Although Tumblr is often derisively described as a heaven for hipsters and misunderstood teenagers, it does not change the fact that it is one of the largest blog services that exist. Tumblr now has over a hundred million blogs, hence rumors that Yahoo wants to buy it for a billion dollars does not really sound surprising.
Google is not happy with Microsoft at the moment. It seems that Microsoft has done something rather foolish to the YouTube app for Windows Phone. Instead of following the normal restrictions that most other mobile players follow, they (Microsoft) have decided to let their users download videos from YouTube and to block ads completely during video playback.
Security is a huge issue and has always been one ever since the first person decided they wanted to protect what they owned. Through the centuries the art of security has evolved and a multitude of inventions have blossomed on the scene to help us keep our property safe and secure. Once the data age started we had new concerns and our fertile minds came up with new and more creative ways to protect our new digital property. These two separate (yet dependent) fields are broken down into physical and digital security. The problem is that neither of these are effective unless we apply human security. This is the practice of securing people (humans) against being the largest security hole in any network or location.
Sharp will soon start mass producing of IGZO LCD screens for laptops. This would finally should allow bigger availability of high resolution screens in laptops, which have so far been well behind in comparison to tablets in the density of dots per inch.
Electronic Arts has confirmed that they intend to cancel the Online Pass program. John Reseburg explains that the whole thing will not be included in a future EA's titles since the players were not too thrilled with the concept. And if you know how it works, it's weird that they have not figured out earlier how bad the concept is.
We have been covering the emerging technology behind wearable computing and in particular smart watches to get a better grasp on this technology. In our articles we have listed companies like I’m Spa and their I’m Watch, Samsung, Apple and ConnecteDevice Cookoo Watch. We were quickly reminded by our readers that there are others out there and one in particular was mentioned (repeatedly). This is the Pebble Smartwatch.
It looks like the US wants to export something new to the world, now we are not talking about a technology. We are talking about our draconian copyright laws. You remember those nasty laws that the entertainment industry and software companies keep extending and expanding. For years our government has tried to be the police for these groups with laws like SOPA, PIPA Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection act and more. Well they are trying to force other countries to adopt these same rules and using trade agreements to do it. They have already been stopped once with ACTA (Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement) when they tried to remove the rights of individual countries to establish their own laws and are at it again with the Trans Pacific Partnership.
Earlier today we published an article showing how Apple is trying to get out of the price-fixing jam they are in with the US DoJ. Their new tactic is to try and show that they did nothing wrong or that the publishers that they dealt with had not already intended to do. Looking over the evidence and Apple’s pattern in dealing with partners actually looks more like Apple was behind things and used their knowledge of the situation to bring the others onboard. Now we are finding out that the DoI feels this way too and that they also have some evidence to back it up in the form of testimony from the 5 publishers in the original suit.
From Electronic Arts came the news about the recent opening of a new R&D departments in Los Angeles. It was confirmed that the department DICE LA will be responsible for creation of games from the famous Star Wars franchise. DICE LA has already gathered developers from Danger Close development house, which is responsible for Medal of Honor: Warfighter, and Karl-Magnus Troedsson of DICE acknowledges that by year-end department in Los Angeles will have sixty employees.
According to Ars Technica, the U.S. Homeland Security closed a key account for mobile payment associated with Bitcoin Stock Exchange Mt. Gox. This is the account Dwolla owned by Mutum Sigillum (Mt. Gox property) from which resources are paid to the account of Mt. Goxa which is the largest Bitcoin exchange on the Internet. For those who do not know, Dwolla was the easiest way of buying Bitcoin as other services for online payment, such as PayPal, for example, do not give the option to purchase Bitcoin.
Touch as a form of input for a computer system is rather old although most people regard it as a new technology. It was even around long before the move to flat display panels happened. These touch input methods were often very rudimentary, but they got the job done. If all you needed was to hit a button on a screen for a point of sale system then making a matrix that could detect this was not that complicated. As the technology developed it split into different facets. One of them, the touch screen, is what you most often hear about when someone talks about touch. It is this that Microsoft and others are talking about when they say touch is the future. I say they are wrong.
Apple just will not give up in trying to get out of the pickle they are in over price fixing eBooks. Despite some pretty convincing evidence that Steve Jobs put together a new agency model with Apple at the head they are still claiming that Apple did nothing wrong. They are now trying to claim that the price of eBooks went down after their agreements with five publishers. They are also trying to throw the original publishers under the bus claiming they were already trying to hurt eBook sales long before Apple got involved.
