Validas study finds Verizon smartphones consuming more data than iPhones

31 07 2010

You know how we’ve good reason to believe that Verizon Wireless is at least mulling the switch to capped / tiered data plans? Yeah. An independent Validas research report has found that, between January and May of this year (pre-AT&T caps), Verizon’s stable of smartphones collectively averaged more data consumption per month that Apple’s iPhone. Of course, this quite literally compares an Apple to every smartphone on Verizon save for BlackBerries, but given how much squalling we’ve heard from Ma Bell about this rampant iPhone data usage, we’re pleased to see a few facts that spin things the other way. The company’s full report is due out in September, but investigation of over 20,000 wireless bills found that VZW smartphones “are consuming more wireless data than AT&T iPhones by a ratio of roughly 1.25:1,” with the average Verizon user eating up 421MB per month and the average iPhone user consuming 338MB per month. It also points out that “nearly twice as many Verizon Wireless smartphone users are consuming 500MB to 1GB per month compared to AT&T iPhone users.” You learn something new everyday, right?

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100 million Facebook pages leaked to a torrent site, creating the world’s least exciting torrent

28 07 2010

Hacker Ron Bowes from Skull Security has created a 2.8GB torrent file which contains the Facebook account details of roughly 100 million users. That’s about 1 in 5 of the half billion accounts the social networking site has, and the torrent contains URLs for each account, with other personal details contained in the profiles such as phone numbers and email addresses. Bowes created a crawler to troll Facebook’s open access directory, where all the information is kept. There’s nothing illegal about any of this, of course — we put our information out there into the public forum that Facebook is, after all — but there’s still something creepy about the idea of someone torrenting our profile. Then again, we have some pretty amazing shots from the Bronx Zoo in there, so we can’t really blame them.





iPod touch becomes iPhone using Yosion’s Apple Peel 520?

28 07 2010

Oh sure, VoIP on the iPod touch is hardly breaking news these days, but what if you could actually slap on a regular SIM card and make calls on said device? That’s what Yosion’s appropriately named Apple Peel 520 claims to do. Powered by an Infineon baseband chip, this adapter not only offers voice calling and text messaging (presumably requiring a jailbroken iPod touch for the apps; GPRS not possible yet), but it also doubles up as an 800mAh battery and provides 4.5 hours of call time or 120 hours of standby juice. We’re told this cheeky hack’s coming out in China as early as this week for somewhere between ¥300 ($44) and ¥500 ($74), although the lack of an official website, full spec sheet or compatibility list means we’ll have to remain skeptical with this potentially vaporware company.





Telescopic eye implant approved by the FDA

9 07 2010

We love eye implants, and we’ve seen our share of them, and this one is pretty sweet (although it isn’t the creepiest by a long shot — that prize would go to the one that uses a human tooth to hold its lens). In the works for well over a year, and approved by the FDA a couple days ago, VisionCare Ophthalmic Technologies’ implantable miniature telescope is intended for patients over 75 years of age who are suffering from end-stage macular degeneration. As with any tricky new surgery, this one is not without risks, including the need for a corneal transplant due to the device’s size. According to CBC News, in clinical testing seventy-five percent of over 200 patients “had their vision improve from severe or profound impairment to moderate impairment,” and there are two more studies on the way: one will follow up with existing patients, while the other will outfit 770 new patients with the device. The cost? $15,000.





YouTube moves solidly into the future by supporting 4K content

9 07 2010

It’s funny — we remember the day that YouTube began supporting plain ole HD like it was yesterday, and we’re guessing today will hang in our memory banks for quite awhile, too. Over at the VidCon 2010 conference, YouTube officially announced support for videos shot in 4K (a reference resolution of 4096 x 3072), which means that the famed online clip portal now supports resolutions from 360p to 4,096p. Granted, only a handful of humans even have access to a 4K camcorder, and 4K projectors aren’t exactly simple to find (or afford), but we couldn’t be happier to see YT staying way ahead of the curve here. If you’re up for putting a severe strain on your broadband connection (and just pretend that your monitor can actually support a legit 4K feed), feel free to hit that first source link and attempt to watch any of those videos at their “Original” resolution. Godspeed.





Mongoose Studio’s dozen iPod cluster display is an expensive way to watch Tron

7 07 2010

Most of us would be happy to get a single video to play on our PMP without having to run it through some sort of transcoder first, but the folks at Mongoose Studio needed something more complex. They’ve released a video of a project that’s been in the works for some time, clustering 12 iPod touches into a sort of bezel-riffic widescreen display. All are controlled by a master, 13th iPod that can cause them to display a clock in the interest of verifying synchronization (which is far from perfect, as you’ll see in the embed below), or to trigger the playing of a movie. We’re guessing that the footage must be manually split into appropriate files for each device, and we’re also guessing that horrible things would happen should someone come along and re-shuffle them. But, if you have a lot of friends with iPhones and a lot of free time to prep the film, this could make for a rather interesting movie night — until someone gets a call, that is.





Microsoft announces InstaLoad battery technology: never insert a battery the wrong way again

3 07 2010

Microsoft has certainly had some ups and downs with its products over the years, but we’re pretty sure the company’s new InstaLoad technology falls somewhere between a home run and the best thing it’s ever done. It promises to do nothing short of redefine the way you insert batteries, and let you shove ’em into devices without any regard for positive or negative polarity. That’s apparently possible thanks to a patented battery contact design, which Microsoft says “simply works,” and is compatible with a whole range of battery sizes (both standard and rechargeable). What’s more, Microsoft is now already licensing the technology to third party device suppliers, and is even offering a royalty-free license for suppliers and manufacturers of accessibility products. Still no word on when the first devices using the technology will be available, but Microsoft already counts Duracell and flashlight-manufacturer AE Light among its partners. Head on past the break for the complete press release.