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Senator Rand Paul apologizes to Apple, blames Congress for tax woes at Senate hearing

Before either Apple CEO Tim Cook or Apple CFO Peter Oppenheimer took the stand to testify on behalf of Apple to defend the company’s tax practices, Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky lashed out on Senator John McCain and Senator Carl Levin for the “spectacle of dragging in here executives from Apple using the brute force of government to bully a great success story.”

Senator Paul, a notable Tea Party leader and son of Representative Ron Paul, is often outspoken on issues of tax reform and made no effort to align for his Republican colleague Senator John McCain.

Chairman Levin didn’t hesitate to bring the narrative against Apple and its tax practices back to the center stage soon after Senator Paul’s comments.



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Corning launches Lotus XT Glass for high performance mobile displays, prime candidate for future iOS devices

Corning, the company that currently supplies glass for Apple’s iOS devices, yesterday introduced its second generation glass substrate with the commercial launch of Corning Lotus XT Glass. While we initially expected Corning’s recently announced Gorilla Glass 3 might end up in an iOS device, the second generation Lotus XT Glass could be a prime candidate for LCD and OLED displays on future Apple devices.

The end result for consumers, according to Corning, is an easier method of manufacturing “faster, thinner, brighter, and higher resolution” displays.

The Corning Lotus Glass platform enables organic light-emitting diode (OLED) displays and liquid crystal displays (LCD) that use either low-temperature poly-silicon (LTPS) or oxide thin-film transistor (TFT) backplanes. The result is an energy-efficient, immersive display device that features high resolution, fast response times, and bright picture quality.

Corning Lotus XT Glass also offers the advantages of Corning’s proprietary fusion process while meeting the stringent cost requirements of the mobile device and IT display market. Its superb surface quality supports the backplane characteristics required for the vibrant colors and clarity OLED and LCD transmissions are known for.

Apple is widely believed to use Corning’s Gorilla Glass in its iOS devices, although the company has never specifically confirmed as much.

Corning will be showing off its next-gen Lotus XT Glass in Vancouver from May 21 to May 23 at the Society for Information Display’s (SID) Display Week event.

Corning Introduces Corning Lotus™ XT Glass and Showcases Glass Innovations at SID Display Week 2013

Second-generation composition features host of new capabilities

CORNING, N.Y., May 16, 2013 – Corning Incorporated (NYSE: GLW) today announced the commercial launch of  Corning Lotus™ XT Glass, a second-generation glass substrate specially formulated for high-performance displays. The company will feature its latest specialty glass innovation – alongside its other advanced glass technologies – in its booth (#801) at the Society for Information Display’s (SID) Display Week in Vancouver, British Columbia, May 21 – 23.

Lotus XT Glass features best-in-class total pitch variation, which is integral to efficient panel manufacturing. Essentially, total pitch – usually measured in microns or parts per million (ppm) – is the distance features move during panel processing.

“If you can predict the amount the glass shifts, then you can account for this movement. Deviation – or variation – from this predictable movement can ultimately result in yield loss,” said John P. Bayne, vice president and general manager, Corning High Performance Displays. “Lotus XT Glass is designed to have improved thermal and dimensional stability over higher temperatures, generating higher yields for our customers.”

The Corning Lotus Glass platform enables organic light-emitting diode (OLED) displays and liquid crystal displays (LCD) that use either low-temperature poly-silicon (LTPS) or oxide thin-film transistor (TFT) backplanes. The result is an energy-efficient, immersive display device that features high resolution, fast response times, and bright picture quality.

In addition to Lotus XT Glass, the Corning booth will feature each of its advanced glass technologies, including: Corning EAGLE XG® Slim for a-Si displays; Corning® Willow™ Glass, the company’s ultra-slim, flexible glass; and Corning® Gorilla® Glass 3 with Native Damage Resistance™.  Corning experts will provide daily demonstrations of Gorilla Glass 3, the industry-leading, damage-resistant cover glass.  Attendees should consult booth staff for exact times.

Display Week attendees will also have the opportunity to hear several of Corning’s technology experts deliver presentations at the conference.

“Display Week is a time to take stock of the industry and its future,” Bayne noted.  “The industry is changing, and Corning believes each of its innovative glasses helps solve tough technological challenges – advancing displays even further.”

For additional information about Corning’s presence at SID Display Week 2013, please visit www.corning.com/SID2013.

