On Friday, Oppenheimer's Yair Reiner did a little math to estimate that Apple may have sold more than 1.5 million iPhone 4s to date. He gets there by adding the 600,000 preordered units Apple announced last week, plus estimating 100,000 units sold to walk-in customers (guessing an average of 500 per store), 50,000 units sold to Best Buy (about 45 per store), and then doubling that number to include international sales.
There's no way to know how accurate those numbers actually are--Apple doesn't publicly disclose how many units are distributed to each store--but it seems plausible. Apple may release sales numbers sometime Friday, or it could wait until after the weekend, as it has with past product launches, to enumerate their total four day sales numbers.
Separately, Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster polled people queued up for the iPhone 4 Thursday and based on their responses, estimates that 77 percent of people buying a phone yesterday were previously iPhone owners and were upgrading.
"We spoke with 608 people in line for the iPhone 4 (Thursday) in San Francisco, Minneapolis, and New York.," Munster wrote in a research note Friday. "The bottom line: 77 percent of new iPhone buyers were existing iPhone owners (upgrades), compared to 56 percent in 2009, and 38 percent in 2008. Apple is effectively building a recurring revenue stream from a growing base of iPhone users that upgrade to the newest version every year or two."This story originally appeared on CNET
The discovery of lay minerals point to the existence of a wet environment "at thousands of sites" in the southern region of Mars, an area where rocks date back approximately four billion years old, according to a report from NASA's Jet Propulsion Lab. The discovery was first reported this week in the journal Science.
"We can now say that the planet was altered on a global scale by liquid water about four billion years ago," said John Carter of the University of Paris, the report's lead author.
Scientists are now attempting to place when the wet environments prevailed compared with other important steps in the planet's early history. The northern part of the planet has a lower elevation than the southern part and scientists believe that disparity was the result of a giant meteor impact. The formation of "water-related minerals" most likely to foster conditions for likely occurred between the time of the giant impact and the period when younger sediments created a covering mantle on the planet's surface.
"That large impact would have eliminated any evidence for the surface environment in the north that preceded the impact," Scott Murchie of Johns Hopkins University, who co-authored the report. "It must have happened well before the end of the wet period."
If you live either in the central and western regions of the United States, get up early on Saturday. It'll be worth the extra effort.
With the exception of the east coast, a partial lunar eclipse will be visible starting around 5:17 a.m. Central Daylight Time. Stardate.org has more on eclipse viewing times for all U.S. time zones. Just two or three lunar eclipses take place each year.
Complaints about weakening or disappearing signals when the iPhone 4 is gripped in a particular way--usually by touching two seams of the antenna band on the exterior of the phone simultaneously--began popping up late Wednesday night, and continued to appear Thursday.
While Internet commenters and bloggers spent most of the day trying to figure out if the problem was related to the phone's hardware or software, Apple released a statement late in the day to PC Magazine.
"Gripping any phone will result in some attenuation of its antenna performance with certain places being worse than others depending on the placement of the antennas. This is a fact of life for every wireless phone. If you ever experience this on your Phone 4, avoid gripping it in the lower left corner in a way that covers both sides of the black strip in the metal band, or simply use one of many available cases."
There are two antennas on the iPhone, which are built into the steel band on the exterior of the phone. The one running on the left side of the phone is for Bluetooth and Wi-Fi, the one on the right is for cellular reception. That means how a left-handed person holds the phone will affect it differently than how most right-handed people would hold it.
Steve Jobs said at WWDC the exterior antenna was supposed to help reception--he didn't mention there was a particular way you had to avoid touching it. However, if you don't feel like spending more for a case for the phone, it sounds like that's the cheapest solution.This article originally appeared on CNET.
Common carp were first brought to the United States in 1831 and rapidly flourished in the Upper Mississippi River System. In the 1960s and 1970s, southern fish farmers imported two species of Asian carp -- the bighead and silver - thinking they might help improve the water quality of aquaculture ponds by cleaning out algae. But it didn't take long before the fish spread north. Flooding in the early 1990s resulted in many catfish farm ponds overflowing their banks. Some Asian carp got released into local waterways feeding into the Mississippi River basin and the rest, as they say, is history.
Last year, the Army Corps or Engineers finding traces of the Asian carp only a few miles away from Lake Michigan - this despite the presence of an advanced barrier system which cost millions to construct.
By any measure, this is a voracious invader When it comes to chow time, Asian carp have the muscle to get their way as they can eat up to 40 percent of their body weight daily and grow as large as 100 pounds. By way of anecdote, researchers investigating carp populations in the upper Mississippi a few years ago described the difficulty of catching Asian carp with the usual sampling gear.
