Hot on the heels of a rumor that said that HTC is prepping a "Google Edition" of its One flagship running stock Android, more reports have surfaced that back up the original claim. Both Android Central and MoDaCo now say that HTC is indeed working on a version of the One that runs vanilla Android rather than HTC's Sense 5 overlay. The sites claim that the device will be announced within the next week or so.
Details on this Google Edition HTC One and its availability are still light, but Android Central claims that the phone will enjoy the same speedy updates that were promised with the Google Edition Samsung Galaxy S 4. One of the sources of today's reports claims that HTC and Samsung will be subject deadlines when it comes to prepping updates for their Google Edition models. Meanwhile, MoDaCo says that the hardware of this Google Edition One will be similar to the regular model.
While the Google Edition HTC One is still far from official at this point, the odds of HTC releasing such a device do seem a bit higher than they did just a day or two ago. As I mentioned previously, it remains to be seen exactly how the HTC One would perform without the enhancements that Sense brings to the table, especially when it comes to the One's UltraPixel camera and BoomSound speakers. I'm sure that there are plenty of folks that'd be willing to open their wallets for a unit to find out, though.
Via Android Central, MoDaCo
AT&T's GoPhone prepaid brand has been around for some time, but as it stands today, the service doesn't officially support iPhones or LTE/HSPA+ connectivity. However, some new reports suggest that that'll all be changing tomorrow.
According to Engadget and MacRumors, AT&T's GoPhone brand will launch support for iPhones, LTE/HSPA+ and Visual Voicemail starting tomorrow, May 24. A leaked memo explains that customers will have the option of bringing their own iPhone or HSPA+/LTE-capable device or buying a new one without a commitment. Those users will then be able to sign up for a $25, $50 or $65 GoPhone plan. All three plans include Visual Voicemail support, but any customers signing up for the $25 or $50 plans will need to buy a separate data package.
The internal memo also notes that existing GoPhone customers with an iPhone or HSPA+/LTE-enabled device will automatically receive an update on June 21 that will enable this new GoPhone data access. Thankfully, any subscribers that don't feel like waiting for June 21 to roll around will be able to contact AT&T Customer Care and gain data access before that date.
AT&T's GoPhone service currently offers a $65 per month plan that includes unlimited talk and text as well as 1GB of smartphone data. There are also $25 and $50 options that include unlimited texting and either 250 minutes or unlimited minutes, respectively, but those require a data package for smartphones that are priced at $5 for 50MB, $15 for 250MB and $25 for 1GB. These plans may not offer much data, but for people that nibble on megabytes or are frequently near Wi-Fi, AT&T's GoPhone service may be worth considering. The change is reportedly taking place tomorrow, so stay tuned and we'll give you a shout if it does indeed go down.
Via Engadget, MacRumors
Foursquare is putting your check-in data to use through its new partnership with Gnip, a service that aggregates social media APIs. Gnip has similar deals with companies like Tumblr and Disqus, and it plans to provide Foursquare-sourced information to market and academic researchers. Blake Shaw, Foursquare's resident data scientist told Gnip, "I think this data can act almost like a microscope for cities." It's worth noting that this isn't the first time Foursquare's set out to share check-in data. A few months ago, the company took some flack for its data-sharing initiative allowing businesses to track their customers' activity -- despite the inclusion of an opt-out feature. This time, they're eager to clarify that the data accessible through Gnip is fully anonymized. Researchers will be able to see where and when check-ins were made, but the only user data attached will be a gender. So, Gnip will know that a female Foursquare user stopped by a specific Starbucks at 11:30AM, but that's all. Your data will remain as anonymous as it can be on a site devoted to broadcasting your every move.
Filed under: Software
Via: About Foursquare
Source: Foursquare, Gnip
Nokia seeking HTC One US import ban
Nokia appears to have stepped up in their patent dispute against HTC. This latest move involves an additional patent complaint that was filed with the International Trade Commission (ITC) on Thursday. The round involves the HTC One and it seems Nokia is ...
Nokia steps up patent suit against HTC, seeks ban on HTC OneZDNet
Nokia files new suits in patent fight with HTC, says reportsCNET
Nokia Wants To Be BoughtSeeking Alpha
A Russian startup called Unface.me has created a new social network inspired by the Gossip Girl TV series which lets users create an alter ego to — let’s face it — troll their friends, or even post even worst types of gossip entirely anonymously. The site connects with Facebook and Russian social network VKontakte so it can pull in users’ genuine friend networks, then furnishes them with a series of tools to poke fun, dish salacious gossip or vote on who of their friends is coolest and therefore who is not. Y’know, teen stuff.
Teens powered the rise of social networking giant Facebook. But today’s teens are arguably starting to be less enamoured with the platform their siblings spent all their time on, what with so many other, more flexible ways to ping and poke each other. Facebook’s insistence on real names, and its standard comms toolset of public posts, private messages and IM isn’t helping here. Looked at through the hyper layered and stratified teenage lens, it’s pretty limting. Which is giving startups the opportunity to crowd in.
Zuck and co were also not as quick to respond to the growth in mobile messaging as they should have been. The long and short of it is that today’s teens are spoiled for choice; they don’t need Facebook to stay in touch — they have a whole arsenal of creative digital tools to get around being grounded.
Facebook’s difficulty, of course, is that it can’t keep up with the kids without risking alienating its massive user base of oldies. With such a whoppingly huge user base that spans multiple age-groups comes a big responsibility not to put segments of users off. Keeping things fairly simple is the compromise path, but that too risks boring the kids — so they go looking to get their kicks elsewhere, whether it’s Snapchat or Unface.me.
Now it must be said that Unface.me is pretty rough round the edges — and focused pretty squarely on the Russia market for now. It isn’t necessarily anything more than a curiosity. It’s just come out of a closed beta, so its user base is small, with a test group of around 20,000 that it’s now looking to grow — having just opened up to the public. It says it’s also starting to advertise to get the word out. But as an experiment in extending social networking by adding an element of privacy it’s interesting to watch — also bringing to mind secret-sharing app Whisper.
Unface.me’s founders are three computer science graduates from Moscow State University, with respective specialisms in marketing, business development and web development. The startup is currently bootstrapped with funds from founders, friends and family.
“The inital idea came from the Gossip Girl series, but we decided to go further and develop a place where people can share their feelings freely and get honest opinions from their friends, but sharing secrets and gossips can be done too. We strongly believe that anonymity loosens up and helps discovering new facts about friends and yourself,” Unface.me’s Dmitrii Ponomarev tells TechCrunch.
The site has been in development for around a year and a half, with the closed beta kicking off six months ago. The “mission” is to “let every person discuss freely anything or anyone”. And, judging by some of the public posts, there’s certainly plenty of that going on already. Indeed, it’s pushing into some pretty unpleasant territory, which is generally what happens when you mix teens and gossip, regardless of the medium they’re using.
The key twist here is the mixture of unknown and known, says Ponomarev. Since the users are interacting with their real friends, pulled in from third party social networks, not random online strangers. From there they can choose to chat and post anonymously or under a fixed alterego. Or indeed using the real name they use on the linked social network.
“A user can anonymously write a story about his friends on yesterday’s party, share it anonymously via sms and watch the discussion,” explains Ponomarev. “Or he or she can post a photo of his new look and get really honest responses from friends because the are anonymous. Or he can start an anonymous chat with his friends and discuss something that matters with his friends but no one will know each others’ names… We’ve gone much further than just posting anonymous text messages.”
