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Posts from the ‘News’ Category

24
Apr
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Hacker-turned-FBI informant may have orchestrated foreign cyberattacks


The hacker subplot in House of Cards’ second season might have felt out of place, but from the sounds of a recent New York Times report, Frank Underwood’s methods for putting captured hackers to work might not be too far-fetched. After being busted by the FBI, top LulzSec hacker Sabu may have conscripted at least one former accomplice to carry out a string of cyber-attacks against foreign banks and government websites, according to interviews and documents obtained by the Times. Sabu’s seemingly indirect involvement suggests that he may have acted as a federal informant, helping to exploit the likes of the Heartbleed security flaw for state-sponsored cyber-terrorism. For the full report, be sure to head over to the source link.

[Image credit: Idhren/Flickr]

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Source: New York Times

24
Apr
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Sony’s streamer lets you watch one show (House of Cards) in 4K for £350


If you spent a fortune on the first Sony Bravia UltraHD TVs, it may have hurt to find out that Netflix was only streaming 4K using a format (H.265) that doesn’t work on those sets. Sony has now righted that wrong with the FMP-X5 4K media streamer, specifically made for European-only owners of the KD-84X9005, KD-65X9005A and KD-55X9005A Bravia TVs. House of Cards is the only 4K show available for it from Netflix (or anywhere else) right now, but the streaming outfit said that others, like Breaking Bad, will be arriving soon. The other drawback is a rather hefty £350 sticker (direct from Sony), but if you were an early adopter for one of those models, we think you can manage it.

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Via: Techradar

Source: Sony

24
Apr
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Report Claims iPhone 6 Will Feature Curved Display, All-Aluminum Rear Shell


Apple’s next-generation iPhone may feature rounded edges and a curved glass display, according to a new report from Mac Otakara [Google Translate].

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The Squair Curvaceous Bumper
Citing “reliable sources”, the publication notes that the iPhone 6′s cover glass will sit flush with the device’s rounded corners, departing from the straight edges seen on the iPhone 4 and iPhone 5s. The report likens the device’s profile to the Squair Curvaceous Bumper, a Japan-made aluminum bumper for the iPhone that features a rounded housing.

The report also claims that Apple will do away with the rear glass antenna breaks found on the iPhone 5s and iPhone 5s in favor of an all-aluminum design. Such a move would likely mean that Apple is incorporating significant changes to its overall antenna layout, perhaps positioning current radios in different locations.

Throughout the past few months, various reports have indicated that the iPhone 6 may feature slightly rounded edges. However, only a few reports have claimed that the device will feature a curved glass display, with Bloomberg noting last December that the company was working on two iPhones with large curved screens for this year. That account however was contrasted by The Wall Street Journal this past January, which said that Apple would not be using a curved display in its devices.

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Renderings of the iPhone 6 (4.7”) and iPhone 6 (5.7”) based on leaked schematics
Apple will likely unveil the iPhone 6 later this year in two different sizes of 4.7 inches and 5.5 inches. It is also likely that the smaller 4.7-inch version of the phone will ship first in the third quarter of this year, while the larger version is estimated to ship later due to challenges with the device’s display technology and battery life.

In addition to a larger display, both versions of the iPhone 6 are expected to include a thinner, bezel-free design, faster A8 processor, Touch ID fingerprint sensor and an upgraded camera with optical image stabilization. The device is also expected to debut with Apple’s latest iOS 8 mobile operating system, which will likely feature enhancements to Maps, Siri, and iCloud in addition to a new “Healthbook” app. Apple is also said to be negotiating with carriers to increase the price of the iPhone 6 by $100.



24
Apr
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Google Hangouts Updates to 2.1! HD Widgets is Getting More Fancy! – App Updates



Google Hangouts

Hump day is here, and some popular apps have updated in the past week. We all know Google likes to update their apps on Wednesday, but it didn’t happen this time. YouTube and Google Hangouts updated on random other days, but those updates are oh so delicious. The Google Hangouts update is very pleasing to all of us, but I think the notification tone is kind of annoying some people out there. It’s a slightly higher pitch, which is something they really didn’t need to change. Oh well, make sure you have all the updates on this post.