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RE/MAX rolling out Passbook business cards for 4,500 real estate agents in the US

Taking advantage of a new digital business card platform from Vizibility that integrates Apple’s Passbook, RE/MAX will be the first company to have its employees carry iPhone-based Passbook business cards on a large scale. The business cards, demoed in the video above, will be first carried by 4,500 RE/MAX Regional Services real estate agents in Georgia, Southeastern Michigan, Kentucky, Southern Ohio, and  Tennessee.

Vizibility also announced three new features that enhance its business card platform, one of which uses geofencing to provide agents with lockscreen access to the business cards when in a specific location like the office or at an open house:

  • CardSense™ enables Passbook users to select locations where their Mobile Business Card Pass can be instantly accessed from their iPhone lock screen with a finger swipe. This capability makes it a snap to share contact information at the office, tradeshows, networking events, open houses, or anywhere else frequent, fast access to a Mobile Business Card is needed. Locations are set right on the back of the Pass.
  • CardFollow™ enables people to receive updates when the vCard they previously downloaded from a Mobile Business Card changes. This patent-pending feature makes it possible for the first time to stay in sync with specific people without having to sync every personal contact with cumbersome, third-party systems. Vizibility users can easily see and manage their vCard followers.
  • The Mobile Directory displays a searchable directory of mobile business cards for everyone in an organization. This feature makes it possible to link a company’s business cards together to facilitate discovery and reinforce the depth of an organization’s expertise. Vizibility corporate administrators can easily control who appears in their organization’s Mobile Directory.
RE/MAX Regional Services Taps Apple’s Passbook for Business CardsVizibility Slides Out Passbook, vCard Following and

Mobile Business Card Directories

NEW YORK, December 4, 2012 – Vizibility announced today that RE/MAX Regional Services, one of the largest RE/MAX franchisors in the United States, is offering digital business cards to its 4,500 real estate brokers and agents across Georgia, Tennessee, Kentucky, Southern Ohio and Southeastern Michigan. Vizibility’s popular Mobile Business Card is a personalized mobile microsite which is used to package and share a professional’s contact information and web presence. Agents can easily share their new Mobile Business Cards using Passbook on their iPhones as well as with QR codes printed on business cards, listings and other sales materials. Agents can also share their Mobile Business Cards wirelessly with Near Field Communication (NFC) using Vizibility’s plastic Mobile Wallet Card.

“In today’s competitive real estate climate, we have to push the envelope of technology to give our agents a competitive edge. We also must provide home buyers with the best tools to make what may be the most important decision of their lives,” said Dane Ellison, CEO of RE/MAX Regional Services. “Technologies like Vizibility’s Mobile Business Card can help our agents get more opportunities to share their listings, provide mobile virtual tours and engage effortlessly with prospective home buyers. By making it a little easier to close sales, we’re making it a lot easier for our RE/MAX agents to be more successful.”

Vizibility is the first company to use Passbook for sharing Mobile Business Cards and RE/MAX Regional Services is the first to implement it on a large scale. Passbook, recently introduced with Apple’s iOS6, allows users to keep boarding passes, movie tickets, coupons, loyalty cards and more in one place. Major companies are supporting Passbook including Target, Starbucks, United Airlines, American Airlines, Google and Ticketmaster.

Vizibility is also introducing three game-changing Mobile Business Card features:

  • CardSense™ enables Passbook users to select locations where their Mobile Business Card Pass can be instantly accessed from their iPhone lock screen with a finger swipe. This capability makes it a snap to share contact information at the office, tradeshows, networking events, open houses, or anywhere else frequent, fast access to a Mobile Business Card is needed. Locations are set right on the back of the Pass.
  • CardFollow™ enables people to receive updates when the vCard they previously downloaded from a Mobile Business Card changes. This patent-pending feature makes it possible for the first time to stay in sync with specific people without having to sync every personal contact with cumbersome, third-party systems. Vizibility users can easily see and manage their vCard followers.
  • The Mobile Directory displays a searchable directory of mobile business cards for everyone in an organization. This feature makes it possible to link a company’s business cards together to facilitate discovery and reinforce the depth of an organization’s expertise. Vizibility corporate administrators can easily control who appears in their organization’s Mobile Directory.

