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9
May

Huawei releases Honor 4c and Honor Bee in India


huawei-honor-4c

Huawei has launched two new phones, the Honor 4C and the Honor Bee, for the Indian market. These two devices fall far below the standards of the Honor 6 Plus and 4X, taking the bottom two spots of their Honor line of devices.

The Honor 4C has a 5 inch 1280×720 resolution display while the Honor Bee comes with a 4.5 inch, 854×480 resolution display. Both will come with Android 4.4 KitKat, running Huawei’s custom skin.

The 4C stands apart from the Bee with its 64 bit Kirin 620 octa-core processor clocked at 1.2 GHz and its 13 MP rear facing camera. It also comes with 2 GB RAM and the Mali-T450 GPU. Altogether, it’s not a bad phone by any definition, and pushes the bill for a lower-end phone priced at just Rs 8,999 ($141).

honor-bee

In comparison, the Honor Bee comes with a quad-core SC7731 processor clocked at 1.2 GHz, 1 GB RAM and an 8 MP rear camera with dual LED flash. For the lower specs the Honor Bee can be purchased for Rs 4,999 ($78).

These phones just manage to stay competitive in their price brackets against the offerings put out by Xiaomi and Motorola in India. The Honor 4C can be purchased right now, while the Honor Bee is available for pre-order. What do you think of these latest two handsets? Let us know in the comments.

More from Huawei

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9
May

LG Watch Urbane Review


The Bottom Line

PROS
  • Beautiful design
  • Vibrant OLED screen
  • Great battery life
  • Luxury appeal
  • Comfortable on the wrist
  • Latest version of Android Wear
  • Good performance
CONS
  • Premium price
  • Stainless can be prone to scratches over time
9.3

LG sets the standard with their latest Android Wear smartwatch offering, the LG Watch Urbane, even if the premium design and build quality does result in an admittedly pricey device.

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Editor's Choice Update 2015The first generation of Android Wear smartwatches were quite impressive, and while things remain quite similar in terms of specifications, features, and the software experience with the current crop of devices, there has been a significant improvement in terms of design and build quality. LG has been at the forefront of this evolution, starting from the reference model-like nature of the LG G Watch, to its first round face smartwatch, the G Watch R, culminating to its latest, and most expensive, offering. Is the newest Android Wear smartwatch from LG deserving of a place on you wrist? We find out, in this comprehensive LG Watch Urbane review!

Related – Best Android Watches

Design

LG Watch Urbane-8

LG is no stranger to the smartwatch game at this point and it certainly shows, judging by the design and build quality of its latest offering. The Watch Urbane is classy and elegant, and looks great not just in terms of being a smartwatch, but as a watch in general, with elements like its circular design, power button disguised as a winder, and thick watch lugs making for a device that looks like a regular watch to the untrained eye.

LG Watch Urbane-33

The body is constructed with a polished stainless steel that gives it a luxurious appearance, along with a nice substantial feel to it, without being overly heavy. The stainless steel could be prone to scratches, but this review unit has held up just fine so far, but it is a fingerprint magnet and smudges fairly easily. That is, of course, just a minor gripe, as it is a small device and is very easy to keep clean.

LG Watch Urbane-6

The band is made from genuine leather, and comes with real stitching along its sides. The leather LG likes to use is quite stiff and rigid and may not be to everyone’s liking, but does hold up very well against everyday wear and tear, while being comfortable on the wrist. The good news is that the band can easily be swapped out for any standard 22 mm band, so you always have the option to get one that better suits your tastes.

The  Watch Urbane is one of the larger Android Wear smartwatches available, but definitely isn’t a bulky watch by any stretch of the imagination. Granted, it could take some getting used to, but if you are already comfortable with wearing larger watches, the Watch Urbane will feel quite normal.

Display

LG Watch Urbane-21

The Watch Urbane comes with a 1.3-inch P-OLED circular display with a 320 x 320 resolution, resulting in a pixel density of 245 ppi. The display is protected by a Gorilla Glass 3 panel that should keep it free from scratches. Further, the glass is slightly recessed into the body of the watch, helping to prevent any damage from accidental bumps.

