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3
Sep

Campers Already Lining Up for iPhone 6 at Flagship 5th Avenue Store


Despite the fact that there are still five days to go until Apple’s September 9 media event, customers hoping to purchase one of Apple’s new devices have already begun lining up at the flagship 5th Avenue Apple Store in New York City.

Apple is expected to announce the 4.7 and 5.5-inch iPhone 6 at the event, along with its much-rumored wearable device and possibly a mobile payments initiative. Only the iPhone 6 is expected to ship to consumers in September however, and not until later in the month. People camping out now may be waiting more than two weeks to get their hands on one of Apple’s new devices.

iphone6campersCampers waiting outside the 5th Avenue Apple Store, via CNBC
As is typical, many of the campers lining up early are participating in publicity stunts to garner recognition for their companies, given the media attention early waiters tend to receive. Campers seem to be arriving earlier and earlier each year in order to outdo past campers. For the launch of the iPhone 5c/5s, campers began showing up on September 6, but people are going to even further extremes this year.

CNBC interviewed several of the campers, some of which arrived before the month of September even began. Brian Ceballo and Joseph Cruz, representing BuyBackWorld, arrived on Sunday, August 31 with the hope of beating a previous record for camping out for an iPhone. They plan to wait for 19 days, a day longer than the 18 day record.

Ceballo and Cruz have already profited, accepting $1,250 to give up the first place in line to Jason and Moon Ray, who are promoting a health app.

Apple’s iPhone 6 event will take place on Tuesday, September 9, but it remains unclear which devices will be unveiled and which will be available for shipping in the near future. Both the company’s wearable device and its 5.5-inch iPhone may not ship until later in the year or early 2015, leaving campers to pick up a 4.7-inch iPhone 6.

Based on past timelines, the 4.7-inch iPhone 6 could become available beginning on Friday, September 19.




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3
Sep

Twitter says just when you’ll get others’ favorites in your timeline


Favorite in Twitter for Android

It’s no secret that Twitter is now putting others’ favorites into your timeline, but the actual trigger for those appearances has remained a mystery. Is it purely random? Keyword-based? As it turns out, it’s more like a slot machine. The company’s Dick Costolo has revealed that those favorites appear when you pull to refresh twice, and there aren’t any new tweets to show. Twitter is simply trying to respond to your insatiable demand for updates, Costolo says. In other words, the social network would rather give you some recycled tweets than leave you hanging.

The approach makes sense, especially given the company’s endless efforts to keep you active; it doesn’t want you quitting because you’ve run out of things to read. It also explains why those who follow a lot of people (such as yours truly) tend not to see these unexpected faves. Still, the explanation isn’t going to be very reassuring if you use favorites like bookmarks — a very bored Twitter user may end up discovering your tastes in content, whether or not you’re prepared to share them with the world.

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Via: The Verge

Source: Dick Costolo (Twitter 1), (2)

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3
Sep

Verizon to shell out $7.4 million to settle FCC marketing privacy investigation


Verizon Communications Corp. headquarters are pictured in Ne

An FCC investigation determined that Verizon failed to offer around two million new customers instructions on how to decline personal info being used in marketing tactics. The Commission announced today that Big Red would pay $7.4 million to settle the matter, and it has to notify customers of their right to opt out on very bill they’ll receive for the next three years. While phone companies collect personal info from customers on the regular, use is limited to things like marketing, but only if the chance to say “no thanks” is explicitly offered. When the participation process isn’t working correctly, the FCC has to be notified within five business days — something Verizon did not do. Going back to 2006, millions of cases were found where the opt-out notices weren’t properly disclosed. Although Verizon found the issue in September of 2012, it did not notify the FCC until 126 days later, in January of 2013. The sum that Verizon stands to pay out is the largest of its kind to date for settling an investigation into personal data privacy for wireless customers.

[Photo credit: Rick Maiman/Bloomberg via Getty Images]

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Via: Gigaom

Source: FCC

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3
Sep

Windows Phone’s Cortana assistant now predicts NFL football games


Cortana calls a Seahawks-Packers game

Windows Phone’s Cortana assistant raised some eyebrows during the World Cup, when it accurately predicted all but one of the knockout matches (that Germany-Brazil upset caught nearly everyone off-guard). Microsoft was clearly happy with that result, as it’s now applying those oracle-like abilities to NFL football games. Ask Cortana (or Bing on the web) who’s likely to win an upcoming match and you’ll quickly get a favorite. You sadly won’t be told why that team will emerge victorious, although the Bing crew notes that the decision is based on a combination of stats, previous match-ups, and subtler criteria like stadium conditions. It’ll be a long while before we know whether Cortana is as good at predicting American football as it is the international kind, but you can at least get her prognostications right away.

