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Apple Tattled on Google to Draw FTC Attention to Similar Kids In-App Purchasing Issue

in-app-purchaseEarlier this year, Apple entered into an agreement with the Federal Trade Commission, promising to provide $32 million in refunds to parents whose children purchased unauthorized in-app items.

As it turns out, while Apple was being targeted by the FTC for letting children make in-app purchases without parental consent, the company was attempting to get Google in trouble for doing the same thing. According to a report from Politico, head Apple lawyer Bruce Sewell sent the FTC a report highlighting the same in-app purchase issues in Google’s own Play store.

“I thought this article might be of some interest, particularly if you have not already seen it,” Apple general counsel Bruce Sewell wrote to FTC Chairwoman Edith Ramirez and Democratic Commissioner Julie Brill, pointing to a report that criticized Google’s app store over the same issue of unauthorized purchases. The previously undisclosed email was obtained by POLITICO through a Freedom of Information Act request.

Apple has long faced issues over in-app purchases, with the company first landing in hot water with the FTC after multiple parental complaints over children over-spending within apps and several high profile stories of children spending thousands of dollars. While most of the focus has been on Apple, Google too has faced the same issues, as children were able to make purchases for up to 30 minutes after a parent entered a password, much as they could in the App Store before Apple implemented specific changes.

Apple was not happy to be singled out by the FTC over in-app purchases, as the company had previously settled a lawsuit levied at it over the issue. Under the terms of the lawsuit, Apple had agreed to provide iTunes credit and cash refunds to parents, but the FTC demanded more.

At the time, Tim Cook said the FTC’s decision to sue over a previously settled case “smacked of double jeopardy,” but agreed to the terms as it didn’t “require us to do anything we weren’t already going to do.”

Apple officially began sending emails to affected iTunes users and issuing refunds in March. Google has thus far not been targeted by the FTC.


Sprint announces the LivePro; DLP Portable Projector and Mobile Hotspot Device

This morning Sprint has announced a new device that be available for consumer to purchase on July 11. The product is the LivePro and I must say, it seems rather interesting. The LivePro is a portable DLP pocket projector, but not like any we have seen before.

Sprint LivePro front angle low-res

Hardware wise there are quite a few things to know about. Internally you have a 1.2GHz Qualcomm dual-core processor, 1GB of RAM, 4GB storage, (also a Micro SD card slot) and a 5,000 mAh battery. It can connect to Bluetooth, Wi-Fi and 3G/4G. It is also capable of Wi-Fi Miracast. Physical connectors on the back include HDMI, 3.5mm headphone jack, USB port and power supply. As for the projector aspect you are looking at DLP (Digital Light Processing) from Texas Instruments with a lamp brightness of 100 lumens and a bulb life of 20,000 hours. Image wise you are looking at a picture that can be 10-inches to 10 feet depending on the distance of the LivePro from the projected surface. The projected image quality is listed with a native resolution of 1280 x 800 and a maximum resolution of 1920 x 1080. The whole thing runs on Android 4.2 and can be controlled on a 4-inch touch screen found on the top of the device. 

Sprint LivePro front

As you can see in the images, it isn’t a huge device either. It measures in at 4.7 x 4.7 x 1.1 inches and weighs just 14.1 ounces.

The LivePro doesn’t stop with it just being a really cool way to broadcast a movie, photos or presentation to a wall though. It also acts a mobile hotspot device to connect up to 8 devices to the internet. As well as act as an emergency battery backup to charge your phone through the USB port.

Sprint LivePro profile low-res

It is Google certified so you will have access to the Play Store directly on the device. While the 4GB internal storage (less considering the OS install and pre-installed apps) might put a hindrance on installing a ton of apps. I could see Plex, Hulu Plus and Netflix being the first few apps I would install to it. Hopefully AllCast Receiver functions on it as well. Some of that is fairly mute though since the device sports a direct HDMI input port and Miracast abilities.

“Whether it’s a boardroom proposal or backyard movie night, Sprint LivePro is a one-of-a-kind device that combines the enhanced LTE network capabilities of Sprint Spark with an easily portable projector that helps you get work done or keep the family entertained,” said David Owens, senior vice president of Product Development, Sprint. “Sprint LivePro has a high-quality projection display making it easy to share important information on a movie screen, wall or any other flat surface. Its mobile hotspot is powered by Sprint Spark, offering blazing-fast network speeds for downloading important videos or presentations on the Web.”