LG Watch Urbane-26

As expected, the plastic OLED screen provides some very deep blacks, saturated colors, high contrast ratios, and enough brightness for easy outdoor visibility. OLED technology makes a lot of sense with a smartwatch, not only because of its battery saving properties, but also given how this display really makes the elements of Android Wear pop. The deep blacks and high contrast make darker watch faces look fantastic, along with graphics looking good, and text being reasonably sharp and easy to read. Some may find the 1.3-inch size to a little on the smaller side, but it is still very easy to use for the most part, and it definitely is a very good looking screen.

Performance and Hardware

LG Watch Urbane-32

Things remain standard when it comes to the performance and hardware side of things, with the Watch Urbane packing the same processing package as most other Android Wear smartwatches out there, with its quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 processor, clocked at 1.2 GHz, and backed by 512 MB of RAM.

The processing package is starting to show its age but is still more than enough to power Android Wear. Day to day performance has been very smooth with clean animations, while swiping between cards, notifications, opening apps, and changing watch faces are all done without any instances of stutter. The experience has been at par with any other Android Wear smartwatch out there, and there isn’t much to complain about.

LG Watch Urbane-11

Things are standard on the hardware side of things as well, with the Watch Urbane coming with support for Wi-Fi, which it can now take advantage of with the Android Wear version it runs, as well as Bluetooth 4.0 LE. 4 GB of on-board storage is available, as well as the usual suite of sensors, like the accelerometer and compass, and a heart rate monitor on the back. The watch also comes with an IP67 certification for resistance to dust and water.

As  you may have noticed, the Watch Urbane has a lot in common with its predecessor, the G Watch R, and that holds true when it comes to the battery as well. As such, you can expect the identical battery life from this 410 mAh unit, with up to 2 days of usage with “Always screen on” enabled. This battery life is again fairly standard across the board, so shouldn’t be an issue for any previous or current Android Wear smartwatch users.

Software

LG Watch Urbane-29

The LG Watch Urbane is the first Android Wear smartwatch to ship with the latest Android 5.1 Lollipop update. The core software experience remains the same, with actionable notifications and Google Now cards as well as customizable watch faces all available. The update does introduce some key new features to the table though.

Always screen-on mode is now available for applications, so if you’re looking at something like a checklist or a map and the screen happens to time out, you’ll still be able to see it in a black and white format to save battery, similar to how watch faces appear on the screen when in a dimmed state. One of the best features this update brings is Wi-Fi support, which means that the watch doesn’t always have to be connected to your phone via bluetooth anymore. As long as the watch is connected to a Wi-Fi network and the phone has a data connection, notifications will sync with the watch, giving Android Wear a little more independence, and you a little more freedom, away from your smartphone.

LG Watch Urbane-16

Notifications can also be scrolled through now with “wrist gestures,” by simply flicking the wrist. It can really come in handy if your other hand is full, or you just don’t want to touch your watch, but it only works if the watch is upright, so don’t expect to be able to scroll through notifications with your wrist while laying down in bed. To increase the level of security, Google added a new feature called “screen lock,” which is essentially a pattern lock ported over to Android Wear. This can be enabled manually, or set to lock automatically anytime you take your watch off your wrist, to prevent others from snooping in on your notifications. Finally, for a little bit of fun, Google has made it very easy to send emojis just by drawing them on the screen.

LG Watch Urbane-24

Besides the addition of new features, the UI has undergone some cosmetic changes. Tapping on the screen, swiping to the left, or long pressing the power button, now brings up a separate column for apps, starred contacts, and the standard Speak Now screen. This not only makes it easier and quicker to find what you need, but also reduces the amount of vertical scrolling, that made previous builds of Android Wear a little more cumbersome to use. The new features and UI enhancements brings about some very welcome changes to the Android Wear experience, and for the time being, is something that is unique to the Watch Urbane.

