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China's Economy is Scarier Than We Thought

posted Saturday Jul 16, 2011 by Scott Ertz

China's Economy is Scarier Than We Thought

In general, we tend to avoid political topics as they often alienate people, but seeing as this year China overtook the US as the leading manufacturer in the world and we talk about Apple's use of Chinese manufacturer Foxconn, I decided to buck the trend and bring you this information.

We hear often about how China's economy is booming, and it is pretty difficult to dispute. They own so much of the US's $14 trillion debt, they have had an almost constant 10% GDP growth and, as I said before, they are now the largest manufacturer on the planet. As it turns out, the lack of ability to dispute the boom is exactly what China has been trying to produce.

How have they managed to create an indisputable economic boom? Hit the break to find out.

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Spotify Here At Last!

posted Saturday Jul 16, 2011 by Nicholas DiMeo

Spotify Here At Last!

Spotify is finally here! After months of covering their hopeful arrival to the US, I can finally rest with ease in a streaming bliss of musical exasperation. However, first I feel the need to recap everyone of where Spotify was and how they got here.

All caught up? Great. The Cliffs Note version of all of that is that Spotify needed to secure the major labels to really make a notable debut in the US and had to round up more paid subscribers in order to make a sustainable impact.

Has all that happened? We'll wrap up the Spotify arrival after the break.

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HTC Responds to Apple's Litigious Ways

posted Saturday Jul 16, 2011 by Scott Ertz

HTC Responds to Apple's Litigious Ways

Apple has been in a pretty litigious mood lately. By lately, I mean the last decade or so. With current legal action against GetJar, Nokia, Kodak, Amazon and the Moon, it isn't surprising that HTC, whom Apple has taken before the ITC at least 5 times recently, has responded rather succinctly. In fact, the comment was rather harsh, though correct.

HTC's general counsel, Grace Lei, said in a statement:

HTC is disappointed at Apple's constant attempts at litigations instead of competing fairly in the market... HTC strongly denies all infringement claims raised by Apple in the past and present and reiterates our determination and commitment to protect our intellectual property rights

Quick and to the point. While it is fun to have HTC going after the jugular, Jobs doesn't usually take kindly to attacks like these; he prefers to make them, instead. This one should get fun quickly.

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Microsoft's Probably Brilliant Accident

posted Saturday Jul 16, 2011 by Scott Ertz

Microsoft's Probably Brilliant Accident

Earlier this week, Microsoft launched a splash page for a project they call Talalip (the screen can be seen on the right). The page, if you cannot see it, says "Welcome. With Tulalip you can Find what you need and Share what you know easier than ever." In addition to this welcome text, there is a Facebook and Twitter sign-in and a series of Windows Phone 7/Windows 8/Xbox Dashboard-style tiles with people's photos. If this doesn't cry social network, I don't know what does.

Well, Microsoft knows and they know they published the splash page. In fact, not too long after, the page came down and an acknowledgement message (yes, that's right, a company that doesn't deny a product everyone now knows exists) went up in its place. The message reads:

Thanks for stopping by. Socl.com is an internal design project from a team in Microsoft Research which was mistakenly published to the web. We didn't mean to, honest.

Didn't they mean to? Hit the break to find out.

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Water + Graphite = The Ultimate Battery

posted Saturday Jul 16, 2011 by Scott Ertz

Water + Graphite = The Ultimate Battery

July has become the month of UpStream electrical mathematics. First we add urine with forward osmosis without electricity. This week, we will be adding pencil lead to water to create a battery.

That's right; a research team from the Monash University Department of Materials Engineering, led by Dr. Dan Li, have developed a material they call graphene. They believe this development could lead to the next generation of batteries. Why is this? This material can create an electrical storage device powerful enough to outshine even the most efficient lithium-ion batteries with the added bonus of only taking seconds to charge. Add to that its ability to charge an almost unending number of times and we might just have the perfect battery.

So, why isn't this in every product everywhere already? Hit the break to find out.

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75 More Potential Microsoft Stores You Don't Click The Center Link For

posted Saturday Jul 16, 2011 by Jon Wurm

75 More Potential Microsoft Stores You Don't Click The Center Link For

Right now Microsoft has 11 brick and mortar store locations; well, 12 if you count the Apple store that was branded in their honor. As far as we can tell most of these locations are not profitable, but that doesn't seem to detour Steve Ballmer from pushing forward with 75 new locations across the U.S. There is speculation that this is an assertive move to compete with Apple, which has around 300 physical locations, the real question however is, what does Microsoft have to gain from all this?

Since at least early April of this year there has been a hot debate among the Microsoft executive circle about whether or not this is going to benefit them. Certainly there are a lot of different factors here. Take for example, the success of Apple stores. It's true that iPods and iPhones are sold almost everywhere under the sun but Apple still largely retains iMac and iPad for themselves, with the exception of Best Buy and maybe a couple other retailers. I believe the reason they can pull this off is because Apple exercises the philosophy that you should have to purchase 4 devices, iMac, iPad, iPhone, iPod to do the job of 1. It also just so happens that 2 of those 4 can almost only be found at an Apple store.

For more of our thoughts on the matter, hit the break. Also, don't forget to visit PLuGHiTzLive.com and click the link in the center for the still-digital Microsoft Store. Tell them Jon sent you.

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