Australian Dementia app goes Android


Australian Dementia app goes Android

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THE world's first mobile application aimed at reducing people's dementia risk is now available for Android phone users.

BrainyApp, which was developed by Alzheimer's Australia and Bupa Health Foundation, has been downloaded more than 200,000 times worldwide since it was made available for iPhone and iPad in November last year.

Alzheimer's Australia national president Ita Buttrose said Android phone users had inundated the organisation with requests to access the mobile app since its launch.

"We have had enquiries from people and other Alzheimer's associations from around the world, including The Netherlands, South Africa, Mexico and Iceland, wanting to know when the Android version wil l be available," she said in a statement.

"It is extremely encouraging to see that so many people want to make active lifestyle changes to reduce their risk of developing dementia."

The free mobile app tests your brain-heart health, tells you areas that you should focus on, suggests activities you might do and lets you track how these activities have affected your health.

You can also access information about dementia and play challenging 'brain training games'.

A Facebook Phone Has 0% Chance of Success

By Evan Niu (TMFNewCow), The Motley Fool

Surely, you've heard the rumors by now: Facebook (NAS: FB) is building a smartphone. A New York Times report in May has renewed talk of a Facebook Phone, while speculation dates as far back as 2010. All Things D chimed in last November, saying the social networker was tapping HTC for the hardware, although the recent report says Facebook now wants to do its own hardware.

The problem for Facebook is that it would have exactly a 0% chance of succeeding.

Where do we start?

Assuming Facebook is interested in building a smartphone, how would it even accomplish this? What operating system will it run?

iOS is only available to companies whose names rhyme with "chapel," and Facebook already loathes Google (NAS: GOOG) , as in let's-hire-a-PR-firm-to-launch-a-smear-campaign-against-it loathing, so standard Android seems far-fetched. It has numerous ties with Microsoft, but Windows Phone has an embarrassingly low market share.

Hewlett-Packard's (NYS: HPQ) webOS is about to see an open-source release, but who really wants to be associated with that platform after its tumultuous history? Not even HP, as making webOS open-source is akin to donating it to charity, complete with a tax write-off from all the impairments it ate. I doubt that Facebook wants to go with the equivalent of a "free to a good home" Craigslist post for a major strategic shift.

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The only real possibility is a heavily forked version of Android that's unrecognizable to the average user, much like what did with the Kindle Fire and is likely doing with its own Kindle Phone. But then at that point, you're talking about three very distinct flavors of Android -- a Google Android, an Amazon Android, and a Facebook Android -- each with their own ecosystems. That just sounds like a nightmare for developers and consumers alike.

Why ask why?

The big question is why Facebook would want to get into the cutthroat and incredibly complex smartphone business. The carriers themselves also happen to hate a little thing I like to call "innovation," and Facebook wants to get in bed with them?

Beyond the fact that mobile is a giant Achilles' heel for Facebook as it is, I find it hard to believe that would be motivation enough to jump into smartphones, especially since the report believes that Facebook is looking at getting into its own hardware, poaching Apple (NAS: AAPL) hardware engineers in the process.

No, this is beyond profiting on hardware, which is already incredibly hard to do. This is about becoming a platform company. Facebook and Mark Zuckerberg have taken lessons from Apple and Steve Jobs and now don't want to be relegated to being just another social-networking app on a user's home screen. It wants to become its own platform, complete with its own payment system and cut of sales.

Facebook doesn't want to rely entirely on advertising forever, growing its desktop payments platform to 16% of trailing-12-month sales. That growth is thanks in large part to Zynga's (NAS: ZNGA) success in casual social gaming, but Zynga also wants to become a platform company. IHS iSuppli also noted earlier this year that users on Facebook's platform have stagnated lately.

So just as Facebook was beginning to enjoy some platform dollars, its user engagement begins to decline and its biggest contributor wants to go it alone. It makes sense why Facebook would want to move on to greener mobile-platform pastures, but Zuckerberg should also be smart enough to realize how bad of an idea this is.

