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Huawei to Spend $300 Million on Global Marketing Throughout 2014

File photo of a Huawei logo seen above the company's pavilion during the CommunicAsia trade show in Singapore

As one of the more established and better known smartphone manufacturers from the Far East,it’s still somewhat surprising that Huawei’s devices aren’t more available outside of China. In Europe,Huawei’s devices aren’t exactly readily available,but there are a few models to be found in stores,and the Ascend P6 was a decent device on shelves last summer in the UK. When we talk about the US of course,things are a completely different matter,with the US government still wary of the Chinese firm,worried that either the Chinese government or Chinese hackers are using their hardware to spy on US companies. Huawei strenuously denies all of this and marches on regardless. Spending more money on marketing is the Chinese firm’s next move it’d seem to get their brand known worldwide.

In an interview with Reuters, Shao Yang,Huawei’s Vice President of Consumer Marketing has said that the firm will “spend $300 Million on marketing”in 2014. Rather than sell lots of low-end devices,Huawei is going to be focusing their marketing on positioning themselves as a vendor of high-end smartphones. If you’ve ever had a device from Huawei on a pre-paid carrier or a cheap,unlocked device with the Chinese company’s name on it,you might be wondering how Huawei can do such a thing. The vast majority of customers using,or even considering,a Huawei device might not realize it,but Huawei is very much a company capable of making great devices.

Models like the aforementioned Ascend P6 are good-looking,built out of high-end materials and offer something a lot of consumers want. It’s this side of things that Huawei is keen to promote with their big spend on marketing this year. While we’re not sure what this means for the US,the company has recently opened a US store,where the Ascend Mate 2 (complete with 4G) is available for purchase. Europe and emerging markets might soon see a lot more of Huawei online and on the TV.

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Live Updates:Crisis in Eastern Ukraine

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At least five people are dead after Ukrainian troops moved into Eastern Ukraine on Thursday in an effort to quell the recent pro-Russian uprisings that have turned violent. Russian President Vladimir Putin says Ukraine’s deployment of military forces is a crime against its people that will “have consequences.”

Mashable will be covering Thursday’s developments here. See below for the latest updates…


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Exetech Turns to Indie GoGo to Help With new Smartwatch,the XS-4

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As the smartwatch market is still relatively new,it’s not surprising that we’ve been seeing some newcomers and startups rise up and start creating their own watches to take on the big boys. One out of many of those was Italian firm,Exetech,who has been offering their XS-3 smartwatch since December of last year. The XS-3 is more smartphone than smartwatch and features pretty much anything you’d want to do on your Android phone,just on your wrist. As such,the XS-3 was a bulky affair,adding weight and a noticeable bump to wearers of the watch. Still,that added bulk (and perhaps inconvenience) is worth putting up with for some in order to get a near complete Android experience.

Exetech know they can do better,and as such have gone back to the drawing board to create the XS-4,and they’re asking for a little help from everyone to get the new watch wrapped around people’s wrists. For this,the company has turned to Indie GoGo,and is asking for €35,000 in funding in order to bring their new watch into the world. The XS-4 is destined to be an evolution of the XS-3 and as such will feature design similarities,but on the inside,Exetech is promising some pretty big things,indeed.

According to their aims on their Indie GoGo page,the company will be updating the XS-4 to 4G capabilities,bring Android 4.4 along for the ride and deliver an IP67-certified watch complete with AMOLED display. All of these claims and more are certainly intriguing,but they do seem a little extreme for a smartwatch, such as the decision to use MediaTek’s MT6592 octa-core CPU,include an 800 mAh battery and offer solar charging. For €35,000,these are lofty goals for any company to meet,and while we’re sure Exetech some cash of their own to fund their next watch,we’d be very surprised if the company could meet these goals. Hopefully,the company can do it and they have 36 days (as of writing) left in order to be funded. Those interested can pledge €169 to guarantee themselves a model when everything is funded and put together.

