Facebook has technically overtaken eBay to become the third largest technology company in the United States. The company’s shares are now trading at $16 on SecondMarket – an exchange for shares of privately held companies. At this price, the valuation of the company stands at $41 billion that is a tad more than the $39.3 billion valuation that eBay holds at the NASDAQ stock market. Only Amazon – at $74.4 billion valuation and Google – with $192.9 billion value are above Facebook.
The revelation comes on the heels of speculation that Facebook is announcing a new email product to take on the likes of Gmail and Hotmail. An announcement in this regard is expected later today. The news is also likely to give a major impetus to anticipation about the social network’s IPO plans. Will Facebook open to the stock markets next year?
Microsoft appears to be doing really well in the gaming console segment. The company has reported that over 484,000 units of their XBox console was sold during the month of September 2010. That makes Microsoft the number 1 player in the segment for the fourth month in a row. The sale numbers are also up 37% compared to XBox 360 sales in September last year. The company has also announced that the sale of games have seen a terrific rise thanks to the launch of the new Halo : Reach. Microsoft apparently sold 3.3 million units of the game during the month of September.
The numbers are interesting on two counts. Firstly, Microsoft will be entering the holiday shopping season on the back of this impressive sale numbers over the past four months. Gaming consoles are one of the very hot selling commodities during this season and Microsoft should expect to do well. Secondly, the impressive sale numbers should also help the company in the sale of Windows Phone 7 handsets considering that the mobile platform is tightly integrated to XBox Live. Existing users should surely contemplate buying a Windows Phone 7 device.
Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) shares rose 1.23% in the market yesterday and are currently trading at $25.57 in the after-hours.
Apple may have been selling their new iPhone 4 like hotcakes. But there is no denying the fact that the launch has brought about several challenges to Apple engineers. The death grip and proximity sensor issues definitely take the lead, but there are several other challenges too that have surfaced time and again.
It seems that these issues fail to die down. We are now hearing that a new issue is brewing up at Cupertino over the possibility of the rear glass pane of the iPhone 4 to crack due to third party cases licensed by Apple. The issue is not exactly with the free bumpers that Apple offered to their iPhone 4 customers, but with other slide-on cases that are popular among iPhone users. Gdgt writes,
“Apple has apparently found that non-bumper style cases — specifically those that slide onto the iPhone 4, which are occasionally prone to particulate matter getting caught between the rear of the phone and the case — can cause unexpected scratching that could quickly develop into full-on cracking or even much larger fracturing of the entire rear pane of glass. To put it another way: Apple is afraid you might buy a standard slide-on iPhone case, put it on your phone, and then discover the next time you take it off that the entire back of your device has been shattered by no fault of your own.”
The report notes that though this issue is yet to see any widespread prevalence, Apple is already working to ensure this issue does not affect future products. That could mean that the next generation iPhone may not be having a glass back.
eBay-owned Paypal has been bringing a number of innovative technologies to the iPhone. After letting users to ‘bump’ their phones in order to exchange contacts and send money with their earlier update, Paypal has now announced yet another update to their iPhone app that will make it easier for users to deposit money into their account.
The new electronic check deposit feature will allow users to simply capture a picture of the front and back sides of their checks and submit it electronically for the money to be automatically transferred from the bank to their Paypal accounts.
While this is definitely a convenient way to transfer money, not all users are happy. A review of the new feature on the App Store brings up a very pertinent point,
“PayPal proudly announced the new check deposit feature last week to much fanfare, claiming this version would be released in a day or so. Well, try several days. It’s immediately slower, but it’s worth it, right? After all, we’ve suffered for years with PayPal pretending we have to wait three business days for ACH transfers to happen, so at least now we’ll have a way to deposit funds instantly. Oh, think again! Now they want us to believe that instead of same-business day crediting that’s a normal part of Check 21, we’re supposed to wait six business days “or longer” for the deposit. Yes, seriously. Whatever you do, don’t use this feature; you’d be better off mailing your check to a bank in another state! PayPal stands to make a fortune off the float on these check deposits. Unreal!”
You can still check out the new version of the app by clicking here.
It has been over six months since the iPad first launched in the US market and it is only natural that the sale numbers are now seeing a dip. Quite expectedly then, Apple has been opening up the sale channels in order to maximize the sale of the tablet computers. Soon after Target announced that the new iPad shall be available on their retail stores from earlier this month, Amazon too has announced that their online store will now start selling the tablet computer.
At present, the 3G enabled versions are not on stock. That leaves the choice between the Wi-Fi versions of the 32GB and 64GB iPad models only. You can check them out now on Amazon by clicking here. Do check them out since the price is the same as the official retail price.