Burn, baby, burn!

Just as Facebook and Apple are now getting awfully cozy with multiple integration partnerships, a smartphone entry would immediately begin burning bridges to Cupertino.

Consider Google's decision to compete directly with Apple using Android. Big G and the Mac maker were the best of buds until then, and now Apple tries to cut Google out of the loop wherever possible, most recently by developing its own in-house maps app. Steve Jobs had also made a comment or two on the topic.

Even as Android has quickly risen to become the dominant mobile OS in the world, it's hard to see who is actually profiting from that rise. Android OEMs, for the most part, aren't. Google doesn't disclose Android-related revenues explicitly, so it's hard to quantify how much Google itself actually benefits from Android. Google would have dominating mobile advertising anyway, especially if it was still close with Apple, and probably could have scored integration of its services into iOS, so the incremental monetary benefit of Android to Google relative to if it didn't exist is questionable.

Yet the costs of Android are significant. It has direct costs for ongoing development and support, potential patent litigation costs, and not to mention that $12.5 billion it just spent on a bleeding business. The cost/benefit trade-off doesn't add up to me.

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Does Facebook want to spurn the largest tech company in the world for dubious benefits, as Google did before it? Google is already on Facebook's enemy list, and having both Google and Apple gunning against you isn't an enviable position.

What were we saying?

To get into the smartphone business, Facebook will need to deploy extensive engineering efforts that it doesn't have, enter the consumer electronics space where it literally has no experience, find manufacturing partners, forge relationships with wireless carriers that are notoriously difficult and controlling, and burn bridges with one of its most important and powerful partners, all for a minuscule chance that it finds but a modicum of success.

What we were saying about cost/benefit tradeoffs, again?

Competing directly with Apple usually doesn't go well for rivals. The iPhone now has nearly unstoppable momentum that will drive growth for years. Sign up for The Motley Fool's brand-new premium Apple research service to read more. Facebook is under pressure to find new revenue sources beyond advertising, but this social networking company already has one. Grab a free copy of this special report on the tech stock you should be buying instead of Facebook.

For HTC, Beats partnership was missing a beat

By Om Malik

Beats Electronics, which sold half the company to Taiwanese smartphone maker HTC Corp., for $300 million in August 2011, says it is buying back 25 percent of itself for roughly $150 million, and thus taking majority control of the company. Beats is a headphone and accessory company started by hip-hop impresario Jimmy Iovine and rap legend Dr. Dre. HTC is expected to lose about $5 million on this investment. In a press release HTC noted:

Under the terms of the agreement, the founding members of Beats will buy back 25% of its total shares for a total of approximately 75% ownership, with HTC remaining the largest outside shareholder with approximately 25%. Over the last year, HTC and Beats have made great progress in sound innovation, product integration and brand awareness with successes like the HTC One. HTC and Beats will continue to work closely, including a joint global marketing campaign later this year.

Frankly, I am not surprised that this partnership is heading south. Last year when the two companies announced their arrangement, I pointed out that this was indeed a bandaid being applied to a gaping wound. While Beats might bring a coolness factor, it was clear that HTC, was going to get pummeled in the market by the surging Samsung and other Chinese handset makers such as Huawei, I argued.

Earlier this month when Samsung and HTC announced their sales, it was clear that two companies were headed in opposite directions. The economic troubles in Europe haven't helped matters either for HTC. By selling back half its stake in Beats, is actually a good thing as it allows the company to focus sharply on its next generation of handsets and tablets.

Taiwan stocks down; HTC weighs after Beats stake sale

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TAIPEI, July 23 (Reuters) - Taiwan stocks fell 0.82 percent

on Monday, with HTC Corp losing 2.67 percent, after

the smartphone maker sold 25 percent of its holding in audio

technology firm Beats Electronics back to Beats' founders.

