Smartphone Battery Life Improves, Black Friday Sales Hit Online Record, HTC Faces German Smartphone Ban

This and more important news from your Fast Company editors, with updates all day.


Twitter Buys Security System. Twitter has spent an undisclosed amount buying Whisper Systems, a young firm that is a specialist in mobile security, with early-stage products that integrate with Android devices to protect your data beneath an encryption system on the phone, as well as secure communications to other devices–the kind of enterprise-grade security that RIM touts for its BlackBerry devices. –KE


–Updated 1:15 p.m. EST

Smartphone Battery Life Improved. Researchers at Finland’s Aalto University have unveiled a network proxy that can cut the power consumption of 3G smartphones by up to 74%. Smartphones connected to the proxy will be able to significantly improve battery life while surfing the Internet. According to a study published at the Africomm tech conference, the new technology is intended for primary deployment in African regions with both cell phone coverage and limited access to the electric grid. —NU

–Updated 11:40 a.m. EST


Chevy Volt Examined For Battery Risks. Chevy has revealed that its flagship green electric car product, the Volt, is under official investigation by the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration due to a number of recent fires in batteries that had been crash-tested (in one case the fire began three weeks after the impact test). No actual incidents have been reported of damage from the lithium-ion units, but the NHTSA is serious. –KE

Best Buy Cancels BlackBerry PlayBook. Best Buy has cancelled future orders of RIM’s troubled tablet PC offering, and removed listings referring to its sale of the product. RIM had already slashed the price of the PlayBook temporarily to $300 to try to promote sales, and comes as they key holiday shopping season approaches. –KE



Black Friday Online Sales Hit Record. Friday’s post-Thanksgiving sales
could be seen as a thumbs-up for the economy, as purchases were up on
26% on last year’s online figure to a record high of $816 million, with
Amazon as the most popular destination, according to Comscore. Apple’s
day went even better, with the firm beating its own 4x normal sales
prediction by 7 p.m. and achieving records across the U.S.–as leaked data tells us. Amazon, shy with exact figures, is saying four times as many devices were sold this year versus last year. Meanwhile CyberMonday is predicted to see sales above $1.2 billion, another record. –KE

HTC Facing German Smartphone Sales Ban. HTC’s handsets may have to be stripped from store shelves in Germany ahead of the key Christmas buying season, thanks to new developments. The firm is battling a complex legal case in German courts concerning 3G telephony patents owned by German IP troll IPCom–patents with a provenance dating back to early Bosch innovations in the scene. –KE

WikiLeaks Delays New Submissions System. WikiLeaks has had to delay the launch of a new anonymous submissions system for whistleblowers, thanks to a mix of technical and financial challenges. The launch was promoted for today, but has had to be delayed indefinitely for “source protection.” Julian Assange’s effort has had no online submissions system for a year, but a press event is scheduled for December 1st. –KE


–Updated 6:15 a.m. EST

[Image: Flickr user kevinmarks]

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