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Samsung: Please, somebody, make mobile apps for Tizen

Samsung is eager to get developers to build applications for its Tizen smartphones. In an effort to drive up interest, the company has created the Tizen Mobile App Incentive Program, which will offer $9 million in cash prizes from February through October of 2017. According to Samsung, devs with apps that end up in the top 100 chart can earn $10,000 per app — definitely not a bad way to lure people in. Those who want to participate in the program can register starting in “early” January.

While Samsung obviously wouldn’t admit to it, it’s easy to wonder whether the company is doing this as a reaction to Google making its own phones. Because let’s face it, without the Note 7 around, the Pixel and Pixel XL are the Android handsets to beat. Sure, Google’s never said it plans to leave mobile partners behind, but it still makes sense for Samsung to want to further invest on its own ecosystem.

Either way, if you’re a developer who wants to give it a shot, the tech giant says target devices are the Samsung Z1, Samsung Z2 and Samsung Z3, as well as other undisclosed Tizen smartphones expected to launch next year.

Via: VentureBeat

Source: Samsung


Amazon owes parents cash refunds for their kids in-app purchases

Back in April, a judge found Amazon liable for in-app purchases made by children without their parent’s permission, and now he’s established a method for the retailer to pay them back. According to Reuters, Amazon will have to set up a notice-and-claims process next year to let parents know they’re eligible for the reimbursements.

While calling an FTC request for a $26.5 million lump-sum payout “too high,” Judge John Coughenour also declined Amazon’s offer of gift cards, since that would return some of the money to the company itself. The result of a case filed by the FTC in 2014, the whole thing happened because Amazon didn’t provide protections for apps labeled as “free,” and now it has to pay up. We assume this will be one of the platform talking points for Kanye 2020.

Source: Reuters


2017 Lotus Evora 400 review – Roadshow

The Good With 400 horsepower and 186 mph top speed, the Evora 400 is the fastest Lotus street car to date. Midengine balance is a ball on a race track. Ride quality is suitable for daily driving.

The Bad The Evora 400’s backseats are laughably small. Infotainment interface features poor navigation system, while the technology offerings are slim in general.

The Bottom Line Lotus picks up where it left off with the Evora 400 by catering to hardcore driving enthusiasts.

I like feel-good stories, and the 2017 Lotus Evora 400 I’m driving on Western Michigan’s country roads has all the makings of a good one for auto enthusiasts. The car I’m at the wheel of marks the return of the British sports car company to the US. It’s essentially been gone since 2014, back when it had to stop selling the Evora S here because it could no longer meet federal regulations.

Recent history has been tough for the plucky automaker, with numerous leadership changes and failed plans to launch a slew of new models, but the resilient little company is still standing. Returning to the States should be a key step towards better days, since we’ve accounted for roughly half of company’s sales in the past.

Even without the resources of performance-car juggernauts like Ferrari, Lamborghini, McLaren or Porsche, Lotus has always managed to engineer and build special automobiles by keeping them simple, lightweight and involving. It doesn’t take much time behind the wheel on the roads around South Haven to get a sense that Lotus has stuck with the same blueprint for the Evora 400, but it’s clearly made a lot of meaningful improvements since the Evora S. This is not just an Evora with a more powerful engine.


Back with the Evora 400 after a two-year break.

Andrew Krok/Roadshow

Punchy and road-worthy

A more powerful engine, however, is a major element in the Evora 400 equation, with the Toyota-sourced 3.5-liter V6 now getting a new intercooler and engine management tuning to go along with an Edelbrock supercharger. This results in 400 horsepower — a 55-pony jump over the S — and 302 pound-feet of torque between 3,500 and 6,500 rpm.

Like all Evora 400s, the six-speed manual transmission in my yellow tester has also been upgraded with a new clutch and flywheel. According to Lotus, with the standard gearbox, the car gets to 60 mph in 4.1 seconds and boasts a top speed of 186 mph, making it the fastest street car the company has ever built.

For those wondering about fuel economy, the EPA gives the 400 a rating of 16 miles per gallon city and 24 mpg highway.

If for some reason you don’t want to have three pedals in your 400, Lotus offers a six-speed automatic for an additional $2,700. With the slushbox, top speed is only 174 mph, but you do enjoy a slightly better city fuel economy rating of 17 mpg.


