The Black Bear Casino Resort in Minnesota recently broke the world record for largest burger with this 2,014-pound, 10-foot round bacon cheeseburger. My God what I’d give to jump in that thing and swim around in it like Scrooge McDuck in his money. Obviously, it is NOT a cheeseburger in paradise. Get it? Minnesota — not my ideal tropical vacation.
Guinness Records representative Philip Robertson verified the record for biggest burger. He called the feat a result of “remarkable teamwork” and said the burger “actually tastes really good.”
Black Bear’s burger included 60 pounds of bacon, 50 pounds of lettuce, 50 pounds of sliced onions, 40 pounds of pickles and 40 pounds of cheese.
It took about four hours to cook the patty. A crane was used to flip it.
I’m not sure who was responsible for baking the bun, but if had to point fingers, I’d say say they were the weakest link in the whole process. That thing looks like a shitty pancake. Also, I love how the Guinness representative called the burger a feat of “remarkable teamwork” like these folks cured cancer and didn’t just make a disgustingly wasteful burger. Just saying, a buddy and I killed two 24-packs of beer on Saturday. Now that — that’s real teamwork.
Hit the jump for a shot of the onions going on.
HTC has posted its Q2 numbers and they’re not pretty. While numbers were up on Q1, the Taiwanese Android/Windows Phone smartphone maker saw declines in nearly every line of earnings compared to the same quarter a year ago. Revenues were 91.04 billion Taiwan dollars ($ 3 billion), down nearly 27% on Q2 2011 (and missing consensus analyst expectations); gross profit was down by more than 30% to NT24.59 billion ($ 819 million); operating profit down by over 57% to NT8.2 billion ($ 273 million). Earnings per share were also down by nearly 57% to NT8.9 ($ 0.30) per share.
HTC also provided a sober look at the quarter ahead. It expects that in Q3 revenues will drop even further to NT$ 70-80 billion ($ 2.3-2.7 billion), with the gross margin also dropping down to 25%, and the operating margin also coming down to 7%.
The results show that despite gains in some key markets like China (and a slight one in the U.S.), HTC continues to see huge competitive pressure in the smartphone segment in which it competes. This year, in an effort to better focus the company, HTC launched a line of handsets under the brand “HTC One”, which followed a similar convention to Apple with its streamlined iPhone line-up.
In its short earnings statement (which will likely see more elaboration during the conference call later today at 8AM Eastern time) HTC also emphasized its success in China, noting it was “well positioned to become a key growth driver.” Just as Canalys noted yesterday, the company highlighted operator partnerships as a key part of the equation, along with brand awareness and increasing retail presence.
Overall HTC said Asia was meeting expectations for the launch of the One line. But noticeably the key North American and European markets did not get mentioned in that context. Instead, these have been seeing “increasing marketing and sales efforts in North America & EMEA.”
Based on comments from April (via Slashgear), when HTC’s CEO Peter Chou was frank about how hard it would be for the company to claw back lost market share in the U.S. (where it currently accounts for only 6.4% of all smartphone users, says comScore), HTC may have already given up the ghost on this one.
But if it is still holding out for a recovery, HTC will have to spend even more (read: more margin/profit pressures) to try to make better headway in these two markets, where it once commanded a respectable presence but has more recently been hit hard by competition, partly from Apple, but also from other Android players, primarily from Samsung.
HTC, like Samsung, makes smartphones based mainly on Google’s Android operating system, with a secondary line based on Microsoft’s Windows Phone OS. But despite being a very early mover in smartphones — it was Microsoft’s first handset partner for its smartphone forays, and Google’s first Android handset maker — HTC has not managed to hold on to its lead.
Unlike Samsung, HTC focuses only on smartphones (and, increasingly, a streamlined lineup of models). That means that HTC offers a less diversified range to the market, and that makes it more susceptible to feeling a pinch when its main/only line of business is not performing that well. While feature phones are getting gradually replaced by smartphones in the overall market, there is still a strong business to be had in the lower end models, as both Samsung and Nokia have shown. And it also provides a customer base loyal to a brand that can be tapped for upgrades. (Apple has been the one standout in the market that seems to have bucked this trend.)
