Two days ago, the White House announced its support for carrier unlocking handsets. The administration promised an FCC/NTIA investigation as well as a willingness to "work with Congress" on legislation to fix the problem. So, we can probably count on the President's support of the new Wireless Device Independence Act, introduced last night by Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR). The bill, which is only three pages long, has a simple goal: amend the DMCA such that it explicitly allows the unlocking of cell phones, obviating the need for a tri-yearly exemption.
I'm not sure we even have enough wat for this, but let's give it a go. Snoop Dogg—that is to say, the previous incarnation of the entity now known as Snoop Lion—will soon be appearing in a rhythm fighting game on Android called 'Way of the Dogg.' Developed by Echo Peak and under development for two years, the title will show "how we evolve as individuals." Plus, "[Echo Peak has] incorporated the journey of my own personal reincarnation as Snoop Lion into my character," says the rechristened rapper in a ringing endorsement.
Rumors are tricky things. On the one hand, one of the best ways to verify that a suspicious-looking leak is legit is to examine the track record of the leakster. On the other hand, when an image comes out that's nothing but a rounded rectangle with a few gradients, it should be assumed that the picture is complete bunk or, at best, resembles a real device by virtue of adhering to predictable patterns.
As we get closer and closer to Google I/O, speculation inevitably ramps up about what Mountain View will be unveiling this year to set the Android world on fire. The most likely plans involve boosting Play Store features and availability, given the recent push not only to expand into new countries, but to frame the Nexus line as a great content consumption platform. If Fortune is right, then Google may have a huge axe to swing in that battle with not one, but two different subscription music services coming soon.
When Android first came out, there were a lot of concerns about an open source OS. One of the biggest ones was, what if a company takes Android, strips everything Google out of it, and builds an entirely new platform on top of it? Well, Amazon seems dead set on making sure we know what that's like. The company has already built its own Appstore, content delivery services, and closed hardware on top of Google's baby.
Just a few days ago, we saw a hint that Google might be ready to expand its gift card program to the UK. Today, our suspicions are confirmed as the cards have started showing up at the distinctly British Tesco grocery stores. So far the only denominations confirmed are £10 and £25, though the support pages indicate that there are some £50 vouchers running around out there somewhere.
So far, Google has only seen fit to launch gift cards in the US and the UK.
The Galaxy Note 10.1, old as it may be, is still the de facto standard if you're looking for an Android tablet with a built-in stylus and at least some custom software to support it. Now, it's cheaper than ever to get your hands on it with Woot offering the 32GB model with a bonus leather pouch for $409. The slate has also received some updates in some regions since it first came out, so there's never been a better time to give it a second look.
Now that Android has matured to the point of being solid in its own right, manufacturer skins don't rely so much on fixing the problems with the OS as they do creating their own platform. In order to differentiate from the competition, the new Galaxy S needs to do things the One series doesn't. While HTC focuses on improving its audio and visual performance, Samsung is attempting to boost its wow factor by improving on its eye-tracking technology.
It's not Jelly Bean yet. Well, I mean it is. It's the older Jelly Bean. Not the newer Jelly Bean. I'm sure this isn't confusing. However, Verizon is getting ready to roll out an update to the Galaxy S III that will bump the phone from 4.1.1 to 4.1.2. Unfortunately this isn't the 4.2 upgrade most users were likely hoping for. Among the listed improvements are a better keyboard and the ability to take pictures while on a call.