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Robert Downey Jr. reportedly signs with HTC for $12 million marketing blitz

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HTC is preparing an extensive two-year marketing campaign featuring Iron Man star Robert Downey Jr, according to two sources who spoke to Bloomberg. The deal is said to be worth $12 million and will span television, print, and billboard advertising around the globe, with Downey maintaining a level of creative control.

HTC has struggled to keep the pace with rival Samsung’s marketing muscle, despitepositive reviews of products such as the flagship One smartphone, and was also recently hit with a series of high-profile departures. The company said last month it had soldaround five million One phones since its March launch, compared to Samsung’s 10 million shipments of the Galaxy S4 in its first month.

“We haven’t been loud enough,” said chief marketing officer Ben Ho in his first meeting with the press this March. Ho added that the company would be retiring its long-serving “Quietly Brilliant” tagline in favor of a campaign based around the themes of “bold,” “authentic,” and “playful.”

An HTC spokesperson told Bloomberg that the company had nothing to announce today, but said of the One that it has garnered “overwhelmingly positive feedback from media and consumers alike. Anyone with a penchant for metal should be able to appreciate its appeal.”

The rumored Downey campaign wouldn’t be the first time HTC has experimented with celebrities; the One launch was marked by a risible commercial featuring James Van Der Beek of Dawson’s Creek. Downey’s star power is a little more assured, however — not only will he reportedly have final say over the material, Marvel announced today that he is set to return as Iron Man in the second and third Avengers movies. The first sequel is set for release on May 1st, 2015.

Viber is now blocked in Saudi Arabia, Skype and WhatsApp might follow suit

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The free internet messenger and calls service Viber has been shut down in Saudi Arabia as it has failed to comply with local regulations. The Communications and Information Technology Commission in the country has also issued a warning it’ll do the same to other applications and services that don’t comply with the regulations.

Quarts reports that Viber. Skype and WhatsApp have received a warning from the Saudi telecommunications regulator back in March. The shutdown could be a result of a failure of Viber to provide the CITC a local server to monitor user activity.

The report suggests that there might be more than regulations at play here. In addition to the Saudi Arabia’s authoritarian regime’s desire to monitor user activity and keep track of social unrest, telecoms are losing revenue as services like Viber, Skype and WhatsApp are becoming users’ choice for placing international calls and texts.

source: http://www.GSMArena.com

Virtuix Omni Prototype Unboxing & Technology Overview

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Staying at the Burj Al Arab? Enjoy a 24-karat gold iPad

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t’s the most golden hotel perk since gold-bar vending machines: gold iPads.

As if the Rolls Royce and helicopter services weren’t enough, guests at Dubai’s opulent Burj Al Arab now have access to gold-plated iPads.

The 24-karat tablets are engraved with the property’s logo on the back, which also features a black Apple logo. Ironically enough, the hotel chain‘s slogan is “Stay different.”

The iPads, meant to act as “virtual concierges,” are loaded with Interactive Customer Experience (ICE) software that gives guests information on services such as dining options at the landmark property.

The iPads were produced by Gold & Co. of London, which made a 24-karat rose-goldiPad for the hotel last October in support of Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

“The Gold & Co. London 24-carat gold iPad is the ultimate in luxury accessories, hence we wanted it to be paired with Burj Al Arab, the world’s most luxurious hotel,” Amjad Ali, CEO of Gold & Co. London, said in a release. “The symmetry is obvious, as both the gold iPad and the hotel are unique in terms of extraordinary quality and design.”

The glittering iPads will be on sale for about $10,200 in the hotel’s boutique, which also sells a gold iPad mini, gold iPhone 5, and gold BlackBerry Q10.

Gold & Co. of London has produced a number of eye-popping uber-luxurious gadgets with the yellow metal. Check them out in the gallery below.

Google I/O 2013: Keynote (Live)

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SideSync Introduction from Samsung

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ServerLift shows automated server forklift

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