Teens are famously creative in their communications. Even within the Facebook straitjacket they find subtle and not so subtle ways to hack the limits — by ‘being in a relationship’ with all their BFFs, say, or asking each other to like a post for feedback on what they look like and so on. Unface.me looks like it’s picking up on that preference for teens to gamify their communications — and giving them even more layers to interact with each other.
Facebook can still be part of the mix, of course — as one of the foundation networks that Unface.me is using as its jumping off point. However, if more teenage chatter ends up going on anonymously outside Facebook’s walls that’s not an outcome that will end up pouring coin into Zuckerberg’s coffers as it restricts the flow of data. Addressing the innovation challenge posed by upstart startups that are offering cooler, more teen-friendly ways to do stuff is the sort of war that is looking impossible for a single, central dominant service like Facebook to win. When it comes to the social networking/social messaging space, it’s definitely time to get the popcorn in.
We've already seen evidence confirming the existence of Android 4.3, and we now have our first shots that appear to show the OS running on an actual device. According to a member of the xda-developers forum, the phone above was spotted at the Thailand Mobile Expo currently taking place, with the about section of the OS and its familiar easter egg clearly indicating that it's Android 4.3 -- and still going by the Jelly Bean moniker. Of the three shots provided, the only one revealing any significant changes is the camera app, which sports some retooled controls that have been shifted to the side.
Filed under: Cellphones, Mobile, Google
Via: Droid Life
Original Apple 1 Headed to Auction
If you're an Apple fanatic with deep pockets you better get your checkbook ready, because you could soon get your hands on an authentic, fully working Apple 1 computer from 1976. The vintage computer, designed and hand-built by Apple co-founder Steve ...
Used Computer, $116000 or Best OfferNew York Times
Working Apple-1 computer heads to auctionUSA TODAY
How much for an Apple I? This auction thinks at least $116kSilicon Valley Business Journal
Carrier Confirms HTC First's U.K. Arrival Delayed
Following reportedly dismal U.S. sales of the HTC First, which comes pre-loaded with the Facebook Home experience, the smartphone will not make the trip across the pond. Mobile carrier EE said Friday that early U.K. consumer interest in the device has ...
Faltering Facebook phone's Europe launch delayedBBC News
HTC First UK launch may be delayed indefinitely due to US customer feedbackZDNet
Facebook Delays UK And France Launch Of HTC First With Facebook Home ...TechCrunch
Adidas isn't shy about embracing technology. In fact, sometimes it takes that a little further than you might expect. Today, however, it's very much about genuine performance enhancement as we were invited down to a not-so-secret location in central London to look at its latest innovations in (to use the local parlance) football. Think you've got Premier League potential? Even if you don't, Adidas thinks its got a few tricks that might help you at least get a few steps nearer, so to speak. Jog past the break to find out what it's been working on.
Filed under: Misc, Wearables
Paul Adams, who was previously Facebook’s global head of brand design, has joined a startup called Intercom, where he will be serving as head of product design.
Adams told me earlier that he wasn’t looking to leave Facebook, but he had also been advising Intercom and became excited about the opportunity. The startup, which is backed by Twitter co-founder Biz Stone, 500 Startups, and others, offers tools for online businesses to track every interaction with a customer and to use that data to deliver personalized messages and offers.
When I suggested that this sounds like a shift from Adams’ previous work in advertising, he didn’t entirely disagree, but he also said Intercom’s work ties into the themes he’s been exploring at Facebook, which have also been expressed in his talks and his book Grouped. (In addition, Adams is known for his work at Google, particularlya presentation that seemed to outline many of the ideas that eventually shaped Google+.)
Adams argues that in the future, businesses’ interactions with potential customers are going to be much more personal and relationship-based, rather than following the one-to-many broadcast model of traditional advertising. Intercom facilitates those company-to-customer interactions, and he added that it’s not just a way to deliver slightly-more-targeted marketing emails.
“In the past … companies tried to minimize customer interaction,” Adams said. “They didn’t want to customers to talk back to them — that was overhead. Minimizing customer interaction is a very outdated model from a pre-social web world. Intercom is very much about intimacy, very much about being personable.”
Adams will be working out of Intercom’s Dublin office — he said he had already made the move from Silicon Valley to Dublin for personal reasons.
They do everything from mix drinks to evaluate the quality of your wine.
These robotic bartenders can do everything from mix drinks to evaluate the quality of your wineClick here to enter the gallery
In the future, we'll take self-driving cars to cookouts, raise a glass to the robots fighting wars abroad (or, okay, to their remote human operators), and drink cocktails made by robots.
Wait, what? Robot bartenders! They're everywhere! Here, I've assembled 11 of the most intriguing autonomous machines involved in serving alcohol. Some are test models, others are hobbyist creations, and at least one is a successful crowdfunded project (yes, people are willing to pay for a bartender who doesn't sneer when you order a Malibu bay breeze--so I like fruity drinks, so the hell what?). Check out the gallery for a peek at tomorrow's most talented bartenders.
Automattic, the company behind publishing platform WordPress.com, has sold $50 million in a secondary offering led by investment management firm Tiger Global. The sale will allow some early investors and employees to get cash in exchange for their shares, while adding another stakeholder in the company.
The share offering wasn’t necessary to raise funds for the company, according to Automattic founder Matt Mullenweg. In a blog post, he wrote that the company is “healthy, generating cash, and already growing as fast as it can so there’s no need for the company to raise money directly.” He also noted that the minority of stockholders who participated in the secondary sale continue to hold on to the vast majority of their shares.
Lee Fixel at Tiger Global led the investment, which follows other high-profile late-stage deals that the firm has made recently. Those include investments in Eventbrite and SurveyMonkey. Tiger Global is also an investor in companies like Palantir, Square, and Warby Parker, as well as Facebook and LinkedIn. With the purchase, Tiger will join existing investors in Automattic, such as Polaris Partners, True Ventures, Radar Partners, and The New York Times Company.
WordPress.com, of course, is the publishing platform (one might call it a CMS) that powers a number of high-profile sites, including the one you’re reading right now. WordPress (the open source project upon which WordPress.com is based*) is just about to celebrate its tenth anniversary on May 27, and will have meetups in cities across the world to celebrate.
* Confused yet? This happens every time we write about WordPress, WordPress.com, or Automattic
Only about half a dozen people in the Los Angeles area owned a TV in 1933. But those handful of early adopting TV geeks were in for a special treat on March 10th of that year when the movie The Crooked Circle was broadcast in its entirety.
Microsoft reportedly to take cut on used Xbox One game sales
Each sale of a used Xbox One game will profit Microsoft and the original publisher, at least according to U.K. gaming news site MCV. Lance Whitney. by Lance Whitney. May 24, 2013 5:40 AM PDT Follow @lancewhit. Microsoft's Xbox One. Microsoft's ...
Microsoft Xbox One 'a let down,' says Steven Butts of IGNFox News
Microsoft And Game Publishers Will Reportedly Take A Cut Of Xbox One Used ...Forbes
Microsoft explains the Xbox One's cloud-enhanced graphicsPCWorld
GRID 2 Mono Edition: buy a £125000 racing game, get a supercar for free
While we like our collector's edition games, there's no question that even the better bundles are full of knick-knacks we'll use just once or twice. No one will say the same for Codemaster's GRID 2: Mono Edition, though. The UK-only bundle includes the GRID 2 ...
