• Meet the Mangoes

    Nokia last week four new phones intended for developing markets as well as the company’s first two smartphones running the Windows Phone operating system. The Asha series, which runs the Symbian S40 operating system, is equipped with features often seen on smartphones but not on lower-end ones, such as Qwerty keyboards and touchscreen capabilities.

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  • A pioneer passes

    John McCarthy, one of the grandfathers of artificial intelligence, last week. He was 84. In 1958, while at MIT, McCarthy invented the programming language LISP, which has become the main language for artificial intelligence (AI) work. He also was one of the co-founders of the first artificial intelligence laboratory at MIT and the founder of the artificial intelligence laboratory at Stanford University.

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  • The new Big Blue boss

    Samuel J. Palmisano and Virginia M. “Ginni” Rometty at IBM’s corporate headquarters in Armonk, N.Y. Rometty, an IBM senior vice president, was elected by the IBM board of directors to become the company’s president and ninth CEO on January 1, 2012. Palmisano, currently IBM chairman, president and CEO, has significantly transformed IBM. During his tenure as CEO, the company has delivered record financial performance and breakthrough innovations, such as Watson. Mr. Palmisano will remain IBM’s chairman.

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  • It kind of looks like an …

    October 23 marked the 10-year anniversary of the iPod, a device that changed the music industry forever. Among its predecessors: The Braun T3 Pocket Radio, designed by Dieter Rams, which became an inspiration of Apple’s Jonathan Ive.

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  • The Linksys legacy

    Cisco Systems’ Home Networking Business Unit will keep both its Linksys brand and its place in the parent company as Cisco pares down its business, but the unit is also sharpening its focus. Linksys has stopped making devices that connect to networks and is strictly focused on the networks themselves, said Brett Wingo, general manager of the business unit, said in an interview with IDG News Service recently.

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  • No cure-all

    Spammers have created their own services to shorten URLs (uniform resource locators) in an apparent attempt to circumvent security measures in place at well-known shortening Web sites, according to Symantec. The shortened URLs lead to spammy sites selling pharmaceutical products.

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  • Judge a tablet by its cover

    Apple last week released a Dark Gray model of the polyurethane iPad 2 Smart Cover. If Dark Gray just isn’t your hue of choice, fret not; there’s more good news coming. Apple also says that it has updated the Blue, Green, Pink, and Light Gray Smart Cover models to make them “more vibrant.” However, Apple continues to warn that the “rich aniline dye” used to color those covers “may rub off during use.” You may consider this a feature that, in turn, makes your skin “more vibrant,” too.

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