Sprint will make the LivePro available to anyone who wants it on July 11th. If you opt for a contract with Sprint service you will be tossing down $299. If you opt for the easy pay option you are looking at $18.75 a month for 24 months. Full price will hit your pocket-book at $449. Sprint also has a set of data packages to pair with the LivePro: 3GB for $34.99, 6GB for $49.99 and 12GB for $79.99. All prices are monthly of course.

For its size and its abilities, I could see this being pretty handy. Especially during the summer. I can already see myself pairing up a Braven speaker and hanging a sheet from the trees while camping and watching a movie. Anyone out there considering picking one up on the 11th? I might just have to go down to the Sprint store and at least take a look at it.

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The post Sprint announces the LivePro; DLP Portable Projector and Mobile Hotspot Device appeared first on AndroidSPIN.


Pre-orders for the Sony Xperia Z2 Tablet with Verizon starts Tomorrow

We have heard rumors that the Sony Xperia Z2 Tablet would be making its way to Verizon. All rumors and leaks can now be tossed aside as Verizon has announced that they will offer up pre-orders for the new water-resistant behemoth starting tomorrow, July 10th.

Verizon Sony Xperia Z2 Tablet


There is a lot to love about this monster. The 1920 x 1200 resolution display with Sony’s TRILUMINOS and X-Reality engine is a pretty great place to start. Toss in a quad-core 2.3 GHZ Qualcomm processor, 3GB of RAM, 32 GB internal storage, micro SD card support and a 6000 mAh battery just to name a few. We can’t forget to mention that it is also IP55 and IP58 rated. Which means it is water-resistant and dust-proof. Yes, that means you can safely watch movies in the tub, pool side or even in the shower if you do so desire. The Xperia Z2 Tablet also has a 8.1MP rear camera and a 2.23MP front shooter.

As a bonus, if you order one you also get 90 days of free streaming music though Sony’s Music Unlimited service, 6 pre-selected movie download through Sony’s Video Unlimited and an exclusive early access pass to  The Amazing Spider-Man 2 when it becomes available for digital download.

Hold on to your britches though, all of this will cost you a pretty penny, as one would expect. Verizon will be officially selling the tablet for $599.99. Ouch. However, for a limited time you can get it for $499.99 with a new two-year contract. If you pre-order it then Verizon will also through in a Digital Noise Cancelling Headset, the MDRNC31EM, for free. (while supplies last). If you want to hold off until it is in stores, then you will have to wait until July 17th.

Anyone considering this bad boy?

Via Verizon

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The post Pre-orders for the Sony Xperia Z2 Tablet with Verizon starts Tomorrow appeared first on AndroidSPIN.


Vimeo Revamps Apple TV Channel With Streamlined Interface, Staff Favorites, and More [Mac Blog]

Video site Vimeo today announced a revamp of its Apple TV channel, simplifying the interface, launching a new “Staff Favorites” monthly feature, and making several other enhancements. The updates focus on improving video discovery and reducing the number of clicks it takes to access videos.


Simplified navigation

We took our old menu, cut it down to the essentials, and put it at the top of the screen for easy access. Discover awesome videos, keep up with your feed, tackle your Watch Later queue, and quickly get to your own videos, likes, and collections.

Watch our favorites

Don’t have time to watch every single Staff Pick? Our monthly Staff Favorites Albums highlight the best of the best. We’ve also added the winners of our Vimeo Weekend Challenges and a bunch of curated Channels so you can watch tons of amazing videos right away.

Vimeo is also featuring its growing On Demand trailer library, which integrates with the service’s Watch Later queue to make it easy to access content across devices. Enhanced Video Detail pages also include background images and additional metadata such as audience ratings and reviews.

Content providers are increasingly embracing Apple TV as a platform for distributing their content, with roughly 40 channels now available, although many of the services are currently limited to the United States or just a handful of other countries. Vimeo, however, is available worldwide for Apple TV users.