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Source: Blogging Windows, Bing Blogs

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3
Sep

Panasonic’s bringing Technics back with a pair of high-end amps


Technics, Panasonic’s high-end audio brand, may never have actually gone away, but it certainly fell out of the gaze of the mainstream. Now, however, the company feels that it’s the time for the name to make a comeback with a pair of speaker-and-amp combinations that’ll appeal to audiophiles everywhere. At the top end is a “Reference Series” R1, which comprises of a stereo amp, network audio control player and a pair of speakers. If your cash won’t stretch that far, however, then you’ll be able to shift down a gear with the “Premium Series” C700 range, which offers an amp, speakers, network audio player as well as – wait for it – a compact disc player. There’s no word on what the company is going to be pricing this hardware at, but we’d assume that Technics won’t sully its name with some budget devices. Still, it won’t be long until we find out, since both ranges will land in Europe in December, with global sales coming in early 2015.

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3
Sep

Sony SmartWatch 3 and E-Inck SmartBand Talk are Officially Announced



Continuing with the barrage of news from IFA from all the big name OEM’s, we have news coming from Sony about their two new wrist options. Sony has announced two new devices to grace the smartwatch scene and both are uniquely different from past devices and from each other. The SmartWatch line from Sony traditionally ran their own version of software. With the new SmartWatch 3 though, Sony shifted its efforts over to Android Wear.

Sony SmartWatch 3 Android Wear

The Sony SmartWatch 3 brings a 1.6-inch 320 x 320 TFT LCD transreflective display. In English, it should look great even in direct sunlight. It carries along the traditional 4GB of on-board storage, ARM Cortex A7 quad-core processor at 1.2GHz, 512MBs RAM and a 420 mAh battery that is rated for 2 days of usage (charges via traditional micro USB). The silicon band is more of a holder for the watch face. Think the KYROS smartwatch, where you can pop the main unit out of the band and stick in something else. More so another colored watch band. The Sony SmartWatch 3 is IP68, carries NFC, GPS and Bluetooth. Yes, this is one that you can leave your phone at home and still track your run via the built-in GPS. It will come in Black and Green at launch.

The SmartWatch 3 is clearly geared towards the more active lifestyles with its colorful bright color options. It is scheduled for an Autumn launch in Europe with a price tag of 229.99 Euro’s.


Sony SmartBand Talk

The second device they announced is the SmartBand Talk. This device is a redone SmartBand SWR10 with the addition of a curved 1.4-inch E-Ink display. Think Pebble. Sony took the device a little further though and added in a mic and a speaker to give you the full Dick Tracy phone calls on your wrist type of thing. The SmartBand Talk also has an altimeter inside to let you track elevation as well. The SmartBand Talk is scheduled for an Autumn release as well in Europe for 159.99 Euro’s.

Both devices will utilize Sony’s LifeLog app that is free in the Play Store.

Source: Sony Mobile Developer Blog | Sony Press 

 


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The post Sony SmartWatch 3 and E-Inck SmartBand Talk are Officially Announced appeared first on AndroidSPIN.

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3
Sep

Who’s getting what? New Samsung devices per US carrier Breakdown



As expected, Samsung dropped a number of new products for consumers to consider as their next device. They officially announced the Galaxy Note 4, which we all knew was coming, we just didn’t know the specific spec details. They also brought out the new Note Edge, which we had rumors of a curved side display, but assumptions lead to it being something the Note 4 would have. Samsung also announced the Gear VR, which is a virtual reality head unit to slap your Galaxy Note 4 in for some fun. Yes, you must have a Note 4 to use the Gear VR. Samsung is pretty good about making things device and product specific.

Samsung Galaxy Note 4 Colors

With 3 new devices and an October time frame, which carriers in the U.S. will be getting what? You be safe to think that all four major carriers will have the Galaxy Note 4. Each of the big guys even have sign-up pages live already. That leaves us wondering about the Galaxy Note Edge and the Gear VR. The Galaxy Note Edge has also been confirmed by all four major players too. I didn’t see that one coming actually. What about the Gear VR? I honestly didn’t expect anyone to carry this contraption. I figured it would be an online from Samsung type of offering. However, Sprint, and AT&T are apparently going to be offering it. I certainly hope Sprint and AT&T have demo units of the Gear VR in store, I’d love to take photos of unwitting people crashing into displays.

Quick recap:

T-Mobile – Samsung Galaxy Note 4 and Galaxy Note Edge (sign-up page)

AT&T – Samsung Galaxy Note 4, Note Edge and Gear VR. (Note 4 sign-up page / Note Edge sign-up page)


Verizon – Samsung galaxy note 4 and Galaxy Note Edge (sign-up page)

Sprint – Samsung Galaxy Note 4, Note Edge and Gear VR (sign-up page)

There is also confirmation that U.S. Cellular will indeed carrier the Galaxy Note 4, but the Note Edge and Gear VR don’t seem to be included anywhere.

