Apple Has Surpassed Google As The Most Valuable Brand In The World

According to a report from advertising firm WPP’s “BrandZ Top 100 Most Valuable Global Brands” study, Apple has surpassed Google as the mast valuable brand in the world, with their brand value exploding to an unbelievable 859% since 2006 and increased 84% to $153.3 billion this year alone. AT&T, China Mobile, IBM, and Microsoft all are in the top-10 most valuable brands list, while McDonald’s is the only non-tech company in the top-5. This ends Google’s four-year reign as most valuable brand in the world, while Amazon passed Walmart by as the No. 1 retailer overall. Check past the break for WPP’s official report.

Windows Phone 7.5 ‘Mango’ Details Leaked

We’ve just come off of the NoDo update which brings copy-and-paste for Windows Phone 7, but now is the time to start looking forward to the next update, Windows Phone 7.5 ‘Mango’, which should bring multitasking support, Bing Audio, an app will identify songs by listening to the music in question, a la Shazam or SoundHound; Bing Vision, which will be barcode scanning along with a ton of camera-assisted search functions, turn-by-turn navigation in Bing Maps, speech recognition support in the messaging app and a new native podcast player. None of the aforementioned has been confirmed by Microsoft, but if the past is any way to learn about Windows Phone 7 software updates, if the source is reliable with past updates, then we can feel comfortable about this leak.

Via: WindowsPhoneSecrets, BGR

Sony PlayStation Network Downtime Should Last Until A Damning May 31st

Geez. A Sony spokesperson told Bloomberg recently that they expect the PlayStation Network servers and services to go online May 31st, which would mean since PSN went down on April 20th, and that it would take them six weeks in total to figure out that they’ve been hacked, invite high-level digital security firms to help with figuring that out, fixing and updating servers, writing several blog posts about how they’re sorry, finally decide to move their servers to “a safer location”, then hitting the “On” switch.

It’s a lot of work, but six weeks? Come on, Sony. Via: Bloomberg

Amazon Cloud Player Now Working On iOS Devices Via Safari Browser!

Both desktop and Android users have had something that every iOS owner (or at least many) have wanted ever since it launched: Amazon Cloud Player support via an app or the web. Well, guess what? By some magical (read: great) tweaking by the Amazon geeks, the Cloud Player now works on the Safari browser that is on iOS devices. If you happen to see any “unsupported browser” warnings, just ignore them and continue to the app. There you can select you music that the big labels are extremely uncomfortable with Amazon hosting for you in the cloud, at little to no cost, and to your full enjoyment. Also, the music plays in the background while performing other tasks (like typing this post), pauses when notifications pop-up and works rather flawlessly, as tested on my iPad 2 running iOS 4.3.3.
Via: Amazon Cloud Player, TC

Sony CEO Howard Stringer Apologizes For PSN Outage, Details Its Return

If you’re an angry gamer (and if so, I don’t really like you) then Sony’s CEO, Howard Stringer has some words for the angry, surprised, carefree, and others who have had their PlayStation Network access halted for almost a full month now. First of all, Stringer goes on to apologize in the letter seen in blockquote below, then afterwards in his PlayStation Blog post details the “Welcome Back” package which will apply to all PlayStation users and offers one free month of the PlayStation Plus service, as well as a refund for those already subscribing to PSN+. Also mentioned in the letter is the $1 million identity theft protection for users’ credit cards, but as Mr. Howard Stringer claims, there is no current evidence of any credit card information being stolen from users.

Howard Stringer’s apology to PSN users:

“I know some believe we should have notified our customers earlier than we did. It’s a fair question. As soon as we discovered the potential scope of the intrusion, we shut down the PlayStation Network and Qriocity services and hired some of the best technical experts in the field to determine what happened. I wish we could have gotten the answers we needed sooner, but forensic analysis is a complex, time-consuming process. Hackers, after all, do their best to cover their tracks, and it took some time for our experts to find those tracks and begin to identify what personal information had — or had not — been taken.

He later goes on to mention that the PlayStation Network should be up “in the coming days”.
Via: PS Blog

Samsung Infuse 4G — This Is Fun Stuff


It’s Sammy’s latest 4G device, the Infuse 4G. Sporting up to a 21MBps HSPA+ connection on AT&T, the Infuse uses a 1.2GHz single-core processor, 4.5-inch Super AMOLED Plus display, Android 2.2 with Touchwiz 3.0, an 8-megapixel rear-facing (720p HD video capture) and 1.3 megapixel front-facing camera, is 8.99mm thin, and finally, the official launch date of May 15th for $199 with a new two-year agreement, all of which was announced this evening at a press event in New York City. The ultimate showdown between the Samsung DROID Charge and Infuse 4G will be incredibly awesome. Full press release after the break.

Motorola’s XPRT And Titanium Android Phones Announced On Sprint


Here are two Droid Pro lookalikes: the Motorola XPRT and Titanium, both for Sprint. The XPRT uses Android 2.2 (Froyo) with MOTOBLUR, 3.1-inch touchscreen display, 5-megapixel camera, a full QWERTY keyboard with BlackBerry-style buttons, with a 1GHz processor and Adobe Flash 10 support. On the flipside, the Motorola Titanium is Sprint’s successor to the older Motorola i1, and it will be a military-grade ruggedized smartphone using Android 2.1 (Eclair, are you serious?!), QWERTY keypad, again a 3.1-inch touchscreen display, 5-megapixel camera, Push to Talk support with dust, shock, vibration, low pressure, solar radiation, high temperature and low temperature resistance. The new Sprint phones will be launched soon: XPRT will be launched in June 5th for $129.99 on contract basis; details for the Titanium are not available yet.