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29
Dec

Samsung’s Smart Bio-Processor for wearables revealed


Samsung_Bio_Processor

Samsung has announced the industry’s first Smart Bio-Processor, which will be used within wearable gadgets to track the health of users.

Dubbed ‘the all-in-one health chip’, this new processor aims to tap into a fast-growing market, able to take multiple measurements such as body fat, skin temperature, heart rate, heart rhythm and stress level.

Samsung also announced today that the group’s Bio-Processor is now within mass production, with the company gearing up to offer ‘innovative wearable products’ to fitness fanatics in the near future.

Ben K. Hur, Vice President of marketing, System LSI business at Samsung Electronics, said:

“With improvements in smart fitness devices and an increase in consumer health consciousness, more and more people are looking for ways to monitor various personal bio-data, or fitness data, to constantly manage their health.”

The Samsung spokesman went on to add that the group’s latest chip is capable of processing five different biometric signals, supposedly making it the most versatile health and fitness monitoring chip available on the market today.

Thanks to a host of on-board tech, the chip can process the bio-signals it measures without the need of external parts. In addition, Samsung claims the Bio-Processor is able to work effectively even in ‘extremely small devices’.

Samsung says the Bio-Processor is set to appear inside fitness devices within the first half of 2016.

Source: Samsung

Come comment on this article: Samsung’s Smart Bio-Processor for wearables revealed

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29
Dec

AT&T’s VoLTE network reaches more customers than any other carrier


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The year is coming to an end and that means companies are recapping 2015 to prove their growth and successes. Today, AT&T revealed that its VoLTE network — the one that allows you to make calls over an LTE connection — is accessible to nearly 300 million people in the United States.

Although large, that number comes down to an estimation of 27 million when counting just AT&T customers. So AT&T is declaring that its VoLTE network is an option to more customers than any other carrier in the United States.

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AT&T also highlighted offerings that launched in 2015:

  • Wi-Fi Calling complements our already great network coverage and is an option for making calls in areas where a cellular signal is tough to get. It’s available on compatible devices with iOS 9 installed. We plan to offer it on other operating systems in the future.
  • NumberSync uses the power of our network to link your compatible devices to your primary mobile number. This means you can send and receive texts, as well as make and receive calls, from a secondary device using the same number that your contacts already recognize. This will work when your smartphone isn’t with you, nearby or even on. We launched NumberSync first on the Samsung Gear S2 and plan to bring the feature to other devices in the future.
  • Video Call is now available in VoLTE coverage areas if you have a Samsung Galaxy S 6 Active. There’s no need for a separate app. You can also switch between a HD Voice call and Video Call without hanging up.
  • Advanced Messaging, like video calling and VoLTE, is part of AT&T’s Rich Communication Services (RCS) platform. Advanced Messaging has some cool features, making your texting even better. If you and the person you are texting both have a Samsung Galaxy S 5 mini or Samsung Galaxy S6 Active, it shows when your message is delivered, when it’s read and when the other person is typing their reply. You can also send larger files up to 10 MB.

Expect to see more developments with this type of technology from AT&T and the other carriers in 2016.

Source: AT&T

Come comment on this article: AT&T’s VoLTE network reaches more customers than any other carrier

29
Dec

Celebrate New Year’s Eve in Times Square… from anywhere!


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Just because you’re not in New York City on Thursday night doesn’t mean you can’t celebrate New Year’s in Times Square. The official app to welcome 2016 has been updated for this year’s celebration.

Here’s the short list of features included:

  • Follow and interact with the Times Square Ball on Twitter
  • Watch live streaming of the Times Square New Year’s Eve Celebration
  • Customize your Countdown Clock with your time zone

Play Store Download Link

Come comment on this article: Celebrate New Year’s Eve in Times Square… from anywhere!

29
Dec

Samsung files a patent for a new ‘smart ring’ accessory


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Samsung could use a new innovative product in its mobile division, which has been struggling over the past few quarters. Earlier today, a patent application was submitted to the US Patent and Trademark Office indicating that the Korean tech giant is up to something new.

The patent filing from Samsung revealed a new project the company is working on that includes development for a ‘smart ring’ accessory. Based on the patent, the smart ring could perform a variety of functions associated with your smartphone, tablet, TV, appliances and home automation products. It’s currently unknown exactly what functions the ring can perform but trusted sources have indicated that the device could act as a little control center for all your Samsung products.

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The smart ring should go under the category of wearables because after all, it’s a wearable for your finger. Microsoft, Google and Apple already have patents of their own for similar ring devices, so it only makes sense for Samsung to get involved as well. Maybe 2016 will be the year the first smart ring gets introduced. Only time will tell.

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Source: Patently Mobile
Via: SamMobile

Come comment on this article: Samsung files a patent for a new ‘smart ring’ accessory

29
Dec

Sidecar shuts down rides and deliveries ahead of new year


It’s tough to be the third choice when someone is looking for a ride home. Sidecar CEO Sunil Paul announced that the ride-hailing and delivery business would shut down at 2pm PT on December 31.

