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330 articles from THURSDAY 12.7.2012
- THURSDAY 12. JULY, 2012
23:50 Dot Earth Blog: Ivory Trail from Elephant Killing Fields Leads to ManhattanThe exposure of a substantial ivory trove in New York City leads to guilty pleas.
23:34 Green Blog: EPA Moves to Cut Haze, Gets Hazed by StatesThe E.P.A.'s decision to demand more aggressive action to clean up haze in national parks has prompted a backlash from some states and from industry.
23:06 Apple Offers Hint -- Or Tease -- Of Elusive Larger iPhonePeople love iPhone rumors almost as much as they love the iPhone, and one of the most persistent topics of speculation is whether Apple will finally move past the familiar, 5-year-old, 3.7-inch touchscreen.
Average screen sizes have grown in the time since Apple CEO Steve Jobs first changed the smartphone world by introducing us to the original iPhone. Samsung's Galaxy devices in particular are known for screens bigger than 4 inches and the South Korean manufacturer's Galaxy Note -- half tablet and half smartphone -- has a whopping 5.3-inch screen. So some might say Cupertino, Calif.-based Apple is due for an upgrade.
A Teaser from Apple
The latest rumor comes courtesy of an Apple recruiting video in which, the Los Angeles Times noticed, a small pop-up points out a diagram on the wall inside the tech giant's headquarters for a "New, bigger iPhone!" The diagram, seen from far away, seems to show a longer device than the current iPhone seen in an adjacent diagram.
So this could either be a teaser from Apple or simply an acknowledgment from the company that a bigger prototype is a project new employees may get to work on.
Rumored larger iPhones have failed to appear before. In March 2011, Taiwan-based DigiTimes, which covers the component market, cited "upstream component suppliers" in reporting that the next iPhone would have a 4-inch touchscreen.
"The component suppliers noted that the production lines for Apple's next-generation iPhone have begun testing, and Apple is interested in expanding the screen size to four inches to support the tablet PC market, as the vendor only has a 9.7-inch iPad in the market," DigiTimes said.
Of course, last year's iPhone 4S and this year's new iPad remained the same size.
But this seems to be the first indication from Apple itself that the iPhone will grow. After all, how long...
22:51 4 Bright Lights in Weekend Sky: See Moon, 2 Planets and Star Together
22:27 Early human ancestor, Australopithecus sediba, fossils discovered in rockA large rock containing significant parts of a skeleton of an early human ancestor has just been discovered. The skeleton is believed to be the remains of "Karabo," the type skeleton of Australopithecus sediba, discovered at the Malapa site in the Cradle of Humankind in 2009.
22:27 First ever videos of snow leopard mother and cubs in dens recorded in MongoliaFor the first time, the den sites of two female snow leopards and their cubs have been located in Mongolia's Tost Mountains, with the first known videos taken of a mother and cubs, located and recorded.
22:27 Large, medically important class of proteins starts to yield its secretsNew research illuminates a large and medically important family of proteins called G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs).
22:26 Human Ancestor Fossils Hidden in Plain Sight in Lab Rock
22:26 Sandusky Cover-Up? Why People Look the Other Way in Child Sex AbuseHow could someone not only cast a blind eye but also conceal facts that could help a child being sexually abused? A new report suggesting Penn State officials kept facts about Jerry Sandusky's child-sex abuse from authorities paints a picture of uncaring, and worse, adults.
22:24 New research raises questions about iris recognition systemsSince the early days of iris recognition technologies, it has been assumed that the iris was a "stable" biometric over a person's lifetime "one enrollment for life." However, new research from University of Notre Dame researchers has found that iris biometric enrollment is susceptible to an aging process that causes recognition performance to degrade slowly over time.
22:24 Satellite sees remnants of former Tropical Storm DanielDaniel is no longer a tropical storm, and has weakened to a remnant low pressure system, but its circulation is still visible on satellite imagery today, July 12 as it moves south of Hawaii.
22:24 Warning system to protect astronauts from solar stormsMassive explosions on the sun unleash radiation that could kill astronauts in space.
22:08 Why the power stayed on during Ontario's heat waves
Decreased demand for electricity and increased capacity to generate power have helped Ontario stabilize its grid since the consumption record in August 2006.
22:04 Russia Tightens its Grip On the Net
Critics of a bill in the Russian parliament say it clears the way for a more elaborate censorship system.
Russia’s lower house of parliament passed a bill on Wednesday that critics say represents a big step toward the installation of a Chinese-style Internet censorship apparatus.
21:58 Talking Apes Project Faces Cash Crisis
21:41 Pictures: First Night-Shining Clouds of 2012Rippling clouds glow against dark night skies in one of summer's strangest sights, which may be getting more common as Earth warms.
21:40 Worldwide PC Sales Flatline, Gartner SaysWorldwide PC sales remained virtually flat in the second quarter, according to a new report. The report, from industry research firm Gartner, showed a slight drop of 0.1 percent.
