BufferBox to close its locker service soon, shifting focus to Google Shopping products
Nearly a year and a half after being acquired by Google, BufferBox is finally planning to shut down its delivery lockers. In a blog post, BufferBox states that closing the standalone service was a pretty hard decision to make, but it is now time to “bring the learnings, technology and expertise of the team to future Google Shopping products” — such as Shopping Express and other services that may come out of Mountain View in the future. Consequently, BufferBox won’t be welcoming any new users on its site as of today. Meanwhile, warehouses will no longer accept packages after March 31st of this year, and the last day to pick stuff up from a BufferBox locker is shortly thereafter, on April 21st. Those who were big fans of the service can check out this FAQ here, in which BufferBox tries to answer any lingering inquiry you might have.
Engadget Live in 2014: bringing gadgets and geeks together in a city near you! (maybe)
2013 was a banner year for our fledgling series of gadget get-togethers, Engadget Live. Now that 2014 is here, we’re running it back with a slate of events across the country that’ll be better than ever. For the uninitiated, Engadget Live is all about bringing folks together to geek out on the latest gadgets — and for us to connect with you, our readers, face-to-face (as opposed to face-to-screen). Naturally, it also gives you a chance to play with the latest gear from companies you know and love, and maybe from some companies you don’t know, but should love. If that’s not enough to entice you, perhaps the promise of free stuff will do the trick. We’ll be giving away a bunch of that very same gear and tons of swag to attendees at every event.
The tour kicks off on Friday, June 20th in Austin, Texas — with stops in Seattle on July 18, Boston on August 22 and Los Angeles on October 3. Just hit the linked locations above, and you can buy your tickets to any Engadget Live right now for $7.50 apiece. Oh, and keep in mind our nationwide tour culminates in the third Engadget Expand conference in New York City on November 7-8.
We’ll have more info to share about each Engadget Live (and Expand, too) as we get closer to each event, so keep your eye on Engadget.com to get all the latest updates. Still, you should mark your calendars now, and we’d recommend arriving early to every Live event — the lines can be city blocks long. And, if you’re a company interested in sponsoring or participating in any Engadget Live, drop us a line at email@example.com. See y’all there!
Filed under: Announcements, HD, Mobile, Alt
Netflix’s internet provider claims Verizon, Comcast and Time Warner are causing streaming bottlenecks
In the ongoing he said/she said saga surrounding Netflix streaming potentially being throttled, we’ve got a new, potentially volatile piece of information: the CEO of the company that provides Netflix’s bandwidth (Cogent) straight up says that Verizon, Comcast and Time Warner are causing the issues. “Every Internet user is suffering today in their ability to access all the applications, content, and other users across the Internet,” Cogent CEO Dave Schaeffer told Ars Technica in a recent interview.
Due to the consumer-based ISPs (Comcast, etc.) demanding money from Cogent for an already existing, free (though mutually beneficial) relationship, and Cogent refusing to pay, streaming internet (and all other bandwidth, for that matter) has suffered. Specifically, he claims, Verizon (and others) refuse to upgrade the equipment that handles ISP traffic across the country. “Once a port hits about 85 percent throughput, you’re going to begin to start to drop packets. Clearly when a port is at 120 or 130 percent, the packet loss is material,” he told Ars, in reference to the existing ports being overused.
We’d advise taking his claims with a grain of salt: Verizon’s demanding money that he doesn’t want to give, and he’s using the public forum to negotiate — that much is clear, regardless of the streaming situation. That said, he’s far from the first to make the claim of traffic issues surrounding Netflix streaming. For what it’s worth, Verizon contests the claims: “It is categorically false that we are doing anything to adversely impact Netflix traffic to benefit Redbox.” Meanwhile, those of us simply trying to marathon House of Cards‘ second season are left screaming at our TVs.
Filed under: Home Entertainment, Networking, Internet, Software, HD
Source: Ars Technica
Your Facebook privacy settings will now live on after you pass
It’s not a topic we discuss often here, but if you’re active online, you may (or may not, ultimately) be concerned with how your data is handled after you die. On Facebook, accounts can be “memorialized” by a friend or family member, with some data remaining visible indefinitely. Previously, after the social network flipped the switch, your remaining content would be accessible only by your friends. Going forward, however, Facebook will match your existing privacy settings, so if your profile was visible to the public, it’ll stay that way after you pass. Additionally, friends and family members will be able to request a “Look Back” video, though we’d recommend getting on that now, while there’s still time to click the edit button.
Filed under: Internet, Facebook
BitTorrent app updated with new design and better management
Imagine how our lives will be without torrents? Hard to imagine, right? And thanks to BitTorrent app for Android, which made the downloading easy, but the application was missing some really important options, but not anymore. BitTorrent has updated their application for Android with a complete overhaul of the user interface, along with some new features such as:
- Select files within a torrent
- Choose torrent download location before or after torrents have started
- Choose to delete torrents only, or torrents & files
Here’s what people think about the latest version of BitTorrent:
★ This app is now everything I could have asked for.”
★ “With this update they fixed the only problem I had with this.The developer is actually listening to the criticism and finding ways to fix them.”
★ “I can now select files! My life is complete!”
Are you fan of µTorrent or BitTorrent? Tell us what you think in the comment box below.
The post BitTorrent app updated with new design and better management appeared first on AndroidGuys.
Fitbit Issues Recall for Fitbit Force Over Skin Irritation Reports [iOS Blog]
Fitbit today stopped sales of its Fitbit Force and issued a voluntary recall of the product following multiple consumer complaints of skin irritation.
First released in October of 2013, the Fitbit Force is the company’s latest wearable activity tracker, monitoring sleep, steps taken, distance traveled, calories burned, and stairs climbed.
Reports of skin irritation from the Fitbit Force began gaining traction in January after a report from The Consumerist pointed to multiple users experiencing contact dermatitis after prolonged use of the band.
Fitbit quickly began offering refunds or product replacements to affected customers and suggested the problems could be caused by a nickel allergy, as nickel is an element of the stainless steel used in the band. Fitbit’s full recall letter is below, courtesy of TechCrunch:
We wanted to provide an update on our investigation into reports we have received about Force users experiencing skin irritation.
From the beginning, we’ve taken this matter very seriously. We hired independent labs and medical experts to conduct a thorough investigation, and have now learned enough to take further action. The materials used in Force are commonly found in many consumer products, and affected users are likely experiencing an allergic reaction to these materials.
While only a small percentage of Force users have reported any issue, we care about every one of our customers. We have stopped selling Force and are in the process of conducting a voluntary recall, out of an abundance of caution. We are also offering a refund directly to consumers for full retail price. We want to thank each and every member of the Fitbit community for their continued loyalty and support. We are working on our next-generation tracker and will announce news about it soon.
For additional information, please contact our support line at: 888–656–6381, or visit http://www.fitbit.com/forcesupport.
According to Fitbit co-founder and CEO James Park, only 1.7 percent of Fitbit users have reported skin irritation issues. An independent study did, however, determine the Fitbit is causing allergic contact dermatitis in some users, likely as a result of nickel contact or from the strap materials/glue used in the device’s construction.
Fitbit Force owners can request a refund for their devices from the Fitbit website, with the company promising to send a reimbursement check within two to six weeks after a returned device is received. Fitbit is also working on an updated hypoallergenic version of the Force to be released sometime in the near future.
iOS 7 Roundup Updated
The current publicly available version of iOS 7 was updated to iOS 7.0.6 on February 21, adding a fix for SSL connection verification.
iOS 7.1, which is likely slated for release in March, may include new Mobile Device Management options designed to allow corporate and educational organizations to manage a large number of devices. New over-the-air supervision could alleviate the need for management via Apple Configurator and the update may also introduce new methods to prevent students from bypassing restrictions on school issued devices.
iPad Air Roundup Updated
According to KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, Apple is planning to introduce a new iPad Air in 2014, offering an upgraded A8 processor along with a Touch ID fingerprint sensor.
Kuo does not believe that Apple will debut an updated Retina iPad mini in 2014 as Apple is said to be focusing its resources on the 12.9-inch “iPad Pro.” The larger iPad could be released in limited quantities in late 2014 or in early 2015.
Wi-Fi Calling comes to Sprint, on Select Devices
One of the greatest little features T-Mobile has had over the competitors for a quite some time was their Wi-Fi calling function. Simply put, it let you use your Wi-Fi connection to make and receive calls. It was a great benefit to those that lived on the outskirts of a coverage zone. Of course it was a built-in function that was only sometimes able to work with custom ROMs and such. For the stock user out there, it was pretty good. Now Sprint is jumping on the bandwagon and is bringing Wi-Fi calling to two of their devices. Beginning today the Samsung Galaxy Mega and Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini will be granted an OTA that will enable the function.
- Enhanced coverage for in-building coverage or areas with challenging network conditions.
- Easy Setup: Once activated, everything is seamless and happens in the background.
- Unlimited voice calling and messaging on Wi-Fi: All domestic calling and messaging is FREE (standard CDMA international rates apply for international calls).
Sprint is fully planning to expand the Wi-Fi calling functionality in an OTA to more devices through-out the year.
Talks of an Amazon Set Top Box are Revived Once Again
The rumors that Amazon was working on a set top box to sell to consumers have been floating around for about a year now. Obviously we don’t have one yet, but it doesn’t mean that one isn’t on the way. According to recode, “Amazon is currently gearing up to take on Apple and Roku, again.”
Sources are saying that Amazon is shooting for a possible March announcement. Unsurprisingly they say the software side of things will be Android powered with their forked version Kindle style overlay. I fully expect it to look fairly similar to how your Kindle looks, but on your TV. I also expect them to offer an app to use your Kindle as a remote to control it too.
Details as far as size, cost and internal specs are still guarded. Speculations also are arising that it is possible that Amazon will be including some sort of gaming function as well. They have been hiring game developers as of late and a side report last month pointed towards a possible game box too.
It is such a hard side of the industry to really stand out in. Google did amazing with the launch of the Chromecast at just $35. With the recent release of the SDK and the APIs, we are starting to see more and more apps taking advantage of it. I have no doubt that Amazon Instant Prime will never offer cast support, especially if they are going to be bringing their own box to market. Are there enough die hard Amazon users to warrant a sepperate set top box for access to the video library? If they are making a gaming side to it, would that make you consider it at least?