Sidecar was a tough sell with Uber already working its way into the general population’s conscious as the way to get a ride with a stranger. Meanwhile Lyft is seen as the “friendlier” alternative with passengers encouraged to sit up front with the driver. Sidecar just never seemed to catch on like the other two services.

But the company isn’t entirely disappearing. Paul said, “today is a turning point for Sidecar as we prepare to end our ride and delivery service so we can work on strategic alternatives and lay the groundwork for the next big thing.” No word on what those alternatives are or when they’ll be announced.

We’ve reached out to Sidecar about its plans for the future and it said that it’s not commenting beyond what’s in the post from CEO Sunil Paul.

Via: Recode

Source: Sidecar

29
Dec

Twitter wants you to know it’s still dealing with harassment


Twitter is continuing its (long overdue) fight against abusive users by updating its service terms with more specific language about harassment. This time around, there’s a new section dedicated to “hateful conduct,” which reiterates that users can’t threaten or promote violence towards others based on their race, gender, ethnicity, and other characteristics. Beyond that, there’s not much that’s too different from Twitter’s previous set of rules, which were announced back in April alongside the launch of new filtering technology and methods for dealing with abusive accounts. The company also made it easier to report trolls earlier this year.

As with every online communication platform, Twitter has been plagued with trolls since its inception. But it’s a particularly hot lightning rod for abuse since its main appeal is free-roaming, public conversations. Twitter will need more than mere language changes to deal with that.

Source: Twitter, (2)

29
Dec

Facebook tests multiple News Feeds based on your interests


If you’ve been yearning for a way to cut through the clutter that is your Facebook News Feed, you may soon be in luck. The social network is testing multiple News Feeds inside its mobile app, as the feature is live for select users. In addition to the main feed, tabs for specific topics like Style, Travel and Headlines line the top of the interface. When you select one, the feed is distilled down to relevant posts from your friends and Pages you follow. Facebook says the feature is in the testing phase, so it could be a bit before it’s open to all users.

In addition to those curated News Feeds, Facebook is also giving select users easier access to its Marketplace or shopping section. While that section is currently a bit buried, a test version of the app situates it at the bottom of the main window between Requests and Notifications, replacing the Messenger button.

If you’ll recall, Facebook began testing its shopping experience and ads for in-app purchases in October. Facebook also recently added a feature that allows you to search for local events by category and opened up a directory for local businesses. Add those tools on top of the pending shopping project and you get a glimpse of how Mark Zuckerberg & Co. plan to increase how much time you spend on the site.

Via: The Verge

Source: @jasonstein (Twitter)

29
Dec

Spotify is facing a $150 million lawsuit


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Music streaming powerhouse Spotify is facing a class action lawsuit from David Lowery that could end up paying the artist rights advocate $150 million. Billboard reports the lawsuit alleges that Spotify “knowingly, willingly, and unlawfully reproduces and distributes copyrighted compositions without obtaining mechanical licenses.” These licenses are the ones that allow outside parties to utilize copyrighted music.

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Spotify’s Jonathan Prince provided the following statement:

“We are committed to paying songwriters and publishers every penny. Unfortunately, especially in the United States, the data necessary to confirm the appropriate rightsholders is often missing, wrong, or incomplete. When rightsholders are not immediately clear, we set aside the royalties we owe until we are able to confirm their identities. We are working closely with the National Music Publishers Association to find the best way to correctly pay the royalties we have set aside and we are investing in the resources and technical expertise to build a comprehensive publishing administration system to solve this problem for good.”

Lowery, who belongs to bands Camper Van Beethoven and Cracker, is aiming to receive up to $150,000 for each song that is eligible for willful infringement. Combine that figure with the millions of people using Spotify and the music streaming service might actually end up paying a massive amount of money at the end of it all.

Spotify is said to have around $25 million stored for paying royalties for songs it lacks proper rights to; however, this specific lawsuit clearly goes above and beyond that reserve fund. The two parties could always reach a settlement outside of the courtroom, but that’s unlikely considering Lowery is entering a legal battle with Spotify on behalf of all musicians.

Source: Billboard
Via: The Verge

Come comment on this article: Spotify is facing a $150 million lawsuit

29
Dec

Doctors use Google Cardboard to explore a heart, save a life


Four-month-old Teegan Lexcen was born in Minnesota with a small, malformed heart, no left lung, and the faintest chance of seeing her first Christmas. Now she’s recovering after open-heart surgery at Nicklaus Children’s Hospital in Miami, Florida, where a team of enterprising doctors used a smartphone and Google’s Cardboard VR headset to peer into her chest and save her life.

Tackling such a delicate operation would’ve been harrowing even if the patient were an adult, but Teegan’s situation was made trickier by her fragile frame. A successful surgery would have required an astute understanding of the shape her tiny heart was in, and 2D MRI scans could only tell part of the story. The answer? Dr. Juan-Carlos Muniz, head of Nicklaus Children’s MRI department, converted those 2D scans into stereoscopic images, loaded them onto an iPhone and stuck it inside Google Cardboard for his colleague, cardiovascular surgeon Dr. Redmond Burke to peek at. The experience, Burke told UploadVR, was like “standing in the operating room” two weeks prior to surgery.