"For example, they are often seen breaking the water surface many meters ahead and along the sides of our electrofishing boats. Asian carp have often entered our boats without the use of dip nets. In fact, many of our staff members have been hit multiple times by large jumping fish."
Mapping out a battle plan has been fraught because of political divisions in the Great Lakes region. Illinois fought a request by Michigan to shut down close the locks on the Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal. (In the end, Michigan's request was turned down.
It so turns out that carp also is used in the preparation of gefilte fish, a Jewish delicacy popular during Passover. That has raised suggestions among some looking for a positive takeaway that perhaps a carp invasion might create a new market, including the possibility of holiday exports to Israel. But scientists are less enthusiastic. In 2007, the U.S. Department of the Interior declared Asian carp to be an invasive species.
As for Stabenow's proposal, let's note that something similar was tried earlier. In 2009, Illinois carried out what was the largest organized fish kill in the state's history when boats dumped poison into the Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal in a bid to stop the carps dead in their tracks.
$3 million and three days later, officials were able to identify one dead carp, amid tens of thousands of dead fish.
Many looked wilted in the sun; some had been waiting on the sidewalk since 5:00 a.m. And more people kept joining the end of the line. At 11:30 a.m. an Apple store employee told Christopher Nolasco that the wait was about 10 hours.
One of the early risers, Gina Sottile, is a summer intern at a special events company in New York. She did not skip work to be at the Apple Store; in fact, she had volunteered to buy an iPhone 4 for her boss, despite the difficulty that might arise in explaining her summer activities to her college internship program.
Story and video by Sarah Mirza
First, a prototype of the device got lost - or stolen, depending on which narrative you believe - earlier this spring when an Apple engineer celebrated a bit too mightily at a local pub and left for home without the still super-secret gadget. When tech web site Gizmodo got its hands on the iPhone, publishing articles and pictures of the device, Jobs was forced to intercede personally in the matter which also resulted in an ongoing police investigation.
That was a harbinger for the added embarrassment Apple and its carrier partner AT&T suffered through last week when servers couldn't handle a surge in demand and the online preorder process had to be stopped. Meanwhile, AT&T said it won't have any units to sell at its stores until June 29 - some five days after the product went on sale at Apple outlets.) The icing on the cake came when Apple late yesterday said it won't be able to stock the white version of the iPhone 4 until the second half of the year.
Finally, the official launch earlier today. But true to the narrative, some of the people buying iPhone 4 units today are reporting problems, ranging from inadvertent reception glitches due to antenna issues, to Bluetooth headset connectivity inconsistencies to a mysterious "screen yellowing." (Some users have sent videos to Gizmodo demonstrating how the signal bars can drop when they hold a metal ring around their iPhone.
And if that wasn't enough, did I mention that it's a stifling hot day in New York City where the hardy cohort of early adopters waiting in line were literally sweating it out.
Also See:Continue »
A software program under development in Israel can supposedly detect depression in online communication, and not just through obvious indicators like "I'm sitting here alone in the dark mulling how much my sorry life sucks."
Instead, it purportedly can identify depressive meaning hidden in language that doesn't necessarily include glaring terms like "depression" or "suicide." Yair Neuman, an associate professor in the department of education at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev and leader of the interdisciplinary team that developed the software, suggests the program could be used to conduct initial screenings of text penned by people who may not even realize they have a problem, thereby raising self-awareness and hopefully leading to medical help.
The program spots words, phrases, and even metaphors, to detect possible signs of depression (anxiety, sadness, preoccupation with self and with death). For example, words like "black," combined with terms such as "sleep deprivation" or "loneliness," will be recognized by the software as "depressive" texts.
To understand similarities in the way people describe the blues, the researchers conducted searches using Microsoft's Bing and extensively analyzed the word pattern "depression is like..."
They then tested the program, called Pedesis, by scanning more than 350,000 English-language texts from 17,031 bloggers (with the permission of the writers), as well as 1,600 online queries addressed to mental health experts at sites like MentalHealth.net. Once the program identified texts as depressive, a panel of four clinical psychologists reviewed 200 examples from that category. The verdict of the computer program and the analysis of the human panel correlated 78 percent of the time, according to the researchers.
"A psychologist knows how to spot various emotional states through intuition. Here, we have a program that does this methodically through the innovative use of 'Web intelligence,'" said Neuman, who specializes in semiotics and psychology and will present his team's work at the 2010 IEEE/WIC/ACM International Conference on Web Intelligence and Intelligent Agency Technology in Toronto later this summer.Continue »
A new feature within Twitter's Facebook app that let users find who among their friends has a Twitter account appears to have been put on ice by Facebook.
