Profile of Larry Seltzer
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Articles by Larry Seltzer
posted in November 2012
Who invented texting? Who sent the first text and what did it say? Why 160 characters? These and more fun questions are answered on the occasion of the 20th anniversary of the first short message service (SMS) text message.
You can now buy an iPhone 5 from Apple with no carrier contract committment. There is no CDMA support and what LTE support they have is unclear. The phone should work on AT&T and T-Mobile, but perhaps not on Verizon and Sprint.
A new Microsoft ad for Internet Explorer entitled "Do you know this guy?" shows an IE-hating, "IE Sucks"-tweeting, basement-dwelling techno-geek finally moved -- a little -- by the progress made by Microsoft's web browser.
The Surface tablet with Windows 8 Pro from Microsoft will look like the ARM-based Surface RT, only slightly thicker and heavier. On the other hand, unlike the RT, it will be able to run existing Windows apps. It will start at $899 and be available in January. These tablets are based on Intel Ivy Bridge chips, and so do not have the superior battery life of ARM or Intel Clover Trail systems.
Users of Windows Phones prior to the new generation of devices will not be upgraded to the new operating system, Windows Phone 8. Instead, they will receive an update early next year that makes their OS look like Windows Phone 8, but not get any of the other new features.
Test lab AV-Test finds only 6 corporate antimalware / endpoint protection solutions for enterprises. By contrast, they count 60 consumer anti-virus products available and compatible with Windows 8, including some big names -- like Kaspersky, McAfee and Symantec -- not yet available in corporate editions.
The 822 is a second-tier model in Nokia's Windows Phone resurgence in the market. It's inexpensive and has a top-notch camera and intriguing software, like a music app that streams free tunes, "augmented reality" to show you what points of interest are right in front of you and Nokia's highly-regarded maps. It also has a display that's clearly a class or two below iPhone quality. If you want a much better screen, you might want to move up to AT&T's Nokia 920.
The carrier had blocked FaceTime over mobile data for users not on their Mobile Share plans, generating outrage among some users and activists. A report says that some users are seeing the feature turned on for them, but we confirm that not all users have this feature available now.
Microsoft's official support lifecycle for Surface with Windows RT hardware ends 4/11/2017. They have not yet announced the end of support for the Windows RT operating system on Surface and devices from Lenovo, Dell, Toshiba and other OEMs, nor for Office Home and Student 2013 RT, which is bundled with Surface RT. The support lifecycle for Intel-based Windows 8 is longer and more complicated.
It's way too early to declare Windows and Surface failures in the market, although it would be foolish to expect it to obviate Windows 7 any time soon, especially in business and double-especially on desktops. In the meantime, its job is to recover market share for Microsoft that has been lost to Apple iPads and Android tablets, and there's reason to believe it's doing that.
I've never liked my iPhone. Apple's restrictions on interface customization, storage expansion, hardware interfaces and the battery make the experience disappointing. Chalk most of these problems up to Apple's arrogant design philosophy and its desire to make as much money as possible.
Garage Band, Keynote, Numbers, iPhoto and others for Android were all apparently for sale in the Google Play store, but it was not to be. The programs were fake and have been removed by Google.
Online backup services such as Carbonite, Acronis, IDrive and Mozy might be a bad deal for some users when compared to cloud storage services Box, Dropbox, Google Drive and Microsoft Skydrive. The former usually just backs up files; the latter does backs up files and also gives you working access to them.
The Department of Justice and Federal Trade Commission are investigating the use of patent-holding firms by tech companies to sue competitors. Many big companies, such as Apple, Sony, Nokia, Cisco, RIM and Microsoft, have been caught up in suits by such "patent trolls."
After the disastrous debut of Apple Maps on the iPhone 5, demand is sure to be high for the return of a Google Maps app on iOS.
The Mobile Device Management (MDM) industry is surely worried about the implications of Good Technology asserting their foundational mobile security patents. MobileIron and AirWatch may be big deals in MDM, but there are some much bigger companies -- Apple and Samsung are two -- who could get tied up in this in a really nasty way.
RIM has added a free voice chat service to the next version of their popular BlackBerry Messenger service. BBM Voice users will be able to make free voice calls over Wi-Fi connections to other BBM users. The new feature is part of BBM version 7, announced today, and currently in beta test.
A security vulnerability in Skype, in use for 2 months, allowed an attacker to hijack a Skype account if they knew the email address of the user. Skype has temporarily disabled the feature which allowed the attack.
The resignation of Microsoft Windows president Steven Sinofsky raises many questions about a platform that is going through perhaps its most radical changes ever. Is Microsoft unhappy with his work on Windows 8 and Surface? Or is this just a personal career move for Sinofsky?
The next version of the BlackBerry OS, perhaps the RIM's last chance at retaining significance, will be released at a January 30 event. The products have already received FIPS 140-2 certification.
Soon you'll be able to control a flying drone that can drop ping pong balls from your iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch. The iStrike Shuttle- iOS controlled drone from Dream Cheeky, inventors of the USB missile launcher, is currently being pitched for funding on Kickstarter. It brings a whole new meaning to BYOD.
In an interesting twist on BYOD, a Microsoft Surface is being used as a voting machine as a test project in one precinct in Charlottesville, Virginia. It is connected to a cloud voting application using Microsoft Azure and prints a ballot on a separate device.
In order to reach out to voters displaced by Hurricane Sandy, the state of New Jersey will allow residents to vote by e-mail. The goal is laudable, but the means of achieving it is fraught with danger of facilitating voter fraud.
Apple might publicly scoff at Windows 8's combination of the PC and tablet into one platform, but it has to be at least thinking about whether it could and should do the same. The best approach would be to add touch features to OS X so that eventually it could replace iOS.
It may not fix the crummy data in Apple Maps, but Apple has issued an update to the operating system for recent versions of the iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch. Several bugs, including a very bad one relating to meetings in Microsoft Exchange, and several severe security vulnerabilities, were fixed. The company also released the first test version of iOS 6.1.
The techies at iFixit have taken a new iPad 4 apart to show us what it's like. Expect the iPad Mini to look similar on the inside, but smaller.
Microsoft is adopting more of Apple's business model, working with Asian component suppliers on a Windows Phone 8 smart phone of its own design, according to The Wall Street Journal.