Seth has been a technology journalist for the past five years, covering consumer electronics and gaming. You can find him on Twitter, @SethAFitzgerald.

Jawbone Up data shows Napa earthquake wake-ups

The recent earthquake near the Napa region of California was a 6.0, which for those of who don’t know, means it was quite large. It isn’t surprising then that people near the Napa region would have been disturbed during their sleep as a result of the earthquake, and data from Jawbone’s UP shows exactly that.

EE offering 4G roaming in 14 additional countries

EE’s 4G roaming is expanding to include 14 additional countries, according to a statement from the wireless service provider. 4G roaming for EE customers was first introduced in early 2014, with EE allowing people to travel to France and Spain without having to worry about issues with roaming. Now, the latest expansion allows people to retain their 4G coverage while in Canada, Germany, Italy, Russia, Saudi Arabia, and other nations around the world.

Qualcomm planning on strong sales in China

Christiano Amon, co-president at Qualcomm’s chip business, thinks that chip sales will become progressively stronger in China as the country moves towards 4G LTE. Qualcomm is currently having a hard time in the Chinese market, but with LTE adoption on the rise, Qualcomm should stand to benefit. Amon spoke about the company’s expansion in China during an interview earlier this week. According to Amon, Qualcomm will be one of the leading chip makers for the Chinese market once people are buying more high-end and LTE devices.

Google Chrome now in Cuba

American sanctions against Cuba remain strong, and as a result, the country has suffered in many ways. Even software downloads in the country are not easy to access, but Google is making progress by offering Chrome to Cuban users for the first time. People in Cuba will now be able to download the Chrome browser through Google’s official channels instead of through alternative means.

SoundCloud introducing ads and revenue sharing

As SoundClound tries to find new ways to monetize its music service, the company has introduced advertisements and service tiers. Certain users will now be able to monetize their content and share part of the ad revenue with SoundCloud. Even for users who are not interested in making money, SoundCloud has announced different tiers of service that open up a variety of features.

Sharp Aquos Crystal will also reach US

Sharp, in partnership with Softbank, is coming out with a new phone that will appeal to pretty much anyone who hates bezels. The Aquos Crystal is an Android smartphone that clearly takes some of its design elements from Sharp’s slim televisions. The phone has practically no top or bottom bezels which means that its looks are superior to other phones. Unfortunately, those looks do come with some trade-offs, since the Aquos Crystal has less impressive specs than most flagship Android phones.

ChangeTip will use Bitcoin to enable microtransactions

Bitcoin is perfect for microtransactions, and startup ChangeTip hopes that those Bitcoin transactions can be used to fund content creators in new ways. Instead of having people pay large amounts of money or no money to receive access to content, microtransactions let people give small amounts here and there. ChangeTip specifically hopes that microtransactions could put an end to clickbait, since content creators would be able to focus on creating worthwhile content rather than things that will get a lot of views.

Acer launches Liquid smartphones in Mexico

Five of Acer’s Liquid smartphones are now available in Mexico, and soon, the company will be launching the Leap smartband in the same market. The Z3, Z5, S1, Z4, and E3 Android smartphones are all available, though Acer has not yet announced what the phones will cost.

6,000 job cuts hitting Cisco due to slow sales

Cisco is letting go of 6,000 employees due to poor performance in some emerging markets. Cisco CEO John Chambers explained the company’s current financial situation and the layoffs during a call with analysts on Wednesday. Chambers says that the difficult decision to get rid of thousands of employees had to be made in order for Cisco to stay above water given its poor sales record.


Google, HP reportedly partnering for Google Now for Business

Google and Apple are both making pushes for the enterprise market through partnerships with other tech companies, and Google’s latest partnership may be with HP. The Information says that Google and HP are working on a version of Google Now for the enterprise market that will be called Google Now for Business. Rather than looking through personal data to update users, Google Now for Business would look through corporate data to provide important company information.

Lenovo is now selling more phones than computers

Lenovo is still very much tied to the PC market, but between its increasing focus towards smartphones and a market-wide decline in PC sales, Lenovo is now selling more smartphones than computers. For the first time in the company’s history it has moved more smartphones than PCs, primarily because of a massive growth in phone sales. Both categories, PCs and phones, saw year-on-year growth.


Comcast leaves another customer on hold for hours

If Comcast weren’t in a position where it is the default internet and cable provider for many customers it would seem like the company is trying to ruin itself. Customer service departments at companies like Comcast are notoriously bad, but Comcast has been taking things to a new level recently. Once again, a customer attempted to cancel his service and was subsequently transferred to the “retention department” where he remained for three hours.