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Jan
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We’ll be talking CES 2014 with Gary Shapiro tomorrow, catch our Google Hangout here!


With a new year comes a giant trade show just around the corner; CES 2014 is less than a week away! In anticipation of the excitement to come, our very own Marc Perton will be hopping on a Google Hangout with the CEA’s Gary Shapiro to talk about tech trends and what announcements to expect. Head here for the live Hangout — it’s happening tomorrow, January 2nd, at 11:30 AM EST.

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1
Jan
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Define icons by Kevin3328 [review]


Define Icon Pack 1The Define icon pack is like a lot of other packs out there, it’s unique, in styling. What I mean by that is this, the icon pack developer spent a lot of time on the backgrounds and the way that most icons are styled, instead of taking a completely new approach to the icons theme. This is most noticeable with apps like Google+ and Hangouts, where they’re just the normal icon on a square background with some light shading on top of it.

Define Icon Pack 3

But, the design in spot on. All the icons are re-created very well, and the 450 icons included in this pack should cover the majority of what you use. And if it doesn’t? Well, the developer includes a nifty request tool inside of the app. The app also includes 7 custom made wallpapers, which I wan’t very keen on, personally. I’m very picky with my wallpaper, and once I have it set the way I like it, I rarely change it. But, they are nice wallpapers, if you like the way they’re designed. The way the app is laid out is very unique though, I completely love it. It’s one of the best app layouts I’ve seen in a long time, for an icon pack. It has the tabs at the top, and inside the tabs it’s very organized. You have the “Define” tab, which allows you to apply the wallpaper to a plethora of launchers, the “Extras” tab, which houses the wallpapers, what icons are included, the request feature, and some neat extras at the bottom! And then there are the standard “Contact” and “About” tabs, which are pretty self explanatory. The developer goes on to say in his description:

HUGE THANKS TO @jaithemes FOR THE NEW TEMPLATE HE MADE CREATING THE BEAUTIFUL EXPERIENCE THIS APP EMBODIES!! LOOK UP HIS WORK YOU WONT BE DISAPPOINTED!!

Define Your Device with Define Icons a set of minimalistic styled icons with a frame to really make them pop on your screen. The set was handcrafted with the idea of creating a stock style look in true HD.. All icons are drawn at 144 x 144 pixels to give each icon a truly high definition look!! Hope you enjoy!!

***Please Note***
This icon theme is for third party launchers including but not limited to Nova, Apex, ADW, Action, etc.
This is a standalone app but will do nothing unless your home launcher supports themes

Features
-Icon mask is utilized to theme the icons not currently included to some extent
– 475 custom HD icons and growing
-Dashboard utility and icon picker capabilities
-7 custom made HD wallpapers included
-Icon request utility —-> use it let me know what you want included
-See whats included directly from the app
-Misc system icons and app drawers that you can apply
-For Nova Launcher- comprehensive categorized organization of apps when manually applying

Without further ado..Take a look at the screens and Define your device with a new fresh unique and truly high def look
Define Icon Pack 2

Does this icon pack intrigue you? Well, if you like square HQ icons (I’m more of a circular fan myself), then you should get them! At $0.99 (on sale through today only), they aren’t very expensive, and just about everyone can afford it, so why not just click the button below!

Get it on Google Play

1
Jan
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Moto G for Verizon now on sale at Best Buy for $100 contract-free


Moto G looking at Engadget's website

When Motorola said that a CDMA version of the Moto G would reach the US in January, it was being overly cautious. Best Buy has confirmed that it’s already selling the Verizon edition of the budget smartphone in its retail stores; as soon as a store has inventory, you can pick one up. And it’s cheap, too. At $100 off-contract, Verizon’s Moto G is less expensive than both its GSM equivalent and many slower, smaller devices. You won’t get to pick up the handset until after New Year’s Day, but we have a hunch that it will be worth the wait.

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Via: CNET

Source: LA Times

1
Jan

Motorola lowers price of Moto X to $399


Motorola on Wednesday dropped the price of the Moto X smartphone to $399, with no limited time promos or vouchers to worry about.