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According to Launch Weekend Sales Figures,the Galaxy S5 Outsold the iPhone 5S

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The title of the most awaited smartphone of the year undeniably belongs to the latest Samsung flagship – the Samsung Galaxy S5. The device had seen a global release after very strong pre-release registrations (the T-Mobile variant crossed 100K pre-registrations). It comes as no surprise then that the Samsung Galaxy S5 is selling like hot cakes across their bastion – South Korea,however the device has also been retailing exceptionally well here in the US. In fact,the Galaxy S5 has already beaten Apple’s iPhone 5S in terms of launch weekend sales figures. These figures come to us thanks to iQmetrix – a retail management company –which recently unveiled an infographic that compares the sales of the S5 and iPhone 5S during their respective launch weekends.

The graphic (reproduced below),shows us how the sales of the previous gen iPhone 5 and Samsung Galaxy S4 were affected in the run-up to the launches of their iterations. The launch weekend comparison graphic depicts the sales of these respective devices as a percentage of total phones sold in the US and Canada. An interesting fact comes to light – in both US and Canada,the S5 beat the iPhone 5S leading with 25% against iPhone’s 18% in the US,whereas in Canada the Galaxy S5 leads by 18% to the iPhone’s 13%. Since iQmetrix has based this data from more than 12K wireless store locations running their RQ system,we can safely say the results are unbiased. However,the infographic does not talk about absolute sale numbers – which would have made this comparison a lot more interesting.

For the uninitiated,the Samsung Galaxy S5 is the fifth iteration in Samsung’s iconic and wildly successful Galaxy series of Android smartphones. The device was announced at the Mobile World Congress earlier this year,with a global release expected by 11th of April. Being a flagship,the Samsung Galaxy S5 offers top-of-line specifications including quad-band 2G and 3G connectivity,with LTE availability being market-dependent. The device bears a 5.1 inch super-AMOLED display which offers a 1080p full-HD resolution at ~432 ppi resolution,a quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 chipset,a 16 mega pixels (MP) ISOCELL primary camera with optical image stabilization. Selfies and video calls will be catered to by a 2 MP secondary camera which records 1080p videos @ 30 fps. The device is powered by a 2800 mAh battery,which allegedly gives up to 21 hours talktime. The device also boasts of dust and water proof capabilities.

Check out the graphic and do let us know what you think. Is this the beginning of the end of Apple’s smartphone dominance? Our comments section awaits.

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Android mobile ad traffic trumps iOS for the first time,still lags in ad revenue though

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Android might dominate the mobile market share in terms of devices sold,but when it comes to mobile ad traffic and ad revenue,it has always lagged.

As reported by Opera Mediaworks,Android showed 42.8% of mobile ad impressions as compared to 38.2% for iOS devices during the first quarter 2014. However,Android still lags in ad revenue as iOS achieved 52% vs Android’s 33.5%. The good news is that Android did show a significant jump over the first quarter of 2013,which was 27%. Although this data is worldwide,the U.S. represents 50.6% of global market ad traffic.

With Android representing close to 80% of the overall market share for smartphones sales,you would think that Android would dominate in ad traffic and revenue as well,but the data shows how powerful iOS really is.

Another interesting tidbit is that Samsung represents 60% of the Android ad impressions,which isn’t surprising.

source:Computerworld

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ShopKeep Raises $25 Million to Get Retailers to Ditch Cash Registers for iPads

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“I don’t have a credit card,”Jason Richelson’s roommate told him. “I can’t spend any money on this Internet thing.”

That thought helped pave the way for InternetCash,a financial technology company that offered prepaid cards for online shopping. InternetCash was a failure. The company launched in 1999,just before the Dot Com bubble burst. It hired too many people,purchased unnecessarily expensive software systems and invested “crazy amounts”in marketing that didn’t work.

“We made every mistake in the book,”Richelson,one of the company’s four co-founders,recalls. “InternetCash went out of business like everyone else back then.”Read more…

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Xiaomi’s First Tablet Could Feature a Retina Display for an Amazing $160

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Chinese smartphone manufacturers have to face tough competition in their home markets,however their competition is tougher when it comes to gaining a toe-hold in the highly lucrative markets of US and Europe. To establish their image and to depict a major differentiator for such incumbents,it is necessary to either provide premium specs,or an amazingly affordable price point or – preferably – both. The latter factor – premium specs and affordable price – is the mantra for Xiaomi,which is being termed as China’s Apple. The rumor mill has been buzzing for quite some time that Xiaomi would be trying its hands in the tablet segment as well. In the latest confirmed news from the Asian continent,a Xiaomi tablet – on the lines of Apple’s iPad Mini – is already in the works.

