Photosynth on Windows Phone

Microsoft’s ground-breaking Photosynth application, which has been available for the iPhone, is now available on the Windows Phone Marketplace. The free app requires Windows Phone 7.5 or higher.

It lets you shoot 360-degree photos in both landscape and portrait mode. Additionally, you’ll be able to share those all-around shots with your friends on Twitter and Facebook.

Photosynth offers two styles for creating immersive 3D experiences: panoramas and synths. Panoramas are shot from a single camera, panning around. Synths remain its unique feature. They can create a composite surround image from different sources shot at different times.

The mobile application lets you take them directly on your mobile phone (Windows Phone and iPhone), or by processing photos in Microsoft Research’s Image Composite Editor.

Tim Cook: Apple Won’t Buy Spectrum

Apple CEO Tim Cook said the smartphone giant does not need to become a wireless carrier or own one, and that purchasing a carrier might actually be counterproductive to its global business, reports Fierce Wireless.

“Do I think we need to own a carrier or the pipe?” he said during a keynote appearance at the AllThingsD D10 conference. “No. I don’t think we need to do that.”

Cook noted that most of Apple’s business occurs outside the United States. “Owning something just in the U.S. would not have great value in our total worldwide footprint,” he said. “I really think that guys that have it know a lot more about it. This is their area of expertise. … I want to make great devices and use some of the bandwidth. I think we can partner with the pipe owner.”

Speculation that Apple would buy spectrum from carriers may have stemmed from Google’s foray into the 2008 700 MHz spectrum auction. Google got the FCC to declare that phones would not be a “walled garden” – with carrier-controlled apps – in the 700 MHz “C” band if the bidding reached a certain level – $4.7 billion. It’s widely assumed Google pushed Verizon above that market then dropped out.

With China and India using TD-LTE, and the TD-LTE Industry Alliance working with Clearwire to harmonize global interoperability, the possibility of Apple buying wholesale spectrum existed, especially for bandwidth-heavy iPhone and iPad applications such as video and multi-media books which can require Gigabytes on a single download.

Still, coverage using TD-LTE at 2.6GHz would be virtually non-existant for the first year or so, and then spotty; existing only in metropolitan areas. Apple and other carriers need both spectrum and coverage. Clearwire will also offer Voice over LTE when they launch their TD-LTE network in June 2013.

The requirement of delivering tens of GB per month is not going away. The 700/800 MHZ carriers, like AT&T and Verizon won’t have the capacity to deliver mobile demands much longer.

Flame: The World’s Most Complex Computer Virus?

The world’s most complex computer virus, possessing a range of complex espionage capabilities, including the ability to secretly record conversations, has been exposed, reports the Telegraph.

Middle Eastern states were targeted and Iran ordered an emergency review of official computer installations after the discovery of a new virus, known as Flame. Flame can gather data files, remotely change settings on computers, turn on computer microphones to record conversations, take screen shots and copy instant messaging chats. Iran says it has developed tools that can defend against the sophisticated cyber attack.

The virus was discovered by a Russian security firm, Kaspersky Labs, that specialises in targeting malicious computer code. It made the 20 megabyte virus available to other researchers yesterday claiming it did not fully understand its scope and said its code was 100 times the size of the most malicious software.

Experts said the massive malicious software could only have been created by a nation-state.

It is the third cyber attack weapon targeting systems in the Middle East to be exposed in recent years. Stuxnet attacked Iran’s nuclear programme in 2010, while a related programme, Duqu, named after the Star Wars villain, stole data.

Iran has alleged that the West and Israel are orchestrating a secret war of sabotage using cyber warfare and targeted assassinations of its scientists as part of the dispute over its nuclear program.

Related Dailywireless articles include; US and China Coordinate “War Games”, ISPs Adopt Cyber Security Recommendations, Russians Not Controling Springfield Water Pumps, Dueling Cyber Security Bills, SCADA: How Big a Threat?, Stuxnet: Year One, Cyber War: The New Frontier, Satellite Hacked?, Chinese Telecoms Investigated As Security Threat, Wireless Providers Team on AMR and SmartGrid.

Free Push-To-Talk from Wave

Sprint today announced it will transition business and government customers from iDEN to Sprint Direct Connect — its CDMA push to talk service, and cease service on iDEN as early as June 30, 2013 as part of its Network Vision plan. Sprint’s new push-to-talk service uses their CDMA network to replace their old Nextel iDEN system. Sprint expects to take 9,600 iDEN sites offline by the end of the third quarter, says Fierce Wireless.