Today several wireless carriers offer good month-to-month or prepaid service plans that cost much less than the contract plans that come with subsidized devices. Combine one of those plans with our new $399 everyday pricing and you could save hundreds of dollars over two years while keeping the freedom to change service providers when you feel like it.

After following up the tremendous success of the $350 Cyber Monday promo price with another, similar discount, we got the sense that Motorola was feeling out a lower price point. Indeed, that may have been the case as now all carrier-supported versions of the Moto X are at a much more affordable cost.

Motorola

The post Motorola lowers price of Moto X to $399 appeared first on AndroidGuys.

1
Jan
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Switched On: The 2013 Switchies, Part One


Each week Ross Rubin contributes Switched On, a column about consumer technology.

It’s that special time of year between holiday sales and the pre-CES hype cycle that presents an opportunity to consider some of the most innovative devices of the year. Switched On is proud to present the 2013 Saluting Wares Improving Technology’s Contribution to Humanity awards, also known as The Switchies.

This installment marks the eighth annual Switchies, which are decided based on a rigorous examination of the opinion of me, and do not reflect the opinion of Engadget or its editors. For that latter honor, nominees will need to win an Engadget Award. Now, then, let’s stroll past the red carpet and tear open those envelopes.

This column will focus on TV, PC and gaming products while the next installment will focus on mobile and wearable devices.

The “Big Screen Scene” Award for Best New Video Device goes to the Google Chromecast. Taking an app-by-app approach, Google’s cheap stream-redirecting HDMI dongle took everyone by pleasant surprise with its small size and ease of use. It also helped Google show the power of bridging the assets of Android and Chrome and built momentum in a frustrating race for the living room. It’s now rapidly adding new content sources.

Honorable Mention for Best New Video Device goes to the Xbox One. Microsoft’s latest home console is not only a powerful game system, but also a living room experience that incorporates many leading-edge technologies, including speech control, gesture control, video chat and an expanding array of over-the-top entertainment. Honorable Mention also goes to the TiVo Roamio Pro, the latest generation of the venerable CableCARD DVR that can support up to six tuners and offers improved streaming and offload to mobile devices.

The “Play’s the Thing” Award for Best New Gaming Device goes to Sony’s PlayStation 4. By casting off much of the corporate baggage of the PlayStation 3, like in-house chips, 3D and expensive novel optical formats, Sony finds itself in the enviable sweet spot of offering top-notch performance without occupying the top end of the market. Sony’s simpler development proposition should also help enable a stronger flow of game titles coming into 2014.

The “Convertible Bonds” Award for Best New Hybrid Computing Device goes to Microsoft’s Surface Pro 2. Still a study in contrasts, the second generation of Microsoft’s Intel-based tablet combines high performance and dramatically improved battery life, but you’ll be spending most of your time in desktop mode to tap its potential. Honorable Mention goes to Nokia’s cellular-equipped, outdoor-optimized, Windows RT-based Lumia 2520 and HP’s Android-based Slatebook x2 “2-in-1″ detachable.

The “Guess We Just Click” Award for Best New Input Peripheral goes to the Leap Motion controller. While we continue to see many companies focus on bringing down the cost of gesture control at the expense of a rich experience, Leap Motion presented a new 10-inch paradigm that won it a partnership with HP. Leap Motion wrests this award from Microsoft, which won it for the past three years.

The “Critical Bits” Award for Best New OS goes to OS X Mavericks. In a year where Apple, Microsoft and Google all unveiled new versions of their operating systems for tablets, Mavericks was left virtually unchallenged to pursue improvements for the desktop paradigm and Apple delivered with better battery life through superior memory management and its best multiple-monitor support yet.


Ross Rubin is principal analyst at Reticle Research, a research and advisory firm focusing on consumer technology adoption. He shares commentary at Techspressive and on Twitter at @rossrubin.

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1
Jan
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Bump and Flock file sharing apps shut down this month as devs focus on Google projects


Google acquired Bump — developer of an NFC-like file sharing app with the same name and a photo sharing service called Flock — back in September, and both projects will shut down January 31st. CEO and cofounder David Lieb announced the discontinuation of both products on the Bump blog, saying his team is “deeply focused on our new projects within Google.” That bodes well for their mission of enhancing sharing on mobile devices, but the bad news for Bump and Flock users is that this shut down means everything must go.