Specifications

Display 1.3″ 320 x 320 P-OLED, 245 ppi
SoC 1.2 GHz Snapdragon 400
RAM 512 MB
Storage 4 GB
Battery 410 mAh (2+ days)
Resistance IP67
Extras pedometer, heart rate monitor
Charging Dock
Price $349.99

Gallery

Pricing and Final Thoughts

The LG Watch Urbane is available now in stainless steel and rose gold for $349.99, making it one of the most expensive Android Wear watches to date. Whether it’s worth it or not will depend on how much you value the luxury appeal and aesthetics of the Urbane, because everything else this watch offers can be found on pretty much every other Android Wear smartwatch out there.

lg watch urbane aa 16

Editor's Choice Update 2015So there you have it – a closer look at the LG Watch Urbane! With OEMs not given a whole lot of freedom to play around with the software experience, and with the internals largely the same across the board, there isn’t a whole lot that differentiates the Watch Urbane from the competition, save for its beautiful design and build quality, that unfortunately does result in a significant bump in the price point. Judging solely on the design, LG has a clear winner on their hands, both as a standard timepiece and a fashion item.

See it on Amazon

Other awesome smartwatches!

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9
May

Blind camera shootout – the votes are in…


A few days in Malta a couple of weeks ago for the IFA 2015 GPC presented the opportunity for an impromptu smartphone camera shootout between four heavyweights of the smartphone industry: the Huawei P8, the Honor 6 Plus, the Galaxy S6 Edge and the HTC One M9.

AA camera shootouts:

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Unlike past shootouts, we didn’t tell you which handset took each picture and instead, over the past week, thousands of you have cast your vote for which handset you think took the best picture. Now, the results are in but before we reveal the winner, let’s take a closer look at each of the scenes and I’ll let you know which handset I think took the best picture (in my unprofessional opinion).

Scene 1

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In the scene capturing the Bank of Valletta building in the capital of Malta, Phone C was most accurate in capturing the scene but Phone B was a little less oversaturated.

Winner: Phone C

Scene 2

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Phone D captured the flag with most accuracy but Phone C compensated best for the varying colours of the building.

Winner: Draw (Phone C / Phone D)

Scene 3

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The winner here is actually Phone A as it captured enough detail in the sky and compensates for the white balance most accurately. Phone C was a close run second, Phone C did well to capture the building but failed to capture the sky and Phone D was somewhat accurate in portraying the building and sky.

Winner: Phone A

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It’s tough to pick a winner here as none of the images are completely accurate. Phone A doesn’t capture a lot of colours, Phone B has a weird hue, Phone C doesn’t compensate for the light in the scene and Phone D also fails to capture a lot of the colours. Having to pick a winner, I’d say that Phone C comes closest.

Winner: Phone C

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This scene was quite interesting as it was a gift to Queen Elizabeth and Phone B captured the colours most accurately. Phone A is a very close second while Phone D comes third and Phone C rounds off the list.

Winner: Phone B

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This was an interesting test of focusing on a large scene and the results are quite close between Phone B and Phone C. While Phone B is very good, Phone C depicts the sky and handles the changing scene the best and wins this round.

Winner: Phone C

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An interesting test as it was pointing each camera upwards and trying to focus on the chandelier in the iconic Manoel Theatre. Interestingly, Phone B wins this but Phone D is the best at capturing the individual parts of the chandelier and not being affected by the light rays from the chandelier.

Winner: Phone B

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This test actually showed how each phone handled a complex scene with subjects both near and far. Overall Phone B and Phone C are really close but Phone B wins it thanks to a little more detail in the sky.

Winner: Phone B

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A clear winner for me here is Phone B which captures detail in all parts of the image.

Winner: Phone B

Scene 10

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Phone C has the least saturation and most life-like colours so it wins this scene. Phone A comes quite close, Phone B captures a lot of detail but oversaturates almost all parts of the image and Phone D comes a distant fourth.

Winner: Phone C

Scene 11

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Phone A wins this scene for me as it appears to be the most life-like, while Phone B is slightly oversaturated and Phone C just appears to be a little dull.

Winner: Phone A

Scene 12

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This was an interesting test as there were rays of sunshine from the left and each device had to capture detail in both near and far. The winner for me is Phone B as it was the one which captured both parts of the scene but also depicted individual rays of sunshine.

Winner: Phone B

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Nothing quite like an image that might gross you out. It’s difficult to pick a winner for this one as Phone C has the most detail but doesn’t fully compensate for the lack of light while Phone B picks up the light but loses a little detail in the cockroach leg. I’ll probably give this to Phone C with Phone B a very close second.

