Mobile World Congress 2012 hints at future of tablets, smartphones

Mobile World Congress, a large convention for tech companies to reveal their latest and greatest phones and tablets, kicked off today in Barcelona, Spain. Photo credit: Pocket-Lint

Did you know that every year, there is an event called Mobile World Congress where the world’s top technology companies (like LG, Samsung and Nokia) show off their newest phone and tablet designs?

Well, if not, today was the first day of the huge event for companies to show off bigger, better, and smarter phones and tablets at MWC in beautiful Barcelona, Spain.

Mobile World Congress (MWC) is expected to host about 60,000 people this year.

Virtually the only major company that does not make an appearance at this event is Apple. They just like to do things their own way.

Some big news from the first day at Mobile World Congress:

It looks to be an interesting year for mobile computing, with devices at both ends of the spectrum getting more advanced. B2G phone and iPad 3 anyone?

I’m particularly excited to see what happens on the less expensive end of the smartphone and tablet markets.

Making them available to more people around the world should be interesting for the future of the content that people view on them.

Here’s a great example: YouTube spending $100 million to create original content for the site.

Are you looking forward to any mobile tech products this year?

Or is all of it just getting too confusing?

I’d love to know what your thoughts are about all this mobile tech, so please let me know in the comments!

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ABC Nightline gets an inside look at Apple’s ‘iFactory’ in China

Workers assemble Apple products at the infamous Foxconn factory in China. Photo credit: The Verge

ABC Nightline aired a very interesting report on Feb. 21 about the infamous Foxconn factory in China, where big names like Apple, Intel, Dell and others produce their tech products.

If that name sounds familiar, it’s because Foxconn has been in the news frequently over the past few years because of reports of workers committing suicide, bad working conditions that lead to explosions at the factory, and most recently, mass suicide protests.

The Nightline report pointed out some shocking information about Foxconn.

Here are some of the most interesting findings published by tech blog The Verge:

  • It takes 141 steps to make an iPhone, and the devices are essentially all handmade.
  • It takes 5 days and 325 hands to make a single iPad.
  • Foxconn produces 300k iPad camera modules per day.
  • Foxconn workers pay for their own food — about $.70 per meal, and work 12-hour shifts.
  • Workers who live in the dorms sleep six to eight a room, and pay $17.50 a month to do so.
  • Workers make $1.78 an hour
  • Louis Woo, a Foxconn Executive, when asked if he would accept Apple demanding double pay for employees replied: “Why not?”

In the video it’s said that ABC Nightline was the first crew to ever be allowed inside the factory.

Apple and other big name tech companies are very secretive about their products, so that is likely why no other crew has been allowed into the factory before.

It’s a very interesting report because ABC’s parent company is Disney, and the largest share-holder for Disney was the late Steve Jobs, who was Apple’s former CEO.

I always thought there were many more machines that put iPhones, iPads and Macs together.

But this report says otherwise.

It says that the products are almost completely assembled by hand.

As I’m typing this report on my Mac that was likely made at Foxconn, it makes me really appreciate all of the work that went in to making it.

Here is a video of the report and an alternate link on ABC Nightline’s website:

Counting down to TED2012: A roundup of guides, schedules and links

I can’t wait to see what comes out of this year’s conference! It’s going to be awesome!

TED Blog

Building the stage for TED2012 at the Long Beach Performing Arts Center on Wednesday night. Photo: Jason Wishnow

It’s almost time for TED2012: Full Spectrum! On Monday at 1:30pm California time, our first pre-session begins with the remarkable TED Fellows conference. While the two sessions of the TED Fellows conference won’t be livestreamed, look for full coverage here on the TED Blog and livetweeting at @TEDNews. And you can download the fascinating TED Fellows guide >>

On Tuesday morning at 8:30am West Coast time, attendees will get up to speak to one another at TEDYou and TED University, two pre-conference sessions that have produced some of your favorite TED Talks, like Ric Elias’ “Three Things I Learned While My Plane Crashed” and Jessi Arrington’s “Wearing Nothing New.” Read the speaker programs for TEDYou and TED University >>

And on Tuesday morning, 11am West Coast…

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Face-Recognizing Billboard Shows Ads to Women Only

Very interesting! I’ve heard of billboards like this before. I just wonder how main stream this will become…

Tech

Sporting a Y chromosome? A new high-tech, outdoor billboard being tested in London won’t let you see its advertisements.

via Face-Recognizing Billboard Shows Ad to Women Only | NewsFeed | TIME.com.

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Preview: C-SPAN founder Brian Lamb to speak on campus Feb. 28

Purdue Alum and C-SPAN founder Brian Lamb during his interview of Ind. Gov. Mitch Daniels on Sept. 29. Photo credit: Purdue Exponent

Purdue Alumnus and C-SPAN founder Brian Lamb will be leading a discussion that is free and open to the public next Tuesday, Feb. 28, according to a Purdue news release.

At the forum, Lamb will be speaking about the media, politics and the presidential election that is coming up later this year.

There will be two Purdue classes at the event that Lamb will be leading in discussion – a communication class, and a political science class.

Quick facts about the event:

  • FREE and open to the public (on a first come, first serve basis)
  • Will be held in Lawson Computer Science Building, Room 1142
  • 9 – 10:15 a.m.
  • A continental breakfast will be available
  • The event will be live streamed on ITaP’s website

Live streaming the event is a great idea. I’m really pleased to see ITaP doing that.

I wish ITaP would live stream more events like this. I realize that it is expensive to do so, but it would be very helpful for those who cannot attend.

The event is being called “Master Class With Brian Lamb”, which seems fitting because Lamb will be the guest speaker for the two College of Liberal Arts classes at the event.

More in-depth information about Lamb and the event itself can be found in this article on Purdue’s University News Service website.

I really wish I could attend this event! But sadly, I have class during the whole duration.

I strongly encourage anyone who is interested to go to this event!

Are you going to attend this event? If so, please leave me a comment letting me know what your thoughts are about it!

iPhone 4 owners: Apple will offer compensation for ‘Antennagate’ flop

Apple's news conference about the iPhone 4 issues in 2010. They called it 'Antennagate'. Photo credit: Gadget Cage

Remember all of the fuss when the iPhone 4 first came out?

If not, let me jog your memory a bit.

The first reviews of the phone were great, but then complaints started coming in about covering the antenna on the bottom left corner of the phone – that killed the cell signal.

The worst part about the fiasco was Apple failed to acknowledge the complaints at first, even to the point of telling some iPhone owners the antenna problem was a “non-issue”.

It was absolutely ridiculous, and a terrible PR move by Apple. They essentially told people who had just bought their new phone they were “holding it wrong”.

In response to the poor handling of the situation by Apple, some disgruntled iPhone 4 users sued in a class-action lawsuit, and last week a settlement was reached.

The result?

Anyone who bought an iPhone 4 previously, is entitled to either $15 compensation, or a free bumper case.

In addition to the compensation news, another good thing that came out of all the iPhone 4 craziness was the hilarious videos that mocked Apple for their mistakes.

Here’s a great example from David Letterman:

It was handled very poorly by Apple, but at least iPhone 4 users can finally get some compensation for any problems they experienced.

It’s good to see them offering something to those people, although, it took far too long.

I don’t have an iPhone 4, I have the 4S, but I would suggest that anyone who has an iPhone 4, and is interested, should check it out.

More information will be available in a few weeks about the settlement on the iPhone 4 settlement website.

Update (Mar. 27): The settlement website is still inactive at this time, but it should be up within the next few weeks. Here’s an article from Consumer Reports with more information.

What are your thoughts about the compensation?

Did Apple do enough?