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Posts from the ‘News’ Category

17
Apr
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Ahead of Supreme Court trial, Aereo opens lobbying and advocacy site


The United States Department of Justice says that streaming TV service Aereo is violating copyright law. Aereo, unsurprisingly, disagrees. In five days, the US Supreme Court will hear arguments from both sides. The former has already made its case to the Supreme Court in a filing; today, Aereo fights back with its own lobbying effort: a website named “Protect My Antenna” that both makes arguments for Aereo’s position and compiles various legal documents for the public to read. “We remain steadfast in our conviction that Aereo’s cloud-based antenna and DVR technology falls squarely within the law,” Aereo CEO Chet Kanojia said in an email to users announcing the site.

It’s no secret that over-the-air broadcasters are less than thrilled with Aereo’s live TV service. Customers pay annually to receive a dedicated antenna at one of Aereo’s hubs and DVR functionality, all of which exists in the cloud and streams to users. Sounds pretty okay, right? Not if you’re a broadcast TV outlet, apparently: the channels that Aereo carries show licensed content, and the companies that broadcast said content want their licensing cut.

Of course, it doesn’t help that the broadcasters in this story are the Goliath to Aereo’s David. Aereo only operates in a handful of markets — mostly cities, where using an antenna for OTA broadcasts is often unreliable — and the company is offering a unique service. It is of course growing, but remains nowhere near the size of the media giants it re-broadcasts.

The United States Department of Justice, however, argues that, regardless of Aereo’s size, it’s violating copyright law in re-broadcasting content from the likes of NBC, CBS, ABC, Fox, and other OTA signals (read our explainer right here). Whether the US Supreme Court agrees with that assessment is another question altogether — and it’s one that’s set to be answered in the not-so-distant future. The case begins on April 22nd, in just five days.

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Source: Protect My Antenna

17
Apr
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My connected home turned me into a spy and an addict


Secret agent with high tech gear

Like any responsible New Yorker, I’ve entrusted a copy of my apartment keys to a close friend. This is done mostly to ensure that, should I die home alone, my body won’t be left to rot undiscovered for days. It’s also primarily done so that my mail is collected and my “children” (what you would call plants) are watered and sung to every other day when I’m travelling for work. And I travel often.

My apartment is also wired to the gills with SmartThings. These little, white, swappable sensors monitor temperature, motion, moisture, power and presence, and relay that data to me via an app — a crucial fact I’d neglected to tell my house-sitting friend many months ago. A small, yet ultimately fortunate, oversight that led me to uncover my house sitter’s true comings and goings. Or, should I say, the lack thereof.

Most people would probably expect their friends to lie about something as trivial as watering plants in your absence. It’s an easy and harmless enough fib to get away with. Plants are heartier than pets — they can survive neglect far longer. What you don’t expect is to have your fears validated; see them quantified by wireless technology. Wherever I was — L.A., Austin, Barcelona, Cologne — I’d fire up the companion SmartThings app on my phone and check the activity grid for a readout of when my door had last been opened and closed. I’d even monitor the temperature over a period of days to get a sense of how much my house sitter was blasting the A/C and, consequently, hiking up my electric bill.

I got hooked on the constant stream of connected home data flowing into the app

The truth, it turned out, was far uglier than I expected. By now, you should’ve sussed out that the apartment visits were infrequent, and that’s putting it diplomatically. But, as my SmartThings activity grid showed, when my house sitter did actually show up to tend to my plants, that visit would turn into an overnight or sometimes two-day, climate-controlled staycation chez moi. Armed with that hard evidence in hand and app, I confronted my friend, bracing for the barrage of excuses that would inevitably fly. Except, I didn’t get any. What I did get, instead, was a confession, an apology and a terse lecture about spying on someone who was “doing you a fay-vuh.”

And I deserved it.

In my defense, I didn’t do any of this to be an intentional creep. Honest. It’s just that I got hooked on the constant stream of connected-home data flowing into the app; data that was way more useful to me when it meant I could monitor someone else’s activity. Yes, SmartThings inadvertently turned me into a spy. And it almost ruined a long-standing relationship of mine. Thankfully, I have a sense of humor and, also, plant neglect is pretty low on the spectrum of friend offenses. You’d have to be a true-blue asshole to make it an issue.