OS X Yosemite Beta Usage Beats Mavericks’ Pace by 4x as New Features and Look Draw Testers

Apple announced OS X Yosemite last month during its worldwide developers conference and released the first beta version of the operating system to developers at the same time. According to web analytics firm Chitika, developer interest in Yosemite is high with an early adoption rate that is significantly greater than its predecessor OS X Mavericks and still growing.

Overall, the data point to a promising future for OS X Yosemite. In the short term, we expect the operating system’s usage share to grow in the wake of the release of the third Developer Preview edition on July 7, 2014. Additionally, with the increased level of developer activity thus far, along with the success of the similarly no cost OS X Mavericks, it’s very probable that OS X Yosemite adoption will outpace that of any other previous Mac desktop OS when it is released publicly later this year.

Chitika measured Mac OS X ad impressions from users in the U.S. and Canadia between June 2 and July 2, 2014. Adoption of OS X Yosemite rose quickly after release, climbing to 0.15% of total U.S. and Canadian Mac OS X Web traffic in just a few days. In comparison, OS X Mavericks last year took about 30 days to reach only 0.05% of measured web traffic.

Chitika attributes this higher adoption to curiosity about new features of OS X, especially those collaborative options that tie into iOS. Along with OS X Yosemite, Apple introduced iOS 8 with new continuity features that improve the cross-platform integration of iOS 8 with OS X Yosemite. Most notable is Handoff, which allows users to start a task on one iCloud-enabled device and easily transfer that task to another nearby device without losing changes.


FBI and NSA targeted prominent Muslim-American leaders for surveillance

Pictured: NSA headquarters in Fort Meade, Maryland

Both the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the National Security Agency monitored the emails of five prominent Muslim-Americans, documents from former-NSA contractor Edward Snowden reveal. The Intercept detailed those documents early this morning, which show the email addresses of Faisal Gill, Asim Ghafoor, Hooshang Amirahmadi, Agha Saeed, Nihad Awad. The list ranges from a former Department of Homeland Security staffer to the executive director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations.

The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, the secretive United States court that oversees surveillance requests from the intelligence community, is ruled by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. That act states that Americans can only be targeted if they are working for a foreign power, or if they’re involved in a terrorist organization. Further, said targets must be plotting or engaging in one of a variety of nefarious acts: “espionage, sabotage, or terrorism,” The Intercept states.

Beyond the five prominent, public men listed, 7,485 email addresses are identified as under surveillance between 2002 and 2008; 202 of those addresses are tied to “U.S. persons,” while 1,782 are tied to “non-U.S. persons.” Another 5,501 don’t contain identifying information. Other standouts on the US side include Anwar al-Awlaki and Samir Khan, two men accused of terrorist activity (both were killed in a US drone strike in 2011).

The scope of the US government’s surveillance efforts was widely revealed last summer when former-NSA contractor Edward Snowden began leaking classified documents to reporters at The Guardian. The documents detailed a variety of programs, including PRISM — which allows the mass collection of data on US citizens — and MYSTIC — which allows data to be retrieved from the past.

This morning’s news is especially interesting as it’s the first we’re hearing of US surveillance efforts specifically targeting prominent religious and ethnic leaders. At least in recent years: the US government, through a program named “COINTELPRO,” specifically targeted US political groups (like the Black Panthers and the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People) in the mid-20th century. The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978 — the law at the heart of the FISA court which approved the surveillance of five Muslim-Americans — is intended to curtail such surveillance overreaches.

Filed under: Cellphones, Handhelds, Software


Source: The Intercept


Adidas’ miCoach Fit Smart uses your wrist to measure health data

Less than two weeks after making an unofficial appearance, today Adidas is formally introducing its new wearable, the miCoach Fit Smart. Revealed in San Francisco, during the Wearable Technologies Conference 2014, this wristband is capable of measuring your burned calories, heart rate, distance covered, pace and more fitness stats. Better yet, it wants to look good while doing so. It’s going to be available in black and white, featuring a strap made of soft-touch silicon (similar to Nike’s FuelBand SE) and a small strip of LEDs which can change color depending on the intensity of a workout. While the Fit Smart isn’t Adidas’ first entry into the wearable fray, one that’s now more crowded than ever, the sports gear company says it is approaching things differently with its new product. Not only does it want to appeal to die-hard runners, like the Android-based Smart Run watch, but also to those people who would like to start running and working out on a more consistent basis.

