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The ‘father of Android’ leaves Google for new technology hardware startups

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Andy Rubin, co-founder and ‘father’ of Android, has left Google to set up a startup incubator for technology hardware.

Rubin sold his Android company to Google in 2005, heading up its development until March 2013 when he moved to take the lead in Google’s “moonshot” robotics projects.

“I want to wish Andy all the best with what’s next,” Google chief executive Larry Page said in a statement. “With Android he created something truly remarkable – with a billion-plus happy users. Thank you.”

Professor James Kuffner, a researcher at Google and Carnegie Mellon’s Robotics Institute, will replace Rubin in charge of Google’s robotics effort, which included a series of acquisitions of robotics companies including Boston Dynamics by Google in 2013. He spent five years working on Google’s self-driving car project and more than seven years at Carnegie Mellon.

Rubin’s new startup incubator will concentrate on new companies developing new technology hardware, rather than internet services.

Rubin left Apple in 1992 and went on to set up Danger, maker of the SideKick-branded smartphones later acquired by Microsoft, and Android in 2003. Google co-founders Page and Sergey Brin bought Android in 2005 without telling Eric Schmidt, then the chief executive of the search giant.

At Google as head of Android, Rubin was known for insulating the Android team from the rest of Google maintaining it like a separate company inside the search giant. The Android group had its own lunchroom within the Google campus, for instance.

His entrepreneurial spirit and love of robotics led him away from Android, and now to his new incubator, where he will help grow new technologies from a hardware perspective.

 

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Samsung Files Counterclaim Against Microsoft Over Patent Licensing Lawsuit

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Back during the summer the newest legal battles involving Samsung started to arise, as Microsoft began the process to take Samsung to court over the issue of not paying royalty fees to the company due to licensing. Samsung proclaimed that they didn’t owe any money for licensing fees over those patents that Microsoft owned which Microsoft felt was not OK. The original filing of the lawsuit appeared in early 2014, as Microsoft was seeking a payment for the nearly $6.9 million in interest on those royalties that Samsung apparently still hadn’t paid, as they had allegedly stopped paying Microsoft for licensing fees since September of last year. The interest was part of a massive $1 Billion collaboration deal between Samsung and Microsoft as part of Samsung’s manufacturing Windows phones, and those court battles are starting to gain momentum as both Samsung and Microsoft have filed counterclaims to each others original filings on the lawsuit.

Today, Reuters reports that Samsung has recently filed a counterclaim basically asking the court for a declaration to terminate the agreement between them and Microsoft over licensing fees and the alleged interest amount that is still owed. Samsung’s argument is that once Microsoft had acquired Nokia’s hardware business and a large number of their patents, they became a direct competitor to Samsung in the hardware sector, something that wasn’t previously the case since Microsoft wasn’t actually manufacturing their own hardware. Because of the Nokia acquisition, Samsung claims that continuing to share sensitive information with Microsoft as part of the original agreement would have created issues with U.S. anti-trust laws and Samsung is weary of any continuity of the agreement for fear of being slapped with collusion charges.

Microsoft has also filed their own counterclaim with an amended complaint of the original suit filing, stating that regardless of their acquiring Nokia’s hardware division, Samsung should now be allowed to “unilaterally kill” the patent-licensing agreement between the two of them. Gaining the ability and rights from the courts decision to stop the agreement if they so chose could gain Samsung more authority in the matter between them and Microsoft and allow for them to renegotiate terms. Microsoft states however that despite Samsung’s arguments, they feel they have a really strong case.

How to Enable Hotspot on Android, iOS, Windows Phone, and BlackBerry

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We wrote about easy ways to turn your laptop into a Wi-Fi hotspot earlier, and some readers asked us how to turn their smartphones into a hotspot. As it turns out, it’s much simpler than turning your laptop into a hotspot and all mobile operating systems come with one-click methods of doing this very easily.

However, some telecom operators may not allow you to create a hotspot. They might restrict it if you are on a plan that allows high data usage or they may not enable this feature unless requested. So if you don’t see these options, try getting in touch with your operator.

Here’s how to turn your phone or tablet into a Wi-Fi hotspot.

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Here’s how to share your mobile Internet connection on iOS devices – will work for both iPhone and iPad.

1. Go to Settings > Personal Hotspot > On.

2. Enter a password.

3. Now you’ll see a Wi-Fi network on other devices, which you can connect to easily.

4. The name of this Wi-Fi network is the name of your phone. You can change it by going to Settings > General > About > Name.