The feature would cull through Facebook contacts and compare the list of names to users on Twitter, offering up things like Twitter profile information and a link to follow. Now, trying to use the app on the popular social network brings up a message that says, "It appears that the connection between Facebook and Twitter isn't working," and that "we are working with Facebook to resolve the problem." Prior to that, it had stated that Facebook "blocked" Twitter's application from doing a look-up of any user's friends list.
Twitter's Josh Elman, who posted about the new feature in the company's blog earlier on Wednesday, put out an update that says the problem is believed to be on Facebook's end.
A Facebook spokesperson reaffirmed to CNET that the two companies were, in fact, working together to "resolve the issue," though was unable to provide a timeline on a fix, or confirmation of the feature being re-enabled.
Facebook did Continue »
Reading that I had to scratch my head. I remember the "kind of resentment" other companies, large and small, once felt toward Microsoft. Back when Bill Gates lorded it over the rest of the computer industry, he really lorded it. Nowadays, Gates ione of the world's most charitable philanthropists but then, he struck contempt and fear in the hearts of rivals and partners. Contempt because he oversaw a company that raked in billions despite turning out products that were usually of middling quality. And fear because he ran a company that had no compunctions about throwing its elbows around to get its way. That hard-edged way of doing business finally became the subject of a drawn-out antitrust battle with the United States Department of Justice.
But any discussion of the unease many of Steve Jobs' contemporaries apparently feel toward Apple has to be qualified. There's an obvious difference. Microsoft's run as Numero Uno coincided with the dominance of the client-server model of computing, where the company's DOS and then Windows operating systems were must-have components. Without the OS, all you owned was an inert piece of plastic and metal. So companies paid Bill Gates his royalties and did their grumbling far away from the microphones. That king was just too powerful to annoy.
In our increasingly Internet-centric Apple doesn't command that kind of dominance - yet. The company is expanding in different directions and commands an increasingly large ecosystem of developers. Andrew Gavil, an antitrust expert and professor of law at Howard University quoted in the Times piece asks whether Apple's become so powerful in any of the markets it competes in to affect competition. Then he answers his own question in the affirmative.
That's a mouthful. No doubt Apple can act willfully. The recent controversy stemming from its decision to exclude Google and AdMob from selling ads on the iPhone 4 being a case in point. Apple has its own advertising system for mobile phones and decided to bar its rival. That's also the kind of bully-boy tactic which is pure catnip for federal regulators. (The Federal Trade Commission is already investigating Apple's decision to block certain third-party programming tools from the iPad, including Adobe's Flash.) However, this remains a world away from the forced dependence on Windows which characterized the tech business in the 1980s and 1990s.
Where will all this lead? The Times piece is just the latest reminder that Apple isn't likely to win any popularity contests with its peers. (It's another story with Apple's rabidly loyal fan base.) Still, let's remember that boorish behavior is not against the law. And even when prosecutors think they have clinching evidence, it's still a tough sell.
I sat in Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson's court house for months in the late 1990s, listening as the greatContinue »
Following the clinching goal by the U.S.'s Landon Donovan around the 91st minute of the second half, the Akamai Net Usage Index registered a traffic spike of 11.2 million visitors per minute. That fell just short of beating the traffic record set earlier this month on the first day of the World Cup - but there are still a couple of weeks' worth of games to go yet and interest in this quadrennial global event is sky high. Indeed, As Mashable first noted, Tweets containing the term "USA" Continue »
While you prepare for launch day, here's a chance to read what's being said by folks who have put Apple's latest smartphone through its paces.
But as you sift through the reviews, there's one more uncharacteristic snag to note in a product launch that's already suffered more than its fair share of mishaps - especially odd considering that Apple is a company which usually orchestrates technology debuts with lapidary precision. This time comes late word from Apple that it won't have inventory of the white iPhone 4 until sometime in the second half.
"White models of Apple's new iPhone? 4 have proven more challenging to manufacture than expected, and as a result they will not be available until the second half of July," Apple said. "The availability of the more popular iPhone 4 black models is not affected."
Museum researchers said that the site offered the first solid evidence that certain horned dinosaur herds were bigger than earlier thought, and that their populations reached into the high hundreds to low thousands. "Data from this mega bonebed provide pretty clear evidence that these, and other dinosaurs, were routinely wiped out by catastrophic tropical storms that flooded what was once a coastal lowland here in Alberta, 76 million years ago," says David Eberth, Senior Research Scientist at the Royal Tyrrell Museum, the lead author on the study.