GRID 2 Mono Edition Is Most Expensive Video Game EverCinema Blend
£125k Grid 2 Mono Edition announcedComputerandvideogames.com
all 27 news articles
Two VMware executives have left to join Redpoint Ventures to help the firm extend its reach into the enterprise and mobile markets. Their leaving marks a string of recent VMware departures, following the Pivotal spinout of several of the two companies’ product groups.
Both executives joining Redpoint had important roles at VMware. Javier Soltero was responsible for driving advanced development and strategy for application level cloud services. Soltero joined VMware after the acquisition of SpringSource in 2009. Three months prior, SpringSource, a Java framework, had acquired Hyperic, a large-scale web infrastructure management software provider. Soltero was co-founder and CEO of the company. Soltero has some Internet chops that date back to the earliest days of the web. Early in his career, Soltero worked at Netscape, where he was responsible for early Internet messaging, application servers and e-commerce technologies.
Kevin Henrikson joined Zimbra in 2005 and worked there until Yahoo! acquired the company in 2007. In 2010, VMware acquired Zimbra, where Henrikson directed Zimbra’s engineering and development roadmap planning and execution, including potential company acquisitions. He holds a published patent and a filed patent in conjunction with his work at Zimbra.
A number of VMware executives have left the company in the past year. Last week, Microsoft hired Patrick Chanezon who recently left VMware to join Microsoft as its director of enterprise evangelism. Dave McCrory also recently left VMware to join Warner Brothers. He served as one of the chief developers of VMware’s Cloud Foundry, the platform as a service.
And in January, CTO Steve Herrod left to join General Catalyst as a managing director investing and supporting early-stage enterprise companies.
iOS 7 Undergoing Ive-Led Transformation
Apple put its lauded hardware designer Jony Ive in charge of the company's iOS platform late last year after shaking up some of its executives. Ive is introducing significant design changes to the platform, which is expected to make its first appearance at ...
Sir Jony Ive's new iOS7: 'black, white, and flat'VentureBeat
Apple's iOS 7 overhaul said taking a black-and-white tackCNET
Changes ahead: more details on how iOS 7 will lookGigaOM
While we like our collector's edition games, there's no question that even the better bundles are full of knick-knacks we'll use just once or twice. No one will say the same for Codemaster's GRID 2: Mono Edition, though. The UK-only bundle includes the GRID 2 racing game, a PS3 to play it on... and a very real BAC Mono supercar. Whoever buys the
Quad-copters have become a popular choice for aerial surveillance tasks, in both the public and private sectors, thanks to their portability and ease of use. Problem is, their diminutive nature also limits where and when they can fly—high winds can knock them clear out of the air. The new SkyRanger sUAS, however, is powerful enough to lift off in conditions that would ground other drones.
First Take: Google's potential tussle with feds has a familiar feel
SAN FRANCISCO -- The possibility of another Google dustup with federal regulators has the makings of a revised movie title: Play it again, Uncle Sam. Should the Federal Trade Commission expand a preliminary probe and decide to launch a full-fledged ...
Google could face fresh antitrust inspection over its display ad dominanceVentureBeat
Google faces new federal antitrust probe: sourceReuters
Google faces display ad antitrust suit: reportSilicon Valley Business Journal
There are a number of password management solutions on the market today, but CommonKey, a new browser extension out this week, has a different take. Instead of focusing only on the needs of the individual user or offering a complex solution for the enterprise, it provides a password management system which allows small businesses the ability to share passwords securely across a team.
The bootstrapped, Baltimore-based startup was co-founded this October by Andrew Stroup, a civilian engineer who currently works at the Department of Defense, and Michael Cohen, whose programming background is in the medical sector. Obviously, both of these industries involve a deep awareness and understanding of security and privacy.
Stroup today works in the realm of countering weapons of mass destruction, and no, he can’t talk much about his work there.
But he can talk about the fact that he’s also now appearing on the Discovery Channel’s “The Big Brain Theory” show (get it? brain not bang?), which he had signed up for prior to having the idea for CommonKey. Filming has since wrapped, but the show ate into a couple of months’ time back in the early days of the company. He explains interest in being on the program was personal, describing it as “nerd heaven,” and equating it to a “Top Chef for engineers.”
During the competition, Stroup got to build robots, basic missile defense systems, and designed a system to protect the payload on the back of the truck, among other things.
“It was tough for me to step away,” he says of the experience. “But it was one of those things where I left college being told that I would never be able to design, build and deliver a system from cradle to grave again, and the show was an opportunity to do that eight times. And part of the reason why CommonKey attracted me, too, is that I was able to start that process over again – starting an entire idea from two guys, and then seeing that all the way through.”
CommonKey has launched as an extension for the Chrome web browser, but the plan is to soon bring it to Firefox, Safari then to iOS and Android as a mobile app. It works a lot like any other password manager available today, except that in its case, a business owner can create an organization and groups within that organization (e.g., PR, marketing, development, sales, etc.) in order to securely share common passwords among the team.
Users establish their own CommonKey accounts, which they can also use for one-click logins to personal services like Facebook, Twitter, email or anything else that’s not work-related. In fact, the service works just fine if you wanted to use it as an individual, and will also soon include a feature that automatically generates strong passwords for you, too.
However, when added to a team, users then gain access to company accounts, all of which are available in the same drop-down box.
Stroup says he got the idea after spending time engaging with tech startups, and seeing how they shared their accounts among the team.
During its beta period, CommonKey’s service is free, but the plan is to eventually charge companies based on number of employees with access to shared accounts. Pricing has not yet been set, though.
The CommonKey extension is available for download here.
The Waze Craze Explained in Three Words: Location, Location, Location.
Wall Street Journal
In short, it looks like a good time to be Waze CEO Noam Bardin, who told attendees at the AllThingsD conference Dive into Mobile in April that not so long ago, the quality of Waze's traffic app was “terrible.” But now, Mr. Bardin says Waze has 44 million users, ...
Google looking at buying Waze traffic app, report saysLos Angeles Times
Google and Facebook in bidding war over Waze travel app companyThe Guardian
Report: Google, Facebook May Start Bidding War for WazeMashable
During an I/O session called "Structure in Android App Design," Google leaked a new design for Gmail ahead of any official announcement. The slide shows a revamped navigation drawer and a conspicuous lack of the action bar on the bottom. Functions currently located at the bottom of the screen (like compose and search) have moved up, streamlining the inbox's vertical structure. Meanwhile, the new navigation drawer makes it easier to access features like the priority inbox and individual labels without having to open separate screens, as is the case on the current Gmail app. There are a few cosmetic changes as well, like the larger stars in the inbox. It's hard to tell from the image, but one might assume that the navigation bar scrolls down to reveal important functions like trash, spam, and drafts. It doesn't appear that the inclusion of the screenshot was given much thought -- indeed, presenter Jens Nagel left in his personal Gmail address, now blurred out. Stay tuned -- we'll update you as official word on a redesign comes in.