The Evora 400’s supercharged V6 heart.

Andrew Krok/Roadshow

This car is very quick from dead stops, with pull particularly strong at the top half of the engine’s rev range. Rowing through the manual gearbox is pleasant, with fairly crisp gear engagement, and the light clutch pedal is easy to work with. Unlike most newer models, steering remains hydraulically assisted, affording great response and feel.

What’s the most surprising thing of all about the Lotus’ street performance? Ride quality isn’t half bad over broken Midwest pavement. The Evora 400’s passive suspension, with Bilstein shocks and Eibach springs offers some give to take the edge off impacts. That’s more impressive when you consider that the car rides on staggered 19-inch front and 20-inch rear low-profile Michelin Pilot Super Sport tires.

Nip and tuck

Visually, there are no earth-shattering exterior changes to the 400. It remains instantly recognizable as an Evora, but eagle-eyed Lotus aficionados can probably pick up the redesigned front bumper with larger lower air dam, along with revised daytime running lights, door mirrors, wheels and a new rear bumper with diffuser.


The Evora 400’s new three-element rear spoiler.

Andrew Krok/Roadshow

The most noticeable alteration to the design is the three-element wing, which not only looks sharp, it joins forces with the new front end and rear diffuser to raise downforce to 71 pounds at 150 mph — a big upgrade for high-speed stability over the Evora S’ 35.2 pounds.

Improvements are more substantial in the cabin with better ingress and egress thanks to a revised aluminum chassis featuring skinnier and lower side sills. Thinner interior door panels give more front elbow room, while the rear seats are 11 inches wider than before. The latter doesn’t really matter, however, because the backseats have so little headroom and legroom that only the very young have a shot at fitting back there.


First official ‘Infinite Warfare’ tournament happens December 3rd

With Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare just now landing and Modern Warfare: Remastered reminding FPS fans of the franchise’s glory days, Sony is ready to celebrate the Call of Duty New Year. It’s that time of year when CoD players get their hands on a new game, start leveling up their weapon kits again and getting ready for the next round of Call of Duty World League. As they did with last year’s release of Black Ops III, PlayStation will be kicking off the new season with an invitational tournament and some big announcements about what’s in store for one of the biggest games in eSports.

The invitational tournament takes place on December 3rd and 4th at the PlayStation Experience in Anaheim, CA, where eight teams will square off in Infinite Warfare’s first official LAN broadcast. Before the first virtual rounds are fired, the conference keynote will include some some official news and possibly some PSVR announcements. The tournament livestream will also be introduced with more details about the season structure, game updates and key events coming to Infinite Warfare and CoD: World League. Of course, if you can’t be in Anaheim, the whole thing will be streamed on and the Call of Duty Twitch Channel.

Source: PlayStation Blog


Apple Begins Shipping LG UltraFine 4K Displays

A day after the first 13 and 15-inch MacBook Pros with Touch Bars began shipping to customers, Apple and LG’s UltraFine 4K Display has also begun shipping. Shipments are expected to deliver next week, with one MacRumors forum member noting November 15 as their delivery date.

The 21.5-inch UltraFine 4K Display went up for pre-order at the same time as the new MacBook Pros with Touch Bar. At the time, delivery dates were estimated to arrive on November 15 at the earliest. Current delivery estimates quote 5 to 6 weeks.

Apple debuted the UltraFine Display at its MacBook Pro event last month in 4K and 5K variations. While the 4K display has been available for pre-order since the event, the 5K display is not yet available. The Cupertino company said it partnered with LG to develop the displays specifically for the new MacBook Pros, with Apple making sure that the displays are optimized for its products. Shortly after announcing the displays, Apple confirmed it was out of the standalone display business.

The 13-inch MacBook Pro with Touch Bar can power either one 5K UltraFine display or two 4K UltraFine display while the 15-inch MacBook Pro with Touch Bar can power either two 5K UltraFine displays or four 4K UltraFine displays. Additionally, both displays use downstream USB-C and Thunderbolt 3 ports that can charge a MacBook Pro.

In early November, Apple dropped the prices of both displays in an effort to smooth the transition for new MacBook Pro owners. The move was combined with price drops for all of Apple’s USB-C adapters. The 27-inch 5K UltraFine display is now $974, a $325 price cut from the original price of $1,299. The 4K UltraFine display is now $524, a $175 price cut from the original price of $699. The lowered prices are only available until the end of the year.