More to come. Refresh for updates.Related Posts:
Competition in the tablet space has been heating up for a while now, and it’s not just the big guys that are feeling the strain. Take the tumultuous story of OGT Mobile, for instance — they tried to make their mark on the industry by creating their own Android tablet, but just couldn’t see the project through.
I can’t blame you if you’ve never heard of OGT before, but back in April 2011 when the company revealed their Eros tablet, it made a few waves thanks to its claims of being the thinnest Android tablet in the world. The spec sheet wasn’t too shabby at the time either — it featured a 1GHz processor, what appeared to be a 7-inch screen running at 188 ppi, 3G/WiFi radios, and either 16 or 32GB of internal storage, all crammed into a frame that was 7mm thick.
Sure, the company had a long road ahead of it, but the OGT tablet had the makings of a solid device. That said, you can guess where this story is going. Thanks to some funding issues, a general sense of distaste for the versions of Android available at the time, and the speed of the market, the Eros never made it off the ground.
Earlier today, OGT CEO Alix Narcisse posted an open letter to the company’s supporters explaining why that Eros tablet never officially came to be. Here’s the juicy bit:
Last year, the tech world, saw an influx of interest in tablet PCs from a variety of companies both large and small. We were among the many companies. Tablets represent the next wave of technology and the power of mobile computing, but we had to be honest with ourselves knowing that our hardware was too advanced for the software that was available at the time. We took heed to what consumers wanted in a tablet and challenged ourselves to deliver it.
Unfortunately, with the instantaneous changes in this developing marketplace, we could not bring our tablet to market in time for your enjoyment and satisfaction. We apologize. Our integrity is exhibited in our interaction with you. This is the first step in establishing and maintaining that integrity.
Narcisse goes on to promise that the company still has plenty up its sleeves, but this is the sort of game that’s just damned hard for smaller companies to crack. Established players like Apple, Asus, Motorola, and the like are capable of iterating much faster, cramming an ever-increasing number of features into devices meant for consumers who have been conditioned to expect continuous, unyielding innovation. It’s little surprise that little guys like OGT struggle to keep up with that blistering pace, so does that mean they should stop altogether?
The short answer is no, of course not, but even an even weightier question comes to mind — how do hardware startups like OGT make a dent in a market that seems to be doing just fine without them? That answer could be worth millions, if only someone could come up with it. So far, we can surmise what that answer isn’t: it’s probably not fighting on price (Amazon and now Google have that segment well-accounted for), and shooting for mass market appeal is difficult when a brand doesn’t mean anything to people yet.
As far as Narcisse is concerned, his and other companies like it have to “create something new from something old.” Easier said than done, certainly, but here’s hoping that someone cracks that formula soon — after all, more competition pushes everyone else forward too.Related Posts:
Android phones have an identity problem: Few people know one model from another. There are exceptions to the rule, including Samsung’s Galaxy line, which managed to bring a phone of the same name to all four major carriers, and Verizon’s Droid, which has been a hit. The rest have been a hodgepodge of model names like Desire, Hero, Tattoo, Thunderbolt, Magic, Inspire and Sensation.
Now HTC, the company known for its stylish hardware and Sense user interface, is trying to bring some uniformity to Android phones with its $ 200 One models. Starting Wednesday, T-Mobile’s One S will be available, and AT&T’s One X will follow on May 6. On May 7, Sprint will take pre-orders for its EVO 4G LTE, and though it lacks the One name, this is nearly a twin of the One X. Verizon so far isn’t joining the party; a spokeswoman would only say the carrier’s next phone wouldn’t be part of the One series.
I’ve tested T-Mobile’s One S for the past week, and it will likely meet the needs of T-Mobile loyalists who long for the iPhone. Its battery life easily got me through each day, and its camera rivals—and even bests—certain photos captured on the iPhone 4S.