Filed under: Software, Mobile, Google
Source: Android Police
Espresso is a mysterious drink. Not many people really know what it really is, how it’s made, or even what it should taste like. We've all been lured into a haze of misunderstanding and misinformation by the likes of Starbucks, Nespresso, Krups, and countless other brands looking to make espresso easy and cheap. Don't take the bait. Espresso, done right, is wonderful. Here's how the best in the business do it.
It's fairly minor as far as operating system upgrades go, but Chrome OS users can expect to receive a new update in the stable release channel sometime in the next few days (if they haven't already). It brings with it some added panel windows for things like chat, along with a new positioning mode for the launcher, autocomplete in Drive search, a new three-finger gesture to move between tabs, and expanded support for wireless mice and touchpads, among other minor fixes and additions (including some promised memory management improvements). You can find the full rundown at the source link below.
Filed under: Software, Google
Source: Chrome Releases
AT&T Hits Customers with a New Administrative Fee
The Mac Observer
AT&T Wireless added a new US$0.61 a month administrative fee in May its customers will pay as part of their regular bill. The fee may be new to AT&T, but it's already standard practice at Verizon and Sprint. AT&T bumps up cell phone bills $0.61 a month ...
AT&T Wants Customers To Dig A Little Deeper Each Month For Phone ServiceAppAdvice
AT&T Imposes New 61-Cent Monthly Wireless FeeWall Street Journal
AT&T adds 'administrative fee' to wireless bills, stands to rake in hundreds of ...The Verge
Here's How To Enable The New Google Maps Web Interface (Even Without An ...
If you're eager to test out Google's shiny new Maps interface on the web, but aren't so eager to wait for Google to invite you into their tender fullscreen embrace, then Android Police reader William Pickering has a trick to show you. All you need is Chrome, ...
Google Chrome Browser Keeps Winning Converts: 10 Reasons WhyeWeek
Google's 'conversational search' lets you chat with your search engineNBCNews.com
Google Chrome Comes Up With Conversational Search FeatureStatesChronicle
Search Engine Watch
The battle between Apple and Samsung may be the most well-know legal war currently taking place in mobile, but it's certainly not the only one that's happening. Nokia has confirmed to AllThingsD that it has filed new suits against HTC in the U.S., including one in California as well as a second complaint to the U.S. International Trade Commission. According to FOSSPatents, the California lawsuit includes three RFID patents and targets many HTC devices, including the One, First and DROID DNA. Nokia's ITC complaint includes the HTC One as well, though it focuses on different patents.
In all, Nokia is asserting 50 patents in the different cases that it's involved in around the globe. Concerning its battle with HTC, the Finnish phone manufacturer said that even though a German court found HTC to have infringed on Nokia's patents, "HTC has shown no intention to end its practices; instead it has tried to shift responsibility to its suppliers."
These latest suits show that Nokia isn't afraid to keep its litigation train humming along if it feels that HTC is continuing to infringe upon its patents. Whether or not HTC will be found in violation of Nokia's patents in these cases remains to be seen, but one thing that we do know is that anyone hoping for a decrease in the number of wireless legal battles won't be getting their wish any time soon.
Via AllThingsD, FOSSPatents (1), (2)
The same robots used by the US military in Iraq and Afghanistan come to Brazil.Brazil has a big couple of years coming up: the FIFA World Cup and the pope are both coming to Brazil in 2014, and the summer 2016 Olympic Games will be held in Rio. To ensure the safety of those attending those events, Brazil has brought in the big guns: robots.
The Brazilian government has contracted iRobot, makers of both circular vacuum-bots like the Roomba and military/rescue tools, to provide iRobot 510 PackBots for the preparation of these events. The 510 PackBot will be used during the construction of the Olympic stadia, to make sure no explosives are being planted during this messy phase, and also to clear routes. It's not a dissimilar job from what the 510 PackBot does in the military--and over 5,000 of them have been deployed worldwide, for military purposes. They're even used by the US military in Afghanistan.
Brazil contracted iRobot to provide $7.2 million worth of 510 PackBots. The PackBot uses a remote controller, not unlike a videogame controller, and its base model is weatherproof and capable of withstanding a six-foot drop (and righting itself, if it lands upside-down). But it can also be equipped with all kinds of sensors and gadgetry, from high-def cameras to bomb-defusing devices to explosive detection sensors to a hazardous materials sensor that can collect and identify samples from the air.
It's not totally clear what Brazil intends to do with the PackBots, though it's safe to assume reconnaissance. They should arrive this year, to prepare for next year's events. Read more over at CNET.
Judge delivers blow to Apple in e-books conspiracy case
The iPad maker was accused of colluding with five publishing companies to artificially inflate the price of ebooks in 2010, as it battled to loosen the stranglehold that Amazon's Kindle had on the market. Apple has been investigated by the US Department of ...
Judge: Evidence will likely show Apple DID fix ebook pricesRegister
Judge agrees that Apple was complicit in fixing price of e-booksTechRadar UK
Judge says leaning toward US in Apple e-books caseReuters
Wall Street Journal
JBL is known for its love of exotic speaker designs, but a new FCC approval suggests it's about to turn back the clock for its next look. An unannounced Spark Bluetooth speaker appearing at the US agency wouldn't look out of place at the top of a gramophone -- albeit one draped in red plastic. It could also be part of the decor, as a manual in the filing suggests there's support for mounting brackets. While the FCC filing doesn't give away any launch details for the Spark, the 13W of total power hints that we won't be paying a lot for our semi-retro audio.
Filed under: Peripherals
We’re less than a week out from our Austin TC Meetup + Pitch-Off, and I can already smell the barbeque in the air. Austin, are you ready to rumble?
The Austin Meetup + Pitch-Off is going down on Thursday, May 30, at The Stage On Sixth.
The event begins promptly at 6pm and runs until 10pm. Tickets are $5 each, and include booze.
But, you ask, what exactly is this fabled TC Meetup + Pitch-off that I’m pushing?
Well, at its core its a gathering of your city’s local VC, entrepreneurial, startup and general tech crowd. Attendees can socialize, drink booze (21 and up please) and maybe even meet a few really cool people. But that’s not all.
The TC Meetup + Pitch-off is equal parts meetup and pitch-off, which is a competition that lets entrepreneurs and founders pitch their products to a panel of judges with only sixty seconds to make their plea. Even if the ideas aren’t interesting (which they totally are), there’s real entertainment value in watching someone battle against a clock.
We will talk to local Austin luminaries Bijoy Goswami and Noah Kagan on stage and then we’ll run the pitch-off with more locals to pass judgement on your startups. I’ll be MCing. It’ll be great.
Our NY Meetup + Pitch-Off was a smashing success. PaddleYou was spotted in Hardware Alley after coming in third at the Pitch-Off, while runners up Talkz and winner 3DLT both made it into the Disrupt Battlefield.
Applications are currently closed for the Austin pitch-off, but tickets to the event are still available here. We still have some startup tables left where you can demo your product to the attendees and TC staff. If you have any questions about the tables, please email Megan Lehn.
Our sponsors help make events happen. If you are interested in learning more about sponsorship opportunities, please contact our sponsorship team here firstname.lastname@example.org.
In an attempt to illustrate the harmful effects of using crack cocaine, Talent, a Brazilian ad agency, created a series of posters featuring images of people living with addictions that are slowly eaten away and destroyed by Flour beetle larvae—or mealworms.
