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We hope everyone got their 2011 Federal taxes off to Uncle Sam yesterday, because it’s now officially too late to file them unless your accountant was wise enough to request an extension. If the mere thought of enduring such pain and suffering continues to haunt you, keep reading -- there won’t be any further tax talk for our Wednesday, April 18, 2012 edition.
Greenpeace released a report on Tuesday called “How Clean Is Your Cloud,” and the company aimed both barrels at Apple Inc. over the iPhone maker’s alleged use of coal for its new Maiden, North Carolina data center. According to Macworld, Apple is firing back against the Greenpeace tree huggers, claiming “60 percent of the power will be eventually delivered on-site from a solar farm and fuel-cell installation,” rather than the 10 percent claimed in the report. “We believe this industry-leading project will make Maiden the greenest data center ever built,” Apple added. As it turns out, Apple isn’t the worst offender by far, with Twitter scoring the lowest mark (an “F”) and both Amazon and Microsoft called out for their heavy reliance on “dirty energy to power their clouds.”
Curious to find out who in the United States has the fastest 3G and 4G data speeds? So was PCWorld, who embarked on a 13-city tour to rank wireless data speeds among the four major carriers: AT&T, Verizon, Sprint and T-Mobile. Surprisingly, T-Mobile ranked first when it came to 3G upload and download speeds, averaging 1.44Mbps and 3.84Mbps, respectively. AT&T came in a distant second, but things were looking up for Ma Bell when it came to 4G downloads, ranking first with 9.12Mbps compared to Verizon’s second-place 7.35Mbps. Big Red managed to smoke AT&T when it came to upload speeds, however, with 5.86Mbps average compared to 4.91Mbps. The only carrier that came out of these coast to coast tests looking like a loser was Sprint, although that’s likely to change in time as they begin building out their own 4G LTE network to compete with AT&T and Verizon.
It’s the middle of April, which means OS X Mountain Lion is getting that much closer to its late summer release. According to MacRumors, there’s still plenty of work to be done, and developers will have to get cracking now that Apple has released a third beta of the big cat on Wednesday afternoon. The new Build 12A178q hasn’t produced any obvious changes for developers who have installed it today, but Apple included a laundry list of known issues with the current build, ranging from iTunes no longer syncing Notes to Mail’s photo browser being unable to access an iPhoto library and even the DVD Player app failing to launch after inserting a disc on some systems. As always, there’s a reason they call these things “beta” releases, so let’s all sit back and let the pros run it through their paces so we can have a nice, clean launch later this year.
Undoubtedly hoping to avoid the kind of patent wars taking place between smartphone makers, Twitter has announced the Innovator’s Patent Agreement (IPA), which seeks to use the micro-blogging service’s patents only for defensive moves, where absolutely necessary. “The IPA is a new way to do patent assignment that keeps control in the hands of engineers and designers,” the company’s Engineering blog explained on Tuesday. “It is a commitment from Twitter to our employees that patents can only be used for defensive purposes. We will not use the patents from employees’ inventions in offensive litigation without their permission. What’s more, this control flows with the patents, so if we sold them to others, they could only use them as the inventor intended.” With the recent revelation that Twitter holds the patents on the popular “pull to refresh” patent in wide use by many apps, this could be good news for those of fatigued from hearing attorneys bicker over technology in court.
Do you frequently find yourself waiting on friends, family or loved ones -- or worse yet, are they continually waiting on you? En Route! 1.2 launched today in the App Store and aims to put an end to these sticky situations, iPhone style. En Route! automatically informs other users when someone is departing, a few minutes away and arriving at their destination. Location information is only shared with people the user chooses and is automatically turned off at the end of the trip or can be manually stopped at anytime within the app. “We found that a simple message about when a user will arrive addressed a lot of our user’s basic needs,” explains co-founder Dave Smiddy. “Users who want a richer experience can view the trip on a map in real-time within the app or on any web enabled device.” The new version now integrates Facebook into the mix and also adds SMS notifications for a wider range of ways to keep in touch. The free app requires an iPhone, iPod touch or iPad running iOS 4.0 or later and is available now from the App Store.
Follow this article’s author, J.R. Bookwalter on Twitter