Xperia ZR is smaller, but not necessarily less advanced smartphone compared to the flagship Xperia Z. It brings a smaller screen with a diagonal of 4.6 inches with a resolution of 720p, but still retaines resistance to water and dust by the standards of IP55 and IP58.
Among the various devices that are currently produced by Samsung, Galaxy Note 3 also came into spotlight. A lot of rumors have been said about it lately, and now we finally have more information from more reliable sources. According to the record provided in one of the orders from Samsung's suppliers, the company is starting the production of 6-inch device, which is rumored to be exactly Galaxy Note 3.
Amazon has marked the beginning of the use of their virtual money called Amazon Coins, dividing 500 "coins" worth $5 in the real world to owners of Kindle Fire. Mike George, VP of apps and games at Amazon said „Today we are giving Kindle Fire owners $5 worth of Coins to spend on new apps and games, or to purchase in-app items, such as recipes in iCookbook, song collections in SongPop or mighty falcon bundles in Angry Birds Star Wars. And with discounts of up to 10% when you buy Coins, this is a great way for customers to save money when they buy apps, games and in-app items“
Back at CES 2013 we had the chance to stop by the nVidia booth in the LVCC to take a look at nVidia’s Shield mobile gaming system. It was an interesting demo and the concept was… shall we say interesting. What we saw was a small devices that looked like an Xbox controller on steroids with a flip up screen. Inside was a new generation of nVidia’s Tegra running an optimized version of Android. The idea is that with this one product you can access gaming content from three sources; Google Play, Tegra Zone and even Steam in the future.
It seems that the French could be making some changes to the way they handle copyright law when it comes to movies, TV, Music and other titles. Although they admit that piracy is a problem they are joining a growing number of countries and governments that are concerned about the way the entertainment industry is dictating laws. Philippe Aigrain, co-founder of protest group La Quadrature du Net recently commented on this saying: “The government will be judged on its ability to resist the harmful influence of the entertainment industry to whom the conception of policies has been delegated by the governments one after the other.”
If you thought it was bad that AT&T dropped the price on HTC’s Facebook centric phone to $0.99 in less than a month you haven’t heard anything yet. It is not only consumer acceptance of the Facephone that Facebook gets to look forward to. There is also a problem with the Facebook Home App despite Facebook’s claims that it has been downloaded one Million times. I seems that Facebook cannot catch a break when it comes to mobile.
Sharp will start layoffs within their ranks as part of a restructuring plan according to sources close to the company. Over a period of three years, the number of employees should be reduced by 5,000. The company currently has 51,000 employees.
In order to attract developers to write applications for their operating system for mobile devices, Mozilla offers them free mobile phones to use for development. This method of motivating developers is becoming more and more popular, just to remind you that BlackBerry recently also decided to give their Z10 smartphones to the developers of applications for their new platform.
Samsung has announced a breakthrough in cellular technology that should help us get to 1Gbps on a cellular network by 2020. The new network is, of course, going to be called 5G and represents a huge improvement over current data transmission rates. What is interesting about the announcement is that we are now seeing a similar technology available in the form of 802.11ac for the home. Does Samsung’s break through show how cellular and traditional wireless have become the same technology?
In our second installment on wearable computing we will talk about why the timing is right for a new class of device and the steps that have been taking to bring them to the market. As we mentioned in part one we have been moving toward more portable yet functional forms of mobile computing. Along the way we go through a two distinct steps while these products get smaller. Step one is the companion or connected device and step two is the move to make these smaller product stand on their own.
Mobile devices are great. All of us use them in the form of phones, MP3/4 players, tablets laptops etc. The problem with a large majority of them is that they never seem to have enough storage to do everything you want. To combat this trend some manufacturers have started dropping in large capacity HDDs, but to keep inside the expected power curve these drives are very slow and end up slowing the system down as well. The alternative of dropping in a Solid State Drive can speed things up, but can also leave you with limited storage space unless you spend a ton of money. Kingston came up with an interesting little concept that takes care of the storage problem and also gives you some high-speed storage that you can move between your portable device and your desktop. So let’s take a look at the 512GB Kington HyperX Predator USB 3.0 thumbdrive.
Apple has no intention, at least not in the near future, to release a version of iTunes for the Modern UI (Metro interface) of Windows 8. The information was confirmed in a CNN interview with Tami Reller, Microsoft CFO of Windows department, noting that the most popular applications from the iTunes store will be available for Windows 8 by the end of this year.