MedicalKeyring: Your medical data on a fingerprint thumbdrive

Say what you will about the benefits or pitfalls of the digitization of medical records, but it seems inevitable.

SmartMetric has a new device that makes your records available anywhere, anytime. As long as you're carrying it, that is.

It's called the MedicalKeyring and it's an 8GB thumbdrive that carries all your vital info, protected by fingerprint-only access. … Read more

Meet the firm behind Verizon, AT&T's reliability, speed claims

Apparently, it takes just two words to rile up wireless giants Verizon Wireless and AT&T.

Those words, "most reliable," set off the latest fracas between the two as both attempted to claim network superiority. With handset selection and phone plans so similar, the carriers are increasingly banking on the reputation of their service quality as the key competitive edge.

So Verizon was more than a little perturbed after AT&T co-opted its "most reliable" title. After initially taking the high ground and pointing to its own track record, Verizon added its own word … Read more

Microsoft acquires cloud-monitoring startup MetricsHub

Microsoft announced today that it had acquired MetricsHub, a cloud monitoring startup that automates cloud performance management.

The Bellevue, Wash.-based company, which was a participant in Microsoft's three-month-long Accelerator program, helps customers interpret application data points to determine how and when to scale their application. Financial details of the acquisition were not revealed.

Microsoft's program provides 10 startups developing in the cloud with a $20,000 investment, office space, technical training and support, and mentorship from entrepreneurs. At the conclusion of the program, participants have the opportunity to pitch their product to Microsoft executives, investors, and the … Read more

iOS 6 already on 60 percent of iPhones in North America

More than half of iPhones in the U.S. and Canada are already on Apple's latest operating system, a new report says.

Advertising and analytics company Chitika today released updated metrics on ad impressions dating back to when iOS 6 came out last month. The company found that 60 percent of iPhone users are now on iOS 6. Meanwhile iPad users trail at 45 percent, and iPod users at 39 percent.

"Overall, this data points to Apple doing an outstanding job of keeping their user base up-to-date with the latest OS," Chitika said in a blog post. &… Read more

iOS 6 already on 15 percent of devices, firm says

Just a day after the release of Apple's iOS 6 mobile operating system, 15 percent of iOS users have upgraded to the new version, a new report says.

Advertising and analytics company Chitika today says that 15 percent of iOS devices are now running iOS 6, which was released for download in the early morning Wednesday.

That number comes from what Chitika says is "a sample of millions of mobile ad impressions" from its advertising network between yesterday and today.

"This level of adoption is a significant development and a testament to the vertical product structure … Read more

Sony gets the crowd to shoot its Xperia Ion promo

More companies seem to be discovering that crowdsourcing is more than just a cheap way to have other people do your work for you, it's a cheap and potentially cool way. Or so the conversation likely went with Sony's marketing folks when they came up with the idea to demo the HD camera on the Sony Xperia Ion smartphone by creating a music video entirely from footage shot by a crowd full of the phones.

Sony got Metric, one of the bands signed to its recording label, to perform in a hotel penthouse and handed out 25 of the company's new LTE phones for the audience to film the one-take performance. … Read more

Five things you didn't know about data testing (Smartphones Unlocked)

At 10:30 in the morning a few weeks ago I hopped into a plain white van, a mysterious briefcase carefully laid out on the passenger's seat abuzz with phones.

Into the afternoon, the driver answered my probing questions about long hours on the road, awkward run-ins with the cops, and flashed guns. This was no police surveillance ride along; my driver was merely sharing a day in the life of an independent cell phone network tester.

Meet RootMetrics

A few miles away from Microsoft, a small company called RootMetrics (formerly Root Wireless) sends out a tiny squadron of … Read more

RootMetrics: T-Mobile 4G is faster than you think

NEW ORLEANS--Theoretical speeds are one thing, but the majority of smartphone owners will agree that real-life data speeds are what count.

Comprehensively charting each carriers' data network is the subject of RootMetric's quarterly report.

So far, the company scouts have systematically combed 42 urban and suburban markets to compare 3G and 4G data speeds.

Their methodology includes test calls, data downloads, and texting. Scouts record how easily they could get onto the network and perform tasks, and then run diagnostic speed tests through RootMetrics' automated software. They never use jailbroken devices.

On the LTE front, RootMetrics found that AT&… Read more

Big Data may be hot, but 'little data' is what makes it useful

Big Data is in vogue, with a glut of startups and numerous large installations appearing in corporations. At CBS Interactive, we process almost one billion events a day that flow from our Web and application servers over message queues to a cluster of 80 twelve core Hadoop nodes that then feed a Teradata data warehouse.

Processing and analyzing such a large volume of data helps us ask important questions: Which pages on which properties are most profitable? Who goes where across our various sites? What types of content generates the greatest number of advertising conversions?

But here's the thing: … Read more

Study: Google to take Apple's app crown by July

Apple frequently touts the number of applications available to iOS users, which now sits north of 350,000. But that number could be in danger of coming in second place to rival Google in just a few months time.

In a new report by market research firm Distimo for the last month of activity on Apple's various App Stores, the BlackBerry App World, GetJar, Google's Android Market, Nokia's Ovi Store, Palm's App Catalog, and Microsoft's Windows Phone 7 Marketplace, the group found Google and Microsoft's efforts to be growing the fastest.

"If all … Read more