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Mobile World Congress kicks off today in Barcelona, Spain, so expect a cavalcade of smartphones and tablets to follow from pretty much everyone except Apple, who generally sits out events like this. But hey, HP is getting back into the tablet game after ditching webOS, although it's not quite clear who their Slate 7 is designed for other than cheapskates. Read on to find out more about what happened this past weekend...
Americans, the days of downloading illegal files willy-nilly may be coming to an end. According to The Verge, five major internet service providers are planning to roll out a Copyright Alert System starting Monday, which gives illegal downloaders "six strikes" before having their internet access throttled or even temporarily blocked. AT&T, Verizon, Time Warner Cable, Comcast and Cablevision are all on board with the alert system, which will send "educational notices" to users found infringing upon copyrighted material. While Verizon plans to throttle connections for users found to be sharing files, AT&T plans to outright block access to popular sharing sites, with Time Warner directing users to a landing page touting the virtues of the Copyright Alert System.
Subscription-based streaming music services seem to be where it's at, so it's no surprise that tech giants want a piece of the action. MacRumors is reporting that Google may be the latest contender to the throne with a "Spotify-esque" paid service on the way. According to The Wall Street Journal, Google-owned YouTube is also separately working to "obtain licenses from music labels to start a paid subscription service for music videos and potentially also for audio-only songs." Needless to say, the search giant may find itself going toe-to-toe with Apple, who is also rumored to debut a subscription-based music service as early as this year.
The Verge editor Joshua Topolsky spent some quality time with Google Glass, the search giant's futuristic, wearable computing technology still under development. Calling the glasses themselves "elegant, sophisticated," Topolsky confirmed that the device will be able to connect via Bluetooth to both Android as well as iOS, using the 3G or 4G data from a connected handset where Wi-Fi is not available -- although it's still unclear exactly how it will all work with Apple's locked-down mobile OS.
Sure, Firefox 19 only just hit the streets, but that doesn't mean Mozilla isn't hard at work on the next several versions, which will be winging their way to you in the months to come. According to Ars Technica, Firefox 22 will feature a patch created by a Stanford researcher that "will block third-party cookies from installing on the user's browser," similar to what Apple's own Safari browser already does. Patch developer Jonathan Mayer calls his implementation “a slightly relaxed version of the Safari policy," which is scheduled to become an automatically enabled feature of the future Firefox. For now, users can choose to manually disable cookies on existing versions, should they choose not to wait that long.
Hewlett-Packard is getting back into the tablet business, but don't bother looking for webOS, because you won't find it. The Verge is reporting that HP announced the Slate 7 on Sunday, and Android-powered tablet debuting in April for $169.99, and sadly with what the website is referring to as "fairly unimpressive" specs. Running Android 4.1 Jelly Bean, the HP Slate is powered by a dual-core 1.6GHz ARM Cortex-A9 processor with a 1024 x 600 FFS+ LCD display, 1GB RAM and 8GB of flash storage, expandable with microSD. Yeah, it's not going to be a Nexus 7 killer despite being priced $30 cheaper than Google's darling, but at least it gets HP back in the game… sort of.
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(Image courtesy of The Verge)