My stream of SmartThings data freed me up to place my panic where it belonged: on trade show coverage.

Friend(ly) espionage isn’t the only useful measure of SmartThings’ worth I’ve found. Most of the time, the app serves as a kind of quantified-home Paxil, calming my security anxiety with real-time updates while I’m on the road. In January, for instance, when I was ferried away to that two-week marathon of consumer technology known as CES, a blizzard was descending upon New York City with the fury of a colossally giant yeti’s wet fart.

I worried that a pipe might burst and flood my apartment, or that my heat wouldn’t be on high enough to keep my plants from freezing to death. So, from time to time, I’d compulsively trigger the app and check the temperature of my Brooklyn digs to make sure it was cozy and that there was no spike in moisture levels under the sinks. All it took was just a few taps on my phone to make sure everything was okay… and, ultimately, it was. My stream of SmartThings data freed me up to place my panic where it belonged: on trade show coverage.

That kind of convenience, that flow of home-automation data is irresistible. It’s also highly addictive. So, you’ll have to forgive me for spying on my own apartment. That’s one habit I’m not willing to break.

[Image: Getty]

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17
Apr
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Nissan offers free electricity to entice EV customers


Though “fueling” an EV costs a pittance next to a gas-guzzler, hunting for that next compatible charging network can bring on cold sweats. Nissan Leaf buyers in 25 markets will soon be able to relax, though. A new “EZ-Charge” card will grant two years of free charging across four major networks: ChargePoint, Blink, AeroVironment and NRG’s eVGO. The automaker may have been motivated by its free charging trials in Texas, which led to a three-fold Leaf sales increase at one dealership. The expanded program will roll out to owners in ten markets this July, provided they bought their Leaf after April 1st. There are other restrictions too: just one hour max of free charging at a Level 2 station and a half hour on a fast charger. The latter option will give an 80 percent charge, but a level 2 station will only dole out 20 miles worth of electrons in an hour — so plan accordingly.

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Source: Nissan

17
Apr
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Install the Nokia X camera on your Android 4.1+ device


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Whilst the Nokia X wasn’t exactly the flagship high-end spec’d out Android device we were hoping for from Nokia, the camera that is bundled with the device has some pretty nice settings, and we all know Nokia can make a pretty good camera (app).

If Google’s own camera app doesn’t quite do it for you, then the guys over at XDA Developers have managed to port the Nokia X camera software to pretty much any Android device running version 4.1 (Jelly Bean) or better.

These settings that the Nokia X camera app features include: ISO sensitivity control, the ability to display a live intensity histogram, configurable noise detection, redeye reduction, anti-banding, and more.

What’s more is you don’t even need ROOT access. Think this is something you fancy trying out? Download the file from here and install it on your Android device. Let us know what you think in the comments below.

The post Install the Nokia X camera on your Android 4.1+ device appeared first on AndroidGuys.

17
Apr
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Looking for the longest lasting battery experience for your smartphone? Here’s the top devices


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A smartphone that doesn’t last a day in the 21st century isn’t a smartphone worth having, and with devices now including more and more processor intensive features, the battle of functionality versus battery life is hotter than ever.

A great device can be let down entirely by the length of time it lasts between charges and it is important to know that you won’t be left without your device on a long day at the office or travelling.

That’s why we’ve compiled a list of the devices which have been proven to have the longest battery life between charges to enable you to make the best decision when choosing your next device. The devices are ranked according to the battery capacity they have, and ultimately the bigger battery capacity the longer it’ll hold a charge, together with user rating against how they performed when it comes to the claimed capacity.

There’s no denying that judging by the above graph that Android trumps both iOS and Windows Phone when it comes to both battery capacity in the devices and user rating for getting the expected life between charges.

Do you find yourself turning off GPS, Bluetooth, WiFi, and even dimming the screen to where it’s almost unreadable at the end of the day to conserve that last few percent of your battery? Let us know in the comments below which device you decided to get and if it lives up to the battery expectation .

