPhone launched three years ago.

    Some buyers said they wanted a lightweight computer they could carry around easily or use from their couch, while others were diehard Apple fans who said they were eager to possess the company's latest gadget -- even if they're not sure what they'll use it for.

    "I don't know what it is -- I just think it's going to be something that's really cool," said Mark Bowling outside an Apple store at Lenox Square mall in Atlanta, Georgia. "I can't figure out how to use it if I don't have one."

    Anecdotal reports suggested strong initial consumer interest in the device, which went on sale Saturday morning. At Apple's flagship store on Fifth Avenue in New York, hundreds of shoppers -- many of whom had camped out overnight -- were in line when the doors opened at 9 a.m.

    Employees at an Apple store at 14th Street and Ninth Avenue in New York told shoppers they expected to be sold out of iPads by the end of the day, Julio Ortiz-Teissonniere told CNN's iReport.

    Lines of more than 100 people also were reported Saturday morning outside Apple stores in Miami, Florida, and Atlanta. Rain failed to keep away a crowd of umbrella-wielding iPad buyers outside an Apple store in Chicago, Illinois.

    "I'm really excited. I've been craving this for a long time," said a young man who was the first to buy an iPad at an Apple store in Miami Beach, Florida. The man, who gave his name to Miami's WPLG-TV as Frank Gonzalez, held his iPad box over his head triumphantly as other shoppers cheered.

    A cross between a netbook and a smartphone, the iPad is a lightweight, portable computer with a glass multitouch screen that wirelessly surfs the Web, displays photos and videos, runs apps and plays games and movies, among other potential uses.

    "I've been waiting for this form factor for a long time," said computer programmer Robert Wojciechowski, 31, outside the Lenox Square Apple store in Atlanta.

    "I think it fills a gap between the desktop, the laptop and the phone," he said. "It's the appliance that I've wanted on my coffee table."

    Other buyers said they were excited about the iPad's potential as an electronic reader whose 9-inch color screen will show e-books plus newspaper and magazine articles.

    Mary Inman, 58, said she will take the device on vacations to Mexico instead of lugging five or six books. Inman, waiting outside the Lenox Square store, said she grew jealous of her husband and daughter, both of whom own e-readers.

    A self-confessed Apple fanatic, Inman said she already owns two iPods, an iPhone, an iMac, a MacBook and an Apple TV console. "I'm one of those," she said.

    Prices for the iPad range from $499 to $829, depending on storage space and whether the device works with a Wi-Fi connection only or with Wi-Fi and AT&T's wireless 3G network.

    The iPads that went on sale Saturday at Apple's 200-plus retail stores in the United States, at Best Buy stores and through iTunes, Apple's online store, were Wi-Fi-enabled models. iPads that also work over 3G networks will go on sale in late April, Apple has said.

    Saturday's launch was in the U.S. only. All models of the iPad will go on sale in late April in Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Spain, Switzerland and the United Kingdom.

    Anticipation for the iPad's release has been building since Apple CEO Steve Jobs unveiled the device in San Francisco, California, in January.

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