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Cornell 3D prints a working speaker — coils, magnets and all

From the sound if it, it’s not a very good speaker. But then, that’s not quite the point. What’s particularly cool there is that a team of Cornell researchers created the whole thing using 3D printers — the plastic shell and conductive and magnetic pieces. The speaker marks a step toward a larger utopian vision where entire products are fabricated using such techniques, not simply shells and other miscellany. That’s still a ways off, of course. Aside from the clear (or no so clear) sound issues, there are some roadblocks. For one thing, there’s the fact that the job still required two separate printers for different components. Also, the speaker had to be hooked up to wires to play the audio clip of President Obama name-checking 3D printing. Still, it’s easy to see in the short clip below where things may be going.

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Source: Cornell


Twitter’s promoted accounts might start showing up within your timeline

By now, you’re most likely used to seeing promoted tweets (that’s fancy for “sponsored ads”) appear in your highly curated Twitter timeline. But promoted accounts? That’s the stuff best left banished to the wilds of the Discover tab or worse yet, Twitter’s desktop interface. Of course, that does advertisers no good and Twitter, in its march towards monetization, needs to get more eyeballs in front of those potential ad dollars. The big fix for that then, is to move sponsors’ promoted accounts out of the ghetto and into timelines to leverage the hefty three-quarters of its base that check in via mobile. Twitter’s labeling the change as still being in beta, but it’s available now for advertisers to test drive across the company’s global reach. What? You thought your timeline was sacred? Not when access to it is free, silly.

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Via: AllThingsD

Source: Twitter Advertising Blog


San Francisco starts offering free WiFi, but only on Market Street

Shopping in San Francisco

San Francisco promised city-scale free WiFi nearly seven years ago, and today it’s finally acting on that promise — if not quite with the same ambition it had in 2007. The city is now offering up to 50Mbps of gratis wireless internet, but only along a 3-mile stretch of Market Street between the Embarcadero and Castro Street. This is effectively a test run for the future park WiFi project, CIO Marc Touitou tells AllThingsD; any wider coverage will depend on how well this initial experiment works out. Despite the limited coverage, this could still be a boon to poorer residents and tourists who would otherwise stay offline.

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Via: AllThingsD

Source: PR Newswire


Apple’s iAd Focus Turns to iTunes Radio With New Real-Time Bidding Exchange

iadApple’s iAd team will be focusing heavily on monetizing iTunes Radio through advertising sales in the new year, reports Adweek. Apple’s SVP of Internet software and services Eddy Cue reportedly told iAd staff that iTunes Radio ads, rather than app ads, are the new top priority.

Indeed, there is a new focus within the company’s advertising unit, and the mantra came direct from Eddy Cue, Apple’s head of software. In a staff meeting before the holidays, Cue indicated that iTunes Radio is the top priority, and app ads are not.

“The message that came across was basically if you’re not working on iTunes Radio, you’re irrelevant,” an Apple insider said.

To facilitate ad sales, Apple also plans to build a real-time bidding exchange to automate sales, selling individual ad impressions one at a time rather than in bulk. With such a system, which emulates a stock exchange, iAds could ultimately become more affordable and more widely available to various advertisers, and it also allows for very specific targeting.

A source familiar with iAds said Apple has kept its real-time initiative under close wraps and is “not casting a wide net.” That may be because the company is figuring out how to gradually transition from earlier aggressive sales efforts that had iAd prices starting at $1 million a pop. “It’s a rare advertiser that is going to be willing to pay those rates,” said the source.

iTunes Radio became a new focus for the iAd team ahead of the music service’s September launch, with iAd engineers and sales personnel working to secure deals with major advertisers to support iTunes Radio.

Prior to iTunes Radio, which represents a huge shift in focus for iAd, the service was designed to help developers earn money on the iOS platform. As a developer tool, iAd was historically unsuccessful in terms of attracting both developer interest and revenue. iTunes Radio is an important new endeavor as it represents a huge money-earning opportunity for the company. Apple is able to keep 90 percent of total revenue from its audio ads, sharing a mere 10 percent with music companies.

Ads on iTunes Radio are enhanced with Apple’s targeting tools that deliver both audio and video ads to specific users on iOS devices, PCs and Macs, and the Apple TV. iTunes Radio initially launched with a number of major ad partners already on board, including McDonald’s, Nissan, Pepsi, and Procter & Gamble.



Apple Releases OS X 10.9.1 With Several Mail Improvements

Apple today released the final version of OS X 10.9.1 after seeding several beta versions to developers. The update includes improved support for Gmail in OS X Mail, improves the reliability of Smart Mailboxes, updates Shared Links in the Safari Sidebar, and fixes a bug preventing VoiceOver from speaking sentences containing emoji.