Armed with clearer knowledge of Teegan’s heart, Dr. Burke figured out where to make his first incision — right in the middle of her chest. Seven hours later, Teegan got a new lease on life and the VR movement got a brand new feather in its collective cap. Most of the medical VR experiences we’ve seen have been centered around touring the deep recesses of the brain, be they abstract or unflinchingly complex. While those simulations tend to rely on high-grade VR setups like the Oculus Rift, the events of the past few weeks prove you don’t need pricey gear to change minds and lives — just a willingness to look at things a little differently.

Source: CBSMiami.com

29
Dec

Keep your phone off the charger with a Zerolemon battery: review


One of the biggest problems in our modern age is how to keep your power hungry phone’s battery charged. Zerolemon looks to remedy this problem with their line of extended batteries. I’ll be specifically looking at the extended battery that they offer for the LG G3. However, they offer similar products for many Samsung, LG, and even iPhone models.

Zerolemon extended battery overview

Zerolemon makes two types of battery and cases. The first type, which I’ll be reviewing on the LG G3, replaces the phone’s internal battery and back door. This type of extended battery is used with a shock absorbent case, which consists of a plastic shell wrapped in a soft rubber case.

Zerolemon

The second type of case will be very familiar to iPhone users who have purchased extended battery cases in the past. This type of case has the battery built into the case and works by plugging into the phone’s power port. This is not efficient as the first type of case but is a great solution for people that do not have a removable battery, such as iPhone and current gen Samsung owners.

Zerolemon extended battery setup

The Zerolemon extended battery is fairly simple to install. However, on the LG G3, it can be a little tricky as the battery terminals are slightly recessed and the external battery can and will bend the phones charging pins if installed incorrectly.

This actually happened to me and I had to take a small screwdriver and carefully bend the charging pins back out. In order to properly install the battery, you’ll need to first disassemble the case, which will come fully assembled from the factory. Unfortunately, there were no instructions included so, I had to experiment a little. I found that the easiest way was to pull on the tab that covers the charging port and then separate the rubber from the hard plastic shell.

From there is was a cinch. The hard plastic case comes apart fairly easily and then snaps into place around the phone. From there, just drop the battery in. You’ll need to make sure and drop it straight down or you risk bending those pesky charging pins. This is probably the trickiest part of the entire setup process.

After you drop the battery in, you’ll want to turn on your device to make sure that you have a proper connection. Once you’ve verified that the phone turns on, you’ll need to wrap the rubber portion of the case around the hard plastic shell.

The final step is to charge the battery fully. If you have a phone that supports fast charging, then this process will take a few hours. If not, then this can take all night.

Zerolemon
Zerolemon

Zerolemon extended battery usage

Battery life: The battery for the LG G3 comes in at 8,500 mAh and under moderate usage I found that the battery would last me approximately two days. Under heavy usage with the screen at full brightness, I could make it through the day and night before I would need to charge the battery again in the morning.

The battery took several cycles before I could squeeze 2 full days out it. At first, it seemed like I could only make it through the day and would end up around 30% – 35% battery life remaining at the end of the day. I was ecstatic to get even that compared to the stock battery that seemed to live on the charger.

Case and holster: Testing the case is always a tricky thing as I don’t think that anyone wants to intentionally drop their phone to test a case. In my case, there were several unintentional drops and the case not only protected the phone, but there were no visible marks on the case afterwards. It felt a little hefty, but it was easier to hold than the phone without a case, so I don’t mind that so much.

The holster is amazing and it really shows how well thought out the Zerolemon products are. First of all the phone fits into the holster in any direction. Screen facing out or screen facing in and it’s omnidirectional.

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Zerolemon
Zerolemon
Zerolemon
Zerolemon
Zerolemon
Zerolemon

Secondly, the holster doubles as a stand for your phone. The phone can be placed in the holster with the screen facing out and the belt clip can be secured in the open position.

The belt clip can also rotate 360°. Not only does this help position the angle of the screen while using it as a stand, but it helps to adjust the holster from a horizontal to a vertical position when clipped to your belt.

4.5 out of 5 stars

Zerolemon

In short, I love this case. Yes, it makes the phone a little heavier and bulkier, but not having to leave it on the charger all day more than makes up for the added heft.

While this case certainly is bulky, it’s not much more than you would expect on a heavy duty Otterbox case and it comes with the added benefit of extra battery life.

If I was to nitpick a little, then the only downside to using this battery is that you loose the NFC capabilities that are built into the factory battery door, but there is a workaround that I will cover in another article which will not only give you back the NFC capabilities but will also add wireless charging.

The Zerolemon extended battery for the LG G3 currently sells for $75.99 on Amazon, but extended battery cases for other devices can be found as low as $29.99.

What do you think? Could you use an extended battery? Let us know in the comments.

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