Focus Taiwan News reports that the Topology Research Institute is claiming that Xiaomi is in talks with chipmakers Intel and NVidia and is evaluating their offerings for its upcoming tablet device. If this news is accurate,Xiaomi will eventually select either of these chipmakers to provide SoCs for their tablet device,which is expected to have a screen size and form factor similar to Apple’s iPad Mini at 7.85 inches. The best news is users would be treated to an ultra-high resolution of 2048 x 1536 pixels,which translates to approximately 326 pixels per inch (ppi) resolution density. This is also similar to Chinese manufacturers have been accused of blatantly copying designs and form factors of existing players,however Xiaomi seems to have taken a different route with the design of the tablet,at least that is what can be ascertained through the leaked images below. The best aspect though is the highly competitive and affordable price tag being attributed to the device. When it gets launched,this as-of-yet-unnamed Xiaomi tablet will retail in China for a price of 1000 CNY,which is around $160. So far there is no confirmation on other specs for the device,however since it is expected to launch sometime during the third or fourth quarter this year,we can expect more leaks to come our way in the coming months. If Xiaomi plans to build their tablet on the same quality levels of smartphones,we could see their tablet turning out to be a game-changer. What do you think? Let us know in the comments below.

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President Obama Plays Soccer With ASIMO the Robot

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During his visit to Japan,at the Tokyo Miraikan Science Expo,President Barack Obama had a brief encounter with Honda’s humanoid robot ASIMO,The Wall Street Journal reports.

ASIMO,which stands for Advanced Step in Innovative Mobility,took a bow and then passed a soccer ball to the President,who said the robot’s soccer skills were “pretty impressive”.

Obama soccer

President Barack Obama kicks a ball passed to him by a robot named ASIMO,an acronym for Advanced Step in Innovative Mobility,as he attends a youth science event at the National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation,known as the Miraikan,in Tokyo,Thursday,April 24,2014. At right is Japanese astronaut Mamoru Mohri,and director of the Museum.

Image:AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster/Associated Press Read more…

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21 Unnecessary Struggles of Packing

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After months of brutal winter,the weather has finally taken a turn for the better. And with summer’s sunny head peeking around the corner,your cramped up legs start itching for wanderlust

A relaxing week away might sound lovely —until you dust off your luggage and remember how awful cramming a week’s worth of items into even the largest suitcases can be.

Whether you’re planning a trip for a week or a weekend,the frustrations of packing seem endless. You can check every weather expert,measure your bags a million times,seal your shampoo in three Ziplock bags —and still end up standing in the rain with your bag full of suds. Read more…

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Hate Bezels? Then You’ll Love the Sharp AQUOS 304SH;Too Bad It’s Japan Only

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Here at Android Headlines,we like to focus on smartphones not just from the US,as even though we might not be able to get our hands them easily,it’s nice to just love technology and oggle over something unobtainable. For a long time,it was the West that had the best smartphones to offer,now that seems to be shifting as the US carriers continue to be stubborn and unbending,making it difficult for newcomers to enter the market and have a fair shot at competing against industry stalwarts like Samsung and Apple. In Asia however,there’s a much broader choice and in Japan,specifically,great smartphones have been launching ever year and Sharp’s latest is definitely one for those bezel haters out there.

The Sharp 304SH features a 5.2-inch 1080p display and 79% of the body is taken up by this screen. As you can see,there’s very little bezel towards either side of the device and as a nice design feature,the front-facing camera and branding have been moved to the bottom of the display. On the inside,the 304SH has all it takes to create a quality smartphone in today’s market as well,with a Snapdragon 800 clocked at 2.3 Ghz,2GB of RAM,32GB of internal storage (with room for more),an IR blaster,NFC,and WiFI ac. Sure,this isn’t the Snapdragon 801 that’s in the Galaxy S5 and HTC One (M8),but they’re very similar processors and there’s little that will slow the 304SH down.

As an added bonus,the 304SH is even waterproof and dustproof and better yet,you can even watch TV on the thing. Of course,we won’t be doing any of that as the device is only available in Japan,which is a real shame. Considering that Sharp is making good money on their smartphones in Japan and American carriers probably wouldn’t take kindly to Sharp moving in,we expect this is to be the case for a long time to come with phones from Sharp,if not indefinitely.