Google Integrates Google+ Photos Into Search
Google has beefed up its search algorithms to provide enhanced user experience in the Google+ social network that would facilitate easier searching of photos. Google Logo. Now, one can search for his photos on both Google+ and Google search, ...
Google Search can now sift through your personal photosPCWorld (blog)
Google+ rolls out a redesign for mobile Web similar to desktopCNET
Google's New Photo Search Tool is Awesome and ScaryTom's Hardware Guide
Dominic Wilcox has a knack for the absurd. He’s designed gold-plated luxury skipping stones, anti-theft bike stickers, and a post-it note tattoo for hand-written notes. His latest design, though, is both absurd and incredibly useful: a conversion system that makes it possible to screw old sound systems into light sockets.
It isn’t looking good for HTC. Some might tell you that it was inevitable. Some may even say you could have seen it coming from a mile away. While others may try to convince you that this is just a slump, another hump in the road, but that HTC is going to overcome their troubles and bounce back. Sure, it may look like, right this second that the whole wide world is working against them, but the company has survived this long, and it’s certainly not been all rainbows and butterflies the whole time.
So, some might tell you that this just another hurdle, but not an impossible one. That, my friends, is looking at the glass half full! And there’s nothing wrong with that at all. In truth, I’ve got my fingers crossed for HTC, too. You’d be crazy to actually want HTC to go out of business. That just wouldn’t be cool, and that’s putting it nicely.
But the tea leaves are drifting around. People are making their estimations for what the future holds. Of course, the news isn’t helping much.
Hopefully you didn’t miss the recent reports, or you’d miss that reference. Well, we should probably go over it again anyway, just to cover our bases. HTC confirmed to AllThingsD that Chief Product Officer Kouji Kodera has left the company. That’s big news by itself, but it’s a snowball-turned-avalanche when you add it to the other departures: Jason Gordon, VP of global communications; Rebecca Rowland, manager of retail marketing; John Starkweather, director of digital marketing; and Eric Lin, product strategy manager. That’s a lot of talented executives jumping ship.
What’s more, Eric Lin threw in some color commentary on his way out the door, too. He went as far as to say that his friends working at the company should “just quit,” and that they’d be “so much happier” if and when they did. Ouch, Eric Lin. Ouch.
It isn’t good news, no matter how you look at it, but it is what it is. It’s a reality that HTC has to live with, and one that they’ve got to work with. They have to figure out how to change plenty of different things, both internally and with the consumer, and they have to figure all of it out pretty quickly. Our own Anna Scantlin suggested that HTC should “take a breather,” and essentially “go dark” while they try to figure all these things out.
But HTC has to keep making phones if they want to try and make money. Probably not phones like the HTC First, mind you, considering all the negativity swirling around that device these days. But, more devices like the One? Yes. Yes please, HTC. Your flagship device is only struggling due to component issues, and hopefully that gets figured out sooner, rather than later. Then maybe those five million units you’re sitting at right now can see a bigger boost in the next couple of months.
That gets me to the meat and potatoes. The One. The device that I, and many others, believe is simply the best Android-based piece of hardware around. And, if there are negative points against it, they come from the software. Specifically, the changes that HTC made to their proprietary Sense UI. So when a rumor starts to float around that HTC could be considering launching a One-like device with stock Android, there’s an obvious uptick in excitement.
This is the Nexus-branded device a lot of people have been waiting for. This is a Nexus One to replace the old Nexus One. (Please don’t call it the Nexus One, HTC.) This rumored device would immediately gain plenty of traction, especially if Google could sell it in the Play Store, and for something cheaper than what that stock Galaxy S 4 is going for.
If HTC is indeed planning a stock HTC One, could it be the company’s swan song? Could this be the device that they go out on? Like I said, I don’t like the idea of HTC going anywhere anytime soon at all, but the news keeps traveling downhill, and that can’t be good year-in and year-out. Would a device like a stock One be able to turn it around? That depends. It would depend on a lot of things, like marketing for instance, but also availability.
I’d love to see HTC stick around. Keep “kickin’ it,” or whatever the saying is these days. But there’s obviously a lot that the company has to figure out, work on, and get better before that can happen. Before they can really compete against Samsung and/or Apple. Both. Just one. Whichever.
Here’s a question that I’d like you to answer for me: even if HTC can make a phone that’s sitting high atop the Android pile like the One, but still be faced with all this downtrodden negativity, what would it take for the company to make a real, lasting comeback? Let me know what you think.
Sony's FS700 has plenty going for it regardless of its 4K potential, not least in terms of its super slow motion shooting up to 240fps at 1080p. Nevertheless, if 4K it has to be, then a new NEX-IFR5 interface unit will be out in June to make full use of the camera's big sensor and 3G-SDI output. A couple of things to bear in mind: in addition to this $2,500 interface, you'll need a recorder like the AXS-R5 (around $6,300 plus extra for cards) to store your weighty 4K rushes on, plus you'll find that shooting in this mode will limit slow-mo to a four-second bust at 120 fps. Read the PR for further detail on using 2K with the IFR5, as that format allows continuous slow-mo and ought to be less brutal on the budget.
Filed under: Cameras, HD, Sony
Rumored details of iOS 7 and its "flatter" design have been trickling out in recent months, and today some more information on what Apple executive Jony Ive has been busy with has leaked out. 9to5Mac claims to have details on some of the changes coming to iOS 7, and according to the report, Ive and Co. have made alterations to nearly every aspect of Apple's mobile OS that focus on black and white UI elements and a flatter overall look.
The changes start at the lock screen, which while expected function similarly to the way it does today, will reportedly exchange its shiny time bar up top for a simple black look. The sources also claim that lock screen notifications could gain more manipulability.
Speaking of notifications, Apple's Notification Center is allegedly set to gain a new look as well, losing its dark linen background for a simple dark-colored background with white text. Apple is also said to be testing new widgets similar to the existing weather and stock feeds. Those include "localized news feeds" and a quick access panel with toggles for system settings like Wi-Fi and Bluetooth.
Moving on to the home screen, we're told to expect home screen app icons that are shaped in a similar way, but without any shine or shadows. Many of Apple's own app icons are said to be getting redone, with the Camera and Photos apps becoming "flatter" and the Game Center app icon dropping its green felt. Another big home screen change that's reportedly coming is panorama wallpapers that will pan as the user moves between home screens, similar to how Android's home screens work.
Finally, many of Apple's own apps are expected to receive new looks that go along with the focus on black and white colors and flat design. Many apps are said to feature a white base with a theme color that's unique to that app. The Notes app will allegedly ditch its yellow notepad in favor of a clean white look, while the App Store, iTunes Store and iBookstore are said to be getting makeovers to become flat and white. We're also told to expect animated images in the Weather app, a Game Center without its casino feel and a dedicated FaceTime app.
We've been hearing for months now that iOS would be receiving quite a makeover with Jony Ive at the helm, and today's report certainly makes it sound like that is indeed the case. While iOS 7 will likely retain much of the same basic look and functionality in order to keep things simple for users, these latest rumors suggest that it could also be one of the biggest iOS updates that Apple has shipped to date. The Cupertino firm is expected to offer the first glimpse at iOS 7 during WWDC next month, followed by a launch this fall. So, what do you make of the changes detailed in today's report? Do you like the sound of the makeover that iOS is reportedly receiving?