The main TAIEX index fell 58.69 points to 7,105.99,

after ending up 0.23 percent in the previous session.

Chip makers were among the biggest drag, with

heavyweight TSMC down 2.22 percent. The company

flagged a cautious outlook last Thursday despite posting a

quarterly profit that was its second highest on record.

Electronics shares shed 1.53 percent, while

financial shares fell 1.15 percent.

The Taiwan dollar was down by T$0.034 to trade at


Foreign investors were net buyers on Friday, bringing down

their total selling to T$37.86 billion this month.


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(Reporting by Clare Jim; Editing by)

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Jackson County Sheriff's Office unveils smartphone app


A new smartphone app from the Jackson County Sheriff's Office gives instant access information ranging from deadbeat parents to fugitives.

The app for Android smart devices is a free download and can be found by searching MOJacksonSO on Google Play.

"It lets us get important information right to people's fingertips," Sheriff Mike Sharp said in a news release.

The sheriff's office said the app will allow the agency to channel news directly to users' smartphones about things like missing persons, weather alerts, prisoner escapes and bank robberies.

The app is also integrated with VINELink, a national victim notification service that provides information about the custody status of those charged with crimes.

"We know that more and more people are getting the information they need from their smartphones," Sharp said in his statement. "We want to make sure we're using the latest communication technology to keep the public informed, and this app lets us do that."

According to the sheriff's office, the app also offers real-time access to detention center information as well as lists of wanted criminals or non-custodial parents with the app.

"The app greatly improves our ability to serve the public," Sharp said, "and that's what we're here for."

While the app is currently only available for Google Inc.'s Android devices, Sgt. Ronda Montgomery said efforts are under way to also make it available for Apple's iPhone and iPad.

Insert Coin: Radian lets you use your camera, iPhone and Android device for time lapse projects

By Jason Hidalgo

In Insert Coin, we look at an exciting new tech project that requires funding before it can hit production. If you'd like to pitch a project, please send us a tip with "Insert Coin" as the subject line.

We've seen our fair share of time lapse tools at Insert Coin, ranging from last year's Triggertrap to the more recent Timelapse+ and Genie rig. Now we're throwing in another Kickstarter project into the mix, a motion time-lapse gadget called the Radian. Shaped like an oversized hockey puck, the Radian works with any camera that has a trigger-release input and can be used with or without a tripod. The device can be programmed through either an Android or iPhone app and lets you disconnect your smartphone once you've got your settings dialed in. Otherwise, you can use the Radian to take time-lapse photography with your iPhone or Android smartphone as well. A pledge of $150 gets you the standard Radian, while ponying up extra moolah nabs you a charcoal-colored variant as well as other goodies. If successful, delivery is slated for January. For more details, check out the video and source link after the break.

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Samsung Galaxy S3 hits 10 million sales mark early


Samsung Galaxy S3 hits 10 million sales mark early

by Steven Musil

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Handset maker's chief had predicted the Android-powered smartphone would sell 10 million units by the end of July.

Samsung's chief executive predicted last month that sales of the Galaxy S3 would hit 10 million by the end of July and it appears to have passed that milestone a little early.

Shin Jong-kyun, the president of Samsung's information technology and mobile communication division, told reporters that the Android-powered smartphone surpassed the 10 million sales mark but did not reveal specific sales figures, according to the Yonhap news agency. That translate to about 190,000 Galaxy S3s sold every day for the past two months.

Samsung's flagship handset, which available through AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, and Verizon, is one of the most sought-after smartphones on the market. Last month, Sprint announced that "overwhelming demand" had forced the carrier to delay the handset's June 21 launch.

However, keeping it on retailers' shelves has been a bit of a battle. The phone has been swept up in a patent battle between Apple and Samsung, with the iPhone maker attempting to secure an injunction against U.S. sales of the device. However, that effort was tabled due to court docket overload.