5. By default, iOS devices use the fairly secure WPA2-PSK encryption on Wi-Fi hotspots.

 

It’s Official: T-Mobile Won the iPhone 6 Launch

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It's Official: T-Mobile Won the iPhone 6 Launch

When Apple (AAPL) introduced iPhone 6 models, it set off the traditional scramble by wireless carriers to poach one another’s customers. Exciting new phones are one of the best ways for carriers to lure people, and this year has been especially hectic. The new iPhones were seen as a particularly big upgrade, all four carriers were planning major launches for the first time, and it is now easier than ever for customers to switch carriers without facing a financial penalty.

T-Mobile’s (TMUS) latest quarterly report make it pretty clear who won. The company posted the best subscriber growth in its history, adding 1.4 million postpaid customers to the T-Mobile brand in the quarter. In October, the first full month of iPhone sales, 2.4 people left a competitor to join T-Mobile for every single T-Mobile defector. The biggest haul came from Sprint (S), the second member of the wireless industry’s junior varsity tier, which sent 2.5 customers to T-Mobile for each T-Mobile convert it won. T-Mobile also lured more than 2.2 customers from AT&T(T) and Verizon (VZ) for each one it lost.

“There’s a fallacy in the the industry that AT&T and Verizon are going to sit where they are, and Sprint and T-Mobile are going to beat one another over the head,” said John Legere, T-Mobile’s chief executive officer, during a call with investors on Tuesday. The only reason for modesty around the iPhone launch, he said, was the expectation that T-Mobile would continue to have trouble keeping the iPhone in stock through November. The larger iPhone 6 Plus will face supply constraints even longer.

Many people expected T-Mobile to come out ahead this fall. It has been outpacing its competitors ever since it launched its “Uncarrier” campaign, which seeks to overturn such fixtures of the wireless industry as two-year contracts. It stands to reason that a network with fewer iPhone subscribers has more to gain and less to lose than networks with more of them.

But the concern with T-Mobile hasn’t been about its ability to add customers. The upstart carrier has made sacrifices to win the legions of converts, and Legere is fighting against the assumption that T-Mobile and Sprint are basically doing the same thing: undercutting bigger competitors on price. That has been Sprint’s explicit strategy, and it’s probably necessary because the company openly admits that its network lags behind those of AT&T and Verizon. T-Mobile has also sacrificed revenue in aggressive pursuit of customers, but when he talks to investors Legere insists at length that T-Mobile is charging customers more than ever. That’s a slightly awkward position for a man who has tailored his public persona as the foul-mouthed voice of the common man fighting against faceless phone companies.

In fact, T-Mobile charged more than ever in the past quarter. The average monthly bill for its customers was $49.84, up slightly from a year before. Promotions related to the holiday season and the new iPhone will lower prices for the rest of the year, but T-Mobile says they will begin rising again in January.

Clears up Regs New Uniform App for Smartphones

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Microsoft officially lays Nokia name to rest, embraces ‘Lumia’ for Windows Phones

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It’s been a long time coming, but Microsoft is officially phasing out the Nokia brand name.

A post on Nokia France’s Facebook page says that the account will soon change its name to “Microsoft Lumia.” Nokia France’s Twitter account linked to the post as well, and Microsoft confirmed to The Verge that other countries will follow the same rebranding steps. Microsoft acquired Nokia’s device business in April for $7 billion.

Even before the switch, the Nokia brand had been fading away. Several of the company’s Windows Phone Store apps, such as Treasure Tag and App Social, have dropped Nokia from their names in recent months. Some Nokia websites have also been pointing people to Microsoft, and Microsoft Mobile is now the official name for Nokia’s former device business.

Still, Microsoft was using the Nokia name in actual products as recently as last month, when it announced the Nokia Lumia 730 and 830. Both phones have “Nokia” written on the front bezel, but they could be the last handsets to do so as Microsoft puts the name change into effect.

Why this matters: Microsoft clearly feels the need to simplify its smartphone branding, and the Nokia brand is just one casualty. The company has also stopped using “Windows Phone” in its advertising, instead favoring just “Windows” even before merging the two operating systems in Windows 10. Dropping the Nokia brand may also be a case of clearing up confusion, given that Nokia’s networking, mapping and licensing businessesstill exist as a separate company.

Why Upgrade To Windows Phone 8 1 Over IOS 8

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