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8 Obsolete School Supplies and the Tech That Replaced Them

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It’s easy to look at kids in school today and think they have it easier than we did.

They get to use iPads instead of three-ring binders,Wikipedia instead of a dusty encyclopedia CD-ROMs and their classrooms are more connected than ours ever were. But while new tech makes learning a more enriching experience,it also makes it a lot harder to slack off.

Think back to those classes in which it was easy to share answers with your friends and get by without really doing too much work. Now,imagine having to log your homework in a personalized app that tracks your progress and reports it back to your teacher. Oh,the humanity. Read more…

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Samsung Galaxy Beam 2 Appears on Samsung’s Chinese Website

Screenshot 2014-04-24 at 10.14.07

 

Samsung has been known to release a few oddball devices here and there over the years and the Galaxy Beam was one of their more bizarre devices,tacking a pico projector onto the end of a Galaxy smartphone. Many of you will remember the Galaxy Beam as being a chunky device that launched a few years ago now. It didn’t feature the same sort of specs as other similar devices and the projector side of things added a considerable amount of bulk. Never one to give up on an idea completely,Samsung seems to be readying a Galaxy Beam 2,as it’s recently been spotted on Samsung’s Chinese website.

With smartphones being able to send content to TVs much easier than before,and services like Chromecast around,it seems a little strange that Samsung would be attempting another Galaxy Beam. However,the novelty of being able to effectively turn your smartphone into a TV of sorts itself is pretty nifty and will certainly come in handy more than a few times. As this is a new version of the device,there are some updates to the internal specs (which is to be expected after such a long time since the original). The Galaxy Beam 2 features a 4.66-inch display with a resolution of 800 x 480,a 1.2 Ghz Quad-Core CPU and a 16-megapixel rear-facing camera. With no mention of RAM and Android 4.2.2 listed as installed,it’s clear that this isn’t meant to be a high-end device.

More about the projector side of things,the Galaxy Beam 2 looks very much like a low-end device for Samsung,and one that could appeal to new parents (as Samsung’s website is alluding to) and a younger audience looking for some sort of unique feature. It’s a shame that the display here is of such low resolution,but that could be to go with the projector,which can only output at WVGA itself. There is GSM bans listed on their website,so there’s a good chance this is headed West,but the question is,would anyone buy such a device?

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12 Amusement Park Alternatives to Disney World

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Disney World is one of the most popular theme parks destinations for people looking for breathtaking rides and attractions. Visiting Mickey Mouse at Cinderella’s Palace might be appealing,but the incredible costs and long wait times for rides can make for a less than magical experience for most park guests

Luckily there are dozens of incredible amusement parks all over the world for thrillseekers on a budget —or those who are just looking for something different from Disney

Wherever you are,you’re just a hop,skip and a jump away from wild rides and fun activities for the whole family. Read more…

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Cochlear Implant Shocks Can Help Regrow Auditory Nerves

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Electrical pulses delivered from a cochlear implant to the inner ear can be used to regrow auditory nerves to both enhance hearing and deliver gene therapy that could treat everything from Parkinson’s disease to depression,according to new research published today in Science Translational Medicine.

“Our work has implications far beyond hearing disorders,”said study co-author Matthias Klugmann from the University of New South Wales Translational Neuroscience Facility research team. “Gene therapy has been suggested as a treatment concept even for devastating neurological conditions and our technology provides a novel platform for safe and efficient gene transfer into tissues as delicate as the brain.”Read more…

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Kurt Vonnegut Drawings Show Author’s Playful Side

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Seven years after Kurt Vonnegut’s death,his daughter Nanette Vonnegut is publishing a collection of 145 drawings that her father created in the 1980s. Many people are familiar with Vonnegut’s work as a writer —he is the author of Slaughterhouse-Five,Cat’s Cradle and Breakfast of Champions among others,but his career as an artist has been largely overlooked

“Artwork is very different from writing,it was a torture for him to actually sit down and write. But he did it,he was really disciplined. And then artwork was really freeing,and physical and I think he really had fun with the artwork. I don’t think he would ever say he had fun writing,”she told Mashable Read more…

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ASUS Launch the ZenFone 5 in China;Complete With Intel CPU and 2GB of RAM

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ASUS announced their ZenFone line of device back during CES of this year in January and while they’ve been available in Taiwan for a little bit now,they’re finally moving to other markets. Specifically the ZenFone 5,which is now launching in China. As part of the ZenFone line,there’s not much to expect from the ZenFone 5 really,as these devices are aimed at delivering decent performance in a well-built package without breaking the bank. Thanks to a little help from their friend and partner Intel,ASUS has certainly managed to put together a line of devices that look good and offer some decent performance.

