iPad Mini With Retina Display

It’s a good thing I didn’t get one of those most-sought-after iPad minis this fall. You guessed it. Apple already has plans to upgrade the iPad mini with a retina display sometime next fall. It’s a good thing I wasn’t in such a hurry. I think the Retina display is worth the wait. I wonder if the news/rumors today will dampen everyone’s enthusiasm to purchase them this year, or will people still buy them because they just couldn’t wait. I would wait. That’s what I would do. The only other question left is, will the iPad mini remain at $329.

SMS Text Messaging Turns 20

I can’t believe it. SMS text messaging is 20 years old. Although, it has been around for 20 years, a few people have not use it, or use it sparingly. A few have become billionaires because of SMS, wireless, and telecommunications in general. If you’re curious what the first text message ever was? Here’s an excerpt from CNN’s report.

The first-ever text message was sent December 3, 1992, by software engineer Neil Papworth, to Vodafone director Richard Jarvis, who received the message on his husky Orbitel 901 cell phone. It read simply, “Happy Christmas.”

Six billion SMS (short message service) messages are sent every day in the United States, according to Forrester Research, and over 2.2 trillion are sent a year. Globally, 8.6 trillion text messages are sent each year, according to Portio Research.

SMS messaging is expected to be a $150 billion-a-year industry in 2013, with carriers charging set monthly fees for unlimited texting, or as much as 20 cents per text. The actual cost to carriers for sending a text message is about 0.03 cents.

Marvell 8864 Gigabit Wireless

Marvell, the maker of wireless chips, plans to release the 8864 chip for the wireless 802.11ac Wi-Fi standard, which is capable of up reaching gigabit speeds. The release is scheduled for some time next year. Excerpt from Computerworld:

The Marvell 8864 chipset increases performance by using four antennas to receive and four to send data, a configuration which is referred to as simply 4×4. Sending and receiving data using multiple antennas is possible thanks to a technology called MIMO (Multiple-Input Multiple-Output), which is already used in both Wi-Fi and LTE networks.

In addition to MIMO, Marvell’s chipset also uses a technology called beamforming, which improves performance by aiming the signal at the receiver. The way Marvell has implemented beamforming means smartphones, tablets and laptops don’t have to proactively support it to get the advantages.

The combination of multiple antennas with beamforming results in higher speeds, as well improved range and reliability. For users the improvements also mean longer battery life, because devices such as smartphones can “get on and off the air” faster, Giordano said.

To take full advantage of the 8864 chipset’s capabilities, clients also have to have a 4×4 antenna configuration, but other clients will also see significant improvements, Giordano said.

The Marvell chipset will be used on a multitude of different products, including access points, routers, gateways, video bridges and set top boxes, the first of which will start shipping in the middle of next year.

The Most American Car Is

It’s the Toyota Avalon. If you’re American, you most likely heard others urging you to buy American products. There’s nothing absolutely wrong with that. However, with a global economy, the distinction between what is American and what is foreign is becoming blurry. The differences are not always clear cut. Consider automobiles. NPR reports that the Toyota Avalon is more American than the Ford Focus. From NPR:

According to the latest report, the most “American car” is the Toyota Avalon, which is built in Georgetown, Kentucky. Eighty-five percent of that car’s parts are sourced from the U.S and Canada — a higher percentage than for any car made by a U.S.-based manufacturer. Honda just celebrated its 30th anniversary in the U.S.

As foreign car makers have expanded in the U.S., U.S. automakers have expanded overseas. The Ford Fusion, for example, is now made in Mexico.

Read the rest of the NPR article.