Apple is the new juggernaut

Microsoft reported a smaller quarterly profit than Apple for the first time in 20 years as the iPad ate into sales of laptop computers.

Microsoft’s net income for the quarter was $5.2 billion compared to Apple’s $5.99 billion. According to Bloomberg, that’s the first time in 20 years that Apple’s quarterly profit eclipsed Microsoft’s. The milestone comes after Apple passed Microsoft in market capitalization last year.

Pat Becker, Jr., principal of Becker Capital Management, says there’s “no doubt” that the iPad is cannibalizing laptop sales, at Microsoft’s expense. Along those lines, revenues in its Windows segment fell 4.4% to $4.5 billion, which was “in line with the PC trends,” according to a statement from the company. Microsoft is banking on Windows 8, which is likely to appear in beta form this summer and hit the mass market in 2012, to revive consumer PC sales.

Happily for Microsoft, other divisions of the company are doing better. Revenues for the company’s Business Division grew 21% year over year. “The enterprise has been doing a refresh and upgrade and Microsoft’s been riding that wave,” Becker says. The Entertainment & Devices Division also grew its revenues 60% year-over-year thanks to the successful introduction of Kinect for Xbox 360 and continued strong sales for Xbox 360.

Despite those numbers, Microsoft seems to be feeling the heat from Apple and Google among others, as evinced by a company-wide pay raise given out last week, according to the Financial Times.

Chiddy Bang beats all time freestyling record…Over 9 hours!

During Thursday night’s first-ever MTV O Music AwardsChidera “Chiddy” Anamege of Chiddy Bang broke the Guinness World Record for Longest Freestyle Rap, as well as the Longest Marathon Rapping Record.

Chiddy stole the throne from M-Eighty — who broke the record in 2009 by rapping for nine hours, 15 minutes and 15 seconds — by freestyling for nine hours and 18 minutes. He also beat out D.O. (aka Duane Gibson, Canada) for Longest Marathon Rapping session — D.O. rapped for eight hours and 45 minutes.

Via Mashable

9 hours?! How do you even talk for that long? Chiddy Bang is pretty awesome though. Ever heard of them? If you haven’t here are some good tracks.

Bank Lets Customers Pay Friends By Bumping iPhones

ING Direct customers can now transfer payments to friends with the bump of a cellphone — no account numbers needed.

The bank released an updated version of its iPhone app [iTunes link] on Wednesday morning that integrates an API from Bump Technologies, a startup that makes it easy to transfer information between phones by tapping them together.

Previously Bump’s technology has been used to exchange contact information, photos and music between users. This is the first time that a bank has leveraged it for person-to-person payments.

Many banks (including ING Direct) are experimenting with another technology called near field communication(NFC), which could one day power phone-to-phone transactions. But there are a limited number of NFC-enabled devices in the market, and security standards have yet to emerge.

Bump is much simpler.

The startup’s app and API recognize tapping motions and maps them. When a Bump is recognized, a signal is sent to cloud servers that match it with another Bump that occurred at the exact same place and time. It decides those two Bumps are a match, and exchanges information between them.

In ING’s case, each user will need to log into his or her secure account to send or receive payment. Bump’s role is to ID participants in a person-to-person transaction instead of requiring them to type and verify account numbers.

Both participants in an ING Direct Bump transaction need to have ING Electric Orange online checking accounts in order to use the new feature. In the future, says ING Direct CIO Rudy Wolfs, ING Direct account holders will also be able to Bump payments to friends who have accounts at other banks. Bump’s API is free and open, so we wouldn’t be surprised to see other banks implement similar features into their apps.

For now, the feature is only useful in limited circumstances: if you happen to be in the same place as the person who you want to pay, if you both bank with ING Direct and if you both have iPhones. However, if the stars do happen to align just right, you’ll easily be able to reimburse your half of a meal or the cost of a group gift without cash, checks, plastic or even account numbers.

Via Mashable

This is awesome, a very cool idea. Owe your buddy money…iPhone bumps! Lose a bet? Iphone bumps! Your buddy buys you beers all night and is looking for some reimbursement the next day? iPhone was left at home!

White iPhone is thicker than black!

In the tech world, a fraction of a millimeter is enough space to to start an iPhone conversation.

A day after the long-awaited white iPhone 4 hit stores, Web chatter was focused on the fact that it appears to be a shade thicker than the 10-month-old black model. (Wired.com measures the differenceat a whopping 0.2 millimeters).

So, what’s the big deal? For most people, the answer is: “Nothing.”

But for some current (or, now, former) black iPhone owners, some models of tight-fitting, precision cases won’t fit on their new phone. Relatively big cases should be fine.

To many observers, this is just further evidence that no detail about Apple gadgets is too trivial to go unreported.

