Thanks for joining us here on World Tech Update. I'm Nick Barber. We'll start in London at Nokia World where the company introduced its first phones running Windows Phone 7.5. The Lumia 800 has a 3.7-inch screen and a 1.4 Ghz single core processor. It has a 8-megapixel camera and will be available in France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands and the UK in November. Before the end of the year, it will be available in Hong Kong, India, Russia, Singapore and Taiwan and other markets by early 2012. It will cost 420 Euro without taxes or subsidies. Nokia's SVP of product management was enthusiastic about the device.
SVP, Program & Product Management, Nokia
The Lumia 710 has the same 1.4 ghz processor. It has 8gb of internal storage, which is only half of what the Lumia 800 has. It has 512 MB of RAM and a 5 MP camera.
The 710 will be first available in Hong Kong, India, Russia, Singapore and Taiwan toward the end of the year and elsewhere next year. It will cost 270 Euro. The company also introduced a number of other phones intended for developing markets. The Asha series, which runs Symbian S40, is equipped with features often seen on smartphones but not on lower-end ones, such as Qwerty keyboards and touchscreens. The four devices will range in price from €60 (US$83) to €115.
Two big announcements in tech business news this week. Sony said Thursday that it will acquire Ericsson's 50 percent share in their Sony Ericsson mobile phone joint venture, turning the company into a subsidiary in Jan 2012. Sony said it will pay Ericsson 1.5 billion US dollars. It. will allow Sony to integrate phones into its overall product lineup, as rivals such as Apple and Samsung do now. It also means Son can better leverage its broad music and movie holdings in what Sony CEO Howard Stringer explains as the company's 4 screen strategy
Four screens being the tablet, the television, the PC and now of course the smartphone. Acquiring all of Sony Ericsson is such an important part of our business especially with broad cross licensing agreements the stage is set for this strategy. So we don't think it's a name change, but a game change. We are in a position now to move rapidly and more widely using consumer smartphones, latpops, televisions to connect with one another and the world of Sony Entertainment.
Stringer said that a new Sony task force will examine how best to integrate Sony Ericsson and its smartphones with the rest of the company. In the short term, the Sony Ericsson brand will live on, but Sony will work on coming up with a new one.
In more business news IBM elected Virginia Rometty as president and CEO effective Jan 1st. She'll replace Sam Palmisano seen on the left in this image, who will retain the chairman's role. Rometty has worked at IBM for decades, most recently as SVP for sales, marketing and strategy. According to an IDC analyst Rometty's biggest challenge will be continuing to drive profits in a weak global economy.
Amazon is boosting production of its Kindle Fire tablet, thanks to immense pre-order demand. Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos said the company is building millions more than it had already planned. The Kindle Fire is Amazon's first Android tablet device; the device launches Nov. 15 and costs $199. It ships with just 8GB of memory, no camera, and no 3G, but its sub-$200 price tag and the fact that it runs Android appears to be more than enough to get people riled up.
Wikileaks is set to stop publishing classified files, following a "blockade" by US finance companies. The whistleblower website said financial services firms including Visa, Mastercard, PayPal, Western Union and Bank of America had been blocking payments since December. Wikileaks founder Julian Assange said "The attack has destroyed 95 percent of our revenue. Tens of millions of dollars" had been lost from people unable to send their money to the organisation." Meanwhile President Barack Obama has issued an executive order aimed at better securing data stored by federal agencies. The order requires the heads of all federal agencies to appoint a senior official to oversee measures for controlling and monitoring access to classified information.
New technology is watching and listening to visitors at the MIT Media Lab in Cambridge. The tracking system monitors everything in the building from office thermostats to social media buzz, to the location of workers.
Professor, MIT Media Lab
So we're using game engines that manifest the sensor data from a building in a virtual model of a building. So all of this autonomic sensing and response activity that normally happens in buildings we're revealing all of that. So you can go in as a virtual analog to the building and see everything happen. See the whole life of the building. The autonomic life of it trying to regulate and make sure its air quality, but also look at people moving through the building.
DoppleLab uses information from another building tracking system that is based on RFID tags worn by researchers and visitors. As they walk by one of the stations their logged and appear as a block on the DoppleLab screen.
A system of sensors are strung out at several levels in the Media Lab's atrium which measures air quality and temperature and displays it on the virtual model of the building.
The next step for researchers is developing a wrist watch type device that is capable of pinpointing a users location within centimeters. RFID isn't that accurate and GPS can't be used indoors. The whole project is still a work in progress so there are no commercialization plans.
Well that's our show for this week, thanks for joining us here on World Tech Update. To find out what's coming up on every week's show be sure to follow us on Facebook and Twitter. As we head out this week we'll leave you with shots from this past weekend's BlizzCon 2011 from Anaheim, California. I'm Nick Barber and for all of us here at the IDG News Service thanks for watching and we hope to see you next week.
IDG News Service
IDG News Service
Leo King, Computerworld UK
Sarah Jacobsson Purewal, PC World
IDG News Service
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