MetroPCS unveils $55 unlimited 4G plan and new 4G phone

MetroPCS may hand the major carriers some competition, with its new 4G LTE plan for budget-conscious consumers.

Available as a promotion, the carrier's new 4G LTE plan provides unlimited talk, texting, and 4G LTE data for $55 a month for a single line. Families can join in by paying $50 a month for second, third, and fourth lines. Though the deal is being offered as a promotion, the expiration date is open-ended.

MetroPCS President Thomas Keys told CNET that the end of the promotion will depend on the adoption rate by consumers. "We didn't want to set … Read more

The 404 1,113: Where there's a ghost in the wires (podcast)

Leaked from today's 404 episode:

- Restaurant offers a 5 percent discount to eat without your phone.

- China is building an army of noodle-making robots.

- Melky Cabrera (SF Giants) created a fake Web site to explain failing drug tests.

- Infrared palm scanners at elementary school are the Mark of the Beast.

- Teenager uses fake ID with picture of Bobby Hill to buy alcohol at six different shops.… Read more

iPhone has a better cam than Curiosity

Friday's top headlines won't judge you by your megapixels:

The Curiosity Mars rover cost $2.5 billion, so why are the cameras just 2 megapixels? The answer comes down to time: Time the rover was planned, the time it takes NASA to test, and the time it takes to transmit larger file sizes.

As Apple and Samsung duke it out in court over patents and copycat claims, Google isn't sitting back quietly. CNET has learned that Google is quietly helping out it's Android partner Samsung with legal advice.

Not all NASA news this week has been … Read more

Why did Microsoft kill the name 'Metro'?

The term "Metro" is officially verboten as the name for Microsoft's Windows 8 interface. The question is: why?

The folks in Redmond recently revealed that the term is off limits, at first claiming it was just a code name but then apparently fessing up that the dumping of Metro was due to legal reasons.

As described by ZDNet columnist Mary Jo Foley, Microsoft seemed to run into brand name issues with a European partner called Metro Group. And apparently Microsoft was unable or simply disinclined to resolve those issues.

The ban on the term "Metro" … Read more

Microsoft: Don't call it Metro. Call it 'Windows 8'

After a seeming naming dispute with a European partner (cough... Metro Group... cough), Microsoft has decided to switch rather than fight over the name of its Metro design language.

The new substitute terminology upon which the Softies have decided is -- drumroll -- "Windows 8," according to my sources.

Here's the official guidance, my sources say: Anything currently/formerly known as a "Metro-Style application" (with or without a hyphen) will now be known officially as a "Windows 8 application." References to the "Metro user interface" will now be replaced by "… Read more

Did Samsung steal Apple's icons?

Monday's top tech headlines are landing safely on your Earthly screens:

The Apple v. Samsung courtroom drama continues this week. The rundown: Apple says Samsung copied the iPhone and iPad. Samsung says it's just being competitive, and has also counter sued for patent infringement. Monday, Apple made the argument that Samsung's icons look the same as Apple's icons. What do you think?

The first week of Apple testimony revealed interesting tidbits, such as how executives liked the idea of a 7-inch iPad. We also learned that the iPhone was first called Project Purple and that it … Read more

No booting straight to desktop in Windows 8, apparently

If you were one of those business users counting on being able to circument the new tiled Windows 8 start menu, you may be disappointed.

The final release-to-manufacturing (RTM) builds of Windows 8 and Windows Server 2012 have been leaking to the Web for last few days. Those with access to the final builds are discovering the final tweaks Microsoft made to the product since the last public test build, Windows 8 Release Preview, was delivered.

One of those tweaks is the decision to block users from setting up their Windows 8 machines to boot straight to the Desktop, circumventing … Read more

'Dyle' in to watch live TV on your phone

You don't need any accessories to catch up on Friday's top tech stories:

A new service called Dyle picks up live, local TV signals to watch on your mobile device. The first with this service is the MetroPCS Samsung Galaxy S Lightray 4G. But if you rather not drop $460 right now for a phone, iOS users may have another option this fall when Dyle attachments are expected to go on sale.

No price has been set, but the attachments could cost, at most, $150. And the service from then on is free. Would you pay for an … Read more

MetroPCS TV service debuts on Samsung Galaxy S Lightray 4G

Nobody looking at the long antenna sprouting from MetroPCS' new Samsung Galaxy S Lightray 4G would suggest that Samsung's bringing sexy back, but for TV lovers, the throwback has a purpose.

The prepaid carrier and Samsung teamed up to introduce the Dyle Mobile TV service, which delivers live, local broadcast TV over Metro's 4G LTE network. The service is free once you buy the phone.

Dyle has been in the works for years, and is certainly an interesting. Now how about the Lightray itself?

The Android 2.3 Gingerbread handset is a version of U.S. Cellular's … Read more

Is 'Metro' now a banned word at Microsoft?

For the past year-plus, Microsoft has been playing up its Metro design language/philosophy as the crux around which its future product design revolves. But in the past few days, I've been hearing from a number of my contacts that Microsoft is trying to slow, if not halt, internal and external use of the term "Metro."

What gives?

I've heard from a few sources that they believe Microsoft is stepping away from "Metro" because of a possible copyright dispute with some other entity. (No idea who/what entity that might be, if it were … Read more