Unsurprisingly, a big part of the Fit Smart is Adidas’ miCoach technology and ecosystem. “What we did, by working with elite coaches, was bring an experience to help people set weekly goals and training plans,” Paul Gaudio, GM of digital sports at Adidas, told Engadget about the practicality of the companion miCoach apps. “We took the things that have been very successful and implemented them here with the Fit Smart.” Gaudio also emphasized that the Fit Smart isn’t just for zealous athletes, telling us, “It is about encouraging people to get active and stay active. It can also be a motivational tool; it can coach you to be better.”

The question is whether that’ll be enough to lure you into shelling out $199/£179/€199, which is what the new Adidas wearable will cost when it goes on sale “late” next month.

Filed under: Misc, Peripherals, Wearables



Sony’s waterproof Xperia Z2 Tablet coming to Verizon for $600

Sony's waterproof Xperia Z2 Tablet coming to Verizon for $600

We already knew Sony would eventually release an LTE version of its super-thin, waterproof Xperia Z2 Tablet; we just had no idea which network it would work on. Turns out, the lucky winner is Verizon. That’s right, the Z2 Tablet is going to be a Big Red exclusive here in the states, at least for now. That’s something of a departure for Sony: the last-gen Tablet Z was compatible with both AT&T and T-Mobile. In any case, regardless of whether you’re already a Verizon customer, you can pre-order one tomorrow for $600, sans contract (shipments are expected to start next week, on July 17th). If you place your pre-order early enough, Verizon will also throw in a free noise canceling headset, while supplies last. For a limited time, too, you can buy the tablet for $500 with a new two-year agreement, but let’s be real: Smart shoppers don’t lock themselves into new service contracts just to get a 4G tablet.

Filed under: Tablets, Mobile, Sony, Verizon



Sprint LivePro: pocket projector, mobile hotspot, power supply, and more

ZTE Projector on stand left angle

Sprint on Wednesday introduced the LivePro, a mobile-minded accessory that wears multiple hats.

Touted as the “world’s first commercially available pocket projector and mobile hotspot”, the unit lets users project images anywhere 10 inches to 10 feet. What’s more, it also serves as a Sprint Spark-ready Wi-Fi access point for up to eight devices at once. And, lest you believe this is merely a two-trick pony, a deeper look reveals additional features.

ZTE Projector on stand backPowered by Android 4.2 Jelly Bean, the Sprint LivePro boasts a 4-inch touch display with access to the breadth of Google apps and services. And, thanks to the 4GB internal storage and microSD expansion, it should be no problem to download a movie directly to the LivePro and project it to a wall.

The device also packs a 5,000mAh battery which can be used to charge up other devices via a USB cable. Other notable specifications include an internal speaker, Bluetooth and 3.5mm connectivity, and Miracast mirroring.

The LivePro will be available from Sprint starting from Friday, July 11. Qualified buyers can purchase the accessory for $0 down and 24 monthly payments of $18.75, for a total cost of $450.00.

The post Sprint LivePro: pocket projector, mobile hotspot, power supply, and more appeared first on AndroidGuys.


Sprint blesses Samsung Galaxy S5 with Wi-Fi calling


Sprint on Wednesday confirmed that its version of the Samsung Galaxy S5 will receive an update that enables Wi-Fi Calling. Slated to roll out over the next few weeks, the Galaxy S5 marks Sprint’s seventh device capable of the feature. Sprint’s Wi-Fi Calling is a free service that allows for calling and messaging over your Wi-Fi connection.

Looking ahead, Sprint plans to deploy International Wi-Fi calling in the coming weeks. Once enabled it will let customers make calls and send texts via Wi-Fi in more than 100 countries.

Other devices capable of using Sprint Wi-Fi Calling include:

  • HTC One Max
  • Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini
  • Samsung Galaxy Mega
  • Samsung Galaxy Note 3
  • Samsung Galaxy S4 with Sprint Spark
  • Samsung Galaxy S5 Sport (coming soon)


The post Sprint blesses Samsung Galaxy S5 with Wi-Fi calling appeared first on AndroidGuys.

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