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In the second case of its kind in a week, a woman in Brazil reportedly awoke in the middle of the night to find her iPhone emitting sparks and smoke.

Being awoken from a deep, soothing slumber by an alarm clock or wake-up call is bad enough, but being awoken by a fire on your bedside table would be something else altogether. It’d certainly get you out of bed in a hurry.

According to Brazil’s techtudo website, a woman by the name of Ayla Mota had her iPhone 4 plugged in to charge overnight when it allegedly began to emit sparks and smoke as she slept (no, the picture on the right is not of the actual incident).

The fact that the phone was on Ayla’s bedside table meant the indoor fireworks display was kicking off only a short distance from her head. Upon waking, it seems that Ayla was able to deal with the situation without coming to any harm, though she was reportedly shaken up by the event.

The incident comes in the same week that another iPhone 4 device was said to have spontaneously combusted, this time on board a passenger plane in Australia. In that incident the phone was reported to have emitted dense smoke and a red glow. A quick-thinking flight attendant used a fire extinguisher to deal with the emergency and no one was hurt. Australian airline authorities are looking into the incident.

Apple has yet to publicly comment on either case, though no doubt the company will be keen to cast its eye over the results of any investigations.

It’s hardly time for iPhone owners to start sleeping with a bucket of water under the bed though. These are extremely isolated incidents and with Apple having sold so many of its smartphone device, what are the chances of yours going up in smoke?

If, however, multiple reports start coming in of iPhones spontaneously combusting here, there and everywhere, then perhaps that’ll be the time to start filling up the bucket. But one hopes it won’t ever come to that.

 

Provided by Trevor Mogg

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BlackBerry-Bold-9790-Curve-9380

A crowd of over 1,000 people mobbed an Indonesian mall for a chance to buy a half priced BlackBerry 9790. Over 90 people passed out in the mob, and at least three people suffered broken bones.

If you thought local Black Friday deals were good, you need to go to Indonesia. A crowd of over 1,000 people formed outside an Indonesian mall on Friday for a sale on the newly released BlackBerry 9790, pictured on the left above. The phone that retails for around $520 was available at half price.

Customers had been in line since 4 pm the day before waiting for the sale to start. Rumors started spreading throughout the massive crowd that there wasn’t enough phones for everyone in line so they started to get a little rowdy. The crowd pushed through a barricade which caused at least 90 people to pass out and three people to suffer broken bones. It took 200 police officers and security guards to restore order to the mob.  Three people were rushed to the hospital for treatment to their injuries.

While it might be a little surprising for us here in the U.S. but BlackBerry is by far the most popular phone maker in Indonesia. Four of the top five selling phones are made by BlackBerry. Combine the insane popularity of the device with a half off discount on a recently released device and this sort of situation is predictable.

Local police said that BlackBerry officials will be questioned for failure to provide a safe environment for the sale. The police were not informed by BlackBerry prior to the event, and say that if they were they would have been able to control the situation.

After the initial mob was dispersed phones went back on sale for a short time until ultimately the sale was shut down prematurely.  There is no word as of right now if other retailers will attempt a similar promotion, but Indonesians should be able to buy the 9790 at any of their local BlackBerry retailers starting tomorrow.

The intellectual property battle rages on between Apple and Samsung. In April 2011, Apple filed for patent infringement, claiming that Samsung copied its iPhone and iPad designs. Courts all over the world have taken on this battle. Europe and Australia, for instance, have ordered preliminary injunctions barring Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 from shelves — just in time for the holiday season.

 

Provided by Stephanie Buck

Facebook has been working for two years on a secret Facebook phone project named Buffy. Facebook is rumored to be teaming up with HTC to be build a device with a modified version of Android to create a fully integrated Facebook experience.

Buffy the Vampire Slayer might be making a comeback, but as a phone instead of a TV show or movie. Today AllThingsD is reporting that Facebook has been working on an official Facebook phone code named Buffy. The social media giant is rumored to have teamed up with HTC to produce a fully integrated Facebook mobile device. If these rumors are true we shouldn’t expect to see a Facebook phone for at least 12 to 16 months.

We started hearing rumors about a Facebook phone over a year ago, which seem to be true since the Buffy project has been in production for almost two years now. We have seen phones launch in the past year with Facebook integration, and even with a dedicated Facebook button. Buffy is said to be something completely different from anything we have seen thus far.

