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Tech World News – June 18, 2009

From the always-exciting world of high tech:

Apples iPhone 3G SApple iPhone 3G S Goes on Sale This Week. The highly anticipated iPhone 3G S will be released this week by Apple. Cosmetically no different from the current 3G, this newest model is reportedly up to two times faster processing downloads (The “S” stands for “Speed”), has a larger storage capacity and a better camera. But perhaps its most valuable new feature is that it allows users to cut-and-paste content—including copy, graphics and links—from document-to-document or from Web site to document (such as an email). Oh, there’s also a new built-in compass in case you get lost. Initially, Apple was only going to offer minimal discounts to current 3G owners who weren’t currently “upgrade eligible,” but a flood of protests caused the company to relent and offer fully discounted $199/$299 pricing (depending on storage capacity) to any 3G owner whose current contract expires in June, July, August or September of this year. Apple stores nationwide are scheduled to open as early as 7:00 a.m. to deal with the expected demand.

Prepare Yourself for “Augmented Reality.” As if Virtual Reality wasn’t enough, out of Western Europe comes the newest things we didn’t know we really needed: “Augmented Reality.” Created by a company called Layar and designed to work with the new iPhone 3G S, “Augmented Reality” allows a user to view a location through an iPhone’s camera and then, using sophisticated GPS technology, view information about what’s being looked at by a variety of on-screen pop-ups. Information can include historical or other tourist-centric information about a site, real estate values and availability, or directions to the nearest bars, clubs, restaurants or ATM. The app is currently being tested in Netherlands and is expected to come to ]the USA within a year.

IBM’s $100 Million Mobile Investment. Think mobile communication is still too slow, awkward and unreliable? IBM thinks so, too, which is why it’s reportedly investing approximately $100 million over the next five years in research aimed at improving everything from cell phone communications to wireless Internet. Part of its investment will be focused on finding ways to bring mobile communication to the estimated 83 percent of the world’s population that still cannot access the World Wide Web.

Bing is Boost to Microsoft. Microsoft’s new Bing search engine appears to be a hit. Since its release earlier this month, use of the new engine has been rising steadily—as has Microsoft’s stock value. Microsoft believes so strongly in its new service that it’s reportedly spending between $80 million and $100 million in advertising to support it. Meanwhile, the world’s number-one search engine, Google, is not taking this new competition lightly. The New York Post has reported that Google co-founder Sergey Brin is now working closely with his top engineers to upgrade and hopefully surpass Bing’s performance.
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