Winner: Phone C

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This is an interesting test and all four devices do well  but the winner is Phone B as it keeps the colour of the building while also saturating the sky to make an overall nice image. Phone A and C come second as the former captures the building while the latter captures the scene well but is slightly oversaturated. Phone D is the most saturated for both the sky and the building.

Winner: Phone B

Scene 15

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Another interesting test of the zoom capabilities of each handset and the winner is Phone C as it picks up the detail of the structure, the dome and the red IFA boxes attached to the dome. Phones B and D come a close second while Phone A finishes the collection.

Winner: Phone C

Scene 16

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The second last scene and the first test of the night capabilities. The test proved interesting but the winner is Phone C as it was the only one to capture detail in the brickwork without noise. Phone B comes a close second, Phone D is third and Phone A – which has a fair amount of noise and a lack of detail – comes in fourth.

Winner: Phone C

Scene 17

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Now to the final scene and one of my favourite as the test is see whether each smartphone can capture the IFA 2015 sign – before it takes centre stage in a fireworks display – just in front of the red steps. It’s almost a dead heat between Phone A and Phone C but the former wins it because Phone C overcompensates the white balance and produces a lighter scene that’s doesn’t accurately capture the colour of the steps.

Winner: Phone A

The winner is…

So according to my results, the overall winner is Phone C, which is closely followed by Phone B. Phone A comes in third and Phone D brings up the rear. That’s my opinion but how did YOU vote?

Over the past week, over 3000 votes have been cast in the shootout and here’s how they stacked up at the time of writing:

smartphone-shootout-results1

So the Galaxy S6 Edge takes it from the Honor 6 Plus, which is closely followed by the Huawei P8 and rounding off the contest in last place is the HTC One M9. The Galaxy S6 Edge winning the contest is no surprise as the camera is very capable but the Honor 6 Plus in second deserves a special mention: at a price of £299 ($450), it’s almost half the price of the other contenders but beats them all to second place.

You might like…

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The Huawei P8 has a fabulous camera and it’s interesting that both of Huawei’s devices have registered almost the same number of votes. For many years, Huawei’s cameras have been progressively getting better and the latest modules are capable of producing fantastic photos that can rival most smartphones.

As for HTC – well it’s a tough one. I’ve been rather critical of the Taiwenese manufacturer but I do think that the new 20MP module in the HTC One M9 was always going to be challenge to optimise properly. Hopefully the woes of the M9 camera – many of which were pointed out in the comments on the original post – can be fixed with software updates but this remains to be seen.

Thanks for voting in the blind comparison and we’ve got another one planned for you! We’ve listened to some of the feedback and our next comparison – which will be up next week – will see the iPhone 6 Plus pitted against the LG G4 and the Galaxy S6 Edge with a DSLR as a control photo. As always, it promises to be epic so stay tuned!

Now check out the full reviews:

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9
May

‘Castlevania’ designer explains what made ‘Symphony’ so special


There’s plenty I could say about Castlevania: Symphony of the Night but in the interest of time I’ll keep it short and sweet: it’s one of the most influential games ever made. Don’t believe me? Eighteen years later, its core design conceit (read: explore a gigantic environment at will, uncovering hidden-in-plain-sight secrets in previously traversed areas thanks to a cascading set of power-ups that grant new abilities) is still being used today. So with that in mind, watching co-designer Koji “IGA’ Igarashi offer commentary while Double Fine Productions’ senior gameplay programmer Anna Kipnis plays through over two hours of the game in the latest Devs Play episode is an incredible treat. Oh, and there’s blood-red wine involved because of course there is.

Topics of conversation range from the protagonist switcheroo in the prologue, the level of autonomy that extended all the way out to the the singer who composed the haunting menu music, Alucard’s bedroom that was left on the cutting room floor and a ton more. There’s an awful lot to digest here and given the clip’s length watching it on your flatscreen via Chromecast is pretty much a no-brainer. Should you need some written material to accompany the A/V feast, be sure to check out Gamasutra‘s deep dive on Metroidvania, and by extension, SotN‘s, design.

