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20
Oct

Verizon reports quarterly earnings, exceeds expectations


verizon new logoU.S. carrier Verizon just underwent another spectacular quarter. The company well exceeded its expectations producing an overall revenue of $23 billion this past quarter alone.

With $23 billion in generated revenue, Verizon’s quarterly earnings show a 5.4% increase from this time last year. The company reportedly added an additional 1.3 million subscribers this quarter alone, which is also incredible growth for the company. However it should be noted that service revenues were slightly down from last year due to an increase in equipment revenue.

As a result, Verizon’s new shift to month-to-month payments rather than 2-year contracts has paid off. This shift is also showing increases in other carrier’s revenue as well. This accounted for 58% of all smartphone activations this quarter, which a tremendous increase over this time last year which was only 12%.

The company also saw significant gains in its Fios TV service. During the period, Verizon managed to add 114,000 net subscribers to its broadband internet service as well as 42,000 new members to its video service. This is up 2.8% from just a year ago.

It’s great to see the company continue to set records. This only makes us wonder, “when will growth come to a stop?”

Source: Verizon

Come comment on this article: Verizon reports quarterly earnings, exceeds expectations

20
Oct

[TA Deals] Learn the ins and outs of the Raspberry Pi with a 93% off hacker bundle


raspberry pi dealIf you have a Raspberry Pi but you’re interested in learning all about what you can do with it, we’ve got a fantastic bundle that’ll get you started. For just $39, you can pick up a Raspberry Pi Hacker Bundle with tons of content for powering your projects with the mini-computer. There’s even some material on building a Raspberry Pi-powered robot.

There are some basic courses for getting your feet wet, but you’ll also get some more complex material covering hardware, Python programming, and yes, that robot we mentioned. Not a bad way to waste a weekend for less than forty bucks.

This content typically costs about $625 if you bought it all separately, so that makes for a massive 93% discount. Pretty tough to beat.

[Talk Android Deals]

Come comment on this article: [TA Deals] Learn the ins and outs of the Raspberry Pi with a 93% off hacker bundle

20
Oct

HTC’s unlocked One A9 will get ‘every’ Android update soon after Nexus


HTC has a lot riding on the success of ​its new One A9, so it’s no surprise it’s busy trying to sweeten the deal. To that end, HTC US president chimed in at the end of the phone’s live unveiling to mention that the unlocked version of the A9 will get the “every” Android update “within 15 days” of when it first gets pushed to Google’s own Nexus devices. Sounds great, right? Still, we’re still left wondering about a few things.

We’ve reached out to HTC for more detail, but at this point there’s no telling how many asterisks were secretly loaded in Mackenzie’s proclamation. The biggest question right now is how seriously HTC is taking the word “every” — the A9 already runs Android 6.0 Marshmallow, making it one of the first non-Nexus phones to ship with the new software. How long can we reasonably expect the company to prioritize such snappy OTA updates? HTC’s revamped vision for Sense will certainly help keep turn-around times lower than before — remember, they’ve stripped out some of their own first-party apps like Mail and Music in favor of an experience that’s a bit closer to stock Android. It’s also unclear whether unlocked phones from non-US markets will get the same sort of treatment, or if it’s going to another America-only treat like the company’s generous Uh-Oh accident protection. Anyway, there’s no putting this cat back in the bag, HTC — tell us all the things.

Check out Mackenzie’s unequivocal statement at 46:44 below:

20
Oct

Here’s how Verified Boot warnings look in Android 6.0 Marshmallow


LG Nexus 5X Unboxing-31

Verified Boot was introduced way back in Android 4.4 KitKat. The feature was designed to detect persistent rootkits that could stick around longer than anticipated and potentially compromise a device’s security. Although many folks originally raised their concerns that Verified Boot could diminish Android’s modding community, this didn’t really seem to be much of a problem in previous versions of Android.

When it comes to Android 6.0 Marshmallow, though, it’s clear that Google is taking Verified Boot a bit more seriously than in the past. Ars Technica’s Ron Amadeo posted a photo yesterday on Google+ that shows off what happens when you unlock the bootloader on either the Nexus 5X or Nexus 6P. The screen shown below appears before the Google logo when the phone is starting up.