Related Roundup: Displays
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Microsoft co-founder’s academic search engine adds neuroscience

Researchers, scientists and academics around the world publish roughly 2.5 million scientific papers each year, on top of a backlog of more than 50 million papers dating back to 1665. Plus, the rate at which researchers publish these academic papers keeps rising, a la Moore’s Law. It’s impossible for scientists to read every paper published in their fields, and searching for a specific study can be a daunting task.

Enter: Paul Allen, Microsoft co-founder and leader of the non-profit Allen Institute for Artificial Intelligence. The Allen Institute’s latest effort is Semantic Scholar, a scientific-paper search engine powered by machine learning and other artificial intelligence systems.

Semantic Scholar went live in November 2015 with a focus on computer science papers. Today, the service expanded to include neuroscience, bringing the search engine’s database to more than 10 million papers. Semantic Scholar is pitched as a sophisticated alternative to Google Scholar, and it uses AI systems and natural language processing algorithms to help parse each paper.

This is just the beginning for Semantic Scholar. By the end of 2017, Allen and his team plan to incorporate the full library of medical research into the service.

Source: GeekWire, Wired


Are you colour blind? This Microsoft app will help you see colour

Microsoft has launched an iOS app called Colour Binoculars.

It was developed to help the colour blind see a broader spectrum of colours. It works for anyone with the three most common forms of colour blindness, and it comes from a pair of Microsoft software engineers, one of whom is colour blind.

The app uses the iPhone’s camera and adjusts colours to make them easier for the colour blind to differentiate. The enhanced image appears on the iPhone’s screen. You could use it to choose a matching outfit or even determine if meat is no longer pink when cooking. You could also use it to simply take in the bright, beautiful world around you.

Here’s how Tom Overton, the app’s colour-blind developer, described it:

“It’s an app that helps color blind people distinguish color combinations that they would normally have trouble telling apart. For example, since I have difficulty distinguishing between red and green, our app makes reds brighter and greens darker so that the difference is more obvious. It replaces difficult color combinations, like red and green, with more easily distinguishable combinations, like pink and green.”

Overton and Tingting Zhu started working on Color Binoculars in 2015 during a Microsoft Hackathon and eventually completed the project under Microsoft’s experimental Garage program: “For me at least, it’s such a personal project,” Overton said. “I showed it off to my family. I have a cousin who is also colorblind, and he really enjoyed it.”

This isn’t the first app to help the colour blind. Still, if you’d like to try it, it’s free to download and use.


The Microsoft Office 2016 Certification Training Bundle can help you ace your next interview (96 per cent off)

There are plenty of skills you can learn to boost your resume, but few are as universally recognized as Microsoft Office.

The world’s leading office software, Microsoft Office is an undisputed staple in nearly every work environment. With the Microsoft Office 2016 Certification Training Bundle, you can become a bona fide pro with Access, Excel, Outlook, PowerPoint, and Word—all for only £31.16 ($39 USD)

Make your way through over 160 units of training, and you’ll learn how to navigate using the dashboards in all the Microsoft Office programs. Loaded with training at the beginner, intermediate, and advanced levels, this course is perfect for getting a complete understanding of everything MS Office. And diving into Excel, you’ll learn how to craft streamlined spreadsheets using time-saving formulas and calculations.

From there, you’ll explore Access and discover how to import and export mounds of data for your databases. That way, you’ll have all your information ready to create advanced invoices, tables, graphs, and other data visualization tools.

What’s more, this collection will walk you through building decks in PowerPoint, so you can artfully convey your ideas in the workspace. Combine this with some extra training in Outlook and Word, and you’ll emerge a total MS Office expert.

The Microsoft Office 2016 Certification Training Bundle would normally run you £798 ($999 USD), but Pocket-lint readers can save big and pick it up on sale for just £31.16 ($39 USD).


Win the world’s first 4k gaming console by entering the The PS4 Pro Giveaway

Just when we thought console gaming reached its peak, Sony raises the bar again with the PlayStation 4 Pro, the world’s first-ever 4k gaming console.

This gaming milestone boasts even more RAM and power than its predecessor, making for a truly optimized gaming experience. But before you shell out the cash for one, try your hand at winning one by entering the PlayStation 4 Pro Giveaway.