After January ends the apps will no longer function, they’ll disappear from the App Store and Google Play and all stored data will be deleted from servers (locally saved files or photos will remain in place). Any of those millions of users can still keep their data though, just open up the app anytime in the next month, and follow the instructions shown (tap the “i” menu on iOS or “More” on Android). Afterwards, Bump will send over an email with a link to let you download all of your stored data.

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Via: Android Police, The Verge

Source: Bump blog

1
Jan
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Motorola’s New Year’s resolution is to sell more smartphones, drops unlocked Moto X to $400


It’s no secret that Motorola’s flagship Moto X hasn’t been a tremendous hit with consumers, and with considerable inventory likely building up, it’s time to move some product. Google’s smartphone arm is kicking off the new year with some aggressive new pricing. The base configured Moto X will now run you $400 without a contract or carrier affiliation, while the much-anticipated wood flavor now commands a cool $500. Moto Maker pricing remains at $100 with a new AT&T, Sprint or Verizon contract, if a two-year agreement is how you like to roll.

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Source: Motorola

1
Jan
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US judge rules warrantless gadget searches at the border aren’t unconstitutional


A United States district judge has ruled that gadget searches upon crossing into the US aren’t a breach of the First and Fourth Amendments. In 2010, the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, National Press Photographers and grad student Pascal Abidor challenged the 2008 ruling that authorizes unwarranted device search-and-seizures, saying that they exist to counteract protected speech and certain confidentiality privileges. However, district judge Edward Korman remarks that because the chance of the searches is so low (he estimates odds of less than five in a million, although the government’s count has been disputed) there aren’t any grounds for dismissing the rulings.

He further states that this is no different than having your baggage or person examined before crossing into the US, and that the government simply doesn’t have enough resources to inspect the devices of everyone who enters the country. Most worrying however is when Korman says that it’s “foolish, if not irresponsible” that the plaintiffs would store sensitive data on their gadgets in the first place. The ACLU is considering appealing the decision but attorney Catherine Crump tells the New York Times that for now the status quo remains, and in many areas of the country, “the government is free…to conduct all types of electronic device searches without reasonable suspicion.”

[Image credit: Flickr/Crashworks]

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Via: New York Times, Associated Press

Source: ACLU (PDF) (1), (2)

1
Jan
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Snapchat user info database leaks, claims to hold most numbers and usernames


Last week security researchers published a way to skim Snapchat’s full database, and it appears someone did it before the vulnerability was addressed. A website called SnapchatDB! has appeared posting SQL/CSV files that it claims contain the username and associated phone number for a “vast majority” of the service’s users, with the last two digits of the numbers obscured. That amounts to 4.6 million pairs, although actually downloading the files to actually use them or verify the claim seems impossible, presumably due to an overload of traffic. We don’t know who is behind the website (its WHOIS record is hidden by WHOISGuard), but the homepage claims this release is happening to “raise awareness” of the fact that companies with our private information should be more careful with it. As the site mentions, even the info included could be enough to figure out someone’s phone number from their username (if it’s also used publicly on Twitter, for example), especially problematic for those with unlisted numbers. They also have not ruled out releasing the uncensored database “under certain circumstances,” so if you’ve ever used the service, this may be something to keep an eye out for.

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Via: HackerNews

Source: SnapchatDB.info

1
Jan
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Samsung’s new TV remote for 2014 is 80 percent smaller, has touch, voice and gesture control


Samsung couldn’t wait for CES to start leaking information about its new HDTVs, starting with the remote. After rolling out larger and larger contraptions over the years with more buttons (on both sides, even), this year’s “Smart Control” model is 80 percent smaller than the 2013 version. It has a touchpad in the middle which, combined with a new button layout and gesture control — similar to LG’s Magic Remote, among others — promises to make controlling apps and content even easier.

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Source: Samsung Tomorrow

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