The ZenFone 5 is going up for sale in China for just 999 Yuan,which works out to be around $160,which is a hell of a price for a device like this. If you can’t remember as far back as January (we won’t judge),the ZenFone 5 features an Intel Aton Z2580 dual-core CPU clocked at 2.0 Ghz,an 8-megapixel rear-facing camera capable of 1080p video recording and a 2-megapixel front-facing camera. Storage wise,we’re looking at 16GB of internal storage and there is room for microSD cards up to 64GB in size. Interestingly enough,the Weibo announcement lists the ZenFone 5 as featuring 2GB of RAM,which is twice the amount listed during the original announcement. We’re not sure as to whether or not this is a special version at launch,or this is the spec that ASUS has upgraded to,but it’s certainly nice to see at this price point.

For 999 Yuan,the ZenFone 5 is excellently priced,and there’s a good chance that it could be the device you’ve been waiting for,if you’re on a tight budget. The 5-inch,720p display might not be as dense as many others,but it’s an affordable device that doesn’t act or look like one. Hopefully,we see ASUS’first line of smartphones make it out of Asia and head west,as the Moto G has proven that there’s a lot of potential for budget minded devices over here.

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Ask a Dev:How to Use GPS in a Hybrid App

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In the latest video of our Ask a Dev series,Web Developer Alex Wasner discusses how developers can use native location services in a hybrid app.

While HTML 5 gives you access to geolocation navigation to request a user’s location,that expires after 24 hours,which can be annoying. Wasner recommends using Apache Cordova or PhoneGap to save a user’s preferences. Cordova also allows use of native maps like Google Maps and Bing Maps.

“The upside to this is that they have great documentation in support and really allows you to customize the look and feel of the map,”Wasner says. Read more…

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Will Samsung be Releasing a Galaxy S5 Prime to Compete With LG’s G3?

Galaxy S5 AH 02.-1

 

When the Galaxy S5 was announced back in February during Mobile World Congress,it’s safe to say that not everyone was as impressed as Samsung thought they’d be. With industry insiders saying that Samsung announced the device so much earlier than previous Galaxy S devices due to “lack of innovation”in the new model,rumors are starting to swirl that Samsung will be producing a better version of the Galaxy S5,dubbed the Prime. These rumors all focus around the all-important display resolution of 2560 x 1440. Since the Galaxy S5 was just one of those devices that was sure to make it to market,but nothing more,we’ve been hearing rumors of a version of the Galaxy S5 with a 2560 x 1440 display. It turns out that the Prime could be that device.

The rumor mill got a big boost concerning the Galaxy S5 Prime earlier this week,with news that Samsung and Intel were to be working together to create the device. Word on the street is that the Galaxy S5 Prime is to come with an Exynos 5430,of course designed by Samsung,which features four 2.1 Ghz Cortex A15 cores and then four 1.5 Ghz Cortex A7 cores to make up the big.LITTLE arrangement that ARM developed quite some time ago. Where the rumor gets a little more bizarre however,is that the Galaxy S5 Prime will apparently feature an Intel LTE modem,as oppose to Samsung’s own. Unlike most rumors,there does appear to some evidence surrounding this Galaxy S5 Prime,with the codename apparently being “KQ”and SamMobile managed to attain documents that hint very strongly that such a device does in fact,exist,even if it is in prototype form.

Intel-Modem

A lot of people are now thinking that the Galaxy S5 Prime will be launched in order to compete with LG’s upcoming G3. As the G2 last year showed us,LG’s tendency to launch later in the year can lead to better internal specs and even now,the G2 is an unsung hero of a device,with excellent battery life and some of the best processing power out there. This year’s G3 is shaping up to be even better with a rumored 2560 x 1440 display and what could very well end up being the Snapdragon 805,the latest and greatest mobile processor from Qualcomm.