Gartner principal analyst Mikako Kitagawa said in a statement that the PC market in Q2 "suffered through its seventh consecutive quarter of flat to single-digit growth." Kitagawa attributed the key reasons for this sales performance to economic uncertainty in some regions and a dropping interest on the part of consumers for PCs.
Ultrabooks in 'Early Adopter Stage'
The report also noted that Ultrabooks, an ultra-light, high-performance form factor being pushed by Intel, had a "small" shipment volume and "little impact on overall shipment growth."
Consumers are "less interested in spending on PCs" than on other products such as smartphones and media tablets, Kitagawa said. A lot of PC makers' R&D funding has been spent on Ultrabooks, the analyst noted, and, although a major promotion for Ultrabooks occurred in the latter part of Q2, this "segment is still in an early adopter's stage."
First place in worldwide PC shipments is still held by Hewlett-Packard, whose 14.9 percent market share represented a dip from last year's 16.9 percent share. The report attributed some of HP's decline to "internal issues" from the company's top management shakeup.
HP is also facing "aggressive pricing from Lenovo" for sales to the professional market, and from Asus and Samsung among consumers.
Lenovo is in second place with 14.7 percent market share, up from 12.7 percent in Q2 of 2011. The report indicated that Lenovo has been aggressively expanding through acquisitions as well as pricing, and that its growth is coming at the expense of both Dell and HP.
Third-place Acer is also up, to 11 percent, compared with 10.6 percent last year. Gartner said Acer has been clearing out inventory to "prepare for growth,"...
21:31 Antarctica at risk from human activitiesThe continent of Antarctica is at risk from human activities and other forces, and environmental management is needed to protect the planet’s last great wilderness area, say experts.
21:28 Clovis People Weren’t Alone in North America, Spearheads and DNA SuggestArtifacts found in Oregon caves show that at least two cultures with distinct technologies shared the continent more than 13,000 years ago, scientists report.
21:18 iPad Mini Could Dampen Android Tablet SalesIndustry analysts expect Apple to take the wind out of the sails of its tablet rivals by launching a new iPad mini in a 7-inch or 8-inch form factor in time for this year's holiday shopping season.
"If Apple launches a sub-$300, 7-inch product into the market later this year as rumored, we expect the company's grip on this market to become even stronger," said Tom Mainelli, a research director at IDC.
Piper Jaffray believes Apple could sell 4 million to 6 million mini-iPad devices during this year's traditionally strong holiday shopping season -- equivalent to 20 percent of total iPad sales in the fourth quarter
"The most successful Android tablets' key points of differentiation are price and size," noted Piper Jaffray analysts Gene Munster and Douglas Clinton on Monday.
"Strategically, we believe the launch of a smaller screen, cheaper iPad eliminates the two biggest unique features for Android tablet makers," Munster and Clinton wrote in an investor note.
Lower Price Points Ahead
Though total Android shipments dropped sharply in the first quarter, Google is hoping that the 7-inch Nexus tablet it is building in partnership with Asus will help to reverse the trend. Slated for launch later this month, the Nexus 7 will enable Google to ensure that the new devices stay up to date with each new release of Google's Android platform.
"The search giant's new tablet will run a pure version of Android, whereas the [Kindle] Fire runs Amazon's own forked version of the OS that cuts Google out of the picture," Mainelli said.
Still, other tablets are coming that will directly compete with Apple 10.1-inch iPad offerings. For example, Microsoft's own Windows RT-based tablet is expected to launch as early as October.
The price of Microsoft's first new Surface tablet will be a critical factor when it comes to winning...
21:10 Rising Acidity Brings an Ocean of TroubleCarbon dioxide emissions have changed the chemistry of oceans in ways that are harming shell-building organisms
20:47 Attacking biofilms that cause chronic infectionsUsing super-resolution microscopy and continuous fluorescent imaging, scientists have for the first time revealed the structure of bacterial biofilms, which are responsible for the tenacious nature of bacterial diseases such as cholera, chronic sinusitis and lung infections in CF patients. The picture of bacterial apartment buildings provides new targets for the development of drugs that can tear down these structures and expose them to antibiotics.
20:47 Discovery of chemical that affects biological clock offers new way to treat diabetesBiologists have discovered a chemical that offers a completely new and promising direction for the development of drugs to treat metabolic disorders such as Type 2 diabetes -- a major public health concern in the United States.
20:47 Solar system ice: Source of Earth's waterScientists have long believed that comets and, or a type of very primitive meteorite were the sources of early Earth's volatile elements. Understanding where these volatiles came from is crucial for determining the origins of both water and life. New research focuses on ice that was distributed throughout much of the early Solar System. The team's findings contradict prevailing theories and suggest that meteorites are the most-likely sources of the Earth's water.
20:47 The challenges facing the vulnerable AntarcticA century ago, the South Pole was one of Earth's last frontiers, but now the Antarctic is under threat from human activity.