15 - 1 +Ron Amadeo

The link listed under the warning message brings you to a support page, explaining what the different warning messages mean. From the Nexus support page:

  • Yellow warning: This message lets you know that your device has a different operating system than the one that originally came on your device.
  • Orange warning: Your device is in an “unlocked” state. This means that your operating system can’t be checked to make sure that it’s safe to use.
  • Red warning: The operating system on your device has been changed or corrupted and is not safe to use. The device may not work properly and could expose your data to corruption and security risks.

Google says that each message should dismiss automatically after 10 seconds, and your device should then continue starting up. If the warning message doesn’t go away, you can press the power button once to continue starting up your device. If you don’t want to start up your device after seeing this warning message, Google recommends turning off the device and contacting your device’s manufacturer for help restoring the original OS.

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20
Oct

Here’s what you need for a fingerprint reader in Android Marshmallow


Google Nexus 6P

Google made sure that the Nexus 5X and 6P take advantage of Android Marshmallow’s fingerprint reader support, but have you wondered what it’ll take to get that digit scanning support in third-party hardware? You don’t have to guess any longer. Google has listed the requirements for fingerprint readers in its latest platform, and they’re unsurprisingly quite strict. The reader’s false acceptance rate has to be virtually non-existent, and the rejection rate should be less than 10 percent. It also needs a hardware-based approach to matching fingerprints, and it must be impossible to access that data outside of the chip. Clearly, Google doesn’t want a repeat of the lax security that made it easy to steal fingerprint data from some earlier Android phones.

This doesn’t preclude vendors from trotting out their own approaches to fingerprint readers — just ask OnePlus or Samsung. However, the requirements set an important baseline for those phone makers that either want Google’s official blessing or can’t justify building a biometric security solution from scratch. You may well see a wave of Android phones with reliable, secure readers, even from tiny outfits that couldn’t have justified the technology before.

Via: Android Police

Source: Google (PDF)

20
Oct

Unlocked HTC One A9: software upgrades within 15 days of every Nexus update


htc one a9 first impressions aa (25 of 45)

Today HTC took the wraps off its new hero device, the HTC One A9. While the phone isn’t exactly a “flagship” by the traditional sense, it does offer some compelling features including a high-end metallic design, Marshmallow out of the box, a fingerprint scanner, and more. One other big change? The unlocked version of the One A9 will not only have a unlocked bootloader that won’t void the warranty, it’ll also get almost Nexus-fast updates.

In an official Tweet, HTC revealed that the unlocked A9 will get “every software update within 15 days of Google’s first push to Nexus.” That’s a pretty bold claim, especially since HTC fell behind on its 90 days promise back in the days of Lollipop.

http://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js

For what it is worth, we’ve seen HTC push more and more of its apps to the Play Store, decoupling them from Sense. With the promise of 15 day updates, perhaps HTC has found a way to push away even more of the HTC Sense experience from base Android? After all, it’s generally the “customized parts” of the UI that slows OEMs down when it comes to launching new updates.


android 6.0 marshmallowSee also: Android 6.0 Marshmallow updates roundup – October 15, 201537

What if HTC can hold true to the promise? The HTC One A9 will be one of the most modder-friendly devices on the market, offering fast updates and an easily unlockable bootloader. Of course, it’s specs aren’t exactly the kind power users dream of, though there’s more to a good phone than the specs. For more casual consumers used to iPhone’s update policies and for those that fear the dreaded (and exaggerated) “fragmentation issue” of Android, the addition of fast and frequent Android updates will also likely be welcomed.


htc one a9 first impressions aa (6 of 45)See also: HTC One A9 first impressions: trying some new things38

What do you think of the HTC One A9, and its near-Nexus update promise? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.

20
Oct

ARM’s latest graphics core will speed up your smartwatch


Samsung Gear S2

Let’s be blunt: the graphics in most smartwatches suck. They’re frequently limited to basic effects, and you’ll sometimes see the kind of stuttering that has long-since disappeared on your smartphone. ARM aims to fix that, however. It’s launching the Mali-470, a mobile graphics core that’s virtually tailor-made for smartwatches, the internet of things and anything else where battery life is the top priority. The GPU supports the flashy per-pixel visual effects you see on modern phones (OpenGL ES 2.0, to be exact), but it uses half as much power as the long-serving Mali-400 even as it runs faster– you could see lively 3D animations that don’t kill your watch within a few hours.

