First Windows Phone 8 devices will be available for pre-order starting on October 21

The first handsets running Microsoft’s Windows Phone 8 software, including HTC’s 8X and Nokia’s Lumia 920, will be available for pre-order through AT&T starting on October 21, sources have told The Verge.

The site said the devices should ship in early November, but Microsoft wouldn’t confirm that time frame, saying only that “Windows Phone 8 phones will be available to customers later this year.”

Anticipating big demand, Apple orders over 10M iPad minis for fourth quarter

Apple foresees a big appetite for its smallest tablet.  Sources in the company’s supply chain told The Wall Street Journal on Sunday that Apple has ordered more than 10 million iPad minis for the fourth quarter. Amazon, by contrast, has told its parts suppliers to build roughly 5 million Kindle Fire tablets.

But though Apple’s so-called iPad mini will likely undercut its big brother by hundreds of dollars, don’t expect it to appear cheap. According to Topeka analyst Brian White, who’s talked to the company’s parts suppliers, “Apple did not skimp on the aesthetics of the much anticipated ‘iPad Mini.’ In fact, we believe the ‘iPad Mini’ could outshine the new iPad in terms of how the device feels in consumers’ hands.”

The 7.85-inch iPad mini is so compact and finely detailed, White said, that it’s “more challenging to produce than prior iPad iterations.”

“We believe,” he added, “supply will initially be constrained.”

Facebook isn’t the problem. We are.

It’s the end of the school term finally. And yet again, two of my close friends, David and James, are acting like they’re part of an elite clan for hating Facebook. Insert some of the usual clichés about how it’s too crowded, how it’s full of attention seekers, how there are so many people who complain about their first-world problems on it. All of the usual garbage. One of them then announces, to the eye-roll of myself, that Google+ is the solution, and that he closed his Facebook. I should do the same to my account, he says, along with my Twitter account, because Google+ is so much better. It’s as if it’s a scene from 1984, and Winston Smith has discovered a way out of the dystopian nightmare that is Web 2.0, as if it’s a place where you get trapped. As if keeping your account open makes you a lesser person. That’s not a very good parallel, but I’ll go with it.

They continue their conversation, with occasional interruptions from me, telling them how stupid their points are. David has to go. I continue the discussion, or argument, on the walk home, and I eventually persuade James that the problem isn’t Facebook, but rather the way Facebook is indicative of, to pardon another cliché, the “human condition.” Facebook is an amazing example of globalization, of technology ingraining itself in everyday life. Every problem people on Google+ seem to have with Facebook isn’t Facebook’s problem. Rather, it’s simply an example of the platform going mainstream, of this great mass of people then turning it into, and I’m not excluded, a Like-whoring, self-conscious, narcissistic second world.

Again, Facebook didn’t do this. We did. It’s like how people claimed Twitter was stupid, and how some people still claim status updates are dumb. They’re only dumb because some of us choose to make them dumb. Before Facebook Timeline spam there was MySpace spam, and before that there were chain emails that recommended you send them to 30 of your contacts for great rewards. Facebook has just become so big, so popular, that the people who “abuse” it aren’t blamed. Instead the dedicated group who builds it and gives it away for free is blamed. As if it’s their fault that people complain about their big assignment that’s due the next day.

Facebook is simply a reflection of humanity, of our need to belong, our need to feel good and be good. Slacktivism, for example, isn’t a Facebook problem. If you were to switch everyone on Facebook to Google+, you’d find that it would become bad, too. In fact, in some ways, some of the annoyances of Facebook are already there, right now. You just have to see the “What’s Hot” section that appears on the homepage occasionally to know this.

People love to complain about Facebook when instead they should be complaining about the people on it. Facebook is almost digital perfection when it comes to emulating real life. Likes are just a representation of an emotional response with two options: on or off.

If you don’t turn on the Like button, people won’t know your reaction. And we, as people, when the button is turned on, then interpret the meaning of that Like. If someone Likes a photo, it’s a simple compliment. If that photo’s funny, that one button can represent the fact that the viewer found it funny. If someone complains about something, and friends Like it, we assume that they’re in agreement. Comments expand this, but with Likes, Facebook has found a versatile, binary response to an open question.

Again, Facebook is just an emulation of real life. The difference, and the problem perhaps, is that in real life if you aren’t friends with someone, you’ll ignore, exclude, or just not talk to them. There is a hierarchy of friendship. On Facebook, however, most people simply have one bundle of friends — a lump of people who maybe you’ve simply walked past. It’s now common courtesy to befriend everyone on Facebook, whereas in real life, you subtly (or obviously, if you’re a douchebag) make a distinction between friends and acquaintances. And this is almost always a subconscious response.

Facebook isn’t the problem here. Like Google+, you can make lists of people, which is supposed to represent the hierarchy of life. Yet people ignore this feature.

Making the broad statement that Facebook is just bad, or even that it’s a waste of time, is stupid in itself. We’ve made it that way. And there are ways to improve it. We’ve failed to see that it’s a social setting made digital. The only difference between now and 20 or 30 years ago is that we’ve made our thoughts more obvious and our social availability unlimited.

Amazon has sold out of Kindle Paperwhites, won’t have more ’til November

Amazon began shipping the Kindle Paperwhite, its first front-lit e-reader, on Monday, but two days later, the device is already sold out, and Paperwhites ordered today won’t ship for four to six weeks, GigaOM said on Wednesday.

“The delay appears to apply to both Wi-Fi and 3G models of the Kindle Paperwhite, and to models both with ads and without,” the site said.

Despite its built-in light, the Paperwhite is just 9.1mm thick, weighs a featherlight 7.5 ounces, and can run for eight weeks on a single charge. What’s more, the e-reader’s front light is adjustable, as are the device’s fonts.

The Paperwhite is available (well, not at the moment) in two trims: a $119 Wi-Fi-only model, and a $179 3G version whose connectivity is free and doesn’t require a data plan.

Chitika: 60% of iPhones now run iOS 6

Apple rolled out iOS 6 less than two weeks ago, but the company’s latest mobile operating system has already been installed on 60 percent of iPhones, according to Web-tracking firm Chitika, who said the software has been adopted at an unprecedented rate.

“Our data shows that since the release of iOS 6, iPhone users have exhibited the highest rates of adoption, with iPad users close behind and nearing the 50 percent marker,” Chitika said. “iPod users are the least likely to have updated to iOS 6, but still post a remarkable 39 percent adoption rate just 11 days following the operating system’s release.”

Samsung adds iPhone 5 to patent suit against Apple

iphone 5 black angle Samsung adds iPhone 5 to patent suit against Apple

Hours after Judge Lucy Koh dissolved a preliminary injunction against Samsung’s Galaxy Tab 10.1 on Monday, the Korean company went on the offensive, adding Apple’s iPhone 5, which it says infringes eight of its patents, to an existing lawsuit.

Samsung threatened in September to go after Apple over its use of LTE technology, but the patents named in the company’s latest filing are unrelated, according to CNET. They include six utility patents and two standard essential patents, the site said.

In a statement made after the filing, a Samsung representative said, “We have little choice but to take the steps necessary to protect our innovations and intellectual property rights.”

In a separate patent case that wrapped up on August 24, a federal jury in California cleared Apple of any wrongdoing, finding instead that Samsung willfully ripped off the iPad maker’s designs. Samsung was ordered to pay $1.05 billion in damages.