Absolutely free to enter, this giveaway gives you a shot at winning one of the year’s most anticipated gaming consoles. Building off the success of the PlayStation 4, the Pro is designed as a high-end version of its predecessor. It can run games in gorgeous 4K graphics and take them further with HDR support and smoother frame rates, allowing for a gaming experience like none other.

Combine this with PlayStation’s robust gaming community on PlayStation Plus, and you can enjoy your games online and across the world. Plus, with anticipated titles like Mass Effect: Andromeda, Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare, and Horizon Zero Dawn hitting store shelves soon, you’re going to want to enjoy them on the best gaming platform out there.

The PlayStation 4 Pro will retail for £318 ($399 USD), but you won’t have to spend a single dime if you win the PS4 Pro Giveaway. However, spots are limited, so make sure you secure yours by entering to win today before time runs out!


The Public Access Weekly: Everybody knows

This week, in lieu of an opening paragraph we have some warm and fuzzy GIFs:

And now, as promised last week, on to the Public Access stats from last month!

  • 455 posts went live on Public Access in October — That handily beats Septembers numbers (326) and is more than double August’s tally (217). It also sets a new record for the most Public Access posts ever for the sixth month running! Y’all are literally knocking it out of the park here.
  • 132 total Public Access members wrote and published stories, including 54 new members. Welcome to all those new members!
  • The Public Access member with the most posts published in October is Jagadeesh Dk with a total of 19 articles published. Second place is a tie between Lisa Rachel and Dimitar Najdenov who each published 17; Karthik Krishnan rounds up third with 15 posts published.

The top 10 most read Public Access posts for August (not counting the Public Access Weekly posts) were:

Why Startups Are More Efficient at Product Development than Large Corporations by Karthik Krishnan
Since 2012, The Netflix Library Has Been Cut in Half by Rob Toledo
Where does Samsung go from here? by Matt Porter
Teaching Computers to Understand Language by Karthik Krishnan
Why Kindle 5 is Still My Favorite Gadget by Victor Iryniuk
3 Companies Using Technology to Disrupt the Music Industry by Brian Horvath
Nokia says it can deliver internet 2,000 times faster than Verizon Fios by Chris Brantner
Chinese company threatens to fire anyone who buys iPhone 7 by Andre Smith
The Role of Social Media in Government by Jeff Klein
Why Boeing will beat Elon Musk in the Race to Mars by Lindsey Patterson

That’s the good news. The bad news is I also had to remove roughly 45 articles, ban four members and change 6 members author status for violating our posted rules and guidelines. So if you are a Public Access member, go here to read the rules. Learn them, love them, live them because we are enforcing them.

Looking for something to read? Check out:

Joshua Thompson’s first article for Public Access examines the connection between Apple’s recently announced MacBook Touch Bar and ideas that were kicked around Microsoft’s applied sciences division years ago.

Another first-time poster, Oliver McAteer, ponders whether or not Amazon’s attempt to handle its problems with extremely shady reviews will prove to be a successful fix by highlighting services that claim to identify fake reviews, discussing the role that incentivized reviews play in the service and the steps the company has taken so far.

If you still haven’t changed your Yahoo password, reading Troy Lambert’s article on data breaches and corporate responsibility may motivate you to do so — Lambert discusses a few high profile 2016 cyber attacks, the resulting fall out for consumers and corporations alike and what consumers have a right to expect when it comes to their online data.

Looking for something to write about? Mull over:

This was obviously a big week in United States politics, with Mark Zuckerberg taking the time to chime in about the role Facebook may (or may not) have had on influencing the election. Do you think social media sites like Facebook played a role in this years political processes? If so, how? And, bonus question, is that a good thing or not?

Sean Buckley reviews the NES Classic Edition, making me nostalgic for the days when I would spend hours racing through Super Mario levels. Buckley says the throw-back console encompasses both the best and worst of retro gaming — his qualms largely center around unnecessarily short controller cables. If you’re a retro gaming fan, tell us what your favorite video game nostalgia trip is: Galaga? Double Dragon? Oregon Trail? Alternatively, weigh in on whether or not retro gaming love is ruining the industry.

Aaron Souppouris calls RunGunJumpGun a “damn-near perfect mobile game” with intelligent level design. What makes a ‘perfect’ mobile game? Which mobile game have you been really impressed by (or addicted to), and why?

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