Meanwhile, Marc Tobias writes in Forbes about a new push-to-talk service called WAVE Connections.

For the past two weeks I have been using a push-to-talk service called WAVE Connections while traveling in Norway, Germany, Spain, and England, and with it I can talk with colleagues in Europe and the United States as if they were in the same city. Before I left America I loaded WAVE on my Android Galaxy SII and iPhone 4S, MacBook Air and iPad.

This software allowed me to have almost-instant cloud-based two-way radio communications that is comparable to traditional radio services that I have been using since I was a kid. Anyone who’s ever used Nextel already know the benefits of push-to-talk services. The company behind the WAVE Connections service is Twisted Pair Solutions in Seattle.

The app works on Blackberries, iPhones, Androids or Windows phones as well as PCs and tablets, and they all can talk to each other wherever there is a data connection to the Internet.

There are three levels of WAVE Connections software: free, paid, and enterprise. The administrator registers on the WAVE site, sets up the number of talk groups and assigns users to each group. An email is sent to each registered user notifying them to download the appropriate software for their specific smartphone, tablet, or computer. A user name and password is assigned for all members of each talk group, which may be changed individually once the system is used by a particular subscriber.

Marc Tobias interviewed James Mustarde of Twisted Pair about how their push to talk software works. It uses IP on a data network, so you need a data connection (but not a voice channel).

Many believe Mission-Critical Voice Over LTE is now a better use of the Public Safety Narrow-Band channels.

Voice Over LTE could make the 700-MHz nationwide IWN network obsolete.

Consultant Andrew Seybold thinks replacing the Narrowband channels with Voice Over LTE is not realistic. He thinks narrowband voice for public safety will be around for a decade or more.

IWN has been repeatedly scaled back. Funding for the federal government’s narrow-band 700 MHz radio network was cut in fiscal 2010 and then again in fiscal 2011, and has been suspended altogether for fiscal 2012. Further, the Department of Homeland Security is no longer participating in the effort, cutting the total number of projected users to about 30,000, and, according to the inspector general report, future participation of the Department of the Treasury appears unlikely.

New legislation will give the 700 MHz D block to Public Safety for a full 10X10 MHz swath of nationwide spectrum to establish a Public Safety Broadband network. Some $7 Billion of federal funding will assist in the building the network plus some R and D funds for future work. Motorola Solutions “is likely to be a critical supplier”, since Motorola controls more than two-thirds of the public safety communications market.

The Public Safety Spectrum Trust currently holds the license for Public Safety Broad Band spectrum in the 700 MHz band, but it has been restricted to a 5X5 MHz swath for LTE. The adjoining Public Service Narrow Band channel remains for voice communications using interoperable P-25 radios (at $5K a pop).

However, the 2012 Inspector General’s report on the Integrated Wireless Network (pdf), concluded the expense and limitations of P-25 radio networks is likely to bring the narrowband effort to a virtual halt, in favor of an integrated approach with both push-to-talk voice and broadband.

Taxpayers are funding a dedicated LTE network, exclusively for use by first responders. The $7 billion set aside for constructing the network won’t come close to funding the tens of thousands of $5,000 push to talk radios that will be required, not to mention building and maintaining the infrastructure. It will never reach citizens in many rural areas.

After extensive study, the FCC determined that a shared public/private partnership between first responders and cellular operators delivered better service at less cost. Technologies like WAVE appear poised to make $3,000 P-25 radios largely obsolete (as long as there is a data connection). Clearwire’s CTO John Saw said they will offer Voice over LTE technology when it launches its TD-LTE network in June 2013.

Skeptics might wonder if the same lawmakers who lobbied for a dedicated, nationwide LTE network, will be the first to cut funding when the cost overruns and jurisdictional disputes inevitably surface. With taxpayers funding a $25 billion dedicated network, we all have the right to ask whether or not lawmakers funded a white elephant.

The number of VoLTE users worldwide will stand at 74 million by 2016. That’s one in every ten LTE subscribers around the globe, according to an analysis conducted by Arc Chart.