The update includes the following fixes:
– Improved support for Gmail in OS X Mail, and fixes for users with custom Gmail settings
– Improves the reliability of Smart Mailboxes and search in Mail
– Fixes an issue that prevented contact groups from working properly in Mail
– Resolves an issue that prevented VoiceOver from speaking sentences that contain emoji
– Updates Shared Links periodically when open in the Safari Sidebar

OS X 10.9.1 can be accessed via the Mac App Store.



Galaxy S5 to See an Eye Scanner and Two Different Versions?


The rumor mill has begun to spin, and the first bit of news to spin out of it this Monday morning, is in regards to the Galaxy S5. Seems that ZDNet Korea is stating that the Galaxy S5 will come in two relatively different models. The first model will be your standard Samsung plastic phone, and the second model will be your premium metallic phone with better specs than the plastic version. Guess Samsung is taking a page out of Apple’s book.

If that wasn’t enough to tickle your Samsung fancy, Sammy also seems to be working on having an iris scanner built within the new flagship. I guess they figured the fingerprint scanner is old news, so why not collect user’s retina to go along with the already collected fingerprints. To me, it seems a bit much, and I wasn’t even onboard with the whole fingerprint extravaganza.

Specs to the Galaxy S5 are looking mighty tasty, as Samsung is striving for a beautiful display on their new device. Rumors suggest that the Galaxy S5 will sport a quad HD display probably in the 5 to 5.5 inch range, 2,560 x 1,440 resolution, 3GB of RAM, and a 16 MP camera. It will either be supporting the latest Snapdragon processor, or their very own 64-bit Exynos octa processor.

Let us know your thoughts about these rumors. You like the idea of having an eye scanner in your phone? Think Samsung is smart for having two different versions of the new phone? Let us know.

Via: Droid-Life


‘theScore’ for iOS Updated with Highly Customizable News Feeds [iOS Blog]

Popular iOS sports news app theScore has received an update today, adding a new feature focused on personalizing and curating content based on specific sports interests. The app’s “MyScore” section now contains a feature named “Feed”, which allows users to create their own continuously updated stream of sports news, bringing user-designated information about games, leagues, teams, and players all in one place.

Speaking to MacRumors, theScore’s VP of Product Jonathan Savage stated that Feed was developed by observing usage patterns and listening to user feedback, with the feature itself emphasizing a “mobile-first” experience. “We wanted users to have both a comprehensive and highly customizable experience,” Savage said, also noting that the player data that can be uploaded into a user’s Feed allows for quicker access to stats than individually checking games and can be useful for fantasy sports tracking.

Additionally, Savage discussed how theScore approaches delivering news stories in Feed and throughout the rest of the app, stating that the company has a 35-person newsroom that creates and curates “snackable” content, which involves breaking down the biggest stories into the most important elements and stacking each update to a story on top of the last one.

The app also accompanies league, team, and player news with multimedia content like Tweets and GIFs to provide more perspective on stories. Overall, theScore includes coverage of 23 professional sports, 800 teams, and 15,000 players, all of which can be imported into a user’s Feed.

theScore is a free app for iOS devices and can be downloaded through the App Store. [Direct Link]



Apple Supplier Pegatron Uses Facial Recognition to Screen for Underage Workers

Pegatron, the factory that produces Apple’s iPhone 5c, has implemented facial recognition technology to pre-screen potential employees ahead of hiring in order to prevent the company from hiring underage workers, reports The Wall Street Journal.

Underage workers pose a serious threat to Apple suppliers as Apple has a strict policy against the hiring of workers under 16, China’s legal working age. Earlier this year, Apple dropped Pingzhou Electronics as a supplier after multiple violations for hiring underage employees.

To screen for underage workers, Pegatron, which implemented the technology earlier this year, reportedly checks government-issued IDs for authenticity, with the faces matched to their ID photos using facial recognition. This is designed to prevent employees from using fake IDs or IDs borrowed from other people.

Last week, a 15-year-old Pegatron factory worker, Shi Zhaokun, died of pneumonia, bringing underage labor violations into the spotlight once again. The employee reportedly used a fake ID to acquire the job, and according to Pegatron, though he too went through the same security checks, he used a fake ID with his actual photo to bypass the facial recognition system.

In theory, these measures should keep out underage workers, as they should catch people using fake or borrowed IDs. In Mr. Shi’s case, he was able to obtain a government-issued ID card that included his photo but another person’s identifying information, the company said.