(Add that to the ever-so-slightly different placement of the mute switch on the Verizon iPhone and you’re creating the need for a veritable cornucopia of different iPhone cases. Sort of.)

The leading theory on the white phone’s gain in girth is that extra coating was needed to keep light out of the phone so the camera would work. The aluminum antenna band around the phone’s edge is no thicker than the black iPhone’s, just the painted glass casing.

Apple vice president Phil Schiller suggested as much, saying that the white coloring interfered with the iPhone’s proximity sensors.

Maybe this’ll be a short-lived issue anyway. The next iPhone (either the iPhone 5 or a permutation of the iPhone 4, similar to the 3GS) should be out by the end of the year.

Via CNN

Tech blog and websites are talking about the white iPhone 4's expanded girth compared to its black predecessor.

This one is for all of you iPhone snobs. I’m a fan of the iPhone but I would never get it in white. If it looks anything like my Macbook over time it would get pretty ugly. Plus its too flashy for a guy I think.

Exxon hits record high profits…now claiming that they make little $$ on oil

In an attempt to deflect rising anger among American drivers and political leaders, Exxon Mobil said Thursday that it makes relatively little money on gasoline, even as it reported a nearly $11 billion quarterly profit.

“We understand that it’s simply too irresistible for many politicians in times of high oil prices and high earnings — they feel they have to demonize our industry,” said a statement from Exxon vice president Ken Cohen.

The statement argued Exxon is not to blame for the recent surge in gas prices, now above $4 a gallon in many areas.

Exxon argued that most of its profit comes from overseas operations, and that earnings in its refining business, which converts crude into gas, make up only 6% of its earnings.

The company said the recent surge in oil prices is due to strong global energy demand, and a stormy political climate in the Middle East and the weak U.S. dollar.

In addition, Exxon said federal and state taxes make up 40 to 60 cents of the price for a gallon of gas, compared with the 7 cents per gallon that the company earns.

Exxon also lashed out at the task force recently created by the Obama administration to crack down on speculation in the oil and gas market.

In response to recent criticism of tax loopholes for the oil industry, Exxon said it has paid nearly $59 billion in U.S. taxes over the past five years, including $9.8 billion last year.

Via CNN

Hey Ken Cohen…I hate you. Stop acting like you are not making more money off of oil when I had to pay $4.10 a gallon today. You make DISGUSTING profits off of oil. It really sucks having to worry about driving now, gas is just such a big expense that people are no longer wanting to travel and I am one of them. So all of you VT people, I am blaming Ken Cohen for not letting me come up and see you.

If you see this man driving up to Mobil in his Hummer tell him Pat says to go to hell.

Which one of these basketball players looks like Colin Garvey?

Little bet I have going on with some friends. I think that Iguodala looks like Colin and Ryan says Turiaf. What do you think?

Colin

Turiaf

Colin

Iguodala

South gets hammered with tornadoes.

Daylight illuminated a scene of utter devastation across many areas of the South Thursday, following storms of near-epic proportions that killed as many as 231 people in six states.

The vast majority of fatalities occurred in Alabama, where as many as 149 people perished, although Gov. Robert Bentley told reporters Thursday there were 131 confirmed deaths.

A breakdown provided by Bentley’s office showed that violent weather claimed lives in 16 Alabama counties. Thirty people perished in DeKalb County in northeastern Alabama; the death toll in the hard-hit city of Tuscaloosa, in west-central Alabama, was at 36 as of Thursday morning, said Mayor Walter Maddox.

“I don’t know how anyone survived,” Maddox said. “We’re used to tornadoes here in Tuscaloosa. It’s part of growing up. But when you look at the path of destruction that’s likely 5 to 7 miles long in an area half a mile to a mile wide … it’s an amazing scene. There’s parts of the city I don’t recognize, and that’s someone that’s lived here his entire life.”

See hi-res photos of the devastation

Before dawn Thursday, Mississippi emergency management officials also added 14 previously unreported fatalities to the count, increasing the death toll in that state to 32, officials said. Tennessee emergency officials said 30 people died in that state. Eleven were dead in Georgia, eight in Virginia and one in Arkansas.

Entire neighborhoods were leveled and hundreds of thousands of people were without power in the affected regions. As of 4 a.m. Thursday, Alabama Power said 363,511 customers had no electricity, and as of 8 a.m. About 61,000 people in Georgia were without power, according to Georgia Power and the Georgia Electric Membership Corp. Bentley estimated as many as half a million to a million people had no electricity in Alabama.

“This could be one of the most devastating tornado outbreaks in the nation’s history by the time it’s over,” CNN meteorologist Sean Morris said.

Via CNN

Look at that thing! It would suck so bad to have this happen in your town…feel bad. You think we would have a better way of tracking down tornados before they hit, twister style. Grab Dorothy Helen Hunt and figure it out!