App Updates
Google Hangouts update
YouTube update
HD Widgets update


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24
Apr
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Made it: Mark Zuckerberg joins Madame Tussauds


A net worth of $27 billion. Doesn’t wear socks.

[Image: Mashable/Kurt Wagner]

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Source: Mashable

24
Apr
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FDA’s new e-cigarette regulations target ‘healthier than tobacco’ claims


The first federal regulations for electronic cigarettes will be announced this Thursday, according to the Food and Drug Administration. The proposals will include a ban on sales to minors, as well as requiring approval from the FDA, as well as health warning labels. E-cigarettes contain nicotine liquid, which is derived from tobacco — and that’s where the FDA comes in.

“Right now it’s like the wild, wild west in terms of what people are doing..”

Importantly, makers would not be allowed to state that e-cigarettes are safer than other tobacco products ( manufacturers to provide scientific evidence to prove these claims), nor use descriptive language like “light” or “mild” to describe goods. Companies will also be required to submit a premarket review application within two years, although products will be allowed to stay on the market as long as the application is filed. Outlines will also restrict marketing on TV and any efforts to appeal to anyone under 18, although they won’t immediately ban the wealth of flavored e-cigarettes that have recently flourished. FDA Commissioner Dr. Margaret Hamburg recently told ABC News: “Right now it’s like the wild, wild west in terms of what people are doing, the products are evolving with no regulatory oversight and being marketed in ways that are very worrisome.” The full list of regulations will be posted online by the FDA at 9am today.

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Source: AP, WSJ

24
Apr
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iPhone 6 Size Compared to Galaxy S5 and Other Android Phones


With a large bulk of the rumors for the iPhone 6 revolving around its purported increased screen size, there have been a healthy amount of iPhone 6 renderings exploring what the phone could look like and how big it would be compared to the current iPhone 5s.

MacRumors forum member deuxani decided to take it a step further and compared the 4.7″ iPhone 6 to its Android-based competition.

If the rumors are true, at least one model of the iPhone 6 will contain a 16:9 4.7” screen. When you think about it realistically the iPhone 6 will have a home button with a finger print scanner the same size as the iPhone 5S. Also will the top and bottom bezels have the same height for symmetry. The side bezels will be smaller than the iPhone 5S, but they will not be non-existing.

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First, deuxani compared the rumored iPhone 6 to the Motorola Moto X and LG G2 Mini, two 4.7-inch Android phones, that were actually smaller despite having the same screen size. This is largely because of of the rounded Touch ID sensor on the bottom and the need for the top and bottom bezels to be symmetrical due to Apple’s design philosophy.
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Compared to the 5″ Nexus 5 and the 5.2″ LG G2, deuxani found the iPhone 6 could be as tall as either phone with less screen real estate.

And finally, when compared to this year’s flagship 5″ HTC One (m8) and Samsung Galaxy S5, deuxani found that the Android devices were larger in every way.
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In conclusion, deuxani found that the iPhone 6 could find it difficult to impress in screen size alone when compared to its Android competition. However, the iPhone 6 may stand out in thinness, which was highlighted in a video earlier today comparing an leaked iPhone 6 case to other devices.

Apple has been rumored to release two larger sized iPhones this fall. The rumored sizes are 4.7″ and 5.5″, though the 4.7″ version is thought to arrive first as Apple is allegedly having a difficult time finding a thin enough battery to place in the 5.5″ model. A recently released Apple slide revealed that the company acknowledged that consumers wanted larger screened phones, which Apple couldn’t provide them at the time.