The HTC One S is the thinnest, lightest HTC One and it’s the thinnest phone HTC has ever made. It’s thinner and lighter than the iPhone.
The One S is the thinnest, lightest HTC One in the bunch and it’s the thinnest phone HTC has ever made. At 4.2 ounces and 0.30-inch thick, it’s even thinner and lighter than the iPhone, which weighs 4.9 ounces and is 0.37-inch thick. The 4.3-inch screen of the HTC One S is large, but manageable, while the AT&T and Sprint models’ 4.7-inch screens may scare people away.
The big downside to the phone is its network. T-Mobile only offers two flavors of HSPA+, which is far slower than speeds on fast LTE networks like Verizon or AT&T. In downtown Washington, D.C., my average download speed with the T-Mobile One S was just over 3 megabits per second, and upload speeds were about 1 megabit per second. When I tested the phone’s speeds on a trip to Boston, the results were even slower.
In one of the optimal locations in Washington that T-Mobile suggested I visit for testing, I averaged 6.8 mbps in download speeds and 5.9 mbps in uploads.
For comparison, Verizon’s 4G LTE gets zippy download speeds of 13 to 14 megabits per second, faster than some home Wi-Fi networks, and its LTE is now available in 230 markets. AT&T’s LTE is available in 35 markets. Sprint won’t switch its network over to LTE until later this year, so its HTC EVO phone is limited to 3G speeds. T-Mobile has no plans to launch an LTE network this year, and its One S will only operate on the HSPA+ network.
The AT&T HTC One X and Sprint HTC EVO look alike and weigh 4.6 ounces and 4.7 ounces, respectively. Sprint’s phone has two distinguishing physical features the AT&T model lacks: a kickstand, which cleverly tucks into the back of the phone when not in use, and a dedicated camera button.
All HTC One models run the newest version of the Android operating system, called Ice Cream Sandwich. They also have a good quality Beats audio system built in, which works through the phone’s speakers or any headphones. HTC’s Sense interface adds some polish to Android, and this version of Sense is more toned down to blend with Android compared with past HTC phones.
While setting up the T-Mobile One S, I was prompted to create accounts or log into existing accounts for Dropbox, SkyDrive and Evernote, which are all integrated into the phone for seamless sharing.
The One’s camera is a real draw. Its software is deceptively simple, only displaying the buttons or options that are needed at any given moment. Want to use burst mode to take several photos in a row? Hold down the shutter button and listen as a super fast shutter snaps away. A feature called Best Shot appears after a burst and will automatically select the best photo in a burst group before deleting all of the others.
Want to take a still photo while capturing a video? Tap the shutter button, which smartly remains on the screen while video footage is shot. A camera setting can automatically save all images to Dropbox, where One owners get 25 gigabytes of free storage for two years.
I took several photos on the T-Mobile One S and then captured the same photo on the iPhone 4S—the gold standard for smartphone cameras. Though the iPhone did a bit better in a couple of photos, like capturing more detail in the foreground of a sunset, I was drawn to the colors and quality captured on the HTC One. After a week, I found myself reaching for it more than the iPhone.
I used the phone for email, texting, social networking and, yes, even phone calls. Its super-thin design took a little getting used to, but I became familiar with it after a few days.
T-Mobile’s HTC One S is an elegant, fully loaded phone with well-designed features. If you don’t mind the network’s slower speeds, it’s a great find. If you prefer faster speeds, another carrier’s One model might be a better fit.
Write to Katherine Boehret at email@example.com.Related Posts:
50 Cent took the stage with our very own Matt Burns to talk about his line of SMS headphones, but that’s not all he felt like chatting about. In between giveaways, the tech-savvy musician/businessman took a moment to talk about some of the cool things to be seen at CES as well his stance on philanthropy.