The founders intended to reveal their identities on a high-profile nighttime talk show that had expressed some interest, but sometimes Internet Week has other plans for you.
The founders intended to reveal their identities on a high-profile nighttime talk show that had expressed some interest, but sometimes Internet Week has other plans for you.
Months before Yahoo's $1.1 billion acquisition turned him into an overnight media sensation, David Karp recounted the creation of Tumblr at the Austin Convention Center during the South by Southwest Interactive conference in March.
ITC Rules Against Google in Xbox Patent Dispute
A year to the day after an International Trade Commission judge recommended a ban on U.S. sales of Microsoft's Xbox 360, the ITC ruled that the game console did not violate a Google-owned patent. The ITC on Thursday confirmed administrative law judge ...
ITC Rules That Microsoft's Xbox 360 Does Not Infringe on Motorola's PatentsGame Politics
ITC clears Microsoft of Google's Xbox patent violation claimsZDNet
Microsoft Prevails Against Google in ITC Xbox CaseWall Street Journal
Variety is what makes the smartphone market as competitive as it is. No matter how you swype it, certain folks prefer certain strokes of the keyboard. Nearly every manufacturer has tried to get in on the action as of late. Prying away at Samsung's stellar lead in the Android realm has proven a daunting task for everyone else. But Motorola has been absent in the race against your face and pocket for so long that and it's nearing a point where I'm wondering if they have a back-up plan if rumors of Google's loss of interest in the X Phone project turn out to be true.
I sure hope it is just a case of ravenous gossip because Motorola has proven their hardware can rival the best in the smartphone market. While Apple was selling its one millionth iPod in 2003, Motorola was setting up its slamdunk clamshell masterpiece for sales glory, the original Razr. Over its four year tenure, the Razr and its variants sold 130 million devices - a record that remains in this form factor. With its external glass screen, slender build, and electroluminescent keypad, the Razr became an icon and even spawned its own brand later down the road.
Along the way, Motorola has seen much success with its DROID handsets a la Verizon, too. They continued their pledge to a sturdy construction with what (at the time) seemed like a trivial addition to its RAZR line - a Kevlar back - which has become a selling point
A high school sub usually means your teacher's sick and you get a free period to screw around. But for one student, its meaning is a little more literal. Eighteen-year-old Justin Beckerman could be considered the reincarnation of Thomas Edison. In his brief life, Justin's created a remote controlled cleaning machine, a helmet home theater, and now a fully functional one-man submarine that can dive as deep as thirty feet. It kind of puts your baking soda volcano to shame.
In case you hadn't heard, Microsoft pulled the wraps off of its next-gen gaming console earlier this week at an event on its Redmond campus. A brand new issue of our slate magazine steps inside the lab where the Xbox One was built for a behind the scenes look at how the new "all-in-one" box came to be. We also offer up our initial impressions of the unit and both its gamepad and Kinect 2.0 peripherals in an extended hands-on. Forum examines Nintendo's next-gen problem, Eyes-On gazes at Numark's handheld accessory and Visualized visits Maker Faire's Bay Area expo. Get comfy, there's a lot to digitally digest via the download repositories below.
Distro Issue 92 PDF
Distro in the iTunes App Store
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Distro in the Windows Store
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Filed under: Announcements, HD, Mobile, Microsoft
Source: iTunes, Google Play, Windows Store
The stage lights had barely dimmed at the Xbox One event before the internet started tripping over itself with questions about how the second-hand market was expected to operate -- or if there was going to be one at all. Microsoft assured us there would be, but aside from whispers of a used game "activation fee" the finer details were kept under wraps. We may know a little more now, however, as MCV claims to have heard specifics from retailers who have been briefed by Redmond on the trade-in process. Allegedly, shops that wish to buy and sell a title will need to be hooked up to a Microsoft database so that access to the game can be removed from the previous owner's account and transferred to a new one. A retailer can sell the game for whatever it likes, but the system will ensure that a cut goes to publisher as well as Microsoft. It all sounds fairly logical, but who knows? The truth could be even more complicated.
Filed under: Gaming, Microsoft
A new report from 9to5Mac and its usually well-connected sources today adds a little more color to what we’ll be seeing from the big iOS 7 redesign rumored to be making an appearance at WWDC this year in June – and what we’ll apparently be seeing is a lot less color. The visual overhaul not only emphasizes so-called “flat design” (avoiding complicated textures in favor of bold, solid tones), but also features the use of many black and white elements across the UI.
The new report reiterates what we’ve already heard – that Ive is heading up a pretty extensive overhaul of Apple’s mobile OS, concentrating primarily on the visual aspects of iOS. Now, though, we get a bit more info about how and why Ive is targeting so-called skeuomorphic elements (those that mimic real-world textures) and additional details about specific elements of the OS that have undergone change, plus redesigned apps and even some new features.
Ive feels that the sorts of heavy textures used in the current iteration of iOS aren’t designed to last, and will quickly take on a dated look, according to 9to5Mac’s sources. Physical metaphors for digital design are a dead end, he apparently believes, and makes for a lack of harmony between and among individual iOS apps like Notes, Maps and Game Center. It’s true that other, more recent takes on mobile interfaces have focused more on unity, like Windows Phone, but it’s also true that from a success perspective, iOS has trounced Microsoft’s newer mobile OS; flat design may have the praise of the tech community, but it hasn’t necessarily proved itself in the consumer arena yet.
Other big changes coming to what people are used to on iPhone include the lock screen mechanisms, which will finally see the iconic lock screen re-envisioned with a “shine-free, black interface” says 9to5Mac. Round buttons will replace the grid for security code input, and notifications might get more useful thanks to expanded interactivity options made possible through multi-touch gestures.
Notifications in general will get some changes, ditching the linen texture background per the report in favor of something more black and white. More widgets are on their way to Notification Center, too, and we could see access included to regularly-accessed settings, including Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and the Airplane Mode switch.
The Home Screen gets a minor but notable visual refresh, losing the shine on buttons and system apps given flatter designs that don’t “pop” quite as much as the current versions. iOS 7 also apparently borrows a trick from Android, adding in panorama-style scrollable wallpapers that continue across home screens, instead of presenting the same static image for each. In general, common interface elements like the on-screen keyboard will undergo a flattening effect, ditching things like drop shadow and toning down the color in favor of greys, whites and blacks. This extends to core apps like Mail, Calendar, Maps and Notes, each of which have more uniformed, primarily white interfaces. Each also gets a unique olor for buttons and highlights, however, providing a strong visual cue about which you’re using while retaining a similarity of design across all the software.
New features reportedly include a standalone FaceTime app for iPhone, as well as Flickr and Vimeo integration, and better in-car tools connected to Maps and Siri for hands-free use. We’ll also see a lot of changes on the developer side, likely with the introduction of many new APIs to unlock more potential for apps, something which has become a common feature of iOS updates.
9to5 reports that we’ll see this arrive for the general public along with new iPhone and possibly iPad hardware this fall. The iPhone version of the iOS 7 redesign might beat the iPad version out of the gate however, as the report claims that Apple’s design and engineering talent are focused on pushing out the smartphone version first. Hopefully we’ll learn more at the WWDC keynote, which is coming up June 10, and where we’ll be reporting live.
