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7
Apr
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Emails Show Phil Schiller’s Displeasure with Ad Agency’s Efforts for Apple in Early 2013


Multiple insider details on Apple and its business practices are surfacing during the company’s second patent trial with Samsung, including a series of tense emails between Apple’s head of marketing Phil Schiller and Apple’s longtime ad agency, TBWA/Media Arts Lab (via BusinessInsider).

Following the January 2013 release of an article from The Wall Street Journal entitled, “Has Apple Lost Its Cool to Samsung?” Schiller emailed Media Arts Lab and told them “We have a lot of work to do to turn this around….”

In the article, The Wall Street Journal lauds Samsung’s aggressive marketing campaign for the Galaxy S3, which had the clever tagline “The next big thing is already here.” Samsung has argued that the campaign was a tipping point for the company and that it infuriated Apple executives as the advertising was coming at a time when Apple’s own advertising was in a slump.

Following Schiller’s email about the WSJ article, the ad agency wrote back a lengthy email outlining a plan to put the iPhone back in the spotlight, unfortunately comparing Apple in 2013 to Apple in 1997, when the company was on the brink of going out of business.

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The email went on to suggest that the agency be given more freedom to experiment with ideas and that Apple needs to consider specific questions, such as company behavior, sales approaches, and product roadmaps.

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Schiller was “shocked” by the email he received from Media Arts Lab, both at the reference to 1997 and the idea that the team should be given free rein to create ideas that had not been pitched in Marketing and Communication (Marcom) meetings.

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The advertising agency quickly penned an apology to Schiller and a few weeks later, another email exchange indicated Apple was happy with the advertisements the company was creating for the iPad, but still dissatisfied with iPhone advertising. Schiller noted that he watched Samsung’s pre-Super Bowl ad, saying “I can’t help but think ‘these guys are feeling it’”.

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While it’s clear there was some serious tension between Apple and its advertising agency in 2013, the two did not end up parting ways. Later in the year, Apple launched its “Music Every Day” and “Photos Every Day” ads, which turned out to be highly successful. Apple followed it up with a heartwarming iPhone 5s commercial, ending out the year on a high note and picking up advertising in 2014 with the current “Your Verse” campaign.



7
Apr
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HP’s new DreamColor displays show a billion colors, one is actually affordable


HP's new DreamColor displays show a billion colors, one is actually affordable

Fun fact: as of this writing, HP is still selling a display that came out back in 2008. That would be the DreamColor LP2480xz, a billion-color monitor that got lots of attention by dint of the fact that DreamWorks (yep, that DreamWorks) helped design it. Also, it cost an obscene $3,499, so that raised some eyebrows too. After six years, though — and many a price cut — the ol’ DreamColor is about to go the way of the dodo. HP just announced two models, both of which have billion-color displays, and one of which costs just $599. (How the times have changed, eh?) Starting with the cheaper model, the Z24x, it has a 24-inch screen, as the name suggests, with 1,920 x 1,080 resolution and a color gamut that include 99 percent of the AdobeRGB range. The Z27x ($1,599), meanwhile, steps up to a 2,560 x 1,440 panel, and covers 100 percent of sRGB, 100 percent of AdobeRGB and 99 percent of DCI-P3. Both are available today, but it’s unclear how sweet a deal you’ll get if you wait until 2020 to buy.

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Source: HP

7
Apr
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Samsung’s standalone smartwatch might be called the Gear Solo


Thought Will.i.am’s dubious wearable was the only SIM-toting smartwatch in production? Samsung’s apparently building one too. According to the Korea Herald, the company’s fourth Gear smartwatch will feature an embedded SIM — meaning it will be able to make and receive phone calls without syncing to a fully fledged smartphone. The Korean Intellectual Property Office told the paper that the device will be monikered the Samsung Gear Solo, appropriately alluding to its independence. The Herald says the device will be coming to SK Telecom initially, but could land in international markets later on. Samsung refused to comment on the report, stating that it didn’t want to contribute to “rumors or speculation.” Either way, it’s still probably more real than Will.i.am’s beat-dropping wrist-watch.

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Source: Korea Herald

7
Apr
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US Cellular’s new plans let you avoid contracts and big phone payments


US Cellular Simple Connect plans

If you’d rather not go to a very big US carrier like T-Mobile to avoid both contracts and up-front phone costs, don’t worry — US Cellular now lets you drop those obligations, too. Its newly launched Simple Connect plans provide unlimited data, messaging and voice without a contract, starting at $40 per month for basic phones. Smartphone plans start at $50 per month with 500MB of full-speed data, and $60 per month for 2GB. Going contract-free opens the door to an equally new (though far from original) installment plan that lets you pay for a device over the course of two years, rather than shelling out a lot of money up front. US Cellular’s fresh rates won’t tempt anyone away from the bigger data caps on regular plans (or competing networks), but they could give those with modest demands more control over when they upgrade phones or jump to other providers.

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Source: US Cellular

7
Apr
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Intel Expands Thunderbolt Networking with PC Support for Ultra-Fast Connections [Mac Blog]


Intel today updated its Thunderbolt connectivity with Thunderbolt Networking, allowing a PC and a Mac to be paired for the first time using a Thunderbolt cable, enabling fast file sharing with a throughput of up to 10 Gbps.

Drivers in Mavericks have allowed two Macs to connect via Thunderbolt since the operating system was released in 2013, but now a Mac can also be paired with a PC or two PCs can be paired with one another.