The Galaxy S3, which offers a dual-core processor, a 4.8-inch HD Super AMOLED display with a 1,280x720-pixel resolution, has also been the target of an Apple injunction attempt, but that effort was tabled last month when Koh ruled there were already too many issues to consider. CNET awarded the Galaxy S3 an Editors' Choice rating, earning four stars out of five. Reviewer Jessica Dolcourt said that the handset is "an excellent, top-end phone," and includes "high-performing hardware and creative software features."

LG Display Workers Charged Over Samsung Mobile Technology Theft

By Saeromi Shin

Six employees of LG Display Co. (034220), the world's second-largest flat-panel maker, have been charged over theft of technology from Samsung Mobile Display Co.

The six leaked or stole Samsung Mobile's organic light- emitting diode technology and business secrets, according to an indictment filed with Suwon District Court in South Korea. The accused include two former Samsung Mobile employees.

Samsung Mobile requested LG Display formally apologize and take steps needed to prevent reoccurrence, the company, merged with Samsung Display Co. this month, said in an e-mail today in response to questions. LG Display systematically took Samsung's OLED technology and core staff to overcome its own shortcomings, according to the e-mail.

The information obtained is widely known in the industry and isn't considered a trade secret, LG Display said in a separate e-mail. Seoul-based LG Display said it plans to take legal action against Samsung Display, a unit of Samsung Electronics Co. (005930), for defamation.

LG Display rose 1.8 percent to 23,100 won as of 11:46 a.m. in Seoul trading, while Samsung Electronics advanced 1.1 percent to 1,165,000 won. Samsung Display isn't publicly traded.

OLED televisions are as thin as 4 millimeters (0.2 inch) and produce sharper images than liquid-crystal-display models. Shipments of OLED TVs may surge 62-fold to 2.1 million sets in 2015 from 34,000 in 2012, according to an estimate by Englewood, Colorado-based IHS Inc.'s iSuppli.

How to Delete/Clear Browsing History on Chrome for Android and iOS

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Chrome web browser for iOS is released some days back and now it has become one of the most popular app downloaded from the App Store. The popularity of this browser has risen since then. Chrome for mobile is available for two of the most popular platforms – Android and iOS, but for Android, Chrome is only available for devices with Android 4.0 Ice cream Sandwich and above. This means that Chrome can be used only on devices like Samsung Galaxy SIII, HTC One V and the Samsung Galaxy Nexus, which runs on Android 4.0. Like most browsers, Chrome also lets you view and clear your browsing history, but sometimes things can get a little tricky. Let's learn how to delete/clear history on Chrome for mobile.

Clear Browsing History on Chrome for Android

Chrome for Android doesn't offer any such option from where you can delete the browsing history. That's why, just type "chrome:history" in the omnibox (the address bar). This also works on the desktop version for Chrome. This should open your complete browsing history.

If you want to delete a particular website (URL) then tap it to select that URL and then tap on "Remove selected items". Of course you can select multiple items and then remove them altogether from the history. But if you want to remove/clear your entire history, then tap on "Clear all browsing data".

Clear Browsing History on Chrome for iOS (iPad, iPod Touch and iPhone)

Typing "chrome:history" in the omnibox won't work on Chrome for iOS. It should have worked as it works on all other platforms, but strangely this trick doesn't work on iOS for now. To clear browsing history, open Chrome and tap on menu button next to address bar. You'll now be able to see various options, just tap on "Settings" and then "Clear browsing data."

Changes ring in the smartphone market

By Gao Yuan

Four out of the top five best-selling mobile devices in China were manufactured by Chinese companies, data from Sino Market Research Ltd showed in April. Chinese smartphone makers have managed to dominate the low- and middle-end market over the past several years. Provided to China Daily

Chinese companies look to cheaper end but suffer lower profit margins

Chinese smartphone manufacturers are taking more than half of the market share in China but find it hard to increase their profit margins, while the entry of newcomers will make competition more intense, industry insiders said.