Among other things, he seemed to be quite enamored with HzO’s impressive waterproofing technology, which we got a glimpse of in action last night at ShowStoppers. He even revealed that he talked to HzO about the potential of teaming up to create waterproof headsets, though that’s not all he’d like to see getting the waterproof treatment.
“We should be waterproofing telephones,” Mr. Cent said. I’m right there with him, though I guess he didn’t see the Galaxy S II survive getting dunked in a drink last night.
Interestingly, when asked what he’d like to be remembered for, he said that he hoped word of his non-entertainment endeavors would live on. He’s definitely got a bit of a humanitarian streak — sales of his energy drink benefit the UN World Food Programme — but he also thinks that the onus to solve crucial issues like poverty should fall on businesses and entrepreneurs too. Mr. Cent (as Matt calls him) has long claimed that contributing “1% of business” to charitable organizations could alleviate extreme poverty around the world, but he noted one big tech name in particular during his time on the stage.
“Google is a baby, it’s only ten years old,” he said. “If that model was implemented there, we’d have a lot of money to solve some issues.”
Tokyo-based accessory maker Japan Trust Technology (JTT) is known for its CHOBI CAM series of ultra-small cameras. Today JTT announced [JP] a new model, the so-called CHOBICAM1. It’s being marketed as a toy movie camera, and as you can see on the pictures, it looks like a DSLR in micro format.
The device is sized at 2.5×2.5×2.6cm, weighs a mere 12g and features a built-in mono speaker. Users can shoot video in 640×480 resolution in AVI format or pictures in 1,600×1,200 resolution (JPEGs). The device has a slot for microSD/SDHC cards (32GB max) and can be connected to your PC via USB 2.0 (Windows machines only).
JTT started selling the CHOBICAM1 in Japan today (price: $ 120). The company also plans to offer a set of lenses for the camera in a few days (see below).
If you’re interested but live outside Japan, ask Geek Stuff 4 U to get a CHOBICAM1 shipped to you.
iPhone 4’s Retina Display rallies as new eye expert weighs in Having formed one of Steve Jobs’ nine key points about the new iPhone 4 this past Monday, Apple’s Retina Display technology has been making headlines again today over claims that they are “false marketing”. Wired spoke to Dr. Raymond Soneira , president of DisplayMate Technologies, who disagreed with Apple’s suggestion that Retina Display, exceeded the “300 pixels per inch” quoted for an average …Related Posts:
Steve Jobs has responded to a couple more emails — this time questions about the new iPhone developer rules, which prevent anyone from using Adobe’s Flash on the iPhone (and have infuriated many developers and Adobe employees.)
(This habit of Steve’s of responding to emails is remarkably winning, by the way. He somehow manages to be god-like and accessible at the same time, which makes him even more god-like).
The emails Steve responded to were sent by Greg at Tao Effect. You can read the whole exchange here.
And here are Steve’s two emails…
The first, sent in response to Greg’s question about whether Apple really had gone too far this time, recommends that those who are critical of Apple’s new developer rules read a post by John Gruber at Daring Fireball:
We think John Gruber’s post is very insightful and not negative:
The second is the response to Greg’s not-convinced response, which arrived three minutes after Greg sent it.
We’ve been there before, and intermediate layers between the platform and the developer ultimately produces sub-standard apps and hinders the progress of the platform.
Which brings everything back to John Gruber’s post, in which John argues that what Apple is after is quality, not ubiquity.
And is that what Apple’s really after?
Yes, it probably is.
The problem, of course, is that tech is a standards-based business, and one platform usually emerges as the dominant one. And if it’s not going to be the iPhone-iPad-Mac platform, it will probably be Android. And so if Apple’s platform doesn’t become ubiquitous, it might become irrelevant–like it did on the PC. And Apple obviously doesn’t want that, either. So if it killed Flash and other “intermediate layers” and made its own platform more ubiquitous and harder for Android to beat, it probably wouldn’t be bummed about it.
Join the conversation about this story »
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Props to Silicon Alley InsiderRelated Posts: