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New Retail Chief Ahrendts to Oversee Apple Store Restructuring, New Store Construction [iOS Blog]

ahrendtsheadshot.jpgAngela Ahrendts has plans to initiate a major restructuring of Apple’s Retail stores to promote better customer service and to streamline operations, reports 9to5Mac. At the current point in time, stores are organized into geographical regions, but Ahrendts wants to restructure, instead grouping stores based on sales volume and customer demographics.

This means that stores will now be grouped by how much of certain products they sell. This will heighten customer satisfaction and streamline Apple retail operations as now similar stores will have similar leadership and similar promotions. This move is not designed to institute John Browett-likely sales targets, but it is planned to create even more tailored experiences to individual stores.

In a letter sent to retail employees earlier this month, Ahrendts said she plans to “focus on and evolve the customer journey online and in our stores.” She wants customers to “feel surprised and delighted” by a personalized Apple experience.

Ahrendts has already restructured some of the retail executives working under her to streamline her department, and along with expressing interest in a redesign of the “end-to-end Apple Store sales experience,” she may also have plans to focus on an in-store mobile payments solution and furthering Apple’s business in China.

Ahrendts is expected to oversee the opening of 20 new Apple Stores in China through 2016, along with a new high-profile store in Italy and new locations across the United States.


G-Speed Studio 24TB RAID Storage Solution Takes on Mac Pro Design [Mac Blog]

G-Technology has introduced the new G-Speed Studio (via iLounge), a 4-bay Thunderbolt 2 storage solution configurable in RAID 0,1, 5, and 10. Taking strong design cues from Apple’s 2013 Mac Pro, the revamped G-Speed Studio features a shiny black enclosure that fits right in on a desktop also sporting a Mac Pro.

Wider than the Mac Pro, the G-Speed Studio also features smart fan technology and a plug-and-play Mac setup. With dual Thunderbolt 2 ports that can be daisy-chained, it has transfer rates of up to 700MB/second, supports up to 24TB of storage, and includes four 7200 RPM Sata III Enterprise Class hard drives.

G-SPEED Studio (RAID)- A hardware RAID 4-Bay Thunderbolt 2 storage solution. Configurable in RAID 0, 1, 5, and 10, G-SPEED Studio features Thunderbolt 2 technology for ultimate speed. With sustained transfer rates of up to 700MB/sec and the ability to daisy-chain via dual Thunderbolt 2 ports, this RAID solution ships with Enterprise Class Hard Drives and is designed to support multistream compressed 4K and 2K workflows.

The 12TB G-Speed Studio is available from the G-Technology website for $2,199.95, while the 16TB and 24TB can be purchased for $2,699.95 and $3,599.95, respectively.


Does RAM matter? Here’s the top RAM-packed Android smartphones


As device functionality develops and you begin using your smartphone for more resource intensive tasks, the age old question is beginning to rear its head as to if RAM in your smartphone really affects performance that much, and should it play a part in your purchasing decision.

That’s why we’ve listed the RAM installed in the latest Android smartphones to give you an idea of the most common RAM capacity on this years flagships.

Whilst the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 is out in front with 3GB of RAM, clearly the market is currently opting for installing 2GB of RAM into most of the flagship devices. So does a smartphone really need more than 2GB of RAM.

RAM, or Random Access Memory, is a place where data is held temporarily to present to the CPU and is constantly reading and writing to memory blocks at extremely fast rates. Resources running in RAM can be called at a far quicker rate than just from your internal or external storage. Running apps use RAM to performs their tasks so theoretically the more RAM you have the more apps you can have open right? Well, kind of. Android is a lot better at managing applications and allocated memory than it used to be but in the same breath applications are becoming significantly more resource hungry.

So despite only the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 having 3GB of RAM, the smartphone market have opted for 2GB of RAM as the optimal memory to have installed in a smartphone given the current architecture in devices. Couple this with how well Android manages available memory and 2GB is more than sufficient for current resource requirements – go ahead and check out how much RAM memory your device has available.

Whilst 2GB of RAM is sufficient now, the whole story will be different when 64-bit Android is officially rolled out. So back to the original question of if RAM matters in your purchasing decision? The answer is to an extend; it’s not so much of a case of the maximum amount of RAM matters, but more of a case of the minimum, and you should be thinking very carefully before purchasing a device with anything less than 1GB of RAM in 2014.

The post Does RAM matter? Here’s the top RAM-packed Android smartphones appeared first on AndroidGuys.


Autobirds and Deceptihogs coming soon with Rovio’s newest game


Rovio may have just launched Angry Birds Epic and announced its new series, Angry Birds Stella, but that isn’t stopping the company from teasing an upcoming game in the franchise, Angry Birds Transformers.

The company teased the game on Twitter and setup a website for the game. According to the website, all we know is that the birds and hogs are going to look like characters from Transformers, including Optimus Prime, Megatron and Bumblebee, and it’s coming to app stores soon.

Stay tuned to the Rovio’s Angry Birds Transformers website and social media accounts for more information.

Angry Birds Transformers via Twitter



The post Autobirds and Deceptihogs coming soon with Rovio’s newest game appeared first on AndroidGuys.


Internet Explorer test release lets you peek at the browser’s long-term future

Toshiba Encore browsing Internet Explorer

While Chrome and Firefox have had experimental browser releases for a while, you’ve usually had to wait for betas to try new Internet Explorer features. Starting today, however, you can be as impatient as you like: Microsoft has launched an Internet Explorer Developer Channel. So long as you’re using Windows 7 or 8.1, you can try new web rendering, interfaces and other features well before they’re part of finished products. In this first release, you can use any USB game controller (including the Xbox 360 pad) for web games that would benefit from console-quality input.

As with other super-early browsers, you’ll likely have to live with some bugs and a general lack of polish. You won’t have to toss out the regular Internet Explorer to use the developer build, though, so there’s should always be a fallback if something goes wrong. As such, you have every incentive to jump in with both feet if you’re the curious type — hit the source link to get started.

Filed under: Internet, Software, Microsoft


Source: IEBlog


Inside Game 5 of the 2014 NBA Finals

Inside Game 5 of the 2014 NBA Finals

San Antonio is known for a few things: the Alamo, the River Walk and the Spurs. In 2014, as was the case last year, the NBA Finals saw the Miami Heat and San Antonio Spurs battle it out for basketball glory, though this time, the team from Texas had the benefit of home-court advantage. For Game 5, which San Antonio ultimately won, the AT&T Center was a full house (it always is, really), packed with fans and a ton of broadcasters, journalists and other members of the media from all over the world. So what’s it like behind the scenes? Let’s find out.

Filed under: Misc, Home Entertainment, HD



Supreme Court will decide when threats made on social media become criminal

We’re still waiting to see what the Supreme Court has to say about Aereo and warrantless cellphone searches, but in the meantime there are more cases to be heard! Including Anthony Elonis v. United States, which the highest court in the nation just agreed to hear. The decision will end up setting a precedent for when violent comments made online cross from protected speech to criminal threats. In 2011 Elonis was sentenced to nearly four in jail for posting status updates and self-penned lyrics on his Facebook page wishing death on his wife, the police and others.

The story really begins back in 2010, when Elonis’ wife left him, taking their two children with her. Around the same time he lost his job at an amusement park in Allentown, PA. His Facebook wall quickly filled with angry updates, some of which painted vivid pictures of the violence he hoped would befall his estranged wife and coworkers. Many of the rather dark posts took the form of raps that Elonis wrote, which he claims were therapeutic and not meant as legitimate threats. His wife however, was uncomfortable about his public professions that his son should “dress up as matricide for Halloween” She obtained a protection from abuse order against him, but this only seemed to fuel his rage.

It wasn’t long after that the FBI caught wind of Elonis’ posts. He was visited by an agent, but not arrested initially. When following that meeting he posted lyrics detailing a fantasy in which he slit his wife’s throat, the agency decided it had seen enough and took Elonis in to custody.

Now the supreme court will have to decide whether or not the Facebook postings crossed a line. The normal standard set for such cases is whether or not a “reasonable person” would feel threatened by the actions. But Elonis’ attorneys argue that isn’t appropriate given the venue for the missives. The defendant’s wife isn’t his friend on Facebook and he did not send menacing messages to her directly, instead he posted them publicly on own wall. Essentially he never meant for her to see what he wrote, and those who saw his words might misinterpret them because they didn’t know him personally. The government’s counter argument is that the law is designed to prevent not just physical violence, but the anguish that perceived threats can cause. Elonis’ conviction has been upheld twice, and regardless of how the court finds, the decision will have widespread implications for free speech, cyber bullying and the internet in general.

Filed under: Internet


Via: The Verge

Source: USA Today, Supreme Court of the United States


Domino’s Pizza picks up voice ordering thanks to Nuance

Dominos Pizza

If you thought calling in to order a pizza was an inconvenience then you might have turned to using apps or online ordering systems. Domino’s Pizza is one of many food chains that has a plethora of ways to order a meal without having to call a real person. Today they have announced one more way to get that hot pie to your door. Now you can open the app and place your order with your voice.

Domino’s Pizza teamed up with Nuance and their Nina Mobile voice speech recognition to give you the ability to launch the app and place a verbal order.

“There will be a day where typing on keyboards or with thumbs on mobile devices will come to a close; we want to be the ones who continue to advance the technology experience – hand-in-hand with our customers,” said Patrick Doyle, Domino’s Pizza president and CEO. “Our mobile app users who are a part of this launch are truly helping set the foundation for the innovations of today, that will soon enough become the standards of tomorrow.”

Together, the platform delivers a human-like, conversational customer service experience that allows users to speak an order and quickly add items to their cart.

The voice enabled update is available in the Play Store, so go pick it up if you must. For me, I’ll stick to calling in my orders and talking to real people.

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OS X Yosemite Designed for Retina Screens?

Macworld’s Jason Snell provides a nice hands-on writeup about Apple’s new OS X Yosemite. Snell focuses on the user-experience from a long term Mac user, focusing on the visual and usability changes of Mac windows. He notes the increased use of transparency and the varying implementation of title bars in many applications:

Overall, Snell feels that many of the design changes were done with Retina displays in mind:

For a while now, I’ve thought that 2014 would be the year that Retina spreads across the Mac product line. After spending time with Yosemite on both Retina and non-Retina systems, I’m more confident than ever in that guess. Yosemite’s new design feels like it was built for Retina displays: Thin Helvetica Neue replaces the long-serving but chunky Lucida Grande as the system typeface.

Apple first introduced Retina displays into the Mac line in with the Retina MacBook Pro in June, 2012. Since that time, Apple has been slow to extend Retina screens to the rest of their lineup.

The MacBook Air seems likely to be the next Mac to deliver a Retina Display. Signs point to a 12″ Retina model later this year, and there has already been early evidence in Yosemite of Retina iMacs in testing.


Samsung May Acquire Nuance, the Company That Powers Siri

siri_ios_7_iconSpeech-recognition company Nuance, which is responsible for the technology that powers Siri, Apple’s virtual assistant, is in talks with Samsung Electronics about a possible acquisition, reports The Wall Street Journal. The company has spoken about a possible sale with Samsung and other private-equity firms, but it is unclear if a deal has been reached.

The Burlington, Mass., company has recently spoken about a possible sale of the company with Samsung Electronics Co. and private-equity firms, some of the people said. It isn’t clear where sale talks, some of which happened earlier this year, currently stand or if they will lead to a deal.

Nuance is well known for its speech recognition and dictation recognition software, which includes Dragon NaturallySpeaking. It has also formed partnerships with multiple companies, such as Amazon, and released an API for developers. Nuance’s best known partnership is with Apple, however, as its speech and dictation recognition algorithms are the backbone of Siri.

The exact nature of the partnership between Nuance and Apple was unknown for many years as the deal between the two companies was kept secret, but in 2013, Nuance CEO Paul Ricci confirmed that Nuance’s technology powers Siri’s voice recognition capabilities. “We’re a fundamental provider for Apple,” he said at the time.

It is unclear what impact a possible Nuance acquisition would have on Apple’s relationship with the company. Apple may be forced to find another solution for Siri’s voice recognition abilities, but it’s important to note that many of Siri’s functionalities beyond voice recognition come from integration with other companies like Yelp, OpenTable, and Wolfram Alpha.

Back in 2013, a report suggested that Apple may already be working to move Siri development in-house, stepping away from longtime partner Nuance. Apple has a dedicated Siri team in Boston that may be working on a voice recognition solution in the event that Apple is forced to end its partnership with Nuance. Nuance’s talks with Samsung and other parties remain in the early stages, however, as noted above.

iOS 8 brings several enhancements to Siri, including real-time feedback, Shazam integration, hands-free voice activation, and the ability to open the App Store for the first time.

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