Would Samsung even feel the need to compete with LG? After all,LG is hardly a major player in a lot of mobile markets. That’s true,but then there’s South Korea to think of,where LG is pretty successful themselves and last year we saw Samsung launch a faster version of the Galaxy S4 with a Snapdragon 800 at its core and much faster LTE speeds. So,the idea of Samsung launching another variant of their flagship device with better internals isn’t entirely crazy,and Intel and Samsung have been working closer on the mobile front. Last year’s Galaxy Tab 3 10.1 utilized an Intel CPU and Samsung still makes a whole bunch of laptops with Intel CPUs inside of them. Launching another version of the Galaxy S5 would also be a good way of solidifying the Galaxy S brand and would also give them another device to compete with the rumored launch of an “iPhone Air”launch.

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Some Guy Made His Own ‘Star Wars’Sound Effects

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Quality sound effects can make a great movie even greater

YouTube user Hudson Hongo redubbed Star Wars,replacing the original sound effects with his own onomatopoetic version. Now Star Wars fans can enjoy the battle between Darth Vader and Obi-Wan Kenobi with plenty of beeps,boops and pew-pews filling in for the original sound

Even without its legendary sound effects,Star Wars is still entertaining to watch. After all,die-hard fans are probably making those noises when they’re watching anyway.

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AT&T Threatens Absence at Spectrum Auction,FCC Doesn’t Budge

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The definition of spectrum in terms of wireless service can be explained pretty easily. When talking about wireless spectrum people are referring to the radio frequency. This radio frequency is how wireless communication travels through the air. Simple enough in definition,but in terms sales,spectrum gets pretty complicated. Most recently,those complications come in the form of AT&T refusing to attend the next spectrum auction being held by the FCC next year.

The Federal Communication Commission (FCC) essentially has final say over who gets to buy what spectrum and where. The reason for this,is spectrum operates on various frequencies ranging from 3 kHz to 300 GHz. However if there are two different signals being sent out over the same frequency,in the same city,than this can cause some issues. It is the goal of the FCC to maintain and prevent such things from happening. With that responsibility,the FCC holds auctions selling off spectrum if they become available. They’re not selling towers,rather selling licenses to use certain frequencies in certain areas. In January,we heard that the FCC was finally getting ready to hold another spectrum auction. This auction will be held sometime in 2015 and will be the first auction since 2008. The attendance of these auctions usually include the majority of wireless carriers in the US. All of which want a chance to buy some of the best spectrum available,like T-Mobile for instance.

Recently T-Mobile spoke up asking for more attention to fairness during the upcoming spectrum auction. This is something that the FCC has been considering since January. They have been trying to find a way to make things more fair for the smaller wireless carriers. To clarify,Verizon and AT&T are top dogs in the US. That title comes with more money to spend,which means they will have the upper hand at the auctions. Needless to say,that leaves T-Mobile and Sprint with the table scraps in terms of spectrum at the auction. The initial idea the FCC had,was to limit the amount of spectrum one wireless carrier can purchase in an area. This seems fair enough,but not everyone sees it that way,like AT&T for instance.

AT&T has spoken out about the way spectrum will be sold at the auction,making the following comment,“If the restrictions as proposed are adopted,AT&T will need to seriously consider whether its capital and resources are directed toward other spectrum opportunities that will better enable AT&T to continue to support high-quality LTE network deployments to serve its customers.” The question is,why would AT&T feel that them stepping away from the auction,has any effect on the FCC? Well the FCC spectrum auctions bring in revenue,which in turn goes to the US government. Having AT&T pull their money from the auction,could mean less revenue built during said auction. Though the FCC doesn’t seem to be too concerned with the threats.

FCC chief Tom Wheeler made a comment on Wednesday in reply to AT&T’s threat. Wheeler said he has a “hard time envisioning this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for this kind of beach-front spectrum being something that people throw their hands and walk away from.” Wheeler is clearly under the impression that AT&T is just blowing smoke. Wheeler may be correct,this is a big game for AT&T to just sit out of to make a point. If Wheeler  is wrong,that could cause major declines in final sale prices of the spectrum being auctioned. The FCC still wouldn’t be able to legally make AT&T attend the auction. The only way it would seem,is if they back down from their proposed ideas to make things fair for everyone. At the end of the day,the spectrum auction of 2015 has become possibly one of the most complicated sales of all time.

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