He suggested that the animals' lack of awareness of its surroundings would have made them vulnerable as frequent tropical storms that buffeted the region during prehistoric times.
The centrosaurus was a grass-eating dinosaur, and with its horny head plate bore a resemblance to the triceratops. It was also slow-witted and would have found it challenging to survive the frequent flooding that would inundate a generally flat region.
"It's unlikely that these animals could tread water for very long, so the scale of the carnage must have been breathtaking," says Eberth. "The evidence suggests that after the flood, dinosaur scavengers trampled and smashed bones in their attempt to feast on the rotting remains."
- Zuckerberg, who said he had recently met Prime Minister David Cameron "for just a minute [when] he was busy rolling out the budget", also admitted that one day he could see Facebook floating on the stockmarket - just not anytime soon.
- He added that there was "no chance" Facebook, which has cracked the 500 million user mark, would hit 1 billion this year but argued that "it is almost a guarantee that it will happen".
- "If we succeed [in innovating and remaining relevant] there is a good chance of bringing this to a billion people" it will be interesting to see how it plays out," he said speaking to two packed auditoriums - one via video link - at the Cannes Lions International Advertising Festival.
- Facebook's global domination is almost complete, he said. "We are down to just four countries where we aren't the leading social network."
Tesla Motors, which is expected to launch a much-ballyhooed initial public offering next week, seems to have lost some of its momentum among high-end car buyers.
In the first quarter of the year, Tesla sold a total of 126 cars, according to a four-digit subtraction equation (with borrowing) undertaken by editors at Greentech Media. At the end of 2009, the company had cumulatively sold 937 cars, according to the initial S-1 filing (the prelude to an initial public offering), which was filed in March. In the amended S-1 filed June 15, the company said it had sold a total of 1,063 production cars to customers since the start of the company through March 31, 2010.
1,063 minus 937 comes to 126 cars sold in the first quarter of 2010. With thirteen weeks in the first quarter, that comes to 9.7 cars sold a week.
Back in December 2008, when Tesla was just beginning to move toward volume production, CEO Elon Musk said that Tesla was producing 15 cars a week and wanted to ramp up to 30 cars a week by the spring of 2009. Tesla reiterated the estimates in March 2009 to Car and Driver.
The 30-a-week goal proved elusive. Tesla sold an average of 16 to 17 cars a week in 2009 (837 cars shipped divided by 52 or 50 weeks; approximately 100 left the factory in 2008).
The economy has remained in a slump, but the economy was actually worse back in December 2008 and early 2009 than it is today. Either way, the company is selling fewer cars than it did during the initial ramp and less than expectations would dictate. (Sales and shipments at the moment are largely synonymous for the company, as Tesla does not have to complete final assembly until the buyer has paid.)
A few qualifications: First, the company currently only sells the Tesla Roadster, which retails for $109,000. Only so many buyers for cars like that exist in the world. The company also continues to have a long waiting list. An estimated 3,940 customers have put $5,000 deposits down on the Model S, the all-electric sedan coming in 2012. (UPDATE: Darryl Siry points out that page 35 of the S-1 says 2,200 Model S deposits have been taken: apparently some have paid higher than $5,000.) The S-1 states:
"As of March 31, 2010, we had collected reservation payments for undelivered Tesla Roadsters in an aggregate amount of $6.3 million and reservation payments for Model S sedans in an aggregate amount of $19.7 million."
Thus, demand is there. It just isn't as substantial as once projected. And in all fairness, the 1,063 cars sold is 1,063 more cars than the number of units competitor Fisker Automotive has sold. Fisker's Karma was originally due in late 2009. Now it is slated to come out later this year. (Tesla can also be credited with bringing the concept of electric cars back from the grave.)
Tesla plans to sell 11.1 million shares of stock for $16 a share, according to the latest S-1 filed with the SEC. If successful, the IPO could raise over $200 million for the company and ignite a post-IPO trading frenzy.
Investors seem to like green, at least temporarily. Before its IPO in the fall of 2009, battery maker A123 Systems raised its offering price from the $8 to $13. The stock shot up to $20 after the IPO in September 2009 despite serial losses, some skepticism, and the loss of the GM-Volt contract. Losses continued and the company began to lose business from customers like Black & Decker. Now, A123 stock wallows at around the $9 level.Michael Kanellos is the editor of GreenTech Media.