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Who knew “jailbreak” could be considered a dirty word? Apparently someone at Apple thought so, which is why the word was censored from the iTunes Store for the better part of Wednesday night and Thursday. Everything is back to normal now, but the hacker community sure got a kick out of it while the fun lasted. So what else is making news today? Glad you asked. Read on for everything else this Thursday, May 17, 2012 has to offer.
One can only imagine that the word “jailbreak” is spoken in hushed tones up in Cupertino, given that Apple has made it clear it doesn’t appreciate users hacking their iOS devices. But would they go so far as to censor the word from iTunes? According to MacRumors, that’s exactly what happened earlier today, at least in the U.S. iTunes Store. Everywhere the word “jailbreak” appeared -- whether it was in songs or TV shows or apps -- Apple replaced with “j*******k” instead. While the censoring appears to have kicked in late Wednesday and persisted throughout much of the day, Apple appears to have finally caught on and has since corrected the gaffe, much to the glee of Thin Lizzy fans everywhere, we’re sure.
There’s little doubt that the iPad is a formidable opponent, but most of its competitors on the Android have pockets deep enough to keep fighting the uphill battle. The same cannot be said for Plastic Logic, the U.K. company infamous for ditching its QUE proReader tablet before it even shipped to stores. According to Engadget, the whole dream has now died, with the company closing its U.S. office in Mountain View, California and axing around 40 jobs there, while also pruning staff at offices in merry old England, Germany and Russia. While Plastic Logic has killed its hopes of launching tablets and e-readers of its own, the company appears to be ready to continue supplying screens to other companies, including their new flexible color e-reader display that sounds awfully cool.
It’s kind of sad that in 2012, contract-free mobile broadband still seems so hard to come by. The big U.S. carriers would rather bait you with cheap hardware and a two-year commitment, but leave it to T-Mobile to mix things up a bit. The fourth-placed U.S. carrier announced today four new “No Annual Contract” mobile broadband passes which offer “a pay-in-advance, overage-free solution” with an allotment of data to fit most every user. For the occasional user, $15 will buy you a one-week pass with up to 300MB, while one-month passes are available in $25, $35 and $50 amounts which nets you 1.5GB, 3.5GB and 5GB, respectively. The new plans roll out Sunday, May 20 at T-Mobile retail stores, select dealers, national retailers and online, but you’ll need to grab your own device to take advantage of it -- which includes a variety of 4G Mobile Hotspots, laptop sticks and connected tablets such as the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1.
According to Business Insider, Hewlett-Packard appears ready to jettison up to 32,000 employees from its workforce next week in what one source calls a “massive” layoff. The news isn’t exactly a secret, with CEO Meg Whitman having already gone on record that such layoffs were under consideration. A source claims the HP cuts could trim between 10 to 15 percent of its workforce, which currently stands at 320,000 strong worldwide. At the lower end of that spectrum, 10 percent would amount to 32,000 jobs lost, although it’s unlikely that HP would make such a huge cut in one fell swoop, but rather make smaller cuts to bleed out over time. Employees in manufacturing appear to have less to worry about than their co-workers, but any way you slice, this could be quite ugly for the tech world.
Speaking of getting the axe, Verizon Wireless issued a statement to The New York Times on yesterday’s story about grandfathered unlimited data plans going away this summer. Seems as if there’s a bit more to it than that: “Customers will not be automatically moved to new shared data plans,” the carrier notes. “If a 3G or 4G smartphone customer is on an unlimited plan now and they do not want to change their plan, they will not have to do so.” That said, when the new shared data plans arrive, “Unlimited Data will no longer be available to customers when purchasing handsets at discounted pricing” -- although customers who purchase phones at full retail price and “are on an unlimited smartphone data plan will be able to keep that plan.” Translation: Unlimited data is still going to die, but it’s going to take some time for Verizon to cleanse its junkies of that bad habit.
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