In April, four out of the top five best-selling mobile devices in China were manufactured by indigenous Chinese companies, data from Sino Market Research Ltd showed. The top four local brands took more than 40 percent of the total sales volume in the market.

South Korean electronics maker Samsung Electronic Co's smartphones topped the best-selling list in April in the nation, selling more than 2 million smartphones, data from Sino showed.

"Chinese smartphone makers have managed to dominate the low- and middle-end market over the past several years but large numbers of buyers are price-sensitive and only willing to spend a little money in purchasing mobile phones," said Henry Lin, chairman and co-chief executive officer of NQ Mobile Inc, the world's largest mobile security provider.

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Only a few Chinese smartphone makers are in the high-end market. Lower priced cellphones usually have narrow profit margins.

"Apple Inc took only about 2 percent of the market share in the smartphone market but it took more than 80 percent of the profits," said Lin,

He added that high-end cellphone makers are willing to pay a higher cost in boosting innovation and user experience because their customers are expecting the best product performance.

The profit statement for the smartphone industry shows a more difficult situation for Chinese makers. Samsung and Apple Inc's products hold 99 percent of the profit, while local brands have to compete with other overseas manufacturers for the remaining 1 percent of profit, Southern Metropolis Daily reported, citing research released by Huabao Securities Co.


Moreover, overseas cellphone giants are targeting the Chinese market as the nation's smartphone penetration rate remains at about 10 percent.

In March, Nokia Corp introduced its first phone that runs on Microsoft Inc's Windows Phone operating system to the Chinese market. The move was believed to be a signal that the Finnish cellphone maker was trying to maintain its hold in the country's mobile phone market.

"The only way to change the situation in the Chinese market is to introduce more great products," said Stephen Elop, chief executive officer of Nokia.

Most of the local brands are focusing on producing lower-price devices - costing about 1,000 yuan ($159) each. Sales were boosted by contract phones. High-end cellphone makers are concentrating on lifting user experience because their customers seem to worry less about the price of the product.

"China has great potential for generating about 1 billion smartphone users over the next several years," said Lin, adding that one user will have more than one device at the same time, creating an even larger market for mobile device makers.

High-end brand makers seem to find it easier to sell their devices in China.

In April, China's smartphone maker Xiaomi Corp sold 150,000 phones in just 12 minutes as it launched the seventh round of an online sale.

The company makes high-end performing smartphones at affordable prices.

The company's phones are priced at 2,000 yuan. More than 1.65 million units had been sold by April since its debut in late October 2011, said a Xiaomi spokesman.

A number of Chinese Internet companies started to go mobile this year, their first incursion into the smartphone market.

In May, the Chinese Web search engine Baidu Inc teamed up with Sichuan Changhong Electric Co, China's home appliance maker, to promote low-end smartphones. The model was sold for less than 900 yuan.

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The e-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holding Ltd introduced its first smartphone based on a self-developed operating system this month. The price of the new gadget was priced at 999 yuan, the same as a bluetooth earphone for an iPhone.

On the same day, Shanda Interactive Entertainment Ltd, an Internet-based IT firm, also released a slightly higher priced smartphone, Bambook. The highest priced for the device is 1,499 yuan, enough to buy two Samsung Galaxy SII phones.

Qihoo 360 Technology Co, an Internet security company, also announced it would enter the mobile phone market this year.

Despite the growing competition, industry insiders believe there is still a lot of room for newcomers as the market remains young and heavily relies on the development of the mobile Internet, an even younger industry.

"The silver bullet for Chinese competitors to survive is to find a segment of the market and make specialized devices for that particular sector," said Lin.

Cellcom Lowest Signals Need for New Markets: Israel Overnight

By Shoshanna Solomon and Sridhar Natarajan

Israel's mobile phone market has grown enough to ensure sufficient competition in the industry and the government is encouraging companies to enter the fixed- line and cloud computing markets to augment revenue.