Filed under: Gaming, Home Entertainment, HD

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Via: Polygon

Source: Double Fine Productions (YouTube)

9
May

Google search now allows food to be ordered from search results


Ordering food through Google Search

As of May 7, Google search users can order food from restaurants via the search results, according to this Google+ post.

Google states that when searching for a nearby restaurant on your phone, you’ll encounter the “Place an order” option in the results. Once you press it and choose the delivery service, you will be taken to the appropriate website to complete the order.

Currently, the six providers in the US are Seamless, Grubhub, Eat24, Delivery.com, BeyondMeny, and MyPizza.com, with more planned for the future.

The post Google search now allows food to be ordered from search results appeared first on AndroidGuys.

9
May

Cybersecurity firm accused of staging data breaches to extort clients


Fraud

Have you ever heard of a cybersecurity firm called Tiversa? No? Well, you’ll likely be hearing about it a lot in the coming weeks, because an ex-employee is accusing it of fraud. Richard Wallace, one of its former investigators, has recently testified against the firm in a Washington DC courtroom. During the proceeding, he claimed Tiversa’s employees would hack potential clients to force them to pay for the firm’s services. The CEO, Bob Boback, would apparently even order them to look for IPs of known identity thieves using Tiversa’s close ties to law enforcement agencies. They’d then tell the companies they were targeting that those IPs are breaking into their computers as an additional scare tactic.

In the transcript CNNMoney obtained, Wallace spoke of how Tiversa ruined a particular cancer testing center in Atlanta called LabMD. He admitted to breaking into the center’s computers to steal medical records. After that, Tiversa allegedly warned LabMD that it got hacked and offered its “incident response” services. When the clinic wouldn’t pay up, the cybersecurity firm reportedly threatened to notify the FTC of the (fake) security breach — and it did, since the center refused to give in. The FTC ended up taking LabMD to court in a lengthy legal battle that’s not even over yet, forcing the company to let go of all of its employees in 2014.

But that’s not all: Wallace also said some of Tiversa’s fake schemes made national news in the past. Those schemes supposedly include fabricated info that Iran stole the blueprints of the President’s helicopter, the Marine One, in 2009. Tiversa’s head honcho has denied all these allegations, telling CNNMoney that this “is an overblown case of a terminated employee seeking revenge.” It’s worth noting, however, that US Representative Darrell Issa asked the FTC way back in December to look into some corporate blackmail accusations against the firm.

[Image credit: Getty/alexskopje]

Filed under: Misc

Comments

Via: Gizmodo

Source: CNN

9
May

AZ town hides license plate readers in dozens of fake cacti


City officials from Paradise Valley, Arizona have reportedly set up an array of license plate readers, hidden within fake cacti no less, throughout the wealthy Phoenix suburb. Problem is, officials can’t seem to explain if the devices are currently in use or why they even need the privacy-invading technology ion the first place. Fox 10 News broke the story earlier this week after residents began noticing that many of the town’s cell-phone towers (disguised as cacti to blend into the surrounding scenery) were suddenly sporting the new plate readers. These readers scan the license plates of passing vehicles and compare them against a database of stolen and missing vehicles. If the plate matches an entry in the database, the device alerts authorities who then investigate.

Unfortunately, these devices can also store collected plate data for anywhere from a few hours to a few years, which leads to all sorts of potential privacy incursions by law enforcement. In Oakland, for example, the police used these devices to assemble a database of more than 4.6 million plate numbers earlier this year. Just 0.1 percent of those readings resulted in a traffic stop.

The situation isn’t much better in Paradise Valley. When Fox 10 asked town manager Kevin Burke about the devices, he confusingly claimed that the readers were inactive. “We want to make sure we’re answering everybody’s questions about data retention [and] how the things will be used,” he said. “We want to make sure that is vetted before we turn these things up.” Which is odd, especially given that on Saturday the PVPD directly credited one of the plate readers with instigating a traffic stop. Burke also asserted that the cactus covers were purely aesthetic. However, UC Berkeley law professor Catherine Crump remains unimpressed. “It seems comical, but given the photo, not exactly an effort at concealment,” she told Ars Technica. “I am more interested in what else this town is doing with its $2 million police technology upgrade.”