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Thunderbolt Networking, emulating an Ethernet connection environment, provides 10GbE throughput between two computers. Already released on the Mac with OS X Mavericks*, a PC driver will soon be available to connect two PCs together or a PC to a Mac, adding a new level of workflow flexibility for media professionals. By offering simple and fast file sharing, Thunderbolt Networking enables backup or upgrade across two computers like never before, using existing cables and connectors.

Connecting two computers via Thunderbolt is similar to connecting them via standard Ethernet, but the file transfer speeds are far faster with the former. Intel is currently demoing Thunderbolt Networking at NAB 2014 and expects to release the PC driver soon.



7
Apr
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‘Cover’ Lockscreen App Picked up by Twitter


CoverHomescreen and lock screen apps are all over the place. Facebook has their own little twist on things and now it looks like Twitter is breaking into the game. Not on their own of course. Rather, they have purchased ‘Cover‘ and the announcement went out this morning via Cover’s website. Cover is currently a beta app on the Play Store that is a context aware lock screen replacement. Neither party disclosed any details on the price tag that was eventually agreed upon.

Twitter, like Cover, believes in the incredible potential of Android. They share our vision that smartphones can be a lot smarter — more useful and more contextual — and together we’re going to make that happen. We’ll be building upon a lot of what makes Cover great, and we’re thrilled to create something even better at Twitter.

The future of Cover and Twitter is still a little closed door right now though. Cover states that the app will remain in the Play Store as it is for now while they focus their attention to Twitter.

Cover Lock ScreenSource: Cover

Via: 9to5Google

Check out Cover in the Play Store 

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7
Apr
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EA Sports’ UFC game bends reality by letting you fight as Bruce Lee


Bruce Lee in EA Sports UFC

If you’re EA, how do you build up hype for EA Sports UFC — a license-based fighting game where players will largely know what to expect? You promise them Bruce Lee, that’s what. Yes, PS4 and Xbox One gamers will get to pit the Game of Death star against the UFC roster despite a 41-year gap separating the two. You’ll have instant access to Lee if you pre-order, and he’s otherwise unlockable. EA justifies this by contending that Lee is the “father of mixed martial arts;” that sort of makes sense given Lee’s style and Judo knowledge, but the inclusion stretches the definition of MMA (and, arguably, taste) to the limit. If you’ve ever wanted to know how Jeet Kune Do fares against Brazilian Jiujitsu, though, you now have a good reason to look forward to EA Sports UFC‘s release on June 17th.

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Via: AllGamesBeta, IGN

Source: EA Press Room

7
Apr
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Watch the first episode of HBO’s Silicon Valley on YouTube


Depending on who you listen to, Silicon Valley is either a utopia dedicated to ceaseless innovation and disruption… or a place where self-absorbed nouveau riche techies throw ostentatious parties and drive up housing prices. The real nature of the valley is hard enough to suss out even if you live there, but Mike Judge’s Silicon Valley paints a not-too-parodic picture of of the new wild west for the rest of us to dissect. Don’t have HBO (or a friends HBO Go credentials)? Never fear: the first episode is now available on YouTube. Judge sets everything into motion pretty slowly, but there’s plenty there for startup nerds to latch on to: there’s an incubator run out of some dude’s house, an abundance of pale coders (some with questionable facial hair) and the ticking drama-bomb of a startup eschewing big money from a established company in favor of going alone.

As thanks for clicking through to the full post, here’s a deleted scene:

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Source: YouTube

7
Apr
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U.S. Cellular intros contract-free plans, device installment option


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U.S. Cellular on Monday introduced a couple of new options which could get customers to switch wireless carriers. Available immediately, three new Simple Connect plans allow for unlimited talk, text, and data. Basic phones get unlimited data at $40/month while smartphones are throttled at either 500MB ($50/month) or 2GB ($60/month).

Customers who sign up with one of U.S. Cellular’s Simple Connect or Shared Connect plans can also spread the price of their device out over two years. Like the bigger carriers, the amount of the smartphone is split up in 24 equal payments with no penalty for early payoff. Customers are required to pay for the tax up front but do not need to put any other money down.

As an extra incentive, U.S. Cellular will also pay off your early termination fees. With up to $350 (prepaid debit card) coming after you send in your final bill, there’s now one more place to consider for leaving your current company behind.

The post U.S. Cellular intros contract-free plans, device installment option appeared first on AndroidGuys.

7
Apr
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Cover Lock Screen acquired by Twitter


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At AndroidGuys, we’ve been long-time fans of Cover Lock Screen. It offers a customizable, beautiful lock screen replacement that other apps haven’t come close to matching. Things might change a bit around Cover headquarters as they announced today that they are acquired by Twitter.

In a press release earlier today, Cover explained their future plans to work with the social networking giant.

Twitter, like Cover, believes in the incredible potential of Android. They share our vision that smartphones can be a lot smarter — more useful and more contextual — and together we’re going to make that happen. We’ll be building upon a lot of what makes Cover great, and we’re thrilled to create something even better at Twitter.

The Cover team explains that the app will still be available in the Play Store while they focus their efforts on working closely with Twitter. They will of course give updates to their blog as to what exactly is happening with the partnership. And as for the details about the purchase, that’s about all we have so far.

What do you think this means for Cover? Let us know in the comments below!

Source: Cover

The post Cover Lock Screen acquired by Twitter appeared first on AndroidGuys.

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