Mar 7, 2011

ChaCha sues HTC for Facebook phone trademark infringement

Facebook phone rumors were swirling for quite awhile, then HTC answered a question that seemingly nobody asked by delivering unto the world a phone with a dedicated Facebook button... the ChaCha. In what can only be considered a stroke of luck for all of humanity, the Taiwanese handset maker has been granted the opportunity to rectify its naming gaffe courtesy of a trademark infringement suit brought by ChaCha Inc. That company trademarked its name and logo in 2007 for its text and voice internet search engine services and is (rightfully) displeased with the HTC's choice of names for its Facebook-focused handset. ChaCha doesn't want mobile users thinking that it's endorsed the phone, and given that the company's bread and butter is providing mobile search, such confusion seems likely. ChaCha is asking for money damages and a permanent injunction to prevent the phone from going to market with its name. That's just fine with us -- if only the courts could grant an injunction to remove that Facebook button.

HTC Incredible S, Desire HD, Desire Z and original Desire will all be eating Gingerbread by the end of June

When it launched the Incredible S at MWC a couple of weeks ago, HTC promised the new 4-inch device would be quick to get a Gingerbread update and now it's giving us a definitive schedule for it by saying that Android 2.3 will be distributed to its new flagship phone by the end of Q2 2011. We're not sure four months of sitting by the window waiting for the OTA update to float in necessarily matches up to our definition of "quick," but there are much better news for owners of HTC's older devices. The Desire HD and Desire Z -- both released in September 2010 -- will also be leaping away from Froyo and up to Gingerbread and will be joined by the original Desire, which was announced way back at last year's MWC. That handset was essentially HTC's own-brand Nexus One, so we already knew it was capable of running Gingerbread, but it's still rare to see a device go through two significant Android updates (the Desire began life with Android 2.1). All these old Desires are placed on the same update schedule as the Incredible S, whereas the newly announced Desire S and Wildfire S will ship with Gingerbread preloaded.

Motorola: all our high-end smartphones will have Webtop from June onwards

You know how Motorola's Atrix is unique in having all these docking stations and a Webtop app that collectively turn it into a far more versatile computer than your average superpowered smartphone? Well, Sanjay Jha has just told investors at a Morgan Stanley shindig that the Atrix won't be unique for long -- the Webtop app will be making an appearance on all of Moto's "high performance" smartphones in the second half of this year, and we're told that the only reason the Droid Bionic won't be shipping with it was the simple constraint of time. What that implies, but something Jha didn't say, is that the Bionic and Moto's other forthcoming devices are likely to have laptop docks of their own -- hopefully with a connector that makes the docking accessory interchangeable between models.

2011 HYUNDAI I40

Hyundai has unveiled its upcoming Euro-spec i40 model, a shapely wagon not intended for North America. Set to compete in Europe’s D-segment, the i40 will go on sale soon across Europe. Unlike in the U.S., Hyundai has yet to gain a major foothold in the European market. However, Hyundai hopes that trend will change with the launch of the new i40 model.
“We have bold ambitions for Hyundai in Europe, and the new i40 will provide the momentum we need to achieve our goals in 2011 and beyond. We expect the quality of the new i40 to continue the development of our image in Europe and attract new customers to the Hyundai brand,” said Allan Rushforth, vice president of Hyundai Motor Europe. Hit read more for details and pictures!

Video - Elfoid is the human-shaped phone from Japan that tickles when it rings

The Telenoid R1 achieved a new level of creepiness on the Japanese robotic front -- quite an achievement given the country's long history of oddball automated creations. Elfoid takes the cake, though. Developed at Osaka University and with help from NTT DoCoMo, Elfoid looks just like the Telenoid and, indeed, does much the same thing: giving you a human(ish) silhouette to talk to. This one, though, is designed to be stuffed in your pocket. It's basically a cellphone shaped like a vaguely human torso and head. You put it in your pocket and it tickles you when it rings. You talk into its belly and it speaks to you in response, playing the voice of whoever's on the other line through its face. It also moves and gesticulates to make you think that you're actually holding not Elfoid but that person you're conversing with. It's an odd concept, but holding a doll to your head still beats side talkin' on N-Gage. Find the video after the read more link.

SAAB Bringing Android To Cars

Android has been growing at a wild pace, we all know that, and it's been doing other things too like powering tablets and even making trips to space. For its next trick it looks set to be making its way into cars thanks to Swedish car manufacturer SAAB.

SAAB say they will be installing Android powered infotainment systems in cars from next year. The interesting thing here though, apart from the fact that it is Android, is that it won't be a closed off system like other in-car information/entertainment systems. Rather SAAB are set to provide more than 500 inputs from the vehicle's sensors to third party developers so expect to see some crazy stuff appearing!


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