It has been over two weeks since Apple officially introduced us to their new iOS-based wireless printing technology caleld AirPrint. Back then, the new feature was reported to be supported on iPod Touch 2G and later and iPhone 3GS and later. Bizarrely though, the press release and the AirPrint page on Apple have been silently modified since then to note that the feature is actually supported on iPod Touch 3G and later (and not 2G as was initially proclaimed).
It is not clear whether Apple has merely corrected a typo that existed earlier in their press releases or if this is a technical/business decision to not allow this new technology on the older iPod Touch model.
Nevertheless, this is not an entirely surprising decision. The second generation model of iPod Touch is pretty close in technology to the iPhone 3G unit and considering that AirPrint is not supported on iPhone 3G, it is pretty reasonable to expect Apple to pull the strings this way.
Apple is always known to intentionally block features on older devices in order to push people to graduate to newer devices. One such functionality that is available on iPhone 4 but is not provided on the older iPhones is the HDR capability. As you may already know, this functionality delivers effective contrasts on pictures by superimposing three pictures that are taken in normal, under-exposed and over-exposed modes.
Now, there are jailbreak apps that will let you enable this functionality on the older iPhones. From what we’ve heard in the past, the functionality works perfectly on the older models and there is no reason why Apple shouldn’t have offered the feature to the older iPhones as well. Nevertheless, if ever Apple had decided to block this feature on older models, it appears that this could have been a last-minute decision. Folks at 9to5Mac have uncovered a couple of HDR icons from the iPhone SDK that reference to iPhones with retina display and those that do not have this display. The difference can be noted in the nomenclature that usually contain a @2x in case of documents pertaining to the retina display.
If you were to stay an optimist, what this could mean is that Apple could bring the HDR functionality to the older iPhone; iPhone 3GS primarily, via a future software update. The question is however whether Apple would want to.
You must be already aware that the next version of iOS – version 4.2 is scheduled to become available for public consumption in November of this year. As we move towards the official launch date, Apple has been releasing beta versions of this new mobile operating system for developers who will need it to format their applications to be compatible with the new platform.
Two weeks after the first beta release of iOS 4.2 was made, we now have the second beta of the upcoming iOS software released to the developer community. To get started, you need to log in to your Apple developer account here and find the appropriate link for download.
The upcoming version of iOS brings a number of new features like AirPlay and AirPrint to the iDevice. Besides this, the new version will also let iPad users get access to multitasking, folder management and threaded email access. The enhancements made in the latest beta release is not known as yet. Keep looking out for the same, though.
The Apple iPad has only recently been seeing some worthy competition from Samsung and RIM. Both these rivals are looking at the holiday season as the perfect season to take on competition from the iPad and it is easy to think Apple too could be launching a mini-iPad that is closer in form factor and size to these tablet rivals.
However, according to recent reports on the AppleInsider, Apple may not be launching a smaller iPad anytime soon. Instead, the company is reported to be working on a second generation 9.7″ display iPad that could come with additional features like a camera and a mini-USB.
“The analysts also said their checks found that “the 7” iPad project has not yet been finalized” and therefore said its “unlikely to be launched ahead of the new 9.7” iPad”. According to the pair, the new 9.7-inch iPad “is targeted to be thinner and lighter, with an embedded camera and mini USB.” It “could be launched in early” second quarter of 2011, they said.”
Apple has been rigorously working on popularizing its new FaceTime video calling service and so a camera was always expected. Also, considering that the iPad is a media consumption device, it makes sense to get the device lighter. Nevertheless, by not launching a unit for Christmas, Apple could not only be missing an attractive business opportunity, but could also be giving competition a free reign for the holiday season. What do you think?
As you are aware, the popular one-tap browser based jailbreak solution, JailbreakMe.com was rendered useless not so long ago. Since then, though new jailbreak solutions have come about, nothing has created as much headlines as the newly announced SHAtter exploit. SHAtter makes use of a hardware exploit that would render iDevices permanently jailbroken and hence will be a much more reliable jailbreak tool when released.
That the Chronic Dev team is working on building a reliable and easy jailbreak tool using the SHAtter exploit is not exactly news since we have been awaiting an announcement from them for sometime now. However, folks at the iPhone Dev Team have recently announced that they have been able to build a beta version of the new PwnageTool that utilizes the SHAtter exploit. A proof-of-concept video is below.
The team has however indicated that we are still sometime away from a complete solution,
Although PwnageTool was a useful first test of a full iPod 4G jailbreak via SHAtter, it’s really overkill compared to the faster tools being developed. Its main use in PwnageTool will be for those with iPhone4’s, to allow updates while preserving the baseband and ultrasn0w carrier unlock.