Pricing and official launch dates are still under wraps at the moment. While Samsung has said the devices will be available in October, Sprint is the only carrier listing October on their sign-up page.

Via Android Police


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The post Who’s getting what? New Samsung devices per US carrier Breakdown appeared first on AndroidSPIN.

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3
Sep

Sony’s new tablet lets you play PS4 games and call your mother


There’s a French phrase, un beau affreux, which means that something is ugly and beautiful at the same time. As soon as we got our hands on Sony’s Xperia Z3 Tablet Compact, we wished the French had also come up with a word that means simultaneously colossal and small. That’s the paradox at the heart of the company’s tablet, which packs an 8-inch display, but thanks to its 6.4mm thickness and 0.6 pound weight, feels almost insubstantial, as if you’d still try to fit this into a pocket. That’s not a criticism, either, because if you found the Galaxy Note to be a bit too small for your needs, this could replace it in your affections.

That’s because, thanks to its LTE modem, so long as you have a pair of Bluetooth headphones to hand, you can actually harness its cellular connectivity to make calls. The company has even left the dialer on the front page of the homescreen here, leaving you in no doubt of its prowess. There’s also NFC and an option to add a mobile wallet, although it’d be rather amusing if you tried to use an 8-inch tablet to buy your morning coffee.

Packing a quad-core 2.5GHz Snapdragon 801 and 3GB RAM, the Z3 tablet is also no slouch in the performance department, and you can extend its 16GB of built-in memory all the way up to 128GB if you have such a powerful microSD card. The TFT display itself has a resolution of 1,920 x 1,200 and the viewing angles are pretty great, meaning that the device would happily pull a shift as an impromptu dorm room cinema. That ability is also helped with the forward-facing stereo speakers above and below the screen, which may not be BoomSound-levels of quality, but are a huge improvement on a lot of the tablet market. The same can’t be said for the headphone jack, which now comes out at the top of the right bezel (in portrait). When used in landscape, that’s a perfectly fine design decision, but if you do decide to make this an ever-present in your shoulder bag, you might find the location a little grating.

Imaging-wise, there’s an 8.1-megapixel shooter on the back and a 2.2-megapixel lens up front, although the huge preview screen is actually a little disturbing, so maybe this device will discourage selfie shooters. Thankfully, even though it is a tablet, the company has seen fit to ensure that it’s as rugged as its junior siblings, shielding it with IP65 and IP68 waterproofing.

As we’ve already established, this is one of the few devices capable of running Sony’s PS4 remote play, and we can certainly imagine ourselves playing games on this great display. Of course, there’s still no word on when that might actually happen, but hopefully Sony won’t keep us in the dark too long about release dates and prices.

Jamie Rigg contributed to this report.

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3
Sep

Amazon’s Fire TV finally comes to Europe, UK and Germany get first dibs


Americans have been able to get their fill of Amazon’s set-top box for a few months. Now it’s Europe’s turn! The internet giant is bringing the Fire TV to the old world, and it’ll be up for pre-order tonight. Customers in Germany will get first crack at it, when it ships on September 25th for €99. If you’re an existing Prime subscriber, Amazon will cut that figure in half to just €49. The UK will get its chance on October 23rd. There you’ll get the same discounted price of £49 for being a prime member, but it’ll only cost £79 if you haven’t already pledged yourself to the Amazon ecosystem. If you haven’t already bought a Roku, Chromecast or Apple TV, perhaps this is the streaming box you’ve been waiting for. If it isn’t… well then, you’re running out of options.

Update: If you want to cash in on those discounts you better move quick. The deal is only good for the next five days.

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3
Sep

Uber’s new services bring ridesharing to wheelchair users


UberAssist

If you rely on a wheelchair, you’ve largely been left on the sidelines of the ridesharing phenomenon. While plans have been in the works for some time, there hasn’t really been a concrete accessibility strategy. Uber is improving that state of affairs, though, by launching new programs to accommodate disabled passengers. UberAssist, which is launching in Houston today, lets you hail an UberX driver who’s trained in accessibility and can accommodate folding wheelchairs. A follow-up coming in a few weeks, UberAccess, lets you order a vehicle with a wheelchair-friendly ramp. There’s no mention of expansion to other cities so far.

The services could be important beyond just making these services more inclusive. Many wheelchair users have to rely on accessible taxis and buses to get around, either of which can be hard to find or inconvenient; San Francisco, for example, doesn’t have enough of the necessary drivers. Not that Uber has much choice but to improve its ride selection. On top of government pressure, Uber is facing ongoing lawsuits over its lack of disability support — the company ultimately needs UberAssist and UberAccess to avoid legal trouble.

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Source: Uber Houston

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