Apple, which voluntarily joined the Fair Labor Association (FLA) back in 2012, sent a team of doctors to investigate the incident. The company maintains a Supplier Responsibility section on its website and publishes yearly reports on worker welfare at its suppliers.

Apple has pledged to prevent excessive work hours, poor working conditions, unethical hiring policies, and the hiring of underage workers at the factories that supply Apple with parts. Despite Apple’s efforts, Pegatron continually finds itself in the spotlight, last making headlines in July when a Chinese Labor Group accused Pegatron of numerous safety and workplace violations.

The FLA recently completed a status report on the working conditions at Foxconn, finding improvements in both working conditions and working hours, though the factory still violates the 49-hour work week mandated by Chinese law.



Google VP dishes on future of Chromecast

Google’s Chromecast device has started off modestly, with approved service providers slowly being added since it’s launch earlier this year.

According to an interview of Google VP of Product Management Mario Queiroz on Gigaom, 2014 is going to be the year for Chromecast to grow.

The growth will come from both an expanded international rollout, and the launch of the final SDK. Up until now, developers have had access to a beta version of the SDK to incorporate Chromecast into their apps, but they’ve yet been able to share the implementation with the public.

The fact the SDK is coming out of beta, paired with international expansion is sure to bring more apps, and drive more implementation of Chromecast from developers into existing apps.

For more details around Google’s plans for Chromecast in 2014, be sure to read the interview in its entirety.

If you could request one app to being Chromecast support to it, what would it be and why?

The post Google VP dishes on future of Chromecast appeared first on AndroidGuys.


12 Days of Giveaways: Pyle Audio BlueReach

Today marks the third day of our 12 Days of Giveaways promotion which sees us giving out all sorts of wonderful Android-related stuff. Okay, so there are some general smartphone-related things in the mix as well. Let’s get to it!

PBTR70_case lrg_1

Prize #1 Pyle Audio BlueReach, 6-pack smartphones coasters

First prize we’re offering up today is a brand new BlueReach from Pyle Audio. You can use this guy to turn any docking station into a Bluetooth-enabled device. You’ll be able to transform that old speaker system into something that can be controlled via your smartphone. Includes a 30-pin plug so you’ll also have compatibility with older iOS docking stations. Learn more about PyleAudio or follow them on Facebook and Twitter!

The smartphone coasters come from newPCGadgets, a company who specializes in smartphone and tablet accessories. This 6-pack ensures you’ve got a spot for your Android no matter where you are, leaving a couple of extras to pass along as a gift! Learn more about newPCGadgets or follow them on Facebook and Twitter!


Prize #2 Kensington Absolute Power, iHome Earbuds w/ Mic

The second prize we’re hooking you up with is a Kensington Absolute Power and a pair of iHome Earbuds with Mic. The former is a highly portable little cube that provides you with a place to plug in your smartphone or gadget while the latter are a pair of earbuds with a microphone to take calls on your Android!

Learn more about Kensington or follow them on Facebook and Twitter!

Learn more about iHome or follow them on Facebook and Twitter!


Prize #3 iHome Earbuds w/ Mic

The earbuds feature a microphone to take calls on your Android and then put you back onto your favorite music or podcasts!

Learn more about iHome or follow them on Facebook and Twitter!


Daily Prizes

Oh… don’t forget we’re also giving out Google Play credits over the remainder of the month. On some days we’ll randomly pick someone to win $10, others will be $25 and higher!

How to Enter

We’re going to keep this short and simple. To enter today’s contest all you need to do is leave a comment below! We’ll let this run for 24 hours and then randomly select the winner(s).

Win Google Play Credits!

To enter to win one of the Google Play credits all you need to do is share the following on your social media platform of choice: “I want to win Google Play Credits, AndroidGuys! #12DaysAndroid

Yes, you can share over Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Google+. Yes, you can enter as often as you like.

Finer details

This post will be updated with the name(s) and we’ll reach out via the comments as well. Also, be sure to keep an eye on the 12 Days of Giveaways page where we’ll keep a running tally of prizes and winners.

Note that we’ll give each winner a 14 hour window to respond. Should the winner not reply in time, we’ll re-draw and announce a new name. Be sure to check back!

Here’s the rub: We’re limiting this contest to U.S. residents only. Yes, we know it sucks – we hate doing it. Also, you can only win one prize per household. If you happen to win a Google Play Credit as well, then so be it!

The post 12 Days of Giveaways: Pyle Audio BlueReach appeared first on AndroidGuys.

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