Voice over LTE (VoLTE) infrastructure revenues doubled in the first quarter, according to Dell’Oro Group. “We expect multiple operators will launch VoLTE services by the end of 2012 after they have tested their networks when affordable handsets are available,” said Chris DePuy, Analyst at Dell’Oro Group. “Just as important, there are signs that operators will be launching revenue-generating services such as video conferencing, location services, messaging and file sharing in the coming year. These new communication services will represent the first major wireless operator responses to the threats posed by “over-the-top” services, enabled by smartphones” said DePuy.

Related Dailywireless articles include; FCC Gets Unlicensed White Spaces in Payroll Tax Bill, FCC Gets Autonomy in Payroll Tax Bill, FCC Plans Improved Rural Wireless Broadband, Municipal Networks: Good for Cities?, Spectrum Legislation: Democracy Now!, SF Approves Dedicated LTE Network for First Responders, FCC Plans Improved Rural Wireless Broadband, FCC Autonomy Under Fire, AT&T Competitors: No 700MHz Roaming, Universal Service Reform Passed, FCC Reforms $4.3B USF Fund, White House: D-Block to Police/Fire, State of the Spectrum

Samsung Galaxy S III Let Loose

The Galaxy S III, Samsung’s flagship smartphone for 2012, will be available to consumers today across 28 countries in Europe and the Middle East. It will be offered to 296 carriers in 145 countries by July, with June 20th the last rumored date for the US and Canada.

Reuters reports that customers lined up a day ahead of store openings in Berlin. European and Asian network operators are pitched the device heavily and are offering attractive pricing (varies by operator and country) for the device.

Its predecessor, the Galaxy SII, was a big hit worldwide, selling more than 20 million units. The Galaxy S III will go head-to-head on store shelves with the HTC One X and Galaxy Nexus, iPhone 4S (a 3G phone), the HTC One X and One S, the Nokia Lumia 900, and other top-tier phones, many with quad core processors and LTE.

Features of the SIII include:

  • Android Ice Cream Sandwich
  • 4.8-inch 720p AMOLED screen with 1280×720 pixels (306 ppi)
  • Quad-core processor (1.4 GHz quad-core ARM Cortex-A9 and 1.5 GHz dual-core Qualcomm S-4)
  • Slot for microSD card
  • LTE

Reviews of the SIII from Engadget, The Verge, C/Net, Slash Gear and Phone Arena have been positive. You can preorder one from Amazon for $799.

Samsung’s new music service, Music Hub, plans to take on virtually every music service currently available. Two variants of the service are available; a free one, which stores any purchased music in the cloud for easy playback, and a 9.99-per-month alternative that allows customers to upload their own songs for unlimited streaming. It will initially only be available on the Galaxy S III in Germany, Spain, Italy, France and the U.K., but will “soon” be offered on a wider selection of devices, Samsung said in a press release.

Huawei: No Illegal Chinese Subsidies

Huawei Technologies denied on Tuesday that it benefited from illegal Chinese government subsidies, reports Reuters. Huawei, the world’s No.2 telecom equipment vendor after Sweden’s Ericsson, is being investigated by the European Union and may take action against Chinese telecom equipment makers in an anti-dumping case.

The Financial Times quoted unidentified EU officials and executives as saying that the commission had been gathering evidence in a case against China-based Huawei and ZTE Corp.

“Huawei has not received any communication from the European Commission regarding an investigation, but we are aware of media reports on this matter,” said in an emailed statement.

“We deny claims made in the media that Huawei employs dumping practices and has benefited from illegal state subsidies. Huawei also objects to the investigation that the European Commission is reportedly launching on the basis of these claims.”

The final report is expected next month, and if the two firms are found to have benefited from “significant Chinese government support”, then the EU may impose punitive tariffs on their imports into Europe.

Huawei is the world’s second-biggest maker of telecoms equipment, with annual sales of $28 billion—not far behind the leader, Ericsson, which had $35 billion in revenues in 2011. Over 40 percent of mobile traffic worldwide uses Ericsson networks. Huawei employs 110,000 people.

ZTE and Huawei, both among the world’s top five telecom gear makers, also want to challenge the dominant positions of Apple and Samsung in the global high-end smartphone market. Smartphone sales in May accounted for 71 percent of overall mobile handset sales in the US, with basic phones representing just 28 percent of sales, according to a survey from iGR.

ZTE has said it could be shipping 100 million smartphones a year by 2015, according to Reuters. Huawei expects to ship more than 100 million mobile phones this year, including 60 million smartphones, as it aims to increase its global market share.