[Image Credit: Fox 10 Phoenix]

Filed under: Cameras

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Via: Ars Technica

Source: Fox 10 Phoenix

9
May

Google Play launches app pre-registration feature with Terminator Genisys: Revolution


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Being able to sign up for a product before it is actually available is not a new sales strategy and is actually used quite often in the smartphone industry. Google has been working to bring a similar strategy to their Play Store. For example, Avengers: Age of Ultron was made available for pre-order at the same time it hit theaters. Now Google is bringing this feature to the Apps portion of their marketplace.

The first title to get this treatment comes from Glu Mobile and is the companion app to this summer’s new Terminator franchise entry. The game is Terminator Genisys: Revolution and is now listed in the Play Store. Where users may normally find the Buy or Install button, they are greeted with a “Pre-register” button. This does not commit a user to buying the title – it merely sets up a notification for when the title is released.

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With regard to Terminator Genisys: Revolution, it will be a third-person shooter set in the year 2028. Players will be tasked with helping John Conner escape from a Skynet prison camp and take the fight to the machines. Besides all of the weapons and locations, users will be able to fight next to characters from the movie.

If you are interested in the game, head over to the Play Store and get pre-registered. No availability date is listed, but it will likely be close to the release of the movie which is scheduled for July 1st.

Click here to view the embedded video.

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Google Play Download Link

via: Android Police

Come comment on this article: Google Play launches app pre-registration feature with Terminator Genisys: Revolution

9
May

Recommended Reading: Wearing Google Glass every day for two years


Recommended Reading highlights the best long-form writing on technology and more in print and on the web. Some weeks, you’ll also find short reviews of books that we think are worth your time. We hope you enjoy the read.

Eurobest Festival Of Creativity, Day 1

Two Years Through the Looking Glass
by Allen Firstenberg

I’m pretty sure there’s nothing I’ve done every day for the last two years. Maybe I’ve taken a vitamin, but I’m sure I missed a day here or there. Allen Firstenberg is way more dedicated to habit than I am, though. He’s been wearing Google Glass since he received the headset two years ago and has a load of observations about the past, present and future of the tech.

Masters of the Universe: Marvel’s Unprecedented Storytelling Gamble
Kevin Lincoln, Grantland

Sure, Marvel’s recent comic book films have seen their share of box office success, but bringing the Marvel Cinematic Universe with narratives that span not only films, but also franchises , is a massive undertaking.

Reasonable Doubt: Is Jay Z All About the Money or the Fans?
Julian Kimble, Pitchfork

At this point, I’m sure few people doubt that Jay Z’s upcoming concerts — where he’ll perform so-called deep cuts — are little more than an attempt to draw new subscribers to his struggling music-subscription service.

The Weird, Wonderful History of Basketball Retrieval Device Patents for Lonely Shooters
Seth Rosenthal, SB Nation

Practicing your free throws by yourself usually ends up being more of a workout than you intended. SB Nation runs down a collection of patents that aimed to solve that problem, and some of them are downright strange.

‘Our Demand Is Simple: Stop Killing Us’
Jay Caspian Kang, The New York Times

Since the death of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, last August, a group of activists have leveraged social media to quickly mobilize civil-rights protests in cities where other police shootings occur, building perhaps the biggest movement of the 21st century.

[Image credit: Andreas Rentz/Getty Images for Eurobest]

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9
May

Mozilla launches Firefox OS phones in Morocco and Senegal


Firefox OS might be in a distant fourth place (or further?) here domestically, but Mozilla sees plenty of value for it in emerging countries. Specifically? Senegal and Madagascar in Africa, where it recently partnered with French telecom Orange to launch the KLIF. And no, you aren’t wrong, it’s neither a flip-phone or a slider. Nor is it transparent. A Mozilla blog post says that the main idea with this 3G smartphone is to get more people online in places where they previously couldn’t. It’s the web outfit following through on a promise it made back at Mobile World Congress in Spain, and the Middle East is where we’ll see the initiative pop up next.

Filed under: Cellphones, Mobile

Comments

Via: The Verge

Source: The Mozilla Blog (official)

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