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IPad 2 sales start with pre-dawn online orders

Customers line up Thursday in New York to buy an iPad 2. (Reuters/Lucas Jackson)

Apple Inc.’s updated version of its iPad tablet computer will be available in stores Friday afternoon but those who can’t wait to say they own the gadget can beat the crowds by ordering one online before the sun rises. The Cupertino company opened online sales of the iPad 2 at 3 a.m., hours before they will be available in stores nationwide at 5 p.m. local time. Get the full story »

Apple to start iPad 2 sales online in wee hours

Apple Inc. will kick off online sales of its new iPad in the early hours Friday before its evening store launch of the tablet computer.

Consumers can start buying the iPad 2 on Apple’s website at 3 a.m. Central time Friday while customers who want to purchase it in a store will have to wait until 4 p.m., Apple said. Get the full story »

iPad 2 dents Motorola Mobility stock price

Shares of Motorola Mobility  slumped Thursday as Apple Inc.’s  new iPad won rave reviews.

Motorola Mobility shares were recently down 5.2 percent, at $26.90.

Cowen and Co. downgraded the stock to neutral from outperform, a day after Apple took the wraps of the iPad 2. Apple shares were up nearly 2 percent. Get the full story »

Illinois in pilot to aid small manufacturers

By Katherine Skiba | Federal officials on Wednesday announced a $4.5 million pilot program to help small and medium manufacturers in Illinois and three other Great Lake states use supercomputing technology to speed  product design.

The public-private partnership will assist firms in Illinois, Indiana, Michigan and Ohio, officials said. Get the full story »

Southwest recovers from 2 glitches, snarled flights

Southwest Airlines is recovering from two unrelated computer outages Tuesday that caused the carrier’s online reservations systems to crash and briefly snarled its flight operations.

The technical foul-ups were resolved overnight, said Southwest spokesman Chris Mainz, via e-mail. “We may have had some temporary periods of slowness as we are still working through all issues with the conversion, but for the most part it’s been running smoothly today,” he added.
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Jobs introduces faster, more powerful iPad

Apple CEO Steve Jobs introduces iPad 2. (Getty Images)

Steve Jobs, Apple’s founder and CEO,  unveiled the second generation iPad tablet computer Wednesday in San Francisco.

Saying that the legion of tablet competitors that has sprung up have not even matched Gen I, Jobs, whose latest medical leave has raised speculation about the future of the company, said the new tablet is a total redesign. Get the full story »

Amazon announces Android app store

Bloomberg News | plans to open an app store to sell software for the Android operating system. It will join the more than 30 stores selling the mobile-phone downloads.

Motorola touts wide rollout of phone/laptop tech

Motorola Mobility is planning to make its webtop application, which connects a smart phone with a laptop dock to simulate a desktop experience, a common feature on most of its high-end devices by year-end, Chief Executive Sanjay Jha said Monday.

Motorola introduced the webtop functionality at the Consumer Electronics Show in January, when it unveiled the Atrix, a smart phone running Google’s Android operating system. The Atrix, which will go on sale at AT&T stores next week, nestles into a thin laptop dock with an 11.6-inch display and full keyboard. The phone powers the set-up, which gives the user full PC capabilities, including Web-based desktop applications. Get the full story »

Trademark suit threatens Xoom launch

From CBS’ BNet | San Francisco-based Xoom Corp. filed suit against Motorola’s trademark entity seeking a “temporary restraining order and/or preliminary injunction” as well as a permanent injunction against use of the Xoom name. If granted, Motorola would have to immediately stop the launch of its high-buzz Xoom tablet computer until it could either legally resolve the matter or find another name. Get the full story>>

Analysts: Motorola’s Xoom has plenty of power

Motorola’s new Xoom tablet computer has enough power under the hood to challenge Apple Inc.’s iPad, according to analysis by market researchers IHS iSuppli, but buyers might be disappointed to find that it will need new hardware to work on new, high-speed networks. Get the full story »

No succession plan demand from Apple investors

Apple shareholders rejected demands that the company disclose a succession plan for ailing chief Steve Jobs but approved a proposal giving them a bigger say in appointing directors.

At Apple’s annual meeting Wednesday, about 74 percent of votes cast favored a proposal by Calpers that unopposed candidates for the company’s board receive a majority of votes to win election, according to the fund. Get the full story »

Chicago, Vernon Hills hop on Microsoft’s cloud

The City of Chicago and Vernon Hills Police Department are among 16 new government and education customers for Microsoft’s cloud computing program, the company announced at its Public Sector CIO Summit Wednesday.

“Public sector organizations are looking for enterprise-grade cloud solutions, and that means providing high levels of security, functionality and support,” Curt Kolcun, vice president of U.S. Public Sector at the Redmond, Wash.-based tech giant said in a statement. “We’re seeing government and education organizations of every size and dimension using Microsoft cloud solutions to help reduce costs and increase productivity in support of their missions.” Get the full story »

Google rolls out Cloud Connect rival to Office

Google Inc., taking aim at Microsoft Corp.’s  lucrative Office franchise, plans to release a free tool allowing users to transfer files from the widely used software suite to the Web so that multiple people can edit and collaborate on them.

The long-anticipated move is intended to bolster one of Google’s fastest-growing businesses not related to its popular search engine — selling online software to companies. The company’s Google Apps offering includes online word-processing, spreadsheet and collaboration tools used through a Web browser that are part of a service called Google Docs. They compete with Office applications such as Word, Excel and PowerPoint. Get the full story »

Apple iPad launch due on March 2

In this photo taken April 3, 2010, a customer uses an Apple iPad on the first day of Apple iPad sales at an Apple store in San Francisco. (AP Photo/Paul Sakuma, File)

Apple is expected to launch its new iPad on March 2, contrary to speculation of a delay of the latest version of the popular tablet computer.

One person familiar with the matter said recent speculation about a delay until June was “simply not true” as Apple is planning a launch in the same seasonal schedule as the first iPad, which went on sale in April 2010.

Apple will host an event on Mar. 2, where the company is expected to take the wraps off the newest iPad model, an individual with knowledge of the situation said. Apple declined to comment. Get the full story »

U. of C. to get some of Watson’s ‘Jeopardy!’ prize

IBM supercomputer Watson takes on "Jeopardy!" champs Ken Jennings and Brad Rutter. (IBM photo)

IBM’s supercomputer, Watson, may have trounced the last hope for humanity when it beat two “Jeopardy!” champions in a three-night contest this week, but it has also extended a philanthropic helping hand to mere mortals.

IBM is allocating $500,000 of Watson’s $1 million winnings to World Community Grid, a project where volunteer PCs users make up a “virtual supercomputer” that helps scientists with research projects. The grid harnesses the spare computational power of 1.7 million PCs from 535,000 volunteers in 80 countries, putting this combined capability to work on complicated problems. Get the full story »