Buffy is said to run on a modified version of Android tweaked by Facebook so that all of its services are deeply integrated into the phone. It is also said to support HTML5 as a platform for applications, which means you should be able to play all of your favorite Facebook games on the phone.

Facebook’s app is one of the most popular app on iOS, Android, Windows 7, and Blackberry but being just an app comes with restrictions. With Google able to fully integrate Google+ into Android phones, and Apple’s new partnership with Twitter it seems like Facebook needs to make its own device to stay competitive.

Over 350 million people use Facebook apps on mobile phones, and Facebook knows that the future of social networking is mobile. Is the Facebook phone going to be too little too late when it finally comes out?

 

Provided by Mike Dunn

 

ipad-3-concept

Next models of iPad and iPhone could get a boost in size to go along with improved specs.

While the normal tendency is to make each iteration of a product slimmer, a new rumor suggests that the next generation of iPads and iPhones could actually be a step up in both specs and size.

Citing the site’s “most reliable source,” iLounge has posted some details about the next generation of iPads and iPhones that suggest both product lines will gain a little size when new models are released in 2012.

With the iPad 3, the size increase will only add about .7mm of thickness to the tablet computer. The change is necessary to support a second light bar for the higher-resolution display — rumored to be an impressive 2048 x 1536 pixels. The site indicates that that the iPad 3 could debut sometime in January for a March release.

As for the iPhone 5, the site’s source says the phone will need an extra 8mm to accommodate its new 4-inch display. Upgrades to the phone’s battery could also play into the size increase.

The report suggests that the iPhone 5 will debut sometime in the summer, and that it’s still in the engineering phase (as opposed to early production).

 

Provided by Rick Marshall

gmail-logo-good

The fix is in: Google returns the Gmail iOS app to the Apple App Store bug-free.

 

After a very public screw-up, Google has re-released the Gmail app for iOS devices into Apple’s App Store. The app is currently available for download. (Though, for some reason, it’s not showing up in the iOS App Store app, as of 3:30pm ET.) Users who managed to snag the earlier version of the app, which contained a number of bugs that rendered it inoperable, will have to either log out, or completely uninstall the app, before installing the updated version.

A native Gmail app for iOS has been a long time coming. For the past few years, users of Android-based smartphones have boasted their ability to access added functionality of Gmail which was lost when using the email service on iOS, through its app client. With this release that perk is no longer exclusive to Android users.

At the top of the new-features heap is the addition of Push Notifications, as well as greater speed, efficiency and touchscreen functionality. Better search, email address autocomplete and the ability to upload and send photos are also part of Gmail for iOS.

Google says that, since releasing the original version, it has begun to work on adding a number of additional features, as well. These include the ability to use multiple accounts. Notifications and “mobile specific” touchscreen gestures will also be getting an upgrade. “Many more” new features are on their way, says Google.

The Gmail app is free, and will work on any device that runs iOS 4 or above.

Apple’s iPad may well appeal across the board, but what kinds of people are most likely to buy one? Well, someone has done a spot of research and come up with an infographic providing the answer.

 

Whether it’s a barely-talking toddler who seems to be able to know exactly how to operate the thing, or someone in their twilight years for whom desktop computers were always just too darn tricky, the fact is that Apple’s popular iPad appeals to many types.

Data management firm BlueKai took it upon itself to take a closer look at which kinds of people would be more likely to purchase the device. Through its research, illustrated in a neat infographic at the bottom of this page, it found that an iPad buyer is most likely to be male, a fan of video games and a pet owner. It’s hard to find a connection between pets and iPads but it’s likely that it’s those video game players who are helping to push up iOS mobile gaming revenue to record levels.

Falling into the ‘highly likely to buy an iPad’ category are scientists and health care workers, as well as domestic business travelers (keeps them busy on the plane), international travelers (ditto), apartment dwellers, proponents of organic food and vitamin takers.

Other information included in the demographic included comScore’s discovery that 45.9 percent of tablet owners live in households earning in excess of $100,000 per year. Additionally, research by Nielsen showed that 70 percent of all iPad use takes place in front of a television.

The iPad is proving a huge success for Apple, which sold more than 11 million of the devices during the most recent quarter for which data is available. Precisely how many of those belong to male, pet-owning gaming fans isn’t currently known.

 

Provided by Trevor Mogg