24
Apr
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​Xiaomi plans to expand sales to 10 new markets, but the US isn’t one of them


Looking forward to the day you can buy a Xiaomi smartphone in the US? Keep waiting. The company’s founder announced the first ten countries in Xiaomi’s international expansion today, and the United States didn’t make the cut. A shame, perhaps, for fans of the company’s affordable, well-specced handsets, but not much of a surprise — Xiaomi’s aversion to traditional sales and marketing puts it at odds with what American consumers have come to expect. Right now, the company’s products are only available in China, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Singapore, but CEO Lei Jun says it will start selling devices in India, Brazil, Russia, Turkey, Mexico and in several east asian countries and emerging markets later this year.

The company’s also simplifying its image a little, dropping “Xiao” from its webpage URL. The newly christened Mi.com should play well in the new markets: not only does it match the MI branding the company uses on its MI2 and MI3 smartphones, but it’s easier to remember, market and — for international customers — pronounce.

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Via: Android Central

Source: Bloomberg, TechCrunch

24
Apr
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IBM’s Watson supercomputer will soon be your personal shopper


Watson had been a doctor, a geneticist, a game show contestant and even a chef in the past. But now IBM’s supercomputer has a new career: personal shopping. IBM has partnered with digital commerce firm Fluid to develop a cloud-based app called Expert Personal Shopper (XPS), which uses Watson’s brains to answer buyers’ highly specific questions. In short, the computer with many hats now plays the role of a sales associate when you’re shopping online. IBM and Fluid are currently working with several consumer brands, but The North Face will be the first to feature the technology on its website. When the outdoor clothing and equipment company launches XPS, you can ask it questions like you would an assistant at a mall. If you needed a recommendation on the best equipment to use for a five-day cross-country trip, or need to know the best tent to use if you’re hiking with family, including kids, then Watson’s got your back. It’s unclear when XPS will launch exactly, but IBM has granted Fluid a $100 million investment to speed up the digital shopping assistant’s development — all parties involved are planning to develop it further for mobile applications and devices.

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Source: Physorg

24
Apr
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Facebook’s mobile focus is paying off


It’s clear that when Facebook said it was going to be a mobile-first company back in 2013, it meant it. It’s now surpassed 1 billion active mobile users a month, which is about a 34 percent increase compared to a year ago. Sure, a lot has happened in the land of likes in the early part of 2014 — it spent close to $19 billion for WhatsApp and another $2 billion for Oculus VR — but its primary source of income for the year still comes from good ol’ advertising on its core product: Facebook. Specifically mobile advertising.

Out of the $2.5 billion it made in Q1 this year, $2.27 billion was from advertising and a little over $1.3 billion — that’s around 59 percent — was from mobile ads alone. That’s quite a jump from the 30% it made from mobile ads in the same quarter last year.

That, more than anything, is what is driving the social network to invest heavily in a multi-app strategy. Zuckerberg said on the earnings call that the company plans to give people new apps for sharing different kinds of content with different audiences. The push for Messenger as a standalone app is part of this, and it’s also the thinking behind Paper, a Facebook app that offers a more creative and nuanced look at the traditional news feed. In an interview with the New York Times earlier this year, Zuckerberg said “there’s a big premium on creating single-purpose first-class experiences,” which essentially means unbundling what he calls “the big, blue app.”

He reiterated in the call that around a billion people use that big, blue app, so they clearly won’t be giving up on it just yet. But he was also excited about the growth of Messenger and Instagram which he says have around 200 million users each (Instagram only had about 30 million users pre-acquisition). He’s also very pleased by the early reaction to Paper and expects that to be a good test case for the multi-app strategy going forward. However, the primary goal for all of these apps right now is to focus on gaining more users. Even Whatsapp, which just reported nearly 500 million active users, has room for growth. According to Zuckerberg, he’d like Paper to reach 100 million users before trying to make it sustainable and for the rest to reach around a billion before he worries about monetization.

Still, that’s clearly where the company is headed. It’s already started displaying ads on Instagram and is moving toward more experimental forms of advertising like autoplay video commercials. There’s also rumblings that Facebook plans to reveal a mobile ad network so that those targeted ads can appear in apps that are not its own.

As rivals like Twitter begin to experiment with advertising, it’s time for Facebook to focus on those smaller, more focused projects, not just the big, blue one.

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Source: Facebook

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