Cellcom Israel Ltd. (CEL) (CEL), Partner Communications Co. (PTNR) and Bezeq Israeli Telecommunication Corp. (BEZQ), the country's three largest mobile phone operators, lost more than $15 billion in market value this year as government measures boosted competition in the industry and reduced costs for customers. Cellcom fell 5.9 percent to 21.3 shekels, or the equivalent of $5.32, the lowest level on record at the close in Tel Aviv today. Partner declined 6.9 percent to 12.8 shekels, or $3.20, the lowest since February 2003.

"The number of players in the market is the number we wanted," Eden Bar Tal, the director general at Israel's Ministry of Communication, said in a telephone interview on July 19. "Players who want to increase revenues should do this by providing additional services and not by taking advantage of a lack of competition."

The three stocks are the worst performers on the benchmark TA-25 Index this year as the measure lags behind the Standard & Poor's 500 Index and the Nasdaq Composite Index. (CCMP) The Bloomberg Israel-US Equity Index (ISRA25BN) of the most-traded Israeli companies in New York recorded the largest weekly rise this year as Mellanox Technologies Ltd. (MLNX) (MLNX) surged 35 percent.

The government required service providers cut fees by disbanding inter-network call charges and opening up the sector to new competition.

'Heating Up'

Hot Telecommunication System Ltd. (HOT), along with Golan Telecom Ltd., moved into Israel's mobile-phone space on May 14. Golan, partly owned by French entrepreneur Xavier Niel, began offering unlimited wireless services for less than 100 shekels, or $24.96, per month.

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The products compete with packages of Cellcom, Partner and Bezeq, which controlled 95 percent of the Israeli mobile-phone market, according to data from the Ministry of Communication.

"Pricing wars are heating up," Michael Klahr, an analyst at Citigroup Inc., wrote in a an e-mailed report on July 16. New operators like Golan Telecom and Hot will grab 7.7 percent of mobile phone subscribers from the incumbents within a year, a number that is higher than initial expectations, Klahr said.

Bezeq, the Tel Aviv-based company, which operates in the mobile phone industry through its unit Pelephone, gained 3 percent to 4.17 shekels, trimming this year's loss to 39 percent.

'Dynamic and Developing'

Cellcom, Israel's largest mobile phone provider, fell to the lowest level on record last week in New York as Partner, the nation's second-largest, capped its biggest five-day slump in two months. The company's New York shares have fallen 62 percent to $3.39 this year.

Rami Levi Chain Stores Hashikma Marketing 2006 Ltd. (RMLI), Israel's third-largest supermarket operator, began offering mobile-phone services in December in cooperation with Pelephone. The company said last month that the service now has 56,000 customers and that it's in talks with other operators to provide cheaper wireless packages to consumers.

"The telecom market is dynamic and developing all the time," Bar Tal said. "Players who want to increase revenue should do this by providing additional services and not by taking advantage of a lack of competition." Israel has a mobile phone subscription penetration rate of 130.2 percent compared to 130.5 percent for Europe, according to data compiled by Bloomberg Industries.

Israel's TA-25 Index (TA-25) has dropped 1.2 percent this year, lagging behind an advance of 8.4 percent for the S&P Index and 12.3 percent on the Nasdaq Composite Index.

Mellanox Surges

Israel, whose population of 7.8 million is similar in size to Switzerland, has about 60 companies trading on the Nasdaq Stock Market, the most of any nation outside the U.S. after China. The country is also home to more startup companies per capita than the U.S.

The Bloomberg Israel-U.S. index recorded the biggest weekly advance since December 2011, led by gains for Mellanox, the largest company on the gauge.

Mellanox fell 3.4 percent to 361 shekels, or the equivalent of $90.12, in Tel Aviv today. The New York-traded shares reached $89.24 last week.

The company more than doubled its second-quarter sales over the same period last year and its third-quarter revenue forecast was 50 percent more than analysts' estimates.

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