ARM hasn’t named customers for the Mali-470, so it’s not yet clear just who’s using it in their processors. You’ll have to wait a while to use it, at any rate — ARM doesn’t expect the core to reach real, shipping products until late 2016. When it does, though, it could help usher in a new generation of wearables and smart appliances whose graphics don’t feel like throwbacks.

Source: ARM

20
Oct

DROID Turbo 2 teased ahead of official announcement, courtesy of Verizon


Verizon DROID Turbo 2

The Motorola-made DROID Turbo 2 has been constantly leaking for months now, and so far we think we have a pretty good idea as to what we can expect from the new smartphone when it becomes official. As we near the device’s October 27th unveiling, Verizon and Motorola have released a new teaser showing off the unannounced DROID handset. The video, attached in the tweet below, shows the device falling screen first towards the ground, with the text “The new DROID is dropping soon.”

http://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js


Moto X Play Hands on review-3See also: Motorola Moto X Play review29

The Verizon-exclusive DROID Turbo 2 is expected to feature “the world’s first shatterproof display” and support for Moto Maker. It’s also rumored to come with a Snapdragon 810, a 5.4-inch Quad HD display, 3GB of RAM, 32/64GB of on-board storage and a big 3760mAh battery.

We’ll of course be at the DROID event on the 27th to bring you a first-hand look at the device, where Motorola is expected to also announce the DROID Maxx 2. Based on the leaked specifications and features, are you interested in either the DROID Turbo 2 or DROID Maxx 2? Be sure to let us know what you think in the comment section below.

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20
Oct

Ubisoft’s new reward program aims to mend UPlay’s image


Ubisoft Club users in character

Ubisoft’s UPlay gaming service has something of an image problem, to put it mildly. It’s supposed to handle everything from copy protection to multiplayer matching, but it’s frequently known for being flaky, insecure and an overall hassle. The game developer is doing something about that, thankfully: it just launched Ubisoft Club, its long-in-testing rewards program. In spirit, it sounds a bit like the defunct Club Nintendo. The more you play, the more Units (Ubisoft’s virtual currency) you earn — get enough and you’ll unlock downloadable content, beta tests and other goodies.

This doesn’t appear to be a straight-up replacement for UPlay, since you’re still encouraged to sign up for the existing service and link accounts. With that said, there’s little doubt that Ubisoft Club exists in part to improve the company’s reputation with online services. It theoretically gives you more reasons to see what UPlay has to offer, rather than do the bare minimum you need to start playing.

Source: Ubisoft Club

20
Oct

Konami says Hideo Kojima hasn’t left, he’s just on vacation


Please stop toying with our emotions like this, Konami. Yesterday, The New Yorker reported that Metal Gear creator Hideo Kojima officially parted ways with Konami on October 9th, following a farewell party at his in-house studio, Kojima Productions. Today, Konami denied Kojima’s departure to Japanese site Tokyo Sports, as translated by Kotaku. “Currently, Kojima is listed as a company employee,” a Konami spokesperson said, according to the translation. Apparently, the spokesperson said that Kojima and the team that developed Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain are all taking a long vacation. And that reported farewell party? “We’re not sure what kind of thing this was,” Konami’s spokesperson said.

In response to Konami’s claims, New Yorker contributor Simon Parkin (author of the original “Kojima has left the building” story) shared a photo of the purported goodbye celebration at Kojima Productions.

Konami didn’t mention how long the Phantom Pain team’s time off will be, though Parkin reports that Kojima is contracted until December. Perhaps that’s also when his reported vacation will end. Farewell party, vacation or otherwise, Kojima’s time with Konami is coming to an end — after nearly three decades with the studio, this year Konami removed Kojima’s name from the Phantom Pain box art and canceled Silent Hills, a highly anticipated horror game from Kojima and horror director Guillermo del Toro, among other odd moves.

Konami has yet to respond to our requests for comment, but we will update this story if we hear anything.

Source: Kotaku

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