(Reuters) - Google Inc is considering buying Israeli mobile satellite navigation start-up Waze Inc, which may lead to a bidding war with Facebook Inc, Bloomberg news reported, citing people familiar with the matter.
Waze is seeking more than $1 billion and is fielding expressions of interest from multiple parties, said Bloomberg, citing a source.
Other media have reported that Facebook Inc has held talks to buy Waze for as much as $1 billion.
Google and other parties approached Waze after the Facebook talks became public but none of the bidders are close to clinching a deal, Bloomberg said, adding that the start-up might decide to remain independent.
Waze could not immediately be reached for comment. Google did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
Waze uses satellite signals from members' smartphones to generate maps and traffic data, which it then shares with other users, offering real-time traffic info.
(Reporting by Krithika Krishnamurthy in Bangalore; Editing by Edwina Gibbs)
Beer is a staple of Americana, so it's only suitable that the buildings where it's brewed are often classic examples of American architecture. Even though some breweries eventually fall into disrepair, either because the brewer shuts down or because it moves, many of those have been given second lives as loft apartments, hotels, restaurants, and shops.
A responsive radio could add localized, real-time weather updates, adjust background noise levels and more.BBC's Future Media North Lab has created a responsive radio that's capable of changing the broadcast you hear based on your location, your proximity to the device and other factors.
The Perceptive Radio premiered at the Thinking Digital conference yesterday in Gateshead, U.K.
The WiFi-streaming radio features a computer-generated voice that pulls data from external sources and can vary its references to the location of the listener and tailor weather-related references like "it's sunny" or "it's raining" accordingly. Its microphone monitors background noise and can adjust audio levels for specific sounds, amplifying speech and reducing background sounds, for example, if you're sitting farther away.
According to The Next Web, the BBC's Ian Forrester has suggested that it could be used in homes to create a kind of radio-drama karaoke that audiences could participate in.
BBC technologist Tony Churnside told BBC News it represents "the early stages of looking at what next-generation broadcasting is." He compared it to responsive web design, shaping the user's experience based on the different devices they might be on.
You can see a demonstration here of a short audio drama about a woman stuck in an elevator produced with Perceptive Media technology.
At the start of a cocktail party that was to end an exciting, bewildering and altogether odd day at Microsoft's Redmond campus, I approached Microsoft v.p. Aaron Greenberg. Hell of a debut day for the Xbox One, I told him. Some impressive stuff, some confusing stuff. Some fierce reaction online.
Verizon Cloud backup service launches for iPhone and iPad, expands Android ...
Verizon Cloud, the online storage and data restoring service Verizon introduced last month for Android devices, has launched to support Apple iOS devices like the iPhone and iPad. Verizon Cloud stores photos and videos in the cloud so they can be viewed ...
Verizon Cloud content storage app expands from Android to iOSFiercemobilecontent
Verizon Cloud Offers 500GB Of Free Storage To iOS, Some Android DevicesUbergizmo
Verizon Cloud Backup App Comes To iOSCult of Mac
Microsoft's Bing may be a boy among men in the search-engine wars, but that's not stopping it from piling on new features. The latest are in its news search, where it just added a "trending topics" carousel that shows timely info in the same category as your query (see the above image), along with a sidebar that displays personalities "you might also like." Clicking on either will bring up further news results, and Bing also said it's now extended the article index several years back in time compared to the curt two-week period it had before. It's an interesting change-up over Google's Knowledge Graph, and Microsoft needs all the help it can get in search, given recent survey results.
Filed under: Internet, Microsoft
Source: Bing blog
Netherlands-based hardware initiative Fairphone began around three years ago as a project designed to highlight the use of conflict minerals in the construction of consumer electronics, and then evolved three years later into a full-fledged hardware startup, with the aim of turning its knowledge into action with the building of an ethically sourced, built and distributed smartphone. Now, it’s opening up pre-orders to the general public, beginning with customers in Europe.
The Fairphone needs 5,000 pre-orders in order to begin production, and retails for a total of €325 ($436). That price included taxes, however and what you get for that is an unlocked, 4.3-inch smartphone running Android 4.2, powered by a quad core processor. It has an 8 megapixel rear camera, and a 1.3 megapixel front facing shooter, with dual-SIM trays for easy carrier switching and international travel.
As a smartphone, the Fairphone seems capable enough, but it’s the manufacturing process that’s really core to the concept of the device. The phone itself is made using materials from a completely transparent supply chain – Fairphone is looking at the provenance of each mineral used to make each component, the people who build each part and the processes evolved and their social and ecological impact, and will make all of that information available to buyers and the general public. The idea is to flag stuff that’s being done poorly, highlight ways to make changes, in both the short and long term, and also build a collection of best practices that can be shared with the rest of the industry.
Fairphone initially had opened sales only to the over 16,000 people who signed up to express interest when it initially announced the project, giving them first crack at the initial pre-order run. It seems like the percentage of those that were actually willing to put their money down on a device and contribute to the initial fund was much lower, however, which has prompted the expansion of sales to anyone in Europe who might want to contribute.
The Fairphone is being transparent about the sales process, too; thus far, it has managed to sell 2,333 phones through pre-orders, with 20 days left in its campaign. Hopefully broadening the buyer pool will spark more interest, because the project stands to be able to shed a lot of light on what for many is a completely invisible or poorly understood process.
No matter how many 4K TVs hit shelves, without native content their appeal will likely remain limited. Samsung and LG are working to change that, at least in their home country, by announcing a memorandum of understanding with five Korean cable operators (Hyundai HCN, CJ HelloVision, C&M, CMB and T-Broad) to boost 4K TV broadcasts. We could see both live and on-demand 4K programming by the end of this year or early next year, made available via apps on smart TVs and streamed through South Korea's abundant high speed internet connections. Still not enough resolution for you? Just last week, Japan's NHK showed off the first 8K Super Hi-Vision narrative film at the Cannes Film Festival. We'll let you know when all of these developments add up to Ultra HDTV content viewable in your neck of the woods, but for now early adopters will have to make do with mostly upscaled content like Sony's Mastered in 4K 1080p Blu-ray discs.
Filed under: Home Entertainment, HD, Samsung, LG
Source: Samsung Korea, Korea Newswire
Kevin Ducoff: Ginger Software Maps One Trillion English Sentences Online To Personalize Language Learning
Anyone who has learned a second language knows that using non-mother tongue in real-life situations can be unnerving. Just ask any English speaker who has ever thought the Spanish word "embarazada" means "embarrassed." (Hint: It doesn't.)
Helping English as a second language (ESL) learners master the language in context often takes pricey college courses, study abroad programs and tutors, but Ginger Software aims to change that. The company recently announced the release of Ginger Coach, a personalized software program that uses natural English sentences to help non-native English learners improve their language skills.
Too often, fill-in-the-blank methods are used to help non-native speakers learn English, leading to embarrassing contextual mistakes when users practice in real-time. Ginger Software mapped one trillion English sentences on the Web to create an algorithm that understands English used in context. The natural language software analyzes a user's mistakes in context, identifies them and presents the learner with short lessons to help them fix their recurring mistakes.
The personalized approach to language learning helps users to refine their language skills in real-time. The company -- founded in Tel Aviv in 2008 -- raised an impressive $20 million in venture funding to create the software, now available on the Web and Android devices.