The post Looking for the longest lasting battery experience for your smartphone? Here’s the top devices appeared first on AndroidGuys.

17
Apr
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Apple to Honor Earth Day 2014 at Retail Stores, Main Campus


Apple will be celebrating Earth Day 2014 next Tuesday, April 22 throughout its various retail locations and at its main campus, reports 9to5Mac.

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The company will color its logos in green for the occasion, as employees will wear special shirts with an event planned at Apple’s headquarters at 1 Infinite Loop in Cupertino, California. Apple last celebrated Earth Day in 2006 by holding a free computer takeback program in honor of the event.

Apple has remained active in its environment efforts throughout the past few years, which include powering its data centers with 100% renewable energy, expanding its recycling program, and reporting on its carbon footprint. Last May, Apple also hired former Environmental Protection Agency chief Lisa Jackson to lead the company’s environmental responsibility efforts.

Environmental activist group Greenpeace also featured Apple as a “green energy innovator” in its latest report earlier this month, praising the company for its commitment to renewable energy after taking issues with previous efforts.



17
Apr
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iPhone 6 Renders Reimagined as iPhone 6c [iOS Blog]


Last week we posted renderings of what the iPhone 6 might look like based on leaked design drawings of the unreleased device. Since that time, we’ve seen early cases and possible design molds for the device.

Ferry Passchier, the designer we commissioned for the original designs, has rethought the design as if it was modeled after the iPhone 5C with colorful plastic backings. Passchier produced these renderings with that in mind:

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The original renderings assumed it followed Apple’s aluminum design of the iPhone 5S, though an all-aluminum design would introduce issues with Apple’s antenna design.

Apple is expected to release the iPhone 6 this fall, and we expect to see more design and part leaks as production starts ramping up.



17
Apr
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Toshiba envisions Project Ara as wearables, too


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There’s no denying that Project Ara is an exciting project and one that will undoubtedly change the way we look at mobile devices. However, one spin on the project that hasn’t perhaps been considered until now comes courtesy of Toshiba who consider the project could extend to wearables.

Shardul Kazi, Senior VP and Technology Executive at Toshiba, said that devices like smartwatches could take advantage of the modular approach Project Ara will be based on, allowing a user to mix and match the components and features of their smartwatch…

READ MORE AT SmarterWatching.

Read the rest at the source, SmarterWatching.com

The post Toshiba envisions Project Ara as wearables, too appeared first on AndroidGuys.

17
Apr
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Scout GPS app keeps your gas and coffee detour to a minimum


Telenav wants its latest Scout update for iPhone to stand out from other nav apps by giving what it claims 80 percent of us want while driving: gas, coffee, or food. You can now select a spot serving one of those sans typing and be sure it’s decent thanks to a user feedback feature that even accounts for the time of day. Then, Scout will only search places on the road ahead, not behind, to efficiently re-route you — a feature surprisingly lacking in most GPS apps. Other new tweaks include a guide to the closest and cheapest parking, real-time ETA info relayed to your loved ones and the ability to report traffic conditions, even when not navigating. All of this is free, though it only works in the US and certain features, like offline and voice-guided turn-by-turn navigation, require a $24.99 in-app buy.

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Source: iTunes

17
Apr
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Nokia stops selling Lumia 2520 tablet over electrical shock concerns


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Nokia has issued a product advisory for certain Lumia 2520 chargers and has temporarily suspended sales of the Windows tablet in the UK and parts of Europe. The notice applies to its Europe- and UK-only AC-300 charger, along with the 2520 travel charger accessory, which is also available in the US. Use of those products should be discontinued immediately due to a shock hazard, though Nokia said that no incidents have been reported yet. 30,000 chargers are affected in total, but only 600 of the travel accessories were sold in the US. That means you’re free to use the tablet stateside (without the travel charger, of course). But if you’re located in the UK and certain other European countries, your Lumia 2520 will have to go on ice pending a fix. More information and updates are available from Nokia right here.

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Source: Nokia

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