“Smartphones have fundamentally changed the way we buy products and select service providers. Google recently reported that 96% of U.S. smartphone owners have researched a service or product on their mobile devices,” said Greg Harris, Product Manager at Vizibility (find Greg in Google at http://viz.me/greg). “The Mobile Business Card is like a personal storefront for professionals. We’re excited to be helping enterprises and their people drive revenue using the latest mobile marketing technologies such as Passbook, QR codes and NFC.”

About Vizibility Inc.

Vizibility Inc. delivers the first enterprise class identity management and engagement platform. Vizibility’s highly acclaimed digital business card addresses today’s reality that the first impression a company or individual makes is often online, and in many cases on a mobile device. Vizibility enables people to package and share their online presence to make powerful, accurate and lasting impressions. The company’s solutions are available from authorized resellers and atwww.vizibility.com. U.S. Patents 7,831,609, 7,987,173, 8,095,534, 8,271,650, 8,275,837, 8,280,879 and 8,290,941. Other patents pending.

About RE/MAX Regional Services

RE/MAX Regional Services was founded in 1978 by Howard McPherson. The company provides outstanding support to the more than 300 offices and over 4,000 agents in its five regions. RRS ensures its real-estate professionals have the leading technology, the most advanced training, and the highest level of expertise to best serve the homebuyers and sellers in their communities. Visit http://www.franchise-remax.com.

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Regional carrier Bluegrass Cellular to offer iPhone 5 for $149 starting Nov. 2, iPhone 4S for $49

Kentucky-based regional carrier Bluegrass Cellular originally had plans to offer the iPhone 5 at the end of September following its launch, but today announced it will finally have the device to offer its customers starting Friday, November 2nd. Like it and other regional carriers have done in the past with the latest iPhone models, it will offer the entry-level iPhone 5 for $50 less than you’ll find it through most others. You’ll of course need one of the carrier’s 3G plans starting at $64.99/month and a two-year commitment to take advantage. Bluegrass will also have the 32GB iPhone 5 for $249, and the 64GB model for $349.

As for the iPhone 4S, the carrier’s customers can now pick it up starting at just $49, while iPhone 4 is still be offered on contract for $0.99. Details on Bluegrass Cellular’s iPhone plans below:

Bluegrass Cellular to Offer iPhone 5 on November 2

Elizabethtown, KY—October 30, 2012—Bluegrass Cellular announced it will offer iPhone 5 beginning Friday, November 2. iPhone 5 will be available starting at $149 for the 16GB model, $249 for the 32GB model and $349 for the 64GB model in all Bluegrass Cellular Customer Care Centers, select Authorized Agent locations and online at www.bluegrasscellular.com/iphone. In addition, iPhone 4S will be available starting at $49 and iPhone 4 will be available starting at $0.99. Bluegrass will allow iPhone 5 customers to connect to its fast 3G network.

iPhone 5 is the thinnest and lightest iPhone ever, completely redesigned to feature a stunning new 4-inch Retina display; an Apple-designed A6 chip for blazing fast performance; and ultrafast wireless technology—all while delivering even better battery life.* iPhone 5 comes with iOS 6, the world’s most advanced mobile operating system with over 200 new features including: Shared Photo Streams, Facebook integration, all-new Maps app, Passbook organization and even more Siri features and languages.

“We are pleased to offer iPhone 5 to our customers throughout the Bluegrass Cellular service area nationwide,” said Ron Smith, President and CEO, Bluegrass Cellular. “Our customers are excited to experience this new device’s unique features and applications on our exceptional network, wherever they go.”

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iPhone 4S lands on Oklahoma-based Pioneer Cellular & Puerto Rico’s Open Mobile

Following a number regional U.S. carriers that launched the iPhone this month, Oklahoma-based Pioneer Cellular today announced availability of the iPhone 4S. The carrier covers a large section of Northwest Oklahoma, and it will launch the device in-store at select locations today, followed by other locations on May 29, June 4, June 11, and June 18. Click the image to the right for a full list of cities and dates.

The carrier has not announced pricing or iPhone- specific plans for the device, but it currently has data plans starting at $30 for other smartphones. Earlier this month, regional carriers in Kentucky, Kansas, and California launched the iPhone 4S and iPhone 4, with some prices starting at $149 for the 4S and $49 for the iPhone 4. In April, five other small carriers added the iPhone.

Puerto Rico-based no-contract carrier Open Mobile now also offers the iPhone 4S and iPhone 4 at a number of its stores. Pricing is available below: