Sony’s Ericsson buyout approved by the EU

We've previously reported on Sony's intention to buy out its long-standing partner Ericsson, and absorb the joint company Sony Ericsson into its main business unit. Reuters reports that yesterday the European Commission approved the move, so Sony's plans to integrate mobile with the rest of its hardware production later in 2012 can continue. Once absorbed, new phones will use only the "Sony" branding, as Sony's tablets and mobile audio players already do.

Symantec: millions of Android devices infected from Market downloads

If you're waiting for a wake-up call when it comes to Android malware, this might be it. Security software vendor Symantec has published a report claiming that anywhere from one to five million Android phones and tablets may be infected with the Android.Counterclank spyware. The infections spread from thirteen identified apps across three developers, some of which have already been removed from the Android Market, presumably by Google. Most were blatant copies of popular games or vaguely naughty apps.

Lumigon T1 render revealed as manufacturer counts down to Mobile World Congress

The Lumigon T1 has been a long time coming. First unveiled way back in 2010, the little device hasn't seen the light of day in over a year... but that may change very soon. Lumigon revealed a new render via the company's Facebook page, and a countdown has appeared on their webpage. Counting down to what? Mobile World Congress, of course - the clock hits zero smack dab in the middle of the trade show in Barcelona.

New Nook Tablet root method requires just a MicroSD card and a reboot

The Nook Tablet has become notoriously difficult to mod, thanks in no small part to Barnes & Noble's decision to ship it with a locked bootloader. Various software updates have closed root methods already in use, making it more and more difficult for modders to do what they wish with they hardware they bought. Thankfully, XDA member Indirect has combined a series of hacks to create a root method that launches directly from a MicroSD card, which boots directly into ClockworkMod Recovery.

Motorola shipped just 1 million tablets in 2011

It's quarterly earnings season in the technology world, also known as the most breathlessly exciting time in a tech blogger's existence. Amid reports of an $80 million loss that the company attributes to expenses for the upcoming Google acquisition, Motorola noted that they sold just 200,000 XOOM tablets in the fourth quarter of 2011. Combined with the first three quarters and (low) early sales of the DROID XYBOARD tablets on Verizon, that makes for a rough figure of about 1 million tablets shipped.

World of Midgard MMORPG makes you say “WoW”

Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Games (or MMORPGs, to the cool kids) are some of the most popular interactive titles on the planet. And the king of the hill in that contested arena is Blizzard's World of Warcraft, with millions of active players ponying up for access to the virtual fantasy world every month. There's no real comparison on the mobile platform at the moment, but developer Veraxon Entertainment aims to change that. Their project World of Midgard aims to bring a "familiar" experience to Android phones and tablets, and it's in a closed beta right now.

Samsung GT-9300 and GT-9800 appear online – Galaxy S III and something new

Rumors continue  to run wild about the Galaxy S III. The phone is inevitable - Samsung's made no bones about the update in a general sense - but a few tight leaks and speculation is almost all we have for hard information so far. The latest trickle of information is a listing spotted on Samsung's Global Download Center: an entry for the product model number "GT-I9300" is seen chilling next to the other models in the support site. For refference, the GT-I9000 is the oriignal Galaxy S, while the Galaxy S II covers the 9100-9200 families.

ZTE V66 tablet for Verizon spotted in Bluetooth filing

We've seen ZTE next-generation 7-inch tablet before, but only as a rounded rectangle courtesy of the FCC. Now Unwired View spotted the ZTE V66 running through the certification gauntlet at Bluetooth SIG. There isn't much more to report on the Verizon-bound device, except that it's certainly got Bluetooth. But the spcial interest group was kind enough to throw up a thumbnail of the tablet's front press shot, which you can see blown up below. While no dates are mentioned, the presence of a finished photo indicates that the tablet is ready for release soon - though not necessarily on Verizon.

Can’t touch this: Koush’s ClockworkMod Recovery Touch gets a tease

If you've ever installed a custom Android ROM, odds are extremely good that you've used the popular ClockworkMod recovery to do so. The pre-boot environment works well for what it does, but the low-power resources necessitated that users control it with a series of button presses. Now that almost all physical buttons and trackballs have become passe for Android, and even capacative buttons are on their way out thanks to Honeycomb and Ice Cream Sandwich, creator Koushik "Koush" Dutta is working on finally bringing touchscreen controls to ClockworkMod. He teased an early version of the new software on his Google+ account, but did not offer a download.

RIM’s new CEO says that all Android phones are the same, kettles are also black

On the off-chance that there are any RIM investors reading this story, hoping against hope that the company would try something drastic (like using Android) to reverse its worldwide downward slide... you might want to give your portfolio manager a call. After months of almost universally gloomy news for the Blackberry manufacturer, they installed a new CEO this week, Thorsten Heins. When asked by Crackberry if the company would consider switching to an Android-based software system and abandon their often delayed and underwhelming BlackBerry OS, Heins said "“there is just no room for differentiation because [Android phones] are all the same.”
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