And this isn't the only tool Ginger Software has released to help make language learners' lives easier. Last year, the company released the Ginger Proofreader, a tool that corrects for grammar and spelling errors. Over 2 million ESL speakers in the U.S. and abroad downloaded the program to help fine-tune their English skills. Ginger Coach will be offered alongside Ginger Proofreader in a new premium package offered to users.
Just as the Web is changing the way we read, socialize, and shop, so too is it changing the way we learn language. Backed up by real-world Web sentences working as a contextual guide, Ginger Software's technology stands to significantly improve English learners' experience without the help of pricey textbooks or tutors. The program is now available on the Web and Android devices worldwide.
From Sunday, Best Buy is knocking $50 off the price off the price of iPhones for four weeks.
Slashtop has a proven track record of bringing the full desktop experience to mobile devices, and now its expertise has come to Windows Phone 8 with the launch of the Splashtop 2 app. The remote desktop client for Redmond's latest mobile OS is free to download until August 31st, and promises to connect you with any PC or Mac running its Splashtop Streamer software. If you want to access computers on your home network, then a Slashtop account and the right software is all you need, but if want to get at your desktop from the road, it'll cost $1.99 per month for the privilege. We had a brief tinker with the app running on a Lumia 720, so jump past the break for our impressions.
Filed under: Cellphones, Software, Mobile, Microsoft
Source: Windows Phone blog, Windows Phone store
A Homeland Security intelligence bulletin has warned that it could be “impossible” to stop 3D-printe
A Homeland Security intelligence bulletin has warned that it could be "impossible" to stop 3D-printed guns from being made. Astute, guys. Very, very astute.
This is a clever little concept design by New York-based Jaklitsch/Gardner Architects: a perfectly normal chair with a tiny little table top, that turns a functional piece of furniture into something rather more sociable.
The European Space Agency has official inaugurated a centre to give early warnings in the event of a dangerous asteroid or meteor on a collision-course with Earth.
The NEO Coordination Centre is designed to strengthen the search for dangerous Near-Earth Objects (NEOs).
The ESA estimates that around 600,000 asteroids are present in our solar system, and that around 10,000 could pose a danger to live on our planet.
In a blog posting about the launch, the ESA notes the "dramatic proof" of the danger that was shown by the recent meteor strike on Chelyabinsk, Russia, which injured about 1,000 people earlier this year.
The new centre will act as a central point for European data on NEOs, which are being established under the ESA's Space Situational Awareness programme.
The ESA said:"The new centre will support experts in the field by federating new and existing European assets, systems and sensors into a future NEO system. It will support the integration and initial operation of ESA's NEO information distribution network.
"The Centre is also the focus point for scientific studies needed to improve NEO warning services and provide near-realtime data to European and international customers, including scientific bodies, international organisations and decision-makers."
Meanwhile Nasa is also continuing to search for dangerous NEOs, while several private companies are thinking of turning them to our advantage by potentially mining them for water and precious minerals.
Unfortunately, our inadequate defences were revealed at a recent Congressional hearing, when NASA chief Charles Bolden joked that the best hope against a massive asteroid was currently prayer.
Samsung's relationship with Google seems solid enough for now, but the company is still hedging its bets with Tizen should things turn sour. Several devices running the alternative Linux-based OS are due to launch this year, and the GT-i8800 looks like it might be one of them. If this image from Tizen Greek Community is to be believed, then what you're looking at above is codenamed "Redwood". The phone runs Tizen 2.1 (an update on the version we last played with), packs S-Voice and sounds a lot like the the GT-i8805 we found out about yesterday. With over 900 million Android devices now in the wild, Samsung will not have an easy time trying to peddle its new OS, but we're curious to see where this goes. Click the source for more shots of the phone in action.
Filed under: Cellphones, Mobile, Samsung
Source: Tizen Greek Community
category: Windows Media Center
Google is the latest suitor to be reportedly circling around social sat-nav smartphone app Waze. Bloomberg reports ‘people familiar with the matter’ who say Mountain View is considering an acquisition, and that Waze is “fielding expressions of interest from multiple parties and is seeking more than $1 billion”. However sources contacted by TechCrunch have poured cold water on the Google rumour.
We’ve reached out to Google and Waze but at the time of writing neither company could be reached for comment. Update: A spokeswoman for Waze said: “We don’t comment on rumors or speculation.”
Earlier this month we covered reports that Facebook was sniffing around the mapping and traffic service, with a view to ramping up its mobile efforts. Meanwhile Apple has also previously been linked with a Waze buy – having had its own highly public problems with maps. Google has also previously been rumoured to be interested, as has Microsoft. So that’s the full complement of tech giants all apparently eyeing up the same crowdsourced traffic startup.
Waze was founded in 2007 and has raised some $67 million in VC funding from backers including Kleiner Perkins, BlueRun Ventures, Magma Venture Partners, Vertex Venture Capital, and Li Ka-shing, according to Crunchbase. In February it announced it had grown to 40 million registered users, some of whom it picked up during Apple’s mapgate troubles. Waze has offices in the U.S. and Israel — the latter being where its R&D is based.
A key blocker for any Waze acquisition has been apparent investor conflict over the terms of any deal, with questions about whether Waze would move fully to the U.S. or keep R&D in Israel causing disagreements. There has also been investor conflict about whether to accept a lower, mostly cash offer or a higher offer comprised of more shares, according to our sources. Rumours of big tech suitors like Google sniffing around could also be a way for Waze investors to try to leverage more out of an acquisition — by making other suitors, such as Facebook (whose up to $1 billion interest in Waze we have previously confirmed), up their own offers.
Bloomberg’s sources claim Google and “other large tech companies” — but not Apple — have approached Waze about a possible acquisition since its talks with Facebook become public. However they also say none of the bidders is close to clinching a deal, and add that the talks may fall apart or Waze may walk away and seek more VC funding to continue expanding its mapping program. So really that’s saying everything is still to play for and any outcome is possible at this point.
To our ear, the most plausible-sounding scenario here is that investors are trying to leverage more out of a possible Facebook acquisition of Waze. Especially because multiple credible sources contacted by TechCrunch have told us that the Google acquisition rumour is not at all true.
Somebody's launched a social network for pets.
Yes, that's right - now that we have Facebook, Twitter and a thousand niche dating networks and connection websites, the only thing left is to sign up our domestic animals, give them passwords and then turn off the internet for good.
The site - YummyPets - is designed to be a "social network" exclusively for pets and their owners.
It's not a new idea - several sites such as MySocialPetwork have already been launched in the UK.
But YummyPets does have pedigree (boom boom). It launched in France more than a year ago, and now apparently boasts 150,000 members, with 500 pets joining every day.
The press release for the site's launch here in the UK quotes its founder as (sigh) 'Leo the cat'.
Leo apparently meowed:"I thought that the great pets of Great Britain should have the chance to join the social media world and interact as part of a community that knows them best."
The site includes features such as classified pet ads (to donate, buy and sell pet products), missing pet notices, instant messaging (for owners) and discussion forums.
It also includes "memorial pages" so that owners can pay tribute to lost pets.
As far as we can tell, despite the marketing bluster there is no way for pets to actually use the network themselves. We assume cats would use it to share grooming tips, hold passive agressive video chats and hunt down rivals, and that dogs would use it to stare blankly at the screen before making a "bhoou?" sound and wandering off in search of morsels.